Is there really anything better than riding your bike in the sunshine?
Feeling the hot sun on your skin, the summer breeze on your face, smooth glistening tarmac roads and wearing nothing but shorts and a jersey…day dreaming yet? Well I certainly have been since the minute I returned to Glasgow.
We stayed in Tauro which is located on the south east side of the island which offers a much quieter setting than the ever popular cycling hotspot of Maspalomas. By no means were we missing out on the action though our hotel, Anfi Tauro, used to be the home of the Tinkoff Bike Academy. Where the likes of Peter Sagan and Alberto Contador amongst others stayed for their winter training.
We arrived late on the first day so unfortunately no riding. However we did have time to unpack our bikes from the shops awesome Bike Box Allan travel cases. Being as vertically challenged as I am and a huge bike nerd it was essential that I brought Suzy, my custom Cannondale Supersix Evo. Sean was also able to bring his beloved Cervelo S5 thanks to the shops new Aero Bike Box Allan which accommodates for saucy integrated cockpits!
Riding our own bikes in the sun on beautiful roads for the first time in years, due to you know what, got to our heads a bit…on the first day we attempted one of the hardest climbs on the island – Soria. Bearing in mind we had came from -2 degrees and snow the day before to 33 degrees and I had not ridden as much as I’d promised myself in the lead up to the holiday, its safe to say it was a shock to the system. Nothing a can of full fat coke and a hand full of Haribo couldn’t fix though. 2.5 sunny hours in the legs followed by an afternoon by the pool was a welcome change from the depth of Scottish winter regardless of the sore legs.
Day 3 consisted of another mountainous day from Tauro – Maspolomas – Ayagaures, where we had a beautiful 10 mile descent! before returning via the coast to the hotel. This was my favourite day of the trip, not only because of the huge sweeping descent, as the scenery was sublime offering a convenient distraction from my lack of climbing prowess. However there was inevitably another bonk which was again revived by emergency roadside sugary goodness.
The remainder of the week was tackled at a more relaxed pace with a few cafe stops and unfortunately our big plan to ride to the highest point of the island was trashed due to a Marine Weather Warning (high winds). We did try to go for it anyway, but after nearly being blown off our bikes, we thought otherwise.
So with no surprise to anyone, a great week was had topping up our cycling tan, consuming amazing coffee and riding new roads. Is it to soon to book another flight out? I am seriously considering it, Turbo miles just don’t hit the same as Spanish ones…I cannot recommend cycling in Gran Canaria enough so make sure you head out if you can! Thanks for reading everyone, i’ll see you in the next one.
Check out Ellie’s vlogs from her week of cycling in Gran Canria on Youtube below
We have just launched Klarna as a brand new Buy Now Pay Later payment option which will be available for purchases on our Ecommerce website and in our Retail Store in Glasgow, with an order value of up to £1000. We are so happy to be partnering up with this industry leading payment provider so you, our customer, can get more time to pay with Klarna.
The Synapse Carbon from Cannondale has been their long standing flagship Endurance Road Bike which has undergone an interesting face lift for 2022.
We didn’t think it was possible but the 2022 Synapse Carbon range has managed to get even faster and ever more versatile. Starting off with the new reimagined frame shape, which provides greater aerodynamic capabilities for those long fast weekend rides with mates. Whilst also incorporating hidden flex zones in the rear triangle and compliant cockpit keeps the Synapse grounded to its roots – a comfortable Endurance Road Bike – without compromising on aesthetics.
What Is SmartSense?
The main attraction on the new Synapse Carbon from Canonndale is the SmartSense technology which consists of inbuilt; front and rear lights, Garmin Radar system and a stealthy battery. The idea is to reduce pre ride faff and increase rider safety. SmartSense features will automatically activate as soon as you start riding as the system connects directly to the Cannondale App which is where you can personalise your settings to which you prefer. Another cool feature of the Cannondale SmartSense System is that the battery can also be used to charge either your cycle computer or electronic groupset while riding.
Cannondale Synapse SmartSense 2022 Range
If you are interested in any of these Cannondale Bikes then please don’t hesitate to et in touch vis the contact form below and our sales team will be back in touch ASAP
Whyte have been a long standing favourite brand here in the shop, with each one of our staff having owned at least 1 Whyte bike. As a brand they are based in the UK meaning their bikes are built specifically for our terrain and climate making them an excellent choice for Urban riding or daily commuting. They offer 5 bikes in their Hybrid range, 2 female and 3 male specific bikes. In this article we will explain the difference between each so you can make the best informed decision quickly and easily, allowing you to just get out and ride.
The Carnaby from Whyte is the first Ladies Hybrid offering in their range and is designed for speed and agility making this bike ideal for your daily commute or a weekend adventure on canal paths and cycle lanes. Whyte have reworked their award winning MTB geometry into the Carnaby in the form of a long wheelbase for high speed stability and a short stem for slow speed handling. Therefore whether you’re picking your way through the twists and turns of an Urban city or speeding along the cycle path, the Carnaby has got you covered. In terms of spec this bike comes equipped with powerful Hydraulic Disc Brakes which are ideal for changeable weather or busy roads, fast rolling 700c wheels with 37mm tyres and last but not least, an easy to use and lightweight 1×9 Shimano gearing system. In summary the Whyte Carnaby is an ideal hybrid for someone who is looking for a fun sporty Urban bike to commute on and/or ride on weekends with friends.
The Whitechapel men’s Hybrid from Whyte is effectively the same model as the women’s Carnaby model that we spoke about above aside from a few sizing changes to suit the male physique. The Whitechapel comes spec’d with a male specific saddle and is available in larger sizes (M,L,XL), whereas the Carnaby comes with a female specific saddle and starts at a smaller size (S,M,L). Therefore the Whitechapel is also an ideal option for daily commuting or weekend riding and shares the same Shimano 1×9 components, 700c wheels with 37c tyres and Hydraulic Disc brakes along with the agile geometry of the Carnaby above.
