Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Just for the fun of it

I started looking at some of my cycling related achievements this year - top 7 finishes in local LVRC races, the Time Megeve Mont Blanc, club time trials, local club STRAVA challenges... but nothing on my Brompton.

I didn't race at the Nocturne or the BWC this year, so I will need to make amends in 2015. The big question is what to wear? I will need to decide on a new sartorial elegant costume.

2012 BWC photographs taken by Vulpine:

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Track accreditation

Wishful thinking, but I would really like to go track racing. Of course it would require a new bike so the question is what UCI legal track bike would you buy?

I'm liking the Basso Pista (a lot)...

I am also liking the Shand Hoy bike (steel is real!), but I'd have to swap the bar stem...

Tuesday, 16 September 2014


According to a recent newspaper article a significant amount of online shopping goes on when people get drunk. I don't recall clicking buy-it-now whilst imbibing too many glasses of red wine, however I admit that the majority of my spending occurs whilst working from home (during my lunch break of course).

My Brompton has been the recipient of a work from home spending spree. I needed a new rear mudguard as the original had begun to crack and obstructed dropping the seatpost. I figured that this was due to too much weight being placed on the mudguard when the bike has been folded. I don't recall when it happened but it was evident because the mount for the mudguard stay had also started to rub on the tyre.

I replaced both the front and rear mudguard blades with the new black versions which I think match the Turkish Green-Black frame colours better than the original silver ones.

The rear wheel had been causing me issues so I also decided to replace it with a new one. The issues being that for the last 6 months or so I had been trying to resolve bearing problems with the BWR hub. I routinely grease the bearing hubs but had omitted to also do the freehub bearings and I started to feel drag on the freewheel when coasting. I replaced all of the bearings in the hub but it never felt as good as new, so I tolerated it for a while and then stripped the hub again, replaced the bearings (again) and unfortunately over-greased the internals with the result of clogging up the gear selection. I tried repeatedly to resolve it and whilst searching the internet for advice I spotted an advertisement for a new wheel built with the Sturmey Archer 5-speed hub, offering 10 gears. This got me thinking whether to buy a new wheel and justify it as an upgrade. I continued my searching and found a retail outlet selling the standard BWR wheel at a reduced price which put me in a dilema - fix/replace/replace with something different? I flipped a coin and went with the new BWR wheel keeping it as a 6-speed.

The new parts arrived swiftly and I installed them quickly whilst giving the bike a thorough clean. Riding a clean bike with new bits all working perfectly gives me a morale boost and the following day I tootled into work down the CS3 with a smile on my face... until I got rear-ended!

I had stopped behind two other cyclists waiting at a road junction on the CS3 and first I heard the apology and then the crash-bump as a cyclist hit me from behind. The other cyclist claimed he wasn't concentrating and was taking a drink so he hadn't seen that everyone in front of him had come to a stop. I couldn't see his bidon or any drink so I suspected he was riding no-handed but I couldn't see any damage to my bike and I felt ok so I (politely) told the other cyclist to watch where he was going in future and I continued my ride to work.

At work I realised that the cyclist's handlebars must have collided with my coccyx as I was finding it uncomfortable and painful to sit upright on my office chair and now, several (working from home and online shopping therapy) days later it is only just beginning to feel better. Retrospectively I should have taken the other cyclist's details so that if I needed physio therapy or had to repair my Brompton I could have made a claim for compensation.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Rule #8 - matching the bar tape

Whilst building up my new Cento 1SR race bike I decided upon the new Rapha Condor JLT team edition Arione saddle and hoped to find the matching Cinelli black perforated pink bar tape that was available at some Rapha cafes. Sadly it is like hen's teeth, but I found a close match made by Merida.

The pink was the wrong shade but I went with it to celebrate the Giro d'Italia.

The bar tape was a bit sticky and slightly grubby after riding the Time Megeve Mont Blanc the previous weekend so I decided on a change. I still can't find any of the Cinelli tape so went with the dual colour Lizard Skin in black and white to match the frame.

