Issuu on Google+

Safer night riding

n

Adjust gears without tears

n

Cycle to Work Day

Issue #11

ÂŁ1.95 where sold

Autumn/Winter 2013

More for less

Save money on a new bike and spread the cost

Too far to ride?

Take your bike by train or car

Are you

sitting comfortably? Quick fixes to make your bike fit better FEA TUR ING

43

TOP CYC LIN G PR OD UC TS

n n n

Bikes n Lights Waterproof jackets Backpacks n & more!


Giant


U T. ALL ABO

Contents

..

Welcome to Cyclescheme

5

How the Cycle to Work scheme will save you money

6

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

Issue #11 Autumn/Winter 2013

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

24

F E AT U R E S

How to: cycling at night

17

Adjust your gears

21

Too far to ride?

40

See and be seen when you're out in the dark

Fuss-free ways to fettle your bike's gears

Take your bike by train, bus or car and pedal part way

Bike fit basics Quick fixes to make your bike fit you better

Cycle to work day September's big push to get bums on bikes

The Cyclescheme 7: Timothy Pritchard A mountain bike for commuting on road and off

My Cyclescheme Go online to get more from Cyclescheme

52

58

Prices correct at time of going to press. E&OE. All content Š Cyclescheme 2013

32

46

32 City bikes

24 

Disc-braked road bikes

32

Mountain bikes

46 

For short rides in ordinary clothes, you can't beat the get-on -and-go convenience of a city bike Neither a cyclo-cross race bike nor a traditional road bike, the disc-braked road bike is a versatile drop-bar commuter If you ride dirt tracks or rocky trails as much as tarmac, a mountain bike could be your ideal go-anywhere machine

60

62

Thanks to Bath Spa University for location photography

Cyclescheme is part of the Grass Roots Group Published for Cyclescheme by Farrelly Atkinson www.f-at.co.uk

BIKE ROUND-UPS

TOP PRODUCTS & ESSENTIAL KIT

Stuff

14

Lights

29

Waterproof jackets

37

Backpacks

50

The best gear for your commute and beyond Bright battery lights for riding at night Keep out rain and wind without overheating

Rucksacks and shoulder bags for shorter commutes

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

3


Raleigh Strada


Welcome

About

Cyclescheme... T Cyclescheme is the UK’s leading provider of taxfree bikes for the Government’s Cycle to Work initiative We offer big savings on the best bikes and safety equipment. Dealing with Cyclescheme’s network of over 1,900 local bike shops also gives you the best experience, with the expert personal service, convenience and choice that larger multiple retailers just can’t match.

he Cycle to Work Initiative is a salary sacrifice scheme that gives you the chance to save on the cost of a new bike, as well as security and safety equipment to go with it. The way salary sacrifice schemes work is that you give up part of your salary and receive an equivalent benefit that is exempt from Income Tax and National Insurance. What does this mean in practice? Well, technically it’s your employer who buys the bike. You hire the bike and equipment from your employer, and you pay back the cost of the bike from your gross salary. You save on Tax and NI payments, lowering your payments over the hire period. Cyclescheme has partnered with over 1,900 independent bike shops throughout the UK giving you

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

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

• • • •

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

5


Autumn/Winter 2013

How the Cycle to Work scheme will

save you money!

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

G

et a bike and safety equipment through Cyclescheme as part of the government’s Cycle to Work initiative and you’ll save yourself a whole lot

of money. The savings are made because you’ll initially hire the bike from your employer, and your hire charges are made via a salary sacrifice scheme. Your gross salary is reduced to take care of your payments before any Income Tax or National Insurance (NI) has been deducted, so you pay less tax and NI. This results in savings of at least 25%. Plus, at the end of the hire period, most employers are able to offer you ownership of the bike at a fraction of its original cost.

Here’s how it works… Once your employer has set up a programme with Cyclescheme, you choose a bike and any safety equipment from one of more than 1,900 independent bicycle dealers throughout the UK (go to www.cyclescheme.co.uk/partners to find your nearest Cyclescheme Retailers). Then your payments cover the hire of the bike and equipment from your employer, usually for 12 months. What happens next? Simple. Read on… 6

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Maximising your savings! Do you want to keep the bike that you have? NO Send the bike back to Cyclescheme

YES

Do you want to pay as little as possible?

YES

NO You pay 18% or 25% of certificate value* to take ownership of the bike


Saving money through Cyclescheme What happens next? The Government has published the table below to calculate the market value of bicycles and safety equipment at the end of the hire period: Age of bike

Acceptable disposal value % (inc VAT) Original value under £500 Original value £500 or over 18% 16% 13% 8% 3%

12 months 18 months 2 years 3 years 4 years

25% 21% 17% 12% 7%

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

Example savings? We’ve put together the tables below to show you an example of the savings available for a basic rate tax payer, using both a £500 and £1,000 example package. These packages represent a total saving. £500 example package Original value NI saving Tax saving EUA deposit Total saving

£500 £60 £100 £15 £145

£1,000 example package Original value NI saving Tax saving EUA deposit Total saving

£1,000 £120 £200 £70 £250

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

Can I start a new scheme during the extended use period? Yes. The Extended Use Agreement is entirely separate to the Hire Agreement, so you’re free to participate in future Cycle to Work schemes with your employer while you’re still in an Extended Use Agreement with Cyclescheme. Here’s how to get the best possible saving at the end of the hire period... You pay a small refundable deposit** and sign an Extended Use Agreement with zero payments

YES

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

* Current HMRC advice for bike values (inc VAT) after 12 months: 18% for bikes under £500, 25% for bikes over £500 **3% for bikes under £500, 7% for bikes over £500 (inc VAT)

Do you still want to keep the bike?

YES

NO Send the bike back to Cyclescheme, the deposit will be refunded

Cyclescheme retain your deposit and confirm you as the owner of the bike. Enjoy using your bike!

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

7


News

News

C2W bike sales up C ommuters got on their bikes in ever greater numbers in 2013, thanks to strong growth in Cycle to Work purchases and the pressures of rising fuel prices. Figures published in August by the Cycle to Work Alliance, of which Cyclescheme is a founding member, showed a 22.5% increase in take up in the second quarter of 2013, when compared to the same period in 2012. That followed a similarly large 19.3% year-on-year increase for the first quarter of 2013. It has kept the cash-registers busy at local bike shops at a time when new bike sales have otherwise been relatively flat. The average purchase price of a bike through Cyclescheme is £600, with an average certificate price of £750 for participants who opted for extras such as locks and helmets. This compares to an average bike price of well under £300 for the UK

cycle market as a whole, showing that Cyclescheme participants get bikes worth more than twice that of purchasers who don't take advantage of Cycle to Work, which offers painless payments through salary sacrifice and overall savings of at least 25%. The first half of 2013 saw more than 44,000 new cyclists sign up to the scheme, while Cyclescheme alone has been responsible for nearly 400,000 purchases since its inception. As MPs debated the findings of the Get Britain Cycling report in Parliament in September 2013, these latest figures highlighted the desire and interest among the UK population to take up cycling. They also demonstrated that the Cycle to Work scheme remains a proven, cost effective and affordable way for individuals to do so. For more on how Cyclescheme can save you money, flip back to pages 5-7 or go online to www.cyclescheme.co.uk.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

9


Autumn/Winter 2013

GET EXTRAS WITH

CYCLESCHEME

I

Cyclescheme in Ireland Cycle commuters in the Republic of Ireland, 1,800 of whom have already taken advantage of Cyclescheme, have a brand new website: www.cyclescheme.ie. Launched in August 2013, the website is a one-stop shop for news and information about Cyclescheme for anyone living in the Republic of Ireland. It shows you how much you can save on a new bike and equipment – up to 52%, due to differences in tax between Ireland and the UK – where you can get a bike, and how the scheme works. You can even use the website to invite your employer to register for Cyclescheme. This year is even bigger for Irish cycle commuters as those who took part in the scheme when it first launched will able to reapply again (the Irish scheme only allows participants to apply once every 5 years). This could mean avid cycle commuters coming back to update their bikes in their droves. If you have friends or colleagues based in the Republic of Ireland, why not point them to www.cyclescheme.ie or share the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ cyclescheme.ie) with them? Visit the page and like it and you'll get all the updates through Facebook. And you can follow Cyclescheme Ireland on Twitter at @cycleschemeie too. 10

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

t's always been possible to include accessories as part of your Cyclescheme agreement when you get a bike, but did you know that you could get the accessories by themselves too? So if you got a bike last year, you can set up a new agreement this year to purchase safety equipment for it – perfect if you spent close to the £1,000 limit on the bike before, or if you just want more or better equipment for your commute. 'Safety equipment' is a fairly broad definition, including not just helmets but also lights, locks, mudguards, bags, multitools, reflective clothing, puncture kits, and even child seats. As with the

bike hire agreement, you're ordinarily limited to a maximum spend of £1000 – with a minimum of £100.This means that commuting cyclists can benefit each year from Cycle to Work savings of at least 25% off RRP. The rules for safety equipment are the same as for bikes: you pay through salary sacrifice, making savings on income tax and National Insurance, and then purchase it at the end of the hire agreement for a Market Value payment. That's a little as 3% for bikes or equipment costing less than £500, if you take advantage of Cyclescheme's Extended Use Agreement. See pages 6 and 7 for details or visit: www.cyclescheme.co.uk/equipment-only.

