The Bike List

Bikes & Frames

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It's hard to believe that just a few years ago you wouldn't have seen a bike like this. Disc brakes were for those wanting to keep braking surfaces clear of mud, not for slowing riders racking up road miles. But times have changed, and discs have made their way into every area of cycling. Okay, maybe not every part - professional racing is...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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This is a review that I've been putting off writing for the simple reason that, once it's up an live, I'll have no reason for not giving this wonderful bike, which I've fallen head over heels in love with, back. It all started in the early winter when, deciding I needed an early season goal for 2015. To keep me motivated through the winter,...

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It's official, Raleigh makes cyclocross bikes. In fact, Raleigh makes great cyclocross bikes. The RX series first appeared on the scene in 2014, and the second round picks up the baton and runs with it. The RX Comp is at the lower end of the Raleigh RX range, with Elite below (at £800) and Pro (£1500), Race (£1850) and Team (£3000) above....

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Initially introduced in 2006, Cervelo's R3 has built itself an admirable reputation. The model hit the market with a bang as that same year Fabian Cancellara, the swiss time trial specialist and cobble smasher, rode the R3 to victory on possibly the toughest races in the calendar, Paris-Roubaix (aka 'Hell of the North'). At that time the...

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When I first heard about Trek's cobble-gobbling Domane back in 2013 I got very excited. A frame designed for rough road conditions such as those found throughout the spring classics, and the UK. Having ridden both the Flanders and Paris-Roubaix sportives a number of times I'm all too familiar with how harsh the pave can be, particularly...

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Thankfully the Hoxton Hipster Fixie trend seems to be dying off and it's time to rescue fixed gear bikes from a life of posing on the streets of Shoreditch and return them to their true calling, as the ultimate winter workhorses. They're practically maintenance free, with no sensitive and expensive components to be corroded by salted winter...

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I'd like to think that I appreciate the value of top-end, luxury cycling brands like Castelli and Cervelo but when it comes to bang for my buck I am a huge fan of the very affordable Planet X. I've two Planet X bikes - an N2a road bike and an Excocet 2 triathlon bike - and I wouldn't change them for the world. However, running my best road bike...

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I'd like to think that I appreciate the value of top-end, luxury cycling brands like Castelli and Cervelo but when it comes to bang for my buck I am a huge fan of the very affordable Planet X. I've two Planet X bikes - an N2a road bike and an Excocet 2 triathlon bike and I wouldn't change them for the world. However, running my best road bike...

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Merida's £750 Crossway 500 is a hybrid in the truest sense. While most commuter bikes of this type are effectively road bikes with flat bars, sporting fatter tyres and more forgiving geometry, the German firm's take on the hybrid genre features all of the above with the addition of front suspension. This makes it a bike that should be able to...

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Most people can remember their first proper bike. Mine was a secondhand drop-handlebar tourer that I got for Christmas when I was 12. It was a steel-framed Raleigh, had metallic purple paint, five-speed rear cassette and pannier rack and I had to ride the five miles home with it as it didn't fit in the back of my parents' car. I'm not sure...

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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...

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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...

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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;...

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There were some very appreciative 'oohs' and 'aahs' as I rolled this bike out of the box, got the handlebars aligned and the saddle adjusted. The Kimera AL is a aerodynamic looking beast that borrows the swooping geometry of more expensive road bikes within the Koga range, but at a fraction of the price. The anodised and smooth-welded 6061aluminium...

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Pitched as a road bike for the urban commuter, the Hack 2 is a part of a new breed of do it all commuter bikes, that have grown in popularity over the last few years as more of us have started cycling to work. At just under £1000 the Hack 2 sits above the Hack 1 which is £200 cheaper. The only difference between the two being the groupset...

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Sometimes, life in the slow lane can be a refreshing change. This steel offering from Eastway (named after east London's famous cycling circuit) proves that a little extra bulk needn't impact greatly on riding enjoyment. Nudging north of 12kg (the firm's claimed weight for the 56cm model), it's inescapable that the ST is losing out on modern...

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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...

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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...

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The Gryphon is definitely aimed at the faster end of the hybrid market, combining relatively thin tyres and road bike gear ratios (50/34 compact front and 11-28 on the rear) with disc brakes to bring that speed in check. Weighing in at 12.13kg it's not a lightweight but it's fair for a bike with aluminium alloy frame and forks at this price...

