There are some bargain ex-hire bikes from 2016 and 2017 to be had!
There are some bargain ex-hire bikes from 2016 and 2017 to be had!
For sale is my own Kinesis GF-Ti bike, well looked after and runs like new.
It makes a great all year round bike, mudguards are simple to remove come summer.
£1000 for full Shimano 105 10 speed (inc. 105 pedals) Other highlights are Hope Wheels on Velocity A23 rims, Pro carbon seatpost and Pro carbon bars and stem.
Size is 51cms would suit anyone up to 5’7″, ask to try it out if in doubt.
Now looking for some loving new homes for our hire bike fleet!
On sale now are our ex hire bikes, some have hardly been ridden.
(See full updated list of bikes at the end of this page as there are a mixture of hybrid, ladies, road and children’s bikes)
1 x mens medium sized 18 inch hybrid £230 (Was £413 new)
3x ladies hybrids one 15″, 17″ and one 19″ £130 (was £299 new)
1x mens classic steel framed 3 speed cafe racer medium £230 (was 449 new)
If you’re interested come by and try one out!
Clever Mike (left) and Studio 74 (right)
Been a little while since our last blog, so here’s a quick one about this years most popular bikes.
The Saracen Urban range has something for everyone who is looking for a hybrid – and for the most part, around here, a hybrid is a good choice of bike for either commuting or leisure.
These hybrids have more of a mountain bike style geometry to them, so they are more relaxed and upright than a road bike, and offer more agility and control for sharper corners, whilst the larger wheel size still means they are quicker than a smaller wheeled mountain bike.
The Saracen Urban Studio 74 is the most popular of the range, and for good reason. It sits second from the top in the Urban series at a reasonable price of £539. It features 3 x 9 Shimano gears in a wide range capable of making even Baths hills seem easy (or at least tackle-able for the new to cycling), hydraulic disc brakes, a lightweight alloy (rigid) fork and good quality tyres from the off. As with all the Urban series it can be fitted with full mudguards and a rack, so really is a good choice for a commuter.
Our own personal town bikes are the Clever Mike – the top end of the series. For £899 you get an 8 speed Shimano Alfine hub, so a bit of a luxury, but a handy low maintenance one! You also get Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, hardy kevlar tyres and high quality over sized handle bars.
The top two models have been popular, but so have the lower end models – here’s a quick summary of each:
The Urban Esc has been our hire bike of choice for three years now . At £299 they are lightweight and come with good quality components including Shimano 3 x 7 easy shifting triggers and strong double walled wheels.
Next in the range is the Myth, which for £369 features an extra gear, lighter alloy fork and a suspension seatpost. At this price point there is also the Urban Cross 1, essentially the same bike but with a suspension fork.
For £459 and £539 there are two more Urban Cross bikes – the 2 and 3 respectively. These two have the added advantage of hydraulic disc brakes, whilst the 3 features 3 x 9 gears along with extra Shimano components.
Prices may vary depending on offers and availability
We recently took ourselves off for a trip to the Afan valley in Wales for a bit of field testing (well, holiday) where we tried out many items that we sell now or were consideration stocking.
The trip was a mountain biking based one from the various trail centres in the area, with the weather being well on the toasty side!56
Photos courtesy of www.bartthebikeman.wordpress.
I’d never worn any protection for mountain biking but as we were tackling table tops and steep berms in the Afan bike park I thought it sensible to try some. I have been wearing the iXS Carve knee pads and the Flow elbow guards. The knee pads were pretty irritating to wear at first, until Becci pointed out the tiniest label under a velcro flap showing which was left and which was right! From that point on the knee pads have been incredibly comfortable. The extra length down the shin is a nice idea to protect from pedal strikes, it has prevented a couple of these so far! The elbow guards are very lightweight virtually all highly breathable mesh apart from protection on the elbow and down the back of the forearm. Becci’s had a couple of crashes and the elbow pads have definitely saved her from more serious injury, whilst I slid on a large slab of rock and my knee pads prevented grazing etc. So all in all they have been a hit, if not adding a bit of extra warmth in this mini heatwave but surprisingly not to an unpleasant level. In the shop we have the slightly cheaper version of the knee and elbow pads these are the Hack elbow guards and the Slope Series Evo Knee pads, if the pricier ones are what you want they can be ordered in. We’d certainly recommend trying these on as the mediums which the iXS size guide recommended for me are right on the cusp of just about too small for me!
