Sock height rules will be enforced by UCI in 2019

The UCI still has time for the little things…

The UCI has reintroduced sock height rules for the 2019 season.

As the clock ticks down to the start of the new cycling season in January, the governing body is firming up its regulations for the next year.

Changes for 2019 include a revamp of team time trials, a new world ranking system and now a maximum sock height.

>>> 12 changes to UCI rules and regulations you need to know before the 2019 season

While teams are folding, riders are battling for pay, and the women’s peloton is pushing for increased professionalisation of the sport, the UCI is making it clear it still has time for the small details.

Here’s what the sock rules say: “Socks and overshoes used in competition may not rise above the height defined by half the distance between the middle of the lateral malleolus and the middle of the fibula head.”

Clear?

Well don’t worry, the UCI has also provided a handy illustration to ensure teams don’t find themselves stepping over the line.

The UCI’s very handy sock height guide (Picture: UCI)

In short, the sock must not breach the halfway mark between the ankle and the bottom of the knee.

But the UCI has not specified how the rule will be enforced, or what the punishment will be.

The UCI seems keen to crack down on teams using clothing for marginal gains (without actually mentioning Team Sky), rather than for the purposes of safety or modesty.

New rules also say clothing cannot change the ‘morphology’ (shape) of a rider and bans any non-essential clothing or device other than for protection.



Changes to this rule effectively clarify existing rules from 2018 about clothes not being adapted for any purpose other than clothing or safety.

The 2019 rules say that changes to clothing surface are allowed, but only by assembling the fabric, by weaving or by threading.

Surface roughness of clothing must not exceed 1mm at most and items must not contain any self-supporting elements or rigid parts.

The UCI had previously regulated sock height but that rule had disappeared from the books in recent years.

The organisation has not set a minimum length, which means some riders will be allowed to a commit fashion crime of the worst order – wearing socks that are too short.

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The four stages of having your bike stolen

Is there any worse kind of heartbreak?

There aren’t many feelings worse than approaching the spot where you had secured your beloved bike, only to see a ghostly nothing.

Your stomach, sinks, you feel dizzy, your mind starts reeling, turning over all the possibilities and trying to come to terms with what your eyes are telling you.

It is an absolutely awful feeling, and one you wouldn’t hurry to relive.

With that in mind, here are the four stages everyone goes through after having their bike stolen, just to remind you.

Denial

Last year my pride and joy was stolen from the secure underground car park of my office in Bristol (before I’d joined Cycling Weekly).

I’d locked the bike in the same spot every day for a year – buried right at the back, out of sight even through the shutters out onto the street.

But somehow a cruel and determined operator slunk into the car park in a hi-vis jacket and construction helmet and rode away into the afternoon.

>>> Watch the moment cycling police officer chases down bike thief in pedal pursuit 

When I went back for my bike at around 10pm, ready to ride home in the dark after a long late shift, it wasn’t there – just gone.

The first thoughts that hit me were all denial.

I must have locked it somewhere else.

Scouring my memory I was desperate to realise I’d locked my bike outside, or I’d left it at home.

Or maybe this was a prank? When I was a youngster I walked out of work to discover my cheery mates had turned my saddle backwards on my BMX – maybe it was them.

No one would have nicked my bike surely.

All the denial in the world won’t help you when someone has strolled off with your steed.

Anger

Anger is a key stage of the process (Picture: UIG via Getty Images)

By far the longest phase of the process.

There is a lot to be angry at when your bike is stolen.

Obviously the thief, who is often at the centre of imagined encounters that involve some very strong words – maybe a bit more than that too.

But there are other reasons to be angry – in my case, the owners of the building had been in dispute with the property managers about who was liable to fix a broken shutter that allowed my now mortal enemy to wander in and out.

I was also angry at the police, who phoned me a few weeks after my bike had vanished to tell me they were closing the case.

It’s often taken for granted that bike thefts range from the value of a tenner, to thousands of pounds.

Often the theft is treated in the same way by police, regardless of the cost.



But by far the most infuriating thing after having your bike stolen, is the self-righteous know-it-alls who oh so helpfully ask where you had the audacity to leave your bike, and what kind of lock you’d used.

Because deep down you should know this is your fault, they imply with their smug questioning.

If you are one of these people who dream of enlightening victims of theft that they should have used a better lock… don’t.

It doesn’t help, they already know they should have used a better lock, their bike’s been stolen.

Bargaining

This can take many forms.

The first step I took in the bargaining process was trawling eBay and Gumtree for hours in the hope of finding a glimpse of the familiar colours and tubing.

Bikes are often stolen to sell, and sellers need a market place.

