Page 1

Lycra-free gear

n

Tips on buying your next bike

n

Top shops

Issue #18 ÂŁ1.95 where sold

2017

Ride with confidence Be assertive and stay safe on the road

Plan ahead For a smooth first commute

Up hill or down dale? How to plot your best route to work FEA TUR ING

47

TOP CYC LIN G PR OD UC TS

Inside this issue‌

Folding, electric and trekking bikes n Jackets n Front and rear lights n Helmets n & more! n


Y O B D BANEW URBAN LEGEND

to fully designed post, good. Beauti at so se ed d ok an lo rk r ty has neve LightPipe fo ili y ile ft ob ag m Le d e n th an ba , lume tyre LED lights in ormance – ur y fork, high vo y integrated and ft rious city perf nl Le se ng ea lli ts cl iff ro h st ee it s st m w it fa , out. With king design wheels are performance , always stand g volume tyres on 650b Forward-thin reet-fighter ce – discrete re that you’ll Bi looks and st . su g eapon of choi m in en w or r rik ur st pe st yo m by er is bu ty y ci deliv be e Bo d tu th p Ba ke to w ta reflective is built to fort. The ne and a highly the Bad Boy erasing com and pothole oot handling, ip sh gr dg an in ter in po y corn ling, with craz Better make way. nimble hand ssed. cu fo rly te ut om £749.99 elegant and Boy range fr le.com • Bad da on nn ca legend at Discover the

THE


U T. ALL ABO

Contents

..

Welcome to Cyclescheme

5

How the Cycle to Work scheme will save you money

6

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

Issue #18

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

F E AT U R E S

Be assertive

16

How to get your next bike

20

Learn how to ride confidently on the road to stay safe

BIKE ROUND-UPS

30

Top tips for shopping online or in-store

How to survive your first commute 27 Plan ahead for a smooth experience

Top shops

Expect a warm welcome – and maybe tea and cake…

46

56

38 Small-wheel folders

30

E-bikes

38 

Trekking bikes

56 

You can take them on the train, tuck them under your desk – and make commuting a breeze A battery-powered boost could be just what you need to start cycle commuting (or stick at it)

A better way to work

Plot a route that best suits you and your bike

The Cyclescheme 7: Lisa Chakrabarti

Lecturer Lisa always tries to enjoy her 24 miles of daily commuting

My Cyclescheme

52

Ideal for rough road commutes and weekend outings further afield

TOP PRODUCTS & ESSENTIAL KIT

60

Stuff

12

Casual commuter

22

Jackets

35

Helmets

43

The best gear for your commute and beyond Kit for the ride to work and the working day

62

Go online to get more from Cyclescheme

From winter waterproofs to summer showerproofs Head protection that also keeps the sun off, rain out, and the insects away…

Front and rear light sets 50 A Blackhawk Network Business

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 2017

Stay legal and stay seen, essential at night and useful during the day

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

3


HIT THE ROAD JACK. DISCOVER YOUR NEW CUBE HYBRID.

FRAME VARIANTS

C R O SS H PRO ALL

YBRID

0 ROAD 50 9 .0 £2 9

+

The high quality, state-of-theart frame is the ultimate in riding safety, while the suspension fork provides extra comfort, wherever you end up riding.

LOCATE YOUR NEAREST DEALER AT WWW.CUBE.EU

CUBEBIKESUK

CUBEBIKESUK

CUBEBIKESUK


About

Cyclescheme... Save money and spread the cost 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. Shop with Cyclescheme’s network of over 2,000 retailers and get the widest choice of gear. It's also the most convenient, easy and enjoyable way of getting everything you need.

T

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!

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.

• •

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 Find your nearest store or online Cyclescheme partner at: http://cycsch.me/retail

• •

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

5


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

T

ax is complicated; Cyclescheme is not. You choose a bike, hire it for 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 over 2,000 retailers nationwide. There are just four steps to go through:

1

Choose your Cyclescheme package

2

Submit your application

First decide what you need to crank up your commute. Choose a bike, a bike plus accessories, or just accessories. You can shop online or with a local retailer – remember, if you’re visiting a retailer they can give you expert one-toone 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.

If your employer is signed up with Cyclescheme, they’ll have a unique employer code for you 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. Once your employer approves your request, you’ll receive your certificate direct to your inbox. You’ll also receive your Hire Agreement.

6

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Save money with Cyclescheme

3

Get your Cyclescheme Package

With your application approved and paid for (by your employer), you can place your order. Simply print out your certificate and take it to your local retailer to place your order or, if shopping at a Cyclescheme retailer online, redeem your certificate at the checkout. Your salary sacrifice and Hire Agreement now kicks in. For the next 12 months, you’ll pay a set amount from your salary when you're paid 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, or 42% higher rate).

4

Ownership Fee

When the Hire Period ends, you can keep your Cyclescheme package by making a small final payment. 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 package remains ‘hired’ for a further 36 months, but with no more monthly payments. Ownership can then officially be transferred to you at no extra cost. This Ownership Fee 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 www.cyclescheme.co.uk/help/faqs

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 then 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 Hire Agreement? This is an agreement in place between you and your employer. It states you will be hiring the equipment from them during the time period of your salary sacrifice.

What’s a Cyclescheme eCertificate? A voucher. It’s what you give to the bike retailer in exchange for your bike and accessories. 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 Ownership Fee needs to be paid. This is explained below.

How is the Ownership Fee 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).

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

7


News WEDNES

DAY

Get set…GO! Cycle to Work Day 2017

Join us on our fifth anniversary and make this another record breaker

M

ore than 45,000 people took part in Cycle to Work Day in 2016 – why not join them this year and be part of our fifth anniversary party on Wednesday 13th September and experience the sheer joy of everyday cycling? The event has grown in popularity every year since it began in 2012 as more and more people discover the bike as a practical and pleasurable means of commuting. More employers can see 8

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

the benefits too, with over a thousand supporting the day in 2016 and backing their staff. We want to use this fifth Cycle to Work Day to encourage even more of you to give cycling a go. We want you to experience for yourself how cycling is such a great way to travel, a way that keeps you healthy, saves you money and gives you a golden glow of satisfaction. Beware though – once bitten by the bug you’re in danger of wanting to spend more and more time on your bike, riding for pleasure and leisure as well as to work and back. We’d love you to sign up and help smash these 2016 record-breaking statistics: l 673,438 miles ridden in total – that’s more than


News

Y 13TH SE

PTEMBE

R

Bike Week 10-18th June 2017 27 times around the world e nough calories burned to complete over 165 Tour de France races l enough CO2 saved that equated to more than 19 return flights from London to Sydney l

Tempted? Then make a date for 13th September, Cyclescheme’s Cycle to Work Day 2017. You can find out more at www.cycletoworkday.org and register to be kept up to date.

Cycle to Work Day was launched by Cyclescheme – join our campaign aim to see a million people get on their bikes to work by 2021.

A

s well as getting on your bike to work, if you need some motivation to get friends and family out in the fresh air, put these dates for Bike Week in your diary. Bike Week is an annual opportunity to promote cycling and to show how riding your bike can easily be part of everyday life, for fun as well as a means of getting to work or school, for visiting friends, getting out into the countryside or nipping down to the local shops. During the week there will be activities taking place all over the country and you can get involved in hundreds of social and leisure events and rides, typically including coffee and cakes for commuters to parties in the park, free bike safety checks and skills-learning sessions. Bike Week encourages over half a million people to join in events, rethink their everyday journeys and switch to cycling as the most convenient way to get around. Find your nearest event and discover more by visiting bikeweek.org.uk. www.cyclescheme.co.uk

9


Keeping the National Cycle Network working Some major TLC courtesy of a mild winter

W

hether your commute takes in part of the National Cycle Network (NCN) or you have some favourite sections for weekend rides, you’ll be pleased to hear it’s going to be getting some major TLC this year – thanks to the kind winter we’ve had. Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity and creator of the NCN, said the UK experiencing one of the mildest winters for years means the network has escaped much of the damage it often sustains over winter: “The winter before was one of the worst in recent memory, particularly in the North West where bridges were washed away and much of the repair work is still ongoing. “This has meant we've had to focus on repairs to the Network. There hasn't been the time or resources to undertake all the work we've wanted to. “Now we've enjoyed ones of the mildest winters in a long time, we can undertake some of the long-term maintenance tasks that will really make lasting improvements to the Network.” Among the planned work is replacing bridge parapets, improving drainage, reinforcing and stabilising embankments, and resurfacing. To find out whether your route to work is affected and to get more information, visit sustrans.org.uk.

10

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

CYCLE LONDON

TRAFFIC-FREE Join the women-only Pink Ribbon Tour

I

f your daily commute is a London-based slalom that involves dodging lorries, avoiding run-ins with irate taxi drivers and trying not to look too smug while cycling past lines of stationary cars… you might like to sign up for the Pink Ribbon Tour. Breast Cancer Care is the official charity partner for The Women’s Tour this year - the most prestigious women's cycling event in the world – and to celebrate the 25th year of the Pink Ribbon, the charity is organising a 25km ride through the centre of London, using the same iconic, closed-road circuit as the professionals. The Pink Ribbon Tour will see 1,000 women cycling through London on 11th June, riding in solidarity to “help paint the streets pink and raise money for anyone affected by breast cancer”. For more information, visit breastcancercare.org.uk/pinkribbontour And you can find more women-only rides and events under the ‘Breeze’ tab at britishcycling.org.uk/events/home.


