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Issue 02 / free

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Contents \ Get out and ride

Welcome W

ith more and more of us taking to two wheels every day, the great British bicycle boom is well underway! Replace the car with a bike for just some of your journeys and you’ll be saving money, having more fun, not to mention burning off unwanted weight rather than planet damaging fossil fuels. With cycling on the rise there’s a huge choice of fantastic bicycles to ride and lots more cycle provision to make it easier to do so. Enjoy the mag!

20 Life Cycle 09

HELMET DEBATE

Are helmets a must-have?

18 Richard Owen Editor

Editor Richard Owen richard.owen@futurenet.com 01225 822737 Advertising

Richard Hemmings

richard.hemmings@futurenet.com 01225 442244

Publisher

James Hamilton

james.hamilton@futurenet.com 01225 732311

Future Publishing Ltd, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath, BA1 2BW Future plc is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR) www.futureplc.com

Chief Executive Mark Wood Non-executive Chairman Peter Allen Group Finance Director Graham Harding Tel +44 (0)207 042 4000 (London) Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244 (Bath)

Bikes & Gear 26

6

BIKES

Bicycles for every kind of rider

34

RIDE WEAR

Look and feel great in the saddle

44

CYCLE ESSENTIALS

Must-have bike bits and bobs

Cycle Know-how 10

THE KNOWLEDGE

Your cycling queries answered

20

WEAPON OF CHOICE

Find the right bike for you

42 © Future Publishing Limited 2013. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. The registered office of Future Publishing Limited is at Beauford Court, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath BA1 2BW. All information contained in this magazine is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. Readers are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this magazine. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Future a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage.

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On the cover Riders Amy Hanford, Tom Drummond Bikes Charge Hob, Kenesis T2 Photo Joby Sessions

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PHOTO: ROBERT SMITH

Life Cycle \ Riding news and more

FIGHTFLUONTHEBIKE

Cyclists take fewer sick days

CYCLINGONTHEUP

Big increase in the number of UK cyclists Britain sees a 17 per cent rise in cyclists since 2001 Census data has revealed that the number of cycling commuters in England and Wales has risen to more than three quarters of a million people. That’s a 17 per cent rise since the last census in 2001. Over the past ten years Brighton has seen an 118 per cent increase in cyclists, while in Bristol cycling doubled during the same period. In Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield numbers rose by 90 per cent. Cycling has increased by more than half in Cardiff, Gateshead, Exeter and Liverpool.

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Cycling charity Sustrans has found that non-cyclists take almost twice as many sick days as their cycling co-workers. Sick days cost employers around £258 per day, so with cyclists taking just 2.4 days a year – a full two days fewer than the national average of 4.5 – your boss will have even more reason to love you in Lycra.

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Riding news and more /

Life Cycle

AGREETODISAGREE

The great helmet debate

Helmets are a must-have piece of cycle safety equipment

Disagree!

Dr Carwyn Hooper St George’s University, London Wearing a helmet can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. Surely, then, I should wear a helmet and advocate their use. Perhaps. But matters are not quite as straightforward as that. Firstly, although evidence shows that helmets can prevent harm in some cases it is less clear how many injuries would be prevented. Secondly, it has been suggested that other road users might take fewer risks when manoeuvring past non-helmeted cyclists because these cyclists look more vulnerable, while helmeted cyclists may take more risks on the road because they feel less exposed. Personally I rarely wear a helmet and I feel strongly that attempts to coerce adults into wearing cycle helmets should be resisted. This is partly because the data emanating from Australia and New Zealand gives us reason to believe that mandating helmet use might decrease the number of people willing to cycle, but it is primarily because I think that competent adults should be allowed to make their own decisions about the degree of risk that they take in life.

Agree!

Rob Spedding Editor, Cycling Plus Nothing divides opinion among cyclists more than whether we should, or shouldn’t wear helmets when we ride. So, cards on table time… I don’t believe that helmet wearing should be made compulsory – evidence shows that where lids are mandatory cycling levels decrease and there’s little conclusive evidence that injuries are reduced because of the law. However, I choose to always wear a helmet. Why? My own anecdotal evidence makes me believe I’m safer with a crash hat than without. Three years ago I hit a wall head first at over 20 miles an hour – my helmet deformed and cracked, as it was designed to do, and my skull didn’t. I got up quickly, swore loudly and limped away to get my bike repaired, my skin patched up and, of course, a new helmet. I’m convinced that if I hadn’t been wearing a helmet I would have been at best badly concussed and the two kids walking to Check out school would have been the website For all things bike head spared the sight of a on over to our website bleeding man in tights www.onyourbike.org dropping the F-bomb…

ON YOUR BIKE | ISSUE 02

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Cycle Know-how \ Your cycling questions answered

The knowledge Puzzled by pedal types? Worried about getting wet? Terrified by traffic? Here are the answers to some of the most common posers presented by new cyclists

Isn’t it dangerous? Despite recent media campaigns to improve the safety of cycling, it might surprise you to hear that cycling is not especially dangerous. Whether you prefer to stick to the tarmac or head for the trails, cyclist deaths are still very rare. Even when taking to the roads there are far more pedestrian and motor vehicle deaths. “Per year, there are 10-15 fatalities due to people falling off bikes with no other vehicle involved,” says safety expert and co-author of Health on the Move, Malcolm Wardlaw. “Around 200 10

under-65s each year die in falls while walking. I don’t remember the last time I read a newspaper report of a pedestrian killed falling down steps, yet far rarer cases of cyclists killed in falls get a lot of media coverage.” Even when you throw vehicles into the mix, cycling remains stubbornly safe. It’s a little more risky than driving in the UK, taken as an average, but not much. The vast number of safe motorway miles covered by British drivers skews the stats in the car’s favour too. “Minority status generates fear,” adds Wardlaw.

John Franklin, cycling skills expert and author of Cyclecraft, agrees that the perception of cycling risk doesn’t match the reality. “There’s nothing in life that’s risk free,” he says. “It’s about the management of risk, not simply the fear of risk.” As a road cyclist, managing risk means being assertive, and behaving like traffic so that others will treat you as traffic.”

