Friday, 3 December 2010

Obligatory snow ride post!

I took an extremely roundabout route to the poundshop yesterday, taking in some of the Fallowfield Loop, Debdale Park and then exploring up King's Road which is a rough track which cuts through the Fairfield & Denton Golf clubs.

The compacted snow of the Loop is lovely to ride on, plenty of grip, just needs a little more concentration than normal.
Looking back up the Loop towards Reddish
 The ride gave me chance to test a Sachs drum braked front wheel I got off ebay. A bit squeaky til it was bedded back in (I don't think it's been used for a while) but nice and powerful feeling.
Drum brakes need to be used with caliper style brake levers not V-brake levers* so I fitted an old Sturmey Archer lever.
 I stopped at one of the bridges in Gorton and noticed a lad on his BMX contending with a double Whitevanman overtake. Good job it's a 20mph zone eh!?, shame that most 20 zones are still open to through traffic- i.e rat runs.

The Loop connects up nicely with Debdale Park and the reservoirs
This is King's Road (although it looks the same as anywhere else in the snow!). It connects Hyde road with Audenshaw and the only thing stopping it from being a busy road full of traffic is the terrible surface. I'm guessing it is unadopted, possibly owned by the golf club and its kept intentionally rough to to keep it empty. The surface is much smoother with a layer of compacted snow on top.

*See the comments - I may or may not be talking sillystuff - do whichever works for you!.


  1. Looks like the drum brake was a good deal. On the modern Sturmey drum brakes I've used V-brake levers have been fine, caliper levers didn't provide enough pull.

    It's looking like we've all been out on the Loop in the snow this week.

  2. Oh the V-brake levers do work, but for me they feel like they aren't working properly. It might be something to do with the shorter handle length of vbrakes means you don't get as much lever action. I remember reading somewhere that with vbrakes the lever action is down at the brakes themselves whereas with calipers and drums the lever action is obtained at the handle. Thats why caliper handles are longer.

    I don't know really, there seems to be a total lack of info out there, so I just make it up as I go along!.

  3. Beautiful pictures! I like how some of us, fellow cycling bloggers, live on different sections of the loop and how lovely it is to read about it as well as experience it! Last time we went to the reservoir was beginning of last summer, what a different view, but just as beautiful! The reservoir is as far as I've been on the loop, I'll definitely go and explore further next time!

  4. I haven't been past the reservoir either. There isn't much Loop left after that point though, but you can join up with the canal instead.

  5. @Jim

    It could be different for different drum brake manufacturers and even different models. I have set up a Raleigh Twenty to use the original caliper lever for a Sturmey drum brake, but I had to shorten the cable because there wasn't enough capacity in the barrel adjuster to deal with the shorter pull of the caliper lever. On my Twenty I have an identical drum wheel but a V-brake lever. It is similar with mechanical discs, some are designed for V-brake lever pull-length, some are designed for cantilever lever pull-length. What you are left with is a massive pain in the arse because the manufacturers don't provide that much information.

    As for the lever length, on some of the shorter V-brake levers I have used with drums, I have felt like I had to really squeeze the lever to get the stopping power I wanted. Maybe I'm just lucky to have found sufficiently long V-brake levers now. I bet Sturmey Archer just want me to fork out for their levers ;)

  6. Nice pics Jim :>)

    I had it in mind that you had ended up with roller brakes on your Vitamin for some reason - didn't you get a wheelset with the hubgear off Ebay, when you first bought the bike?

    In any case, I bet the drum will be nicer than rim-brakes in rough weather any day!

  7. @ Ian. Yep the wheelset came with a plain front wheel, I've just swapped this one in there to see what it's like. Unfortunately I'm a stickler for having things symmetrical, so I don't know how long I'll be able to stand having odd brake levers and a black rear rim with a silver front rim! :) Maybe I'll save up for a wimmins bike instead! ;)

    @ Mr.C I found it was the same with my Sturmey X-FD. I think it all comes down to the length of the handle bar lever once the tension has been adjusted at the hub. Because its not the amount of cable being pulled that matters, but the amount of force being applied i.e the lever action rather than raw muscle. So longer the lever the more force applied.

    I had to do the exact same thing with the cable that came with my X-FD, had to buy a seperate pinch bolt and shorten the cable.