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Issue #20

Everything you need to know about getting on a bike…


SAVE 25-39% on a new bike & accessories



How to stay safe on your ride to work by cycling assertively

WHATEVER THE WEATHER... Kit that’ll keep you riding, rain or shine

Inside this issue… l l

Casual cycling clothes l Lights Locks l Bags & panniers l & more!


ÉMONDA DISC EVERY REVOLUTION NEEDS A HERO They said an ultralight race bike couldn’t be anything else. We said, “try us.” Émonda Disc revolutionizes the world’s lightest production road bike with better stopping power, additional tyre clearance, and more versatility for a ride that simply doesn’t allow for excuses.


Contents Issue #20


What is Cyclescheme?


How Cyclescheme works, who can take part, and how you go about getting your package

Save 25 - 39% with the Cycle to Work scheme

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


Long, short, mixed-mode?


Be a confident commuter


Whatever the weather


The ups and downs of hills


My ride: Kate Lawrence


Save on sale


My Cyclescheme


Get to grips with the scheme


Your Cyclescheme checklist


What type of commuter are you?

What can I get?


Do you just need a bike? A bike plus essential accessories? Or do you have a bike and just need waterproofs, shoes, rucksack…

Any bike, any brand, anywhere

Shop in-store, online, via click and collect; brand direct…






How to ride assertively in traffic – for your safety and enjoyment

The right clothes and accessories will keep you cycling all year round

Conquer your ‘fear of heights’ and make your commute more fun

Physiotherapist Kate commutes by bike in Glasgow every day, rain or (occasionally) shine…

Take advantage of sales, discounts and special deals to save even more money

Short-distance commuter


Go online and get more from Cyclescheme

If your ride to work takes half an hour or less, here are some ideal bikes for you

Casual cycling kit 24 Quick commutes mean you can leave the Lycra at home

Long-distance commuter


Find a bike for 30 minutes or more’s ride to work

What the FAQ does that mean? Cyclescheme lingo explained…



Essential accessories


Lights, locks, pumps, panniers, tools and more


Bike, jacket, lights, pannier… what’s on your must-buy list?

Keep warm on your c-c-c-c-commute 48

Cyclescheme is part of the Blackhawk Network Europe Published for Cyclescheme by Farrelly Atkinson

Mixed-mode commuter

Pick a bike you can combine with a train, car or bus journey if your commute’s too far

Don’t stop cycling in autumn and winter – the right kit will see you through the dark and cold

Prices correct at time of going to press. E&OE. All content © Cyclescheme 2018


Summer Special

SAVE £500

Find your nearest dealer at

POWER TO THE PEOPLE Ride in style – without the sweat on the new Shimano powered Quick Neo E-commuter. It’s the perfect companion and fully equipped for anything your journey can throw your way with lights, mudguards, luggage rack and puncture resistant tyres. Was £2499.99. Now £1999.99.

What is Cyclescheme?

Cyclescheme? What is

Save on the cost of a new bike for work with the UK’s most popular Cycle to Work scheme Cyclescheme is an employee benefit that saves you 25-39% on a new bike and/or cycle accessories. You pay nothing up front and spread the cost across 12 months.


ax is complicated; Cyclescheme isn’t. You get a new commuting bike, hire it and ride it for 12 months, and then snap it up for a fraction of its original price. Cyclescheme is like a year-round sale with interest-free credit available in over 2,000 retailers nationwide. So ‘how do I cycle and save?' we hear you ask. It’s simple! You choose your

commuting items, your employer pays for them up front, and then hires them to you for 12 months. During this time, you repay the cost from your Gross Salary, and it’s here that your super saving is generated. Once you’ve finished your initial hire period, you'll need to pay an Ownership fee. With our recommended Ownership fee your saving tends to be 25-39% of the cost of your cycle commuting gear. Cycling to work with Cyclescheme is simple. You can get exactly the gear you need - even if it’s just cycle accessories from a huge range of retailers across the UK; in a easy and cost-effective way.


Cyclescheme How


Save 25-39% on the cost of a new bike for work in 3 easy steps...


yclescheme gets you cycling to work with a saving. Our simple scheme allows you to swap a bit of your annual salary for use of a bike and/ or accessories. And everyone, from new riders to seasoned cyclists, can benefit.


Pick your package and apply

Choose the Cyclescheme package that suits you. You can get: l Just a bike – great if you already have a lock, lights and helmet l A bike and accessories – perfect for new cyclists or those wanting a gear update l Just accessories – refresh your clothing, components and accessories; no new bike required. When it comes to shopping for your new commuting gear, you’re spoilt for choice. Discover where and how you can shop on page 12. Whatever you choose, you will save 25-39% on the lot. Your exact saving depends on your employer and your income. Once you’ve chosen your package, Your apply for your Cyclescheme Employer Code eCertificate online, don’t forget to This gives you access to apply for your employer's scheme have your Employer Code to hand. - ask your HR or People Alternatively, try our ‘Employer team for yours. Search’ on the Cyclescheme website. 6

What is Cyclescheme?

Ready to get started? You can find out more about Cyclescheme at the quick links below: Cyclescheme website Can I apply? Find a retailer Cyclescheme calculator


Get your gear

Your application will be sent to your employer to review. Once they have approved and paid for your Cyclescheme package we’ll send you an eCertificate direct to your inbox. You can redeem this online or in-store at a Cyclescheme retailer for your chosen package. Your 'Hire Agreement' starts now – this is the 12-month period where you make repayments to your employer straight from your salary (learn more about Cyclescheme lingo, like Hire Agreement, on page 60). Now is also the time when you start to make those valuable Income Tax and National Insurance contribution (NIC) savings.


Choose an ownership option

When your Hire Agreement ends, it’s time to choose an ownership option. We’ll contact you and let you know what your options are. Cyclescheme’s recommended option means you can keep your Cyclescheme package by making a small, one-off additional payment which is no more than 7% of its original value. Once you’ve paid this, you can re-apply for the scheme again! Still have questions about how Cyclescheme works? Read our scheme FAQs on page 60 for more information, or contact our friendly UK customer service team on


What can I get? 1

Just a bike

The perfect package if you already cycle, for fun at weekends perhaps, and you have all the clothing and accessories you need to start commuting: you just need a new bike that suits your ride to work.


Whether you want a bike, a bike and accessories, or just accessories, there’s a Cyclescheme package that suits your needs


A bike and

New to cycling and need the whole caboodle; bike, helmet, lights, lock, wet weather clothing and more? Choose this package and get yourself fully kitted out.

What can I get?


Just accessories

Already have your ideal commuter bike? Refresh your cycle accessories, components and clothing tax-free. You can get all the essentials that keep you and your bike on the road.


What next?

Turn to page 12 to see what brands you can choose from, and page 16 for what sort of bikes and accessories will suit your commute‌



Aluminium T6 Superlight, Gravel Comfort Geometry


Shimano Tiagra, 10-speed




10,7 KG // 23.58 LBS


£ 999







Cube SL Road Pro

£999 |


Cube Nuroad

£999 |


Cube Cross Pro

£999 |


Cube Hyde Race

£949 |


Cube Attain SL

£999 |

£749.25 Cube Acid

£899 |


The Cyclescheme price is what a lower rate taxpayer will pay including an ownership fee; higher rate taxpayers will save more. Your exact saving depends on your income and employer - discover your saving at 11

Any bike, any brand, anywhere If the bike you want is on sale anywhere in the UK, we’ll get it for you


he best possible thing any service provider can give its customers is choice and at Cyclescheme we think we have that covered. We guarantee you’ll be able to find your bike of choice and if you can’t, we’ll help you. Our extensive cycle trade relationships and network of approved retailers – currently standing at more than 2,000 stores – means that we can help Cyclescheme participants obtain the bike of their dreams. Even better, because all Cyclescheme users benefit from a saving of between 25-39% just by being part of the scheme, you can get the bike of your dreams at a snippet of it’s RRP. How can Cyclescheme do this? It’s simple. 12

Any bike, any brand, anywhere

Cyclescheme’s most popular brands


At Cyclescheme we’re the cycle to work provider of ‘choice’ – we are not a retailer focused on shifting our stock or promoting proprietary brands – so we really do want you to have the bike of your dreams, not just any twowheeler.


