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Bikes Buying Guide

Best 2020​ ​Gravel​ ​Bikes​ ​for​ ​up​ ​to​ ​£2,000

Gravel​ ​riding​ ​is​ ​an​ ​exciting​ ​discipline​ ​of​ ​off-road​ ​cycling​ ​– it’s​ ​about​ ​fun​ ​and​ ​freedom,​ ​adventure​ ​and  even​ ​racing.​ ​Gravel​ ​originates​ ​from​ ​the​ ​USA,​ ​where​ ​rugged​ ​drop-handlebarred​ ​road​ ​bikes​ ​specified​ ​for  the​ ​tough​ ​challenges​ ​of​ ​touring​ ​and​ ​exploring​ ​bumpy,​ ​dusty,​ ​unsurfaced​ ​roads​ ​developed​ ​a​ ​great  following​ ​and​ ​spawned​ ​its​ ​own​ ​unique​ ​race​ ​scene.​ ​British​ ​bikers​ ​are​ ​more​ ​than​ ​ready​ ​for​ ​gravel’s​ ​fat,  treaded​ ​road​ ​tyres,​ ​low,​ ​close​ ​gears,​ ​weatherproof​ ​disc​ ​brakes​ ​and​ ​bulletproof​ ​builds.

Like​ ​its​ ​cousin​ ​cyclocross,​ ​gravel​ ​has​ ​caught​ ​on​ ​fast​ ​here​ ​in​ ​the​ ​UK,​ ​with​ ​a​ ​number​ ​of​ ​British​ ​race​ ​series  emerging​ ​–​ ​from​ ​the​ ​north,​ ​Dirty​ ​Reiver​ ​in​ ​Northumberland​ ​and​ ​Grinduro’s​ ​amazing​ ​loop​ ​round​ ​the​ ​Isle  of​ ​Arran,​ ​way​ ​down​ ​south​ ​to​ ​the​ ​CW​ ​Century​ ​on​ ​the​ ​South​ ​Downs​ ​Way,​ ​with​ ​many​ ​in​ ​between.

But​ ​gravel’s​ ​far​ ​more​ ​than​ ​racing;​ ​the​ ​sheer​ ​versatility​ ​of​ ​these​ ​all-year-round​ ​bikes​ ​mean​ ​they’ll​ ​tackle  muddy​ ​off-road​ ​trails​ ​yet​ ​will​ ​also​ ​serve​ ​you​ ​well​ ​on​ ​the​ ​weekend​ ​club​ ​run.​ ​Most​ ​gravel​ ​bikes​ ​boast  mounts​ ​for​ ​racks​ ​and​ ​mudguards​ ​equipping​ ​them​ ​for​ ​commuting,​ ​while​ ​multiple​ ​bottle​ ​mount​ ​lugs​ ​lend  themselves​ ​to​ ​adventure​ ​set-ups,​ ​endurance​ ​events​ ​and​ ​bike​ ​packing​ ​machines.​ ​A​ ​gravel​ ​bike​ ​can​ ​truly  do​ ​it​ ​all,​ ​and​ ​for​ ​£2k,​ ​you​ ​get​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​gravel​ ​bike​ ​at​ ​Hargroves​ ​Cycles.​ ​Here’s​ ​what​ ​to​ ​look​ ​out​ ​for…

Geometry, Tyres & Clearance

Tyre​ ​clearance​ ​is​ ​an​ ​important​ ​consideration.​ ​Most​ ​gravel​ ​bikes​ ​run​ ​the​ ​same​ ​700c​ ​diameter​ ​as​ ​their  road​ ​bike​ ​cousins,​ ​but​ ​they’re​ ​specified​ ​with​ ​more​ ​robust,​ ​wider-rimmed​ ​wheelsets​ ​to​ ​accommodate  much​ ​wider​ ​rubber.

While​ ​road​ ​bikes​ ​generally​ ​run​ ​25​ ​or​ ​28mm,​ ​gravel​ ​bikes​ ​could​ ​go​ ​from​ ​32​ ​to​ ​46mm.​ ​Wider​ ​tyres​ ​with​ ​a  deeper​ ​tread​ ​pattern​ ​are​ ​crucial​ ​for​ ​control​ ​on​ ​mud​ ​or​ ​gravel,​ ​and​ ​fuss-free​ ​tubeless​ ​tyre​ ​systems​ ​are  becoming​ ​more​ ​commonplace.

