For Sale: Resurrectio

Resurrectio

Wanted: Good home for faithful bicycle.

Yep, that’s right. Resurrectio is for sale. After a few good years it’s time for a change and I’ve moved on to a brand new Ridgeback Flight 01 hybrid bike to continue my Everyday journeys.

Here’s the full ad as posted on Ebay:

Custom Saracen ‘Resurrectio’ Touring/Hybrid Bike – Not Surly or Rivendell

Based on a high quality chromo Saracen hybrid frame, this is a bike for the connoisseur and is the ideal commuter and tough touring bike.

The frame itself is 59cm measured from centre to top, with an upsloping top tube. Virtual top tube length is 58cm. I’m 5ft 11ins and it’s a perfect fit. Neatly TIG welded from Tange chromoly, it features mounts for v brakes or cantilevers, two water bottle mounts with rack and mudguard mounts. Forged horizontal dropouts spaced for 135mm hubs. Fender mounts are high quality threaded ones. A quality frame.

The fork is a chromo unicrown fork from SJS cycles, 1 inch threaded, with bosses for racks and mudguards and v brake/canti studs. The frame is finished in metallic dark green with Resurrectio decals from Rivendell – www.rivbike.com  whose bikes the custom build was inspired by.

Frame and fork has clearance for 40mm tyres with mudguards.

The frame has only been used for 2 ½  years but is new old stock from the 1990s – when Saracen still built their frames out of steel and in the UK. The fit and finish is excellent.

The components are as follows:

Handlebars: Tioga flat, 5 degree 58cm in polished aluminium – less than 1 month of use. Bought NOS.

Stem: Nitto Technomic 90mm in cold forged polished aluminium.

Brake levers: Tektro V Brake

Shifters: Sun Race Friction Thumbshifters

Grips: Herman Cork/Rubber anatomic

Headset – TH Industries 1inch threaded

Seatpost – Kalloy 26.4mm microadjust

Saddle – Brooks B17 Standard Honey

Brakes: Tektro V Brake black with adjuster noodles

Front Mech – Shimano Deore LX

Rear Mech – Microshift RD M45

Cassette – Shimano 9 Speed 11-32

Crank – Suntour Superbe 130BCD road triple with SJS Cycles CNC Chainguard replacing outer ring and Stronglight dural 42t and 24t middle and inner rings. Great gear range for touring without much gear ratio duplication. A great setup for commuting, off roading, and touring. Velo Orange market a similar setup.

Bottom Bracket: Shimano Deore cartridge

Pedals – Wellgo DX style platforms in silver

Tyres – Schwalbe Delta Cruiser Cream 700×35

Rims – Mavic A319 in silver – less than a year old

Hubs – Shimano Deore LX in graphite grey

Spokes: DT

Mudguards – SKS 45mm in silver.

The bike is in immaculate condition and has been lovingly looked after from day one. There are a few light scratches on the paintwork, on the top tube and on the seat stay above the drop out but they don’t detract from the overall appeal of the machine.

Local pickup only from either Liverpool or Manchester, or can arrange to deliver personally/meet within Merseyside, Lancs, Wirral, Cheshire, Peaks or Greater Manchester.

If you’re interested in acquiring the bike take a look at the listing here:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Custom-Saracen-Resurrectio-Touring-Hybrid-Bike-Not-Surly-Rivendell-/230692937979?pt=UK_Bikes_GL&hash=item35b65ee0fb

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Coffee, Romantic poets and autumnal bike commuting

Shelley’s Ode to the Wild West Wind could have been written for today’s commute. The “breath of autumn’s being” was in full effect. The old adage (less poetic but equally true) of ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes’ also came to mind as I pushed aside weak minded notions of driving to work and readied myself for another bike commute.

October and November to me is always like a hurried set change between acts. The languid ambiance of summer is rudely dismantled by a brutal road crew of wind, hail and rain. And so it was today. I was out of bed at 6am, dark outside and the sound of heavy rain pelting against the roof and windows. The trees outside were whipping around as I filled the kettle and made a quick breakfast.

