Tuesday 29 November 2016

Christmas Gifts for the Cyclist - 2

If you're looking for new wheels for next year here are a few ideas based on bikes I have tried and bikes I just like:
Raleigh Mustang Sport
I have tested out the Raleigh Mustang Sport gravel  bike quite a lot this year and it's been good to me.  Some people have been a little sceptical about the point of this style of bike. But I just consider it to be a great all-round bike that can be used on and off-road. Think of it as something that can work well on slightly more rugged terrain than a forest trail, but without the chunkiness of a mountain bike.

It is also great for carrying bits and pieces if you are carrying your provisions for multi-terrain cycle touring, or just commuting. And of course if you are just going to be riding on tarmac you can always put on thick slick tyres. There are other bikes available in the Mustang range if you are looking for something harder core or lighter.

The Trott range of bikes from Laura Trott Kenny have been gradually making their presence known on the streets and lanes around the country. I have been testing out the RD2, and have found this good value for money. It's a decent entry level bike if you are making the step up to cycling as a sport. I found it nice and light on the hills and you can pick up a decent speed on the flat.

My old favourite is the Boardman Team Carbon women's bike. I have ridden different incarnations of this bike since when they were first publicly on sale around 2010, and they have never failed to disappoint.  The latest version still has the same basic geometry, though with small tweaks to give comfort when riding long distances such as in a cyclosportive event or a long training ride. These are perfectly good bikes to race with as well.

Visually I like how this bike doesn't have any pink or flowers or anything girly about it, but everything in the form is female specific. Boardman have also managed to keep the cost well within the £1,000 mark (In fact it is currently retailing at £799, down from £999) so it can be purchased on the Cycle to Work scheme, meaning you only end up paying £400 for the bike. Now that's good value.

Liv Fluorish FS
Finally, I wanted to add in the Liv Flourish FS hybrid. I am always on the look-out for a nice sit-up-and-beg hybrid for when running errands or going on picnics. These bikes really make cycle riding a pleasure and I feel I can take life easy, and enjoy the environment around me.

What I particularly like about the Flourish FS is that although it looks like an old fashioned "Call the Midwife" bike, it has got a bit of performance, as city bikes go.

The frame is made from lightweight aluminium, there's a triple chain ring giving a choice of gears from the 21 speeds available, and the fork even has suspension, with 40mm of travel. Get you! Liv as a brand is not so well known in the UK, but just think Giant and that should give you a better idea of them. Liv is the women-specific arm of this well established name in bike gear, so you can't go wrong on quality. I look forward to seeing more of their gear in 2017.

Related Posts
Christmas Gifts for the Cyclist - 1

Bike Review: Raleigh Mustang Sport Gravel Bike

Bike Review: Trott RD2 road bike

Bike Review: Boardman Team Carbon women's bike

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