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Raliegh Rapide

This one was fun.

A well preserved 70s road machine which was once a striking red colour but has evenly faded (where exposed to light) to a fabulous orangey colour.

It wasn’t a high end bike in its day and was originally equipped with steel cottered cranks, steel stem and bars, steel wheel rims and hubs and pressed steel brakes and levers. Performance was lacking, even for a casual-use bike.

It turns out to have had the Raleigh peculiar sizing for the bottom bracket width and threads (unique to Raleigh), headset cups and threads and handlebar sizing. As a modern double crankset was the main reason for the update, the bottom bracket threads had to be re-cut and the ends ground down so it more closely resembles a typical 68mm BSC bottom bracket shell! Apparently most bikes with this “unique” system were three speeds, so this road machine is very unusual. Thanks to Sheldon Brown’s page on Retro Raleighs for clearing up the mysteries.

New (cheap) wheels and nice 28c tyres. Tektro extra-long drop brakes. Nitto Randonneur bars. GB alloy stem. Classic-styled double compact chainset. 7-sp freewheel. Shimano 105 and A11 derailleurs. Simplex shifters. The headset, pedals, seatpost and saddle remain original.

It doesn’t set the world on fire but is incredibly comfortable and easy to ride, even on quite rough road surfaces. A full day riding would be a pleasure.

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Silver Machine

James asked for new wheels and a spruce up for his chrome machine.

I reused the Surly track hubs with Pacenti Forza symmetrical rims and D-Light spokes. He had a Campagnolo crankset to put on there and along with a new chain, sprocket, Brooks leather bar tape and Campagnolo Potenza skeleton brakes, the bike is complete.

He had the frame custom chromed when new. It has seen alot of use but still looks absolutely fantastic. It polished up beautifully.

Photos show mid-way through assembly with wheels complete. Gotta make hay (take photos) while the sun shines!

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Had a lovely MTB in for service recently.

Nothing exceptional about the service except the lovely french TA chainring we fitted and the awesome colour and branding Ragley used on it. Check the photos!

Specialties TA narrow-wide chainring
Getting to be a bit of a classic
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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.