In association with
One for the road
Sport picks the best rides, the best kit and the best advice for your summer of cycling
In association with
Welcome by Sir Chris Hoy
Cover image courtesy of CycleSurgery.com
ycling was the most and kit to speed you on your way, as well amazing occupation to as some of the best places to put your have. It was a dream gear to good use, with some of the top to do it as a profession. rides in Britain and Europe. But we start, You have to put yourself overleaf, with nutrition – and, more to through a lot of physical the point, a nutrition strategy for a race pain on a daily basis, but you choose to day or a sportive to give yourself the do that because you love it. best possible chance . Cycling is also a sport which you can So, I hope you enjoy Sport Cycle. do until you’re an old man, and you can And however long you choose to go enjoy that. I’ve raced on two wheels as a on for, and however far you go, I hope profession all my life, but it’s lovely to be you continue to do it because you able to ride a bike now I’m retired just for love it. the sheer enjoyment of it. Hopefully, if you’ve opened up Sport’s first cycling supplement, you choose to get on your bike – at whatever level you ride or compete – for the same reasons. You too might put yourself through the pain, but it comes down to the fact that you do it for the sheer enjoyment: because you love it. This is about you and your bike. We’ve Sir Chris Hoy, Science in Sport Ambassador picked out a selection of new machines
Editor Graham Willgoss Art Editor John Mahood Designer Matthew Samson Picture Editor Julian Wait Digital Designer Chris Firth Production Manager Tara Dixon Publisher Simon Caney Contributors Sir Chris Hoy, Jill Leckey, Dave Barter, Ross Dingley Hearty thanks to Simon Klima, Steve Fry, Jenny Scott, Jo Pockett, Lucy Bell, Amy Field, Sophie Collier, Duncan Kerr, Ben Simmons
Colour reproduction Rival Colour Ltd Printed by Wyndeham Group Ltd © UTV Media plc 2013 UTV Media plc takes no responsibility for the content of advertisements placed in Sport Cycle
Feed the machine Thinking of doing a 100-mileor-more sportive over the course of the summer? The right nutrition strategy in the lead up to, during and after your event can enhance your performance and reduce your recovery time, as SiS sports nutritionist Jill Leckey explains
utrition during a sportive event can be the difference between a good or bad race experience â€“ between flying through those last few miles as youâ€™re pulled towards the finish line or the dreaded bonk. Or, worse, being swept up by the broom wagon. Planning ahead is, therefore, very important. Nutrition should always be trialled and tested in training to avoid any discomfort during the event. Think of your strategy as being divided into four parts: up to 48 hours before your sportive; your pre-event breakfast; the fuel you take on during the ride and your post-ride recovery.
24-48 hours before
The major cause of fatigue during endurance events is depleted carbohydrate stores. This can lead
to a reduced average speed and an increased race time. To ensure you arrive at the start line fully fuelled, carbohydrate loading is key. Traditionally, carbohydrate loading lasted for several days to one week, but that often resulted in athletes feeling sluggish by the time race day came around. However, current research shows that increasing carbohydrate intake to 6-10g per kilogram of body mass daily 24-48 hours before an endurance event is the optimal time to increase stores beyond when your regular diet is consumed. The best way to achieve this is to increase carbohydrate portions at meal times (pasta, rice and bread, for example) and add regular snacks between meals. High carbohydrate is not a substitute for protein and vegetables on your plate; it is in addition to this. Carbohydrate drinks are useful during this time, and can help
got a question about nutrition?
for a 70kg/11-stone man) with foods such as bagels, porridge, toast or energy bars. Alongside this, you should hydrate with 400ml-600ml fluid. Drinks containing electrolytes are great for this time, especially if you know it is going to be hot. While travelling to an event and warming up, sipping on 250ml-500ml of a carbohydrate and electrolyte drink will provide a continuous supply of energy to the working muscles. A small snack such as an energy bar around an hour before the start might also be required if you had an early breakfast.
During the ride
An increased sweat rate and the body’s limited store of carbohydrate emphasise how important it is to fuel up during the ride. For your nutrition plan to be effective, it is best to plan ahead. Check the weather forecast for the day because, if it is warm, you will need to drink more – also check the ride route so you can plan when the best time for taking carbohydrate on board will be. Make sure to start refuelling within the first hour; don’t wait until you have started fatiguing.
