Cycle To Work Scheme – twenty years on

Twenty years, that’s a long time. A life time for some, well, those who were born in 1999 anyway, what were you doing in ’99? Me? I was not even ten, probably causing havoc in my mum and dads back garden, being told about the Millennium Bug and dreaming of a Subaru Impreza P1.

The Cycle to Work Scheme was started as a way to encourage the nations workforce to a healthier life and ease road congestion. As an incentive, companies enlisted in the scheme are able to save money when reimbursed through the scheme, while employees are entitled to an affordable way to purchase a new bike, tax-free. Yes, a tax free bike, you just need to work for a business which is signed up to the scheme and you’re only allowed £1,000 towards your bike and equipment.

Bikes can be used for your weekend ride as well as commuting to work, and at the end of the loan term – which is essentially a hire period for your equipment – employees can purchase the gear by paying any outstanding fees; otherwise, it will belong to the employer.

As an incentive, it’s very enticing but did it work? Well, people are travelling further on bikes, on average, in 2002 987 miles were covered per year rising to 1144 in 2017 however, the number of cyclists has largely stayed about the same.

The Scheme falls down in trying to convince non-cyclists to become cyclists and ditch the car for the bike, no surprise that the main reason for this was road safety and having the confidence to ride the bikes on the road. There are other moans and groans to of it taking too long to travel by bike, a car being more convenient and (surprisingly for me) there’s too much traffic. You’d think with more traffic people might see the advantage of going by bike?

With 57% of the people who are involved in the scheme already cyclists, it’s seen as a fantastic way to upgrade your bike and kit which is affordable and still indulge in your passion for pedal pushing.

And for those who make a long term commitment to swapping their car for their bike, they can enjoy incredible health and financial benefits as detailed in this infographic from Merlin: What would happen to your body if you swapped your car for a bike? The results showed that once the year is up, you’ll have stronger muscles, prolonged mental health benefits and have saved a small fortune.

I feel like I’m preaching to the choir here as many of you reading this are probably already cyclists and already own a bike but, n+1, right? My point remains though, when living in East London, commuting by bike was easier and better than travelling by tube, certainly in the summer when the tube was just so hot and busy. Conversely, travelling by bike, the smog was just so much that it actually had an effect on my lungs. However I felt better about myself when I did cycle in. If things are made in to a routine they become easier.

I think what really needs to change is employers mindset. An area to store bikes which is safe and simple maintenance equipment is a huge benefit, as is a shower. However, it seems that installing an electric charge point for cars is a better incentive for employers as the cost of installation is cheaper than that of a decent shower for cyclists. The government can do all they can in building a better infrastructure but, to me, it means nothing unless employers will build the bike shed and showers. So more than tax breaks, help your workforce to a healthier life and it might become a benefit for employees.

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Pinarello Dogma FS is now available

In Treviso, Italy in 1952 by Giovanni Pinarello manufactured a bike three years later, the bike carrying Giovanni’s name, Pinarello won it’s first stage at the Giro d’Italia with Fausto Bertoligo Piloting the machine.

Jump in to the modern day and the bikes have been at the sharp end of the peloton at pretty much every Grand Tour since the founding of Team Sky. Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas all have a yellow one, with Froome also having a pink and red one along with their usual black.

Pinarello have been putting this Grand Tour winning nouse towards the classics campaign, most notably Paris Roubaix. First Pinarello released the K10 with rear suspension, but now they’ve gone a bound further with the Dogma FS with DSAS, or Dogma Smart Adaptive Suspension if you don’t want to use acronyms. The Dogma FS is the worlds first electronic front and rear suspended road bike.

The idea? To try and guarantee the unbeatable Pinarello handling and racing performance even on rough terrain. Pinarello claimed that this bike will help their riders bounce over the cobbles 5 kilometres per hour quicker than that of a rigid bike, with the rider expending a small amount less of energy.

The Dogma FS seemed to fall slightly short at 2019 Paris Roubaix with the first Team Sky rider across the line down in 21st place, 1 minute 40 behind the winner, Philippe Gilbert (and what a winner he was by the way). Team Sky’s race captain and Cobble lover Luke Rowe earned himself 8 world tour points, finishing down in 32nd, some four minutes 25 down.

The stiffness of the bike can be changed by an interface, on the down tube. From here the rider can switch the system on and off, switch between manual and automatic mode. Thanks to BlueTooth and ANT+ you can change these settings using your Garmin or Smartphone, handy when you’re hitting the cobbles hard.

