Another new toy
It must be at least 6 months since I last bought myself a new bike , so surely it's time for another. Planet-X have been doing a 105 build of their Kaffenback frame for silly money, so it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. And here it is at last :-)
This really is the bike I should have bought 2 years ago, when I got my Trek 1200. It's probably not as quick out of the blocks as the Trek (which has an amazingly stiff frame), but it has the advantage of dropped bars (more comfortable for long rides, and more aerodynamic for battling into headwinds, and massive wheel clearance, meaning I can run full-length mudguards and big tyres (although having tried the 30mm monsters it came with, I've gone back to my 23mm skinny slicks for the time being). The steel frame is nice and zingy; much less harsh over bumps than the trek's aluminium back-end, and over-engineered enough that it can take on gentle off-roading if required. Plus, it has a certain coolness about it, coming as it does not from some huge megacorp, but from 5 guys in Doncaster (one of whom happens to be a genius frame-designer).
So far, my personalisation of it has extended as far as putting mudguards on it, and fixing a large number of lights. I had intended to put a rack on too, but unfortunately the mudguards came without bolts so I've used up my entire stock of M5s on them.
The Trek is now destined for a good clean-up, then to be abandoned to the tender mercies of ebay (unless someone makes me an offer in the region of £150 in the meantime…). If it fails to sell then I'll singlespeed it for the summer…