First off lets get up to date with the cross season from Central cyclocross league and a big thanks to Keith Perry for all the images. Jump back 1 week and round 7 was held by Ickneild RC in Dunstable, weather was good and track was also good. Although fairly flat 2 sets of barriers lots of tight twisty turns and a big fat sloppy bit of mud made sure everyone worked hard. Although i personally dont place to high i did have a pretty rubbish day, wrong tyre pressure insured lots of spin and slip and a complete lack of ooommpph meant i struggled to find a constant pace but that’s racing i guess you win some you loose some. James Norris had a good race in the seniors and i did manage a smile for Keith.
We move swiftly to this weekend and round 8 held by Kettering CC in Desborough. Now some of the guys have been absent for a while due to either crashing,illness or just partying to hard so it’s been myself and Mr Norris of HWCC keeping it consistant but this weekend Tom Zittel from Willesden CC joined us for his first CX race and a great one at that. Upon my arrival it was dry and mild even though the forecast was rain rain and more rain. There wasnt any real space to warm up so sprints around the local roads to Desborough Lesiure centre became the warm up area for some until we were allowed on for lap or two pre race. First impressions were slippy with lots of nice off camber corners and climbs slithering you down into a seriously fun tunnel of gloop which gently released back into the wild after some careful rut following. A few more slippy bits more off camber sections some stairs mixed with a few bits of single track oh and a gravel pit and you finally reached the start/finish area but first you had to round a right hand off camber corner at the top of hill. Not a problem on a dry day but the rain had started and what was manageable the first 2 times became an ice rink and dropped me to the ground with 100 yds to go and two riders within a catchable distance, needless to say as i tried to get up and re mount they were gone, i crossed the line and my day was done. A really enjoyable course and a long one compared to most but ranking in my top 2 so far this season and again a smile for Keith.
Now whilst the Vet50-59 category and Womens race kicked off so did the rain, i admittedly spent most of that race de-mudding and getting changed then searching for bad food at which point both Tom and James appeared. We discussed the course as i ate my lovely but bad food and it was rain soaked seniors time. The V50′s and Women were leaving the course caked in mud and shattered as the conditions had deteriorated drastically within the space of an hour making it far more fun in my opinion.
The seniors kicked straight off no warm up lap that im aware of and the first corner was almost mass carnage as the sharp left hand off camber decent from the start/finish straight kicked everyone around.They made their way through to the lane of gloop pictured below and from that point on not only was it impossible to work out who was where but you couldn’t even read their race numbers due to the newly acquired camouflage.
The guys battled the conditions and each other for an hour as they all turned the same shade of brown from top to bottom and if you want to see just how much fun some were having then take a look at this video on our Facebook page.
James Norris fully committed
Aaron Beard racing back to the mud slide
Tom doing his best Michael Caine impression
James Norris still committed
But after all was said and done and more mud was left inside the leisure centre than outside most agreed they had had a good time and some “Tom” even took home some souveneirs from the gravel pit as a momento of their first race and i believe Aaron went back to play on the mud slide again.
Well done to all involved the course was great and to everyone who rode and raced wet or dry well done and see you all at round 9.
Now briefly to more shop related news, we are currently very very busy with Bike fit’s so please if you call leave a message and contact number as my crystal ball is at the polishers or drop an email etc and i will get back to you within 24hrs. First off as it’s cyclocross season it would be rude not to mention MOOTS Psychlo X titanium mud muncher as it is just gorgeous and the RSL version both of which are available to order. We have a couple of Scappa cycles frames to build up soon and a few Open 1.0 Hardtails this week coming so lots of bits about those due shortly or as they get built up. We have also been talking to a few other brands about 2016 to compliment the few we already have but we will save that info for a little longer yet but our Instagram feed may give a few hints. Open cycle as i have already announced have started delivering their “UP” model to dealers but due to a hitch there will now be no Mediums until the smalls and XL’s are available which due to holiday closures and so on will probably be early January now so for those of you who have placed your deposits don’t take those tree’s down to soon this Christmas.
Zwift has taken off hugely in the last few weeks as it became open to all so the interest in smart trainers is growing as more of us look to the Garage for this winters riding instead of risking the traffic on these damp and darkened nights and as if by magic the new TACX Neo has landed in store. The first batch have already gone but more are due from the 23rd of November although not a huge amount of free stock available so don’t think about it for to long but above all it’s strong points this puppy is uber quiet so for all those Zwifters out there you’ll be able to listen to all the little sound effects without a problem and here you can find a little more info.
Until next time NANU NANU
A little late this week with our Cyclocross Team PG goings on but i have been suffering with technophobic assault. Technically i beat the living day lights out of my computer as it decided to lead it’s own life instead of the one i had chosen for it. After some gentle mediation and a colourful exchange of words with my monitor i’m back in business. Last Sunday was round 6 of the Central Cyclocross League hosted by Hitchin cc. We arrived in clear sunny blue skies as if we had drifted back to July actually lets say Spain as i think July was crap this year. First impressions of the course were flat with some flat bits and turney bits that were flat so i immediately thought ill do rubbish as it will be like a crit race of which i do not have the needed fitness to compete in. On the warm up lap i noticed that looks are deceptive, it may seem flat from the sidelines but once moving it was like a mile of back to back speed bumps, constantly being kicked around which will only get worse as time goes on. A quick drop in tyre pressure helped slightly but not as much as hoped for.
Sliding in and out of the corners was fun as always but as i started on lap 5 my forearms began to pump up and stop my lower arms working, panic sets in as the thought of loosing all i had worked for to a pair of lifeless hands wasn’t good. Every minute or so i take a quick look over my shoulder to see if and how much ground i’m giving up to those behind then i face forward to see someone else’s hands holding my bars, well they may aswell of been as i couldn’t feel a thing. Another lap over and i’m frantically squeezing and shaking my hands to get blood flow as i do my best to hold position and quickly wipe my eyes free of sweat. Its precisely 4-5 seconds after this i realise the magnitude of the mistake i have just made. Prior to the race i had applied loads of warming skin balm to my lower legs ( like deep heat) the purpose is it gives the legs an invisible layer of protection and also a mild warming sensation which is nice on a cool day, when massaged gently into the eyes it does not give a mild warming sensation it’s more of an immediate “someone set my eyes on fire” sensation that causes your eyes to water like garden sprinklers as you squint desperately to stop the pain. Paired with navigating around the course and the hurdles and sleepers that lay in wait now like secret assassins hiding in the grass rather than large lumps of wood you pop over. The last lap was eventful to say the least especially as my expression on crossing the line was like i had taken all the emotions i had stored up for the last 40 odd years and let them all go together, a mixture of whaling,crying and screaming mixed with a mild fit only to be made worse by rubbing the already inflamed eyes with the infected hands of Satan for a second time and raising my level of already unrivalled pain to such a height that suddenly i could hear nothing and all i could see was a distorted blue light with a small blurred figure in the middle. Thinking i had reached a higher plain spiritually everything suddenly focused to reveal my wife shaking her head staring at me like i was some kind of idiot.
A quick change into warm dry kit and it was back to watch the seniors race, James Norris from High Wycombe CC was in full flow along with our own Neil Tandy on an already very spread out field. I cheer on both James and Neil as they pass me and carry on waffling to the misses about wind speed and course conditions. A lap passes already and James passes through as i snap away on the camera, here comes Neil and i’m just about to press the button and he drops his bike on a hair pin bend then begins to roll on the floor in agony. As i compare him to a professional footballer/actor diving to the grass he reveals that he took a fairly heavy tumble on the hurdles across the the other side of the course and landed on his shoulder. Race over for Neil who gets himself checked out by the first aid peoples. It will be 6-8 weeks before Neil’s shoulder returns to normal so no more Cyclocross for him this year or sport in general unfortunately but he will still be able to lift a pint and a mince pie when the time comes. James had another good race and finish and we were home bound. There has been quite a bit of rain this week so this Sunday’s round should be muddy and messy and there should also be a few more of the guys available this week so we will see what happens.
Meantime and most exciting of all is our first OPEN UP has arrived and first impressions are it’s gorgeous, the orange paint just makes your mouth water as it stares back at you in a very hi gloss kind of way. A full blurb will follow about this shortly when we have had time to fettle with it fully but for those of you keen on them larges are available but in hi demand world wide so stock will not be sat on the shelves for long, mediums are due mid November with small and my size XL late December.
The will be a ltd edition in the Brown colour which is equally amazing but this will be a pre-order only as far as i’m aware as it will be a small amount of frames made.
The UP appeals to me for off road use but with its choice of wheel sizes and versatility it has taken a lot of attention away from other so called Gravel bikes. If you havent seen or you’re not aware of the UP or OPEN for that matter take a peak here. We have a few builds coming along from OPEN and Scappa and some exciting things to come in the new year but we cant discuss those yet so keep checking in on our social media pages for hints and clues as to whats coming or just general stupidness. And last of all a big thanks to Team Pedalling gears sponsors Matrix Fitness and Skye energy Drink, Keith Perry for his photography skills, Central Cyclocross League for giving my weekends meaning, HB Stache for foot love and most of all you yes you all 4 or is it 5 of you, you’re the reason i think theres a point to all of this so for that fact alone don’t be surprised if you don’t get a Christmas card from me.
Good day to you.
So 5 Central League races already done and personally my favourite so far for lots of reasons. This weeks hosts were Zappi’s CC and they hosted a great event. We had Claude the butler supplying awesome cake and coffee, there were plenty of cowbells going off to set the mood and the sun was shining. A quick course run down first, off of the end of the Start/Finish straight you were whipped through a little S-bend before hitting 2 hurdles, a quick remount see’s you into a 180 degree turn then a fairly straight section to set your quads on fire as it was all on very very bumpy ground you now enter the twista-zon which is basically a full on right hand loop that spirals in on itself and at the point where you think “where the hell am i” its a quick left flick and you work your way back out of it as the DJ area punishes your ears with of all songs Kylie Minogues im spinning around and the DJ voices over the top comments of kit colour and effort being made giving a degree of meaning to what you are doing if the motion sickness has got hold of you.
You now have a straight section with a very very mild rise to it not even noticeable by eye but very noticeable by the pain in your legs and to top that off it hits a sharp 8-10ft climb which as quickly as it appears vanishes and chucks you into a left hand off camber turn/drop, now you have a steady mild climb on first hardpack mud with a light dusting of water then a right turn onto a concrete section, this gives time to get the heart rate stable before a quick 180 onto what seemed like clay then straight away sharp left and into a nearly rideable climb but the stairs to the left always offered a better option for me, a quick 2 story climb and then re-mount although still climbing briefly loads up the legs again as you drop down on some nice single track around the back of a hill with thoughts of long rolling downhills to allow some recovery but no !!! sharp left off camber drop on loose stoney surface with sudden right hand turn up steep loose stoney surface short but intense climb bringing you back to the verge of heart failure and stroke all the time glimpsing the car park to your left thinking ” i could just stop and go home” but you dont the pain is kind of nice in a weird way.
Left at the top 40-50 feet of get your legs moving tight U-turn the big bouncy tufts of grass kick you about for another 30 feet until you hit the slalom section, super tight off camber slippy loose left with straight off camber slippy loose bit then right off camber “you get the picture” once this is done a nice right hand forces you into a long straight fairly steep downhill a bit like a water slide at a funpark, once started you cant stop or get off gravity is king here taking away all forms of grip you thought you might have and then it spits you into a rutted gloopy left hand exit onto a nice flat concrete road, a quick gain in pace sees you through a right hand bend with the perfect mix of mud, stones, and wet mud to keep you fully awake as you fly over a little rise which as you would expect is both wet and slippery and off camber so your bike twitches all over the shop, full steam ahead on bouncy rough field to the finish line and start again if you’re not dead that is.
It was a cracking course and although hard work it was serious fun, very well managed and my best race to date (not based on position) but based on the smiles vs pain chart. Paul Alexander a friend of mine made this his first race and he beat me which we will not dwell on but he loved it, he saw the sport for what it is extremely hard but extremely fun and cant wait to get going again.
I had a great last lap and a half trying to keep with Murray from Twickenham CC but just didn’t have the legs to catch him but the cat and mouse thing is what makes it such a laugh.There is still plenty of racing left and the weather will get worse making it more fun so grab a bike be it mountain or CX and have a go you will not regret it. Sean Dines (bottom) took the win in my category and deservedly so he road a great race and it was also great to race with local boy Benedict Campbell the man behind “For the Love of Mud”
I say race with but what i mean is i saw him at the start and then again at the end unfortunately im not quick enough to have kept up with him or most if truth be told but we had a great chat afterwards praising the sport and the fun it brings. Check Love of Mud out on Vimeo or buy the DVD its worth it believe me.
And a big thanks to our sponsors Skye Energy Drink and Matrix Fitness, also HB Stache for the foot love and Claude the butler for the most amazing sausage rolls.
Until next time peoples be lucky.
So another week passes and another round of the Central cyclocross league has been ridden. We were back to Milton Keynes and hosted by Luton CC this time with a similar course to round 2 i was a little better prepared for my 40 minutes of sheer hell or so i thought. I can safely say there is no such thing as an easy or easier race, there all bloody hard my heart rate seems to jump from the 120′s at the start line to somewhere between 190 and 200 where it stays for the full 40 minutes like a cat refusing to come down from a tree. The onlookers cheer you on as you pass not realising how much pain you’re in as you cling to what little life you have left and then you come across stairs or hurdles and in the midst of the most painful moment of your life you then have to get off run (i prefer stumble awkwardly) over or up it before remounting and starting again. At this point in the race everything more than 3 feet away is like a mild blur, my mouth has stopped working and lies fully open and dribbling as my brain sends all available energy to my legs which are screaming at me in agony and make life hell by going in different directions every time i dismount and then on top of this someone seems to cruise by shouting “on your left” and “good ride” as they lap you effortlessly.
The checkered flag waves, 40 minutes is over and i’m still alive, 3 minutes later i want to do it again its such a buzz that just leaves you wanting more and pushes you to try harder every time. Enter a novice race have a go and see for yourself how much fun it can be and imagine how much more fun it could be in pouring rain, bitter freezing winds and sloppy mud, go on imagine.
As for the boys representing PG this week Neil Tandy and Tim Hawes both had great showings in the seniors race as did James Norris of HWCC who suffered a minor mechanical and had to pit which dropped him a few positions but thats racing folks, its all good fun just look at the smiles on the riders faces.
As always thanks to Keith Perry for the images which he has loads of for sale so check his site out.
Now to less Cyclocross specific things, arriving this week is our Moots CR demo bike. our Open cycle 1.0 demo is awaiting final parts before building and making available for demo’s. If you would like to try one of these great bikes drop us an email or keep an eye on our social media pages over the next few days to see whats involved but Road/MTB or Cross we have it covered.
Until next time.
So we are now 3 races down this season and so far they have got harder each week. Round 2 was Milton Keynes which i didn’t get a chance to discuss but Matt Stevens came 9th in the seniors and Neil Tandy had to pull out toward the end due to a foot injury unfortunately but he was going well. I even improved on the previous week which was great but the course was hard not in a technical sense but constant ooommpphh mode. So round 3 comes along in Hemel Hempstead and a relief as it cant be as hard as MK was can it ?. Myself and Grant Dyer walked the course first then discussed leaving right then and there, it seemed to just always go up in very long wet grass and showed all the signs of a horsepower festival to get round so we grabbed the bikes and sneaked in a quick lap.
There were downhill sections but you hardly noticed them in between the up bits especially the big up bit after the start/finish straight which drained me of any form of ooommmppphh i may of thought i had. Race time got closer the chocolate brownie and espresso (which were amazing) seemed a great pre-race idea at the time but as we got in place for the start it didn’t seem that great. I took dead last position to just run my own race and try to finish without exploding and as hard as it was i managed my best result so far and thus awarded myself with yet more coffee but no cake as it was all gone.
The seniors race came round and Grant Dyer, Tim Hawes, Matt Steven and High Wycombe CC’s James Norris took their places. Myself Tim Nisbet and the Macmeister took our fan positions based on where the most crashes may happen and got cameras to the ready. Matt took an early push to toward the front on the initial climb closely followed by James with Tim and Grant somewhere mid pack. It became apparent after the first 10 minutes that Grant had vanished, when he did appear we found out his hurdle bunny hopping hadn’t gone quite to plan but when an onlooker noticed as he picked himself up that his HB stache socks matched his bar plugs his day was made, he continued on jumping anything he could until his lungs decided it was sleepy time and his race was over. He joined us track side hurling abuse at Tim and Matt for fun and shouting on Mr Norris as they all kept going. Matt took a bit of a bashing on the hurdle bunny hop and reshaped his saddle in the process whilst expanding his vocal range at the same time and came home a very impressive 4th overall with James also in the top half and Tim in the last quarter.
A very hard race and hats off to all who took part and a big thank you to Hemel Hempstead CC for a great day. All photos are as usual from Keith Perry , coffee was supplied by Joes coffee van and a big thanks to our sponsors Skye energy drink and Matrix fitness.
No animals were hurt during this event but one brownie was devoured a hurdle was repeatedly battered and Matts closest friends will be on ice for the week.
RAF Halton played host to my first and the central leagues first round of the 2015/16 cyclocross season in the heart of Wendover woods Buckinghamshire. Firstly the event was brilliant, extremely well managed with a great course and the weather was incredible. I honestly think it will be hard to top it this season but we will see. Originally i had entered in the novice class to give it a go but after some ribbing from a few friends i changed up to the Veteran mens 40-49 class only to be told it was one of the most competitive classes, that aside i just wanted to enjoy it.
I had my racing license and i had entered the race online so apart from getting kit together i was all ready. Saturday evening should of consited of a light 1 hour spin on the bike and getting everything together and ready but what actually happened was an early finish to work due to feeling rough all week, falling asleep at 5pm and pretty much sleeping through until 8am the next morning. Completely unprepared i had a mad 60 minute dash gathering everything i think i needed and lots of stuff i didnt. Into the van and off via Costa for a pre race caffeine hit. I didnt need to worry about directions as i just followed the sea of cars with cross bikes on the back like a pilgramage to worship our love of mud. Once on the holy ground i took a walk around to get a lay of the land, coffee stall check, toilets check, startline check, somewhere soft to sit and cry in agony as i realise how unfit i am check.
All signed on,race number and safety pins in hand i make my way back to the van to get changed and prepare. One thing i am now noticing is that not everyone is looking like an olympian and there is actually a vey diverse range of people riding here today ” I fit in” almost. Race number attached poorly kit on i begin to roll to the start line to get a practice lap in. Just as i get to the start/finish line a few guys are making their way on to warm up so i file in behind them trying to get serious and focus a little on the task ahead but anyway its just a warm up lap, a gentle roll around the picturesque grounds of RAF Halton, an enjoyable jaunt through the woods. My heart rate is flashing 198 bpm and my Garmin displays the message “Immanent death” this is more than an enjoyable pootle with like minded individuals and its only the warm up. As i arrive back at the finish line i swing off the circuit to seriously re-think my options, do i A. Head for the van and the nearest Costa or B. Man up and get on with it.
I got to know these hurdles very very well
Option B is chosen and it is time to get on the start line. I make sure i’m at the back as i have tactics, let them all go in front and move through the pack steadily as i pray on their weaknesses. Im a lap in and so far none of the others are close enough to let me see if they infact have any weaknesses, i now start to ignore the Garmin telling me to dial 999 and begin to get into it a little, ive found my rhythm my heart rate is mid 190′s (chilling) ive passed a few people (spectators) and feeling good, ive mastered a drop and climb that i was very unsure of at the start and it is all beginning to fall into place. I can hear Tim Nisbet shouting regardless of where i am on the course constantly assuring me im in third place but given my physical state and all senses shutting down to keep my heart going he may well of been stating i had a turds pace which is more like it.
Tim Hawes in full PG Camo, now you see him now you dont
I approach the hurdles of the start/finish section for the 3rd time and effortlessly fall flat on my face as my left leg decided to stay clipped in to the pedal rather than come out and allow me the use of both legs. After completing my rigorous safety check of the barrier i get up and crack on, the bell sounds so i have a lap left at best. At this point i begin to get lapped by the leaders which i’m not ashamed about but struggle to find the energy to get on someones tail, i think mentally i new it was over and my body decided thats enough. Last lap finished i make my way off the circuit to regain consciousness. Within 5 minutes i want to do it again what a laugh.
James Norris of HWCC charging the hill
For someone who fancies having a go at racing Cyclocross is great, its quick 30-60 minutes depending on category entered and there are events all over the country so finding something close to home is not a problem.During the novice races this weekend there were men and women of all ages riding on everything from a dead basic £99 mountain bike to a full cross bike and all having just as much fun. Fun is the key word here you have to be enjoying it to want to pursue it so no harm in having a go, register for a race online in a novice catergory no license needed, it will cost around £10 to enter and you will meet loads of like minded people so have a go get someone to take some pics of you falling off so if anything you can look back and laugh even if you never try it again. Go to British cycling here go to the calendar and click on the leagues to see which is closest to you in general. For Herts/Beds and Bucks Central league here is the best in my book running right through to the end of January.
Cake and Hats a plenty
Useful links below now go cross.
So we have a few new brands joining us for the 2016 season and as Eurobike comes to a close for another year its all focus on whats at the top of our shopping lists. Let’s start with Open Cycle the result of Andy Kessler (former CEO of BMC) and Gerard Vroomen (Co founder of Cervelo) partnering up to keep things simple. In a very short space of time they have brought us 2 great MTB hardtails the 1.0 and 1.1 and now the newest in their line up is a cross/gravel bike called the “UP”. So far the few HT 1.0 builds we have done have been extremely light always wowing people when they pick them up but the ride quality has the equal WOW factor going on and these cross country missiles really fly. Our shop demo will be ready shortly and hopefully we will have an UP toward the end of the year once available.
Pictures of the bikes can be found on our social media pages (Flickr and Facebook) and build quotes can be obtained with a simple phone call. Open has a lot in the pipeline for the next 18 months so it’s a brand you will see grow quickly with a huge amount of praise from it’s owners so keep an eye on our social media for demo updates.
Next up is MOOTS, they have been building Titanium frames since 1981 and the finish is 2nd to none much like their ride quality. The range of bikes covers road and cross, hardtail and full suspension mountain and their adventure model the “Routt” is picking up a great following for those who want a fast comfortable bike that will just about do everything. Moots not only supply frames but offer seatposts-stems and forks if you want the full monty, all frames are built to order and as with Open we are due a demo in shortly. Moots had 2 road tests in the UK this year with their RSL in “Cyclist” magazine and the CR in “Bikes etc” both receiving the thumbs up for comfort and performance and the quality of finish shows the time and care taken in each frame built.
Moots and Open join our exsisting line up of Parlee – Ritte and Cannondale helping us cover all bases of road/mtb and cross from £475 for MTB and £600 for road. Parlee have released a new “Gravel bike” for 2016 called the “Chebacco” a slightly more off road version of the popular Altum road frame. This will offer the usual Parlee quality and custom options for those who wish to travel the path less travelled shall we say and for those Ritte fans out there the Snob has gone all bling with a disc option for 2016 if you want those classic looks with fantastic stopping power.
Moving away from the hardgoods for a moment we have some lovely soft goods from HB Stache just landed and going fast. We are expecting more stock soon but if you see anything you like on their website here let us know ASAP so we can ear mark it for you, and i hate to mention the “C” word but Christmas is barely 4 months away and we all know Dads love socks right.
Wahoo fitness will be in store shortly with their market leading Kickr smart trainer and the soon to be released Snapr trainer and a smothering of their accessories from computers to cadence sensors, HR straps to floor matts it’s all good and ideal for those of you using or thinking of using Zwift for this winters indoor sessions.
Last but not least on todays list is Skratch labs, their hydration mix is gaining a slow a steady following with it’s all natural ingredients allowing your body to hydrate with no nasty side effects and with the nights closing in the hot Apple and Cinnamon mix is a fantastic exercise companion. Take a look at their site here for a full shake down of the science behind it all.
So give us a call, email us or drop in for pricing and info and remember if your miles away then theres always the post office allowing us to transfer the things you need to your doorstep.
As I look out of the shop window at sideways rain and hurricane force winds, there’s no doubt that Spring has finally sprung. This has only been amplified by the sights of the Pros out in Belgium and Northern France with muddy faces and broken bones. Thankfully our own Rave Riding super star Go Faster Gaby managed to get round Gent Wevelgem safely last weekend. Chapeau #GFG.
But with warmer weather just round the corner and the evenings already getting lighter, it’s a great time of year to get yourself ready for Summer and do some more riding.
