These wheels are for Marinus on the Loughborough University cycle team. Of course he has his superlight Chinese carbon wheels for race day, but if your trainibg schedule comprises of so many 2 hour rides and so many 5 hour rides at a given average power output, the “raceday lightness” of the wheels is less important than the durability. The budget bike he put together in September has well over 5000kms on it now and most of the components that are subject to wear including wheels, chain, chainrings and sprockets have changed a couple of times. This set are hopefully going to demonstrate that having a decent set of hubs and some quality rims is better value in the long run. These hubs have a great rep for quality and durability but the majority of riders aren’t training this hard in all weathers. The Araya rims are from Japan via the USA and are superb quality. It’s a mid price rim, but the finish and dimensional accuracy are amongst the best I’ve seen and I’ll be recommending them from now on. Especially if they survive the rest of the winter in Loughborough in good shape. They are just heavy enough to suggest that the breaking surface should last a bit longer than certain race-oriented wheels.
Something from Raleigh Special Products division… some advanced Reynolds special steel tubing bonded into polished aluminium lugs. Originally in a less-than-handsome purple finish. Now in this rich, glowing red thanks to Argos Cycles and reassembled with slightly updated parts.
A well preserved 70s road machine which was once a striking red colour but has evenly faded (where exposed to light) to a fabulous orangey colour.
It wasn’t a high end bike in its day and was originally equipped with steel cottered cranks, steel stem and bars, steel wheel rims and hubs and pressed steel brakes and levers. Performance was lacking, even for a casual-use bike.
It turns out to have had the Raleigh peculiar sizing for the bottom bracket width and threads (unique to Raleigh), headset cups and threads and handlebar sizing. As a modern double crankset was the main reason for the update, the bottom bracket threads had to be re-cut and the ends ground down so it more closely resembles a typical 68mm BSC bottom bracket shell! Apparently most bikes with this “unique” system were three speeds, so this road machine is very unusual. Thanks to Sheldon Brown’s page on Retro Raleighs for clearing up the mysteries.
New (cheap) wheels and nice 28c tyres. Tektro extra-long drop brakes. Nitto Randonneur bars. GB alloy stem. Classic-styled double compact chainset. 7-sp freewheel. Shimano 105 and A11 derailleurs. Simplex shifters. The headset, pedals, seatpost and saddle remain original.
It doesn’t set the world on fire but is incredibly comfortable and easy to ride, even on quite rough road surfaces. A full day riding would be a pleasure.
James asked for new wheels and a spruce up for his chrome machine.
I reused the Surly track hubs with Pacenti Forza symmetrical rims and D-Light spokes. He had a Campagnolo crankset to put on there and along with a new chain, sprocket, Brooks leather bar tape and Campagnolo Potenza skeleton brakes, the bike is complete.
He had the frame custom chromed when new. It has seen alot of use but still looks absolutely fantastic. It polished up beautifully.
Photos show mid-way through assembly with wheels complete. Gotta make hay (take photos) while the sun shines!
Campagnolo, legendary Italian creators of the finest cycling components, have put together some discounted packages with the Centaur and Potenza 11-speed groupsets and a variety of Campagnolo wheels. Here’s a Potenza/Scirocco set I fitted up recently. It rides absolutely beautifully.
Groupsets as priced by Campagnolo, with £70 fitting cost. Please get in touch for more details.
These were built to compliment a service in time for the CarTen — an approx 100 mile annual ride from Cardiff to Tenby. I love how beefy the Michelin tyres look on these wide rims. A little more cush with no loss of performance.
James at Pwnc Café, renowned for his enthusiasm for a simple drivetrain, asked me to build this up from another bike.
The Condor frames are lovely and it’s built up into an elegant and handsome bike, in my opinion. The chosen ratio is a 44-16, which is, I suppose, an order of magnitude more suitable for attacking the Stelvio pass than the 49-16 he previously used to beast the Tour of Pembrokeshire a few years ago. A true hero.