While the kettle was boiling I got dressed for action – long sleeved base layer and waterproof done up to the neck. Waterproof pants stretched on over big boots, gloves at the ready. In my bag my t-shirt and merino jumper awaited for a quick change once at work.

I poured boiling water into the cafetiere and then checked the bike for punctures; all the while the rain continued to clatter like gravel against the front door. I took my favourite big green mug, added a little milk and then poured the coffee. The next five minutes is my favourite time. The rest of the house still slumbering, the world outside slowly waking up, a cup of coffee warming the hands and the anticipation of a ride ahead. Coffee drunk, I took a cup upstairs to Mrs Everyday Cyclist and kissed her goodbye before making final preparations for lift-off.

Coffee mug on the drainer, bag on back and cinched tight, helmet on, lights on. A red blinky on the back, a repurposed LED torch up front and a white blinky attached to my bag, for a moment the hallway was alight like Christmas. A cursory final squeeze of the tyres and check of the brakes for luck. I opened the door and the drama of the morning weather rushed in – the house took a deep draught of autumn’s brew. I wheeled the bike out, clicked the door shut quietly behind me and at once I was engaged with the elements. Street still dark under sodium light I shot down the hill, spray fizzing from my tyres, wind lashing shoals of heavy raindrops at face and body. But inside by waterproofs, gloves and big boots, I was warm and dry as I pushed on into town, uphill, into the wind, feeling 100 percent alive.

Coventry Eagle

One of the many things I love about train/bike commuting are the people I meet on the way. Most of them come and go through your daily commuting life without names being exchanged. I recognise and bookmark most people by their bikes.

A little like Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club, I have my single-serving commuter friends. My current single serving friend is Coventry Eagle, so called for his honest to goodness bluish-greenish coloured Coventry Eagle hybrid bike, decked out with bags, ‘guards and racks with the focus on function and innovation. Eagle gets on at Manchester and alights at Warrington and over the weeks we’ve had a long, linear, serialised chat, never veering too far away from our obvious common denominator – bikes.

CE has recently converted to bike/train commuting, selling his car a few months ago, buying a cheap second-hand bike and commuting to work on the train in all weathers. His enthusiasm is boundless – he gets up early in the morning, goes for a morning swim (getting to the pool by bike of course) then continues on to the station, where he jumps on the train and cracks open his latest charity shop second hand book buy. Half an hour of blissful escape into fiction and he’s in Manchester, where he rides a few miles to his place of work. At the end of the day it’s reverse and rewind and it’s usually at this point when our paths cross.

We’ve exchanged stories about our work, our families – his daughter is an international level swimmer, and newbie though he may be, his commuting kit is finely honed – a pannier for his swimming kit and a Carradice saddlebag, bungeed to the rack for a sway free ride. He taught me a neat trick to prevent the bike rolling around on the train. He has a short, maybe 6 inch, webbing strap with a buckle, which he uses to apply and lock-on the front brake, stopping the bike rolling around on the carriage. It’s simple and ingenious. Gotta be the front wheel – this way the bike can’t steer, tuck its front wheel under and gracelessly curtsey to the floor. Now I have a similar webbing strap, which is kept snugged around my top tube, ready to steady the bike on the rocking, jostling railway carriage.

Coventry Eagle is a big, happy, outgoing chap who talks to nearly everyone he meets. In our insular single serving world he’s a bit of an anomaly. In the library culture of the train, you tend to speak to your neighbour only when necessary. There’s a fine line between ‘friendly commuter’ and ‘crank’ and my bike friend Coventry Eagle walks that line with aplomb.

Why am I relating this to you? Well, let’s face it; I wouldn’t have struck up this friendship in that parallel universe where Resurrectio and Coventry Eagle drive to work. I’ll have to ask his real name next time I see him, before he does what most of my single serving train friends do; suddenly, one day they change trains, change jobs, change lives and that’s that.

Micro Reviews: Microshift RD-M45 Derailleur, Muxu Cycling Jumper, Aldi Cycling Jersey, Hermann Cork Grips, etc

It’s been a while since I last posted for various reasons; a packed schedule, a lost smartphone and a case of bloggers’ ennui being but three. But I’m back now, so that’s all that matters.

