MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"  

SIXTIES PHILLIPS - INTRO

FINDING THE PHILLIPS

BUILDING THE PHILLIPS

RIDING THE PHILLIPS

 

BICYCLES OF ENGLAND

 

 

 

 

RIDING THE PHILLIPS

The Phillips build was coming to an end.  About all that was left to do, at this point in time, was install cables, pedals and the drive chain.  That consumes all of an hour's effort.  With that task completed, I followed up with a final and thorough inspection of the bicycle's state of mechanical preparedness.  Then it was off, down the cottage road, to test the Phillips out.  The first mile or so of the journey is loose gravel, not the best surface to test a fresh build on.  With this in mind, I loaded the Phillips into the Ranger and transported the bicycle to a paved surface.

The Autumn morning, as I recall, was crisp.  Down right cold, for that time of the year, might be a better choice of words.  Frost had joined my world the night before and the morning air smelled of it.  A nice smell that seemed to go well with the chilled air on this beautiful North-western Ontario Fall morning.  The Phillips and I, with trap-less rat trap pedals installed, set off in low gear.  Even though I had checked the frame set's integrity, prior to the build, I could not resist the urge to gently remove my hands from the bars once balance speed was achieved.  The bicycle still tracked perfectly, pulling neither to the left or right.

I will not suggest, for a moment, that the Phillip's performance was exceptional.  It did however ride well, accelerate easily and manoeuvre with a more than acceptable degree of precision.  The brakes, though Old School, worked just fine and I never felt as though I were going to run out of stopping power.  The drive train was surprisingly quiet, perhaps a testament to the Stronglight crank set.  The Huret transmission shifted positively, though it was challenged when fast shifts were sought.  I did not need to adjust the saddle, since I got lucky and hit the right spot during installation.

All in all, the Phillips offered the kind of ride that I have come to enjoy.  Certainly not performance oriented, but very rewarding in a relaxed and recreational sense.  Training or exercise intense rides are just fine much of the time.  But there something to be said for Old School ride quality.  A lesson I learned one day riding an old entry level Legnano.

I have owned, and ridden, quite a few of, what I will call, "lesser bicycles".  Lesser, in this case is a relative term, suggesting entry level or a tad better.  The lesser ride lacks performance rewards, but the feel of the ride does encourage one to relax and enjoy the moment.  Not only that, but the somewhat dated technology will ensure that you get a decent workout, even if you are not doing so at racing speeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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