Progress so far...

June 30th 2009 - 22 stone 4Ibs. Current weight - 17 stone 1Ib. Weight loss - 5 stone 3Ibs. Commuting miles - 3389.
Non commuting miles - 359. Mileage this week - 101 miles. Total mileage - 3748 miles.

Sunday, 21 February 2010


I was awoken as usual at 0630hrs on the weekend to the Spawn of Satan bashing the shite out of his wardrobe shouting "MOMMY!" Better than any alarm clock I can tell you, but it doesn't have a snooze function. So, up and at 'em then.

I opened the blind in his room to be presented with a winter wonderland. Again. Brilliant. Not. Looking at the met on the Beeb we have snow for the next 3 days. So schools will be closed, roads will be chaos and in all probability I'll be working from home.

Yesterday was a good day though, a new bike was ordered from Northfield Cycles. A Giant Defy 2 as mentioned yesterday. I took an equivalent sized Giant for a spin and quite surprisingly I was pretty comfortable and my belly didn't intrude quite as much as I feared. Richard the owner said he will ensure everything is adjusted perfectly for me when I stop by mid week to collect it. I've asked for the Kenda 25s to be swapped at Point of Sale for some Schwalbe 23s puncture resistant tyres, with my track record for punctures I consider that a must. He is also fitting some Giant branded mudguards, they're pretty low profile so don't intrude that much. But again, mudguards are a must if it is a primarily being used for upping my commuting miles.

Onto planned rides, Rafe and Matt have bullied me mercilessly into doing the Oxfordshire Classic. Apparently it's a 30 mile or 60 mile loop. The classic bit is the 60 mile according to Rafe. As the ride is early May I think the 60 mile Classic is the one to do. I may regret typing that but I like a challenge. But I am looking forward to meeting Matt and pedalling with the pair of reprobates.

I have already got a few extended routes to work in mind for when the weather improves a bit. A 20 mile commute in via Solihull and a 30 mile commute in via Kidderminster and Dudley. I'll keep the ride home its normal 12 miles. I do like to get home of an evening at a decent time.

Today is all about keeping the kids happy and cooking the Sunday dinner. Roast Beef today. Obviously there's no coaching today due to the weather.


  1. Personally I'd stick with 25s. As I commented before...

    They've got quite a bit more air in them to soak up the lumps and bumps.

    They've got LESS rubber in contact with the road too which in theory means less resistance therefore quicker though I doubt it's noticeable!

    The only downside I can see is they are wider therefore less aerodynamic - but again I think we're both a long way from being able to notice that!

    Unless I've missed something there's one noticeable positive with the 25s, one unnoticeable postitive with the 25s and one unnoticable positive with the 23s. So why would you go with 23s?

    Just my 2p worth. It seems people are obsessed with 23mm tyres and I'm struggling to see why, especially for big riders.

    If I'm wrong I'd love to know about it!

    As for the actual tyre choice that's a case of suck it and see really. I think there's less to chose from between road tyres compared to mountain bike tyres i.e. the difference in treads/compounds at "our" level doesn't seem to be that bewildering. Also, a bad choice of tread on a MTB can ruin your ride/confidence.

    I'm running Vittoria Rubino Pros on the road bike as they're the ones I've found that don't puncture on the gritty rural roads round here. The bike originally came with Conti somethings that were supposedly puncture resistant but punctured every time I went out. Like I say, you have to suck it and see!

  2. It's not a size thing Rafe, God knows I've never been worried about how big things are, (apart from my belly natch) it's just that I took advice from the gaffer at Northfield Cycles and he recommended the Schwalbes as a good choice for the type of riding I'll be doing and for their puncture resistance. As a relative Road Riding novice I'm happy to be guided by people who know. No doubt as I become more experienced at tarmac pounding I'll find what works for me.

  3. The bloke in the shop will recommend 23s, lots of other people will too, but never say why. I've justified why I think 25s are better, I'm just waiting for someone to give me the counter argument!

    I actually asked the same on BikeRadar and I think the consensus was 25s on that type of bike:

  4. BTW nothing wrong with his choice of tyre. He will certainly know more about what works on the roads near you than I would. It's just I think I'd go with the tyre he recommends but in a 25mm not 23mm.

    If he says 23s are faster then I think he'd be wrong. At the same pressure the 25s will have less rubber in contact with the road.

  5. Interesting discussion that. It seems there are as many opinions on tyres as there are on gearing, saddles, frame material and life the universe and everything.

    I guess as you say, it's a case of suck it and see and find your way.

    "Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has got one." (Copyright Squadron Sergeant Major Lenny Madden, Nescliffe Training area 1988).

  6. LOL! Your old sergeant was right.

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and I'm the first to accept I'm wrong if I am. What winds me up is people that regurgetate other peoples opinions rather than understanding them. Like the "don't use washing up liquid to wash your bike" one which I still find totally bonkers and, as yet, unsubstantiated.

  7. I've never had a problem using a jet wash either. I know it's considered one step away from being an axe murderer to some cyclists though. Ahh well, whatever... as my daughter repeatedly says!

  8. Congratulations on the Defy.
    I'm with Rafe on this one. The Defy is designed to be comfortable rather than out and out quick. Stick with 25mm tyres instead of dropping to 23mm tyres. (Provided guards fit with 25mm tyres that is?)

    Also, considering the typs of bike it is I think 9.4kg is light. A steel bike for that sort of money would probably be much heavier!

  9. Tyres......hmmmmm....

    I use 23's on the road bikes, main reason is.....

    In the summer I use Michelin Krylion Carbon's, they are NOT cheap but they are the only tyres I have ever worn out! I used Schwalbe Blizzard/Lugano for a while but they also had so many gashes and cuts in them that I couldn't rely on them for long rides.

    I used the bike in the summer for both touring and Time Trials the Krylion's offer very low rolling resistance, excellent puncture resistance and last amazingly well, as I use it for Touring I wouldn't go down to 20's and because of the TT's I wont go up to 25's.. besides 110 psi doesn't give much comfort even at 25 :-) and if you ride with lower pressures so you get the comfort you will pinch puncture the tubes.....

    In the winter I uses Conti Grand Prix 4 Seasons, they offer a resemblance of tread, when I change from teh summer to winter tyres there is a noticeable cost in rolling resistance so hence I keep with 23's.

    On the Hybrid as its mainly used for ruff cycle tracks/canal paths I use 28's Shwalbe Marathon Plus, they are incredibly heavy but could almost be ridden with no air in them, the puncture band had to be 10 mm thick.

    The best advise I can give you is....dont scrimp on the unfortunately get what you pay for!

  10. I won't step into the tyre thing, I'm still somewhat of a beginner with the tech side of things :(

    Looking forward to meeting you too Clive, sounds like the challenge is on for 60 miles then, ho-hum. Mother in Law said she will brew up as she is on the route about halfway round...handy that!