Quick release.

My favourite recent(-ish, 1927) bike development is the quick release skewers. So simple but damn useful. Invented by Tullio Campagnolo in 1927 after having difficulty while changing gears, which in ’27 involved removing the rear wheel and flipping it around to the the other gear on the other side. The wheels were held on by wing nuts and due to bad weather Tullio found it difficult to use the wing nuts, he lost time and his place in the race. I assume this greatly frustrated him, it would me, so he racked his mind and came up with a quick way of swapping wheels, the quick release skewers, it relies on the properties of cams. So now the invention has been used ever since, making wheel removal and installation much easier. Thank you Mr. Campagnolo for your invention, and also the parallelogram dérailleur, that’s pretty cool too.


Modern Quick Release.


Ye Olde wing nuts.



Peek Polish Review

On vintage bicycles, and some modern, you will find a lot of steel, chrome, aluminium etc. in need of polishing. It may be a light polish just to bring it back to a shine or you maybe restoring components with years of tarnish and oxidation. I have often struggled to get a good shine that doesn’t take hour to complete. I came across Peek when I bought my crankset for my Giant bike. It was aluminium and had about 20 years of oxidation and grime on it. A clean didn’t bring back the shine so I tried my only polish I had at that time, which was Brasso, I could get it shiny but it would take a long time to get it all shiny. In search of a better polish I went to my local hardware shop and bought their only polish available; Peek. It cost me £5.49 for a 100g tube, I thought this was a bit expensive for some polish. I got to the crankset and applied a bit onto and old t-shirt and started rubbing it, the effect was immediate  the polish turned black with the oxidation it removed and the crankset became very shiny. I am very impressed with the polish and for £5.49 I feel it is a great deal because of how effective it is and how little you need to use.  The crankset cost me £2.50 from a bicycle coop and with a bit of polish I saved my self a lot of money on buying a new or lightly used crankset. So a bit of effort and polish is a good option of you are restoring on a budget.

Crank when I got it, dirty and highly oxidized.


Now it up to a mirror finish with minimal effort.

Cost – ✰✰✰✰✰- for the amount you receive and the amount it will save you on parts I feel it is a great value product.

Effectiveness -✰✰✰✰✰- Best polish I have ever come across.

Uses -✰✰✰✰✰- not only does it polish metal it also leaves a film over it to protect from further oxidation, it can also polish plastic, fibreglass and ceramics.

Overall -✰✰✰✰✰- A must need when working with vintage bikes, I don’t think I will change polishes again.

Peek is available on amazon.co.uk for £4.20 – Amazon Peek

Lack of posts.

There will be more exams just got in the way. Anyway till the future enjoy this picture of the first ever electric dérailleur.


Browning Electronic AccuShift Transmission

Bit late but lets turn pink for the Giro


The tour of Italy leader jersey

Cinelli Gel Cork Bar Tape Review.

Another bar tape review, this time for the tape that currently adorns my b’twin triban 3. The tape that came with the bike was pretty uncomfortable so within a week I had replaced it with some Cinelli tape from my local bike shop. The tape isn’t that expensive, £11 from a bike shop, it comes in a range of colours and thanks to it elasticity it is easy to wrap. It has an adhesive strip it is sticky enough to hold it in place but not too sticky so it lets you easily correct mistakes. The tape is incredibly soft, it has about 3mm depression in the tape so is very soft and forms to your hand. It is very durable and easy to clean. A good bar tape for any bike, this is the bar tape I hope to continue using for a long time.

Cost –  ✰✰✰✰✰ – £9.99 from Wiggle

Comfort – ✰✰✰✰✰ – very soft and very comfortable for long rides

Wrapability – ✰✰✰✰✰ –  being very elastic and the sticky strip helps keep it in position, easy to wrap.

durability – ✰✰✰✰✰ – No tares or stain, easy to clean.

Overall – ✰✰✰✰✰ – Couldn’t recommend this tape more, if you bike needs some new tape this is the stuff.


Nice colours


Bike Pic: Pinarello Bolide

Brand new TT bike to be used by team sky.


Bike Pic: Colnago Carbitubo

Early carbon frame, aluminium lugs, that bike style. Me wants.



A bike will go where you take it.

