Road cycling

  1. Shimano and the Grand Tours

    Shimano and the Grand Tours

    Let's take a look at the Shimano-sponsored teams, the equipment they will be riding, and the Neutral Service each WorldTour team can count on—not just those riding Shimano—every mile of the way.  Learn more here - https://road.shimano.com/stories/shimanos-24-road-cycling-season     

  2. Prepare for your ride with Freewheel

    Prepare for your ride with Freewheel

    Five top tips for making sure you’re ready for your next big ride If you fail to prepare, then you should prepare to fail. Okay, that might be a bit extreme in the context of bike riding but the principle does ring true. If you have a big ride or event coming up then the best thing you can do to have a fun and stress-free experience is make sure you have everything you need. There will always be things that happen that are out of your control but if you follow our five tips below, you’ll have the best chance of navigating any mishaps

  3. Celebrate the lighter evenings with Madison Clothing's SS24 range

    Celebrate the lighter evenings with Madison Clothing's SS24 range

    With the weather finally starting to look up and cyclists everywhere casting furtive glances at their summer bikes, Madison Clothing is back and ready for SS24. This new range puts the focus back on drop-bar riding with the Flux and Roam lines containing pieces for performance and adventure cyclists no matter what their budget.   Heading up the SS24 lineup is the Flux short sleeve road jersey. Focused on performance and made from lightweight material, it’s a smart jersey at a killer price point (£39.99) that pairs up with last season’s Flux EIT bib shorts to make a top performing, wallet-friendly combination. In tandem with that goes the

  4. Soothe your drivetrain with Finish Line's Halo lubricant

    Soothe your drivetrain with Finish Line's Halo lubricant

    As a sponsor of multiple World Tour road cycling teams, Finish Line knows a thing or two about bike cleaning and lubrication. The company has been at the cutting edge of lubcrication innovation for nearly 40 years, and their first product was the groundbreaking Finish Line Dry Bike Lube with Teflon that changed the game when it came to drivetrain lubcrication. Fast forward nearly 40 years and Finish Line is still at the top of the game, as shown by their latest and greatest product: Halo.  The Halo range has three products: a wax lubricant for improved cleanliness, a wet lubricant for durability and water-resistance and a hot wax melt for ultimate chain lubrication in all conditions. All three are powered by elite-grade ingredients including patented Spherical Tungsten. That Spherical Tungsten is what gives the lube its magic, reducing vibrational friction caused by high-torque pedalling. You wont be suprised to learn that those micron-sized particles are spherical in shape

  5. Things you need to know about: torque wrenches

    Things you need to know about: torque wrenches

    Correctly tightening different parts of the bike is very important for two sort of corresponding reasons. Firstly, you want to make sure things are tight enough so that they dont work loose while you're riding. The flip side of that is that you also don't want to tighten parts of the bike up too much and end up damaging anything. Basically, there's a fine balance between not tight enough and too tight, and that's where torque wrenches come in.  Torque is a twisting force (technically a measure of the force causing something to rotate round an axis), and it's what you measure when you're tightening any bolts on your bike. You will (or should) have noticed that every bolt on a bike has a torque rating that the manufacturer recommends and it's important to make sure that those bolts are tightened to within that range. For example, Shimano Hollowtech II cranksets have two fixing bolts on the non-drive side, and those are meant to be between 12-14Nm (that's Newton metres). 

  6. The new Lazer Z1 Kineticore is currently the object of all of our desires

    The new Lazer Z1 Kineticore is currently the object of all of our desires

    Ask any artist and they'll tell you that while creating something great is very hard, following it up is arguably more difficult. There's an entire cultural wasteland of poor second albums and disappointing film sequels that failed to live up to the shadow cast by their predecessors. In a similar vein, Lazer knew that following up its iconic Z1 helmet was going to be a difficult task as the original was so popular among pro and amatuer road riders. But the revamped version - the Z1 Kineticore - honestly not only lives up to the expectation but manages to exceed it, both visually and functionally.  The headline feature of this new Z1 is, as the name suggests, Kineticore. If you're not familiar with Kineticore, it's Lazer's own anti-rotational impact technology, designed to protect your brain from damaging forces during a crash. That's the main benefit - and it's an important one - but the even better thing about Kineticore is that it comes with other benefits that make a helmet