Won’t I get wet? Probably not. If you keep an eye on the weather forecast there’s no reason to get totally soaked, and if you’re cycling to work the odds are in your favour – statistics show at commuting times you’ll only get rained on three or four times a year on average.

Won’t I get punctures? Just like getting soaked, a puncture is a rare event that’s nevertheless annoying. For road

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Cycle Know-how \ Your cycling questions answered riders one of the best preventions is to use puncture-resistant tyres. These have a protective layer under the tread that prevents bits of glass and the like getting through to the inner tube. You can also protect yourself simply by riding around patches of broken glass, not through them, and avoiding sharp-edged potholes that can cause a puncture by pinching the tube between tyre and rim. There are also various options for self-sealing inner tubes, using liquid sealant, and tubeless systems are gaining popularity among mountain bikers. Rather like a car tyre, these use an air-tight tyre with a sealant that fills punctures instantly.

How do all these gears work? Bikes have gears for the same reason cars do: to let the engine work at a comfortable and efficient speed. But a car’s engine works well at a wide range of speeds, while your bike’s human engine is best in a fairly narrow band of pedalling rates. Bikes therefore need a wide range of gears to cope with hills, and they need to be fairly close to each other. Most bikes use external gear mechanisms, known as derailleurs (or mechs), to move the chain up and down different-sized toothed cogs, called sprockets, on the rear wheel and chainrings at the pedal end. The smaller the chainring or the larger the rear sprocket, the lower and easier the gear. Ideally you want to keep the chain in a straight line, so if it’s on the small inner ring at the front it needs to be on the bigger sprockets 12

A decent waterproof will not only keep you dry, should the heavens erupt, but will also keep the wind away

at the back – likewise, big outer ring and smaller sprockets. Crossing the chain puts strain on it and it might not shift into extreme gears, as well as making a grating noise as it rubs against the gears. This noise gives you a clue to check your gear choice.

Why so many brake types? Brakes either act on the rim of the wheel or – a more recent innovation – a special braking

disc near the hub, like on a motorbike or car. Rim brakes are simple but are affected by water and damage to the rim, while disc brakes are more complex, but more consistent and more powerful. Rim brakes include old-fashioned cantilevers, which were succeeded by V-brakes, and dual pivots. Road race bikes almost always have lightweight dual pivot brakes, because bikes for racing are designed to be as light as possible. Most mountain bikes use disc brakes for their better stopping power. Budget bikes use cable/ mechanical discs; hydraulic discs offer superior performance.

Why do some bikes have drop bars and some flat? Drop handlebars were developed for road racing and are great if you want to get into a position that gives least wind resistance and maximum efficiency. But many riders like the more upright position of a flat handlebar, especially for leisure riding or when in traffic. Wider flat bars give better control on rough surfaces, which is why they’re the universal choice of mountain bikers, but for riding on

Lots of gears make riding easier by allowing you to pedal comfortably whatever the gradient

ON YOUR BIKE | ISSUE 02

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Cycle Know-how \ Your cycling questions answered the road it’s worth trying both. In fact, mountain bike bars are rarely flat these days – most rise up at the ends so are called riser bars.

How high should my saddle be? Many beginners want to be able to put a foot flat on the ground while sitting in the saddle. The problem is that puts your saddle too low for comfortable, efficient pedalling. With your saddle too low, you’ll get tired quicker and put extra strain on your knees. You should have your saddle high enough that your knee is at a 25-35 degree angle when your foot is at the bottom of the pedal’s rotation – it will look like the knee is not quite fully straight. On most bikes you’ll still be able to reach the ground from the saddle in this position – you may just have to shuffle sideways a little.

What are clipless pedals? Pedals come in two varieties: flat and clipless (confusingly named because you do actually clip into them). The simplest pedals are flat

Clipless pedals will make your pedalling more efficient, but take a little getting used to

Dual pivot rim brakes are found on most road race bikes

With your saddle too low, you’ll get tired quicker and put strain on your knees and are found on most budget bikes and often on off-road bikes. Clipless pedals have a spring mechanism that a dedicated cleat on your shoe fastens into. Clipless shoes for mountain biking have small cleats that sit in a recess in the sole so the rider can still walk in the shoes. Road clipless systems have larger, external cleats and are inconvenient to walk in. In general, clipless pedals are used by performance-orientated riders who like the feeling of being connected to the bike and the greater pedalling efficiency of the stiff-soled cycling shoes that accompany them. Flats are favoured by riders who want to be able to ride in regular shoes, or who don’t feel comfortable being mechanically attached to the bike.

Do I need suspension? Only if you plan to ride off-road. In short, the idea of suspension is to improve handling on rough surfaces such as dirt tracks. Good suspension is a boon for proper mountain biking, but if your ambitions don’t involve zooming 14

Disc brakes are standard on mountain bikes from mid-range up

down Welsh hillsides, you’ll probably be fine with a rigid bike. Even if you do like the idea of some suspension taking the sting out of those rocky trails, many of the low-end forks found on a lot of mountain bikes under £500 are quite poor quality and can be really heavy, so you need to do your research before you buy.

That saddle looks uncomfortable Bike saddles need to be fairly narrow so you can pedal easily. As a result, they undeniably take some getting used to – it’s a bit like breaking in a new pair of shoes. The trick to getting used to a saddle is to build up both frequency and distance gradually. Also wear well-fitting padded bike shorts, ideally with no underwear. Very wide and thickly padded saddles are counter-productive. While they might feel comfier at first, wide saddles get in the way of your thighs when pedalling and thick padding tends to bunch and pinch. They also add a big weight penalty you’ll notice on climbs.

