2006: The best bits

Time to get all misty eyed as we take a quick look back at the highlights of 2006. It’s been quite a year, with more bikes tested than we’re able to remember, and we’ve brought you more exclusive first looks than it’s possible to cram into html, with all the hottest news from cycling around the UK and further afield.


We’ve tested saddles, the Specialized Toupe a particular favourite and we got the first actual ride on SRAM’s entry into the road groupset foray. What better way to start the year than a training camp, which is exactly what we did when we headed to Lanzarote.

The first show of many was the trade only Core Bike Show, with pictures here, here and here. We tested the Scapin R8, a beautiful steel framed cruiser, put some Koolstop pads through their paces, and tested the wonderful Parlee Z3.


Rebecca spoke to fast-girl Emma Davies Jones, who recounted her heroic story of surviving a hit and run accident and yet riding back into the medals. The winter club run, a vital part of British cycling, became the subject of a know-how feature. Dave got past his stigma of touring bikes, and fell in love with the Thorn Audux 853 – with mudguards.

Our huge Carbon Bike Test included the Specialized Tarmac, Parlee Z3, Wilier Le Roi and Python. Remind yourself now of those tests and who the eventual winner was. We report from the Coppi e Bartali race in Italy, where you can actually get really close to the action (there’s not many barriers) and do some riding around the hills for Northern Italy while there.


The editor took himself off on another training camp, this time to Mallorca where he bumps into (and gets his legs ripped off) Malcolm Elliot and co. Dave gets himself stuck in a windtunnel, all in the name of testing Gore’s latest products. A hop, skip and jump over to Belgian got us these fantastic photos.


We test Litespeed’s Tuscany, get to grips with the Independent Fabrication, and go all soft at this collection of Colnago’s.

And, we launch the first of the new RCUK ride guides.


Ace rider Dean Downing keeps us updated on his progress racing abroad. Some top photos from the Dauphine, and how about Bassos’s Cervolo…

It could be said that the Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic is the Brit equivalent to the Paris-Roubaix say, it’s certainly a tough challenging ride. Guy rode it, survived, just, but his tale is quite a read.


In an effort to better prepare you for the Etape, we rode up Alpe de Huez and Col d’Izoard. Jetting down to France, we discover the history of the tyre after a visit the Michelin’s HQ.

We launched the rather handy Training Blogs, and here’s some highlights.


With the Etape rapidly approaching, we got ourselves into shape and looked at Etape clothing essentials, nutrition advice from Tim Lawson, and Dave takes his Scapin to the workshop. Here’s our Etape reactions, it was hot and hard.

The RCUK gallery is constantly threatening to burst at the seams, such is the volume of photos you keep submitting. So we thought a gathering of our favourites would be nice.

It was an exciting moment when the smart RCUK jerseys arrived in the office.


Our friends at remind us how to stay hydrated.

The biggest bike show in the world is Eurobike. And we were there. Here’s the first of the many reports we posted from the giant halls of the German bike show.


Back on UK shores, and Tom Boonen makes his mark in the Tour of Britain.
We pit the best jerseys against each other in our Jersey grouptest, and do the same for bib shorts.

Boy crashes. Stages ride to thank those who saved him after crash. Completes ride. Boy crashes. That’s the story of RCUK regular Tom Staniford, who recounts his lucky tale. Dave finally gets of his Scapin long enough to write a review, and guess what, he liked it.


We sent Rebecca to the National Senior Track champs in Manchester to get all the action. She also got busy with the microphone and interviewed Chris Hoy, Craig MacClean, David Millar, Victoria Pendleton and Sarah Bailey.

The final bike show of the year is the London Cycle Show. As it’s just a stones throw from the RCUK offices, we popped along. Reader’s Bikes, goes live. It’s your chance to show-off your pride and joy, so send them in.


We find out what makes Rob Hayles ticks, and what ticks him off. As the weathers turned we built up Project Commuter to save the wear and tear on our main bikes. Take a look and see what you think, and check out the buyers guide to commuting bikes.

If you’re think ‘it’s too early for Etape preparation’, think again.


The end of the year signals the beginning of the turrent of new bike releases. As ever, RCUK gets the low-down before anyone else. For your convenience, we’ve collated all our 2007 bike and gear articles together.

We chatted to Dave Brailsford, the man behind much of out recent track success. We also got the chance to chat to Roger Hammond. And ever wondered what the Giant T-Mobile team are up to at this time of year?

And, if you’re reading this and not a member, we’re giving you the chance to win a £120 Gore Bike Wear jacket just for becoming a member. How great is that!

So there you go, what a year. Stay with RCUK for much more of the good stuff (and better) in 2007.

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