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WELCOME TO JUICY BIKES

In the Peak District we know about hills and we care about the ride.
For us, performance and power must come with style and detail.
Looking for the best value dutch style, folding and hybrid electric bikes with great quality and perfect service in the UK?  RIDE THIS WAY.

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RIDE THIS WAY

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THE BIKE YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTED

Love life on two wheels. Look forward to your commute.
Get into the countryside. Climb higher, go further.
Cycling hasn't been this much fun since your first bike.
Curious? Book a test ride with a JUICY retail partner.

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ARRANGE A TEST RIDE

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BUY WITH CONFIDENCE

RISK FREE 14 day home trial when you buy on-line.
Established UK brand with great rider and press reviews.
Full 12 month warranty as standard or extend to 24 for £69.
Click and collect: Built for you to collect from your local bike shop.

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CLICK AND COLLECT

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ONE SIZE DOESN'T FIT ALL

Tailor it to you: modular design enables you to choose from five frame styles, five battery sizes, four wheels sizes, three brake options, two handlebar displays and five glorious colours.
So you're sure it's right for you. We'll build your perfect bike.

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CHOOSE YOUR PERFECT BIKE

Sunny trail with cyclists

 

Riding a bike used to mean knowing the lay of the land. The cyclist of yore would rely on an innate sense of direction and keen memory, striking out onto the open road without so much as a glance at an Ordnance Survey ...Possibly.

Come to think of it, there is the danger of just hanging-out on the same old routes because the real gems are not so easy to find (in between sessions of getting lost).

If your navigation skills have atrophied with the rise of GPS then chances are you need Google Maps to find your own kitchen. And you probably want other people to do all the mental heavy lifting, finding the quickest, quietest and/or most scenic cycle routes for you to enjoy.

Once again, technology comes to our rescue. There are heaps of route planners competing for your attention, and almost all in both web and mobile app form. Many of them are useful, but we know your time is precious, so we tried ‘em, ranked ‘em, and we’re going to give it to you straight: the four very best route planners available to the modern cyclist.  EDIT: December 2016 - Make that FIVE - we think we've found the best (and it's free too)

 

ViaMichelin

ViaMichelin route planner screenshot

 

ViaMichelin isn’t slick, or even particularly easy on the eye. It’s a full-on slice of early 2000s web-design. But it is powerful. And – after a few routes planned – it reveals itself to be surprisingly easy to use.

As the branding would imply, ViaMichelin caters to drivers foremost, but that hasn’t stopped it from hiding a powerful suite of tools for cyclists. Boons include elevation information, which is crucial for non-electric cyclists; real-time traffic data (unfortunately a bit half-baked), and a clear, intuitive look at the weather along your route.

We also appreciate ViaMichelin’s choice of route ‘types’: do you want the quiet, the fast, or the ambiguously described ‘Michelin Recommended’ route?

ViaMichelin won’t walk you through route planning like most modern modern web-apps, but the trade-off is for a heap of information, and all in one place. A nice example of how more can be more.

ViaMichelin route planner iOS screeshot

Mobile?

ViaMichelin’s Mobile version manages to cram in the many features of its desktop counterpart and remain genuinely useable. No mean feat.


 

See the complete range of our great value electric bikes 

 

 

 

Google Maps route planner browser screeshot

 

Google Maps

In contrast to ViaMichelin, Google Maps is the product of Google’s modern design team and feels familiar. It’s idiot-proof to the point of being sparse, but reveals a few cycling-friendly touches if you dig deeper.

A handy graphical representation of the elevation along the route helps you visualise the ‘arc’ of your journey much more easily than with the icons of ViaMichelin. It’s easy to imagine exactly how and when you’ll be riding up and downhill with a ‘side-on’ view of each route.

Google Maps can also indicate cycle-friendly road types, marking trails, dedicated lanes, bicycle friendly roads and dirt/unpaved trails with unique indicators. Unfortunately, the route planning algorithm won’t go out of the way to include them.

The last big draw for Google Maps is Street View (although we’d never recommend spoiling all of that lovely scenery beforehand.) It can be useful to get a look at the key elements of your route before you head out – checking your mobile while riding is not a great idea, and recognised landmarks will let you know you’re on the right track.

 

Google Maps route planner mobile screenshot

 

Mobile? The Google Maps mobile app is much the same as its desktop cousin: fast and slick, but somewhat limited. But smooth integration with the operating system on your phone (if it’s an Android based device), as well as with Google’s myriad other apps (like Gmail) might be enough to make Google Maps your go-to mobile route planner. Just know that you’ll be sacrificing a bit of potential fine-tuning.

 


 

 

CycleStreets route planner browser screenshot

 

CycleStreets

Another route planning heavyweight is CycleStreets. Perhaps not as thoroughly featured as ViaMichelen (despite the benefit of being completely bike-centric), CycleStreets manages to bring a host of smart ideas (and some user-friendly design) to the table.

