Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

"I'll miss the convenience... but time to give independent bike shops some patronage": Cyclists react to Wiggle Chain Reaction in administration (+ Islabikes ceasing production); Monster 105km hill climb; Hi-vis silliness + more on the live blog

It's the final live blog of the week, Dan Alexander on duty for Friday's round-up of everything going on in the world of cycling...
27 October 2023, 13:48
"I'll miss the convenience... but time to give independent bike shops some patronage": Cyclists react to Wiggle Chain Reaction in administration
Wiggle and Chain Reaction logos

> Wiggle Chain Reaction enters administration, as expert warns collapse is "just the start of big changes" across bike industry

Yet another tough day for a UK cycling brand in 2023, challenging times indeed. It's worth pointing out the story above is now updated with the news that the joint administrators have said Wiggle Chain Reaction is up for sale, perhaps giving a touch of hope about some sort of salvage mission, something Mike Ashley (the former Newcastle United owner whose Frasers Group already owns Evans Cycles) was linked with last week.

What has the cycling world made of today's news?

rumlad: "Sad times indeed, thoughts are with all the employees there, such an uncertain position to be in. Clearly the market is against Wiggle CRC right now, they are owned by a bad parent company, and management have made some mistakes recently that haven't helped (poor new website mainly).

"But out of this whole situation it's very likely they will find a much better new owner, who will do a much better job of turning the business around. Wiggle CRC is a modern and lean online retailer with some really good brands that they own outright, so huge amount of value in a company like that. Good luck to everyone there in the next few months, and hopefully the bike industry makes a comback soon!"

> What the hell is going on in the bike industry? Wiggle Chain Reaction turmoil discussed on the road.cc Podcast

galibiervelo (we're assuming linked to the Galibier cycle clothing brand): "Awful that 450 jobs and usually keen cyclists working within the bike industry may go with CRC/Wiggle. Hopefully the individual brands can be saved. We already have had emails from factories looking for us to buy fabrics and stitching time from cancelled orders, so the oversupply and reduced prices will help the consumer in the short term. Products 'dumped' on the market helps no one long term."

RoubaixCube: "I wonder how much money they could have saved or earned in profit if they didnt touch their website design/layout."

> "Awful, poor branding, less functionality. What was the point?" Customers not happy with Wiggle's new website

Michael Brown: "Ordered some bargains yesterday morning before it all — they arrived in the last half hour. Can't deny: I'll miss the convenience and they were often cheaper than alternatives but I guess it's time to give some independent bikes shops some patronage."

Will you be spending more with local bike shops now? Or will you just turn to other online retailers? Let us know in the comments...

27 October 2023, 15:16
Britain's toughest hill climbs, according to a former National Hill Climb championship-winning cyclist
27 October 2023, 13:06
High Court grants legal challenge to government's cycling funding cuts – as ministers forced to concede they were aware of "devastating" impact of decision to slash active travel budget
27 October 2023, 12:52
"Why do they need to add such stages to a Grand Tour?": Remco Evenepoel unimpressed by Tour de France gravel stage

Someone who wasn't entirely pleased with the Tour de France route for 2024 was Remco Evenepoel, the Belgian commenting on the decision to include a gravel stage on next year's parcours...

Remco Evenepoel wins stage three of the 2023 Vuelta a España (Rafa Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency)

[Rafa Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency]

"There are specific events and championships for gravel racing. Why do they need to add such stages to a Grand Tour? I don't think that's necessary," he told Het Laaste Niuews.

The stage in question is stage nine, the final day before the first rest day, and includes 32km over 14 sectors on the roads around Troyes. Will Remco make his Tour debut in 2023? The Giro having 68km of time trialling will likely be very appealing to the discipline's world champion, the Tour de France having 59km itself, of which 34km come on a very hilly final day from Monaco to Nice. How about both Grand Tours?

"He still has an account open with the Giro and he was considering combining the Tour and the Giro. But with what comes next, with the Olympic Games, for example, the Giro-Tour combination does not seem to be the best idea to me," Patrick Lefevere, Soudal-QuickStep's boss, said this week.