Carbohydrate intake and hydration
Although it usually means a very early start, your pre-event breakfast is essential, especially because you have been fasting through the night while asleep. A carbohydrate breakfast between two and four hours before the start gives plenty of time for digestion; this should be trialled and tested on a training ride to make sure gastrointestinal discomfort is avoided. An ideal carbohydrate breakfast consists of around 2g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body mass (140 grams
Recovery is a crucial part of race nutrition because the sooner you start replenishing your used energy stores, the shorter your recovery time will be. The half-hour after the ride is the optimal time window for taking on board a high carbohydrate and protein mixture to initiate the recovery process. This involves replenishing muscle glycogen, initiating muscle repair and promoting adaptation. The most practical way to do this is in the form of a recovery powder or bar. However, this should be followed by small carbohydrate (1g per kilogram of body mass) and protein (20g) meals at regular intervals (every three hours) post-exercise. Fluid lost throughout the race should also be gradually replaced, 1500ml for every kg lost.
Taking on nutrition – and winning
Dos & Don’ts • Practise nutrition strategies in training • Bring your nutrition with you on the event day • Start refuelling from the offset • Start the recovery process immediately after the ride
• Depend on nutrition you haven’t provided being available on the day • Try new products on the day of your event • Start refuelling only when you start feeling fatigued • Delay recovery for hours after the event
© Aflo Foto Agency / Alamy
contribute towards this increased intake, which can be difficult to achieve from solid food alone. As well as increasing carbohydrate intake, increasing fluid intake alongside and between meals will optimise hydration levels for the start line.
The strategy to remember is to consume between 60g-90g of carbohydrate per hour during the ride. The higher end is for those who are experienced in consuming carbohydrate during exercise. The best way to reach this value is through carbohydrate gels, fluids and bars, which provide a quick supply of energy to the working muscles. Gels and bars are highly practical because they are light to carry
in jersey pockets or on your bike stem when possible. The goal for fluid ingestion is to drink to thirst and avoid dehydration, which is defined as fluid loss > 2 per cent body mass (1.4kg in a 70kg man, for example). In practical terms, this usually equates to between 500ml-1000ml per hour, with thirst and environmental temperature indicating whether more is required. If you don’t want to carry a lot of fluid with you because of the weight penalty, then pre-fill your bottles in the cages with an electrolyte and carbohydrate mix, which you can fill with water at the stations en route. Always check in advance which miles the fuelling stations are and have at least one bottle filled on your bike at a time, so that you are encouraged to continuously rehydrate.
Best British rides
Pushing oﬀ We ask Dave Barter, who cycled more than 9,000 miles across the UK for his book, Great British Bike Rides, to recommend some of the best routes on two wheels – as well as pitching in with one of our own Great British Bike Rides: 40 Classic Routes for Road Cyclists, Vertebrate Publishing, £25. For maps of the routes, download GPX files from greatbritish bikerides.co.uk
Whether you decide to follow the route of the Tour’s Grand Départ next summer and head for the dales, or opt for the moors, Yorkshire has something for everyone. Barter’s ride of choice takes in the North Yorkshire Moors, and – at 84 miles in total – it’s probably best to get one of the hardest hills in Britain out the way first. “Some say the climb at Rosedale Chimney is the steepest section of tarmac in the UK,” explains Barter. “It isn’t, but that is immaterial. Cyclists come to the moors with the sole objective of ticking off this 33 per cent climb and then retiring to their cars as battered wrecks. This is a foolish endeavour because the roads beyond the Chimney are everything a committed cyclist could want, with several more classic climbs awaiting those who venture on. “I like to get the Rosedale Chimney out of the way early when I ride this loop. Once done, you are right up on the moors, with a refreshing run down to Huttonle-Hole. The route crosses the A170 and enters an absorbing network of quiet lanes; civilisation is regained at the B1257 and you’re soon climbing out of Oswaldkirk and on towards the Hambleton hills and Kilburn. You can’t miss the Kilburn White Horse cut into the hillside, and the climb above it is fabulous – twisting and turning through Kilburn forest. On the other side, it’s a steep and precarious descent down the A170. After Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe, you return to the country lanes as you are lured gently upwards towards Boltby and a monster of a climb. Once over the summit, head towards a tall radio mast – a point of reference for much of the remaining ride.”
Dragon Route, South Wales (78.4 miles)
Barter’s route – another loop – was inspired by the fearsome climbs of the Wiggle Dragon Ride, the annual sportive featuring the hills of South Wales and the Brecon Beacons. Barter’s route stays south of the Beacons, beginning as it does at Pencoed before heading towards the Bristol Channel and following the coast to Port Talbot. It then visits the village of Bwich and heads for Rhigos, in the north of the Cynon Valley, which is known as the gateway to the famously beautiful Rhondda Fawr and Rhondda Fach valleys. A belter, says Barter. And who are we to argue?
