Confessions Of A Drivetrain Cleaner (How To Prep Your Bike For Your Next Sportive)

Bike hacks for your next sportive

Everyone will tell you a sportive is not ‘really’ a race, and then visualize leaving you behind in a proverbial ball of smoke. No matter how you approach it, everyone wants to maximize their bike’s performance and do what they can to gain an edge on the road.

So as a race-loving mechanic, here’s the down-low on my various last-minute hacks that can help you prepare for your next sportive.

Note from Monty: Today’s post comes from Simon Laumet, an experienced bike mechanic based in London. Simon’s post has already inspired me to give my drivetrain a proper clean (the drivetrain on my bike…), which will be the subject of a future post (ooh, can you contain your excitement…). If you find the post useful, please do let me know in the comments below (along with any tips you have).

Read moreConfessions Of A Drivetrain Cleaner (How To Prep Your Bike For Your Next Sportive)

What Are The Different Types of Indoor Cycling?

In an ideal cycling world, every day would be pleasantly warm, with little or no breeze to slow you down. The day would stretch out before you, with no work or family responsibilities to intrude upon your ride time.

But this isn’t an ideal cycling world.

In fact it’s piddling it down outside, the temperature is close to zero and you have just 30 minutes for a cycle session, or serious relationship repercussions are heading your way.

Cycling indoors is your only option. (“Turbo Wan, you’re my only hope”).

But what do we mean when we talk about indoor cycling?

Not all indoor cycles were born equal. Or something like that.

In this post, we’re going to look at the options for a cyclist that doesn’t want to go outside….

Read moreWhat Are The Different Types of Indoor Cycling?

Cycling Wins: When A Ride (Or Two) Can Cure Grumpypants Syndrome

Last Saturday afternoon, I was about as grumpy as I’ve ever been.

Despite the physical ease of surfing a desk at work, weeks (months, years!) of early morning starts had taken their toll. The afternoon was looking like a write off.

The midday power nap (with a pre-nap coffee chaser) hadn’t helped. In fact I felt worse for it.

I could barely get off the sofa. Grey thoughts clouded through my mind.

Our chatty 8 year old (let’s call him “Elmo”) chewed by ear off about the next naff Kindle Fire app he needed and our belligerent 15 month old (“Semo”) voiced her displeasure at the passing heatwave with a siren-like wail.

Something had to give.

Read moreCycling Wins: When A Ride (Or Two) Can Cure Grumpypants Syndrome

Cycling And Coffee: A Stimulating Study

Cycling and coffee

I love cycling, me. And I love coffee.

Coffee and cycling go together like monkeys and tennis rackets (“monkey tennis!”). Like Ginger Biscuits and Fred Astaire. Like Bert and Ernie. Like salt and caramel (or so they’ll have us believe).

As a committed coffee drinker and a somewhat less committed cyclist, at least right now (based on my Strava records) I thought I’d look into the mighty bean and the drink it produces, with a cycling bent.

And then write a post about it. Please to enjoy.

Read moreCycling And Coffee: A Stimulating Study

The Climbs of Velo Birmingham

Perhaps surprisingly, until recently there were just three closed road sportives in the UK: one in England (RideLondon) and one each in Scotland (Etape Caledonia) and Wales (Velothon Wales).

The RideLondon event is probably the best known and this race report will give you an idea of what it is like to cycle with thousands of other cyclists on closed roads.

Later this year, Velo Birmingham will become the fourth closed road sportive and having sold out within 4 days, it looks like there will be 15,000 happy cyclists on Sept 24.

Note from Monty: This is a guest post written by Mark from bikes.org.uk, a UK-based blog for cyclists of all disciplines.

Read moreThe Climbs of Velo Birmingham

Best Chain Whip And Cassette Lockring Tools 2017 (And What The Fug Are They For?)

So you’ve decided to take the next step towards cyclo-service self sufficiency.

You need to take your cassette off the bike, either to clean it or to replace it. It is one of your core principles that you don’t knowingly elect to shred your fingers whilst undertaking bike maintenance.

You therefore need a chain whip and a lockring tool.

And in this post we’re going to find out what they are, who sells them and which is the best (or rather, which will do the job with the minimum fuss).

Read moreBest Chain Whip And Cassette Lockring Tools 2017 (And What The Fug Are They For?)

Best Place To Buy A Road Bike in 2017: Online Or LBS (You Decide…)

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 2017 (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 moreBest Place To Buy A Road Bike in 2017: Online Or LBS (You Decide…)

The Ultimate Guide To Pedals For Sportive Cyclists 2017


Well that’s a bold statement to start things off with – to suggest that I’ve identified the best road bike pedals out there.

(“Oi cock! This Grimper fella reckons ‘e’s got the ‘ultimate’ guide t’ pedals“, “Nah, tha’s collops mate.”)

Fair point. This post is unlikely to represent the last word written on the subject. But some of you people seem to like it when I write about things. So today I’m writing about pedals.

Anyway, it’s ‘ultimate’ as in Ultimate Warrior, who did not appear to be the ultimate wrestler, never mind warrior.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you introduce a post about pedals.

Read moreThe Ultimate Guide To Pedals For Sportive Cyclists 2017

Shimano Dura-Ace vs Ultegra: Clash Of The Groupset Titans

Judging by the popularity of my other posts comparing different rungs on the Shimano road gears product ladder, I thought it high time that I looked at the tippity top of the company’s groupset range, Shimano Dura-Ace, and how it compares to Ultegra.

So, behold, here are my considered musings (alright, ill-considered musings).

Read moreShimano Dura-Ace vs Ultegra: Clash Of The Groupset Titans