Room​ ​for​ ​mud​ ​clearance​ ​between​ ​the​ ​tyre​ ​and​ ​the​ ​frame​ ​is​ ​also​ ​important,​ ​so​ ​you​ ​don’t​ ​get​ ​clogged​ ​in  the​ ​worst​ ​of​ ​Britain’s​ ​winter​ ​quagmires!

Off-road​ ​demands​ ​mean​ ​gravel​ ​bikes​ ​need​ ​slightly​ ​different​ ​frame​ ​geometries​ ​to​ ​traditional​ ​road​ ​bikes.  Their​ ​relatively​ ​long​ ​wheelbase​ ​and​ ​more​ ​relaxed​ ​headtube​ ​angle​ ​ensure​ ​stability​ ​and​ ​steadier,​ ​more  assured​ ​steering.​ ​Gravel​ ​bikes​ ​have​ ​a​ ​taller​ ​headtube​ ​for​ ​‘sit-up’​ ​comfort​ ​over​ ​long​ ​days​ ​in​ ​the​ ​saddle​ ​–  referencing​ ​the​ ​controlled​ ​poise​ ​of​ ​MTB​ ​position​ ​–​ ​while​ ​a​ ​low​ ​bottom​ ​bracket​ ​is​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​‘strong​ ​and  stable’​ ​package.

Materials & Components

As​ ​gravel​ ​bikes​ ​are​ ​intended​ ​to​ ​take​ ​on​ ​many​ ​forms​ ​of​ ​riding,​ ​manufacturers​ ​approach​ ​their​ ​designs​ ​in  different​ ​ways,​ ​so​ ​when​ ​considering​ ​the​ ​material​ ​its​ ​frame​ ​and​ ​fork​ ​are​ ​made​ ​from,​ ​think​ ​about​ ​what  exactly​ ​you’d​ ​like​ ​to​ ​get​ ​from​ ​your​ ​bike.

If​ ​you​ ​plan​ ​to​ ​load​ ​up​ ​with​ ​luggage​ ​for​ ​long​ ​bike​ ​packing​ ​trips,​ ​look​ ​to​ ​the​ ​capability​ ​of​ ​steel.​ ​If​ ​you prefer​ ​a​ ​lightweight​ ​whip​ ​round​ ​your​ ​local​ ​trails,​ ​then​ ​consider​ ​a​ ​CX-style​ ​carbon​ ​build.​ ​For​ ​something  in​ ​between,​ ​aluminium​ ​is​ ​your​ ​likely​ ​choice.​ ​As​ ​with​ ​road​ ​bikes​​ ​it’s​ ​not​ ​unusual​ ​for​ ​an alloy​ ​frame​ ​to​ ​find​ ​a​ ​‘best​ ​of​ ​both​ ​worlds’​ ​partnership​ ​with​ ​a​ ​carbon​ ​fork. It’s​ ​important​ ​to​ ​consider​ ​the​ ​components​ ​that​ ​best​ ​suit​ ​your​ ​riding.​ ​First​ ​select​ ​the​ ​right​ ​types,​ ​then  match​ ​their​ ​level​ ​of​ ​specification​ ​to​ ​suit​ ​your​ ​budget.

While​ ​gravel​ ​bikes​ ​are​ ​available​ ​with​ ​cantilever​ ​brakes​ ​born​ ​from​ ​’cross,​ ​disc​ ​brakes​ ​are​ ​de​ ​rigeur  – and​ ​hydraulic​ ​systems,​ ​more​ ​powerful​ ​than​ ​lighter,​ ​cheaper​ ​mechanical​ ​disc​ ​brake​ ​systems,​ ​are  becoming​ ​more​ ​prevalent.