STUFF Bringing you the very best cycling gear for your daily commute and beyond Lezyne Sport Floor Drive track pump RRP: £44.99 |

Cyclescheme price: £33.74

Track pumps make short work of inflating tyres to your selected pressure – a simple but too often neglected job that can make all the difference to the way you roll. The Sport Floor Drive has a steel barrel, a strong hose, and who doesn’t like the varnished wood handle? upgradebikes.co.uk

Knog Oi Bell £15.99 |

£11.99

It’s a bell, but not as we know it. The Knog Oi sits like a ring around your handlebar in a stylish and space-saving way. It comes in sizes to fit standard and oversize bars, and in a choice of colours. silverfish-uk.com

Henty Wingman Backpack £155 |

£116.25

The Wingman Backpack is designed to carry your suit (or dress, or shirts) with minimal creasing. Your suit is laid flat and zipped up inside, then rolled around your shoes/socks/lunch contained in the 18L gym bag-style inner ‘tube’. It’s weatherproof, so no need for a rain cover, and takes a laptop and other tech toys too.henty.cc

Raleigh RSP Security Wheel Skewer Set £15.99 |

£11.99

Keep bike thieves at bay and rest easy that your wheels are safe and secure. This skewer set is lightweight, made of titanium and carbon, and can only be removed with the security key supplied – which you keep safely in your pocket. raleigh.co.uk

12

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


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

Altura NightVision Waterproof Overtrousers

Zefal Spin Mirror

£59.99 |

Mirror, mirror on the bike, which is the one you really like? Many riders want/need to be able to look behind without turning around, so this little mirror is ideal. It fits into either end of your handlebar and folds away underneath for storage and safety. chickencyclekit.co.uk

£44.99

Cold and wet trousers can be a misery that spoils or even deters your commute. Overtrousers can be the answer, and these, made of breathable fabric and with high levels of visibility, shouldn’t leave you all in a sweat when you do find shelter. altura.eu

£10.99 |

£8.24

Bontrager BackRack Lightweight Weldtite Dr Sludge Puncture Protection £6.99 |

£5.24

Wave away the worry of a puncture and the difficulty of dealing with it. All you have to do is to inject Dr Sludge into your inner tube where it sloshes around harmlessly, if a little heavily, until a dreaded flat moment. Hey presto, the gunk goes to work and seals the hole – and you ride on. weldtite.co.uk

£49.99 |

£37.49

A backpack isn’t for everyone, and this alloy rack allows you to carry your necessities comfortably without adding too much weight. Available in black or white, it comes with an adapter kit giving a good range of fitting options. trekbikes.com

Brompton O Bag £200 |

£150

Designed for Brompton by Ortlieb, this waterproof bag is padded in all the right places to protect your laptop and lunchbox, with ample compartments for most commuter needs. It’s pricey but practical and comes in a range of colours to complement your folder. Don’t have one? Turn to page 30… brompton.com www.cyclescheme.co.uk

13


. . . ) S ( R A E Y E H T F BIKE O


road bike er endurance th o y n a n a s th en on the e Year Award comfort – ev h T d f rl O o e w l ik a B re re f has won mo ding levels o dale Synapse assis provides class-lea n o n n a C e h T ch gimmick-free s. ion of the because its d a ro f bre construct o fi t n es o h rb g u ca ro e d to our to th longest and long compare on directly in a si g en n ti sp a o su fl ro y d our SAVE mic r bike and bo keeping you incorporated rs to n ee o in ti g lu en so r Ou fect viding the per rings. frameset, pro sp d n a rs decouple r. competitors ondale deale ur local Cann 99.99 yo 6 t £ a y m a o d fr e to se rang ynapse p S a e yn th S e • d ri m o Test dale.c re at Cannon Find out mo


Primary education Riding assertively and with confidence, and letting others know exactly what you’re up to, will help keep you safe when cycling in traffic

O

ne of the most common mistakes made by inexperienced or nervous riders is that of riding too close to the kerb. It’s understandable – traffic can be intimidating and keeping out of its way is a natural reflex. Unfortunately, instead of making you safer, it may have the opposite effect. Riding assertively focuses on putting you in control: taking your rightful place in the traffic flow, managing the manner in which 16

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Primary education motorists can behave around you, and giving you the power to protect your own safety. Road positioning Riding in the centre of the lane is known as ‘taking the lane’ or the ‘primary position’. Think about where you would be putting the centre-line of your car on the road if you were driving. That’s where you want to be on your bike. It is called primary position because it is the first position you should consider when choosing where to be on the road. That is because it is the safest place to be. Here are some reasons why: l Taking the lane makes you more visible and gives you a better view of the road and traffic. l It protects you from close passes and left-hooks. l It puts you in a good position from which to execute a right turn. l It keeps you out of the ‘door zone’. l It prevents you from being boxed in behind parked vehicles. l It gives you more warning of pedestrians stepping out into your path. l You avoid riding over debris, drains and so on, which cluster on the nearside of the carriageway. That’s a lot of good reasons not to ride in the gutter. Visibility Being seen is the first rule of staying safe. Drivers are mainly focusing their attention on the road ahead. If you are directly in front, you are visible. Oncoming drivers can also see you. Someone planning to turn right across your lane needs to know you are there. Primary position also brings you into the line of sight of any driver joining from the left at a T-junction where, if you are too close to the kerb, you may also be hidden by road

Riding in the centre of the lane is known as ‘taking the lane’ or the ‘primary position’...That’s where you want to be on your bike furniture such as signs or bollards. So ride well out and make yourself unmissable (in a good way). Look behind you! A key advantage of taking the lane is that you reduce the amount of traffic you need to think about at any one time. Look at it this way: when you are tucked in, you are likely to be passed by a constant flow of vehicles, any one of which might be a hazard to you. When you are in the centre of the lane, you need only think about the one in front and one behind (plus a glance to

either side). The first is already under your observation. The one behind, then, is the unknown quantity, so look back frequently. Especially, look back before any change of position on the road – and that includes moving to the left, because you never know when another cyclist or a motorbike might be filtering up your nearside. If you find it difficult or uncomfortable to turn your head on the bike, consider fitting mirrors (such as the Spin Mirror from Zefal on page 13). www.cyclescheme.co.uk

17


While you are looking back, look into the eyes of the driver behind. Eye contact is a significant indication that the person behind is aware of your presence Look into the eyes… While you are looking back, look into the eyes of the driver behind. Eye contact is a significant indication that the person behind is aware of your presence. If you lock gazes, you can then signal your intentions with a hand gesture – you intend to move out, or you are happy for them to pass you. The same is true of vehicles joining from the left or turning right across your path. If you can catch the driver’s eye, you know they are aware of you there. Be very cautious if you cannot establish eye contact – someone might be about to pull out right in front of you. Turning right If you are riding too far to the left, when you want to turn right you will have to cross the line of the following traffic to get into the centre of the road. It is much better to be in the centre of the lane so that, with a glance over the shoulder and a 18

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

right-hand signal, you can move out of the flow of traffic into the central calm zone. This remains important anywhere you have two lanes of passing traffic to contend with. By taking the nearside lane, you put yourself in a good position to join the flow of traffic in the outside lane. On joining that, you should again be moving decisively into the primary position, ready to move right again. Pinch points Pay particular attention to ‘pinch’ or ‘squeeze’ points, which might be mobile (oncoming vehicles) or fixed (central bollards). If you ride tucked into the kerb, you leave a car-sized space between you and the upcoming hazard which, inevitably, someone will try to fill. No matter that in doing so, the driver leaves you six inches of space. You must commit to taking the lane, though; ‘half-taking’ it is worse than nothing – it merely reduces that close pass from six to three inches.

When not to take the lane So, there are a lot of good reasons for taking the primary position. When, then, should you take the secondary position? This is a question that generates a fair bit of debate. Ideas range from “most of the time” to “almost never”. The secondary position is defined as approximately one-third of the width of the lane from the kerb. Note that one-third of the lane is still a good metre or so from the kerb, away from the debris and drains and, importantly, giving you a safe space to move into should any driver crowd you out. Cyclescheme’s recommendation is: “If you’re not confident in taking the lane, especially when simply riding along, don’t feel that you have to. If the road is busy and the traffic is moving faster than you can, either because it’s a fast road or a steep hill, you’re often better not taking the lane.” Read more on road positioning here: http://cycsch.me/RoadPosition


Goodbye, car

tr e k b i ke s . c o m /s u p e r c o m m u te r


Get your next bike HOW TO

There’s a bewildering array of bikes available. Here’s how to narrow it down to one that’s right for you

1

In store or online?

The first question to address isn’t what to get, but where to get it. There are Cyclescheme retailers on the high street and online. The main advantage of a bricks-and-mortar shop is the service provided. Staff can steer you towards the right bike, in the right size. They can help you choose equipment, and can fit it for you. They’ll make sure the bike is ready to ride. The less experienced you are as a cyclist, the greater the value of this customer service. The main advantage of online shopping is the breadth of choice: you’re not restricted to the brands your local shop stocks. Online prices are often keener too. But you’re on your own more when choosing. Can you answer ‘yes’ to these questions: l Do you know exactly what bike you want? l Do you know what size you need? l Can you get a boxed bike ready to ride? You might want to look online and in your local shop, but don’t be the customer who mines the shop staff for information and then picks an identical product online. That’s cheap. 20

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

2

What’s your budget?

Rather than looking for the least you can spend, which is a ‘how long is a piece of string?’ kind of question, decide what you can afford and then spend right up to that amount. Adequate bikes start at about £250 and keep getting better up to £1,000 and beyond. Broadly speaking, you get what you pay for, so a bigger budget means a better bike – as well as more choice. Getting a bike through Cyclescheme saves you at least 25% and spreads the cost over monthly or weekly instalments, making more expensive bikes more affordable. But don’t forget to factor in accessories such as luggage, lighting, a lock, and clothing if you also want that. At any given price, a simpler bike will usually be better quality than the alternative with more gears, more suspension, or ostensibly fancier components. Less is more. A £500 singlespeed might be excellent, a £500 full-suspension mountain bike not so good, and a £500 e-bike will probably be awful.


How to…

3

What’s it for?

What kind of riding do you envisage doing? Any bike can be ‘commuterised’, and within reason you can do any commute on any bike. But be realistic. It doesn’t make much sense to get a carbon road bike for a three-mile trip across town, just like you wouldn’t buy a Lamborghini for the school run. Here are some pros and cons of different bike types.

Folding bike

Electric bike

Cyclo-cross/gravel bike

Hybrid

Touring bike

Mountain bike

Roadster/Dutch bike

Road bike

Good for: Versatility. Comfortable and capable on bad roads and good tracks. Not so good for: Bottom bracket height makes it harder to get a toe down at junctions. Heavy loads. Good to know: See if the shop will let you exchange the bike’s cyclo-cross tyres for touring/commuting tyres.

