Thursday, 2 June 2011


It´s been decided that I have too many bikes. Crazy I know. However, I nobly ´agreed´ to sell my Charge Plug and the Trek and see if I could find (or build) a cross between the two of them. Not a simple matter as one has a triple chainset and the other is single geared. I needed a reliable all weather bike I could cycle to work on (with mudguards & rack mounts) that had some sort of hub gearing to cope with the small hills around my home. It would a bonus if it looked ace too.
I spent ages searching, with no luck. The closest I came to what I wanted was the On-One Pompetamine Versa [left] which was fine except it has disc brakes - which I´d been advised against on maintenance grounds.
So it seemed our only option was a custom build, meaning the search was on for a framewith horizontal dropouts (to accommodate the Sturmey Archer), and rack and mudguard mounts. And this proved tricky too.

I looked at the The Cotic Roadrat frame [left] looked great, but unfortunately it was designed for using disc brakes.

The Kinesis Decade Convert2 [left] was perfect - except it would only accept mudguards if using 23mm tyres.

The Van Nicholas Rohloff frame [right] was amazing and ticked all the boxes, but it was nearly £1200, way out of my league.

Then LCW´s mechanic Nick (aka El Hobbito) recommended the Surly Crosscheck. This fitted the bill perfectly, looks great too, and we sourced one from Brixton Cycles.[below].

Doesn´t every gram count?

Isn´t this bike going to weigh a ton?
Well as a versatile steel framed machine it was never going to be mega light, but from some of the posts I´ve read on various blogs you´d think that using a hub gear set up is like towing a bath behind the bike. But, the SRF 3 speed is relatively light at a kilo, but then as you´re not using derailleur gearing you can deduct the weight of those components that won´t now be cluttering up your bike; the front and rear mechs, the extra front chainring, the hub and cassette that would have been used on the rear wheel. And even the extra weight of the longer chain required for derailleurs.
A 10 speed cassette weighs around 250g, rear mech 260g [ left]. The front mech (60g), plus the extra chainring and the rear hub. I can´t imagine that the overall increase caused by ´going Sturmey´ can be much more than 200-300g? But what´s a few grams between friends anyway!

Deda 215 Shallow Bars [left]
We´re going to start with the
brown Charge Spoon Ti saddle
and matching bartape that I
had as spares.

I´m quite tempted bythis
Charge Stool saddle [right].
Or should it be a Brooks?

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