Another R.E.W Reynolds Arrives

Earlier this week saw the arrival of another R.E.W Reynolds of Northampton road bike , I was quite excited about this ones arrival as it was the first one that is more my size than all the previous ones I have owned .

I was told by its previous owner that he had the bike since the early 80’s and was last used about 5 years ago so I was fully aware it was always going to be a project rather than a jump on ride bike .

Blue R.E.W Reynolds

Upon arrival all seemed to be inside the box which is a good sign , i did notice that the steel rimmed 27″ wheels were in a worse state than I had hoped for , a quick bit of rubbing down with some fine wire wool brought up a shine but very bubbly . Ask anybody who has ridden a steel rimmed bike in the rain and tried to stop quickly it just does not happen , so I  opted to swap them for a pair of 700c wheels .

R.E.W Rim

First problem this bought was that the caliper just did not quite have the required reach for the brake pads to sit on all of the braking surface , luckily enough i found a longer reach front caliper in my spares box and promptly swapped it over .

Once this was fitted I ventured out on a short test ride with some 20-year-old tubs and sprint wheels and a set of old brake cables , it was only a gentle short ride just to see how it felt . The test ride went ok all things considered but it was only done at just above walking pace .

The paint is best described as having some light rust but after a couple of quick goes with some t – cut it looks a lot better and i think it should come ok .The bike has all the standard touring fittings of an 80’s bike ie Bluemels ” Popular” guards , pedal  straps and cages a nice sugino ” Moxy”  chainset that should all clean up ok .

R.E.W Sugino

Bluemels Guard

Once the test ride was done the next step was to make it rideable so the headset was stripped and cleaned and re fitted with some fresh grease for a smoother feeling when turning the handle bars , some better brake pads were fitted , chainset was removed and lightly cleaned a replacement 6 speed rear cog set was fitted along with a new chain , a donor set of wheels were fitted with some plain black walled tyres , I have yet to decide whether to use clincher style wheels or tubular sprint wheels long-term but at the moment it is sat on the clinchers and has completed a full 5 miles now in this form .

R.E.W 1st stage

Once the cables have been replaced and front mudguard fitted i will update the above picture but for know this is how it was on first test ride .

2015 So Far

Just thought I would do an update as to where we are in 2015 seeing as we are heading towards the end of July already .


It’s been another fairly busy year with an average of 2 – 3 bike sales a month so cannot complain too much about that really . I have seen some very nice bikes make their way into the garage, some seem to have stayed for a bit longer than I would have hoped whilst others have been sold quicker than I expected .


I have tried to stay away from the sub £100 area of the market mainly because there is a very limited supply of nice retro road bikes out there that can be mechanically serviced with new parts as required and then sold for a small profit .


On the personal use bike side of the garage there been very few changes really, another Ian May has been added and this one carries the IMC prefix on its frame number. There is a likely chance that one of the Aende’s will stay, just got to decide which one . The red original Ian May is still here and has been ridden for quite a few weekend leisure rides and has covered another couple of hundred of miles on its sprint & tub wheels , whilst the yellow and silver Ian May has had limited use and is currently for sale as I realized that it is just too large for me . The blue Soens is still in the camp and has had little use since the end of January for one reason or another. The Orange Jim Soens got sold to a fellow enthusiast for the 2015 L’eroica event .

 Jim Soens

I have managed to cover a few more miles to date compared to last year so that is good, at the moment the total is just over 1950 miles . With the longest single ride being a whole 26 miles so by no means a long ride at all . I try and get my rides in so they don’t eat in to my valuable family time this often means I am out on one of my bikes before 6 am .


The majority of my commutes are now being done via local cycle paths rather than roads due to a spate of road traffic accidents involving cyclists on or near roundabouts all within 300 yards of our home over 3 days earlier in the year . This has meant that my old Marin Bear Valley mtb is getting used to do most of these commuting miles so I can take avoiding action to miss the big lumps of glass and other debris en route .