The Shoreditch men’s Hybrid from Whyte is the perfect blend of versatility and speed. With Shimano 1×10 gear system providing the right gear for any occasion and the rear clutch mech allows you to ride on rougher terrain without dropping your chain. The Shoreditch has the same stable long wheelbase and nimble short stem as the Carnaby and Whitechapel along with the speedy 700c wheels and 37c tyres. However the Shoreditch really does step it up with the wider gear range allowing you to ride to work with ease even when fully laden with the laptop and change of clothe or cycle off into the hills and forest paths with friends. In summary the Whyte Shoreditch Hybrid is ideal for someone looking for a bike to take them further and wider than simply just commuting in the city but doesn’t want to shell out for two different bikes.
The Whyte Victoria flagship Ladies Hybrid comes with comfortable high volume 650c x 47c wheels and tyres making punctures a thing of the past and rough terrain feel like freshly laid tarmac. The Victoria is also spec’d with Shimano 1×10 gear system and Hydraulic Disc Brakes making this bike the perfect all rounder for someone looking for a comfortable relaxed ride with all the performance goodies still in tact. In summary the Victoria is ideal for someone looking for a more comfortable commute or wanting to tackle fire roads and rough forest tracks on the weekend.
The Whyte Portobello Men’s Hybrid is the same flagship comfort model as the Victoria we spoke about above with some sizing tweaks to suit the male physique. This bike comes with a male specific saddle and is available in Medium, Large and X Large. Whereas the Victoria comes with a women’s specific saddle and is available in sizes Small, Medium and Large. Therefore the Portobello is also an exceptional hybrid for someone who is looking for a more comfortable commute or wanting to tackle fire roads and rough forest tracks on the weekend. However with a full performance benefits of Shimano 1×10 Gearing and Hydraulic Disc Brakes.
All of the bikes listed above have frame mounts for 2 bottle cages, full length mudguards, kickstand and pannier rack so no matter which bike you go for from Whyte’s Hybrid range you will be covered for carrying the essentials to work or the weekend family picnic whilst staying dry in the process, and you wont need to worry about resting (then scratching) your nice new bike on anything. That’s why we love Whyte, quality bikes with quality features for the everyday rider.
We hope this blog has helped you make an informed decision on which Whyte Hybrid to buy. However we understand it is a big commitment so if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to give us a call or get in contact via the form below.
Black Rideday 2021 felt extra special this year, with everything that has happened in the world recently it was nice to finally let our hair down and have a great day with all our staff doing what we do best, riding bikes!
This year we ventured further than ever before for Black Rideday down to Glentress Forrest in the Scottish Borders, and boy was it a good choice. Unless you have been living under a rock then you will know that Glentress is one of the most highly regarded Trail Centres across the UK. So obviously it was the ideal location for our biggest Black RideDay yet.
We spent the day conquering the Red route, along with a couple of extra trails thrown into the mix…don’t worry Neil had an EBike. Luckily managing to avoid most of Storm Arwin’s wrath. Although we definitely did experience some numb hands and feet!
Riding at Glentress is very different to riding at our local trails in Glasgow at Cathkin Braes. The hill is much bigger and the descents are much longer. This meant that the first half of the ride was mostly up hill, which suited our roadies and those who had sensibly chosen an Electric bike. However the tables drastically turned once the descents rolled in. Where those who are at home on the dirt had their time to shine. Once the riding was over, we finished the day off with some much needed fuelling at the Peel Cafe…where a few well earned beverages may have also been consumed.
Black Rideday is always special because it brings us all together for a ride. Which to your potential surprise, very rarely happens, yes we all love cycling but in our own respected disciplines. 2021 saw a MTB epic turn even our most stubborn roadie (he still rides rim brakes) to the dirt. Next year will be something of the Gravel or Road variety so there is no telling how our MTB hardcore’s will cope in, don’t say it…LYCRA.
The Synapse Carbon perfectly blends practicality, speed and style. Ideal for long rides and sportifs, as well as a reliable winter training bike. Keep reading to find out why we believe the Cannondale Synapse Carbon really is the Ultimate Road Bike.
Being a city centre Bike Shop we often get asked, what bike can I ride to work everyday AND have fun on at the weekend? Our answer is always the Cannondale Synapse Carbon. It is very rare to find a bike that excels in both the everyday grind and those epic bunch rides and/or events. Cannondale’s lightweight yet stiff frameset pairs with their proven endurance road geometry to offer great ride performance. This, combined with hidden mounts for mudguards and wide tyre clearance, is the reason the Synapse has successfully been the ‘one’ bike our customers are always asking for.
As much as we all dream our cycling lives are all full of picturesque rides, on days where there isn’t a cloud or a pothole in sight, the reality is most of the time your bike needs to be suitable for rough roads, sh*t weather and getting from A to B without any issues. For this reason the Synapse usually leaves our shop fully kitted out for anything the Scottish climate and road conditions have to throw at it. Normally including NiteRider Lights and a set of SKS Mudguards on top of the ‘off the shelf’ spec, which has 30c tyres and hydraulic disc brakes.
However when the time comes for the decent weather and light nights to draw back in, or even that long anticipated Cycling Holiday in the sun. All it takes is ripping those lights off, removing a couple of bolts and a wheel swap to transform your Cannondale Synapse into the perfect dream bike that makes you feel like you’re a TDF Pro Rider every time you swing your leg over it.
Gone are the days of Road bikes solely being for young whippets in skinsuits riding only for podiums, the Cannnondale Synapse is built for the modern day rider looking for a blend of comfort, versatility and performance. One bike, every occasion. Everything you could ever want in a bicycle neatly compacted into one convenient little package.
“R5 has one job get to the top, fast. But for all the glory and fanfare that comes with a summit finish, they’re rarely the only climb of the day. And while a race isn’t usually won on a descent, they can certainly be lost. A climbing bike that can’t carve a hairpin is a bit like a cup of decaf coffee. This is the fourth iteration of the R5, and while weight and stiffness have varied over the years, the handling, poise, and unmatched prowess on a descent have been consistent since day one.” – Cervelo
• Fully Integrated Cockpit • 152g Lighter • Improved Stability and Handling • Improved Comfort • More Aero
We have stock of the brand new Grand Tour winning Cervelo R5 arriving in our shop. However they wont last long once they land, so that’s why we have set up this Pre Order section so you can ensure you get the bike of your dreams.