9 £99Br.9 others

Crank kpack Gutter bac

£8

Endu 9.99 ra Lum inite II

9 0 £10n4XP.9 ower 70 Moo

RRP

Cyclescheme Price

£209.49

£179.97

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

£16.72

£14.26

1 End of Hire payments

£8.85

£8.85

Percentage saving

29%

39%

Total saving

£85.48

£115.00

£294.97 12 monthly hire payments


Perfect to cruise the urban jungle TAKE THEM FOR A RIDE IN THE CITY

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

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


Autumn/Winter 2013

Commuting tips from

British Cycling

C

ycle to Work Day on 12th September was a huge success (see page 58) thanks to excellent grassroots participation from commuters across the country and to invaluable support from Cyclescheme's industry partners, such as British Cycling, cycling's governing body. One of the ways that British Cycling helped out was by providing advice for commuters on what kit to take: www.cyclescheme.co.uk/community/ featured/british-cycling-basic-riding-must-haves These tips were drawn from the Insight Zone on the British Cycling website. Whether you are a seasoned commuter or are just starting out, check it out for useful advice on bike set up, guidance on how to use your commute for training, and tips to improve your riding. Visit britishcycling.org.uk/insightzone British Cycling members have full

12

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

access to the Insight Zone. Become a member today and get 12 months of membership for the price of nine (normally £28), and enjoy: l Up to £10m third party liability insurance – peace of mind insurance to keep you covered every time you ride your bike l Free legal support and advice – access to our expert team who can help you in the event of an incident l An exclusive weekly members email – packed with offers, news and top tips from the British Cycling experts l 10% off iGo bike gift vouchers l And lots more too! Join British Cycling today at britishcycling.org.uk/membership, quoting the Cyclescheme Promotional Code ‘CS13’.

BikeMiles® hits a million Commuter's using Cyclescheme's BikeMiles® initiative had logged a million miles by August 2013, the equivalent of cycling to the moon and back 4.2 times. Since BikeMiles® was launched in September 2012, more than 10,000 Cyclescheme participants have been using it. Between them, they've logged more than 130,000 journeys, burning a total of 20 million calories. That's the equivalent of 52,500 burgers. The CO2 saved, compared with driving, is the equivalent of 375 flights from London to Paris and back. They are also richer, having saved masses on fuel – even factoring in a new bike costing £500. BikeMiles® engages with participants offering rewards for logging the miles they cycle. During July the Trek Pro Commuter Challenge offered cycle commuters the star prize of a Trek Domane 2.3 plus Bontrager prizes worth £3,000. The promotion has been the most successful to date with 8,839 participants logging a quarter of a million miles in July alone.  Daniel Gillborn, Director of Cyclescheme, said: 'We are delighted that BikeMiles® has reached this momentous milestone – one million commuter miles from Cyclescheme participants is an astonishing figure, and one that we are very proud of. Burgers and trips to the moon aside, this milestone also helps illustrate our commitment to encouraging a shift in commuting habits in the UK. The more journeys we can take by bike the better. Here’s to another million miles!' BikeMiles® is available to all Cyclescheme participants for free! Check out the video to find out more here: www.cyclescheme.co.uk/help/ bikemiles-video.


Š SCOTT SPORTS SA 2012 | PHOTO: FRED LEISER / DANIEL GEIGER

SCOTT SUB 20

I N N O VA T I O N TECHNOLOGY DESIGN

SCOTT SUB 10

The SUB 10 is designed for commuting, trips to the shops, and just getting around town. Frame and fork eyelets make it easy to mount the Urban-Kit rack and fender system, so you can transport your bags with ease and stay dry doing it.


Autumn/Winter 2013

STUFF Bringing you the very best cycling gear for your daily commute and beyond Giro Reverb helmet £59.99 The AutoLoc Fit System of this urban cycling helmet automatically adjusts to size when you put it on over a Buff or beanie in winter, while its removable cap-style visor keeps rain from your eyes. www.zyro.co.uk

OnGuard Beast Chain 110cm x 12mm £69.99 A long, heavy, thick-linked chain and padlock like this is ideal for locking your bike to an anchor point at home. Carry it over your shoulder on the bike and you can lock up to anything in town too. www.todayscyclist.co.uk

Endura Women's Luminite Tights £49.99 High-visibility reflective chevrons and piping make these snug, fastdrying winter cycling tights stand out in car headlights on the commute. Sizes XS-XL. Also available for men. www.endura.co.uk

Blackburn Cloudburst Mudguards £34.99 Wet roads demand mudguards. These are a durable plasticaluminium laminate with breakaway stays to stop road debris jamming. Sizes: 26x11.75in, 700x20-28 and 700x28-37. www.zyro.co.uk 14

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Stuff Axiom Tweak 8 Multitool £10 Just over an inch square and half an inch deep, this keyring-sized multitool ensures you're never without allen keys (2-6mm), a T25 Torx bit, and flat and Philips head screwdrivers. www.paligap.cc

Need new item here Salsa Rack Lock seat collar £24.99 Problem: your bike doesn't have mounts on the seat stays to attach a pannier rack. Solution: this. Note that you'll still need frame eyelets at the dropouts. www.ison-distribution.com

Cycloc Wrap £12.99 pair These stretchy wraps will keep your trousers off the chain like cycle clips but can also strap up light items (up to 4kg) or protect the frame when parking. Lots of colour options. www.upgradebikes.co.uk

SKS Spaero Sport Alu £34.99 SKS's new mini pump has a retractable hose that screws onto a Presta valve, so you won't waste strokes or tear off the innertube valve when pumping. It reaches 115psi yet is just 210mm long and 110g. www.sks-germany.com

Northwave Artic Lady winter glove £37.99 Winter is coming. These will see you through it in comfort. A wind and waterproof membrane keeps out the elements, while Thinsulate insulation and double cuffs keep the warmth in. www.i-ride.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

15


Ride 94 - £999.99 The Cyclescheme budget never stretched so far. • Triple butted and hydroformed 6066 aluminium frame • full carbon tapered fork • carbon seat post • Shimano 105 transmission • Shimano R501 wheels • Continental tyres Available in Team Lampre Merida replica or White

Find out more at:

WWW.MERIDA.COM www.facebook.com/meridauk


Commuter Skills

How to

Cycling at night Bicycle lighting technology is better than ever, making it easy to see and be seen when you're riding at night

M

odern bike lights are brilliant. It still feels different to be out on a bike at night, but you're arguably less vulnerable than in daylight. While drivers don't always look out for cyclists, they do look for red and white vehicle lights at night – lights like yours.

The law You must use a white front light and a red rear light when you cycle on a public road between dusk and dawn. You must also have a red rear reflector and amber pedal reflectors. The regulations specify: approved standards; where the lights should be fitted to your bike; and the brightness and flash rate of flashing lights. These are not enforced. Cycle light usage and performance have outpaced the detail of the regulations. As long as you have a bright front and rear light of the correct colour – flashing or steady – the police will be happy.

Be prepared You need lights anytime you might end up having to ride in the dark, not just when you plan to. One solution is dynamo lighting: the lights are bolted www.cyclescheme.co.uk

17


Autumn/Winter 2013 Shiny stuff

to your bike so they're always there, and you've got your own generator (usually the front hub) so you won't run out of power. If you use battery lights, make sure they're on the bike or in your bag for every commute – and that they're charged. Disposable batteries are fine in LED rear lights, as these draw little power and last ages. For the front, a rechargeable light will save you money in the long term. It is likely to be more powerful too. Whatever you use, take two little LED lights in case your main lights fail.

While there is no substitute for good lighting, Scotchlite reflective strips on your tyre sidewalls, mudguards, frame, luggage or clothing add an extra level of visibility in car headlights. Clothing or luggage that's already hi-viz saves you from needing another item, such as a reflective waistcoat or bag cover, but either approach is effective. Respro (www.respro.com) sell sticker kits to add hi-viz to anything.

Know your route It's easier riding at night a route that you're already familiar with from daytime commuting. You'll know all the turns and junctions so won't get disoriented, and you'll know where the difficult potholes and draincovers are. Note that some routes are fine during the day and risky at night – such as a quiet, unlit cyclepath. Use well travelled routes if you're at all concerned.

How bright? If you're commuting under streetlights, you'll be able to see okay already so the main requirement from your lights is being seen. Some sideways visibility is important, so that cars can pick you out at junctions not just from behind or ahead. Flashing lights attract attention best around town. On unlit roads, flashing lights make it harder for drivers to pinpoint how far away you are. Use a steady light as well as or instead of a flashing light. For the front, you need a beam that you can see clearly by, extending at least 10 metres down the road. Any light emitting 150-200 lumens or more should be sufficient, although faster riders will want something brighter. Powerful front lights don't always offer much sideways visibility, so a secondary light may be needed.

Dazzled Drivers who don't dip their lights on unlit roads will dazzle you, robbing you of your night vision and making it difficult to see for several seconds. Closing one eye stops you losing your night vision but won't help with the initial blindness. Dip your head to look down at your front wheel; if you 18

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Breakdowns

have a cap or peaked helmet, this works better. Some cycle lights are now so bright that they will dazzle drivers. They're intended for mountain bikers, who need full-beam brightness at all times. Unlike car headlights, they cannot be dipped. Either switch your super-light to a lower power setting when you see oncoming traffic or shield it with one hand.

Breakdowns are a bigger problem at night. Check your bike over at the weekend to ensure it's in good running order. Look for sharp fragments embedded in the tyres; these could cause a puncture later if not removed. If you do have to fix your bike in the dark, a head-torch that leaves your hands free is a godsend. This can double as your backup front light. Petzl's E+Lite (www.petzl.com) is especially good. Without a head-torch, you'll need a light small enough to hold in your mouth. Don't fancy in-the-dark maintenance? Take your mobile and the numbers of some taxi firms. Or for more peace of mind, get roadside recovery for you and your bike from Cycleguard. Cycleguard Rescue costs just £18 per year – see www.cycleguardrescue.co.uk.


10

10 Minute Maintenance

minute maintenance

Adjust your gears

2

The barrel adjuster

The usual problem is that the shifter no longer moves the derailleur the right amount. So the chain rattles on the sprockets and skips in between gears, or requires two clicks to shift. The cause is most likely the cable tension. Find the barrel adjuster: a hollow bolt that the outer casing runs into, located at the shifter, the derailleur, at a metal socket on the frame called a cable stop, or part way along the outer casing.

If your bike's derailleur gears aren't working properly, don't panic. Sometimes the problem can be fixed in seconds - without tools Indexed gearing is great. Each click of the shift lever moves the chain smoothly from one sprocket to the next. When that doesn't happen, you need to adjust the gears. We've described the rear derailleur here, but you can apply the same advice to the front derailleur.

3 1

Gear shifting simplified

A gear cable is a thin inner wire that runs from the shifter to the derailleur. For parts or all of this distance, it runs inside a hollow outer casing. This means the cable can take a route to the derailleur that involves curves. The gear cable is always under tension. The gear shifter winds the cable in and out, increasing or decreasing that tension. This moves the derailleur sideways. Most shifters are indexed, so that each click winds the cable a set amount‌ which in turn moves the derailleur a set amount.

