Converting A Bike For A One-Handed Rider – A Custom-build Story

Today’s offering on the Sportive Cyclist blog is a guest post by Spike at SingleHandedCyclist.Com.

It’s a really interesting article about custom-building a bike to suit his particular requirements (in Spike’s case, that all the gears and brakes had to be operated by one hand, as you’ll see).

The post has inspired me to think about how I might customise my own bike in the future (and how I should have the confidence to give it a go). Now, over to Spike

Read moreConverting A Bike For A One-Handed Rider – A Custom-build Story

Is A Bike Fit Worth It?

Is A Bike Fit Worth It

Is a bike fit worth it, you ask? Short answer: yes. Next post please!

For the most part, we like to spend money on a bike. On bikes, plural.

We can fantasise over magazines (bike ones) beforehand, we can enjoy the buying process, we have something afterwards that we can sit and gaze at in the garage.

But when it comes to complying with a core part of my bike buying dogma, intakes of breath are sharply delivered. Penury is claimed. Exits are sharply made.

That all stops now. In this post I’m going to try to persuade you to pay for a decent bike fit.

Read moreIs A Bike Fit Worth It?

LifeLine Essential Clip On Mudguard Review: Easy To Fit And More Effective Than Expected

LifeLine Rear mudguard review

I’ve had a revelation. And it involves my arse.

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.

Oooh, What Could The Solution Be, Mont…?

Thank you for asking.

Now, much as I’d love to draw out the suspenders further, the somewhat banal ‘revelation’ is that I’ve bought a new easy-to-install – and effective – rear mudguard. Profound.

Read moreLifeLine Essential Clip On Mudguard Review: Easy To Fit And More Effective Than Expected

Cycling Presents That I Got For Christmas (By AD Montgomery, aged 38 and a half)

… Which is surely the sort of title that must surely get you very excited to read the rest of the blog post.

No matter. I’ve started so I’ll finish.

I don’t tend to receive a lot of Christmas cycling gifts from anyone except my sister and brother-in-law (what with him being a cyclist and all).

My mother, in particular, tends to be somewhat cynical about my cycling aspirations, so prefers not to encourage them. Her lack of gift ideas this year, combined with my helpfully-emailed list of cycling products, each with a handy link to the Wiggle website, seems to have resulted in a slight change in attitude.

And she now has a Wiggle account. Result.

Anyway, I thought I’d provide a quick list of wot I got, as a preview of potential longer reviews (assuming I can be arsed motivated to write them).

Read moreCycling Presents That I Got For Christmas (By AD Montgomery, aged 38 and a half)

Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT: An In-Depth Review (By A Reviewer That’s Out Of His Depth)

Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT review

I’ve owned a Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT for a while now, so it’s about time I shared my thoughts in the form of a review. If you’re thinking about buying a new cycling computer, this post will contain all you need to know.

Summary and Recommendation

This post is a bit of a monster. Here’s my summary and recommendation in bitesize form:

  • The Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT is VERY easy to use
  • The screen is clean and easy to read, with good contrast – data fields were visible in all light conditions (except eclipse – I didn’t test during eclipse…)
  • The integration with the Wahoo app works very well – it keeps fiddling around with settings on the device itself to a minimum (like virtually not at all)
  • The BOLT doesn’t have true mapping (you can’t re-route on the device itself if you take a wrong turning) but the ‘breadcrumb trails’ (along with the app) are more than enough for my needs
  • It looks attractive and the included out-front mount purports to be a little bit aero (#aero) – c’mon people, these things matter!

TLDR: Recommended as an excellent all-round bike GPS device.

And here are the links to treat yourself to a whizzbang new bike GPS:

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. If you buy something, I get a small commission. You pay the same price and get to support my blog. It’s a win win (and means I can pay the website  running costs).

