Electric bikes

There is a revolution taking place in the world of cycling right now and Cyclehouse are grasping the nettle so to speak!  Over the years, we have seen many changes in bike tech such as tyre widths and wheel sizes getting bigger, wider, thinner and smaller, frame materials have dramatically changed and suspension bikes become more and more efficient, but possibly the biggest change to bicycles as we know it is happening right now!.

“e” Bikes have been around for some time but thanks to advances in technology they are now a viable option. Available in all shapes and sizes, e bikes typically come with either hub or mid mounted motors of which the latter are usually better quality and more expensive. Hub motor e bikes are ideal for tootling around town and general leisure cycling and our range of Wisper e bikes starts at just under £1000 in either crossbar or low step frame option, there’s also a compact folder the Wisper 806SE (pictured)


If your looking for a mid motor e bike then we would recommend Raleigh. There Captus model is one of the UK’s best selling e bikes. With both crossbar and very low step options the Raleigh Captus is fitted with the Bosch Active Line mid mounted motor which provides masses of torque and will cover up to 90 miles from one charge.


For the more serious e bike rider we stock the Haibike e bike range. From around £2000 mid motor models are available using both Yamaha and Bosch drive systems.

Haibike provide both Mountain Bikes such as the Sduro and Xduro models and also some very nice Hybrid/Trekking e bikes too.

e Bikes are pedal assisted so you still need to pedal but the motor will provide up to 200% additional power so long rides and hills can be enjoyed rather than endured. Speed is restricted Europe wide to 15 miles per hour.

At Cyclehouse we only carry reliable brands and all bikes are fully set up and serviced by our trained mechanics who are  Bosch and Yamaha trained.

For more info and a ride on our test bikes either pop in or call either of our stores. Cyclehouse Cheshire Oaks and Cyclehouse Warrington.


Staff test – Scott E-Genius 710

Where do we start with electric bikes? ” Perhaps with an open mind? “

Good, lets carry on then…

So we’ve been testing out the rather special Scott E-Genius 710 and it has many stand out features.  Besides the bright colours and 140mm travel, it runs a Sram 1×11 system.  It is paired with a 17 tooth front chain-ring, which is the smallest chain-ring I’ve seen on a mountain bike!  The E-Genius runs plus sized tyres, 2.8 to be more accurate, seated on 40mm rims.  It has a Rockshox Reverb dropper post, so great for up and downhills, even flat riding too!  Lastly, the E-Genius, if you have not already guessed it, comes with a Bosch Motor and Battery.


The battery weighs 2.5 kilos, quite a hefty lump to place onto a bike.  The motor sits just below this, so the centre of gravity is very low, therefore not upsetting the handling of the bike.  The Bosch Motor is possibly the leading motor for E-bikes, giving a range from 45KM in it’s highest setting to 160Km in it’s lowest.  The fastest speed the motor will go up to is 25KPH, so once over this speed, the motor disengages. This means the motor can last much, much longer than the quoted spec.

To control the motor, the switch is on the left hand-side of the cockpit and has four buttons.  Two buttons increase or decrease the power, the third button is for the computer read-out, whilst the fourth button is pretty cool.  The fourth button is a walk mode, it uses the power on a very low setting to ease with pushing the bike.  Not overly useful on the flat but for those hike-a-bike sections that can go on for an hour, it’s genius…

That’s enough of the technical side, how does it ride?

Initial impressions were good.  The obligatory car-park test was a great success, we all finished the ride with big grins and were positively buzzing after the ride.  Obviously we set the motor to ‘Turbo’ mode and raced up and down, taking in the small kerbs and greenery that our store has on offer.  You can not tell a lot from a car-park test, only if it’s not going to work for you, so the next test was a 50KM ride.


Let’s start at the end of the ride just to be different.  I was worn out, I’ve never been so tired on this familiar route!  So for the nay-sayers saying you don’t have to pedal, that is absolutely wrong.   For the nay-sayers who say they’re easy, they’re not, they are only as easy or as difficult as you make them to be “.  Let me explain further.

The test ride was a road ride out to a not-so-local moorland, followed by an off-road loop and finished with a road section back home.  I had a slight tail-wind on the way out and kept to speeds of 29-31KPH (just over the 25KPH threshold), so at this speed, the pedalling was very much my effort.  It’s hard work riding a 140MM Enduro style bike with 2.8″ tyres on the road, the motor helped with pulling away from traffic lights, but once up to speed, it did not help.

Just before the moorlands, there is a steep road section.  Known locally as the Devils S’s, the climb can be done just under 8 minutes for Elite Cat roadies, whilst my humble self on the road bike will take just over 9 minutes.  For the foothills of the climb, I set it to tour mode (second lowest setting) and with effort, I was flying up the hill.  The steepest section peaks at 1 in 4, so I upped the power to sport mode (second highest setting) and this gave me the extra boost I needed, resulting in a time of just sub 8 minutes.  Something to worry to Elite Cat racers!  However, I did notice whilst going up the hill, I did not worry about my breathing, nor pacing!  I was in the ‘red’ zone for longer, but I did not have to dig quite so deep.  What this says for cardiac fitness I do not know but I can safely say that motors do make my hills easier in effort, just faster!