After getting my first road bike I was really concious about where I took it. I wouldn’t take it anywhere apart from roads, I’d avoid potholes religiously and I would never dream of hoping a kerb, but why. Every one has taken the mountain bike on the road at one point so why not take the road bike off road. I’m not talking about very sticky mud down hill trails but a bit of cycle paths or off road coastal paths shouldn’t hurt it. ‘Aw but my wheelset couldn’t handle it’ Probably not if your running 500g 12 spoked wheels but most road bikes are on alloy rims with 20 to 40 spokes, and carbon wheels will handle lots of jumps, if you haven’t seen Bike Party you need to, those wheel handle a battering and they are the same ones Wiggins used in the TDF. ‘So your wheels my wheels can handle it but my tires are skinny’ Yup so are mine but they have been through mud, puddles, loose gravel, grass and anything you’ll find on un-kept cycle paths. Even 23c tire will handle quite a lot of muck of course they are not going to have they same grip as tread riddled mountain bike tires, but you will be surprised. ‘Well yeah even so, my brakes have no clearance’ They don’t need clearance, the off road I’m talking about involves minimal sticky mud and even then they still do have some clearance. ‘My carbon frame will snap’ Yeah it probably will, It’s not that I distrust carbon, it’s just I don’t trust it. So I would keep your carbon race bike off road, I’m sure they will handle it I’m just carbon-sceptical. So if you have a steel, aluminium or titanium your all set. My steel bike has been off road a lot, it was supposed to end up a cyclocross but it is still on 25c tires on my road bikes wheels (32 spoked) . I have had no problem on moderately off road conditions, maybe some wheels spin when on a gravel hill but that’s it. I’m not saying take your road bike off road all the time, just don’t be scared to take it off ‘the road’ once in a while, it ain’t gonna hurt it. And if your lucky enough to have a cyclocross bike, then darn you, jammy.

Bike Pic: BMC Timemachine

Lovely piece of Swiss engineering, one of the few carbon frames I’d love to own.


Look at dat crankset.

Dr Sludge Self-Sealing Inner Tubes.

Getting a puncture when cycling is no fun, the are fixable but it easier to just prevent them in the first place. If you’ve had multiple punctures you will know how frustrating it is to replace or patch the tube at the side of the road. That’s where self sealing inner tubes come in. They contain a viscous liquid inside which, when the wheel spins, gets forced to the wall of the tube. When the offending object pierces the tube the ‘sludge’ seals the hole and stops the tire deflating  The tube can only stop holes up to 3mm in diameter so it will not stop a large gash, but for thorns and pieces of glass it should stop them. The 700c x 28-35c inner tube claims a weight of 250 grams, which is 150 grams more than a standard inner tube. If you are prone to flats then a 300 gram weight increase shouldn’t annoy you too much as its benefits outweigh the weigh cons. If you are a weight weenie worried about flats these probably are not for you. I have been running these in 700X28c tyres and have had no punctures on glass strew roads, potholes and even a poorly maintained coastal paths (road bikes are surprisingly good off road). They work but they have bot been trouble-less, the sludge seems to have partially sealed up the valves, making inflation and deflation frustrating but not impossible. I also found that when first inflating the sludge affected the seal on the valve so it would stay airtight though this is no longer a problem. I also worry what would happen to the sludge if it got a puncture it couldn’t handle, I fear sticky sludge would adorn me and my bike at 120 psi, not nice really. So if you need an affordable puncture resistant inner tube these are probably for you, I think these are the cheaper version of the more widely renown slime inner tubes. The sealant comes in all common tyre sizes and also in a bottle so you can add it to your own tubes.

Puncture Prevention –  ✰✰✰✰✰, no punctures in 6 months.

Value – ✰✰✰✰, only £7.75 on Amazon. It will save you more in replacement tubes than it costs.

Usability – ✰✰✰, Bit annoying inflating but I suppose that is the nature of the beast.

Overall – ✰✰✰✰, Good for commuters or road cyclists that dislike puncture, I suppose all cyclist hate punctures.

Amazon link-  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sludge-Self-Sealing-Tube-28-35mm-Presta/dp/B0012Z7FB4

If you are looking for normal inner tubes I would recommend these, LifeLine essential tubes. No flats on these either.


This orange theme is completely un-coincidental…

Funny slime explosion video.