Fine-tuning gears

Unscrewing a barrel adjuster increases the gear cable tension, and vice-versa. Turn the pedals with one hand while changing gear with the other; you'll need an assistant or a workstand to lift the back wheel off the ground. First change gear until the cable is at its slackest; this will be the smallest sprocket unless your bike has a 'low normal' or 'rapid rise' derailleur (in which case it will be the largest). Click the shifter once. If the chain doesn't shift to the next sprocket without hesitation, unscrew the barrel adjuster incrementally until it does. Check that the chain will shift back the other way with one click. This may mean screwing the barrel adjuster back in a little. Shift up and down the cassette to check that all the gears can be engaged with single-click shifts. Further half or quarter turns of the barrel adjuster may be required.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

21


Autumn/Winter 2013

5

4

Re-clamping the cable

If the cable was very slack or over tight, the barrel adjuster might not offer enough adjustment. Shift gear until the cable is at its slackest and screw the barrel adjuster(s) all the way in. Using an allen key or small spanner, unscrew the anchor bolt to release the gear cable from the derailleur. Check that the chain is on the smallest sprocket. Hold the end of the gear cable and pull it until it is only just taut, then re-clamp it. Fine-tune the gearshifting as described on the previous page.

Sluggish shifts

Sometimes the derailleur will shift okay one way but is slow to shift the other way; you click and nothing happens and then click again and the chain jumps two sprockets. The problem is friction, probably caused by dirt. You need to lubricate the cable. This is easy on bikes that have the gear cable partly uncovered. Shift gear until the cable is at its slackest. Disengage the outer casings from the gear cable stops on the frame, drawing the exposed gear cable through the slot. The casings can now be slid up or down the inner cable. Lubricate the gear cable and spray lube into the ends of the outer casings, using GT85 or similar. Then slot the outer casings back in the cable stops on the frame. Shifting still sluggish? You may a new gear cable and outer casing. Go to the bike shop.

6

Chain overshoots

Sometimes the chain shifts too far and falls off the biggest or smallest sprockets entirely. Or it won't shift far enough, whatever you do to the cable tension. You need to adjust the high (H) and low (L) limit screws on the derailleur. Viewed from behind the bike, the H screw limits how far the derailleur can move to the right, while the L screw limits how far the derailleur can move to the left. Unscrewing lets the derailleur move further in that direction; screwing in restricts movement in that direction. Make small adjustments, half or quarter turns, until the derailleur stops in the right places at either end of the cassette.

22

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


YOU’RE UP AND OUT. THE LEGS ARE A BIT STIFF, BUT THEY SOON WARM UP. THE CRISP AIR KEEPS YOU SHARP AND YOUR CHEEKS BEGIN TO GLOW. YOU’VE NEVER FELT MORE AWAKE AT 7AM. There’s nothing like cycling to work and when you become a British Cycling member from just over £2 per month, you can commute with confidence. All members receive third party liability insurance, free legal advice and the added reassurance that we’re campaigning to make Britain’s roads better for cyclists. Join us.

For further information visit britishcycling.org.uk/commuting


Autumn/Winter 2013

Dawes Countess Dutch £549.99

In detail

This is the top bike in Dawes's city bike range. It has the classic Dutch bike profile, as you'd expect from the name. The steel frame is a step-through design – there's no gent's version – with a tall head tube. As well as mudguards, it has skirt guards and a full chaincase. Gearing is a 3-speed Sturmey Archer hub, which is sufficient for flatter areas, while the brakes are Sturmey Archer drums. The front basket is fine for light loads such as a handbag, while heavier luggage can go on the rear rack, which incorporates a stand. It lacks only lights. The bike's Brooks B66 S leather saddle is sprung for comfort and looks classy. Weight: 16kg. www.dawescycles.com

24

A leather saddle will wear in over time until the shape of it precisely matches the shape of your bum!

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Sturmey Archer drum brakes are effective whatever the weather or the state of the wheel rims, as the brake shoes are inside a shell or 'drum'


Round-up

UP ROUND-

R AT ED R I D ES

City bikes For short rides in ordinary clothes, you can't beat the get-on-and-go convenience of a city bike

C

ity bikes are designed for short urban journeys in casual or office clothes rather than lycra. They're the polar opposite of race bikes: their upright riding position is relaxed rather than aerodynamic; they have all the accessories you need for commuting; and they're heavy. That's partly down to those accessories and partly how city bikes are built. Most are made from durable, inexpensive steel tubing – either mild steel or high-tensile steel, which is better quality. Either adds a lot of weight compared to aluminium, and even aluminium city bikes are sturdy middleweights rather than lightweights. Don't worry too much about this weight. It's a big deal for lots of bike types. It isn't for city bikes, where practicality is more important. That's why city bikes come with guards around the wheels and chain to keep water, dirt and oil off your clothing. Most have a rear rack or a front basket for luggage. Some have other useful features, such as alwaysavailable dynamo lighting, a kickstand, and a frame-fitting wheel lock. The better equipped a bike is, the less time you'll spend getting ready to ride it. A city bike rider can be a mile down the road while the road bike rider is still looking for his special shoes and clip-on lights. It's tortoise versus hare. Over shorter distances, the upright riding position you get from a high, backswept handlebar is very comfortable. There's no strain on your back, neck, arms, or hands. There is more weight on your backside, so it makes sense to use a wider saddle with padding or springs rather than a hard, narrow perch. City bikes get additional comfort from wider tyres, typically 32mm or more. Look for puncture resistance above rolling performance. City bikes aren't meant for racing around on, and it can be trickier to remove their wheels due to a chaincase, hub brakes or hub gears. Hub gears are popular on city bikes for good reason. The gears are enclosed, so are protected from the weather and accidental knocks. You can change from top gear to bottom while stationary at the lights. And the chain doesn't need such fastidious care – or any at all if there's an enclosed chaincase. The reduced range of gears compared to derailleurs only matters if you live in a hilly area; look for seven or more gears in that case. Many city bikes use drum brakes or roller brakes, which are more practical than rim brakes. They operate at the hub and are completely covered, so they're not affected by rain or slightly buckled rims. Their wear life is excellent and they don't abrade the wheel rims. Outright stopping power isn't as good as disc brakes but they're effective enough.

Raleigh Superbe £550 This is a new version of a bike that's more than 100 years old. Like the Dawes it has a step-through steel frame – a gent's version is available – fitted with full mudguards, a chaincase, skirt guards, a rear rack, and a wicker basket. The sprung leather saddle is another Brooks, a B35. Sturmey Archer provide the drum brakes and hub gearing. The Raleigh's 5-speed hub has a wider range, and with a bike weight of over 23kg it needs it for any climbs. The Superbe is also equipped with lighting, courtesy of a hub-dynamo powered front lamp and a battery powered rear. www.raleigh.co.uk

Cube Hyde Pro FE Lady £699 City bikes haven't had to make a comeback on the Continent like they have here, which is perhaps why this German, trekking-style Cube looks modern rather than retro. The frame and fork are aluminium, saving considerable weight (it's 13.6kg). Eight-speed Shimano Nexus gearing combines hub practicality with a wider range, and there's a Shimano hub dynamo for lighting. However, the brakes aren't drums but V-brakes. It comes with mudguards and a rear rack but lacks a chainguard, so you'll want trouser clips. The 42mm Schwalbe street tyres should roll through anything and remain comfortable. Gent's version available. www.cube.eu

JARGON BUSTER Hub gears A hub gear’s moving parts are enclosed inside the hub shell, where they're protected from rain and dirt. Instead of multiple sprockets, small pinions mesh together to rotate the rear wheel at a different speed from the sprocket. Problems are rare and are usually due to the cable; the hub itself should go on working for a long time with nothing more than an occasional oiling.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

25


Autumn/Winter 2013

tch

9 Du 9.9untess 4 5 Co

£

s we Da

0 oola ket £1n1a NicYhello jac A llo He

0 e chel £1a2rradiocok Sat

£69

Cateye .99 Volt 30 0

C lbr Ke

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

RRP

Cyclescheme Price

£637.54

£552.46

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£48.17

£41.08

1 End of Hire payment

£59.50

£59.50

25%

35%

£212.44

£297.52

£849.98

Percentage saving

Total saving

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

26

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Essentials

ESSENTI KIT

AL

LIGHTS Good quality lights help drivers see you sooner and stop you hitting unseen potholes in the dark

A

white front light and red rear light are legal requirements when cycling on road between dusk and dawn. Dynamo lights cost least in the long term as you provide the power, but battery lights are cheaper to buy and still cost next to nothing to run if they're rechargeable. Most lights have different modes. Flashing draws the eye best but makes it harder for drivers to judge your speed or distance, so constant is safer on unlit lanes. How much illumination you need will depend on where you ride. Under streetlights, it's enough to be seen – including from the side. In real darkness, you need beam that will show you the way at least 10 metres ahead; look for a front light emitting at least 150-200 lumens or more. Most battery lights clip on and off their bracket in seconds so will need to be stashed in your bag or jacket pockets to prevent theft. Short strips of old innertube are useful to pack out light brackets if they don't quite fit your bike.

