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Safer cycling tactics n An A-Z of commuting n Cycle to Work Day

Issue #13 ÂŁ1.95 where sold

Autumn/Winter 2014

The

right bike Find out which is best for you

Beat winter Stay warm & dry in bad weather

Prevent punctures

How to make flat tyres history FEA TUR ING

51

TOP CYC LIN G PR OD UC TS

n n n

Bikes n Lights Waterproof jackets Gloves n & more!


We are all Cyclescheme Every Trek retailer in the UK participates in Cyclescheme. Learn how to get a Trek tax-free through your employer at cyclescheme.co.uk.


U T. ALL ABO

Contents

..

Welcome to Cyclescheme

5

How the Cycle to Work scheme will save you money

6

How Cyclescheme works, who’s eligible to take part, and how you go about getting the bike

Issue #13 Autumn/Winter 2014

Why getting a bike through your employer makes a whole lot of sense

32

F E AT U R E S

How to: choose the right bike

14

How to: road positioning

18

How to: prevent punctures

21

Pros and cons of different bike types

BIKE ROUND-UPS

Why it's crucial to keep out of the gutter

Say goodbye to flat tyres

An A-Z of commuting

40

26 tips to improve your journey to work

Weather beating

52

Stay warm and dry when it's cold and wet

The Cyclescheme 7: Paul Seymour

60

Why a hybrid suits this returnee cyclist

My Cyclescheme

62

Go online to get more from Cyclescheme

56

48 Anyroad bikes

32

Trekking bikes

48 

Four-season road bikes

56 

With fatter tyres and disc brakes, these drop-bar bikes will take you anywhere you want to go – including the office The default continental hybrid, a trekking bike includes the practical accessories you need for transport and travel Also called audax or winter bikes, the defining feature of these road bikes is one that commuters depend on: mudguards

TOP PRODUCTS & ESSENTIAL KIT

Stuff

12

The best gear for your commute and beyond

Road bike essentials 24

The kit to get with your second Cyclescheme voucher

Lights

29

Waterproof jackets

37

Winter gloves

45

See and be seen when the clocks go back They'll shed water like a duck's back

Cyclescheme is part of the Grass Roots Group Published for Cyclescheme by Farrelly Atkinson www.f-at.co.uk Prices correct at time of going to press. E&OE. All content © Cyclescheme 2014

Seven ways to keep your hands warm

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

3


Welcome

Who’s it for? Want to take part? Great! If you’ve received this mag from your employer then they’re probably already running a scheme, so things should be straightforward. There are some limits as to who can take advantage of the tax breaks, though. The most important ones are: You need to be a UK taxpayer via the PAYE system You need to be 18 years of age or over to comply with Consumer Credit Act legislation 16 to 18 year olds may be eligible for Cyclescheme enrollment with the aid of a guarantor If your earnings are equivalent to the national minimum wage, you may be able to benefit from a discount as part of a net arrangement with your employer

• • • •

About

Cyclescheme... Cyclescheme helps you save money on a new bike for work. Get on board and save 25-42% on your next bike! We offer big savings on the best bikes and kit. Dealing with Cyclescheme’s network of over 2,000 local bike shops gives you the best experience, with the expert personal service, convenience and choice that larger multiple retailers just can’t match

T

he Cycle to Work Initiative is a salary sacrifice scheme that gives you the chance to save on the cost of a new bike, as well as security and safety equipment to go with it. The way

salary sacrifice schemes work is that you give up part of your salary and receive an equivalent benefit that is exempt from Income Tax and National Insurance. What does this mean in practice? Well, technically it’s your employer who buys the bike. You hire the bike and equipment from your employer, and you pay back the cost of the bike from your gross salary. You save on Tax and NI payments, lowering your payments over the hire period. Cyclescheme has partnered with over 2,000 independent bike shops throughout the UK giving you access to a massive amount of choice and expert advice on equipment selection. To locate your local store, go

to cyclescheme.co.uk/partners and use the postcode store locator. You are not limited to any brand of bike or equipment and so you can choose the best for quality and value for money. This results in the best package of bike and safety equipment for you. Cyclescheme runs schemes with the BBC, Google, and Rolls-Royce, as well as scores of police forces, councils, universities, blue chip companies, and many government departments. Hire Agreements are written entirely in accordance with government guidelines and this service is free to employers, including an online tool to generate promotional literature. www.cyclescheme.co.uk

5


Autumn/Winter 2014

Save money! with Cyclescheme Four steps to save at least 25% on a bike for work

T

ax is complicated; Cyclescheme is not. You choose a bike, hire it for a year, then snap it up for a fraction of what it's worth. It’s like a year-round sale, with interest free credit, available in over 2,000 shops nationwide. We’ve worked hard to provide a transparent and easy to understand process. There are just four steps to go through to get a bike for work through Cyclescheme.

1

Choose your bike package

2

Submit your application

What bike and equipment do you want? Consider your commute. How far is it? What route will you take? Be honest with yourself. What are your priorities? What accessories might you need? You don't need all the answers straight away. Cyclescheme retailers are experts in this field. Discuss your needs with them and they can help find the perfect Cyclescheme package for you, and don't forget, you can just apply for accessories without the bike too. Visit cyclescheme.co.uk/retailers to find your nearest store, then get planning. This couldn’t be easier. If your employer is signed up with Cyclescheme, they’ll have a unique web-link for you to submit your application – usually cyclescheme.co.uk/uniquecode. If your employer isn’t signed up, they can join for free in just a few clicks. Point them here: cyclescheme.co.uk/signup-email. On the application page, you’ll be guided through a simple form that asks for your work details, contact information, and the value of the Cyclescheme Certificate you’re applying for. Hit ‘submit’, and your employer will receive a copy of your application to approve. You’ll also get a copy of your Hire Agreement. 6

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Save money with Cyclescheme

3

Collect your bike

With your application approved and paid for (by your employer), it’s time to exchange your Cyclescheme Certificate for your Cyclescheme package: your bike and equipment. Contact your retailer and arrange a time to pop in and pick up your bike. Your Certificate can also be used for home delivery and 'click and collect' services too, so don't rule these out when doing your research in Step 1 – just look for the Cyclescheme logo. Your salary sacrifice and Hire Agreement now kicks in. For the next 12 months, you’ll pay a set amount from your salary each month in exchange for the hire of your Cyclescheme package from your employer. The deduction is made from your gross salary, so you make income tax and national insurance savings (32% standard rate, 42% higher rate).

4

Transfer ownership

When the Hire Agreement and salary sacrifice ends, you can take full ownership of your bike and equipment with a final payment that transfers ownership to you. Without this payment, the tax man would be on your back! It's a small amount, however. For a Cyclescheme package under £500, you'll pay 3% of the original value; for a package over £500, it's 7% – so a maximum of £70 on a £1,000 package. The bike remains ‘hired’ for a further 36 months, but with no more monthly payments. Ownership is then officially transferred to you at no extra cost. The transfer of ownership payment is why you save a minimum of 25% rather than a minimum of 32%. Many Cyclescheme participants will save more. For a personalised savings figure, visit cyclescheme. co.uk/calculator and enter your details. Still have questions? We’re here to help! Contact us on info@cyclescheme.co.uk, or visit the FAQs on our website cyclescheme. co.uk/employers/employer-faqs

Quick-fire questions How much will I save with Cyclescheme? At least 25%. If you’re a higher rate taxpayer, you can save up to 39%. What can I buy through the scheme? Almost any item you need to cycle to work. Obviously the bike, but also accessories such as lights, locks, helmet and clothing. If you already have a bike, you can even just apply for the accessories. How is my salary sacrifice calculated? By dividing the total Cyclescheme package price by the length of your Hire Agreement. Usually, this means 12 payments taken from your salary, over a 12-month period. What’s a Cyclescheme Certificate? A voucher. It’s what you give to the bike shop in exchange for your chosen bike and equipment. We send you this by email. I’ve paid for the bike, why don’t I own it? Simple answer: tax. In order to protect your income tax and national insurance savings, an additional ‘transfer of ownership’ fee needs to be paid. The Government have set out guidelines for how this works. How is the transfer of ownership payment calculated? There is a set percentage applied, depending on the age of your bike package. At 4 years old, the value is set at 3% (original value less than £500) or 7% (more than £500). What’s a Hire Agreement? This is an agreement between you and your employer. It states you will be hiring the equipment from them during the period of your salary sacrifice.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

7


News

Autumn/Winter 2014

Cycle to Work Day

Simon

C

Matthew

Suzanne 8

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

2014

ommuters taking part in this year's Cycle to Work Day on 4th September pedalled more than ten times around the earth! The combined distance of 261,287 miles is more than 4,350 miles further than last year. Compared with driving, the cyclists saved ÂŁ117,554 and almost 45,000kg of CO2. They also burned 8,098,170 calories, equivalent to 114,058 digestive biscuits. Thousands of cyclists were involved, not just in riding to work but in letting others know via social media. Tweets (#CycleToWorkDay) and Facebook posts reached more than 13 million people across the UK. Even London Mayor Boris Johnson got involved, tweeting: 'Afternoon folks! Tomorrow is @cycletoworkday so get on your bike, enjoy the sunshine and get fit whilst you're at it!' In the 12 days leading up to Cycle to Work Day, there were prizes up for grabs, including three Foffa bikes (foffabikes.com) for those pledging to take part, and a photo competition in conjunction with Cycles UK (cyclesuk.com) to win a Whyte Fairfax. The full list of winners is on the Cycle to Work Day website, cycletoworkday.org. On the site, you can also view the full Cycle to Work Day gallery, snippets from the radio and TV coverage, and more. If you didn't take part this year, why not join us next year? Register your details on the website and we'll keep you up to date with our plans for Cycle to Work Day 2015!


News

Paul

rah o b e D

Chi Chi www.cyclescheme.co.uk

9


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yclescheme processed and bike retailers across the UK. r 65% ofto Work scheme is one OveCycle its first Cycle to Work 'The participants would obtained benefits OV ER havepopular scheme bike a little over of thenot most amongst a bike without the nine RETA yearsILERS ago. Since then, UK employees, ' said Cyclescheme's benefits of the to work on their scheme of participants still cycle to 9 years later we've helped commuters Director and General Manager, Daniel escheme bike up obtain Cycl % 57 more than 450,000 bikes. That's had Gillborn. 'Despite the fact that over cycle commute Average a transformational effect on travel half a million people have taken part length 6-10 miles 69% of participants ify themselves as habits (68% class of Cycleschemers would in the scheme, there is very little e enthusiastic cyclists sinc s eschemecycle), Cycldidn't mileabout drive to workjoin if ing they research, insight or data8shared participants' health (over 74% say they its successes. NTto help shed some light feel fitter), and even on participants' EN GA GE 'InME a bid Most people 96% cycle to work ICEemployers SERVof workplaces (over 27% on cycling to work in the UK – and say that Cycleschemers are healthier to benchmark our service, relevance days a week and more engaged at work). and success – we have created Cyclescheme compiled these infographics to show Cyclescheme’s statistics, and many more, from a 2013 key achievements.' survey that attracted responses from You can see the infographics over 20,000 Cyclescheme clients, staff, online: bit.ly/1m8zuTd.

OV ER

67% of Cycleschemers make further purchases in their chosen retailer

57% of Cyclescheme customers introduce other new customers to the store

77% of Cycleschemers return for servicing in their chosen retailer

%

Majority of bikes have a lifetime frame warranty

Over 96% of our personally managed clients said they would recommend our service to other companies

10

Get insured for less Cyclescheme participants now save 15% on bike insurance with leading cycle insurance specialist Cycleguard. Cover includes theft and accidental damage as standard, with options that include personal accident and public liability cover, use abroad, in-vehicle cover, and a comprehensive Roadside Recovery service. Anyone who obtains a bike through Cyclescheme essentially commits to a loan that's paid off in instalments, even if the bike is stolen. This is why insurance is critical: you could otherwise end up with no bike and a loan to pay off! Bike theft is rife in the UK. More than 100,000 bikes are reported stolen every year just in England and Wales. Even if your household policy covers bike theft – and many don't, beyond a certain value or if the bike is away from the home – having to claim on that policy would increase the whole premium. So specialist insurance such as Cycleguard's can save you money as well as providing more comprehensive cover. Visit cycleguard.co.uk/cs15 to get your personalised quote. It only takes 20 seconds.

