Search found 1141 matches

by pq
14 Jul 2021, 4:47pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Your first proper road bike?
Replies: 23
Views: 768

Re: Your first proper road bike?

Mine was a very second hand Bob Jackson. It should have been OK but unfortunately was the most appalling crate which I was glad to see the back of. Took 2 years to save up for a replacement though.
by pq
13 Jul 2021, 9:10am
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Travel to Northern France
Replies: 40
Views: 2074

Re: Travel to Northern France

I live in France and travel a lot by train with my bike - and I've never had to dismantle or bag it. The issue here is that the SNCF will always direct you to a TGV while making it difficult to find bike friendly alternatives. However the alternatives pretty much always exist, it's just a case of finding them. The DB web site allows you to search for bike friendly services (there's a box you can tick in the search function). I tend to use thetrainline.com becasue it gives you various options for your journey - and I mostly know by looking at the detail which ones will work for my bike. There's also info about bikes on trains on maninseat61 and freewheelinginfrance. Finally staff are usually very helpful and knowledgeable, but I'm not sure how widely English is spoken (I'm a French speaker so it's not relevant to me) It seems a pity not to use French trains becasue of a lack of information.
by pq
13 Jul 2021, 8:49am
Forum: Racing, Olympics, TdF, Competitive cycling
Topic: Lachlan Morton - Alttour
Replies: 9
Views: 494

Re: Lachlan Morton - Alttour

He's now on the finishing circuit, although not moving - I guess he's having a coffee on the Champs Elysees.
by pq
13 Jul 2021, 8:34am
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Europe July.????
Replies: 617
Views: 13971

Re: Europe July.????

Macron's taken an unexpectedly bold step in essentially banning the unvaccinated from enclosed public spaces and removing the option of having endless free tests. Within minutes the vaccine centres around where I live, which have been almost empty for weeks are now fully booked for weeks, with nothing at all available within a 50km radius. The web site you use to book the vaccines has repeatedly crashed. So now it's a race between the higher infection rates and the vaccine - not clear whether it'll be enough to head off the next wave, but regardless it does seem to have persuaded most of the antivaxxers, of whom there are many here, to act. Social media is awash with angry anti-vaxxers complaining that their civil liberties are being stripped from them, but only one I know is claiming that he still won't be vaccinated - but I don't believe him. He's too fond of hanging out in bars (while talking nonsense). Antivax seems to be primarily a rural/small town thing here - but for me it's the best covid related news we've had in France since the vaccines came on stream.
by pq
10 Jul 2021, 11:35am
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: ... if European Bike Express is still going?
Replies: 8
Views: 895

Re: ... if European Bike Express is still going?

Not if you use a night train. They have loads of space for bikes and you have lots of time to load up becasue they sit in the station for ages at Paris. No changes needed either - they can drop you at breakfast time in places which are great to start cycling from. Last time I did it, I arrived at 7am in Ax les Thermes, well rested and ready for a full day in the saddle having set off late afternoon the previous day from Birmingham.

Travelling all across France with a loaded tourer on day trains is more complicated of course, but for many destinations, a bit of detective work turns up non-TGV bike friendly alternatives. We have one direct, bike friendly train per day from Paris, but it's hard to find becasue the SNCF want you to use the TGV which isn't bike friendly at all. Last time I looked the DB web site found it when I ticked the bike box.

No way around whatever Eurostar is doing of course, but I'm not up to date with that.
by pq
10 Jul 2021, 10:33am
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Gear/ drive train mods to a vintage bike
Replies: 14
Views: 602

Re: Gear/ drive train mods to a vintage bike

I remember the Peugeot Equips similarly. When I left school I worked in Halfords for 6 months (!) and remember thinking they weren't bad for the money (£99.99 if memory serves), unlike the cheap Raleighs which were awful (and more expensive). The frames were nicely designed and they rode pretty well but I agree that they're not worth throwing any money at. Gas pipe frame, steel rims, overgeared - unless you have the bits lying around in the shed it's not worth doing the latter 2 becasue you're stuck with the gas pipe frame and I think a bunch of non standard dimensions and threads.
by pq
10 Jul 2021, 9:06am
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Mavic Open Elite as a replacement for Open Pro rims?
Replies: 10
Views: 370

Re: Mavic Open Elite as a replacement for Open Pro rims?

Yes, the A23s have a shallow V section so you'd need slightly shorter spokes. I have no idea about flat wide rims you could do a straight swap with - I have some several mavics like that but they must be 25 years old, so I doubt they're available now.

I don't worry too much about spokes, I use API from cyclebasket and they don't cost much but of course more than nothing....
by pq
9 Jul 2021, 6:00pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Mavic Open Elite as a replacement for Open Pro rims?
Replies: 10
Views: 370

Re: Mavic Open Elite as a replacement for Open Pro rims?

