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    How good for you is cycling really?

    How good for you is cycling really?

    The benefits of cycling to the mind, body and environment are endless so we've put together a bite sized shortlist showing the positive effects that cycling can have on your life.

    1. You'll look younger

    It's true! The effect of riding up that hill to work increases your circulation and delivers nutrients and oxygen to skin cells. It also acts as a detox to the cells and flushes away harmful toxins. Leaving you with rejuvenated, plumper skin.


    1. You'll feel lighter

    It obviously depends on the intensity of your ride but to give you an idea; if you go on a 30 minute ride and reach your destination out of breath and a little sweaty then you've burnt off approximately 350 calories. Your average daily ride is unlikely to build loads of muscle tissue, instead it's likely that your thighs, bum and waist will all slim down and tone up.


    1. You'll have better joints

    Patients in the UK who are suffering from joint related problems are regularly prescribed cycling 4 times a week as a way to head off the onset of arthritis and the need for hip replacements. Hip hip horray (sorry)


    1. You'll have less sick days

    This counts for all moderate exercise but a 20 minute cycle ride (try and get a hill or two if you feel up to it) makes immune cells more active so they’re primed to act fast when an infection does come along.

    is cycling good for you. cycle health benefits


    1. You'll feel sexier

    Physical activity = improved vascular health which has the happy knock on effect of improving your sex drive.

    "Studies in the US concluded that male athletes have the sexual prowess of men two to five years younger, with physically fit females delaying the menopause by a similar amount of time".*

    "Meanwhile, research carried out at Harvard University found that men aged over 50 who cycle for at least three hours a week have a 30 percent lower risk of impotence than those who do little exercise".


    1. You'll have a peachy bum

    Whether it's the gluteus maximus, minimus or medius, they are all activated while cycling.

    The gluteus maximus, the largest butt muscle you have, helps to extend the hip as you pedal. As a contributing muscle, the gluteus maximus gets quite the workout when you cycle while the other two are involved in lateral movement.

    So while the gluteus maximus provides the bulk of the power, the two smaller muscles provide stability. An excellent all round workout for your bum.

    The top five commuter bikes for women in 2017

    The top five commuter bikes for women in 2017

    If you're going to ride something everyday it's really got to feel great, look great and be as reliable as possible. So, with that in mind we've searched the UK and beyond for the best commuter bikes that 2017 has to offer. Whether you are a seasoned city rider or you're making your first tentative rides along canal paths to work, we still need the same few essentials from our morning ride.

    1) Speed. It must be able to keep up with the traffic.

    2) Confidence. It should feel great to ride so you can tackle those streets with purpose.

    3) Weight.  You never know when you might spot a short cut up a flight of steps. You should be able to fling your bike over your shoulder and ascend with (relative) ease.

    4) Comfort. This is your everyday ride so it needs to fit your body perfectly. 

    1. The Reid Esprit

    Reid Esprit. womens hybrid commuter bike.

    The Reid Esprit is a lightweight and responsive ride. The nimble frame and straight bars make this an ideal bike to weave in and out of traffic. It's a pretty good price too so you can leave it outside without worrying for the rest of the day. 

    With the Esprit, Reid have managed to combine retro style with modern components and agile design. The stripped back construction makes for a quick and lightweight bike - perfect for city rides.

    2. The Bobbin Luna

    Bobbin Luna womens vintage city commuter hybrid bike

    Perfect for a fast paced, longer commute. The Bobbin Luna is a retro-inspired road bike with a contemporary twist, ready to handle a dreamy London to Paris adventure, or a quick dash across town. With a women's -specific compact steel frame, it features user-friendly STI road gears to get you up and over hills.

    Speedy, reliable and adventurous: that’s the Luna.

    3. The Pashley Penny


    pashley penny. Womens vintage city hybrid commuter bike.

    Comfort and versatility were Pashley's top priorities when designing the Penny. Although not as nippy as some of our other choices, it's certainly the most comfortable and is a dream to ride over pot holes and through the rain. The Penny boasts a handmade Brooks leather saddle and Sturmey Archer hub gears and brakes which allow for rough riding through mud sleet and snow while staying protected from the elements.

    All this makes the Penny a fantastic alternative to a dull modern hybrid bicycle, combining Pashley’s traditional values with the very best contemporary design and componentry.

    4. The Tokyobike Bisou

    tokyobike bisou. womens vintage city hybrid commuter bike.

    Simple, lightweight, responsive and very quick. Tokyobike have designed a bike that balances speed and comfort perfectly. The upright position means allows for a healthy back and eyes on the traffic while the smaller 650c wheels give you fantastic acceleration.

    5. The Bobbin Black Orchid

    the bobbin black orchid. Womens vintage city hybrid commuter bike.

    Cutting through the city scape with a technical set-up suited to distance commuting, the Black Orchid has serious elegance. It features a nimble steel frame, 16 gears and super-safe hydraulic disc brakes.

    The Black Orchid features a womens-specific urban frame and flatter bars for a sportier feel. With a wide range of gears, it’ll easily get you up any big hills you encounter on your route.


    Linus - the champions of chic cycling accessories

    Linus - the champions of chic cycling accessories

    At Bell's we believe that 2017 will be the year of the bike. The love of cycling has been swelling throughout the UK in the last ten years and continues to grow. As cycle lanes increase and more beautiful bikes are produced cycling continues to become more  accessible and fun for everyone.

