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My Bikes

Day-to-day I ride a 1966 Moulton Deluxe, with a few subtle modernisations – I replaced the original steel bar and stem with Nitto alloy parts – much lighter and stronger, and compatible with modern brake levers. The steel cottered crank and bottom bracket were replaced with a Shimano 600 crank and UN55 BB and, most importantly, I rebuilt the wheels with aluminium Sun CR18 rims – so it stops when you pull the brake levers, even in the rain! I kept the original Sturmey Archer FW four-speed hub gear because they’re super reliable and give a real nice set of ratios. When I bought it, the previous owner had sprayed it (very badly) with a rattlecan – the first job was to carefully remove the spray paint and expose the original paint finish. The paint is pretty sparse, but I’ve treated it to protect the bare metal from rust – this way I can ride it every day but still retain the original finish. You can spend a bloody fortune having a frame painted, but it’s only original once!

 

My work bike started life as a prototype built by local prize-winning framebuilder Robin Mather for what became the Printing Bike. I rebuilt it for my use, with a big old front basket and a versatile platform at the rear which enables me to carry frames or complete bikes safely and securely, as well as carrying various odd-shaped items when I need to (from compost, steel tubing and boxes of bike parts to a water butt and, my personal favourite, a rolled-up King-Size mattress).

It has a 2×9 drivetrain (mostly Deore XT) and good old V-Brakes – if this bike doesn’t need disc brakes, no one does! I also use this bike to trailer my river dinghy to the harbour – when the roads are quiet…

My Surly Long Haul Trucker touring bike is probably the only bike I’ve ever owned that I’ve not modified since the day I built it! It looks like it cost a bomb but almost all the parts were secondhand – some parts more secondhand than others… It has a very early Shimano Deore crankset, Chris King Rasta No-Threadset, Thomson stem and seatpost and Gilles Berthoud stainless steel mudguards. The Suntour Self-Energizing rear cantilever brake works great – the cloth-taped Nitto Grand Randonneur bars and non-aero levers are a bit of an anachronism but they’re super comfortable. This bike has taken me all around France, as well as many shorter trips in the UK. My riding buddy has one that’s almost identical, people often ask why we have the same bike: the answer is that we both wanted the best touring bike in the world, and there can only be one best!

My French constructeur-inspired 650b randonneur bike was my dream bike for a long time – and now I have it! 650B wheels with 42mm Compass Babyshoe Pass tyres – probably the best tyres in the world. 1960s-ish Stronglight 49 chainset (46/30), early Shimano Deore XT cantilever brake, Nitto front rack and cloth-taped bar and stem with the ubiquitous Weinmann brake levers, Schmidt SON dynamo hub and front light, Brooks B17 Select. I rode this bike from Bath to Brighton in January 2016, 160 miles in a day! It’s so comfortable that I felt like turning round and riding home…

I like this bike so much that I used Niklaas masterful pen and ink drawing of it as part of the Cycle Workshop’s logo, which he also designed.

I also have a Thorn tandem, a venerable Brompton M3R (in Rasta Red Gold and Green) and a few vintage oddities…