Chris's Blog

Welcome to Chris's Blog about all things cycling in Cambridge and the bikes I like to sell!

chris's blog

Saturday, February 10, 2018

VSF Fahrrad TX Randonneur.

The respiro is an awesome saddle. I love it on all bikes !
Great quality CrM04 steel frame
Tubus rack....the best in the world.
Full hub dynamo lighting system and B&M LumotecIQ CYO TR senso plus and  standlight at rear.
Quality Elite bottle cage as standard
Fantastic value for money.













Tubus front low rider as standard.
Bell is quality Japanese and will not break after 2 weeks !

Eat your heart out modern day Dawes Galaxy /Ridgeback variants etc etc. Here is a really outstanding proper quality tourer---the VSF Fahrradmanufaktur TX Randonneur.




Take a look at the pics and see for yourself. If you want to look at it in real life and ride it then pop into the shop.If you want to know more detail then call me.



Price £1499

VSF TX 400 XT expedition bike par excellence. Updated for 2018.

Review here and pics to show you detail of the highly regardedVSF expedition bike ........the TX 400.

The TX400 is a true expedition bike and the only bike in the VSF range supplied with 26" wheels. Reasoning behind this is that in remote areas spares for this size are easier to source locally and the wheels are generally stronger when in rougher terrain.

Over the years I have sold more than ever of this bicycle both in XT 30 speed and Rohloff version with several customers cycling the bikes into Central Asia, Africa and beyond. However please note that for 2018 the TX 400 only comes in XT multi geared version. The Rohloff model has been discontinued. However I do still have one of these in stock in 52 if someone still needs one.

Frame is steel 25CrMo 4 and double butted which means that the steel is thicker where it needs more strength ie by the joints and thinner towards the centre........ this provides optimal weight saving and compliance. The top of the seat tube has extra width increasing strength where it counts.

The gear system is shimano  30 speed ......10 speed cassette (11-34 ) and Deore 48/36/26 triple at the front. Rear derailleur is XT and shifters are XT.

Braking is via the wonderful Magura HS33 rim hydraulic system. The fluid in this system is mineral oil and does not absorb water so needs no real maintenance. Brake blocks are very long lasting and take seconds to change. ( I will demo this for you in the shop ).

Tubus ( in my opinion the worlds best) racks both front and back for fantastic luggage carrying capacity.

Lighting system is operated by Shutter Precision PV8  hub dynamo with the fantastic German B&M IQ2 EYC  Plus at 50 lux on the front and Line LED at the rear........standlights front and back.

Bottle cages ,pump and the quality Japanese bell and fully functional rear stand are all included.

All in all a fantastic high quality touring/expedition machine...........take a look at the pics.

Colour for 2018 is sepia brown matt

Price £1499. Currently I still have a 2017 model in 57 which will be £1100. Please note pics show the TX400 from 2016 but apart from detail in the write up the bike still looks the same !
The VSF TX 400 XT 30 speed in all it's glory


The cockpit area showing magura brakes and quality ergo fit grips and bar ends



                                                          Shimano Deore triple chainset.
                                         Tubus rear cargo rack with B&M Toplight attached
SKS mudguards and powerful B&M IQ front light. Notice brake booster giving even more control to the already amazing Magura braking system.

Review of VSF T500 30 speed. Updated for 2018 models.

The T500 and T700 30 speeds are the nimblest and quickest of all the VSF bicycles. They are at 14.08 kgs the lightest . Lets deal with the T500 in this review .

The heart of the bike is the double butted steel frame which gives the bike it's relative lightness and superb compliance (rigidity with comfort ).

Running gear is Shimano Deore . The complete running gear is Deore so all the transmission and braking.This is great spec. The V brakes are very effective and help keep the weight down.

Wheels are Ryde ZAC2000R which are double walled with eyeletted and stainless spokes and of course Deore hubs which really help with free rolling !!

The cockpit is designed to be a sporty position.......ie fixed A head stem with straightish bars.If you need a higher position I can fit and A head riser or adjustable stem for you

Great lighting with B&M Lumotec Avy LED with 40 lux and standlight, B and M Toplight 2C Plus led with standlight at the rear and Shutter Precision PV-8 hub dynamo.

The rear rack is Racktime Light-It without mounting stays ........light with a good dogleg for supporting your panniers. As usual great quality Japanese bell in bright red paint over an aluminium body, a comprehensive and strong rear stand, Schwalbe Marathon Racer700-35  tyres for fast travelling .

This is a very fast and fine quality commuter/trekking/touring bike . Not really possible to beat this bike if you compare price and quality against other makes of bikes.

Colour for 2018 ebony matt.

Current price £1050.
VSF T500 30 speed

And again

Showing Deore rear derailleur and 10 speed cassette.

Showing Deore chainset and front derailleur

Great spec Exal MX19 rims with double walls and stainless eyeletted spokes.

Great spec Shimano dynamo

Showing front B&M  25 lux headlight, Deore v brakes and SKS mudguards.

I really like the lightweight rear rack with no nonsense dogleg.

Strong and supportive rear stand

Showing outboard Bottom Bracket

Review of VSF Fahhrad Manufaktur T300 model. Update for 2018.

I have just received a ladies T300 trekking bike for a customer. Here is a review of it for you. As many of you know, the T100 is VSF's benchmark commuter,workhorse bicycle. The T300 has various upgrades and these I will describe for you and you will be able to see them clearly through the pictures I have taken. Update for 2018.......over the last few years the T300 particularly in mens version has without doubt become the most popular commuter that I sell.

The main upgrades over the T100 are as follows............

The excellent shimano 8 speed hub gear is upgraded to the even better 8 speed premium or redline gearbox.......essentially this gearbox has better sealing against bad weather and water ingress and has more metal parts than plastic internally.

