LONDON TECH START-UP TURNS EBIKE CONVERSION IDEA INTO $1,000,000 SALES Information provided by Swytch Technology London based tech-startup Swytch Technology announces today it has achieved over $1million in sales just 30 days after launching possibly the world’s smallest and lightest eBike conversion kit, which reflects the growing demand for electric transport alternatives. The Swytch Kit turns any bike into a state-of-the-art electric bike, for a fraction of the cost of a regular eBike. It consists of a lightweight motor wheel that replaces the original front wheel, and a compact power pack that fits to the handlebars. The total added weight is just 3kg, and the power pack fits into the palm of your hand, making this new system the smallest and lightest in the world. It provides 250W of power-assist for up to 50 km electric range, with a top speed of 15.5mph (EU) / 20mph (USA). The Swytch kit is Universally compatible and works on ANY bike Swytch Technology’s vision is to make transport more sustainable and accessible to everyone. Converting existing bikes to eBikes using a kit is significantly more environmentally friendly than building complete new eBikes; Swytch estimates the carbon footprint of building a brand new eBike is 300kg CO2e compared to just 40kg CO2e required to make one of their add-on electric bike kits. The Swytch kit will be available in stores from April 2020 with retail prices starting at £650 / $799. However, customers wanting to be the first to get their hands on one can pre-order with a 40% discount via product crowd-funding site INDIEGOGO. Oliver Montague, CEO of Swytch Technology said; “It has been a really exciting launch month, we are passionate about developing sustainable transport solutions that are fun to use. What is really interesting is that eBike technology is appealing to people of all ages and cycling abilities. We have seen older people purchasing the kit to help them reconnect with a sport they no longer thought they could enjoy, as well as being extremely popular with commuters and your average bike fanatics. Electric Bike technology like ours is really disrupting the electric transport industry, people are loving the freedom of choice they have in what transport methods they want to use. For more information about the Swytch Kit visit www.swytchbike.com THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET ELECTRIC BIKE ACTION In print, from the Apple newsstand, or on your Android device, from Google. Available from the Apple Newsstand for reading on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Subscribe Here For more subscription information contact (800) 767-0345 Got something on your mind? Let us know at hi-torque.com The post Swytch Technology Is On The Move In a Big Way appeared first on Electric Bike Action.
The YT Mob has been a staple in the World Cup series for some time now and this year they have refocused their efforts in search of the next young talent. Their latest video recaps their journey to date as they explore “Opportunity”. If you missed previous episode you can see them below On Feb 5, 2019 the YT Mob announced that together with title sponsor YT Industries, the team has a unique plan for the next three years, starting with a ‘World Tour’ of Young Talent Camps being held on all six inhabited continents. The team’s current young talent Angel Suarez will contest all 8 Rounds of the UCI World Cup, as well as travel to the six venues listed below, with Team Owner Martin Whiteley, to host the Young Talent Camps. The Young Talent Camps will be held over a few days, some will be combined with races, and at each camp Angel will take the riders through a series of skill sessions, downhill runs and other practical classes. The camps are not only a great opportunity for young riders to meet a World Cup rider and learn more about the sport at that level, but it’ll give the team a chance to meet some of the up and coming riders of the future. What makes the World Tour unique is that from these 6 camps, 8 of the best riders we find will be brought to Spain in October for a final camp at Mob HQ, and from that, at least 2 riders will join the YT Mob as professional Junior World Cup riders in 2020. They will ride alongside Angel Suarez and other top level elite riders yet to be announced. Angel Suarez says: “I´m super excited for this coming year! Last year was my best season yet and I know this one can be even better, I feel amazing on the new TUES 29 and my training is going great. I want to finish in the Top 10 overall but always trying to be on the podium every race. I couldn’t be more stoked about the YT Mob World Tour. It’s going to be an amazing experience and I´m so thankful that YT wanted me to be part of this. I like helping