Good for: All kinds of off-road terrain. Sturdiness – they’re built to take abuse. Hills. Not so good for: Road speed, unless you fit slick tyres. Practical accessories. Good to know: Avoid full-suspension unless you’re paying over £1,000, and consider a rigid fork below £500.

Good for: The last leg of train commutes. Easy storage at home/work. Short journeys. Not so good for: Riding fast, especially downhill. Badly surfaced/unsurfaced roads. Good to know: When it’s folded, a folder with wheels 20in or smaller counts as luggage on trains. One with larger wheels counts as a full-size bike.

Good for: Versatility. Anyone who just wants ‘a bike’. Hills, due to a wide gear range. Not so good for: Riding fast on road. Rougher off-road tracks. Impressing the bike snobs. Good to know: A suspension fork is superfluous for the riding you’ll do on a hybrid. Choose a model with a rigid fork.

Good for: Riding short distances in normal clothes. Durability and weather resistance. Not so good for: Riding fast or far. Steep hills, due to high weight/small gear range. Good to know: More is more when it comes to accessories; some roadsters even come with dynamo lighting.

Good for: Flattening hills and shrinking distances. Heavy loads. Less fit cyclists. Not so good for: Sporty, fitnessorientated cyclists. Journey patterns where regular recharging is impractical. Good to know: E-bikes with a motor at the cranks are more efficient, as the motor can take advantage of the bicycle’s gears.

Good for: Carrying panniers. Comfort. Tackling hills, due to wide gear range. Cycling holidays. Not so good for: Would-be racers. Anyone who wants the lightest bike. Good to know: Integrated brake/shift levers aren’t essential; bar-end levers work fine (and are generally cheaper).

Good for: Long-distance commuting. Fitness riding. Sportives. Racing. Not so good for: Fitting panniers to. Riding in normal clothing. Non-tarmac surfaces. Good to know: Longer-reach sidepull callipers provide more room for fitting mudguards than short-reach sidepulls.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

21


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

Giro Transfer Denim Jeans £79.99 | : £59.99 Ordinary denim isn’t the most comfortable fabric for cycling - and those seams can really make your eyes water. Giro’s Transfers are the classic five-pocket style with some inbuilt stretch, reflective cuffs and a cut to suit your cycling, work and leisure. The reinforced and gusseted crotch is kind to your behind on the saddle too. zyrofisher.co.uk

Endura Urban Flipjak Reversible Jacket £119.99 | : £89.99 Two jackets in one from Endura, with casual looks for off the bike and in-yer-face hi-vis for cycling when you turn it inside out. It’s a windproof, showerproof polyester shell with padded insulation to keep you warm and dry in all but the wettest conditions. endurasport.com

22

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Round-up

RIES ACCESSO ES PA C K A G

Casual commuter Kit that suits the ride to work and the working day Louis Garneau Nickel Shoe £64.99 | : £48.74 A shoe that does the job on and off the bike and looks the part for both. For riding you can fit SPD cleats and still walk like a human. The casual style – leather-look, breathable mesh upper and laces – looks fine with jeans and trousers, so they double up as ideal for riding to work and for around the office too. evanscycles.com

Ortlieb ReporterBag City £99.99 | : £74.99 A city/urban shoulder bag that looks good on the bike and in the workplace. The sturdy and waterproof fabric and zip protect your clothes and valuables stashed inside. A new shoulder strap design keeps the bag safely on your back while riding, and there’s a handy loop to fit a rear light for added protection. lyon.co.uk/outdoor

SKS Raceblade Long £49.99 | : £37.49 Splash out and protect you and any cyclists behind from the spray of an un(mud)guarded bike. The clip-on Raceblade is easy enough to fit and remove, so doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture, and this extra long model helps keep you, your bike and your clothes splatter-free until our UK weather improves. zyrofisher.co.uk

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

23


Exposure Trace/TraceR lightset £104.95 | : £78.71 Not only do these super-compact front and rear lights pump out plenty of lumens, they also have good side visibility, crucial for negotiating junctions and roundabouts. They come with a micro-USB charge cable, and are handmade in the UK. exposurelights.com

Hiplok DX £69.99 | : £52.49 On those mean city streets it pays to protect your pride and joy. The Hiplok DX carries the highest Solid Secure rating, Gold, which is reassuring and, says the maker, can withstand the toughest of attempts to break it. The lock features the Clip and Ride system so you can carry it with you – no bracket required – on your belt or bag straps. hiplok.com

Topeak Ninja P Pump £18.99 | : £14.24 What will they think of next to foil those pesky bike thieves? This nifty 90g pump hides inside your seatpost, secured by a rubber mounted ring and with position indicators so you can return your saddle to the required height after you’ve mended that puncture. extrauk.co.uk This is an example of how total savings are made for basic and higher rate tax payers.

RRP

Cyclescheme Price

£456.66

£395.77

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£34.50

£29.43

1 Ownership Fee

£42.62

£42.62

25%

35%

£152.22

£213.11

£608.88

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 Own It Later Agreement with Cyclescheme. There are no further payments during the Own It Later Agreement period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme (see page 6 for more details).

24

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


WE’VE GOT OUR OWN BAG OF TRICKS. • Strava Live Segments

• Turn-by-Turn Navigation • Customizable Pages & Fields • Phone Notifications • Bread Crumb Map • Lezyne Track

SUPER GPS

Enhanced Chipset, Large Screen Screen Showing Strava Live Segments

£129.99

MICRO COLOR GPS

MICRO GPS

Color, Enhanced Chipset, Ultra Compact

Enhanced Chipset, Ultra Compact

Screen Showing Turn-By-Turn Navigation

Screen Showing Customizable Fields

£139.99

MACRO GPS

£119.99

MINI GPS

Feature-packed, Large Display, Great Value

Feature-packed, Compact, Great Value

Showing Phone Notification

Screen Showing Bread Crumb Map

£94.99

£94.99

The choice is yours: big or small, all of our cycling computers boast excellent value and are loaded with incredible features. Pair one with your smartphone and enjoy turn-by-turn navigation, phone notifications and Lezyne Track (live tracking). Or, turn on the Strava Live Segments feature and go smash your favorite Q/KOM. All units provide the GPS necessities,

DANNY MACASKILL

PROFESSIONAL TRIALS RIDER PHOTO: SEBAS ROMERO

along with the necessary ability of keeping you connected with your smartphone. 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.

PROUDLY DISTRIBUTED BY UPGRADE BIKES LTD. INFO@UPGRADEBIKES.CO.UK | 01403 711 611 EVERYTHING WE DO IS BY LEZYNE


HYBRID RANGE FROM £475.00

CYCLESCHEME NOW AVAILABLE DIRECT

HYBRID FOR MORE INFORMATION & HOW TO ORDER YOUR BIKE NOW CALL US ON - 03330 062 931 OR VISIT WWW.BOARDMANBIKES.COM


HOW TO

How-to...

Survive your first commute

Cycling to work is straightforward, but you can avoid any first morning stress with this 10-point checklist

1. Plan your parking Employers who are signed up to Cyclescheme are by definition cycle-friendly so they might also offer secure cycle storage at work. To access that you’ll need a key or a code – see the HR department or office manager. If your bike won’t be stored behind a locked door then you’ll need a good bike lock of your own and a secure (and, ideally, sheltered) anchor-point to fix it to, such as a Sheffield stand. Note its location. 2. Changing tactics If you cycle to work sedately in normal clothes, you can go straight from your bike to your desk. If you commute in bike gear and ride fast or far enough to work up a sweat, you’ll want to change – after a shower, if one is available, or a wet wipe wash of face, armpits and groin in a toilet cubicle if it’s not. How long do you reckon it will take to get changed? Make a note. (See 10, below.) 3. Plan your route You know how to get to work, of course, but do you know the best way www.cyclescheme.co.uk

27


by bike? It’s likely to be a different route from driving or walking. Even if you’re a regular cyclist and know the area well, you’re unlikely – since this is your first commute – to have analysed this particular journey. It’s worth doing. See p52 for a guide. 4. Time your journey Once you’ve planned your route to work, pre-ride it at the weekend to see roughly how long it takes. Don’t rush, but don’t dawdle either. You want to know how many minutes you can comfortably do this journey in. If you cycle flat-out now you’ll set an unrealistic target that bad weather, tiredness or unlucky breaks at traffic lights may scupper. Again, see p52.

and year, you’ll want your cycle lights charged too. 7. Pack your bag Do this the night before so you can walk out the door with it in the morning, safe in the knowledge that you haven’t forgotten anything. Put the heaviest items (eg lock, tools, shoes) at the bottom. If you’re packing work clothes, fold and lightly roll them

28

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

8. Check the weather forecast Find out the night before what the morning might bring so that you’re prepared for it, both mentally and practically (ie leaving out your rain gear). If the forecast is horrendous – heavy rain, gales, or worse – you might want to postpone your first commute, or at least have a contingency plan for alternative transport. If you do decide to ride in adverse conditions, allow a little extra time for your journey. 9. Lay out your commuting clothes You don’t want to be rushing around in the morning, trying to find a glove that’s fallen down the back of a radiator. Get ready whatever you’ll be wearing on the bike, whether that’s normal clothes or bike gear. Anything that you’ll put on just before going out the door – such as cycling shoes, a bike jacket, or a helmet – can be stashed with your commuter bag near the door.

5. Get your bike ready It’s probably fine, but check it over the day before; you don’t want to discover that it’s got a flat tyre on your first morning. See cycsch.me/bike-check for a guide on how to inspect your bike in a couple of minutes. The chances are that you won’t need to actually do anything other than pump up the tyres a bit firmer. Once you’re done, ride up and down the street, going through the gears and applying each brake independently. 6. Charge your batteries Make sure that any batteries you’ll need for your commute are fully charged. If you’ll be riding an e-bike, that’s a no-brainer. You’ll also want your phone fully charged, as you may be using it for alarms (see 10, below) and/or for navigation (see p52). In the unlikely event that you get delayed, you may need it to call work. Depending on the time of day

up, put them in last so they won’t be squashed and creased, and keep them separated from grimy tools or potential spillages.

