My Saracen Myst Downhill Bike – After a long wait for the bike it finally landed at the back end of 2017 in time for the 2018 DH race season, and has seen me dramatically improve my riding over the years. It’s not a bike that I get to ride a lot at the moment and the requirement to get it carried to the top of the hill is one that quite heavily limits my ability to get out on it as much. It’s the bike I should really sell however over the years on the Myst I’ve had some of the best days riding I’ve ever had on a bike. Memories of countless races and excellent days out with pals just brings a grin to my face every time I lay eyes on it. I’ve also done a lot of tinkering with this bike and there aren’t many original parts left on it, making it a bike that I have really made my own and have come to love. I just can’t bring myself to move this bike on to a new owner despite it being not much more that a very saucy living room ornament!
Favourite Piece of Kit:
Merino Socks! Say goodbye to numb toes even with wet feet!
Favourite Local Ride:
Has to be the Old Kilpatrick trails. They’re the closest thing that Glasgow has to offer for gravity riding, although you really have to earn the descent – Old Kilpatick’s climb to Loch Humphrey is one of the most brutal out there!
Well I’ve just picked up the Genesis Fugio gravel bike so really need to concentrate on getting out on that before I start considering another purchase! Will probably be tyres though as I’m always wanting to test out new rubber.
UPDATE 17/8/21 – We will be keeping our booking slot system for repairs and test ride appointments, as it really helps us be prepared with options when you come in. As you may be aware, stock is hard to come by at the moment, and if you are booked in for an appointment, we can be forearmed with due dates for stock arriving that suits your needs.
We won’t turn you away at the door, but if you are thinking of visiting, please email to book a slot so that we can give you our 100% undivided attention.
Looking to purchase a bike, clothing or accessories?
If you have spotted something on our website and would like to come in to the shop to view, talk about or try for size, make sure to drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can schedule an appointment for you.
Whether you’re sure of what you’re wanting to come in and look at or not, creating an appointment gives us the time to prepare multiple sizes and alternative options to get the most out of your visit to the store.
If you know for sure what you want to order you can make use our Click & Collect service on the website. Once your order comes through we will prepare your order and be in touch to create a collection appointment.
Needing a service or repairs?
If you require repairs or servicing please email us at email@example.com with as many details as possible. Knowing the bike type, brand, model and any current issues being faced helps quicken the process of booking the bike in and also ensures that we have the right parts that your bike may require.
We may need to book up to a few weeks ahead, and the repair may take a few days dependent on part availabilty and service complexity.
Please be aware: No on the spot repairs.
Being able to open up the availability of our services has meant that we are now offering our bike fitting service again. If you’re looking to get comfier on the bike or get more watts out of your engine get in touch with either Barry on Barry@billybilslandcycles.co.uk or Ellie on Ellie@billybilslandcycles.co.uk.
Here at Billy Bilsland Cycles we’re used to an incredibly hands on approach to providing customers with their new bikes. We love bikes, we love showing people how much we love bikes, and we like meeting and getting to know the people we are providing new bikes. Since the initial introduction of lock down restrictions, trying to maintain the same level of; experience, knowledge and advice that we thrive on providing, but through a phone or keyboard, just doesn’t offer the joy of the front shop experience that we’re so used to.
A new service that we are really excited to start offering is free delivery throughout mainland Argyll and Glasgow with the purchase of any E-Bike. And it’s not just any courier arranged delivery service – it’s our very own Bilsland Delivery wagon, manned by one of the many integral staff members based at the shop.
This means that we won’t be delivering your new e-bike in box with assembly instructions through a courier, but a fully assembled and ready to ride new e-bike by one of the Bilslanders. You’ll get to meet one of the team whom will be armed with a whole host of advice and knowledge to answer any questions you may have about your new e-bike. We will give you the full “new bike” talk; going over how to look after your bike, things to look out for, as well as double checking the fit and making sure that everything is set to the right height. We truly can’t wait to dedicate more time to our customers on New Bike Day and look forward to meeting you!
Unsure as to whether you qualify? Send us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!
Cannondale have taken their most playful trail bike – the Habit – and fitted a powerful Bosch motor and battery to it, making the ups as fun as the downs without taking away from the descents.
We’re incredibly impressed with how Cannondale’s range of mountain bikes have come on over the past few years, becoming slacker, lower and more capable than ever. So much so that both Barry and Josh have both opted for the Habit as their go to trail shredders! Albeit the non-electric versions the story of the Habit transfers over to the Habit Neo. And with the Habit Neo 2 being equipped with Bosch’s 625Wh battery and Performance Line CX motor that offers upto 67 miles of assistance, the reading on the fun-ometer are only going to be higher!
The Habit Neo 2 comes with serious features that makes it a responsive, heavy hitting trail e-bike that will take on pretty much anything you chuck at it. The bigger 29 inch wheels are fast becoming the new standard in mountain biking and the Habit is one that has adopted the trend. Offering far less rolling resistance and a smoother ride, 29ers are way faster in straight line speed but often deemed cumbersome when trails get twisty. The Habit does a good job of knocking this theory by managing to keep the bike incredibly agile and nimble. Rolling on reliable Maxxis rubber the bike offers excellent grip across a variety of terrain.
