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Postby Replicant » 25 Apr 2018, 11:58

I carried this over from the 'What have you bought' thread.

Johnmcl7 wrote:Source of the post
Replicant wrote:Source of the post Not exactly today but two weeks ago I bought myself an Apple Watch3 as well as a Boardman CX Team bike.

Loving both of these so far. It is strange being on a road (cx) bike as I have not owned one since I was 14. Pretty much every bike I have owned for the last 20 years has been a full suspension MTB with at least 4" of travel. It is taking a little getting used too. The SRAM 1x gearing is fantastic too.


Have you bought the bike with anything in mind? There were a few times last year when I had to quickly change between the road and mountain bike which feels very weird as the road bike is so rigid and twitchy while the mountain bikes are very slack and feel like the tyres are flat. As much as I like the mountain bike I like riding the road bikes as well as the constant pedalling is good for fitness and it's feels rewarding being able to munch up the miles compared to the mountain bike.

I've got the Loch Ness race at the weekend which I'm not bothered about being able to do the distance but concerned about the speed as I made a big mistake erring on the side of caution and choosing a slower time thinking that gave me more time to do it but they run the order the other way round so I will actually get the least time to complete the race starting just ahead of the sweeper vehicle. I don't think I'll be signing up for any other road races as I don't like that pressure.


I am going to be doing a 100 mile charity ride in September and it is on the road too. https://www.velosouth.com/ 15000 cyclists on closed roads.

I did not fancy doing this on a full suspension MTB and I have had my eye on the Boardman CX Team for a while. A well specced bike that I can take up onto the South Downs in the summer.

What tyres do you use on your road bike John? I am a novice when it comes to road bikes. Mine came with 700c 1.35 Rapid Rob cyclocross tyres. However I was looking for something with a bit better rolling resistance but still capable on rough rough roads or gravel type track.
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Postby Johnmcl7 » 25 Apr 2018, 21:43

Good call on starting a new thread.

Definitely the right call to get a road bike for 100 miles on road as they are so much easier for long distances and more comfortable for the wrists as well as you've a few different positions you can move between. Also these days it's easy to get a decent road bike with hydraulic brakes which I much prefer in all conditions perhaps just because I'm used to them on the mountain bikes but I prefer that consistent feeling of control you get with hydraulics over the rather vague feel you get with rim brakes. 15,000 cyclists...wow! The event I'm doing at the weekend has 5,000 which to me is a lot as even the MTB races I've done with a 1,000 or so people are incredibly busy although I guess I won't actually even see most of the other cyclists.

I don't have any recommendations for mixed use tyres as I use my road bikes purely on road so they're on full slicks. I find I take enough of a beating on the road with that type of bike so stick with the MTB's for off road.

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Postby Replicant » 14 Feb 2019, 05:34

Johnmcl7 wrote:Source of the post
Replicant wrote:Source of the post Dear blog,

Well I signed up to the Dulux London Revolution bike ride last week. A two day 300km ride around London in May.

I am in Estonia at the moment but flying back home later and today. Will be going for a three hour bike fitting tomorrow as I need to iron out some niggles and make sure things are set up correctly for long distance riding.


Dear Blog,

I was wondering if you had any cycle challenges lined up this year, that one looks pretty awesome. Are planning in doing it over two days or one go? I haven't signed up for anything at all this year as I got a bit carried away last year and did three events in a row which put me off a bit but I've been thinking I should get signed up for something to give me a task to aim for.

I'm curious to hear how you get on with the bike fit as it's not something I've done before but feel that I should as it's incredible how much difference a small adjustment can make, I find my rear end is sore for a while after particularly long rides but not sure if that's because I don't do enough of them or I need to adjust the seat. The fat bike has never been right after I changed the seatpost but no matter how many times I adjusted the height I couldn't seem to get it right so I decided I should change the seat which made it worse so it was back to the drawing board. Except I don't know what I've done different when I put the original seat back on but it's fine now so I seem to have accidentally sorted it.

John


Thought I would carry on here.

The bike fit was pretty interesting and I learnt more than a private doctor consultation two years ago. My right leg is longer than my left by about 1cm so I have had some spacers put it on my left foot spd shoe to lengthen it.

I also had a 10mm shorter stem and the saddle moved back to place me a bit further back on the bike. I am also trying out a new shorter saddle so there should be improved comfort in the gentleman’s area.
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Postby Johnmcl7 » 23 Mar 2019, 00:41

Comfort in the gentlemen's area is definitely important! How you are getting on now?

I saw you were fancying a new bike for longer distance, how is that hunt going?

