Road Ride – Fettled Basso & Recuperated ColinJ Test

My old cycling pal Bill is back for the summer so I called upon his workshop skills to sort out my Basso which I had stripped down some time ago, but not got round to reassembling.

Bill got stuck in, and after a quick trip down to the LBS (Local Bike Shop) for some replacement ball bearings for the bottom of the headset, we were soon staring at a newly fettled Basso.

Fettled Basso
Fettled Basso

Here's a summary of the work – bike cleaned, new bottom bracket, new chainrings, new cassette, new chain, new ball bearings for lower part of headset, new SPD pedals, original steel Basso forks restored, original ITM stem restored (but flipped up).

The position on the bike is now much closer to the racier position on my Cannondale, but still comfortable. Bill didn't service the hubs but I might get him to do that job another time.

If you look closely, you can see something attached to the stem in the photograph above; it's my new camera bag. I found an online store*** with a clearance offer on various different bags and spotted one which was a perfect match for my Fuji camera. I normally carry that in a waterproof bag inside my Camelbak bag along with tools, etc. It wasn't exactly convenient for taking photos when out on rides because I'd have to mess about taking the bag off my back, opening it up, extracting the camera from its waterproof bag and so on. Now I carry it in a small bag attached to the side of my handlebar stem with a velcro strap and stud fastening on the back of the bag. To make really sure that the camera bag can't fall off the bike if I hit a big bump at speed, I've added a cable tie for extra security.

By the way – I've just started playing about with the camera's macro mode which allows me to take close-up photographs that would normally be out of focus; I'm really impressed with this mode.

Camera bag snapped in Macro mode
Camera bag on the stem, taken in macro mode

That picture is zoomed out. This is the level of detail that the camera can actually capture –

Camera bag close-up, Macro mode
Camera bag close-up, taken in macro mode


Okay, and now to the test ride…

As you will know if you've read the past few blog entries, I've been feeling ill for a few weeks but have just started to feel better. I thought that a short ride to test the bike would also let me see how my recovery was coming on.

It was a beautiful summer evening – sunny, warm, but not hot, a gentle breeze blowing. The quality of the light was lovely. Long shadows cast over the fields – super!

Summer evening, long shadows
Summer evening, long shadows

The bike felt a bit heavy compared to the Cannondale, but not outrageously so. The difference is swamped my how much extra weight I'm carrying on myself so it would be stupid to dwell on bike weights at the moment.

Apart from a few minor teething problems requiring derailleur and endstop adjustments, the bike felt very good. I'd run it so long with worn out bits that I'd forgotten how nice to ride it could be.

The other good thing was that I was feeling pretty good myself. I only rode up through Cragg Vale, then turned left round by the Turkey Lodge farm, and returned home via Scout Road and Mytholmroyd. A total of about 11 miles. Not much, but I just wanted to check out me and the bike. We both passed and the forecast is good for the next couple of days so I'll organise a more challenging ride for the weekend.

*** Camera bag obtained from

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