Le Col
Saturday, 18 August 2018 11:53

Tips - Fast riding and recovery

Tips - Fast riding and recovery

  1. On descents, your bike is much more stable when you're pedaling than when you're coasting.
  2. Whenever you make the transition from standing to sitting, gain a few free inches by pushing the bike forward as you drop to the saddle.
  3. Don't take the day off before a big event. If you need complete rest from riding, do so two days before, then take a short ride on the eve of the event—including a couple sprints to make sure your body (and your bike) are well oiled.
  4. Break up long rides with a 15-second sprint every 30 minutes or so—adding variety to a monotonous pace is better training, relieves saddle pressure, and stretches and relaxes your body.

HOW TO HEAL: Road rash—patches of abraded skin that result when you crash and slide across pavement—is painful but rarely serious, long-lasting, or likely to horrifically scar if you follow these six tips#

bianchi crash

  1. Quickly get to a place where you can thoroughly clean and disinfect the wound. It is less painful if done within 30 minutes of the crash, because nerve endings are still numb from the trauma.
  2. To prevent infection and scarring, scrub the wound hard with a rough washcloth or a medium- or soft-bristle brush. Apply a liberal amount of an antibacterial surgical cleaner such as Hibiclens or Betadine.
  3. Pat the wound dry, then apply an antibacterial ointment such as Neosporin (which, like the products mentioned previously, is available without a prescription).
  4. Cover the cleaned abrasion with a nonstick sterile dressing such as Telfa or Second Skin. To prevent leakage on clothes or sheets, cover the dressing with a layer of absorbent gauze for the first few days.
  5. Change the dressing each morning and night. Apply more antibacterial ointment before covering the wound, and check for signs of infection: tenderness, swollen red skin, or a sensation of heat. If you detect any of these, consult a doctor.
  6. To minimize scarring, keep the wound moist so a hard scab can't develop. As new skin starts to form, apply Saratoga ointment and light gauze. This zinc-oxide-based salve prevents scabbing. Then use a moisturizer on new skin for at least a week.
Published in Blog
Saturday, 18 August 2018 11:50

11 Tips - General Riding

11 Tips - General Riding

1.  After adjustments to your saddle position, handlebar height, stem length, or cleat placement, minor discomfort is normal as your body adapts to the changes. Resist the temptation to fiddle again after just one short ride.

2. As tempted as you might be, don't take a day completely off the bike after the week's hardest effort. The best way to recover is with a short, easy spin—30 to 60 minutes at a pace that always allows effortless talking.

3. By sliding rearward or forward on the saddle, you can emphasize different muscle groups. This is useful on a long climb as a way to give various muscles a rest while others take over the work. Moving forward accentuates the quadriceps, while moving back emphasizes the hamstrings and glutes. However beware of creeping forward on the saddle and hunching your back when you're tired. Shift to a higher gear and stand to pedal periodically to prevent stiffness in your hips and back.

4. Relax your grip. On smooth, traffic-free pavement, practice draping your hands over the handlebar. This not only will help alleviate muscle tension, but also will reduce the amount of road vibration transmitted to your body.

5. Periodically change hand position. Grasp the drops for descents or high-speed riding and the brake-lever hoods for relaxed cruising. On long climbs, hold the top of the bar to sit upright and open your chest for easier breathing. When standing, grasp the hoods lightly and gently rock the bike from side to side in sync with your pedal strokes. But always keep each thumb and a finger closed around the hood or bar to prevent yourself from losing control if you hit an unexpected bump.

6. If a headwind finally defeats you, don't let it ruin your day Accept the slower speed, shift to an easy gear, and work on your pedaling form and your ability to stay relaxed. (And don't feel bad that you pooped out: In terms of pedaling effort, a cyclist who travels 18 mph through calm air would have to work about twice as hard to maintain that speed into a mere 10-mph headwind.)

7. Don't get down on yourself and think you're mentally weak if you feel like the wind is almost always against you—you're right. Studies have shown that only those winds within the trailing 160 degrees of an imaginary circle drawn around a cyclist provide assistance. Wind anywhere in the other 200 degrees works against you.

8. Two easy (and most overlooked) ways to improve your bike's performance: Inflate the tyres before every ride, and keep the chain lubed.

9. Always ride with your elbows bent and your arms and shoulders relaxed. This prevents fatigue caused by muscle tension. It also allows your arms to absorb shock instead of transmitting it to your body.

10. Handlebar width should equal shoulder width. A wider bar opens your chest for breathing; a narrower one is generally more aerodynamic. Pick the one that favors your riding style. Position the angle of the bar so the bottom, flat portion is parallel to the ground, or else points just slightly down, toward the rear hub.

11. As your effort becomes harder, increase the force of your breaths rather than the frequency.

Published in Blog
Saturday, 18 August 2018 11:40

9 Tips - Groups Riding

9 Tips - Groups Riding


1. To build your confidence in a paceline, start by staying one bike length from the rider in front of you, then gradually close the gap as your experience and ability increase. Once you can ride comfortably within a wheel's length, you'll be getting most of the benefit of drafting, which can reduce by up to 35 percent the effort it takes to maintain a given speed.

2. When taking the lead position in a paceline, as the former leader drops to the back, don't accelerate. Maintain the same speed as when drafting so you don't cause gaps to open between the other riders.

3. To stave off muscle fatigue during hard, sustained pedaling, learn to "float" each leg every three or four strokes. Simply let your foot fall without exerting force.

4. For safety, don't brake in a paceline. Doing so will slow you too much, open a gap, and possibly cause a chain reaction. Instead, if you begin to overtake the rider in front, ease your pedal pressure, sit up to catch more wind, or move out to the side a bit. Once you've lost enough speed, tuck back in line and smoothly resume pedaling.

5. If you're leading a paceline up a hill, keep your cadence and pedal pressure constant by shifting to a lower gear.

6. Keep your arms in line with your body, not splayed elbows out. This is an easy way to make yourself more aerodynamic and go faster with no extra energy.

7. When riding in a group, always keep your hands in contact with your brakes, either in the drops or on the hoods. That way, you are always prepared to slow.

8. Don't stare at the rear wheel you're following in a paceline. Let your peripheral vision keep tabs while you look a couple of riders ahead to see what they're doing. Then you'll be prepared if something happens to make them veer or change speed. A paceline is like a Slinky: Little movements at the front magnify and speed up as they flow to the back of the pack.

9. When you start to feel stressed and overwhelmed by a hard pace, try this breathing technique: Instead of actively drawing air into the lungs then passively letting it out (our normal pattern), push the air out and let it naturally flow back in. Bonus: Because of how you activate your lungs to do this, it also helps you get into a low riding position and maintain a flatter back.


Peloton-ese vocabulary lesson

OTB is "off the back," and means you've been dropped. OTF is "off the front," and means you've attacked. OTR is "on the rivet," which comes from riders' tendency during all-out efforts to scoot forward on the saddle, where a rivet used to be. Tout adroit is "all to the right" in French. It means the chain is on the farthest-right cog and farthest-right chainring—the biggest gear combo. It's another term for an extended, hard effort.

Published in Blog

How to clean your bike chain and drivetrain, in just five minutes

muc off chain cleaner

Fill the chain cleaning device with the indicated amount of degreaser and attach it to the lower part of the chain.

FIll the chain cleaning device with the indicated amount of degreaser and attach it to the lower part of the chain.Once attached hold it in place and rotate the cranks backwards to start the chain running through the device. Count around 30-40 pedal revolutions. Check the chain to see how it is looking.  Continue with further pedal rotations if the chain is really grimey and needs more cleaning. 

Use degreaser and a stiff brush to scrub and agitate the grime throughout the drivetrain, paying particular attention to all the cassette sprockets, rear mech, jockey wheels and chain ring teeth..
Once everything is scrubbed thoroughly, it will look a complete mess.

Flush it all away using hot soapy water and the sponge, to help disperse the grime, thoroughly wipe and flush the chain and all other components. One final rinse with clean water is the best way to end, again to make certain all the degreaser is flushed away – bear in mind if there is degreaser still left behind, it will start to act upon any new chain lube you apply and immediately turn it to a black mess.

Dry the chain thoroughly – a good starting point is to spin the cranks fast to effectively ‘fling’ water out of the links. A good microfiber cloth is the most effective or an old t-shirt will do the job.

Only once you’re happy everything is sparkling clean and dry should you apply new chain lube. Don’t over apply.

Cleaning your chain frequently and keeping it topped up with fresh lube will ensure a long life.

Published in Blog
Friday, 08 June 2018 11:43

Measuring Cadence, power and VO2 Max

Measuring Cadence, power and VO2 Max

Pedalling fast in a low gear wastes your energy.  When you cycle at the wrong cadence most of your effort will go into moving your legs up and down, not moving the bike forward.

Regular cyclists tend to save their energy instinctively by choosing the most comfortable gears but some clever experiments have revealed why.

Volunteers were recruited and their oxygen consumption measured while pedalling on an exercise bike to reveal the power they put into the stationary bike.  At the same time a 3D infrared video was taken of the riders, to calculate how much power they were using to move their legs.

At a low exercise intensity of 50W, it was found that pedalling in a small gear at 110 rpm more than 60 per cent of their power was used to move parts of their own body, including thighs, knees and feet while only 40 per cent of actually went into spinning the cranks. It was a massively inefficient way to ride.

