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Maintenance News Parts And Accessories Safety

Fixing a puncture on the road

Let us get back to basics. Changing a tyre and/or fixing a puncture is something that every cyclist, no matter how experienced, will have to face at some point. You may have the best tyres, do your utmost to avoid potholes and meticulously prune your tyres for undesirable objects, however, the day will come where you have to come to terms with the fact that you have a puncture. Maybe you’ve cycled over a carelessly disposed glass bottle or caught the end of a spiked vine, whatever the case you’ll start to feel as if the bike has suddenly become almost… sluggish, as if it’s somehow consumed a good few pints. You survey your surroundings, eyeing your tyres suspiciously, trying to determine whether it is, in fact, a puncture or you just didn’t pump your tyres up pre-ride. Then the moment comes when you finally concede to the reality that your slowly losing air. At this point (post swearing), it’s best to find a safe spot to pull over and set about fixing the thorn in your side (or tyre).

Now, if you’re the type of cyclist that prepares an ’emergency kit’ prior to heading out, you will have a full puncture repair kit which consists of – tyre levers, a piece of chalk/crayon, a spare inner tube, puncture patches, glue, sandpaper and a pump/co2 canister. But for argument’s sake, let’s say you have no spare tube, so you’re resigned to fixing the puncture and continuing on the same tube. While tyre levers are not a necessity for removing a tyre, it certainly helps and keeps your fingers from getting sore, we’re going to assume that you have a pair.

Getting your bike set

Puncture in the rear? Make sure you change gears until you’re in the small ring at the back (this is better for your bike when you remove the wheel). Then flip the bike upside down, this isn’t essential but helps considering you’re riding solo. Make sure it’s rested on the saddle and handlebars.

Removing the wheel

If you have rim brakes you may have to undo your brake to remove the tyre. Sidepull brakes have a little lever on the calliper that opens the brake further. With V-brakes, the J-shaped metal ‘noodle’ unhooks from the yoke. With cantilever brakes, the cable unhooks from one brake arm. If you’ve got disc brakes, you don’t have to do anything. Remove the wheel by undoing the quick release and pulling the wheel smoothly out, if it’s a rear-wheel, pull the derailleur back out of the way and lift the wheel up and out.

Tyre off and innertube out

Insert the first tyre lever under the edge of the tyre (the bead) and work it off the rim. Either hold this lever or slot the end behind a spoke. Insert the second tyre lever about 10cm away on the same side. Lever up the bead, then run the second lever around the rim, lifting off the tyre completely on one side only. This may take a few tries to get it right. Remove the valve cap and locking ring, if any, then remove the tube.

Finding the puncture, fixing the puncture

If you’re…erm…lucky! You’ll be able to see the offending hole that caused the puncture, however, it might not be so easy. The best bet is to pump up the tube and move the tube around listening carefully for a soft hissing sound. When you think you’ve found it place a finger over the hole and feel for the releasing air, mark the hole with a cross using the chalk/crayon and grab the sandpaper. Rough up the area and spread the glue over an area that’s larger than the patch with your finger, and then leave it to dry for at least five minutes. Don’t do anything else until it’s totally dry – otherwise, you won’t fix your puncture. Peel off the foil backing, apply the patch, making sure it’s centred over the hole. Press down firmly for a minute, and then remove the backing, being careful not to lift the edges of the patch. Inflate the tube and make sure there’s no air escaping, if there’s a hole under one edge of the patch, remove it and start again. You’ll need to roughen the tube more thoroughly, and let the glue dry for longer.

Check the tyre, check the tyre, check the tyre

CHECK THE TYRE. I for one have experienced the sheer frustration of fixing my puncture, putting everything back together only to ride 500m down the road and get another puncture because I hadn’t removed the original culprit. Run your fingers carefully inside the tyre to see if the sharp object is still there. If so, remove it – a knife helps. If you don’t find anything, feel around the rest of the tyre just in case. Hopefully, it’s already fallen out.

Putting it all back together

Place the inner tube back in the wheel with it half-inflated. This will help the process of putting the tyre back on the wheel and not catching the inner tube between the tyre and rim – something which will save you time and the frustration of another blown tube. Work your way around the tyre, holding one hand at a point and working the tyre into the rim. If your tyre is being stubborn turn the tyre levers over and leverage the tyre back over the rim, being careful not to pinch the inner tube against the rim. After some exasperating noises and lots of elbow grease, you’ll have it back in place ready to pump up and put your wheel back on.

