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“Awful, poor branding, less functionality. What was the point?” Customers not happy with Wiggle’s new website; Disc brakes or banshee? Horrific brake squealing; Londoners are UK's most active commuters; TDF Netflix doc out 8 June + more on the live blog

It’s Wednesday and Ryan Mallon’s back for more cycling-related shenanigans (and maybe some news) on the live blog
26 April 2023, 16:02
Some more of your Wiggle reaction

Not a lot of love for Wiggle's rebrand, and that's putting it politely, while I'm sure many of you will get over the colour change, the reports of poor functionality, issues with the website and generally being a bit of a pain in the bleep are more concerning...

 hawkinspeter "just tried to find GP5000TLs on the Wiggle site to see how it's working and I'm not impressed. I couldn't see how to filter in-stock items and couldn't find a separate category for tubeless.

"They might want me to have to spend longer searching on their site (more chance of extra purchases), but as a lazy person, I'm just as likely to look elsewhere if it's going to be easier."

Ah yes, the old rumour certain large shops are designed to be like a maze, doesn't really work online, does it?

SimoninSpalding said: "My one hope for the updated Wiggle website was that it would be responsive and work properly on a mobile. This doesn't appear to be the case, and yet the Chain Reaction site does? Ultimately I purchased from them when they had the right product at the right price, if they make it more difficult to find what I want and the prices have gone up I won't be buying much."

Not everyone's upset though, a1white reckons it "looks fine to me". "It's common for new website brandings to get criticism when first launched as it takes time for people to get used to them," they suggested.

But Matthew Acton-Varian replied: "A change of branding and interface is one thing. But to remove popular functions and make navigating the site harder, that's poor. A number of complaints are about the useability as well as the appearance of the site. Not to mention that old order data cannot be retrieved on the new system."

In conclusion...

Live blog comment (24/4/2023)



26 April 2023, 15:41
Ethan Vernon powers to sprint victory on opening road stage of Tour de Romandie, Cav and Simon Yates abandon

Blink and you'll miss the new(ish) British name in the sprinting game... 

Adding to his Volta a Catalunya stage win from last season and Trofeo Palma success this year, the Soudal-QuickStep fast man powered clear to win easily from Trek's Thibau Nys (who seemed upset with something on his Madone) and Milan Menten. Romain Bardet somehow ended up fourth, there's something I never thought I'd say on a sprint stage.

Vernon has taken the GC from his teammate Josef Černý and will wear the leader's jersey on tomorrow's hilly stage. Riders who won't be appearing tomorrow include Mark Cavendish and Simon Yates who both abandoned along with former world champion Rui Costa and Cav's Astana teammate Alexey Lutsenko.

The wait for the Manx Missile win goes on...

26 April 2023, 14:50
Extinction Rebellion founder Roger Hallam "crushes" his leg bone after falling off bike
Roger Hallam - via Facebook

In a lengthy "cheerful" post, the 56-year-old environmental activist and co-founder of Extinction Rebellion revealed he'd had a nasty fall: "I am writing this from a hospital bed. See the picture," said Hallam. 

"I fell off my bike and crushed my leg bone. But I’m still writing a cheerful post. So really you don’t have any excuse, do you?"

Hallam's environmental movement has hit the headlines this week, with Extinction Rebellion holding a four-day protest they called 'The Big One' last week and over the weekend, and then gathering in Parliament Square on Monday to demand the Government agree to stopping new fossil fuel projects - the 5pm deadline came and went with no such agreements made. 

26 April 2023, 14:17
Tell us how you really feel folks! A round-up of things on that have proved unpopular so far this week
joe skipper comment

It's been a busy week as always on, and we couldn't help but notice a strong theme of scepticism and scorn running through the comments sections under a lot of articles and reviews. You 'orrible lot! We'll start with Joe Skipper's new aero position, which is giving Sredlums "fast clown" vibes...  

simon e

...and moving on to our story on Rapha's latest collaboration with Paul Smith, in which Simon E suggests that the designer underdid it on the psychedelic substance abuse back in the day. 


