Distance is the new speed

Stu Kerton embarks on a new bike building project

by Stuart Kerton   January 23, 2014  

I’d done an Audax before, three or four years ago, and to be perfectly honest I didn’t quite get the concept. Coming from seasons of time trialling and the odd sportive I couldn’t get my head around a maximum average speed - I mean why wouldn’t you fly around a set route as fast as your legs allow you to?

Yet, back in December tech ed Dave Arthur and I were stood in a damp, dark car park somewhere in Tewkesbury with forty or so other riders about to embark on a 200km ride around the lanes.

We didn’t exactly blend in: I was on a six grand carbon, Di2 wielding Cube with Dave on similar exotica, no bar bags, mudguards or maps but once under way, swapping gels for sausage and bacon rolls I actually found myself enjoying it and by the time the 207km (too busy chatting to see the right turn on the Garmin) was over I was hooked and a plan was hatched to ride as many as I could.

So new bike time. I haven’t bought an off the peg bike, as I find the choosing of the components and assembling each bit just as much fun as riding the finished product. Settling on a frame was actually pretty simple; it had to take full guards, be comfortable with stable handling but without sacrificing speed or looks, oh yeah and it had to be a Kinesis.

I’ve been lucky enough to test both versions of the GF Ti, GF Scandium and the TK3 and they have all provided exactly what I was looking, for plus Kinesis seem to have nailed making winter style bikes kind of sexy.
Unfortunately all of the above were out of my price range due to the kids expecting such luxuries as heating and food in their tummies so the T2 it was, a cracking frame in its own right especially with the carbon DC07 fork.

The 3T Integra Team stem was going to be the centre of the build, setting the theme if you like. I love the lines and as the Garmin is always going to be attached for route finding purposes, I thought it might as well be integrated into the bike. It is very stiff though so for long distance comfort carbon bars were an extravagant shock absorber.

Tempting as it was to go for 3T to match the stem I quite liked the understated look of the Cinelli Neos seatpost calming the front end down a bit. I’m not a huge lover of too many logos.

I’m a Campagnolo fan. I like the way it looks (what can I say, I'm a bike tart) and the shape of the hoods seems to match my hands. Obviously the groupset had to be black and I didn’t take much persuading to pay the small premium for the shiny red bits on the Centaur groupset. A 50/34 chainset with a 12/25 cassette should see me getting up most inclines in the saddle.

For the wheels, I had a choice of Campagnolo’s new asymmetric Vento’s or the Scirroco 35mm’s hanging in the shed. After a little Twitter poll it was the Scirroco’s that come out on top. Well the aim here is speed so a little aero advantage could come in handy. Wrapping them in 23mm Continental Gatorskin's should hopefully provide a decent balance of rolling and puncture resistance. 

As for the saddle, I had a couple of options, either a Fizik Arione that was in my spares cupboard or the Prologo CPC. I’ve always found Prologo’s take a lot of breaking in but the little rubber tubes on the upper provide a decent amount of shock absorbence so should be perfect for long days in the saddle.

To finish things off I’m waiting for TRP’s new deep drop brakes to arrive which should take care of the slowing down especially as the Miche ones are pretty cheap and use wine gums for brake blocks plus I might change the guards for some PDW ones as well.

So that’s that then, we’re ready to roll. The first ride is planned for the Gillingham & District Wheelers reliability ride this weekend with the Chippenham ‘Flapjack’ in February. The aim is then to do at least a 200km every month starting with the worryingly titled 214km Barry’s Bristol Ball Buster in March.

Distance is the new speed.

39 user comments

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GREGJONES wrote:
I've got a similar bike (scandium GF, centaur, but handbuilts). It's a terrific bike for audax, I only did my first this last spring but was hooked straight away.

It's the mixture between orienteering, cycling and the camaraderie that I'm so keen on.

Plus there is always the sense that you could have done more, perhaps 300km next time?

I think there is possibly a 600km on the cards. I know what you mean about the camaraderie though, there was a couple of miserable ones but they were wearing Rapha Wink

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stuke's picture

posted by stuke [306 posts]
23rd January 2014 - 21:54

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I used to use Gatorskins on my winter bike, and could never understand why it felt so "dead", until I swapped for GP 4 Seasons. The Gatorskin is heavy, stiff and not that puncture proof.

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posted by Gasman Jim [50 posts]
23rd January 2014 - 22:38

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Nice spec, loving the Campag. Duranos for me at the moment, Gators didn't fair we'll with rough old Devon lanes.

posted by Guyz2010 [283 posts]
23rd January 2014 - 22:56

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Kinesis DC21 forks would have allowed you to use standard drop calipers and therfore Campag brakes.

Anybody got a copy of that rulebook anywhere?

Joking aside, that's a nice build if a teeny bit 'roadie' looking.

