Page 1

Folding bikes


Flat-bar hybrids under £400


Issue #15 £1.95 where sold

On the

Autumn/Winter 2015

right track

Read our guide to cyclepaths and choose the best way to work

How to ride safely n

at night


with lorries

Keep on riding!

Can’t ride a regular bike? A trike, tandem or recumbent could be the answer FEA TUR ING



Inside this issue…

Save money on kit n Lights n Jackets n Helmets n & more! n

Do-it-all cyclo-crossers

É M O N DA A L R LIGHTWEIGHT ALUMINUM PERFECTION Built with unmatched attention to balance and handling, Émonda ALR offers elegance on a new level, far surpassing the lightness and performance of many of its carbon foes. Starting at £900




Welcome to Cyclescheme


How the Cycle to Work scheme will save you money


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

Issue #15 Autumn/Winter 2015

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



How to: get your Cyclescheme package 14



In-store or online - here’s how

Commute too far to cycle?

Take your bike part way by train, bus or car and ride the rest

How to: live with lorries

Follow our advice and stay safe on the road around HGVs



See, be seen and ride safely in the dark

Our guide to cyclepaths will help you choose the best route to work

Cyclo-cross bikes


Flat-bar hybrids under £400


Ticket to ride


Folding bikes


If your commute takes in some rough with the smooth, these do-it-all machines make perfect sense

How to: ride at night 40 On the right track




You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a more-than-decent commuter Not everyone has the ability to ride a regular road bike – but a trike, tandem or recumbent might be the answer Easy to take on the train, bus or in the car, and ideal if you’re short of storage space

The Cyclescheme 7: Ian Hicks


My Cyclescheme


How riding to work helped Ian lose 6st

Go online to get more from Cyclescheme




Waterproof jackets




Use your Cyclescheme certificate for kit as well as a bike Stay warm and dry on your commute Keep your head protected

Front and rear light sets 44 For seeing and being seen Cyclescheme is part of the Grass Roots Group Published for Cyclescheme by Farrelly Atkinson Prices correct at time of going to press. E&OE. All content © Cyclescheme 2015




For more information on CUBE and our bikes please visit: | Stay updated about all CUBE news via :


Who’s it for? Want to take part? Great! If you’ve received this mag from your employer then they’re probably already running a scheme, so things should be straightforward. There are some limits as to who can take advantage of the tax breaks, though. The most important ones are: You need to be a UK taxpayer via the PAYE system If your earnings are equivalent to the national minimum wage, you may be able to benefit from a discount as part of a special arrangement with your employer If your employer is not signed up, invite them here:

• •



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


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

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

of choice and expert advice on equipment selection. To locate your local store, or to browse the online options available to you, head to Cyclescheme runs schemes with the BBC, Google, Rolls-Royce, The Department of Health, and HMRC as well as scores of police forces, councils, universities, blue-chip companies, and many government departments too. So come on in, put your feet up, and let us give you a guided tour of the bikes, the accessories, and the savings that are on offer when you join Cyclescheme. Happy cycling!


Autumn/Winter 2015

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


ax is complicated; Cyclescheme is not. You choose a bike, hire it for an agreed length of time, then snap it up for a fraction of its original value. It's like a yearround sale, with interest free credit available in 2,000 retailers nationwide. We’ve worked hard to provide a transparent and easy to understand process. There are just four steps to go through to get a bike for work through Cyclescheme.


Choose your Cyclescheme package


Submit your application

Decide on the package that suits you. The most popular one is the Cyclescheme package, consisting of both a bike and accessories. Or you perhaps you prefer a bike package with no extras. If you already have a bike, you can just apply for an accessory package. Remember, if you’re visiting a retailer they can give you expert one-to-one advice; if you shop online, do your research, check reviews and make sure you get your bike sizing correct. Head to to choose your store or online retailer and get planning. This couldn’t be easier. If your employer is signed up with Cyclescheme, they’ll have a unique employer code to use when you apply via If your employer isn’t signed up, they can join for free in just a few clicks. Point them here: On the application page, you’ll be guided through a simple form that asks for your work details, contact information, and the value of the Cyclescheme Certificate you’re applying for. Hit ‘submit’, and your employer will receive a copy of your application to approve. You’ll also get a copy of your Hire Agreement. 6

Save money with Cyclescheme


Get your Cyclescheme Package

With your application approved and paid for (by your employer), it’s time to exchange your Certificate for your Cyclescheme package. Contact your retailer and arrange a time to pop in and pick up your equipment. If you shopped online, your package can be delivered to an address that suits you, or you can opt for the click-and-collect service that some retailers offer. Your salary sacrifice and Hire Agreement now kicks in. For the next 12 months, you’ll pay a set amount from your salary each month in exchange for the hire of your Cyclescheme package from your employer. The deduction is made from your gross salary, so you make income tax and national insurance savings (32% standard rate, 42% higher rate).


Transfer of ownership

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



Values under £500

Values over £500

It's a small amount, however. For a package under £500, you'll pay 3% of the original value; for a package over £500, it's 7% – so a maximum of £70 on a £1,000 package. The bike remains ‘hired’ for a further 36 months, but with no more monthly payments. Ownership can then be officially transferred to you at no extra cost. The transfer of ownership payment is why you save a minimum of 25% rather than a minimum of 32%. Many Cyclescheme participants will save more. For a personalised savings figure, visit and enter your details. Still have questions? We’re here to help! Contact us on, or visit the FAQs on our website

Quick-fire questions How much will I save with Cyclescheme? At least 25%, all in with no extras. If you are a higher rate taxpayer, you save at least 35%. What can I obtain through the scheme? Almost any item you need to cycle to work. Obviously the bike, but also accessories such as lights, locks, helmet and clothing. If you already have a bike, you can even just apply for the accessories. How is my salary sacrifice calculated? By dividing the total Cyclescheme package price by the length of your Hire Agreement. Usually, this means 12 payments taken from your salary, over a 12-month period. What’s a Cyclescheme eCertificate? A voucher. It’s what you give to the bike retailer in exchange for your chosen bike and equipment. We send you this by email. I’ve paid for the bike, why don’t I own it? Simple answer: tax. In order to protect your income tax and national insurance savings, an additional ‘transfer of ownership’ fee needs to be paid. This is explained below. How is the transfer of ownership payment calculated? There is a set percentage applied, depending on the age of your bike package. At 4 years old, the value is set at 3% (original value less than £500) or 7% (more than £500). What’s a Hire Agreement? This is an agreement between you and your employer. It states you will be hiring the equipment from them during the period of your salary sacrifice.


News Choose cycling Encouraging employees to ride to work should be a priority for companies who want a fit and healthy workforce


Autumn/Winter 2015


ritish Cycling has teamed up with employers across the country to tell UK politicians cycling is good for businesses and their employees and must be made a priority. Started in March, the Choose Cycling Network currently counts 30 companies, with more than 200,000 employees and 46 million customers, including Coca Cola, Thames Water, Orange and GlaxoSmithKline, as members, who meet twice a year. Evidence shows that people who cycle to work have fewer sick days, are more motivated and suffer less from stress and inactivity-related illnesses than their sedentary colleagues. Also, protected bike infrastructure in New York has increased sales on those streets up to 150 per cent. In March 2015 the Network, which uses the hashtag #ChooseCycling, wrote to the leaders of UK political parties calling for a coherent cycling strategy to become a priority. Its job now is to keep pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron to ensure he

News sticks to his pre-election pledge to make the UK a 'cycling nation'. A major stumbling block to cycling growth remains a lack of long-term funding, and with current funding streams due to end in 2016 there are concerns that momentum could be lost altogether. The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, currently being drafted by the government, will set out long-term plans and funding for cycling in the same way roads and rail are planned for. The campaign's four asks are: 1. That the government fulfils the requirements of the Infrastructure Act and creates an adequate Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, with clear and ambitious targets, by 2016. 2. That a meaningful target is set to make cycling account for 10 per cent of all trips by 2025. 3. That 5 per cent of Britain's combined transport spend is on cycling, to design the bicycle back into our roads. 4. That high quality cycle infrastructure design standards are drawn up by global experts, to then be followed by all local authorities by 2016. Two-thirds of employers surveyed by Cyclescheme said cycling is good for business, yet only 1 per cent of UK trips are currently made by bike. Of 10,000 adults surveyed by British Cycling and GFK, 65 per cent said they would only cycle if there was decent protected cycling infrastructure.

Much obliged… Long-term planning for cycling, in England at least, is something the government now has to Act on


he first ever legal obligation for the government to plan long-term for cycling came into force in July, a move hailed as a key step towards increasing cycle use in the UK. The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, part of the Infrastructure Act, was the result of long months of lobbying by campaign groups and pro-cycling politicians. Under the Act, which only applies in England, the government must now detail objectives for cycling and the financial resources to achieve those goals, reviewing plans at least every five years. Although the Strategy has been warmly received, concerns exist that it could, like the recent Roads Investment Strategy, take more than 12 months to draw up, leaving a funding gap from 2016 when current cycling investment programmes end. Jon Snow, Channel 4 Broadcaster and CTC President, said: “Not since 1888 when the cycle was classified as a carriage and legally allowed on the UK’s roads, has the government introduced such a step change for cycling.”

It is widely recognised that a minimum spend on cycling of £10 per person per year, rising to £20, is needed to begin to increase cycling in the UK and compensate for decades of under-investment in cycle infrastructure. Government claims it currently spends £5 per person on cycling, but when Local Sustainable Transport Fund money runs out in 2016 this will decrease to an average of £2, with some parts of the country falling much lower. While David Cameron said in April that he aims to spend £10 per person per year on cycling, he added this would only happen if the economic recovery stays on track. Chris Boardman and British Cycling want to see five per cent of the UK transport budget allocated to cycling. Boardman says this would not represent new money but a reprioritisation of transport spend, a large portion of which is currently going into road building projects. He said: “Compared to the cost of roads or HS2, cycling is peanuts, just five per cent of transport spend would begin to transform the country and make cycling an integrated part of daily life.”


Autumn/Winter 2015

“Give us some room!”

