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



Building a Bike for Eroica - Final Part Posted on 19 Feb 18:50 , 0 comments

Well the repainted forks arrived and also the Kool Stop Salmon brake pads finally came from the USA for the MAFAC original shoes. A perfect fit and should give much better power than the hard black originals.

Kool Stop MAFAC Brake Pads

They are easy enough to slide in  by squeezing the shoes/pads in a vice. They look just the ticket - a bit of a colour clash with the frame though.

MAFAC Racer Brakes with Kool Stop Pads

There are just a couple of component choices to make: the pedals. I am going to try and find some vintage Campagnolo road pedals. If not MKS Sylvan are a very close match and the bar tape. Tempted to fit Velo Orange honey leather to match the saddle, but I don't recall seeing leather tape back in the '60's. Anyway just popped on some Cinelli Cork Ribbon whilst I test the bike.

So here is the (nearly) finished bike. So guess what it weighs (without pedals)?

 Viking Severn Valley 1955 (Restored)

The parts used are as follows:

Hubs: Campagonolo Record High Flange 

Rims: Velo Orange Paris-Brest- Paris 700C 

Spokes: Sapim Race Double Butted

Tyres: Grand Bois Cerf Blue

Freewheel: N.O.S. Regina 6 speed

Derailleurs: Campagnolo Nuovo Record

Shifters: Campagnolo Nuovo Record Bar-End Shifters

Gear Cable Housing: Nissen Cable Corp. Spiral Wound

Cranks: Velo Orange 50.4mm BCD 165mm crank length

Chain Rings: Spécialités T.A. Cyclotouriste Rings

Bottom Bracket: Velo Orange Grand Cru Bottom Bracket

Brakes: MAFAC Racer

Brake Levers: Dia Compe 202

Brake Cable Outer: Nissen Cable Corp

Saddle: Brooks B17

Seat Post: Velo Orange Grand Cru Long Set Back

Handlebars: Vintage Maes Bend

Handlebar Tape: Cinelli Cork Ribbon

Handlebar Stem: Nitto Technomic

Headset: Campagnolo Reccord

Bell: Velo Orange Temple Bell Brass

 To enter our competition for an Eroica related prize, enter your estimate of the weight of the bike as photographed and enter it in the comments below. We will not be publishing entries until the prize is won.