kids and I will be super happy if I could help them to improve in our sport and even more than that, welcoming some of them onto our team in 2020 as the next Young Talents. To be able to help someone experience what I’ve experienced these past 3 years will be pretty exciting.” YT Industries CEO and Founder Markus Flossmann says: “The past 3 years have been filled with historic firsts, epic victories and a lot of lessons learned. Demonstrating that YT can succeed on a global stage and establishing the YT MOB on the World Cup circuit. While it was an honor to work with some of the legends of the sport, I feel it’s the right time to help a new, yet undiscovered, generation make their mark on the scene and we feel we’re in the right position to drive an ambitious project like this forward. With the help of strong partners and the insight of Martin Whiteley we’d like to take you on a journey across the globe to dive into the talent pool of Downhill Racing. For me personally this is why I started YT and what it’s all about. We are going back to our roots: identifying the next Young Talents whilst redefining the rules once again!” Team Owner Martin Whiteley says: “It was clear to me towards the end of last season that Angel is well and truly on his way to the top end of this sport, and he has a lot of potential at just 23 years of age. His path to this point is something that a lot of young riders dream of, and we want to give them that chance this year. In a way, it reminds me of my original reason for starting my first team, Global Racing, with riders from every continent; wanting to showcase talent from all over the world. Now we get the chance to discover new riders and offer them the chance to attend a Young Talent camp on their continent, enjoy training with a World Cup rider like Angel, and perhaps taking it all the way through to a pro contract in 2020. We’ll be documenting this throughout the year on the YT Mob YouTube Channel, with the same company that produced our popular Tales of the Mob series, Knowmad Productions, returning for 2019.” The camps are open to everybody, but priority will be given to appropriate athletes born in 2002 and 2003, and spots are limited so people need to sign up early. An initial sign up form, a registration of interest, can be found on the team website or accessed here. Applications close 1 month out from each camp but may close earlier if over-subscribed. The YT Mob is also thrilled to announce that along with YT Industries as title sponsor, most of its co-sponsors from last year have re-signed for this next chapter, and we are also excited to welcome on board some new ones.
It’s with heavy hearts that we report this sad news. Michael Bonney, the former managing director of Orange Bikes, suffered serious injuries after an accident during a sportive six-and-a-half years ago and has lived with almost total paralysis ever since. Michael has been unable to move from the neck down and has relied on a ventilator to breathe. Yesterday, Michael posted his final goodbye on his Facebook page after making the decision to refuse further medical assistance and for his ventilator to be switched off. Michael has been entrenched in the bike industry for decades, working for Orange for many of those years, proving instrumental in shaping the brand and helping to make it the success it is today. Later in his career, despite his disability, Michael worked as a consultant for Ison Distribution, where he helped to steer a number of high profile projects. He will always be remembered for his straight-talking approach, passion, sense of humour, tenacity, but more than anything, his eagerness to help people. Michael lived an incredible life and was truly in love with cycling. He will forever be remembered by the bike industry and we are thankful for everything he did for those of us within it. Our thoughts are with his family during this sad time. Michael’s Facebook post is below, in full. And so it ends. I’ve always been open about my disability and life and feel that the last chapter requires that same openness. After 6 1/2 years I’ve let my body decide whether it can sustain life, I’ve switched the vent off and as my breathing slows will be sedated and won’t have any medical treatment to help stay alive. According to my doctors my lungs will slowly stop moving and sats will drop. Given my stubborn body there is the possibility it’ll keep breathing, it hasn’t done anything that I have wanted since the accident.