  7. Here's some early year ride inspiration from Shimano

    Here's some early year ride inspiration from Shimano

    Sitting here in January with the temperature hovering around freezing, it's definitely the hardest part of the year to muster up the motivation to get out and ride your bike. So while we're all waiting for Spring, we've posted a couple of great videos from Shimano's YouTube channel below that just make us want to get out and ride our bikes. You can even watch them while you're on the indoor trainer if you want.  The first video is about riding in and around Beijing on bikes made right there in the Chinese capital. . We'd never really thought of Beijing as a two-wheeled destination before, but after watching the below Made In: Beijing video we're now extremely jealous of the hugely varied terrain that's on offer. So now we're going to have to book a riding holiday there, which will be expensive. Wonderful. 

  8. The Knog Oi bell is all we want for Christmas

    The Knog Oi bell is all we want for Christmas

    One of the most interesting (read: frustrating) things about being a cyclist is the stuff you get given for Christmas. There are very few other hobbies where people fixate on giving you things that are not directly related to said hobby but have pictures of the hobby on them. Like socks with bikes on. Or t-shirts with bikes on. Or mugs with bikes on. Basically lots of things that depict cycling but 99% of which are not actually usable in the performance of cycling.  So to cut to the chase, if you want to get the cyclist in your life something nice (really very nice) that will actually aid in the cycling that person does you should absolutely consider the Knog Oi bell. There are multiple reasons for this: first, it's a bell and you be surprised how many people don't have one on their bike. Second, even if they do there is no way it's nicer than this one unless, in fact, they have an Oi already, in which case we're totally out of ideas. Sorry.  There are two types

  9. Everything you need to beat the winter weather by riding indoors

    Everything you need to beat the winter weather by riding indoors

    Riding indoors is a world away from what it used to be. Turbo trainers have changed hugely from what they were just a decade ago, and the advent of things like Zwift means that you can virtually ride with other people in groups, compete in races or simply have something more interactive than just staring at a garage wall or your TV screen for hours on end.  The flip side, of course, is that while things have become significantly smarter and more interesting the price of indoor training has increased proportionally so that if you really want the most comprehensive setup you can then it's going to cost you. What we have here are three potential indoor training setups at various price points and different levels of interest. So whether you just want to keep the pedals turning in the dry or commit fully to indoor training there's something here for you. 

  10. Defy the Elements this Winter with Madison Clothing

    Defy the Elements this Winter with Madison Clothing

    Riding outside all winter is the dream. No matter how good indoor riding gets it just can't compare to the fun you have riding in the real world. That's especially true for off-road riding where  95% of the fun doesn't come from the actual pedalling, but from navigating the terrain.  But to stay outside for as much of Autumn and Winter as possible, you're going to need kit that'll keep you warm and dry. Warm is the easier of the two as that can be achieved through layering but dry require quality kit that actually keeps the water out properly, not stuff that 'keeps water out as long as it's not raining that much and doesn't keep up for more than about 20mins'.  Madison Clothing's DTE collection (which you wont be surprised to find out after reading the headline stands for Defy the Elements) aims to help keep you riding outside for as long as you want. The main pieces - bib trousers, pants and 3-layer waterproof jacket - are serious, heavy duty items of clothing

  11. We can't stop watching these amazing short clips from DT Swiss

    We can't stop watching these amazing short clips from DT Swiss

    Call it ambient, atmospheric, ASMR or anything else you fancy, there's no doubt that videos of 'stuff just happening' are very popular right now. Maybe it's because life is so busy that sitting back and watching something relaxing is really fulfilling, or maybe it's just fun to watch interesting things. Probably best not to psychoanalyze it.  No matter what the motivation for watchers, DT Swiss is in on the action with a series of seven short videos that shows how their spokes are produced on the incredible machines in their factory. Each individual video is only around 16secs long, but we just can't stop watching them. They're pretty mesmerising and we've been watching them all morning here, especially the one with the machine that forms the J-bend heads onto the spokes, that's our favourite (video number 5, if you're interested).  DT Swiss is one of the very few wheel manufacturers that make everything in house, from rims to spokes, hub shells, internals - every