“This loop avoids the main thoroughfares, instead darting round farms and pretty little villages,” says Barter. “There are some decent climbs, but nothing too horrific. Fairford is the perfect starting point for this ride because there’s a free car park for those coming from afar. Leave town on a quiet country lane to Quenington, which welcomes you with a lovely stream and a series of sandstone cottages. “These peaceful lanes continue through Hatherop and along a Roman road, before the first hefty climb of the day, which is steep but short-lived. A few miles on, you hit Burford and the beautiful single-track road that undulates up the valley and delivers you to the Barringtons. From here, a long, gradual ascent lifts you to the airfield near Upper Rissington. “The zenith of the climb rewards you with a fantastic view to the west. Descend via a thin lane dropping towards the gorgeous hamlet of Wyck Rissington, head through Lower Swell and on towards Donnington, then put your head down for a while on the long, straight road that leads to Evenlode. “Onto Great Woolford, and a short ascent to a great view, after which all height is lost and then regained on the road to Paxford. A straightforward climb lifts you into Chipping Camden, and the longest climb of the day. It begins steeply, but then eases off, allowing you to puff your way up to Broadway Tower Country Park. The descent leads you to lanes that meander on towards Guiting Power, then Hampnett and Northleach. The road to Chedworth is a killer, but the reward is an epic, winding descent into town.” >
Cyclesportphotos.com, Rachel Husband/Alamy, Adam Burton/Robert Harding Picture Library/SuperStock
Cotswolds (83 miles)
Best British rides
Isle of Skye (67 miles)
The Scottish Highlands might seem like a long way to go, but it’s worth it, says Barter: “Riding around Skye is perfect in every way: weather, scenery, empty roads, hills, valleys and sea views.” His 67-mile loop offers all of that, starting in Sligachan – with views of the Cuillin mountains – and heading up to Quiraing, the northernmost summit of the Trotternish Ridge.
Here – on a bright, clear day – you are rewarded with spectacular views of the Outer Hebrides and the Scottish mainland. The route then heads for the sheltered bay of Uig on the west coast before turning down to Uigshader and Gesto Bay, then it’s back east to where you started. “Basically, Scotland is the best place in the world to ride a bicycle,” insists Barter.
Cornwall (63.5 miles)
“Cornwall doesn’t do shallow hills – it likes them sharp, steep and to the point,” says Barter. “This circular ride kicks off in the seaside town of Mevagissey; grind your way up the beautiful coastal roads, before turning inland at East Portholland. Follow National Cycle Route 3 to the Tresillian river. Head for Tresillian and into Truro. Leave Truro via a gorgeous set of lanes and head towards Goonhavern, then Perranporth. Next stop is Newquay, then you are reunited with NCN 3. A challenging set of climbs lead to the ride’s highest point at Foxhole. Make your way to Indian Queens, then climb through the clay workings to the summit.”
Hackney to Dunwich, Suffolk (120 miles)
“You can’t enter the Dunwich Dynamo; there’s no entry fee,” says Barter of the annual overnight ride to the Suffolk coast, which takes place tomorrow (July 20), if you’re keen – you can simply turn up and go. “There’s no list of riders. There’s no timing. In fact there isn’t even a start time. There’s no signed route and for the vast majority of the ride there’s no support. You’re on your own, but you’re not. Those that ride with you are your soigneurs. Fall, they’ll pick you up. There’s no agenda, no expectation, no competition, just a single objective: ride through the night to the seaside.”
One from Sport’s saddlebag, this, starting at Holyhead on the Isle of Anglesey and meandering across the hilly island to a backdrop of the Snowdonia Mountains and beautiful views across the Menai. Then it’s over the Menai Bridge to Bangor, from where the route follows the coast to Conwy, calling at Llandudno, Colwyn Bay, Rhyl, Prestatyn and Flint, where the castle that features in Shakespeare’s Richard II awaits. It’s a steep climb out of Prestatyn to get there, but the views across the Dee estuary to Wirral and Liverpool are worth it. Unless you’re a bit of a masochist, it’s best tackled west-to-east, going with the prevailing winds.