Once you've put divots in the paint, acquired a leather saddle and Carradice (or three - Barley, Nelson Longflap and Camper Longflap) swapped the speedplays for Atac/Candy/SPD pedals to use with your coffee stop friendly mtb shoes, killed the sciroccos and replaced them with open pro rims on hope hubs and generally exorcised carbon fibre from your life (except forks) you'll be on the way.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

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posted by Jack Osbourne snr [304 posts]
24th January 2014 - 0:02

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Gasman Jim wrote:
I used to use Gatorskins on my winter bike, and could never understand why it felt so "dead", until I swapped for GP 4 Seasons. The Gatorskin is heavy, stiff and not that puncture proof.

+1

Exercising my rights by taking them cycling

posted by pedalingparamedic [86 posts]
24th January 2014 - 0:26

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+2

Gerard the Kiwi

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posted by GerardR [84 posts]
24th January 2014 - 5:06

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ah ..... Kinesis and Campag .... as I had redundancy my route
went GF Ti V2, Chorus and handbuilts but 25's Smile

Still - nice build and all the Kinesis I've had have been ace
on any distance at any speed so you'll love it !

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [698 posts]
24th January 2014 - 8:53

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By all the gods in Asgard, anyone doing more than 4hrs on 23's needs their head reading. There is simply no reason not to go for 28's. None. Yes, they weight 30g more a piece (GP 4 Seasons, anyway). 60g is nothing. You could not tell the difference on a built bike, picking it up, let alone while rolling.

28 let the average 75kg rider run between 20 & 30psi lower. That translates into a greatly improved ride quality, far less power needed over non-smooth surfaces, less fatigue, more grip, fewer flats, etc etc etc. Particularly as the 30psi lower is on the front, where vibration kills the wrists/shoulders during a long ride.

It's all good, no bad.

http://janheine.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/science-and-bicycles-1-tires-an...

http://www.bikequarterly.com/images/TireDrop.pdf

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

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posted by KiwiMike [473 posts]
24th January 2014 - 9:09

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KiwiMike wrote:
By all the gods in Asgard, anyone doing more than 4hrs on 23's needs their head reading. There is simply no reason not to go for 28's. None.

Nothing wrong with 23's, did 5 1/2 hours last Sunday and was fine.

I am not buying a new bike just so I can fit bigger tyres and mudguards.

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posted by mrmo [1064 posts]
24th January 2014 - 10:26

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I rode almost my entire 2013 brevet (Audax for you brits!) season on 32 and 35mm tires (Grand Bois Cypres and Schwalbe Kojaks). This included 2 SR series and 1 1200km (Super Brevet Scandinavia). The Grand Bois tires are fantastic, they feel like good tubulars, but even more comfortable.

posted by durrin [16 posts]
24th January 2014 - 10:34

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Careful Stuart, it's a slippery slope. Heed my story.
http://thebikeshow.net/the-healing-machine/ (at the start of the episode)

posted by sponican [64 posts]
24th January 2014 - 10:36

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mrmo wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:
By all the gods in Asgard, anyone doing more than 4hrs on 23's needs their head reading. There is simply no reason not to go for 28's. None.

Nothing wrong with 23's, did 5 1/2 hours last Sunday and was fine.

I am not buying a new bike just so I can fit bigger tyres and mudguards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

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posted by KiwiMike [473 posts]
24th January 2014 - 10:55

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10/10 for frame;
10/10 for the anodised red bolts;
8/10 for groupset;
3/10 for tyres;
2/10 for the brakes; and
1/10 for stem.

By the way, mine came with tekro brakes which had pads made of Imperial Leather. Shimano R650's FTW

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [551 posts]
24th January 2014 - 11:36

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mrmo wrote:
I am not buying a new bike just so I can fit bigger tyres and mudguards.

shhhhhh - that's precisely the excuse I have been putting forward lately Wink

posted by Metjas [281 posts]
24th January 2014 - 11:50

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25's or 28's was my first thought too. I've seen nothing good about the Garmin 510 either.

posted by snooks [19 posts]
24th January 2014 - 21:19

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Yet you say it is a distance bike. Ok then...

posted by snooks [19 posts]
24th January 2014 - 21:20

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KiwiMike wrote:
There is simply no reason not to go for 28's. None.

except, maybe, i dunno, you've done tens of thousands of miles on lots of different test bikes for road.cc in the past few years and you've just decided that after all that, 23s pumped up hard is what you like? it's a broad church, cycling.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7311 posts]
24th January 2014 - 21:55

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I cannot use 25's & mudguards on my PX Superlight, so I am using 23's through the winter. However I plan on finding some good quality 25's for the summer...

They just fit, but you have to fit the wheels/tyres to the bike before inflating them!!!

Currently going slower than I'd like...

posted by stealth [184 posts]
24th January 2014 - 22:16

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snooks wrote:
I've seen nothing good about the Garmin 510 either.

