Off-road Club Ride Saturday 26 January 9:30am

Jon Cooke has kindly agreed to step in and lead this ride, since Terry Holmes (who was originally going to lead) is still recovering from a bug. Full details from Jon below:

“I am going to lead an off road ride out to Watt’s Gallery. It’s an epic ride albeit cut short and amended due to trail closures. The route is about 40 miles and is suitable for CX and MTB bikes. All are welcome and the pace will be adjusted to the needs of the group.

The cafe is in a posh bit of Surrey and is pricey so I’d bring a card or cash for the break. I can also add in another short stop at the Canal Centre cafe if needed/wanted.

The start is from Sandhurst Memorial car park (free parking) at 9:30am. I can pick others up at Fleet Pond if needed. Let me know if you are starting there so I know to look for you. On the return we don’t come back to Fleet Pond so there will be a few road miles to get you back into Farnborough.

Here’s the route:

Overall I’d say that we expect to be out for most of the day with just over four hours of riding. Add in an hour or so for cafe stops and mechanicals and you’ll be home around 3pm. For those pushed for time there is a shorter route that picks up the River Blackwater just outside Aldershot so you can cut back at Farnham and follow the river home. Some local knowledge of the river and canal would be good if you wanted to do this.

Do say if you intend to ride or not please.”

So if you plan to come, we’d appreciate it if club members could post in the Social Rides forum in the thread on the subject. Non-members can either post on the club Facebook post or via email to the off-road secretary.

Bike Fit Club Night Slides

Way back last year (well, last month actually) we held a club night on the subject of professional bike fitting. Jake Yarranton from Precise Performance gave a talk and then proceeded to answer a great many questions from the audience about bike fitting.

The slides from Jake’s talk are now available from the club website in PDF format at this link. If anyone has any questions about bike fitting, then please feel free to contact Jake via his website.

Club Kit – Ordering Window Now Open

We have now reached the minimum order quantity to enable us to open a new order window for club kit. This window will remain open until February 3rd.

For full details on how to order, please see

Please note, we have a new pricelist for 2019, so discard any previous versions you may have downloaded.

There is a new ‘Epic’ line available now, which is meant to be as fast as the previous aero kit, but more breathable. Go to and type in epic for details of this new line.

If you expressed interest and made a pre-order, we will be in touch soon to confirm your order and request payment.

Tim DB. (clothing secretary)

Getting a Bike Fit before you get a Bike?

By Scott Heyhoe

I was very interested to hear Jake Yarranton of Precise Performance, at the recent club night, talk about the benefits and pitfalls of having a bike that actually fits you. I remember the ‘good old days’ when bikes came in every size from 16″ to 26″, in 1/2-inch, and sometimes 1/4-inch, increments. It was easy somehow to get exactly the right sized bike. If you were lucky, you’d even get a bike built for you, to your exact specifications. With the advent of cycling becoming mainstream, and major manufacturers deciding that S, M, L was a good start for most bikes, it is now easier to get a bike that is just a bit too big for you, or just a bit too small. It’s true that most manufacturers now make frames in 2-cm increments, but 20mm is still very crude compared to the previous 5mm to 10mm increments.

At the same time, the internet came along and made the local bike shops search for new services to offer. Hence, the idea was born of offering a service to make adjustments to your bike (saddle height, rake, tilt, handlebar reach, shape, height, and so on): the professional bike fit. Specialist companies like Precise Performance also offer a professional bike fit service.

I’ve had the same race bike for maybe 7-8 years. Bought it in a sale, and bought a 51cm whereas a 53cm might have been better. Still, I’ve managed to compete at regional and national level on it. However, I’ve had a long-standing back injury. I’ve suffered from cramp on and off. When I got some power-meter pedals a couple of years ago, I discovered a massive left-right leg imbalance: sometimes as little as 34% of my power was coming from my left leg, and as much as 66% from my right. I’d tried my own adjustments: saddle up to alleviate cramp, saddle down to alleviate back ache, saddle in just the right place to get backache and cramp at the same time! As I am now comfortably (uncomfortably?!) in my 50s, I figured that my body shape had also changed from the halcyon days of my teens and twenties.

I’d decided at the earlier club night to buy a new race bike, probably from Simon Whiten at Handsling who gave a terrific talk on carbon fibre and aero tech. My original plan was to buy the new bike and then have a bike fit. Makes sense, right? Well, something that Jake said made me think that I should have a fit done first – on my current bike. I could then use the measurements to buy exactly the right-sized bike from Simon. So I decided to have a fit on my current bike, before buying the new bike. I spoke to both Simon and Jake about this, and both agreed it made sense. Jake even said he’d conduct my six-week check-up on the new bike.

