That time of year is upon us again where the carbon road racers go into storage and in their stead comes the cyclocross bike.
While the six bikes in Cycling Plus‘s main bike test this issue could all be used for racing ‘cross, with minimal adaptations, or even not at all, each could be an ideal bike through the autumn and winter. Priced from £1,700 to £2,500, from the Specialized Crux E5 Sport to the Trek Crockett 7, there’s something for a variety of budgets.
In the second bike test, Cycling Plus meets the founders of new British bike brand Vielo and finds out if its first bike, the V+1, fits the bill for being the ultimate bike for British conditions.
In First Ride, reviews include the BMC SLR02 Disc Ultegra Di2, Merida Scultura Disc 6000, Tifosi SS26 Disc, Gtech Sport e-bike, plus the Raleigh Mustang Elite and Marin Four Corners go head-to-head.
In New Kit, there are reviews of Wahoo’s Kickr CORE smart trainer, Bontrager’s Dual Charger pump, Bont Helix shoes and the Selle Italia SP-01Superflow saddle.
There’s even a round-up of six suitably small mini pumps that are perfect to carry with you for emergencies, including the Topeak Roadie DAX, Lezyne Lite Drive HP and Birzman Velocity.
In grouptests, 16 jackets are reviewed, from emergency capes to super-stylish softshells that will keep you warm and dry this winter, as well as winter outfits to keep you going all winter.
In Features, some home truths are revealed by the experts — the coaches, mechanics and riders who can’t say what they feel for fear of losing repeat business. They’ve been given a chance to let rip and see if there’s anything we can learn from their candour.
In this issue, Cycling Plus also meets the people who’ve ditched the 9–5 and turned their passion for cycling into a career.
In Big Ride, the team go bikepacking around southwest Ireland’s Ring of Kerry — well, sort of. The best of the peninsula’s roads is to be found down its mountainous spine, as the riders found as they explored everything it has to offer.
In Training Camp, there’s advice on how to achieve pedalling perfection like David Millar, a ride with comedian Hugh Dennis, advice on how to make big climbs easier, the benefits of eating oats and how cycling changed Jason Gibson’s life.
And in The Hub, Cycling Plus considers the Netherlands potential ban on using phones while riding in The Spin, shares three routes in Rutland, gets inspired by 87-year-old Donald Wells, who rode from Land’s End to John O’Groats on his Brompton, and meets senior tech ed Warren’s Sven Cycles Swift e-bike.
Issue 347 comes with a pair of Cycling Plus gloves — we’ve already started wearing them this year. Brrrrrrrrr!