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Traffic light tactics

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Lighten the load

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Sort your online bargain

Issue #17

£1.95 where sold

2016/17

Well

seasoned

Top tips for riding to work all year round

Countdown to your commute! 1 month, 1 week, 1 day…

Dress to chill Casual looking clothing made for cycling

FEA TUR ING

49

TOP CYC LIN G PR OD UC TS

Inside this issue…

Disc brake, town & electric bikes n Locks n Waterproof jackets n Panniers n & more! n


MAKE IT YOURS...

CUBE ATTAIN PRO DISC £799,-

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CUBE BIKES, PLEASE VISIT WWW.CUBE.EU


U T. ALL ABO

Contents

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Welcome to Cyclescheme

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How the Cycle to Work scheme will save you money

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

Issue #17

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

F E AT U R E S

BIKE ROUND-UPS

Traffic light tactics 16

30

Skills to help you go with the flow

How to: minimise your load

Carry less, enjoy the ride more

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How to: set up your online purchase 27 Saved even more money by buying a bike online? Chances are it’ll need tweaking…

Counting down

From buying your bike, to leaving the house: follow this countdown to a smooth first commute

All year long

Become a seasoned commuter and cycle to work 12 months of the year

The Cyclescheme 7: Beto Montejo

Beto became a Bromptoneer and hasn’t looked back

My Cyclescheme

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56

38 Road bikes with disc brakes

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Entry-level e-bikes

38 

Town bikes

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Drop bar road bikes are great for fast commutes, but you also want reliable stopping whatever the weather You can buy a bike through Cyclescheme for more than £1,000, and here are three to look at if you want to go down the electric avenue

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Sit up and enjoy the ride as you coast past the traffic jams…

TOP PRODUCTS & ESSENTIAL KIT

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Stuff

12

Lycra-free lady

22

Waterproofs

35

Locks

42

Panniers

50

The best gear for your commute and beyond Get kitted out for your commute without going skintight

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Go online to get more from Cyclescheme

From lightweight packables for a summer shower, to mid-winter heavyweights

Now you’ve got your bike, don’t let anyone steal it

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 2016

Bags for your bike that turn into bags you can carry

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

3


FL300

300

A lightweight, micro USB rechargeable bicycle light, the FL300 features an intuitive, dial operated, 300-lumen Cree headlamp housed in a tough, 6063 series sandblasted aluminium body. Supported by bright ‘get home safe’ LEDs that glow red or white and a multi position mount, the FL300 is suitable for front or rear use.

/ new lights

Fabric FL300 £49.99. Lights from £29.99. Instore now. Fabric.cc

Dial controlled brightness.


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 If your earnings are equivalent to the national minimum/living wage, you may be able to benefit from a discount as part of a special arrangement with your employer If your employer is not signed up, invite them here: http://cycsch.me/invite-emp

• •

•

About

Cyclescheme... Cyclescheme helps you save money on a new bike for work. Get on board and save at least 25% on your next bike! Cyclescheme offers big savings on the best bikes and kit. Dealing with Cyclescheme’s network of over 2,000 retailers gives you the widest choice of equipment. It's also the most convenient, easy and enjoyable way of getting a new bike or accessories for cycling to work.

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he Cycle to Work scheme allows you to save money on the cost of a new bike and accessories through a

simple salary sacrifice arrangement with your employer. The way it works is simple – you give up part of your salary and receive an equivalent benefit that is exempt from Income Tax and National Insurance (NI). What does this mean in practice? Well, technically it’s your employer who buys the bike. You then hire the bike and accessories from your employer, and pay back the cost of the bike from your gross salary (before tax). Once you have saved your tax and NI and paid our low end of hire fee, savings are at least 25%. Cyclescheme works with over 2,000 retailers across the UK, giving you access to a massive amount

of choice and expert advice on equipment selection. To locate your local store, or to browse the online options available to you, head to http://cycsch.me/retail. Cyclescheme runs schemes with a number of companies including the BBC, Google, Rolls-Royce, Tesco and Jaguar Land Rover, as well as scores of police forces, councils, universities, blue-chip companies, and many government departments too. So come on in, put your feet up, and let us give you a guided tour of the bikes, the accessories, and the savings that are on offer when you join Cyclescheme. Happy cycling! www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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

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ax is complicated; Cyclescheme is not. You choose a bike, hire it for an agreed length of time, then snap it up for a fraction of its original value. It's like a yearround sale, with interest free credit available in 2,000 retailers 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 Cyclescheme package

2

Submit your application

Decide on the package that suits you. The most popular one is the Cyclescheme package, consisting of both a bike and accessories. Or you perhaps you prefer a bike package with no extras. If you already have a bike, you can just apply for an accessory package. Remember, if you’re visiting a retailer they can give you expert one-to-one advice; if you shop online, do your research, check reviews and make sure you get your bike sizing correct. Head to http://cycsch.me/retail to choose your store or online retailer and get planning. This couldn’t be easier. If your employer is signed up with Cyclescheme, they’ll have a unique employer code to use when you apply via cyclescheme.co.uk. If your employer isn’t signed up, they can join for free in just a few clicks. Point them here: http://cycsch.me/emp. 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

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Get your Cyclescheme Package

With your application approved and paid for (by your employer), it’s time to exchange your Certificate for your Cyclescheme package. Contact your retailer and arrange a time to pop in and pick up your equipment. If you shopped online, your package can be delivered to an address that suits you, or you can opt for the click-and-collect service that some retailers offer. 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).

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Transfer of ownership

When the Hire Agreement and salary sacrifice ends, you can keep your Cyclescheme package by making a final payment. Extended Use Agreement (EUA)

3%

7%

Values under £500

Values over £500

It's a small amount, however. For a 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 can then be 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 http://cycsch.me/calc 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 http://cycsch.me/faq

Quick-fire questions How much will I save with Cyclescheme? At least 25%, all in with no extras. If you are a higher rate taxpayer, you save at least 35%. What can I obtain 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 eCertificate? A voucher. It’s what you give to the bike retailer 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. This is explained below. 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

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News Cycle to Work Day success More miles, more smiles – 14 September 2016 was a record breaker…

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ycle to Work Day 2016 was a record breaking year, with new records set across the board on all levels from cyclist involvement, miles ridden, employers pledged and retailers pledged. Here at Cyclescheme we were thrilled to see just how successful the day was in encouraging people to take to two wheels and enjoy the pleasure of everyday cycling. You may have already seen the fantastic infographic we made to commemorate the record breaking year, but in case you haven’t, here it is again in all its glory for you to enjoy. Here are just a few of our favourite stats from the day: l The total miles pledged for Cycle To Work Day would take you more than 27 times around the world 8

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

 ver 1,000 employers O took part in Cycle To Work Day and they had a combined workforce of over 1.3 million staff l Enough calories were burned on Cycle To Work Day to complete over 165 Le Tour de France races  l The CO2 saved on Cycle to Work Day equated to more than 19 return flights from London to Sydney. One of the most popular acts on Cycle to Work Day – other than riding to work! – was for cyclists to share photos of themselves and their bike on their commute. This created a great buzz and it was fantastic to see the camaraderie and the enjoyment everyone had in taking part. You can view thousands of l

the photos on the Cycle to Work Day Facebook gallery here: http://cycsch.me/ ctwd2016pics. Cycle to Work Day was not just a buzz in the digital sphere but also in the press and on television and radio across dozens of UK TV and radio programmes with Cycle to Work Day ambassador Chris Boardman MBE, former Olympic Gold medallist, fronting the campaign. You can listen


News

Sustrans has it covered! No excuses for getting lost – Sustrans has mapped every mile of the National Cycle Network

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to Radio 2's interview with Chris Boardman here: http://cycsch.me/ chris-radio. Cycle to Work Day was launched by Cyclescheme and supported by partners Halfords, British Cycling, Cycling UK, Sustrans, Love to Ride, Santander Cycles, the Bicycle Association, Act TravelWise, London Cycling Campaign and others, with the campaign aim to see a million people get on their bikes to work by 2021.

he UK’s first complete cycle map series has been published, covering 14,000 miles of cycle routes and more than 100 recommended day rides. A set of Northern Ireland maps was the latest to be published by sustainable transport charity Sustrans, completing a 53-map series of pocket guides mapping the entire National Cycle Network. Sustrans started working on the maps in 2012, and will continue updating them as new routes are added. The last maps of this kind were published in the 1950s, before the National Cycling Network existed.  “Our new Pocket Map series is everything you need to plan your trip,” says Martyn Brunt, head of mapping at Sustrans. “It covers all National Cycle Routes and major

routes and we’re updating them all the time as new routes are added. “We’ve been working on the maps since 2012, starting on the south coast of England and working northwards to Scotland. Northern Ireland and London were the last maps which complete the series.” Sustrans says more than 85,000 maps, produced by its Four Points Mapping Team, have been sold so far, and several reprinted because they sold out. Cornwall is the most popular, selling out three times since its launch. Other top sellers include the Dorset Downs, Kent, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, the Peak District, Severn and Thames, South West Wales, Yorkshire Wolds and York, and the North Yorkshire Moors. You can find out more and buy the maps at sustrans.org.uk. www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Don’t stop! Winter’s a wonderful time for exercising

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e may be in the darkest depths of the winter months – but at Cyclescheme we’re trying to encourage more riders to beat the hibernation blues by keeping on cycling all year round. Research by Cyclescheme shows that workers spend on average just an hour a day outdoors during autumn and winter. Most UK employees acknowledge that this inactivity negatively affects their physical and mental wellbeing, reducing concentration and productivity at work. On top of that they admit it leads to weight gain, increased stress and affects their moods and health. What more do you need to convince you that winter can be wonderful for exercising? Olympic cycling champion Chris Boardman is encouraging commuters to stay active and spend as much time outdoors as they possibly can. “It’s not surprising that we spend as little as an hour outdoors during the cooler months,” he said. “But winter is also the season that brings us most opportunities for overindulgence so it’s definitely worth the effort to keep active through the colder months. “The trick is to work it into your daily routine. Walking and riding to work, for example, is an ideal way to keep body and mind in great shape. With good waterproofs and mudguards, it’s easy to enjoy a British winter on two wheels, so when everyone else goes into hibernation, you can feel good throughout the party season.” Turn to the feature on page 52 for more ideas on how to enjoy cycling all year round.

