Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Sanguan SG-2200 Bike light Review

I finally managed to get out and test my new light last night that i bought a few weeks ago now. The ride turned out to be a bit of a suffer fest but more about that later. There's a lot of choice now for bike lights with uber expensive ones and budget ones. It seems that it's the budget end where there's a lot of new light's coming out this season, and it's the budget end where i was looking as i really don't see the point in paying £3-500 for a light set when you get a a perfectly good light that performs just as good for less than half that.
I went with the Sanguan SG-2200 from brightbike with the 2200 being the claimed lumen output. The light is available from other sources under different names and cheaper if you source straight from Taiwan but it's worth paying a little extra to deal with a UK distributor whose name is Trevor who is friendly and helpful to deal with.  At £115 these lights are a real bargain, I'm no expert on lumen output but what i can say is the 2xCREE XM-L led's used in the light are bloody bright !  They have four settings and one strobe setting, the second lowest setting (40%) was easily bright enough for riding off road. Run times are stated as 3 hrs on full and around 9 hrs on low so could be used for riding all night if you so choose. Out the box the light unit itself is lovely, really dinky and well made. The button on the left operates the four light settings and glows green at full power changing to blue at 70% and red at 40% and flashes red at 10%. The button on the right operates the strobe but is really too bright to use on the road, it would be use full if you could adjust the brightness as you can with some pricier light sets.

As you can see from the pic above the battery is nice and small and light too, i can remember my first set of lights with a massive lead acid battery that weighed a ton, with these you really hardly notice the weight at all.
Charge time is about 4hrs so is totally reasonable and the battery is fully sealed and waterproof.
You get some useful extras in the box too with a helmet mount and a head strap so you can use them for walking at night too a nice bonus over other light sets.

The light performed as should on the ride with a good spread of light and good depth but what really impressed me is the light wasn't affected by the -8 temps and the freezing fog which is more than can be said for me.

On to that ride then.

I love riding when there's a good hard frost so after several nights of frosts i finally got my arse into gear after a few weeks off the bike due to my upgrading of my bike and with my new Chris king headset coming loose all the time putting me off (excuses). I have ridden in colder temps but last night was the coldest i have ever felt on a bike, i ballsed up my layers with not having enough, and also set off too quick, didn't warm up steady so sweated too much which resulted in me feeling very cold as soon as i had to stop for more than 2 seconds. What made things feel colder than ever before though was the damp air from the freezing fog which coated me in a layer of ice, I've had water bottles freeze a few times but I've never had ice on me before ! I wasn't the only nut job out there though as i bumped into Kevin Clews, and a mob of about 10-15 members of the Goldtec mtb posse in Hanchurch woods, i only stopped for the briefest of chats as by now i was not in the mood for small talk.  It takes me about 2hrs to get warmed up but i feel like i can ride forever then so when i got to the spot in  my loop where i can take a nice easy 6km road spin home, or the long way with a long steady rutted farm track climb i was feeling a little better so i took the long route. This choice nearly scuppered me as was it not for my new tubeless Stans Alpha's it would of spelled disaster because as i was riding up the farm track i was drawn to half a tree hanging out my front tyre and smacking the forks as it spun round ! Oh no ! Thorns ! Thank god for tubeless ! They  passed there first serious test as the tyre stayed up, i don't think I'd of been able to change a tyre as cold as it was (wimp) while soaked  from sweating too much from being idle these last few weeks. I was glad to get home.

Last night was my first using Strava and was happy to be 15th out of 44  on a segment of Hanchurch woods and will be using it for a bit of motivation so i don't spend the next few weeks off the bike, the headset seems ok so no more excuses and time to start getting the miles in, that is if xmas doesn't put a stick in my spokes !

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Biciclista-Want it Wednesday

I came across this cool Italian clothing company a while ago and thought I'd share it via want it wednesday

These are a couple of my favourite designs paying homage to the Belgian classics races

They even do a set dedicated to the spaghetti western film The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Lee Van Cleef- The Bad

They look to be really nice quality from the website and they make the team jerseys for Singular cycles so they can't be too shabby . So this weeks want it is Biciclista cycle jerseys... 

