Skip directly to content

Cycling Chat

This is where we give a mention to other stuff of interest that's going on in the cycling world


Take a look at this new range of kit by new brand Camino

Grant and Emma will be out and about testing Camino on the road over the next few weeks. In the meantime take a look by clicking here


RED BULL TRANS SIBERIAN EXTREME: presented by Paolo Aste e Paola Gianotti

9.200 km in 23 days, racing in all kinds of extreme conditions from dirt roads to pesky insects and staying in saddle from 10 to 15 hours a day.

After pedaling for more than 2.000 km (from Milan to Oslo #BikeTheNobel) to personally hand deliver the nomination of the bicycle for the Nobel Peace Prize, Paola Gianotti sits down with fellow ultra-cyclist Paolo Aste and tell us all about their last adventure, the Trans Siberian Extreme.

Paola Gianotti is not just any ultra-cyclist. She’s a kind natured woman of great humanity, generosity and above all a true professional cyclist: she’s won the Guinness World Record in 2014 for having circled the globe by bicycle in 144 days covering over 30,000 km.

Watch the video!


G4 Dimension Summer Collection 2016

The new collection is out from stylish high end French cycling clothing company, G4, and it looks fantastic. Click the link here to read more and to take a look.


HIGH5, the award winning sports nutrition brand, have just launched their new  IsoGel X’treme. This 100mg caffeine energy gel is made with real fruit juice, including Pineapple, Mango and Passionfruit juices. We've tested High 5 before and have always been impressed by the performance gain they give to riders. 

Wendy Lee, HIGH5 General Manager, said: “We started working on this gel in 2015 after the Head of Performance Support and Medical at Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, Dr. Carol Austin, asked if it was possible for HIGH5 to make a gel with a higher caffeine content. The riders were looking for something that would give them a boost towards the end of races. Our current ranges of EnergyGel Plus and IsoGel Plus contain 30mg of caffeine per sachet.”

“We wanted to stick to our principles by using real fruit juice and no artificial sweeteners. However, it isn’t that straightforward. Caffeine typically tastes very bitter and artificial sweeteners are often used to disguise that taste. We’re really happy with the new product! Many of our pro athletes, including the riders from Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, have already been using it successfully since the beginning of this year.”

The performance effects of caffeine are well known and scientifically proven. When taking part in tough sporting events, caffeine contributes to an increase in endurance performance and capacity. This means you can go further than before! It also helps to increase your concentration and reaction time, not just during sport but in every day use.

“We greatly appreciate the R&D investment HIGH5 has made to deliver a 100mg caffeine gel that meets our professional performance needs” says Carol Austin, “The IsoGel X’treme is a unique new fruit juice formulation. Rider feedback to date has affirmed the gel’s palatability and effectiveness.”

HIGH5 IsoGel is a fresh tasting gel that has a consistency more like a sports drink. Unlike many other gels, you don’t need to drink extra water when you need a fast convenient energy boost.

To mark the product launch, you can win £300 worth of HIGH5 products, including IsoGel X’treme. For more details and to enter visit the High 5 competition page here.


New Range for Ladies from Queen of the Mountains

Deputy editor Helen took a visit to a new brand recently, and discovered that the market for ladies cycling clothing is finally opening up with some real designs, for ladies by ladies

click the images below to read more ...


New East Yorkshire road racing team gears up for first season

A new amateur cycling team has been launched with support from Wold Top Brewery and other local businesses.

The Wold Top Actif Road Racing Team comprises seven talented local cyclists who will compete in British Cycling events both in Yorkshire and nationwide.

The team has been established by Beverley men, Richard Baldwin and David Hought, who have cycled together for years and who organise the popular Wolds 123 Sportive.

Richard Baldwin explained the rationale for the team: “David and I aim to use our experience, contacts and products to bring a professional style attitude to grass roots cycling. We are looking to make this team the best in the area bar none and can't wait for the season to begin.”

The racing team’s line-up includes: Lewis Jackson, 36 from Bridlington; Rob Hill, 39 from Withernsea; Greg Saunderson, 25 from Burstwick; Josh Ravin, 18 from Hull; Jamie Cousins, 25 from Withernsea; Alex Dalton, 19 from North Ferriby and 18 year old GB triathlete, Ben Baugh from Barrow on Humber.