Lezyne Zecto Drive Pro £44.99 With two white LEDs and one red, this could be the ideal backup light: choose which colour to shine and fit it front or rear. Alternatively, it can be attached to a bag or clothing. White light output varies from 40 lumens (constant, economy setting) to 160 (daytime flash); red light from 10-40 lumens. Run times are from 2-6½ hours, depending on mode. It's a compact light, at just 40×40×35mm and 51g, so can live inconspicuously in your bag until you need it. It's USB rechargeable. www.upgradebikes.co.uk

Cateye Volt 300/50 set £89.99 The numbers refer to lumens: the front emits up to 300 and the rear 50, which is bright for a rear light. They use the same rechargeable battery, so you can switch them if the more powerhungry front runs low and you don't have time to recharge via USB. The front has five modes: high, medium, low, flash, and 'hyper constant' – a brighter flash over a steady beam. The rear has four: constant, flash, pulse, and hyper constant. Run times: 3-60 hours. . www.zyro.co.uk

Topeak Aero Combo set £32.99 Because LEDs are so efficient compared to bulbs, even LED lights with non-rechargeable batteries can have low running costs. These Topeak lights will last for about 40 hours constant or 80 flashing, using two AAA batteries in the front light and one in the rear. Each light has three LEDs and is more than bright enough for use around town or to carry as a backup. They weigh only 32g each. They're available separately for £16.99 each as the WhiteLite HP Beamer and Redlite Aero. www.extrauk.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

29


Autumn/Winter 2013 One23 Light Set (1W front, 0.5W rear) £39.99 Don't shine these lights in your eyes thinking that 1 Watt and half a Watt don't sound much. LEDs produce light very efficiently and these have decent lenses to direct it. The front light has three modes, high, low and flashing, and runs for up to 24 hours on its four AAA batteries. That's fine for occasional usage. The rear has two flashing modes and one steady and runs for up to 100 hours on its two AAs, making it economical enough for daily use. www.todayscyclist.co.uk

PDW Fenderbot £16.99 Unlike most rear lights, which attach to the seatpost and have to be removed when parking to prevent theft (and then found again to refit…), the Fenderbot bolts permanently to your bike's full-length rear mudguard. You or your bike shop will need to bore two small holes to fit it. The Fenderbot's single LED can be set flashing or steady and will run for up to 200 hours on a pair of AAA batteries. It even incorporates a red rear reflector. www.paligap.cc

Moon X Power 700 £104.99 The X Power 700 packs a big punch for its size, putting out 700 lumens on its highest constant setting. That's enough for mountain bike nightriding or for riding flat out on unlit roads. Its removable battery isn't large, so run time isn't long on maximum power – around 1 ½ hours. For longer rides you could carry a second battery or toggle the light to lower settings; there a seven settings altogether, including an SOS mode that's probably visible from space. www.raleigh.co.uk

Niterider Lumina 350 £89.99 Lumina's cable-free light produces the 350 lumens you'd expect from the name on high power. That's plenty for unlit lanes, and it'll run for 2 hours on that setting. It can also do 200 lumens for 4 hours, 125 for 6, or 30 for 21 hours. The lithium ion battery recharges in 5 hours. If you need even more light, Niterider also offer a Lumina 550 and Lumina 700, which are the same size and weight (172g) but dearer. www.2pure.co.uk

30

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


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

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

Insurance Approved ABUS Bordo Granit X-Plus


Autumn/Winter 2013

Whyte Dorset ÂŁ999

In detail

The Dorset is the middle of three bikes in the RD7 range that Whyte launched for 2014. The geometry of its aluminium frame is more 'road' than 'cyclo-cross', with a steeper head tube angle to provide sharp on-road reactions more than reliable line-holding off-road. Both the frame and carbon fork have the fittings you need for commuting accessories. Gearing is 10-speed Shimano Tiagra, with a wide range 11-30 cassette. Brakes are Pro Max CX mechanicals. The wheels have deep section rims and well-sealed hubs. And despite their name, the easy-rolling 28mm Maxxis Detonator tyres do have puncture resistance. www.whytebikes.com

32

The rear disc calliper is mounted on the chainstay, where it is out of the way of a pannier rack or any bag hung on it

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

The rims have reflective decals, to stand out in headlights. As the rims aren't braking surfaces, these won't easily get worn off


Round-up

ROUND-

UP

R AT ED R I D ES

Disc-braked road bikes Neither a cyclo-cross race bike nor a traditional road bike, the disc-braked road bike is a versatile drop-bar commuter

D

isc brakes are shaking up the road bike world. It's not just a change of braking but of focus. Traditional road bikes are designed for sport; disc-braked road bikes tend to be designed for transport, like hybrids with drop handlebars. Getting rid of the road bike's short-reach sidepull brakes allows bigger clearances around the wheels. That means fatter tyres will fit, typically 28-35mm, plus full-length mudguards. Fatter tyres are more comfortable and are less likely to pinch-puncture on rougher roads. They're better for gentle off-road routes too. Some disc-braked road bikes look just like cyclo-cross bikes. You could fit a pair of knobbly tyres and go racing around a muddy field. But even these have moved away from their cyclo-cross roots, with deliberate concessions to leisure and commuter use. Manufacturers are calling them things like 'all road bikes' and 'cross-over' bikes. Disc brakes operate at the hub rather than the rim, so the braking forces are transmitted through the wheel. That requires sturdier wheels with tangential spoking. It also demands reinforcement in the frame and fork, where the brakes are anchored. A beefier fork won't flex as much and would transmit more 'road buzz', but fortunately any differences are masked by wider tyres. The frame and fork materials are the same as you'd find on a traditional road or cyclo-cross bike. That will usually be aluminium for the frame and either aluminium or carbon fibre for the fork, depending on price. Most have fittings for full-length mudguards and a rear pannier rack. If the rear disc calliper is on the chainstay, a conventional rear rack should fit. Gears too are what you'd find on a road bike, generally Shimano Sora or Tiagra with a compact double chainset. Look for a generously sized cassette; machismo is the only reason not to have a 30 or 32-tooth big sprocket on a general purpose road bike. It will make big climbs or any off-road forays much easier. Wheels obviously have disc hubs, with rotors bolted to them. Rims are slightly wider than most road bikes, so that fatter tyres will fit well without squirming on corners. Avoid dedicated cyclo-cross tyres for anything other than off-road use; slick tyres offer drag-free riding on road. If you'll ride on road and off, touring tyres are a good compromise. The riding position tends to be less racy on a disc-braked road bike. The top tube or stem may be shorter, the head tube longer, and the handlebar may be a short-drop model. For anything that isn't road racing – whether it's commuting or just long leisure rides – this is an advantage: it's more comfortable.

Focus Mares Ax 4.0 Disc £899 This German machine is essentially an urbanised cyclo-cross bike. The robust aluminium frame and fork have the steering stability you'd expect from an off-road bike but it has the fittings you want for commuting – and even comes with mudguards. The chunky 35mm Continental Cyclocross Speed tyres are more on/off road than the name suggests, with a minimal tread that won't drag too much on tarmac. Gearing is 10-speed Shimano Tiagra with 50-34 compact double and 12-28 cassette. Tektro Lyra mechanical disc brakes handle stopping. The wheels, steering and seating parts are all from Concept EX, a Focus in-house brand. www.focus-bikes.com

Charge Filter Hi £999 Intended as a commuter, the Charge Filter Hi is unusual in having a frame and fork of chrome-moly steel. It has fittings for a rack and mudguards and comes with the latter – although the front is too short. Its steering favours straight line stability, a bonus on potholed commutes. Gearing is 10-speed Tiagra with a 46-36 cyclo-cross style chainset rather than a 50-34. Bottom gear is higher but the front shift feels better spaced. Tyres are 28mm Kenda Kwick Trax with tarmac-suitable tread and decent puncture resistance. The Pro Max mechanical discs won't interfere with a rear rack. www.chargebikes.com

JARGON BUSTER Disc brakes Hydraulic disc brakes like you get on mountain bikes (page 46) are a still a bit Tomorrow's World for drop-bar bikes. Expect cable-operated mechanical discs. These work with existing integrated brakes and shifters. While stopping power is similar to a rim brake, a mechanical disc brake works even when the wheel rim becomes wet, muddy, or buckled. The rim doesn't get slowly worn away either.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

33


Autumn/Winter 2013

0 9.0rset 9 9 Do

£

yte Wh

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

RRP

Cyclescheme Price

£749.25

£649.41

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£56.61

£48.29

1 End of Hire payment

£69.93

£69.93

25%

35%

£249.75

£349.59

£999.00

Percentage saving

Total saving

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

34

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Urban perfection. ZECTO DRIVE Compact, high-visibility safety lights, designed for the urban cyclist. Equipped with Daytime Flash, the Clip-On System, providing versatile strapped or clipped mounting and USB recharging for ultimate convenience. £29.99 / £54.99 pair.

Proudly distributed by Upgrade Bikes Ltd. upgradebikes.co.uk // 01403.711.611

CLIP-ON SYSTEM PATENT PENDING


ALLROAD

ROAD

MOUNTAIN

rennKomPressor

some things never change and we are proud of that

Sclaverand Presta

Auto Schrader

Dunlop

height: 650 mm | max. pressure: 230 PSI / 16 bar | material: steel tube · metal base · wooden handle

SKS-GERMANY.COM

G E R M A N Y

DistributeD by CHICKEN CYCLE-KIT Phone 0 15 25 – 38 13 47 Fax 0 15 25 – 38 53 61 Web chickencycles.co.uk

MADISON Phone 0 19 08 – 3 26 00 0 Fax 08 00 – 13 00 – 599 Web madison.co.uk

RALEIGH UK LTD. Phone 08 00 – 0 96 90 60 Fax 0 17 73 – 53 26 02 Web raleigh.co.uk


Essentials

ESSENTI KIT

AL

WATERPROOF

JACKETS If you commute all year round, a waterproof jacket is essential - and cycling ones have some special features

I

f a jacket isn't described as waterproof, it isn't. 'Showerproof' and 'water resistant' mean 'you'll get soaked in real rain'. A good waterproof will keep out the wind and rain while letting heat and sweat escape. Cycling jackets use breathable fabrics and those aimed at sportier cyclists often have vents under the arms or across the shoulders as well. Cycling makes you hot! Beware overdressing, even in winter. Cycling jackets don't need hoods, which interfere with both peripheral vision and helmets. The do need to be longer in the arm and back to offer weather protection while you're leaning forward on the bike. Collar, hem and cuffs need to be adjustable or elasticated to keep out draughts, while a close cut stops a jacket flapping. Bright colours stand out better in daylight. Reflective patches and piping do the same at night.