Motorists are given a lesson in how to drive around cyclists by Chris Boardman


wo videos starring Chris Boardman, explaining why it’s okay for cyclists to ride two abreast and how to safely overtake them, have gone viral, with hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube and Vimeo. The videos, titled Side by Side, and Space, highlight rule 163 of the Highway Code: that cyclists should be given as much room as motor vehicles when being overtaken. Among supporters for the clips, which also feature master driving instructor Blaine Walsh, are motoring organisations, and there are hopes that they will be adopted as official road safety videos by the Department for Transport. 10

Olympian and British Cycling policy advisor Chris Boardman said the popularity of the videos shows “a genuine desire for a culture of mutual respect on our roads to thrive”. He said: “The response so far has been extremely encouraging. Our aim was to make people more aware of rule 163 of the Highway Code. “Getting more people on their bikes will have a series of benefits for this country, and ensuring that the roads are safe places for cyclists is a crucial step towards this.” The videos, which had almost 400,000 hits in three weeks, also remind drivers that cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast and that it can be easier to overtake riders in

a compact formation similar to a car than when they’re strung out along a road in single file. Carlton Reid, editor of the Bicycle Association’s, and who directed the video, added: “It’s wonderful that the video has been so well viewed, so quickly. The next step is to make it into an official ‘public information film’ and for the Department for Transport to endorse it and make sure it becomes very widely distributed.”   Funded by the Bicycle Alliance and involving eight months of behind-the-scenes work, the two companion videos take a positive spin on cyclist-motorist relations. You can watch the clips here (vimeo. com/135884468 - Space) and here ( - Side by Side).


SRP: ÂŁ700 Robust and adaptable 4130 cromoly frame and fork with rack and mudguard mounts Offroad tire compatible | Custom ergonomic handlebar for comfort and control Disc brakes for maximum control | Puncture resistant tyres

Find your local Marin Dealer at:

Autumn/Winter 2015

STUFF Bringing you the very best cycling gear for your daily commute and beyond Altura Vortex 25 Waterproof Backpack RRP: £89.99 |

Hiplok POP £19.99 |


You might have a heavy duty lock at work, and full security at home, but what if you need a quick anti-theft deterrent between the two? Hiplok’s 10mm plastic-coated steel cable lock has a 1.3m circumference, to thread easily through wheels and frame, weighs 400g, and can be transported easily by locking it around your waist, ready for use as you pick up the takeaway on a Friday night…

Lezyne CNC Digital Drive £99.99 |


Keeping your tyres up to pressure for the daily commute is easiest with a good quality floor pump. A once-a-week top-up helps your rolling speed and protects against pinch punctures, and this £100 option has an easy-to-read digital gauge.

Zefal Swan Rear Mudguard £8.99 |


Not every bike comes with mudguards, or mudguard mounts – and not everyone wants to fix them to their bike anyway. Zefal’s Swan clips to your seatpost, so you can attach it whether your bike has mounts or not, and remove it easily when the sky’s looking clear.


Cyclescheme price: £67.49

A good waterproof backpack is the next best thing to a pannier. This one includes padded laptop (13in) and tablet sleeves, and a waterproof outer pocket for smaller items. It also has useful extras such as an external D-lock pocket, helmet attachment hooks and an LED loop. With welded seams, no rain should reach your precious cargo.


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

Sealskinz Mid Weight Mid Length Sock £32 |


Fast Forward Cycling Leg Warmers £30 |


On long commutes that start early, it can be cold to start with but you might warm up on the way. To keep you comfy as you set off, a set of leg warmers you can remove as you/the day heats up are ideal. Available in XS-XL, they suit all leg sizes too.

No matter how good your overtrousers and overshoes, water still tends to find a way in. But Sealskinz’ waterproof socks will work whether rain gets into your shoes or not, a big bonus mid-winter in near-freezing temperatures, and their merino liner will keep your toes feeling cosy.

ORP Smart Horn/Light £49.99 | £37.49

Your handlebar can get crowded, but you can save space with this combination of a front light and horn. The horn has ‘friendly’ and ‘loud’ settings, and the light comes on at the same time. The light has constant and ‘slow strobe’ and is USB rechargeable.

Brompton Mini O Bag £90 |


Ortlieb’s weather-proof pannier is made to fit the small-wheeled folders, so if this is your mode of transport and you want to ensure your sandwiches don’t get soggy on the way to work, here’s the answer. It has a 7L capacity, fits all types of Brompton, and has a shoulder strap. It comes in six colours too.

Polaris RBS Tech Glove £32.99 |


Keeping your pinkies warm on a cold winter commute isn’t easy, but the RBS Tech Glove aims to do just that with its wind protection fabric and brushed liner. And if you need to let the office know you’re on your way, you can still use your touchscreen courtesy of the gloves’ RBS Carbon Touch Technology.


Autumn/Winter 2015


Cyclescheme package There are two ways to get a bike and accessories through Cyclescheme: on the high street or online. Which is best for you? Read on


nternet shopping may be changing the face of the high street, but there's one area of retailing where bricks-and-mortar shops will continue to co-exist with their online counterparts: cycling. Each has its advantages. Buying a bike online can be quicker and more economical, but buying in store gives you access to services – advice, bike set-up, and repair – that digital shops don't offer. The good news is that you can use your Cyclescheme certificate in store or online. Just look for the Cyclescheme logo. The scheme works the same way whichever way you buy your bike and accessories; you can find more details about that on pages 6 and 7. In store Customer retention is important for any business; for the high street bike shop, it's their bread and butter. They want to turn you into a cyclist and not simply sell you a bike, because that way: you'll be back to buy spares, consumables, or second or third bikes; you'll bring your bike in to be serviced; and you'll give word-of-mouth recommendations in the local area. That – and the fact that most bike shop owners are nice people! – is why they'll give you personal, one-to-one service. You don't need to know exactly what to buy before you go through the door; the staff can ask questions and guide you towards the most suitable bike at your price point. They can also suggest


How to… the accessories you'll need. For commuting this is really important, as most bikes don't come with the mudguards, luggage, lock, and lights you'll need for the journey to work. The shop can also fit these accessories for you, so tools and technical knowhow are not required. As well as advice on the type and model of bike, you can also get advice on sizing and fit. Some shops will offer a free or discounted bike fit when you buy a bike, so that it can be set up just right for you. Those that don't will at least let you sit on various bikes so that you and they can get a feel for what suits you, and most will let you have a test ride too. If you want to change something on the bike you're planning to get – tyres, let's say, or the saddle – the shop will usually be happy to swap that for you at cost. Once you've got your bike, you can go back to the shop if it ever needs repairing. Shops offer annual services for bikes too, so problems can be nipped in the bud before they develop into something worse. Online Buying online enables you to get a bike that your local shop doesn't stock. If you already know what you want – not just 'a road bike', let's say, but specifically a Giant Defy 3 – then buying it online might save you a trip into the next town. Similarly, if you want a bike that no one else seems to stock, either because it's an in-house brand or because it's something of a rarity, buying online might be the only practical option. Online shops often have wider ranges of accessories, and more stock of the accessories that they do carry. While bricks-and-mortar shops will be happy to order in products from ranges that they carry, the online shop is more likely to have it right there, right then. It can be quicker and, if you know what you want, easier to buy online. Click, click, click, enter your details, and you're done. You can choose your bike when it's convenient for you. Eleven thirty on a Sunday night? No problem. You don't even have to collect, squeezing it awkwardly into a car boot. Instead, the bike can be delivered to your door – often for free – in a massive cardboard box. Normally you'll only need to put the pedals on, turn the handlebar around, and pump up the tyres.

How to choose If you're not sure what you need (or in what size), or if you want the reassurance of a face-to-face transaction, you’re better off going to your local Cyclescheme shop. The help and advice that they can give you is worth more than any difference in specification between a bike brand they stock and one they don’t. On the other hand, if you do know just want you want, your local shop doesn't have it, and you can set it up yourself, you're better off using an online Cyclescheme shop. But those are the extreme positions, and many purchasers will fall somewhere in between. Why not check out both, then decide?


ARRIVE in style DISCOVERY | 2015

Dawes Cycles Discover Your World

Dawes Discovery bikes are true multi purpose machines, capable of tackling light cinder trails or breezing past the evening traffic. Each is kitted out with parts from the world’s finest component makers as well as having mounting points to fit mudguards and carriers.




> Dawes Dynamism triple butted alloy hybrid frame > Carbon blade fork > Sram 20 speed Via Centro gears > Sram Via Centro shifters > 600mm Alloy flat handlebar

> Tektro Vela hydraulic disc brakes > Fizik Ardea saddle > Sram Via Centro crank > Alex Black Dragon rims > Schwalbe 700x28c Road Plus tyres

DISCOVERY 301 Ladies

View 360˚ images of the complete 2015 Dawes Discovery range at:


How to

How to…

Split your commute When the journey to work is too far to cycle, take your bike by car or public transport and cycle part way instead


ravelling with your bike by train or car is a great way to get your cycling fix when your workplace is a long way away or when you want to shorten your commute because of bad weather. It should save you money too: you’ll avoid costly city centre car parking charges and will spend a little less on fuel or rail fares. And it should save you time: bikes are quicker in urban areas, whereas trains or cars are usually quicker in between them. By train Most trains in the UK will carry bikes for free at most times of day. They're banned on some peak-time commuter trains, principally those going into or out of London. Those trains that do carry bikes will take only a small number, often two, sometimes a handful, and occasionally as many as 12. On some services you have to book your bike, on others you just turn up. The wide-ranging regulations of the different train operating companies are summarised in National Rail's Cycling by Train 2015 leaflet. Get it here: In practice, it can be quite stressful taking a full-size bike by train. The bike space may be rammed with other people’s luggage. If you need a reservation, it’s only valid for that train, which


Autumn/Winter 2015

When boarding a train with a full-size bike, look for the bicycle symbol on the side of the train or ask station staff where you should stand

is no use if you get stuck at work. If you don’t need a reservation, it’s first come, first served for bike spaces. The Cycling by Train leaflet notes: ‘On such trains a commonsense approach may apply where passengers with full-size bikes may be asked by station staff not to board busy trains and wait for a later service.’ And if the train is replaced by a bus service due to engineering works, your bike won’t be carried on this. When boarding a train with a fullsize bike, look for the bicycle symbol on the side of the train or ask station staff where you should stand. If you regularly take your full-size bike on the same trains, you’ll soon learn where to wait on the platform and will get a sense of how much demand there is for spaces. If you’re a regular bike-and-train commuter then you should seriously

consider getting yourself a folding bike. Folding bikes with wheels 20 inches or smaller are carried without restriction on all trains. No need for a reservation, and no need to cross your fingers for a bike space, although you might be required to put the folder in one of the train’s luggage spaces, and a few services require you to bag the bike.

