Happy New Year


We wish you the readers:

– a huge happiness 
– an iron health for you and your loved ones
– a ton and a half of love
– creative boldness and respectful impertinence
– the laughter of children
– limitless dreams
– a good pinch of humor
– …and some temporal accessories to live your own time!

Ti Ti ti ti ti ti Ti TIIIII tanium


REBLOG from road.cc and a subject close to my heart …. no mention of my Lynskey lovelies and their great lifetime warranty. DeKerf or Moots but you can’t get everything ….

Steel is a really nice material for making a bicycle frame, but for many cyclists, titanium is an even nicer choice. Once a very rare and exotic material and a luxury choice for those rich enough to afford it – titanium is notoriously difficult to work with – the cost of a titanium frame has dropped significantly in recent years, to the point where it could almost be deemed, if not affordable, at least a viable alternative to top-end steel and carbon fibre frames.

Titanium is desirable because it’s lighter than steel and stronger than steel and aluminium, and its high fatigue strength means a titanium frame should last forever. It’s those traits that have ensured it has continued to be a popular choice with cyclists wanting a fine riding frame that will last the length of time. Plus of course there is the fabled ride quality, which is reminiscent of a steel frame with plenty of spring and high comfort, but it can be used to build a stiff race bike depending on tubing diameters and profiles.

Enigma Evade - seat tube

Most titanium frames are made from 3AL-2.5V tubing (where titanium is alloyed with 3% aluminium and 2.5% vanadium) and 6Al-4V, a harder grade of titanium, is seen on much more expensive framesets. Because it’s hard and expensive to make 6Al-4V into seamless tubes, it’s often used for machined parts like dropouts and head tubes.

The unique colour of titanium ensures it stands out against most other road bikes. Various finishes are available, the tubes can be brushed or bead-blasted and can even be painted if you prefer, but many people buying titanium do so partly for its unique and timeless appearance.  A titanium frame will still look good in 10 years time.

Titanium has been used to make bicycle frames for about 30 years. In the early days, there was only a handful of brands specialising in titanium, and US brands like Seven, Serotta, Litespeed and Merlin built an enviable reputation for their expertise with the material. Titanium frames are now commonly manufactured in the Far East which has led to prices coming down quite a lot, into the realms of affordability for many.

Here are ten titanium road bikes we’ve reviewed in recent years.

On-One Pickenflick £699.99 

On One Pickenflick

Last year’s road.cc Cyclocross and Adventure Bike of the Year winner, the On-One Pickenflick, is one of the most affordable 3Al / 2.5V  titanium frames we’ve ever come across. A frame costs a frankly astonishing £699. The Pickenflick is a cyclocross bike at heart, but On-One sells it as a bike for adventure riding and sportive use. It has the versatility that a lot of UK cyclists look for, with geometry designed for comfort and features including disc brakes, space for wide tyres and eyelets for mudguards and racks.

J.Laverack J.ACK £1,500 – frameset

J.Laverack J.ACK - riding 1

One of the newest bicycle brands to launch this year is the J.Laverack, with the debut J.ACK, a titanium frame with disc brakes and internal cable routing. The J.ACK has been designed to conquer any road or off-road surface, with space for wide tyres (up to 33mm) and plenty of clearance around them for mudguards. All cables are neatly routed inside the frame to keep the lines clean.

Reilly T325 £1,599 – frameset

Reilly T325 - Riding 3

The new brand of Mark Reilly, formerly of Enigma Bicycle Works, the T325 is the most affordable in the range. His 30 years of frame building experience shows in the frame, which is lovingly designed with neat details such as an externally reinforced head tube, oversized main tubes, space for 28mm tyres and internal routing for a Di2 groupset. At a claimed 1,275g, the frame is a worthy alternative to a carbon fibre race bike.