Gravel​ ​bikes​ ​have​ ​lower​ ​gearing​ ​than​ ​road​ ​bikes,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​varies,​ ​so​ ​match​ ​to​ ​your​ ​intended​ ​use​ ​and  preference.​ ​MTB-style​ ​1x​ ​systems​ ​avoid​ ​the​ ​mud-catching​ ​complexity​ ​and​ ​weight​ ​of​ ​a​ ​front​ ​mech,​ ​while  compact​ ​doubles​ ​–​ ​typically​ ​50/34-tooth​ ​front​ ​chainrings​ ​and​ ​a​ ​cassette​ ​with​ ​11/28​ ​teeth​ ​– give​ ​you  range​ ​and​ ​climbing​ ​ability.​ ​Super-compacts​ ​(48/32​ ​or​ ​46/30​ ​front​ ​rings)​ ​push​ ​that​ ​further.

Meet the Contenders

The​ ​2020 Bergamont Grandurance 5​ ​(£899),​​ ​is your golden ticket to gravel adventures.

The​ ​full​ ​Shimano​ ​Sora​ ​groupset​ ​provides​ ​reliable​ ​shifting​ ​on​ ​a​ ​18-speed​ ​compact​ ​double.​ ​Shimano’s BR-RS305​ ​mechanical​ ​disc​ ​system​ ​provides​ ​predictable​ ​braking​ ​power​ ​to​ ​tackle descents​ ​with​ ​confidence.

A redesigned ultra lite alloy frame finished off with high-grade Syncros components make this a top contender for a more budget conscious rider.

Stepping​ ​up​ ​the​ ​gravel​ ​food​ ​chain,​ ​the 2020 Saracen Levarg SL​ ​(£1,399.99)​ takes Saracen’s MTB dna and moulds it into a true gravel machine.

2020 Saracen Levarg SL

650b wheels & WTB Byway 47c tyres come as standard but the frame can accommodate 700c wheels as well if you wish to change, with a recommended maximum tyre size of 50mm in 650b and 44mm in 700c respectfully.

High quality SRAM/Saracen Custom components deliver a 1x 11 Speed drivetrain featuring an 11-42T ratio cassette and 42T narrow wide chain ring.

Mounts for 3 bottle cages and eyelets for easy mounting of mudguards make this a very versatile bike for any adventure you can throw at it.

Now, to push the budget right to the line with the 2020 Specialized Diverge Comp E5 (£1,949)

“One bike that shreds flowy singletrack gravel and traditional roads with equal authority”

Specialized

2020 Specialized Diverge Comp E5

So what sets this bike apart from the other contenders and why should you spend the extra? Two words. Future Shock.

The Future Shock features up to 20mm of travel, and it’s positioned above the head tube in order to move in a vertical path. So when the front wheel encounters rough terrain, the bike moves up towards your hands and preserves your forward momentum without slowing you down. Another important fact is that, because the Future Shock is positioned above the stem, the bike’s wheels are held together rigidly by the frame. In other words, because the wheelbase isn’t changing throughout the suspension’s travel, like with traditional system, you get the added benefit of extremely predictable handling.

Categories
Featured Indoor Training News

What is Zwift?

Looking for a way to make those indoor training sessions more engaging? Feel like time stands still when putting in the winter hours? Or simply looking for a year round training platform that will give you extra motivation to go the extra mile? Zwift was created to tackle all of these issues. Here is everything you need to know if you are thinking of giving Zwift a go.

So What’s it All About?

Zwift is an online interactive training and racing platform that links your turbo trainer up to your computer (PC or Mac), iPad, iPhone, Apple TV or an Android smartphone or Tablet. This allows you to ride with others cyclist in multiple virtual worlds often based on real life places. As well as just riding with others you can also complete specific training sessions that have been designed by professional coaches. These can be completed on your own but also with others. This is done by signing up to group workouts via the app or the companion app. The benefits of this over completing these sessions outdoors is there are no external factors that will impact your session. For example, weather, traffic and the terrain around you. It is also great for those that have time constraints as you can get in a high impact session in a small amount on time.

There are seven different worlds to ride with two worlds available to ride each day. The worlds available to ride depend on what day of the week it is and is published on a calendar each month by Zwift.

