More lovely fixie riding

So it turns out that my fear expressed in Potential bike upgrade miscalculation did not happen. Our oldest son decided that he didn’t want a bike for another term. I am clearly on notice though, as next year he will not be living right in the heart of Oxford.

So I have been enjoying my fixie while I can.

The new Brooks B17 saddle is already more comfy than the very light Specialized saddle I had on before (although it does weigh more than twice as much). I’ll get it nicely broken in before the end of the summer and then move it to the Trek Pilot. The most noticeable difference with a Brooks saddle compared to the synthetic ones I have use before is how easily your bum slides around it. Adjusting position is very simple and it feels like there is much less friction on the inside of your thighs.

Anyway last night I went out for a lovely ride on the fixie. Almost exactly 10 miles. It is running almost absolutely silent except when grit sticks to the tyres and flies off under the mudguard. The almost is because there is a very slight creak when powering out of the saddle which I need to fix. Possibly a pedal as I didn’t do anything to them when I did the maintenance, last time I had this I decided it was the velcro straps on my shoes.

Back to the ride. I averaged 17.7 mph door to door (so that includes the driveway at home and all warming up). The ride was Syston to Rearsby, then Thrussington, Ratcliffe On the Wreake, East Goscote, Queniborough and back towards Syston railway station. I think I’ll find a way to make it exactly 10 miles allowing for a bit of a warm up and then see what sort of time it takes. I am wondering if I can do a route like this four minutes faster (ie break 20mph) if I am warmed up and not negotiating our driveway and speed humps at the beginning and end. Doing the ride after 12:30 at night meant that I didn’t see a single car in the whole ride.

One of the nice things about a fixie is that when you are feeling good it just flies up short hills. That was very noticeable on Station Road in Rearsby and on Barkby Road from Queniborough. On the first I reached the level crossing and then thought to myself “I thought there was a hill before this”. Coming out of Queniborough I thought I had better give a bit of  a kick to get up the hill without having to stand and slow down. Towards the top I looked and the gps and found myself doing over 21mph which surprised me a lot.

Maybe I should strip it of excess weight (mudguards, rack, chainguard) and put the drop handlebars back on to get the speed up. Except that this evening I used it for a funeral visit so was moderately dressed up and still just hopped on, nice to not have to worry about trouser clips or tucking your trousers into your socks. Just get on and go.

I don’t like the idea of making a bike less practical just to go a bit faster.

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