"In his first Tour, Remco doesn't have to do anything, everything is allowed. The time trials are in Evenepoel's favour but I'm sure Jonas Vingegaard liked them too. It's a tough Tour. I think it's a very difficult Tour, more difficult than this year and one of the most difficult in recent years."

Will we see Remco make his Tour debut in 2024? Or is a Giro tilt ahead of Olympics preparation more likely? All remains to be seen...

27 October 2023, 10:21
Wiggle Chain Reaction enters administration, as expert warns collapse is “just the start of big changes” across bike industry
27 October 2023, 09:47
How's your Friday going? Better than this I hope...

No amount of chamois cream can counter this...

27 October 2023, 09:34
"Their legacy will be the thriving market for properly designed kids bikes": Sadness as Islabikes to cease production
2023 Islabikes Beinn 26 - 1

> Children's bike manufacturer Islabikes to cease production after 18 years

Islabikes will cease production and sales of its popular bikes once current stocks have been sold, the reaction from our readers summing up the success the brand had during its 18 years in business...

Rich_cb: "I've literally just unpacked a Beinn 20 ready for junior CB's birthday. The bikes are so well designed but they have been caught up by other brands in the last few years. It's still a real shame to see them go but their legacy will be the thriving market for properly designed kids bikes. That probably wouldn't exist without Islabikes."

kil0ran: "Sad news. Proper bikes, my son loved his."

a1white: "My two godchildren both had Islabikes (one was handed down to the other when it was outgrown). Really well-built and designed to scale up well as they grow.

"Agree that they are actually proper bikes, just cleverly scaled down. People saying they are overpriced, but good components, materials and labour costs money, it doesn't make much difference that the bikes are smaller. Having a good experience, riding a good quality bike is what will help keep kids cycling into adult life, rather than a bike which is more like a cheap toy that they discard."

Sam: "Shame to see them go. But they've absolutely transformed the kids bike market. Still lots of dross but good to have a selection of quality models too (from a bunch of manufacturers)."

Richard Glazer: "Great bikes and a sensible investment. A terrible shame."

27 October 2023, 08:39
Sagan to race on the road again?
Peter Sagan, TotalEnergies 2023 (Alex Whitehead:SWpix.com)

[Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com]

You might not have seen Peter Sagan ride a road bike for the last time...

In an interview with a Slovakian sport website, the three-time world champion said he still intends to compete on the road occasionally to help his preparations for the Paris Olympics where the XC mountain bike event will be his goal. 

"It's true that I announced last January that I was quitting WorldTour road racing and it's not really my intention to continue racing at this level," Sagan said. "My goal is to have fun, do my best and try to qualify for the Paris Olympics in cross country mountain biking, where I would like my career to end. 

"However, I am talking to Specialized and exploring the possibility of taking part in two or three road races, certainly not WorldTour, but at a lower level, to supplement and diversify my preparation and fitness for mountain biking."

Peter Sagan. Coming to a 3/4 winter series near you...

27 October 2023, 08:38
Hi-vis needed for... "anyone not in a car"

Sorry Baxter, you're going to need to get your fluorescent lead before walkies...

27 October 2023, 08:29
The comeback dream bike build: Jack's Ridley Helium SLX with big upgrades

> The comeback dream bike build: Jack's Ridley Helium SLX with big upgrades

Perhaps a bit early for this, but road.cc drinking game idea — have a sip every time Jack mentions an upgrade justified by getting this beauty on our cycle to work scheme... you can hardly blame him, to be fair...

27 October 2023, 08:00
You thought UK hill climbs were hard? Nibali record broken for 105km monster mountain challenge from sea level to 3,275m
Taiwan KOM challenge (YouTube live stream/Taiwan KOM Challenge)

Pro cycling is back... sort of... 

It was the Taiwan KOM Challenge this morning, a hill climbing event to put our short but admittedly often very steep British ascents to shame, no offence to anyone heading up to The Struggle for this weekend's National Hill Climbing Championships. At 105km long, yes you read that right, 105km long, although the climb proper is only 87 kilometres, the Taiwan KOM Challenge is on another level.

