XTR Di2, Our first thoughts

Last week we got to play with the flagship Shimano XTR di2 Range for the first time, we were lucky to be building a Cannondale Scalpel 29er Black Inc 2015 for a customer of ours.

After reading many reviews on it we were excited to see how it performed. The main things we noticed included –

1 – You are able to increase the tension on the rear mech’s clutch system without it being detrimental to the shifting smoothness; this is great for keeping the chain nice and tight, especially if you decided to run the system as a 1×11 without a chain guide.

2 – The Synchro Right only mode – meaning that whilst running 2×10 you only need to use the right shifter and it will change front and rear gears for you, it decides whether you need to be in the little or big ring, depending on how far up or down the cassette you are. This technology is extremely clever and removes the thought process behind changing gear.

3 – The electronic shift is definitely crisper than the shift from a standard cabled group set and removes the problem of cables getting clogged with mud.

4 – Finally, its finished in a matt black and shiny silver colour scheme and as you shift, it makes a real sweet noise, as for this bike, the shift noise was coupled with the beautiful sound of a Chris King Rear Hub and it sounded like we were sat at the orchestra.

All in all we are super impressed by the Di2 Technology, it is great that it has been brought across from the road to Mountain Bikes where we believe it will be more advantageous due to the more variable environment Mountain Biking occurs in.

Why Go Electric!

10 years ago saw a boom in Electric Bikes, however the craze didn’t last due to unreliability. In 2014 with new players in the Electrical Bike System Game the boom is back. It is now for the first time, that we can see the reliability in these bikes. What are the advantages? Many users of E-bikes state that they don’t ride for less time, they just ride further, this allows them to see more out on their rides – with the Higher quality motors reaching 160Km + on one battery charge, that is a lot of scenery you can see. Other advantages include being able to go out to exercise without worrying about not being able to make it to the end of your ride. As well as a petrol saver as these bikes reach 15Mph so reduce the need to use the car.
What to look for when buying an E-bike? This depends on the function you are looking for, if you are after taking the bike out down country lanes and canal paths, the starting price for something of a decent quality is £899, we would recommend one of the bikes from the Wisper – Freego range as we have high satisfaction from many customers all-ready. If you are looking to use a E-bike off-road, we can only recommend a specialist E-MountainBike, with a high quality Bosch, Yamaha or Panasonic Motor. These come in from £1699 from Brands such as Cube, KTM and Haibike who all specialise in Electric Bikes.

10 Tips to get you through Winter


1. Wear Over Shoes – Over shoes are essential to keeping your feet warm, it is your extremities that will get coldest first, so a good quality sock paired with a good quality overshoe will help you fend off the cold. We Recommend – Altura Attack Overshoe £34.99

2. Layer Up – Thin and multiple layers are often more comfortable than one thick layer, for the top layer we recommend a bright colour such as – Madison Prime High Viz Jacket £69.99

3. Drink Hot Squash – If your commute is sub half an hour, yet you still like to keep yourself fuelled, hot squash is the perfect way to warm yourself on a chilly morning. Okay the heat will disperse if you’re riding for longer than 30 minutes, but it is still a treat on the shorter rides.

4. Wear a Buff- Funnelling the cold air entering your lungs drastically improves your core body heat, it also reduces the chances of developing chapped lips. We Recommend – www.buffwear.com

5. Light Up – As a driver there is nothing worse than a dully dressed unlit cyclist they see at the last minute, to light up we recommend a set of lights, with a minimum of 50 lumens on the front to ensure your seen at all times. We Recommend – Blackburn Local Combo £24.99

6. Gloves – Just like over shoes, these protect your extremities. Whilst riding your hands are used frequently to brake and change gear, so it is critical that the Gloves are comfortable, warm and waterproof. We Recommend – DexShell Touchfit Gloves £24.99

7. Try Cyclocross – If a bit of competition is what you need to keep you ticking, cyclocross is perfect for you, it is accessible to all through http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/cyclocross

8. Use a Turbo Trainer – A 45 minute Turbo session can equate for over 2 hours worth of road riding, a tip for keeping entertained is to put a play list on an iphone or similar device, every other song that come on you ride tempo too, and rest up on the next song and so on. We recommend Minoura B60-R £149.99

9. Under-Helmet headwear – Riding along on a frosty day you will definitely feel your ears succumb to frostbite. There are different options to keep your head warm, from headbands to full Winter hats such as Sealskinz Winter Hat £19.99

10. Last but most importantly – Stop for a Coffee, or a pint, enjoying your riding is the whole point of doing it, stopping for a mid-ride beverage give you change to warm up, making the second half of your ride much more enjoyable. We recommend Small Coffee shops and local pubs.

