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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 11:00am on 27/07/2016 under ,
I had to replace the light bracket on my bike. Again. That one replaced one that I bought in March 2014; this one has lasted less long, but it also hasn't quite failed - I noticed that the lamp was shining too low, and then saw a crack in the stand. The new one is a different design (tubular rather than pressed metal) so will hopefully last rather longer, but has the downside of pressing on the front mudguard; you can sort of see that in the picture below. While this isn't causing any problems now, I suspect it means I won't have enough clearance for the winter tyres any more :-/

new light bracket
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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 01:06am on 03/11/2015 under , ,
A bit late for 2nd November, but there we are.

This morning, I noticed that my front light was a bit wobbly. Looking more closely, I see that this is because the bracket has started to fail (look at the corner between the horizontal bit and the long upright which the light is attached to). More annoyingly, this is the second bracket I've had fail in a similar way - I only bought this one back in late March 2014 :-(

A friend helpfully offered me their spare made of more solid material, but that doesn't have enough of a down-curve to fit under the brake saddle, so it won't help :-(

There are a lot of brackets available (e.g. here), but it's really hard to tell which of them will work with my (presumably slightly odd) brake geometry.

bracket failure
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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 02:32pm on 17/12/2012 under
Having moved to the Frozen North, I decided to get some studded tyres; we had a proper freeze last week, so I fitted them. I am arrogant enough to think someone else might be interested in my experiences with them, so here you are :-)

My bike's a 2006-vintage Dawes Super Galaxy, so I went for Nokkian A10 tyres (from a Finnish manufacturer, but I bought them via Germany's Starbike), as I wasn't entirely sure the Marathon Winters would fit under the mudguards. Getting them on was a bit of a PITA (this may partly be because I'm fortunate enough not to have to change tyres very often!); if I didn't have a dynohub, I'd be seriously thinking about a spare front wheel! Particularly, one kept on unseating, although it seems fine now it's on and inflated.

On ice and snow, I've been pretty impressed. Obviously, these tyres don't magically make ice a grippy surface, but I've felt pretty in control over ice patches and snowfall - there's enough grip there. Indeed, I now feel more secure riding over a partly-iced surface than walking over it!

The obvious downsides are rolling resistance and noise. Partly because of the studs, and partly because of the lower pressure (about 58 psi compared to the ~90 I inflate my Marathons to), they do feel like harder work to ride, and seem to add ~10% to my journey time. A friend described the noise as being like riding with angry Rice Krispies, and it's certainly noticable. Slightly alarmingly, it sounds rather like the noise of riding on a flat tyre, which takes a bit of getting used to! I'll be leaving these on now until the weather gets more Spring-like, so I will no doubt be used to it by then...

In summary, I think they're money well spent, but that may be because icy roads are rather commoner round here than when I lived in the Midlands. If we get some properly cold weather, I might take them for a night ride round Loch Ness...
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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 03:42pm on 03/10/2006 under
(sorry if you're getting bored of this). Chris did indeed collect my bike yesterday, and seemed slightly startled at the failure mode. He also seemed relieved that nothing appeared mangled (indeed, he commented today "from your description I'd worried the rear mech had got bent, which would have been £50 just for the replacement part). This morning I took advantage of the 50p bus fair to get up to Girton and pick the machine up. It now seems happy once more...
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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 10:29am on 02/10/2006 under , ,
Chris will hopefully pick my bike up today, if we can co-ordinate this properly. I'm not overly hopeful...

Last night I had a series of anxiety dreams about procrastinating so much that my th*s*s never got finished :(

Finally, another word to the wise: If you don't want to listen to the voluntary at the end of a service, that's fine. What is not fine is having a very loud conversation with the (slightly deaf, I presume) person next to you during the entire thing so that those around you can't listen to said voluntary in peace.
Mood:: 'cranky' cranky
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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 09:05am on 01/10/2006 under
Note - look at the ETA pictures first!

I can't make [livejournal.com profile] atreic's camera focus sensibly, so these are woeful pictures, but I think they give you an idea of what's happened. Images here, here, and here. I think the last shows the failure best.

I might try and borrow a slightly better-suited digicam.

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] atreic pointed out the "flower-mode" switch on the front, which has improved things a bit: better pictures are now up here, here, and here.
Mood:: 'crushed' crushed
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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 12:49pm on 30/09/2006 under
I picked up my new bike from Chris' bikes yesterday. It is very shiny indeed :)
image under cut )
There's another picture here. They were taken with [livejournal.com profile] atreic's digicam, so the quality isn't great.

It seemed like a good idea to take it for a bit of a ride this morning, both to remind myself how unfit I've become, and to get used to riding it. So, I looked at [livejournal.com profile] lnr's handy collection of cycle rides, and decided that something based on Waterbeach, Landbeach, Cottenham and Histon was the way to go (GMAP of the route [livejournal.com profile] lnr took).

I didn't quite take that route (the start and end points differ, if nothing else). I cycled down to Jesus Green footbridge, and headed out along the towpath, going fairly slowly because of the various pedestrians and suchlike. It was sunny, and the boaties were out in force. I made a slight detour to the railway bridge when I forgot I needed to cross Green Dragon bridge, which was irritating. The towpath's surface has improved since I last went that way - it's now loosly-compacted gravel, which is quite a pleasant surface, although rather noisy. There were fewer people as I headed on to Waterbeach, and I followed a heron down the river for a while. A bit of a map-stop there, although I still missed the cut-through on [livejournal.com profile] lnr's route, and then across the main road and on towards Landbeach (someone apparantly wants Landbeach to be carefree, so it now welcomes full drivers). At about this point the wind picked up a bit, and started to make itself felt. I pushed on towards Cottenham, and then decided to head home via Histon, rather than going on through Oakington and Girton. My legs were beginning to feel it quite a bit between Cottenham and Histon, particularly given the headwind, so I slowed a little and was glad to make it to the A14 junction; it felt like I was on the home straight! Cambridge was full of traffic (as to be expected), and I got home 1hr16 after leaving, having covered 17.5 miles. Not brilliant speed-wise, but not bad for a first long ride in a while.

The bike is lovely to ride, though a couple of things need a little adjusting - I'll talk to the bike shop about that next week. Now time for a shower and some lunch!
Mood:: 'good' good
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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 11:24am on 26/09/2006 under ,
Today I ordered my new bike. Maybe I should follow [livejournal.com profile] rmc28's example and run a sweepstake on when it will arrive? :)
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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 04:36pm on 24/08/2006 under
I have decided that I would like to ride a Dawes Super Galaxy. My fiendly bike-shop person thinks that the 55cm frame is probably what I want. He didn't really want to order one in, though, as if it didn't suit me, he'd be stuck trying to sell it. So, I called round all the Dawes stockists in town. As I noted at the time, there wasn't much luck. Since then, I've been calling the one place that usually stocks the SG, who have kept saying "no, it's not in stock yet", for the last month or so.

Today I emailed Dawes to see if they could assist, concluding my email with "Can you help me spend money on your products? :-)". Their reply was, roughly, "no". They won't offer sale or return to their dealers, so I'm stuck trying to find one with it in stock. :(
Mood:: 'frustrated' frustrated


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