Page 1

Magic roundabouts

n

Cycling myths busted

Issue #14 £1.95 where sold

Spring/Summer 2015

Save at

least

25%

on a bike for work

Saddle sure

Aches & pains? Read this

Glide to work

How to ride slower & arrive faster FEA TUR ING

47

TOP CYC LIN G PR OD UC TS

Inside this issue…

Hybrids n Road bikes n Locks n Casual shorts n Panniers n & more! n

n

Electric bikes


O N E P O I N T F I V E . W I N YO U R C O M M U T E .

The 1.5 is the best of both worlds: a go-fast, race ready machine combined with a reliable commute steed. Designed to the same rigourous standards as its carbon siblings, the 1.5 is strong, light, and built to fly over tarmac. ÂŁ750 trekbikes.com


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 #14 Spring/Summer 2015

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

F E AT U R E S

32

How to: get your Cyclescheme package

14

How to: negotiate roundabouts

17

BIKE ROUND-UPS

In-store or online – what's best for you?

Skills to make roundabouts easier and safer

How to: ride slower & arrive faster 21 How the cycling tortoise can beat the hares

40

Cycling myths

52

…and the facts you need to answer them

32

Electric bikes

48

Road bikes

56

Electric bikes often cost more than £1,000, but it's still possible to get one through Cyclescheme. Here's how A drop-bar race bike is ideal for fitness riding and summer weekends, and can be used as a quick commuter

TOP PRODUCTS & ESSENTIAL KIT

The Cyclescheme 7: Tony Mawson

60

My Cyclescheme

62

Choosing an e-bike to help with hills

Flat-bar road bikes

These lightweight city hybrids combine speed and efficiency with the reassuring control of a flat handlebar

Get comfortable

Sore bum and tingling hands? Solutions here

Stuff

The best gear for your commute and beyond The kit to get with your second Cyclescheme voucher

Locks

29

Panniers

37

Casual shorts

45

Shackle locks to secure your bike Thanks to Bristol & Bath Science Park for location photography

Bags for your bike, not your back

Prices correct at time of going to press. E&OE. All content © Cyclescheme 2015

12

Mountain bike essentials 24

Go online to get more from Cyclescheme

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

56

48

The summer alternative to Lycra

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

3


CUBE SHOE SERIES WITH THE CUBE NATURAL FIT SHOE SERIES WE INTRODUCE OUR HOLISTIC APPROACH OF NATURAL FIT TO THE WORLD OF ROAD, ALLMOUNTAIN AND TRAIL RIDING. OUR SHOES FEATURE UNIQUE TRAITS, SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO PREVENT AND REDUCE COMMON BIKE ASSOCIATED ISSUES. THE EXTRA LARGE ADJUSTMENT RANGE FOR CLEATS ENABLES EVERY RIDER TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT PLACEMENT AND THUS AVOID KNEE PROBLEMS. FURTHERMORE, THE SHOES ARE EQUIPPED WITH INGENIOUS DETAILS LIKE THE CUBE WINGS, AN ADDITION TO THE VELCRO STRAPS FOR EASY HANDLING EVEN WHEN WEARING GLOVES. THE CUBE VENT SYSTEM ALLOW YOUR FEET TO BREATHE AND THE REFLECTIVE LOGOS ON THE BACK INCREASE VISIBILITY AT NIGHT. THE PERFECT CHOICE FOR EVERY RIDE.

CUBE WINGS

REINFORCED NYLON OUTSOLE

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

NATURAL FIT INSOLE


Welcome

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

••  • • •

About

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

T

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

simple salary sacrifice arrangement with your employer. The way it works is simple - you give up part of your salary and receive an equivalent benefit that is exempt from Income Tax and National Insurance. What does this mean in practice? Well, technically it’s your employer who buys the bike. You then hire the bike and accessories from your employer, and pay back the cost of the bike from your gross salary (before tax). You save on Tax and NI payments, lowering the amount you repay over the hire period and resulting in an overall saving of at least 25%. Cyclescheme works with over 2,000 retailers across the UK, giving

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

5


Spring/Summer 2015

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

T

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

1

Choose your Cyclescheme package

2

Submit your application

What bike and equipment do you want? Consider your commute. How far is it? What route will you take? Be honest with yourself. What are your priorities? What accessories might you need? Get stuck into the rest of the mag to find answers to all these questions and more! Remember, if you’re visiting a retailer they can give you expert one-to-one advice; if you shop online, do your research, check reviews and make sure you get your bike sizing correct. Head to http://cycsch.me/retail to choose your store or online retailer and get planning.

This couldn’t be easier. If your employer is signed up with Cyclescheme, they’ll have a unique employer code to use when you apply via cyclescheme.co.uk. If your employer isn’t signed up, they can join for free in just a few clicks. Point them here: http://cycsch.me/emp. On the application page, you’ll be guided through a simple form that asks for your work details, contact information, and the value of the Cyclescheme Certificate you’re applying for. Hit ‘submit’, and your employer will receive a copy of 6

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Save money with Cyclescheme your application to approve. You’ll also get a copy of your Hire Agreement.

3

Get your Cyclescheme Package

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

4

Transfer of ownership

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

Quick-fire questions How much will I save with Cyclescheme? At least 25%. If you’re a higher rate taxpayer, you can save at least 35%. What can I buy through the scheme? Almost any item you need to cycle to work. Obviously the bike, but also accessories such as lights, locks, helmet and clothing. If you already have a bike, you can even just apply for the accessories. How is my salary sacrifice calculated? By dividing the total Cyclescheme package price by the length of your Hire Agreement. Usually, this means 12 payments taken from your salary, over a 12-month period. What’s a Cyclescheme eCertificate? A voucher. It’s what you give to the bike retailer in exchange for your chosen bike and equipment. We send you this by email. I’ve paid for the bike, why don’t I own it? Simple answer: tax. In order to protect your income tax and national insurance savings, an additional ‘transfer of ownership’ fee needs to be paid. The Government have set out guidelines for how this works. How is the transfer of ownership payment calculated? There is a set percentage applied, depending on the age of your bike package. At 4 years old, the value is set at 3% (original value less than £500) or 7% (more than £500). What’s a Hire Agreement? This is an agreement between you and your employer. It states you will be hiring the equipment from them during the period of your salary sacrifice.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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News

Spring/Summer 2015

Cycle to Work

Day 2015

R

emember, remember the 3rd of September: that's the date for this year's Cycle to Work Day. This year we want to have an even bigger run up to the day and make sure we get the most from the fantastic success of the previous two years. Before we get ahead of ourselves and go into too much detail, we wanted to let everyone know when everything will be happening. Do put the date in your diary now, before you forget. It's a Thursday, so if you're a regular cycle commuter you might not think you need a reminder, but you wouldn't want that to be the one day you didn't cycle to work! To make things easy, we have set up some calendar invites online. Go to cycletoworkday.org/2015 and click 8

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

on the type of calendar you use – Microsoft Outlook, Apple iCal, or Google Calendar. Cycle to Work Day will instantly be added to your diary. If you're old school, it's time to find a pen and the wall calendar or pocket diary of your choice. At Cycle to Work Day HQ, we want to see one million people regularly cycle commuting by 2021, which is when the next census will take place. To achieve this, we need to see an exponential growth in the number of people becoming everyday

cyclists. That growth can start with events like Cycle to Work Day, as it encourages people to give cycling a go. If you're keen to get involved sooner rather than later, we'd love to hear from you. Join the conversation on Facebook (facebook.com/cycletoworkday) and Twitter (@cycletoworkday) or send us an email: info@cycletoworkday.org.Â


News

Cyclescheme's

10

th

birthday

O

n Valentine’s Day this year, Cyclescheme turned 10 years old. What a decade it's been! We've now helped more than half a million people cement their love of cycling by getting a bike to ride to work on. A lot has changed in the world of cycling over the last ten years, particularly in terms of cycling to work. The Cycle to Work scheme started out as a small piece of the Green Transport Plan, which itself formed part of the much larger 1999 Finance Act. It became hugely popular, reinvigorating the UK cycle market and and turning many casual cyclists into cycle commuters. Since its inception in 2005, Cyclescheme has been at the forefront of this salary sacrifice scheme. Started by savvy bike shop owners, Richard Grigsby and Gary Cooper (above right), Cyclescheme went from running a small operation for local employers in its home town of Bath, to running schemes for large multi-national organisations across the UK. The growth in cycling to work really began to bear fruit when, in 2009, Cyclescheme was awarded the FastTrack 100 award as the fastest growing company in the UK. Now part of the Grass Roots family,

Cyclescheme operates schemes for over 40,000 clients across the country and just recently passed the momentous milestone of having helped over 500,000 people get a bike for work. Now in its 10th year, Cyclescheme has big plans for the future. Never one to rest on its laurels, Cyclescheme has continued to embrace the world of employee benefits and, since becoming expert in salary sacrifice, has brought new

services like Computingscheme and Childcarescheme into its portfolio, enabling employers of all shapes and sizes to offer a more comprehensive benefits package. With more developments and added benefits on their way, Cyclescheme continues to forge ahead with its innovative, hightech approach to salary sacrifice benefits. Here’s to another 10 years. Here’s to going from good to great! www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Spring/Summer 2015

5

The

Love to Ride I

n 2015, Love to Ride, CTC and Cyclescheme will invite 20,000 businesses to take part in the first National Workplace Cycle Challenge. The Love to Ride Challenge will be a competition between organisations across the UK to see who can get the most staff to try riding a bike. The Challenge will run from 8-28 June and will be a major annual event in the cycling calendar. The aim is to get as many people as possible to ride a bike. People can ride anywhere, any time during the Challenge period. Organisations will compete on local and national league tables to see who can get the highest proportion of their staff to ride for at least ten minutes. They will be able to compete between offices in different locations around the UK and against similarly-sized companies. It’s free for organisations and individuals to take part. There are six size categories for 10

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

www.lovetoride.net/uk

Challenge

organisations and a range of individual and team prizes. Local Authorities can sign up to support and boost participation in their area, whatever budget they have to promote cycling. Love to Ride, CTC and Cyclescheme together have 157 years’ experience of promoting cycling. CTC, the national cycling charity, has 67,000 members and was formed in 1878 when cycling was emerging as a mass mode of transport and leisure pursuit. Love to Ride have run Workplace Cycle Challenges on three continents and engaged 115,000 people. Over the last 12 years they have developed a unique behaviour change model and accompanying website and mobile app. Cyclescheme you already know! Cyclescheme Marketing Manager

