Sunday, 26 January 2014

Choosing your wheels

Since the Transcontinental bike race is all about, well racing across Europe on a bike, it follows that getting the bike right is where it's at right now.

To date I have been training, fittingly, on the Nigel Dean steel framed touring bike that my father passed down to me about 2 years ago. I'm not quite sure who measured him up for it, but given that he is shorter than I am and I get back ache riding it, it's definitely not the bike for a 200 mile day.

To be fair, last year I attempted to ride St David's, Wales to Lowestoft, Suffolk, England non-stop and managed 220 miles in 36 hours or so without too many problems, but the geometry is all wrong. The cross bar too long and even with a short stem, no chance of using tri-bars with any degree of real comfort. That may seem like a contradiction in terms for some of you, but that's partly why I'm inviting comment. I need to get it right.

My plan at the moment is to build or find a complete bike that has cyclo-cross in it's pedigree. Not too stiff, not too fragile and yet versatile. I aim to try to include a hub-dynamo to power the lights and GPS; a long steerer to accommodate tri-bars that allow for relaxed long duration on the forearms and not the hands; 28 mm wheels to absorb the beating of the the deteriorating roads as I travel further east and mudguards to keep the rubbish off my back and my face.

I figure that a triple chain set will be better than a double. I'm 50, not 30 and some of the hills on the way might just be that bit more comfortable to tackle with less grunt and more easy revolutions.

Thus far I'm looking at a Canyon Inflite 8.0 S, but I'm open to suggestions and any advice you have. I'm also looking for sponsors, so if this challenge grabs you, but you'd like me to do the hard graft for you, then please do get in touch. All things are possible.

Alzheimer's SocietyJB

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