You hear plenty of stories of unlucky victims who found themselves in the unlikely position of finding their bikes for sale online – often at an offensively low price.

Not long before my bike was stolen, I had seen a news story about a woman from Bristol who showed phenomenal bravery and actually stole her bike back from the thief who had tried to sell it to her.

If only I could have that chance.

But the bargaining stage also involves weighing up a new bike.

If you buy a replacement ride, you’re sure your old bike will be returned.

Do you get a cheap bike in the hope that your old machine will turn up on your doorstep one raining night, unscathed and relieved to be home?

Or do you accept the loss, take the chance to upgrade and never let your new bike out of your sight?

All part of the bargaining process we’ve all faced when victims of this unexpectedly awful crime.

Acceptance

Finally, you acknowledge your bike is gone, you break out the credit card, and you buy that Di2 aero bike you had been fawning after for a year.

Still, you’re not sure if it was worth the grief. You’d probably rather just have your old bike.

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Best Christmas gifts for cyclists 2018

Not a pizza cutter in sight…

Buying a Christmas gift for a cyclist can be tricky – especially when they seem to have one of everything that could possibly go on a bike or rider. However, there’s always something new and exciting on the market – and at Cycling Weekly we’ve been watching the goodies roll in all year.

We’ve trawled through the virtual gift stalls to bring you a definitive list of the very best of bike related Christmas presents, from stocking fillers to the high ticket items guaranteed to light up their faces brighter than that 1000 lumen USB rechargeable device you got them last year.

We’ve started with the little things, and worked up to the biggest gifts – to be reserved for riders who have been very, very good throughout 2018.

With each product is a ‘Buy Now’ link. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item. This doesn’t affect the amount you pay.

Cycling inspired Christmas greetings cards

best christmas gifts for cyclists

Presentation matters – so pair your gift with a card that harks back to the recipients favourite pastime.

Evans Cycles has a range of Christmas cards designed just for cyclists – and they come in at only 99p each. The inside is blank, so you can wax lyrical if you want to.

See them here at Evans Cycles 

Recycle and Bicycle Recycled Bike Chain Cufflinks – £16

gifts for cyclists fathers day

Who says you have to be wasteful at Christmas?

These cufflinks are made from reclaimed chain links – they’ve been cleaned (you’d hope so too!) and polished, and come presented in a recycled cardboard box.

See them here at Wiggle for £16

Ritch Mitch prints

best christmas gifts cyclists

Not everyone can be King or Queen of the mountains – but your local cafe stop is fair game.

These are just two examples of the work of Richard Mitchelson – or “Rich Mich, fuelled by tea.” The artist produces a range of cool prints, and even takes portrait commissions.

You can pick up an A3 print £35, or go all out and commission a portrait for £199.

Check them out here

Muc off Wash, Protect and Lube kit – £15

Muc Off best gifts for cyclists fathers day

A bike will look after its rider as long as the treatment is reciprocal. A kit like this one from Muc Off provides the lucky rider with everything needed to keep the bike in tip top condition (you can always supply it with a link to this video about how to clean your bike in just seven minutes).

See it at Amazon for £15

Target Velo build-your-own-bike – £24.75

gifts for cyclists

Buy your own build a bike

Surrey based Target Velo creates miniature bikes – road and mountain – which come in kit form, so that the lucky recipient can spend a day building the model up.

The figurines come with moving wheels, cranks and chains – even the brake levers work and squeeze the calipers closed. Road and mountain bike kits start at £24.75 – see them here. 

Queens of Pain: legends and rebels of cycling – £25

best christmas gifts for cyclists

Written by Isabel Best and published by ‘Rapha Editions’, the Queens of Pain documents the stories of some of cycling’s most incredible riders. Many of their jaw dropping stories have gone largely untold, and would have continued to do so, had Best not trawled through journals, magazine and newspaper clippings and journeyed out to speak to relatives.

Each rider’s story is short, succinct, and absolutely awe inspiring – in a way that will have any women’s cycling fan turning the pages until the bath water has gone stone cold (a comment which comes from personal experience).

See it at Rapha for £25

The Road Book, edited by Ned Boulting – £50

best christmas gift cyclist

In a first for cycling, ‘The Road Book’ is a review of 2018, in cycling – with special attention paid to the three Grand Tours.

There’s original reports as well as pages of statistics, so cyclists can relive every World Tour and Women’s World Tour event.

Edited by commentator Ned Boulting, you’ll find stories by renowned pro peloton hacks as well as the rider’s themselves – including Philippa York on Geraint Thomas’ Cinderella Story as well as Marianne Vos and Helen Pidd on Vos’ spectacular return to winning ways.

