With inflation meaning our money isn’t going as far as it did a year ago, we’re looking for value in everything we buy at the moment. That includes bikes, but does ‘cheap’ represent the best value for money? This month’s bike test sees up trying out four road bikes under £700.
We also bring you first ride reviews of the BMC URS LT One gravel bike and the Bianchi Impulso E-Allroad TRK flat-bar commuter.
In gear, technical editor Warren reports back following a year testing SRAM’s cheapest wireless groupset, Rival AXS. We also have tests of Limar Air Stratus lid, Bryton S500 computer, Sportful’s gravel outfit and a seatpack shootout. This month’s buyer’s guide is dedicated to saddles and we’ve got everything to look out for – shape, padding, cutout – when buying this most idiosynchratic piece of bicycle componentry.
In Features we go ‘Big Gain Hunting’, where we forget the idea of marginal gains and target the bigger but easier wins. Editor Matt gets stuck into his first cyclo-cross race, while deputy editor John speaks to Andy McGrath, author of a new biography about fallen 90s pro rider Frank Vandenbroucke. In Big Ride, Rob Ainsley rides a whisky trail, not in Scotland or Ireland but in Yorkshire and learns all about the county’s burgeoning scene.
In Training Zone, we look at how you can monitor blood glucose with Supersapiens’ Energy Band; post-ride meals with a protein punch; Freddie Searight’s Ironman-style challenge and a look at the all-new RideLondon route. And in Masterclass, we’ll help you to conquer your first century ride. It’s a coming of age moment for all serious roadies and we break down the journey into digestible steps, as well as revealing the best centuries across the UK in which to test yourself.
Included in the issue is a separate 28-page guide, Europe’s Best Rides, which delves into many of our favourite rides and destinations across the continent.
If you’d like to subscribe to Cycling Plus, head over to our subs site now. This month you can save 30% off a 6-month subscription (pay just £24.99) and receive a Lezyne Pocket Drive Mini Pump worth £25!