The South Downs way is a neolithic trade route which is part of the National Park.  It is has over 10 climbs over the 100 miles.  It is a challenge to do it in 1 day.   There is also a record for doing the DOUBLE - yes 200miles in sub 16hours.  You need to prepare, pack light and get lucky with the weather.  There are water taps along the way, so you do not need to carry 10hours+ of water.  You do need to know where the tap points are.  This Water Bottle has been designed as a visual aid to assist you in completing your SDW challenge.

Note; This is an extended "blog" page that has tips aimed mostly at long distance singlespeeding, cross-country, bikepacking, off-road touring and endurance distance riding.  Ignore the word "Singlespeed" or skip some sections if you insist on using gears.  However this section is about how to ride for over 10 hours at a time.  If you have any suggestions, experience or ideas that you have tried I will add them to the following categories.

With the South Downs Way on our doorstep we will document preparing for single speeding the 100 miles in 1 day, Winchester to Eastbourne.  Where ever you are, there are bridleways and long distance cycle routes that network Great Britain.  Riding these long distance routes is physically demanding on both the bike and the body. 


  • Ignore Strava, listen to your body. 
  • Give yourself time to recover.  
  • Singlespeeding does not leave you out of breath, as you effectively pace yourself by having one gear.
  • If your knees hurt or you are out of breath hop off and push.

1. WHAT to EAT:   


  • Your body will store 1500 calories (Kcal) as glycogen in your muscles. (Rest the week before.)
  • Your body will burn approx 750-1000 Kcal/hour.
  • Your body only absorbs 500 Kcal/hour.
  • Energy drinks 150 Kcal/litre
  • Flapjacks 200 Kcal/ bar

By doing some simple maths, you will see that your energy expenditure is higher than your intake.
So you will need to find the best way for you to refuel your body.

  • Fuel up, in your own way. 
  • Know the signs of "bonking"; irrational thoughts, shallow breaths, stopping constantly. Carry some gels to kickstart again. 
  • Eat before your hungry. 
  • Constant snacking. Every 20mins eat something small.
  • Eat a mixture of things / textures/tastes so you don't get bored and don't suddenly change your ride diet.
  • Listen to your body. 
  • Gels are great but make sure you don't have too many.  
  • Have water and something to eat with them so you don't feel any nausea.
  • Take advantage of the extra boost to metabolise longer burning foods like oats. 
  • Pack food in bags by stages. And always take pies.


  • It's not a race unless it really is.
  • Put "way points" on your phone or Top Tube as target times assuming an average speed of 10mph.
  • Average targets are better for the head than current speed sometimes.
  • You WILL be at least 2mph slower than a usual 30-50 mile ride.
  • If soloing, I listen to podcasts, mainly radio 4 stuff.
  • Enjoy yourself


  • Less weight, on you, than on the bike.  
  • Consider taking some heavy stuff in a second frame-mounted water bottle. A tube and tools, for instance.  
  • Getting the weight out of your camel back will help on a 12hr journey.
  • "Ride in pairs and split the spares"
  • Get your map reading good. 
  • Train on various sections of the SDW, so that you can learn the trail.
  • Know where the water / food / loo opportunities are and pack extra food / a "shit kit" if far apart.
  • In winter, spare gloves and socks to put on 2/3 of the way breathe new life into you.

There is useful SDW information to be found on the following websites on the buttons below:

...and if you have done all that and want to attempt 200miles....

With thanks to ‏@TransAlpUK @jimdesign @doriandrake @RobAllchin for the following contributions via Twitter and Facebook.


This is where I will try to answer all of your questions behind designing the RAM and SWAN.  The same pinion gearbox bicycle with 2 very different builds.

The A-Z of...


There are a lot of questions that all relate to manufactures moving from traditional to modern standards:  Let’s look at the 1990’s XC Mountain Bike and contribution to bicycle evolution.
Simple, 1990 started with no suspension.  1999 ended with 2” for XC. Mostly 4130 Chromoly steel, 24lb weight goal, 21gears, 71deg head angle 73deg seat angle, 26x2.0 inch tyres.  The 90’s saw the rise of singlespeed mountain bike with riders after a simpler bike.
As mountain biking has moved away from road cycling and material technologies have changed, there have been a few things like, dropouts, tapered headsets, 31.6 seat posts so that dropper seat posts could be used and BB92 push fit bottom brackets for the carbon frames.
These are all subtle modern "standards" that have added advantages to the standard diamond frame.