National Rail


by Train 2015

By car You can take any bike if you’re driving your own car part way to work. It’s easiest if you don't have to remove one or both of the wheels to fit it in the car or on the car rack. That saves time and means you shouldn’t get dirty or oily hands. If the bike’s going inside the car – the best option for security and fuel economy – a roomy estate or MPV is handy for a full-size bike. But you can fit a folding bike like a Brompton in any car, even something as small as a Smart fourtwo. If you plan to use a car rack, it’s worth investing in a roof rack or tow bar rack that locks to the car. These are more secure than strap-on boot racks in any case, and you won’t have to take either type off when you park to prevent theft. Park somewhere safe and well lit on the outskirts of town. Parkand-rides are ideal. The parking is deliberately inexpensive to encourage drivers to stay out of the centre, and


Chalfont & Latimer





Hillingdon Uxbridge

Ruislip Manor

North Harrow

Canons Park


Harrowon-the-Hill West Harrow

South Ruislip


Harrow & Wealdstone


Eastcote Rayners Lane

Northwick Park

Hendon Central

North Wembley

Sudbury Hill

Brent Cross


Wembley Park

Wembley Central

Dollis Hill

Stonebridge Park

Willesden Green

Harlesden Greenford

Maida Vale Warwick Avenue

Latimer Road East Acton

West Acton

North Acton

White City

South Ealing

Hounslow East

Holland Park

Wood Lane

Acton Town Chiswick Park

Hounslow Central

Marble Arch

West Kensington


St. James’s Park

Sloane Square

Hounslow West Kew Gardens

Hatton Cross Heathrow Terminals 1, 2, 3

Richmond Heathrow Terminal 4

Parsons Green

Old Street

Bow Church Aldgate East

Bank Aldgate


Stepney Green


Tower Hill

Fenchurch Street

River Thames

London Bridge

Langdon Park All Saints


Limehouse Tower Gateway

Heron Quays

Lambeth North


North Greenwich


Emirates Greenwich Peninsula

Prince Regent Royal Albert Beckton Park Cyprus

Pontoon Dock

Gallions Reach

King George V


Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich

Woolwich Arsenal



Deptford Bridge


Elverson Road

Clapham Common Clapham South

Custom House for ExCeL

Island Gardens

Elephant & Castle Oval

Clapham North

Emirates Royal Docks

London City Airport



Royal Victoria

West Silvertown


Putney Bridge


West Ham

East India

South Quay


Upton Park

Star Lane

Canary Wharf

Canada Water

Barking East Ham

Abbey Road

Canning Town

Blackwall Poplar West India Quay




Wimbledon Park

Dagenham East Dagenham Heathway



Bromleyby-Bow Devons Road



Cannon Street Mansion House Temple

Pudding Mill Lane

Mile End

Bow Road

Moorgate St. Paul’s


Charing Cross

Bethnal Green

Liverpool Street

Barbican Chancery Lane

Covent Garden

East Putney

Heathrow Terminal 5

Euston Square


Fulham Broadway

Elm Park

Stratford High Street

Leicester Square


West Brompton




Tottenham Court Road

Piccadilly Circus


South Kensington

Stratford International




Green Park

Gloucester Road Earl’s Court

Highbury & Islington


Russell Square

Goodge Street

Oxford Circus

Hyde Park Corner

Barons Court


Turnham Stamford Ravenscour t Green Brook Park Gunnersbury


Bond Street

Gants Hill

Upminster Bridge

Caledonian Road


Warren Street

Lancaster Gate

High Street Kensington Kensington (Olympia)

Goldhawk Road


Notting Hill Gate

Redbridge Wanstead


King’s Cross St. Pancras

Great Portland Street

Regent’s Park


Shepherd’s Bush

Shepherd’s Bush Market

Ealing Common


Baker Street

Edgware Road

Ladbroke Grove

North Ealing Ealing Broadway

Boston Manor

Edgware Marylebone Road


Barkingside Newbury Park

Walthamstow Central

Mornington Crescent

St. John’s Wood

Royal Oak Westbourne Park

Park Royal

Camden Town

Swiss Cottage

Kilburn Park

Hanger Lane

Tottenham Hale

Finsbury Park


Hainault Fairlop

South Woodford Snaresbrook

Blackhorse Road

Seven Sisters

Holloway Road

Chalk Farm

Finchley Road

Queen’s Park



Manor House

Grange Hill


Belsize Park

West Hampstead

Kensal Green

Turnpike Lane

Kentish Town



Willesden Junction

Sudbury Town

Highgate Archway Tufnell Park

Golders Green

Roding Valley


Wood Green

East Finchley


Buckhurst Hill

Arnos Grove Bounds Green

Finchley Central

Burnt Oak


Debden Loughton


West Finchley


Queensbury Preston Road

South Kenton

South Harrow


Mill Hill East

Theydon Bois


Woodside Park

Northwood Hills



Totteridge & Whetstone


Ruislip Gardens


High Barnet

Moor Park


Bicycles Map June 2013


West Ruislip



Balham Tooting Bec Tooting Broadway Colliers Wood South Wimbledon

Transport for London


Revised version: 02/03/15


Bicycles on the Undergrou

nd and Docklands Light Railway Bicycles may be taken free of charge on these sections, but not between 0730 and 0930 or 1600 and 1900 on Mondays to Fridays (except public holidays) Sections where only folded bicycles are permitted Tandems or bicycles with trailers are not allowed at any time

Bicycles on the Emirates Air Line Bicycles may be carried at any time on the Emirates Air Line cabins but operational hours are different to those of the Undergrou nd For details please see tesairline

How to…

the remaining distance will be well suited to cycling. Some can be a bit iffy about you parking and not taking the bus (ie, not paying for the parking) but that’ll depend on the particular park-and-ride. Suburbs are an option, but park sensitively. On the underground You can take a full-size bike on the London Underground, but before hopping onto an escalator with a bike on your shoulder, be aware that this applies only to certain times of day and certain lines. See Folding bikes are carried

Folding bikes are generally accepted on buses at the driver's discretion ‘anywhere and anytime’ on the London Underground. Folders are carried with some restrictions on the Tyne and Wear Metro, but not on the Glasgow Underground.

By bus or taxi Very few buses will take a full-size bike, although coaches often will if the bike is partially disassembled inside a bike bag. Folding bikes are generally accepted on buses at the driver's discretion. A compact folder in a bag shouldn’t cause a stir; a bigger-wheeled folder taking up pushchair space probably will. If a folding bike will fit comfortably in a taxi's boot, most drivers are happy to carry them. You might even get a full-size bike into a taxi if it’s in a bike bag, but it’s very much up to the driver.


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How to…

Live with Lorries How to

To share the road safely with trucks, it’s essential to understand their blindspots and turning dynamics – and to cycle accordingly


eavy goods vehicles are disproportionately dangerous to cyclists. They account for only about two per cent of motorised urban traffic but almost a quarter of cyclists’ deaths, many of them in London. While the drivers of articulated lorries are highly skilled, they can’t see cyclists easily, and in some situations they can’t see cyclists at all. The sheer mass of the vehicles means that the consequences of any collisions are predictably grim. Skip lorries without sidebars are worse still, as there’s a higher risk of a cyclist going under the wheels. Don’t take this bad news as a cue to stop cycling, though. The dangers of physical inactivity are many, many times greater, and the risks that lorries pose to you personally are small. While they could be reduced further by peak-hour bans, different cab designs, improved sensors and better urban planning, you can largely ensure your own safety by cycling appropriately.

106mm x 177mm


Autumn/Winter 2015 Give lorries space Never underestimate the amount of space that a long vehicle needs to turn. The outermost front tyre and innermost rear tyre follow very different paths. The front will go wide, swinging much further out than you would in a car or on a bike, while the rear will take a tighter line, cutting in across the apex of the bend. This is how cyclists on a lorry’s inside end up being hit when it turns left: the space they were in disappears. When a lorry turns into a side road, the wide-swinging front end will often cross the side road’s central white line in order for the back end to make the turn. If this would put you in the lorry’s path, perhaps because you're turning right, be prepared to wait or move left. Never gamble on the driver having seen you. Lorry blindspots Stay out of a lorry’s blindspots. They are much bigger than you think: visit for a video demonstration. If you can’t see the driver in one of the lorry’s mirrors, the chances are that the driver can’t see you. The biggest blindspot is on the inside (or kerbside), and on an articulated lorry this blindspot gets bigger as the lorry turns. Do not ride here. Do not attempt to pass a lorry on the inside, even if there's a sliver of cycle-stencilled tarmac tempting you to ride there. Pass on the right, the off-side, and go completely past – or wait behind. There’s a surprisingly big blindspot in front of a lorry’s cab because the driver is so high up. Don’t wait right in front of a lorry’s grille. You need to 22

Stay out of a lorry’s blindspots. If you can’t see the driver in one of the lorry’s mirrors, the chances are that the driver can’t see you

especially when they’re travelling quickly. When one overtakes, there’s a powerful suction effect that will draw a cyclist towards the lorry – speeding you up and, if you’re not prepared for it, slewing you out into the road. Lorry drivers know this and generally give cyclists a good deal of room. Nevertheless, you need to be ready. Hold the handlebar firmly with both hands, keep pedalling and, if necessary, lean out – towards the kerb – against the drag. Be prepared to brake. You may need to do so to get the bike back under control, and if the driver miscalculates and swings back in too soon you’ll need to brake to stay well clear of the trailer (this can be more of a problem with caravans than lorries). Assertive cycling Assertive cycling might sound like an odd proposition, given that we’re talking about cyclists sharing roads with 44-tonne lorries. Yet the more you act like traffic, the safer you will be around lorries. Good road positioning ( cs-positioning) will help lorry drivers see you and react accordingly. Good communication ( will ensure that lorry drivers know what you’re doing and where you’re going.

be a few metres in front to be visible. It could be safer to wait behind than cycle up to the ASL (advanced stop line) at a junction. There’s a big blindspot directly behind a lorry too. Bear this in mind if you’re going to overtake, if the lorry is signalling, or the lorry might reverse. Turbulent overtaking Lorries create a lot of air turbulence,

Risky road designs Some road junctions are so badly designed that they are hazardous to cyclists, creating conflict with other road users in general and lorry drivers in particular. Bow roundabout in London, which has seen three cyclists’ deaths, is a case in point. If a junction feels dangerous to you, despite your best efforts, do not use it. Pick a different route. Visit cyclestreets. net to plot your journey, selecting the Balanced or Quietest route options. If you absolutely cannot go around, dismount and negotiate the junction via the pavement instead.

Autumn/Winter 2015 Trek Crossrip Comp SL RRP: £800 | Cyclescheme price: £600

Cyclescheme price

In detail

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


Trek’s latest Crossrip combines an aluminium frame with a quality carbon fork, both of which have mudguard mounts for cleaner commuting or touring duties. The wheels combine reliable Formula hubs with Bontrager rims (which can accept tubeless tyres), and stopping power is provided by Avid’s venerable BB5 cable disc brakes. If you live in a hilly area you’ll appreciate the triple-ring transmission set up with an 11-28 rear cassette. The groupset is Shimano’s 8-speed Claris; it’s not the lightest, but it does provide reliable shifting. Trek’s in-house Bontrager brand provides the finishing kit and the bike looks terrific with its silver finish and red highlights.

