My Bike

See what bikes, cyclists are currently riding today. Have you say and comment below to tell us what you riding and why it’s so good.


Custom fit bikes, Pete Matthews and Pianni
Over the years I have owned a Raleigh Super Lenton, Aussie Hurlen, Harry Quinn, Eddie Soens, Jim Soens on which I won the National championships, and then I opened my bike shop in 1972 and to date have designed and had built my own custom fit frames / bikes. Pete Matthews and Pianni.

Giant Defy 3 Compact Road Bike
I’m currently ride a Giant Defy 3 Compact with Mavic Cosmic wheels and the other half keeps asking me to remove it from the kitchen and put it in the shed!

Specialized Tarmac Comp 2012, Cannondale CAADX 2013 and a Specialized Langster 2010
I currently ride a 2012 Spesh Tarmac Comp, 2013 Cannondale CAADX and a 2010 Spesh Langster. as for the ones I have previously owned: A Trek Madone, Trek 6700 MTB, Pinarello Dogma, Chinese carbon self build , Giant Yukon, Ribble, Scott Sub....etc etc :0)

Marin Mountain steel bike
I ride my 20 year old Marin Mountain steel bike with 1.25 slick high pressure tires. I like the stability, comfort, and the durability, given the weight you are carrying, and the need to be able to ride on non-paved surfaces. I am not a fan of road bikes, seen too many fail on rides over the years.

Trek 1000 Triple, Trek 2.1 Apex Road Bikes
The first bike I bought was a used road bike. I forget the brand name now, but it was a heavy bike and had down tube shifters. It was probably about 15 years old and in great shape. I loved that bike even though the frame was too small for me. I didn’t know anything about bike sizing when I bought it. After that one, I upgraded to a new road bike. I bought the Trek 1000 with a triple crank in 2005, which was the entry level road bike for Trek back then. That bike has seen thousands of miles on the road and got me through my first century ride. I still ride that one today on my trainer in the garage. It’s great for off-season and indoor rides now. Then in 2012, I bought my newest road bike. This one is a Trek 2.1 Apex, and it rides like a dream. It is one step up from the entry level and is a huge upgrade. There is more snap and response in the pedals, allowing me to accelerate quicker. I have a better shifting system, which is very smooth. This bike is my prized possession.

Specialized Tricross, Giant MTB Hardtail, Giant Advanced XTC Road Bike, Brompton S Type, Spin Bike
I did have a chopper, but recently; Specialized Tricross, Giant MTB Hardtail, Giant Advanced XTC Road Bike, Brompton S Type, Spin Bike

Cube Attention 2012 Mountain Bike and Cube Agree GTC Road Bike

I’ve got a 2010 Cube Attention mountain bike which is probably at the low-middle side of the range. It’s such a comfortable ride and I chose it for it’s comfort. I tried a couple of different models and took them out for a road test. Apparently Cube use slightly different dimensions for their frames in order to add comfort and I absolutely love riding my Cube Attention, it’s amazing! It’s done over 12,000 miles in two years.

It’s never done anything wrong for me and it got me from one end of the country to the other. The other bike I own, by coincidence, is also a Cube and it’s a Cube Agree GTC and it’s a road bike. It’s competition level and has a really nice spec. It’s like lightening on the road and the difference between the mountain bike and road bike is immense. I road tested a Wilier as well and that came close but when I tested the Wilier against the Cube, the Cube was far more responsive and had better gear changes. So on those two points I chose the Cube over the Wilier.


Team Raleigh Ti Custom
I own just one bicycle. It’s a single speed with a Team Raleigh Ti frame from the 70s. I built it myself and it rides a dream. It’s light and fast. It’s perfect because I need to carry it down four flights of stairs. Despite it being my dream machine, I know it looks a little tacky and old which I believe helps keep it safe from thieves. It’s also really recognisable so I hope one day someone will cycle up next to me at the traffic light and say “hey, are you that guy that runs London Cyclist blog?”.


