Well I finally went for a carbon 456, could have gone for the whippet but I fancied something that could be burly-fied. When trying to decide on a frame I couldn't make my mindup whether to get a straight replacement for the inbred which was the original idea, a long stretched, xc-style of thing, or something a bit more play orientated, short and slack, like my ragley. The 18" 456 (and the cotic soul I also had in mind) is pretty much the same as my ragley so no point getting that so I got a 20". Built it up with parts from my ragley and took it out on the front street. Underwhelmed is the word. Too long for playing silly buggers, felt a bit short for pedalling and it wasn't all that light. Hmm oh dear what have I done. The inbred wasn't about storming down hills and shredding corners, it was just a bike for riding so I decided to get rid of the chunky ragley parts and put bits from my inbred on it, some cranks I polished up
(shiny huh?) I saved about a pound changing the tyres, a new seatpost (carbon to match) and my trusty old flite, another half pound saved so now I just needed a chance to ride it properly. Had the day of yesterday to decorate, by lunchtime with sun streaming through the windows I knew I had to get out riding. Finished the decorating quick and bolted out the door. Riding up the roads it felt ok, lightish and easy to pedal. Got to the first offroad at barrow bridge
steep climb and I'm out of shape but I got up ok, getting used to the feel of the bike, not too short at all. The top tube is massive, the standard bars and even the forks look weedy in comparison.
All the way up to burnt edge, gorgeous day and nice views.
I went and did 2 lads descent, set off and picked up some speed, woah too much speed, back brake isn't working 100%, the rotor got badly pitted on that wet clapham ride, backingplate braking = not good. It's dried out nicely up there but I was still going too fast but made it down. Bike handled well, wildeswood more of the same me going a bit quick but the bike just getting on with it and coping, I like it. I thrutched up Old rake (ouch) and winter hill access road, it was hardwork.
Do I look a little tired? San marino next, I think it's the first time I've ridden it this year, first dry run in a long while anyway. I clipped in let go the brakes and whoosh the bike took off, down here my heckler slowly picks up speed and just doesn't stop accelerating til I chicken out and brake, but this bike feels magnetically drawn to the bottom of hills, it accelerates so quickly - without me pedalling. Proper quick, less punishing than the ragley too. Guess the speed is due to light tyres, lightish wheels and some compliance in the frame. Got to the bottom with a big grin plastered on my face. Brilliant, I really like this bike. Decided to mooch home via longworth clough, never ridden all this before just little bits, saw a guy digging a drainage channel. I've seen him before on san marino doing trail repairs, he's certainly go this trail riding better, by the old works it was a rooty tech fest, he's filled in the roots with stones and ramped some of the boardwalk, less of a challenge but fun and easier to ride it through. Some buff singletrack too
Lovely. As I got to the golf club I was dizzy and weak, this gentle riding easing my way back to fitness is going well eh? A battered oat bar from my pack sorted that, whilst stopped I text lowey for permission to ride his private singletrack, manners cost nothing - well in this case manners cost a 10p text but sod the expense! Back home via hall i'th wood. Everything just rides so much better when it's dry, the trail down the to valley was brilliant. The bike is great the only issue I have it top tube based, it doesn't slope much so A you don't get a lot of clearance and B with a low stem the brake levers can hit it when the bars spin. It's also pretty wide so possible to catch your knees on it if you have a knees in pedal style. Oh and the seatpost slips, I might need some of that carbon grease stuff.
Sunny day, new bike, new trails, great route, fantastic.