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Bikes Galore! (Our Current Stock of Bicycles)

You may have noticed that in the past year or so, bicycles and bicycle parts have become significantly harder to get hold of. The phrase ‘a perfect storm’ springs to mind, as the entire industry has faced major disruption; from manufacturers shutting down key factories due to various lockdowns and restrictions, to cargo ships full of vital bicycle parts getting stuck in canals. Couple this with the global bicycle demand increasing considerably, and it’s easy to see why places have been struggling to keep up! Thankfully, these kinds of disruptions receive great response from consumers, retailers, and suppliers alike, and as such are always overcome.

Here at Riley’s Cycles we are elated to say our stock levels with bicycles of all types are the highest they have been since the dawn of the pandemic, we have worked closely with some great companies and the hard work has finally paid off.
Here is a list of all current bicycles we have in stock for your information, all available in various sizes. Our motto at Riley’s Cycles is ‘A Destination For All Cyclists’, as we believe we have a bicycle for everyone. Please note the date this was posted as stock will be subject to change.

Electric Bicycles:
Ezego Commute (External Battery)
Ezego Commute Step-Through (External Battery)
Ezego Folding
Ezego Trail Destroyer
Ezego Trail Destroyer II
Kinesis Lyfe
Kinesis Lyfe Equipped
Kinesis Range
Kinesis Range Flat Bar
Merida e-Speeder 400
Wilier Cento 1 Hybrid
Wilier Jena Hybrid
Wilier Triestina Hybrid

Hybrid & MTB
Claud Butler Edge
Claud Butler EXP
Claud Butler EXP Step-Through
Dawes Discovery 101 Step-Through
Dawes Mojave
Merida Big.Seven 80
Ridgeback Comet
Ridgeback Comet Step-Through
Ridgeback Speed
Ridgeback Speed Step-Through
Whyte 403
Whyte 801
Whyte Carnaby
Whyte Portobello
Whyte Victoria
Whyte Whitechapel

Road & Gravel/Adventure
Claud Butler Primal
Claud Butler Radical
Genesis CDA10
Kinesis G2
Kinesis R1
Kinesis R2
Whyte Wessex One
Wilier Cento 1*
Wilier Cento 10*
Wilier Jareen*
Wilier Montegrappa*
*(All Wilier models come in multiple different configurations)

Junior
Dawes Lottie
Dawes Venus
Probike Daisy
Squish Balance Bike
Squish 12″
Squish 14″
Squish 18″
Squish 20″
Squish 24″ Hybrid
Squish 24″ MTB
Squish 26/13″ Hybrid
Squish 26/13″ MTB


For any enquiries please give us a call on (01935) 812038.

Wilier Cento 10SL NDR38 Disc Sram Force eTap AXS





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Wilier Jena Hybrid – A Review

Intro 
Gone are the days of electric bikes with bulky batteries attached to the frame, and gone are the days where riding an electric bike meant an unwieldy hybrid, or a ‘sit up and beg’ shopper. 
Wilier, renowned Italian bicycle brand, have pushed the boundaries of design to produce the lightest, most agile electric bikes. I have ridden the Wilier Jena Hybrid gravel/adventure bike extensively now, and really familiarised myself with what it tries to accomplish. 
Gravel/adventure bikes recently are becoming somewhat of a phenomenon in the road cycling world, and I think it’s fair to say that they have garnered mixed opinions. Whether you set out on a ride in your finest ‘lumber-jacket’, with your well-groomed beard flowing in the wind, and a faint taste of craft ale lingering from the previous night, or whether you don the Lycra to ride with your club mates; I am fairly certain you will appreciate the design of this machine, and the undeniable spot it has in the cycling world. 
  
Wilier Jena Hybrid Frameset 
The Wilier Jena Hybrid frameset takes its design from the standard Jena frameset, adding an internal battery and a charging port. It is far from being as aggressive as a racing frame, such as their similarly priced Cento 1 model, however it does have slightly steeper geometry than other gravel/adventure bikes from competitors. This certainly gives the Jena Hybrid a more ‘racey’ feel than other brands, yet still a very confident and stable ride, especially when sitting in the drops and descending/cornering at speed. There is less built-in compliance with the Jena than other bikes of this caliber because of the Wilier designers striving to minimise weight, for example the Cannondale Topstone Lefty with its suspension fork, or the Specialized Diverge with its stem shock absorber. A suspension seat-post could be installed, however it is by no means an uncomfortable or jarring ride, running the tyres tubeless at a lower pressure and using good riding technique can alleviate this. One detail of note in terms of comfort is the handlebars that come installed as standard have a small rise from the center of the bars, giving a more upright position when riding on the flats. For this reason, the Jena Hybrid is a very adaptable bike whilst riding, you can descend at high speeds in a very efficient, aerodynamic, and controlled position in the drops, you can also sit upright and open to climb comfortably, or to relax a little more. Geometry is very well thought out in this build, and when you couple that with some of the frame’s features, the frame shape, the frame’s built in compliance features such as the bent rear stays, and multiple mounting points for racks and accessories, you can really start to see how much of a ‘do everything’ bike this really is. 
 
