Check me out on facebook... http://en-gb.facebook.com/Charlie.The.Bikemonger for more blog nonsense


OH NO... I had just serviced and re-tyred this Scott, loaded it into the back of the customers land rover with her dogs. 10 minutes passed and there was a call to say the dogs had eaten through the hydraulic hoses. This stuff is pretty toxic, but the dogs are not dead yet.



Mark from Bullheart... great chap (with a heart partly made of cow due to cancer) has sent me this.... thank you very much. On the front it says... "Not now Cancer - I am busy".




Jonathan from Sustrans picks up his new Surly Steamroller, on a lovely sunny sunday... so...





... so we went to the Square and Compass where we found not only curry ale and oyster stout, but also the really rather brilliant Ben Caplan And The Casual Smokers.




And this is what Ben without his casual smokers sound like...




The single speed euro champs was ace... a better full report to follow later. But for now: duck, pork, beef, duck pate, pork pate, oysters, smoked duck, wild boar... and some bikes. Here is a quick movie... The french chap speaking is my friend Jerome. He is a frenchman, and a chef in my home town in England, and is from the region where the race was. It was his first proper mountainbike ride, first one speed ride, first race... etc..




Another nice Nimble9 is born.... this one is along the south coast, and has a really rather nice spec: Lynskey post, whammy bars (super wide), fox forks, american classic wheels, big nobby Nics... lovely...
 


My surly pugsley fat bike has been on work experience... and now we have sent them there first beach sampler specific fat bike.




"Officers from Environment Agency Wales are trialling a new
‘beach bike’ to help with their water sampling duties in and around Swansea
Bay.

The bike, currently on loan to the Agency, is a demo model
and has been purpose-built for cycling on sand and soft ground.

It will help officers travel the length of the beach whilst
they conduct essential water sampling as part of the ‘Smart Coasts Sustainable
Communities’ project.

Over a period of three days, samples from the sea at
Swansea, Aberafan and Kenfig will be collected every hour. The aim is to
identify potential pollution sources which might affect bathing water quality
in Swansea Bay.

The data from samples collected will feed in to the overall
Smart Coasts project, and is additional to our seasonal bathing water sampling
programme."



 

Charlie’s 40Th Birthday Ride & Party

10.30am Saturday 7th April 2012

I am about to hit 40, so we are having a day of bike fun down in sunny Dorset.
Basically it’s an off-road ride around the best local trails (not too many miles), bakeries and pubs. But best of all we have Geno Washington & The  Ram Jam Band playing on Saturday night.

Geno is an original 1960’s Chicago soul act, really rather famous if you know this sort of music. A genuine 1960's Chicago soul legend. In simple terms it’s all a bit Blues Brothery.

Swanage is very much geared up for overnighters with many B&Bs, campsites, Hostels and Hotels.

Simply head down to the coast with a bike.

Geno then....


and now...



Want to know what my customers look like and do.... this band now have a cool green steamroller with red wheels... http://www.shaketigershake.com/   Really nice bunch, and rather refeshing sound.


Little Miss Bikemonger  (aka Phoebe) is in this pop video by the Maccabess, filmed in the hills behind our shop, and at the square and compass in worth matravers... best pub in the world (and home to to a 1989 kona cindercone). Phoebe is at 2.40mins beside a chimney.  You may recognise another local cyclist.









John, one of our suppliers is on a 29er now and raising money for hero hounds.... https://www.justgiving.com/29daysona29er    check it out


Moonlanders are  landing....






This is a tour of our Nimble 9 demo bike from the Canfield Brothers...
its a very cool bike, gives you tons of confidence, is an absolute hoots, rails berms... and is XC-able if you move the dropouts back




I want all you bikeheads to get up on your feet
Put your braces together and your boots on your feet
And give me some of that old moonstomping

Are you ready? Start stomping!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah




and as the last SAAB car rolls off the production line, a cheeky bikemonger sticker finds a new home.





Team Bikemonger's youngest racer wins everything...
Corey, a buddies son, borrowed the demo single speed surly pugsley for the Swanage School Biathlon... he was a few hundred meters off the lead when the running ended, but the big fat monster truck bike floated like a butterfly, barreled along like a fat chick full of cheap booze, and he crushed all the opposition under his awesome wheels of overkill. He not only won the event for his age group, but also got the fastest overall time, leaving all the geared kids wishing their dad was cool like Corey's.