Off-road the bike was great fun.  The combination of the wide tyres and motor resulted in a very capable bike.  I never needed the turbo function, even on a section I normally push (then again, my regular mountain bike is a rigid forked, 34 x 12-36).  The bike was great on the off-road climbs and was impressive on those tight, stalling switch backs.  The motor would kick in just at the right point of coming to a dead stop.  It will not turn you into a pro, but it will compliment your riding style very well.  The downhills were great fun too, the bike is heavy, so would accelerate well going down.  The heavy weight felt planted, rather than heavy, and the bike was nimble, enough to throw it around the corners well (even with the motor switched off!).  The motor on the downhill could catch you out, but with experience, you’ll learn when to use the motor and when not to, it is easy enough to switch between on and off.


In short, the bike was ace.  It was a great bike to ride and I would happily own one should the opportunity come my way.  I enjoyed riding the bike and for my style of riding, riding from home to the trail head, then a big loop and then back home, it was perfect.  The motor helped on the road sections, did not hinder me off-road and was excellent on the way home with tired legs.  I would be more than happy to do a century ride on this bike and I would be confident in the battery lasting for the ride too, just do not ride in turbo all the time.

The E-Genius would also be a great bike for the trail-centre type of rider, most trail centres have long, dull climbs and this would be perfect to keep you fresh for the downhills, it might even let you ‘session’ sections too.  If you can session sections, you’ll become a better rider!

Still not sure on the motor part of the bike?  Well, think of it like an uplift day or a trip to the Alps but you actually pedal to the top!  Who’s cheating now….


Spring Classic 2016 Guide

The Spring Classics are upon us and for many cycling fans, these races are often the highlight of the season.  You’ve heard of Le Tour, maybe the Giro and at a push,  La Vuelta but what are the ‘Classics’?

There is no strict definition to a Classic, so I’ll make my own up.  These are one day races, so the riders only have one attempt each year to get into form and win their goal.  The races will generally be between 250-300KM, mostly following routes that can be over a century old.  Some races will go over cobbles and we’re not talking about smooth, well laid stones.  The Classics have seen all weathers; blazing sunshine and high winds, torrential rain and sub-zero snow flurries.  The roads can be covered in mud and riders are unrecognisable at the end of the race, or the roads can be dry, creating clouds of dust that makes breathing difficult and visibility poor.  It’s clichéd, but only the strongest rider making their own luck will win.

” So, sit back and read our mini-guide to the races.  Get some Belgian Beers, frites and mayo on the go and watch some of the most exciting cycle races you’ve never heard of! “


19 March – Milan San Remo

La Classicissima‘ is the first major Spring Classic of the season, with a distance of nearly 300KM, the race between Milan and San Remo is the longest one day race of the calendar.  It is the first of the five ‘Monument Classics‘  (Tour of Flanders and Paris – Roubaix, Liege – Bastogne – Liege and the Autumnal Classic, Giro D’Lombardia being the remaining four) and was first raced in 1907.

It’s beauty lies within the race, it is almost too predictable – everyone will attack on the Poggio – but this predictability keeps the riders on their toes and tensions high.  It’s a Sprinter’s Classic but looking at recent editions of the race, the winner can never be predicted and certainly, no-one on the finishing straight should be sidelined, as the peloton found out in 2013 when Gerald Ciolek raised his arms!

” Expect lots of attacks that are doomed to fail and some high speed descending on the Poggio, watch how skillful the riders can descend when victory is at their grasp “

Previous winners
2015 –
John Degenkolb
2014 –
Alexander Kristoff
2013 –
Gerald Ciolek


25 March – E3 Harelbeke

A modern classic by cycling standards, it was first raced in 1958 and is dominated by Belgium riders.  Although the name has changed many times in it’s short history, the race still takes in many cobble sections in the Ardennes Region to test the riders.  Due to it’s nature, it is often dubbed as the ‘Little Tour of Flanders’ and is a great indicator of those riders in form.

It is the first of the Cobbled Classics and one that everyone will want to win to show their form and ease the pressure for the following month.  The race takes in 12 significant climbs, including Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg (see Tour of Flanders).  The last climb of the day at 13KM from the finish line is the Tiegemberg, just over 800 metres in distance and reaching 8% in gradient should be the deciding factor on who wins.

” The E3 Harelbeke is the first of the Cobbled Classics and no doubt tensions will be high.  There will be a lot of attention and pressure on the Dutch and Belgium riders to do well after a poor few years, so these will be the one’s to watch out for “

Previous winners
2015 –
Geraint Thomas
2014 –
Peter Sagan
2013 –
Fabian Cancellara


27 March – Gent Wevelgem

Two days after the E3, the Gent Wevelgem will no doubt test a few tired legs.  The route is around 250KM and it’s highlight is the Kemmelberg climb, a cobble-stone climb reaching 23%.    The cross winds will play havoc on the peloton in the first 100KM, then the quick successions of nine categorized climbs with narrow and technical descents in the final stages will grind many riders down.

” The unpredictable weather during Spring, strong winds and rain makes this a tough one to win. “

Previous winners
2015 – Luca Paolini
2014 –
John Degenkolb
2013 –
Peter Sagan


3 April – Tour of Flanders

A week after the E3 and the Gent Wevelgem, we can start seeing who is in form and this will be a great one to win in 2016.  Affectionately known as ‘De Ronde’ by the locals, 2016 will be the 100th edition of the race.  First raced in 1913, it was customary for newspapers to organise major cycle races and ‘Da Ronde’ was no different.  The race even survived during W.W.II, the 1941 edition was won by a Belgian rider Achiel Buysse.