For those looking for some competition, there are also races you can enter over varying distances and terrain to suit the length of session you want to do and the time that you have available. These are split in to categories based on your FTP (Functional Threshold Power) in w/kg (Watts per Kilogram), so you will always be able to find a race and level that suits you.

There are multiple gamified elements to Zwift which include unlocking bikes and clothing to encourage you to ride for longer and harder and over hillier terrain. There are also challenges often based around total distance ridden and metres climbed which give you access to some of the fastest equipment in the game once completed.

How does Zwift work?

Zwift uses ANT+ or Bluetooth to connect to your devices. These can be either a power meter, a smart turbo trainer (such as the Wahoo KICKR and Tacx Neo 2T) or just a speed/cadence sensor as well as heart rate monitors. To connect via ANT+ you will need to purchase an ANT+ dongle for your computer so the information can be sent between your devices and the computer. For Apple TV and other phone/tablet based devices connection is via Bluetooth which is usually built in. This data is then used by Zwift which is translated in to speed on the virtual course. It takes in to account your weight, power or calculated power, the road gradient and the draft, or lack of, from other riders.

Below is more on the various ways you can get started on Zwift.

  • A dedicated indoor trainer bike, such as the Tacx Neo Bike and Wahoo KICKR Bike – this is the most expensive option and one for those really committed (and have the cash lying around).
  • A smart trainer – these require you to use your existing bike and can be wheel on (Wahoo KICKR Snap) using the resistance of your rear wheel on a drive unit or a wheel off trainer (Wahoo KICKR/Tacx Neo 2T) that require you to remove your rear wheel and place your bike on to the trainer. These measure power and sometimes cadence and transmit this directly to Zwift.
  • A power meter – with a power meter you can use any indoor trainer or rollers and data will be taken from your power meter and transmitted to Zwift. With this option you won’t get the simulated gradient changes and controlled workouts that you get with the indoor training bike or smart trainer.
  • A speed/cadence sensor – this is the most basic option and allows you to use a regular bike with no power meter and a standard wheel on trainer. Zwift will then use the numbers (cadence and wheel speed) to estimate your power. This is not the most accurate or realistic option but it is the cheapest and is a great way to get started on Zwift.

How much does Zwift cost?

Some indoor trainers come with a free trail period, for example 30-days, for Zwift so you can give it a go without having to commit to start with. You do get a free 7-day trial when you first sign up for Zwift if you haven’t got a longer trial period with a trainer purchase. After the free trail it costs £12.99 a month but you can cancel and re-join anytime and you will keep your progress and unlocks that you have achieved so far.

How do I get started?

To get started first you need to sign up for an account. On a Mac or PC you can do it online at Here On a phone or tablet device you can download the Zwift app from the relevant app store and sign up through there.

If you are using a computer or Apple TV to use Zwift it is highly recommended to download the Zwift Companion app. This adds a number of convenient features such as being able to message other Zwifters, enter events and changing the direction of your avatar.

Once this has been done you just need to pair your devices and choose the world you want to ride in. You are then ready to experience next level indoor training!

Categories
News

Tubes, Tubeless or Tubular?

“What’s best, tubes or tubeless?” I get asked this at least once a week, every week. I’m not complaining, after all, it is my job and I love talking bikes. But with it being such a hot topic we thought it’d be a good idea to get the facts out there for all to read. Every option has their own pro’s and con’s, but what may be best for one rider may not necessarily be the best for another.

Tubes.

Old faithful, the vast majority of bikes out of the box are kitted out with tubes. Most bikes out and about are running tubes. They are simplistic, cheap, low maintenance and easy to repair. They don’t require a special rim or tire and are available in any establishment that calls themselves a bike shop.

So why fix what isn’t broke? Well for all these positives there are some negatives. If you’ve never had a puncture then you are one of the blessed few. Most of us have though and it’s normally at the most inconvenient time. When the heavens have opened, you’re at the furthest point from home and your hands are so cold you are struggling to get your tire off to replace the tube. This is when you probably pay a visit to me asking if there are any alternatives, which brings us to tubeless setups.

Tubeless.