 

The Ritchey P-29s have landed...
but be quick, only three of each size arrived in the UK....



The Salsa Fargo
is a truely great bike, really unique and a load of fun... and in its Ti variation its even better. This belongs to one of our customers, and no expense has been spared...

 Woodchippers, lizard skin dsp tape, cane creek drop v levers, 10sp dura ace bar end shifters, thompson x2 stem, chris king headset, niner fork, middleburn chainset with 20,30,40 rings perfect gearing for 29er. royce ti bb, look qaurts ti pedals, xtr cassette 11/34, lynskey ti seatpost, fizik tundra 2 saddle, king ti cages, alligator i link cables, jagwire cable ajusters, medium cage saint rear meck xtr front meck now not shown, 180 avid bb7 front and rear, frm team urano xc pro wheelset thru axle with bolt less disc, schwalbe tyres, kmc 10sl chain, tubus logo ti rear rack not shown, all ti bolts.   UB40 CD is optional.






STOP THE SUFFERING NOW...


The Bikemonger’s of Dorset are still in desperate need. Please continue to support us as we save lives from monotony and fix punctures. Please donate to The Bikemonger’s STICKER APPEAL...

Our window was smashed a few weeks ago, and our new window is going in right now. But we are facing a bleak stickerless window future this Christmas. Help change this uncolourful situation by simply sending your stickers to: Bikemonger Sticker Appeal, 137B High, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 2NB, UK



  


Blimey our customers are cool...
you give a guy a "one less car" sticker and he sends you a picture like this.... we are very jealous of his car (maybe not hit fuel and tyre bill)



Check this out....
one of our customers using the Surly Black Floyd fat bike tyres.... One of the nicest things with living in a bikemongery is the great and diverse people you get to meet. It cheers me up to see our products being used in unexpected ways.






This guy is true "Shed Master"  Keeping the great bloke traditional of fettling machines in sheds.


MORE CANFIELDS HEADING TO DORSET UK... We are now bringing in the Yelli Screamy 29er hardtail hardcore frame.. Click picture below for more info.



Severn Cycles have named their new cross bike "Mudhoney", named after a great grunge band... BUT its carbon, big logos, titanium, racey... not one speed steel grungy... So to bring some balance back, TOUCH ME I'M SICK....





Charge Cooker 29er Review... and boy did we kick the colonial arses of Cannondale and specialized. The charge won the test with a score of 9/10. Largely because of the great handling. I have been blown away by the bike, and Crashy (AKA Sausage or even Simon) who has been riding one for about a month is equally amazed by it. Reminds us of the early Kona bikes... great bikes.

Crashy said... " This is far from a full on Charge Cooker 29er review but Ash and the nice guys from Charge Bikes recently lent the Bikemongery their prototype Cooker 29er. Been riding it for a few weeks now and it’s a properly sweet handling bike – probably the fastest steering 29er I’ve ever ridden. Climbs faster than I can and a whole lot of fun on twisty singletrack. Lovely Tange Infinity steel frame which looks a lot like an old Kona in profile (this is a good thing), and cool paint that for some reason reminds me of a 50’s Hot Rod."

Want one.... http://www.charliethebikemonger.com/charge-cooker-hi-29er---pre-order-deal-save-10-1901-p.asp






KNOW YOUR LIMITS.....


PDW takeout racks...
These are awesome... just the right size for a few beers and a chinese, and it says on the label you get several chincillas in there too, maybe a small badger?   Here is an odd thing £50 here... $120 usd in the states where they come from. Click picture to jump to it...







Fed up with the desperation, the shame, the browness of going for a shifter in the woods.... this product may change your life. I once used to sissy thumb wiggle, but now I am cured, and I can now hold my head up high....  thanks to this fanstatic product.



