Friday 13th July 2012

Posted: July 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s been a while lovely peeps – not a lot to report in the world of “Mountain Biking” in the flatlands; done a lot of riding since I last wrote, feel like I am at my (cycling) fittest. This week did 30 mile ride on Tuesday and was expecting to ache and struggle on Thursdays ride but I didn’t ache and I didn’t struggle – quite the opposite was raring to go and felt great at the end of the ride. Just need to maintain this level of fitness now until October

Came to a conclusion the other week that was weather related – I can either be unfit and fat or get out in the rain and carry on riding, needless to say I am riding and the weather is getting no better

No real hardware news as such – running the Continental Speed Kings on the Merlin and I really like them no trouble at all with them, bit of wheel spin in some extremely boggy conditions but I think anything would have behaved the same, in addition they seem to roll really quickly. Broke both rails on the Fizik Gobi saddle on the 28th June – just riding a long a piece of flat single track and then the next thing you know is both rails of the saddle had broken – managed to bodge the saddle back onto the bike and gingerly ride back to the car!

So here is all the riding I’ve done recently – just need to keep those pedals turning!


21st June – 18 Mile Loop round Peterborough from GM’s house


28th June – 9 mile ride round Wakerley due to broken saddle


3rd July – 22 miles round Rutland Water incl. headland


5th July – 20 miles around Peterborough (same as 21st but start/finish from work)


10th July – 30 Miles round Rutland Water two laps but no headland


12th July – 20 Miles round Peterborough from IR’s house – one dose of cramp; one bug in eye and one puncture but none of it me!





Sunday 17th June

Posted: June 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

Well, this week one blog and two subjects!

The search for “The One Bike” has been ongoing,  since my last rant HERE, someone on a bike forum suggested a Singular Swift and to be honest I hadn’t checked it out but this months “What Mountain Bike” did a feature on 29er Steel Hardtails and the Swift came out well (as did the Cotic Solaris) so these were my original requirements…..

  • 29er  – CHECK
  • All steel hard tail  – CHECK
  • Capable of running 140 – 160mm forks – Can run 120mm (see below)
  • Sliding rear drop outs for single speed conversion  – No but does have an eccentric bottom bracket
  • Tabs for fitting a chain device (for running 1 x 9 or 1 x 10 set ups) Nope 😦 but I’m sure I can live without!

NOTE on fork spec… many people questioned my requirements for a 140mm fork on a 29er so taking this on board (unlike me I know) I have decided to stick with a 120mm fork.

The Swift frame comes with a set of rigid forks from Singular (my original wish list was to be able to set it up with both Rigid and Suspension forks) for a humble £440; so I think for me this is now at the top of my wish list and will form the basis of “the One Bike” just got to get the rest of it spec’ed out now before I sell my soul to the devil to be able to pay for it!!!

And the other update is where I have ridden this week – standard 12ish mile ride after work around Yarwell , woods are drying out a bit despite the recent rain (hosepipe ban now lifted so do not care if the bike gets a bit more muddy!)

And then when we went if to see friends in Parwich nr Ashbourne in Derbyshire and managed to get a 22 miler in, around the area, rode part of the Pennine Bridleway and the Tissington trail – not a  lot to report, wide smooth bridleway that were flat (yes in Derbyshire) and uninspiring, it used to be an old railway. It was good for fitness and allowed me to bat on at an average of 12.5 miles per hour over 22 miles! Next time I’m up that way I need to have a proper explore and find some more interesting places to ride!

Sunday 10th June

Posted: June 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

A friend of mine had these butterfly handlebars on his mountain bike that he used for everything, touring, commuting, road riding, trail centres, the whole 9 yards all on one bike! He’s 10 ish years older than me and his fitness level is out of this world!

So I read the book “The Man who Cycled the World” who also used similar bars and thought – what the neck why not, so I gave it a whirl!

Popped them on and went for a spin from the word go they are really comfy, you can move your hands into various positions so that you do not get fatigue on your wrists, I had to adjust the angle of the bars a couple of times during today’s inaugural ride but the last third of the ride was great (apart from the snapped spoke!!)

Ran Endomondo software again and it was also good apart from me being a Muppet  and switching it off for handlebar adjust 1 and forgetting to switching it back on until I stopped for handlebar adjust 2 – DOH!

Hence to routes with a gap in the middle – the Butterfly bars are staying – hence FRANKENBIKE is born! Click the link and scroll to the bottom to look at the piccies!