I started the year in 2 minds re the buying and selling of bikes but I don’t seem able to shake it off so will continue for the remainder of the year and see how 2016 goes .

Raleigh Type 8806 Deliberations

I am contemplating what to do with the Raleigh Type 8806 winter frameset I picked up a while back. The original blue and white paintwork has been touched up in quite a few places and the vast majority have been done in what looks like house paint of some description . The main area of concern is around the bottom bracket shell and the underside of the down tube , I have no doubt it would all come off ok and reveal nice clean metal .

 Raleigh Type 8806

I am more than happy that the actual bike is worthy of a refinish but just can’t decide what type and by whom. In previous rebuilds I have used a local bead blaster and powder coating company but the last frame they both did for me failed to come close to my expectations in a number of ways so will not be using either of the firms again .


I have been told about another local firm that have done work for a friend of mine to a satisfactory level at a fair cost , he claims to have used them a few times . But they only offer a single colour option and as the type 8806 came in a dual colour finish I would prefer to keep that style . Another option is to strip all the paint off around the bottom bracket and do a local repair myself .

 Raleigh type 8806

The other option is to have the frame professionally refinished by a frame refinishing company but as you can imagine the cost of this is a fair bit more than either of the above options and we don’t have a local one so if I decided to go this route I would have the added cost of getting the frame to and from them as well .

 Raleigh type 8806

My thoughts on what to do with it once the repair is complete vary. If I do a local repair then I will just build it to the same spec as it is at the moment and sell it on . If I decide on a refinish then I am contemplating fitting a complete shimano “ Claris” group set mainly because I have one sat unused in my parts bin and ok they are fairly basic but I have always found them very reliable and ok to use .

My thinking is that this would make a nice retro bike with a modern twist that would equally be at home as a training or commuting bike . Seeing as it has guard and mounting points front and rear it could also be used as a light to medium duty touring bike .

If and when I make a decision on what I decide to do with this bike I will no doubt write a separate blog about it .

Monday’s Waffle

So hands up, who can honestly say they can tell the true difference between frame materials ?

 BH Carbon Road Bike

I think I can honestly tell the difference between gas pipe and a better quality tubeset i.e. Reynolds or Columbus , but as for being able to tell the difference between Steel , Alloy or Carbon I am not so sure .


Yes of course I can by feel and appearance of the bike but once sat upon the saddle I am not so sure I could , there are loads of cyclists who claim a certain material is better than another for various reasons some of which make sense whilst others don’t if you ask me .

I can see the obvious difference being weight but then some of the better quality steel frames built with weight weenie parts can be lighter than some alloy machines and I can imagine the best alloy ones can get close to Carbon ones as well .

 Single speed Pollard

So the only way to do a proper test would be for all machines to be built using the same components i.e. cranksets , tyres in fact all parts would have to be same apart from the frameset material .

One of the other things to take into consideration would be road surface as these all vary so much which has a knock on factor to how a bike rides. Some people say all carbon bikes soak up the lumps and bumps better than an alloy framed bike with a steel fork or even a complete steel frameset . Surely the quality of the material used must also have an effect as well .

Over the past 7 years I have ridden at least 100 different road bikes I know this for sure as I have sold that amount plus a fair few more. The vast majority are ridden for a short period most having completed over 50 miles as a minimum before being put up for sale so I get a fair degree of time to evaluate each bike .

The first couple of laps around the block which is 1.5 miles in distance can easily give me an indication as to whether it’s a nice bike or not , I must admit there have been a few which have not made much of an impression on the first couple of short rides but have made a good impression on the longer rides I do for different reasons .

