FR man Crudson reports from the Frozen North
This blog is nothing if not a cosmopolitan, widely traveled thing. I myself make no secret of the fact that I have been on many long automobile journeys, some to other counties in England….and even to Scotland and Wales! Furthermore, I am not unfamiliar with the concept of air and sea travel, and have used both to tour distant lands. In this spirit of internationalism, I also conspire with my fellow Thorn – owning buddy Crudson [a name clearly bestowed upon him by his mother…], who is my trusted northern correspondent from his Wirral home on those infrequent occasions when he can tear himself away from his pigeons and his ferrets. Regular readers of this blog may already have read his previous, pioneering reports on his no-car existence and his much loved Thorn Raven Sport Tour bicycle which he uses to commute to the day centre each morning.
Last year at about this time, he reported on the year 2009 and his cycling experiences with the Thorn. We seem to have established a long-term test kind of methodology now, because I now have pleasure to present his [heavily edited] appraisal of the bike and his cycling throughout 2010:
– Miles: As i don’t have a bike computer i can’t be sure but it’s still used every day for work, so i estimate i’ve done about 4500+ this year.
Punctures: A running total of 31. With the bike is nearing it’s 1st 10,000 my average miles/puncture seems to hover around the 300 mark – which leads
nicely on to:
– Tyres used this year:
Panaracer Tour guard [1.75wide]
Panaracer Crosstown [1.5w] [came with 1 Yr puncture guarantee – sidewall burst after 6 months]
Continental City contact [1.5m] [came with 1 Yr puncture guarantee – returned shredded after 3 months]
Continental Sport contact [1.3w] *Current favourite*
Continental Gatorskin [1.175w] *Very good summer-ry tyre*
Schwalbe Marathon plus [1.3w] *Current favourite*
– I flipped the front ring & hub sprocket [Tip: Use the bench vice method!!!] + fitted a cheapo KMC chain for a fiver and it’s been great.
– The rear rim cracked and was replaced after 4200 miles, as shown in the shocking photo below. That was lucky not to fail – which can be a scary and sometimes devastating experience!! Replaced with a Mavic 717, really the benchmark in rims for this kind of bike.
– Mudguards have taken some hammer but i botch them up something lovely with rubber patches and a cut off watering can handle!
– Front Grizzly rim has nearly had it so am currently eyeing up a sturdier Mavic XC717 replacement to match the Mavic hub rim which has stood up exceptionally well to all the abuse. I Very occasionally have to true the spokes which i can do myself now – no need for bike shop or fancypants truing stands, just an old golf tee and a lot of patience!!
Finally for now, this is a great web guide which I use: http://www.bikemagic.com/maintenance/wheel-truing-basics/3041.html
If Flamme Rouge had a marking system then I would give it 12 dogs out of 5!!!…..”