🙂 The decision to switch off the vent wasn’t that difficult to make, the surprising part is I got this far but that is down to the support I’ve had from so many people and me not wanting to let them down. The list is too long to thank everyone individually although I will thank a few further down this post but I hope that everyone who has helped realises that their support was appreciated. It got me through some difficult times, gave me opportunities to try and find some form of satisfaction inside a broken body and made me understand the value of friends. In many ways I’ve been lucky to travel this journey, I’ve learnt about myself and the kindness of others, can’t say it is the way I would of chosen but I will leave this world a lot wiser because of it. You’ll probably be asking why? That is a hard one to answer as it isn’t one thing. Living with no movement is hard, living with no physical sensation a lot, lot harder. I miss the feeling of touch more than anything and find knowing that I will never have it again very difficult. As I get older I look to the future and question what it will be like living in old age like this, it holds little appeal. I’m tired of being dependant on others, hate what I go through every day, spend most of the day with eyes shut trying to pretend that I am somewhere else. The total loss of independence isn’t me. The side effects of constantly being cold, never ending hypersensitivity on my chest, spasms that twist and distort me all limiting what I can do. Constant pressure sores, months spent in bed unable to do anything with Linzi. Watching a relationship fall apart stuck in bed. Throw in the pissing and shitting problems along with lungs needing a plastic pipe shoved into them to remove the build up of secretions and I do find it difficult to find quality in life. And that is ultimately what life is about, being able to do things, keep a relationship together doing things together, being able to socialise not leave at 9pm so your care team can get you to bed. No spontaneity, everything planned with military precision, it just isn’t me. For the last 6 1/2 years I’ve lied and deceived, as much to myself as all of you, pretending that I could find pleasure in a difficult existence. There are times that I did but they are rare and not worth the price paid. I’ve tried to do things, managed to prove that a severely disabled person can work in the bike industry and I am proud of that but also know that I can’t do it like I once did which is a source of immense frustration. I’m grateful for the work opportunity with Ison, without it I’m not sure how I would of coped, it provided a release from the sleepless nights spent in the darkest parts of my mind. That mental game is the most difficult I’ve played and eventually wore me down but at the same time I’ve found comfort in knowing that I tried and that I am making the right decision based upon life experience and not a fear of life with an SCI. Yet again we are short of support workers, Linzi is having to cover too many hours and I live with the constant fear of my care package falling apart and being forced to exist in a care home or hospital. I can’t describe what that is like but anyone who visited me in the hell hole Hawthorns will understand. The relationship with the care companies has always been challenging, you can’t complain for fear they withdraw support and are only required to give one months notice when it takes 3 months to get a new care company in place. We struggle to recruit and that isn’t going to get any easier. The stress that a lack of support brings is one of the factors in my decision. It’s put a huge strain on my relationship with Linzi as she has to get involved and look after me when we are short of support workers. It can’t continue like this and I can’t expect Linzi to endure it indefinitely. I’m lucky to have enjoyed life to the full up until my accident, the bucket list was very short and this made the decision easier. I’m old enough to not think I’ll be missing anything, if I was younger or had kids and responsibilities it might be different. I’m aware that isn’t the case for many of my friends in similar positions and hope that they can find happiness where I can’t. So why now? My first words when brought out of sedation were “turn the life support off”, with no advance directive they wouldn’t do that, I tried again after 3 months but was deemed not to have mental capacity. After that I thought that the only option was assisted suicide in Switzerland but couldn’t put Linzi through that. A bit of research last year and I found that I could refuse medical treatment which included switching off the vent and after a lot of talking to doctors I was determined to have capacity. There is a line between assisted suicide and refusing medical treatment which keeps you alive and a lot of legal checking carried out prior to it being OK’ed. Didn’t know when I would do it but decided probably one more summer would be enough. Over the past few months my health has deteriorated, increased