Equipment

Continental 4 season Grand-Prix tyres - a review

During the winter months it is sometimes a bit scary going down a descent on a wet road using regular road bike tyres, so I thought I would take the opportunity of a gift voucher to buy and test the Continental 4-Season Grand-Prix bike tyres.

As their name suggests they are intended for use in all weather conditions and as luck would have it (!!) the roads have been suitably wet and slippery for the last few weeks.

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Elite Super Crono bike trainer review

The Elite Super Crono Elastogel is one of the cheaper bike trainers available in the Elite range. For those of us who don't have the good luck to live somehere with perpetual sunshine a bike trainer is an excellent way to maintain fitness levels during the winter season.

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Cycling Speed for any gear

This article is a quick reference guide to gear ratios on a bike:

(a) the distance that you will travel for one pedal turn on your bike

(b) the speed that you will be travelling for any given gear combination on your bike (shown separately for kmh and mph)

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Bike tyre pressures

This entry is short and sweet but hopefully useful, with a look at the 'ideal' tyre pressure to use in your road bike tyres.

Traditional wisdom is that bike tyres should be very well inflated, perhaps to 8 bars (116 psi) as a reasonable guide.

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Cycle toolkits - tools to take on the road

We cyclists all have a small pouch underneath our saddle, with as few tools as possible squeezed in - because every tool we carry adds a few extra grams of weight. But which tools are really important when you set out on a long ride?

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Shimano components - the product range

Shimano are the dominant manufacturer of gears, transmission and brakes for bikes (others include Campagnola, SRAM, and various smaller outfits).

While many bikes bought 'off the shelf' contain a mix of products from different ranges, there is a clear pecking order for the Shimano components that you will need to be aware of if comparing bikes.

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Clipless pedals

In the 'olden days' cyclists wore shoes that simply rested on the pedals during cycling, and life was simple. Then someone had the bright idea of fitting toe clips to pedals, to stop the shoes sliding around so much. Slightly irritating to use, but more or less a good idea.

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Cheap road bikes

If you are looking for a good cheap bike there is a bewildering choice of bikes in the £350-600 price range, the typical starting point for a road bike, and it is difficult to know where to start. Virtually all mainstream bike manufacturers have entry bikes in this price range.

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Cycle shoes - why wear them?

We have looked at bike pedals and why they make a difference to cycling performance. Well it is not possible to use these effective bike pedals without having 'proper' cycling shoes!

The way they work is that a cleat is screwed to the bottom of your shoe, and then the cleat in some way clips onto the pedal. The exact process varies slightly, depending on the make of pedal and cleat, but generally the front of the cleat is put into/onto the pedal first, and then pushing down with your foot 'clips' the rest of the cleat into the pedal.

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Cycle helmets, are they important?

The issue of cycling helmets - whether to wear on or not - is always a hot topic.

Reasons for:

  • They protect your head!
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Choosing and buying a new road bike

When you first decide to buy a road bike the choice can be very daunting. From bikes in the local supermarket costing £150 to those in specialist shops costing up to £5000 or more, what is the difference and what should you look for?

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Road bike sizing

The most important thing when purchasing a bike is to get the bike frame size and setup right - otherwise you will find you ache on longer rides, and lose enthusiasm for cycling very quickly.

Riding the most expensive bike in the world will not be fun if it is the wrong size for you. As a quick starting point to getting your bike setup right:

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Best road bike

Which are the best road bikes? It's a common question - after all everyone buying a bike wants the best one possible - but the question is one that is impossible to answer!

The answer depends on what you are looking for i.e. what you mean by 'best. First you need to consider which of the following is important to you':

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Straighten a bicycle wheel

We're talking here about correcting reasonably small variations in the straightness of a tyre, not the situation where the wheel has been driven over by a car!

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Mending a bike puncture

As hard as you may try, sooner or later you will get a puncture - typically when you are a long way from civilisation.

It is well worth practicing a couple of times at home, so that when you are caught out:

  1. you can be sure of your abilities to mend the puncture quickly and efficiently
  2. you will be confident that you have all the necessary tools in your bike bag.
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Power Balance Cycling

There has been a lot of talk about a product from Power Balance in the world of sport recently - they have created a simple looking wristband that contains two holograms and is claimed by many sportsmen and women to improve their performance. this includes many cyclists in the Tour de France who are said to have worn the band.

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