All my bikes are looked after by my good friends at Ciclos Uno.


As of 2012

The Best Bike

This is the only Gangl outside America, handmade and finished by Richard Gangl1 in his workshop in Colorado. The frame is entirely titanium, the forks carbon fibre.

The wheels are Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra clinchers. I traded the Lightweights (see below) simply because I didn't get enough use out of them; being tubs, I used them only for racing, whereas the Hyperons I use all the time (when it's dry...).

Saddle is Specialized Toupe, the only saddle I could ride prior to getting my knees fixed (I sat funny and got awful saddle soreness).

Pretty much everything else is Campag Record 10-speed. You see a compact 34/50, for the summer I swap it for an FSA carbon 39/53 set-up which looks even better. Weighs in at 8kg.

1Rich said 'I'm thinking of making Aluminum frames' and my brain said 'Interesting.' and my mouth said 'I'll have one'. When we finally got the spec finished, I'd changed my mind to titanium. Best decision ever.

Gangl Gangl

The finish really does sparkle like that in the sun.

The Time Trial Bike

Principia TT 28
I have had this bike since 1999, yet it's probably done fewer miles than any others of mine, perhaps 1,000 miles or even less. This is because I only ride 10s and don't ride that many of them any more.

It's a Principia TT28, aluminium with carbon-fibre forks, Mektronic electronic gears (Dura-Ace compatible) 9-speed, 11-21. Dura-Ace chainset with currently 46-50, hopefully to go back to 48-53 as it was when I went a tiny bit faster.

TT handlebars Aero bars are essential on a time-trial machine. Electronic shifting allows gear levers to be both on the inner and outer grips of the bars.

Best Bike 1992; Training bike 2012

Dave Lloyd
Dave Lloyd is one of the best cyclists this country has produced. See his Home pagefor more. When he retired he went into bike frame building, so I bought one. It's a beautifully smooth ride, and now that I've brought it up to date from the 8-speed gearing of 1992 to 10-speed today it has an easy, friendly gear set up too.

The finish, blue over blue, was my own choice so don't blame Dave, but I like it and it's lasted pretty well. The front and rear ends are chrome, which I thoroughly recommend.

The Ksyriums I've had since 2003 and used to be my best wheels, but now the Hyperons obviously take precedence. They (Ksyriums) have run straight and true without any adjustment all that time, used for many years in Majorca and for my End-to-End attempt. Can't praise them highly enough.

Now I use Specialized Armadillo tyres (I don't like punctures on training rides!) yet still carry a full-size pump on the frame, just in case.

Winter bike

For a while I had two race-quality road bikes (long story...), the Gangl and an Ambrosio carbon-fibre framed example. But I barely need one racing bike, two is silly. I started to use the Ambrosio as a winter bike, which was a bit daft. So I traded the frame for a titanium Enigma Etape and transferred most of the bits onto it to make up a proper winter bike.

The Ksyriums went to the Dave Lloyd 2nd best, and some old Ambrosio clinchers were pressed into service.

Again I am very happy with this bike, it's immensely comfortable, handles cleanly and isn't as heavy as it might be. A carbon chainset is a bit over the top for a winter machine, but there's no point in not using it. So, as of 2012 it's four bikes, each with a bit of history. Well I think so anyway.


2003 Archive

Ambrosio road bike

My road bike is an Ambrosio.

It's an aluminium frame with carbon fibre seat stays and forks. The groupset is Campagnolo Record, although (since the photo) I have changed the chainset to FSA carbon fibre, which looks even more 'the business' (or in my part of the world, 'the dogs', which will be inexplicable to anyone non-English).

Note the Lightweight wheels. A pure indulgence for which there is no justification whatsoever; if my bike weighed nothing I don't suppose I'd win anything. Mine are also the Campagnolo version, made of just about pure Unobtainium. Jan Ullrich used them on the mountain stages of the Tour this year (apparently he had to get this written into his sponsorship deal) but all the others I've seen have been Shimano.

They don't make any difference, either. My legs still hurt like the bejasus.

I favour Campagnolo on my road machine for two reasons

thumb shift
Which I think is much superior to the brake-lever Shimano shift. In the heat of racing, the up-shift thumb click is, for me, faster and, because my hands don't move, safer. Under normal riding, one can do a double-shift easily; thumb shift left hand to go from big to small ring, right hand to go up a few gears. The chain never derails if set up properly.
Shimano wears out, Campagnolo wears in, they say. I certainly think that the gearchange on my bikes improves with age.
Lightweight wheels
Power pedals

Other components include an ancient Rolls Titanio saddle which I find very comfortable. Everything else is pretty much standard apart from the power pedals.

These have the unique features of being remarkably heavy and quite ugly, as well as being ridiculously expensive.

So why..... ? ?

They only turn one way. This means that as you pull up on the pedal, instead of just lifting your heel, the pedal transmits force to the cranks. It sounds like nothing but it adds greatly to your pedalling power, especially if you use very high gears as I do.


The time trial machine is a Principia. It's an all aluminium frame, very strong and rigid.

The wheels are Specialised Trispokes, ideal for TTs on Essex roads which are all reasonably flat. A lighter wheel would be good for hillier courses, but the aerodynamics of the tri-spokes are as good as any. Ciclos Uno sourced these for me second-hand; I waited several months (during the off-season so no problem) for the right ones to turn up, but it saved me hundreds of pounds.

My only bike not fully Campagnolo is this TT machine. The reason is that thumb shifting is not required on this kind of bike and the slight gain in smoothness of gearchange is helpful. So orginally this machine was Dura-Ace throughout.

Principia TT bike
Electric gears

But I am a sucker for gadgets. When Mektronic became widely available, I Had To Have It. The key advantage is that there's gear changing on both the side and centre grips of the aero-bar setup.

Of course, it didn't really make me go any faster.


An aerobar set-up for a TT bike is essential, in my opinion. Combined with an aerodynamic head fairing (or 'silly hat', to use the technical term) I reckon a 30 to 45 second gain at least can be made in a ten-mile TT. And that's at (maybe) 25mph. The gains are proportionally greater the faster you go. The Cinelli bars you see here originally only came in aluminium finish. You guessed it, I had the silver-finish ones to start with and had to trade them for the black, just for the colour.

The Mektronic computer sits on top of the bars between the elbow pads, the HRM at the end of the bars next to the shifter (the yellow buttons). The adjustment on the elbow pads and inner grips allows any kind of tuck position you need. These bars, unlike clip-on aero bars, cannot move no matter how much you heave on them; this gives great confidence, because Murphy's law says the one time you're going to pull clip-ons free is during an important race.

Aerobar set-up


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Last updated: 4 Aug 2003



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