How about this glowing observation on the CES Sport Draig wheelset

koo comment

Plus some shady talk about the Koo Demos Sunglasses, and.... it's only Wednesday! Stay tuned for a round-up of great cycling products with indicators on them tomorrow, followed by 10 reasons why press-fit is better on Friday and a weekend guide to the best white bib shorts...

26 April 2023, 13:35
2023 Boardman TRVL prototype Dirty Reiver-1
Boardman’s new prototype gravel bike is basically a ’90s mountain bike, but is that a bad thing?

Boardman’s new hardta- sorry, I mean, gravel bike is washing ‘90s nostalgia all over anyone who sees it.

Although to be fair, for some unknown reason, ‘90s ‘retro’ (I know) is all the rage these days. Haven’t you seen all the students walking about in shell suits? So, it makes a lot of sense for Boardman to jump on the bandwagon.

> Boardman’s new prototype gravel bike is basically a ’90s mountain bike, but is that a bad thing?

“The ‘90s were awesome. Best music. I was in the shape of my life. And hard tail FTW,” says Torc on Facebook, threatening to turn our page into one of those horrific ‘Do you remember when?’ pages.

“Yeah the ‘90s MTB basically applies to most gravel bikes. Very similar geometry just add drops,” says Nat, while Dave described the Boardman prototype as a “thinner tyred hardtail”.

Jakub, meanwhile, reckons he knows where this whole gravel malarkey may be headed: “Next BIG step: a gravel with two different wheel sizes.”

Finally, Gavin was on hand to give some old-school mountain bikers advice on how to cash in on their rusty old machine in the garage.

“My mate was trying to sell a hybrid bike online”, he said. “I told him to relist it as a flat bar gravel bike and it sold within the day.”

Lovely jubbly, you know it makes sense…

26 April 2023, 13:11
Maggie Coles-Lyster of Zaaf Cycling Team at the 2023 Paris-Roubaix (Alex Whitehead/
Under-pressure Zaaf team pull out of women’s Vuelta

It’s been a few weeks in the making, but this morning the organisers of La Vuelta Femenina – the first proper stage race version of which gets underway next Monday – finally confirmed that the beleaguered Zaaf team won’t be lining up at the start in Torrevieja.

The Spanish squad has suffered a mass exodus in recent weeks amidst accusations of unpaid wages, with the UCI last month allowing the team’s riders to look for new teams.

Since then, French champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot – who was also one of the high-profile casualties of the ill-fated B&B Hotels project over the winter – terminated her contract to join Human Powered Health, while last week Lucie Jounier and Mareille Meijering signed for Coop-Hitec Products and Movistar respectively.

With the squad now down to the UCI minimum requirement of just eight riders – having started the season with 15 – Vuelta organisers Unipublic have confirmed that Zaaf’s management opted to pull out of the week-long race, the first since the event’s expansion and move from its September slot alongside the men’s Vuelta.

The organisers also noted that Zaaf won’t be replaced on the start-list, with 23 teams now set to battle for the red jersey.

26 April 2023, 12:47
Commuters (CC licensed image by kube414_Flickr).jpg
Strava study reveals that Londoners are (shockingly) UK’s biggest active travel commuters – as Northern Ireland lags behind, as usual…

In news that should surprise absolutely nobody, people in London commute further and longer on foot or by bike than any other region in the UK, a new Strava study has found.

This absolutely shocking data was collected by Strava Metro, which provides anonymised activity stats for free to city planners, advocacy groups, and researchers to help improve infrastructure investment in cities across the UK.

With the slow adjustment away from remote and hybrid working, as well as the cost of living crisis, hastening the return of the daily commute, Strava found that it takes the average Londoner (or at least the average Londoner who uses Strava) 27 minutes and 13 seconds to walk or cycle to work, with Merton, a borough in southwest London, clocking up the longest average commute anywhere in the UK, at 30:43 and 5.4 miles.

However, Bromley appears to be the cycling commute capital of London, with Strava-using cyclists there covering an average of 9.4 miles to get to work, in a more than respectable time of 39:42.