The Models we have arriving –
Please click the ‘notify’ button on the product page on our website or fill out the contact form below to register your interest. From there we will get back to you with more details and flexible payment plans from our direct debit partner Go Cardless.
Payment plans are flexible and can be tailored to your needs. All plans are 0% APR Monthly Direct Debit Withdrawals. Bikes can only be collected once the Payment Plan has finished.
The Bilsland Van Delivery service is designed to bridge the gap between shopping instore vs online as it offers all the convenience of shopping online from the comfort of your own home, whilst our staff provide all the benefits of in store collection by having the ‘New Bike Conversation’ with you. This is where we go through; how to look after your new bike, answering any questions you may have and offering a position check to ensure your saddle height and handlebar height/reach is set correctly to make sure you bike fits you perfectly. All done in person at the time of delivery by one of our friendly professional staff members. Not to mention there is absolutely no bike re-building required so you can be riding off into the sunset with your new steed without having to get your hands dirty.
Available everywhere in the UK (mainland only)
Completely Assembled – No need to get your hands dirty
Pre Delivery Inspected by our Cytech Qualified Mechanics
Hand Delivered by one of our Friendly Professional Staff Members
Position Set up to ensure your New Bike Fits you Perfectly
Advice on howto take care of your New Bike
All your New Bike Questions Answered Face to Face upon Delivery
Guaranteed Delivery Day and Time that is arranged to Suit You
This service is available for £50 on bikes between £1,000 – £2,000 and FREE on bikes over £2,000. Delivery time will be arranged via phone call after we receive your order through our website.
Our Bilsland Van Delivery is available to all locations in mainland UK
Depends on what I’m riding, 28c for road, 37c for Gravel and 2.3 on the rear with 2.6 on the front for MTB.
Number of Bikes Owned:
4 – Cannondale Supersix, Cannondale Topstone, Yeti SB6 and Ridley Jane SL, not to mention the 13249000 sets of wheels…
My (now retired) Ridley Jane SL race bike. This bike was actually gifted to me by Neil back when I used to race road full time in my teens. It’s been all around the world with me racing UCI’s and out to training camps in Calpe Spain. My Ridley is my favourite bike because of all the amazing memories that we had, from winning national titles to getting my ass kicked in the mountains during the Tour de Feminin in the Czech Republic. She is now hung up on the wall in my house, as a reminder of those memories during that whirlwind time of my life, now only ridden on special occasions.
Favourite Piece of Kit:
Bibshorts/Bibtights, basically anything with a chamois, nothing worse than a sore backside!
Favourite Local Ride:
My favourite local ride has to be the back lanes through the farms around Auldhouse and Strathaven. Not a car in sight, they almost feel like a cycling highway as it’s only ever bikes you see on them. Endless rolling narrow tarmac roads with a couple of nice cafes to choose from, my favourites being The Heron Farm Shop and Taylors. Riding there on a Summer’s day makes all my worries disappear and truly allows me to escape. Due to the nature of the roads, they also remind me of racing the classics in the Netherlands and Belgium which were my favourite races to ride.
After recently spending, what feels like my life savings, on my new fully custom Cannondale Supersix Evo…I’m not sure I’ll be in the market for a while
Gravel is the latest discipline to take the cycling world by storm, so obviously I had to jump on the band wagon…and I have to say I am a total Gravel convert! I’ve had my Topstone for almost a year now, making her the elder sibling of my other much loved Cannondale, Suzy the Supersix. My Topstone and I have been on many adventures over this past year – from local blasts around Whitelee Windfarm to BikePacking extravaganzas in the Scottish Highlands. Stay tuned to find out what makes the Topstone so addictive.
I have always loved all types of cycling; road, track and mountain. So the thought that Gravel could be the best of all three totally captured my attention. With the speed of a road bike and the playful handling of a track bike, all topped off with the capability of a mountain bike – I just couldn’t resist the temptation.
But why the Topstone in particular? Well first off, the colour…I’m not ashamed to admit that purple has my heart 😉 Aside from the good looks, the Topstone carbon stood out for me as it satisfied my inner nerd. Ground breaking kingpin suspension design and ballis tec carbon frame were features I just had to have in my life. After all I did say I wanted the most versatile, yet fast, bike on the market. I know you might be thinking suspension = slow, however when riding off road grip = fast. Therefore when riding eyeballs out on loose descents, having the piece of mind that your rear wheel is going to track well no matter the terrain (due to the suspension smoothing out the bumps to maintain contact with the ground) you naturally go faster. Also I will mention that Kingpin is only 30mm of travel as opposed to a typical Mountain bike which would have a minimum of 100mm, so don’t worry the Topstone is still a speed machine, not a bouncy slow poke.
I remember the moment my Topstone finally (damn COVID delays) arrived in the shop well. Sheer excitement! So much so that I threw her together and started planning the first ride for the very next day. I was so focused on getting out and riding that I neglected setting the bike up tubeless…we will come back to that later. Naturally I chose Aberfoyle for the maiden voyage of my new steed – as it’s hyped up to be some of the best gravel riding in the country. It’s safe to say I was not disappointed. I took inspiration from the Duke’s Weekender and set off for a 30 mile Gravelfoyle adventure incorporating some fine viaducts in the process. It was a blissful day and of course it wasn’t long before I got carried away…back to the lack of tubeless set up I mentioned earlier…I was pushing the boundaries of the Topstone’s off-road capabilities on singletrack trails around Loch Ard when I struck a hidden tree route with some force…BANG rear flat. To my surprise the WTB wheels that come stock were unaffected by the impact but of course those pesky innertubes inevitably popped. So long story short if you’re ever swithering to go tubeless, the answer is yes.
After this incident I set my bike up tubeless…and may have also bought some saucy new wheels as well. I know, a bit outrages to get an upgrade after one ride,but it’s dangerous working in a toy shop…especially when you’re a tech nerd like me. I topped off my Gravel beast with a set of DT Swiss CRC1400 carbon wheels and haven’t had a problem since.
One of my favourite things about the Topstone is how easy it is to go for a ride, because you can literally ride it anywhere. I stay in East Kilbride so my local gravel escape is Whitelee Windfarm which is where I ride the Topstone most as I can simply ride from my front door and be done in a couple of hours while riding some premium gravel sectors (and sometimes MTB singletrack) in the process.