spasms, pressure sores (multiple), more medication, greater fluctuation in body temperature and more making life even more painful and uncomfortable. As summer rolls into autumn and now almost winter it is time to end the suffering, I don’t want to endure another cold winter for little pleasure. One of the hardest things was not telling close friend’s, I made the decision in July and have had opportunities, apologies to anyone that I met and couldn’t say anything, I didn’t like being deceitful. I have to thank the Palliative care team and district nurse team that have supported me through this process, every step checked out and kept informed and always making me aware that I could change my mind even after I switch the vent off. Legally I am refusing a medical treatment and the care that I receive subsequently is sedation for the discomfort and pain. The trust’s legal team and coroner have been consulted and we have followed their guidelines. I don’t think anything more could of been done to keep me informed and capable of making my own decisions. Support from the teams that tried to alleviate the health problems right up until the last minute, caring for me just in case I would change my mind, everything possible done to try and get me in a better place but ultimately respecting my wishes and preparing to make sure that I am comfortable in my last hours. I don’t think anyone can ever understand the reality of my life and I am lucky, lucky to have friends, lucky to have employment, lucky to have had the financial support of the Ride for Michael trust, lucky to have a wife who has endured so much. Sadly it isn’t enough, I’ve lost too much and know that I can’t have it back. The only certainty in life is death and I now accept that going early is the best option, enduring years more of this holds no appeal and I am fortunate to have a way out, paralysed lungs does have a benefit. The realisation of the impact on my body became clear when I asked about donating my organs and nothing is usable, 6 1/2 years and that is how much I’ve deteriorated, little wonder that the side effects are getting worse. It is not going to improve, something that I have known for a while. I’m aware of the stereo typical disability means life isn’t worth living and sadly that is where I am, others can and will cope better than me, I’m just not strong enough to keep going so please don’t pity anyone with a disability, they have an inner strength and are getting on with life in difficult situations. They need the world to change and your support to do that not your pity. I’ll be honest and say that for me it is a miserable existence, in no way comparable to my previous life but I had such a good life it was never going to be. Looking back I had a fantastic time, dream job, travel, amazing partner, all the toys that I wanted and a diverse group of friends, few are so lucky in life. And finally a few thank you’s, apologies to anyone that I miss out, Lester, Lloyd, John C, Antony, Piers, Geoff McComb, John, Mike and everyone involved with Ride for Michael. Pat and the team at Ison, all of my support workers and the medical teams that have supported me especially in this final journey where the same care that kept me alive goes into looking after me as that life ends. Friends in Penrith who have helped out, friends who fund raised to help me buy equipment, Jack at Remap who modified that equipment, Stuart at Cyclone, my mum, sister and family who knew that I had made the decision and understood why and didn’t apply any pressure to me to change it and finally Linzi I couldn’t have made it this far without you, I didn’t just destroy my life I took yours as well and it is time to give it back. I’ve decided to be buried rather than cremated and hope that anyone who attends my funeral celebrates my life, come in the clothes I would usually see you. No mourning, I’m making a decision that is the best for me and Linzi and have no regrets. No flowers please, donations to Hospice at Home charity and Eden Animal Rescue. The balance of the Trust fund is being donated to Remap charity. Despite everything I still love cycling and hope that the Ride 4 Michael aim of keeping people riding bikes continues in spirit. It doesn’t need me to do that it just needs you to keep riding. And so ends my Facebook posting, thanks for reading if you got this far, thanks for your friendship.
