Worth the wait .

Over the years I have kept an eye out for a local tidy Specialized Tricross Sport and until just before the lockdown I hadn’t found one at what I call a sensible price .

I thought to myself that will do and if not I can soon sell it on . Well after doing a couple of short rides around the block to see what it felt like I was duly impressed .

Once I started riding again I thought I might as well do some longer rides on it and up to date I have completed 197 miles on it and each mile has been a good one .

Normally it’s about this mileage I make my decision as to whether I decide to keep it or sell it.

And I am enjoying using this one so I have decided to extend that test period on the Tricross.

One of last weekends rides included a trip up to St Mary the Virgin Church that sits atop a hill overlooking the village of Whiston . The 3 X 9 gearing took all this in its stride. Normally I can only manage the path up to the church on my old Marin MTB.

Watch this space and see what I decide about this Tricross .

The garage queen is out again .

I have owned this Ian May decaled machine for a few years now . The actual make is unknown but it does have an Italian threaded bottom bracket so can only presume Italian parentage .

Normally I don’t use it till the month of May but this year it had to wait until June mainly as I wasn’t cycling in May with the covid pandemic around.

Over the years I have owned it the bike has undergone various changes ie at least 3 different types of wheels and tyres , 2 sets of calipers , 2 different bar and stem combination’s due to different reasons.

I always think it looks cool especially being red and chrome and now with red tyres just to finish it off .

It’s a lovely bike to ride and always soaks up whatever I throw at it and often comes back and asks for more . The miles just roll away and it doesn’t mind the occasional hilly terrain as well with a 52/42 chainset and a 12/36 rear cassette .

It never covers loads of miles each year but it’s always one of the bikes that I look forward to riding on a regular basis. And when you consider some of the machines in my garage that says a lot .

Viscount aerospace

A lot of people seem to run scared at the thought of owning or riding a Viscount because of the death fork tales of these classic bikes .

When a good friend of mine in France  asked me about buying this last year  as it was a bit big for him I jumped at the chance of doing so .

Over the last week I have been doing some test ride’s on it along with a few running adjustments and fine tuning . It’s mostly original apart from the rear wheel with nice clean paintwork and age related patina .

I like the design of the stronglight SX chainset and the Shimano crane derailleurs that control the 10 gears .

All in all I rather like riding this retro road bike it’s just a shame that the Viscount name went the way of so many other bike manufacturers .

This model has the aerospace tubing so it’s a nice lightweight machine especially when paired with the original alloy forks . Even the non aerospace tubed models ride well if you ask .

You think you struggle with sti units

So let’s be honest and admit that we all struggle from time to time when operating sti units .

I seem to have the biggest issue when swapping between bikes fitted with downtube lever’s and more modern equipped bikes .

Well this pony was certainly interested when I stopped at the gate to the field it was in .

I must admit I was slightly worried if it was going to take a chomp on them at one point but instead the horse left a nice slobbery mess over the left one .

Thankfully no horses or sti units were harmed in taking these pictures .

Turbo Tandem

I have decided to stop cycling on the open road till the covid 19 virus has finished ripping our world apart .

So instead of road cycling I have purchased a basic Bike But turbo trainer and have attached the family Raleigh pioneer venture u+1 tandem to it.

My main reason for choosing this machine from my collection of bikes was simple . We normally take the tandem with us when we go away on holidays. At least this way we can pretend that we cycling along Bournemouth promenade or around Centre parcs .

After a five minute try out I decided to swap the knobbly marathon tyre for a smoother treaded tyre .

The knobbly marathon stays on the front . So far I have done just under two hours of use . Ok it’s not the most enjoyable form of cycling but at least I can ride safely .

For the technical it’s an alloy framed machine made around the turn of the century . And is fitted with Shimano gearing offering 24 speeds and has cable operated disc’s .

Why buy new

A couple of weekends ago I did a 32 mile return journey to pick up another bike .

