Khs Turbo

About a week ago one of my regular Racing Bikes Biggs682 Facebook page visitors asked my advice about selling his 1980’s KHS Turbo road bike that he had cycled the 100 mile 2015 Eroica Brittanica on without any issues .


Khs Turbo


I have been looking for a KHS road bike for a while and preferably one of the ones with the curved seat tube but in all fairness I have only seen 2 or 3 of them for sale on e bay in the last few years and not one of them was local or with in my budget. Once he told me what it was, as I couldn’t quite make out the brand on his initial picture, I was quick to reply with “ If you would package and courier it I would love it “ and he was just as quick to reply with “ Really , I could bring it , where do you live ? ” .


Khs Aero Turbo

So once we sorted out the day and time the bike was duly delivered as promised . I was at work when it was delivered so when I got home at lunch time it was there waiting for me .



My initial inspection was along the lines of that looks as good as expected but what are those tyres? ! In all fairness the seller had warned me and when I looked harder it made a lot more sense as I could see the rims were 27” x 1” and the tyres were 27” x 1 ¼” so it looked over tyred but on closer inspection there was loads of clearance between the tyres and the frame so no real issue at all .


Khs Turbo

Once I finished work and got home I couldn’t resist jumping aboard and giving it a gentle once round the block , so off I went, all was going well until I applied the rear brake and for whatever reason the cable nipple decided it wasn’t going to sit in the handle any longer and jumped out leaving me with only a front brake , so caution was the main word from there onwards .


Khs Turbo

The bike felt very fluent indeed , and all the gear changes I made were nice and smooth which is what I expected from Shimano 600 Arabasque units all round apart from a very nice Sugino crankset which looks very similar indeed . The tyres rode well, they didn’t feel over tyred on the short ride a few more miles will tell the tale better . Apart from the rear brake cable incident the brakes worked well enough and once pressure was applied the bike started to slow down without any juddering or pulling which is always a good sign .


Khs Turbo

For those that don’t know the tubing is Tange champion no 2 which is on a par with Reynolds 501 tubing , I like Tange tubing very much it’s a bit rarer and different to Reynolds and Columbus tubing . I have owned a few bikes that were made of Tange, the main one being my Marin Bear Valley mtb and a couple of Charge branded frames were also Tange tubed . The paintwork has just the right amount of patina for a 20+ year old bike in my mind . The chromed fork crown has suffered worse of all but it’s there and it shines , as does the original blue paintwork .


Khs Turbo

In theory the frame is a shade small for me so I need to look at getting a longer seatpost and maybe a longer quill stem but will do the seat post first once I have checked my stock for a 26.6mm diameter one . Once that is sorted I can then press on and do some miles on this classic bike .


BMC RacemachineSlr03

Well last weekend saw my longest  2 rides to date on my recently acquired 2014 BMC Racemachine slr03.



Bmc slr03

The only other ride I had used it for was a 12 mile loop just after I got it , so I hadn’t fitted my saddle of choice, the Selle SMP lite 209 and I hadn’t really set the bar height up either . With a dry weekend forecast I prepped the BMC so it was ready to go Saturday morning . I had a choice of either a red or black saddle and opted for the red one and I think it was a wise decision .


After only five miles on Saturday I felt the set up was far from ideal and stopped to have a quick look to see if I could notice anything obvious. As I had expected the saddle had crept all the way back  so was sitting about an inch and half further back than it was originally . I decided the best option was to press on regardless and try and perch myself further forward than normal to compensate and this seemed to work fine . I had half expected this to happen as the same kind of seat post was fitted on my Simoncini , not sure how you would describe it but the front clamp bolt allows a degree of setting saddle angle up whilst the rear does the majority of clamping .



Bmc slr03


The rest of the bike felt fine and certainly rode well enough in my mind , it amazed me how nicely the Shimano 5800 model 11 speed 105 sti units worked and gave a reassuring clunk when gear changes were chosen. It reminded me of shutting a good quality built car door compared to shutting a lesser quality one . I just need to get use to turning a higher cadence rather than settling for a higher gear and sitting there just gently turning the cranks which is my normal style .



Bmc slr03


The carbon 40 – 60 Gipiemme aero wheel set didn’t seem to be effected by the occasional blast of wind that I had been warned about  as this is the first bike I have ever ridden that is equipped with a higher rim depth than 15 – 20 mm . These wheels have an alloy brake track which allows the 105 calipers to work very efficiently when required . The slick treaded Hutchinson tyres gave a good level of grip on the mainly dry road surfaces which always surprise me.


There is lots on the internet about how stiff the Slr03’s frame is and I certainly found it very forgiving on the different road surfaces I rode over from smooth freshly laid tarmac to stretches that were so rutted and uneven an off road bike would have been more suited . The look of the frame and its finish were one of the first things that attracted me to the bike when I first saw it . Its matt black and red colour scheme is quite tasteful in my mind and the red bar tape and red saddle only help to improve its looks .