We are going to see fat bikes break out of the assumed limitations that many foolishly place on them. I have had two great downhiill races on our demo pugsley... and now this too... enjoy

Yep, they ride like they look... but there is certainly something in the concept. A leaf spring inserted in the bar or post would limit the bend to one axis... just up and down on the bars, just back and forth on the post. I love bendy seatposts as they provide micro suspension, but having said that I have permanently bent a Titanium post this season.
New Token Cromo Freewheels.... just landed in the shop. Looking good, sounding very white industries-ish, and a few quid cheaper too. Hardly a full on token cromo freewheel review, but you get the idea... round, toothy, clicky, nicey. Click the picture to get to see more...





Another landmark as a shopkeeper, street fighting on a Monday lunchtime.

Short but big bloke jumped one of our nicest customers outside the shop with fists flying. Cut to his face, blood, rolling in the street, then with me diving in and kneeling on him, customer had his head in a leg-lock, and four police cars on there way. Both of us did a good job, restrained him without actually punching et...c. The neighbours helped, police were good too, cheers. Arrested but lurking around outside the shop within an hour.

CCTV and "other" security now upgraded.

Swanage and the shop are such nice places to be. It really fucks me off when a minority bring their shit to town.

I'm not only hundreds of £££s down on security, lost a day of work, a bit scuffed... But also this is MY damned shop where my family and friends work. It's a cool place, taken years and years to get here and anything other than cool can fuck off.

On the upside it's sincerely good, nice and right damn it to step in and stop this pernicious pointless bollocks pedalled by equally pointless people.






Damn are we excited about this. Obviously a demo bike will be available (secret code for "I want one of these"). The deal is ultra short stays, and kick arse handling, one speed-able, or geared... and 10% off. Just ask if you need any more info.






Hello European chums over the channel. Greetings from England. We are now doing FREE postage across europe on all components, and great shipping deals on frames/bikes etc...

Bonjour chums européenne sur le canal. Salutations d'Angleterre. Nous sommes en train de faire de port GRATUIT à travers l'Europe sur tous les components, et traite une grande expédition sur le châssis / motos etc ..

Hallo Europäischen Kumpels über den Kanal. Grüße aus England. Wir machen jetzt portofrei in ganz Europa auf allen components und große Versandkosten Angebote für Frames / Fahrräder etc. ..


Hola camaradas europeos a través del canal. Saludos desde Inglaterra. Ahora estamos haciendo gastos de envío gratis a través de Europa en todos los components, y grandes ofertas de envío de imágenes / bicicletas, etc ..

Ciao compagni europeo attraverso il canale. Saluti da Inghilterra. Stiamo ora facendo spese di spedizione GRATIS in tutta Europa su tutte le components, e si occupa di spedizione grande fotogrammi / moto ecc ..




SAVE £100 on your small wheels
. Just found some 26" wheels in the storeroom, dead light and tubeless. And because 26" wheels will never catch on, we are clearing them at £100 off. Free uk postage too.

http://www.charliethebikemonger.com/save-100---in-stock-now---stans-no-tubes--ztr-crest-26-complete-wheels-1522-p.asp


Took the Salsa Fargo on a proper adventure, the sort of adventure a proper adventure bikes deserves.

We took in 100 miles of the South Downs way over two very tough days. The Fargo was the perfect bike for the job, incredibly stable, planted and secure... whilst being nimble, flickable and a damned great hoot. Some of the downhills go on and on... its a great bike.

The anything cages mounted on the forks are awesome. I got the alpkit  bivi bag, terra nova tarp, snugpak jungle bag, and airbed on the forks. The Italian Merlot went in the bottle cage. Frame bag was for wet weather gear and cheese. Camelbak got the goose jacket and the titanium meths kitchen. Tools under the seat.

I should have put on the thudbuster seatpost, but it was on another bike at the time of packing... this is something I regretted. The thudbuster is a great post. The price is a bit scary, but they are worth every penny after 100 bumpy miles.

Needless to say getting the train to susses, and then back from Winchester was almost a logistical impossibility: sell you tickets for 7 blokes with bikes, despite three bike maximum on trains. The overcrowding on the way home was ridiculous, with bikes stacked on top of some smelly hippy who insisted on sitting in the bike rack?
 





Trade show season is tough on us, as everybody in the bike trade effs off to Vegas etc, and leaves no one in the warehouse to look after us.
But its good to see that they suffer...


