At this time of year, it’s the humble mudguard that might well be the best value bit of kit. If you’ve ever tried going out with your cycling club sans ‘guards in autumn and winter you’ll know full well the disdain those who commit such heresy are held in; where they're forced to ride on their lonesome out back where they can’t do their club-mates any harm. So save yourself a stint in the hole and check out our grouptest of six winter warriors ready to go with mudguards.
Sticking to the theme, ‘guards do a job on the daily commute, where the last thing you need is a line of muck up your back when you get to your desk. So we’ve got four very different commuters on test in our second grouptest, including the electric hybridTrek Super Commuter+ 9 and Sven Roadster Alfine 8.
In First Ride we’ve got the Canyon Endurace CF SLX Disc 8.0, BMC Roadmachine 02 105, Rose X-Lite eTap, Genesis Day One 20, Condor Bivio Rival 1 Custom and Mason Definition2 SRAM Rival 1 passing our critical eye.
In New Kit we’ve got Karcher’s OC3 compact washer, Specialized and Kryptonite lights go head to head, Deda Team SL38 carbon clinchers, KOO Open Cube riding glasses and Specialized’s lightweight Torch 3.0 shoes. There are six base layers in Shootout and a dozen turbo trainers if the weather’s so bad that you decide to stay indoors.
In features, we reveal the truth about cycling and how the perception is often different from the reality. Chef Hayden Groves shares his story of tackling all three Grand Tours in aid of Cure Leukaemia. We follow the Mongolian Federation’s journey to compete in 2017’s World Championships in Norway, celebrate the relationship between cycling and coffee, look at what makes a great cycling cafe, and how Talbot Frameworks designed and built a bespoke bike to take on the epic Transcontinental Race.
In Big Ride we tackled rides through Devon’s two national parks – Dartmoor and Exmoor – in an ambitious autumnal loop.
In Training Camp we’ve advice on how to attack punchy climbs like world champion Peter Sagan; Ben Swift’s top tips to make every training day count; how to strengthen your upper back; the recovery boosting properties of tart cherry juice; and how cycling changed Phil Stephens’ life.
And last but by no means least, our free gift this month is a 2018 calendar.