Shakedown Cycle – Folkestone

If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Usually I wouldn’t bother mentioning a bike as short as this, but it was significant for two reasons. Firstly, it was the first ‘leisure’ cycle lasting a significant amount of time that I have cycled my project Peugeot on. I’ve had loads of problems getting this bike rolling, but finally its in a cycleable condition. And secondly, the Kyptonite New York bike lock I was raving about finding a week back broke.

My lovely new Peugeot is not new, nor is it particularly lovely. But it is mine. I’m proud of the work put into this, and it has improved my knowledge of cycling anatomy no end. After weeks of working on-and-off on it, replacing the tyres and innertubes, fixing the rear brakes and replacing the rear derailleur. It still requires a new front derailleur, the front calipers don’t work (may need replacing), the front reflector needs screwing on and really the wheels could use replacing. Not to mention, despite my best efforts, the rear cassette and bottom bracket still need a good scrub. But it actually runs considerably smoothly, so long as I don’t want to go up or down any hills, which, living next to the North Downs, limits my range considerably.

So I looked at a route (now a dead end thanks to the local garrison) that would avoid too sharp inclines. It was a pleasant ride, though the roads in some parts of Folkestone are really horrendous for road bikes. You feel every bump. My bike felt smooth, mostly, and actually performed well (to my surprise), no unexpected jumps, and the brakes served me satisfactorily. However, the one thing that shouldn’t have been an issue was the Kryptonite U-Lock attached to my

The Kryptonite New York lock comes with an attachment that means you can carry it on the frame. To connect to this attachment, there is a metal connection (silver bit on the picture) that slots in. After around 20 minutes, I noticed that the lock kept knocking the inside of my knee: I continued by nudging it back to be in line with the frame. I realised that every time my bike went to one side or the other, the lock would move, obstructing my leg movement. On closer inspection, I realised that the silver attachment was moving freely on the lock. When unlocked, the attachment would even come off (see pic). Needless to say, I was unimpressed at a lock that is supposedly as close to unbreakable as one can affordably purchase. It is most likely that this was a factory defect, and so I won’t say this is a representative model, but it’s not good publicity. It did me no damage, but on a couple of occasions I trapped my knee and lost my footing. I think it was a potentially very dangerous fault. I sent off an email to Kryptonite, and I’ll let you know how that goes.

Last cycling blog for a while as I will be away from my bike for the next couple of weeks. Though I will be in London, so plenty of coffee hopefully (and sunshine please!).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: