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Post by
Kevin
BONTRAGER XXX MTB SHOE, WHY WEAR SPD ON A ROAD BIKE?

BONTRAGER XXX MTB SHOE, WHY WEAR SPD ON A ROAD BIKE?

Posted | 25th Apr 2015

I HAVE RECENTLY PURCHASED A PAIR OF 2015 BONTRAGER XXX CARBON SOLE, SPD SHOES. HERE’S A QUICK Q&A TO LET YOU KNOW WHAT THEY ARE LIKE TO RIDE WITH!

 

Q – WHY DO YOU WEAR SPD SHOES WHEN YOU RIDE A ROAD BIKE??

A – ONE OF THE THINGS I ENJOY MOST ABOUT CYCLING IS THE SUNDAY CLUB RIDE, IT’S A CAFE RUN, WHERE WE HEAD OUT TO CAFE, FUEL UP ON COFFEE (AND CAKES) AND CATCH UP ON WHAT EACH OTHER HAS DONE, AND WHAT EVENTS ARE COMING UP. THEN WE BLAST BACK HOME!!

 

Q – BUT WHY SPD??

A – EASE OF USE. FOR CLUB RIDES, THEY ARE EASY TO WALK AROUND IN, NOT SLIPPY OR NOISEY ON HARD SURFACES.

 

Q – WHAT EVENTS HAVE YOU USED THEM IN?

A – SO FAR THIS YEAR (2015) I HAVE RIDDEN RELIABILITY RIDES, A  SPORTIVE. AN AUDAX, COMMUTING, TRAINING RIDES, CLUB RIDES, AND SOON TO RIDE OPEN AND CLUB TIME TRIALS!!

 

Q – EASE OF USE??

A – VERY EASY.

 

Q – WEIGHT??

A – SIZE 44 BONTRAGER XXX MTB SHOE 320 GRAMS EACH, THEY FEEL LIGHT!!

 

Q – ARE THE SOLES STIFF ENOUGH??

A – THEY ARE RATED 14, THE HIGHEST BONTRAGER MAKES!! BECAUSE THE SOLE IS SO RIGID, IT FEELS LIKE THEY WHOLE OF YOUR FOOT IS CONNECTED TO THE CRANKS, NOT JUST A PATCH UNDER THE BALL OF YOUR FOOT.

 


XXX 14 SOLE

STIFFNESS RATED 14…

 

Q – SIZES AVAILABLE??

A – UK 7-14, ONLY IN RED AS PICTURED, SOME SIZES HAVE LEAD TIMES.

 

Q – HOW DOES THE RETENTION SYSTEM WORK ??

A – THE SHOE USES TWO BOA IP1 DIALS, PULL OUT TO RELEASE TENSION, PUSH IN AND TURN EITHER WAY TO INCREASE OR DECREASE TENSION, VERY EASY TO USE, AND PROVIDES A VERY EVEN TENSION ACROSS THE SHOE, THERE IS ALSO A VELCRO STRAP NEAREST THE TOES FOR ADDED SUPPORT.

 

Q – WHAT’S THE WORST PART ABOUT WEARING SPD SHOES ON A ROAD BIKE??

A – IT’S LIKE SAYING ” I’M A REBEL”

 

Q – BEST PART OF WEARING SPD SHOES??

A – BEING ABLE TO WALK AROUND EASILY, DOUBLE SIDED CLIPPING IN!!

 

 

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Q – BONTRAGER XXX MTB SHOES (AND OTHER SHOES) ARE AVAILABLE FROM WHERE??

A – ALL GOOD TREK RETAILERS.

 

Q – PRICE ??

A – £259.99…. BUT THERE WORTH IT!!

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red shoes

Post by
Hannah

Speeds Shop Ride Report 23/04/15

Posted | 24th Apr 2015

Last night was another great night for cycling. The sun was still shining at 6:30pm and the wind was down, making it an ideal  night for a ride.

Kevin, Owen and myself left the store with Saracen RC rider Kevin Young and a relatively new rider on a Boardman road bike kitted out with Di2 – known currently as ‘Di2 Dude’. I scolded the boys last week for not getting this chap’s name, and I failed to do so yesterday! My apologies!

We five headed out to Worcester, leaving Martin and customer Hamish to get ready for their little local jaunt. I’m sure Martin will add to this ride report on Monday when he returns to work!

The Worcester Outing

The Worcester outing headed into town, turning right at the crossroads and heading up to the Stourbridge Road. There’s a considerable amount of potholes at the top of Stourbridge Road between the newsagents and the butchers so it’s worth keeping your eyes open.

Turning left at Perryfields we ride up to the Kidderminster Road, enjoying the pace being set by Owen. At the top we turn right onto Kidderminster Road to make our way towards the lanes. All but one of us got out at that junction, and the group slowed down to allow Kevin Y to catch up. Big mistake! He came sailing past the group, waving us all on, and once on the front he dialled the pace up a notch! You can always count on Kevin Y for a quick ride!

We turn left at Berry Lane, making our way into Droitwich. Berry Lane offers a nice little climb, and noting Owen’s cadence I change gear and spin quicker. ‘Speedy’ Kevin notes my change in strategy, and more than once mumbles ‘spin to win Hannah’. A nice little reminder that I’m doing the right thing!

Once at Droitwich we carefully manoeuvre the Droitwich crossroads, which are currently being plagued by a set of temp lets just by the Holloway, causing all kinds of trouble with traffic backups. Luckily we don’t have to wait for long before the lights turn in our favour, and we all start the climb up the Holloway.

The ride up that little climb is either steady or very quick, and thankfully last night it was decided that a steady pace up there would be best. At the top of the Holloway we turn left, and take that road all the way until we come out opposite the pub on the main strip of road.

Again, two of us got out of that junction first time around, leaving ‘Speedy’ Kev, Owen and myself waiting for traffic to pass. While waiting we spy a group of V-Sprint riders, between 6 or 7 altogether, heading towards us. A jovial greeting is had when they pass, and as soon as they do there is a clearing for our little group to exit the junction.

Our group and the V-Sprint gang shared the roads and the ride all the way from there into Droitwich. While there ride carried on closer to the heart of Worcester ours ends at the outskirts, as this is where ‘Speedy’ Kev lives and it’s the best point for us to turn around and start the journey home.

The return trip home was certainly a quicker ride, and by the time I hit Droitwich I can feel the strength in my legs escaping, while the boys just seem to be getting warmed up. ‘Di2 Dude’ hangs back a little, offering me a rear wheel to hook onto, but I tell him not to wait. I loathe slowing a group of strong guys down, and at the lights by the Chateau I tell Owen to do his thing and I’ll catch him back at home.

I hang on for as long as I can up the climb by the Chateau, but my legs are all spun out and just want to ease up. I reluctantly let them do their own thing and take the hill at a comfortable pace. Once at the A38 and past McDonalds though I tell my legs they are not getting off lightly. I drop to my drops, pop it in the big ring and cruise down the road.

At Webbs I turn off, pop my rear light on and then get back on course.

I arrived back at the shop, to find Martin, Hamish and Owen waiting. Martin makes a comment about the colour in my cheeks. Too tired for a rebuttle, Owen and I make our way home. All in all, another good ride, even if I did get blown out the back!

Riders on the Worcester outing were:

Kevin Sargent AKA ‘Speedy’ Kev
Owen Hazlewood
Hannah Smith
Kevin Young
‘Di2 Dude’

Post by
Phil
Ride It Away Cycle Finance

Ride It Away Cycle Finance

Posted | 23rd Apr 2015

We understand that buying a bike can be an expensive purchase, especially if you also need to buy accessories like a helmet, shoes, pedals, lights, a bike lock and more. We try to help our customers as much as possible with the costs by partnering with a number of Cycle To Work providers, such as Cyclescheme, Halfords Cycle 2 Work and Bike 2 Work.