FREE UK POSTAGE...
Another change here at the Bikemongery. We are doing free UK postage on every bloody thing. We have to compete with the like of "niggle" and "chainovereaction"... and we know we are on their radar (evidenced by some sudden loss leading discounting when we did an offer)... so come on you big clumsy corporations, let's roll (or call me up and buy me out for too much money ;-)

80/20 = No ebay for a week. Pareto's principle, "vital few and trivial many", the principle that 20 percent of something always are responsible for 80 percent of the results, is known as Pareto's Principle or the 80/20 Rule. Ebay is 70% of my work and 30% of turnover, and around 15% of profit due to the ebay fees. So no ebay for a week. I will be 15% poorer and 70% time richer.


Click the link above and go and see Yahuda Moon and his Kickstand Cyclery. Buy stuff from them... even though they are 2 dimensional characters, you can still buy stuff.

A surly cross check.... this one will look ace when the leather tape was become weathered and darkened up a bit. Just to let you know brown tape and saddle on a blue cross check is lovely.


Another SIR9 is born....


ooooh, these are nice... combine velcro and a roof rack style strap. Made in Dorset too.
http://www.charliethebikemonger.com/big-x-top-foot-straps---free-uk-postage-1836-p.asp




Salsa Spearfish 3 Complete bikes at only £1890.

Yep, save £210 on the new complete Salsa Spearfish... it's a mental deal. You get a complete full sus 29er with a £999 frame, rockshox, avid, sram etc... bargain.
Click the link.... http://www.charliethebikemonger.com/save-210---pre-order-deal-salsa-spearfish-3-complete-bike-29er-1404-p.asp

There are only  a handful coming to the UK, and we have almost all of them. Size large demo bike available too.



Web Business as usual this weekend - but High Street shop closed while we go to the Single Speed National Champs. CLOSED 16/17/18/18 September



SSWC 2011 IRELAND from Mickey Regan on Vimeo.

Classic Ireland shot... ace trail with menacing weather.

Business As Usual... we are back from the world champs in Ireland
Here is a short clip of the winner of the single speed race at the Brownbacks races... he wins a Bikemonger shirt and medalion made from nice gold KMC chains and Bikemonger bottle openners. And dont those trails look great.

Tom Ritchey P-29.... Oh boy are we exceited about these. Back in the late 80's when I started proper mountainbiking (as opposed to making trackers and clunkers and racing round the woods in the 70's) a Ritchey was a thing of exotica, US of god damn A, cutting edge steel, garnished with a great big tash. Tom Ritchey is a legend, he was there at the very start of this messing around on fat tyred bikes and his frames are legendary. This frame... dead narrow headtube (still 1 1/8"), single speed-able, classic paint job, great looks, very real steel tubes. Guess what.... I am getting a new bike... sorry I mean we are getting another demo bike.

These are due late September, only a handful coming in, so dont miss out, we are doing 10% off for pre-orders. click here... 

How big would Sir like his tyres...? click the picture...

Woooo... that is an expensive puncture..  What is the chances of that eh?
I was in the clunker classic world champs, with a wrist injury so used a pugsley cheat bike, but was going damned well (awesome bike)

£85 tyre + £12 tube = world most expensive bike puncture, and being overtaken by a 1970's shopper! That stick measure 12cm long by 2cm wide.

Stan's No Tubes 29er Wheels are now here... they are so damned light that we had to check teh boxes were not empty. Only £415 and 1575g, and can be found here... http://www.charliethebikemonger.com/29er-wheels-50-c.asp
The demo day and summer SURLYstice was great. Lovely weather at the beach. The salsa spearfish was the most popular bike by far... and looked cool. Complete bikes coming in September at £2200 and £2800 ish. Frames are £999. We will have a 20" demo Salsa spearfish. Linky linky... http://www.charliethebikemonger.com/salsa-spearfish-complete-bike-29er-1404-p.asp
 

The evening went on to 2.30am, with a great curry, a couple of live bands and a couple of shandys. We have photographic evidence of the salsa chap paddling in his pants at 2am, but looking at the picture with naked eyes, would necessitate the use of eye bleach.

