The December issue of Cycling Plus is out now!

2017 is so last year

Attentions in Planet Cycling have already turned to 2018 no matter where your interests lie, and with that in mind our grouptest this month pits six of the hottest, most sought-after steeds of next year against one other.

Money really was no object in selecting the bikes, with range-topping models of the likes of Specialized’s new Tarmac S-Works and Cervelo’s R5 eTAP.

In our other grouptest, Guy Kesteven asks what exactly is a ‘gravel’ bike by testing a range of them at the Top of the Rock sportive in Yorkshire, including the Cannondale CAADX Ultegra and Cotic’s Escapade Silver Plus.

In First Rides, we’ve tested of the Merida Cyclo Cross 5000, Cannondale SuperSix DA Disc, Orro Gold STC Ultegra and Salsa Vaya Claris.

2018's super bikes face off in high octane fashion
2018's super bikes face off in high octane fashion

In New Gear, we look at Wattbike’s new well-connected trainer, the Atom, Bontrager’s Velocis MIPS helmet, Zipp 454 NSW Disc wheels and Rudy Project Fotonyk sunnies.

We’ve a 16-strong grouptest of waterproof jackets too and a guide on financing your upgrades, whether the budget is a tenner or hundreds of pounds.

Orro's Gold STC Ultegra gets the First Ride treatment
Orro's Gold STC Ultegra gets the First Ride treatment

In Features, James Witts looks at ageing and how you can defy it on the bike. We also get to grips with cross-training — the off-bike activities you can do this winter that’ll make you stronger on it — as well as heading to Switzerland and braving the snow to take part in the TorTour Cycle-cross event.

In Big Ride, Trevor Ward, perhaps inspired by the characters of Jules Verne, travels from the centre of Great Britain at Dunsop Bridge in Lancashire to the highest road in the UK – Great Dun Fell.

The rain is here — which jacket will keep you driest?
The rain is here — which jacket will keep you driest?

In Training Camp we’ve advice on nailing a time trial position like German hotshot Tony Martin, hear from legendary hard man-turned-commentator Sean Kelly on riding in bad weather, show you how to strengthen your calf muscles and discover the energy boosting properties of honey.

Finally, Ned is musing on professional cycling's chaotic side. Which is actually quite a lot of it.

Our free gift this month is a 36-page 2018 Gear Guide, featuring a look into next year’s best kit from the Eurobike trade show, our favourite gear from this year, the best groupsets currently available and the next-generation battery-assisted road bikes. Just don’t call them e-bikes…

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Cycling Plus

Cycling Plus Magazine
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine – the manual for the modern road cyclist. Try your first five issues for £5 when you subscribe today.
  • Discipline: Road
  • Location: Bristol, UK
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