Monday, 19 November 2012

Project Pompino Finito

Well that's it then the pompino is pretty much finished. It's probably going to be marmite to some as "cool" bikes these days seem to be very understated with black everything and a collar & cuffs approach to component choice. The only matching components are the Thomson stem & seat post binder and KCNC red chain ring bolts & red cable outer end ferrules, Cane Creek brake levers.

Spec list
On One pompino frame
Shimano PRO full carbon fork
Stans Alpha 340 rims,28 f&r black Sapin double butted spokes, red nipples on black Goldtec track hubs
Schwalbe Rocket Ron tyres
FSA carbon pro crankset
Goldtec 38t chain ring, red KCNC chain ring bolts
YBN superlight hollow pin slotted plate 1/8 track chain with KCNC half link connector
Red 18t White Industries ENO freewheel
Look Quartz pedals
Red Chris King Sotte Voce headset
TRP euroX magnesium Ti cantilever brake set with kool stop salmon pads
Goodridge brake cable outer & KCNC red ferrules
Thomson 100mm 0 rise stem
Thomson seat post binder
Planet X Strada compact light triple butted bar
Cane Creek SCR-5C brake levers
Cane Creek carbon cross top levers
Easton cork bar tape
eXotic carbon seat post
Flite XC ti saddle
Pauls funky monkey cable hanger

I'm very pleased with it but I haven't been able to give it a good ride yet as it looks like I will have to get the head tube faced because the Chris King headset is a right old pain in the arse to get set up, everything has to be perfect, at one point I was close to binning it ! The bearing cap/griplock will not sit flush creating a gap at the back  which results in the headset coming loose. I thought it was the cable hanger at first, which resulted in me buying the extravagant at £40, Pauls funky monkey cable hanger.  It was designed to work with the CK headset but I still had the problem so I will get head tube faced and if that doesn't work god knows what I shall do. I've always lusted after a CK headset but if I had known that they were so finicky to set up I would probably gone for something else, I might still if the facing doesn't work. On the CK website they recommend facing your stem but I would hope that a Thomson wouldn't need it.

The wheels feel lovely and light, tubeless definitely feels different and takes a bit of getting used too as this is my first time riding tubeless, almost feeling like having to learn how to ride again. The squirmy feeling is a bit weird so I have put some extra psi in till I can do some proper testing with pressures. I have gone with 28 spokes f&r and only time will tell if this was a mistake, like I said I've not had chance to go off road with them  and test their stiffness yet.

The brake set is proper bling with magnesium & Ti used in the materials-enough said !

The White Industries freewheel is a big difference to the shimano piece and ooze's quality. Now you can hear me coming from a mile away, sounding like a swarm of mechanical bees so hopefully I won't be getting the dirty looks you get sometimes when you approach deaf walkers from behind.

So that's it then project pompino finito,  it's a damn site lighter than when I started it's makeover though I don't know it's all up weight yet but I can't see where I could make it much lighter apart from maybe the crank set and going really mad on it with Ti everything . It pretty much matches the original picture I had in my head so I'm happy to leave it at that and start thrashing it which is what it's designed for....

Monday, 5 November 2012

Your never too old !

Cyclist Robert Marchand of France celebrates after setting a world record for cycling non-stop for one hour, in the over 100- year old category, at the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) velodrome in Aigle February 17, 2012. Marchand, born November 26, 1911, cycled 24.251 km (15 miles) around the 200 metre indoor track to set the record on Friday.


Thursday, 1 November 2012


Want it wednesday  has had a bit of a makeover after almost being binned but i'm glad Jez Andrews has had a change of heart and kept it going and in this new format of posting on any Wednesday when you have a new want it I think is probably easier as you don't always have anything in mind.
Anyway back to this week's want it which is the new cantilever brake from TRP the RevoX Carbon
I think you will agree this is a very sexy looking brake !

These brakes give you just about all the adjust ability you could want with a cantilever brake with individual spring tension, height adjust and adjustable toe in pads. Carbon brake arms and lightweight aluminium fittings give you a very light and distinctive though not cheap package. Form an orderly queue !