However some are will not suit every application.  Flat-mount brakes have just been introduced to road bikes.  While these work fine with 140 and 160mm discs on tarmac, mountain bikes need 160 and 180mm as standard to reduce brake fade, Post-mount are more appropriate for mountain biking.
Boost 148mm rear spacing is another example of a solution to a problem that only occurs if you are running Plus sizes tyres and 1x10 (or 11) setup and the ever chaning chainline and tyre clearance issues.  Singlespeed is unlikely to move over to 148mm boost as the chainline does not move and the hub flanges are wider than boost in any case.

This is my A-Z of making the informed component decision in the component nightmare out there.



Adjustable gearbox mounting plates that also tension the belt.  The Belt adjustment is done by using the tensioning fob to rotate the gearbox mounting plates. These plates can be changed and come in 2 sizes, standard and +5 if you prefer a lower bottom bracket.  This gives you more options to make the frame suit your riding style.



Brakes:  U,V or  cantilever brakes are rim brakes that worked fine until it was wet.  Disc brakes give us more control and still run with a buckled rim.  Disc brakes and drop bars are also possible these days. OLSEN FRAMES use 180mm Post mount disc brakes as standard.

68 or 73mm with a square tapered axle.  Heavy squeaked and crank arms loosened.  Hollow axle cranks lead to the development of pressfit bottom brackets.  OLSEN FRAMES use BB92 as part of the structure of the frame, with the correct tolerances this offers the lightest and stiffest solution.

Our belt drive system has sliding dropouts to encompass a wide range of belt ratios. OLSEN FRAMES have chainstay lengths calculated to fit 39:20T (1.95 fast) to 39:24T (1.63 low).
The "belter" dropout allows the belt to be inserted into the frame and easily tensioned.  This "belter" dropout is available with a gear hanger for multi-gear setups.


Again for versatility and purity we wanted to improve the singlespeed drivetrain by using belt-drive.  Olsen Bicycles have designed all frames around belt-drive to be fitting and tension adjustment needs to be simple and easy. Gates Carbon-drive belts are the best and the Center Track belt is wider and has been designed for the high loads of singlespeed. 
They are tough, lighter than a chain, will not clog, and designed to shred mud.  
Gates Center Track belts we use are lightweight (under 80g each) compared to 220g for a steel chain, and they do not rust.  Unlike traditional chains and gears, they don't require oil or daily maintenance. They're almost completely silent. Gates also have a tuning Smartphone ap to assist in tensioning your belt. 

Belt Drive Pros:

  • Belts perform extremely well in British conditions like mud, clay and wet weather.
  • Gates Carbon Drive CDX belts have a great reputation for logging long distances.
  • Belt drive is very low maintenance, not even needing oil.
  • Gates CDX belts and sprockets are exceptionally light. Gates CDX belt keep the alignment without “worming” off the sprockets.



Gear cable and dropper post hose can be internally routed.  Brakes are best run externally for maintenance reasons.



OLSEN FRAMES can fit the derailleur, however there are so many benefits from moving away from the derailleur if the design is sound.  OLSEN FRAMES provide a reliable transmission alternatives to the derailleur drive-train.  

The derailleur was invented in 1928 and works perfectly fine for road bikes where precision shifting is not impaired by mud sand and more mud.  A lot of design and engineering has gone into improving the rear derailleur, but this system is still exposed to the elements and mud. The derailleur has become the mechanical Achilles heel when trail conditions turn bad.

Derailleur Cons:    

  • Expensive: When the chain wears out the sprockets often need changing too.
  • High maintenance: Lack of gears when the cable becomes clogged with mud.
  • Vulnerable: The rear mech is vulnerable to damage by hitting trail obstacles.
  • Adjust shifting: Can drop the chain in between the cassette and the spokes.


OLSEN FRAMES fit 142/12mm maxle or Syntace X-12 dropouts are used..  Hope, Pinion, DT and Chris King all do 142mm maxle hubs, with no plans to do a 148mm singlespeed hub. 



