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NEW LOOK MAG!

BEST KIT FOR AUTUMN KILLER CLOTHING FOR CHANGING CONDITIONS

ISSUE 359

NOVEMBER 2019

THE UK’S BEST SELLING CYCLING MAGAZINE

TESTED

ADVICE

THE BEST ALUMINIUM BIKE EVER

9 BAD HABITS YOU NEED TO BREAK TOP TRAINING TIPS FOR WOMEN

We ride Cannondale’s new CAAD13 P12

No.1 FOR NEW GEAR

BIG RIDE

“ THE LAST 8KM TOOK NEARLY TWO HOURS…”

Over 50 pages of exper t reviews inside!

BOOST YOUR BONE HEALTH

Suffering for fun on Mont Ventoux P122

HOW TO EAT RIGHT ON THE BIKE RIDDEN & RATED

YOUR BIKE FOR LIFE! FIVE TITANIUM RIDES BUILT TO LAST

P36


Gone are the traditional looks in favour of a bike that, at first glance, looks like a ‘carbon’ copy of the new SuperSix EVO...

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Lucky 13 Cannondale CAAD13 Force eTap AXS £4799.99 The new king of aluminium? he thirteenth element on the periodic table is aluminium, so the CAAD13 had to be a special offering from Cannondale. In addition, its predecessor, the CAAD12, won our highest accolade of Bike of the Year back in 2016, so it has a lot to live up to. Will this bike prove lucky for Cannondale? The CAAD13 looks different: gone are the (mostly) round tubes, the horizontal top tube and traditional looks in favour of a bike that, at first glance, looks SPECIFICATIONS like a ‘carbon’ copy of the new Weight 8.79kg SuperSix EVO. It’s only when (58cm) Frame CAAD13 you see some of the substantial aluminium welds that you realise that Fork Ballistec it’s not carbon, and that even carbon SAVE Gears SRAM extends to when you lift the Force eTap bike, as its 8.79kg all-up weight AXS (48/35, 10-33) is impressively light for alloy Brakes SRAM and wouldn’t feel out of place if it Force hydraulic was carbon. with 160mm rotors This model is at the top of the Wheels tree with the SAVE bar and stem Hollowgram KN0T 45 borrowed from the SuperSix. Finishing kit The KNOT 45 wheels from the Cannondale/ EVO add a layer of pure class – as Garmin connected does the brilliant new Force AXS wheel sensor, group. We’re spending a lot of Hollowgram SAVE carbon time with SRAM’s new secondbar, tier wireless drivetrain and it’s Hollowgram every bit as good as the sublime SAVE alloy stem, ProLogo RED system, just a little heavier Nago RS saddle, Vittoria with more chain noise. Rubino Pro The gear range is simply Bright black excellent, featuring a 48/35 28c tyres, with a 10-33 cassette for a Hollowgram 27 SL SAVE combination that’s closest to carbon post a 52/36 with 11-32 – but with a

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W H Y YO U WA N T LEAF SPRING

TI AXLE

SMOOTH EXTERIOR

The unique design of the carbon fibre leaf spring handles the engagement and retention of your cleat

The titanium axle reduces the weight of the existing carbon ceramic blade by 15g, weighing in at a scant 90g each

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The benefit of this slick piece of design is a smoother exterior, which Look claims has aero benefits, too

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WHY YOU WANT...

LOOK KEO BLADE CARBON CERAMIC TI TDF LIMITED

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£280 Limited-edition ti-axle pedals ook is the originator of the clipless road pedal. In 1984 Look, then a ski-binding manufacturer, launched a new system of clipping into your pedals, making the days of toe clips and straps numbered. It remains an oxymoron that pedals you clip into are referred to as ‘clipless’. Launched to coincide with the Tour de France, the Keo Blades are truly limited with just 1700 units worldwide. It’s not just the fancy yellow graphics that make these different, they also feature a new