In more recent times I have taken my Topstone a bit further afield into the Scottish Highlands for a bit of BikePacking. Inspired by Lachlan Morton’s GBDURO epic, I thought I’d try a BikePacking adventure of my own. However on a not quite so extreme level…I started my route at Kinloch Laggan and finished at Corrour Station House for some venison casserole and a pint before a WildCamp at Loch Ossian, then back to Kinloch Laggan the following day. Aside from making my position too aggressive to successfully fit a handlebar bag to an XS frame…I had a blast! and the Topstone was perfect, almost made me forget I was fully laden.
So long story short Gravel totally lives up to the hype and the Topstone is one of the best tools for it. In my opinion the Topstone Carbon really is the fastest and most versatile bike on the market. From local bimbles, weekend adventures and BikePacking extravaganzas the Topstone will leave you with a huge smile ear to ear, what more could you want from a bike.
Ride further and grin wider with Electric. There is no question that Electric Bikes are the future of transport and leisure cycling. However buying one can seem a little daunting. So that’s why we have written this post, to give you all the info you need to make the decision that’s right for you.
What is an Electric Bike?
An Electric bike shares many of the same qualities as a regular bike but with an added boost in the form of a pedal driven motor and battery. Yes this does mean you do still need to pedal, but with most systems offering up to 4 or 5 assistance levels you can tailor how much (or how little) effort you would like to put in.
Depending on drive system and time spent in max/high assistance settings most electric bikes will last for around 60 miles on a single charge. However all electric bikes have a handy screen or light system which shows you your battery life at any time with the click of a button. All our electric bikes come fully charged as well as a charger included. For a full charge it will usually take around 3 hours (brand depending).
Which Electric Bike is right for me?
Just like buying a ‘standard’ bike choosing the correct type is mainly based on what style of riding you are planning on doing. If you are looking to do leisure rides with friends and family on tarmac/light off road surfaces, commute to work or head along to the local shop. Then an Electric Hybrid would be the best option for you. Other models of Electric Bikes include; Mountain, Road and Gravel. If your heart lies in the mountains and you wish to spend your time winding through single track switchbacks then check out our range of Electric Mountain Bikes. If you once were an avid member of the local Road club and were often seen out on the Saturday bunch run then check out our Electric Road Bike range. Finally if you love the best of both worlds, then check out our Electric Gravel range to meet all your BikePacking and adventure riding needs.
An example of an excellent Electric Hybrid would be the Ridgeback Electron +. With relaxed geometry, mudguards, lights and pannier rack the Electron + is ideal for carrying a spare change of cloths for commuting, supplies for a mid ride picnic or your local shop.
An excellent Electric Road Bike Example would be the Cannondale Supersix Evo Neo. The Supersix Evo is known for is exceptional handling and climbing prowess, and now with a motor – its just got faster.
An excellent Electric Gravel Bike option would be the Cannondale Topstone Neo SL. Created from Cannondale’s most popular ‘standard’ Gravel Bike the Topstone, this is the ultimate Electric Gravel package with speedy 700c wheels and capable geometry.
You may often find yourself getting rolled at the 30 sign sprint on your local club run. Left in the dust, wondering how to get that ‘edge’ on other riders. Well that’s where the Turbo comes in. Consistent, Specific and convenient. Training from home is an excellent way to fast track your training to meet your goals, and more importantly, drop your mates 😉
Turbo training is easy. Simply get changed into a pair of bibs and start your warm up. Whereas if you were training outside; get into full kit, plan route, get nutrition ready, ride out to suitable efforts location and then finally, begin your warm up. By the time you’ve done all that faffing, you would have finished the session already if you were indoors. What I’m trying to say is, turbo sessions usually range between 45 minutes to an hour and in that time you can cram in a whole lot intensity (suffering). As opposed to having to ride for at least 2 hours outdoors, to get the same anaerobic training benefit.
Discrepancies in weather, road surface and traffic can have a huge affect on the quality of your training. You could be dodging potholes and getting stuck behind lorries whilst trying to do a threshold effort. However Turbo Training eliminates all external factors, allowing you to focus on high quality uninterrupted time in your required training zone. Therefore making your efforts more consistent, and in turn more beneficial.
Most Turbo Trainers these days come supplied with an internal Power Meter. This means, with regular testing, you can be sure you’re training in the correct zones. Making it super easy to fast track your training by getting the maximum out of your body in each session. Many Turbo Training software’s such as Zwift offer a variety of specific sessions for you to chose from.
Long gone are the days of old where Turbo Training involved staring at your garage door with only the smell of burning rubber for company. Now home training is more sociable and enjoyable than ever. With the introduction of Smart Trainers which mimic road surfaces and parkours, such as hills and gravel roads, there is plenty going on to keep you engaged. Furthermore the rise of Esports is prominent making it easier than ever to meet up with your mates for a spin or enter a virtual Gran Fondo or even a Stage Race. If you’re really keen, then you can even race against cycling heros such as Matthieu Van der Poel and Geraint Thomas! Who doesn’t love a bit of healthy competition?
By all means we are not saying that you should never ride outdoors again. However we are saying that you should definitely incorporate Indoor Training into your weekly program, it’s a no brainer 🙂
Bicycles are chameleons. They can do it all, exercise, transport, fun and most importantly, freedom. However if this is your first time buying and/or haven’t ridden since your adolescence then check out our handy guide to make things a bit less mind boggling.
What style –
Our most popular bike styles for first time buyers are Hybrid and Gravel bikes. This is because bikes can get expensive and these two styles generally offer the best bang for buck as opposed to fancy Road or Mountain bikes and secondly they are super versatile. Hybrids are ideal for customers who don’t want to make the jump to drop bars right away, as well as using for leisure riding and commuting. Hybrids can also take light off road paths/fire roads along with smooth tarmac which makes the switch between everyday rider to weekend adventurer seamless. Gravel bikes are ideal for riders who are a bit more serious and want to ride further/faster on tarmac or across rougher terrain. Whether you’re wanting to get into BikePacking, have a longer commute or want to go exploring on the weekend with friends a Gravel bike could be a great option for you. However, if your heart lies purely off road and you plan to only be riding single track and trail centres, then a hardtail Mountain bike would be a better option than a hybrid or Gravel bike. Although we would only recommend a MTB over a Hybrid if you are purely riding off road. Hybrids are far more efficient and therefore more fun than a MTB on cycle paths and tarmac. We often see people make the mistake of buying a MTB as a simple daily run around, don’t make that mistake buy a hybrid instead.