50%

50% of Retailers took part in Cycle to Work Day 2013

99%EM PL OY EE

4 out of 5 Cycleschemers read our newsletter

Autumn/Winter 2014

35K+

35K+

POTE NTIA L CYCLI STS

part icipa nts

7.5m+

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Daniel Gillborn Director and General Manag

99% of Cycleschemers said they would recommend Cyclescheme to others

Half of all Cycleschemers are willing to promote Cyclescheme and cycling to work in their workplace

90% of our personally managed clients rated Cyclescheme’s customer service as good or excellent

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Bike, camera, action! Cyclescheme's Commuter Tales videos are now online. Hear firsthand from new commuters to find out just what a difference cycling has made to their journeys and their life. Meet singlespeeder Chloe, now a total convert, and Ben, who relishes the time he saves every day on his road bike. See cyclescheme.co.uk for their stories, and those of others.


Perfect to cruise the urban jungle

TAKE THEM FOR A RIDE IN THE CITY

HYDE RACE ÂŁ 799

Live the new mobility in the city with our new urban Urban Life Series. Clean, understated looks and low-maintenance components support the no-nonsense philosophy. Lightweight frames with rigid forks let you accelerate effortlessly cruising through the city was never easier. Traffic jams no longer slow you down, and when you arrive there’s no time wasted looking for a parking space. Just ride straight to the door.

For more information on CUBE and our bikes please visit: www.cube.eu | info@cube-bikes.co.uk www.twitter.com/cubebikesuk Stay updated about all CUBE news via : www.facebook.com/cubebikesuk


Autumn/Winter 2014

STUFF Bringing you the very best cycling gear for your daily commute and beyond Tubus Disco Rear Rack RRP: £95 |

Cyclescheme price: £71.25

So your bike has a rear disc brake and no rack mounts? This steel rack will fit regardless, attaching via the wheel quick release and using legs that curve around the calliper. Two sizes available. lyon.co.uk

Bern Watts helmet RRP: £50 |

: £37.50

Skate-style helmets are more durable and lower-profile than rib-construction sports helmets, making them a good choice for commuting. This one is well ventilated too. ultrasporteu.com

Cycleaware Roadie Mirror £18.99 |

: £14.24

A mirror gives you early warning of approaching traffic, but can be difficult to fit effectively to a bike with a drop handlebar. Here the mirror fits in the bar end – a neat idea. extrauk.co.uk Cyclescheme price The Cyclescheme price represents the total price you'll pay for a given item, including end of hire costs. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will save more.

BBB Traveller Trekking MiniPump £16.95 |

: £12.71

Great value for a mini-pump that works like a floor pump, this has a folding T-shaped handle, a foot rest, and a valve hose that fits Presta or Schrader. It inflates to 100psi. windwave.co.uk 12

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Stuff

Birzman Feexman 12 £29.99 |

: £22.49

All your essential roadside tools in your pocket, the Feexman 12 has seven Allen keys from 2-8mm, a T25 Torx bit, flat and crosshead screwdrivers, a chain tool, and a tyre lever. i-ride.co.uk

OuterEdge Bag Rack Fit Medium £31.99 |

: £23.99

A rack bag balances the load better than a single pannier as it sits centrally. This carries about 8 litres in its padded main compartment and pockets, while a jacket can strap on top. It comes with a rain cover. todayscyclist.co.uk

Squire Hammerhead 230 £49.99 |

: £37.49

This 13mm hardened steel shackle lock is long enough for easy attachment to street furniture but short enough for portability. It's Sold Secure Gold. A frame bracket is included. raleigh.co.uk

Respro Ankle Bands

SystemEX Aheadset Spacer Bell

£17.99 |

£5.99 |

: £13.49

These reflective ankle bands keep your trousers off your chain and instantly mark you out as a cyclist at night, as the up-down motion says 'pedalling'. In the daytime, wear them yellow side out. respro.com

: £4.49

No room for a bell on your handlebar? No worries: this one fits sideways next to the handlebar stem. It attaches via its integral 10mm headset spacer so can't come loose. extrauk.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

13


How to

Autumn/Winter 2014

Choose the right bike Whatever kind of cycle commuter you are, there's a type of bike that will suit you to a T. Here's a guide to different options.

T

here are two questions that anyone buying a bike needs to ask. How much do you want to spend – bearing in mind what you'll save through Cyclescheme – and what do you want to use the bike for? Answer these and the staff in your local bike shop can soon help you to make the right choice. This list of bike types isn't exhaustive but it includes those most commonly bought by commuters. Road bike Bike-speak for a road racing bike, like those you see in the Tour de France. A road bike is designed for riding fast on well-surfaced roads. To that end, it has: narrow, high-pressure tyres; high gears; low weight; and good aerodynamics, courtesy of a drop handlebar and a low, stretched riding position. Unless you actually will race, pick one of the sub-genres of road bike instead. An endurance or sportive road bike should have a more comfortable riding position and possibly lower gears. A road bike for winter training or audax (non-competitive long-distance cycling) will have fittings and clearance for full-length mudguards and more comfortable 25mm or 28mm tyres. Good for: Racing. Fitness. Long-distance commuting. Bad for: Panniers. Non-tarmac routes. Normal-clothes cycling. Expect to spend: £500 or more, before savings Example: Claud Butler Torino SR1, £499.99, claudbutler.co.uk 14

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


How to…

Fixie Popular in flatter cities with cycle couriers and fashion-conscious commuters, a fixie is a strippeddown road bike with a single gear. 'Fixie' is short for fixed-wheel. There's no freewheel, so you cannot coast. When the rear wheel turns, the pedals turn too. That takes some getting used to, especially downhill. It's a good workout, however, and there's very little to go wrong with the bike. You can swap the fixed sprocket for a freewheel, and many fixies come with both. Fixie handlebars vary. Some use drops, others upturned 'cow horn' bars, and others narrow flats. Fixies are rarely designed for mudguards or luggage. Good for: Minimal/cheap maintenance. Fitness. Style. Bad for: Bad knees. Steep hills. Heavy loads. Expect to spend: £350 or more, before savings Example: Specialized Langster, £550, specialized.com

Cyclocross Cyclocross bikes are the original off-road bikes, designed for racing around muddy fields in winter. They look superficially similar to road bikes, having drop handlebars. Tyres are fatter and lightly knobbled, for comfort and traction off-road, and there's more space around them in the frame and fork so they won't clog with mud. Brakes are also designed not to clog up, being cantilevers or, increasingly, mechanical disc brakes. You'll often hear cyclocross bikes described as versatile, as you can ride one almost anywhere; they're like drop-bar hybrids. Most entry-level cyclocross bikes have the fittings you need for mudguards and a rear rack. Just fit slicker tyres for commuting. Good for: Bad roads. Good tracks. Versatility. Bad for: Racing road bikes on road or MTBs off-road. Expect to spend: £700 or more, before savings Example: Trek Crossrip, £875, trekbikes.com

Touring bike Touring bikes are built to carry a load and rider comfortably and efficiently as far as he or she wants to go – whether that's across across counties or countries. British tourers use drop handlebars to provide a range of hand positions, but the riding position is more upright and relaxed than a road bike. Tyres are medium width – about 32mm – with enough tread for light off-road use. Gears have a huge range, so you can go up hill and down dale with a heavy load. Most tourers use V-brakes or cantilevers, though some use mechanical discs. All are sturdily made, often from steel, making them heavy but durable. All accept pannier racks and mudguards and most come with them. Good for: Panniers. Comfort. Sturdiness. Holidays. Bad for: Wannabe racers. Weight weenies. Expect to spend: £600 or more, before savings Example: Dawes Galaxy, £830, dawescycles.com

Hybrid The hybrid sits at the centre of the Venn diagram of different bike types. If you're not sure what bike you need, you want a hybrid. Styles vary widely. Flat-bar road bikes are more like road bikes, trekking bikes are similar to tourers, and dual-use hybrids have more mountain bike in their DNA. All have some kind of flat handlebar, which makes for easy, heads-up control around town, and 700C wheels fitted with tyres for the bike's preferred habitat. Gear range is good, like a touring bike's, while brakes range from sidepull callipers to discs. Most will accept full-length mudguards and a pannier rack, which you need; some have a basic suspension fork, which you probably don't need. Good for: Casual riding. Versatility. Hills. Bad for: Flat-out racing. Impressing bike snobs. Expect to spend: from £250, before savings Example: Giant Escape City 2, £449, giant-bicycles.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

15


Autumn/Winter 2014

Mountain bike Mountain bikes are all-terrain bikes, the 4×4s of the cycling world. They're meant for riding up, along, and down bumpy, unsurfaced tracks. All have fat tyres with prominent tread lugs, giving bump absorption and grip off-road – and drag on road. For commuting, choose the largest wheel size that suits your height as the tyres will roll better. Unless you plan to spend over £1,000, get a hardtail, a bike with front suspension only, or a fully-rigid bike. A mountain bike's low gears will get you up any hill, while the brakes – hydraulic discs on better bikes – are the best available. A pannier rack may fit. Full mudguards are trickier; expect to use partial MTB guards. Good for: Off-road terrain. Ascents. Descents. Bad for: Road speed. Practical accessories. Theft. Expect to spend: from £300, before savings Example: Cube Acid 29, £799, cube.eu

Roadster The default transport bike in cyclefriendlier countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark, the roadster is a sit-up-and-beg machine for shortdistance cycling. High handlebars and a wide saddle give a regal riding position that's good for visibility and comfort, so long as you're not going far. All come with mudguards and a rear rack; some have lights, a skirt guard, a kickstand, and an integral wheel lock. Hub gears are common. These gears are protected from the weather, especially if there's a full chaincase, and you can shift gear while stationary. Gear range is narrower, however, and combined with a high weight, hills are a struggle. Good for: Riding in normal clothes. Reliability. Short distances. Bad for: Speed. Long rides. Hills. Stairs. Expect to spend: from £350, before savings Example: Pashley Princess Sovereign, £695, pashley.co.uk 16

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Folding bike Folding bikes have one or more hinges or pivots so that the bike can be collapsed down to the size of a suitcase. The most compact have smaller diameter wheels – 16 or 20 inches – and pack small enough that they can be taken onto a train as luggage, with no reservation required. A folder also solves parking problems: you can take it into the office or the smallest studio flat. Folders seldom ride as well as conventional bikes. They can flex a little, and smaller wheels mean a quicker steering response and a bigger impact from bumps. Clever design, good tyres, and suspension improve a folder's ride but do bump up the cost. Most folders come with mudguards and can be equipped to carry commuting luggage. Good for: Trains. Indoor storage. Shorter journeys. Bad for: Bumps and potholes. High-speed descents. Expect to spend: from £400, before savings Example: Brompton M3L, £890, brompton.com

Electric bike Electric bikes, or pedelecs, give you a bit of extra energy for the ride to work, thanks to a big lithium-ion battery and a motor unit. These aren't mopeds. Legally, a pedelec is still a bicycle. The motor augments your pedalling effort rather than replacing it, giving you a push up to a maximum of 15mph. Adding a motor and a battery obviously adds to the cost, so even budget electric bikes are about £1,000. It also adds to the weight: they are very heavy, so they're hard work to pedal if you exhaust the battery. But if you find cycling a struggle because of hills or distance, an electric bike could be the answer; most will do 25 miles or more on one charge. Good for: Hill climbing. Headwinds. Less fit cyclists. Bad for: Forgetful rechargers. Stairs. Sporty cyclists. Expect to spend: £1,000 or more, before savings Example: Raleigh Velo XC, £1,000, raleigh.co.uk

For more details on different bike types, see the Community section of the Cyclescheme website: cyclescheme.co.uk


REACTO aeRo foR aeRo foR eveRyone eveRyone

“Tour” declared the “Tour” declared the Reacto Team the second Reacto Team the second fastest aero bike in the fastest aero bike in the world in February 2014 world in February 2014 Reacto from Reacto from £999.99 £999.99 Find your local stockist Find your local stockist on MeRida.coM on MeRida.coM www.facebook.com/meridauk www.facebook.com/meridauk