Belfast bike route Alfred Street (Image by Department for Regional Development, Northern Ireland)

And, in even less shocking news to anyone who reads my frequent rants on the live blog, Northern Ireland’s commuters chalked up the eight quickest and shortest commutes by bike or on foot in the UK.

In fact, active travel commuters in Ballymena averaged a paltry 16:48 average travel time, while Cookstown (the retail capital of Mid-Ulster) and Derry-stroke-Londonderry both averaged just 1.5 miles.

I don’t know about you, but those figures seem to me to suggest that commuters in Northern Ireland feel compelled to avoid walking or cycling to work if it’s more than two miles from their homes.

I can’t for the life of me think why though…

> Sinn Féin minister “neglecting Northern Ireland’s future” and “locking us all into a fossil-fuelled dark age”, says Cycling UK

> Cycling UK slams Northern Ireland's "baffling" Tour de France bid when active travel strategy puts cyclists "at risk"

> Mum compares school run to “going into battle” as Sustrans calls for School Streets to be introduced in Northern Ireland

Oh yeah, that’s right…

26 April 2023, 11:55
Noisy disc brakes or a banshee?

A post shared by (

My poor ears… For a second I thought I was watching the death coach scene from Darby O’Gill and the Little People (for those of you under 50 or not from Ireland, look it up).

Chalk that one up as another victory for good old, never squealy (ever!) rim brakes…

26 April 2023, 11:26
readers choice 2018 - cycling uk logo.jpg
Cycling UK announces first female majority leadership in 145-year history

Cycling UK has today announced two new appointees to its senior leadership team, Katie Legg and Sarah McMonagle, which means that – for the first time in the charity’s 145-year history – it will have a predominantly female team at its top table.

The appointments ensure that Cycling UK now has a female chair of trustees, a female chief executive, and a 50/50 split between male and female directors. 58 percent of the charity’s total workforce is also now made up of women.

Katie Legg, a director at Mental Health UK who previously worked for Sport England, will take up the role of commercial director at the cycling charity, while Sarah McMonagle leaves the countryside charity CPRE to manage Cycling UK’s campaigns, public affairs, communications, and marketing teams.

“It’s a really great time for me to be joining Cycling UK,” Legg said in a statement. “There is such a variety of reasons why people want to go cycling now, including reducing their carbon footprint and saving money. I look forward to growing Cycling UK’s offer to everyone so that whatever reason we cycle, we cycle safe, have fun, and make the most of the amazing cycle routes the UK has.”

McMonagle added: “Cycling UK already provides a strong voice for those who want to drive less and cycle more, and I’m looking forward to joining the charity to help that voice grow even louder.

“Whether we live in towns, cities or the countryside, encouraging more people to cycle is a no-brainer in a climate and cost of living crisis.

“And the best thing is, everyone benefits when more people cycle. I can’t wait to join the team and help ensure Cycling UK reaches even more people who don’t currently benefit from time out on a bike.”

26 April 2023, 10:58
My eyes, my eyes!
26 April 2023, 09:57
New Wiggle website homepage
“Awful, poor branding, less functionality. What was the point?” Customers unimpressed by Wiggle’s new website

The future’s bright, the future’s… not orange, it seems. Well, judging by Wiggle’s decision to ditch their famous logo with a snazzy new green and blue branding, as a well as a contentious new website, anyway.

Anyone who’s ever ordered anything from Wiggle, ever, will have been aware of the company’s plans to update their site, through a series of emails, requests, and clarifications about order history downloads over the past week.

So, it was a bit of a relief when the leading UK-based online bicycle retailer, which was taken over by German company Signa Sports United in 2021, revealed their new look and new logo (complete with “new energy”, apparently) on social media last night:


A post shared by Wiggle (@wiggle_sport)

While some customers seem to be happy with the new look and squiggly (or should that be ‘wiggly’) font, others are less impressed with this particular rebranding exercise:

“Honestly, being completely objective, your new website looks and feels terrible. Who on earth designed that?” asked Chris on Instagram.