The braking system is upgraded from shimano v brakes to the excellent Magura HS22 hydraulic rim brakes.

Tyres are upgraded to Schwalbe Marathon Green Guard from Schwalbe Citizens.They are also at 700-40 slimmer than the tyres on the T100.

The hub dynamo is Shutter Precision PV-8 .........light and efficient. Lights are Axa Blueline 30 lux with standlight at the front and Axa slim with standlight at the rear

Saddle is upgraded from Selle Royale Rio to Ariel. Fantastic quality commuter trekking machine as you obviously expect from VSF. Colours as standard this year are ebony metallic and midnight matt. This one is in white as per customer choice. It costs £90 if you ask me to spec your own colour. Please  remember you can order this bike from me as the 8 speed hub geared version described here  also in 27 speed Deore derailleur format. For 2018 there is also a T300 Gates belt drive version and a T300 in XXL sizes 67cms for gents and 60 for ladies.

Price for both 8 speed and 27 speed models £899.
Price for Gates belt drive version £1199
Price for XXL version £1199
Another superior commuting/trekking workhorse from one of the world's best bicycle manufacturers

Here you see the Shimano 8 speed premium or redline gearbox.Note the sturdy stand.

This pic shows Magura HS 11 hydraulic brake levers ,adjustable quill handlebar stem and quality Japanese bell.

Shimano 3N72 hub dynamo and note Exal TX19 double walled rim with stainless spokes.

Here is part of the Magura hydraulic braking system. Mudguards are German SKS of course !

Both front and back lights are powerful leds with standlights made in Germany by Busch and Muller.

Notice fully enclosed chainglider and pump held neatly within the rear rack.

Frame material is quality 25CRMo4 steel which is powder coated.......no rust. All bolts for fitting are stainless........no rust !!

Schwalbe Marathon Green Guard tyres. Racktime rack with sprung top section.


www.chrisbikes.co.uk

Brooks saddles




I keep seeing customers who have bought bikes from me coming back with a Brooks leather saddle transplanted on to the bike.

It must be that they do not realize that I sell them BUT I DO ! and even if the model you require is not in stock ,I can get it in a day

Some great offers on Brooks at present......B17's, flyers,special editions......give me a call.

Special edition B17 world traveller saddles £120

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Bikes in boxes !

With the inevitable growth of internet purchasing there will be many people who receive bikes and feel unsure about how to put them together properly.

I will offer this service. It will cost £30-40 depending on time and quality of your bike !! Cheaper the quality equals more time to put together !!!

Review of the VSF Fahrrad TX1000.................another King of Bicycles

I have just received the amazing VSF TX1000 for a customer. It surely is a King of Bicycles.

VSF produce three models equipped with the Rohloff 14 speedhub (which is a work of art in itself )

The TX400 (26" wheel expedition machine )

The T900 700c wheeled and designed for touring on predominantly good roads but able to take on any Alpine or Himalayan ascents.

The TX1000 which is a 700c version of the TX400 essentially.It is an expedition machine for all types of road surface .

All three bikes are steel frames 25 CrM0 4.All fittings are stainless and frames are powder coated.
Rust does not appear on these machines......the quality and attention to detail is too high

I will tell the story of the TX1000 through the pictures and you will understand the quality .

Price approx £2350 depending on state of euro.
Here is King of Bikes the TX1000 with 14 speed Rohloff Speedhub

The 14 speed Rohloff Speed hub.......truly a work of Art.

The Son delux  hub dynamo........one of if not the best hub dynamo in the world.

Son Schmidt Edelux front led..........world class again 80 lux.

Magura hydraulic rim brakes of course. German made excellence.

Tubus Tara front Lowrider. Tubus.....German made..........best you can buy.........again !

New for 2013 .....the Fast Lifter. An ingenious way of raising bars with an ahead configuration.This has been discontinued for 2014.......returning to standard ahead.

Eccentric bottom bracket..........the only way to go with a proper expedition hub geared bike. You must have vertical dropouts !!

Tubus Cargo at the back.............the best again !!

Busch and Muller with standlight.....german excellence........again.

The very neat Chainglider which keeps clothes clean and helps with chain maintenance. It is incredibly light and neat and easy to work with.

Exal EX 19 double walled............spokes stainless and double butted of course. VSF do not stray from Exal rims.

Quality with the Brooks B17 Imperial

The Rohloff 14 speed shifter

King of the Bikes

VSF Fahrrad Rohloff stories.







Yesterday saw the first VSF T900 Rohloff in a ladies frame leave the shop.Not only that but Veronica decided to cycle the bike back home to Letchworth. I always think it is really great when people do this. Things were so busy in the shop yesterday that I forgot to take a picture of her setting off which is a bit annoying !

The preparation of the two Rohloff equipped bikes for the australian couple who are cycling the bikes back to Melbourne is coming on. However the bikes have had to change as production of the T400 rohloff has been delayed. Therefore the bikes will be a ladies T400 Rohloff and a T900 gents. Of course both of these bikes are more than capable of crossing the world but I will be interested to hear the comparisons after or even during their trip.

There is a lot of work for me to do before Tuesday when the customers are picking the bikes up.They have specific requirements for their journey which include drilling the rims to enable the fitting of schrader tubes ( their preference ), fitting Brooks Flyer saddles,adding front Tubus rack to the T900,changing tyres to even more puncture proof travel tyres such as Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour. Altura Orkney panniers (which would be my choice for a trip like this ) need fitting front and back along with one Orkney bar bag.

Anyway the preparation goes on.Hopefully before the customers take the bikes I will take some pics and show you what two Rohloff fully equipped VSF Fahrrads look like before they set off.
As promised pictures of the T900 and T400 ladies Rohloff's in expedition mode.They look fantastic and ride beautifully !!