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Member since Jun 2008 • Last active Jun 2022

Most recent activity

  • in General
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    Discuss: Is Sportwashing /Greenwashing a greater threat to cyclesport than doping?


  • in Bikes & Bits
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    It will be interesting to hear how you get on.

  • in Bikes & Bits
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    You've probably solved this by now, but here goes:

    My experience is that all brake shoes ('holders') of this type (i.e. conventional callipers) are interchangeable. So you can use, for example, Weinmann shoes and brake blocks ('pads').

    I think you're correct when you say the hardness of your existing brake blocks is what's stopping you from stopping; I don't think there's anything wrong with the GB callipers that won't be cured by using better brake blocks.

    It used to be normal practice to buy just the blocks and put them into the existing shoes, which were open at the back to make this easy. It was necessary to notice which way round the shoes should be fitted, otherwise the brake block would eject itself under braking, and possibly this was the reason why the shoes came to be closed at both ends.

    Don't be put off by this - it's easy enough to bend the closing end wall of the shoe and insert a new block in the old way - just be sure that you keep the end that you've bent open at the back when fitting to the calliper, since too much bending will cause metal fatigue with the possibility of the shoe breaking and the block coming out under braking (as above!).

  • in Mechanics & Fixin'
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    The following is just my observation - I can't quote any other authority for it.

    In olden days all sprocket teeth were pointed, including those on derailleur multiple free wheels. At some point (1950's?) it occured to someone that gear changing would be improved by removing those points and having flat topped teeth. This quickly became the norm for derailleurs, but single sprockets stayed the same, at least to start with.

    More recently some flat topped fixed sprockets have appeared, perhaps because the makers had only ever seen derailleur sprockets. It might seem that the chain would 'derail' more easily without the points, but I've worn out at least one of these modern sprockets without having any trouble - so maybe the points were as pointless as the flange under the teeth of some ancient chain rings.

    Or perhaps they are there to prevent chain whips from slipping !

  • in Current Projects
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    " I'm confident I could have managed to get there and back"

    I got near to proving this last week when I rode the Duckett nearly as far as Oxford: Radlett, Ivinghoe, Radlett (just under fifty miles). Of course, it's much easier in the summer and without luggage, but I think this route probably involved more climbing.

    The Bike

    I have improved this a bit since last year. The steering was too heavy - I traced this to the crown race which was slightly too tall and was fouling on the cup of the bottom lug of the head tube - not a problem I've come across before, but a slightly different (smaller) crown race cured the problem.

    The front brake was also unsatisfactory in that it caused juddering. The cause was an imperfect rim which was slightly dented - that is, not perfectly round. This has always been a defect with rod brakes - they are sensitive to defects which would barely be noticeable with calliper brakes. I've now found a better wheel and braking is much improved, but although I'd like to remove the back brake (which would make turning the back wheel round to change the gear easier) I really don't fancy relying on this ancient method of stopping.

  • in Rides & Races
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    With conventional racing apparently out of favour, here is a possible alternative:

    Course de Rene Fallet

    Monsieur Fallet was a journalist who loved cycle sport, but as a spectator and reporter rather than an actual participant; he also liked a drink. He was a friend of Raymond Poulidor whom he once partnered in a Gentlemen’s GP, but had to ask Raymond to push him on any kind of climb.

    In his book ‘Poulidor Intime’ Raymond reports the sole victory in his friend’s palmares. This was in ‘Les Boucles de la Bresbe*’ which was run under Fallet’s own special system, the rules were:

    • Absolutely no breaking away.

    • Obligatory halt at every bar on the course.

    • Speed not to exceed 10 mph.

    • All competitors to be weighed before the start and after the finish. The winner is the rider who
      has gained most weight (the one who has consumed the most in the bars).

    Are there enough English pubs still in business to organise such an event in this country?

    *Bresbe - Fallet's parents' home town.

  • in Rides & Races
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    hippy in reply to @clubman

    Hounslow 100

    I do like this race.

    Here's my report:


    I wasn't aware of anyone from the forum riding - did anyone face the timekeeper?

    There was no one on fixed, which is (surprisingly) quite unusual for this event.

  • in Current Projects
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    7" cranks, which i may find are to long.?

    Crank length can be important - it certainly is for me: I'm only comfortable with 6.75".

    Some road testing of this machine is going to be necessary and you may find the 7" suits you, but if they don't you'd be better off with a less prestigious make which are the right length. I could lend you some 5 pin Milremo's if it's necessary.

    Gearing - I'm not sure what you've got there or how hilly the route is, but you don't look undergeared. How about a larger sprocket on the unused side of the hub? You might need a bit more chain. Don't forget it's not great to honk uphill with a heavy saddlebag!

    Tubs - Got many spares? Remember it's undesirable to fit a brand new tub at the roadside (may be tight and won't have any cement on the base tape).

    A Pump. One period feature that's missing. No fifties club cyclist would go anywhere (except on the track ) without a pump - not even a ten mile TT.

    Bike looks great - good luck with your ride.

  • in Bikes & Bits
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    I think he is quite possibly the only person who is both capable of mending it and who would actually want to ride it.

    I'm expecting to see it being used in a club time trial - possibly even this year.

    As I expect you know, changing that sprocket isn't all that easy because it's necessary to grind off the remains of the old one and then braze the new one in position - but it has to be almost perfectly concentric or you have a chain tension problem.