Greasy Chain Charitable Trust

Helping all New Zealanders become fitter through cycling

Greasy Chain Charitable Trust

Helping all New Zealanders become fitter through cycling

Cycling Evolution

Here we give a rundown of the most popular forms of cycling.

Road Cycling

The most popular of the cycling disciplines is road cycling. Lightweight bikes and endless kilometres of tarmac to cover. Difficulty lies within the energy management, pace, and endurance… and traffic!

Cardio, muscle conditioning and general bike confidence are all key skills that can be honed with road cycling. These refined techniques may not seem so obvious at first but hopping back onto the  after a while will seem easier and your fitness levels improved.

Rather than having to load up the car, drive to the trails and have an off-road session, road cycling can begin right from your front door. It’s easily accessible, and it’s great fun too.

It’s great to get out there and try new things, especially other cycling disciplines. You may even surprise yourself with the skills you learn and how much better your performance will be on your regular rides.

Mountain Biking

All mountain riding has everything to really give you a good workout, and a good adrenaline rush.

Mountain bikes are considerably heavier than road bikes, and with soft supple suspension, it makes climbing a bittersweet affair. All aspects from the climbing, descending, and everything in between has our body working up a sweat.

Having conquered the climb, the descents are what really make up for it. Fast and flowy, or loose and technical, there is a trail suitable for you.

Learning to mountain bike has its advantages for other disciplines, tackling rough terrain and learning to shift your body weight on the bike helps keep you light and your bike grounded.


Gravel Road Bikes, sometimes referred to as adventure road bikes, are go-anywhere road bikes made to tackle a variety of terrain. Whether you are commuting to work, going to the dairy, doing a 3-day camping expedition, or competing in a gravel race, these bikes can do it all.

Is an ‘adventure bike’ the same as a ‘gravel bike’?

Also called adventure bikes or mixed terrain bikes, the gravel bike is a hybrid – part road bike with drop handlebars (although flat bar gravel bikes are also a thing) and part mountain bike, with hefty construction and wide gearing.

Time Trialling

The individual time trial is distinctive in that its participants ride alone and widely separated from one another, and any of the cooperative activities used by two or more riders in other kinds of bicycle racing are forbidden.

However, in team time trials, members of a team of two to four riders may pace, or assist, each other. Two-person teams start at two-minute intervals, and the time is taken on the second person to cross the finish line; three- and four-person teams start at three-minute intervals, and the third person’s time is recorded. In world championships, teams of four compete over a distance of 100 kms.

The skills and fitness developed in time trialling are transferable to triathalons.

Tandem Cycling

Dating back to the late 1800’s, the tandem bike was developed to be ridden by more than one person at a time. Commonly regarded as a novelty cycle, which you would often see around tourist and holiday destinations, tandems are actually rather popular in the race scene.

Road, off-road and fat bike tandems have begun to creep onto the scene in force. And why not? They are fun and they put a whole new spin on “teamwork”. Tandem riding is harder than it looks because you’re riding for the both of you which requires a lot of trust, and a lot of effort to synchronise fitness abilities – and cadence!

It’s great fun to try out, with a lot of parks, bike stores and tourist facilities hiring them out We even had one tandem entered in the 2023 Slicks & Stones Gravel Assault.


Developed to bridge the gap between Motocross and Bicycles, BMX is a stunts and ramps coordinated style of riding. Short bursts of energy propel you from one side of a skate park to another, whilst tackling obstacles along the way.

BMX has a lot of advantages – it’s extremely fun and can be ridden both indoor and outdoor. It’s an all-year-round sport which doesn’t require all the kit you would usually take on the trails if you’re a mountain biker at heart.

Short bursts of powerful energy and perfecting those jumps and tricks are brilliant to transfer into other off-road areas. Bike handling with confidence will really help you navigate your way over technical and rooty sections of a track. Not to mention the great energy saving benefits of learning to pump effectively to save on pedalling power. For roadies, those short efforts will work wonders on your sprinting abilities.

Cyclocross (CX)

Essentially a road racing bike, but with mountain tyres. Cyclocross is a messy, but extremely fun sport to get into.

CX racing asks for a lot of power from the rider, to pedal through difficult and challenging terrain, but it also requires some technical skill as well. Usually consisting of short laps, this sixty-minute racing style will have you working every muscle and using all your cycling knowhow.

Professional athletes such as downhill rider, Manon Carpenter train in the off-season with cyclocross. Seeing as it’s a transition discipline between road and mountain, many athletes and hobbyists enjoy the elements from each major discipline.


Track riding is becoming more and more popular. Track cycling requires constant pedalling, in a fixed gear. If you, do it right, this teaches you to use your cadence efficiently. Speeds can be high, and there’s no brakes, so you’ll pick up some great bunch handling skills too!

Covering kilometres and building fitness on a track bike is a fantastic way to transfer skills into your primary discipline. When it comes to racing, there are many different styles of events – from endurance TT’s to bunch racing and of course sprinting for the ultimate demonstration of short-term power.


Generally speaking, e-bikes are bicycles with a battery-powered “assist” that comes via pedalling and, in some cases, a throttle. When you push the pedals on a pedal-assist e-bike, a small motor engages and gives you a boost, so you can zip up hills and cruise over tough terrain without gassing yourself.

E-Bikes are becoming extremely popular with middle aged and retired people who want to get back into cycling and enjoy the experience and scenery of the outdoors.