These tests have to rely on a limited set of measurements from a rider, they’re put into an equation to estimate their oxygen uptake (VO2) as this is an indication of how well the body is performing.The conventional equation  includes body mass and external work rate, the equation ignores pedalling rate.  The experiments showed that, by adding pedalling rate, the accuracy of the equation at predicting how well a rider performs when they are working just a little below their VO2 Max, is improved

It is another case of science explaining what cyclists have learned from experience.“Cyclists and coaches are well aware of the importance of pedalling rate in cycling.....both riders and coaches spend some time manipulating their cadence in order to maximise their training effects....A significant mystery still remains to be solved by science. Cyclists do not, in practice, choose to pedal at the cadences that scientists find to be the most economical in terms of oxygen cost. Instead they choose to pedal notably faster than this,” says Professor Passfield.

So more studies are needed, as one thing is for sure,  no pro is going to waste any energy by pedalling quickly in a low gear.

If this is of interest and importance read more here

Published in Blog
Sunday, 13 May 2018 18:09

Primary Muscles Used for Cycling

Power Pedal Muscles BlogReadywidth500height1020

The Power of the Pedal Stroke

For a road cyclist pedaling while in the saddle, most of the power happens between the 12 o’clock and 5 o’clock position of the pedal stroke. This is when a majority of the primary muscles are activated. Hip flexion, along with hip and knee extension are the primary movements of a pedal stroke.

The power phase happens while the hip and knee extends, pressing downward on the pedal. This action starts with a combination of the gluteus and quadriceps muscles, but then is joined by the hamstrings and calf muscles a quarter of the way through the revolution. This shows the need for equally strong hamstrings, hips, and quadriceps. These groups of muscle make up the largest volume of muscles used in a pedal revolution. 

Build Strength

When it comes to strength training for the bike, there is not one group of muscle that is more important to focus on than the other.  One area of strength that  is crucial to strength on the bike is core strength. The most productive strength training off the bike will incorporate the muscles of the legs and the core at the same time as often as possible. 

On the bike strength training also plays a key role. Seated and standing muscle force efforts done on hill climbs will target all of the muscles listed . Seated force efforts will place a large amount of stress on the quadriceps while standing force efforts will target more of the hamstrings. Both seated and standing efforts are important and are usually done with a slower cadence and harder gearing, requiring the need for greater force to be placed on the pedal. Force efforts will build greater strength and endurance in the legs. It is important to make sure you space out your force effort days far enough apart to recover from them, as too many too often can lead to tight muscles and injury.


Leg speed and efficiency are also important. Fast cadence, seated efforts will target hip flexion and the rectus femoris, the quadriceps muscle that engages to lift the knee and foot up to and over the 12 o’clock position of the pedal stroke. This muscle action also helps the opposite leg finish off the downward power phase. Increasing your cadence will also increase activation of the calf muscles. These efforts help build greater aerobic strength in both the non-power and power phase of the pedal stroke, which will lead to greater pedaling efficiency during a race. Fast cadence efforts can be used throughout the year but are especially important as you get closer to your peak event.

Some further considerations:

1. The lungs and the ability to transfer oxygen to the muscles, 

2. the mental strength it takes to train continuously

All the secondary, assistance muscles play a crucial role in overall strength. Your primary muscles for a given sport will always take on most of the work, but they will only be as strong as the entire system as a whole.

If you are truly serious about your cycling efficiency please take the time to talk to Scott in our fitting and PT studio  

Published in Blog

car tax image 3

The UK’s inter-war road building programme was not paid for by motorists alone. In 1929 the Government authorised a £28m programme for an extension of the trunk roads programme and £27.5m five-year programme for classified roads. New build roads were paid for by general taxation, not from ‘road tax’.

The 1930 Royal Commission on Transport report on road transport reported that two-thirds of the maintenance cost of roads – despite the existence of the Road Fund – was met by general and local taxation.

Now, we have Graduated Vehicle Excise Duty, a tax on motorised emissions. In fact, this is similar to when car tax discs were introduced in 1921: cars with greater horsepower paid more.
Then as now, roads are expensive to build and maintain: motorists have never paid the full costs of the tarmac they drive on. Motorists have always been subsidised to drive.

“There has been no direct relationship between vehicle tax and road expenditure since 1937.”
Policy and External Communications Directorate, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

J.S. Dean, the Pedestrians’ Association, wrote ‘Murder Most Foul’, calling for an end to the motorists’ view that highways were made for their exclusive use.

“The private driver is… most strongly influenced by the sense of ownership of his car, and, as he often believes, of the road as well. It is “his” car to do with as he pleases, and, as he often believes, it is “his” road too, and the other road-users are merely intruders who are there at their own peril.
This belief (it is of interest to note) has its origin in the vicious and anti-social proposition, embodied for a time in the Road Fund and since sustained by the motor and road propagandists, that the motorists have a right to demand that the motor taxes should be devoted exclusively to the construction and “improvement” of roads, i.e. as experience has shown, to the construction and “improvement” of roads with special or exclusive reference to the convenience of the drivers and with a general disregard of the convenience and safety of the other road-users. Of course, one might as well say that the drink taxes ought to be devoted to the construction and improvement of public houses or the duties on cosmetics to the establishment of beauty parlours.

