Breaking out the big guns

Had a nice weekend of cycling last week – took the Tarmac out for a 2 hour blast on Saturday (puncture and 50mph winds – ‘interesting’ conditions!), and then got my first ride of 2019 on the M5 CHR on Sunday.

I’ve been doing a few more updates to the CHR which I will hopefully write about soon – a new fork, lowered seat and everything just slightly more aggressive. It felt great, I really like the very laid back position. The new fork has lowered the front of the bike enough that vision is still pretty good (the old fork was way too tall), and the Sram R2C shifters are just absolutely fantastic.  They work extremely well on the M5 tiny bars.

More to follow soon, but here’s a pic of the bike in the meantime. Note the really laid back seat, which gives more space in the cockpit. I’m still using the Fastback Double Century bags because it’s taking months to get the Angletech Aeropod bag – sheesh.

M5 at Heriot

Quick blast round the Innerleithen loop – stop just before Heriot

4 thoughts on “Breaking out the big guns

  1. I am also waking my M5 up again after it’s winter hibernation

    Do you notice any difference in climbing with a very laid back seat ?

    I find I climb much better less reclined/ in fact I am going to use a 451 front wheel for a bit which also reduces the recline


    • I have tested reclines from 40 degrees down to about 18 – no discernible difference in power on any (tested with the same power meter pedals). Hard shell and mesh seats as well – no difference. I don’t brace against the seat back though, so that might explain differences for some people. I can probably actually put out more power at a very laid back position overall because I don’t get recumbutt so quickly and I’m much more comfortable.


    • Not really, no. I say I don’t brace against the seat back but I suppose there must be a little bit just by virtue of physics. I don’t actively do it though. My pedaling action allows me to push up to beyond FTP with little or no seat bracing – it’s more of a ‘forward and fall’ motion of the feet rather than a push forward. On really steep climbs I might pull on the handlebars a bit. It’s similar to Kent Polk’s style that I read about recently – he describes dragging yourself up a set of stairs with your feet. I’m similar to that but less of a ‘drag feet backwards’ and more of a ‘fall forward and down’. I agree completely with him though that the best position for the butt is with no pressure on it at all, which is what I understand his railgun seat gives you very nicely.


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