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www.cyclescheme.co.uk

SMART

CHOICES

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ou’ve got your dream bike through Cyclescheme. Now we can help make you fit for the future with the latest smart health technology. With Techscheme, a new employee benefit, we’re right at the heart of the wellness revolution. Here are just a few of the products now available. lA  ctivity Trackers – automatically track and record steps, runs, distance walked, swim sessions, heart rate, elevation climbed and calories burnt. l S  mart Scales – track weight, BMI, body fat & water percentage, muscle mass, bone mass and standing heart rate enabling assessment of overall cardiovascular health. l S  mart Alarm Clock – wake up energised with gradually increasing light that mimics sunrise together with specially engineered wake-up sounds. Then there’s smart home technology – smart heating, smart lighting, smart home monitoring kit and smart remotes, all at fingertip control wherever you are via your smartphone. Like Cyclescheme, Techscheme saves you money. You can save on a vast range of electronics, computers, tablets, smart health and home automation products. Your employer pays for the order and then recovers the cost from your gross salary over a 12, 24 or 36-month period. Paying via salary sacrifice enables you to save up to 12% on National Insurance, making a wide range of technology affordable – now.


FUN SIZE. BIG ATTITUDE. The Femto Duo is a super compact front/rear combo light making it an essential accessory for commuters and serious cyclists alike. Compatible with nearly all vented-style helmets, the Femto Duo is an easy way to add visibility with little weight penalty. NEW FOR YEAR 10 FEMTO DUO 50 Grams (including strap mount)

FRONT

REAR

ANGIE HOHENWARTER MTB AMBASSADOR

PHOTO: SEBAS ROMERO

PROUDLY DISTRIBUTED BY UPGRADE BIKES LTD. INFO@UPGRADEBIKES.CO.UK | 01403 711 611


STUFF Bringing you the very best cycling gear for your daily commute and beyond OnGuard Bulldog Mini 8013 U-Lock RRP: £28.99 | Cyclescheme price: £20.58

The Bulldog promises heavyweight security for people who travel light. It’s rubber-coated to protect your precious paintwork. And, just in case you’re forgetful, it comes with five keys – one with a useful LED light. todayscyclist.co.uk

Lezyne Micro Drive 400XL/Strip Pair RRP: £64.99 |

Maxxis Roamer £19.99 |

£14.19

£46.14

You can buy cheap, disposable lights but it pays in the long run to invest in quality. This front light is a super-bright 400 lumens that, like the Strip Drive rear, has a variety of flashing and full beam options. Both lights are USB rechargeable. upgradebikes.co.uk

As the name suggests, this is a tyre for clocking up the miles, not winning races. It uses ‘Kevlar Inside’ technology for puncture protection, and its 42mm width means plenty of air for a comfy, cushioned commute. extrauk.co.uk

Bontrager Air Rush Mini Pump/CO2 Inflator £24.99 |

£17.74

Puncture panic? This two-in-one pump will soon have you back in business. Screw in a CO2 cartridge or just use the high-pressure manual pump. It’s compact, weighs just 68g, and can be mounted on your bike. trekbikes.com/gb/en_GB 12

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Stuff

Deuter Pants Protector £9.99 |

£7.09

Grandads rode with metal trouser clips to protect their turn-ups. And haven’t we all tucked jeans into socks while riding? Well, here’s a neater and safer solution – a reflective legband that’s light and comfortable with a Velcro fastening. Just like grandad’s old clips – but better. i-ride.co.uk Cyclescheme price

TSG Status

The Cyclescheme price is the most you will pay for a given item, including Transfer of Ownership fees. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will pay less.

£64.99 | £46.14

Here’s a bright idea for an urban-style bike helmet – a removable LED light on the back to help keep you visible in the dark. Talking of light, the Status is only 270g, with a dialadjuster system for a comfortable fit. ison-distribution.com

Topeak Mini 9 Multi Tool £12.99 |

£9.22

You never know when you’ll need to adjust your saddle or deal with a more serious mechanical. This mini multi-tool is big on strength and versatility with seven Allen keys, a T25 Torx tool and a Phillips screwdriver, and weighs only 92g. extrauk.co.uk

dhb Women’s Flashlight Windproof Gilet £35 |

£24.85

A lightweight high-vis gilet is a wardrobe must. This is light and bright, with reflective patches. It’s windproof and water-resistant, with a mesh back to stop the sweat. Versatile and effective. wiggle.co.uk

Giant D-Fuse Seat Collar £9.99 |

£7.09

A rack is the best way of easing your load, but if your frame doesn’t have the necessary holes to fit one, don’t despair – you can always get a seat collar with an integrated rack mount. This one’s for Giant and Liv models with a D-Fuse seatpost. giant-bicycles.com/en-gb/

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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WORK OUT NOT IN

This is where it all begins. When you decide to start your own FITNESS REVOLUTION. When you decide to work out, not in. The speed and handling of a Cannondale road bike, with the comfort and control of an upright flat-bar position makes the Quick the ultimate high-performance urban fitness machine. START THE CYCLE with the ALL NEW

TEST RIDE THE QUICK TODAY AT YOUR LOCAL CANNONDALE DEALER. FIND OUT MORE AT CANNONDALE.COM FROM £549 TO £1,499 RRP


Traffic light tactics

Stop at red, go on green: traffic lights are simple, aren’t they? For cycle commuters, there are a few other things to consider‌

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ake care at traffic lights. For some road users, a red light is a like a red rag: an excuse to get angry (or careless) and break the rules. Yet it's not bad luck or someone else's fault that the light wasn't green. It's maths. Most lights will be red. Even at a two-way

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www.cyclescheme.co.uk

junction with equal timing, each light will be red half the time; at a similar three-way junction, the lights will be red two-thirds of the time; and so on. Waiting is what traffic lights are for. Fortunately, cyclists don't have to wait as much. Not because red lights

can be ignored on a bike, whatever a minority of metropolitan cyclists think, but because on a bike you can filter (http://cycsch.me/filter). Even better, you can often avoid traffic lights entirely by taking backstreets and cycle tracks. Such a route can be quicker, not to mention quieter, even


Traffic light tactics if it's less direct (http://cycsch.me/slow). If you can't go around traffic lights, however, you'll have to go through… Highway Code recap What the signals mean isn't the same as how they're often interpreted. Red: Stop at the solid white line. If the light is just turning red, listen out for the accelerating engine of the driver who has decided to chance it. Move to one side if necessary. Amber: Stop at the stop line. Go on only if you've already crossed the stop line or you're so close to it that you risk an accident by stopping. Glance back (http://cycsch.me/look) to check on traffic behind you. Red and amber: Don't proceed until green shows. You can put one or even both feet on the pedals and start rolling forward, so long as you don't cross the stop line before the light is green. Green: Not go, but 'go ahead if the way is clear'. Similarly for a green filter arrow. You're less likely to get stuck halfway across a junction on a bike, but it can happen. Avoid. The approach Always assume that you might have to stop. As you approach, shift into a gear that you can accelerate away in. Cover the brakes. Glance behind. If the traffic conditions allow, adjust your speed so that you time your arrival at the lights to avoid stopping. Don't race recklessly for a green, but do back off the pace if you see a red, slowing more and more as you approach. It's easier to stop when you're going slowly. And the light might change, enabling you to carry on. It takes less time and effort to get back up to speed if your bike is moving, so you'll spend less time crossing the junction. If there's no other traffic around, make sure that you ride over one

of the flat rectangles in the tarmac on your approach. The sensor for the traffic light is under there. If you don't ride over it, the light may stay red. Note that some sensors aren't sensitive enough to pick up a single cyclist. The safest option then is to go around the junction as a pedestrian, pushing your bike. If you choose to cycle through a stuck red, do so with extreme caution. Get in position Unless you're filtering (see below), use your approach to take up position in the centre of the leftmost lane that goes in the direction you're heading.

Always assume that you might have to stop. As you approach, shift into a gear that you can accelerate away in. Cover the brakes. Glance behind Take the lane (http://cycsch.me/position). Doing this will make your presence obvious to drivers – and your intentions unambiguous. If you're in the left-most lane and you're too far to the left, you could be 'left hooked' by a left turning driver. If you're in a centre or right-most lane and you're too far to the left, you risk having traffic from behind you passing on both sides. If you're too far left in any lane, a driver could pull up alongside you, hiding you from other traffic. Take that lane! Don't forget that you can give

hand signals when stationary in, or at the head of, a traffic queue, and not just while moving. That will leave the driver behind in no doubt of what you're doing. Filter forwards – sometimes Filtering past the traffic queue is perfectly legal. It's something that Advanced Stop Lines (ASLs) – those boxes with a painted bike outline – actively encourage. They're there because it's safer for everyone if cyclists get through the junction first, rather than being overtaken by drivers in the middle of the junction. When you get into an ASL, position yourself at the head of your lane. ASLs often have a short cycle lane feeding into them. Treat these lanes with care, especially if they're narrow and next to the kerb. There's nothing to stop other traffic drifting into them. So do not use a kerbside cycle lane to pass a lorry or other long vehicle. If you fail to reach the ASL before the traffic starts to move, the lorry could drift or turn left and crush you. Ordinarily, filtering is safest on the driver's side – the right. You might prefer to filter on the left if: you're turning left at the lights; there's no long vehicle in front; and either there's no ASL or you won't reach it. If you were filtering on the right in this situation, you might have to cut across moving traffic to turn left. You can still filter even if there's no ASL. However, it is illegal to wait in front of the stop line. Stop behind the first vehicle in the queue. Eyeball the driver behind you, and when the first driver starts to move, signal and move across to take the lane. Conversely, you don't have to use an ASL. If there are only a few cars in front of you, it can be just as practical to stay where you are and take your lane instead. www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Showing Cycling Mode

Showing Running Mode

£184.99 with Heart Rate strap

£129.99

MICRO COLOUR GPS WATCH

MICRO GPS WATCH

BAR MOUNT INCLUDED Whether you’re a multi-sport athlete, or an all-day adventurer the new Lezyne Micro GPS Watches have features for every occasion. Including bike and run modes for general metrics and wireless connectivity, hike mode for steps and distance, and lifestyle mode as a day-to-day wearable, this watch does it all. The waterresistant design keeps you worry free when things get wet, and the exceptionally long battery life will make sure to keep you going all day.

KEY GPS FEATURES:

CEDRIC GRACIA

MOUNTAIN BIKE LEGEND PHOTO: SEBAS

PROUDLY DISTRIBUTED BY UPGRADE BIKES LTD. INFO@UPGRADEBIKES.CO.UK | 01403 711 611

Strava Live Segments

Turn-by-Turn Navigation

Phone Notifications

Bread Crumb Map

Customisable Data Fields

Lezyne Track

The term STRAVA, the Strava logo and other Strava logos and product and service names are the exclusive trademarks of, and are owned by, Strava, Inc.


How to…

HOW TO

Lighten your Load Carrying less clobber on your commute means less effort and more chances of enjoying the ride

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here’s a charge for excess baggage when you’re riding to work: you pay it in sweat. The more weight you carry, the harder it is to accelerate the bike, particularly uphill. A lighter load lets you ride faster or arrive fresher. Commuting isn’t racing, so weight-saving need not be obsessive. It’s more a matter of losing any dead-weight items in your commuter bag. Lightening the load makes a bigger difference if: your commute is hilly; it’s a long journey; it’s stop-start; you carry your bag on your back; you have to lift your bike at any point; you’re riding a lightweight bike to begin with. It makes less of a difference if you have a short-distance, flat commute and carry the load on your bike. But even then, you www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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might be surprised by what you can leave behind – or ahead.

jacket could stay semi-permanently at your workplace.