New Wiggle website

However, putting aside the minor quibbles about logos, most of the criticism has been reserved for the retailer’s new green-accented website, which customers have lambasted for its apparent lack of functionality (some filtering and sorting features have disappeared) and accessibility, while also noting that prices appear to have gone up since the rebrand.

“I preferred the orange as well, but hey, I guess it takes time to adapt to new things, though I don’t understand the need of changing it. The app still doesn’t work for me and I cannot log in as it seems like it doesn’t recognise my user name and password,” wrote Alex.

Mick, meanwhile, was rather more cutting: “Please use the newfound energy to make the website as functional as it used to be. Bring back all of the filters.”

“No wonder you can’t afford to migrate customer data properly, spent it all on a new logo and colour,” said an especially scathing Wiggle customer.

Another complained: “No wish list anymore?! Half of the filters have gone so you have to wade through out-of-stock items on a search. Hope there are improvements coming ASAP!”

“Please explain to me why all your prices went up,” said a fellow Insta user. “Worst redesign ever.”

I’ve definitely seen rebrands go down better…

But what do you reckon? Are you a fan of the new bright green Wiggle? Or will you be demanding a return to the old orange days?

26 April 2023, 09:28
Mark your calendars and stockpile the popcorn: Tour de France Netflix doc set for 8 June release

Speaking of countdowns to important events, this morning it was finally (finally!) confirmed that the much-anticipated Tour de France documentary – with the least imaginative name possible – ‘Unchained’ will be released on Netflix on 8 June, midway through the Critérium du Dauphiné:

Eight episodes of the Tour doc and the Dauphiné at the same time? Where’s my annual leave form?

26 April 2023, 08:57
Peter Sagan’s new post-road plans ‘leaked’…

We all know that Peter Sagan is bidding the world of road racing adieu at the end of this year, to focus on the mountain biking at the 2024 Paris Olympics, but could the three-time world champion be tempted into adding another cycling discipline to his training plans?

Now, here’s an idea for the next Mega-Worlds in 2027 – a wheelie-athon up the Muur van Geraardsbergen, with Sagan and the peloton’s newest show boater Arnaud De Lie as the favourites.

Come on UCI, sort it out…

26 April 2023, 08:09
Chris Hoy and Skarper
Glasgow world championships will be “bigger than the Tour de France”, says Chris Hoy

Believe it or not, but the big ‘Days to Go’ banner, marking the countdown until the first ever combined UCI world cycling championships takes place in Scotland in August, has already ticked down into double figures (I know, where has the year gone?).

Yep, that’s right, there are now only 99 days until Glasgow’s Mega-Worlds (or the Cycling Olympics, as I like to call it), combining seven different bike riding disciplines, from road racing to BMX and artistic cycling, gets underway.

And yesterday Sir Chris Hoy – known for nabbing a rainbow jersey or two, or 11, in his time – claimed that the inaugural 11-day-long championships could potentially be “bigger than the Tour de France”.

Speaking at an event in Glasgow to mark 100 days until the festival of bike riding takes place, the retired track sprinter told the BBC: “The impact this could have is quite staggering. [With] 100 days to go, it’s going to pass in the blink of an eye.

“You look at the scale of how big it’s going to be... bigger than the Tour de France, bigger than any cycling event ever in history and that says it all.

“Glasgow has been fantastic at getting behind big sporting events. We had the European championships here in 2018, the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

“On the cycling front we’ve had various major events at the velodrome so it’s great to see that continue.”

Hoy also hopes the worlds – and the range of different cycling disciplines on offer – will inspire people to get on their bikes in Scotland.

“One thing I hope comes from it all is that more people choose to cycle,” the six-time Olympic champion said.

“Not just for sport, not just to see that it’s a competitive thing but just to get out there and be more active.

“To improve their physical and mental health. To choose to cycle to work, to choose to cycle to school. There are so many spin-offs, so many benefits from cycling.

“You can see the work that’s gone in to improving the infrastructure on the roads around here as well to try to make it easier and more appealing for people to get on their bikes.”