We work with everyone from independent stores in your local area, to big-name retailers. This means that the choice of bike brands you can choose from is huge. If you’re new to cycle commuting, it’s best to head to your local store to get sized up, but if you already know what you’re looking for you could shop online with these well-known retailers: l Chain Reaction l Volt l Cycle Surgery l Ribble l Evans Cycles l Rapha l Cycle Republic l Tredz l Sigma Sport l Wiggle l Specialized


Because of the Cyclescheme retailer and brand relationships, if your bike is in stock in the UK we can get it - even if no one else seems able to.

Don’t forget eBikes! Cyclescheme also works with dedicated eBike retailers and e-Bikes Direct, so if you are looking for an electric pedal-assist cycle, we can help with specialist service there, too.

We can source any make of bike on sale in the UK, but our most popular models are still from big-name manufacturers, such as: All City, Bianchi, Cinelli, Condor, Mango, Pashley, Surly and Volt. As well as...


If you have searched high and low for a specific bike model but can’t find it, contact the dedicated Cyclescheme sourcing team. We can be your very own ‘bike butler’ ! To contact someone on the sourcing team, send an email to with the subject line ‘Any Bike Guarantee’ . Let us know the brand and model of bike that you want, where you’ve looked for it so far and if you’ve had any store feedback. Also tell us the name of your employer, and where you live, then we’ll get on the case.

Your nearest Cyclescheme retailer Want to find your nearest Cyclescheme-approved retailer? It’s easy – just use our store finder at


Deda Superleggera Stem and Bar

CSN Superleggera Carbon Seatpost Selle Italia SLR Saddle

Mavic Cosmic Elite Wheels with Vittoria Corsa Control 25mm Tan Wall Tyres

Ribble Sportive Racing Black Frame

Shimano Dura-Ace Groupset




Advertorial Advertorial


Ribble Gran Fondo

£949 Ribble CGR

£1,049 |


Ribble Reynolds 525 Steel £799 |

£599.25 Ribble R872

£1,199 |


Ribble Sportive Racing

£749.25 Ribble Sportiva Carbon

£1,199 |

£999 |

£999 |


The Cyclescheme price is what a lower rate taxpayer will pay including an ownership fee; higher rate taxpayers will save more. Your exact saving depends on your income and employer - discover your saving at


What kind of


commuter are you T he distance you need to travel probably has a bigger bearing on what bike you should choose than whether you're riding on city streets, dedicated cycle paths or country lanes. Find out what type of commuter you are, and we'll help you choose the bike to suit.


Over 30 mins

How long is your commute?

Less than 30 mins

Too far to cycle the whole thing


What kind of commuter are you?

go to page

Short distance commuter


Even if your commute isn't that far, the right bike for the job will make the journey more pleasurable – it could be a singlespeed, a hybrid, or a 'roadster' … See page 18 for some ideas

go to page

Mixed-mode commuter


Using the train, bus or car for part of your commute makes perfect sense if it's too far to cycle the whole way. A folder is the obvious choice here, but it's not the only option… See page 42 for our suggestions

Long distance commuter

go to page


If you have the legs and the time, a ride to work that takes one or two hours could easily be on the cards. Choose the right bike and make the journey fly by… See page 30 for some ideal bikes



SHORT DISTANCE COMMUTERS Bells and whistles or pared-to-thebone – here are a selection of bikes to suit a short ride to work


ore than half of the journeys we make by car are shorter than five miles, according to the Government’s National Travel Survey. Suddenly swapping the car for a bicycle seems a lot easier. Be inspired by our Dutch friends and get in the saddle for your short journeys; popping to the shopping, seeing friends and, of course, commuting to work. Over short distances almost any roadworthy bike will do, but some will do better than others… We’ve highlighted the three best kinds of bicycle that are ideal for the short haul, and picked out our favourite models on the market right now. Hybrids are a broad church but all are versatile, practical and well equipped. The ‘roadster’ is your ideal town bike – often upright, offering a leisurely ride and again generally well equipped for moving you and your belongings. A singlespeed bike strips everything back to the basics – they’re low-maintenance, 'jump-on-and-go' bikes and, over short distances, you won’t miss all those gears.


Short distance commuter

Cyclescheme price

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


All-purpose bikes cover a broad range that combine practicality and versatility

Raleigh Pioneer 2

£450 | £319.50 Available as either a cross-bar or step-through frame, the Pioneer 2 keeps things simple with a rigid fork. That also keeps the weight down, while the 40mm tyres offer shock-absorption and are puncture-protected. It’s another bike with a fairly upright ride that’s great over shorter distances. It comes in three sizes for the low-step version and six for the cross-bar frame, fitted with guards, stand and rack.

Cube Touring Pro Step Through £649 | £486.75 That upright riding position gives great all-round traffic awareness, while the step-through frame is easy to manage in start-stop traffic. It also offers the freedom to wear what you like on your commute. The gears cover a wide range and go low enough to compensate for a fairly high weight. The Cube Touring comes with lights, rack, mudguards and kickstand to complete a practical and reliable option.

Dawes Sonoran

£550 | £412.50 The stealthy black looks of the Sonoran catch the eye. Dawes describes the riding position as “sporty” , but with plenty of adjustability in the stem height you can set this up to suit. A rigid fork reduces both weight and maintenance. The 35mm Schwalbe Road Cruiser tyres are excellent for speed and puncture protection. It’s available in two sizes, in both standard and stepthrough frames.



Your classic city bike – upright cruisers with a big twist of style

Pinnacle Californium 2

£369 | £261.99 This city bike from Evans’ own brand combines style with practicality. It’s a simple design, with a rigid fork and 3-speed Shimano hub that will require minimal maintenance. The frame is aluminium, helping keep the weight down to a claimed 13.5kg. Mudguards, chainguard and a kickstand are all there, as is the basket, though no rear rack.


Mango Original Singlespeed

Bobbin Brownie 3

£375 | £266.25 Another elegant roadster with a lot in common with the Pinnacle, though the Brownie 3 swaps a Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub for the Pinnacle’s Shimano. It comes in two frame sizes, each with its own wheel size. You get a choice of colours, a handy kickstand and a stitched “vegan leather” sprung saddle. A lightweight alloy rack is available for £29.

Pashley Princess Sovereign

£645 | £483.75 Pashley goes the extra mile to add value to its heritage-rich brand. You can choose 5-speed (£745) or 8-speed (£845) hub versions, or a 3-speed Classic (£645). The chain is fully enclosed and a skirt guard helps keep your clothes clean (trousers too). Hub brakes, dynamo and LED lights, racks and basket are all included, and the Brooks saddle is a lifetime purchase.

Simple to look after, jump-on-and-go bikes ideal for quick sprints across town

£299 | £212.29 A whole bike for £299 is good, but one available in a whole range of colours is even better. You also get a choice of tyres and handlebar styles, but otherwise the Mango is about as simple as cycling gets. Even the gear ratio is limited to one that Mango calls “perfect”, but it does have a flip-flop rear wheel, letting you choose whether to freewheel or ride ‘fixed’ .

Genesis Day One 10

£700 | £525 A more refined offering from Genesis is the Day One 10. The steel frame is adorned with a variety of fixing points for racks, and mudguards come fitted. Genesis’ own seatpost, saddle, stem and handlebar are all decent kit, and cable-operated disc brakes work reliably in all weather conditions. The lovely finish includes reflective paint for added visibility.

Kona Paddy Wagon

£529 | £396.75 Kona has long been producing steel road machines with a difference, like this singlespeed beauty offering a refined ride. The rear wheel is ‘flippable’ to give you fixed or freewheel options. The 28mm Schwalbe tyres are road-bike style with a bit more shock absorption but still leaving room for mudguards, and there are mounts for attaching a rear rack.