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titanium axle, which reduces the weight of the existing carbon ceramic blade by 15g, weighing in at a scant 90g each. Look will launch the new Ti axle/ceramic combination onto its flagship pedal later in the year, but for now this is the only place to find them. These axles run on full ceramic bearings onto which the carbon-infused nylon pedal body sits. It’s into this that the Blades get their unique design: on the base of the pedal is housed a carbon fibre leaf spring, which handles the engagement and retention of your cleat. The simplicity

of the system is impressive, as is the performance. The tension is adjusted by switching these leaf springs – you get a 12Nm blade fitted and a set of stiffer 16Nm blades with the pedals. The benefit of this slick piece of design is also a smoother exterior, which Look claims has aero benefits over standard pedal designs. Very exclusive, lightweight, technically advanced and used in this year’s Tour by no fewer than nine of the teams competing. And that’s why we really want a set of them...


W H Y YO U N E E D WHY YOU NEED...

FOUR ESSENTIALS 01 KNOG PWR RIDER DUO LIGHTS £79.99

borrowing the latest tech

This light is designed for

tubeless tyre with sealant

commuters and can be used

and a foam insert that

as a powerful 450-lumen

protects your rim,

front light, or a rear

preventing the tyre from

12-lumen light, or use both

being forced off the rim

at the same time when

under impact (or ‘burping’

mounted onto your helmet

in mountain bike parlance).

(mounts included). The light

The triangular shaped G10

has five modes and run

allows air and sealant to

times of up to 90 hours

move freely around the

on eco-flash, or two hours

wheel so the tyre still reacts

on the full 450-lumen

like it should when rolling

mode. The Duo also has a

along the ground. The

USB port so you can use it

inserts add around 100g

as a power bank to charge

per wheel; a small weight

your phone, too.

penalty when it comes to

from mountain biking, such as when you supplement a

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tyre inflation security.

02 GALIBIER SURVEILLANCE GLASSES £37 £42 Inspired by shades from the

04 KRYPTONITE 685 FOLD £69.99

1950s these look good on or

This mid-price Sold Secure

off the bike and they’re

Silver-rated folding lock

equipped with a proper

makes for a decent

category 3 protective

deterrent in a very portable

polycarbonate lens for UV

package. When unfolded it

ray protection. Available

measures 85cm long and

with a Polarized Smoke or a

when looped and locked it’s

Smoke Plasma Mirror lens

big enough to secure the

with black, white or

frame and wheel to its

tortoiseshell frames.

anchor. The individual links

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a 5mm-thick hardened steel

03 PANZER G10 TYRE INSERTS £55

and it comes with two keys

As gravel riding gets more

easy to stuff into a rucksack

extreme some riders are

or pocket.

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and a frame-fitting bracket. Weighing in at just a kilo, it’s

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NOVEMBER 2019 27


GO THE DISTANCE Fancy getting in some serious miles? Well, carbon isn’t the only way to go – we test five top titanium cruisers for big days out PHOTOGR APHY RUSSELL BURTON

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TITANIUM CRUISERS

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MOST WANTED

EASTON EC90 SL CRANKS £399.99 (cranks only) aston’s EC90 SL cranks share their exchangeable chainring system with sister company Race Face, who debuted the design. Called Cinch it allows road, CX or triathlon users to swap between single or double chainring setups, or alter single-ring sizes, in no more than five minutes. It’s based on a light, aluminium 30mm axle, which is fixed into the non-drive side crank. The drive-side crank has a ring with oversized splines behind it and the chainrings fit on to it. Single rings are an all-in-one direct mount, narrow-wide tooth design, which does away with a separate spider and its bolts, whereas double chainrings bolt on to a forged aluminium four-arm spider with each bolt securing both rings in a 110mm BCD (bolt circle diameter). After dropping the ring or rings into place, the Cinch lock ring is tightened by a Hollowtech splined bottom bracket tool securing them to the crank. The BB30 axle slots in to the crank’s eight-lobed recess and, using an 8mm hex key, is torqued tight with a captive lock nut. This means that to swap chainrings, for example, at a cyclo-cross race after practising on the course, you only need two tools and it’s easily achievable in no time. The cranks are of hollow carbon construction and include a high-quality aluminium pedal insert. They’re HIGHS straight and broad with a Light and stiff, tapered rhomboid profile, and easy chainring look utterly purposeful. swaps Available in lengths from 170mm to 175mm, their Q-Factor LOWS It’s not cheap, (horizontal width between without rings pedal attachments) is 149mm.

