This post should obviously have been done before the climb, but I’ve only just found it in my draft box. Curses.
After realising that my old aluminium Claude Butler bike, (trusty, reliable but marginally heavier than a lead ballon) was going to struggle to get itself and my ample girth up the big hill, I decided I had three options.
1. Train like mad to be fit.
2. Lose loads of weight.
3. Buy a new carbon framed lightweight bike.
Clearly number 1 was absurd and number 2 wasn’t going to happen, so, I rummaged about behind the settees and found a few coppers to help me in my quest.
I called the nice salesman at http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk with my budget, height, weight, fitness level and intended goal, and he suggested two options, I settled on the Ribble Gran Fondo, with a few little things tweaked. I firstly put a triple set on, it was going to make the bike heavier but was certainly going to help me getting up there. I also upgraded the wheels and the gear set.
On the overnight ferry from France and then a drive all the way up to Preston, I was pretty tired by the time I arrived, but equally pathetically excited to see my new bike. Must be said I was a little disappointed with the customer service once entering the shop, but not at all with the bike.
What a thing of beauty!! Saddle was looking a touch high, but no problem, I drove from Preston to Wrexham, to see a good friend, and just coincidentally owner of Setchfield Cycles ltd. He gave me a full set up, sat me on the bike, moved the saddle, moved plenty of stuff around, tightened the gearing and did plenty of other stuff . A quick ride up and down his road and I was delighted with his work.
If you’re needing a bike set up and you’re anywhere in or around Wrexham, I can’t recommend him highly enough. The climb up the Ventoux was hard, but I know the set up of the bike made it easier. Contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org should you need him, you won’t be disappointed.
The bike is fantastic, its light, very responsive and incredibly comfortable. I took just over 3 hours for the climb (which is rubbish really) but although I was knackered, the comfort of the bike meant I didn’t struggle more than was necessary, and surprisingly was fine the next day.