ON YOUR BIKE | ISSUE 02

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Life Cycle \ Stress busting

Cycle away from stress Cycling keeps you fit, and it’s a stress beater too. We look at how riding your bike stops you being driven up the wall

Perhaps the best known mental exercise boost is the ‘runner’s high’ experienced by endurance athletes, now proven by German researchers to be more than a rather pleasant figment of the imagination. University of Bonn neurologists took brain images of 10 volunteers before and after a two-hour running session. Comparing the pre- and post-run scans, they found evidence of more opiate binding of the happy hormone in the frontal and limbic regions of the brain, areas known to be involved in emotional processing and stress. And because runner’s high only seems to kick in after at least an hour’s exercise, ironically you’re more likely to experience it in the saddle than on foot. 16

iveristy of Bonn *Un

Mental boost

expel any lingering CO2 – both The mind-body connection proven clinical techniques.” doesn’t stop there. Researchers from Illinois University in the US found an improvement of 5 per Sleep it off cent in cardio fitness from aerobic A problem with stress is finding exercise led to an improvement of the ‘off’ switch, and without up to 15 per cent in mental tests sufficient sleep that isn’t possible, and an ability to deal with stress. according to Professor Jim Horne “It boosts blood flow – and, in from the Sleep Research Centre at turn, oxygen – to your brain, Loughborough University. which fires and regenerates “Reducing regular sleep by just receptors,” says study author one hour each night can lead to a Professor Arthur Kramer. spike in the stress hormone When it comes to rhythm, cortisol, which can prevent deep, cycling knows no equal. “Stress regenerative sleep, making it even makes your heart beat faster, harder to sleep,” he says. “Exercise which leads to shallow, fast is the one factor that has been breathing, a build-up of shown to redress that imbalance. CO2 and a lack of “Exercising outside also oxygen in the brain, exposes you to daylight, Fact leading to more which helps get your When you exercise, stress,” says circadian rhythm back endorphins are Shah. “Cycling in sync,” adds Horne. released into your body. forces you to Factor in cycling and These can help regulate your you’ll be fighting fit in fight off stress and breathing and both mind and body for a lift your mood* breathe deeper to long time to come.

PHOTOGRAPHY: GEOFF WAUGH

W

hatever the reason for your cycling, one thing’s for sure – your two-wheel habit can be as good for your state of mind as it is for your body. “Cycling is one of the most effective treatments for stress and in many cases has been proven to be as effective as medication – if not more so,” explains Neil Shah, psychotherapist and director of the Stress Management Society (www.stress.org.uk).

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SIMPLY CLEVER

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Life Cycle \ Riding news and more

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he Verenti Insight 105 not only sports killer looks, but with a full carbon frame and fork, Shimano 105 components and Fulcrum Racing wheels, it’s a serious road riding machine! It’s light, stiff, fast and the comfortable frame is designed for long hours in the saddle, so is perfect for taking part in long distance sportive events, simply riding for fun, or honing your road racing skills. Thanks to the fine people at Wiggle, we’ve got one of these fantastic bikes to give away to a lucky reader. If you’d like to be in with the chance of winning the bike, just answer our simple question and tell us what size frame you would like – small, medium, large or extra-large. Good luck!

To enter, answer this simple question: Q The Verenti Insight’s frame is constructed from which material? A Steel B Cake C Carbon Text your answer to 87474. Tap in OYBWIGGLE followed by A, B or C and then your name, email address and frame size. Texts cost £1 plus your standard network rate. You can also enter online at www.futurecomps.

co.uk/oybwiggle. If you don’t want to receive offers or promotions from Future or Wiggle include ‘NO INFO’ at the end of your text. The closing date for entries is 31 October 2013.

By taking part in a competition, you agree to be bound by the competition rules, which are summarised below but can be viewed in full at www.futuretcs.com. Late or incomplete entries will be disqualified. Entries must be submitted by an individual (not via any agency or similar) and, unless otherwise stated, are limited to one per household. The company reserves the right in its sole discretion to substitute any prize with cash or a prize of comparable value. The competition is open to all GB residents of 18 years and over, except employees of Future Publishing and any party involved in the competition or their households By entering a Competition you give permission to use your name, likeness and personal information in connection with the Competition and for promotional purposes. All entries will become the property of the Company upon receipt and will not be returned. If you are a winner, you may have to provide additional information. Details of winners will be available on request within three months of the closing date. If you are a winner, receipt by you of any prize is conditional upon you complying with (among other things) the competition rules. You acknowledge and agree that neither the company nor any associated third parties shall have any liability to you in connection with your use and/or possession of your prize. The editor's decision is final.

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WE ORIGINALLY BUILT HACK AS A CYCLO-CROSS BIKE BUT IT’S PERSONALITY WENT SO MUCH FURTHER THAN A WET AND WINDY FIELD ON A COLD SUNDAY MORNING. WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF HACK? TO US IT WAS EVERYTHING FROM COMMUTING, FAST TRAIL RIDING AND CROSS RACING. DROP BARS, FAT TYRES AND A PLAYFUL DISPOSITION. SO DO WITH IT WHAT YOU PLEASE BUT HAVE AN ASS LOAD OF FUN. URBAN HACK 2 – £ 1,149.99 URBAN HACK 1 – £899.99

Cycle Know-how \ Buy your perfect bike

Choose your ride Y With so many different types of bicycles out there, it can be slightly bewildering choosing the right bike for you. Let us guide you through the options…

our choice of bike will depend on your own tastes, and the kind of the distance and terrain you want to ride. So whether you’re an urban commuter, a lightning quick road racer, an off-road trail blaster, downhill nutter, fixed wheel fanatic, tow-path explorer, or regal roadster, whatever your style of riding, there’s plenty of bikes out there for you!

PHOTO: RUSSELL BURTON

BUDGET Specialized Allez 24 £589.99 SEN SIBLE Giant Defy 1 £999 LUXURY Stork Scenero £1,999.99

Road SPEEDY, LIGHT AND SERIOUSLY FUN, RACE BIKES ARE PERFECT FOR COVERING LONG DISTANCES QUICKLY Light, fast and fashionable, road racing bikes have become the street transport of choice for a generation of riders. A road bike will cover long distances at a cracking pace although the skinny tyres and light wheels that help make them fast can also make them vulnerable to damage from kerbs and potholes. Thieves love them too, so budget for a big chunky lock. For commuting, you’ll need a light, stable backpack as few road bikes have carrying capacity, and you’re probably going to get wet when it rains – Crud Products Roadracer (www.crudproducts.com) mudguards solve that problem for most road bikes. Pros Quick, efficient and fun Cons Can be fragile, light tyres puncture easily and the weather and thieves are against you

