Archive for Technical stuff

Track ends

A friend has sent a copy of the Strudwick Cycles brochure for 1950 presumably because they were based in Oxford Street Brighton near my former home. Just as soon as I can get my scanner working I shall add more about the firm.

have used the term track ends for as long as I have been cycling but these days it seems to be a misnomer as the vast majority of bikes with “track ends” never go anywhere near a velodrome and nor are they intended to. BMX bikes for one and, of course, the fixies popular with the Hoxton crowd never leave the mean (but very expensive) streets of East London.

But back to the Strudwick Cycles brochure where in describing the Oxford E.R.W. track frame they refer to Chater Lea draw-back rear ends. Isn’t that spot on?

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Charles Terryn

This is, I believe, the work of Charles Terryn sometime mechanic to Eddy Merckx. I have always believed that if a job involved a great deal of extra work for no particular advantage Bill Philbrook would have done it just to show that he could and it seems that Terryn was cut from the same cloth. And why the two holes? surely not for lightness.


Merkx a l-atelier Terryn 02                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Don’t panic mechanic! Charles Terryn hands Eddy his bike at the 1975 Worlds.

1975.Champ.du Monde

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Philbrook for Sale

ImageAlthough few things in life are certain I believe I can say with certainty that I shall never again ride a time trial. I am therefore selling my 1982 frame You can read about it on Ebay. Enter

Philbrook hand built steel frame        into the Search box. 

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More about Shimano wheels

First a big cheer for Rayment Cycles of Brighton who had a spoke and nipple for my Shimano RS10 back wheel in stock. Naturally things weren’t simple as despite the wheel being brand new my spokes had been superseded by a later design. The new spoke is 2mm longer and the nipple is 2mm shorter. So what, you may say, well it means you have to buy a new nipple to which you may say BIG DEAL! Well to me TWO QUID for a spoke nipple is a big deal on top of THREE QUID for the spoke.

I have fitted the spoke and the wheel is more or less straight. We will see how long this happy state of affairs lasts. I plan to notify Ribble Cycles that if another spoke breaks I will want my money back. I suspect that I will not have to wait too long.

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Why did I buy Shimano wheels with just 36 spokes the pair?

You may recall that when the hub of my back wheel fell apart I bought a pair of Shimano “ready made” wheels from Ribble Cycles. I was concerned that twenty spokes didn’t seem enough for a back wheel but I reassured myself that as spokes always break at the bend by the head the straight pull spokes in the new wheels would be up to the job. Two weeks and five hundred miles later I know different!

Last Thursday I rode to Bournemouth which at 100 miles is as far as I have ridden for some years. On Tuesday I set out on the return leg and just as I reached Southampton there was an almighty bang  which was the sound of a spoke breaking. By the time I stopped the spoke had fallen out of the wheel and couldn’t be found. Amazingly for the first time in my cycling life the spoke had broken at the nipple end. The wheel was badly buckled but I managed the remaining seventy miles without it getting any worse.

But what now? I went to Evans Cycles but as I expected they don’t have straight pull spokes in stock. They can get them but needed to know the exact length. Why? Don’t Shimano know how long the spokes are? They have probably sold a million pairs world wide, after all I first saw this type of wheel on a bike on sale at Lidl! Surely somebody in Japan has measured the spokes.  I suppose I could try phoning Ribble Cycles but I don’t think I have the mental strength for that.

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Is anything made to last?

Fortunately today’s budget seems to have been reasonably kind to me as I have incurred further expense. While out riding in West Sussex I heard a cracking noise from the bike but didn’t think much of it. On getting home I was shocked to see that my Shimano XTR rear hub flange has broken and the wheel is a scrapper.

I can’t recall when I bought the hub but I do know that I used the wheel on my Roberts in P-B-P 2003 so it has had a fair bit of use. But XTR is top mountain bike stuff so surely it should be up to the job. After all the bearings and freehub are perfect. I have ordered a pair of Shimano factory wheels from Ribble for £90 and I am expecting them to see me out. Sixteen spokes in the front wheel is heady stuff  so I should be able to find the holy grail of a 16mph average.

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A bunch of twiddlers

There is no doubt that Monte Zoncolon is a seriously tough climb but even so I am surprised how low they now go.

Wiggins    (osymetric rings)                       38 x 28      36 inches

Sky (on round chainrings)                             36 x 28      34 inches

Evans                                                                   34 x 27     34 inches

Basso                                                                    36 x 29      33 inches

Astana   (53 – 34 rings x 11-28)                  34 x 28     32 inches

Compare with:

Coppi                                                                     47 x 24    52 inches

Merckx                                                                  42 x 25    45 inches

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