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?

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?

Garmin Edge 530 vs Edge 830

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

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.

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

Edge 1030 Plus vs Edge 1030 with pants

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

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!

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

Greased Speedplay pedals

Speedplay Zero Stainless Clipless Pedals: A Long-Term Review

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*

Read moreSpeedplay Zero Stainless Clipless Pedals: A Long-Term Review

LifeLine Rear mudguard review

LifeLine Essential Clip-On Rear Mudguard (or Fender) 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 bike versus road bike

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

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

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

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