Win a limited edition personalised print

Win a limited edition personalised print

Win a limited edition A5 print of ‘Your 2018 in Cycling’ showcasing your Strava statistics. Perfect for the office desk or windowsill to help motivate you on for a smashing 2019. We’ll even send you the digital copy.

Important: Data on artwork is retrieved via email after the winner is picked. The winner can retrieve this from their Strava profile page. Non-Strava users must provide data through other means.

To enter, click the button below to get up the form. And get more entries by sharing with your friends!

UK entrants only. Print will be shipped to the UK only. Entrants must be 16 or over. Cannot be redeemed for cash or equivalent. Cyced retains the right to withdraw the prize or offer a value equivalent. Print will be shipped in late January. 

The Best Instagram Cycling Hashtags – A Marketer’s Guide

The Best Instagram Cycling Hashtags – A Marketer’s Guide

There’s a good chance you’re on Instagram, and there’s also a good chance you’re a cyclist. The hashtag (#) acts as a way to not only tag your Instagram images, but also helps you get found. If you’re like me, you’ll want your pictures seen by a wider audience. I mean just look how clean my bike is!

As a growth marketer working in the cycling industry, I see common mistakes from both cycle company and cycle individual when using hashtags and Instagram in general. I’m going to clear that up.




In this Instagram hashtag guide, I’ll share the best cycling hashtags you should be using right now as well as some awesome tips for your account to make you stand out. After all, a hashtag is only a small part of the bigger picture… (rate my pun.).

How many cycling hashtags should I use at once?

You need to be careful not to overuse hashtags as this can come across spammy and shows that you’re just targeting aimlessly rather than having any strategy. Use the hashtags defined below, or use extra niche ones you’re aware of to really hone in your messaging.

There’s two sides of the coin when it comes to exact counts.

A marketer will generally say use 5-6 because it comes across as less spammy and more targeted yet some research suggests the best engagement comes from using over 11! With everything, test and test again. See what works for you and if it is infact true you are getting better growth and engagement with over 11 cycling hashtags, then stick to that method.

UKCycleChat

United Kingdom Cycling Hashtags

For those that are UK based and only wish to target other UK cyclists, use these niche hashtags to get involved in the country’s conversation. Remember that quantity is not everything. Quality hashtags are important unless you’re just after a vanity mark.

  • #UKCycleChat (Top Pick)
  • #UKCycling
  • #UKCyclingEvents (if you’re at a sportive or race)
  • #CyclingUK
  • #WelshCycling (if you’re in Wales, or are Welsh)
  • #BritishCycling (the largest group but low engagement)

Generic cycling hashtags

These type of tags are generally useless unless you’re after lots of likes and no real quality. The bigger the hashtag is, the more people are shouting for attention and it all becomes far too contentious for any genuine growth. So in the case of the big belters below, be warned you aren’t going to be getting much value from them and probably a spam bot’s “Nice shot!” comment occasionally.

  • #Cycling
  • #CyclingTips
  • #CyclingLife
  • #InstaCycling
  • #RoadCycling
  • #RoadCyclist
  • #StravaCycling

Photography cycling hashtags

Want to move away from a candid casual picture and showcase photos you’ve done on your DSLR camera? These tags are good for showcasing professional photography or those trying to make a name for themselves in the photography world. These are all pretty big cycling hashtags too, so some tough competition to get noticed and quite a lot of spam engagement.

  • #CyclingPhotography
  • #CylcingPhotos
  • #CyclingPhoto
  • #CyclingPhotographer (slightly more niche)
  • #CyclingPics
  • #CyclingShots




Women specific cycling hashtags

If you’re targeting towards women only, or want to find other women who are out cycling and sharing their imagery then there are many specific hashtags out there. All of these are specifically cycling and have no cross-over with motorcycles which some ‘bike’ tags do.

  • #FemaleCyclist
  • #Cycling_Queens
  • #CyclingWomen
  • #WomenCycling
  • #WomensCycling

Cycle fashion hashtags

Want to show off your new jersey or get some inspiration for your next pair of cycle shoes? Hit up the fashion and latest trends with these cycling hashtags.

  • #SockDoping (cycle specific)
  • #CycleKit
  • #CyclingApparel
  • #CycleJersey
  • #CyclingCaps
  • #CyclingShoes

Womens cycling hashtag

General Instagram Advice

There’s more to Instagram than the hashtag. You know that. I know that. Now you’re sorted with cycling hashtags that will get you noticed, here is a quick run down of some other tips you can use to accelerate your Instagram’s account growth.

