N+1 to the rescue


Just over three years ago I decided to get into road cycling, little did I know (or my wife) what lie in store. My last road bike before this was a Raleigh Pursuit from the mid-80s, how bikes have changed since then. After many hours drooling over countless bikes, I ended up with a lovely carbon beauty equipped with Shimano’s Ultegra groupset from a wee Canadian bike company called Devinci. She was a real beaut!

To say the least, I fell in love with road cycling and lycra and put some serious miles into this bike. Not satisfied, I then tried my hand at racing, fell in love with that and within 3 races found myself classified as Cat 3! Well and truly bitten by the racing bug, I was soon caught out eyeing up a dream bike, I had started to fall out of love with the ageing Devinci! I soon found myself going the way of so many before me and into the world of N+1. Before I knew it, I had already bought another 2 road bikes that I didn’t quite fall in love with and sold on. Then a third was purchased, it was love at first sight. Now there was another more beautiful bike alongside the Devinci. My Trek Emonda had arrived, there was no looking back, we went everywhere together. The Devinci had been relegated to the dreaded winter bike, a life of turbo torture and wet gritty roads lie in-store.

Things were going well, life in the fast lane was awesome. I was enjoying my second season as a Cat 3 “specialist” on top of my trusty Trek. That was until the day a small incident stop my racing in it’s tracks. I had somehow managed to damage the frame! It turned out that I was going to be without my Trek for quite some time. 

With more races in less than a week, my eyes again turned to my Devinci. She was looking a little sorry for herself and in need of some urgent love and attention before I could consider racing on the old girl. This is where being part of a team really comes to the fore. I received some very kind offers to help me get back on the road, but chose the route of reviving my old Devinci. 

Being part of N+1 Lindfield Coffee Works race team this year for me has been awesome, we have a small group of riders that really look out for each other and go beyond what you’d expect. My hat has to come off to the 2 Dan’s at N+1 for taking my poor beat up old Devinci and giving it a new lease of life in record time. Having only a couple of days to sort out many issues and have it race ready on the day of racing was above and beyond what you’d expect from a bike workshop. To be honest, they saved the day. Not only was i able to race, my good old Devinci took me onto a 2nd place at Goodwood crits, missing out on 1st by a wheel length. My highest finish at that venue! Not satisfied with that result, I managed to get another 2nd place the following week, again just missing out on 1st place. The love affair that kick-started it all off, had just re-ignited. Together, we are now eyeing up Cat 2!

How to build a race-winning bike

It’s January. It’s cold. I’m filling my training hours outside thinking of warmer days on a brand new summer bike, but which one?

flip-flopping on bike purchases is part and parcel of being a cyclist – it’s all part of the fun.  And so started the four month blissful agony of deciding what bike I actually wanted. This was to be the only fully indulgent bike purchase I would ever make (or so I told my frowning fiance – she didn’t believe me).

I wanted a no nonsense racing machine with the right fit, components and geometry for me. I did my research and at first canyon seemed the logical fit – the value of a high end canyon is undeniable, but I just didn’t ‘love’ it. You’ve got to love it. My next idea was a scott foil in bronze, or ‘brown’ as my teammates called it. It wasn’t fated, the retailer I had chosen let me down big time and broke the bike I’d reserved a week before race season kicked off, I was plunged into ice cold panic.

I seeked refuge (as usual) in the knowledge and sensible thinking of big and little Dan from nplusone and we started to form what felt like a reactive solution but quickly became a very exciting dream build. “Argon18 nitrogen disc. Very stiff, very light, very aggresive.” said Dan “what colour is it?” I replied. One quick google and I was immediately in love. With Dan’s contacts, he sourced one that day, (Friday) and it was purchased and in the shop on Tuesday. Both Dans went out of their way to sort it over the weekend to ensure we had her built up ready for racing the weekend after. With both Dan’s wisdom, we made a shopping list of all the other parts, groupset, finishing kit, accessories and between us all we ticked them all off, they were in the shop and on the bike by Thursday.  