Please join us for a casual weekend of fun down on the Dorset coast.
From 10am Saturday 25th June
Bankes Arms Pub, Studland, Dorset, BH19 3AU.
During the Saturday we will based at The Bankes Arms, a lovely pub overlooking the beach. You will not only find a fleet of lovely bikes from Surly and Salsa Cycles for you to try, but also some excellent dry singletrack.
In the evening we have entertainment lined up in another lovely pub a few short miles away.
Staying over... Swanage has many B&Bs, hotels and campsites. The best campsite for this is Herston Campsite... http://www.herstonleisure.co.uk/  which offer Lodges, camping, and even Mongolian Yurts. However any accommodation in Swanage will be near the action.
Demo bikes...
If you want a try a specific bike, email me on Bikemonger@yahoo.co.uk, and simply bring a credit/bank card with you as proof of ID, and helmet.
·         Salsa Al Carte - Green 18"
·         Salsa El Mariachi - Charcoal 18"
·          Salsa Titanium La Cruz – 57cm (only if you are very nice chap)
·     Salsa Titanium El Mariachi – 20” (only if you are very nice, and a damned fine chap indeed)
   ·         Salsa Spearfish - Green 18"
·         Salsa Fargo - Sand 20" (x2)
·         Salsa Vaya - Orange 57cm
·         Salsa Vaya - Orange 58.5cm
·         Salsa Dos Niner – silver 20”
·         Surly Karate Monkey - Grey 18"
·         Surly Pugsley – Single Speed Curry sick 18”
·         Surly Big Dummy – Green 20”
·         Niner SIR9 – Single Speed 20”
He's a winner... and he’s the rather pleased looking,  Ian Palmer, the singlespeed winner of the Brownback race.  He came a very respectable 9th place overall. So what the hell are you geary guys doing eh? http://www.brownbacksracing.co.uk/
New DREADSETS: fed up with a lack of cool in the Dia Compe headset range... we have been listening to Toots and The Maytails and made up our own Rasta headsets... click the picture for more. Oh and The Easy Star All-stars are playing Poole this week... got tickets... youtube movie below.
This is me with some onions, somewhere in the colonies.
Nice video from the cool guys at PDW

PDW: Come Ride With Us from PDW on Vimeo.

Great work there paypal / halfords... hey smug guy.... Did you really buy that bike at Halfords? Is it not a twenty year old bike that halfords never stocked? AND YOU ARE SMUG... in that helmet... FFS.    Actually it makes sense now... you are carrying the bike because the monkeys at Halfords cocked your gears up? no?
How do you make a Surly Karate Monkey Cost £1899?... Take a £999 complete bike, and send it to Camp Bastion in Afghanistan via DHL for £900 shipping. This is Jono’s bike, complete with dust. The camp is something like 64 square miles. Must be some good trails in there.
 
Rob's Funeral...
Time: 10 June · 10:00 - 13:00
Location: Poole Crematorium
  • The thing for Rob after the funeral will be at Harmans Cross village Hall from noon.
  • Eve (his daughter) wants less black and more bright clothes.
  • Bring a dish if you live locally and/or a bottle. Lots of parking and outdoor space.

The shop will be closed all day.

 

Welcome to “Blagged Freebies Friday”...
where we show you all things we blagged this week, by simply being in the bike trade. Please note...  Any similarity between this pile of blagdom and that of a well respected cycle journal is purely suspicious.
Portland Design Works 3Wrencho... its  damned fine tyre lever and axle nut doer-upper. It does open beer, but you cant use it to smoke stuff (see Surly Jethro Tule for details). But PDW stuff is all lovely. We sell these, and they are right popular.
 

_3wrencho from PDW on Vimeo.

ODI mushroom grip beer holders. The beautiful gents at Ison have given us these rather cool ODI bottle holders. They not only keep your beer cool, they are also dead “Bio” to use a 1980’s BMX term (substitute with “Rad” if it makes you happy).   www.ison-distribution.com
 
 “Ace” from the world’s leading British hardtail downhill race league visited the bikemongery for a Karate Monkey build. He left us with some espresso that goes by the name of “Haiti Voodoo Comet TM”. It’s as strong as the chainstays on a Santa Cruz Chameleon. http://www.hardtailnation.co.uk/
 
