Remember this?

Not so long ago I was looking for a new bike.

Kind of.

I was suggesting that the sporty nature of my Cannondale Super 6 was affecting my enjoyment of cycling.

Here is the piece.

However…

I have an update and its thanks to one of my local bike shops that I am not now in the market for something gravelly from Trek or Specialized.

I dropped Terry Wright Cycles an email to explain the bike I had and the riding I did. Just to see if there was any upgrade or tweaks I could make to the current bike. If it was a no, the pain of Facebay or Ebay awaited me. This was a big deal.

I hate selling stuff online and having to deal with people. The selling of the old bike is the worst part of buying a new bike.

We arranged a time for me and my bike to pop by their shop and it was agreed pretty quickly that there was some quick wins here.

I was fortunate enough to had upgraded the Shimano R500 wheelset to Mavic Cosmics which had a narrower profile.

That meant that despite an advertised maximum rear wheel clearance of 23mm tyres, I was able to fit 25mm. The internet had told me that a tyre upgrade wouldn’t fit…

2mm makes a real difference

Much as I wanted to believe that a quick investment of less than £50 could save me a fortune on equipment, my mind remained open.,

A quick hour spin didn’t totally convince me. Two weeks on though and I am finding the bike a lot more comfortable. It now feels much more stable and comfortable, a real bonus.

So thanks to my LBS for their help. If you have any questions on your bike fit and feel, you should always consult them before spending a wedge of cash.

RGT now part of my arsenal

My clubs Facebook page is not normally buzzing in November, but the announcement this week that the RGT app was changing got lots of traction.

I have been a regular user of Rouvy now for over a year having found the issues of power drop out on the Tacx app too annoying to overcome.

A quick look of the reviews of that product show its still an issue despite Garmin taking over Tacx. Very sad as it is a great looking tool.

Rouvy has been great for me and the fitness I have gained from going up through the skill levels and the competitive racing didn’t leave me in the market for another product.

Fenland Clarion CC have used RGT (short for Road Grand Tours) for their local online winter racing, but I didn’t have the two sources of input to run the software.

Until now.

RGT have revamped their app so its a single product now and I am going to be testing it later on.

Will it be a replacement for Rouvy? and alternative or just used to race my club mates and friends?

I will post again to let you know.

Rouvy Update

Its been a while since my last update on how using the Rouvy app is going, so I thought I would pen a few brief thoughts.

Across the summer I have used it a lot less due to the hot weather. Yes, even here in the UK!

But there has been a number of updates for stability and the launch of the new group ride feature which is out to rival Zwift on that score.

I have yet to join one, so I won’t pass comment until I do, but the feedback in the Rouvy Facebook group has been broadly supportive.

As I am not riding regularly indoors I have stepped away from the levelling up process. Last winter I was keen to get a couple of grades up and really enjoyed the racing needed to get there.

The rides needed to be completed in TT mode though are quite long and the thought of 2-3 hours indoors on a trainer whilst the sun beats down isn’t one I wanted to contemplate.

But you can still rack up points (based on your suffer score on a ride) without needing to complete mandatory routes. So the fun remains.

I have also been riding some routes regularly enough to be able to insert the virtual me’s to try and beat, something that helps me find more pace.

I don’t want to lose to the early season less well trained version of me!

I think the app will continue to come into its own over the winter months. I am planning to race again this winter and use Rouvy to keep me out of the rain and cold.

There are of course plenty of alternatives to do that, but I like riding the augmented reality riders on a real world video. It works for me.

A mix of realy world video and computer game style animated riders works for Rouvy

One negative has been the ongoing issues getting it to work with a tablet. You do need to check the high specs needed to run the app by clicking here. Fortunately the family laptop and my mobile phone rescued me when the Samsung tablet wasn’t able to run the software.

Order a Beers of Belgium CC jersey now…

We have a window of opportunity with our supplier to get an order of Beers of Belgium CC merchandise in.

https://cycle-clothing.co.uk/product-category/team-stores/clubs/beers-of-belgium-cc/

(Store password – “FENDRIEN”)

We have enough for a jersey run but would need some more cap orders for it to be viable to make them.

Oakley launch new Encoder frames

Oakley Encoder

Launched without the usual blaze of publicity and razmatazz that you would expect from Oakley these beauts landed in online stores a couple of weeks ago without too much press.

The ever reliable Oakley Forum has run a review which you can read here.

The likely retail price is going to be high on these as there is no ability to lens swap meaning there is no after sales market for upgrades and spares.

The lack of a frame is boosted in stability and strength by a strip of aluminium across the top. Cyclingtips got a pair to review and give good detail on that here.

I have to say that compared to the Kato frames we saw briefly on the face of Sam Bennett and Chris Froome in the autumn of 2020, these look much better and less of a leap from traditional to modern.

As you will all know from the sunglasses history post from this time last year, I’d had a clear out of Oakley products.

That list is now horribly in need of an update with some Sutros and M2’s now having arrived at my house!

It will be interesting to see if this frames is the long term successor to the Radar and Radar EV and my eyes will be peeled to GCN+ to see if I can see them on any pro faces sooner rather than later.

Join Beers of Belgium cc

Beers of Belgium cc rides for the betterment of Belgian Beer, and try saying that after a few.

BoB cc is powered by the Fendrien blog, please see the top of the homepage for details how to order your own jersey.

Massive thanks to Cycle-clothing uk for developing our idea into a proper cycling kit.

Thanks to Bristows cycles of Peterborough for the matching Ridley bike in Belgian national colours.

23/7/2020 – Beers of Belgium CC update

There is always lots going on behind the scenes here at Beers of Belgium CC and I am looking forward to getting the jersey on and getting out there promoting this page of the Fendrien website.

This will hopefully coincide with the return of bike racing and we will be able to recreate that moment when a beer is sipped in front of the TV after a strenuous training ride where you have pretended to be Greg Van Avermaet.

So keep an eye out for the kit delivery and our team jersey out there on the roads.

Rapha launches new eyewear

I am up and down when it comes to Rapha I have to say.

I have a 2013 Team Sky jersey my kids bought me for Fathers Day which I love but aside from that their products have left me a bit meh.

However this could be able to change with the launch of their new eyewear range (and regular Fendrien readers will know I like a pair of cycling specs).

All of the current trend bases are covered.

We have a large full framed set (a la 100% speedcraft or Oakley Jawbreakers).

We have a no framed version (Covering the Oakley Ev Zero).

An off bike pair (think Oakley Frogskins or 100% speedcoupe)

And a ‘Sutro’esque pair with a drilled lens and top frame.

They are all utterly stunning and if Rapha want to send me some to review I will happily break the rule about me paying for all products I review !

See the range by clicking here.

The company was supplying AquaBlue when they went bust mid season and haven’t been seen on pro faces since, so it will be interesting to see if they pay to have this range in a teams kit for next season.

Let’s wait and see.