Features Posts

Waterproof Essentials: Best Rain Gear Clothing for Cyclists

Man cycling in the rain.

Finding the best cycling rain gear: what works, what doesn’t?

I live in the Vancouver area. It is a beautiful city with picturesque mountain views and the mildest climate in Canada. Sadly, it has one significant downside: rain.

You might think that would deter many cyclists who prefer to commute by bicycle. Not so! Vancouver is shaping up to be the next Amsterdam with bicycle lanes and co-op programs.

The truth is, a well-equipped rider can ride in wet weather in moderate comfort. A few good pieces of cycling rain gear will keep you dry and warm on that blustery ride to the office.

That being said, the word ‘waterproof’ is thrown around a bit too liberally in the bike apparel world. Finding something that actually works is imperative, or you’ll end up right back behind the steering wheel.

But what do you actually need?

In this article, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best rain gear and clothing for bicycle riders. I will list 4 essential pieces to keep your ride dry.

My purpose is twofold: I want to help you get properly equipped so you’ll arrive happy and dry, and I also want to give a few shout-outs to good brands that really work.

Interested? Keep on reading.

5 of the Best, Affordable Fat Tire Bikes | Ride Reviews

Fat Bike on Beach

Five Fat Bike Reviews: Cheap options for riding snow & sand

Nothing on two wheels draws looks like a fat bike! They are truly compelling.

With their oversized tires and impressive traction, these bicycles can ride virtually anywhere. And they look incredible.

Since you’re probably reading this for the fat bike reviews, I don’t really need to spend too much time explaining the appeal.

Why ride a fat bike? I think the real question is why not!

Whether you’re riding on snow, mud, slick rock, sand or even ice, these monster rides give you unprecedented traction. And they’re more responsive and fun than you might think.

Unfortunately, they also tend to be expensive. So for this article, I want to focus on five cheap fat bikes that review nicely and will serve you well.

For each bicycle, I’ll go over the features, capabilities, pros and cons, along with a short verdict on what it’s best suited for. Hopefully this info will get you rolling in no time.

Ready for some reviews of inexpensive fat tire bikes? Let’s get started!

Updated! Bike models come and go. Thanks for your patience!

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!

The $1000 Cyclocross Bike Review Showdown: 5 Best Options

Cyclocross Bike Race

Can You Get A Race Worthy Cyclocross Bike For $1000?

Cyclocross racing is one of the fastest growing sports in North America and across parts of Europe. Merging the speed of road racing with the handling technique of mountain biking, it offers an exhilarating way to spend fall and winter once the mercury starts to drop.

Cyclocross bikes are extremely versatile. They can be used as a thoroughbred racing machine through winter, yes, but their adaptability means that you could fit some fenders and some road tires to use one for comfortable, quick commuting. Alternatively, you could fit a rack and head off touring with minimal additional investment.

In other words, they’re a great bicycular investment.

We’re going to take a look at some of the best low-cost cyclocross bikes around the $1000 price mark, which represents the lower end of the marketplace. With a fair selection of different options (depending on rider preference and individual style), it should be possible to pick up a bargain.

This review will focus on Internet retailer Nashbar’s Steel cyclocross offering which features an impressive Shimano 105 groupset ($849 at time of review), Diamondback’s Haanjo ($900) featuring a flat bar and aluminum frame, Tommaso’s Bestia with Tiagra groupset and excellent price ($849), Raleigh’s Furley singlespeed cyclocross bike ($799) which features disc brakes for reliable stopping, and the Redline Conquest ($1089) which features a performance orientated aluminium frameset.

This review will focus on whether the bikes are tailored towards cyclocross racing and if $1000 can buy you a race-worthy cyclocross bicycle for beginners or those on a budget.

Cycling Energy Gels & Chews Reviewed: Hype or Best Practice?

Cycling Energy Gel Reviews

Are energy gels for cycling a good way to refuel?

Cycling is a demanding sport and a fantastic workout. Like with any other exercise, refueling your body after your ride is essential for best results. But what about longer rides and races? When your energy level starts to sag, is there anything you can eat or drink to give you a much needed boost?

Energy gels are heralded as a breakthrough for endurance athletes of all disciplines. Gels (or solid chews) provide a quick supply of dense energy in an accessible form, and they’re supposed to be packed with exactly what your body needs on a ride: electrolytes and simple carbohydrates.

These little packs come in a handy flat tube that you can tear open and consume, or paper packets you can rip open.

But do they work? Or perhaps a better question is: are they worth it?

