Sportive and Endurance Bike of the year

And the winner is… has tested and reviewed a range of sportive and endurance bikes during 2017. Here are the best long distance road bikes from the past 12 months; find out which one wins: The Results

Buy it Now and Ride a Winner

The winning bike is available from Blazing Saddles. Our ex demo Specialized Roubaix Expert is a steal at £1800 and our Specialized Roubaix Expert Di2 is is reduced by over £1000 to £3299. Light, stiff and comfortable, the Roubaix with its Future Shock delivers an impressive ride.

These bikes are tailored for mass-start, non-competitive events: sportives, gran fondos and Audax rides. They’re great for general road riding like club runs and longer commutes too.

Sportive bikes are designed to be more comfortable for long rides by cyclists who don’t have pro-level flexibility and team masseurs.

A wider and lower gear range than you’ll find on a race bike is almost universal, with compact chainsets standard.

There’s room for at least 25mm tyres to improve shock absorption and grip, and many recent sportive bikes will take 28mm tyres.

Disc brakes are becoming increasingly common because they offer improved stopping power, and are less affected by rain and wheel misalignment.

Sportive bikes — also known as endurance bikes — are ‘softer’, more comfortable versions of race-orientated road bikes. They have slightly more relaxed handling, frames tuned to smooth the ride and capacity for wider tyres along with a less stretched-out riding position. They’re ideal for events and long distance rides where the extra comfort is a valuable benefit.

That makes them ideal for British riding conditions. Extra comfort from the frame and larger volume tyres (25mm and up) smooth out rough roads, the longer wheelbase makes them more stable, and the higher handlebar position reduces the strain on your back and neck. Some bikes also have shorter top tubes to bring the handlebars closer to the saddle.

One of the big changes occurring on bikes in this category is the rapid adoption of disc brakes. Discs offer increased stopping power, better all-weather performance and lower maintenance. Disc brakes really suit endurance and sportive bikes as these are the sort of bikes likely to encounter a myriad of weather and road conditions, whether in a sportive or if you simply ride year-round. And as these bikes are unlikely to be used in a road race, they don’t have to conform to the rules that currently forbid disc brakes on race bikes.

What makes an endurance road bike?

In essence, an endurance road bike is very similar to a road race bike, but with geometry, specification and frame materials tuned to make them more comfortable over longer rides and rough roads.

A longer wheelbase is common, both to create space for the wider tyres and also to produce a more stable ride, especially useful over choppy surfaces. Many endurance road bikes also have a taller head tube and shorter top tube to create a more comfortable fit over longer distances. There is no fixed formula though, and details differ between manufacturers. Some offer much taller and short frames while offers opt for longer top tubes with marginally taller head tubes, so you’ve a wide range of choices.

Many offer frames designed to provide a smooth ride, through the carbon fibre layup, tube shaping or both. Taking things a step further, companies such as Specialized incorporate elastomers in their endurance bike frames to help smooth the ride.

All these bikes have space for wider tyres. Most are sold with 25mm tyres as standard, but many will take a 28mm tyre which offers far more cushioning than a 23mm tyre. You can run them at lower pressures and benefit from a smoother ride without sacrificing speed.

Whether you’re planning a daily commute, a sportive or charity event, or just long Sunday rides, an endurance road bike is probably ideal for you. Unless you’re racing, there’s little compromise in choosing an endurance road bike and taking all the benefits they offer.

Happy New Year! Did you know…?

Happy 2018 to all our customers old and new. Wishing you good health and happy cycling from all the team at Blazing Saddles. We’d like to tell you about our savings scheme and our Ebay shop:

Savings Scheme – Get Organised!

Want to buy a new bike but can’t afford it and don’t want to take out credit?

Spread the cost of a new bike by putting a bit of money aside every week or month, or whenever you can afford to. We have a savings scheme that allows you to make payments of any amount whenever it suits you over the year, and even a little soon adds up. You can use your savings for a deposit on a new bike, or on the bike itself, or even accessories, parts or equipment.