If you know what kind of riding you want to do but are still unsure on what that relates to in terms of bike styles then please don’t hesitate to get in touch via sales@billybilslandcycles where we will be happy to answer any queries and steer you in the right direction.
Sizing can be a tricky subject. Most riders can fit two sizes of bikes, I know that might seem crazy but it’s true. Yes you can use the manufactures sizing guide, but I stress this is a guide. All bike brands measure their bikes differently, therefore you could be a small in a Genesis and an extra small in Cannondale. Although we can’t go through the bike buying process in store, we can offer our click and collect service. This means that (if you’re comfortable) we can do a basic position check on collection of your new bike to ensure that the size is right and in turn, make any necessary changes to benefit your ride. However don’t panic if you have to buy your bike for delivery. If after a couple of riders you don’t feel something is right then please get in touch via sales@billybilslandcycles with a side on picture of you on your new bike and/or a video of you riding. From this information we will be able to make some observations and suggest changes which will help alleviate your issues.
Where to buy –
Obviously we would always recommend shopping with an independent bike shop, however this isn’t us just blowing our own trumpet. Buying local allows you to have experts pretty much at your disposal who you can, ask for advice, take your bike in for servicing/repair and even get a Professional Bike Fit to avoid any aches and pains that never bothered you X amount of years ago, when you last rode a bike . Of course due to the current climate it is nearly impossible to buy a bike in store. Although try and be mindful of the websites you are browsing on. Buying from big chains and online only bike shops will only rob you of all the aftercare and support you receive when buying from a local independent, which is crucial if you are a first time buyer.
Check out our ‘How to buy a bike from Billy Bilsland Cycles – Pandemic Adittion’ blog post. Where we cover the best ways to buy from our website – no matter your situation – while still getting human interaction and excellent customer service.
Gravel bikes are quickly becoming the most sought after bikes in the industry, as they propose this ‘one bike’ theory that many customers are after. Commuting – Gravel bike, BikePacking – Gravel bike, Leisure rides – Gravel bike, Events/races – Gravel bike. These bikes are often all lumped into one category. However since Gravel bikes can do such a multitude of activities it is impossible for every bike to be the best at every activity. Therefore naturally there are some differences between bikes to look out for when buying one that will suit you better, depending on your riding style.
Generally Gravel bikes are split into two main categories – reliability and performance. Brands such as Genesis are best known for their exceptional reliability which makes there bikes ideal for multiday tours in remote areas where bike shops are few and far between and getting to work mechanical free. On the other hand brands such as Cannondale are best known for their performance, which makes their bikes best suited for Gravel events and BikePacking adventures. Both brands offer bikes that fall into both the reliability category and performance category, but as a general rule of thumb Genesis = reliabilty and Cannondale = performance.
Reasons to buy a Genesis –
Budget. The CDA range from Genesis offers outstanding quality and reliability at an affordable price range starting at £749.99. The CDA is the little brother of the ever popular (and more expensive) Croix de Fer (CDF) from Genesis. They share the same frame design and therefore have the same mounting points to take on mudguards, pannier racks and anything else you might need. The only difference is the frame material, the CDA is made from aluminium whereas the CDF is available in Titanium and Steel options. Aluminium isn’t quite as reliable as Titanium or Steel, however that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have benefits of its own. Aluminium is a whole lot lighter than steel and comes in at a way cheaper price point than titanium. Making this bike more accessible to a wider demographic and your overall set up will be lighter once you load it up with bags and the like. The CDA is best suited to riders who are just getting into gravel, commuting as it keeps the cost down on repairs and riders starting out their touring/BikePacking journey.
The CDF from Genesis is one for the ‘Steel is real’ club. If you’re an avid tourer/BikePacker with plans to be off in the wilderness for days on end, then the CDF offers the best reliability and comfort to do so. Steel is not only reliable but it also offers a super smooth, yet responsive, ride feel which you will be thankful for on those long days in the saddle. The CDF also has relaxed geometry with riding fully laden in mind. Meaning that the CDF is a lot easier to navigate once you’ve got all your bags on, which can be a lifesaver when on unfamiliar routes. Like I said above the CDF is also available in a Titanium frame option which provides the best of both world, lightweight and bombproof. However that does come at a price. Unlike other brands, the CDF is a high end touring/BikePacking machine with mounting compatibility for pannier racks (due to the bike not being full carbon). Therefor the CDF is ideal for riders not looking to break any time records but have the ability to be on tour with more luggage. Or have a bombproof commuter.
If you’re all about having fun with friends on weekend Gravel rides and overnight BikePacking adventures then the Fugio is the bike for you. Built for fun and backed up with Genesis’ heritage in reliability, you can push your limits without worry. The Fugio comes spec’d with 650c wheels and wide tyres allowing you to ride even the roughest terrain. It’s not all about fun though, the Fugio still has the practicality of mounting points for bags on the frame so you can always carry gear for longer trips. Furthermore the ‘entry level’ Fugio is available in an aluminium frame option, as well as steel further up the range, so can be available to customers on a bit more of a budget (however still not CDA territory). Like the CDF above if you’re after a high end Gravel smasher, that isn’t carbon, the Fugio is an ideal bike for epic social rides and overnight stays.
To view the range of Genesis Fugios on our website
The Topstone Aluminium is Cannondale’s ‘entry level’ Gravel bike range which blends performance with practicality. Therefore the Aluminium Topstone is ideal for people looking for a slightly nicer bike to commute on or a BikePacking adventure ride without splashing the cash for full carbon. This bike has the capacity to take full length mudguards and a pannier rack (which none of the other Topstones can offer) making it ideal for carry laptops to work or longer BikePacking/Touring trips. Since the Topstone is aluminium rather than steel (like the CDF) it is a lot lighter, especially once you have loaded up with luggage. Therefore if you’re more of a weight weenie, as opposed to searching for ultimate robustness, then the Topstone Aluminium is a great performance option with a cheap price tag for what you get.
