Early Morning Rides

I get quite a few people ask me why I go out cycling pre 6 am in the morning !



There are quite a few reasons really  but it is difficult to put them in any specific order.


Harry Quinn

I normally ride for between 45 minutes and just under 2 hours, so it gives me some good exercise which is something we all need to try and stay healthy, without eating into the normal family time .

Empty road

Another reason is that the roads are a lot quieter than they are later in the day that’s for sure which also should make it safer as well .

This also allows me to keep a look out for the wildlife that you would not normally see , in the last few weeks I have spotted deer , a couple of owls , pheasants , rabbits along with the normal hedgerow birds.  It is quite nice to ride along as they flit from branch to branch.


Along with the wildlife are some of natures other wonders you see like this fungi that was growing out of the base of a tree right on the road edge .

Aende Tourer

I quite often find myself changing route as I go along just to try and get a decent picture be it the sun rise or a stunning scenery  with a strategically placed bike .


Another reason why I go cycling early is so it does not eat in to the precious time that me and my partner get alone .


Is the tide turning ?

Be warned this contains modern equipment .

My First Ian May

For the past 8 years I have mainly ridden , bought and sold retro steel road bikes , you all know the sort I mean . The ones with a gear selection like an old 1960’s Austin Mini where you stirred the lever and hopefully ended up selecting the correct gear , I know it’s not quite as bad as that , but yes I mean bikes which mainly had down tube gear levers and friction type rather than the 80’s onward indexed ones .

Motobecane Levers


I also still think that bikes fitted with 27″ wheels just seem to ride that bit nicer than ones equipped with 700c wheels , I understand and accept that a lot of this is down to the slightly wider profile tyres that absorb a lot more of the undulations in the road surfaces .

Motobecane Mirage

It was about this time last year when I bought a very nice and tidy Tange tubed framed  road bike that made me realise that not all steel framed bikes had to be equipped with old fashioned technology and if they had modern technology fitted they were not the creation of the devil .


The bike in question was this Butterworth branded machine that the previous owner had bought as a New Old Stock frameset then built it up using modern components including things like Sti levers , dual action calipers and more than 10 gears to play with .


The last couple of months have seen a few more steel framed bikes that have been fitted with modern components owned and ridden with great enjoyment by myself , so I can honestly say at this moment of time I think these bikes are just as enjoyable to ride as any old 10 speed steel machine ever was  .


For Sale Claud Butler Sierra

For Sale

1986 ish Claud Butler Sierra road racing bike or ideal as a touring / commuting bike , would even make a good student bike .


Claud Butler Sierra

Complete Frame and forks are reynolds 501 and measure 22 3/4″ or 58cm from centre of crank to centre of seat pinch bolt and 22 1/2″ or 57cm along the top tube ctc with a standover height of 32″ or 81cm finished in original white gold paintwork with matching decals some chips and scratches as to be expected but all in all nice original condition.


Claud Butler Sierra

Shimano Altus mechs and levers control the 10 gears , solida crankset (i think) wienman 500 & 730 brake calipers , Maillard hubs laced on to what i believe are rigida 700 rims with 500 mile old Continental 28c ultra sport tyres hubs were overhauled about same time as tyres were fitted and Quandro quick release’s were added .


Shimano Altus Rear Mechanism

Sakae world champion bars on un branded stem with weinman part drilled brake levers and original hoods still fitted . One set of bottle cage mounts but no cage or bottle included . Older styl bullet seat ost is free to move and adjust as is the quill stem .

A full set of unbranded guards front and rear these are functional but do have a couple of splits and cracks in them . An unbranded black rear carrier is also included .


Claud Butler Sierra

Asking £115 collected from NN8 postcode or could be sent to most uk post codes for an extra £25 .

loads more pics just ask or see Racing Bikes Biggs682 facebookpage


Grumbling Bottom Brackets

Last week I noticed the bottom bracket was starting to feel a bit rough on the Claud Butler I was riding , so I had a free hour last night and decided to pull it apart and have a look at it .

 Claud Butler Sierra

After moving three other bikes outside so that I had some room to carry out the repair, I started to strip the crankset and pedal off of the bike . Once the lock nut and both cups were removed I could see what the issue was ; whatever grease that was in there had almost gone hard and was just about giving some lubrication to the bearings, all the surfaces were covered in a brown tacky mess that soon wiped off .


Claud Butler Sierra

Both caged bearing sets were cleaned up, as were the cups and all were in a re useable condition just needing some fresh clean grease on all moving parts . Before tightening the lock nut up I like to sit and rotate the non drive side crank arm for a good few minutes to make sure all the grease has had chance to get where it needs to be. Once I am happy it all feels ok the locknut is done up with the special hooked spanner .

 R.E.W Reynolds bb1

Then it’s just a matter of refitting the drive side arm along with the chain and off we go for a test ride and then upon return just a re check that all is good and tight . Hopefully that should keep the bike going for a few more years .

R.E.W Reynolds shaft

Bike for sale adverts

Bike for sale reads the advert title , so out of interest you click on it to open the listing in full and hopefully to get a bit more info from what the seller has listed or from the pictures included in the advert .