The new tape is okay but I prefer the (1.8mm) Lizard Skin DSP Race tape and I didn't do a perfect job in lining up the colour transition behind the hoods so we shall see how long it stays on for.

If I can't find the Cinelli tape then I may get some leather tape made up...Busyman

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Thanks to...

The new race bike is on the scene and scored a 5th place in its first outing around the MK Bowl so only fair to say thank you to the following...

ATB Sales - the UK importer for Wilier who demonstrated excellent customer service, sympathised with my previous issues and offered me a deal I couldn't refuse.

John Poyzer and Stripes bicycle shop, Woburn Sands - for advice, components, tools and for cutting 2cm off the integrated seat tube. 

Cycleworx Flitwick - thank you to Tom for fitting the fork crown race

Dave Atkinson at - for his help in getting my money back from a fraudster advertising on his classifieds forum.

My son - for his advice and help in the build up, especially wrapping the bar tape 'perfectly' according to the Condor blog -

Monday, 14 April 2014


I haven't been able to resolve my blog posting issues using IE but Chrome is fine.

Happy belated birthday wishes to me...

The most amazing birthday cake created for me by Aunty Nelly's Cakes for info

Thursday, 6 March 2014


I think there is a Dutch saying about things in life are like a rectangle with the sides representing the day to day tasks. If you spend more time on one thing the net result is the stretching of the corresponding length of the rectangle but the shrinking of the width.

Clearly my life rectangle in respect of this blog has been pencil thin during the last couple of months. I haven't had the time to write nor fix the picture uploading issue due to other long-sided activities.

As a reminder to myself I need to fix the picture issue and write about the following:
  • My fixed wheel bike, upgrades and rides
  • The new Giant in the bike family
  • The new frameset on its way from Italy
  • Resolving the issues on my Brompton BWR hub
  • Tyres
  • Chain lube
  • A running report on my RS81 C35 wheelset
  • Winter achievements
  • Bike fit
  • Free stuff that my son has been given to evaluate
  • 2014 targets
In the meantime I have decided to make a small effort to sell my Basso Viper:
Size 59cm
Fitted with...

* Shimano 6600 Ultegra triple levers, (175mm) chainset, front & rear derailleurs, (Italian) BB and SPD-SL pedals
* Shimano Dura Ace brake callipers with green Swissstop pads.
* FSA finishing kit - Headset, SL-K carbon seatpost, SL-K 120mm stem and (44cm) K-wing bars
* KMC X10-EL chain
* Giant branded wheelset and tyres (from a new TCR 2)
* Fizik Arione saddle with Fizik blinker rear light
* Jagwire racer cable set
* Lizardskin DSP Race bar tape
* Carbon bottle cages

I currently have a Crud rear mudguard fitted (with helicopter tape to protect the paint) and can include in the sale with the front if required.

If you have followed my blog posts you will have read that the frame is a Basso Racinglight steel, handmade in Italy in 2000. I purchased it NOS 2 years ago, built it up and have ridden it for 504 miles. The matching Basso fork is carbon with a 1" steel steerer.

The frame always receives compliments and Condor cycles believe that the handbuilt, fillet brazed frame is as light as their latest Super Acciao. I looked at a new Pegoretti frame at the London Bike Show recently and in my opinion the quality of weld and paint on my Basso is better.

If anyone is interested then I would be prepared to sell it for £700

If you are interested then leave a comment.

Monday, 13 January 2014


The weather is turning from wet and windy to icy and wind chilled, with standing water now frozen over so my cycling journeys are now conducted with a lot more caution and preparation.

Before Christmas I bought myself a Rapha Merino wool base layer and wore it once and found it too hot, but this morning it was the perfect choice under my jersey and softshell jacket.

I love merino wool clothing for cycling and, today, this was my favourite piece of clothing.

Photo to follow.