EXCELLENT MULTIFUNCTIONAL CHOICE THAT WILL WORK FOR COMMUTING AND LEISURE RIDING Possibly the most practical bike for simply getting from A to B, tourers come with mudguards, racks for panniers (allow for a good set – fully waterproof, roll-top designs are best – and you can easily carry a few days’ groceries) and tougher, fatter tyres than pure road bikes. The category covers a range of bikes including ‘fast road’ or audax bikes – essentially road bikes with room for fatter tyres and mudguards – and cyclo-cross bikes, which usually have mudguard eyes unless they’re high-end models. The riding position is usually less bum-up than on a road bike so vision is better, and tourers are great for weekends away or longer trips if you get a taste for adventure. Pros Tough, lots of load-carrying capacity, still fairly quick Cons Not quite race-bike quick

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PHOTO: ROBERT SMITH

Tourer

BUDGET Specialized Tricross £749.99 SEN SIBLE Dawes Galaxy £1,199.99 LUXURY Van Nicholas Amazon from £1,999.99

ON YOUR BIKE | ISSUE 02

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Cycle Know-how \ Buy your perfect bike BUDGET PITANGO £320 SEN SIBLE Specialized Langster £499 LUXURY Fixie Inc Black Jack £1,274 approx

Fixed ACHINGLY HIP, FIXIES ARE FAST AND SIMPLE TO MAINTAIN BUT YOU’LL NEED SOME RIDING SKILL Ultra-minimal and ultra-hip, fixies are derived from track bikes. A true fixie has no freewheel, so you have to pedal if you’re moving. That brings an unprecedented degree of connection and control once you get used to it. Until then, you have to remind yourself not to try to coast or the bike will spit you down the road. Fixies are definitely not for beginners, then, but are lightning-fast in the hands of an accomplished rider. This is what makes them popular with cycle couriers, who also like their reliability – a legal minimum fixie with just a front brake has almost nothing on it to go wrong. Pros Light, simple, quick Cons Some skill required

Flat-bar THE ‘HYBRID’ TAG COVERS A VARIETY OF FLAT-BAR BIKES THAT ARE VERSATILE AND REASONABLY FAST Also known as hybrids, flat-bar road bikes combine the speed of narrower 700C wheels with the upright riding position of a mountain bike. The details vary a lot. You’ll find road bike-style calliper brakes and mountain bike-style disc brakes in this category, plus bikes with racks and guards and stripped-down machines that are essentially racers but for the bar. If you want to go quickly on good roads but you prefer a more upright position or don’t get on with drop handlebars, this is the way to go. The only major downside with a flat-bar bike is that you’re not as aerodynamic as you are on a race bike and therefore not quite as quick. Pros Fairly quick, versatile, upright Cons Can be almost as fragile as race bikes

BUDGET Giant Revel 3 £300 SEN SIBLE Specialized Hardrock Pro Disc £599

PHOTO: SEB ROGERS

LUXURY Norco Sight 3 £1,650

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BUDGET Trek 7.0 FX £339.99 SEN SIBLE MODA CHORD £999.99 LUXURY Ridgeback Flight Titanium £2, 299.99

Mountain bike MOUNTAIN BIKES ARE BUILT TO ROLL OVER TRULY BUMPY TERRAIN BUT CAN BE HEAVY AND SLOW Their upright riding positions, bombproof frames and the option to take them off-road have long made mountain bikes a popular choice for lesiure cyclists. Many riders also find the power of typical MTB disc brakes reassuring. But the knobbly tyres that make them great for rough terrain make them slow on tarmac, often negating the advantage of the light frame materials and wheels many boast. For riding on the road, the solution is to fit slick tyres. Steer clear of full-suspension if your ambitions don’t involve proper off-road riding, otherwise you’ll be paying for technology you never use. Invest in a good lock too. Pros Great brakes, upright position, bombproof, versatile Cons Heavy, slow on tarmac, eye-catching to thieves

ON YOUR BIKE | ISSUE 02

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Developed by Sir Chris Hoy Exclusively at Evans Cycles www.hoybikes.com | @hoybikes

Cycle Know-how \ Buy your perfect bike BUDGET B’Twin ELOPS CITY £119.99 SEN SIBLE Holy Moly Solo £500 LUXURY Koga Citylite Delgado £1,099

Roadster A CLASSIC BIKE THAT WILL GET YOU AND YOUR SHOPPING FROM A TO B – BUT IT MAY TAKE A WHILE... The classic English roadster bike still does a sterling job of providing short-range transportation in flat towns. What’s appealing about this style of bike is its simplicity. There’s very little to go wrong if you’ve just got one gear, and hub gear versions with up to 11 gears are still largely bombproof. Typical roadsters have chainguards and flat pedals, so you can hop aboard in your regular clothes. Dynamo lighting and a lock are often built in, so a roadster is a one-stop purchase. They shrug off potholed streets too, while an upright riding position gives you a commanding view of traffic. The downsides? They aren’t light or fast. Pros Practical, elegant, indestructible Cons Heavy and slow

Electric VROOM! HILLY OR LONG RIDES ARE A DODDLE WHEN YOU HAVE A MOTOR BACKING YOU UP With the boost of a 250W motor, electric bikes are great for commuters who need to arrive at work less sweaty or if you’re not confident about your fitness. Electric bikes limited to 15mph can be used on the road without a helmet or licence – they’re bikes as far as the law is concerned. And most of them are designed to be comfortable and easy to live with thanks to flat bars, mudguards and luggage capacity. There’s a price and weight premium over an equivalent regular bike for the battery, motor and control electronics. However, as the technology develops, these are coming down. Pros Easy to ride, comfortable Cons Recharging, heavier and pricier than a regular bike

BUDGET Dawes Diamond £299 SENSIBLE Brompton M6L AVC £880 LUXURY Birdy Rohloff £2,515

BUDGET Urban Mover Sprite £699.99 SEN SIBLE Giant Escape Hybrid £1,600 LUXURY Storck Raddar Multiroad Carbon £3,699

Folders FOLDING BIKES ARE IDEAL FOR SHORT RIDES AND CAN BE CARRIED AND STORED ANYWHERE Best suited to short rides – especially where storage space at either end is scarce – and mixed-mode travel, folding bikes are phenomenally popular among big-city commuters. The most compact ones will fit under your desk and they can be carried onto a train or bus even For further buying in rush hour. A folder won’t ride like advice check out a conventional bike because of the www.onyourbike.org necessary compromises but the best modern folders are surprisingly nippy.