Another choice of kit that we really like on the bike is the burly Magura MT 4-Pot Trail Sport brakes with 220mm rotor on the front and 203 on the rear. The 4 cylinder callipers link up with these huge rotors offers some serious anchorage to reign in the inevitable addition in weight.
To help save on weight the Habit Neo 2 is armed with a full carbon front triangle in order to help compensate battery and motor weight, while being linked up to an alloy rear triangle. A feature that really sets Cannondale’s mountain bikes out from the rest however is something they have implemented called Proportional Response. This adjusts the suspension layout for each size of bike to ensure that riders have optimum suspension performance regardless of their height. We’re really impressed by this and demonstrates how Cannondale are committed to nailing geometry.
If you’ve been on the hunt for a new bike over the past year you’ll be well aware of the stock nightmare that the whole bike industry has been facing. Incase you’re still looking, here’s a heads up on a few of our favourites that are arriving over the next few weeks!
If you see a bike that you’ve been looking for make sure to get in touch with the shop and we can get one reserved for you!
Perhaps the most value packed gravel bike out there the CDA offers some serious bang for buck. Starting at £749.99 for the CDA 10 Shimano Claris model, this range of bikes from Genesis offers maximum versatility and capability for the money. Sturdy and reliable enough for the everyday commute while being armed with a decent enough spec to get started on gravel adventures, the CDA bikes really are a one-bike-that-does-all.
All models – 10, 20 and 30 – come with the same lug riddled steel fork and alloy frame combination in varying colours. They all also come with the same wheels, tyres and finishing kit, with the only difference being the choice of drivetrain (and colour obviously).
The ideal bike for starting your adventure or beginning on cycling journey!
The Tesoro is an incredibly capable electric tourer armed with all of the trimmings to get you out exploring the hills in comfort and style. With a super long wheelbase, low centre of gravity, big chunky 29″ tyres and big wide handlebars, the Tesoro e-bikes provide reassuring stability by the spade load allowing you to turn off of the tarmac and explore the UKs abundance of windy fireroads with ease.
Range anxiety is a thing of the past with a big 500Wh battery on the X3 models, and Bosch’s huge new 625Wh battery on the X2 models. Both models come with powerful and low maintenance hydraulic disc brakes as well as easy to operate 1x drivetrains – one derauiller, one shifter and the ease of one hand operated gear shifting for maximum simplicity.
Available in mens and womens options the Tesoro has the option of a lower slung step through model (Remixte) for easier getting on the bike and dismounting.
The G180 Works 29ER is the default choice for Whyte’s enduro race team. With 29″ wheels and 180mm front and rear travel there’s little that the G180 isn’t prepared to take on. From the toughest of DH tracks and enduro courses to grinning your ears off at your local trails, the G180 has the pedalling efficiency and rollability to help with climbing while having the heavy hitting arsenal for some serious descending.
DT Swiss E1700 wheelset, SRAM XO1 Eagle 12 speed gearing, Reverb dropper post, Ultimate level RockShox suspension and tubeless ready Maxxis tyres provide a proper spec list to back up the riding.
Whether serious about racing or serious about fun, the G180 Works is Whyte’s top line trail smasher that’ll never leave you outgunned.
Not quite ready for racing in the Enduro World Series for 2021 and just looking to break in to the grubby world of mountain biking? Then we may have one of Whyte’s entry level 600 series hardtails coming in, in your size. Comprised of the 603, 604 Compact and the 605, the 600 series offers a great package of a slightly higher quality that means you won’t need a replacement when you really start pushing the limits.
All of Whyte’s 600 series bikes offer great value spec for getting started on shredding the trails, with their technology through the years having trickled down onto these bikes. Hydraulic brakes, 650b wheels and internal cable routing running through the range, combined with Whyte’s award winning geometry inspires confidence and grin-factor a-plenty.
With the 604 available as their compact fit and sitting with the exact same spec as the 603, the 604 provides a slightly shorter reach with it’s “compact” geometry making it ideal for shorter or female riders.
It’s been just over a year since I buckled to the temptations of Whyte’s mould breaking Glencoe. And what a smashing year it has been, churning out miles over all sorts of ground.
I’ve always been a mountain biker through and through but the idea of having a road bike had always appealed to me. The convenience of being able to jump on the bike right outside your front door and get the legs spinning for a wee workout straight away is something that isn’t quite so possible with the mountain bike – you usually require a thirty minute (plus) drive before getting to your destination. I was also using my beloved Whyte 905 to commute to the shop each day which was putting unnecessary wear on the components. Great fun to commute on, but putting your weekend toy through the everyday Glasgow brutality that destroys commuters is a painful one.
So I was essentially looking for a do-it-all hack that I could pay minimal attention to, to keep it working while the bike was still saucy enough for me to enjoy the odd recreational road ride. The Glencoe was one of the earlier 650b adventure road bikes and came out offering astounding bang-for-buck; tubeless wheels, 1x Apex groupset, bolt-thru axles and TRP HYRD disc brakes. And not to mention the frame features; nice geometry with a long top tube length and short steerer tube, wide tyre clearance with room for mudguards too, and a comfy low bb height that helps you feel in, as opposed to on the bike. Oh, and the tan wall tyres look the berries, actually, wait a minute – the whole bike looks nothing other than awesome (largest deciding factor obviously).