This is the best way to fix a puncture on a commute. A brand new inner tube will have your bike good to go again in no time (no need to take into a shop for a service). However, there may be times where you get a puncture and you don’t have a new inner tube on you.

Disaster averted, following these easy steps you’ll be a master of changing a tyre or fixing an inner tube in no time. Saves those embarrassing phone calls to the other half or best friend, begging for a lift ‘Yeah, you know the roundabout near the layby? The one near that place we had a roast in once? Erm, you know the one, it had the dead badger on the road?’ Nah, neither do we.

To view our range of puncture repair kits: https://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/puncture-repair

Categories
Components Maintenance News Parts And Accessories

How to index your bike’s gears

No cyclist should have to put up with gears that are slow to shift up and down their cassette. We all know how to change gears, but how many of us know how to maintain them? Today’s post is going to help you bid adieu to your clicking and ticking gears. Indexing gears may seem tricky and the job for a bike shop, however, after this guide you’ll be mastering the mech like a pro.

Know Your Limits

Before we begin its important to check the limit screws – you’ll find these at the rear of the mech, two small screws, often marked with ‘L’ and ‘H’.

The limit screws determine the full range of movement of the derailleur. They stop the chain from falling off the inside of your cassette, and potentially into your spokes (no one wants that) or to stop the chain falling off the outside of the cassette, towards your frame.

To check your limit screws you have to:

  1. Shift the gears so that you are in the smallest sprocket in the rear derailleur.
  2. By hand, push the mech all the way up toward the wheel until it reaches its full range of motion. Don’t push beyond this point or you can and will damage it. Make sure that the mech is directly beneath the biggest sprocket.
  3. Slowly release the mech and check that it lines up perfectly with the smallest sprocket of the cassette.
  4. If the mech isn’t lining up perfectly with either the biggest or smallest sprockets, you need to adjust your limit screws. Depending on the make and age of your mech, this is typically carried out with either a crosshead or Phillips head screwdriver. We have plenty of multi-tools that includes both of these.
  5. You now need to adjust the limit screws so that the mech lines up perfectly at either end of the cassette.
  6. Adjust the ‘H’ screw to adjust the mech when the bike is shifted down to the smallest sprocket. Tune this up until the chain is perfectly in line with the small sprocket.
  7. Turn the ‘L’ screw to adjust the mech when the bike is shifted up to the biggest sprocket. Tune this up until the chain is perfectly in line with the large sprocket.
  8. Hey presto, the limit screws are now correctly set.

Tune it up

Now that you have your limit screws where you want them, its time to tune the indexing of your bike’s rear mech. To do this we must now use the small barrel adjuster, it’s usually located near the shifter or on the derailleur. Road bikes often have an inline barrel adjuster on the cable. It increases or decreases the tension on the cable, which in turn alters how the mech moves up and down the cassette.

  1. Change your gears so that the chain is running on the small chainring at the front and the smallest sprocket of the cassette.
  2. Shift up the cassette (towards the biggest sprocket) and observe how well the chain is moving up and down. You may notice that it takes some time for the chain to get into the next sprocket, or doesn’t shift at all. If your gears are shifting ‘slow’ you will need to turn the barrel adjuster counterclockwise (as you look on it from the back of the bike) until the shift is smooth. Rotating the adjuster counterclockwise effectively moves the entire mech toward the wheel.
  3. From there work your way up the cassette while still in the small ring, making small adjustments with the barrel adjuster as you go until the shifts are all perfect. Turn the adjuster clockwise if you need to move the mech away from the wheel.
  4. When you’re happy that you’ve achieved smooth, fast shifting through the gears when you’re in the small chainring, go through steps 2 to 3 while on the big chainring at the front.
  5. When you’ve completed all the steps you should find your gears running as smooth as they did when the bike was new.

Categories
Bikes Buying Guide Featured News Parts And Accessories

A beginner’s guide to bike pedals

As one of your three main contact points on a bike, pedals are a vital part to consider when building your dream machine. But with many different types out there, all designed for different disciplines, choosing the ones most suited to you can get a little complicated.