Disc brakes provide the same consistent braking whatever the weather, so no running over squirrels in the rain on your commute

Routed internally, both front and rear gear cables and the rear brake cable are kept out of the mud and gunk of a cross race – and the grime of a winter commute





Cyclo-cross bikes These are great for getting to work, especially if your commute involves a bit of rough stuff


rom being machines for stringy athletes whose idea of a good time is running round a frozen field with a bike over their shoulder, cyclo-crossers (CX) have emerged suddenly and welcomely into the mainstream, thanks largely to their go-anywhere versatility. The arrival of disc brakes on CX race bikes (following a decision in 2010 by the sport’s governing body, the UCI) also fuelled their rise as buyers warmed to the possibility of powerful and faff-free braking in all weather conditions. Manufacturers have responded to this awakening by tweaking the kinds of bikes they offer to suit more varied uses, often giving them new labels such as “adventure”or “gravel”bikes to flag up the differences. Older cynics might say that what we are really seeing is an update on the traditional touring bike, and they may be on to something. Whatever you want to call them, this is a class of cycle that will do the weekly commute with style, but can also earn its keep at the weekend with a little light touring, road riding, bridleway exploration or even, heaven forfend, a cyclo-cross race. Frame add-ons also reflect the one-bike-for-everything nature of modern CX bikes. Mounts for full mudguards – surely the biggest aid to commuter comfort as well as the longevity of costly components – and rear racks are widespread, while forks with rack mounts may also be found on bikes aimed at the more adventurous end of the spectrum. Nowadays there’s no need to restrict yourself to the traditional close-ratio 46/36 chainset as many CX bikes come with the more commute-friendly 50/34 compact style, or even triple chainring options. Cassettes with a large sprocket of up to 32 teeth give plenty of gradient-conquering spin and the option for low-geared traffic hopping. If your commute is also part of your training regime, a CX bike can be an excellent partner. Its drop bar encourages aerodynamic positioning for swift progress and it’s reasonably easy to set your commuter up to match your position on your road bike for pain-free switching between disciplines. The position is generally less head-down than an out-and-out road race bike, but comparable to some aimed at sportive and endurance events. Some models offer top-mounted auxiliary brake levers, which help when you want to sit up and ride on the tops in traffic. While out-and-out CX tyres can create friction, drag and noise for a lot of tarmac work, the beauty of the CX is that just about any 700C tyre will fit in the frame. CX bikes are a common sight at sportive events, either with the weekday tyres swapped for a slick or with an all-round tyre that’s actually very well suited to the potholed condition of UK roads. You can tailor your choice for puncture resistance, wet-weather grip or speed as your commute requires, and if you find yourself often on gravel-surfaced cyclepaths then a bit of extra tyre width is welcome. If you want a commuting bike that can do a bit of pretty much anything then a CX should certainly be on your radar.

Marin Lombard £750 | £562.50 The Californian company describes the Lombard as “part adventure bike, part urban warrior” and for a bike that falls well inside the Cycle to Work scheme limits it looks well worth considering. The aluminium frame comes in six sizes and is fitted for a rear rack and mudguard, though the aluminium fork lacks guard eyelets which might put off some. A mainly Shimano Sora 9-speed road transmission in the triple chainring version gives a huge spread of gears, and the Promax mechanical disc brakes look good for the price. The Lombard Elite, at £1,000, offers a carbon fork, 10-speed SRAM gearing and Tektro mechanical disc brakes.

Whyte Dorset £999 | £749.25 At a pound under the £1k threshold, and a respectable 10kg, this looks a very well-thought-out machine. Built around an alloy frame, its carbon fork is a bonus, particularly as this comes with mudguard eyelets. The gearing is Shimano Sora, in 9-speed guise with a compact 50/34-tooth FSA chainset and a 32t lowest sprocket for the steep hills. Whyte has specified TRP’s Hy/Rd disc brakes which combine cable operation with a hydraulic calliper for powerful braking in all conditions. Sealed cartridge bearings in the wheel hubs and headset should help keep the elements at bay.

JARGON BUSTER Compact chainset A 50/34 compact chainset, as on the Whyte, is a halfway house between the triple chainsets of the Trek and Marin, and a 53/39 ‘standard’ double. The numbers refer to the teeth on the rings, the 34t ring offering a lower climbing gear than a standard chainset, but slightly higher than a triple.


Autumn/Winter 2015

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


Cyclescheme Price



Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments



1 End of Hire payment








Percentage saving

Total saving

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







Tyre size 700 x 18 - 23 mm 路 weight 461 g 路 rear mudguard 805 + 150 mm 路 front mudguard 525 + 150 mm 路 in black or silver




Essentials Cyclescheme price



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

JACKETS A good waterproof jacket will keep you warm and dry and help keep you safe on your commute


eing seen and staying dry are the two most fundamental requirements for a practical jacket to use on your daily cycle commute. Being at the mercy of the unpredictable British weather, dark nights and the need to mitigate the inattention of other road users means you’re going to be looking for a jacket that is waterproof, wind resistant, breathable, bright, fast drying, packable and durable. It’s a long list of requirements, but not impossible to find in this day and age. Jackets cut and designed specifically for cycling work best, as your body position on the bike – even in upright, traffic-beating mode, requires longer arms, lower rear panels, and shaped necks. Look for the other details too: breathable laminated fabrics, high-visibility reflective materials to help you show up in vehicle headlights and enhance your safety in low light and at night, a mesh lining to help provide air space for sweat vapour to evaporate, and waterproof zips that will help to keep the drips on the outside. Don’t forget lightweight too; you’re likely to be carrying enough to and from work as it is, so an over-bulky rain jacket shouldn’t be one more item when the rain finally stops. A good cycle commuting jacket is an investment in your personal comfort and it will enable you to arrive at your destination ready for the day’s work. It’s one where you will definitely feel the benefit of each pound spent, so just like when buying a ski jacket or a hiking jacket, expect to get what you pay for.

Northwave Acqua Pro Jacket RRP: £94.99 |

Cyclescheme price: £71.24

The drop-tailed Acqua Pro is a single-layer, high performance answer to a wet commute. Its light weight and low volume make it the ideal emergency rain layer, capable of being stored in even the smallest bag. The neck and upper back are meshlined for comfort and there’s a rear louvre vent stretching across the shoulder blade area to stop you overheating. Venting is also helped by the use of thinner panels in the sides to assist breathability. The overall fit is relatively slim, with ergonomically designed arms and neat fabric cuff details with thump loops. The main zip is waterproof. A single rear zip pocket is also handy.

Sugoi Zap £99.99 |


The Zap is a popular choice for commuters looking for weather protection and safety in a single jacket. Sugoi uses its proprietary Pixel reflective fabric, where the surface is covered in tiny light-reflective glass beads, to make the lightweight, drop-tail, waterproof Zap jacket really stand out in car headlights. Fully taped seams and a waterproof main zip keep the rain on the outside of this slimline design, and a rear zip closure pocket is handy for carrying ride essentials. A soft lined and shaped neck provides comfort and makes an effective seal against annoying drips. cyclingsports


Autumn/Winter 2015 Altura Night Vision Evo jacket £99.99 |


The Night Vision is a perennial favourite, and the Evo version increases night-time visibility with NV360 reflective detailing – total visibility from every possible angle. If that isn’t enough, Altura has added its own integrated ILume LED rear light to help keep you as safe as possible when sharing road space. All of these safety features are applied to its most weatherproof five-pocket rain jacket, which has been ergonomically designed to work best on a bike. Venting is critical on a commuting jacket, and armpit zip vents and an upper back louvre vent help keep warm air moving out before it makes you damp.

Dhb Flashlight Highline

Proviz Reflect360

£85 |

£79.99 |


The most effective waterproof commuting jacket in the Dhb range, the drop-tail Flashlight Highline uses a three-layer construction to provide total weather protection. Waterproof zips, adjustable cuffs and a lined, shaped neck ensure no wind or rain will enter the jacket. Zip vents are positioned to assist with temperature regulation. But it’s the extensive use of 3M reflective prints on the Flashlight that give it 360-degree visibility at night, which makes it a popular choice for riders who commute on traffic-laden roads.

Endura Luminite II

£90 |


Endura hails from Scotland, where they know a drop of rain when they see it. The Luminite II is a fully functioning 2.5-layer laminate jacket (the standard for daily-use rainproof outerwear), meaning it’s effective, light and low volume. It also has a trick, not up its sleeve, but on its back: a small built-in LED rear light with three flash options providing extra lowlight safety in traffic. The jacket has four pockets: a Napoleon chest pocket, two hand warmers, and a rear pocket on the lower back, all baffled and zipped. Add in zipped armpit vents and a large splash of reflective print, and it’s a recipe for a safe, dry ride. 30


If you’re not content to leave your low-light and night-time commuting safety to chance, you need the Proviz Reflect 360. It’s fully waterproof and made 100 per cent with reflective fabric. The effect is stunning: you’re lit like a Christmas tree the moment a light source touches the jacket surface. The shape is cut for cycling with a dropped tail and longer arms for reaching the handlebar. A soft collar and full mesh lining make it comfortable and the rear shoulder vent helps with temperature regulation. The main zip and twin chest pocket zips are waterproof, and the big rear pocket has a baffle flap.

Autumn/Winter 2015 Raleigh Wayfarer RRP: £400 | Cyclescheme price: £300 Somewhere between a street cruiser and a Dutch shopper in style, the Raleigh Wayfarer mixes classic looks with compact geometry in a bike that keeps it clean and simple. The aluminium frame is the main nod to modernity. It is equipped with rack bolts, though the steel fork is not. The white Schwalbe Road Cruiser tyres add to the gangster look but have reflective walls for side visibility and they are slim enough for modest paced commuting. A SRAM 3-speed hub gear and the slender mudguards front and rear plus chainguard keep the amount of muck and maintenance down. A cool commuter.