This article seeks to answer that. We’ll look at what they’re made of. You might be surprised at what’s in the average cycling energy gel pack. And what’s not.

Next, we’ll list a few of the best energy gels or chews for bicycling I’ve found, and I’ll review each one briefly. That way if you want to give them a whirl, you’ll be trying one that’s halfway decent.

Are energy gels for cycling the answer to your sagging energy levels after a long race? Read on to find out. 

What are the Top 4 Bikes for Cycle-Commuting to Work?

Finding a Good Urban Commuter Bike

Cycling to work? Here are 4 of the best urban commuter bike styles

Planning to start cycle commuting to work? Good choice! You’ll save money, and you might even arrive faster than by car. Not to mention you’ll skip the need for a cardio workout each day. Commuting to work by bicycle has so many upsides; some employers are even incentivizing it.

However, if you’re planning to start cycling to work, be careful! If you ride the wrong type of bike, your adventures in two-wheeled transportation will be short lived.

And trust me, your rusty old beach cruiser or department store mountain bike just won’t cut it. Especially if you’re riding it five times per week! Don’t believe me? Try it.

If you want to stick with it, it is essential to pick the best possible urban commuter bike for your daily trip to work. Just as you’d invest in your car, you should do the same with your bike. It will pay dividends!

So what’s the best bike for cycle commuting anyway? That’s the question I’ll be tackling in this article. Rather than look at specific models, I think it’s best to look at specific bicycle categories.

So we’ll check out four great bicycle styles that are very nicely suited to your daily commute. And within each style I’ll offer a review of a great commuter bike example to investigate.

What about styles to avoid, common mistakes and red flags? You bet! I’ll cover that too.

Top Three Vintage Retro Style Bicycles To Check Out

Vintage Style Bicycles: What's For Sale?

Affordable Vintage Style Bicycles: What’s for Sale Today?

There is nothing more satisfying that cruising on a beautifully restored vintage style bicycle. A true throwback beauty is classic, timeless and gets tons of looks. The only problem? A genuine vintage or antique bicycle costs a fortune these days!

If you’re a fan of vintage style bikes like me, but you have a limited budget, you are in luck. This style is crazy popular and brands are paying attention, so there are many beautiful rides available in a gorgeous vintage style, and they’re brand new.

Mimicking the lines and features of cycles from days gone by, old style bikes are making a real comeback. It makes sense: people long for a time when life was simple, when carbon fibre and cell phones didn’t exist, and when a bike frame had a classic geometry and minimalist good looks.

Here’s the problem though: because the retro style bicycle frame is so popular, everyone and their dog is jumping on the bandwagon, including manufacturers good and bad.

The difference between a home run and a strike? It’s all in the details!

This article will be taking a close look at a handful of my favourite vintage-style bicycles for sale today. Primarily, I want to point you to a ride that not only looks amazing, but functions beautifully too.

How to Restore a Bicycle | Beautiful Vintage Bike Tips

Restored Vintage Bicycle

The human eye is a remarkable thing. It can pick up on incredibly subtle details, and your brain transforms those signals into snap judgements. In the case of bicycles, the eye can pick out imperfections like a magnet.

Rust, scuffed and scratched paint, shoddy or worn out components: all are identified almost immediately. If you’re here to learn how to restore a vintage bicycle, I have some good news for you: I know how to trick the eye.

Performing a beautiful vintage bicycle restoration isn’t always a trial. You don’t always have to tear it down and start from scratch.

There are a few simple and quick ways to restore your vintage bike and make it look like a million bucks (or at least several hundred). Curious? Keep reading. 

Vintage Bicycle Restoration | Finding a Gem

The Peugeot bicycle leaned against the moss covered shed. Its owner stood behind me as I brushed a decade worth of leaves and pine needles off the frame. “I don’t know if it even still works,” she said.

That was an understatement. Orange rust speckled the frame and chrome. One wheel was detached and lay forlornly on the damp earth.

The tires were nothing but bare vinyl and wire: probably the same set that came with it 40 years ago. The brake cables had fused with their housings. They would have to be cut.

I asked what she wanted for it. “A hundred,” she said, a Hail Mary offer based on my unexpected interest. “Nope,” I said, “Fourty, max.” I pointed out various disintegrating components. We agreed on sixty.

As I loaded it up, I smiled. After a haircut and a shave, I’d sell this beautiful bike for $150, easily. Where she saw junk, I saw potential.

How do we distinguish between the rust bucket and the hidden gem? How do you determine if a vintage bike project is ‘too far gone’?