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

Cycling with prescription glasses

I was emailed recently by a Sportive Cyclist reader (the other one that’s not my mum), who rightly noted that I wear glasses.

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 Prescripton Glasses Whilst Cycling (And What About Varifocals?)

Do You Always Wear A Helmet When Cycling (And Should You)?

I’ve been writing the Sportive Cyclist blog for nearly 5 years now, so I guess it’s time to hit the big red self destruct button.

It’s time to get political.

It’s time to enter The Great Helmet Debate*.

(* which is I think the name of the new BBC show commissioned after they lost the rights to GBBO…).

In essence, will wearing a helmet make me more aero (#moreAero)?

Oh wait, the other helmet debate. Should we be forced to wear helmets when riding a bike?

Read moreDo You Always Wear A Helmet When Cycling (And Should You)?

How To Maintain A Cycling Habit Into Winter (Or How I’m Going To Try…)

How To Maintain Cycling Habit

In the past, when I’ve managed to build something resembling a cycling habit over the summer, I’ve tended to lose impetus around October. The rides dry up as the weather wets up (and colds up). Excuses are made and other ‘priorities’ take over.

Sometimes the rot sets in in September.

Of course I don’t always realise that my ride consistency is slipping. I fool myself into thinking that I’m keeping the habit up with the odd autumnal excursion.

In reality, if I looked at my Strava history objectively, I’d note a paltry couple of rides recorded over the course of October, perhaps in November, and then declare it done for the year.

Read moreHow To Maintain A Cycling Habit Into Winter (Or How I’m Going To Try…)

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

Long time readers of this blog will know that I’ve had an unhealthy obsession with a certain piece of cycling clothing for an irrational number of years. Over that time I’ve done precisely nothing about it (er, like buying it).

Well now I’ve finally done something about it.

I’ve bought … a different piece of cycling clothing. And this is my review.

Heretofollows my thoughts on the Castelli Perfetto foul weather jersey.

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

Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT: An In-Depth Review (By A Reviewer That’s Out Of His Depth)

Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT review

I’ve owned a Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT for a while now, so it’s about time I shared my thoughts in the form of a review. If you’re thinking about buying a new cycling computer, this post will contain all you need to know.

Summary and Recommendation

This post is a bit of a monster. Here’s my summary and recommendation in bitesize form:

  • The Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT is VERY easy to use
  • The screen is clean and easy to read, with good contrast – data fields were visible in all light conditions (except eclipse – I didn’t test during eclipse…)
  • The integration with the Wahoo app works very well – it keeps fiddling around with settings on the device itself to a minimum (like virtually not at all)
  • The BOLT doesn’t have true mapping (you can’t re-route on the device itself if you take a wrong turning) but the ‘breadcrumb trails’ (along with the app) are more than enough for my needs
  • It looks attractive and the included out-front mount purports to be a little bit aero (#aero) – c’mon people, these things matter!

TLDR: Recommended as an excellent all-round bike GPS device.

And here are the links to treat yourself to a whizzbang new bike GPS:

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. If you buy something, I get a small commission. You pay the same price and get to support my blog. It’s a win win (and means I can pay the website  running costs).

Okay, with the summary out of the way, it’s time for the detail. Grab an appropriate performance-enhancing beverage of your choice and let’s dig in…

Read moreWahoo ELEMNT BOLT: An In-Depth Review (By A Reviewer That’s Out Of His Depth)

How To Clean Your Road Bike Drivetrain (or Zen and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance)

I feel like I’ve never properly cleaned my bike. Actually it’s more than a feeling. Its a truthing.

Partly (mainly) this is because I’ve never had the confidence to take the dirty bits apart in order to give them a proper deep clean.

The last time I took my bike to my friendly local bike mechanic, I got a friendly rebuke. As he replaced my broken front derailleur, he noted that the teeth on both the cassette and chain rings were worn. The chain was stretched. The rear hub was on the verge of knackery. The cause: infrequent (and ineffective) cleaning.

After returning from our holiday in Cornwall, where both long motorway journeys saw the roof-mounted bike being doused with finest English summertime rain and road muck, I decided to rectify past transgressions. I would give the bike, and specifically the drivetrain, a really good clean. And this would mean that an incompetent would be taking apart his bike (and hoping he could put it back together again).

I thought I would record my ‘journey’ to share on this here blog, perhaps to share some useful information, but more to provide fellow mechanically challenged people with the confidence that they too can destroy a bike and then half put it back together again.

Read moreHow To Clean Your Road Bike Drivetrain (or Zen and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance)

Cycling From Bude To Millook (Another ‘Greatest Climb’ Bagged… Thrice)

Millook 30%

Since going back to work a couple of years ago, I’ve struggled to piece together a consistent period of riding. Work, family and laziness have tended to get in the way, particularly if the riding conditions were anything less than ideal.

This situation seemed to have improved in early summer 2017 as I managed to ride consistently (sort of) during … [Mont frantically checks Strava records] … June and July.

I wanted to maintain this improved record during our summer holiday in south west England. I needed some impetus for bring my bike on holiday with us. And I found it in a book.

Read moreCycling From Bude To Millook (Another ‘Greatest Climb’ Bagged… Thrice)

Wahoo ELEMNT vs ELEMNT BOLT – What Are The Differences (And Which Is Better)?

So my current bike computer is close to giving up the goat. And the ghost.

I’ve been waiting for this moment for some time. Having been in new bike GPS purchase mode almost constantly for the past 4 years (who isn’t?), it’s time to thrust my short Yorkshire arms into those deep Yorkshire pockets and ‘level up’ my electronic bike bling.

What’s that? The Garmin Edge is not the only show in town, you say? (Shurely shome mishtake.)

But it is true, we have a new(-ish) biketech contender in town in the form of Wahoo Fitness, with what finally can be described as their ELEMNT range of bike computers (until recently they just had one model). And based on my research THEY ARE GOOD!

Read moreWahoo ELEMNT vs ELEMNT BOLT – What Are The Differences (And Which Is Better)?

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?