This one is likely to be pretty short, but have lots of pictures to go with it. After all, the weather’s been nice and I’ve been out riding, why not take a few pics?
There were a few creases to be ironed out after the tweed ride. Nothing major, but jobs that really improve quality of life when they’re done. Cable tension is one of these – put it down to my guitar-centric past but I tend to re-fit the cable clamps a few times over the course of their first week to help them ‘settle’ into being at tension. Another little job was setting the saddle height.
I’d dropped the saddle on purpose for the tweed run, to try and make sure I didn’t end up tearing my trousers, but I’d over compensated and struggled to put any power out as we pootled along. At home I loosened things up to raise it, only to find that, actually, I didn’t have a great deal of seatpost left to raise. I was more comfortable, but I was still about an inch short of where I’d like it to be. Old French seatposts, it turns out, are laughably stubby for the bikes they come with, and don’t give much room to manoeuvre. A few measurements and a trip to eBay helped me find a better fit. For context, the new post is about 30cm in length:
It’s overkill for the additional height I needed, but I like to think that this will only make the saddle sturdier, as it will go much further down into the frame. I’ve greased it to prevent the post seizing, but this means it’s now in its slippy phase and needs adjusting pretty regularly.
One thing I noticed at the tweed run was the abundance of saddle bags. I’d wanted one for some time, particularly a Carradice bag that’s lovely and stylish and retro, but they’re so expensive I could never justify buying one. Well one night, after a particularly tough day at work, I decided enough is enough! I found one that I liked and clicked the order button. A few days later a lovely bag comes through my front door, and as soon as I fit it I just have to get out for a little cafe run, soaking up the sunshine.
For something as simple as a bag there’s something about the design of the saddlebag that seems so much more useful than panniers. It’s not suitable for a shopping run or carrying a bunch of stuff to a friend’s place, but for a leisurely ride with a picnic stop or some very gentle touring it’s absolutely ideal! I even took to taking my work lunch to the park in the bag to have a laid back lunch.
Another accessory I was looking for was some kind of way to have water with me on rides. The frame doesn’t have mounts for a bottle cage, and though I could carry a drink in the saddle bag it’s not too handy when on the move. I could use jubilee clips to strap a bottle cage to the frame, but that’s an inelegant solution for what is meant to be a very elegant bike. Instead, I took a more retro approach to things, and found something from velo orange that fit the bill just right.
Handlebar cage! Kudos to the seller, who makes retro-esque bottles simply by taking an aluminium hiking bottle and making a cork stopper for them. I don’t think I’d want the cage on there all the time, but for longer rides it’s a nice looking solution.