Clothing: wear or carry? The simplest, lightest way to get your office clothes to work is to wear them as you cycle there. You need a few things for this strategy to work. Your commute needs to be undemanding enough that you don’t break into a sweat. You have to be content to cycle at a steady pace. Your luggage must go on the bike. And your bike must be comfortable and practical to ride in normal clothes, with full-length mudguards, perhaps a chainguard or chaincase, and a comfortable saddle that doesn’t require padded shorts. Good choices include a roadster (http://cycsch.me/roadsters), a fullyequipped hybrid (http://cycsch.me/ equipped) or a pedelec (http://cycsch. me/pedelec). If your bike or your commute isn’t best suited to everyday attire, you can still avoid carrying in clothing by choosing casual cycling gear that is smart enough to double as workwear: cycling shoes with recessed cleats (http://cycsch.me/casual-shoes), cycling jeans that don’t have thick seams where you’d sit on them, shirts or tops made from wicking fabric, and so on. You’ll want mudguards, onthe-bike luggage, and an easy-does-it attitude for the reasons above. If you’re a Lycra commuter, try to avoid carrying all your office duds every day. If you’ve got somewhere to store them, you could take in five shirts/blouses, your trousers/skirt, and a towel at the start of the week. Three days a week, you’ve then only got to carry your undies. You could take your bike by train (http://cycsch.me/bike-rail) on Monday morning and home on Friday if the accumulated clothing is too awkward to carry all the way. Your shoes and

Leave the lock Security corresponds closely to weight when it comes to bike locks. Good D-locks and chains rated Sold Secure Gold typically weigh 1-2kg – or more. That’s a lot to lug about. So don’t. You have the same destination each day, so leave the lock at work –

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www.cyclescheme.co.uk

in your locker or attached to a cycle stand. If you need a lock at home as well, just buy two; you’re not restricted to one in your Cyclescheme package. A lock that lives outdoors will need lubricating occasionally to stop it seizing up. Turn to page 42 for some buying options. You might be able to do without a lock at all at one or both ends of your journey. If you can park your bike behind a locked door, that may satisfy your worries about theft – and the small print in your insurance policy. If

you commute on a compact folding bike (http://cycsch.me/folders), you may be able to keep it in sight at all times, parking it under your desk at work. Do your digital homework A laptop may allow you to work in different locations with access to all your important files, but it’s a lot of weight to haul daily on your bike: 2-3kg for a typical 15in model. Consider: l Getting a smaller, lighter laptop. An 11in ultra-portable might weigh only 1kg. Peripherals, such as bigger screen, DVD drive, or keyboard can be plugged in at either end of your journey. l Carrying just the data. A portable hard drive could contain all your work files and will weigh a fraction of your laptop. A flash drive can fit on a keyring. l Cloud storage. Documents that live online can be accessed anywhere. IMAP email (bit.ly/cyclescheme-imap) offers the same convenience for email and is available free. Don’t accumulate clutter Use the smallest pannier(s), saddlebag, backpack or courier bag that will accommodate everything you need. Lay out everything you plan to take and then put it in a carrier bag or shoe box. That’s the size of bag you need. A big bag is easily filled with non-essential stuff, and you might even forget what you’ve ‘temporarily’ stashed there. De-clutter periodically by emptying and repacking. But don’t leave home without… Anything you’re likely to need on your journey can’t be jettisoned. Find room somewhere for your essential tools, a waterproof jacket, and your bike lights (if not fastened to the bike).


THERE’S AN FX FOR YOU

“What kind of bike should I get?” It’s a question we hear a lot, and there’s really only one good answer: Get the bike you love to ride. FX delivers fitness, functionality, and fun in a sleek, lightweight package that’s just as capable on leisurely rides and commuting as it is on speedy workouts. Find your new favourite ride on FX. TREKBIKES.COM


Vulpine Cotton Rain Trousers £139 | : £98.69 These stylish bottoms are a perfect way to cycle to work without looking too ‘bikey’. Made from Epic Cotton, they combine casual looks with enough cycling details to make them comfortable on the bike and off: a seamless diamond gusset, button ankle adjusters, reflective inner seams, zip pocket for valuables, tough belt loops and a key carabiner. And, as the name suggests, they’re also water resistant. vulpine.co.uk

Endura

Wms FlipJak Reversible Jacket

£99.99 | : £70.99 Don’t like the colour? Flip it! Bright pink should make you stand out on the bike, black will help you merge into the crowd when off it. This warm and insulated jacket looks casual but works well on the bike, shrugging off showers and keeping you snug on your ride to and from work. Front pockets and a hood are useful off the bike, while reflective details help keep you safe cycling. (Also available in turquoise/ green.) endurasport.com

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Round-up

RIES ACCESSO ES PA C K A G

Lycra-free lady There are plenty of ways to dress for your commute without going down the skintight road – here’s how to kit yourself out for a Lycra-free ride to work

Cyclescheme price The Cyclescheme price is the most you will pay for a given item, including Transfer of Ownership fees. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will pay less.

Squire Eiger Compact U-lock £44.99 | : £31.94 Keep your pride and joy locked up safe while you’re at work or when you’ve stopped off on the way home for a quick shop/cuppa/aperitif… Its 210mm length should mean the inner space fills easily when fixed to railings or bike-specific lockup points, making it harder for thieves to attack. It earns a highest Sold Secure Gold rating (see page 43), and comes in red, yellow, green or blue. raleigh.co.uk

Giro Civila Shoes £129.99 | : £92.29 At first glance these look like a pair of casual lace-ups, but on the sole you’ll find fixings for cleats so they can be used on the bike with clipless pedals. Unlike full-on cycling shoes, you’ll still be able to walk in these, with their replaceable ‘high-traction walking pads’. The upper is perforated microfibre, with a Micro-suede inner and heel. zyro.co.uk

SKS Longboard £34.99 | : £24.84 It’s surprising how dry full-length mudguards can keep you, even in the pouring rain. As the name suggests, the SKS Longboards are slightly longer than standard guards, helping to keep your feet dry from spray on your wet commute. They come in 35 and 45mm widths to fit over various tyre sizes, so check which ones your bike frame can accommodate. zyro.co.uk

Club Ride Deer Abby Women’s Jersey £40 | : £28.40 This could have come off the rails of your high street clothing store, except it’s made of Sheer2Dry fabric. It’s lightweight and breathable, and wicks away any sweat you might build up on your way to work. Cap sleeves and ruched sides are pretty details, though you’ll also find reflectives and rear pockets for essentials. hotlines-uk.com

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Cube WLS Race Touch Long Finger Gloves £35.99 | : £25.55 For those many months of the year when you want neither full-on insulated winter gloves nor fingerless summer mitts, Cube’s WLS Race Touch gloves are ideal. Long fingered but slim fitting, they provide enough protection to keep chills off on cool mornings, but good ventilation means you won’t overheat. A seamless palm keeps them comfy, while touchscreen-compatible fingers let you call home in emergencies without having to take them off. They do come up quite small, though. cube.eu

Cateye Volt 400 £59.99 | : £42.59 Looking to commute by bike all year round? Unfortunately long summer days give way to long winter nights, and chances are you’ll be riding home (and maybe to work) in the dark. With its 400-lumen highest setting, the Volt 400 will help you see and be seen. It comes with a Flextight bracket for wrapping round your handlebar. zyro.co.uk

Ortlieb Barista Handlebar Bag £135 | : £95.85 This chic, urban design is as practical as it is stylish, clipped to your handlebar or slug over your shoulder. In typical Ortlieb fashion it’s waterproof, made from a PU-laminated Corduracotton mix, and features inner pockets for organising your essentials, and magnetic closures. To go with the name, it’s available in coffee or, erm, pepper… lyon.co.uk/outdoor

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

RRP

Cyclescheme Price

£486.56

£417.57

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£40.80

£34.80

1 End of Hire payment

£50.40

£50.40

25%

35%

£179.98

£251.97

£719.94

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


ALLROAD

ROAD

MOUNTAIN

RACEBLADE PRO CLIP-ON MUDGUARD SETS Available in two sizes – up to 25 mm and XL up to 32 mm tyre width

Double hinged quick release fitting system with elastic straps. Also fits aero forks/frames No additional adapters required

Preassembled stainless stays for additional stiffness

New preassembled super-thin front & rear mud flaps

NEW

The SKS Raceblade Pro takes clip-on full coverage mudguards to the next level, offering complete adjustability for the perfect fit. You never know what the British weather will bring, so you can now Clip on, Clip off with the leading mudguard brand in the market.

Perfect custom fitting thanks to stainless stays that adjusts for both length & the angle of the stays. No need to bend anymore.

Covered by a 5 year warranty, SKS Raceblade Pro are disc brake compatible. 2 sizes available: Raceblade Pro, up to 25mm; Raceblade Pro XL, up to 32mm.

SKS-GERMANY.COM DISTRIBUTED IN THE UK & IRELAND BY

ZYRO FISHER

WWW.ZYROFISHER.CO.UK

G E R M A N Y


HOW TO

How to...

Set up your online bargain N Buying a bike online can cut the cost on top of your Cyclescheme savings, but be prepared to do a little prepping yourself

o matter how keen you are to get out on your new online/mail order purchase, chances are you’ll find some matters to attend to before you can ride it, once you’ve cut through the plastic webbing on the cardboard box. The jobs you’re most likely to encounter are: turning the handlebar and stem to face the front, turning the fork to do likewise, and inserting the front wheel. You will also have to attach the pedals. Brakes and gears should have been set up at the factory or shop, but the accuracy with which this is done can be highly variable. Also, bikes tend to go out of adjustment at the slightest provocation, so you may find they need a little fine-tuning.