To find your nearest dealer for any of these products or where to buy online, visit 20

Short distance commuter


Cube Touring Pro Step Through


Ortlieb Velo Shopper pannier


Kryptonite New York D-Lock

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

Cyclescheme Price*



Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments



1 Ownership Fee








Percentage saving

Total saving

*The Cyclescheme Price is the most you will pay for the package when you choose and pay either a 3% / 7% ‘Own it Later’ fee at the end of your Hire Agreement. See Page 43 for more details.


Designed in Britain and made in Europe, the Motus Grand Tour boasts a semi-integrated battery and a sleek, sophisticated design. This lightweight quiet cruiser is perfect for commuting, city trips and weekend trails. Featuring an award-winning Bosch motor, offering a range of up to 110 miles and an intuitive display unit that can be easily seen in all lighting and weather conditions, the Motus Grand Tour will get you to your chosen destination in style and comfort. Available in: Derailleur and hub gear versions Black - cross bar frame Derailleur and hub gear versions Grey - low step frame RRP £2,150 / €2,550 (Hub gear £2,250 / €2,675)

Frame: Aluminium 6061 Motor: Bosch Active Line Plus Battery: Bosch Power Pack 400Wh, 36V Display: Bosch Intuvia display, 4 assist levels Fork: Suntour Nex suspension fork Shift levers: Shimano Deore 10 speed


Rear derailleur: Shimano Deore 10 speed Brakes: Shimano M315 hydraulic disc Chain: KMC 10 speed Wheels: Double wall 700c, rims alloy disc hubs Tyres: CST with reflective stripe & puncture protection





Raleigh Mustang Sport

£800 |


Raleigh Pioneer Low Step £450 |

Raleigh Strada 4

£500 |


Raleigh Stow-E-Way

Raleigh Motus Crossbar £1,650 |



£1,100 |

Raleigh Motus Low Step £1,650 |



The Cyclescheme price is what a lower rate taxpayer will pay including an ownership fee; higher rate taxpayers will save more. Your exact saving depends on your income and employer - discover your saving at



CASUAL CYCLING GEAR Commute without looking like you’re training for the Tour de France


f your commute is quite short or you do part of it by train, you might not want to be clad in Lycra from head-to-toe. That doesn’t mean you have to wear your high street ‘civvies’ though, because many cycle brands make casual-looking kit with subtle details that’ll help you stay comfortable on and off the bike. Here’s some of our favourites that you Cyclescheme price can get using your The Cyclescheme price is the most you Cyclescheme Certificate. will pay for a given item, including an

Brooks Paddington

Ownership Fee. Price assumes you are a standard rate taxpayer; higher rate taxpayers will pay less.

£193 | £137.03 Brooks describes the Paddington as ‘equally at home on the bike or in the office’ . Handmade in Italy from water-resistant canvas, it has a wide, adjustable strap and its 10-litre capacity is plenty for paperwork and paraphernalia without weighing you down. 24

Tifosi Bronx Full Frame Sunglasses

£44.99 | £31.94 You don’t have to shell out hundreds for good quality eye protection. These wraparound shades offer 100 per cent protection from UV, are vented to help prevent fogging, and are adjustable at the arms and nose. They weigh barely more than an ounce.

Shimano Women's Transit Polo

£59.99 | £42.59 Smart enough for work, stretchy enough for riding, Shimano’s Transit Polo has antiodour and moisture-wicking properties and dries quickly. Two zip pockets mean you can carry your phone, keys and cash securely, and some discreet reflective accents help in low light.

Casual cycling gear

Rapha Women’s Jeans £100 | £71 At first glance these are an ordinary pair of jeans, but there’s high-vis detailing on the waistband and when you roll up the leg, the fabric is stretchy and stain-repellent, and they’re cut to fit you perfectly when on the bike.

Specialized Women's 2FO ClipLite Lace Mountain Bike Shoes

£100 | £71 They may look like a pair of trainers, but these are proper cycling shoes, complete with SPD cleat mounts in the soles. Sole stiffness is enough for good power transfer but without making the shoes uncomfortable to walk in.

Endura Women’s Singletrack Softshell

£99.99 | £70.99 The name suggests mountain biking but this jacket is equally at home in town. Softshells are great for cycling in cold weather, especially when it’s windy, and this Endura has a water-repellent finish. It packs away neatly, too.

Endura BaaBaa Merino Tech Multitube £16.99 | £12.06 A good snood is an essential in the cyclist commuter’s wardrobe. Being 100 per cent merino wool this one is warm, light and pleasant to wear. Merino has natural odourresisting properties too. You can use it as a scarf, beanie, bandana… To find your nearest dealer for any of these products or where to buy online, visit


Commute with confidence Cycling assertively will help you keep calm, stay safe and reach your destination swiftly.


robably the most effective British road safety initiative of the last year has been the ‘Close Pass’ campaign. This involves police forces using mats marked with passing distances to show drivers how much room they should give to cyclists. Of course, you won’t be carrying a close pass mat on your bike, but there is a very important thing you can do to help drivers make the right decision and help keep you safe: ride assertively. What is riding assertively? Riding assertively isn’t the same as riding aggressively. Some cyclists hop on their bikes and already have their antennae up for imagined slights. This won’t help you reach your destination any quicker and it doesn’t do the wider cycling cause any good, either. Riding assertively means knowing where you should be positioned on the


Commute with confidence road and taking that space with confidence. By riding assertively you will get where you are going more quickly, more efficiently and – perhaps surprisingly – more peacefully, too. Keep away from the kerb The first step is to position yourself at the correct distance from the kerb. New and nervous cyclists often feel riding closer to the kerb is better as they are further out of the way of other road users and therefore safest, but this is far from the truth for a number of reasons: l Kerbside gutters are where glass and other road debris collect, which can cause punctures or accidents. l Cycling next to the kerb gives you little room to manoeuvre should you need to avoid something: you can either steer into the kerb and fall off, or steer out into the path of other traffic and potentially have an even more serious accident. l Cycling next to the kerb puts you at far more risk of colliding with a pedestrian who steps off the pavement. l By cycling near to the kerb, you subconsciously encourage drivers to squeeze past you at times when there really isn’t enough space. So where should you ride? At least a metre away from the edge of the road is about right. This is called the secondary position

and will give you a bit of room to move closer to the kerb if there is something in the way ahead of you, such as a pothole. It also means you should be cycling on a fairly pleasant stretch of road that’s not littered with rubbish, and you’ll have a bit of time to react if a pedestrian steps out. By riding here you’ll be asserting your right to be on the carriageway rather than shamefully lurking to the side, so other road users will treat you with respect.

Cycle training


ny decision you make on the road will be better enacted if you have been well trained and have good bike control. Bikeability training, which is often offered through local councils or schools, is the best way to improve your confidence and skill. The Bikeability scheme features three levels of proficiency, from basic bike control in Level 1 all the way up to advanced road positioning in Level 3. To find out more, including your nearest Bikeability provider, visit

In tight situations, help make drivers’ minds up for them by assuming primary position – in the centre of the lane – and don’t even suggest you’re far enough out of the way for them to pass. Do not be fooled or swayed by on-road cycle lanes. You don’t have to cycle in the middle of them – or even use them at all – especially if they are narrow or not in the best condition. Whatever markings are on the floor, keep at least a metre from the kerb. Approaching junctions Cycling away from the kerb is also important for side junctions. Research has shown that cyclists who ride near the edge of the road are at more risk of being hit by cars pulling out from junctions on the left. One reason for this is that drivers are simply not expecting to see other road users that close to the kerb and don’t even look there – cars, lorries and so on occupy the centre of a lane. So the further you ride towards the middle, the more likely drivers emerging from side roads will see you. Wearing highly visible clothing and using bike lights helps with that, too. When it’s your time to change lane or turn at a junction, be positive and clear. Right turns are the trickiest because you need to move across two lanes of traffic. Left turns are simpler, although


it’s still worth following these four guidelines: 1. First look behind you to get a feel for the traffic situation. 2. Signal with nice straight arms. 3. When you’re happy it’s safe to do so, move across your lane to assume primary position. Don’t worry if you think you’ve moved too early – let drivers know what you’re doing. 4. When oncoming traffic allows it, make your turn. At the lights Many traffic lights have cycle boxes below them – advanced stop lines, or ASLs – where cyclists can wait until the lights go green. You can make your way past other stationary traffic to occupy these boxes, but be careful. You can filter past on the

right with care – drivers expect to be overtaken on the outside. But when passing traffic on the left, there’s always the risk that a passenger will open their door into your path. More dangerous are large vehicles such as lorries, coaches and cement mixers, which have been the cause of multiple cyclist fatalities. Never EVER pass one of these on the inside as the driver has significant blind spots and may not see you. If the vehicle turns left and you are alongside it, you are in grave danger. Keeping up appearances Part of the benefit that comes with riding assertively is that you project an air of competence. Drivers are more likely to give you time to complete a manoeuvre if

