Bike aHoy? Jumping ship.

An attempt at the hour record needs a spare bike. Track time is expensive and the clock doesn’t stop ticking in the event of a puncture or a mechanical. It may be possible to effect a repair or change a wheel but you will need a spare bike whilst this is being done – and lose over a lap, 250mts, in the process! I needed to get my spare bike sorted now rather than leave it until the last minute. Fortunately I found an unused Dolan frame on eBay, a seat post and stem and an NOS crankset. With a cheap bottom bracket I had a whole new bike for less than £240!

Whilst I was reasonably comfortable with the new, very large 105” gear on the Hoy frame I wasn’t convinced it was the right cadence so I changed to a 16 tooth rear sprocket giving a 98.5” gear meaning a cadence of around 95 rpm. The Dolan “spare bike” had my old 50 tooth chainring and a 13 rear sprocket giving a similar, just slightly larger gear of 101” so a cadence of about 93. ( Different gear calculators give different results so I’ve updated the above to what I hope is the most accurate! Who really cares Gill says……).

As with the previous week I drive up the evening before and park up for the night at the velodrome. I’m here for the Tuesday lunchtime session so I don’t have to be up early and can use my ear plugs to drown out the noise of the A48 and I sleep well!

I’m in early and get on the rollers to warm up. Walter arrives along with a few regulars and there’s time to catch up and trade news. But the group is swelling and soon there are over twenty of us – there must be a championship coming up! Still, Garrie allows me to get out onto the black line as everyone is warming up on the blue, and I take the opportunity to try out the spare bike. I’m immediately shocked! It’s really comfortable and feels very quick. Garrie has his hands full and hasn’t timed any of my laps and as I haven’t the power meter on it I decide to come in and change bikes. But my faithful Hoy stead no longer feels comfortable – the “comfort bar” has risen! And comfort is paramount.

During the break I swap the pedals over and fortunately can ride the black line again as Garrie has the main group doing a progressive effort on the blue line. I really like the position on the bike, and again, it feels quick. I think I’m going to make this 240 quid bike my chosen stead! It’s a Dolan Pre Cursa – the same as the hire bikes!

When I get home I plug in the Garmin and find that the much of the data is the same as the previous week – 44kph at 280 watts – but this time my heart rate is a more manageable 167. Best of all I’ve achieved this using the cheap wheels with the clincher tyres that came with the Hoy bike and I can hardly wait to get all the aero ” add ons” on the 25th for the trial run. ( I measure the two bikes and determine that the Dolan has a slightly shorter wheelbase and a steeper seat tube, moving the saddle closer to the imaginary line from the bottom bracket. With the set up of the Dolan as I had it the nose of the seat was 20mm too far forward. I hope to overcome this by using the Lidl saddle ( see earlier post ) which is 20mm shorter. )


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