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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.

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Buying Guide Parts And Accessories

Which​ ​GPS​ ​is​ ​best​ ​For​ ​You:​ ​a​ ​Guide 

Road​ ​or​ ​trail,​ ​day​ ​ride​ ​or​ ​going​ ​full​ ​adventure​ ​tourist,​ ​a​ ​GPS​ ​unit​ ​is​ ​your​ ​digital​ ​route​ ​guide,​ ​a  mapping​ ​buddy​ ​and​ ​cycling​ ​best​ ​friend.

Think​ ​you​ ​can​ ​do​ ​without​ ​a​ ​dedicated​ ​GPS​ ​when​ ​you’ve​ ​got​ ​a​ ​phone?​ ​Think​ ​again!​ ​Phones  are​ ​fragile,​ ​constantly​ ​demand​ ​your​ ​attention​ ​and​ ​need​ ​(usually​ ​awkward)​ ​cases​ ​for​ ​protection  from​ ​rain,​ ​dirt​ ​and​ ​impacts.​ ​They​ ​struggle​ ​with​ ​battery​ ​life​ ​–​ ​something​ ​that’s​ ​getting​ ​worse​ ​–  and​ ​satellite​ ​coverage​ ​is​ ​often​ ​patchy.

Dedicated​ ​units,​ ​such​ ​as​ ​the​ ​Garmins​ ​we​ ​recommend​ ​at​ ​Hargroves,​ ​use​ ​a​ ​dual​ ​system​ ​of  satellite​ ​networks​ ​to​ ​ensure​ ​dependable​ ​navigation​ ​both​ ​on​ ​or​ ​off​ ​road,​ ​and​ ​when​ ​you’re​ ​out  of​ ​mobile​ ​reception​ ​areas.

Their​ ​connectivity​ ​offers​ ​everything​ ​from​ ​live​ ​data​ ​uploads​ ​to​ ​instant​ ​messaging​ ​too,​ ​but  they’re​ ​laser-focused​ ​on​ ​cycling.​ ​They​ ​also​ ​connect​ ​wirelessly​ ​to​ ​cycling​ ​peripherals​ ​such​ ​as  heart,​ ​power​ ​and​ ​cadence​ ​sensors,​ ​and​ ​interpret​ ​the​ ​data​ ​in​ ​ways​ ​you​ ​can​ ​instantly​ ​use.

BIG​ ​POWER,​ ​SMALL​ ​PRICE

For​ ​a​ ​surprisingly​ ​sophisticated​ ​suite​ ​of​ ​features​ ​in​ ​a​ ​small,​ ​light​ ​and​ ​rugged​ ​unit,​ ​check​ ​out  the​ ​Garmin​ ​Edge​ ​25​ ​(£139).​ ​​Naturally​ ​it​ ​tracks​ ​distance,​ ​speed,​ ​time​ ​and  location,​ ​but​ ​it​ ​also​ ​records​ ​total​ ​ascent​ ​and​ ​can​ ​download​ ​and​ ​follow​ ​new​ ​routes.​ ​Paired​ ​with  a​ ​heart​ ​rate​ ​strap​ ​it​ ​displays​ ​rate​ ​and​ ​zone​ ​info,​ ​for​ ​an​ ​accurate​ ​picture​ ​of​ ​calories​ ​burned.​ ​And  paired​ ​with​ ​a​ ​cadence​ ​sensor​ ​(via​ ​wireless​ ​ANT+)​ ​it​ ​folds​ ​that​ ​information​ ​in​ ​too.

The​ ​Edge​ ​25’s​ ​battery​ ​charge​ ​lasts​ ​up​ ​to​ ​8hrs​ ​and​ ​is​ ​waterproof,​ ​works​ ​under​ ​dense​ ​cover  (thanks​ ​to​ ​extra​ ​satellite​ ​coverage),​ ​and​ ​fits​ ​on​ ​a​ ​stem​ ​with​ ​room​ ​to​ ​spare.​ ​You​ ​can​ ​even  wirelessly​ ​pair​ ​it​ ​with​ ​your​ ​phone​ ​for​ ​live​ ​tracking​ ​and​ ​instant​ ​data​ ​uploads.

WANT​ ​TO​ ​GO​ ​DEEPER?