Many traffic lights have cycle boxes below them – advanced stop lines – where cyclists can wait until the lights go green. You can make your way past other stationary traffic to occupy these, but be careful


you look suitably capable. By the same token, they are more likely to take a risk and overtake a rider who seems unsure or hesitant. Be proactive and wear a helmet and high-vis clothing to help ensure other road users see you and command attention. Then assert your place on the road and ride with confidence.

STITCH The Stitch is our Urban warrior. Fast, light and tough. We designed it for nipping round the city and commuting but we built it to be tough enough to have some fun. Equipped with powerful Shimano hydraulic brakes Fast rolling 32c Schwalbe tyres Built around a lightweight alloy frame with reflective decals that keep you visible in traffic. The best bit?

It’s only £399


Available from August 2018 exclusively through GO Outdoors


*With a GO Outdoors Discount Card


LONG DISTANCE COMMUTERS Spend over half an hour cycle commuting each way and you’ll enjoy it more with a bike designed for the task…


s long as you have the legs for it, the length of your bike commute is only limited by how many hours you have spare in a day. Given that millions of us already spend over two hours a day commuting – and some, twice that – why not do it by bike? You’ll give your health and mental wellbeing a great boost and save loads of cash too (including on gym membership). Your back-of-the-shed town bike isn’t the ideal tool for the job: sitting up makes your pedalling inefficient, puts too much weight on your sit-bones and gives you no way of avoiding that headwind. But there are plenty of bikes well suited to the task. Many road bikes are designed with comfort in mind, rather than all-out speed, and we have three fine examples here. A sports hybrid combines the light weight and rapid nature of a road bike with a flat handlebar that some will find more manageable in traffic. Touring bikes are the ultimate longdistance workhorses, combining comfort with strength and practicality.


Long distance commuter

ROAD BIKES Cannondale Synapse Disc Sora

£900 | £675 Cannondale’s switch to disc brakes makes room for bigger tyres; the Synapse Disc Sora comes with 28mm Vittoria tyres which add to the comfort of a bike built with that in mind. The aluminium frameset is designed to tune out vibration and the skinny seatpost absorbs some more. The 9-speed transmission includes a 34-tooth lowest gear for easier spinning up longer hills. Rack mounts mean you won’t have to rely on a backpack.

Forget the racing; these road bikes have comfort in mind over longer distances and you can winter-proof them too

Whyte Dorset

£999 | £749.25 The Whyte Dorset comes fitted with plump 32mm tyres and still has room for full mudguards, though they aren’t supplied. Like the Cannondale, it’s another frame designed around disc brakes, in this case the superior TRP HyRd hydraulics. Again, there’s a 9-speed Shimano Sora transmission, with a 32-tooth bottom gear – still plenty low enough for most purposes.

Cyclescheme price

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

Marin Nicasio

£700 | £525 Showing that steel is still alive and well as a frame material, Marin’s Nicasio is also a highly versatile cycle. Those 42mm wide tyres will take you into light mountain-biking territory and still leave room for mudguards – great if your commute includes some rougher tracks or towpaths. The cableoperated disc brakes and 8-speed transmission are practical and it’s an attractive bike for the price.


Go to work. Get the kids. Grab a pint. Go here. Get there. Red light. Go again…Life is full of little things that chip away at your “me” time. But you have a choice: succumb to defeat or fight back with the Turbo Vado. Its unparalleled technology was designed for busy lives and the rides that go with them, so you can ride smarter, faster, and happier than ever before. This day is yours—take it back.

Long distance commuter


Calibre Filter

£299 | £212.29 The Filter is the dedicated commuting bike in Go Outdoors’ own-brand Calibre range. More than a road bike with a flat bar bolted on, the geometry is designed specifically for flat bars, with bar ends offering a change of position for the longer commute. The frame is aluminium and the fork is carbon. The biggest frame is 56cm so this may not do for tall riders.


Trek 520 Disc

£1,000 | £750 This is a thoroughbred tourer with disc brakes that will serve equally well as a hardworking commuting bike. The steel frame has all the mounts for a rack (supplied) and mudguards. It has a triple chainset and 9-speed cassette, with low enough gears for transporting heavy loads uphill, though the bar end shifters may take some getting used to.

As the name suggests, these offer a sportier ride for covering distances quickly, but there’s no reason to sacrifice comfort or carrying capacity

Specialized Sirrus

£425 | £301.75 Specialized’s popular sports hybrid has been evolving for years. There are seven bikes in the men’s range and nine in the women’s, ranging from £425 to £2,200. These are set up to go quickly, if you want to combine your commute with your fitness regime, this is a good place to look. All the alloy framed bikes in the range can be fitted with racks and mudguards.

Claud Butler Quest 11

£800 | £600 The single chainring is a standout feature here: its 42 teeth are matched with a wide-range 11-speed cassette. No front derailleur or shifter leaves more budget for a Shimano Ultegra-level rear shifter, a carbon fork and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. The 32mm Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tyres are wide and comfortable, and puncture protected.

Dependable and strong, touring bikes are widely pressed into service for the daily commute

Ridgeback Tour

£750 | £562.50 This is Ridgeback’s entry-level tourer, but a 13kg overall weight is quite respectable at this price. The aluminium frame and steel fork are equipped with mounting points for mudguards and a rack. The triple chainset and 8-speed cassette goes as low as 28x32 teeth. There are no disc brakes at this point but a decent set of cantilevers can easily match budget discs.

Dawes Galaxy

£650 | £487.50 The Dawes Galaxy name has been synonymous with cycle touring for decades. This all-aluminium bike is similarly kitted-out to the Ridgeback. It’s another 3x8-speed transmission, and comes with rack and mudguards; all you need to add is lights. Its Schwalbe Marathon GreenGuard tyres are a firstchoice for many cycle commuters.

To find your nearest dealer for any of these products or where to buy online, visit



Cannondale Synapse Disc



Passport Seat Pack

SKS Bluemels mudguards

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

Cyclescheme Price*



Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments



1 Ownership Fee








Percentage saving

Total saving

*The Cyclescheme Price is the most you will pay for the package when you choose and pay either a 3% / 7% ‘Own it Later’ fee at the end of your Hire Agreement. See Page 43 for more details.


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Lezyne Micro Floor Drive Digital HPG Pump

£80 | £56.80 A floor-standing pump is much quicker and easier to use than a mini but isn’t usually very portable. This Lezyne one is, though, mounting on your bottle cage bosses. It incorporates a pressure gauge and a highquality head that will fit Presta and Schrader valves.

Even if your commute is only ever in daylight, with secure parking at each end, there are some essential extras you should definitely budget for


ome bikes we’ve included in this issue of Commuter come pretty well kitted out with essentials such as mudguards, racks and even lights. Not all though - luckily, you can use your Cyclescheme Certificate to fill in the gaps – and for the allimportant security against theft. A few simple tools will also go a long way to ensuring your bike stays reliable and on the road.

Cateye Volt 400 XC Front & Rapid Mini Rear Light Set

£59.99 | £42.59 Lights are a legal requirement for riding at night and LED technology has revolutionised both brightness and reliability. These are quick and easy to fit or swap between bikes and can be recharged using a USB socket.

