Cycling Plus December is out now!

'Crossing over to the other side

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That time of year is upon us again where the carbon road racers go into storage and in their stead comes the cyclo-cross bike. While the six bikes in our main bike test this issue could all be used for racing ‘cross, with minimal adaptations, or even not at all, each could be an ideal bike through the autumn and winter. Priced from £1700 to £2500, from the Specialized Crux E5 Sport to the Trek Crockett 7, there’s something for a variety of budgets.

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In our second bike test, we meet the founders of new British bike brand Vielo and find out if their first bike, the V+1, fits the bill for being the ultimate bike for British conditions.

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In First Ride, reviews include the BMC SLR02 Disc Ultegra Di2, Merida Scultura Disc 6000, Tifosi SS26 Disc, Gtech Sport e-bike, plus the Raleigh Mustang Elite and Marin Four Corners go head-to-head.

In New Kit, we’ve reviews of Wahoo’s Kickr CORE smart trainer, Bontrager’s Dual Charger pump, Bont Helix shoes and the Selle Italia SP-01Superflow saddle. We’ve also a round-up of six suitably small mini pumps that are perfect to carry with you for emergencies, including Topeak Roadie DAX, Lezyne Lite Drive HP and Birzman Velocity.

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In grouptests, we review 16 jackets, from emergency capes to super-stylish softshells that will keep you warm and dry this winter, as well as winter outfits to keep you going all winter.

In Features, we reveal some of our experts’ home truths – the coaches, mechanics and riders who can’t say what they feel for fear of losing repeat business. We’ve given them a chance to let rip and see if there’s anything we can learn from their candour.

We also meet the people who’ve ditched the 9-5 and turned their passion for cycling into a career.

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In Big Ride, we go bikepacking around southwest Ireland’s Ring of Kerry – well, sort of. The best of the peninsula’s roads is to be found down its mountainous spine, as we found as we explored everything it has to offer.

In Training Camp, we’ve advice on how to achieve pedaling perfection like David Millar, go for a ride with comedian Hugh Dennis, have advice on how to make big climbs easier, the benefits of eating oats and discover how cycling changed Jason Gibson’s life.

And in The Hub, we consider the Netherlands potential ban on using phones while riding in The Spin, share three routes in Rutland, be inspired by 87-year-old Donald Wells, who rode from Land’s End to John O’Groats on his Brompton, and meet senior tech ed Warren’s Sven Cycles Swift e-bike.

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Issue 347 comes with a pair of Cycling Plus gloves – we’ve already started wearing them this year. Brrrrrrrrr!