After many miles on both my carbon framed road bike and my steel framed touring bike I was in a dilemma……….I loved both bikes but both were far from being suitable for the massive challenge ahead.
I’ve ridden both my bikes on multi day cycle adventures and knew I was capable of taking on this challenge, but after hours in the saddle and after much research I decided I needed to invest in a lighter, stronger, better geared touring bike.
So I spoke on several occasions about what bike, what frame, what set up, what material,etc, etc, etc to my good friend, neighbour and owner of Fatcreations.com, (without doubt the UK’s leading custom paint company!!) Alistair Mclean, a former cycling pro, and what Ali doesn’t know about the world of cycling isn’t worth knowing, so I knew what ever Ali advised me on was the best thing for my challenge.
“You’ve got to go Titanium mate!” So on that note I put both my bikes up for sale and I was introduced to James Beresford, a friend of Alistair’s and also the owner and founder of Vaaru Cycles, a company building and designing bikes without compromise
James had recently been involved in a charity event and loved it and wanted to get involved in another, so I had everything crossed, and really hoped that Vaaru Cycles would like to come on board and support my challenge.
Alistair spoke with James about my fund raising and charity bits and bobs and James was very interested, so I popped along to Vaaru Cycle HQ and we chatted about what I was after and what Vaaru could do for me.
Well, after a long chat, a cuppa and a hand shake, I left with a massive smile from ear to ear!
James said he would build me a bike that would be custom built around me and to my exact requirements, while Alistair, would supply, paint, wheels, handlebars and stems courtesy of 3T Bikes and Saddleback, so I knew I was in for something very special!
James got me to try a frame for size and he took loads of different measurements and really got me sitting comfortable before letting me know what he felt I needed
A couple of weeks had passed and I got a text message asking me to pop in for a fitting on my frame.
Lots of minor adjustments, getting the handlebars at the right angle and height, and the same with the saddle too, James also got his Plum Bob out to make sure my pedal action was correct.
So, I left knowing that in a couple of weeks I will be collecting my dream bike, just tyres, tubes and a saddle to source.
I knew what tyres I wanted as Ive used these on both my previous bikes and had no issues what so ever, it was the choice of saddle that was playing on my mind
I spent a lot of time researching the best choice of saddle and I even asked both world record holders Mark Beaumont and Jenny Graham which they chose for their round the world cycle challenges, both coming back to me with the Selle Pro saddle, but said its always personal choice, so I looked into this and many found this choice to be very uncomfortable, so it was back to the drawing board!
After a few more evenings of research I was heading in favour of the Brookes B17!
What I liked was the fact that this company have been making this saddle for over 120 years, and after an average of 0 to 500 miles breaking in period, it had so many votes on being the perfect choice for a long multi day challenge, made from leather and slightly heavier than your normal saddle, it may not be everyone’s choice, but it will mould its self to your body, and will last a life time if looked after correctly, and I want comfort so this is hopefully the saddle for me, but only time will tell.
Finally the day came, the collection!
To say I am over the moon is an understatement!
The attention to detail is second to none, I absolutely love my bike!
I’m sure you will all, agree that this really is a beautiful bike!
So after a few rides I am even more over the moon with my Vaaru MPA
The ride is so smooth and unlike my carbon bike, you don’t feel the vibrations from the road,
I will update more on my bike after around 1000 miles on it, now I’m off to fit all my gadgets to it!