Autumn/Winter 2014

Road positioning Riding further out from the edge of the road is safer, faster, and helps prevent motorists from cutting you up

N

ever hug the kerb. That's rule one of road positioning on a bicycle. You need to be further out into the road, sometimes right in the middle of the traffic stream. Less assertive cyclists worry that being further out may put them in the way of the traffic. It won't: you are the traffic. Being in the traffic stream helps you to get treated like traffic. Reducing risk It can feel safer to ride in or near the gutter. It isn't safer. It vastly increases the chances of drivers buzzing past you with inches to spare. You'll have to contend with drains, cambered surfaces, and debris like broken glass that has been 'swept' to the edge of the road by the action of car tyres. And you're less likely to be seen at all by drivers. The commonest type of car-cyclist collision is the 'Sorry, mate, I didn't see you' variety. You must register in 18

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

a driver's field of vision. You'll do that best by cycling where they are looking. Drivers look where their vehicle will be in the next few seconds, which is to say: ahead of them. They pay much less attention to people and objects in their peripheral vision. Initially, you may feel more exposed riding further out from the kerb. But it's very rare for cyclists to get rear-ended by drivers. Being safe is being seen – and forcing drivers to react to your presence. Controlling your space Drivers are obliged by the Highway Code (Rule 139) to give you 'at least as much room as a car' when overtaking. Let that sink in: at least as much room as a car. That means that they should pull out, cross the central, dashed white line, and pull in again. By riding further out from the edge of the road, you force following traffic to overtake you properly instead of


How to… squeezing past dangerously close. Are you inconveniencing anyone? Only those drivers who would not have overtaken you safely in the first place. As a rule of thumb, your distance from the kerb is the same distance that drivers will give you when overtaking. How far from the kerb? You never want to be closer than 50cm from the kerb. Often you'll be a metre out, sometimes more. The key factor is not so much the edge of the road as the location of the traffic stream on that road; that is, where cars are actually driving in that traffic lane. There are essentially two cycling positions to choose from, relative to the traffic stream. One is the centre of the traffic stream – that is, the centre of the lane, rather than the centre of the road. You'll sometimes hear this called 'the primary position', but it's easier to think of it as 'taking the lane'. The other position is about a metre to the left of the traffic stream, so long as that doesn't bring you too close to the kerb. Sometimes called 'the secondary position', you can think of it simply as 'not taking the lane'. When to take the lane If you can keep up with the traffic, such as around town, it's safest to take the lane. It's also the position to adopt when you want to dissuade drivers from doing something stupid, like cutting you up. Here's a nonexhaustive list of situations when it's best to take the lane. l Approaching a pinch point, such as pedestrian island in the centre of the road. l Approaching and negotiating a roundabout. l Approaching Give Way markings. l Approaching a side road, to prevent drivers from 'left-hooking' you and

because it's a fast road or a steep hill, you're often better not taking the lane. This is a courtesy to drivers, enabling them to overtake you more easily. Your safety is paramount, so you should not feel pressured not to take the lane. If a driver pips his horn at you, relax in the knowledge that he has seen you.

You never want to be closer than 50cm from the kerb. Often you'll be a metre out, sometimes more to help drivers on the side road to see you. l Approaching traffic lights. l Approaching a blind corner. l Negotiating a junction. l In queues of stationary traffic. l Overtaking parked cars. When not to take the lane If you're not confident in taking the lane, especially when simply riding along, don't feel that you have to. If the road is busy and the traffic is moving faster than you can, either

Changing positions Unless you're taking evasive action, any change in position should be gradual – particularly when moving out to take the lane. Check back to see where any following traffic is, then gradually move into your new position. If you check back early enough, you may not need to signal to change your position within a traffic lane. Signal when you need to communicate your intention to drivers who are closer. Don't assume that you can move left to the secondary position without checking behind you. Around town, another cyclist or a moped rider may be about to 'undertake' you. Specific to cyclists Cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast, although most drivers are not aware of this. On fast or busy roads, it is courteous to single out to make it easier for drivers to pass. Cyclists are allowed to stop on double-yellow lines. Again, drivers may be unaware of this. Finally, don't tailgate motor vehicles. It reduces your visibility – in both senses – and bicycles can't stop as fast as cars, so you risk rear-ending a car if it stops suddenly. For further advice on this and other cycling-in-traffic skills, get hold of Cyclecraft. See cyclecraft.co.uk. www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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How to‌

How to

Prevent punctures A flat tyre is the last thing you want on the way to work. Here's what you can do to avoid it

I

t's 8:45am, it's drizzling with rain, and you can feel your bike's rear tyre deflating. How unlucky is that?! Not as much as you'd think. Punctures don't strike randomly. Every cyclist will get one sooner or later, but there's plenty that you can do to make sure it does happen later. Take these preventative measures and you might never be let down by your tyres. Pump up the volume Firmer, higher pressure tyres puncture less often. A tyre at, say, 80psi has half as much rubber in contact with the road as a tyre at 40psi, so it's less likely to encounter shards of glass or flint in the first place. When it does so, the glass/flint/whatever is less likely to press into (and be picked up by) the tread of a firm tyre than a soft tyre. Firm tyres are also much less likely to www.cyclescheme.co.uk

21


Autumn/Winter 2014 You want tyres with a protective layer under the tread. This may be a synthetic fibre such kevlar or a different consistency of rubber. The toughest tyres use a thick layer of springy rubber and have the word 'Plus' in their name: Schwalbe Marathon Plus, Continental Touring Plus, and Panaracer Tourguard Plus, for example. They're harder to fit, heavier, and often slower, but if puncture protection is your top priority, these are what you need. If you want lighter weight, faster tyres, you will need to compromise on puncture resistance. But even for a road bike, it's wiser to use tougher 'training' or 'four season' tyres for commuting rather than race tyres.

suffer snakebite punctures, where a bump flattens the innertube against the wheel rim so that it gets nipped between rim and road. Tyres have a pressure rating stamped on the side. Make sure your tyres are inflated to at least the minimum figure; they lose air over time, deflating like party balloons. Invest in a track pump (i.e. a floor pump) with a pressure gauge. This takes the guesswork out of tyre pressure checking and makings pumping much easier. Expect to spend £25-£50. Check skinny tyres every few days, medium width tyres every week, and fat tyres every couple of weeks. Check for sharps Some punctures are instant. A thorn or shard of glass impales or slashes the tyre and it deflates immediately. Some punctures are gradual. A crumb of glass or sharp grit becomes embedded in the tyre and gets slowly forced through as you ride, causing a puncture hours or days later. If you know you've just ridden through glass or if you can see or hear that one tyre has picked up a bit of grit, pull off the road, dismount, spin the wheel slowly, and then (taking appropriate care) brush it off. When you check your bike's tyre pressures at home, have a quick look for sharps too. Carefully dig out any that you find with a penknife. Ride where the debris isn't Stay out of the gutter. Debris gets swept to the edge of the road by the repeated passage of car tyres. The gutter is where bits of glass end up. Some routes accumulate glass. That cycle track may not be swept. That backstreet may have bottles regularly smashed on it by the bored or the drunk. That difficult 22

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

It's wiser to use tougher 'training' or 'four season' tyres for commuting rather than race tyres junction may have fender-benders. Avoid these places unless you have confidence in your tyres. Some routes are risky only at certain times of year. Rural roads that have their hawthorn hedges threshed are a puncture minefield. Avoid them – or ride through carefully or dismount if you can't. Fit tougher tyres Not solid tyres – they're awful.

Use tyre sealant Tyre sealant such as Slime is synthetic goo that you put inside your bike's innertubes. You can buy innertubes ready filled with sealant, which is less messy. Either way, it's clever stuff. When you get a puncture, the escaping air forces the sealant into the hole, where it hardens into a plug, fixing your puncture automatically. It only works on small holes, not cuts or tears, and you will lose a little pressure each time. The tyre might need topping up with air – break out your portable pump – or you may be able to continue, unaware that you've 'punctured'. Note that there are two other types of sealant. Sealant spray is sealantplus-compressed-air in a can; you use it to re-inflate and fix untreated tyres. Tubeless tyre sealant is for bikes without innertubes, such as some expensive mountain bikes. Find out how to fit a new innertube on the Cyclescheme website: bit.ly/1pTTd4I


THE HEART OF THE CITY

PAVEMENT SPEED COMMUTER RANGE Now available at your Marin Dealer. MARINBIKES.COM

Fairfax SC3 SRP: £550 /paligap.cc Find your local Marin Dealer at: www.paligap.cc/dealer


Autumn/Winter 2014 Cl ot hi ng

Endura Luminite Tights Cyclescheme price The Cyclescheme price represents the total price you'll pay for a given item, including end of hire costs. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will save more.

£49.99 | : £37.49 Tights or longs are an essential part of the road cyclist's winter wardrobe. Some come with a pad like cycling shorts; others, like these, are designed to be worn over the top of shorts. The Xtract fabric doesn't get clammy and it dries quickly, so you can pull on these tights for the ride home without grimacing even when you get soggy on the way to work. Crucially for commuting, there are high-vis chevrons and piping so that you stand out in car headlights. There's a small pocket for coins or a key, and the ankle cuffs pull on easily over your feet. Sizes S-XXL in this men's version or XS-M in the women's version. endura.co.uk

Power Gore-Tex Active Jacket £179.99 | : £134.99 Money spent on a high-quality waterproof jacket is never wasted if you ride year round. Lots of jackets are too hot for energetic road cycling, so you get nearly as damp with sweat as you would with rain. This one will keep you dry. It's highly breathable, thanks to the microporous Gore-Tex membrane in the fabric, and it keeps out the wind as effectively as the rain. The cut is good for cycling, with a high collar, adjustable cuffs and an elasticated hem. The sleeves, sides and back have reflective piping for extra visibility, while the zips have pull-tags for easy operation on the move. The rear pocket is useful for valuables like your phone that you don't want to get wet, as it incorporates a waterproof plastic bag. goreapparel.co.uk

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www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Round-up

NT E Q U I P MYE ONL

Road bike essentials Got a road bike? Take a second bite of the Cyclescheme cherry and get the commuting equipment and accessories that you missed

C

yclescheme isn't a one-time-only deal. You can take part again. Why would you want to? Maybe you'd like a second (or third or fourth…) bike that excels at something else; see N+1, page 42. Or perhaps you didn't include all the extras you'd like, either because you forgot to add them or because the bike alone was worth close to the Cycle to Work limit of £1,000. Either way, a second Cyclescheme Certificate can solve your problem. It works just like the first. For this equipment-only example, we're focusing on things that the owner of a road bike will need for commuting. Road bikes are fast lightweights. For longer-distance commutes on good roads, they enable you to reel off the miles. But their focus on speed and efficiency means that they come without the practical extras that commuters need – and often without the means to fit them. But there are workarounds.