The​ ​Edge​ ​520​ ​(£309.99),​  ​boasts​ ​a​ ​large​ ​2.3in​ ​colour​ ​screen.​ ​Pair​ ​it​ ​with​ ​power  and​ ​heart​ ​sensors​ ​and​ ​it​ ​calculates​ ​V02​ ​max​ ​and​ ​recovery​ ​time,​ ​and​ ​tracks​ ​your​ ​Functional  Threshold​ ​Power​ ​(FTP)​ ​too.​ ​It​ ​can​ ​even​ ​display​ ​your​ ​current​ ​gear​ ​when​ ​paired​ ​with​ ​Shimano  Di2​ ​shifters.

Battery​ ​life​ ​is​ ​an​ ​impressive​ ​15hrs,​ ​plus​ ​it’s​ ​tough​ ​and​ ​waterproof​ ​–​ ​it​ ​works​ ​as​ ​well​ ​off-road​ ​as  on.​ ​It​ ​has​ ​all​ ​the​ ​social​ ​media​ ​connectivity​ ​you’d​ ​expect,​ ​plus​ ​it’s​ ​compatible​ ​with​ ​Strava​ ​Live  Segments.

Still​ ​not​ ​enough?​ ​Try​ ​the​ ​Edge​ ​1030​ ​(£499).​ ​​Behind​ ​its​ ​3.5in​ ​hi-def​ ​screen  lurks​ ​all​ ​the​ ​above​ ​and​ ​more,​ ​including​ ​preloaded​ ​maps,​ ​navigation​ ​alerts,​ ​rider-to-rider  messaging,​ ​and​ ​support​ ​for​ ​apps​ ​including​ ​Strava,​ ​TrainingPeaks​ ​and​ ​Best​ ​Bike​ ​Split.

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Buying Guide News Parts And Accessories

Drivetrains​ ​and​ ​Groupsets​ ​-​ ​Made​ ​Easy

A​ ​bike’s​ ​drivetrain​ ​comprises​ ​the​ ​cranks,​ ​front​ ​chainrings,​ ​rear​ ​cassette​ ​and​ ​the​ ​chain,​ ​as​ ​well  as​ ​the​ ​shifters​ ​and​ ​derailleurs​ ​–​ ​also​ ​known​ ​as​ ​mechs.​ ​Together​ ​they’re​ ​a​ ​hugely​ ​important  part​ ​of​ ​your​ ​bike.​ ​Groupsets​ ​are​ ​essentially​ ​the​ ​same​ ​thing,​ ​but​ ​often​ ​also​ ​include​ ​brakes.

Though​ ​simple​ ​in​ ​theory,​ ​some​ ​of​ ​today’s​ ​bicycle​ ​drivetrains​ ​are​ ​fantastically​ ​advanced.​ ​The majority​ ​are​ ​cable-activated,​ ​but​ ​at​ ​the​ ​top​ ​end​ ​you​ ​find​ ​electronic​ ​systems​ ​such​ ​as​ ​Shimano’s  Di2​ ​or​ ​SRAM’s​ ​eTap.

Whether​ ​you’re​ ​looking​ ​at​ ​the​ ​spec​ ​of​ ​components​ ​on​ ​a​ ​new​ ​bike​ ​you’re​ ​eyeing​ ​up,​ ​or​ ​ready  to​ ​upgrade​ ​either​ ​individual​ ​components​ ​or​ ​the​ ​whole​ ​groupset,​ ​it’s​ ​important​ ​to​ ​understand  the​ ​main​ ​terminology,​ ​how​ ​it​ ​works​ ​and​ ​how​ ​it​ ​all​ ​fits​ ​together.

HOW​ ​MANY​ ​GEARS​ ​DO​ ​I​ ​NEED?

While​ ​total​ ​number​ ​of​ ​gears​ ​is​ ​important,​ ​what’s​ ​more​ ​important​ ​is​ ​that​ ​the​ ​range​ ​of​ ​ratios​ ​is  right​ ​for​ ​you​ ​and​ ​your​ ​riding.​ ​Ideally,​ ​your​ ​smallest​ ​(shortest)​ ​gear​ ​should​ ​winch​ ​you​ ​up​ ​the  steepest​ ​hill,​ ​the​ ​biggest​ ​(tallest)​ ​should​ ​allow​ ​you​ ​to​ ​power​ ​back​ ​down​ ​(quickly​ ​enough!);​ ​yet  the​ ​steps​ ​between​ ​should​ ​not​ ​be​ ​too​ ​jarring.​ ​You​ ​may​ ​well​ ​achieve​ ​that​ ​with​ ​11​ ​or​ ​12​ ​gears​ ​on  a​ ​mountain​ ​bike,​ ​or​ ​20​ ​on​ ​a​ ​road​ ​bike,​ ​despite​ ​the​ ​potential​ ​for​ ​running​ ​up​ ​to​ ​33.