There were pros on show, Simon Yates on the startlist, and the event won by Australian rider Benjamin Dyball in 03:16:09.65. Yep, that's three hours of hill climbing and he even went faster than a certain Mr Nibali's best time at the event...

With all that said, you don't have to be a pro to ride the event (although I guess it helps, for fitness and logistical reasons), just as long as you've got the funds to get out there and can finish the event within six and a half hours you too can ride uphill for 87 straight kilometres! Tempting isn't it...

> The Taiwan KOM Challenge

The full event was live streamed on Taiwan KOM Challenge's YouTube channel if you want a taste of the action, starting at sea level in the dark, rising gradually up through the trees and into the clouds to an elevation (3,275m) never seen in European racing.

For context, the Stelvio is 2,757 m, but the ascent from Bormio already begins at 1,200m, while the big mountain news from this week's Tour de France route reveal was the inclusion of the 2,860m Cime de la Bonette, still 400m off...

For more calf-shredding, lung-burning climbs, check out Steve's guide to the steepest and hardest cycling climbs in the world — fearsome road gradients to put on your bike trip bucket list...

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

Add new comment

24 comments

Avatar
yupiteru | 8 months ago
0 likes

‘Just When I Thought I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In’ - Peter Sagan.

Avatar
Toffee | 8 months ago
0 likes

The Wiggle news is sad. I wonder what will happen to Vitus? Some of the prices on the ZX-1 have been pretty tasty recently. I would have pulled the trigger if I had any idea what would happen with warranties. Same with Prime and DHB. There's some great brands there.

Avatar
Oldfatgit | 8 months ago
0 likes

Highway Code

Rule 3:

Help other road users to see you. Wear or carry something light-coloured, bright or fluorescent in poor daylight conditions. When it is dark, use reflective materials (eg armbands, sashes, waistcoats, jackets, footwear), which can be seen by drivers using headlights up to three times as far away as non-reflective materials.

Rule 59

Clothing. You should avoid clothes that may get tangled in the chain, or in a wheel or may obscure your lights when you are cycling.

Light-coloured or fluorescent clothing can help other road users to see you in daylight and poor light, while reflective clothing and/or accessories (belt, arm or ankle bands) can increase your visibility in the dark.

You should wear a cycle helmet that conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and securely fastened. Evidence suggests that a correctly fitted helmet will reduce your risk of sustaining a head injury in certain circumstances.

 

Have we forgotten about these two rules, or are we doing the selective reading bit?

Avatar
Hirsute replied to Oldfatgit | 8 months ago
10 likes

I think people remember when they got told smidsy despite being lit up like a Christmas tree.
Or they are tired of PPE being trotted out so drivers can go faster than they should.

My concern, mentioned the other day is that there are so many cars now with excessively bright lights hence 'can I been seen whatever I wear' ?

Avatar
Oldfatgit replied to Hirsute | 8 months ago
2 likes

I'm not immune to the SMDISY or to the whole PPE as a be all, end all.
Get that.

What i am highly conscious of is 'contributing negligence' and how it is being used more and more as a way of dragging out insurance claims and reducing payouts. It is so easy now for an insurance company to extend a process by saying that the injured party wasn't wearing lights/brights/reflective.
Hell, they tried on me - despite their driver copping points for Careless Driving, and it's one of the reasons my claim too just under 4 years.

Excessively bright lights in cars ... absolutely agree there. That and the size and placement of lights has changed.
Indicators and sidelights have gravitated towards the middle of the car, making them harder to see due to the glare from the ultra bright, normally miss-aligned focused LED headlight.

Brake lights and rear indicators have all but disappeared from the rear of cars.

A bright, flashing light front and back, with a second steady, and wearing lights/brights/reflective is about all you can do.

It might not stop you getting hit by a shit, but at least there will be no grounds to reduce the compensation.

Avatar
brooksby replied to Oldfatgit | 8 months ago
6 likes

Oldfatgit wrote:

Excessively bright lights in cars ... absolutely agree there. That and the size and placement of lights has changed. Indicators and sidelights have gravitated towards the middle of the car, making them harder to see due to the glare from the ultra bright, normally miss-aligned focused LED headlight.

