Tag Archives: Original Woods Bike

EWR-less…..temporarily :-(

For the first time in six months I have been separated from my EWR

It has gone to the paintshop for a few weeks while the new Answer Accutrax get colour matched to the frame. It’s a task that needs doing but I’m gonna miss that legendary ride and will have to bring this old friend back from the dead as a stand in.

Sadly it does not currently look as nice as it does in the picture below, its been partially stripped and flung in the back of my shed since September 2009 when I started a wild love affair with my yellow EWR, turning my back on my first love……my Pace RC200

Never fear, it will be back but for starters this is how it DID look earlier last year:

Honey, will you pass the lube?

Call me old fashioned or maybe even call me wrong  but I’ve been using GT85 to lube my bike chains since the early 90’s, somebody back then must have told me it was a good idea…

Anyway it seems things have moved on in the lube world quite a lot since then so its time to get with the times.

One of my riding buddies (Chris) talks highly of Rock ‘n’ Roll lubes, specifically Extreme Chain Lube which is some strange, gloopy blue stuff so I thought I’d give it a go so the Rohloff SLT-99 has had a nice bath in the stuff and tomorrow i’m off to some really shitty (mudwise…) forest down in Suffolk that has some nasty gritty sandy soil that really gets into the chain and mechs so this will be a good test!

Man sized, Extreme lubrication

So, once the chain had a birthday I gave the whole bike a check over and paid some attention to something that many people leave untouched….the saddle clamp.

If you think about it this is an important piece of kit, you have your ass sat on it for long periods of time but it gets blasted with crap off the trail and probably doesn’t get cleaned real well. So I stripped mine down, coated all the threads and brass inserts with Anti-Seize Compound, put a big bunch more on the rail clamps and put it all back together again….nice smooth bolts and no more creaking Ti rails

Cleaned and greased Syncros clamp

As the Flite Ti was taken off the bike to clean up the saddle clamp I figured I’d swap in the SDG Kevlar Ti Comp that I got from the USA, I’ve been curious about these (as mentioned in a previous post on here). To be honest the profile doesn’t look much different from a Flite but its gonna stay on for two big forest rides tomorrow so I’ll report back later…

Nice rails


So the bike is more or less ready for tomorrow, just gotta get some air in the tyres…..watch this space for a ride report over the next few days

EWR Project – Phase Nine, another week another stem…

We’re still deep in Dial Time on my Woods Bike so here we are with yet another stem, the third one now

This one aesthetically is perfect for the build as its a NOS Syncros Cattlehead in 10° rise flavour so it’s the right amount of rise and will match the cranks and seatpost, however, for me its all about how it rides so if it doesn’t do the job then it’s off the bike. I only collected it last night so sadly it won’t be installed for tonight’s weekly Night Ride but I’ll try and get in on for the weekend.

I was trying to avoid Syncros on this build, not cos I hate it but cos I’ve got Syncros on every other bike I own and I wanted to shake off the stigma, oh well I’ll just have to make sure the next build is Syncros Free

Mmmmmm NOS Syncros

Mmmmmm…more NOS Syncros

EWR Project – Phase Eight….tweaks & eBay scoreage

No Sunday ride today, just some minor tweaks on my Woods Bike. I’ve been having problems with shifts to the granny ring, the Front Mech has been throwing the chain…..turns out to be a schoolboy error, I had the granny ring on the wrong way round

If you look at the picture below you can see the profile of the ring is raised on one side and I had it fitted the other way, closing the gap between the middle ring just enough for the chain to ‘miss’ the ring when down shifted from middle, I switched this round and tweaked the stop adjustment and its near perfect.

SGX Granny ring showing profile

Previously fitted…..wrong !!

Got a good result on eBay recently, a pair of NOS M-650 DX hubs, complete with Quick Release skewers for £15 . A fellow RetroBiker in the USA assisted with getting these to me as the US seller wouldn’t ship out of America. These are gonna get laced to the Campag Mirox in place of the black LX hubs I have on there now.

Mmmmmm…..NOS hubs

Sunday Ride – Big balls and big logs….

Wasted some time tweaking my rear mech so lost some valuable daylight, cutting down the ride time but I had a nice little 17 mile ride along the curiously named Clay Dick Track and across to Fermyn Woods which is a ‘working forest’ run by the Forestry Comission.

This was a MASSIVE load of dirt nearly as tall as my EWR that has been dug out by Foxes, Badgers or Rabbits…..I’ve no idea which


Badass MoFo Bull giving me the eye (check the size of his balls )

Woods Bike in the woods


Forest trail – Fermyn Woods

Original Woods Bike on the woodpile

EWR Project – Phase Six…Dial Time

Another week, another configuration and I’m back in that pine forest again for some more shakedown time, it’s a shame the place is a 100 mile round trip from my house else I’d be blasting round there all weekend….sadly I only get to go once a week and after work as it’s near my office

Last week was the first ever ride on my EWR and it highlighted some ‘handling weirdness’ that needed ironing out….and fast, so last weekend I pulled the front end apart, switched from a 0° rise 135mm stem to a 10° rise stem, lost the 1″ rise Club Roost bars in favour of some Race Face Air Alloy in 1.5″ rise flavour, moved one poker chip above the stem (leaving 20mm of spacing below), dropped the saddle height by 20mm, nudged the rails back and bled the back brake so it’s now ultra vicious

As much as hunting down elusive bike parts is a whole lotta fun, there’s nothing more satisfying than dialling a bike in so the ride is El Perfecto. Plenty of bikes look good in pictures but ride like a wheelbarrow full of runny shit…

So, it got blasted round the woods in the pitch black and wet and gnarly tree roots hidden by freshly fallen leaves focussed the brain   

That aside, my OWB rides 100% better than it did last week but I think these bars are a bit too Cowhorn for my liking. Since 1988 I’ve ridden flat bars and bar ends so this whole riser bar thing is a little freaky to me full stop and these Race Face bars are about a mile wide ……

I suspect that if they stay on the bike they will be saying hello to my little friend….the Sandvik Hacksaw for some ‘amputational correctness’

Cowhorns in the pines

Good job the trail was wide here…

Cowhorns in the pines Part II

EWR Project – Phase Five…Testing in Eastern Woods

So the time has come to test ride my baby…….where better to test a bike like this than some woods in the East of England 

I rushed out real quick before we got riding to snap some pix cos the light was failing fast (and so it turned out were my camera batteries), so excuses again for the lame picture quality but here is my EWR, where it belongs, back out in the woods again.

