Thursday 28 August 2014

To Gravesend to meet "The Abombination"

Once again the Legend and I launch ourselves into the abyss of another great LBC ride outside of the big smoke, London. The meeting point was the ever popular Charing Cross Station which has see the LBC and the legend go on many a ride so we knew it well.

Turning the corner from the underground exit I spotted a very colourful array of Bromptons & ofcourse welcomed old friends & a few new ones. I hadn't seen Rachael E since the Brompton World Championships in 2012 when she actually won, so I made sure I got to say hello cause I had a feeling I probably wouldn't be seeing much of her and she speeds off into the distance.

With a little time to spare so I got my ticket and something to eat before we set off on the train to Gravesend. There was a few new riders with us and one young lady who has never done more than her commute to and from work on her Brompton M3L ( I believe)

On this particular ride we was going to be met by a camera man from "Fake Britain" to get our reactions to a "FAKE" Brompton. I heard that Rachael E had a very intense dislike (to call it mildly) to the thing. The legend and I would also past our judgement on the "Abomination" in time.

Once we all gathered together and made sure we had tickets etc we heading towards our train. I have to say we had the whole carriage to ourselves which was great so we didnt have to keep watching our B's so intensely but I still made sure BBB travelled in style.

First Class all the way

Racheal E's Brompton
Having got to Gravesend pretty quickly and met up by another long time LBC member Geoff S who met us there we unpacked.

BBB's cockpit
Mark L was leading this ride and we where going though some little paths, alleyways and even abit of off-roading which was abit interesting to say the least( cheers Mark L :P)

Finally we had to cross a little canal/waterway which at night-time is a deafening chorus of wild frog mating calls.

Up & Over

The chalk path was so rough in places my Garmin VIRB Elite almost shook off, I thought NOTHING could loosen its clamp. It was that bad in places.

Finally the chalk path turned into some decent tarmac road and we all sped along.


I have to say we had a very new rider Luka G with us on this ride, from what I gather her longest ride was a few miles commute in London on her M3L. Luka did extremely well for her first ride with the LBC, I just hope we haven't put her off riding with us as this ride was pretty demanding with the few hills thrown in. I did promise her that not all our rides are this hilly and we never leave anyone behind.

*thumbs up Luka G*

Now my dear readers, for those of you with a sensitive stomach may need to skip the next few paragraphs as we now come to the second part of this ride.

As we approached our lunch time stop at "The Six Bells Pub & Restaurant Cliffe" I felt a change in the air.

The clouds darkened,

The birds stopped singing,

There was a chill in the air.

I know there was a presence close by, an EVIL presence & BBB didn't like it one bit.

As we pushed our Bromptons into the rear garden of the pub we passed this cardboard box.

As soon as we saw it we knew this was the I use the term "bicycle" for the FAKE Britian filming for a few of us to make comment on it.

Just looking at the box I was reminded by a scene in the Indiana Jones film "Raiders of the Lost Ark" where they are transporting the ark in a box and you can actually hear its power radiating killing some rats nearby.

On opening the box we was greeted by this, this ABOMINATION.

Pieces falling off already
Racheal E & fivemile cyclist had ALOT to say about this FAKE bicycle, I won't even use the name Brompton in the same sentence as that ABOMINATION
Geoff S looks on

The look on Geoff's face says it all

Racheal E being filmed

My dear friends I have a confession to make. Me and Mark W actually rode the ABOMINATION. Fake Britian wanted us to ride a few miles on it with cameras but after we saw it we knew it was totally unsafe to do so but we did manage to patch it up enough to have a quick ride around the carpark of the pub to get filmed that way.

Things I noted where:
  • No brakes what so ever
  • Very spongy tires
  • Chain kept coming off 
  • Handlebar position was all wrong
  • Weld joins where a huge mess
  • Blocky edges
  • Loose handlebars even after being tightened
  • Cheap pedals
  • Cheap everything
I know for sure if I really put some effort in it I would have snapped the thing like a twig.

I did apologise to BBB for riding the ABOMINATION but I needed to know what it felt like and I promised I'd give BBB some serious TLC when I had the chance. That seemed to calm BBB down abit but was still angry at me, can't blame BBB for that tbh.

