As a proud Yorkshireman (hey he’s not perfect), James Ward treats extremes of weather as simply another training tool. Racking up thousands of miles annually, he also knows a thing or two about bikes. After riding the Ribble CGR AL throughout the winter months, we thought we’d ask him to share his experiences so far. Having described it as being perfect for winter rides, we thought we’d ask him why?.
The CGR AL is the perfect option for winter rides. It’s got the ability to run with a wider tyre for added grip and comfort. Plus, the optional addition of mudguards means that it’s a confidence-boosting and practical option for the UK roads. Which as we all know tend to be filthy and often slippery in winter. It’s a bike that really doesn’t leave you with an excuse to stay indoors.
The additional ability to add a 47c tyre on the 650B wheelset also means that if the weather turns a little colder and you’d rather avoid the roads, you can easily mix up the scenery. You can even switch to an even bigger tyre to enjoy some time off-road in the snow.
The model I am riding is the SRAM Rival 1x edition with Mavic All-Road wheelset and 650B WTB Horizon slicks. I’m riding a 40T up front with an 11-42 rear cassette. This might not sound like a big gear for the road. But with the oversized tyres, it still forces me to push out the big watts. Added to which, my cruising speed in the higher gears is still over 20mph. It’s a bike perfect for sportives and I can’t wait to take it to Dirty Reiver in April and the cobbled monster ‘Ron Van Calderdale’. I’d probably be tempted to swap between tyres for on and off-road events. But, otherwise, the setup has worked fine for me so far.
I chose this particular setup to allow me to have a range of options over winter depending on the weather and rides that were on offer. Since receiving my CGR AL I’ve been out on the regular road bike cafe club runs. I’ve also been off-road across the Yorkshire Moors in search of something a little bit different. Winter isn’t a time to worry about skinny tyres and top speeds. Instead its more about ticking off the base miles and being safe, something the CGR has ticked quite nicely.
If you’re looking for something more road-focused, but still want the option for some light off-road then the Shimano 105 spec would work perfectly. It gives additional gear ratios for the road. But, if you choose the right cassette (32T /34T) then it would be perfectly poised to handle the days when you don’t fancy the tarmac.
About the rider:
James is a staunch Yorkshireman that rides outdoors no matter what the weather throws at him. He covers over 16,000 miles a year through various adventures, sportives and trips to the coffee shop. Given the opportunity, he would probably ride his bike 24/7.
Are you planning to ride throughout the winter months? Check out our top tips on how to winterise your Ribble bike to get the most out of your winter rides.