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Holyhead to Chester (105 miles)
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Best European rides
Home of the Grand Départ for the 100th edition of the world’s greatest cycling race, you’ve seen all this ‘mountain in the sea’ has to offer anyone on two wheels over the past couple of weeks: from coastal roads along the Med up to the narrow, twisting mountain passes. Cycling-corsica.com gives you options, from a self-guided two-stage tour with varying levels of difficulty (£177, with two nights’ accommodation) to their Tour de Corse (£681), which includes distances from 90km up to 120km a day over seven days, all accompanied by an assistance van. Given the choice, we’d head out unsupported and – like the Tour – start in Porto Vecchio, the coastal town sculpted into the hills with views across the bay. You’re also spoilt for choice when it comes to the island’s beaches. Good luck staying on your bike. cycling-corsica.com
Breaking away Keen on an altogether grander tour beyond these shores? We recommend heading for parts of Europe where cycling isn’t just a hobby, it’s a way of life Charleville–Mézières to Givet, France
We’re into Classics country, here, and this route is an absolute classic. The Trans-Ardennes bike path goes from Charleville-Mézières to within spitting distance of the border with Belgium, and almost all 83km of it runs right beside the meandering Meuse River. The Ardennes itself is an area of vast forests, rivers and hills that covers parts of France, Belgium and Luxembourg, with Charleville-Mézières only an hour and 45 minutes from Paris by TGV (they will have space for bikes, but you must reserve in advance). The route ends at Givet, with its hilltop fortress, from where you can turn back and enjoy the voie verte in reverse, or continue on into Belgium (only a further 2km away) and hook up with its own network of cycling routes. For a downloadable road book and maps, visit voiesvertes.com
Quiet scenic roads, warm climate, stunning scenery and good food – there’s more than one reason Team Sky chose the Mediterranean island as a training base. Rocky Mountain Cycle’s seven-day Tour de Mallorca crosses the island’s Sierra Tranumtana range over its first four days, with the second half of the trip given over to exploring the northern part of the island from their base near Pollenca. On the way, they will put you up in some of Mallorca’s most amazing fincas – century-old farmhouses that have been converted into small luxury hotels. The route up into the mountains, featuring passes with seemingly endless switchback climbs, is rewarded not only by the spectacular Mallorcan coastline and the Mediterranean, but by the rapid descents, too. £ 2,355pp | rockymountaincycle.com
Over seven days in May or September next year, you can climb the two most famous peaks in Le Tour’s history with Veloventoux. The first day takes on Ventoux from the Bedoin side, setting you up for a full circle around the base via the stunning Gorge de la Nesque on day two. Day three takes in the roads close to the Veloventoux base in the village of Faucon or another crack at the Beast (by an alternative route, bien sûr). You head out to Die (the place, not the consequence of your exhaustion) in the Drome Valley via the 1,047m Col de la Chaudiere on the 100km jaunt that is day four. Day five features a ride to the town of Corps via the 1318m Col de Grimone (105km); day six is a shorter 65km, but finishes with the Alpe d’Huez. Day seven is the classic Col du Glandon and the Col de la Croix de Fer. £685pp | veloventoux.com >
Norbert Eisele-Hein/Superstock, Look Die Bildagentur der Fotografen GMBH/Alamy, SuperStock, Patrick Hertzog/Getty Images
Mont Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez, France
Best European rides Barcelona to Rome
Cycling on some of Europe’s most picturesque touring routes through Spain, France and Italy; the Hannibal Expedition gives riders the chance to take up Hannibal’s trail in Barcelona, Avignon or Gavi and ride one (Barcelona to Avignon), two (Avignon to Gavi) or three (Gavi to Rome) stages of this epic route that totals 1,417 miles. It passes through some of the most beautiful cycling areas in Europe: Catalonia, Languedoc, Provence, Piedmont, Tuscany and Umbria, as well as taking on routes that feature regularly in the Vuelta, Tour and Giro (yes, that includes the Pyrenees, Alps and Apennines). You’ll need about a month to do it, and it won’t come cheap (between £340 for a bite-sized weekend and £6,250 for the entire experience – it depends on your route). Time to establish your own supremacy. rideandseek.com
