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18 Lawrence Street
York, YO10 3BP
United Kingdom

York Cycleworks is an independent bike shop that has been at the heart of York cycling scene for over 30 years. We pride ourselves on our expertise and great customer service. 

Blog

All the fun things from the world of York Cycleworks and cycling in our blog!

Lights Will Guide You Home... Or To Work... Or The Pub.

Joe Richardson

Be Safe, Be Seen.

With York Police starting Operation Shimmer, targeting cyclists riding without lights during hours of darkness or cycling on pavements, on the 18th October and daylight hours becoming shorter, there's no better time to make sure that you are safe and legal whilst on your bike. Luckily for you, we've got a wide range of lights that will suit every need.

Bontrager

From daytime running lights and a light that can be seen from 2km away to lights that can be controlled from either your Garmin or a remote control on your handlebars, Bontrager are at the forefront of light technology.

Flare R

Bontrager Flare R available at York Cycleworks

Our best selling light by a country mile last winter. Quite simply, the Flare is in a league all of it's own. With 65 Lumens you'll be seen from 2km away in the daylight and 270 degrees of visibility make you the biggest distraction on the road. A quick connect bracket that has 16 degree offset to allow for all types of seatpost, add in charging via USB cable and a battery safe mode that kicks in at 5% of battery left to make sure you get home safe and sound. The Flare also comes in the RT version. This connections to either a remote control on your handlebars or to your Garmin. This enables you to preset your lights so that they come on when you switch your Garmin on. Everyone at Cycleworks rides with a Flare and for good reason! 

Ion 100 City Light Set

Ion 100 City Light Set available at York Cycleworks

A pretty clever set of lights... They're always on! Another set of daytime set running lights from Bontrager, however these come with a sensor that adjusts the brightness of the lights depending on how much daylight there is. Possibly the perfect commuter lights, they're charged via a USB cable and give a broad, powerful beam and balnced optics that are perfect for city riding

 

 

 

Ion 700

Bontrager Ion 700 available at York Cycleworks

The middle sibling of the Ion range that also boasts 800 lumen and 350 lumen versions. However, this isn't the difficult middle child, the Ion is a beast of a light that will make the darkest of roads seem lit up like the house on the street who love Christmas just that bit too much!  Again, the Ion 700 is also available in a RT version so it can be controlled via a remote or your Garmin. The perfect partner to a Flare R or RT.

 

Lezyne

Lezyne offer a wide range of lights that start with the Femto Drive and run all the way up to the 1500 lumen Deca Drive XXL. There's a small selection below but it's always best to talk to us about your riding so we can make sure you get the best lights for the cycling you are doing.

Femto Drive

Lezyne Femto Drive available at York Cycleworks

Put simply the Femto Drive are an affordable "be seen" light. Simple to operate with an alloy body, these lights are powered by watch batteries that can quickly be replaced when they run out. They fit to your bike using the "hipster" easy fit bracket and durable rubber strap that will fit easily to your bike, bag or clothing. As I said, these are great lights that will keep you legal while on the roads, what they won't do is to cast a beam of light to show the way ahead or be overly bright for anyone following you. They will simply keep you legal whilst cycling around town. A really great light at a reasonable price! 

KTV 2 Drive 

Lezyne KTV 2 Drive available at York Cycleworks

Want to see and make sure you're seen? Then these lights could be the ones for you. 70 Lumens from the front light and a rear that produces 9 when in solid mode will make sure you're seen from all directions. Clip-On System provides versatile strap or clip mounting. Co-mold body design makes this light waterproof and durable. Side visibility lens design to provide 180 degrees of visibility. Intelligent Power Indicator LEDs monitor battery power and charging status whilst the integrated USB stick makes recharging convenient and cable free. Simply put, the KTV 2 Drive are an ace set of lights! 

Micro Drive 400XL

Lezyne Micro Drive 400XL available at York Cycleworks

Possibly our most popular light, the Micro Drive 400XL delivers 400 lumens of power to light up even the darkest unlit road on your journey or MTB route. features a lightweight and sturdy extruded and machined aluminium body with a Side Visibility design that allows 180 degrees of visibility and increases user safety. Uniform Power Beam ‘MOR’ twin lens kicks out a super bright 400 lumens, and the Intelligent Power Indicator button allows the user to check the power level at any time. The new super economical ‘Femto’ mode allows you to ride for hours without a charge. The rubber end cap conceals an integrated USB stick for convenient cable-free recharging of the Li-ion battery. The light easily attaches to a wide range of handlebar diameters via an integrated strap or optional composite mount for tool-less installation, or to your helmet via the helmet mount (sold separately)... What more could you want from an amazing front light! 

As I said, these are only the edited highlights of what we stock, come in and find your perfect partners for your cycling! 

 

Time to Consider Cross.

Joe Richardson

Winter is Coming

It's hard to think it with the sun out and the temperatures as they are but the winter Cyclo-Cross season is just around the corner... It's time for muddy fun! 

Have you ever considered...

Cyclocross Racing? Experienced York Cycleworks CX rider Mark takes use through the muddy world of Cyclo-Cross. 

Mark York Cycleworks Cyclo-Cross Rider

 Rider Profile


Name: Mark

Age:  46

Rider History:  I come from a mountain biking background, having a young family has led me to road biking as it can take up less time.

Competitive Involvement:  Very little really, I tried a couple of mtb xc races and some mtb orienteering events many years ago.  Most of my organised events have been sportive type events, both on and off road.  I have always been quite daunted by the “racing crowd” with their strange ways and high speeds.

