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.

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.

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Garmin Edge 820 vs Edge 520: Which Is Better?

Garmin Edge 820 vs Edge 520

When I first wrote this post, my brother-in-law’s old bike computer had finally given up the ghost and he was in the market for a new one. For his benefit (and mine), I decided to research and compare the Garmin Edge 820 vs the Edge 520 to see which might suit him better.

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).

Wait, There Are NEWER Versions of Both These Bike Computers

The Edge 520 has been superseded in Garmin’s range by the Edge 530, and the newer version of the 820 is the Edge 830.

And what-do-you-know, I’ve written a similar post to this one comparing the two.

So click here to view that post: Garmin Edge 830 vs 530 – Which is Best?

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 pay 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…

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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).

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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!

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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).

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