The Summer edition of Cycling Plus is out now!

Mark Beaumont, marginal gains and much, much more

Maybe I was being a touch extravagant or getting ahead of myself, or perhaps I thought that if I bought a bike that looked nice and rode smoothly I’d be keener to ride it? Whatever the reason, the £1,500 bike price bracket was my entry point into road cycling a decade ago and the one that's explored in our bike test this month.

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Bikes from BTwin, Ribble, Fuji, Boardman, Vitus and Planet X are tested and show how much you can still get for your money.

In our other bike test, we see how far we can push a gravel bike on one of the UK's toughest adventure rides, the Yorkshire True Grit. On test are the Saracen Hack in Black, Trek CrossRip, Cannondale Slate Apex 1 and Whyte Gisburn

In New Bikes, we ride and rate the Cinelli Superstar, The Light Blue St Johns Retro, Dassi Interceptor, Forme Flash Ltd, Boardman Team Carbon and Planet X Maratona.

We have a group test of cycling sunglasses, reviews of Pro’s Toolbox X, Powertap’s P1 V2 power pedals and the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt cycling computer, plus a look at the best commuting kit currently available. 

Six bikes in the £1,500 ballpark feature in this month's bike test
Six bikes in the £1,500 ballpark feature in this month's bike test

In features, we take a look at the latest scientific advances to help you become a faster rider — let’s call it marginal gains 2.0.

We also show you the most common mechanical fails and how to make it home despite them, and reveal how there’s still plenty of fun to be had in the saddle after the sun goes down in our review of the Exmouth Exodus sportive.

Marginal gains, all over again
Marginal gains, all over again

We join ultra-endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont for a spin on his home roads as he plans to ride around the world in 80 days, and head to the Jura Mountains in France to ride the toughest stage of this year’s Tour de France: Nantua to Chambéry.

In our revamped How to section – now called Training Camp – we show you how to master the art of upping the pace on the flat, learn how to reach goals with the help of the man who wrote the book on it in 1987, Stephen Roche, and find out all about the iliotibial band — a sheath of connective tissue in the leg that can play havoc if not treated right.

Our #getbritainriding campaign continues too with the story of Rob Smale. Rob tells us about how the physical incentives to ride are outdone by the benefits to his mental health. 

And if that wasn't enough, each copy comes with a free pair of socks. They're white, so will go down well with all cyclists who aren't called Lance Armstrong... 

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

After early cycling flirtations with the Tour de France on childhood holidays, John Whitney fell for it hook, line and sinker in his mid-20s as an escape from the more sedate sports of his youth. As a classically trained news reporter, he snagged his dream job as a cycling writer straight out of college and is now fully immersed in the industry and wouldn't have it any other way.
  • Discipline: Road

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