Why did I start cyclocross racing?
Strangely my first cyclocross race was not actually a race but the Scotten 100 “sportive”. This is a ride north of Harrogate that emulates Belgian classics races, much of it being off road on farm tracks.  This really appealed to my mtb mud loving roots and I enjoyed every moment.
The leap from an endurance type event to a fixed time race took some persuading by my friends at York Cycleworks, but try it I did and I have never looked back.

Cyclocross Atmosphere
This is what has really sucked me into this sport.  It is so friendly.  You arrive and watch some amazing kids having fun.  Whole families are there supporting each other.  Fellow riders are (nearly) always helpful and friendly.  Yes some do go into their zone on the rollers, but you might not see them in the race.  Once racing it is serious, but not to the detriment of enjoyment.  All riders are there to do their best, but all riders are polite, pass others fairly and will happily have a laugh with you after the race.  The most common heard lines after a race are “I nearly got you…..” or “well done…..”  As it is a short lap there will be lots of spectators shouting encouragement and ringing cow bells which all adds to the atmosphere.

York Cycleworks Muddy Legs

So what is a cyclocross race like?
Cyclocross racing is a fixed time format of race.  The whistle blows and it is a mass start.  After 40-60 mins later depending on your category of race the leader of the race will finish and all other riders will finish that lap.  This does mean that slower riders will complete fewer laps than the winner, but will still have ridden for approximately the same amount of time.  After the mass start the race will separate into a lot of mini races as similar speed riders group together to fight their own battles.  Since laps take between 4 and 9 minutes to complete it is not really possible to be “dropped” in a cx race, faster riders will simply lap slower riders and not many riders will have any idea of where they are in the field.  At any point in the race there will be riders at every section of the course.
In terms of physical effort, cx racing has lots of appealing elements.  You will see your heart rate go through the roof and stay there.  It has much in common with time trials in this regard.  What you are putting out in power is very different though, you are constantly accelerating and slowing much like a criterium race.  All of this at perhaps 16mph in the mud!
You will develop your bike handling skills and falling off seldom hurts at such slow speeds on grass.

OK, you want to try it.  What now?
Bike:  You can use a mountain bike to start if that is what you have.  Cyclocross specific bikes are (relatively) cheap to buy and many can double as a commuter/winter bike as well.  My first cx bike is now my winter bike where I really appreciate the handling stability and disc brakes.  You may see riders with 2 bikes on telly and some do at this level of racing, but most only have one.
Finding events:  www.yorkshirecyclocross.com has information on all cyclocross events in the area.  Races run pretty much all year, winter and summer leagues and smaller race series in spring and autumn.  Asking at Cycleworks will also let you know about any imminent races.

When are the races?                                                                                                                Winter league races are pretty much every second Sunday from start of September until end of January (breaks for Christmas, 3 Peaks and National level races).  Different category races throughout the morning and early afternoon.

What are race categories?                                                                                                        Races are organised by sex and age group.  For example I race in MV40, male vets 40-50.  So when planning to enter, find out which category you will be racing in.  Kids race as well, from balance bikes upwards.  Novice category races are held as well, allowing first timers to have a taster before joining the main field.

Race License:                                                                                                                     Cyclocross is the cheapest competitive cycle sport to get into.  You only need a British Cycling Race Bronze membership to get going (cheapest by far of the Race memberships).  Go to www.britishcycling.org.uk .  This will give you a provisional race license.  You can pay for day license if you wish.

How do I enter?                                                                                                                       Entries are usually on the day.

Race Day
So you have decided to take the plunge.  You have found your way to the event and you look around in that “what now?” kind of way.  All you can see are people on bikes, some on rollers, probably kids racing and a sea of tape on a field.  I have a series of steps that I follow:

  •  I aim to arrive as far ahead of my start time as possible.  Best time is about 1-1.5 hrs before start.  I have managed arriving 5 mins before the whistle blows.
  •  Get my bike set up.  I do this first to make sure that I have not done something really silly like forget a wheel.  Same with helmet and shoes.  I also get changed before signing on.
  • Go and sign on.  Look for a big gazebo or room in sports centre entrance with tables and piles of race numbers.  If you can’t see it then ask any rider.  Explain which race you want to enter and they will help you.  If you are silly early, they might not let you as they are managing a huge crowd for the next race.
  • You will be given a “race chip”.  DO NOT put this anywhere other than your ankle as you will forget it.  This is the reason that I am changed for signing on, I once signed on in civvies, put my chip in my coat pocket and then forgot to put the blasted thing on my ankle for the race.
  • You will also have a race number to pin on your left shoulder (Not always, it serves no real purpose)
  • Now go ride.  If the course is clear, ride a lap or two to recce.  If not warm up near the course.  Chat with other riders, drink coffee, eat a little food, watch other races.
  • About 10 mins before your race head to the start area, once again if you cannot see it then ask somebody.
  • Cyclocross races are gridded (not novices) so the best riders start at the front.  They will be called forward before the rest of the field get ready.  It is not uncommon to be part of a field of 100+ riders.  Listen to instructions, start on the whistle and enjoy.
  • At the end of the race, when you have replaced your now missing lung remember to hand in your timing chip and have a laugh and chat with your fellow riders.
  • Time to get changed, go home and clean your bike (maybe).
  • Results will appear on a website later that day, which is why you were wearing the timing chip. Have a look at your result, look at your friends and fellow team riders.  Let others know how well you did.
York Cycleworks muddy CX bike

 
Hopefully you go home having had a load of fun, met and made new friends who you are determined to beat next race and a car full of muddy clothes and bike.
 
It would be great to see even more people race cyclocross, especially wearing York Cycleworks colours.  The club is seldom not present at any race and usually there are between 5 and 10 riders across different categories.  
See you at a race soon, thanks for reading.