Liam Hallam Posts

Reviewed: 8 Great, Entry Level Road Bikes | $1000 & Under

Sunny road bicycle ride

Eight of the Best Quality Road Bikes Below $1000

It wasn’t that long ago that spending less than $1000 on a road bike was the domain of commuters looking to find a cheap ride into work. The market has changed dramatically since, and the $1000 range is now becoming a very competitive price point.

There’s a lot of value to be found. This piece is written to help you find a good road bike at or below $1000. We’ll be reviewing each one, mentioning the style of riding it’s suited for, and any other concerns worth noting.

This article is part of a series on entry level road bikes. Stay tuned for the next piece, which will explore the $1500 price range!

Essential Road Cycling Gear for Hot Weather

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Cycling In The Heat

There’s an old saying from a Noel Coward song that only “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”. Really that has to extend to cyclists too. We often set out early but many rides take us into the heat of the day. Environmental strain can have a dramatic effect on our cycling.

We need to prepare both our body and kit to deal with conditions of extreme heat and the potentially damaging rays of the sun.

After the hardships of riding through winter a great summer day’s cycling ride can really put a smile on our face. As we speed along we create a current of wind to cool us adding to our comfort. Still, we need to be aware of the risks of dehydration, sunburn and the subsequent implications a mechanical problem could have.

Top 3 Clipless Cycling Pedals for Beginners | Reviews & Options

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What are some good, clipless bicycle pedals for beginner riders?

Getting the right pedal is crucial for beginners. Your pedals are an important interface between rider and bike. Your pedals are the most crucial contact point with the bike for developing power through the cranks. Therefore, getting the right pair for your riding should be a top priority for any road cyclist, regardless of your experience or riding ability.

Also called ‘clip-in’ or ‘step-in’ cycling pedals, they affix your shoes firmly to the pedals, letting you focus on your speed, cadence and terrain rather than your grip on the cranks. They’re intimidating to try out, but with the right set you’ll be hooked.

A good set of beginner clipless cycling pedals should be easy to clip in and out of, yet capable enough to provide an enjoyable ride and last a long time.

This article will do two things: first, it will suggest some great clip-in cycling shoes with easy features and good durability. Secondly, I’ll make a shoe suggestion to match with the pedal. We’ll focus on inexpensive, affordable components only.

Ready to check out a few of the easiest clipless pedals for beginners? Keep on scrolling down.

What Are Clipless Pedals? A Beginner’s Guide

A pair of clipless shoes and pedals.

A Beginner’s Guide to Clipless Pedals, and How To Use Them

Switching to clipless pedals can be a source of anxiety for many cyclists. Your shoes are held tightly in place by a mechanism, and locking feet to pedals puts a scary image in the back of a riders mind. They don’t want to lose control on the bike.

However if there’s one upgrade on your bike that will make you a faster, more efficient and more controlled cyclist, it’s the addition of clipless (or “clip-in”) pedals to help enhance your riding. They’ll even have similar effects during a spin class as well. The fact is, once you experience the positive effects of riding with clipless pedals for beginners, you will not go back to cycling without.

Having recently tried old fashion clips and straps on a hire bike whilst on holiday in Sardinia, I realized just how much a set of clipless pedals can benefit anyone’s cycling. The difference in pedalling efficiency I felt was huge and there was a distinct lack of the control I would expect from cycling with clipless pedals.

This piece is written for any cyclist looking into clipless pedals for the first time. I’ll talk about how clipless pedals work, how to use them, and give you some tips to get comfortable with clip-in cycling in general.

Mid-Range Italian Cycling Shoe Review: Northwave Torpedo 3S vs. DMT Libra

A cyclist sweats it out.

Two Affordable Italian Road Cycling Shoes, Head to Head

Cycling shoes can get insanely expensive. Treating yourself to a high end pair can be a painful ordeal for your bank account.

Cycling has the potential to be an expensive passion, I won’t argue that. However, with a little shopping around and a willingness to take a whirl on less expensive brands, you can find some great mid range cycling shoes which mimic the characteristics of much pricier products. Frankly, if you’re not a pro or elite, the differences in performance are likely to be negligible

There’s something about Italian style in cycling; Italian brands just ooze performance and versatility. This article is written to review two mid-range Italian carbon soled cycling shoes for the fashion and performance conscious.  We’ll be looking at the DMT Libra and the Northwave Torpedo 3S. Both cycling shoes reviewed feature performance characteristics of pro-level road cycling shoes, but at a budget friendly prince point.

