Eroica Britannia 2017 Report Posted on 23 Jun 13:41 , 0 comments

Well we got both the Lenton and the Severn Valley built in time and took them up to Derbyshire to Eroica Britannia. Friday night there was twilight ride to a pub led by the  Pannier 15 kph club. I am sure many of the riders were doing a lot less than 15kph! We were asked to illuminate our bikes, but I forgot to pack the decorative lighting. Many of the bikes had fairy lights wrapped around the tubes  and some riders had them sewn onto their clothing!

The ride was on the High Peaks trail and completely traffic free, apart from crossing the road to the pub. A lovely relaxing first evening.

Saturday was real scorcher, so we skipped the family ride and had a good look around the various stalls at the festival. Not quite so many traders as last year I think, but I have never seen so many old bikes for sale. It is perfectly feasible to turn up without a bike and buy one for the ride. There were several mechanic services there to fettle it for you and bike jumbles to buy any missing bits! The period clothing and accessories were also for sale.

Sunday was even hotter, so we opted for the short ride. The pace was very relaxed - the biggest challenge being to keep hydrated. Buxton Water were one of the sponsors, so it was "help yourself" to as many free bottles of water as you could carry.

While the vast majority of the bikes were "period" there is no scrutineering and I was following a modern mountain bike with disk brakes for some of the ride! A lot of kids were on their everyday bikes, but that is understandable. About half of the entry were in period costumes and quite a few in fancy dress. Including a few men in dresses. I was following this one "woman" and I thought here legs didn't look very feminine and would have benefitted from shaving, when I came past it was burly bloke with a beard!

The lunch stop provided a free lunch box, free beer and free water and a brass band to serenade us, just so you remembered this was "The North"! We had a very long lunch break to prepare us for the massive steep hill out of Monyash in the searing heat. This was one of the very few on-road sections of the ride. 90% of it being on "white roads" The High Peak Trail and the Tissington Trail. Some parts of the trail were in very poor condition with large stones instead of gravel, so I worried about my choice of Grandbois Cerf 700x26mm tyres, but they were fine. We did hear a couple of loud bangs and saw some repairs being made so not everyone was so lucky. Next time I would go for 32mm + width tyres or even 650 x 42B. Maybe the Calla next year then.

We got back at 2.15pm about 4 hours after we started and even including the 90 minute rest break it was a relaxed pace. Apart from Monyash no serious hills. 

As for the bikes they did well. The Raleigh Lenton was faultless throughout the ride and the Severn Vally dropped the chain a couple of times  changing down to small ring. I think I have fixed it now, but there may be too much slop in the 50 year old Nouvo Record front derailleur, so if it continues I will fit a SunXCD front mech, as the bike is such a joy to ride otherwise I don't want any disincentives to using it.

Happy Cycling



Calla Restoration - Progress Report Posted on 31 Jan 16:24 , 0 comments

Christmas shut down and holidays did slow things down a little, but I got a call from Darron at Sven Cycles on Friday to say that the Calla was painted and would be ready for collection. on Monday (1st Feb). He sent a sneak preview, which looks fabulous!

The rear end has been widened to 130mm to give flexibility with transmission options. The build will start this week. Decisions to be made!

Building Your Orlandi Posted on 17 Jan 00:20 , 0 comments

Unless you ask us to build your new bike and you come and collect it, your bike will be delivered partly disassembled in a box. The Orlandi is easy to assemble with simple tools that you will have in your garage.

If you do not feel confident to assemble the bike, ask your local bike shop to do it for you.

You are recommended to get the bike safety checked by a competent cycle mechanic before riding it.



You will need:

A 15mm open ended spanner

Allen keys 

Small screwdriver

Tyre pump

Cable cutters.



Before unpacking, check you have received the bike you ordered.


Open the box! You will be relieved to find that it is mostly ready assembled:

Remove all packaging, padding and cable ties before working on the bike. Turn the stem /forks so they extend forward. One box contains the saddle and the other the brakes, pedals and other fittings




  1. Wheels
    1. The rear wheel is already installed and the chain tensioned. Just check that the wheel nuts are tight before riding.
    2. Install the front wheel and secure the wheel nuts with a 15mm spanner
    3. Inflate the tyres to the correct pressure indicated on the tyres.
  2. Handlebars: Insert the handlebars into the stem, being very careful not to scratch them and tighten the securing bolt on the stem. They can be installed either way up, depending on the riding position you prefer.

  1. Brake Levers: Install the brake levers into the ends of the handlebars. Note: The levers are installed with the “Tektro RX 4.1” logo visible from the outside of the bike. Tighten the expander bolts securely.

  1. Brake Calipers: Note the front and rear brake calipers have different length bolts. The longer bolt is for the front.
    1. Install the front brake caliper from the front of the forks, threading the bolt through the hole in the fork crown from the front and securing the nut at the rear of the crown with the allen key.  
    1. Install the rear brake caliper from the rear through the hole in the rear of the brake bridge. Secure the nut using the allen key. Do not overtighten the nut.
  2. Brake Cables:
    1. Front Brake: Insert the nipple of the inner cable in the lever and lead the brake cable to the front caliper. Thread the inner cable through the adjuster and through the clamp on the caliper.
      1. Adjust the brake blocks so they contact the wheel rims squarely. Ensure the brake pads do not touch the tyre! Grasp the calipers in one hand and squeeze the pads together so they nearly touch the rim and tighten the cable clamp.
      2. Adjust the brake pads until the clear the rims by a few mm. Make sure the bolts securing the brake pads and cable clamp are tight.
  • Cut the inner cable to length and install and crimp the cable end cover


There are many videos on YouTube explaining how to adjust your brakes correctly. For more information visit


  1. Rear Brake:
    1. Install the cable in the lever as described above for the front brake. Route the cable over the top of the top tube (crossbar) and secure with the 25.4mm Dia Compe Cable clips supplied. You will need a small screwdriver to do this.
    2. Measure and mark the required length of the brake cable
  • Withdraw the inner half way and cut the outer to length
  1. Install the inner cable and adjust the brake pads and cable as described above.
  2. Cut the inner cable to length and install and crimp the cable end cover.
  1. Taping the handlebars. For the best look and performance run the brake cables under the bar tape until just before the bars start to bend. Please follow the detailed instructions here:

  1. Installing the saddle and seat post.
    1. Seat Post: Loosen of the seat tube clamp and insert the seat post to the “Minimum” mark and tighten the seat clamp. IF YOU REQUIRE THE SADDLE HIGHER THAN THIS YOU WILL NEED TO BUY A LONGER SET POST. It is advisable to grease the seat post with Vaseline or grease before installing to prevent it seizing to the frame in the distant future!
    2. Attach the saddle to the seat post and adjust as required. See



  1. Pedals: Note the left and right pedals are different. They are marked L & R
    1. Take the Right Hand pedal (marked R) and carefully screw it hand-tight only into the crank arm. Secure with a 15mm spanner.
    2. Take the Left Hand pedal (marked L) and screw it ANTI-CLOCKWISE into the crank arm. Secure with 15mm spanner.
  2. Accessories. Install bell and reflectors as required by law.

  1. Safety Check. Check the brakes are working properly before riding the bike and that the handlebars and stem, saddle and pedals are secure.

Enjoy your Orlandi!!