  12. Knog's Blinder Pro is a front light you can rely on

    Knog's Blinder Pro is a front light you can rely on

    As a bike rider or commuter in winter, there are a few things that just make your heart sink. One is rain, because nothing makes the cold less pleasant quite like getting wet. Another is punctures, because getting cold and wet is one thing but then having to change a tube really is insult on top of injury. The third is getting ready for your ride home only to find that your lights dont have enough charge, thus begins the classic game of 'front light chicken' where they may or may not have enough juice left, so it becomes your legs versus the light battery to see which fails first.  What we're trying to say is that a quality front light is an absolutely essential piece of kit for anyone who intends to ride in poor light conditions, whether that be early morning/late evening rides during Spring and Summer, or basically any time of day in the UK in Autumn or Winter.  Coming in 600, 900 or 1300-lumen varieties, the real beauty of the Blinder Pro is the battery technology

  13. Brake bleeding FAQ from the guys at Park Tool

    Brake bleeding FAQ from the guys at Park Tool

    Hydraulic disc brakes are one of the best things to have become widespread on bicycles in the last decade. They're powerful, have great feel and require very little maintenance when setup correctly due to being a sealed system. Setting up hydraulic brakes is called bleeding, and it's the process by which you remove air from the system. The reason you need to do this is that air is compressable while hydraulic fluid is pretty much the opposite, so the more air there is in the brake system the more inconsistent and 'spongy' your brakes will feel.  The trouble is, bleeding is often seen as a one-size-fits-all solution to almost any problems you might have with your hydraulic brakes. But in reality there are only certain situations that you need to bleed the brakes, while other symptoms will actually require other remedies (like changing the pads, for example). In the below video Truman and Calvin from Park Tool talk you through 5 things that mean you need a brake bleed and five

  14. Nail the details on your bike build with Wheels Manufacturing

    Nail the details on your bike build with Wheels Manufacturing

    If you're building your own bike, one of the nicest parts is figuring out all the little things that will really make the build. Sure, the frame, wheels and groupset are the glamour items, but the smaller bits like bottom bracket, derailleur hanger, thru axles, top cap and seat clamp are the parts that turn a good build into a great one. One brand that's earned an excellent reputation by making just these sorts of things is Wheels Manufacturing (or Wheels MFG) who made their name by making top notch bottom brackets and a huge catalogue of mech hangers to fit almost any bike. Oh, and possibly the best-looking bearing presses that money can buy. That's not all they do, though, and one of their latest creations is a variety of beautifully machined thru axles that will make any bike look that little bit better.  Almost all disc brake frames

  15. New things we like from Park Tool

    New things we like from Park Tool

    There are multiple ways to cope with internal routing. The first way is to buy a bike that doesn't have anything routed internally, which immediately solves the problem but bikes like that are becoming increasingly difficult to find so might be more effort than it's worth. Second is to come up with some kind of home-made fix to get those wires, cables or hoses through the frame. Again, absolutely nothing wrong with this one (and we've done it ourselves in the past) but it generally requires a fair amount of trial and error, and if you need to route a bike more than once a year you're definitely going to want something a little less frustrating. Which brings us onto option three: the Park Tool IR-1.3. The 'IR' in the name stands for internal routing, and the '1.3' signifies that it's the third version of the tool, one with a few very helpful upgrades over the previous (called the IR-1.2 would you believe).  The first new addition for the IR-1.3 is a connector for Shimano's EW-SD300