OLSEN FRAMES have elevated chainstays to allow the use of continuous runs of uni-directional (UD) carbon from the axles to the headtube. Elevated chainstays also gives the frame large tyre clearance around the chainstays and chainring. Symmetrical chainstays keeps the Carbon lay-up the same on both sides for strength and balance.



Gearboxes fit into OLSEN BICYCLES Philosophy having long-term benefits for mountain biking than an exposed rear derailleur system. Years of maintenance free cycling. 10000 quite belt-drive miles.  

Both of the OLSEN FRAMES; the Ram and the Swan are the same frame design, however I have designed the frame to allow for some small changes to create a Semi-Customiseable Frame Geometry.  This is why it can be both the Swan or Ram: 
I can change the Reach (top tube) from between 400 - 455mm.
Head angle can be anything from 66 to 70 degrees. 
Bottom bracket drop can be changed by changing the mounting plates.

With a 66 or 68 degree slack head angle this frame can handle 120mm forks with 29er tyres or 140mm forks with 27.5" tyres.  This makes the riding style aggressive and perfect for jumps, burms and table tops at Trail centres.

With 68 or 70 degree head angle this from feels balanced with 470mm Axle to Crown rigid fork.
This make the bike ideal for bike packing and long distance cycling.



All mountain bikes adopted road steerers of 1” apart from Klein who oversized to reduce weight.  
Gary Fisher help to push for larger steerer sizes for MTBs.  
However 11/8” are not strong enough for Carbon forks.  Tapered carbon steerers are the best approach.  This is now a mine field of changes, however Cane Creek did a good job to cover all of the standards.


Why Tapered or SHIS 44 headtube options?  SHIS IS44 / EC44 or IS42 / IS52 head tube?

Both allow the use of tapered steerers which allows for the best use of carbon forks.  Bearing stress on the bottom headset cup is very high, so a  larger 1.5" bearing will last longer than a 11/8" bearing.  

OLSEN FRAMES can be made with either SHIS44 or IS42 / IS52 head tube.
SHIS IS42 / IS52 is Tapered and fits Integral headsets bearings IS42 top and IS52 bottom.
SHIS IS44/EC44 is 44mm inside top and bottom fitting Zero stack cups top and bottom and a 1.5” External bottom cup for tapered steerers.




OLSEN FRAMES have been designed with Pinion gearboxes in mind.   There is more information on the Pinion website, however this is a summary of the technology that they use.

Pinion gearbox technology is based on spur gearing with two gearing sub-units connected on the output end.  The combination of both gearing sub-units with their different gear pairs generates the individual gears.  They are evenly spaced apart in gearshift steps that make ergonomic sense for the particular application range, depending on the type of gearbox.  
Pinion does not have gear overlaps.  Also, low efficiency values and chain wear are anathema to Pinion gearbox technology.  Furthermore, Pinion achieve ratio bandwidths of more than 630%, meaning you can select the perfect gear for any situation. All gears can be shifted in succession or skipped in whatever order you require. It does not matter in this case whether the bicycle is moving or not.  Standard hub transmissions usually have a relatively large number of components in mesh for transmitting force.  With Pinion, however, force is only transmitted via two gear pairs. This technical peculiarity ensures a consistently direct and loss-free riding sensation in any gear.


These were 27.2mm, however these days with Carbon and “dropper” posts it is better to go large.
OLSEN FRAMES use the 31.6mm ID as it is both light and stiff and it is becoming the new MTB standard for both dropper and conventional seatposts.


OLSEN FRAMES incorporate two different wheel sizes, so that you have a choice of comfort or speed.  This gives you two bikes or more in one and can be built into several bike set-ups ride setup.

The Ram and Swan fit both 29 x 2.4" and 27.5 x 3.0" (plus sized) tyres without affecting the handling.  27.5+ tyres give you the extra comfort braking control.  29er tyres give you the speed and roll over anything.

BANKSY makes a statement on how many feel now..

BANKSY makes a statement on how many feel now..