Order it for £50 here

Gore Wear M Windstopper gloves – £42.99

Best christmas gifts for cyclists

No rider likes cold hands – and a good pair of winter cycling gloves is absolutely essential.

There’s a wide range of glove options out there, but we love the windstopper finger warmers from Gore.

They’re made from a water repellent fabric, have silicone grippers at the thumbs, forefingers and palms, and have been optimised for use with screen – so there’s no  excuse for not replying to your message when out on a ride!

Buy now at Wiggle for £42.99

Brompton Took Kit – £55

best christmas gifts cyclists

Everyone knows that the Brompton bike owners club is a little bit cliquey – and that its members rather love anything designed specifically for their beloved folding bikes.

At £55, the Brompton toolkit contains everything riders need to fix punctures, make repairs and adjustments. It fits just inside the front frame tube, too – provided the bike in question is a post 2004 model.

See it at Evans Cycles for £50

Continental Grand Prix 5000 tyres – £60 each (clincher)

Continental Grand Prix 5000 road tyre

Continental Grand Prix 5000 road tyre

Show your cycling buddy that you’re well up on the newsest trends with a brand new set of Continental GP 5000 tyres.

The tyres are hot off the mould – and replace the GP 4000, which was around for 14 whole years. It’s an all rounder of a tyre – designed to be used across commuting, club runs right through to racing, all year.

The newest version has improved puncture protection, better grip and rolling resistance. It’s available as a clincher or tubeless. Though tubeless tyres are excellent, most riders are running clinchers,  so if you’re unsure that’s the safest bet.

Buy them here at Ribble for £59.99 (each…)

Garmin Edge 520 cycling computer – £149.99 at Amazon

Read more: Garmin Edge 520 review

Cycling computers come and go – there are many options out there for recording ride stats like distance, elevation, speed and more.  However, the Garmin Edge 520 is a long standing favourite that will go down well with any rider who wants the basic ride metrics, without too much concern for navigational assistance.

Buy now: Garmin Edge 520 at Amazon for £149.99

Wahoo Elemnt Bolt – £199

best gifts for cyclists

A neat, compact cycling computer that is designed to be more aerodynamic than those from other leading brands. A direct competitor to the Garmin 520, the display is good and it’s easy to use – though does require a smartphone for set up.

There’s currently a fetching run of red and yellow limited edition computers on the market, too. See our Wahoo Elemnt Bolt review here.

Buy now at Wiggle for £199

Castelli Alpha ROS jacket, men’s and women’s – £275/£260

best christmas gifts cyclists

Read more: Castelli Alpha ROS jacket review

There’s so many great winter cycling jackets we could include here. However, Castelli does winter kit exceptionally well and the Alpha ROS (Rain or Shine) is an excellent piece if kit.

Available in men’s and women’s fit, this garment has a double zip, seperating the wind and water resistant protection from the insulating layer beneath. It’s constructed from a lightweight Gore Windstopper 150 fabric which is breathable whilst still dealing with the elements.

The raw-edge waist and cuffs sit flat against the rider and there’s plenty of stretch and flexibility for a great fit.

See the men’s version for £275 and the women’s for £260 at ProBikeKit (we’re not sure why either – less material?!)

Wahoo Kickr smart turbo trainer – £999

Wahoo Kickr best christmas gifts for cyclists

Wahoo Kickr smart turbo trainer

Read the full review: Wahoo Kickr smart turbo trainer

Ok – it’s not cheap – but indoor cycling is BIG at the moment and the Wahoo Kickr won our best smart turbo trainer grouptest recently.

The newest iteration has had some minor adjustments, including improved ergonomics so that the weighty unit (the flywheel alone is 7.25kg) is easier to maneuver. The combined weight of 22kg may be hefty, but it does mean you can really sprint on it.

The ride feel is lifelike, max power output is 2,200w (if your giftee is putting that out, get them an agent), and the trainer can mimic inclines of 20 per cent.

Buy now: Wahoo Kickr smart turbo trainer at Wiggle for £999.99



Print out and present gifts

Running out of time? All of these gifts will come with email certification that you can slot into an envelope on the day…

Cycling Weekly subscription – from £49.99 for six months

A Cycling Weekly subscription can provide a rider with news, fitness and training advice as well as insightful features and interviews, every single week. You can set up a six month subscription to the print mag for as little as £58.49, or get an iPad/iPhone subscription for the same time period for £49.99.

You’ll pick up a £5 John Lewis, The White Company or Marks & Spencer e-gift card with your purchase, too.

Check out the Cycling Weekly magazine subscription options here

Strava Premium membership – £47.99 a year

Give the gift of Strava Premium

Give the gift of Strava Premium

Strava is the cyclist’s social media platform – displaying rides and allowing riders to chase Strava segment success which is rewarded by Kudos from followers.

