Chris's Blog

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

chris's blog

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Giant TCR Advanced 1 2013 Test bike sale £1150

I have two 2013 brand new Advanced 1's left. One in M/L and one Large. Will sell them off for £1699 large and £1799 m/large

RRP £2499

My price £1600

Road Bike Hire.

I have decided that I will venture into road bike hire......but little by little will grow or not depending on demand. I realize that there is a big demand because I get requests nearly every day.........I also realize that prices in Cambridge for this type of hire is very expensive will try and make it cheaper for you.

I will hire you Giant Defy models and base it around the Defy 2/3 and 4 models for gents and the Giant Avail 2/3 for ladies.

1 day     £25
2 day     £40
3 day     £50
1 week  £80
2 weeks £125

Deposit £500

Giant Defy Advanced frameset. Brand new . Small. £950

Giant Defy Advanced frameset. Small. Brand new . Bike as standard was 2012 era with full carbon and overdrive 2 headset so everything you need for a long distance sports machine. I have done thousands of miles on this same frame ( mine pictured by van ) so can vouch for it. I have now ridden many,many carbon Giants and this is as usual as good as it gets on carbon bikes.

So.........I am supplying the frameset with all the expensive and (for you) difficult to find parts needed to build it into the thoroughbred you will end up with.


Full carbon uncut matching forks

Colour coded vector seatpost

Vector seatpost clamp

Overdrive 2 headset

Both derailleur hangers

Cable runner for underside of frame.

You will need to choose your groupset and wheels and handlebar stem and bars. I would recommend Shimano Ultegra with Giant SLR1 wheelset. I can do great deals on both those things ...........Price £950.

Giant Defy Advanced 1 and 2

Giant Defy Advanced 1 2014. In stock in following sizes...............

Medium £1799

Giant Defy Advanced 2

Large. In stock. £1400

Friday, July 8, 2016

Further clarification on "The Giant Shop" !!

Another little bit of clarification !!Most of you who read my articles ( and I am most flattered and astonished at the numbers now of people who do!!) will now realize that the "Giant shop" is not Giant direct but another independent shop namely Rutland Water.Giant have paid for the refit with the deal only their bikes are sold in store.

However, many people are still confused .They think that when I say I will order a bike from Giant ,I receive it from the Giant shop in Cambridge !!Incredible ------the fragility of the human mind and the way it works sometimes.

All shops who sell Giant order them from the U.K Giant wholesaler in Leicester.

When a bike is on offer- as long as Giant U.K in Leicester have your size in stock-I will have the bike by 7a.m next day provided you order from me before 11a.m. I can assure you of excellent service and I will always be able to do the best price.

Bike Box hire.

Bike Box hire available.

Type of box --- Bikeboxalan.


1-7 days £45
2 weeks £70
3 weeks £ 92

Extra day £8

Sunday, May 1, 2016

VSF T500 30 speed 2016 review.

We are already well into 2016 I do realise .......however I can only write these reviews when I am in the right mood for it .......and lately I have been !

The thing to realise though is that the VSF bicycles do not change with fashion and whim each year. Essentially the bikes will remain the same year by year as the models are tried and tested. However colours can change (for example Matt colours are very much in vogue with VSF this year) and this year Magura have redeveloped their hydraulic brakes. LEDs are rapidly developing and will be more and more powerful and efficient every year.

So to the 2016 T500 30 speed ........ Colours this year are ebony Matt and slate Matt for gents and lipstick red for ladies (great colour this one !) To fit in with the matt theme mudguards are coordinated with a matt finish too.

Frame is of course double butted 25 CrMo4 steel providing rigidity and compliance and allowing the whole bike to weigh in at 14.1 kgs .......making it the lightest bike in the VSF range. This light weight makes the bike the nippiest and most agile bike in their range along with the more highly specced T700. However you could also tour or trek with no problems .

Transmission is provided by Shimano Deore . Wheels are the tried and tested Exal MX19's which are double walled and eyeletted with stainless spokes. No probs carrying your weight if touring. Your panniers will be well supported by the  dog leg shape of the Racktime rear rack.