Dieses Mountainbike ist für europäisches Wetter und europäisches Gelände, nicht nur für das, was ich angerufen habe #greatbritishweather.  Während die britischen Inseln den Ruf für das Schlimmste hat, ist das nur ein guter Testfeld.  Wenn Sie in der Nähe der Alpen sind, dann kann dieser MTB-Rahmen als langer Reise-Hard-Schwanz mit 140mm Gabeln aufgebaut werden.
Wenn du Bikepacking möchtest, dann kann dieser MTB starre Gabeln laufen lassen.  Das Vereinigte Königreich betritt einige schwere Zeiten wegen eines politischen Bungles, der schief gelaufen ist.  Während ich versucht habe, dieses Geschäft aus der Politik zu behalten, hat es begonnen, die britische Wirtschaft bereits zu beeinflussen.  Das Vereinigte Königreich läuft Gefahr, sich nicht nur von Europa zu trennen, sondern sich auch auseinanderzusetzen, wobei Schottland und Irland in der EU verbleiben.  Aus diesem Grund erreiche ich meine europäischen Kunden in den vier Sprachen Europas.  Ich habe Google Translate verwendet, also wenn es keinen Sinn macht, bitte senden Sie bitte Korrekturen an

Ich entschied mich, diesen Rahmen um die Ritzel-Getriebe und Gates-Kettengürtel zu entwickeln, wartungsfreies Reiten in den schlechtesten Pfadbedingungen.
Der Umwerferantrieb wurde 1928 erfunden und eignet sich hervorragend für Rennräder, bei denen die Präzisionsverlagerung nicht durch Schlammsand und mehr Schlamm beeinträchtigt wird.  Viel Design und Technik hat sich in die Verbesserung der Schaltwerk gegangen, aber dieses System ist immer noch den Elementen und Schlamm ausgesetzt.  Der Umwerfer ist die mechanische Achillesferse geworden, wenn lange Distanzen und Trailbedingungen schlecht werden

Getriebe haben mehr langfristige Vorteile für Mountainbiken als ein exponiertes Schaltwerksystem.  Jahre wartungsfreies Radfahren. 10000 ganz Gurt-Meilen. Bei Olsen Fahrrädern habe ich einen Rahmen um das Ritzelgetriebe entworfen, basierend auf einer benutzerdefinierten Geometrie für Sie.  Mit dem Ritzel-Getriebe und Gates Carbon-Antriebsriemen hat dieser Rahmen sowohl geringe Wartungs- und Fahrverfügbarkeit.  

OLSEN BICYCLES bietet eine halb-kundenspezifische Geometrie, die genau auf den Kunden zugeschnitten ist. Ich biete Ratschläge für Geometrie-Optionen für deine Gabeln und Art des Reitens, die du tust.  OLSEN Carbonrahmen sind monocoque und sind alle handgelegt.
Jeder Rahmen verwendet eine Kombination aus UD Carbon und 3K Kevlar / Carbon Weave in ein Werkzeug gelegt.

Radfahren sollte nicht von Politik betroffen sein. Ich habe viele europäische Kunden und Lieferanten wie Pinion und Gates und ich hoffe, diese Beziehung endet nicht in 2 Jahren.  Ich habe diesen Fahrradrahmen entwickelt, um eine Alternative zum Umwerfer und all die Probleme zu finden, die sich aus dem Reiten im Schlamm ergeben.  Vor allem habe ich das so entwickelt, dass die Reiter das ganze Jahr über reiten können, egal wie das Wetter ist.  Reiten hat mir immer einen Ausgang gegeben, um dem Druck der modernen Welt zu entfliehen.
In diesem Klima der britischen Strenge werde ich mich dem Fahrrad als Transport- und Vergnügen zuwenden.


Ce vélo de montagne est pour le temps européen et le terrain européen, non seulement pour ce que j'ai appelé #greatbritishweather.  Alors que les îles britanniques ont la réputation de pire, ce n'est qu'un bon terrain d'essai.  Si vous êtes près des Alpes, ce cadre VTT peut être construit en tant que long voyage avec une fourche 140mm.  Si vous aimez le vélo, cette VTT peut exécuter des fourches rigides.