To view the range of Cannondale Topstone Aluminium on our website
The Topstone Carbon is Cannondale’s flagship range of Gravel bikes which are ideal for events/racing and minimalist BikePacking set ups in order to keep the speed high, even when carrying kit. Whilst offering a an exceptionally high performance fast ride, the Topstone really stands out from the crowd with what they call, ‘Kingpin suspension’, this is a single pivot design, located at the join of the seat stays to seat tube, which offers 30mm of suspension. Don’t worry this doesn’t hinder its efficiency and therefore speed, Kingpin actually advances efficiency, comfort, control and therefor in turn, speed. However this does mean that the Topstone carbon cannot take a rear pannier rack, however BikePacking bags are still suitable. If you’re after a performance Gravel machine to rip the legs off your mates, chase the win at Grinduro or faster BikePacking trips then go for the Topstone Carbon.
To view the range of Cannondale Topstone Carbon on our website
If you’re really a mountain biker at heart or looking for a bit more comfort and confidence when out on rides then the Topstone Carbon Lefty could be for you. This bike is ideal for blurring the line between Gravel and MTB, with Kingpin rear suspension, Cannondale’s Lefty Oliver Gravel specific front suspension fork and 650c wheels with wide tyres, you can tackle much more challenging terrain than a rigid Gravel bike. On the other hand if you are new to off road riding, having that extra bit of cushion can boost your confidence and allow you to push yourself to ride further without taking unnecessary risks. Again due to the Kinpin design the Topstone Lefty cannot take a pannier rack but BikePacking bags can be fitted if you wanted to take your adventures to the next level. Due to the 650c wheels this bike has more of a comfort and/or playful story as oppossed to flat out speed. However depending on how technical the event, this bike could be the one to go for so you don’t get caught out on any descents.
To view the range of Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty’s on our site
In summary, Genesis’ heat lies in long tours in the outback, whereas Cannondale’s lie in going fast and day trips with your friends. Therefore depending on your top priority (Reliability or Performance) start with choosing between Brands then decipher which other characteristics you would like. For example, if your top priority is reliability but you still want to be able to have fun on the weekends and don’t plan to be an out and out tourer then go for a Genesis Fugio. Whereas if Performance is your top priority but you don’t want to break the bank, then go for a Cannondale Topstone Aluminium.
As a business we have been very lucky during the COVID19 Pandemic as we have been able to stay open throughout the many lockdowns. However we understand that we have not been – and still can’t – able to offer our usual bike buying services, such as test rides and bike fits.
Due to face to face contact being limited and our shop currently operating under Appointments only. We have decided to create a small guide on how to buy a bike through our website, while still benefitting from human interaction, in order to be sure you’re making the right purchase.
Already know what bike you’re after –
Our bikes can be purchased via our website for delivery or click and collect at our store. But if you have some questions or need sizing advice, then please don’t hesitate to get in contact via email@example.com where we will answer any queries.
Want a new bike but don’t know which model –
If you’re new to cycling or unsure of what style of bike to go for next (hybrid,road,mountain etc) then send us over an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your plans for the bike (commuting,Bikepacking,sportives etc). Along with your height and rough budget. From there we will send over a few options that best suit your needs where you can choose your favourite. Once you have chosen, the bike can be purchased via our website for delivery or click and collect at our store.
Found a bike you like but its out of stock –
Since the beginning of the Pandemic stock in the bike industry has been a nightmare! Meaning that getting your hands on your dream bike is a bit more difficult than usual. On all of our out of stock bike product pages there is a notify button, this is where you can send us a ‘back in stock request’. Once we receive your request we will get back to you with the following options; pay a minimum of a 10% deposit to pre order the bike. Or we provide alternative options that are currently in stock that are similar to the original bike you enquired about.
If you decide to collect your new bike from our store we will do our best to ensure everything is perfect, by carrying out a basic position check on collection, where we will set your saddle height and reach if needed. Don’t panic if you have ordered your bike for delivery, we include building instructions in the box. If you want to be sure or are having any discomfort after building your bike up, then please don’t hesitate to send over a side on picture and/or video of you on your new bike. From there we can suggest possible changes to saddle height and/or stack and reach adjustments which will make your ride more comfortable.
*When emailing us, the more information the better. The more you give us, the more we can give back :)*
If this is your first time buying a bike then why not check out our guide on ‘Buying your first bicycle’
Buying a new bike can be daunting, spending months researching models and brands making sure everything is perfect. Endless lists of pros and cons and scrolling through forums to find exactly what you want in a bicycle. That’s why I decided to write this blog, as someone who is fortunate enough to work in a bike shop which means I can access pretty much all the brands in the industry, I wanted to showcase why the SuperSix from Cannondale stood out for me.
Firstly, being a female cyclist its often very hard to find a brand which takes women’s cycling seriously and in turn offers a high end women’s option(s) so initially that’s why Cannondale caught my eye. They are also one of the few brands who have female brand ambassadors as opposed to solely male riders. As well as being female, I am also only 5ft so this also makes buying bikes hard, for both vertically challenged men and women. However Cannondale offer their SuperSix Evo right down to a 44cm frame (I ride the 48cm) making the bike super accessible to all riders.
In the past I have only ever ridden aero road bikes as my heart lies in racing and riding flat out. However when Cannondale released their new rendition of the Supersix in 2020 marketing it as the perfect all rounder with new truncated aerofoil tubes, the bike was instantly on my radar. I’ve never been much of a mountain goat, so the idea of having the best of aero and lightweight interested me. After the SuperSix won ‘Bike Of the Year’ for 2020 I knew it was a force to be reckoned with.
After doing a bit of digging I found that the new SuperSix truncated aerofoil tube shapes have reduced drag by 21% compared to its predecessor. I also found another study showing that the Supersix came out on top in a windtunnel Yaw angle test covering 95% of riding conditions at 30mph against the top competitors lightweight models from brands such as Specialized and Cervelo. I’ll link the full article below if you really want to nerd out.
