Quick pause enroute
Quick pause enroute

Bit of History

A few years ago my Dawes Galaxy needed a bit of an overhaul and I was starting to look at my alternatives; either new groupset to modernise it (I am pretty hard wearing when it comes to components) or a completely new bike.  I had my eye on a Van Nicholas Amazon but it was difficult to justify at the time.

My decision was made a little easier for me after an encounter with an icy bridge that resulted in three dents on the cross bar.  As much as it sounds like I get a new bike out of it, I was gutted.  It was the first serious bike I had, I done a lot of miles on it, and it was one of the last Dawes frames made in the UK.

General Routine

When you look around this site you will see I don’t have a huge amount of time to spend out on the bike; though I would love to.  So I have to be creative my time and use time that would otherwise be lost; travelling to and from work.  As a family we have one car and I cycle to work.  The direct route is only 9 miles but an inland route (I live by the coast) takes that up to 16 miles.  The time it takes me to do this ride is a little over the time it would take the bus to get in on a direct route; no time lost but lots gained.  As a result I do a fair number of miles a week and put a fair amount of wear into my bike.

Current Bike

I did get the Amazon fitted out with 105 double. The rest of the bike was mostly default Van Nicholas named kit.

Over the last few years I have had to change out some components as they have worn out. First the 105 shifters jammed (well the right hand forward mech side). Turns out that they where made to accommodate both double and triple setups and can over tension in double setup and cannot be repaired. The first time this happened my local bike shop (LBS) where I got the bike replaced them, but it happened again a few months later so I just changed them out for Dura Ace double specific shifters and have not looked back.

I go through fenders (mudguards) fairly often. The rear mostly that shears just in front of the seat stays.  So these get changed out on a fairly regular basis.

Both front and rear wheels have been replaced.  The front rim wore out so much the wear marker disappeared, the rear was a little more interesting which you can read up on here.  I looked a little into what the options were as I needed something that had been as reliable as the Easton Circuits that came with the bike but could be worked on (not factory built with special spokes).  This meant I needed something that was more hand made with hubs with bearings that will last and rims that are good but replaceable.  A great friend of mine who runs The Bikery gave me a few recommendations; Hope or Royce hubs with Mavic Open Pro rims.  He is an experienced wheel builder, but was happy for me to put them together under his watchful eye.  So in the end I opted for Royce, with the mid flange front and titan rear fitted with the weather sealed bearings rather than low friction track ones.

The one thing that always surprises me is that I managed to wear out the locking teeth on the Van Nicholas seat post.  First time I have ever come across that, so after a quick look around and a check on bicycle position I opted for a Thomson elite vertical seat post which has been great.

Not long after the seat post was replaced the seat itself started making the most unusual sounds and give up on me, so with the mileage I was putting in the the wear it was having on me I went for the Brooks B17 saddle which has mean a revolution for me for comfort.  Looks pretty hard but beats anything I have ever had before.

Other than the regular cable changes, new tyres, brake pads, chains and cassettes that is pretty much the current status of my bike.  I know the mechs are nearing the end of their lives, the canti brakes (specifically the springs) are tired and need adjusting more and more regularly and I think the headset has gone the overall set of the bike is good.  The frame has been amazing for feel on the road.  I will at some point get a snap shot and upload it here and update any other changes.

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