I had a ride out on the mountain bike a couple of weeks ago which was in awful conditions as the ground was drenched and it was cold as well but I'd had a crappy week at work and a good few others were out for the ride so headed out anyway. This year the fat bike will have its fifth birthday but I never tire of being able to thunder through heavy mud and loose surfaces without getting slowed down, it's what makes mountain biking great that no matter the conditions you can go out and enjoy it.

That said I'm looking forward to the summer and should hopefully be able to get my fancier road bike out soon and the summer hardtail is getting its new drivetrain this weekend ready to get back out. I'm a bit pissed off because after all the hassle I had with the dropper post last year and eventually paying for a completely new set of internals, it's still not working. I'll give one more repair a go but if it's still not working I think it's time to give up on it and replace it with a Bontrager one instead.
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Postby Replicant » 25 Mar 2019, 08:27

It has definitely made a difference. Less numbness in feet and fewer problems with hands too.

I have decided to ditch the new bike thoughts as well for now too.

I went for an 80km ride yesterday and it was great, although i started to feel it in the last couple of km’s. I picked a route that had a few climbs in it too. I only have 6 weeks until i take part in the Dulux London Revolution which is 300km’s over two days.

I too am looking forward to summer as you cannot beat the smell as you whizz along the dusty chalky trails of the South Downs. I might even consider riding the entire South Downs in a day as I have never attempted this in the past. I am also looking into doing a few Audax rides as this sounds like the kind of riding I love to do. It also helps to prepare me for two rides I would like to do next year. The first being the Dirty Reiver (200km gravel ride in the Keilder Forest area) and the second being LEJOG (Lands End to John O Groats). Well, that’s the plan anyway.
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Postby Johnmcl7 » 26 Mar 2019, 02:46

I've only done a single Audax that had been organised up here although it was never run again which was a shame as I thought it was great, the atmosphere felt much more like a mountain bike event as people are there to enjoy the event and it's much more chilled out. The cycle round Loch Ness event is next month and I keep getting asked if I'm doing it but I'm not interested in it at all as I did it last year but I didn't like it, it felt too serious even though at the start line I was among the slow riders (I made a big mistake with my completion time!) and during the event I felt quite stressed out as I was constantly focused on my pace and worried that if I had any problems and had to stop I might be stuffed. I decided I wouldn't do a road race again as I prefer riding on my own terms when I can stop at a cafe and have a break when I feel like it or pull over and take a seat and some photos.

That said it's good to have something to aim for as this time last year I was starting to work on building up the miles and after my two events were done, my road cycling faltered as I'd wanted to get up to 150 miles and I was giving serious thought to doing a Lands End to John O'Groats ride since I had one of the best endurance bikes there is. I do like the feeling of cruising along on the road bike especially when you're tiring as it's easier to keep a good pace compared to a mountain bike which just feels like it's really dragging when you're tired but at the same time I struggle to keep myself motivated on really long rides as it's not long mountain biking where you look forward to doing the climb because coming back down will be fun.
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Postby Replicant » 08 Apr 2019, 11:54

Well here I am 1 month before my 300km London Revolution ride and my training regime has been terrible. Too much stop/start going on. I know I can ride 160km in one go and I know I can comfortably ride 80km at present. I need to ramp up the training a bit and not burn myself out in the process.

I am annoyed with myself as my training was great in January and February but it has faltered during March. Grrrr. :slap:
Oh well I'll just have to take it a bit easier. It is supposed to be fun after all.
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Postby Johnmcl7 » 08 Apr 2019, 15:23

To be fair it's been pretty crappy weather for long rides so can't blame you for your lack of training. Facebook flagged up that this time last year I'd done my first century of the year (113 miles) and I'd already had several decent rides in good weather in preparation for the Loch Ness Etape but this year I've still not been out a decent road ride and it's looking like another wet day today. My summer mountain bike is sitting gleaming in the garage with its new electric shifting system which I was keen to get out this weekend but it's been a complete mud fest on the fat bike again.

My roadie friends favour their turbo trainers this time of year for building up fitness which I'm not fussed about and I considered trying interval training I've seen recommendations for but I decided I do cycling for fun and I don't want to spoil it.
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Postby Johnmcl7 » 11 Apr 2019, 01:07

I finally managed to get the newly upgraded Stache out last night to a trail centre although I was frustrated by my lack of pace as normally I find it easier to go from the rigid to the hardtail as the suspension fork is more forgiving but initially wasn't getting the bike up to the speed it can do. After a couple of hours I was getting better with it though and managed to beat a downhill record, I'd have liked to take the bike out on my local trails since I've been riding them more recently but they're such a mud fest that's going to be the fat bike's job for a while.

