Monday, 26 May 2014

Training Bike & Meeting a Gentleman

I have been looking for a secondhand bike to train on rather than my touring bike, I liked the look of the Chris Boardman Hybrid models so I have been scanning ebay etc..

I recently changed jobs and my plan is to travel so far by train to work get off and do about a 10 mile ride in and then home initially to build up again.  The full ride to work is about 26 miles so the plan is to get up to speed and gradually build in a few full ones then there and back till im doing that daily.  However as I mentioned I didn't want to do that on my touring bike.

Well yesterday I had some success and I won a used Boardman Comp for the sum of £226.00  after a brief conversation via email I travelled over to pick it up.  We all know the horror stories you get about ebay purchases (stolen bikes etc..), I have turned up previously to find a rusting pile of scrap...

Well on this occasion I was met by a real gent, and a keen cyclist called Peter, he had been getting over an injury and just bought himself a new bike with electronic shifters; my first look at them close up.  I have to say the geek inside me liked the idea but the cyclist in me felt that it kind of takes away some of the skill/pride, so for me the jury is still out.  I am going to ask Peter if he will do an entry about his experiences with the new shifters.

Anyhow I digress, Peter was a pure gent, the bike was exactly as described and in great condition; he had fitted a new rear tyre (shwalbe marathon plus) and handed me another one brand new.  He essentially saved me a hell of a lot of cash on new tyres, it was a generous gesture.

Despite the late hour, Peter made me feel really welcome and suffered my curiosity about his new bike, we have mentioned it and hopefully we are going to get a road ride in together!

I will be posting some pics of the bike later this week suffice to say I just needed to add a rear light and I put some new pedals on (shimano spd sl) and it was pretty good to go.

I took it out this afternoon and did abot 8 - 10 miles it worked perfectly and I really enjoyed it, I need to do a little more tweaking on the setup, the seat needs raising and the handlebar angle needs adjusting.  I am going to give it a proper service in the week clean and lubricate the chain and other parts etc..

Anyhow, here is a picture of Peter on one of his rides in spain 400 miles!

 Sometime this week I will post some pics of the bike.  I am also going to put up a page for my training diary, I have put on loads of weight after my last trip and enforced rest so I have a lot of work to do if I am going to be in shape for my next trip, to give you an idea I am probably equal to the two guys above :-) 

Also a quick thought, I would like to do my next trip for charity so if anyone is involved in a charity and they are prepared to help organise the charity side, send me a message:

Friday, 23 May 2014

Fork Upgrade

The photos below are from my fork upgrade, the whole thing took about a couple of hours and was surprisingly pain free :-)

My New Forks!

First Job is to remove my front pannier mounts

Front Pannier mounts removed along with all brackets.

Two bolts required to remove the disc brake from the old fork

disc brake bolts removed and carefully placed

The now free disc brake hanging by it's cable

Headset Cover Ready for removal

Headset cap removed

Getting ready to remove the headset two bolts

Headset Removed

one bolt to free the brake cable

For some reason the photographs of removing the old forks disappeared, but it was simply a matter of pulling them out slowly and retaining the bearing and bearing seats in the right order.

Greasing up the bearings top and bottom

More bearings being greased

fitting the bearings onto the new forks

greasing up the bottom of the forks

Putting it the new forks in

Putting it all back together was straight forward.  The only issue came with the slight difference in spacers needed.  Fortunately the fork came with some spacers and combined with my old ones i had a perfect fit.  I was prepared to do some filing if necessary.

New Forks Fitted

New forks fitted different angle

I am unhappy with the cable routing so I am going to play around with this over the weekend and refit my front pannier hanger.  The route for the front brake has changes so I am going to think about best placement for that.

One thing I did notice was that the was a wear line on my old forks where cables had rubbed the paint away and the same evidence on the new forks.  I  have a plan of action, I am going to buy some of that car touch up paint to cover the bear metal and then I am going to put some tape over the affected areas to prevent further rubbing.  I will post pictures when I have done it.

I went for a brief ride last night to test it out and honestly locking out the suspension makes a world of difference on the road.

I have a couple of things in mind left to do one of them is to see if I can upgrade these forks with a remote lockout cartridge (under investigation).   

I am going to go for a ride this weekend and when I am back I will do a thorough service on the bike, strip and re lubricate the chain and clean and lubricate front and rear mechs.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Fork Upgrade

One of the things I learned on my last trip was the amount of energy I wasted on Roads and uphill because of my suspension forks, however there were plenty of times when that suspension was a godsend going on the bumpy stuff.

I had pretty much decided from the JOGLE that I would upgrade to some lockable suspension forks, with that in mind I did some research.   Now upgrading from one fork to another can be a bit of a minefield and i couldn't get much sense from anyone!!!

I soon figured that the suspension fork on my bine was pretty low end for Suntour and not upgradeable in any way.

Rescue came in the shape of Benjamin Rees, who works for Suntor in Tech support, I am waiting to see if he minds me putting his contact details up.  My bike wheels are 700c with disc brakes which narrows down my options forkwise, but Benjamin gave me clear advice on which models would sort me out.

Now as you have seen I am a fan of fleabay and if i can save some cash I will, in this case a quick search came back with someone who had removed a set of forks with lockable suspension that were barely used that would also fit my bike!!  IT WAS FATE

I was shocked when I won them for £20  and £10 p&p.   I had managed to get hold of a set of Suntour NCX Lite magnesium with speedlock that gave me the lockout facility and they were magnesium a lot lighter than my current forks.

A word on "light" components, I am a fairly heavy guy so the savings on the fork weight wouldn't be that much in the great scheeme of things but it was still a saving!

It is torrential rain at the moment but im going to take my bike out for a quick spin to see how the new forks feel.

My next post will be how i got on stripping off my old forks and fitting my new forks also how I find the bike feels without the suspension locked etc..

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Next Trip

I have been trying to think of my next trip, well I think I have a plan.  Unfortunately i won't be able to get the time off work to do it in one go, so I am going to do it in sections.

In case your wondering, I have decided to cycle the entire coastline of britain... yep that's my plan.

I will start posting my ideas, etc.. if you have any words of wisdom or ideas let me know.  I am looking for a second hand bike to train on as my plan is to save my JOGLE bike for the trip.  I have made some more adjustments to it and will list them here shortly.