Care to elaborate snooks? I've been using mine six days a week since last summer and have no complaints.

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Strava - http://www.strava.com/athletes/931095

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posted by stuke [306 posts]
24th January 2014 - 23:12

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Dave Atkinson wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:
There is simply no reason not to go for 28's. None.

except, maybe, i dunno, you've done tens of thousands of miles on lots of different test bikes for road.cc in the past few years and you've just decided that after all that, 23s pumped up hard is what you like? it's a broad church, cycling.

Heh. Woe betide he who invokes the wrath of a Road.cc deity Wink

Seriously tho, for me it's all about the science. Which squarely points to lower rolling resistance, fatigue and risk of flats. Sure, some might 'feel' that 23's give something that 28's don't, I'm not saying they are 'bad' or 'wrong' - just that the reasons are not at all clear to use 23 over 28. I rode 23's at 120 in Switzerland this summer, and loved them. But on UK roads? year round? Eeeeeep.

Imagining a noob reading that headline report, they'd be off to order 23's. When in reality, would probably be better served by 28's. According to the science. Ahem.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

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posted by KiwiMike [473 posts]
24th January 2014 - 23:21

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i'm not a fan of 23s either mike. but like i say, broad church. one man's one thing is the other man's other thing and that.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7311 posts]
24th January 2014 - 23:39

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that comment was sponsored by a nice bottle of Graves. or most of it.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7311 posts]
24th January 2014 - 23:40

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I won't mention the 21mm Veloflex Master's on my Sarto then Big Grin

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Strava - http://www.strava.com/athletes/931095

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posted by stuke [306 posts]
24th January 2014 - 23:59

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Nice build, Stu. But Hamsterskins? I have to say that I've found them unresponsive and less durable than you might expect. Durano Plus FTW, and 25s work really well with that frame and forks. If anyone wants something similar but a lot cheaper, I have a Racelight T for sale (and, yes, it has Gatorskins on... D Oh ).

posted by TimC340 [31 posts]
25th January 2014 - 12:11

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Welcome to the slightly bonkers world of Audax!

>The aim is then to do at least a 200km every month

Do that for 12 consecutive months and you earn a Randonneur Round The Year award.

>starting with the worryingly titled 214km Barry’s Bristol Ball Buster in March.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. The organising club (the splendid Las Vegas Institute of Sport) ensure you are supplied plenty of cake en route. And I do mean plenty of cake!

I've also entered Barry's Bristol Ball Buster and I'm riding it on this svelte speed machine Big Grin

posted by Sir Wobbly [7 posts]
25th January 2014 - 14:50

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Sir Wobbly wrote:
Welcome to the slightly bonkers world of Audax!

>The aim is then to do at least a 200km every month

Do that for 12 consecutive months and you earn a Randonneur Round The Year award.

>starting with the worryingly titled 214km Barry’s Bristol Ball Buster in March.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. The organising club (the splendid Las Vegas Institute of Sport) ensure you are supplied plenty of cake en route. And I do mean plenty of cake!

I've also entered Barry's Bristol Ball Buster and I'm riding it on this svelte speed machine Big Grin

now that is a Beast! I'll keep my eyes peeled for you

Follow me on-
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posted by stuke [306 posts]
25th January 2014 - 21:43

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Dave Atkinson wrote:
i'm not a fan of 23s either mike. but like i say, broad church. one man's one thing is the other man's other thing and that.

Gold absolute gold! Big Grin :D Big Grin

Tim - Hamsterskins!! Just awesome!

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ValentinKokorin

London2Paris24: 450km, 24 hours, 5th-6th July 2014

I will miss TdF in Yorskhire!!! Please donate! Big Grin

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posted by koko56 [318 posts]
27th January 2014 - 2:04

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I finally got round to riding the Kinesis yesterday. 102km around the sunny lanes of Wiltshire.

A couple of tweeks but other than that it rode exactly as expected http://app.strava.com/activities/110705303

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posted by stuke [306 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 14:42

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Well I managed to finish Barry's Bristol Ball Buster on the Pashley Roadster Sovereign. Ahead of a good few roadies too I might add Big Grin

How did you do Stu?

posted by Sir Wobbly [7 posts]
1st April 2014 - 20:45

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Sir Wobbly wrote:
Well I managed to finish Barry's Bristol Ball Buster on the Pashley Roadster Sovereign. Ahead of a good few roadies too I might add Big Grin

How did you do Stu?

I take my hat off to you Sir Applause

I've been battling tonsillitis & a cold since last monday so after 275km of commuting I needed the weekend to recover, only got back on the bike today.
The T2 hasn't been out much due to the amount of test bikes I've had lately but it has had the brakes upgraded to TRP's RG957 deep drops, the review will be up soon.

Follow me on-
Twitter - @StuKerton
Strava - http://www.strava.com/athletes/931095

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posted by stuke [306 posts]
3rd April 2014 - 15:16

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