With Strava Premium, the tool moves from being a ride sharing and evaluation tool to a training aid, with advanced analytics and personalised coaching. You can upgrade your favourite cyclists account for just £47.99 a year.

Buy it now at Strava

British Cycling or CyclingUK membership – £22-£75

gifts for cyclists

Sign them up to British Cycling or Cycling UK

Memberships to British Cycling or Cycling UK carry a number of benefits for cyclists.

British Cycling Membership

British Cycling membership is available at a number of standards – from ‘Fan’ to ‘Race’.

Race license membership – compulsory for all UK racers – starts at £23 and increases to £76 with liability and legal insurance.

‘Ride membership’ (£39) and ‘Commute membership (£37) get users legal and liability insurance when commuting or riding for leisure and the ‘Fan’ option (£23) unlocks a selection of discounts at major cycling retailers. Check out the options here.

Cycling UK’s Gift Membership

Cycling UK membership starts from £3.88 a month (£46.50 a year) and provides third party liability insurance cover with an indemnity limit of £10m, plus access to group rides, discounts, access to the Cycling UK ‘incident line’ – and you’ll be supporting the organisations missions.

Find out more and purchase a membership here. 

We’ll keep updating this page with new gifts – let us know in the comments if you’re a cyclist who has received a gift you think should be included… 

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Cardoso handed four-year ban for EPO

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Former golf academy to be transformed with cycle circuit and mountain bike trails

A kilometre-long time trial circuit will be built in the new country park

A former golf academy will be transformed with a new cycle circuit and mountain bike trails.

South Bucks District Council has obtained planning permission to redesign the 22-hectare land in Stoke Poges, which will include plenty of facilities for riders.

Work on the new Stoke Poges Country Park is due to start early next year, and the project is scheduled to be finished in 2021.

>>> Cycle commuters and walkers have the shortest daily journeys, according to new study 

Leader of the district council, Nick Naylor, said: “This is an exciting development for the council, which has received overwhelming public support.

“We are turning an underused facility into something of far wider benefit to the community to support our aims to improve the public health of residents by expanding their opportunities for open space leisure.”

The new park will include a closed cycle circuit, a mountain bike trail, BMX pump track, footpaths, jogging tracks and children’s play facilities.

There will also be a café.

According to the plans, the enclosed 1km cycle circuit has been designed to accommodate for the increasing number of recreational cyclists in a safe ‘off-road’ area.

>>> Warning as funding needed for poor surfaces and inadequate signs in National Cycle Network 

The council said cycling clubs will be able to use the course for time trials, and the circuit should be lit.

South Bucks’ new track could be modelled on the Hillingdon Cycle Circuit in nearby West London.

Hillingdon hosts events year round, including club rides, crit races and time trials.

There are similar circuits in Redbridge and at the Lee Valley Velopark, both in East London.

South Bucks District Council were granted planning permission on November 7, with work planned to start early next year and last for two years.

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Trek-Segafredo rider André Cardoso banned more than a year after EPO positive

The 34-year-old has been banned for four years by the UCI

Former Trek-Segafredo’s André Cardoso has been banned more than a year after testing positive for EPO.

The Portugese pro was suspended on the eve of the 2017 Tour de France after returning a positive test for Erythropoietin (EPO).

After the out-of-competition test, the 34-year-old was provisionally suspended but the UCI announced on Thursday that he would be banned for four years.

>>> Floyd Landis says cycling is not clean in post-Armstrong era

The governing body said: “The UCI announces that the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal has rendered its decision in the case involving André Cardoso.

“The Anti-Doping Tribunal found the rider guilty of an anti-doping rule violation (use of Erythropoietin) and imposed a four-year period of ineligibility on the rider.”

Cardoso had denied taking EPO and requested his B sample be tested.

The UCI went quiet on the case after the Trek-Segafredo rider’s provisional suspension.

Cardoso rode with Caja Rural before joining the WorldTour with Garmin Sharp in 2014.

>>> Pro continental Burgos-BH rider banned for four years for doping violation

He left for Trek-Segafredo at the end of 2016, where he was suspended part way through is first season.

Cardoso was dropped from Trek’s Tour de France squad when news of the positive broke.

Speaking at the time, Cardoso said: “I am fully aware that I will be presumed to be guilty, but it’s important to me to say that I am devastated by this news and I wanted to state that I have never taken any illegal substances.”

Trek’s star rider in 2017 Alberto Contador said he was surprised and disappointed in his team-mate.

“It was a big surprise,” Contador said before the Tour. “I never imagined that something like that would happen in this team.”