Yes I know it's Thursday...

Friday, 19 October 2012

Flite XC Saddle Premature Wear Issue

The image above shows a small patch where the Lorica cover has peeled on my Selle Italia Flite XC ti saddle. This is after 6 months of what I would say is moderate use,  by moderate I mean not every day,  maybe 2-3 times a week and some weeks not at all so to me this is a bit disappointing for a top line saddle.
I'm a big fan of Selle Italia saddles especially Flites having had an original with 10 years use out of it so I had high expectations for it and it being an XC model and designed for the rigours of off road  expected it be pretty hard wearing.

The peeling started along the stitching with the central rubber channel that's designed to provide some grip as the white Lorica side panel's are very slippy, not very good for off road. As the peeling started at the stitched edge I deemed this to be faulty and as the saddle is still within the warranty I contacted On One who I purchased it from. On Ones response was predictable stating that they considered it to be down to wear & tear and thus not covered by warranty. I replied arguing that it wasn't fair wear&tear as the saddle was little over 6 month's old and that the peeling had started from the stitching so it could be argued that there is a fault with the saddle but they didn't even bother to reply to that email. The last two bikes I've built have been On Ones so that's disappointing too.

I asked the good folk on the Singletrack forum for opinions which were pretty mixed but with one or two being a bit insulting with one even telling me to MTFU which is the kind a response that you can get sometimes on the ST forum as it seems to have more than it's fair share of know it all gobshites.

I know the saddle still performs as a saddle and that it's a small patch of peeling but to me a saddle that retails for £100 is not meant to have the cover start to peel within 6 months as some folk on the ST forum seem to think that it is. It's a very trivial matter but part of me thinks I ought to contact Selle Italia because I'm a fan and maybe they might just be interested in my feedback as I'm sure they don't expect the Flite XC to peel like that and that it's possible that it's a poor design with the stitching in a high wear area, but the other part of me thinks that don't be so pathetic and just get on it and ride it which is most likely what I will end up doing....  

Friday, 12 October 2012

Pompino update !

It's been a while since I last posted probably the longest gap since I started posting. I've been busy starting a new relationship and college so there's been quite a lot of change to get used too so my  riding for fun as taken a back seat a bit but I've probably ridden more but it's been more of a commuting and just getting about type riding.

The Pompino as been fitted with the FSA carbon crank and I have to say that I'm very pleased with it as I wasn't too sure when I bought it. The Goldtec chainring looks great with it too and finished off with red kcnc chain ring bolts.

It feels like it's lost a shed load of weight and that coupled with a slightly lower gear it's a lot easier to get up the hills now . Just a slotted/hollow pin chain and the White Industries freewheel and that will be the drivetrain taken care off.

I've been having a clear out of old parts to make some funds for the new wheels that hopefully I should be able to get in the next few weeks, still not sure what build to go with yet though !

Stay tuned !

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Want it Wednesday-White Industries ENO freewheel

It's that time again to join in with want it Wednesday at Jez Andrews's following the chainline blog and it's where anybody who's interested can share there biking related wants and desires with the blogosphere .

My want it this week is a White Industries ENO freewheel for my single speed Pompino . Anybody who's familiar with the whole single speed thing will probably have heard the name of White Industries before as they make what is regarded as the best freewheel on the market. They also make some of the nicest blingest hubs and crank sets too.

Although these lovely pieces of kit are the most expensive on the market at around £65-90 sheets, typically cheaper units can bought for between £10-30, but on most there are no seals, so for off road not much good.  I have to say though that the cheapo one on my bike at the moment is still running ok through some pretty shitty conditions with just a bit of oil poured in now and again ! But the ENO's are totally serviceable, with sealed cartridge bearings, that provide a smooth movement with no tight spots and grinding that you get with cheaper units. On the standard ENO there is a 36t engagement system with a case hardened electroless nickel plated outer gear case. They come in a range of size's from 16t to 22t. There's also a tougher model intended for Trials with a 72t engagement but the real mackdaddy is the ENO DOS which gives you an option of two gears either 16+18 or 17+19 which is tempting.