Pump

Airace Speed F2 RRP: £32.99 | Cyclescheme price: £24.74 Road bike tyres are typically inflated to 100psi or more. Some mini-pumps will struggle to reach this figure, despite what their theoretical maximum pressure is. This Airace pump works like a small floor pump: there's a fold-out foot, the handle becomes a T-shaped, and there's a hose to connect the pump to the valve (any type). It takes half as much effort to use because you press down against the ground instead of holding the pump in place with your other hand. So the maximum pressure figure of 140psi is realistic. You're also less likely to tear the valve stem as you can't accidentally twist it back and forth like you can with a hand-only pump. The Speed F2 fits to your frame for easy portability. fisheroutdoor.co.uk

Mu dg u ards

SKS Raceblade Long RRP: £44.99 | : £33.74 Most road bikes use short-reach sidepull brakes. They don't weigh a lot and they work fine. However, there's not enough room under the calliper to fit a full-length mudguard unless it sits so close to the tyre that it could get jammed by grit or debris. Many road bikes also lack the threaded eyelets used to attach full-length mudguards to the fork and frame. Raceblade Long mudguards address both of those problems. The guards simply stop where they would pass under the brake (and the frame/fork) and start again on the other side. A thin metal bracket joins the separate parts together. The mudguard stays attach to the wheel quick releases, so there's no need for eyelets. Splash protection isn't quite as good as an uninterrupted mudguard but they're still effective. What's more, on dry days you can quickly remove the guards and leave just the small metal brackets in place. zyro.co.uk

Lugga g e

Altura Night Vision Post Pack £59.99 |

: £44.99 Luggage is another issue, because few road bikes have the frame mounts required to attach a pannier rack. Even if you can fit one, there are two problems. Firstly, your heels might clip the panniers because road bikes have short chainstays. Secondly, a heavy load undermines what road bikes do best: go fast. This bag has enough capacity for commuting (10-litres and 3kg) but not so much room you'll be tempted to overload it. It will fit any bike with a round metal seatpost to fix the bracket to. The bag clips on and off that bracket in seconds. There are dividers in the bag to organise your load and two zipped side pockets. Other features include a handle, a loop to attach an LED rear lamp, and copious amounts of reflective trim. zyro.co.uk

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Autumn/Winter 2014

Sho es

Northwave Arctic Commuter R GTX shoes £169.99 | : £127.99 Cold, wet feet are the bane of winter cycling. Overshoes work okay but for the best protection you can't beat winter cycling boots like these. They're insulated enough to be comfortable in sub-zero conditions and they're waterproof too, thanks to the breathable Gore-Tex layer in the uppers. The Speed Lace System means that they're quick to get on and off : you just pull the cord and press down on the mechanism. The sole is stiff for efficient pedalling, as it's reinforced with carbon fibre. It's designed to fit any 3-bolt cleat, which is what most road pedals use. For 2-bolt cleats, there's the Arctic Commuter M version, which is the same apart from the sole. Sizes: 37-49. i-ride.co.uk

Light s Lezyne Mega Drive £199.99 | : £149.99 When you're cycling at speed on unlit roads, a little front lamp that just shows other traffic where you are isn't enough: you need one that throws a proper beam of light a good distance down the road. The Lezyne Mega Drive is like a car headlight, emitting 1200 lumens on maximum power. When you don't need that full-beam brightness – when you get into town, for example – you can switch to a 300 lumen economy setting. Burn times range from 1 hour 20 minutes on maximum power to 5 hours on economy or 15 hours flashing. It's rechargeable, of course, either by a wall charger or micro USB. This 'loaded' version of the Mega Drive includes both charging options and a spare battery pack. upgradebikes.co.uk

Moon Shield 60 £39.99 | : £29.99 A bright rear light immediately gets you on the radar of other road users at night. They can see where you are and how fast you're moving. That's important on a road bike because you're likely to be travelling at closer to 20mph than the 10mph drivers might expect. The Moon Shield 60 emits up to 60 lumens, using a powerful LED. A lamp that burns brighter won't last for as long, but the 6 hours you'll get from this is fine considering that you can recharge it just 2 hours via USB. There's a low battery indicator so you'll know when you need to do so. There are flashing and constant light modes, and the lamp is water resistant and attaches without tools. raleigh.co.uk

This is an example of how savings are made for basic and higher rate tax payers on this bike package hired over a 12 month period.

RRP

Cyclescheme Price

£549.67

£476.47

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£41.53

£35.43

1 End of Hire payment

£51.31

£51.31

25%

35%

£183.26

£256.46

£732.93

Percentage saving

Total saving

Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. At the end of the hire period you may be given the option to continue to use the bike by paying a small one off deposit and signing an Extended Use Agreement (EUA) with Cyclescheme. There are no further rental payments during the EUA period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme (see page 6 for more details).

26

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Lock It or Lose It UK Police Forces and insurance companies recommend spending between 10-15% of your bikes value on a lock Highest portable security solution Designed to fit around a wide range of objects Easily transported in carry case High picking and drilling resistance to the locking cylinder Protected against rusting and corrosion

Scan or visit zyro.co.uk/abus to see the Bordo locks in action

Insurance Approved ABUS Bordo Granit X-Plus


PDW LIGHTS BEAUTIFUL, SIMPLE GEAR

FOR EVERYDAY CYCLING FIND YOUR LOCAL PDW STOCKIST AT: WWW.PALIGAP.CC /paligap.cc PDW components are exclusively distributed in the UK by www.paligap.cc


Essentials Cyclescheme price

ESSENTI KIT

AL

LIGHTS Front and rear lights are a legal and practical necessity. Get good ones

T

he Highway Code says 'at night your cycle must have white front and red rear lights lit'. The word 'must' means it's a legal requirement. The type of light you choose will depend on the sort of riding you plan on doing. Dynamo lights don't require batteries and are therefore much cheaper over time. But batterypowered lights can be swapped between bikes if you have more than one. While rechargeable battery lights tend to be more expensive, they work out cheaper in the long run, and can often be topped up via a USB connection. Don't leave quick-release lights on your bike when you park; they're easy to steal. Most lights have both flashing and constant modes. The former make you stand out more in the dark, but the latter allow motorists to judge your speed and distance better. Small lights are ample when riding under streetlights but on unlit roads or tracks you’ll need a strong beam that illuminates at least 10 metres ahead of you. Go for a minimum of 150-200 lumens for unlit routes.

The Cyclescheme price represents the total price you'll pay for a given item, including end of hire costs. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will save more.

Lezyne KTV Drive front and rear RRP: £29.99 |

Cyclescheme price: £22.49

What’s great about this light set is its versatility. Both lights are durable, waterresistant and lightweight (50g each). They can accommodate a variety of seatpost or handlebar sizes, and are visible through 180 degrees. To recharge them you undo the bottom cap, remove the USB stick and place it into a USB port – convenient and cable-free. The front light illuminates to 15 lumens (maximum 9.5 hours in flashing mode), while the rear emits seven lumens (8.5 hours). And if colour matching with your bike frame is important, it’s good to know they come in black, red, blue or silver. upgradebikes.co.uk

PDW Aether Demon rear light £35 |

£26.25

Powered by a lithium-ion battery and recharged via a USB connection, this little LED rear light is about as bright as a car’s red taillight. It attaches conveniently to your seatpost and weighs just 45g. Best of all are the four light modes available. ‘Dance’ and ‘Breathe’ modes offer eight hours of illumination; ‘Rock Steady’ has three and a half hours of constant light; and ‘Group Ride’ can run for 175 hours but at just 10 per cent power. With enough of these you could really liven up your local nightclub. paligap.cc

Cateye Volt 700 £99.99 |

£74.99

This USB-rechargeable front light has five settings – high, medium, low, hyper-constant and flash – with a maximum power of 800 lumens. It offers a wide beam pattern and great side visibility. All of which means you can use it for every eventuality from street riding all the way to nighttime woodland. Switch it to constant and, fully charged, it will last two hours; on flash setting, it lasts much as 60 hours. It attaches to all sizes of handlebars via a quick-release bracket and weighs in at a very nimble 140g. zyro.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Autumn/Winter 2014

One23 Mega Bright 3W front light £89.99 |

£67.49

Three watts of power and 170 lumens give this LED front light some serious punch. Protected by a sturdy aluminium casing, it attaches to your handlebars via a quick-release bracket (you won’t need any tools to fit it) and looks more like a torch than a bike light. Fully charged, it will run for a maximum of five hours and features three modes: high, low and flashing. The lithium-ion battery comes with its own recharger. A red light warns you when it’s about to run out of power. todayscyclist.co.uk

Busch & Muller IXON Core/ IXXI (set) £67.50 |

Reelight RL770 £79.99 |

£56.24

These dynamo lights run on magnetism rather than friction so won't detectably impede your pedalling. The front light mounts on the top of the front fork while the rear can attach to either the luggage rack or the seatpost, depending on which model you buy. A coil in the dynamo and magnets on the wheel spokes then produce enough energy for bright illumination. Of course, with so many components, installation is fiddly and the overall weight (620g) is higher than most light systems. raleigh.co.uk

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£50.63

This good-value set from German manufacturer Busch & Müller includes an Ixon Core front light and an IXXI rear seatpost light. Both are USB-rechargeable and feature a capacity indicator. The front light, with its impact-proof and waterproof aluminium casing, attaches to the handlebars via a quick-release mount. It has a 50-lux high-power mode which lasts around three hours and a 12-lux low-power mode which shines on for 15 hours. Including battery and bracket it weighs 112g. The rear light lasts around 15 hours. amba-marketing.com

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Exposure Trace/ TraceR set £94.95 |

£71.21

Gauges on these aluminium lights warn you how much power remains in the battery, so they’re perfect if you do long rides in the dark but you don’t want to risk running out of juice halfway through. Both front and rear lights offer three levels of brightness plus the choice of constant or pulsing beams. They weigh 39g each and run for between three and 24 hours, depending on the lighting mode you use. The front shines to 110 lumens, the rear to 75 lumens. Good side visibility, too. Recharging is via a USB connection. use1.com


RECHARGE & RIDE

SMALL LIGHT. BIG PERFORMANCE.

KTV DRIVE PAIR Designed from the CAD drawing up, our lights are manufactured in-house with highest quality CNC machined alloy bodies. Our LEDs and lenses are the best quality available and every attenition to detail has been considered. Beautifully designed LED lights that are built to last. This is Lezyne. This is Engineered Design.

Product images larger than actual size

OUTPUT: DURABLE: HI-VIZ: POWER UP: EASE OF USE: SRP:

Up to 15 lumens and 10 hours of light (15 lumens front, 7 lumens rear) Compact sculpted aluminum body 180 degree visability and 3 riding modes Rechargeable via integrated USB stick. Power Indicator LED monitor Clip-on system with versatile strap or clip mounting Front £15.99 | Rear £15.99 | Pair £29.99

Lezyne is proudly distributed by Upgrade Bikes Ltd. | upgradebikes.co.uk | 01403 711 611


Autumn/Winter 2014

Giant Revolt 2 RRP: ÂŁ849 | Cyclescheme price: ÂŁ636.75 The middle model in Giant's three-bike Revolt range, the 2 comes with a carbon fork and 27-speed Shimano Sora gearing. Fork and aluminium frame have huge clearances; while 35mm tyres are specified, anything up to 50mm will fit, transforming comfort and control on rougher tracks. The seatpost is carbon fibre too, saving a little weight and possibly helping take the sting from any shocks the tyres don't soak up. The disc brakes have two sets of levers, so you can brake from the bar tops. That's a confidence booster if you're not used to a drop handlebar. The nearest women's equivalent is the Liv Invite 1. giant-bicycles.com

Cyclescheme price

In detail

The Cyclescheme price represents the total price you'll pay for a given item, including end of hire costs. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will save more.

32

A triple chainset helps make bottom gear that little bit lower compared to a compact double. The 39T middle is just right for general use too.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Unlike other mechanical discs, both pistons move in the Tektro Spyres. That should mean smooth braking and less ongoing adjustment.


Round-up

U ROUND-

P

R AT ED R I D ES

Anyroad bikes With fatter tyres and disc brakes, these drop-bar bikes will take you anywhere you want to go – including the office

T

he terminology for these news bikes hasn't settled down yet. You'll see them described as gravel-road bikes, adventure bikes, commuter road bikes, or multi-sport bikes. They developed from cyclocross bikes but they're not meant for racing around muddy fields in winter. They're designed instead as multi-purpose machines, for coping with different road surfaces: tarmac when commuting, and dirt or forest roads when having fun. Short of technical mountain bike trails, they'll go anywhere. This versatility doesn't come cheap; you can expect to spend over £700 on an anyroad bike, before Cyclescheme savings. But you'll be able to enjoy the same wide range of riding that you could with two different bikes costing half as much, so it's an investment worth making if you're not a single-focus cyclist. All anyroad bikes under £1000 have an aluminium frame and either an aluminium or carbon-fibre fork, depending on price. Aluminium forks have a reputation for feeling harsh, because unlike steel and carbon they have to be built stiff to avoid cracking. This doesn't matter for anyroad bikes, however, as the fatter tyres will more than compensate for any loss in vibration damping. To accommodate those fatter tyres – which can range from 28mm to 50mm – anyroad bikes have bigger frame clearances. That's good for commuting, because full mudguards will easily fit too. All anyroad bikes have threaded eyelets to fit these, and many will take a pannier rack too. If the rear disc brake is on the seat stay rather than the chain stay, you'll need a disc-specific rack like the Tubus Disco (page 12). Disc brakes are a standard feature. Affordable hydraulic disc brakes for drop bar bikes with combined brake/gear levers are some way in the future, so current anyroad bikes used cable-operated disc callipers. These are still better than rim brakes for commuting. You get more braking power with less grip strength, and brake performance is not compromised by wet, dirty or buckled wheel rims. Some anyroad bikes have auxiliary bar-top levers. These are most useful on rough descents but can be handy in traffic too. The gears that anyroad bikes use are as wide-range as they can be using only road-bike style components. That means a 50-34 double or 50-39-30 triple chainset with an 8- or 9-speed 11-32 cassette. That's fine so long as the bike is fairly lightly loaded. If you'll have heavy panniers or are carrying a bit of extra weight yourself, the lower gears provided by the mountain bike components that most hybrids and tourers employ will be a huge help on hills. Anyroad bikes generally have a higher handlebar position than other drop bar bikes, apart from tourers. The handlebar will have a shorter forward bend and vertical drop too, so you won't reach so far forward or down while riding. That's good for lower back and hand comfort – both of which are also helped by the wider, more shock-absorbing tyres.

