Monthly Archives: June 2012

Scweelers Thursday Night Ride


Scweelers Thursday Night Ride

Scweelers Thursday Night Ride

I didn’t turn up for the ride this week but Steve Hannigan stepped up to lead the Scwheelers.  I don’t think they got lost?

Anyway judging by the photos, looks like it was a great night.  Unfortunately I’d opted for an early night.

Everyone was looking good in there new Scwheelers Kit.  Definitely the best dressed club around :-).

Hopefully next week the weather will be just as good.  I’m starting to get a bit sick of this unsettled weather.  When are we going to get a summer?


How to build a retro bike for around a grand?

I’m not talking about a fixie or classic bike complete with Campagnolo C-Record… What I’m talking about is finding a decent steel frame and building a bike up with sympathetic components which won’t break the bank.

You might say it can’t be done!  But it can I’ll show you how.

Frame and Fork (budget £200)

Ellis Briggs Favori racing frame

First of all you need a frame and fork.  Now in order to save on our budget, we are ideally looking for something which has paintwork in a decent condition, will take allen key brakes and an 8 speed wheel.  Forget Italian frames as these nearly always go for extortionate amounts of money.  Mass produced frames such as Dawes, Raleigh, Falcon etc. are not worth chasing either as they are generally of poor build quality and the better models tend fetch high prices with collectors.  So I would suggest you look for something made by a small British framebuilder such as Ellis-Briggs, Woodrup, Mercian, Argos or Roberts.

If you struggle to find something late 80s or newer, it is possible to renovate an older frame but your budget for a frame should include framebuilding work to modernise it as well as a respray.

Now your wondering where to start looking? Well the obvious is Ebay, but make sure you know what your looking for.  The other place to have a look is Hilary Stone, he often has some bargains within our budget.  Plus he gives you all the info you need to know, such as dropout spacing.  Also Chris Marshall in Keighley usually has a few for sale hung up in his workshop, but you’ll probably pay more than £200 as they have usually been renovated.  If you do go down the ebay route, be careful to avoid a frame with a stuck seatpost, stem or bottom bracket.  My previous article will help retro rides finding a good un part 1.

Wheels (budget £230)

Ambrosio Evolution wheelset

To stay within budget I’ve looked through a number of options with wheels.  Since we are going to go with a Campagnolo Veloce groupset (more on that later), the best wheels I can find are Ambrosio Evolution rims built onto Zenith hubs.  These will take a Campag 10 speed cassette no problem.  The hubs look very similar to Campag hubs and come in polished silver.  The rims are good quality light rims. £190

Within our budget we can only afford basic tyres.  I’ve chosen some Vittoria Rubinos at £14.50 each.  2 tubes and a couple of cloth rim tapes will set you back about £12. £41.00

Groupset (£450)

Campagnolo Veloce Groupset

As I mentioned before, we’ll be looking for a Campagnolo Veloce groupset in polished silver to stay with our retro theme.  Although it will continue our retro theme it is a modern groupset with 10 speeds and dual pivot brakes.  A full groupset will set you back £450, and will include, brakes, ergos, front and rear gears, chain, chainset, cassette and cables.  Its a shame but Campag no longer do hubs, except for Record, and they only come in black.

If your frame is mudguard clearance and you need a deeper brake, then you’ll have to forget Campag.  But both Ambrosio and Tektro do deep brakes in polished silver which will keep us on budget.

Finishing Kit (£120)

System EX stem

That just leaves the finishing kit.  Bars, stem and seat post can be bought from System EX in matching polished silver for £50.  I’ve chosen the Bucket saddle from Charge, which is similar to a Selle Italia Turbo, only a lot cheaper at £25.  That just leaves headset and bar tape.  For the headset, I suggest a Tange Levin Alloy at £30 and for bar tape I like Fizik at £11.99 but you could chose whatever you prefer. The only problem with the System EX stems is they only come in 2 lengths, 80mm or 100mm. So if you need something longer you’ll have to look at Cinelli or Nitto but of course that will add to your budget. All that lot comes in at just under £120.

Summary (Total £1000)

So there you have it!  A complete bike for nearly grand to wow your mates.  I’ve deliberately left everything at full RRP because although you’ll be able to get it cheaper on the internet, your local shop may offer to build the complete bike if everything is at full RRP.

Article courtesy of

Earls Crag

Tour Of Lothersdale

Only 3 Scwheelers braved the torrential rain last night. As it turned out, it only rained as we set off and dried up later.

