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Member since Jun 2008 • Last active Mar 2023

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  • in Bikes & Bits
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    Strangely, I can only see one of your pics (the one at the top with bent forks), but it seems as though Foreigner 65 can see the others.

    A couple of points:

    Taking your wheel size as 26.5", 46/19 gives you a gear of a tad over 64". Quite low for you, I would have thought.

    Although it's not easy to judge from the photo, I'd describe that finish as 'bronze flam'. Given that flams are done with a tinted lacquer over a silver base coat, it's very hard to achieve a perfect match. So options are: put up with a poor match, respray the whole thing, chrome the forks or respray the forks and rear triangle in some 'sympathetic' colour in the hope that it will look intentional ! I would try 'gunmetal' which is just silver with a little black added to it.

    BTW, did you see my response to your post 4779 in the old bike thread?

  • in General
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    from winter training on bad roads, right through to road racing:

    Surely there's a basic problem here: a winter training bike is never going to be your ideal road race bike.

    I'm not saying this in connection with any particular kit that might be used - it's just that a race bike has to be in perfect condition, and the rider has to believe the bike is just right for him on the day.

    Any machine that's used for winter training is unlikely to be perfect, and it's beneficial, psychologically to the rider to think that he's on his 'special' race bike.

    I don't think it matters all that much what kit a rider has, just so long as he believes he can do well.

  • in Bikes & Bits
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    Brave son you have there,

    Brave, or foolish? Actually I have a feeling that, unlike us, they didn't ride to Portsmouth.

    Our route today from Staines was - Runnymede, Old Windsor then we skirted round the South of Windsor proper and got onto the B3024 near Oakley Green. Then White Waltham, Cold Harbour, Warren Row etc.

  • in Bikes & Bits
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    That front stubby mudguard made a bit of noise on the potholed roads,

    If you look at my post 476 above you can see the mudguards on my son's blue Gillott. These are, I'm pretty sure, the same as yours - Bluemels 'Popular'. It's not a Gillott feature, just a once very common type of mudguard. Close observation will show that front guard has been repaired at the bottom.

    The reason your mudguard is noisy is that it lacks the two pairs of stays it was intended to have.

    Foreigner 65's post has caused me to look again at my own post, and there is an update that's worth mentioning.

    I handed the bike over on a Friday evening and my son said ' That's handy, I'm going on a trip to the Isle of Wight with some friends ...... tomorrow! I said 'don't you think you should road test it and get used to it before doing an ambitious ride?'

    He was more confident of my bike assembly skills than I was, and it turned out I hadn't got the derailleur quite right. When the bike came back to me I had to struggle to get it perfect - in the end what seemed to cure it was to change the right hand Milremo crank for a Stronglight (still steel, naturally). The new crank had a smaller gap between the chain ring and the crank, so it effectively moved the chainrings slightly to the right - now everything worked perfectly, what ever I did when test riding I couldn't make it misbehave.

    You would have thought that with such a simple system, 5 x 2 with a relatively modern rear mech, every thing would work with no trouble. That's what I thought, but I was wrong.

    Incidentally, I went on today's Hounslow club run - Staines to Henley and return, so our paths might well have crossed.

  • in Bikes & Bits
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    My Route

    My route and destination were mainly decided by the availability of hostels. Once there were many YHA hostels within a day's ride from London, now there are very few, which is annoying if, you take my view that for 'proper' touring you should get on your bike at your own front gate and ride - no using trains or cars!

    So, the obvious first stop, going west, is Streatley. This is an excellent traditional hostel with a nice old building, not too badly hacked about, and an enthusiastic and helpful warden. From Willesden the first 15 miles are pretty miserable, but after Colnbrook things start to look up until you have to deal with Reading. I took the route through Tilehurst to Pangbourne which did involve quite a hard climb on a narrow and very busy road.

    The next day took me through Wantage and Lechlade to Cirencester. I used B roads were I could without doing excessive extra work, but in the end the A417 proved easy and not terrible from the traffic point of view.

    On the third day I retraced to Lechlade and then using lanes to Eynsham and then Oxford where, thanks to my sister, I had very luxurious 'hostel' accommodation at Worcester College.

    Home by the usual A40 route the fourth day.

    I'm impressed that you could manage with only 8 lbs of luggage. My 20 lbs does include spares, minimal tools, the rack and the bags themselves. I did carry some spare clothes including non-cycling wear for the evenings. I too suffered from the cold and was wearing everything I could.

    The Bike

    As you can see from the photo this was not a pedigree lightweight like your Gillott, although the Sunbeam frame is similar in age. A point that may be of interest is that I took the advice of "The Modern Cyclist 1923" which states: 'for touring a low gear is a necessity, a high gear a luxury'. I did this by abandoning 'top' gear altogether (on my Sturmey AW) and by using sprockets of 47 / 24 I had a top gear of about 69" for level conditions and 52" and 39" to use
    for climbing. This works reasonably well, but the gap from top to middle is still too great - however that's not too serious for my sort of touring.

    In fact I didn't use the 39 much, but I must admit it did come in handy climbing Aston Hill (on the A40) back towards Stokenchurch.

    Here's the bike with its load:

  • in General
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    It is to Simon's credit that this has taken a long time.

    As is well known, the Pedal Club was the product of nineteenth century minds; it had a 'men only' rule until relatively recently. Changing this had been discussed for many years, but it proved hard to do because the rule was enshrined in a difficult to change constitution which was supported by a few ultra conservatives.

    Finally in 2021 we achieved reform and there is no doubt that admitting women members has been good for the club in many ways.

    One of these is that a number of people, well qualified to be members, who had previously refused to join a club which excluded half of humanity, came forward. Mr. Richardson is among those men (and, of course, women!).

    Yes, it has taken a little while since the rule change, but that's because he's a busy man.

  • in Bikes & Bits
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    Three questions for Falconvitesse:

    Which ferry port did you start from?

    Your saddle bag looks heavy, do you know what it weighed ?

    Last week I did a modest four day YHA trip (London to Cirencester and back) about 200 miles in four days, so nothing like your effort. I had getting on for 20 lbs of luggage (including the necessary rack) in two panniers and found this quite enough to pull up the climbs, but at least with the weight fairly low on the bike it was possible to get out of the saddle (I also had low gears). I think I would find that difficult with your Carridice.

    Did your bike arouse much interest from the French?

    My experience is they are generally sympathetic and interested in any kind of cycling (especially in Brittany), but they don't have much of a tradition of non derailleur bikes.

    I hear that they think that anyone who rides a trike must be handicapped ...... or mad.

  • in Bikes & Bits
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    My point is that any old steel frame could be rusting from the inside, even if they've been beautifully resprayed.

    But actual danger arising from this is not really common enough for us to scrap all our steel frames.

    I've ridden a lot on old frames - I've had two failures, one dangerous, the other just annoying, but neither involved rust either inside or outside the tubing.

    If you're going to paint the frame yourself, I suggest that a pretreatment (primer coat) based on phosphoric acid (eg Kurust) will much improve the outcome.

  • in Bikes & Bits
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    This frame is too rusty ever to look good without a blast and respray, but it's probably sound enough to use.

    When frames break because of rust damage it's usually because they've rusted, invisibly, from the inside. Water getting in from the seat lug and then staying in the tube because it can't get out is the most common cause.