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.

Leg Warmers vs Tights: Mont’s Guide For Road Cyclists With Chilly Knees

Cycling leg warmers versus tights

A few years ago, I had something of a revelation. It involved skin-tight black stockings. Or ‘leg warmers’ as they seem to be called in cyclo-world.

Now I feel compelled to share my epiphany in the form of a blog post comparing said leg warmers with tights, and discussing which is (are?) best for road cycling.

Like all good epiphanies, this story starts with e-commerce. Whilst perusing the Wiggle site (other online cycling retailers are available), I saw that a pair of leg warmers made by GripGrab were available in the sale. So I plunged. And I also bought a pair of leg warmers.

And now, after using leg warmers for, ooh getting on for nearly four years, I feel somewhat qualified to write about them. Please to enjoy my words. 

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Do You Wear Cycling Tights Over Or Under Shorts?

Do You Wear Cycling Tights Over Or Under Shorts

Look, the short (ha!) answer is that you should ALWAYS wear cycling tights OVER the top of cycling shorts.

The reason being: the vast majority of cycling shorts have a foam pad (also known as a chamois or a chammy) positioned directly under your, er, ‘undercarriage’.

The pad is there to provide protection and comfort as you sit on the saddle, spin your legs, look moody in expensive sunglasses, or whatever else it is that you do on the bike.

The pad is designed to be located directly against your skin.

Cycling tights are worn over shorts
Clearly there is normally a human inside both of these garments…

(I am hoping I don’t need to tell you not to wear underpants with your cycling shorts).

If you wear cycling shorts underneath your tights, you add an extra layer that might (ok, most likely will) compromise the performance of the pad and the cycling shorts.

Without getting overly personal around my anatomy (to be fair, I share a lot on this blog…), the big risk I foresee for me would be the material of the tights rumpling up in the, er, crevice between the top of my thigh and my (technical term) gooch.

This rumpled material would then rub against the skin in this most sensitive of geopolitical regions, causing a saddle sore, much wailing, complaints to my significant other and ultimately a slightly embarrassing period of ‘recuperation’ off the bike.

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Protecting The Undercarriage: Best Cycling Shorts For Road Cycling

Best Cycling Shorts For Endurance

The cyclist’s journey towards velo mastery involves progressively replacing each item of clothing in their wardrobe with the equivalent garment made out of Lycra (Spandex to our US brethren). Cycling shorts are generally first on the list.

In this post, I’ll explore the exciting world of padded gussets and elasticated waistbands, and then give a few recommended shorts for you to check out.

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Castelli Perfetto Long Sleeve Jersey Review (The Jersey Formerly Known As Gabba)

Castelli Perfetto close

Wilkommen to my review of the Castelli Perfetto cycling jersey. This post focuses on the long-sleeved version.

Long time readers of this blog will know that I’ve had an unhealthy obsession with the Castelli Gabba for an irrational number of years. Over that time I did precisely nothing about it (er, like buying it).

Well a few years back, I’ve finally did something about it. I bought … a different piece of cycling clothing.

In the intervening years, it seems that the long-sleeved version of the Gabba had been rebranded as the Castelli Perfetto, so this was the one I ended up buying (the Gabba is still available – I cover the differences in this post and in my video review).

And now, after having worn my Perfetto for too many rides – in all shades of [email protected] weather – here is my inexpert review.

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Wearing Prescription Glasses Whilst Cycling (And What About Varifocals?)

Cycling with prescription glasses

I was emailed a few years back by a Sportive Cyclist reader (the other one that’s not my mum), who rightly noted that I cycle whilst wearing prescription glasses. I can’t say for sure, but I have a sense that I might not be the only one…

Alan (for that ‘twas… ‘twis his name) then went on to supply some very helpful tips around cycling with varifocal lenses. I’ll share these later on in this post.

First though, since my glasses involve bog standard (albeit unusually prescriptioned) lenses, I thought I’d write more generally about cycling whilst wearing bins.

It’s at this point, I can offer the non-spectacle wearers amongst you to stand down. There’s nothing here to see (although if there was, presumably you’d see it very clearly indeed).

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Best Winter Cycling Tights For Road Cyclists

Sportive Cyclist guide to winter cycling tights

Colder temperatures will soon be upon us. A vital aspect of enjoying your cycling during the winter months is to ensure you’re adequately attired. Cycling tights should be an important part of the your adequate attire.

The aim of this post is shed a little light on the subject of winter cycling tights. I doubt that too much light is required, for this is hardly a challenging subject.

I’ll let you know the different leg warming options available to you as a road cyclists (yes, you have options) and provide some recommendations on what to buy in each category.

I’ll also throw in some inane chatter (you’re welcome). Now bring on the men in tights!

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Best Winter Jackets For Road Cyclists (2019 Edition)

Best Winter Jacket For Road Cyclists

Winter is coming.

Whether you’re warding off white walkers or fattening your goose (er, not a euphemism), you’ll want a decent winter jacket in order to keep cycling through the colder months.

But winter road cycling jackets can be expensive. And (for a piece of clothing) a bit confusing.

Before you drop your cash, let Sportive Cyclist tell you what’s important and what’s not. What features you need, and what you can do without.

Then you can concentrate on staying warm on the bike and maintaining your fitness and cyclo-enjoyment over the winter months.

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Best Socks For Road Cycling: A Magnificent Feet Of Research

dhb merino wool socks

So you’re looking for the best socks for road cycling. I don’t blame you. Who isn’t?

But, wow. This is going to test my writing chops. How I’m going to wrestle a blog post out of this subject I do not know. Better kick on.

To be honest I don’t give my feet much thought when cycling. This extends beyond sock choice.

My only real issue in the foot area actually manifested itself through knee pain and an under-developed set of right quadriceps (more under-developed…). The issue (and solution) was foot-related.

As part of my new bike and bike fit process in 2013 I bought Speedplay pedals and set the float up to pretty much maximum. This (and the well-fitting bike) sorted the knee.

Back to feet.

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Monty’s Road Cycling Clothing Recommendations 2019 (The M-List)

When you’re looking to drop some hard-earned cash on your next road cycling clothing purchase, it’s helpful to get a recommendation from someone you know (or even, heaven forbid, trust!?).

You don’t want to overpay for a cycling jersey created for a chiselled whippet, which makes you look like a trussed up Cumberland sausage and falls apart on its fourth wearing.

So here is my list of recommendations for cycling clothing by category (some of which I might have made up).

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Stolen Goat Bodyline ONE Bib Shorts Review: The One Where Mont Can’t Bring Himself to Buy Castelli

Stolen Goat ONE bib shorts review title

Expensive bib shorts are a hard sell. Particularly if you’re buying them ‘in the flesh’ – in the bike shop rather than via the interwebs.

Of all the cycling garments (let’s ignore toe caps and knee warmers), bib shorts are the most underwhelming when hung from a clothes hanger.

Indeed, the more expensive the short, the more inconsequential they tend to look on the merchandising rail. A bit of shrivelled lyrcra half-wrapped around an odd-shaped piece of foam.

I found this when I went into a high end bike shop (Prologue Cycling in Harrogate, in case you’re interested) in the dog days of summer 2017. A voucher (kindly given to me by my sister and her husband) was burning a hole in my saddlebag.

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