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Buying Guide Clothing Kids Safety

How to choose a bike helmet for a child

The most important factor in choosing a Bike Helmet for a child is understanding the size. Once you which size helmet your child needs (discussed in a previous article here), you’ll need to decide which helmet is the right one for them. In this article, we discuss the factors that can determine which helmet you should buy for your child and why.

First of all, understanding the type of riding your child will be doing needs to be taken into account. Will they be riding their own bike, or are they going to be riding with you in a bike seat or trailer? If your kid is going to riding along in a bike seat or trailer, a helmet with a smoother, flat back will prevent it from being pushed forward on their head during a ride.

If not, you may want to consider what they’ll be using their helmet for. If in their spare time there’s a chance of them heading down the skatepark or out on a scooter then consider a skater-style helmet such as THE……. with it’s additional coverage. If it’s just days on the trails riding alongside friends and family, a traditional bike helmet like the……. will be the way to go, offering a lighter, more adjustable and breathable option. This tends to be the more common choice for most parents.

Next up you can take a look at the buckle options available. It may not seem like something you need to worry about, providing it keeps your kid safe and secure in their helmet, but it can be a big deal. A standard buckle is the classic tried and tested option, simply clip it into place and rest assured your child’s helmet is secure. Be careful not to pinch them when fastening it however as it can put them off wearing a helmet in the future if it’s a painful experience. Magnetic buckles offer a wonderful pinch-free alternative and are becoming more common on kids’ helmets.

Adjustability plays a big part in which helmet you might opt for, different manufacturers use slightly different internal adjustment systems. The most common being a traditional dial adjuster at the back of the helmet. Some will come with different size internal padding, with these you can simply swap out in removable internal pads for varying thickness pads to find the best fit. In addition to internal adjustment systems quite often you will find strap sliders, these allow you to adjust where the ‘V’ of the strap sits below the ear. Proper adjustment is essential to prevent the helmet from tilting forward or back.

Visors offer additional protection in a way that may have not even crossed your mind. Keeping the suns’ harmful rays out of kids’ eyes not only protects their eyesight, but also makes their ride a far more enjoyable experience. After all they want to see where they’re going and take in all the fantastic sights along the way!

Multiple Impact Protection System – MIPS
MIPS is offered on several of our kids’ helmets now. It’s a fantastic additional safety feature that in the worst-case allows energy from an impact to be absorbed by the helmet no matter what direction the impact is from. Studies show that MIPS can decrease risk of brain injury by up to 30%.

Some kids’ helmets even come equipped with built in lights ensuring your child stays safe and seen when riding their bike! While not all helmets feature a light most will have some reflective details for maximum visibility.

Shop our range of Kids Helmets from brands such as MET, Specialized and Troy Lee Designs to make sure your child is protected for every ride. If you need further assistance with finding the right helmet for your child visit one of our stores located in Southampton, Winchester, Chichester and Swindon.

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Buying Guide Safety

What Size Bike Helmet Does My Child Need?

Cycling is fun for all the family and getting the kids involved is one of the best ways to make sure they live an active, healthy lifestyle while enjoying endless fun. Ensuring your child wears a helmet for every ride, no matter the duration is incredibly important. Making sure their helmet fits correctly is equally as important. Not only is an ill-fitting helmet uncomfortable to wear, but it also doesn’t offer the level of protection a correctly fitting helmet will.

How to measure your child for a bike helmet.

Here we’ve put together some simple steps to ensure you find the right size helmet for your child using some very basic tools! All you need is a fabric tape measure or, if you don’t have one, you can use a piece of string.

  1. Wrap the tape measure (or string) around your child’s head, about an inch above the eyebrows. Make sure the tape measure is level all the way round!
  2. Take the measurement (in cm) from here. If you used a piece of string mark or cut where the string overlaps and measure the length with a ruler.

Checking the helmet fits

Now you have the measurement of your child’s head you can determine which helmet your child needs. All of our Kid’s helmets have a handy size chart to tell you the size range in cm. Once you’ve got the helmet just run through these basic checks to ensure it’s the perfect fit!

  1. Pop the helmet on. It should cover most of the forehead with just enough space for your middle and forefinger together directly above the eyebrows. 
  2. Adjust the dial on the helmet to ensure there isn’t too much side-to-side or back-to-front movement. If your child can shake their head without the helmet moving, great job just make sure it’s not too tight. If you can fit a full finger between the back of their head and the helmet, then it’s too loose.
  3. Then, adjust the straps to ensure they fit evenly and snug. Make sure your child can still open their mouth comfortably and that the straps are properly placed around their ears.
  4. Gently push the helmet backward, and then for forward to ensure it’s nice and secure.