Porto to Lisbon, Portugal
One for the proper tourists, this. An easy 219-mile tour along Portugal’s Atlantic coast. It takes in some of the country’s most beautiful beaches as well as Alcobaça, with its UNESCO-protected monastery of Santa Maria de Alcobaça, and the Lagoa de Óbidos lagoon, a protected area with a large variety of seabirds. An alternative from Porto – should you want to go it alone – is to head east along the stunning Douro Valley wine region and down to the Serra da Estrela. Just be prepared for some serious hills. Self-guided Atlantic coast tours start from £941 | a2z-adventures.com
Umbria, christened the Green Heart of Italy, has more than its share of medieval hill towns, with Assisi – home to St Francis – being the best known. The area is made up of gentle pastoral countryside that carpets wide river valleys, with high mountains towering above them. That is where the real interest lies for any serious cyclist, and Iron Donkey Bicycle Touring offers a total of 23 routes to satisfy all comers with its self-guided and custom group tours. They vary in difficulty, with ascents of more than 1,800m on the tougher tours. Fly to Rome, and the Iron Donkey himself can take care of your transfers from there. irondonkey.com
Scicon AeroComfort 2.0 TSA Team Bike Bag
If you’re taking your bike with you and not hiring one out there, or planning a jaunt away in the saddle but flying back, we recommend you don’t do what Sport once did and traipse around Barcelona asking supermarkets for spare cardboard boxes with which to pack your pride and joy for the flight home. Equipped with the AntiShock bike frame and reinforced base to protect the critical areas of your bike, the Scicon AeroComfort 2.0 will ensure it arrives in one piece without burdening you with the weight and bulk of a hard case. £450 | wiggle.co.uk
Marka/Superstock, Sergio Azenha/Alamy, Thomas R Anderson/Getty Images
Experts on two wheels
I It’s already been a summer of sporting bombshells. And here’s one more: Halfords.com now has 15,000 cycling parts, accessories and clothing lines from 185 specialist retail brands
Shimano XC30 Black Off-Road SPD Shoes
Tough glass-fibre reinforced sole facilitates smooth pedalling in rough terrain, designed to offer optimal pedalling with enhanced comfort. £69.99 | halfords.com
t’s not just riders on Le Tour who need a support team. Whether you’re in the peloton of the morning commute or wearing the Yellow Jersey on your weekend ride, Halfords is right behind you. Halfords is already the UK’s number one bike retailer, selling more than a million bikes a year. From Apollo and Carrera bikes to premium brands such as the Boardman range designed by the Olympic champion himself, they have a bike for you – whatever your level or discipline, including road, MTB and cyclocross. They also have models from Pinarello and a range from Olympic gold medalist Victoria Pendleton.
Get into the right gear
And now you can count on Halfords.com for all your other gear as well, because they have increased their range of parts, accessories and clothing 10-fold – offering a range of over 15,000 products online at market competitive prices.
Sportful Reflex Windproof Jacket
Weather-resistant product designed for supreme visibility and safety, with water repellent material to give maximum comfort and protection. £28.00 | halfords.com
Their new products range from more than 7,000 highly-engineered parts from names you trust – including FSA, Shimano and SRAM – to premium hi-tech weather-proof jackets as well as performance-enhancing supplements like protein bars, gels and tablets designed to aid rapid recovery after exercise. Nutrition and muscle relief brands now in stock include High 5, Zipvit, Clif Bar, Accelerade, Nuflex and Blue Morgan. Selected Halfords stores now also include a larger range of products to meet the needs of serious cyclists like you, including the introduction of changing rooms so you can ensure you look the part in garments from Adidas, Craft, Primal and Sportful. You can order online for next-day home delivery or for free next-day delivery to your local store. No name does more to get you out there. Halfords.com. It’s like having your support car right behind you.
High5 Race Pack
A great taster pack of energy drinks and gels that will help keep you energised and hydrated on the go, including a protein recovery sachet to aid post-exercise muscle recovery. £14.99 | halfords.com
Best new bikes
Upgrade your ride
Seven steeds to dispel Greg LeMond’s famous words: saddle up on any one of them and not only will you go faster, but it also gets a bit easier. Probably...