The highlight of this Classic needs no introduction to seasoned cyclists, the ‘Koppenberg’.  Although it does not climb very high (77 metres), it’s punch in is two form, rough cobbles and a 22% gradient.  On many occasion, it has reduced even the pro-riders to walking up with their bikes and in 1987, one rider’s bike was run over by the commissaire!  It took until 2008 to reinstate this climb back into De Ronde.

After the Koppenberg, the riders will do two circuits, taking in two major climbs each time.  The Oude Kwaremont with 11% gradient (and 19KM from the finish on the last lap) and the Paterberg (20% gradient and 13KM from the finish) will certainly liven up the action.

”  You’ll need to be in the first dozen or so riders on the Koppenberg to get through incident free but it’s not the place to ‘show your cards’.  More than just a few attacks will no doubt happen on the finishing circuit but will it be a solo escapee heading to the finish line  to raise their arms or will a small group of riders battle it out after the final ascent of the Paterberg? “

Previous winners
2015 – John Degenkolb
2014 – 
Fabian Cancellara
2013 – 
Fabian Cancellara


10 April – Paris Roubaix

The Queen of all the classics, this race has had everything and a win here will make seal you a contract for the rest of your cycling career!  In recent editions, the race has been completed in sunshine but in previous years, it’s seen mud, rain and even more mud.  Some riders swear that the local farmers plough the fields a few days before the race comes through, just to make the cobbles that little bit more difficult!

Dubbed as Hell of the North, the race takes in 27 cobble sections, some sections smooth, other with pot-holes, some sections as short as 200 metres and some as long as 3.7KM.  The race will generally split on the Trouée d’Arenberg, you certainly won’t win from here, but you can certainly lose it on the tight, rough section through the centre of the Arenberg Forest.  The race wraps up in Roubaix in the town’s open-air velodrome making for a dramatic finish should a solo rider not escape.

As a side note, although often favoured by the Belgian riders and fans alike, you’ll see plenty of Flanders flags along the race, the race doesn’t actually go into Belgium!

If you only watch one Classic, make time for this one…

Previous winners
2015 – John Degenkolb
2014 –
Niki Terpstra
2013 – 
Fabian Cancellara



17 April – Amstel Gold Race
900_Amstel Gold Race

A modern day, Dutch Classic.  As a Spring Classic, it is relatively fresh, originating in 1966 and during it’s short history, the race has solely been sponsored by Dutch brewing company, Amstel.  The route has been changed many times but it would appear for the near future, the race will start at Maastricht and finish 250KM down the road at Valkenburg (famed for it’s copy of Lourdes Grotto).

As with any Spring Classic, this is a tough race.  The race will climb 34 ‘bergs‘ (hills – who said the Netherlands was flat!), many rising up to 22%.  The last of hour of racing will see the riders complete 8 of those 34 bergs when the pace is at it’s highest.  After four climbs of the Cauberg, the riders will be relieved to see the finish line, but only one will take the top step of the podium.

” A great race that brings out the climbers, perhaps an opportunity to see who has form for the Alpine and Dolomite climbs in the Giro.  I would not put all your money on the climbers though, the last couple of years have seen victories by sprint climbers and World Champions.
Peter Sagan for 2016? “

Previous winners
2015 – Michal Kwiatkowski
2014 –
Philippe Gilbert
2013 –  
Roman Kreuziger


20 April – Fleche Wallone

Like a lot of the races pre-WWII, this was originally organised to boost newspaper sales and was run up to distances of 300KM.  La Fleche Wallone used to be the part of the double weekender with Liege Bastone Liege, one of the races on the Saturday and the second race on the Sunday, but in modern day cycling, it’s on the brutal side to run both on the same weekend!  They have even shortened the distance to 200KM, making it one of the shorter distance Classics.

The race starts in a small town of Charleroi and heads East to the direction of Huy.  When the riders get to Huy, they complete three circuits that include the steep ‘Mur de Huy’ (Wall of Huy), where gradients reach 26%!  The clever riders will hold something back on the first two ascents, monitoring the attacks and watching the moves.  Only on the ultimate lap will the winning move happen, but will it be before the climb, on the climb or a late serge for the line??

” The patient rider will wait to attack on the final lap of the Huy but will it be too late?  Will they be able to cover any solo escapees or have they left it too late in the race to play their cards? “


Previous winners
2015 – Alejandro Valverde
2014 – 
Alejandro Valverde
2013 –
Daniel Moreno


24 April – Liege Bastone Liege

The oldest of the classics, it was first raced in 1892 and the race now covers ~250Km of the steepest hills in Belgium.  Billed as the hardest one day race on the calendar, anyone from a Rouleur to Climber can win this race.  It is, perhaps, the most unpredictable race to bet on.

If the races comes down to a group finish, then the final climb, steep and longer than most riders realise until it’s too late, will soon sort the men from the boys.  Expect to see the Rainbow Jersey ‘mixing it up’ in the final stages, showing the rest of the riders just who is the best.

“It’s the last of the Spring Classics, expect lots of attacks from riders who have yet to see the podium, whilst those who have, will be full of confidence.  One thing for certain, it’s not over until it’s over! “

Previous winners
2015 – Alejandro Valverde
2014 –
Simon Gerrans
2013 –
Dan Martin


cyclists,-orange-sunset,-silhouette-162010 (1)

5 benefits of cycling

Here at CycleHouse, we think the bicycle is the best thing ever invented.  Well, we would, wouldn’t we?  As both a sport and a past-time, the bicycle has a lot to offer us, so we thought we would share some benefits of bicycle ownership!

