Cycling Plus

Cycling Plus February 2020

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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1 min.
from the editor…

SUBSCRIBE! NEW SUBSCRIBERS TO CYCLING PLUS CAN GET A LUSSO DRYLINE BASE LAYER WORTH £32.50 ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER? Get access to exclusive content, competitions and offers. Turn to p70 When Team GB introduces a new bike for another tilt at Olympic glory, it’s always worth taking a look. When it launches one as striking as the Hope HB.T, it demands close attention. What is with those seatstays? How wide is that fork? How do you even make a bike that looks like that? We wanted to know and we found the people at Hope Technology happy to welcome us to their Lancashire home for a poke around and a chat. You can read more about this fascinating project on p88, and keep an eye out for the bike in Tokyo this summer… SUBSCRIBE TODAY FOR ACCESS…

4 min.
tour de force

£1299 Outdoor online specialists take on a tourer Exclusive to UK-based online outdoor clothing specialists Alpkit, Sonder has an interesting range of British-designed bikes covering a wide range of mainly off-road models in steel, titanium and carbon, and even tandems. The Santiago is Sonder’s take on a traditional tourer and can be found in both 650b and 700c wheel sizes and various 1x and 2x drivetrain options. We’ve opted for the 1x option with a very touring-friendly 40 x 11-42 gearing setup, rough-stuff ready 650b wheels and big volume 47c WTB tyres, though the star of the show here is the Santiago’s chassis. The main frame is constructed using Reynolds’s ever-reliable, cold-worked and air-hardened 631 grade steel for the front half of the frame (head tube, seat tube and down tube) with…

2 min.
ribble endurance sl e ultegra di2

£4899 HIDDEN SECRET The SL e looks like the standard SL bike but on closer inspection you’ll notice a large rear hub and a curious button on the top tube. The rear hub is ebikemotion’s smart lightweight X35 motor, powered by a battery hidden in the down tube. The top tube button (called iWoc) is simple to use and you soon get the hang of the colour coding. MAP YOUR RIDE More detail is found within the ebikemotion app, with accurate battery level along with distance, altitude, average/current speed, cadence, navigation (from downloadable maps), gradient and it will upload to Strava, too. SNAPPY AND SMOOTH The SL e on the road feels just like the Endurance SL: the geometry is the same, so it has the snappy handling character of the SL. It is tempered a…

3 min.
rough play

Reilly Gradient Mark Reilly is a famed British bike builder specialising in titanium. His decades in the industry have led to his eponymous brand working with fellow builder and designer Damon Fisher on bikes made from steel, carbon and Reilly’s speciality titanium. Like any metal, titanium needs to be manipulated correctly to enable the best to come to the fore. The Gradient’s frame does exactly that with what Reilly defines as ultra-butted tubing, which it calls Reilly Axis. This multi-wall thickness material imbues the Gradient with a lively, light-feeling ride that’s complemented by the full carbon fork. The liveliness is increased further by the use of Hunt’s 1629g 4Season tubeless-ready alloy gravel wheelset, here shod with Panaracer’s excellent Gravel King SK tyres. The 43c beauties offer tenacious grip on dry dirt, yet…

1 min.
top contender

Giant Contend SL1 Giant’s 2020 Contend is very similar to the 2019 model, with a few subtle changes that make the geometry less racy – longer wheelbase, taller head tube – paired with more aggressive gearing. Whereas last year’s model featured a 50/34 chainset and an 11-34 cassette, for 2020 it’s a pro-compact 52/36 and 11-30 combo. Crucially, though, it still has the same excellent all-round ride. Giant’s familiar compact frame is stiff but the small main triangle, dropped seatstays and long exposed length of the composite D-Fuse seatpost ensure it’s comfortable, too. At a shade over 9kg it’s slightly heavier than some of its competitors but a few hundred grams make no discernible performance difference and the same is true of the Giant’s Shimano FC510 chainset, rather than 105. The only…

2 min.

Pinnacle Arkose D1 WHO’S IN THE FRAME? The 2020 Arkose is a genuine gravel bike with thru-axles, clearance for 650x52mm or 700x45mm tyres and Di2 compatibility. Even with its 45mm tyres there’s room for mudguards and fittings, including a neat one-sided rear bridge. There are three sets of bottle bosses on both sides of the down tube and the seat tube. WHO’S THE KING OF THE KIT? With 9-speed Sora and mechanical disc brakes this is behind Decathlon’s Triban, but WTB’s wheel and tyre pairing is tubeless ready. The gearing is lower than the Triban with 48/32 chainset and 11-32 cassette. WHAT OF THE RIDE? The compact aluminium frame, full-carbon fork and super-wide tyres offer supreme comfort on the road, but with an 11kg weight it's never going to be race-bike fast! The well-treaded rubber delivers…