Kinesis GF_Ti Disc £1,799 -frameset

Kinesis GF_Ti Disc - full bike.jpg

The Kinesis Gran Fondo is now available with disc brakes, a popular upgrade to a popular bike. We gave the original a glowing review back in 2013, and with disc brakes proving popular on endurance bikes, the update has been a success. With wider tyres getting ever more popular, the new bike will accommodate 32mm tyres without mudguards, or 30mm with mudguards. The cold drawn seamless titanium tubeset has internal cable routing and it’s modular for mechanical and electronic groupsets.

Van Nicholas Chinook £2,458

Van Nicholas Chinook - riding 1

Van Nicholas is a Dutch company that specialises in titanium, and the Chinook is a thoroughly traditional titanium race bike. While modern titanium road bikes are all about oversized tube diameters and fat head tubes, the Chinook is all skinny tubes and slender stays. But it still offers a buttery smooth ride with delicate handling and really wins you over. A very refined ride.

Mosaic RT-1 £2,550

Mosaic RT-1 Riding

US titanium frame builder Mosaic Bespoke Bicycles hail from Boulder in Colorado, founded by Aaron Barcheck who used to work for Dean Titanium Bicycles. That expertise shows in the RT-1, a finale built titanium frame with custom butted size-specific 3Al/2.5V titanium tubes with a full bespoke option available. The ride performance is, as you’d hope, excellent, with a pleasingly taut characteristic that likes to go fast, all of the time.

Sabbath September Disc £2,799

Sabbath September Disc-2

The Sabbath September Disc  is an audax bike that’s right at home on the daily commute, club ride or sportive, with disc brakes and the titanium frame joined up front by a carbon fibre fork. The September Disc was one of the first breed of new versatile titanium road bikes designed with disc brakes, and the 3Al/2.5V takes up to 35mm tyres with mudguards. If you want one bike to do just about everything, with the exception of racing, the Sabbath is a fine choice.

Pretorius Outeniqua Disc frameset £2,299 frame, fork and Chris King headset

Pretorius Outeniqua Disc - full bike

Disc brakes have been popping up on titanium road bikes with increasing frequency, and London-based Pretorius builds the Outeniqua Disc frameset from predominantly oversized tubing to provide the stiffness for what is to all intents and purposes a race bike, with the stopping power of disc brakes. The geometry keeps the handling fast and nimble, yet the bike can be equipped with mudguards, though tyre width is restricted to 23mm with them fitted. Without mudguards, the frame takes 25mm tyres.

Baldwin Titanium £2,950

Baldwin Titanium - riding 1

East Yorkshire-based Baldwin Titanium arrived in 2012 with the aim to provide custom built titanium frames for those cyclists that just don’t want an off-the-shelf bike. Baldwin will measure you up and produce a frame to meet your exact riding requirements, whether that’s racing, touring or cyclocross, or anything in between. You pay handsomely for such custom service though, with a custom frame coming in at £2,950, and a double butted version costing £3,150, but there are few titanium frame builders based in the UK if that’s the route you want to go down.

Enigma Evade Ti £5,000

Enigma Evade - riding 1

The latest bike from Enigma is the beautiful Evade, which combines oversized main tubes with a 44mm head tube to offer a high level of stiffness. That ensures it offers a rewarding ride for those cyclists that like to press hard on the pedals. It’s rare to see a painted titanium frame but Enigma has done a wonderful job here, marrying the decals to the finishing components and wheels.

 

 

Leech 650 sportsboat


Not much not to like …

http://www.leechboats.com/designIndex.cfm

Specs:

LOA 6.5m Mainsail 19m2
BOA 2.3m Jib 7.8m2
Draft 1.8m Spinnaker 53m2
Sailing Displacement 650kg inc. 4 crew

L650 – additional data and plans

A lot of what has been learnt through our successful skiff designs has gone into creating this exciting new sport boat. While the aft sections are reasonably flat and wide for high speed planning and to help with form stability, care has been taken with the prismatic coefficient not to over do this, and make down wind sailing easy.

Features include a retracting, gybing keel, retracting prod, storage lockers beside the keel (one for outboard engine) and main sail boom sheating. Construction is from a detailed CNC cut file, cedar core hull bottom, foam core for hull topsides, deck, and all interior structure, all skinned in a light carbon laminate.