Le Royaume-Uni entre dans des moments difficiles en raison d'une bungle politique qui a mal tourné.  Alors que j'ai essayé de garder cette entreprise hors de la politique, elle a déjà commencé à affecter l'économie britannique.  Le Royaume-Uni court le risque non seulement de se séparer de l'Europe, mais aussi de se séparer, l'Ecosse et l'Irlande restant dans l'UE.  Pour cette raison, je me dirige vers mes clients européens dans les quatre langues d'Europe.  J'ai utilisé le google traduit, donc si cela n'a pas de sens, envoyez des corrections à

J'ai choisi de développer ce cadre autour des boîtes de transmission Pinion et des courroies carbondrive Gates, sans entretien dans les pires conditions de piste.  Le driail de dérailleur a été inventé en 1928 et fonctionne parfaitement bien pour les vélos de route où le déplacement de précision n'est pas altéré par le sable de boue et plus de boue.  Beaucoup de design et d'ingénierie ont contribué à améliorer le dérailleur arrière, mais ce système est encore exposé aux éléments et à la boue.  Le dérailleur est devenu le talon mécanique d'Achille lorsque de longues distances et des conditions de piste deviennent mauvaises.

Les boîtes de vitesses ont plus d'avantages à long terme pour le vélo de montagne qu'un système de dérailleur arrière exposé.  Années de cyclisme sans entretien. 10000 lits tout à fait en ceinture. Chez Olsen Bicycles, j'ai conçu un cadre autour de la boîte de vitesse Pinion en fonction d'une géométrie personnalisée pour vous.  Avec la boîte de vitesse Pinion et les courroies de transmission carbone Gates, ce cadre a une faible maintenance et une grande polyvalence.

OLSEN BICYCLES offre une géométrie semi-personnalisée adaptée précisément au client. J'offre des conseils sur les options de géométrie en fonction de vos fourchettes et de votre type d'équitation.
Les châssis en carbone OLSEN sont monocoques et sont tous à la main.
Chaque cadre utilise une combinaison de UD Carbon et 3K Kevlar / Weave de carbone dans un outil.

Le cyclisme ne devrait pas être affecté par la politique. J'ai plusieurs clients et fournisseurs européens comme Pinion et Gates et j'espère que cette relation ne se terminera pas en 2 ans.  J'ai développé ce cadre de bicyclette pour offrir une alternative au dérailleur et à tous les problèmes qui surgissent de la conduite dans la boue.  Surtout, je l'ai développé pour que les cavaliers puissent continuer à rouler toute l'année, peu importe la météo.  L'équitation m'a toujours donné une sortie pour échapper à toutes les pressions du monde moderne.  Dans ce climat d'austérité britannique, je me tournerai vers la vélo comme une forme de transport et de plaisir.


Questa mountain bike è per il tempo europeo e il terreno europeo, non solo per quello che ho chiamato #greatbritishweather.  Mentre le isole britanniche hanno la reputazione del peggio, questo è solo un buon punto di prova.  Se sei vicino alle Alpi, questo telaio MTB può essere costruito come una lunga coda lunga di viaggio con forcelle da 140 mm.  Se ti piace bikepacking allora questo MTB può eseguire forcelle rigide.

Il Regno Unito sta entrando nei momenti difficili a causa di un bungolo politico che è andato storto.  Mentre ho cercato di mantenere questa attività fuori dalla politica, ha cominciato a colpire già l'economia britannica.
Il Regno Unito corre il rischio di non solo separarsi dall'Europa, ma anche di separarsi, con la Scozia e l'Irlanda rimanenti nell'UE.  Per questo motivo, mi sto rivolgendo ai miei clienti europei nelle quattro lingue dell'Europa.  Ho usato Google Translate, quindi se non ha senso, invia tutte le correzioni a

Ho scelto di sviluppare questo telaio attorno ai cingoli Pinion e Gates carbondrive, senza manutenzione in condizioni di peggiore pista.  Il tracciato deragliatore è stato inventato nel 1928 e funziona perfettamente per le biciclette su strada in cui lo spostamento di precisione non è compromessa dalla sabbia e dal fango.
Un sacco di progettazione e ingegneria è andata a migliorare il deragliatore posteriore, ma questo sistema è ancora esposto agli elementi e al fango.
Il deragliatore è diventato il tacco meccanico di Achille quando le distanze lunghe e le condizioni dei sentieri diventano cattive.