The Cycle To Work program is a government funded scheme that enables employers to provide employees the opportunity to buy a bike and certain accessories. The cost of all of the goods is then divided into monthly instalments and these payments are taken directly from the employees wage before tax is applied to the salary.

This cost effective solution enables employees to split the cost of buying a new bike. However, most Cycle To Work schemes are limited to a budget of £1000.

Ride It Away Finance Scheme

Speeds Cycles will soon be offering customers access to the Ride It Away Cycle Finance scheme. Using this scheme our customers will be able to spread the cost of a new bike and bike accessories across a period of time. We plan to launch this scheme in store W/C 27th April 2014.

Unlike the Cycle To Work schemes, customers using the Ride It Away scheme will not be locked in at a £1000 budget. However, they will need to make at least 10% deposit on the total value of their goods and they will also need to successfully pass a credit check. Any money loaned to the customer through the Ride It Away Scheme will be charged at 4.9% APR.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both schemes, however, we are pleased to now offer both Cycle To Work and Ride It Away schemes as alternative financial options.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cycle To Work

Advantages of the Cycle To Work Schemes include:

Tax savings on your purchases – reducing the cost of buying a bike
Multiple Cycle To Work schemes offered by our store
You can save around 25% on the cost of buying a new bike*

*Source - Cyclescheme website

Disadvantages of the Cycle To Work Scheme include:

Limited to £1000 budget
Limited on what accessories you can purchase (certain accessories are not available on these schemes – such as Go Pros)
Some employers are reluctant to offer a Bike To Work scheme to it’s employees

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ride It Away 

Advantages of the Ride It Away scheme includes:

Not restricted to a £1000 budget
Can be applied to all bikes and accessories
Applications for credit take around 15 minutes. It can be completed in-store and you can get an instant decision on your credit application*

*Unless your credit application is referred to the underwriters, in which case they will endeavour to provide a decision within 30 minutes.

Disadvantages of the Ride It Away Scheme include:

No tax savings
Cost to borrow ~ 4.9% APR
Long term financial commitment

If you are interested in the Ride It Away scheme or the Cycle To Work schemes just contact us and we’ll be happy to tell you more.

 

Post by
Hannah
Speeds Staff Ride Saracen Spring Audax

Speeds Staff Ride Saracen Spring Audax

Posted | 22nd Apr 2015

On Sunday 19th April three Speeds Cycle staff participated in the Saracen Road Club spring audax.  Kevin, Owen and myself are all members of the Saracen RC and all three of us were looking forward to riding this event with riders from the Saracens, as well as other clubs and non club riders.

Owen and I rode started the morning by riding from our home in Blackwell at 7:40am. Together we rode to Fairfield, where we met fellow Saracen riders Mick Hazlewood and Kevin Young . From there we rode as a group to the starting point in Droitwich.

Kevin rode to the starting point from Worcester with Saracen rider Lee De Gray. We all got in a few extra miles both before and after the main event!

Riding the Saracen Audax

 

The route consisted of 114km (70 miles), starting at Julie’s Cafe in Droitwich. As always the staff there were super accommodating, opening longer than usual and providing food and beverages both before and after the ride. Once the three of us had smashed a little tea and toast we stood outside waiting for the ride to begin.

We left the cafe at 9am on the dot. We three grouped together with a few other guys that we ride with regularly and also an awesome couple on a tandem. It wasn’t long though before I realised that there was no way I was going to hold on to the first fast group, so I peeled off with Saracen club rider John C and audax rider Vlad.

Control Point 1 

The first control point was at Raphael’s Restaurant in Evesham. Owen and Kevin got a quick stam on their brevet cards then continued on their way. I passed them at the entrance just as they were leaving. Rather than chase them down, I decided to wait for the next group. But after a few minutes John, Vlad and I got cold and decided to head to the second control in Charlecote.

