Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Planet X RT 57 Bike Problems after a month of use

I previously showed a selection of images of my new Planet X RT-57 and after a months worth of riding I thought it's be a good time to take you through a few negatives to bear in mind if you're considering buying  a Planet X Bike and looking for reviews and feedback

Planet X RT 57 Review and Problems

Planet X RT 57 Bike Problems (A review)

  1. I found that when I collected the bike Planet X's builders hadn't done the best of jobs in tightening the various nuts and bolts. Particularly the bars and stem. The handlebars slipped on their first use and I was rather fortunate I'd bought a set of allen keys for the ride. Therefore I have to mark Planet X down on the bikes build quality
  2. I had to spend time myself setting up the rear brake which hadn't been fitted centrally. I wanted to simply get on the bike and ride- finding that you needed to adjust the brakes before your first ride is a real annoyance
  3. Bottle cage bolt placement is too close together. If you look at the monochrome photo above notice how close the bottle cages are together. It means that water bottles will not fit correctly into the cages i have. I'm currently on the lookout for a set of bottle cages which sit high up and close to the bolt fixing positions
  4. The Planet X CNC Ultralight brakes are pretty weak on stopping power. As someone who previously was used to the strong yet stable breaking of Dura Ace Calipers. The Planet X Ultralight CNC brake set looks good but is relatively weak and in return takes a lot of work to stop- particularly in emergencies. I'm even at the point of considering changing to a set of Sram or Shimano Caliper brakes once I get paid next. 
Planet X CNC Ultralight Calipers offer lightweight and light feeling braking

To be honest most of these are minor issues. The bolt tightness I would recommend anyone to check before they ride a bike anyway but my real worry is the bottle cage bolt fixings being so close together. This is a size large (56cm) RT 57 frameset so I would expect the bolts to be closer together on smaller framesets as well. 

This Planet X bike deep deep is a great bicycle. The frameset is fantastically responsive and I absolutely love it however the above have been a few minor issues I thought best shared with the world and blogosphere. 

Monday, 19 March 2012

Something for a change- A week skiing in Arinsal, Andorra

While the racing season has started in the UK it's a very long season if you're wanting to race all the way through to September. Therefore I couldn't pass up on an opportunity to do something different which has some potential to help my cycling while getting a winter break too.
Atop the Pic Negre, Arinsal Andorra at the Gondola which links Arinsal with Pal. 

Last week I headed off to Arinsal, Andorra a for fun filled week of skiing
Arinsal, Andorra part of Vallnord

The interlinked resorts of Pal and Arinsal are part of the Vallnord (North Valley) ski resort network with the separate Arcalis Resort a short bus ride away.

Looking out on the Pyrenees from Pic Negre
Being within the Pyrenees you get amazing and totally breathtaking views like the one above looking out from the Pic Negre at top of the breathtaking Bordes De Seturia where a gondola links the resorts of Arinsal and Pal as part of the Vallnord network.
 Andorra's mountainous terrain and multiple high peaks create an environment fantastic for downhill skiing. Andorra's tax free status also means you're £'s and Euros go further than in many French and Spanish resorts. Expect to pay around 3 euros for a pint of lager (compared to 6 euros in many French ski resorts). With it's tax exempt status Andorra is a great place to bring back some bargains. If you bring back cigarettes from your holiday in Andorra expect to pay around 25-30 euros for a stick of 200 which is well less than half what you would expect to spend at home.

The value for money can also be seen in Arinsal's abundant options for apres-ski which leads to it being a hit with a younger crowd who come for more than just the skiing.

Having spent a week skiing and enjoying the high life I'm now ready to hit the bike big time. My sponsor has all my kit now ready for the 2012 season as well so I can now really start to get the quality mileage in on the bike after a fantastic active holiday.

I recommend a skiing trip to any cyclist or active person I know and I also thoroughly recommend Restaurant 360, Arinsal