Landscape magazine is a damned fine read, and nowt to go with gardening. Not only is really rather well written and presented, it’s also FREE, What’s more a handful of copies double up as speaker stands. Drop by the shop for your FREE copy.
Nice commute to work... with Olive the shop dog, over the hills, along the coast, a few sneaky trails, and down to the best teashop in town... Brook Tearooms  for the "American Breakfast" cooked by American Mike - who is Swanage's version of Huey Morgan from The Fun Loving Criminals. Maple syrup should not work with bacon and eggs, but it does, it really does. The salsa Fargo and La Cruz proved to be excellent breakfast commuters... have i invented a new niche bike category?
I've got a dodgy bladder.... I filled my camelbak with Broom Farm cider four weeks ago. Its really good cider, and a great place to camp ( http://www.rosscider.com/ ) The cider was in there for 24 hours max. My camelbak bladder has been flushed a dozen times, but the water still comes out like apple wee!!!
Great turn out for Rob’s memorial ride. One of the Poole Wheelers said when he suggested it online he expected half a dozen or so to turn out. 70 turned out on a cold wet morning... Including his wife Jane on her old shopper (complete with wicker basket and flashy campag wheels), and daughter Eve on the back of an old tandem. The weather was grizzly, but the vibe was warm.
To be honest I don't know if is the exact spot. But it's close, based on the info "northbound near the school". It's also a visible spot with something to lock a bike too. It serves as a reminder of the tragedy that took place in an otherwise anonymous place and a quiet statement reminding everyone to be more careful. The Cinelli vase is a nice detail.
Very sad news... Rob Jefferies our gentleman mechanic was killed last night in a road traffic accident whilst on his bike. He leaves behind a wife and daughter. Rob was a man of large character and heart, and indeed stature.  
Cycling was imbedded into his life: he was won national track events, worked for “British Cycling”, facilitated our local race scene, and was damned fast too.  He will be very much missed by the local and cycling community.
In the shop we will miss his frequent techie heckles from the workshop: customers would wonder where the voice had come from, and then he would appear with his mechanical wisdom.

A lovely Traitor Luggernaut... heading to Oslo in the morning. Upgrades are White Industries cranks, Brooks pro saddle, and leather bar tape. If this was mine the wheel graphics would be peeled off to clean up the looks. If I was to ever open a one speed branch in is Oslo I would call it "OSLO SOLO". To be honest you probably need more than a business name for a business case, but it's never stopped me before.

  Will you still be riding in 25 years - of course you will. What else would you be doing ? what else could give you that feeling of at oneness with the world, the environment, the weather, the road and most of all "you", the you in the now, and the "you" you could become. Inspiring and thought provoking words from a customer going into three speed fixed wheel.
Fargo's First Night... The salsa fargo is great. You know I was expecting a lot from a bike that is so damned well thought through, but I am amazed at how well it rides. Its a great mountainbike, very chuckable and nimble, and even with a load it still flys. It was no straggler on the Tuesday night ride, hung out at the beach BBQ, and then held a guy line down for me all night. Reminds me of a loyal dog (my dogs are loyal, but prioritise food and chasing birds over loyalty).
The Salsa Anything cages are a very good way to carry your gear. There is around 2kg of extra load on the forks (airbed, terra nova 178g tarp, and a Snugpak Jungle sleeping bag)... it has almost no impact on handling other than wofting the front end needs more input from the rider.
Not a full Salsa Fargo review, but i will add more as I discover more. If you really want to know what its like... Its a demonstration bike, so get in touch if you want to try before you buy.
The Dorset Rough Riders had their annual local race. I sponsor the SS race. Vince from some sort of roady boutique came third in the single speed, on a bike that eurostar had abducted. Here you can see us negotiating over the prize, a lovely "Cycling Weakly" shirt.
 

What is this a sign for... or sign of... or ??? France eh?

 Let’s cycle one speed bikes to the Euro SS champs in Belgium... Yeah that sounds stupid.

I have been back a few weeks now and should tell you lot all about if. In brief:
I will add a “Memories of Saddle Tramp”  to the blog every few days, where I will tell you about The Somme, the wild boars, bloody Gosport, and eventually the race

Daves's Big Dummy keeps getting better...   now with stoker bars, and a a kid. He has another clid on the way, which must prove something about cycling and testicals. The local police have shown an interest in it and questioned the legality... keep up the good work.

