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?

Get a Grip with the Vittoria Cross XL Pro & Clement PDX Clincher Tires

If you’re racing cyclocross this winter, you are pretty much assured 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 for winter riding conditions? Read on to find out.

8 of the Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 | Commute Frugally

Affordable Hybrid Bikes Under $500

Finding a road worthy, top quality hybrid bike for under 500 bucks

Ah, the hybrid bike. It’s probably the best thing to happen to the cycling industry in 50 years. Nothing targets the casual / commuter rider quite like it.

And that’s for good reason. Hybrid bicycles (theoretically) offer a wonderful balance of capability.

Road, grass, trails, what’s your pleasure? The hybrid bike handles them all with ease. Right?

Err… not exactly.

While there are some phenomenally great entrants into this category, they’re not all made equal.

The best hybrid bikes under $500 are a good blend of two styles of riding, capable (but not brilliant) at both styles. The worst hybrids out there aren’t really good at any type of riding.

So how does one find a stud in amongst all the duds?

I will be offering a few reviews of some affordable, top quality hybrid bikes below the $500 price point, explaining why each one made the cut, and what kind of riding it’s best suited towards.

Furthermore, I’ll offer a few tips on how to shop for them, and how to better understand hybrids and their various denominations.

Let’s get started!

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. 

Cycling with a Six Pack: 3 Great Bicycle Beer Bottle Holders

Bicycling with Beer: Holders & Carriers

Nothing is better than an ice cold beer on a hot summer day, and nothing works up a thirst like a good bike ride. But if you don’t have a car, and your liquor store is miles away, your frosty beverage faces a risky trip home in the backpack.

Let’s face it, bicycles weren’t built for carrying a 6 pack. Your options are limited. You can stuff a six pack awkwardly into a satchel. You can balance a plastic bag precariously over your handlebars.

Or, you can use a handy dandy bike beer holder to carry your frosty beverages on your bike! You’ll get to and from that store in a snap, and you’ll look great doing it too.

Yep, six pack holders for bicycles are a thing, and they’re awesome. I find it’s way easier to justify a few suds after a calorie-burning spin over to my local brewery.

So, in order to facilitate your frosty brew transportation needs, here are a few of the best bicycle beer holders and 6 pack carriers around today.

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.

The $20 Cheap Road Tire Review: Schwalbe Lugano VS. Vittoria Zaffiro

Riding on the Cheap: $20 Road Bike Tire Comparison & Review

If you don’t have a ton to spend on rubber, don’t dismay: you still have a few options. You’ll have to choose carefully, however, because there are more duds than hits at this price point.

So which are the best inexpensive road bike tires anyway? Today, we’ll be looking at two surprisingly viable options in the $20 range.

In the blue corner, weighing a respectable 255 grams and fighting out of Germany is the Schwalbe Lugano. In the red corner, weighing a slightly more heavyweight 340 grams and rolling out of Thailand with an Italian passport is the Vittoria Zaffiro.

While this battle may not be Rocky Balboa versus Apollo Creed, it still has the potential to crown a worthy $20 road bike tire champion!

Vredestein Fortezza Senso Review: An Ideal All Weather Road Bike Tire?

Vredenstein Fortezza All Weather Tires

One set of tires for year round racing, training and commuting?

The Fortezza Tricomp tire has been around for years and I’m still as happy to race on them today as I was ten years ago. For many riders they’ve become a first choice road bike tire for winter training, fast commuting and racing, especially when an all-weather competition tire is a requirement.  The Fortezza Senso is the latest iteration of the much admired Fortezza Tricomp and features the original tread pattern with an updated compound.

But how does it compare? Is the Vredestein Fortezza Senso really one of the best road bike tires for riding year-round?

Schwalbe One Review: The Best Road Bike Tire for Training or Racing?

Schwalbe One Road Racing Tire

Is The Schwalbe One Better Than The Almighty Ultremo ZX?

As a road racer I’m always on the lookout for something that’s going to give me a performance edge at a relatively low cost. Tires seem to be one of the options where spending an extra few dollars can make a significant difference in the grand scheme of things.

Having just started racing on new Schwalbe One road bike tires it’s a great time to review their performance so far having previously loved their Ultremo ZX racing tires.