Tools and to-dos Rummage through the box until you find the instructions. Read them. They might be in Chinese, but they might include some vital knowledge specific to your bike. Fail to apply this and you could receive an unsympathetic hearing from the vendor when your handlebar falls off. Often you’ll find some tools needed to assemble the bike included in the box. You might need to supplement them with a screwdriver (for fitting reflectors and adjusting brakes and gears) and a spanner (for stirring your tea). A torque wrench is a good idea, so you don’t overtighten anything – or www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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involve undoing your headset (you’ll find some information here http://cycsch.me/steering or look up a video). Adjusting your headset will also prevent any wobble at the front end, or tendency for the steering to bind. When that’s done, tighten the bolts that hold the stem to the fork steerer. This is most important, as you will otherwise learn at the first corner… Be sure to tighten the bolts evenly, each a little at a time. You should find the bolts that hold the bar to the stem are already tight, but if not, or you want to change the angle of the bar, be sure to tighten them afterwards, again applying a halfturn at a time to each bolt.

leave anything too loose. A workstand will make life easier, but if you don’t have one anything that keeps the bike upright is better than nothing – a broom handle through the frame and hung on two stools, for example, or bungee ropes over the rafters to hang the bike on. This lets you get to the gears and turn the transmission while you tweak. Bar and stem So, first things first: turn the handlebar and stem to face forwards. Do make sure the bar is facing forward and not backwards, and that the fork is the right way around. This catches a few people out, even some who should know better… Also check the cables haven’t got wrapped around the fork in the process; if turning the bar tends to apply the brake or change gear, this is probably the cause. You might also want to change the height of your bar, by taking spacers out from underneath and sticking them on top (or vice versa). This will 28

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Front wheel Now fit the front wheel. A tip here is always to make sure both wheels are in straight before doing any other adjustments. Take the bike out of the workstand, put it on the floor and undo the quick releases, then do them up again. This ensures that everything has settled squarely between the dropouts. With the bike back in the stand, re-hook the brake cables and give the levers a squeeze. Spin the wheels. Any side-to-side movement might mean the wheel is out-of-true and some work by someone proficient with a spoke wrench is required. Check that the brake pads line up correctly with the rim – that means, not touching the tyre or going into the spokes. It’s easy to fine-tune the pad position on most rim brakes: pull the brake on, loosen the pad nut (usually requiring a 5mm Allen key) and realign it. Tighten the nut and release the lever. Done. Adjusting the little screws on the side of the callipers allows you to ensure an even space between rim and pads on each side. (See more here, http://cycsch.me/brakes.)

Pedals It’s easier to check the gear adjustment once the pedals are on, so do that next. There’s a left pedal and a right pedal. Trying to screw the left pedal into the right crank (or vice versa) will lead to tears before bedtime and possibly some expensive damage. The reason is that the left pedal screws on in the reverse direction – so, anti-clockwise as you look from the side. It’s a good idea to smear anti-seize grease on the pedal threads before putting them in. In a spin Now twirl the pedals and check how the transmission parts are performing. This should be a beautiful symphony. If it sounds like Schoenberg, it’s adjustment time. There isn’t room here to go into all the details, but there are plenty of online tutorials available – and find more here http://cycsch.me/gears. Check all your nuts and bolts are tight, pump up your tyres… and ride!


Exclusive collection.

Pick your perfect commute.

Road Team Carbon CYCLESCHEME PRICE RRP

£999.99

Higher Rate Tax Payer

£579.99

12 monthly hire payments

£48.33

Total Saving

£420.00

Devil CYCLESCHEME PRICE RRP

£799.99

Higher Rate Tax Payer

£463.99

12 monthly hire payments

£38.67

Total Saving

£336.00

Race 8.30 CYCLESCHEME PRICE RRP

£1000.00

Higher Rate Tax Payer

£580.00

12 monthly hire payments

£48.33

Total Saving

£420.00 Preferred logo options NB: The grey background can be altered in size dependant on the usage. Refer to guidelines for exclusion zones etc.

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 a EUA with Cyclescheme. There are no further payments during the EUA period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme. Prices correct at time of going to print

Exclusively available at


Pinnacle Dolomite 4 RRP: £800 | Cyclescheme price: £600

Cyclescheme price

Evans Cycles’ typically good value own-brand road bike is aimed at the commuter looking for a capable weekend ride. The aluminium frame is smoothwelded for a sleek look and the fork is carbon with an aluminium steerer. There are mounting points for a rear rack, and enough room for mudguards, though they are not fitted as standard and Evans says you can’t fit anything fatter than a 25mm tyre with mudguards in place. The Dolomite comes with disc brakes for the first time in 2016 – TRP Spyres – among the best of the current crop of cable-operated disc setups. evanscycles.com

In detail

The Cyclescheme price is the most you will pay for a given item, including Transfer of Ownership fees. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will pay less.

30

Internal cables not only keep the sleek lines of your road bike’s frame free from clutter, they help keep grit and grime out

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

TRP Spyres are easy to set up, reliable and provide good modulation – possibly the best cable-operated disc brakes you can buy


Round-up

ROUND-

UP

R AT ED R I D ES

Disc brake road bikes Road bikes are good for fast commutes (and weekend fun), and those with disc brakes let you control that speed whatever the weather

F

or many people who only have room for one bike in their lives, a sporty road model with drop bars is their choice because, although they might be mixing it in the maelstrom of motorised traffic Monday to Friday, come the weekend they want to get out and ride for fun – with teammates on a club ride, or at a sportive event, for example. Unfortunately, while it’s true that a road bike offers sharp handling and acceleration, which can be a bonus in the bustle of the bus lane, in other respects some road bikes can come up short for daily commuting. Without pannier racks, any daily must-haves need to go in a rucksack, which means you do the carrying instead of the bike. A more sporty or racy geometry than a ‘town’ bike or hybrid gives a less upright riding position, which also means your centre of gravity is raised, and that can upset the bike’s sharp handling. It’s less comfortable, too. You might not have such a good view of the traffic around you as you would get from the saddle of a more upright ride and, if your bike doesn’t have either room or the frame fittings for mudguards, you’re likely to arrive at work with a stripe up your back when the roads are wet. Fortunately, some bike builders are alert to this, and it is possible to get the benefits of a sporty bike while still having provision to fit racks and guards, to give you the best of all worlds. What many also have – and there are more joining them every year – is disc brakes. While mountain bikers have been enjoying the benefits of disc brakes for well over a decade, they have been slower to catch on with road bikes. Technology tends to trickle down from the top, and what is forbidden in the professional peloton is rarely seen in the bike shop; unfortunately, although earlier this year the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) – cycle racing’s governing body – had sanctioned the use of disc brakes in the pro peloton, an accident during the Paris-Roubaix race led to them being suspended. Nevertheless, for those of us not racing there are already plenty of options out there, and that number is only likely to increase. Hydraulic disc brakes are generally still too expensive to feature on road bikes coming in under the £1,000 mark, but cable-operated discs are pretty widespread and offer most of the same advantages – good moderation of braking power, less force required to brake, and good performance in the wet. They also mean that your wheel rims don’t get worn out by your brake pads. Cable-operated disc brakes do tend to need a little more care and attention than self-adjusting hydraulics. In particular, with most models you need to know how to set the distance between the pads and the disc to compensate for pad wear. It isn’t difficult, but it takes a bit of practice to get your eye in. The results are worth it.

Giant Defy 2 Disc £849 | £636.75 The Giant’s specification is similar to the Pinnacle’s, with the same Spyre brakes and Shimano Tiagra 10-speed transmission, but it offers a lower bottom gear which will appeal to those with a hilly commute or creaky knees. The frame and fork are fitted with eyelets for mudguards but not racks, though you can use a special seatpost clamp to adapt it to take a rear rack (see page 12). Giant’s Aluxx SL Aluminium frame is a thing of beauty, designed for comfort over long distances, which many will consider worth the extra £50 over the Pinnacle when the weekend comes. giant-bicycles.com/en-gb

Cannondale Synapse Alloy 105 Disc £999.99 | £749.99 The most expensive of our three bikes, Cannondale moves up a level by speccing a Shimano 105 transmission which gives 11 instead of 10 sprockets at the back. That means fewer steps between gear ratios, so you’re never groping around for a gear you haven’t got. Promax Render R disc brakes do a decent job of stopping, though they’re less sophisticated than the Spyres. It’s another aluminium frame with a carbon fork and Cannondale knows how to make some lovely alloy bikes. Though it doesn’t look like it, the Synapse has both mudguard and rack mounts to boost its appeal to commuters. cyclingsportsgroup.co.uk

JARGON BUSTER Disc brakes With traditional rim brakes, the brake pads operate on the wheel’s rim. With a disc brake, the pads instead act on a metal rotor that’s attached to the wheel’s hub. All other things being equal, a larger rotor will slow you down faster than a smaller rotor.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

31


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This is an example of savings for basic and higher rate taxpayers on this bike package

RRP

Cyclescheme Price

£727.49

£630.49

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£54.96

£46.88

1 End of Hire payment

£67.90

£67.90

25%

35%

£242.49

£339.49

£969.98

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).

32

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


GT started in 1972 by building lighter, stronger bikes for the fast growing young sport of BMX. Since then, GT have made some of the best mountain, road and urban bikes featuring the same original characteristics of durability and dependability. If you’re looking for a bike that won’t let you down, GT has got you covered. Check out the 2017 GT Grade lineup at GTBicycles.com #GoRogue

STREET TOUGH GT Grade FB COMP

£599.99 Models from £599.99 - £849.99


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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Essentials Cyclescheme price

ESSENTI KIT

The Cyclescheme price is the most you will pay for a given item, including Transfer of Ownership fees. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will pay less.

AL

JACKETS Whether it’s a full-on waterproof for winter storms or a lightweight showerproof you can roll up in your pannier for midsummer emergencies, if you’re commuting by bike you’ll need a jacket (or three…)

O

ur wonderful British climate means that even if you leave home on a bright, sunny morning, there’s no real guarantee you won’t have a miserable and wet ride home at the end of the working day. One way to thwart the ‘miserable’ part of the experience is to have the right clothing for the conditions: a warm, waterproof jacket for depth-of-winter commutes, a lightweight emergency ‘shell’ you can pull on to ward off a summer shower. Whether it’s for winter, summer or in between, when choosing a jacket look for longer back panels to keep rain from getting up under the lower hem – a drawcord helps here – along with longer sleeves than you’d generally have in your non-cycling jackets. Adjustable cuffs that can be operated with gloves on are useful too. And, of course, if you’re riding in urban conditions with traffic, look for jackets with a high level of reflective detailing. Ideally, go for ones with detailing that is visible from 360 degrees, as you never know from what angle the next Sorry-Mate-I-Didn’t-See-You will approach from…

Endura Luminite 4 in 1 RRP: £129 |

Cyclescheme price: £91.59

Endura’s Luminite jacket is designed to cocoon you in a protective waterproof breathable 2-layer shell. The outer jacket has all the features you need to trim the fit such as Velcro cuffs, hidden adjustable neck and hem pulls, and a fitted neckline to keep wind and rain out. Zipped vents help you regulate your temperature. The zip-in inner fleece has a high-vis inner face and is reversible. As the name suggests, the Luminite has lots of reflective detailing to ‘pop’ in headlights, as well as an integrated rear LED. endurasport.com

dhb Classic Women’s Rain Shell £50 |

: £35.50

dhb's Classic Women’s Rain Shell employs a 2.5 layer breathable membrane fabric with sealed seams throughout, cut to cheat the wind yet still allow a degree of layering to combat the chills. A short collar is fleece-lined for comfort and warmth, and an elasticated lower hem and cuffs seal out the worst of the weather. A rear pocket can be used to carry light items or to store the jacket itself when not in use. De rigueur reflective elements are present to afford a good degree of night-time visibility. wiggle.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