Having the different gear would mean you having to manually change the gear by moving the chain by hand, and probably having to adjust your brakes too. So the jury is still out on this option for me as I'm pretty sure what gear I want and you would probably only want to change it again pretty soon anyway.

So there it is this weeks little addition to want it wednesday !

Friday, 17 August 2012

It's a jungle out there !

I've not been riding much lately as I've said in a previous post, so when I got a couple of rides in last week it was a bit of a shock to see how much my local loop had turned into a jungle in the space of about three weeks. I can't remember seeing these trails this overgrown before. I did wonder whether I wasn't the only one who's not been hitting the trails lately and that it was down to a lack of traffic, but judging how many people I'm seeing while out riding these days I'll just put it down to the lovely summer we've had.

 Now that's some serious foliage and with the brambles lacerating my legs and wrapping round my crank it made this section a right old stumble slog !  Think I'll  give this little section a miss for a few weeks or just  take a machete with me next time  !

This field of wheat/barley (not really sure) looked like a nice healthy looking crop to me which was a surprise as I thought all the rain might of ruined something like this, I mean it could be for all I know but I hope not for the farmers sake. It makes a good back drop for taking nice pics though !

Thursday, 9 August 2012

What would you do ?

This amazing act of generosity warmed my heart the other day when I read the article, and made me think that the guy in the shop would probably not have been moved to help if the kid had been asking his mum for an X Box or Playstation ?

Bicycles in one way or another just seem to bring the best out of people...

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Want it Wednesday-Swrve Urban Cycling wear

Want it Wednesday is here again and is a reminder of how quick the weeks fly by !  Although I've got an extensive list of  "want it's" I had to think a bit this week and thought if I had a bit of spare cash at the moment what would I spend it on, and apart from bits for my bike it would be some new clobber from the very stylish urban cycling wear company Swrve .

As I use my bike for getting about on Swrve's apparel is right up my street and are packed with features for cycling in such as there jeans having slightly stretchy material and pockets that will take a mini D lock.

The one item I would really like is their wax riding jacket , which would be a nice jacket even without the cycling features.

Now I know the stuff ain't cheap but I think they compare well with designer gear and with all the added features you get they ain't too bad.  So there you have it this weeks want it wednesday-Swerve Urban Cycling Apparel.  

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Got to get my mojo working ?

It's been nearly three weeks since I've done a proper ride and I'm feeling like I've lost my mojo let alone that it's just not working. My riding seems to take a pattern, it's all or nothing ! Peaks & troughs ! Mountains & valleys ! It's not that I don't ride my bike at all it's just that I don't get any proper riding in on my local trails.

Having no specific goals such as a racing schedule doesn't help much, and it's all too easy to get knocked out my groove when I'm in one of my purple patches. So I needed some kind of a plan, and the plan I have hatched came about after watching a tv program about the US Marines, and how with training, killing can become second nature. Your probably now thinking whats killing got to do with bike riding ? Stick with me ! In the program the drill instructors claimed that killing can become second nature after just 21 days of training ! In fact any activity will become second nature if done for at least 21 days straight !

So there it is that's my cunning little plan.

Now 21 days of biking is not a big challenge by any stretch so I will be aiming to increase each previous weeks mileage. This was the week I was planning on starting my little challenge, but low and behold and just my luck the touch screen on my phone has decided it's had enough, and as gone on the blink. So I can't use my tracker app to chart my progress which pretty much means that my plan is scuppered for the time being until I get the LCD replaced. I suppose it gives me a little time to find my riding mojo so I can hit the ground running as soon as my phone is sorted !

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Want it Wednesday-English Cycles Custom Bikes

Apologies first for being a day late for this weeks instalment of  Want It Wednesday (better late than never) which takes place every other Wednesday and is an idea from Jez Andrews-Following the for like minded cycle bloggers to get together and share all their bike related wants and desires.

My "want it" for this week is a custom made bike.

There are lot of custom builders out there at the moment making bikes what can only be described as works of art.  One company that really caught my eye about a year ago and have been lusting after ever since is called English Cycles made by a guy called Paul English over in the US. The bikes are beautiful with lovely understated clean lines. I would probably sell one of my organs just to own one of these.

