Torque To The Hand (Or What’s The Best Torque Wrench For Bikes?)

Best Torque Wrench For Bikes

It feels like summer is well and truly agitating in its loins (as Keats would say). It also feels like I need to show my bike a little TLC after it has spent the winter and spring doing a ‘good job of work’.

And as every beautician will know, performing some serious TLC requires a serious torque wrench.

Whilst I’ve been washing off my bike after most rides, and I give the whole drive train a (relatively) deep clean when the mood takes me, it’s time to start taking key components off the bike in order to clean (and grease) them properly. I want my summer cycling to hum to the tune of sweetly-tuned gears.

This was another of those ‘research before buying one’ posts. I’ve always known (in my heart of hearts?) what a torque wrench does (it tightens stuff to a precise amount of, er, tightness). But until my precision tightening epiphany, I’d never had cause to use one.

Having decided to buy one, I did some research and in this post I’ll share it with you (in case you, too, wish to tighten things to precise levels of tightness). I’ll also tell you which one I bought.

Read moreTorque To The Hand (Or What’s The Best Torque Wrench For Bikes?)

Best Road Bike Pedals: The Complete Sportive Cyclist’s Guide

In this post I’m going to help you pick the best road bike pedals for you. This might come down to price, weight, how they look or the amount of float.

Fitting the right set of pedals to my road bike has improved my enjoyment of cycling immeasurably. Pedals maketh the man bike.

For too long it seems I used the wrong pedals. In the end I developed chronic pain in my knee, I couldn’t ride for more than an hour, the muscles in my right thigh shrank (fact!).

Now this wasn’t all down to pedals (flat feet and weak stabilising muscles played a part), but when I got the right ones, the pain went almost overnight.

So strap clip in folks, and lets go for a ride (with words…) and discover all about the world of road bike pedals.

Read moreBest Road Bike Pedals: The Complete Sportive Cyclist’s Guide

Best Chain Whip And Cassette Lockring Tools (And What They Do)

Looking for the best chain whip and cassette lockring tool for your bike? You’ve come to the right place…  blog… cool service course with hipster cafe. Ahem.

So, you’ve decided to take the next step towards cyclo-service self sufficiency.

You need to take your cassette off the bike, either to clean it or to replace it.

It is one of your core principles that you like to avoid shredding your fingers whilst undertaking bike maintenance.

You therefore need a chain whip and a lockring tool.

And in this post we’re going to find out what they are, who sells them and which is the best (or rather, which will do the job with the minimum fuss).

Read moreBest Chain Whip And Cassette Lockring Tools (And What They Do)

Protecting The Undercarriage: Best Cycling Shorts For Road Cycling

Best Cycling Shorts For Endurance

The cyclist’s journey towards velo mastery involves progressively replacing each item of clothing in their wardrobe with the equivalent garment made out of Lycra (Spandex to our US brethren). Cycling shorts are generally first on the list.

In this post, I’ll explore the exciting world of padded gussets and elasticated waistbands, and then give a few recommended shorts for you to check out.

Read moreProtecting The Undercarriage: Best Cycling Shorts For Road Cycling

LifeLine Essential Clip-On Rear Mudguard (or Fender) Review

LifeLine Rear mudguard review

I’ve had a revelation. And it involves my arse. By way of explanation, here is my review of the LifeLine Essential Clip-On Rear mudguard (Fender).

As a result of being a bit more committed to riding when the weather is filthy (partly in order to find opportunities to test high performance outer wear), I’ve tended to return from rides with mud and ‘road juice’ sprayed up my back and my backside.

I think US readers may refer to this as the ‘buttside’, but I am not sure.

The gunk hasn’t only covered my person. It’s covered my bike.

Whilst I’ve been good (“good girl Daddy” as our youngest proclaims) at rinsing down the bike after each ride, it isn’t ideal having megatons of megacrud splatter-gunned all over the rear, whether it’s mine, or that of the bike.

Read moreLifeLine Essential Clip-On Rear Mudguard (or Fender) Review

Hybrid vs Road Bike: What Is The Difference? (And Can I Use A Hybrid For A Sportive?!)

hybrid vs road bike

Some experienced cyclists might scoff at this question (though surely not you, noble reader of Sportive Cyclist). I think it’s a perfectly valid one.

