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News and Features from Epic Cycles

Cross Cartel Rides 2021

Our free to enter Cross Cartel rides are back!  And we've added a new one - the ‘Back Lanes Bash’.  Our existing rides are suitable for gravel bikes and MTBs, but for 2021 we will be adding a route that will also be rideable on road bikes with sensible tyres (think 28mm minimum with decent puncture protection). It’ll be gritty and rough in places, and there may even be a brief hard packed dirt lane thrown in, so it won’t be fast – sticking to true back lanes, it should lend itself nicely to a chilled day out on the bike in true Cross Cartel style.  Full details ae coming soon, but it'll be happening in late May. The [...]

Gravel Tyres

If ever there was a discipline where tyre choice can make or break a ride it's gravel or multi terrain riding. In a single ride you can encounter a full range of surfaces from paved roads and dirt tracks, to gravel, mud and rocks. And with seasonal or daily weather variations, the conditions can differ drastically from one ride to the next over the same terrain. While no tyre can cover every situation perfectly, there are now some great options out there that can handle a huge range of surfaces very well.As gravel and adventure bike enthusiasts ourselves, we've spent the past few years extensively testing just about every brand of gravel tyre available, and have settled on a core [...]

Cross Cartel #4 – The Autumn Epic Gravel Ride

The final Cross Cartel ride of 2020 is on Sunday 11th October - the 64Km Autumn Epic, like all of our self-supported rides, is ideally suited to socially distanced riding.  Just sign up on-line, download the route, then 'rock up and ride'.  No fees, no mass starts, no support crew, just a cracking mixed surface route, that lays claim to being our most ridden local gravel route whatever the time of year! All the information you need (including the GPX route file) can be found here:

A Kit List From The GBDIVIDE:

One of the main questions I was asked before, during, and after, my ride on the GBDIVIDE was what kit I was taking. Whether it was my camping setup, the bike itself, or the bags I was carrying, people seemed to be interested in what I took with me for fifteen days on the road and trails. I didn't have any 'rules' for how I was going to do this ride, but I ended up taking a self-supported approach. Although I purchased food and drink along the way, I carried everything else that I needed with me on the bike. So, below is a comprehensive list of everything I took with me, along with a few insights into what [...]

Unfinished Business on The GBDIVIDE:

During my time riding the GBDIVIDE ( I kept a daily diary over on my Instagram. Reading them back, they're more coherent than I feared they might be towards the end of the ride, but they're still missing some parts of the story. I decided to collate them all below, fill in some of the gaps, and include a few pictures of the incredible route. I hope you enjoy my ramblings from the rough stuff. A question I was asked frequently, and honestly had no answer for, is where I was each day. I rarely had any idea of the location of my stops each night, and the only landmarks I ever got were the major towns and cities [...]

The Gravel Diaries – Episode 6:

A month ago I set off to ride GBDURO, and a couple of days after that it was all over. I had injured myself, scratched from the event, and the journey was left incomplete. As I sat at the side of the road the sense of sadness and disappointment set in, and I couldn't quite reconcile how big of an anticlimax this was. I had envisioned completing the GBDIVIDE and rolling into John O'Groats with a sense of achievement that easily overwhelmed the exhaustion. This was a ride that meant a lot to me, and it represented so much more to me than just a physical challenge. I had known from the beginning that this was a massive undertaking, [...]

Introducing Salsa Bikes:

We couldn't be happier to announce that Salsa Cycles has joined our growing line-up of epic adventure bikes. Whenever we discussed how we could add more depth and diversity to our range of gravel, all-road, and adventure bikes, the name at the top of everyone's list was Salsa. Salsa’s strapline sums them up perfectly: “Adventure by Bike”.  They fundamentally believe that a sense of adventure makes life better – however you personally define adventure. Salsa view the bike as “a path to new places, new people, and amazing experiences”.  And who are we to argue! At a time when access to bikes is extremely limited, we're really excited to already have two of the bikes in this range coming [...]

The Gravel Diaries – Episode 5:

The week(s) in riding: It’s been a few weeks since my last installment of The Gravel Diaries. I’ve been busy preparing for the upcoming GBDuro, and it’s turned into a substantial undertaking. For those who don’t know about the event, I (and around 15 others) will be setting off from Land’s End on the 1st August to ride self-sufficiently all the way to John O’Groats, via Wales, over a mixture of road and gravel. In light of the current Covid-19 situation, we now have to carry everything we need with us from start to finish, and are not permitted to enter any building or go within 2m of another person for the entire event. All the food we’ll need [...]

Cross Cartel #1 – The Mortimer Round

The first Cross Cartel ride of 2020 is finally with us on Sunday 19th July - the 78Km Mortimer Round, and like all of our self-supported rides it is ideally suited to socially distanced riding.  Just sign up on-line, download the route, then 'rock up and ride'.  No fees, no mass starts, no support crew, just a cracking route through the Marches - and as this one doesn't quite cross into Wales, there's just one set of social distancing guidelines to stay within. All the information you need can be found here:

The Gravel Diaries – Episode 4:

The Week In Riding: After taking a few days off the bike, followed by a couple of shorter days to ease the legs back into it, I embarked on my biggest ever week of riding. I wanted to do a run of back-to-back long rides to see how my body adapted to the build up of fatigue. Having historically always stuck to a pretty regimented training plan, where I would take a recovery day every three days on average, I'm not that accustomed to getting back on the bike day after day and riding very long hours again and again. It definitely takes a shift in mindset, and an ability to keep going even when the legs tell you [...]


We wanted to reassure all of our customers that we are open for business and our sales department is operating at full speed, whilst operating to the highest standards of social distancing and hygiene.

We normally operate on an appointment basis for physical sales visits, but for now and concentrating entirely on remote selling, from initial enquiry right through to home delivery – however, we are able to offer safe undercover outdoor collection. Our remote selling processes are very well established and the bottom line is that whether you visit us or not, you will receive the same market leading levels of customer service, personal attention and expert advice, whatever your budget – as well as our unbeatable every day low prices.