Do you opt for flats or clipless? Shimano or DMR? The pedal market can be an absolute nightmare for newcomers. Fear not, however, for we’ve put together this handy beginner’s guide to teach you the art of selecting the perfect pair of pedals.

Step 1: Choosing the right type of pedals

Many of you may have clicked on this guide to learn which pedals are the best for saving weight, improving performance or generating more grip against your shoe, but before we get into all that technical jargon we first need to identify – quite simply – what type of pedal is best suited to your kind of riding.

If you’re focused on doing lots of climbing or you feel like you want to race your bike, then you’re going to want to dive straight into the clipless pedal market. These pedals, sometimes referred to as ‘clip-ins’, securely attach your feet to the pedals, offering increased control over the bike and better power transfer. It’s a confusing name, so try to remember that in this case, ‘clipless’ actually means ‘clipped in’. And if you’re wondering why this is the case, it’s all thanks to the traditional old-fashioned toe-clips – they’re ‘clipless’ in reference to the lack of toe-clips rather than the clipping together of cleat and pedal.

Clipless pedals will also ensure that your feet are always aligned in the correct position over the pedal axle, enabling more effective power transfer through the pedals and helping you go faster.

Clipless pedals work via a spring mechanism in the pedal that allows you to ‘clip’ the cleats – handy bits of plastic or aluminium securely fastened to the base of your shoe – in and out of the pedals. Most clipless pedal systems are simple to master, just push your toe forward into the pedal and then press down with the ball of your foot until you hear an ever-so-satisfying ‘click’. To take your foot out, simply twist your heel outwards (away from the bike) until the cleat releases. 

MTB-specific clipless pedals look a little different to road-specific clipless pedals – they’re more compact and often not as aerodynamic. One of their main advantages over road-specific clipless pedals, however, is that they’re double-sided, allowing you to clip straight back in with ease.

Flat pedals, or ‘flats’ as they’re more commonly known in the industry, are the kind you most likely had on your first bike. These are the perfect pedals for the more chilled out riders among you, those who aren’t worried about efficient power transfer or perfect ‘above-pedal-axle’ positioning.

Flats are especially good for those MTBers who regularly find themselves riding dicey downhill trails. Flats give you what most clipless MTB pedals cannot: a large stable platform that allows you to move your feet around. Moving your feet helps you to shift your weight around the bike, an essential skill when it comes to riding technical downhill terrain. There may also be moments when knowing you can put your foot down without warning can prove immensely reassuring, for instance, to steady yourself over leaf-strewn trails or on particularly sketchy corners. All that being said, while traditionally, elite downhill racers might not have used clipless (because the amount of pedalling in DH is minimal), even they are moving onto clipless now in pursuit of more speed and stability.

If you really want to nerd out, check this video from Pinkbike where some of the Enduro World Series’ professional riders talk through their own pedal/shoe setups.

Step 2: Key features to look out for

When it comes to MTB-specific clipless pedals most riders opt for sturdier and more robust materials, like aluminium. Pedals with a large degree of mud-clearance are also preferable because you’re going to be throwing up a lot of dirt as you rag your bike around the trails, particularly in the wetter winter months. The DMR V-Twin offers a really nice ‘goldilocks zone’ between the wide platform of a flat pedal and the security and control of a clipless. Ideal, particularly if you accidentally unclip, then struggle to clip back in. You’ll still have plenty of pedal to play with as you push through the technical stuff.

For flat pedals, the more contact area the better. Look for low-profile broad platforms with lots of little pins which will really help you secure your shoes against the surface of the pedal and maintain traction. The Shimano Saint M828 is a truly epic flat MTB pedal that’ll give you loads of grip and control over the bike. 

Step 3: Don’t forget the cleats

If you’ve chosen to go down the clipless route, you’re going to need a pair of cleats. These are pieces of plastic, or aluminium, that attach to the base of your shoe and allow you to clip into your clipless pedals.

You can purchase cleats with differing degrees of ‘float’. Float refers to the amount of lateral rotation you can make once the cleat is clipped into the pedal. For a super-tight and power-efficient bond, go for a small degree of float. If you’re worried about clipping in and out, or just need to give your joints a little bit of wiggle room, opt for a larger degree of float. 

