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.
SHIMANO 105 vs ULTEGRA

Shimano 105 vs Ultegra: Is It Worth It To Upgrade?

There comes a time in every road cyclist’s life when it becomes clear* that the quickest way to progress to professional standards of performance is to splash more cash on a random bike component.

(*Not all that clear)

That time occurs before you buy your bike, roughly a week after you’ve bought your bike, then on a weekly basis until you cycle off this mortal coil.

So now is the time to consider whether upgrading from Shimano 105, a perfectly functional bike groupset, to Shimano Ultegra, a perfectly functional bike groupset, will take you from dog-dog to Froome-dog.

Read moreShimano 105 vs Ultegra: Is It Worth It To Upgrade?

Torque To The Hand (Best Bicycle Torque Wrench 2020)

Summer, at least in the northern hemisphere, feels well and truly over. Perhaps you’ve decided to take a short ‘off season rest’ (it is raining after all). Perfect time then to show your bike a little TLC in the workshop/garage/propped up against a random wall. And as every beautician will tell you, performing TLC requires a serious torque wrench.

So, what exactly is a torque wrench, and which is the best one for your road bike needs? Read on McDuck.

The basis for this post is the research I did whence selecting and buying my own torque wrench. Having done the work, I thought I’d jot it all down to help other cyclists in the same pedalo.

If you have an inexplicable desire to tighten bolts with an extraordinary degree of precision, or you simply want to fix things without accidentally crushing them with your Hulk-like strength, this is the post for you. En avant me enfants

Read moreTorque To The Hand (Best Bicycle Torque Wrench 2020)

Sportive Cyclist guide to winter cycling tights

Best Winter Cycling Tights For Road Cyclists

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

Shimano Tiagra vs 105: Which One Should I Buy?

When it comes to choosing which make and model of gears for your first road bike (or your first ‘proper’ one), there’s a good chance you’ll be deciding between a Shimano Tiagra and a Shimano 105 groupset.

For those that already ride with Tiagra, 105 seems the natural upgrade path.

But which offers the best value, given the relative prices? Is it worth upgrading to 105?

In this post I’ll explain the key differences (and similarities) between the two ‘gruppos‘ and give some thoughts on how best to decide.

Read moreShimano Tiagra vs 105: Which One Should I Buy?

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?

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?