The​ ​range​ ​can​ ​be​ ​adjusted​ ​by​ ​fitting​ ​bigger​ ​or​ ​smaller​ ​chainrings​ ​on​ ​the​ ​cranks.​ ​A​ ​smaller​ ​ring  with​ ​fewer​ ​teeth​ ​lowers​ ​the​ ​gearing,​ ​and​ ​vice​ ​versa.​ ​Getting​ ​the​ ​gearing​ ​right​ ​on​ ​your​ ​next  new​ ​bike​ ​is​ ​important,​ ​but​ ​it’s​ ​a​ ​relatively​ ​cheap​ ​and​ ​easy​ ​modification​ ​if​ ​you​ ​want​ ​to​ ​change  later.

You​ ​can​ ​also​ ​change​ ​rear​ ​gearing​ ​–​ ​either​ ​by​ ​fitting​ ​a​ ​different​ ​cassette,​ ​or​ ​by​ ​replacing​ ​one  ratio​ ​with​ ​a​ ​large​ ​40/42-tooth​ ​‘expander​ ​ring’​ ​–​ ​but​ ​that​ ​can​ ​be​ ​more​ ​fiddly.​ ​All​ ​rear​ ​mechs  have​ ​a​ ​maximum​ ​gear​ ​they​ ​can​ ​physically​ ​accommodate,​ ​and​ ​a​ ​bigger​ ​gear​ ​may​ ​require​ ​a  new,​ ​longer​ ​mech.

WHICH​ ​IS​ ​THE​ ​BEST​ ​DRIVETRAIN?

Like​ ​any​ ​mods,​ ​gearing​ ​tweaks​ ​need​ ​a​ ​healthy​ ​base​ ​to​ ​be​ ​effective.​ ​So​ ​what​ ​are​ ​your​ ​options?  The​ ​answer,​ ​in​ ​a​ ​market​ ​dominated​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Japanese​ ​giant​ ​Shimano​ ​and​ ​its​ ​US​ ​adversary  SRAM,​ ​is​ ​almost​ ​infinite!​ ​Both​ ​companies​ ​group​ ​components​ ​into​ ​ranges​ ​with​ ​increasingly  high​ ​specs,​ ​and​ ​as​ ​parts​ ​can​ ​be​ ​mixed​ ​and​ ​matched​ ​across​ ​ranges,​ ​it​ ​helps​ ​to​ ​understand  what​ ​each​ ​one​ ​represents.

Shimano’s​ ​serious​ ​mountain​ ​bike​ ​componentry​ ​starts​ ​with​ ​Deore,​ ​rising​ ​through​ ​SLX​ ​to​ ​the  luxury​ ​XT​ ​and​ ​pro-level​ ​XTR.​ ​They​ ​also​ ​have​ ​a​ ​downhill-biased​ ​group​ ​Zee,​ ​and​ ​a​ ​pro-level  version,​ ​Saint.

SRAM’s​ ​equivalents​ ​are​ ​X5,​ ​X7/X9,​ ​then​ ​X0​ ​and​ ​XX.​ ​They​ ​also​ ​have​ ​a​ ​dedicated​ ​11-speed  range,​ ​which​ ​starts​ ​at​ ​NX​ ​and​ ​gets​ ​lighter​ ​and​ ​sharper​ ​through​ ​GX,​ ​X1,​ ​X01​ ​and​ ​finally​ ​XX1.​ ​At  the​ ​top​ ​of​ ​this​ ​range​ ​is​ ​the​ ​new​ ​Eagle​ ​12-speed​ ​tech.

Road​ ​bike​ ​drivetrain​ ​hierarchy​ ​is​ ​a​ ​little​ ​less​ ​complicated!​ ​Shimano’s​ ​serious​ ​offerings​ ​start​ ​at  Claris,​ ​rising​ ​through​ ​Sora,​ ​Tiagra​ ​and​ ​105​ ​to​ ​the​ ​impressive​ ​Ultegra​ ​and​ ​pro-level​ ​Dura-Ace.  Those​ ​top​ ​two​ ​tiers​ ​are​ ​where​ ​you​ ​find​ ​electronic​ ​Di2​ ​shifting.