There was one slight hiccup…we had no wheels. I had been waiting for a set of the famous Hunt 50’s disc carbons, but being so popular they were on back order and due for delivery end of May – I had been relying on buying a full bike off the shelf and swapping to hunts when they arrived. Whoops. Hunt are known for their customer service and they already give our team considerable support so Dan gave them a call to see what we could do. 

“I’ve got something special, very deep, very angry” said Oli from Hunt

“A little bit of wee just came out” said Dan And just like that, a few hours after the problem had arisen it was put to bed. Hunt was to lend me a set of prototypes to test – monstrous carbon aero discs. I went to pick them up the next morning, giddy like a kid in a candy shop. They went on the bike that day and she was complete.  What. A. Beauty.  

After the experience I’ve had with this build I don’t think I’ll ever buy an off the shelf bike again. I now own a unique race bike with no compromise components for less than the undeniably good value of a canyon equivalent. I had a lot of fun (and drank a lot of good coffee) watching the Dans bring her to life in the shop, and I know they had fun building it too.

Mud, sweat and gears, south-east and eastern championships

After a heavy week of training, I wasn’t too sure how my legs were going to be feeling going into the race.

Turning up, another flat course, but very quick and flowing single track, I was looking forward to getting going, especially with a long tarmac/gravel start before any single track.

I hit it hard from the start, leading out, and went with it. I broke away, with a small gap over Daniel Preece (Army cycling) and kept pushing.
The course was flowing, legs and lungs were good, and I was in my rhythm. I managed to build on the lead over the 5 laps, having a surprising solo race. 
Very happy to get my first top step of the podium, especially at a regional championship.

Next up Cannock chase for the next round of British XC series

Mud sweat and gears and British XC series round 2

Firstly thank you to everyone at N+1 Lindfield Coffee works team for the ongoing support. Being part of a team where everyone wants to help each other out is a massive part of the sport, and N+1 have got it perfect. 

After a slower start to the season than I would have liked I made a last minute decision to race MSG round at Lee valley. A different course to usual, fully man-made around the Olympic velodrome and bmx track, surrounded by easy London docks. A totally new experience to me, creating a hill and seeing a motorway a couple of meters away.

The course was flat, slightly rocky, open, but narrow. After a good start I had a race long battle for second until the last lap where a gap got created, and I was able to ride home for 2nd place. Happy with how my legs felt after a few heavy days of training prior.

Next up the following weekend was the second round of the British XC series at the Olympic course venue of Hadleigh Park. Another fully man-made course, with some big rock features, and no real let up. You’re either downhill, off rocks or uphill.

Again after a good start and sitting second wheel comfortably for the first quarter of the first lap, I dropped my chain on a rocky uphill section, after a dash of the bike and a remount I found myself outside the top 10 and chasing.

Surprisingly with my bike never doing this before it happened two more times throughout the race, continently all on uphill sections, making the remount nice and uncomfortable.

A race that felt like I was constantly chasing and dismount more than a cross race I ended up in 7th.

Happy with how the body feels, but as we all know, everything including the bike needs to come together on the day.

Next up is southern xc round 2 at chekendon this weekend. I missed the first round due to illness, so hoping to get going in the southern series well with this race.

NplusOne and how it all started.

