This was my last main bike.
It started out as a standard Dawes Omega, and as such was a great bike to ride. Together with my good friend Pete who also had an Omega we covered many many miles both on and off road.
Over the years it got upgraded with
- SPD pedals (first Ritchey and then, after an accident when they got damaged, with Shimano – now on my Audax bike).
- Many saddles. Most got damaged in off-road accidents (I really abused this bike). One famous incident on road when I snapped a crank when I accelerated to overtake a car resulted in a very badly bent saddle rail (and a sore crotch!). The best saddle followed me onto my Audax bike as it was so comfortable.
- Slick road tyres. As most of my later miles on this bike were on the road I saw no point in using chunky off-road tyres. I used a full size 26x1.9 tyre on the back (as these were only 26 inch rims I didn’t want to lose speed by putting small tyres on the bike) but I used a small narrow tyre on the front as this gave me sharp and precise steering.
- Road gears. I kept the 9 speed MTB cassette on the back as this had an 11 tooth top gear. However I changed the chain rings (and bottom bracket) for a Shimano 105 road gear with a top gear of 53 teeth. This gave me quite a good top gear ratio, together with much satisfaction in overtaking racing cyclists on high spec bikes and Lycra whilst being on a “Mountain Bike” and wearing jeans!
Today, whilst still retaining the road gearing this bike once again sports chunky off-road tyres and is my main bike for mud plugging and commuting in the snow, on the rare occasion that Essex sees the white stuff.