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Andrea Tafi registers with UCI in pursuit of Paris-Roubaix return

The Italian will now be eligible to ride at WorldTour and pro conti level

Andrea Tafi has registered with the UCI in the latest step towards his Paris-Roubaix return at the age of 52.

Tafi, who won in the legendary velodrome 20 years ago, said he has found a team willing to take him on for the 2019 edition.

The Italian’s name has been included on the UCI Registered Testing Pool, which allows him to ride at WorldTour and professional continental level.

Tafi recently told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws: “Unfortunately I can not say which [team]. Not yet.

“I know how difficult it is.

“I’m going to train and see where I come out.”

>>> Should Andrea Tafi return to Paris-Roubaix at 52?

The UCI pool is the register of riders who have submitted their whereabouts information to the authorities, which means officials can find the athletes at any time to carry out anti-doping tests.

Born in 1966, Tafi is still not the oldest rider on the UCI’s Registered Testing Pool.

The oldest is German paracyclist Hans Peter Durst at 60, followed by Australian cyclist, swimmer and rower Carol Cook who is 57.

Tafi won Paris-Roubaix in 1999 while riding for Mapei, at the age of 32.

He retired in 2005, having completed the race 13 times, finishing every time he entered and placing first, second and third.

Tafi claimed he had “earned a master’s degree” in the race.

>>> Irish champion Conor Dunne signs with Israel Cycling Academy after collapse of Aqua Blue Sport

During his career he also won the Tour of Flanders in 2002, Paris-Tours in 2000 and Il Lombardia in 1996.

Australian Mathew Hayman (Mitchelton-Scott) won the race in 2016 at 37 years old. The oldest winner is Frenchman Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle, who won twice, the second time in 1993 at 38 years old. No one ever retired and returned 20 years later to race, let alone win.

This year’s winner was Peter Sagan (Bora-Hangrohe), who finally found luck on his side and claimed his second career Monument at 28 years old.

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Best Black Friday 2018 cycling deals: 40% off Rapha, Castelli Sidi and much more

Black Friday 2018 has begun, here are the best US and UK Black Friday deals for cyclists in the run up to the big day

As we predicted, Black Friday has kicked off a whole month before the scheduled date of Friday 23rd November. However, that’s no bad thing because there’s a tonne of a great bargains to be bagged in these early stages.

So far, the deals are just from Chain Reaction Cycles and Wiggle but have no fear, they’ll be plenty of other retailers releasing their own bargains over the next few days and weeks.

The products featured have been chosen because we know they’re good quality and are an excellent offer at the price we’ve included (at the time of writing). Our tech team have unrivalled expertise and years of experience testing new products, so you can trust our recommendations – and we also know what represents a good deal. Where we’ve reviewed the product we’ve included a link to it so you can read more.

With each product is a ‘Buy Now’ link. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item. This doesn’t affect the amount you pay.

The best Black Friday 2018 cycling deals

Looking for deals NOW? Check out:

Save almost £2000 on a Giant TCR Advanced SL 0

Read more: Giant TCR Advanced 1 review

The excellent Giant TCR Advanced SL 0 is now discounted by 24%. For the new price, you’re getting Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, Giant’s tubeless ready wheel and tyre combination and an exceptional carbon frame. We’re big fans of the TCR, awarding the bike at lower price point our grouptest winner.

Buy now: Giant TCR Advanced SL 0 at Rutland Cycles for £5999

Castelli Aero Lite jacket was £175, now £87.50

The Aero Lite jacket is built in a similar way to the excellent Gabba or Perfetto, using Windstopper X-lite fabric. It’s water resistant and figure hugging so it doesn’t flap around in the wind either.

Buy now: Castelli Aero Lite jacket at Wiggle for £87.50 

Sidi Wire carbon road shoe was £325, now £164.99

Sidi are renowned as one of the stiffest, and most performance orientated shoes on the market. The shoes have a unique closure system that manages to avoid cutting into your feet and they’re built to last, with a replaceable heel pad and a tough outer material.

Buy now: Sidi Wire carbon road shoe at Rutland cycles for £164.99

Rapha Classic Winter jacket was £260, now £159

Get 40% off this Rapha winter jacket, which is rain resistant, windproof and highly insulating. The jacket is pretty versatile, with a concealed, waterproof front pocket, drainage holes on the rear and covered storm flaps.

Buy now: Rapha Classic Winter jacket at Wiggle for £159

Save 44% on a Wilier GTR road bike, now just £999

This Wilier GTR discount is probably the best road bike deal we’ve spied so far in this Black Friday build up. The GTR is Wilier’s endurance range, so the bike comes with a slightly higher stack and shorter reach to keep you comfortable all day in the saddle.

