Archive for the 'Cycling' Category

A DIY cheap bikepacking bar frame (because barbags are no longer uncool)

July 5, 2017

Bikepacking is the new awesome thing, going off-road on your bike with all your luggage, riding to places a standard touring bike would struggle, and all without racks messing up your long travel forks and centre of gravity.

But you know what isn’t awesome. The cost of bikepacking barbags. Someone has started hitting numbers on a calculator, attaching them to a drybag and before you know it, everybody is precariously dangling luggage from their bars!


Items. Total cost a couple of UK pounds.

Read the rest of this entry »


Making your own tandem mountain bike.

May 15, 2015

Latest creation over the cold, wet winter. A tandem mountain bike! Built mainly using spares in the basement. Interested in how I built it? No, well worse luck….

The frame is a cheap steel tandem that you can find in many a location second hand, with different branding, but the benefit of this specific frame is it is reasonably lightweight, and can take 203 discs (A must on a tandem rear brake, as you need to drag brake for long descents). It will have parts on it. They will always be really really bad.

Important Parts

The wheels are a set of Force cartridge bearing hubs. Cheap but tough enough to take a beating. They have been built on a set of Spank downhill rims with DT Swiss spokes. These are really important to get right as a buckled wheel on a tandem is no joke. Any large downhill rim will be perfect.

The bike will come with a cheap tandem chainset. It will be made from horrible steel and feel all flexy so feel free to fling it on eBay, or into the fiery depths of the sun. Whichever is more convenient. Instead I went with a 1×10 chainset with the timing chain on the spider ring. Benefits, you can use a normal chainset! You will need to flip the eccentric BB holder in the front as it probably will be reversed for the original timing chain. If you don’t do this the bottom bracket will sloooooowly loosen off!

203 discs front and rear. Tandems benefit from matching rotor sizes, as unlike normal MTBs the centre of gravity doesn’t move as much. It makes for a better ride and more predictable braking. SLX brakes with an extended rear hose provides enough stopping power.

Read the rest of this entry »

LED Light Tube Bicycle Light

January 17, 2012

Light Tube Bike Light

Quick creation for my bike. Light tube from Poundland, and a torch mount for rifle barrels from eBay.

I am really impressed by what a great bike light it makes. Cost around £3.50, and much brighter than most LED rear lights.

I keep a small Knog light on my bike however, just in case. It was from Poundland after all!

Music that makes you go faster!

May 30, 2011

Yesterday I managed to knock 20 minutes off a 1.5 hour bike route I ride regularly on Cannock Chase.

The only difference was the new Track listing on my MP3 player, mainly very loud music that I wouldn’t listen to in polite company.

So in the spirit of sharing, I list the music that should now be banned, along with cheese and crisp sandwiches and hobnobs as my own personal performance enhancing drug.

Read the rest of this entry »

A quick interlude

January 17, 2011

My bi-yearly blog entry is as ever random, however I have been working on something longer. All about my experiences using Calibre, Linux and a Kindle for all my e-book reader needs. Spoiler, its pretty awesome.

In the interim, here’s a picture of the top tube of my single-speed road bike.

I am mostly ….

May 16, 2009

Working in various UK libraries, riding my bike to wherever those places may be located, and glaring in a bemused manner at my bafflingly slow GPRS mobile internet connection. It feels a bit odd to be so out of touch.

But at long last, the sun came out.


Berlin Fahrräder – A Photo Essay 2

September 18, 2007
Berlin Cycle Path

Berlin Cycle Path

Berlin is without a doubt the most unique cycling town outside Amsterdam, due to a combination of large ex soviet style roads and a general down to earth attitude to travel means only one thing. Berliners love to bike, and naturally love their bikes. Possibly the worse thing you can do here is steal someones bike, Its so personal. This has created somewhat of a special breed of bike, the ‘Berlin Bike’. Almost like a fashion statement your Berlin Bike is as important as your ironic T-Shirt and what shoes you wear! Read the rest of this entry »

Critical Mass October

October 8, 2006

Critical Mass

Another Birmingham Critical Mass on Friday, and although it was the first wet and soggy day of the classic UK ‘Wear a wetsuit’ season it was an excellent ride.

Next month will be a Light/Diwali themed ride, so dig out those battery powered string lights. If you have blue neons and a bright yellow jacket as well, well no harm done. Photos are in the Gallery, and see you all next month!

1st Friday of the Month, St Philip’s Cathedral 5.30 PM.

Critical Mass

September 2, 2006

Critical Mass Wall SprayWant to cycle round the mean(ish) streets of Birmingham for a few hours and meet some great people?

Birmingham Critical Mass is the place to be!

Come riding anything that moves, and more visible the better. That means if you have those dayglo lycra tights and have been putting off wearing them because of a simple thing , like say common decency; throw caution to the wind, hop on your 3 wheeled bright pink recumbent with spokey dokeys and a pirate flag and pedal down to St Philip’s Cathedral in Birmingham on the first friday of every month.

Roller-blades, skateboards and strange things with wheels you found in the garage are all very welcome.

1st Friday of the Month, St Philip’s Cathedral 5.30 PM.