Tuesday, 17 February 2015


So finally it´s arrived. I could bore you with the details of how I ended up with the Enigma Etape frame after I´d ordered a Kinesis Gran Fondo back in August. 
But I have to say that I although I saved a couple of hundred quid by ordering from online supplier Shiny bikes, I´m not sure it was worth it for the months of waiting and the hair pulling.

However, the bike, now built up, is great!

Apart from the 3TTT Ergonova bars possibly being a bit racy for me, the fit is perfect.
My average speeds (compared to those achieved on my Vitus 979) have improved by three or four kms per hour.
And climbs up hills like Surrey´s White Down Lane and Box Hill seem easier than on any bike I´ve previously owned, including the Canyon.
This might be the bike, but it´s more likely because I´ve hardened (the *#ck) up by riding heavier bikes over the last few months.
The Enigma tips the scales at 8.5Kgs (more about that later) but that includes mudguards which will be coming off in April, so I´m saying just over 8Kgs.

The ride is spritely but assured, road buzz is minimal, and the frame is nice and stiff. It´s just a great all rounder.

Nonetheless, in a perversion of n+1, I´ve successfully reduced two bikes (winter and summer) to one.
I´ve alread been out for a few ´all weather´ rides, and they´ve been a joy.
But how long I can go without a pure summer bike, only time will tell...

Nick at TLCW
Note natty matching shoe covers

Neat welding!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014


My niece liked the look of my Vitus when she saw it in the autumn, and I promised to look out for one for her on eBay. Within a couple of weeks this one popped up in France, but we missed out in the auction. 
Luckily it became available because the buyer didn't pay, so it's now being shipped over to The London Cycle Workshop. 

The flat bar set up should be perfect and we both think it looks great with the matching Brooks saddle and bartape. 
The French components also look rather cool, and the wheels are also pretty decent. 
I'm hoping I might be able to 'look after' the bike while Laura's travelling in 2015!

After we missed out in the original auction I found a Vitus that was built up with a full vintage 7400 eight speed Dura Ace Groupset with the exception of modern Claris STI shifters.

We won the auction, so now we´ll try both bikes for size, and the one she doesnt want I´ll either hang on to, or sell, or hide. The usual. 
The flat bar is a 55cm, which is a bit on the small side for me. This one is a 58cm which is much better...
I´m surprised how easy it still seems to be to find a Vitus 979 in good condition at reasonable prices considering the frame´s history (Sean Kelly et al), light weight and ride characteristics. 

Nice 58Km ride round Wimbledon and Richmond Park on the Dura-Ace/Claris Vitus. It rode pretty much like any of the modern road bikes I´ve ridden in the past. Loved it!
The Dura-Ace/Claris combination is unusual to say the least, but it works really well!

The drop bar Vitus was too big so Laura's gone for the flat bar. 

The Dura Ace Vitus has gone to a very good home in Amsterdam. It was collected by the new owner's friend Emma, herself a proper cyclist. 
Very sad to see her go!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014


I bought my son a Jamis hybrid bike a few years ago, but he's going to outgrow it soon, so when I saw this 50cm Vitus going cheap in France (complete except for wheels) I thought it might be worth seeing if he'd take to it. 
It was in decent nick and after a bit of a tidy ended up looking like this. 

It has an indexed Shimano 105 SLX gearset and brakes, a Stronglight chainset, and I found a nice set of wheels with Shimano 600 hubs in excellent condition. Better kit than my Vitus in fact. 

It looks great and even received a complement from the normally hard-to-please Nick Van Vader at The London Cycle Workshop. He actually wanted to buy it as it fitted him perfectly. No comment. 

The chainset has typical cyclo cross gearing (46/34) which happens to be ideal for an 11 year old. I don't think it was a cross bike, but who knows. 

Lucas is getting used to the downtube shifters, although he hasn't tackled any hills yet. To be honest, he'd probably prefer STI levers, but that's tough :(