The seat post was swapped for a more conventional clamping affair one ready for Sunday morning’s ride and the saddle was lifted slightly as I felt I was not getting my leg straight enough whilst peddling . This change to the seat post worked wonders as it never moved back during Sunday’s 32 mile ride at all, I still feel the saddle needs to go up a bit more so will try that next time out .


I am slowly getting use to the mechanical ticking noise that the rear free hub makes when not being turned via the pedals at first I found it quite loud and rather disconcerting but as the miles progressed I didn’t find myself listening to it so much and just got on with enjoying my ride .



Bmc slr03

All in all I found the Slr03 to be a very nice bike to ride that seemed to cope with all I have asked of it so far over the 80+ miles I have covered on it . It’s a bike I certainly look forward to riding again .

Tomorrow’s Rides

Earlier this week I blogged about either turning left or right.


Well seeing as it’s Friday and no rain is forecast for the next couple of days I am looking forward to getting out and doing some miles on one of my bikes. ||The exact bike has not been chosen yet but the main contenders are either my Principia RS6 or the BMC slr03 that has yet to be ridden any more than 13 miles by myself .


Principia RS6


The BMC is favorite but I will wait until the morning to make sure the roads are fairly dry before deciding as I just don’t need another bike that requires cleaning at the moment as it seems that I have too many bikes that are dirty already . The 50’s Roadster that has been my commuting machine for the last few weeks is filthy and don’t even mention the chain on it as that is disgustingly dirty and is desperate for some tlc any day now.


Raleigh Roadster


The Principia was given a quick clean last weekend after two consecutive 30 mile rides in damp dirty conditions that really showed up on its burnt orange paintwork . I was rather hoping the Dolan would be ready for some testing miles this weekend but it’s a bit behind schedule as the riser only turned up yesterday. So far all I have done is a dry fit to make sure that one of my intended stems gives me the reach I wanted, now that the riser has given me the height I needed over the original stearer stem that looks to have been slammed at some point in its previous life , leaving me with a rather lower than normal handlebar position .



Waiting in the wings are my current retro rides , a Puch Mirage se and the Lomas of Oxford road bike . Both of these are sitting ready to ride apart from lacking pedals .


Puch Mistral se

So once a bike has been chosen what will be my chosen route? At the moment I am thinking about going out of town via Wilby before heading off towards Mears Ashby , Earls Barton , Yardley Hastings , Olney and then return home via Lavendon , Harrold ,Sharnbrook ,Knotting , Yelden , Wymington ,Irchester and back home making a total just short of 50 miles or I can carry on from Harrold to Poddington then Rushden and back via Irchester which is a lower total of 38 miles .


Olney Town Sign

Do I go left or right ?

As I approach the junction at the top of the Mad Mile I quite often think shall I go left or right ?


I sometimes base my decision on the direction of the wind as I ride up the Mad Mile , and go in the direction that gives me a tail rather than a head wind . This will normally mean that if I am doing a circular route then the last bit should also have a tail wind but as we all know rides and weather never go to plan .



One of my favorite rides is a right turn at Moonshine Gap then along to Little Harrowden where I head through Orlingbury , Pytchley , Broughton and up to Loddington before continuing to Orton then cutting across towards the American Airforce Monument before turning right and heading to Draughton and then up to the outskirts of Lamport Village where I bear left and descend Scaldwell Road before turning a sharp right and heading up to and through Scaldwell which is where we watched the 2016 Ladies tour go through .


Ladies tour



Once clear of Scaldwell I head along to the road that runs between Holcot and Brixworth and I quite often stop on the promenade at Pitsford Water to take in the view and to listen to the birds that are around at the time . At the cross roads in Holcot I turn right and head towards Moulton and then go straight across the A43 towards Overstone and Sywell and then past the airfield and Beckworths Emporium and through Moonshine Gap to the top of the Mad Mile .



Claud Butler Sierra

All in all the above circular route is approximately 32 miles with loads of options to reduce or increase its distance by taking different turns , there are a few short climbs but nothing major, and fairly light on traffic as well . But then my normal time of riding is to start before 6 am so that I can get back before the family day starts .


The times are a changing

The average age of my fleet is changing a lot lately. What with a 2014 Bmc Racemachine , 2014 Genesis Cdf , turn of the Century Principia RS6 and a Terry Dolan kinesis framed road bike from around the same era ,  you can see all of these are at least 15 – 20 years newer than my normal arrivals .



Principia RS6


So far the most miles have been done on the Genesis cdf which has been in my fleet the longest of all the above bikes , next up is the Principia then the Bmc and finally this week’s arrival the Dolan which has so far only been used for a total of 3.5 commuting miles . It would have been used for a few more but the reach is just too long in its present set up plus the front brake was making a severe graunching noise .