CNC kits available. The first 5 boats have been launched – T/Y versions and sports boats. As of Nov 2014 2 further boats are under construction in both Australia and NZ

 

 

Reblog: Zouzou Ben Chikha


A remarkable quote from Zouzou Ben Chikha: ‘Instead of subsidizing couscous evenings, it would be better that the government invested in racing bikes’. Being a Belgian actor with North African origins he claims that on his race bike all prejudice disappears. A bike as a tool to bring together people with different origins. One to keep in mind… […]

https://yeswecandoalmostanythingbybike.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/zouzou-ben-chikha/

How many bikes? Time for N-1


  Very interesting article from single tracks – if I started again I would get one road bike a 650b randouneering rig in steel or titanium with Demi- balloon tyres 

  

and a 27.5plus titanium mtb hard tail come bikepacking rig come XC racer.

  
But here is the article:
That isn’t a typo, that minus should not be a plus.

I said N-1, something that should send shivers down any cyclist’s spine – the prospect of actually reducing, rather than growing a bike collection. We all know that the ideal number of bikes you can own is N+1, with N representing your current number of bikes, so why on earth would someone mention a concept so hurtful as N-1?
Well first let’s look at why N+1 is the correct formula. I’m sure we’ve all heard it whilst contemplating (or building) our new bikes: “You’ve already got a bike, why do you need another?” or “Does that mean you are selling your old bike?” To untrained eyes (let’s call them The Outsiders), cycling comes in two flavors, on-road and off-road. But to us, that’s the equivalent of telling Willy Wonka that chocolate comes in white and brown…
There are so many disciplines within cycling that, with the right drive, cash flow and storage space, there is always a new bike that can be purchased. This allows you to drill down to the nth degree, and get the most precise tool for the job – something The Outsiders will never appreciate.
My ever-growing bike collection has evolved from my first real bike, and has become a manifestation of Trigger’s Broom from Only Fools and Horses – “This old brooms had 17 new heads and 14 new handles in its time”.
My bikes all share some DNA; as my main bike was upgraded, some parts found their way onto other rigs, or they became the basis of a new bike build, but they still have their own unique uses.
That all sounds great: an ever growing number of bikes; conscientiously upcycling parts; win-win all round – so why on earth would I propose the idea of n-1? It’s not part of an intervention by a bank manager or a significant other, and I’m sure it’s not something that is unique to me. I found that I had a lot of bikes that were ideal for very specific tasks (although slanted a little more towards down than up), but sometimes my riding wouldn’t be that specific.
I had morphed from a specialist, with very specialist bikes, to a jack of all trades. If I wanted to go dirt jumping, downhilling, or BMX racing, I was fine, but if I wanted to see where the adventure would take me, would I be on the right bike? I missed heading out of the door and letting the adventure unravel in front of me, rather than the bike dictating the ride.
IMG_5139

To most of you there would be a simple solution to this: n+1; keep the downhill bikes, the BMXes, the dirt jump bikes and the XC racer and add a trail bike as an all rounder. Simple, problem solved, no sacrifices made and there’s another bike in the stable. But I faced another obstacle – I was moving to America.
I was left with a few options. Ship them all out there, take a few, or start again! I chose to start again – I went for n-1, and I cleared the collection down to just one road bike, purely for transport. How did this feel? Well apart from the cold hard realisation that there’s no money in second hand bikes, it was deeply refreshing – I had wiped the slate clean.
I traveled light (ish), and once I arrived in my new country I was able to take stock of who I was as a rider. What riding did I miss? What bikes did I miss? How much of what I had been doing was because of the people I knew, the habits I had developed or the equipment I had built up? With no bikes, no one to ride with and no preconceived ideas of what I should be riding, I was able to become the rider I had been hiding for who knows how long.
So am I the downhiller/BMXer that started out racing as soon as I found out what real mountain biking was? In short, no. I miss the memories, the experiences and the friends for sure, but I’m a different rider now…
…I seem to have developed into a masochistic adventurer.
The masochistic nature I got from racing, of giving it everything I had and knowing that I couldn’t have tried any harder. I missed out the adventures; the finding new trails and getting lost in the woods for hours. This was mostly because of the way my bikes had developed and because of my mindset – I can’t remember the last time I took the time to smell the roses. Instead, when I headed to the trails, it was all about how fast could I go, and not about how I got there.
And now? Currently the bike collection has grown by 1 – the road bike has been supplemented by a hardtail, and I am busy separating my racing/training brain from my riding brain.
Every ride I go on is an adventure, new people, new trails and new experiences and I am determined not to hit every trail in the red zone – like a training ride. My bikes have allowed me to discover new places and new people in an area I know very little about – and this is something I may not have found with my old bike collection and my old head down riding style