PHOTO: ROBERT SMITH

Check out the website:

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Pros Convenient to store and carry Cons Slower than a big-wheeled bike

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ULSE P M I Y R E V E FOR

W THE ALL-NE

pulse at Find your im APSE LE.COM/SYN A D N O CANN

Bikes \Great new rides URBAN SINGLESPEED

Scott OTG | £499 If you want to stand out from the crowd, then the OTG 20 from Scott will make that happen. With its striking colour scheme, white tyres and narrow riser bars – plus graphics from Paris-based graffiti artist GREM – the OTG will have you cruising the city streets and beating the traffic in style at a price that won’t break the bank. www.scott-sports.com SPEC | WEIGHT 10.5kg FRAME Scott OTG 4130 CroMo

URBAN SINGLESPEED

Charge Plug | £399

The Charge Plug has become something of a benchmark in the singlespeed world. This British brand was in at the beginning of the fixie revival, and as such its popular model is a guarantee of quality. A city slicker, the CroMo downtube and seat stays will help take the worst out of the potholed urban streets, while the Charge ‘Shield’ reinforced wheel rims will ensure extra strength where it’s needed. Like the Scott, the Plug has a flip-flop rear hub, so you can choose to run it fixed or with a freewheel, which can prove handy if you have a lot of downhills to deal with! At £399, this is a stylish and robust urban commuter that, as a singlespeed, requires minimal maintenance. www.chargebikes.com SPEC | WEIGHT 12.0kg FRAME Steel, CroMo D/T & C/S 26

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SPECTATE PARTICIPATE MOTIVATE World Class Cycling Tours As the World’s leading international cycling tour operator, Sports Tours International offers you a wide range of cyclo sportives, multi day tours and cycle challenges around the world today including the Tour de France, L’Etape du Tour, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 and much more. You can rely on us to give you the great cycling experience you dreamed of and our team will be there to assist you with your challenge…all you would expect from a company with 40 years experience of sports travel.

BOOK NOW ONLINE www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk cycling@sportstoursinternational.co.uk +44 (0) 161 703 8161

Join the conversation @sportstoursint

Bikes \ Great new rides

SARACEN URBAN ESCAPE | £299 A stylish town bike (pictured in women’s styling), this alloy-framed hybrid makes a reliable ride for the journey to work and weekend jaunts. www.saracen.co.uk

EASTWAY TR1.0 | £749 The style and lightweight 7005 aluminium frame of a road bike with the simplicity of a singlespeed – a perfect fast commuter for the city. www.eastwaybikes.com

ALL-YEAR COMMUTER

Kinesis T2 | £999 A popular choice of winter training bike with racers in the know, the attributes that make the Kinesis T2 so popular among hardened roadmen also make it an ideal all-rounder for the commuter who wants to get out at the weekends too. The 7005 aluminium frame keeps the weight under 10kg, despite the fact the bike features full mudguards (essential for commuting in the unpredictable British climate) and 28

has clearance for 28mm tyres. Running bigger tyres might lose you some speed, but it will give you extra comfort. The bike is kitted out with ultra-reliable Shimano Tiagra gearing and R500 wheels, adding up to a very dependable and versatile ride. www.kinesisbikes.co.uk SPEC | WEIGHT 9.5kg FRAME 7005 double-butted aluminium

GIANT ROVE | £499 The ultimate in versatility, a women’s bike designed to take you anywhere: city streets, quiet lanes or forest trails. A true hybrid. www.giant-bicycles.com

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SIMPLE LIGHTWEIGHT FUNCTIONAL Grater range starting from ÂŁ399.99

chargebikes.com

Bikes \ Great new rides

MERIDA ONE-FORTY 1500D | £2,000 A good-value full-suspension off-roader that handles well, and so takes fast descents in its stride, and can deal with the climbs too. www.merida-bikes.com

SARACEN URBAN STUDIO | £649 A stylish urban ride that marries its good looks with an alloy frame and disc brakes. www.saracen.co.uk

GIANT TCX2 | £799 A cyclo-cross bike can make a perfect commuter as it deals with roads and towpaths with equal confidence. This Giant features good Shimano parts. www.giant-bicycles.com 30

FOLDING BIKE

Kansi 3Twenty | £725 There is much to be said for the convenience of a folding bike, especially if part of your commute involves train, bus or car travel, and the 3Twenty from new brand Kansi is a good choice. Quick and easy to fold and unfold, with one hinge in the middle of the frame and one at the base of the stem, setting this bike up takes a matter of seconds, and folding it back down not much longer. But even more impressive is the fact the bike rides superbly. It rides, in fact, pretty much as a non-folding

bike would. Those hinges have no impact on the responsiveness of the frame, which means it handles well and can therefore deal comfortably with the demands of city traffic. The bike features a SRAM three-speed hub and although mudguards aren’t fitted as standard the frame has eyelets so they can be added. A stylish choice for flat commutes. www.kansi.co.uk SPEC | WEIGHT 11.0kg FRAME 6061 aluminium tubing

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MERIDA RIDE Lite 90 - £599.99 Our Ride geometry delivers classic road bike looks but without the extreme position. Subtle changes to the geometry and specification make the Ride range a perfect partner for new riders. Brimming with technology, the hydroformed triple butted 6066 aluminium and tapered full carbon fork deliver performance deserving of a much higher price tag.

