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Bike reviews l Essential kit l Cops on bikes l Jon Snow interview Spring/Summer 2012 Issue #8 ÂŁ1.95 where sold

64 Featuring

Get in shape!

top cycling products

Pedal away the excess pounds

Bike insurance

Top deals for commuter cyclists

dash cash! more

less

Save up to 42% on great commuter bikes

Essential kit inside! Office bags Jackets Pumps Smartphone apps


Go with the flow or choose the adventurous route. Seek’s sturdy, efficient design encourages you to do both. Featuring a lightweight, tough ALUXX aluminium frame Seek is a fast city bike that can take some bruises. Stable mountain bike positioning, powerful disc brakes, fast rolling puncture resistant tyres and reflective styling, get to work quick, whatever the streets have to offer. Learn more at www.giant-bicycles.co.uk


contents Issue #8 Spring/Summer 2012

Bikes tested

All about... 5 Welcome to Cyclescheme

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

6 How the Cycle to Work Scheme will save you money

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

Features

18 Police,

bikes, action!

22

32

Why 1,500 Strathclyde Police employees got a bike through Cyclescheme

28 Insure

your bike

How to soften the blow if your bike is stolen

44

50

22  Cube Hyde Pro

34 Brompton S2L

44 Pinnacle Dolomite Three

50 Specialized Globe Work

An urban hybrid that hides its eight gears inside the hub, protecting them from rain, dirt and hard knocks

Light and efficient enough for long leisure rides, this Pinnacle is also practical enough for wetweather commuting

The iconic British folding bike is an ideal commuting solution if you travel part way to work by train, bus or car

A sensibly priced, no-nonsense hybrid that’s lighter and more versatile than you might expect from its name

Top products & essential kit 12  Out of the ordinary… The cargo-carrying Kona Ute 14  Stuff

40 Thinner,

fitter, faster How to get in shape simply by cycling to work

58 Over to you Cyclescheme participant Chris Perry from Leicester

The best gear for your commute and beyond

26  Office bags

Different ways to carry your office essentials

37  Jackets

Wind and rain protection for all budgets

48  Smartphone apps

Cycling info from your phone

55  Pumps

61 My life

on bikes: Jon Snow

Why the Channel 4 News presenter always cycles

Keep your tyres firm and efficient

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 2011

www.cyclescheme.co.uk 3


Hob complete bike RRP: ÂŁ499.99

www.chargebikes.com UK distribution: 01202 732288


Welcome

Cyclescheme is the UK’s number one provider of tax-free bikes for the Government’s Cycle to Work initiative

eme’s We offer big savings on the best bikes and safety equipment. Dealing with Cyclesch expert the with ce, experien best the network of over 1,850+ local bike shops also gives you match. can’t just retailers personal service, convenience and choice that larger multiple

About Cyclescheme...

T

he Cycle to Work Initiative is a salary sacrifice scheme which gives you the chance to save on the cost of a new bike as well as security and safety equipment to go with it. The way salary sacrifice schemes work is that you give up part of your salary and receive an equivalent benefit that is exempt from Income Tax and National Insurance. What does this mean in practice? Well, technically it’s your employer who buys the bike. You hire the bike and equipment from your employer, and you pay back the cost of the bike from your gross salary. You save on Tax and NI payments, lowering your payments over the hire period. Cyclescheme has partnered with over 1,850 independent bike shops throughout the UK giving you access to a massive amount of choice and expert advice on equipment selection. To locate your local store, go to www.cyclescheme.co.uk and use the postcode store locator.

You are not limited to any brand of bike or equipment and so you can choose the best for quality and value for money. This results in the best package of bike and safety equipment for you. Cyclescheme runs schemes with the Department for Transport, Office of Fair Trading and Department of Health, as well as scores of police forces, councils, universities and blue chip companies. Hire Agreements are written entirely in accordance with government guidelines and this service is free to employers, including an online tool to generate promotional literature.

Who’s it for? Want to take part? Great! If you’ve received this mag from your employer then they’re probably already running a scheme, so things should be straightforward. There are some limits as to who can take advantage of the tax breaks, though. The most important ones are:

• • • •

You need to be a UK taxpayer via the PAYE system You need to be 18 years of age or over to comply with Consumer Credit Act legislation 16 to 18 year olds may be eligible for Cyclescheme enrollment with the aid of a guarantor If your earnings are equivalent to the national minimum wage, you may be able to benefit from a discount as part of a net arrangement with your employer

www.cyclescheme.co.uk 5


Spring/Summer 2012

How the cycle to work scheme will

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

G

et a bike and safety equipment through Cyclescheme as part of the government’s Cycle to Work initiative and you’ll save yourself a whole lot of money. The savings are made because you’ll initially hire the bike from your employer, and your hire charges are made via a salary sacrifice scheme. Your gross salary is reduced to take care of your payments before any income tax or National Insurance (NI) has been deducted, so you pay less tax and NI. This results in savings of up to 42%. Plus, at the end of the hire period, most employers are able to offer you ownership of the bike at a fraction of its original cost.

money! Maximise your savings! Here’s how to get the best possible saving at the end of the hire period...

Do you want to keep the bike that you have? NO

Send the bike back to Cyclescheme

YES! Do you want to pay as little as possible?

NO

You pay 18% or 25% of certificate value* to take ownership of the bike

YES! You pay a small refundable deposit** and sign an Extended Use Agreement with zero payments

YES! The agreement ends after 36 months, when Cyclescheme may offer you ownership of the bike

YES!

Here’s how it works…

Once your employer has set up a programme with Cyclescheme, you choose a bike and any safety equipment from one of 1,850+ independent bicycle dealers throughout the UK (go to www.cyclescheme. co.uk to find your nearest Cyclescheme Partner Stores). Then your payments cover the hire of the bike and equipment from your employer, usually for 12 months. What happens next? Simple. Read on… 6

Do you still want to keep the bike?

NO

Send the bike back to Cyclescheme, the deposit will be refunded

YES! Cyclescheme retain your deposit and confirm you as the owner of the bike. Enjoy using your bike! * Current HMRC advice for bike values (inc VAT) after 12 months: 18% for bikes under £500, 25% for bikes over £500 **3% for bikes under £500, 7% for bikes over £500 (inc VAT)


Saving money through Cyclescheme

What happens next?

The Government has published the table below to calculate the market value of bicycles and safety equipment at the end of the hire period: Age of bike 12 months 18 months 2 years 3 years 4 years

Acceptable disposal value % (inc VAT) Original value under £500 Original value £500 or over 18% 25% 16% 21% 13% 17% 8% 12% 3% 7%

Cyclescheme’s market leading End of Hire process ensures attractive savings for all participants. By following Cyclescheme’s recommended option (entering into an Extended Use Agreement at the end of the hire period, see flow chart below) your savings are protected.

Example savings?

We’ve put together the tables below to show you an example of the savings available for a basic rate tax payer, using both a £500 and £1,000 example package. £500 example package Original value NI saving Tax saving Market value payment Total saving

£500 £60 £100 £15 £145

£1000 example package Original value NI saving Tax saving Market value payment Total saving

£1,000 £120 £200 £70 £250

What happens if I move jobs?

If Cyclescheme are notified of a change to your employment status during the initial hire period, we will contact you with the End of Hire options. During the extended use period, if you change jobs the agreement is still valid as it’s an agreement with Cyclescheme, not with your employer.

Can I start a new scheme during the extended use period?

Yes. The Extended Use Agreement is entirely separate to the hire agreement, so you’re free to participate in future Cycle to Work schemes with your employer while you’re still in an Extended Use Agreement with Cyclescheme.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk 7


Spring/Summer 2012

News

T

Cyclescheme and join forces...

wenty-twelve should see a summer of bike love in Britain. The London Olympics will inspire people to get on their bikes; fuel prices and congestion will make commuter cycling ever more attractive; and the Cycle to Work scheme will continue to provide a great incentive to get a new bike. On top of this, Cyclescheme has teamed up with British Cycling to make it even easier to take to the saddle. Utilising the combined knowledge and expertise of both the UK’s leading provider of the Cycle to Work scheme and the National Governing Body of cycling, the two organisations hope to promote cycling and its benefits, increase cycling awareness, and encourage new and returning cyclists to take to two wheels. By sharing valuable tips and advice on cycle commuting, the experts at British Cycling will help to keep you on your bike throughout all seasons. As the Governing Body for cycling in Great Britain, British Cycling provides support to all cyclists from beginners to Olympic champions – so rest assured, you’re in good hands! Daniel Gillborn, Cyclescheme’s head of commercial operations, said: ‘Here at Cyclescheme, we are committed 8

to the long-term cultural and modal shift from cars to bicycles. Our collaboration with British Cycling is another key step in leveraging the positive effects of our Olympic year to increase the number of

the two organisations hope to promote cycling and its benefits, increase cycling awareness, and encourage new and returning cyclists to take to two wheels people cycling to work, whilst enhancing British Cycling’s commuter strategy too.’ British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake added: ‘We’re working hard to encourage more people to ride to work, both through

Top tyre deal!

our road safety campaigning and by providing a raft of expert tips and advice to commuters, ensuring they have the right kit and the necessary skills to ride safely. ‘We’re delighted to now be working with Cyclescheme, who share our passion for increasing the number of cyclists across the country, and together we look forward to helping more people make the move from the car or train onto the bike.’ To find out more about British Cycling, visit www.britishcycling.org.uk.

Specialized are now providing a 90-day satisfaction guarantee on every tyre they make. If you are not 100% satisfied with any tyre, you can return it to a Specialized Dealer for credit towards a new Specialized tyre. To take advantage of this guarantee, the tyres must be purchased from a Specialized Dealer, in store only (either aftermarket or as part of a new bike) and returned to the point of purchase with proof of purchase (receipt). This guarantee promotes the performance and durability of Specialized tyres. Original equipment colour spec preferences on new bikes are not covered. For more information, see www.specialized.com


News

Visit the Cyclescheme website

Bath time! M

ake midsummer a cycling weekend to remember by heading to Bath on 22-24 June for Bike Bath, which offers an ideal introduction into longer distance cycling: the 30-mile ‘Cyclescheme Commuter Challenge.’ Longer sportive rides of 60 and 100 miles are also available, along with fine food and the chance to hear talks and get books signed from cycling celebrities. There are rides of all three distances on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday will see riders head south from Bath into the Mendips, while Sunday’s routes take in the Cotswolds. Both days have some challenging climbs. Along each route you will find marshals, feed stations and first aid support. There will also be Medi Bike support riders roaming the course on their motorbikes to provide assistance. Ride entry costs £20 for each of the 30mile Cyclescheme Commuter Challenges, £25 for the 60-mile rides, and £35 for the 100-mile rides. There’s a £5 discount on each fee if you ride both days. Team entries will receive a discount too, while under-16s get free entry, so long as they

are accompanied one-to-one by a parent or guardian. The weekend starts on Friday evening, where there’s pasta supper available at the Bath Pavilion (£5 each), cooked by Michelin starred chef Rob Clayton. Cycling celebrities will be giving talks afterwards. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, you’ll need to arrive between 6:30 and 10:30 to pick up your timing chip and number, and get any mechanical issues with your bike sorted. Riders will be released in groups of 20. After the ride, there’s more pasta available for those who have booked (£5 per head). For ideas on how to get fitter for these rides, turn to page 40. For details about Bike Bath, or to enter, visit www.bikebath.co.uk. Use code CYCS10 to get a 10% discount on your entry!

