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Fundraising for SIDS

I have never done a charity bike ride! So I thought why not give a bit back and do something for a couple who have used the bike shop over the last 7 years, and been directly affected by SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)

The charity is the Lullaby Trust, and from what I have heard from my friends they have provided excellent bereavement support and they have also taken part in research the charity directly funds.

Apparently 4 infants a week in the UK die from this condition, which (and correct me if I am wrong) the causes of it are rather hard to pin down precisely.

So I am sorry to say, if you bring your bike in for a service, I will get out a rather ominous looking black folder thing and ask if you could sponsor me to do a 100 mile bike ride on the 28th July at the Ride London event.  I will match out of the bike service you pay for whatever you decide to put in  (obvs within my means!!)

You can sponsor me here

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Elite turbo trainers

I have been using an Elite turbo trainer for 18 months now, and it really is a great way to keep cycling in the colder weather,

You can follow a training plan to get faster, or fitter or stronger or all 3!  In the summer its also really useful if you just want a brief 30 minute spin if you’ve had a busy day.

Turbo training has become massively less boring due to the emergence of lots of training apps, like Trainerroad, Sufferfest or Zwift.  They make training really fun, or rather they make pedalling nowhere have an actual purpose!

I have 3 Elite turbo trainers set up in the shop, with an ipad and you can try the different training apps.  The trainer below is winning all the praise, its called the DIreto.  It’s said to be one of the best trainers for its pricepoint, beating some of those around the £1000.  Its currently £675.00


DC Rainmaker did a review of the Direto and its pretty amazing

The Qubo at £280.00 is well worth a look and did a great review of it.

The Volano at £350.00 is a budget direct drive trainer, again did a review of the model, without the ‘smart’ sensor, but they really liked it. The one in the shop comes with a smart sensor that connects to your ipad, tablet or PC.

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Wheel and tyre offer

A whole new range of DT Swiss road wheels have come in for 2018, and one of the new features is that they are all tubeless tyre compatible, they work fine with  normal inner tubes too. If you’ve ever had lots of punctures, or want a more supple and comfy ride then tubeless is the answer!

The special offer is that I will give you a free set of tyres (normal or tubeless) with any pair of DT Swiss wheels purchased.

Wheel highlights include the 35mm deep carbon PRC1400 wheels, pictured below. They are light enough for climbs unlike some deeper carbon rims that can feel deadened on climbs, but uniquely also offer an aero advantage.


The hub is nicely cut away to reduce weight. The rounded rim is more aero than a sharp or blunt profile, and the wide 25mm rim perfectly hugs 25mm tyres adding to its aero profile.

Another highlight is the OXIC ceramic wheelset. This is an aluminium rim that has been dipped in electrolyte and a high charge plasma current passed through it creating a ceramic coating on the rim.  The advantages are a rim that never wears and massively superior braking. The stealthy all black looks cool too, the braking surface remains black forever.  They also weigh a featherweight 1450g









The hubs on the PR1600 rim and disc brake versions are a real work of art. The hub internals are based on the DT 350s hub which has their legendary star ratchet freehub which is virtually maintenance free.


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DT Swiss Ceramic Road Wheels – offer

Free tubeless tyres when buying a pair of these wheels! Worth up to 120.00!

A new pair of wheels has arrived in the shop, the DT Swiss PR 1400 Dicut Oxic wheelset.  These wheels are the ones to get if you want a year round performance set of wheels, with a ceramic rim that will virtually never wear out, well – last for considerably many many more years than a regular pair of aluminium wheels.


Why are they so great year round? Well for winter the ceramic surface makes braking as good to near as disc brake braking as you can get with rim brakes.  For summer the wheels are a touch under 1500g the pair so really competitive weight and great for hill climbing where you’ll notice their lightness.

The ceramic coating looks great too – all stealth black.

If you want an independent opinion have a look at what said here in their review

You also get a free riding cap and a MilKit tubeless injector kit!


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Convert your own bike to electric

I am lucky to have ebiketips next door and I was really impressed with an electric bike they were testing.  Turned out it was a bike they built using a motor and battery available as a kit to convert your own bike to electric. So impressed that I got one for the shop.

The motor is £400, now on summer sale at £350, and simply replaces your existing cranks.  A motor at the cranks places the weight low down and has far less effect on bike handling than a wheel motor.  Plus the crank motor works better on hills than a wheel motor.


The battery costs from £200 – £500 depending on how much capacity you need, but the £200 battery on this bike should take you 20 hilly miles.  Its neatly bolted to the bottle cage bolts.



The bike used is a Saracen Studio 74 with disc brakes, I’d really recommend this bike but of course we can convert your own.

Ebiketips did a little write up of installing the Panda M-Drive motor, worth a read if you want to know more about the technical side of installing it.  We can supply a motor or supply and fit the motor for an extra £90 labour.



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Ex hire sale 2017


There are some bargain ex-hire bikes from 2016 and 2017 to be had!

Scroll through the pictures, description, prices and sizes below each.DSC_0034Adventure Women’s Prima available in Medium and Large for £130

DSC_0035Men’s Adventure Prime available in Medium and Large for £130

DSC_0032Women’s Saracen Urban Response 2016 model in Medium and Large for £165

DSC_0033Men’s 2017 Urban Response in Medium and Large for £220

DSC_0037Ladies Adventure Prima Cafe Deluxe Medium 17″ for £220

DSC_0036Mens Adventure Double Shot cafe racer Medium and Large available for £220






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Electric Adventures!

