R.E.W. Reynolds the 3rd

I was up early this morning as I have a couple of bikes awaiting some work to be done on them , this morning’s job was to strip down the bottom bracket on the blue R.E.W Reynolds I have had for a while but just have not got round to doing the last few jobs to finish it off .

 R.E.W Reynolds

The first job when working on any older bike is to make sure all the nuts and bolts come undone ok as there is nothing worse than not being able to undo the last bolt . I used my recent acquisition of a hooked bottom bracket spanner to undo the lock ring which released straight away once I put some pressure on it . The same applied to the two cups which both came undone without any bother as well .

 R.E.W Reynolds bb1

It looked like it was still the original Sugino bottom bracket assembly which fits in with Sugino crankset fitted . The shaft running through was checked for being straight and seemed fine so I then cleaned and checked for any excess wear on the bearing race’s which both looked very clean , just like the inside of the cups once the old dirty grease was wiped away . The caged bearings were also covered in dirty old grease so again a good wipe down on a baby wipe or two so I could inspect them for excess marking’s or wear none was found so the re build commenced .

 R.E.W Reynolds shaft

After greasing the cups the bearings were fitted and twisted to ensure the fresh grease got round all surfaces with a small amount placed on them for good measure and the non drive side good was screwed in to place and nipped up. The shaft was then inserted along with the drive side bearing and cup and nipped up to required position and then fitted the drive side arm complete with rings and hooked the chain up as well and sat there for a few minutes turning the crank arm just to make sure all surfaces were given a chance to bed in and run in fresh grease before fitting the lock ring on, once I was happy with the feel of the shaft .

 R.E.W Reynolds bb2

After removing any excess grease I fitted both pedal arms after giving them a quick clean . Please note picture below is prior to cleaning .

 Sugino crank

Next job was to fit some new inner and outer brake cable’s which was a relatively straight forward job once the brake pads were positioned to make contact with the 700c rims rather than the 27” rims that were fitted previously . I always find that I never have enough hands when I am tensioning the brakes as you are trying to squeeze the pads close enough to the rims whilst pulling the excess cable slack through the pinch bolt and then tighten the bolt up without releasing either fitting .

A few quick squeezes of both brake levers followed to make sure I had not left too much slack in the cable’s , all felt fine .

So my reward for getting up at 5.15 am was to have another bike nearly ready for testing it just needs pedals and a saddle fitting along with some tyres fitting to replace the existing ones. So hopefully this time next week it should have covered a few testing miles and then the fine tuning can start .

Carrera Ramblings

The last few days have seen me using a 2013/4 Model Carrera TDF ltd road bike , and to be honest it was a nice bike that I have always said is an ideal introduction to the world of road bikes without breaking the bank too much .

Carrera Ltd

A lot of people sneer at the idea of using a bike supplied by Halfords for whatever reason. Yes, I am sure quite a few people can re tell horror stories galore about them , but then there will always be bad tales about any shop or retailer if you look hard enough . I must admit my local Halfords doesn’t seem too bad in all fairness .

I have owned a couple of the earlier 1990’s Carrera road bikes and I have always liked them and they normally come with some great retro paint jobs to boot .

The bike I was using was in standard specification apart from a change of tyres . I normally ride 80’s road bikes with non-indexed gearing and side pull brakes so it always makes a change to try a bike with modern calipers and sti controlled gearing . Although the Shimano Tourney gear levers and mechanisms fitted are at the lower end of the range offered I found them perfectly fine in operation in comparison to my regular mounts . Shifting the levers brought a resounding click as either mechanism moved the chain to whatever gear it was being asked to do .

Carrera sti

A couple of weeks ago I used the Ridley cross bow I blogged about and that is fitted with Campagnola Veloce sti control units mated to shimano 105 and sora mechanisms and these were a lot quieter and smoother in operation for sure . But then the cost of the sti units and mechanisms alone are more than the Carrera TDF sell for new .

Campagnolo Veloce

I also used my time on the Carrera as a comparison to the steel retro road bikes I normally ride. The first thing I noticed was that it felt a bit lighter but certainly not by a lot, even when fitted with a carbon fork . The quality of ride was good and felt smooth on the mixture of roads and cycle paths I rode it on . The handling was not as precise and positive compared to the Aende I have been using lately even though both were fitted with Vittorio Rubino tyres .


The other thing I did notice was that the Carrera didn’t feel like a hooligans bike like some do i.e. the Dave Hinde I have at the moment makes you feel like you have to ride it as fast as possible at all times whereas the TDF was quite happy bumbling along .

Dave Hinde

Frame construction on the Carrera was quite well finished for what is a lower end bike and the welds were not too big and ugly in all fairness . But I could never get excited about a welded joint especially when comparing to a lugged frame .

Dave Hinde

My overall thoughts on the Carrera was that it would make a great intro road bike if the buyer wanted a new  bike for the same price you can buy a good quality steel retro bike with a lot more character and style . The bike arrived with a rear hub that needed rebuilding so I think anybody buying a new one would be well advised to have the hubs checked and adjusted before taking delivery .