If you’ve not had the chance to check out the Cyclescheme website yet, go to www.cyclescheme.co.uk for straightforward information and advice on how to get your tax-free bike. Everything you need to know is explained clearly in one place. Make sure you check out our short video that shows you exactly how the system works and another that explains what happens at the end of hire process. You’ll be an expert in minutes. As well as going through every step of the process, the website explains: l How much money you can save l How many calories you will burn l How much you’ll reduce your carbon footprint

Explore the Community section of the website to find out how to get the correct fit on your bike and how to go about simple maintenance tasks like fixing a puncture and adjusting your gears. Other articles will guide you through buying the best cycling accessories, such as gloves and pumps, and show you how getting a bike through Cyclescheme has had a positive impact on many people’s lives. Don’t forget to check back regularly for your chance to win prizes and get discounts on bike-related products, events and services. So head along to www.cyclescheme.co.uk now. www.cyclescheme.co.uk 9


Spring/Summer 2012

Pedal for the medals!

I

t’s the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London this summer, and hopes will be high that Britain can repeat its stunning cycling successes in Beijing four years ago. Britain topped the cycling medal table at both the Olympics and Paralympics, bringing home eight Olympic golds and 17 Paralympic golds. There are four Olympic cycling disciplines: road, track, BMX and mountain bike. The four road events are a road race and time trial for men and women. The road races (28-29 July) are bunch-racing events, 250km for the men and 140km for the women, taking in circuits through Surrey before returning to London, while the time trials (1 August) pit solo riders against the clock over shorter courses from Hampton Court.

The track is where Britain dominated in Beijing. There are ten events, five each for men and women, running from 2-7 August at the new London velodrome. They are: the Sprint, where two riders compete head to head; the Keirin, which sees up to seven riders on the track; the Team Sprint; the Team Pursuit; and the Omnium, a six-discipline individual competition. BMX, or bicycle motocross, makes its second appearance at the Olympics. Competitors race 20-inch wheel BMX bikes over a short dirt course of berms and jumps that’s next

Kansi’s tweaks for 2012

10

door to the velodrome. The races are from 8-10 August. Cross-country mountain bike racing is another young Olympic event. The races take place on a purpose-built circuit of dirt trails and rocks at Hadleigh Farm in Essex, on 11 and 12 August. The Paralympic Games take place right after the Olympics. Cycling is the third largest sport on the programme, in part because bikes can be adapted to suit practically any rider. There are hand-cycling events, tandem races where one part of the team is partially sighted, and more. The Paralympic road cycling events are at Brands Hatch from 5-8 September, while the track events are at the new London velodrome from 30 August to 2 September. For more information, see www.london2012.com/cycling and www.london2012.com/paralympics.

Cycle Commuter caught up with folding bike firm Kansi in February, at the Fisher Expo cycle trade show, to find out what was new for 2012. The bike frame has had a redesign, with metal gussets added at the head tube and the main hinge to provide extra strength – good news if you’re big rider who has to cope with potholed roads. There’s a new magnetic catch for the handlebar on its way, so that the bar will stay put easier when the bike is folded. And a new rear bag for luggage carrying is in development. The features that have carved Kansi a following remain. Its wheelbase is longer than most folding bikes and it uses bigger 20-inch wheels, so it feels more like a conventional bike than a folder when you’re riding it. It’s still light and easy to carry. You can still colour coordinate its grips and transfers for free. All three models of Kansi – £525 singlespeed, £725 three-speed, and £875 9-speed – are well within Cycle to Work scheme limits. For more details, see www.kansi.co.uk.


Cycling Active rated the Road Race 904 as “ a super bargain; an excellent frame with a well-judged specification that we would recommend without hesitation.“ – Jan 2012

Hydroformed 6066 aluminium frame with smooth welding, a full carbon tapered fork and Shimano 105 drivetrain.

£999.99

WWW.MERIDA.COM


Spring/Summer 2012

Out of the ordinary…

Kona Ute A long-wheelbase bike that carries the cargo other machines won’t manage

T

he Kona Ute is a lightweight load lugger for the commuter who needs to carry more than office essentials. Maybe you’re a gardener or a plumber, or you want to pick up a week’s groceries for the family on the way home from work. Whatever the load, the chances are you can strap it to the back of the Ute or chuck it in its capacious panniers. It’s like having an estate car instead of a saloon, and you’ll end up cycling many journeys you might otherwise drive. The rear rack, which is topped with a wooden deck, is an integral part of the aluminium frame. Formed of 20mm tubing, it’s sturdy enough for anything you could carry by hand. The big Ute

12

bags come with the bike, which is good because the hooks of conventional panniers won’t fit the fatter rails. On the road, the Ute isn’t the behemoth you might expect. It has the weight and upright riding position of an urban roadster, and it could be used daily for the same trips. Its longer wheelbase provides secure, stately handling, and its fat tyres soak road bumps and won’t bottom out under heavy burdens. You’ll be able to winch even a loaded Ute up most hills as it comes with 18-speed mountain bike gearing. There are reliable cable disc brakes to scrub off speed coming down. For parking and bag packing, there’s a twin-leg kickstand. There’s also a shorter version of the Ute: the MinUte, which is £750. The Ute itself, with the accessories shown, is £950. For more details, see www.konaworld.com.

On the road, the Ute isn’t the behemoth you might expect. It has the weight and upright riding position of an urban roadster


Spring/Summer 2012

Stuff

Kryptonite Evolution Mini 7 Lock £44.99

A short U-lock is easier to carry and harder for thieves to force the shackle. Rated Sold Secure Silver, this one comes with a cable to secure the wheels or saddle too. www.madison.co.uk

Bringing you the very best cycling gear for your daily commute and beyond HotSquash Smarty Pants £125 Fashionable women’s trousers that are rain and stain resistant, with enough stretch for easy pedalling, these are good on the bike or off it. Sizes 8-16. www.hotsquash.com

Hornit DB140 £34.99

Alert dozy drivers to your presence with this 140 decibel horn, which runs off two AAA batteries and fits any handlebar. www.extrauk.co.uk

Continental Touring Plus Tyre £24.99

Kiss goodbye to punctures: this tyre has a thick layer of elastic rubber under the tread to thwart glass, stones and thorns. There are 26-inch and 700C options. www.conti-tyres.co.uk 14


Stuff Niterider Cherry Bomb £19.99

This small rear light is super bright from a wide angle, thanks to three LEDs and a light-spreading lens. It uses two AAA batteries; rechargeables are fine. www.2pure.co.uk

MET Xilo helmet £29.99

This economical MTB helmet also suits the ride to work, having a peak to keep sun or rain from your eyes, good ventilation, and washable pads. www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk

Lezyne Lever Kit £6.99 Everything you need to fix a puncture in a tiny package: two tyre levers, a metal scuffer, and some self-adhesive patches that will stretch along with the innertube. www.upgradebikes.co.uk

SKS Bottle Cage Adapter £4.99

Can’t fit a water bottle to your folding bike or singlespeed? This adapter attaches one to the stem, seatpost, or frame. (The cage is extra.) www.sks-germany.com

Respro Hi Viz Nitesight Helmet Band £16.99 The halo that cycle commuters deserve, this stretchy Scotchlite band will help you be seen at night from any angle. www.respro.com

www.cyclescheme.co.uk 15


Spring/Summer 2012

Police,Bikes,

Action!

The Cycle to Work scheme has gone down a storm with Strathclyde Police, where one-in-six officers has already signed up for a tax-free commuter bike 18


Cops on bikes

O

fficers on bikes are an integral part of police forces across the UK. Constables and community support officers ride modern mountain bikes these days not Dixon-of-DockGreen-style roadsters, and the number of bikes on the beat is a testament to their popularity. As police bikes are a normal sight at work, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by the number of officers cycling to work. Yet the reception of the Cycle to Work scheme by Strathclyde Police was particularly impressive. ‘We had the largest take up in the UK within the first few days of starting the scheme,’ says Inspector John O’Neill, who is based in Bishopbriggs. ‘We’d been hoping to get the Cycle to Work scheme for some time. It’s a shame it’s started only a couple of years before I retire!’ ‘It had been discussed before,’ says his colleague Steve Whitehall, from Strathclyde Police’s HR Health & Well-Being Unit. ‘But I think the public sector is limited with regard to the number of salary sacrifice schemes in place at the same time. When the computer scheme vanished, it was agreed we would do the Cycle to Work scheme – we had officers on bikes already. Our workforce is 11,000 and around one-in-six signed up to get a bike. Cyclescheme said it’s one of the best responses they’ve seen.’ That would be noteworthy even in a place where the topography and population density make cycling a compelling option – London, for example, or Cambridge. Strathclyde Police oversees an area that’s much bigger, lumpier and more diverse.

“People want to keep fit. I think it’s the nature of the work we do. And people see the cost incentive there: it’s a good deal.” ‘Half of Scotland, basically,’ says Steve. ‘From the likes of Lanark (South Lanarkshire) up to Campbeltown (Argyle and Bute). Some might get a bike and use it periodically; others might cycle to work a lot. It depends where they are located.’ What’s not in doubt is the interest officers have shown in the scheme. Steve isn’t sure why it’s been such a hit. ‘We are about to complete a survey,’ he says. ‘I’ll be interested to know what the rationale was behind people getting bikes.’ He suspects it’s health and fitness. ‘People want to keep fit. I think it’s the nature of the work we do. And people see the cost incentive there: it’s a good deal.’ A healthy workforce is something that Steve takes www.cyclescheme.co.uk

19


Spring/Summer 2012

Not just for the ride to work: John O’Neill enjoys a mountain bike ride near Aviemore

a keen interest in. He helps implement the Healthy Working Lives programme (healthyworkinglives.com). ‘It’s a Scottish programme that tries to encourage health promotion and physical activity at the workplace,’ he says.

As well as providing transport, the Cycle to Work bikes have been useful for building bridges with the local community Physical fitness could become a hot topic nationwide for the police. Home Secretary Theresa May ordered an 18month review of police pay and conditions. One of its recommendations was an annual fitness test for officers – which regular cyclists would doubtless pass. The bikes that officers obtain through the Cycle to Work scheme are for personal use, for getting to work and back; Strathclyde Police already had police bikes. 20

One benefit of this is that they were used to accommodating bikes and cyclists. They didn’t need to install cycling facilities. ‘We had them here,’ says Steve, ‘so we had no real issues with that. We had bike racks and we had showers.’ They also had a cycle training scheme in place, to instruct those officers who use the police bikes. ‘And we offer that to our staff who have bought bikes through the Cycle to Work scheme,’ says Steve. ‘We have to offer advice when we can, especially for those who have not cycled for some time. We always urge caution, so that they’ll be safe coming to work and at work.’ Accidents are always possible and Steve reports a couple of injured officers. On the whole, however, work attendance has improved. ‘We have reduced our sickness and absence over the last couple of years. I’m not sure if the scheme has contributed to that.’What it clearly hasn’t done is made absence worse, cycling to work being more beneficial than it is perceived by those who don’t do it. As well as providing transport, the Cycle to Work bikes have been useful for building bridges with the local community. ‘People with the bikes have taken part in the likes of the Glasgow to Edinburgh charity ride,’ says Steve. ‘We get involved with cycling locally, with kids cycling to school and so on. One of our areas is Bishopbriggs [where John O’Neill is based], and it’s regarded as one of the most cycle friendly towns in the UK.’ Next year will see big changes for the police in Scotland. ‘We’ll be merging into one complete Scottish force,’ says Steve. ‘I think Lothian and Borders have a Cycle to Work scheme.’ Given that Strathclyde do too, Steve is optimistic that the scheme will roll forward and be available for officers in the new unitary force.