One last thing to remember: Most MTB-specific clipless pedals use a two-bolt system, while road-specific ones us a three-bolt system, so make sure you select the right ones for the pedals you’ve chosen!

Be sure to check out our full range of pedals by clicking here.

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Accessories Featured Hot Products News Parts And Accessories Reviews

Garmin Edge 1030 Rider Review

  • I’m going to cover some of the main things that stood out about the Edge 1030 but there are so many more features that I haven’t touched upon. It’s just got too many features to feasibly talk about in a short(ish) review!

Size

It took me some time to get used to the size of the Edge 1030. I had previously been using an Edge 820 and an Edge 500 before that so the increase in size seemed like quite a lot at first. However, after a few uses I got used to the size of it and actually found the bigger screen size to be useful. Data screens were clearer and also, I could see the time at the top of the screen without having to bend forwards and squint whilst riding along. This also has benefits for when you are using the unit for mapping. I would say that I wouldn’t use the unit for racing as I feel it would be a bit too big and look a bit out of place on a race bike but for someone who doesn’t race and wants to be able to see lots of data screens and big maps it’s a great size.

Touchscreen

The touchscreen on this device is very good and very responsive. It is also much clearer than the Edge 820 I had previously been using. It’s a known fact that the touchscreen on the Edge 820 can be at times be a little slow to respond. With the Edge 1030 however, this wasn’t the case. Each press is responded to very quickly and moving around the menus and between screens is very quick. It also doesn’t require a hard press, just a gentle press or flick. With auto brightness on the visibility of the screen is great no matter what conditions you are riding in. I have ridden with it on dreary winter daysand hot blue-sky days and anything in between and I have always been able to see the screen perfectly.

Battery

One of my disappointments with my previous smaller Garmin devices has been battery life. Often if I head out for a day and require maps on to follow a route I will be crossing my fingers by the end of the ride hoping that the battery isn’t going to go. The battery life on the Edge 1030 is amazing, Obviously the unit is bigger but the increase in amount of battery life is far greater than the increase in size from the smaller Garmin units. I took this unit on a cycling holiday to Monaco where we were out from 9am until 7pm, each day I had a route on the go and the device connected to my phone via Bluetooth. I don’t think the battery was on anything less than 45%. For people who do a lot of touring or maybe go away cycling for a weekend without the ability to charge things, this device will comfortably see you through two days of riding if not more! There is also a battery pack which can be piggybacked on to the Edge 1030 which will give you battery life in the region of 24+ hours!

Maps

As you would expect the maps on the Edge 1030 are the best across all the Garmin devices. The maps on my Edge 820 are very good and it’s one of the reasons I bought the unit in the first place as it provided detailed maps but on a compact unit. On the Edge 1030 you just get extra details like off road trails and footpaths. This would be great for people who ride off road or do rides which are both on and off road as tracks are clear to see coming off roads and then rejoining. The navigation is also very good and turn by turn is very accurate. The increase in size of screen coupled with the extra detail also mean it is very easy to follow a route. I often come across sections of rides where there are lots of roads coming off a main road, in a town centre for example. With the Edge 1030 it is very easy to see which turn you need to take without having to bend forwards to get closer to the unit. The unit comes loaded with full European maps at the same detail as the roads on the UK maps. This was great when I used the unit in France on unfamiliar roads riding through the outskirts of Nice not really knowing where I was going. The maps were clear enough for me to be able to focus on the traffic around me and still be able to navigate with a brief glance every now and then. The Edge 1030 effectively is as good as a satnav; addresses can be put in and navigated to if you find yourself lost or just want the device to plot a route to a friend’s house for you. The type of roads used and route plotting options can be customised to suit your needs. When scrolling around the map to check to see ahead on a route you have plotted, the map loads very quickly if not instantly. Some previous units took a while for the tiles to load but on the Edge 1030 there is no delay.