Tell the story behind the image

Instagram posts are a lot like normal content. They need to be engaging and interesting and a common trend has gone away from it all being about the picture, but now more about the story behind it too. We’re seeing longer form post text performing well as it delves into the story behind the image.

But the image is important too. Bright images generally do well on Instagram, but the cycling industry is rooted in the black and white gritty photography. Go with whichever best suits the mood of the story behind the image and remember to be honest, true, and entertaining.

Talk to other Instagrammers

Cycling hashtags work both ways. Get noticed, but notice others. The most successful accounts are interacting with other people in the cycling industry and letting them know what they like about their images. The magic is in the DM (direct message), so don’t be afraid to reach out and give a genuine compliment or ask for advice.




The Gary Vee’s $1.80 strategy is a good way to keep on top of this. In short, distinguish the top ten hashtags for your account, and for the top ten images each day, leave a genuine comment about what you like about the image. This will build new relationships and get new eyes looking at your account too.

Be active and post regularly

The more you’re showing your images, the more chance you have to be noticed. Don’t forget, it’s common knowledge that the best times to post are during lunch hours 12:00-13:00 or around 18:00 when Monday-Friday when people are clocking off work.

Cycling hashtags are often chronological so the more you post, the more you’re likely to be seen at the top of these searches. Instagram are also highlighting top posts in the bigger cycling categories, so if you’re ever lucky to get a lot of recognition, you may see a big growth spike as you’re put and held at the top of the feed for several days.

Any specific questions you have about Instagram, feel free to drop them in the comments below and I’ll get round to answering.

Don’t forget to follow Cyced on Instagram – drop by and we’ll follow you back.

The best bike shops in Manchester

The best bike shops in Manchester

In need of a brand new bike, a bike service or a jersey? The bike shops in Manchester provide a selection of brands, prices and stellar expertise unrivalled by many a town or city. Our guide to the best bike shops in the city ensure you go to the right places and get served by the right cycling professionals who know their SPDs from their LOOKs.

Harry Hall Cycles Manchester Bike Shop

Harry Hall Cycles is located on the South side of the city centre, just off from Oxford Road Station, and offers a good selection of brands like Trek (including Project One), Genesis and Specialized for us roadies. But it’s not just this that makes Harry Hall Cycles a worthwhile visit, it’s the offers and sales that come around from time to time providing the opportunity for a right good bargain.

The Bike Rooms

The Bike Rooms is the sort of bike shop in Manchester where no matter the time of day, you’ll stop and stare at the shiny Pinarello Dogma lit up in the window.  This store is the greatest place to go to if you’re looking for a Pinarello or a Pinarello. Did we mention they sell Pinarello? Choice may not be their strongest suit, but Italian prestige certainly is. Located on Deansgate, it’s perfectly located for a quick stop off at Brewdog for a Punk IPA.

Rapha

Overlooking King Street in Manchester central, and with a hidden away staircase at the back, Rapha provides the premium experience as expected. A coffee shop is the first thing you’ll see with the premium, simplistic designs of apparel and accessories tucked away to the side. Rapha has a reputation amongst cyclists (as if you didn’t know) and in the past split opinions. That divide seems to be easing and after the Rapha’s recent buyout from the heir’s of Walmart, they’re rapidly expanding their product offering.

rapha manchester

Evans Cycles

Like Rapha, Evans Cycles is a large company operating nationally (okay so Rapha is international…). Whilst Cyced supports and champions local independent bike shops in Manchester, it’s important to recognise this establishment offers a good range of bikes and clothing and at great prices. Their own brands FWE and Kalf offer brilliant quality and brilliant prices. You can find Evans on Deansgate and in East Manchester at the HSBC UK National Cycle Centre (aka the velodrome).

Keep Pedalling – Independent Bike Shop in Manchester

The independent store in Manchester’s Northern Quarter specialises in adventure and commuting bikes. Cyced predominantly covers road cycling, but many of us road cyclists like to divulge in different two wheels occasionally. And of course, who wants to use their nice road bike for a winter commute? With brands like Surly through their doors, you’ll get a different experience than the rest of those on this list. Be sure to visit them in Stevenson Square.