SRAM’s​ ​rough​ ​equivalents​ ​start​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Tiagra-level​ ​Apex,​ ​before​ ​moving​ ​up​ ​to​ ​Rival,​ ​Force  and​ ​the​ ​pro-level​ ​Red.​ ​Red​ ​eTap​ ​is​ ​SRAM’s​ ​electronic​ ​shifting,​ ​and​ ​unlike​ ​Di2,​ ​it’s​ ​wireless.

DO​ ​I​ ​NEED​ ​A​ ​FRONT​ ​MECH?
While​ ​single​ ​front-ring​ ​(or​ ​1x,​ ​pronounced​ ​‘one-by’)​ ​drivetrains​ ​are​ ​appearing​ ​on​ ​the​ ​road,​ ​they  have​ ​the​ ​biggest​ ​benefits​ ​on​ ​mountain​ ​bikes.​ ​Removing​ ​the​ ​front​ ​mech,​ ​shifter​ ​and​ ​cable  drops​ ​significant​ ​weight,​ ​increases​ ​ground​ ​clearance,​ ​frees​ ​up​ ​bar​ ​space​ ​for​ ​dropper​ ​post  levers,​ ​and​ ​allows​ ​the​ ​use​ ​of​ ​‘narrow-wide’​ ​chainrings.​ ​These​ ​add​ ​huge​ ​chain​ ​security,​ ​i.e.  keeping​ ​it​ ​in​ ​place,​ ​without​ ​the​ ​weight​ ​of​ ​a​ ​chain​ ​device,​ ​because​ ​with​ ​no​ ​need​ ​for​ ​shifting,  the​ ​teeth​ ​can​ ​be​ ​extremely​ ​deep​ ​and​ ​close-fitting.

Doubles​ ​(or​ ​2x)​ ​remain​ ​common​ ​for​ ​mountain​ ​biking,​ ​ ​whereas​ ​triples​ ​are  generally​ ​only​ ​found​ ​on​ ​entry-level​ ​bikes​ ​with​ ​just​ ​8​ ​or​ ​9​ ​rear​ ​gears.

By​ ​contrast,​ ​most​ ​road​ ​bikes ​feature​ ​either​ ​two​ ​or​ ​three​ ​front​ ​rings,  combined​ ​with​ ​8​ ​or​ ​9​ ​gears​ ​at​ ​entry​ ​level,​ ​and​ ​10/11​ ​as​ ​prices​ ​rise.​ ​And​ ​the​ ​terminology​ ​is  different.​ ​The​ ​popular​ ​gearing​ ​combos​ ​on​ ​cranks​ ​are​ ​known​ ​as​ ​Triple,​ ​Compact​ ​and​ ​Standard.

Triple​ ​is​ ​self-explanatory​ ​–​ ​three​ ​rings,​ ​typically​ ​50/39/30t​ ​(the​ ​‘t’​ ​stands​ ​for​ ​’teeth’),​ ​which  provide​ ​a​ ​huge​ ​range.​ ​They’re​ ​ideal​ ​for​ ​touring​ ​and​ ​hilly​ ​all-round​ ​use.

Compacts​ ​are​ ​lighter​ ​with​ ​two​ ​rings,​ ​and​ ​combine​ ​the​ ​Triple’s​ ​big​ ​50t​ ​ring​ ​with​ ​a  middle-ground​ ​34t​ ​for​ ​climbing.​ ​They’re​ ​great​ ​for​ ​those​ ​riding​ ​for​ ​fitness,​ ​for​ ​everything​ ​from  training​ ​to​ ​sportives.  Less​ ​prevalent​ ​are​ ​‘super-compacts’:​ ​lower​ ​again,​ ​typically​ ​with​ ​48t​ ​and​ ​32t​ ​front​ ​rings,​ ​they’re  growing​ ​popularity​ ​along​ ​with​ ​cyclocross​ ​ ​and​ ​gravel​  bikes.

Standard,​ ​despite​ ​the​ ​name,​ ​features​ ​two​ ​bigger​ ​rings​ ​(53/39t)​ ​that​ ​only​ ​the​ ​most​ ​powerful  riders​ ​and​ ​road​ ​racers​ ​will​ ​feel​ ​comfortable​ ​pushing​ ​up​ ​significant​ ​inclines.

