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.
Cycling leg warmers versus tights

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

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. 

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

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.

Read moreDo You Wear Cycling Tights Over Or Under Shorts?

Trek Domane Road Bike Rebuild

How To Overhaul A Road Bike

This post is mainly going to comprise a series of videos that I produced over the course of 2020, showing how I stripped down my Trek Domane 4.3 road bike to a bare frame and then rebuilt it.

The main issue, at least initially, was the lower headset bearing being totally shot. It turns out you shouldn’t ignore the rusty brown liquid dripping down your forks each time you give the bike a rinse off.

As I delved deeper, I realised that one of the bottom bracket bearings was seized.

And I already knew that a large part of the cabling and drivetrain would need replacing.

So here are all the videos in order.

Read moreHow To Overhaul A Road Bike

Garmin Edge 530 vs Edge 830

Garmin Edge 830 vs 530: Which Is Best (For You)?

In this superdooperpost, I’m going to compare the Garmin Edge 530 bike computer vs the Edge 830 to help you work out which is best for your needs and your pocket.

Garmin is the original OG in the bike GPS market, with many years to hone its product range. The 530 and 830 are two of the most capable bike computers on the market, used by pro cyclists and normal people alike.

But how do they compare to one another? What are the key differences?

Saddle up (pardner…?) and let’s find out.

Read moreGarmin Edge 830 vs 530: Which Is Best (For You)?

Edge 1030 Plus vs Edge 1030 with pants

Garmin Edge 1030 Plus vs Edge 1030: What Does The ‘Plus’ Mean?

Here’s a quick post to note down the main differences that you should care about between the Garmin Edge 1030 vs the Edge 1030 Plus bike computers. 

To be clear, I don’t own either of these devices (yet!). This post is intended to act as a reference point when I get around to buying one*.

(* Or, who knows, both, if this blog ever turns into a magic money tree…)

I’m publishing on the blog just in case YOU are also looking for this info and you’d like it delivered in a handy summary, all in one place.

I’ll keep my scribblings to the main differences rather than go into detail about what a bike GPS device is, etc. You can check out my other posts for that guff (like this one comparing the 1030 (non-plus) with the Edge 830).

Righty ho? Onward dear lycra-clad warriors!

Read moreGarmin Edge 1030 Plus vs Edge 1030: What Does The ‘Plus’ Mean?

fitness-training-for-road-cyclists

The Ultimate Guide To Fitness Training For Road Cyclists

In this post we’re going to talk about fitness training for road cycling. A lot.

Why?

Well, I’d posit that most you are here to improve your cycling performance in some fashion (here, as in on this website, rather than here on this earth).

If you’re just starting out, that might be achieved through upping your confidence and motivation levels simply to ‘do more cycling’.

For everyone else, whether you want to ride longer distances, to up your average speed, to improve your climbing ability, it is structured training that will help you get there.

For sure, ‘doing more cycling’ will achieve some results. But there is a limit to how much more cycling you can do – there aren’t enough hours in the day; there is a limit to what your body can sustain before it breaks down.

At some point, if you’re following a random-walk training ‘programme’, your performance level will plateau and may start to decline (particularly if you’re an ‘elder statesman of le peloton’).

In this super-detailed post, we’re going to learn together about the theory and practice of fitness, to help you create an individualised training programme that suits you.

How do you like them apples?

Read moreThe Ultimate Guide To Fitness Training For Road Cyclists

Greased Speedplay pedals

Speedplay Zero Stainless Clipless Pedals: A Long-Term Review

Welcome to my review of the Speedplay Zero Stainless pedals.

I bought my first real six string pair in 2013. I got another set a few years later (let’s say 2018 – I just checked). Both are still in use, on my ‘trusty winter bike’ and ‘best road bike’, respectively.

I recommend them to anyone that will listen (and a few that won’t).

So, with me having summarised my conclusions in advance, let’s get into the review.

Hit it!

*Mont starts dancing*

Read moreSpeedplay Zero Stainless Clipless Pedals: A Long-Term Review

LifeLine Rear mudguard review

LifeLine Essential Clip-On Rear Mudguard (or Fender) Review

I’ve had a revelation. And it involves my arse. By way of explanation, here is my review of the LifeLine Essential Clip-On Rear mudguard (Fender).

As a result of being a bit more committed to riding when the weather is filthy (partly in order to find opportunities to test high performance outer wear), I’ve tended to return from rides with mud and ‘road juice’ sprayed up my back and my backside.

I think US readers may refer to this as the ‘buttside’, but I am not sure.

The gunk hasn’t only covered my person. It’s covered my bike.

Whilst I’ve been good (“good girl Daddy” as our youngest proclaims) at rinsing down the bike after each ride, it isn’t ideal having megatons of megacrud splatter-gunned all over the rear, whether it’s mine, or that of the bike.

Read moreLifeLine Essential Clip-On Rear Mudguard (or Fender) Review

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?!)