Laurence Boon commented: ‘We are very excited to be supporting Love to Ride. Their focus on behaviour change and encouraging a modal shift in commuting habits is very closely aligned to what we are trying to achieve here at Cyclescheme.' Love to Ride recruit ‘Challenge Champions’ – regular cyclists who encourage their colleagues to try riding – to promote their Challenges. John Cooper, Sony Mobile’s Champion for the London Cycle Challenge 2014, said: ‘It was fantastic to find a competition which wasn't about riding marathon distances, but about participation and team effort’. To find out more about the National Cycle Challenge and see the great prizes you can win, go to lovetoride.net/uk.


www.merida.com www.facebook.com/meridauk

Lifetime warranty on all frames. * Applies to frames manufactured since 2011

croSSwaY range from £299.99 to £849.99 (model shown £549.99)


Spring/Summer 2015

STUFF Bringing you the very best cycling gear for your daily commute and beyond PDW Full Metal Fenders £75 |

: £56.25

These 45mm-wide, full-length aluminium guards suit tyres up to 32mm and are long enough to keep feet and following riders dry. There's a 30mm option to fit close-clearance road bikes. paligap.cc

Osprey Flap Jack Courier RRP: £50 |

Cyclescheme price: £37.50

A removable waist strap stops this ballistic nylon shoulder bag from swinging about on the bike. Inside, there's a padded sleeve for laptops up to 15in, plus pockets for all your odds and ends. ospreyeurope.com

Bloc Cobra X20 with Smoke Lens £24.99 |

: £18.74

As well as stopping dazzle from sunlight, cycling glasses keep wind, dust and insects out of your eyes. They can cost huge sums but, as these Bloc ones show, they don't have to. fisheroutdoor.co.uk

Bontrager BackRack Lightweight £49.99 |

: £37.49

Put panniers or a rackpack on your road bike: this rear rack can fit to frame eyelets but doesn’t require them, attaching instead to the wheel’s quick release and the rear brake bolt. bontrager.com 12

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Stuff Cyclescheme price

Polaris RBS Pack Me Jacket £54.99 |

: £41.24

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

Small enough to fit in a jersey pocket, this windproof jacket is part of Polaris Bikewear's Really Bright Stuff range: the body is yellow and there's abundant reflective detailing. polaris-bikewear.co.uk

Lezyne KTV Pro Drive (pair) £34.99 |

: £26.24

Back-up 'be seen' lights prevent a long walk home if your main lamps fail. These are USB rechargeable, fit any bike, weigh next to nothing, and, at up to 70 lumens, are bright. upgradebikes.co.uk

FLAB All Black Ey Up Bib Shorts £59.99 |

Axiom Gran Fondo H20 Seat Bag £30 |

: £44.99

You can't beat bib-shorts for long-ride comfort. Not all brands are available in broader-in-the-beam sizes. As you might expect, Fat Lad At the Back bib shorts are: from 28in up to 48in waist. fatladattheback.com

: £22.50

Need room in your seatpack for sandwiches and a cycling jacket as well as a spare tube and tools? This tall Axiom bag holds two litres of kit, plus a water bottle. You'll need 20cm of exposed seatpost. paligap.cc

Continental Touring Plus Tyres £29.95 each |

: £22.46

A thick layer of elastic rubber under the tread makes these hard-wearing tyres virtually impregnable to punctures. Sizes: 28-47mm in 700C, plus 26x1.75in. conti-tyres.co.uk

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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How to

Spring/Summer 2015

Get your

Cyclescheme package

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

I

nternet shopping may be changing the face of the high street, but there's one area of retailing where bricks-and-mortar shops will continue to co-exist with their online counterparts: cycling. Each has its advantages. Buying a bike online can be quicker and more economical, but buying in store gives you access to services – advice, bike set-up, and repair – that digital shops don't offer. The good news is that you can use your Cyclescheme voucher in store or online. Just look for the Cyclescheme logo. The scheme works the same way whichever way you buy your bike and accessories; you can find more details about that on pages 6 and 7.

14

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

In store Customer retention is important for any business; for the high street bike shop, it's their bread and butter. They want to turn you into a cyclist and not simply sell you a bike, because that way: you'll be back to buy spares, consumables, or second or third bikes; you'll bring your bike in to be serviced; and you'll give word-of-mouth recommendations in the local area. That – and the fact that most bike shop owners are nice people! – is why they'll give you personal, oneto-one service. You don't need to know exactly what to buy before you go through the door; the staff can ask questions and guide you towards the most suitable bike at your price point. They can also suggest the accessories you'll need. For commuting this is really important, as most bikes don't come with the mudguards, luggage, lock, and lights you'll need for the journey to work. The shop can also fit these accessories for you, so tools and technical know-how are not required. As well as advice on the type and model of bike, you can also get advice on sizing and fit. Some shops will offer a free or discounted bike fit when you buy a bike, so that it can be set up just right for you. Those that don't will at least let you sit on various bikes so that you and they can get a feel for what suits you, and most will let you have a test ride too. If you want to change something on the bike you're planning to get – tyres, let's say, or the saddle – the shop will usually be happy to swap that for you at cost. Once you've got your bike, you can go back to the shop if it ever


How to… needs repairing. Shops offer annual services for bikes too, so problems can be nipped in the bud before they develop into something worse. Online Buying online enables you to get a bike that your local shop doesn't stock. If you already know what you want – not just 'a road bike', let's say, but specifically a Giant Defy 3 – then buying it online might save you a trip into the next town. Similarly, if you want a bike that no one else seems to stock, either because it's an in-house brand or because it's something of a rarity, buying online might be the only practical option. Online shops often have wider ranges of accessories, and more stock of the accessories that they do carry. While bricks-and-mortar shops will be happy to order in products from ranges that they carry, the online shop is more likely to have it right there, right then. It can be quicker and, if you know what you want, easier to buy online. Click, click, click, enter your details, and you're done. You can choose your bike when it's convenient for you. Eleven thirty on a Sunday night? No problem. You don't even have to collect, squeezing it awkwardly into a car boot. Instead, the bike can be delivered to your door – often for free – in a massive cardboard box. Normally you'll only need to put the pedals on, turn the handlebar around, and pump up the tyres.

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

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

15


ARRIVE in style DISCOVERY | 2015

Dawes Cycles Discover Your World

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

DISCOVERY

601

DISCOVERY 401

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

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

DISCOVERY 301 Ladies

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

www.dawescycles.com

DISCOVERY 201EQ


How to‌

How to

Negotiate roundabouts Impatient drivers, erratic signalling, and poor road layout can make roundabouts anything but magic. Here's how to take control

R

oundabouts are designed to keep traffic moving. In theory, they're straightforward: you approach in the lane that goes where you want to go; you give way to traffic approaching from the right; you signal correctly; you leave the roundabout. In the real world, roundabouts are complicated by careless driving and impetuousness. At best you'll get

an apology: 'Sorry, mate, I didn't see you‌'

Rule #1 for negotiating roundabouts safely is this: stay well clear of the edge of the roundabout, particularly the Give Way markings, so that drivers see you and react to you. Take your lane: ride in the centre of the relevant lane. You'll then be where drivers are looking for traffic, not at the

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

17


Spring/Summer 2015 and speed. It's often better to indicate as you enter the roundabout and then again as you approach each exit, rather than sticking your arm out continuously. With correct road positioning, drivers will be in no doubt about where you're going.

edge of the roundabout where they're not looking. And if a driver does initially fail to spot you, both you and they have more time to react. Discretion or valour? Roundabouts are easier if you ride assertively, owning your space and avoiding hesitation. But never assume that any other road user will do the right thing. Eyeball approaching drivers. If they don't look at you, they've haven't seen you. Be ready. You might need to yield, even if it's your right of way. Roundabouts are more intimidating if you can't match the speed of other traffic on them, or if the traffic volume or junction complexity is overwhelming. If you're not comfortable on a particular roundabout, don't use it. Design your route to avoid it, even if this means adding distance. Or get off your bike and bypass it as pedestrian. The approach Whichever direction you're going, take your lane as you approach. Check over your shoulder, and when you're still 20-30 metres away, gradually move into the centre of the lane – signalling to drivers behind if necessary. Drivers can't now pull alongside, and it dissuades them from racing you to the roundabout and cutting you up. If possible, adjust your speed so that you arrive when there's a gap in the traffic. That way you won't have to get back up to speed from a dead stop. If that's not possible, shift into a gear you can accelerate away in before you stop. Signalling Signal boldly. If you're turning left, indicate left on the approach, then again before you turn. If you're going straight on, indicate left as you pass 18

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Roundabouts are easier if you ride assertively, owning your space and avoiding hesitation the previous exit on the roundabout. If you're turning right, indicate right on the approach and as you go onto the roundabout, then left as you pass the exit before yours, peeling off gradually and taking care that no one is trying to pass on your left. Eyeball drivers! Drivers signal continuously when going left or right because they have indicators (although many then forget to indicate left when exiting the roundabout). On a bike, riding one-handed compromises control

Types of roundabout Single lane roundabouts are easiest, as there's no room to pass when you take the lane. On mini-roundabouts, drivers can drive over the central circle; impatient ones might do so when you're already on the roundabout. So signal clearly as you approach and join the roundabout. Mini-roundabouts sometimes see a 'standoff' when drivers arrive at the same time, unsure as to who has priority. If possible, adjust your speed on the approach so you don't have to come to a halt, as this enables you to take the initiative. On multilane roundabouts, take the leftmost lane that goes where you want to go. Play close attention to road markings! Normally you'll be in the lefthand lane when going straight on, and the righthand lane – or a central lane – when going right. Don't change lanes without looking back. Slippery surfaces Take special care joining and navigating roundabouts if there has been rain after a recent dry spell, which brings spilled oil to the surface, or if it's icy. Braking while turning is a bad idea on a two-wheeler, unless you're sure of having traction. When in doubt, reduce speed when you're still going in a straight line, before you reach the roundabout. For more on road positioning, see the Cyclescheme website: http://cycsch.me/road


How to‌

RIDE

SLOWER &arrive faster In urban areas, bikes are faster than cars like tortoises are faster than hares. Going faster isn't about sweating more but stopping less

W

henever commuter challenges are staged and a car driver and cyclist are timed over an urban journey, the cyclist invariably wins. Bikes are faster than cars around congested cities. Cars have a higher maximum speed, but cyclists spend much less time stopped dead so their average speed is higher. Efficiency is all about average speed. The secret is not to go fast but to avoid going too slow: the difference between 30mph and 40mph is negligible in town; the difference between 10mph and 0mph is massive. This principle applies just as much to your own journeys if you want to save time on the way to work. Forget your top speed, just keep moving as best you can. Route choice The route choice with the fewest traffic lights and the fewest give-way junctions is most likely quickest. Nothing dents www.cyclescheme.co.uk