De Rosa Protos Super Record EPS
LOOK 695 Premium Flag Edition
Ridley Noah Fast 1211B Red
Airstreeem Triple E SL Team
Orbea Orca BLT
Hoy Sacalobra .004
De Rosa among the, well, not quite thorns, but if money was no object – or if we had a sh*tload of it – we’d spend it on the Protos Super Record EPS. Precision engineered with a blend of three carbon fibre weaves, the frameset boasts an outstanding stiffness to weight ratio. Geometry is optimised for top-level stage racing, offering comfort for 200km-plus stages, lightness for mountain stages and aerodynamic performance for time trials and sprints. The pinnacle of technology, beauty and performance say De Rosa. We concur. £11,999 | wiggle.co.uk
Most manufacturers with comparable models build bikes of this quality only for their pro teams, claim Austrian racing and triathlon brand Airstreeem. The Triple E features their ultra-light, high-modulus frame triangle and chain stays, and its BB30-Bottom brackets guarantee excellent stiffness even during extreme effort. The frame is made using Airstreeem’s carbon fibre composite, and comes with 12 years warranty as standard. And a medium frame, since you ask, weighs in at 1,190g; forks at 320g. Extreeemly desirable. £2,499 | airstreeem.com
The epitome of French workmanship (without the striking), the 695 you see above features a SRAM Red group set and Mavic Cosmic Carbon SL wheels. We’ve also picked out a highperformance carbon frame adorned with the Brazilian flag, what with the World Cup final a mere year away, it’s probably time to start planning your own South American tour. A total of 19 colour schemes already available for LOOK’s flagship steed, with colours from around the whole world. The 695 is simply an outstanding road bike. £7,499 | lookcycle.com
Orbea Bronze carbon frame and forks made of a blend of intermediate modulus fibre are what makes for a silky smooth ride with their Orca BLT, say Orbea, whose goal is to “reduce the aerodynamic drag without detriment to the stiffness of the frame”. Brakes, gear shifters, front and rear derailleurs all come courtesy of Shimano Ultegra and mean the BLT maintains stable-yetresponsive road manners. But then, being named after one of our all-time favourite sandwiches, it was always going to good. £1,999 | cyclesurgery.com
The ultimate race machine, say Ridley. Built for sheer speed, the Noah Fast features SRAM’s Red groupset, Fulcrum’s Red Wind wheels and Ridley’s three FAST-Concept technologies: F-Brake, F-Splitfork and F-Surface. These technologies combined, they claim, offer riders up to 2.8km/h advantage in the sprint and up to 20 watts less power input is needed to average a 40km/h breakaway. The saddle, handlebars, and stem are all built in-house by Ridley, helping keep the price down, but maintaining quality. £6,699 | wiggle.co.uk
One from the man who gave you such a hearty welcome when you opened this very supplement – Hoy has helped develop a true all-rounder. It features a thin-wall, triple-butted 6066 aluminium frame coupled with Shimano Ultegra brakes and 10spd gearing, plus FSA compact chainset and Mavic Aksium wheels with 23C tyres. “It reminds me of when I was a kid,” Hoy told us recently. “You’d save your money up to try to build the best possible bike you could. Now, really, I’ve done the same thing – only I have a slightly bigger budget.” £1,300 | evanscycles.com
It’s pronounced ‘rock’ and, like Dwayne Johnson himself, it has plenty of stopping power. We refer, of course, to the Shimano 105 dual-pivot calliper brakes on the front and rear. That’s where the comparison ends, however, for the ROKH carbon frame means it’s lightweight, while the carbon Onda ROKH fork features an oversized headset that provides great handling and offers a strong front end. Shimano 105 gearing, chainset and chain a MOst saddle, carbon seatpost and MOst handlebars and stem. We’re sure Johnson would approve. £2,550 | halfords.com
*Refer to halfords.com/delivery for details.
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Cycliste c’est chic Café du Cycliste Lucienne Jersey
Take a look at this effortlesslycool monsieur as he breezes through the streets of Provence, kitted out in his race-fit summer jersey made of lightweight merino tecnowool. It’s no wonder he’s exhibiting slightly more of his god-given smugness than usual (he is French, after all), because Merino wool absorbs moisture better than synthetic fibres, making this jersey effective at dealing with excess sweat. It also has a synthetic layer that maintains its shape and minimises pilling. The Lucienne is made by the achingly-trendy chaps at Café du Cycliste, a cycling community café on the French Riviera and alternative cycling wear brand. Talk about living the dream. £117 | cafeducycliste.com
Eastpak Kruizer S
If Sport had a domestique to travel with us on our rides, we’d have them carry Eastpak’s practical, comfortable and reliable messenger bag on their shoulders. It features reflective detailing, a reinforced tarpaulin base, detachable midriff strap and a hidden travel pass holder inside, plus easyaccess zip pockets and a padded section for your laptop. Deceptively spacious and genuinely convenient if you’re carrying a larger load than will fit in the back pocket of your new, elegantly French cycle jersey. £60 | eastpak.com
Oakley Tour de France Special Edition Radarlock Path
