Holy crap, there’s a lot to get through in the latest issue of Cycling Plus. At 186 pages this is a big issue, and the C+ team has clearly been busy.
The first 50 pages are devoted to a melange of news, new kit and new bikes, plus a couple of columns, which is fine even if there wasn’t a whole lot that caught my eye. The first test is of adventure bikes, a niche about which I’m pretty sceptical. I skimmed through it and it seemed OK, but I’m not terribly interested in heavy adventure bikes with mechanical discs.
Next is another tranche of new products stuff before we get an article entitled Burn Fat Fast. I must confess my heart sank a little….NutsEtc and CA do this sort of thing endlessly, and mostly it’s tedious shite. This one is better than most, in fairness, but it doesn’t really tell me anything I didn’t know.
The article about on-board video cameras is interesting in that it is more about the whys and wherefores rather than being a test of products. The article centres on the “vigilante” aspect of action-cameras, but does make a nod in the direction of using them as a coaching aid and also talks to Graham Bartlett (Velon’s master of spouting bollocks while saying nothing of any substance) about their use in the pro peloton. Earlier in the mag Jeremy Vine talks about presenting footage to the police and how good they are at responding, but I suspect if you aren’t a celebrity with a show on national radio you probably get a slightly different response (Are you dead? No? Well fuck off then).
Following on is a test of sports drinks is OK…most of the major players are represented, the important ingredients are listed, and it reads well enough. For me, though, it’s a bit formulaic and familiar, and I long for something more imaginative (feed them all to five-year-olds and see which one causes the highest level of hyperactivity, or something).
Next up is a three-way shoot-out between Trek’s top-of-the-range models — the Emonda, Madone and Domane (obviously the keyboard in Trek’s marketing department only has six functioning keys). It’s a good feature, an interesting idea, executed well and with nice snowy photos. It’s part test, part analysis, and Warren has done a very good job with it. I’m not in the market for one of these bikes, but it makes good reading and is the polar opposite of the joyless “test” of superbikes CA did last month.
The tubeless tyre piece is a decent look at the pros and cons of going tubeless, with some wheels and tyres examined in a little detail, but it didn’t convince me that I need to join the tubeless evangelists. So I won’t. If you’re thinking about it, this is worth a read.
At the back there’s a piece on riding from London to Paris in under 24 hours (don’t really see the appeal) and about getting a bit lost in the Lake District. They are both OK, without being anything special. And then we have Ned Boulting at the back talking about winter clothing, revealing he wraps his feet in cling-film, and listing all the lovely people who have given him free stuff.
And that’s it. I have to say this isn’t one of their best, but it still has enough in it to keep me amused for an hour or two. And there’s a bagged sportive guide with it, which is a bit more interesting that CA’s one but which is nonetheless now in the recycling bin. Overall, not so much C+ as B- (sorry).
I’m off on a week-long road-trip next week, so you’ll just have to fend for yourselves for a while. I’ll be back the week after with…er…stuff.