The Bike List
       

Bikes & Frames

Performance
Value

Getting a bike in to review just as the ranges are about to change is always difficult. You're never sure quite what next year's model will have, or whether it will make your review obsolete. So picking up the 2014 Giant Defy 0 late in the season did cause me a bit of consternation, but I needn't have worried; the 22-speed endurance bike has proved...

Performance
Value

I sound a bit like a spoilt child when I say I was waiting for a £6K bike to arrive with a bit of a sense of disappointment but, when Boardman Bikes launched their 2014 Elite Range , all the attention and hype surrounded the new and super slippery looking AiR/TTE . The bike that was winging its way to me from their Bromsgrove HQ for longterm testing...

Performance
Value

Silence is golden - or at least that's what they say. And there's nothing better than zipping along the road on a bike, with nothing but a bit of tyre noise and the whoosh of the wind whizzing past your head. And when your bike starts making noises, you know it's time to do a spot of fine-tuning - a little bit of adjustment on the gear cables;...

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

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...

Performance
Value

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

Performance
Value

I'm going to grab the nettle straight away, talk about the £260 price tag and why I've still given this jacket five stars for value. If you look at high end waterproof jackets in the outdoors and climbing markets, you'll see that £300 plus price tags aren't uncommon. If you're up a mountain, you want a jacket that keeps you warm and dry and don't...

Performance
Value

Full disclosure: I am a big fan of Polartec's NeoShell material. I've used it on a range of jackets walking in the Alps, skiing in the Italian Dolomites, hiking in Australia and wandering around the UK. I needed no convincing that this was going to deliver both in terms of its waterproof rating and breathability. I'd happily chose this material in...

Performance
Value

How I lug kit into work on my daily commute is dictated by the bike I'm riding. My tourer comes with carrier rack and panniers are my first choice to prevent arriving at the office with a sweat-soaked back. But if I'm using a road bike, then I need to opt for a rucksack to haul a small mountain of paperwork to and from the office. This...

Components & Accessories

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Value

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...

Performance
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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
Value

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

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...

Performance
Value

Polishing frames isn't for everyone, nor for every bike. If you've got a steed that takes pride of place in the household, then this polish is the right product for you. Equally, if you've got an old alloy frame that you turbo on all year round, a six monthly polish is not a bad idea to protect it from the sweat and salt of your hard labour...

Performance
Value

Purple Harry clearly advertise this as a dry chain lube that is still suitable "for all conditions, but most suited to the usual weather mix we get here in the UK". Sounds promising, right? One size fits all? Strangely, the application instructions differ between the Dry and Wet Chain Lubes, as I found the hard way - under apply this lube...

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

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...

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...

Nutrition & Skin Care

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 of 10...

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 riders...

Performance
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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...