35


Polaris RBS Pack Me Windproof

Lusso Giro Rain jacket £29.99 |

: £21.29

For much of the year you don’t want or need £54.99 | : £39.04 a full scale multi-layer jacket, and for those The Pack Me is a days a jacket like this lightweight Lusso Giro featherweight reserve Rain is ideal. With a deep rear, for splash jacket to keep in protection, and a short fitted neck, the drips your bag or rolled will stay on the outside. Unfussy soft-fit into a jersey pocket elastic cuffs and hem ensure that the jacket on the off-chance stays put, however energetic you get. A of a shower. The fit is zipped rear pocket and reflective detailing on relaxed without being the rear are useful additions. shapeless, making it ideal for throwing on over other kit. One to keep rolled up in It uses Polaris’s ‘Really Bright Stuff’ reflective detailing and some your pannier for fast in-your-face bright colour to make sure traffic and pedestrians see you in good time. There are no vents, so the main zip controls deployment when that shower hits! heat build-up when you’re pedalling for home, and a rear zip lusso.bike pocket means quick access to essentials. polaris-bikewear.co.uk

Dare2b Reverence £120 |

: £85.20

A DWR (durable water repellent) finish and taped seams mean the Reverence offers great protection against the elements on a ride. But it’s also useful when off the bike: the cut apes an outdoor jacket with a slight drop tail and relatively roomy fit, and it has a detachable (and helmet-friendly) hood. Long sleeves with Velcro cuffs and a drawcord hem help seal out wind and rain, and 360-degree reflective detailing gives essential traffic safety. Hand warmer and chest pockets are useful, and the rear LED light window in the rear pocket is a nice touch. dare2b.com

Altura Microlite £44.99 |

: £31.94

Advances in fabric technology make superlight rain jackets such as this Microlite a genuinely worthy response to a shower. The lightweight shell packs down small enough for even the smallest bag – even a jersey pocket if you’re commuting light. It’s semi-form fitting (tech speak for ‘not too flappy’), and the women’s version is neatly tailored through the body. The drop tail and long sleeves work well to keep you covered, with a rear pocket for small items and reflective trim to help night-time visibility. altura.co.uk 36

Cube Tour Wind Jacket £54.99 |

: £39.04

Cube describes its Tour Wind jacket as a ‘light windbreaker’. It’s made from lightweight, wrinkleresistant fabric called Aerolite, which as well as being windproof is water-repellent for keeping you dry in a shower. It dries quickly too, so if you’ve used it on your morning commute it’ll be ready to pack away for the (dry!) ride home. It has a semi-fitted cut, a zipped chest pocket, vented panels under the arms to help regulate temperature, and 360-degree reflective detailing on the cuffs and hem to help you be seen. cube.eu


Save money on the latest tech & spread the cost! Techscheme gives you access to the latest technology, including highly desirable Apple products, via a simple and convenient salary sacriďŹ ce reduction. Invite your employer today: techscheme.co.uk/invite


Giant Ease E+ RRP: £1099 | Cyclescheme price: £759 Cyclescheme price The Cyclescheme price is the most you will pay for a given item, including Transfer of Ownership fees. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will pay less.

38

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Giant claims a maximum range of 200km from its battery and motor combination on the Ease E+. It does this by using sensors to match the added power to the speed, pedal rotation and the amount of effort you are putting in. The Yamaha front hub motor has a clutch mechanism which disengages when it’s not being called upon, allowing easy freewheeling. A Shimano 8-speed derailleur transmission is protected by a sturdy chainguard. The battery sits under the rear luggage rack, while the step-through frame makes this an easy bike to use, provided you don’t have to lift it. giant-bicycles.com/en-gb


Round-up

ROUND-

UP

R AT ED R I D ES

E-bikes Need some assistance on your cycle to work? Let an electric bike help…

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ike snobs might fear it, but the truth is that, if there is a true cycle commuting revolution in the UK, it’s likely to be electrified. E-bikes break down the last barrier that people erect as a reason why the UK can’t be like the Netherlands in its cycling habits: “Oh, we can’t do that here, it’s far too hilly!” With an electrically assisted bike, those hills are tamed, as are the “Dutch hills” (headwinds). They still can’t keep the rain off, though… You might be considering an e-bike because you live in a hilly area, but there are other benefits besides. In traffic, acceleration is brisk and you can be confident of maintaining a good speed, even when the road starts pointing upwards. It’s true that electric bikes are limited by law to 15.5mph but that’s still faster than the average traffic speed in London! An e-bike might allow you to cover a longer distance between work and home. You certainly won’t have to worry about arriving hot and sweaty. You can carry heavier loads with ease, because the bike does the hard work for you. And for some people with health issues, e-bikes open the gates to cycle travel that have been closed to them. It’s possible to spend a considerable sum on a top-of-the-range electric ride. Cube’s flagship carbon-framed Elite C.62 Hybrid model comes in at almost £5,000. Since we’re well into secondhand car territory here, the benefits of cycling as a cost-effective alternative to the car or public transport start to erode somewhat. Luckily, there are plenty to be had at the more affordable end of the market, even around the £1,000 Cycle to Work scheme limit (you can still make use of the scheme, you simply pay the amount above £1,000 at time of purchase). The obvious question at this price point is, what’s compromised? The answer lies in two areas: the first is that, as with any conventional bike, different price points reflect differences in frame materials and the level of the groupsets (cranks, chain, cassette, brakes) and the wheels, saddle, handlebar and other equipment attached to that frame. Remember, though, “more expensive” does not necessarily translate to “more suitable for commuting”, just as you might not want to drive to work in a Ferrari. The second is in the area of the electricals themselves, and this in particular means the quality and power of the batteries and the motor. Since these make up a big proportion of the cost of the overall package, there is significant room for cost-cutting here. The quality and size of the battery limits how far you can travel on one charge, as well as contributing to the overall weight of the bike (which can be quite a lot, frankly). It may also affect how quickly you can recharge your bike, which might matter if you need a full battery to get you home again. As a rule of thumb, the more you pay, the better the battery you get. However, technology advances rapidly, and today’s budget e-bikes are capable machines.

Raleigh Forge Low Step £1250 | £1000 This is Raleigh’s cheapest electric bike, using a TransX power unit rather than the Bosch system fitted to its more expensive models. With three power-assist settings, the bike is capable of covering a maximum of 85km on a three-hour charge. The power system also runs the fitted lights. As with the Giant, there’s an 8-speed derailleur transmission, covered with a chainguard, and a substantial rear rack, which also houses the battery. The suspension fork will add to the already hefty weight, but might provide a welcome reduction in wrist fatigue over rougher cycle tracks. raleigh.co.uk

Kalkhoff Groove £1295 | £1045 You could easily mistake the Groove for an ordinary pushbike, so discreet is its power unit and so sleek its lines. It’s built at Kalkhoff’s German factory, which turns out half a million bikes a year. The battery and motor combination offers a maximum range of around 80km on lowest power assist setting. As wellsuited to city life as the other two bikes, the Groove is fitted with mudguards, a kickstand and built-in lightset. Unlike the others, it uses a Shimano Nexus 7-speed hub gear which keeps the transmission clean and simple. It also features a suspension fork and seatpost. kalkhoff-bikes.com/en

JARGON BUSTER Power assist If you really, really hate pedalling, a ‘full-power’ e-bike will spark into action with just the twist of a throttle – much like a moped. A ‘power assist’ e-bike requires you to pedal – only then will the electric motor kick in to help you.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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99 E+ £10nt Ease Gia

This is an example of savings for basic and higher rate taxpayers on this bike package

RRP

£1099 12 monthly hire payments 1 End of Hire payment Percentage saving Additional funds you pay*

Total saving

Cyclescheme Price

£849

£659

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

£56.67

£48.33

£70

£70

22.75%

31.85%

£99

£99

£250

£350

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). *You pay this additional amount due to the Cycle to Work scheme limit being £1000.

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GET MORE OUT OF IT AS A MEMBER britishcycling.org.uk/join


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LOCKS Prevent that heartsinking feeling of seeing a space where your bike used to be and get yourself a decent bike lock

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efore fore you rush out and buy a flimsy cable you could cut with a pair of scissors, there are some things to bear in mind when trying to thwart the thieves hoping to steal your pride and joy. Look for Sold Secure ratings. This is the industry marking scheme to explain the level of security you can expect to get from your new lock. Whether you choose a classic heavy duty chain and shackle, to loop through multiple bikes or lock to items, or a U-lock for securing a single bike, look for hardened steel to make cutting the lock a tougher job. Choose a lock with a soft, rubberised covering, which makes the lock nicer to handle and leaves your bike looking beautiful as well as safe. If buying a U-lock, go for the shortest you can usefully get away with, to make prising it open harder. The more you fill the inner void, the harder it is for thieves. The key entry area should also be protected to limit the possibility of picking the lock face away. Other points to consider are spare keys and secure frame fittings – we’ve all ridden behind someone with a U-lock rattling away like a broken maraca. That’s no fun!

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OnGuard Pitbull Mini DT RRP £39.99 |

: Cyclescheme price: £28.39

OnGuard’s Pit Bull Mini DT combines a mini U-lock (with a 140mm shackle) with a 122cm hardened steel flexible cable to deliver the best of both worlds, and the ability to lock your bike and wheels to most bicycle-specific locking points. The lock comes with five coded keys, useful for stashing spares if you’re prone to losing them, one of which has an integrated light. An integrated frame mount and quick release bracket means you can carry it on your bike easily. todayscyclist.co.uk

Squire Mako Combi 18/900 Plus £39.99 |

: £28.39

The advantage of compact coil locks like this Mako Combi from Squire is their versatility and their ability to be carried easily. The flexible steel cable allows easy locking of a variety of bike frame shapes to a variety of secure locations, which can sometimes foil a fixed shape U-lock. The Mako Combi uses a numeric dial combination in place of a key, which is handy if you’re prone to losing them – though not so good if you’re forgetful! raleigh.co.uk


Essentials

Hiplok DXC £79.99 |

: £56.79

Hip by name and hip by function, the Sold Secure Gold-rated DXC uses an integrated carry clip (with reflective detail), designed to let you attach the lock to the waistband of your jeans – ideal for bag-free commuting. The nylon cover on the 14mm hardened steel shackle protects your frame’s paintwork, and should you need extra capacity the lock comes with a metre-long hardened steel cable to thread through wheels, other bikes, or anything else you need to secure. hiplok.com

Masterlock Integrated Combination Chain Lock £19.99 |

Cyclescheme price The Cyclescheme price is the most you will pay for a given item, including Transfer of Ownership fees. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will pay less.

