Longtermers: Andy Jones’s Colina 4 titanium winter bike

The Colina 4 – referred to as the Montura 4 when it first arrived with me, such is its age that the model identify has since seen a metamorphosis – is a titanium magnificence that has been in my bike household since 2012. 

The brand new identify takes its inspiration from the Spanish phrase for hill, which makes a variety of sense when thought of alongside its location, nestled within the Hope Valley within the Derbyshire Peak District. I’ve since had the decals modified accordingly, which wasn’t fairly ‘new bike day’ however was shut sufficient for a restricted outlay. 

It was an off-the-peg 54cm body, although Colina’s proprietor and designer-in-chief Pete Collins will produce customized geometry on request. Lately, this mannequin is accessible with disc-mount choices solely, until you go customized. This being a machine courting again to an easier time, it’s sticking with its rim stoppers.

As soon as a motorbike I had on check for the now-defunct Biking Energetic journal, I later determined that I appreciated the texture and journey high quality of the Colina 4 a lot that I’d purchase it. Within the nearly 9 years since, I’ve made assorted element and spec upgrades to maintain it in good nick. It has been my winter bike for a few years, with the odd summer season journey thrown in when the British climate dictated.  

 So what have I modified, and why?

The upkeep upgrades

Winter driving takes its toll on numerous components, particularly when your servicing and upkeep amenities will not be in abundance. I stay in a first-floor flat, so outdoors area for bike washing is restricted. There have been quite a few instances I’ve resorted to utilizing the kitchen ground for repairs. It’s previous lino and cleans simply and there’s solely me anyway.

Even should you’ve bought your personal workshop, elements will put on out. 

The unique wheels had been Hope RS-SP alloy deep part rims on Hope hubs. I had a brand new unbranded rear rim of comparable part constructed onto the unique hub about 4 years in the past, due to a very cavernous pothole and normal put on. For the winter of 2020/2021 I invested as soon as once more. The Hope RS-SP is now not out there, so I went for the equally profiled Halo Devaura high finish alloy rims. The previous stainless spokes had been re-used however new nipples had been placed on as a result of extreme corrosion from salty winter roads.

Continental has all the time been my selection of rubber, and I run the Continental Grand Prix four Seasons in 25mm. The youth of the Biking Weekly tech workforce inform me that traits are shifting within the wider route of 28mm tyres and past however I’d contemplate 25mm greater than sufficient. The Grand Prix four Seasons’ Vectran breaker helps make them extra puncture resistant, very best for winter driving. Contact wooden, I’ve had only a few punctures however once I do, it’s good to have these Contis which appear simpler to steer over the rim in freezing climate with numb fingers. This rim and tyre combo feels good they usually actually do roll properly. Greatest to not skimp an excessive amount of on the wheel division.   

Drivetrains all the time endure within the moist, muck and dirt of winter. This 12 months I observed that my chainrings had taken on a menacing-looking shark’s tooth profile, so I changed them. I’ve after all changed the chain and cassette a number of instances over time. Doing this extra typically may need allowed the chainrings to have an extended life, however I’d argue they’d innings. A brand new rear Ultegra derailleur was one other splurge I made a number of years in the past.

The unique mudguards for this bike had been broken a number of years in the past, and I changed them with a brand new unbranded mannequin sourced by Collins. Thus far they’ve been rattle free, due to a direct Allen bolt match on the body factors. Clip on/clip off mudguards have their place – however for me a full, completely arrange pair is the one wise choice for a devoted winter bike. 

Fast braking, particularly within the moist, is among the arguments for swapping to discs, and I’ve certainly been by means of loads of units of brake pads over time. I’ve used the cheaper substitute pads prior to now however I discover it’s higher to spend a bit extra on the real Shimano spares. They appear to have extra depth of rubber on them and the compound simply works higher for my part.

Other than new decals, the body has endured little or no meddling. The fantastic thing about a titanium body is that it makes the bike look as new – and it rides as new, too. 

Future modifications

What’s in retailer for the longer term for the Colina 4? Truthfully, there’s not a lot I’d change on this bike, it has served me properly in its present guise. 

It’s good to have the most effective you possibly can afford for a winter bike however not important. That’s why we now have ‘finest bikes’ to spend our cash on. 

The crank arms do look a bit of rubbed and polished from my overshoes brushing over them, so perhaps a brand new chainset shall be on the listing for the longer term and I’d go for my most popular 170mm crank arm size versus the 172.5mm fitted.

Andy’s driving

Lately, my winter driving consists of a few hours, two or 3 times per week. I’m listening to my physique and lately it’s telling me to not try the distances I as soon as did in chilly climate. Common 50 to 80-mile rides had been commonplace however that doesn’t occur lately. I do sufficient to maintain match, hold comparatively heat and benefit from the driving I do do.

Nonetheless, these shorter rides have some good reminiscences. With residing in Sheffield I’m lucky to have the Peak District on my doorstep. The journey out from residence means I’m quickly out of residential Sheffield and into farmland. I’m then over the wilds of Burbage Moor above Ringinglow village and I’ll solely have performed just below 5 miles to that time. The descent to Hathersage within the Hope valley and throughout to certainly one of my favorite roads, the Abney highway over to the Camphill Farm glider airfield and Nice Hucklow. That highway is usually quiet, has good views and it’s all the time enjoyable to see the airfield exercise excessive there.

There have been instances on rides when snow drifts by the roadside have made the Higger Tor climb (Fiddler’s Elbow) really feel like you’re driving a traditional snowy mountain stage of the Giro d’Italia over the Stelvio. Effectively, you possibly can dream. It additionally has top-of-the-line views throughout the Hope Valley from that time.

The Spec

We’ve linked to retailers stocking the objects listed under. In some circumstances, should you click on on certainly one of these and make a purchase order, we could obtain a small amount of cash from the retailer, this doesn’t have an effect on the quantity you pay. 

We’ll be profiling a brand new long-termer each month in 2021 – so hold your eyes peeled for extra!

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