All​ ​the​ ​bikes​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Hargroves​ ​Cycles​ ​website​ ​have​ ​their​ ​gearing​ ​specification​ ​listed​ ​ and  often​ ​there​ ​are​ ​options​ ​on​ ​the​ ​same​ ​bike​ ​–​ ​and​ ​of​ ​course​ ​we’re​ ​glad​ ​to​ ​help​ ​you​ ​match​ ​the  best​ ​gearing​ ​for​ ​your​ ​riding.

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Buying Guide News Parts And Accessories

Flat Vs Clipless Pedals – Which Are You Riding?

It’s the age-old conversation that’s dividing the biking community – “clips or flats”?

Who could have known pedals could be such a talking point? But they are, and a major one at that…

Whilst you’ll find people who are more than happy to switch between the two, there are lots of riders out there who are massive advocates of either one or the other…and they’re not afraid to keep their opinion to themselves…

But what actually is the difference between flats and clipless, why do people feel so strongly about them, and do they even make a difference to your ride?

Flat Pedals

Flats are usually the go-to for beginners who are just starting out in the biking world. Not only can they be cheaper than clipless pedals, they offer riders slightly more confidence, as they know they are not ‘locked’ onto their bike.

But it’s not just beginners who chose flats; there are plenty of experienced riders out there who would pick the option over clipless pedals any day of the week. So, just why do riders love flats so much?

  • Easy to bail out – there are some tricky trails out there, and sometimes you just need to dab – and with flats, it proves to be a lot easier to do so, than with clipless pedals.
  • Build technique -flat pedals can teach you the correct technique and foot position, and can help you nail skills like Bunnyhops
  • Get going again more easily – Come to a halt at the end of a steep climb? Some riders argue that it is easier to get going again with flats.

Clipless Pedals

Completely opposite to what their name implies, clipless pedals actually mean ‘clipped in’ – your shoes attach to your pedals.

But why do riders rave about them so much?

  • Some people argue that because they are ‘attached’ to their bike, they have more control and that it makes their pedalling more smooth and efficient
  • Feet can’t slip around, so there’s no need to reposition your feet every so often. The fact your feet can’t move around can also help with the handling of the bike.
  • No danger of feet slipping off mid ride

You’ll hear different riders voicing different opinions about the two, but our advice? Don’t listen to them…try both out for yourself and see which you prefer! You’re the best judge of what’s going to make your ride better, and more efficient!

Regardless of whether you choose to ride flat or clipped in, check out some of our favorites below…

DMR Vault 9/16 Pedals

If you’re looking for a pedal with a big platform and that offers great stability and grip for even the bumpiest of trails, look no further than the DMR Vault 9/16 Pedals…they’re lightweight yet very tough!

[button style=’red’ url=”https://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/dmr-vault-pedal-9-16-pedals.html”]Shop DRM Vault 9/16 Pedals Here[/button]

 

Hope F20 Pedals

 

Available in four great colours, the Hope F20 pedals really do allow you to add a little bit more character to your ride. These platform pedals are slightly concave in shape to give maximum support, even when things get real bumpy!

[button style=’red’ url=”https://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/hope-f20-pedals.html”]Shop Hope F20 Pedals Here [/button]

 

Shimano XT M800 Race Pedals

shimano xt 5800

Perfect for cross country riding, the Shimano XT M800 Race pedals are designed to take the rigours of off-road competition. You’re guaranteed of a high performance thanks to its lightweight alloy body, and with an easy entry system and tension adjustment to hold the cleat firmly in place, you’ll be off in competing in no time at all.

[button style=’red’ url=”https://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/shimano-ultegra-6800-carbon-pedals.html”]Shop Shimano XT M800 Race Pedals Here [/button]

 

Crankbrothers Candy 1 Pedals

 

crankbrothers-candy-1-pedals

Available in four exciting colours, the Crankbrother’s Candy 1 clipless pedals boast a polycarbonated body with a stainless sleeve and steel spindle, which ultimately add strength and stability.

What’s more, thanks to the low profile design and platform, you’ll be able to deliver a more powerful and efficient pedal stroke!

[button style=’red’ url=”https://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/crankbrothers-candy-1-pedals.html”]Shop Crankbrothers Candy 1 Pedals Here [/button]
Check out our full range of pedals here!

