To improve your shopping experience today and in the future, this site uses cookies.
I Accept Cookies
Close results

Popular searches for:

Popular content for:

Popular Products scroll for more

See all results     Previous Next  
All Bikes Hand Checked & Assembled Before Shipping Free tracked delivery 90 day Returns 30-Day Test Ride Option Customer Care: 0330 555 0080 0% Finance

Free, tracked UK delivery on orders over £10

We offer free, tracked UK delivery on orders over £10, with delivery starting from £1.99 for orders below this value. We also have a selection of premium shipping options available including timed slots, Saturday delivery and DPD Pick-up

All of our bicycles are fully built by our experienced and certified mechanics prior to delivery; all you will need to do is turn the handlebars and fit some pedals.

Bicycles are shipped from a different warehouse to other items and so may arrive in advance of any other items you have ordered.

View all Delivery Options

90-Day UK Returns for all items

We want you to be 100% satisfied with your shopping experience at Rutland Cycling, so we offer a 90-day exchange or refund on any unused item (within the UK).

We've chosen to offer products at the very lowest prices, rather than provide a free returns service. If you do need to return an item, we provide printable postage labels and collection services at a small cost for all items - including bicycles.

See our full Returns policy.

30 Day Test Ride

All the convenience of buying online, without the risk
When you buy a new bike at full RRP from rutlandcycling.com, you can now benefit from the added reassurance of our Rutland 30-day test ride. Once your new bike arrives, you can ride it as your own for 30 days, and we're confident you'll love it! However, if it's not right for you, we'll exchange it for another model. (There's a nominal charge of £10 for us to collect your bike - just make sure you keep the box your bike arrived in.)

On which bikes is the 30-day test ride available?
The Rutland 30-day test ride is available on all full price, non-discounted bikes available for home delivery on rutlandcycling.com. It is not available on discounted or special offer bikes, click and collect bikes, bikes bought on finance, bikes bought through Cyclescheme, or bikes bought in store. This offer is only available on bikes delivered to mainland UK addresses.

How many times can I use the 30-day test ride?
We will allow up to two exchanges within this scheme.

Full T's & C's

Finance your purchase

Get a confidential decision online in seconds.

At Rutland Cycling, we offer Finance on orders over £250, with 0% finance up to 36 months available on selected bikes, including some sale bikes. Visit the product page to see which finance products are available.

You can apply for Finance online or in store. To apply online, add your selected items to your basket, then checkout as normal. Select Finance as your payment method, fill in the application form, then complete your order.

See our Finance page for more information.

Back to Blog  

#TeamRutland: A Pennine Adventure

   Words by Harry Archer

   on 21/11/2017 17:29:52

Dan_Murtagh-1

Dan: “Alex, have you seen the Caledonian sleeper train? You can get it from London overnight and wake up at Fort William”

Alex: “Never heard of it...”

Dan: “I was thinking we could get the train and then ride back...”

Alex: “Let’s do it. Will it be on road or off? I fancy a bikepacking trip - I’ve been thinking about a ‘speed gravel touring’ adventure. Travel light, ride fast. Stop for special coffee and pastries, it will be the trip of a lifetime”

Dan: “I’ll get planning...hold your horses on the coffee and pastries bit though, its remote Yorkshire not bl**dy Soho”

The Plan

What actually happened was slightly different, and after planning the differences certainly became more than slight, but all good ideas come from something far grander. Going down to London - then back up - meant a lot of logistics and in reality we were going to struggle to have more than a long weekend off work, So we got a train to the edge of Scotland (Berwick upon Tweed, it’s in England) - it meant an easy journey first thing from Peterborough with Alex meeting me at Newark so we could start our 4 day adventure at 11:30 on the Friday, getting to Derby on Monday afternoon following national cycle route 68 bringing the total distance to 360 odd miles. Nice and easy, not too far each day but enough to make it worthwhile.

Dan_Murtagh-5

We should cover one thing off before we get too far - this was not camping in remote locations with nothing over than a bivvy bag and each other to cuddle overnight. This was a premium, more sophisticated version of trendy bike packing. We’d stay in a hotel each night (it was actually a spa the first night) and we would buy food from little village cafes. Like Alex’s first thoughts you need to think avocado on sourdough and a chia seed scones here.

We would also be travelling light...

The Kit

Alex had an Ortlieb handlebar bag from their bike packing range, and I had the Specialized Burra Burra version of the same thing. A small Specialized saddle bag each for spares and we were done. Socks, pants, shorts, merino t-shirt, a pair of espadrilles (smaller and lighter than trainers) and a toothbrush - that was pretty much it. In addition, I packed some soap leaves to wash our kit in the bath. Doubling up on items you can wear on and off the bike works well from previous experience so an extra gilet and merino top are essentials.