1 – Keeps you fit
Yes, we’ll start with the obvious one first!  Cycling for an hour at an average pace of 10mph, you can burn about 450 calories (about the equivalent of 2 Mars bars).  You can burn more by running, but how many people can sustain an hour’s worth of running on their first outing?  Not many, but you’ll be surprised how far and quick you can go on a bike, even as a new rider.  The upside with cycling is that you can, time wise, cycle more than many other sports.  Cyclists are also friendly, so don’t forget to wave and shout hello at passing cyclists.


2- Use your bike as transport
It’s a really simple idea but why not use you bicycle to ride to the shops, as a pub bike or even ride to work.  Cyclehouse accepts ride to work vouchers.  This is a government initiative that allows you to purchase a bike tax-free, saving over 40% on a new bike.  Why not phone either store  and have a chat about this scheme?

3 – Great access to traffic free areas (sustrans)
Cheshire has a great network of traffic free cycle paths that can take you all over the county and even into the next country, Wales!  The Cheshire Oaks Store is even positioned at the end of a cycle path, sustrans route 563, whilst the Warrington store is only 1 mile from the Trans Pennine Trail.

Besides the traffic free routes, there are also plenty of rides that take in the quiet, ‘back-lanes’, these tend to go past small villages and rarely see traffic outside rush-hour times.  These routes are way-marked, so all you have to do is cycle and enjoy the views.


4 – Cake stops  and social rides
A lot of the Sustrans routes go past cafes, in fact, I’m struggling to think of a recent ride that did not involve coffee and cake!  The cafes will vary, from the ‘pint sized mug of pale tea’ to the ‘flat white served with mini-muffins and raspberry jus’, but the social occasion will stay the same.  These are not only a great place to treat yourself to cake, but also to socialise.

It is not always possible to chat to everyone on a ride, but once at the cafe, you can sip on your drink, munch on your food and tell tall tales!  I have had some outings that have had a longer coffee stop than actually riding, but we don’t talk about these!

5 – (Relatively) Cheap
Compared to other sports and past-times, cycling can look expensive but it really does not have to be.  The initial outlay can be daunting but it can work out much cheaper than a years membership at your local gym.  CycleHouse also offer 0% finance on bike sales, with the option of spreading the cost over 12 months.  Let’s look at what sort of bike you can get for your gym membership (and lets not forget, the bike will last much longer than a year too, so your second summer on the bike will be free!)

The local municipal gym at £32 per month – £384 per year2196-8870-main-anteron-men-5The Ridgeback Anteron Motion at £349.99 is a great bike, designed within the UK, it is a reliable and comfortable bike.  If this is your first introduction to cycling, you’ll be pleasantly surprised, it comes highly specced with  an aluminium frame, Shimano gears and the highly regarded Schwalbe Marathon tyres.  It’s perfect  for popping to the shops or for your Sunday afternoon rides out to the local cafe!

The private gym at £75 per month – £900 per year

The Cannondale Quick CX 3 at £599 comes equipped with hydraulic disc brakes and a suspension fork, making it ideal for the more adventerous rider, or those wishing to have more comfort.  The disc brakes offer improved braking over rim brakes, wet or dry, the brakes always work, whilst the suspension fork will dampen bump and will add more control whilst riding.  If your rides take in the Trans-Pennine or the Wirral Way, this is the one for you.

Cannondale Quick Speed 2 £729.99


The Cannondale Quick Speed 2 for £729.99 is set to become a classic.  Think of it as a flat-barred racing bike, but with the benefit of a more up-right riding position that will be kinder on your back.  It also comes equipped with disc brakes and a carbon fork, which is lighter than a steel fork with more comfort.  You’ll have no excuses for not keeping up with your friends if you buy this bike.  It has a great range of gears on it, so anything from the fast descents, to the steep up-hills will be achievable.

A year’s membership at the Deluxe Health Spa at £125 per month – £1500/yr
Lastly, the top of the range Whyte Montpellier for £1500.  This has everything, the carbon frame and forks makes this lightweight and comforable, whilst the disc brakes offer superb stopping power.  Whyte have designed this bike around 11 gears, so it’s simple to use, very reliable and above all, a joy to ride.  Quite possibly the ultimate Hybrid bike on the market (if it was not for the Cannondale Quick 1 Carbon to rival it).


Top ten HOT trends for 2016

Here at CycleHouse, we are mid way through the 2016 season and we can see some trends setting that are here to stay.  So, here’s the long and short of it, a top ten HOT trend list to look out for this summer coming.

1) – Shimano Di2
It’s been here for a long time, but prices are getting lower each year.  With Di2 featuring on bikes around the £3000 mark, it is still expensive but once you’ve tried it, you really won’t go back.  It is effortless in it’s shifting, it is self truing and it is fully tunable to suit your needs.  What’s more, you can buy upgrade kits to convert your existing chain-set to work with Di2.

Keep your eyes peeled this summer for the new SRAM electronic gears, the new eTAP system does away with cables!  All sounds rather nice to us at CycleHouse.