Abus U-Lock Ultra Mini 410

£29.99 | £21.29 There’s a balance to be struck between a lock that can resist a serious attack and one that’s too heavy to carry around. The Abus Ultra Mini 410 fits the bill. The shackle will fit through a back wheel and frame, and you can add a cable to run through the front wheel. 36

Must-have accessories for your bike

Topeak Uni Explorer For Disc Pannier Rack

£49.99 | £35.49 The way disc brakes are fitted on bikes means they can obstruct conventional rack mountings. A disc brake-specific rack like the Topeak Uni Explorer gets round the problem. It’s adjustable to fit bikes with wheel sizes from 24in to 29in and 700C road or hybrid wheels. Cyclescheme price

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

Ortlieb Sport-Roller Free Panniers

£105 | £74.55 These panniers come as a pair, and at 12.5L each are small enough for front or rear racks. They’re rigid, tough and entirely waterproof, easy to put on and take off but won’t shake loose. The “Free” bit refers to the PVC-free canvas material.

Bontrager NCS Fender Set Park Tool I-Beam IB-3 multitool, with chain tool

£24.99 | £17.74 You hope you won’t need it but you sometimes will, so a good multi-tool is a must. The IB-3 includes a chain breaker, hex and star-nut bits, plus a flat head screwdriver, a tough tyre lever and even an 8mm wrench for loose mudguard nuts!

£39.99 | £28.39 One of the big hassles of fitting some brands of mudguard is cutting the stays to length. Bontrager solves the problem by making the stays adjustable. Designed for 700C wheels, in two widths, the NCS guards are tough and provide excellent protection.

To find your nearest dealer for any of these products or where to buy online, visit


Weatherproof your commute

By wearing the right clothes, fitting the right accessories, and riding the right way, you can keep cycle commuting in any weather. Here’s how…


hile there’s a lot of truth to the old maxim ‘There’s never the wrong weather, only the wrong kit’ , it offers scant consolation when you find yourself a mile or two into a cold and soggy commute using very definitely ‘the wrong kit’ . However, with a bit of forethought and preparation, you can become a master of the elements. Here comes the sun Let’s start with some blue-sky thinking because not all cycle commutes have to be grey and dank affairs, and even riding in bright sunlight requires some preparation for success. The secret to any effective cycling wardrobe is layering, and we can begin this process in warm weather. Five garments should constitute year-round cycling fundamentals: padded cycling shorts, a good quality baselayer, a T-shirt or cycling jersey, a breathable but waterproof, highly


Weatherproof your commute visible and reflective jacket, and protective eyewear. The shorts are purely for physical comfort in the saddle and can be worn underneath other bottoms depending on conditions, although getting a bit of early-morning breeze to your shins is a nice wake-up. However, a good quality baselayer is particularly important in warmer weather because it will help wick perspiration away from the skin, meaning you won’t arrive at work drenched in sweat. A T-shirt or jersey is a basic layer, which you can wear as your outer if the weather is particularly good. However, although a cycling jacket might seem like it would hinder the evaporation of moisture in warm weather, if you invest in a high-quality product you should find it still keeps you feeling comfortable. Don’t forget, British weather is highly unpredictable and pleasant mornings can easily turn into miserable evenings. Also, you might find yourself working late, so a bright, reflective, cycling-specific outer layer really is a must. Then to those cycling glasses. Even in the morning, UV rays can affect your eyes and can contribute to the development of cataracts and macular degeneration over time. More pragmatically in the short term, tinted lenses will help you see

more clearly when the sun is low in the early morning or evening, and they’ll keep flies and midges out of your eyes in summer. Wet and windy While we’re still thinking about eyewear, the reason why we refer to them as cycling glasses rather

than ‘sunglasses’ is because in wet weather they help protect your eyes from road spray and little pieces of foreign matter – such as silt and grit – that are thrown up. So fit a clear rather than tinted lens and wear them in lowlight conditions, too. If you’ve purchased wisely,

your breathable high-vis jacket will offer effective protection against the rain and wind. If you wish to add waterproof trousers or even water-resistant cycling tights, there are suitable garments available. However, the levels of discomfort caused by water on your legs is largely governed by ambient temperature – if it’s not chilly, just towel them down at the end of your commute. Don’t forget to hang all your wet clothing to dry when you reach work, or ideally have a spare set of shorts, baselayer and jersey stashed away in a desk or locker for the return commute. Then put the really wet stuff in a plastic bag to take home inside your rucksack or pannier. There are also other things you can do to stop the worst of the weather from even reaching your body. The first is to fit mudguards to your bike. Front mudguards will stop road water from spraying up onto your legs, torso and even face, while rear mudguards will stop water and mud spraying up your back, which is both uncomfortable and dirties your clothes. To find out if your bike will accept mudguards, look to see if there are mounting brackets on your frame and fork by the wheel dropouts. Even if your bike doesn’t have these, as long as there is enough clearance between your tyres and fork or frame, you could fit clip-on


Dress right, ride right

mudguards that still offer a decent amount of protection. Other accessories that you’ll probably already have fitted but it’s worth using in wet weather are your bike lights. Poor weather tends to bring about poor visibility, so switch on your lights even if it’s officially daylight hours. Cold as ice When the temperature drops, it’s time to start ramping up those layering options. For your torso, you’ve already got a baselayer, a T-shirt or jersey, and a jacket, but you can augment these with longsleeve jerseys, softshells or gilets. Buy cycling-specific garments as these are designed to provide the best fit when you’re in a typical riding position. Actually, in cold weather, your torso is probably the easiest thing to keep warm – your limbs and extremities are the areas of most concern. For arms, you could wear 40

stretchy arm warmers underneath any long-sleeve tops. Leg warmers are handy, too, although in very cold conditions you’d be better served by wearing thermal cycling tights, or even thermal cycling tights under waterproof trousers. To keep the chill from your neck and chest, use a snood, Buff or multi-purpose scarf. On your head, wear a thermal hat or skullcap underneath your helmet. Hands are particularly vulnerable in cold weather, so waterproof, thermal full-finger gloves are a must. And don’t forget about your feet: waterproof, thermal cycling overshoes might seem a bit extreme but if you have ever suffered foot freeze on the bike, you’ll understand. It might seem like quite a shopping list but you don’t have to buy it all at once. If you put your commuting wardrobe together sensibly, it’ll help you keep riding all year round.

How you cycle in different weather conditions also has a bearing on how comfortable you’ll find your commute. l In wet conditions, consider staying away from road spray and choose a route that incorporates as many traffic-free paths as possible. l If you do ride on the road, make use of ‘assertive cycling’ techniques (see page 26) and stay away from gutters where road debris gathers. l Be cautious about riding through puddles. Not only will they cause more water to spray up but you don’t know what lurks beneath – there could be a submerged pothole. l In icy conditions, let a bit of air out of your tyres to give you more grip and go very carefully. Be on the lookout for patches of black ice especially. l If it rains in summer after a dry spell, watch out for oil that comes to the surface of the road. l In summer, your glasses will protect your eyes from insects and the sun’s UV rays, but don’t forget sunscreen on other exposed parts of your body – nose and lips too. l On hot days replace lost fluids as soon as you get to work, or drink as you ride and think about using specialist products such as electrolyte tabs. l Finally, if you don’t have children, it’s still worth knowing when the summer holidays are – roads tend to be a fraction quieter at rush hour, especially around schools, so optimise your route accordingly.