We’ve had an exciting month at the shop with first delivery of our own little baby – our first batch of the brilliant Milltag Chiltern Fluro Contours kit. It’s already spreading far and wide with sets in Canada, the Cold Dark North and beyond. Keep submitting those Instagram shots tagged #PGtrips. We’ve still got stock of gilets, arms, legs, long and short-sleeved shirts, bibs and of course wet bags – so get in touch if you feel like you’re missing out. (Prices on the previous blog post.)
Speaking of #PGtrips… If you’re away to Mallorca (or somewhere similar, like it seems many of our customers are at the moment) don’t forget to pick up some PG col stickers to mark your heroic climbs.
And to honour the Spring Classics we’re bringing back our Strava Challenge for the whole of April. All you need to do is ride the tough 100km route that Tobes has designed – download it here. It features many of the most savage contours of the climbs featured on the new kit. Same rules as for January (see earlier blog) – prizes for the fastest and maybe some spot prizes too.
Our monthly Gran Fondo will do this route, but obviously it’s not a race that day. It’s 100km (with the option to add the 30km you’ll need for Strava’s jersey, rule changing b*stards) and we’ll be leaving no one behind with a fast group and a groupetta so come and join us on April 12. The ride features all local favourites including Whiteleaf, Wardrobes and Hill Road but also taking in some secret classics like Danger Grove and “that 33%er” near Fingest. Details on the Strava page here.
We are looking forward to working with The Pedal Bites and their wonderful bespoke made nutrition products which will be on hand the morning of the ride for you all to try out and they are very very nice, please give them a follow on Twitter and Instagram and let their baked goodness spread.
PEDALLING GEAR X MILLTAG
INITIAL BATCH OF PEDALLING GEAR KIT NOW AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER
We’re delighted to announce we’re working with the very lovely people at Milltag on our new kit for 2015. The design features the contours of our local South Chilterns hills and our trade mark fluro and green colours. We’re happy to run an initial pre-order – get your orders in to us by Sunday 15th February so that we can hopefully make delivery in mid to late March when the sun starts shining.
Pedalling Gear ‘Race’ Jersey £80 + P&P
Pedalling Gear Bib Shorts £85 + P&P
Or a pair for £155 + P&P
If we get enough interest, we’d love to run a ladies cut jersey/bib run too.
Pedalling Gear Gilet £65 + P&P
Pedalling Gear Arm Warmers £20 + P&P
Pedalling Gear Leg Warmers £25 + P&P
Pedalling Gear Caps £15 + P&P
Pedalling Gear Bags £10 + P&P
If you’re buying multiple items, we’ll reduce the P&P accordingly. We’re not scoundrels!
Sizing guide can be found here.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday 15th February with what you’d like and what sizes and we’ll keep you updated.
So that’s it the Strava January challenge has finished, thanks to all who took part, the final standings are below and ill get prizes together for the winners and notify them all via Strava.
January challenge GC Mens – Seb Garry
GC Womans – Fran Summers
We will let Mother nature do her stuff weather wise through February and be back in full fluro glow come March with one stage event for the entire month to welcome the oncoming classics and also to allow plenty of time to get out there and complete this round as it will be a long one.
Our “col” tagging stickers are in “thanks Tobes” so anyone due to go abroad shortly please pop in and grab 1 or 2 then tag something cool take a pic/selfie and get it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #PGtrips and it may earn you a little gift.
The first monthly “Big One” ride was on Sunday the 1st and although it was cold and extremely windy we all enjoyed it and the Espresso lounge in Tring was warm and waiting for us with the best Coffee and Cake going so a big thanks to Aron and co for looking after us.
The 2015 range of Eddy Merckx bikes is due to land before the end of this month and as much as i would love to buy one the Eddy 70 at £10.5k is a little out of my league but gorgeous non the less.
Cannondale as usual is super popular and my CAAD8 pictured below had it’s first outing on the “Big One” ride and i have to say other than the FFWD F2A’s and Challenge tyres ive added the bike was fantastic. After years of riding lovely Carbon beauties you begin to think the sub thousand pound ally bikes will be a little uncomfortable and boring but i have to disagree the CAAD8 was a true blast and i cant wait to get back out on it.
Last up today with more info to come shortly we have collaborated with the one and only Milltag on what will be an ever growing range of clothing from hats/gloves and booties to rain jackets/bibs and everything in between. The first ltd run is a pre-order and already over 50% of it has sold. The clothing is due in late March and more images will follow shortly but for now we leave you with this jersey image and if your interested let us know.
Keep Zwifting people.
Well the last stage is upon us and the challenge is almost over. 6 days to go and we can crunch some numbers to see who won what and if anyone was slower than me. The links to stage 4 are here and a downloadable version for you Garmin GPS thingy is here.
As it stands going into stage 4 Seb Garry has a 4 second lead over Rob Walker in the GC , Both Matt Steven and Fran Summers have the most stage wins for male and female with Matt posting the fastest climb of HHC011 on stage 2. The womens GC looks like it could be in the bag for Fran but it’s still all to play for in this last stage so who knows.
I would like to thank all who took part this month to get it off the ground and we really appreciate you putting in the time to make it worthwhile. We have more to come beginning in February to celebrate the cycling season kicking off with a gruelling single stage that will run for the month and more info will follow on this shortly. The stage and overall winners from the January challenge all receive prizes for their performances and we will try to arrange if possible a prize giving at the shop involving coffee,cake and beer shortly but for those who cant make it ill contact you all directly to arrange collection.
The weather has been a little cold this past week or so with lots of customers unfortunately coming off on black ice whilst out on their rides, fortunately none of them have been badly hurt and with the season underway and temperatures rising (SLOWLY) we are looking forward to our 1st monthly big ride out on the 1st of February. All those in the Strava club will receive a notification of this but anyone is welcome to join us. Details can be found here but we intend on leaving the shop at 9am for a 100km ride at an enjoyable pace and no doubt with a Coffee stop some where. On arrival back at the shop there is a seperate 50km loop for anyone wishing to claim both monthly Strava jerseys. The only thing that will cancel this ride is weather but the long term forecast looks good so fingers crossed otherwise it’s back to Zwift island.
Tomorrow (Monday) ill be off to the Core bike show and the Bike Place which are the UK’s 2 biggest trade events of the year. This will allow me to take lot’s of lovely photos of all the new kit thats around and to see what looks right for the shop and it’s customers. Expect there to be Fluro and loads of it. Our social media feeds will be lit up for the next few days with pics so keep an eye out.
To round up this waffle we will be starting a “wheres our customers gone” thing shortly. With lots of people riding abroad and in weird and wonderful places we are asking those of you who can to send us a selfie of you or your bike or even both in a lovely location so we can pop it on to our Facebook page and so on or post one up on your Twitter/Instagram page with #PGtrips so we can find it, it’s always nice to see people enjoying amazing rides. Last up today we will shortly have stickers arriving of the below image which will be free to anyone who wants to pop in and collect one, then slap it on a Col sign and take a piccy that has to be worth an energy bar or two i think.
Enjoy your week peeps and keep an eye on the social media scene for all the dribbly bits from tomorrow.
Hi everyone, we thought it best to give a little update on the Strava challenge so everyone can see what’s going on. Below you can see the current standings as of the 17th January. Stage 2 however is extended for 1 more week.
All 1st place participants will receive a prize and can pop in to the shop to collect at their leisure.
Prologue – Male
1st Richard Cope
1st Gaby Leveridge
Stage 1 – Male
1st Matt Steven
1st Fran Summers
Stage 2 – Male
1st Matt Steven (Current)
1st Gaby Leveridge (Current)
Due to bad weather we will continue stage 2 alongside stage 3 until Sunday the 25th to give everyone a chance to complete it.
Stage 3 is ready to run here good luck all.
Stage 3 TCX/GPX downloadable route here.
Stage 2 & 3 downloadable route together here.
Description of Stage 3:
Starting away from the Village this week for the Queen Stage of the January Challenge – you’ll need to find your way up to the North end of Gravelly Way between Hazelmere and Holmer Green. You head down the best bit of tarmac in Bucks rolling for 4km to the crossroads at the end. Turn right up Clay Street toward Beaconsfield and then straight on at the junction at the top. After 800m turn right on Forty Green Road and then after 1km take the sharp left down Holtspur Top Lane and keep going until you reach the A40, a right/left combo at the roundabouts and then down Holtspur Lane into the Village. The Stage ends at the zebra crossing as you approach the Green. It’s mostly downhill this week and should be quick…
Thursday evening Rave rides have started strong in January and it wont be long before we need to look at running two groups to keep it safe but currently weather permitting we will carry on as we are. This Thursday’s ride will as expected cover stage 3 and as the weather picks up and the evenings draw out we can start looking at longer rides with a stop along the way or finishing at the pub.
Arriving in February amongst others will be these 2 beauties, first up the Eddy Merck San Remo
And Cannondales CAAD10 disc
Tuesday sees the Tour Down Under kick off the season and Cadel Evans supporters will be out to see their hero before he officially retires in February.The Womens tour has already started.
The Tour De Sans Louis starts on Monday the 17th aswell so there will be plenty of cycling on the box to get us all in the mood.
Remember you can find us on the following if you have loads of time on your hands and generally get bored.
Facebook Shop rides
Facebook Shop Team
So the January Strava challenge is in full flow as stage 1 draws to a close and stage 2 begins with our first summit finish. All info for Stage 2 can be found here and remember it’s all about taking part and getting out on the bike. Some of us are a little stuffed for time so we are making the most of our Thursday night rave rides and covering each Stage during it’s live week so people can familiarise themselves with the course and we will let their time count but as we are just cruising it will not be overly competitive on the leader-board.
Stage 2 – Start at the North End of Marlow High Street and head out on the main Bourne End Road – the segment starts on the way out of town and follows the main road over the A404, past the Garden Centre on your left and then turns LEFT at Winchbottom Lane. You then wind up through the woods and turn RIGHT up the steep hill towards Flackwell Heath. Then RIGHT on the Straight Bit and through Flackwell as with Stage 1, but crucially you go straight over the last roundabout and down Whitepit Lane before a quick roll around the village green and up Windsor Hill (National Hill Climb HHC011) – the Segment finishes just before the Y junction at the top of the SUMMIT FINISH.
Our first Thursday evening Rave ride as mentioned above took place this past week with 10 of us getting out for a few hours stretching the legs and getting the Fluro and Lights rocking. Anyone is welcome to join us leaving from the shop at 7:30pm unless the weather is super bad, it isnt a mega fast pace ride its just some mid week fun and can be seen here.
Over the last month or so i have been lucky enough to get on the Zwift beta test program along with others and due to myself putting info up on Facebook,Twitter,Instagram and Strava have had lot’s of people asking what it’s like. At a glance to most it looks like another playstation type trainer game and probably to those who train religiously it looks a waste of time but trust me it isn’t. My first outing on Zwift island was a gentle pedal around as my virtual self taking in the scenery and not much else as i was restricted on time. I decided to get a slightly more structured ride next to see if it was worth persisting with and an hour in i was fried.
A brief breakdown for those who have yet to see or hear of Zwift, Take a fairly basic Playstaion/Xbox car racing game That (when fully launched) allows you to pick your bike model and colour-way, choice of clothing colours and skin tone etc. Now you have the basic Virtual rider and bike set up you also via a USB dongle sync your cadence/Heart Rate and Power meter if using one just as you do with most online training software and you’re ready to go. Currently we are restricted to riding around Zwift Island which is currently far nicer than the inside of my garage and full of other cyclists. There are other virtual riders out and about with their name and country flag showing so if you decide to take one in a sprint etc you know who they are. The island has a Green Jersey sprint, Polka dot KOM jersey and Orange jersey for the lap sprint. Whilst climbing and descending your speed is relevant to your power etc so if you want to climb quickly you need to put the effort in and i find that mentally you do get drawn into the whole thing to the extent of raising your cadence as you descend and so on as you feel you are going down hill or climbing. This will only make sense to those who have used the software at this point.
Lately the number of riders has grown and there are some very fast people appearing on the Island currently meaning a serious effort if you want a jersey for a lap or two. Once the training side is running it will be i feel one of if not the best kit around for the Turbo bound of us. I have used my Trainer road programmes on Zwift so far and the time just flies by plus i find i work slightly harder than i do just using std training software as the climbing and descending added to the other riders really encourages you to up your game.
You can join other riders or meet up with friends and ride together and with a little mobile app you can change your camera angles, flick an elbow, wave and even ring your bell at present. One place i really see this taking off is not only team and club training sessions when weather is fowl enough to stop you getting out as you’ll be trying to keep with the bunch as you usually would outside but i think there is a massive scope for a worldwide club league like and international weekly crit race allowing you and your team to take other teams on around the world to wing the ultimate in Virtual Trophies.
Dear Zwift if you do run a weekly club race league etc please please remember it’s my idea “Virtually”.
Well it’s time to wish you all a Happy New year and we hope your 2015 will be a memorable one. Our January challenge is live as of the 1st so get your name on the leader board before the 1st stage finishes on the 11th and get in the running for prizes.The stage info can be found here Stage info and remember to take part you need to be in our Strava club here .
The rules and full blurb on the challenge can be found in the previous blogs to your left under “Pedalling Gears January Challenge” no less and if your a Strava user and opt in to their monthly climbing and distance challenges this is a great excuse to make sure you complete them. On top of this there will be more to come after January but we will let you know about that nearer the time although 2 things we can confirm are our weekly rave rides and monthly BIG ones. As of Thursday the 5th of February 7:30pm our weekly “Rave Rides” are back on lasting somewhere from 1-2hrs in general depending on weather and turn out. It’s a mixed ability ride so anyone is welcome and we meet at the shop.
The “Monthly BIG One” will start on February 1st from the shop. Time and route will be made available on Strava so all those who are club members will receive an email with all details on but we will pop it on Facebook and Twitter etc. The ride will cover 100KM so anyone wanting their Strava Grand Fondo jersey will acquire the needed distance in that ride, Strava have also added a 150km ride aswell so although not confirmed we will probably add on another 50km for those of you who wish to hit the 2 jersey’s in 1 ride.
March will see our Challenges kick off again and all information on that is super secret so you’ll just have to wait but there is plenty to get on with mean time. Our little Race Team is up and running and we would like to thank Skye energy and Matrix Fitness for their sponsorship this coming season to get us on our way. Our long term goal is to help younger riders work their way up the ranks with the least confusion possible but we need a solid base to build from so the sooner our boy’s establish this the sooner we can start. The line up so far is as follows, Grant Dyer – Road, James Foster – Road/MTB, and Neil Tandy – TT/Triathlon/Cyclocross. I would like to wish them all the best for the coming season and you can follow them on Facebook here.
This is set to be a big year for us and we hope we can grow quickly enough to offer you our customers and friends the service and surroundings that make cycling all the fun it can be, have a great New Year ride safely and see you all in 2015.
For those of you who live on pre-packeted nutrition and powdered drinks please read this page and for those of you who don’t please read it also. We live in a world of pre packeted nutrition based on massive marketing campaigns and beliefs that the little silver shiny packet you just purchased pre ride will give you super pro status energy. Now firstly i am not knocking this kind of product i sell and personally use CNP’s cycling products and love them dearly they taste nice they are easy to stuff in your pocket and get you out of trouble on those long days in the saddle when you’re struggling but the guy’s at SKRATCH labs have a slightly different philosophy on sports nutrition and for very good reasons. Dr Allen Lim and chef Biju Thomas have worked for Radioshack, Garmin Sharp and BMC and are finding fans across the sports world on a daily basis aswell as Team Sky taking a little interest. Their take on sports nutrition is simple it’s just about “Real Food” no corner cutting no special powders from a magic unmarked box just good old fashioned food the stuff we have eaten since time began.
Now we could get very deep here and go on about gastric emptying rates and osmolality levels but if you’re that serious about this subject you’ll be reading far more exciting things than this.The idea was to provide sports people with drinks and food that would get from the mouth to the stomach with the speed and efficiency of a Penguin on a bobsleigh run and then deliver nutrients, fluid and carbs to the body with the least amount of gastric distress possible leaving you one happily fuelled cyclist.
Have you ever truly asked why most gels and bars tell you to take with water etc, it’s because they only contain a fraction of the moisture that real food does so your body needs the extra fluid to help your system break down the product yet a banana needs no extra help to aid the digestive process. Your body starts the digestive process as soon as you smell/see or taste the food “remember your body is very clever and made by special magic so it does lots of amazing things which i will not go on about because its just sooooo long winded” so the process is already out of the starting blocks before you have paid for your Coffee and Cakes however as well as it can work a gel for instance is like blind folding your digestive process, until that puppy hits the throat your body doesn’t know whats coming it could of been your glove at this point and the digestive system wouldn’t of known so part of the process has been skipped you now need to hope the rest of it will work properly for your body to get fuelled up, good luck body.
Your body is a very complex peace of kit and deals with stuff as best it can but it can only do so much in it’s warrantable period so why not spend some time and not only fill it with real food that has been on the menu for the last ooh few thousand years but keep a track of what does and doesn’t work for you. Some people laugh when they see someone with a food diary but when they drop you on a club ride week in week out with endless supplies of energy it isn’t so funny. Take a look at SKRATCH labs website for more info. We will have their hydration drinks and cook books in store shortly but this week we will be in the kitchen knocking up some of their recipes and we will let you know how it goes down “literally”.
On top of this in collaboration with Donkey Label they have a pretty sweet jersey available aswell. Have a great New Year peoples and eat clean.
My enthusiasm to ride my bike this time of year is usually dropping faster than the temperature outside however our January Strava challenge has given me a significant boost in enthusiasm to get myself ride fit. The challenge is currently in it’s Prologue stage allowing everyone to get out and get their name on the board in a non competitive manner which will also help us decide which way we run the prizes ie age group – weight class – male female etc. So far all have agreed the course itself is quite a lung burner and with the cold setting in it will only become harder to get out and grab a good time but the Prologue is on until the end of Boxing day so plenty of time.
Now i could go on moaning about the weather or the internet killing the high street or even how my diet is restricting my chocolate intake to a minimum but i wont, instead ill introduce you to our newest brand Eddy Merckx. For the 2015 season we are pleased to be a dealer for the legends bikes and although quite a small range in general we feel it will sit well along side our existing brands Cannondale, Cipollini, Parlee and Ritte.
A brief history of the man himself for those who need to know, Fast Eddy turned pro at 20 years old in 1965 and retired in 1978 and in that 13 years he won the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France 5 times each, took 3 world championships won 7 Milan San-Remo’s and even broke the hour record, in for a penny etc. A total of 525 race wins in his career is some doing by any standard so now we know we are dealing with the Boss lets take a look at his 2015 line up.
First up is the EMX 525 (named after career victories) this is the top flight race bike available in either frame set or Ultegra and Ultegra Di2 models.
Next is the San Remo 76 a tribute to Eddy’s unbroken record of 7 wins. The Sanremo76 is both longer in the toptube and lower in the head tube making a very aggressive race bike available in Frame set or 105 and Ultegra options.
The Mourenx 69 referring to his 17th stage win of the 69 Tour de France , the stage was from Luchon to Mourenx some 132 miles long and hence an endurance road bike is born. Again a frame option or 105 and Ultegra models are available.
Next the EMX and EFX which are the entry models in the range offering a racy chassis with 105 spec for him or for her.
Last up is the ETT time machine as a frame only. Almost good enough to just look at really.
Bikes are beginning to arrive now but we are not expecting a huge amount this year so best get your questions in early if you want to aquire one of these babies in 2015.
Cake-Train-Caffeine REPEAT Cake-Train-Caffeine REPEAT
It’s finally here! THE PEDALLING GEAR STRAVA CHALLENGE (including a cheeky Prologue to get your eye in, too).
In a bid to give our friends and customers an extra reason to get out on their bikes in December and January (beyond wanting to use up all your cleaning products), we’re launching our Strava Challenge. It’s a 4-stage solo cycling challenge on familiar roads around the Wooburn Green area throughout January.
To enter you have to complete four unique stages and report your data via Strava. You’ll be able to see how you rank amongst the PG peloton. Each Stage is available for one week in January and only activities ridden within each Stage’s week will count. As well as an overall cumulative General Classification, we’ll be able to see who’s leading in different sex, age and weight classes too – as well as the individual stages. So everyone’s got something to ride for.
And because we want you to have an excuse to be out in December too, we’re launching our Prologue on 1 December (with activities up to midnight on Boxing Day counting). Happy Fluro Festive Season!
There’s a bunch of rules and things you might want to read before you take part…
All rules of the road must be followed. Please be safe out there folks – especially in the wet and the dark.
You must ride solo (no drafting or chain-gangs; “Group Doping”).
No road vehicle drafting (“Transportation Doping”).
Optimizing weather conditions is totally fine (“Weather Doping”).
Road bikes only, no TT bars (“Aero Doping”).
You must ride the right Stage in the right week. Otherwise you might as well just be doing a different kind of “Doping”.
If you miss a Stage, it’s cool, you’ll get given the slowest time for that Stage plus 3 seconds for each rider who rode the Stage in your quest for the GC.
DATA RECORDING, SUBMISSION AND RANKINGS:
You’ve got to be a member of the Pedalling Gear Strava Club – join here
In order to be ranked (and be able to win prizes), you must record your ride via the Strava app on your GPS enabled smartphone, or a Garmin GPS unit.
After each weekly stage, the General Classification leader will be presented with the GC Leader’s #fluro jersey. We know it’s hideous – but it’s a badge of honor to wear it – so if it’s yours, you must wear it when you cycle.
In the unlikely event of a tie for GC, a fight to the death using tyre-levers will determine the winner.
HOW IT WORKS?
I’M NOT REALLY A RACER, I JUST RIDE FOR FUN.
Ever sprinted through a yellow light? Ever tried to catch someone up the road? Check your times against the last time you rode the same route? Cycling almost always gets the competitive juices flowing, and the Pedalling Gear Challenge is a perfect way to see how you stack up. Record your times when you like, without the added pressure of the media, team cars, soigneurs, UCI drug testers, moto-man, etc.
HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST ME?
Nothing. Except maybe a coffee and a CNP gel from Pedalling Gear as you pass by to tell us how well you’ve done… And there will be prizes for stage and overall winners and some random spot prizes too – we’re just finalizing the prizes but they will include sports massages (NOT from Dave but someone who actually knows what their doing), CNP nutrition bundles, Donkey Label swag, fresh tyres and the like.
WHAT ARE THE STAGES?
There are 4 Stages. One for each week in January. And the Prologue for December. They’re ‘private’ segments to keep the leaderboards clean and will be unlocked the night before their start dates so that GPX/TCX files can be downloaded for guidance – although they should be straight forward enough to remember as part of a longer ride. We’ll share the links to the segments on the PG Strava Club pages.
THE PROLOGUE: “THE VILLAGE” (11km)
Eligible ride dates: 1 December 2014 – midnight Boxing Day (26 December) 2014
Please note any times shown with dates prior to December 1st do not count but some people just couldn’t wait.
Strava Link Here http://app.strava.com/segments/8544073
Good luck to you all and enjoy.
You can find a TCX/GPX file to download here.
Today Parlee cycles launch their new model the “ALTUM” this technically is the replacement for the long standing Z5 and Z5SLI. Why fix it if it isn’t broken is a question a few have asked but with the way cycling is changing currently it was inevitable it would happen. People want to run wider tyres to match their new wider rim profiles and bike fitting has proved a comfortable taller bar position works well for most so the existing Z5 needed to get a little surgery to compete with the young candy available off the shelf.
First up tyre clearance, the new Altum excepts a 28c tyre where the Z5 was a 23c clearance. With the wider rim profiles coming from most wheel manufacturers currently a 25c tyre is becoming the expectable norm especially on UK roads. Mechanical or Electric, cable or hydraulic this can cause issue with frames when you want to run something it isn’t set up for so Parlee have made the process nice and simple as others have recently done with snap in/out adaptors to allow any cable or wire or hose to be used on the frame in a very tidy way.
The Flex-fit cap system on the headtube top from the ESX creeps onto the Altum allowing a 17mm stack height adjustment range and 5mm reach adjustment through this so as your flexibility gets better or worse the bike can adjust with you simply and cleanly. The downtube is also slightly different at the headtube junction and bottom bracket area allowing a stiffer but lighter frame overall. This when viewed from the side at first might not be that appealing to some but like the ESX once seen in the flesh it looks just as gorgeous as the rest of the bike.The bike also has a mounted front mech bracket instead of the original carbon fibre wrap around version supplied and the seatpost binding is sunk into the top tube leaving clean and aesthetically pleasing lines.
ALTUM F&F with seat post £3999 (Z5sli replacement)
ALTUM R F&F with seat post £3299 (Z5 replacement)
ALTUM Disc F&F with seat post £3299
All of the Altum range are available to pre-order with delivery dates from September onwards. They will be open to the usual custom paint options that Parlee offer to make the bike something very special and personal to you. Please contact us to discuss building your pride and joy and as soon as available we will put some custom painted Altum images up.
