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Electronic Gear Shifting.

di2The electronic gear shifts are now fitted to many bikes which are available to hire. To some the idea of an electronically controlled gear shifting seems a bit over the top and superfluous. This could not be further from the truth. Read on to discover why electronic gear shifts range is rated by all cyclists including the professionals.

The History

When electronic gear shifts was first brought to the market, it was aimed solely at professional riders. The increase in weight was minimal from their mechanical gear shifts, and the increase in performance was evident. One of the key things that electronic gear shifts did was to make gear changing faster and more accurate. Professional riders were involved in its development. Due to the technology being aimed at the pros, it was expensive.

Everyday Cycling

The electronic gear shifts range has now been expanded. With more affordable version a few years ago. Although in real terms it is only recently that more and more bikes feature electronic gear shifting. 


One of the strengths of electronic gears is that it makes it easier for beginning level cyclists to get the idea of efficient gear changing. To conquer mountains you need to have good gear use and be able to transition between gears to maximize efficiency of the climb. Although electronic gear shifts do not change gear automatically based on speed, they do make gear shifting faster and more accurate. For beginner cyclists, selecting the right gear more often is a big confidence boost.


Hannah Bussey writing in Cycling Weekly Magazine said of the electronic gear shifts;
"I'm fully aware that not all females have the misfortune of having hands the size of a child on the ends of arms that are weaker than water. But if you've inherited physiology similar to mine, then quite frankly Ultegra Di2 is the stuff groupset dreams are made of."
In essence she went on to describe how the "gamble" of changing gears had been eradicated thanks to electronic gear shifting, and as such her confidence and racing style has improved. Prior to this, she was reluctant to change gears due to her small hands. She found shifting up the cassette a struggle. Now she describes changing gear as easy as tapping a keyboard.


The pros use electronic gear shifting for a reason, and as such if you are looking to improve your times so should you. Confidence is key to all levels of cyclist and having precision as well as outstanding reliability when you change gear will give you confidence. You will be in the right gear more often.
The electronic gear shifting is one of many great reasons to join us in Mallorca for a holiday or training camp. For more information about our Cycling Camps in Mallorca follow the link and complete the Ask for Availability form.

What are your experiences with electronic gear shifts?

Sources: Cycling Weekly

submitted on 25/01/2015

CostwoldEssesnce Magazine"In a moment of madness around two years ago I had a rush of blood to the head and bought myself a bike, despite the fact I hadn’t ridden since pre-teens."

By Sue Smith
Article in Costwold Essence Magazine Nov 2014

pdfDownload the full pdf here540.49 Ko

See the here the on-line Costwold Magazine

and the on-line article Get on your bike, pages 52-55

Submitted: Jan 2015
Updated: 10/02/2020



Keep your Bike in Tip-top Condition in the cold Winter Months

With winter well and truly here it is important that you keep your bike well maintained. Salt, grit, moisture, and petrol residue will all do damage to your bike in the winter season. With this in mind let's look at how you can prevent this from damaging your bike and your riding schedule.

The Chainbicycle chain

The chain is always under pressure when you ride. Even if you cycle a few miles a day to work, the chain is working tirelessly to pull that back wheel round. In the winter months it is placed under more stress as it starts to clog with grit, grime, salt, and mud. Ensure your chain is clean and well lubricated. You may want to invest in a chain checker to ensure you are on top of chain maintenance.

Cable Care

Cable care consists of lubricating the ones fitted to your bike and in worst case scenarios replacing the cable completely. Although not under the same stresses as your chain, your bike cables are close to the action and pick up the same amount of grit, grime, mud, and salt. Keeping your cables clean and well lubricated is essential for a better riding experience.
If you feel your servicing efforts or not doing the job, you will probably have to replace the cables. There is an array of tools you can buy to help you to do this.
Ensure you check all cables and replace the ones that are passed their best.

Tyresbicycle tyre

If your tyres are looking worn you should replace them for winter months. Ideally you want tyres which have more traction and as such provide better grip on frosty, wet roads. This also helps with steeper climbs. Some tyres are purpose built for the cold months, so an investment in these could be a good idea. The rule here is that should you have any doubts about your tyres replace them.
If you find you are picking up mysterious punchers, change your tyres.



brake lever

brake pad

Brakes are essential for good riding. Other than ensuring cables are clean and lubricated, always ensure your brakes are in good working order before you ride. Adjust your brakes to ensure they are in tip-top condition. It is always a good idea to have spare brake blocks handy so you can change them if you need to.



Lights and Clothing lights Jacket

Visibility can be considerably reduced for us cyclists, but this is far worse if you are driving a vehicle. To that end always ensure your lights work, are clean, and the battery is producing enough power to ensure you are visible to other traffic. Your clothes should be high-viz reflective. So much so that you should ensure that at least 50% of your can be seen from a good distance when a car headlight illuminates you.