David Hought added: “Our aim as a team is to be one of the best in the Yorkshire regions and challenge the monopoly that other established teams have held recently. We are very grateful to Wold Top Brewery, Vehicle Livery Solutions, Oriel, Actif Handbuilt Wheels and Pactimo Europe for their help in bringing this project to fruition.”


VOXWOMEN TO COVER BRITISH CYCLING WOMEN’S NATIONAL ROAD SERIES

Support is growing for the domestic British women’s racing scene as Voxwomen is today announced as the new media partner for the British Cycling Women’s National Road Series in 2016.

The women’s cycling online channel will cover five races from the nine-event series including: the Manx International GP Feminin, Tour of the Reservoir, Lincoln Grand Prix, Otley Grand Prix and the Ryedale Grand Prix.

All of the race action captured from these events will be published in a race round-up online video report, plus the Voxwomen team will be on-hand to offer live updates from the race, which will be available on the British Cycling blog.

The British Cycling Women’s National Road Series will also be featured twice in The Voxwomen Cycling Show during 2016. The television show is currently being shown on a monthly basis across six international channels worldwide.

Anthony McCrossan, Voxwomen Founder, said: “This is the first time that the Women’s National Road Series has received such media support. It certainly demonstrates British Cycling’s dedication to grow the sport and will only assist in helping to achieve their strategy of getting one million more women cycling by 2020.

“Many British female riders that have been competitive in the series have gone onto become highly regarded professionals such as current road World Champion, Lizzie Armistead and double Olympic gold medalist, Laura Trott. We are delighted to be able to cover the series and the Voxwomen team is looking forward to showcasing all the best of the British women’s race action.”

Jonny Clay, British Cycling’s Director of Cycle Sport and Membership added: “This announcement is fantastic news for the Women’s National Road Series. The partnership with Voxwomen will provide unprecedented media support for

the series and emphasises the growing appetite of cycling fans for domestic women’s road racing.

“Lizzie Armitstead’s sensational win at last year’s Road World Championships really helped put a spotlight on British female talent, and our domestic calendar has a huge part to play in nurturing that. We are delighted that, through this collaboration with Voxwomen, the 2016 Women’s National Road Series and the achievements of some of our top road cyclists will be seen and celebrated by more cycling fans than ever before.”

The prestigious series, which was won by Nicola Juniper in 2015, will kick off on Sunday, April 10 at the Manx International GP Feminin in Douglas, Isle of Man.

The Voxwomen team of Bryony Burton, Kimberley Keay, Laura Winter and Lois Dowsett, also said: “Women’s racing in Britain is quickly becoming highly regarded on the international scene so coverage will be eagerly anticipated by viewers worldwide. 2016 will be a great year for the British women riders to show people what they are capable of and give sponsors an opportunity to see return on their investment into the sport.”

For further information about the British Cycling Women’s National Road Series, visit: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/womensroadseries

For more information about Voxwomen and the Voxwomen Cycling Show, visit: www.voxwomen.com


Monkeyspoon.com was set up by James Irwin in 2005 and run by a group of downhill mountain bikers based in and around the Hope Valley, in the Peak District. Mountain bikers have been coming to the area for a long time for its unique and challenging trails. Monkeyspoon provides info, pictures and videos on local tracks, OS map route designer and news.

These guys are doing lots to promote riding in the Peaks and working to improve access. Take a peek - pardon the pun - at their website.


New Cycling Clothing Company launched

T A D Á I A S are a new name in the cycle clothing game, with some unique and contemporary designs created in Ireland, using premium Italian fabrics and pure Belgian craftsmanship. This company combine years of experience at the high-end of the fashion design industry with a passion for cycling. 

Owner and designer of Tadáias, Thomas McLaughlin has a wealth of experience of working in the fashion industry at the highest level, working for International designers and displaying collections at London Fashion Week for almost a decade. The combination of his deep passion for cycling and his extensive experience of tailoring, fabrics and design is part of the key feature of the new brand, with an emphasis on each garment being as stylish and attractive as it is functional and to give the rider the most comfortable and enjoyable cycling experience. 

