My Commuting Bike…

The piccy above was taken for the “Bikes in Bogs” web site, but as it’s the most current photo of my commuter it’ll have to do.

It’s a Ridgeback 704 Competition, a chromoly steel framed bike circa (I’m guessing) 1990. It was my first proper MTB and has gone through many incarnations in it’s life to arrive at the bike it is now.

The photo below was taken about 1991 and shows it and a very young and thin me in the mountains above Aberdovey in Wales.


Anyway, after much componentry changes and various suspension forks being put on and taken off, we arrive at 2009.

The frame is a good steel frame, with Mavic rims built for me by Paul at “On yer Bike” in Solihull in about 1994 and they have never gone out of true or let me down once. I’ve some 26″ x 1.75 slick tyres fitted, Halford specials actually, but they seem fine.

The gear set is Shimano XT rear and front mech, with original Gripshift changers, The chainset is Shimano LX with Shimano SPDs hanging off the end of the cranks.

Brakes are again original Shimano LX V brakes with Avid levers, totally fine, always managed to bring me to a halt when they need to.

The forks are Kona Project 2 items, they’re pretty springy and steer very acurately. As the bike is my commuter I felt a fully rigid set up was the way forward. I can’t see the point of suspension for a road bike to be honest.

I had to fit an adjustable stem when I started this effort as my original stem was just to low and with a too aggressive a posture for comfort. Especially with my bad back, pinned shoulder and massive belly! But I’m hoping to get back to a more lower position as I improve.

As for the bits’n’pieces, 2 water bottle cages, Riser bars, nice and wide to accomodate my girth with Ergon grips, a very basic computer with the usual functions and a cracking set of LED lights, the rear one especially is excellent.

I’ve a bog standard rear mudguard, from Halfords again, with a Crudcatcher up front doing the keeping me dry thing.

My saddle choice is made after the result of many years pedalling and it’s a Brooks B17 leather saddle. The only saddle I’ve found to suit me. I can heartliy recommend them. After they’ve broken your arse in (Ooh er missus) they’re as comfortable as a comfortable thing with comfortable sauce.

And finally Esther (you have to be of a certain age to get that one), my saddle bag, with the usual tools, allen keys, a puncture repair kit, a spare inner tube and a MTB pump fitted to a bottle cage.

I hope you found that interesting. In the absence of a pedal in today due to coaching I thought that might be a good thing to do. I want to Blog every day if I can to keep my motivation going. Because I know how easy through bitter experience it is to let things slip. Let me know guys. Cheers Clive
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2 responses to “My Commuting Bike…

  1. I wonder how long you will stay with the Mountain bike before being dragged over to the dark side of a roady :-)Although your Mountain bike is far better than mine, I still progressed to a Hybrid before realising the only way to go was drop bars (So you can get down out of the wind :-)I concur with the daily blog update, it will give you something to look back on in a years time so you can see how far you have come, it will also mean I will have something new to read when I am bored as work every day :-)Main thing is the thought of going out everyday is far worse than the act! I normally end up forcing myself to go out then actually being a little disappointed when the ride is over (Unless I have got cold feet then I cant wait to warm them up!)

  2. The thing is John, my commute takes in 6 miles of tow path which is a little dodgy, much too rough for a road bike i think. I did have one in the late 90's a really nice Dawes when I worked at Land Rover, but I sold that when I moved closer to home to work at MG Rover. I was thinking of a crosser at some point though. Obviously when the belly is down enough to get the obligatory Roadie crouch!

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