Dan Pullen

I was brought in to manage the new unit here in the cycle hub and shortly after opening the opportunity came up to take ownership. It kind of fell into my lap and it felt right.
We are situated right by the pickup / drop off zone in Brighton Station. It’s a ground floor L shaped unit inside the new Cycle Hub building.
Brighton has a million bike shops already covering every angle. What I wanted to build was an unpretentious place for people to have their bikes serviced. A place where people felt comfortable asking ‘silly’ questions and got honest, straight answers. Good value and good advice at every level. With limited space, I also wanted to have brands I really care about and ones that I could stand behind personally. I’m really proud of each and every item in the shop, and can pass on the items merits to anyone that’s interested.
We operate with a very small team at N+1, so I’m directly involved with every sale and service. I like that. I’m a bit of a control freak, so like to know what’s what.
The business foundations are built on my passion for riding. Simple as that. I’ve got so much enjoyment out of riding my bike and love the idea of turning new people on to it.
So what do we do? Well, we are a cafe and a workshop. Super busy serving locally roasted Lindfield Coffee and fresh pastries to commuters from 07:00-09:30 each day. During this time many people drop off / pick up bikes for us to work on. The model works best when people have access to the completely free of charge Cycle Hub. We can then fix up the bike and lock it up for customers to pick up after work. Most jobs can be turned around in a day or two.We stock all the usual bike shop bits and bobs,  and can repair a puncture while you wait.We are also the Brighton Sales Centre for Le Col. A fantastic clothing brand with top notch race kit.
We have weekly ride outs starting and finishing at the shop. We also run a few trips just for fun really. Flanders in March was memorable as it was snowing!A few years back we went out to Mallorca to take part in the 312 event.It’s early days but I’d really like to see more of these events happening over time just to encourage progression really.
Who am I? I’m a husband, father to Lili and Sophia (5 and 1) and a mad keen cyclist.I took up cycling as an alternative to snowboarding about 8 years ago. I was a ski racer as a youth. I took up snowboarding in my early teens. Went out to work a season when I was 19 and didn’t come home for 10 years!I met my now wife Jenny on my last season (there where a few of those!) and returned home together to grow up a bit.I set up a lawn care business in Surrey. Jen and I got engaged. My best friend back home had taken up trail riding and convinced me to get involved. I absolutely loved it. I did lots of big trail stuff for a few years. Then got more into XC and finally, after doing a charity road event, fell in love with road cycling. It’s all I do now.I’ve run a few businesses over the years and have been involved with so many different things. Everything from washing dishes right through to managing multi million pound turnover shops, restaurants and bars.Outside of riding and work I love food, wine, travel, music and a good box set.
Everesting was something I read about a few years ago. It seemed impossible to me then, but as I progressed and ticked off other ultra endurance events, it became something I really fancied doing.I love the self discovery you get from ultra long challenges.The hill we used was a bridal way through Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey. It’s a beautiful spot with no traffic. Except for the tour train that goes up once an hour taking up all the road! A few sketchy moments meeting that in the wet on 30mph descents!!! There was a group of 19 of us that started out. There was a huge amount of planning and organisation between the group in the run-up. We took a room at the Denbies Guest House on the night of our attempt which proved really useful. Dorking CC was heavily involved and the support on the day was fantastic. My wife and daughter came to say hi which was lovely, my Dad popped by a couple of times and a good friend of mine came and rode a few laps with me. Him pulling out a can of cold Red Bull and a Mars Bar at the top of the climb was very memorable.I found it hard naturally. The average gradient was only 6% and each lap was 2.7 miles, so we had to cover 195 miles to hit 9000 meters. It’s a mental challenge more than anything.
What’s next? I’d love to do Haute Route one year. Race across America is a big dream of mine but could never raise the finances to compete. I wouldn’t rule out the Race Across Europe though! Maybe I should crowdfund it? 🙂
The n+1/Lindfield Coffee Works development team seemed like the most natural extension to what we do here and I’m so glad I set it up. It’s been an incredibly satisfying project and despite being in its infancy has shown its value already through supporting, enthusing, encouraging and educating our riders to become better and more successful at their chosen disciplines. 
We have some incredible brands supporting, Breakaway Digital, Hunt and many more and I’m really excited about what we can all achieve this year, and in years to come.

I’m a small 23 year old with a serious cycling problem


In one sentence, who are you?

Hi! I’m Llewellyn Thomas – I’m a small 23 year old with a serious cycling problem.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em –

The call to arms came shortly after a monstrous hundred mile tour of the Surrey hills in the late October sunshine. Dan P obviously saw something in me that day, it was either my ability to suffer through successive horrendous climbs or my capacity to consume my body weight in energy gels. Either way he had seen enough and decided to take me under the N+1 LCW wings. Onwards and upwards!

All aboard the gains train, next stop: Power, periodisation, plan.