Cyclescheme price

In detail

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


The Raleigh is a classic looking bike, and its slender mudguards keep the cool factor up but the mud factor down

Hidden away from the elements, the Wayfarer’s 3-speed hub gear should go on working for a long time with nothing more than an occasional oiling

Round-up R AT ED R I D ES



Budget hybrid bikes A cheaper bike with less-costly-to-replace components could be just the ticket for your daily commute


ut in all weathers and all seasons, drenched in rain and slush, sitting all day covered in the mud or dust of the morning commute – and that’s just the rider. At the other end of the day, who wants to stand out in the dark and freezing fog, hosing the detritus from their bike? Instead, it is thrown into the dark, damp shed with a corrosive coating of local authority road salt as its only blanket. A thick coating of chain oil might keep out the worst but that brings its own hazards as it mixes with grit and grime to form a grinding paste that chews through chains and sprockets. In the face of all this, it’s a wonder any bike lasts more than a year! Given all that, you might be thinking, what is the point of spending a lot of money on frames and components that will inevitably die a sad, cruddy death? The answer might be – none at all. If you are in the position to run more than one bike, then it might make more sense to make your commuter the sacrificial lamb that saves your blingy bacon. And this is where the budget hybrid comes in. There’s a certain – and undeserved – snobbery about hybrid bikes. Jack of all trades, and all that. The fact is, though, that for many, many people a hybrid is exactly the kind of bike that would suit their needs. In fact, hybrids cover a whole range of bike types, from chunky mountain bikes shod with lighter tyres to lightweight, flat-barred road bikes that can give their dropbarred brethren a run for their money. Depending on the nature of your commute, something along this spectrum is going to hit the spot. Bikes in this £300-£400 price area tend to use tried-and-tested 7-speed transmission technology. It may be old fashioned but it tends to work reliably, even when gear cables are getting gritty and corroded (up to a point). When it does wear out, it’s relatively cheap to replace. On 700C-wheeled bikes, such as those reviewed here, a 28/38/48 touring style triple chainset is the typical companion, and the bike may come fitted with V-brakes, or basic cable-operated discs that add weight but offer consistent stopping in wet weather. One thing to avoid on a budget-priced hybrid is a suspension fork. These add a lot of weight for negligible improvement in comfort and after a year or so of neglect and salty roads will probably seize solid anyway. Bearings, bottom brackets and headsets will inevitably be budget items which may last weeks or years. This is most problematic at the hubs, where a corroded cup-and-cone can ruin the wheels. Conical rubber external seals can be surprisingly effective at keeping this in hand. Also, machinemade wheels on bikes at this price can be erratically tensioned and could lead in time to spokes snapping. Ask your mechanic to give the wheels a thorough tune-up before the bike leaves the shop.

Claud Butler Urban 400 £399.99 | £299.99 The 400 comes in at a penny under what its name suggests, and for that you get a curvy aluminium alloy frame. The fork is hi-tensile steel, but even so, that beats a sub-standard suspension fork for commuting. Both frame and fork have fixing points and ample space for mudguards and racks. Gearing is typical hybrid: triple-ringed 21-speed Shimano, with a 28/38/48 chainset and 14-28 cassette. Basic but strong rims, wearing anonymous 38mm-wide road tyres, are laced to disc brake-compatible hubs, and it’s the brakes that are the highlight of the package: Avid’s excellent BB5 mechanical disc callipers. It’s a tidy-looking machine.

Giant Liv Alight 3 City £349 | £261.75 Part of Giant’s women-specific Liv range, the Alight 3 City is aimed at delivering a comfortable and enjoyable ride around town. At £50 less than the Claud Butler, the main differences are in the Tektro V-brakes and the more upright riding position. It also has a monster 34-tooth sprocket, combined with a triple chainset, for really hilly rides. The step-through frame is great for anyone who wants to ride in a skirt, dress or sari. Giant’s own 32mm-wide tyres have puncture protection, and its own brand wheels, bar, stem and saddle, full-length mudguards and a kickstand complete the package.

JARGON BUSTER Hub gear Most road bikes come with a rear derailleur, which moves the chain from sprocket to sprocket, but with a hub gear, as on the Raleigh Wayfarer, all the mechanisms are contained inside the shell of the rear hub. The working parts are protected from the elements, and you can change gear while standing still.


Autumn/Winter 2015

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


Cyclescheme Price



Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments



1 End of Hire payment








Percentage saving

Total saving

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


39 YEARS IN THE MAKING Sir Chris Hoy doesn’t do things by half (just look at his medal cabinet). That’s why all his cycling know-how has gone into the HOY range of road, track and city bikes. Discover them in our 60 stores nationwide. Exclusively available at Evans Cycles.


Be seen on the road dhb Flashlight Hi-Visibility Clothing Designed for all year round commuting Combining advanced fabrics and 3M™ Scotchlite reective prints, dhb Flashlight provides unrivalled 360 degree visibility in daylight, low light and night time conditions - to keep you safer on the road.


Find out more at




HELMETS Wearing a helmet isn’t compulsory, but if you have a fall you might just be glad you were…


fter buying a bike, a quality helmet is the first cycling accessory to consider. While the debate may rage about safety, we know from experience the positive difference wearing one makes. Most come with dial-to-fit internal retention systems, so finding one that suits your head shape is easy. Ideally, you’ll want a helmet that combines good ventilation to keep you cool with as much head coverage as possible for protection. A short removable peak can help deflect sun and rain, removable liner pads mean you can wash them if they’re getting smelly, and a bug net can prevent painful interactions with nature. Commuting brings its own challenges and being seen by other road users, especially in bad weather or at night, is top of the list. Helmet designers are responding by adding more reflective detailing and integrated LED rear lights. Embedded directly into the shell of the helmet the added height of a helmetmounted rear light really adds to your overall level of visibility. Whichever helmet brand or model you choose for your riding, and no matter what features it has, none of them make any difference if you forget to wear it!

Endura Luminite Helmet RRP £49.99 |

: Cyclescheme price: £37.49

This helmet is part of the Endura Luminite range, where Endura has added LED lights to enhance low-light visibility. The Luminite looks like one of the new breed of cool mountain bike trail helmets: a strong, handsome look. The benefit of this is that it also offers increased side and rear head coverage. Big air-sucking vents ensure a cool, dry head, even at low speeds, so you shouldn’t arrive at work too sweaty. Add in a large area of reflective decal on the top, rear and sides and together with that triple-flash-function rear LED, it’s hard to fault.

Alpina City E-Helm DeLux £84.99 |

: £63.74

Alpina brings its incredible build quality and attention to detail to the UK. The dial-adjustable E-Helm DeLux is ideal for commuting, being light and offering deep side and rear head coverage. Thanks to the sort of venting and wicking internal pads found on road racing helmets, it’s no sweat bucket. A short, removable peak keeps rain and sun from your eyes, it comes with a rain cover, and the slide lock strap closure is super-easy to use. The splash of reflective trim and the powerful rearfacing integrated safety red LED light make this helmet extra-special for busy commutes.

Bell Strut Soft Brim £44.99 |

: £33.74

The compact looking Bell Strut is a women-specific model, sized, shaped and styled to suit the modern female cyclist. The inmould design, where the helmet’s hard outer shell is fused directly to the EPS liner, adds structural integrity. Plenty of slash vents keep cooling air moving over the head, and a fine bug net on the front vents ensures no passengers are carried. Bell’s ErgoDial Fit System is one of the best on the market and allows onehanded adjustment. This Soft Brim version has a neat and stylish pull-off soft peak, designed to look like a classic cycling cap.


Autumn/Winter 2015

Abus Hyban

£49.99 |

: £37.49

Abus, from Germany, is well known for its market-leading locks, and its helmets are excellent too. The Hyban uses a tough, impact-resistant ABS plastic shell over the EPS liner, and a small slide-out plastic peak. Sizing adjustment comes via the smooth Zoom dial retention. The Hyban looks more urban than Tour de France, but it pulls in plenty of air through its bug-net-protected vents. The pads are removable and, like all helmet pads these days, are machine washable. The rear-mounted LED red light has 180-degree visibility and three simple press-toaccess flash modes.

Catlike Tako

£39.99 |

: £29.99

If you’ve seen a Catlike helmet before, you’ve probably wondered about its signature ‘Swiss-cheese’ style multi-hole vent design. Well, that unusual form has real function. The reality is one of the best vented cycling helmets on the market, keeping you from getting a sweaty head on your way to work, and the lowest row of front vents are backed with a bug net. The dial-in rearmounted retention system lets you find a snug fit, and the in-mould construction ensures long-term durability as well as accident protection. Stylish and safe, a great combination.

Uvex City 5 £49.99 |

: £37.49

The old school skate inspired helmet comes of age with a stylish rework from Uvex. Light and sporty looking, the hardshell City 5 gulps air through 10 bug-netbacked vents and the short peak is optional, so you’re always as cool as you look. Easily adjustable Momomatic buckle and straps enable a fast fit. Low light safety is a priority with good use of retro reflective prints on the shell and straps to help make you visible to other road space users. 38

Melon Urban Active £49.99 |

: £37.49

The classic skate shape helmet continues to be popular among commuters. This durable hard shell is up to 30 per cent lighter than similar style helmets thanks to its in-mould construction fusing the shell to the lining material. Add 12 vents, removable, washable Coolmax pads, a clever one-handed Fidlock magnetic buckle and the funky pool ball graphic for a fusion of safety and style.

Division CB2.0 Tiagra 2015

With its versatile frame geometry, carbon forks to smooth out the roughest roads, reliable Shimano Tiagra gears, powerful hydraulic disc brakes, the Division is a fast commuter that’s ready for your weekend adventures.

Top Features

Verenti lightweight alloy frame Carbon/alloy forks Shimano Tiagra drivetrain Hayes Dyno Sport Hydraulic disc brakes Hutchinson Nitro 28C Tyres

Autumn/Winter 2015

g n i t u m Com k r a d r e aft With good lights and sensible precautions, cycling at night is straightforward and only a little slower than doing so by day


Commuting after dark


f you commute year-round in the UK, it’s inevitable that some of your journeys will take place in the dark. The end of British Summertime in October is the tipping point, the hourearlier sunset spurring cyclists to rummage in cupboards for lights and chargers unused since spring. Some will stop cycling instead, worrying that they’ll be harder to spot by drivers in the dark. In fact, drivers often give you a wider berth when overtaking at night, because your white front and red rear lights remind them that you, too, are traffic.

Be prepared It’s vital that you’ve got functioning lights whenever you might find yourself riding in the dark. That can easily happen unplanned. Maybe a meeting at work runs over. Maybe you get a puncture part way home and it takes a while to sort out. If you’ve got dynamo lights, bolted to your bike and powered by a hub generator, then you’re more ‘ever ready’ than any batterypowered commuter. You can’t forget your lights and they can’t run down. Only a disconnected cable or vandalism is likely to stop them working, since modern LEDs don’t burn out like the incandescent bulbs of old. It is nevertheless worth having backup lights (see page 43). Although they’re not common, you can get bolt-on battery lights

It’s vital that you’ve got functioning lights whenever you might find yourself riding in the dark. That can easily happen unplanned – vintage-style ones that mount to the fork crown, and wide ones incorporating a reflector that fix to a rear pannier rack. Most battery lights are quick-release and attach to the handlebar and seatpost. Since you’ll remove them when you park to prevent theft, there’s a risk that you’ll forget them. Store them somewhere you can’t fail to take them with you – in your commuting

bag, for example. For commuting, rechargeable lights are more economical than ones with disposable batteries. USB charging is handy as you can top them up at work via a computer. Whatever lights you use, it’s worth carrying a couple of little LED lights as backup. A head-torch makes a useful front light backup and is invaluable if you have to fix a puncture in the dark.