Wheelset
We have a set of Wilier’s own NDR30 carbon wheels with a Miché front hub installed on this bike, which are the same wheels they use for the pure road models, yet with the motor discreetly built into the rear, there are different rim depths available. The wheelset comes in at roughly 1,600 g for the pair, minus the motor of course, which is a respectable number for a bicycle of this price point, and it really shows. Bringing these wheels up to speed is snappy, with the motor on or even off. The Vittoria Terreno Mix tyres that come standard are noticeably slower on the road compared to slicker tyres, although this is not a road bike. When the going gets rough these are very capable tyres, grip is comparable to tyres with much more tread, paired with the lightweight wheels and electric assistance, this bike is exceedingly fun to whip around and really inspires you to swing around corners, jump out of the saddle, and push the limits of what is rideable with a gravel bike. 

Groupset
We opted for the Jena Hybrid with the Shimano GRX RX800 1×11 speed mechanical groupset, and hydraulic braking. This is Shimano’s gravel specific groupset, and has a couple of features not seen on their road models in terms of gearing options and ergonomics. Starting from the top we have the shifters, where a lot of thought has been put in to the terrain-specific design. The hoods are long and comfortable, there is a large contact area for a real tight grip, which is vital in some gravel circumstances. And the brake levers are better shaped to be operated easier from the hoods position, and comfortably too when angled slightly on flared drops, which are becoming very popular on gravel bikes. Safety and ergonomics have been considered greatly in the design of these, I also personally feel these design choices would be very suitable for a pure road bike too, given that I am riding on the hoods at least 90% of the time. Shifting is very precise, with reassuring feedback to let you know you have shifted. As usual with Shimano, I never had any issues with ghost clicks, or mis-clicks. Every single shift made, transferred immediately to the rear derailleur, with a satisfying click. The rear derailleur is another favourite component of mine. All shifting was instant, the chain stepped right into place effortlessly, and made a great metallic noise which would please me every time I heard it even on the longest rides. Shifting performance is very comparable to Ultegra and it continues to perform under load even with the motor churning out additional watts. The rear derailleur has a clutch system built in, with a simple switch to toggle on and off. The first time I rode the bike I had this toggle switched off unbeknownst to me, though I soon realised. My daily bicycle has a clutch mechanism also so it would seem I have taken the lack of chain rattle for granted. After riding with the clutch switched off for a few miles, I began to wonder if there was an issue with the cassette or bottom bracket, due to the strange sensation of chain rattle, or chain slack when stopping pedalling or backpedalling slightly. I then switched the clutch on and realised what I had been doing. The clutch does a great job of keeping the chain tight, and even in extremely bumpy situations I experienced no more rattle, slack, or slapping on the chainstay. Keep the clutch on! 
Braking is made easy on this bike due to the hydraulic system, and it’s exactly as you’d expect for a higher end groupset. Again it is very comparable, perhaps even indistinguishable from Shimano Ultegra. Modulation and stopping performance is excellent in wet or dry, however given the extra grip and width from the tyres, locking up the wheel doesn’t occur so easily, giving the Jena a whole extra level of control. 
The groupset we used was the 1×11 setup, which came with an 11-42 cassette and a 42 tooth chainring. I am a big fan of 1x drivetrain setups for their simplicity, and I have no issues with the larger jumps between ratios on the rear. It is worth bearing in mind however that if you’re used to a straight block cassette, or a tight road cassette, this gearing may take some getting used to. The bottom end 1:1 ratio gives you a total of 27.5” gear inches, which coupled with the motor will get you up any climb with ease, in fact on my trips I didn’t even require the 42 tooth cog. The top end, 42/11, will give you 40 mph if you can spin up to 130 revolutions per minute, which is plenty enough for this style of bicycle! 
 
