Weekend ahead

Well it’s nearly the weekend and hopefully that will mean a couple of longer early morning rides.

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Now the big question is which bike to use . This week has seen my old Marin Bear valley out on some commuting miles. No matter what I use this bike for it always seems to make me smile.

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On the other hand it could be another couple of trips out on the yellow and red TEC machine instead.

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Which way is best ?

me roads are so much better ridden in one direction than they are the other way .

The road that links the A509 at Wollaston and the B573 at Great Doddington is one of those roads .

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It’s known locally as Hardwater road and I prefer to ride it from Great Doddington rather than Woolaston and it’s not just because of the hill at the end .

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At the moment you can only drive or walk across one section as there was an incident where a truck destroyed the safety barriers going over the river nene .

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Sigma by Roberts

 

I rode along this road this morning on my Ian May and thoroughly enjoyed the ride even all the way to the top of the hill .

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 .

 

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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 .

 

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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 .

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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 .

 

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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 .

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Ian May

 

2016 So far

 

It’s no wonder my garage is full when I look at the list below of what I have bought during 2016 , the only good thing is that 65% have also been sold during 2016 along with a few others I purchased in 2015 .

 

The ones that I have not sold are either in use or in the  “awaiting work” corner of the garage . As can be seen in the list below it’s been a diverse year for sure, quite a few out and out touring style bikes and a few non road bikes just for a bit of variety and a fair few more modern than normal machines as well .

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Giant Terrago

A few of them have been a pleasure to own and ride, others have been just a means to an end so to speak , whilst some have been a real disappointment . The biggest disappointment must have been the Planet X pro carbon. It had all the reasons to be a long term keeper for sure but it ended up spending less than 2 weeks in the garage before being sold on due to the amount of noise it emitted as I rode along on anything less than billiard table smooth tarmac and as we all know there are not that many smooth roads in the United Kingdom .

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Wester Ross

The highlights for 2016 are harder to decide, it was certainly a pleasurable thing to have owned and ridden one of the 477 Wester Ross’ ever made. Other notable bikes have to include the 1950’s Pollard which was a real delight to own for a few months before selling it on to a friend of the Pollard family who now has the largest collection of Pollards . The Simoncini that arrived in June is another high point in the year , having been looking for one for a few years it was nice to finally get one just a shame it was a bit on the larger side of rideable but for the moment it’s in the keeping section and I keep thinking about updating the gearing system to include sti’s .

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Simoncini

The bike that I think I have done the most miles on in 2016 is either my long term keeper red Ian May or the Ian May that turned up in June both of which have covered close to 500+ miles each . Whereas the Carrera Virtuoso that turned up in November only did 1 lap of the cul de sac i.e. less than a mile before being sold  .

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So with less than 15 days to go before the end of 2016 I doubt there will be any or many more arrivals but you never know ……

 

January =  Peugeot savoie, Genesis flyer and Peugeot Professional

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Peugeot Professional

Febuary = Wester Ross and  Raleigh royal

 

March = 1950’s Raleigh Roadster

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Raleigh Roadster

April  = Pollard & Webster by Lee cooper frameset

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Pollard

May = No New Arrivals

 

June = Simoncini & Ian May

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Ian May 4th

July = Mans & Ladies Bromwich & Sigma

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Bromwich Mixte

August = R.E.W Reynolds & Giant terrago mtb

 

September = Pennine , Lee cooper frame & Lomas

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G.E.R Lomas

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Pennine Italia

 

October = Specialized allez , Planet x pro carbon & Puch Mirage

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Planet x Pro Carbon

November =  Claud Butler Odeyssey , Trek 1.1, Carrera Virtuoso ,Genesis cdf & Trek 400

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Genesis cdf

December =  Neutron frameset & GT Outpost Trail mtb

28 bikes in and 18 of them sold

Am i undergoing the change ?

Over the last few months I have noticed that I seem to be looking more at newer style bikes than at the normal 70’s – 90’s Retro bikes . I am not quite sure why this is the case really .

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Specialized Allez

 

I still have a garage partially full of older steel bikes like the red Ian May , orange Lomas , red and white Simoncini ,1950’s Raleigh Roadster , red Pollard single speed ,Lee Cooper Single speed , Puch Mistral se ,Marin Bear Valley mtb and the Pennine Italia that sits waiting in the corner for work to be started on it .