Performance Data

Along with all the usual data fields that most GPS units record these days, the Edge 1030 takes this to another level. It’s the ultimate training device. When coupled with a HR monitor and power meter it’s the perfect training partner and will no doubt help you to achieve those long-term training goals. At the end of each ride you are informed of various stats to do with your performance. One of these is a number on a scale of 1 to 5 of how much you are improving/working aerobic and anaerobic systems. This can be really handy depending on what type of session you are aiming to do and also helps you to understand your sessions. It will also inform you if you are overreaching which is good for preventing injuries or fatiguing yourself preventing sustained periods of training. It will also suggest a recovery time from the session, however I have found this to be more a recovery time to fully recover from that session or if back to back sessions the past two sessions.

“a virtual coach guiding you to greater things on the bike”

The device can also auto calculate your FTP if used with a power meter. This may take a few sessions for it to gather the data. This can be helpful if you don’t often do/don’t want to do a specific FTP test but have done a hard ride. Power is then combined with HR (make sure to set max HR) to give you an estimated FTP. At the start of rides the device will also give you a performance conditions number, again out of 5. This is an indication of how fit/fresh you are based on HR and power from previous rides and how that compares to the current ride. This is great on long rides as this is tracked for the duration of the ride and can be seen on a graph in the Garmin Connect app. I found that generally performance condition decreases as the ride went on which is what you would expect as you got more fatigued. This can be useful if you head out to do a hard interval session but have done quite a few back to back sessions and can see your performance condition is bad. In this case it would probably be more useful to do an easier ride. Without the performance condition feature you may over-train which is obviously detrimental in the long run.

These are just a few examples of what this unit can do with performance data and statistics but the list goes on and on. It really is a fantastic device for aiding training and could be regarded as a virtual coach guiding you to greater things on the bike.

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Categories
Buying Guide Parts And Accessories

​Beat​ ​The​ ​British​ ​Winter:​ ​Best​ ​Weatherproof​ ​Accessories

While​ ​British​ ​winter​ ​means​ ​plummeting​ ​temperatures,​ ​darkness​ ​during​ ​rush-hour​ ​and​ ​wet  paths​ ​and​ ​roads;​ ​the​ ​right​ ​bike​ ​accessories​ ​will​ ​keep​ ​you​ ​rubber​ ​side​ ​down,​ ​relatively​ ​safe  and​ ​dry,​ ​and​ ​smiling.​ ​And​ ​while​ ​there​ ​are​ ​many​ ​types​ ​of​ ​cyclist,​ ​there’s​ ​one​ ​thing​ ​that’s​ ​true  for​ ​us​ ​all​ ​–​ ​bike​ ​weatherproofing​ ​is​ ​critical​ ​for​ ​enjoyment​ ​and​ ​crucial​ ​for​ ​winter​ ​cycling​ ​safety.

BE​ ​SAFE​ ​BE​ ​SEEN

Top​ ​of​ ​your​ ​winter​ ​list​ ​should​ ​be​ ​quality​ ​lights,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Exposure​ ​Strada​ ​1200,  £289.95,​ ​is​ ​a​ ​well-specced​ ​light​ ​from​ ​a​ ​brand​ ​you​ ​can​ ​rely​ ​on.​ ​Its​ ​1200​ ​lumens​ ​output  combines​ ​a​ ​flat-pattern​ ​beam​ ​that​ ​lights​ ​up​ ​dark,​ ​rural​ ​roads​ ​without​ ​dazzling​ ​drivers.

For​ ​something​ ​even​ ​brighter,​ ​CatEye’s​ ​Volt​ ​6000,​ ​£700,​ ​turns​ ​night​ ​into​ ​day with​ ​a​ ​whopping​ ​6000​ ​lumens.​ ​At​ ​100g​ ​it’s​ ​incredibly​ ​lightweight​ ​for​ ​its​ ​power​ ​while​ ​the​ ​wired  unit​ ​comes​ ​with​ ​a​ ​wireless​ ​remote​ ​switch​ ​for​ ​control​ ​from​ ​the​ ​bars.​ ​More​ ​options​ ​including all-important​ ​rear​ ​lights​ ​here.​

RUBBER​ ​SIDE​ ​DOWN

You’ll​ ​need​ ​a​ ​quality​ ​pair​ ​of​ ​winter​ ​tyres​ ​for​ ​traction​ ​when​ ​the​ ​going​ ​gets​ ​rough.​ ​Specialized’s All​ ​Condition​ ​Armadillo​ ​Elite​ ​II​,​ ​£40,​ ​is​ ​a​ ​road​ ​tyre​ ​with​ ​a​ ​tread​ ​pattern  designed​ ​for​ ​superior​ ​grip​ ​in​ ​wet​ ​conditions,​ ​and​ ​delivers​ ​both​ ​impressive​ ​rolling​ ​speed​ ​and  puncture​ ​resistance.