So, just before Christmas, I headed to meet Jake at his clinic/studio (not actually sure what he calls it). We spent the first hour talking about my aims for the year (National Road Championships, 2nd Category road licence), and measuring my basic body structure and flexibility. On a first spin on the bike (on a turbo trainer), Jake immediately realised I’d make a model patient! Lots of things to adjust. The Retül system that Jake uses is quite sophisticated. It uses sensors placed on feet, knees, thighs and so on, to track movement using 3D cameras. Jake can then make adjustments, to get everything in balance and tracking properly. My saddle was too narrow, so I was tilting to one side – this would probably account for some of the imbalance. My saddle was too low, my handlebars too high. These are all the more coarse adjustments. We then moved on to finer adjustments like foot contact and rotation on the pedal. Some well-placed shims inside and outside my shoes ensured that my legs tracked evenly up and down.

The new position felt “weird”! Lots of things were changed as I’ve said. I’ve done some easy and hard sessions on the turbo. Because of a chest infection, I’ve only been out on the road twice since. So I need more saddle time to report back fully. The one thing that I would say is this: I went out for a 42-mile ride, and rode it medium fast. Spun the pedals at times, ground up hills in the big ring at other times, all for the sake of trying different pedalling styles, in and out of the saddle. My power trace when I got back home said 49-51%! Similarly, I went out for a 66-mile out and back ride a few days ago, spinning hard on the way out due to a strong breeze against me, and powering back with the wind a little kinder, and my wife and child waiting for me at Reading station. The trace this time was 47-53%. Early days but extremely promising. I’ve just ordered my new race bike … oh, and a new cyclo-cross bike that I’m getting built up with exactly the same fit dimensions.

More Prizes! Club Night of the Year, 9 February

Don’t miss out! Tickets are selling fast, the prize list is growing, and already more than 40 people are looking forward to catching up, eating up and running up to collect prizes at the Club Night of the Year on 9 February.

We’re delighted to announce that the following additional prizes have been added. Remember, entry to the Grand Prize Draw is FREE to everyone with a ticket for the evening:

All these are in addition to the existing list of prizes already detailed at the events listing for the evening, which is where you can also find out how to buy your tickets. We look forward to seeing you there!

Alex Paton’s Club Night Talk

We had another well-attended club night earlier this month, with local professional road racer Alex Paton talking about his experiences and answering many audience questions. Warren Vye (club road race secretary) hosted the talk, and started the evening by talking about the club’s road racing activities. Please contact Warren if you’d like to find out more about racing with the club and joining his very successful team (with plenty of support and encouragement available).

You can download both Alex’s presentation and Warren’s introduction from the website in PDF format.

Also, anyone interested in being coached by Alex can find out more about his coaching packages at his website.

Fancy Winning a Cycling Holiday in Spain? – Club Night of the Year

This could be you, cycling in the mountains of Spain, if you buy tickets to the Club Night Of The Year on 9 February. Someone who attends is going to win this prize! Check out the video below, courtesy of Spectacular Cycling.

If you have trouble accessing the video from the box above, try it directly at . Sometimes videos can refuse to play on certain devices – if it doesn’t work on your computer, try it on your phone, or vice versa.

Please note that flights and taxes are not included in the prize.

Committee News and New Members

We’re pleased to announce that we have two new committee members. Deb Coren is our new general secretary, and Scott Heyhoe is our new social secretary and also will be looking after the club’s expanded off-road activities on the committee. We’re grateful to them for stepping forward – we’re always in need of help. Remember, the club doesn’t run itself, and we need your help to make things happen.

On a related note, we need as many members as possible to come along to the AGM on 1 February to help us all move the club forward. Thanks.

We’d also like to welcome all the new members and returning ex-members who have joined the club over the past few months: John Constantinou, Stephen Woolley, Stephen Edwards, Vaughan Newcombe, Gordon Rendell, Carlson Lopes, Tracey Cooper, Dalton Flesch, Carl White, Conor Boyle, Paul Knight, Adam Basson, Mike Griffiths, Jamie Parkinson, Richard Sutcliffe, Luke Seal, Caroline Wallace, Ryan Holleywood, Alex Ballinger and Matthew Fawcett. We’re pleased to have you aboard.