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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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How To Maintenance News

Unboxing and building your new bike from Hargroves Cycles

So you’ve received your new bike from us, exciting times are ahead! All of our bikes are pre-built and tested so there are just a few tasks to complete before your bike is ready to ride.

Before assembly, thoroughly check over the bike for any damage that may have been caused in transit. Next, clear a safe and suitable workspace to avoid any damage to the bike or your surroundings.

TOOLS REQUIRED

  • Hex wrenches
  • Torx wrenches
  • Torque wrenches
  • Pedal wrench (where required)
  • Handbook

1. OPEN THE BOX

Carefully remove all packaging and zip ties from the cycle. If using any sharp objects be careful not to damage the contents of the package.

2. ATTACH HANDLEBARS


Fit handlebars to front of stem and evenly tighten faceplate over bars using a 4/5 mm Allen key to manufacturer’s torque settings.

3. INSTALL FRONT WHEEL

Identify your brake type and wheel attachment system and follow the specific instructions found below.

BRAKE TYPE

DISC BRAKE:
Remove the disc brake spacer from the caliper. This is a plastic spacer keeping the pads separated for the disc to locate between. After the spacer is removed, before the wheel is installed, DO NOT squeeze the front brake lever.

Lift the fork and position the front wheel under the fork. As you lower the fork, carefully position the wheel so that the brake rotor fits between the pads in the brake caliper. Then, lower the fork further and align the hub axle ends with the fork dropouts.

V-BRAKE:
Temporarily disconnect the curved brake cable guide from the bracket that holds it. After you disconnect, the brake arms will spring outward, creating more space for the wheel.

Lift the fork and position the front wheel under the fork. First align the wheel so that the tyre fits between the brake pads. Next, lower the fork further and align the hub axle ends with the fork dropouts.

RIM BRAKE:
Locate the front brake quick release lever on the brake caliper. Move this lever up. You will see this causes the caliper arms and brake pads to spring outward, opening up to create more space for the wheel to pass through.

Lift the fork and position the front wheel under the fork. First align the wheel so that the tyre fits between the brake pads. Next, lower the fork further and align the hub axle ends with the fork dropouts.

WHEEL ATTACHMENT SYSTEM

THRU AXLE:
If your bike has a thru-axle it will generally be already installed in the forks of your new bike when it arrives. Simply undo the bolt end and slide the axle out of the forks. Insert your front wheel into the forks and slide the thru-axle back through the dropouts and hub. Then re-attach the bolt you removed at the beginning torquing to the manufacturer specification.

QUICK RELEASE QR :
The quick release assembly will be in the small parts box. Remove the adjusting nut and the first conical spring. Insert the skewer through the hollow axle in the centre of the hub.

Reinstall the conical spring over the threaded end of the skewer, small end first. Be sure that the quick-release lever is positioned on the opposite side of the brake disc. Reinstall the adjusting nut, threading it onto the threaded end of the skewer. A few turns are enough at this stage. The critical final adjustment will be made after the wheel is installed in the fork by moving the lever to the ‘closed’ position, this should be achieved without using too much force.

NUTTED:
The nutted axle is one where outer hex nuts are used to hold the wheel axle in the dropouts. When installing a bolt on axle, you may have to turn the nuts anticlockwise and spread the axle washers out to create some space on the axle so that it fits into the fork dropouts. The blades of the fork should fit securely between the inner and outer nuts.

4. FIT FRONT BRAKE RIM BRAKE

Re-connect front brake using 5mm Allen key to manufacturer’s torque settings. Make sure brake blocks are an even distance from the rim and brake cables are not wrapped around the frame which restricts the movement of the forks.

5. FIT YOUR SADDLE

Insert seatpost and saddle to the seat tube of the cycle. Set the saddle to the correct position and tighten to manufacturer’s torque settings.

6. RECORD FRAME NUMBER


Take note of the Frame Number which is usually stamped on the underside of the Bottom Bracket shell. This is used for insurance purposes and may be required if the bike is stolen.

7. FIT YOUR PEDALS

Fit pedals to crank arms with a 15mm spanner or Allen key depending on pedal type. With the wheels on the ground, install the right pedal(R) to the right side crank arm (side with gears) left (L)pedal to non geared side. Pedals are marked on their axles with L & R. When looking at the crankset straight on, right hand pedal tightens clockwise, left hand pedal tightens anticlockwise. Be careful NOT to cross the threads of the pedals in the crank arm – initially use your fingers to make sure the pedals thread in smoothly – they should initially thread in easily with little resistance. Make sure the pedals are VERY firmly tightened – you should use your full weight on the spanner to ensure this. Incorrectly installed pedals will ruin your crankset. If you are unsure please call us to speak to one of our mechanics before you attempt to ride the bike. We WILL NOT be held responsible for incorrectly installed pedals – all of our bikes are pre built, tested and checked (including pedal fitment).

8. FIT REFLECTORS


Now fit reflectors to forks or handlebars (white) and to seat pin (red).

9. FINAL CHECKS


Make sure that bars, pedals and seatpost are tight and in the correct position to manufacturer’s torque settings. Check the brakes and gears are working and wheels are secured before riding.