That's it - I'm off...

to SSEC in Belgium. Simon (aka Crashy) and Michelle (aka Mrs Bikemonger) are looking after the shop, emails and all the parcel stuff. I am on the road, many roads, about 450 miles of roads... Might see you in the beer tent at the Monestry - if you have had a longer ride to the race I will buy you a beer, if you drove there, you can buy me a beer.    http://ssec2011.blogspot.com/

How did the bivy ride go... it was good, ate well, slept well, rode well. Had wild garlic and steak for supper in my Ti mug on a 38g Vargo Ti meths stove. The bike rode very well on singletrack, I was surprised to find with the weight well distributed it remained nimble and fast.

Woke up to a cloudy day, but still a nice view. All in my bike weighed 35 pounds, and my camelbak was 10 pounds.

Roll on Belgium.

Getting ready for the big ride... Prep'd the Surly Cross check for the ride out to the Euro One speed Champs. Gone with a "bikepacking" setup.

Not leaving for a week so this is a trial run to see how it rides, and how the kit performs. Going to rough camp somewhere near Studland. In those bags you have: Islay single malt, Aberdeen Angus steak, Titanium kitchen, coffee, sleeping bag, bivy bag, airbed, goosedown jacket, wooly hat. Looks cold tonight... wish me luck.

Not very bike.... but... hey... you know yo gotta fight for your rights.

Just started a new webshop.... look what me and Simon have just built... www.bicycletoolguy.co.uk
We have become geeky about bike tools, and want to break down the barriers to cycle repair, want to make it easy for folk to fix their bikes at home.

I like waves... and pretty patterns.... but this is just amazing.

We love singetrackworld... not only becuase its the best web and print MTB magazine, but also because they love us straight back. They were kind enough to review one of our new shirts, and some stickers.... but not brave enough to review the fancy smoked oysters.... http://www.singletrackworld.com/2011/04/fresh-goods-90/

VAYA-adventures... Paul P a Vaya and Niner customer has been in touch to let me know how he is getting on with his Vaya and Niner... he's very happy.  He has also enjoyed (endured) the WRT (Welsh Ride Thing, Bivvy race thing). Heres the link for the article... http://www.alpkit.com/daring-deeds/welsh-ride-thing-part-1

Carbo-loading... is an important part of a cycling diet, especially if you are cycling every day. When you are touring you never stop eating, and if you do, you curl up and die. But who has given Carbo-Unloading any consideration? Why spend £1700 on a dead light Titanium frame when you can knock off a couple of pounds carbo-unloading?

Tubeless... had my first tubeless puncture / fart last night. Sharp roacks, going too fast, and heard a weird repeating sound which stopped after about 8 revolutions. Turns out that was the sealant plugging the hole.  Lost a lot of air, but pumped it back up and rode on... Amazing stuff. Check out the video below, truely amazing.

Salsa Ti La Cruz..... aka project overkill, has started. The frame weighs almost nothing and the graphic detailing is fantastic. An incredibly nice US made titanium frame. Its a cyclocross bike, being built by Crashy as the ultimate commuter aimed as gravel, road, dirt, sandy heath and promenading (showing off on the seafront). The American Classic Huricane wheels arrive in few days - we searched hard for a real world tough, light, not too graphicy wheelset £430 if you want some. 

Will keep posting pics so you can witness its slow and glorious birth.

Shop was closed on wednesday... but for a good reason. Lovely weather and quick blast round Cwmcarn in Wales. This is Crashy about 5 meters from a near crash/tree interface scenario.

Another pair of jeans are sacraficed to the bike gods...

Another Niner is born... this one is enjoying the early season sun in the Channel Islands...

Sunday at Puddletown.... was a blast. Myself, Beardy Marvin and Crashy rode drop bar one speed crossers (surly cross checks), and Olive The Dog just used her legs. I accessorised Olive (a Purbeckian Sandwich Hound) with a cattle bell and fluro neck buff. This was so we could see and hear her in the dark forrest single track, worked well at first...

... but then... Olive positioned herself on the exit of some singletrack. I assumed Beardy Marv would spot her, and grab some brakes... and he did, but grabbed too much... and ...

You can just about make out part of his snapped seatpost. He carried on tumbling for quite some way.