Being seen

The brightness of rechargeable lights tends to stay the same for hours, then drop off rapidly. Charge them regularly to prevent them going dim. If your bike lacks mudguards, then dirty water and road grime can compromise light output too. Flashing lights draw the eye more than steady lights. Apart from emergency services, bicycles are the only vehicles permitted to use


Autumn/Winter 2015

Adjust your speed to suit your front light’s beam. You must be able to stop within the distance you can see ahead

flashers. As a result, the flashing red rear light has come to be associated with cyclists. The problem with flashers is that they make it harder for drivers to judge your distance or track your movement. If you’re riding anywhere without streetlights, use a steady rear light as well as or instead of a flasher, or set the light to pulse mode (if available) so it never goes dark. Flashing front lights are of minimal use to see where you’re going and bright ones can distract other road users, so a steady lamp is better up front. Reflective items also help pinpoint your presence. Pedal reflectors and reflective ankle bands are especially good as the up-down motion is unique to cyclists.

Lighting your way How much light you need to see where you’re going will depend on where you ride. If you ride solely under streetlights, you don’t need much of a beam at all. If you ride on unlit roads, you’ll need a strong beam that illuminates the road at least 10 metres ahead. That’s determined by how well the light is focused as well as how powerful it is, so it’s difficult to be prescriptive, but around 200 lumens should be enough to ride confidently on unlit roads. Riding off-road, you’ll need more light (500 lumens or more) in a wider spread. Adjust your speed to suit your front light’s beam. You must be able to stop within the distance you can see ahead. At 15mph, you’ll need around 10 metres to stop – and you can double that or more if it’s raining or you’re tired. It’s very easy to hit potholes in the dark. For that reason,


Commuting after dark it’s best to stick to familiar routes as far as possible. That way, you’ll know roughly where the potholes and raised draincovers are from your daytime commute. There are some routes that you might use in daylight that you’d rather avoid at night – that unlit cycle track, perhaps, or that inner city underpass. Bad people are rare but unfortunately they do exist; use your judgment.

Lighting Essentials You must have Between sunset and sunrise, your bike is legally required to have: White front light, lit

Red rear reflector

Dazzled! Oncoming car headlights on full beam can blind you. The driver is legally obliged to dip the headlights, but don’t count on this. If you see a car with full-beam lights approaching, don’t look directly at it. Slow down and dip your head so you’re looking just in front of your front wheel. If you can do it safely, turning your handlebar side to side will move your front light and might remind the driver to dip. These days, there are cycle lights available that are more than capable of dazzling drivers. Resist the temptation to give them a taste of their own medicine. Apart from being annoying, it’s against the law. The Highway Code (Rule 114) says: ‘You MUST NOT use any lights in a way which would dazzle or cause discomfort to other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.’ If you’ve got a high-power front light intended for mountain biking at night, toggle it down to a lower setting on the road, or at the very least shield it with one hand to avoid blinding oncoming road users.

Amber pedal reflectors

Red rear light, lit

Lights must be mounted to the bike, centrally or on the right. They must be marked as conforming to BS6102/3 or an equivalent EC standard. If the lights only flash (no steady mode) they’re exempt from these standards if they emit at least ‘four candela’ (translation: are reasonably bright). Additional lights are permissible, so long as they’re the right colour, and they don’t have to be fixed to the bike. The good news, for anyone despairing of finding a BS6102/3 light in the shop, is that the police interpret the UK’s out-of-date lighting regulations more liberally: if you’ve got lights of the right colour and they’re easily visible, they’ll let you go on your way. And they’re unlikely to pull you over if your clipless pedals don’t have pedal reflectors. A lawyer might take a different view, if you were in an accident.

You might want Backup lights Tyres with reflective sidewalls l Reflective  ankle bands l Additional  reflectors on the bike l Hi-vis  waistcoat/jacket/etc l l

The best supplementary lights and reflectives are ones that help identify you as a cyclist from a distance.


Autumn/Winter 2015 Essentials



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

LIGHTS Commuting by bike in the winter means riding in the dark. Stay safe by letting drivers see clearly where you and your bike are with these bright lights


he coals of the barbecue season are barely cold before the nights begin to draw in and autumn arrives as an hors d’oeuvre to winter. For commuting cyclists, this means riding in darkness. Bright lights are essential for safety to let drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists see you, as well as lighting the less well lit portions of your route. Alongside the red rear reflector and amber pedal reflectors, which UK law requires, every bicycle ridden in the dark must have a white front light and a red tail light. Bicycle lights must conform to BS6102/3 or an equivalent EU standard. That said, anything is better than nothing – but you owe it to yourself, and other road users, to ensure you’re as visible as possible, so get some bright lights fitted. When riding in lit urban areas danger can come from all sides, and often not the one you're concentrating on, so look for lights with side visibility. Most lights feature various flashing modes, but while these can really alert others to your presence, they can make it harder for others to judge the distance you are from them. On unlit rural roads you’ll need some firepower – measured in lumens – to light the way, showing up potholes, kerbs and badgers. The faster you ride, the more power you'll need. Most current bicycle lights use LEDs, which are very energy efficient, more durable and easier (and faster) to charge using USB leads than expensive standalone batteries. Most LED lights charge from flat in an hour or so and give at least a week’s worth of use.


PDW Spaceship 3 & Radbot 500 RRP: £30 |

Cyclescheme price: £22.50

Portland Design Works makes these handy and straightforward, no-frills lights. The Spaceship 3 front light is powered by a pair of AA batteries, with just two modes controlled by the rubberised button: a rapid flashing and a constant beam from the triple LEDs, to make life simple. The rear Radbot uses two AAAs and has three modes: constant, strobe and pulse flash, which are accessed via the single button. Usefully the Radbot also has a large area of standard passive red reflector in the body to provide visibility even when the light is off.

Cateye Volt 300 & Rapid X £74.99 |


The USB-rechargeable Volt 300 lands a healthy 300-lumen punch to dark roads with a solid beam pattern from its Opticube lens. Choose high, normal or low – in constant, strobe or flash modes. A maximum run time of up to 60hrs is possible in flash mode. The Volt’s red rear lens sidekick, the Rapid X, is a slim, vertical seatpost-mountable LED stack. With five modes, constant, flashing, rapid, pulse and vibration, and an auto power save (to flash mode) when power is low, the Rapid X delivers all your rear light requirements.


Moon LX760 & Nebula £119.99 |


The well-made alloy and plastic bodied USB-rechargeable LX760 is powerful enough for riding on the blackest of nights (even off-road) with a total of seven modes: four constant, ranging from 760 lumens down to 150, plus a flashing, strobe and an SOS flash with – ironically – a 13hr burn. Its Cree LED throws a solid, well-defined beam. A handlebar remote switch is included, and it charges from flat in up to 2.5hrs. The eight-mode rear Nebula uses a long, sleek COB LED for a massive 100-lumen punch on max power. Build and sealing are excellent, burn times are impressive and charge times equally so.

Guee Cob-X £39.99 |

Exposure Lights Link £64.95 |


The British made Link is a dedicated helmet-mounted LED light and it’s also double ended, with a red filter on the rear and white up front. Both are operated with a single rubberised switch to toggle between dual and single light modes and set the flashing or constant output. The Link pumps out 100 lumens through the front and 35 in the rear. Used on constant together they’ll go for 1.5hrs, or singularly on flash setting for 24hrs. A fuel gauge light lets you know how much juice is left. A full charge from flat takes 2.5hrs.


A high-speed USB recharge is one of the Cob-X lightset’s party pieces: 1hr 40mins from flat to give up to 15hrs of burn time from the neat silicone rubber coated units. Their small size is in contrast to their bright output and decent run times of 9hrs flash, 15hrs strobe and 4.5hrs when used on constant mode. Their other neat function is the way the stretchy silicone rubber strap can be used to fit them vertically or horizontally to the seatpost, seatstays or fork blades on the bike, or to a saddle pack and bags.

Knog Blinder Road £89.99 |


Australian brand Knog has a reputation for quality lights and the Blinder lives up to its name: it’s blinding. The alloy bodied front light has twin side by side LEDs giving out up to 200 lumens, while the 70-lumen rear resembles a traffic light with three red and an amber LED in a vertical stack. Choose between five power modes for the rear and four for the front to deliver the intensity required. The front can give up to 6hrs in Eco Flash mode and the rear up to 20hrs. The lights charge from flat in 5hrs via the supplied USB lead.

Niterider Mako 150& Cherrybomb 35 £36.99 |


Niterider is an old hand at bike lighting, and the Mako and Cherrybomb combo use some clever reflector tech to throw plenty of light. The 150-lumen Mako front light has ‘gill’ slits (like a Mako shark) on its sides for 180-degree visibility for other road users. The alloy and plastic bodied light uses a simple high, low, flash triple toggle. The Cherrybomb rear also has a 180-degree throw and its 35 lumens produce a one-mile range of visibility according to Niterider. Unusually in an age of USB charging, Niterider opts for pairs of standard replaceable AA batteries for the Mako and AAAs for the Cherrybomb.


Crossway Urban 20 MD Crossway £399.99 Urban 20 MD - Lightweight aluminium frame and fork £399.99 - 24 gears

-- Lightweight frame and fork Mechanicalaluminium disc brakes -- 24 gearsand Gents options Ladies - Mechanical disc brakes - Ladies and Gents options

Crossway Urban 40 D Crossway Urban 40 D £474.99 £474.99aluminium frame and fork - Lightweight -

- Lightweight aluminium frame and fork 27 gears - 27 gearsdisc brakes Hydraulic - Hydraulic disc brakes Ladies and Gents options - Ladies and Gents options

Crossway CrosswayUrban Urban500 500 £749.99 £749.99

-- 22xx10 10gearing gearing -- Full Fullcarbon carbonfork forkwith withbolt boltthrough throughaxle axle -- Hydraulic Hydraulicdisc discbrakes brakes -- Ladies Ladiesand andGents Gentsoptions options

NewCrossway Crossway Urban Urban range. Lifetime New Lifetime frame frameww

warranty. warranty. arranty.

Autumn/Winter 2015

Pashley Picador RRP: £745 | Cyclescheme price: £558.75 Pashley bikes are so cool your bum might freeze to the saddle, and there’s no reason why tricycle riders should miss the party. The Picador has an upright ride with plenty of scope for saddle and bar height adjustment, belt-and-braces calliper and hub brakes and a parking brake as well. All three wheels are fully guarded, as is the chain which drives a Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub. The big back step is fitted with a wire carrying basket which holds 38 litres, and if that’s not enough you can fit a basket to the handlebar too.