Having never done any structured training, a power meter was my first port of call. I picked up a set of garmin vector 3’s and went out for several doses of pain administered through various timed tests to get some baseline data. Once I had that I used the wealth of knowledge in the team to think carefully about my goals for the year and develop my training plan. We thought about what would work for me based on time, fitness and previous experience and the plan started to come together. All I had to do now was commit to it and stay motivated through the cold winter months…

When you feel like quitting, think about why you started

Keeping myself motivated during the winter is hard. Period. You’re bound to get ill at least once or twice and this would usually cause me serious grief however since having been introduced to Trainingpeaks and a treasure trove of data I can spot periods of heavy fatigue and avoid potential time off the bike. My motivation to ride comes in many forms. First and foremost is the love of cycling, getting outside on my bike keeps me sane and keeps me fit – healthy mind healthy body. Second is my need to prove my success to myself and my teammates.Third is the desire to grow and develop, always looking ahead to the next challenge.

I am strong, I am light

Since training with power I have noticed dramatic, tangible gains across all durations of power output. I’ve (safely) dropped my weight while creeping my power up and worked on my aerobic ability alongside fatigue resistance over the winter months. These small changes combined have yielded me my biggest performance gains to date and have truly skyrocketed my performance. Perhaps even more important is the change in attitude toward my training and the support of my teammates. Being taught how to critically analyse my own training and performance has protected me from over training and kept up the push for continued gains. One of the best parts about our team is the varied experience and knowledge of each member – everyone brings something unique to the table which creates a fantastic buffet of advice and support.

Tomorrow, we conquer the world

Speaking of challenges, the coming season is full of them. Top of the list is getting some crisp cyclist tan lines. Next up is competing in two seperate stage races with the hope of a team top 10 in the GC.More importantly than either of those though is mine and the teams development, mentally, physically and as a community. I aim to develop my racecraft, push my body to the limit and have fun with a great group of lads who I’m lucky enough to call my teammates and my friends.

My life moving to England


About 6 months ago I was chilling back home in Auckland, New Zealand wondering what to do with myself. Where was I headed in life? I was a decent cyclist but nothing special. I had a good bunch of friends but was always away from them due to their University commitments. I worked a good job for a television company making highlights packages, but the hours were rough often working 10 pm to 7 am.

I had it all going for me, my family were very supporting, friends were close, but something was missing. I just wasn’t content with myself. I always strive to push myself more than I probably should and be the best possible version of myself. It was only when I sat down with the old man at the start of September that we formulated a rough plan of moving to the UK. So, we make a few calls, figure out if it’s possible and next thing I know I’m on a one-way ticket to the other side of the world.

I really didn’t have anything set in stone, all I knew was where I was staying and that I needed to find work ASAP. Luckily my dad’s good friend from when he was younger was able to get me part-time work for a local charity collecting and delivering furniture. It wasn’t a glamorous job by any stretch of the imagination but seeing how we positively effected so many people through what we did was very rewarding however I still needed to find full time work in order to afford life.

I ended up working at the Charity until Christmas and it was great. Some weeks were busier than others but working here enabled me to be able to get other aspects of my life in order. I didn’t know anyone other than Dan (The creator of our wonderful team) and I only met him through a weeklong trip in 2016. He introduced me to Jack, and I can’t thank them both enough for everything they’ve done for me so far. We got riding together and they welcomed me into their plans of creating this team.

They welcomed me into their friendship groups and now I’m very lucky to say I have a great bunch of mates. Trying to meet new people can be hard, especially in a new country in an unfamiliar city. I met a few people through social media, and we arranged to meet up for coffee’s or go explore the city. We would spend hours talking about ourselves, roaming the lanes of Brighton and I’ve learnt that the people are so welcoming and friendly. I would never have imagined before I came here, I would be swing dancing in some pub down in Brighton making an absolute fool of myself. It was amazing, experiencing all these new things and meeting all these people. I was riding the high.

I also managed to get in a good few hours on the bike as well when time allowed, and I’ve always used cycling as an escape from what’s happening in the so called “real world”. Exploring all the small country lanes and getting lost in some forest with no phone is a great time and I would definitely recommend it. I was getting fitter than ever, making new friends and living my best life. Cycling is special in the fact I can escape to my own little world, the sweat running down my face, the wind through my hair and just being able to stop thinking and enjoy the ride.