We always like quality here at Pedalnorth, so the combination of the latest Italian performance technology fabrics, top end pads and a host of rider-inspired features is obviously of interest for us. For this reason, our own Emma Coldwell will be reviewing this new brand on launch in the near future, so keep watching...

If you're looking for some custom kit for yourself or a club, then Tadáias has also teamed-up with the Belgium Company Bodhi, to give clubs the highest quality cycling clothing in their own club colours. Worth waiting for, and we'll be dropping in pictures in the next few weeks. 


 

First steps: What to do when your bike gets stolen
So your bike has been stolen. Your favourite thing is not here anymore and you’re statistically unlikely to recover it. But there are certain things you should do to higher your chances, which are not always obvious during the stressful situation. Let’s hope you won’t ever need this checklist.

Stolen bikes are hard to track, and bike theft is rarely a high priority for the police. It’s a sad truth about bike ownership. However, even if it’s hard to regain a faith in humanity, you shouldn’t stay helpless. There’s always a chance. Well don’t give up, as a little determination can greatly increase the chances of you getting your bike back. Here’s a quick checklist you can follow.

Notify the Police

You might think that a police report is pointless but stolen bicycles are sometimes recovered, and without the proper documentation they can’t be returned to their owners. Also, theft reports help police know where and how to allocate their resources, making it more likely for them to crack down on the issue.

Collect all available information as bike’s serial number, photo and description. Don’t have your bike’s serial number? Stop reading this article, find your serial number, and write it down right now. It should be located on your bottom bracket. Once you have your serial number, register your bike with Bike Index or any local registries.

Register to the Bike Index, that your bike’s been stolen

The Bike Index makes stolen bikes harder to sell and easier to recover by making it possible to find and contact stolen bike owners. The process is simple, secure, and free. They’ve registered 60,623 bikes and recovered 2,689 stolen bikes. So far they have 246 partner bike shops, police departments, and bike advocacy organizations.

Set up alerts

Post a photo of your bike on Facebook and Twitter. People tend to share such messages pretty quickly. Set up multiple Google alerts with information matching your bike. That way if your bike turns up for online sale you’ll be alerted. Get alerts from eBay or your local online auctions sites on bikes that match your bike If you didn’t already setup one.

Sign up and create a saved search on the make and model of the bike (example: Specialized, Stumpjumper) which will provide you with automatic daily emails for any new bikes posted that match your make/model. That way you can keep an eye on eBay and another auctions. If you see your bike on eBay, report this to the police.

Go through local flea markets, pawnshops and second hand stores

Any place you’ve seen used bikes for sale is a potential place for your beloved bike to end up. Look not only in your home city, but surrounding cities as well. This should be done frequently, as bikes tend to sell quickly. Also, you should check for several weeks after your bike is stolen. Do the same with the online second hand store based in your country. If you do manage to find your bike, don’t confront the seller yourself as they might react violently.

Instead, ask the police for assistance, and bring a photo of your bike and your police report as proof of ownership to reclaim your property. Even if the seller is not the person who stole your bike originally, they still have no claim to the property and cannot require compensation.

Spread the word to your friends, coworkers, as well as to local bike clubs and shops. Print out posters and distribute them around where your bike was stolen.

It’s better not to get your bike stolen.

http://www.stolen-bikes.co.uk/

5 Useful tips to keep your bicycle safe and secure

In the UK, a bicycle is stolen on average every minute; with less than 5% of those returned as they're difficult for the Police to identify the owner. Current research suggests that cyclists are more likely to have their bicycles stolen than motorcyclists their motorcycle or car owners their cars these days! - Bicycle theft has doubled in the UK since the mid 1990s, probably due to the increasing popularity of expensive models and innovative ways of selling stolen goods online.

Where to Park?
Always lock your bicycle wherever you leave it – it only takes seconds to steal an unsecured bike. Make sure it's locked in a well-lit public area with lots of people passing. Stations and public buildings often have designated areas with bicycle racks - Be sure to plan ahead and check out amenities in the places you need to leave your bicycle - remember to read signs in the area you intend to park being sure not to park illegally.