The benefits of cycling employees It takes only 10 minutes for an employer to sign up to Cyclescheme. It’s free to join and easy to administer online. Employees get a tax-free bike from the scheme, of course, but what about advantages for employers? l Save money. Employers can typically save 13.8% of the total value of salary sacrifice, due to reductions in Employers’ National Insurance Contributions due.

l Healthier employees who take fewer days off sick. The London School of Economics found that cyclists were absent 15% less than non-cyclists – that’s one day less a year. l More punctual employees. Cycle commuters are unaffected by traffic jams, parking problems, or public transport delays. l Reduced demand for car parking spaces. That frees them up for visitors to use and might mean fewer could be provided – which would save money. l It helps reduce the carbon footprint of your business. That’s good for the environment and might help public relations.


Spring/Summer 2012

in detail...

Bike test

The hub has eight internal gears, which need little care or attention

Mid-width street tyres provide comfort on rougher roads or good tracks

Other rated rides... Merida S-Presso I8-D £999.99

This has a similar appearance and purpose to the Hyde Pro, with a utilitarian aluminium frame and fork with the necessary fittings for commuting accessories. Its Shimano 8-speed hub is the even smoother running Alfine version and it has powerful hydraulic disc brakes instead of V-brakes. It’s supplied with mudguards and a kickstand. www.merida-bikes.com

22

Scott Sub 25 £749.99

Scott’s range of Sub hybrids starts at £429 with the Aceraequipped Sub 40. The Sub 25 has a Shimano Nexus Inter-8 hub gear, with an eccentric bottom bracket to tension the chain. Its lightweight aluminium frame and fork are ready for Scott’s integrated Urban-Kit mudguard/racks – or others of your choice. www.scott-sports.com


On test...

Cube Hyde Pro £589

Tech Specs

An urban hybrid that hides its eight gears inside the hub, protecting them from rain, dirt and hard knocks

C

ube’s civilised hybrid is more Hyde Park Corner than an aggressive, do-anything Mr Hyde. Its internal hub gear is well suited to stop-start urban traffic and cyclepaths, because you can change gear from top to bottom while you’re waiting at traffic lights. Try doing that with a derailleur! The Shimano Inter-8 hub is a defining feature of the Hyde Pro. It’s controlled by a twist-shifter, with an indicator window to tell you what gear you’re in. The ability to change gear while stationary is surprisingly useful, as you don’t have to downshift as you approach junctions. You can change gear while pedalling too, though it works best if you back off the pedalling pressure a bit and ‘soft pedal’. The range of gears with the 20-tooth sprocket fitted is the same as an 11-32 cassette. Even with just one chainring, that’s ample around town. The gears are evenly stepped and all feel efficient. Despite the fact that you’re spinning sets of meshing gears inside the hub shell, the sensation is more egg whisk than pepper grinder. Other advantages include a non-dished and hence

With up to four panniers, you could use this for the weekly grocery shop as well as the ride to work stronger rear wheel, and the fact that bit of dirt or chainwear won’t spoil the bike’s gearshifts. The main disadvantage is that to get the rear wheel out, in the event of a puncture, you need to disconnect the gear cable and then undo the wheelnuts with a 15mm spanner. Punctures are not particularly likely. The Schwalbe Road Cruiser tyres have an extra rubber protection belt under the tread to stop sharp objects, and the cushy 37mm width will

Price: £589 Weight: 26.4lb (12kg) Frame: Double-butted High Performance Aluminium frame Fork: Aluminium Drivetrain: Shimano Nexus Inter-8 hub gear and twistgrip shifter, Truvativ E400 42t chainset, 20t sprocket Brakes: Shimano M442 V-brakes Wheels: Schürmann Yak aluminium rims, Shimano Deore and Nexus Inter-8 hubs, Schwalbe Road Cruiser 700x35C tyres Other: CSDG Rock City saddle, Easton EA30 flat handlebar, Easton EA30 stem Sizes: 46, 50, 54, 58, 62cm; Lady: 46, 50cm

shrug off potential pinch-flats on even the worst roads. The frame is a good-looking aluminium one with butted tubes. That means the tube walls are thicker on the inside at the ends, so they don’t lose strength when they’re welded together into a bike frame, and thinner along their length, which saves weight. Result: a frame that’s light and strong. It has the features you want for town riding too. It will accept full-length mudguards and pannier racks front and rear. With up to four panniers, you could use this for the weekly grocery shop as well as the ride to work – or maybe a cycle-camping trip somewhere not too hilly. There’s a mount for a kickstand on one chainstay, while the forward-facing rear dropouts enable you to set the wheel back to tension the chain without requiring a separate tensioner. The riding position is relatively upright, which suits the shorter urban journeys that this bike is meant for. If you want to get more aerodynamic so that you can really step on it if you’re late for work, you only need allen keys: remove and refit the stem the other way up, at the bottom of the stack of Dished wheel A derailleurspacer washers. (You’ll need to remove geared wheel is ‘dished’. Look and refit the handlebar while you’re at it from behind and you’ll at it.) see it’s not symmetrical: Hub gears add to the cost of any bike, the drive-side spokes are yet the Hyde Pro manages to be good angled more steeply than the value and its low-maintenance durability non-drive-side spokes. This should save you money over the long is to allow room for multiple term. There’s also a Hyde Pro Lady version sprockets on the drive side. with a step-through frame. www.cube.eu

Saracen Urban Clevermike £849.99

Saracen mostly make mountain bikes, but beneath its bold two-tone frame and wheels the Urban Clevermike is a very practical commuter. Shimano’s 8-speed Alfine hub is excellent, and there are hydraulic discs for dependable braking. The 35mm tyres will deal with mean streets, while a suspension seatpost will take the sting from unseen potholes. www.saracen.co.uk

Jargon Buster

Kona Dr Good £750

The Nexus Inter-7 hub fitted to the Dr Good is just as practical as the 8-speed, though gear range doesn’t go quite as high or as low. The brakes offer all-weather reliability, however, with an Avid BB5 disc brake up front and an enclosed roller-brake at the rear. The backswept handlebar provides a more casual riding position. www.konaworld.com

www.cyclescheme.co.uk 23


Spring/Summer 2012

Example

Package £58 9

Cub e Hy de P ro

Add safety equipment for the full bike-to-work experience... £29.99

Met Xilo www.fi helmet sheroutd oor.co.uk

£69.99

9 15 £Altu5ra4Ur.9 ban Dryline

Madison Tr www.mad ail Softshell jack et ison.cc

co.uk www.zyro.

Total retail price

£743.97 Example savings This is an example of how savings are made for basic and higher rate tax payers on this bike package hired over a 12 month period. Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. At the end of the hire period you may be given the option to continue to use the bike by paying a small one off deposit and signing an Extended Use Agreement (EUA) with Cyclescheme. There are no further rental payments during the EUA period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme (see page 6 for more details).

24

Example Cyclescheme savings for basic and higher rate tax payers

Price after savings for basic rate tax payer

£505.90

Price after savings for higher rate tax payer

£431.50

Higher rate

Basic rate

40% Tax, 2% NI

20% Tax, 12% NI Bike package retail price

£743.97

Bike package retail price

£743.97

Income tax & NI saved

£238.07

Income tax & NI saved

£312.47

Gross monthly repayments

£62.00

Gross monthly repayments

£62.00

Net monthly payments

£42.16

Net monthly payments

£35.96

Total cost of bike package

£505.90

Total cost of bike package

£431.50

EUA payment

£49.98

EUA payment

£49.98

Total saving at end of EUA

£188.09

Total saving at end of EUA

£262.49

End of hire

End of hire


ElEgant, Cool and dynamiC

Hyde Race vanaf £ 769 CUBE Hyde Race is a lightweight urban lifestyle bike with low maintenance hub gears and rigid aluminium fork for daily rides. If you plan a longer trip away from urban traffic you can easily add an additional trekking set using the low riders eyelets. The CUBE trekkingset contains a carrier, lugagestraps and a mudguard set. Also available CUBE Hyde £ 549,- and CUBE Hyde Pro £ 589,For more information on CUBE and our bikes please visit: www.cube.eu | info@cube-bikes.co.uk

www.facebook.com/cubebikesuk

www.twitter.com/cubebikesuk


essentials Spring/Summer 2012

e kit you just can’t do without… We give you the lowdown on the bik

Office Bags Laptop, work shirt, or lunch – whatever you’re carrying to the office, you’ll want a smart, weatherproof bag

C

ommuting luggage can go on your bike or on your back. For shorter trips and lighter loads, you can’t beat the convenience of a courier bag or rucksack. The further you’re commuting and the more weight you’re carrying, the stronger the argument for letting your bike bear the burden. Unless your essentials are compact enough to fit a bar bag or basket, or in a saddlebag, you’ll need a rear pannier rack. A rack that fits to the bike frame rather than the seatpost is sturdier, but not all bikes have the threaded eyelets required. Whatever bag you use, it needs to be rainproof – perhaps via a separate cover – and stable. Waist or chest straps secure backpacks and shoulder bags better, while panniers need top hooks that won’t jump off the rack rails and a lower hook that won’t snag the spokes.

Jargon buster

Litres Luggage volume is measured in litres; 10-20 is usually enough for commuting. If volume is not listed, multiply the bag’s width x height x depth to get the volume in cubic centimetres, then divide by 1,000.

26

Basil D’Azure Canvas Messenger bag £69.99

Made from water-repellent canvas, Basil’s D’Azure is a stylish messenger bag with a good looking inner liner. It’s more bike-specific than you’d guess at first glance. A zipped pocket on the back conceals hooks to hang it on your bike rack, if you don’t want to carry it on your back by its detachable shoulder strap. There are reflective stripes front and rear, as well as a good sized zipped pocket on the outside. Capacity is 15 litres. www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk


Essential kit: Office Bags Altura Urban Dryline 15 £54.99

This compact 11-litre pannier is designed to carry a 15in or smaller laptop. Inside the main compartment there’s a waterproof inner layer and a padded laptop pocket. You won’t get much more in this section, but there is a deep outer pocket that’s big enough for a D-lock and tools. On the bike, Rixen and Kaul hooks secure the bag to the rack. On your shoulder, it doesn’t look to bikey, and the bike side of the pannier is covered by a zip-down panel. www.zyro.co.uk

Axiom Kingston Commuter £39

As its name says, this single pannier is specifically aimed at commuters. The non-tapered shape (38 x 29 x 14.5cm) fits A4 folders without making them dog-eared, and it’s left-right interchangeable. The base of the bag is shaped and reinforced with feet, so it will stand up by itself off the bike. It’s made from heavy duty, water resistant polyester, and its features include reflective logos, a strap to mount an LED light, and a shoulder strap. Capacity is 18 litres. www.paligap.cc

Polaris Aquanought courier bag £49.99

This courier bag is another good option for carrying a laptop, as it’s completely waterproof. The seams are welded rather than stitched, and the bag has a dual fastening system: a waterproof zip plus a roll-top closure. There are clips inside the bag to attach accessories. The bag doesn’t slide around your back when riding, as the shoulder strap is supplemented with a waist strap. It also has a reflective patch. Capacity is 20 litres. www.polaris-apparel.co.uk

Brompton S Bag set, black £115

One of the strengths of the Brompton – aside from its neat, compact fold – is its luggage system. A front bag clips securely to a block on the head tube, above the front wheel. This smaller S bag is designed for the lower, flat handlebar of the S-type Bromptons, but with a 20-litre capacity, understated looks, and a shoulder strap for off-thebike usage, it’s equally suitable for any office-bound Brompton. It has waterproof zips and a high-visibility waterproof cover. The price includes all fittings. www.brompton.co.uk

Deuter 32709 Essential Bike £89.99

A practical commuter briefcase, the Essential Bike will fit to any standard bike rack using the excellent Quick Lock hooks made by Ortlieb. You can lift the bag off with one hand but it won’t come off by accident. When you do take it off, there’s a flap on the back to hide the hooks and keep any bike grime off your clothes. Capacity is 13 litres, expandable to 16 litres, and there’s an internal document pocket. There are reflectives and a shoulder strap. www.i-ride.co.uk

Ortlieb Office Bag QL3 £120

It’s a briefcase that fixes easily to either side of your bike rack, hooked on at an angle so it won’t clip your heel. It’s sized to fit A4 files or a laptop; optional padded sleeves are available in 13.3in and 15.4in sizes. It’s fully waterproof, thanks to welded seams and a roll-top closure. Capacity is a generous 21 litres, and there are pockets and dividers inside. Outside, large Scotchlite panels provide night-time reflectivity, and there’s a detachable shoulder strap. www.ortlieb.co.uk

www.cyclescheme.co.uk 27


Spring/Summer 2012

What would you rather do if your bike were stolen:

give up cycling, find the money for a new one, or just pick up the phone?