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Quick-change cranks Our 172.5mm cranks, including the 30mm axle, preload adjuster and cinch lockring weighed 340g. The four-arm spider with Easton 52/36, 11-speed rings weighed 238g making a total mass of just 578g. Easton also offers 53/39 and 50/34 double-ring combinations and 40- or 42-tooth singlerings, plus a range of low-friction bottom brackets to fit almost every frameset. Our PF30 68mm Cinch bottom bracket weighted 113g. We tested the EC90 SL cranks with a Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 groupset (replacing a Quarq Elsa RS carbon crankset) with Dura-Ace 9000 chainrings. The overriding feeling throughout our test period was how rigid the cranks and chainrings felt, easily a match for those we had removed. Whether putting maximum torsional stress through it when hammering uphill in the big ring, doing full gas standing starts or bothering the village speed limit with a signpost sprint, the EC90 SL ran true. We haven’t noticed any hint of deflection that could cause chain rub on the front mech and shifting has been perfect. It is possible to switch other cranks from single to double-ring setups and back again, however, the simplicity and speed of the Cinch system is a real selling point. The EC90 SL’s low weight and high performance are a very satisfying bonus but as ever, it does cost.

WE SAY...

High-performance carbon cranks with the convenience of the Cinch system


ALSO CONSIDER...

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LIGHT AND AN N D EAS EASY

Cannondale SISL2 Hollowgram Chainset £629.99 A 53/39, 175mm example with BB30 axle and hardware weighs just 448g thanks to Cannondale’s manufacturing process, which bonds together a pair of CNC-machined halves, creating hollow, super-light and stiff cranks. The 10-arm, one-piece Spider-ring is 3D-forged, then machined from a single piece of aluminium.

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ROUGH STUFF

SRAM Force 1 X-Sync BB30 £263 01

ONE RING OR TWO

STIFFER THAN MOST

ALL CHANGE

The cranks take a direct mount, narrow-wide single chainring or two chainrings attached to a four-arm aluminium spider.

Only available with a 30mm axle the EC90 SL cranks have great lateral and torsional stiffness thanks to its oversized diameter.

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The drive-side crank can be quickly removed with an 8mm hex key and the chainring(s) with a splined tool.

Since its launch, SRAM’s Force 1 groupset has revolutionised off-road cycling. Key to its success is the X-Sync narrow-wide single chainring design, which ensures excellent chain retention. It attaches to an alloy 5-arm spider, turning on unidirectional carbon crank arms; a 40 toothring on 175mm cranks with a 30mm axle weighs 637g.

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VERY IMPORTANT BIKE

Saffron Frameworks £Custom One of London-based Saffron's two new road bikes to be launched in October affron Frameworks’ Matthew Souter swapped the heat of the kitchen for the flames of a brazing torch a decade ago. The Cape Town-born former finedining chef learnt his new trade at Enigma Cycles before going it alone setting up near the Thames in London, where all Saffron frames are manufactured and finished. In October, Saffron is launching two new frames, the Best Bike here and a more classiclooking steel bike made from what Souter calls ‘naked’ SPECIFICATIONS Columbus XCR steel. Saffron’s Frame Saffron unique one-off bikes will be stainless steel limited to a dozen orders a year. and carbon Fork Carbon That said, the new models are Headset themselves custom with, “every Chris King single order starting as a blank Groupset Shimano canvas” Souter says. “There are Dura-Ace Di2 absolutely no stock sizes and Wheels ENVE SES one of the two frames will be a Tyres perfect fit for whatever type of Continental cycling you do.” Grand Prix 5000 TL This one is designed as a “fast Cockpit PRO steel road bike that you could stem, ENVE handlebar race on” and at just over 7kg it Seatpost is impressively light for a bike Integrated made predominantly of steel carbon fibre, 30mm with a smattering of carbon. diameter The frame is made from a