Donhou bike to win on Rapha


RAPHA.CC

It’s the end of the year, a time for taking stock and making new resolutions. A time, however, when such good intentions are all too easily swept down the back of the sofa with the crumbs of overindulgence. Rapha’s Festive 500 challenge offers an opportunity to avoid a holiday of bloated lethargy by getting out for some on-bike contemplation.The Grand Prize for this year’s Festive 500 is being supplied by a man who knows all about leaving home comforts behind for some time alone, Tom Donhou. The master craftsman behind Donhou Bicycles, Tom is kindly offering his latest Signature Steel bike, the DSS2 (pictured in action here), for whoever puts forward the best submission in ‘the spirit of the Festive 500’ category. The prize is apt because it was while challenging himself on a bicycle that Tom came to a realisation that would change the course of his life.

“I was a product designer, making toys and perfume bottles for the high street – landfill basically – and my conscience got the better of me so I quit and went away,” he says of a nine-month solo cycle tour which took him from Mongolia to Singapore via the Gobi Desert, China and Himalayas. “Riding every day is such a meditative thing that you figure everything out… everything. As I was riding, in my mind I was redesigning the bike I was on into the perfect expedition bike. Then, one day, I was just laying in my tent at the side of the road in China and decided I might as well start building frames myself.”

Tom’s eureka moment is proof that often it takes some time out to realise what has always been in front of you. His love of bikes, skill in product design, background in metalwork and old cars and ability to spend time alone without going mad are the perfect combination of elements for the profession of frame builder – he just hadn’t put it all together. And so, in 2009, Donhou Bicycles was born. Now at the forefront of a young generation of builders bringing this great tradition back up to date, this eloquent man from Norwich in England is brave and forward-thinking, often eschewing the expected for the surprising, and adventurous too, as shown by his Experiments in Speed project from 2013, when he built a bike with a staggering 104-tooth chainring and rode it as fast as he could behind his old Ford Zephyr on a runway.

With the recently-launched DSS2, an adaptable, versatile road bike with a relaxed geometry making it ideal for gravel riding, Tom’s journey with Donhou is beginning to come back to its origins. “After six years of almost non-stop working on the business, I finally had the time to take a bike trip again and test the DSS2 in the process. I wanted to go back to the desert, back to the middle of nowhere.” Tom travelled to Iceland in August with a friend, the photographer George Marshall, and rode the DSS2 across the country’s barren vastness. “As soon as we got off the plane, put the bikes together and got on the road, I thought, ‘This is sweet, I’m away for seven nights, don’t know where I’m staying and have everything I need in my packs.’ I had missed that feeling.”

