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?

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?!)

Where To Buy A Road Bike: Online vs Bike Shop

For most of the last two centuries, the best place to buy a bike (whether that’s road bike or a vélocipède) has not been online. Once production moved out of the LB (local blacksmith), sales activity moved to the LBS (local bike shop).

In more recent years, LBS sales have come under threat from bike chains and from direct sales on the internet. But as we stand here in 2020 (or sit), where is the best place to buy a new bike (and do we have much choice anymore…?).

Your intrepid reporter, Le Mont of the Daily Velo, attempts to make sense of it all. (And fails. The End.)

Read moreWhere To Buy A Road Bike: Online vs Bike Shop

Rouleur Classic 2019 London

Rouleur Classic 2019: My Review (With A Video!)

The Rouleur Classic is a bike show for hipsters. Based in London for two and a half days only, it is a celebration of bike-based beauty, cutting edge velo tech. And, from what I can tell, drinking.

Now, in terms of fashion, I’m firmly at the back of the peloton, if not the lanterne rouge. Nonetheless it seems that Rouleur lets anyone buy a ticket to attend. So i did. And I did.

And in this post (and video) I’m going to tell you about the cool stuff I saw at the show.

Read moreRouleur Classic 2019: My Review (With A Video!)

Cycling Go Box

Road Bike Hack: The 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’

What is a MAMIL

What Is A MAMIL (And Are You One)?

Do you like being called a MAMIL?

It’s a question I’ve been pondering lately, partly following the results of my subscriber survey and partly because I see that a new documentary on MAMILs is coming out. More on both topics later in the post.

But is the term MAMIL perjorative? (Good word…)

Offensive even?

Or something to be proud of? A tribe to identity with. A flag (stretchy, in garish colours) to rally around.

The modern MAMIL is a complex beast. And he needs analysing.

So, if you’d like to muse on the MAMIL (or perhaps find out what one is…), read on MAMIL-duff.

Read moreWhat Is A MAMIL (And Are You One)?

Road Bikes For Beginners

Road Bikes For Beginners

Wazoo!!

I’m glad you’re here. No, really. I am.

You want to find out more information about road cycling?

Who can blame you? It’s a cracking sport, activity, thing to do. Whatever.

In this post I’ve answered a bunch of questions you might have about a road cycling.

If I’ve missed anything, let me know in the comments below.

Lay on Macduff!

Read moreRoad Bikes For Beginners

Which Bike Makers Make Sportive Bikes [I’m So Confused….]?

I sometimes wonder if bike manufacturers get slightly embarrassed about making road bikes for those riders of a more ‘recreational’ persuasion (which is you and me, duck).

They wrestle with promotional language to try to make it clear that whilst a bike might look like a professional racer’s bike, it is in fact built for the slightly overweight guy with a dodgy knee and less-than-perfect flexibility.

Sports car makers seem to have it easier. Whilst there are definitely stripped-back race cars for the road available, there is no shame in providing both comfort and performance. When we see a ‘GT’ somewhere in a sports car’s description, we know what they’re getting at.

At the very least we expect a walnut gear knob to go with the V12 engine.

Read moreWhich Bike Makers Make Sportive Bikes [I’m So Confused….]?

How To Choose A Sportive Bike (And What Features You Don’t Need To Worry About)

January is upon us. Not quite the traditional time to get into road cycling, at least in the northern hemisphere (what with the ice, snow, surprising new lake locations etc).

Still, you want to rid yourself of that pesky extra tyre. You want to get fit. You want to get out there and DO SOMETHING.

Let’s assume you have been inspired by Chris Froome, Laura Trott, Marianne Vos or Chris Horner (he says, trying to cover every potential ‘interest group’) and this year you’re going to complete your first cyclo sportive (or Gran Fondo). You’ll need a suitable bike and the Grimpeur is here to offer a few ‘words of wisdom’.

This is an (unedited!) excerpt from my forthcoming (and as yet unnamed) eBook, aimed at beginner cyclists that want to move rapidly from novice through to confident sportive finisher. It’ll be launching in early February. Sign up to my email list if you want me to let you know when it’s ready (plus, in the meantime, you’ll get my current free eBook).

UPDATE! The following post is an (unedited) excerpt from my new book, ‘Sportiveur: A Beginner’s Guide To Training For, Completing And Enjoying Your First Sportive’. If you’d like to find out more about the book, and download your copy, click here.

Right on with the show….

Read moreHow To Choose A Sportive Bike (And What Features You Don’t Need To Worry About)

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?

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

Sportive Cyclist’s Guide to Bike Frame Materials: Wood

Er, 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 fourth in a series that looks at frame materials, and how they are used to build bikes. If you missed any of the earlier ones, the links are at the bottom of this post.

Read moreSportive Cyclist’s Guide to Bike Frame Materials: Wood

Sportive Cyclist’s Guide to Bike Frame Materials: Titanium

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:

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….

Read moreSportive Cyclist’s Guide to Bike Frame Materials: Titanium

Carbon road bike

Sportive Cyclist Guide To Bike Frame Materials: Carbon Fibre

Welcome to the second in my series of posts on the materials used to make bicycle frames.

Readers of my previous article will no doubt have been shocked, intrigued and ultimately delighted by my razor-sharp insights into the world of steel manufacture.

Now it is the turn of the young pretender to the throne: carbon fibre.

Links to the other posts in this series are at the bottom (of this article).

Read moreSportive Cyclist Guide To Bike Frame Materials: Carbon Fibre

Sportive Cyclist’s Guide To Bike Frame Materials: Steel

Most people with any interest in bikes will have at least a passing familiarity with the materials that are used to make them.

The sculpted, wind tunnel-honed lines of pro peleton bikes are unmistakably formed from carbon fibre.

The skinny  road bikes of old evoke images of bespectacled engineers in oil-stained overalls, squinting at steel tubes in complex jigs.

But do you know how these materials are used to make bikes that meet the needs of cyclists in the 21st century?

Read moreSportive Cyclist’s Guide To Bike Frame Materials: Steel