Embarrassingly for this story, we both have the same bike. Alex recently changed from his Trek Boone and I’d upgraded from an alloy CruX to the 2018 Specialized CruX Expert Carbon. The CruX isn’t a touring machine for sure, and the Specialized Diverge would possibly be better on paper, but it is light and fast and works on mixed terrain so it’s perfect for a variety of riding. Most ‘cross’ bikes now come with a single chain ring and the CruX is no exception, in fact I’m not sure why you would want a double. The only thing I’d have changed was the cassette, having a 34t at the back instead of a 32t might have helped, but more to come on that later….

Specialized CruX Expert X1 2018 Carbon Cyclocross Road Bike Blue

specialized-crux-expert-x1-2018-carbon-cyclocross-road-bike-blue-rutland-cycling

Specialized CruX Expert X1 2018 Carbon Cyclocross Road Bike Blue-£3899.99

Specialized CruX Expert has everything you need for CX racing. This bike is built to offer you the performance to compete at the highest level.

  • Lightweight Carbon Frame
  • SRAM Force 1x11 Speed Drivetrain
  • SRAM Force Hydraulic Disc Brakes
  • S-Works Fact 11r Carbon Thru Axle Fork

Day 1

Berwick Upton tweed to Bellingham. 77.5 Miles

This was a marker for things to come - you think less than 80 miles when you have all day seems straight forward enough but train delays cost us an hour, and then the detour into Scotland to get the obligatory photo so Alex could prove to his Wife he was indeed in Scotland cost us a few more minutes. We were on the back foot before we started!

The route was a mix of road and ‘cycle path’ - some of which you’d have been better off on a mountain bike. I certainly wouldn’t want to ride down some of the sections on a touring bike with proper panniers, but national cycles routes do vary a lot which I failed to fully remember from previous trips. We stopped twice, once for a scone and once at the world’s busiest Co-op for water and caffeine chocolate (turns out, 4 hours later I’d regret it...). It was a later finish than we would have imagined - the last 3 miles seemed to take half an hour, but we finally rolled into Bellingham to be met by another Co-op, and some chocolate milk (again, in hindsight not a great idea).

We were so late getting to our Hotel and Spa, it was not only dark but the pool was closed, much to Alex’s disappointment. We only had time for dinner and bed at this point, but there were jobs to do and no soigneur’s on hand to help. Wash kit in the sink, wonder why the water is the colour is it, charge the Garmin, charge your iPhone, give the bike a wipe, or wash, in the bath, put the heating on full blast to dry your kit. Sleep. Wake up feeling like you are in a furnace. Turn all heating off, open a window. Wake up….

Dan_Murtagh-3

Day 2

Bellingham to Tebay – 80.9 miles

Day 2 started with a hill, obviously. The legs felt fine even though we were both tired at the end of yesterday. You consistently think of the days ahead so we took every climb nice and steady and rolled along. Spending a fair amount of time in my now very familiar 32t cog on the back. We stopped at the top of Hartside top café which is famous for ‘bikers’ who wear leather rather than lycra. Rolling down the hill from there I was reminded about the time I watched Wout Pouls and Eddie Boasson-Hagen race up there in the Tour of Britain. They were both in their big rings racing towards the top, but I could barely think about that even going down. There was a sharp right and left on the way down which took us off road. Now when I say off road, it was probably the roughest part of the whole trip – rocky, gravel, muddy – But we both made it to the end (Alex with more style) only for me to get a puncture on the road section.

Top tip – When fixing a puncture on a very narrow road, don’t put you bike in the grass on the opposite side. Cars will move over not to hit you whilst you are bent over pumping for your life, only to just narrowly miss your carbon CX bike laying down hidden in the grass. The trip could have ended here!

IMG_2504

We soon got going again: “There’s some cows on the road lads”, said a man on a quad bike (quads seem to be a normal form of transport ‘up north’, But to us they were not a familiar sight). I didn’t assume he meant the road would be blocked with cows, but it was. We managed to create a path through, and the rest of the way was on road to Tebay Services Hotel. If you haven’t been, and I strongly recommend you do, it is, factually, the best services in the country. What other services can you get a Halloumi and beetroot main course?

Dan_Murtagh-2

Predictably we finished the day around 6:30pm, so managed to wash the bikes at the services garage ‘water and air’ stop and then commence the familiar daily routine: kit, sink, funny coloured water, lube (the bike), heating on full, charge stuff. You get the picture, except this time I had a spare tube to repair in the comfort of one of their conference rooms.

Day 3

Tebay to Hebden Bridge – 83 miles

A day of hills. The scenery was fantastic and it was a glorious start to the day. It was a Sunday which meant every owner of a classic MG in the UK was on National Cycle Route 68, coming towards us – no problem, except on every narrow corner. At this point, embarrassingly, we had ran out of spare tubes. My tubeless flat that we couldn’t seal with a hand pump meant I used my spare tube the previous day, and Alex’s spare tube somehow looked like his car keys had been through the side of it. I had a patched up spare but conscious of the miles and terrain we had ahead we needed some spares – luckily there was a local shop just off the route and the guys in there re-inflated my tubeless on their compressor! This took out any time we had to stop so a dash into a Co-op and we pressed on.

