Wednesday night Riding

As I am working full time on this TV show it means daytime weekday rides aren’t happening so I have gotten into the habit of Wednesday Night Rides, Thursday and Friday a.m. swims and thursday pm 5-a-side footie. Then as much as i can cram into the other days of the weekend or nights.

So tonight out on the canal to Dumbarton and took a detour up the Kilpatrick hills

Screenshot 2016-06-22 22.39.35

there are some seriously steep hills – this one makes me use the bottom of my 1×11 SRAM gears – that 50chainring to 36tooth large cassette ….

i am not sure the mapping on Strava is accurate – it feels like a steady 18-20% hill – that false flat before the very steep isn’t there – it is just all steep.

Screenshot 2016-06-22 22.35.35

Went over the back to the reservoir – its over flint forestry road then suddenly the rear tyre felt softer. Sidewall had a slight tear and sealant was oozing out. Luckily with a shake it sealed again and I put some more air into the tyre.

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And then retraced my route. Pretty impressed with this bike and abilities so far. Sonder Camino ti gravel bike ….

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Running Dynamo hub driving USE Exposure Revo light – trying to link up battery recharge with the port out but not sure it works – more experimentation required.

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and the view looking down from the top of the wee hill is very pretty too

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Camino ti

Taken the plunge on a new bike finally after a bit of toing and froing with various companies trying to get the build I wanted. Well alpkit Sonder bikes have finally risen above the rest and got my pennies. i am getting the front wheel build up with a dyno hub and will use my USE Revo light for adventures.

The Camino Ti, a mix of a cyclocross, gravel, and road bike. The Camino seems to be designed for an adventure, when you don’t know what to expect of the road ahead. Designed for even longer tours, the drop bar bike can take on rough roads and rugged paths with its all-day, long wheelbase stability and a more comfortable upright position.


Sonder specs the Camino with flared bars for flexible riding positions and less stress on the back, no matter the terrain. They see the bike as a mountain biker’s road bike. As we can attest, it’s nice to have a bike that can handle the rough stuff when its rider has the uncontrollable urge to venture down every dirt track that a smooth asphalt road crosses.

Sonder-Camino-titanium-all-road-adventure-cross_frameset-angle Sonder-Camino-titanium-all-road-adventure-cross_frameset-front

The 3/2.5 titanium Camino again builds up with wide, flattened tubing to balance stiffness and comfort, and gets a disc brake only build. It does however stick with standard quick release axles, and an external headset (although still a 44mm headtube for a tapered steerer.) In a bit more of wheel flexibility, the frame gets clearance for both 650b x 48mm or 700c x 44mm tires.

Sonder-Camino-titanium-all-road-adventure-cross_bottom-bracket-detail Sonder-Camino-titanium-all-road-adventure-cross_brake-dropout-detail

The Camino is also offered in 4 sizes as a couple of SRAM builds with hydro brakes, as well as a standalone frameset. The frame and full carbon monocoque fork sell for £1000. A Rival1 build adds just £500, while the Force1 completes the build options

Robot Bike Co

Seen at Fort William World Cup – this innovative company  doing ti and Carbon bikes. 3D printed ti lugs ……

Only one model at the moment but sure to grow



The R160 is Robot Bike Co’s first frame, and whilst it may be our only one at present, this could well be the only bike you need. With aggressive geometry and 160mm of travel the R160 thrives in steep and technical terrain, yet at the same time it is equally at home on climbs and all day epics. The unique DW6 suspension system plays a key part in this versatility. The progressive leverage ratio provides the suppleness you need for grip at the start of the travel, support in the middle, and a bottomless feeling at the end for when you’re really pushing things, perfect no matter what situation you find yourself in. Of course alongside grip and composure you also want a frame that pedals well, and once again the DW6 design won’t leave you wanting, the R160 is as efficient as they come.

We believe that 27.5” wheels are the perfect partner for a bike of this nature as they offer great speed whilst crucially still being able to handle the sort of thrashing that they are likely to encounter on the R160. You’ll also find a 12x142mm rear axle for maximum compatibility purposes, and a proper threaded bottom bracket (no creaking here!). Talking of threads, apart from the bottom bracket ones you won’t find a single thread anywhere else on the titanium parts of the frame. We’ve seen too many frames written off by damaged threads, so all of ours are easily replaceable should that ever be required.

You can learn more about the technical details of the unique engineering that has gone into the R160 if you head to our tech section (needs link), but all that effort would be worthless if the frame didn’t fit you perfectly, and that’s why we believe a custom fit is so important. Once we have your measurements we will provide you with our recommend geometry. That recommendation will be based upon what we believe provides the ultimate blend of speed, fun, stability and agility. If you have different priorities/requirements then for a small extra charge we are more than happy to discuss these with you and work out what is best for you in order to create something truly bespoke, but we believe that the vast majority of riders will love our suggested geometry as much as we do.