Lighting is powered by the Shimano LX front hub Dynamo powering a front BandM Lumotec Avy Led putting out 30 lux and the rear BandM Toplight Flat Plus......both with the addition of stand lights.

To help the nippy aspect of this fantastic bike it is shod with Schwalbe Marathon Racer tyres which at a width of 35 is narrow for VSF and allows for a balance for weight carrying and speed.

The Selle Royal Seta Performa saddle adds to the sporty feel and look of this bike ......

So in conclusion if you want a light and very nippy bicycle on which you can effortlessly commute many miles and still tour on , this may be the perfect steed for you.

Come and ride one.......they are usually in stock.
Light and nimble........suitable for fast commuting and also a capable touring companion.

Another view

Looking at the cockpit........straightish bars and fixed Ahead stem provides for a more sporty riding position

Matt slate colour with matt mudguards. 30 lux BandM front led.

Shimano Deore running gear for smoothness and reliability

30 speed transmission. exal MX19 rims .......double walled with eyeletted  stainless spokes. No problem carrying weight.

Dogleg rack for your panniers. Doublebutted steel frame for compliance and low weight. This is the lightest VSF machine at 14.1 kgs.

Selle Royale Seta Performa compliments the sporty and nimble feel of the bicycle

VSF T300 Nexus 8 speed 2016

The T300 has been one of my top 2 selling models of 2016. VSF have just got the bike right this year !! For a hub geared bike it just rolls so  well and yet it has all the advantages you want and need from a workhorse commuting cycle. The matt midnight blue is also a beautiful colour and has been a real hit with customers and does make it mouth watering to look at ! Let me explain........

Ideally if you have decided to go hub geared for commuting then you want all the extra plus points which go with that choice.....

Number 1 on that list is a fully enclosed  chainguard which you can always have on a hub geared bike.......but as you know so well is hard to find on the same old bikes you are shown in most bike shops !! So the T300 has the chain glider chainguard which is compact and very neat but still protecting the chain from adverse weather and your trousers or skirt from oil contamination.

The 8 speed shifter is twist grip but entirely reliable (unlike the derailleur geared twist grip monstrosities which have been prevalent over the last 15 or so years). A decent reliable twist grip changer means you can change gear on the move but also when stationary.......meaning that you do not have to anticipate gear selection each time you roll up at traffic lights.

The recently revamped Magura HS 22 rim hydraulic braking system is perfect for commuting bikes. The brake blocks from my experience last 3-4 times as long as vbrake pads and somehow produce much less swarth and dust. The hydraulic system is powered by mineral oil which is not hydroscopic and therefore needs no bleeding and almost minimal maintenance! They are superb!

Mudguards(SKS) , the lighting system ,the rack,the stand,the Japanese bell,neatly configured mini pump ........all coming as standard just make this bike the ultimate commuter .

The tyres at 42 mm give a great balance between comfort but still keep the bicycle incredibly sprightly.......and the T300 is very sprightly. It is a hard task to keep a hub geared commuting bike nippy and willing to "go". VSF are experts at this .......come and try and you will see what I mean.

One final point is the flexible handlebar positioning thanks to the very adjustable quill stem .......enabling you to sit up high if cycling in busy traffic or lowering to make the bike more sporty.

This is a great,great commuter cycle even if I say so myself !! But I do know about bikes........I have been doing this a long, long time and I know what is best for my customers............
Showing upgraded Magura HS22 brake lever and easy to use and reliable 8 speed shifter.

Showing colour coordinated matt SKS mudguards and BandM 30 lux front led with standlight

Matt midnight is a beautiful yet discreet colour and very popular.

Showing attractive black coloured nexus chainset and front section of chainglider chainguard.

Shimano LX front hub dynamo

Adjustable quill stem with comfortable handlebar shape.

Revamped  and stronger  bolts allowing for easy adjusting of saddle.

Ever faithful Exal TX19 double walled rims with stainless spokes.

Rack mounted BandM rear led with standlight

The 2016 T300 8 speed. It is a perfect city commuter.

Monday, April 25, 2016

VSF TX800 2016 in detail.