Endura Women's Luminite II £89.99 This is a new version of Endura's waterproof, breathable and highly reflective Luminite jacket. It's well suited to winter commuting, as it's covered in shiny chevrons and has a flashing LED light over the zipped rear pocket. There's also a zipped chest pocket, plus hand-warmer pockets for use off the bike. Neck and hem have shock cords, the cuffs velcro straps. The soft lining in the collar makes it feel snug on cold days. Sizes XS-XL, in yellow, pink or black. Gent's version available. www.endura.co.uk

Polaris Quantum £89.99 Like most waterproof jackets, this is lined so it wicks sweat away better and doesn't feel clammy. It's made of Hydrovent polyester, which breathes pretty well, and there are zipped vents under the arms for extra cooling. It's well cut for cycling, with a dropped back, but has a fold-away hood for use off the bike. There are two pockets, chest and rear. Collar, cuffs and hem are adjustable and there's a good amount of reflectivity. Sizes S-XXL www.polaris-bikewear.co.uk

Agu Takeaway £44.99 Even when you're not wearing it on your commute, you'll want a rain jacket with you, so the more packable it is the better. Agu's Takeaway jacket fits into a carry pouch just 15cm long so can live in your commuter bag until you need it. It's not an expensive jacket but it's still waterproof, windproof and breathable; it's just not quite as fully featured. It does have a fold away hood, however, and there are some reflective details. Sizes XXS-XXXL, in light blue or black. www.i-ride.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

37


Autumn/Winter 2013 Lusso HT70 £59.99 The fabric of this made-in-the-UK jacket feels softer against the skin than most waterproofs, which is nicer when you're riding with a short-sleeve shirt underneath. It's windproof, waterproof and breathable, as you'd expect, and there are underarm zip vents. Waist and cuffs are adjustable, and there's a dropped tail for better coverage at the back. It's available only in yellow, being aimed at commuters, and has some reflective piping. Sizes S-XXL. www.raleigh.co.uk

Ana Nichoola Hello Yello jacket £110.00 Less sporty looking than most cycling waterproofs, this softshell jacket is specifically for women. The long dropped tail is a peplum, a kind of flared frill that will stop your backside from getting either rained on or stared at. The high collar has a popper to hold it open when the rain isn't driving or you want a bit more air. Visibility is good because it's bright yellow and has reflective piping and shoulders. Cuffs are adjustable and the zip is waterproof. Sizes XS-XL. www.ananichoola.co.uk

Altura Nightvision Jacket £69.99 This is the UK's best selling cycle commuting jacket. It's waterproof and breathable, and its abundant reflective patches and logos are visible from any angle. There's also a mount on the back for an Altura Lightstick, a flashing LED strip available separately. Cuffs, hem and collar are adjustable, and the collar has a fleece lining. There's a vent across the back and zipped ones under the arms to stop heat build up, and two pockets: chest and rear. Sizes S-XXXL, in yellow, orange or black. Also in a women's version. www.zyro.co.uk

Outer Edge Sport Waterproof £49.99 More proof that you don't need to spend a lot of money to get a reasonably breathable and waterproof jacket. This Outer Edge jacket has sealed seams to keep the rain out and a lining to keep any clamminess off you. A storm flap for the front zip will keep the rain out there. The cuffs are adjustable, as is the dropped tail, which folds up when not required. There's reflective piping for nighttime visibility, and of course it's bright yellow. Sizes: S-XL www.todayscyclist.co.uk 38

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


the perfect mix Welcome the new Discovery Sport range from Dawes Cycles. Urban bikes generated to combat mixed terrains quickly and comfortably. The entire Sport range boast fast rolling 700c wheels built on strong double wall rims and utilizes suspension forks for added comfort. Add to this super light hydroformed aluminium frames and you have a winning combination. The Sport 5 is our star model and your perfect partner with 27 Shimano gears and sure stopping Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. There is a Discovery Sport to suit a variety of budget’s all with quality core features so be sure to head to your local Dawes stockist and try one for size.

Discovery sport 5

- Sizes: Gents 18, 20, 22� - Dawes Dynamism hydroformed alloy hybrid frame - SR Suntour NVX suspension fork, 75mm travel with mechanical lock-out - Shimano Alivio 27 speed gears - Shimano chainset - FSA Aheadset - Shimano hydraulic disc brakes - Alloy double wall rims with QR hubs - 700x42c tyres

To view the complete Discovery Sport range from Dawes Cycles or find your nearest Dawes Dealer visit:

www.dawescycles.com


Autumn/Winter 2013

Too far

to ride?

Live a long way from work but want to cycle? Let the train, bus or car take the strain and only pedal part way

F

or shorter distances, especially in urban areas, bicycles are the ideal way to get to work. For longer distances – anything beyond what you're comfortable riding each morning and evening – they're impractical. The answer is mixed-mode commuting. Take your bike by public transport or car, then cycle to work from the station or the park-and-ride.

Bikes on trains Bikes are allowed free of charge on most British trains at most times of day, excepting some peak-time commuter trains. The full list of regulations is contained in National Rail's 'Cycling by train' leaflet: www.nationalrail. co.uk/static/documents/ content/2013Cyclingbytrain.pdf. That's the good news. The bad news is that there's a limited number of bike spaces on each train, sometimes just two, and you may need a reservation for that specific train. If you miss it, you'll have to throw yourself on 40

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Transporting your bike the mercy of the next train's guard. If there's no reservation required, you turn up and hope that the bike spaces aren't taken; if they are, the guard can refuse you. If your train is replaced by a bus service you won't be allowed on with your bike. Sounds stressful? It can be. There's always a worry that your journey plans might be de-railed. Having said that, it's not such a leap of faith when you're commuting. You'll be doing the journey daily, so you'll become an expert on that service – everything from the numbers of cyclists who use it, through to the flexibility of the guard, and the best place to wait on the platform. On local train services, look for the bicycle symbol on the door. That indicates either a dedicated bike rack or 'shared space' with fold-up seats that can be used for bicycles, luggage or passengers. On intercity trains, bikes are usually carried at the front or rear, either in the guard's van or in cubbyhole in the power car. Either way, you'll need to get the guard to unlock this. If your bike needs to be booked on the train, you can do this at the station, over the phone, or online. The East Coast website (www.eastcoast.co.uk) has a bike booking option – others don't – and can be used to book journeys on other networks.

Stress-free bike-rail There is an easy way to avoid the bikes-on-trains headache: buy a folding bike. With a folding bike, you can travel on virtually any train without a reservation. The folded bike is considered to be luggage. See the Cycling by Train leaflet for the small number of restrictions, including whether you need to bag the bike. In theory, a folding bike ought to be no bigger than 90x70x30cm,

With a folding bike, you can travel on virtually any train without a reservation which is the size allowance for items of luggage. In practice, if the bike folds and will go into an end-ofcarriage luggage rack without inconveniencing other passengers, you won't have any problems. Crowded commuter trains are easier with a more compact folder (see 'Folding freedom'). Folding bikes are carried 'anywhere and anytime' on the London Underground. They're carried with some restrictions on the Tyne and Wear Metro, but not on the Glasgow Underground. The London Underground also allows full size bikes at certain times and lines: see www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/ bicycle-tube-map.pdf.

Buses & coaches Buses with bike racks only seem to exist in other countries. There are some dedicated bike-bus services in the UK, aimed at recreational cyclists and usually comprising a minibus or coach plus trailer. But if you want to get your bike on an ordinary bus, you're out of luck unless it's a folder. Folding bikes are accepted at the driver's discretion. If it's a compact folder and it will fit in the luggage area – preferably in a bag – you're very unlikely to be refused. Coaches ought to be better, as they have a big hold for luggage. If you're wanting to board with anything other than a bagged folding www.cyclescheme.co.uk

41


Transporting your bike

Generally, if your bike will pass muster as luggage, you should be okay; if not, you'll need to persuade the coach driver bike, however, then it's still down to the driver's discretion. Stagecoach say that bicycles 'may be carried at the owner's risk'. National Express say that a bike must be 'folded, or dismantled and wrapped'; Megabus that 'bicycles are not carried'. Generally, if your bike will pass muster as luggage, you

should be okay; if not, you'll need to persuade the driver.

By car: park and ride Transporting your bike in or on your car is straightforward. You just need somewhere to park on the edge of town. Park-and-rides are ideal, as the parking is deliberately inexpensive and the remaining distance well suited to cycling. Inside the car is the best option if the bike will fit. It costs nothing, your bike is protected from the weather, and fuel efficiency is unaffected. Van-based MPVs and huge estates may swallow a conventional bike whole. Smaller cars may require the bike's front wheel removing; take gloves or hand-cleaner as you'll get grimy hands. Tiny cars are easiest with folding bikes, which don't need

to be disassembled. In terms of car racks, the best options are, in descending order of price and performance: towbar racks; roof racks; boot racks. You can get good ones from, among others, Thule (www.thule.com), Atera (www.atera.co.uk), Pendle (www. pendle-bike.co.uk), and Saris (www. paligap.cc). If you'll be leaving your car all day, it's safest if the rack locks onto the car to prevent theft. Towbar racks take between two and four bikes. Prices are high when you factor an extra £200 or so for getting a towbar fitted, but for those who will clock up the miles they’re the best outside-the-car option. It’s easy to load bikes, even heavy ones, and fuel efficiency is good. You'll get a lighting board with the rack. Be alert when reversing!

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

43


Autumn/Winter 2013

Roof racks take one to four bikes on roof bars. The bikes are out of the way, so there are no issues with visibility, lighting boards or boot access Roof racks take one to four bikes on roof bars. The bikes are out of the way, so there are no issues with visibility, lighting boards or boot access. Expect to pay around £100 for quality roof bars and around £70 for each bike rack. Fuel efficiency will be hammered by up to 30% so roof

racks are better for local use than road trips. Loading the bikes requires strength, while low barriers at car parks can be an expensive problem if you forget you've got bikes aboard… Boot racks cling to the back of the car with tensioned straps. They’re not as sturdy as bolt-on racks and so are better for light use (one or two bikes), although they can be switched between vehicles. Fuel efficiency is usually better than roof racks, depending on how much the bikes are in the lee of the car. Most require a lighting board, although there are high-mount versions that don't. Whatever type of rack you use, double check all fixings. You don't want to see your bike disappearing down the road in your rear view mirror! Note that car racks are not available to purchase on Cyclescheme.

Folding freedom

A compact folding bike gives you total transport flexibility. You don't need much room to store one, either at home or at work.