Put the heaviest items at the bottom of the bag, put work clothes in last so they won’t be squashed and creased

10. Set your alarms Your primary alarm is your normal morning alert: time to get up. Your secondary alarm is the one that tells you it’s time to leave the house. Add together your journey time (4, above), any time needed to get changed at work (2), plus an extra 10 minutes as a buffer: this is how far in advance of work starting to set your secondary alarm. So long as you’re on your bike when or shortly after this alarm sounds, relax: you’re on schedule.


ERMA G N I MADE

NY

S-BOARD + S-BLADE FIXED EASY FITMENT FOR EVERY DAY COMMUTING S-BOARD: Wheel size: 28" | Max. tyre width: 38 mm | Weight: 92 g S-BLADE FIXED: Wheel size: 28“ | Max. tyre width: 47 mm | Weight: 129 g


Brompton M2L RRP: £910 | Cyclescheme price: £682.50

Cyclescheme price

In detail

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

30

There’s a good reason to choose a Brompton for your ride to work – they’re fun! They’re also simple to fold and ride well. Folded, the M2L measures 600 x 560 x 300mm, small enough to fit in a train’s luggage rack, though some riders might find the 10.6kg weight a bit much. While the 16in wheels may be a little harsh over rougher ground, they are quick to accelerate. The M2L is the 2-speed version; a 3- and a 6-speed are also available. Anyone between 148 and 193cm (4ft 10in to 6ft 4in) will be able to adapt this bike to suit, and there are plenty of bespoke options. brompton.com

Switch between the two gears easily without moving your hand from the bar; as Brompton suggests: “one gear for hills and starting off, one for cruising”

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Mudguards and lights are optional extras; here, the L in the name refers to a Brompton with mudguards but no rack. (Lights are an extra £70.)


Round-up R AT ED R I D ES

ROUND-

UP

Compact Folders Excellent for commutes that involve a train or bus, but also just for convenience – no locking outside, you can store it under your desk, carry it up stairs…

T

he folding bicycle is almost as old as cycling itself: the first patent for a folding machine was taken out in 1887, but it was really in the 1960s and ’70s, with the arrival of the affordable family car, that the concept came into its own. Adverts might show a wholesome young couple, perhaps sporting flared jeans with high waists, lifting the folder from the boot of the Maxi, ready for an equally wholesome spin in the country. That went hand-in-hand with the motor industry’s dream of the car as the default for everyday transport. Cycling would become purely a leisure pastime, with only those too poor to buy a car relying on the bike for day-to-day travel. Well, they got their dream, with the result that it is now much quicker to cycle through most of our major towns than it is to drive, and the folding bicycle is once again the smart choice. The option to fold your bike gives maximum versatility and flexibility to your commute; whether you wish to drive part of the way and skip the congestion by taking to two wheels or carry your bike on the train or bus, the folding bicycle can always come with you. There are other practical reasons why a folder might be the choice for you. Not everyone has room for a bike at home or at work. If you live in a flat with no dedicated cycle parking, hauling a full-size hybrid up the stairs is not the recipe for a happy bike owner. A bike stashed under your desk is much safer than one chained to a railing on the street. Also think about the reasons you want to be able to fold your bike when you consider your purchase. For example, is foldability more important than the quality of the ride? Will you be folding the bike often or only occasionally? What do you want to take with you, and does the bike have the capacity to carry it? Most folders take a bit of practice to master the folding technique and it’s worth reading online reviews to see how people get on with them in the long run. It is not true to say that a folding bike is by default less capable or rideable than a standard diamond frame. Many millions of touring miles have been put in on folding bikes, taking their riders to all four corners of the Earth, while still being easy to pack up and sling on a flight or a train. It is true, though, that a poorly-thought-out folder won’t be fun to own or live with. Weight is an issue to consider, too. Folders can be a bit porky, partly because chunkier tube profiles help to mitigate flex in the system. Some owners find carrying or even lifting their bikes a struggle. Some manufacturers include little castors on which the bike can be pulled along when it is folded up.

Tern Verge N8 £825 | £618.75 It might be a folder, but the Verge N8 is built with the faster commuter in mind, offering a quite aggressive and aerodynamic riding position. The 20in wheels are shod with high-quality Schwalbe slick tyres for fast rolling and puncture protection, while the 8-speed gears offer a wide spread of ratios for hillier commutes. The price is great, though you may need to spend more to equip the bike to your requirements as racks and lights are optional extras. Tern reckons its 3-point folding system can be tackled in 10 seconds. The Verge N8 weighs 11kg and, folded, measures 790 x 720 x 380mm. ternbicycles.com

Birdy World Sport £1,169 | £876.75 Although this is Birdy’s entry-level bike, it’s still a quality machine. With front and rear suspension, the World Sport provides a much better ride than might be expected from the 18in wheels. Folding is a little more involved than some bikes, but there’s no pivot in the frame itself, making the bike solid and flex-free. There’s an 8-speed transmission with a wide spread of gears and excellent Avid V-brakes. The folded size is somewhere between the other two, at 790 x 610 x 360mm. A fairly high bottom bracket (and consequently high saddle) means it suits taller rather than shorter riders. r-m.de/en-gb/

JARGON BUSTER Wheel sizes Wheel sizes are quoted in inches, but when you need a new tyre or inner tube it’s better to use the ISO number – the diameter in millimetres at the rim. For while 20-inch wheels are generally all equal at 406, there are two incompatible 16-inch sizes – 305 and 349 – and ‘18-inch’ is only 6mm bigger than 16-inch at 355!

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

31


10 M2L £9 mpton Bro

9 a 0.7 eine £3ccon Gset

.99 ell £15og Oi B

.99 29 h City

Xe ght i III l

Kn

£

eig et Ral helm XL

This is an example of total savings for basic and higher rate taxpayers on this Cyclescheme package.

RRP

Cyclescheme Price

£740.07

£641.40

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£55.92

£47.70

1 Ownership Fee

£69.07

£69.07

25%

35%

£246.69

£345.42

£986.77

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 Own It Later Agreement with Cyclescheme. There are no further payments during the Own It Later Agreement 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 - £879.99


- RETURNS ON -

WEDNESDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER 2017 WWW.CYCLETOWORKDAY.ORG


Essentials

ESSENTI KIT

AL

WATERPROOF

JACKETS All-year-round cycle commuting calls for lightweight, packable, just-in-case showerproofs for summer, and full-on waterproofs for winter

A

good jacket is an important investment if you’re going to enjoy your cycle commuting, and be comfortable and safe. For warmer weather it’s always good to carry at least a showerproof in your bag, something lightweight you can roll up and bring out when the heavens open. Even if you leave home on a bright, sunny morning, there’s no guarantee you won’t have a wet ride home at the end of the working day. For the other six months of the year (if we’re lucky!), cold, dark nights and the need to mitigate the inattention of other road users mean you’ll need a jacket that is waterproof, wind resistant, breathable and bright. 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 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 if you’re riding in urban conditions with traffic, look for jackets with a high level of reflective detailing, preferably visible from the full 360 degrees.

Altura NightVision Evo 360 RRP: £99.99 |

Cyclescheme price: £74.99

This is for cyclists who want a weatherproof and breathable jacket that makes you visible on the road day and night. Breathable means you arrive at work without overheating, and because of the relaxed cut of the jacket, your clothes aren’t creased underneath. Visible – using Altura’s latest NV360˚ technology – means you shine as bright as a beacon in the traffic headlights for extra safety, from all directions. altura.eu

Cube AM WLS Storm Jacket £149.99 |

: £112.49

This designed-for-women, all-weather jacket is a garment for cycling to work, mountain biking at the weekend, or hiking up the nearest mountain. Waterproof and windresistant, it has a three-layer construction, with two long ventilation two-way zips on the front to stop you overheating, and an adjustable storm hood. There are reflective panels to catch the light and it packs down small enough to carry on your bike. cube.eu

Proviz Reflect 360+ Jacket £109.99 |

: £82.49

By day it’s a comfortable and modest outer layer. By night it’s a brilliantly reflective light show that really stands out, helping to keep you visible and safe on the road. The 360+ is more closely tailored than the original Reflect360, and made of more breathable material – useful for when you want to push on a little harder and raise a sweat. A rear flap allows for ventilation, but not rain penetration. But it’s the millions of tiny glass beads that catch you in drivers’ headlights that remain the main attraction. todayscyclist.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

35


dhb Flashlight Force Waterproof Jacket £100 |

: £75

Be seen, safe and snug in Wiggle’s own-brand, ultra hi-vis waterproof jacket. The top spec jacket in the Flashlight range is designed for the wettest commuting, as well as providing 360-degree visibility in all light conditions. There are strategically placed reflective logos, prints and panels on its fully waterproof material, and an adjustable hem with dropped tail for when the going gets really tough. Dual zip underarm vents stop you overheating. wiggle.co.uk

Gore Element Lady Gore-Tex Active Jacket £149.99 |

Polaris Women’s Strata Pack-Away Waterproof Jacket £85 |

: £63.75

We’ve all been caught out by a surprise shower, so on those ‘will it, won’t it rain’ days it pays to pack a top like the Strata in your back pocket. It’s lightweight and scrunches up small enough for stowage (into its own pocket), but its waterproof zips and taped seams keep the rain out. It’s tailored to suit the female form (though available in a men’s version too), and reflective details help to keep you visible in the rainy gloom. polaris-bikewear.co.uk

: £112.49

Available in a men’s version as well, the Element is ideal for wearing on your ride to work during the week, and for recreation at weekends, with a comfortable cut suitable for layering up underneath. As you’d expect from the name, it’s breathable, waterproof and windproof. Essential details include reflective prints and piping, adjustable cuffs and hem, and two front pockets ideal for keys or a train ticket. goreapparel.co.uk

Endura Luminite DL £89.99 |

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

36

: £67.49

Endura is so keen to make sure you’re seen on your commute that it’s fitted an LED light in the back of the Luminite DL jacket, with three flashing options. Add to that the jacket’s daytime hi-vis colour, and its reflective safety details to pick you out in headlights, and you should feel pretty confident about being visible in all conditions. High levels of waterproofing and breathability are just added bonuses. endurasport.com


IT‘S A LONG WALK HOME ABUS NutFix™ – wheel and seatpost security

CITY CYCLISTS NEED STRESS FREE SECURITY NutFix™ delivers in a stylish package. Made in Germany from highest grade ™ works without special keys. Available for QR or nutted axles and seatposts. Keep your components where they belong - on your bike.