  16. Ride back to school with Nutrak kids' tyres

    Ride back to school with Nutrak kids' tyres

    Back to school is right around the corner, and what better way to start the day than riding your bike? Knowing that thousands of kids nationwide will be taking to two wheels at the start of September, Nutrak has a fantastic range of kids' tyres that are tailored to suit young cyclists' needs. With three distinct tread patterns and sizes ranging from 12 to 26”, these tyres offer a fantastic blend of performance and safety, ensuring an enjoyable riding experience for kids of all ages. For the adventurous souls who crave off-road exploration, the Meteor off-road tyre is the perfect choice. Its rugged tread design offers superior traction on uneven surfaces, making it an excellent companion for young explorers who love venturing into the wild. On the other hand, the Asteroid semi-slick tyre strikes a balance between on-road efficiency and off-road capability. With its versatile tread pattern, it provides confident grip on both smooth surfaces and light trails, making it an i

  17. Science in Sport's Protein bars are a tasty, easy-to-eat protein hit

    Science in Sport's Protein bars are a tasty, easy-to-eat protein hit

    If you think protein is just for weight-chucking, gym-loving strength athletes then think again. While protein - and, we can't stress enough, nurition in general - is a vital component of weight training programmes, it's just as important for endurance athletes but for a slightly different purpose. While weight lifters use protein to fuel muscle growth (aka trying to make muscles larger and stronger), endurance athletes also need protein to aid muscle recovery after training and a similarly important role in energy supply and muscle maintenance.  Basically, after around 90mins of endurance exercise the body's glycogen stores are depleted and it looks for other ways to supply energy. One of the first things the body looks to do is called gluconeogenesis which is in this context (in a wildly oversimplified and unscientific explanation) basically the breakdown of your muscles to supply that energy. Having a good quality protein source supplies the body with the amino acids that

  18. Organise your life with Thule's fantastic RoundTrip bag

    Organise your life with Thule's fantastic RoundTrip bag

    Organisation is one of those skills that you either have or you dont. If you think that you're 'sort of' organised, it probably means you're not (sorry if that feels like an attack) and while it wont pack itself for you, Thule's RoundTrip kit bag is exactly designed for people who think they might be sort of organised but in reality need a little helping hand.  The best part about the RoundTrip is that even though it's incredibly well organised its 55L capacity means you don't actually have to be all that organised when it comes to what you're taking with you and what you're leaving behind. A bag this large can easily fit 3-5 days' worth of riding kit so there's no problem with taking a few extra bits just in case. The main compartment has an expandable segemented organiser section which is perfect for rolling up jerseys, arm and leg warmers, socks and any other soft goods you want to take with you. There's also a specific compartment for shoes with a tarpaulin liner to make

  19. The Truflo Track Mate is the ultimate track pump upgrade

    The Truflo Track Mate is the ultimate track pump upgrade

    When you're thinking about upgrading bikes and bike-related kit, it's probably fair to say that upgrading your track pump is probably not the first thing that springs to mind. Which is a bit mad, because as people who have spent years struggling with sub-standard pump heads, and since a pump is something you use more frequently more than almost any other piece of kit, the pump is something that you really, really want to be easy to use.  Pump heads come in all shapes and sizes. Some screw on (not a great idea as they almost always end up unscrewing the valve core when you remove them), some press on with a lever that flicks up to hold it in place, some press on a rely on that seal to keep the air in and very few are practically perfect in every way. The Truflo Track Mate is, happily, in the latter category.  The great thing

  20. What's cooler than being cool? The Elite Aria, that's what

    What's cooler than being cool? The Elite Aria, that's what

    Indoor training has changed so much over the last few years. What used to be the domain of only the most committed has evolved into something that - whisper it - might even be called fun. Online training games (okay, Zwift), interactive turbo trainers and an ever-growing array of accessories mean that while indoor riding still isn't quite as fun as being outdoors, it's certainly moulded itself into a genre all of its own.  But there is still one fundamental that makes indoor riding different to the open roads: airflow. When you're out on the bike, the air moving past you helps to cool you down and regulate your body temperature. When you're indoors, you're not moving so the air isn't moving either which means you'll warm up incredibly quickly, and a hot body is not an efficient, performance ready body.  Fans are the solution to this problem. But a standard fan with a few settings that you have to constantly change yourself can be a bit of a pain. That's why Elite

