The first month of winter will spark a countdown to spring in the minds of many cyclists.
We’ll be turning our attention this month to cycling holidays and spring training camps: talking to experienced travelers and specialist cycle tour operators to find the best locations for early-season getaways, home and abroad.
We’ll be heading out on travels of our own: to France, following in the footsteps of a Monsieur Fignon to the Cyfac factory in the Loire to find out what’s involved in building a custom carbon frame, and to Belgium to visit the facilities of Ridley and Merckx, and to ride the Super Prestige course at Zonhoven.
Back to the present: our winter test schedule will continue with more lights, turbo trainers, warm clothing and, among our test fleet, a dedicated winter bike.
The Tifosi CK7 Audax is one of a small but growing number of winter-specific machines available to purchase off the peg. We’ll be riding it alongside two more speed-oriented steeds: the Excel from Sussex builders, Enigma, and Bianchi’s new Sempre Pro.
Winter clothing comes this month from Castelli, De Marchi, and MOA, with helmets from Carrera, shoes from Bont, and winter-friendly glasses with interchangeable lenses from Bloc, BBB, and Carrera.
Coaching columnist, Jo McRae, will continue to outline off-season training tips, whether indoors on a static trainer, or out on the road building endurance for the season to come.
The road season may have ended, but there’s no shortage of competitive action, and this month we’ll bring you reports of the action from the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome in Glasgow, where Ed Clancy will make his debut with the men’s team sprint squad at round two of the UCI Track World Cup, and from its cyclo-cross equivalent, with superb images from Balint Hamvas.
The season may have changed but that’s no reason to garage your steed and wait for warmer days. Stay tuned to RCUK for all the inspiration you need.