A bit of love for the road bike

I gave the Kinesis Racelight roadie a bit of love this morning, treating it to a full drivetrain degrease, clean and re-lube. I realised that I hadn’t actually ridden it since last year and that just won’t do! So far my rides in 2017 have either been on the borrowed bike in the Blue Mountains, my Planet X time trial bike or on the trainer.

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Sure it’s “only” got workhorse Shimano 105 kit and Fulcrum Racing 3’s but that alloy race geometry frame just loves a good thrashing! Hopefully the weather will play ball and tomorrow morning I can have a short blast around some local roads. Actually I really should do a longer endurance ride as it’s been a while since I’ve ridden for over two hours. Mostly just been shorter hammer fests! :-)

The miles are racking up

It’s been yet another quality week on two wheels for me. Although it’s still pretty cold in the mornings, the darkness of British winter is on the way out and spring is most definitely taking over! I went for a solid 70 mile training ride with a mate from work this morning to put myself at 265 miles for the week and 900 in the last four! I’ve also sailed through the 2000 mile mark for the year so far.

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I’m going to continue building into next week and then take a little break over Easter to let the training load sink in. I hope everyone else is making the most of the improving weather to smash some quality road miles! #keepcycling

Oh and wasn’t Milan San Remo a thrilling, if crash-marred race! Really looking forward to the Froome, Porte, Contador, Quintana, Aru battle at the Volta a Catalunya stage race this week.

The 5000 mile mark

I was looking at my Garmin Connect stats this evening and realised I’d just recently rolled over the 5000 mile mark for the year! I know it’s not much compared to some but it’s a good milestone for me. Last year I finished on a shade over 4460 miles.

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I don’t really set mileage targets, but with any luck I should hit 6000 miles by the end of the year. Next year I may aim for 6215 miles (which is 10,000km).

Surrey Sportive 2015 by SussexSportPhotography.comMy favourite ride of the year (and I’ve had MANY great ones) was probably the AAT Surrey Sportive that I blasted around with a tight bunch of my Woking CC mates. A well organised event and a thoroughly enjoyable 95 miles breaking in my newly built Kinesis.

Monday morning is looking like the first truly freezing ride of the year. It’s forecast to drop to zero degrees so I’ll  be dusting off the full winter jacket for the first time this season!

#keepcycling

Building up my weekly mileage

September has been a top month on the bike so far. I’ve managed to turn the pedals every day except one, helped by the full five days of cycle commuting. I did the first three days on the commuter bike, but the weather forecast for Thursday and Friday was so nice I took the Kinesis Aithein instead.

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Popped out for a short little recovery ride on Saturday and then a great solo spin out to Box Hill this morning (for the best homemade treacle tart in Surrey). Finished the week with a shade over 220 miles and 415 miles for the month.

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The legs are feeling fatigued, but still in good form. I’m making sure I focus on recovering well and eating to replace the calorie burn. The commute equates to roughly 500 calories each way. This week’s worth of commuting is looking a little more difficult as the weather is turning wet and windy! #keepcycling

Project Aithein: Specs & Photos

Frameset: Kinesis Aithein 53cm / Full carbon Aithein fork

Bars: ZIPP Service Course Alloy 40cm
Stem: Deda Zero 1 Alloy 110mm
Headset: FSA Integrated
Bar Tape: Lizard Skins DSP Bar Tape 3.2mm

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Groupset: Shimano 5800 105 11-speed

Seat: Ritchey Pro Streem V2
Seatpost & Clamp: Unbranded carbon post / Superleggera clamp

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Wheels: 2015 Fulcrum Racing 3
Tyres: Continental GP 4000S 23mm

Other: Elite bottle cages, Shimano A520 SPD pedals

Weight: 8.0kg (17.6lbs)

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#happydays

Project Aithein: Job done!

I did it! I managed to build up a road bike from a bare frameset without totally messing something up! It’s even come in slightly lighter than expected. With two bottle cages and pedals it weighs bang on 8kg (that’s 17.6 pounds in old money).

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With a bit of care and attention to detail it’s actually not that hard a task. Not to say some jobs weren’t without their issues, but the key is to take your time. The two most difficult tasks were;

1. Installing the press-fit bottom bracket. Most sources say you need a specific BB tool to press in the bottom bracket cups, but I didn’t fancy buying one and was fairly confident I could do it at home. I rigged up a makeshift press using my bench vice with wooden supports, then slowly and carefully pressed in one cup at a time, making sure to keep everything lined up perfectly. It was actually a relatively easy task.

2. Cutting the carbon steerer. This was a little more nerve inducing! Once again there’s a specialist tool for this job but with a little patience and a steady hand it’s easily taken care of at home. I measured (more than once) and marked the steerer, wrapped some masking tape around the area and re-marked my cut line. The masking tape reduces the chance of the carbon fraying when you cut it. Using a pipe clamp as a cutting guide and a brand new hacksaw blade I carefully cut around the steerer. The result was a perfectly straight and professional looking cut! I even impressed myself with this one.

I didn’t need a lot of specialist tools to complete the build, but there are some that make life a lot easier. A quality set of Allen keys are essential and a torque wrench is highly recommended, especially when working with carbon fibre components. A sturdy cycle workstand will make life a lot easier. Everything else you probably have in your garage or shed. Actually the only tool I had to buy was the new hacksaw blade.

Full specs to follow…