Four steps to making bike-based resolutions you'll stick to

The new year is full of the rusting wheels of good intentions. In an effort to tackle them early we asked performance psychologist Bill Beswick to suggest ways to ensure your resolution lasts…

1. Commit to paper

Decide what your goal is and why you’re doing it, then write it down with a deadline for you to achieve it. Make sure you’ll regularly see your list of goals – create a diary reminder on your phone, for example, or stick it to your fridge as a constant spur to keep it fresh in your mind. It needn’t be your action plan as such, just the eventual target, whether it’s a specific ride you’re working towards or a weight or fitness target. This will serve to motivate you when you’re flagging or possibly tempted to go ‘off plan’.

2. Create an action plan

Break your resolution into micro-manageable steps that are realistic yet challenging. These have their own dates and targets on a smaller scale. If you’re training for a major race, this will be your weekly ride schedule – distances covered, times achieved plus comments on how you feel.

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Related: How to train like a pro

Set relevant benchmarks for where you want to be after one month, three months and six months, say – or by a next birthday, or the start of the Tour. In the case of weight management, this could be a food diary and body fat record.

3. Take some inspiration for motivation

4. Start measuring this Monday

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

CycleOps Classic SuperMagneto turbo trainer

It’s that time of year again when (if you’re reading this in the Northern Hemisphere) riding indoors occasionally seems preferable to venturing outside, so here’s a new and relatively inexpensive turbo trainer from CycleOps.

Using its trusty Classic folding frame, the SuperMagneto takes minutes to assemble, measures just 49 x 52 x 29cm when folded, and weighs 8.38kg complete, which is less than some bikes. It’s easy to transport and store, rapid to set up, and has a lifetime warranty.

Related: CycleOps PowerSync Bluetooth Smart

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Simply swap your rear quick-release skewer, locate the non-driveside, and turn the opposing spring-loaded bolt-action lever to secure the bike. It’s designed for most bikes with quick release wheels and rear dropout spacing of 120mm, 130mm or 135mm, and 650b, 700c, 26, 27 or 29in wheel sizes with tyre widths up to 2.25in. You’ll need a front wheel riser block to avoid slipping forward on the saddle, and we’d definitely advise using a specific indoor trainer tyre.

The SuperMagneto offers four resistance settings via the large rubberised grip on the outside of the flywheel enclosure. These can only be adjusted between sessions; the only way to alter resistance while riding is by using your gears.

Easy setting allows you to spin easily and warm up your legs, Road mode is for smooth, steady riding over extended sessions, with a decent ride feel thanks to the large flywheel. Interval setting increases resistance, and is handy for those on fixed-wheel, while Mountain setting feels far more draggy, as if you’re riding on a gradient.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

13 Incline Alpha

The Incline, from Halfords house-brand 13, is marginally more expensive than the other budget bikes (the Trek Marlin 6, Specialized Pitch and Saracen Tufftrax) we tested alongside it – which when you’re working with prices this low, gives it an immediate advantage.

Punching above its price point

That said, the Incline’s outstanding performance would put many £700-800 bikes we’ve tested in the shade.

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Triple-butted mainframe tubes save weight while maintaining strength

This isn’t just a question of good value componentry on a generic frame either. The Incline frame uses triple butted (three different wall thicknesses in the same tube) main tubes to tune strength and stiffness without excess weight. The main tubes and rear stays are also curved and tapered to remove sting from rough terrain without diluting power delivery.

Related: 13 Bikes Incline Delta – first look

Riding on air

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

The most lustworthy wheel truing stand in the world

If you prize the time you spend working on your bike as much as riding (and especially if you love building wheels), you’ll want to start saving your pennies right now. The German-made P&K Lie Special250 truing stand is far and away the most lustworthy piece of workshop kit we’ve ever seen – and there’s a good chance it cost more than your last bike.

The appeal of the P&K Lie Special250 goes far beyond its industrial-looking aluminium frame, although even that’s worth a special mention for its precise CNC-machined construction, monolithic solidity, and gorgeous green anodized finish. Meanwhile, the axle clamps, dial indicator and hub slides, and locking knobs are all machined from solid brass.

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Seriously, have you ever seen a wheel truing stand this beautiful? No, no you have not

Even if you’re not a seasoned wheel builder, it’s easy to see the beauty here. But if you are, it’s the Special250’s incredible gauges that really highlight its capabilities.

