|My steed for most of the mileage was the Tifosi
First of all I need to point out that I don't participate in Audax rides, although it is possible I might well tackle some of the shorter distances in the future...I also don't race anymore but I do ride a few Sportives now and again if they particularly take my fancy.
My main interests in cycling are in coming up with my own rides and challenges and then just doing them either on my own or with a few friends.....Sometimes this might be as a supported ride and on other occasions it could be as a full blown touring trip with a bike fully loaded with panniers and camping equipment....I enjoy riding long distances but I like to do it to an itinerary of my own making and not one that has been created by a commercial organization or charity.... This has been my way of doing things ever since I was a youngster and it would apply to my hiking and backpacking as well as my cycling.......Independence is what I enjoy.
This years riding has not included any events organised by others...just my own ideas for a ride. Apart that is, the Edinburgh to Porstmouth ride which I did in June which was something thought up by my cycling buddy JD....
So, first of all the bike.
Well most of the mileage this year has been completed on the Tifosi. (Just under 2,000 miles was done spread between the Felt and my Tourer.)
The Tifosi as purchased was not a pricey bike coming in at about £800. I bought it because I had read a number of good reports on the bike in various magazines and I was looking for a 'winter bike' as I did not want to use my Felt through the winter months.
From the moment I first rode the Tifosi I liked it and as I put on the miles during my first year of owning the bike I decided to make some changes to turn what was a good bike into a really good bike......Yes, I know that I could have just bought another bike for more money, but that misses the point, which is it's fun to do upgrades and changes to suit your own taste and style.
The wheels were changed to Pro-Lite Bracciano and shod with 25mm Conti Gatorskin tyres (rigid not folding)
The Shimano Sora group was changed for Shimano 105 this included a triple chainset 50/39/30 and a 12-25 cassette (some pretty big hills in these parts)
The chain fitted was a Wipperman Connex Gold.
The Brake pads were upgraded to SwissStop (green compound)
Saddle was changed to a honey coloured Brooks Swift and the bar tape was also changed to Brooks leather to match.....
The finished bike has proved to be a great bike to ride and I love it's looks...and not just me either, a number of riders that I have met and chatted to during the year have remarked at how smart the bike looks....part of that of course is down to it's nod to the retro which seems to be 'in' at the moment, but is something I have always liked long before it became fashionable...
Lets look at some of the figures so far for the year.....
Two sets of tyres have been fitted...The first set lasted for 3800 miles.
At about 1800 miles I switched the tyres from back to front/front to back...
The second set have only just been replaced..they too were switched back to front etc after 1850 miles of use.
Punctures? ...well that is something I hate thinking about let alone dare stating it on the blog, but the whole distance has been covered with no punctures...not one.
I must point out though, that after EVERY ride each tyre was examined very carefully and any shards of flint etc were carefully removed before they had a chance to work into the tyre too far. Also before EVERY ride the pressures were checked - I used pressures of 100lbs at the front and 110lbs at the rear.
The wheels have been fine...No broken spokes and no work required on them, although I have had them checked twice just to ensure that all was OK....
Brake pads have been changed only once.
I am only just on the third chain and I replaced the cassette at that time also...
Again I would like to point out that I am meticulous in my care of the drivetrain.
After EVERY ride I check the chain, cassette and chainring and also the derailleurs..
Some weeks I have cleaned and lubed the chain three times in my effort to keep everything running sweetly and ensuring that I get the maximum component life I possibly can.
I would say that I have managed on average 3,600 miles out of the chains and double that from the cassette. Throughout, my lube of choice was 'Purple Extreme'.
So there we have it....the bike is running as nicely as ever and hopefully will continue to do so.....
The 10,000 miles equates to 670 hours in the saddle...Actually I've worked out that's just under 28 days.... Yes...the equal of cycling non-stop for 28 days.
Put like that it does seem like an awful lot of pedal spinning........Next year a new challenge...!