This particular deal is on a 2019 Shimano 105 equipped model, which just makes it an even bigger bargain!

Buy now: Wilier GTR road bike at Wiggle for £999

10 per cent off 2019 bikes at Rutland Cycles

Specialized Tarmac Black Friday deals

Specialized Tarmac Black Friday deals

Sayy whaaaat?

Usually Black Friday deals will feature on last season’s items. But Rutland Cycles is offering 10 per cent off brand spanking new bikes. Like the Specialized Tarmac with its new aero skin and additional compliance. 

The deals apply across 2019 bikes, just apply the code ‘BIKE10’ to save. We’re shocked, too.

See Rutland Cycles Black Friday bike deals here

MET Manta Helmet 2018 was £100, now £81

Met Manta helmet

Met Manta helmet

Read more: MET Manta helmet review 

A helmet so good it gained a place in the 2017 Editor’s Choice awards. This aero lid claims to save 10 watts at 50km/h, has a Safe-T fit system for optimum fit and lightweight straps which fit comfortably against your face.

Buy now: MET Manta Helmet 2018 at Chain Reaction Cycles for £81

Tacx Neo smart trainer was £1,199, now £879.99

tacx neo

The Tacx Neo smart trainer

Read more: Tacx Neo smart trainer review

Each year we see a host of smart trainers get big discounts and now you can get close to £400 off a market leading Tacx Neo.

It’s a good trainer, with a very stable base and some of the best ascent and descent replication on the market. It hooks up to Zwift seamlessly or you can use Tacx’s own training software. It even replicates the feel of the road if you’re riding over gravel or cobbles.

Buy now: Tacx Neo smart trainer at Chain Reaction Cycles for £879.99

Scott E-Sub Cross 20 2018 Mens Electric Hybrid Bike Grey was £1948,99, now £1298.99

Scott E-Sub Cross 20 2018 Mens Electric Hybrid Bike Grey

Scott E-Sub Cross 20 2018 Mens Electric Hybrid Bike Grey

Electric bikes are big right now – and that’s great news since it’s encouraging more people who might otherwise say away from bikes to get onto two wheels and enjoy themselves.

The Scott E-Sub Cross 20 can be bought with men’s or women’s components, so that it’s more likely to fit right out the box. It’s suitable for light off roading, with an alloy frame, Suntour fork, Shimano Hydraulic discs and Acera 9-speed groupset. The Bosch Motor is powered by a 400Wh battery and can provide 250 watts of power.

Buy now: Scott E-Sub Cross 20 2018 Electric Hybrid Bike at Rutland Cycles for £1298.99

Halfords Advanced 170 Piece Socket & Ratchet Spanner Set was £320, now £125

black friday deals cycling

This is a monster set – it’s got quite a few pieces you’re unlikely to need for the bike. However, they’ll be useful elsewhere – and at over 50 per cent off it’s a bargain.

The tools are made from chrome vanadium steel, and you get a lifetime warranty too.

If your needs are a little bit simpler, then check out this 36 piece socket set for just £20.

Buy now: Halfords Advanced 170 piece socket and ratchet spanner set at Halfords for £125

Vitus Razor Road Bike 2018 was £499.99, now £349.99

Vitus Razor Road Bike 2018

Vitus Razor Road Bike 2018

The Vitus Razor is far from a top end option – but if it’s a commuter or a first road bike you’re after then the aluminium frame, carbon fork and Shimano Claris groupset will do the job. The geometry sits between race and endurance, so this should suit anyone from the casual club rider to an aspiring racer.

UK Buy now: Vitus Razor Road Bike 2018 at Chain Reaction Cycles for £349.99

USA buy now: Vitus Razor road bike 2018 at Chain Reaction Cycles for $419

Garmin Edge 520 was £239, now £149

garmin edge 520 campagnolo eps gears

Garmin Edge 520 is easy to operate

Read more: Garmin Edge 520 review

The Garmin Edge 520 is one of the leading cycling computers on the market, and now you can get close to £90 off of one – perfect if you’re looking to boost your performance.

The Edge 520 can hook up to your power meter, speed and cadence sensors, give you Strava Live segments on the fly, measure VO2 Max and much, much more.

Buy now: Garmin Edge 520 at Wiggle for £149.99

USA buy now: Garmin Edge 520 at Amazon for $218

SRAM Red eTap groupset was £1278, now £899

sram red etap featured image

Read more: SRAM Red eTap groupset review

Although it is also a top level groupset, SRAM’s Red eTap system is quite different to Shimano’s top flight offering.

For starters, it’s completely wireless. This makes it very light and unique in its shifting which uses the levers differently. Charging it is also different, and you remove the batteries from the mechs themselves and plug them into a charging unit. Its different, but good and now with a whopping £300 discount.