21


Spring/Summer 2015

If you normally cycle at 15mph, a single minute spent waiting at traffic lights is time that you could have used to travel another quarter of a mile your average speed like standing still. If you normally cycle at 15mph, a single minute spent waiting at traffic lights is time that you could have used to travel another quarter of a mile. That's why backstreets can be quicker even when you're riding further. Some backstreets become rat-runs for drivers, but you'll still encounter less traffic than on the main road alternative. Councils generally do their best to restrict motor traffic on rat-runs too, installing speed humps, lower speed limits, one-way travel, and bollards to block off streets. Some measures are expressly designed to restrict motor vehicles but still allow cycling access – great! At other times, a broken link in an otherwise ideal backstreet cycling route can be rejoined by hopping off your bike and pushing it for a few yards. Number of junctions is why cycle tracks running alongside roads are generally slower than the road (although they have other advantages). They cede priority at every side road. Cycle tracks following old railway lines are often faster, however, since they tend to go over and under roads, avoiding junctions. Hills obviously slow you down on a bike. You might think you'd recoup the time by going faster down the other side. You don't. Let's say there's a hill on your way to work that's one mile up and one mile down, and that you climb at half your normal speed 22

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

and descend at twice your normal speed. At 15mph, 1 mile would take you 4 minutes. At 7.5mph, 1 mile takes 8 minutes; at 30mph, 2 minutes. So going over the hill would take 10 minutes, 2 minutes longer than riding 2 miles on the flat. The flat route would take the same time as the hilly one even if it were 25% longer. Anticipation Accelerating quickly and braking hard wastes energy. Ride smooth. Instead of trying to maintain a certain speed, try to keep moving, period. When you're approaching a roundabout, for example, watch the traffic and aim to time your arrival so you don't have to give way (see page 17). You'll need to be ready to stop, but by accelerating or slowing down a little, you may not need to. The same applies to other junctions. Look ahead, read the traffic, and plan where you need to be. That often means taking your lane, so that other traffic can't box you in. A bike's relatively slow speed is a huge advantage when it comes to anticipating the road ahead. You have more time to assess the situation and your stopping distance is short. With practice, you'll soon be gliding along, for the most part using your brakes only lightly – when you need to use them at all. Filtering The ability to ride carefully past queues of stationary or slow-moving traffic is another reason why bikes are

quicker around town. It's legal. You do need to be alert, and you need to communicate your intentions clearly to drivers, since you'll be leaving and rejoining the traffic stream. It's usually best to overtake on the right. Drivers can see you more easily in their mirrors, and it's where they expect to be overtaken. Never, ever overtake a long-vehicle like a lorry or a bus on the left. You'll be in the driver's blind spot if the vehicle turns left. You can overtake stationary lines of cars on the left, perhaps to get into an advanced stop line 'cycle box' at traffic lights, but use common sense and caution. Don't dive into narrow gaps between kerb and cars. Leave yourself room to manoeuvre. It may be better to overtake on the right – or simply to wait.

Find out more about filtering on the Cyclescheme website: http://cycsch.me/filter


/paligap.cc Find your local Marin Dealer at: www.paligap.cc/dealer


Spring/Summer 2015 Cl ot hi ng

Endura Convert Softshell jacket

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

£84.99 | : £63.74 It's so named because you can zip off the sleeves to convert the jacket into a gilet when conditions are milder. The softshell fabric feels more like a jersey than a crinkly cagoule, and there's some stretch in it so it fits comfortably and flap-free. There's a windproof membrane sandwiched between the inner and outer layers, making it more weather resistant than it looks. It's not fully waterproof but you'll stay cosy when riding in anything less than heavy rain. There's a zipped chest pocket, a zipped rear pocket, and three more rear ones. Sleeves and shoulders have reflective trim. Great for commuting, it also suits mountain biking. Sizes: S-XXL (men's), SX-L (women's). endura.co.uk

Altura Attack Waterproof shorts £59.99 | : £44.99 Waterproof shorts keep your thighs and backside dry without making you hot and sweaty like full-length overtrousers can. On road, they’ll keep you dry in the rain; off-road,they’ll deal with the muddy spray your Crud guards miss. These Altura Attack shorts are breathable and durable as well as waterproof; they're reinforced in the crotch to prevent wear from pedalling. They have zipped hand pockets and reflective trim. Like other waterproof shorts, they fit best over Lycra shorts or cycling tights. Sizes: XS-XXL. altura.co.uk

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www.cyclescheme.co.uk


Round-up

RIES ACCESSO ES PA C K A G

Mountain bike essentials Got a mountain bike? Take a second bite of the Cyclescheme cherry and get the commuting equipment and accessories that you missed

A

s well as bikes and equipment, you can get Accessories Packages through Cyclescheme. Maybe you got a bike last year and couldn't afford to include all the accessories you wanted on your original Certificate, because you were close to the £1,000 limit? Or maybe you're an existing cyclist who wants to start commuting – once you've made your bike commuterready? Either way, if you've got a mountain bike, you will need to invest in additional equipment. Mountain bikes come ready for bumpy off-road tracks – fat knobbly tyres, suspension, low gears and good brakes – but without the practical features you'll want for commuting, such as mudguards and luggage capacity. With careful equipment choice, however, you can have items useful for both weekday streets and weekend singletrack. Tyres are the hardest thing to get right. Try a lightly-treaded rear tyre and adjust the pressure of both front and rear tyres when switching between road and off-road use.

Mu dg u ards

Crud Racepac £19.99 | : £14.99 Standard frame-fitting mudguards will fit to many mountain bikes, using P-clips if there are no frame eyelets, but they're awkward off-road, jamming up with mud and sticks. Crud's Racepac guards have no problems with clearance as they attach to the seatpost and down tube. They're designed to stop mud flicking into your face or up your back while mountain biking, and they'll keep the worst of the spray off you while commuting. If you ride in cycling kit, that's enough. The front guard normally attaches with stretch rubber O-rings, although if you'll leave your bike parked anywhere, it's a better idea to use cable ties instead. The rear guard bolts to the seatpost, so is more secure than similar, strapfitting rear guards. There's a longer Racepac 29er for bigger-wheeled bikes; it's £2 dearer. raleigh.co.uk & crudproducts.com

Shoes

Northwave Scorpius SRS shoes £99.99 | : £74.99 If you're going to use clip-in pedals for commuting, mountain bikes pedals and shoes are the best option: they employ recessed cleats, enabling you to walk normally. They're obviously ideal for mountain biking as well. These Northwave shoes have stiff, carbonreinforced soles for pedalling effciency, and reinforced uppers to protect your feet from rock and branch strikes. They fasten with two Velcro straps and a slim ratchet strap, which is simple, secure, and durable. If you want to be more visible on road, there are some bright colour options such as flourescent yellow. Sizes: 36-50. i-ride.co.uk

Pump

Lezyne Micro Floor Pump HV with gauge £41.99 | : £31.49 Most portable pumps deliver a paltry amount of air per stroke, so it takes ages to inflate a big-volume mountain bike tyre. This Lezyne pump is more efficient, and as it works like a little track pump, sitting on the floor instead of resting in your other hand, it takes half as much effort to use. There's a gauge so you can get the pressure just right rather than guessing. Try inflating your mountain bike's tyres to the maximum pressure for road riding and to the minimum for use off-road; you'll find both figures stamped on the tyre's sidewall. This pump will inflate to 90psi. (There's a high-pressure version for narrow tyres.) upgradebikes.co.uk

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

25


Spring/Summer 2015 Luggag e

Ortlieb Velocity backpack £75 | : £56.25 A lightweight backpack is convenient on any bike, as the load goes with you when you dismount. On a mountain bike it's particularly useful. The bike will handle better on any off-road sections, as there's less dead weight. And you don't have to fit a pannier rack, which is complicated by rear suspension and/or missing frame eyelets. Ortlieb's Velocity is comfortable and stable on your back, as it has waist and sternum straps to keep the foam-backed bag snug against your body. Best of all, it's completely dirtproof and waterproof thanks to its welded-seam, roll-top design. However wet and dirty you get, your work clothes (and laptop?) will stay dry and clean. The 20-litre capacity is ample for commuting. It's durable, with reinforced corners, and you can clip an LED light to it. ortlieb.de

Lights Niterider Lumina 750 £99.99 | : £74.99 The Lumina 750 will do double-duty as a lamp for off-road night-riding and also for commuting. On full power it emits 750 lumens, which is enough to light up nighttime singletrack. But you can click through the settings to medium (350 lumens) or low (200), either of which is enough to see where you're going on road without dazzling drivers. It comes with both handlebar and helmet mounts, and there's no cabling to worry about as the lithium-ion battery is integral. Despite this, it weighs only 172g. It recharges via USB or mains adapter. Burn time is about 90 minutes on full power and five-and-a-half hours on low. 2pure.co.uk

Niterider Solas 2W rear light £39.99 | : £29.99 Niterider's Solas rear light can also be dialled up or down to suit the situation. Put it on high when you're riding solo on road so that you're easily seen by cars (and passing aircraft…), and low off-road so your riding buddies can see where you are without having a red blob burned on their retinas. It runs for 4.5 and 36 hours respectively, and its lithium-ion battery is USB rechargeable. There are a couple of flashing modes too. It attaches to the bike's seatpost or a seatstay, or can alternatively be clipped to luggage. 2pure.co.uk

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

£354.91

£302.72

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£29.58

£25.23

1 End of Hire payment

£15.66

£15.66

29%

39%

£167.02

£219.21

£521.93

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


www.merida.com www.facebook.com/meridauk

Lifetime warranty on all frames. * Applies to frames manufactured since 2011

cyclo cross range from £799.99 to £999.99 (model shown £999.99)


Essentials Cyclescheme price

ESSENTI KIT

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

AL

D-LOCKS When your bike's out of sight, it needs to be locked. A D-lock is portable and tough.

T

hieves want an easy life. To stop them stealing your bike, you need to make it difficult for them. Any lock can be broken. If your bike lock requires several minutes' work with an angle grinder, it's immeasurably safer than the lock that can be cut in seconds with bolt croppers. Sold Secure is a reasonable guideline to security. It's a bronze, silver or gold rating for locks that are submitted for testing. Locks must resist increasingly time-consuming and tooled-up attacks to pass at the relevant level. Other security ratings are provided by Thatcham, by other countries, and by the manufacturers themselves. Broadly speaking, the more expensive and heavier the lock, the tougher it will be. Police recommend spending at least 10% of the value of your bike on security for it. D-locks, also known as U-locks or shackle locks, are easier to carry than equallytough chains. You may be able to leave a lock at work to reduce your commuting load.

