Friday, 20 May 2016

Kitting out Hoppy for Sportives and Audax/Randoneuring

Hoppy during the testing and adjusting phase that any new bike undergoes to make it suitable for the tasks the rider wishes to perform. Saddle is probably going to get changed again. The original didn't agree with my 50 year-old prostate, and this is a spare saddle I had knocking about in the garage. It is better than the one that came with the bike, but not quite there yet. Not sure about that third bottle holder under the nose of the saddle. Already moved it forwards quite a bit. Still tinkering about, though, But that is the point of testing and adjusting!
So, I have a new bike.
A BTwin Hoprider 300, from Decathlon.

Of course, since it is a "Hoprider" model, the obvious name for it is "Hoppy".
Original, no.
Well, someone out there has named his bike Buchepalus (you know who you are!), which is either a nasty disease or the name of the horse ridden by Alexander the Great. Hopefully it is the latter.
"Hoppy" it is then.

As you can see in the pic above, Hoppy came with lights and a hub dynamo. Chances are I will swap the front wheel for the 100km (62 miles) charity sportive I am riding in about 5 weeks time. That'll trim the weight by a touch, and even I don't take all day to do 100km! Probably put it back on for the all-nighter Randoneering I fancy doing in late Summer though.
Also in the pic is a very small bar bag (just 2.5 litres) - ok for a few bananas!
I have now got one of those small frame bags - supposedly a litre on each side. Get my jelly babies in one side, and some more food in the other.
The luggage is rounded out with a small nylon tool pouch I found lurking in the garage. Minitool, punctyre kit and a spare tube out to go in alright.
Mudguards will probably come off for the sportive, and likely back on again for the all-nighter. Certainly they will back on by September, and the hub dynamo wheel will be back in by then, at the latest.

The Bars.
Nope, Hoppy did not come with those bars.
Those are the "Humpert Country" bars (North Road -style) that I was using on Mermaid. The grips are the same cork ones I was using before. The shifters and brake levers are the ones that came with Hoppy, however. The bell is a nice, old fashioned, chrome one my father gave me for Christmas last year.
Oh, the "horns".
I thought you'd never ask.
Those "horns" are a pair of bar ends mounted half-way down the bar. If you didn't know that you could do that, you do now!
The "horns" were a bit slippery, so I found a pair of "shortie" grips to go on the ends - nice and rubbery, not those dead hard ones. the shortie grips are the ones actually supplied as standard with Hoppy, but seeing as I am using cork grips instead ...
The grips feel pretty good, too.
The "horns" do two things:
firstly, they provide an alternative riding position, and it is quite a stretch to get to them, so they allow me to stretch my back a bit on long rides. Also gives the wrists and palms a break just to move to a different position;
secondly, in that rather stretched position I can hold an aero tuck for longer. Just right for the odd long decline I encounter around here, where even an unfit old man like me can easily top 65 kph (40 mph).

There is some more tinkering about to be done, though, so Hoppy is very much a "work in progress" at the moment. You can see how Hoppy started life, fresh out of the shipping box, here.

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