The December issue of Cycling Plus is out now!

Get your hands on the latest issue and get winter sorted

The N+1 rule relating to how many bikes you should own, where ‘N’ is the number of bikes you currently own, is all well and good, but what if that’s just not possible? What if, for whatever reason, you can only own one bike? You’d need a bike to cover all bases, from commuting to fitness to full-on adventures.

That's the question we try to answer in this month’s main bike test; six all-purpose, terrain-devouring machines including the Genesis Croix de Fer and the Specialized Sequoia.

Speaking of bikes that see their fair share of action, we revisit the long-termers that our testers have been riding all year, including Robin’s Cannondale SuperSix Evo and Warren’s Parlee Z-Zero Custom.

Elsewhere, we test — for the first time — bikes from Rose, Orbea, Parlee (again) and Planet X, as well as Campagnolo’s Potenza groupset. Other new products under the microscope are Bolle’s B-Rock sunglasses, Specialized’s Burra Burra luggage and Quoc’s Pham Night shoes.

There’s also a group test of winter outfits and a guide to the essential kit you need should you be giving cyclocross a go this winter.

The New Cold War: We examine the indoor vs. outdoor winter training debate
The New Cold War: We examine the indoor vs. outdoor winter training debate

Plus, we examine the debate that rages — and evolves — every year; whether you should train indoors or out at this time of year. We also head to Germany for the Rad am Ring at the Nürburgring race track, and check in on staffer Reuben who recently rode LEJOG in just five days. There's a review of the Isle of Man Cyclefest’s gran fondo too.

Ten of the best winter clothing kits tested
Ten of the best winter clothing kits tested

Up front, we assess Lance Armstrong’s new podcast, and speak to world-famous psychologist Steven Pinker about his obsession with cycling. Out back Ned Boulting writes a touching piece about his friend and colleague Chris Boardman and the tragedy of Boardman losing his mother in a cycling accident, and how he’s back, more determined than ever, to fight the cyclists’ corner.

And once you’ve made your way through that lot, you can browse our free gift this month, a 66-page ‘Cycling Gift Guide’ — Christmas prezzie ideas from £2.50 to £8,499 to fit every budget.

Cycling Plus magazine is out now in all good newsagents and supermarkets, on Apple NewsstandGoogle Play and Zinio. You can also order from Mags Direct with free first class delivery! Even better, we've got some amazing subscription offers here!

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.
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