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  • Last update to our top ten of sale bikes

     

    We've smudged out one of the bikes that sold in our top ten of the January sale bikes.

    Give us a call if you want any more details. There's some great deals to be had and only a week left

    to have them in.

  • Are we still calling them Hybrid bikes?

    Tags: Orange, Specialized, Hybrid, Commute, Touring, Road bike, Commuting.

      

    It seems year on year that there is more and more crossover when it comes to hybrid bikes. There are bikes on the

    market now that are no more road bike than they are Tourer, Commuter, Cyclocross or expedition bike. Maybe it is

    that when I was younger my black and white world seemed simpler in terms of categorisation but however I look

    at it these days it seems every possible niche is filled.

     

     

    The bikes that prompted this recent thought-track of mine include the Specialized Diverge (as below) and the

    Orange RX9 (as above) range. They appear to be all things to all people and yet at the same time nothing

    discernibly category-worthy. What are they?

      

    A colleague and I recently discussed this very topic and both decided that, as with the car market, simply calling

    them ‘Hybrids’ is not acceptable any more. A hybrid in vehicle terms usually refers to its being able to utilise

    two power sources to produce movement and we have electric bikes in the cycling world that do this.

    So I wish to deliberate over what exactly we’re going to call these bikes.

     

     

    Sports-Commuters? Leisure-Utility-Bikes? Sports-Utility-Bikes (to borrow again from the world of the car).

    Have we started to buy and sell the SUV of the bike world? For a market of cyclists who want to be able to

    at least dabble in a little of all types of riding and yet not own more than one bike maybe this is now the case. 

     

     

    Written by Sam Price-Hunt Wheelies Blog writer.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

  • 1 x 10 or 1 x 11?

     

    As a follow up blog piece to last years’ update on my drivetrain choices here I am with my findings so far.

    Last year in early August I began to ride with a 1x10 setup. This was on a 2014 Specialized Enduro Comp.

    I had a top guide by Blackspire, a Shimano XT rear mech and Shimano 10 speed cassette with the 17 tooth cog removed and a Hope Trex sprocket (40T) expander behind the 36 tooth.

    Between then and now I have also changed crankset. I now have a Sram X1100 (the same as the 2015 Enduro Comp comes with). It comes with a thick thin chainring as standard although I changed out the 32t for a 36t as a preference. I am still running the top guide although I am tempted to try without it.

    So here are my findings:

    At first I feared that the loss of a small ring at the front would massively effect climbing but it genuinely doesn’t seem to. Cadence is slower and this may have an effect on my knees longer term but in terms of the steepest climbs I can find locally I haven’t had any problems.

    Chain length is a real struggle to achieve a happy middle-ground it seems. I have snapped chains because they were running overly taught when in the biggest cog at the back. At the moment I believe I have it too tight but if I put any more links in when the chain is down towards the smallest cogs it doesn’t seem tense enough.

    The top guide was also a little bit of a nuisance to start with as it was as though there was a two millimetre sweet-spot where it would both keep the chain on and not strike the chain when the suspension moves. This sweet-spot however remained elusive for some time and there were a few cursing and railing at the bike god moments out on the trails. However, once I had located this zone it was really good at it’s not all too complicated purpose and is both neat and light.

    Overall it is a fantastic system and I never want a left hand shifter or front derailleur again for this bike. It’s quieter and better looking and I haven’t lost my ability to climb as I first feared.

    The big question:

    As I ride along with my 1x10 system and see all the new 2015 bikes (some with the off-the-peg equivalents) coming through with 1x11 systems, I have to first supress the green eyed monster and then ask the question, what is the advantage? I truly want to know. Anyone with 1x11 needs to verse me in its virtues as I am struggling to see why I would spend out for it on a bike when I don’t appear to have lost out with 1x10. I’m not saying it isn’t better, I just don’t get it yet.

     

     

    Written by Sam Price-Hunt, Wheelies Blog writer.