This bike is being released at Eurobike today so expect lots of media attention on this baby.
This Sundays ride was met very quickly with a Biblical downpour that only Noah himself would of welcomed and mixed with summer riding kit and carbon rim braking performance which in the rain is turns your brakes into musical instruments with no intention of stopping you at all made me think it’s that time of year to start getting the winter kit in order. First up the clothing, Northwaves Arctic winter boot’s will be with us shortly to keep dry and toasty warm all winter long. We also have some great shoe covers from Lizard skins for those who don’t require a full winter shoe.
Lazer helmets offer clear plastic aero covers for most of their helmets which also help keep warmth in by blocking off the vents but Lazer do also make proper winter liners to fit inside the helmet which also cover your ears aswell. The added safety feature of their helmet light is also a dark night bonus. Whilst on the lights subject we have a range of Light & Motion’s lights due in soon offering small and quick fitting lights with lots of power to keep you seen from both front, back and sides.
Winter clothing from Parentini will start to arrive from mid September with their new Mossa jersey/jacket which if you like Castelli’s Gabba jersey then you will not want to miss this item. Parentini have been making our kit for us with everyone loving the comfort and quality their garments provide without the ridiculous price tag of certain brands. We are currently selling off all 2014 bikes and although there are not many left there are some great bargains to be had some of which can be seen on our Ebay page and shortly we will pop a list up on Facebook.
We have already had a great interest in 2015 bikes with deposits being placed early to avoid disappointment and it would seem that disc brakes are being welcomed by most especially for their winter builds, with this being said we have a few nice builds as usual lined up and these will feature on Facebook and Flickr for all to see with brands like Parlee and Tomassini topping the roster.
Eurobike is 10 days away with lots of new releases to come from brands like Cipollini with the Nuke and a few others which we are not allowed to mention at this time but our man and his camera will be in attendance hopefully getting all the info to you as it happens. We have a lot to do between now and Christmas at PG towers to get next years line up prepared for you with lots of things you just don’t see everywhere else and some great little events on the calendar aswell but those signed up to our Newsletters will get the nod first on most of this even though our newsletters have been some what non existent for a while due to being mega busy which i would like to thank you all for. Get signed up at our rides and meets section so you don’t miss anything or join us on Twitter for pointless ramblings and help make #FluroFriday a worldwide bit of fun. Facebook will always give snippets of whats going on daily and Instagram and Flkickr will bring things to you in beautiful coloured shapes known as photo’s. Last of all join our Strava club for various ride outs or watch our shop ride Facebook page for Thursday night cruising.
This winter will be a busy one for cycling so make sure you don’t miss out by being under lit or dressed, ride responsibly, ride safely but most of all enjoy.
Another successful Ride London event is behind us and although the weather wasn’t quite what was expected for this time of year it didn’t stop 24,000 of you taking part.The London Marathon that has ran (couldn’t help myself) since 1981 had roughly 40,000 entrants in 2014 and has a worldwide following so in only 2 years the growth in this event is incredible. The figures above are only rough please don’t quote me on these. Saturday saw the “Freecycle” day allowing all ages of people some 60,000 to ride their bikes around a traffic free London enjoying the weather and general calmness of the whole thing, this has been mentioned by lot’s of celebrities who attended including Chris Boardman who said it was such an amazing site to see. Obviously as a one day a year thing it is quite a spectacle to most i am sure but it does beg the question if London were pedestrianised to an extent would it make for a better living environment of healthier happier people and a major lack of congestion and pollution being a plus side.
Here are some statistics from 2011 which are obviously out of date but an eye opener none the less. The percentage shown per country is the amount of the population that are cyclists.
The Uk figure i believe is around 40% so we have a way to go yet compared to the above but we are moving in the right direction. The one thing we have against us in old Blighty though is the weather but more companies are getting cycle savvy with shower rooms and secure parking for staff making things easier, the right clothing also makes a massive difference and surely with more people cycling and less traffic on the road the public transport system might function a little better but im sure Fulham will win the premiership before that day comes.
Cycling is growing on our little island and for the better aswell and i hope all those who moan about and hate cyclists will one day get a chance to experience how much fun it actually is, you never know they may actually enjoy it.
No Badgers were harmed whilst this was written but one snickers bar was consumed violently.
Enjoy your week folks.
Ritte is a fairly new name to most of you as the brand has only been with its current distributor since February 2014 and in that short period of time they have done their best to get the brand out there to the public. Ritte were established back in 2008 and have since continued to hone and polish their gorgeous peaces of carbon that hold wheels and group sets together in such a funky way.
Enter the Bosberg.
Bosberg is the last cobbled climb of the Ronde van vlaanderen and it’s also a kick ass race frame that does the business when it’s needed but is also just at home cruising for coffee. I wasn’t sure what to expect on my first outing on the Bosberg , the frames are made in a factory that produces other high end frames but the prices are not toward the higher end kit plus the finish is great so is this frame made to look the part but not perform to the same level ? Definitely not it performs a plenty, within the first few pedal strokes you can feel the chassis transferring all to the Tarmac making forward propulsion it’s priority. The ride is comfy but on rougher roads the frame reminds you it’s stiff every now and then but always encourages you to push on.
Whilst rolling along you could be on any number of high end carbon frames until you glance down and see that oh so lovely paintwork grinning back at you as if to say “come on let’s party”. The first climb I hit is one I hate but secretly enjoy at the same time. The climb doesn’t feel any better than usual to be honest but I later see it was my fastest time so far, thank you oh big stiff chainstays for your ultimate power transfer. As my ride and now rides went on ive noticed my climbing has improved, is it the frame or that “new bike look what it can do” thing either way im quicker and smiling lot’s whilst riding it or looking at it. Whilst parked outside the various ride coffee stop’s it always turns heads with it’s big bright tubing and look at me im cool attitude.
Ritte came into some criticism a few years ago about their first frames but trust me whats in the past is in the past this bike is as much of a contender as any other carbon dream machine out there and with all new models due for release shortly to broaden their range Ritte are set for a bright future. The frames (Bosberg and Vlaanderen) are both mechanical or electronic ready and oh so simple to set up. The stainless snob is an externally cabled frame and beautiful in the flesh. Ritte dont break the bank compared to most in the frame set market but do not let that put you off, they work and work well and for the seasoned cyclist who just wants something a little different from the mainstream stuff then this is money well spent. Roll on Cyclo-X season so the Crossberg can get rolling.
10 stages into this years Tour de France and it’s been great since the off. The UK came out in force to see the Tour grand depart in Yorkshire and the crowds didn’t thin out until the end of stage 3 in London where the teams departed for France. It just shows that cycling in the UK is growing year on year and unlike other sports you do not need to pay some stupid ticket price to see your heroes in action. So 10 stages down and we have already lost the “Favourites” or was Nibali just overlooked by most either way it’s been great so far and looks like the theme will continue. This point of the year is where we in the UK usually get good weather and start buying bicycles but it’s also the time where everyone starts talking about next years models and whats coming in the next few months. Some of the biggest changes will be disc brakes and Shimano 105 going 11 speed other than that it all looks quite the same, SRAM – Shimano and Campy have already rolled out the latest groupsets so nothing will be expected to change there, wheels are still round but the added disc models will keep most busy. There are a few companies showing off new track bikes as the sport continues to grow and also TT bikes including new frames from Cannondale and Ritte.
Focus have a new Cayo evo frame this year that’s lighter and mechanical/electric compatible making future upgrades a lot easier. Ive heard rumours about a potential new Cervelo but i cant say anymore at this point and then there’s the new MCipollini leaks going round about the “NUKE” ? MTB or Road who knows but im sure the next 6 weeks will be fun seeing all the new kit coming through but as for now i am sorting out winter kit. I know it’s only July and Sunny etc etc but that’s life in this trade although we have some lovely kit coming through from ALE and Parentini with probably the best water and windproof jerseys to hit the market since water and windproof jersey’s hit the market.
Lazer’s new Z1 helmet is now in stock and it fit’s beautifully, Supacaz have released some new colour bar tapes including Fluro/Neon yellow and greens (about time) to match your Pedalling Gear kit. New CNP products also in store from smoothies and porridge to Ginger flavour hydration tablets (try it before you turn your nose up) and finally Stages power meters are in but in very short supply. FFWD demo wheels the F2A and F4R’s are available to book and try and Donkey labels new clothing has started landing with Jersey’s in store and socks and bib’s to follow. Suplest footwear is also in store for those looking for some sexy new cycling slippers.
Meantime keep eyes on our Flickr site for various builds and Facebook for all that’s new including our shop rides or join us on Strava and Twitter and Instagram for various random witty banter.
This blog was brought to you by the exciting surroundings of my dinning room and hyperactive dog, good day to you sir.
Pedalling Gear is now a tad over a year old, so I thought it was time to have a freshen up, I hope you like the new site.
Firstly a big thanks to all of those who have supported us this first year, be it in store or via social media, your contribution has been hugely appreciated. It has been a great and very fast first year here on the green and with everything else we do growing at a very fast pace we felt it time to update this site to grow with us. There is plenty more to come over the next few months as we make the most of summer so please keep an eye on our social media pages for the latest builds and kit to hit the shop, and all the info on our Thursday evening ride-outs. We have some lovely builds lined up to show you and some great clothing on route aswell.
The dust has only just settled on the Giro and Le Tour is just around the corner with what’s expected to be a huge roadside presence on the first three UK stages, and then later in the year the Tour of Britain will roll through Chinor and Princes Risborough as it trundles to Hemel Hempstead on stage 6 which will be a great watch for all us locals.
There is a busy year ahead for us but we want you to make the most of the riding weather with the right kit, so over the next few weeks we will update this blog regularly with an insight into the brands we sell and why. From chamois cream to tyres we will cover it all not to mention some secret stuff that we just can not discuss because it’s secret.
Please remember to check out our social media, from Facebook to Strava, Flickr to Instagram and also check out the shop rides page. Finally, make sure you sign up to our newsletter to ensure you don’t miss out on up and coming events, offers and competitions. Once again thank you for your support and enjoy your summer of cycling.
The Giro d’italia is well and truly underway with Cadel Evans taking an early lead in the race but with only the second rest day approaching and plenty of big climbs it’s far to early to see what will unfold especially with the likes of Pozzovivo (AG2r Focus) less than a minute behind and lots of lovely climbing to get through it looks as though the Maglia Rosa will change hands a good few times yet before the riders roll into Trieste on June 1st.
During this time Bradley Wiggins is looking good in the Tour of California and a potential winner at present whilst Peter Sagan (Cannondale) racks up another stage win for the boys in green. I have to admit i havent seen as much of the racing recently as i would like to due to being busy in store and trying to ride my where ever possible but it has allowed me time to play with the new Garmin edge 1000.
The new 1000 is a little bigger than the 810 which i personally like and it is a lot slimmer. First impressions are it isn’t really any different when on the bike, it shows the same info as it’s little brother does and At this point i”m thinking what did i really expect and was the upgrade worth while and the answer is yes it was worth it. The display for starters is slightly larger and with the auto light sensor i have found it clearly visible in all conditions unlike the 810 that was unreadable in certain light. The on screen text message and call alert is also great as it stops the constant stopping to check voicemails and so on but finally i think Garmin have found a menu system that is quite simple and straight forward, no more wasted time trying to find how to change the fields of display or setting up bike info.
The speed and cadence sensors have also been changed to 2 tidy little units with accelerometers inside so no more sensor mounted on the frame and trying to get both magnets to sit within range you now just attach them with the rubber strap supplied to the crank arm and front or rear hub and bingo job done 2 minutes after opening the box your set up ready to go. As per the 810 there is the Bluetooth connectivity so you can pair with your smartphone for instant uploads and Garmin live track and you’ll also need this for the text and call messages. The Edge 1000 also has WiFi and can be set up to use hotspots for on the go uploading but i havent got this far in yet.
At this point i should point out the sticky bun failed on most tests, the bluetooth connectivity was messy, handlebar mounting was tricky and lead to various large bird strikes when stopped however it did come in useful when i couldn’t be bothered to reach for a gel. You do get more of these in a box than a Garmin and they are much much cheaper but the GPS signal on mine never worked so i would avoid. Based on first impressions i’m glad i upgraded the new unit seems to offer more of the features that suit me, obviously it’s a personal thing and some may not need the new bits and peaces but the original 500/510/800 and 810 are all still available, the one part i do however think is a must is an upgrade to the new sensors which are backward compatible. There was supposed to be dual screen orientation coming on an upgrade but more on this as and when.
And in other news CNP nutrition have launched a ton of new flavours like Raspberry Pavlova and Creme Brulee gels, Ginger flavoured hydration tablets which are awesome and Pineapple and coconut protein smoothies amongst others. Most of this will land in store later this week i hope. Our new shop kit has gone down a storm being modelled on the go here by Boldy (cheques in the post mate) with limited numbers left but hopefully we will get a few more summer bits through before we start to see our winter kit arriving.
Due to 2 teams running them at the Giro Cipollini has received some great TV coverage this past week which has sparked off loads of interest in the brand and we will have some more Team Fluro special news to announce soon.
Last off this week with the new Donkey Label kit due in we feel it’s time for a competition to win some of their swag so make sure you are following us on Twitter and Facebook to find out how to enter and watch our Flickr page and Instagram feed for some very nice custom builds this week from Parlee – Ritte – and Cipollini but for now get out and ride.
Thats it the Giro is just around the corner and the April showers are about to disappear for another year which we all know is a week or two but come on we are British if we didn’t have the weather what the hell would we talk about to other people ? , well you could always discuss the new Donkey Label kit that’s currently boarding a plane or truck in Minneapolis ready to be dropped with pin point accuracy and ridiculous import duties to our front door for you the stylish cycling public so you can spend summer looking super pro and stand out from the wall of mass marketed stuff out there.
We have a delivery of balms and lotions due this week as we are down to our last few tubs as everyone who tries it just keeps coming back for more. The new Jerseys are on route with Bibs a few weeks away touch wood and we currently have a couple of demo jerseys in store if you wish to try them. As the Donkey Label product grows in popularity the customer feedback is great which reminds us why we chose the product in the first place and thats because it’s made by people who are passionate about their sport and products and that says it all really.
Whilst on the topic of clothing our new shop kit is due to land in the next few days and trust me you wont miss it as it’s been blessed by the Fluro Gods as you would expect and it’s lovely very lovely. Otherwise all is as popular as ever, Bont and Suplest footwear is literally walking out the door (sorry i couldn’t resist) and we are awaiting delivery of Lazers new Z1 lid. Through May whilst the Giro runs we will run a few competitions to win stuff, it may be big stuff and might be small stuff but we guarantee it will be stuff and we will post it and everything it couldn’t be simpler. We may even do it again in July during the Tour as long as we can secure enough stuff to give away as free stuff.
The Dude likes free stuff aswell.
Our new website is being constructed as i write and when it’s done it will have lot’s of stuff on it but not free stuff because thats for competitions but we are introducing an old custom where you can come into store and exchange cash for stuff, stuff that fits and isn’t damaged that you need to send back to a PO box somewhere miles away from civilisation, it’s a gamble but we think it may take off so we are sticking with it so for now i leave you with a picture of some calming fish.
Good day and please remember not to take life to seriously as it all gets a bit boring then.
Whilst we are still manic we just wanted to let you know of things going on both in and out of the shop if you didn’t already know. Firstly i would be surprised if you havent seen something about the new Garmin Edge 1000 in the cycling press recently, it’s an update on the 810 to an extent offering various things like a larger display, new sensors that can moved from bike to bike with ease, a light sensitive screen adjusting brightness depending on your surroundings which if following a plotted route in sunny conditions is a welcomed tweak. Better smartphone connectivity with calls and messages being flagged on screen saving you pulling over to rummage through your jersey pockets to see who is calling, and a more specific mapping system for cycling including nearest bike shop and coffee shop making it a little easier to plan stops. All in all it looks like a great upgrade and as soon as our one lands in the next couple of weeks we will give you a full ride report.
Parlee announced the in house production of tubing recently for their higher end Z models which will allow them to play and tweak more than ever before although the Z5 and ESX models will continue to be made in Asia for now but eventually this could lead to complete in house production. Mean while the Z5 continues to be as popular as ever with the ESX gaining ground daily and in Fluro how could you resist.
I have resisted the urge to build my Cipollini RB800 for quite a while now but as the weather seems to have pretty much changed for the better i can not wait any longer. The build will consist of Campagnolo groupset, Rotor, Selle San Marco, Fizik and FFWD components and may even get it’s maiden voyage at the St Georges day sportive in Princes Risborough on the 27th if i get time between everything else to get it finished but meantime here are the Cipo’s of Bardiani CSF pro team and Neri Sottoli – Yellow Fluo to keep you in full Italian Fluro mode for the next week.
With FFWD launching their new F2A aluminium clinchers and the F4R getting the DARC treatment we are running a demo set of F2A and standard F4R wheels currently for those who wish to try them. Contact us to find out whats involved.
Last up our new kit is due to land this coming week with Jersey’s and bibs then Gillets and other bits will follow in due course so expect a big Fluro outing next Sunday.
Happy Easter folks.
Firstly i apologise for the lack of updates over the last month but the shop has and still is just crazy busy. Im taking a little time now to let everyone know whats happening over the next month. Firstly Pedalling Gear has it’s 1st Birthday on the 1st of May so we are aiming to do a Birthday ride on Sunday the 4th of May and the route and time will be released shortly to anyone who wants to tag along.
With our Customer base growing day by day and our love of all 2 wheeled objects we like to bring things of interest to the shop for you all to feast your eyes on. At this point i can not reveal all but lets say there is a big hit of Italian approaching to join the ranks but what i can tell you is our 2 latest brands have landed in store, Ritte, Suplest and Crono. Ritte are a young American brand formed in 2008 with a heavy Belgium influence and produce some beautiful frames for those of us who like something s little different and funky. Ritte falls perfectly in place with Supacaz bar tape and Donkey Label clothing bringing something a little more meaningful and personal to the world of cycling.
Next up is Swiss brand Suplest and Italian brand Crono both of whom make sexy foot wear. Crono have been making their shoes for over 40 years now with a massive history and their top end model the Futura is a stunningly tidy shoe with typical Italian style. Suplest are a Swiss brand who like Crono produce some very elegant footwear and also like Crono will not be widely recognized in the UK but expect that to change over the next year as proper distribution of these brands will bring them to the front of the cycling market.
Both shoes offer great quality and comfort for different foot types be it narrow or wide and allow you to stand out in the crowd showing you have actually thought about your purchase and not just followed the masses. We continue with our other brands and again will be a FFWD wheels test centre with both F2A and F4R wheels to demo. The F2A is a new aluminium wheel starting the range off and offering all year round performance and reliability for those who do not wish to go carbon just yet. The F4r also gets a little update with the DARC profile this year which has worked so well on the F6R over the last 12 months.
For more information on any of the above the hush hush stuff still to be announced just give us a call or drop in to the shop. We will also be updating the website shortly due to demand to offer information on servicing and Retul bike fitting which generally runs 2 weeks in advance. Lastly keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages, Instagram and Flickr for builds and shiny kit updates and new shop kit is due to land in just over a week but expected to disappear as quickly as it arrived based on pre-orders but images will follow.
Thanks for reading.
Well it’s March already and i havent had 2 minutes to spend on here which is nice for this point of the year, the weather has been wet end of and frustrating for lot’s of us but it finally looks as though its drying up a little and we are all getting out and riding. With a few tours already over we start this weekend with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to open the Belgium cycling season with a win by our one and only Ian Stannard and then Tom Boonen takes victory at the Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne which is the second of the weekends opening races.
You may feel a one day race for a pro isn’t much at all but they are tough days in the saddle mixed with the weather conditions we are used to its no fun hitting the cobbles and climbs in slippery wet conditions with a field of equally eager maniacs all looking for their stamp in the history books. Next weekend sees the Strade Bianchi and the Paris-Nice and it’s race race race all the way to October then we can creep back into the garage dust off the turbo trainer and think about the following season and what it will bring.
The current growth of cycling in the UK is great and worldwide aswell, this can be seen by the amount of races and events getting good media coverage which as little as 3 years ago just didn’t happen, cycling is here big time and it’s here to stay. Something which has been nice this year is the amount of customers picking up proper winter clothing and getting out there in the dark and wet conditions rather than hitting the garage for an hour on the trainer. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with the turbo sessions but i don’t think you can beat real mileage in ever changing conditions for true cycling fitness but either way there are more of us doing it and for longer and with the Tour kicking off in the UK this year i think it will be an amazing year for cycling again.
The last few months have been bike fit crazy as people gear up for the new purchase or next big upgrade and some lovely bikes have sold since Christmas and some even lovelier ones are to come. There is a big demand for slightly more custom builds currently than just picking from the catalogue and because of this we at PG towers have secured a few new brands to keep this interest alight in a very nice way, we can not say much at this point but be prepared for some very bright and very beautifully built frames and bikes to make an appearance over the next few months.
Shop kit is in production as i type due to demand we have run with 2 colour ways this season which will be with us in April but no sneak peaks until then i’m afraid but let’s say you wont miss it on the road. Through the better months we will run a few different events from ride outs to in house evenings show casing some new kit and a few talks from various people on everything from Pilates to Nutrition to help those of you who attend to get a better understanding of what you should be doing and when to keep in tip top cycling form.
So until the next time which hopefully will only be a week away rack up some quality miles and enjoy.
In 1992 Focus bikes was founded by Mike Kluge the then 3 x World cyclo-x champion, in 1994 the first product line is launched consisting of 6 bikes. Jump forward to 2006 and numerous German National and World Championship cyclo-x titles later and the first carbon Focus frames are produced, from this point on Focus grows its range and works with such teams as Team Milram, Team Katusha, AG2R and Rapha Focus (cyclo-X) amongst others and picks up medals in most disciplines including individual time trial, xc Mtb and of course cyclo-x.
Focus offer an amazing range of bicycles with some amazing value for money aswell, below you’ll see some our current stock but please call us for more information.
Izalco Max 1.0 £5799 – For 2014 the Izalco gets team treatment with the new MAX frame offering a super light frame and fork with Dura-ace Di2 groupset and Fizik finishing kit.
Izalco Team SL3 £3099 – Dura-ace mechanical, Fizik finishing kit, Fulcrum wheels and Schwalbe one tyres, race ready super bike.
Mares CX2 £3199 – Cyclo cross at pro level the CX2 offers the same frame as the pro missile CX1 with an Ultegra Di2 groupset and Shimano’s R785 hydraulic disc brakes for an amazing package.
Culebro SL2 105 £899.99 – Shimano 105 spec, Carbon fork, 10 speed compact double.
Cayo Evo 4 105 £1400.00 – Shimano 105 spec, Full carbon frame and fork, Compact double (also available as a triple).
Cayo Evo 3 Ultegra £1599.00 – Shimano Ultegra spec,Concept EX brakes, Fulcrum wheels, available as a compact or Race.
Izalco Team SL1 Dura ace Di2 £4399.00 – Di2 electronic groupset, Rotor chainset, Fizik bars and saddle and Fulcrum wheels.
Izalco Donna Ergoride 3.0 Tiagra £1299.00 – Ladies carbon frame and forks with Shimano Tiagra spec components and compact gearing.
Izalco Ergoride 3 £1549 – The carbon Ergoride offers super comfy sportive geometry but with plenty of performance to boot, Shimano 105 groupset and Fulcrum wheels.
Izalco Ergoride 2 £1999 – Focus slip a little AG2R team colouring in here with an Ultegra 11 speed groupset, Fulcrum wheels and Schwalbe tyres making all day rides a pleasure.
Mares AX3 Disc 105 £1199.99 – Aluminium cyclo-x frame with carbon fork, Shimano 105 spec and mechanical disc brakes. Winter commuter or weekend race machine.
Izalco Team SL4.0 SRAM Force 22 £2499.99 - The Izalco Team SL full carbon frame and fork offers race geometry as used by AG2R mixed with new 11 speed SRAM force groupset and Fizik finishing kit making it another most wanted Focus.
Izalco Team Sl 2.0 Sram Red £3499 – The Izalco Team SL full carbon frame and fork offers race geometry and performance with SRAM’s lightest groupset at a keen price.
Bikes due in shortly-
Izalco Max 3
Chrono 2 and 3
If you’re looking for a specific model please call for availability and remember all bikes over £2000 receive a Retul bike fit within the cost. Bikes below this get a reduced rate please call for more info.