The going was slow by this point and the run in to Hebden Bridge was full of short sharp climbs (the 32t cog in full use again). It reminded me of the Fred Whitton Sportive we had done earlier in the year. We finished at 6:30pm in the rain, getting darker and knowing day 4 would be tough. A tap and a sponge were on hand this time to clean the bikes and we got to the pub just in time for a Sunday roast. 5* review for our accommodation’s kit drying facilities this time – a proper clothes airer meant everything dried properly.

IMG_2495

Day 4

A change of plan – Hebden Bridge to Chesterfield 68.2 miles

We met for breakfast on day 4 and just had to look at each to know how we felt, which was encouraging for me - when you wake up feeling like you’ve been run over by a train it’s only made better by knowing that your riding partner looks and feels the same. It’s not that I wanted Alex to feel as bad as I did, but it does give you a boost knowing you are not alone. It was going to be a long day and one thing we did know about Hebden Bridge was it was a climb out (the descent in the night before firmly planted this seed). For the first 2 hours we averaged 10.5 miles per hour. 10.5 miles per hour. For 2 hours. It was hilly for sure, but we didn’t predict it was that bad.

Alex was sure: “Ah, we’ve definitely done 30/35 miles now”. “No Alex, we’ve done 21”. “Garmin must be wrong” was his reply.

If you lie to yourself with enough conviction you can start to believe yourself, but the GPS doesn’t lie. Not too long after Holmfirth we turned onto the Trans Pennine Trail and off National Cycle Route 86. We took the decision to head towards Chesterfield instead of Derby - Time was against us now and our standard 6:30pm finish would be more like 7:30/8:00pm. Chesterfield would cut off 20 miles and it was close enough to Alex’s Home he could ride home whilst I could get a train home as planned. The route took us though Wharncliffe Woods and then dropped into Sheffield - the first bit of urban cycling in 4 days was followed by what was now more familiar than the country cafes we hoped for, a Shell garage and a can of coke, a Fanta, a sandwich and a Boost bar.

Dan_Murtagh-4

The ‘trip of a lifetime’ came to an end after following the cycle path into Chesterfield, where Alex and I split to take our separate journeys home. Alex would beat me home on his bike, whilst I got the train and a lift from the station from my girlfriend. This meant a new daily routine for us to both adapt too – we both have washing machines at home so no washing kit in sinks and we didn’t have to clean our bikes with whatever we could find laying around. There was also the added luxury of having cupboards and a fridge full of food rather than scavenging around in a Co-op for whatever you can ‘fire in’ quickly. Oh, and we both had someone different to talk to other than each other. It’s what Tom Hanks character in the film Cast Away must have felt like when he was rescued. I exaggerate slightly, it was only 4 days, but we were convinced a crack team of Bear Grylls and Ray Mears wouldn’t have survived.

What did we learn?

I remember from school we always had to summarise with what we learnt, a conclusion if you like, so what did we learn from the trip.

  • Back to back days cycling is what takes its toll. We regularly do rides of the distance we were covering each day but when it’s a long day (hilly, off road etc) it starts to bite after multiple days. Doing one really, really long day is much easier than 4 long ones.
  • Get separate rooms (we did). It means that you can Facetime your partner without any awkwardness and have a bath with the doors open.
  • Plan the route and some ‘bail out’ options. I had the route GPX well planned, right to the door of where we were staying each night. Having Chesterfield as an option on day 4 probably saved us 2 hours.
  • Take more spares that you think you will need. I had duct tape, cable ties, chain pin/links, the lot, but simply got unlucky with a tubeless flat and a puncture in the tube after. You don’t want the stress of thinking about what could happen. A really simple ‘café lock’ is useful too.
  • Always have lights! Not all rides finish at 6:30pm.
  • Don’t drink too much chocolate milk and caffeine chocolate all in one day.
  • Soap leaves are amazing.
  • Take loads of extra clothing. Long finger gloves, cap, waterproof, extra gilet - you can fit loads into a simple bar or seatpack.
  • Moral support gets you through a long days cycling. If someone is finding it hard next to you, then it helps. We did bite off as much as we could chew with this trip, and to keep the analogy going, it really took some chewing. It was just about right for us, but for most doing it in 6 days would make it a nice trip rather than a mission to finish by dark every day.
  • People are nicer to you when you ride a bike. Fact. We even had a man stop to ask us if we wanted to use his compressor from his car when fixing a puncture.
  • Yorkshire, Cumbria, the Peak District - they are all hilly.

Check Out Dan's other #TeamRutland adventures

#TeamRutland La Marmotte

#TeamRutland Tackling The Fred Whitton

Share this Article

Search Articles

Recommended for you