Electronics
The electronic assist is controlled by one button (called the ‘iWoc’ control), there are four different power settings, each indicated intuitively by a different colour, red for maximum power, green for minimum. The button is mounted on the handlebars and can be accessed safely whilst keeping both hands on the handlebars. Whilst the button is not being operated the battery level will be displayed, using the same ‘traffic light’ system. The Mahle Ebikemotion system does not adapt to power output like a crank drive system would, instead it will deliver a constant power depending on the setting it is on, up to the legal limit of 15.5 mph (25 kph) this can work a lot better for some people as it will constantly be trying to spin up to maximum speed regardless of fitness level or the individual’s power. The battery is completely internal within the carbon frame, and does not affect the size of the frame, given that carbon tubing can be oversized anyway this frame does not look like an e-bike, save for the charging port which is very subtle. The torque in the Mahle motor is well matched for such a lightweight and naturally fast e-bike, I had no problems on even the steepest hills, despite being a larger rider at 100 kg, I also found despite torque and speed the motor remained consistently very quiet. From riding around hilly Somerset and Dorset terrain I found the range on maximum power to be ~35 miles, so I’d say that was a safe bottom-end estimate, though it can vary greatly from individual to individual depending on a multitude of factors. It is also worth noting that a range extension battery can be fitted in place of a water bottle.
 
Pros –  
Extremely lightweight as an e-bike, the motor and battery combined weighs a respectable 3.6 kg, coupled with the full carbon monocoque frame this bike weighs in at a mere 12.5 kg, lighter than many non-electric bikes! 
 
Great comfort factors considering slightly aggressive geometry, a fine balance between fast and sporty, and comfortable for longer distances. 
 
Very confidence inspiring level of control, fast or slow the stability is always present and noticeable. 
 
The renowned Italian design is not lost on this bicycle, the colour and the shape complement each other, the bike looks fast, modern, and built with style in mind. 
 
A lot of fun to ride, an electric motor on certain roads, tracks, and trails is brilliant, coupled with the feel of the bike and frameset there is certainly a lot of fun to be had whipping around! 
 
Cons – 
I found the Selle Italia X3 Boost saddle unbearable after 5 miles or so, it almost seemed like it was suited to female anatomy as it seemed shorter and slightly too wide for myself. Saddles are generally very personal however and many people will swap it out regardless. 
 
Cycling this kind of bike can often exceed the 15.5 mph cut-off for electric motors on the road, so it can feel at times like there is a lot of unnecessary weight on the bike, especially if you are a fitter rider. However, when off road, travelling slower, stopping and starting more, or going up long ascents, this is a much-welcomed trade-off. 
 
Battery is non-removeable unlike other e-bikes, so you must store your bike near a mains socket to charge it. Not a problem for myself as my bicycles enjoy the comfort of the living room, however could be an issue for people with limited space or no mains in their garage. 

Conclusion 
The Wilier Jena Hybrid is an outstanding machine, and if it’s intended use is fulfilled, it comes with very few downsides and an exceedingly fun and responsive ride. The rear wheel Mahle drive does a great job, and hides sandwiched between the cassette and disc brake rotor. The only indication that it is electric, is the rear hub, and the speed you start passing your fellow club members on the climbs!  
If you are looking to take your bike elsewhere and nearly everywhere, stray from the roads to find trails, bridleways, and gravel cycleways, this is the perfect machine. If you are looking to take part in long distance, or lightweight e-bike touring this can also be set up to suit your needs perfectly.



Written and edited by Sam Harris.
As of the time of this review this bicycle is in stock and available for test ride at Riley’s Cycles.


 
 

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‘How to Clean Your Bike Carefully’ – By David at DCR Wheels.

Whilst browsing some of our favourite bicycle related blogs and content we stumbled across this post by our friend David at DCR Wheels. Our mechanics have indeed encountered some of the issues desribed in this post, so we thought it would be helpful to publish on our website too, with the (very kind) permission from the original author of course.

If you apply a lot of chain lubricant, you will probably find that a lot of dirt is picked up from the road. In addition, the chain itself is wearing away, that produces a black paste in itself. That paste can get everywhere and does need to be cleaned off. What that can lead to is end users and sometimes over-zealous cycle shops covering the drive in a strong degreaser to make it all shiny and new, then re-applying some fresh lube so the bike runs like a dream…for a bit.