In a move rather reminiscent of Specialized’s infamous dispute with a small Canadian bike shop over the use of the term ‘Roubaix’, Backcountry.com – an online retailer based in the US that specialises in outdoor gear – has reportedly started suing small businesses across the US that use the term ‘Backcountry’ as part of their name. Backcountry.com also owns Competitive Cyclist in the US and AlpineTrek in Europe. According to Adventure Journal, which has been reporting on this story, as well as the Colorado Sun, Backcountry.com has filed suits against dozens of small businesses, including a Colorado based organisation called Backcountry Babes, which aims to provide women with “opportunities to explore and learn more about outdoor recreation”. Adventure Journal also reports that Backcountry.com is suing at least one brand over the use of a mountain goat as its logo. As you might suspect, this move hasn’t gone down well of social media, with American writer Joe Linsey voicing his reservations and garnering attention from many others in the industry. Furthermore, an @boycottbcdotcom twitter account has already sprung up, although at the time of writing it has only 18 followers. Roubaix-gate was a PR disaster for Specialized that, following a similar reaction to this incident, was eventually solved amicably. Given the prevalence of the word ‘backcountry’ in the outdoors and cycling industry and the number of brands (heck, even stores) using the phrase out there, we can’t help but hope this will come to a similar conclusion. Then again, given the sheer volume of suits that have been filed by Backcountry there’s every chance this one may take a little longer to resolve. Will this affect your choice to shop at Backcountry? Can you think of any other memorable PR disasters in the cycling industry? Be sure to share your favourite memories in the comments.
Picking the best bike to suit your needs can be a tricky task. Whether you want to commute, get fit or just explore the countryside, the bicycle is the perfect tool to do that. But there are a confusingly huge — and growing — number of different types of bike to choose from. So, if you are asking yourself “which type of bike should I buy?”, then read on, as we guide you through the styles of bike on offer today to help you find the best one for your needs. To get us started, here’s a list of our specific buying advice for a number of common types of bike: Best road bike: how to choose the right one for you Best mountain bike: the ultimate buyer’s guide Best commuter bike 2019: what’s the best bike for commuting? Best hybrid bike: 10 top recommendations that we’ve tested Best gravel bike: top-rated gravel and adventure bikes in 2019 Here’s why your next bike should be a cyclocross bike The best cyclocross bikes of 2019 | 7 top-rated CX bikes If none of that made sense to you, read on for more in-depth advice. It’s important to have a think about what you want to do with your bike and where you’ll be going because the best bike for you totally depends on this. Your choice of bike will depend on your own tastes too, and the kind of distance and terrain you want to ride. There are many different types of cycling and a multitude of bikes that will let you achieve them. Whether you’re an urban commuter, a lightning-quick road racer, a trail centre hero, downhiller, fixed-wheel fanatic, gravel path explorer or something else, there’s a suitable bike out there for you. Road bikes: best for riding fast on tarmac Road bikes are best for riding on smooth, asphalted roads. Robert Smith / Immediate Media As the name suggests, road bikes are all about riding on surfaced roads, often as fast as possible. They’ve got lightweight frames and skinny tyres designed to help you achieve maximum speed for minimum effort. They have dropped handlebars (i.e. ones that loop down and backwards) that allow you to get into an efficient and aerodynamic riding position and have gearing that’s all about maximum speed. Under the guise of slightly more relaxed ‘endurance’ bikes, they’ll let you embark on big-mile rides with friends, but also lend themselves very well to commuting thanks to their ability to cover ground quickly. However, the speed-focussed riding position can be uncomfortable for some riders and the lightweight wheels and tyres are susceptible to damage from kerbs and potholes. Many dedicated road bikes, especially ones at the racier end of the spectrum, will also lack the ability to carry luggage — so, if you need to lug a hefty load, a pure-bred road bike might not be ideal. Pros: Quick, efficient and fun Cons: Easier to damage, less comfortable for casual riders Best road bike: how to choose the right one for you Mountain bikes: best for rough terrain Mountain bikes are best for riding off road. Phil Hall Made to take on the most rugged off-road terrain that nature can offer, mountain bikes are built tough with aggressive knobbly tyres designed to find grip on almost any surface. They also have powerful brakes that use motorcycle-style discs, and more expensive machines will have suspension at both ends for better control