Wednesday 6th June

Posted: June 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

As Led Zepplin said “It’s been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time, yes, it has!”

4th May till now – wow, so what have I been doing, well front half of May got a couple or three rides in on the Single speed not huge mileage and nowt special but pedal turning non the less.

Then buggered off for two weeks in a tent in Cornwall with the missus and the wee one, great time was had by one and all although did not do any riding – great weather too – despite the previous rain that we have been having.

So after we got back from Cornwall I went off to Fineshade/Wakerley for a wee ride and decided to have a go on one of their 29ers – took a Giant XTC 29er hardtail as I wanted to compare the 29er to my Merlin 26er…..

Well all I can say is WOW – not sure if it was the frame; the 29er wheels; the plush fork or the Racing Ralph tyres – but bugger me that bike was quick and smooth as a Cashmere Codpiece! From the word go the bike was quick; easy to accelerate and easy to maintain the momentum, the ride smoothed over bumps and I soon found myself ploughing over stuff that I would normally try and ride round on the 26er without any perceptible reduction in speed.

I noticed no difficulty in manoeuvrability in the tighter, trickier sections that some reports suggested I might. The main difference that I found was the way the bike smoothed out those annoying little trial divots that you find in and around tree routes, it was like that they did not exist. Enabling more speed to be carried through the section and as we know more speed in itself leads to smoother riding

All in all I can only say that I would highly recommend a 29er; my next mission is to take a 29er Full Suss for a spin – more than likely a Giant Anthem and then at close on £2k for the Anthem I will need to sell all other bikes, sell my soul to the devil, prostitute my body and sell a kidney for medical research to enable me to buy one and that’s before I even mention it to the boss!

The only downside to the ride on the 29er was that the mapmyride software gave bizarre readings were it didn’t record the actual route but just put generic straight lines into the area where I rode….

Since then I have been for a ride around the local woods on the Single speed and have switched over to Endomondo which has given a much truer and more accurate record of my ride, think I’ll be using this in future!

So as I mentioned in the other post EVENTS its only four months till the AUtum Triple so time to get my arse into gear and to start pushing the miles – more big rides required – so time for me to stop procrastinating and get riding………………see ya all on the trials!

Following on, in the UK, from the wettest April since records began May has excelled itself, with the average May rainfall coming down in the first week of the month! Consequently the trails, footpaths and bridleways are like swamps! Time to get the single speed out again then (glad I switched the gearing back to 38/20T and left the Panaracer Trailrakers on!) So I thought it would be fun to go for a play around Wakerley woods – standard lap around the red route at Wakerley

Followed by a run on the alternate off piste stuff

Unfortunately the Forestry commission had closed a load of the trails for logging but as they had knocked off for the night I rode the trails anyway, their logging machines have ripped great swathes out of the tracks – its gonna tack some work to get them back the way they were!


This afternoon managed to get away from work at 11am as is usual on a Friday – and had permission from the boss to ride as long as I was home by 2pm – now where should I ride;  due to the weather I was headed to Rutland water for a lap (boring but at least good for fitness) and then at the last minute decided to go for a blast round Wansford / Yarwell on the cheeky trails that I had not been on for a while – this was also muddier than I have ever seen it – went out on the Merlin and that was a mistake; Maxxis Ignitors were way out of their depth, I had rear wheel slides, front wheel slides, complete slides and luckily only fell off twice! It was like riding on glass! 

And Friday afternoons sojourn around Yarwell Mill / Wandsworth area

Great ride mind – couple of problems though… one  is two bikes are now minging dirty and we still have a hosepipe ban! And the other is I chucked my bike shoes in the washing machine to get them clean and ended up breaking the glass on the F*&%$ng machine, boss was not a happy bunny!

Monday 30th April

Posted: April 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

Ok – completely ballsed up yesterday – On One is only designed for a 100mm fork and the Orange is a 26er not a 29er – DOH! Homer Simpson moment!

Sunday 29th April – Prt 2

Posted: April 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

Suitable frames found so far …….

“On-One Inbred 29er Swap-Out Frame” Top of the seat stays is pretty ugly to be fair though!

“Kona Honzo” Full bike not frame only – will it run 3×9? or 3×10?

“Orange P7 Frame” available here – mm looking good! This is prett much spot on – 140mm Fork compatable, ISCG 05 chainguide, Sliding/interchangeable dropouts and all for £500!

and still searching…..Genesis – no; Cove – no; Specialized – no and no thanks; Voodo USA – only up to 125mm fork;