It’s easy to set up and you can put money in over the phone or in the shop.

Ebay Shop

We have an Ebay shop! Our shop sells sale items and end of lines as well as products which benefit from seeing a wider audience. Most postage is free. Ash works hard in the office upstairs in Hebden to make sure your parcels arrive safely.  You can find us at blazingsaddles2008



Stuck for Gift Ideas?

We’re here to help!

We know you’re busy, so here are a few ideas to help you choose your cycling partner/friend/child etc the perfect gift. Whether it’s stocking fillers or luxury items, there are gifts from as little as £2.

Stocking Fillers

Under a fiver

For those last minute little extras: inner tubes £5, tyre levers £3.49, Hope ,Orange or Artist on a bike keyrings from £3, mini bike oils and lubes £2.49, Chamois butter sachets 99p, Park Tool repair patches £3.99 and many more ideas!

Under £15

Some of these are still great stocking fillers, depending on the size of your stockings obviously… From left to right: Cyclist china mug £14, Reflective Buff £15, Hump 360 reversible reflective wrist/arm bands £9.99. Orange MTB socks £10, Orange tea mug £8, Glass cyclist coasters £9.99, Hope water bottle £3.50, Infini Wukong novelty rear and front lights £9.99 a set, Park Tool bottle opener £8, Hope socks £9, Hope neckwarmer £12, Infini Orca front and rear USB rechargeable bike lights £14.99, Book of Pocket Road or MTB maintenance £9.99, Cat-Eye cycle computer £14.99, Battle of the Bikes card game £8.99, Artist on a Bike china mug £14, Orange water bottle £5.

More Gift Ideas later in the week!




Calder women shred Lakeland trails!

From left: Kas, Paula, Sue and Molly


Over the last few months I have enjoyed being back in the valley, but also being back on a mountain bike, big style! From testing various models and brands to buying a new bike, riding local trails, entering first enduro race, to meeting new riders and sharing our time whilst  cycling. Getting to know women riders has been an incredible and inspiring experience. So many of them show a talent, courage and passion for mountain biking, joined with technical knowledge of gear and mind blowing knowledge of paths and trails.

Mountain biking is a sport where women show that dirt, sweat, mud, adrenaline rush (yes yes yes!!!), extreme terrain and weather, interest in mechanics and recent developments within bike industry are all part of being a female rider – sorry, let me correct – an awesome female rider!

Calder valley has some of the best riding terrain in England and some seriously talented women who go out regularly on their bikes, to fly down some steep descends, get to know new routes, learn new skills, encourage each other, wind up each other, have a good old bunter and yes, have a cup of tea (or in some cases a pint or two..).

The point I am making here is this: we are women, and we shred!

So, let me introduce you some of us and our latest adventure, The Lakes:


On the way to Garburn Pass


Ange, always on the look out for the most knarly descents 🙂


This is the moment when we realised the meaning of a sign ‘missing bridge’ on the bridge before – which wasn’t missing (am I confusing the readers now?) 😉


Awwww, how lovely!


 Time for some chocolate and Kas’ special energy drink


River crossing!


Time to go home….


Our Lakeland trip took two days during which five of us had an incredible fun, challenged our skills, learned new stuff (!!!?? 😳 ) and spent a significant amount of time grinning and loughing out loud. We had a chance to sweat up the hills, fly through some ace descents, admire the views, plan a  route, plan it again and then re-plan it. We even managed to organise a missing helmet, pedals and shoes for those who take two packs of coffee and a bottle of walnut drink but forget about essentials… 🙂

I hope the story inspires those who feel a bit shy to enter women mountain biking scene. I hope that after reading those few lines some of you are on the way to grab your bike and start riding. Do it! And join us!

For more info pop in to our shop in Hebden Bridge and have a chat, we will probably make you a tea and show you some of our newest gear.

Go girls go! Go and shred some trails ❤️