All this is powered by an LiPo battery pack and circuit board which are assembled in the seat tube. It is equipped with a CPU that run the suspension control algorithms. It is able to collect data from gyroscopes and accelerometers to distinguish the road condition and change the state of the suspension itself.

If you think the pot holes on your local route are getting jus too much to bear, you’re in luck. Pinarello have now said that this bike is now available for you to buy, available in just four sizes (53, 55, 56 and 57.5) and one colour option of Matt Black (500) the frameset alone will cost you £7,500, the addition of Dura Ace Di2, Talon Bar and Fulcrum Carbon Wheels will cost you £12,000 with the bike. You’ll be glad to hear that if you place an order for your bike now, before June, it’ll be delivered in September, just in time to use as your winter bike…

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Wahoo Unveils New Limited Edition Colours for ELEMNT BOLT

Now regular cycling house hold name Wahoo has released limited edition colours for the ELEMNT BOLT on the first day of the Sea Otter Classic.

I’ve never used the ELEMNT Bolt, but two years ago I did try out the ELEMNT and loved it, back then I more than thought it was more than an adequate replacement for any Garmin which was on offer. Just seeing how Wahoo has taken off since then can only confirm that.

The ELEMNT BOLT, the world’s first GPS computer designed to be aerodynamically efficient, is equipped with Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ dual-band technology, ELEMNT BOLT pairs seamlessly with all of your cycling sensors. It works with the free ELEMNT companion app, which allows you to set up your data fields, customise your profiles, track performance, and share ride data effortlessly — all without clicking through confusing menus. Plus, programmable LED QuickLook Indicators provide an easy way to see if you’re on pace with important performance metrics.

The new colours do not cover the whole BOLT, just the back, replacing the traditional grey, are a shocking pink and bright blue. “While the classic grey looks good on any bike, we know that some cyclists look for opportunities to use their bike to express their own style, and we want to help by offering more colourful options,” said ELEMNT Product Manager Megan Powers. “Our customers were especially clamouring for a pink BOLT, and in looking at the whole cycling landscape, it was clear that there was an opportunity to match many current bikes and kits with a blue BOLT. We’re pleased to offer Wahooligans these new Limited Edition colours, and hope they’ll help cyclists create their own unique on-bike looks.”

I’d have preferred colours which are not so gender splitting, orange, green, purple… maybe even yellow, green and polka dot white and red, to match that or the Tour de France jerseys.

Blue and pink just feels a bit boys and girls. I don’t feel as if it would be an addition to my bike or kit colours, however a nice bit of colour never goes a miss. So, more colour options, please Wahoo!

The Limited Edition BOLT colours are available for sale at WahooFitness.com now and cost £199.99.

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Muc-Off launches No Puncture Hassle Tubeless Sealant

Muc-Off, the leading manufacturer of bicycle cleaning and maintenance products worldwide, has announced the launch of their No Puncture Hassle Tubeless Sealant.

‘No Puncture’ has been developed alongside some of the world’s top downhill and pro-peloton teams to give you the finest tyre sealant available. Compatible with tubeless ready and full UST wheels/tyres, the tyre sealants 140ml pouch design fits perfectly over a Presta valve to give mess-free installation. It can also be poured straight into the tyre if you don’t have removable valve cores.

The sealants formula contains cutting-edge microfibre molecules that fill bigger holes and tears, whilst advanced latex clings to the whole tyre inner for maximum protection and forms a tough instant seal over the hole.

‘No Puncture Hassle’ also contains a unique UV detection system that highlights any punctures a rider hasn’t seen during their ride. It’s biodegradable, non-corrosive to your wheels or tyres and easy to wash off with water. The formula also uses C02 compatible latex and is packed with antifreeze to stop it shrivelling up unlike some other sealants that ball up when used with C02.

Muc-Off Managing Director, Alex Trimnell, said: “We have tested ‘No Puncture Hassle’ under the most brutal conditions on the planet with 3 years of deep R&D using a wide group of our pro athletes from around the world. The formula we finally created is a result of 100s of hours of testing, the results of which have taken tyre sealant performance to a new level.

The feedback we’ve had from our professional riders has been awesome! We are really excited to have created one formula which works to the highest performance in all tubeless tyres, from Pro Road Racing to World Cup Downhill and everything in between. Oh and lastly, we really don’t like single-use plastics so would encourage all to use our 1 litre refill to fill up the pouches.”