T

he bike package you get through Cyclescheme can include useful accessories such as cycle clothing, lights and a lock. But there’s one important extra that won’t form part of your Hire Agreement that you’re strongly advised to purchase: cycle insurance. For while your employer is the owner of the bike during the salary sacrifice period you’re responsible for the bike from the day you collect it. If it gets damaged, it’s your job to get it fixed. And if it gets stolen, it’s up to you to replace it. The good news is that if you do replace it, you’ll continue to make income tax and NI contribution savings from the

original Cyclescheme bike package. But that might be cold comfort if you’ve had to shell out up front for that replacement. If the original bike is insured, on the other hand, your insurance company will replace the bike, the scheme will roll on, and you’ll continue to clock up savings without a hitch. Unless you’re certain your bike won’t be stolen, it makes sense to insure it. And how certain can you be? Well over 100,000 bicycles are reported stolen each year, and as most bike thefts aren’t even reported, the actual figure is probably closer to half a million. Many of these bikes won’t have been properly secured. Yet even the best lock isn’t impregnable.

Check the small print

B

efore you rush out and buy insurance, it’s worth checking the details of your household contents policy. Most personal possessions policies do cover bicycles for theft from the home. They tend to be less comprehensive than cycle-specific insurance policies, however, and have a lower maximum replacement value. It’s difficult to generalise because all insurance policies are different. Dig out your policy document and see what it

says. Bikes will have a specific section of their own, headed ‘pedal cycles’. You can also turn up useful information simply by typing the name of your insurer along with the words ‘pedal cycles cover’ into Google. It can take a while to sift through the relevant information. Take that time. The fact that your policy mentions pedal cycles isn’t enough. You need to know what the limitations of the policy are. If you’re unsure, phone up and ask – with your policy documents at hand.

>

continued over 28

Lock it or lose it

Even if you’ve got insurance, it’s a hassle replacing a stolen bike – not least because you’ll lose your no claims bonus. It’s possible you’ll get your stolen bike back, especially if it’s registered with a scheme such as Bike Shepherd (www. bikeshepherd.org) or Bike Register (www.bikeregister.com), but it’s better not to lose it in the first place.

• • • • •

Lock your bike whenever you leave it, even if it’s only for a few seconds. Use a good (Sold Secure Silver or Gold) lock – or two locks, ideally different types, in high-crime areas. Lock your bike through the frame to something solid, ensuring it can’t be lifted over the top of a post. Lock your bike in highly visible, public locations. If your bike won’t be stored behind a five-lever mortice-locked door when it’s at home, lock it to a security anchor fixed to a solid wall or floor – or use a Shed Shackle (www.torc-anchors.com).


Insurance...

Insure your bike.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk 29


Spring/Summer 2012 What is the value of the cover?

Personal accident cover

A limit of £1,000 per bicycle is fairly common among contents policies that include bikes. That will be sufficient for your Cyclescheme bike package – unless you have other more valuable bikes that you also want covered. Check that the policy is‘new for old’or ‘replacement as new’and not‘wear and tear’: you want to replace a stolen bike with a new equivalent, not a bike that’s worth half as much.

This is a payment to you if you’re injured while cycling. The payment depends on the severity of the injury.

What is covered? Accessories fixed to the bike are often excluded, as is damage to the tyres. If you have more than one bike at your home, check that all will automatically be covered. You may have to list your bike or bikes as‘specified personal possessions’for cover of a certain value to apply.

Where does the cover apply? Home contents policies may only apply when your bicycle is at home. Even though the majority of bike thefts are from the cyclist’s property, that’s still pretty useless to you as a commuter. You need cover away from the home too, which may incur an additional premium. Most policies only apply in the UK; if you want to be covered when you take your bike abroad, you’ll likely need a cycle-specific policy.

How must you store the bike? Some policies are only valid if you store the bike inside the home, behind a five-lever mortice lock (i.e. a modern house door). Others include locked outbuildings, though the bike may need to be locked to an immovable object in the outbuilding. When you’re away from the home, the policy may only be valid if use a lock of a certain standard – for example, Sold Secure Gold. There may be a limit on how long you’re allowed to keep the bike locked up away from the home, such as 12 hours at any one time.

What activities are covered? The Cycle to Work scheme is for bikes used mostly for commuting. You are free to use your ride-to-work bike for other purposes as well. Competitive cycling is seldom covered as standard in insurance polices. Mountain biking may also be excluded. If you carry your bike by car, it may only be valid if the bicycle is inside it rather than on it.

How much does it cost? Isolate any specific costs for cycle cover so that you can compare them with other household policies (for when 30

Roadside recovery yours comes up for renewal) and with cycle-specific policies. What is the excess? This is the amount that the insurer will deduct from payments to you. A bigger excess can reduce the premium but may make it impractical to claim for, say, a stolen saddle or wheel.

Also known as cycle rescue. If you can’t complete your journey because your bike is damaged or stolen, you (and your bike) get taken to: your destination; your home; a bike shop where your bike can be fixed; or a railway station. The list of destinations varies and‘damaged’may exclude punctures.

What constitutes proof of ownership?

Legal advice

Your copy of your Cyclescheme agreement should be sufficient but it’s worth checking. Some insurers may want the frame number of your bicycle – or for it to be stamped with your post-code by the police.

Enables you to phone for advice on what to do if you have an accident. Members of cycling organisations may already have this.

Cycle specific insurance

Cover includes competitive cycling. Road time trials are often already included as part of a basic cycle-specific policy, while other events are not and require competition cover to be added.

Cycle-specific insurance policies will give you more wideranging cover than basic home and contents policies. You may well be able to get coverage that suits you better by having both. For while a cycle-specific policy will cost extra, it’s possible to save money by stripping out additional pedal cycle premiums from your contents policy. And there are some types of cover you will only get with a cycle-specific policy. The cost of replacement cover for your bike will depend on how much it’s worth and where you live. Some cities are hotspots for bike theft and any policy will cost more there. For example, if you live in London you’ll pay more for the same policy than if you live in the Western Isles of Scotland. For insurers, Londoners are simply a bigger risk. More Londoners claim, so all Londoners pay more. The overall cost of a cycle-specific policy will depend on what else you want cover for. Here are some of the extras such policies offer – either by default or as an option.

Public liability Also known as third-party liability, this is well worth having as a cycle commuter. It covers you for compensation claims made against you – for example, because you damaged someone’s car or knocked over a pedestrian. Membership of a cycling organisation such as British Cycling, CTC or the London Cycling Campaign can also provide this cover; don’t pay extra for this if you already have it.

Competition cover

Overseas cover Covers your bike for a certain number of days per year, either in Europe or worldwide. Worth having if you take your bike on holiday or abroad on business.

Higher sums insured Cycle-specific policies generally cover more expensive bikes, subject to an increased premium. We recommend Cycleguard, a leading cycling insurance specialist. Their ‘create your own cover’system allows you to buy exactly the insurance you need. Options include theft and residential damage cover up to £5,000, roadside rescue cover, theft from a vehicle, public liability up to £10m and EU and worldwide cover as an extension. What’s more, you can get 10% off as a Cyclescheme customer. Just head over to www.cycleguard.co.uk/cs to find out more about their services. Quotes are available in just a few seconds.


urban evolution the fold Big bike handling, small bike fold A kansi rides better than other folding bicycles. It also folds quicker and easier than any other bike, plus it looks great too.

kansi.co.uk


Spring/Summer 2012

in detail...

Bike test

The £15 luggage block is the perfect way to carry an office bag on your Brompton

Two-speed is fine for most cities. You can upgrade to six-speed if you live in, say, Sheffield

Other rated rides... Kansi 3Twenty £724.99 The Kansi has bigger, 20-inch wheels and a longer wheelbase, trading a less compact folded sized (83 x 68 x 46cm) for a more stable, normal-bike-like ride. There are three versions: this 3-speed, a singlespeed, and a 9-speed derailleur version. Mudguards are available, as is a shoulder bag to carry it in. www.kansi.co.uk

32

Birdy C2W £999.99

The Birdy is a German full-suspension folder that usually costs over £1,000 in the UK. The C2W version is priced to fit the Cycle to Work scheme. Money is saved with cheaper tyres and 8-speed gearing but it’s still a quality folder with a refined ride. It folds to 79 x 64 x 34cm. www.r-m.de


On test...

Brompton S2L £810

Tech Specs

The iconic British folding bike is an ideal commuting solution if you travel part way to work by train, bus or car

I

n 15 seconds a Brompton S2L transforms from a decent city bike into a folded package the size of a small suitcase: 60 x 58 x 29cm. It will fit into places that any normal bike, and many a folder, won’t go without a fight: train, bus, car boot, studio flat, cloakroom, under your desk… Where you go, it goes. You can leave your bike lock at home. Brompton offer a pick-and-mix approach to their bikes and say ‘nothing is standard’. But there are eight base modes: the upright, 6-speed H-type; the classic, 3-speed M-type; the touring, 6-speed P-type; and the minimalist, 2-speed S-type. Each is available in a Superlight, part-titanium version. The standard steel S2L is nice and light, nevertheless. Its 2-speed derailleur saves weight compared to the hub gear that the 3- and 6-speeds use. It feels sportier on the road too, because its flat handlebar is lower and further forward than the other Bromptons, enabling you to assume a more athletic riding position. Those two gears are fine for brisk city riding: you get a good cruising gear and an easier gear for starting off or climbing gentler hills. A bell is neatly integrated into the

The Brompton folds more quickly, more neatly, and more compactly than any other rideable bike shifter, while the derailleur is an evolution of the chain tensioner that all Bromptons use to wrap the excess chain when the bike is folded. Ah, the fold! Other bikes fold; the Brompton is the bike you want to fold. It folds more quickly, more neatly, and more compactly than any other rideable bike. In the provinces, people still stop and stare.

Mezzo D10 £974.99

Price: £810 Weight: 23.7lb (10.8kg) Frame: chrome-moly steel Fork: chrome-moly steel Drivetrain: Brompton 2-speed derailleur and shifter Brakes: Brompton dual-pivot callipers Wheels: Brompton hubs, aluminium alloy rims, Brompton Kevlar 16 x 1 3/8in tyres Other: Folding left-hand pedal, standard righthand pedal, Brompton saddle with moulded grip, mudguards, trolleywheels Sizes: One size. Extended or telescopic seatposts required for riders above about 5ft 10in.

