Out with the old, in with the new

I had a busy day planned with two big appointments scheduled, and a few bits in between. I was cycling to the first, a dentist appointment I had needed for six weeks, and was running slightly early. Waiting at some temporary traffic lights on Temple Mills Lane, they turned green and I started to pedal. There was a loud chink. It didn’t sound good. A couple walking past let out a ‘ooh’ as if to say what I was thinking- that it didn’t sound good.

I got off the bike and got it to the side of the road. The rear derailleur had completely fallen off. It was not a pretty sight.

After 5 minutes of trying to fix it, I gave up.

I tried to walk it to the dentists instead but the derailleur was knocking against the spokes. Eventually it got stuck and the wheel wouldn’t turn anymore. I dragged the bike to the bike stands in the park (which was the opposite direction of where I needed to go), locked it up and then ran to the dentist. I had been set to be 7 or 8 minutes early but after all that had happened I got there 17 minutes late and they refused to see me.

I realised the next day that they didn’t really understand what had happened. Nor did many others when I relayed the story. I took to explaining it like this. It’s like you are driving your car and your car breaks down and gets written off. Within 24 hours I had, with help, arranged my ‘courtesy car’, which was a borrowed bike. But I needed a new bike. So all in all it was pretty serious for someone who uses their bike a lot.

Some may be reading this thinking, couldn’t the derailleur be repaired? Well, yes it could, and we probably will. It has now fallen into the domain of ‘husband’s bike project’..

Husband’s bike project

The derailleur was kind of the last straw after a series of faults. I had had a love hate relationship with this bike. I had had many, many, good times. But the bike itself had on a fair number of occasions also given me a hard time. It was time for it to be put into retirement- or, possibly, semi retirement.

Now fortunately my husband had been looking up new bikes anyway as we had realised I needed to get a new one soon, so he wanted to get me one for our ten year wedding anniversary 🙂 We had an appointment with Evans booked already and had ordered in a couple of models to look at. We just had no idea that necessity would strike sooner than we expected..

The service at Evans was really impressive. I should start this by saying that Evans have not sponsored this post in any way! I was just really happy with their service and I want to share that experience!

I had to pay a £50 deposit to order a bike in, and this would be refundable or deducted from any bike purchase.  They built the bikes we had ordered ready for me to view. I sat on them in the shop and they adjusted the saddle height and checked the sizing. Then we were allowed to take the bikes for a test ride after some ID checks. They made an exception and allowed us to take both bikes out at the same time. This was great as I could really compare the two.

I rode both a couple of times. We were allowed to take them out for half an hour and go on local roads. It was really great to test the bikes out as I had a chance to get a feel for how they felt to ride. I could see how the gears felt and the brakes, and whether the frame size was a good match. I knew straight away I wanted the Specialised Sirrus . As soon as I sat on it it felt right, whereas the other Trek bike I was looking at just didn’t feel as right. I would always recommend someone to try out a bike if you can before buying now, as they just felt so different. This is more difficult with online shopping, but buying a bike is a big investment you want to get right.

With Evans, they offer a post-six weeks free service and also a Right Bike guarantee. If you don’t like the bike you’ve bought, after 30 days you can swap it. You can’t get a refund, but at least it’s peace of mind that you’re not stuck with a bike you don’t like. After a week of riding this bike, my left arm is really, really, hurting. I’ve been reading up on the possible causes and am going to make some adjustments to the handlebar to see if that helps. But it’s great to know that if I just don’t get on with this bike (which I’m hoping isn’t the case because apart from my left arm, I’m loving it) I can swap it for a different one.

To avoid it being too much of a change, my husband fitted some of the bits from my old bike on this one, such as my old saddle and the quick release seat post. And naturally, one of the first bits to go on was the trailer hitch.

I named the bike (whose model name is Sirrus) Sirius Purple. Naturally I’m hoping Sirius Purple will not, like my Silver bike and like my bike’s namesake, suffer a similar fate of early and untimely death… Last year I read all seven Harry Potter books for the first time in the space of six months. Once I knew I was getting a Sirrus, I couldn’t really call it anything else..

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