That feeling, that sense of adventure, which is also at the heart of every Festive 500 attempt, was challenged by truly inclement weather facing the boys as they rode for three days across Sprengisandsleið – an ancient pass whose name means ‘to ride your horse to death, to explode from exhaustion’. Battling 50mph winds and riding along an endless grey plateau of lava rocks broken up by icy river crossings may have been too much for some, but Tom embraced it: “Every time you looked up you would be blown away by what you saw. These big glacial valleys and gorges would suddenly crop up with short sheer sides covered in almost luminescent moss.”
Tom came home happy that his own ‘horse’ had survived everything that the Icelandic elements could muster, and he immediately began production on the DSS2. Just three months later and the buzz around the bike is palpable – unsurprising given its beautiful build and the current off-road adventure riding mania taking hold. Indeed, Tom says that off-road modifications had become such a staple of his custom bike builds that commercialising his own gravel road bike was purely logical. Made of Reynolds’ flagship 853 steel tubing, and equipped with disc brakes, space for up to 35c tyres, and the Wound Up Gravel fork for when you hit the rough stuff, the lucky winner of the Festive 500 is in for a new year’s treat.

The question remains, is the DSS2 that ‘perfect’ expedition bike Tom was imagining as he crossed the Gobi Desert? “No, and it wasn’t intended to be – the DSS2 has its own purpose,” he says. “The funny thing is I’ve never built that bike I imagined and maybe never will. Donhou Bicycles is the same journey for me as when I set off from Mongolia, so I’m not sure I want to do it. I might feel like I’m finished with the journey.” Not yet Tom, not yet. In fact, we think you’re just getting started.

For more information on riding the Festive 500, and on how to enter to win the Donhou Signature Steel DSS2, please visit here.

Theatre Thursday: Worlds toughest alleycat


“Cielos Infernales” was being billed as the world’s toughest track bike race. The first of it’s kind- long, brutal, fast with miles of climbing into the clouds- on one gear in live traffic. 75 miles and 3 mountain ascents completely unsupported. It’s the first time an all-fixed gear alleycat has required the fitness and endurance of a stage race, and the street handling of a messenger. Plus racing in open streets in Mexico City is always a risk. Traffic is wild, roads are rough, and there’s always a chance of a stray pothole, dog, donkey or car catching you out.

Look at how they descend – feet up on the water bottle cage

 

Exclusive cycling club after your £$


So Rapha have invited me to join their club …. they must have seen my purchases this last year and thought loyal fan.

The blurb says

‘The Rapha Cycling Club is the first cycling club of its kind, an active riding and racing club designed to create a global community of like-minded, passionate road riders.’

Click the link ….

Screenshot 2015-12-16 16.39.03

Membership £135 – for that there would have to be a clubhouse with lap dancing (maybe), free organic coffee that has been through the digestive tract of a civet, Chris King Salt and Pepper shakers on every table. Also the ride would involve the pairing up of members like an intellectual tinder for the brain to ensure great chat on the ride.

Ideally the weather would be dialled in too – a bit of wild stuff to feel rugged and elemental but ideally 22 degrees C, perfect tarmac ….. this list could go on and on.

As we say in Cockney Africa – ‘eer Guvnor you having a giraffe’ *

*editorial note – that has never been said in Africa

That was Snow weekend


Took my 11yo this weekend up to the Cairngorm range and walked into a bothy for an overnight adventure. ruby bothy-2

The forecast was for the howling wind and rain to give a brief 48hour window … so Saturday morning at 7am we left for a 3.5 hr drive up the road.

ruby bothy-9

Temp was -1C walking in but sun on the face and felt good.

ruby bothy-11

The walk is under 10km and with only one stream to negotiate as the other 2 have small makeshift bridges over them.

ruby bothy-25

Temp was forecast to hit -6 which is cold for us. Bothy looked warmer than it actually was as no insolation to speak of and a poor wood burner.

ruby bothy-34

Ruby enjoyed it though – this was taken in the morning as the tea was brewing and the candles had melted the ice on the inside of the windows.

ruby bothy-36

ruby bothy-38

A glorious morning and a decent walk out too …..

ruby bothy-40

ruby bothy-47

The best thing about days like this is it gets children enthused about the outdoors and also great to spend time one on one with the kids. Normally there is a juggling act to some with ….. and finally below a GoPro movie of the 2 days …..

 

road.cc – Tinkoff bows out of cycling gracefully ….


Russian says lack of support for his proposed reforms made him decide to pull out

Oleg Tinkov will sever his ties with cycling at the end of the season, with the Russian admitting defeat in his attempts to reform the sport – and has warned that teams and sponsors will be left “in the shit” unless it changes.