2) – Plus sized tyres
The war on 26inch, 650B and 29er tyres has long been fought.  It appears that lately the 650B has edged past the other two sizes, but we now have a new contender, the plus sized tyre.  These are, to put simply, just wider versions of the already established tyre sizes, but instead of going up to 2.4 inch wide, these now go up to 2.8 inches.  Combine these tyres with a wider rim (this should also be on the trend list) and you get a much wider profile of the tyre.  This results in more cushioning and comfort as tyres can be run at lower pressures, but also more speed!  The wider tyres offer more grip and traction, combine this with the lower pressures and traction and you’ll fly on the descents.  Surely that’s what every mountain biker is after?!
plus size

3) – 25/28mm road tyres
Those Audax boys and girls have been right all along, the larger roads tyres offer more comfort on a longer rides, the wider profile offers more grip in the corners and if set at the right pressure, reduces rolling resistance.  What’s not to like?  You’ll see a lot of our road bikes are coming with 25mm tyres and the some of the Cannondale Synapse range even comes specced with 28mm tyre.  These wider tyres are perfect for the British roads.

28mm tyre

4) – Aluminium road bikes
Europeans love aluminium bikes but we’ve yet to embrace them properly over here.  The UK market certainly see carbon as the go-to fabric and as an upgrade material but this is set to change for this season. Cannondale have released their new aluminium CAAD 12 frame-set.  Lighter than a lot of competitors carbon frame-sets, the new CAAD 12 is set to change how we think of aluminium.  It comes in two versions, disc or non-disc finish and it utilises the highly acclaimed Supersix EVO fork.  You’ve got to see it to believe in the hype, £1300 for a full Shimano 105 group-set and mavic wheels, carbon fork and their SI crankset, that’ll be the Cannondale CAAD 12.

5) – Cross/Gravel bikes
We’ve noticed a lot more riders liking the idea of road riding but they do not want to solely road ride, so what options are out there?  Off-road road bikes are a great choice for many people but they have a quirkier name, Gravel bikes (think 28-30mm tyres for riding on Sustrans hard-pack routes) and cyclo-cross bikes (think knobbly, 35mm tyres for racing around muddy fields).  These bikes are still fast on the roads, still have drop bars but they can cope with off-road sections too, ideal for the more adventurous road cyclist or someone after a winter bike.  CycleHouse staff have embraced them for their winter commute bikes and for racing on, matching them up with #8 on our list.


6) – E-bikes
Now then, e-bikes divide opinions straight away (and don’t mention Strava in the same sentence…!).  For many people, e-bikes will give them the access that they need to ride bikes and that can only be a good thing.  We at CycleHouse could write pages upon pages on e-bikes, but we won’t.  Suffice to say, it’s the future and if it gets more people out cycling, then who are we (the infamous ‘we’ as a population) to judge.

7) – Road disc brakes
Love or loathe them, they are here to stay!  They’ve been long established in the mountain bike world and they have made a smooth transition to the road world.  The pro-riders are still undecided on them but don’t let that put you off!  For riding within the UK, it is hard to fault them, consistent braking from dry to wet weather, improved modulation over calliper brakes and dare I say it, cleaner lines on the bike.  They are also allowing riders to fit large volume tyres and mud-guards to their bikes, so they’re great for winter riding.

8) – Sram (or shimano) 1x systems
Probably not for the 2016 season in the road bike world, but it’s starting to appear on Cross and Gravel bikes.  Mountain bikers have used a 1x system (one chain-ring with a wider cassette) for many years now and it won’t be long for other riders to adapt them.  Whyte have specced this system on their fast hybrids and we’re seeing many riders change their existing setup for this method, it’s simpler (so less to go wrong), cheaper to buy into (less components to buy) and the bike looks better.  A 1x system will usually give you about 90% of the gear range a conventional compact chain-set will.


9) – Full/open face helmets
Yeah, we laughed at the Met Parachute all those years ago but fast forward more than a decade and we just can’t get enough of them.  Enduro (A.K.A. all mountain, trail, over-mountain, agreesive XC, light free-ride…) has hit the mountain bike scene in a big way.  Longer travel bikes that can now climb hills has resulted in riders wanting one helmet to do it all.  Step forward the Bell Super II helmet, lightweight and super breathable, this open face helmet has a chin guard that attaches to the main helmet quicker than your mates will get their breath back at the top of the climb!

10) – Sunshine and dry trails 
OK, so we have a warped sense of humour.  We can live in hope though😉  Mmmmm, dusty trails and rooster tails….


Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod

Cannondale-supersix-evo-runner-up-best-lightweight-bike-630x420.jpgPhoto credit to Cycling Weekly

Need CycleHouse say more than Cycling Weekly’s review;
“The new Cannondale SuperSix EVO [Hi Mod] is without question one of the best lightweight bikes we have ever ridden. Outwardly it looks very similar to the previous model however the new frame has been completely redesigned.”

OK, so we do need to say more!  For starters, just look at it.  It looks sleek and purposeful, the traditionalists can rejoice in the looks, yet if you read ahead, you’ll quickly realise Cannondale have taken a radical approach to up-dating a frame-set that was already a classic.