It’s still in testing mode so the stem spacers and stem are not permanent fixtures and the jury is still out on the handlebars….the bars are certainly ‘down in the weeds’ on this bike. Those blokes at EWR really know how to make a bike though, it rides beautifully and just goes where you point it. At slow speeds it is really ‘Trialsy’ and very responsive and at speed it just rolls and rolls and is just screaming at you to manual it off some tree roots and humps….this bike makes you grow horns 

This bike is going to get well used and to endure the British winter conditions I
have fitted Gore RideOn GoreTex durallier cables, these are PTFE coated
cables that run in a continuous, sealed sleeve which runs inside the
outer cable and is sealed with rubber ‘boots’ at the mech ends. They
are expensive but if you want to keep the mud and shit out and have
silky smooth shifting then these are the babies to fit.

Overall I am REALLY pleased with how it rides although I need to nail that bar/stem configuration and my back brake is non-existant, despite me bleeding it twice . The bottle cage is on there solely for my Lumicycle Halogen lights, this time of year we ride in total darkness. My buddies have ‘outgunned’ me with lights recently so I’m feeling a little inadequate…..one has the HID (Halide) Lumicycle lights and the other has Hope Visions AND some helmet mounted Ay Ups .

I guess I could even things up and buy a Lumicycle LED system


Back in the Woods again….where EWR’s belong…


Up close and personal….my Woods in the woods


Then it got dark….we had nearly two hours of flat out night riding

EWR Project – Phase Four

Sorry for the lack of recent updates, have been busy and got a little sidetracked on riding bikes instead of building them

I’m still on the hunt for some NOS Mavic 231’s to lace to the NOS DX hubs I have in transit but in the meantime I’ve switched back to the Campy rims I was playing around with before. They were drilled for Presta but a little encouragement with an 8.5mm drill and now they fit my stash of Schrader tubes.

The idea with this stage of the build is primarily to find out where the bottom bracket height is as I want to re-create the exact ride experience the bike was designed for. As a result of this I have grabbed the first pair of tires that came to hand that are going to be similar in height to the end product. I don’t think it’s quite where it needs to be as it currently measures 12.5″ to center of BB axle and I think the measurement should be to the base of the shell (I’m just checking this out with Kenn and Jay from EWR). I figured I would be about 20-25mm out with these forks anyway so it’s no real surprise.

This is the first time I’ve been able to throw my leg over this bike since I bought it and its great to have gotten this far. I’m part way through setting up the brakes and next on the list after that is fitting the gear cables and chain and taking her out for a test ride

It’s bike shaped Jim, but not as we know it

The sun sets over my yard….my OWB basks for the first time 🙂

EWR Project – Phase Two – Cock…pit…check? Yes, okay.

Cockpit check?
Yes, okay
Largactil, five milligrams
Largactil, check
Valium, ten milligrams
Valium, ten, check

Haloperidol, five milligrams
Which one’s that?
Little white ones, w, w, w for white
W for white, okay, check
Phenobarbitone, five milligrams
Check

Disipel, five milligrams
Check
Glass of water
Check
Our father, which art in heaven
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

I’m doing my best to keep this project Period Correct and it’s frustrating! I am fully capable and aware of what is required, having done so on many previous occasions….anyway….rant over

The original EWR catalogue shows the OWB with Club Roost Go-Fast bars (complete with superflouous add-on brace).

Original Woods Bike in 1994 EWR Catalogue


I figured this
would be hard work until my regular riding buddy pulled out a couple of
pairs from his gargantuan parts bin. Sure they are not NOS but they
will do the job and I’ll get the GOFAST decal reproduced for the brace.


Go Fast !!!



DX Thumbshifters….no man can live without several pairs of these badboys laying around and i’m no exception. Unfortunately I take it to the extreme and have several sets of NOS ones just laying around the place. They are very cool and work extremely well, who needs to be a sheep and fit M732 XT Thumbies anyway?….
I am still using a set of MT62 DX Thumbies that came new with a bike in 1991, they have shifted God Knows how many times through at least 10,000 miles of cycling and not once did I tell them I loved them, in fact they have never even been stripped, just had copious injections of GT85 over the decades and they are still silky smooth. This EWR already has a bunch of M650 DX stuff on it so lets go the whole hog and hang these little virgins in the Cockpit too…

NOS in the box

Smile for the camera children


Here endeth the search…..eureka moment!!

Sometimes the smallest things are the biggest pain in the ass and this is no exception. For reasons best kept to themselves (and not fully understood by this poster) EWR omitted a downtube cable stop on the Original Woods Bike and opted for this weird little widget instead to get a Bottom Pull front mech working as if it were a Top Pull .

Anyways, I didn’t have one and have been trawling the Net trying to find one for the last two months…..well I struck double lucky in that not only did I find one but it was THE widget that was originally attached to the yellow beast below and came as a Karma Present

This does mean I guess that something yellow, heavy and steel might now be unleashed on the world.

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