20/03/2013

'lil changes make a big difference!

When I first got my Beast at the end of Summer 2011, it was a simple plain bike but I loved the frame colouring & decided it was the bike for me.


Now the wheels were knackered & I asked for Christmas some new ones & I did get them thanks to my parents.


Now they are good wheels & was a bonus they came with tyres too, so they got me on the road. But I wasn't comfortable with it, partly as the last bike I had was 20yrs ago & things had moved along since then. So I changed the handlebars, saddle & added mudguards & this was just how I liked my bike to start my riding & has been like this for many months so in 2012 I started to try cycle again.


Now as most who been following me on Twitter & Facebook, I only could do a few miles when I got to cycle & not every day. But as time moved on, I slowly improved & even did 30 days of biking for 1st time in April 2012 & again in September where I even went on a cycle ride as part of a group to Hyland House & that was my 1st long distance cycle ride. 
But now I am cycling more, further & faster so bike was starting to feel not right for what I was trying to use it for. First thing to change was the Saddle, the one I had on it was more for comfort when I started cycling as I wasnt used to it. 


But now it was impeding my faster pace so I changed it to a more streamlined style to give more movement to my legs.


That really made a difference, but was still finding I was hitting a wall (not literally). No matter how far I cycled, I struggled to get up the top end of my gears & cycling further than 10 - 15 miles even tho I was getting stronger in the legs (I did 18 miles only once). So after I chatted to other cyclists & cycle shops, it was clear the possible cause was my tyres due to the fact they are knobbly ones & designed for off road use & more traction (a bit to much traction for road use). 


So I decided to go for hybrid Schwalbe Land Cruiser tyres as they seem to be a good brand, puncture protection & affordable.


So how did they do? I let the videos show. :D

  
(Main screen is the new Schwalbe tyres, windowed screen is the old knobbly tyres)

 Well I found I've gotten faster & it takes less effort to cycle at those speeds. So now to try & go further than I have ever done & next month I will try to break the 20 mile limit & even try do a 35 mile sponsored cycle as part of the 30 days of biking.

The bike is now becoming more of a road bike so other changes were needed, Handlebars were upgraded but nothing different to what I had before as well as the following:

 
New thumbshifters

Full metal mudguards

So now the Beast has gone from this a year ago:


To this in March 2013:


Its all subtle differences, but performances are a lot better than it was (a bit like me) of about 25% improvement in speed & as for distances only time will tell. I will stick to this as it is, not to much else I can change to be honest. Maybe changing the gear ratios to get more out of them at a later date.

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