10. ENJOY!


After the initial ride check all nuts on bike are tight, especially handlebars, stem, pedals, wheels and brakes to manufacturer’s torque settings. For additional information refer to the owner’s manual.

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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.

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Hot Products Mountain News Parts And Accessories

The SRAM GX Eagle AXS upgrade kit has landed!

SRAM launched the latest in their Mountain Bike component series yesterday, the GX Eagle AXS wireless upgrade kit. SRAM’s high-end AXS technology has trickled down to their mid-range groupset, meaning flawless wireless shifting for the masses at an affordable price point. Retailing at £554.00 for the upgrade kit which includes everything you need to make your existing Eagle drivetrain wireless. Backwards compatible with both their original and expanded range Eagle Cassettes, making it a no-brainer for anyone looking to upgrade or replace tired components.

Featuring SRAM’s proven AXS wireless technology and renowned, rugged durability of the GX range while mirroring the performance of their XX1 and X01 Eagle AXS derailleurs, the GX Eagle AXS rear mech doesn’t disappoint. Paired with the GX Eagle AXS Controller which has incredible levels of customisation this is a winning combo that makes for effortless shifting. Not only is there the option to assign different touchpoints using the SRAM AXS app but you can also swap out the paddle shapes should you feel the need. With SRAM’s AXS technology at the heart of this setup it also leaves the option open to pair a RockShox Reverb AXS dropper post with the system.

Using ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, the AXS system allows you to pair with a multitude of devices such as a Garmin or smartphone. Fire up the SRAM AXS app and you can fine-tune the setup to your heart’s content, you can also check the battery life of your components via the app, not that it’s something you need to worry about with around 20 hours of run time thanks to the AXS Battery. If you do drain the juice you won’t need to wait long before you can hit the trails again however with a charge time of around an hour. The shifter uses a button cell battery which has a run time of 2 years, allowing for a fit-and-forget approach.

Another amazing feature of the new GX AXS derailleur is the double-clutch mechanism system. The Overload Clutch protects your investment in the event of an impact, the mech senses this and disengages the motor gearbox. This allows the derailleur to move out of harm’s way, before instantly returning to its position allowing you to get back on the gas! The second roller bearing clutch keeps the chain under tension preventing chainslap.

If you have a mechanical SRAM Eagle drivetrain and the components are in need of a freshen up or you’re just eager to see what all the fuss is about with wireless shifting then the SRAM GX Eagle AXS upgrade kit is right up your street! Available in-store or online, giving you the option of having our team of qualified technicians fit that for you or go down the DIY, home mechanic approach.

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Bikes Buying Guide News Road Bikes

Gravel Bikes, the perfect 4 season UK bike?

Living in the UK our bikes need to be versatile, after all the weather in the UK can be grim at the best of times. Let’s face it we get about 3 months of sun every year, the rest of the time we spend battling the elements.

When it comes to cycling, especially road riding the best way to combat the inclement weather, protecting yourself and your bike from the relentless road spray is often to fit a set of mudguards. Wider tyres tend to favourable with those who like to ride right through the very worst of the weather. While modern endurance-orientated road bikes do tend to allow for this, sportier bikes certainly don’t. That’s where a winter bike comes into its own and we’ve found that Gravel Bikes make a perfect year-round bike here in the UK for training and generally enjoying the great outdoors. Hear me out…

Tyre Clearance
One of the key features of a gravel bike is the clearance for large volume tyres, typically 40mm and above in width on a 700c wheel. While this is ideal for gravel riding when it comes to pounding miles on the road you might want something a little narrower. The beauty is though while you may not need the tyre clearance it allows you to fit full mudguards in place and still a nice wide tyre.

Disc Brakes
Disc brakes offer far more consistent braking regardless of conditions, that paired without having to worry about wearing rims out lend towards all season riding. Come rain or shine you’re not likely to notice a dip in braking performance. Hydraulic discs offer superb modulation which can be crucial on slippy lanes and you don’t have to worry about them clogging up with mud.

Mounts
One thing that gravel bikes tend to feature is mounting points. This opens up a range of possibilities for attaching all manner of accessories from mudguards to extra bottle cages or even pannier racks. It’s always handy to carry a few spares, there’s no harm in being over-prepared.

Geometry
While gravel bikes may look to the eye to essentially be a road bike with bigger tyres, they typically have a more relaxed riding position. A slightly slacker front ends helps to aid stability which can prove hugely beneficial in ferocious winter crosswinds. This can also help with reducing the change of toe overlap when you’ve fitted mudguards! With a shorter reach than your typical road race bike, gravel bikes are more akin to endurance bikes, so you can ride all day in comfort.

So if you’re considering a gravel bike but aren’t quite convinced yet, we certainly think they’re worth their while. Even if you won’t be riding miles of unpaved tracks, they’re equally at home on the road with a few minor adjustments and might just make the ideal winter training bike. That being said, they’re certainly no replacement for an out and out road bike but do provide a huge level of versatility.

Shop our range of in-stock Gravel Bikes.