Cervélo Cycles was created in 1995 when two engineers, Phil White and Gérard Vroomen, decided to market their work developing faster time trial bikes. Having been involved in bicycle and human-powered vehicle design since 1986, they started a bike design from scratch when a top-ranked Italian pro cyclist approached Gérard to design the fastest possible time trial bike for him. The team evaluated the bikes on the market, and set a design goal for the bike that was difficult and uncompromising. They wanted something that was unbeatable in aerodynamics yet sacrificed nothing in weight or stiffness. The result was a pretty radical bike that pushed the rules in almost every area. It tested extremely well for aerodynamics, as well as handling, stiffness and comfort.
Since 1995 Cervelo has grown a reputation for some of the best bikes in the world especially in the Triathlon and TT market and with this years range of complete bikes the value is unbeatable.
For 2014 all Cervelo’s bikes come with fairly standard wheel sets due to each customers preference for wheels at this level of cycling so please call for more info.
Cervelo R3 Ultegra £3099 – Cervelo’s all new R3 for 2014 is stiffer, more aero efficient and now has future proof cable runs allowing either mechanical or electric group sets to be fitted leaving the look of the bike very tidy indeed.
Cervelo R3 Ultegra Di2 £4199 – The all new frame as mentioned above with Shimano’s cable killing Ultegra Di2 groupset making an unbeatable package.
Cervelo (NEW) S2 105 £2399 – Cervelo have re-vamped the S2 with the new S3 frame FK40 fork and 105 groupset.
Cervelo S5 Team Le Dura ace Di2 £5599 (1 x 56cm left otherwise sold out for the year) – The S5 is one of the fastest road bikes around with true aero heritage and a great component spec straight out of the box.
Cervelo S5 Ultegra Di2 £4599.00 – The standard S5 is no slouch by any means mixed with an Ultegra Di2 groupset Rotor chainset and Mavic wheels this makes it class leader in the road aero market.
Cervelo P5 Six Dura Ace £5599.00 – The P5 is the pinnacle of years leading the aero market and searching for the ultimate wind cheater, the 2014 P5 brings everything expected to the table to make it the fastest bike out there even down to the skin surface of each aero zone being tuned for ultimate efficiency.
Cervelo P3 Ultegra £3299 – The P3 offers drop down tech from the P5 and comes in 3 models including Dura ace and Ultegra Di2. (please note Ultegra Di2 model shown) Ultegra model comes with 3T accelero wheel set.
Cervelo P2 105 £1999.00 – Probably the most popular Triathlon bike on the market the P2 offers performance that would destroy most bikes twice its price.
Cervelo R5 Sram Red £5299.00 – The 2014 R5 offers an aero advantage over it’s predecessor due to the new Squoval 3 tubing taken from the RCA, a stiffer bottom bracket for acceleration and climbing plus a stiffer headtube for perfect handling feedback and still as comfortable as ever.
Cervelo R5 Dura ace £5199 – As described above but with mechanical Dura ace groupset.
Cervelo R5 Dura ace Di2 £6799 – The 2014 R5 D12 model is a very desirable peace of kit from it’s amazing frame design and performance to its smooth effortless electronic gearing.
Cervelo S3 Ultegra £3299 – The all new S3 is set to be a big bike for Cervelo this year with it’s S5 aero efficiency and R5 comfort it’s no wonder David Millar is riding one this season.
Bikes Due Shortly
All New P2 105 , R5 Dura ace Di2, S5 Ultegra, S3 Ultegra Di2
Please call for availability on all models.
If you follow the ever growing sport of Cyclo-cross you may be aware the infamous Jeremy Powers of Rapha Focus fame won the national championships aboard a stealthy black new bike and now Focus are ready to spill the beans. Focus was founded by a cyclo-cross world champion Mike Kluge during the end of his pro career and over time has drifted slightly from it’s CX roots but with the domination of team Rapha Focus in North America over recent news and hitting the headlines world wide Focus are back in the driving seat.
The bike pictured is the model used by sponsored pro Team members and final colour and spec’s are yet to be announced but availability is expected for June 2014. The bike has followed the path of the Izalco Max with the development team concentrating on a perfect mix of weight/stiffness and handling. This has lead to a taller headtube (15mm) meaning less spacers are needed for most allowing a stiffer more positive front end, the bottom bracket drop has been raised by 5mm allowing better cornering clearance in off road situations cutting out the chance of pedal strike on uneven ground and maintaing speed.
The new Mares is the first CX bike to run a chain guide like a mountain bike, on rough terrain with a weaker sprung road rear mech this helps keep the chain where it should be and not dangling down into the mud whilst your cadence goes through the roof. The fitment is the standard ISCG-05 that’s used in the MTB world to allow use of all aftermarket manufacturers products.
The Frame will be offered in a canti and disc brake version with the disc brake version running thru axles instead of quick releases. The reason for this is increased stiffness and rider feedback, it also keeps disc brakes aligned better so cutting down on noise due to wheel flex and so on. The system used is and will be the fastest thru axle system on the market allowing the axle to slide straight in a quick small rotation locates the axle in place then you flip the lever and your done, quicker to do than to explain.
The frame is also cable and electric ready all tucked away internally keeping it muck free, the top tube is flatter allowing more comfort on shouldering if you need to get off and walk ( i should say run but thats for the pro’s) full carbon head bearing seats for weight reasons, tapered steerer tube for stiffness and handling, full carbon drop outs and a press fit 30 Bottom bracket which is much the do now a days. Now the most important bit the weight, a 56cm canti brake version painted is 895g and the disc model 922g which for a cyclocross bike is heavenly anyway. As soon as full launch specs and prices etc are available ill list them immediately but only after ordering mine, anyone in the market for a current 2014 Team Rapha CX-1 in a slightly used but well loved condition let me know.
Cervelos R3 is now into its 9th year and the 3rd generation 2014 model is still the bike to beat. The R3 has always had a huge following from its first year in production in 2006 when Cancellara took it to victory at the Paris Roubaix then repeated in 2007 with Stuart O’Grady and again in 2011 with Johan Vansummeren it even helped Carlos Sastre win the 2008 tour de france so its had its fair share on wins. The R3 is a classic in every sense of the word and continues to top the sales chart with its “total package” appeal that everyone tries to emulate.
For 2014 the R3 has had a full on make over not that it was really needed but if you can do it then why not. The first thing most notice is the future proof cable set up, the R3 and R5 now run fully internal for either mechanical or electric which considering the growth of Di2 mainly in the cycling fraternity is the obvious way forward and it’s also super simple and by far one of the easiest bikes on the market to re-cable or wire.
Next is the tubing, this year the R3 and R5 share the squovol 3 tube set giving a claimed 7 watt reduction in drag over the previous model R3 but stick my carcass onboard and you’ll need more than a tube set to reduce drag but lets not get into that. The tube shapes are handed down from the RCA and this also gives an increase in stiffness at the bottom bracket and head tube areas allowing for a better power transfer and far more planted and stable front end.
The R3 is currently available in Ultegra mechanical £3099 and Ultegra Di2 £4199 complete with a few subtle differences between the 2 apart from the groupset to justify the price difference. The R3 frameset is also available at £1699 and we also have a two 2013 frames left in stock aswell. The only thing we would upgrade on the bike from stock is the wheels as this always makes a huge difference to the ride and feel of a bike that comes with fairly entry level wheels but this was always Cervelo’s take on their model range. Why produce their bikes with brand A wheels for an extra £1500 retail when the purchaser may already have brand A wheels or prefer brand D wheels, this way it keeps cost down and we can spec the wonder hoops of our choice.
Pop in store to see the current Cervelo range as we have pretty much all of them and they are all far nicer in the flesh than on your monitor.
2014 has hit the ground running at PG towers, we were expecting a lul at this point of the year even though December was incredibly busy but no such thing. Bike fits have been going since New Years eve as people use this quieter time of the year to get their position dialled for the coming season. This makes complete sense as it allows the body to get used to the new set up and train efficiently on those long cold winter rides. There are many benefits from a good bike fit including better power transfer and added comfort allowing the body to work for longer in a happier place and not feel like its been run over by a tractor the following morning.
Now we may have some wet and cold months in front of us but thats no excuse to hold you back, Turbo trainers and rollers can be used in the warm and dry obviously keeping those legs spinning but you just can not beat proper road miles. One way of getting yourself out that door on those slightly naffer days is a new purchase. No no no not a new bike but clothing, when you get the right kit then Winter riding isn’t actually to bad. Currently we have a nice little selection of Castelli clothing from their San-remo thermosuit right down to toe covers covering every aspect of the body.
On the subject of warm and comfy we have just had another delivery of Donkey label socks through including the merino wool which are super warm and cosy. Donkey Label have a lot of nice kit to come this year and as it becomes available we will let you know but we carry chamois balm and pre-ride oil and balm in store along with the ever popular pack animals and some of the most comfortable and best fitting jersey’s on the planet.
Over the next few weeks we have some lovely bike builds to bring you from Parlee, Cipollini and Cervelo. Stock and availability is quite good at present on most bikes and it looks as though we have a very busy year in front of us with some very special announcements later on but all will be revealed. If you wish to be kept up to date on some of the more special things please sign up to our newsletter on the left of the page other wise just stay tuned.
Well Christmas is almost upon us and the last few weeks have been a little hectic so we thought a quick insight into whats hot in store for this Christmas to help those of you who are struggling for ideas. Bikes seem to be quite popular but also a little extravagant for most as a present so let’s concentrate on the stocking fillers shall we. First up lights, Lezyne’s Femto drive front and rear LED offerings retail at £12.99 each and fit quickly and simply to your bars or seat post with a stretchy peace of rubber, couldn’t be simpler and safer.
Socks, come on it’s Christmas Socks are a given and we have some of the brightest socks on the planet from DeFeet and some of the sharpest and most comfortable merino wool socks in the world from Donkey Label.
Sunglasses ? i know i know it’s December but Salice’s new 011 specs with the new Radium lens are great for UK conditions, designed to cut out glare and increase contrast they are the new low level light kings and at £59.95 including spare lens can not be beaten.
Embrocation is something most will not of looked into but Donkey labels range is really worth a try. From their handmade soap to recovery oil its all the rage. The embrocation balm protects the skin in all conditions and comes in a range from cooling through to medium for a warming tingle on those cold morning rides. Pre ride oil is much of the same thing but applies thinner than the balm offering less protection in general. The chamois balm is great and refreshing but takes a while to get used to after using soft creams and lotions due to application taking a little longer and the recovery oil is a wonderful way to relax after a hard day riding making you feel fully relaxed.
we also have a variety of hats and masks to keep the face and head warm with Lazer offering winter liners for most of their helmets keeping you toasty warm whilst you ride for the Sunday papers. Last of all we have gift vouchers available so if your not sure what to get them or yourself grab a voucher to spend later and for every £50 voucher purchased we will give you an extra £10 on top. There is always a bike fit which is a great gift to give as it is very beneficial to the cyclist and something they will not be expecting in a stocking.
With all the unfortunate accidents and cycling related deaths in the news of late you cant help but agree its time to be super visible on the road especially at this time of year. With car windows misted up , poor visibility and everything against us ( The Cyclist) it still amazes me how many people i see riding with cheap lights from Tesco that make candles look powerful and when it comes to buying safety equipment like lights and helmets never want to really spend any money because they “might not use it much” which sounds a bit weak when your laying in Hospital after being mowed down due to lack of visibility.
So let’s start with “Lights” which give us the best chance of being seen and seeing, lights can sound expensive for a decent item £100 and upwards for a bike light would seem ridiculous to some but look at it this way, there are a good 4 months of the year its stupid not to use one if you commute or ride in the evenings so at that rate £25 per month which is one takeaway for most, or £8.33 per month over a year basically there is no reason not to get a good light and it will still work next year, Lights are not just for Christmas you know.The Lezyne Deca Drive 800 lumen on and off pictured below.
There are so many quality brands on the market nowadays and we carry 2 of them, Lezyne and Gemini, we carry these two brands for a reason. Lezyne offer both front and rear lights from £12 each up to £200 which covers pretty much all of us and Gemini offer front only from £100 to £220 bright enough to make you think its daytime. The images below are using Gemini’s lights starting with the Xera 850 lumen flashlight priced £99.99. Hopefully you get the idea of what these lights can do for you and shortly ill add some better images of all lights in different surroundings allowing you to see the depth and coverage they offer. So lets look at lots of pictures and relax for a bit.
Xera flashlight 850 lumens
Xera spot 950 Lumens
Xera Duo 1500 lumens
Olympia 2100 Lumens
Apart from the flashlight all models come with bar mount, helmet mount , head belt , leads and charger to cover all options being it cycling , climbing trees in the dark or lurking in bushes or lurking in the bushes looking for your bike you left there before you started climbing the tree in the first place. Gemini offer spares for all their lights including different spec batteries if you want to run your light for longer or just need a back up.These lights also make MTB and Cyclocross night rides a blast and we do have a demo unit available to try for a small deposit.
Lezyne start with their front and rear Femto drive pictured below starting at £12.99 then a very broad range of lights runs up to the Mega drive 1200 lumen at £199.99. The Lezyne range all run internal batteries so each light is a 1 peace unit unlike the Gemini range (excluding flashlight) which all run separate battery packs to the light itself. If your generally commuting you may find the Lezyne a very efficient option as it can just be popped on or off the bars as where youll need to remove both light and battery from the bike with the Gemini lights otherwise some light fingered no gooder will come and whip your power plant away leaving you beam less.
Lezyne Femto drive front and rear available in funky colours.
Power Drive XL
Please feel free to come in and ask to see and test the lights for yourself. Now for anyone wondering what is a Lumen ?
No that’s a Moomin , lumins are a measure of light like gallons to milk or litres to petrol its basically how much you get so 2100 Lumens good 1 Lumen not so good and 1 Moomin very awkward to attach to bike. More to come on lights meantime go ride.
After spending the majority Friday evening on the M25 Bob Parlee, Tom Rodi and Brandon from Parlee cycles arrived at the shop, well actually Dolce the Italian restaurant next door where we indulged in Pasta, Beer and bike talk. After a few hours of great company and great food i persuaded the guy’s to leave their bikes in the shop where i could sit and talk to them individually at length, The bikes that is Bob and co headed to their hotel to get some well earned rest whilst i got to know the bikes all up close and personal.
The new ESX has received mixed views so far but mainly from people who have not yet seen the bike in the flesh. The photo’s of the bike do not do it justice at all, in the flesh the head tube area seems tiny compared to the images launched and you don’t get a real idea on the tube profile which is lovely giving the bike character and some very very clean and tidy lines, especially from the rear where the lack of rear brake and seat clamp looks so clean and tidy. Every customer i got a chance to ask felt the same, the bike in the flesh was just magic and sat alongside the Z-zero and Z5sli looked perfectly at home with its older brothers or sisters (your choice) and trying to choose which i would take was impossible.
As Saturday morning rolled on Bob Parlee took questions openly about his bikes with very honest answers, he isn’t a hype man he is old school he makes a bike that simply works, works very very well in fact and if you don’t like it then that’s fine, each to their own. Bob and Tom take great pride in their product and look forward to what the future holds. Brandon who joined both Bob and Tom on this trip is the guy who translates their thoughts into CAAD allowing them to play endlessly with ideas and prototypes. Pictured below is Tom Rodi , Parlee’s marketing man and meat based product connoisseur, here Tom explains to one of our customers how big the Bacon roll was he chose for breakfast that morning it has nothing to do with the Parlee product but he is a professional through and through.
So they came they saw they had fish and chips in the rain and hopefully enjoyed their visit. Bob, Tom and Brandon were everything i had hoped they would be, real people who love their bikes. They have no dream of becoming the large faceless manufacturers who’s bikes we change on an almost yearly basis there a keeper and with some of the most amazing paintwork going on aswell just seals the deal. There are some special ESX paint jobs in the pipeline and we will bring you these as soon as they break but meantime our Z5sli demo will be up and running shortly for those of you desperate to see what it’s all about.
Parlee cycles have officially launched their latest model the ESX. The ESX is Parlee’s first aero road bike in their range which already boasts class comfort and performance and a full custom offering on both paintwork and geometry so why a new model ? why not, Parlee produce some of the most talked about and lusted after bicycles in the world so it was inevitable they would produce a semi aero bike at some point but when.
As a bicycle becomes more aero in shape comfort is compromised by larger stiffer tubes so striking a balance is quite hard, also weight tends to rise aswell so immediately there’s 2 things none of us want, extra weight and less comfort. Parlee spent years working on this design and hammered through loads of prototypes Bob and his team hit on the perfect balance of speed, comfort and weight with a frame that met all the aero requirements they were after but offering enough compliance to keep this beauty super smooth and comfy and still weigh in at 950 grams and under.
The ESX comes with a direct mount rear brake positioned behind the bottom bracket underneath the chain stays, an integrated aero front brake and will accommodate internal Di2 batteries along with its internal cable routing ( both mechanical and electric) . The frame includes seatpost which is available in both 25mm and 0 setback but a proper bike fit will confirm for you whats needed which is a service we offer to all our Parlee customers using the Retul system. Tyre clearance on this beast is up to 28c taking into account the recent move to 25c and 28c in some cases for lots of riders due to the various benefits these size tyres offer.
The ESX comes in 5 flex fit sizes offering 10 different stack and reach combinations, basically a spacer that sits on top of the headtube allowing the bars to sit higher and slightly closer to the rider that can be removed in moments but it is designed as part of the frame so it flicks all the switches in the looks department and the fit department, if only all bikes were this simple.
First availability is due December so get your orders in quick time people if you want one under the tree on Christmas day. Lastly i am delighted to announce that Bob Parlee himself and Tom Rodi of Parlee will be in store on Saturday the 16th of November from 10am with the new ESX for a short time before heading back home to continue making mouth watering bicycles for all of us to dream about. If you want to pop down and say hello to these chaps then feel free and if you would like to discuss the new model or any model in the range, the custom options and bike fitting ill be around all day to do so and if you come bearing cake or chocolates this will almost definitely put you to the front of the queue.
Well over the last 2 weeks it has been a little manic with need for winter kit and various bikes arriving for stock, we have had a shifty around inside to try and make it all a little easier to find things and we have a few things coming up mid November which we will let you know about nearer the time.
Meanwhile the weather does its thing and we all look at warm and wonderful goodies to keep us out there giving Strava a reason to exist and our partners and families a reason to see even less of us. Winter wheels is a good option this time of year if your serious about your cycling and do not wish to destroy your pride and joys existing wheels so builds are underway to offer you a good value solid wheel that will last for years and be serviceable as well. Tyres also come under scrutiny now as our beloved sticky summer ones get retired for something with a tread and good puncture protection to boot. Top of the list is Continentals 4 season tyre closely followed by the Continental GT and Vittoria’s Rubino pro all of which offer great mileage and puncture protection and when available run a 25c to offer a little more rim protection and comfort.
Lights are quite handy in the dark as some of you may already know, we have some great front lights from Gemini due mid November that offer proper illumination not a ghostly haze 6 feet in front of the bars and we also have some of Lezyne’s lights aswell from their Micro and Femto drive to the dazzling Deca drive so depending on your needs we should be able to cover them. Always good to pop in on the way home when it’s dark so you can see them work in the right conditions and remember being open until 8pm Thursday is great for this.
Bike fits are getting heavily booked again with the Triathlon community looking for their winter tweeks and whilst on the subject of Triathlon we now have the Cervelo P2, P3 and P5 in store with the P2 and 3 being a very popular bike for the money. Northwaves Arctic boots are proving a winner with a few of you over the moon at your newly found level of foot warmth whilst riding. Remember if you wear the right kit then winter riding is still enjoyable.
Donkey Labels products are going down a storm with their chamois balm being welcomed by many, the pre-ride oils are also great in the colder conditions just like their merino socks and the Jersey’s speak for themselves. We will have some kit from a new brand called Mack shortly so keep and eye on facebook and twitter for up to date info. Do you use a Lazer helmet ? if so winter liners are in stock and super cosy aswell as the rollsys rear led light for their helmets as a little added safety.
Lastly today for those of you that are dreading all the Christmas gifts you get that you really do not want we have lovely green gift vouchers so send your friends and loved ones down to grab one and just dream of all the cool stuff you can spend them on. And please sign up for the newsletter so you will find out about things that are coming up.
I never thought i would ever be writing or talking about a bar of soap to anyone other than my children and what it is for but i am either -
A. Getting old and very boring (this will be the majority vote)
B. This is very good Soap
Donkey Label produce some of the nicest and funkiest embrocation products on the cycling market today and also some very top notch jerseys which are now in store by the way. They also produce some very nice handcrafted soap, not that i am a connoisseur or soapaholic but this stuff smells the business and lathers up big time at the site of water leaving you super clean and fresh after your wet and crappy winter ride or race but also smelling super slick. The following models are available but have a little look here for the full breakdown of which does what. Oatmeal Goat milk – Herbal Pumice – Cedar and Sage – Shaving Soap and Eucalyptus Mint. Whilst on the DL run down we currently have plenty of their super socks and recovery and pre-ride oils in stock and plenty of chamois balm which is going down a treat with all those converted from their regular under carriage creams. The Donkey label jerseys are trickling through and currently the Flanders lion and MPLS models are in store with more to come in the next few weeks but if you see something you want let us know and we will get it in for you along with any of (Il)soigneurs quality products aswell.
Meanwhile in house we are making the transition to winter kit as the evenings darken and shite weather descends. We are currently taking in Castelli kit in the way of gloves/bib tights and jackets to join the Solo and Pedalling Gear clothing and also footwear from Northwave and DMT including Northwaves Celsius and Fahrenheit winter boots in a touch of fluro as you would expect. Northwave gloves and shoe covers are also on the walls to keep you warm and visible and with visibility in mind we will also have a range of Gemini lights in stock just as soon as they land in the UK over the next few weeks.
Bike wise our Retul fit’s are busy as ever putting smiles of comfort and joy on lots of faces and bike sales seem to be on the rise with Cannondales Synapse and Cervelo’s in general being at the top of the list. Cyclo-X bikes as usual for this time of year are popular and models like the Focus AX1 pictured below are already sold out but we have a few in stock, also Cannondales CAADX 105 and Ultegra disc are pretty much sold through until February of 2014 so if your contemplating a crosser best pick up the phone.
Lastly Winter wheels, we will be offering various winter wheel packages and all info can be subscribed to up there on the left where it says subscribe to news letter this way you’ll always get the latest and greatest offers directly to your mail box so fill in the boxes and avoid the disappointment of missing a deal.
Back in September we mentioned this on Facebook and now it seems everyone is at it, and why not. Slovakien Peter Sagan appeared on the road scene as if by magic and immediately took stage wins grinning his way over the finish line like a child on Christmas day, popping his signature one handed wheelies, bunny hopping and generally just having fun quietly reminding us what its all about “FUN”. Sagan works hard to get his results but he knows how to let off steam and enjoy himself and now as if by magic you to can have fun and enjoy yourself pretending to be the man himself trying to pop one handed wheelies and almost doing bunny hops in the safety of your own living room (as long as wife approves – we cant help on that one) on your own ltd edition Sagan replica Cannondale EVO super spaceship.
The bikes will hit the UK shortly and in a very limited number indeed due to the fact it’s a proper limited edition not one of those mass produced available all year round limited editions like some others make. The bike unfortunately will not have an SRM fitted like Peter’s but it will be Green and it will have other green stuff on it, theres a theme here if you hadn’t noticed. It will have SRAM RED 11 speed and Cannondale SiSl2 cranks, it will have Vision Metron carbon clinchers and i can pretty much guarantee it will have Peter Sagans name on bits of it and there will be other bits with green on, in all it will be a complete bike with green on it. But in all seriousness it will be one very fast very rare and very sexy bike that will also be supplied with a Scicon Aero comfort Cannondale pro cycling edition bag to put it in when its cold and sleepy.
This bike will not guarantee you various Tour wins throughout 2014 or give you Sagan’s celebrity status it will however flag up your credit cards security dept as it will not be cheap and could also end in divorce should you not tell your other half how much it cost but it doesn’t matter as you’ll have a lovely new bike bag to live in with your new best friend. Go on have a go you know you want to and you know it will be faster than all your mates bikes.
Lastly it would appear as a Cannondale dealer i can offer you one, isn’t that just pot luck but remember you’ll need to be quicker than Sagan to get your order in so phone us now to secure your dream Cannondale unless we are closed in which case try later.
This waffle was brought to you by to much energy drink and the excitement and desire to own one myself.
The weather is finally changing for the worse but that shouldn’t put you off your British. The biggest problem in the UK is getting your layers right as our weather is so changeable so having the right kit is always the answer. Let us start from the top, wearing a nicely ventilated helmet during summer is a must but during winter isn’t the greatest idea as self induced brain freeze just isn’t pleasant. Under helmet hats (skull caps) work well here but can sometimes get bulky if you have a close fitting helmet then theres your ears that freeze aswell so most companies now offer under helmet hats with ear coverage. Taking this one step further Lazer offer helmets with aero covers which may only be useful to the pro riders out there for the aero benefits but they offer the benefit of keeping the cold off the head with zero comfort issues, they also offer winter liners for most helmets with ear coverage aswell so you have a choice. There are also various neck warmers that can be added for the particularly cold days and cheap clear lens glasses to stop the eyes streaming, all of which we have in store.
