Bike Wash

  1. Fill bowl with warm water and washing up liquid
  2. Take outside with large and small sponges, kitchen towel, chain lube, GT85
  3. Wash bike with lots of soapy water and large sponge from top  to bottom including wheels and especially pedals
  4. Use small sponge/brush for tricky bits
  5. Empty dirty water down drain
  6. Fill bowl with clean water from tap
  7. Rinse bike thoroughly
  8. Repeat as necessary
  9. Dry/polish/rub bike and especially chain with kitchen towel (also removes greasy bits nicely with a rub)
  10. Apply cháin lube to chain following instructions on bottle
  11. Spray pedals and gear cable adjusters with GT85, wipe away excess with kitchen towel
  12. (Apply a very little lube to pivot points on derailleurs)

Review: Kinesis Gran Fondo Scandium

I celebrated my new job at work with a new frame. The criteria were comfort, mudguard clearance and handling. I have previously ridden steel and alloy, and considered titanium and full carbon for this purchase, but eventually settled on the alloy/carbon Kinesis Racelight Gran Fondo. My decision was strongly influenced by reviews in the cycling press, and price: the titanium version was just over my budget. I built up the frame with a variety of used and new parts.

This is a frame that is almost invisible in use. I was fairly underwhelmed on my initial rides, but soon realised how little this bike needed input from me. This was particularly noticeable climbing.

The ride is fairly firm, but rough roads are accommodated pretty well. The frame feels light and stiff, but not too harsh. Although some say scandium alloys ride more like steel this feels like a comfortable alloy training bike, and the excellent fork and carbon stays probably contribute more to its feel than anything else.

Although the finish may not to be everyone’s taste, it is well executed and distinctive. Be warned, the frame should come with seatpost (nice Selcof) and headset (cheap integrated): mine came with neither, although this was rectified fairly swiftly (I used neither in the end).

The single eyelets on the rear dropouts make fitting rack and mudguards tricky. Clearance is fairly minimal: with mudguards 23c tires are as fat as I would go. The head tube is really too short for a frame if this kind, and even those with better backs than mine will end up with excessive spacers.

As a deluxe training bike this is wonderful. Time will tell whether 23c tires are enough for audax rides on our rubbish British roads.

Percy Stallard and Beryl Burton: bikes to remember them by

I am off the bike at the moment due to post-viral syndrome: hence, by car, a visit to the 10th Annual Classic Bike Display, in Shelf, West Yorks today. The show was put on by the Bygone Bykes Club, and included a short ride (not for me, sadly) on period bikes, around the British League of Racing Cyclists’ ‘Beacon Grand Prix’ circuit.

The centrepiece was a lovely Percy Stallard mass start road bike:

Percy Stallard massed start road bike

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