Oakley are doing le gentlemanly thing, doffing their cap to the peloton and “honoring cycling’s greatest competition” with their Tour de France collection. Ranging from the Fuel Cell edition to the new RadarLock, each style features bespoke colouring and has the Oakley logo laser-etched on to the lens. The Radarlock uses Oakley’s Switchlock Technology that makes lens changing quick and hassle-free, so you can keep up with changing light, if not the man on the saddle in front. From £110 to £205 uk.oakley.com
Lazer Genesis: Mat White
Lazer’s Rollsys system uses a thumb wheel on the top back side of the shell that connects to a narrow cable as a mechanism to adjust the retention system with one hand – not only does that mean the helmet fits great, but it can also be easily adjusted while you’re in the saddle. Comes in 11 colours, with the optional extra of an aerodynamic Aeroshell. It’s compact, lightweight and Lazer’s Rigidity Brace System – a reinforcement moulded into the foam of the helmet – helps keep it together in the event of multiple impacts. £124.99 | lazersport.com
Mettle detectors Mio Cyclo 505 HC
“The geographical dimension of the sport is what gives cycling such a huge ability to resonate in society,” said Christian Prudhomme, race director of the Tour de France in an interview before the 100th edition of the grandest of tours began last month. And there is possibly no better way to navigate that dimension than Mio’s latest offering. It comes with pre-installed maps, so it’s good to go straight out of the box and – importantly – its large anti-glare flatscreen is readable in sunlight. Built-in WiFi means you can quickly and easily connect to your MioShare account and synchronise your tracks as well as upload your numbers from its cadence and speed sensor and wireless heart rate monitor. It also features a ‘Surprise Me’ function, which generates new cycling routes based on the time or distance you provide. And, weighing in at 129 grams, it will still make shaving your leg hair worthwhile. £369.99 | eu.mio.com and Halfords stores
Go Pro HERO3: Black Edition
Billed as the world’s most versatile camera; 30 per cent smaller, 25 per cent lighter and twice as powerful as previous models, the Go Pro HERO3 is wearable and gear-mountable, waterproof to 60m and capable of capturing ultra-wide 1440p/48 fps, 1080p/60 fps and 720p/120 fps video – as well as 12MP photos at 30 pictures per second. Comes with built-in WiFi, and GoPro App compatibility. All of which means you can capture cinemaquality video that will make ITV4’s Tour coverage look comme ci, comme ça. £359.99 | cyclesurgery.com
Wahoo Blue SC
Together with the free Wahoo Fitness App, the Blue SC transforms your iPhone into a cycling speed/cadence sensor. It’s a more budget-realistic option to the above and provides all the critical data you’d expect – our favourite is the breakdown of lifetime mileage ridden by week, month and year. It connects wirelessly and is also compatible with Strava, Cyclemeter and Runtastic Roadbike, but – should you want to ride light – its built-in memory means you can set off with or without your iPhone. Allez! £49.99 | wahoofitness.com/eukickr
Helps you train the muscles you use for breathing – primarily the diaphragm and the intercostal muscle – to make them stronger, more efficient and in turn help improve your speed and endurance. You train by breathing in through a mouthpiece against resistance, the level of which you can change to suit. There is also the option of the Plus version (£50), which doesn’t provide you with the level of feedback that this will, but doesn’t hit your wallet as hard either. Either way you’ll have the lung capacity of Big Mig in no time. £450 | powerbreathe.com
It’s important to regularly check your wheels are straight and the spokes have an even tension. The bearings are often overlooked because the wheel has to be removed for them to be checked. If they wobble, they are too loose, grindy and rough – and they need replacing, usually needing new cones if using loose ball bearing hubs. Wheels and tyres are the biggest upgrade you can make to a bike. Lightweight wheels accelerate faster and are easier to keep turning on the climbs. Some aerodynamic wheels help on the flat, but are heavier and don’t climb as well. You can have the best of both worlds, but they’re not cheap. Buy the wheels that are right for you: a heavy rider will need stiffer wheels. For commuters, a reliable wheel that is easily repairable – and that covers the rim, spokes, bearings and parts – is ideal.
Wheels Cables are one of the most important components on any bike and can also often be overlooked. Poor cables can ruin the experience of a high-quality bike: poorlymaintained or worn out cables cause resistance, stopping the gears from changing when you need them to. Lube the cables by shifting the bike into the largest sprocket at the back, then pulling on the inner cables whilst shifting into the smallest sprocket. Do this without pedalling – this will create enough slack in the cable to allow you to remove the outer cable and clean and lube the inner cable.
Bike & the mechanic Check your brake pads for shards of aluminium embedded in the pad; these can cause more damage to your rims. Check your rims for wear: if the surface feels curved, they are worn out and it’s time to treat yourself to some new wheels.
