That PaddyWagon frame has built up into a really nice winter trainer.. I built it on Tuesday afternoon and took it for a quick 60km shakedown spin yesterday afternoon. It’s a nice ride.. not as sparkly as my DeSalvo but you wouldn’t expect that, but it does have that nice ride that is particular to more than half-decent steel frames, handles well and is stiff enough to go up hills quickly without feeling as if the frame is soaking up the power from my legs. Should keep me happy for a few winters, although I distinctly remember saying that about every one of at least the last 5 winter bikes I’ve built…

I stopped for the obligatory snap on the waterfront at Marazion.. St Michael’s Mount in the background

Most of the parts came out of my bits box with the exception of the headset (new), the mudguards/fenders (£20 from a mate), a deep drop front calliper (DiaCompe, fleabay) and a new chain. I use Miche 1/8″ track chains a lot, they’re good value – you can usually find them for around £7, they run quietly (unlike some 1/8″ chains) and last well enough to survive a solid winter of riding. The build is a somewhat eclectic mix, and quite classy for a winter machine.. Goldtec track hubs on Open Pro Rims, those Honjo fenders, a Thomson Elite seatpost, Deda Newton bars (on a no-name polished stem), Miche track chainset (172.5mm) and the San Marco Regal saddle that used to be on my Nomad.. the leather is totally worn out on it but that saddle and my butt have seen some pretty epic journeys together so I’ll keep using it ’till it dies completely. Gearing is pretty standard 48×18 that I’ve been running in the winter for years.. gives me a comfortable cruising speed range up of a relaxed 2okm/hr up to 40-41km/hr.. or 48-5okm/hr if I cane it but the cadence gets a bit high to sustain for more than a few minutes, and I  can get up everything that Cornwall has to offer by way of hills, including the stiff 22%+ grades around the Helford without particular difficulty.. well, no hernias anyway. Sorted.

initially I wasn’t sure about the hammered, polished look of the Honjos but given they were cheaper than a new set of SKS chromoplastics fitting them was a no brainer (fiddly job) but now they’re on I think they look ace.

I still maintain that compact frame styles look a bit silly but for the paltry sum it cost me I can live with it… and it is a nice colour..