Top half, this is always a hit and miss one for most of us as we all heat up and cool down at different rates, so layers are the answer but some playing around will be needed to get you super comfy. Start with a base layer, ideally long sleeve this time of year. You have 2 types to consider, merino wool which is warm, soft on the skin and stays warm when wet plus the benefit of odourless is very popular but if you make a few stops here and there the feel of wet patches as you cool isn’t very nice so you can opt for a man made material usually giving better wicking properties to remove the moisture from the skin leaving you dryer over all but all this depends on the amount of layers your wearing, the intensity at which you ride and so on, a little trial and error is needed here.
Jerseys are the next on the list and the market now has a huge amount to offer and some almost classed as winter jackets. Castelli offer the Espresso or Mortirolo jacket which with a base layer are super effective, remember air is trapped between layers keeping you warm so removing and adding layers helps to regulate temperature but wearing just one or two layers may not be as effective on the longer rides than multiple ones. To top this off a Gillet usually works very well if you purchase a wind stopper style this will keep the cold off the chest. If the weather forecast is rain rain rain then you’ll probably be using a full jacket of some description which may mean you tone down the jersey underneath in respect of its warmth. Think about pockets aswell for bars and gels as 6 zips in and a pair of super thick gloves can result in Krypton factor type challenge rather than a quick carb intake.
Leggings, 3/4 and full leg bibs are order of the day, some prefer the 3/4 length bib knicker like the ones we offer from Solo with a fleece lined thermo fabric and longer leg and higher waist cut give great winter warmth and protection, these can be topped off with leg warmers or a helping of Donkey label pre ride oil/balm to protect the rest of the leg. Consider fit especially on full leg tights as the tighter they are may cause the pad to be pulled out of place once on so if possible sit on a bike whilst trying them to make sure they feel right but remember never never never go “COMMANDO” in someone else’s shorts until paid for its just not the British way.
Hands are quite important when cycling for many reasons, using your forearm and face for gear changes and braking isn’t quite as effective after all so cover them well, do not skimp on cost here especially if your like me and circulation isn’t as good as it should be. A silk inner glove is great for those of us with poor circulation otherwise go windproof people as wet or dry you’ll keep warm with that nasty wind chill kept at bay. Do not wear something thats to tight or restrictive as this can cause circulation issues and general discomfort, Glacier gloves cyclo cross glove is proving to be very nice on the colder rides at present and brands like Northwave and Castelli both offer a varied range of gloves with extended cuffs and very plush comfort and of course fluro options.
Last of all the feet, shoe covers are ok for mild conditions and post rain rides with either H2O covers offering water protection and Neoprene versions offering warmth. Make sure they fit, you do not want loose or baggy areas around the ankle or the cleat as this will allow water in, get caught on things and lead to excessive wear and tear. For full winter protection look at Northwaves Fahrenheit and Celsius boots which we hold in stock, these with their fleece lining and ultimate weather protection will keep your feet toasty warm through winter.
All in all there are lots of determining factors in getting your kit right, typical British weather patterns – Sunny at 7am wet by lunch and sleet and snow before 6pm is fairly normal and the best weather forecast is a quick glimpse out of the window before you leave. Sweat rates differ from person to person, riding intensity and distance it all plays a part so spend some time thinking of your winter training and riding and if the thought of going outside before March is just to much then come and see me about Turbo trainers.
Remember it’s all about the layers.
Todays post was brought to you by “The Black Seeds” and “one by one” and a staggering amount of Coffee.
The weather is changing obviously and as you start sneaking the bike further into the house past the wife\husband and dog to keep it warm and safe the long dark cold nights are getting closer. On the bright side the cycling industry elves have been busy making loads of cool stuff to keep you riding safely and comfortably over the next few months allowing you to keep riding and training so you can enter next season fitter and faster than your mates.
First up Embrocation the art of rubbing yourself with fancy scented oils and balms, obviously not just for the fun of it but if you ride all year round then looking after your skin is an important part of cycling. Donkey label offer a range of pre-ride warm up oils that not only penetrate the muscles with a mild warming effect but also moisturise and protect the skin at the same time. Various strengths are available including a recovery oil to help those tired muscles relax fully. Not only does Donkey label offer these and the most amazing chamois balm on the planet but they also offer a range of soaps specifically for the cyclist and some very very nice quality jerseys and socks all of which will be arriving in the next few weeks just in time for Christmas.
From embrocation to illumination it’s time to get the lights out again and i do not mean those little flashy things that emit a smaller beam than Yoda’s lightsaber i’m talking proper bright keep you safe and alive lights. There are various brands out there making some great quality items and Gemini are one of them. They currently have a small range of front lights ranging from 850-1800 lumens that will make any dark evening ride feel like a bright sunny day. We will have a demo unit in store soon for those of you interested in upgrading to something that will actually illuminate where your going more than your handlebars.
Clothing is always a big problem area as winter approaches with the old “will it keep me dry” and “will it keep my toes warm” questions and as a small independent store it is very hard to cover everything we feel with the brands available to us we can cover everything. Solo clothing offers us some very plush bib knickers, knee and arm warmers, hats,neck warmers, jersey’s and jackets. Donkey label offer socks a plenty and warming oils for the colder days, Northwave offer some great winter boots both road and MTB alongside DMT’s range of shoes and shoe covers. Sugoi and Castelli also offer a great range of gloves and clothing so why not pop in for some advise on layering for your planned winter cycling calendar and of course theres always the PG long sleeve rain-tex jersey thats become very popular mainly due to it’s slightly bright appearance.
Lazer helmets offer a line of winter liners and built in lights to the rear of the helmet for safety. They also offer the aero shell which on colder days not only keeps you a touch warmer with no brain freeze but also helps with the wattage aswell. Salice offer a new sunglass lens this year for their new 011 and C-speed glasses that works better in low light conditions and designed with UK riding conditions as it’s main challenge.
Winter wheel packages will be on our list aswell hand built and off the shelf but please sign up to our newsletter on the left of the page as this will be covered in more detail as a mail out shortly. Oh and lastly we also do bikes i suppose we should mention that, as the 2014 stock has been arriving for a few weeks now there are already quite a few of you early season buyers already taking your new pride and joy away and as expected a huge interest in cyclo-x bikes and Mountain bikes which will start arriving soon aswell.
Make the most of the weather everyone and ride safely.
So it’s a little darker in the evening and the weather is getting a little worse but that’s a typical English summer isn’t it ? but this time of year makes us think of Cyclo-X and MTB time as our precious road bikes hide in the corner of the garage trembling with the thought of getting wet and dirty. We start to look for something a little more robust to fulfil our 2 wheeled needs and Mountain biking is a great way to make the most of Autumn and Winter with benefits like cycling off road away from the traffic and dangers of winter conditions on the roads, it breaks up the relentless turbo sessions you go through to keep your Froome’esq fitness levels up and it’s great for your bike handling skills.
So where do you start ? well traditionally a 26″ wheel hardtail would be your first stop if you’re new to it but with the addition of 29″ and 27″ wheels it starts to get a bit confusing. 29 inch wheels are larger diameter and therefore roll over small rough ground a lot better than a smaller 26 inch pair, a great way to test this for yourself is ride down a flight of stairs on a small wheel and it shakes you to peaces do the same stairs on a 29 inch wheel and you skim down with such speed and smoothness that you’ll think twice before attempting it again. 29ers are the staple of cross country racing currently for the above reasons amongst others but get a 29 inch wheel on a downhill bike and things get a little messy, the bike can not turn and react quite as quickly, acceleration out of turns isn’t as snappy as it used to be on the little wheels and a larger diameter wheel is technically more prone to flexing and bending aswell.
So as if by magic the 27er arrives, possibly the perfect size not to big and not to small, rolls a little better than a 26 but offers the snappy acceleration and turning the 29 doesn’t. No doubt this debate will go on for some time but depending on the style of riding you do their all good. Some brands are pure 29 this year others have embraced both, Cannondale offer 29 with a few entry level 26″ bikes whilst Focus have gone 29 and 27 on pretty much all models of their hardtails but split 29 and 27 between cross country and all mountain on the full sussers.
So do you need full suspension, not really this will again depend on the style of riding and the area you ride, full suspension does make things a little smoother and allow you to ride faster as it soaks up the rough stuff and for normal usage and X country riding 100mm of travel is more than enough, 120mm and over is better for the more aggressive riders and 160mm and upward for the downhill junky and Euro travellers out there. Cannondales Scalpel 29′r has been a great bike for normal trail and XC use with the Trigger for the big stuff. Focus introduce SAM this year for the full on mountain usage and the Superbud 29′r for XC. Both brands offer Hardtails from the £470 and £499 in aluminium running into the thousands for carbon fibre.
There is a massive amount of choice out there but a small budget can produce massive smiles and grab some quality lights and do some night rides for sharpening up those reaction times and scaring Badgers but beware of Mountain bikers worst fear, they dwell behind trees and hide behind bushes with large sticks they are “Ramblers” you have been warned.
THE SMALL PRINT
on a Legal note i just want to point out if you should decide to hurl yourself down a flight of stairs as i did to establish the difference in rolling speed of wheel sizes and as part of this test suffer immensely painful injuries from hitting a pedestrian or even worse a small wall in no way can you blame me for this act of stupidity as that would just be plain silly of you. And on that bombshell we say goodnight.
2014 will be the 4th year Mr Mario’s bicycles will be rolling out of shop’s and they havent changed that much in this time but when something isn’t broken it doesn’t need fixing. Since the launch back at the start of the millenium Cipo’s range has grown on the public very slowly an there are still a huge amount of new cyclists that are not even aware of who he even is. Since the first proper ride on the RB1000 back in 2000 i was as blown away with it’s acceleration and pin point handling then as i am now, the bike is a racers bike through and through and when ridden reminds you of this every single inch of the journey always pushing you to go a little faster and a little harder until you find yourself out of your comfort zone but not needing to back off as the bike feels so stable and sure of it’s self. Anyway enough glossy magazine road test talk let’s look at the range. First off the RB1000 is king of the pile a pro race machine but with a very aggressive geometry due to being a bit of a TT machine on the side don’t go expecting a slammed stem on this puppy unless you have the spine of a slinky.
Next we have the RB800 still as much of a race bike as it’s big brother but a little taller at the headtube and slightly less aero profiled and popping up more and more in the peleton with team Vini-Fantini as most will find it a little more forgiving on the longer stages. The RB800 is made from the same T1k carbon as the RB1k but differs in geometry and weight and for 2014 along with all the range gets a BB386 evo bottom bracket first seen on this years Bond.
The third model to join the road range was the Logos a sportive bike to join the ranks of the two ground missiles already produced. The Logos is made from a different grade of carbon to allow a more comfortable ride quality than it’s high modules brothers and a geometry that sits shorter and taller allowing a much more comfortable ride position for the sportive riders amongst us.
Lastly in the road range but the newest addition as of 2013 is the Bond, using the same carbon as the Logos but a different build technique and a proper seatpost the cost has been kept down allowing a custom build of your spec on a very desireable frame and the the added bonus of not seeing one on every corner. The bond is a great handling bike as it’s geometry is taken from the RB800 and it’s front monocoque and patented rear stays give a super impressive solid front end and lightning acceleration and the only weight penalty is the £800 plus left in your wallet.
Now prices for builds will vary depending on the choice of components but so far our builds have all left the shop at the same price as an equally specced off the shelf bike from the larger more commonly seen manufacturers but with a much bigger stand and stare factor and performance to boot. Please call for individual packages and prices and the purchase of a frame set or complete bike includes a free Retul bike fit to be sure your bike will be perfect from it’s first ride.
Now lastly the Cipollini Speed which is arguably the sexiest track bike to ever hit the planet and almost to good visually to ride, but that’s just my own personal feeling, Dear Santa…..
Cervelo are the latest brand to join the Pedalling Gear stable alongside Cannondale,Focus Cipollini and Parlee and bring a little aero road ad triathlon heritage to the floor. Cervelo are a relatively new company having only been founded in 1995 by Phil White and Gerard Vroomen who had a passion to create both the fastest and most efficient bicycles on the planet.
Since the above bike that was made for Gianni Bugno in 1995 Cervelo has moved forward with leaps and bounds in technology culminating in today’s range and their prize RCA frame set. For 2014 there is a little change for us, Cervelo have been known for their frame set’s over the past years but now the full bike is more of a focus although frame sets are still available. The range of bikes has the following ranges, the R series for classic road riding.
The S series for those searching for the semi aero road bike that can be used for both road and Tri when the garage doesn’t have enough room for 2+ bikes.
The P series for the TT and triathlon users amongst us.
And the T series for track use.
The R series consists of 3 bikes in total, the RCA the R5 and R3 all of a classic road styling with a slightly taller front end than most making the bikes very comfortable and popular among the age groupers and for those who want their stem slammed but do not have the flexibility it makes life a little easier. The R5 and 3 have been revamped for this year the R5 is slightly more affordable version of the RCA with 3rd generation squoval tubing and more lateral stiffness than previous models, seat tube drops back down to 27.2 mm to offer a little more flex and comfort, this seems to be the norm for a lot of manufacturers currently. All cables are internal wether mechanical or electric keeping a lovely clean look.
The R3 also gets internal cables and Squoval tubes but doesn’t get the same fork as the R5 or some of the more technical aspects of the build that have trickled down to the R5 from the RCA but it is still an incredible bike. Prices as follow and models arriving in store this month.
R3 Ultegra mechanical £3099 and R3 Ultegra Di2 at £4199
R5 Dura ace £5199 R5 Sram red £5299 and R5 Dura ace Di2 £6799
Frame sets – R3 £1699 R5 £3699
The semi aero series consists of the S5 and revamped S3, the S5 stays as was for last year offering a great balance of aero performance with stiffness and light weight to allow you sprint and climb should the moment take you. The S3 has had a new carbon lay up and allows for more tyre clearance this year and the newer generation of wider rims appearing on the market but on a cheaper scale than it’s big brother, the S3 looks set to be a top seller this year.
S3 Ultegra mechanical £3299 S3 Ultegra Di2 £4199 – S5 Ultegra £3599 S5 Ultegra Di2 £4599 S5 VWD Dura ace £5299 S5 VWD Duara ace Di2 £6999 S5 TDF Dura ace Di2 £6699
Frame sets – S3 £2199 S5 £2999 S5 VWD £3999
Lastly the P series for your TT and triathlon needs, no change here for 2014 with frames and the line up is as follows the P2 is a Shimano 105 spec only at £1999 for a complete bike it offers ridiculous value for money with pure Tri geometry and a slightly taller head tube than other brands it offers a great fit and comfort. The P3 offers more aero for your money by using some of the P5′s tech but keeping it at a better price, the P3 also offers a little more fine tuning on fit than the P2 which for half and full Ironman events is a must. Finally the P5 six is the king with it’s own bar stem system allowing a massive range for bike fitting to get the optimal position and even better aero dynamics than it’s little brothers with a 6-11 watt advantage over other Tri bikes due its Formula-1 level computational fluid dynamics software design, skin suit and zero % body fat optional but available in store otherwise i would be 1st in the queue.
P2 105 £1999 P3 Ultegra £3299 P3 Ultegra Di2 £4599 P3 Dura ace mechanical £4099 P5 six Dura ace £5599 P5 six Dura ace Di2 £7499
Full availabilities are still a little sketchy but most models are due in before Christmas at worst depending on size etc and due in the 3 weeks are R5-R3-S5 and P3 models so please contact us for any info you require. Next week we take a look at new shoe’s , wheels bars and all sorts of eye candy and fluro is back in a big way so if your cycling kit still looks like a Ninja with cleats it’s time to get loud.
Over the last few weeks we have had little peeks at 2014 bikes and over the next few weeks as they start arriving in store we will look at little deeper but the first of our deliveries to have landed are Cyclo-X bikes.
Cannondale CAADX Tiagra
Focus Mares AX 3.0
For those who do not know exactly what cyclo-X is here is a little breakdown of the sport. Basically you take what looks like a road bike but with bigger tyres and far inferior brakes you then ride as fast as possible (mainly off road) in thick wet muddy conditions with obstacles like trees or barriers that force you to dismount and run with the bike wearing minimal lycra over the Winter period, in short a sport for complete lunatics.
To be fair it is probably one of the hardest cycling based sports around due to conditions but by god will it keep you fit. The sport is growing rapidly in the UK as cycling grows in general the Road and Mountain bike riders among us start looking for a winter pursuit to keep the legs and lungs going. If im honest and you do a full season then you’ll use the summer months for recovery and training as it is highly addictive.
Cyclo-X bikes are becoming very popular as a winter bike now with plenty of tyre clearance for mudguards and larger tyre options it makes perfect sense and the addition of disc brakes makes things a little safer in poorer conditions. One thing thats really nice is the fact you can start your ride out on the road then take to the trails at will and enjoy the off road experience which can be great for cardio once you get some little climbs and slippery conditions.
Focus Mares CX1.0 Team Rapha
Cannondale CAADX 105
Cyclo-X bikes begin from as little as £5-£600 and can generally be identified by their semi knobbly tyres and canti lever brakes. Our options in store begin with Cannondales CAAD X Sora model at £799 and the Focus AX4 at £899 both aluminium ranges top out £1400-£1500 with disc brakes and better group sets. Carbon isn’t currently offered in the UK this year by Cannondale but Focus have the Mares CX beginning at £1600 and finishing with the team Rapha model at £4300 with full SRAM red and hydraulic discs. All of these bikes are fantastic to ride and guarantee a smile on the face afterwards, it may only be August but it wont be long before the evenings are drawing in and cyclo-X bikes are scarce on the shop floor so start preparing and if your looking for the Rolls Royce experience then Parlee offer their CX frame set but i dont know if i could bring myself to get it dirty.
First off i want to officially welcome Cervelo to our little establishment. Cervelo join us for the 2014 season with a fantastic line up to come, I currently can not give any information away as Cervelo are due to launch the new range at Eurobike and we will be there camera in one hand and dribble tissue in the other as they unveil ? ( If i say anymore at this point i’m in trouble) what i can say is there will be both complete bikes and frame-sets for 2014, complete bikes are at very competitive prices aswell but trust me when i say the range will not disappoint.
So we now know Cervelo are joining the Pedalling Gear stable but what and who else will be new to the store over the next few months ? well we started off with some very good quality product but there is always room for more so currently we have Lazer helmets 2014 range on it’s way to join Kask on the shelf when it comes to head protection and style not forgetting Salice’s helmets that match their eyewear so well.
Bont shoes will run alongside DMT for 2014 offering more than enough when it comes to choice and with Bont’s heat mouldable shoes ( vaypor fluro currently on test) a perfect fit every time is on the cards.Lightweight , FFWD and Fulcrum wheels will still be our in store hoops with Enve joining them shortly.
I personally feel there isnt enough Campagnolo specced bikes in the world so we will as we have done already be stocking Campagnolo in store especially with the new EPS V2 (internal) being launched shortly and due in store for October. Some bright things to come from Mr Cipollini shortly but thats all under wraps currently and again i cant say a thing but it will be worth the wait. Donkey label products will be with us shortly along with Swissstop pads, Topeak pumps and bags and Fizik saddles and finishing kit which is featuring a lot on the 2014 Focus bike range.
A few Parlee paint jobs in the pipeline and then there is the new Frame from Lightweight which you have probably seen in the cycling press recently. We are lucky enough to be having a spin on the very thing at Eurobike so pictures and blurb end of September but we are taking pre-orders on the frame so be quick because they wont be around for long. Lot’s of the new 27′r wheeled MTB’s this year aswell plus we will be announcing our demo bike range shortly. Stages power meters will be officially available from the end of September offering the simplest of all systems so far and probably the cheapest to hit the market for a while but our old faithful powertap will still be around plus Vector from Garmin which has now launched. So many other things to go through like Prologo cpc saddles expanding to lower price points in the range, their cpc gloves and the usual if it’s fluro we will stock it rule, meantime make the most of the weather and ride.
Next time on PG cyclo-x bikes why you should have one and how to get it approved by the wife.
Well we had a brief look at the Cannondale 2014 range so here is Focus 2014. Sales are growing rapidly for Focus in the UK since they pulled away from internet only and are now shop sales only, they understand people need to see the bikes in the flesh and where possible get a spin on one. This year will be no exception for Focus they have had a slight shuffle in their model range firstly bringing in their new Izalco max frame which weighs in around 790g for a 56cm. This is the frame team AG2R ran throughout 2013 giving it the green light for both weight and performance. There are 5 models in total – Max 0, 1, 2, 3 and Team all running the same frame as expected.
Izalco max 0 below
Izalco Max 2
Izalco max team
The Izalco pro disappears for 2014 being replaced by the lighter Izalco team
Izalco Team 1 Dura Ace Di2 for £4399 cant grumble at that.
Izalco Team 4 SRAM Force 22, Fizik finishing kit and Fulcrums £2499
The Cayo Evo line up stays as is with some new paint and groupset moves kicking off with the Cayo Evo 4 at £1399 105 spec
The Ergoride which is a hugely over looked bike in the range offers that Sportive mega mileage comfort machine and beginning with a 105 bike for the gents at £1549 and a Tiagra spec for the Ladies at £1299
Cyclo X wise the Mares continues with it’s aluminium and carbon range this year and the edition of Disc brakes.
Top of the tree Team Rapha
And in the aluminium
The Culebro aluminium road range gets a new frame for the top 3 models with a tapered headtube, full carbon fork and geometry from the Izalco max so bound to be a razor sharp sub £1k bike.
The TT range gets a much approved facelift although not sure if i want to cable one up yet.
As for their MTB range the all new SAM 160mm travel bike comes in 3 models and looks very simple in design but apparently rides flawlessly. This bike is running 27.5 wheels there is a good mix of this and 29r this year.
Talking of 29r the Raven carbon hard tail range begins at £1600 this year thats a lot of bike for the money.
There is also the Raven 27.5 range beginning at £2200 but the Forest ally range offers bikes from £500 and up so there is a huge amount of choice.
A little something for everyone there and most of whats above is due into us over the coming weeks. Due to demand dates of some bikes are already going backwards so if your keen on anything in the range please call for info, obviously there are other specs and colours aswell as the range is pretty broad and as our stock starts to arrive we will let you know.
As Cannondale finalise their 2014 pricing and UK delivery dates are discussed it’s time to start putting in our forward orders for the coming model year hoping all will arrive in time for you super excited people to get your hands on the latest kit. Colour and spec are a very personal thing to most so its nice to see a little bit of colour available this year again but still no SRAM or Campy spec dales on the horizon for blighty. A majority of bikes have delivery in late August onwards so advisable to get in sooner rather than later to make sure you secure something in the first drops.
Sneeking in to the top 5 bikes of all times pop pickers is the Evo Hi-mod Di2
Now from a colour biased point of view the CAAD 8 105
And Scalpel 29′r carbon 2
Fancy cheaper and brighter and bound to be an instant hit for performance for your £ the Rush 1 in Yellow and Rush 2 in White
If you fancy a race rep paint job Like Sagan or Fumic then theres the Evo Team
The Scalpel 29′r and F29′r Teams aswell
For the all mountain crew don’t forget Trigger and i’m not talking only fools and horses Dave
Trigger 29′r Carbon 1
Trigger 29′r Carbon 2
Trigger Aluminium 29′r 3
Evo Hi-mod race
The Supersix gets replaced by the Evo this year which is a shame as the `supersix was an incredible bike but upward and onward, 105 spec is the starting point.
And a version for the Ladies
Whilst on the Ladies topic anyone fancy a Tango ?
The entry level CAAD8 has its groupset replaced with Shimano’s Claris group new for 2014 although not sure how many blokes will want Claris written on their bits ? maybe the price will decide
Well i think thats enough to keep us going for a few more days anyway. Over the next couple of weeks there will be updates on the Cannondale range and the Focus range as info gets released and prices as well. In the meantime shiny precious things making their way to the shop are Lazer helmets, Bont shoes, Donkey Label products and a few hush hush for now items. We have big news from Lightweight about more than just wheels and the latest from Mario (not the plumber) but all this will come live from a beer tent at Eurobike. If you would like any info on our brands theres an address and everything up there on the left to use as shouting from your front door probably wont get the correct response.