Dyna Tech 600 Shimano

It amazes me the amount of adverts I see and look at where the seller has either been too lazy or who knows what…….

 Claud Butler Sierra

One advert I looked at recently said that the bike for sale was a good bike and rode well but with no clue re make or specification of bike never mind the frame size , after a few attempts of trying to glean some information from the pictures I gave up and tried ringing the mobile number given only for it to ring about 20 times and then go to answer phone where I left a message that has yet to be answered, so I can only presume the seller either does not know the answer or can’t be bothered .

Another advert had a rather strange opening picture of a scantily clad young lady to attract the attention and to draw you in so you looked at the advert , upon opening the advert more information was duly included along with some very strange pictures of the scantily clad young lady who was sat astride the bike . Although 9 pictures were included in the advert very few of them actually showed much of the bike in enough detail to be of any use . For some strange reason I did not reply to this advert as I got the impression the advert was more for the girls service than the bike .


A lot of adverts leave a lot to be desired in the way of information re location of bike being for sale only to be told when you respond to the advert that it’s 100 miles further away than you first thought . I can understand advertising out of your local vicinity but then not to offer any delivery option seems to be pointless and almost a waste of time placing the advert in the first place .

I get quite frustrated when reading some adverts as the seller has missed the opportunity to really sell the bike because they have not included some important bits of information about it . From time to time some adverts just say Road bike for sale good condition and blue in colour and all the rest is left to guess work as the photo included is taken in relatively dark conditions and from a strange angle , sometimes these adverts allow the intending buyer to bag a bargain or two as I have done a number of times.

I was asked a few weeks ago to offer a value on a used bike that a n other person had bought and was selling on. It is always hard to suggest a price as their idea of what they have is different to what I think, as is their pre-sale preparation of the said bike .

 R.E.W Reynolds

So please include as much information and pictures possible along with a good honest description of the bike for sale and give the interested party a couple of ways to contact you should they want to .

2014 Boardman Road Sport Ltd Edition 53cm Low miles

For Sale 2014 Boardman Road Sport Ltd Edition




53cm size frame and has only covered 38 miles since supply date 04/07/15 so very lightly used indeed .
Finished in nice shiny black with contrasting yellow trim and decals , only 1 mark on RHS Fork blade as shown in pictures otherwise just dusty through lack of use .


2014 Boardman road sport limited

Frame is 7005 alloy with carbon bladed forks , Shimano Claris 16 speed gearing as per std spec with FSA Chainset , Mavic rims on unbranded hubs with Vittorio Zaffiro ” yellow tyres” has mounting points for guards fr & rr , only 1 set of bottle cage mounts . An ideal beginners or commuting bike .
Full spec can be seen on Halfords website under Boardman end of season and are on there for £374.25 at the moment .http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bik…oardman-road-sport-limited-edition-2014-black .

Set for me at 5ft 10″ in Pictures .

Asking only £275 for a sub 40 mile bike !!! collected from NN8 Wellingborough Post code or could ship to most uk post codes for an extra £25

Please note Garmin and light set shown in Pictures are not included in sale .

I have a copy of original sale sheet from supplying Halfords


2014 Boardman road sport limited

Loads more pics just ask or see my Racing Bikes Biggs682 facebook page

Friday Night Ramblings

Well its February already and my target of 4000 mile for the year is still on track with 301 miles covered in January and so far 35 miles in February. These compare very favourably with 164 miles in January 2015 and 206 in February 2015 . The monthly average to achieve 4000 miles is just over 333 miles so yes I am behind target but I am more than happy .

The majority of these miles so far have been covered by my winter bike the R.E.W Reynolds and a couple of other bikes have done a bit of mileage as well .

 R.E.W Reynolds Decal

The other bikes include the 2014 Marin Argenta , the recently completed Peugeot Professional single speed that has been undergoing mainly test miles on my daily commute, a couple of short rides on the Harry Quinn and then the rest has on my trusty old commuter the Marin Bear Valley mtb .


Harry Quinn


So as you can see quite a diverse mixture of bikes  and as the lighter nights and morning come along I should be able to get a few pre and post work rides in and even if these are just the normal loop of 13 miles they soon add up . These short loops are also ideal as they allow me to use a bike that has only just been built and if there is a big issue I can always walk home .

Marin Bear Valley

I am going to try and do a fair share of my miles this year on single speed or fixed gear bike. At this moment of time I have three of these on my fleet and with the Woodrup due back from having a refinish any time soon that will bring the total to four . Three of these bikes will be kept for the time being, as soon as I have done another 20 miles on the Peugeot Professional that will be going up for sale .



Peugeot Professional

Next thing to think about is what to do with the blue R.E.W Reynolds once the heaviest part of winter has been and gone. It was purchased with the intention of being my winter bike which it has done with great ease and I have actually enjoyed every single mile that I have covered on it , I am thinking about giving it a new coat of colour along with a strip down and rebuild with some new components along the way , but then it will take away all the aged patena that the bike currently has .


R.E.W Reynolds

I am also hoping to add a few tandem miles in to my target as my partner has made that her aim for the year so even if we manage a couple of 5 mile or less rides they will add up and give the pair of us some fun along the way .