Over the winter I’d accumulated various bits towards a fixed gear TT project bike. There were two major things I needed to look out for: a pursuit track frame with front forks drilled for a brake, and a disc wheel for screw-on freewheel, preferably clincher, as I find they’re easier to deal with and this was supposed to be a budget build. I was lucky to pick up both within the space of a few weeks: a Dolan pursuit frame came up for sale on the TT forum, complete with headset, chain & saddle, and I “won” a first generation Hed disc wheel from eBay for just £100. The frame was perfect – 52cm seat tube and 54cm top tube – and its pursuit geometry should mean it wasn’t as twitchy as a standard track frame. (Years ago I did some club TTs on a track bike, but it was super unstable and very twitchy due to its steep/short frame – less than ideal for the more relaxed world of road time trialling.) Apart from the adapter and track axle needed to space the rear sprocket on the disc, the other components came out of my spares boxes or were won cheaply off eBay. The build came together one cold weekend in March when I was still feeling a bit under the weather:
I decided to give it a test ride at a club 10-mile TT on the Lechlade/A361 course. My first club TT for nearly 2 years – I’ve been so busy organising them that I’ve not had the chance to ride one. It was blowing a gale, so less than ideal for a fixed gear day, but at least it was a straight headwind out/tailwind home. I crawled the 5.5 miles to the turn and then spun like crazy back to the timekeeper, 50×15 (90-inches) was hardly a big enough gear there but I’d had fun. I’d forgotten just how involving racing a fixed gear bike is. I stopped the clock at 25:18 (Mark Jones, on the comeback trail from serious illness, won with an astonishing 21:53 – results HERE) and vowed to race this fixed gear bike again very soon. If nothing else, it gives me a good way to hide how unfit I’ve become on the bike lately!