Published on January 13th, 2015 | by admin0
I can remember back in July 2012 when I decided the time had come for me to really try to do something to get back in to shape. I was told to take up cycling because after the initial outlay for a bike, cycling was a very cheap hobby. All I can say is for me nothing could be further from the truth. You see I like many, did indeed catch the cycling bug. Not only did cycling help me lighten my body weight by several stone, it also lightened by bank balance by a considerable sum. But in hindsight, with my vastly improved health it was money well spent.
My first real road bike, which was purchased in July 2012 was a Boardman Air. As I live in Spain it was the Spanish red edition which is very striking. At the time it cost around £2,000 which seemed a decent price for a road bike with Shimano Ultegra. I did change the basic wheelset updating to Neutron Ultra for another £500 which proved to be a very good investment. The Neutrons are light and in my experience bomb proof. After a few months I also updated the crank to a lighter SLK compact (50/34) which helped on the hills.
Last year, after the purchase of another bike, I changed the wheelset to an Alloy Powertap Clincher Wheelset, saving the Neutron Ultras for sportives during the coming years.
I promised myself that if I did manage to complete the Deloitte Ride Across Britain ride, an event I entered as an overweight cyclist with nowhere near enough training, but I will save that story for another article, that I would treat myself to very special bike. Last autumn my bank balance was lightened by the purchase of a Cervelo R5. Further deductions were made from my bank account for carbon wheels, tubular tyres, an ultra-light SRAM Red cassette, a Tune Saddle, an AX Lightness Seat post and even a 90g Stem. I don’t even want to think about how much in total the bike has cost me At 5.9kg it is though a bloody superb bike although it is a shame the engine is so say the least naff.
Another expensive “must have” piece of kit was a turbo trainer. As I’m a complete techy or should I say geek I went for the all singing all dancing Tacx IGenius. Now many have reported problems with Tacx Trainers and being honest my first lasted no more than 10 minutes before it started emitting plumes of dense white smoke. I must though admit, barring a couple of teething problems, that the replacement has been superb. Did I mention the projector I also purchased for the Tacx?
My first bike computer was a Garmin 500 which is a great little device. My son though left it in his jersey after a ride and I’m sorry to report that the poor Garmin 500 did not survive the washing machine. Next purchase was a Garmin 800 which I still use today. Now I know that the 800 has been superseded by the 810 and indeed the 1000 but in all honesty I prefer my 800 to either of the new models as the battery life of my 800 is better.
How many bikes do we cyclists require? Well the answer is of course n+1. I was told that the best way to learn about bike maintenance is to build a complete bike. Now I have always admired the Cervelo R3 2011, I like the almost retro black and red paint job. After nearly a year of searching I actually found an online Cervelo dealer who had a brand spanking new 2011 R3 frame in stock with of course the full Cervelo warranty. The price of the frame was simply too good to refuse.
I managed to pick up most of the SRAM Red Group set online at a very good price plus the rest of the components I needed (except cabling) I already had.
Building the bike was actually easier than I anticipated and was completed in just a couple of days.