Monday 6th August – New Bike for Kenn

Yay, the new bike day has arrived. It actually arrived last night but we were too fed up having got wet to go out and ride again. Anyway, the bike needed some fettling.

The bike? It was once a Carrera Vanquish but its had some upgrades.

Kenn with 'Tweety'

The first thing to go, according to its former owner, were the carrera wheels. It now has Aksiom race  wheels and Bontrager tyres. The Carrera bars went in the bin and replacements sought and the previous owner decided that the standard gearset just wouldn’t do after a while and put Shimano Tiagras on and a twin chain ring, rather than the original triple and Sora set.. The previous owner had this bike as an entry level bike and as he improved his cycling, the bike got upgraded. Having seen all the receipts, the upgrades on this bike come to £600 or so. Personally, I’d have used the money and put it towards a Bianchi, but that’s just me.

Previous owner also said that the Halfords saddle was “bloody uncomfortable” so he has a lovely Selle Italia Prolink on now. Massive improvement for the bum. Even the frame is not the original as it had seen ‘a bit of action’, we were told, and a new frame that is straight and true is now the middle bit of the bike.

Pedals. Hmmm. The bike came with the original rat-traps as an extra but it was fitted with SPDs but the Mountain Bike ones rather than road ones, for some reason. These have been swapped out for the rat-traps as I don’t have SPD feet, or shoes as yet. I don’t feel quite ready to make the leap to clipless right now. Cue much grunting and swearing as one of the pedals just would not shift. I had to take it to my local garage, where the mechanic, who knows many more swear words than me, finally managed to separate the pedal from the crank with the use of his Snap-ons and a long lever.

Having sorted the pedals and put the rat traps on, changed the seat height as former owner was a good 6′ 2″ or 3″, compared to my 5’10” or so.

Having fettled a bit, we went out for a shake down ride. Technically yesterday was a rest day but I really wanted to give “Tweety” a ride. Raffie calls the bike Tweety as those brakes really squeak. We decided on the Barnham Broom loop, without the Carlton Forhoe loop at the beginning. By the time we got to the first turning off the B1108 we had stopped and reset the bar position as they were tilted a bit high. Once that was sorted we carried on along the road, down the slope, right at the T junction and up the little hill to the post office. Then through the village and turned right again to the road that leads to the main road. We stopped on that road and swapped bikes for a couple of hundred yards as Raffie wanted a go. I laughed as the seat was way too high, but she was impressed with the gear change smoothness and I think she might be thinking of upgrading her Soras, which means that I had better do some more work. The curse & pros of the self employed. We swapped back and raised Raffie’s seat by half an inch or so as she said that it needed raising.  She said that it instantly felt better, so I guess the seat post settled since the last move it had.

At the main road, we decided that we would cycle the Carlton Forhoe loop after all as we were feeling good. That slight rise from the church to the B1108 was telling though. We both felt it. The ride home, on the main road was great. I decided to have a play on the way home and belted down the hill, and didn’t run out of gears as I always did on the Sun. I honestly honestly believed that I was going to get to the top of the drive first but after the first 50 yards of the slight uphill towards home, Raffie flew past me and beat me in by about 10 seconds, which is better than the usual 30 as that last hill used to half kill me on the Sun. The difference from a 1978 bike to a 2010 bike is astonishing. The Sun Solo is officially retired.


10.57  km
Top speed: 37.8 kph
Ave speed: 18.17 kph (oh heavens, Triathletes run raster than we ride!)

Total: 142.57 km


About RosieRosie

RosieRosie is a woman of a 'certain age' - whatever the hell that is supposed to mean, known. I feel about 26. I have no idea what I look like as some older woman keeps getting in the way when I look in the mirror. Separated from husband but dating a nice chap at the moment. I have a proper wanderlust and have finally moved - using the housing exchange system from - where I started in Inverness, down to Cornwall and back up to the Flatlands and Big Sky Country. It's taken since September 2011, when I left Inverness until May 2017 to get to somewhere that I really like. That's not too shoddy with a swap here and a swap there, saving up again for each move. Not ruling out going home to Norfolk if necessary. Time will tell. For now my mates are just a 90 minute or so, drive down the road. I love my bikes, I love my dog and I love guitars. They all keep my busy.
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