The salsa woodchipper bars were great. The socks performed well too. The full face jumpy kids could not figure out: who, what or indeed why?

This is solid advice... only take 29er advice from me, or a rabbit.

Bloody hell... yeah I took some helmet can footage of my commute to the shop this morning. Usual stuff happened, like all the locals cheering me on my cummute. Dog ran out in front of me as usual.

Funniest thing I have head today... "I think it's called a geardangler or something.Makes my legs turn at different speeds while the bike stays at the same speed" singlespeedstu

Salsa MUKLUK complete bikes are now heading to the UK, until today its been frame only, leaving you to find a freaky 175mm rear hub, and offset everythings. Spec is TBC but £1599 is the price. There are only a handful coming to the UK (barely double digits), so let me know if you want to pre-order. Expected in late August.

Its not all hard work at the bikemongery... we also go for a ride every now and then. The tide was super low, the reefs were showing, and there was no need to jump the groynes (that could be taken the wrong way). the sun was out, and the blue festival was about to start. Great 5 mile spin, attempting to bunny hop pools, and then off for a swift ale under a patio heater, as the sun cleared off and the beards came out to play. Great way to wind up the week (swiftly followed by seafood poisoning and a closed shop on saturday... sorry, but hey on the upside I am racing weight now)

Another Vaya option... salsa in their wisdom (we know the truth) have "decided" to add a black frame option, only as a frameset and not as complete. let me know if you fancy one, due soon.

 Vaya complete.... Not sure if I am meant to tell you guys this yet. But what the hey. Frame and forks are £499, Completes are £1599. Call me if you want to pre-order and get a hearty discount. Due with us at the end of March. The demo bike will be back in a 58cm size.

The new Vaya colour has been leaked... mmmm orange. You wont lose that anywhere other than a Dale Winton or Judith Charmers look-a-like convention. Give us a shout if you want to pre-order one.  This color will be available as both a frameset and a complete bike based around the awesome SRAM APEX kit. Gonna be cool. Framesets expected to be £500 and complete bikes £1400.

Raw Niner... yet another lovely niner has been born. We are loving the raw finish, which will be available in glow in the dark soon.

I bloody love my job... Yesterday: I had a Welshman threaten to come down and sort me out. He had already been rude, so I told him he was banned, won’t entertain him as a customer again. But we recorded the conversation and logged it with the police. Its my damned shop and life is too short to tolerate crap.

Today: Just quoted on a three seater tandem, just like the goodies (which was filmed locally on Portland) - My Bill Oddy beard is coming on well. My knowledge of birds is poor. Also sold a Surly Big Dummy cargo bike to lovely Local Dave Furmage

Tomorrow: We take delivery of our Surly Pugsley snow and sand bike with maaaaaasive tyres. New bike fever.... ooo its exciting. Me and Olive the dog are going straight to the dunes of Studland.

A Finer Niner... This is Paul's Niner SIR9 (medium) with the lovely carbon fork. What a stunningly understated bike. Wonderful. Initially I had reservations about the chunky carbon fork on the slim tubed frame. Not performance reservation, just thinking of the looks... but this proves that they look great together.

NEW DEMO BIKE... We have a complete salsa El-mariachi here, its a large 20" with 100mm of RockShox. Very nice with quality parts all round: Avid Elixir, stans rims, WTB tyres... and a X9 2x10 drive (its just like ten single speeds apparently). £1899.

Salsa Anything cage... Salsa have just delivered what could be the best product in years. This is something that could change your life, sweriously. Its a fat cage, that can hold stuff... so what's so special about that? Pop two of these £18 cages on your bike, bivvy bag in one, sleeping bag in the other, camelbak for bits n bobs... and you are a one man flyweight cycle touring machine. Offroad or on. It has three mounts for freaky Salsa Fargo / Facilitator forks, but can be used on regular bottle cage mounts too.

Surly Vodka bike courtesy of Joe Ball on Flickr. Joe if you read this, email me and I have a gift for you.

Something to look forward to...at this time of year its great to have an event to look forward to, and this one should be ace. Its being sorted by our T-shirt guy, and he is following an awesome event recipe: bikes, cider and sun. Link is www.heavenofthesouth.co.uk 

A nice picture of Olive the Trail hound... and me, and crashy.