Will i get out Tomorrow

Sat looking at tomorrows weather forecast it does not look very promising with heavy rain showers forecast between 8 – 9 am and just in case that was not enough gale force winds with gusts of up 41 mph with rain showers mixed in as well from 11 am – 6 pm .

Weather Symbol

So looking at this I think I will be better off going out like I normally do ie nice and early about 5.30 – 6 am as it meant to be dry and 8 degrees with winds up to 17 mph so could be chilly and the roads will be damp as it has rained this afternoon .


One thing for sure is I will need a bike with guards fitted front and rear to save me getting splattered by spray thrown up by the tyres and any puddles still lying around .

I am not a fair weather cyclist but like a lot of other cyclist I don’t enjoy riding in heavy rain and windy conditions . Riding in rain when its mild and not windy is ok but when its windy the damp gets into all nooks and cranny’s .


A good waterproof jacket and a pair of winter gloves help a lot as does wearing a neck snood to keep the chill out , I even wear a thin skull cap to keep some heat in as well , but some times it can get a bit sweaty up top with that on .

The only other things needed are some lights front and rear which is a whole blog in itself .



8806 Update

I picked this Raleigh type 8806 up in about June this year , and on initial inspection I was a bit disappointed due to its poor original condition and the amount of poor quality touching up that had been done by the previous owners .


Type 8806

But once I started looking past and beyond that I saw a Reynolds frame with 531  main tubes , a mixture of golden arrow . 105 and 600 gears , 600 tricolour hubs laced to Ma40 rims , nice Miche aero seat post and the longest Cinelli stem I have even seen at 140 mm . I had a couple of short rides on it just to make sure it was working ok , which it was . And more of a surprise was the way it rode and felt which I was well impressed with .

 Raleigh type 8806

This gave me a few tough decisions as initially I was tempted to remove all the components and sell the frame on . It seemed such a shame to leave such a nice frame in this way. Finally I  removed all the components and used them on various other projects whilst I decided what to do with the frame . I had a few quotes to get it refinished but I am against destroying a bikes previous life and history by removing all that patina and replacing it with shiny new paint, plus the quotes I got were all over the £200 area by the time I shipped it to and from chosen company , which I could not justify .

So the frame has sat in the far corner of the garage since then awaiting to be given a new life or a new owner . I wanted to keep it so at the end of last month I decided to start collecting all the bits from around the garage to convert it in to a winterized single speed bike . These framesets were originally sold as winter training frames by Raleigh and this one finally has the chance of being somebody’s winter bike .


A single 48 toothed “custom” crankset with 165mm arms were fitted along with a set of low mileage “Specialized” black rimmed wheels that had an 18 toothed single speed conversion kit fitted ,that gives me a gearing of aprox 70”. A set of Shimano 105 calipers take care of the slowing down department operated by a set of Shimano exage levers on a set of Cinelli alloy drop bars along with the ugliest stem I have ever seen but it was the only one I had that put the bars in the right place for me comfort wise , the “ Miche” aero seat post was long gone and has been replaced by a “Charge” chopstick unit that I find are great to use as they give such a fine range of saddle angle adjustment .

The paintwork is best described as original with patina and is just at the stage that a lot of people would call scruffy but to me it’s not quite at that stage yet , and some of the poor touching up has been softened down with some careful cleaning but there is still a lot of cleaning to be done and if it comes up a bit better then it will have been worth doing .


type 8806

The first test ride was a short mile and half gentle poodle around the estate I live on, this proved satisfactory . Since that ride I have used the bike as my commuting machine and made a few small adjustments to the set up so we are not far away from spot on for me .It still rides as well as it did the first time I rode it and on one of my early morning jaunts I averaged just over 16.5 mph on a 12 mile loop which I was impressed with as that is almost the same as a good day in a geared bike , so with a bit more man and machine bonding it might actually prove to be quicker as well as giving me a good work out on the uphill bits .


Type 8806

Ridley Crossbow for sale

For Sale
Ridley Crossbow Cyclocross / Road Bike
Frame size measured from centre of crank to top of seat post is 64 cm or 25 1/4″ 


Ridley Crossbow

the measurement from centre of crank to joint between cross tube and seat tube is 62 cm or 24 3/4″ and 58 cm or 23″ along the top tube centre to centre
 And has a standover height of 88 cm or 34 3/4″ so one for the taller person ie 6ft +
As far as i know its a 2009/10 frameset that i was told had covered less than 300 road miles and has been in storage since mid 2010 . 
Nice royal blue and contrasting black paint scheme . 
Fitted with 4ZA Zornyc carbon / alloy forks the rest of the frame is 7005 T6 alloy so nice and light yet very stiff and forgiving to ride .


