Coffee and cycling: What makes them go so well together?

At Pinch Flat we are almost as passionate about cycling as we are coffee. In fact amongst our riding friends we’ve become the go to guides when it comes to a mid ride coffee stop. 


Cycling was at the heart of our dream when it came to creating Pinch Flat. Eco-friendly delivery by bike is second only to selling the best single origin beans we can find. But we are by no means the first people to make the connection between coffee and cycling, in fact they go way back. 


Not only is coffee the cyclist's pre ride fuel of choice for grueling hours in the saddle but major coffee companies have a long history of sponsoring pro cycling teams and riders. Think coffee machine company Faema and the ‘Cannibal’ Eddy Merkcx, Saeco and the Italian hero Mario Cipollini and now riders such as Mads Pedersen who ride for Trek Segafredo. 


So what makes cycling and coffee such natural allies? 


Like with everything there are a few reasons. Firstly, let's take a look at the science behind coffee and cycling performance. 


Coffee contains natural caffeine. Caffeine does a number of things to the body. It makes you feel more alert and less tired which is great if you're setting off on a ride early in the morning. It also raises the heart rate which in turn allows you to ride harder. 


It is no secret that looking good on a bike is more important than riding fast. Stopping for a mid ride cafe stop gives any rider the perfect opportunity to show off their style and finesse.

Freewheeling to a stop outside of the café with one leg swung over the bike, perching on the pavement showing off your oily tanned legs as you sip on a brew before jumping back on your steed and spinning off into the horizon is just cool. Riders have been known to practice this manoeuvre at home on rest days ready for the next café ride just to make sure everyone thinks they are a professional. 


Talking of professionals it is well known that professional cyclists will consume one, two or even five coffee’s on the team bus before a race. The latter only coming at the end of a grand tour or if the start of the stage points straight up a col. Either way if it’s good enough for Matthieu Van der Poel then it’s good enough for me. 


The last and most important point is that coffee simply tastes wonderful. For us at Pinch Flat a well brewed cup of coffee half way through a ride is so heavenly it even beats the feeling of taking a local and fiercely contested KOM or QOM on Strava. That might sound a bit drastic and it's true neither Dan nor myself regularly top segment leaderboards but the taste of coffee definitely beats the taste of blood in your mouth after a hard effort to take 1st place on the segment. 


Either way coffee is undoubtedly good for you and especially if you're a cyclist. In fact for us the benefit of coffee goes one step further. Our delivery riders don’t use e-bikes, which helps reduce our carbon footprint, but to give them the energy to get your beans delivered they fuel up on coffee as opposed to a battery. 


Next time you're out on a ride and feel a bit tired just remember, coffee is the pick me up you need so make sure to swing by a good café and get your fix.