Even though the Road Fund was no more by 1937, motor vehicle log-books continued to use the term. The RF60 log-books were issued by local authorities, some of which used the designation VE60, for vehicle excise. RF60 and VE60 log-books were finally phased out in 1977 when the newly-created DVLA took over the registration of vehicles.

Many motorists and motoring organisations still use the antique terms Road Fund and Road Fund Licence. This is wrong, a point stressed by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs:

“It is still common to hear the ‘tax disc’ referred to as the Road Fund Licence, an expression that dates from the time that vehicle tax was collected by local authorities and linked directly to road building and maintenance. The direct link between vehicle taxation and road construction (and hence the ‘road fund’) ended in 1937. Nowadays, the correct name for the amount payable for a tax disc is Vehicle Excise Duty.”

Use the phrase ‘car tax’. This is both accurate and intelligible to all. ‘Road tax’ carries with it the whiff of ‘road ownership’ and, over the years, has caused unnecessary conflict between road users, all of whom have equal rights to use of roads. In short, motorists do not pay for roads, we all do.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 08:13


Cycle To Work Scheme Cycle To Work Scheme Cycle To Work Scheme


Save up to 50% off a new bike with Cycle to Work Scheme.
To promote healthier journeys to work and to reduce environmental pollution, the 1999 Finance Act introduced an annual tax exemption, which allows employers to loan cycles and cyclists' safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit. The exemption, known as the Cycle to Work Scheme was one of a series of measures introduced under the Government's Green Transport Plan.

Administration of this scheme can be carried out by your employer or by one of the many companies that offer to act as administrator, the biggest being Cyclescheme. Bicycle Richmond are affiliated to Cyclescheme, the Bike2Work scheme , Halfords Cycle2work. These Cycle to Work scheme administrators issue you with a Certificate, once authorised by your employer, that can be exchanged for a bike and any safety equipment at Bicycle Richmond. 

Your employer needs to be registered with one of the above Cycle to Work schemes. They can find out how to do this from information on one of the Cycle to Work Scheme websites (see above).

Visit Bicycle Richmond, choose the bike and, if required, safety equipment and get a quotation.

You apply for a Certificate online using the relevant Cycle to Work Scheme website. Your employee will usually sign an online Hire Agreement at this time.

Once approved, a Certificate will be issued to either your employer or directly to you, whichever is requested.

The Certificate is then redeemed at Bicycle Richmond in exchange for the bike package. Salary sacrifice then commences over the hire period (usually 12 months).

At the end of the hire period the owner of the bike may choose to offer the employee ownership of the bike for a full market value.

Although the above procedure applies to the vast majority of schemes there are some variations which are a result of the way an employer’s scheme is set up, typical examples would be if they are using a finance company or a benefits provider.

Sale bikes are subject to a 10% of voucher total charge. Eg: a sale bike purchased with a £1000 voucher will be subject to a £100 charge.

Published in Cycle To Work Scheme
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 12:52

The Full Works

We offer a range of service packages, with fast turnaround.

The Full Works is our General Service but your bicycle will be fully stripped and includes deep clean of frame, forks and components

- it is typically recommended every 12 months.

The Full Works package is the ultimate overhaul - ideal for that once a year pampering before the bike is put away for the end of the season, or to thoroughly deep clean a bike that's maybe been neglected a bit.

*Please note service prices are exclusive of parts

Drivetrain checked for wear
Brake pads checked for wear
Tyres checked for wear
Rims checked for wear
Frame and fork alignment checked
Frame and fork cleaned & polished
Wheels trued
Gears adjusted
Brakes adjusted
Headset checked and adjusted
Seatpost removed, cleaned and greased
All bolts torqued to manufacturer's settings
Bottom bracket removed and degreased
Drivetrain degreased and re-lubricated
Headset serviced
Hubs serviced
Frame and fork polished

Book Now £155

Published in Workshop
Tuesday, 03 October 2017 15:21

The General

We offer a range of service packages, with fast turnaround.

The General is our most popular option - an interim service for a busy bike - and is typically recommended every 6-12 months. Includes deep clean of frame, forks and components

*Please note service prices are exclusive of parts

Drivetrain checked for wear
Brake pads checked for wear
Tyres checked for wear
Rims checked for wear
Frame and fork alignment checked
Frame and fork cleaned & polished
Wheels trued
Gears adjusted
Brakes adjusted
Headset checked and adjusted
Seatpost removed, cleaned and greased
All bolts torqued to manufacturer's settings


Book Now £95

Published in Workshop
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