Category Archives: bikes

E-biking in style

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We were in our prefectural town of Alençon today and came across this. It’s a Peugeot e-bike, but fitted out with some style. And those are some serious panniers. The bike has a chain around it, but isn’t fixed to anything permanent. Nor, as far as I could see, are the panniers secured in any way. This makes me think… Read more »

The culprit

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Schwalbe Marathon Plus

Steve and I changed my tyres yesterday – I’ve swapped out the POS tyres the bike came with for Schwalbe Marathon Pluses. Lined with 5mm of India rubber, Kevlar and with age-resistant side walls, they are as close to bomb-proof as a bike tyre can get and are meant to resist even riding over a drawing pin (we’ll see….). Despite their… Read more »

Sitting pretty

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Getting the saddle on a bicycle at the perfect height is absolutely critical. This is something I learned decades ago. But I’d forgotten just how much trial and error is involved. Everything starts with getting the correct frame size. I used various online calculators, all of which suggested a frame size of around 58cm. As the largest size available on the… Read more »

As easy as…

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Well, I’ve had my new bike for four days now, and I can finally admit to myself that I like it. As excited as I was about getting the bike, I couldn’t rid myself of a lingering doubt that this just wasn’t going to work out. The three rides we made a little while ago on my old Peugeot didn’t… Read more »


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bike computer

So, I found out yesterday that I’ve been riding my bike all wrong since it arrived. The reason? I failed to Read The Fucking Manual. To be honest, I didn’t even know we HAD a manual. But on looking at it last night, Steve found that the reason I’d been feeling that the bike was sluggish lately wasn’t my tyres (which we’d… Read more »

Review: Gitane Organ e-bike

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It’s now two weeks since I got my bike, so I feel comfortable at giving it a first review. I’ve ridden it on the Vélo Francette greenway, the Véloscénie and various other voies vertes around here, and on country lanes around my home – the kind of riding that I’ll typically be doing on it, and my journeys have graduated… Read more »

Some thoughts on a recent trip

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Our trip down the vélo francette last Wednesday was truly lovely. It was such a beautiful September day – 19 degrees, dry and sunny. As Steve mentioned, I was towing Zola and because of that I found myself using the assist more than normal. The slight upward gradient of the old railway line was quite noticeable when towing a 15kg trailer with… Read more »

Lessons learned

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So, yesterday we tried out both the e-bike and the Doggyhut for the first time. For our first ride out, we chose the usual route where we walk the dogs on the voie verte. Normally we join at a certain point and turn either right or left, walk about 2.5km and turn round and come back. We figured that for cycling,… Read more »

Pimp my ride: first impressions of the Gitane Organ e-bike

We’ve now had a bit more time to play with Trish’s new Gitane Organ e-bike. This isn’t going to be a review – that will come but we’ll need far more experience with the bike first. This post is more in the way of first impressions. And what’s the first thing you do with a new bike? Why, pimp it out… Read more »

The bikes are here! (Well, one is…)

We’d got to the point where we thought our bicycles were just a myth. Ordered weeks ago, when summer was still blazing, the hope they symbolised started to fade with the shortening days. But now, at last, one of them (Trish’s, dammit) has finally arrived… It was the biggest box we’ve had delivered in a while. “Matelas?” queried the delivery… Read more »

All the things

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It appears that, even when you’re recreational, unracer cyclists like us, buying the bike isn’t the end of the matter. It’s only the beginning because there’s suddenly this whole world of other crap you need to buy. Well, okay, maybe need isn’t quite the right word. Neither is crap. You need some of these things. You want the rest of it. That’s… Read more »

The benefits of e-bikes

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I’ve already explained why we’ve bought e-bikes. But it’s worth expanding a little on why the electrically assisted bicycle (vélo assistance éléctrique, VAE) is something for everyone to consider. There seems to be a little misapprehension, and not a little snobbery, about e-bikes – especially in the cycling world. Although it’s rarely, if ever, phrased this way, the attitude boils… Read more »

The curse of August

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It has occurred to me that we made a rooky error. We ordered French bikes via a French store … in August. For those of you not familiar with French ways, the country pretty much shuts down in August. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but you’ll still find many shops and factories either closed completely or… Read more »