The £1,000 bike test is arguably the most in-demand test we do on Cycling Plus. It’s the smallest, large amount of money there is, roughly the amount of money we spend on our first serious bike, as well as the threshold for most cycle-to-work schemes. With that in mind, we turbo-charged this year’s test to include 10 bikes.
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Given the pound’s struggles post-Brexit and that many bikes and components are imported, what you get for a grand isn’t as much as it once was, though that probably only makes the test even more of a must-read.
So. which contender takes our Budget Bike of the Year crown? You’ll have to buy to find out.
The Budget Bike of the Year test was a highly competitive affair Cycling Plus
In our second bike test it’s Clash of the Giants, as we pit one of Giant’s carbon racers against its new Road-E+1 dropped barred e-bike and ask whether the two can co-exist.
We’ve also got First Rides of the Orbea Orca M20 Pro MYO, Sonder Camino AL, the Specialized Sirrus Comp and a head-to-head of The Light Blue Darwin One-By and Polygon Bend CT5.
In our gear tests, we check out 12 disc brake wheels and eight spring outfits, while in New Kit we’ve the Shimano S-Phyre XC9 shoes, Pro Vibe Ltd bar and stem, six tubeless charging pumps, the Coros Kinx helmet and Campagnolo’s Shamal Ultra C17.
In features, we show you how to go faster by training your brain and answer the question of whether it’s better to climb sitting down or standing up. In Big Ride we head to the Shropshire Hills for one of the country’s toughest 100 kilometres.
Eight jerseys and bibs are in the spotlight for our spring outfits test Cycling Plus
In The Hub, we look at a new kid on the cycle computer block, the Xplova X5, learn about an ‘Uber for Bikes’ in Cambridge and hear from Denise Van Outen about her bike habit.
In How To… we show you how to ride faster on the flat, how not to get dropped from the pack, the virtues of red meat for recovery, the stretches that will keep you injury-free and how to use a foam roller.
Our free gift this month is a 36-page New Rider’s Guide: we’ve got features on bike fitting, rites of passage, must-know mechanics, sportive training and a report from editor Rob on his first cyclocross race last year.