Brompton M3L £865 The iconic British folding bike packs down in seconds to an ultra-portable 60x58x29cm. Lots of a la carte options, including luggage and lighting. www.brompton.co.uk

Tern Verge Duo £650 Lightweight fold-in-half two-speed with an automatic gearshift. The 20-inch wheels and fatter tyres give a surefooted ride for a folder. Folds to 72x79x35cm. www.evanscycles.com

Kansi 1Twenty £499 Simple 20-inch wheeled singlespeed that rides and folds much like the Tern above. There are 3-speed and 9-speed versions available. Folds to 84x40x70cm. www.kansi.co.uk

Birdy World Sport £939 Front and rear suspension provide this 8-speed German folding bike with a refined ride that few folders can match. Folds to 79x61x36cm. http://en.r-m.de 44

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


FOR PRODUCT, VALUE AND SERVICE, ONGUARD IS ALWAYS YOUR BEST CHOICE. - Tighter tolerances and higher grade materials make the locks even more reliable - Sold secure anti-theft programme and limited lifetime warranties - New coatings and bright colour scheme make the products and packaging aesthetically pleasing - New metal end caps and thick rubber increase durability

For more information visit: www.todayscyclist.co.uk

15 SOLD SECURE RATED LOCKS 8 X SHACKLE 5 X CHAIN 2 X CABLE


Autumn/Winter 2013

Scott Aspect 940 ÂŁ549

In detail

Scott's entry-level Aspect range is available in 29-inch or 26-inch flavours. This 940 (29-inch wheels) is a decent starter bike for riders who want a more rugged machine than a hybrid. The fork is a 100mm Suntour XCM HLO with fixed hydraulic damping, which stops it firing back at you over bumps. You can lock it out for road use. The 27-speed Shimano Acera gearing is a step up from Alivio, while Shimano M395 hydraulic disc brakes are better than the mechanical discs you find at this price. Lighter treaded tyres are fine on tarmac or summer trails. The aluminium frame has rear rack mounts. www.scott-sports.com

46

Unlike some budget forks, this one has hydraulic damping, so it won't try to bounce you off when you go over a bump.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Entry-level Shimano M395 hydraulic disc brakes outclass the mechanical disc brakes often found on bikes at this price.


Round-up

U ROUND-

P

R AT ED R I D ES

Mountain bikes If you ride dirt tracks or rocky trails as much as tarmac, a mountain bike could be your ideal go-anywhere machine

L

ike 4×4s, mountain bikes can cope with urban riding but are designed for unsurfaced tracks. Tyres are lower pressure and fatter to absorb vibration, with raised tread lugs for traction. Suspension for one or both wheels helps soak bumps. Gears are low for tackling steep climbs, while their brakes set the benchmark for stopping. This might sound overkill for commuting. If you will use the bike only for tarmac and smooth trails, it is; a hybrid, cyclo-cross or touring bike would be better. A mountain bike is meant for rough singletrack trails. Yet it can easily be pressed into service as a commuter too. Tyres are the main issue. Grip off-road means energy-sapping drag on road. Buy a second set of tyres and switch between them or fit a fasterrolling, lighter-treaded rear tyre. That will reduce rolling resistance on road without compromising steering off it. Pump both tyres hard (e.g. 60psi) for road use. Full-length mudguards can usually be fitted to mountain bikes, using P-clips and cable ties if the bike lacks fittings, but off-road they may rattle or jam. Mountain bike mudguards that fit to the seatpost, down tube or fork crown are a better go-anywhere option, although splash protection isn't as good. Hardtails (front suspension only) can be equipped with a standard or disc-specific pannier rack, given the necessary frame eyelets. A hardtail is the best option in any case when you're spending under £1,000. Effective, lightweight suspension is expensive. Prices start at £1,000 for 'proper' full-suspension bikes, while a hardtail with a worthwhile suspension fork will cost from £500. A rigid fork (or rear end) is better than something that barely compresses or that rebounds like a pogo-stick over bumps. Check in the shop how much travel you can get from the fork. Look for rebound damping, which improves handling off-road, and suspension lockout, for bob-free pedalling on road. For the frame, expect aluminium. It's light and it's fairly cheap. Some bikes use chrome-moly steel, which is heavier and more expensive but also more resilient. Cheap 'supermarket' bikes may be high-tensile steel, which is too heavy off-road. Reasonable quality mountain bike groupsets start at 8-speed with Shimano Alivio and Sram X3. More expensive bikes will come with 9- or 10-speed: Acera, Deore, or SLX if Shimano; X5, X7 or X9 if Sram. These are progressively lighter and smoother shifting. Overall gear range is excellent on all of them, however. Hydraulic discs brakes are well worth having. Expect something entry-level from Shimano, Avid or Tektro. Hydraulics offer better braking performance than cable-operated mechanical discs, translating minimal lever-squeeze into excellent stopping power. Hydraulics require less looking after too. Both pistons move, simplifying set-up and ongoing adjustments.

Cube Access WLS Pro £699 For a £700 bike, this women's Cube Access WLS Pro has some well thought out features, chief among them the 100mm Suntour Raidon fork. It's an air fork, so it can be set precisely to the rider's weight. It's also rebound adjustable and has handlebar-operated lockout. The bike has 26-inch wheels so is available in a tiny 13inch size as well as 15, 17 and 19in. Casual riders will appreciate the more upright riding position around town and on the trail. There are no real weak points: it has Shimano Alivio, Acera and SLX components, hydraulic discs, and decent wheels and tyres. www.cube.eu

Cannondale Trail SL 29er 3 SS £599 Less is more with this stripped-down aluminium Cannondale: no suspension except the air in the tyres and only a single gear. That means it's super light and there's hardly anything to go wrong with it. The 33/20 gearing is fine off-road but too spinny on road; order a 15- or 14-tooth sprocket if you'll be doing regular road miles. There are cable stops on the frame so you could fit a hub gear like Shimano's Alfine 8 in future, although one gear is great for flatter commutes. Off-road you need to retain momentum to enjoy singlespeed; the 29in wheels will help with this. www.cannondale.com

JARGON BUSTER 26, 27.5 or 29? Until recently, nearly all adult mountain bikes had 26-inch wheels. Now 29-inch wheels are common and the bike industry is pushing an in-between size: 27.5-inch (also known as 650B). Bigger wheels roll better, especially off-road, while smaller wheels are stronger and accelerate a little quicker. For a general purpose bike, there's a good argument for using the biggest wheels that your height and handling preferences allow.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

47


Autumn/Winter 2013

0 9.0ect 940 4 5 sp

£

tt A Sco

9 4.9Powehrt 0 £1 n X lig

9 tvisio 9.9 igh 6 N £ ra

n

t o Mo 0 fron 70

u Alt ket jac

9 rs 9.9othe ack £9rank BrrBackp C tte Gu

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

RRP

Cyclescheme Price

£617.95

£535.63

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£46.69

£39.83

1 End of Hire payment

£57.67

£57.67

25%

35%

£206.02

£288.34

£823.97

Percentage saving

Total saving

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

48

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Tax-free childcare; flexibility for the working family

www.childcarescheme.com


Autumn/Winter 2013

ESSENTI KIT

AL

BACKPACKS & SHOULDER

BAGS Luggage goes easier on wheels but there are some advantages to riding with a bag on your back instead

C

arrying a bag on your back lets you commute on any bike, even one without a pannier rack. It's convenient because when you dismount, your luggage goes with you immediately. But it's best for shorter trips and lighter loads, to stop your back aching or sweating. Shoulder or courier bags offer easier access than backpacks, as you can swing them around without taking them off. They can also swing around while riding, so they need a secondary strap running between one corner and the shoulder strap to keep them stable. Backpacks balance the load better, as one shoulder doesn't have to bear all the weight. They still benefit from waist or chest straps to stop them bouncing around. If the bag isn't sufficiently waterproof, a raincover is essential. Other useful features include reflective patches, a mount for an LED rear light, and pockets or dividers so you can keep your lock separate from your laptop or your work shoes from your sandwiches.

50

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Polaris RBS Radar Pack £49.99 It doesn't matter if this backpack hides any hi-viz patches on your commuting jacket as it's covered in reflective chevrons. There's also a transparent outer pocket for an LED light. A zipped compartment on the front has organiser pockets for cycling essentials such as tools, a pump, and an innertube, while the main compartment can hold office stuff. It's compatible with a hydration bladder too. The hip belt that helps keep the bag stable has handy pockets. A hiviz raincover is available. Capacity: 25 litres. www.polarisapparel.co.uk

Deuter Giga OfficePro £84.99 Deuter call this a portable office. It has a removable padded laptop bag for computers up to 15-inches and compartments for accessories (both laptop and bike). The main compartment is big enough for A4 folders. On the bike, its padded straps and back keep it comfortable, while the hip belt and compression straps stop it moving around. There's some reflectivity and a raincover is available. Off the bike, you can make the bag look more businesslike by concealing the straps and using the carrying handle. Capacity: 32 litres. www.todayscyclist.co.uk

Vaude Newport II £75 This shoulder bag doubles as a pannier, having rack mounts on one side. The hooked rail can be removed in seconds, turning your bike bag into something more businesslike – or simply something that's more comfortable on your back. It's made from tarpaulin and while it's not as waterproof as the seam-sealed Ortlieb, it should still keep its contents dry. It's sized for A4 documents and would suit a smaller laptop. Capacity: 11 litres. www.vaude.co.uk


Essentials Carradice Kelbrook Satchel £120 This shoulder bag is handmade in the UK from cotton duck, a traditional fabric that is waterproof and very hardwearing. Fixings are cast metal and leather, while the strap is military grade webbing. These give the Kelbrook Satchel a durability and vintage style that help justify its price. It has a padded laptop pocket (37×28×4cm) and a front pocket. A chest strap keeps it stable while you're cycling. Colours: all black or dark green with brown leather. Capacity: 17 litres. www.carradice.co.uk