Tubeless setups have been around for a number of years now. In the early days the sealant and tire choices were limited and often a pain to set up. However, many brands have now jumped on the band wagon which has accelerated the advances in tire, rim, sealant and rim tape technology. “Rim tape” development? I know it sounds ridiculous but having a decent rim tape can be the difference between hours of swearing and liters of wasted sealant and a 5-minute set up without breaking a sweat.

So what’s involved in a tubeless set up? To start with you need:

–              Tubeless ready rims (if you don’t, there are conversion kits, but a tubeless ready rim makes life a lot easier)

–              Tubeless ready rim tape.

–              Sealant.

–              Tubeless ready tires.

–              Tubeless valves.

Many new bikes come with everything apart from the sealant, but this does vary from brand to brand and bike to bike. So double check or contact us if you are not sure.

So, what are the pro’s? Well less punctures are the biggest advantage for most. I say less because it is still possible to puncture, just a lot less likely. The biggest advantage for me is being able to run less pressure in the tires without the risk of getting a pinch puncture. Whether you are on the road or in the mud, less pressure means more grip and more comfort. I would argue that converting my trail bike to tubeless is the best improvement I’ve made to it. Even better than the carbon wheels… It’s really that good in my opinion.

Finally, is the weight saving. Innertubes can be heavy. Especially if you have a bike with plus tires. Remove the tube, remove the weight. what’s not to like? And since it’s rotational weight it’ll also benefit your braking, handling and acceleration dramatically.

So what’s the catch? Well if your bike didn’t come tubeless ready out of the box for most it is the cost. If you need tires, sealant, rim tape and valves you can easily be sitting at the £100.00 mark (It’s worth it though, I promise!).

The set up can be time consuming depending on the tire and rim combination. There is an element of maintenance needed. Most sealants need topping up over a number of months although there are exceptions to this such as Finish Lines offering. As mentioned before, you can still get a puncture. This means either carrying a tubeless tire repair kit or worse, carrying an inner tube.

Tubeless set ups don’t excel in every situation. On road bikes for example, there is so much pressure within the tire it can be difficult for the sealant to do its job quick enough to avoid you having to stop and top up the pressure. And on mountain bikes you can “burp” the tire, this is when you are particularly hard on the tire and it loses pressure between the tire bead and rim although this isn’t a common issue.

Tubular.

There’s a third option? Indeed, there is. Normally reserved for those that compete. Tubular tires have long been the favorite of pro’s and privateers alike. Although a lot of the top mountain bikers have moved away from them, the roadies and cross riders still favor them over anything else.

So, what is a tubular tire? It’s a handmade carcass normally made from cotton, with a latex inner tube sewn in and the tread glued onto the outside. They require a specific tubular rim to be mounted to and are either glue or taped into position.

So why go tubular? They’re lighter than a conventional tube set up, due to the rim not needing to be so tall for the tire to sit in, a considerable amount of weight can be saved over a clincher type rim. Due to being made of cotton, they are more compliant, giving you more comfort and a better ride quality than a clincher set up. They are also more puncture resistant and have a broader pressure range.

Track riders like them because they can run them super hard and cross riders like them because they can run super soft, and road riders run them somewhere in the middle, like Goldilocks.

So, if the pros are using them, there can’t be con’s, right? Most of the issues using a tubular set up is to do with the cost. You can expect to pay around £80.00 upwards for a tub. Then you need a tubular specific wheel, which isn’t any more expensive than a clincher but if you don’t have one, you’ll need one or two… You’ll also need to attach the tire to the rim with glue or tape. Although this is something you can do at home. Many people prefer to leave it to the professionals as the consequences of getting it wrong can be pretty serious. The final issue is the lifespan of the tires. Ever wonder what happens to a pro’s wheel when they get a puncture? Their mechanic pulls the tire off and bins it. And then starts again. A puncture could happen after 2500 miles or 25 miles. So, if the puncture gods aren’t on your side, it can become an expensive habit. This is mostly why tubulars are normally used by those competing wanting every marginal gain they can get their hands on. However, if you are lucky enough to own a bike that only gets used on dreamy summer days tubs could also be for you.