My view of those Mavic rims is that they are, apart from not wearing particularly well, are rather outdated. Your 28mm tyres will sit better on a wider rim, and that's what I'd go for. I have 2 sets of rims which fit the bill, and there may be others I'm not familiar with. One is a Velocity A23 (I got mine from Brick Lane Bikes, I don't think many places stock them in the UK but they are popular in the US. They are wide and light - I use mine for light touring with 28mm tyres. The other are Kinlin, which have a somewhat deeper section but are wide just like the A23s. Mine are branded Hunt, but you can get the Kinlin ones easily enough - I forget who stocks them but google will turn that up. If you're interested I can figure out which model Kinlin rim I have - becasue of the Hunt branding it's not obvious. They do an offset rim for the rear which I think is a good idea.

My last pair of Open Pros are on their last legs after a disappointingly short time, and they'll be replaced by Kinlins.
by pq
9 Jul 2021, 9:56am
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: ... if European Bike Express is still going?
Replies: 8
Views: 895

Re: ... if European Bike Express is still going?

You could of course go by train. Whenever I've looked at the bikeexpress it's always seemed a very uncivilised way to travel - an eternity on a bus and then getting dropped at some unearthly hour by a motorway having not slept much. I no longer live in the UK, but when I did I always used to take the eurostar to paris, have dinner somewhere, then pick up a night train to wherever I wanted to go. I think the eurostar is less bike friendly than it was and there are fewer night trains, but still much preferable to the bus.

However with rising covid rates in the UK it may well not be possible at all in the near future.
by pq
8 Jul 2021, 6:03pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Is there any advantage to star ratchet hubs?
Replies: 6
Views: 424

Re: Is there any advantage to star ratchet hubs?

I don't have star ratchet hubs but I do have a couple of Chris King hubs with their ring drive mechanism which is in some ways similar. The very fast pick-up is noticeable, but unless you're in a very low gear, as you often are on a mountain bike, it's not especially useful in my view, and even on a MTB it falls into the "nice to have" category, certainly no more than that. In theory it should be stronger becasue when the hub is being driven, there's better contact between the two parts than there is with a pawl mechanism. How useful that is in practice I wouldn't like to say - I've never had any problems with either system, although (for example) my King hubs need maintenance from time to time, whereas my pawl based Royce hubs haven't yet.
by pq
7 Jul 2021, 11:36am
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: How do tubeless tyres work?
Replies: 30
Views: 1055

Re: How do tubeless tyres work?

For me the major benefit of road tubeless is how well they roll. It's very noticeable and confirmed by lab tests. Fewer punctures is a benefit but I wouldn't bother just for that. Off road running lower pressures without pinch flats is a benefit well worth having.
by pq
15 Jun 2021, 3:51pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Bike designs which should be binned
Replies: 353
Views: 13377

Re: Bike designs which should be binned

Or intolerant young men who think anything which appeared more than 5 years ago should be binned and replaced. Possibly the owner, too, if he or she is more than 30.
If you're referring to me, I hate to disappoint, but I am old. But obviously I agree with the sentiment since I'm moaning about people who reject equipment for no good reason. I ride some pretty old bikes and a few new ones too while making some attempt to be rational about the equipment choices I make. It is debatable how successful I am at that but at least I try.
by pq
15 Jun 2021, 3:12pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Campag compatibility
Replies: 6
Views: 304

Re: Campag compatibility

I don't know how widespread this intercompatibility is, but I fitted a chorus medium cage from around 2003 to a 2000 Record rear mech, both 10 speed. In that case Record was not different to Chorus, at least not in that respect. The chorus mech didn't cost much - unlike the Record they appear not to be especially collectable.
by pq
15 Jun 2021, 2:31pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Bike designs which should be binned
Replies: 353
Views: 13377

Re: Bike designs which should be binned

I do find the hostility towards gravel bikes from grumpy old men a bit baffling. I have one and it's the best bike related thing I've bought in maybe 20 years. Of course I could manage without it - my heavy duty tourer, my old CX bike and sundry mountain bikes would all do the same job, but the gravel bike does it better and it means I do rides which I otherwise wouldn't.

And tubeless I love too.Yes, it's a faff and yes it costs more but the benefits are very noticeable in use and I think are worth the downsides. It's especially good off road but I love how road tubeless rides too.

Press fit bbs? Nothing wrong with the idea, the problem is when its badly implemented, which is often. It's becasue of the implementation not the idea that I avoid them.

What I think should be binned are not bike designs but grumpy old men who routinely dismiss as stupid anything which appeared after they turned 25 and which they've never used and don't understand. Not the same thing as dismissing "innovations" which really are daft of course.
by pq
15 Jun 2021, 11:03am
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Velocé 10 speed ergos
Replies: 47
Views: 1383

Re: Velocé 10 speed ergos

I think I'd sooner use this QS one than go second hand.

The supplier is saying they're happy to swap for a non QS one if I can tell them the part number and if it's available. So that would be great except try as I might all I can find is the one I've l've already got. I'm beginning to think the non QS one doesn't exist as a spare, which is why I can't find a part number or anyone selling them. :-(