Ortlieb Sling It (M) £85 Like all Ortlieb luggage, this shoulder bag is waterproof. It's made of a similar tough, weatherproof material to the Vaude Luke Bag. Its flap stays in place with a velcro patch for faff-free opening and closing. This medium is the right size for a 15.4in laptop, and a notebook sleeve is available. It also comes in XS, S (fits 13.3in laptops) and L (fits 17in laptops). All except the XS have a stabilising strap. Colours: white, black, graphite, silver, cinnamon. Capacity: 17 litres. www.ortlieb.co.uk

Proviz Nightrider Rucksack, Small £29.99 The small version of the Nightrider rucksack (large is 30L) will double as a bag for mountain biking, as it will hold a hydration bladder. On the road it stands out due to its bright yellow colour and its reflective trim and triangular patch. For added visibility, you can swap this patch for the Proviz Triviz lighting system: an electroluminescent triangle available separately (£29.99). There's a chest strap to keep the Nightrider stable whatever cycling you're doing and the material is water resistant. Colours: yellow or black. Capacity: 10 litres. www.todayscyclist.co.uk

Crank Brothers Gutter Backpack £99.99 Big enough for a 17-inch laptop and anything else you might want to take to work, this padded backpack has a waist belt to help keep it snug on your back. It's made from nylon and polyester coated with thermoplastic polyurethane, so shrugs off showers. The roll-top closure stops rain entering there, although you'll need a cover for thorough rainproofing. There's a water bottle pocket on the side and a loop for an LED light. Capacity: 31 litres. www.2pure.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

51


Autumn/Winter 2013

Being comfortable on your bike is largely about buying the right size and putting the handlebar and saddle in the positions that suit you best

52

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Bike fit

bike fit BASICS W

ith bikes, one size rarely fits all. The best fit depends on how big you are, what you'll use the bike for, and any aches and pains you suffer from. If your bike is comfortable, it's right; if it's uncomfortable, it's wrong. Your riding position is determined by the relative position of the handlebar, saddle, and pedals. Unless the cranks are too long, the position of the pedals can be left alone. The handlebar and saddle can and should be moved up, down, back and forth until the riding position feels just right.

Frame size first Your bike needs to be roughly the right size to begin with. Bikes are sized by the seat tube length in either inches or centimetres. A road bike might be listed as 54cm, a mountain bike 18in. Some bikes are described simply as small, medium, large, and so on.

The medium bike in almost every range is designed to fit the average height man. In the UK, that's 5ft 9in (175.5cm). If you're around that height, the medium should fit. Medium, if it's not listed as such, is the arithmetic mean of the available sizes – the average. So if a bike comes in sizes from 50cm to 60cm, 55cm is medium. Bike sizes vary half as much as height. If you're taller or shorter than Mr Average, add or subtract half the difference between your height and his to the medium size that Mr Average would ride. If Mr Average needs the 55cm bike and you're 180cm (about 4cm taller), you likely want a frame that's 2cm bigger: 57cm. If the medium is 18in and you're 5ft 5in (4in shorter), you probably want a bike that's 2in smaller: 16in. You might find yourself between sizes. You want a 57cm bike and it's available in 56cm and 58cm sizes. That's fine. It's common to have two size options to choose from, as you can fine-tune either to fit. You might even be happiest on a bike that's a size bigger or smaller than the one you 'ought' to be on.

If you have a good local shop, you don't need to worry about the maths. The staff can assess your needs by getting you to sit on, stand astride, and hopefully test ride a couple of sizes.

Saddle height Most people cycle with the saddle too low. It means they can put one or both feet flat on the floor while sitting on the saddle, but it makes cycling harder work. Imagine walking in a squatted www.cyclescheme.co.uk

53


www.computingscheme.co.uk


Bike fit

stance! If your saddle is the right height, you'll only be able to get a toe down unless you get off the saddle. The rule-of-thumb guide to setting your saddle height goes like this. First put your shoes on. Then raise the saddle so that, when the cranks are in line with the seat tube, one leg is fully extended if you have the heel of that foot on the pedal. As you pedal with the ball of the foot, your leg will be slightly bent at the bottom of each pedal stroke. You might need to tweak this; try 5mm increments initially. If your knees ache or it feels like they are coming up too high, the saddle is probably too low. If your pelvis is rocking from side and you're stretching at the bottom of each pedal stroke, your saddle is probably too high.

Saddle adjustments The saddle can be slid back and forth on its rails. Some cyclists will tell you that your knee must be directly over the pedal spindle when the cranks are level. If that works for you, fine, but don't worry about it. It's likely an accidental relationship. What sliding the saddle forward does, in effect, is steepen the seat angle. This shifts your weight forward and can mean more weight on your hands. Sliding it back does

the opposite. While not optimal for racing, a saddle set further back can be more comfortable. If you need more horizontal adjustment than the seatpost allows, you'll need an inline seatpost (to go forward) or a seatpost with more lay-back (to go back). Moving the saddle horizontally also affects the saddle to pedal distance, so check that afterwards, adjusting height as necessary. Saddle tilt is down to personal preference. Dead level works for most people, but it depends how far your lean over while riding. A slight downward tilt can relieve pressure on your perineum – at the cost of increasing it on your hands. A slight upward tilt can work on bikes with high handlebars.

Handlebar reach On many bikes, especially road bikes, the handlebar is too low. This results in lower back strain and pins and needles or numbness in the hands. It's rare for the handlebar to be too high – unless you're a racer looking for better aerodynamics. Having the

While not optimal for racing, a saddle set further back can be more comfortable www.cyclescheme.co.uk

55


Autumn/Winter 2013

Bike fit systems Bike fit systems replace rule-of-thumb guidelines with precise measurements, using your dimensions, questions about riding style, and sometimes video footage. They tend to be based on extrapolations of measurements that worked for professional racing cyclists. If you're a competitive cyclist, ride long distances, or have nagging aches and pains, the ÂŁ120 or so that a session will cost can be well worth it. If your cycling is nothing like the racer paradigm, you might benefit less or not at all. But an experienced bike fitter should be able to provide useful advice, regardless of the system used. As with any fitting advice: try it out, but don't persist with any set up that is uncomfortable. Go online to read more about the different systems, which include: l Specialized BG Fit

specializedconceptstore.co.uk l CycleFit cyclefit.co.uk l Pro Bike Fit pro-bikefit.co.uk l Bike Dynamics bikedynamics.co.uk

handlebar level with the saddle is a good starting point. The horizontal distance from the saddle to the handlebar is determined by the length of the top tube (fixed) and the stem (changeable). What's the right length for you? As a rough guide: put your elbow against the nose of the saddle and hold your forearm horizontal, reaching towards the handlebar. If the bike fits, the flat top part of the handlebar will likely be from two to four fingers' width beyond your outstretched fingers. (Check by putting your other hand perpendicular to the first, making a T-shape.) This technique works best for drop bar bikes; for a flat bar bike, err on the long side or be prepared to sit up more. Either way, there's quite a bit of scope for adjustment. Stems are widely available in lengths from 50mm to 130mm.

Handlebar height There are three ways to change the handlebar height where you hold it: stem angle; stem position; and handlebar type. Note that raising the handlebar brings the handgrips

back towards the saddle as well as up. That's because the head tube of a bicycle isn't 90 degrees but around 70. Few stems are angled perpendicular to the steerer. So fitting the existing stem the other way up will change the height a little. Buying and fitting a high rise stem can change it a lot; angles of up to 35 degrees are readily available. You can also fit the stem further up the steerer tube, fitting any washers underneath rather than on top of the stem. This is only possible if there is enough steerer remaining; they're often cut short, leaving only a couple of centimetres to play with. If you need more steerer height than that, you can fit a stem raiser – effectively bolting an extra bit of steerer tube to the top of the existing steerer – or you can buy a replacement fork with an uncut steerer. (Steel is the best material for steerer tubes that project a long way above the headset.) Changing the handlebar from a flat to a riser bar puts the grips a bit higher. And a butterfly handlebar or backswept roadster handlebar will put the handgrips closer to the saddle.

You can also fit the stem further up the steerer tube, fitting any washers underneath rather than on top of the stem 56

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


10 % O *

FF

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

COMMUTING | ROAD | LEISURE

WE MAKE IT EASY FOR YOU Choose the cover levels and options that best suit your requirements, safe in the knowledge that you can change your mind if you find it’s not suitable

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

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

GET YOUR DISCOUNTED QUOTE BY VISITING:

WWW.CYCLEGUARD.CO.UK/CS

*Discount applies to online quotes only. We reserve the right to amend the content and offer of our products without notice. The price online will include the 10% discount. Any quote given will be valid for 28 days only. Cycleguard is a trading style of Thistle Insurance Services Limited. Lloyd’s Broker. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. A JLT Group company. Registered office: The St Botolph Building, 138 Houndsditch, London, EC3A 7AW. Registered in England No 00338645, VAT No. 244 2321 96. Cyclescheme are Appointed Representatives of Thistle Insurance Services Limited.

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


Autumn/Winter 2013

One day like this

Cycle to Work Day on 12th September saw an estimated 250,000 miles cycled by people getting on their bikes – and hopefully it's a sign of things to come! 58

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

T

he aim of the biggest-ever national Cycle to Work Day in September 2013 was simple: to inspire more than a million people to start cycling to work, both for that one day and as a matter of course for the future. Census data shows that 760,000 people now cycle to work regularly, an increase of 110,000 from 2001. Cyclescheme's ambition is to see this number grow throughout 2013 and beyond, with the goal of hitting

one million regular cycle commuters by 2021. The event was championed by multiple gold medal winning Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey. 'If we start by encouraging people to cycle to work, then they'll feel healthier, will save money and be more inclined to ride their bikes for other journeys and leisure time too,' she said. 'Cycling is one of the best modes of transport for local journeys and Cyclescheme provides the means for people to obtain a bike in


Cycle to Work Day order to make those journeys to work.' Cyclescheme research has shown that over 50% of commuting journeys are less than five miles, which means a commute of less than 30 minutes even at a modest 10mph. So for most of us, cycling is a viable alternative to taking the car, bus or train to work. The NHS says that cycling can burn up to 650 calories an hour too, making cycling a great way to keep fit and get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise each week. Cycle to Work Day highlighted the benefits of cycling as a means of transport, for the individual and for society as a whole, with the aim of getting more people to cycle, more often. The event was supported by British Cycling, Sustrans, Bicycle Association, and Business in the Community. 'It was great to be able to work with some of the greatest names in the bike industry,' said Daniel Gillborn, Director of Cyclescheme. 'We hope the day inspired people to make a positive change to their commuting habits. Every mile cycled, every calorie burnt, and every kilogram of CO2 offset as a result of the day is a massive achievement that we can all be proud of.' Before Cycle to Work Day took place, would-be commuters were asked to pledge to ride that day on the website www.cycletoworkday. org. Everyone who did so was entered into a prize draw with the top prize of a Raleigh Revenio 2 road bike. Some commuters literally went the extra mile – or rather miles! – for the day itself. In South Wales, Owen Burt cycled 160 miles from Caernarfon to Swansea to raise money for charity. In Hampshire, Chris Boulton rode from Highclere to his office in central London, a journey of 67 miles each way.