NutFix™ Axle-Set Available in 100 and 135 mm length

NutFix™ Available in black, red or silver

www.abus.com

NutFix™ SPC Replacement for seat-clamps


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

38

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Cube Elly Cruise Hybrid 400 RRP: £2,099 | Cyclescheme price: £1,849 This bike’s traditional townie looks disguise a highly-tuned aluminium frame specifically built to house the excellent Bosch Active Drive Unit. It comes with a 400Wh battery, for useful mileage between charges. The hub-mounted Shimano 7-speed Nexus gears allow the transmission to be fully enclosed for clean riding and minimal maintenance. Hydraulically operated Magura rim brakes are rare on an e-bike but tried-andtested technology. Full-size 700C wheels add to comfort, as do the 50mm wide tyres and the bike has a suspension fork. You also get built-in lights (controlled from the display), a kickstand, quality mudguards and rack. cube.eu


Round-up

ROUND-

UP

R AT ED R I D ES

E-bikes A bit of electrical assistance could make a big difference to your commute – not just how far you can cycle, but whether you cycle…

T

he e-bike revolution continues apace. An estimated 30,000 were sold in the UK in 2016. However, we still lag behind our European neighbours – the Germans bought about half a million of them over the same period. Are we cautious adopters, or is the UK’s below-par cycling infrastructure holding us back? If the former, it may be time we reassessed our attitude towards the “Pedelec”. In contrast to Heath Robinson lash-ups of early ventures into electric bike technology, today’s e-bikes are sleek, practical and reliable. Range continues to improve too, as smart control technology makes the most of the battery capacity. Various systems are employed to deliver the power, but the most sophisticated technology is pedal-assist, where clever strain gauges at the bottom bracket measure the rider’s effort and tell the control computer how much motor assistance to add. This is the system employed in Bosch’s Active Drive unit, fitted in two of the bikes highlighted here. Most bikes offer you a degree of choice over how much help you want the motor to provide, controlled from a push-button on the handlebar display unit. This allows you to make the most efficient use of the battery life available, or get to the top of the steepest hills without breaking sweat. The motor may be mounted in the front or rear wheel hub, or it can be built into the transmission between your feet. Motors mounted at the cranks rather than in the wheel make it easier to remove and refit the wheels, for example for dismantling the bike to put in the car, or in the event of a puncture. Weight is definitely still an issue – even the lightest e-bikes are a bit of a grunt; but if the battery can be removed and refitted easily, you can effectively lift the bike in two parts. Batteries are often mounted in a purpose-designed rear rack which also adds luggage-carrying capacity. Sometimes it might be mounted on the frame itself, which can improve the handling of the bike by keeping weight off the back wheel. Whichever system you choose, make sure connecting the battery to the charger is a simple process, whether that needs to be done on or off the bike. Of course, none of this clever technology comes cheap and you can expect to pay around double for an electric bike compared with a similarly equipped traditional machine. However, comparing that additional outlay to the money saved in rail fares or petrol does help lessen the shock. Everyone who takes a ride on an e-bike comes back smiling. There are riders who have been delighted to extend their cycling careers into their 80s thanks to switching to an electrically assisted bike. But it’s not just older people who benefit: by making a commute by bike a practical option for far more people, e-bikes are helping create an irresistible push towards cleaner, healthier transport choices for the 21st Century.

Scott E-Sub Tour £1,999 | £1,749 Based around the same Bosch motor system as the Cube, the Scott E-Sub Tour has a wide-ranging 10-speed transmission and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes to match the climbing ability with downhill safety. The 700C wheels are built with tough Rodi touring rims and the fat Continental tyres add comfort and reliable grip. It comes in a unisex step-through version and a diamond frame model, both of which have the battery mounted on the frame. This help keeps the weight well balanced. Built-in lights, mudguards, a stand and a frame-mounted rear wheel lock make for a complete deal. scott-sports.com

Pulse ZR-2 £899 | £674.25 New brand Pulse, from the same stable as EBCO bikes, has two models in its entry-level range: the ZL-2 is the diamond frame, while the ZR-2 is the step-through model. Both use a cadence sensor to detect when you’re pedalling, then adding assistance through the Tranz-X rear hub motor. That’s often seen on more expensive bikes so is a quality component for a bike at this price. There are three levels of assistance and seven gears. The 316Wh battery pack should be good for 30-40 miles. Both frames are available in two sizes. For the price, the level of equipment is good with a rack, mudguards, kickstand and lights all included. pulse-ebikes.co.uk

JARGON BUSTER Hub gears Unlike the Scott and Pulse, which have rear derailleurs that move the chain from sprocket to sprocket, the Cube has a hub gear. Here, all the mechanisms are contained inside the shell of the rear hub, out of harm’s way, and you can change gear while standing still.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

39


9 e ,09 ruis £2be Elly C00 Cu brid 4 Hy

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

RRP

Cyclescheme Price

£1,849

£1,749

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

£56.67

£48.33

1 Ownership Fee

£70

£70

Percentage saving

25%

35%

£1,099

£1,099

£250

£350

£2,099 12 monthly hire payments

Additional funds you pay*

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 Own It Later Agreement with Cyclescheme. There are no further payments during the Own It Later Agreement 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.

40

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Save e 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


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.

Take a snap

2 3

Write us a message using #cyclescheme

Share it with us


Essentials

ESSENTI KIT

AL

HELMETS They’re not compulsory on British roads, but if you wish to use a helmet on your commute then you’re spoilt for choice

A

lthough by law you don’t have to wear a helmet when cycling on the road in the UK, today’s helmet designs are so light, comfortable and inexpensive that there’s very little reason not to. All helmets have to meet certain impact protection standards, so the main differences aren’t to do with how safe they are but are more about the design: their weight, ventilation, ease of adjustment and looks. Most come with dial-to-fit internal retention systems, so finding one that suits your head shape is easy. Ideally, you’ll want a helmet that combines good ventilation to keep you cool with as much head coverage as possible for protection. Features to look for might include a short, removable peak that can help deflect sun and rain, and an insect net for preventing pesky visitors. Use a helmet for your commute every day and you’ll appreciate removable liner pads that can be washed if they’re getting smelly. Even if the majority of your commute is on cyclepaths or towpaths, chances are some sections will involve riding on the road, where it’s crucial to be seen by other road users, especially in bad weather or at night. To help, some helmets feature reflective detailing and LED rear lights embedded into the shell; having a rear light mounted at head height can really add to your overall level of visibility.

Endura Hummvee RRP £42.99 |

Cyclescheme price: £32.24

Aimed at the urban market as well as mountain bikers, the Hummvee, unlike its namesake, is a slimline helmet that won’t have you removing car wing mirrors as you pass by on your way to and from work. It has internal padding for a comfy fit, along with a micro-adjuster at the rear, a removable visor for keeping sun (or rain) off, and it comes in three sizes. endurasport.com

Giro Quarter £29.99 |

: £22.49

This skate/mountain bike style helmet is a commuter favourite too. A tough outer ABS shell protects the impact-absorbing EPS liner, and sweat-absorbing pads can be swapped around to achieve the perfect fit. It comes in a range of fun colours to match (or deliberately clash with…) your clothing, bike or accessories, and three different sizes to suit most heads. zyrofisher.co.uk

Raleigh City XL £29.99 |

: £22.49

There aren’t that many helmets out there suitable for the bigger rider, but the City XL is made to fit heads measuring 60-65cm. Being on the large side it’s not the lightest at 305g, but it has 15 vents to stop you from overheating, and a dial system for a snug fit. The peak is useful for keeping out sun and rain, and it’s detachable too if you prefer to ride without. raleigh.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

43


Overade Plixi £59.99 |

: £44.99

A folding helmet may convince reluctant wearers that a lid isn’t too inconvenient to lug around off the bike. The Plixi slides, folds and pivots down to around a third of its size, for easy carrying in its own pouch. As with all the helmets here, it passes all the official safety regulations and comes in two sizes, S/M and M/L, and in white, black or blue. upgradebikes.co.uk

Alpina City Helmet Panoma Yellow £59.99 |

Cyclescheme price

: £44.99

Not only does this sporty-looking helmet offer you the protection you want for your head, its bright yellow colour and a rear LED light provide welcome extra visibility to help you stand out on busy city streets. It’s a light 255g with a generous 23 vents, and extras include a visor and an insect net for when your route gets buzzy as well as busy… todayscyclist.co.uk

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

Catlike Tako Urban £52.99 |

: £39.74

Catlike has a unique style that’s instantly recognisable, with Swisscheese-like vents that stop your head from getting too sweaty. As the name suggests, its Tako Urban is a stylish design for town or city rider. A nice touch is the internal and detachable cloth visor that looks like you’re wearing a traditional cycle cap. Like the old pros, who knew about wind, sun and rain protection, you can wear it up or down. i-ride.co.uk

Abus Pedelec Helmet £79.99 |

: £59.99

A safety-first helmet designed because of the increased use and speed of e-bikes in the city; note the deep temple and neck protection areas. Whether it’s any safer than any of the other helmets here is hard to verify, but features include an integrated rain cap and insect mesh, plus a large LED rear light for visibility from 180 degrees, ideal as you head for home on dark evenings. zyrofisher.co.uk 44


Bike insurance Are you covered? disc

oun

t

-a bus pplies ines to n s pre & first ew miu m o year’s nly

If your bike is stolen or damaged beyond repair before it’s been paid for, as part of your Cyclescheme agreement you’re responsible for replacing it. So don’t leave it until it’s too late, protect your bike today with Cycleguard insurance, visit

www.cycleguard.co.uk/CS15 The price online via the specified URL will automatically include the 15% discount. Discount valid until 31/12/17.