Although not very trendy, good mudguards serve a variety of purposes. One of which is that they protect your bike from picking up all the harmful substances that we have talked about before. There are a variety of mudguards for all kinds of bikes. A good mudguard can prevent brake fittings, and cable ends from corrosive substances.

Cover your Bike When Parked 

Bike shelter for all types of bikes, exists in different sizes at bikeshell.comBike shelter for all types of bikes, exists in different sizes at bikeshel.comIf you are leaving your bike in the open for a fair amount of time, think about investing in a cover for it. Waterproof covers will ensure that the worst of rain water will run off into the street. This not only protects your bike from the elements, but ensures your saddle is a little dryer than it would have been. It also protects fittings from becoming rusty.
For the shown bike shelter visit (We don't get any commission at SportActive, but we think this is a great item and therefore want you have have the information that it exists).


Final Thoughts

If you protect your bike for the winter, you will have better rides. If you have better rides, you will enjoy and get more out of your cycling, whether you are a commuter, or a serious rider.

submitted on 31/12/2014


The Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford. Dungarvan, 24th August 2014

This year's Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford has seen as many cyclists as always ; and, as always, much more wanted to join but could not because the local authorities limit the numbers to 5000. This is a real shame. Other regions of Ireland run sportives with up to 9000 riders. Why is this not possible in Dungarvan ? There must be something to do…! But this is not the point of my article.

In 2013 we had organized a draw. The prize was a beautiful picture of Sean Kelly, on canvas, signed by him. It was such good fun that we repeated it this year, …with a different picture. Given Sean Kelly's long and successful career, we could keep going for ever without running out of pictures…

Sean Kelly signed the picture on Saturday afternoon and drew the winner on Sunday at around 18:00. This was great fun and I have to tell you the little story about how it went. 

On Saturday afternoon a little girl, just back from the 12 km cycle, medal round her neck, put her form in the box. The form was folded and on each side she had written "pick me", "pick me". I had a big internal smile thinking, well, if this works I'll do the same the next time I'll participate in a draw…

On Sunday, at 18:00, Sean Kelly put his hand in the box with the forms, turned them around, under and over, and picked one from underneath. I had a big scream when I saw the form Sean Kelly brought out of the box. On each side was written "pick me". I could hardly believe it ! There has been magic going on here !

So, the winner is Elia Tutty.

Elia is 11 years old and lives in Abbeyside in Dungarvan with her Mum, Dad and Brother Cal. She completed the Sean Kelly 50km for the first time with her Dad Darren on Sunday and also did the 12km with her Dad, Cal and cousins on Saturday. Elia has a wide interest in sport and over the last 3 years has represented County Waterford in swimming at National level in the Community Games Finals in Athlone. She also completed her first triathlon in Kinsale this summer and can't wait to join Dungarvan's Tried and Tested Triathlon club when old enough. Elia's Dad loves the picture and has fond memories of training with Sean Kelly and the Cidona Carrick Wheelers. He still wears his Cidona jersey !!!

We wish Elia success as a future athlete.

Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford 2014 - SportActive drawSean Kelly signing the picture

Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford 2014 - SportActive prize drawThe prize : picture of Sean Kelly.Tour de France Green Jersey - 1989 

 Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford 2014 - SportActive prize drawSportActive presenting the prize of the draw - Who will win it ?

 Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford 2014 - SportActive prize drawSean Kelly shuffling in the box...

 Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford 2014 - SportActive prize drawThe winner is Elia Tutty

 Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford 2014 - SportActive prize drawCongratulations Elia

 submitted on 26//14 by Flora

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About SportActive

We've made it our mission to make your experience of cycling in Mallorca one of the most incredible of your life

Every member of the cycle training team at SportActive is a passionate and accomplished cyclist in their own right, not to mention an expert in cycle training. Indeed, it was after taking part in numerous races across Europe, America and Australia that Flora and I eventually decided to set up SportActive in order to offer a new approach to training for cyclists. Having experienced the very best that cycling clubs had to offer, we wanted to make these experiences accessible to everybody, which eventually led us to found SportActive - a unique cycling break company, committed to help cyclists at all levels improve their skills and have fun doing so.


Contact SportActive

28 Gelvin Gardens, Trench Road, L/Derry, BT472DQ, N Ireland
Tel office : 0044/ (0)287136 5997

Martin Birney - 0044/ (0)75 997 191 79 or 00353/ (0)86 196 6006

Flora Mittermair
Landline : 0033/ (0)4 78 59 18 90 (leave voice message only on mobile number) or Mobile : 0033 / (0)6 99 79 12 54