As the 2014 UK launch grows ever closer we start seeing the American market bikes appear here and there, some of which are already selling in the States. The European range is much the same but the UK gets a smaller range based on what the Distributor feels will sell and work for our market. The images below may appear in the UK over the next few weeks/months but once i have confirmation on Colour ways etc ill get it all on here. It seems as though all new Synapse frames are Di2 ready aswell making upgrades nice and smooth.
First up 2014 EVO’s
Dura ace Di2
2014 EVO Team
EVO Ultegra Di2 11 speed
Evo Ultegra (i bet we don’t get this colour)
Evo Ultegra Race
Evo 105, yes 105 entry level superbike slayer also seen in Black/Grahite
Now 2014 Synapse Endurance models have been well publicised so far so just a couple for now.
Synapse Disc Aluminium
Super X Black inc YUM YUM
Well that’s enough for now but more to come over the next few Weeks including the off road kit like the new Rush 29′r sub £2k full susser and Focus bikes 2014 offerings aswell like the entry level Izalco running Sram 22 and Fulcrum racing 3′s for £2.5k which will be a very popular bike this year. Already taking pre-orders so if you wish to be front of the queue best get in touch. Lots to follow so stay tuned.
Well it seems like almost a year since the last Tour de France and Brad wearing yellow and currently it looks as though it’s staying in good old blighty. The first week is done and it has actually been a little more lively than past years with big climby bits in the first few days to brake up the monotony of the flat stages.
Sagan has given us some excitement as expected and already hold the Green jersey by some margin without any bums being pinched and Froome has made his mark on the climbs so far showing hes not there for a bit of a jolly and there have been some great efforts by others aswell showing SKY will not dominate this year as they did last. Meanwhile in the shop the sudden over night arrival of sun and celsius along with the Tour has created some good interest in bikes both entry level and high end showing a very broad range of interest in this ever growing sport. Cycling is becoming a very sociable past time now and just riding the Bucks area on our Saturday shop rides takes you past wave after wave of clubs and groups out for there early morning mileage run and all happy to give a wave and a nod and also a chat if i can find anyone slow enough to keep up with.
If you monitor our Facebook page or Flickr page you’ll be aware of some nice Parlee’s that we recently built and a few Focus Izalco’s all ready to race. We are currently having a late surge on Cannondales new Synapse and Mr Cipollini’s bikes aswell which im sure will continue with the weather picking up. Current most popular items have to be Garmins 810 and 510 followed by Racewares brightly coloured handlebar mounts, we also stock the Barfly 2 aswell.
Kask’s range of Tour lids have gone down a storm with no UK availability left we have very low stock of the Vertigo polka dot, Yellow , Green , Vuelta red and Giro pink in store with matching Salice shades to complete the package. Pedalling Gear jersey’s will be back soon due to popular demand even as far as Europe and Canada which is a result, we are going international.
The end of July brings 2014 product news and images in the cycling press and we will bring you all the juicy bits as and when we get them including our trip to Eurobike to check out what’s new from everyone including new products from Lightweight which are a little hush hush at present. I am currently playing with Lezyne lights (i know it’s summer) making sure they will be up to the job Come October time for those who will need them and also ISM saddles aswell which have been mega popular in the Triathlon community for a long while now so we will run a demo model along side our Prologo saddles to allow you to try before you buy but reports on this to follow.
As from day one the Retul bike fitting is still super popular with lot’s of positive feedback from all those fitted which is great as there is nothing more annoying than riding with pain and discomfort. Bike fit’s are now becoming quite a mainstream thing when purchasing a new bike so for this reason we will offer a full refund on fits when a bike of £2k or more is purchased through us and a 50% refund on bikes under £2k. Over the next few months we will add a few pages to the site with information and pricing on fits and servicing etc but in the meantime drop us an email or give us a call.
Enjoy the Tour
Well it’s almost July so manufacturers start to release their new line ups for you to feast your eyes on. We may not get the full spec’s and proper colours yet for the UK market but never the less we all still get excited about what may or may not be new. Cannondale have gone backwards to go forwards with a re-release of the Rush in 29′r form. The Rush was always a great simple trail bike along with Cannondales Prophet you couldn’t go wrong. The Rush will be available in 2 or 3 models i think and hopefully hitting the £1500 mark to encourage new blood into the bouncy bike market.
The Scalpel ultimate stays pretty much as is but a 100g lighter as if it needs to be lighter anyway.
I have seen a few F29 hardtails now with a slightly re-worked frame and some nice paint schemes but until i see the genuine articles in August im not going to speculate.
One thing i do ask for though is Cannondale produce this Fat Bike as ill have one immediately but maybe without the SRM along with a drop bar Hooligan.
More info as it comes but the new Synapse will be the big one this year for the road range so now you can go ride.
Well it looks as though summer has arrived so lets keep this brief as we do not want to loose our precious outside time. The change in weather has brought cyclists flocking in this past fortnight with all sorts of wants and needs and it’s great to see such a growth in cycling generally, even my commute home see’s men and women of all ages out riding bikes of all types but mainly good quality ones. It seems as though the penny has dropped in a lot of cases and people are realising that nicer bikes make the whole experience far more fun.
This Saturday see’s the start of our shop rides due to there being things called hill’s around the Buckinghamshire area ive realised just how unfit i really am so to get back in to world class athletic shape and condition ill be heading out for a leisurely cruise around the Wooburn area preparing myself for a good look at the cake selection back at the bakers afterwards.
Meanwhile back in the Bat cave there’s all sorts going on, Parlee has gone down a storm with a huge amount of interest in their offerings especially the custom paint work. There are 2 custom bikes due through in the next fortnight and full build info in every detail will appear on here and Facebook and Flickr and Twitter as it happens even down to which chocolate bar’s were consumed through the process, we dont skimp on the important bits.
The Tour de France is approaching quickly and Brad’s not in which leaves Chris Froome to go for gold as he is currently doing in the Criterium Du Dauphine but will he be to tired come July ? is Contador lacking in Beef supplement based on results and form so far ? or is he just pretending getting ready to pop his pistols at every possible moment ? and will Peter Sagan make a few mad stage wins as expected all this and more will be answered soon.
We are re-ordering more Pedalling Gear clothing as it has sold so well we need more Jersey’s desperately and there are still plenty of Furo goodies in the shop aswell. Raceware Garmin mounts are very popular along with Garmin 810 and 510′s. Our CNP nutrition product have got the thumbs up from everyone and we are receaving loads of positive feedback from those who have been fitted on our Retul system so all is looking good so far. We have some clothing due in shortly but ill not say anything just yet until it’s on it’s way and we are running out of Kask Vertigo Tour colour helmets so if you want one be quick as it looks as thought the UK stock has been and gone.
If your not a Facebook person you probably havent seen the Cipollini RB800 fluro we have in stock which is beautiful in the flesh and well worth a nose at and currently there is good stock of Cannondale CAAD 8′ and 10′s ranging from £600 and Focus Cayo and Izalco’s from £1375. All bikes from £2000 and upward will get a Retul fit included with the purchase and all carbon Cannondale synapse’s bought between now and the end of July will receive £250 of free Cannondale and/or Sugoi parts and clothing so including the fit thats a £425 saving.
Lastly you can get updates and general nonsense here here and here and dont forget we have a Strava club to join aswell. All of you who have signed up to the newsletter dont worry it is coming and if your interested in training and coaching then have a look at TGT training or pop in to the shop for more info as a list of things Tony will be doing will be available shortly.
Enjoy the sun everyone.
What do you get for £1000 and under nowadays and as someone new to cycling what do you look for ?. There are lot’s of people looking into bicycles currently and wanting to buy a road bike to see what all the fuss is about but what should they look out for and is there good value to be had under £1000. Quite simply the answer is a big fat happy yes, there are some amazing bikes around for the money compared to 7 or 8 years ago when road bikes were for the richer individual. Due to advancements in technology and more bikes being produced and sold year in year costs come down and quality becomes more afforadable. Take Cannondales CAAD8 or the Culebro from Focus, both bikes run top quality alluminium frames with carbon forks and a variety of components to make price points available from £600 and upwards. These bikes will run a mixture of factory branded parts like stem,handlebar and seatpost in basic aluminium and a Shimano groupset. The cheapest of these bikes will have very basic wheels but the manufacturer is trying to produce a bike to meet a price point so some items have to be of cheaper production to help keep the overall cost down for you guy’s. As your budget extends so does the quality of parts fitted, a higher spec of groupset with 9 or 10 speeds instead of 8, a branded saddle or wheels from Fulcrum or Mavic making the ride quality of the bike smoother and sharper, less clunky and plastic feeling. All these frames and fork sets are worthy of parts upgrades without doubt, Cannondales CAAD8 for example is simliar to their EVO but in aluminium form. The frame is designed to ride like a true road bike with a slightly more recreational geometry compared to the more elite and expensive machines to allow the entry level cyclist to feel both comfortable and safe whilst aboard a pocket rocket. A carbon fork helps with vibration damping and 30 years of aluminium frame building experience insures that the CAAD8 is every bit the race bike you would expect from a company with the History Cannondale has and the same goes for Focus , these bikes have to work well and inspire you or you will never want to move up to the next thoroughbred from their stables. Shimano group-sets will be seen on pretty much all of these bikes due to Shimano being the biggest manufacturer in the world and being able to provide quality items at affordable prices and above all items that work. Sure the entry level 2300 groupset on the £600 bikes is a little basic in looks and feel but it’s solid and it works unlike some of the non branded stuff you get on bikes below these price points.
At the end of the day these bikes are worth every penny and will give you years of enjoyable riding but the more you pay the better it gets not only in ride quality but in life span aswell. Always look for ways to make life easier aswell like Cyclescheme for instance which lets you pay monthly at a reduced rate meaning moving up a few hundred pounds to the better model is far more convenient and will only make it more pleasurable for you in the long run. So for a grand you get a pretty good deal but what if you want to spend more than a grand ? well thats when it starts to get interesting. More next time folks.
The first week of official trading is in the bag and it’s been super busy. We officially opened last Saturday not to sure what to expect and so far my feet havent touched the ground. Since opening our bookings for Retul bike fitting have been flowing in allowing us to help some out dramatically and for others confirm their position is spot on. Along with this some of our brands have been getting a lot of attention, Parlee with it’s full custom option and paint work has gone down a storm and the current orders will be on here in full weight weenies mode once arrived over the next month.
Cipollini has drawn its usual race thirsty audience looking for that all Italian build and finish and thanks to Tony Gibb aboard his Bond it’s already taken a few victories for team Pedalling Gear Tony just helped it a little. Tony’s coaching and training is also going down well with customers signing up to improve their performance on the bike and being able to speak to their Trainer one on one makes life so much easier than a web based plan and saying that keep an eye out for web information due shortly.
Amongst the balloons and cake (which was in abundance) were the Cannondale and Focus bikes which have already sold well this past week due to their history and price points both brands are receaving lots of attention locally and expect to see more on the road soon. Our Mountain bike and cyclo cross ranges will come into play later in the year once we are a little more settled and with loads still to be done from decoration to shop ride outs we going to have a busy year.
The custom kit has sold very well and another order will be being placed shortly for Jerseys as we only have about 4 left. Meantime the Giro is well under way and on everyday in the shop to keep up with whats happening.
Things worth knowing, Cannondale are talking about early release dates for the new endurance Synapse as early as July but this is only discussion at present however if you want to be first on the list give me a call. The Focus Cayo Evo gets a great review via bike radar here. And i will post some views on mine once i get a chance to ride it and a set of light weights and tubs added will probably hit just over 6kg.
As the sun has been out recently our Salice eyewear has gone down well in its range of mental starburst colours and your all getting a little more dangerous with your colour choices aswell dropping the traditional blacks and blues for limes and lumo’s which is great as you all look far faster and safer. Lastly please keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and Flickr pages for info updates and current builds and stock or just pop in and discuss the world in general with our K9 staff member who will be more than pleased to listen your ramblings as long as there is some ear rubbing involved, for the dog that is.
Today Shimano officially release their Ultegra 6800 groupset. The Groupset shares lots with it’s big brother including the love it or hate it (most love it) 4 arm chainset. The 4 arm design allows a multitude of chainring sizes for this chainset from traditional and compact to cyclocross 46/36.
There will be 2 rear derailuers a short and medium cage, the short cage will compatible with maximum teeth sizes of 28T and the medium cage up to 32T yes an 11-32 for all you ratio junkies. The Ultegra 11 speed chain is the same dimensions as the Dura ace model as you would expect but the real key here is the chain rings should carry the same fitment meaning if you run 11 speed Dura ace already then to have a set of different size rings for various occasions wont be as hard on the pocket any more.
Brakes , Shifters and front mech have all be re designed to give the Dura ace look and feel and if a patch on it’s big brother will be a super serious groupset.
A set consisting of Shifters, mechs, Chainset and threaded BB , chain and cassette and front and rear brakes will set you back around £900 and availability is from July at present. We have ordered some and now wait to see what happens with Ultegra Di2 ?
Well it’s either a very late or very early launch but either way the new Cannondale Synapse endurance is a little beauty. As soon as i have the full spec’s and model ranges ill let you all know but i do know the Synapse is running a 73mm bottom bracket and a 25.4mm seatpost.
The big talking point on this bike when spied a few months back with Sagan and Viviani riding it was the split seat tube. Cannondale were looking for maximum stiffnes around the bottom bracket area for power transfer and a wider BB shell allowed more room for a larger seat tube to reach this goal but once lightweight was added problems occured, by splitting the tube the same stiffness can be reached but with reliability aswell – Goal achieved.
Dont worry if you have a current SI chainset as removal of the 5mm spacer should still allow this to work with the new width BB. Model range etc is yet to be touched upon but in true Cannondale style expect high end models (Di2-SRAM22) first then more to follow.
The seatpost was a bit of a pain on the Synapse over the last few years and hopefully this is all sorted now with the hidden internal seat clamp and new (or old if you like) 25.4mm seatpost designed in conjunction with FSA.
All in all a great looking bike as usual tweeked where tweeking was needed and hopefullly a full on green paint job to come aswell, and if you count the sprockets on the SRAM rear cassette it is an 11spd so will SRAM22 help SRAM play catch up to the elctronic boys or is it just to late and possibly to expensive ?
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First things first why should i have a bike fit done ?. There are lots of reasons, you may be looking for a full custom bike purchase like Parlee or you want to be sure your savings will be spent on the right size bike and not what someone thinks you should be on because his mate is your height etc etc. Sometimes it can be due to an accident leaving you with a niggling injury or consistent discomfort when riding, what ever your reason this is why Retul is the one and only.
A static fit is you sat on your bike in a turbo trainer for example while someone gauges saddle height and knee bend for instance then handlebar reach, this method can get you positioned okay but there is a huge amount of info it misses out. Retul is a dynamic fit meaning it’s measured under load replicating the real ride position and stresses you feel on the road and it gives pinpoint accuracy whilst measuring making sure you are set correctly. The 3D bit means your measured in all 3 planes of movement unlike other systems giving the fitter as much info as possible about you and what your body is doing.
I personally was very dubious about handing over the best part of £200 to someone to tell me what i already new but after attending the Retul University and being fitted correctly i was amazed at the difference, i learnt so much about my posture on the bike and how uneven i was when in the saddle and after fitting clients i see that im not the only one. Since being fiteed i have seen a huge performance change with my cycling and i have learnt a lot about my body and what to correct when pedalling away like a demon. Some of us will benefit greatly from a fit others may already be pretty much spot on but either way at least you know your fitted correctly.
A Retul fit can be carried out on your own bike or the Retul Muve fit bike allowing you to receive full fit dimensions to get your bike or new bike set up correctly. Retul also offer “Frame finder” for those of you looking for a specific bike. Once your fit is done the fitter can then overlay your dimensions onto a huge variety of manufacturers geometry tables allowing him to pinpoint which Brand-Model-Size will suit you best and if you need to change stem length or height and so on.
All in all Retul is an incredible tool for fitting cyclists. A proper bike fit is the most important factor for optimal performance and efficiency, injury prevention, and comfort on the bike. A proper bike fit will provide a rider with the most economic means of expending energy and will help prevent pain that is common in the knee, hip, and lower back, particularly with riders who are trying to adapt their bodies to the bike they already have purchased.
The current issue of Cycling Plus has a great little article with Warren Rossiter about His Parlee and fit experience and is well worth a read. If you want more info by all means give us a call on 01628 525246 or pop in for a chat. Fit’s are booked in advance due to the time needed we just cant do them on the spot but a i would always suggest a chat and a coffee first to make sure a fit is what you need and will be beneficial.
Remember Retul covers Road, MTB, TT and triathlon so what ever your discipline your catered for. Team Europacar and SKY are 2 of the many pro teams using Retul to keep there riders in the best position possible through out their season so why not try it for yourself.
Well we are almost done, this last week has seen us start to set out the shop and another week or so and we should be there. Despite the fact we are not yet open it has not stopped various cyclists banging on the window shouting “is this gonna be a bike shop mate” once the Cipollini’s in the window have caught their eye and once ive explained it will and what it will do they vanish as quickly as they arrived to spread the word.
The shop dog guards all precious things unless theres any food around at which point she’s gone so if you should pop in waving a mars bar around just mind your fingers she’s like a hungry great white. There is a slight fluro theme going on currently but be safe be seen is one attitude the other is it’s just plain cool, time to ditch the black and brighten things up a little you lot.
By the end of the coming week our Retul system should be in place along with all our other lovely bits all we will be waiting on is Mr Parlee to deliver us some custom loveliness from across the pond and bingo we are there. Brands in store include Cipollini-Parlee-Cannondale-Focus-DMT-Lightweight-FFWD-Speedplay-Garmin-Parktools-Kask-Salice-Muc off-CNP-Shimano-Campagnolo-3T and loads more.
We are a FFWD and Lightweight test centre and all details on this will be available shortly, Retul fitting is by appointment and a list of demo bikes will appear at some point soon. Shop rides will begin soon once we know what suits you all best and which days the local clubs ride aswell so we dont inter-fear.
The Giro is almost upon us and will be on in store as much as possible, there are great cakes and coffee 30 feet away at the bakers and Tony Gibb of TGT will be on hand most days to discuss coaching and training needs if you want a proper goal orientated plan.
So if your in the Wooburn Green area pop in for a hello otherwise keep checking our Facebook and Twitter feeds for up to date info.
We mentioned last week about Parlee and Cipollini being our two offerings in store for those of you who want something a little special and this week we bring Cannondale as our off the shelf package and FFWD and Lightweight to keep everything rolling smoothly.
Cannondale, i purchased my first proper mountain bike back in 1988 (thanks mum) it was an SM500 and ive never looked back since. On occasion i tried some of the other big well known brands but never found anything that rode aswell or felt as good. Cannondale have been in business since 1971 and they have produced aluminium bicycles for over 25 years now. What they dont know about making bicycles isn’t worth knowing and ask any established crit racer or bike porn junky what they think of Cannondales and they will tell you the CAAD series are the best bikes on the planet. Take all this knowledge and apply it to Carbon fibre with designers like Peter Denk and bingo bikes like the EVO appear, a class leader in weight and performance, the CAAD10 an aluminium bike that will kick the arse of most carbon bikes up to £2.5k , the lefty – BB30 and so on. Cannondale have always been committed to pushing cycling forwards for the benefit of the sport and in 2014 they will continue to do this with some very nice kit indeed just wait until September.
Lightweight (Heinz Obermayer and partner) began making wheels in the 1980′s to fulfil their own needs but by the mid to late 90′s Jan Ullrich and Bjarne Riis are some of the riders using their wheels and winning Tour stages on them. At the turn of the Millenium Lightweight are an established high end quality component and shortly after get picked up by Carbon sports which has allowed the continual improvement and expansion of the best wheels on the planet.
In the last year Lightweight have introduced a clincher to it’s range so those who just wont make the jump to tub’s can also ride on these circular objects of joy. Lightweights used to be an expensive product but as other wheel companies continually push the envelope of spinning perfection their costs actually make Lightweights look a little more appealing financially. Lightweight will never produce a £200 set of wheels, they started at the top and thats their place but when you ride a pair of their Meilenstein tubs at 1100g a pair with the rotational stiffness they offer you’ll understand what it’s all about.
Whilst on the subject of wheels we also have FFWD, a relatively new company in all fairness. They began in 2006 with a passion to build light fast carbon wheels and over the last 6 years that’s exactly what they have done, a product with great performance and a price thats acceptable to all. Their wheels are all hand built in the town of Zwolle Holland and the range has grown hugely aswell. From dedicated track and TT wheels to a range of deep section rims for every style of riding including the F2R’s for the mountain goats among us weighing a measly 1050g per pair. Their road disc wheel hit the shelves this year and the range offers both tub and clinchers with different hub options. This allows FFWD to offer you a wheel at up to 5 price points firstly tub or clincher, full carbon or ally, FFWD hubs, FFWD ceramic bearings DT swiss 240 or 180 hubs. This just means if your budget conscious you have options.
Along with this you can just buy rim’s if you want your Powertap built in then it’s not a problem. FFWD start at a snippet over £1000 per pair with single wheels available , full spares back up and great performance.
Pedalling gear is a test centre for both FFWD and Lightweight so with just a few more weeks until opening you will soon be able to come and have a go yourself. All information on this will be available shortly so keep checking back or sign up to the news letter.
This is a quick look at two of the brands Pedalling Gear will have in stock in the next few weeks. Now we are almost ready to open the doors to a collection of cycling excellence we can officially start spilling the beans on the who and the why. First up Parlee cycles, you will be forgiven if you do not recognize the name but i would be surprised if you haven’t heard it before. Bob Parlee introduced the Z1 (pictured below) almost 10 years ago, a sub 1000g handmade peace of carbon gorgeousness went on sale to the public only a year or two after deciding to make the best bicycle in the world. A bold statement but read a road test or ride one properly not just round the block and you will see why it lives up to the hype.
Parlee make a variety of models from full custom and we mean full custom in every way from the funkiest paint job you could imagine to the right carbon and lay-up to tune the ride of your dream machine through to off the shelf sizes with a small or tall fit to make life a little simpler. The range can not be explained in a few lines or the variants offered, ideally look at Parlees website or call us or pop in and witness them for yourself. Every bike Parlee have brought to the market is still available to buy today even after 10 years, why ? simply because they are still relevant , still set standards and they do what their supposed to do.
Next up a little Italian flavour “Cipollini” Mario (the lion king) Cipollini has a career of professional wins almost as big as his personailty. A career spanning a good 16 years saw the most flamboyent sprinter to date the man who pretty much invented the lead out or sprint train as it’s also known retire at the top of his game in 2005. In 2010 Mario launched his own brand of bicycle with two models the RB1000 and the RB800 over the next few years the Logos the Speed and now the Bond have been added to the line up offering a pro race frame to a track frame, a sportive bike to race bike for the more budget concious.
The RB1000 is Mario’s bike, the bike he always wanted the bike that could handle his power output, ride with pin point accuracy and deliver the full package and it does so without question. You cant miss a Cipo in the peleton thanks to the Vini-Fantini team colors as loud as Mario’s career and just as exciting with that unmistakable Italian flare.
Shortly you will be able to come in for a chat enjoy a coffee and have a good look at some of these bikes in the flesh along with a couple of other brands we will discuss next time. please don’t arrive expecting some massive warehouse style shop full of bikes and lacking heart, we are small we are focused and we ride, above everything we ride but we like cake equally which is why we are next to a bakers, we think of everything.
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Well the clocks ticking, the racing season is off to a great start and there is a rumour the weather will eventually warm up a fraction so we thought we should crack on and get Pedalling Gear open to the public. We are only weeks away now from officially opening and it’s beginning to get busy.
As previously mentioned we will be a certified Retul fit centre and bookings have already been taken so if your interested or would like to find out a little more about the process and why a Retul fit over anything else is best then pop us an email here or youll be able to pop in the shop soon and have a coffee and chat. Along with bike fitting thanks to TGT we will be able to offer full coaching and training plans to what ever depth you fancy, we suggest popping in to see us to discuss as there are so many options and pin pointing whats best for you and your goals is key here.
Understanding our customers is something we do very well so with this in mind our opening and fitting times are flexible, we know how hard it can be for some people to find the time to make it to a shop and take care of various things so as with everything we do just get in touch and ask and im sure we can help you out.
Brands what exactly will be selling ? this will change over time as with any shop but we only deal with and stock brands that work and ones we have had plenty of experience with in the past. Some can be a little more costly than the others but you get what you pay for in life, we will have a varied range in product and cost and will advise whats best for you and your circumstances. Full brand info will follow but if you follow us regularly you will have an idea by now but some bits are best kept a secret until the last minute and there are some very interesting things to come later in the year.
Shop ride info will follow shortly and will be aimed at every level of rider and will always finish back at the shop for coffee and cake or maybe the pub if the sun is shining brightly. Things will be moving quite quickly now so feel free to sign up to the newsletter in the green box on the left to make sure you dont miss a thing.
