Practical Information Articles

A selection of how-to articles. Practical advice and background information on as many aspects of cycling as we could think of.

The Shoes Ruse

The Shoes Ruse

In this extract from his book JUST RIDE, Grant Petersen of Rivendell Bicycle Works explodes some of the myths surrounding clip-in pedals

Family and Children's Cycles

Family and Children's Cycles

Take the whole family with you when you cycle. The range of good quality bikes and equipment expands every year and there has never been more awareness of the need to establish good healthy habits at an early age. But whatever your motivation, saving money or saving the planet, your kids will have a blast. What better reason to get them on a bike?


Mick's Tips - Home-made grease-ports

This trick can be used to breathe new life into old and/or cheapo pedals, particularly plastic bodied ones.


Mick's Tips - Water-proof Jackets

Following on from the last contentious episode on Lycra shorts, for this week’s T.o.t.W I will mostly be addressing the matter of performance outer garments.


Mick's Tips - Bicycle Chain Care and Maintenance Made Easy.

The ‘Method’ is not the only chain care programme out there - there are others. By MICK ALLAN


Mick's Tips - Quick Cable Lube.

Brake and gear cable deteriation is so slow that we are often unaware of the drop off in performance which results in sticky shifting and loss of braking power. Save money by prolonging the working life of your cables and optimise their performance by lubing them regularly.


Mick's Tips - How to clean a bicycle

There are probably other ways of washing a bicycle - this is just how I wash mine. By MICK ALLAN


Mick's Tips - Flat Handlebar Set-up.

The shape that your bike was in when it left the shop is not necessarily the best shape for your body. The chances of it fitting you perfectly are extremely low. Here's how to optimise your handlebar ergonomics.


Mick's Tips - Screwdrivers, a users guide.

Screwdrivers? Screwdrivers?? How can screwdrivers be interesting enough to justify a whole article I hear you ask... Read on.


Mick's Tips - Saddle Height Adjustment

If your saddle isn't set right it's impossible to pedal properly. MICK ALLAN looks at the ins and outs of saddle adjustment.


Mick's Tips - Tools - Wear and Tear

Few tools last forever - knowing when to replace them can prevent a lot of frustration. And save you money.


Mick's Tips - Pumps.

Have you serviced your bicycle pumps recently? If they are feeling a little wheezy and asthmatic there's an easy, cheap fix which will restore their capacity to blow and extend their operating life.


Mick's Tips - Home Made Tools.

Some of the most useful cycle specific tools of all can be made at home. Indeed my favourite one cannot be purchased, so if you want one you're gonna have to make it.


Get into Cycling!

Cycling is a very special activity: too special and too useful for it to be sidelined as just a sport or just a cheap way of getting about. We all need to change the way we think about personal transport, about freedom and leisure: muscle power is something to be proud of, and rarely is it such good fun to help change the world for the better in such an effective and visible way.


Helmets or Not: Research Findings Turn Up the Heat

Englishman COLIN CLARKE was working in Australia when compulsory helmet laws were introduced. This prompted him to study the worldwide research on the subject, with some surprising results.


Safer Cycling

Cycling is fun, healthy, practical and sustainable. These benefits far outweigh any fears that you may have of sharing the road with other traffic. Figures show that you are far more likely to live a long, active and healthy life if you begin cycling regularly, than if you take no such exercise. Here's how to maximise your safety on the road.


Cycle Clothing

The key to feeling good on your bike



Truing your wheel or replacing spokes is well within the capabilities of any home mechanic. Bike designer GEOFF APPS shows you how to do it


Confounding the Canines

JOHN NAYLOR discusses new ways and old for the cyclist to avoid becoming a dog's dinner


Leaving Town

Discovering country lanes and off-road paths.


Foiling the flat (or Preventing the Puncture)

FRANK BERTO, a leading American cycle engineer and technical writer, surveys the latest ‘solutions’ and shares his experiences after thirty years of pedaling.


Cycle Commuting

It has long been known that for urban trips up to five miles the bicycle is usually the cheapest, fastest and always the most convenient ‘door to door’ mode of transport.

Touring into trouble

Touring into trouble

JOSIE DEW is a keen cycle tourist. Here she explains how she deals with the kind of harassment and problems experienced by many women cyclists


The energy trap

Cyclists have a term for it - the Bonk -that sudden loss of energy and mental awareness. Doctor TONY MATTHEWS explains why it happens and how to tackle it


Children’s Cycles

For children, cycling is freedom and adventure. They feel good on their bikes, gain in confidence with every turn of the pedals and soon develop the physical and mental skills needed to make safe decisions when they are on the road.


Graceful riding

By improving your pedalling technique you can ride further and faster with less effort. Here, in an extract from his book, 'Cycling for Fitness', JOHN SCHUBERT explains how it can be done



In this extract from his book, Bicycle Design, MIKE BURROWS looks at how we lubricate our bikes


Avoiding the Pregnant Pause.

Can you cycle when pregnant, and is it a good idea? ANNA SEMLYEN (pictured) discusses the issues with mothers who did it.


Your own home workshop

GEOFF APPS and MICK ALLAN look at the nuts and bolts of setting up a home workshop


A Beginner's Guide to Cycle Commuting 3: Cycle Security

MICK ALLAN advises on good practice for cycle security


Cycling for Women

Right body, wrong bike. For too long the choice for women was heavy 'ladies' bikes or ill-fitting and uncomfortable 'gents' bikes. Thankfully provision for women has moved on in leaps and bounds in recent years.

Cycling in Older Age

Cycling in Older Age

Recent research shows that regular cyclists have, on average, the health of someone ten years younger. .


'Bent on a Budget pt 2: Servo Assisted Brakes

Building an electrically assisted recumbent quad from items found around the house PETER TREMLETT shows us how he rigged up servo assisted disc brakes. Though someone isn't going to be happy when they realise the steering wheel to their X-box has gone missing....


'Bent on a Budget pt1: Seating

How to make a recumbent seat from an old office chair. Or a new office chair for that matter. PETER TREMLETT shows us how.


How to build a tall bike

Cyclorama's resident evil genius shows us how to make a Tall Bike. Do try this at home! By PETER TREMLETT

A Beginner’s Guide to Clip-less Pedals.

A Beginner’s Guide to Clip-less Pedals.

Faster, safer, more comfortable – bolting your feet to the pedals sounds scary but the rewards are worth it for cyclists who want to improve their performance. By PAUL JOHNSON


The Fundamentals of Fit

By far the most important thing to get right when purchasing a bike is the fit. You might have all the finest carbon fiber or titanium frame and components but you’ll be going nowhere fast if your bike doesn’t fit you properly. By MICK ALLAN


Mick's Tips - Lycra Shorts

Yeah, I know how self concious many of us feel about Lycra shorts, but as the mileage increases there is simply nothing else which comes close in terms of function, comfort and performance.


Parts and Accessories

We don't believe a component has to be expensive to be perfectly good or even exceptional.