Therefore the Glencoe was a no brainer. And it wasn’t much time of riding to and from work till I was riding it at the weekends, getting out the night lights and racking up miles after work, letting the mountain bikes gather dust (wit?!). Within a month there was a few hundred miles of all sorts of terrain under the tyres and all largely done on cycle paths, landcover tracks and dirt paths. It had become infectious exploring new routes, seeing where I would end up and setting new post-work challenges to complete on the bike. It’s so incredibly capable, it just makes you want to go exploring.
Now the Glencoe is obviously no lightweight racer. But for what it lacks in weight saving, makes up for with spades of fun and comfort. Long rides are a doddle with the comfort turned up 11, you won’t set any records but the bike is by no means slow. The slick tyres roll surprisingly quickly at lower pressures, and having the wider tyre allows you to corner quicker or perhaps go through the mud and cut the corner altogether. However the tyres can be quite slidey when run at higher pressures, perhaps the marginally grippier WTB Byway tyre would have been a better option. The low pressures are definitely required – I tried running the WTB Horizon tyres between 20 and 30PSI and settled for 25 in the front and just shy of 30 in the rear. So tubeless is a must in order to avoid being susceptible to punctures. If the tyres were over 30PSI I felt the ride became harsh quite quickly and felt a bit like a marble on a glass table. And below 20, well, I’d be putting the rim through the tyre on every pothole!
The tyres were tricky to get set up tubeless but once the tyres were seated and set up, few issues followed. In the past year I’ve had only two puncture issues on the Glencoe. Both of which required a single dismount between them, and the pump stayed firmly in the bag the whole time. The first required getting off the bike to pull out a pretty descent sized nail, leaving a hole that sealed shortly after pulling it out and spinning the wheel a few times. The second, was a case of keep pedalling until the spinning/hissing noise stopped. And it did, allowing me to do the last two thirds of a 60mile ride with out getting off of the bike *smug face*. Who knows how many times the tubeless sealant has worked it’s magic and I’ve been none the wiser though.
One of the greatest aspects of the Glencoe is it’s versatility. In the shop we’ve put out 700c variations with the Mavic Allroad wheelset, kitted out loads with full length mudguards and/or pannier racks, narrowed the bars, upraded the brakes to full hydraulic, added bike packing frame bags, fitted knobbly MTB tyres, and even added dropper posts! And for me this is where a lot of the fun with the bike lies (in the shop we even toyed with the idea of creating the TT Glencoe!).
Therefore I’ve made a good (and bad) few changes to the bike over the past year. The first change was giving the bike a bit more a road racer/CX fit, so saddle in the air, longer stem and slammed. I never really got on with the super-wide 50cm bars – as opposed to increasing manoeuvrability and stability I felt the bar was cumbersome and prevented me tucking in and sprinting. So I replaced them with a set of 3T 42cm aerobars which definitely provided the aggressive road fit I was looking for, while also offering an incredible aero advantage (Dougie, you’re mad). The handlebar is a bit of fun really, no need to ask why it’s on, just accept it and chuckle. Also the saddle is tartan patterned, chosen with no regards to its fit or comfort aspects, merely because it’s tartan.
Later on, the aim was to make it more mountain bikey from the ground up, essentially producing a mountain bike with a road racer cockpit. So off came the handsome tan wall tyres for a pair of Maxxis Crossmark II XC MTB tyres, despite all the nobbles the tyres are rapid!! While offering loads more grip when traction is in less supply. Tyre clearance with these tyres on is next to nothing so personally wouldn’t recommend (why are you doing it then you madman?!) but the skinnier knobbly WTB Resolute tyres fit no issues, you get to keep the tan walls and a mudguards fits too!The most recent change to the bike was fitting on the largest disc rotor size available – 203mm disc brake rotors! (Yep, you’ve lost your marbles Dougie). Now I love tinkering and this “upgrade” was more to see if it was possible – could 203mm rotors be fitted to a road bike? The answer is that, with a considerable amount of faff, a replacement post mount calliper and a rucksack full of disc brake adapters the Glencoe makes it possible. Solely due to the fact that Whyte opted for 160mm rotors instead of the standard road sized 140mm, I imagine because the grippier tyre is able to hold the ground better under bigger braking forces. In the shop we don’t recommend this change at all for a number of reasons but I decided to go for because, well, it looks frickin’ great.
Most of the changes I’ve made have really been about testing the bike’s capabilities as opposed to enhancing the performance. The bike works so well as standard that it really doesn’t need any changes, as I said I’m just a tinkerer! I’ve had so much fun with and on this bike I can’t recommend it enough. Off the bat it is a bike that is ready to play and explore. Whether commuting, bike packing, touring, road riding, adventure roading, cycle-crossing, trail riding or even mountain biking the Glencoe will have a good crack at them all and leave you with a big grin on your face!