Another deciding factor for me, as silly as it might seem, was the colourway. I already had another bike from Cannondale, the women’s Topstone Carbon 2 which I love! Both of which are in Cannondale’s stunning Lavender colourway, which is like a pearl purple. So it would have been rude not to get bikes that complimented each other.
I also love to make my bikes different from the stock model and the Cannondale came in at a price that let me do that. Unfortunately you cannot buy the SuperSix as frame only, however you can sell the stock components to fund different ones, which is what I did. Originally the bike came with a Shimano 105 hydraulic disc groupset, Cannondale One crankset and Cannondale RD 2.0 wheelset, I had other ideas. The wheels were changed out for Enve Composites Foundation 45mm carbon deeps (a nod to my aero obsession) the tyres changed to Vittoria Corsa Control Tubeless Ready in 28mm. I also upgraded to a Sram Red AXS electronic groupset (including cranks) and finished the build off with an Deda Zero handlebar and stem combo.
My new SuperSix (nicknamed Suzy) turned out to be pretty much my dream build which I am super proud of. I’ve only managed to get out on her for a few rides so stay tuned to see my next write up in the coming months after I’ve had a bit more time in the saddle, where I will go into a bit more detail on how she rides.
Thanks for reading, Ellie 🙂
Check out the range of Cannondale Supersix’s on our website.
Looking for a new bike for your little shredder? Here is our kids bike top picks.
Our kids bike are built to last. Equipped with lightweight frames and quality components such as Sram and Shimano making them easy to work on. However, we do offer lifetime free servicing on all kids bike bought from ourselves so you don’t even need to get your hands dirty.
Firstly we have the Tadpole from Frog. This is where the bike riding journey begins for your little one. The Tadpole is a balance bike, this means that there are no pedals or stabilisers. The Tadpole is designed to get kids used to the balance needed to ride a bike by using there feet to balance rather than leaning on the stabilisers because if you teach your kid this, when you take them away it will more often than not involve a few crashes as when they lean over there will be nothing there, this is why a balance bike is the safest and quickest way of teaching your kids to ride. The Tadpole would roughly suit kids aged between 2 and 3 years old. Don’t sweat it if your little one isn’t so little, we often take the chain set and pedals off of bigger bikes to make them into a temporary balance bike until they are confident enough to put the pedals back on. This also stops our customers from having to buy another bike as soon as their child learns how to ride. The Frog Tadpole comes in a plethora of colours, even spotty, and is coming in at £160.
Next up we have our most popular kids bike by far, the Frog Hybrid. This is the natural progression from the Tadpole and beyond as it is available in all sizes from 14” wheels right through to 26” wheels therefore suiting kids at all ages. The Frog pedal bikes are numbered, this is not a only a model number but also their sizing system. The number on the frame correlates the the riders inside leg measurement making it one of the most accurate kids bike sizing systems out there. For example the Frog 55 is aimed at kids aged 6-7years old but if you want to be sure, the minimum inside leg measurement that will fit this bike is 55cm. We love this sizing system here at the shop because the last time we check kids came in all shapes and sizes no matter their age. These bikes are equipped with either a single speed gear set up or rapid shift 1x gear system depending on the bike size. The Frog Hybrids are available in a wide variety of colours and are starting at £270.
Now have a very similar bike to the Frog Hybrid, the Ridgeback Dimension. This bike from Ridgeback comes in marginally cheaper than the frog but is not available in as many sizes or colours. The Dimension comes in 14”, 20”,24” and 26” wheel options and each model is available in two colours. These bikes are also available in either single speed or rapid shift 1x gear systems, depending on size. The Dimension starting price is £250.
Now we have another bike from Frog, their Mountain Bike range. These bikes are ideal for introducing your kids to the woods, equipped with suspension fork and nobly tyres these bikes are ready to eat up the single-track. Frog’s Mountain Bike range is available in two wheel sizes (24” and 26”) and three frame sizes (62,69 and 72). Frog say that their Mountain Bikes will fit kids roughly aged 8-14 years old. The 69 model won the Red Dot Design award in 2018 so there is no telling that these are top notch bikes. Each of the Frog Mountain Bike models are available in two colours and are starting at £630.
Here we have arguably the coolest looking kids bike out there, the Cannondale Cujo+. Yes that’s right a fat bike for kids! This bike is equipped with super wide tyres which allows you to ride with lower tyre pressures therefore offering suspension. This allowed Cannondale to offer suspension for kids while maintaining a lightweight construction that makes it easy for them to ride. This is why the Cujo+ is available in smaller sizes(20”and 24”wheels) compared to the Frog Mountain Bike Range. The Cujo+ is available in two colour schemes, 1 per size, and is coming in at £350 for the 20” and £400 for the 24” model.
Finally we have our favourite mountain bike brand’s kids hardtail, the Whyte 403. This is the ultimate kids off road machine. Equipped with hydraulic disc brakes,suspension fork, sleek internal cable routing, 1×9 Shimano gear system, WTB trail boss tyres and Whyte’s famous out front frame geometry the 403 from Whyte will have your little ripper railing every trail. This bike is available in only one model with 26” wheels and is coming in at £599.
A little extra tip for you, our best selling kids bike accessories, besides a helmet of course, is a kickstand and a gear guard. These accessories will fit on every bike on this list apart from the Frog Tadpole and are only £20 (£10 each). We offer trade ins on all kids bike bought from us as we understand it can be hard keeping up with how fast they grow! Therefore most of our customers end up going for these accessories in order to get more money back for their trade in towards the next bike. Also I mentioned the free servicing on all kids bikes bought from us at the top of this list, this is for labour only if your kids bike needs any parts then there will be a charge for this but we will fit them for free. The gear guard is a mere £10 but protects against a very popular yet very expensive repair where the rear derailleur catches on the spokes of the rear wheel, therefore resulting in new rear wheel, new rear derailleur and new chain. So long story short, our advice would be to spend the £20 at the start to avoid a much greater expense in the future…
If you interested in any of these bikes please don’t hesitate to get in contact with the shop via Sales@billybilslandcycles.co.uk or give us a call at 01415520841/01415527882.