For our full bike range (£199.99 to £6,000) and to find a dealer visit www.merida.com

Bikes \ Great new rides OFF-ROAD EBIKE

Raleigh Velo Trail | £1000 Until recently the ebike was largely a continental phenomenon, but many of the established brands now include battery-powered bikes among their arsenal. As technology develops, more and more people in the UK have started to realise the benefits of ebiking. The Velo Trail is great value and, unlike many of the sub-£1000 electric bikes, it performs really well. This mountain bike-style set-up comprises a Shimano

7-speed derailleur and EZ-fire shifters, a front wheel drive motor hub, front forks and a choice between a step through and a more traditional mountain bike frame. Despite the off-road touches, the Velo Trail is no slouch on the tarmac making it a great all-round commuter. www.raleigh.co.uk SPEC | WEIGHT 22.0kg FRAME Aluminium AL6061

CHARGE HOB | £499.99 A big winner in the style stakes, this ladies’ cruiser gives an upright position with CroMo frame, full mudguards and an award-winning saddle. www.chargebikes.com

NORCO NITRO 9.2 | £850 Norco makes great crosscountry bikes and the Nitro is testament to that. There aren’t many better mountain bikes in this price range. www.evanscycles.com

PINNACLE DOLOMITE 4 | £750 A perfect first road bike, combining style and comfort. Carbon forks, a Shimano groupset and a polished alloy finish make it a firm favourite. www.evanscycles.com 32

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GERMAN ENGINEERED

www.focus-bikes.com /focus.bikes

Gear \ Look good on and off your bike

Gear

Come rain or shine these outfits will keep you cycling all summer long

1 METZ WOMEN’S SHORT SLEEVE JERSEY Louis Garneau Fantastic summer jersey with iPod pocket and full length zip £59.99 www.evanscycles.com 2 STELLAR WATERPROOF JACKET Madison Hard-wearing all-round jacket £69.99 www.madison.co.uk 3 AERON PRO CYCLING BIB SHORT DHB Top notch summer shorts at a good price £74.99 www.wiggle.co.uk 4 R1.0 ROAD SHOE DHB Great value and good-looking entry-level road shoes £49.99 LEFT: SHORT SLEEVE MERINO POLO Rapha Commuter kit doesn’t come much cooler £90 WINDJAMMA JACKET Surface An urban jacket that can cope with the elements £64.99 www.wiggle.co.uk

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Ultimate Sports Engineering

Engineered Excellence

Summit Carbon Road Bar

Lightweight, ergonomic grip, short & shallow, and built in cable-routing

Alien Carbon Seatpost

Lightweight carbon construction, forged and CNC’d 7075 T6 Aluminium

Flash Flare Front and Rear Lights

Super-bright rechargeable ultra compact light system

www.use1.com

Gear \ Look good on and off your bike 1 ALL DAY EVERY DAY T Morvélo A cool tee for the cycling obsessed £21.99 www.morvelo.com 2 WOMEN’S BICYCLE CLUB T Howies Slim fit Team Genesis organic cotton shirt for women £24.99 www.genesisbikes.co.uk

3 GNARL TRAIL T Whackjob Gnarl by name and nature from this ethical British brand £26 www.whackjob.co.uk 4 CROSSING BOUNDARIES T Howies Regular fit tee with Genesis passport stamp graphic £24.99

5 MOUNTAIN ASSAULT T Whitstable Good value Tour shirt made in the UK £17.49 www.whitstabletshirtcompany.co.uk 6 HOMEWARD WOMEN’S T Morvélo Pre-shrunk cocoa tee from new £21.99

Other stuff

ABOVE: TUSCAN SOCKS Louis Garneau High performance road socks at a bargain bucket price £4.99 www.evanscycles.com 36

ABOVE: SAFETY BELT Aura Flashing LED belt for a safe and stylish commute £19.95 www.auracyclesystems.com

ABOVE: CLIMATEC SHORT CUFF MacWet £29.99 www. macwet.com | WINDSTOPPER Shimano £34.99 www.madison.co.uk

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£3.25 a month doesn’t get you far these days... The best insurance offers for you, your bike and your trip

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Gear \ Look good on and off your bike

Helmets

7 6

ABOVE: XENOVA RACE Uvex £49.99 www.raleigh.co.uk The Xenova is great value and lightweight. The 21-vent design means your head won’t over-heat and the IAS 3D+ headring means easily adjustable fitting.

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ABOVE: STYLE CYCLE HELMET RSP £29.99 www. raleigh.co.uk The style does what it says on the tin. A good-looking all-rounder that for under £30 is a steal. Sealed inner pads and five rear vents mean you’ll be cool and comfy.

ABOVE: XP CC HELMET Uvex £59.99 This cool off-road lid will mean you turn heads on the trail – for the right reasons. A detachable sun visor and quality matt finish score serious style points and the headring and strap make for a good fit. 38

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1 WOMEN’S MTB DIVIDE POLO Pearl Izumi A good-looking polo for on or off the bike £44.99 www. madison.co.uk 2 SUPER LIGHT CYCLING WIND JACKET Giant Great space-saving addition to your pack for windy days £39.99 www. giant-stores.co.uk 3 WOMEN’S MTB DIVIDE SHORT Pearl Izumi The quick-dry fabric and detachable liner make these a trail favourite £79.99 4 WM43 SPD Shimano Comfy women’s trail or leisure shoe that performs when on foot £69.99

5 PREMIUM EV2.0 SHORT SLEEVE SHIRT Scott Top class road jersey with dry pockets and reflective zips £89.99 www.scottsports.com 6 NOVA VEST Louis Garneau Beat the wind without a bulky boil-in-the-bag jacket £29.99 www.evanscycles.com 7 CARBON BIB SHORTS Lusso Seamless pads and UV protection make these bibs a cut above the rest £74.99 8 ROAD TEAM BOA Scott This performance footwear will ensure you stay cool and comfy £149.99

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Look good on and off your bike /

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Gear 6

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Jerseys ABOVE FROM TOP: TRADIST RETRO SHORT SLEEVE JERSEY Giant A classic look and classy fit from the kings of all things bike £44.99 www. giant-bicycles.com COOLITE S/S JERSEY Lusso Great value top that wicks well £39.99 www.lussoclothing.co.uk BCOOL SHORT SLEEVE JERSEY Santini High end wear from stylish Italian brand £119.99 www.fisheroutdoor. co.uk UNITY JERSEY Morvélo A jersey that will give you wings £59.99 www.morvelo.com

4 1 PARAGON LONG SLEEVE SHIRT Union 34 Fantastic commuting shirt that wears well in the office but also wicks and stretches £69.99 www.u34cycling.com 2 SNUGFLEX HOODIE Surface A firm favourite that copes with cold but vents well £69.96 www.surfaceclothing.com 3 3/4 SHORTS Rapha These stylish pants from Rapha are the full ticket £120 www.rapha.cc 4 FILTER SPD 661 Shoes ready for flat pedals or SPDs don’t come much cooler £70 www.wiggle.co.uk