Cycleguard is a trading style of Thistle Insurance Services Limited. Thistle Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Lloyd’s Broker. Registered in England under No. 00338645 Registered office: 68 Lombard Street London EC3V 9LJ. Cyclescheme Limited are Appointed Representatives of Thistle Insurance Services Limited. TPD0581 2 0217


Top shops You’ve got your Cyclescheme Certificate sorted, but where will you exchange it? In this age of internet bargains, local bike shops are having to raise their game – and many certainly are…

46

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Top shops

I

t’s a freezing February day outside, but we’re warming ourselves by the red hot logburner that’s the central feature at Inspiral Cycles in Bishop Auckland, a cup of tea in one hand and a slice of flapjack in the other. It’s not only the tea and the stove that are hot, either. Owner Gary Ewing is showing us the glowing reviews from happy customers on his Facebook page. “It doesn’t matter to me whether my customer has £500 or thousands,” he says, “we’re interested in providing the best bike for them. Everyone’s working to a budget and putting in as much as they can afford.” Since he opened Inspiral Cycles, that’s been his mantra – and for good business reasons, too. “We’re still building the business after two years,” he says, “so we really have to focus on our reputation. It’s all about numbers cycling; the more people we can get on bikes, the better it is for us!”

What, and where? If you’re a newcomer to cycle commuting or this is the first time you’ve considered spending serious money on a new bicycle, it can be a bit daunting. Whichever bike you choose, it’s going to be with you for a good while so you really want to make sure it’s the right one for you and the riding you have in mind. This is why ‘where’ you exchange your Certificate is a very important factor in the decision about ‘what’ to choose. Inspiral Cycles is one of the 2,000 retailers across the UK that work with Cyclescheme – you can find your local store, or browse the online options available to you, at: http://cycsch.me/retail. Despite the well-publicised boom in bike sales, and the huge swell in awareness of and interest in cycling, running a viable high street bike shop is still a far-from-easy venture. Overheads are high; margins are low and are squeezed even further by

online discounting. Gary knew this when he opened Inspiral, and says that’s why customer service is his number one business weapon. As he puts it, “You can’t buy a haircut over the internet!” – and so far, nobody’s worked out how to do bicycle servicing by post, either. In order to survive in this very competitive market place, bike shops have had to change. The dark, dusty old cave, staffed by equally dusty old fellows in oil-stained overalls talking about “gear-inches”, is an endangered species, if not already declared extinct. Many modern bike shops are light, bright and airy, with plenty of room to browse, good changing facilities, maybe even a cafe to create a space where people can relax in a cyclecentric atmosphere. Heaven, I’m in… One excellent example of how to do it is Cycle Heaven in York, another Cyclescheme Retailer. Actually, it’s

Whichever bike you choose, it’s going to be with you for a good while so you really want to make sure it’s the right one for you and the riding you have in mind www.cyclescheme.co.uk

47


now three great examples because as well as its HQ it has two smaller branches – its bijou shop in the old-fashioned community high street of Bishopthorpe Road, and its commuter-minded hire, workshop and retail space at York Station. The main shop, spread over two floors of a former barracks in Hospital Fields Road, has an uncluttered layout, making it easy to get about, even if you’re pushing a buggy. Cycle Heaven is strong on town riding, as you might expect in a flat city, but if your commute is more ‘long and fast’, or you’re intending to get out and about more at weekends, you’ll be pleased to hear it doesn’t neglect the sportier side, with sports massage and bike-fitting delivered in-house. It even has baby-changing facilities and wheelchair-accessible toilets, plus there’s a cafe – so you can keep fuelled as you choose your new commuter.

British Cycling’s Breeze project has worked with the Association of Cycle Traders to recognise independent cycle shops that support women new to riding 48

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Keep them coming Some independent shops are looking for innovative ways to make sure that when customers do come to exchange their Cyclescheme Certificates, they’ll become regular returners for what will be, it’s hoped, a lifetime cycling obsession. The Cyclists Lounge in Chobham, Surrey, offers its customers (both online and at its Surrey shop) various levels of membership. Cyclescheme customers who choose The Cyclists Lounge gain automatic membership, entitling them to discounts off bikes, parts and accessories while they remain a member (T&Cs apply). The man behind The Cyclists Lounge, Paul Mander-O’Beirne, says: “Gold Membership automatically gets the customer a 5.75% discount on the new bike, plus 20% of the price as Loyalty Points that can be used against kit, clothing and so on, so


Top shops the Cyclescheme discount would be made to work even harder.” He’s also constantly talking to other businesses about ways of cooperating to offer new riders extra value: for example, discounted gym memberships. When we spoke to him, Paul had just got back from Gran Canaria, where he had organised a winter riding holiday for The Cyclists Lounge members, including coaching and guided rides. Women ride too! Women, in particular, have often felt intimidated by bike shops. Paul Mander-O’Beirne puts it like this: “A woman who’s a newcomer to cycling is likely to be treated differently than a man who’s a newcomer to cycling.” To try to change this, British Cycling’s Breeze project – which aims to promote cycling among women – has worked with the Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) to recognise independent cycle shops that support women new to riding, with good advice, a range of women’s bikes and kit and information on how to get involved in local rides for women. One example is Total Fitness in Bath. Walk into the shop and the first clothing range you’ll see is for women, a deliberate effort to make women feel comfortable as soon as they come in to browse. “We understand how intimidating it can be to walk into a bike shop,” says sales assistant Sarah Rolley, “particularly if it is your first time buying a bike, and so we have placed a women-specific area at the front of the store to limit that feeling as much as possible. “We are never satisfied with what we offer and work with our suppliers to take advantage of their greater market research as well as asking our customers what they like

and dislike. There is a great range of women-specific clothing, bikes and accessories which are no longer in the realm of ‘pink it and shrink it’ but specifically designed to suit a woman’s anatomy and aesthetics.” Sarah is on hand to give any advice needed with choosing the correct bike and ensuring that riding it is comfortable, as well as any help with family riding, being a mum herself. “We know that women can feel better just seeing another woman working in the store,” says Sarah. “We have run female-specific events, including bike maintenance courses, and have plans for many more over the next year. We are supporters of the Breeze Network and attend the Women’s Only Triathlon in the Cotswolds in June each year

where we take a selection of clothing and accessories.” A trip to Bath makes a lovely day out, but if it’s too far you can search for your nearest recognised femalefriendly shop at the ACT website thecyclingexperts.co.uk, remembering to check that it’s a Cyclescheme Retailer at http://cycsch.me/retail. And if you need more ideas on how to choose your bike – online or from your local shop – turn to the feature on page 20.

Inspiral Cycles Bishop Auckland

Cycle Heaven York

Total Fitness Bath

Find your local Cyclescheme retailer by using our search tool at cycsch.me/retail

The Cyclists Lounge Chobham www.cyclescheme.co.uk

49


Cyclescheme price

ESSENTI KIT

AL

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

LIGHTS Whether it’s for seeing with or being seen by, a good set of lights should be high on your list of accessories for your commute

L

Lezyne Micro Drive 450XL/Micro Pair RRP: £79.99 |

Cyclescheme price: £59.99

If your commute takes in unlit roads, the Micro Drive 450XL front light has a very useful ‘overdrive’ setting that limits your modes to just two, which act like main (450 lumens) and dip (75 lumens) on a car. Six other modes include constant and flashing/pulsing, with brightnesses varying from 350 lumens down to 15, giving run-times of 1-25 hours. The Micro rear has five modes, from 5 to 30 lumens, plus a super-bright 70-lumen ‘Dayflash’. upgradebikes.co.uk

ights are essential if you’re commuting in the dark – which can be both morning and afternoon during the winter – and they’re becoming even more popular for keeping you safe during the day. So even when we’re well into British Summer Time, with long days stretching ahead, a good set of lights will come in handy on your commute. Essentially, you have two types of light: those for seeing with, for navigating at night on unlit roads, cyclepaths, towpaths, byways; and those for being Exposure Sirius TraceR pack seen by – making you visible in traffic, whether that’s £129.99 | : £97.49 at night under streetlights or during the day. Many Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, and its namesake lights these days feature special ‘daytime’ modes – here lights up the dark with 550 lumens, enabling you to extra-bright settings for helping you stand out in tackle your commute at high speeds – particularly useful traffic, even on a sunny day. if you have a long way to go. In this mode it lasts 2 hours, For commuting, rechargeable lights are and switching to lower or pulsing modes will preserve battery life. The TraceR rear has three brightness modes, convenient, economical and pretty commonplace in constant or pulsing, including a hard-to-miss 75-lumen – of the selection on these pages only the Busch high. Both lights are USB rechargeable (taking 4 hours to & Müller rear uses removable AA batteries (which do so), and are handmade in the UK. exposurelights.com makes perfect sense for a light that’s bolted to your bike, though of course you could use rechargeables). Most can be charged from a wall socket and/or your computer’s USB port. If you work in an office, being able to charge your light through your computer is handy, so you’re always ready for the ride home (though do check charging times if you’re going to be relying on this, especially for longer commutes). Whatever lights you use, it’s always worth carrying a couple of little LED lights as backup. A head-torch makes a useful front light backup and is invaluable if you have to fix a puncture in the dark. 50


Essentials Moon LX360 & Ring rear light set £79.99 |

: £59.99

The LX360 front light can be mounted to your bike or your helmet – useful if your commute takes you off the beaten track, and very handy if you puncture in the dark. It comes with a remote switch, making it easy to change modes when it’s on your helmet. Its fairly narrow beam pattern and powerful overdrive mode let you ride fast on unlit roads, and flashing modes extend battery life (2.5-13 hours). The Ring rear promises 270-degree visibility, very useful for urban riding, and is bright enough for town and country commutes. raleigh.co.uk

Xeccon Geinea III Front and Rear Light £30.79 |

Cateye Volt 500 XC/ Rapid X2 set £99.99 |

: £74.99

The Volt 500 XC’s highest constant setting is actually 400 lumens, enough for seeing your way on unlit roads, with its name coming from the 500-lumen featuring in the superbright pulse – ideal for daytime use. It also has a 100-lumen flash with a run-time of 30 hours. Attaching with a simple rubber strap means it’s easy to remove from your bike for safe-keeping. The 80-lumen Rapid X2 is not only exceptionally bright for a rear light, it also offers excellent allround visibility. zyrofisher.co.uk