Specialized Diverge A1 £750 | : £562.50 Diverge is a new range for Specialized; this is the entry-level model. All of them are classic anyroad bikes, designed to be comfortable on long road rides or (smoother) off-road rides alike. The aluminium frame and carbon fork will accommodate tyres up to 35mm, or 32mm with mudguards. Comfort gets a boost in other ways, however. There are gel pads under the bar tape and the Body Geometry saddle supports your sit bones well. There are even rubbery inserts in the fork legs, designed to absorb vibration. Gearing is 16-speed Shimano Claris, using a compact double chainset, while the brakes are Tektro Spyres, like the Giant. specialized.com

Whyte Sussex £799 | : £599.25 A couple of features make Whyte's entry-level anyroad bike more commuter-focused than most: it's designed for a rear rack; and it comes with faster, road-specific 28mm Maxxis Detonator tyres. There's scope to fit wider, knobbier tyres if you do want to go off-road. The fork is aluminium on this model, so slightly wider tyres would boost comfort on road too. It has an 18-speed Shimano Sora groupset and Pro Max CX disc brakes. The bottom bracket is an old-school square taper design… which will likely outlast rivals' external bearing or pressfit units. The Somerset Women's is the women's equivalent. whyte.bike

JARGON BUSTER Seat stays & chain stays Seat stays are the thin tubes that run from the rear wheel axle to the seat tube, usually joining about the same place that the top tube meets it. Chain stays are the roughly horizontal tubes that run from rear axle to bottom bracket. If you want to use a rear pannier rack, look for longer chain stays and threaded eyelets near the top of the seat stays.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

33


Autumn/Winter 2014

49 olt 2 £8ant Rev Gi

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.99 29 e KTV

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This is an example of how savings are made for basic and higher rate tax payers on this bike package hired over a 12 month period.

RRP

Cyclescheme Price

£726.75

£629.79

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£54.91

£46.83

1 End of Hire payment

£67.83

£67.83

25%

35%

£242.22

£339.18

£968.97

Percentage saving

Total saving

Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. At the end of the hire period you may be given the option to continue to use the bike by paying a small one off deposit and signing an Extended Use Agreement (EUA) with Cyclescheme. There are no further rental payments during the EUA period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme (see page 6 for more details).

34

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


SO GOOD, YOU’LL CHOOSE THE LONG WAY HOME Dawes Cycles | Discover Your World

Discovery Sport 4 Discovery Sport 4 Ladies

Discovery Sports bikes are designed to perform across mixed terrain combining light trails with urban riding. The tyres are semi-slick so they’re grippy on loose surfaces but fast rolling on tarmac. All models are fitted with suspension forks to help remove the shocks through your arms and hands whilst the wide gear ratios make hills a breeze. The lightweight alloy frame is beautifully sculpted and allows good stand over clearance.

Discovery Sport 5

Discovery Sport 3 Ladies

Discovery Sport 1

View 360˚ images of the complete Discovery Sport range & find your local dealer at: Dawes Discovery Sport ad A4 2-14.indd 1

www.dawescycles.com

03/06/2014 16:57


Essentials Cyclescheme price

ESSENTI KIT

The Cyclescheme price represents the total price you'll pay for a given item, including end of hire costs. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will save more.

AL

WATERPROOF

JACKETS Don’t let rain spoil a great ride. Always carry a cycling-specific waterproof jacket

S

ooner or later on this wonderfully green island of ours, the heavens will open. And when they do, you want to be sure you’re protected by a jacket that stops the rain getting in but, at the same time, allows the perspiration to escape. This requires a waterproof outer layer that's also breathable. Vents under the arms are a bonus if you’re riding hard and perspiring. No cycling jacket is totally waterproof, all day long. (For that you need a fisherman’s sou’wester which would be uncomfortable to ride in.) But a well-constructed jacket, with taped seams, waterproof zips, and cuffs and collars that you can secure, will keep you dry long enough to see you back home before you get soaked to the skin. Many cycling jackets fold up into their own back pockets, allowing you to stow them in the rear pocket of your jersey and bring them out when the weather turns nasty. Be prepared. As Billy Connolly once famously said: 'There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing.'

dare2B Affusion Jacket RRP: £45 |

Cyclescheme price: £33.75

When you find yourself riding roads through the winter gloom, visibility is at least as important as being waterproof. This is where the 100 per cent polyester fluro yellow Affusion jacket from dare2B comes into its own. Both brightly coloured and with reflective strips, it will light you up like a Christmas tree, as well as keep you dry. Features include adjustable neck cinch, elasticated cuffs, taped internal seams, and a zip rear pocket. In a large size it weighs in at less than 700g. Colour: yellow. dare2b.com

Altura Nevis II jacket (women’s) £54.99 |

: £41.24

This is a waterproof, breathable and durable women’s jacket with a two-layer construction of polyester and nylon, plus a mesh lining. Its comfortable fitting means you’ll never feel restricted while you ride. The adjustable waist cord, cuffs and fleece-lined collar keep it firmly in place even as you move around on the bike. There are vents at the side and at the rear, and waterproof zip pockets on the chest and at the rear. Colours: raspberry, yellow. zyro.co.uk

Fat Lad at the Back Singing in the Rain jacket £139.99 |

£104.99

With a nod to dancer Gene Kelly and his 1950s film of the same name, the Singing in the Rain jacket from Yorkshire cyclewear company Fat Lad at the Back has, according to the manufacturers, been tested in the shower. So expect top performance from features such as bonded seams, zip rear pocket, drop tail and full-length zip, all wrapped up in a three-layer waterproof, windproof and breathable membrane. It’s extra light, too, with a size 44 inch weighing just 350g. Colour: black. fatladattheback.com www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Autumn/Winter 2014

Polaris Hexon £89.99 |

£67.49

Lightweight and easily folded up tight, this jacket will conveniently slot into the rear pocket of your cycling jersey. Made of a 2.5-layer waterproof and breathable 100 per cent nylon, it includes a coated, waterproof zip on the front, a zip pocket and tapered flap on the back, adjustable Velcro cuffs, and drawcord collar and hem. Reflective graphics will ensure you’re seen once the light fades. Colours: white and black, red and black, or yellow and black. polaris-apparel.co.uk

BBB Rainshield (women’s) £69.99 |

Foska Oska Hi-Vis Waterproof jacket £59.95 |

£44.96

This jacket’s Dri-tex fabric combines a waterproof and windproof outer layer with a moisturewicking, mesh inner layer. The adjustable cuffs and fleece-lined collar keep you comfortable. A large rear pocket, two front pockets and a chest pocket (all with waterproof welded zips) ensure plenty of carrying space. Reflective Scotchlite material means you’re visible even when after dusk, while the drawstring hem and drop tail keep your midriff well covered. 'Designed to withstand the very worst British weather can throw at it,' claim the manufacturers. Colours: yellow or black. foska.com

Endura Hummvee Convertible jacket £84.99 |

£63.74

A cycling jacket named in honour of the biggest, butchest vehicle on the road is sure to be fairly robust. And with detachable sleeves which covert it quickly from jacket into gilet, it’s pretty versatile too – perfect for longer rides on days when the weather can’t make up its mind. Constructed from 2.5-layer waterproof and breathable 100 per cent nylon, it includes adjustable collar and cuffs, a full inner storm flap, reflective strips all around, a zip rear pocket and two front zip pockets. Colours: black, green or red. endura.co.uk 38

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

£52.49

Made of a material called GhostSkin, this windproof and waterproof jacket is so lightweight, it almost feels you haven’t got it on. There’s a soft and warm fleece collar lining, mesh fabric under the arms, a full-length YKK front zip with its own inner zip flap, a silicone gripper in the hem to keep it from wrinkling upwards, and a rear zip pocket. The whole thing packs down tidily into a rear pouch. Colour: semi-transparent. windwave.co.uk


A Z of

Autumn/Winter 2014

An

to

Commuting You've got the bike. Now what? Here are 26 tips to make your journey to work easier - or help convince you to stick at it

A

ccessories. It's not all about the bike. Don't forget to budget for lights, lock, mudguards, bag, tools, helmet, and cycle clothing. You can get them as part of your Cyclescheme package. In fact, you can get the accessories by themselves – great news if you've already got a bike. See page 24 for an example.

B

ag. Panniers, rack-top bags, and saddlebags beat backpacks for luggage, especially for heavier loads and longer journeys. With the

A

weight on your bike instead of your shoulders, you'll sweat less and you won't get a sore backside and numb or tingling hands. Any bike can carry some luggage.

C

lothing. Lycra makes sense for a fast ride on a road bike. For a trip into town? Not so much. Why not specify your bike to suit your clothing rather than vice-versa? An upright roadster with mudguards and a chainguard can comfortably be ridden in a suit – or a dress.

D D

ogs. Some dogs are friendly; others want to chase and bite you. Try dog psychology first: point at it and shout 'stay!' in a commanding voice. No luck? Can't outpace it? Dismount, put the bike between you and the dog, and try again. Still coming? Arm yourself with your D-lock…

E

xhaust fumes. Face masks are primarily useful for cyclists with existing respiratory problems. In urban areas, air quality is typically worse inside cars, where the pollution from the exhaust pipe in 40

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


An A-Z of commuting front doesn't disperse like it does outside. On a bike, of course, you can go where heavy traffic isn't.

F

F

ood. Even moderate cycling burns around 300 calories an hour, so a half hour each way commute means you can have a cake with your morning coffee and not put on weight. No special diet is required for commuting, although longerdistance commuters will need to eat more.

G

ears. It doesn't matter how many gears your bike has as long as they're low enough for your commute. Singlespeeds and threespeed hub gears are fine in flatter cities, while derailleurs help with hills. If you find climbing hard, get a bike whose biggest sprocket has more teeth than the smallest chainring.

H

elmet. Cycling isn't dangerous. Many more drivers and pedestrians suffer head injuries than cyclists. But helmets do offer protection if you fall off your bike and hit your head. Cheap helmets pass the same safety standards as expensive ones. Get one that fits comfortably and wear it correctly.

I

nsurance. If your commuter bike gets stolen or trashed, cycle insurance is a painless way to replace it. It's especially important when you're effectively buying your bike in instalments. Fortunately, Cyclescheme participants can save 15% on Cycleguard cycle insurance. For an instant quote, visit cycleguard.co.uk/cs15.

J

straightforward, if only everyone observed rights of way and showed common sense. But they don't. Some road users don't even seem to look. If right turns and roundabouts make you nervous, sign up for some cycle training: see dft.gov.uk/bikeability.

K

a-ching. Cycle commuting saves you money. If you travel five urban miles each way, you'll save around ÂŁ500 on fuel alone by cycling instead of driving. (Factor in fixed costs and the savings are much higher.) You'd save hundreds by switching from public transport too. Just

remember to put a little money aside for maintenance; cycling isn't free.

L

ock. Every year, around 100,000 bicycles are reported stolen just in England and Wales. Get a good lock. The police recommend spending at least 10% of the value of your bike on security for it. Buy a D-lock or big chain rated Sold Secure Gold. In high-theft areas, use both.