To ensure that as many would-be cycle commuters could take part in safety and comfort, Cyclescheme teamed up with a number of cycle retailers around the country to offer free 'bike health checks'. These bike 'MOTs' enabled those who hadn't ridden for a while or who weren't sure about the roadworthiness of their bike to get a professional assessment of the bike's condition. The health checks included recommendations on work required and parts needed, so commuters would have a clear idea of any costs before committing to them. Other organisations put on their own activities to support Cycle to Work Day. Cheshire Constabulary ran bike safety road shows. In West London, Chiswick Park’s estate management company, Enjoy Work, encouraged its 8,000 tenants to pledge to Cycle to Work. Some organisations offered free breakfasts for cyclists on Cycle to Work Day. Anyone turning up on a bike at St Paul's in Crewe could get a free breakfast thanks to charity Christian Concern; in Centenary Square, Bradford, free breakfasts for cyclists were on offer courtesy of go:cycling, the West Yorkshire adult training programme; and Nonna's Street Food Caffe in Sheffield offered a free espresso to anyone cycling to the café. If you missed Cycle to Work Day this year, don't worry: it will return again next year. And of course you don't have to wait until then to start cycling to work. Visit the website www.cyclescheme. co.uk for advice and information. For more details about the what happened on Cycle to Work Day, including an assessment of miles ridden, money and CO2 saved, visit www.cycletoworkday.org.

Pedal pushing On 11th September, the day before Cycle to Work Day, Cyclescheme hosted a press conference and panel discussion with cycling professionals, industry peers, and members of the press at the Cubic Theatre in the London Transport Museum. The discussion focused on ways to get a million people cycling to work by 2021. As well as Cycle to Work Day, topics included the state of UK cycling; the Get Britain Cycling inquiry; cycle advocacy in the workplace; and the numbers of female cyclists. The panel included Dame Sarah Storey, Sustrans Business Development Officer Annette Jezierska, Cyclescheme Founding Director Richard Grigsby, and British Cycling Campaigns Manager Martin Key. It was chaired by Phillip Darnton, Executive Director at Bicycle Association of Great Britain.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

59


Autumn/Winter 2013

TIM

PRITCHARD

We catch up with the commuters featured on the Cyclescheme website. This issue: mountain biker Tim Pritchard

T

im Pritchard's commuter bike is a bit different from most: fat knobbly tyres, full-suspension, and no pannier rack or full-length mudguards. It's a Sunn Shamann S2 mountain bike. It looks better suited to forest singletrack than inner city tarmac – and that's just why Tim chose it. 'I wanted a full-sus' mountain bike as it was the only thing that would get me up and down 60

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Cyclescheme 7 the singletrack trails on the hills near where I live and not shake itself apart,' he says. For while his route into work in Swansea is a conventional mix of roads and cyclepaths, his route home takes a different tack. 'On the way back I have a 4km detour on rugged, forested singletrack. It's steep and rocky. 'The advantage of this bike is that it can take any terrain I need it to,' he says. 'I can commute in to work with the suspension dialled down, and then when I get to the fast twisty bits in the hills, I can turn the suspension on. It's ideal: light, comfortable, and good quality.' Tim's experience shows that there's no single 'best' bike for everyone for commuting; it's best to choose a bike that's good at what you want it for. Tim began riding to work on a hybrid in July 2012. His mountain bike, which he got weeks later, has broadened his horizons. 'I discovered new routes,' he says. 'I was using the same one at first. Now I have several. The commute in is mostly flat, easy cycle tracks. It's just a case of watching out for walkers or fellow cyclists. My commute home is hilly. It's great for improving fitness and I get to enjoy some downhill singletrack.' Tim started cycling to work largely because he was disillusioned by the drive there. 'I had a sporty car,' he says. 'It was thirsty for petrol and it was expensive to insure and tax. And I was stuck with everyone else in the stop-start commuter traffic, looking for somewhere to park when I got there. It was frustrating. Any positive mood was dulled by the drive in. I looked at the real cost – it was a second car – and decided it was too much.' Tim got rid of the car and bought a bike instead. 'On a monthly basis, I am saving a lot,' he says, 'even though it does cost some money to maintain a bike; you don't want to break down

in winter at 6am in the dark.' While he has also bought lights, clothing, and components, their costs are dwarfed by savings on fuel, insurance, vehicle excise duty, and the annual MOT for the car. Starting cycling wasn't just about saving money for Tim, however. There was, he says, another more important factor: his health. 'I was approaching 40. I've got three kids and I wanted to get fitter so I could be there for them and do things with them. I wanted to get fitter for myself too. I knew that cycling would be a good answer.' Has it helped? 'One hundred per cent, yes. I've lost over a stone and a half by commuting. The commute – particularly the extra 4km in the hills on the way home – has improved my cardiovascular ability, strength and endurance in all areas. A year ago, I wouldn't have imagined I could jump on a bike and do 50km in two and a half hours. 'Cycling gives you enough fitness for other activities too. I've started running, both in the gym and on the road, and recently completed the Llanelli 10k charity run in a good time. I would not have attempted it had I not started cycling. There are mental gains as well. When I arrive at work now, I am always positive and ready for action.' Tim's enthusiasm for cycling has rubbed off on his co-workers. Two of them now ride to work, and they've enjoyed it without breaking the bank when it comes to buying equipment. 'You don't have to go mad in the bike shop,' says Tim, by way of advice. 'Get a decent bike, a helmet and suitable clothing. Start with the essentials: padded shorts, a breathable top, maybe mudguards. You can always get more kit later on when you know what you need.' As Tim's bike doesn't have a pannier rack, he carries his work gear in the

Fact file

Name: Tim Pritchard Lives: Swansea Occupation: Officer of HM Revenue & Customs Commute: On the way there, it's a mix of roads and cyclepaths through industrial estates and next to rivers. It's 10km and takes 25 minutes. Coming home, I add a 4km section of rugged, off-road singletrack. Frequency: Every working day, unless I am doing a very early shift. Cyclescheme bike: Sunn Shamann S2 full-suspension mountain bike Why I started cycling: The commute by car was slow and frustrating, the second car was expensive to run, and I wanted to get fit.

Camelbak hydration pack that he also uses for his recreational rides. 'It allows me to take water for longer rides,' he says, 'and it carries all my essential repair gear. It's big enough to carry extra clothes and food – although the less you carry, the better.' Lighting is big issue for Tim, because his off-road route takes him away from streetlights. 'I have one light on my helmet and another on my handlebar,' he says. 'They're essential to light up my way safely and for others to see me during the winter.' Cheap lights are something he can do without; he needs power and reliability. But when asked about the most important cycling purchase he's made aside from his bike, Tim doesn't hesitate. 'Waterproofs,' he says. 'I live in Wales.' www.cyclescheme.co.uk

61


Autumn/Winter 2013

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

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

Riding on potholed roads /community/how-to/riding-on-potholed-roads Winter is pothole season, when overnight ice makes roads crack and crumble. Find out what techniques and tyres you need to prevent damage to you and your bike.

Changing an innertube /community/how-to/changing-an-innertube If you get a puncture on the way to work, don't worry about fixing it until you get home. Just fit your spare innertube and you'll be you on your way in minutes. Here's how.

Pumps round-up /community/round-ups/round-up-pumps A good pump is essential to keep your tyres properly inflated. A floor pump with a pressure gauge best. Here are six to consider. You might even want two of them‌

Folding bikes round-up 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 www.twitter.com/cycleschemeltd You can also catch up with us via our Facebook page: visit www.facebook.com/cyclescheme or just search for 'Cyclescheme' when you're logged on to Facebook.

/community/round-ups/round-up-folding-bikes Folding bikes can go anywhere, from trains and car boots to tiny studio flats, solving transport and parking problems at a stroke. Here's what to look for if you want one.

Over to you: Carolyn from London /community/over-to-you/the-cyclescheme-seven-whats-yourcommute-really-18 Carolyn from Harringay, North London, talks about her bike-andtrain commute, which she does on the Brompton that she got through Cyclescheme. 'I get 90 minutes' exercise each day,' she says.

Protect your bike with Cycleguard www.cycleguard.co.uk/cs Don't let theft stop you from cycling: get insured! You'll get a 10% discount on the standard rate product, and by taking out a policy between 06 September and 01 November 2013 you will be entered in to a prize draw to win a Kindle Fire HD too!

62

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


R D-7: D RO P B A R CO M M U T E R / A N Y ROA D Designed for year round use in UK conditions.

DESIGNED IN THE U.K.

RD -7

ROAD DISC

Longer commutes, winter training and grand touring are all covered with the RD-7 series. Disc brakes deliver improved all-weather control. Tough, puncture resistant wheels run true whatever the road throws at you, and our own take on classic road bike geometry results in supreme versatility. Whatever the journey, whatever the weather, the RD-7s are streets ahead. www.whytebikes.co.uk

Suffolk £1,199 10.14kg

Dorset £999 10.33kg Sussex £799 10.66kg


a vision for performance

Our Night Vision Evo Jacket may be known for its exceptional visibility, but we haven't stopped there. All Evo jackets now include the new pop in i-Lume integrated LED and its waterproof, breathable, soft touch fabric ensures you ride in comfort. With a waterproof zip also, to ensure your possessions stay dry, this is the ultimate commuter jacket.

/alturacycling

/alturacycling


Cycle commuter magazine issue 11