The electronic shifting is quite odd as it's very quick to the degree it doesn't feel it's even changed and it's really handy being able to quickly move up the cassette, it did get seeing what I could get away with which sometimes worked, sometimes didn't but just hoping I'll get on ok with the cable pull fat bike now as I don't fancy upgrading it with the beating it gets. I was thinking I should have maybe waited when Sram unveiled their wireless electronic shifter but £400 for the derailleur and nearly two grand to upgrade the bike blows away my regrets and their shifter design looks weird as well.

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Postby Replicant » 14 May 2019, 13:57

Well I completed the 300km Dulux London Revolution at the weekend (with 2278m of climbing). What a ride! The first day I got hit by two heavy rain showers about 2 hours apart and also had a 10 minute hail storm in the middle of these. The second day however was glorious and I ended up with a little bit of sunburn.

I found it a bit harder than I expected but this is largely down to my training being very stop/start over the past two months. I also need to get out into bigger hills too.

Long term I am now thinking about doing the (LEJOG)Lands End to John O'Groats in September next year. Hopefully by that time I will have had time to consolidate my long distance stamina a bit more. I might even look to getting a new bike by then as well and convert my CX Team to full on gravel riding and or turbo trainer duties.
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Postby Johnmcl7 » 19 May 2019, 22:13

Well done Chris particularly this early in the season which has still been very chilly at times. I'm surprised you say you need to get onto bigger hills though, do you not find the MTB helps with that? Going up hills is the easier part of road cycling for me although admittedly even with a 50/34 at the front and 32 at the back I find I have to stand on the pedals and I'm always worried if I'm pacing the climb properly without burning too much energy. Plus the worst part is on an MTB you know a hill climb is worth it for a fun descent but I kind of resent hill climbing on a road bike as it feels like I'm wasting it when rolling back downhil.

I'm not sure where my fitness is at the moment as I dug my fancy road bike out a couple of weeks ago and did a 40 mile loop with a fair bit of climbing but the first 20 miles into a headwind really killed me, I was in a climbing gear when going downhill the wind was that bad. Then I was offered a place on the Etape Loch Ness a couple of days before and did it with a friend which was a bit slower than last year at only 15mph average but felt great all the way round. Then did another 30 mile loop last week and thought I was pushing a good pace but Strava and my watch told me I was taking it easy!

I was driving up the A9 today which is the main road south and eyeing up the cycle path which I did a couple of years ago and it didn't go well, even though it's an official cycle route there's quite a few sections that are completely off road going through gravel or at one point through a muddy forest which to put it mildly was not fun on a rigid road bike running 25mm slicks. The weather forecast which I'd checked up to the night before had been clear with some showers but it was completely wrong as most of the day it was heavy rain which was really unpleasant going over one of the high climbs where the wind had picked up and the temperature plummeted some of which doesn't sound unlike your recent ride. On the other hand though one of the reasons I bought the new road bike was because I'd suffered pins and needles and numbness on this long ride as it has the dampeners fitted but I've had the bike a year and never exceeded that mileage in a day.

I'm toying with having another go this time cutting out the off road sections and go briefly on the main road which isn't fun but hopefully would be ok and this time push onto Edinburgh. I like the idea of being able to do it when I want and at a pace I want although if there's a scheduled event you're committed to it.
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Postby Replicant » 06 Jun 2019, 15:24

Well after the excitement of completing the London Revolution 300km ride I am now contemplating taking part in the British Heart Foundation 100 mile ride of the South Downs Way. You start at 4.30am and have until 9pm to complete the ride which includes 4000metres of ascent in total. This is almost half the height of Everest and is 99% off road.

I dusted off the mountain bike at the week end and did two rides one 22 mile warm on Saturday to check the bike out and then a 35 mile ride mostly on the South Downs way with 1000metres of ascent. It was rather knackering to say the least. I am trying to decide by the weekend whether 4.5 weeks is enough time to get back into the off road fold as this will be the hardest ride I have ever done by far.

One good thing is that riding a full suspension mountain bike is life being on an armchair after riding the road bike on skinny tyres for so long.
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Postby Johnmcl7 » 16 Jun 2019, 02:34

That's going to be an absolutely brutal ride as 100 miles off road is a a big challenge on its own but that's a crazy amount of climbing. I did a ten hour endurance race with that rate of climbing and it was savage as you were either climbing or descending, there were hardly any sections that were reasonably flat. Admittedly I was doing that on a rigid fat bike which was badly suited to that type of riding but even then, your event sounds like it's going to be extremely tough. Your fitness is clearly very good though and if you keep up the riding over the next month I think it will be doable but it will be a case of how tough it's going to be.

