The Bike List
       

Bikes & Frames

Performance
Value

It's always tricky buying a new bike. What do you go for - a road , hybrid or mountain bike ? Well, what about going for something with a hint of each? Cyclocross bikes meld the different types together, giving you a robust base for tackling all terrains, so if you fancy sticking on the road, you'll be able to get your head down and...

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You know the feeling you get when you return to dry land after spending some time on a boat or ship? The feeling that the floor beneath your feet is swaying to and fro? You experience a similar effect after riding the smart ebike. Not that the ground is swaying, or anything like that, just you feel like you're being pushed along slightly...

Performance
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The Liv / Giant Avail Composite 1 is a striking, aerodynamic ride with excellent components, designed for all-day endurance riding. However, we'll come to all those aspects later because what really stands out is the ease with which you can change from the small to the large chainring on the compact chainset ( 50/34 tooth ratio) thanks to Shimano...

Wheels & Tyres

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In 2013, Zipp released two wheelsets aimed at the lower end of the market, that is, lower relative to the rest of their products: the 30 and 60 clinchers. We were lucky enough to get a hold of the 60 clinchers for a month and rode them throughout January come rain and shine. The Zipp 60's represent the brand's first attempt at a more affordable...

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There's a certain smugness that comes from having the right gear at the right time. Like having a day free for riding on the only day of the year when the sun shines, or the tools to hand to fix a damsel-in-distress' broken chain. I've got to admit that I'm feeling spectacularly smug right now as the roads and paths are covered with snow...

Performance
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Shimano wheels have been around for years, quietly. They cover every range of budget, but since 2012 have come onto my radar big time through Team Sky's Tour de France wins. The custom decals on Wiggins' yellow Pinarello on which he rode into Paris on the final day of the 2012 TdF might have had something to do with it, but Dura Ace wheels are no...

Lights, Cycle Computers & Electronic Accessories

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
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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...

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A few years ago now, Garmin opened up a new market within cycle computers: GPS functionality. It didn't take too long for them to gain a foothold in the industry, converting even some cynics adamant that a paper map and compass are far more reliable. Admittedly, early versions of the Edge did have some poor reliability reports, but the ability...

Clothing, Protection & Bags

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As a cyclist you might not have come across SealLine products before. This Seattle-based company offers a range of dry bags, dry sacks, dry pack, dry duffle bags, waterproof document cases, so basically they're experts at keeping your stuff dry whilst you're out and about. The backpack we've been testing is part of their urban range which...

Performance
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Dating back to 2004, the Rapha Classic Jersey has been part of the line up since the company started and is undoubtedly one of the garments that helped Rapha etch its name into the cycling industry. Impressively that means this jersey has been in service for nearly 10 years. As you'd expect Rapha have made a few refinements over that time but...

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Not too long ago, I wrote a glowing review on GripGrab's Microfleece Cap . It was therefore with great excitement that I anticipated another superb product in the line of headwear from the same manufacturer. The Windster Cap is by and large the same look, size and shape as the Microfleece Cap, except that it has a windproof panel on the front....

Components & Accessories

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Like many good ideas the original Rotor crank began life as student project back in 1995 at the Engineering School of Madrid. Three years later and the project had become a business venture with cranks available for the public to buy, but early systems had limited compatibility and couldn't be used with conventional bottom brackets as they needed...

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Well who on earth would go back to using a regular mono-prong saddle after one of these? Not me! I am fully converted to the double-pronged saddle, it's so much comfier, and I'm not even a bloke. I used to feel saddle sore after 4 hours of riding, think 'Ah, that's just the sign of a long ride' and put up with it, but the Adamo Century has solved...

Performance
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Are you sitting comfortably? Then you can stop reading now. But if you find yourself constantly shuffling your position on the bike or you finish rides with, ahem, numb nuts or even a numbness that means you can't match your passion for cycling with passion in the bedroom, then you need to find a solution. Sitting on a chair you distribute...

Tools, Maintenance & Cleaning

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There are general cleaning products aplenty in the cycling industry these days and most cyclists will either get the cheapest they can, or the one their local bike shop stocks. Prices range from around £5-£10 depending where you shop, so Purple Harry's product sits closer to the top end. This Cleaner and Degreaser is a two-in-one product - there...

Performance
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The first thing you'll notice about Purple Harry's Bike Maintenance Spray is that the shape and size of this bottle is extremely misleading, so I feel it is my duty as a reviewer to provide a stark warning: THIS IS NOT A CLEANING PRODUCT, IT IS A LUBRICANT! Most manufacturers will sell this type of product in a compressed aerosol canister with a straw....

Performance
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Purple Harry's Bike Floss was their very first product to be launched. A simple, yet innovative and effective solution for anybody that enjoys riding a clean bike. We've all used these in our youth, fabricating various objects and calling them houses, or dogs - never quite understanding the frown of confusion on our parents' face when we showed them....

Cycle Touring Equipment

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You can fit so much into these bags you could easily use them for touring around the world, but we used them much closer to home, cycling from the toe to the tip of the Outer Hebrides for a 5-day trip. I also used the Aqua Back Plus rear panniers on a 10-day cycle touring trip through Holland and Germany to Oktoberfest, so they have seen a fair...

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Vaude have a well-deserved reputation for making innovative, high quality tents, and the latest Terra Space model seeks to continue this. This 3-person tent - exclusive to the UK market - is based on the Vaude Space 3P which first appeared on the scene over 20 years ago, but comes in at a near-bargain price of £210 - almost one-third of the...

Performance
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A quality rear rack is essential if you want to carry a lot of gear on your bike, but with many bikes eschewing braze-ons and threaded holes for mounting one, life isn’t quite so easy. Until of course you find Old Man Mountain racks. This Californian company makes top-notch aluminium racks, and its Cold Springs model doesn’t require any...

Books & DVD's

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 picking...

Value

I'm one of those people who can't help but glance into people's living rooms as I walk down a street. If the curtains are open I'll always have a nose and see what what they're watching on the telly or having for tea. Don't get me wrong, I don't stand and stare, simply cherish the half a second stocktake of peoples lives I gleen. An open...

Value

This pocket-sized mountain bike guidebook is organised in a very clear, logical way that makes it very enjoyable to use and inspiring to flick through. The author, Ian Boydon, has drawn on his 17 years of mountain biking experience in the Lake District to hand pick 24 trails, from short, medium, long and full day loops for varying levels of technical...

Nutrition & Skin Care

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Warming balm is a useful product for those colder winter rides. Don't misunderstand their purpose though, they are NOT a replacement for clothing! If you haven't used any form of warming balm before, the easiest way to describe is it to imagine a cream version of Deep Heat. There are active ingredients that create a heating sensation on your...