He also told the Glasgow Times: “You don’t have to be competitive, you don’t have to be racing, you don’t have to be in lycra. Just get on your bike, have fun, enjoy yourselves, and reap the rewards.”

Hoy’s ambition for the Glasgow worlds to inspire more people to cycle was echoed by Susan Aitken, the leader of Glasgow City Council.

“With 100 days to go until we are, once again, the centre of the sporting world, our plans to host eight of the 13 UCI World Championships in the city and welcome visitors from around the world are being finalised,” the councillor said.

“As we move to event time, we will be continuing to tell people what to expect in August, how they can become involved and inspire people across the city to get on their bikes, travelling sustainably on our growing network of high quality, segregated cycling infrastructure.”

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

Add new comment


NotNigel | 11 months ago
1 like

A bit late to the party on the wiggle front.  My biggest gripe with the new look is the quality of the images used especially the front page one with the group of people.  Lack of composition, the main focus I'm guessing is the lady in the middle smiling(grimacing?) yet her face is obscured by her hand. The guy behind her looks fed up.  Seems they're trying to be like a few other brands but falling short with their marketing images.

cdamian | 11 months ago

As I'm colourblind, so I don't really mind the Wiggle rebranding.
They seem to have removed the wishlist functionality, which was really useful once you found something on their site.
Stock notifications are gone too?
I wonder what else is missing.

brooksby | 11 months ago

Doesn't that Strava study just tell you more where there are lots of cyclists using Strava, rather than necessarily how many cyclists there are?

Steve K replied to brooksby | 11 months ago
1 like


NickSprink | 11 months ago

Never bothered with Wiggle, just CRC as they are the same company just focused on bikes, so not bothered now.

oh hang on, CRC seems to have been quietly updated too, also lost filters and menu options no

peted76 | 11 months ago

Ref wiggle.. I care just enought to type this out. I'm not a fan of that shade of green... I mean, there's probably 'a reason' why there's 'nothing else in the world' or 'any other recognisable brand on earth' using it. I would be interested in knowing who the name of the agency they employed for this rebrand was? 

Oh but hang on.. I've just seen their 'manifesto'. Honestly that just makes me want to tell them to 0121.. it seems most distateful and naive to assume that all of their customers might see as asprirational and admirable or is something they would want shoved down their necks. 

Me: Oh hai, I just wondered if you have a pair of cleats for my time pedals?

Wiggle: We’re always a yes, never a no. Whether you’re in it to win it or just doing it for kicks, we’re with you from the get-go. From 5am wakeup calls to sundown pints and pizzas, we’re fully charged and hungry for it all. Wherever, whenever and whatever the weather, we’ll help you find your Wiggle room. We’re the voice that never quits; the mate that never flakes. We’ve got all the gear and zero excuses. So snooze off, Wiggle on. We’re always up for it.

Me: so that's a yes then, how much are they please?

Wiggle: We are out of stock.


kil0ran replied to peted76 | 11 months ago

The new website colours are very, very close to ServiceNow

kil0ran replied to kil0ran | 11 months ago

And once beyond the front screen it's all a bit Halfords. 

Product images are too large, line width too wide, too much white space, too much scrolling, the list goes on. Biggest issue though is the loss of the in-stock filter and some of the advanced filters, those will actually make me shop elsewhere regardless of price. Too time consuming to find the product you want only to click through and find it's out of stock.

mark1a replied to kil0ran | 11 months ago

Wishlist data and functionality missing too. I used to find that very useful. And while mentioning data that didn't get migrated, they've managed to bring across the reviews & Q&As, so why on earth they didn't spend a week or two longer converting the order history and customer addresses I can't fathom. The site is telling me I still have 12% loyalty discount, I'm interested to see how long this stays, it was based on 365 day rolling spend so with no order history, it could drop off at any time. 