4ZA Zornyc carbon / alloy forks

Fitted with Campagnolo Veloce sti units that operate Shimano 105 front mechanism and a Ultrega rear mechanism
 with a Shimano 105 compact double crankset with 175mm arms . 
 for good strong stopping power with all new cables .


Rdley crossbow shimano cantilever brakes

Wheels are Campagnolo Veloce hubs fr & rr laced on to Amrosio shallow aero rims with worn Michelin Axial pro slicks 700 x 23.
Hubs were serviced less than 100 miles ago .
Easton EA50 seat post, 1 x bottle cage (not pump as in pic)

Easton ea50 ridley crossbow

 Bontranger 95 mm very steep stem with ITM Racing Super 330 anatomic 44 black drop bars with new bar tape .
This was purchased as a frameset by myself then built up less than 100 miles ago by my local bike shop .
 Ridley Crossbow
Only selling as its a bit on the large size for me although i have ridden it and found it great to ride
i just cant find the sweet set up due to size
Asking £425 collected from NN8 Wellingborough post code as i will struggle to find a box large enough to pack it in
Loads more pictures just ask .

For Sale Peugeot Performance Road Bike

My latest offering is this very tidy and original model year 2000 Peugoet Performance road racing bike ideal as a commuter or touring bike , made with lightweight Columbus Aelle tubing in good original condition .

Peugoet Performance

21 1/4″ OR 54CM Size frame measured from centre of crank to centre of seat pinch bolt so suitable for somebody aprox 5ft 6″ to 6ft .

Shimano flightdeck sti controled 16 gear system with rsx100 fr mechanism and sora rear mechanism and an Ofmega crank set. 105 calipers look after the breaking .
Peugoet PerformancePeugoet Performance
Rigida shallow aero wheels with quick release fr & rr fitted with new Vittorio Rubino 700 x 23 tyres . 110 mm quill type steering stem , itm bars .
Peugoet Perfomance
2 sets of bottle cage mounts but only 1 cage fitted

please note pedals , saddle and pump shown in picture are not included aall though a saddle and a pr of flat plastic pedals will be included .

just had a service with new tyres so ready to go
Peugoet Performance

See link for original sales brochure as far as i can tell only changes have been tyres, saddle & pedals


asking £175 collected from nn8 Wellingborough postcode or could be sent via courier to most uk postcodes for an extra £25

loads more pics just ask

Smile a mile Rides

If bike rides were rated in how far or how much you smiled during your ride then last night’s early evening 13 miles would be right up there .

It was a nice mild November evening so I decided to do my normal 13 mile loop and using my recently built Lee Cooper “ Bromwich ” single speed bike as until then it had only done a couple of 1.5 mile rides .


I chose a route that had a few minor lumps in as I was still not sure if the gear ratio I am running was too high, too low or just right . The first four and half miles were on fairly flat terrain and I found a steady cadence, when checked I was averaging 14.7 mph on my Garmin which I was more than happy with as that is very similar to what I normally average on a multi geared bike over the same route .

The more pleasing thing was that the bike was riding well and felt nice just getting caught by the occasional gust of side wind it still left me with a confident feeling that the bike was obeying my various inputs .

The only things that I will be changing  in the near future is to replace the Campagnola rat trap pedals for a pair Shimano clip in units and to undo the bar tape and re wrap so as to do away with the pvc tape that has been used at the end nearest to the stem just to make it look tidier in my mind .


Comfort wise all feels good, the shorter stem and bar combo I swapped over after the first test ride feels a lot better. I am positioned with a view through the front axle compared to either looking behind or ahead of the front axle which happens when using a shorter or longer stem .

One of the best moments of the ride was as I reached the top of the hill in the centre of Earls Barton a pedestrian commented that he wondered what was coming along the road towards him with all those lights on , there is nothing like making sure you are seen when riding in the darker hours .

On the return side of the loop I decided to try and increase the cadence  to see if my legs could cope, I noticed the Garmin was registering between 18.5 and 20 mph and my legs felt like they were keeping up which is a good sign. I only kept this up for about a mile as I soon found myself being able to freewheel and average 20+ mph on the way past “The Ridge Area” of Great Doddington which continued all the way down to the Royal Oak Public house .