over rough ground. The gearing is designed to get you up and down steep terrain, with a wide range to take on the varying gradients. Even if you don’t plan to tackle mountain ranges, mountain bikes can be a good choice for general leisure riding thanks to their more relaxed riding position. While suspension is great for pure off-road riding, it means extra weight, costs more and can be inefficient, so it’s best avoided if you plan to spend most of your time on-road. If you fancy heading into the back of beyond, pushing your limits and exploring the path less travelled, then check out our buyer’s guide to the best mountain bikes. Pros: Great brakes, upright position, tough, versatile Cons: Heavy, slow on tarmac Best mountain bike: The ultimate buyer’s guide Hybrid bike: best for casual riders and short commutes Hybrid bikes are a very popular choice for bike commuters, thanks to their versatility. Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media Best thought of as the halfway point between a road bike and a mountain bike, a hybrid takes the comfy riding position of a mountain bike and pairs it with a lighter frame and fast-rolling wheels like those seen on a road bike. They’re great if you need to cover on-road distance but don’t want to contort yourself into an uncomfortable riding position. Sitting in a more upright position may be less aerodynamically efficient but it also allows you to look further ahead, which is a huge boon in heavy urban traffic. If you want to go quickly on good roads but you prefer a more upright position or don’t get on with drop handlebars, this is the way to go. The only major downside, as mentioned above, with a flat-bar bike is that you’re not as aerodynamic as you are on a race bike and therefore you’re not quite as quick. Hybrid bikes often use more powerful disc brakes that give more consistent performance in wet weather, though at a slight weight penalty. They’re also equipped with plenty of mounts that allow you to carry more luggage, such as specialist pannier bags. If you need to bridge the gap between urban performance and confident handling, then our guide to the best hybrid bikes will give you all the information you need to know. Pros: Fairly quick, versatile, upright Cons: Typically heavier than road bikes, and not as fast Best hybrid bikes for 2019: 10 of the top recommendations that we’ve tested Touring bike: best for carrying luggage and travelling far Touring bikes are built for the road less travelled, and also make excellent commuters for rough city roads. Russell Burton While a hybrid bike is best suited to the city, a touring bike is designed to take on everything from a commute to a continent-crossing adventure. They tend to have the same fast-rolling 700c wheels as road and hybrid bikes, but with fatter tyres that allow you to take on a mixture of terrain in comfort. ‘Hardcore’ touring bikes designed for super-heavy loads will sometimes opt for 26in wheels because spares availability is often better when in far-flung regions. The more relaxed riding position and more stable geometry of a touring bike mean that you can take on almost anything, whether it be a mountain pass when fully loaded with supplies or a quick spin to work. If you need a highly versatile all-rounder then you should take a look at our guide to the best touring bikes, whether you’re going to familiar places or off the beaten track. Pros: Tough, lots of load-carrying capacity, still fairly quick Cons: Not quite race-bike quick Best touring bike: how to choose the right one for you Cyclocross / gravel / adventure / all-road / bikepacking bikes: best if you’re in a hurry on bad roads Gravel bikes are increasingly popular, and with good reason. Cannondale Overlapping with the touring category, gravel bikes — also known as adventure bikes, all-road bikes or bikepacking bikes — are becoming very popular and fashionable, and it’s easy to see why. Gravel bikes combine road bike looks and speed with loads of frame clearance for fitting fat, knobbly tyres of 35mm-wide or more that can get you across almost any terrain, including terrible tarmac, gloopy mud, bridleways, gravel paths and more. You can find adventure bikes made from steel, aluminium, carbon and titanium, and at a range of prices from the affordable to the aspirational. Many will include eyelets for fitting mudguards and pannier racks, disc brakes (hydraulic if you’re lucky) for better braking, and more relaxed geometry than a road bike to deliver better handling on a range of surfaces. They’re also a great bet for road riding in winter, just fit some puncture-resistant tyres and you’re good to go. Adventure bikes that take luggage (typically frame bags, saddle bags and bar bags) are used for bikepacking, which is