The Best Carbon Road bike for £1400 The new 2015 Cube Agree GTC Race

Cube have done it again. For 2015 they have made a Carbon Road bike Called the Agree GTC Race which has a lightweight Carbon Fibre frame and full Ultegra Groupset all for £1399.99 What a bargain. It also comes with a Compact drive chain for everyday riding and perfect for any sportif. Cube are making so many bikes this next model year which are way ahead of the competition. If you want one you can come on in and have a free bike fit.

Mongoose Bmx Bikes are Back with the Legion L20 Gold

Mongoose have brought back the most popular Bmx Bike ever made, the 2015 Legion. This Bmx Bike comes in Black and Gold.For 2015 they have put a Gyro and two sets of stunt pegs all for £199 . The Gold colour will be the Bmx bike for christmas as in 2012 when it was first called the Mongoose logo it sold over £50,000 of them in the run up to christmas. Our Christmas Club is now open and 10% deposit secures any bike.

Cube Bikes for 2015 are making their frames right up to 64cm.

Cube Bikes for 2015 are making their frames to suit everyone. They start with a 13″ frame right up to a 25″ frame (64cm). Their bike range has grown from last year and in 2015 they have kept their prices low offering the customer even better value for money. The 64cm frame size will be a real winner as their is a very limited number of bikes made to suit the taller individual.

Cube Make a Carbon Road Race frame weighing sub 750g

Cube have released their flagship model, the Litening C68 SLT, with an unbelievable weight of sub-750g. Cube for 2015 have made their Carbon frames even lighter by Spread Tow Technology. Basically Spread Tow (tow is an untwisted bundle of continuous filaments) is a process that spreads out this bundle of carbon fibres making them flat and wide, and weaving them with an interlacing pattern. If you look closely at the frame you can actually see the interlacing tape, it’s quite distinctive. These bikes will be available mid september.

First Look at the 2015 Scott Bikes

Scott have now  announced that their 2015 range of bikes are better than ever before. They have made their most popular models like the Scott Speedster road bike range with a lot more colour and even more aero. The Scott Solace 15 now has disk brakes, The mighty Scott Gambler has had a bit of a face lift and Scott have launched the new Plasma five. All in all the 2015 range from Scott we think is way ahead of the competition. The bikes are in store now.

Doctor Barnado’s cycle Event on the 18th of May

The annual On Your Bike for Barnardo’s cycle ride will take place on Sunday 18th May 2014, starting at The Copthorne Hotel in Culverhouse Cross, just outside Cardiff at 8am.

Barnardo’s Cyrmu is looking for people to sign up and take on the 38 mile circular challenge! This well-established event is the perfect opportunity to get on your bike and raise funds to help support your local Barnardo’s project to support vulnerable children and young people.Forms are available from our store. Come and join us there and support a local Charity.

Shimano launch STEPS e-bike groupset

Shimano Have launched STEPS ( Shimano Total Electric Power System ) a dedicated groupset for electric bikes that was first shown back in 2010. The groupset is an integrated power and transmission solution that is exactly what is needed, bar a frame and wheels, to build an e-bike.

Shimano  claims the weight of the drive unit, battery, chainset, cycle computer and chain, which makes it on of the lightest systems on the market. having less weight is a fundamental with electric bikes, which has  as much to do with efficiency and range, as it does handling and performance

The New System will be on the Brand KTM with the forthcoming 2015 bikes, demo bikes will be available at the store.
The 2015 KTM e-bikes Released this Summer ( This Fall ) will feature this system.