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I blame Joseph Gordon-Levitt. If he hadn't ridden like a hooligan in the film Premium Rush , I wouldn't have given myself - and car drivers - a scare when my right hand pedal smacked into the tarmac as I weaved between traffic on a roundabout. I'm normally a fairly tame rider. I tend to ride aggressively enough to show drivers I mean business,...

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I've been testing the brand new Eastway CX.1.0 for three months now, resplendent in spearmint, dolled up with SRAM and Avid componentry and topped off with Eastway's own brand finishing kit. Over the past few months I've ridden nearly 1000km on it on all sorts of terrain from the rugged streets of Glasgow to the mountain bike trails of Cathkin...

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'Ooh, that's a nice colour!' I exclaimed when I first saw the anthracite Merida Ride Lite Juliet 94 in the metal. I know it's a stereotypically girly thing to say, but I'm not techno-savvy enough to lust over components - I leave that to the guys in the office. Anyway, a girl's got to look good when she's out on her bike… But colours aren't...

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To many younger cyclists, Vitus may simply appear as a new brand associated with Chain Reaction Cycles (CRC). In fact, the story started a long time ago, and only recently has it been injected with renewed vigour and energy thanks to CRC and Vitus' brand ambassador: Sean Kelly. Inspired by his record eight Paris-Nice wins, 1988 Vuelta win and...

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The first thing you notice about this bike, before you even start riding, is the brilliant value for money. With high quality components, wheels and a carbon frame for only £1399, you are hard pushed to find a bike that compares without seeing the price hike up to £500 for a Scott Contessa CR1 Team (£1900) or a Specialized Amira Elite (£1800)....

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If you've seen my other bike reviews you'll know I'm quite partial to a hybrid for my commute to work. And if it's equipped with disc-brakes, it's all the better. And that's why I'm testing the disc-braked version of Merida's T3 Speeder bike from the company's 'fitness' range. Merida have been around for a while, selling incredibly...

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No, no, no, no, no! White contact points should never be fitted to a bike destined for cross-country use. By the end of my second outing on the Boardman MX Race, the pristine white grips were less of a glowing white and more of a muddy brown. It wasn't intentional - I don't normally go round wearing grubby gloves - but I picked up two punctures...

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I've got to admit that I didn't even know that KTM made pedal bikes until this one arrived at The Bike List HQ. I knew they made motorbikes - the company's tremendous success on the Dakar rally has made sure they're well known amongst off-roaders - but I hadn't seen anything of human-propelled machines. The bicycle company is actually...

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Nimbleness. Now, there's a word I've never written before. But it sums up exactly what you want from a commuter bike: the ability to squeeze between obstructions and get to your destination without undue fuss. So that's what I was looking for when testing the Revolution Courier Hydro Disc hybrid. It's a bit of a long bike name, but then,...

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With showrooms and workshops in Altrincham, Cheshire and in Spitalfields, London, the Starley experience begins long before you get to throw your leg over one of their bikes. Walking in, it's a case of carbon bling overload with one stunning bike after another lined up in front of you. Fortunately, manager of the Altrincham store, successful...

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Designed for tackling demanding terrain such as the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix and Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders), the Synapse series of bikes are built to offer comfort without sacrificing speed. For the typical UK rider the Synapse range will appeal to those looking to cover big distances on events like Sportives as well as being suitable...

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They say that only cockroaches and Cher are strong enough to survive a nuclear fall out, but after 700 miles on this bike I would add the ultra-robust Silkroad to that list too. We tried our hardest to kill the Rohloff Silver and Derailleur 27s Silver versions of this touring bike on a recent 700 mile trip to Munich, in its home country of Germany,...

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The birth of mountain biking can be traced back to a few mates in Marin County California tinkering with their beach cruisers to produce bikes that would allow them to hurtle down their local mountain trails. Those bikes happened to have twenty-six inch wheels and, since those early beginnings, mountain bikes have followed this small wheeled precedent....

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Cyclocross bikes are road bikes designed to be ridden in the mud, and were once the sole preserve of the cross-racer, but their very specialist pedigree has turned out to be a bit more general-purpose than you’d expect. Firstly, they’ve got plenty of clearance for 35 or 40mm tyres, so the extra air volume gives you more comfort than...

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With the release of VooDoo’s new range of mountain bikes earlier this year we were pleased to get our hands on their top of the range hardtail the Wanga. Growing up in Marin County in the 70’s and as a young gun having won his fair share of races Joe Murray, the designer behind the brand, has a background in mountain biking that reaches...