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For more information on the No Puncture Hassle Tubeless Sealant, and other Muc-Off products, please visit: https://muc-off.com/

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Bioracer Summer 2018 collection

 

Bioracer new Summer 2018 collection:
73 new items for men & women

New Spitfire and Vesper collections

The Belgian company Bioracer, which develops innovative & tailored sportswear, has shown the world its Summer 2018 designer collections for men (Spitfire) and women (Vesper). 73 new items across different themes mean there’s more than enough colours and styles to choose from.
 
The new collection revolves around 5 themes, and, apparently, ‘reflects the spirit of an optimistic future’ which Bioracer firmly believe in. Its inspiration comes from rideouts in Barcelona, Ibiza and the Canary Islands to name a few. Names like Jungle, Radient, Zebra and Rebel makes one dream about sunny rideouts. Urban fashion, Berlin, London, 80’s skate surf punk and the DIY graphic language of fanzines capture our imagination.
 

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“Every design is a character, just like you”

Sam Ratajczak, Head Innovateer

 
 
 

About BIORACER

 

Established in 1986 and located in Belgium, spiritual home of cycling, BIORACER has always been at the forefront of the design, development and fabrication of cycling speedwear. Our mission is clear and simple: we make you faster. It’s not only about delivering the fastest kit possible. It’s also about giving you all the tools necessary to be the fastest you can be. This philosophy goes far beyond simple clothing. For example, we developed the first modern racing shoe and the first digitized bike fitting systems. These are only some of the innovations we’ve made to improve your comfort on the bike, and therefore ultimately, your speed.
 
Thousands of competitive athletes choose BIORACER because they need the fastest kit available. And they know they will receive just that. Not only do we have the scientific data to prove our claims, but also the proven track record of our medal count. With more than 666 Olympic and World Championship medals, we are the fastest.
 
“We follow one basic principle: our athletes are the measure of all things. Innovations can only lead to a breakthrough when they benefit the athlete. We look at cycling from every angle and try to fit those pieces that make your puzzle complete. And we do this with one aim in mind: to make you faster.”

 

Beet it Sport Nitrate 400 – Disgustingly good

There’s an ever increasing market of products out there which claim to boost your performance. From energy gels to isotonic drinks and powders. Even beer. However the guys at Beet it have come up with this shot of beetroot which they claim does just that.

Beetroot has long been researched in sports to boost your performance so Beet it aren’t coming out with anything revolutionary more just trying to reinvent the wheel.

Beet it has come up with a new was to harness the purple powers of beetroot and change the way you perform. Developed specifically with the sporting elite in mind, Beet It Sport Nitrate 400 shot provides a natural boost to sporting performance in one quick hit. With a new Nitrate 400 strapline added, the name clearly communicates the optimum amount of natural dietary nitrate contained in each 70ml shot, which is needed to increase sporting performance.

Now I quite like beetroot as a root vegetable, it’s tasty when roasted and delicious in a salad. So beetroot juice must be just as delicious… right? Wrong. Personally I think it just tastes all kind of wrong and half way through drinking it I was really hoping that it did what it said. I had to wash it down with water and it took will power to go back in for a second gulp and finish the bottle off.

Apparently enjoyed (I say apparently because I honestly don’t think anyone looks forward to a shot of this) and revered by many leading international rugby and Premiership football teams, UK Olympic and Pro Tour cycling teams, the Beet It Sport shot is made from 100% natural ingredients, consisting of concentrated beetroot juice (98%) cut with lemon juice (2%).

Another downside to the drink is that for best effects you have to take it 1-4 hours before exercise and continuously for four days before competition or event. If you’re doing that, I hope the taste becomes more palatable!

However, shortly after drinking this purple thing, I started to turn in to what felt like the Incredible Hulk, but purple. My lycra ripped and my muscles bulged as I was able to somehow hold a slightly higher average power.

Now, I’m not saying it was all down to the magical power of beetroots, it may have just been one of those days when the stars aligned. It was strange though that I was feeling so good on my ride. I’m sure one swallow doesn’t make a summer so next time around I tried it again(the taste got better thinking that it could improve my ride). While my performance wasn’t as stand out, to myself anyway, the figures were still there. I was hugely impressed.

Here’s some science bit… Beet It Sport Nitrate 400 shots are the gold standard used by over 200 universities worldwide for medical and sports performance research into the benefits of natural nitrate supplementation. The research has identified that their naturally high dietary nitrate content (400mg per shot) interacts with enzymes in saliva to generate nitric oxide (NO) in the blood system. NO is a vasodilator that increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles, thereby boosting strength and endurance – similar in impact (but legitimate) to blood doping!

