Return of the Jackson

Having received the returned frame yesterday, Bob Jackson Cycles reckon there is nothing wrong with the BB shell and so won’t do anything to rectify it. As a last resort they’ve been asked to fit a BB in the hope it might prompt a phone call saying “oops, it is a bit wrong isn’t it”. However the LBS had heard nothing back when I popped in after work, so the frame may reappear in the next few days.

Fixed commute

Today was my first voluntary long commute to work. I took the fixed-gear Tricross instead of the Lemond, and consequently was about 5 minutes slower, albeit over a fractionally longer route. Part of that will be the lowish 42:18 gearing, and part down to the 32mm cross tyres instead of lightweight 25mm slicks.

Unfortunately it was very humid this morning, and there was a slight drizzle at the Bitton end of the loop, so I got to work absolutely drenched in sweat. However no-one has complained of the smell yet, so I might get away with it.

Weather changing bridge

Whilst spinning back along the canal towards the end of my ride this evening, I managed to ride under a bridge in the dry, and appear on the other side in a somewhat surprising rain storm. Despite the mild soaking on the way back it was a good ride. I’ve got nettle rash and bramble cuts on most limbs, and I think I’ve found the source of one lot of creaking on the Hemlock, but not the other. It’s a start though.

I may or may not ride the long way to work tomorrow, it’ll depend on whether or not I wake up early enough and can be bothered to sort kit out really.

Is it down to the lake I fear?

Spurred on by a week of decent commuting, a ride down to Chew Valley Lake was in order for today, the first time for just over two years. After rather too much faffing, I left the house somewhat later than planned just after 9 and headed out along the cycle track. Despite not having ridden the route for ages I only got slightly off-route once and had to loop back on myself slightly then wing it a bit to get back to where I should be. The biggest problem today was the heat, by the time I reach Saltford on the way home I was out of water, otherwise I’d have taken a longer route back and increased the mileage a bit.

In the end I did 36 miles with 1800+ ft of climbing, making it 108.5 miles for the week, more than I did in most months last year, and my longest week for nearly 4 years.

Chew Valley Lake ride

Sense of humour failure

Back in mid-May, a semi-custom Bob Jackson Vigorelli frame was ordered for me through an LBS and all was well with the world. Almost 4 weeks to the day later a beautiful frame was delivered to the shop, complete with the wrong forks. They’d supplied threaded, we’d ordered threadless. That didn’t prove to be too much of a problem as two days later a new set were being built and sprayed, and they arrived yesterday. Plans were made to collect the bike on Friday, a suitable route for the initial ride was decided on, and all was again well with the world.

That is until today, which is coincidentally the day I made the first payment for the bike.

In order to start the build process the LBS mechanic retrieved the frame from it’s packaging and started to chase out the threads in the bottom bracket shell and face it properly. When the two facing tools didn’t meet in the middle, he realised something was amiss. The drive side threads haven’t been cut straight, as soon as you screw something into the threads it sits off-centre. Not ideal for a bottom bracket on a fixed-gear bike. Apparently Bob Jackson Cycles were somewhat dismissive of the problem when contacted, and don’t seem to believe anything can be wrong, but the frame and both sets of forks are sat in a box waiting to be couriered back to Leeds tomorrow.

Hopefully they’ll see the error of their ways, or rather the error of their bottom bracket shell threads, and sort out a swift replacement. However I fear it’ll be at least another 4 weeks before I’m up and running. I’d look for an alternative, except the reason for going custom is that I couldn’t find what I wanted off the shelf, and going to any other custom frame supplier such as Mercian will take just as long if not longer.