For a month now, more or less, I’ve been shuttling back and forward to work on the my new winter bike, a Carrera Virtuoso from Halfords.
I’ve tagged it ”winter bike” as it’s fully kitted out with lights, mudguards, rack and pannier bags, and takes some getting used to after the lightweight BeOne Storm bike I’ve been riding all spring and summer. It feels so heavy!
Construction of the Carrera was moderately painful. The major grief was fitting the rear pannier rack, as the legs fouled on some lugs on the frame. In the end I had to hacksaw a chunk off the ends of the legs to get them to fit properly. That’s a Halfords pannier rack on a Halfords supplied bike, by the way, and it seems to be a common complaint. I also had to flip the stem upwards, as the steerer tube was (I think) cut very short and the out-of-the-box riding position was too much nose-on-the-wheel. Further, the Halfords own-brand mudguards were a fiddly bugger-and-a-half to fit, are ugly and rattle a lot. I knew I should have bought the Crud Road Racer Mk2 guards. I might yet.
More pictures here.
So that was a sweary evening in the garage all right, but I got there, and even did a little pimping with some matching blue bar tape to replace the paper thin tape that was fitted. Seriously, I could feel the cold metal of the bar through the stock tape.
I’ve still to fully dial it in after putting it together, so the riding position is a little uncomfortable, and the 18-speed Tiagra gears need a good going over with the indexing hammer. It’s bearable though, and it’s a matter of another sweary garage evening to iron out the niggles.
Winter is coming, let’s see how the Carrera survives.