How To Make Your Bike Lighter

How To Make Your Bike LighterAs a Grimpeur Heureux reader, I’m sure you’ve already achieved your optimum cycling body fat percentage, so this post is going to look at how you can make your bike lighter.

Let’s face it, for finely-honed athletes such as ourselves, the weight of our bike (and associated equipment) is the remaining final frontier before we can say we’ve squeezed out every incremental gain going.

My aim is to discover where we can reduce weight, and whether it’s worth doing. So what are our options?

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MapMyRide vs Strava: A Detailed Comparison

The purpose of this post is to compare the popular cycling apps, Strava and MapMyRide, in some sort of app-ocalyptic battle to establish which is best.

Ahem. Sorry about that.

Both Strava and MapMyRide are based on a similar principle. You take a GPS device out on your ride to capture where you went. When you’re done, the route and performance details are uploaded to the relevant website, where you can browse, analyse and share with friends.

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Sportive Bike vs Road Bike – What Is The Difference?

In this post I’m going to look at what features go to make up a ‘sportive bike’ as opposed to a bog standard road bike.

You can participate in a sportive using any bike you want. On most sportives you’ll see the odd hybrid commuter or mountain bike. In many cases, those bikes are ahead of me (and remain ahead of me for the duration).

Halfway round RideLondon I passed someone clothed in full hipster gear riding a Brompton. Boris rode a hybrid. Talking of the blond buffo… London Mayor, I’m pretty sure I saw a photo of someone doing the ride on one of his ‘Boris Bikes’.

[Whispers into the wings, “I think I got away with it. No one noticed that it took me 50 miles to catch up with someone on a Brompton.”]

Read moreSportive Bike vs Road Bike – What Is The Difference?

How Does Strava Calculate Power Data?

In this post I’m going to look at how Strava calculates the power generated over the course of a ride, specifically where the rider (like me) doesn’t have a device attached to the bike for measuring power.

Dedicated power meters are still an expensive addition to your bike. Is it worth spending that extra money when Strava can provide the data for free?

Read moreHow Does Strava Calculate Power Data?

Trek Domane 4.3 Review (Wherein The Grimpeur Attempts To Be Objective And Fails)

In this post I am going to review the Trek Domane 4.3 road bike. Or rather, I’m going to wax lyrically about it, ignoring any sort of protocol that requires me to be impartial and objective.

I purchased the bike in early July, as part of a bike fit / new bike / new knee saga, which I documented in this post and this one. I used it in my final training for RideLondon, and then for the event itself.

Read moreTrek Domane 4.3 Review (Wherein The Grimpeur Attempts To Be Objective And Fails)

New Bike, New Pedals, New Position: Grimpeur’s Bike Fit Saga Part 2

This is the second in a two-part account of my search for the perfect bike fit.

So far in this epic quest (which you can read about here), I discovered that my trusty Dawes did not fit me at all, that bike frame sizes bear very little relation to the size of the person riding them and that spending a large amount of money on a new bike is a lot easier when you have an expert telling you to.

Read moreNew Bike, New Pedals, New Position: Grimpeur’s Bike Fit Saga Part 2

The Englishman Who Went For A Bike Fit But Came Back With a New Bike

Trek Domane 4.3After much talk of potential new bikes and having a bike fit, I’ve finally got round to taking some positive action. Ooo-rah!

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that my training efforts have been hampered by a recurring knee injury (and a general lack of structure, focus, etc).

I knew that part of the solution would be to get a proper bike fit, but had shown a distinct lack of motivation to go ahead and book one.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was some straight-talking tough love from the readers of my last post, which essentially boiled down to:

  1. Man the fug up;
  2. Get a bike fit before the 100 mile ride that might otherwise break your knee;
  3. Get some pedals and shoes appropriate to road cycling; and
  4. Dry those tears.

I followed that advice to the letter. And then bought a bike as well. Whoops. Hurrah!

Read moreThe Englishman Who Went For A Bike Fit But Came Back With a New Bike

A Cyclist’s Guide to Bike Frame Materials: Wood

Wooden bikeEr, pardon, wood? Surely no-one makes bikes out of wood any more.

But, of course, they do. And not just the sorts of people that make dresses out of meat (fireplaces out of cheese, whatever…). Wood is an entirely viable, albeit unusual, material out of which you can fashion a bike.

This post is the fifth in a series that looks at frame materials, and how they are used to build bikes. If you missed any of the earlier ones, they can be found in the ‘Frame Materials’ section of my dedicated page: How To Build A Bike.

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More About Bike Gears: A Short Treatise on Chain Rings

chain rings
A cornucopia of chains and cogs

If you read my post about how bike gears work (if you didn’t, you can find it here), you may recall that I discovered that there was more to the subject than could be covered in a single outing.

It turns out (because, yes, sometimes I write these introductory sections AFTER I’ve written the body of a post), that there are many interesting things* that you can say about each of the components that form the drive train of a road bike.

(*Some interesting things. The occasional interesting thing.)

So today I lift the lid on the many and varied charms of chain rings. Enjoy…

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A Cyclist’s Guide to Bike Frame Materials: Titanium

Titanium road bike
The metal of the gods…

Welcome to the third post in my series looking at the materials used to build bike frames.

Here are the links to the previous articles:

A Cyclists Guide to Bike Frame Materials: Steel

A Cyclists Guide to Bike Frame Materials: Carbon

**UPDATE: The full list of ‘materials’ posts can be found on my new page dedicated to bike building: How To Build A Bike **

In this post we’re going to look at the metal that my superhero alter-ego would have his balls made out of: titanium.

And on that bombshell (egg-shell), we should probably move swiftly on….

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