H

unctions. Traffic interactions at junctions should be www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Autumn/Winter 2014

M

udguards. The essential transport cycling accessory. Full-length guards that fix to the frame and fork are best. They keep you clean and dry on wet roads, and they keep your bike cleaner too so it needs less maintenance. Even if you wear bike gear, mudguards prevent you having to pull on soggy kit for the commute home.

N

+1. This is the formula for working out how many bikes to own, where N is the number that you currently own. There's always room for another bike! Bikes aren't like cars; they're more like shoes, with different kinds being more or less suitable for different tasks. See page 14.

O

il. A bicycle chain needs oiling: monthly during summertime, weekly in winter, and after any ride in heavy rain. Pedal the cranks backward by hand and apply oil to each link where the

chain emerges from the bottom of the derailleur. Use newspaper to catch drips and a rag to wipe off excess oil.

P

unctures. Flat tyres are rare. You can make them rarer by using tougher tyres and keeping them properly inflated – see page 21. If you do puncture, it's only a five-minute delay so long as: you are carrying a spare innertube, two tyre levers, and a pump; and you've practised fitting an innertube at home.

Q

uicker. Bicycles are faster than cars in busy towns and cities because they can keep moving while cars sit in queues. Don't worry about your top speed on a bike. Instead, pick your route so that you'll be stationary for as little time as possible. Use back streets and cycle tracks to avoid main road traffic lights.

R

oad tax. 'You cyclists don't even pay road tax,' the angry driver says. No one does. There's no such thing. Vehicle Excise Duty is a vehicle tax that doesn't directly pay for the roads. The amount of VED you pay depends on the vehicle's CO2 emissions. Bicycles are zero emission vehicles. So they're exempt.

S

addle. There is no one perfect saddle. But there is a saddle that you will

M 42

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

O find comfortable for the cycling that you do. It will carry your bodyweight on your sit bones rather than soft tissue, and it will need to be set at the right angle and right height. Feeling sore? Try a wider saddle, set dead level.

T

ake the lane. Hugging the kerb may feel safer but it isn't. Whenever there isn't room for you to be overtaken safely, dissuade drivers from doing so by riding in the centre


An A-Z of commuting of your lane. You are the traffic! Approaching a pinchpoint, a blind corner, give way markings, or traffic lights? Take the lane.

V

U

phill. Cycling up hills is hard work that's harder still in the wrong gear. Change down in good time and keep pedalling at a brisk cadence. If you're in bottom gear and the hill is still too hard, your gears don't go low enough. Get a hybrid, touring bike, or mountain bike – or choose a route that avoids the hill!

V

isibility. Any bike on a public road between dusk and dawn must have a white front light, a red rear light, a red rear reflector, and amber pedal reflectors. Reflective details on your clothing or the bike help you stand out at night, while a brightly coloured jacket or jersey improves visibility during the day.

W

aterproofs. Don't be misled by the words 'showerproof' or 'water repellent', which are secret code for 'leaks like a tea bag'. For actual British rain, you need clothing made from waterproof fabric with taped or welded seams. Even then, you'll need to cycle slower too to avoid overheating and getting damp with sweat instead.

X

XXXL. Cycle commuting isn't just for skinny people. It's ideal

low-impact exercise for anyone with a high Body Mass Index, as your weight is carried by the bike. Get a sturdy hybrid with wider tyres and go at your pace, keeping distances short to begin with.

Y

same goes for shared-use cycle tracks and bridleways, where cyclists are obliged to give way to walkers. Slow down, ping your bell, and pass with plenty of room. Some drivers might bully or buzz past cyclists, but there's no need to pass on the aggression.

outh. Cycling keeps you young. According to the British Medical Association, regular cyclists enjoy a level of fitness equivalent to someone ten years younger, and live an average of two years longer than sedentary individuals.

Z

ebra crossing. Pedestrians have right of way here. Give them time and room. The

W

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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% 15 *

FF O

INSURING THE UK’S CYCLISTS Cyclescheme Cycle Insurance is brought to you by Cycleguard, a leading cycle insurance specialist. Cycleguard works on a ‘create your own cover’ basis, so you save money by only paying for the cover you need.

COMMUTING | ROAD | LEISURE

WE MAKE IT EASY FOR YOU Choose the cover levels and options that best suit your requirements as a cyclist, whether a commuter, racing cyclist or leisure rider.

LIMITATIONS OF HOME CONTENTS COVER Don’t automatically assume your home contents insurer will adequately cover your bike for theft and accidental damage. By choosing to insure via a specialist bicycle insurance provider, you can be certain that both of these risks are included.

ON SUCCESSFUL CLAIMS, WE WILL: Replace cycles up to 3 years old on a new for old basis and provide cycle hire whilst waiting for a repair or replacement

GET YOUR DISCOUNTED QUOTE BY VISITING:

WWW.CYCLEGUARD.CO.UK/CS15

* 15% discount off the first year’s premium only available for new business customers. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. We reserve the right to amend the content and offer of our products without notice. Cycleguard is a trading style of Thistle Insurance Services Limited. Lloyd’s Broker. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. A JLT Group company. Registered office: The St Botolph Building, 138 Houndsditch, London, EC3A 7AW. Registered in England No 00338645, VAT No. 244 2321 96. Cyclescheme are Appointed Representatives of Thistle Insurance Services Limited.

COVER OPTIONS • Theft and accidental damage cover for your cycling accessories • Roadside rescue cover in the event of bike ‘breakdown’ • Theft from a vehicle • Public liability up to £5m - to cover injury or damage to third parties or their property • EU & Worldwide cover extension


Essentials Cyclescheme price

ESSENTI KIT

The Cyclescheme price represents the total price you'll pay for a given item, including end of hire costs. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will save more.

AL

WINTER

GLOVES Cold, wet hands quickly make cycling miserable. Keep them warm and dry with some proper winter gloves

O

nly the very tough or the very crazy would consider riding without gloves in cold weather. Within minutes your hands will be frozen stiff. As with cycling jackets, you need gloves that are waterproof, windproof but also breathable, otherwise after a while your hands will get very sweaty inside. Other features to consider are the quality of the stitching in the seams (gloves take a serious battering since cyclists are constantly moving their hands), the padding in the palm, the ability of the palm to grip to the handlebars, and the comfort of the wrist fasteners. Another great asset is an absorbent material on the thumb or forefinger so that you can wipe away sweat when the going gets particularly strenuous. Some gloves now have conductive fabric on the fingertips, allowing you to use your mobile phone without taking them off.

Altura Night Vision Evo glove RRP £44.99 |

Cyclescheme price: £33.74

The problem with most insulated winter gloves is that, on long rides, they tend to warm up too much on the inside. This waterproof, windproof and breathable glove is more versatile. It gets round this problem as its thermal liner can be removed, making it perfect for cycling in the spring and autumn too. Other features include Velcro cuff adjusters, palms with gel pads and high visibility strips on the back of the hand. Colours: black. Sizes: S to XXL. zyro.co.uk

Endura Luminite thermal gloves £39.99 |

: £29.99

Sleek yet warm, these thermal gloves combine a durable outer fabric with a seam-sealed internal breathable and waterproof membrane. There’s also Thinsulate wadding to increase the insulation. Like motorcycle gloves they are built ready-curved to the shape of the hand on the handlebar. Other features include grippy silicon palms and fingertips, a lightly padded gel palm, a sweatwiper on the forefinger, high-visibility chevrons and an elasticated wrist with a Velcro cuff adjuster. They’re made mainly of nylon and polyester, with some elastane and polyurethane. Colours: black or yellow. Sizes: XS to XXL. endura.co.uk

Polaris Torrent gloves £34.99 |

: £26.24

There are three layers to this glove: first up is the soft-brushed inner lining, smooth and comfortable next to your skin. Then comes the mid-layer with its waterproof membrane. Finally there’s the robust outer layer. Yet, despite the three layers, the glove remains dexterous and doesn't suffer from being too bulky. A silicon print gives your fingers and palms great grip on the handlebars while gel inserts in the palm keep your hands comfortable even on longer rides. The Neoprene cuff comes with a Velcro closure. Colours: black. Sizes: S to XL. polaris-apparel.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Autumn/Winter 2014

Outer Edge Winter Aerotex yellow gloves £20.99 |

: £15.74

They’re like having your own personal indicator lights. Wearing these bright yellow reflective gloves, you’ll have no trouble alerting other road-users as to which way you plan to turn. Waterproof, but with a breathable membrane inside, they feature a tough padded palm, an elasticated cuff, reflective piping, and a fleece panel on the thumb ideal for wiping away sweat from your face. Colour: yellow. Sizes XS to XL. todayscyclist.co.uk

RSP Extreme Weather glove £37.99 |

: £28.49

According to the manufacturers, these gloves are 'fully weatherproof, ideal for cold and wet weather'. The outer layer is made of polyurethane and nylon, while the inner lining is a polyester micro fleece. They include lightweight padding on the palms, reflective piping, durable finger guards and a Velcro fastener around the wrist. But where they really steal a march on their rivals is with the conductive material on the thumb and forefinger which allows you to operate touch-screen devices without taking them off. Colours: black. Sizes: S to XL. raleigh.co.uk

Biologic Cipher cycling gloves £25 |

: £18.75

Just because it’s cold, it doesn't mean you stop using your mobile phone. This pair of gloves features 3M conductive fabric on the forefingers and thumbs so you can operate your device without taking them off. The padded and reinforced palms with raised dots make for good grip while the thumb area has a sweat-absorbent towel material on it. The leather tab enclosure on the wrist is a nice touch. There’s reflective piping on the back of the hand. Colour: black. Sizes: XS to XL. paligap.cc

Sealskinz women’s winter glove £40 |

: £30

No, they’re not made of real seal skin (that would be cruel), but they claim to be 'totally waterproof, breathable and windproof' all the same. Just what you need in the bleak mid-winter. There’s a nylon, polyurethane and Lycra outer shell, and a polyester inner lining, with extra insulation in areas that need more warmth. The durable palm is good for grip and features gel padding. There’s also reflective piping on the back of the hand, stretchy cuffs, and a fleece sweat-wiper on the thumb. Colour: black. Sizes: S to XXL. sealskinz.com 46

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


THE CHAOS. THE NOISE. THE PRESSURE. THE UPS, DOWNS, HIGHS AND LOWS. THE DEADLINES AND THE STRESS LINES. AFTER A DAY AT WORK, RIDING HOME’S A BREEZE. When you join British Cycling for less than 10p per day, we’re on your side. All our members receive handy commuting tips and advice; from the essentials of road positioning and fixing a flat to guidance on incorporating training into your daily commute. And that’s just the beginning. Join us.

For further information visit britishcycling.org.uk/commuting

CS: British Cyc


Autumn/Winter 2014

Scott SUB Sport 20 Lady RRP: £749. | Cyclescheme price: £561.75 Scott's 'speed utility bike' ticks all the trekking bicycle boxes: as well as mudguards and a rear rack, it has neatly-integrated dynamo lighting driven by a Shimano DH-3N30 generator hub. There's also a kickstand for parking convenience. Corners haven't been cut to include these things: 27-speed Shimano Alivio/Deore gearing is what you'd expect at this price. The step-through frame – a gent's model with a top tube is available – is sturdily-built aluminium, while the Suntour coil-spring fork has a lockout. You can easily change the riding position with the adjustable-angle stem: upright for short trips in town, flatter for longer rides in the lanes. scott-sports.com

Cyclescheme price

In detail

The Cyclescheme price represents the total price you'll pay for a given item, including end of hire costs. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will save more.

48

A hub dynamo is quieter and more efficient than an old bottle dynamo that pressed against the side of the tyre. It won't slip in the wet either.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

These tyres have a reflective strip running around them, helping the bike stand out in car headlights at night.