Trek Bikes

Located on the edge of the Northern Quarter, the Trek Manchester bike shop is smart and kitted with Trek bikes, accessories (Bontrager), and cycle clothing. The staff are exceptionally knowledgable in the field and are helpful with questions. The only downside is the lacking brand diversity – so unless you know you’re a Trekky (not Star Trek…), then either go in for inspiration or visit a multi-brand store to widen your buying horizons.

South Bike Shops in Manchester

Cycle Surgery

Just on the edge of West Didsbury and on Princess Way with car parking, the Cycle Surgery is again a national operation offering high end brands. These brands include Giant, Specialized, Cube, Garmin, and more. Typically brands associated with cyclists that are a bit more seasoned, beginners with deep pockets may find this bike shop in Manchester their local opportunity to invest in something that will last and retain value.

Ken Foster’s Cycle Logic

A staple bike shop in Chorlton. Ken Foster offers a range of brands including Cannondale and Brompton, as well as providing for a range of disciplines. It’s location is ideal to get to for repairs and servicing and has a rich heritage. Dating back to the early 1900’s, the shop used to sell all sorts including lawnmowers – but now is purely bikes, which is good because there’s nothing more off putting in a bike shop than a sit-on John Deer.

Withington Cycles

If you’re looking for a bike shop in Manchester that’s between central and the deep South, Withington Cycles hits that halfway mark. Seemingly focused more on great brands for accessories and kit, than bikes, this store is situated perfectly at the top of Burton Road, just off from Palatine Road.

What is the Fallowfield Loop in Manchester?

What is the Fallowfield Loop in Manchester?

Having taken the Fallowfield Loop many a time to get from South to East Manchester, I’ve become accustomed to the benefits and the pitfalls with it. Manchester faces criticism occasionally with the infrastructure in place for cycle commuters and those looking to get around the city, but with the announcement of Greater Manchester’s Beeline project, the likes of the Fallowfield Loop become the foundations of a perfect cycling city.

What is the Fallowfield Loop?

Formerly a railway line which had ten stops, the loop is now a pedestrian, cycle, and horse riding path that begins in Chorlton and wraps around to East Manchester’s canal system. It passes areas such as Fallowfield (shocker), Levenshulme and Gorton. The Fallowfield Loop is part of the National Cycling Network and built by Sustrans (thanks guys!). You’ll sometimes see these guys trying to raise money and tell you about the work they do – show your support and hear them out.

The path is relatively flat and for us cyclist’s is a convenient way to get around the edge of the city. Following the loop around to the East side of Manchester will also bring you to the canal path that leads up to the HSBC UK National Cycling Centre where you can try out the indoor velodrome or the huge indoor BMX arena.

If you’re heading West towards Chorlton, it’s also an ideal route heading towards the scenic Chorlton Water Park.

The problems with the Fallowfield Loop

The Fallowfield Loop is brilliant and the benefits need not to be outlined. It’s obvious – a traffic free cycle path surrounded by greenery and wildlife and generally a relaxing atmosphere. It’s unfortunate that a minority of Manchester’s wrong-uns often take the opportunity to steal bikes and put a few of us on edge.

Reported muggings on the pathway strikes fear in most of us. That’s why I personally only use the loop in daylight and during hours I know other cyclists and walkers will be using it. And you should to. During the winter season, mornings and early evening’s tend to be quite dark and whilst the roads may also be a tricky at times to navigate, they’re probably less nerve-racking then the loop.

I certainly don’t want to put you off using this great cycling infrastructure and incidents as mentioned are seriously rare occasions. Just be smart and wise when using the route.

There also tends to be a growing amount of litter on the route in the eastern part, foremost under the bridges. To ensure safety here, take it slow. In the summer time, using sunglasses can make it difficult to see what’s coming up under these low lying bridges, and the last thing you want to be doing is hitting a water bottle or the sort.

How fast can I cycle on the Fallowfield Loop?

The loop’s terrain and road quality significantly alters as you go along. The sections from Chorlton to near Levenshulme tend to be relatively smooth with the odd tree trunk root creating bumps. Towards the eastern canal paths, a fair amount of the path becomes uneven pave slabs. Getting your wheel court in the grooves on the fallowfield loop slabs can cause a skid, so be careful there.

There are also bollards placed across the loop to slow cyclists down and ensure safety of walkers and horses. Take these slowly – I’ve been caught out before and ended up riding the verge with a 10cm nail pierced in my tyre and inner tube (I really ought to go about getting some Gatorskins.)