This week end has seen 2 new bikes arrive in the stable both being steel framesets. One is an Orbit America constructed with Reynolds 531c and Reynolds 531 forks the other being an Agenda Time Trial machine that is constructed with Reynolds 531 professional tubing as far as I am aware all the way through .

 orbit america

So far only the Orbit has been ridden and I must admit it rides well and seems to soak up the bumps well and has a nice turn of pace to it when pushed as hard as I can do . It is fitted with a fairly basic Shimano Exage gs300 running gear but in the past I have found that to be enough and this one seems to as clean and functioning well . Whilst the Aende arrived as a project and came in pieces , some of which I am not convinced are suitable for the bike .

Aende TT

The final spec or build up spec is totally left up for discussion with the following bits to be taken in to consideration , originally it was built for time trial usage and only has one down tube gear lever mounting boss and a fairly short wheel base like so many of “ Pongo’s” creations do have .


My first thought was to build it in to a single speed bike so I can evaluate it before deciding what to do in the long term , but in all fairness it is in a lot better condition than I was expecting so very tempted to just clean up some of the loose decals and give the paintwork a nice polish and see how good it comes up .


I think I have decided to just go with the one down tube shifter and retain the already fitted bottom bracket which seems to spin nice and freely so seems little point in changing it. Now the crankset that was supplied is a Campagnolia Triple so I will remove the two smallest rings and mount the remaining ring on the inner of the arms rather than the normal outer mounting pads which I am hoping will give me a nicer chain line  , my current thought is to use a 7 speed equipped rear wheel as I have been advised that trying to run a 1 x 9 set up is asking a lot for the chain to stay in place at each end of the spectrum .

Now of course all the above could and more than likely will change but I will post another blog to update as I go along and when time allows .

Cycling For Pleasure

When I am out on my bike I enjoy looking and watching the scenery and nature go by. Sometimes it’s no more than a blur, other times you see it in all its glory and if you are really lucky you can get right up close before they hear you coming and make their escape .

 Zoo 15.2.13 069

The majority of wildlife I see are the standard farm animals and garden birds but from time to time something a bit more different pops up like the flock of yellowhammers I saw a couple of weeks ago as they flew along the hedgerow beside me . The regular sightings of Red Tail Kites and Buzzards normally make me slow down in the hope I will get a better view of them closer up , but sadly this has not happened yet .

 Conwy july 2014 074

At one time I was taking a compact digital camera with me to take pictures of anything I fancied as I rode along , but more recently I have just been using my mobile phone camera as this provides just as good a result and is a bit quicker to whip out of my pocket and take a picture with .

One of the main reasons I use a bike is to get some fresh air and to do some exercise. Like a lot of things I do, I don’t take it seriously enough to make myself want to be that bit quicker all of the time. If that is what I wanted from my cycling then I would join one of the many local cycling clubs and put a bit more effort in to it as well . I am more than happy going out in normal clothes rather than getting all lycred up just to save a nano second here and there as long as I am comfortable that is all that matters to me .

 Aende Tourer

Another of the main reasons is commuting as I feel it is such a waste to use a car for a journey of 1.5 miles each way four times a day. It only takes me about 8 minutes to cover the above distance via cycle paths on my old Marin Bear Valley mtb or any other of my  bikes for that matter .

I suppose my style of riding suits my preferred ride of retro road bikes over more modern alloy & carbon options in frame material , I have owned a couple of Alloy framed road bikes and even one semi Carbon Socialized Epic road bike . But one look inside the family garage and you will mostly see steal framed retro road bikes normally from the late 70’s to the early 90’s .

R.E.W Reynolds

Today’s ride

Well this mornings ride was the furthest I have done so far on the Aende touring bike that I recently acquired .

I was impressed with it when I did 18 miles the day before with a few smallish hills en route which the bike handled with ease thanks to a 3  x  7 set up that looks like it could almost get you up Everest .

Aende Tourer

I left home and headed up out of the Boro via the mad mile straight , now normally I turn left but decided to go right today and along to Little Harrowden and on to Orlingbury where I forked left by the village green and along the gentle incline of Redhouse Road up to the A43 where I crossed straight over and headed down towards Hannington .

