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Bicycles - Current

As well as the machines below . . . .  quite a few old machines have found their way from various places to the garage . . . to be stripped, re-fettled and kept, sold or given away.

Van Nicholas Ventus


Having purchased the Van Nicholas Yukon I was delighted with the ride (albeit very limited use in the first twelve months of ownership) and in March 2015 acquired a s/h 2014 Van Nicholas Ventus Ti frame and Dedacciai carbon fork together with handlebars, saddle, seatpost, stem, Ti bottle cages etc - and built the complete machine up with some components from "stock" including a pair of wheels that came from a high-end Giant road bike and a few parts bought in.

The frame geometry will give me a pure road bike - being titanium it's amazingly light and with the low gear ratios I've chosen it should get me up hills reasonably comfortably.

Top picture from Van Nicholas website - this is it now (May 2015)

June 2018 - rebuilt with a brand new groupset to bring the transmission up-to-date (the original build had a mix of road and MTB components with old-style bar-end shifters) - and also fitted some titanium parts - stem, seatpost and  bottle cages.


A new machine . . . Van Nicholas Yukon

1 January 2014 : the disposal of a number of machines and "stuff" over the past few months has freed up space in my garage and provided funds for a new and rather special machine manufactured from exotic materials  . . .  an order has been placed, more soon!

29 January 2014 : it's here and partially assembled, but wont see the road until the weather improves .... there's a piece of text printed inside one of the rear stays saying that it's " ... a  ????? masterpiece"

25 February 2014 -  the machine is now fully built, test-ridden (about a quarter of a mile in dry conditions) ... I had an aberration and bought Brooks black leather bartape for that final flourish, and to match the new black Brooks B17

... all I need now is for it to stop raining so I can take a picture of it outside (worked out what it is yet?) and ride it.

12 March 2014 - first outing on the Wednesday club run.  About 40 miles in total (lunch was near home!) marred only by the seatpin clamp being not fully tight (some slight burrs on the micro-adjust) and a bump in the road (after about 300 metres) causing the saddle to tip slightly forwards resulting in an uncomfortable ride ... not helped by the brand new Brooks B17  (I didn't have an Allen key long enough to be able to adjust and get sufficient torque on the clamp bolts)  

April 2014 - it's now done about 250 miles - minor adjustments to the torque on the crankset bolts and fitting new carbon-look bottle cages .. and a rather clever seatpost-cum-trackpump.  The verdict is - it's a SUPERB MACHINE

... oh, if you haven't worked it out yet ... it's a Van Nicholas Yukon.  I bought frame, forks, headset and stem and used the new wheels I had bought for my Galaxy together with parts that I already had - plus new mudguards and caliper brakes.

January 2015 - illness and some radical surgery has kept me off the bike since mid-May 2014 .... a small change to the machine with the fitting of one of the new Brooks C17 Cambium saddles.  Some moving around of saddles will mean that I now have (except the folder) 100% Brooks saddles on the fleet.  Hoping to be riding again by early February 2015 (that happened!)

Upper picture from Van Nicholas website - this is it now

November 2018 - rebuilt with a brand new groupset to bring the transmission up-to-date (the original build had a mix of road and MTB components with old-style bar-end shifters) - and also fitted some titanium parts - stem, seatpost, bottle cages and rack.

Dawes Galaxy - Tourer

c1975 Reynolds 531 frame, purchased from eBay as a complete machine, re-sprayed and fitted with new wheels and many other new components.

This machine was used for the 935 mile End-to-End ride in 2005 (see Rob & Joe’s JOGLE ) - and further Boys’ Outings in 2006, 2007 & 2008.  Picture: April 2005, shortly after refurbishment was completed, fitted with luggage for the E2E

Update - October 2009: Repainted in a metallic lacquer red and rebuilt ready for future tours - new components include the headset, a small front rack, a replacement computer and better brakes.

Update - June 2010: Now completed a second End-to-End (LEJOG) see  www.cycle-endtoend.org.uk

Update - December 2013: Having completed a further two lengthy tours (WW1 battlefields in 2012 and Loire Valley/Paris in 2013) ... together with lots of club runs - it's been necessary to renew the middle and outer chainrings together with the rear cassette.  The rims were well down on the indicator lines so, whilst not completely worn out, it was prudent to replace the rims - and while I was at it the hubs.  Oh, and it graduated to a Brooks B17, black, in 2011.

Orbea Gain D40 E

Having started to struggle a bit on hills I have grasped the nettle and bought an electric pedal-assist machine - in April 2018 - the Orbea Gain that has had fantastic write-ups in the cycling press in terms of quality, performance and value for money.  The plan is to ride as much as possible in non-electric mode and just use the juice to help me up the hills.  The attraction of this bike, apart from the value, was its appearance - it looks pretty much like a normal touring bike (or at least it will when I have fitted the Brooks saddle, mudguards and pannier rack)  A pic of the actual bike in the usual place beside the fence will be here soon!  Sadly something will probably have to go as the n+1 factor is getting out of hand . . . again - it may have to be the much-loved Galaxy crying

Dawes Audax Giro 600 - back in the stable

A 1998 machine purchased in December 2011 - it had not been ridden since about 2003 and was in almost mint condition, complete with Carradice Nelson Longflap saddle-bag.  I couldn't get on with the STi lever/shifters and replaced them with bar-end changers and aero brake-levers - as well as fitting new 25mm tyres to replace the original 32s and a different saddle.  A Brooks B17 saddle has now been fitted.
The machine is a joy to ride and has precipitated changes to my choice of regular Wednesday club run machine.