Knog Strongman £79.99 |

: £14.19

While not quite as easily portable or light as a coil or U-lock, when it comes to securing multiple bikes together at home or if travelling, the extra length and flexibility of a nylon sleeved chain comes into its own. Thread the 900mm chain through the frames and wheels and secure with the integrated combination lock. The 8mm diameter chain is hardened steel to resist cutting – the only problem you should have is remembering your chosen combination. fisheroutdoor.co.uk

: £56.79

Aussie brand Knog makes some quality locks and the Strongman is its best-selling U-lock. It’s made using an investment cast process for a strong and secure shackle closed with a double deadlock – it works too, as the Strongman gains the Sold Secure Gold rating. The Strongman is covered with a soft but durable rubberised coating, so your paintwork is protected as well as the bike. The lock comes with a neat frame mount that is fast to fit and rattle-free. silverfish-uk.com www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Oxford Alarm-D Mini £64.99 |

: £46.14

The name’s a bit of a giveaway… yes, this lock will belt out a 120-decibel alarm if it’s tampered with. It’s rated Sold Secure Silver, and has a 14mm hardened steel shackle. The alarm is powered by a long-lasting lithium battery, and the lock comes with three keys. This mini size is 205mm long, or there’s a bigger (Midi) option that’s 260mm for £69.99. Both sizes have brackets so you can carry it on your bike rather than in a bag. oxfordproducts.com

Cyclescheme price The Cyclescheme price is the most you will pay for a given item, including Transfer of Ownership fees. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will pay less.

Abus U-Grip Plus 501 £79.99 |

Pinhead Bubble Lock £74.89 |

: £53.18

Pinhead, from Canada, has a different take on locks. Its Sold Secure Gold-rated rubber-covered, toughened steel shackle presents a rounded bracket that fits neatly around commonly found bike parking furniture. Key, literally, to Pinhead’s design, is a coded key that uses push pins to make an extremely secure, hard-to-pick lock. The same key can be used with Pinhead’s saddle and wheel quick releases (available separately) to foil opportunist component theft. The pack it comes in has adjustable straps for carrying it on your bike. raleigh.co.uk

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: £56.79

So you’ve invested a bunch in a brand new bike, complete with a swanky paint job… the last thing you want to do is ruin the paint by chipping it with a metal U-lock. The Abus U-Grip Plus uses a soft-touch rubberised covering to ensure that your paint finish is as safe as the bike is when you leave this key-activated lock in charge. Rating 13/15 in Abus’s own guide, it gains the company’s ‘maximum’ security rating for complete assurance. zyro.co.uk


Don’t forget your insurance

NO PRIC E INCREAS E AT FIRST RENEWA L**

Cyclescheme recommends that you insure your bicycle, so why not speak to Cycleguard, Cyclescheme’s preferred insurance partner and save 15% on your policy?* Policy features available:• Cover against theft – both inside your home and when out and about • Accidental damage - not always provided by home insurance covers • Cycling Accessories, Cycle Rescue, Public Liability and Personal Accident cover options available • Bicycle hire until items are replaced or repaired so you’re not left without a bike (subject to an approved claim).

0333 004 3444 quoting “Cyclescheme Discount”

www.cycleguard.co.uk/CS15 *We reserve the right to amend the content and offer of our products without notice. The price online will include the 15% discount. The 15% discount applies to New Business only. Any quote given will be valid for 28 days only. ** Subject to no changes in your policy in the first year. 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 Limited are Appointed Representatives of Thistle Insurance Services Limited. TPD0581 1 0416


Countdo to your first

commute A little preparation will save you money, time and stress when it comes to cycling to work

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ycle commuting isn't complicated. If you own any bike, you could jump on it tomorrow and cycle to work. By planning ahead, though, you could get a brand new bike and accessories for less money, find a route that suits you, and enjoy the whole experience much more. The first thing to do is to find out if you can get a new bike and equipment through Cyclescheme. You're going to save a lot of money on petrol or public transport fares by cycling to work, so indulge yourself and get a bike that's comfortable, practical and reliable. With Cyclescheme you save at least 25 per cent on the price of a bike and equipment, and you pay in instalments via salary sacrifice. If your employer isn't yet signed up to Cyclescheme, take a couple of minutes to invite them: visit http://cycsch.me/invite-emp. They'll save money too on National Insurance contributions, as well as getting healthier, more punctual employees, so it's worth their while. If they're already signed up, you're all set.

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Countdown to your first commute

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Write your bike-and-equipment shopping list, then request a Cyclescheme certificate for this amount via the Cyclescheme website. When you receive your certificate, you give that to a Cyclescheme-accredited retailer and they give you your bike and equipment. To choose the bike package that's right for you, write down your priorities and the details of your proposed commute. (You may want to skip ahead to route planning, see over.) A bike-rail commuter planning to cycle a few miles in normal clothes will have different needs than someone planning to cycle a dozen miles each way in cycling gear. Your priorities will help you and the retailer narrow down your options. Don't forget to factor in things like mudguards, luggage, lights, and a lock – and perhaps cycle clothing and a helmet. If you think your cycling skills are rusty, find a Bikeability training provider near you and sign up for a session or two. Visit bikeability.org.uk.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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A week before Get your bike (and equipment) and spend some time getting used to it. After riding it, you might decide you want the bike set up differently – adding a pannier rack, for example, or replacing the saddle with a different one, or moving the handlebar into a different position. Your bricks-and-mortar retailer can make these adjustments if you're not comfortable doing them yourself, but there may be a waiting list for maintenance jobs.

The weekend before Plan your route and ride it so you know what it's like and how long it takes. Don't just take the route you’d drive. Cycle commuting is generally more pleasant on minor roads, backstreets, towpaths and cycle tracks. Visit cyclestreets.net and use the online journey planning facility or download the free app; it’s available for iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile and Blackberry. Look for the Balanced or Quietest route options. Google Maps and its associated app also have a cycling option. Route-planning apps are good but not infallible. They may fail to factor in things like one-way streets or surface conditions; what looks like nice bridleway on a map might be an unrideable muddy track. So when you’ve plotted your route, or a choice of routes, do a recce on the most promising one(s). The weekend is ideal: you can time your journey without any pressure. Don’t race. You want a bit of slack in your schedule to be sure you can cycle there comfortably within a given time.

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Countdown to your first commute

The day before Buy any essentials you’ve overlooked. Things like batteries for your bike lights, a couple of emergency snacks (because you will be hungrier), and a packet of wet wipes. Wet wipes are your one-stop-shop for sprucing up if you don't have a shower at work, removing sweat from armpits and groin. They’re also useful for cleaning your hands if you end up having to fix your bike en route. Ride up and down the street on your bike to check it’s okay. If it’s a new bike, it’s probably fine. But the cables on new bikes stretch slightly as they bed in, so you may need to adjust the cable tension for the gears or brakes. It’s easy and doesn’t usually require tools: see http://cycsch.me/gears http://cycsch.me/brakes. The tyres may need topping and http://cycsch.me/brakes up with air too. If you have a floor pump with a gauge, use that to inflate them to at least the minimum pressure that’s stamped on the tyre sidewalls. If your pump doesn’t have a gauge, just pump the tyres until they feel firm – like you’re trying to squeeze an apple in your hand.

The night before Pack your commuter bag and put it beside the bike kit you don immediately before heading out the door – for example, your cycle clips, bike jacket, gloves, or helmet. You don't want to start your first day's cycle commuting rushing around looking for a lost lock or shoe. When packing your bag(s), put the heaviest items at the bottom. Keep separate any potentially dirty items such as shoes, tools and lock; stuff them in a plastic bag if you're using one bag with one big compartment. If you’re taking clothes to work, roll them up rather than folding them and put them at the top of the bag where they won’t get squashed. Even if you’re not planning to change clothes, it’s worth taking emergency pants and socks. If you get too sweaty or are caught in a cloudburst and get soggy, it’s nice to have something to change into.

On the day Don’t rush: give yourself plenty of time. Equally, you (hopefully!) don’t need to get up at 5am. Your bike is ready, your bag is ready, and you know roughly how long it will take to cycle to work. Give yourself a time buffer of about 10 minutes for your first journey to deal with any unexpected eventualities. And don’t forget to add in any extra time you’ll need to get from your parked bike to your desk. That might be almost nothing if you’re commuting Dutchstyle in your work clothes but could be 15 minutes or more if you’re showering and changing at work. On the journey itself, ride calmly and confidently. If you act like traffic, the vast majority of other road users will treat you like traffic. Your route planning should mean that you’ll be circumventing difficult junctions and busy roads. If any part of the journey makes you uncomfortable – perhaps the rush hour traffic makes that roundabout you sailed around on Sunday much more daunting – just dismount and push your bike past that bit. Later on, you can research and recce a route that avoids this bit. It’s much better to have a commute that you enjoy that takes five minutes longer than a faster one that makes you anxious. www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Cyclescheme price

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The Cyclescheme price is the most you will pay for a given item, including Transfer of Ownership fees. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will pay less.

PANNIERS Carrying your luggage on your bike rather than your back makes for a much more comfortable commute

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etting your essentials from home to office/workplace and back in safety and, given this is unpredictable Britain, dry, is an important part of integrating cycling into your working week. Handily, choosing a hardworking, stylish and sufficiently capacious carrier to take on that responsibility has never been easier. With more and more high quality panniers also being designed to double up as trendy urban messenger bags, briefcases or handbags, the choice is wider than ever. Look for panniers that clip to a rack in the regular way, and have either integrated straps or carry handles on top so they can be unclipped from the bike and turned into shoulder bags or handbags. Waterproofing is an important consideration for year-round cycle commuting. This could be a laminate of heavy duty fabric with a rubberised top surface, traditional weatherproofing solutions such as treated canvas or waxed cotton, or a detachable waterproof cover. Other things to consider are padded compartments for laptops and tablets, and organiser pockets for keeping smaller items… organised. 50

Carradice Originals Bike Bureau RRP £95 |

: Cyclescheme price: £67.45

They do say that, post nuclear holocaust, the only living things will be cockroaches and anything stored inside a Carradice saddle bag. A joke, of course, but only just. The waterproof cotton duck canvas is, frankly, amazing – seeing off water, wind, UV, snow and time. The pannier-cum-messenger bag Bike Bureau is designed for the modern cycling city worker, with room for a laptop and pockets aplenty. A wet weather pouch means you can separate wet riding gear from everything else, and a stormproof drawstring flap helps keep contents dry whatever the weather. carradice.co.uk

New Looxs Polka Tosca £38.99 |

: £27.68

As Lady Bracknell might ask – “A handbag?” The New Looxs Polka Tosca doubles as a stylish fashion item and a practical pannier. It’s just as at home in town for shopping as it is for carrying your laptop and papers to work. There’s a main pocket and several smaller ones in its 16-litre capacity, with concealed clips for attaching it to your bike’s rear carrier. And if 16 litres sounds a little too roomy for your needs, there’s an 11-litre option too, for £32.99. Spot on! raleigh.co.uk


