Trekking Bike

I Sold a nice Raleigh Royal frameset a couple of weeks ago made with Reynolds 708 tubing , my main reason for selling it was the fact it was only a small sized frame and the market is not always strong for small sized frames so when somebody offered me a good price it just had to go .

I am now left with all the components I took off it as the new owner only wanted the frameset. After using the bike for commuting on for a week I can vouch for all the components being in working order . My first thought is to keep an eye open for a nice Dawes Galaxy frameset from the mid 80’s with canti brake bosses or in fact any other suitable frameset at a very good price and in nice clean condition but it has to take 700c wheels and have a 130mm rear spacing .


In the past I have managed to source some very nicely made Italian road bike frames and my understanding is the same firm do offer a suitable frame to take all the above componentry , so I am awaiting to see what other frames they have to offer me and I might take one of them to build up myself and see what it is like as a day to day “ tough” commuting bike or trekking bike .

1980's Dawes Galaxy

My normal love as I think most are aware are retro steel road bikes and ideally either Reynolds or Columbus tubing to give them a nice positive feeling ride , the other alternative is a “ Tange” tubed frame . So that is my plan reality could be totally different , depending on what is out there on the open market at a good price in nice condition .

It is to be built with either a 3 x 7 or 8 speed set up and possibly controlled by brifters rather than Sti’s mounted on either flat or butterfly bars , a nice pair of 28” wheels with smooth road tyres of a medium (28 )width rather than a wider (42) width with a more chunky tyre tread .

So watch this space and see what happens

My Dream Bike Shop

So in my dreams last night I opened a Bike Shop that purely and simply dealt in retro steel road bikes, none of the more modern materials like alloy or carbon fibre . It was a tough decision to make as I was worried about the location of said premises to start with but after a fair bit of market research I was happy with the location .

My opening stock is made up of a nice mixture of pre-owned British made bikes from the 60’s and 70’s all ready to ride off into to the sunset with their new owner aboard . My ideal customer is a male and in his mid-40’s with a liking for well-made products rather than the modern equivalent . Of course older and younger customers are welcome to come and spend their hard earned coppers with me .

Early 70's Dawes GalaxyP

Not only will this dream shop sell bikes it will also carry out custom builds and general repairs that can range from fitting new brake pads to complete overhauls that include a full paint de strip and after checking the frame over it can be repainted in required colours and finish and then re built . All this work is carried out on site apart from the repainting which is sub contracted out to a local automotive refinishing shop .

Dunelt Frame After Refinishing

1950's Dunelt Headstock

Any other repairs are carried out by our own trained bike technicians who have had many years experience . A lot of what we do is not standard work when compared to other bike shops that sell more modern equipment . Wheels are built using nickel plated spokes rather than plain galvanized or stainless ones unless customer request otherwise . We also hold a good level of stock on period style rims both in Alloy or chrome plated steel ones , we also have a selection of both small or large flanged hubs from a variety of suppliers .


As most of us are aware a bike shop is only as good as the service it provides to its customers who walk through the door , not only were the repairs I dreamed about being done, we also provided an excellent retro bike hire service. These bike were all serviced ready to go at a very reasonable rate for however long or short period the customer required .

So all in all this was a strange dream to have , but it was also a very nice one and one that I should think many cyclist have in one form or another.


Makes You Realise

Not sure how many people are aware but 1 week in 3 , i start at 9 am instead of 8 am and on that week I normally try and get out for a ride before going in to work .

Well this week is my “late” week and so far I have not done an early am ride at all , Mondays excuse was I needed to finish off swapping lights , saddle and guards from one bike to another one , so I had just under the hour in the garage doing the above tasks .

Pink Mercian

This morning’s plan was to get up just after 6am and go and do a 11 mile loop ride before coming home again and then going off to work for 9 am , well ok I was awake just before 6 am no issue . I looked out the bedroom window to get an instant on the spot weather forecast and I could see it was drizzling just enough and at that I decided to get back into bed and have a cuddle rather than go for a ride on the bike .


And then the next thing it is just after 7 am and the last hour had passed whilst I snoozed , looking outwards from my lying down position in bed I could see the sky was starting to look a bit lighter , upon getting out of bed and walking round to the bedroom window I could see the drizzle had stopped yes it was damp but not raining . The annoying thing is if I went out for my ride then I would struggle to get to work by 9 am if there was any problem on my ride although if no problem struck then I would should have been home just after 8.15 and that would give me ample time for a shower and some breakfast before trundling off to work .

I know the above is a very lame excuse but it’s the only one I have to offer , it just means my monthly miles are at a low level compared to where I would like them to have been . I will just have to try and get a few rides in as often as I can for the rest of the week and over the weekend and do as many miles as I can .

A cyclist called Steve Abrahams has set out to break Tommy Simpsons record of covering 75,065 miles in 365 days and has to cover on average over 205 miles per day , now that in itself is no mean feat but to do it every day for a whole year seems crazy . I now a lot of cyclist cover over 200 miles a month but to do it every day leaves me full of admiration for him . With just over 61 days covered he has covered a total of 11482 Miles where as Simpson had covered 9542 Miles in the same time span .

Below is a link to Steve’s web site which gives a lot more detail of this challenge , its well worth a look and it made me realise how little miles I actually do !

Latest Arrival

This weekend should see the latest arrival to my stable , it’s a late 1970’s Motobecane with Vitus Tubing in what has been described to me as nice original condition by its 2nd owner and that will make me the 3rd owner of this great machine .

Motobecane Mirage

From what I can make out it has led a rather sheltered life with the previous owner claiming he didn’t use it much as just after buying it he discovered it was a shade on the big side for him at 59cm . It is meant to have had an overhaul about 2 years ago and from what I have seen that looks about right , once it has completed a couple of short 1.5 – 2 mile rides it will commence with doing a bit of commuting that will add just over 6 miles a day to its running total .

According to Wikipedia “Motobécane was a French manufacturer of bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles, and other small vehicles, established in 1923. “Motobécane” is a compound of “moto”, slang for motorcycle; “bécane” is slang for “bike.”In 1981, Motobécane filed for bankruptcy and was purchased by Yamaha and reformed in 1984 as MBK. The French company continues to make motorscooters.It has no relation to Motobecane USA, which imports bicycles from Taiwan manufactured to their specification by Kinesis Industry Co. Ltd. under the Motobécane trademark “

It’s only my 2nd Motobecane that I have offered for sale as they do not appear that often and when they do they usually get snatched up quite quickly , so will have to see . The previous one was a pale blue “ Nomad” if I remember rightly but please do not quote me on that and from memory it rode well if not a bit on the heavy side .

I am hoping that like their French cousins Peugoet, this latest one will be a nice relaxing to ride kind of bike , rather than one of those machines that just make you want to ride as fast as you can no matter what or where you are .

A lot of people steer clear of French bikes due to slightly odd threading and odd size seat posts a lot of the earlier ones had , so remember that if you are buying just a frame set . I have always found 70 & 80’s Peugeot’s make excellent commuting bikes due to built like a tank reputation and the comfortable ride they provide , they also carry single speed conversions very easily .

Peugoet P6GP

I think I would like to spend a week trawling through France buying bikes as there seem to be lots of different brands that have never made it across the channel in large amounts , now I am sure some of these will be more hassle than they are worth but they can’t be all bad surely . I have this image of an onion seller riding along selling his wares and then once they are all sold he lets me buy his bike cheaply for a few Francs or Euro’s .


By the time you have read this the Motobecane in question should be firmly tucked away in our garage ready for doing some miles next week , and I will update you all about the specification of it then along with a few more pics for us all to drool over