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Simoncini

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Ian May

So as you can see from above there is enough steel goodness to be getting on with especially as you can only ride one bike at a time . Most of my November miles have been done on newer machines like the Trek 1.1 Alpha and Planet X Pro Carbon bike. The Pro Carbon was a great bike but I couldn’t manage the rattling noise it made on the slightest uneven road surface, it was almost embarrassing to be honest so as you can guess this was quickly moved on to a new owner to make way for the Trek which I am actually really enjoying riding now . I find the ride quality and its general poise on the road very good .

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Trek 1.1 Alpha

 

I am looking forward to getting the Puch Mistral back on the road as that looks like an ideal machine to me with Reynolds 501 tubing coupled to Puch’s own hi tensile front forks. A nice set of lightweight Campagnolo wheels have replaced the original sprint wheels along with a Campagnolo Mirage crankset that has replaced the original Shimano Golden Arrow crankset as the drive side crank is well and truly stuck on the original bottom bracket spindle and has so far resisted all attempts of separation from said shaft .

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Puch Mistral se

 

The Lomas bike is awaiting a set of retro wheels to be built up from a set of Wienmann rims and a pair of large flanged hubs that will replace the newer set of 27” wheels currently fitted to it , once these wheels are built and fitted I will crack on with getting some more miles on this bike before making a final decision as to whether this is a keeper or one to be sold onwards .

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G.E.R Lomas

When I was out on my Ian May last night pounding the black stuff I could not get my mind away from the fact that the front wheel had only been fitted about 10 minutes before hand .

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Ian May

I hear you all ask what difference does that make? It’s not so much the difference, it’s more about the fact that a couple of days before I picked the wheel up from my Local Bike Shop after they had replaced all the spokes for me as well as giving the bearings some fresh grease and adjustment .

 

As I rode up our drive the spokes were busily talking to each other and by the time I got to the end of the road they had gone quiet and were getting on with the job they were designed to do instead of going twang as they settled in against each other . Why I was thinking about this I have no idea as it’s not the first wheel they have rebuilt for me and I have not had an issue yet .

 

All the way round the 13 mile loop I was listening out for any strange noises and feelings that might occur with a freshly rebuilt wheel , it was no surprise that nothing happened and all went well as I sped along the tarmac , I even did a bit of pedal dancing as I climbed the small rise into Mears Ashby after descending down the previous hill at 25+ mph between Sywell village and Mears Ashby .

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Ian May 4th

The bike itself was as normal a pleasure to ride and did all I asked from it . The two front lights were cutting through the darkness just enough for me to see and be seen by any traffic coming in the opposite direction whilst the rear was on full blinking mode to warn traffic approaching from behind that I was there. As well as these light I had my flashing vest on with the lights turned on , this is the 2nd year of using this vest and I am well impressed with its performance .

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Ian May

Pennine Italia Arrival

Earlier in the month I agreed a deal on what the previous owner said was a nice 1980’s Pennine Italia road bike.

 

 

It finally arrived at the end of last week all nicely packaged up in this box.

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Pennine Italia

 

Once I opened the box I could see the quality of build on this machine just by looking at the lug joints and the thinness of the rear stays and the Cinelli MC fork crown .

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Pennine Italia

 

The SR handlebars are a glorious piece of work which are in amazing condition and still have what I think is the original black cloth tape wrapped around them .

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Pennine Italia

 

My initial short test ride went well and the only things I noticed were the original front brake pads were squealing well and looked rather worn so these were replaced along with the inner and outer cables .

 

The 27.2 mm Brimalux seat post was nice and free in the seat tube so adjustment wasn’t an issue , just a shame the Brooks saddle had lost its shape so much along the central spline area . Hopefully it should come back with some tightening of the tensioner and a few applications of leather treatment .

 

So far I have ridden it a total of 12 miles and can honestly say it’s a nice smooth ride, just a bit on the large size though for me .

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Pennine Italia

 

Pennine are still in existence with Paul Corcoran and Sandra Corcoran in control which is good to see in this day and age where frame makers are going out of business on a regular basis.

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The paintwork is rather dull and grubby but should come up a bit shinier with some application of T Cut and general automotive polish .