Top Cycling Climbs In The Yorkshire Dales

Cycling climb country in Yorkshire

Challenge Yourself with some of the UK’s Toughest Cycling Climbs

The English counties of Yorkshire offer arguably some of the best road cycling in your United Kingdom. The Hills of the Pennines with the Yorkshire Dales and Northern edge of the Peak District were visually showcased by the Tour de France in 2014. Even with that exposure, there’s significantly more to cycling in Yorkshire than just the route the Tour riders passed over.

One of England’s networks of National Parks, the Yorkshire Dales is an area of outstanding natural beauty. The area encompasses the town of Skipton in the South, up to its border with the A66 road which crosses the Pennines in the North. With the M6 Motorway to the west and A1 to the east of the area accessibility to some of Yorkshires best cycling climbs couldn’t be easier.

5 of the Best Bicycle Tires for Gravel Riding | A Growing Trend

Gravel Tires for Cycling

Whether you’re looking for performance gravel racing tires or something to transport you comfortably along the canal towpaths of your commute, there’s no denying that gravel roads and paths provide a unique form of riding for which not every bicycle tire is suitable.

That being said, finding the best bicycle tires for gravel roads is challenging at the best of time. There just isn’t enough quality information out there yet.

The rise of tough gravel racing events in North America, which combine elements of road, mountain biking and cyclocross into long epic distances, has helped to fuel developments in the gravel tire and bike marketplace. You aren’t limited to a single choice any longer.

With over a million miles of gravel roads in the USA alone featuring very little traffic and a real sense of adventure this aspect of cycling looks like it will continue to develop, and it makes perfect sense. Riding a bicycle on gravel roads is flat out fun. Interested in hopping on this challenging new trend?

Roadside at the Tour De France Grand Depart In Yorkshire

Tour De France in Yorkshire

A Firsthand Account of the Tour De France in Yorkshire: Grand Depart

Its 6AM Saturday 5th July as we set off from Nottingham for the grand depart of the Tour De France in Yorkshire. Our plan is to head up to the edge of the Yorkshire Dales to the climb of the Cote de Grinton Moor, the final categorised climb on the first day of this year’s Tour before the riders make a fast dash into Harrogate to the finish.

For the last few years my Dad and I have always tried to chase the Tour of Britain. On occasions we’ve seen them go past us 2-3 times but chasing the Tour De France would be an unthinkable task without some form of Police escort. Therefore our plan was to get ourselves a good vantage-point to watch the peloton go past which usually means a trek up to one of the King of The Mountains points.

A Road Cycling Tour of the Best Places to Visit in Sherwood Forest

Liam cycling past Sherwood Nature Reserve

Liam Hallam Rides Through the Home of Robin Hood

Many visitors to Nottingham and the surrounding area are surprised at the area that Sherwood Forest covers. Back in the times of Robin Hood, Little John and Maid Marion, Sherwood Forest would have been a dense woodland a third of the size of modern day Central London. It passes from the North of Nottingham, past the Industrial town of Mansfield and up to Worksop in the North.

Now the forest still takes up a huge section of the Nottinghamshire countryside and offers some fantastic cycling routes for both road cyclists and mountain bikers.

It is an amazing place to ride for cyclists: a picturesque setting, with plenty of historic stops along the way. The roads are quiet, fun and challenging, and the setting must be seen to be believed.

We took a few photographs on a recent ride though. Is Nottingham forest really one of the most beautiful places on earth? Read on and find out!

Mud Tire Duel: Vittoria Cross XL vs. Clement PDX | Cyclocross Reviews

What's the Best Cyclocross Mud Tire?

Getting To Grips with the Vittoria Cross XL Pro and Clement PDX Clincher Tires in the Mud – A Review

If you’re racing cyclocross this winter there’s pretty much an assurance that you’re going to encounter some mud. Whether it’s the thick heavy stuff like riding through peanut-butter that severely slows you down or the ultra-soft watered down stuff that literally ends up everywhere, it’s tough to ride through. At some point during the season the hard-packed ground of early season will turn to a form of gloop and as a rider you need to be prepared.

One of the easiest ways to prepare for the conditions is picking up some mud-specific cyclocross tires.  Generally there are three kinds of cyclocross racing tires: dry conditions, all-around performance and mud-specific tires. It’s logical for a racer using clincher wheels to have a selection of tires at their disposal throughout the racing season.

 Two of the more recent additions to the clincher cyclocross tire market are Vittoria’s Cross XL Pro and the Clement PDX. Both tires aim to target the muddier end of the cx racing season but will they help you power your way to better performance or leave you sliding in the mud? To give you an idea of our comparison of these tires we’ve given a running scorecard for you to judge how each cyclocross tire performs.

Which of these two cyclocross mud racing tires is the best? Read on to find out.