To fold it, you undo the catch on the seat tube and flip the back wheel underneath the bottom bracket. The bike stands up like this. Then you undo the frame catch and fold the front end back on itself; a hook on the fork hangs onto the chainstay. Third, lower the seatpost, which locks the back wheel in position. You can tow the bike by the handlebar like this, as there are trolleywheels on top of the mudguard – which is now underneath. To fold further, undo the stem clamp. The handlebar drops alongside the front wheel and a small socket on the fork clips onto a nodule on the stem. Finally, you fold up the left hand pedal. Everything’s locked neatly together, with the oily chain on the inside. Any folding bike has to make compromises between folding and riding performance. With 16-inch wheels, the Brompton’s steering is quick. We’d call it nippy rather than skittish, and you soon get used to it. It’s not a plodder either. Those little tyres take 100psi. Commuters with a competitive streak will reel in mountain bikers and hybrid riders without too much effort. There’s a wide choice of options, such as dynamo lighting and an excellent frame-fitting front luggage system. Turn 100psi PSI stands for Pounds to page 27 for a review of the surely per Square Inch. Pressure office-bound Brompton S-bag. isn’t the only factor in If you’re a rail commuter or you need determining how easily tyres a folding bike for short hops across will roll on good roads, but congested cities, the Brompton is still the it’s an important one. Road compact folder to beat. And for flatter bikes and sporty hybrids use routes, the lighter, sportier S2L is all you 100psi tyres. need. www.brompton.co.uk

Another UK-designed folder, and using the same 16-inch wheels as the Brompton, the Mezzo omits the mainframe hinge to gain a firmerfeeling ride. The reach to the handlebar is a bit longer too, which faster riders will prefer. It has some clever features, such as self-closing catches, and folds to 81 x 68 x 38cm. www.mezzobikes.com

Jargon Buster

Ridgeback Attache £599.99

Made for Ridgeback by foldingbike giant Dahon, this is a 20-inch wheel bike that folds in the middle, similar to the Kansi. It comes fully-equipped, with 7-speed hub gearing, mudguards, chainguard, rack, and kickstand. Weight (26.2lb) and folded size (around 80 x 66 x 29cm) are fair. www.ridgeback.co.uk

www.cyclescheme.co.uk 33


Spring/Summer 2012

Example

Package £81 0

Bro mpt on S 2L

Add safety equipment for the full bike-to-work experience... £Nite1rid9er.9Cher9ry Bomb e.co.uk www.2pur

£115

£49.9 9

Brompton S-bag set www.brompton.co.u k

Proviz www.p Hi Visibilit roviz.co y Refle ctive ja .uk cket

Total retail price

£994.98 Example savings This is an example of how savings are made for basic and higher rate tax payers on this bike package hired over a 12 month period. Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. At the end of the hire period you may be given the option to continue to use the bike by paying a small one off deposit and signing an Extended Use Agreement (EUA) with Cyclescheme. There are no further rental payments during the EUA period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme (see page 6 for more details).

34

Example Cyclescheme savings for basic and higher rate tax payers

Price after savings for basic rate tax payer

£676.58

Price after savings for higher rate tax payer

£577.09

Higher rate

Basic rate

40% Tax, 2% NI

20% Tax, 12% NI Bike package retail price

£994.98

Bike package retail price

£994.98

Income tax & NI saved

£318.40

Income tax & NI saved

£417.89

Gross monthly repayments

£82.92

Gross monthly repayments

£82.92

Net monthly payments

£56.38

Net monthly payments

£48.09

Total cost of bike package

£676.58

Total cost of bike package

£577.09

EUA payment

£69.65

EUA payment

£69.65

Total saving at end of EUA

£248.75

Total saving at end of EUA

£348.24

End of hire

End of hire


GERMAN ENGINEERING

AT ITS BEST! BORDO 6000 SRP FROM £69.99

5mm Steel Bars Which Fold Down for Easy Transportation (in case provided) Innovative 2 Component Coating to Prevent Damage to Paintwork

Supplied with case

GRANIT X-PLUS 54 SRP FROM £84.99

13mm Square Shackle (Improved Protection from Bolt Croppers) Advanced Locking Cylinder to Protect from Lock Picking EaZyKF, TEXKF or USH Bracket for Easy Transportation

More Sold Secure Rated Products Than Any Other Lock Brand! For the full ABUS range and to find your local retailer, visit

www.zyro.co.uk


AIRKOMPRESSOR 12.0 multi valve floor pump up to 174psi

LONGBOARD SET longest fenders on the market

TOP CAGE lightweight & sturdy bottle cage

INJEX-T-ZOOM multi valve pump up to 144psi

TOM 18 18 function all-rounder

Made in GerMany

TOUR BAG L seat post bag with quick release attachement

SKS-GerMany.COM

G E R M A N Y


essentials e kit you just can’t do without… We give you the lowdown on the bik

Jackets Cycling jackets keep out the wind and rain without making you overheat. Don’t leave home without one

C

ycling jackets are longer in the arms, back and neck than other jackets to keep out the elements when you’re leaning over, arms forward, in the normal cycling position. They’re closer cut, because a flappy coat would be annoying and inefficient, and they’re seldom insulated, because you generate a lot of heat on a bike. To stop you getting hot and sweaty, virtually all cycling jackets are breathable. Some also have vents under the arms or across the back. Jackets are described as showerproof or waterproof. Showerproof means just that: in sustained rain, water will get in. However, if you ride hard in a heavier waterproof jacket you can end up just as damp through sweat. A jacket that’s lighter weight and perhaps only showerproof is generally more comfortable for summer use, particularly if you plan to ride fast.

Jargon buster

Breathable: Most cycling jackets are breathable, thanks to small pores in the fabric that release sweat vapour but don’t admit rain droplets. But you can always sweat faster than any fabric can breathe, so look for extra vents if you ride energetically.

Polaris Aqualite Extreme £49.99

More proof that waterproof jackets don’t need to be bulky: the Aqualite Extreme packs into the mesh sleeve on the cuff and will fit into pockets or seatpacks. Taped seams and a storm flap for the zip combine with the waterproof fabric to keep out rain, while the elasticated cuffs and draw-corded hem and collar keep out the draughts. There’s a front pocket for a phone, and a removable hood is available (£14.99). Pink, sizes 8-16. Men’s version available. www.polaris-apparel.co.uk

Proviz Hi Visibility Reflective £49.99

As you’d expect with a name like Proviz, there’s abundant reflective trim on this jacket – and of course it’s fluorescent yellow, so you should stand out in any conditions. It’s waterproof and breathable, with cooling available via armpit and back vents. The collar is fleece lined, which makes a big difference on cold days, and there are rear and inside pockets. The front zip, like the rear pocket’s, is waterproof. Sizes S-XL, women’s 10-16. www.proviz.co.uk

www.cyclescheme.co.uk 37


Spring/Summer 2012 Madison Trail Softshell £69.99

Altura Pocket Rocket £49.99

Looking less ‘bikey’ than many jackets, the Trail Softshell is suitable off the bike as well as on it. The windproof and waterproof fabric is softer and warmer, and there are hand pockets as well as chest and rear pockets. Although you won’t stand out as a cyclist, there are cycling features: the arms are longer, the collar is high, the hem has a draw-cord, and the zips are waterproof. A good option if you’ll be on and off the bike. Women’s sizes 8-18, black or olive. Men’s version available. www.madison.cc

Like the Endura Photon, Altura’s Pocket Rocket is a lightweight, pocket-sized jacket that’s fully waterproof. It’s an ideal just-in-case jacket for changeable conditions, whatever clothes you cycle to work in, and it really will stand up to sustained rain without the boil-in-the-bag sensation of heavier jackets. There are no pockets, so it’s better on the bike than off it, but there are some reflective details, plus thumb loops to stop the sleeves riding up. Yellow or black, sizes XS-XXL. www.zyro.co.uk

Ride Protector £39.99

This minimalist wind- and showerproof jacket is well suited to summer use by commuters who cycle to work in bike gear. It’s cut close, with elasticated cuffs, hem and collar, and there’s access through the back of the jacket to bike jersey pockets. The seams aren’t taped, so some dampness will get in here – not that that matters with bike gear beneath. The back and sides have reflective strips. Black or yellow, sizes S-XXL. www.i-ride.co.uk

Endura Photon £69.99

Dare2b Night Hawk

£79.99

A mid-weight jacket that’s waterproof and breathable, the Night Hawk will pack into its own rear pocket. It’s lined with mesh, so doesn’t get clammy if you wear it over short sleeves, and there are vents in the back to let the heat out. The neck and hem have a draw-cord, while the cuffs are adjustable with Velcro tabs. Its reflective details are visible from any direction. Black or fluorescent green, sizes M-XL. The women’s version is called Night Gaze.www.raleigh.co.uk

38

Small enough to fit in a cycling jersey pocket like a lightweight showerproof, the Photon is fully waterproof. Seams are sealed and there’s a storm flap behind the front zip. Cuffs, hem and neck are elasticated, and there’s a rear pocket. Reflective trim on the shoulders and sleeves aids visibility. It comes with a mini stuff sack if you want to stash it in a bag or seatpack. Black, red or yellow, sizes S-XXL. Women’s version available. www.endura.co.uk


Spring/Summer 2012

Thinner, fitter,

faster

Cycling to work helps you lose weight and get fit however you do it. But the more you put in, the more you get out

G

Add an extra loop to make that five-mile commute ten miles each way. Go the long way home! 40

etting in shape is just one of the benefits of riding to work. It can be a happy side effect or your main motivation. You will get fitter. And you will either lose weight or maintain your weight while you enjoy luxuries that your sedentary colleagues would convert into fat. Like any exercise, cycling burns calories. How much depends how heavy you are and how much effort you put in. Leisurely cycling, under about 10mph, might burn 300 calories an hour. Double that for brisk cycling (around 13-14mph) and treble it if you’ll be scorching to work at 1617mph or more. Speed is a very rough indicator, since that will depend on your bike, the terrain, the weather and the traffic. You might want to think in terms of easy, moderate, and hard to get a rough gauge of calories burned. Even cycling at a very easy pace for half an hour each way has big long-term benefits. If you burn an extra 300 calories a day, that’s a yearly additional expenditure of (300 x 5 days x 48 working weeks)… 72,000 calories. If you had exactly the same diet and did no other additional exercise, you’d lose over 20lb of body fat (9.4kg). That’s nearly a stone and a half.


Insurance...

Losing weight

C

ycle commuting is effective in managing your weight because it’s regular exercise that integrates with your daily life. You don’t need to set aside time to do it, like you do with the gym: you’re using the dead time you’d otherwise spend sitting in your car or waiting for a bus. Because there’s a purpose to your journey, it’s harder to put off than exercise whose only end is the exercise itself. If you don’t fancy the gym, you don’t go. If you don’t fancy cycling to work, you must sort out alternative transport. That will cost money and risks parking problems, traffic jams, or train delays. Since it can be easier to cycle than not cycle, you’re much less likely to backslide. Cycle commuting isn’t like a fad diet or fad exercise. It’s a lifestyle change. As such, you’ll get long-lasting results: the weight will stay off. What it won’t do is fall off you (and then pile back onto you!) as quickly as it might from whatever crash diet is in vogue. If you’re burning an extra 300 calories a day, that’s 1500 calories a week. A kilo of fat contains 7700 calories, a pound 3500. Each week you’d lose less than half a pound. That’s not trivial but it won’t get

you into your old jeans in a fortnight. The changes are gradual. Monitor your weight, but not daily. Weigh yourself each week or fortnight, on a given day and before you’ve had your breakfast. Try plotting your weight on a spreadsheet and turning it into a chart. That way, even if you have a ‘bad’ weigh-in one time, you can see the overall trend.

Because there’s a purpose to your journey, it’s harder to put off than exercise whose only end is the exercise itself

What about carbohydrates? For some dieters, they’re a dirty word. Ignore them. Gram for gram, carbohydrate has same number of calories as protein and far fewer than fat or alcohol. Complex carbohydrates found in the starchy foods like rice, pasta, potatoes and bread are an ideal food to fuel your cycling. Apart from burning more calories, cycle commuters have the same dietary requirements as anyone else.

It’s important to have a good breakfast, such as porridge, to fuel your ride to work. Even then, exercise that depletes your energy reserves will make you crave sugary food. So if you have a hard commute, take fruit or cereal bars to eat at your desk; they’re better options than biscuits or confectionery.

The right fuel If you want to lose weight faster, you need to cycle further or harder to burn more calories and/or you need to change your diet so you’re consuming fewer calories. Eating fewer calories doesn’t mean eating less food. It means eating more food that’s less energy dense and less food that’s highly calorific. It’s the usual advice: more fruit and vegetables; less food that’s sugary or fatty; and a more moderate alcohol intake.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

41


Spring/Summer 2012

Daily workouts Cycle commuting squeezes what is effectively two workouts into a busy working day. That’s why so many amateur racing cyclists commute by bike. As it’s ‘stealth training’, you might not realise how much fitter you’re getting. However, you will be building a base level of fitness that will soon enable you to try competitive cycling, complete a 100km summer sportive, or ride 50 miles a day on a cycling holiday. If you want to focus on your fitness, consider buying a good, lightweight road bike or a fast hybrid with high-pressure tyres. For while a heavy bike with draggy tyres would train you just as well – better, in fact – you wouldn’t enjoy it so you’d end up riding it less. Whereas you’ll want to spend time on a bike that’s rewarding to ride. In a similar vein, riding further and faster is easier if you can minimise what you’re carrying. Buy a spare bike lock and leave one at work. Avoid carrying a laptop by copying essential files to a flash drive. Leave your work shoes and jacket at work. You’ll tend to find that you get fitter and fitter and then plateau. Once you’re as fit as you need to be for your commute, the only way to continue to get fitter is to increase the duration or the intensity of your rides.

Measured improvements To ride further, you’ll need – literally – to go out of your way to make your commute longer. Add an extra loop to make that five-mile commute ten miles each way. Go the long way home and cycle for 90 minutes rather than 30. Throw in a longer Saturday or Sunday ride. Using your commute to boost your fitness is one of the most time-efficient

42

ways to train. You’re already out of the door and on your bike, so you don’t need to spend time or mental energy getting ready. It’s harder to get out the door and do an extra ride than it is to do an extra few miles once you’re already out there. Upping the intensity of your rides uses less time rather than more, since you’ll be going faster. You could time your commute and log the results, aiming to go quicker as the weeks pass. With a cycle computer, you could aim to achieve a certain average speed. Whether you can measure door-todoor depends on the nature of your commute. It may only be safe or practical to measure between two points on your commute – starting the clock when you pass that streetlight on the way out of town, for example, and stopping it at that Give Way sign as you get closer to work. Safe cycling is your priority, not the handful of seconds you might gain. It’s not a race. However you choose to do it, set yourself achievable, incremental targets. Try doing that section of your journey a minute quicker or half a mile an hour faster; include an extra five-mile loop once a week rather than every day. There are two components to getting fitter: training and resting. If you don’t get chance to recuperate, you’ll become over-trained and tired. If you’ve got a tough commute, don’t do it every day by bike until you’re fit enough. If you’re riding quickly, alternate fast days with easy days. Like losing weight, gaining fitness is a gradual process.

Bananaguard £3.99 Don’t mash your healthy snacks at the bottom of your commuter bag. www.bananaguard.com

OS Landranger map £6.99 Plot a longer or hillier ride to work – or home – to burn more calories and get fitter quicker. www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk

Tanita UM-076 Body Fat Monitor Scale £34.99 If you want to get leaner, measure your fat percentage not just your weight. www.tanita.co.uk

Bryton Rider 20 £99.99 Use an entry-level GPS bike computer to log and upload your commutes so you can compare them. www.zyro.co.uk


Spring/Summer 2012

in detail...

Bike test

20-speed Shimano Tiagra gears are a step up from Sora, particularly the levers

These deep drop brakes have enough room to fit a mudguard plus 25mm tyre underneath

Other rated rides... Dawes Clubman £849.99 Designed for endurance rides known as audax events, the carbon-forked Clubman is a fine multi-purpose road bike. More of the budget goes on the frame, which is made of resilient Reynolds steel, and less on the gearing, which is a 24-speed mix of Shimano 2300 and Sora. It comes with mudguards. www.dawescycles.com

44

Giant Rapid 4 £525

If you want road bike lightness and efficiency without the drop handlebar, Giant’s Rapid range could be for you. The entry-level Rapid 4 has an aluminium frame and fork and wide-range Shimano 2300 24-speed gearing. Brakes are deep drop sidepulls, and you can fit mudguards and a pannier rack. www.giant-bicycles.com


On test...

Pinnacle Dolomite Three £750

Tech Specs

Light and efficient enough for long leisure rides, this Pinnacle is also practical enough for wet-weather commuting or all-year fitness training

R

oad bikes are great for gliding around the lanes on a weekend and getting to work in a hurry from Monday to Friday. Most make few concessions to the UK’s soggy climate. Pinnacle’s Dolomite Three does: it’s designed here so it’s built to take mudguards. Its sidepull brakes look like those on other road bikes but have a deeper drop, so there’s enough space for a mudguard and a slightly fatter tyre underneath without any rubbing or risk of jamming. You can even fit a rear pannier rack, to carry a picnic or office essentials on the bike instead of on your back. Yet the Dolomite Three isn’t a sedate load-lugger. Bigger frame clearances add only air, and the longer brakes and threaded frame eyelets weigh almost nothing extra. At a whisker under 21lb, it’s as effortless to ride as any road bike at this price. It’s more comfortable than many as well. The tyres are 25mm wide instead of 23mm, which adds a little cushioning, and the taller head tube and shallow-drop handlebar mean that you’ll be sitting a little more upright than you would on a flat-out racer. Your lower back will thank you for this on long

Most road bikes make few concessions to the UK’s climate. Pinnacle’s Dolomite Three is designed here so it’s built to take mudguards rides like that summer sportive ride you’ve got your eye on. You won’t find yourself straining your neck to avoid staring down at the tarmac on the ride to work either. The fork blades are carbon fibre. This saves weight compared to a steel fork and doesn’t transmit the buzzing

Price: £750 Weight: 20.97lb (9.53kg) Frame: T6061 heattreated aluminium alloy Fork: Carbon blades, aluminium steerer Drivetrain: Shimano Tiagra shifters and derailleurs, FSA Omega 50-34 chainset, Shimano Tiagra 10-speed 12-28 cassette Brakes: Tektro R539 deep drop sidepulls Wheels: Alex DA-22 rims, Joytech hubs, Kenda Kriterium 700x25C tyres Other: FWE Race saddle, Pinnacle DB aluminium shallow-drop bar, Pinnacle alloy stem Sizes: S-XL

vibration of the road like an aluminium fork can. At the back of the bike the aluminium seatstays are slimmer, trading superfluous extra stiffness for less weight and a less aggressive ride feel. Road bikes at £750 typically come with 18-speed Shimano Sora gearing, so it’s nice to see 20-speed Shimano Tiagra on the Dolomite Three. This is one tier higher in terms of quality, and it gives you the ability to click your way up the gears when your hands are on the drops because Tiagra does all gear shifting at the brake lever; Sora has a little button on the brake hood. Usually the difference between 10-speed and 9-speed gearing is smaller steps between gears rather than an increase in the overall range. Here, however, the cassette goes up to 28-teeth, so you gain an easier climbing-hills gear compared to rivals with cassettes that go to 25 or 26. As the chainset is a compact one, with a 34-tooth inner ring, you should find most hills manageable. The lightweight wheels are shod with 25mm road tyres, a good compromise between comfort and efficiency since they do not need to be inflated quite as hard as 23mm Cassette The set of eight, tyres. The greater airspace means nine or ten differently sized there’s less risk of the tyre bottoming sprockets on the rear hub. out on a bump or pothole and On a road bike, the smallest pinching the innertube against the is usually 11 or 12 teeth, rim. You could switch to racier 23mm the largest between 23 and tyres for semi-competitive events like 28 teeth. Mountain bike sportives, or there’s room for 28mm cassettes have a wider range. tyres for bad roads and towpaths if you forgo mudguards. www.pinnacle-bikes.co.uk

Claud Butler Echelon £549.99

The Echelon is a keenly priced road bike with deep-drop brakes and mudguard clearance. Gearing is 16-speed Shimano 2300, and as the chainset is a racer’s 53-39 rather than a recreational rider’s 50-34 compact it’s better suited to flatter areas or fitter riders. The frame is aluminium, the fork carbon. www.claudbutler.co.uk

Jargon Buster

Charge Filter Mid £799.99 Charge’s steel-framed, steelforked machine is essentially a road-going cyclo-cross bike. It has cantilever brakes instead of sidepulls, providing room for mudguards and 28mm tyres – or narrow off-road tyres if you remove the guards. The gearing is a mix of Shimano Tiagra and Sora. A versatile and comfortable bike. www.chargebikes.com

www.cyclescheme.co.uk 45


Spring/Summer 2012

Example

Package £75 0

Pin nac le D olom ite T hree

Add safety equipment for the full bike-to-work experience... £49.9 9

Polari www.p s Aquanou olaris- ght cou ri appare l.co.uk er bag

9 n Mini 7 Lock £Kr4ypto4nit.9 e Evolutio on.co.uk www.madis

£En6dura9Ph.9oton9

ra.co.uk www.endu

Total retail price

£914.97 Example savings This is an example of how savings are made for basic and higher rate tax payers on this bike package hired over a 12 month period. Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. At the end of the hire period you may be given the option to continue to use the bike by paying a small one off deposit and signing an Extended Use Agreement (EUA) with Cyclescheme. There are no further rental payments during the EUA period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme (see page 6 for more details).

46

Example Cyclescheme savings for basic and higher rate tax payers

Price after savings for basic rate tax payer

£622.18

Price after savings for higher rate tax payer

£530.68

Higher rate

Basic rate

40% Tax, 2% NI

20% Tax, 12% NI Bike package retail price

£914.97

Bike package retail price

£914.97

Income tax & NI saved

£292.79

Income tax & NI saved

£384.29

Gross monthly repayments

£76.25

Gross monthly repayments

£76.25

Net monthly payments

£51.85

Net monthly payments

£44.22

Total cost of bike package

£622.18

Total cost of bike package

£530.68

EUA payment

£64.05

EUA payment

£64.05

Total saving at end of EUA

£228.74

Total saving at end of EUA

£320.24

End of hire

End of hire


essentials Spring/Summer 2012

e kit you just can’t do without… We give you the lowdown on the bik

Smartphone apps Turn your phone into a bike computer, route finder, repair manual and more with these seven great apps

H

ow quickly did you cycle to work today? What’s the best route? Where’s the nearest bike shop? How do you fix that faulty brake? The answers to all of these questions and more can be found in your smartphone, once you’ve downloaded the relevant app. Apps are programs for smartphones. Most apps are inexpensive and many are free. There are scores of them for cycling. Where you get them depends on your phone: iPhone owners should open iTunes and visit the iTunes store; Android phone users should visit market.android.com. Or you can find links from the app websites we’ve provided. If you want to refer to your phone as you ride, you’ll want either a handlebar bag with a transparent, waterproof pocket on the top, or a dedicated handlebar mount for the phone. Manufacturers for the latter include Topeak, BioLogic, and Arkon.

Jargon buster

GPS: Short for the Global Positioning System. Your smartphone’s GPS aerial pinpoints the phone’s location by connecting to four or more satellites orbiting the earth. This enables it to log speed, distance, routes, and so on.

48

Bike Doctor £2.99

It’s a bicycle maintenance guide that you can keep in your pocket, with step-by-step instructions for everything from repairing a puncture to replacing a chain. Bike Doctor is aimed at beginners: the text is easy to understand and the photographs are clear. Just read through the relevant repair a couple of times prior to getting your hands dirty. Unlike printed books, the usefulness and longevity of Bike Doctor is extended with periodic updates. iPhone and Android. www.bikedoctorapp.com

Fill That Hole Free

Potholes are a hazard for cyclists. This app from national cyclists’ organisation CTC logs them and alerts the highway authority responsible for fixing them. You photograph the hazard with your phone’s camera, map the location with the phone’s GPS, add any extra details, click ‘submit’, and the app does the rest. It also logs the pothole on the Fill That Hole website, so you can see where potholes have been reported and whether they’ve been fixed. iPhone only. www.fillthathole.org.uk


Essential kit: Smartphone apps

Strava Cycling Free

Strava logs the route, distance and speed of your rides and automatically uploads the results to the Strava.com website, where you can compare your efforts with your previous trips – or with other cyclists who have done the same route. It’s an ideal cycle training aid, since it does all of the data collection and number crunching for you, and it’s also good fun for establishing bragging rights with cycling colleagues. You got up Box Hill how fast? iPhone and Android. www.strava.com

Bike Hub Cycle Journey Planner Free

Based on CycleStreets mapping, this route-finding app is specifically for cyclists: it won’t send you down busy main roads unless you click ‘quickest’ in the route options instead of ‘quietest’ or ‘balanced’, which both favour cyclepaths and backstreets. It aims to avoid hills, and you can use it to find the nearest bike shop too. Hire bike locations are shown but not updated live. There are some useful background articles too, such as Cycling and the Law. iPhone and Android. www.bikehub.co.uk

London Cycle Pro

£1.99

In the UK capital without your bike? This high-rating cycle hire app will tell you where the Barclays Cycle Hire docks are, how to get there, and how many bikes are parked there. It tracks your rental costs with a timer and offers CycleStreets-powered route-finding across London, showing the nearest dock at your destination. There’s also a free version, which has adverts. iPhone only, so try Cycle Hire Widget for Android. www.londoncycleapp.com

National Cycle Network Free This isn’t a route-finding app as such: what it does is display 25,000 miles of recommended cycle routes, 13,000 from the National Cycle Network and 12,000 of regional and local links. These quiet road and cyclepath routes are suitable for transport and leisure, and they’re displayed on super-detailed 1:10,000 scale maps. The app shows places of interest too, including bike shops, accommodation, railway stations, and Sustrans projects. iPhone and Android. www.sustrans.org.uk

CycleStreets Journey Planner Free

Arguably the definitive UK route-planning app for cyclists, CycleStreets offers quick, quiet, and balanced journey options, like the Bike Hub app. You can view your route on scalable maps or as a stage-by-stage itinerary. The Photomap tool enables you to log and locate problems that cyclists face, a useful extra for campaigning cyclists. CycleStreets employs user-generated data from OpenStreetMaps so some areas have better routing information than others, but it’s improving everywhere. iPhone and Android. www.cyclestreets.net

49 www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Spring/Summer 2012

in detail...

Bike test

A comfortable saddle makes all the difference, especially if you commute in normal clothes

Trekking gears provide a wide range, which is what you want for hilly journeys

Other rated rides... GT Tachyon 4.0 £530

Like the Globe Work, the Tachyon 4.0 is a versatile hybrid with wide range trekking gearing, V-brakes, and city tyres that don’t demand billiard table smooth tarmac. The drivetrain is a bit better quality, being 24-speed, and the aluminium fork saves some weight. It’s mudguard and rack compatible. www.gtbicycles.com

50

Mongoose Crossway 200 £349.99

You usually need to add accessories like mudguards and rack yourself; the 21-speed Crossway 200 comes with them fitted. That cuts into the budget a little, which is why the stem, bars and seatpost are heavier steel, but it’s a capable town bike nonetheless, with an aluminium frame and good 37mm Continental Contact tyres. www.mongoose.com


On test...

Specialized Globe Work £350 A sensibly priced, no-nonsense hybrid that’s lighter and more versatile than you might expect from its name

S

pecialized’s Globe range is a collection of transport bikes for urban cyclists. With a name like Work, this one sounds like it’s aimed squarely at the commuter. So it is. Yet it’s also more than that: a do-it-all hybrid that’s equally suitable for leisure rides and gentle off-road terrain such as towpaths and non-technical forest tracks. It is, ironically given the brand, a non-specialised bike. If you don’t plan to own multiple bikes for different types of cycling, that versatility is a real strength. The frame is at the heart of this. It’s a tough, trekking-style frame, made from lightweight aluminium, while the fork is high-tensile steel. That’s lighter and better quality than the mild steel that’s often used for the frames and forks of cheaper bikes. The Work’s frame and fork have plenty of clearance for mudguards and chunky tyres, and you can also fit pannier racks front and rear. Obviously the bike will get a little heavier if you add these, although since it starts at just 29lb it won’t turn into a strength-sapping dreadnought whatever you do. The riding position is fairly upright. That’s good for looking

The Work’s wide-range gearing means that hills or heavy loads in panniers ought not to be a problem around in traffic – or at the scenery if you’re riding for pleasure. It means more bodyweight on your backside, but the Work has that covered: the saddle is a broad one to carry an upright rider’s weight better, and there’s a pronounced central groove to remove any pressure from your undercarriage. Wide-range gearing means that hills or heavy loads in panniers ought not to be a problem. The triple chainset is a

Cannondale Quick CX 4 £549.99

Tech Specs Price: £350 Weight: 29lb (13.2kg) Frame: A1 aluminium trekking design Fork: hi-ten steel, straight-blade Drivetrain: Shimano EF-51 shifters, Shimano top swing front derailleur and Altus rear, Shimano FCM131 48-38-28 chainset, 7-speed 12-32 cassette Brakes: Alloy V-brakes Wheels: aluminium double-wall rims, forged alloy hubs, Specialized Infinity 700x38C tyres Other: Globe Work men’s saddle, alloy riser handlebar, alloy stem with 25.4mm clamp Sizes: XS-XL; Step-through XS-L

trekking one, with chainrings smaller than a road triple, while the 7-speed cassette offers bigger sprockets than a road cassette. Both these things make lower gears available. It’s true that 7-speed lacks the cachet and performance of 8- or 9-speed, but entry-level Shimano equipment actually works well. And what’s more important is not how many gears you’ve got, but rather that they go low enough for you. Wherever you live, the Work’s will: only mountain bikes generally have lower gears. The wheels and tyres are robust; again, they’re trekking style rather than road style. Specialized Infinity tyres roll fine on tarmac and towpath alike and they have a synthetic strip under the tread, which Specialized call Flak Jacket protection, to help prevent punctures. At 38mm wide, the tyres have a good-sized air pocket to soak bumps and vibration. The V-brakes are unbranded but decent quality aluminium alloy items, as are things like the stem, handlebar and seatpost. Some manufacturers economise on these components on entry-level bikes, substituting cheaper steel parts that add weight. Specialized haven’t. The Work gets a lighter, more secure threadless stem instead of an old-fashioned quill stem, and the wheels have quick releases Threadless stem Often rather than solid axles. All these weight referred to as an Aheadstem, savings keep the bike’s bulk down and a threadless stem clamps to make it that bit more pleasant when the outside of the fork’s steerer you’re climbing hills or accelerating. tube. It’s lighter and more There’s a step-through version of the secure than a quill stem, which bike available, if you plan to ride in a skirt clamps to the inside of the or have mobility issues that make a top steerer via an expander bolt. tube troublesome. www.specialized.com

A more mountain-bike inspired hybrid, the Quick CX 4 has cableoperated Tektro Novella disc brakes and semi-slick Continental Double Fighter tyres, which suit dry-weather off-road excursions as well as tarmac. Gearing is 24-speed Shimano Acera/Altus, and the aluminium frame and fork have eyelets for guards and a rear rack. www.cannondale.com

Jargon Buster

Trek 7.1 FX £350

This the most inexpensive of Trek’s FX hybrids, which they call fitness bikes. The 7.1 is an all-rounder, with abundant frame fittings on its aluminium frame and steel fork, and a 21-speed trekking drivetrain with a low bottom gear of 28/34. Bontrager H2 tyres are durable town treads with a 35mm width. www.trekbike.com

www.cyclescheme.co.uk 51


Spring/Summer 2012

Example

Package £35 0

Spe cial ized Glo be W ork

Add safety equipment for the full bike-to-work experience... £34.99

Hornit D www.ext B140 rauk.co.u k

£69.9 9

Basil D www.fi ’Azure Can va sherou tdoor.co s Messeng er bag .uk

£Da7re2b9Ni.9ght9Hawk jacket h.co.uk www.raleig

Total retail price

£534.97 Example savings This is an example of how savings are made for basic and higher rate tax payers on this bike package hired over a 12 month period. Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. At the end of the hire period you may be given the option to continue to use the bike by paying a small one off deposit and signing an Extended Use Agreement (EUA) with Cyclescheme. There are no further rental payments during the EUA period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme (see page 6 for more details).

52

Example Cyclescheme savings for basic and higher rate tax payers

Price after savings for basic rate tax payer

£363.78

Price after savings for higher rate tax payer

£310.28

Higher rate

Basic rate

40% Tax, 2% NI

20% Tax, 12% NI Bike package retail price

£534.97

Bike package retail price

£534.97

Income tax & NI saved

£171.19

Income tax & NI saved

£224.69

Gross monthly repayments

£44.58

Gross monthly repayments

£44.58

Net monthly payments

£30.32

Net monthly payments

£25.86

Total cost of bike package

£363.78

Total cost of bike package

£310.28

EUA payment

£16.05

EUA payment

£16.05

Total saving at end of EUA

£155.14

Total saving at end of EUA

£208.64

End of hire

End of hire


The Lithium’s a rugged hybrid with big 29” fast rolling wheels that will tackle pretty much anything the tough city streets throw at you.

PINNACLE Lithium 5 2012

£600.00

www.pinnacle-bikes.com

£50

OF FREE ACCESSORIES WITH ANY PINNACLE OVER £500 CODE: CSPINN50 *only available at participating dealers. Valid until 30.09.2012

CycleScheme_20.03.12.indd 2

20/03/2012 17:00

Office Pannier Bags By

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ZUIDKAAP BAG

Upright Laptop Pocket Pannier Fittings 6 Reflex Points Velcro Fastening

Horizontal Laptop Pocket Pannier Fittings 6 Reflex Points Velcro Fastening “incredibly well thought £49.99 SRP through commuter bag”

£49.99 SRP Prestige | Cycle | Brands

Facebook.com/irideuk Twitter.com/irideuk Prestige | Cycle | Brands

Proudly Supplies Cordo Luggage in the UK From £5.99 to £79.99 SRP Scan To See The Collection


“Bikes which fold, not folding bikes.” Great bicycles to ride first and foremost with a focus on safety, comfort, convenience, and portability.