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New for 2011 Giant’s Anthem X 29’er is a 4.0”/100mm full suspension cross country bike that is essentially a 29” wheeled version of the Anthem X1 and comes in at exactly the same price point. Back in 2010 I was super impressed with the XtC 29’er 1 hardtail which offered a smooth, responsive and fast ride and earlier this...

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The last couple of years have seen a surge in interest in cycling, and shiny aluminium bikes that hit the maximum Cycle to Work Scheme allowance have been the entry-level steed of choice for the majority of new riders who want a leg up into the world of sportive rides. But with a range of retro bikes hitting the stores from brands like Genesis, bike...

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Associating quality and personal improvement with a brand name is always a little foolhardy. However, it’s difficult not to feel slightly fitter, stronger and faster riding a Boardman, especially when the Tour de France is on TV and Chris Boardman, Olympic Champion and World Record Holder during the 1990s, is waxing lyrical about our sport. ...

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I think cross bikes rock, and if they’re not already biking’s new black, they soon will be. Buying my first cyclocross bike two years ago (a Scott CX) has completely revolutionised and reinvigorated my winter training. My commuting and training rides now take in a mixture of tarmac, trails, forest roads, bridleways and the odd hike-a-bike...

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When out on my Saturday spin, everyone was complimentary about the Vitus, commenting on its bright colour-scheme and distinctive French finesse. A recent recruit to the sport said “cool bike, which make is it?” to which I replied “Vitus.” The blank expression said it all, no one knew who Vitus was, so I filled them in. Vitus...

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Forget the Tour De France, the toughest bike race in the world on bike and rider is the cobble and mud fest of Paris Roubaix. Since 2006 the R3 has been on the podium every year and clocked up three wins, including propelling Johan Van Summeren to his shock win this year. Not resting on their laurels, Cervélo have completely re-engineered...

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Squeezed between Giant’s carbon composite frames and aluminium Defy range, the new ALUXX SL aluminium framed TCR road bikes occupy a difficult position. For this price it’s easy to find carbon bikes from the likes of Boardman and Ribble, or to save hundreds of pounds by opting for aluminium bikes with similar drivetrains from Rose or Cube....

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Best of British or merely a commoner with a regal title? The Britannia is based on Pashley's popular Princess model and I've been putting it to the test on the streets of Reigate in Surrey. Pashley are the longest established bike manufacture in Britain with a reputation for building high-quality traditional-looking bikes, and on first...

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It's difficult not to be impressed by the aesthetic design of the four models that make up Cube's AMS HPC line up. The AMS HPC Pro with its smooth curves, clean lines and fantastic grey/black colour scheme interlaced with a few carefully placed light blue stripes looks like it could make anyone a faster rider. But you can't judge a bike by looks...

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This bike really is a dream to ride. The Kula Lisa is the kind of bike that loves cornering on built-up berms and gliding up and down steep tracks. I've been testing this bike out on my local trails and I don't want to give it back! The frame is available in 14", 16", 17" and 18" sizes and is made of aluminium Kona Race Light 7005, which...

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Folding bikes have surged in popularity in recent years as more and more of us cycle to work. For those who have to combine their ride with a journey by train, there is often no alternative to a folding bike since so few train operators have space for regular bikes. The manufacturers bill the British-made Brompton as the 'ultimate transport...

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"GHOST knows what women want!" they claim, but do they really? The Miss 7000 Recon certainly looks nice, the white frame with light blue flecks works well together (and matched with my helmet, oh so important…) and if you like chunky frame tubing, then this is a great looking bike. But how does it perform? I've been showing this aluminium...

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Giant claim that the Anthem's versatility makes it suitable for everything from XC races to weekend epics. To put that claim to the test I've been putting the Anthem X2 through its paces on my undulating local trails, on steep, rock-chocked Lake District bridleways and on some of the best (and muddiest!) singletrack you can find around Cardiff....

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There's nothing new about sports stars lending their names to products, although I suspect that Eddie Merckx spends significantly longer with the new product development team at his eponymous cycle firm than Roger Federer does with the razor specialists at Gillette. The question is whether The Cannibal, the finest road racer of all time,...

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Despite concerns over the future health of the cycle-to-work scheme - brought about by increases in the 'fair value' at which you finally buy the bike from your employer (see www.hmrc.gov.uk for the bad news) - there's no doubt that it has focused manufacturers' attention on the £1000 price point. This is the standard cycle-to-work threshold...