Busch & £39 |

: £23.09

If your commute is along street-lit urban roads, there’s no need for an expensive, high-powered, light-up-the-dark setup, you just want to be seen. The Xeccons are USB rechargeable, single-LED units, both offering either steady or strobe modes. They share the same run-times of 2.5-9 hours, and take 2.5 hours to recharge. The ladder-style bands fit handlebar and seatpost and are easy to attach and remove, and both units are water resistant. todayscyclist.co.uk

Topeak Aero USB Combo £59.99 |

: £44.99

If you’ve chosen a speedy machine for your commute, with aerodynamic tube shapes, your options for lighting might be limited – but the Aero USB Combo comes to the rescue. Small but powerful lights for being seen by, they come with mounts to fit aero seatstays and fork blades. Don’t have aero tubes? They also come with mounts for round tubes/handlebars, and for clipping to bags/backpacks. Each light has just two modes, constant or blinking, with run-times of 10.5 Müller IQ Eyro 30 Lux or 40 hours, and they take 2 hours : £29.25 & Toplight Flat S to charge. extrauk.co.uk

Permanent

£29 |

: £21.75

Sometimes less is more, and the Eyro front light could be a popular choice for the simple fact that it offers just two modes: high and low. Both front and rear lights bolt to your bike, but while the rechargeable front can be easily removed from its fork mount, the Toplight fixes more permanently to a rack, and takes two AA batteries. It also uses a patented ‘Linetec’ lens system to kick out an impressive strip of light with 220-degree visibility. amba-marketing.com www.cyclescheme.co.uk

51


A better way to work Planning a route that best suits you and your bike will pay dividends every day. Here's how to go about it...

W

hen we’re heading to work in the morning, most of us go with the flow – the traffic flow. That’s okay in a car, where the biggest roads into and through towns and cities are usually the best option. But on a bike, you generally want the opposite: the small roads, backstreets, and cycle tracks that motor vehicles can’t or don’t use. Such routes are quieter and less stressful. They have cleaner air. They can be just as quick, even when they’re longer, as they avoid congestion and traffic lights. The problem is that cycle-friendly routes aren’t always signposted. And the exact route from your house to your work never is. So you’ll need to research the best route yourself. It’s worth doing even if you’re an experienced cycle commuter; you might discover shortcuts or alternatives you never knew existed.

52

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


A better way to work Your ideal commute Everyone wants a commute that’s relatively comfortable and doesn’t take too long, but different cyclists have different criteria. What’s most important to you? And what bike will you be riding? A born-again cyclist might want to avoid a busy road that doesn’t greatly bother the experienced roadie. A heavy cyclist on a 3-speed roadster may skirt the hills the e-bike rider scoffs at. For a mountain biker or cyclo-crosser, a section of bridleway might be brilliant fun – but it could be impassable on a compact folder. Keep your ideal commuting conditions in mind. Don’t fall into the trap of automatically picking the shortest route between home and work. It might have gradients, traffic volumes, or riding surfaces you’d rather avoid.

Online route planners provide turn-by-turn instructions... download a smartphone app to get sat-nav directions on your handlebar Homework Routes are easiest to research digitally, but let’s start with the old school option: a paper map. Forget road atlases and A-to-Zs; they’re designed for drivers. For rural commutes, 1:25,000-scale Ordnance Survey Explorer maps are more useful. As well as showing smaller roads in detail, they display other cycling rights of way such as bridleways and traffic-free cycle tracks, along with topography. Visit ordnancesurvey.co.uk/shop/ to find and buy maps.

For urban commutes, largerscale city maps (eg 1:10,000) are more practical. There’s an increasing number aimed at city cyclists, displaying cycle tracks, roads with cycle lanes, quieter roads, and suchlike. The Sustrans map shop is your best bet for these: visit https://shop.sustrans.org.uk/maps. Once you’ve got your paper map, simply draw over promising-looking routes with a highlighter pen. Online route planners do this job for you: you just type in your journey’s start and end points. The CycleStreets Journey Planner at cyclestreets.net is particularly good as you can choose between ‘fastest’, ‘quietest’ and ‘balanced’ cycling options. While its routes are often less cycle-friendly, Google Maps is handy too: visit google.co.uk.maps and click the cyclist icon. You’ll usually get two or three options. Both of these online route planners provide turn-by-turn instructions you can print out. Better yet, download a smartphone app to get sat-nav instructions on your handlebar. (Google Maps does this. For CycleStreets, you’ll want the Bike

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

53


Hub Journey Planner – see Essential Apps.) Be sure to plot your route from work to home as well as from home to work, as this may be different because of one-way streets, difficult junctions or hills. Fieldwork Time to get on your commuter bike and test-ride the routes. It’s much, much easier to follow your route options if you can fix your map/ instructions/smartphone to your bike’s handlebar or stem. For a map or printed instructions, you’ll want a ‘map trap’ or a handlebar bag with a transparent map pocket on top; your local bike shop should be able to order either. For a smartphone, there are lots of bike mounts to choose from; Quad Lock (quadlockcase.co.uk) is a good one. If you can’t see your map/ instructions/phone on the go, be prepared to stop often to check. That shouldn’t be a problem as it’s best to reconnoitre your routes when you’re not on the clock – at the weekend, for example, even though that won’t give you the best picture of peak-time traffic flows. Take notes as necessary, writing directly onto your map/instructions

54

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

You don’t have to restrict yourself to one commuting route. Maybe you’ll exploit those lighter evenings by switching to a longer route home in summer or recording comments on your smartphone. That way you won’t forget if a certain stretch of the route has dangerous potholes, or would be too muddy when wet, or lacks streetlights, or whatever. You might write off some route options entirely. After you’ve explored your options, pick your favourite and then look for opportunities to finesse it. You might be able to avoid a bit of busy road by pushing your bike

for a few yards, for example, or by choosing a different backstreet. The dry run Now that you’ve got a good route to work, do a dry run. No diversions, no research, no stops to take notes. Just ride from home to work and back again, with all your commuting clobber with you on the bike. Time each journey with your watch/cycle computer/smartphone. Don’t race; ride at easy pace. This gives you a benchmark time within which you know you can comfortably do the journey. If you’re ever running late in future, you can step on it and still get to work on time. You don’t have to restrict yourself to one commuting route. Maybe you’ll exploit those lighter evenings by switching to a longer route home in summer. A secluded cycle track might be ideal in daylight but feel unsafe at night. Or perhaps you’ll use that bridleway only when it’s dry. You’ll spend hours and hours riding to and from work over the course of a year, so it’s worth investing a little time now to make this as pleasant as it can be. Most commuters endure their journeys; on a bike, you can enjoy them.


A better way to work

Essential apps Google Maps A fast and reliable sat-nav app for cycling, and it may already be on your phone. Routes aren’t always the most cycle-friendly, though. Free. iPhone and Android Bike Hub Journey Planner Combines the route-finding engine of CycleStreets with sat-nav style instructions, which are easier to follow than a list-style itinerary. Free. iPhone and Android Met Office Weather Will you need your waterproofs? Or will you get blue skies and a glorious tailwind? Highly local forecasts are the strength of this app. Free (£2.99 for ad-free version). iPhone and Android Cyclemeter Turn your smartphone into a cycle computer and log everything from speed and distance to calories expended and height gained. Free (Elite version £7.99). iPhone Fill That Hole This app pinpoints a pothole’s location with the phone’s GPS and sends it, with a photo and a description, to the authority responsible for fixing it. Free. iPhone and Android

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

55


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

56

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Giant Toughroad SLR 1 RRP: £999 | Cyclescheme price: £749.25 Take in some rough trails or paths on your commute? The Toughroad SLR1 is a seamless blend of mountain bike, tourer and fast city ride. The frame is aluminium, with a carbon fork and seatpost for weight-saving and vibration damping. The transmission is SRAM’s 2x10-speed setup, with the 28-tooth small chainring and 36-tooth big rear sprocket more than enough to tackle most hills. Brakes are Shimano’s reliable hydraulic discs, working on Giant’s own wheelset and some whopping 50mm wide Maxxis Maxlight tyres. Considering the bike comes fitted with beefy racks it offers excellent value, though mudguards aren’t standard. giant-bicycles.com


Round-up

ROUND-

UP

R AT ED R I D ES

Trekking bikes Ready for adventure in far-off places, these also make perfect sense for the daily commute, capable of carrying all your workday needs

T

he name may conjure up images of gung-ho adventures over the Andes far removed from your daily ride to the office, but don’t let the marketing departments’ hyperbole deflect you from considering what are among the most versatile and wellkitted-out bikes on the market. Ideas vary among manufacturers as to what constitutes a trekking bike, but for our purposes we’re referring to hybrid machines that sit somewhere between a traditional touring bike and a mountain bike. Some might have a little twist of cyclo-cross thrown in, or veer more towards a road bike but with that defining flat handlebar and extra load-carrying capability. From mountain biking they take the straight, low-rise handlebars, disc brakes and wide spread of gears; from touring come the rack mounts and stable handling. The 700C wheels are cyclo-cross-cum-road-cum-29er mountain bike, meaning they are fast rolling, tough and capable of wearing a huge choice of tyres for almost any conditions. At the same time, trekking bikes steer clear of the less desirable features and habits of the thoroughbred bicycles that inform their design. The chunky, knobbly, draggy mountain bike tyres are replaced by plump slick or semi-slicks that roll easily yet offer plenty of cushioning on rougher cyclepaths and canal-side rides. So too is the suspension fork, which at best adds complexity and maintenance issues and at worst does little more than add weight. On a bike meant for commuting it’s so much better to let the tyres do the job of absorbing shocks and bumps. Experiment with tyre pressures to find the best balance of grip, speed and comfort. The flat top-tube of the traditional touring bike is replaced with a sloping design to offer better stand-over clearance. Flat bars, instead of drops, are easier to handle in traffic and give a more upright riding position with a better view of the road. Looking around at your fellow commuters you might come to the conclusion that the best way to carry your kit is in a rucksack or courier bag slung over your shoulder, but don’t believe it. Courier-style is good for couriers who have to get around fast and with minimum faffing with panniers and packs. It’s become the hipster thing now, but whiskery old commuters will tell you it’s much more comfortable to get the load off you and onto the bike, and that’s one reason why trekking bikes, with their ability to take racks (usually front and back), make such good commuting bikes. They often come fitted, but if not there’s a huge choice of aftermarket racks at a wide range of prices. With all trekking bikes having advantages for the commuter, being practical bikes with go-anywhere attitude, which one you choose could depend as much on your intended weekend use.

