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Cycling Plus

Cycling Plus May 2021

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.

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United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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16 Issues

in this issue

1 min
from the editor…

It’s been a year since Boris Johnson announced the first UK lockdown and we entered a new world of ‘R’ numbers, Zoom cat filters and panic-buying bread flour. Among the tension and the tedium (and all the baking), however, cycling has been a constant source of joy for me. Every ride has become an escape from the depths of Netflix (Real Rob, anyone?), every crested climb has felt more satisfying than the last, and each trail discovery has brought a heightened sense of liberation. We’re lucky to have cycling. Here’s hoping club-mate companionship and events will return soon… HIGHLIGHTS… MOUNTAIN PREP Explaining my hedge-bothering descending skills, I grew up on the Somerset Levels where rides with 12 metres of elevation gain cause altitude sickness. What I needed was our feature on training for…

1 min
the uk’s best tests for over 25 years

BIKE BUYING ADVICE YOU CAN TRUST… We take our testing very seriously at Cycling Plus. For more than 25 years – back to an age when disc brakes, Di2 and super-wide 1x gearing weren’t even a glint in a designer’s eye – we have been putting road cycling products through their paces. Warren Rossiter, our senior technical editor, has nearly a quarter of a century of riding experience in just about every discipline. He can separate the great from the also-rans when it comes to bikes, clothing, accessories and more. And if it gets our seal of approval, you can be sure that you’ll be bagging a great buy! CYCLING PLUS’S SENIOR TECHNICAL EDITOR PREVIEWS HIS ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS… WARREN ROSSITER SENIOR TECHNICAL EDITOR We’ve got a broad range of the best new bikes this month…

5 min
collegiate class

The Newnham boasts big clearances for a road bike: it can accommodate tyres up to 38c without’guards £1400 (frameset); complete bike approx £4700 High-grade steel from Cambridge At Cycling Plus we sometimes get the chance to ride bikes so new they arrive as a final prototype. The Newnham is one such bike. While it should be in stores later this year, we couldn’t wait to show you this steel machine from Cambridge’s finest. The Light Blue originally designed the Newnham to complement its Wolfson road machine, adding extra smoothing comfort. That was in 2018, since when expectations have changed regarding endurance bikes. Now consumers expect larger tyre clearances to allow for more versatility. So, before it finalised the design, the team at The Light Blue took another look at the Newnham. Show of strength The…

4 min
scottish born

£1995 Gaelic super-commuter Shand may claim the Leveret to be its answer to the commuter conundrum but we’d suggest this slender-steel, dropped-bar beauty is far more than that. Of course, the Alfine 8-speed hub gear driven by an oil and mess-free Gates belt drive makes absolute sense for a commuter. However, such a reliable drivetrain that uses a hardy, reliable threaded bottom-bracket shell also works well for touring, and the Alfine’s internal gearing mimics what you’d expect from a cassette with a 12-38 range. When that’s combined with the 50-tooth chainring it gives a bottom 50/38 or a 36-inch gear, the equivalent of a 34/26 on a standard compact drivetrain with an 11-32 cassette and the same tyre size. A gear light enough for steady climbing duties, rather than alpine attacks. At…

6 min
high flying bird

£3400 For the smoothest roads and roughest trails Cast your mind back to the time when the idea of gravel racing was making its way across the Atlantic from the US to the UK, in around 2015, and Salsa’s Warbird was a big player on what was, by that point, a mature US scene. In fact, the original iteration, an aluminium frame from 2012, is credited as being the first-ever gravel racing bike. From 2008 the staff at Salsa, based in Minnesota, were getting stuck into the earliest gravel races across the USA, which giddily exploited the treasure trove that is the US’s network of gravel roads. ’Cross or gravel The original Warbird was Salsa’s answer to the twitchy, mud-clogged, sometimes bruising cyclo-cross bikes that were being used at the time – the…

3 min
nipped tuck

We’ve already seen plenty of pro racing in 2021, albeit less of it in these Covid-plagued times, but there are a few aspects of the sport that you’re going to see a lot less of this season, or perhaps not at all, should everyone behave themselves. The UCI will, from 1 April, introduce a raft of measures for the new season designed to improve rider safety, including new standards for barriers at the finish area, aimed at preventing crashes of the severity inflicted upon Fabio Jakobsen. The Dutch rider went head-first through the metal barricades at the 2020 Tour of Poland and suffered a head injury that put him into an induced coma. He didn’t race again in 2020, and neither did compatriot Dylan Groenewegen who was, harshly many argued, banned…