Cycling Plus April is out now!

In the latest issue of Cycling Plus we prove steel bikes have a future, find you the perfect saddle, and ask whether cycling really deserves its green reputation…

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In our main bike test we ask whether steel, the oldest of bike frame materials, can still cut the mustard amid the latest technological advances of the 21st century, and the answer is a resounding yes. If you’re looking for a bike that delivers comfort, style, longevity and even performance, metal can still be the answer. And if you do manage to outlast your steel machine, it’s good to know the frame is 100 per cent recyclable at end of life… can the same be said of the latest carbon rockets? Not yet!

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With an eye on that subject of sustainability, while we can all feel happy that floating around on two, human-powered wheels makes us better for the planet than the four-wheeled metal boxes that surround us, we wondered whether the cycling industry lives up to the sport’s green reputation… and where it doesn’t, what is being done to address the issue? It made for a fascinating insight, and we were comforted by the number of companies – big and small – out there trying to improve things.

Choosing the right saddle is one of the most crucial, and also most difficult, buying decisions you will make as a cyclist. Get it right, and years of happy cycling lie ahead. Get it wrong, and no matter how brilliant the bike in your garage is, you will start to think twice about riding it. To help you, we put 10 of the very best modern saddles – across all styles and both genders – to the test. Our verdicts will help you identify the right kind of seat for your kind of riding.

We also head further off-road than we probably ever have done in Cycling Plus before, taking two monster gravel bikes to Scotland’s renowned Kintail Affric mountain bike trail to see just how adventurous a drop-bar adventure bike can really get. We were rewarded with some spectacular riding, and came back impressed with the bikes’ ability to handle some seriously hardcore terrain. The riding definitely doesn’t stop when the road does with these machines…

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