I haven’t done a survey (perhaps I should), but I can’t imagine many prospective sportive cyclists wake up one day, having not ridden a bike in 20+ years, and think, ‘I must sign up for a sportive,’ and, while they’re at it, ‘I must buy a shiny, narrow-tired road steed‘.

Many people may own a bike already, perhaps for commuting or for family cycling activities, and there’s a fair chance that this is a hybrid (or perhaps a ‘roadified’ mountain bike – fitted with less knobbly tires etc).

For those that do awaken having undergone a cycling epiphany, they’ll generally seek to buy one bike to satisfy their new-found pedal-powered needs (bit of commuting, bit of child-seat lugging, bit of fitness riding). A hybrid-for-all-seasons might prove a tempting prospect.

(Of course, then they buy it and immediately the Pandora’s box is opened and they become subject to the one bike ownership formula to rule them all.)

I knew a girl at school called Pandora. Never got to see her box though – Spike, Notting Hill

Read moreHybrid vs Road Bike: What Is The Difference? (And Can I Use A Hybrid For A Sportive?!)

Welcome To My Pain Cave: A Review Of The Elite Crono Fluid Elastogel Indoor Trainer

Welcome To My Pain Cave

I’ve owned my Elite Crono Fluid Elastogel turbo trainer for over six years. Which probably qualifies me to write a little review.

I’ve used it to prepare for RideLondon, to attempt to maintain some semblance of fitness over the winter (hashtag fail) and to complete the 30 Days of Cycling Challenge in June.

In this post I’m going to attempt to give you a flavour of what it’s like to use and whether I consider it a worthwhile purchase (although, disclaimer alert, it was given to me for my birthday).

Given that it has a rather unwieldy name, from now I’ll shorten it to ‘Crono Fluid’ (which sounds disturbingly biological). Be aware that this trainer model has a variety of similarly-named (but differently-specced) siblings. Make sure you’re clear on which one you want to buy (obviously…).

Read moreWelcome To My Pain Cave: A Review Of The Elite Crono Fluid Elastogel Indoor Trainer

How To Fit A Bontrager Duotrap Speed and Cadence Sensor

How to fit a Bontrager Duotrap

So this is a nice specific post then. If you are looking for a bit of intel on how to fit a Bontrager Duotrap Speed and Cadence sensor to a Trek road bike (OMG – THERE’S A HOLE IN THE CHAINSTAY), then you’ve come to the right place. Okay, you’ve come to a place. Okay, you’re here.

On the other hand, if you’ve come for some general road cycling entertainment, then these are not the droids you’re looking for, Move along now.

So, for the roughly 0.1% of you that own a Trek bike with a hole in one of the chain stays, here’s a guide to installing a Duotrap speed and cadence sensor. Two things: (i) it’s very easy; (ii) I took loads of photos.

And now an additional THIRD thing as I update this post. I madez a video. It is, after all, 2020, and we are stuck in our houses. So, either watch this YouTube dispatch, or continue to read and look at the pictures, your choice.

Yes, you are welcome for all the value I am giving you.

Read moreHow To Fit A Bontrager Duotrap Speed and Cadence Sensor

Castelli Perfetto Long Sleeve Jersey Review (The Jersey Formerly Known As Gabba)

Castelli Perfetto close

Wilkommen to my review of the Castelli Perfetto cycling jersey. This post focuses on the long-sleeved version.

Long time readers of this blog will know that I’ve had an unhealthy obsession with the Castelli Gabba for an irrational number of years. Over that time I did precisely nothing about it (er, like buying it).

Well a few years back, I’ve finally did something about it. I bought … a different piece of cycling clothing.

In the intervening years, it seems that the long-sleeved version of the Gabba had been rebranded as the Castelli Perfetto, so this was the one I ended up buying (the Gabba is still available – I cover the differences in this post and in my video review).

And now, after having worn my Perfetto for too many rides – in all shades of [email protected] weather – here is my inexpert review.

Read moreCastelli Perfetto Long Sleeve Jersey Review (The Jersey Formerly Known As Gabba)