2016 TX800 in matt slate

Showing Tubus Tara ,Son 28 hub dynamo,marathon Mondial tyres ,Magura HS22 hydraulic brakes,SKS matt coloured mudguards.

Closer look at the Son 28.

Closer look at more easily adjustable Magura HS22's and BandM's IQ EYC front led

Handlebar configuration  

Close up of upgraded magura HS22 with larger adjuster and German made Ergon grips.

Very strong Exal MX19 double walled rims with eyeletted stainless spokes

Shimano XT groupset throughout ....including hub.

Tubus Cargo with straps

Selle Royal Ariel Lookin with Gel

Easy to change external Bottom bracket shells
Even though still on crutches last week was my busiest ever for VSF with 10 top quality bicycles  leaving the shop and customers coming to collect from all over the country. Two of the bikes were TX 800's so  I thought it appropriate to take some photos and provide another more detailed write up of the 2016 model for you as potential customers.

I see the TX800 as the derailleur geared partner to the Rohloff equipped TX1000 . It is an expedition bicycle par excellence with its double butted steel frame and extremely durable powder coated paintwork. The main difference between this bike and the most well known expedition bike from the VSF stable ( the TX400) is that it runs on 700c wheels whereas the TX400 runs with 26" rims. The 26" rim generally provides for a stronger wheel in very adverse riding terrain and is generally considered to be more widely available in remote areas. However some people want 700c rims and the TX 800 fits this bill !

The groupset is Shimano XT throughout which provides for a very smooth ride all round ! Remember the rear hub is also XT and combined with the fantastic Son front hub Dynamo you are assured of an effortless ride........once again remember there are two weights with bicycles........a lifting and a riding weight !! Expedition bicycles are not designed to be light weight......they are made to be compliant (double butted steel frame) and sturdy enough to carry your weight  and equipment.......but still roll as effortlessly as possible !! VSF are experts at satisfying these criteria and the TX 800 will not disappoint.

As you would expect racks are the world class Tubus Cargo at the rear and Tara at the front.

Weight is no problem when your wheels are the Exal MX19's which are double walled with eyeletted
stainless steel spokes.

Lighting is provided by the Son 28 hub Dynamo powering a front B and M Lumotec IQ EYC 50 lux led  and a rear BandM Line led. Both  of course have the luxury of stand lights for safety and detail.

Braking is provided by the recently revamped MaguraHS22 . The new brakes have a bigger and easier to use adjuster at the lever end and are now considerably easier to adjust at the rim too. Remember Magura brakes are filled with mineral oil and therefore not hydroscopic . That means they do not need regular bleeding as they do not absorb water. Brake blocks from my experience last 3 to 4 times as long as regular vbrake pads and the pads are not expensive. The Magura brakes are incredibly smooth and reliable. When cycling Geneva to Nice on a T900 I achieved a speed of 61.5 mph when descending the Col de L'Iseran and the bike and braking were so smooth and stable that I had no idea we were travelling at that pace.

Saddle is the Selle Royal Ariel Lookin Athletic,gel which is very comfortable and good for the prostate in that the gel in the centre of the saddle has the same effect as a cutaway in relieving pressure in important areas !

Tyres are Schwalbe Mondials for use on road (central ridge) and on rougher roads with their width and extra grip on the lateral sides.

Ergon grips made in Koblenz Germany provide comfort and lots of adjustability for those long days in the saddle.

You are also provided with a Japanese bell which does not brake on the first ping but I fact will last so long that eventually the red paint will come off leaving you with a polished alloy look.

This year straps are added to the rack for extra carrying capacity and do not underestimate a strong stand when touring . They are much more useful than you imagine especially when you can not find a tree or wall against which to lean your bike ! Equipment is finalised by the provision of a mini pump and two water bottles.

Colours for 2016 are mostly matt and mudguards are now matt to complement the frames. The TX800 standard colour is matt slate as you see in the pics.

Beat that for price,quality and value ! Hard to do isn't it in this world of most expedition bike providers offering you a tick box system of adding equipment to a basic bike with a frame and wheels. You understand what I mean !!