essentially touring, but with better fashion sense and hashtags. Full-on cyclocross bikes are similar in concept (fatter tyres, drop bars, discs in many cases), but they may not have fittings for mudguards or panniers and the geometry is typically more aggressive because they’re designed purely for racing. Pros: Fast, comfortable, practical Cons: Sometimes on the heavier side, attractive to thieves Best gravel and adventure road bikes The best cyclocross bikes of 2019 | 7 top-rated CX bikes Fixed gear / singlespeed bike: best if you want a simple bike Fixed gear bikes, or ‘fixies’, are a great low-maintenance option. Jack Luke / Immediate Media Popular in the city, and the only option if you’re riding on a velodrome, the fixie (or ‘fixed wheel’, if you’re being traditional) is the ultimate in simplicity. A true fixie has no freewheel, so you always have to pedal if you’re moving. That brings a particular degree of connection and control once you get used to it, but fixies aren’t the most beginner-friendly. They’re lightning-fast in the hands of an accomplished rider and the lack of complexity means they require minimal maintenance. They’re great for confident commuters that don’t mind suffering if they live in a hilly location and want total control at all times, but it’s a high level of commitment for the casual cyclist. Once you’ve got the hang of riding a fixie, they’re among the best bikes for commuting. This is what makes them popular with cycle couriers, who also like their reliability — a legal-minimum fixie with just a front brake has almost nothing on it to go wrong. Pros: Light, simple, quick Cons: Some skill required, hard when it’s hilly City bike: best for hassle-free riding Traditional Dutch-style city bikes in their natural habitat. Kaveh Kazemi / Contributor Getty Images A Dutch-style city or town bike (or a ‘sit-up-and-beg’) does a sterling job of providing short-range transportation in flat towns. What’s appealing about this style of bike is its simplicity, practicality and robustness. There’s very little to go wrong if you’ve just got one gear, and hub gear versions with up to 11 gears are still pretty tough. Typical town bikes have chainguards and flat pedals, so you can hop aboard in your regular clothes. Self powered dynamo lighting and a lock are often built in, so you won’t need many extras. They shrug off potholed streets, while an upright riding position gives you a commanding view of traffic. The main downside is that they tend to be quite heavy, and while the riding position is comfortable, it’s not particularly efficient and you won’t want to take on any big hills. Pros: Great looks, relaxed riding position, practical, ideal for wearing normal clothes, normally very durable Cons: Heavy and slow The Elephant bike is £250 of ex-Royal Mail Pashley, and we love it Electric bike: best if you want a hand up the hills The Gtech is a top pick for an electric bike under £1,000. Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media With assistance from a powerful motor, electric bikes or e-bikes are great if you’re a commuter who needs to arrive at work in a less sweaty state, or if you’re less confident about your fitness. Laws vary from country to country and, in the US, can vary from state to state. However, in the UK (apart from Northern Ireland) electric bikes limited to 25km/h / 15.5mph can be used on the road without a helmet or licence — they are bikes as far as the law is concerned because you still need to pedal to activate the electric assistance (hence the term ‘pedelec’). More powerful e-bikes (some with motorcycle-style throttles) are also available, but in some countries, including the UK, these are classed as mopeds or motorbikes and therefore need to conform to the same rules (insurance, helmets and so forth). Most e-bikes are designed to be comfortable and easy to live with thanks to flat bars, mudguards and luggage capacity. There’s a significant price and weight premium over an equivalent regular bike for the battery, motor and control electronics. However, as the technology develops, both prices and weights are coming down. Electric mountain bikes can be a total hoot in the hills. Russell Burton The world of electric mountain bikes — also known as e-MTBs — is also a rapidly expanding one, allowing riders who might have needed to swear off their dirt riding activities to keep enjoying the countryside for longer than they might have imagined. There are also a handful of drop-bar e-road bikes on the market, such as the Giant Road-E+, but this remains a fairly small niche. Pros: Easy to ride, comfortable, fun Cons: Regular recharging, heavier and significantly more expensive than an equivalent standard bike Best electric bike 2019: 12 e-bikes you should be