Cannondale have designed the frame-set ‘ground up’, meaning that the designers have looked at the basics and have taken the bike design from there.  They’ve made the frame compatible with 28mm tyres, the previous Supersix EVO would only take 25mm, so the new Hi Mod frame-set offers more comfort to rider and more grip in the corners.

super-six-rear-derailleurCannondale uses partial internal cabling.  Photo credit to bicycling.com

Interestingly, Cannondale have gone against the trend of aero-tubing and lowering the rear triangle.  They have used a ‘traditional’ double triangle frame design and are using ‘tears drop’ shaped tubing called Truncated Aero Profile (TAP).  TAP improves aerodynamics without sacrificing stiffness and weight.  The new profile results in 6 Watts power increase and a saving of 70 grams over the older frame-set.  The Hi-Mod frame-set uses a mixture of internal and external cables, the rear brake is internal to give a clean finish to the bike, whilst the gear cables are mostly external.  The external gear cables on the down-tube help with the air flow around the tubing, so they help with aerodynamics and it also makes it easier to change cables.

Going back to basics, the designers have designed the frame and the forks to work together.  Whilst this may sound like common sense, many manufacturers will design the frame and fork separately.  By designing the frame and fork together, the Hi-Mod frame-set will have more precise handling, the rear of the bicycle will follow what the front end does.  It is a very simple approach that equates to a very nice, compliant frame-set.  If you feel confident in the frame-set and it’s ride, you’ll be able to transfer this confidence into going faster!!  Sections of the new Hi-Mod frame-set are over 8% stiffer than the previous edition, but 20% more compliant thanks to the clever use of SPEED SAVE rear chainstays, technology taken from the Cannondale Synapse.  In laymen terms, SPEED SAVE is micro-suspension, it uses the flex of the carbon to give a comfortable ride.

Lastly in frame design, the new Hi-Mod frame-set is layered up size specific.  That’s right, each size Hi-Mod frame-set has different thickness tubing and weight, resulting in the best possible ride quality for each size frame.  A small rider on the 48CM frame does not require the same stiffness, nor strength than a rider on the 60CM frame needs.

SuperSixEVo_2016_SPThe SAVE 25.4mm seatpost.  Photo credit to Peloton Magazine

Cannondale have used technology from the proven Synapse model for their seatpost.  They are now speccing a 25.4mm seatpost over the traditional 27.2mm seatpost.  Not only is the smaller post lighter, it offers a little more flex than a traditional sized post, so the bicycle will be more comfortable. As a side note for those worried about it being too light, Cannondale spec these cranks on their top-end mountain bikes.

The Cannondale Supersix EVO Hi-Mod frame-sets also come specced with the highly acclaimed Cannondale Hollowgram SiSL2 crank-set, weighing in 58g lighter than Shimano Dura-Ace but more importantly, Cannondale claim it is 72 percent stiffer.  That is a huge increase in potential performance to any cyclists, be it a Pro Rider or a Cat 4 racer.

1435518054990-iw0p9u3wqznv-960-540Photo credit to Bike Radar

The result of all the above changes is best summed up by Peloton Magazine after their test;
As with any first ride impressions need to be taken lightly, but the ride quality was quite astonishing. The new EVO [Hi-Mod] feels light, nimble and kinetic under power, almost nervous and ready to jump. Yet, point downhill or hit a tight corner with some speed and the bike feels more stable and planted than any other 14-pound bike we have ever ridden, the exact opposite of twitchy and nervous. It can carve a tight and precise line while letting you know you have not come close to finding its edge.”

Tips for commuter cyclists by a seasoned commuter

Have you ever thought that there is more bicycles than simply ‘hammering the trails’ or ‘beasting it on the Sunday chaingang’?  Have you considered using your bicycle as transport and beating that morning rush?

It is probably the wrong time of year to start commuting by bicycle to work but with a few simple tips, you’ll soon embrace the rain and wind.


We’ve discussed general winter tips in our blog here and here, so here’s a few tips from CycleHouse to keep you ticking over during your commuting week

Firstly, in city commuting, a bicycle can be much quicker than public transport or even driving.  I used to live in Manchester and my cycle commute was 15 minutes, whilst relying on public transport, it would be anything over 30 minutes!  Even though cycle commuting can be quicker, allow extra time for your journeys, you don’t want to be squeezing through tight traffic gaps or jumping red lights just to arrive to work on time.  You don’t always have to undertake everything whilst in slow moving traffic, sitting patiently behind vehicles (especially large vehicles such as buses/trucks etc.) can be a sensible option and ensures that you actually arrive at your destination.  Also, allowing a little bit of extra time for your journey means you have time to fix a puncture should it happen or dare I say it, pop into the coffee shop before work.


Getting your clothing right is key to making your commute more enjoyable.  Always carry a waterproof jacket with you, it might be sunny at 8 AM but knowing the British weather, it will invariably rain come home time.  Leg and knee warmers are also a great idea for spring and autumn, sometimes the wind direction changes and these will just keep the cold at bay.

Leaving a small towel, some baby wipes and deodorant (even dry shampoo!) at work is a blessing for both yourself and your work collages.  Only stale sweat smells, so wash it off quickly and you’ll have no complaints.  In work offices that require you to wear a suit, many cyclists will drive in on Mondays, leave spare clothing at work for the week ahead and collect it on the drive home on Friday.


So what are the benefits of cycling to and from work?

  • Firstly, reduced petrol costs (i.e none!) and less wear on your car, but that’s the boring stuff!
  • How about burning extra calories (a quick scan on the internet reveals a 30 minute commute cycling at 12pmh can burn approximately 250 calories – about one Mars bar worth – double that for the joureny home) and your fitness will certainly improve, you may even be able to give up that costly gym membership too.

