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.
Strava vs MapMyRide Which Is Best

MapMyRide vs Strava: A Detailed Comparison

Imagine the blog post. Strava vs MapMyRide, in some sort of app-ocalyptic battle to establish which is best ride tracking software. A fight to the last breath gpx waypoint. Well, ideate no longer. This is that blog post.

And I can save you the trouble of reading it: Strava is better than MapMyRide. Considerably better.

It looks better. It is easier to use. It smells better*.

(*Okay, slipped that one in. They smell the same.)

For 99% of use cases, Strava provides a better experience, with the ability to record, store and then present back to you more interesting data.

The reason it is not better 100% of the time is because, yes dear reader, I am fallible, and it’s possible that I’ve missed off a crucial use case. No doubt that person will let me know in the comments.

Read moreMapMyRide vs Strava: A Detailed Comparison

Best Winter Jacket For Road Cyclists

Best Winter Jackets For Road Cyclists (2020 Edition)

Winter is coming.

Whether you’re warding off white walkers or fattening your goose (er, not a euphemism), you’ll want a decent winter jacket in order to keep cycling through the colder months.

But winter road cycling jackets can be expensive. And (for a piece of clothing) a bit confusing.

Before you drop your cash, let Sportive Cyclist (ok, me – Monty) tell you what’s important and what’s not. What features you need, and what you can do without.

Then you can concentrate on staying warm on the bike and maintaining your fitness and cyclo-enjoyment over the winter months.

Read moreBest Winter Jackets For Road Cyclists (2020 Edition)

Best Road Bike Pedals 2020

Best Road Bike Pedals 2020: The Sportive Cyclist’s Somewhat Ultimate Guide

Fitting the right set of pedals to my road bike has improved my enjoyment of cycling immeasurably. As they say, er, 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, and the muscles in my right thigh shrank (fact!).

When I got the right pedals (and the left ones), the pain went almost overnight.

In this post, I’m going to attempt to provide a guide to pedals in general and then sort out the best road bike pedals in 2020.

So strap clip in and lets go for a ride (with words…)

Read moreBest Road Bike Pedals 2020: The Sportive Cyclist’s Somewhat Ultimate Guide

Best Cycling Shorts For Endurance

Best Cycling Shorts For Road Cycling 2020: Protecting The Undercarriage

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 moreBest Cycling Shorts For Road Cycling 2020: Protecting The Undercarriage

Best Chain Whip And Lockring Tool

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)

SHIMANO 105 vs ULTEGRA

Shimano 105 vs Ultegra: Is It Worth It To Upgrade?

There comes a time in every road cyclist’s life when it becomes clear* that the quickest way to progress to professional standards of performance is to splash more cash on a random bike component.

(*Not all that clear)

That time occurs before you buy your bike, roughly a week after you’ve bought your bike, then on a weekly basis until you cycle off this mortal coil.

So now is the time to consider whether upgrading from Shimano 105, a perfectly functional bike groupset, to Shimano Ultegra, a perfectly functional bike groupset, will take you from dog-dog to Froome-dog.

Read moreShimano 105 vs Ultegra: Is It Worth It To Upgrade?

Torque To The Hand (Or What’s The Best Torque Wrench For Bikes In 2020?)

Summer, at least in the northern hemisphere, feels well and truly over. Perhaps you’ve decided to take a short ‘off season rest’ (it is raining after all). Perfect time then to show your bike a little TLC in the workshop/garage/propped up against a random wall. And as every beautician will tell you, performing TLC requires a serious torque wrench.

So, what exactly is a torque wrench, and which is the best one for your road bike needs? Read on McDuck.

The basis for this post is the research I did whence selecting and buying my own torque wrench. Having done the work, I thought I’d jot it all down to help other cyclists in the same pedalo.

If you have an inexplicable desire to tighten bolts with an extraordinary degree of precision, or you simply want to fix things without accidentally crushing them with your Hulk-like strength, this is the post for you. En avant me enfants

Read moreTorque To The Hand (Or What’s The Best Torque Wrench For Bikes In 2020?)

Sportive Cyclist guide to winter cycling tights

Best Winter Cycling Tights For Road Cyclists

Colder temperatures are upon us. A vital aspect of enjoying your cycling during the winter months is to ensure you’re adequately attired. Cycling tights are an important part of your adequate attire.

The aim of this post is shed a little light on the subject of winter cycling tights. I doubt that too much light is required, for this is hardly a challenging subject.

I’ll let you know the different leg warming options available to you as a road cyclists (yes, you have options) and provide some recommendations on what to buy in each category.

I’ll also throw in some inane chatter (you’re welcome). Now bring on the men in tights!

Read moreBest Winter Cycling Tights For Road Cyclists

Shimano Tiagra vs 105: Which One Should I Buy?

When it comes to choosing which make and model of gears for your first road bike (or your first ‘proper’ one), there’s a good chance you’ll be deciding between a Shimano Tiagra and a Shimano 105 groupset.

For those that already ride with Tiagra, 105 seems the natural upgrade path.

But which offers the best value, given the relative prices? Is it worth upgrading to 105?

In this post I’ll explain the key differences (and similarities) between the two ‘gruppos‘ and give some thoughts on how best to decide.

Read moreShimano Tiagra vs 105: Which One Should I Buy?

Trek Domane vs Specialized Roubaix Best Endurance Road Bike

Trek Domane vs Specialized Roubaix: Which Is The Best Endurance Road Bike?

In this post I’m going to compare the Trek Domane with the Specialized Roubaix. Which, if you’ve stumbled upon this post by accident and you’ve missed the tone of things round here, are both road bikes.

I’ll give an overview of the range of bikes available within each of these model families. I’ll also look at the particular features that are specific to the bikes, particularly in the area of comfort and ride smoothening.

This is part of a series of posts I’m writing, comparing the road bikes stables of these two large US bike manufacturers, Trek and Specialized. If you haven’t already, you should check out my introductory post on the subject.

Whilst other posts in this series (will) deal with aero bikes, lighter climbing bikes and gravel bikes, this one is really about my specialist subject (sort of): the bike for the older, more comfort-seeking gent.

Or ‘endurance road bike’, as the cycling industry seems set on calling it.

Read moreTrek Domane vs Specialized Roubaix: Which Is The Best Endurance Road Bike?