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MIXED-MODE COMMUTERS If you need to combine your cycle commute with a bit of car or train travel, there are bikes that’ll ease the way


ometimes it just isn’t practical to cycle the whole way to work, but you can still get in the saddle for some of the way – and this is where our next selection of bikes comes in. Folders do what they say on the tin - fold up, ideal for slinging in the car or storing at your desk. But there are a couple of things to consider when looking for a folder. Compact folders pack down the smallest and are ideal for taking with you if you’re travelling part of the way by train or bus, although biggerwheeled models may also be carried by some operators – check with yours before choosing. Many riders also argue that bigger-wheeled bikes offer the better, more bike-like ride. If you want a little assistance when you’ve hopped off the bus or train – it's a big climb to the office from the station, perhaps – there’s an increasing number of e-folders out there. Weight is an issue to consider, too. Folders can be a bit portly, and some owners find carrying their bikes a struggle. As an alternative to the taxi or bus fare at one or other end of your train journey, why not split your Cyclescheme Certificate two ways and keep a bike at each end? These days, lowbudget doesn’t have to mean poor quality. 42

Packages over £1,000 The maximum Certificate value for most participants is £1,000 but if the total value of the equipment you require is in excess of your Employer’s maximum limit, you may be able to add your own funds to the Certificate value. You can find out more about this at

Mixed-mode commuter

Brompton Electric

from £2,595 | £2345 You’ll need to top up your Cyclescheme Certificate with an extra £1,595 (at least), but you can now buy a battery-assisted Brompton. The Electric is “designed to change cities” with its 250W front hub motor offering four levels of assistance for 25-50 miles. It folds to the same size as a non-electric Brompton, and the battery can be carried separately in a specially designed shoulder bag for convenience.


With power-assistance you can ride further with little effort, or tackle hillier rides with ease, but still hop on the train or bus

Volt Metro

£1,299 | £1049 Using the SpinTech motor system, Volt has put together a quality e-folder at a competitive price. A sprung seatpost and suspension fork aim to improve the ride of the 20in wheels. With eight gears and five levels of power control, the standard model has a predicted range of 40 miles (64km).

Pulse ZF4

£1,199 | £949 This good-looking machine is fully fitted for your commute with rack, guards, stand and built-in lighting – and puncture-resistant tyres. There are eight gears and three power settings, and it has a range of 15-25 miles (25-40km).


Mixed-mode commuter


The classic city runaround that’ll store in a luggage rack and under a desk

Bickerton Argent 1707 Country

£650 | £487.50 The Argent’s single-beam aluminium frame should work for any rider up to 6ft 3in and according to Bickerton it folds in “just 10 seconds”. The 7-spd cassette is quite closespaced, which might make bigger hills a chore, but as a cycle/train/cycle bike it’s ideal. The dynamo hub and light are good too.


B'Twin Elops 500

£199 | £141.29 This Dutch-style city bike isn’t light, and you may not recognise many of the components, but with guards, rack, lights and a stand thrown in for less than £200, plus a lifetime warranty on the frame, it’s easy to justify buying a pair. Step-through and standard frames are also available, so you could ring the changes either end of your commute.

Raleigh Stowaway 7

£320 | £227.20 The Stowaway 7 is so-called because it’s equipped with 7-speed Tourney gears, helping you to keep pedalling comfortably if your route is a little lumpy either end of your car/bus/train journey. V-brakes bring it to a halt, and its aluminium frame comes fitted with mudguards and a rack.

Tern Link D7i

£850 | £637.50 Tern bikes are renowned for being quick and easy to fold and very solid in use, thanks to the well-designed main hinge. The 7-speed gear system is all tucked away in the rear hub which keeps it out of harm’s way. The bike comes with mudguards and you can fit a rear rack.

Why have one bike when you can have two for your money? For a ride-train-ride commute, it could be the ideal solution

Vitus Vee 29

£249 | £176.79 The 29 stands for 29er wheels – similar to a road bike wheel but able to take much fatter tyres. This makes them smooth to ride, even on a simple bike with no suspension – great for rougher cycle paths. The Vee’s 39x18 singlespeed transmission is sensibly geared for town riding, and it has mudguard and rack mounts.

British Eagle Helix

£200 | £142 British Eagle’s steel-framed Helix sports a Shimano 6-speed transmission, alloy V-brakes and 38mm-wide tyres that will make the cycling part of your commute more comfortable. A rear rack and full length mudguards are included in the price. The Helix comes in two sizes, and there is also a step-through version.

To find your nearest dealer for any of these products or where to buy online, visit


Packages over £1,000

The maximum Certificate value for most participants is £1,000 but if the total value of the equipment you require is in excess of your Employer’s maximum limit, you may be able to add your own funds to the Certificate value. You can find out more about this at

£2,595 Brompton Electric


Park Tool mutli tool


Restrap Musette bag

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

Cyclescheme Price*



Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer



1 Ownership Fee



Percentage saving







£2,640 12 monthly hire payments

Additional funds you pay

Total saving

*The Cyclescheme Price is the most you will pay for the package when you choose and pay either a 3% / 7% ‘Own it Later’ fee at the end of your Hire Agreement. See Page 43 for more details.



CREATE YOUR OWN LANE. Photo: Sebas Romero


THE ONLY HIGH-PERFORMANCE TAILLIGHT WITH DAYTIME FLASH FEATURING LASERS THAT CREATE A VISIBLE SAFETY BARRIER. LASER DRIVE – Compact, high visibility safety light with four ultra bright LEDs. Laser-mode beams two safety strips on the ground effectively creating your own lighted bike lane. Light and durable co-molded lens/body construction. Waterproof. Unique aero and round post compatible design. Provides multiple output/flash modes with an ultra-visible 250-lumen Daytime Flash mode. Extended lens for 180 degrees of visibility. Easily recharged with a convenient Micro-USB port. 84g (including strap mount)

Colour: Black

SRP: £58.00



KEEP WARM AND DRY IN AUTUMN AND WINTER Cycle commuting can be a pleasure in the cold, dark months if you have the right clothing


ot every winter’s day is cold and wet, as you’ll discover when you start to see your commute in all its moods; but when it is, a few wise choices will keep at bay the chill and damp. When it’s dark, a little reflective technology won’t go amiss either, so we’ve included garments that keep you warm, dry and visible.

dhb Merino Long Sleeve Baselayer £36 |

£25.56 More merino cosiness for your middle third… This mid-weight jersey can be used as a baselayer in cold weather or on its own on milder days. Short sleeve and sleeveless options are available too, and in various colours.

Proviz Nightrider Waterproof Overtrouser

£42.99 | £30.52 One of the best weapons in the cycle commuter’s armoury is a pair of quality overtrousers. These from Proviz are lightweight, breathable and waterproof and come in both men’s and women’s fittings. You don’t have to take off your shoes to get them on and off, either.


Gore C5 Windstopper Gloves

£49.99 | £35.49 Cold fingers are a misery so good gloves are a sound investment. Gore’s Windstoppers are just what you need on those cold, frosty morning commutes. You can even operate a mobile device while wearing them, and they come in five sizes for a perfect fit.

Autumn and winter kit

Rapha Peaked Merino Hat

£35 | £24.85 Not everyone can afford to dress in Rapha, but if you can stretch to buying this hat, give it a go. It fits under a helmet, with the high wool content making it warm without bulk. It covers your ears and the peak protects your face.

Altura NightVision 3 Waterproof Overshoes

£34.99 | £24.84 If you cycle in trainers or city shoes, these overshoes from Altura are a great idea. They’re designed to fit over a variety of shoe types, have an insulating liner, and their “Darkproof” fabric is super-reflective.

Endura Luminite 4-in-1 Jacket £149.99 | This is a high-tech jacket for real weather riding. The fabric is both waterproof and breathable, with all the seams taped to prevent leaks, plus it includes a zip-in fleece for warmth. The reflective chevrons and built-in light make it great for dark rides.


Kalf Winter Merino Socks

£15 | £10.65 The Kalfs’ (Kalves?) blend of merino and polyester keeps your feet warm and cosy while wicking away sweat to stop things getting too funky. A reflective chevron helps you be seen by other road users in the dark, and they come in three different colours.