And don't forget that since so many vehicles on the road are SUV now, the excessibely bright headlights are all about five feet off the ground 

Avatar
Oldfatgit replied to brooksby | 8 months ago
5 likes

They need to be that high to cast a long enough shadow of the kid that's about to disappear under the front bumper 🫠

Avatar
Hirsute replied to Oldfatgit | 8 months ago
3 likes

You are not kidding either

This just came up

https://twitter.com/Wankpanzer/status/1717918702111273021

This is not for the fainthearted or those who have been in a similar incident.

Avatar
Oldfatgit replied to Hirsute | 8 months ago
4 likes

That is just fecking horrendous 😢
I hope the kid is OK, and that the driver is done for minimum of Without Due Care.

I can see the next bunch of safety instructions to small kids ...
"Now remember, everyone .. when hit by a WP, curl in to a ball, keep your arms and legs tucked in, your head down and make yourself as small as you can. Pretend you're a hedgehog...
No ... maybe not a hedgehog, but you get the idea ...
Wass that Timmy? Bleeding over the nice shiny car? No, no, no, Timmy. You mustn't do that or the nice, kind WP 'driver' is likely to give you a kicking.
... yes Clara? No, love ... you can't start screaming once the WP has gone, in case the 'driver' hears you and gets upset. Then the nice PC Plodderic will have to arrest you for making a loud noise ... "

Avatar
Hirsute replied to Oldfatgit | 8 months ago
3 likes

HP dug out a page on the legal stuff in the last week *.

If they were a way to find things on this site...

Oh and I have 4 rear lights and 2 front lights. I've even started a day front light as my risk appetite is now inversely proportionate to my age.

 

edit * I found it as it wasn't that long ago and I thought it was in a long thread.

https://www.weightmans.com/insights/cycle-helmets-and-contributory-negli...

Avatar
Oldfatgit replied to Hirsute | 8 months ago
3 likes

Let's not make this about helmets when it's not.
It's about clothing and reducing the risk to yourself both physically and from a CN point of view.

I just have the 2 rear lights - the Garmin Radar one (can never remember it's name) in Auto mode and the Fly6Gen 3 also in flash.
On the front, I have my Fly12 Sport in Organic, a 400lumen in steady on and a 1600lumen for when I'm away from the streetlights (about 25 miles of my 40 mile commute is in pitch black this time of year. Thankfully, most of that is segregated or my wife wouldn't let me ride home. She's still dealing with the emotional effects of the collision in 2018 as well as the physical changes to me).

Avatar
Hirsute replied to Oldfatgit | 8 months ago
3 likes

Not my intention at all was only thinking about the general principles highlighted in the article (slight edit to the page to remove H word)

"For a deduction to be made, the defendant must plead the allegation and thereafter establish that the cyclist was at fault for not wearing [or having] X and that this failure and was causative of greater injuries. Once the above two limbs have been satisfied, the court will then apply a ‘just and equitable’ deduction to the claimant’s damages, by reference to the parties’ respective blameworthiness and the causative potency of each of their actions.

Then one of the cases Phethean-Hubble v Coles [2012] EWCA Civ 349

"involved a 16-year-old cyclist who was riding his bicycle at night, [...] and without lights, on a pavement."

"The court found that the use of lights [...] would have made no difference to the claimant’s injuries and the allegations of contributory negligence were accordingly dismissed."

 

(Obviously you have to have lights at night and it is stupid not to, as lights can always been seen regardless of where the car headlights are pointing)

Avatar
stonojnr replied to Hirsute | 8 months ago
5 likes

The daft thing is Im seeing more & more people favour hiviz over having any lights at night, cos they're still visible right is I think the broken logic they use.

But there you go, last year with 1 front light and a luminous yellow jacket I nearly got t-boned by a police car on a roundabout. 2 weeks later Id doubled up on front lights and nearly got wiped out on the same roundabout in the same setup.