The team is essentially reflecting the whole reason I ride a bike. It’s a very close group of people all willing to help each other out in the pursuit of all our individual goals. Dan at N+1 welcomed me with open arms into the community and I can’t wait to repay him for that. I can’t wait to get stuck in with racing for the team and representing all our sponsors on such a great team. We want to show the community how much fun cycling can be and that it’s not all about results. It’s about enjoying the process and growing together as a team.
Through the team I was introduced to my now current work at I-ride. A mate suggested I apply because I of my passion for cycling so that’s exactly what I did. I turned up to my interview in an old classic retro Raleigh Jersey because I had no other way of getting there. It certainly made a statement. A couple weeks passed, and I found out I got the job and would start in the new year. I couldn’t be happier with my current set up. I now work with Jack as well and it’s awesome.

My goals for the season are all very team oriented. I understand for the first bit of my life in Europe I must bunker down and work hard in order to become comfortable. For this reason, I don’t have as much time to train so my goal for the season is to help everyone in the team achieve their goals. I’ll be sharing all my knowledge and experience with regards to racing to everyone so we can all enjoy the season ahead.

Again a special mention to Dan and Jack for both helping me out with so much since I’ve come over here. I wouldn’t be doing as nearly as well as I currently am without their support and help. Sure there are highs and lows but with the support of the team and the community feel to the team I can’t wait to get stuck in.

I started riding my bike because I wanted to be like my Dad.

Jack Dunne

Back in 2013 I witnessed what is arguably the worst bike crash I have ever seen. It was my Dad who hit the deck at around 50km/h during a mid-week summer chain gang. Flat out bunch riding is sketchy at the best of times and especially so on the pockmarked roads that are commonplace in the UK – which in this case was the cause of the crash. The impact from the crash meant that Dad suffered from what is known as a chronic subdural hematoma – a bleed on the brain – for which he needed emergency surgery.

After the crash I had serious doubts that he would survive let alone ride a bike again. However, by the grace of God he made a full recovery. Since then we have had some of our most memorable cycling adventures that have taken us to Australia, France, Belgium, all over the UK and across Europe.

My Dad got me into cycling back when I was a kid. Often, when I was a child I would wake up in the night with nosebleeds and to take my mind off it he and I would watch re-runs of the 1986 and 1989 Tour’s on VHS. As much as I loved watching Hinault, Lemond and Fignon I didn’t start riding my bike because I wanted to be like them. As cheesy as it may sound, I started riding my bike because I wanted to be like my Dad. Nobody was cooler than him.

Ever since I started riding my bike we have always ridden together. I can’t have been more than about four or five years old when I used to do time trials round the local park with my Dad acting as the time keeper. It’s been almost twenty years and we are still riding together now, which is one of the greatest blessings I could possibly ask for.

Recently took place in my first race for my new team for the 2019 season – the newly-formed N+1 Lindfield Coffee Works Team. This was a very special moment for me, being a part of such an exciting new team with a brilliant ethos and team spirit is a real privilege. It’s always an exciting moment to be able to show of the team kit for the first time! As special as this moment was it was made even better by the fact that – for the first time ever – my Dad was alongside me on the start grid. The LCCA Team Championships are unique as it is one of the few races on the Cyclocross calendar with mixed age groups, allowing veterans to race alongside senior and junior riders.

Being able to race alongside my Dad is not something I ever thought I would be able to do and I count myself exceptionally lucky. The whole day was brilliant and full of excellent racing. The course was excellently designed and having my fellow teammates and friends their cheering from the side-lines was a real motivating factor. In the end I managed to come away with 10th place, which I can’t wait to build on for the coming year. I look forward with great anticipation for what the next season has instore for both me and my fellow N+1 Lindfield Coffee Works teammates!

Hill climbing is a test of your ability to suffer, not just your power on the bike

Dan Neal

Every good cyclist is able to climb, but the best make climbing effortless. In truth it’s not. Even the best suffer, but it’s their ability to suffer more and dig deeper than anyone else, that makes them stand out about the rest. That’s what drew me to hill climbing in the first place.