OnGuard Pitbull DT 8005 RRP £45.99 |

: Cyclescheme price: £34.99

Cables don't offer enough protection for use on their own. Here, however, the 10mm thick, 120cm cable is an extra, a way of securing a quick-release front wheel or seat. The main lock, which anchors the cable, is solidly-built 14mm shackle. A thief would need different tools to breach the cable and the shackle, so this approach adds security even if you don't use quick releases. The lock comes with a frame bracket, and an LED keylight that's useful for unlocking at night. Weight: 1.5kg. Sold Secure Gold. todayscyclist.co.uk

Knog Strongman £74.99 |

: £56.24

Silicone moulding encasing the Strongman will stop it clunking against your bike's frame or your commuter bag's contents, although it also comes with a frame bracket. Underneath the rubbery exterior there's a 13mm hardened steel shackle that locks at both ends, to prevent it being twisted open. The silicone covering gets in the teeth of saws or anglegrinders, making them awkward to use, while the compact size – it's only 20cm long overall – limits the space and leverage for brute force attacks. Weight: 1.1kg. Sold Secure Gold. todayscyclist.co.uk

Squire Hammerhead Combi £54.99 |

: £41.24

Losing your keys for a D-lock is a nightmare. That can't happen with this version of Squire's Hammerhead, as it's a combination lock. There are six number wheels, giving a million different combinations. You can choose your own numbers, so make them memorable! It's otherwise similar to key-operated D-locks, with a 13mm hardened steel shackle and an armoured lock body. This is the shorter version, with a 230mm shackle; there's also a 290mm version. Both include a frame bracket. Weight: 1.72kg. Sold Secure Silver. Gold. raleigh.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

29


Spring/Summer 2015 Master Lock Street Fortum £39.99 |

: £29.99

The Street Fortum is good value for a Sold Secure Gold lock. Like other tough locks, it has a 13mm shackle that locks at both ends to prevent twisting attacks, and a pickresistant disc lock. The 210mm shackle length limits room for jacks. It comes with a frame bracket to fix to your bike, and an integral dust cover to keep dirt out of the lock itself. As well as black, it's available in blue, red, and silver. Weight: 1.42kg. fisheroutdoor.co.uk

Hiplok D £49.99 |

: £37.49

Hiplok are better known for a chain lock that fastens belt-like around the waist, making it easy to carry and quick to deploy. The Hiplok D is even more accessible: it fits a belt, bag strap, or back pocket, sliding securely in place with an integral clip. The 13mm hardened steel shackle is just 135x70mm internally, so pry-bars and jacks won't be a problem – although parking opportunities might be. It comes in cyan, red, and lime as well as black. Weight: 1kg. Sold Secure Silver. hiplok.com

Zéfal K-Traz U14 £31.99 |

: £23.99

Zéfal's chunkiest D-lock has a 14mm hardened steel shackle that, unlike cheap D-locks, locks at both ends. It's easy to use because of the 292mm long shackle, although you'll want to fill that space with bike or street furniture for maximum security. Like any lock, it will need occasional oiling. However, the lock mechanism is protected against dust and corrosion. It comes with a frame bracket. This lock hasn't been tested by Sold Secure; Zéfal rate it 4.5 out of 5 on their own scale. Weight: 1.6kg chickencycles.co.uk

Abus Granit X-Plus 54 Mini £79.99 |

: £59.99

This is a smaller version of the highly-rated Granit X-Plus. At 15cm long, it's small enough for a back pocket or bag. The shorter shackle means the bike has to be parked right up against its anchor point, which is less convenient but more secure; there won't be room for a thief's bottle jack. It's a hefty 1.5kg despite its size because it's so solid. It uses double locking mechanism and a 13mm hardened steel shackle, with a square section to prevent it being twisted open if one side is cut. Sold Secure Gold. zyro.co.uk 30

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


*All Luminite hardshell products (jackets, overtrousers, helmet covers and backpack covers) are: Waterproof: 10,000mm Breathable: 10,000g/m²/24h

U LT I M AT E WAT E R P R O O F C O M M U T E R J AC K E T FULLY SEAM-SEALED, COMPACT 2.5-LAYER WATERPROOF AND BREATHABLE* COMMUTER JACKET EMBLAZONED WITH HIGH-VISIBILITY 360 DEGREE REFLECTIVE SAFETY CHEVRONS INTEGRATED LED LIGHT UNIT IN REAR POCKET WITH 3 FLASH PHASE OPTIONS COSY-TOUCH LINING IN HANDWARMER POCKETS AND AROUND INNER COLLAR ADJUSTABLE NECK AND HEM CORDS CONCEALED IN FRONT POCKETS REAR ZIPPER POCKET WITH STORM FLAP AND LED ACCESS BONDED, LASER-CUT DOUBLE STORM FLAP ON CENTRE ZIP ZIPPED CHEST AND HANDWARMER POCKETS REFLECTIVE VELCRO CUFF ADJUSTERS

Tel: 01506 497 749

Email: info@endura.co.uk

www.endurasport.com

facebook.com/enduraofficial

twitter.com/endura


Spring/Summer 2015

Merida Speeder 300-D RRP: ÂŁ749.99 | Cyclescheme price: ÂŁ562.49 The all-aluminium Speeder 300-D has a tapered head tube, which gives a firmer feel to the steering and should increase headset bearing life. Gear cables are routed through the frame for a tidier look. It's a 20-speed bike, with slick-shifting Shimano 105 and Tiagra derailleurs. The cassette is quite closely spaced, which you'll appreciate if you like to ride at a constant cadence. Tektro's Vela hydraulic disc brakes provide reliable stopping in any conditions, and they don't slowly destroy wheel rims like rim brakes do. The wheels are lightweight and are fitted with Continental's supple Sport Contact street tyres; they accelerate easily but the 32mm tyre width should shrug off potential pinchpunctures. merida-bikes.com

Cyclescheme price

In detail

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

32

A 50/34 chainset is the same as you'd find on a drop-bar road bike. With no superlow gears available, it suits brisker-paced riding

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Hydraulic discs offer predictable, powerful braking, and require little day-to-day attention. They're ideal for commuting


Round-up

R AT ED R I D ES

ROUND-

UP

Flat-bar road bikes These lightweight city hybrids combine road bike speed with the reassuring control of a flat handlebar

F

lat-bar road bikes sit at the sporty end of the hybrid spectrum. As the name says, they have some road bike features – the exception being that curly handlebar. They're lightweight; they have relatively narrow tyres; and the gearing tends to come from road bike derailleur groupsets. Some even have sidepull caliper brakes, although V-brakes dominate at lower price points and discs at higher ones. The end result is a bike that feels fast and efficient on urban roads, while retaining the head-up, easy-to-control convenience of a flat handlebar. It's not as good as a road bike for long rides as your hands are locked into one position, which can become uncomfortable. (You can fit bar ends and/or ergonomic grips to improve hand comfort, however.) You're not as aerodynamic either. Yet you might well be first away from the traffic lights in town; flat-bar controls enable you to brake and change down to an easier gear simultaneously, so you won't be over-geared when the lights turn green. Flat-bar road bikes are usually sold without accessories. Unlike many drop-bar road bikes, most have frame fittings and clearance for conventional mudguards and a rear pannier rack. If you use the latter, pack lightly; you're more aware of pannier mass on a sprightly-handling lightweight. The frame will be longer than an equivalent-sized road bike's, so you're unlikely to clip the front wheel (or mudguard) with your toes on slow-speed turns. In terms of material, expect a lightweight aluminium frame and a rigid aluminium fork. Bikes costing nearer £1,000 will have a carbon fork, which saves weight and can help reduce vibration at the handlebar. Flat-bar road bikes aren't intended to tackle any terrain more technical than a towpath, and you can see this in the wheels. Wheels will be light, often with fewer spokes. Minimally-treaded tyres at 90psi-plus offer little off-road traction but, equally, little rolling resistance on road. More than anything, the tyres are what give flat-bar road bikes their pep. If you want off-road grip, lots of cushioning, or puncture impregnability, check out other kinds of hybrid. Budget flat-bar road bikes may have triple-chainset trekking gears. Over £500 or so, you're likely to get a 34-50 road double chainset and a cassette going to 28, 30 or even 32 teeth. Such gearing is better suited to faster tempo riding or to flat or rolling roads. If your commute has steep hills or you plan to cycle with a heavy load, you may struggle. Get a test ride. Brakes are generally more powerful than those of a comparable dropbar bike, hydraulic discs in particular. They're ideal for the cut-and-thrust of a busy commute, and you won't find them on a sub-£1,000 drop-bar bike.

Pinnacle Neon Three £550 | : £412.50 At under 10kg, the Neon Three is lightweight for an inexpensive flat-bar road bike. That's partly due to its carbon fibre fork, which you wouldn't expect at this price. Both fork and aluminium frame have eyelets for mudguards, and it will take a rear rack. Shifters and derailleurs are 9-speed Shimano Sora, with a cassette that goes to 30-teeth. There's no budget left for disc brakes, which isn't surprising, but the Tektro mini-V brakes are lightweight and powerful enough. The wheels have 32-spokes each, so breakages should be rarer, and the 28mm Kenda Kwick Roller Sport tyres do indeed roll 'kwickly' enough. evanscycles.com

Whyte Pimlico Women's £850 | : £637.50 The Pimlico is Whyte's top-end flat-bar road bike for women: compared to the equivalent men's model, it's got a women'sspecific saddle and brake levers, plus a shorter reach to the handlebar. The aluminium frame and carbon fibre fork are both mudguard ready, and there are fittings for a rear rack. The rear disc caliper is on the chainstay, out of the way of a pannier, and being hydraulic both brakes offer lots of power for little lever effort. Gearing is Sram's 10-speed Via Centro groupset, whose smaller (48-32) chainset and bigger (11-32) casssette will take some of the strain from hills. whyte.bike

JARGON BUSTER Groupset Sometimes used to refer to the drivetrain - shifters, derailleurs, chainset and cassette - the groupset also includes brakes, wheel hubs, bottom bracket, and sometimes pedals. Groupset manufacturers, such as Shimano and Sram, have price/performance hierarchies but bike manufacturers often pick and mix.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

33


Spring/Summer 2015

.99 er 49 Speed 7 £ da ri Me -D 300

0 ap £5prey Flurier

9 9.9 £4plok D

9 hort 4.9Zyme S 3 £ dura En

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Hi

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

£601.78

£513.28

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£50.15

£42.77

1 End of Hire payment

£61.95

£61.95

25%

35%

£283.19

£371.69

£884.97

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).

