The (Bike) Tools That I Use Most: 6 ‘Must Have’ Implements

6-bike-tools-for-road-cycling

Gweetings. In this post I’m going to talk about the bike tools I use the most on my magical cycling adventures. Or ‘bike maintenance’, as normal people might call it.

No particular science was applied (plus ça change). I took a mental canter through my memory banks and tried to think about the implements I’d had most cause to use in recent years.

Then I wrote them down. Hopefully this will prove useful if you’re starting your own cycling tool collection, or wondering what all the cool grease gurus are tinkering with.

Or something. On with the show!

Read moreThe (Bike) Tools That I Use Most: 6 ‘Must Have’ Implements

The Roads I Ride: Road Cycling In Derbyshire

Cycling in the Peak District

I’m very fortunate, as a cyclist, to live where I do. I live on a quiet country lane which sees as many tractors as it sees cars. In fact, on a nice day, more bikes will pass by (with people on them) than motorised vehicles.

Unlike when I lived in south east London, I don’t have to ride for 30 minutes just to leave suburbia and traffic.

I thought I’d share a little about my local cycling environs, and the sorts of rides I do in them. I doubt the Peak District needs much extra publicity (even if it is not the second most visited national park in the world), but if I can encourage a few more cyclists to ride in this part of the world, I’ll be a happy yellow jonny.

By the way, this post isn’t meant to come over all self-congratulating. After all, it’s not like I live in the Alps, Majorca or Calpe (which seems to have gone to the top of my family holiday/training camp visit list).

Read moreThe Roads I Ride: Road Cycling In Derbyshire

Into The Light: CatEye Volt 800 and Lezyne KTV Pro Drive Rear 75 Review

Road bike with front and rear lights

The biggest (first world) problem in my life is finding time to do the things I say I want to do.

I’m not unusual – we’ve all got demands on our time. Work stuff. Partner stuff. Kids stuff. Houses stuff.

All that stuff tends to crowd out my time to get out on the bike.

No more is this felt than during the winter months.

Work always seems to be busier. The hours available to ride are fewer and there’s more likelihood that the hours that are available are marred by inclement (at best) or thoroughly miserable weather.

Read moreInto The Light: CatEye Volt 800 and Lezyne KTV Pro Drive Rear 75 Review

Minimalist Cycling (Or How To Write A Lot of Words When Just A Few Will Do)

cycling minimalism

Right. It’s time to go a bit off the wall.

In this post I’m talking about cycling and minimalism.

I decided to write about the topic because I’ve been thinking about minimalism (and the potential benefits) in my life more generally and I wondered whether I could wrangle some cycling-specific plus points out of the subject.

Also, you know, it’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to (write about minimalism if I want to).

Read moreMinimalist Cycling (Or How To Write A Lot of Words When Just A Few Will Do)

How To Train For Road Cycling In 2019

Cycling training in Derbyshire

Start of year. Thoughts turn to rides you’d like to do later in the year. Or perhaps, post Christmas, just losing weight and getting fitter.

In this post I’ll have a look at the different strategies (now there’s a grand word) for how you might do that in 2019.

Whilst the fundamentals of training haven’t changed a great deal (although I imagine those cunning sports scientists are beavering away in their labs), the tools available to the everyday cyclist to harness those fundamentals are becoming more diverse and interesting.

Read moreHow To Train For Road Cycling In 2019

Monty’s Road Cycling Clothing Recommendations 2019 (The M-List)

When you’re looking to drop some hard-earned cash on your next road cycling clothing purchase, it’s helpful to get a recommendation from someone you know (or even, heaven forbid, trust!?).

You don’t want to overpay for a cycling jersey created for a chiselled whippet, which makes you look like a trussed up Cumberland sausage and falls apart on its fourth wearing.

So here is my list of recommendations for cycling clothing by category (some of which I might have made up).

Read moreMonty’s Road Cycling Clothing Recommendations 2019 (The M-List)

Cycling Plans For 2019

New year cycling resolutions 2019

With Christmas out of the way (other than paying off the credit card bill), and New Year celebrations over with, thoughts turn to what 2019 may hold.

Whilst conversations with normal people (my wife) revolve around what we need to do with the garden (answer: burn things), how I still need to complete various painting jobs, and getting two of the childrens’ passports renewed, my internal monologue is entirely centred around cycling:

  • How do I maintain the modest amount of momentum built up from 7 rides since Christmas Eve (not quite the Festive500; perhaps the Turkey242.8)?
  • How to spend the Wiggle voucher kindly gifted to me by my sister-in-law?
  • Can I justify a new bike in 2019…?

With that in mind, I thought I’d share my cycling-related objectives for 2019 with you, dear readers.

And not my wife.

(Yes, I know they are not ‘SMART’ objectives but I am not one for New Year Resolutions. Just getting them out of my head, even in generalised form is progress. Baby steps…).

Read moreCycling Plans For 2019

New Bike Lights: Mont Discovers How To Cycle In The Dark…

Cycling in the twilight

I’ve written quite a bit about removing the barriers to bike riding.

Not the big barriers – the lack of a bike, say, or an injury – but the little ones. The ones that, when aggregated, and mixed in with rain pelting sideways at your window, conspire to prevent you cycling, even when you want to.

The fact that you’ve packed your (treasured) lycra battlewear in the back of your wardrobe. That your water bottle is at one end of the house, your bike computer (out of charge) is at the other. That the screws attaching cleat to shoe are starting to come loose.

Read moreNew Bike Lights: Mont Discovers How To Cycle In The Dark…

Garmin Edge 820 vs Edge 520: Battle Royale (No Holds Barred)

Garmin Edge 820 vs Edge 520

When I first wrote this post, my brother-in-law’s Garmin Edge 500 had finally given up the ghost and he was in the market for a new bike computer.

I took the opportunity to research the Edge 520 and Edge 820 in detail and consider which would be the best replacement bike computer. I then used this research to write this post, which you can use to help make your buying decision if you’re in the same boat (or on the same bike).

I could keep you in suspenders as to which one he went for (in fact, which one the family clubbed together to buy him for his birthday) until the end of this post…. but it’s really not that exciting (whisper: we went for the Edge 520).

If you want to want to find out which is best for you (and if I’ll buy you one for *your* birthday), read on (MacDuff).

Bike Computers Mentioned In This Post…

… in case you didn’t read the introduction, today I’m comparing the:

(BTW, these are affiliate links – if you click one and buy something, I get a small commission and you get the warm glow of supporting the Sportive Cyclist website – whilst paying no more than normal.)

Incidentally, both devices are great. I’m sure you’d be happy with either. But if you want to know how they differ (and which would win in a fight), it’s probably time to read on…

Read moreGarmin Edge 820 vs Edge 520: Battle Royale (No Holds Barred)

Shimano Dura-Ace vs Ultegra: Clash Of The Groupset Titans

In this post I compare the key differences and, more importantly, the similarities between Shimano’s Dura-Ace and Ultegra groupsets.

Judging by the popularity of my other posts comparing different rungs on the Shimano road gears product ladder, I thought it high time that I looked at the tippity top of the company’s groupset range (Dura-Ace) and how it compares to the next rung down (Ultegra).

So, behold, here are my considered musings (alright, ill-considered musings).

Read moreShimano Dura-Ace vs Ultegra: Clash Of The Groupset Titans