Tern Link D8 2012

£475.00

£50 CycleScheme_20.03.12.indd 1

OF FREE ACCESSORIES WITH ANY TERN OVER £450 CODE: CSTERN50 *only available at participating dealers. Valid until 30.09.2012 20/03/2012 17:00


essentials e kit you just can’t do without… We give you the lowdown on the bik

Pumps

Bicycle tyres slowly leak air so it’s essential to have a pump – or two! – to keep them topped up

I

f your bike’s tyres are too soft, you’ll cycle more slowly or use more energy. You’ll also suffer more punctures, since it’s easier for sharp objects to stick in the tyre and for the rim to pinch the innertube over potholes. All tyres have a recommended pressure range stamped on the side. This pressure may be quoted in ‘bar’, which is barometric pressure, or ‘psi’, pounds per square inch. One bar is 14.5psi. Thinner tyres require higher pressures and need topping up more often – every few days rather than weekly or fortnightly, which is okay for fat tyres. Two pumps are better than one: a floor or track pump for use at home, and a hand pump to carry on the bike. The floor pump allows easy inflation and will most likely have a pressure gauge. The hand pump provides emergency inflation – smaller is more portable, bigger more efficient.

Jargon buster

Schrader or Presta? There are two common valve types on bicycles: Schrader valves, like on cars; and thinner Presta valves, with a knurled nut on a stalk. Many pumps will fit either type, though you may need to reassemble the pump head first. Some are one-type only – be warned!

Birzman Zacoo Dagger £34.99

Tyres aren’t the only part of your bike to pump up. If you commute on a mountain bike or hybrid with a pneumatic fork or shock, get a shock pump too. You’ll enjoy a more efficient ride on the road if you pump up the suspension hard or lock it out. This Birzman pump will do 300psi! You can use it to inflate tyres with Schrader valves too – although it will take a long time – or just to check their pressure. www.birzman.co.uk

SKS Airkompressor 12.0 £29.99

The German-made Airkompressor has a long steel barrel that delivers lots of air per double-handed stroke, quickly inflating commuting tyres and maxing out at 174psi/12bar. Large feet keep it stable while you’re pumping. The multi-valve head works with Schrader and Presta valves and it locks quickly in place. The good-sized pressure gauge is easy to read, displaying both bar and psi. It’s a new pump, whose value should make it popular. www.sks-germany.com

Lezyne Tech Drive HP £24.99

There are two sizes of this pump: small (170mm and 87g) and medium (216mm and 100g). Either can manage 120psi/8.3bar. You won’t tear the valve stem as your force the air in as it connects via a hose. This is reversible, with Schrader one end, Presta the other, and there’s a button on it to bleed air. The Tech Drive HP is made from CNC-machined aluminium, with composite end caps, and it inflates tyres to riding pressure with almost a third fewer strokes than comparably sized pumps. www.upgradebikes.co.uk

www.cyclescheme.co.uk 55


Spring/Summer 2012 PDW Big Silver Road Pump £32

Given the popularity of tiny mini pumps, this foot-long hand pump is indeed big. It inflates tyres more easily because of that. While it doesn’t have a maximum pressure rating, it will readily do over 100psi/7bar. It’s made of forged and machined aluminium parts rather than plastic, and if anything fails it can be rebuilt, so longevity should be good. The pump head is Schrader/Presta reversible. It comes with an alloy bracket to fix to your frame. 295mm, 128g. www.paligap.cc

Crank Brothers Power Pump Alloy £34.99

Airace Infinity Turbo Steel Floor Pump £38.99

It’s nice to see a durable steel barrel on this mid-range floor pump, which will inflate to 160psi/11bar. You can be quite precise too, as there’s an airbleeder like on shock pumps, so you can let air out with the pump head in place and the gauge still reading. The head automatically fits Presta or Schrader valves, and the gauge is mounted higher on the pump barrel to make it easier to read. The handle is comfortable, the base stable. www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk

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The T-shape top of this pump has a Presta head one side, Schrader the other. You apply whichever you want, then twist at the pressure gauge to lock the head in place. A dial at the bottom of the pump enables you to switch between high volume pumping for fat tyres and high pressure pumping for thin ones. It will reach 130psi/9bar, and there’s a gauge to check on your progress. A good option for multiple bike owners. 238mm, 173g. www.2pure.co.uk

Topeak Mini Morph £26.99

Floor pumps are easier to use than hand pumps because you don’t have to resist each stroke – the floor does. Topeak’s Morph pumps are bikeportable equivalents, and at 260mm and 170g the aluminium-barrelled Mini is the smallest. There’s a short hose, a fold out foot rest, and a folding T-shaped handle. It will manage up to 160psi/11bar. It comes with a bracket to fix to your bike, or is small enough to stow in a bag. www.extrauk.co.uk


Spring/Summer 2012

You ride:

Chris from Leicester

Chris Perry rides 300 miles a week on the Dawes tourer he got through Cyclescheme 18 months ago

Fact File Chris Perry Lives: Desford, Leicestershire Occupation: Riverside Ranger for Leicester City Council Bike: Dawes Galaxy tourer, bought using the maximum £1,000 Cyclescheme voucher. Commute: Desford to Leicester city centre, 10 miles each way in around 30 minutes. Ridden daily. 58

I

f you drink beer and eat cake, get a bike,’ says Riverside Ranger Chris Perry. ‘It allows you to get fit and enjoy your journey to work. My cycle commute gives me time on my own to clear my head. It’s a chance to think about things and appreciate the countryside.’ While the opportunity to relax is what Chris likes most, his commute has also had a big effect on his overall fitness. He’s lost three stone and his resting heart rate has gone down to that of an amateur athlete: 57 beats per minute. Then again, he often rides more than 300 miles a week! Chris commutes into Leicester from a village 10 miles away. ‘The route takes in country roads, a main A-road, and then sections through city centre parks. It’s very varied. It’s rare that I go to work by car now.’ Some of the other 200 miles, Chris racks up during his work as a Riverside Ranger. ‘I look after nine miles of riverside and canal towpath that runs through Leicester, in a 2,500 acre nature reserve. It’s a really important wildlife corridor. Sometimes I use my own bike for work, but we also have work mountain bikes and an electric trike for carrying heavy things like hedge trimmers. I think that people


Over to you... who use the site appreciate that we cycle, as it allows us to see any problems or issues that they’ve got.’ Chris is a returnee cyclist rather than a new cyclist. He used to cycle a lot in his teens and early twenties, until he had a bad motorcycle accident. ‘When I was about 30 I got a mountain bike. I cycled to work a couple of times of week.’ His opportunity to get a new bike through Cyclescheme came 18 months ago. ‘Leicester City Council are good at pushing cycling. Last slot, I think there were about 124 people getting bikes through the scheme. We’re just waiting now for the next slot to open up.’ Chris chose a Dawes Galaxy, a classic British touring bike that’s made for mile eating and well able to carry luggage. ‘I already had a Dawes mountain bike. I like the Dawes brand. I know the bikes

When it’s raining, as long as you’ve got a good waterproof jacket it’s fine. Once you’re going by a line of stationary drivers with miserable faces, you soon feel better about it.’ are made in Taiwan these days, but I’d still rather be putting money back into a British company. I like steel frames too, which the Galaxy has.’ Bad weather doesn’t stop Chris cycling. ‘I ride 12 months of the year. Even last winter, I rode all through the snow. And when it’s raining, as long as you’ve got a good waterproof jacket it’s fine. Once you’re going by a line of stationary drivers with miserable faces, you soon feel better about it.’ Cycling to work has even provided

Chris with the chance to meet new people. ‘I’ve made some quite good friends riding back and forward to work,’ he says. ‘There’s a lad called Danny that I hook up with when cycling. He works for the county council. So when we get to Leicester, he peels off and goes to County Hall, and I go to my work.’ All that cycling has given Chris an appreciation for cycling as a sport. ‘I have volunteered to help out at the Olympics,’ he says. ‘I’m transporting dignitaries and athletes to the velodrome. Hopefully I’ll get to see some of the events too, and we’ll win some medals. I can’t wait.’


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My life on bikes

Jon Snow The Channel 4 News presenter and CTC President explains why he gets about London by bike

Fact File Jon Snow Lives: London

Photography: Felix Clay/Newscast & CTC

Occupation: Journalist and news presenter About: Jon has been the face of ITN’s Channel 4 News since 1989, and was formerly a foreign correspondent. He has been a keen transport cyclist for 40 years; he even cycles at work to get to interviews and stories faster. He became President of national cyclists’ organisation CTC in 2007. www.cyclescheme.co.uk 61


I Ride...

Jon Snow could climb into a complimentary car for his journey to work across London. He could take the tube or the bus; public transport is pretty good in the capital. He chooses to cycle instead. Why? ‘Above and beyond anything else: efficiency, saving time, and keeping fit,’ he says. ‘Fitness is the least important really. The efficiency and the time saving is the key. You know exactly how long it’s going to take. It never varies, irrespective of whether it’s raining or anything else. You’re never held up by the traffic.’ His Condor hybrid gives him the ability to go to news stories in London rather than waiting for them to come to him. He’ll

for much of my adult life,’ he says, ‘but I took a decision about ten years ago that because I spend so much time on a bike, I deserved to spend that time on a very good bike.’ Jon bought the bike himself to replace an earlier Condor hybrid that was stolen in 2009 – the third he’d had pinched in London, which is the UK’s bike-theft capital. If it happens again, Jon will be able to obtain a new bike through

‘Unless I’m going to the airport, it’s very rare for me to take any other form of transport in my working day’ happily hop on his bike and ride over to the House of Commons, for example, to interview a politician about the topic of the day. ‘Unless I’m going to the airport, it’s very rare for me to take any other form of transport in my working day,’ he says. Jon isn’t sure exactly how far his journey to and from work is – not in terms of distance, at least. ‘I really know it in minutes,’ he says. ‘I don’t know how many miles. It’s about 16 minutes, so probably about three and a half miles.’ He rides a hybrid ‘largely because of potholes and all the rest of it. It’s more robust. You can’t really use anything much lighter.’ Any hybrid would do the job, but Jon’s is a high-quality bespoke model from Condor Cycles. ‘I have ridden boneshakers

Cyclescheme; employees of ITN have been offered the scheme since April 2011. Since Jon makes relatively short urban journeys, he rides in office attire – including his trademark colourful socks and ties – rather than cycling gear. ‘I have wet weather gear and I have normal clothes. I figure that BodyShop can probably deal with anything up to 15 minutes or so. After that, you’ve got to have a shower.’ Cycling in London has grown dramatically over the last ten years, and Jon says that he sees many more cyclists on his ride to work. Yet he thinks the Government could do more to provide a better environment for cyclists, with decent cycling infrastructure and not just

painted cycle lanes on roads. ‘I’m pretty convinced that if you had proper separated cycleways, you’d have a very much safer journey to work,’ he says. There are some cycleways in London; Jon isn’t impressed by them. ‘There are very few,’ he says, ‘and most of them are too narrow. They need to be two bikes wide in both directions. In London, it’s one bike in each direction.’ Since UK cyclists don’t enjoy the facilities of Denmark or the Netherlands, Jon urges anyone new to cycling to work to equip themselves with the necessary cycling skills. ‘It depends where they’re cycling to work, but if it’s an urban setting, I would advise them to go to a local authority cycle training session or two. They need to learn how to cope with drivers.’

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Cycle Commuter issue 8  

The Spring/Summer 2012 edition of Cyclescheme's magazine for cycle commuters. News, kit, techniques, tips and more!

Cycle Commuter issue 8  

The Spring/Summer 2012 edition of Cyclescheme's magazine for cycle commuters. News, kit, techniques, tips and more!