P.S: Make sure you read about and take full advantage of our limited time offer, where you can get 50% off pedals when you buy a bike!

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Buying Guide Parts And Accessories

Cycle Computers & GPS Systems – Which Product Is For You?

If you’re a keen cyclist, you’ll be looking to constantly up your game, and improve your ride performance and find new and exciting routes- something of which is certainly possible with the latest and greatest technology offered by cycle computers and GPS systems.

And thanks to brands like Garmin, there’s a wide range of products out there perfect for every cyclist; regardless of whether you’re looking to simply track your distance and speed, or if you’re looking for a more comprehensive system that offers additional features such as GPS mapping and navigation.

In this post, we’ll be exploring some of our favourite products, from three different price points – The Garmin Edge 1000 GPS, the Garmin Edge Explore 820 GPS, and the Garmin Edge 20.

Garmin Edge 1000 GPS

edge 1000

At A Glance:

  • Price: £474.99 – Was £549.99
  • Weight:  114.5g
  • Display Size: 1.5″ x 2.6″
  • Battery Life: Up To 15 Hours

Why we love it:

  • Both On-road and Off-road preloaded cycle maps
  • In-ride competitions – see how your ride competes with other riders in real time
  • Touchscreen – which can be used in wet weather conditions, and with gloves
  • Ease Of Use
  • Ability to add maps

edge 1000 2

In Brief: If you dream of being able to see how your ride competes with other riders in real time, this could be the perfect GPS system for you.

If you’re a keen cyclist, you’ll know the joy of undertaking new and more challenging routes – but how often do you find yourself sticking to the same roads and tracks you’ve grown to love, rather than exploring new routes you’ve never dared to venture down? Thanks to new and exciting products like the Garmin Edge 1000 GPS, these days could soon be over…

Every Edge 1000 is preloaded with Open Street Map content, which offers content that includes routable road and bike paths, points of interest, and elevation data too. Unlike other computers, map updates are free and are stored on the edge, so there is no need to worry about mobile phone coverage.

Although one of the heavier computers, the Edge 1000 offers cyclists a large colour display touch screen, perfect for tracking every journey. Not only does the screen auto adjust dependent on changing light conditions, it is optimised to work in the rain, and with gloves.

Stay Connected with the Garmin Connect App

Whether you want to share your ride on social media, track the weather, or be notified of incoming calls, emails or texts, this is all possible with the Garmin Edge 1000, thanks to it’s fantastic Garmin Connect App which is available to download on both the Google Play store & the App Store.

View the full spec and range of features here…

Garmin Edge Explore 820 GPS Computer

edge 820

 

At A Glance:

  • Price: £268.99 – Was £299.99
  • Weight: 67.7g
  • Display Size: 58.4mm
  • Battery Life: Up To 15 Hours (GPS training mode) / Up To 24 Hours (UltraTrac mode)

Why we love it:

  • Built in GPS & GLONASS
  • Keep informed of every cyclist in your pack with GroupTrac
  • Touchscreen – which can be used in wet weather conditions, and with glove
  • Calculates calories burned
  • Receive Time/Distance alerts

In Brief: If you’re looking to explore and keep tabs on everyone in your riding pack, this is the system for you.

Navigate and explore with confidence using the Edge Explore 820 – it’s perfect for those who are looking for a product that offers a turn by turn navigation system, that also lets you stay informed about other riders within your group.

With an impressive 24-hour battery in UltraTrac mode (a GPS setting that periodically turns off to save battery), you’ll be able to get out and explore routes you’ve never thought about venturing down before…

Stay connected with the Garmin Connect app, and connect with other users for extra motivation!

View the full spec and range of features here…

Garmin Edge 20 Computer

 

edge 20

At A Glance:

  • Price: £83.99 – Was £109.99
  • Weight: 25g
  • Display Size : 2.3 x 2.3 cm
  • Battery Life: Up To 8 Hours

Why We Love It:

  • Simple & straightforward to use
  • Lightweight & small – ideal for travel.
  • Under £100 – perfect for those on a budget

In Brief: A simple cycle computer, perfect for cyclists who purely want to track their time, distance and speed.

If you’re looking for a no thrills cycle computer system to track the speed, time and distance of your ride, look no further than the Garmin Edge 20.

Using GPS and GLONASS (a Russian aerospace defence force operating satellite-based navigation system) satellites you don’t have to worry about battery drainage or data usage on your phone – you can use the Edge 20 for up to 8 hours to track your rides.