Control Point 2

The second control point was at Charlecote Garden Centre. As always, the staff here were very accomodating, and had even gone to the trouble of putting together a special’s menu for riders of the audax, which included cyclist staples such as cake, teacakes, beans on toast, tea and coffee deals all at special prices.

Again, I caught the chaps just as they were leaving. But this time John, Vlad and I decided to stay, have a quick bite to eat and a drink before heading on our way for the final leg. After smashing a teacake and a brew, the boys and I went off. Vlad was keen to make up for some time, despite me warning that the last leg included a few diggy climbs.

A few times I was quite sure my teacake would make an unwanted reappearance, but John, Vlad and I worked together, looked after each other and finally hit the Saltway (B4090), which would take us practically all the way back to Julie’s Cafe.

Riding the Redditch to Droitwich Saltway

 

Now, if you’ve not ridden the Redditch to Droitwich Saltway then you must. It’s the perfect training ground for a 10mile TT. It’s a straight piece of road that takes you from Redditch to Droitwich via Feckenham and Hanbury. Here’s a link to a map detailing the strip.

It’s the perfect strip of road to practice some ‘through and offing’, although be aware that the road is used by cars travelling at speed.

Owen and Kevin hammered the miles at an average of 19mph; and the two chaps and I finished in the second group, averaging 17mph. I’m pleased to say that I was the first woman to finish – although the whole ides of an audax is that it is a social ride – a challenge of distance as opposed to being a race. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have a little healthy competition! ;-)

Ride Reports And Photos

 

Kevin put together a great ride report which is well worth taking a look at. It’s got lots of photos and just makes for a good read. As usual, I also had a few words to say about the day, and more comments about the event can be found from event organiser Sean and other riders on the Saracen forum.

Feeding time at the zoo...

From left to right – Mick Hazlewood, Owen Hazlewood and Lee De Gray

Owen and Hannah

Owen and myself after the audax – looking forward to a Sunday roast dinner!

Eats Before We Begin

Sporting the Tolo’s kit purchased on Owen’s trip to Majorca, I wait at the sign in desk with friends and fellow club riders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hannah, Owen, Mick and Vlad

From left to right – Vlad, Mick Hazlewood, Owen and myself – sporting the awesome DeFeet arm warmers that we stock in store. Here are some photos from the day:

Kev and Lee

‘Speedy’ Kev leaning against the wall, pictured with Saracen RC member Mick Hazlewood, Lee De Gray and Kevin Young – who all rode with Owen in the first group.

Post by
Hannah

Shop Rides W/C 20/04/15

Posted | 22nd Apr 2015

Today is a glorious day and it’s got everyone here looking forward to riding tomorrow evening! Here are the details on this week’s shop rides!

Ride 1 – Kevin, Owen & Hannah – Thurs 16th April – Departure 6:30pm

Kevin and Owen will be leading a shop ride to Worcester and back and Hannah will also be riding with the boys as part of her training.

The route changes slightly each week, but suffice it to say if you’re looking for a fast paced ride (averaging around 19mph) this is the best option for you.

Lights are still recommended for this ride as it starts to get dark on the way back to Bromsgrove. This just ensures that we are safe on the return trip.

Ride 2 – Martin – Thurs 16th April - Departure 6:30pm

Martin will be leading a shorter and slower ride that does a loop around the local area. Martin’s ride is good for those that are new to group cycling and want to get an idea for routes around local roads.

Both of the rides are open to our customers, club riders and fellow cyclists.

Please take a look at our previous blog post for more information and rider requirements and follow us on Facebook to get the latest updates on shop rides.

At time of writing the MET Office says:

Thur - 6pm – 9pm – Cloudy with sunny intervals, between 12 and 14 degrees Celsius and wind speeds of 5 – 10mph.