8 5 MEN’S IMPACT JERSEY Pearl Izumi Relaxed on style but serious on performance this summer MTB jersey is a must £49.99 www. madison.co.uk 6 AQ-LITE JACKET Dare2B Perfect pocket-sized jacket with a bike-specific fit and one-hand zip £40 www.dare2b.com 7 RSX SHORT Sugoi Designed for tough rides and warm weather £117.50 www.sugoi.com 8 M2.0C CARBON DHB A 100 per cent carbon soul means lightweight and powerful pedalling £90 www.wiggle.co.uk

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Life Cycle \ RideLondon

150 top riders will head out on the RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday 4 August

Don’t miss these fantastic RideLondon events! The weekend of 3-4 August London will play host to tens of thousands of cyclists as riders young and old descend on the capital for the biggest two-day cycling festival the country has ever seen! Whatever your level of riding experience, there’s plenty for you. As well as the main events featured here, there’s a whole host of other cycle-related fun to be had around the festival sites.

FreeCycle

This family-friendly, ultra-relaxed ride takes place over an eight-mile traffic-free circuit through London’s 40

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RideLondon /

Life Cycle

20,000 amateur cyclists will follow a similar course to the Olympic road race most iconic landmarks. All riders are welcome, whatever their age or ability. Stopping on route is encouraged to enjoy the roadside bike-based entertainment.

Grand Prix

Taking place on closed roads in and around St James’s Park, this series of events will give young riders the chance to demonstrate their future Olympic credentials. Paralympic hopefuls will be able to compete using hand-cycles on the 1.3-mile loop. This invitation-only event will also be showcasing the best of women’s cycling.

RideLondon-Surrey 100

Sunday will give 20,000 amateur cyclists the chance to follow in the footsteps of Cavendish and Armitstead as they take on the RideLondon-Surrey 100. Following a similar course to last year’s Olympic road race, this stunning, 100-mile sportive will allow riders the luxury of closed roads as they head out of London into Surrey and up Box Hill before finishing on The Mall.

RideLondon-Surrey Classic

150 of the world’s top professional cyclists will compete in the RideLondon-Surrey Classic. The Classic will start from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and will bring the weekend to an exciting climax as the pros race to the finish at The Mall.

EVENTTIMETABLE

Check out the website

For more details visit www.prudentialride london.co.uk

FreeCycle 09:00-16:00, Saturday 3 August 2013 Grand Prix 17:00-19:30, Saturday 3 August 2013 RideLondon-Surrey 100 from 06:00, Sunday 4 August 2013 RideLondon-Surrey Classic 12:45, Sunday 4 August 2013

PARTNERSANDSPONSORS

ISSUE 02 | ON YOUR BIKE

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Cycle Know-how \ Cycle to Work Scheme

Perks of the

JOB

Get your employer to buy you a bike with the Cycle to Work Scheme. Here’s how…

How it works Your employer buys a bike of your choice (up to a value of £1,000, unless it holds a Consumer Credit licence, which ups the maximum to £4,500) and you pay that back (minus the VAT, which most employers can claim back) over 12

HMRC FINAL MARKET VALUES

42

BIKE AGE

FINAL MARKET VALUE under £500

over £500

1 year

18%

25%

18 months

16%

21%

2 years

13%

17%

3 years

8%

12%

4 years

3%

7%

5 years

Negligible

2%

6 years+

Negligible

Negligible

months. Because payments are made from your gross salary you pay less income tax and National Insurance. At the end of the 12-month ‘hire’ period, you buy the bike from your employer for its HMRC-approved Fair Market Value (FMV), but various scheme providers have come up with ways to minimise the final cost of the bike. One is to extend the loan period past one year, thereby allowing one of the heavier depreciation figures to be used. The other solution involves paying the tax on the FMV. The first solution has been engineered by the UK’s largest

INSIDER INFO

You can have two bikes at once on the scheme if you ride to a station, take the train and ride again to your workplace. HMRC doesn’t force you to go for the folding bike solution. You can claim 20p a mile in travel expenses when cycling for work other than commuting, but not if using a Cycle to Work bike, because the bike ‘belongs’ to your employer. Employers who can’t reclaim VAT – charities, universities, the armed forces and parts of the NHS – can’t take part in the scheme.

third-party scheme operator, Cyclescheme. It involves extending the loan period of the bicycle for a further three years, at which point the HMRC-determined fair market value is 3 per cent or 7 per cent (depending on whether the bike cost less or more than £500). Since VAT is no longer added to the final purchase price, there are some instances where the employee is slightly better off with the new system. The new sweet spot is buying a bike for £499.99, thereby qualifying for the lowest (3 per cent) FMV if you sign Cyclescheme’s Extended Use Agreement. Too taxing? Other scheme providers take a different approach, which is to settle up with HMRC and pay tax on the FMV of the bike. So you pay 20 per cent of the 25 per cent FMV on a bike costing more than £500. For a £1,000 bike that’s £50. The downside is your employer has to enter the benefit on your P11D Benefits and Expenses form for HMRC, creating extra paperwork they may rather avoid. So get down to your local bike shop and start looking for your new two-wheeled machine.

WWW.ROBERTSMITHPHOTOGRAPHY.CO.UK

T

he Cycle to Work Scheme can save you between 16 and 40 per cent off the cost of a bike. Hundreds of thousands of people have bought a bike on the scheme, which was introduced as a tax exemption in 1999 by the government to promote healthier journeys to work and reduce environmental pollution. The scheme has achieved that in spades, with a recent report claiming it saves the entire CO2 output of a city the size of Hereford each year.