Cyclescheme price

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

To find your nearest dealer for any of these products or where to buy online, visit




Hills on the commute can become a daily grind, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Here’s how to conquer any ‘fear of heights’


nless you work in the café near the summit of Mount Snowdon, the likelihood of you facing an epically long and steep climb on the way to work is fairly remote. But no ride to work is pan flat and what might be a fun little blip for a leisure cyclist could pose a significant challenge when you’ve had a long day at work and are laden down with baggage. So here are a few simple ways to help you minimise the effect of hills on your commute. Route choice It’s easy to fixate on the kind of bike you need and the kit to wear for commuting, but nothing will affect your ride-to-work experience more than your choice of route. In fact, before you even start, it’s worth spending a quiet Sunday exploring various route options to see if there are any hidden gems among backstreets and parkland paths, as well as noting particular challenges, such as steep hills. If you use a paper or online mapping 50

The ups and downs of hills source to decide on your route, you may not even know where any particularly tough climbs are. And even if you are aware of the gradient, the distance they cover could look so short and enticing as to be worth the risk: ‘How tough can a climb just X metres long really be?’ You might be very unpleasantly surprised. For commuting, it’s far preferable to choose a longer, shallower climb where you can get into a nice pedalling rhythm rather than an all-or-nothing challenge that pushes you to your limit. Bear in mind, such a climb could pose a greater trial depending on the weather, the load you’re carrying and how you’re feeling. Any climb that is so steep it causes you to weave across your lane is putting you at danger, so avoid it. If you’re riding light, feeling good, and the weather is perfect, by all means have a crack at some more challenging routes on the way home. But on the ride to work, keep everything within your limits and understand that a longer climb that takes you slightly out of your way is probably more sensible than a short, steep one.

child, so please don’t pedal like crazy to the base of the climb hoping that momentum and magic will somehow spirit you to the summit. You’ve got to put in some effort, but you can make that seem easier by being clever and using the tools at your disposal sensibly. Higher pedalling speeds – ‘cadences’ – use your heart and lungs more and tire your legs less, while slower cadences use your leg muscles more but will tire them quicker. Because of

It’s worth spending a quiet Sunday just exploring various route options to see if there are any hidden gems among backstreets and parkland paths

that, you want to set your gearing choice at the start of the climb so that it allows you to keep up a nice high cadence and get into a steady pedalling rhythm. Don’t be tempted to initially keep your gearing the same as it is on the flat and gradually drop through the gears as you feel the effects of the gradient. Changing gear with the drivetrain under increased load heightens the possibility that something will malfunction or your chain will slip. Split it up As well as the mechanical element, there is a very definite psychological element to conquering hills on a bike. You will notice you are travelling far slower than you were on the flat and the hill may seem as if it’s going on forever, which can be dispiriting. The secret is to split the climb into little do-able segments. Look for road signs and other markers ahead of you that indicate

How to climb So you’ve picked your route and you know there is a hill at a certain point, how do you approach it? You’re not a


you are making progress. As soon as you successfully reach one, look to the next. Few climbs maintain a constant gradient all the way up. Take the opportunity of easier sections to have a breather and keep enough energy in reserve that you can increase your effort if needed. Again, look ahead for steeper sections and change gear in good time before your drivetrain is under load. Descending What goes up must come down, which poses its own set

In wet or potentially freezing conditions it might be necessary to use your brakes from the very top to stop you building up too much speed


of concerns. At the top of any climb you may need to get your breath back. But while your body recoups, don’t allow your brain to lose focus. If there is a descent straightaway, you could be back up to high speed very quickly, so it’s important to have your wits about you. In wet or potentially freezing conditions this is even more important, and it might be necessary to use your brakes from the very top to stop you building up too much speed. On fast descents, if you are travelling at the same kind of speed as surrounding traffic or near the prevailing speed limit, it may be important to use assertive riding techniques (see page 26) to assume the primary position (in the centre of the lane) and take control of it. The first reason for this is that higher speeds will allow you less time to react to potential dangers either in the road itself or emerging from the pavement or the side. The second reason is that there should be no reason for traffic to overtake you and often drivers who do overtake descending cyclists don’t fully appreciate the speed at which they are travelling and may then cut back in early or pull up sharp. Don’t give them even the suggestion that it’s a good idea to pass you until you are happy they won’t put you at risk.



or people living and working in very hilly areas, e-bikes can be the ultimate commuting tool. Modern e-bikes – or electric pedalassist bicycles, to give them their full name – don’t offer power for free but add a little extra help to a rider who is already pedalling. That means you can’t freewheel and expect an e-bike’s electric motor to propel you alone. But in the case of hills, e-bikes do away with the sinking feeling non-assisted cyclists sense as their speed drops when the road rises. The motor takes up the slack and keeps you travelling at or closer to the speed you were achieving on the flat. The beauty of this is manifold. Your commuting time management can be precise, as you know exactly what kind of speed you can keep up on the way to work. Then, no matter how tired you feel or how much weight you are carrying, you never have to worry about making it home at the end of the day. Don’t forget, if it seems like cheating and you actually want more of a challenge, all e-bikes have different assistance settings. Simply reduce the amount of help your e-bike provides and use more of your own power.



Kate Lawrence We catch up with the commuters featured on the Cyclescheme website. This issue, physiotherapist Kate Lawrence


ith a keen cycling dad, Kate Lawrence, now 48, was used to bikes as a youngster. But it was only after the birth of her second child that she decided to get back in the saddle as an adult. Now, though, she’s a committed commuter come rain or shine – which in Glasgow more often than not means rain. What were the early learning curves when you started cycling to work? I suppose I overdressed initially. You forget how quickly you can overheat, especially as there is nowhere in Glasgow that doesn’t have significant hills. Also, on some of those hills, I just didn’t have the fitness and the strength so there were a couple of times that I literally keeled over sideways because I couldn’t go fast enough to maintain my


My Ride

balance! That’s very embarrassing in commuter traffic. How do you cope with all the rainy days? In the summer I still wear cycle shorts and just wipe down my legs when I arrive. I keep meaning to get cycle overshoes but instead I have a dry pair of shoes and my uniform at work, and hope my cycle trainers dry out enough for the return journey. The rain can be so bad here that I sometimes need dry underwear for work as well! At least once a year the roads will flood because the drains get clogged up with leaves – the water will be halfway up a bike’s wheels. On those days I love the fact I’m on a bike because cars end up getting flooded and have to be abandoned while I can keep going, albeit with care. How do you get up those Glasgow hills? I think you just develop a sense of gauging the hill. If it looks short enough and you hit it at speed, you think: ‘Right, I’m going to stay in a high gear and absolutely pump it.’ There are other hills where those aren’t good tactics and you need to get in the right gear earlier and work your way up. What is your best bit of kit? Probably my Altura cycling jacket – that is easily my most useful bit of kit with our weather. This year my daughter also treated me to

a Proviz Reflect 360 backpack and I’ve got some completely reflective mudguards, those are really good, too. When my kids were younger, the Croozer Kid for 2 trailer was by far my favourite cycling item. I was sad when my youngest outgrew it. Without kids, it could handle an entire week’s shopping! Quality really pays for an item you use daily, and I used it so much I wore out at least one set of tyres. What health benefits have you noticed from commuting by bike? In the first year I lost about 9lb, which doesn’t seem a lot but I really wasn’t trying to lose weight. Cardio-wise I am way ahead of where I was, and I’ve started to see muscles where I’ve never seen muscles before – even on my upper body. I don’t do upperbody workouts, but the strength you get from load bearing and pushing and pulling on the handlebar has an effect. What advice do you have for new commuters? There will be wobbles and setbacks, so be brave and stick at it. Keep setting yourself little goals – look for things you might not be able to do yet but you might be able to do in time. That will add to your sense of selfconfidence and achievement and provide benefits that go well beyond simply fitness.

Rider factfile Name: Kate Lawrence Lives: Glasgow Occupation: Physiotherapist Commute: I cycle nearly four miles each way on my commute – one mile with my children to their school, then another three miles to work. Frequency: Every day Cyclescheme bike: I’ve actually got two bikes through Cyclescheme: my first is an Eastway FB3.0 and the newest is a Merida Speeder 300. Why I started cycling: I cycled a lot as a child with my father. Then I had a long hiatus when I moved to Glasgow – as a student I just didn’t think about bringing my bike with me – but I got back into cycling in my late 30s.