Earlier this year, the Russian entrepreneur outlined how he believed cycling needed to change if the sport, and those operating within it, were to have a sustainable future.

But he says his call to action fell on deaf ears, leading him to decide to walk away from the sport  with a parting shot of, “F*ck all of them.”

Speaking to Stephen Farrand of Cycling News(link is external), he said: “There are two main reasons for my decision and I hope people will understand them and then reflect on why professional cycling has lost a guy who has spent over €60 million and who loves the sport.

“First of all, Tinkoff Bank has sponsored the team for five years and from a marketing point of view that’s enough.

“We’re not a global bank, the economical situation in Russia is not great and my marketing people tell me that we’ve reached all the investors we can via cycling and sports sponsorship.

“We’ve decided we have to switch our advertising budget to direct TV advertising in 2017.

“That’s the logical, business side of my decision,” he went on.

“The other half is more complex and a lot more personal and is why I refuse to use any of my personal wealth going forward.”

““I’ve decided to sell the team and quit the sport because I’ve realised nobody wants to work with me to help change the business model of the sport.

“ In the last two or three years I’ve tried to fight with ASO and the UCI, I’ve tried to find new revenue streams via TV rights, merchandise sales and tickets sales but nobody really supported me and wanted to take a strong stand with me.”

Likening himself to Don Quixote tilting at windmills, Tinkov lamented the lack of support for his ideas, saying [Team Sky Principal] Dave Brailsford is the only one who tried to support me.”

He went on: “Everyone should understand that nobody can fight ASO or push for changes on their own. We should back each other and then ASO wouldn’t dare kick out one team because we would all boycott the Tour de France.

“But if nobody else cares about the future of the sport, then why should I care? F*ck all of them!

”That’s my personal reason why I want to leave professional cycling. From January 2017, I’m gone.

“I’m out of cycling. I’ll jump on my jet, fly home and focus on my business interests and enjoying my life.

“Everyone who is left in cycling will be the ones who will be in the shit. They will have to try to survive year by year, trying to convince sponsors to back a sport that isn’t sustainable.”

Tinkoff also said that reforms proposed by the UCI were not sweeping enough – he wants five-year, not three year licences, and a transfer system similar to football, “so that I could perhaps now sell Peter Sagan and make money.”

He added: “Sadly nobody has a strategic view or a real business plan for professional cycling. Everyone follows a 12-month view.

“But I’m a businessman and work with a 60-month view or even 90 month-view. Nobody can plan, and work with just a 12-month strategy. You won’t achieve anything.”

Tinkov’s departure could herald the return of Bjarne Riis, who sold it to the Russian in 2014 but is known to be eager to return to the sport.

Meanwhile, the team’s management are seeking new sponsorship for the 2017 season and beyond.

Weekend roundup


Well it was still windy – Saturday Storm Desmond Hit

‘their actions are unforgiveable’

And it was too strong for kiting … but Sunday the forecast looked much better. Packed the car picked up my pal and drove down to the coast.

2015-12-06 11.38.47

It looked peachy but cold at 7degrees C. Gimped up in the wetsuit gloves boots and hood and hit the water with my 8m kite. Epic day with the squalls coming through and the strong gusts hitting (sometimes mid jump) meant everything was a bit unpredictable. Think I did some of my highest jumps ever – at one stage going so high that I rapidly ran out of water to land on – traveling a good 70foot before landing in about 1ft of water far too close to the beach … scary stuff and the stories that broken bones come from so a lucky escape. As i was coming down the mantra of stay smooth …. stay smooth was playing in my head.

Screenshot 2015-12-06 18.26.16

What a good day.

Interesting when uploading the gps track to Strava – the Fenix has a barometric altitude sensor but if you look closely at the grey track you can see hard downspikes in the last 1/3rd – those are all wipeouts where i smacked the water and the sensor took a hit.

Screenshot 2015-12-07 10.17.06