Dawes Galaxy Cross AL £699.99 | £524.25 Galaxy is Dawes’ long-established name for its touring bikes and that should tell you a lot about where this bike fits into its range. Essentially a tourer with a flat bar, the Galaxy Cross AL is also flagged up as a commuter choice. The top tube of the alloy frame is sloped to give more clearance in stop-start riding, it comes with a rear rack and mudguards, and the fork has rack mounts too. Shimano’s hydraulic brakes are low maintenance and powerful, while a triple chainset and Shimano’s reliable 8-speed Acera derailleur and cassette give mountain bike-like gearing. dawescycles.com

Scott Silence 20 £999 | £749.25 The Scott Silence 20 is designed to be quick and easy to ride and is loaded with practical details. Both frame and fork are aluminium, with carrier rack mounts, and the geometry is aimed at a comfortable riding position. A 30-speed transmission from Shimano’s workhorse Deore range and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes ensure slick gear changing and powerful stopping. The plump 40mm Schwalbe tyres roll easily but offer lots of cushioning comfort. It comes complete with mudguards, lights, rear rack and a stand, and is also available in a women’s style frame. scott-sports.com

JARGON BUSTER 8/9/10-speed? When referring to gearing, 10-speed (or 9-speed, 8-speed, 11-speed…) refers to the number of sprockets on the rear cassette; 30-speed is another way of writing 10-speed with a triple chainset up front.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

57


1 SLR ad o r gh Tou

99

£9 nt Gia

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

RRP

Cyclescheme Price

£749.25

£649.35

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£56.61

£48.29

1 Ownership Fee

£69.93

£69.93

25%

35%

£249.75

£349.65

£999

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 Own It Later Agreement with Cyclescheme. There are no further payments during the Own It Later Agreement period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme (see page 6 for more details).

58

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


BE SEEN IN R A PH A Save from 25% with Cyclescheme RAPHA LONDON 85 BREWER ST, SOHO LONDON, W1F 9ZN

RAPHA.CC

RAPHA MANCHESTER 5 ST ANN’S PASSAGE MANCHESTER, M2 6AD


Lisa Chakrabarti

We catch up with the commuters featured on the Cyclescheme website. This issue: university lecturer Lisa Chakrabarti

L

isa Chakrabarti is 46, has two teenage sons, and isn’t new to cycle commuting. She was already riding her bike to work when her children were small, towing them to nursery in a trailer. Now clocking up 24 miles a day, she’s also looking ahead to when she can use her bike for some longer leisure trips… What are the best things about your daily commute? Being outdoors is amazing. In the winter I see the sunrise and set, and can easily stop and take photos or stand there and gaze at the beautiful countryside. I see a pair of buzzards pretty regularly. In the summer, the feeling of the breeze as you freewheel down a hill is indescribably uplifting. The connection with the weather, the rain and the wind (Nottingham is

60

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Cyclescheme 7 quite windy!) takes you back to the very basics. My commute has some long stretches where it is possible to do a lot of thinking/emptying of the mind – depending on the day!

Fact file

And the worst? The worst thing about it is probably the extra laundry, but that’s really up to the washing machine to deal with. How would you describe your general lifestyle? I am not sporty, but enjoy being outdoors. I am interested in good food and love to cook. Exercise is definitely required to allow the ‘foodie’ in me to express herself without becoming an unmanageable size. My area of interest at work is in ageing and there is plenty of evidence to support the use of exercise as a way to keep your brain and body healthy as we get older. It’s hard to ignore these things when this is what you work on! How fit were you before starting your impressive 24-mile roundtrip commute? I’ve always tried to cycle commute since I was a student. I commuted by bike in the US with the kids in a trailer when they were small, dropping them at nursery on the way to work. With small children it was good to know I wouldn’t be stuck in traffic on the way to picking them up. About 15 years ago I got into running. I’ve run a bunch of marathons (not very quickly) and lots of half marathons, and other distances too. Now I am happy with Parkrun on Saturday mornings and a few other runs as and when I can rather than doing races. What’s the alternative car commute like? It’s actually pretty easy. About 20-25 minutes in the reverse direction to the

Name: Lisa Chakrabarti Lives: Nottingham Occupation: Lecturer at the University of Notttingham Commute: 12 miles each way from Nottingham suburbs through rolling countryside to the Biosciences/Vet School campus. The roads are busy to begin with but there are lots of opportunities to use cycle paths. A relatively small proportion of the journey involves riding with traffic. Frequency: Every day. Cyclescheme bike: Orange Condor ‘Fratello’, custom built. Why I started cycling: I’ve always commuted by bike when feasible, since I was a student. When I worked in the US I even towed the kids in a bike trailer on the way to nursery.

general commute. But it means I arrive at work feeling sluggish. Surely there have been days, especially over winter, when you’ve really not fancied the ride? How do you overcome that? In all honestly, I dread mooching along in the car much more. I’m also lazy and hate parking in the car park and then having to walk to my building. I’d rather ride right up to the door. The only days I haven’t cycled have been due to very high winds (like Storm Doris). Anything over about

15mph and it doesn’t feel like I’m in control any more. However, mostly I manage to dodge the times of the day when it is windiest. What are the things you’d consider ‘essential’ for your cycle commute? Really good lights that are rechargeable. A bit of ‘uncool’ high-vis certainly gets you noticed. Once I’d been commuting for a while and knew I was going to stick with the longer distance, I got one or two pieces of cycling clothing that I feel amazing in. My favourite top is a superfine merino jersey from Vulpine. Padded undies are good for anything over about six miles each way. Any tips you could pass on to a new cycle commuter? My attitude is to make sure that I am enjoying myself and not always pushing hard. To stay safe I make sure to remind myself that I must not ride in a hurry. I either leave easily enough time for the commute or decide that a few minutes late isn’t the end of the world. Otherwise, it’s easy to take a risk and nip in here and there while forgetting how vulnerable a cyclist can be. What next? A local sportive perhaps or joining a club? Nope, I’m not interested in racing and I don’t really have the time for regular scheduled activities with a club. However, I do have a real wish to do some light touring, hence the touring bicycle. My husband also enjoys cycling so we would do this together. As the family grows up and gradually they spend more time away, we find we have more time to set off on short adventures, day rides and sometimes longer. Eventually we’ll hop across the Channel by train and ferry taking our bikes along… www.cyclescheme.co.uk

61


My Cyclescheme Get more online cyclescheme.co.uk Cycle Commuter magazine is just the beginning. Visit the Cyclescheme website for regular news, bike and accessory 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.

Driver training http://cycsch.me/10-things If you’re a driver who’s new to cycling, this 10-point feature will help you understand and empathise with your fellow riders when you get behind your steering wheel.

Stop thief! http://cycsch.me/ThiefProof The last thing you want, after getting hold of your lovely new bike for your commute, is to see some thieving lowlife making off with it. Here’s how to thief-proof your bike.

How to replace brake pads http://cycsch.me/BrakePads At some point, even if you live in the fens, your brake pads will need replacing. It’s not difficult, and it shouldn’t be ignored. Here’s how.

Social Media Follow Cyclescheme on Twitter for the latest updates, or share your 140-character thoughts with us. You can find us at @cycleschemeltd You can also catch up with us on our Facebook page, just visit facebook.com/cyclescheme Why not check out our Instagram account @cyclescheme, and share your pics with us using the #cyclescheme hashtag?

Best bags http://cycsch.me/Bags Pannier or backpack? Which is best for commuting? And when you’ve decided which type you’re going for, which among those should you choose? We help you decide.

How to get fitter, faster http://cycsch.me/FitFast Cycling to work is a great way to get fit, but you can speed up the process with a little extra knowhow – which you’ll find here.

Commuter tales: Brett http://cycsch.me/C7Brett Brett already had a bike, but like many cyclists out there, he needed just one more… The Brompton he bought through Cyclescheme means he can now combine pedalling with putting his feet up on the train.

62

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


UK designed for year - round performanceÂ

UPGRADE YOUR COMMUTE

"XBSEXJOOJOH8IZUFCJLFTBSFEFTJHOFEJOUIF6,BOEQSPNJTFZFBSSPVOEDPNGPSUBOESFMJBCJMJUZ XIBUFWFSUIFXFBUIFSPSUIFSPBEUISPXTBUZPV̓ 4VSFGPPUFEIBOEMJOHJTHVBSBOUFFEUIBOLTUP8IZUFTBDDMBJNFEGSBNFHFPNFUSZ̓%JTDCSBLFTPòFSMPXNBJOUFOBODFBOEIJHIQFSGPSNBODF  QVODUVSFSFTJTUBOUUZSFTFOTVSFZPVHFUUPXPSLPOUJNF BOEJOUFSOBMDBCMFSPVUJOHNBYJNJTFTUIFTFCJLFTDMFBO VODMVUUFSFEBQQFBSBODF ̓ 'PSNPSFJOGPSNBUJPOBOEUPUSZPOFGPSZPVSTFMG öOEZPVSOFBSFTUEFBMFSBUXIZUFCJLF

whyte.bike


Altura Nightvision™ Technology offers superior retroreflectivity for improved visibility in low light conditions, with an improved bounceback luminosity to deliver an increase in rider visibility. As a result of detailed research, Altura NV360˚ garments combine NightVision™ Technology with 360˚ retroreflectivity to provide the rider with the best road reflectivity at all angles.

DISTRIBUTED IN THE UK AND IRELAND BY:

Cycle Commuter #18  

Cycle Commuter Magazine Issue 18 has landed! It's packed full of everything you need to know about getting on a bike and riding to work. T...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you