For​ ​your​ ​CX​ ​or​ ​gravel​ ​bike,​ ​Challenge​ ​Grifo​ ​Pro​ ​32C, £21.99,​ ​is​ ​ready​ ​for​ ​the​ ​worst​ ​of​ ​winter​ ​and​ ​a​ ​great​ ​tyre​ ​for​ ​races​​ ​and​ ​commutes​ ​alike.

For​ ​MTB,​ ​Specialized’s​ ​Storm​ ​Control,​ ​available​ ​in​ ​multiple​ ​sizes​ ​from​ ​£35,​ ​are  made​ ​with​ ​soft​ ​rubber​ ​compounds​ ​that​ ​are​ ​root-and-rock-ready,​ ​and​ ​their​ ​well-spaced knobbles​ ​make​ ​light​ ​work​ ​of​ ​winter​ ​debris.

KEEP​ ​IT​ ​CLEAN
Don’t​ ​let​ ​filthy​ ​roads​ ​ruin​ ​your​ ​fun.​ ​Mudguards​ ​are​ ​your​ ​ticket​ ​to​ ​a​ ​comfortable​ ​ride​ ​thanks​ ​to  their​ ​ability​ ​to​ ​shield​ ​you,​ ​and​ ​those​ ​around​ ​you,​ ​from​ ​swathes​ ​of​ ​flying​ ​muck​ ​and​ ​water.​ ​SKS  Hybrid​ ​Black​ ​700c​ ​35mm​ ​mudguards,​ ​are​ ​a​ ​stainless​ ​steel​ ​pair​ ​for​ ​£39.99;​ ​full  length​ ​for​ ​maximum​ ​protection.

No​ ​mounts​ ​or​ ​lacking​ ​clearance?​ ​No​ ​problem​ ​–​ ​racier​ ​frames​ ​can​ ​be​ ​winter​ ​adapted​ ​with​ ​a  SKS​ ​Raceblade​ ​set,​ ​​£39.99,​ ​chromoplastic​ ​guards​ ​that​ ​come​ ​with​ ​an​ ​adaptor for​ ​aero​ ​forks.​ ​They’re​ ​light​ ​at​ ​250g,​ ​aerodynamic,​ ​and​ ​serve-up​ ​excellent​ ​spray​ ​protection​ ​to  keep​ ​you​ ​dry​ ​–​ ​and​ ​are​ ​perennial​ ​favourites​ ​on​ ​the​ ​club​ ​run.

GET​ ​THE​ ​EDGE
Getting​ ​lost​ ​in​ ​the​ ​cold​ ​is​ ​no​ ​fun.​ ​Garmin​ ​Edge​ ​1030​ ​will​ ​take​ ​you​ ​far​ ​and  wide,​ ​and​ ​on​ ​track,​ ​for​ ​£549.​ ​With​ ​a​ ​large​ ​3.5in​ ​colour​ ​touchscreen​ ​and​ ​20-hour​ ​battery​ ​life,​ ​it
comes​ ​equipped​ ​with​ ​billions​ ​of​ ​miles​ ​of​ ​rider​ ​data​ ​to​ ​show​ ​you​ ​the​ ​best​ ​routes​ ​on​ ​and​ ​off  road,​ ​turn-by-turn​ ​navigation,​ ​address​ ​search​ ​function​ ​and​ ​smart​ ​connectivity​ ​alongside​ ​all​ ​the  data​ ​basics​ ​you’d​ ​expect​ ​–​ ​it​ ​packs​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​into​ ​just​ ​123g.