Dial indicators are nothing new when it comes to truing stands as they provide an easier, faster, and more precise way to see exactly how far a wheel is out of round or true. The ones P&K Lie use on the Special250, however, feature a non-linear motion that magnifies even the tiniest deviations.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Get more from your sessioning by training your muscle memory

Do you find that you’re stumbling as soon as the trails get a bit more technical? This latest technique from Matt Legg-Bagg at Pedal Progression will train your body to get into good habits, and it’s these habits that should make all the difference for your next session.

Related: Sessioning the trail – practice makes perfect

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The idea is simple: you visit a trail section that you’re familiar with and find comfortable to ride. You session this section, but this time get used to over-exaggerating the position and techniques involved. For example, when cornering, accentuate from your regular position on the bike. It may look a bit silly at first, but this will train your muscle memory, and so when you next fire yourself into a technical section the right technique will feel almost second nature. 

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Scott Grafter Protect 12 Backpack

Scott’s Grafter pack has had some very welcome updates since the disappointing 16l version we reviewed in 2014, putting to rest some of our gripes and gaining even more rider friendly features along the way.

Related: Scott Grafter Protec backpack

As with most back protector packs, there’s no bladder included, but there is a tube gripper on the straps to keep the mouthpiece in place should you want to use one. The back protector itself is removable and sits in the same pocket as a bladder might. However, we found it something of a squeeze to fit both the protector and either a CamelBak or Hydrapak 3l bladder in at the same time.

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The pack offers one main storage compartment, which is easily accessible when open as the front half of the bag effectively ‘flaps’ down.

Inside is a mesh pocket to keep your phone/keys away from the elements, as well as three sewn-in but not zipped compartments for things such as mini pumps. The pockets on each side are aimed at eyewear, but we found it hard to fit our riding glasses in.

The straps are comfortable and, once secure, the Grafter doesn’t move around on your back while riding.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Van Nicholas Amazon Cross

Van Nicholas has made a success of offering reasonably priced titanium-framed bikes, and the Amazon is one of its popular longstanding models. This is the new spin-off, the Amazon Cross, set up for a life off the tarmac.

Elegant Ti frameset

The aerospace-grade titanium frame is created from round tubes – save for an ovalised top tube and chainstays, and the lengthy, flared head tube. The stays are S-shaped to improve tyre and heel clearance, and the chainstays are double crimped on the drive side for added chainring room, but a chainstay bridge does cut into the already slightly limited rubber room.

Related: The best cyclocross bikes (US / Aus) / The best cyclocross bikes (UK)

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The seatstays retain the cantilever brake mounts of the normal Amazon model, which is strange since you’d need a fork swap to run an equivalent brake up front – and we’re not sure who would want to revert from discs to cantis. Equally curious is the fact that the fork includes mudguard/fender fittings, even though the frame itself doesn’t.

External routing easier makes life easier for the home mechanic

Odd gearing

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

The Pole Evolink 140 is the longest bike you've never heard of

Seb Stott is one of our main testers when it comes to mountain bike kit. He’s a rapid Scot with a preference for 29in wheels and bikes with an extra long wheelbase.You can imagine his excitement then, when what is easily the longest 29er bike to ever enter our workshop arrives with his name on the box.

This size large bike, the largest size Finnish firm Pole provides, gets a whole 51.7in (1314mm) of space between its axles, that just exceeds the 51.6in (1310mm) figure that we measured as the wheelbase of the largest size Nicolai/Mojo Geometron – a bike that is famed for its radical geometry sheet.

Related: How long can you go? Jon Woodhouse’s extreme geometry hardtail

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So, we’ve got the longness that ‘s so often talked about, but do we have the lowness and the slackness? The answer is yes. With a 64.5-degree head angle, the 150/140mm Pole is amongst the slackest of bikes out there and at the same time its compact front triangle allows for heaps of standover clearance.

Suspension is an obvious talking point, and the Pole is pretty interesting here too. Its rear end consists of two linkage arms, the lower of which is placed concentrically around the bottom bracket of the frame. Pole claims that its design offers no nasty pedal kickback at your feet with a rear end that stays active yet firm while pedalling.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar