28 June 2015

First proper test for the Bowmans Pilgrims Gravel bike

Well me & Angus set off on a route that was a mix of road and old railway line so I could give the Bowman's Pilgrims a good test out on mixed terrain. We headed off over the back way to join the old railway line at Baxter's Farm then onto the line to Esh Winning, over the top then drop down into Crook to pick up the road to Wolsingham, Frosterley then Stanhope. At Stanhope we had a drink break down at the ford before heading up Crawleyside. Once we reached the last bungalow on the left we turned off right through the sand quarry to join onto the C2C line at the cafĂ©. From there we had a massive tail wind nearly all the way down to the Consett junction. At the crossroads we turned right to take the old line down to Lanchester, Langley Park, Bearpark, back to Baxters Farm then back home. It was a good 50+ miler and a great mix off terrain for the Pilgrims which it took well. The weather stayed dry, even the mid morning rain never came but it did go very dark at one point. The sun burnt through on the later sections reaching 24degrees by the time we got back in. I did lock the back wheel up a couple of times on steep descents / gravel topping, you have to allow more braking distance compared to Angus CX bike but mine was way quicker on the smoother sections. I have solved the creaking bb/chainset which turned out to be the rear mech hanger creaking! but it has another knock now to investigate.
warm but cloudy

just come through Wolsingham and into  Frosterley - lovely village

Stanhope high street

open air pool is now open

but the ford is still closed to vehicles

still walk over the stones though

onto the lower slopes of Crawleyside

heading towards the cattle grid

and onto the open moor section

turned right and through the old sand quarry

past the cafe and heading towards Consett

very fast with a tailwind 30+mph!

then the sun came out

Hownsgill viaduct

Consett crossroads

and back to Baxters Farm junction

Fresh Goods Sunday - One23 Quick Release Skewers Ti / Carbon model

I have several pairs of one23 QR Skewers, they come in two different models, road & mtb versions and loads of colours. I have both the alloy/ti and carbon/ti models in both road & mtb versions in various colours. They have a lovely smooth closing action and I have never experienced any problems with them coming loose. You don't have to over tighten the nut side as there is plenty of cam action on the lever side. They are good value for money and not a bad weight either compared to manufacturers normal skewers.
Manufacturers blurb - "These premium quality superlight skewers feature a hollow titanium spindle, carbon fibre levers and anodized aluminium hardware."
Material : 6/4 titanium axle
Lever: carbon fiber lever
Weight: 43grams/pr (BANG ON AS WELL)
I did buy them from Wiggle but they don't stock them anymore but Tredz/Wheelies/Cycle Solutions (all the same company) do now.
Here is a link to the Ti/carbon version rrp £34 I paid just over £23 and arrived within a couple of days
Here is a link to the alloy/ti version rrp £30

Alloy/Ti version

27 June 2015

Early morning Saturday ride around Durham

Me and Angus were up and out by 7.30am for a lovely morning ride down to Durham, around Maiden Castle, up the trod and back around Durham then home. Angus was starting his shift at ten so we didn't have long to play in the sunshine. It was red hot as well and loads of walkers up and out in Durham city centre. The trails were still damp in the woods but where they were exposed to the sunlight they are still bone dry and running fast. I have fitted my Gravelkings on the Pilgrims and this was the first test ride. I would say the overall ride was a near 50/50 split between tarmac and gravel trail. I was not honking but tyres felt ok on the loose stuff and the back end only lost traction once on a corner that had damp silt mud topping on top of the gravel. Angus had no probs / comfy ride on the Krampgrease but I was faster / easier going on the smooth tarmac sections. I was surprised at how close I could keep with him on the trails! More testing required I say. Below are a few pics from ride, more soon and enjoy the weather before it buckets it down tomorrow!!!
taking the smoother grass option instead of the steps

rubber is tacky

I would get it shifted before NCP warden starts his rounds

top of trod, lovely view of the Cathedral today


Jim from MTS was coming the other way, near the bull