At Cycling Plus we test bikes right across the price spectrum and while we love nothing more than to sling a leg over a Tour de France-calibre bike, we also enjoy riding bikes at the more affordable end of the market. At the end of the day, that’s where we’re speaking to most readers. To that end our main grouptest this issue pits six bikes with a top price of 750 quid, including the newly redesigned Specialized Allez (this month’s cover star) and the Scott Speedster 40.
Where there’s cheap vs expensive, a subtler decision to make in your bike buying is disc vs rim brakes. Faster than most people anticipated, discs have become ubiquitous in the road market, but there’s still room for rim brakes and they retain many fans, as shown in our 2018 Bike of the Year winner. Guy Kesteven headed to the North York Moors to test out two bikes from Vitus that are identical in every way – apart from their brakes – in an attempt to find out the pros and cons of both.
We’ve also got First Rides of the Trek Boone 7 Disc, Bianchi Aria 105, Ritchey Outback and Cinelli Superstar Disc, and test New Kit from Sweet Protection Falconer MIPS, Smith Attack Max shades, Shimano’s new crank-based power meter (Dura-Ace R9100-P) and Scott’s RC Lace shoes. We have the lowdown on finding your perfect bib shorts, plus a test of 16 jerseys.
In Big Ride, we ride around the actual island of Jersey, while in Features James Witts looks at how you can perfect your hill climbing technique. For our ‘Come Back Stronger’ feature, we speak to a man who knows better than most what’s involved, Team Sky’s Luke Rowe, and head to the Brooks factory for the latest instalment in our Best of British series.
And a chunky issue gets even chunkier with a free 28-page guide to all things gravel.
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