34

www.cyclescheme.co.uk


ALLROAD

AI

ROAD

MOUNTAIN

R R E SCU E

NEED AIR? RESCUE IS ON THE WAY! DISCOVER THE NEW SKS MINI PUMPS ON SKS-AIR5.COM

SKS-GERMANY.COM

G E R M A N Y


Essentials Cyclescheme price

ESSENTI KIT

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

AL

PANNIERS For longer trips or heavier loads, it's comfier to carry bags on your bike than your back

P

anniers are the answer if your backpack or courier bag makes you ache or sweat. You'll need a framefixing rear rack. (Beam racks that attach to the seatpost are meant for smaller rack-top bags.) Racks fit to most bikes with normal-sized wheels, apart from some road and mountain bikes. Most racks are sturdy enough for two big rear bags, with a combined volume of 40-50 litres and a weight of 20kg. That's useful for touring or shopping, but for commuting 10-20 litres is ample. You can get that through one medium bag or two small ones, which is better for bike handling. All good panniers have hooks with security fittings, so they won't leap off the rack if you hit a bump. Internal or external pockets enable you to divide the load, so your laptop doesn't have to share space with your sandwiches. If the pannier isn't waterproof, get a rain-cover or plastic-bag the contents.

Altura Arc 20 Roll Top Pannier RRP £39.99 |

: Cyclescheme price: £29.99

You can cycle to work in a downpour and any stuff you've packed in this Arc pannier will still be dry. It's made from waterproof fabric, with seams that are welded rather than stitched, and a top that rolls over and buckles down. The Rixen Kaul Pressure Fit hooks are simple but secure, the only noticeable economy being that they're fixed in position. It's available in red or grey, both with reflective details to increase nighttime visibility. This version holds 20 litres; the smaller Arc 15 (same price) is arguably a better size for commuting. altura.co.uk

Outeredge Medium Waterproof Pannier £55.99 |

: £41.99

Made from heavy duty polyester with a PVC coating, this Outer Edge bag is a more traditional waterproof pannier. Seams are welded and the roll-top closure is supplemented with a large buckle-down flap. This has a pocket in it, with a waterproof zip, giving easier access to items you need at hand, such as clip-on lights or a compact lock. It measures 25x30x13cm, so has about 10-litres capacity; a larger version is available. There's a mount for an LED light and a large reflective strip. Rixen Kaul Twist hooks fasten manually and solidly. todayscyclist.co.uk

XLC Single Waterproof Pannier

£99.99 |

: £74.99

This is one of the smallest panniers you buy, with a capacity of just 9 litres. That will still be big enough for many commuters, and the small size means it's more manageable if you prefer to ride with a single pannier. It's completely waterproof, thanks to its roll-top, welded-seam, polyester-and-PVC construction. The small outer pocket is also waterproof. Reflective triangles add visibility from the rear and (when not obscured by your leg) the front. It's a well made bag, with hooks again by Rixen Kaul, but it's relatively expensive. raleigh.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

37


Spring/Summer 2015 Ortlieb City Biker QL3 Pannier £109.99 |

: £82.49

While it's only a 10-litre bag, Ortlieb's City Biker is the right shape for A4 files or a laptop (up to 13.3in). As the bag's material and construction are waterproof, any contents should stay dry; it's plausible but unlikely that sideways rain could get blown under the flap. It doubles as a shoulder bag. (The strap is secured internally when it's on the bike.) There's no problem with protruding hooks when you're carrying the bag, as Ortlieb's QL3 hooks are recessed. There's some reflectivity and a choice of bright colours. ortlieb.de

Basil Mirte Shopping Bag £54.99 |

: £41.24

It's a 16-litre pannier designed to look like, and function as, a ladies' shopping bag. There are proper handles, and the pannier hooks are in a zipped pocket on the side; they can be concealed when you're on foot. It's not completely waterproof, as heavy rain could get in that the top, but the coated polyester fabric will shrug off showers and spray. There's a zipped purse pocket inside the bag, and reflectives front and rear. An optional mount allows it to be fixed to the handlebar instead. fisheroutdoor.co.uk

Carradice CarraDry Universal/Front Panniers £55/pair |

: £41.25

Great value at just £55 for two, these waterproof panniers are a good size for commuting, either individually or as pair. Each holds 10 litres. Small panniers like these are especially useful for bikes with shorter chainstays, such as road and cyclocross bikes, as they offer good heel clearance. They're made from welded-seam polyester and PVC. There are no pockets, just one big compartment, although there are reflectives front and rear. Carradice's Quick-clip hooks attach to racks up to 13mm in diameter. carradice.co.uk

Cordo Zuidkaap Blue Laptopbag £49.99 |

: £37.49

Like Ortlieb's City Biker, this is a pannier that doubles as a shoulder bag. There are hooks but they can be covered when the bag isn't on the bike. As the name says, this 12-litre bag is specifically designed to carry a laptop, having a well-padded pocket that will accommodate a machine up to 15in. There are other pockets inside, plus an external pocket in the lid and a side pocket for tucking the shoulder strap into. There's a loop for an LED light. Cordo Vario hooks will fit racks from 6-15mm in diameter. i-ride.co.uk 38


AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE RIDE. PARK. FORGET.

ZECTO DRIVE AUTO AUTO ON/OFF:

Motion detecting systems triggers automatic shutoff of light after 3 minutes of inactivity, turns back on when in motion again

LUMEN OUTPUT:

Up to 20 lumens available- 10 hours of light in daytime flash mode

BE SEEN:

High visibility rear safety light with three LEDs and Intelligent Power indicator LEDs for monitoring battery power consumption

POWER UP:

Rechargeable via Micro USB for ultimate convenience

SRP:

Rear Only ÂŁ39.99

Product Video Lezyne is proudly distributed by Upgrade Bikes Ltd. | upgradebikes.co.uk | 01403 711 611


Get

Spring/Summer 2015

Comforta Don't put up with a sore backside, tingling hands, or other aches and pains. Fit the bike parts your body and riding position demands. Here's how.

A

ches and pains are not a normal part of cycling. If you're getting back on a bike after a long layoff, it can take your body a few weeks to adapt. Some stiffness in the muscles – particularly the buttocks – is normal to begin with. If it doesn't go away, or if you ever suffer from sharp pains, numbness, tingling, or acute soreness, there's something wrong with your bike. Cycling should be enjoyed not endured. The first thing to check is that your bike fits (see 'A bike that fits' , p43). Swapping bike parts will be of limited help if the cause of your lower back and hand pain is the fact that the handlebar is simply too low for you. Once your posture is right for the cycling you'll 40

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Get comfortable

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be doing and for the biomechanics of your body, it's time to address the bike's components. Mostly that means the contact points: the saddle, handlebar, and pedals. Let's start with the one that can literally be a pain in the backside for new cyclists…

The saddle The general rule is that the faster and further you plan to ride, the narrower and harder you want the saddle to be – and vice versa. The saddles on racy road bikes are narrow and hard because: a) you're expected to wear padded Lycra shorts while riding them; and b) more of your bodyweight will be carried by your feet and hands because of the riding position and pedalling effort involved. An upright roadster, meanwhile, benefits from a wide saddle that's softer or sprung because that's where your weight goes. You can comfortably ride a roadster in jeans. Any saddle needs to support your sit bones, the bony protruberances at the bottom of your pelvis. These tend to be wider in women than men. If the saddle is too narrow, you weight will be carried not by your sit bones but by the soft flesh in between: the perineum. A lot of nerves run through here, in both men and women. Compressing them can lead to pain or numbness. It's not just a matter of saddle width; the further forward you lean, the more

pressure you'll put on your soft bits. (This is more of a problem for women than men.) Sitting more upright on a wider saddle could solve your saddle problems at a stroke. Anatomic saddles have grooves or holes in the middle that are designed to eliminate perineal pressure, and are especially useful when you're not sitting so upright. They can be very effective, but not every anatomic saddle will suit every cyclist; some increase pressure around the edges of their grooves/holes… Leather saddles are another option. They slowly mould themselves to your particular shape like lived-in shoes. There is a saddle out there that will suit your bum. It's almost impossible to say which because we're all different. Some local bike shops can narrow down your choices by measuring your sit bones; you can even do it yourself with corrugated cardboard and chalk – type 'measure sit bones' into a search engine to find out how. Alternatively, the shop may have saddles you can try out. No luck? Ask colleagues or cycling friends what saddles they like, and even if you can borrow their bike.

The general rule is that the faster and further you plan to ride, the narrower and harder you want the saddle to be – and vice versa

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Spring/Summer 2015

The last resort is simply to buy saddles until you get one you like. Even if you end up getting three or four before you find one that suits, it's an investment that will repay you every time you ride your bike.

The handlebar

The more weight there is on your hands, the more the ergonomics of the handlebar matter 42

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The more weight there is on your hands, the more the ergonomics of the handlebar matter. Hardly anyone gets painful hands on an upright roadster; on a drop-bar racer, many do. First address the bar position (see 'A bike that fits', p43). Next, get more comfortable bar tape or grips. Cork bar tape helps isolate vibration to the hands. Alternatively, there's gel bar tape and/or gel strips that stick to the handlebar before you wrap it with tape. And you can simple doublewrap bar tape, so you've got twice the thickness. Brake hoods are generally more comfortable when the flat bit that you rest your hands on is level with the bar top. Some grips are unyielding. Try ones made from dual-density rubber, foam, or cork. Grips that flare wider towards the ends provide a broader platform to rest your hands on. On a flat-bar bike with only one hand position, such

ergonomic grips can make a huge difference to hand comfort. Alternative hand-holds improve comfort too, especially on long rides. A drop handlebar usually offers four positions: tops, shoulders, hoods, and drops. (A compact drop bar makes the drops position more useable.) A flat (or riser) handlebar offers just one position. You can inexpensively add another by attaching bar ends. Ergonomic bar ends are excellent. A riser bar doesn't offer more hand positions but does put the grips higher, which might ease lower back pain without requiring a new stem. Back-curved 'flat' bars also offer only one hand position, but as they put the handgrips closer to your body and parallel to the direction of travel, they tend to be more comfortable. For the maximum number of hand positions on a 'flat' handlebar, get a butterfly handlebar – also known as a trekking handlebar. Fitting a new handlebar is straightforwardso long as the brake and gear levers are compatible with the new bar. They will be unless you want to go from a 'flat' bar to a drop bar, or vice versa. That will require new levers at least, and may create gear compatibility issues. It will also radically change the riding position, making


Get comfortable it 3-4cm shorter if you fit a flat bar in place of a drop (and vice versa). So you may want a new stem too. If your bike's handlebar feels too wide, it can be cut down to size with a hacksaw if it's a flat or riser. If it's too narrow, or if you want to change something else – like the angle of the bend or the depth of a drop – you'll need a new handlebar.

