Thursday, 13 June 2019

No London Nocturne for 2019

The Nocturne has been a part of the London cycling calendar since 2007. My association with this event goes back as far as 2013 however it sadly didn't happen this year.

The official Nocturne website was fairly quiet all year and recently the news was published that everyone was expecting:

'Owing to a series of circumstances beyond the organisers' control, the London Nocturne event will not be taking place in 2019.'

This is a great shame as it is a really good event that very much celebrates cycling in all its forms. My first Nocturne was back it 2013 and apart from 2018, I competed in their folding bike race from that date onwards.

Although billed as a folding bike race, it was very much a Brompton dominated. At one time or a another the vast majority of people I mention on this blog have taken part too.

Here's hoping that it returns in 2020!

Below I have links to the blog posts I wrote about there Nocturne events I look part in.






Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Cycle to Work scheme limit might be changing for the better

It has been a few years now since I bought a Brompton on the Cycle to Work scheme. The scheme I used - like many of the others - had a £1000 limit for purchases. The government published a snippet of information today that may well allow purchases above this limit for e-bikes.

Published yesterday from the Department of Transport and Cycling Minster Michael Ellis, MP a new scheme was announced that will make it easier for employers to provide cycles and equipment, including e-bikes worth over £1000.

It seems that the steady increase in e-bikes sales (a hit on the Continent for several years before here in the UK) might have been partly responsible. E-bikes are not cheap and the the removal of the former £1000 cap would certainly help to boost sales even further. Of course this would be good news for anyone thinking of buying a Brompton Electric under one of the cycle to work schemes.

What many people have done in the past is to take out the £1000 on a cycle to work scheme and pay the difference on whatever is left over. If you are allowed to go beyond the £1000 it looks as if the tax savings gained from the cycle to work scheme will be increased.

Anything that simplifies the process is a good thing, as is being able to go beyond the £1000. There is no indication of when this comes into effect but I would imagine you'll soon start to see the changes on the various cycle to work scheme websites.

Great time to be buying a new Brompton Electric!

LINK to the Government article

Monday, 10 June 2019

Brooks B17 Standard vs Special...difference in comfort?

When I bought my Orange Special Edition Brompton last year, one of the first things I did was to replace the standard Brompton saddle with a Brooks B17 Standard. It is a great saddle but after an over night ride to Whitstable, I was left wondering walking like John Wayne after he had been on a different saddle for too long! This got be wondering about the differences between the Standard and the Special Edition versions.

B17 Standard in black

Many people report that their new Brooks saddle is a labour of love, requiring some time to break it in. In fact occasionally you can see them on eBay with people selling them as they cannot get on with them. All of the standard B17 saddles I have owned have required some time to break them in with lashings of proofide being applied.

My first Brooks saddle was on my Original Orange Brompton, a B17 Special in brown, This was comfortable straight away, requiring no breaking in at all.

B17 Special Edition in brown

The same could be said of the B17 Special - again in brown - that I bought as an option when buying my Orange P-Type. One of my first rides on this was a 50 miler and again totally comfortable.

B17 Special Edition in brown with copper rails

Zoom forward to a few weeks ago and on my new Flame Lacquer I changed the standard saddle for a B17 Titanium Special in black. It is a really good saddle and had required no breaking in and like the other special edition saddles very comfortable from the word go.

B17 Titanium Special Edition in black

I have had a few other B17 standard saddles and none have had the same levels of instant comfort. If I were to describe them, rock hard might be an apt description.

So, is there a difference between  the standard and the special edition B17s? From my experience I would have to conclude that there is? I don't know what this is thought? Could it be the leather used is different? Are the larger copper rivets factor?

What had been your experience of this? I would love to know, so please leave a comment.