First off, CycleStreets is easy on the eye (as well as the brain): the map window is far less visually crowded than in some web maps, allowing you to far more easily pick out the lay of your route. CycleStreets has the luxury of only having to convey cycling-relevant information, and they’ve done a good job of foregrounding the essentials.

CycleStreets makes the choice to hide a lot of its data until you’re a little further down the route-planning chain, which keeps the planning process quick and intuitive. More map-literate users might be frustrated that they have to enter each route in turn to get a look at the nitty-gritty, but we found CycleStreets’ planning arc to be a fine compromise.

Entering your route throws up some cleanly presented turn-by-turn directions, going as far as to show you the surface-type and a blown up map view of each leg. Unfortunately you’re not given the option to exclude any surface-types in particular (which would be appreciated by those without all-terrain bikes).

CycleStreets isn’t the total total package, but arguably that’s because it knows what’s important to the average cyclist. It’s smooth, user-friendly and a delight to use.

 

CycleStreets route planner mobile screenshot

 

Mobile? The CycleStreets smartphone app is very nearly as good as the web client, and in some respects better. It’s particularly easy to view and load previously ridden routes, and to save your favourites for posterity.

 


 

 

 

Garmin Connect Segments browser screenshot

 

Garmin Connect

Garmin Connect [https://connect.garmin.com/]

If you’re eager to take the reigns and actually plot your cycle route (we’ll admit – the previous entries in our list have technically been route finders as much as planners), then Garmin Connect is an interesting sidebar.

Connect is a full suite of data-tracking, goal-setting and social networking tools aimed at the sportsman with a serious interest in improving. In the case of us cyclists, much of this functionality requires a Garmin brand cycle-computer to record the relevant data, but not in the case of Connect’s flagship route plotting tool, Segments.

Segments fulfils a slightly different (but complementary) role to the standard planner: users are encouraged to plot their own turn-by-turn routes by placing nodes on a map. In practice this means tweaking the routes that you already know, and learning about them in the process. Segments provides distance and elevation statistics for the routes that you create, although the most granular detail has to be provided by the user.

When you’re done defining your route, you can make it accessible to others, shortcuts and all. If you’re really brave (and in possession of the aforementioned Garmin computer) you can see how you stack up on leaderboards versus fellow locals. Sounds exhausting.

Of course in the case of Segments, plotting a safe, quiet and/or efficient route relies on pre-existing experience cycling in the area (or at least a basic sense of the geography), so your first foray into in a new neighbourhood might be better served by one of the other route planners on our list. Of course, a Segments route designed by one of Connect’s other users might be what you need: most seem to be tried and true, with many local cyclists having recorded their attempts at seemingly innocuous Peak District routes (the UK Peak District being our testing ground). Keep in mind, however, that many Garmin Connect users are dedicated cyclists.

Route Planning is just one feature of an in-depth fitness tracking suite, but we think it’s worth signing up for. It’s free, and not everybody is content to let an algorithm plot their course – you might find that you can shave a few seconds of your commute with minimal fine tuning.

 

Garmin Connect Segments mobile screenshot

 

Moblie? Connect’s mobile app doesn’t allow for the plotting of routes on the go, but you can access your own courses with minimal fuss. And the dizzying array of charts, graphs and maps are present and correct, if you’re desperate to know exactly how inadequate your cycling is next to the local king or queen.

 


 

Which of these four are we crowning "Our Winner"?

 

It has to be used to be CycleStreets!


CycleStreets isn’t the most powerful or fully-featured route planner on the web, but it recognises that time spent planning is time spent not riding. So for its visual clarity, fantastic mobile app, and accessibility (and not at the expense of depth), we’re declaring CycleStreets the very best cycle planner in the known universe, based on the depth, currency and clarity of its mapping data.

However... a fifth, recently vastly updated and improved app has turned up and really impressed us by its ease of use, speed and absolute freeness-ness.

Making full use of the excellent data provided by the CycleStreets.net mapping service and options for using Ordnance Survey open maps data too, the latest Smartphone (Android and IPhone) App from the Bike Hub (funded by contributions from the Cycle Industry, managed by the Bicycle Association of GB) is an absolute hands down, all-out winner of all the Phone Apps we've checked out.

This App provides simply the best solutions for cyclists looking for a variety of options for their ride - shortest, safest, quietest - riders choose, based on the data contributed by the thousands of contributors to the original mapping data and constantly updated.  All that data is quickly and efficiently analysed to produce the best cycle route.  Short cuts, Sustrans routes and a host of almost secret cut throughs are all used by the software to produce an ideal route, based on the rider's preference for speed or calm (or a balance between).

The latest major revision to an established app (ver 4.0 released November 2016) is a total revamp, very reliable and works on both latest Androids and IPhones and is totally free!

New revised, now brilliant Bike Hub Route App

Disagree? (How dare you.) Which is your go-to route planner? Let us know on Twitter (@JuicyBike) or on Facebook over at www.facebook.com/JuicyBike.

 

 
 

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