Ed. – This is an article from Jonathan Turner.
July 1987 – Channel 4, I am 13 years old and sit captivated in front of the television waiting, listening. Phil Liggett starts to almost scream his commentary as a figure starts to emerge from the mist. It is of course Stephen Roach fighting back to limit his losses, pursuing Pedro Delgado to the summit finish at Le Plagne. The day he made sure he didn’t loose the tour.
From this point I was captivated by all things cycling and the many emotions it evokes – Competition, Aggression, Passion, Beauty. I joined a small club and my journey began.
Years later and not far off 39, I am still cycling to keep fit and enjoy the social side that cycling brings. In fact I met my wife whilst on a holiday cycling across the atlas mountains in Morrocco.
12 months ago however, I was forced to rest due to chronic tendonitis in my Achilles which rendered me on crutches. It was the second dose that year and I needed an answer. I did a bit of reading and a mate recommended going to see Tour de France Legend Adrian Timmis for a bike fit. It turned out my cleats were wrong and my saddle was too high! This was causing me to overextend on each turn! Bike fit complete, some physio, rest and rehabilitation and I was back on my bike this time in my new position.
Some 4000 miles later and I am still riding well – I had literally been making it up for 25 years, my bike fit was a revelation ! !
At around this time I went to a presentation by rising star and frame builder Tom Donhau. He makes some beautiful bikes and in particular I liked the one he made for the Rapha Continental project. This sparked a new idea. To take my bike fit a stage further. I decided to go and see legendary frame builder Brian Rourke close by in Stoke on Trent. I figured he has measured the pro’s including Nicole Cook and Sean Kelly and that was good enough a CV for me. Plus as a kid all the top guys in my local club rode and raced his frames and I had always wanted one.
Brian and Gareth were awesome and spent the whole morning with me to resolve my position. The only downside was the 6 month lead time.
My spec for the project was to build a year round bike that was fast and my own version of a Rapha Continental bike built for the beautiful lanes of Staffordshire where I do most of my riding. I did not want a “winter bike” I figure that when you “only” do 100 miles a week on average why ride a low spec heavy bike between October and April! I also wanted to prove that a steel bike can be light, made to measure and not brake the bank, and that you don’t need a carbon frame to build a quality, light responsive bike.
Frame – Reynolds 853 Pro Team throughout
Fork – Kinesis carbon with alloy steerer
Brakes – Campag Centaur
Chain – KMC
Bars – Deda Presa Carbon
Stem – Deda
Headset – Chris King
Seatpin -Deda Super Zero
Saddle – Fiizik
Wheels – Hope Hoops
Tyres – Continental GP4Season
Pedals – Look Keo Carbon
Mudguards – SKS Blumells
As built the bike weighs 8.1 KG – Excluding Guards
The total cost of the bike was circa £2,300, (Not full RRP as I sourced all the parts on the internet) made to measure, better specced and lighter then many carbon bikes out there.