Bobble's Bristol Bikelife

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  • I have really enjoyed some of the bikelife CP threads and thought I’d do my own. Bit text heavy, will try and break it up with pictures. Will add some old bikes + history down the line. May become +running + wellbeing.

    Recently moved to Bristol with work – shit time to move but wanted to move here for ages. To learn more about bikes and meet people, planning to start volunteering at the Bristol Bike Project.

    Struggled with my mental health a bit last few years and I recently realised cycling/bikes is not only a real interest of mine and a great hobby to have/make friends but also really good for the mind. Save money too, time commuting and can get fun/cheap trips away. Can be annoying – have had so many people ask me to help them buy a bike this year (not easy remotely) but have helped a fair few people with this (will add later). On this, recently met a guy Will who runs Zetland Cycles and had a great ride/chat with him recently on the above topics. He did an ace podcast recently (Cyclestaion podcast S2 Ep 3 ‘Cycling as a form of self-destruction’) which I’ve been recommending and sharing.

    Enough waffle. Here is some bikes no longer with me and current fleet in next post Would love n+1 (specifically a nice road bike, retro mtb and a vintage Mercian in my size) but not practical in a house share + £££££. Even if/when I get my own place it’ll likely be a flat which will be even harder than it is to keep bikes in my current spareroom house.


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  • Bike #1 – Genesis Croix De Fer
    Does everyting; about town, shopping, 4 mile commute (hence rack), is my ‘road’ bike so does longer Sunday rides (with rack unless particularly long) and does the odd ‘gravel ride’. Looking to do more gravel on it. Have a really good uni mate who is a big cyclist and he does a lot of touring, also on a CDF, so we have a few plans of things to do next summer.

    Not that heavily financially invested into my genesis and it was second hand. I think it is 2014 spec on a 2018 frame+fork. I love it though and it is very functional. Goes fine, does what I need it to, broadly fits me I think (I’m 6ft4, not experienced with bike fits so tend to just buy the biggest size OTP) with a recently purchased layback post from PX.

    Planning
    -Longer, taller stem and wider bars.
    -Decide on a saddle. This one isn’t massively comfortable.
    -Bigger cassette, longer mech, maybe new chainset.
    -Shifters that route cables under the tape.

    Recent upgrades:
    -some of those 50/50 pedals which are half SPD and half flat.
    -Wheels from Ryan Builds Wheels. 32H 6 bolt Bitex hubs, Sapim spokes, DT Swiss R500db rims. Good value I think


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  • Bike #2 - Stanton Sherpa, mk1 (from 2014 ish)

    Recent pickup from @furious_tiles
    135mm rear spaced 120mm 29er with 853 tubing. Nice spec – really happy with it. This is for long day singletrack rides and bikepacking mainly, but will be my only MTB for the foreseeable.

    Plans for this:
    -large framebag (tbc where from – maybe local from Naffsacks or Mack Workshop)
    -seat pack. Maybe easier to switch the externally routed post for a rigid one before a trip. Still thinking/googling about this.
    -recently got some burgtec flat pedals for it from my LBS.


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  • Only snag with it is the tyre clearance on a 2.3 tyre this time of year and 1 bottle cage.


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  • Bike #3 – Raleigh Stonefly.

    Pub bike. Colleague gave it me for free and I am maybe £70 down on a new cassette, chain and got my lbs to fit a new BB, 2nd hand chainset, replace and service the rear axle (I tried it but was bent). May keep it but it is too small so may go. Fine for nipping about on. May get longer stem if I can find a cheap one.


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  • Bike #4 – 1958 Mercian King of Mercia.

