The January issue of Cycling Plus has your festive period and new year covered

It’s that time of year where the smell of glühwein and bratwurst fill our town centres, and this month Cycling Plus gets its own fix of Germany. Our main bike test pits six German brands against each other, including bikes from Canyon, Focus, Cube and Storck.

They have a reputation for unflashy efficiency, but is it deserved and, more importantly, who comes out on top? There are also new bikes from Van Nicholas, Kona, Marin, Verenti and Genesis, plus long-term reviews on the Santa Cruz Stigmata and Trek 920.

While it’s not officially winter, good luck wearing anything other than the most robust winter clothing just now. With that in mind, we test eight softshell jackets and bib tights. And if this horrid weather really is beyond your limits of acceptability, we review 12 turbo trainers, from the Team Sky-endorsed Wahoo Kickr to the Tacx Satori Smart.


Turning to features, we look at whether you really need a power meter in 2015 – can the humble heart-rate monitor still be effective? Deputy editor Paul Robson finally reports back from August’s 1,200km Paris-Brest-Paris, while Velominati’s ‘The Rules’ are put under scrutiny as we let David Millar loose on them. And have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a pro for a day? We hooked up with One Pro Cycling for the day at L’Etape London in September to see if we had what it took.

Elsewhere, a helmet camera ‘vigilante’ responds to a recent article of ours that was critical of them and we chat to MotoGP star Bradley Smith, a super keen rider who’s pals with Mark Cavendish.

In ‘How to…’ we look at the minefield that is eating over the festive period by speaking to British Cycling nutritionist Nigel Mitchell and suggest some New Year’s resolutions that you might just stick to.

You can

Source: Bike Radar

Northwave Spider Plus 2 shoes

The Spider Plus 2s have a distinctive ‘euro’ style that sits somewhere between a 90s MTB shoe and a modern trail running shoe. Any quibbles about the looks are soon forgotten once you slip them on though.

Northwave has done a great job when it comes to fit. The soft upper, well-padded tongue and nicely shaped, roomy toe box add up to a seriously comfy shoe, and at 852g a pair they’re reasonably light too.

A cable-lace dial lets you adjust the tension across your foot, while a large Velcro strap across the top ensures the shoe remains properly secure, without pinching. Well-positioned cleat slots make it easy to obtain a fairly rearward cleat position and provide a decent amount of mud clearance.


On the bike, there’s enough feedback through the sole that things don’t feel too vague or rigid. Stamp on the pedals and you can feel some flex through the sole, especially when using non-caged clipless pedals. They’re still more than stiff enough for long rides if you use caged clips though.

Off the bike, the X-Crossbow Michelin outsole bites into the trail and the shoes feel surefooted even on dicey rocks and roots.

You can

Source: Bike Radar

Best mountain bike cranks: single-ring

Whether it’s a replacement or an enhancement, riders are looking to single-ring cranksets as the way forward. We put three aluminium and three carbon sets to the test

1x crankset

Whether it’s a replacement or an enhancement, riders are looking to single-ring cranksets as the way forward. We put three aluminium and three carbon sets to the test
Source: MBR

Ride Zwift, help Trek give $40,000 to World Bicycle Relief

What if you could help young students in rural Africa simply by riding your turbo trainer? This Saturday, you can.

Zwift, the online training platform, is hosting a ride Dec. 5 for World Bicycle Relief, a global charity that supplies sturdy bicycles and mechanic training to communities in developing countries to support education and health care. If riders collectively log 100,000 miles during 24 hours, then Trek will donate $40,000 (£26,534) to WBR. If riders reach 50,000 miles, Trek will donate $20,000 (£13,270).

A few pros and former pros are joining the ride, including Jens Voigt, Evelyn Stevens, Fumiyuki Beppu, Laurens ten Dam and Ted King.


All registered riders will have avatars that appear on screen in WBR cycling kits astride the sturdy Buffalo Bikes that WBR produces.

In lieu of a registration fee, each rider is encouraged to fundraise $147, the cost of providing one bicycle for a student. 

Zwift costs $10 / £8 a month, but can be tried for free for 50km. Also, Strava Premium members get two free months of Zwift.

You can

Source: Bike Radar

Meredith Miller’s Focus Mares CX

Cycling team sponsors come from all walks of life, and often from outside the industry. But a yoghurt company? And in particular, one that’s so decadent that many would hardly consider it for anything other than a post-ride treat.

Nevertheless, Colorado company Noosa tossed its hat into the cyclocross scene last year and looks to be having a heck of time in the process. Meet here the equally decadent Focus Mares CX of team rider Meredith Miller.

The Noosa team comprises just two racers: Miller and fellow Coloradoan Allen Krughoff. Yet despite the very short roster, the pair is exceptionally well outfitted with bikes that even top-shelf teams would find droolworthy.


There may just be two riders on Noosa’s cyclocross team but they sure aren’t hurting for equipment

Forming the backbone of the team’s bike is the latest Focus Mares CX, a carbon frameset that’s both exceptionally lightweight and remarkably comfortable and efficient. In addition, it’s also one of more progressive designs available with its disc-specific layout and quick-to-operate RAT thru-axles. Focus has even provided the team with full custom paint, featuring a striking red, black, and yellow scheme with custom artwork by local outfitter Victory Circle Graphix.

Complete bike specifications:

  • Frame:  Focus Mares CX P2T 10 Carbon Disc, size S/54cm
  • Fork: Focus Mares CX P2T 10 Carbon T4 Disc
  • Headset: CeramicSpeed 1 1/8-to-1 1/4in tapered
  • Stem: Enve Composites, 90mm x -6°
  • Handlebar: Enve Composites Compact Road, 44cm (c-c)
  • Tape: SRAM
  • Front brake: SRAM Force 1 hydraulic disc w/ 160mm Centerline rotor
  • Rear brake: SRAM Force 1 hydraulic disc w/ 160mm Centerline rotor
  • Brake levers: SRAM Force 1 DoubleTap
  • Front derailleur: n/a
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM Force 1
  • Shift levers: SRAM Force 1 DoubleTap
  • Cassette: SRAM PG-1170, 11-32T
  • Chain: SRAM Red 22
  • Crankset: SRAM Force 1, 172.5mm, w/ 38T SRAM X-Sync chainring
  • Bottom bracket: CeramicSpeed PF30
  • Pedals: Shimano XTR PD-M9000
  • Rims: Enve Composites 29XC tubular, 28h
  • Hubs: DT Swiss 240s Centerlock
  • Spokes: DT Swiss Aerolite
  • Front tire: Clement PDX tubular, 33mm
  • Rear tire: Clement MXP tubular, 33mm
  • Saddle: Fizik Kurve Chameleon
  • Seatpost: Enve Composites
  • Bottle cages: n/a
  • Other accessories: Enve Composites Garmin computer mount

Critical measurements:

  • Rider’s height: 1.73m (5ft 8in)
  • Rider’s weight: 68kg (150lb)
  • Saddle height from BB, c-t: 742mm
  • Saddle setback: 79mm
  • Seat tube length (c-t): 540mm
  • Seat tube length (c-c): 490mm
  • Tip of saddle nose to midpoint of bars (next to stem): 534mm
  • Saddle-to-bar drop: 84mm
  • Head tube length: 130mm
  • Top tube length (effective): 544mm
  • Weight: 7.46kg (16.45lb)

You can

Source: Bike Radar