Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Road Bikes

I have always been against buying a road bike, mainly because a high percentage of roadies look like this:
Undeterred and aiming for a more structured training regime I signed up to cycle2work through work, thinking if I wanted to get one I didn't want to use my savings in the process (plus I will cycle to work)

I bought a Planet X Team Alu, as it seemed a good spec for the money, with almost full Sram red group set and some decent finishing kit. Since getting it last week i've done over 220miles and enjoyed it so far, the simplicity of popping out for a few hours in the evening and coming back not covered in mud has its benefits, plus I enjoy my long xc rides more at the weekend, without exhausting my local trails or destroying my good bikes! I must avoid becoming a full-on roadie but for the time being its working well.

In other news my sister has produced some cycling related screen prints, which she sells through her online  shop. They would make a great gift for anyone into cycling or a nice addition to your workshop/bike cave, so please have a look =)

Thanks for reading and enjoy the spring weather


Saturday, 4 February 2012

Trying to Survive the winter/News

We're currently suffering a rather nasty cold snap!! luckily i'm on a smaller week training wise, so less time to survive in the minus temperatures.

Its only my second year of proper winter riding so i'm still learning all the tricks to keeping warm and keeping riding. Here are a couple:

I am a big fan of Exposure Lights, a few years ago when I was deciding which brand were best they seemed to offer the most complete package, with no external battery pack to get muddled with. The first light I got was the race maxx (middle) at the time it was middle of the bunch for brightness and burn time, but it got me through my first 12hr solo and I still use it for road riding.

Then I needed a head torch, I bought an Exposure Diablo (right) and was amazed how bright it was for such a small unit, and its easily removed from the helmet mount, no nasty velcro, just a plastic snap-in connector. As I started doing longer races I decided i needed to upgrade my main light, after shopping around I found an Exposure Six Pack at a good price, the unit might be quite large, but once its on the bike I don't notice it, and when it does get dark the light it throws out is immense!! the burn time on medium is 10hrs, which is still over 1000lumens, compared to my 480lumens max on my race maxx, and 3hrs max of 1800lumens =)
Exposure lights might be expensive, but they're made in the UK, great build quality and they look great!

A recent winter time purchase were Altura Attack Waterproof shorts not only do they keep my arse dry and free from wiltshire mud, they also help keep me warm on the coldest days worn over my winter tights.

Despite only riding the one speed lubes are still important to keep the drivetrain running smoothly and prolonging chainring & chain life, i've been using Green Oil lube and bike wash, the lube is great as it stops the chain turning black and gungey like most bikeshop brands and keeps lubing even after 50miles of winter riding. When I do wash my bike the Eco bike wash does a great job of shifting dried on mud, plus its natural and not purple like a certain other brand...

In Other News
Found out I came 5th overall in the Gorrick Brass Monkeys endure series, I was pleased with the result as it was my first attempt of the series and despite one dodgy result I was consistent for such an early season race series.

For this season Rob Lee  a cycling endurance legend and someone i've read about and admired for many years has offered to mentor me, I feel privileged and excited to have someone who knows the race scenes so well helping me, I will go into more depth soon when I can announce more exciting news, but for the time being thanks Rob!

Thanks for reading