Here at the shop we believe that buying bikes should be fun and easy. That’s why we offer a buying process tailored to each customers needs to ensure that all our customers buy the best bike for them. Whether your bike of choice is a speedy Cervelo S5 Di2, Cannondale Treadwell Hybrid, Electric Bike or a Frog kids bike we do our best to make sure our customers are 100% satisfied with their purchase.
If you are unsure of what bike it is that you want to go for, then we will start by asking you what kind of riding it is that you plan on doing and how tall you are (to determine the bike size) . Then we will show you a selection of bikes that are best suited for your riding style and go through with you the pros and cons of each model.
Then once you have decided your favourites our bikes at Billy Bilsland Cycles are available for a free test ride! We consider bums on saddles the best way for our customers to chose the correct bike. We understand that reviews don’t lie, but bikes are so personal in terms of fit and how you like to ride so that’s why we are on hand to offer our advice on what’s best for your riding style and most importantly you can decide based on your own opinion and not the keyboard warriors on the internet. As the picture above shows, our bikes very rarely go out the door ‘as stock’ from the supplier as during the test ride process more often than not slight position changes are made. Whether that be a different stem, saddle or in some occasions if our customers want to go that extra mile to ensure an optimum position on their new bike we also offer a full professional bike fit service.
As a shop we believe that the biggest mistake bike riders make is waiting until their bikes break then bringing it in for repair, that’s why even after you have purchased a bike from us it’s not bye bye customer. For the first year you own the bike we offer free ‘tune ups’ with all bikes bought from us (excluding sale bikes) and life time free ‘tune ups’ on all high end road bikes and kids bikes. This service is to help our customer save money by nipping small issues in bud to avoid big and possibly costly repairs in the future. As well as educating our customers on how to look after their bike and what the tell tale signs are that their bike may need some adjustment. We recommend that your first tune up should be roughly six weeks from when you bought the bike so we can make sure that your bike is still running sweet after the settling in process of new bike components such as headset, bottom bracket and gear cables. This service is usually done while you wait as bikes we sold jump the repair que past ones not bought from us.
As a shop we pride ourselves in having the quickest repair turnaround time in Glasgow. Although if we still aren’t quick enough for you then we do offer free courtesy bikes from our range of hire models (only for bikes bought from ourselves).
If you do find the right bike in our store but you don’t want to splash the cash all in one go, that’s okay. We take all Cycle To Work Vouchers! E.g Halfords, CycleScheme, Bike2Work etc. Don’t have access to the Cycle To Work Scheme? No worries, we also take payment via V12 Finance.
So why not come by the shop or give us a call/e-mail, we are always free to chat bikes.
Here at Billy Bilsland Cycles we love selling bikes however, we love our customers more. That’s why we have put together this simple guide on how to look after your new bike to try and avoid common, and sometimes costly, repairs.
First things first, Puncture prevention. The most common repair we get in the shop is a puncture, yes we understand that the Glasgow roads and cycle paths are somewhat different to the silky smooth tarmac that you find in Spain. However 90% of punctures we see are due to impact, this is caused by your tyres being too soft. We recommend pumping up your tyres once per week, the correct air pressure will be located on the side of the tyre. Having hard tyres will not only prevent you from walking home but also make your bike feel super fast! Riding with low tyres pressures requires you to push extra hard on the pedals, you wouldn’t drive around in your car with flat tyres, so why cycle with them?
There is a running joke in the bike industry, ‘if customers start maintaining their chain, bike shops would close down’. Basic drivetrain maintenance is so easy and can save you a hefty repair bill. As the chain wears on a bike it begins to wear into the chainrings and cassette, this means that if caught early enough you can get away with only replacing the chain. However if you continue riding without checking then you will have to replace not only the chain, but the chain rings and cassette as well. Usually you will get about 1000 miles out of a bike chain, although if you do not keep it clean and lubed then this figure will dwindle massively. We recommend washing your bike once per week (could be done along with pumping up your tyres), however if the weather is bad and/or your bike is looking pretty dirty then we would recommend that you wash your bike more frequently. In order to wash your drivetrain effectively you will need some degreaser and a chain bath or sponge. Apply the degreaser to your drivetrain and leave to soak for a few minutes (we usually wash our frameset and wheels in this time with bike cleaner). Then once you have let the degreaser soak in, get your sponge or chain bath and run the chain through by using the pedals with your other hand. Now rinse off any excess with water and then dry off your chain, only now can can you re-lube your chain. Please don’t make the mistake of adding more and more lube to your chain without cleaning off the old stuff. This will only attract more dirt and grime therefore causing your chain to wear even faster. To take the extra step to ensure you don’t ride with an excessively worn chain you can purchase a chain checker, once your chain reaches 0.75 then it is time to replace the chain. If your chain reaches 1.0 then unfortunately you will more than likely have to replace the entire drivetrain.
Lastly we have the derailleur hanger. This is a tiny part which attaches the rear derailleur to your frame and is designed to break off if needed, in order to stop your frame from snapping in a crash. However this piece is very fragile and if your bike is dropped or leant over on the drive side where the hanger is located it can cause it to bend. If the hanger is bent it is at a higher risk of snapping and also when you change into the easier gears the derailleur will become too close to the spokes in your rear wheel. Before you know it your derailleur will be in your wheel and you will be on your way to the dental hospital…We recommend checking that your hanger is straight before every ride to avoid danger to yourself and your wallet. To check if your hanger is straight, simply stand behind your bike and ensure that it is parallel to the frame and not bent to the left or right.
All bikes bought from us come with your first tune up service for free! We recommend coming in for this after 6 weeks or 200 miles of riding, which ever comes first. With all new bikes there is a settling in period where the cables and bearings will settle in and stretch. The easiest way to see if this has happened is if the brakes start pulling into the handle bars and shifting gear is not a crisp as it was when you first bought it. This is why we offer the first tune up for free in order to take care of the settling in process and any other issues you might be having. After this we expect to see you every three to 6 months depending on how much you use the bike. Please don’t wait until there is a problem to come back because more than often these problems could have been prevented by maintenance carried out little and often and will save you paying expensive repair bills.
*If you have bought your bike online and/or do not live locally to us, then we would expect you to take the bike to your local bike shop for the first tune up and regular servicing thereafter.*