The pedals Flat pedals seldom cause problems with ankles or knees because you can put your foot where you like on the pedal. Cramps in your feet can be caused by cycling long distances in footwear that's too flexible. Use stiffer shoes or fit pedals with a bigger platform, so there's more support. Clip-in pedals (confusingly known as clipless pedals) often cause aches and pains. You can only put one part of your foot – the cleated part – on the pedal, and there will be limits on how much you can turn your foot in or out (rotational float) and how much you can move it towards or away from the crank arm (lateral float). If, for example, your foot would normally turn outward but can't because of the pedal-cleat set-up, it's likely you'll get some knee pain. If there's no pain, there's no problem.

If it hurts or niggles, the cleats are set up wrong for you. Seek advice from a bike fitter; your local shop may offer such a service. You can limit the likelihood of problems developing by choosing clip-in pedals with plenty of float, particularly rotational float. See http:// cycsch.me/clip for more on clip-in pedals.

And finally Comfort is not just about bike fit and contact points. Your bike's tyres and the pressures you run them at will make a massive difference to how well bumps and vibrations from the road are isolated from your body. Tyres are pneumatic suspension; the wider the tyre, the more suspension you have. Wider tyres can safely be run at lower pressures without pinchpuncturing like narrow ones, so they can absorb bumps rather than bouncing off them. For increased comfort, use the widest tyres that your bike will safely accommodate. The difference between a 28mm road bike tyre and a 23mm tyre is palpable, especially if there's 10-20psi less in the wider tyre. At about 32mm and wider, tyres should cope well even on poorly-maintained roads. But if you want the ultimate in pothole-proof urban comfort, try a bike with 50mm or wider slick tyres.

A bike that fits This article assumes that your bike is the right size for you and that the handlebar and saddle positions will enable you to cycle in a posture that you find comfortable. Common sources of aches and pains include the saddle being too low or too high, and the handlebar being too low down and/or too far forward. Here are some useful rules of thumb. ●

Saddle height. Try the heel-on-pedal method. Sit on the saddle and set the cranks inline with the seat tube. Put the heel of your shoe on the bottom pedal. If that leg is straight but not stretching, the saddle is more or less the right height. As you pedal with the ball of each foot, there will be a slight bend in each leg at the bottom of the stroke. Handlebar height. Try it initially with the top of the handlebar as high as the top of the saddle. This may require a new stem. You can move the bar down, or up, from there. Handlebar fore/aft position. Put the elbow of one arm against the nose of the saddle and hold your forearm out straight towards the centre of the handlebar, fingers outstretched. If the bike fits comfortably, the handlebar will probably be from one to four fingers' width beyond your nearest fingertip. Err on the long side for flat-bar bikes and on the short side for drop-bar bikes, where you're usually gripping in front of the handlebar centre, on the brake hoods or drops.

Note that these are rough guidelines only. For more, see the Bike Fit Basics article in issue 11 of Cycle Commuter: http://cycsch.me/mag11. www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Essentials

ESSENTI KIT

AL Cyclescheme price

CASUAL

SHORTS Don't feel like striding into the office in skintight Lycra? There are comfortable summer shorts for cycling that you can wear off the bike too

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ycra shorts with a seat pad are very comfortable for cycling because they fit like a second skin. But that's just it: they're skin tight. They stand out in the office or urban environment like a ballet dancer's tights. There is another summer option: so-called baggy cycling shorts. Styles vary depending on intended usage: mountain biking, touring or commuting. Some are comfortable enough over ordinary underwear, others come with a padded inner short, and any of them can be worn over Lycra shorts. Cycling shorts are designed so you don't sit on a raised seam. The seat is often reinforced. The cut is closer in the leg and higher in the back, so they don't flap or expose skin. Fabrics are quick drying, sometimes with a water-repellant coating, and may include a small percentage of Lycra to improve the fit. Other common features include: velcro tabs on the legs; cycling-suitable pockets; and reflective details.

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

Endura Zyme short RRP £34.99 |

Cyclescheme price: £26.24

Also available in camouflage, the black version blends in better around town. The shorts are made from Nylon with a wicking finish. There's no pad but there is a double seat panel, and the Zymes are compatible with Endura's Clickfast undershorts, which attach with small press-studs. There's a zipped security pocket in one of the hip pockets, as well as a zipped thigh pocket and two jeansstyle rear ones. You can fine tune the fit with the snap-lock buckled webbing belt, which also makes the shorts look less bikey. Sizes: S-XXL endura.co.uk

Giro Women's Mobility Tailored Overshort £79.99 |

: £59.99

Most bike shorts are almost knee length; these have only a 5-inch inseam. It makes them look more like normal summer shorts, and it limits the tan-line issue cyclists have out of bike gear. The fabric is a mix of polyester, cotton and elastane (i.e. Lycra), so there's a good amount of stretch in the fabric, without it clinging. There are four pockets. There's no seat pad, but Giro's padded Women's Boy Undershort has the right leg-length to be worn underneath. Sizes: XS (4) to XL (12), in jet black or 'dark shadow'. zyro.co.uk

Dare2B Modify 2-in-1 shorts £54.99 |

: £41.24

They're called 2-in-1 because they come with a detachable, lightweight inner short with a seat pad. You can wear them with or without this. The polyamide outer short has some stretch panels and is reinforced in the seat and inner legs. Waist and hems are adjustable to suit; there are also belt loops if you want them. Some of the several pockets are zipped, so furious pedalling or a comfy chair at a café stop won't pitch your phone on the floor. The outer short has a water-repellent coating. Sizes: 30-38in waist. todayscyclist.co.uk www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Spring/Summer 2015 Rapha Touring Shorts £80 |

: £60

Rapha are best known for their boutique roadie gear. These shorts are understated, with a slimmer, more tailored cut than most mountain bike baggies. They're a lightweight blend of Nylon and Spandex, with a full-length gusset to prevent seams rubbing. They're unpadded and can be worn on their own or over Lycra shorts; a non-slip waistband stops them riding down if worn over bibshorts. Two zipped pockets, a small front and larger rear, keep valuables safe, and there are some discreet reflectives. Sizes: 28-38in, in black or dark grey. rapha.cc

Bontrager Dual Sport shorts £44.99 |

: £33.74

With their loose fit and drawcord waist, these Dual Sport shorts wouldn't look out of place at the gym or while playing football in the park. Yet they have an integral mesh liner with a seat pad, so they're comfortable on the bike. Being a loose fit, they suit a slower pace – riding off-road or on cycle tracks, for example, rather than racing along the road on drops. The Nylon outer shell is lightweight, and it includes three pockets: two hand pockets, and a zipped pocket on one thigh. Sizes: S-XXXL. bontrager.com

Swrve Men's Lightweight WWR Trouser Shorts £65 |

: £48.75

WWR stands for wind- and water-resistant. The fabric – a blend of nylon, high-wicking 'Coolplus', and Spandex (i.e. Lycra) – has a water-repellent coating. In terms of style, these are smart city shorts, albeit with cycling features. The seamless, gusseted crotch allows easy pedalling, and the waist is lower in front and higher in the back to stop it digging in or baring skin on the bike. The back pockets are big enough for a mini U-lock, and one is zipped. Some of the belt loops are reflective. Sizes: 2836in waist, in black, grey or pine. swrve.co.uk

Polaris Capri Pants £44.99 |

: £33.74

Three-quarter length trousers are also known as pedal pushers. They suit cycling because they don't flap into the chain or interfere with pedalling. These Capri Pants are tailored for cycling at the knees and hips but, despite some stretch in the material, are not figure hugging. There's no seat pad. There is a zipped pocket one one hip for keys and the like, and a strip of reflective tape across the high-waisted back. The waist secures with both a button and hook-and-eye. Black only, sizes: 8-16. polaris-bikewear.co.uk 46

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Spring/Summer 2015

Kalkhoff Pro Connect Impulse 9 RRP: £1,795 | Cyclescheme price: £1,545

Cyclescheme price

In detail

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

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This German pedelec has a bottom bracket motor, enabling better use of the 9-speed Shimano Alivio/Deore gearing. Its 'Shift-Sensor technology' backs off the motor power when you change gear, just like you would with your legs on any other derailleur bike, so gear shifts are smoother and the drivetrain should last longer. The battery lasts 60 miles or more per charge, and it's ideally situated: low-down, to improve balance. Aside from the electrics, it's a well-equipped trekking bike: Shimano M396 hydraulic discs are ideal for stopping a heavy bike; 40mm Schwalbe street tyres are comfortable and efficient; and it has almost all the accessories you need – even hubdynamo lighting! It's also available with a step-through frame. 50cycles.com

All rechargeable batteries have a limited lifespan, but this one can be recharged 1100 times before it needs replacing. That's excellent longevity

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The handlebar display shows you the assistance level chosen and battery charge remaining – as well as speed and distance


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Electric bikes Even if an electric bike costs over £1,000, you can get one through Cyclescheme. Here's how – and why you might want to

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iding an electrically-assisted bicycle is like having your own tailwind on tap. The onboard battery and motor add to your pedalling efforts so you can ride further or in hillier terrain without breaking sweat. This assistance makes it more practical for more people to commute by bike. And these are bikes: unlike mopeds, you don't need a licence and the bike doesn't have to be taxed or insured. Anyone aged 14 or over can ride one, and it can legally be ridden wherever a bicycle can. There are some restrictions. The maximum assisted speed is 15.5mph, at which point the motor must cut out. (You can go faster than this; you'll just have to do it under your own steam.) The motor must be no greater than 250 Watts. Furthermore, twist-and-go electric bikes, which provide power via a throttle and don't demand that you pedal, require 'type approval' from 2016. An electric bike that doesn't meet these criteria would be considered a moped. Most quality electric bikes don't have a throttle, however. They are pedelecs. They sense when you are pedalling and amplify that effort with the motor. There are different levels of assistance available, ranging from 'eco' (which might add 50% extra pedalling power) through to 'sport' or 'turbo' (which can add 2-3 times your pedalling effort). You can change between them, selecting eco for long rides and turbo for the steepest hills. The more power you get from the motor, the quicker you'll drain the battery. Electric bikes have big lithium-ion batteries that generally last 25-40 miles per charge, and sometimes further. The exact distance will depend on the weight of you and your luggage, the terrain you ride over, and amount of assistance you select. If the battery does go flat, you can still pedal the bike, although the additional weight of battery and motor make this harder. Recharging costs pennies in electricity and can be done at any wall socket, so as long as you keep an eye on the battery's 'fuel gauge', you'll be fine. An electric bike's motor can be in one of the wheels or at the bottom bracket, where the cranks are. The latter is arguably the best configuration, as it enables the motor to get the benefit of the bike's gearing, so it should go up hills better. Electric bikes are more expensive than unassisted bikes. Prices tend to start around £1,000, the limit for Cycle to Work savings for most employees. That only buys a rather basic pedelec. If you want a higherquality one, however, you can simply pay the retailer the cash difference between £1,000 and the price of the pedelec, then make the usual tax savings on the remaining £1,000.