With the Edge 20, you can create your own course using Garmin Connect, or choose courses ridden by other cyclists. Once you’ve chosen a route, it couldn’t be easier – upload it directly to the Edge 20, and you’re ready to ride!

View the full spec and range of features here…

 

Of course, these aren’t the only cycle computer’s out there…make sure you check out our wide range of products designed to start tracking and improving your rides, here!

Categories
Buying Guide Mountain Mountain Bikes Parts And Accessories Wheels

Understanding Mountain Bike Wheels

Following on from our Road Bike guide, we’re going to be looking at probably the most important part of the bike, the wheels! Mountain bikes have a variety of sizes, and it can be quite a minefield to navigate for a beginner. You could be gearing up to tackle those woodland trails, yet haven’t even thought of the correct wheel size! There are so many decisions to make from the standard 27.5-inch wheels to the more extreme Fatbike wheels. Do you want a smooth ride or one that can accelerate and keep its speed whilst going downhill? Well look no further we’re here to help you find the right size and fit for your mountain bike.

26 Inch Wheels

One of the smaller wheels you can fit on a mountain bike, these used to be standard among the mountain scene before the larger 29inch became popular. These wheels are the lightest, offering great acceleration along the single track trails. At high speeds, the 26 inch doesn’t sacrifice on the control in taking a corner. You can rip through the woods, dodging and diving between trees and really cut those seconds of your time. Though they are still knocking about, the 26-inch wheel has been replaced more often than not by the 27.5 inch.

 

The Mavic Crossride Wheelset

Our pick: The Mavic Crossride Wheelset – our only wheelset that still provides for the 26-inch wheels. Now with a wider and lighter rim, that really generates speed downhill.

27.5 Inch Wheels (650b)

The 27.5 inch, is the product of marrying the 26 inch and the 29er. It’s a great combination of both, offering lighter weight than the 29er, and handles like a 26 inch. It’s the perfect wheel for your mountain bike, so much so that it has now pretty much replaced the 26 inch as the standard for MTB. Don’t get confused by the 650b, that is a common name for the 27.5 inch with the 650 being the diameter of the wheel itself, and the letter b – the width (the name originates from the French way of sizing wheels).

The Mavic XA Elite WheelsetOur pick: The Mavic XA Elite Wheelset – Strong, light and it doesn’t compromise on strength. Tubeless ready for better traction, comfort and reduced risk of those pesky flats.

29 Inch Wheels

The biggest size wheel we have, the 29er is the wheel size that stole the throne from the 26 inch. Giving a larger surface area, allowing for improved traction whilst on those trails. The 29er is one of the best wheels for giving a smooth ride, rolling over the bumpy ground like it was a rolling pin. The 29ers carry their speed well and giving you such good stability you may not have found in other bikes or wheel sizes.

The Mavic Crossmax Elite Wheelset

Our pick: The Mavic Crossmax Elite Wheelset – A perfect mid-range wheelset, that has all the benefits of a strong, light wheel. This is perfect for upgrading your bike from your stock 29″ wheels.

27.5/29 Inch Plus

These are quite new on the scene, fitting mostly on 26-inch wheels (with quite wide rims). These tyres offer a completely different riding experience, without really compromising on performance. With the Boost standard (this refers to the front hubs, which are 10mm wider than standard and the rear hubs are 6mm wider), this allows for stiffer wheels which equal increased handling and with the plus tyres, you don’t lose out on the grip. The plus tyres’ cushioning is top notch, giving you a smoother ride.

Mountain Bike Wheelsize
Mountain Bike Rider image

 

Fatbike Tyres

Now if you want massive tyres, that relentlessly tackle any terrain thrown at it then you should consider a fat bike. These bikes were originally invented and used for crawling over snowy forests and sandy dunes. Yet they have found their way to normal trails, and offer such a different experience from other mountain bikes. The bigger tyres and the low pressure within them, are all the suspension you need, but that doesn’t stop the bikes themselves having front fork suspension. Fatbike tyres look like they’d be heavy and hard to roll, when really the low psi (some people go as low as 15 or 12 psi, whereas most MTB riders using 650bs are running on 25 psi) feels like you’re riding on a balloon. Probably the only downside is they are much heavier than your standard mountain bike, but then again it always comes down to the rider’s preference.