Here are two of my faves.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Pompino Update ! FSA Carbon Pro Compact !

My Pompino sscx project had stalled a bit lately, but I'm determined to see the bike looking something like the picture I've got in my head and not let stuff get in the way and then for it to just fizzle out.  So this week I managed to buy a new crank, I wanted it to be carbon but a full carbon piece is just out of the question as I'm on a budget so the next best thing is a carbon wrap.

I managed to get an FSA Carbon Compact for £110. I'm not over the moon with it as I'm pretty sure it's a OEM product but for the money I can't really complain,  but I'm guessing that it will look pretty battered in no time as the carbon wrap layer is more like a thin layer of paint ! Eh oh....

All I need now to finish off the drive train is a SS chain ring, chain,chain guard.chain ring bolts and a freewheel sprocket. At the moment I'm running a 44 tooth front and a 20 tooth sprocket in the rear but as the new crank is a compact with a 110 bcd I'm going to fit a 39 tooth chain ring and a 18 tooth sprocket which will give me a slightly lower gear, I could fit a smaller chain ring but from reading different article's on gear ratio's I think 39 tooth is the best option. After spending a few hours searching the net it seems that there's not much of a choice for 39t 5 bolt 110 bcd SS chain rings, I would of liked to have used an aluminium Homebrewed Components ring from over in the US which are really nice looking rings but there seems to be a problem with delivery times as some people are having to wait 6 months or more, so I will probably use a steel Surly ring which will be very hard wearing.

I have found a great little company in the US that makes Chain guard/Bash rings of all shapes, size's and colours called BBG and they'r a steal at $20 including p&p.

I would love to have a White Industries ENO freewheel but for the time being it will have to be a bog standard Shimano piece finished off with a hollow pin/plate YBN lightweight BMX chain.

Next on the list after finishing the drive train is a Chris King headset, Easton ea90 90mm 0 rise stem in white and then the wheels which I talked about in last weeks Want it Wednesday article.

Slowly getting there !

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Want It Wednesday - Rolf Prima SSCX wheels

Just like many a cyclist I've got a wanted/needed bike's/bike parts list that's long enough that if I was to have to wright it down I would need to use a toilet roll !

So when Jez Andrews - Following The Chainline got in touch to ask if I would like to join in with his Want it Wednesday  I thought why not, and also,  I thought listing some of the item's on my ever expanding list might just give me a bit more of an incentive to actually get round to purchasing some of the planned wants I had for my little pompino project that as stalled a bit of late.

Currently sitting at the top of my want it list are these lovely and distinctive Rolf Prima Single Speed CX.  Wheel choice for SSCX usually means custom hand built which is totally fine,  but as far as I know these are the only dedicated wheelset available and meant for race day really, so for me this makes them a pretty rare and desirable thing to lust for !

The wheels are built using the legendary White Industries Eno hub.  There's an Eccentric version for converting vertical drop out frames to single speed without the use of a chain tensioner.  They also come in either tubular & clincher with the clincher weighing a few grams heavier than the tubular at 1560kg and costing around £700.  The 16 twin bladed spokes F&R makes them really distinctive and bling tastic and you can even pimp them up with the Prima Plus Program that will match the decals to the colour of your bike.

I have a bit of a dilemma though, is my pompino worthy of such bling and can I do  them justice ? It would mean the wheels costing more then the rest of the bike put together, but as we know a bike is as only good as it's wheels.

So,  more realistically I will probably have to go for my second choice on my want it list,  which is a custom build (see I told you I don't have a problem going custom) by Goldtec/Betd using there track hubs which hard working and in the know London bike messengers swear by, topped off with Stans Alpha's and laced with Sapim DB spokes for around the £400 mark,  or if my funds are a bit low I might just use Mavic Open Pro rims instead which drops the price to around £300, but I would prefer tubless Stans set up. I still want the Rolf's though !

Another reason to go for the custom option is I live less than 10 mins from the Goldtec shop !