UK buy now: SRAM Red eTap groupset at Wiggle for £899

USA buy now: SRAM Red eTap groupset at Wiggle for $1191.18

Carrera Crossfire 2 hybrid bike was £330 now £260

black friday deals cycling

If you’re looking for a hybrid bike then the Black Friday sales can throw up some bargains.

The Carrera Crossfire 2 impressed us when we tested it – we liked the comfortable ride and rated the value for money.

This version comes in men’s and women’s guises, with 24 Shimano gears, Tektro mechanical disc brakes, Suntour fork and a light aluminium frame.

Buy now: Carrera Crossfire 2 men’s bike at Halfords for £260, and women’s version here

Park Tool Home Mechanic Repair Stand was £169, now £99.99

Whether you’re a hardened workshop hand or a budding home mechanic, no cyclist should be without a raised repair stand. With the bike elevated off the ground, no longer must you turn it upside, or precariously balance it against you’re nice painted walls.

The Park Tool Home Mechanic Repair Stand has a adjustable clamp and body, allowing you to get the perfect height and grip on the bike.

Buy now: Park Tool Home Mechanic Repair Stand at Chain Reaction Cycles for £99.99

Oakley Jawbreaker Prizm road sunglasses were £175, now £99.90

Just one of the seven standard colour options available

Read more: Oakley Jawbreaker Prizm glasses review

The Oakley Jawbreaker glasses are some of our favourites. They’re big, with good covering and sticky rubber edging to hold them in place. Plus the Prizm lens is very contrasting, giving good depth and clarity when on the bike. However, it’s worth noting that these are better suited to wider faces – they can slip on skinnier ones.

UK buy now: Oakley Jawbreaker Prizm glasses at Chain Reaction Cycles for £99.90

USA buy now: Oakley Jawbreaker Prizm glasses at Chain Reaction Cycles for $140

Best Black Friday deals at Rutland Cycles

Black Friday Deals at Rutland Cycles

Black Friday Deals at Rutland Cycles

Rutland Cycles has hit Black Friday HARD – with discounts including 10 per cent off brand new 2019 bikes.

There’s offers on clothing, accessories and parts as well – but we’ve got to admit it’s the bike offer we’re jaw-dropping over most.

Check out the Black Friday deals at Rutland Cycles here

Best Black Friday deals at Chain Reaction Cycles

Black Friday deals Chain reaction cycles

Chain Reaction Cycles, and Wiggle, were the first to roll out their deals to the cycling world.

They’re releasing new offers every Thursday – and we’ve listed some of the best ones above.

There’s more, though – check out the best Chain Reaction Cycles Black Friday deals here.

Best Black Friday deals at ProBikeKit

pro bike kit black friday deals

ProBikeKit had some cracking deals last year, and they’re promising more of the same for 2018.

There’s no month long campaign, though, at the moment it looks like they’re saving the savings for November 23 – in the mean time, the Black Friday page is ready to be bookmarked and there are existing offers highlighted on there.

Best Black Friday deals at Halfords

black friday cycling deals halfords

Halfords has cracked on with some ‘countdown deals’, and the savings are available on a range of products from bikes to toolsets and kids scooters.

There’s also a Black Friday competition, with the chance to win vouchers up to £1,000.

See the Halfords Black Friday deals here

Best Ribble Black Friday deals

Ribble sells its own bikes, and you can expect to see some big savings on one or two models – as per last year.

It also stocks a range of clothing, accessories and tech – and there’s a sign up page so you can add your email address and get access to the offers as soon as they land. See it here.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the first Friday after Thanksgiving (which in 2018 is November 23), and is traditionally seen as the start of the Christmas shopping season, with high street retailers opening their doors at the crack of dawn and offering big discounts for shoppers who have set their alarm clocks.

For consumers and retailers in the UK, Black Friday is a recent phenomenon, but it has been going strong the

Amazon launched the concept in the UK in 2010, with Asda joining the party in 2013.

The rise of internet shopping has allowed the Black Friday tradition to spread throughout the world, with the UK’s bike retailers like WiggleChain Reaction Cycles and Evans Cycles, all getting caught up in the scramble to get shoppers to part with their cash.

Where can I find the best Black Friday bike deals?

Last year, all the major cycling retailers followed the same pattern demonstrated by the major retailers – with big deals in tech, as well as discounts on bikes.

The end of year placement of the sale period means it’s useful for retailers to boost their 2018 sales, and also helps them to shift 2018 stock in order to make space in their warehouses for 2019 bikes – so we can expect to see similar trends this year.