Lastly Milano-San Remo this Sunday the 17th i cant think of a better way to spend the day other than riding.
I thought i would fill you all in on what’s happening here at Pedallinggear towers currently. The shop is almost ready and we will inform you all of our official opening date as soon as possible. Over the next few weeks we will show you snippets of the brands we will be carrying with tests on most items to follow. There will be some special demo centre items so you can come and try before you buy from saddles to wheels, we will have various demo bikes on and off through out the season both Mountain bike and road and various bits of dribbly lovliness to come and see.
Pedallinggear is also a certified Retul fit centre and fits will be available at times to suit you as we cant all just take days off when we feel like it and time is precious. If your looking for a bike fit but just cant commit for what ever reason please dont hesitate to call or email and hopefully we can put your mind at rest.
We have a lot to offer from our fitness testing and coaching partner to ride outs, competitions, great coffee, cycling on the box and good old fashioned chit chat. We may be a small store but we pack a punch and we are not hung up on bikes for the rich and famous. Everyone has a budget or certain brand they dream of and wether we can supply you or not one thing we always have in stock is non biest advice.
A full run down of kit and services will wing it’s way here shortly and you can catch all the latest bits on twitter and facebook but for now im going back to pray to the sun gods and ride me bike.
2013 see”s the Cyclocross worlds in America for the first time and to celebrate this the very talented guy”s in Vanilla bicycles workshop have collaborated with Enve to produce a limited edition of their cyclocross specific stem. A total of 13 peaces or should i say masterpieces as they are dribbly gorgeous will be made.
The internal cable routing does away with the obligatory cable hanger and also some outer cable giving a small but significant weight saving, it also reduces the flex you would get in a std length of cable allowing a better braking performance and also can give a lower stack height and smoother cable run and feel.
The stem with Ti hardware and alloy face plate comes in at a claimed 133g for a 110mm model which is online casino no deposit bonus only a few grams more than most full carbon road stems. The stems are painted by Coat Paintwork who are also in Portland Oregon.
Vanilla produce some of the worlds most beautiful bikes and quite frankly to own a one off custom it”s not as costly as you would think but as with all great craftsman and artists it doesnt happen over night so be patient, beleave me it”s worth the wait.
Take a look at their site here and speedvagen here plus for all you cycling festival goers if there are any Vanilla do some dam fine wellies.
As the first races of the season get underway more team bike info and images begins to surface for us meer mortals and we can finally see how close the pro’s bikes are to our own and whats on the shop floor. There probably are still some custom and one off type frames in the peloton but in general its very much off the shop floor product. This is the kind of thing that makes cycling a bit more fun i think, knowing the same bits on Wiggo’s bike are accessible to all if you have the finances.
There are not many sports where you can use what your heroes are using, you cant buy Casey Stoners Moto GP bike or Lewis Hamiltons F1 car but you can buy Brad’s Pinerello. Whats so good about that then you may ask and as i keep on explaining to Mrs PG it means you have the kit so the only difference is then you. You can ride routes he or they have ridden and see how you compare to our yellow jersey and gold medal winners or you can just sit in living room treating your new pride and joy like your new best friend while everyone is out but remember chain lube is a bitch to get off the furniture.
Team Francais Des Jeux’s Lapierre Xelius EFI ultimate. The frame is new for 2013 coming in sub 900g and 20% stiffer than last years aswell. You can buy a team model for under £6500 with a slightly lower spec but beware as team colours do change year in year out.
Lampre are aboard the Merida Scultura SL, the frame is a claimed 845g with all the usual bits you would expect for a top end bike like tapered headset, oversized bottom bracket and so on. This is Merida’s 1st adventure in to the pro tour and they are signed for 2 years with lampre. Team bikes are kitted out with Fulcrum wheels, SRM power metres, FSA finishing kit and Shimano’s 9070 Di2. I just cant decide on the pink and green on the same bike but at least its easy to spot.
Radioshack and Trek stay together this year with the new Madone 7.9 running intergrated brakes, speed/cadence sensor and chain keeper. I feel this is the way all manufacturers will go eventually. Apart from the Shimano groupset the bike gets full Bontrager wheels and fininshing kit.
Radioshacks Domain runs the same set up in terms of group and fininshing kit but the frame is designed for the rough stuff. The 1 day classics and rougher sections of some grand tours will be made smoother by the domains ISO speed coupler. Basically the toptube and seat tube are seperate items held together via what i beleave is an elastomer set up allowing damping of vibration. Go here for more info.
Lastly Omega Pharma-quicksteps specialized or Cav’s missile. Full SRAM red groupset and power metre aboard the Specialized and wheels and finishing kit courtesy of Zipp. Expect to see a lot of this bike this season with a crazed Manx man on it.
To celebrate the start of the cycling season and due to the snow not allowing us to conduct our normal activities lets take a little look at some of this years team bikes to see who’s running what. Firstly Cannondale Pro-cycling, for 2013 Liquigas are no longer involved in sponsorship but the team colours and roster stay pretty much the same. The bike is Cannondales EVO sub 700g frame running SRAM red groupset as per last year. Cannondales own SIsl2 chainset with SRAM red rings and SRM power meter. No change on saddles and bars either with Fizik and FSA supplying those and Speedplay still supplying the best pedals in the world. The biggest change is no more Mavic as the team are running Vision wheels this year. The wheel range looks good and obviously the manufacturers state their amazing but time will tell.
Team Sky take Pinerello for another year with no agreement in place for another season as yet but a few more big wins this season and im sure other manufacturers will be throwing deals at them like theres no tomorrow. The bikes are adorned with Shimanos Di2 11 speed groupset and wheels and pro bars and stems. It will be interesting to see if Wiggo will still run Rotors Q-rings and Speedplay pedals instead of Shimano parts as most riders do have their favourite bits regardless of some contracts.
Focus are back in the peloton this season with AG2R. The Izalco’s are dripping with Italian product, Campagnolo EPS super record, Fulcrum wheels and Fizik saddles but i havent seen any commitment to bars and stems etc as yet. Since hitting show room floors 18 or so months ago the Focus has grown very quickly with the public in a very positive way, the bikes are nice they ride well and have some very good kit for the money, always worth a look.
Bianchi and Vacansoleil stay pretty much as is for this season the biggest change is moving to Campagnolo EPS and Bianchi’s new Oltre XR frame-set other than that FSA wheels and components are still there.
Team Movistar like most have no real big changes, they are running Pinerello’s Dogma again along with SKY but with full Campagnolo running kit in the form of EPS super record and campy wheels. Selle Italia saddles for ones bottom and from what i can see FSA bars and stems instead of Pinerello’s standard items. I personally think this is one of the nicest looking bikes in the peloton this year but thats my personel view (added to shopping list).
The year has started and as everything gets back to normal including the weather lets have a quick glimpse at whats new and what to watch out for. Firstly Garmin the cycling GPS market leader has launched its new Edge 810 and 510. Maybe revamped is a better word than new as the two units dont really look any different. Garmin have added a sprinkling of techno magic to the workings of these two by making them Bluetooth as well as Ant+ compatible. The Bluetooth allows the unit to upload maps or download training data wirelessly for starters, it also allows it to talk to your phone giving and receiving realtime info such as weather updates, sharing with social media and allowing the misses to see exactly where you are which is probably best kept quiet. USB port, 10 fields of info per screen max and 17 hours of battery life are amongst the other things on the 810 plus the navigation gets a simplified tweaking and also covers road,MTB,CX and commuting aswell which is a nice little touch. All in all its the unit the 800 should of been really however how many can honestly say they use all the functions on their Garmin’s anyway.
Whilst on the subject of GPS keep an eye out this first quarter for a unit from Danish brand Leikr. More for the multisports person apparently and its early days yet but the unit has a 2″ colour display so lovely and clear to read but seems restricted by its lack of information and wrist watch only fitment but as i say early days so lets see what happens.
Rapha seem to be growing almost as quickly as Apples bank balance this last year and with the New 2013 Team Sky kit i think their set for a record year. Lets consider the facts, Wiggins has the yellow jersey and im sure Sky want to retain it, Froome wants a title, Cavendish wants the Green jersey and after all the recession doom and gloom we all want something to look forward to along with the Tour de France starting in good old blighty for 2014 i think Britain is set for a top year of cycling again. Rapha’s timing couldn’t be better they have come with a very classy line up for the Sky boys and we can all own our little peace. Now a wiggo replica jersey is £80 so not cheap but there is also a supporters jersey at £40 which is equally as nice and i think you’ll see the Black and Blue kit out in masses this summer.
Rapha have a great following in the United States currently due to their involvement with the Rapha Focus CX team and the clothing seems to be going well on either side of the pond so fingers crossed for a British win at the Giro or Tour so Rapha can bang out some lid edition stuff. We will have plenty of new kit and bikes coming your way shortly so stay tuned and this September we will be giving you all the latest kit from Eurobike as we see and touch it but in the meantime go ride.
Well another year over almost and time for a little R&R. As a week of seeing friends and family commences and the usual to much turkey and pies, the ill start eating properly tomorrow thing and all that stuff begins lets take a look back at this years cycling plus points.
First off Wiggo, what can you say Legend.
Team GB were incredible this year but as usual the wheeled warriors did us proud.
Disc brakes for road bikes. A very Marmite subject but its progression.
The addition of Peter Sagan to pro road cycling. PG’s one to watch in 2013.
Sports personality of the year, Cavendish last year and Wiggo this year just incredible.
And what does the future hold for us ? Will Froome be in yellow in 2013 and Wiggo in Pink. Can Cavendish take back his green jersey from Mr Sagan. Will Mountain Biking and BMX gain the audience it deserves with some of the most amazing British talent in years grabbing trophies and titles every where in 2012. What technical gains will be made ? sub 500g frames that will ride properly and reliably, power metres that fit in shoe and waterproofs that are actually waterproof who knows.
Maybe this is the best thing we can hope for.
Happy New Year one and all.
A few weeks back we tested the Union34 seatpost mount rucksack and since then we have been putting the Pannier mount version through its paces. Over the last month ive spent lots of time visiting my more localised clients so using a bag is a must. Ive always used a rucksack due to hating anything mounted to my bike but the seatpost version Union34 supplied changed that completely and ive fallen in love with it however the offer to try the pannier version was warmly accepted for my man about town look dressed to kill (more to come on this).
The pannier was a medium in size the same as the previous bag tested which will hold a laptop up to 15.6″ and enough space to cram the daily luggage into. Apart from paperwork and an ipad i always carry spare shoes and socks, a few tools , waterproof and food you get the idea and the bag doesn’t disappoint with its military partitioning and straight forward layout. The previous review will cover the layout in slightly more depth but you have the main compartment which holds the Laptop case an equally sized pocket on the opposite side, one large zip compartment, a 3/4 height open sleeve 2 mesh pockets and a pen compartment. There are also 2 button straps to stop the bag falling flat open laying its contents bear to the passing world.
The outer compartment is big enough for a helmet or shoes as it also has an expansion zip to allow a little more room should you really need it, this bag is a 30ltr capacity the large is 40ltrs. One thing this bag has that i particular liked is a helmet attachment, when looking at the front of the bag there are 2 side pockets, inside each of these there is a clip to attach your helmet strap to so it doesn’t swing around like a crazed chimpanzee trying to knock over all and sundry while shortcutting through John Lewis.
The attachment like the seatpost bag is simple, a separate mount that slides into the rear of the bag where theres a lovely little padded panel for comfort whilst being worn as a rucksack. This simply clips over the top of your pannier frame then theresa little lever you turn 90 degrees to hold it all in position. To the bottom of the bag there is a small hook that pulls out to strap the bottom of the bag in.
The shoulder straps can be tucked into the front side pockets whilst being used on the bike and the lower parts of the straps are covered by a funky little waterproof cover that zips up stopping all moisture and muck getting to them and most importantly stopping them from playing tubular bells on your spokes whilst riding along. I was so amazed at this attention to clean and tidy that i totally forgot to take any pictures of it but it is real and does exist so you’ll just have to trust me.
All in all the bag works and looks smart, loads of room for your kit and simple to attach to the bike. There are lots of pannier bags on the market and some very good ones but the Union34 products just have the edge, like they have been tried and tested in every day situations allowing a proper chain of thought leading to a worth every penny product.
More to come from the Union34 stables soon meantime visit them here for dealer info.
Every year around this time the Turbo trainer debate begins, do i need one, should i get one, can i really be bothered. To be honest if your into your cycling and do not wish to spend the start of the new year looking like you’ve been chuffing 60 a day and cardio is walking up the stairs to bed then the answer is yes. Although there currently seems to be a surge in roller sales more so this year than any i can remember.
No not those rollers these ones.
You will see these frequently track side if you watch the track cycling on your picture box , why ? and whats the difference. A turbo trainer locks your bike in place so you can hammer the living daylights out of it whilst watching Christmas repeats on the spare tv whilst pretending your really cool at riding no hands should your partner stick their head in the garage to see what all the fuss is about. Rollers mean the bike is free to spit you off when ever it so wants to, and trust me it will. Rollers take a while to get used to but once mastered are great fun, your effectively riding your bike so as intense as a turbo session but not as mundane, it keeps you thinking constantly or your off and trains more muscles as well due to trying to keep the bike upright youll give your core a bit of a seeing to.
Turbos do serve a purpose and i personally like to use both. A turbo for the days i feel a little dead and concentration is lacking and the rollers for the longer smoother sessions. Good and bad points – both systems are easy to store and dont take up to much space, both can be transported easily if you take them away with you. Various turbos now have the option of power metres aswell and Turbo trainers start from as little as £99.
Turbo trainers generally mean tyre swaps or spare wheels once you use them a lot this is because the bike is fixed in an upright position so the rear tyre will wear the profile flat like a car tyre eventually giving a twitchy ride and more chance of punctures. You can buy trainer specific tyres to save your precious race rubber and the only other thing to be aware of is if your using a carbon bike due to it being held by the trainer it will cause the frame to try and flex more around the bottom bracket area which can result in cracks in the paintwork. I have never known of a frame to fail under this usage but always good to be made aware of it. Rollers allow your bike to move as it would on the road so no strains or obscure tyre wear but not much chance of changing channels on the tv without the chance of a possible you’ve been framed moment.
If your this will be your first winter on a trainer then go with a turbo preferably fluid or megneto as the basic wind trainers generate a lot of noise. And if your really worried about the possibility of paint cracks then go for the Kinetic rock’n’roll as this allows the frame a little less stress. If you have or already use a turbo then add the rollers as this will sharpen your senses and make your reactions quicker than lightening young Jedi.
Oh and buy a good towel because your going to need one.
Union 34 are not Louis Walsh”s latest middle-aged boy band but a bicycle luggage brand offering some very design conscious products. I have been lucky enough to test some of their kit over the last few weeks and have to say it”s pretty impressive stuff.
I have never wanted bags attached to my bikes and always opted for the rucksack but after trying these bags out I might be a changed man. This particular review is for the Union 34 stripe rucksack seat post bag, but some of the overall comments apply across the range.
Let”s get the tech stuff out the way first shall we? This bag has a 30ltr capacity and has a 15″ padded laptop pouch inside (fits pretty much all laptops, certainly up to 15″ MacBook Pros). It is made from a rugged water resistant fabric with a removable waterproof cover that hides away neatly in it”s own pocket for those typical British days when you”re glad you didn”t leave it at home. The bags outer has reflective piping and a light loop holder. Zips are large and solid and straps and back panel are all padded for comfort and airflow. Maximum load is a respectable 7kg and fits seat posts 27.2mm to 31.6mm.
The first compartment available is ideal for spare footwear not wellies for the festival goers among us but trainers or shoes or a crash helmet (or monkeys).
there are also 2 open pockets within this compartment for socks, gloves, tools or your favourite riding companion and a zipped pocket so your phone or tools don”t disappear into the depths of the bag when you most need them.
The second set of zips which are smaller than the main robust ones tease you with thoughts of the next compartment but are just an expander for the main bag should you need it to be EVEN bigger. Now opening the main compartment brings us to a variant of pockets including a zipped one for your precious items a few pen holders and a dedicated key clip. Bags of room for A4 size goodies, folders and so on everything most of us would carry on a daily basis will go in this bag without issue. Lastly the padded laptop pouch slides neatly into the back of the rucksack offering ample protection. There is also a stretchy clip either side of the main compartment so when you throw open the bag in a blind panic looking for your phone or misplaced chocolate bar it doesn”t spew it”s load all over the pavement.
The outer of the bag also has two side pockets for drink bottles and a split central pocket for a pump or to put the shoulder straps in when the bag is mounted to the bike (doesn”t work so well on a Parlee Z-Zero…) Personally i found this a little annoying for the latter and preferred folding the straps around the bag and holding them in place with the chest casino poland clip. This seemed much quicker and easier however depending how full the bag is can make your decision for you.
Installation is very simple, the bag is supplied with full instructions which are in a separate box with the bike mount kit. There are rubber shims to use depending on the thickness of the seat post your using and remember not to clamp these kind of systems to carbon seat posts it will end in a very disturbing and dramatic incident which i have witnessed before and is definitely not pretty. The quick release handle has a locking allen bolt that screws in from underneath to prevent it coming loose or better still stopping some one trying to nick it.
On the back of this bag bottom centre you will see a panel all on it”s own, pull this down toward the bottom of the bag to reveal the mounting slot. Tuck your padded panel in the bag for later. With the main mount attached to the seatpost you now have a secondary part that will install either vertically or horizontally into it as shown on its box however i do not believe at present Union 34 make a bag to fit with it in the horizontal position so stay vertical people. once clicked into place simply slide the bag on and job done.
The secondary section has two clips on it to release it from the bag or bracket. When you install this unit make sure the top of the bracket sits a good few centimeters from the rear of the saddle so you can actually undo it once on. Once moving the bag sits super solid in its holder even on London roads it can not be budged. All my belongings stayed where i left them with no leaks accidents or rogue sweets.
This bag has a suggested retail price of £79.99 which for one bag you may feel is a little steep but remember if you buy a rack and basic pannier from a shop you will spend £45-£70 easily and a possible fitting charge plus the fact the standard of equipment just purchased will not be a patch on the Union 34 kit. Unless you are going on a long touring holiday you shouldn”t need more space than this bag offers for day to day use and it also carries a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defect. The one thing i would say is once you remove your bag remember to also remove the secondry section which takes one second purely and simply because if someone else does your carrying your bag home rucksack style.
No negatives really, the bag and bracket are very well made and thought out, the instructions and packaging are clear and simple so I give it the full PG thumbs up and will use mine on a daily basis. Last of all if you buy one and install it yourself don”t feel embarrassed to pop in to your local bike shop and ask them to check its fitted properly as it would be far more embarrassing to get home and realise its gone missing. To find your bag or nearest Union 34 stockist click on a funny colour bit.
Back at the turn of the millenium, while we were concerned about our toasters and VHS players going bang and the world ending, one Mr Bob Parlee was more concerned about making his first entry into the cycling market, the now legendary Parlee Z1. 12 years on this is still in my top five bikes of all time. Infact four of my top 10 are Parlee bicycles, not because im infatuated with the brand but along with the rest of my 10 its because of how and why its been designed and built and of course how it rides.
Back in the early 2000′s Parlee were selling sub 900g frames, this is many many years before the latest batch of cycling brands jumped on the superlight band wagon, Parlee were offering the Z5 at 800g a few years back and now with a little help from their friends at Enve the new Z-Zero has arrived at a very healthy 750g with full custom options and undoubtedly a ride quality to match.
Parlee have been gaining momentum in the cycling industry over the last decade due to being cautious as they design and produce their bicycles rather than just banging out an expensive super light frame and selling based on numbers not quality. Parlee havent rushed to produce bikes as it only takes one rushed design to tarnish a brand – something Bob Parlee will never happen to this company. The Z-Zero has been well thought out from a future proofing point of view; the flurry of electronic groupset’s means Parlee are smart enough to have built the Z-Zero in a way that when the next big thing appears their frame can be updated at the drop of a hat keeping them at the front of the tech queue.
Take a tour of Parlee’s website with their custom colour table enabling you to have a look at your dream bike and if you have never seen one in the flesh then i suggest you do so as the finish and quality is super slick. Bob knows a lot about carbon and a lot about bikes which is why he makes these amazing machines. He is heavily involved in every step of the process and that makes these bicycles a bit like having David Bailey around today to do your wedding photos, its a massive chunk of knowledge gained over a lifetime of searching for perfection put into every single frame. That’s why PedallingGear know for sure that you won’t be disappointed.
Fat bikes ? a lot of you may not know what they are but by mid 2013 i think most cyclists will do. Fat bikes are basically a mountain bike with mega fat tyres, simple but why i hear someone at the back shouting. A big funky fat 4″ tyre can roll where others can not. Across snow and sand for argument sake. Riding a mountain bike on the trails in a snow covered woodland is just brilliant, super quiet, amazing scenery and with the unstable ground beneath you its great practice for your bike handling skills. A big fat tyre makes it even more fun as you can ride where your 26″ knobbly would normally sink and by running the tyres at pressures of 10-15 psi you may aswell call it a hovercraft.
Understandably not everyone needs one but if you live way out in the country side or near the beach etc then its a great peace of kit to have especially if you love your winter rides and hanging around outside the chippy while the local kids stand a drool at your sheer fatness.
Come the new year im going to build myself one why ? why not i love bikes as much as Obama loves votes. 1 just isn’t enough nor is 2 or 3 i want my cycling to be covered for every situation and enjoy it to its fullist or fattest as the case maybe. Fat bikes will be crop up more and more in the UK over the coming year and im sure mine will be made available for demo’s come the new year so if you fancy getting fat for 2013 let me know.
At this time of year i begin to get a little confused, should i stop cycling and stay in doors with the heating on harvesting on all thats bad in the food dictionary with the hope ill ride my bike again in January for a few days and be as fit as i am now or should i work out a super efficient indoor training program for the turbo trainer thats vanished beneath a mountain of dust in the garage so i can stay Jago skinny and Cavendish powerful all year long or option 3 which sounds ridiculous when you think about it. Take a road bike (basically) stick knobbly tyres on it and race in the freezing cold and wet conditions through the worse point of the year weather wise with a bunch of complete nutters.
Cyclo X has gained a great following over the last few years and is growing constantly thanks to the growth in cycling we have seen in the UK. As cycling grows so does all its forms and as a keep me fit through winter plan cyclo x ticks all the boxes. Tracks will change in their difficulty where ever you go but the mixture of jumping on and off the bike, running, walking up slippery slopes trying to control your skinny tired missile in wet and gloopy conditions although taxing at the time is fantastic.
Your average race is over a loop of 1-2 miles in distance crossing a multitude of surfaces from grass and mud to concrete and gravel with obstacles to jump over and short sharp hills you just cant ride. Time is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on category and so on but its all about taking part and having fun. If you have just spent the season racing then cross is great as a winter session to keep your lungs firing and you can just enjoy cycling for a while without concentrating on the numbers or if you have a major year in front of you and need to get into shape then spend this winter getting ahead of the game. Dont get me wrong here cyclo x isnt a walk in the park its an extremely hard sport and you need to dig deep to get through it some times but if your clever you can use it to your advantage, its also great for bike handling skills. A lot of top road riders Cadel Evans and Peter Sagan for example come from mountain biking back grounds and admit its beneficial to their riding. Cyclo x does all this and more you it makes you laugh it keeps you fit it makes winter seem actually quite enjoyable and its a reason to keep adding to the toy collection.
There are cyclo x leagues all over the country you can join and on the links above the majority can be found. Dont become a turkey guzzling lay about this Christmas get a cross bike and have a go you will not be disappointed.
If Cannondale ever do a UK concept store it will probably be along the lines of whats seen in the photos below. I myself wanted to open the 1st true Cannondale concept store years ago but the range of bikes at that time just wasnt broad enough to pull it off but now Parent company Dorel also own GT, Mongoose ,Schwinn ,Sugoi and Iron Horse the plan is slowly falling into place.
Dorels concept store as seen here could house 5 main bicycle brands covering every aspect of cycling and clothing with Sugoi. Will this ever become a reality in the UK ? i suppose we will wait and see what happens as our shopping habits follow the Americans with their malls the bicycle shop as we know it may become a thing of the past much the same as the car and motorcycle industry have gone.
The only thing that worries me about this style of shopping is as the store size grows and it becomes more apparent to owners how much money they need to make generally the quality of staff and knowledge takes a big nose dive which when purchasing a specialist peace of equipment such as a bicycle is a real shame. Although hopefully the die hards will continue to seek out the small independent for his or her exhaustive knowledge of product and service that you just cant buy elsewhere.
