A proper test of massive bike upgrades

Yesterday I wrote about the upgrades to my Whyte Suffolk. I decided I needed to test them so, as I had an evening free, I went for a nice ride. In the end I tested a slight modification of the route for the Syston Sportive that we are running on 30th April (entries still open at £31 supporting our Youth Cafe and Community Hub).

It was a glorious ride 🙂 51 miles on empty roads, including a number of really tiny roads that I’ve not used before. Highly recommended.

[Ride id=532163531]

Summary of the changes to the bike.

Wheels from TheHappyCog

Oh Wow! Awesome! Fantastic! All I hoped for and more. They are fast! I absolutely love them. The bike feels much faster with these. Given that it was a 51 mile ride with 2,400 feet of climbing, late at night so no stops for food (and my feet were getting very cold) I was impressed with my average speed of 14.4mph – especially given my previous longest ride this year has been under 30 miles.

I also set 12 Strava Personal Records which tends to indicate the speed is a step up.

B&M Luxos IQ2 front Light

Fast wheels require good lighting and this coupled with the Schmidt SON 28 dynamo is the best front light I have ever used. I managed over 41 mph in pitch dark on an unknown road without any worries. Subjectively this is like riding with a car headlight.

Not only is it brilliant at lighting the road ahead and to the sides on full beam but it also has a dipped beam option (I tend to use that around town) and the best side visibility I’ve ever had.

All that with zero dazzle for the rider, daylight LED running lights and no batteries. Plus the option (untested by me at the moment) of USB charging for your Garmin or phone or whatever.

Hope Pro 4 rear hub.

I love the contrast between an absolutely silent ride until you freewheel at which point you worry that you might wake everyone up for miles around.

The hub functions beautifully but then you expect that from new products. What should really stand out is the long term reliability, easy maintenance and flexibility (support for multiple axle and freehub standards), which is completely different from the other hubs I have ever used.

SRAM Rival Hydraulic Brakes and 22 speed gears

The braking is completely transformed. Exactly what I was hoping for. Very precise, controllable and powerful. Plus I really like the high front to the hoods which give a very secure feeling. Easier to bleed than the Hope brakes that I have on my Bike for Life (although their 4 pot design gives even more powerful braking which is significant when touring with a heavy load).

The gears also work well. I really like the “double tap” change (which really means: Light Tap for smaller cog and Medium Push for a larger cog). Having the brake lever only move in one direction also feels more secure. They are very easy to setup.

TorTec Ultralite Rear Rack with Carradice CarraDura Rack Bag

This combination works well for rides where you want some tools (but need have 2 water bottles so can’t use a water bottle tool carrier), clothing, lock etc. ie for me pretty much all long rides. The bag also acts as a bit of a rear mudguard.

20160401_132710And finally a 50 mile ride late at night is a great way to help meet your weight target for the next day 😉 Not to mention the goal to cycle a minimum of 50 miles a week!

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  1. The Happy Cog

    The wheels look great Dave.
    Glad they are living up to your expectations.
    Have fun.


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