    As we all know the makings of a great bike are in the details, but rather than lugs and braze ons we thought we'd dedicate a little time to the pacticalities. The panniers that take the weight off our backs, the bells that form our voice on the road and the baskets that allow us access to our stuff at a mere arms length.

    USA based Linus have just brought their fine accessories to the UK and are everything you could want from a brand. Simple, chic and built with torrential rain in mind. Here are the magic seven that will guarantee a smooth journey:

    1# The Eleanor £110

    eleanor bike pannier bag linus

    The Eleanor from Linus is a bag of beauty. Made from durable coated canvas and a genuine leather base and handle, it is elegant yet understated. The size of the Eleanor is spot on, being large enough to carry a goods days worth of essentials whilst also having the capacity to load it up with a grocery shop. Did we mention it also fits on your pannier rack? Simply hang it on your rack using the descrete hook system.

    2# The Hampton Ruc Sac £88

    linus hampton back pack rucksack for cyclists

    linus hampton ruc sack back pack for cyclistslinus hampton ruc sack back pack for cyclists

    Although this is exclusively a back pack and doesn't attach to the bike, the Hampton Ruc Sac from Linus has been designed with cyclists needs very much in mind.

    While the Hampton Ruc Sac looks great, this bag has been designed primarily for its function. With heaps of interior pockets, face zips which allow for easy access and generous padding, this is a bag we would love to carry while zipping around town or off on a longer tour.

    3# Linus side stricker bell £14

    linus side stricker bike bell brassLinus side stricker bike bell silver

    Silver or brass, silver or brass? Which ever you go for you'll be thrilled with the results of the Linus side stricker bike bell. A bold chime that carries into the wind and becomes your voice on the road.

    4# The Sac £59

    Linus sac waxed canvas bike pannier bag

    Linus sac waxed canvas bike pannier bag       Linus sac waxed canvas bike pannier bag

    Inspired by vintage boat bags the sac is just about perfect for any expedition. It's versatile, light weight and extremely durable.  With a simple hook design the Linus sac attaches easily to your rack or with the strap you can throw it over your shoulder.

    The Sac from Linus is already proving to be a best seller here at Bell's Bicycles.

    5# The Linus Oval basket - dipped £46

    linus oval wicker basket dipped

    Linus have an exceptional range of wicker baskets so it was difficult to choose just one for this list but the oval dipped basket just had the edge. It's wonderful to see a break from the classic wicker tones and the colour combination is pretty dynamic. All the baskets in the Linus range are made from tightly woven durable treated wicker to give them a long and life.

    6# The Rear Wire Basket £35

    linus metal rear pannier bike basket

    linus metal rear pannier bike basket

    Easily the most chic, elegant pannier basket we've laid our eyes on. The wooden handle feels wonderful to hold and the basket itself is delicate whilst hardy.

    7# Linus Bullet light £53

    Linus bullet light front

     Linus bullet light front

    A solid and elegant light which is perfect for city night rides. It's easy to attach and remove and has many different flash modes depending on your environment or mood.



    The five best kids bikes for Christmas 2015

    Getting the right bike for your child is so important. The first steps into a life of cycling should be carefully nurtured and planned, they may path the way for years of confident happy cycling adventures.

    I loved my first bike, being a child of the 80's it was all about a good sturdy shopper with streamers. Some of my best memories are just cycling round the block, an early taste of independence. 

    At Bell's we think a lot about these early experiences and the best bike to  have them on. Here is our list of our top 5 favourite bikes for 2015. 

    1) Reid boys Roadster. £159 - £179

    Available in two sizes from 3 - years. Simple and straightforward to ride. It has just one gear with a nice ratio and a front caliber brake and rear coaster brake (pedal backwards to stop) It couldn't be easier.

    The Reid boys Roadster has a light weight frame and great geometry, the children's range from Reid is a wise and fun choice for a first (or second bike) We love that this is like a mini gents roadster in midnight blue.

    It also includes free stabilisers for those who haven't yet fully got their bike legs.

    2) Bobbin Gingersnap. 3 - 10yrs £159 - £200

    We think the Bobbin Gingersnap is such a romantic introduction to cycling. Load your basket up and off you go, along country tracks or much rougher terrain, this little bike is tougher than it looks. 

    With a flexible steel frame, 7 speed Shimano gears and hybrid tyres the Bobbin Ginger Snap is a sensible choice for a budding cyclist. Plus it's the perfect bike with basket combo.

    This year Bobbin have made some major improvements with their kids range, focusing on geometry and the differences in a child's body to that of a grown up. 

    The Bobbin Ginger Snap starts at 3 and goes right up to 10 year olds.


    3) HOY Meadowbank. 7 - 10 yrs £270

    Adapted for the young aspiring champion, the Meadowbank 20 takes influences from not just track bikes in its simple, low-weight design but also the junior race BMXs. We love this bike, it's a great hybrid, it's wonderfully unisex and the quality is fantastic. Big thumbs up from Bell's.

    4) Puky LRM2 balance bike. 2 - 5 yrs £75 - £95

    Puky balance bikes are recognised as the most light weight balance bikes in the world, which means it's easy to ride and easy to carry when it can be ridden no more. If you want to skip stabalisers, go straight from your Puky LRM balance bike to just two wheels.

    5) Bobbin Ginger Snap balance bike.

    We couldn't resist adding another balance bike to the list when we discovered the Bobbin Gingersnap first balance bike. We love that it is the absolute bare bones of a bike, no brakes, mudguards and obviously no pedals. This keeps the weight down nicely and the upright position makes it really easy to master. Bobbin never miss a trick with a basket though.