One 70ml Beet It Sport Nitrate 400 shot delivers 400mg of natural dietary nitrate, the equivalent of 400ml beetroot juice.  It provides the maximum intake of natural nitrate in the smallest volume of liquid possible, thankfully.

Beet It Sport Nitrate 400 shot is available from Wiggle, Holland & Barrett and Amazon, with an RRP of £2.00 per shot.

For more information on Beet It brand and products, please visit www.beet-it.com

Beet It Sport Nitrate 400 shot

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Wahoo and BMC buddy up!

Wahoo Fitness Announces Official Partnership with BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team

UCI Cross-country World Cup team led by Titouan Carod and Lars Forster will be riding with Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT GPS computers and heart rate monitors for the 2018 racing season

Wahoo Fitness, the leader in connected fitness devices, today announced a new partnership with BMC Mountain Bike Racing team, led by rising talents Titouan Carod of France and Lars Forster of Switzerland. Through the partnership, the BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team will be training and racing with Wahoo’s aerodynamic ELEMNT BOLT GPS cycling computer and the TICKR Heart Rate Monitor throughout the 2018 UCI World Cup race season.

 As an official partner of BMC’s elite cross-country mountain bike team, Wahoo will deploy two foundational elements of its product ecosystem into the team’s world cup-winning strategies: the ELEMNT BOLT – the easiest to use and most feature-rich bike computer on the market, and the TICKR Heart Rate Monitor, for measuring critical race-winning efforts.

With a strategic roster aiming for Tokyo 2020, the BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team heads into the 2018 World Cup season with five straight overall series victories under its belt – a streak which began in 2013. With Wahoo devices measuring rider efforts in 2018, the team will be looking to secure a sixth overall World Cup title, while adding victories at the National, European and World Championship races.

The BMC Mountain Bike Racing team joins pro cycling teams BORA-hansgrohe, Katusha, Team Sky, and JLT-Condor along with professional triathletes Jan Frodeno, Lionel Sanders, and Heather Jackson – all of whom leverage Wahoo’s leading-edge fitness technologies for gains at the highest levels of professional sport.

“The supreme customisability, user-friendliness, and overall reliability of the Wahoo BOLT, along with the easy integration with our training platforms are all features that have been in high demand for our team members,” says BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team founder and director Alex Moos. “We’re proud to partner with a brand who understands these specific needs of elite bike racers while training or competing.”

“Adding podium regulars on the UCI cross-country World Cup circuit to the Wahooligan family has long been a goal of ours,” says Chip Hawkins, CEO of Wahoo Fitness. “And we couldn’t be happier to introduce the BMC Mountain Bike team to our growing stable of the fastest men and women in road cycling and triathlon, all of whom depend on Wahoo devices to measure and plan their race-winning efforts.”

Wahoo Fitness has created a full ecosystem of sensors and devices for the runner, cyclist or general fitness enthusiast. Wahoo Fitness’s award winning line of Bluetooth Smart products include the KICKR and KICKR SNAP indoor bike trainers, the ELEMNT, ELEMNT BOLT, and ELEMNT MINI smart bike computers, the world’s first smartphone connected bike computers, and the TICKR family of chest-based wearables. The TICKR family, composed of the TICKR, TICKR Run and TICKR X, combine heart rate training with advanced motion analytics.

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Red Bull Timelaps

World’s Longest One Day Cycle Race Returns for 2018  

Following on from the hugely successful first edition in 2017, which saw over 500 cyclists ride in teams of four to see who could complete the most laps within a 25 hour timeframe.The World’s longest one day cycle race, Red Bull Timelaps, is returning for a second year on 27th-28th October and entries are now open. 800 rider entries will be available on May 22 at 10:00 am at Redbull.com.

With only one rider from each team allowed on the course at any point, participants demonstrated a mixture of strategic nous, endurance and determination to overcome the challenge.

In 2017, Wellingborough Cycles – a group of riders from Northamptonshire won the race in an epic battle to the line after 25 hours of hard racing. They completed a staggering 138 laps and clocked a fastest lap of 9:23. They also claimed victory in the U25 category by a staggering nine laps. Full results can be viewed here.

Commenting on the victory team leader Jack Patmore said: “We were ecstatic. We ended up entering the 2017 race as a bit of fun at the end of our season, so it’s really great that we ended up winning the whole event. We didn’t really have a game plan apart from just letting one of the guys hit it really hard! We are looking forward to coming back this year to defend our title”.