The problem is, most bikes are covered in sealed cartridge bearings now. You will find them in your headset, bottom bracket, jockey wheels, pedals and – most importantly for us – your wheels. If you introduce a penetrating cleaner or a high pressure water cleaner to a bike, the water and degreaser gets inside the bearings, behind their sealing, stripping them of the lubricant that they require to run well.

We see quite a lot of wheelsets that have knackered rear bearings but front bearings run like new. That is consistent with aggressive cleaning of a drive. The benefit of a sealed cartridge system is that you can remove these bearings and install fresh ones, removing all play and noise. The wheels will run like new again. However, often, this maintenance can be avoided. So, steps to run through for careful cleaning:

  • Dry clean. Not always a solution but sometimes a dry rag can remove dirt and grease, if it is fresh and new, without the use of any sort of product at all. Saving your bearings and your money. This may be all that is required.
  • Just use water. If you clean regularly, water alone is often enough when a dry clean is not. You may use a rag or a brush as well. It is generally only the caked on dirt that requires products. There are some care products that can be used to protect a frame – applied when the frame is clean. That will also make cleaning easier. If you use water, just running water. No pressure washers, do not put your thumb over the end of the hose either.
  • Use a gentle cleaner. If you need to take it up a level, sometimes a product is required. It will improve results on a filthy frame. I am not going to recommend or advise against any specific products here. We prefer to see the use of environmentally friendly products if possible. What I will also say is that if a cleaning product manufacturer sponsors a professional team it is neither an indication that they make a good product nor that they extend the life of your components. Also, a product that cleans very effectively may also be shortening your component’s lifespan.
  • Clean your drive with lubricant. If you use a fine lubricant, like the Wickens and Soddestrom chain lube, it will draw a lot of the dirt out of your chain. So, apply a healthy amount, run the chain round and round, it will turn black and horrible. Then remove the excess leaving a nicely lubed chain. It isn’t a good solution for a very bad chain but it can avoid the need for a degreaser.
  • Degrease only the components that need degreasing. A cassette can be easily removed from a wheel. Most chains can be removed with a quick link and if not, once broken, can then normally be re-installed with a quick link. If you isolate the chain and cassette from the rest of the bike you can go nuts with the degreaser you use. Paraffin actually works very well as a cheap solution but there are lots of options and we would always prefer to see the use of an environmentally friendly cleaner. Just make sure that degreaser is gone completely by the time you refit the chain/cassette. Ensure the chain is the right way round, free running and ensure the cassette is done up to the correct torque setting – normally 40nm.  If you cannot remove the chain or are reluctant/under-confident in doing so, you can use a dummy rear wheel or even just an old rear wheel that you do not care for anymore to save your nice wheels from the degrease. 

    (Source: https://dcrwheels.co.uk/custom-wheelsets/how-to-clean-your-bike-carefully/ )
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Our brand new range of Kinesis UK road, adventure, and e-bikes; in store now!

We have long been fans of the company Kinesis UK here at Riley’s Cycles, so we are pleased to announce our brand new range of Kinesis bikes, including some e-bike options. Specialising in top quality alloy and titanium frames, Kinesis cover everything from high performance race machines such as the Aithein, up to all year round gravel/adventure work-horses such as the G2. Call us today on (01935) 812038 for more info, or book a test ride today!

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Grandad’s Bike Back on the Road 73 Years On

Heron's head detail
Raleigh Lenton
Restored 1947 Raleigh Lenton
Raleigh Lenton pre restoration

A former colleague asked me last year if I could restore his Father’s bike for his son Guy to ride. The bike was a bit special as it was a Raleigh Lenton with its original bill of sale from 1947. However, Grandad had clearly covered a lot of miles on his trusty steed and it was coated in a sort of film. I have a 1950 Raleigh Lenton and was aware they were the bike that clubmen riders aspired to, having a lightweight Reynolds steel frame and especially as champion rider Reg Harris endorsed them … and they had four gears! After discussing the project with Guy, though mindful that bikes are only original once, it was agreed a full restoration was best. The restoration involved repainting the frame (by Jim King), replacing wheels with a rebuilt set, modifying the dynamo lights to have led bulbs and run off batteries, restoring the enamel head badge, rechroming many parts and a lot of polishing, we even salvaged the original Bluemels mudguards. There are some wonderful details on the bike, for example the chainset incorporates the Raleigh emblem, a heron’s head and on this early model the eyes and beak are chiselled, a detail Raleigh dropped by the time my 1950 model was made. The end result was very pleasing and Guy plans to ride it to his home in Switzerland.