Anyway after a vote we decided to do a hillier route than originally planned.  Here’s the profile -

First up we climbed up West Lane out of Sutton, always a good climb to get you warmed up.  After riding down past Earls Crag we dropped through Cowling and climbed up Cowling Hill Lane.  From then on there’s some steep undulations before a fast decent into Elslack, avoiding suicidal bunnies! A bit of main road followed until we got to East Marton then one of my favourite bits of road all the way to Gargrave.  Out of Gargrave there is a small climb past the station going up Church Street before dropping down to Broughton and starting up the final climb at Elsack.  Probably my favourite climb of the night, starts off steep, but levels out a couple of times.  It climbs steadily crossing the old Skipton to Colne road and then onwards nearly to lothersdale before dropping back down Lothersdale Road and back to Glusburn.

Altogether not a long ride, but plenty of climbing.

The Route -

The Shweelers enjoing the Jubilee ride

Jubilee Ride 2012

The Shweelers enjoing the Jubilee ride

On the 4th June 2012 the Queen’s celebrations gave the green light to South Craven’s finest to cycle round the spectacularly beautiful and quiet Forest of Bowland.
Setting off ay 9am from Barnoldswick Peter G, Steve K, Martin H and Paul F headed West and after an early morning chill, the day exploded into a beautiful day for cycling.
Villages and picturesque hamlets decked in flags and bunting became remarkably commonplace and each bend and summit crested invariably provided a stunning view, the top of Waddington Fell being a typical example. Moving out of Slaidburn we headed north towards Bentham and hardly met a soul and despite a fast pace (ahem!) time was found  to stop and take in a panoramic view of all Three Peaks… (and the Langdales or was it The Howgills!!)

Time constraints went out of the window as we stopped at a fantastic Farm Cafe at Wray and indulged ourselves under warm sunny skies. Eventually we managed to drag ourselves away and headed for the climb back towards The Trough of Bowland. This section provided a fantastic view of Morecombe Bay with Blackpool Tower in the distance. A death defying descent towards Dunsop Bridge came and went in a flash and then onto the quintessentially “chocolate box” .. Inn at Whitwell. As we soldiered on bums were beginning to ache and legs growing a little tired and all except Peter G forgot how much of a rollercoaster the route home was.

Despite the bumps the team managed the ride comfortably and enjoyed a well earned 99 ice cream at the finish. The ride was a testing  78 miles and as each Wheeler headed home the smiles were nearly as long.

Due to varying commitments other Wheelers were unable to come along but it is hoped that the ride becomes an annual fixture on the Club calendar. (Have we got a calendar Paul G ?)

Skiptons New Cycling Club / Sunday Rides

A friend of the club Sean Mckibben has just started to set up Skipton’s new cycling club.

Skipton Cycling Club will be starting Sunday rides from tomorrow 17th June 2012.  Rides will meet at Dave Ferguson Cycles in Skipton at 9.30am and will be approximately 30 miles in length and at a friendly pace.  All abilities welcome.  South Craven Wheelers are welcome to attend.


Wheelers Jersey

The new South Craven Wheelers Jersey has arrived!  Many thanks to Neil for sorting this out.  Excellent job!

A Tale of Two Bradleys

Once upon a time there was a Pro Tour rider called Bradley who approaching a very important Event was regarded as a contender. It was clear to see he was in very good nick! He had some early season successes and then whilst at his peak he crashed and had to leave Le Tour taking his broken collarbone with him. Bradley was a bit miffed but he was determined not to let it stand in his way and this year is back and most believe stronger than ever. First Brit to win the Tour of Romandie and one of the favourites for Le Tour 2012………

All the while another Bradley was toiling away in deepest Keighley getting ready for the season ahead. It looked a tough one, not least because his disorganised teammates dithered about the makeup of the team jersey. Time passed and Bradley could see the ordering schedule slipping behind. Bradley put extra effort into his Thusday emails but it seemed that he just wasn’t getting the results he wanted. Oh yes, there was some improvement, but it came in dribs and drabs, a medium here, a full zip there…Bradley began to feel the pressure!

Undaunted however, he soldiered on and ultimately  was rewarded with a full team response for what many consider to be one of the most competitive shirts around. The order went in and Bradley’s confidence was high but unfortunately history has a habit of repeating itself!  Bradley  took his eye off the ball (and the road obviously!) and crashed out during the ordering process taking his collarbone with him. Bradley is clearly going to be a bit miffed because as the jerseys become a reality Bradley will only be able to wear his with his pyjama bottoms for a couple of months. Nevertheless, those who know this closet climber are confident he will not take this set back lying down, well only for a few weeks whilst he is waited on hand and foot…. then he will be back in strict training and in the London to Paris Ride those French spectators will need to keep well back from le cote de la rue as Bradley slides.. sorry I mean races past!