Adjusting as they grow

It’s good practice to check on the fitment of your kid’s helmet from time to time. As they ride the straps may loosen and you want to make sure they’re always properly protected. Equally, as they grow you may find you need to adjust the straps and dial to accommodate for this. Just remember all the steps above and you’ll keep riding happily and safely!

Shop our range of Kids Helmets and make sure your child is protected for every ride.

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Buying Guide Protection Safety

Bike Helmets – How to Find Your Size

How to fit a cycle helmet

No matter what type of cyclist you are, whatever age, safety should be your top priority. The humble bicycle helmet is the one bit of safety gear that transcends all cycling disciplines and skill levels. For such a relatively simple thing it’s undoubtedly one of the most important and can quite literally be a lifesaver. Even with the best will in the world sometimes accidents happen, and when they do it’s crucial that you have the right helmet that fits correctly. Here’s are guide on how to get the perfect fit when choosing a helmet.

Measuring up

Before you start to look around for a new helmet we recommend you measure your head (or the head of the person you’re buying for). Almost all helmet manufacturers size their helmets based on the circumference of the wearers head. This measurement is taken from just above the eyebrows and around the back of the head at its largest point.

When it comes to taking the measurement you’re going to want to use a fabric or flexible tape measure. If you don’t have a flexible tape don’t worry. You can use something like a piece of string to mark the length then measure against a ruler or non flexible tape measure.

You want to have your measuring device about 2 inches above your eyebrows and around the widest part of your head to take your measurement.

Try a few out

When selecting your new helmet we recommend trying a few out. The one that you initially think looks good might not feel the most comfortable. Comfort is incredibly important, you’re going to be wearing your helmet everytime you ride so you want it to feel right. Some helmets may be the same size as others on the packaging or label but feel completely different when they’re on, so it may take some trial and error before you find the perfect fit for you.

If you can pop in to your nearest Hargroves Cycles then trying out a few options isn’t a problem. For our online customers we now offer free returns with helmet purchases so you can get the helmet that fits you best.

If you aren’t sure which brand to choose or which cycling helmet is best for your riding style, then check out our other Helmet Buyer’s Guides.

Adjustment

Most helmets will have a couple of points of adjustment to aid with comfort and more importantly to keep you safe. Once you have found the right helmet adjust the straps and rear adjuster until the helmet feels secure but isn’t too tight.

Make sure the the helmet covers the majority of your forehead. If you put your index and middle finger together and sit them above your eyebrow that should be where the helmet should sit.

Next, twist the adjuster at the back of the helmet if there is one. The helmet should feel comfortable and neither too tight or too loose.

Do the same with the chin strap. The chin strap should be comfortable on both your face and chin and shouldn’t cut or dig in anywhere – the helmet is too small or the strap is too tight if this happens. The V of the straps should also sit around your ears – if these are on top of your ears, then you’ll need to adjust the straps again or get the next size up.

Test the Fit

Once the helmet feels comfortable it is time to test the fit. Push the helmet forwards and backwards as well as side to side. If the helmet can move in any direction more than about an inch, it needs to be adjusted again or it could be too large. The helmet should be able to move a bit, if it doesn’t move at all it’s probably too tight. If everything seems ok then you should be good to go. We do recommend checking the adjustment of your helmet regularly to make sure things haven’t loosened overtime. 

If your helmet gets damaged or is involved in an accident you should always replace it as the safety of a helmet can be compromised by any damage it has sustained. 

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Bikes Buying Guide Featured Mountain Mountain Bikes News Reviews

The Santa Cruz Bronson is back and it’s rocking a new haircut…

Santa Cruz are a firm favourite amongst our customers as well as the team here at Hargroves Cycles. Just seeing those letters on any downtube envokes child-like giddiness from even our most seasoned members of staff. Their Bronson is a particular favourite thanks to the breadth of versatility it enjoys. Don’t put Bronson in the corner, chances are it’ll ride out of it and whoever’s onboard is bound to grinning ear-to-ear. With news of the 2022 4th generation Santa Cruz Bronson’s arrival you’ll be in no doubt of the buzz around the place when we realised we were going to be lucky enough to get our hands on one for release day. Here we take a look at the all-new bike in a bit more detail and what makes it so special, other than that glorious ‘Paydirt Gold and Grey’ paintwork.