Empty road

The road descends down into Hannington till just before All St Church where I exited the village heading towards the next village of Holcot where there are some lovely houses, some small and some on the larger size . After winding through the village I turned left at the cross roads along Sywell Road past the car boot site and up the hill towards the roundabout on the A43 where I crossed straight over heading towards Sywell .

Just before the Horseshoe pub I spotted a tree with some massive fungi sprouting out of it,


these were easily 12″ across and stuck out about 10″ from the bark . In and out of Sywell via church lane and headed off towards Mears Ashby, again the roads were still traffic free which is one of the main reasons why I enjoy dragging my backside out of bed early .


A nice fast descent where I saw 32 mph appear on the Garmin quickly followed by a short sharp rise where I saw the only other cyclist of the day going in the opposite direction we swapped a nod and carried on our ways . Next village on route was Earls Barton and then along to the cross roads at the top of Hardwater where I turned left up towards the rugby club quickly followed by another speedy descent into Wilby where I headed off up Mears Ashby Road .


I stopped and took a picture of the poppies growing on the verge and had a drink as well, then on we go again along the undulating road into Mears Ashby village where I headed for Highfield Road and back towards Wellingborough, through the aptly named Moonshine Gap before turning right down the Mad Mile and towards home , all in all a very nice ride that covered 23.58 miles at an average speed of 16.3 mph.

The Aende tourer rode well and I enjoyed the ride .

Aende Tourer rr stay

Little use

So just how many people buy bikes and then never use them ?
Only asking as I picked up a very tidy Peugoet 531 Pro with model code cr500 last night and it looks like it has seen hardly any use at all . All the rear cogs are nice and clean with no buildup of grime or rubbish which can happen quite quickly . The teeth have very little sign of wear on them at all .
 Peugeot 531 pro
Upon initial inspection, it was covered in what I thought was a waxy residue but in fact this was just layers of dust from being in hibernation for at least 12 years. Once wiped down with a wet wipe all the dirt and dust disappeared to reveal the original creamy white paint finish that looked as good as new .
 Peugeot pro 531
The bike is fitted with a full complement of “Cat Eye” accessories i.e. front and rear light set and a CC-CL100 cordless computer unit all of these are in a spotless condition and seem to work as intended. There is also a Lezyne micro pump and a “ Bushwacker” under saddle bag complete with a “ Halfords” puncture repair kit and associated tools, again these all look unused as does the “Rolls” turbo saddle .
 Peugoet 531 pro
I have struggled to find the original specification on line,  but have no doubt that the Shimano 105 equipment fitted is all original as the “ champagne” finish of the groupset compliment the paintwork well . Again there are little or no signs of wear on the brake lever blades or downtube mounted indexed gear levers, even the bar tape is very clean and unmarked .
It was with some intrepidation that I released both of the Allen key bolts for the Miche aero seat post and Peugeot branded quill stem as I was slightly concerned these might have been stuck fast but thankfully both released and enabled adjustment just as if they were new .
The stainless wheel spokes were covered in cobwebs but again a quick wipe and they came clean and shiny as did the black anodized Mavic wheel rims . The Hutchinson tyres look as good as new with little or no sidewall cracking and have so far held pressure for 24 hours .
 Peugeot 531 pro
A quick early morning test ride was taken very carefully and proved to be trouble-free and very smooth although there does seem to be a bit more than normal resistance on the crank which is more than likely due to the original grease drying up. The brakes were applied and seemed to stop ok with a minimal amount of juddering and noise, so once the inner cables are replaced all should be as good as new in that department. The exposed sections of inner gear cable have discolored but only as per expectations, again these will be replaced . Gear changing is as smooth and precise which is always a good sign .
This is the second bike I have found recently that looks like it has led a sheltered life , the other was a Raleigh Ventura but the condition of this one beats that by far .