Cyclescheme price

In detail

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


With no brake at the rear, it’s all down to the braking at the front to stop you – which is why there’s both a calliper rim brake plus a hub brake with parking brake

A 3-speed Sturmey Archer hub gear means you can change down while stationary, so no problem pulling away from the lights if you’ve arrived in top gear





Bikes for those with mobility issues A large range of bikes for people with disabilities means few should have to give up the idea of a two- or three-wheel commute


he type of bike you will need will depend, of course, on your particular disability. If you have issues with balance, choosing a tricycle allows you to enjoy the thrill of the road again. Visually impaired riders may find liberation in stoking a tandem piloted by a sighted partner. If you have restricted, or no, use of your legs then hand cycles come to the rescue. We know of side-by-side trikes, trikes with built-in thoracic supports, fixed-wheel trikes for those who have difficulty coordinating their pedalling action and even trikes adapted to carry a wheelchair. Whatever the case, you can rest assured that someone will have an ingenious solution. The main thing is to discuss your needs in detail with your dealer or speak directly to the specialist cycle companies. In England, the Wheels for All ( project can offer impartial advice. It currently has 50 centres around the country. Riding a tandem successfully is a lot to do with communication between pilot and stoker. With practice, a lot of this communication can be done through the pedals but, in the early days particularly, it is essential for the pilot to keep the stoker informed on impending gear changes, starts and stops. Getting away from the traffic lights will be slower than on a conventional bike, even for an experienced team. Tandems are not the easiest bikes to ride in start-stop traffic, and the place to practise is not in the rush-hour melee! The stoker has only two jobs – to set up the pedals for the initial push-off and to provide muscle power. Beyond that, think of yourself as luggage. Any attempts at steering will result in complaints from up front. Those suspicious of recumbent or semi-recumbent machines often express the fear of being run down by motor vehicles because their low position makes them difficult to see. Fans often report the opposite, claiming the novelty of the machine makes it more conspicuous to other road users. They also have the advantage of an excellent view of the traffic from the drivers’ perspective. A mirror is essential for a good view behind. The riding position makes them aerodynamic and quick – so long as the gradient isn’t against you. It also keeps the centre of gravity reassuringly low and allows you to get some ‘grunt’ behind the pedalling action. Tricycles have the advantage of width, which can make them less vulnerable to close passes and certainly coerces the rider into taking the primary position on the road. That same width, though, limits opportunities for nipping through the traffic and for that reason commuters might want to seek out quieter or traffic-free routes. Unfortunately, for any nonconventional bike design, there can be problems negotiating barriers and squeeze points on off-road cyclepaths, so again, careful route choice is important. If you do find your progress restricted by poorly-designed infrastructure make sure you raise it with your local authority.

Mission Semi-Recumbent Trike £810 | £607.50 Mission supplies a wide choice of trikes for all needs and this semi-recumbent model sits at the sporty end of the range. The low seat makes for a very stable riding position but the sweptback bar helps prevent that position from being too close to the horizontal. The seat is fully adjustable too. The semi-recumbent style keeps you low and out of the wind which makes for fast riding, augmented by the powerful pedalling position. Full mudguards and a basket come as standard, and the padded seat and self-levelling pedals with clips and straps can be fitted as extras.

Dawes Duet Twin £799.99 | £599.99 The entry model in Dawes’ range of tandems, the Duet Twin is nevertheless well set out for commuting duties. The aluminium frame comes in two sizes. Mudguards and an aluminium rear rack are fitted as standard and the fork also has the necessary braze-ons for front luggage. The 26in (mountain bike size) wheels are fitted with tarmac-ready Kenda tyres. The lack of a drag or disc brake might tell on hilly rides when carrying heavy loads, but for the urban environment V-brakes are fine. The 21-speed derailleur transmission requires forward planning at junctions to prevent you becoming stranded in a high gear when the lights turn green.

JARGON BUSTER Braze-ons These are small fittings attached to the frame and/or fork which let you attach accessories like mudguards, racks, bottle cages and so on. The Dawes has ‘braze-ons for front luggage’ so as well as having a rear rack, it can be fitted with a front one too for extra storage.


Autumn/Winter 2015

r 45 cado £7shley Pi Pa

9 2.9RBS 3 £ is es

9 4.9 lt £7 ye Vo id X p te Ca 0 & Ra 30

v lar Po h Glo Tec

5 light t £8 b Flashe Jacke Dh hlin Hig

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


Cyclescheme Price



Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments



1 End of Hire payment








Percentage saving

Total saving

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


Save money on the latest technology and spread the cost with Computingscheme!

/invite your employer today.

Autumn/Winter 2015

A commuter’'s guide to

Cycle Paths Segregated cycling facilities range from fantastic to frustratingly bad. Here’s what you need to know before incorporating them into your ride to work


ycle paths in the UK come in two kinds: cycle lanes painted on roads and cycle tracks that are separate from roads. They’re both intended to give cyclists space and make cycling journeys easier and more pleasant. Some do, some don’t. The majority are squeezed into the margins of the existing road and footway network. (A footway is a pavement next to a road.) That’s why they pale into comparison with Dutch cycling facilities, where space for cyclists has been reclaimed from motorists and has been built into new projects from the outset. Because UK cycle tracks and cycle lanes are such a mixed bag, the only way to know for sure whether the ones near you will help or hinder your commute is to try them. But here’s some advice.


A commuter’s guide to cycle paths Know your cycle routes A cycle lane is simply a part of the road, demarcated by a white line, the painted outline of a bike, and, if you're lucky, some differently coloured tarmac. There's seldom anything to stop cars drifting into the cycle lane – or parking on it. Some cycle lanes, notably in London, have raised kerbs between the cycle lane and road. This makes a big difference, giving the space wholly over to cyclists and turning the lane, in effect, into a roadside cycle track. Cycle tracks commonly run parallel to a road on the site of a former footway. At junctions with side roads, the cycle track gives way to the road in almost every case. Some cycle tracks, built or signposted by sustainable transport charity Sustrans, follow disused railway lines and are separate from the road network. Both kinds of cycle tracks are usually shared use with pedestrians. Sometimes there's a painted dividing line, sometimes not. In addition to dedicated cycle tracks, there are other motor-vehicle-free rights of way that cyclists can use. In England and Wales, all bridleways can be used by cyclists. There's no requirement that the surface be kept suitable for bikes, so anyone on small wheels or narrow tyres should proceed with caution. Cyclists must give way to pedestrians and horse riders on bridleways, which are shown on Ordnance Survey maps as a line of long dashes. Cyclists in England and Wales can also use restricted byways, essentially green lanes and dirt tracks that are forbidden to motorists. They're marked on OS 1:25k maps as a dashed line with a little sideways spur on each dash. Cyclists can also use permissive paths in England and Wales, routes where there’s no automatic right of access but where the landowner allows it. Canal towpaths are the most extensive example. In Scotland, access laws are much more liberal; there’s no legal distinction between footpaths and bridleways, for example. Northern Ireland, by contrast, has relatively few rights of way.

A cycle lane is a visible reminder to drivers that there are cyclists about and that they are entitled to space on the road Cycle lanes are of most use when they give cyclists access to places cars cannot (or should not) go. Advanced stop lines at traffic lights enable cyclists to get across junctions ahead of overtaking or left-turning vehicles, improving safety. Contraflow cycle lanes on one-way streets can provide cyclists with practical shortcuts; a raised kerb here is a more reassuring divider between road and cycle lane than paint. The vast majority of cycle lanes are far too narrow, so if you cycle within the lane – the Highway Code entreats you to do so ‘when practicable’ – you will be too close to the kerb. (See for more on this.) On top of that, some lanes specifically direct you into road positions and manoeuvres that make you more vulnerable. For example, some cycle lanes run around the edge of roundabouts, putting you at risk from traffic entering or leaving;

Cycle lane pros and cons If nothing else, a cycle lane is a visible reminder to drivers that there are cyclists about and that they are entitled to space on the road. Most drivers won’t encroach on an occupied cycle lane, so if the lane is wide enough – very few are – it promotes a minimum passing distance.


Autumn/Winter 2015

Cycle tracks that follow disused railway lines can be excellent, if they’re sufficiently well surfaced and maintained. Those old railways avoided steep hills, which makes for less strenuous cycle commuting Cycle track pros and cons

some put you too close to parked cars, so you might be struck by a carelessly opened door; and some encourage you to ride up the inside of a left-turn lane, which can be lethal if lorries are involved (see p21). Some cycle lanes start and end seemingly at random, spitting you back into the traffic stream with little warning. Others direct you into street furniture… Visit for scores of examples of road planning ineptitude. Since they’re at the periphery of the road, cycle lanes have the same problems of any road edge. Debris collects there, ‘swept' by the action of car tyres, drain covers are installed there, and cars park there – yes, right in the cycle lane!

Using cycle lanes Some cycle lanes have a solid white line at the edge, while others have a dashed white line. What’s the 54

difference? Those with a solid line are mandatory; with a dashed white line, they’re advisory. These instructions are for motorists and not cyclists. If there’s a solid white line, motorists are prohibited from driving or parking in the cycle lane. Advisory means that motorists are ‘advised’ not to drive or park in it. There’s no censure if they do. Cyclists are free to use or not use cycle lanes as they see fit, whether they’re mandatory or advisory. The Highway Code, Rule 63, acknowledges this: ‘Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills.’ Other road users might not realise this and could react angrily if you do not ride on ‘your’ part of the road. Do not be browbeaten. Your aim is to complete your journey in a safe, legal and timely fashion, just like anyone else. If a cycle lane helps you do that, use it; if it doesn’t, don’t.

Cycle tracks provide cyclists with their own transport network – of sorts. It’s a lot patchier than the road network, so cycle tracks won’t always take you where you want to go. When they do, it’s nice to escape the stress, noise and fumes of motor vehicles. Cycle tracks are particularly suitable for less confident cyclists, and those intimidated by drivers who overtake too closely, as it doesn’t matter if you wobble a bit. Good cycle tracks are useful for all cyclists. Cycle tracks that follow disused railway lines can be excellent, if they’re sufficiently well surfaced and maintained. Those old railways avoided steep hills, which makes for less strenuous cycle commuting. They go directly into urban centres, and they often go over or under roads so there are fewer junctions at which you’ll have to give way. Junctions are the bane of roadside cycle tracks. The cycle track invariably gives way to every side road, which makes cycling along one very stopstart. The cycle track also complicates junctions. Consider a main road with a side road joining it at a T-junction: a three-way junction. Add a cycle

A commuter’s guide to cycle paths track running parallel to the main road and you’ve now got a five-way junction. There’s more going on and more chance that someone will not see someone else and make a mistake. Even the Highway Code acknowledges this, saying about cycle tracks in Rule 62: ‘Take care near road junctions as you may have difficulty seeing other road users, who might not notice you.’ Cycle tracks vary in quality just as cycle lanes do. For every excellent cycle track, there’s one (or more!) that’s too narrow or has too many tight, blind bends. Cycle tracks might not be swept or gritted as regularly as roads, so you’re more likely to encounter debris, such as broken glass or dog dirt, and ice in winter. Roadside cycle tracks might benefit from streetlighting; ones away from roads might not, which could rule out using them after dark if they go through less salubrious parts of town.