Winter Jacket Woes

As we all know winter is approaching fast in the UK and its time for us Cyclist’s to start thinking about clothing that will keep us dry and warm whilst cycling .

I am open to suggestions and ideas about what waterproof jacket to purchase this year as I need a new one . I am currently using an Altura Night Vision, but this has lost a few of its reflective panels and every so often the front zip just pops open so it is not really ideal .

 Altura Night Vision

This is the second if not third Altura jacket I have had and being honest I am less than impressed with them as all of them have lost some of the reflective panels and have also let in water, although being washed using Grangers 30 degree c wash seems to have sorted the leaking issue .


Last year I decided to try an Endura Luminite jacket. After quite a bit of online research it seemed to be a good strong product from a UK manufacture with a good warranty to back it up and one of the local Cycle shops retailed them at a price very close to the online prices offered. My initial reaction was good and looked forward to a long and happy ownership of said jacket .


After less than a few months I was experiencing loss of reflective panels here and there. Although this is not a big issue ,when a jacket is being sold with these highlighted as an important safety feature they ought to stay attached as long as the jacket is wearable surely . In all fairness I returned the jacket to the retail outlet I purchased it from and was given a credit straight away I also had the option of swapping the jacket for the same product but would have to wait for some new stock to come in .

From that day onwards I have been looking at jackets but so far I have not replaced it as I can not make a decision on which new one to buy. There are certain things I want my jacket to include as well as being waterproof and comfy to wear . The extra things are a decent sized rear pocket or pouch that is hopefully zip able , at least two other pockets, one of which one has to be able to carry my mobile phone and keep it dry and secure and some reflective detailing to help me be seen when out riding in less than ideal weather conditions .

What makes the search even harder is all my local Cycle shops only seem to sell Altura and Endura and I would rather try another brand . My local Halfords carry the Dare 2b range but they just seem to lack the quality feel I would hope for and also the fabric on their Caliber II seams to rustle a bit when worn and moving around the shop .


Looking on line at other brands, they all seem to offer a jacket that fits my needs but without being able to try one on and see what it feels like just makes the job even harder . I like the look of the North wave Traveler jacket but as yet have not seen one in the flesh , I was told to check out the Endura Flip jacket by somebody but again not seen one and the specification I found on one web site said it was only shower proof not rain proof .


I have seen and like the Mavic HC H20  on line at quite a few retailers and like the look of it but again no local sellers , I also like the look of some of Maddison range but again no local retailers .


I need to make a decision soon as winter is approaching fast and there is nothing worse than cycling when damp .

Martin’s Marin

I have owned my Marin Bear Valley bike since about 1993 so that’s 22 years , and I think that’s rather a long time especially considering the number of bikes that pass through our garage .
From what I know it had a sad start to its life as it was lent by the local Marin dealer to a Toyota dealership who had it on display fitted to a roof rack assembly on a car in their showroom. At some point it was vandalized whilst there and sustained two slashed tyres and various bits of the decals were also picked off . It was removed from display and left in the stores department . Once I had served my three months probationary period I enquired if I could purchase it and was told to submit a written offer and if this was accepted the bike would be mine.
 Marin Bear Valley
My offer of £250 was accepted at once which I thought gave me a bit of a bargain as they were retailing at over £500 at the time from what I was told . A couple of new tyres and tubes later and we were off on an adventure that is still going strong to this day .
 Marin Bear Valley
It’s never had a hard life , for the first 3 years in my ownership it was used mainly at weekends for various on road only rides that were never any further than 25 miles in length. It did get taken for a weeks holiday riding around the Isle of Mull one year . It then spent 10 + years wallowing in my parents garage unused as time was limited with a family coming along .
 Marin Bear Valley
It was bought back in to service for my daily commute approximately 8 years ago and has carried on either being my main commuter trudging up and down the local cycle paths backwards and forwards to work or one of my back up bikes . During its life it has had various consumable parts replaced but still sits on the original wheels , crankset , mechanisms, bars , seat post and brifter units .
Marin Bear Valley
The paintwork is still original and most of the decals on one side have long gone whilst the other side are only partially gone , I must admit I have considered replacing the decals a few times but have never actually done it .
 Marin Bear Valley
I have found this bike to be great fun to ride and it normally always puts a smile on my face when I am riding it .

My new mate Dave

The last few days have seen a new arrival in the Racing Bikes Biggs682 stable and so far me and my new mate “Dave” have done a 13 and 23 mile ride, so we are getting well acquainted slowly but surely .

Dave Hinde

Some people have said the colour scheme is nice some have said it’s not so nice . I personally like it and that’s without the extra charm of chromed fr forks and drive side lower rear stay .

Dave Hinde

It’s a Columbus slx tubed frame with lugs that are Cinelli stamped, which is a first for me . The paintwork is very clean with just a few very minor blemishes here and there .The chrome is in a very good clean and shiny condition which is always nice .

Dave Hinde

It’s a very nice, comfortable bike to ride on during the distances I have ridden so far and the only thing I would change is the as new Cinelli stem for one about 15 – 20 mm shorter. But for the time being I am happy to make do with this one .