Warning-Bike lust can seriously harm your bank balance !

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Sky throw down the gauntlet !

Today's first mountain stage was a bit special if your a British cycling fan. It was always going to be where the real race started after a week of carnage in the Tour de France side show of a sprint competition, but to see a British team tear the race apart to put Brad in yellow and Froome take the stage win and the climbers Polka Dot jersey was history in the making. The look on Cadel Evans face said it all, a look of inevitability,  he made the effort to take the stage but he had no choice and fair play to him, but Brad never even got out of his saddle  and still kept Evans wheel . Evans and his team BMC are going to have regroup quickly now because he's looking very isolated but on today's showing you wonder how and the race looks virtually over for the rest of the contenders already. It doesn't get much better than 4 riders in the the top 15 on the stage and 3 riders in the top 10 in the GC. Can Sky defend the yellow all the way to Paris when were not quite halfway yet ? There's still a lot of racing yet but after today's showing Sky have shown the race is already won and only theirs to lose and if they play there cards right could have a 1-2 on the podium in Paris.

I've been thinking about what  impact a British win in the Tour would have to the popularity in cycling in the UK and I think it all depends on how well we do in the Olympics.  If Cavendish wins the Gold and we do as well as we have been doing on the track in previous years then excuse the pun but the "sky's the limit" and it really could be the start of a golden age in cycling as is often spouted. There has definitely been a renascence in the last ten years or so but that has been global not just here in the UK, but if all goes to plan and if your a British cycling fan we really could be on the verge of a  truly  historic time and to be able to experience it first hand will be a dream come true for all British cycling fans.

Come on Brad & Team Sky

Oh the English Summer

It seems like the weather is the hot topic in the UK at the moment which is no surprise with all the flooding, it seems like were getting a month's rain in 24hrs every few days.

When i took the photo above we had just had the warmest driest March since records began and there were drought warnings being issued for most of the south east and midlands regions of England. You felt that summer was almost here and after a run of dull and miserable summers we were going to be in for a good one, after all law of averages says we were due one right ! Think again. The thing with our weather is you never really no quite what you are going to get from summers like the one we're having to mild and dry winters. I get pretty envious sometimes of the parts of the world that when summer comes you know that it's going to be hot and when winter comes you know it's going to snow and be cold.  Simple !

 Never mind there's always next year...

Friday, 6 July 2012

Frankie goes to Stoke

Riding my bike is taking a back seat for a few days as I'm dog sitting my sisters dog Frankie. He is a lovely Staffordshire Bull Terrier who is adorable, very playful, a bit naughty but not in the slightest bit vicious as Staffy's are portayed. He can look a bit intimidating to some though especially if their not dog lovers or have little dogs with them,  but i've found that their dogs are more likely to go for frankie than him go for them. He is a bit of a babe magnate too as he draws a lot of smiles from people especially women which is always nice.

So weather permitting the next few days i'll be getting in a few miles walking which will be a nice change and I'll be trying to get some good photo's of Frankie getting up to some mischief, which with frankie usually involve's water as he loves swimming and a lot of mud wallowing and there's no shortage of that round here at the moment.

Frankie loves to chase rabbits but is useless at catching them until this unfortunate little bunny jumped up right in front of him, but after he had bit it, and killed the poor thing, he then just seemed to panic and didn't know what to do so he just kept barking at it as if to say, why aren't you playing with me no more. Bless him.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Sky in yellow already-sort of

When I saw that team Sky were wearing yellow helmets today I wasn't sure if it was a statement of intent, just Sky paying homage to Le tour or they probably think that a Sky rider will be in yellow for most of the Tour that they just issued the whole team with one, but alas it's just a new introduction for this Tour that the best team wears the yellow helmet, in the past yellow caps were worn.
Sparticus wins the prologue no news there really. Brads kept the 10 seconds on Cadel Evans he won yesterday after today's stage so all in all a good start for Sky, Boasen Hagen melted at the end of today's stage though to let Peter Sagen take the win from Cancellara who led for the other two, but once Sagen had got his wheel I think Sparticus must of known it was curtains for himself. Great finish to stage one !