It was just after that when I heard a new strange mechanical noise and started to try and look around the bike as I pedaled along and it was with great relief when I noticed a youth dragging a scooter along the footpath on the other side of the road which was making the noise I was looking for .

The final mile of the ride was just as enjoyable as the previous 12 were, it’s a bike I look forward to riding a lot more and hopefully it will still provide me with a smile per mile .

The Blues

Why did I buy a pale blue jacket !!!

When I was looking at replacing my Altura Night Vision jacket I fancied going for a different colour other than ninja black so opted for a pale blue Maddison cycling jacket. It looked the part in the shop and fitted well so paid my money and took it home .


Within a couple of weeks I noticed how grubby the breast pocket surrounding area was looking and put it down to where I keep using the zip to get at the set of keys I keep in that pocket for safety reasons .

A couple of days later my other half commented about the jacket was looking a bit grubby in places already to which I agreed and we both came to the same conclusion that it might have been a bad idea to buy a non-black jacket .

After returning from my early morning ride this morning I noticed that the sleeve cuffs were also looking dirty , all in all I now feel it was a big mistake to have gone for the pale blue option . So I can see this jacket spending a fair bit of time in the washing machine as we try to keep it looking fairly clean .

As a jacket I am well pleased , it’s kept me dry and warm through what cold and wet weather we have had so far , people have also commented that the reflective panels do the job they were intended for which is good .

I would recommend this jacket to anybody as I have been impressed so far but I would suggest buying a different colour .

Born and Bred In Coventry Just Like Me

Have you ever wanted something for a long time ?

Well for about  5 years I have wanted a Coventry made bike , I wasn’t overly particular about who it was made by, but I wanted it to be a nicely built frame so that I could then either spec it to suit my needs or adapt it to do the job .


In June 2014 I paid a visit to a house on the outskirts of Coventry where to my surprise I found a craftsman at work in his converted garage building framesets to order for anybody lucky enough .

The man in question was Lee Cooper, a Coventry born person like myself but he had stayed a bit closer to his home town than I had . After a bit of chit chat he explained the different processes that go into making a quality frameset . I never thought it was easy and from what Lee showed me it all looked very complicated but it seemed to work ok .

Lee showed me a few of his finished frames that he had completed earlier in his career which he still had hanging around in his workshop roof space. These included a nice touring frameset , what looked to be a lo pro time trial frameset and a few track frames to boot , but the one that took my eye was a finished frame that carried the name of “Bromwich” on it and for those in the know that was another Coventry framebuilder and was the person that Lee first worked for building frames .

lee Cooper

Whilst I was looking at this frameset Lee explained how he had started to do his own powder coating and this was one of the first he had done and was quite proud of its finish , and having seen a few other frames that had been powder coated myself I could understand why . He also showed me a glorious Audax bike that he had built up a few years ago for display at a show . As any cyclist does I picked it up to get an idea of its weight and was astounded by how light it was , it’s just a shame it was that bit too small for me .

From that day forward I have kept a close look on various auction sites and forums for his frames or complete bikes. I have seen a few alloy frames badged as Lee Coopers but he told me himself he didn’t work with alloy and the frame numbers didn’t match his normal format , others were being sold for silly amounts and were not always in good condition.

So earlier last month I e-mailed him to ask if he still had the Bromwich frameset and to my amazement he replied yes and a deal was struck and a date was pencilled in for collection. It was duly paid for and collected and was exactly how I remember it, 631 Reynolds tubing , Lee Coper head badge with Bromwich decals on seat and down tube , rearward facing rear drop outs and more importantly in my size range ie 22″.

lee Cooperlee Cooper Bromwich

I had a build plan straight away ie a nice pair of polished Mavic MA2 rims that were hanging around waiting for the right bike just a shame they were not flip flop equipped . I was unsure re chainset and opted for a single SR Aex one with a 52 ring and an 18 toothed freewheel . Items like bars and stems were always to be decided once built , the initial build was done with a 130 Cinelli stem and bar combination but this had me looking about two inches in front of the front axle so this has been swapped for a shorter combo that has me looking straight through the axle .

lee Cooper

So far I have covered about 15 miles in total, so early days for sure but I am well impressed with the feel and handling of this machine and look forward to covering many a mile with a smile on my face as I ride along .