The gearing and brakes are taken care of by Shimano Ultrega components that are nice and shiny just like the chromework and don’t look to have had much use at all . The wheels are Shimano 600 ‘tricolour’ hubs laced on to Mavic MA40 anodized rims .

Dave Hinde

It’s a short wheelbase frame with nice fairly tight clearances that all make it very sure footed on the road, confident in the bends and seems to be quite happy on the few fast downhill sections that we have covered so far .

Dave Hinde

No matter what you think, you have to admit all of the above certainly make it stand out from the crowd which is what a lot of cyclists like from their bikes .

Project Ridley Crossbow

Well, project Ridley has got to the road testing stage and so far all is going well .

 Ridley crossbow

I was a bit apprehensive at first, mainly due to the frame size , the original owner advised me it was always going to be touch and go as to whether it was going to be on the large size for me .

 Ridley Crossbow

I normally set all bikes up with a saddle height of 39” and the handles bars approx. 36” high so once a set of bars were fitted I offered up the tape measure only to find they were at 40” and very little chance of getting them anywhere near 36” . The saddle was set to 39” from the ground to the top of saddle as per normal then set up as pre Selle Smp instructions . The frame is a bit on the large size at 60 + cm .

 Ridley xbow

On the initial sit on, I thought this was going to feel weird on the road  , so headed out very carefully on a route where I was no more than 4 miles away from home at any point just in case I had an issue . The first couple of miles felt fine and apart from getting used to using Sti units all over again it was going well . So I pressed on with my ride .

 Ridley crossbow

As the miles came and went I was feeling more and more comfortable with the riding position and the general feel of the bike overall . There were a couple of little niggly things like squeaky brakes , slightly offset handlebars and an annoying rattle from the rear brake cable where it kept making contact with the head tube area. These were easily sorted with a bit of adjustment here and there .

The mixture of Campagnolo sti units and Shimano mechanisms with a campagnolo rear wheel was working a lot better than I expected on the gear shifting front and the Shimano cantilever brakes were nice and sharp when operated by the levers proving some very impressive stopping power compared to the normal retro brakes I am used to .

 Ridley Crank

The bike soaks up the little bumps and ripples that seem to effect the vast majority of roads these days very well considering its running on narrow Michelin slick road tyres with over 110 psi . This might well have something to do with the damping qualities of the Zornyc carbon bladed forks along with a quality 7000 Aluminum butted frame . I should think much wider tyres could quite easily be catered for if this was going to be used a cyclo cross or even a commuting bike .

Before I realized the intended 15 mile ride was nearing completion and I was happy with the way the bike had gone and look forward to covering a few more miles on it over the next few weeks .

Llandudno 2015 Ramblings

We were lucky enough to spend a week in Llandudno a couple of weeks ago and I can honestly say we had a great time exploring some of the area .

We rented an appartment in the Church Walks area of Llandudno and had glorious views on to the Great Orme and across to both the North and West bays never mind the town centre skyline depending upon which window you looked out of .


We have holidayed before in North Wales but never stayed in Llandudno ,we had planned to visit various attractions some new and some we had been to before . One of the places we have previously visited is Bodnant Gardens which is tucked away just off the A470 that runs between Llandudno and Betws-Y-Coed. In places the little paths that run around the gardens are quite steep others are fairly flat but all are loose gravel paths rather than solid tarmac ones . There are some fascinating views both across the gardens and further a field . I found this old bench that just reminded me of a well used and abused Brooks b17 saddle for some strange reason .

 Brooks Professional

Another place we found ever so interesting was the Great Orme and the tram journey up to the summit was not the rickety old event I had imagined , in fact it was a smooth peaceful journey that starts of with gradients as steep as 1 in 3 on the lower half whilst the second half is bit less steep at 1 in 8 . I was surprised to see quite a few cyclist up on the summit all were riding modern road bikes which at first surprised me as I did not expect many cyclist’s to have made the tortuous journey up those gradients. It was only later on that I realised there was a road that came up the less steep approach way from the toll road that runs around the Great Orme . Again the views from the summit of the Great Orme were fantastic no matter which way you looked , one way you could make out the Ilse Of Anglesey whilst other views included Conwy , Little Orme and beyond the town of Llandudno  along the welsh coast towards Prestatyn and beyond . Whichever route those guys used to get up on to the summit I should hope they had suitable gearing to climb hills without getting off and walking .

 Raleigh Ventura Golden Arrow

A few hours were spent walking the streets of Llandudno finding the Alice in Wonderland figures that are spread around the town centre and outlying areas. The Mad Hatter is on the promenade , there are 2 Cheshire Cats one in Happy Valley whilst the other is near the west parade area, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are quite happy standing in the Haulfre Gardens looking out across the town . All these statues are carved from wood and as you can see are on the large size . Whilst doing this walk I spotted the only bike I saw all week with a Reynolds sticker attached to it .


I never experienced cycling during the time we were there but it looked a great area for cycling as long as you like hills and coastal winds . There was a severe lack of retro bikes spotted as we made our way around the town and in fact this was the only Retro road bike we passed during our stay , I don’t think it moved all week .

 Eddy Merxc