Round-up

ROUND-

UP

R AT ED R I D ES

Trekking bikes The default continental hybrid, a trekking bike includes the practical accessories you need for transport and travel

A

trekking bike is the Northern European equivalent of the touring bike, with a flat handlebar instead of a drop bar. Mudguards and a pannier rack are standard equipment, and it may come with a chainguard, lights, a kickstand, and an integral lock. So it's ready for use as weekday transport and weekend wandering right away. There's a couple of reasons why that's handier than buying a bare bike – which is how most UK hybrids are sold – and then paying extra for the additional equipment. It's cheaper. Even though you can save money on accessories by including them in your Cyclescheme package, you can save even more by getting a bike through Cyclescheme that already has them. That's because bike manufacturers can buy equipment cheaper than you can. It's also less hassle: there won't be any compatibility issues or fitting problems. Accessories do add weight, and trekking bikes are built more for comfort than speed in any case. But don't make the mistake of picking up an unequipped bike in the shop for comparison: it's missing 1.5-2kg of extras that need adding. Having said that, budget-priced, steel-framed trekking bikes are ponderous if you live anywhere hilly. An aluminium trekking bike weighing 13-16kg is more versatile. Most trekking bikes come with a simple, coil-spring suspension fork. This should kill vibration coming through to your hands if your commute includes poor quality roads or cobbles. Given that trekking bikes already have wider, shock-absorbing tyres, suspension is not vital. A rigid fork is fine – better, even. If the bike has a suspension fork, check that there's a lockout switch so you can stop the bike bobbing on climbs. Trekking bikes use 700C wheels, like road bikes and 29er mountain bikes. Tyre width is between the road/off-road extremes, typically 3245mm, and the tyres are slick enough that they'll roll well on road. Some wheels have a dynamo hub, offering free, reliable lighting, while others have disc brakes, offering more effective braking. If you fancy either or both, get them as original equipment; it's expensive to upgrade hubs later as you'll need new wheels. Most trekking bikes have derailleur gears, with three chainrings at the front and seven to ten sprockets at the back. This gives them an excellent overall gear range, lower than anything apart from mountain bikes or drop-bar touring bikes. The more you spend, the more sprockets you'll get and the smoother the gears will shift. If the bike has a hub gear, go for a model with seven or eight gears unless your commute is flat. V-brakes are the most common stoppers on trekking bikes. While they're plenty powerful, good quality disc brakes are better yet and don't slowly wear away rims. Hydraulic discs outclass cable operated ones. It's simple, if not necessarily cheap, to upgrade from cable discs to hydraulics later on.

Cube Touring RF £779 | : £584.25 Cube is a German brand, so has a host of trekking bikes in its catalogue. The Touring RF is so called because it has a rigid fork, which saves significant weight: despite mudguards, rack, kickstand, and hub-dynamo lighting, it tips the scales at under 14kg. If you want to load it up and go far, however, you can: there are mounts for a front pannier rack too. The Schwalbe Spicer tyres are 40mm so offer plenty of shock absorption, and the backswept handlebar and ergonomic grips are easy on the hands and wrists. Gearing is 27-speed, primarily Shimano Deore, with enough range for any road. cube.eu

Claud Butler Voyager Ladies £499.99 | : £374.99 At lower price points there's no room in the budget for lighting, but the Voyager does have mudguards and a rear rack, as well as a partial chainguard to keep oil off your trousers. The riding position is very upright. This suits shorter rides more than long ones, so long as the saddle is well padded – and the Voyager's is. An aluminium frame keeps the weight manageable, and the simple coil-spring fork can be locked out when needed. Gearing is again 27-speed, using components that are a tier or two lower than Shimano Deore. The wheels have 38mm trekking tyres and 36 spokes each, which should help prevent breakages. claudbuter.co.uk

JARGON BUSTER 700C This is an old French name for a wheel size that was 700mm in diameter when a given size tyre was fitted. (There was a 700A and there still is a 700B.) Nowadays, 700C means a wheel that's 622mm in diameter where the tyre sits on the rim. This number is stamped on tyres like this: 35-622. The number before the dash is the tyre width, in this case 35mm.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Autumn/Winter 2014

49 B y £7cott SU20 Lad S ort Sp

9 4.9evis £5ltura Nt

9 ag 1.9 ge B ium £3uterEdit Med

A cke Ja

O ck F Ra

0 tts £5ern Weat B lm he

This is an example of how savings are made for basic and higher rate tax payers on this bike package hired over a 12 month period.

RRP

Cyclescheme Price

£664.54

£575.86

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£50.21

£42.82

1 End of Hire payment

£62.02

£62.02

25%

35%

£221.44

£310.12

£885.98

Percentage saving

Total saving

Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. At the end of the hire period you may be given the option to continue to use the bike by paying a small one off deposit and signing an Extended Use Agreement (EUA) with Cyclescheme. There are no further rental payments during the EUA period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme (see page 6 for more details).

50

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Cycle Selfie 1 Share a picture of you and your bike for a chance to win Endura gear! Add your photo and a message including #cyclescheme to our wall. www.facebook.com/cyclescheme @cyclescheme Upload a picture and message including #cyclescheme to your Instagram profile. www.instagram.com/cyclescheme @cyclescheme Send us a Tweet including #cyclescheme and add your photo to the message. www.twitter.com/cycleschemeltd @cycleschemeltd Terms and conditions. Cyclescheme LTD operate a monthly prize draw across their 3 social media platforms and will enter anybody whose posts or interactions include #cyclescheme in their regular prize draw. Winners will be chosen based on the preferences of Cyclescheme LTD employees. Winners will be contacted via the social media platform they enter on. There is no alternative prize. Cyclescheme LTD retain the right to change the terms and conditions of the competition at any time.

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2 3

Write us a message using #cyclescheme

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Autumn/Winter 2014

Weather BEATING

With the right equipment and technique, you can carry on commuting in almost any UK conditions – and enjoy it 52

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Weather beating

W

hen the rain is running down the windows on a winter morning, it can be hard to summon up the enthusiasm for cycle commuting you had in summer. Don't despair: it looks worse out there than it is. British weather is seldom bad enough to stop you cycling if you're prepared for it.

Rain Light rain and showers are common, but according to the Met Office heavy rain (more than 10mm) falls on fewer than 40 days per year across most of the UK – and fewer than 15 days in eastern areas. So while the odds of a damp commute now and again are high, the chances of getting soaked are low. Often the rain won't coincide with your commute at all, so you'll only have to cope with wet roads. Wet roads will nevertheless make you wet through if you don't have mudguards. Full-length mudguards, preferably with a front mudflap to keep your feet dry, are the single most effective wet-weather accessory. A light rain shower can evaporate from your clothes by body heat alone. Dirty road water jet-washed at you by your wheels will have you squelching around all day. If you change when you get to work, it's not vital for you to stay dry, only for your work clothes to do so. Invest in a waterproof pannier or backpack, plus cycling clothing that will keep the worst of the weather off. If you commute in your work clothes, get a proper waterproof jacket (p37), some over-trousers, and either overshoes or waterproof socks. Cycle at an easy pace or you'll get soggy: you can sweat faster than your waterproofs can breathe. Give yourself extra time for your commute on wet days.

When you're cycling in or after rain, take care when crossing drain covers, tramlines, shiny tarmac sealing lines, and painted white lines When you're cycling in or after rain, take care when crossing drain covers, tramlines, shiny tarmac sealing lines, and painted white lines. They can all be very slippery, so avoid steering whilst on top of them. When it rains after a dry spell, the water can lift spilled oil or diesel, making roundabouts and junctions slick; corner with care. Be careful riding through puddles too. Any one could hide a pothole. Brake sooner and more gradually in the rain. The brake pads have to skim any water from the braking surface

before they'll bite. And your tyres have less traction, making skids more likely.

Wind A cyclist's worst enemy is not rain but wind. Riding into a headwind is like riding uphill, without any sense of achievement and without a guaranteed freewheel in return; you might get a tailwind later but you might not. As with hillclimbing, it pays to use your gears in a headwind. Shift down so that you can spin at a relatively easy cadence. This won't tax your body www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Autumn/Winter 2014

Your extremities get much colder while cycling, however. Ears, forehead, fingers and toes bear the brunt of the cold as much, and you probably won't go any slower than if you were grinding along in a big gear. If your bike has a drop handlebar, use the drops. Hunker down out of the wind, making yourself as aerodynamic as you can. A tailwind is free speed. Crosswinds, on the other hand, demand your attention. Buildings and hedgerows shelter you from the wind, but when you pass a gap or a gateway the full force of the wind will suddenly hit you. This can push you yards into the road or off the road entirely. Brace yourself and be prepared to lean into the wind. If it's so windy that there aren't any birds in the sky, you might want to leave the bike at home‌

Cold So long as you have a windproof layer, it's seldom a problem keeping warm while cycling. Pedalling generates heat. You don't need the same level of insulation as a pedestrian. Even in the depths of winter, you torso can be toasty warm with only a long-sleeved base layer (vest), a thin, long-sleeved jersey, and a windproof outer layer. 54

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If you cycle in normal clothes, you might want to keep your jumper in your bag until you get to work. Your extremities get much colder while cycling, however. There's more windchill. Ears, forehead, fingers and toes bear the brunt of the cold. Wear a Buff or cap (either will fit under a helmet) and invest in good winter gloves (p45). If your hands are still cold, wear liner-gloves under your main gloves. If you commute in normal clothes, get some good thermal socks. If you wear cycling shoes, don't use summer ones by themselves. At the very least, use neoprene overshoes. Better yet, invest in winter cycling shoes, sized big enough that you can comfortably wear thermal socks with them. Cold air will chafe your lips while cycling. Use a lip salve or vaseline before your set off on any day when you can see your breath. Any cold night from, say, October to March brings the risk of ice. If you live somewhere where ice is more than a sporadic problem, it's worth investing in metal-studded tyres. These are the

only tyres that will grip properly on ice. Otherwise, cycle with extreme caution, memorising anywhere you've encountered ice before, as it tends to reform in the same places. More heavily used roads will tend to be gritted, so are less likely to be icy than backstreets or rural lanes. If you find yourself on ice, try to keep going in a straight line. Don't brake or turn. Be ready to put one foot down. That way you can lay the bike down on its side if you slip instead of going down hard on your hip. If in doubt, don't cycle.

Fog Turn on your lights so that other road users can see you sooner. Your front light must be on your bike (where it should be in any case). If it's on your head or helmet, the light will reflect right back at you off the fog. Even with the lamp not in your eyeline, it might not throw much of a beam. Slow down so that you're able to stop within the distance that you can see ahead. As far as possible, use lightly


Weather beating trafficked roads with lower speed limits. Any drivers will have longer to react and brake, and you'll be better able to judge where traffic is by sound. Fog is cold and wet. Dress appropriately, and bear in mind that your stopping distance will increase a little due to wet braking surfaces.

Snow

Falling snow makes it hard to see. It stings your eyes. Wear a cycling cap – it will fit under a helmet – so that the peak shields your eyes. Other road users will have difficulty seeing as well, so it's worth turning on your lights. If it's dark, your front lamp will

reflect back off the snow, particularly if the lamp is on your head. It's weirdly hypnotic. Riding in falling snow is similar to riding in rain, only harder. Snow is more slippery and compacts into ice. Slow down. Make any manoeuvres with care. Brake gradually and early. Riding on top of fallen snow is harder work but can be quite pleasant. The deeper the snow, the more you'll benefit from bigger wheels and fatter tyres, run at lower pressures. A mountain bike can make good headway in snow a few inches deep, where a small-wheeled folding bike would stall.

Full-length mudguards, preferably with a front mudflap to keep your feet dry, are the single most effective wet-weather accessory

Bad weather READY

SKS Longboard mudguards £44.99 |

: £33.74

Any mudguards will help keep you clean and dry, but these ones have more wraparound coverage than any other. 700C only, in 35 or 45mm width. zyro.co.uk

Carradice Pro-route cape £35 |

: £26.25

Unless it's blowing a gale, traditional cycling capes do a fantastic job of keeping the rain off while letting air circulate underneath so you don't overheat. carradice.co.uk

Endura BaaBaa Merino Skip Beanie £19.99-£22.99 | : £14.99 - £17.24

Any cycling cap will keep precipitation out of your peepers. This peaked beanie keeps your ears warm too. It fits under a helmet. endura.co.uk

Agu Bike Boots Reflection Short £19.99 |

: £14.99

Most overshoes fit over cycling shoes. These ones are designed for normal street shoes and will stop rain running down your over-trousers and into your socks. i-ride.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Autumn/Winter 2014

Cyclescheme price

In detail

The Cyclescheme price represents the total price you'll pay for a given item, including end of hire costs. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will save more.