Hill climbing is a very different challenge from your standard road race, or even a time trial. Even though time trials and hill climbs are similar in the fact that it is one rider racing against the clock, the two efforts are very different. A time trial is a steady, continuous effort that requires the rider to find that sweet spot and be able to sit at a steady power for ten miles or more, still a very draining effort. A time trial effort allows you time to get up to speed gradually, but in a hill climb, from the moment the start clock hits zero, you are giving 100 percent. Start too slow and your chances of victory are already very low. A hill climb rarely lasts longer than a few minutes, it’s a very brutal and unforgiving effort.

I can still remember the feeling after my first ever hill climb effort. From the very start of the effort you feel every last crank rotation, every last strain as the forces of gravity work against you. But once you hit the line and the effort is over, you feel nothing. All the feeling drains from your legs as the adrenaline that was driving you up that hill, wears off and you finally realise the effect of the effort. You give everything you can just for few minutes only to spend longer on the floor trying to regain the feeling in your legs and the air in your lungs.

Hill climbs are a hard discipline to train for as the training sessions are very similar to the races themselves, send yourself up a climb as hard as you can, but instead of giving everything in one effort, the sessions involve multiple hard efforts. Hopefully, by the time the hill climb seasons rolls into view, I will be in a position where I am able to compete with the many strong riders and I will be able to do the N+1 Lindfield team jersey proud.

That’s what made being a part of this team an easy decision. It allows me to learn from and ride with some incredibly strong riders, which will help me develop and give me many opportunities to prove myself as a rider. As well as riding with the team, I’m involved being the scenes as I will also be providing mechanical support to my teammates as I am the mechanic at our headline sponsor, N+1 Cycle Workshop.

Working at N+1 has also allowed me to gain a better understanding of our many incredible sponsors such as Lindfield Coffee Works, Breakaway Digital, Vittoria tyres and Veloforte as we offer these products in store. In order to offer and sell these products I need to know what makes them so great. As a rider I know that the products we are using are the best ones available to us which will in turn help the team succeed.

The thing about time trialing is it’s just you and the clock

James Cheeseman

When I first bought a bike I never dreamt that I would be spending 80% of my time training  in my dark, damp and cold garage staring at my time trial bike and pointy helmet for inspiration.

Having had a couple of nasty accidents 2 years running my relationship with my turbo has been one of love/hate. Having broken my collarbone I spent the entire summer of 2017 indoors trying to claw back fitness watching friends race and travel on a number of different trips.

After a solid 3 months confined to inside, the cross season of 2017/2018 was upon me. I tried my best to compete with the faces I had the year previous despite a serious lack of miles which was great fun.

By then end of the season I was back to where I was before the accident fitness wise with a bit of interest and looking to set myself a new challenge.

Time trialling always fascinated me as a number of friends raced and were really fast, it was only a matter of time before I was sucked in. The thing about time trialing is it’s just you and the clock, nowhere to hide, totally solitary and I have always enjoyed pushing myself to the maximum; I secretly love the pain getting there too.

Last year apart from the final 3 or 4 races I completed the whole season on my road bike.

Some races were brutal and to be fair no matter what bike you do a TT on it’s still the same effort. Empty the tank and get to the finish as fast as you can. I loved that.

Unfortunately I had yet another tumble and this time was more painful; opposite shoulder, different injury and I faced more time on the turbo; however this time was different I knew what to expect and also had the added bonus of Dan setting me targets and mini goals to get me through the rehab.

One of the biggest differences I’ve felt is having a power meter (or lie detector as some call it). I’m still learning how to utilise it to its full potential but Dan has been a massive help. It’s a great tool to have, most of us that ride know what you need to be doing and very often need reminding of it regularly too.

When Dan asked me to join the Team it seemed like a natural decision. Whenever I ride with Dan we seem to share the same attitude to riding and just get on with it wind, rain or shine. I think everyone in the Team are on the same page also which is always a bonus & the nice thing about being a part of this development team is there is such a wide range of experience and knowledge to be shared.

Everyone seems super keen and friendly and always willing to help.

I’m buzzing for this season to begin a full season Injury Free and on the tt bike. Will be interesting to see how far I can better last years performances

I have a feeling all of the lads are going to have a corker of a year too.