Liv Prime E+2 W £1,899 | : £1,649 Giant have had good quality pedelecs in their range for years, and this one is no exception. A bottom bracket Yamaha SyncDrive C motor amplifies your pedalling effort through the 9-speed Shimano Acera/ Deore drivetrain. The battery, which has a range of about 30 miles, slots into a solidly-built rack that's part of the bike's frame; you can use panniers as well. Hydraulic discs offer lots of stopping power for little lever effort, while lights and mudguards mean that it's commuterready. If you have to deal with bad roads you might appreciate the 42mm-travel suspension fork, reminiscent of Cannondale's Headshok, and the suspension seatpost. giant-bicycles.com

Cube Town Hybrid £1,999 | : £1,749 'Hybrid' is Cube's name for their pedelecs. While this one is a hybrid Hybrid, they also do touring and mountain bike models. The Town Hybrid's motor is bottom bracket Bosch unit that's found on many quality pedelecs; it powers 8-speed Shimano Altus gears. The battery slots into a rear rack, and it powers the lights as well as the drivetrain – a sensible idea, given how little energy the lights require. Brakes are hydraulic discs again, and there's a good selection of commuting accessories included. A simple suspension fork and suspension seatpost will take the sting from unseen potholes, and the weight they add is largely irrelevant on a pedelec. cube.eu

JARGON BUSTER Type approval For twist-and-go electric bikes (i.e. not pedelecs), this means that the someone, usually the manufacturer or distributor, will have to pay to get that bike registered as an approved Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle – and thus not a moped. It won't apply to e-bikes used before 1 January 2016, although the 15.5mph and 250W limits remain.

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Spring/Summer 2015

95 ro lse 9 £17lkhoff Pt Impu Ka nnec Co

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

£1,795

Payment to retailer: £795 Cyclescheme amount: £1,000 12 monthly hire payments 1 End of Hire payment Percentage saving (on £1795)

Total saving

Cyclescheme Price

£1,545

£1,445

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

£56.67

£56.67

£70

£70

13.9%

19.5%

£250

£350

Savings will be affected by your personal level of taxation. At the end of the hire period you may be given the option to continue to use the bike by paying a small one off deposit and signing an Extended Use Agreement (EUA) with Cyclescheme. There are no further rental payments during the EUA period. This option will maximise your savings via the scheme (see page 6 for more details). For more information on adding additional funds, please head over to our FAQ section http://cycsch.me/faq

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NEW BIKE A-HOY! Sir Chris Hoy doesn’t do things by half (just look at his medal cabinet). That’s why all his cycling know-how has gone into the HOY range of road, track and city bikes.

HOY Sa Calobra .002

£850

Take the Sa Calobra .002 - an affordable road bike with Shimano groupset and lightweight components. Test ride it from any store nationwide.

IN STORE | ONLINE | CLICK & COLLECT


Spring/Summer 2015

Cycling myths

We don't pay for the roads we use, we risk our lives, and we're all sweaty‌ Myths about cycling abound among non-cyclists. Here are some rebuttals

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he driver doesn't understand why you were riding further out from the kerb, preventing him from overtaking at a pinch-point. 'You bl***y cyclists don't even pay road tax!' he shouts, agog at your impertinence. Your friend or co-worker says she'd like to cycle to work but won't due to the danger/difficulty/sweat. When you're a cyclist, you hear a lot of myths about cycling from people who don't. Here are rebuttals to ten of them.

don't 1 Cyclists pay road tax

Well, that's true, but then no one does either, because it doesn't exist. Road tax was abolished in 1937. What drivers pay is Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). The amount depends on the vehicle's carbon dioxide emissions, with owners of low-emission vehicles (Band A) paying nothing. Since bicycles are zeroemission, cyclists would pay nothing even if bicycles were subject to VED. Note that VED is not ring-fenced for roads, just as the tax on alcohol doesn't directly pay for alcohol-related illnesses. Roads are paid for out of: general taxation, which includes everything from income tax to duty on booze; and local taxation, which is to say, Council Tax. If you pay tax, you pay for roads. For more information, visit the ironically named website ipayroadtax.com. 52

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Cycling Myths were 2 Roads built for cars

Only motorways were built for cars and not bicycles. The vast majority of the UK's road network is for all road users, including cyclists. Most of our roads pre-date the car in any case. Some of them are Roman! Roads have been surfaced better over the last hundred years, but the impetus for that came largely from cyclists in the late 19th and very early 20th centuries, when cars were in their infancy and hardly anyone owned one. The motoring lobby merely took up the baton of the cycling lobby. To read more, visit roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com.

3

Cyclists should use cycle lanes/ cycle tracks

Cycle lanes are painted areas on the road, while cycle tracks are separate from the road. Cyclists are not obliged to use either; even the Highway Code says to use them 'when practicable' (that is, useful). Some cycle lanes are not useful: they're too narrow and place you too close to the kerb. Cycle tracks vary too. Some are convenient, while others are badly lit, badly maintained, or force you to give way at every side road. One day we may get wonderful cycle facilities like they have in the Netherlands – some of which are compulsory. In the meantime, if a cycle lane or cycle track helps you, use it; if it doesn't, don't.

should 4 Cyclists keep left

It might feel safer to be 'out of the way of the traffic' by hugging the kerb, but it's not. You never want to be closer than 50cm to the kerb and should often be a metre out or more. Sometimes you'll 'take the lane'. That's riding in the centre of the lane. By riding further out, you make

yourself more visible to drivers and force them to react to your presence. They'll need to overtake properly rather than squeezing past when there isn't enough room, and if you've taken the lane at a pinch point or junction, because it's not safe for drivers to pass, they'll need to wait behind. Cycling organisations such as British Cycling and CTC endorse this advice, as do motoring organisations such as the AA and the Institute of Advanced Motorists. For a detailed guide, see cyclecraft.co.uk.

5

Cyclists ignore red lights

Some do, and shame on them. It's not 'all cyclists', however, or even most,

It might feel safer to be 'out of the way of the traffic' by hugging the kerb, but it's not. You never want to be closer than 50cm to the kerb and should often be a metre out or more

but rather a minority. The statistics suggest that car drivers are equally likely to transgress. According to the Department for Transport (see bit. ly/1xqkOOn), disobeying automatic traffic signals was a contributory factor in 1% of cycle accidents and 1% of car accidents in 2013. That's 187 and 1,664 accidents respectively, so while the proportions may be equal, there are many more drivers than cyclists causing accidents by running red lights.

can get points 6 You on your licence for cycling offences You can't. You can, however, be fined. Amounts range from a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £50 for minor offences, such as failing to stop at a red light, up to a maximum of £2,500 for Dangerous Cycling. Note that some offences don't apply to cyclists, only to drivers of motor vehicles. For example, cyclists can't be prosecuted for breaking the speed limit on public roads or for talking on a mobile phone, although the cyclist might be guilty of Carelesss Cycling (or even Dangerous Cycling) in either case. While cyclists are exempt from breathalyser tests, it is www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Spring/Summer 2015 still an offence to cycle while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs; you can be fined up to £1,000.

7 Cycling is dangerous

Like any activity, cycling has risks. Around 100 cyclists die in UK road incidents each year, and many more are injured. Cyclists are about 11 times more likely to be killed than car drivers, per mile travelled (see bit.ly/RSm3ZW). That sounds even worse than it is because 'per mile' is a poor comparator; drivers travel much further. A driver who travels 11 times as far as a cyclist in a year is just as likely to have a fatal incident. The risks involved in walking, cycling, and driving are broadly comparable, when considered in terms of time spent doing that activity. And to put the risk of cycling into perspective: coronary heart disease kills 75,000 people per year in the UK. The British Heart Foundation reckons that one-in-ten of these deaths (7,500) is attributable to physical inactivity. That makes it 75 times as dangerous to be a couch potato as a cyclist!

8 You must be fit!

Cycling does make you fitter, but

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Give yourself plenty of time for your journey and carry your luggage on the bike instead of your back. You'll arrive sweat-free you don't have to start off fit. Cycling is the most efficient form of musclepowered locomotion on the planet. It takes a third of the energy that it would take to walk the same distance. The perception that cycling is tough comes from cheap and nasty bikes, bad bike set-up (saddle too low, tyres too soft, brakes rubbing…), and from trying to pedal in too high a gear. Good bikes, properly set up, are a breeze. If work nevertheless seems too far away, or the hills too steep, how about a pedelec? That's an electrically-assisted bike that amplifies your pedalling effort.

makes 9 Cycling you sweaty

Linked to the idea that cycling is hard work is the notion that it must therefore

make you sweat. If you dress too warmly and/or ride too hard, then yes, cycling will make you sweat. Solution: remove that sweater and slow down. Treat cycling not like running or jogging but like walking. Pedal easily and 'stroll' along. It's more comfortable riding like this on traditional town bike or sit-up-and-beg style hybrid than it is on a racer. Give yourself plenty of time for your journey and carry your luggage on the bike instead of your back. You'll arrive sweat-free.

10 Bikes are expensive

They've never been cheaper in real terms. A hundred years ago, a decent bike cost about a month's wages. In 2015, the average weekly wage is a little under £500, easily enough for a good quality bike; you could get an adequate one for half that. Yet you're unlikely to regret getting the better bike, especially if you get it via Cyclescheme, which saves at least 25% on the price and enables you to spread the cost. Bikes are inexpensive to run, because the engine is fuelled by cornflakes. See how much you or your colleagues could save by cycle commuting at cyclescheme.co.uk/calculator.