Team Hybrid Cougar

I’ve got a Cougar and it’s put together by a company down in Fareham called Team Hybrid. It’s a bit of a looker and it’s a small market for hand bicycles. Mine’s not actually an all-in-one hand bike, it’s actually a clip on. I use my wheelchair and then I clip the hand bike on and off. It’s actually quite an expensive piece of kit but they often are sadly. If you ride a tri they often aren’t quite as expensive and you can get one for around £250 - £350. With a hand bike you’re looking at over £1,000 and my one, which is now power assist, you’re looking at £3,000, and that doesn’t include the wheelchair that’s attached to it.

It’s not just about knowing that the kit is there, it’s how to fund the kit. I was very lucky because I work and because I needed to get to work I was able to get Access To Work funding. Otherwise I think I would have struggled to fund it, so it is an issue. So yes, I ride a Cougar! There are some other clip on bikes as well and that’s just one of them.


Cannondale CaadX 2012, Focus Cayo 2005 and Brian Rourke Vintage

My Cyclocross bike is a Cannondale Caadx, which is very nice and it’s got an alloy frame that’s really well made. I love the Cannondale’s stability and handling, it really handles beautifully and it feels so stable and secure all the time so you can throw it around corners without even thinking. If I were going to change anything it would have to be the wheels. Obviously with a very good frameset there had to be compromises somewhere and that was in the wheels I think. They’re quite chunky, although I have just purchased some new ones on Ebay so they might be a bit better. I think you need tubular tyres on a cyclocross bike, so you can lower the pressure so you don’t slip on the mud. Obviously you can only go so low before race tyres slip off the rim. With tubulars you can go almost flat and you also get a lot better grip on the wet ground.

I’ve also got a Focus Cayo road bike, which I bought just as Focus started selling their bikes in the UK, so it was a bit of a bargain at the time. Before the Focus I’d had a cheap road bike and when I moved up to the carbon Focus the difference was incredible. I told my wife when I came back from my first ride that it was like a Rolls Royce compared to what I’d previously been riding! It’s also got a Shimano Tiagra gear set, so it feels so smooth. Again I think there had to be a compromise somewhere and I think it was also in the wheels. It has a great frameset so I think they let you upgrade the other areas of the bike, which is often the way these days. Some people say carbon has only got a limited life span but my bike has had a fair bit of hammer over the years and it doesn’t show any sign of letting me down.

I’ve also got a time trial bike. I bought a vintage Brian Rourke, which is Reynolds steel and looks amazing plus does me proud. A truly wonderful bike with nothing I would change and is an investment for life.


Jamis Xenith Comp 2012

The Jamis Xenith Comp 2012 is a lovely bike that I have owned for 7 months now. I wanted something that was lightweight and affordable, early stage carbon bike and it fitted those criteria. I tested a number of them and I guess I just felt really comfortable on the Xenith Comp. It’s a really solid bike to ride and the symmetry is great. I have ridden this bike on the Lands end to Gatwick ride and it did its job remarkably well, very comfortable and responsive. It wasn’t about the brand when choosing it was about the feel of the bike. A lot of people are hooked up on the brand, but its no good going for a brand that you don’t feel comfortable on. Also this bike was priced well, so that was my decision really.

I took the normal tyres and upgraded them, but the bike frame is study as anything. Genuinely at this stage that is the only thing I have changed. I probably haven’t stretched the bike to its limits yet, but I have to say I am impressed so far.


Raleigh Urban 5 Hybrid 2012

It is a functional bike for going out for shortish rides with the family. I don’t have anything bad to say about it. It was a gift from my husband from the local bike shop. We have 5 or 6 bikes shops where we are, probably as we have the South Downs and a great cycle network in the local area.

I chose a hybrid bike because I spent time commuting and riding besides the river. I was never into mountain biking or racing so it seems the best choice. Reality is I haven’t spent time on other bikes, so I’m sure if you put me on a really great bike that I would notice the difference.