Essentials Ortlieb Downtown £109.99 |

: £78.09

Never fear rain again with Ortlieb’s Downtown Courier. It looks like a satchel but doubles as a pannier, fitting all standard racks with tubing up to 16mm diameter. In true Ortlieb fashion, it has a highly durable rubber-coated fabric construction – you won’t find a more waterproof option. Inside, there’s room for A4 files and a 15.4in notebook, as well as internal pockets for smaller items. Once you’ve arrived at work, unclip the Downtown and use the extra-wide padded shoulder strap to turn the pannier into a shoulder bag. lyon.co.uk

Blackburn Local Rear Pannier £34.99 |

: £24.84

The Blackburn Local is great value, and made with a tough 210 denier nylon with water-resistant treatment and backing, it’ll keep your kit dry even if the commute is wet. The 18-litre capacity Local can be key locked to the matching Blackburn Interlock rack for security, though it will fit all standard racks as well. Attach it to your bike for the morning commute, then clip on the shoulder strap and stroll into work in style. There’s space for a 15in laptop, sarnies and other daytime life-support items. zyro.co.uk

Brompton Game Bag £295 |

: £209.45

Handstitched by Chapman in Cumbria, the high-quality, heavyduty canvas, 18-litre Game Bag features full-grain leather trim, brass fittings, twin front pockets and a side pouch pocket. It’s almost too beautiful to be subjected to rain, but as well as coming with a rain cover, the canvas is highly water resistant and will keep your kit dry, short of full immersion. It fits to your folder via Brompton’s own carrier block, and you can even leave it attached when you fold up your bike. Other colours and designs are available too. bromptonjunction.com

Altura Urban Dryline 17 £74.99 |

: £53.24

With a waterproof Dryline construction, this pannier/shoulder bag is ready to transport your gear whatever the weather. It fits to the bike using quality Rixen & Kaul Klickfix pannier fixings (discreetly hidden when not in use), then turns into a bag for the office thanks to the shoulder strap. The bag has a big appetite too, with a padded space capable of swallowing a full-size 17in laptop. A further compartment is handy for other documents, and an extra organiser pocket keeps your odds and ends in order. altura.co.uk

Bobbin Messenger Pannier £99.99 |

: £70.99

The Bobbin Messenger Pannier is a stylish option that uses quality Rixen & Kaul fixings (concealed in a zip pocket) to attach to any standard rack, and a heavyweight shoulder strap for when you’ve arrived at your destination. With a wax cotton construction, the lightly padded bag has a built-in level of water resistance to keep your workstuff dry and happy. A striped lining adds a dash of urban chic, married to a classic style leather buckle closure. Internal pockets help organise the space, and magnetic flap closures help keep the contents safely inside. todayscyclist.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Four seasons Cycle commuting year-round is easier than you think – so long as you and your bike are prepared…

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hen you pedal to work each morning, you’re acutely aware of the slow turn of the seasons. You’re in the scene. Around you, spring buds slowly burst into leaf, summer mornings grow bluer and warmer, autumn becomes mistier and more stark, and winter cold deepens, making your breath smoke. It’s rare that Britain’s mild, moist climate makes cycle commuting difficult or impossible. And it doesn’t take a big investment in clothing and accessories to make any day’s ride practical and pleasant.

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Four seasons Spring When the clocks go forward on the last weekend of March, spring evenings become suddenly lighter for much longer. It’s an ideal time to start commuting, since you can ride there and back in daylight. If you might conceivably need lights, take them with you anyway to avoid being left in the dark by a delay. March proverbially comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, with blustery winds giving way to more settled conditions. Regardless, the weather invariably picks up through March and into April, with May often one of the nicest months of the year. It rains less in spring than in winter – even April is one of the drier months – yet it’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security by a blue sky morning and then get soaked by a squally shower on the way home. Isn’t that what a showerproof jacket is for? No. ‘Showerproof’ tends to mean ‘you’ll be okay if it’s spitting’. In a heavy shower or sustained rain, most showerproof jackets will leak like sieves. Keep your waterproof jacket in your commuter bag until you’re sure, or just continue wearing it. You can prevent overheating by shedding a mid-layer, wearing the jacket over a long-sleeve shirt or baselayer and omitting a jersey. Better ventilated jackets, made from more breathable fabrics and with openings under the arms or across the back, cost more but can also be worn comfortably on warmer days. Wind is arguably a worse enemy than rain. A headwind slows you down and saps your energy. Allow yourself extra time to get to work and use an easier gear. If you try to do your commute in your usual time, you’ll arrive a tired, sweaty mess. Beware sudden crosswinds when passing gaps in rural hedges or street openings between tall buildings.

Summer Summer is your reward for riding to work the rest of the year. June and July are usually fairly warm and dry. August tends to be wetter than spring, partly due to summer storms that can leave roads awash. Best not take those mudguards off! The problem with summer, if you can call it that, is that the extra warmth means you’re more likely to sweat. The best way to avoid getting sweaty is to avoid wearing a backpack. Put your luggage on the bike instead. Your

Keep your waterproof jacket in your commuter bag until you’re sure, or just continue wearing it SPRING

clothing may be light, airy and breathable, but it will be none of those things if you cover your back with a bag. If you commute in cycling gear and you’ve got showers at work, you can ride as hard as you like. You’re getting changed anyway. No showers? Pack some wet wipes or take a flannel in a plastic bag. Spruce up by washing your face, armpits and groin in the loo, then applying some fresh deodorant. If you’re riding in the clothes you’ll wear at work, slow down. Undo a button. It’s worth having spare underwear in your bag or at work, so if you do end up getting uncomfortably sweaty, you’ve got something to change into. Use your wet wipes/flannel first. Shorts are an option in summer, either Lycra or something looser and

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Gloves will likely be the first change to your cycling wardrobe, and you’ll probably want cycling tights instead of shorts AUTUMN more casual. For your upper body, you seldom need do more than keep the breeze off. A lightweight windproof – either a jacket or a sleeveless gilet – is usually sufficient. Add arm-warmers for chilly starts. You don’t need expensive cycling eyewear, but check that any glasses you do use don’t impinge on your peripheral vision; the frames of some sunglasses do. Autumn Average temperatures in autumn are comparable to spring, with occasional ‘indian summers’ that feel like August hasn’t ended. But conditions are more unsettled, with stronger winds (see above) and more rain. Your windproof, waterproof jacket will once again be earning its keep.

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Autumn mornings are often foggy, while daylight is suddenly diminished on the last weekend of October when the clocks go back. Check and charge the batteries in your lights. You’re required by law to have a white front light and red rear light between dusk and dawn, and dusk falls earlier and earlier. You’re not legally required to have cycle lights in fog, but it’s a good idea to use them anyway. Be careful when riding over fallen leaves. You don’t know what they might conceal – a pothole? And wet leaves are extremely slippery. Try to avoid braking or turning if you have to ride over them. Go straight on if you can, as if you were riding over ice. Traffic levels suddenly change at the start of September as children return to school after the summer holidays. School-run parents can drive and park erratically, so be on the lookout for badly communicated manoeuvres and car doors opening suddenly if you cycle anywhere near a school.

Gloves will likely be the first change to your cycling wardrobe, and you’ll probably want cycling tights instead of shorts if you ride to work in bike gear. As autumn wears on, you’ll start to need an extra layer under your jacket again – a long-sleeve jersey for Lycra commuters or a baselayer (ie a vest) or a light sweater for normalclothes commuters. Winter Cycle commuting can seem daunting when it’s dark, cold and wet. But bad weather is seldom as bad as it looks, especially if you’re dressed for it. You might find that you arrive at work warmer and drier than your colleague who hustled 200 yards from his car without a coat. Keeping warm is easy by bike because you generate body heat by riding. It’s best to be barely warm enough rather than snug when you step out of your house, so that you’ll be at the right temperature a mile down the road. The exceptions are your extremities: head (particularly ears), hands, and feet. These get very cold from windchill and from your body diverting warm blood to your torso. Wrap them up. A pair of


Four seasons warm, waterproof, breathable gloves is essential. You also want warm socks, possibly waterproof ones, and either overshoes or a pair of winterproof boots or shoes (not trainers or summer bike shoes). For your head, a winter cycling cap or stretchy ‘Buff’ will cover your ears and can be worn under a helmet. A peaked cap has the advantage that it will keep rain, snow and sleet out of your eyes. (A helmet peak can do the same job.) Keeping your body warm is simple.

It’s best to be barely warm enough rather than snug when you step out of your house, so that you’ll be at the right temperature a mile down the road WINTER

It’s mostly about having a barrier to keep out cold wind and rain. The waterproof element is important: windchill is much worse when you or your clothing are wet. So your normal, uninsulated waterproof cycling jacket will be fine, with a couple of thin layers underneath it. Waterproof overtrousers are effective but can soon get very hot; only wear them when you really need them. All this rain gear will keep you dry as well as warm. If you’re commuting in bike gear, don’t worry about waterproofing your legs; winter cycling tights will generally keep your legs warm enough. Beware slippery roads in winter. If you can see your breath, you might encounter black ice on a shadowed corner. Sheet ice or compacted and refrozen snow can be equally dicey. If you’re going to commute in these conditions, ride slowly and avoid turning, leaning or braking the bike anywhere you suspect ice. Metalstudded tyres are available but UK winters are seldom cold enough for long enough to get much use from them. Maybe just miss that day’s cycle commuting if it’s icy? Tomorrow might be better – and spring is on its way.

Useful all year Full-length mudguards Frame-fitting mudguards like these SKS Chromoplastics will prevent dirty water from being sprayed over your feet, in your face, up your back, and all over your bike. They save misery, laundry, and maintenance. £36.99 |

£26.26

zyro.co.uk

Breathable waterproof jacket From winter windchill to summer rainstorms, a waterproof jacket is your first line of defence against the elements. Invest in a decent, breathable one like this Endura Luminite II so you don’t ‘boil in the bag’. (See page 35 for more.) £89.99 | £63.89 endurasport.com

Gloves with removable liners Winter gloves with removable liners like these Altura Night Vision Waterproof ones are versatile because they can be worn three ways: together; just the outer; or just the inner. And unlike stitched-in liners, there’s never a problem fitting your fingers in them. £39.99 | £28.39 altura.co.uk

Waterproof panniers It’s more comfortable to carry your commuting gear on your bike than your back, reducing the strain on your shoulders, backside, and hands. You sweat less too. A small pair of waterproof bags like these Ortlieb Front Roller City ones is all you need. (See page 50 for more.) £64.99 |

£46.14

lyon.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Whyte Strawberry Hill RRP: £599 | Cyclescheme price: £425.29 This ladies’ bike from British brand Whyte might look traditional, but the black paint-job hides some sophisticated tube engineering that makes the ride comfortable and light. Hidden behind the chainguard is a tried-and-trusted Shimano 27-speed transmission. This has a gear range close to that of most mountain bikes, so there are no excuses on the hills! Coming down again, reliable Tektro v-brakes take care of stopping. The full-length mudguards cover 42mm wide tyres which offer plenty of cushioning on rougher cycle paths, while the swept-back bar gives an upright ride that is ideal around town – though may be tiring on longer outings. whyte.bike

Cyclescheme price

In detail

The Cyclescheme price is the most you will pay for a given item, including Transfer of Ownership fees. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will pay less.