When the Santa Cruz Bronson arrived back in 2013 along with it’s trademark 150mm travel it signaled the start of Santa Cruz’s 27.5″ wheeled journey. Fast-forward eight years and they’ve gone all business at the front, party at the back (don’t call it mullet though) with a mixed wheel size set up. Keep things fun and stylish in the rear thanks to the 27.5″ wheel while the now 29″ front wheel helps you roll into and over everything. The 160mm fork might assist with that a little bit too. That means roosting mad loam for the ‘gram with all-new levels of confidence has never been easier. The new Bronson promises to be super responsive at the back for turning and lifting while giving more traction and stability upfront than ever before.

To match the new wheel setup Santa Cruz has introduced all-new geometry for the Bronson meaning there’s enough room to run any coil or air shock. The 150mm VPP travel is more than enough travel to handle any situation while the design ensures no energy is wasted while you’re climbing. Clearance for up to a 2.6″ rear tyre and 223mm rear brake disc rotor takes care of the traction and stopping. All this equates to a bike that you can roll out of the shed without worrying about the type of riding you’ll be doing, it’s the best of all worlds!

The carbon frame is not only stunning but also supported by a lifetime warranty so you can ride safe in the knowledge Santa Cruz will repair or replace determined to be defective in materials or workmanship. Oh there’s crash replacement support too! Santa Cruz’s push for sustainability is real and we certainly admire that “Why scrap a frame when a simple bearing service can make one last a lifetime?” We couldn’t agree more. All of this paired with some super trick details such as mud flap to protect the rear shock, internal cable routing, rubberized DT protectors to handle knocks and threaded BB keep things super serviceable.

The 2022 Santa Cruz Bronson sits well placed within their range of bikes as a solid longer travel all-rounder. Available in a range of well-equipped guises and two striking colour options in the form of Paydirt Gold or Gloss Moss you’ll certainly get some admiring glances on the trail whether it be going full send on the way down or pedaling up as you cruise past the energy-sapping Enduro rig riding crew!

Shop our range of Santa Cruz Bikes available online and in any of our Hargroves Cycles stores to see what we have in-stock. Whether it’s a massive travel downhill machine, enduro, all mountain full-suspension, hardtail cross country mountain bike or gravel/cx bike you’re after, Santa Cruz have you covered.

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Bikes Buying Guide Electric Bikes Featured Hot Products Mountain Bikes News

Specialized Kenevo SL

“No e-MTB is lighter and more capable.”

A bold claim indeed from Specialized. Following up on the arrival of last years’ Levo SL, Specialized have released the all-new Kenevo SL and we had our hands on one of the Expert models for release day.

At the time of release the Levo SL was a stand-out bike, being one of the lightest electric mountain bikes available, based around the Stumpjumper and weighing just 38 pounds. Building on this technology Specialized has gone one better, taking the ever-popular Enduro and electrifying it with their 240 Watt Turbo Super Light system to create the Kenevo SL. Weighing in at just 40.9 lb (for the size S4 S-works model) this thing is super light (get it) and only 8 pounds heavier than a standard, non-electric Enduro, or 12 lb less than the Turbo Kenevo.

While the S-Works Kenevo SL is the range-topping model, we got our hands on the Kenevo SL Expert version, which still packs one mighty punch, especially in the Gloss Brassy Yellow colourway! The frameset at a glance is frighteningly recognisable, you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for the current Enduro, the Kenevo SL boasts a few tricks up it’s sleeve however in comparison with its fully pedal-powered equivalent.

The Turbo Super Light motor and 320Wh battery are fully integrated in the chassis to improve handling responsiveness while allowing for up to 4.5 hours of rider support, which makes for some serious shred time. Allowing for a pedaling cadence of 75 RPM or more you can seamlessly control the power delivery via the Handlebar remote while keeping a close eye on things thanks to the MasterMind TCU display perfectly placed on the top tube, with customisable display fields.

Specialized equipped the Kenevo SL with adjustable Geometry too, six distinct settings allow you to tune the bike to handle just how you like it. This thing really is built to be ridden over or down pretty much anything. With 170mm of fully usable travel mean elevated ride quality on the trail. Specialized put it quite simply, they’ve never made a more adjustable and adaptable trail bike. Let alone one that essentially doubles your pedaling output! Frame sizes are based around Specialized’s S-Sizing system which accounts for rider size and style rather than inseam. When selecting which size to go for you can choose that which best suits your individual style, smaller sizes are more nimble and playful while bigger account for a roomier, more stable ride. All sizes have fairly short seat tubes which make it easier for riders to size up or down depending on which they prefer.

