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Cycling PlusCycling Plus

Cycling Plus February 2019

Cycling Plus is the manual for the modern road cyclist. Whether you're cycling weekly, an occasional new rider or a Tour de France fan you’ll find everything you need. Each issue is packed with buying advice and tests of essential cycling gear - everything from bikes to bags! Cycling Plus is the place to find training advice, nutrition secrets and practical tips guaranteed to improve your bicycling. It's also full of inspirational rides, real-life cycling stories and entertaining riding-related features.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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from the editor…

In 2017 I rode the brilliant Eroica Britannia vintage bike ride, which meant I had to find a pre-1987 road bike. I reverted to my childhood and bought a 1982(ish) Raleigh Sprint – the bike I had as a 10-year old – for 50 quid on eBay. Eroica was an amazing ride, the old Raleigh less so, with just 10-gears, a weighty steel frame, scarily skinny tyres and brakes that only vaguely slowed me down. To be fair, the Sprint wasn’t really a ‘serious’ road bike so it was bound to suffer compared to a modern machine. But how about something that was cutting edge in the last century? Turn to page 96 to find out how much progress road bikes have made… ANY OTHER BUSINESS? Half measures This summer I started the…

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the uk’s best tests

Look out for our Best On Test award. We only give this to gear that really deserves your attention Here at Cycling Plus we take our testing seriously and have been putting road cycling products through their paces for 26 years. Our test team, led by senior technical editor Warren Rossiter, is the best in the business. They’ve got decades of cycling experience between them and know what makes a good – and bad – bike, accessory, gadget or garment. That means you can trust us to bring you honest assessments of every product we feature. If it gets our seal of approval then you can be sure that you’ll be bagging a great buy! FIRST RIDE First Ride sees our test team bring you their first impressions of the most exciting new…

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this month’s testers preview their issue highlights

BIKE TESTS A big month of testing started with six bikes at or under the important £1000 threshold (p42) and finished with a comparison between two bikes separated by a generation (p96). Simon Withers, Technical writer GROUP TEST I’ve been squirreled away in my workshop testing the tools you need in the complex world of bike mechanics (p106) - an investment that will save you money in the long term. Guy Kesteven, Freelance writer NEW KIT I’m deep into the cyclo-cross season, so there’s been plenty of time to try Rapha’s Cross kit (p74). On the road, however, I prefer to stay clean and dry, as seen with the mudguard test on p62. Robin Wilmott, Technical writer…

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merlin cordite sl

At the time of writing, the Cordite SL is reduced on from £1499 to the frankly ridiculous price of just under a grand. That puts this full-carbon, Ultegraequipped road machine into bike-to-work scheme territory, which is a feat that takes a special kind of magic The secret behind this particular trick is that Merlin is using an old frame design from Ridley – specifically the Belgian firm’s 2008 Helium model – as the basis for the Cordite SL. Back in 2008, the Helium was Ridley’s lightest frameset, weighing in at a claimed 900g for the medium-sized chassis. The equivalently sized Cordite SL frame is constructed by Ridley but weighs 1200g, plus a further 380g for the carbon fork. Some of the features hark back to the time when this Helium design…

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bianchi oltre xr3 disc

£3999 Its frameset The Oltre XR3 Disc takes all that was good about Bianchi’s top, pre-XR4 race bike, and adds disc brakes for ultimate stopping power. The swoopy lines, gorgeous hourglass-shaped head-tube and (now decorative) seatstay bridge give it poise. Aero features, from the recessed fork crown to the seat-angleswitching saddle clamp and cutaway seat-tube suggest efficiency against the wind. And all that comes with a frame said to weigh 1150g. Its groupset Ultegra may be classed as a step below Dura-Ace, but when you’re riding the new version of Shimano’s second-tier groupset the difference is hard to notice. Ultegra feels exceptional, from the comfortable, grippy hoods – which haven’t grown much to accommodate hydraulics – to the enlarged shift paddles. Improved mechs have better cable routing, the beefy cranks are super stiff and…

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all-city macho man disc

The inaugural incarnation of All-City’s Macho Man was more of a traditional cyclocross bike. We tried it and liked it but considered it too heavy to be seriously raced on. This new version, which has a double-butted steel frameset that’s been updated to handle larger volume tyres, is also on the heavy side for cyclo-cross, but would be ideal for taking on gravel events. The updated Macho Man is aimed squarely at gravel riders that use their bikes to commute because, despite the knobbly 40mm Schwalbe tyres, this rig is capable of building and holding more on-road pace than you’d expect. And that’s not its only attribute… From the head badge and lugged fork crown all the way back to the to custom-stamped bottom-bracket shell and rear drop outs, the details on…