Monty - Sportive Cyclist
Monty is an enthusiastic road cyclist with only moderate talent. He started Sportive Cyclist in 2013 to record the journey to his first 100 mile ride, the RideLondon 100. Over time the blog has expanded to include training advice, gear reviews and road cycling tales, all from the perspective of a not-very-fit MAMIL. Since you're here, Monty would also like you to check out his YouTube channel and subscribe to receive email updates. Also, Monty really needs to stop referring to himself in the third person.

Leg Warmers vs Tights: Mont’s Guide For Road Cyclists With Chilly Knees

Cycling leg warmers versus tights

A few years ago, I had something of a revelation. It involved skin-tight black stockings. Or ‘leg warmers’ as they seem to be called in cyclo-world.

Now I feel compelled to share my epiphany in the form of a blog post comparing said leg warmers with tights, and discussing which is (are?) best for road cycling.

Like all good epiphanies, this story starts with e-commerce. Whilst perusing the Wiggle site (other online cycling retailers are available), I saw that a pair of leg warmers made by GripGrab were available in the sale. So I plunged. And I also bought a pair of leg warmers.

And now, after using leg warmers for, ooh getting on for nearly four years, I feel somewhat qualified to write about them. Please to enjoy my words. 

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Do You Wear Cycling Tights Over Or Under Shorts?

Do You Wear Cycling Tights Over Or Under Shorts

Look, the short (ha!) answer is that you should ALWAYS wear cycling tights OVER the top of cycling shorts.

The reason being: the vast majority of cycling shorts have a foam pad (also known as a chamois or a chammy) positioned directly under your, er, ‘undercarriage’.

The pad is there to provide protection and comfort as you sit on the saddle, spin your legs, look moody in expensive sunglasses, or whatever else it is that you do on the bike.

The pad is designed to be located directly against your skin.

Cycling tights are worn over shorts
Clearly there is normally a human inside both of these garments…

(I am hoping I don’t need to tell you not to wear underpants with your cycling shorts).

If you wear cycling shorts underneath your tights, you add an extra layer that might (ok, most likely will) compromise the performance of the pad and the cycling shorts.

Without getting overly personal around my anatomy (to be fair, I share a lot on this blog…), the big risk I foresee for me would be the material of the tights rumpling up in the, er, crevice between the top of my thigh and my (technical term) gooch.

This rumpled material would then rub against the skin in this most sensitive of geopolitical regions, causing a saddle sore, much wailing, complaints to my significant other and ultimately a slightly embarrassing period of ‘recuperation’ off the bike.

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How To Overhaul A Road Bike

Trek Domane Road Bike Rebuild

This post is mainly going to comprise a series of videos that I produced over the course of 2020, showing how I stripped down my Trek Domane 4.3 road bike to a bare frame and then rebuilt it.

The main issue, at least initially, was the lower headset bearing being totally shot. It turns out you shouldn’t ignore the rusty brown liquid dripping down your forks each time you give the bike a rinse off.

As I delved deeper, I realised that one of the bottom bracket bearings was seized.

And I already knew that a large part of the cabling and drivetrain would need replacing.

So here are all the videos in order.

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Garmin Edge 830 vs 530: Which Is Best (For You)?

Garmin Edge 530 vs Edge 830

In this superdooperpost, I’m going to compare the Garmin Edge 530 bike computer vs the Edge 830 to help you work out which is best for your needs and your pocket.

Garmin is the original OG in the bike GPS market, with many years to hone its product range. The 530 and 830 are two of the most capable bike computers on the market, used by pro cyclists and normal people alike.

But how do they compare to one another? What are the key differences?

Saddle up (pardner…?) and let’s find out.

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Garmin Edge 1030 Plus vs Edge 1030: What Does The ‘Plus’ Mean?

Edge 1030 Plus vs Edge 1030 with pants

Here’s a quick post to note down the main differences that you should care about between the Garmin Edge 1030 vs the Edge 1030 Plus bike computers. 

To be clear, I don’t own either of these devices (yet!). This post is intended to act as a reference point when I get around to buying one*.

(* Or, who knows, both, if this blog ever turns into a magic money tree…)

I’m publishing on the blog just in case YOU are also looking for this info and you’d like it delivered in a handy summary, all in one place.

I’ll keep my scribblings to the main differences rather than go into detail about what a bike GPS device is, etc. You can check out my other posts for that guff (like this one comparing the 1030 (non-plus) with the Edge 830).

Righty ho? Onward dear lycra-clad warriors!

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The Ultimate Guide To Fitness Training For Road Cyclists

fitness-training-for-road-cyclists

In this post we’re going to talk about fitness training for road cycling. A lot.

Why?

Well, I’d posit that most you are here to improve your cycling performance in some fashion (here, as in on this website, rather than here on this earth).

If you’re just starting out, that might be achieved through upping your confidence and motivation levels simply to ‘do more cycling’.

For everyone else, whether you want to ride longer distances, to up your average speed, to improve your climbing ability, it is structured training that will help you get there.

For sure, ‘doing more cycling’ will achieve some results. But there is a limit to how much more cycling you can do – there aren’t enough hours in the day; there is a limit to what your body can sustain before it breaks down.

At some point, if you’re following a random-walk training ‘programme’, your performance level will plateau and may start to decline (particularly if you’re an ‘elder statesman of le peloton’).

In this super-detailed post, we’re going to learn together about the theory and practice of fitness, to help you create an individualised training programme that suits you.

How do you like them apples?

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Speedplay Zero Stainless Clipless Pedals: A Long-Term Review

Greased Speedplay pedals

Welcome to my review of the Speedplay Zero Stainless pedals.

I bought my first real six string pair in 2013. I got another set a few years later (let’s say 2018 – I just checked). Both are still in use, on my ‘trusty winter bike’ and ‘best road bike’, respectively.

I recommend them to anyone that will listen (and a few that won’t).

So, with me having summarised my conclusions in advance, let’s get into the review.

Hit it!

*Mont starts dancing*

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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.

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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.

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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).

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