Friday, 14 June 2013


A recent visit to the Chelsea Flower Show revealed a surprising number of bikes dotted around exhibits and stands. Not a lot of carbon fibre around, but some nice city bikes/tourers!

Saturday, 8 June 2013


 The Clapham Common parks gardeners got the lawnmowers out and have (possibly accidentally) created a grass track bike race circuit on Clapham Common near the Bandstand Cafe. My son Tommy discovered it and we spend a happy 20 minutes doing circuits. Enjoy it while the weather is nice! There´s a lot more than the part of the track that appears in the video.

Tommy was on his Beinn 20 Islabike and I was using my wife´s Giant Avail.

Also this week I was re-aquainted with the Trott family at Buckingham Palace where Laura received her OBE. They´re a great bunch, and it was nice to meet road racer Emma who races in Europe for Dutch women's professional team, Dolmans-Boels. She deserves more credit for what she is achieving in the very competitive world of women´s bike racing which is badly in need of more television coverage. There´s a video of Laura Trott shwing me how it´s done on the velodrome (outdoor) in the right hand column ....

Saturday, 1 June 2013


After a miserable spring I waited until 29th of May 2013 before getting the new 'Summer' bike out of mothballs. Of course after I'd gone about five miles the heavens opened and for the next hour it poured down. No big deal, but not ideal for a test ride. I only managed about 20 miles before I called it a day.
I'd just recovered from two weeks of (proper) flu, followed by a chest infection, followed by a couple of weeks where I was off work after 'putting my back out', so it was impossible to draw any conclusions about the respective merits of the two bikes.
The Canyon is certainly a lively ride and has a more aggressive riding position than the Tifosi. With the new Mavic Ksyrium SLS the only thing slowing the bike down was me and my lack of fitness after the enforced time of the bike. I took it very easy but was pleasantly surprised to see that I set a PR for the Bathgate Road climb on Strava, when only a few weeks before I'd attacked the climb full gas to set my previous record. The ride is here, although somehow Strava switched itself off after 12 miles or so.
The Zonda hubs are very good but the Mavic hubs are excellent, and the build quality is exceptional. The SLS are also a little stiffer than the Zondas, something you notice the most when climbing.

WEIGHT  I weighed the SLS and Zonda front wheels and the results are below:

Mavic Ksyrium SLS front wheel including Mavic 23mm Yksion Pro tyre: 976g
Mavic advertises the wheel at  875g with tyre, but some of the increase is the magnet from my Blackburn Atom bike computer. But only a little. That's quite disappointing (as punk band 999 used to say - remember them?)

The Zonda front wheel with 23mm Continental Gatorskin Hardshell tyre: 1059g
So there's only around 100g difference between the SLS and the Zonda front wheels.
Swap the Zonda's Gatorskin Hardshells with Ultremos and the difference would probably be negligible. 

The Mavics SLS cost over £700 per wheelset (including tyres) whereas the Zondas cost just over £300.00 without tyres. The Mavics are clearly in a different league than the Zondas in terms of build quality, especially for the more competitive cyclist, but the Zondas are excellent value for money, especially as they can be bough for under £300 if you look around. 
I'll weigh the rear wheel next, and it's quite possible that the difference will be greater. I'll tweet when I add that info to the blog. (@elprezcyclismo)