What is the Beelines project?

The Beelines project aims to help connect every community within Manchester by means of 1,000 miles of walking and cycling infrastructure, along with 75 miles of segregated bike lanes. This is a huge step to transform the city and move it closer to the praised systems seen in the Netherlands.

You can see a map of the proposals by following this link.

How long does it take to cycle 10 miles? With examples

How long does it take to cycle 10 miles? With examples

Exactly how long does it take to cycle 10 miles? It’s a question many new cyclists ask before setting out on their first ride or commute of this length. Having started out on an old mountain bike in the Spanish hills, it took me on average 10.5 miles an hour as seen in the first image. Fast forward 1.5 years later, and I’m going further and quicker; albeit on a road bike and less climbing. This comes in at around 45 minutes for 10 miles and variables are a key factor.

how long does it take to cycle 10 miles?

commuting

The variables of cycling 10 miles

It is no surprise there are a lot of factors to take into account when cycling this distance. The most obvious example is a powerhouse cyclist completing 10 miles time trial in under 20 minutes.

Let’s take a look at the different things that will effect your time, which will also help you calculate your own 10 mile completion.




Fitness

Like anything, the more you get out on the bike the better you’ll be on it. That’s to say after weeks of cycling 10 miles, you’ll be faster than the first time you had a go at it. Around 1 year after I started cycling my time improved so much that I was doing 10 miles in 33 minutes (I asked Evie to calculate)! You’ll be shocked how quickly your fitness improves just as I was recently. Pair that with a good diet and you’ll be cycling 10 miles in no time.

cycling 10 miles in 33 minutes

The 10-mile route

A few people will laugh if you base all your data on average speed. That is because how long it takes you to cycle 10 miles on a flat route is different to how long it takes you to cycle 10 miles on a hilly route. It sounds pretty obvious but I’ve beaten myself up about going slower before when the routes have been just more challenging. If you map out your route beforehand you’ll get an idea if it will be slower than expected.

Whether the Weather is nice or not

Sunny and dry days are perfect for cycling 10 miles and it is likely a cyclist will do it faster than normal. Rainy days make it a little tougher because the tyres friction on the road is higher making you ride marginally slower in wet conditions. And then there’s wind; a bitter sweet cycling relationship. On one hand it may be behind you and you’ll zoom swiftly by, whilst on the other hand it will make your legs work overtime and have you cursing into the gales coming straight at you.

Alternatively, just accept some days will be good and other’s bad. Just understand if it’s windy and wet, you’ll be a little bit slower – the worst think you can do is fight it during those 10 miles.

If you want to jump into some science, I can recommend Cyclist’s article. Apparently, there’s a sweet spot… Who knew? Just give yourself a five hour window of opportunity to do your commute and you may just find it…

How long does it take you to cycle 10 miles? Ask the bike and the lycra.

If you are after marginal gains then open up your wallet. It’s true that a rust bucket of a bike will make cycling 10 miles much more difficult than a Pinarello carbon beast (not actually a bike name), but if you have a standard road or mountain bike then your fitness is the real key to speed.

Back to the route though quickly. If your 10 mile cycle is uphill, using a mountain bike is going to take you longer than a road bike on most occasions. That is down to a bike’s weight. The heavier the bike the harder it is to cycle uphill. There’s no two ways about it. But you can make yourself lighter by either wearing lightweight lycra or carrying less items.




Cycling more than 10 miles

Planning on going a little further than 10 miles? Unfortunately you can’t just create a calculation by multiplying your 10 mile time. Whilst it will give you a really rough estimate, it won’t give you a true account. When I first cycled over 50 miles, it was the hardest day of exercise I have ever done. I recall it taking me 6-7 hours which if using my 33 minute 10 miler data, I should have gone over 100 miles. I wish.

The rationing of food and drink and fatigue it takes to first rack up big miles is exhausting and can by no means be calculated for a first timer. Make sure you gradually pick your miles up rather than jumping into the deep end and prepare efficiently.

To conclude

If you are just starting out on the bike, have one hour in mind for cycling 10 miles. This time will slowly edge down as your fitness improves. Many variants in cycling will sway your results and this often can not be helped. Do the best you can and take it steady.

Cycling is more than just about getting fast times and hard data. Enjoy the sights, the senses and the complete enjoyment. Good luck with your next 10 miles; and I sincerely hope you find the sweet spot.

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