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Campagnolo Summer Promotion

Campagnolo, legendary Italian creators of the finest cycling components, have put together some discounted packages with the Centaur and Potenza 11-speed groupsets and a variety of Campagnolo wheels. Here’s a Potenza/Scirocco set I fitted up recently. It rides absolutely beautifully.

Groupsets as priced by Campagnolo, with £70 fitting cost. Please get in touch for more details.

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Ambrosio P20 wheelset for 2019 CarTen

These were built to compliment a service in time for the CarTen — an approx 100 mile annual ride from Cardiff to Tenby. I love how beefy the Michelin tyres look on these wide rims. A little more cush with no loss of performance.

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Condor Pista for the Alps

Just the bar tape to choose…

James at Pwnc Café, renowned for his enthusiasm for a simple drivetrain, asked me to build this up from another bike.

The Condor frames are lovely and it’s built up into an elegant and handsome bike, in my opinion. The chosen ratio is a 44-16, which is, I suppose, an order of magnitude more suitable for attacking the Stelvio pass than the 49-16 he previously used to beast the Tour of Pembrokeshire a few years ago. A true hero.

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Pacenti Forza wheelset on Specialized Tarmac

This is a nice pairing! A decent carbon road bike with some race-light wheels. Originally supplied with Fulcrum wheels, we’ve achieved a similar or better weight, a wider rim and a more durable hub. I’m happy with that outcome and I think our customer is as well!

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Now stocking Pacenti rims!

Exciting news, I’m now building with Pacenti rims!

Pacenti have a great reputation for producing some beautifully designed and well made rims.

The Forza rim offers the same internal width (20mm) and tubeless compatibility as the Ambrosio P20 that has been so popular here, but with the added advantage of an offset rear rim for more even spoke tension, 650b versions as well as 700c, disc-specific rim designs and aluminium and carbon options, with build options suitable for a variety of purposes from super lightweight to durable, dependable wheels for mixed terrain riding.

More info to follow soon — the first set are going out to a customer in the coming week and everyone is quite excited.

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MTB 29er Wide Rim Upgrade: Ryde Edge 30

An MTB guide in Newport, Pembs, was looking for a bit more grip from his 29er. Originally fitted with Mavic X319 19mm rims, he was at the limit, width wise, of the original rim’s design spec.

Step in the Ryde Edge 30, a 30mm internal width, tubeless compatible rim, available in 29 and 27.5. This is the second tier from the Holland manufacturer’s alloy rim range, and they are beautifully made. Conveniently, a straight swap for the Mavic, so we didn’t need to replace the spokes on this occasion. Once set up, the obvious benefits: Immediately adds 5mm to the width of the tyre, giving the tyre carcass a bigger radius and putting more in contact with the road.

Even better, there’s no weight penalty as these weigh the same as the old Mavic rims. They’re rated as strong enough for bike park, freeride and all-mountain use and even some downhill riding. Not bad! Once I have the rider’s feedback, I’ll add it in.

9/5: After a few weeks riding, the report is that straight away they felt more surefooted and controllable than the original rims. The extra traction has been welcome too. All in all, this has been rated a worthwhile upgrade for the cost. Great!

Rims are priced at £48/each. Labour to build the pair is £50.

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Tour Of Pembrokeshire 2019 Prologue

Friday the 18th of January was set for this year’s Tour Prologue ride, with 40 and 25 mile routes hosted from Crug Glas. It’s always a fun event and spirits were high despite the gloomy outlook: heavy rain and moderate winds forecast all morning.

Jim Elliot leads a group on the 40 route

Even with the wet roads, rain and wind, everyone was back in time for lunch and noone had need of my assistance this year. Lunch was fantastic, as expected, and Eddie Butler gave an entertaining and good humoured speech in his rôle as ambassador for the charity Prostate Cancer Wales.

So we look forward to the main event on the 18th of May this year — it will be here before we know it.

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Phillips Kingfisher rebuild

Kingfisher rejuvenated

This bike has a heartwarming history. Dating from the 1960s, it was bought new by a 12 year-old boy who’d worked his paper round and paid into a pot in the bike shop until the original £10 price was reached and he could ride it home. After a few decades of being used and cherished, it was looking rather the worse for wear, though still a lovely machine.

In the autumn 2018, I was asked by his daughter what we could do with it to bring it back from the edge. The paint was in poor condition, with some pitting to the frame but no serious corrosion. The wheels were knackered, the hubs worn out and the steel rims having lost quite alot of chrome. Further, the tyre size was completely obsolete and no replacements for the perished rubber could be found, being one of the rarer 26″ sizes.

If it was to be worth rebuilding the bike, it would need new paint, so it was stripped of all parts and sent to a professional painters for a first class finish.

Meanwhile, the spec was put together. The closest wheel size to original with a good selection of tyre sizes is the 584mm rim, better known as 26 x 1 1/2″ in this bike’s bay or 650B to us! The next question was gearing. The choice of hub gears and brakes was made on the basis that the costs were very similar to a derailleur system with rim brakes, the bike would look so much smoother with hub brakes and those giant silver hubs, the low maintenance requirements of this set up and the difficulty in finding 650B rims suitable for rim brakes.

Front HubSturmey Archer X-FD
Rear HubSturmey Archer X-RD5(w)
SpokesSapim Leader Stainless
Rims650B Black/Disc
TyresRivendell Nifty Swifty
HeadsetStronglight A9
HandlebarsNorthroad Alloy
ChainsetShimano 4-arm 44t
SaddleBrooks Champion
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Sturmey Archer 650B Wheelset

These are for a bike from the ’60s, but are bang up to date technologically and look pretty smart.

The story of the bike will follow when it’s assembled but why not have a look at the wheels first, consisting of a Sturmey front drum brake hub and rear 5-speed drum brake hub laced via Sapim stainless spokes to a plain black 650B rim and finished off with a set of Rivendell “Nifty Swifty” 33mm tyres with a checkerboard tread and tan sidewalls. I think they look great! Ideal for a smart utility or town bike, durable enough to be a commuter set and strong enough to go touring (if you consider 5 gears enough!).