Back in early 1992, when John Major was still in Downing Street, Wet Wet Wet topped the album chart and the Cold War had only just ended, a new cycling magazine was born — Cycling Plus.
That magazine is still going stronger than ever 25 years later and this month Cycling Plus celebrates its glorious heritage.
Editor Rob Spedding delves through the archives to find out which training tips have stood the test of time and also looks at modern kit and whether or not new-fangled technologies, like VR training and disc brakes, are quite as new as we thought.
We also speak to Ridley honcho Jochim Aerts about how he built a world cycling power from his dad’s garage over 25 years ago, and chat to John Jenkinson, a Salford resident, who’s been collecting Cycling Plus since day one.
We revisit the greatest debate in Cycling Plus’ history too, about whether helmets should be compulsory or not and meet one of our readers, Dave McLavin, as he resurrects his 25-year-old Dawes Stratos.
Elsewhere, we test six bikes with roots even stronger than Cycling Plus, whether it’s storied brands like Trek or Pinarello or those linked to riders from that era, such as Boardman and Cipollini.
It’s not all about the past this month though. There are First Rides of several very current bikes, including the BMC Roadmachine 01, Trek Emonda ALR 6 and Ribble Reynolds 525, and tests of kit including the Tacx Flux Smart trainer, Mavic’s Cosmic Pro Carbon SL C Disc, Bell’s Zephyr MIPS helmet and 16 bike bags.
In The Hub we examine whether pro cyclists get a raw deal from the press compared to other sports when it comes to doping, speak to former decathlete Daley Thompson about how he’s added a further string to his bow in cycling and hear from James May — yes, the petrolhead James May — about the joys of the bicycle.
Ned Boulting’s also back with his monthly column, in which he has a chance encounter with British cycling legend Brian Robinson.
It’s cobbles time on the pro racing calendar, but rather than head across the Channel to Belgium and France, we take to the Midlands with the creator of the Tour of the Black Country.
We also have our regular dose of tidbits in How to… with tips on setting up your cleats correctly, smashing your first time trial, staying bike-fit during pregnancy and braking like a pro.
Finally, our free gift this month is a 36-page guide to the world of sportives. It includes a 10-step guide to nailing the 2017 Etape du Tour; insight into Britain’s latest super-sportive, Velo Birmingham; an investigation into whether everyday foods are a match for sports nutrition in sportives; a focus on the world of gran fondos with Uli Fluhme, creator of GFNY; and a review of the world’s biggest cycling event, the New York Five Boro Bike Tour.