Surreyrider | 11 months ago

Wiggle has been going downhill for a while now - constant 'headline' sales to try to mask swathes of out of stock items (I've been waiting for a pair of DHB inners to come back in stock since February 2022) - and this rebrand doesn't seem to do anything to reverse that. I go elsewhere quite a lot these days - Merlin is good, Sigma Sports gets used too.

a1white | 11 months ago

New Wiggle branding looks fine to me. It's common for new website brandings to get criticism when first launched as it takes time for people to get used to them. What purpose does Chain Reaction serve any more though? I used to prefer them to Wiggle, before Wiggle took them over, but now it's basically the same website but with a different colour scheme. Tbh, I haven't bought from Wiggle for a while as other online retailers (Merlin, Tredz etc. have been cheaper)

quiff replied to a1white | 11 months ago

a1white wrote:

What purpose does Chain Reaction serve any more though?... it's basically the same website but with a different colour scheme. 

It's for people who don't like green.

Matthew Acton-Varian replied to a1white | 11 months ago
1 like

A change of branding and interface is one thing. But to remove popular functions and make navigating the site harder, that's poor. A number of complaints are about the useability as well as the appearance of the site. Not to mention that old order data cannot be retrieved on the new system.

SimoninSpalding replied to a1white | 11 months ago

I must admit I have stopped using Tredz as they have become more Halfordised. Merlin are good, but my favourite at the moment is Sprockets, but that is possibly because they still stock a decent range of Campag stuff. They were also brilliant a couple of weeks ago when Royal Mail contrived to lose a cassette somewhere between Kent and Lincolnshire.

perce replied to SimoninSpalding | 11 months ago

I've always found Tweeks cycles to be good. And cheap as well.

Drinfinity replied to a1white | 11 months ago

App works fine for me. It seems to be faster than previously, nice clear font. My logon still works.

ubercurmudgeon | 11 months ago

I'm pretty sure that Wiggle/CRC did free delivery on bikes before, now it is 20 quid.

Adam Sutton | 11 months ago

Maybe their aim was to match the delivery sevice of their courier of choice hermes....sorry evri.

Hirsute | 11 months ago

Seem to be a number of deleted comments!

hawkinspeter replied to Hirsute | 11 months ago

Hirsute wrote:

Seem to be a number of deleted comments!

Not that I can see

Hirsute replied to hawkinspeter | 11 months ago
1 like

Not sure if that is a subtle joke or a genuine question. Certainly fewer comments present than 30 mins ago.

Kendalred replied to Hirsute | 11 months ago
1 like

Yes, there does look to have been - namely a comment:  (something like) 'it's all downhill for Cycling UK' - perhaps a comment on the new leadership being female. Presumably whoever wrote that realised they were being a dick and removed it themselves.

brooksby replied to Kendalred | 11 months ago

Kendalred wrote:

Yes, there does look to have been - namely a comment:  (something like) 'it's all downhill for Cycling UK' - perhaps a comment on the new leadership being female. Presumably whoever wrote that realised they were being a dick and removed it themselves.

Yep - there was, because I replied to it and said something like, "For cyclists, downhill is good".

Adam Sutton replied to Hirsute | 11 months ago

Glitch in the matrix. Oddly a lot of older comments appeared when I refreshed.

nniff replied to Adam Sutton | 11 months ago
1 like

I just tried, and was getting very fed up with it - so I asked it to sort by relevance (not quite sure how it works that out, but never mind).  The first item it presented was 'out of stock' in all sizes and colours. Exit stage left.

Clem Fandango replied to Hirsute | 11 months ago

Indeed there are.  Another one of the stable of profiles from one of the "regulars" seems to have bitten the dust.   They always revert to type and go too far eventually.


Rendel Harris replied to Clem Fandango | 11 months ago

Clem Fandango wrote:

Indeed there are.  Another one of the stable of profiles from one of the "regulars" seems to have bitten the dust.   They always revert to type and go too far eventually.

Returning from a suspension by repeating almost exactly what they were suspended for does not argue the highest level of mental acuity…

perce replied to Clem Fandango | 11 months ago
1 like

Who's gone now?

hawkinspeter replied to perce | 11 months ago

perce wrote:

Who's gone now?

Who cares?

perce replied to hawkinspeter | 11 months ago



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