Despite the aforementioned setbacks the bike commuting is still going strong and the thing that strikes me lately is how my responses to commuting’s challenges seem to constantly evolve. I’m unsure why this is. Perhaps I’m just a borne tinkerer? Perhaps my needs and circumstances are constantly, imperceptibly shifting? Perhaps I’m realising that there are many ways to skin the proverbial feline and I’m just trying all of them. Perhaps Derrida’s vive-le-difference is the answer?

Whatever the answer, what I do know is that my current commuting rig is working really well. Resurrectio is currently rigged with Tioga flat bars (£5 NOS from On-One.co.uk) and my 90mm Nitto Technomic stem. Both are highly-polished aluminium and look great together. More importantly they give a great riding position, on and off road. What’s sealed the deal in terms of comfort and style is a pair of Hermann cork/rubber anatomic grips. Less than a tenner from Practicalcycles.co.uk, these grips look for all the world like the grips you get on walking poles in terms of shape and material and offer a very comfortable, grippy perch for the hands. Due to a very shiny handlebar surface I had to glue the grips on with Evostik extra strong glue, but once firmly in place they’ve been excellent, providing plenty of hand support. The great thing is, because my main riding position is so comfortable, I’m not missing the alternative hand positions afforded by other handlebar setups.

Controls are taken care of by Tektro’s great budget v brake levers – everything you need from a lever and nothing you don’t. Sun Race’s bargain friction thumbshifters still grace the bars and work a treat, especially in combination with a new piece of kit on the bike, namely a Microshift RD M-45 rear mech. I’ve been eyeing up Microshift’s stuff for a while, first seeing them on Bike Friday’s bikes and then as aftermarket items on http://www.rivbike.com.

The rear derailleurs have got a nice design which evokes both Huret’s offerings from the 70s and Shimano’s bang up to date Shadow mechs, with a bit of SRAM style thrown in for good measure. My mech is pitched around the Deore level in terms of quality and shifting is very positive. The main difference in terms of design compared with my outgoing Deore LX mech is the lack of a sprung top knuckle (I’m not sure if that’s the right term derailleur fans – the part I mean is where the mech is attached to the frame where the B limit screw is. At first I thought “How’s that going to work?” Then I connected the chain and realised that the tension created by the spring in the jockey wheel cage is what keeps everything in place. The short of it is a great derailleur at a great price – just £19.99 from an online retailer whose name escapes me right now.

Clothing wise I’ve made a few recent purchases and acquisitions lately that I’m really excited about. One is a great winter merino wool cycling jumper from Muxu (that’s ‘Moo – Shoe’ to you) which the Barcelona based company kindly sent me to long term test. A full review of said item will follow this update but rest assured its good.

The second acquisition was a similar garment from Aldi, their black merino wool mix cycling jersey. At £14.99 this is a real steal. Long sleeves, quarter zip, long arms and torso, a mid weight ‘sweater’ knit in 70/30 acrylic/merino and a rubberised gripper at the back. It’s great. It looks like an office smart jumper; it works like a cycling midlayer. There’s very little to dislike about it.

In terms of carrying my stuff, I’m currently using a standard 25 litre daysack, picked up from Clas Olhson for just 10. In an effort to be visible on the ever darkening roads, and to keep my commuting gear dry, I’m using a hi-vis waterproof rucksack cover (borrowed from my wife’s Brompton bag). I’m not a big fan of hi vis vests and jackets, however, the rucksack cover provides that attention-grabbing high-spot of light on the road, without having to compromise one’s outfit.

My hi vis bag also allows me to wear by stealthy black Karrimor Urban waterproof, safe in the knowledge that I’ll remain visible. The jacket is extremely waterproof, windproof and breathable and packs down small enough to fit into the rucksack. Off the bike, it’s a normal jacket with a normal cut, unlike misshapen cycling specific jackets. Even on deluge days, this jacket, combined with my Regatta overtrousers, keep my completely dry and clean.