Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Ice Cold Milk Update from Canada

Tom sent this report;

"Spring has finally sprung - with long, sunny days and the temperatures well into the 20's (plus 20 that is!)
Ice Cold Milk has undergone a few changes - the studded tires are being rested for the season and I have upgraded the forks to something with a bit more bounce.

Otherwise, all is going well - the Gates drive has certainly attracted some interest, and the steel frame has received some appreciative comments from the "Enthusiasts". The hub gears continue to give faultless, smooth changes even on the rough trails. All in all "big grin riding" continues!

Only one problem - the name. Ice Cold Milk seems somewhat inappropriate at this time of year, Jo thinks Chocolate Milk might work if I don't keep it clean - no chance!"

And here's a link to Tom's bike: http://www.flickr.com/photos/milkbikes/sets/72157628986517931/

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Return of the Bull:it (for non hipsters)

After being damaged on a road test the Bull:it has been a bit neglected as things have been very busy with the commute bikes and the ADL. There was also the issue that I am probably too old and conservative to really enjoy riding brakeless. On the track it is great when surrounded by experienced riders but on the road with everyone on the their phones I was not keen and it meant it could only be ridden slowly.

As a bit of an experiment Mark agreed that we should add a brake to the front to allow quicker stopping if a driver did not see you or in a moment of madness you got yourselves in trouble...

The wheel parts arrived on Saturday AM so I built the wheel, swapped in some other prototype forks with a brake mount (hence they have big gaps which would not be the desired final production look), went and bought a brake lever and then it was done. A cool looking bike that can be ridden in normal clothes, without rolling up your trousers, and still not get oil on your trousers.

I have been for a spin around town on it and it certainly turned a few heads. It needs a front wheel tattoo to balance it up with the seat tube. I did not use the front brake much as it is nicer to control the speed through the drive train but it is reassuring to know that it is there. The disk brake also keeps the lines cleaner and means that the white paint on the super deep Velocity B43 won't get damaged over time. You also get the same braking performance in all weather conditions which was handy today in the heavy showers.

The bike feel is the same as before and is great around town. I might even take it on a trip to work this week... but now with stopping confidence. All I need to do now is change my image towards the hipster :o)

Friday, 6 April 2012

ArtDA - Mudguards

Made a slight addition to the front mudguard - aka woodguard, made by Simin from Squaretree up in Edinburgh. We added another stay to the front to keep the nose up. The balloon tyres coupled with the shape of the dork crown meant that the very tip of the guard touched the tyre. I love how they look on the bike, even more than before :)

Friday, 30 March 2012

Bespoked, done and dusted

Can't believe the show has come and gone already... It was awesome. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi - great to hear what you think and nice to be reassured that I'm not completely insane!! Looking forward to next year

Sunday, 25 March 2012


Some great pics taken by a friendly French photographer, @whiteandcream

Friday, 23 March 2012

Bespoked, Setup Day

Here we go again people: Bristol Bespoked Bike Show again!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Adventure Race Result

So the makeshift mapholder held up through all the rain and the ADL once again made me feel very sure footed on the trail. Easily taking on drops that I would otherwise have faltered at. The only issue I had was one a created. I lost all brakes with over 1 hour to go. I should have put new pads in on Saturday. This meant that for the last hour I had to run down every hill in my bike shoes and because of that I now have black toe nails and expect to lose them soon.

It is at least 2 years since my last race so I was pleased with the result. We finished 3rd in the Male pairs category although we were very late back and got penalised for that. My navigate was a bit rusty but on the whole we were going in the right direction.

Think I might do one again soon. Link to results below.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

ADL ready for Adventure Racing

Doing my first Adventure Race in 3 years tomorrow on the North Downs. I have a may holder but it is for standard bars so will not fit on the ADL as it has oversize. I had a hunt around the shed on Friday evening but it was going to be a real faff to change things over just for 2-3hrs of riding so this morning I rigged up a basic mount and added the rotating map holder onto it. Hopefully it will be robust enough to last the 2-3hr ride tomorrow. It's going to be a wet one so lets see....

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Show Time!!

People, it's that time of year again - the Bespoked Bristol Handmade and Boutique Bike Show is on again, this year at the end of March. Milk is going to be there again. If you're in the area or can possibly get down to Bristol on the 24th & 25th of March, come down and see it - it's going to be awesome!

Friday, 10 February 2012

This is why there is Milk Bikes

Hi Mark,

Just to let you know Ice Cold Milk arrived safe and sound a couple of days ago and had its first test ride yesterday.