Did some filming of them which will feature in a future Adventure show on BBC scotland


Moots still making some of the most lickable bikes out there –

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 10.18.57Frosti

It’s that time of year again, no not Cyclocross (but yes it really is that time too), but it’s time to think Winter and SNOW BIKING. For the second year in a row, Moots will be offering a limited run of Moots “FROSTI” snowbikes for each winter season.

The leaves are changing and the cooler weather is just around the corner, which means the snow is not far away. Moots will be making a run of these fat-tire-cold-weather-loving-bikes in 4 stock sizes. It’s time to commit….ride your favorite single track covered in snow or make that trip of a life time to the Northern latitudes and get hooked on super fat tires.

More of the story:

Several years ago Moots began to experiment with snow bikes, because well, we live where snow is king for a large part of the year and we wanted to see what we could build to get around on the packed out trails that litter our town. We started by building a few of these machines for our good friend and snowbike racer Mike Curiak. From there we built a few for the inside guys here at Moots, morphing what we had learned and following what was quickly dare I say …a standardization of snow bike parts? We also built a show worthy version that made it to the North American Handbuilt Show in Portland Oregon.

Get on the Frosti and discover a whole new world of riding this Winter.


Dream bikes: Thompsons ti beastie in 650b


Thomson, by Lynskey
Long known for its limited but well-executed range, US-based component brand Thomson has been on an expansion kick lately. Having already grown the label to include a dropper post, as well as titanium and carbon fibre handlebars, Core Bike sees a titanium 650b hardtail added to the mix.

Built in the US by Lynskey, this is the first of a planned 3-model Thomson bike range. The Elite 27.5 is out now, with the Elite 29[er] due around Eurobike and Elite Gravel road bike launching in 2015 alongside the company’s Pave road-oriented dropper/suspension post.

Thomson Elite
The Elite 27.5 is only available as a complete bike, spec’d with a Thomson handlebar, stem, top cap and spacers, seat collar and internally-routed Dropper post. Adding to the US build theme are an MRP suspension fork, Cane Creek headset, and Oury grips. A full XTR kit and DT-Swiss Spline wheels round out the £TBC/$6,800 package. Four sizes are offered and with a 3.9lb frame the complete bike should weigh in around 23.5lb.

Today we skived

So went out for a ride today with a school dad who is currently enjoying some nice ‘me’ time between jobs. Went out with him last week and did so again today.

the route
the route

Weather was also good which as we know in Scotland is sometime a rare thing …..

Stopped for a wee snack half way around.

my office for the day
my office for the day


Another Day – Another Lynskey – feeling fly on my ti

Dropped the girls off at school and was supposed to start my edit but the sun was out and it was warm so work was scuppered in favour of a jaunt out on the newly built Lynskey Ridgeline 29er. My first ride on it was only a 10 mile lop in the snow and ice and although it felt good the conditions made it difficult to tell.

click the pic to go to strava
click the pic to go to strava



I went out of Glasgow to my local trail and then horror I could feel some movement in the cranks and sure enough it hadnt been tightened enough when it was built up. Check my bag and multitool and horror 0 the large allen is needed and that is at home as I never need it right?


So cycle slowly back into the local village and borrow a small handled allen key from a shoemaker / key cutter. It feels tight but I cant be sure. I bomb down the trail and come to a section that I have never managed to clear in the past and there you go 29er wheel roll through no problem and i even manage to climb the tricky rock lump ascent at the end no bother (setting a strava 3rd position PR at the same time)

Then it started working loose again – I stopped took some pics then dropped through roots and rocks and set my fastest time on that despite there being loads of mud and the section is more chewed up than I have ever seen it before …. I believe the hype the bike just rolls incredible well. Whether this is all because of 29er wheels or helped by the cracking DT swiss fork XMM100 I cant tell – all i can tell is that i like it … A LOT


ti bride (the dirty one)
ti bride (the dirty one)

And the looks well the bike looks sweet – a 26.5lbs rohloff Lynskey Ridgeline SL 29er with Rohloff Speedhub





Monday Bike Style: Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel

Maybe it is the dashing NY velo man but this bike is really the style leader of the two. Love my bling ti bikes as you know.

Ti 29er choices

Lynskey drive rohloff – no belt Ridgeline or more expensive Pro
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Van Nicholas ZION belt drive
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Carver Bikes 99er – cheaper and can be more custom. Also fitted with Belt Drive Rohloff
Pipedream Cycles Skookum Ti Belt Drive
Pipedream Cycles Skookum Ti Belt Drive

and the final choice was 

2013-09-30 15.05.50LYNSKEY RIDGELINE SL with Rohloff

DT SWISS XMM100 forks

fixed on getting a fixie flip flop

gios fixie

I am trawling eBay at the amount looking for either a fixie or project – here they all are


raleigh team
ciocc aluminium
Guerciotti Fixed New and Reduced to £1000
colnago arte (Al & C)
Litespeed tachyon (ti goodness)
Giant Bowery 72
Mercian - lugged steel a smidge too small