Terry Dolan Kinesis Frame


The Bmc is waiting for dry roads before it gets any more miles on it , so that could be a few weeks before it sees daylight at this rate . The Principia had its first double figure ride last Sunday covering a total of 29 miles just short of my targeted 30 mile ride , and should hopefully get at least one more double figure ride this weekend . In its current set up I found it very comfortable indeed and since then I have fitted one of my Selle smp lite 209 saddles that I try and use most of the time .



The Dolan is awaiting a stem extender as the way the forks have been cut leave the bars too low for me. Once that arrives I will have a play and find a shorter stem then swap the bars and sti units over and then I can cover a few more miles on it before deciding on its future . From the miles I have ridden it so far I can say for sure it felt nice and smooth and not as harsh as some people say about alloy framed road bikes . It’s always hard to get a true feel of a bike on such a short ride especially more so when the setup is far from ideal for the rider in question .



Terry Dolan


It certainly is a pretty looking bike for sure and deserves to be ridden and admired by others . I am a bit of a sucker for a red bike with chrome forks just have a look at my Ian May , not sure what it is but there is something about red paint and chrome for me .


Ian May


My Hankering

I have a hankering for a nice original 50’s or 60’s bike , I don’t really care if it’s a road bike built by one of the many small frame builders of the times or if it’s a mass produced make


1950’s Raleigh Roadster

.The most important thing I would want is originality i.e. original paint and decals , if it had the ability to run 27” wheels then even better as I have a good stock of 27” alloy rims and a couple of pairs of built wheels all ready to go . I am sure somebody will shout did you not just sell a 1950’s Pollard road bike ? The answer to that is, yes I did .



The Pollard in question was ideal as it was far from immaculate but still had a lot of its originality intact , but it was just too nice and interesting to sit around waiting to be used by me so I sold it to a gentleman who is in regular contact with Eddie Pollard as I knew he would enjoy owning such a bike . A couple of days ago I noticed a very nice looking Dawes Diploma for sale but due to life commitments I could not see how I was going to get the time to go and collect it in the not too distant future , so I let a good friend know about it and without surprise he promptly bought it .


Dawes Diploma

This just goes to show these kind of bikes are available without breaking the bank I just need to find one a bit more local to me. I am aware of a very original Raleigh Trent that has not moved in the last 10 years but the owner will just not sell it as it was the bike he used for his paper round  and was bought new for him by his late parents. He also told me about all the cycling adventures he did on it over the years when he rode it . The last time I saw it a couple of months ago it was looking a little forlorn with tyres that were flat and rotted away , rust starting to show on the steel rims and the cobwebs were doing a good job of holding the saddle bag together as well as disguising the burgundy red paint that would love to have a gentle clean and polish to revive it back to an almost shiny finish .



When I get chance on Saturday I am going to go and see its current owner and see if he has changed his mind about selling said beast , I am sure his answer will be no but I might as well ask him again .

Prince amongst thieves

I had my first short ride Monday morning on my recently acquired Principia RS6 and if this week’s commuting is anything to go by this is a nice bike to ride indeed .When I picked it up the previous owner said It was covered in dust due to lack of use whereas now after using it all week it is filthy dirty due to wet and dirty cycle paths and roads .



Principia rs6


It’s a fantastic looking bike I feel in a rather fetching shade of burnt orange with a nice set of black Principia Carbon forks thrown in for good measure. These are nicely profiled in shape, not like some other carbon forks that I think look big and bulky on some bikes . They are almost aerodynamic with a nice thin leading edge that tapers out to be only just a bit wider at the rear . The frame is custom made with 7020 grade alloy tubing of various shapes and sizes , which gives a nice stiff feel to the frame when standing on the pedals .



Principia rs6


It’s got a mixture of Shimano components on it but mainly dura ace which includes brake calipers , flight deck sti units and rear mech whilst the front mech is an ultrega one and the crankset is a mix of Stronglight Speedlight with 53 & 39 zircal rings with a shimano branded non drive side This mix all works fine and provides a very satisfying ride when coupled to such a great frameset .



Principia rs6


The last piece of the jigsaw are the road wheels which play quite an important part of a good bike , the wheels on this bike are made up with some FRM hubs laced to a nice black set of Ritchey Aero rims that are currently wearing a rather tired set of Continental tyres . At first glance I didn’t notice but the rear rim is are slightly offsetwhilst the front is a standard profile .



Principia rs6


The only work I have done so far is to inflate the tyres and swap the supplied 90mm riser stem for a 100mm item to increase the reach as I felt it was just a bit too short to start with . I would like to find a 110 mm stem but then it will need the front brake cable replacing at least as it’s on its limit at the moment . Although the frame measures 48cm from the centre of the crank to top of the seat tube this is a 51cm size frame according to the Principia size chart I can find online . Looking at the chart the next size up would be more ideal for me but in all fairness, with the seat post lifted and stem swapped it does not feel too far away .



Principia rs6


A lot of people will not have heard of this Dutch made bike or will think it’s an Italian brand but either way the next time you get a chance to ride one please do , I don’t think you will be disappointed .