Which shows what little damn use lights, hiviz, street lighting or give way rules are if the driver is more concerned about their journey.

Avatar
mctrials23 | 8 months ago
17 likes

The issue is that as usual drivers don't see the issue with trying to pin the responsibility for being safe on the roads on the people who are at risk. They don't see that the number of cyclists who are riding around at night without lights or reflective clothes is tiny. They don't understand that its just a driver advocacy group trying to appear to care about vulnerable road users when they are just trying to avoid more scrutiny of the fucking awful driving standards in this country. 

I would wager that a tiny percentage of "accidents" involving cars were anything other than poor driving. I am also certain that if drivers paid some fucking attention when moving around at speed in a 2 tonne lump of metal they wouldn't hurt or kill so many vulnerable road users. Theres your big ticket item. 

When its the middle of the day and a twat in a car swings across the road in front of me getting into a pub and misses me by about 1m because I whack on my brakes, I don't think hi-vis is the issue. 

 

Avatar
mitsky replied to mctrials23 | 8 months ago
7 likes

100%
If anything more than a tiny minority of collisions were the fault of mechanical/design failures of the vehicle, the manufacturers would face an uproar.
But because the normal cause of them is bad driving (be it "accidental" or deliberate) on the part of drivers, it is considered a non-issue.

Avatar
neilmck replied to mctrials23 | 8 months ago
3 likes

When I cycle to work at six in the morning I am wearing HiViz and lights everywhere. It would be a great relief if pedestrians did the same. They all wear black and are constantly walking out into the road without looking. At that hour in the morning they are nothing but shadows that appear from nowhere.

Avatar
brooksby | 8 months ago
2 likes

On Hi-vis needed for... "anyone not in a car" - someone posted on my village FB group those two pictures from the other day with the child standing by the road dressed in bright yellow raincoat and with the child wearing dark colours.

Nobody said anything about all those cars from 1976 (how old were those photos??) which were clearly visible even without their lights on and without being painted fluoro...

The better lesson may be, "Don't wait by the side of the road in an area of heavy shade" 

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 8 months ago
5 likes

It's the flip side of the 15 minute conspiracy theories.  I hear they're going to solve the problem of road crashes by just putting chips in all vulnerable road users.  Then cars can detect them and drivers can ignore that warning also avoid them.  Simples!  Technology solves another problem.

Avatar
HoldingOn replied to chrisonabike | 8 months ago
7 likes

Apparently they tested heat-vision in cars, but it couldn't pick up the cold-blooded politicians....

Avatar
lesterama replied to HoldingOn | 8 months ago
7 likes

Luckily that wasn't a problem

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to HoldingOn | 8 months ago
2 likes

HoldingOn wrote:

Apparently they tested heat-vision in cars, but it couldn't pick up the cold-blooded politicians....

Hmm... lizards are ectotherms.  Paging David Icke

Avatar
The Larger Cyclist replied to brooksby | 8 months ago
8 likes

brooksby wrote:

On Hi-vis needed for... "anyone not in a car" - someone posted on my village FB group those two pictures from the other day with the child standing by the road dressed in bright yellow raincoat and with the child wearing dark colours.

Nobody said anything about all those cars from 1976 (how old were those photos??) which were clearly visible even without their lights on and without being painted fluoro...

The better lesson may be, "Don't wait by the side of the road in an area of heavy shade" 

I can't find it now but some website debunked that photo pointing out that it was photoshopped to be unrealistic.  The face being one of the issues (it should be visible in both) and I think the legs/boots????

 

Avatar
Hirsute replied to The Larger Cyclist | 8 months ago
5 likes

https://irishcycle.com/2019/10/25/minister-ross-promotes-high-vis-with-d...

The image being shared mainly on Facebook this week is claimed to show the different just in clothes but a close inspection of the image shows how the image was Photoshopped or otherwise edited to darken even the face and legs of the child:

Avatar
Moist von Lipwig replied to The Larger Cyclist | 8 months ago
3 likes

It was on one of the live blogs here - last week or the week before.  Think both of the photos had been 'toned' to not be representative of actual light.

Latest Comments