Black Friday sale shopping tips

When Black Friday 2017 really kicks off, you can expect to be bombarded with deals and offers from every angle. It’s easy to be tempted into making impulse purchases, resulting in an overspend that leaves you feeling unfulfilled – but with a little careful planning you can make sure you enter December having made genuine savings that leave you with a glowing halo and a healthy bank balance.

Here are our tips for Black Friday sale shopping success…

Be well informed

A handful of retailers will remain completely silent about the details of their Black Friday sale until the actual day. Most will drip feed information, giving you a chance to prepare for your shopping in advance. Here’s how to stay informed:

  • Sign up to mailing lists: A plague that you avoid most of the year, ahead of Black Friday it’s actually a really good idea to subscribe to the mailing lists of major retailers, as they’ll often send priority invites to view sale stock ahead of the general public
  • Bookmark this page: Retailers will send us forewarning of their sale offers in the form of press releases – and we’ll publish the information on this page as soon as we’re able
  • Follow brands and retailers on social media: They will share details with their loyal followers in advance – so click ‘like’ and ‘follow’ to be first in the queue

Check returns policies

As always, these vary from store to store – but in some cases returns may be limited to 30 days. So if you pick up a gift for someone on Black Friday – November 24 – by Christmas day a return may be out of the question. Though we don’t doubt your gift giving prowess, it’s a good idea to bear this in mind.

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De Gendt already training for Grand Tour triple in 2019

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Irish champion Conor Dunne signs with Israeli Cycling Academy after collapse of Aqua Blue Sport

The towering national champion has a new ride after suddenly finding himself out of contract

Irish national champion and Conor Dunne has been signed by the Israeli Cycling Academy after the collapse of the Aqua Blue Sport team.

Dunne was left without a contract when Irish professional continental squad Aqua Blue folded suddenly in summer.

The 26-year-old was one of 16 riders left without a contract, alongside American Larry Warbasse and Brit Adam Blythe.

But Dunne, who stands at a six-foot six inches tall, has found a team in the pro continental ranks for 2019.

He said: “I suppose I have gained a bit of a reputation for riding in the early breakaways in many of the races I’ve participated in and this is something I have really enjoyed.

“I love being out front and racing aggressively, it is a way of expressing myself.

“However, at the same time, I feel I am a reliable team player and love participating in a victory in any small way and sharing that feeling with my teammates.

“At ICA, this is something I really want to continue doing and prove to be a reliable, strong and versatile member of ICA at any race we line up in.

“I also really believe in myself and have huge motivation going into next year to improve further and push myself more than ever.

“My own personal goal is to win a race in the national champion’s colours next year and really put some pressure on myself to achieve this.

“I have admired the way ICA work from a far, they have been super strong and ridden well as a team at any race I have competed against them in.

“So I am really looking forward to working with them next year and make some ambitious goals together; it’s a great opportunity to be part of a winning team that I’m grateful for the opportunity”.

After just two years racing, Aqua Blue Sport announced they would be closing this summer, with owner Rick Delaney blaming a failed merger, equipment sponsors and race organisers.

Rather than finish the season, which would give riders a chance to perform for other potential teams, the outfit ceased racing immediately and pulled out of the Tour of Britain.

Dunne will be joining the pro continental Israel Cycling Academy for 2019 – the nation’s first professional cycling outfit.

The team took part in the 2018 Giro d’Italia, which set off from Israel, and Il Lombardia as well as stage races like Volta a Catalunya.

Academy team manager Kjell Carlstrom said: “We are lining up what we believe will be a much stronger team, specially in the sprints.

“But with this huge transformation and the clear goal to be up there in the hunt in every single race we need intelligent, smart and capable riders to support our sprinters and climbers.

“That is exactly why we could not miss Conor.

“He has race smarts, he knows when and how to move in the peloton as you can see from his quite successful breakaway attempts.

“Of course every body wants to get to a breakaway but few make it.

“We will need him in breakaways, we will need him to close a breakaway, we will need him to support his teammates in crucial moments.

“Bottom line: he will be very valuable to us all season long.”

>>> Aqua Blue Sport bosses respond after riders claim pay has been delayed

Dunne, the self-proclaimed ‘tallest cyclist in the world’, had a breakthrough year in 2018, winning the Irish national championship road race in July.

He also featured heavily in the World Championship Road Race in September, making it into the breakaway on the brutally hilly course.

But Dunne’s most visible achievement this year was away from the peloton, in the form of the ‘No Go Tour’.

Dunne and former team-mate Larry Warbasse set off on a 1140km (700-mile), eight-day adventure through the European mountains.

Recording their trip through social media, Warbasse and Dunne generated a lot of attention after the collapse of their team.

Warbasse has signed for French WorldTour team AG2R La Mondiale for 2019.

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