The Bike List
       

Bikes & Frames

Performance
Value

After over 17 years of riding predominantly the discipline of Downhill, a year ago I got rid of my 240mm travel Santa Cruz V10 Carbon Downhill rig and replaced it with a 27.5" Giant Trance 2 . Having felt a little disappointed with my 140mm of travel getting lairy at high speed on rough trails, when the Merida One-Sixty 7.700 arrived I was...

Performance
Value

Canyon's Spectral AL 7.0 EX sits midway up the firm's trail-smashing aluminium long-travel range of mountain bikes, and - like its 8.0 EX counterpart - is one of the first to feature SRAM's game-changing single-chainring X1 chainset. The combination of this simple drivetrain, affordable price tag and largely high-end components make this bike...

Performance
Value

There comes a point in every bike's life when it reaches a crossroads. You'll have owned it a few years and got it exactly as you want it. Then disaster strikes. The frame sustains damage and it's rendered unrideable. But what do you do? You could fork out on a completely new bike, making the most of the technological advantages over the...

Wheels & Tyres

Performance
Value

Fulcrum are a long standing favourite in the cycling industry, with a reputation for sturdy wheels built to last. Broadly speaking, they have three ranges of wheels: the Racing series which are alloy rims targeted as training wheels or budget racing wheels; the Red Wind series - carbon wheels with alloy brake tracks for racing performance in...

Performance
Value

Tubeless technology has been around for a good few years now, and seems to be very slowly gaining a foothold. It has yet to appear in any pro races to our knowledge, and remains a relatively rare sight at club outings too. Opinions amongst The Bike List team are mixed. Some think that it is solving a problem that doesn't exist and others think...

Performance
Value

Tubeless technology has been around for a good few years now, and seems to be very slowly gaining a foothold. It has yet to appear in any pro races to our knowledge, and remains a relatively rare sight at club outings too. Opinions amongst The Bike List team are mixed. Some think that it is solving a problem that doesn't exist and others think...

Lights, Cycle Computers & Electronic Accessories

Performance
Value

I always feel safer on the bike knowing I've done my best to help other road users see me. Occasionally I get caught out at the end of summer, when the nights start to draw in and end up riding back in dusk without lights. It makes me feel more vulnerable on the road to think that someone might not see me, and I could have done something to...

These pedals have been a long time coming. Launch dates were put back again and again and, at times, it looked as though Garmin were never going to be ready to put them on the market. To be honest, I got pretty frustrated with the whole process. As a cyclist with a reasonably large stable of my own bikes, test bikes coming and going and taking...

Performance
Value

A few months ago I got my mitts on a Power2Max power meter and first impressions were extremely good. Fitting was extremely easy and early training sessions with power were a revelation. With a hard summer of training and racing though, how has it fared and am I now a complete power convert? The main reason I'd previously had for...

Clothing, Protection & Bags

Performance
Value

Need a backpack for extremely wet conditions? Read on to see if this is the one for you... Aquapac have produced a 28ltr day sack they call the Toccoa. The pack is priced at £50 and weighs in at 890g, being 304mm in width and 407mm tall. The pack is available in two colourways; blue & black, and green & grey. The green is more of...

Performance
Value

Redundant; that's how all my other back packs feel since I got hold of the Osprey Zealot 15! I have had this pack on test now for around 5 months, and can't say a bad word about it. I already own a range of Camelbak packs including the Rogue, Lobo and Mule, but I have to admit, these have sat on the shelf since getting the Zealot on test. ...

Performance
Value

I loved the  Rapha Hardshell Jacket  which I reviewed and, as winter really starts to bite, can confirm that it continues to impress in sleet, snow and sub-zero conditions. When riding in foul conditions though it's your extremities that can really let you down so, with a Rapha hat, glove and overshoes combo, am I able to keep logging...

Components & Accessories

Performance
Value

"Drop my chain?!" I said with suprise, when asked about my chainring at the local trails. "Never!" I happily replied! The line of questioning had begun after a few of the chaps noticed my chainring, run without a chain guide or device. They had also noticed it was a brand they hadn't heard of before. I was running an elecric blue coloured Narrow...