With​ ​your​ ​bike​ ​ready,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​right​ ​winter​ ​clothing​ ​​to​ ​keep​ ​you​ ​warm,​ ​dry  and​ ​seen​ ​–​ ​just​ ​add​ ​determination.​ ​Whether​ ​it’s​ ​entering​ ​an​ ​event​ ​to​ ​get​ ​you​ ​out​ ​on​ ​a​ ​winter  weekend,​ ​devising​ ​a​ ​training​ ​plan​ ​or​ ​teaming​ ​up​ ​with​ ​a​ ​commuting​ ​buddy,​ ​come​ ​next​ ​summer  you’ll​ ​be​ ​pleased​ ​you​ ​cycled​ ​this​ ​winter.

Categories
Buying Guide Parts And Accessories

How​ ​to​ ​Choose​ ​Bike​ ​Lights​ ​-​ ​the​ ​Best​ ​LED​ ​Lights​ ​for​ ​Cyclists  

Staying​ ​bright​ ​on​ ​your​ ​bike​ ​is​ ​not​ ​only​ ​important​ ​for​ ​safety,​ ​it’s​ ​a​ ​mandatory​ ​requirement​ ​if  you’re​ ​on​ ​UK​ ​roads.​ ​To​ ​be​ ​compliant​ ​with​ ​road​ ​user​ ​regs,​ ​your​ ​bike​ ​needs​ ​a​ ​white​ ​front​ ​light  and​ ​a​ ​red​ ​rear​ ​light.​ ​This,​ ​of​ ​course,​ ​is​ ​to​ ​be​ ​seen​ ​–​ ​but​ ​just​ ​how​ ​much​ ​illumination​ ​you​ ​need  and​ ​how​ ​long​ ​for​ ​depends​ ​on​ ​your​ ​riding​ ​plans.

SEE​ ​–​ ​AND​ ​BE​ ​SEEN
Basic​ ​lights​ ​to​ ​be​ ​seen​ ​on​ ​the​ ​road​ ​begin​ ​at​ ​around​ ​50​ ​lumens​ ​(the​ ​most​ ​common  measurement​ ​of​ ​bike​ ​light​ ​intensity),​ ​but​ ​commuters​ ​and​ ​urban​ ​cyclists​ ​don’t​ ​have​ ​to​ ​spend  too​ ​much​ ​to​ ​get​ ​a​ ​100​ ​lumen​ ​light​ ​which​ ​will​ ​not​ ​only​ ​deliver​ ​good​ ​visibility,​ ​but​ ​provide​ ​some  view​ ​of​ ​the​ ​road​ ​ahead​ ​too.

For​ ​a​ ​good​ ​view​ ​out​ ​front​ ​on​ ​poorly​ ​lit​ ​roads,​ ​look​ ​for​ ​a​ ​minimum​ ​of​ ​500​ ​lumens.​ ​The  Exposure​ ​Strada​ ​600,​ ​£199.95,​ ​is​ ​a​ ​front​ ​light​ ​built​ ​both​ ​to​ ​help​ ​you​ ​see​ ​and​ ​be  seen.​ ​Its​ ​600​ ​lumen​ ​highest​ ​setting​ ​burns​ ​for​ ​3hrs​ ​with​ ​a​ ​dip​ ​option​ ​lasting​ ​up​ ​to​ ​36hrs.​ ​A  small​ ​but​ ​powerful​ ​package​ ​–​ ​just​ ​135g​ ​–​ ​it’s​ ​ideal​ ​both​ ​for​ ​road​ ​riders​ ​wanting​ ​to​ ​steer​ ​clear  of​ ​extra​ ​weight​ ​and​ ​for​ ​commuters​ ​going​ ​for​ ​longer.

For​ ​brightness​ ​on​ ​a​ ​budget,​ ​the​ ​700​ ​lumen​ ​Moon​ ​Meteor​ ​X​ ​Auto​ ​Pro​ ​Front​ ​Light,​ ​£39.00,​ ​is​ ​a​ ​svelte​ ​84g​ ​and​ ​runs​ ​for​ ​90mins​ ​on​ ​full-whack​ ​or​ ​up​ ​to​ ​a​ ​massive​ ​45hrs​ ​in  flashing​ ​mode.​ ​What’s​ ​more,​ ​its​ ​Futuristic​ ​mode​ ​uses​ ​an​ ​integrated​ ​sensor;​ ​adjusting​ ​the​ ​light strength​ ​to​ ​the​ ​environment​ ​around​ ​you​ ​as​ ​you​ ​ride.