Lastly, you may get wet sometimes, get blown about once or twice but every now and again, you get treated to stunning views

Gearing up for Winter – Mountain Bikers

You’ve read Gearing up for winter (part one) and Gearing up for winter (part two) and are wondering, what about us mountain bikers.  Well, CycleHouse have not forgot about you.  Oh no, so here’s an extra little guide to surviving the winter on the mountain bike.


Mudguards?  On a mountain bike?  Sacrilege some will scream, but they do keep most of the mud and spray off, and we all like to be warm and dry don’t we.  It wont be news to most, but Crud Guards are just the ticket (and if you’ve bought a Whyte bicycle, good news, these fit like a dream on the down tube).  Give them a try this winter, we promise you wont be disappointed, they’ll also help to protect that rather expensive dropper post you’ve invested in.  Ass -savers and such like are also handy to have, they are small pieces of plastic that attach to the seat and keep the worst of the mud of you.


A firm favourite by the staff at CycleHouse whilst mountain biking are waterproof shorts.  Surprsingly, they offer great protection from the rain and if you’re not a fan of the mud guard look, are a great alternative.  I’ll wear mine from Endura for about 9 months of the year, they keep the rest of my kit dry from spray and mud free.  They are also convenient at the end of the ride to take off and ‘jump straight into the car’.


The extremities often get neglected by mountain bikers, so why not add a neck warmer or roubaix cap to your Christmas list, or even a nice pair of merino wool socks.  The neck warmers will block out those biting winds, stop rain from trickling down your neck and they can be turned into a skull cap.  The merino wool socks will be warmer than those thin, synthetic summer socks and are good at staying warm whilst wet. Mountain bike specific over-shoes are worth having providing your route does not have too much hike-a-bike and the of course, the Endura Deluge gloves will keep your hands dry and toasty even on the coldest of days on the hills.  In really horrible weather, I can several several pairs of gloves with me and swap over to a dry pair mid-ride, it’s a great morale boost.


When it’s really cold or cafe stops have been planned, I always carry a spare insulating layer.  Think synthetic down and you wont be far off, the Endura Urban Jacket is great to store in your bag whilst riding and put on at the cafe stop, end of a ride or when your mate has a puncture.  They are particularly useful whilst out in the hills and you can put these on during snack stops (the jackets are slightly over-sized, designed to put put straight over the clothing you are already wearing).  As a side note, a flask of coffee can do wonders on those cold, baltic days, Lifeventure flasks are particuly good too (ask in-store for details).


Night riding sounds daunting at first but it’s a great way of ‘getting in’ a mid week ride or extending a ride during the day.  It can also make you existing trails more exciting as you can’t see every part of the trail.  With so many lights on the market, it’s difficult to know what to buy but as a rough guide, 400 lumens (as a measure of light output) is the minimal you will need.  Sure, you can get away with less but we’re being sensible.  Most mountain bikers wont use a rear light as it’s a distraction for other riders behind, but make sure you carry one for these for road link up sections.  A lot of mountain bikers will only ride at night with at least one other person, if something goes wrong there is someone to help you out.  If you do go out solo, it is worth leaving a mountaineers route card with someone reliable and then if you’re late back, the correct information and procedure will be on hand.


Don’t forget bicycle maintenance either, a clean bicycle is always nicer to ride.  It also helps you to identify bolts that need tightening up and inspect the frame for wear.  Don’t forget that mud can add a lot of weight to a bicycle and also cause premature wear on components, so it’s worth doing.  Thankfully Muc Off and Finish Line have a range of products to speed up the process of cleaning and lubing, but please, do not jet wash your bicycle!


Of course, we at CycleHouse can always service your bicycle for you, tighten up bolts and replace worn parts, inspect brake pads and cables.

Gearing up for Winter – Yourself

You have now read Gearing up for winter (Your Bicycle) and are now fully informed in how to set up your bicycle for the winter.  Now to the important bit, keeping yourself functioning during the winter or to put it better, reducing your excuses for not getting out!  Clothing can often be overlooked and it’s not uncommon to see people cycling in shorts during the winter, having blue knees from the cold and are unable to stop shivering during the cafe stop.  Here’s CycleHouse‘s guide to Clothing to allow you to embrace winter.


Layering is key for the winter, generally speaking the top half will consist of a warm hat under a helmet, then the core will be layered with a base layer, mid layer and finally, a jacket.  Your bottom half will be finished with thick, roubaix style tights and winter socks, whilst your extremities will be covered with thick gloves and over-shoes (or booties).


There is a lot to be said of wearing Hi-Viz.  Yes, it does stand out and shouts CYCLIST but that’s really the point!  It is eye catching for other road users and with the early nights and dark rain clouds, it’s worth considering.  Here at CycleHouse, we sell a range of Hi-Viz helmets, gloves and overshoes, as well as the usual suspects, Hi-Viz jackets.


Cycling Jackets can come in all shapes and sizes.  Roughly speaking, cycling jackets will either be windproof and waterproof, or windproof and warm, its rare to get all three (the Endura Stealth Jacket springs to mind but this is really only suitable for sub-zero temperatures).  The Endura Xtract waterproof jacket is a great jacket, small enough to pack into a rear pocket during the summer to keep for emergencies but is fully waterproof for the worst of the winter weather.  It is however, not warm, so you’ll need to layer up below or failing that, look at the Endura Windchill Jacket.  This will keep out light showers and is perfect for blue sky, frigid days in the saddle


A mid layer can be a great addition for the cold days, a simple roubaix fleece jacket will add plenty of warmth.  The Endura Roubaix Jacket is favoured by most, form fitting to go below your jacket and with rear pockets to store inner tubes etc.  The front zip allows temperature control too.