Madison Zenith shorts
I had to buy some new shorts this year as my previous 4 year old shorts were pretty worn. Luckily Madison have a new range of shorts out this year, and the Zenith shorts have been the first to come into the shop. The material is really soft and whilst this seems a bit odd for a mountain bike short I can guarantee that having crashed and slid in them twice they are very hardwearing. The nice thing about the soft material is it stretches when pedalling, under the thighs and above the backside. The short has four large pockets which can be left open as venting and a small water resistant pocket. They come in bright blue which makes a change from boring black!
Madison Zenith and Flux tops
These two tops were great in this mini heatwave, very breathable and they did not get damp even when riding quite hard. They felt great worn under a backpack, no bunching or riding up. They are very well priced too at only £26.99 so they’re pretty much a bargain. They come in a range of bright colours with contrasting zips which is funky, but they both come in black if you’re more stealthy
Tru flo mini track pump
I needed a larger volume pump for inflating the mountain bike tyres, as my minipump would just take too long to inflate the tyre. TheTruflo mini track pump seemed ideal as it has a ‘telescoping’ barrel, effectively doubling the stroke of the pump but keeping the whole package down to a manageable size for carrying in a backpack. I have used the pump quite a lot, even to inflate a tubeless tyre onto a rim, and it has worked amazingly well. One of the best features is the valve attachment. The valve head presses on firstly and then you screw it on to the final bit of the valve to secure it in place. Its easy to use and a bit quicker than the Lezyne equivalent it seems, also I’ve had no issues with the pump unscrewing the valve core – although recently I have discovered this tool which ‘sets tight’ valve cores in the valve stem by hand, a job which is impossible to achieve with finger power alone!
We’ve a summer bike sale for 2 weeks up to Saturday the 30th June. There is a 10% offer on all Lapierre and Kinesis 2012 bikes in stock and to pre order. There is also 10% off accessories bought at the same time as the bike. (Fitting charges apply) We offer free lifetime servicing with every bike sold. There is a further deal of 15% off all clothing at the same time as purchasing the bike. Please note prices on our website are for the full RRP.
Great piece by Nigel of http://bikingbrits.blogspot.co.uk/ about making cycling more pleasant in the UK
“” sadly I don’t detect any suppressed majority yearning to get onto their bikes!”
Probably that’s because you’re not looking.
Plenty of evidence out there to suggest that most of us don’t actually like driving much and would welcome the opportunity to use our cars less frequently.
Lynn Sloman’s research suggests that 30% of us don’t have access to a car; 50% of car users don’t like driving. Sustrans research suggests that 70% of us won’t cycle on the roads in their current format because it is perceived as too dangerous.
Lynn Sloman’s research again: The 40:40:20 rule: 40% of current car trips could easily be done by other means right now, without any change to infrastructure or public transport; another 40% of car trips could be done by other means after infrastructure changes, leaving 20% of car trips that cannot be done by other means.
No one’s suggesting we all give up our cars completely; simply not a practical proposition – I’ve no plans to abandon mine – but the concept of the car as the default mode for all trips needs to be challenged, and frequently.
Call it “ideology” if you must. Some of us call it common sense. The “ideology” of striving to make your city more car friendly is probably not the best idea, especially when that city’s street layout evolved long before motor transport. “Quart” and “pint pot” spring to mind. The lessons of the 20th Century need to be learned and taken to heart. Building for car traffic has only ever resulted in more car traffic, resulting in more building to “relieve” the congestion. A vicious circle we really need to break out of. The answers are out there and have been successfully implemented on mainland Europe a generation ago. Time we caught up.”
Neither of us have ever done a cycle race so having done quite a bit of cycling over the last few years we thought we’d enter the Bath Cycle Races. The trouble is there’s ‘cycling’ and then there’s ‘cycle racing’ don’t ever confuse the two we learned the hard way! Still its better to have tried and failed than to have never given it a go!
The results of our feeble attempt were Becci in last place 1 lap down total time 24.09 with a best lap time of 2.33, and I was 3rd from bottom 1 lap down total time 33.46 with the best lap in 2.18. The only consolation is that there is a long ladder to potentially climb and we can try to better our own times, it must be harder to be the leader or somewhere near the top.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wav3ydave/
We both were both pretty happy with the sharp corners and the effort needed to get the speed up out of the second corner, but we both felt the hill was the real difficulty. No easy answers, just try a bit harder on the hill I guess. We didn’t exactly do any interval training either so we don’t have the speed in our legs I guess. Riding long sportives doesn’t prepare you for the races, pretty obvious!