The Kenevo SL Expert model is well equipped, there’s not a single component that hasn’t been carefully selected and well thought out. SRAM’s superb X01 Eagle 12-speed groupset with 10-52T cassette gives a 520% gear range ensuring efficiency on even the most brutal climbs. 1x components mean Eagle is lighter, more durable and easier to use than ever. You could even upgrade to wireless shifting using one of SRAM’s GX Eagle AXS wireless upgrade kits should you want an even more simplistic approach.

FOX Float X Performance 170mm forks paired with a FOX Float X Performance shock ensure travel is supple on small bumps while remaining super capable when the trail gets tough. 29″ Wheels front and rear still deliver a ride that’s nimble while optimizing traction and control. The Specialized Butcher GRID TRAIL front and Eliminator GRID TRAIL rear 29×2.6″ tyres make sure of this. SRAM Code RS 4-piston brakes keep everything well under control when descending and the 220/200mm rotors certainly help. The X-Fusion manic dropper post allows for extra room in that area as and when it’s required. Specialized really did pour some serious hours into developing this bike and it shows!

Specialized’s Kenevo SL Expert is available now, in extremely limited numbers. You can also shop our full range of Specialized Turbo E-Bikes here!

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Buying Guide Clothing Clothing Hot Products News

Castelli Spring Summer 2021 Range

This weekend the weather took a turn in the right direction, the leg warmers are well and truly off! With the arrival of the sunshine, we thought we’d take a look at some of the highlights of Castelli’s 2021 Spring/Summer range. With technology developed alongside the Ineos Grenadiers trickling down across the whole range, Castelli creates products that not only perform at the very highest level but that look good while doing so. With comfort and style in mind, Castelli SS21 collection sees updates to some of the Italian brand’s best-loved kit along with all-new cycling bib shorts, jerseys and accessories. Here we walk you through some of the key pieces for Men and Women.

Men’s Competitiione Bib Short
The Competizione is a premium bibshort in look and feel. The sort of thing that’s ideal to pull on for a Sunday club ride but is equally at home being raced in. When you’re pinning on a number you need kit that you can forget about and simply concentrate on the road in front of you, the Competizione lets you do just that. The Giro4 leg gripper features silicone stripes to help lock the legs in place, this technology along with the Vortex textured fabric comes straight from Castelli’s top-of-the-line Free Aero Race 4 bibshort. Other features include a KISS Air2 chamois, flat-lock stitching and breathable mesh straps.

Women’s Prima Bibshort
Castelli understands how hard it is to get one of the most important pieces of cycling clothing right. With the Prima bibshort they’ve taken their obsession of making the perfect bibshort and packaged it into an entry-level short in terms of price with a zero-compromise approach in terms of performance. From the Women’s specific KISS Air2 chamois to the Pro Dry Soft material the Prima bibshort has a premium look and feel. Ride this short all summer long then take it indoors to the trainer come the colder months. If you’re looking for your ideal Women’s specific, Summer Road Cycling bibshort the Prima is exactly that!

Men’s Rapido Jersey
Featuring a striking graphic comprising of lines and fades, this is a jersey that not only looks fast, it performs at the highest level. Utilising Strada micromesh fabric with a 7% Lycra content the Rapido jersey is designed to fit without being overly tight making it suitable for all body shapes. With an easy on/off full-length zip and Tailwind dimpled fabric on the shoulders, side panels and pockets, the Rapido is the perfect all-day Summer jersey.

Women’s Gradient Jersey
Based on Castelli’s long-distance Squadra jersey that you may be familiar with, the Gradient jersey is designed to keep you comfortable mile after mile. Featuring ProSecco Micromesh fabric to help wick moisture away with breathable mesh side panels, the Gradient jersey provides a great close-to-body fit ideal for long days on the bike we all dream of.

Men’s Classifica Jersey
The Men’s Classifica jersey oozes style. Slip this jersey on for your next training ride and as you clock up the miles you’re bound to turn heads for all the right reasons. Offering supreme comfort, the micro-piqué knit fabric offers moisture management and has a super-soft feel. With a close-to-body fit that offers slightly more room then Castelli’s race kit, the Classifica jersey offers as much style at the cafe stop as it does performance on the bike.