Time flies…

Goodness… It’s been 8 months since I last updated this. Quite a lot has changed during this time.

I’ve got a new job, which is absolutely fantastic. My daily commute of 70 miles takes much less time than my previous commute of 35 miles. Odd really.

I’ve only done about 40 miles on my bike so far this year, which is absolutely pathetic.

I competed in Hit The North again, in February. OK, I turned up and pootled around, but… I didn’t die/fall off/break anything for a change. Hopefully the summer 6/8hr race will be back on this year and i’ll aim to do better with that one.

My plan to get out riding this week failed when I managed to snap the gear hanger off the back of my bike after refitting the whole of the chainset. No riding this weekend either, so that means  I’ll miss Over t’Edge.

I’ve got some new tyres for the bike, which I’m itching to test out. 2.2″ dual compound Kenda Karma Kevlar.  They’re 670g each, which is quite a bit lighter than my previous Michelin tyres so it’ll be interesting to see if I notice any difference.

I have to say that the lack of cycling really has impacted on my energy levels, which are through the floor at the moment.

There is motivation there to get back on my bike and it lies in this…. (in green, not pink!)

or this

Which, thanks to my employer’s cycletowork scheme could be highly attractive.

The ScandAL is favourite at the moment as i’ve got a bit of a thing about 29ers, but the thought of having a carbon bike is very enticing too.

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‘Ello Jon Got a New Motor?

No, but i’ve got a new bike!

Picked it up today, it’s a Raleigh Pursuit, dating back to around 1986?

Bit mucky and some surface rust and oxidation, but in pretty good nick considering its age.

I’ve given it a quick clean up and managed to pump some air into the tyres, which managed to stay inflated long enough to establish that the gears work and the brakes almost do.

Fit wise, it seams OK. I’m no expert on road bikes, but it feels pretty comfortable. The only thing I noticed was the front tyre rubbed against my foot as I turned it round. If I had had my feet in the pedals properly, I don’t think that it would have happened.

It weighs 27 lbs and it’s pretty nippy.

I’ll get some new tubes for it and give it a proper try soon.

A bit folorn with flat tyres and a dirty coat

Rims in need of some TLC

Still got all her teeth

Cleaned and inflated (just)

To summarise….

This weeks riding was meant to be better than it transpired. Last Sunday I managed to drop my bike half way down a steep descent, which resulted in a cut hand and a broken bike.

Nowi thought I was being a bit of a smartarse and ordered a new gear hanger off the net.

I could have ordered it directly from Orange for £17.95, but no, I looked at the shape of it and got a kona one instead for a tenner… Looked the same so it must be the same?

Got a new chain at the same time,but could I get the chain to stop slipping?

No.. But on Sunday it was rideable and I rode a 19 mile road loop in 1 hr 50 mins. This weeks evening tide was meant to be a recce over towards Watergrove and started fine – no chain slip but the front brake pads gave up the ghost.

A slight problem but the rear still worked.

I cycled up Ending Rake without any drama at all, but as soon as I started to put the power down on the flat there was a crunch and the rear mech was getting very intimate with the spokes.

Damaged –

Gear hangar (snapped)
Chain (snapped)
Rear mech (bent jockey wheel cage)

Following lots of advice from Twitter it may have been wear related, so tonight I’ve. Bought –

A gear hangar from orange
A suntour duralux alloy cassette
An hg53 chain

All new and hopefully going to solve nt recent issues.

I’ll post an update once they’ve arrived.

New pedals time.

My new pedals arrived last week and i’ve not had time to fit them. So tonight my bike will be the recipient of some shiny and not too scratched Time ATAC Alium pedals.

On initial inspection they look very good with a lot more clearance around the cleat area for mud shedding.

I’m hoping that they are better at disengaging than my current M505 SPD pedals, so that I can stop having repeats of my comedy left foot failure to disengage / fallover routines.

Initial thoughts are that ther are harder to engage and need a firmer push to clip in, but disengagement feels better for emergency unclips.

Oh, and don’t buy cheap bolts as they round off too easily and you have to drill them out

Beamshots for RSP Asteri 6

Right, these are the beam shots I took from my phone on last night’s ride. They don’t show the beam quite as brightly as it really is.  In reality they were rather bright and my attempt to reuse my 200 lumen light as a headlight  but the beam was completely drowned out by the new lights.

Pic 1 – 150 Lumens

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Pic 2 – 200 Lumens

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Pic 3 – 300 Lumens

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Pic 4 – 400 Lumens

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The actual amount of light from these is very good, but I will be keen to see how they fare once the snow has gone and the light isn’t being reflected. The lights, themselves, are mounted via a pair of rubber strips that stretch round the handlebars and seemed to cope well with the rides. Again, I’ll know more once the snow has gone and I can really bomb the bike down some of the hills.

New Kit Update

Now that it appears that I can ride a bike again, and the fact that the front of my bike rides the cobbles over the tops nicely. I still have problems with my rear end (of the bike!!).

The Orange Pin is OK, but it does transfer quite a bit of trail vibration, so i’ve gone down the carbon route.

Hopefully it should arrive by Wednesday, so i’ll give an update once it’s arrived. I had been thinking about carbon bars too, but i’m too much of an ape when i’m riding and I suspect that i’d snap them in half.

My new lights have arrived!

My Dealextreme SSC P7 HA-III 900 lumen Bicycle Light was on my desk when I arrived at work this morning. Current thoughts are positive, it looks to be well constructed and is very very bright (as I discovered when I plugged the battery pack in and nearly blinded myself)

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I’ll pop them on charge when I get home tonight and will give them a try tomorrow evening. I’ll take some beam shots and add here afterwards.

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F3/5 1/5th Second ISO-3200 Full Power (900)

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F3/5 1/5th Second  ISO-3200 Half Power (400)

The pictures don’t really show how bright this light is, the end of the garden from where the light was positioned was about 80ft Without the light on it was pitch black.

New Kit

just got back from Decathlon in Stockport. Purchased a 2 litre hydration pack with 8l storage for £15.95. I’ve gone for the Khaki one as it matches my bike!

I, also, got a set of SKS guards for a tenner. I’ll fit them for tonight’s ride and i’ll give an update afterwards.

New arrivals

Well I got home last night to find a nice big box from Wiggle in the lounge, it contained the following –

2 x 26×1.8 Panaracer Fire XC Pro tyres

Charge Sponge Lock on Grips

A new wireless computer

some Fenwicks FS bike cleaner.

I’m hoping the tyres will be a big improvement over the 2.1 and a lot Kendas that i’m using at the moment. The Panaracers should have a lower rolling resistance and should help on the climbs and also cut through the mud that still sits in places on the route.

Today this arrived in the post

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A Cree R2 drop-in module that will be the main part of the conversion from Halogen to LED for my Cateye RC-230 lights. (It’s tiny, so i’ll need to do some fettling to the housing to let it sit securely. Plus, i’ll need to get a glass lens for the end.

The Drop-in Module has got a large input voltage range, so there shouldn’t be any danger of blowing it up with the 7.2v NiMh battery pack that i’m using.

This unit should produce about 230 lumens, but because it’s only drawing approx 3w the combined lights should (hopefully) run for about 3 hours on a 7.2v  7600mAh battery pack.

New lights Project

A parcel arrived for me today with most of a set of of Cateye RC-230 lights. They’re in need of a new battery and a mounting bracket.

My plan is to update the battery from the usual 6v 4.2ah sealed lead acid unit to a 7.2v 3.8ah Ni-Mh unit to save weight.

The next part of the plan is to convert the lights to LED, perhaps by using some of These I’ll get one to start off with and see how well it fits.