The bike I was going to look at had been described as In good condition with no use for the last 18 months . The bike I saw upon arrival looked as it had only seen minimal useage at all .

I just don’t understand why people go and buy a new bike and then never use them and then sell them for a lot less than they paid for them in the first place . I can only presume they have money to throw away .

So if anyone fancies a very lightly if used at all Dolan Preffisio then you know who to get in touch with .

Fitted with SRAM rival 2 X 10 gearing and matching calipers with a SRAM red crankset , Shimano rs10 wheel set all of which look like they have done little miles if any at all .

Sid’s first 33 miles

I decided to use my fixed wheel Sid Mottram for my early morning ride today.

My plan was to do a couple of my regular 12 mile loops just in case I had any issues.

As I approached the top of the mad mile I made the executive decision to head off towards Holcot village .

After stopping for the above picture in Holcot I set off towards Pitsford which gave me two route options if needed .

I stopped at Pitsford parish church for a quick photo before cycling off towards Boughton . As I glanced down at my Garmin I noticed that my average speed was a very good 14.5 mph which considering the route so far impressed me .

Another photo stop in Boughton in front of some thatched terraced cottages situated on a sharp downhill right hand bend just before the village church.

Next village to be visited was Moulton where I stopped in the village square for the above picture.

As I cycled away from Moulton I decided to head home rather than go further afield as my fingers were starting to feel slightly chilly .

Once I had ridden through Overstone and Sywell I had a quick ride around the industrial units at Sywell airport but failed to find a good spot for another picture so pressed on towards home .

As I neared the bottom of the mad mile I decided that the above industrial barrier would be my final picture of the day.

So 33 miles on another of my winter road bike fleet had been completed .

Sid Mottram Fixed gear .

I purchased this Sid Mottram a couple of weeks ago from the daughter of the original owner .

As far as she could remember it was bought by her late father in the 1950’s after a trip to see Sid Mottram in Leicester shop .

Through the covering of dust and grime built up over the years of storage I could see a nice bike lurking below .

It’s fitted with a mix of original and later components ie Williams chainset , wienmann 27″alloy rims , GB drop bars and a Reynolds 531 stem that had been wrapped up in black bar tape . Thankfully the constrictor lamp bracket hadn’t been covered as well .

Once I removed the tape I could see the damage to the glorious chromed stem that years of tape had caused ie lots of flaking chrome.

My plan is to swap the cranks for a set of stronglight items along with a 19 toothed fixed rear cog . The front wheel will be respoked . It will also need some new cables and brake pads .

I am unsure if it’s a Wally Green or Mercian built frame . But either way I am looking forward to covering some miles on it.

Dunelt fixed gear update

It’s been a few weeks since I first posted about my Dunelt fixed gear bike .

I have done just about 125 miles on it now. So far I am really enjoying the miles on this machine as they roll by.

The only issue I have had is to re tension the chain by pulling the rear wheel further into the rear drop outs .

Everything else is working as it should be ie sweet as a nut . I am starting to feel at home on it a bit more now and have started to learn about descending on a fixed gear .

My next project is to get one of my other bikes built into a fixed gear set up as I want to do the vast majority of my winter rides on a fixie this year . The current favourite for this treatment is my 2017 winter bike the F R Russell pictured above so watch this space .

Dunelt reinvented

I made the decision to convert my alleged 1950 Dunelt to fixed gear a couple of weeks ago .

Running a 48 X 18 fixed gear set up at the moment which so far on testing has seemed just about right. It is still running on 27″ wheels and center pull calipers .

Over the years this machine has run various set ups .

It was used quite a bit in 2018 with a 1 X 6 speed set up .

It originally came to me quite a few years ago hand painted and I used it in that guise for quite a while . Before stripping off all the components and having it powder coated a nice bright orange colour .

Once it was powder coated I sold the frameset and then 3 years ago bought it back still unbuilt with all the masking tape still in place .

I am looking forward to getting some winter miles in on this machine .