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Cyclist Off Road

Cyclist Off Road Autumn 2020

New for gravel and adventure riding

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK

in this issue

1 min
mountains and valais

To download this route go to cyclist.co.uk/or4/swiss. From Martigny, head towards the Col de Planches and then the Col du Tronc. Then it’s down to Vollèges and Le Châble via a mix of gravel and paved roads. Cross the main road to Verbier and head up towards the ski resort on a small road above Sarreyer. At the top of the Ruinettes cable car route, take the steep ski lift access road to Les Attelas, the highest point of the day at 2,726m. Leave the Lac des Vaux on your right and take the trail down to the Col des Mines, then keep descending to the panoramic trail above Verbier that leads to the Col de la Croix de Coeur. A paved road takes you to the ski resort of La…

1 min
urban maze

To download this route go to cyclist.co.uk/or4/london. From Charing Cross, head south over Westminster Bridge and down the A23 until you reach Brixton. Turn left through Brockwell Park and cut through Dulwich to Crystal Palace, where you’ll meet the Anerley Road. Turn right into South Norwood Country Park, negotiating the many off-road paths until you reach Woldingham Golf Club and then join the North Downs Way. Head west on the North Downs Way before turning off at Reigate Hill Golf Club, travelling north via Kenley Aerodrome and Selsdon Woods. Cut through Shirley Heath to reach South Norwood and eventually Belvedere Road that leads you back to the finish in Crystal Palace.…

3 min
hop to it

Once you can bunny hop you’ll be amazed just how often it comes in handy. Being able to react quickly to confidently clear stumps, roots and rocks means you don’t have to stop and unclip or swerve. A well-timed bunny hop can even be useful to keep your feet dry as you sail over puddles. First off, bunny hopping isn’t a strength-based skill, so you don’t need guns of steel. Getting the bike airborne is all down to subtle weight shifts and a bit of old fashioned practice. So, without further ado, let’s get to it. To make practice easier we’ve split this into three parts. Be sure to get to grips with each one before moving on. Also bear in mind that the whole sequence takes just a couple of seconds,…

3 min
how we roll

‘I’m a super-big fan of 650b,’ says Stayer Cycles founder and wheelbuilder Judith Rooze. ‘Most gravel bikes are designed primarily around 700c wheels, but 650b wheels, being smaller in diameter, allow you to run larger-volume tyres that will equate to roughly the same overall diameter. ‘This means the bike’s gearing and geometry is not adversely affected, while the bigger tyres can be run at lower pressures [because the larger air volume reduces the risk of pinch flats] which means more cushioning and grip, which really makes a gravel bike more versatile and capable over varied and technical terrain.’ To elaborate, a 700c wheel has a diameter of 622mm, while 650b measures 584mm. But that doesn’t include tyres. If we consider the actual rolling circumference with tyres fitted, a 700x40mm setup (2,205mm) is…

1 min
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1 min
the rider’s ride

Climbing and descending technical gravel trails in the mountains was very much entering into the unknown for me, so I chose a familiar and versatile bike that I knew could be depended on. The 3T’s well-conceived geometry has been designed to work with 650b and 700c wheels equally well but for this ride I opted for the more rugged 650b setup with Hunt’s Adventure Carbon Disc wheels and the extra cushioning and grip offered by WTB’s Sendero 47mm tyres. In this guise I found the Exploro handled impeccably. The frameset was stiff and responsive when I needed to power my way up ramps or maintain momentum over rocky sections, yet with the aid of those wide tyres it didn’t batter me when hammering downhill on rough surfaces. The flawless performance of Shimano’s gravelspecific…