It was a brisk -20C, but with only a light breeze so thankfully very light windchill. It rode just perfectly straight out the box. Fast and eager on the hard packed skidoo trails, responsive and nimble on some fairly tame single track I was playing on.

The tyres are awesome, I was able to climb a very respectable hill covered in sheet ice that my hard soled Northwave boots just slid on - most impressive.

Only one minor off, which was more a case of speed overcoming talent! Ice Cold Milk giving me too much confidence on a narrow tree lined section of single track.

The hub gears worked faultlessly and the belt seemed super smooth.

All in all a first class build.

The Fatbike snow bikes are big here, and undoubtedly they would have me on fresh snow, but anything even remotely packed as most of the trails are, and I'll leave them in my ice crystals!?

Thanks for the kind note you sent through with the bike, glad to be able to support someone who so obviously cares about the bikes they build, instead of the soulless big brand names - so terribly dull!!

Best regards,

Tom and Ice Cold Milk!

Monday, 6 February 2012

What a few days on the Milk Bikes Part 1 - Friday.

Had another adventure with Martin, and to start with Mike. We went the off road route except I was on the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) commute bike. This bike has been working faultlessly. The ground was frozen solid so there was no problem with traction and the Marathon pluses seemed to work great but I could have done with a bit more volume of air in the tires like my MTB riding friends. We left in the day light and traveled over the old friends of fields that we have not seen for a while. Lights went on and we immediately had to stop for Mike’s ‘budget’ lights. The cable had pulled out of the battery. We decided to make the most of the light and get as far as possible before we had to deal with the light issue. Mike was on a mission anyway as he had had a call from his wife and he had to be home. He split off to stick to the roads and then it was back to just Martin and me. There were times when there would be a posse of 5 of us on this route but times change and now it is only Martin and me who regularly take on the Friday adventure. Tonight we had a goal. There was a beer festival to reach and it was free before 6. Neither of us had the time and we were quite happy rolling through the countryside. We got to the beer festival in Chelmsford, faffed while we locked up and got to the door at 6:01pm You would have hoped that the door men would have seen how much effor we had made to reach them, dressed in our lycra, but they did not care and relieved both of us of £5 to get in. The festival passed as they do knocking back halves of as many unusually named beers as you can. Saying hello to old friends. Talking about this and that. The best visual of the evening was the jumper that hung itself from a window controller however I am sad to say that there is no photographic evidence of the ‘jumpercide’ as the owner was never gone to far... 9pm and it was off to our warm homes and families. Friday commutes are the best. Thanks Martin for being there.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Friday Night Adventure

4pm shut down and leave my desk
4:15 meet Martin on the grassy knoll for another Friday adventure
The first roads are full of single commuters in their tin boxes wanting to get home to friends and family.
We are already together as friends chatting over life and laughing together.
We reach quieter roads and enjoy riding side by side and conversation flows freely.
First mini off road section into Ingatestone and the RDA takes it with ease.
Soon we are at the start off an unkown road selected from the map.
We reach the road end and find a no cycling sign on the footpath sign post.
Stealth mode.
Lights off. No talking. Over the stile and onto a new route.
The route is fun. Slipping and sliding down footpaths.
The final section by a blackthorn hedge.
Back on the road.
Lights on.
PUNCTURE... Martin...
Martin faffs. I take the piss.
We hear the call of an owl.
A man asks us what we are doing. Martin has the dirty wheel in his hand and I have the new tube in the other?
All fixed.
On we go.
Another off road section and the RDA flies along with confidence.
Back on the road and heading for the pub. The temperature drops.
Bikes locked.
In the pub. Usual comments about our apparel...
Couple of pints.
Warm clothes on.
Cruise home.
Another Friday adventure over.
Roll on next week. ;-)

Sally's Bike

This was one of the most intricate builds I've done so far - lots of little details to get right - largely because this the first Small build... internal cable routing for gearing, brakes and lights; a kick stand, cross-top levers and a bit of metal-working on the rack. The end result though was something pretty cool.

A few more pics on Flickr too - link on side bar!

Cookie Love

Happy Friday!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Tom's Ice-Cold Milk Bike

Finishing touches on Tom's 26" wheeled super-commuter, built to take on the winters in Northern Canada... where they fill Ice Road Truckers!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

On... Off... On... Off...

Delivery from Germany: a switch on/off/able dynamo hub... cycle(geek)chick

Monday, 2 January 2012


With the second Bespoked Bristol show coming up we've got something special in the pipeline. It's still evolving, but the highlight of the project is going to develop and evolve over the next couple of months at this studio in the heart of East London. Artist legend Will Barras - google him if you don't know if him - has been unleashed on an RDA frameset...