Category: Bikes

New bike!

I’ve been keeping an eye out in all of the usual suspect sites.. eBay, Gumtree, etc, for cheap bikes to buy purely to work on to practise bike mechanics.

There are a few decent bulk sellers out there, and obviously plenty of bikes for sale in general, but many of these need a car or even van.. and I have neither, choosing to ride my motorbike as my primary mode of transport.

So I arranged to borrow my other half’s car today and go to buy a locally available bike, which was up for £20. It was advertised with a seized seat post, which sounded a challenge!

The bike also had the bonus of looking like it would be a good fit for my girlfriend, in case she wanted to try out bike riding.

Having got the bike, which is a Raleigh Wildcat, home, I’m actually really pleased with it – there are parts with surface rust to clean up, new grease needed, panniers to remove, and a new chain required, of a shorter length.. the current one rubs the guide pulley of the rear mech in the small / small combo.

I have never experienced such amazing v-brakes – the brake arms are so solid, and there’s barely any flex in the levers.. most impressed.

First step was to diagnose the seatpost, and I discovered that although there is possibly some galvanic corrosion bonding the post and tube, the primary issue is that the heads of the Allen bolt heads are stripped. So I’ve now ordered a set of mole grips which will hopefully assist with extraction.

While I wait for those to arrive, I’ll be looking for some apple cider vinegar to use for removing the rust from the bolts and other corroded components, and measuring up the afore-mentioned bolt for ordering a new one. Stay tuned!

MTB Blog Resurrection

This is the resurrection of my mountain biking blog, which was originally live between 2006 and 2009. I started riding again in June 2016 after a five year hiatus, and ride all over the South Downs. I am currently considering entering the ‘South Downs in a Day’ event (previously the SDW Randonnee) in July this year.

Kona is my favourite bike brand; I’ve had four of them in total. My first was a 2003 Fire Mountain in bare Aluminium with a Rockshox Judy TT.

Second was a 2004 Kona Dawg, followed by a 2007 Dawg Primo.

The latter was not ridden for five of the years I owned it, and was stored inside the various flats I rented during that time. I absolutely loved that bike.. I nicknamed it ‘Betsy’, and even created a Facebook page for it. That got closed down by Facebook some time in the five non-riding years 😂

I had it serviced in June 2016 and went on a few rides to see if riding was definitely something I wanted to start again.

Once I’d confirmed this (I’ve had a blast), I purchased a 2013 Kona Kitsune in September 2016 as ‘new, old’ stock from an online retailer. I’ve recently sold the Primo on Ebay.

Since then I have got quite into the mechanics side of bikes, and spend hours watching YouTube videos (RJ the Bike Guy, Bikemanforu and Shaibike are my faves) of how to swap out parts etc.

I rescued the Fire Mountain from my parents shed in January 2017, with a view to restoring it back to a rideable condition for commuting to work.. there’ll be a post or two about that soon.