We’re going to enter the last 2 races provided the spaces on the line are available (should be no problem for the women’s race as there are so few women racing). I enjoyed making myself feel sick, cramped stomach, hacking cough and dead legs the following day. Becci didn’t succumb to any similar aches and pains, just felt a bit tired right after the race – and got frozen cold at the end despite nabbing my extra layers!
See you at the races! (Every Wednesday evening in May in Victoria Park, Bath)
On this blog I’ll keep our mileage up to date, with a link to the route taken. I’ll update with separate posts on the more interesting aspects of our rides.
Day 7 – 0
Day 9 – 0
Day 11 – 0
The Kinesis Virsa mtb is based around highly regarded Tange Prestige Japanese double butted steel tube set. This gives the ride of the bike that steel ‘spring’ which is ideal when zinging along twisty singletrack.
The reviewers have certainly given it a thumbs up. Since the review the Brighton based Kinesis designers, who test all their products extensively on the South Downs, have upgraded key parts of the frame, bit more on this later.
I’ve had the frame for a few months and had been saving up to get various parts for it. It had to be a ‘British’ inspired bike being a true home grown brand with a growing reputation for ride quality. So I of course opted for Hope kit, which as well as being totally machined and made in the UK by hand has a great reputation as well. They recently released a seatpost so that was pretty fortuitous as it meant that all the finishing kit parts on the bike could be based on Hope. The only parts that couldn’t be British were the drivetrain which had to be Shimano for sturdiness, slickness and great value.
The next big thing on a mountain bike is the suspension and I had been reading great things about X-fusion who have actually been around since 1999, but only recently started to go into selling their products aftermarket. They’ve picked up some rave reviews recently, so I was very keen to get a fork that customers could try out as a demo with a view to potentially purchasing them. The fork I got was a Velvet RL120 fork upgraded to 130mm travel, its tapered which adds more stiffness at the steering interface. Its also stiff at the axle with its 15mm screw through upgrade. The larger diameter headtube is one area Kinesis recently upgraded on the frame, to allow for a new generation of tapered forks.
The wheels are definitely a crucial rider / terrain interface and I wanted to do something a bit different here. It was to be my first foray into tubeless, well I had to take the plunge sometime! Just my luck that WTB very recently released some very reasonably priced (26.99) UST compliant rims with regular spoke holes that can be easily built up into a user friendly tubeless wheelset. These rims are 23mm wide so will make the tyre balloon nicely for a very grippy ride. So I opted for nice gold Hope Pro 2 hubs, with that colour running throughout the bike as it pairs up with green nicely. The rims built up very easily, although the offset spoke holes provided some spoke length calculator fun and games! Setting up the tyres (UST WTB Bronsons 2.3) onto the rims was so simple, just whack on some special rim tape, add a valve core, pop the tyres on and inflate – well in practice, and now I know having had lots of practice. What you need to make sure is that you have the tyres on the right way before you inflate (most tyres are directional). When you remove these tubeless tyres, if you do get it wrong, the rim strip gets ruffled up rendering it pretty useless. So my advice is if you go for these get it right first time and you’ll have no trouble at all inflating. Its going to be really interesting to try out this wheelset at pressures lower than 30 psi, with no risk of pinch flats and no worries about thorn / stone punctures as the sealant will do its duty.
The bike’s drivetrain is full 10spd XT, so its pretty light and also very slick. The brake system is Hope Tech X2 which is supposedly their lightweight cross country / light freeride offering, but its pretty beefy especially with the 180mm upgraded floating rotor upfront. A new innovation on this frame is at the rear brake calliper which mounts into a pair of slotted holes. This means that if you ever wanted to use the horizontal swopout dropouts to run singlespeed or hub gears you can remove the wheel easily thanks to the slotted holes.
Finally the pedals have to be the most bling bit of the bike. I knew the Vault pedals were good but wait till you see and feel them in the flesh, they are so nice! And in this case so green!
The bike is available to take out to specifically try out the forks, but also the frame, tubeless wheels, pedals and so on. The Virsa is available as a ‘ready to ride’ package with different specs, but if you want something a bit different then why not build your dream steel hardtail around an award winning frame / fork combo!