When​ ​lumens​ ​reach​ ​the​ ​thousands,​ ​they​ ​make​ ​for​ ​ideal​ ​MTB​ ​trail-illuminators​ ​and​ ​lights​ ​for  road​ ​rides​ ​in​ ​rural,​ ​unlit​ ​areas.​ ​Exposure’s​ ​Diablo​ ​MK9​ ​Front​ ​Light,​ ​£209.95​,  leaves​ ​no​ ​room​ ​for​ ​error​ ​unleashing​ ​up​ ​to​ ​1500​ ​lumens​ ​on​ ​trails​ ​or​ ​tarmac.​ ​It​ ​doesn’t  compromise​ ​on​ ​weight​ ​at​ ​120g​ ​and​ ​shines​ ​bright​ ​from​ ​1hr​ ​at​ ​full​ ​power​ ​up​ ​to​ ​24hrs​ ​on​ ​lower  settings.     Want​ ​brighter​ ​still?​ ​For​ ​the​ ​daddy​ ​of​ ​dazzle,​ ​the​ ​​lumen ​ ​ mama ​ ,​ ​look​ ​no​ ​further​ ​than​ ​the  Exposure​ ​MaXx-D​ ​MK10​ ​Front​ ​Light,​  ​£374.95,​ ​which​ ​throws​ ​out​ ​a​ ​whopping  3300​ ​lumens.​ ​Cable​ ​free,​ ​still​ ​relatively​ ​light​ ​at​ ​310g​ ​and​ ​burning​ ​bright​ ​for​ ​up​ ​to​ ​36hrs,​ ​this​ ​is  the​ ​ultimate​ ​dark​ ​night​ ​rider​ ​companion.

RADIANT​ ​REAR

Absolutely​ ​essential​ ​for​ ​cycling​ ​safety​ ​is​ ​a​ ​rear​ ​light​ ​and,​ ​for​ ​this,​ ​100​ ​lumens​ ​provides​ ​high  visibility​ ​without​ ​dazzling​ ​other​ ​road​ ​users.​ ​The​ ​Moon​ ​Nebula​ ​Rear​ ​Light, £43.99​ ​​will​ ​lighten​ ​you​ ​up​ ​without​ ​lightening​ ​your​ ​pocket.​ ​The​ ​eight-mode​ ​100​ ​lumens​ ​rear light​ ​is​ ​just​ ​44g,​ ​burns​ ​from​ ​70mins​ ​to​ ​20hrs​ ​and,​ ​unlike​ ​some​ ​rear​ ​light​ ​options,​ ​throws​ ​out​ ​a  270​ ​degree​ ​angle​ ​of​ ​illumination,​ ​making​ ​it​ ​particularly​ ​good​ ​for​ ​urban​ ​rides.

Looking​ ​for​ ​a​ ​great​ ​deal?​ ​Then​ ​look​ ​no​ ​further​ ​than​ ​CatEye’s​ ​Volt​ ​400​ ​XC​ ​Front​ ​and​ ​Rapid Mini​ ​Rear,​ ​just​ ​£59.99​ ​for​ ​both.​ ​The​ ​front​ ​sends​ ​out​ ​400​ ​lumens,​ ​with​ ​25​ ​out  back.​ ​Both​ ​USB​ ​rechargeable​ ​and​ ​cable-free,​ ​together​ ​these​ ​lights​ ​are​ ​a​ ​great​ ​package​ ​for  day-to-night​ ​cyclists​ ​about​ ​town.

Finding​ ​the​ ​right​ ​bike​ ​lights​ ​to​ ​suit​ ​both​ ​your​ ​riding​ ​style​ ​and​ ​your​ ​pocket,​ ​alongside​ ​a​ ​good  set​ ​of​ ​winter​ ​cycling​ ​clothes​​ ​is​ ​your​ ​ticket​ ​to​ ​enjoyable,​ ​worry-free  year-round​ ​riding​ ​day​ ​and​ ​night,​ ​and​ ​to​ ​lightening​ ​you​ ​up​ ​–​ ​even​ ​when​ ​it’s​ ​gloomy,​ ​grey​ ​or  even​ ​pitch​ ​black​ ​outside.