This year’s Red Bull Timelaps will take place when the clocks go back on October 27th-28th, and will see riders once again push themselves to their physical and mental limits by tackling the 6.6km closed circuit for a whopping 25 hours.

As it was last year, extra emphasis will be put on the time period between 2 am and 3 am. Fittingly called the ‘Power Hour’, riders will take on a new shorter course where their laps over the following 60 minutes will count double.

This year, more surprises and elements will be included in the Power Hour, ensuring teams choose their riders carefully for this vital hour.

The race will once again be held at the beautiful Windsor Great Park, situated just outside of London. The park’s well-surfaced, undulating and traffic-free roads will provide the perfect location for the race.

 Entries for Red Bull Timelaps will open at 10 am on May 22 with team entry costing £250 and £200 for under 25. There will be 800 entries available (riders will compete in 200 teams of four). To find out more information about the event please visit: www.redbull.com/gb-en/events/timelaps.

 Join the conversation @RedBullUK with the hashtag #RedBullTimelaps

Red Bull Timelaps returns to Great Windsor Park on 27th-28th October, 2018

800 entries

Entries open on May 22 at 10 am

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Cafe Du Cyclist comes to London

Exciting news in the world of cycling clothes, premium cycling brand Cafe Du cyclist will be opening a store here in Spitalfields, London. The only other place you’ll find a Cafe du Cyclist shop is in Nice’s Old Porte on the Cote d’Azur. While Spitalfields is a far cry from the beautiful blue seas and high mountain climbs of the Cote d’Azure, Cafe Du Cyclist obviously sees something in the cycling boom of East London.

The wide-ranging collections, for both men and women, combine cutting edge technical fabrics, performance features and modern Gallic flair. Positioned at the forefront of the ‘new wave’ of contemporary cycling brands, Café du Cycliste has enjoyed rapid growth worldwide. The strength of the brand in the UK made London the natural choice for the next stage of their expansion. Before now the brand had only been available via Condor Cycles, Mr Porter, Matchesfashion, Condor Cycles and cafeducycliste.com. so to say it’s exclusive is a slight understatement.

The spirit of the brand comes from the founders shared love of riding, and its aesthetic combines inspiration from both inside and outside the sport. The outdoors lifestyle influences of Co-founder and Creative Director Remi Clermont’s background in world competition level kayaking are also evident in the DNA of the brand.

“My father was really into road cycling, so I grew up in a family watching the Tour de France around 20 years ago when it wasn’t cool – even in France” he explains “I saw an opportunity to create a brand that was serious about technical excellence but also relaxed enough in approach to capture the pleasure of riding for riding’s sake”

Since launching in 2009 Café du Cycliste has established itself as one of a very few specialist cycling brands able to effortlessly combine both high style and serious performance.

As Clermont says “Our clothing is designed as much to be worn 2,500 metres up, in some beautiful remote places where Le Tour has never been, as on the more familiar strips of kempt tarmac.”

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Bradley Wiggins Motor Home for sale!

British Car Auctions, later this month, are giving bidders the chance to win Bradley Wiggins former motorhome.

Bradley Wiggins Sporthome for sale at BCAThe coachbuilt Sporthome by McLaren is based on a long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 316 2.1 with manual transmission.  It was commissioned by Sir Bradley in 2014 and while finished in white, has been vinyl wrapped in Team Wiggins colours of blue with chromed wing mirrors and bull bar and 8-spoke alloy wheels AND it’s only covered 5,500 miles!

Wiggo Van 006

The Sporthome features bespoke red, white and blue leather seating with ‘Wiggo’ detail on the headrests.  The custom GB-inspired interior includes a double bed, combined shower/toilet, integrated kitchen area with fridge, cooker and wash basin, overhead lockers and a storage area/repair bay for cycles. It doesn’t finish there either, in the seating area, which has two swivel seats, fold down table and five TV screens (two of which have Sky, obviously).

To say it’s understated on the inside would be an understatement, garish dashboard styling is not one to my taste, but then again who am I to question the king of the cycling mods? If you wanted a motorhome perfect for the cycling get away then what better one to have, you would imagine that there’s everything you would need to make yourself feel like Wiggo himself – minus a few Olympic gold medals…

The Sporthome will be offered for sale at BCA Blackbushe on Thursday 21 September from 11.00 am.  To see the full catalogue listing and images online at bca.co.uk.

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