Picture, as purchased [I originally bought the machine on behalf of a friend, he decided he didn't want it so I bought it from him]  

September 2013 - sold ... to part fund something rather special

February 2018 - the purchaser, having barely riddden the bike, donated it at the Cyclists fighting Cancer Charity Bike Shop where I volunteer as a mechanic - I sort of regretted selling the bike so bought it back from the charity!

Claud Butler Majestic - fixed wheel (for the road)

c 1982 Reynolds 531 frame and forks, purchased from a small ad in the CTC magazine.  Assembled with new and recycled components - new rear wheel with fixed hub built by Paul at the bike shop. Picture: October 2006

So what's it like I hear you ask?

The single gear with an absolutely basic drive-train gives minimal friction. With a reasonably low weight bike on 23mm tyres the responsiveness is fantastic. You kick down, you shoot forward. The lack of a free-wheel gives an amazing intimacy with the road. The lack of gears is not much of a problem - it's more a state of mind.  Going up a hill you just step on it, going down you just pedal like mad.  And ... you are never in the wrong gear!

Update October 2009 : This machine has been repainted in orange and rebuilt with a new headset, with bullhorn bars (old drops chopped)

Update March 2014 : Refitted with drop bars, replacement dual-pivot brakes and new chainwheel/sprocket combo to give a 69" gear

Update May 2015 : A Sturmey Archer 3-speed fixed hub/wheel has been acquired, with bar-end changer - still the same fun with fixed gearing but a bit easier on the hills.  Changing gear with a fixed is a bit odd - you can't stop pedaling (obviously) - you just ease off on the pedal pressure.


Brompton - the ultimate folder.  Believed to be a Type T, August 2003.  Purchased in February 2016 in a pretty sorry state - frame and components are all sound, just very dirty.

The machine was fitted with a 3-speed hub gear and 2-speed derailleur but the derailleur mechanism/jockey wheel has been removed making the machine unusable.

Refurbishment is now in progress with new derailleur parts, chain, right-hand pedal, cables/outers and retro-fitting the "fold stopper" clip between the main frame and swing rear frame - and while it's being worked on a pair of new tyres and a Brooks saddle (the honey B17 from the now sold Dawes Mirage - it's still a bright colour!).

UPDATE: Now fully refurbished and in use.

Pub/shopping bike

   Having pruned the number of bikes I then realised that popping into town on a £2,000 Ti bike and locking to a drainpipe outside the Post Office was not clever -  I needed a bike that was of little value (and could be kept in the garage at home without locking it up)

A large-framed Raleigh Banana replica ToB frame/forks was acquired from the Cyclists fighting Cancer Charity Bike Shop where I volunteer (all components, wheels, paintwork etc were shot and it was destined for the metal recycler!), given a cheap powder coat and assembled into a single-speed bike from parts I had in the workshop - just had to buy some mudguard stays and an 18T s/s freewheel . . . the chainring is a triple spider with the one ring bolted on the inside to get the chainline correct!

Mrs Rob's Peugeot Riviera

Peugeot Riviera Mixte c late 1970s - acquired in October 2016 from the charity bike shop (where I volunteer) as a complete machine - all components except frame and forks were discarded and after a powder-coat to refresh it the stuff from the Claud Butler Majestique moved across.

Rob's Grandchildren's machines

As at May 2016  - 1 boy, 3 girls - the arrangement is that I own (and maintain!) the "fleet" of children's bikes and add to/dispose of them as they are outgrown.

Pashley Pickle Tricycle

Classic tricycle made in traditional style in Stratford-upon-Avon.  Purchased on eBay in perfect condition (prior to the lad's birth!).  One nagging concern is the lack of mudguards that may restrict riding with the CTC and some winter Audax events. Picture : Ready to ride

UPDATE : The fleet now contains two of these machines!

December 2017 : One machine has now passed out of the bottom of the grand-child chain and has been donated to the Cyclists fighting Cancer Charity Cycle Shop near Stratford-upon-Avon.

Islabike Rothan

Balance bike - no pedals - just scoot along and get the balancing part, riding with pedals is then easy.

Islabike CNOC 16

16" wheel, scaled-down bike, the next step from a balance bike, cutting out the stabiliser/training wheels stage.

UPDATE August 2015 : A further 16" Islabike has been acquired for a grand-daughter (cuurently 2.75 yo) an ebay bargain too good to miss - it'll keep until she's about 4.5/5 you.

UPDATE May 2018 : The first machine, having passed from the original recipient to his sister and then outgrown machine has now been sold.  ... and in keeping with Islabike secondhand prices, at very close to the original purchase cost.

Islabike Beinn 20 (Large)

In stock (from November 2013) ready to succeed the 16" machine - an ebay opportunity that was too good to miss, despite being about 2 years before it will be needed! 

A good clean, new cables and polish before wrapping and storing.

UPDATE February 2015 : Now in use, upgrading from the 16"

UPDATE March 2017 : A further model acquired, for my other daughter's daughter when she graduates from the 16"

Islabike Beinn 26 (small)

Snapped up from an ad on a cycle forum in October 2016 -  two-years old and in excellent condition.

December 2017 : Another of these machines, in grey, acquired ready for future use.

Islabike Luath 700 (small)

Another bargain that was too good to miss in May 2016 - it'll probably be in storage for about 4 years until the eldest grand-child grows into it!  Picture: Islabike website



1950s Triang scooter - picked up in a junk shop in Rye for £4 in a very sad state ... cost 5 times that to get it stripped and powder coated! 

Now fitted with black handlebar grips and in use.

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