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Ridden by Lance and now ridden by me, the Madone 6.9 Pro is an awful lot of bike with a price-tag to match. Previously, I'd ridden a Trek Madone 5.2 throughout 2008-9, knocking off the full distance 250km Paris-Roubaix Sportive and, arguably the UK's toughest sportive, the ultra hilly 112 mile Fred Whitton. Despite initial reservations...

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Islabikes was set up by former Raleigh team pro Isla Rowntree back in 2006, and the company only makes bikes for kids. The idea was to ensure that bikes for li ttle people were as well thought through as the ones for adults, and that components like bars and brakes were appropriate for small hands to use. The full Islabikes range comprises 14...

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Many cyclists are turning to triathlon for their next challenge. And just like roadies, triathletes are renowned for constantly seeking to gain an edge over the competition using cycling technology and innovation. The great news is that this doesn't need to come with a heavy price tag. As Kuota's entry level carbon racing bike, the Kharma allows...

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The Lisa RD is another solid, reliable bike from Kona. It makes a great general purpose road bike specifically designed for women riding for fitness, doing sportives and the occasional race. It is both comfortable and nippy, and for your £1000 you get a good amount of strong features. The first thing you notice about the Lisa RD are the...

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What are you looking for in a bike? If it's blistering speed (or the closest to it that your legs can achieve with their current wattage rating) then please move along. The Trek Pilot is a delightful ride but you can definitely get more speed for your Sesterce. In all honesty you could happily go for the similarly priced Trek 1.7 Compact, a standard...

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Wow this bike is speedy! It feels like whatever force I push down on the pedal is transmitted directly into propelling the Comp fi forward. In fact, when you swing your leg over the saddle it feels more like a road bike than a commuter hybrid bike. The racy geometry of the aluminium frame, high seat position, skinny Maxxis Detonator tyres and...

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Your bum will thank you for a long commute on this 27-gear hybrid/town bike. The UK road surfaces are far from perfect after this winter's epic freeze-thaw action, but the first thing you notice is the comfiness of the 7.6 FX's ride. Riding this bike is almost as comfy as sitting on your sofa watching the Tour de France. Almost... Used to commuting...

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Despite having been around for some time now, 29ers have remained a bit of a niche product. However with big names now entering the market, big wheeled mountain bikes like Giant's XTC 29er 1 are now more widely available. Classed as a performance hardtail, Giant's XTC 29er 1 is designed primarily for XC and trail riding. So to put the bike to...

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It would help to have a phd in small print to select a bike from the Trek Alpha series. The same frame geometry runs across both the Alpha 2 series and the Madone range, with performance and price dictated by their materials and componentry. I spent hours poring over catalogues and scrolling through websites to establish price, quality and weight comparisons...

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The Ride Chris Boardman, the Chris Hoy of his era, first stole the limelight in 1992 when he rode his iconic carbon Lotus bike to victory at the Barcelona Olympics. Now Chris is back with his own bike brand and it seems he's put as much effort into developing his new bikes as he did into his pre-race training. The MTB HT Pro, which...

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If I was looking for one bike to cover everything a road bike could feasibly do and wanted to keep comfortably under the £1000 budget - the kind of money you might consider spending on the Cycle to Work Scheme - then this steel framed Dawes Sportif would be a very strong contender for my tax-free voucher. Although it's pitched as...

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There is something deliciously enticing about the mocha brown livery on this bike: aided by the retro-cool of the brown bar tape and the mock leather saddle. And then there's the high arching mudguards, the carbon forks and the disc brakes that make this such an aesthetically intriguing proposition. Basically, the moment I saw it I wanted...

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One of the proudest days of my life was watching my two kids pedal their first tentative meters on a proper 'grown up' pedal bicycle. For my eldest it happened when he was just four years old. The following day he went out on his first bike trip - a wholloping ten mile ride through the New Forest while his mum and dad walked alongside. It took...

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The Ride Out on the trail, the performance of this bike is definitely weighted in favour of going down hills rather than up them. If I had to give that split a number then I'd say 30% for going up and 70% for going down however that's pretty much the essence of what a 5" travel, aggressive trail bike is about. After all you wouldn't really...

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When first introduced to the bike she was a little sceptical, with the same worries about falling. Once tempted onto Steady Eddie she appeared more comfortable than usual, as she found the handlebars didn't run away with her. After some very tentative first attempts with Nanna's steadying hand, she discovered Steady Eddie was easier to...