Cycling Plus April is out now!

Packed with sportive-stomping steeds from the world's biggest bike makers

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Bikes designed to conquer your big sportive or gran fondo this summer is easily the most popular sub-genre we cover in Cycling Plus, and we put six bikes from six of the biggest brands in Britain up against each other in this issue’s bike test. The likes of Specialized, Trek and Giant are all represented.

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You’d have a grand day out in a sportive were you to Rondo’s new four seasons road bike, which can be adapted into pretty much whatever bike you want it to be. We test it out under the winter sun of Cyprus.

We’ve also first rides of the Merida Mission CX 8000, Isaac Vitron Disc, Ribble CX5 and the Merlin Malt-G Tiagra.

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In New Kit, we’ve tests of Shimano Dura-Ace wheels, Tacx Flux S Smart turbo trainer, Scott Road Comp shoes and the Rapha Commuter Jacket. We also test out 14 of the best men’s and women’s saddles and run the rule over the very special SRAM eTap AXS wireless groupset.

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In Features, we master the art of pacing, and get hot under the collar with cycling’s most vulnerable joint, the shoulder, showing you how you can get back on the bike as soon as possible after a crash. We’ve also the first in a new six-part series on gravel riding, with the opening piece showing what it is and where it all began.

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In Big Ride, we head to the Scottish Highlands for a ride in a region (Glen Cassley and Glen Oykel) that is the worst-selling in the Ordnance Survey’s Explorer map series.

In Training Camp we show you how to plan your season like Chris Froome, everything you need to know about transporting your bike to France and top tips for curing your squeaky disc brakes.

In The Hub, we ponder whether the Giro could ever surpass the Tour in prestige stakes, share three routes in Stanhope and Weardale, sing the praises of paper maps (again!) and meet an ex-soldier who has rediscovered his passion for cycling after losing his legs in Afghanistan.

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