considering Folding bikes: best if you’re short on space / best for public transport Folding bikes are a strong choice for those short on space, at home or work. Matthew Lloyd If you need to combine a bit of riding with urban portability, then there’s nothing better than a folding bike. They’re best suited to short rides – especially where storage space at either end is scarce – and their portability means they’re ideal when you might have to hop onto a train or a bus to get where you’re going. That means that folding bikes are phenomenally popular among big-city commuters. The most compact ones will fit under your desk and they’re easy to carry as well. A folder won’t ride like a conventional bike because of the necessary compromises, but the best modern folders are surprisingly capable. Pros: Massively convenient to store, can be taken onto public transport, small wheels are quick to accelerate Cons: Heavier and slower than a big-wheeled bike and not as stable or pothole-proof Best folding bike 2019: five of our favourite folders Kids’ bikes: best for… kids! Kids’ bikes come in all shapes and sizes to suit all ages and abilities. Black Mountain The first thing to keep in mind is that children’s needs vary wildly depending on their age and ability. Balance bikes are where it’s at for the pre-school crowd, then by the time they progress to 16-inch wheels, they’ll (hopefully) be pedalling away without stabilisers before very long. How to teach a child to cycle in 30 minutes Move up a notch to 20-inch wheels and gears start to make an appearance, then by the time they’re nine and riding 24-inch wheels they’ll basically be riding smaller versions of adult bikes – disc brakes, suspension and all. Best kids’ bike: a buyer’s guide
Dean Lucas using his platform as an athlete on the Gypsy Tales podcast to try and help others who struggle.
This month MBUK embraces the dark evenings to bring you a 15-strong lights group test. With outputs ranging from 1,600 lumens to a massive 6,500, you’ll discover what will keep you gleaming and what’s a little dull. The team also hit up Bike Park Wales at night to see how wild one of the UK’s best riding spots can be once the sun’s gone down. That’s not all, the mag also brings you a lesson in bike geometry, so you can learn how frame angles and tube lengths effect just how a bike handles, and there’s adventures and characters galore from riding in Iraq and the ultra-endurance Silk Road race. Plus, there are all the usual pages and columns, as well as an environmental message from Rachel Atherton, how to warm-up like Tahnée Seagrave, and shredding in Gwydir Forest and Cheddar. Charge of the lights brigade Get the low down from the lights-out ride at Bike Park Wales, where MBUK see if riding one of the UK’s most fun venue’s gets even more exciting after hours. What’s more fun than riding a bike park at night with your mates? Not much. Geometry lessons Seb Stott, the mag’s resident tech guru, gives us a run-down of how bike geometry works, what all the angles and lengths mean and their effects on bike handling, as well as advice on how to make sure your next bike fits you perfectly. Bike geometry is constantly evolving. Find out all the ins and outs and how to find your perfect fitting bike. Trail lights grouptest Whether you’re getting set for your first night ride or another season of sundown adventures, having a high-power light is essential to help you ride fast and safe. MBUK tests 15 front lights across a range of budgets and lumens to help you pick the best for you. Having a powerful trail light is essential for night riding. A world apart Mountain biking in Iraq might not be first on your list as a destination, but the Kurdish region is full of wild backcountry and formidable peaks, and a world away from the stereotype we’ve become accustomed. There’s more to Iraq than you might imagine. Mile-munching trail bikes What happens when you blend cross-country speed with trail bike security? This month’s bike test finds out as MBUK puts four short-travel trail bikes from Scott, Cannondale, Intense and Specialized to the test. Just how capable, and fun, are short travel trail bikes? Gwydir Forest This trail at the gateway to Snowdonia is a classic. Formally the Marin Trail, and also known as Betws-y-Coed, it’s been a Welsh cycling hotspot for 15+ years, and it’s easy to see why. It features action-packed trails over its 25km with tons of variability. Find all the details you need for a great day out in the mag. Gywdir Forest is one on the oldest and best trail centres in the UK. Free gift This month’s cover gift is an MBUK beanie. A great after riding essential to keep off the winter chill and your helmet hair covered up. Look sharp, stay warm and hide the helmet hair.