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Events /

Staffordshire Cycling StaffordshireCycling Festival Two days of pro racing plus the chance to discover this beautiful county. Join us on Friday for thrilling criterium racing then saddle up on Saturday for a sportive. Date 9th / 10th August Distance 70m / 35m Price from £20 www.staffordgp.co.uk

Life Cycle

TheSouthernSportive The original South Downs Sportive. Riders consistently praise the Southern Sportive as one of the best and most beautiful rides on the calendar! Date 8th September Distance 192km / 155km 112km / 71km Price £29 / £28 / £27 / £25 www.southernsportive.com

WoodcoteChilterns Classic

TheCotswoldEdge Sportive

A fantastic Chilterns ride on intricate lanes, steep Thames-side climbs and open sweeps below the Oxfordshire Ridgeway. Flowing and scenic with calf-burning climbs. A summer classic! Date 18th August Distance 135km / 100km / 77km Price £20 / £19 / £18 www.southernsportive.com

Big, wide, smooth roads, quiet twisty lanes, massive climbs, fast, flowing descents, and fantastic views over the Cotswolds & Severn Estuary. This ride gives you the perfect sportive mix! Date 13th October Distance 135km / 100km / 77km Price £20 / £19 / £18 www.southernsportive.com

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Gear \ Must-have bike kit

Essentials

4

Before heading out on your many cycling adventures, there are a few other key items you’ll need…

Lights Ride a bike after dark and you’ll need lights – by law. It’s also a good idea to use them in low light conditions, particularly in traffic. You’ll need to decide whether you primarily need lights to see where you’re going, or to increase your visibility to other road users BELOW: 1 MINI DRIVE LED Lezyne £49.99 Compact, stylish front light powerful enough to illuminate all but the most dimly lit of urban roads and easily fits into your pocket or bag. Ideal for commuting, it comes with a USB charger so you can recharge at work. www.lezyne.com 2 FLEA 2.0 USB Blackburn £24.99 This tiny LED light will certainly let other road users know you’re coming. Recharges in 90 minutes via a USB connection, so you’ll need a computer to charge it. www.madison.co.uk 3 NUMEN AERO PLUS Giant £29.99 With lights and GPS units strapped to your bars you can start to create extra drag but not with this sleek and powerful LED light. www.giant-bicycles.com

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Must-have bike kit /

Gear

6

Tool kits Waterproof jackets

We certainly get our fair share of rain here in the UK, so the chances are that sooner or later you’re going to get wet while out on your bike. Fortunately there’s a huge range of bike-specific waterproof jackets available to keep the elements out ABOVE: QUANTUM Polaris £39.99 A jacket for all occasions, this hi-vis garment will help you stand out on the road and fight off the elements. All the while the breathable fabric and vents keep you sweat free. www.polaris-apparel. co.uk | EQ 2.5 DHB £69.99 This mesh-lined waterproof is Teflon coated, has taped seams and cycle-specific features. Being longer at the back will help keep spray from reaching your nether regions and there’s a waterproof rear map pocket too. www.wiggle.co.uk | PAKAJAK Endura £39.99 This ultralight but fully waterproof jacket packs down into a tiny ball making it ideal to stow away in case of weather emergencies. Comes in a wide range of colours. www.endura.co.uk

Whether it be a flat tyre, or a loose handlebar, there’s lots of easily fixable problems that can occur when you’re out on your bike. Easily fixable if you have the right tools, that is. One of these kits will do the trick… TOP DOWN: HOME MECHANIC 23-PIECE TOOL KIT FWE £62.99 Everything an aspiring mechanic could need for a spot of bike DIY. www. evanscycles.com | 14-IN-1 CO2 MULTITOOL Raleigh £15.99 This handy tool comes with a built-in CO2 cannister for easy inflating. www.raleigh.co.uk | CRV 19 MULTITOOL Lezyne £29.99 Top quality multitool with everything from a disc brake wedge to a bottle opener.

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Gear \ Must-have bike kit

Locks

Cycle security is a necessity in any part of the UK. Luckily for us cyclists, locks are getting tougher and often come with their own insurance.

1

2

3

1 HAMMERHEAD VALUE PACK Squire A D-lock and cable mean you won’t return to find you’ve been relieved of your wheels £55.99. www.raleigh.co.uk 2 GROUND ANCHOR Squire Bolt this baby to the floor and secure your pride and joy, inside or out £69.99 3 FORCE 2 CHAIN LOCK Giant This 8mm steel chain comes with a water and heat resistant cover and pick proof lock £29.99

Pumps

Pumps come in all shapes and sizes, and for good reason. A track pump is great for your spare room workshop but you wouldn’t want to haul it up Box Hill

LEFT TO RIGHT: HP DRIVE ABS PUMP Lezyne £24.49 Lightweight and great value, perfect for the trail | COMBO PUMP WITH GAUGE Raleigh £24.99 A compact pump with gauge for perfect pressure | CRANE Dawes £14.99 Telescopic pump with lever handle for improved grip for more efficient pumping. www.dawescycles.com | STEEL FLOOR DRIVE Lezyne £34.99 A stylish pump with wooden handle, the Floor Drive is a bike shed essential. www.lezyne.com

ROAD

Get a grip!

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HYBRID

7

OFF-ROAD

You don’t need to be a physicist to understand bicycle tyres. They use the same measurement as your wheel diameter, usually 700mm on a road bike or 26-inch on an off-road or hybrid. The width – approximately 23mm on road or 2.2-inch offroad – tells you how much surface area will have contact with the ground. Whether you’re riding onor off-road the same rule applies. If you increase the width you’ll increase the amount of surface area making contact with the road or trail, which will improve traction and comfort but will start to slow you down. Increasing the depth of tread will give you more confidence on corners or in wet conditions but again you’ll be sacrificing that extra bit of zip you find with slicks. (Tyres pictured from Schwalbe, left to right, Lugano £21.99, Marathon Plus £33.99, Smart Sam £19.99.)

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VITUSBIKES.COM

Get the speed, keep the comfort.

Mach 3 City Bike RRP £749.99 With the speed of a road racer and the comfort of a flat-barred bike, the Vitus Mach 3 is a versatile machine. Built for the rigours of commuting and fitness riding, it’s also perfect to take on longer distance rides too. Complete with a lightweight alloy frame, carbon fork and Shimano gearing, this comfortable city cruiser blends the very best of performance and comfort.

Available exclusively from www.chainreactioncycles.com

“I’m doing it to inspire the next generation” Laura Trott. Double Olympic Champion and Prudential RideLondon Ambassador.

When tens of thousands of people take to the streets on 3 and 4 August for Prudential RideLondon, every single one of them will have their own personal reason for being there. For our part, we are proud to help create the largest festival of cycling the UK has ever seen, in the city we call home.

9000

Find out more, and read Laura’s story, at www.ridewithprudential.co.uk


On Your Bike - RideLondon edition