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.

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

Hybrid bike versus road bike

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: A Review Of The Elite Crono Fluid Elastogel Indoor Trainer

Welcome To My Pain Cave

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

How To Fit A Bontrager Duotrap Speed and Cadence Sensor

How to fit a Bontrager Duotrap

So this is a nice specific post then. If you are looking for a bit of intel on how to fit a Bontrager Duotrap Speed and Cadence sensor to a Trek road bike (OMG – THERE’S A HOLE IN THE CHAINSTAY), then you’ve come to the right place. Okay, you’ve come to a place. Okay, you’re here.

On the other hand, if you’ve come for some general road cycling entertainment, then these are not the droids you’re looking for, Move along now.

So, for the roughly 0.1% of you that own a Trek bike with a hole in one of the chain stays, here’s a guide to installing a Duotrap speed and cadence sensor. Two things: (i) it’s very easy; (ii) I took loads of photos.

And now an additional THIRD thing as I update this post. I madez a video. It is, after all, 2020, and we are stuck in our houses. So, either watch this YouTube dispatch, or continue to read and look at the pictures, your choice.

Yes, you are welcome for all the value I am giving you.

Read moreHow To Fit A Bontrager Duotrap Speed and Cadence Sensor

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.

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

My Sportive Plans For 2020 (What Are Yours?)

Uttoxeter at the start

It’s time this blog saw some writing action. It’s time my legs saw some cycling action.

The standard approach is to start with the excuses.

Instead, let’s start with what I’m going to do about it.

The first action is to write this post. If you’re reading it, let’s assume I’ve at least achieved that.

The second action is to lay out my ‘race programme’ for 2020.

Finally, and this is less an action, rather a somewhat uninteresting piece of information, I will ‘reveal’ the location of this year’s training camp*.

(* family holiday where I plan to take my bike)

Read moreMy Sportive Plans For 2020 (What Are Yours?)

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

Rouleur Classic 2019 London

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!)

Garmin Edge 1030 vs Edge 830: A Comparison (Which Is Right For You?)

Garmin Edge 830 vs Edge 1030

The purpose of this post is to (wait for it…) compare the Garmin Edge 1030 with the Edge 830 so you can work out which is best bike GPS choice for you.

(Essentially, is it worth you paying a bit more in order to get the extra 200?)

So we’ll be looking at (and comparing) things like size, weight, the screen, buttons (buttons!), as well as the software features, both basic and sophisticated, so you can decide which bests suits your road cycling needs (whether that’s your actual ones or your perceived, I’m-on-the-verge-of-turning-professional-at-age-45, needs).

Capiche? Alrighty. On with the show!

Read moreGarmin Edge 1030 vs Edge 830: A Comparison (Which Is Right For You?)

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).

Read moreWearing Prescription Glasses Whilst Cycling (And What About Varifocals?)

A Sunny Ride In The Peak District (Pig Optional)

Pig in the road

The August bank holiday weekend saw some magnificent weather in the UK. This was a rarity. It also saw Mont brush up his man skills through the lighting of a barbecue (also a rarity).

With the clement riding conditions being well flagged in advance, I took the opportunity to designate the Monday morning as ‘ride time’ in the family calendar.

I would strike out into the Peak District. And this post is an account of that ride.

Quick Plug For The Peak

You really should come riding here.

(‘Here’ being the Peak District in the UK.)

When the weather is playing ball, it’s an awesome place to ride your bike. We’ve got loads of little valleys (and Peaks), cross-crossed by quiet country roads. There are an infinite (more or less) number of routes to suite all abilities, moods (?!) and times available to ride.

It makes me think: in the future I should offer guided rides around my favourite routes, views and climbs.

[Mont begins to daydream off a life spent away from a desk…]

Ahem. My blog GPS tells me I’m going ‘off route’. Let’s get back to the ride.

Read moreA Sunny Ride In The Peak District (Pig Optional)

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!

Read moreBest Winter Cycling Tights For Road Cyclists