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Tommy Godwin - Long Distance Legend

Tommy Godwin - Long Distance Legend

 The link above is to a site dedicated to the most miles ridden in a year record set in 1939 and stands to this day by Tommy Godwin.  Really interesting and informative giving you breakdowns on daily mileages, info on the bike and equipment used in this Herculean record setting ride.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Gun fight with a knife !

A friend of mine recently had a new bike and we had said we would meet up for a ride but for one reason or another (weather) it never materialised. He's a pretty new convert to cycling getting bitten by the bug after riding to work every day on Cannondale Hybrid, so he thought he'd get all serious and buy a nice lightweight racer.

Rose Xeon RS

He had said he wanted some help looking for a bike because he's not to sure what to look for when trying to get the best bang for your buck, but out the blue he said he'd bought an aluminium framed Rose. I must admit  I thought he'd dropped a clanger. I'd seen a few Rose mtnbike's and knew they were German and had a reputation for delivering good value for money but that was about it. I was pleasantly surprised though as I think it's a lovely looking bike and he's upgraded some of the basic spec like the Mavic wheels, Prologo saddle and Shwalbe tyres to get the black and yellow colour nicely coordinated. The triple butted aluminium frame would give any carbon frame a run for it's money in the lightness stakes and is really finished beautifully. It's got a full a Shimano Ultegra groupset, inhouse carbon seat post and an aloy bar and all in all for £1,500 English pounds it's a lovely bike. He has now realised though he's on the slippery slope to empty wallet syndrome as he now needs new pedals/shoes, helmet, new kit and that list will just keep growing. Welcome to our world !

We finally got to go for the ride yesterday. As I would be on my steel framed single speed cx I was feeling a little bit of trepidation at the pain that no doubt I would soon be feeling. We criss crossed a lot of the roads that my local road/offroad loop takes but we were hitting the climbs that I try to avoid, one brute is 11% but not wanting to show my arse I just gritted my teeth and sucked it up. I think I will start fitting one or two into my rides from now on as i wasn't in to bad a shape after. When i got home the clock said 38km 1hr36min which isn't too shabby but i don't think I'd like to go much longer with him unless I was riding gears myself. My friend says he wants a new bike for work now and I've told him to get a single speed then I can give him some punishment. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Final round Halfords Tour Series Stoke-on-Trent

Like everybody in the UK at the moment I'm starting to get really pissed off with all the rain were having right now. It's getting to be a regular thing not having no summer after a mild spring and it's all down hill from here as we just had the longest day ! I was really getting into my stride in May bumping up the miles with the help of a Sports tracker app for my mobile which was adding a bit of spice to my rides and boosting my motivation to get out more. Crash bang wallop the monsoon season hits and the riding goes out the window and my motivation with it. WINNER !
Thank god there was some great racing on with the last week of the Giro being an epic battle between Rodriguez and Hesjedal but the stand out has to be Degendt's break on the Stelvio which gained him 5 mins on the GC and got him on the podium. LEGEND ! But if your a Brit there was only one talking point, Bradley Wiggins taking his second successive Dauphine after earlier wins in Romandie and Paris-Nice and in the form of his life. If he doe's pull off the Tour as well it would put him right up there with the greats. COME ON BRAD !

A bit closer to home on the racing front I got to watch the final round of the Halfords Tour Series last week when it rolled in to town.
U23 Road Race world champion Lucy Garner

The forecast for rain for when the racing was due to start had me in two minds to go or not but it's not every day Lucy Garner comes to town wearing the rainbow jersey. I was planning on asking for a photo with her but I bottled it thinking I would come across as an old perv. So when she just pulled up in front of me to speak to someone before she signed on to race I couldn't believe my luck and managed to get these two photo's. There were a few blokes with jaw dropping looks on there faces and I'll be the first one to admit I was one of them. What a stunner. The sky's the limit for this rider on and off the road. Lizz Hatch who ?