Ever wish you could look after your bike like a proper grease monkey? Here at Sport, we do. So we asked Ross Dingley, a 25-year-old mechanic for the UKbased UCI continental road team Madison Genesis, to tell us how
Madison Genesis are owned by Madison, the UK’s leading distributor of bikes, bicycle parts and accessories
bikes, we stand out. The team is working closely with Reynolds Cycle Technology [who make tubing for bicycle frames], to develop the Volare into a highly competitive bike.” Yes, the Volare is made of steel. But in its full race trim it weighs just 7.6kg. And whereas if you were unfortunate enough to crash a carbon bike, the first thing you’d do is pick it up and rattle it to make sure everything was still in one piece, the Volare is much more hard-wearing. That is, if you look after it, as Dingley explains. £2,250 for the frameset | genesisbikes.co.uk available October
Check for cuts or objects buried in the rubber, and pump your tyres up before every ride – even the best lose pressure over time; really lightweight tubulars, for example, can lose 20psi in a day. Tyre pressure is the thing we change most to adapt to a course: don’t just pump them up to max pressure – this will make the ride uncomfortable and reduce grip. We run tubular 110psi for road races and maybe as low and 80psi for circuit races if it’s bumpy or wet. But be careful: too low and you increase the chance of punctures.
• Check for loose bolts all over the bike • Clean drivetrain • Lube a clean chain • Pump tyres up before each ride • Check the rear mech alignment • Periodically remove seatpost and apply assembly compound
• Over-tighten bolts, especially carbon • Over-lube the drivetrain • Lube a dirty chain • Forget to check tyres for cuts and objects buried in the rubber
Dos & Don’ts
Keep it clean. If your chain or chainrings are black, you have too much oil on the chain that will pick up dirt and grime from the road and make a grinding paste, which will wear away your expensive chainrings, cassette and chain. Clean bikes also look good. Don’t over-lube, and don’t use a jet wash – this will force all the protective grease out of the bearings. The best tool you can buy for your drivechain is a chain checker – this will show you when to replace your chain; regular replacement should keep the cost of maintaining your bike down because it will avoid having to replace the really expensive parts such as the cassette and chainrings. The team use a Shimano Dura Ace 9000 11-speed drivetrain. It’s cleaned using neat Finish Line Multi Degreaser, which is then hosed off to leave it completely clean ready for Finish Line ceramic lube.
“Being a mechanic for a race team is very different from what I’m used to as manager of my shop or working on bikes at home,” explains Dingley, who has raced bikes himself since he was 10. “The work you do to the bikes during a race is not the most demanding skill-wise, but it’s the volume of work – with usually 12 to 16 bikes plus five or six spare pairs of wheels – that puts the pressure on.” The team ride the Genesis Volare 953, which bucks the carbon trend with its steel frame and features an oversized head tube and a press fit bottom bracket. “Our bikes have been creating interest everywhere we have been, because Genesis has brought steel back to the pro peloton. With most of the competition riding carbon
Check these for free movement; they should move back with the spring easily without resistance. To check this, create slack in the cable. Do lube the pivots, and check the rear derailleur where it bolts on to the frame is parallel to the wheel.
Bike featured: EASTWAY CX2.0 Alloy CX/RRP £1,249/eastwaybikes.com
Our pick of the best sportives the UK has to offer this summer
Essex Castle Bike Ride July 27 Colchester, Essex Distance 75/50/25 miles Price £17.50
Jurassic Classic August 11 Imperial Rec Ground, Exmouth Distance 100/63/32 miles Price £18.40
Action York 100 August 18 York University, North Yorkshire Distance 104/63 miles Price £28
London to Cambridge July 28 Pickett’s Lock, London Distance 60 miles Price £20
Wiggle Haywards Heath Howler August 11 Ardingly College, West Sussex Distance 100/62/37 miles Price £28/£18
Skye Sportive August 24 Portree, Isle of Skye Distance 95/49 miles Price £39
Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 August 4 Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Distance 100 miles Price Various charity places on offer
The Woodcote Sportive August 18 Woodcote, Reading Distance 85/63/49 miles Price £20/£19/£18
Zappi’s Gran Fondo August 25 Oxford City FC, Headington Distance 100/60/34 miles Price £24.90/£15.90
Gentle South Downs Giant Sportive August 10 Goodwood Racecourse, Chichester Distance 104/76/44 miles Price £30/£30/£20
Action Surrey 100 August 18 Stoke Park, Guildford Distance 160km/100m Price £28
Action Bath 100 August 25 Guildhall Market, Bath Distance 118/108 miles Price £28
Got a question about nutrition?
SiS has teamed up with Sir Chris Hoy to share his experience and knowledge of endurance nutrition â€“ something he knows a lot about after a 20-year career and 6 gold medals. Whatever your endurance sport (cycling, running or triathlon) go to askhoy.com and youâ€™ll get a personal guide to nutrition to help you train harder, race faster and recover quicker.