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A finish of this quality demands a headset that complements it, hence the Chris King

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combination of Columbus Spirit HSS, Spirit Keirin and carbon steel with Columbus stainless steel chainstays and a stainless steel bottom bracket shell. The Saffron frame’s most unusual feature is its ISP ‘integrated seatpost’, which is actually a 30mm diameter carbon seat tube that segues into the post in a single piece. This has a “specially made carbon layup designed to give the seatpost some flexibility, while having sufficient torsional strength so that it doesn't snap”. Souter feels that this combination of steel and carbon makes the most of both materials’ characteristics, with the big box-section steel down tube beefed up for extra stiffness. The kit adorning the Saffron within its ultradistinctive paintwork, is of the highest quality. The complete Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic groupset is accompanied by deep-section ENVE SES carbon wheels, the same company's handlebar and a PRO stem. Tyres are the new (and highly rated by us) Continental 5000 TLs. Prices will be confirmed at the time of the October launch and Saffron also plans to reduce the present seven-month lead time for its unique custom models to a more manageable two-and-a-half months. Souter sees its new bikes as a “statement from us, building on our 10 years’ experience”. And while all the models are custom bikes. “You don't need a mountain of knowledge to order one.”

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The super-shiny stainless steel chainstays meet painted ends and some ultra-tidy dropouts

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One of the bike's USPs is its ISP – 'Integrated seatpost', an allin-one carbon seat tube and post


S A F F R O N F R A M E W O R K S VIB

The frame is made from Columbus Spirit HSS and Keirin steels with a 30mm diameter carbon seatpost

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ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

Explore the Isle of Man on two wheels and see the very best of what it has to offer

70 | November 2019 | CYCLING PLUS


ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

For roadies

hen it comes to holiday destinations, the Isle of Man has it all. Set in the heart of the Irish Sea, it’s quick and easy to get to, with connections to 10 airports and four ferry ports across the UK and Ireland. The island’s modest size – it measures 13 miles wide and 33 miles long – is another bonus, with an incredible amount of culture, nature and activities packed within its shores. Just a few of the delights you can expect to find are miles of quiet countryside roads, intriguing folklore, historical sites, outdoor adventures and delicious artisan food and drink. The Isle of Man was the first entire nation to be awarded a UNESCO World Heritage Biosphere status, which recognises the island’s unique way of life and its efforts to preserve the local nature, wildlife, culture and heritage. Its epic landscapes and flourishing environment are a key part of what makes it such a wonderful place to escape to – and a dream setting for cycling.

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The Isle of Man is the birthplace of Mark Cavendish and Peter Kennaugh, so it’s no surprise that it’s a cycling hotspot. The island’s long and winding roads lend themselves to miles of idyllic pedalling and offer a fantastic range of road cycling options to suit all preferences and abilities. There aren’t many other places where you’ll get to experience such an aweinspiring variety of natural scenery in one ride, and exploring on two wheels is arguably the best way to take in the rural diversity of the Isle of Man. From calm and colourful countryside and pretty glen valleys to magnificent coastal views and rolling hills, every twist and turn will open your eyes to something new. For road cyclists, there is a full range of options to suit all preferences, including self-guided routes, fully supported tours and organised events. The numerous self-guided routes are freely available to all, being marked by distinctive signage and made publicly available on Strava. There are graded routes all over the island ranging from moderate in the north to more challenging ones that include some stunning hill and coastal

views, plus there’s one that takes you 90 miles around the Island. For those wishing to be supported, companies such as Isle of Man Cycle Tours (iomcycletours.com) offer a full service with knowledgeable guides, port, hotel and luggage transfers, and mechanical back-up. The island also hosts a number of well-established Sportive and Gran Fondo events throughout the year and many visitors choose to build their cycling visit around participation in one of these. The full calendar of events and their details are published in the New Year.