Division CB2.0 Tiagra 2015

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

Top Features

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

verentibikes.com


Spring/Summer 2015

Marin Argenta Elite RRP: ÂŁ1,000 | Cyclescheme price: ÂŁ750 Marin are best known for their mountain bikes, but this is a decent endurance road bike. The aluminium frame has a tall head tube so the handlebar isn't back-achingly low. The fork is carbon fibre to reduce road buzz. There are eyelets for a rear rack and mudguards, although clearance is tight under the brakes so road-bike-specific guards would fit best. The gearing is 10-speed Shimano Tiagra, with a compact double chainset and an 11-28 cassette. There's a Kevlar layer in the Schwalbe Lugano tyres to limit punctures. While the wheels have sturdy, semi-aero-profile rims, total bike weight is respectable at under 10kg. marin.com

Cyclescheme price

In detail

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

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Sidepull calipers lack the bite of disc brakes but they're cheaper, lighter and still stop you okay. These are short-reach calipers

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Shimano Tiagra shifters can be operated from the drops as well as the from the brake hoods, unlike shifters with thumb buttons


Round-up R AT ED R I D ES

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Road bikes A drop-bar race bike is ideal for fitness training and summer weekend rides, and it can be used as a quick commuter

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oad bikes are designed for riding fast on smooth tarmac. They provide a stretched out, aerodynamic riding position. They use efficient high-pressure tyres. The gears are high, forcing you to attack climbs standing up. And they're very lightweight. For commuting, a road bike makes more sense the further you'll be riding, because the time you'll save on the journey can then exceed the time it takes to get into and out of your cycling kit. It can also be used for fitness or fun at the weekends, for that 100-kilometre summer sportive you were thinking of, and even for racing. The downside to road bikes is that they're not very practical; they're more sports car than estate car. Most are not designed to carry luggage, so your commuting gear may have to go in a backpack. Few have the clearance required for conventional mudguards, even if they have the frame fittings. Unless the bike has long-reach brake calipers – check the tech spec – expect to use specialist mudguards like the Crud Roadracer or SKS RaceBlade Long. They're not quite as effective as normal mudguards but they're pretty good. Unless you really are planning to race, get an 'endurance road bike' rather than an out-and-out racer. It will have a taller head tube tube, a compact-drop handlebar, and a shorter reach, thus giving a riding position that's easier on your lower back, neck, and hands. You'll still be plenty quick enough. Road bikes get lighter the more you spend. Most frames are aluminium, which saves weight compared to steel, and forks are commonly carbon fibre. A few brands offer carbon-framed bikes for less than than £1,000. All road bikes use integrated brake and gear levers, usually by Shimano but sometimes by SRAM or Campagnolo. (All three brands work fine but have very limited compatibility with each other.) You change gear by swiping the brake lever, a secondary paddle behind the brake lever, or by pressing a button on the brake hood. It varies from brand to brand and model to model. Spending more gets smoother gear shifts and more sprockets on the cassette; 8-speed is entry-level, 11-speed top of the range. Disc brakes are now appearing on performance road bikes and not just fatter-tyred, cyclocross-style commuters. Discs add weight and cost, especially hydraulics, so it's likely that sidepull calipers will dominate sub£1,000 road bikes for a while yet. Road bike wheels are designed for speed rather than durability. For commuting it's worth fitting 25mm tyres, or 28mm if there's room. The extra volume will protect against impact punctures, and you can run them slightly softer than 23mm tyres for improved grip and comfort.

Trek 1.1 £575 | : £431.25 Trek's least expensive road bike nevertheless comes with a carbon fork. The aluminium frame has what Trek call an H2 fit, a taller head tube taking the strain off your back and neck. There are fittings for a rear rack and mudguards. Trek don't specify the brake, but it looks to be a long-reach caliper so guards should fit fine over these 25mm Bontrager tyres. Gearing is 8-speed Shimano Claris: budget but practical. A compact double chainset and 11-28 cassette give the same gear range as the Marin, albeit with fewer steps. It's available in lots of sizes and a women's equivalent, the Lexa. trekbikes.com

Cannondale Synapse Alloy Tiagra Women's £849.99 | : £637.49 Another endurance road bike, this Cannondale has a mouthful of a name that is at least descriptive: the frame is aluminium, the gearing is 10-speed Shimano Tiagra, and it is the women's version. It has a carbon fork and it's mudguard-ready, with both eyelets and clearance; the brakes are long-reach. Normally it comes with a compact double chainset and a 12-30 cassette. However, it's also available with a 50-39-30 triple chainset, which is a good option if you're still working on your fitness. Wheels have 32 spokes each, so should endure long-term commuting better, and they're fitted with the same Lugano tyres as the Marin. cannondale.com

JARGON BUSTER Tech spec The list of a bike's components that you see on websites and in magazine reviews. All bikes are built to a price, so manufacturers have to prioritise and make compromises. One bike might have a better rear derailleur, another better brakes. The quality of the tyres is often overlooked; changing them can transform your bike.

www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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Spring/Summer 2015

0 Elite 00 rgenta , 1 £ nA ri Ma

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

£680.00

£580.00

Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments

£56.67

£48.33

1 End of Hire payment

£70.00

£70.00

25%

35%

£320.00

£420.00

£1,000

Percentage saving

Total saving

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

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

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Spring/Summer 2015

Tony Mawson

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Cyclescheme 7

We catch up with the commuters featured on the Cyclescheme website. This issue: electric bike rider Tony Mawson

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wo things deterred Tony Mawson from cycling to work like he used to 20 years ago. ‘One: hills. And two: no shower facilities at work. I live on top of a hill overlooking the Aire Valley and work at the top of a hill on the other side. I had an old mountain bike and I tried riding to work on it, but I arrived covered in sweat. I thought: “This is no good. I can’t start a day off like this.” ‘I’d read a feature on the internet about pedal-assist bikes. Quite a few of the local shops had demonstrators, so I had a go on a couple of them. When I went up the hills, I thought: “Wow! This is the way to go.”’ That was two years ago: Tony got a Kudos Tourer pedelec through Cyclescheme. Now that he’s fitter and cycling more often, he’s using the scheme again to get a road bike. He also owns a cyclocross bike and a mountain bike. ‘I’ve always had bikes,’ he says, ‘but as I drifted into my forties I’d stopped using them. I used to cycle to work regularly in the 1990s, commuting from Leeds to Bradford. Then I got a car. You get lazy.’ He still has a car for work, although he spends far less on fuel and on its lease payments these days because he only drives when he has to. He prefers to cycle. ‘I feel more

awake once I get to work - more alert, more refreshed. I don’t feel like I’ve just fallen out of bed. You look around and see people staring at their mug of coffee and they don’t seem to be all there.’ Cycling to work has reignited Tony’s interest in recreational cycling. ‘I’ve joined a cycling club in Leeds, Alba Rosa CC. I ride with them on a Sunday. They’re good because they have various groups, so you can ride with people of your ability.’ He’s taken up running too, which he never did before starting cycling again. While his fitness has improved greatly, Tony cautions against trying to do too much too soon when you’re

Fact file

Name: Tony Mawson Lives: Leeds Occupation: Sales manager for decontamination & sterilisation equipment Commute: Downhill into the Aire Valley, then up the other side. The direct route is about 5 miles each way, but I usually take a quieter route that’s 7.5 miles. Frequency: Usually 3 times per week. Cyclescheme bikes: Kudos Tourer e-bike. Cube Agree road bike. Why I started cycle commuting: Health. As I approached 50 years old, I thought I neeeded to start doing something.

getting back into it. ‘Start off slow,’ he says. ‘Don’t think: right, this week I’m going to go to work on my bike every single day. Maybe do it one day or a couple of days. Don’t always look for the direct A-to-B route either. My A-to-B route is the worst option; it’s busy main roads. By riding two-anda-half miles further, I’m still on A-roads but I’m going against the flow of traffic so it’s much better. Plus, there are cycle lanes painted on the road, which I think encourages drivers to give you more room.’ Traffic, Tony acknowledges, is something that returnee cyclists might find daunting. ‘You need to be aware of your road positioning,’ he says. ‘And don’t take any risks. Sometimes I see other cyclists flying down the inside of trucks. I’d just sit behind.’ In the summer, he plans to leave the traffic behind entirely - at least for some of the commute. ‘I’m going to ride my cyclocross bike and use the canal towpaths more, and there’s some woodland tracks I can use. In winter, they’re not really suitable.’With no shower facilities at work, Tony doesn’t want to get plastered with mud. Yet he’s not really bothered by rain when he’s riding on the road. ‘The clothing has improved immensely,’ he says. ‘This morning it was raining here in Leeds, but I had the right sort of clothing on and it wasn’t too bad.’ Apart from better clothing, the other big change in cycling that Tony’s noticed is technology – and not just in terms of his electric bike. On his other bikes, Tony uses a Garmin Edge 200 GPS to monitor his rides and his fitness. He uploads the GPS data to strava.com. ‘I’m hooked on it,’ he says. ‘The thing with Strava is, you go up a hill, and you’re like, “I’ve got a personal record there! Maybe tomorrow I could try a bit harder?” www.cyclescheme.co.uk

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

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

What to do in an accident http://cycsch.me/accident Accidents are rare when cycling to work. If you're unlucky enough to be involved in one, you'll be glad you read our 10-point checklist. Get motivated to cycle more http://cycsch.me/ten Most of us want to ride our bikes more than we do. It's not enough to wish it. Check out our suggestions to help make it happen. Compact folding bikes round-up http://cycsch.me/folders A bike that collapses to the size of a suitcase is ideal for taking on the train – or for storing in even the smallest studio flat.

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

Gilets round-up http://cycsch.me/gilets French for vest or waistcoat, a gilet is a lightweight sleeveless jacket designed to keep wind-chill off your chest. It's the idea spare layer for cool starts or evenings. Commuter Tales: Ben http://cycsch.me/ben Find out how London teacher Ben reduced the time it took him to get to work by getting a bike. Now he loves the exhileration of city riding. Effective traffic riding with British Cycling http://cycsch.me/traffic On today’s roads heavily-trafficked roads, cyclists need skills and knowledge to become a more visible and safer rider. Here’s how.

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Cycle Commuter #14  

Cycle Commuter #14 is packed with news, reviews and commuting tips for cyclists of all abilities. There's advice on how to choose the right...

Cycle Commuter #14  

Cycle Commuter #14 is packed with news, reviews and commuting tips for cyclists of all abilities. There's advice on how to choose the right...