Have just had the first electric bike delivered to the shop, what an amazing machine to ride! So effortless yet you still have to put a little pedaling input in to make it go which means you’ll still get the fitness benefits from an electric bike – so its certainly not a moped!


The bike is an Adventure Road Sport from Madison the biggest bike company in the UK  (‘ladies’ they call it but lets say its Unisex as the step through frame makes it easy to get on and off for all ages and genders!!)

Its got a motor in the middle of the bike frame, not in the wheels, which means you get better power delivery and it’ll haul you smoothly uphill – wheel motors tend to struggle on hills. The battery is also neatly tucked into the frame, not taking up space on a rear rack or adding to weight at the rear which means handling is better as the weight is more central.

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The middle of the frame motor also means all the important bits are in a self contained unit – unlike wheel motors with wires all over the bike.  So much much less to go wrong. And the motor on the bike is a Shimano STEPS motor backed up by the UK distributor Madison’s 48hr EXPRESS WARRANTY should anything go wrong.

Powerful hydraulic brakes that never need to be adjusted, much like a motor vehicles only when in for a yearly service. Plus kickstand to make it easy to park anywhere.


Bike computer tells you how far you have to cycle on the current battery power you have.  Very small switch to power up or down doesn’t get in the way of you hand, and the bars have nice gel grips for comfot, as well as a Selle Royale gel saddle which is very comfy!

20031686_1519497141405197_5001326975197695646_n 20031661_1519496821405229_5342837478748760312_nNeat cabling goes into the frame and is kept out of your way, also nice stealthy black mudguards look cool. A rack can be mounted on the fixing points on the frame should you need one.





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Ex Hire GT Grade’s

For sale at the end of August are 2 ex hire GT Grade’s. I have a 105 2016 model in size 55cm (medium/large), for £500 and a size Sora 2017 model in size 53 (medium/small), for £400. Hardly used just a handful of weekend hires so like new!



GT Grade Sora above for £400 SOLD




Above GT Grade 105 for £500 SOLD


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Stealth Nutrition

I’ve been talking to and hearing of a few customers who’ve struggled on various rides, be it a leisure ride, sportive or race. By struggled I mean they have noticed that their ‘usual’ speed over distance is not as good as it could be or they feel pretty awful and lack any drive.  Quite frequently when I ask how much they’ve eaten they answer invariably ‘one bar / gel in the hour or nothing at all!’  Maybe the excitement of the event makes them forget to fuel properly, or perhaps they forgot to prepare well beforehand.  Anyway it seems to me that a lot of people are seriously under eating (or fuelling) on rides.

Stealth Gels

I came across Secret Training’s ‘Stealth’ range of nutrition products at the Madison trade show year before last. The founder Tim Lawson founded Science in Sport years before, had a short break and then wanted to produce nutrition products with a bit more of an edge. He was at the show in person and convinced me of many benefits of his new Stealth nutrition range.

I’ve been using them for over 18 months and have found using them really great.  The gels taste really natural and not overly sweet, probably because they use rice starch and natural flavours which are a little less sweet than artificial ones, the rice starch is slightly slower to release energy as well so the energy effect can last longer.  One favourite of mine is the Berry Caffeine energy gel, it has natural elderberry in it that apparently increases bloodflow to muscles, the caffeine also really dulls any pain. I’ve set some personal best records on hills near the end of long rides by downing one of these a couple of minutes before the climb!

The hydration powder is in a sachet (and makes it easy to take spares on a ride) and as Tim explained this means they don’t have any nasty fizzing or binding agents.  The taste of all the powders is quite slight, not overly strong, which is much better as it makes you sip rather than gulp.  Also the powder contains a small quantity of carbohydrate which is said to help the absorption of liquid into your body.

Here’s the offer

So as a ‘sweetner’ to encourage all riders to fuel properly:

boxes of 14 energy gels for 15.00 (RRP 17.50)  Isotonic varieties (1.07 each)

19.99 (RRP 24.50) for the Caffine and ‘Real Fruit’ varieties (1.43 each)

14.00 (RRP 16.00)  for a box of 20 sachets of the super hydration powder. (0.70p each)

That’s a good saving on the RRP, no excuse not to fuel or hydrate properly! had good things to say about the gels too!

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New Saracen Mantra Trail and Mantra

A couple of new mountain bikes have arrived, great for riding our local trails with their ever so slightly aggressive geometry which gives you stability downhill.  Have a good look at the Saracen Mantra Trail and Mantra, if you’re tempted why not come in to give one a spin.



Beffy dropouts mean the Mantra Trail can take a hammering downhill, the clutch mech will stop the chain slapping and clanging against the frame. A complete Shimano groupset means the bike’s even better value.



The short stem longish top tube is thoroughly modern, the steepish 67 degree headangle makes it confident downhill, 120mm travel fork is plenty enough for UK trail riding.



Crudcatcher mounts on the downtube and a hole in the seattube above the bottom bracket means a dropper post can be installed with the cabling tidily running inside the frame!


The Mantra gets consistently good reviews, for example this one is great