A bit on kit

I had planned on going into details of what I use, how I prepare and how multiple wheels can add variety and extra interest, but tonight might not be the night to go into too much depth.

As an over view, Velomati rules:  "The number of bike you should own in n+1, where n is the number you currently own"

The work horse and bill payer is a Genesis Day 01 Alfine 8 (2012).  There are a lot of blogs, reviews and comments on this bike, so there is only a couple of comments I'll add.

1)  The brakes (Avid BB5s) are crap.  Bin them, burn them with fire.  Use Google and you'll see why.  So what to swap them to?  I use TRP Spyre (180mm upfront, 160mm rear) and they kick ass.  If there is anything you need to do to a disc equipped road bike, this is what you need to do.

2)  Make the bike your own.  I've upped the gear as the rear sprocket was too large for a road biker (the bike is sold for cyclecross) and now I can have a higher top speed without spinning out.  The 35mm cross tyres are now 25mm Gatorskins and I added lights and 'guards.  4,000 miles later, and it's still fun to ride.

The weekend sporty number is a Concorde alu former race bike.  Built in 1999, a Ciocc badged Concrode for political reasons, raced as part of the UK's development scheme, it's a former full race spec hardcore aggressive frame.  Student budgets and little cash has built it over the years with carbon front end, Ultegra 9sp groupset and now with Fulcrum Quattro wheels.  For climbing, I've gone for the full capacity (12-27) cassette, but no triples.  The bike responds exceptionally well

Turbo training can punish bikes.  Although many people swear by using their good bike on a turbo, I'm a little suspect of the stresses put through the frame when the rear triangle is pinned.  As a former work colleague was pitching a Colnago (shame it had a cracking top tube), I picked up the bike purely for turbo training.  With a similar position to the Concorde the feel is similar, but with a non road worthy spec (old 8ps 105 STI's, vanity brakes etc), I can thrash the bike without fearing bearing damage to good road wheels or shortening the life of a "proper" bike.

I bike I'm going to use more is the neglected mountain bike.  With a bike of a unconventional history and Frankenbike parts list, it's not going to be winning any awards.  The frame is a 2006 Coyote Dual frame bought from a former school pupil for £25, stripped and roughly resprayed.  Parts were salvaged off an even older bike, mix and matched with other cast offs, used to tow the kids tag-a-long, and now a bit of a trail blaster.  The brakes could do with an upgrade, but is shifts well with its miss matched brake levers.  The only thing missing is a pair of MTB shoes........

Added to the mix is a Raleigh Banana replica now with a 105 10speed shifter and former good wheels for wet weather training, a hybrid for towing a kids trailer and a tandem or two for good luck, and the vairety of wheel means there is always something for each occasion.


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