So, what’s best for you? Hopefully, I’ve provided enough information to give you a good idea as to what would work best for you. But if you’re still sat scratching your head then just give us a call or pop in store for any more information you require. For some great deals on tyres, up to 27% off Dugast cyclocross tyres and all the tubes, sealant and other kit you need to go tubeless check out our website.

“Jack Explains”

Jack works in our Chichester store, is a fully qualified Retul Bike Fitter and whilst he rides all disciplines, it’s safe to say his heart belongs to mountain biking.

Take a look at Jack’s Instagram for more inspiration to get out on your bike

Categories
Bikes Cyclocross

Cyclocross Bikes Explained

So, what is a Cyclocross bike? In it’s purest form, it’s an out and out race bike, essentially a road bike for the mud. If your still confused then you may want to continue reading.

To understand why a cross bike looks the way it does, you will need to know a little about the racing it’s designed for. Cyclocross is a form of racing that typically takes place in the cold, dark, winter months. It’s a predominantly off road discipline with courses often involving obstacles such as stair sets, sand pits, hurdles and many other joys.

 

 

Of course, many of these obstacles cannot be passed whilst mounted which is why many riders will dismount, chuck their bike on their shoulder and run like the clappers. This is why cyclocross bikes have a “boxy” appearance. They have a large front triangle to enable the rider to easily carry their bike on their shoulder, this also gives the  bike a taller standover height, something to bare in mind when purchasing a cross bike.

Riding off road in winter also means mud and lots of it. This is why cross bikes have huge amounts of clearance around the fork and chain stays. In addition to this, they tend to have a higher bottom bracket for ground clearance.

Although disc brakes are only just becoming acceptable to the roadie crowd, the guys and girls riding cross have been using them for years now. As well as providing better tyre clearance, they are also a lot more powerful than traditional caliper brakes, giving more consistent braking in the poorest conditions without chewing up your lovely new wheels.

When it comes to geometry and sizing the best thing to do is chuck a leg over one of these beasts and allow our expert staff to help you find the best fit. For most brands, the sizing is similar to their road bikes. For example, if you normally ride a 52 Specialized Tarmac you will most likely be a 52 on a Specialized Crux. Of course there are exceptions to this and it will vary depending on the individual, so don’t hold on to that statement too tightly.

The fit on a cyclocross bike is quite different to most road bikes. Typically cross bikes have a taller head tube, shorter top tube and a higher bottom bracket. You can of course set it up as close as you can to your road bike. However, a lot of cyclocross riders tend to run a slightly taller front end and shorter reach in comparison with their road bike. This allows the rider to have more control out of the saddle and man handle the bike especially around the many obstacles that they will be fronted with on course.

So you’re not looking to race and you don’t like riding through sand pits? Well you still shouldn’t rule out a cross bike. They make great all rounders and if your spouse doesn’t conform to the N+1 rule, it could be the one bike to do it all. Being born from the mud, cross bikes come equipped with relatively wide tyres with low gearing which enables them to complete most trails with ease. Swap those knobbly tyres out for some smoother road tyres and you’ve basically got a burly road bike. The only potential disadvantage can be gearing, with most brands opting for a 1×11 SRAM setup, they can suffer at higher speeds on the road but given this bike is designed for racing offroad, it still proves itself to be incredibly versatile.

Cyclocross has never been more accessible with more and more races, plenty of local cycling clubs involved and our full range of 2018 Cannondale CX bikes currently on sale, grab yourself a bargain and get cross.

 

“Jack Explains”

Jack works in our Chichester store, is a fully qualified Retul Bike Fitter and whilst he rides all disciplines, it’s safe to say his heart belongs to mountain biking.

Check out Jack’s Instagram for more inspiration to get out on your bike.

Categories
Buying Guide Electric Bikes

E-Bikes Explained

 

E-Bikes, love them or hate them. They’re here to stay. Electronically assisted bikes are probably the most misunderstood topic within the cycling industry.

Why do people buy them? Who is buying them? How long does the battery last? Isn’t the weight an issue? How fast do they go?

Truth is there is no stereotypical E-biker. They are just like any other cyclist. Young, old. Experienced or inexperienced. Everyone can and does enjoy them which is part of their beauty!