I stopped doing MTB endurance a couple of years ago although had thought about reviving my full suspension 29er as I find descending gets tiring on a rigid or hardtail whereas on the FS bike you can just unlock the suspension and let it do the work. On the other hand though I find MTB endurance riding not that fun as you have to worry about conserving your power, that's fine on a road bike but I find it frustrating not being able to stamp on the pedals and accelerate hard through technical features.

I did a different 100km race last year as it was 70km on road then through a transition point to swap to the mountain bike for two 15km off road laps to make up the 100km. I have one of the plushest road bikes going with its big 32mm tyres, carbon frame and both front and rear dampeners but getting onto the hardtail plus 29+ mountain bike felt like sitting on a very soft armchair. Although I was almost caught out by the braking because although the road bike has hydraulic brakes the lever action is not as responsive to stop people crashing but on the MTB they are very responsive, I almost crashed the MTB as the brakes just felt so wrong in comparison.

I said I'd never do it but I'm now giving serious thought to doing a Lands End to John O'Groat attempt, I've been told I have to take a shift off at work (we've been through a very busy period and had to do crazy amounts of unpaid overtime) which would mean I'd have three weeks off and I'm feeling I should try to do something with that. When I've done 120+ mile rides before they've absolutely killed me and I've not wanted to see the bike for at least a week but then I am terrible with pacing, I'm always trying to do it as quickly as possible with minimal breaks which makes it much tougher at least for my fitness level.

When I did the Loch Ness race a couple of months ago I found it very easy going compared to last year as I'd done it at a slower pace with a friend but looking at the stats it wasn't that much slower, last year I averaged just over 17mph finishing in three hours an 54 minutes. This year my time was four hours 36 minutes with an overall average speed of 14mph and a moving average of 15mph so I'm thinking 100 mile days are definitely feasible if I can pace myself properly. Plus if it all goes wrong I can just abandon it and get the train home. If I did it over the summer I'd have long days so there would be no rush to get in for a certain time and if I could keep a flexible schedule then I could take a day off if the weather was crap or I was needing a break.

Baggage was another concern as I didn't want to have the bike loaded up with heavy gear, I've been looking at panniers but I couldn't really see any that are particularly lightweight. I was having a look at racks in the bike shop today and came across a saddle bag that straps onto the seatpost and seat rails which looks great, it would give me 12L capacity and some protection for my rear from the back wheel in the wet. In addition it would work for all my bikes as it just straps onto the seat so if I did ever fancy doing something longer on the mountain bikes, it could be useful for that too.

I have a fantastic little 4L backpack which was a little pricey but it's so well made it's still in perfect working condition after many years of abuse so I've invested in a larger 12L model as I wanted a backpack that could take the drone and additional clothing but not be too big either. However I'm also thinking it would be great for a Land's End to John O'Groats ride as between that and the saddle bag I'd have a fairly decent 24 litre capacity. My plan would be to stay in Travelodges or similar which I know would be pricey but I'd want a good night's sleep and I'd have a chance to rinse out clothing so I wouldn't need to take a huge amount.

What are your thoughts on how to do such a run, have you given it much thought? I realise the simple suggestion would be to load up the bike and start doing some test runs both to see how that works and check my fitness for multi day long runs but then I think that will just put me off the idea whereas if I book it all and dump myself in the deep end, I have to see it through otherwise my train fare down and back would be a waste.

The weather is still surprisingly awful here but I was determined to get out so grabbed the rigid bike and did a three hour ride on Thursday night when it was four degrees celsius and constant heavy rain. On one hand it can be quite satisfying to be able to take on such conditions and have fun but at the same time it's getting ridiculous it's halfway through June and I'm still using my winter setup. I popped out for a quick 20 mile ride this evening and glad I didn't go out for more as I was feeling the spots of rain as I reached the point I was heading home.
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Postby Replicant » 18 Jul 2019, 14:13

I didn’t get to do the ride in the end. Shortly after I wrote the above I injured both knees playing football. Not drastically, but enough so that I could not train for weeks. As time was already short I decided not to proceed this year.

Been taking a break from cycling the last few weeks and been boing a bit of paddle boarding instead. Good fun and relaxing.
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Postby matt » 25 Jul 2019, 11:48

trying to get back on the bike in prep for this route in August.
https://www.strava.com/routes/20229788

idea will be to have a few pub stops in to make it manageable as most of us will be starting back out without much time to prep.

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