Category Archives: Bike Riding

Sandy Adventure Bike

I had the chance to take a trip across southern England with a friend so it seemed a good opportunity to make a bike specifically for the task. It was something i’d want to build, taking on board a number learnings from other builds to create a bikepacking bike. Room for 2.6 tyres, stable geometry and enough braze ons for racks and bottles. So my friend Scott agreed to test this one whilst I took my faithful old green steed (which was the first mountain bike i’d built some time ago!).

Track Bike Tourer

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go over to the North American Handmade Bike Show this year. The decision was made quite late but I wanted to make something nice to ride over there on. I really like the look of old steel track bikes so wanted make something reminiscent of those and then make a few concessions to see how well it can do the touring thing. Touring accessories included raise handlebars, 5 speed Sturmey Archer hub, front rack, dynamo hub lighting and a bunch of bike packing bags. Overall it rode really well, was perfectly comfortable and didn’t get too battered by the journey.


Red Hook Crit Milan 2

As well as the race in Milan, it was a pretty busy weekend. The drive down through France and Switzerland, track day at the fabulous Vigorelli Velodrome, riding the city, bike cafes and our fair amount of pizza. It was nice to be able to ride Milan with my son and for him to see all the excitement. We had a great visit to our friends at Cicli Drali, had posh coffee at the Bianchi Cafe and hung out in a bunch of local bike shops like the great Velociclista. Roll on next year.


Mountain Mayhem 2017

Having done about 10 Mountain Mayhem 24 hour MTB races, when we heard this years 20th edition was going to be the last we thought we’d see if we could get some of the old team together. We got a team of 5 so after an absence of quite a few years and the first chance to ride one of one of my own bikes we were on for the race. The 29er did the business. Added some suspension forks a but kept the 1*10 gearing, which in honesty wasn’t quite enough, with a 34 front and 36 rear (and old legs) I could have done with a lower first gear. Great weekend had by all.

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Roasting hot day but very cool dawn breakfast.

Fat bike testing

IMG_4647One of the nice things about making bespoke bikes is can choose the geometry. I decided to go fairly aggressive head angle (for a fat bike) as the last thing I wanted was a barge. It’s steeper than anything else I saw in the market so although it keeps your attention on the descents it’s pretty awesome fun on twisty single track. Trying out a shorter stem, in spite of my natural xc tendencies also seems to help the fun!

First ride part 2

Two firsts today. It stayed dry long enough for my wife to try out her new Mixte. Nexus 8 hub, coaster brake for ease of use and maintenance! We went for an Alfine trigger shifter and it has a better feed for the cable than the Nexus twist grip. It also meant we could use the leather style grips which are really comfortable and look great. First trip was obviously to the local Italian for coffee. Job done!


S2C Duomatic hub first ride

I’ve been aching to get out and try my new single speed bike. I say single speed but it’s got a Sturmey Archer S2C duomatic with a coaster brake. It was also the first ride for the truss forks and the ace bars. First thing to notice was the bars. Quite low, narrow and close but the hands felt in a really comfortable position with straightish arms. Might try a slightly longer stem but to see how that feels.








Second thing to notice was the coaster brake. It makes sense really but having means you can’t back pedal to align your cranks. Like riding a fixie but you can freewheel just can’t turn backwards.

Next up try changing gear. Having only read about the hub operation I was keen to try it. Sure enough a quick backpedal and it changed up into a higher gear. Trying it a few times it was a bit too easy to engage the back brake whilst trying to change gear but no biggy, it’s not a setup for maximum speed. Just helps to stop the knee popping at the multitude of lights on my commute.


Lastly the fork. To be honest I didn’t notice it, which I think is a good thing. Felt plenty rigid and not too firm. The skinny legs look great and i’m happy to take them further a field now for a longer test so will be looking for some big bumps. Fortunately the state of out local roads means those are easy to find.