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A chainguard keeps oil off your tights or trousers – which could be important if you commute in your work clothes

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Arriving at work with a brown stripe up your back isn’t a good look; mudguards will help keep you and your bike clean and dry


Round-up

ROUND-

UP

R AT ED R I D ES

Town bikes With practical touches and an upright riding position, a typical town bike is the perfect commuter choice

W

hat a world of elegance is captured in those two words: ‘town bikes’! Step-through frames, swept-back handlebars, enclosed chains and perhaps a net over the back wheel to keep your flowing scarf from snagging in the spokes. You, a cross between Victoria Pendleton and Audrey Hepburn, step lightly to the pavement outside the florist’s, from the sprung leather saddle, to purchase a spray of freesias for your wicker basket. Suit you, sir – er, madam! The Danes have mastered this look and Copenhagen is the place to study it, but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t aspire to what they have. From a purely practical point of view, the old “sit up and beg” could well be the most highly evolved form of the commuting bike, for man or woman. The view of the road from a town bike is (or should be) akin to that from the cab of any “people carrier”, and the load-carrying ability is not far short. You may choose the gearing to suit your city – be it the fuss-free simplicity of a single sprocket (perhaps with a back-pedal brake) for Cambridge, or an 11-ratio internal hub gearbox for Edinburgh. While many modern designs plump for aluminium frames, there are still high quality offerings built from traditional steel (such as the Pashley, featured here) and, as we all know, “retro” is chic. The geometry and riding position should preclude haste. Why rush? The Dutch and Danes cycle everywhere without ever breaking a sweat and there’s no reason why you should arrive at work with your hair looking like Boris Johnson’s and needing to be hosed down in the yard before your colleagues will share a desk with you. Nor should you need to dress in cycle-specific clothing, or require a change when you eventually reach your destination. Typical Dutch or Copenhagen bikes include a number of features that have been all-but-forgotten on sport-orientated UK bikes. The kickstand would earn you a hearty ribbing on your club road bike but is a real bonus when the bike racks are full and you are trying to load your shopping into your panniers. Town bikes are generally unconcerned with keeping weight down, and additions such as bar-mounted mirrors allow you to keep an eye on the following traffic, or attend to your lipstick at the red lights. Many incorporate some form of security, usually a locking-bar that goes through the back wheel and prevents it from being spirited off when you nip into the bakers for a Danish. You may find hub dynamos powering your lights so you never have to think about batteries. And for extra style points, try carrying a rabbit or a small dog in your basket. In the end, the commuting bike is a tool for a job and, as any good workman will tell you, the right tool gets the job done quickly and safely. When we fill the streets of Britain with bikes like these, we will truly be able to call ourselves a cycling nation.

Cube Town £579 | £411.09 A hugely practical and well-thought-out bike, the Town comes in standard diamond frame and a step-through version for those who can’t, or won’t, sling a leg over a crossbar. Transmission is through an 8-speed Shimano internal hub gear which allows the chain to be completely enclosed for clean and trouble-free running. This also contains a coaster brake, complementing the v-brake at the front. Also at the front, a hub dynamo runs LED front and rear lights. The bike comes complete with a rear rack, prop stand and suspension seatpost, and is built in a wide range of sizes. Excellent value for money. cube.eu/cube-bikes

Pashley Britannia £675 | £506.25 Available in red, white and – yes, of course – blue, the Britannia is as traditional a town bike as it is possible to find these days. That means some old-fashioned touches such as the thoroughly imperial 26in x 1 3/8in Schwalbe tyres in cream, and the Brooks sprung leather saddle that may take some breaking in but should last forever. The reliable Sturmey Archer 5-speed rear hub might suit your needs, or there’s an 8-speed model available for £755, and the hub brakes require next to no maintenance. Pashley’s build quality is unsurpassed and the bike looks superb. pashley.co.uk

JARGON BUSTER Coaster brake Rather than relying on pulling a lever on the handlebar, coaster brakes live inside the rear hub and are activated with backwards pressure on the pedals. They’re simple and reliable, although not all that powerful or controllable.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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This is an example of savings for basic and higher rate taxpayers on this bike package

RRP

Cyclescheme Price

£567.74

£492.04

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£42.89

£36.58

1 End of Hire payment

£52.99

£52.99

25%

35%

£189.24

£264.94

£756.98

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).

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www.cyclescheme.co.uk


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& spread the cost!

Save money on the latest phones and spread the cost with Phonescheme! Invite your employer today. phonescheme.co.uk/invite Phonescheme gives you access to the latest phones including the highly desirable Samsung, Apple and Microsoft Lumia brands, via a simple and convenient salary sacriice deduction.


Beto

Montejo

We catch up with the commuters featured on the Cyclescheme website. This issue: Bromptoneer Beto Montejo

I

t was congested bus and tube travel that convinced city commuter Beto Montejo to get on his bike – and turned him into a London-loving tourist. “I’ve liked cycling ever since I was a kid but I never took it seriously when it came to commuting,” he says. “I’ve driven a car since I was very young and I lived in places where it was easy to commute by car. But since I came to London, commuting by car was no longer an option. “After a few months I got tired of how crammed the buses and the tube got during peak times. It took about an hour and 15 minutes on a good day, but I had a few bad days when it took an hour and 45 minutes. The amount of money and time lost on this was unacceptable, so that’s when I decided to do the short parts on a bicycle and the rest on a train.” The next step was to consider what sort of bike to buy. Space at home was limited and he needed something versatile that would allow him to use public transport as well as the roads. A folding bike was the obvious answer. Beto, a software engineer, says: “I needed a folding bike that would let me cycle short distances but I could also take on the train

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www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Cyclescheme 7 for long distances. The size and weight made me go for a Brompton. Of all the folding bike brands I tried out, Brompton offered me the smallest footprint and also the lightest option with their Titanium variant. “I bought it through the Cycle to Work scheme, which was mentioned when I was offered the position in my current company as one of the workplace benefits.” Since getting the Brompton, Beto hasn’t looked back, cycling to work every day in all seasons and conditions and revelling in the freedom that riding offers. “I love the speed, the feeling of getting to places with so little effort,” he says. “I love how alert it forces you to be, always looking at your surroundings so you’re aware of everything around you – instead of falling asleep in a bus or in the tube. “I love the constant sightseeing, passing by London landmarks and never getting tired of them. I always glance at Tower Bridge when I cross London Bridge, and I love how the bicycles are just immune to traffic.” Beto’s daily commute is typical of the teeming thousands of people who travel into London from the suburbs. But for him it’s more of a beneficial physical and mental exercise than a stress-inducing slog. “My commute starts at Croydon,” he says. “I take my folded bike down the stairs from my second-floor flat, unfold, and then cycle 10 minutes to East Croydon station. “Most of the roads are residential and quiet, except for a few hundred yards which run on a narrow and busy single carriageway with no marked cycle lane. I share space with buses and lorries. It gets quite busy the first part of the morning. There’s also a rather uncomfortable right turn which

Fact file

Name: Beto Montejo Lives: Croydon Occupation: Software engineer Commute: Three parts – cycle from home to station, train, cycle to office. The first stage is mostly on residential and quiet roads, then in the city it’s very busy. Total cycling distance of about five miles. Frequency: Five days a week. Cyclescheme bike: Brompton Titanium. Why I started cycling: I got tired of how crammed the buses and tube got during peak times. The amount of money and time lost on this was unacceptable.

makes me wish I had eyes in the back of my head. “During peak time, there’s a generous amount of trains that go through East Croydon towards London Bridge non-stop. I always get to comfortably place my bike in the luggage rack or in a corner. Sometimes I also get to sit, which is a luxury! “I get off at London Bridge and from there it’s a 15-minute cycle to the office. I get the chance to pass a few London landmarks: London Bridge, Monument, Bank, St Paul’s, Holborn Circus and then up Gray’s Inn Road. “It’s a very busy route, lots of buses but also lots of cyclists so there is safety in numbers. Total commute for each trip is about 45 minutes, of which 20 is in a train, with a cycle distance of

about five miles. “My office is near Chancery Lane. I fold the bike up again and bring it with me to my desk where I store it underneath. “With a regular bike, I could not do half of those steps – bringing it up and down the stairs, up to the office and on the train during peak hours. The Brompton just makes things easier and more practical. “I’m a casual cyclist. I only cycle part of my commute so I don’t feel the need to wear Lycra for the short trips. I do have facilities at work to take a shower and change but I don’t use them since I hardly sweat on such short trips. “After a few weeks I did feel fitter. In the beginning my legs used to hurt a bit at the end of the week, but now I don’t feel a thing.” He has no regrets about taking advantage of the Cycle to Work scheme and buying his bike. If he didn’t cycle, what would his commute be like? “Miserable, long and boring. It would take almost twice the time if I didn’t cycle, not to mention it would also be almost twice as expensive.” Beto, then, is a confirmed cycling commuter convert. What’s his advice for anyone considering following his example? “It’s never too late to cycle; you’re never too old, ” he says. “Cycling will save you tons of time, time that you can use elsewhere. You’ll just love it the moment you figure out that you won’t depend on anybody else to get to places – and that you’ll be immune to traffic.” And now he’s got the bug he’s even considering extending his fiveday-a-week habit into a recreational weekend hobby. “Of course,” he says. “Maybe I’ll be fit enough to do a sportive one day!” www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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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 use the links below to go straight there.

10 Cycling Myths Uncovered http://cycsch.me/myths Cycling’s dangerous, and we don’t pay road tax, and we all jump red lights… Arm yourself with the real facts behind your chosen style of commuting so you can give naysayers a reasoned retort.

How to fix a puncture with video tutorial http://cycsch.me/puncture New to cycling and wouldn’t know what to do if a thorn did its worst? Have a read and watch the video – and be confident you can fix it. (A tough set of tyres is a good idea too…)

The Lake District – in Italy http://cycsch.me/lake-d

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.

Cycling to work will build up your muscles and also your enjoyment of riding, perhaps to the point of wanting to go on holiday with your bike. Here’s a top destination…

Summer cycling tips http://cycsch.me/summer Here comes the reward for riding through the winter… Shed your arm and leg warmers and start enjoying the ride – here’s a checklist to help you.

Wet weather foot protectors http://cycsch.me/shoes Keeping your feet dry goes a long way to keeping your spirits up on a wet ride to and from work – find out which ones to buy, here.

Commuting after dark http://cycsch.me/dark When the clocks change in autumn it can make a big difference to your commute in terms of clothing and lighting – so be prepared.

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www.cyclescheme.co.uk


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Cycle Commuter #17