My Bicycle – the beautiful British Kibo from Stanforth Bikes
I ride the Kibo; an all terrain exhibition bike designed for the crazy extreme conditions of a fully loaded world tour.
It’s British designed, British built and the frame is made by industry legend Lee Cooper using the strongest gauge of Reynolds 631 steel.
This means it’s as strong as a 12 year old Malt but in equal measures is a superbly comfortable ride.
Having the confidence to venture further afield and pedal across less developed countries equates to a ton of miles off road. The Kibo absorbs the vibrations and bumps so my body doesn’t have to. The wheels have proved themselves across South America – 10,000 km and I haven’t broken a spoke!
Cycling all day every day with no discomfort is a BIGGY for me being head over heels with this hunk of steel.
In terms of geometry it’s designed as an all rounder. That means a combination of climbing, off-road, descending and comfort.
My weaknesses as a pure sprinter cycling the world, means I’m always going to be grateful to the Kibo’s geometry when climbing. Cycling 65 kg of gear and equipment uphill is tough but being a pure sprinter the lactic acid from fast twitch muscles makes it even harder. With the Kibo I can sit back and relax into the climb. Part of this comes from the bikes adjustability, for example the stem height.
My gearing is 22/32/44 on the front with an 11/34 cassette on the rear. This combination is perfect for cycling over even the highest mountain ranges. It’s essential I get my gearing spot on for climbing as I have asthma which I can’t medicate because I get ill.
Having such gearing means I loose some top end speed on the downhills as I sacrifice that bigger gear you push once at a high speed. Not being able to descend as fast as I’m able to is not entirely a bad thing. Being a sprinter in my road racing years meant I was dropped before the top of climbs and had to be a super fast descender to catch the bunch. I still descend like I’m in those races. It’s in my blood.
I love the fact my bicycle has three bottle cages. I use the one underside to carry fuel for my stove.
And I am totally in love with the vintage look of my bike. Firstly, it goes very nice with the dresses and skirts I wear to cycle the world. Secondly, it doesn’t look bright or flashy so doesn’t attract attention.
Here’s the Kibo’s full spec:
Frame & Forks
Hand built in the UK with lugs. Frame – Reynolds 631, Forks – Reynolds 525
SunRace R90 LH friction & RH indexed 9 speed
Shimano Deore XT
Shimano Deore triple 9 speed 44/32/22
Shimano HG50 9 speed 11-34
Tektro CR720 cantilevers
26″ 36h Rigida Sputniks
Shimano Deore hubs 36h
Gloss black powder coat
19″ (measured centre of BB to top of seat tube)
If you have any questions about my set up please leave a comment below and I’ll reply.
Further reading … Stanforth Bike’s Website
Further reading … The Tour’s Equipment List