Performance
Value

Sometimes the simplest things make life much easier. How often have you gone to remove a pedal and found that the flats on the pedal's spindle leave your spanner in line with the crack arm, making it a pain to remove? It's certainly something that has irritated me with Shimano and Wellgo pedals - the makes I normally use - but it was only when...

Performance
Value

Gear cables may not be the most exciting components, but they're essential if you want to enjoy your riding to the full. Poor gear shifting can change what should be a great ride into a nightmare outing with jumping gears or imprecise shifting, causing nothing but frustration. And if you live in the UK and are happy to venture out whatever the...

Tools, Maintenance & Cleaning

Performance
Value

There are dozens of bike cleaning products out there, but more often than not, shops will stock Muc-Off. It's been the go-to brand for years now and recently became a proud sponsor of Team Sky. Their Nano Tech Bike Cleaner comes in a variety of sizes from one-litre spray bottles to 25-litre tubs to decant into smaller spray bottles. And naturally,...

Performance
Value

I hate getting punctures. It's not the actual puncture that's the problem, it's the hassle involved in getting back on the road. And there's nothing worse than smugly riding up the cycle lane beside queuing traffic only to have to let them pass you as you fiddle and faff around swapping tubes. Like most regular cyclists I'm well versed in...

Performance
Value

Most people will be content with a visit to their local bike store to find some bicycle cleaning products. Others more adventurous make seek to save a few pennies by visiting online retailers. But few, I suspect, will have been lucky enough to come across Chemicals Direct Ltd. Don't be put off by the name though, these guys have been around...

Cycle Touring Equipment

Performance
Value

If you're not keen on backpacks to carry your everyday essentials like tools, spare tubes, windproofs and a bite to eat, then this barbag-sized pack may be right up your street. It mounts securely on a seatpost via a small, quick release bracket and is suspended via a metal frame that encircles the bag and keeps its contents easy to get at....

Performance
Value

British-made and developed through the online Kickstarter scheme, the Bridge Street Saddlebag mounts to your seatpost via a quick-release bracket, and comes in a selection of five colours and three different sizes. The Small gives 4 litres of space and costs £60, Medium offers 8 litres for £70 and Large gives a capacious 15 litres for £80. We...

Performance
Value

Altura's Aero Drop Down Rack Pack attaches to a standard rear rack and offers - at first glance - a handy, semi-rigid box with about 6 litres of space. It opens and closes with a double zip running lengthways along the top, and the flap at the end is secured by Velcro. A similar size to a medium bar bag, it's ruggedly built from durable P-Tec...

Books & DVD's

Value

If you spend any significant time on a bike, not ensuring it's fitted correctly is a recipe for poor performance, discomfort and potentially injury. Unfortunately many how-to cycling books skim over this area, prescribe one size fits all generic formulae or ignore it completely. Look online and you'll find confusing and contradictory advice....

Value

We're all familiar with the story of Lance Armstrong. The Texan who battled cancer then conquered the Tour de France, winning seven times before being exposed as a drugs cheat. This is the story of the man instrumental in setting the record straight, David Walsh. David is a journalist and had a particular passion for cycling, meeting Lance...

Value

I'm a great fan of the Dummies series of books. They're written clearly and, unlike other guides, explain the jargon as you get to it, rather than leaving you to hunt down a glossary at the end of the book. Cycling for Dummies is the latest in the series and covers pretty much everything you'd want to know about cycling in the UK, from...

Nutrition & Skin Care

Performance
Value

Protein shakes are now commonplace in cycling, offering quick, convenient access to protein for a faster and better recovery. Some cyclists swear by them while others shun them in favour of more natural nutrition like rice and tuna. Taking protein shakes at face value, I tested a pack of eight Cyclone Milk chocolate flavour bottles as an alternative...

Performance
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Like the Race Drink , CNP Hydro Gels have been developed in conjunction with British Cycling and Team Sky nutritionist Nigel Mitchell to address a specific performance issue. During a course of a race, they found that riders could handle 2-4 regular gels but, in planning for the Olympic Road Race, reckoned that the riders would need in excess...

Performance
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The importance of staying hydrated and providing your body with adequate energy on long rides is the same for weekend warrior sportive heroes as it is for top professionals. The problem with many energy drinks though is that they can be a bit syrupy, leaving your mouth feeling claggy and upsetting your stomach on a long day out. Team Sky...