    Got this recently just for a project really and because it was a good deal. Was refinished by Mercian in the 90s and my colleague's wife who was selling it has owned it 30 years. Told myself it can live at my dad’s house for my sister to use or for mates to use when they visit. Will hopefully be able to give it a sympathetic service myself. This is a nicer spec version https://www.isambards.co.uk/product-deta­ils/19071619300001pep1?name=1963_Mercian­_King_of_Mercia


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  • Bit of recent tinkering to finish for now. 1) My flatmate has had his front wheel nicked and a new one would have cost him more than the bike. Bristol bike project had a spare wheel outside for free, got a tyre/tube/skewer for £15 from them and he’s back on the road which is nice. Bike needs a service. 2) Landlord bought an Orbea, rode it once, snapped mech hanger stashed it outside under the stairs so I recently cleaned it up for him and got a new mech hanger. He wanted to sell it so it's now gone.


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  • Few recent rides. Pembrokeshire, Sunday ride (doing a uni route most weekends at the moment http://www.uobcc.com/routes.html) and Das Rad Klub Dirty 100 back in September


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  • I don't know the owner of this https://www.clandestine.cc/custom-bikes/­phils-longtail/ but it was parked up a couple of months back and it is so sick


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  • Nice collection, particular the Sherpa and the Mercian! I can recommend the Alpkit Exo-Rail to go with a seatpack for bikepacking. Works well with a dropper or a normal post and removes any sway from the bag. Only downside is it's a bit of a faff to install/remove, so I just leave it attached to my bikepacking bike.

  • Stanton looks spot on. Stem bags are useful for carrying a 2nd bottle and have the advantage of not getting covered in mud/shit.

  • @zigbit cheers for the suggestion. Main concern is around damaging the stanchion I think rather than sway. Don't think I will need a big seatpack if I get a full frame bag and I've got one of them systems that you strap to the handlebar.

  • Thanks :) Yeah think I will go for 2x stem bags, probably from Mack Workshop.

  • Glad you’re enjoying it.

    Ooof, never really struggled with the clearance as even though I’m only the other side of the Severn estuary the trails around me are all fairly rocky.

    Missing that bike though, especially as it’s replacement is very delayed with no delivery date:(

  • @furious_tiles ace bike. What have you gone for? Hope it arrives soon!

  • Planning to strip the Mercian today, clean up the parts over Christmas and then rebuild it after Christmas when I've collected the rest of my tools.
    Leaving the headset and BB in because they're smooth without and play (and because of lack of tools/experience).

    Seen quite a few YouTube restos and they tend to clean calipers, mechs, chainset with white vinegar then autosol so will try that. I think the seatpost will need a light wet sand. Not sure if the shifters want polishing to a shine.


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  • Few parts turned up. The mudguards on it are a bit flimsy so might go for some VO hammered ones. Got some suitable pedals at home to go on and need to find some crank dust caps. Can't think of anything else I need (famous last words).
    Anyone know if brooks tape is reusable? Might swap it from my genesis on to this and give the genesis some more in keeping black tape


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  • Cotic Bfe Max, was supposed to be my winter hardtail. Think I’ll be lucky to see it before Valentine’s Day or possibly before the clocks change 😞

    However my gravel bike is currently floating my boat and filling the gap in my bike collection


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  • Look at how you will attach brake cables. You might need some cable clamps like this:

    Also figure out if you need any stepped ferrules or anything like that. It's frustrating to have all parts in hand, try to build and then simply be fucked by the ferrules.

  • Bike came apart quite easily other than can't get the stem out. Took the bolt all the way out, sprayed lube, screwed it back in a bit and hit it but no luck. Will leave that for a bit. No sockets so managed to use a skate tool to get the crank bold off. Wheels off deep clean next.


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  • @Ndeipi cheers. Don't know what that is or where it would mount really- so been carefully to keep all the original bits which I'll hopefully clean up and get working.


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  • Cleaned and will spend a few days spraying penetrating fluid into the headtube and try again on the stem


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  • I’m not very conveniently located, but I’ve got things like crank bolt removers, a headset remover and so on if you ever neeed to borrow

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Bobble's Bristol Bikelife

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