After finishing our lunches we headed off again, a couple of us had cameras onboard BBB ofcourse had a couple as well as my Garmin VIRB Elite so we had about 3 cameras in all  filming us as we rode though the rest of the ride. At certain points the camera man which be at a junction we was passing and would get some footage as we rolled past. I think he liked the Brompton so much that he was even considering buying one himself ;)

Having got back to Gravesend Station we passed this great little moral which I just had to get a shot of with BBB ofcourse.

On our journey home I also spotted a big rainbow. Luckily we had missed all the rain which is always a bonus.

After saying our goodbyes me, my cycling partner in crime Mr. O & Racheal E headed down The Mall where I would go to Green Park Station & home. 

Another great ride with my LBC Bromptoneers as always & felt like ages since I've ridden with my bud Mr.O. 

Next weekend is going to be busy with a LBC ride on Saturday & A 52 miler Bikeaton on Sunday for charity. 

Friday 15 August 2014

BIKEfun Classic Suspension for BBB

While I was at the Brompton World Championships a couple of weeks back I spotted something that I had wondered about for a long time.

I saw a suspension block for the Brompton that was a little different to Brompton's standard & firm blocks.

As always I want to make BBB unique so when I saw the BIKEfun Classic Suspension Block in person I was hooked. These suspension blocks are a combination of a metal spring and a rubber/plastic compound which when combined are equivalent to the Brompton FIRM suspension block. These suspension blocks come with 2 rubber compounds so you can tailor the the block to suit your riding style. I was more drawn to the fact that you could get the springs in different colours to match your Brompton if you so wished. I ofcourse got the yellow version, even the rubber compound has a yellowish tint to it was well. ;)

BIKEfun Classic Suspension Block
Using parts from the original Brompton suspension block it was easy to put together, remembering to tighten up the nylon locking bolt as when I changed the suspension block last time I didn't and came apart a few days later.

BIKEfun Classic Suspension Block in Yellow

BIKEfun Classic Suspension Block

As I am a heavy rider I choose to put the harder rubber compound in and it felt good on my short test ride. Following is the video of the ride with camera mounted to the saddle rails. I'm jumping up and down on the pedals so you can see how much the block compresses.

Available here @ Bike Gang

Monday 11 August 2014

Always bet on BLACK

Small upgrade I have had my eye on for quiet a while was the Lightskin seat post.

Back in June 2013 I actually won a Silver Lightskin Seatpost in a competition (Blog post here). It was a nice surprise and I did use it for a little while. But I had always had my eye on a black seat post to keep in line with BBB's styling so sold it after afew months. I always promised BumbleB that I would get a black version when I had the funds together.

Features of LightSKIN

  • LED: Five (5) High Brightness LED's
  • Duration: Minimum 50hrs (5LED ON mode No.5) - 400hrs (3LED mode No. 2)
  • Batteries: 2 AA's 
  • Waterproof for everyday life
  • Modes: 10Modes (5x 5LED's - 5x 3LED's)
  • Weight 36g Approx (without batteries)

PAD: 6th August 2014
Black Lightskin Seatpost for the Brompton

The batteries are inserted at the bottom of the seat post and has a big rubber end for protection too, so changing the batteries is easy.
Where the batteries are changed

Short video of the different lighting sequences of the Lightskin seat post.

Good for an emergency backup incase your main rear light is out. I personally wouldn't use it as my main rear only though, just not a wide enough beam but can't be stolen or forgotten as a normal rear light.

Got mine from rad-cafe on ebay £59 (UK based ebayer), can even pick up in Central London.

Sunday 3 August 2014

Brompton World Championship Video #BWC2014

Well here is my final edit of my Brompton World Championship 2014 onboard video.

I think next year I will put a 50T chainring on as the track isn't that hilly and I'd probably be faster without working so hard.

Also maybe a more stable platform for the front view, on the handle bars its abit too shaky for my liking. Have to figure somehow to mount on the front block maybe. 2 Garmin VIRB's would be perfect :D

Full length is about 34mins, don't think you all want to view all that so I speeded it up abit (x4)

*best viewed in HD ofcourse

Enjoy and definitely see you all next year :)

Friday 1 August 2014

#BWC2014 Onboard 500m Sprint video

Onboard with BumbleB during the Brompton Sprint on the 27th July

With my reduced gearing (44T chainring) my overall top speed is lower at my maximum cadence so anyone with a bigger chain ring would have a higher top speed at the same cadence.

I can normally keep my cadence around the 100rpm mark for longer but going full out at 120 rpm is pushing my envelope. As you can see on the video I faded out about 50m from the finish line.

Damn good fun though