A good baselayer will do two things, keep you warm and importantly, wick the sweat away from your skin.  Sometimes called a transfer layer, these fit next to the skin and good ones, such as the Endura Baabaa merino wool tops will add a surprising amount of warmth but will stick wick well, meaning that you wont feel cold or soggy during the cafe stop.  N.B. Cotton does not work as a baselayer, it may feel nice to wear but it is unable to wick sweat away efficiently, so it is best to avoid wearing it.


Thermal tights or thermal biblongs are great for the winter, the thicker fabric helps with warmth and the extra long cuffs block out the wind.  Some new biblongs are now being made with windproof fabrics, resulting in bottoms that are great on long descents and for when it is sub-zero conditions.  It’s best to tuck your baselayer into the bibs as it keep your warmer.


The extremities are make or break for many riders, all too often we hear riders complain that they can’t feel the handlebars or their toes and will cut their ride short.  This need not be the case, neoprene over-shoes will transform your summer shoes into full winter wear, just don’t forget to duct tape over the vents in the shoe soles.  Winter gloves are essential, cold hands or numb hands can be very painful, so opt for something waterproof, windproof with a thick lining and you will be able to keep getting the miles in.  The Endura Deluge Gloves are CycleHouse’s favourite, thick enough to be warm but thin enough to be able to feel the handlebars.  Lastly, it is amazing what a thin layer below your helmet can do to keep you warm.  A thin roubaix style fabric hat will keep the worst of the winter at bay.


Often overlooked in the winter are sunglasses, or glasses with several lens options.  Winter weather can vary widely from day to day, one day it’s raining and dark, so clear lenses are ideal, yet the next day can be sunny, so a dark lens will suit (and then the yellow/orange for everything in-between).  Glasses will stop the wind from making your eye water, keep out the rain and if it hails, stops the eye from getting damaged.


How about an aero helmet?  OK, so I get laughed at when I suggest this but after practising this last year, I can whole heartedly recommend it!  My rationale was that if it allowed the wind to pass around it but not through it, then it would block out the icey, winter wind and rain.  It is also quite cosy hearing hail stones bouncing off your helmet and not through it.  Highly recommended, if a little different!


Gearing up Winter – Your Bicycle

Autumn has certainly arrived and winter is just around the corner (we have already seen snow on the hills!), so it’s now time to get your bicycle sorted for the winter.  Here at CycleHouse, we have put together a guide on how to survive the up in coming months.


Mudguards are essential during Autumn and Winter riding, they keep most of the spray out of your eyes and keep you drier, for longer.  They are also great for those days that you start your ride after it’s been raining.  Not only that but most chain-gangs (group rides) will insist on riders use them during the wetter months.  Prices start from £22 and we have a wide range of mudguards that will fit most bicycles, from those with dedicated frame-sets with mounts to the race frame-sets without.


Surprisingly, tyres are often overlooked for the winter.  Check your tyres on a regular basis and if the tread is starting to feel flat or cracks are forming, change them over to a stickier winter tyre.  The current staff favourite at CycleHouse are Continental Gatorskins, grippy, has a small amount of tread to disperse water and most importantly, reliable.


You’ve spent all summer on the same brake blocks and like your tyres, it’s about time to change the brake blocks over to dual-compound.  Dual-compound blocks will increase your braking performance in the wet and will also add longevity to the block life.  Visit CycleHouse where our expert mechanics will not only advise you on the best brake blocks, but will also fit them for you.


Lights are a winter essential.  Yes, you may be able to see where you are heading, but can other road users see you?  “I was recently caught out in the summer, sunset was 9.30 PM and I went out for an hours ride at 7 PM, cue a large thunderstorm and lightning.  Everywhere went dark and I had to finish my ride on the pavement as I was not carrying even a simple set of flashing lights! ” With the threat of rain and dark clouds, coupled with early sunsets, it’s wise to carry a simple set of lights for other road users to see you.  If you are training in the dark, then a set of lights to see where you are going is a good investment.


We see quite a few orange chains coming through our workshop, a simple application of chain lube will prevent this.  It will make your chainset more efficient and cause less wear on your cassette and chainrings, whilst also resulting in a quieter ride.  A wet lube by either Finish Line or Muc Off will not wash off in the rain (a dry lube is designed for the summer, as it is less sticky and therefore less prone to picking up dust from the roads).


Salts on the roads will slowly eat away at your expensive bicycle and components.  Muc Off and Finish Line do an excellent range of cleaning products, from bicycle shampoo, frame polishes through to degreasers for your chainsets.  A clean bicycle is always a joy to ride and it gives the opportunity to closely inspect your bicycle to see if parts are worn or bolts need tightening up.


Rain and surface water acts as a great lubrication.  This is why you increase you chances of a puncture during the winter months, so it’s worth carrying an extra inner tube or gas canister for those ‘just in-case moments!’  Also, make sure your pump functions well, all to often the winter can be hard on the pumps (especially those stored onto bicycle frames) and a simple, monthly clean of the internals will keep it working.


Finally, why not get your bicycle serviced by our trained mechanics at Cycle House before the winter arrives.  They will be able to assess if your bicycle is safe to ride during the winter after all those summer miles, replace worn parts or tighten up bolts and give the bicycle a little T.L.C.