Avatar for clubman

clubman

Member since Jun 2008 • Last active Jun 2021

Most recent activity

  • in Bikes & Bits
    Avatar for clubman

    Well, I'm not surprised I'd never seen one!

  • in Rides & Races
    Avatar for clubman

    Literally made a joke about that yesterday. Not the shit state of the roads but whether people still actually raced here. I guess I'm jaded.

    It looks like this is the spirit of the times we live in - you're certainly not alone. There's not much racing left, but there is the question of how many people want to race.

    I find it dispiriting that the busiest thread in the Rides and Races forum is the Pro Cycling column. Perhaps we have a lot of pro riders on this forum, but I suspect we have a large number of armchair cyclists.

    Is this the result of monetising sport? You and I (plus many others here) have been lucky enough to get our racing careers in while it was still possible, but the future does not look hopeful.

  • in Rides & Races
    Avatar for clubman

    An excellent idea which I will pass on to our race sec. Thanks.

    PS - sorry, I thought I'd pressed 'reply' to Tester, but I hope it will be obvious that was my intention.

  • in Bikes & Bits
    Avatar for clubman

    Keeler's frame seems to have conventional lugs, but in any case it was specially built for him (he was already a star in 1957), so it doesn't really tell you much about Mercian frames.

    I note this 'Mercian' sold for a little over £220, which doesn't seem extortionate for such a quirky frame.

  • in Rides & Races
    Avatar for clubman

    The Hounslow Midsummer Cup 25, due to take place yesterday (20th) was cancelled because there were three sets of temporary traffic lights on the course.

    Is this another example of a depressing trend which is beginning to make it virtually impossible to promote events?

    The condition of the roads west of London (and probably everwhere else) is worse than ever, and this inevitably leads to roadworks popping up all over the place; it only takes one set to ruin hours of an organiser's hard work. There are not many people still prepared to take on event organisation and this sort of problem is likely to thin the ranks even further.

    For example, in 2014 and 15 I was my club's road race organiser - a tougher proposition than a TT . In 2014 the race was lost (after a lot of work had been done) because of roadworks. The next year we came within an ace of the same thing, but just managed to save the situation at the last minute by getting someone to postpone their job (I think it was Thames Water, but my memory may be imperfect).

    It seems to me things have got a lot worse in the past six years - I wouldn't dream of attempting a road race under present circumstances, and even a club TT would be a big ask owing to the expectation of failure.

    Perhaps it could be possible to have more flexibility with courses, at least for club events. This would probably come into conflict with the risk assessment bogey and police permission to hold events....

  • in Bikes & Bits
    Avatar for clubman

    I'm no expert on these two marques, but isn't it odd that the 'Mercian' appears to have bilaminate lugs, which I don't happen ever to have seen on a Mercian, whereas the 'Paris', a brand which went in for quirkiness including bilams, looks completely standard.

    They both look perfectly good frames, but resprayed and with unattractive non period kit.

  • in Bikes & Bits
    Avatar for clubman

    In the olden days it was common for doubles to be something like 52/46 or even 48,

    In the even older days (which I'm afraid to say I remember only too well) a 3 tooth difference between chainrings was almost universal.

    As a teenager I was given a TA set which were 48/52 and I (foolishly) thought I was really cool with a big gap between the rings. That was until I looked at a gear table which showed that with a block (cassette) which had 2 tooth differences (normal then) the 3 tooth gap filled in fairly neatly between the gears, but my 4 tooth difference caused a lot of near duplications.

    This so called 'half step' system worked tolerably well but it involved too many double changes, which resulted in the use of straight through blocks (14/18 five speed, say) with 10 tooth differences at the front - the modern arrangement is a development from this.

    If anyone wants to use a 3 tooth difference now, I suggest looking for old TA rings, either for the 'Professionel Adapter' or the 'Criterium' type. These are pretty common at cycle jumbles, work well and were intended for small differences. You would need the old 5 pin cranks for these rings, but they are not rare - you could even use ancient steel cottered cranks.

  • in Bikes & Bits
    Avatar for clubman

    Dear James NQ,

    There are many things in the world of cycling apart from bikes - in fact, the machines themselves are probably of minor importance for most of us. I refer you to Hippie's comments above.

    There's racing, touring, clublife, cycling politics, personalities, history...... need I go on ?

    But even if you've fallen out of love with cycling as a whole, don't worry. It's not healthy to live your whole life with an obsessive interest in the bike game: I'm aware of a few individuals who have done this, sacrificing every other aspect of life to cycling and the end result is unattractive. It's perfectly normal to let your interest lie fallow for a few years - you will probably return with renewed enthusiasm.

    There's just one caveat I'd make here - if you have a racing career (and I hope you do), avoid having those blank years when you ought to be at the top of your game, say from about twenty to thirty five. If you stop at nineteen and come back at forty you will regret your timing!

    Let's hope we meet up on the road sometime,

    Yours,

    Chris.

  • in Rides & Races
    Avatar for clubman

    Sorry about the slow reply to your question.

    Yes, it's a Sturmey 3 speed.

    I normally use an AM on this bike, but because I needed to drag a good twenty pounds of luggage up to Stokenchurch I changed to an AW for this trip. With a 65" middle gear this gives about a 48" bottom gear instead of the 56" with the AM.

    When I was young I would never have considered using a Sturmey, but now I find them useful. They're low maintenance, silent and, so far, completely reliable.

    It's just a pity that Henry Sturmey had such bizarre ideas about gearing; the AW (by far the most common) gives 25% down from direct drive, and 33% up - it would be a lot more use if this was the other way round!

  • in Rides & Races
    Avatar for clubman

    Willesden-Oxford-Willesden

    Tuesday and Wednesday this week - we retired people don't really have weekends.

    Naturally, this can't be claimed as an outstanding athletic effort, but I would like to have my age and the age of my bike taken into account (Sunbeam, with luggage see pic below). I will draw a discreet veil over exactly how long the 55 miles took me as I went slowly and cautiously on the way out (into the wind) in the hope I'd be OK for the next day and that did seem to work.

    As I've said before, once you get west of High Wycombe the A 40 is almost empty of traffic - it's probably quieter now than at any time since the last war - the problem lies in getting to West Wycombe.

    However there's a worsening problem - the road surface, particularly near the left hand edge of the road, which is the part one normally rides on, is getting really rough. In some places almost every drain cover is surrounded by a deep hole, and although there is little traffic sod's law says that there will be a lorry behind you just when you need to move out to avoid these. I had to brake to a standstill at one point because of this situation. This is bad enough for an individual, but it would make group riding very tricky. Private affluence, public squalor.

    The French for pothole is 'nid de poule' literally a 'chicken's nest' - it's surprising the term exists because they are so rare on French roads.

    The main interest is, I hope, that it is still possible to ride from city to city, even for the aged riding an elderly bike.

Actions