  21. Spare two minutes? Watch this DT Swiss dream wheel build

    Spare two minutes? Watch this DT Swiss dream wheel build

    Most of you are probably familar with the idea of a dream build video by this point. Basically, it's a person building a bike with either very calm music in the background or only ambient noise as the soundtrack. Well DT Swiss have taken that idea and built on it with the help of Jean Brun in Switzerland to make a dream wheel build video. It's exactly as it sounds - man builds gravel wheels onto the latest DT Swiss 350 hubs while you sit there and admire both his handiwork and the loveliness of the video in general. It doesn't need much more of an introduction than that, to be honest, so sit back and enjoy. 

  22. Things to pack in your saddle bag (aka getting home when the worst happens)

    Things to pack in your saddle bag (aka getting home when the worst happens)

    Before anyone gets hung up on our use of the term 'saddlebag' this isn't just about neatly organising whatever you hang off your saddle rails. It's about what to take with you in whatever you use to carry spares be that jersey pockets, a hip pack, frame bag, bar bag, hydration pack or any other form of storage short of a team car.  Riding bikes is great, but every now and then - just like with cars - something unfortunate will go wrong and require some kind of on-the-fly repair. Fortunately bikes are much easier to fix by yourself than motor vehicles, and 90% of things can be at least temporarily mended by the road or trail side.  So here we're going to discuss what it might be nice to have with you to cover the greatest variety of potential mid-ride issues from punctures to bolts to chains and back again. Here we go...

  23. Throwback Thursday: Genesis Volare x Colourburn 'noncomformist'

    Throwback Thursday: Genesis Volare x Colourburn 'noncomformist'

    Over the years Genesis Bikes have had some fantastic collaborations. We've had all sorts of bikes painted for all sorts of people, but there are a few that really stick out because, well, they're just fantastic. The Genesis Volare 931 we have here is a particularly wonderful example. Painted by the mega talented Colourburn Studios in Bristol, it was dubbed the 'nonconformist' features one of the most incredible paint jobs we've ever seen.  The Volare 931 is, if we do say so ourselves, one incredibly good-looking bike and to take it and make it even more eye-catching isn't an easy task. There's defintely a risk of going over the top on a stainless steel frame and taking away from the natural beauty of the materials, but Colourburn took that canvas and made it into the masterpiece you can see below. Enjoy. 

  24. Watch Calvin from Park Tool build a bike

    Watch Calvin from Park Tool build a bike

    If there's one man on planet Earth that knows his way around a bike, it's Calvin Jones from Park Tool. More years in the business than he'd care to remember, more bikes built than you could possibly count and still more enthusiasm than almost anyone else we know. This is a slightly different video than the standard fare that Park Tool upload in that it's not directly instructional on any single part of bike building or maintenance. Instead, it's Calvin building a bike and talking his way through it for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy. 

  25. So you want some carbon wheels? Here's our buyer's guide

    So you want some carbon wheels? Here's our buyer's guide

    There are a lot of great things about carbon wheels. They're light, they're aerodynamic, they look great and, yep, they make a really cool 'whoosh, whoosh' sound as you ride along. Carbon wheels have been a thing in road cycling for at least two decades now and although the wheels you can get today look ostensibly similar to the ones ridden back then, the technology has been refined over and over again through the years making carbon wheels a practical (and durable) every day choice rather than something you'd only stick in the bike for race days.  The main thing to change in the last couple of years is the move from rim brakes to disc brakes on road bikes. With rim brakes, every time you brake you're wearing the carbon rim away slightly which means that depending on how much you ride there is a a clear and finite lifespan to that wheelset. Not that most of us ride enough for that to be a real concern in the short term, but the beauty of disc brakes is that braking wears the

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