Thursday, October 15, 2009

Exciting Things

Exciting Thing No.1
The new Ragley Rodwell frame - I'm not sure why I'm excited about this, as the chances of my building one up are next to zero. I love the idea behind the frame though, and the attention to detail on it (see the designer's flickr stream for more, here).

The roller above the chainstay bridge allows a bottom pull mech (i.e. a road mech) to be used with the bike's top tube cable routing. The headset mounted cable hanger is also a thing of great beauty, although my personal feeling is that fork crown mounted hangers work better unless you have your bars set up pretty high.

These frames look like they'll build into really nice fat tyred road bikes - ideal for someone wanting to go in that direction but not take the Tourer route that I took with my Surly LHT.

Exciting Thing #2
Regular readers (ha!) may remember my dithering over a folding bike earlier in the year. I finally got a chance to test ride a Brompton last week (an S6L, in case you're wondering) and was impressed by it. Far less twitchy than I'd expected, and a lot of fun to throw around the car park near the bike shop where the test ride took place.

I've decided on an S3L (I do live in Cheshire, after all, so six gears seems like overkill) with a "C" bag as luggage. The bike is being purchased via cyclescheme, and I found out recently that my voucher application has been approved. I have that new bike feeling all over again...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mine's a Priscilla *BROOKS UPDATE!*

Brooks B17 Champion Standard #1
My New Secondhand B-17

As twittered a day or so ago, I made a recent impulse purchase of a used B-17 "Champion Standard" saddle. Having looked at the various ways of pressing a modern (bag loop-less) saddle into carrying a traditional Carradice saddlebag, it occurred to me that the weight of such an arrangement wouldn't be far off that of a Brooks. Buying second hand meant that the cost wasn't vastly different either.

Before I knew it, the eBay purchase was made, and the saddle arrived yesterday. Condition is pretty much ok, a bit scruffy, with some scuffs, but its probably a better option for me than paying £50+ on a new saddle for the purposes of trying out a Brooks. I'm one ride in, and starting to believe the hype about these saddles - although (obviously) the sit bone depressions are someone elses, the comfort is immediately apparent. It's quite different to the comfort offered by (say) an Arione, because of the movement in the top of the Brooks. The bag loops are a hugely better solution for the straps of the Carradice too.

I'm hoping that I get on with this saddle, as going back to the zipties to secure the bag doesn't seem very appealing at this point.

Brooks & Carradice Lowsaddle
My New Secondhand B-17, with the Carradice Lowsaddle Mounted

I'm wondering quite where this slippery slope will take me next. Touring Bike, Carradice, Brooks Saddle. Are SPD sandals and a beard and pipe now unavoidable?