Before pressing add to cart consider the shop down the road, can he advise me of a better product could he save me money or try and match a price. Give them a try you may be pleasantly surprised especially when you puncture in the pouring rain with no spare tube, what use is the internet then.
Hi everyone firstly thanks for all the emails this last week its great see so many many people interested in builds and paintwork and also plain old advice on riding kit. Now down to the latest form the Pack. 2013 will be a fantastic year for cycling in the UK with Wiggins looking for a new jersey to match his yellow one Cavendish after another Green and hopefully some new titles being brought home by someone like Chris Froome. With all this excitement we will all be getting out on our bikes as much as humanly possible and with that being the case why not do something memorible to mark an amazing year of cycling like taking a ride with the Pack.
All dates and rides will be confirmed in full on their site here so keep checking in for the latest as their main site launches shortly. The schedule so far looks a little like this.
May 2013 London to Paris like never before.
September 2013 The Italian Lakes (and a little climbing)
Barcelona to Rocacorba Dates TBC but this will be the tough one.
There are also 3 UK dates planned at present including a day at the Velodrome.
As confirmation comes through ill put info up but please check Ride with the Pack here for the latest and most up to date info. These rides will be with sporting heroes and ive seen the list of who”s who and i will not miss one trust me its going to be fantastic and knowing the guys behind it i know it will be the best event ever. Best get training you lot as this will not be a gentle role through the country.
Here at PG towers we feel it’s time to let you know a little about what we do.
For some time now I have supplied bike parts, services and ultimately custom-built bicycles in various forms to a variety of cyclists. It may have been a groupset and wheel swap with a full service thrown in for good measure on their existing bike, or a complete build including custom paintwork. But that’s not so special really, lots of shops offer that!
But PG is keen to break away from the traditional shop thing. Firstly we are not concerend about your price point, our focus is helping you get the most enjoyment out of cycling. This means you might want a bit of advice on your exsisting bike to get the best from it, or you may want a one off personalised paint job, or new wheels or a bike fit.
But you’re busy, so we are setting out to make this all as painless as possible. We offer a collection and delivery service from your work or home, we are dead keen on part-exchange, so we’ll help you get the most you can for the bits you’re replacing. We will even take bikes in part-ex, and actually get you some value!
This means that upgrades become more affordable, plus you don’t end up with a cupboard full of old bike bits. And if you are on the look out for a cheeky bargain for your winter bike or pride and joy it could just be we have that bargain right here from one of our existing clients bikes. Obviously we only offer to sell components or bikes from other clients that we can vouch for in regards to condition and they have been acquired legally!
From power meters to tyre choice, from saddle height to riding kit, we are not trying to sell stock we have in abundance, instead we are offering you a personal service one on one so you get your questions answered quickly and correctly your problems solved without making countless visits to your local shop.
We have been in the industry for a long time now and fully understand how frustrating the little things can be and this is why 2013 will be a big year for us. As our little business grows our premises and stock choice will as well. The only thing that will not be changing is how we deal with our customers. You are our most important component which without we simply can’t function.
Drop us an email at email@example.com with any questions you may have and lets see if we can’t do something nice for you.
The chances are you have heard about power-meters and training with power if your involved with or have been involved in cycling over the last 5 years.
Each year new brands come to the market with the latest most super expensive peace of watt measuring kit that you simply must have or you will never be the Mark Cavendish you want to be on your commute to work.
However its not as simple as whipping out the plastic slapping something on the bars to look at and job done. Before you even think about which brand or type of unit to go for you should strongly consider is it for me. We all do different types of riding some purely recreational some commute and race and some just pure race. I cant lie i love a cruise out into the country in the early hours of a summer morning just for the sheer peace and quiet and lack of traffic and i dont need any numbers flashing in front of my eyes like a fruit machine to spoil that ride.
I do however like to ride at a pace and as with most of us be as good as i can be after all whats wrong with being fit and healthy and being able to show a pair of Arnie sized calves to a milk float at the drop of a hat. Ive tried all the heart rate stuff and it just doesn’t work for me my HR yoyo’s in and out of zones like theres no tomorrow and frustrates the hell out of me but my power metre makes it far easier to understand and adhere to. If you want to or are training with power then it should be understood as to why you do not just because Jeremy in the office does it. Power is a far more consistant method of data that regardless of weather , tiredness or illness etc gives you a measure of your work done. HR can fluctuate a lot and these fluctuations can be caused by lots of different things but 200 watts is 200 watts regardless of things out of your control like weather for example wind and temperature etc. As you get fitter your HR should get lower for the same given power or your power should rise for the same given HR, make sense.
To find out more about power training flick me an email or go to these people and places for the knowledge you need. RST training – training bible – slowtwitch – training peaks.
Right now the easy bit which brand what model and how much.
The Crank system
One of the longest standing types of power metre is the crank based system of which SRM rule the roost but with the likes of power2max – quarq – and Rotor all producing systems you now have some choice on price and aesthetics.
positives – a tried and tested system that works, Ant+ so it works with your Garmin’s and other Ant+ devices.
Negatives – once installed into your bike its not the easiest thing to move from frame to frame due to different types of bottom bracket fitment, fitter knowledge and so on.
Most cranks systems will cost from £600 to £2k so not for the occasional cyclist unless your minted.
The wheel System
Powertap have been around for years now with their rear hub based system which is and has been for some years now a very reliable system and probably one of the most common.
Positives – can be moved from bike to bike as easily as changing a wheel, internals on some models can now be serviced whilst the hub stays on your bike for you to ride no sending away for recalibration. Ant+ to work with your chosen head unit.
Negatives – restricts you to wheel choice if you love to use Mavics Rsys wheels for argument sake you cant do it with these.
Hubs begin around £650 the cost then is your decision.
The Pedal system
In the last 12 months Look and Polar joined forces to release their pedal based power system, this type of system was started by Vector who are still yet to bring this product to market but swear it will be the best system to date. The bonus here is that you will get power readings for both legs allowing you to work on your imbalances if you have any and also its just a pedal change to move from bike to bike which is simple and takes 2 minutes.
Positives - independent readings for left and right, simple to swap from bike to bike and nice and light.
Negatives – cost and potential for damage, pedals get a hard life and at their cost youll want to look after them.
Prices are £1400 for Look Polar system and Garmin Vector £1150 but you could be waiting a while for the latter.
The 3 types of system above are your stable of tried and tested units available but with lots of new companies joining in expect to see some nice new kit over the next few years including this little beauty from Stages cycling. One tiny little unit set into the non drive crank arm and retailing for around the £500 mark. You should be able to order the arm to match your chain set and just pop it on and away you go.
Positives – price point , instalation doesnt interfear with your choice of wheels and pedals etc
Negatives – will only work with that chain set fitment and you need to have a measure up before buying one incase it will not fit.
All in all power is the way forward and is a great way to train but like i said before you commit read up and understand it dont do the usual bloke thing and burn the instructions on site and presume you know it all already and lastly dont become a slave to the numbers yes it works yes its great and yes if you follow a proper training program you’ll benefit no end but some days are meant for just enjoying your bike the company and the weather. I left the weather until last as im British you know where im coming from. This is a real quick look at whats about we havent even touched the surface with regards to software and which is best for me so please drop me an email with any questions you have or take time to read up on all of this god knows theres enough info out there.
Seeing as it’s been raining all day i though i may aswell scribble a few things down and thought i would share my views on the Northwave shoes i have been using this year. My feet are quite broad toward the front but fairly slim everywhere else so generally when i find a shoe brand that fits well i tend to stick with it. In my long and lavish cycling career (que laughter and cut) i have changed shoes more than my wife which really is saying something and admittedly i do have a shoe fettish but we can discuss that at another time. Ill buy and can i just point out the BUY bit, im not given or loaned things to try i buy them and that generally has a different outcome to a test or review than those who are given things to write about, but i digress i will buy a pair of Northwaves use them for 6 or so months love them to bits and destroy them but then ill buy a different brand as im thinking the latest super expensive bla bla bla model from them shoe maker people there must be better but 6 months later im back to NW and so the pattern repeats. Its good to try different things your mates will always tell you their stuff is the best and salesman even more so and if your mates a salesperson then god help you.
Trying different brands allows you to find out what really works for you and makes your experience better and that’s what its all about. When discussing a product with a customer ill always be honest even if it means loosing the sale you’ll gain the customers trust and then hopefully he will enjoy his cycling as much as you do. Back to the shooooz i have been using both the road and MTB version of the extremem techs this year and have to say after a year away from NW im so glad to be back. These shoes fit me very well i do have another road shoe of a different brand that does fit me better but thats another post. The NW fits me like someone grabbed a pencil and drew a line around my foot quite quickly, the fit is right but could be a little snugger if i wanted to be really picky and at £225 and £275 a pair why not be picky. The extra tongue material and now added material around the inside of the heal area to avoid slippage works wonderfully and just adds to the comfort.The shoes are light Road 557g a pair in my size and MTB 600g both without cleats and this when spinning for hours is a good thing plus these puppies are stiff but good stiff not bad stiff , the aches i had in my feet with my previous shoes disappeared almost immediately even before playing with insoles. Some things not just shoes get flexi as they get lighter and only goes to prove its not all about the price tag , ive used more expensive shoes that have been a let down by comparison but each to their own. The seamless uppers leave no niggly bits inside that you can get when using socks with quite large seams on them and the BOA system works very well and i have cranked on that beautiful little wheel believe me and im yet to break it. Being able like most shoes nowadays to adjust the straps position across the top of the foot also makes for a much more comfortable and secure closure.
All in all a very comfy and pleasurably stiff shoe with colours that will offend your grandma aswell it cant be bad and 2013 is the year of being loud, lets get euro with our cycling kit and enjoy it, man up and drop the black. If you want all the nitty gritty stuff like how much the sole weighs on it’s own and were the shoes stitched by mythical unicorns whilst fairies packaged them up then i suggest the manufacturers websites as my main interests are how much it costs, does it work well and is it worth all those pound notes or coins dependant on your age. The answer here on PG is yes them shoes is good and they do their job well but please please please always try at least 3 different brands on first to get an idea of the difference in fit and what really fits you properly, stiffer is better so always ask about the sole, hotspots are for michael Barrimore not your feet so where you can spend a few quid more do it cut back on the lattes and energy gels for a month and give your feet happy miles. And lastly if still in doubt ask the robot because hes cool.
Some say their like the A-team but cant find a big enough van, others say they appear on high value stamps and become confused by traffic lights so let me clear up this confusion and prove their actually very nice people. You wont find reflective vests and pannier bags here only big calf muscles witty banta and a passion for the greatest sport of all time. I was lucky enough to be part of the Packs day on location in Surrey as they filmed and photographed their way to what will soon be clear to all as the future of cycling events. I for obvious reasons can not give away much at this point and all will soon be available at the Packs website here for you to feast your eyes on but what i can say is one of the best days i can remember so far was with these guys. A guest appearence by Ian Stannard along with Tony Gibb and Will Carling obviously attracted a lot of attention and with myself their as eye candy it was just great.
As we cruised around Surrey like Team GB’s track team sleek and effortlessly we gained look after look with some fantastic footage and photographs none of which were taken by me as you will see by my photo’s which do somewhat lack something. I think the professional term is focus depth and quality but hey lets not not judge as that’s not what the Pack is about.
For me cycling is my life from the age of 3 i have lived and breathed bicycles, cycling is passionate its you against you, no one else to answer to or blame if it goes wrong, it’s seeing the world through different eyes and enjoying the quality of good company. To deep ? not at all ask Will Carling why he played Rugby or Ian Stannard and Tony Gibb why they cycle trust me it’s not for the hotel food and endless driving up and down the country it’s a little more than that and this is exactly what the Pack is a little more than you would expect.
Come May 2013 something very special will happen in cycling for the lucky few and for those who aren’t lucky well theres always 2014. Just keep checking the site here for updates , press releases and snippets of possible appearances throughout the UK over the next 6 months and also on Twitter. Ive seen whats coming and all i can say is if it’s a fraction of the enjoyment i had then it will be amazing and somthing you will want to do over and over again. Keep them peeled people the Pack is always around.
No animals or motorists were hurt during this event but lots of rubber was laid down and coffee burns were a plenty and the offenders no exactly who they are. Once again thanks to the Pack for a fantastic day and unforgettable burn marks it was epic.
29″ers are taking the headlines at present and grabbing everyones attention looking set to give mountain biking it”s next big kick of interest but amongst these headlines is a muttering of 650B wheels so what”s what then. Going back some years road bikes went through this patch running all sorts of rim sizes until the 700c std was set as best performing for the job in hand. Mountain bikes have been 26″ since time began and no one has really questioned it although some manufacturers were making (and i use the term loosely) 29ers back in the early 90″s like Diamond back – Bianchi – and Fisher to name a few. Some claim Gary Fisher invented it and wether or not thats true ill guess we will never really know however he did love the way they rode and produced far more of them than most back then, sadly it never really took off until now.
Intense spider 29er
I remember running 700c Mavic disc compatible wheels in a 26″full susser some years back but the bike never really felt any different due to it”s geometry but compared to the latest batch of big wheeled beasts it was pretty sluggish. The bonus of a 29″ wheel is that it rolls over bumps much better than a 26″ and feels more comfortable aswell due to not hooking up as much as a smaller rim. The 29″er also has a better rolling speed which from a cross country perspective is ideal and find me a pro nowadays who isn”t riding play online pokies one. There will always be the argument that UK trails are tight and twisty so the bigger wheel feels slightly more cumbersome and not as responsive as the smaller wheel and to an extent this is true but enter Mr 650B to mix it up a little more. The 650B which simply sits between the two sizes mentioned has really got the industry talking, some manufacturers claim out right it”s just stupid and pointless yet lots have embraced it as the saviour of mountain biking. Why ? you ask well basically you get some of the bigger wheel benefits like the rolling over stuff better and a bit better for maintaining speed over distance but you also get some of the small wheel benefits slightly more responsive cornering, quicker acceleration from almost standing still and a stiffer wheel.
Intense Tracer 275 (650B)
So what do i or you need well it would seem that generally the big boys have gone 29″ as they did last year yet some of the smaller manufacturers have opted 650B like Intenese on their new downhill rig. Personally all these wheels are great and offer advantages and disadvantages over each other and i would say you should ride them and make up your own minds, 29″ers work for me at present but thats due to the riding i do and i dare say if i were to get a little more lively off road a 650B could be on the shopping list. A good friend of mine rode 24hr endurance events this year on all 3 wheel sizes and although ultimately he loved the ride of his 29″er he also and i have to say equally loved his 650B bike so no more 26″ for him but as i say get a little more creative throw in some drop offs and doubles and 26″-650B will be your weapon of choice probably, maybe could be oh i dont know you decide.
Stop reading go ride.
For 2013 Mavic’s range hasn’t changed immensely but the changes that have happened were worth while. Current models in the road dept have had a nip and tuck here and there and shedding a few grams in the process. Some of the higher end road rims have some some ISM 3D treatment for those of you not familiar with this Mavic process (inter spoke milling) the shiny bit between spoke holes on some rims it’s where material is shaved away to reduce weight. The 3D bit is where the same process happens but on the sidewall of the rims. The Exalith coated rims receive a slightly re-worked braking surface where the little serrated lines get a slightly straighter shape than last year and new pads to get rid of the squeaking some of you may of heard or come across this year. Personally it never bothered me and was very quiet but i did ride bikes that were far worse. Ksyrium SL’s become Ksyrium SLS replicating the Ksyrium SR colour way as the SR’s have been axed now leaving only their exalith coated brothers. Tyres on the WTS set’s have also changed gone are the front and rear specific slicks which i always found good but always doubted the whole front and rear thing, these are replaced by a light tread pattern version which i personally think look super cheap but proof will be in the pudding.
29′ers are taking the UK by storm currently and this year will be a big year for them and tests on various hard and soft tails will come soon but whats a bike without wheels especially sexy French machined jobbies. The crossmax SLR’s are such an item although a year late they were worth the wait. Mavic had lots of issues with these wheels in testing which was mainly carried out by the Factory Cannondale boys, problems with cracking rims causing different spoke counts to be tried which then through up different ride characteristics with some wheels more comfortable than others and were they looking for performance or comfort etc. Bearing in mind a 29 inch wheel is considerably flexier then a 26 inch wheel and with longer spokes comes strength issues, make it stronger make it heavier so the engineers had their hands full finding that sweet spot between weight and stiffness. Fortunately they got it right, slighty more material on the rim around the spoke sections to deal with weakness, ISM 3D on the rims elsewhere to get the weight back down and a hardening process on the drive side spokes to deal cracking issues due the stress that runs through them and walaa 1620g’s of super sext 29′r wheels at your service.
As far as wheels go i have found a great reassurance in Mavic’s over the years and the Mavic UK team do a great job backing their product up. MP3 insurance is also a must for a mere 10% roughly of the wheel cost you get covered for 2 years against accidental damage but not wear and tear and on wheels costing £500 a pair upwards i would say its a must. Of course there are other wheels on the market that work aswell Fulcrum, Envy , Crank Brothers and Hope to name a few but in terms of moving technology on and looking for that little bit of something extra i feel Mavic are the wheels of the moment.
Mario has gone secret agent mad this year with the addition of the BOND frame to the existing line up and with all the 007 esq videos and adverts i think hes after Daniel Craigs job but lets hope he sticks to cycling. Firstly the current range just gets new paint as it all works perfectly well and personally i think they have got the RB800 paint jobs bang on this season, it’s a fantastic bike but the colours have been a little messy until now.
So BOND why what how, the Bond is the latest model to the range priced roughly at £2.5-£3k for the frame set making it the cheapest in the range. Going by the geometries the bike is based on the RB800 but only running 5 sizes instead of the 6 that the RB800 comes in so your getting a 50cm-52/54/56 and 58cm frame. This will be a factor in keeping cost down along with the T700 grade carbon used as opposed to the T1000 used on the RB800 and 1000. The real difference is so far all the frames are a true monocoque design the Bond however isnt, the front triangle is a monocoque but the seat stays and chain stays are seperate and bonded to the front triangle. The seat stays join behind the seat tube as you would expect and meet the chainstay at the dropout, the chain stay and dropout are one peace and the chain stay loops around the bottom bracket where it’s bonded. The Bond also gets a normal seatpost instead of a seat mast which makes seat height adjustment far simpler. I will have full pics etc shortly and delv a little deeper into this design and hopefully a full roadtest before christmas if the frames/bikes make it to the UK by then. For now let’s just revell in it’s true Italian beauty shall we.
Below are the RB1000 and Speed in some new colour ways and the Speed is a marmite one isnt it you love or hate it and personally i think it looks amazing but i bet you will not see many of these rolling around town.
So more to come on the Bond in the next 2 weeks but for now all info should be on Mr Cipo’s site here enjoy.
In 2003 Mio launched their first integrated GPS device and since then have gone from strength to strength and now in 2012 launch their first bicycle GPS device in whats already becoming a Garmin controlled market.
The range consists of 2 models with 3 incarnations of each. The Cyclo 100/105 and 105 HC and the Cyclo 300/305 and 305 HC.
Mio’s 100 series is aimed at Garmin’s edge 200 and 500 and the cyclo 300 is aimed at the market dominating edge 800. Today we will concentrate on the 305 HC as that’s the one ive used.
The cyclo 300 has the same dimensions – comparable in size to an iPhone 4 – with a large 3-inch anti-glare colour touch screen, out of the box if your a current or have been a Garmin user your first thought is god thats big but as all us men know size is not important its what you do with it that counts. The menu is bold bright and far simpler to navigate round than the edge 800 and gives you all the data you need. I have to say the fitting kit and cadence sensor is a little cheap looking but considering this unit is £350 some £90 cheaper than the equivalent edge 800 who cares.
Each unit comes with pre-installed maps (OpenStreetMap and TeleAtlas) Once you’ve finished your ride, you’ll be able to upload your data to the Mio Share desktop application, which also allows you to download new routes and map updates. In terms of battery life i managed a solid 9hrs and 20mins which is just shy of the claimed 10hrs. The 2 things i really liked about the Cyclo 300 HC was the cyclist specific points of interest listed on route, whilst on your ride the unit would indicate where the nearest cycle shops and cafes are amongst other things which if your in the middle of no where and you puncture but forget your emergency tube you’ll be able to find a shop to grab one from near buy or a sticky bun to wash away your lows if the bike shop is just to far off.
The other feature is the surprise me button, enter your destination and time available the Mio will as if by magic give you a random route to follow and will always give you a different route when using this method, may sound like a waste of time but believe me the journeys seem to fly by this way.
I wont blab on about the full list of what it does and doesnt do as you can simply visit Mio’s website for that here for all that but basically if you are looking for your first GPS device the cyclo 300 is perfect at £260 for a pure GPS no HR or cadence sensors etc at £310 you get the European mapping and an ANT+ sensor so your device can pick up your power meters and cadence sensors etc or at £350 you get the all singing all dancing unit. If your looking for an alternative to your Garmins and Brytons the Mio is spot on and expect lots of accessories and updates for this unit as the year rolls on.
The pedallinggearometer gives a super 7/10 to the Mio.
Well, the dust has settled on this years Tour de France but we definitely won’t be forgetting this one in a hurry. After a fairly disappointing few years for British sport and no real Trophies for the National mantle peace good old Mr Wiggins and a few work colleagues go out for a spin and return with the holy grail of cycling.
Not only was it a Brit on the podium in the winners yellow jersey but fellow team mate Chris Froome was the second place man making 1st and 2nd for old blighty and to top off a fantastic tour for the UK Mark Cavendish won his fourth Champs-Élysées sprint becoming the only man to ever do so. An amazing site to see the yellow jersey leading out the world champions jersey for the second time this tour. Amidst people going on about drugs and so on and generally putting a downer on this tour you just can’t takeaway the fact that Bradley Wiggins stamped his authority on that title big time with two amazing time trials and the constant effort for his team. Chris Froome as far as I’m concerned came out of nowhere as well the guy looked like he can climb better than spiderman and although there were 2 occasions where you did question was he better than Wiggins he proved he was a team player and did his country proud with a stunning performance.
I would love to see Froome vs Contador on the climbs that would be a great fight and hopefully Cavendish will get a better run of luck next year instead of being wiped out in crashes caused by others.
On the whole a well managed Tour by SKY from the off, it wasn’t boring they just dominated so well. Cadel Evans seemed to be lacking this year which is a shame as he is a great rider and Vincenzo Nibali also rode well but still seems to be missing that spark this season. He will be moving to Astana in 2013 as Liquigas’s involvement with Cannondale also comes to an end but more to come on this shortly. Whilst on the subject of Liquigas and the green team how could i not Mention Peter Sagan, the 22 year old sensation who is set to take road cycling by the neck for the next few years. His first Tour de France, his first Tour de France stage win and to cap it off the Green jersey. Word has it he had a bet with his team manager that if he won a stage and the green Jersey he would get a Porsche and what do you know, vive la Britain.
As taking your Bicycle abroad for an event or pure holiday riding pleasure becomes more common place nowadays the question of safe transportation arises. The hard case is the first choice generally but financially it can be quite costly , the bike needs to be stripped to an extent to fit it in properly and the casters on the bottom are still not up to sit on rides on the shiny airport floors. Scicon have considered this carefully and given us the Aero comfort 2, is it a bag or is it a box ooh the excitement, well technically its a bag with a solid frame at the bottom. Your cycle of choice is secured to the frame via its dropouts with the bars etc all in place so no faffing in the Hotel room desperate to go out and ride. The wheels sit either side of the bag keeping it nice and compact and light at roughly 16lbs empty. The bag has straps to keep the bag even and avoid it slouching on one side top online casino and not the other.
Exterior dimensions are 46″x18″x38″ (L 117cm x D 45cm x H 97cm). And there are casters on the bottom so you can wheel it on any smooth surface but still not ride on friendly I”m afraid. A fair number of pro teams supply this bag to their riders because of both the weight and simplicity.
Once your pride and joy is safely inside there are various straps to make sure everything stays in place and plenty of room for bits and peaces aswell like helmet, riding kit and tools, hotel towels and so on. I would still suggest covering your frame with some cheap foam pipe lagging etc as the more you protect the less chance of an upset at your destination, I”m not suggesting baggage handlers are using your luggage as trampolines due to a lack of excitement in their job but there is always a possibility that there could be an altercation between your bag and lets say an invisible force stronger than a hop scotch crazed elephant that no one at the airport could ever explain much like the food served in flight. The aero comfort bag is nice and easy to store away aswell compared to a large solid box and i feel offers ample protection for any bicycle plus the time saved with bars and stems staying in place is great. Scicon also offer a bar and mech protector set for a measly £35 that fastens around the rear mech section of your frame and either side of the bars giving that little extra padding and safety. All in all its a fantastic peace of kit and along with lots of other special things will be available through us shortly.