Cycling Plus August is out now!

Does your next bike need to be carbon? We test some aluminium and steel bikes that suggest not…

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In a world of carbon, does metal still matter? That’s the question we ponder in this month’s bike test, as six aluminium road and adventure bikes – among them the Kinesis 4S Disc and Rondo RUUT AL – battle it out for our coveted Best on Test prize. Elsewhere, we take Wilier’s stunning new carbon and steel bikes out for some head-to-head action.

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In First Rides, we’ve tests of the Genesis Zero Disc SL, Merida Reacto 7000-E, Focus Whistler 2 6.9 EQP and the Specialized Sirrus Elite, while the Vitus Zenium CRW and Genesis Zeal go head-to-head.

In New Kit, we try out Stages new power meter cranks (Dura-Ace G3 L-R), Shimano’s RS770 wheels, Bontrager’s XXX WaveCel Road helmet and Rapha’s Core jersey and Cargo bib short. We also investigate the revolution in women’s kit and test 16 pairs of gravel shoes.

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In Features, we speak with Britain’s three active grand tour winners – Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome and Simon Yates – and glean wisdom from their endeavours. To commemorate Cycle to Work Day next month we examine how you can turn your commute into the ultimate training regime, while we also go bikepacking in Wales and examine why it’s getting harder to get new people onto bikes.

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In The Hub, we ruminate on the tyranny of bike lanes, check out three lumpy routes in majestic Exmoor, and hear from round-the-world record breaker Vedangi Kulkarni, the youngest woman to cycle the world.

In Big Ride we ride with another potential record breaker, Christina Mackenzie, in Loch Lomond as she prepares to take on the women’s LEJOG record.

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This month’s 28-page supplement is dedicated to Technique. Whether it’s climbing, descending, cornering or pedalling, the magazine is stacked with tips to make you a better cyclist.

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