Okay, with the summary out of the way, it’s time for the detail. Grab an appropriate performance-enhancing beverage of your choice and let’s dig in…

Read moreWahoo ELEMNT BOLT: An In-Depth Review (By A Reviewer That’s Out Of His Depth)

How To Clean Your Road Bike Drivetrain (or Zen and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance)

I feel like I’ve never properly cleaned my bike. Actually it’s more than a feeling. Its a truthing.

Partly (mainly) this is because I’ve never had the confidence to take the dirty bits apart in order to give them a proper deep clean.

The last time I took my bike to my friendly local bike mechanic, I got a friendly rebuke. As he replaced my broken front derailleur, he noted that the teeth on both the cassette and chain rings were worn. The chain was stretched. The rear hub was on the verge of knackery. The cause: infrequent (and ineffective) cleaning.

After returning from our holiday in Cornwall, where both long motorway journeys saw the roof-mounted bike being doused with finest English summertime rain and road muck, I decided to rectify past transgressions. I would give the bike, and specifically the drivetrain, a really good clean. And this would mean that an incompetent would be taking apart his bike (and hoping he could put it back together again).

I thought I would record my ‘journey’ to share on this here blog, perhaps to share some useful information, but more to provide fellow mechanically challenged people with the confidence that they too can destroy a bike and then half put it back together again.

Read moreHow To Clean Your Road Bike Drivetrain (or Zen and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance)

Wahoo ELEMNT vs ELEMNT BOLT – What Are The Differences (And Which Is Better)?

So my current bike computer is close to giving up the goat. And the ghost.

I’ve been waiting for this moment for some time. Having been in new bike GPS purchase mode almost constantly for the past 4 years (who isn’t?), it’s time to thrust my short Yorkshire arms into those deep Yorkshire pockets and ‘level up’ my electronic bike bling.

What’s that? The Garmin Edge is not the only show in town, you say? (Shurely shome mishtake.)

But it is true, we have a new(-ish) biketech contender in town in the form of Wahoo Fitness, with what finally can be described as their ELEMNT range of bike computers (until recently they just had one model). And based on my research THEY ARE GOOD!

Read moreWahoo ELEMNT vs ELEMNT BOLT – What Are The Differences (And Which Is Better)?

Confessions Of A Drivetrain Cleaner (How To Prep Your Bike For Your Next Sportive)

Bike hacks for your next sportive

Everyone will tell you a sportive is not ‘really’ a race, and then visualize leaving you behind in a proverbial ball of smoke. No matter how you approach it, everyone wants to maximize their bike’s performance and do what they can to gain an edge on the road.

So as a race-loving mechanic, here’s the down-low on my various last-minute hacks that can help you prepare for your next sportive.

Note from Monty: Today’s post comes from Simon Laumet, an experienced bike mechanic based in London. Simon’s post has already inspired me to give my drivetrain a proper clean (the drivetrain on my bike…), which will be the subject of a future post (ooh, can you contain your excitement…). If you find the post useful, please do let me know in the comments below (along with any tips you have).

Read moreConfessions Of A Drivetrain Cleaner (How To Prep Your Bike For Your Next Sportive)

What Are The Different Types of Indoor Cycling?

In an ideal cycling world, every day would be pleasantly warm, with little or no breeze to slow you down. The day would stretch out before you, with no work or family responsibilities to intrude upon your ride time.

But this isn’t an ideal cycling world.

In fact it’s piddling it down outside, the temperature is close to zero and you have just 30 minutes for a cycle session, or serious relationship repercussions are heading your way.

Cycling indoors is your only option. (“Turbo Wan, you’re my only hope”).

But what do we mean when we talk about indoor cycling?

Not all indoor cycles were born equal. Or something like that.

In this post, we’re going to look at the options for a cyclist that doesn’t want to go outside….

Read moreWhat Are The Different Types of Indoor Cycling?

Best Chain Whip And Cassette Lockring Tools 2017 (And What The Fug Are They For?)

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 don’t knowingly elect to shred 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 2017 (And What The Fug Are They For?)