Using cycle tracks Slow down. There’s no specific speed limit for cycle tracks, but if you’re

regularly doing more than 15mph you’re better off on the road. Give way to pedestrians, and take extra care around children, dog-walkers using extendable leads, and joggers with headphones. Ring your bell to alert other cycle-track users or call out a cheerful “good morning”. Roadside cycle tracks sometimes swerve back into the road with little warning, depositing you into a cycle lane or the carriageway itself. Take care crossing the dropped kerbs where roads and cycle tracks meet: cross them square-on not at an acute angle, or your wheels might be swept from under you. Be alert too for bollards or barriers. Ride slow enough that you can stop within the distance you can see ahead. For more advice, see As with cycle lanes, cycle tracks are not obligatory. The Highway Code uses the same words to describe them (Rule 61): ‘Use of these facilities is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills.’ You might find a given cycle track useful all, some or none of the time.

Choose your routes

While the UK still has a very long way to go to get facilities comparable with those in the Netherlands, there are bits and pieces all over the country that can improve your commute. If you’re not sure what’s available for your journeys, visit or download the Cyclestreets smartphone app (details on the website). You can then plot your ride to work by typing in the start and end points and then choosing the Fastest, Balanced or Quietest option. Fastest is most direct, while Quietest prioritises traffic-free sections and then quieter backstreets; Balanced you can work out. You can get PDF and paper maps of lots of towns and cities with suggested cycle routes from If you want to ask other local transport cyclists for advice on routes, visit uk to find your nearest cycling campaign group. You might even want to join them in calling for improved facilities where you live.


Autumn/Winter 2015 Brompton S2L RRP: ÂŁ945 | Cyclescheme price: ÂŁ708.75

Cyclescheme price

In detail

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


Buy a Brompton and step into a whole new world of small-wheel accessories, including luggage and dynamo lights front and rear

Brompton is probably the first name that springs to mind in connection to folders. The 2-speed S2L provides simple gearing, and there are lower gear ratio options if your commute includes bigger hills. The folding system takes a little more time than some to master, but the double-pivot design allows the bike to pack down really tidily, all securely held together by the seatpost. The 16in wheels add to the light, compact nature of the bike without detracting too much from the ride quality. There are all sorts of bespoke options, but usually a waiting list for these bikes.

If your commute is flat, the single-speed S1L is an option, but the 2-speed S2L comes in three gear ratio options: standard, -7% and a very hill-friendly -18%




Folding bikes On the train, bus or tube, in the boot of a car, up (or down) in a lift, under the desk… the benefits of a folding bike for commuting are many


olders deliver the maximum versatility for your commute. Live too far from work to ride all the way? As we discuss in our feature on page 17, with a folder you can make part of your journey by car or train. Try to take a standard bike on a busy morning rail service and see how far you get. With a good folding bike, you’re carrying nothing but a piece of hand luggage. You may have limited storage space at home or at work. Once at the office, the folding bike can nestle safely at your feet and there’s no risk of leaving work to find that the bike rack has had “visitors” and there’s nothing but an empty space and a chopped-through cable lock to remind you of what you once had. National Rail sets out some conditions on carrying folders on trains. They must be “compact, fully-folding with wheels up to 20in in diameter”. In some cases you may be asked to put a cover on your bike and store it in the luggage racks. Speaking of luggage, your own folder might need to carry your briefcase, handbag, manbag or laptop and this consideration is often a bit of an afterthought. Think carefully about your requirements and look for a bike that will carry what you want without you having to resort to cumbersome clip-on racks and carriers. A good folder needs to be practical without spoiling the riding experience. That means combining light weight with a design that is quick and easy to assemble and fold. Once folded, the bike needs to be a compact size and shape that is easy to carry. Achieving all this is neither easy nor cheap, but a bike that fails to meet these requirements will soon become an annoyance. You will also want wheels of a diameter that won’t be overwhelmed by the bumps and potholes. Some manufacturers build in suspension systems to take out some of the sting, but these inevitably add some weight. How small is too small? Really, anything less than 16in is likely to be pretty trying. Think about how difficult it is to push a shopping trolley up a kerb. Moulton fans will scoff at the suggestion, by the way, that a smallwheeled cycle can’t be fast – particularly when paired with high-pressure tyres. But for most commuters attracted to the practicality of folders, speed is not the first consideration. What is important is getting to work without oil and mud all over your clothes, so a chainguard and mudguards are pretty much essential. Those low-slung, compact frames all allow riding in normal clothes – a particular advantage for skirt-wearers. Beware being too casual in your riding style, though: some of those small wheels and long stems lead to some pretty twitchy handling. Once the bike is folded, delicate gear derailleurs can be vulnerable so hub gears are a worthwhile consideration. A single sprocket might also be a practical path to reduced weight and ultimate reliability, if your commute is not too hilly. You could even consider a belt drive: clean and efficient and requires next to no maintenance.

Tern Link D8 £500 | £375 This aluminium 20in wheeler is a versatile bike for the money. It folds quickly and easily into a compact package, with a simple magnetic catch to hold the two halves together. Once folded, the derailleur transmission sits outside the bike, so you will need to be careful to avoid getting oil on your clothes. The 8-speed, 12-32 transmission offers a wide range of gears if your commute is hilly. The frame is suitable for riders from 4ft 9in to 6ft 2in. Early frame quality control issues seem to have been resolved with the latest model and the price is very competitive.

Dahon Qix £700 | £525 Dahon claims it takes five seconds to unfold this bike, and its clever vertical hinge certainly is nifty. Once folded, the bike rolls on a guide wheel built into the rear rack. You get an aluminium frame and fork, 20in wheels, V-brakes and an 8-speed derailleur transmission in a package weighing under 12kg, including the built-in load carrier. The frame is designed to fit riders with an inside leg measurement between 32 and 37in, and Dahon’s “flex adjust” system allows you to drop the handlebar for a more aggressive riding position.

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


Autumn/Winter 2015

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


Cyclescheme Price



Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments



1 End of Hire payment








Percentage saving

Total saving

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


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

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Autumn/Winter 2015

Ian Hicks We catch up with the commuters featured on the Cyclescheme website. This issue: Cat 4 racer Ian Hicks


Cyclescheme 7


rom 22 stone and unfit, to a 16 stone Cat 4 racing cyclist, cycling to work has been transformative for Ian Hicks. “It was all about me trying to get fit," says Ian. "I played rugby from quite a young age and I got to the stage where I was no longer able to play because of family commitments. I smoked and then I wasn't doing exercise and weight just piled on. “I had to find something that I could do to get my weight off that didn't impact too much on the family." He considered getting a gym membership, until a colleague suggested cycling to work. “Even though my fitness was bad,” he says, “the time it took to cycle to work and back wasn’t hugely different to driving.” After using a bike that was the wrong size, Ian found he could buy a new one through Cyclescheme via his work. Ian's fitness quickly improved and within a year he had upgraded via Cyclescheme from an aluminium framed Specialized Allez to a full carbon Specialized Tarmac. “Now I use my first bike as a winter bike and use my new one through the summer,” he says. The upgrade was useful in more than one way for Ian, who joined a local cycling club shortly after he began cycling to work. “I go out and ride with people and we get to have a chat and find new routes and different coffee stops, so it has opened that social side up, and then at the end of last year I started racing for a team.” Now part of his training, Ian’s daily route differs depending on how he's feeling and what shift he's on, alternating from early to late, week to week. He rides in all weathers,

only taking the car if he needs to carry his tools. "I have probably got about five routes that I will use,” he says. “I use different cut-throughs and loops from five miles to 15-20 miles each way. “It's a bit hard to walk past the car with a bike when it's raining, but when I'm on the bike it doesn't seem to matter: once I'm out in the weather it's still enjoyable." Thanks to his work having shower facilities, he can keep a change of clothes there and still arrive fresh for his shift. Ian believes it's worth the effort – and the benefits, he says, are palpable, and not just in the money he's saved on fuel. “I feel a lot better; I feel as though I have got more energy, so I'm able to get more done at work. If I've driven to work I'm less motivated to work than when I have ridden in. My job's quite a physical job – I'm not sitting at a desk all day – so riding into work is almost like a warm-up.” The visible improvement, though, has been the weight loss. “When I first started cycling I was just over 22 stone and I’m now about 16.2,” he says. “I think I have still got some to go, but that main weight loss has all been through getting on the bike." The thing he would change about his commute now? That it was longer. Ian advises anyone looking for a new bike to go to a dedicated bike shop where staff can advise on fitting and the best bike for you. “If you solely want to commute then get something that's suitable for the routes you'll use,” he advises, “but also if you are looking at using it as a leisure activity, look at bikes that are suitable for both. If I had got a hybrid it wouldn't have been suitable for the club or racing, so think about what

Fact file

Name: Ian Hicks Lives: Westbury, Wiltshire Occupation: Heavy Vehicle Mechanic Commute: Mainly through country roads. The direct route is about five miles but I'll add in extra loops and do between 10 and 30 miles in total depending on how I'm feeling and what shift I'm on. Frequency: Five times per week, racing or social rides on weekends. Cyclescheme bikes: Specialized Allez and Specialized Tarmac Why I started cycle commuting: Why I started cycle commuting: I needed to lose weight (I was 22 stone) and a colleague suggested I cycle rather than joining a gym.

you want to get out of it before you go out buying a bike.” His one indispensable item? “Probably overshoes. I have got some rubber overshoes and on a wet, horrible day they keep your feet dry and warm, it's just fantastic. And a decent set of lights.”


Autumn/Winter 2015

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

Further reading Here's just a sample of Cyclescheme's reviews, guides, interviews, and offers. Go to and browse, or use the links below to go straight there.

Cycle to Work Day 2015 Were you one of the thousands who pledged to ride to work on 3 September? Find out what your pledges helped to achieve here.

Keep your wheels going round Wheels don’t always stay nice and round, but don’t panic – with a spoke key, some patience and our guidance, you can fix the problem without having to go to the bike shop.

Materials world Will it be classic steel? Curvy aluminium? Lightweight carbon? At C2W level it’s unlikely to be titanium… but what frame material will your next bike be made of?

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

Autumn & winter essentials round-up You don’t have to use your voucher for a bike, if you’re happy with your wheels then make the most of your C2W allowance with an Accessory Package – accessories and clothing but no bike.

Commuter Tales: Claire Cycling to work every day means keen cyclist Claire avoids the stress and cost of finding a parking space at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, and it keeps her fit and healthy.

Learn the rules of the road! If you don’t know what ‘taking the lane’ means, or whether you should be in the ‘primary’ or ‘secondary’ position, have a look at our basic pointers to riding in a safe, responsible and respectful manner every time you head out.


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Cycle Commuter magazine #15  

Issue 15 of Cycle Commuter magazine is packed full of news, reviews and tips. There's advice on cyclepaths, how to ride safely at night and...

Cycle Commuter magazine #15  

Issue 15 of Cycle Commuter magazine is packed full of news, reviews and tips. There's advice on cyclepaths, how to ride safely at night and...