Home and dry The Isle of Man has an inviting range of accommodation to suit every type of trip and holidaymaker, from boutique hotels to self-catering cottages, and you’ll also find ‘Cyclists Welcome’ accommodation across the island. Every member of this network of cycling-friendly residences offers specific facilities to make your stay more comfortable and enjoyable, including secure storage for bikes and other gear, repair kits and somewhere to hang wet clothes, as well as local information, maps and guide books.

Start planning your trip today at visitisleofman.com/cycling CYCLING PLUS | November 2019 | 71


WORDS CHRIS MCGUIRE

I L L U S T R AT I O N S P E N C E R W I L S O N

STUCK ON R E P E AT Humans are creatures of habit, but they’re not always good for us. How can we cut out the bad habits that are holding us back?

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STUCK ON REPEAT Cyclists are by no means immune from bad habits. From gorging on the wrong foods to ineffective signalling, wasting energy through bad technique to failing to maintain our precious kit, few of us can claim to be completely free of negative quirks. We decided to address these troublesome habits once and for all. We’ve roped in some willing experts to look at what many of us are doing wrong and to help us find the way to ditching these bad habits for good! You can thank us later.

BEFORE THE RIDE It’s perfectly possible to get into bad habits even before embarking on your two-wheeled steed – and we’re not talking about the hours you spend admiring your freshly shaved legs in a mirror.

PA STA POINT OF NO RETURN We’ve all done it. You’ve got a big ride in the morning so in order to be at your peak physical condition for hours in the saddle, you eat a year’s supply of pasta. Good idea, eh? Not really. “The stereotypical thing for many cyclists to do before a race or a big ride is to have a massive bowl of pasta the night before,” says Peter Antonio, nutritionist and personal trainer. “It’s difficult to digest pasta, so it’s just going to be sitting there waiting to come out – which really isn’t going to be comfortable. “Loading with carbs before every single ride is not necessary and can potentially limit the training adaptations from certain sessions and even lead to weight gain,” says James Moran, English Institute of Sport senior performance nutritionist working with British Cycling. “The day before and the meal before, have more refined carbohydrates in the form of drinks (ie Lucozade),” says Peter Antonio. “The sodium in there will provide electrolytes and carbohydrates that will quickly get into your system.”

Pasta is difficult to digest, so it’s just going to be sitting there waiting to come out – which isn’t going to be comfortable BIKERADAR.COM

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A FEAR IN PROVE NC E The Giant of Provence is a worthy foe for a race, as the riders of the Santini Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux found to their cost… WORDS Sam Dansie PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Auld

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Provence, France

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A B OV E Wooded foothills provide shade before riders tackle the arid, exposed landscape of Ventoux

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Forget the 21 hairpins of Alpe d’Huez, the mad mountain of Vaucluse had me by the throat 124 NOVEMBER 2019

ome 20 years ago, when my unrequited crush on cycling was getting serious, Ventoux was the first mountain to grip me. Forget the smoothly engineered Alpe d’Huez with its 21 hairpins, Lance Armstrong versus Marco Pantani on the mad mountain of the Vaucluse was a rocket-fuelled sight that had me by the throat. And in the corrugations of the Lammermuir Hills in the Scottish Borders I discovered my own version of Ventoux: Duns Law. About the only thing they held in common was that they were both wooded at the bottom and exposed at the top, but in my callowness, with legs that trembled like fresh grass stalks at all but the mildest of gradients, it was steep and forbidding. Thinking back, I remember it had its own version of the Saint-Estève bend too, that point at the bottom of the genuine article where the climb stops pissing about and the scorpion’s back becomes its venomous tail. Two decades on, a large part of the latter one spent following professional cycling at relatively close quarters, and I still hadn’t been to the summit of the Tour’s most notorious mountain. I’d never seen the Tom Simpson memorial

