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The Ultimate Guide To Pedals For Sportive Cyclists 2017

The Ultimate Guide To Pedals For Sportive Cyclists 2017 thumbnail


Well that’s a bold statement to start things off with – to suggest that I’ve identified the best road bike pedals out there.

(“Oi cock! This Grimper fella reckons ‘e’s got the ‘ultimate’ guide t’ pedals“, “Nah, tha’s collops mate.”)

Fair point. This post is unlikely to represent the last word written on the subject. But some of you people seem to like it when I write about things. So today I’m writing about pedals.

Anyway, it’s ‘ultimate’ as in Ultimate Warrior, who did not appear to be the ultimate wrestler, never mind warrior.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you introduce a post about pedals.

[click to read more…]

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Shimano Dura-Ace vs Ultegra: Clash Of The Groupset Titans

Judging by the popularity of my other posts comparing different rungs on the Shimano road gears product ladder, I thought it high time that I looked at the tippity top of the company’s groupset range, Shimano Dura-Ace, and how it compares to Ultegra.

So, behold, here are my considered musings (alright, ill-considered musings). [click to read more…]

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Guide To Cycling Leg Warmers (And A Review Of My GripGrabs)

Guide To Cycling Leg Warmers (And A Review Of My GripGrabs) thumbnail

I’ve had something of a revelation. And it involves skin tight black stockings. Or ‘leg warmers’ as they seem to be called in cyclo-world.

The updating of my guide to cycling tights (never a more exciting post written) coincided with this year’s Black Friday sales.

Whilst perusing the Wiggle site, I saw that these leg warmers from GripGrab were available in the sale. So I plunged. And I also bought a pair of leg warmers.

Here are my (somewhat revelatory) thoughts.

Selected Products Mentioned In This Post

[click to read more…]

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My wife has a habit of buying me ‘experiences’ for Christmas and birthdays. I have a habit of not getting around to going on them.

I’m not sure mi amor has entirely forgiven me for not going to a driving track day that she bought me very early in our courtship. More recently I only got round to attending a sailing taster session (birthday present) a few hours before the voucher expired (i.e. my next birthday).

This ungrateful behaviour doesn’t seem to stop her.

And to be fair, she’d be forgiven for thinking that a voucher entitling me to a series of track sessions at the recently-built Derby velodrome, would be a Christmas gift I’d (i) be delighted to receive; and (ii) be motivated to book myself onto the session.

She was right about (i). Delighted.

The issue was (ii).

Time slips away. Derby City Council do not make it easy to find and book yourself onto a session. I finally got round to organising my first session in November.

And here is how I got on (spoiler alert: it was brilliant). [click to read more…]

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Last Minute Christmas Gifts For Cyclists

Eek!

’Twas the (fort)night before Christmas, and all through your head, no present ideas were stirring, not even a shed*.

I know. You’ve got every confidence in Amazon Prime, and its army of self-flying drones (this is a REAL thing people), to provide next day delivery right up til Christmas Eve.

But you really want to get your Christmas shopping sorted and this is the weekend you’re going to do it.

Mais what to buy? (Or to suggest that others buy you?)

Fear not. Monty has suggestions. He has a pret-a-manger Christmas list, which he (I) will share with you now.

So, on (your bike) Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!

Read on below and see what your mitzen.

(Ahem)

(*We literally just bought (and I built) a shed for our son’s 8th birthday… the photo is at the bottom of the post…)

[click to read more…]

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The Sportiveur’s Guide To Winter Cycling Tights

The Sportiveur’s Guide To Winter Cycling Tights thumbnail

For a long time, when I saw pro riders (or those who wanted to look like pro riders) training in cold weather, I assumed they were wearing tights underneath their cycling shorts.

It took me an awfully long time (too long) to realise that this wasn’t the case (I hope it wasn’t the case) and they were most likely wearing knee or leg warmers.

The aim of this post is shed a little light on the subject of winter cycling tights. I doubt that too much light is required, for it is hardly a challenging subject.

Still, despite October’s best efforts to remain mild, colder temperatures are upon us. A vital aspect of enjoying your cycling during the winter months is to ensure you’re adequately attired. Cycling tights should be an important part of the your adequate attire. [click to read more…]

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Whose Coat Is That Jacket: Best Winter Jackets For Road Cyclists 2017 thumbnail

Hmm. If I had any sense, I’d have published this post some time ago, giving you time to study it (yes, study it) and invest (yes, invest) in a winter jacket ahead of the actual, you know, winter.

But I don’t have any sense.

And to be honest, I’m struggling, based on recent weather here in the soon-to-be-set-continentally-adrift UK, to decide what season it is. So let’s just assume it’s winter jacket buying season.

Let’s further assume that you have 10 minutes (5 minutes…. [small voice] 2… minutes [/small voice]) to read my ill-informed drivel ‘pon the subject.

And let’s assume that your time…. starts…. NOW! [click to read more…]

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The Ultimate Guide To Fitness Training For Road Cyclists

The Ultimate Guide To Fitness Training For Road Cyclists thumbnail

Okay, here’s the jam. In this post we’re going to talk about training. A lot.

Why?

Well, I’d posit that most you are here to improve your cycling performance in some fashion (here, as in on this website, rather than here on this earth).

If you’re just starting out, that might be achieved through upping your confidence and motivation levels simply to ‘do more cycling’.

For everyone else, whether you want to ride longer distances, to up your average speed, to improve your climbing ability, it is structured training that will help you get there.

For sure, ‘doing more cycling’ will achieve some results. But there is a limit to how much more cycling you can do – there aren’t enough hours in the day; there is a limit to what your body can sustain before it breaks down.

At some point, if you’re following a random-walk training ‘programme’, your performance level will plateau and may start to decline (particularly if you’re an ‘elder statesman of le peloton’).

In this super-detailed post, we’re going to learn together about the theory and practice of fitness, to help you create an individualised training programme that suits you.

How do you like them apples? [click to read more…]

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Garmin Edge 820 vs Edge 520: Battle Royale (No Holds Barred)

Garmin Edge 820 vs Edge 520: Battle Royale (No Holds Barred) thumbnail


My brother-in-law’s Edge 500 has finally given up the ghost. He’s in the market for a new bike computer.

We both have a sense that he should be looking at either the (spankingly new) Garmin Edge 820 or the (still vibrantly youthful) Edge 520.

I have form for researching bike computers on this ’ere blog. Quod erat demonstrandum*. I will write a post on the subject and we will all learn something (no guarantees).

(*Harry Potter spell)

Bike Computers Mentioned In This Post…

… in case you didn’t read the introduction:

[click to read more…]

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How Do Pro Cyclists Train?

How Do Pro Cyclists Train? thumbnail

Ooh, it’s very technical. I’m not sure you’d understand. I’m certain that I don’t.

But lack of knowledge, competence and intelligence has not tended to stop me writing about a subject here on Sportive Cyclist. So I’m going to give it a crack.

As an esteemed (not to mention gloriously-handsome) Sportive Cyclist reader, I’m sure you’ll have the wherewithall to draw out the relevant lessons for your own training and performance (hint: plan it out in advance; follow the plan; adapt the plan as your circumstances change).

Let’s go! [click to read more…]

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