E-bikes can broaden the horizon for you and smash your limitations to allow you to boldly go where you have never ridden before. For less experienced riders, it can allow them to go further. For more experienced riders, it also allows them to go further… Basically, you can ride further with less effort. That doesn’t mean it’s a free ride. You still have to pedal, all the E-bikes have a varying amount of assistance in which the ride can choose how much assistance they have. This can range from “off” to what some call “turbo”.

The battery life is a huge variable. Terrain, gear selection, rider effort, tyre choice and pressure, mode selection, rider weight and effort are just a few things that will effect the range of an E-Bike. Some brands like Shimano have got around this so called “range anxiety” by creating apps like their E-Tube Project which helps you fine tune what the motor is doing, much like a map for a car or motorcycle.

Another useful resource is the range Calculator on Bosch’s website. It enables you to input information regarding your weight, riding style, terrain and riding mode and gives you an idea to how long the battery will last. This of course, is only really applicable to Bosch powered bikes.

The bikes vary in weight a lot, especially when looking at various disciplines. For example a full suspension mountain bike in comparison to a hard tail city type bike. Once you are riding the bike with any kind of assistance on the weight pretty much disappears and only becomes apparent during slow tight manoeuvres or super steep technical off-road terrain. The only time the weight can become an issue is lifting the bike over fences or putting it in or on your car. Some brands such as Thule, have remedied this issue by producing mini ramps to load your bike easier. Avoiding roof type racks would be good move for most people.

So enough of the boring stuff, how fast do these bad boys go? Well in the UK they are restricted to 15.9mph. Which off-road, is plenty. E-bikes must also be pedal assist to avoid being classed as a motor vehicle. This means the motor only kicks in whilst the rider is pedalling. Now do you see how it’s not cheating? Inevitably, some riders will be able to ride faster than this off their own steam. That’s fine too, you can ride beyond the speed restriction of the bike. You just won’t receive any more assistance from the bike. This is why so many brands are bragging about “zero drag” systems. Because once the motor cuts out, it’s beneficial to have as little friction as possible to help you push harder.

Still confused? Why not drop us an email, call us or visit one of our stores in the south. Visit our store locator for contact details.

Here’s some inspo for you courtesy of Specialized and World Champ Peter Sagan.

“Jack Explains”

Jack works in our Chichester store, is a fully qualified Retul Bike Fitter and whilst he rides all disciplines, it’s safe to say his heart belongs to mountain biking.

Check out Jack’s Instagram for more inspiration to get out on your bike.

Categories
Featured News Reviews

Pinarello Prince Disk Review

Looking for a slightly tamer Dogma? Then the Prince Disk might be just the thing.

Since the Prince’s return to the Pinarello roster it’s pitched as a more approachable all-rounder. Compared to the more race focused Dogma F10  the Prince offers a more comfortable ride, better suited to most riders needs. That’s not to say the Prince is a slouch in anyway. When rubber meets the road the Prince performs incredibly well. When you dig in the Prince is articulate and nimble. The transfer of power is also very efficient, making the Prince super responsive. The ride is nice and stiff but never obviously jarring.  Once you ease up the everything smoothes out and the Prince becomes a fairly comfortable cruiser perfect for more leisurely rides.

 

 

The Prince shares a lot of its DNA with the Dogma f10. If fact from a distance they look very similar, both sharing the concave downtube for reducing drag when a water bottle is in situ.The forks also feature a nifty “Fork Flap” designed to smooth airflow over the dropouts.

 

 

To bring the cost down the guys Pinarello use T700 carbon  as opposed to the T1100 carbon lay-up featured on the Dogma F10. While slightly heavier the T700 makes the Prince the more durable of the two which helps solidify its position as a the go to model in the Pinarello range for people looking for a more versatile option.

 

 

The fine balancing act the Prince performs between race ready and everyday day use makes the bike definitely one to consider. Combined with the pedigree of the Pinarello brand and race proven design we highly recommend the Prince to anyone looking for an upper mid-range setup that offers a race oriented ride but isn’t a one trick pony.