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decorated with votive bidons or experienced the blinding sun reflected off the bare broken rock. The closest I’d got were two dog-day July afternoons spent on the Tour de France, gently and quietly expiring in a stifling press tent at the foot of the climb. I was there by proxy, but not really experiencing the character of the race’s most charismatic mountain, which loomed above and vibrated with half a million, beerfuelled, sun-crazed fans as if cicadas had taken human form. Both times Chris Froome was a central figure. He won there in 2013 with an attack during which his legs revolved like a Magimix. You’ll remember that three years later in a crush of humanity he crashed into the back of a motorbike, broke his bike and then started running. What scenes. God, Ventoux and the Tour is a mad cocktail. So when a brand-new, one-day professional race that finished on the summit coincided with the Santini Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux (they’re organised by the same crew) a chance arose to strike a couple of entries off my cycling to-do list.

Dead man cycling Early on a Sunday morning in mid-June, the pretty Provençal town of Vaison-la-Romaine was filled with 2600 jerseys approaching the colour of the green-blue sky. It’s obligatory to wear the jersey, and that’s fine because it’s a lovely one by


Santini, who sponsors the event. The jerseys congregated in a long channel on the Avenue de Charles de Gaulle facing out of town and away from the mountain. The less we could see it the better, perhaps. The Ventoux massif sits at a roughly north west-south east axis and Vaison is at the north west end. The route of the 135km event I’d put my name forward for described a wobbly fish-hook shape. The non-pointy bit travelled along a corniche road through the Toulourenc Gorges, which forms the border between the Vaucluse and the Drôme départements. That day, in that weather those opening kilometres were glorious. There are a couple of light climbs, including the stacked hairpins of the Col des Aire, before the sportive distances diverged at around 40km. At the fork, there was a feed stop, the first of a series of ravitos that came with ever-increasing frequency, and it gave me time to reconsider my decision. The right choice would mean another 40-odd kilometres to the top of Ventoux on the sneaky ascent via Sault, which is 21km at ‘only’ 7 per cent. The wrong choice meant a 10km entree over the Col de l’Homme Mort, a name which requires no translation, before hooking back around and tackling Ventoux via Bedoin. I went left, up the Dead Man. Lapierre Bikes, who sponsors the sportive, graciously lent me a steed – a lovely brand new

A B OV E The SaintEstéve bend: “that point where the climb stops pissing about”

A B OV E R IG H T The Santini tops are obligitory for all 2600 of the Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux riders

Xelius 700 SL with a SRAM Force eTap groupset. They’d even tuned it up perfectly before I arrived. What I was interested in was the cassette. My motto was the bigger the better and happily there was a frisbee-sized lowest gear, a 32-tooth sprocket. I found I didn’t need it on the Homme Mort which is 11.6km at 4.9 per cent.

Egg on your face

The wrong choice meant 10km over the Col de l’Homme Mort... I went up the Dead Man

The best thing about the Homme Mort was the view it afforded of Ventoux. From every angle it really is a staggering bit of geology, an aberration – the malevolent egg of the Vaucluse. Even from the safe distance of the Homme Mort, Ventoux looks threatening. According to a 2016 news article in the French daily Liberation, between three and 10 cyclists die of heart attacks on Ventoux each year, not to mention the hikers and skiers who also meet their maker in the baking heat, freezing cold and howling winds the mountain is famed for. It is worth acknowledging that not all routes should necessarily lead to Ventoux. On this side of the mountain in the early morning, the deserted undulations were as strenuous as the rider wished to make them. Plus, the villages are so well-geared towards our two-wheeled tribe, with their welcoming cafés, water fountains and shady streets, it may sometimes be tempting not to put a drill to the head and start climbing.

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