E L A S N O Get even more value from your Cyclescheme benefit

the country, including: Evans Cycles, Chain Reaction, Cycle Surgery, Rapha, Decathlon, Cycle Republic, Tredz and Wiggle.

yclescheme is the simple way to cut the cost of your new bike and cycle accessories. You will save 25-39% on the cost of your gear simply by using the scheme. But what if you could wring even more value out of Cyclescheme and ‘save on sale’ .

Cyclescheme offers Every month we bring together the best deals from our partner retailers in one handy place — These deals tend to be fast moving, though, so act quickly to take advantage of them.


Approved discounts There are 10 words that strike despondency into the heart of any committed bargain hunter: ‘Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer’ . But you won’t read those words here. Order your new bike and accessories from a retailer who will honour price-match guarantees, sale prices and Black Friday deals through Cyclescheme – and your savings will soar. These are some of the biggest cycle retailers in 56

Chat to your local retailer Local bike dealers often don’t have as much room to move on price as big chains but it’s still worth asking if they have any deals you could take advantage of through Cyclescheme. Who knows, they might have exactly the bike you want gathering dust in a corner of the showroom and they’re desperate to get rid of it. Some local retailers will also allow you to benefit from general sale or offers bikes through the scheme, but you need to check this with the store itself.

Any Bike, Any Brand, Anywhere Finally, don’t forget that Cyclescheme has an ‘Any Bike, Any Brand, Anywhere’ guarantee (see page12), so you really can shop around to make sure you get the exact bike you want at the best price you can find.

How much can you save with ‘Save on Sale’ ? Because you can use Cyclescheme in addition to a promotion, deal or discount being offered at selected partner bike retailers, that means savings are even more significant. For example, imagine your dream bike has a normal RRP of £1,000. However, in a sale its price is reduced to £800. Then you get this bike through Cyclescheme, with the final total cost to you of no more than £600 (25% is the absolute minimum saving you will make through Cyclescheme). That means you’ll save at least £400 or 40% on that bike’s original £1,000 price tag. Pretty impressive, huh?

Serious cycle insurance

We care as much as ou Protect your bike with cycleGuard and enjoy a 15% discount on your first year’s premium as a Cyclescheme member. Discount valid until 31/12/18. Visit: or call 0333 004 3444 quoting ‘Cyclescheme’

Cycleguard is a trading style of Thistle Insurance Services Limited. Thistle Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FRN 310419. Lloyd’s Broker. Registered in England under No. 00338645 Registered office: Rossington’s Business Park, West Carr Road, Retford, Nottinghamshire, DN22 7SW. Cyclescheme Limited are Appointed Representatives of Thistle Insurance Services Limited.

My Cyclescheme Get more online Cyclescheme 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 Cyclescheme Commuter.

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

Further reading Here's just a sample of Cyclescheme's reviews, guides, interviews, and offers. Go to and browse, or use the links below to go straight there. “You could buy a car for that!” Buying a bike for the price of a secondhand car is increasingly likely if you’re looking at getting an e-bike – but you could be laughing all the way to the bank after not very long… Considerate commuting Courtesy costs nothing – and it could save you a lot of aggro. You don’t want to be a pushover on your push bike, but deal with other road users as equals – politely but assertively. Take a test ride Can’t make your mind up which bike suits you best? Most shops let you take a 15-minute test ride, but some will give you a day (or two), plus there’s the option to hire, or demo days and bike shows. Break the chain… Quieter and cleaner than an oily chain, a belt-driven bike could be the perfect minimal maintenance, no-rust option for your ride to work. Commute smart How to deal with hazards on your ride to work – whether you’re a new cycle commuter or an old hand. Learn what to look out for and get to your destination safely, all year round.


Get a friend on a bike and both earn a reward Recommend a friend to Cyclescheme and if they sign up – you both earn a reward. There’s no limit on the number of people you can recommend or how many rewards you can earn.





Discover this month’s reward and get recommending at

S P I R G O T T E G EME WITH THE SCH FAQs answered and Cyclescheme sayings explained so you understand the scheme and how it works


hat does Cyclescheme do? Cyclescheme is the leading provider of the government’s Cycle to Work scheme, which allows employees to get a bike and/or cycle equipment tax-free and pay via monthly salary sacrifice instalments.


ow does the Cyclescheme process work? First you choose the package you want, which can be a bike and accessories; a bike alone; or even just accessories alone. Then you submit your application for the package to Once your employer is registered with Cyclescheme and has approved the application and paid for the package, you can exchange your Cyclescheme eCertificate for the package with your chosen retailer. You will then repay the cost of the package in 12 equal monthly salary sacrifice payments to hire the equipment from your employer.


hat does ‘salary sacrifice’ mean? Salary sacrifice means the money will be taken out of your wage before it is subjected to National Insurance contributions or Income Tax. Because of this, you will save 32% (in the case of lower rate taxpayers) or 42% (in the case of higher rate tax payers) of the cost of the package in reduced NI and Income Tax payments. 60


o at the end of the hire period I don’t actually own the bike? Nope. You are only hiring your bike and accessories for that initial period. After 12 months you can pay a small fee to continue using it, which will ultimately lead to you taking ownership. At Cyclescheme we offer an Ownership Fee of either 3% of the original value for packages costing less than £500, or 7% for packages costing more than £500. This allows you to keep ‘hiring’ the package for a further 36 months, at which point ownership can be transferred to you at no extra cost.


hat accessories in addition to the bike can I get through Cyclescheme? Helmets, lights, reflectors, mirrors, bells, locks, jackets, shorts, shoes, mudguards, panniers, rucksacks, child seats, pumps, puncture repair kits, toolkits, wheels, and even components. However, GPS computers and helmet cams are not allowed.


aking everything into account, how much will I actually save through Cyclescheme? If you are a lower tax rate payer, you will save between 25-29% on your package. If you are a higher tax rate payer, the savings range from 35-39%. You can increase your savings when you Save on Sale (see page 56).


o I need to insure my bike and kit? Yes, you do need to – it’s in our Hire Agreement. If your bike is damaged or stolen you will have to replace it. Cyclescheme has partnered with cycle insurer Cycleguard to create a perfect insurance product that includes a 15% discount for Cyclescheme participants. Visit www.cycleguard. We also offer auto-enrolment to BikeRegister and there is a 25% discount for Cyclescheme participants on BikeRegister QR Code labels that act as a visual deterrent to potential thieves.


Cyclescheme Checklist

Take our handy list to your local Cyclescheme retailer and get kitted out for your 365 cycle commute

Bike Lights Mudguards Rack Pannier/backpack Lock Pump Puncture repair kit Toolkit Helmet Glasses Jacket Winter gloves Summer mitts Shoes Overshoes Overtrousers Padded shorts/tights *Please note, cameras and computers are not available through the Cycle to Work schem e


Take the rough with the smooth

UK designed for whatever the road throws at you

Whatever surface the road throws at you there is now a road bike that really can cope with it all - the Whyte Glencoe. It purrs along on smooth tarmac - but when the going gets tough the Glencoe really comes into its own, providing supple grip and cossetting comfort, encouraging you to push forward where you’d normally pull back and carry more speed, grip and conndence into the bend. If you love to ride but have had enough of Britain’s torn-up tarmac, the Glencoe is right up your street. Model shown - Whyte Glencoe SRP £1299. For more information – or to try one for yourself, contact your local Whyte retailer.

How much can I save on a brand new bike and accessories for work?


Hybrid bike


Waterproof Jacket




Cable lock

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

Cyclescheme Price*



Basic rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

12 monthly hire payments



1 Ownership Fee








Percentage saving

Total saving

*The Cyclescheme Price is the most you will pay for the package when you choose and pay either a 3% / 7% ‘Own it Later’ fee at the end of your Hire Agreement. See Page 43 for more details.

Cyclescheme Commuter #20  

Welcome to your new-look Cyclescheme Commuter Magazine! These 64 pages are packed with everything you need to know about the UK's leading Cy...

Cyclescheme Commuter #20  

Welcome to your new-look Cyclescheme Commuter Magazine! These 64 pages are packed with everything you need to know about the UK's leading Cy...