Boardman Team Carbon 2009 and Carrera Vanquish

My first road bike is a Boardman Team Carbon, which I generally use on the summer months. Boardman obviously struck a deal with Halfords and a lot of the independent shops won’t touch them. I actually bought the Boardman used from Ebay. It was a 2009 model and I’ve had it about 18 months. The groupset is SRAM, which I probably wouldn’t use again, I’m Shimano all day long. So I bought the Boardman used, although it had very few miles on it. I don’t use the Boardman in winter as I don’t want to get salt on the components, plus I can’t fit mudguards to it as there is no clearance! As I’ve said I’m not a big fan of SRAM, which is the only thing I would change, everything else about it I love. I’d have another one tomorrow. I believe the current Boardman bikes have gone back to Shimano 105.

My other road bike is the Carrera Vanquish, which I did buy new from Halfords. My wife’s actually riding it at the minute, even though I keep telling her she needs to get something smaller. She gets off and says ‘my neck hurts, my back aches.’ Well it’s going to if you’ve got the geometry all wrong! I use it predominately in the winter for the harsher conditions and again can’t really fault it for the money.


Klein Attitude 2005 and Orbea Vitesse 2007

In the winter months or whenever it's wet I have a Klein Attitude, a big heavy mountain bike, that I see that as my training bike. Klein is no longer in production as Gary sold the business to Trek and went off to make telescopes, not sure how accurate that is? It's full of Bontrager components, but I like the thought of really having to push myself on it. I cycle at quite a low cadence and it makes such a difference for when I move onto the road bike in the summer months. The downside is the weight and the fact that my first Klein frame snapped.

Another thing to think about is salt on the road, keep a pot of paint handy to help stop the corrosion from the winter months. Once you get salt on a scratch it corrodes fast. I have also been through so many front/rear mechs some only lasting one winter season.

When my Klein frame snapped, I used a Marin Indian Fire Trail MTB bike and it was so much quicker/lighter than the Klein. So I thought I enjoy the speed, I wonder what it would be like to try a road bike. I borrowed my friends and did a couple of commutes, wiping 10 minutes off my average time, so went out and bought an Orbea Vitesse about 6 years ago. It has had slightly buckled wheels since the off and the guys in the bike shop reckoned I was too big for it or putting too much power through it. I’m over 6 ft and 14 stone and was quite disappointed when he said that to me because he was the one who sold it to me. It is a really light fast and responsive bike and not the norm, you don’t see them too much. Some have started to be seen in the Tour de France, but it’s not a common brand like Specialized or Trek. Don’t get me wrong those brands are great too, but I prefer something different.


Trek Madone 4.5 2009 and Rocky Mountain RC-10 2011

Like any cyclist the bikes you have are never enough, I’m definitely not near to the amount of bikes I would love. I would love a house full. So unfortunately I only have 2 bikes for myself at the moment of course my family have bikes too. I have a road bike Trek 4.5 Madone 2009, which I love it’s a great bike. I would love to get another bike just because this one is almost 3 years old now, I know that’s not really old but its nice to get something new. I have a wish list and don’t have a specific brand in mind but electronic shifting is something I really want to get and also some nice thick wheelset for this bike as well.

It’s a good bike it really comes down to the cyclist more than the bike all these people think you need a $10,000 bike to become a good cyclist, which you don’t as long as you have a bike that is well put together and has good components that’s the most important thing…keep it well maintained.

When it comes to commuting at the moment I haven’t done a ton of it, I usually just get out with the kids on some short trips, but expect to use my commuter bike more when I get to Grenada and that one is a Rocky Mountain RC-10 2011 they consider it an urban bike its really a mountain bike with no shocks or suspension with thin tyres good for ripping around.

I am totally happy with both the bikes I have right now, the only negative is that I just want another one. I would love to get a 29er mountain bike to do some mountain biking.


Trek 1.7 Road 2009

At the time, I bought it for nearly half price as the season was finishing and the new bikes were coming out. I have ridden it or 3 years now and can honestly say that it is a great entry-level bike (new cost £950), about the price range that some amateur riders look to spend.

I liked the fact that compared with some of the other bikes available at the time that it came with a Shimano 105 groupset, not Tiagra. The carbon forks do absorb the shock of the road and having ridden very long distances on it, the bike has served my purpose well. I have broken two rear wheel spokes, replaced front and rear tyres and changed the cassette to more preferential gears, so overall nothing that you wouldn’t expect from good use. My next upgrade will be to lighter and stronger wheels, but all in good time.

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