The women's race got started under pretty tough,windy conditions, gusting and whipping up and around the buildings lining the course splitting the bunch and causing all sorts of problems from the off.
Not so for Helen Wyman she smashed it making the most of the crosswinds and tough course storming off to break on her own and solo it all the way to the finishing line.
Kona rider Helen Wyman

Luct Garner finished in the bunch

I didn't stay to watch the end of the men's race because now I was bloody frozen and the rain had started so I left a tadd pissed off because I'd watched most of the earlier rounds on ITV4 being bathed in glorious sunshine. Welcome to sunny Stoke as we say round these parts. I got a few photo's before I left though.

On the night Raleigh-GAC rider Bernard Sulzberger took the individual and Series Sprint King prize. Our local team Node4-Giordana Racing took the team honours on the night while Endura took the series which they had led from the first round. Last years winners Rapha won the special for this round Tommy Godwin Team Time Trial in honour of our local most miles ridden in a year world record holder Tommy Godwin with 76,000 miles ridden and 100,000 miles in 500 days set in 1940 and still stands to this day. I still can't for the life of me understand why Stoke on Trent City council don't make more of this mans amazing achievements.

Bring on Le Tour 2012 !

Saturday, 21 April 2012

TRP Inplace Adjust pad set up

After seeing that there's quite a few posts here and there asking how you set up toe in on Frogglegs canti's, I thought I`d do a post to show how to set up these pads as anybody who has bought Frogglegs canti`s will know you don`t get any instruction manual with them, leaving you to figure it out for yourself. It wasn't till I came across a pic of the more expensive pads with angle markings that it became obvious how the unique set up of the inplace adjust actually worked, but without the markings it's a bloody mystery. I'd thought that mine were faulty because one of the pads was angled differently to the rest ! Now I've got them set up right they're working a lot better, more stopping power and it's quite a nifty system and in my opinion better and easier to set toe in than the conical washer system.

The pic above shows the hole in the end of the pad post, where you put the alan key and turn till it loosens the pad holder enabling you to set your toe in. You can also adjust the pad up or down too.

The pic above shows you how much the pad swivels in the oppisite direction. Like I sad before once you know how it's a really easy and smart way to get your toe in and i'm sure some of the bad stuff on the forums i've read about these brakes is down to not knowing how these pads work.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

This is my Pompino, there are many like it but this one is mine...

This shot was taken using my niece's Cannon SLR camera. I'm sure I could of got a better shot if I knew what I was doing but I don't think it's too shabby. I've been using an old Casio Exifilm 7.2 mega pixels which I've never been really happy with but that could be down to me too.

I've started using using my Nokia x6 phone after fixing the broken screen and LCD. The shot above was from the x6,  it uses a 5 MP Carl Zeiss optic and I really don't think I shall bother carrying a camera again even if it was only a compact. The added bonus with x6 is I can listen to my tunes as well.

Just after taking this shot  I nearly came a cropper when a bloody great big tractor came flying over the brow of the hill !!

You can't tell from the shot above as it's as dry as it gets but in winter the mud can  be ankle deep along this stretch of track.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Single Speed CX Porn

  This has surely got to be THE definition of bicycle porn

Indy Fab belt drive



Moots Pysclocx

Engin cycles ti cx

Tommeke Tommeke Tommeke


Tom Boonens attack today with over 50 km's to go was great to watch and I bet even a watching
Cancerlara would of been wondering if even he could of held his wheel. I didn't get to watch last weeks win at Flanders live but I'd recorded it so spent most of the week until I could watch it trying to avoid finding out  the result. 
Flanders has always been my favourite race but with the Muur & the Bosberg  removed from the race I have to say for me it's just not the same, a bit like watching the last day of the tour without the Champs Elysees. Tom, today though made up for any let downs from the organisers of the Flanders, I have always been a fan of Tom not just for his riding but because he is a real character and obviously not afraid to enjoy life away from cycling, anybody who can twice test positive for Cocaine and then ride a classics campaign like Tom has and equalled De Vlaeminck's record of four Roubaix wins is a bit special, the only rider ever to win Gent Wevelgem, E 3, Flanders & Roubaix in the same season. I'd like to know what his accusers of being a wheel sucker are thinking now ? Chapeau Tom Boonen.