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

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

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

Best Pedals For Road Bikes: The Sportive Cyclist 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*.

(* Huh? Read on to find out what float is) 

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 (ooh, you’re itching to know which ones…), the pain went almost overnight.

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

(Also I’ll tell you which pedals sorted out my knee pain). Onward!

Read moreBest Pedals For Road Bikes: The Sportive Cyclist Guide

Garmin Edge 520 vs Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT: Which Should You Buy?

Ah, the perennial question (for a sub-set of road cyclists with a penchant for data and a secret desire to be a pro rider): which bike GPS to invest in?

Garmin ‘owned the space’ for many years. In recent years, competing up-starts have parked their tanks on Garmin’s lawn (with great accuracy, if they use GPS). Leading amongst these is Wahoo with its ELEMNT series of devices.

In this post I compare the Garmin Edge 520 and the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT, both of which I bought (last year I think) and have used extensively.

Bike GPS devices these days have lots of features. The differences across models and between manufacturers are many. I will endeavour to restrict this highly analytical report (opinion piece based on little hard evidence) to the key differences that I think are relevant to enthusiast road cyclists (such as your good self).

Read moreGarmin Edge 520 vs Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT: Which Should You Buy?

Road Bike Hack: The Cycling ‘Go Box’

Cycling Go Box

Wow. Here we go. I have a ‘bike hack’ for you.

Or perhaps a bike life hack (#BikeLifeHack…).

I doubt I invented this hack.

In fact I definitely didn’t – I heard about the concept in a more general sense on one of the podcasts I listen to. I have just tailored the hack to suit my cycling life requirement. I can’t imagine it’s trademarked though. Even if it’s not, I don’t want to be labelled the Keith Chegwin of the bike hack world*.

(*Mont – what are you going on about? Get on with it…)

You’re right – that’s enough disclaimers.

Read moreRoad Bike Hack: The Cycling ‘Go Box’

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?