Saturday, 21 September 2013

New Road Bike: Hong Fu FM066 SL

I've only had a road bike for 18months, and ever since I had a bike fit I've enjoyed riding it, enjoying the connivence of being able to go for a quick ride or an epic with having to think too much!

My first road bike came from Planet X, bought through cycle to work, it was a simple Aluminium road bike with horrible wheels but full SRAM Red groupset, minus the crank, so it was lightweight and climbing well once i'd swapped out the wheels.

Having got on well with my Chinese carbon 29er frames I knew a road frame was worth a try. I'd read good things about the FM066 SL frame, it had geometry which suited my long legs, short torso and long arms, matching the Cannondale Supersix geo. I sourced the frame+fork+bottle cages through a vendor in china, reducing the cost slightly. It arrived within 7 days, packaged well, total cost around £450.

The frame weighed 900grams with mech hanger included, the forks were 340grams. The build was relatively simple; the internal gear cable routing required patience, due to the lack of internal guides: the lack of barrel adjusts made setting the front mech up more complicated: rear mech hanger wasn't completely straight.

The ride feels great, road buzz is reduced over my alu frame and it climbs very well, I had been concerned over the bottom bracket/seat stay stiffness, but my chain catcher which is set very close to the small ring never contacts the chain, even under heavy load. So far i've done around 600miles since getting it 5 weeks ago.

Build specification:

Frame and fork: 56cm Hong Fu FM066 SL
Wheels: H Plus Son Archetype 32H on Hope Pro 3 hubs, Hope Skewers (training wheels)
Tyres: Continental GP 4000s 23c
Drivetrain: Full SRAM Red 10speed, 53/39 crankset
Brake: Planet X CNC Superlight
Seatpost: Thomson Elite 27.2 x 410 (should cut it down but increases stiffness)
Stem: Thomson Elite X2 120mm x -10 deg
Bars: 3T Ergnova Pro 42cm
Pedals: Cheap Shimano SPD SL's
Saddle: Specialized Toupe Expert
Extras: K Edge Garmin Mount, Exposure Light Mount, Unbranded Carbon Bottlecages

Weight: 16pounds 13ounces (15pounds 6ounces with Strada Carbon Tubular wheels)
FM 066 SL

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Torq In Your Sleep 12:12 &The Endurance Series final round

It feels like its been a relatively long season, but it seems to come from all my races being in blocks of 2 weeks, Bontrager 24:12 then 2 weeks later Brighton Big Dog, then 2 weeks later Torq in Your Sleep. I had originally planned to race the 6 hour option, but after my result at Brighton Big Dog( I was 7th overall in the Endurance Series) I thought I had a good shot at a podium finish, so I switched to the 12hour option. Unfortunatley my chief pitman (my dad) was away, luckily I managed to find some kind biking friends who stepped up to throw bottles and encouragement at me! thanks Team Cycleworks.

After arriving the mornning of the race I did a full practice lap, the course was ok, but I felt it got rougher as time went on. I started near the front but didn't get an especially good start, getting caught up with riders through the vast amounts of singletrack, but as laps ticked along I got into a good rythm and felt ok. towards the 5 hour point I felt a little weary, thinking previous races were catching up with me, but I knew I was in 4th place and I couldn't drop out knowing I would score enough points to finish on the Endurance Series Podium, so I had two cans of coke and a caffeine gel and ploughed on!

The last few hours went well, but I was suffering from the bumpy course and knew another lap near 12 o'clock was a possibility, I conciously began to slow up, knowing I had a big enough buffer to 4th and wouldn't catch 3rd. Crossing the finish line at 11:59:50pm I wouldn't need anoter lap, and i'd secured 4th place, but I was only 7minutes down on 3rd, BUGGER!!

A great result overall in the end! The Endurance Series had not been a season aim, but it was a great bonus and its only my first season racing with gears.

My main season is over now, I have a few races lined up but i'm reducing my training hours to try and fit in being sociable…..
Thanks Vermont Images
Thanks again to my sponsors for the support this year and Francesca Bennett for her coaching expertise.