As any regular reader will know, I love cycling. I also love events that are almost entirely nonsensical. This year I want to do two events. The first is the London to Southend ride. This is a decently long ride raising money for the British Heart Foundation.
The second is silly. The second is called a ‘Tweed Ride’, the idea is simple, dig out your ancient bicycle and your finest tweed and ride your bicycle around the town and eventually stop off for a pot of tea and some cream cakes.
Given that my single-speed is looking a tad worse for wear and I am less fit than usual having spent the last seven months suffering from the result of my crash, I needed to do something about the ‘suitable bicycle’ situation for both rides.
The first issue is that my single-speed is not really very comfortable for me at the moment, it is way too ‘racy’ and my shoulder hurts too much if I ride it for a long time. I realised that I needed to either make it more comfortable, or get something more suitable.
I have been looking at Hybrid bicycles for some time, they generally take either a mountain frame and put skinny wheels on them, or they take a road bike frame and stick mountain style handlebars on them.
They idea is that you get a fast bike that is comfortable.
This is exactly what I figured I needed.
So, rather than buy a hybrid, I decided to build my own.
The first step was a suitable frame. Early on I decided that I did not really want a mountain bike with skinny tyres as Mountain Bike stuff is way over-built for my needs and the really light stuff costs a fortune. I started to look at road bike frames onto which I cold stick flat bars and mountain bike style shifters.
Then I stumbled on a Cyclocross frame for very little money. Part Alloy, part Carbon, unpronounceable name, perfect size and above all else the geometry looked ideal.
The next few days were spent hunting for bargains, a flat bar, levers, seat-post and stem were all added with little regard for the colours.
Once it was mostly built I pulled my single-speed apart and it donated many parts to make it ridable.
Within a few hours of starting I had a somewhat ridable bike, missing a few minor parts admittedly, but it all worked. My first ride was fairly short, but proved that it all works, the geometry is very nice, the size is just right. It is not going to win races against the more aero road-bikes, but it is nice to ride, fast, agile, comfortable.
It is still a single-speed. The final drive-train is very much up-in-the air at the moment. I am leaning towards a 1×10 setup, probably a 42T/44T up front onto a 11-36 rear cassette.
So, next it is the turn of the Tweed Ride bike. my, now totally bare, Single-Speed frame is off to the powdercoaters, some new wheels arrived today and the pain scheme is staying under wraps. Prior to the ride I will create a build-up post though…..