Thursday, 27 September 2012
Seriously, how am I expected to resist this beauty!? It's a Koga-Miyata Gents Tourer model from 1977 in green metallic paint. The good news is there are around fifteen different models from tourers to pro racing bikes, they're great value and there's an excellent website where you can buy them.
And my excuse? Well this one's staying at the in-laws in Suffolk so that when we visit them I'll be able to go for rides. Ideal!
Koga-Miyata was a Dutch company formed in 1974 that made high end bikes using Japanese components, mainly Shimano. In 2010 it became just Koga.
From 1980 Koga Miyata sponsored the IJsboerke cycle team with immediate success when the Dutch rider Peter Winen won a stage of the Tour de France at the Alpe d'Huez.
My touring model uses a Shimano 600 groupset, SR Afex cranks and Mavic wheels. As a tourer there are dual brake levers, but apart from that (and the addition of mudguards not present on mine) the model is the same spec as the Gents Racer.
And the excuse for buying her (apart from the extraordinary good looks, the great value etc!)? Well, for weekends with the in-laws in Suffolk it will be fantastic to have a bike based there for nice long rides. And there are at least three of the family who'll be able to make use of her. Can't wait for my first ride!
Sunday, 16 September 2012
Ever since I became a born again cyclist three years ago I've had trouble shifting between the small ring and the big ring. The left hand sweep of the shifter required to get the front derailleur to move the chain across from one ring to the other has always been a bit hit and miss.
After having always blamed the bike I've now realised it's because of my left hand. I had the two middle fingers blown off by a mortar bomb in Sarajevo in the early nineties, and although they were re-attached they ended up shorter as the middle joints were shattered. Try shifting using only your index finger and you'll see it's not the most effective way of doing it.
Sometimes it works fine and sometimes it doesn't, but until recently I was blaming the shifters and was forever taking my Ribble back to the workshop only to be told that there was nothing wrong with the setup. The change from Campag Athena to SRAM Red didn't help at all and it gradually dawned on me that maybe it was my technique rather than the shifters that were to blame. I mentioned this to the guys in the workshop and it seems they thought that all along but didn't have the heart to tell me!
After quite a bit of research I've gone for the Canyon Ultimate AL 9.0 Di2 which has had great reviews, and the workshop guys say it's a well built machine from their experience working on them. Hopefully my shifting problems are over!
To fund this purchase I've sold the Ribble and the Rossin, both bikes that I loved in their own way. There's more about the Rossin here.
The Canyon weighs in at 7.55Kgs which is almost exactly the same weight as I'd got the Ribble down to. I intend see how I get on with the Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels and Selle Italia Race SE saddle, but still have the Zondas and Fizik Aliante in reserve in case needed.
So I still have leftover Pro-Vibe bars and seatpost, stem, Zonda wheels, a saddle....now all I need is a new frame, some shifters......