Thursday 30 May 2013

Prep for the Nocturne - I have a go on a £4000+ road bike!

Don't worry unduly. I have no intentions or interest in buying a road bike. Now with that out of the way I will continue.

Early this morning I headed off to Richmond Park for an early morning spin. There weren't that many cyclists out apart from people who were on their commute. I completed four laps and managed to get round in pretty good time - I think. I had decided to go for a spin this morning as prep for the Nocturne. (More about that later).

When I was folding up my Brompton at the car and putting it all away. Another car pulled up. We passed nods and the gentleman that got out engaged in conversation as he was also a Moulton owner in addition to the two expensive looking road bikes he had strapped to a rack on he back of his car.

As we spoke it transpired that we had in fact met very briefly at the first IBikeLondon ride I had attended and I had commented on his orange Moulton. He then made me an offer I could not refuse after finding out that I had never ridden a proper road bike...

He was waiting for his son to turn up for a spin around park but as his arrival was going to be delayed he offered me the chance to have a lap his bike. I accepted.

The first problem was the bike having clipless pedals. I had to use his sons shoes and having considerably larger feet I had to squeeze my great big ones into the shoes. After a brief tour of the bike and how to operate the gears we were off.

As I gingerly moved off, desperately trying to clip in and not fall over the gentleman who was called Angus by the way, turned on the GPS device on my handlebar (not a Garmin and I didn't find out what it was) and then dropped the bombshell that the bike I was attempting to ride cost over £4000 but was probably more with all the extras. This only served to terrify.

As I cycled along the bike did feel odd and I felt as if I had just started cycling. It was certainly very, very different to my Brompton bikes. On the straights I was able to accelerate to 30 mph with almost no effort. Quite incredible. I don't know if I could have gone faster? I should say I didn't want to as I felt uneasy on this bike.

On the hills there were loads for gears to play with but I have to say I would have found things easier on my Brompton. The Brompton really is king of the hills.

After one lap of the park we returned to the car park. I thanked Angus, gave him details of blog, bought him a cup of tea and we discussed my thoughts of a road bike.

It was a very different experience and ride to my Brompton. I am not overly sure I liked it. The big wheels just didn't feel right to me. Things weren't as nippy or manoeuvrable as my Brompton (despite the quite incredible speeds one could achieve on this bike). It was fun but not as much fun as when out on my Brompton.

My training run for the Nocturne went well and a few hours ago I found out that I am going to the Nocturne on the 8th June. There are only 10 days left so I will have to get in some more training.

Angus, if you are reading this thanks again for letting me have a go on that lovely De Rosa bike!

1 comment:

  1. Mr O, I tend to agree that the Brompton is an amazing bike, even more so in London. It is nippy, versatile, fast, responsive, lite and small. I love my two Bromptons and ride them as often as I can! However, I do concede that there are times when my 'other' bikes are better - for example my mountain bike wins hands down when I want to head off road in the mountains and vineyards around Cape Town. My daily training ride is done on a Moulton TSR27 - I need as many gears and as rigid a frame as possible for the very long, very steep climbs.

    That being said, if I have to choose a bike for fun, utility, and all round feel good factor my Black Brompton M6L with Honey Brooks B17 saddle is always my first choice!


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