Using a Bicycle Lock
Only use a good quality D-lock. A poor quality lock at the lower end of the market can be easily sawn through or bolt cropped in seconds. It certainly pays to invest in the best quality lock you can afford (At least £30 -£40). Always lock your bicycle to something immovable, an object a bicycle cannot be lifted over and cannot be broke, cut or removed i.e. chain link fencing, grilles, gates or trees - check the object is fastened to the ground. For maximum protection use two locks of different types (a D-lock and robust chain and padlock is ideal) Use each lock to catch the wheels, frame and stand – Fill up as much of the space within the D-lock as possible with the bicycle. 
 

At Home
As many as half of all bicycles are stolen from the owner's home – Always lock your bike at home even when it is in your garage, flat or halls of residence. Please be vigilant when returning from a ride!! Consider investing in a ground anchor and attach it securely to a wall or concrete floor. Make sure you keep your bicycle out of view of prying eyes as this alone will provide an irresistible incentive to break in to your property.

Bicycle Insurance
If you own a decent bicycle then it is probably a good idea to insure it. There are several ways you can do this; Insure your bicycle on your home contents insurance – don't forget to cover it for thefts away from home. More expensive bicycles may require specific insurance cover against theft and accidental damage.

Registration & Police Identification
Before registering your bicycle on Immobilise take a photograph and along with this record the frame number and any key details such as make and model. Mark your frame with your postcode in two separate locations if possible, one of which should be hidden. Collectively this information stored on your Immobilise account will be crucial in recovering your bicycle should it be lost or stolen. It is important to consider that the frame or other identifiable codes could be removed by a thief and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Tagging of your bicycle is highly recommended as its virtually impossible to remove from the bicycle's frame!

https://www.immobilise.com/shop/


We want to support our partners across the cycling world in trying to help make riding safer. British Cycling have produced an excellent series of videos with the Global Cycling Network; this one is all about descending safely. Our deputy editor Garry is developing a project in the Dales to help with cycling safety.


Nathan and Michelle are planning to ride across Canada - yes, all the way across Canada! If like us, you want to first of all find out why, and then to follow them on their journey, take a look at their website blog by following our link here 

Take a look at the video and help them by donating to their cause. As their journey progresses, we'll be adding details onto this page and following this epic adventure. In the meantime 'good luck guys' in the adventure of a lifetime. 

http://cyclingacrosscanada.com/


Hill Climbing Gradients

If you live in the north then you'll be more than familiar with hills - especially in North Wales or the Lakes! If you simply visit our wonderful countryside, you'll pobably have cursed your way up the odd incline, such as Hardknott Pass in Eskdale, where descending is even more of a prospect than ascending. Yes, we have one or two hills, most of them suitably signed by the local Highways Agency in order to guide you (or warn you) before you begin to toil.

This being so, we thought it'd be useful to give you a simple guide to what each sign actually means. In very basic terms, anything above 9 or 10% is going to test the legs

The chart on the right shows a variety of grades, given as both percentages and as ratios. England's steepest road is a shared title between Hardknott Pass in Cumbria and Rose Chimney in North Yorkshire - both being around 30% (33% in places)! 

However, the title of steepest in the UK goes to North Wales, with Ffordd Pen Llech in Snowdonia, which has a signed gradient of 40% - yes 40! The sign is accompanied by another which says 'unsuitable for motor vehicles'  - it ought to read 'and cyclists!'

Bearing in mind that Hardknott and Rosedale reach the uppermost red ine on the right, you may wish to avoid having to ride up or down Ffordd Pen Llech - thankfully it is a minor tarmaced road surrounding Harlech Castle.

In effect, the chart will hopefully give you a rough idea on what to tackle and what to avoid or train harder for on your cycling journey; and indeed, how to prepare your bike in terms of gearing. Those people who say that you can get up anything on a 27 cassette need to be put at the base of Rosedale and Hardknott...or better still, taken to Harlech!

Good gearing will always help you ackle to steep roads; so as part of your preperation for visiting our great National parks and their epic climbs, take your trusty steed along to the local bike shop and get it fettled and properly set up. Then you won't be cursing as you tackle a 15% on a 25 rear with only yourself to blame.

Apart from that, the views on our hills are lovely - enjoy!