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Cassette sizes are limited with a Shimano 2300 rear derailleur, so it's good to see the overall range extended with a triple chainset.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Dawes Clubman RRP: ÂŁ849.99 | Cyclescheme price: ÂŁ637.49 A modern audax bike with retro styling, the Clubman's name harks back to an earlier era when one road bike did everything. The Reynolds 520 steel frame offers a subtly different ride feel from oversize aluminium and it's practical too: it comes with mudguards and you can add a pannier rack. The fork is carbon fibre to save weight. Gearing is 'only' 8-speed Shimano 2300, but includes a triple chainset. That gives a reasonable gear range even with the narrow range 12-25 cassette. The brakes are long reach Tektro ones, so 25mm tyres and guards fit fine. The leather-look saddle and bar tape add panache. dawescycles.com

These stays snap free if anything gets stuck under the mudguard, preventing it folding up behind the fork and causing a crash.


Round-up

ROUND-

UP

R AT ED R I D ES

Four-season road bikes Also called audax or winter bikes, the defining feature of these road bikes is one that commuters depend on: mudguards

R

iding on wet roads on a bike without mudguards is like standing next to a sprinkler spraying cold and dirty water. It's not the best start to the day. So if you plan to commute on a road bike, it pays to choose it with care; most road bikes are racers that aren't meant to be fitted with frame-fit mudguards. Four-season road bikes are different. They have threaded eyelets at the dropouts to attach mudguard stays. More importantly, they're designed with enough clearance under the brakes so that full mudguards will fit without sitting so close to the tyre that a bit of embedded grit might jam the wheel. The sidepull brake callipers of a genuine four-season road bike look like those of any other road bike but are longer, with a deeper U-section. They will be described as 'long reach' or '57mm drop'. They'll comfortably accommodate a 25mm and possibly a 28mm tyre as well as a mudguard. Short-reach brakes (any not described as long reach!) only have room for specialist road bike mudguards, such as SKS's Raceblade Long (page 24), which are not quite as effective. The riding position of a four-season road bike tends be less stretched than a racer. A shallow-drop handlebar and a taller head tube enable you to use the drops without adopting an uncomfortable racing crouch. The frame and fork material will be the same: either aluminium, which is lighter, or steel, which is more resilient. At higher price points, the fork will be at least partly carbon fibre. Look for pannier rack mounts on the frame if you need them; many audax bikes have them. All four-season road bikes use combined brake and gear levers, generally from Shimano, although some use the equivalent from Campagnolo or Sram. Shimano's hierarchy of gears goes: 2300, Claris (both 8-speed), Sora (9-speed), and Tiagra (10-speed). The more you spend, the more sprockets you get on the rear wheel and the slicker the gear shifts are. The number of gears is less important for commuting than the range, however. That's the difference between top gear and bottom gear. If you live somewhere hilly, you want the smallest chainring and biggest rear sprocket you can get. That will be 30 or 34 teeth for the chainring (for a triple and double respectively) and anything up to 32 teeth for the sprockets. Wheels for four-season road bikes are more about durability than low weight or aerodynamics. Expect double-wall aluminium rims laced to reasonable quality hubs with 32 spokes each. Tyres will be wider than a racer's: 25 or 28mm rather than 23. You don't have to inflate these to such high pressures to avoid pinch puncturing. That makes them more comfortable on badly surfaced roads and a bit grippier on wet ones. The tyres will still be relatively thin and lightweight. For tips on how to prevent punctures, turn to page 21.

Kinesis Racelight T2 £999.99 | : £749.99 This is the carbon-forked version of the Racelight T2; it's also available with an aluminium fork for £65 less. Either way, it's lightweight for a practical road bike, thanks largely to its butted aluminium tubing and Shimano R501 wheels. But it also uses Shimano's mid-range Tiagra groupset, which saves some weight despite adding a tenth sprocket. With its compact double chainset, bottom gear is 34/28; a replacement cassette could extend that to 34/30 if you needed lower. Like the Dawes, it comes with mudguards and can be equipped with a pannier rack. Tyres are 25mm; 28mm will fit. kinesisbikes.co.uk

Tifosi CK7 Gran Fondo Veloce £999.99 | : £749.99 A gran fondo is an Italian sportive. The Italian theme is carried through to the bike's gearing, which is Campagnolo Veloce, a 10-speed set that's roughly equivalent to Shimano's Tiagra. Campagnolo don't make long-reach sidepull brakes, so Miche ones – also Italian – are fitted instead. These work fine and give clearance for the provided mudguards and for tyres up to 28mm. Miche Reflex wheels are relatively lightweight, as are the aluminium frame and carbon fork. The frame comes in a wide range of sizes, making this bike a good option for shorter riders. Non-pink versions are available. chickencycles.co.uk

JARGON BUSTER Audax is non-competitive long-distance cycling. Participants aim to complete a given distance, such as 100 or 200 kilometres, within a time limit. Audax bikes are the same as four-season road bikes or winter bikes: road bikes with mudguards, 25mm or wider tyres, and a focus on comfort rather than flat-out speed. Audax bikes often get equipped with lights and a little luggage – like commuter bikes!

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Autumn/Winter 2014

.99 n 49Clubma 8 £ es w Da

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This is an example of how savings are made for basic and higher rate tax payers on this bike package hired over a 12 month period.

RRP

Cyclescheme Price

£723.71

£627.23

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£54.68

£46.64

1 End of Hire payment

£67.55

£67.55

25%

35%

£241.26

£337.74

£964.97

Percentage saving

Total saving

Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. At the end of the hire period you may be given the option to continue to use the bike by paying a small one off deposit and signing an Extended Use Agreement (EUA) with Cyclescheme. There are no further rental payments during the EUA period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme (see page 6 for more details).

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www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Save money and spread the cost on the latest technology

Access to the latest tech Convenient payments from salary Save up to 12% on NICs Interest free plus no credit check

If your employer is not already onboard, simply point them towards our website and encourage them to offer this exciting new benefit! www.computingscheme.co.uk


Autumn/Winter 2014

Paul Seymour We catch up with the commuters featured on the Cyclescheme website. This issue: returnee cyclist Paul Seymour

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Cyclescheme 7

P

aul Seymour didn't need the financial benefits of Cyclescheme spelling out to him. 'I am a Chartered Accountant and the scheme's administrator where I work,' he says. 'A number of colleagues already had bikes through Cyclescheme, and I could see the financial benefit of acquiring a bike and accessories this way.'

He got a Giant Escape 3 hybrid in February. 'I needed an entry-level bike that I could commute to work on but that I could also use to take the kids on dirt paths, so a hybrid was perfect.' It was his children's interest in cycling, in fact, that prompted his return to two wheels. They wanted to ride more, and an enthusiast cyclist at work, Mark Spratt, mentioned a local bike club, Newport Social Cycling. It sowed a seed. 'My kids are aged 7 and 10, and they wanted to ride further than the bottom of our street. To get them out and about, my wife and I needed bikes too. Cycling as a family, we could then take advantage of the local cycle paths on weekends.' As well as being a leisure activity that the whole family could share, starting cycling again has made Paul fitter. 'At 51, I needed more exercise,' he acknowledges. 'I started riding to work once a week and worked up to daily, which I have been doing since April. My initial goal was to ride the hills en route without stopping, then to reduce the time travelling. It's a great workout for heart and lungs.' Paul's commute is around five miles each way by bike, shorter than it would be by car because he doesn't have to take a roundabout route to avoid traffic jams near the motorway. On a bike, he bypasses these; he's able to take advantage of more direct cycle routes. He reckons it takes him hardly any longer to get to work than it did by car.

Fact file

Name: Paul Seymour Lives: Newport Occupation: Chartered Accountant Commute: One short sharp hill, then level or downhill on main roads for 2.5 miles, then another 2.5 miles on cycle paths. Same route home, except it's more uphill. Frequency: Daily Cyclescheme bike: Giant Escape 3 hybrid Why I started cycle commuting: To take our kids out and about, my wife and I needed bikes ourselves.

'The cycle routes are a mixture of combined cycle/pedestrian paths and white bicycle icons painted on quiet roads. Except when buses disembark, the paths are fairly quiet, just the occasional pedestrian or other cyclist.' The main-road sections of Paul's commute are busier, of course, as they're packed with drivers on their way to work and mums and dads doing the school run. If he could change one aspect of his journey, that would be it: more cycle paths. They would make life easier for him and, more significantly, for his kids. 'A bike path from home to the local schools would enable my children

and others to enjoy the benefits of cycling, and it would cut down on the traffic. The Welsh Assembly announced £5million in April for safe walking and cycling routes to schools, so we will see if any of this money is put to good use locally.' Paul is driving far fewer miles himself now, and he's already noticing the difference in expenditure. 'I just fill the car up once a month and only use it for ferrying kids to various activities,' he says. 'My car insurance is due now and I will be able to reduce the mileage so that premium may reduce.' Like most cycle commuters, Paul would unreservedly recommend this way of getting to work to others. He suggests that anyone who hasn't cycled for a while would benefit from riding with a more experienced cyclist or a local cycling club, to get the hang of trafficked roads. 'But if neither are available, go online: there's lots of advice on how to ride on roads, pass cars, choose routes, and so on. Then just go for it like I did. Keep going, don't give up, and don't try to overachieve. It is supposed to be pleasurable too. It gets easier over time. Now it gives me a great feeling of satisfaction and relaxation.' Paul commutes with a small backpack, which holds his clothes, lunch, tools, and spare innertube; his lock is attached to the bike frame. Of the equipment that he included in his Cyclescheme package, he rates his waterproof jacket most highly. 'My Altura Night Vision Evo kept me warm and dry in the spring, and I've noticed that cars tend to pass closer and quicker when I'm not wearing this very fluorescent jacket. My flashing Knog Blinder rear light also gets me noticed.' www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Autumn/Winter 2014

My Cyclescheme Get more online cyclescheme.co.uk Cycle Commuter magazine is just the beginning. Visit the Cyclescheme website for regular news, bike and equipment reviews, and 'how to' features. There's loads of information and support for employers and employees, and you can log on to My Cyclescheme to track your certificate. You can even read digital copies of past issues of Cycle Commuter.

Further reading Here's just a sample of Cyclescheme's reviews, guides, interviews, and offers. Go to cyclescheme.co.uk/community and browse, or add the suffix provided to the usual cyclescheme.co.uk address to go straight there.

How to wear a cycle helmet /community/how-to/how-to-wear-a-cycle-helmet You just put it on your head and buckle up the straps, right? Wrong. To function properly, a cycle helmet needs to be worn properly. How to cycle up hills /community/how-to/how-to-cycle-up-hills There are two ways to climb hills easily by bike. One is to be a racing whippet. The other is to make sure your bike has low gears – really low gears. Bike bag essentials round-up /community/round-ups/round-up-bike-bag-essentials With the right kit in your commuter bag, you'll cope with whatever the day throws at you. Here's what to pack in your rucksack or pannier.

Social Media Follow Cyclescheme on Twitter for the latest updates, or share your 140-character thoughts with us. You can find us at @cycleschemeltd or twitter.com/cycleschemeltd You can also catch up with us via our Facebook page: visit facebook.com/cyclescheme or just search for 'Cyclescheme' when you're logged on to Facebook.

Women's road bikes round-up /community/round-ups/round-up-womens-road-bikes More and more people are buying road bikes these days, and it's not just MAMILs (middle-aged men in Lycra) but women too. Over to you: Super Commuter Chloe /community/over-to-you/commuter-tales-chloe Find out how Chloe went from feeling lethargic and tired on her morning train commute, to relishing her cycle to work on her singlespeed. Safe & secure with British Cycling /community/featured/british-cycling-safe-and-secure A sad fact of cycling is that bikes get stolen. Whether from your home or when you’re out and about, your bike is always at risk from theft. Here’s what you can do.

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URBAN

UPGRADE YOUR COMMUTE

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Cycle Commuter #13  

Cycle Commuter #13 is packed with news, reviews and commuting tips for cyclists of all abilities. There's advice on how to choose the right...

Cycle Commuter #13  

Cycle Commuter #13 is packed with news, reviews and commuting tips for cyclists of all abilities. There's advice on how to choose the right...