On Wednesday, I set off cycling trip around East Yorkshire to meet up with several people. In York, I would meet up with Dylan from yourspokes and later with two great guys cycling to every league football ground in England and Wales. It would end up being a long but very interesting day that despite being knackered at the end of the day would be worth it.
Having not cycling properly for several weeks and after a delirious binge of alcohol to celebrate the remenants of University life, I would get back on the bike and head to York from home – a shy 27 miles although I cannot testify such mileage having not got a speedometer – very hard to believe considering the price of my road bike. It was quite an idylic ride towards York, with a fairly moderate head wind yet my legs never felt like they were struggling.
Eventually I reached York and went to find Dylan @ yourspokes. It took a while to find since there was no sign on the street and his workshop was nestled away in a small alley down Fossgate, York. Soon after meeting Dylan, he quickly explained that being secluded away gave him the benefit of getting on with his work.
What came as a suprise was that he had two of the older cycles maximus bikes, although in fact they didn’t belong to him.
Get your wheels right the first time!
Nevertheless we soon got sat down and he brewed up a coffee – as promised, and we started chatting away about his business and a bit of history behind his own company. It clearly showed that he was a very knowledgeable guy when it came to anything to do with wheels. Within the next ten minutes he was soon showing me the discared pieces of broken and worn rims and even for me was an eye-opener at both what punishment and what incorrectly built wheels can receive. He showed me a cut cross-section of a worn wheel rim and soon it became apparent why something like it would give-up.
Contrary to what I’ve been recommend by a cycle tourist I met in the past, he also explained that for touring bikes, you are better opting for Rigida Sputnik than Mavic. He quickly explained that Mavic Rims are lighter, but are much softer and hence wear much more quickly. I can actually vouch for his choice as on my London to Istanbul trip I got a Mavic A319 wheel replaced with a Rigida in a Dutch cycling shop.
Soon afterward he showed me the various gauges and types of spokes available. To summarise what he said – ‘Wheel building is an artform’, he explained many manufacturers, cycling shops incorrectly tension and don’t use spokes designed for proper intent. Comparing each spoke type of spoke: standard gauge, double butted, butted finally allowed me to understand the difference between them and it became obvious rather than just technical jargon.
He also confirmed that a lower spoke tension and using butted spokes are needed for cycle touring with the increase loads. Dylan later provided an anecdote of a talk with Mark Beamont – who cycled the world – I think his opinion of him soon became obvious.
Dylan’s curiosity with the new Cycles Maximus or ‘Maximus’ as he reffered to it became apparent. Years ago, he had been a cycle courier on one of these for many years and he has the calves to proof it! Probably the biggest I’ve seen to date infact. He also has alot of experience repairing and taking them apart and said he’d be the guy in the North if you wanted it fixed – although the spare parts for these are difficult to find nowadays. Then he dabbed into the history and his involvement with the previous Cycles Maximus company.
- What he said was the original design was intended to carry beer kegs between two pubs and their testing methodology was riding down a set of stairs with them. Simply crazy, but the lifespan of the trikes testifies such an unconventional testing method.
He went onto discuss the different nature of such beasts (trikes). Unlike a bike you cannot lean into corners otherwise you fall off, but he assured me that he could go around a 90 degree corner at 20mph. Not to mention there are videos of a friend doing a superman down a hill and other crazy tricks are possible because of the stability three wheels verse two provide.
We went onto to talk about the mechanics and recommended having a proper toolkit for one. He emphasised that they were resiliant, even able to take a collision from a lorry and soon get back on the road after swapping a few parts. Although he said that you had to be careful of thrashing the gears otherwise they would wear quickly with extreme loads and steeper gradients – summarising “it’s all about cadence control”
With respect to the new model, soon to be released, he was skeptical of the Nu Vinci CVT in terms of reliability as he had apparently broke the gear units on the previous ones.
The great conclusion from the discussion was that Cycles Maximus was the only way to go! The two trikes he had in his workshop are now 16 and 17 years old – which is astonishing considering he has had loads of up to 400kg. He went on to say that nothing out there competes; imiations and clones made in China simply cannot cut the mustard so to speak and felt weird according to him. Customers who have to sadly relinquish their previous Maximuses would rather be prepared to buy second hand than buy a new one at equivalent price. Nothing more can be said!
I’d like to thank Dylan for a very interesting and helpful chat we had that day.
If you’re interesting in getting a wheel built, repaired or would like a custom frame built I’d recommend to contact him:
Cycling The 92
Later I met with two guys – Pete and David and fellow rider who are approaching their end of their cycling trip to visit the 92 Football Grounds in England and Wales for their family charity Edgars Gift – their family charity. That day they were cycling from Middlesbrough FC to York and finishing at KC Stadium in Hull. I’d join them for the last leg of that.
Previously, I had cycled with them on their first day from Coventry to Birmingham which I had good fun doing, despite getting lost in Coventry. It was good to see them once again and I was pleased that they had enjoyed the experience and have been very fortunate with the support from people they’ve met and ofcourse the football grounds along the way. We had a bit of a catchup and it seemed that the weather had been fair and they were feeling mightily fit after climbing through nearly every natural park in England and Wales. The cycling gods had been kind!
That evening we took some nice fairly quiet roads from York down towards Hull. At one point we heard a sudden bang; we all wondered what it was. Unfortunatly Pete had a blow-out just on the last stretch. Sadly about thirty minutes I would give them my fare well just before reaching Humber Bridge.
They are very close to the end and I wish them all the best getting over the Peak District to their last stretch into Machester!