I riduttori hanno più vantaggi a lungo termine per la mountain bike rispetto a un sistema deragliatore posteriore esposto.
Anni di ciclo di manutenzione senza manutenzione. 10000 miglia piuttosto a cinghia. A Olsen Bicycles, ho progettato una cornice attorno al cambio Pinion basato su una geometria personalizzata per te.  Con il cambio a pinza e le cinghie di trasmissione Gates Carbon, questo telaio ha una bassa versatilità di manutenzione e versatilità.

OLSEN BICYCLES offre una geometria semi-custom su misura per il cliente. Offro consigli sulle opzioni di geometria per le tue forchette e il tipo di guida che fai.  I telai di carbonio OLSEN sono monoscocca e sono tutti posti a mano.
Ogni telaio utilizza una combinazione di tessuto UD Carbon e 3K Kevlar / Carbon in uno strumento.

Il ciclismo non dovrebbe essere influenzato dalla politica. Ho molti clienti e fornitori europei come Pinion e Gates e spero che questi rapporti non finiscano in due anni.  Ho sviluppato questo telaio per bicicletta per offrire un'alternativa al deragliatore e tutti i problemi che sorgono da cavalcare nel fango.
Soprattutto ho sviluppato questo modo che i piloti possano continuare a correre durante tutto l'anno, non importa il tempo.  L'equitazione mi ha sempre dato uno sbocco per sfuggire a tutte le pressioni del mondo moderno.  In questo clima di austerità britannica mi rivolgo alla moto come forma di trasporto e piacere.


Esta bicicleta de montaña es para el clima europeo y el terreno europeo, no sólo por lo que he estado llamando #greatbritishweather.  Mientras que las Islas Británicas tiene la reputación de lo peor, esto es sólo un buen campo de pruebas.  Si usted está cerca de los Alpes, entonces este marco MTB se puede construir como una larga cola de viaje duro con horquillas de 140 mm.
Si te gusta bikepacking entonces este MTB puede correr horquillas rígidas.

El Reino Unido está entrando en algunos tiempos difíciles debido a un bungle político que salió mal.  Mientras que he tratado de mantener este negocio de la política que ha comenzado a afectar a la economía del Reino Unido ya.  El Reino Unido corre el riesgo de no sólo separarse de Europa, sino también dividirse, con Escocia e Irlanda permaneciendo en la UE.
Por esta razón, estoy llegando a mis clientes europeos en los cuatro idiomas de Europa.  He utilizado google translate, así que si no tiene sentido, por favor envíe cualquier corrección a

Elegí desarrollar este marco alrededor de las cajas de engranajes de piñón y las correas carbondrive de Gates, mantenimiento libre de conducción en las peores condiciones de rastro.
El tren de cadena del derailleur fue inventado en 1928 y funciona perfectamente bien para las bicis del camino donde el desplazamiento de la precisión no es dañado por la arena del fango y más fango.  Una gran cantidad de diseño e ingeniería ha ido en la mejora de la derailleur trasera, pero este sistema todavía está expuesto a los elementos y el barro.  El desviador se ha convertido en el talón de Aquiles mecánico cuando las distancias largas y las condiciones del sendero se vuelven malas.

Los reductores tienen más beneficios a largo plazo para el ciclismo de montaña que un sistema de desviador trasero expuesto. Años de ciclo libre de mantenimiento. 10000 bastante kilómetros de correa-unidad. En Olsen Bicycles, he diseñado un marco alrededor de la caja de cambios de piñón basada en una geometría personalizada para usted.  Con la caja de cambios de piñón y las correas de transmisión de carbono de Gates, este bastidor tiene un bajo mantenimiento y una versatilidad de conducción.

OLSEN BICYCLES ofrece una geometría semi-personalizada adaptada precisamente al cliente. Ofrezco consejos sobre las opciones de geometría para adaptarse a sus horquillas y tipo de caballo que usted hace.  OLSEN Los marcos de carbono son monocasco y están colocados a mano.  Cada marco utiliza una combinación de carbono UD y Kevlar 3K / tejido de carbono puesto en una herramienta.

El ciclismo no debe verse afectado por la política. Tengo muchos clientes y proveedores europeos como Pinion y Gates y espero que esta relación no termine en 2 años.  Desarrollé este marco de bicicleta para ofrecer una alternativa al desviador y todos los problemas que surgen de montar en barro.  Sobre todo, desarrollé esto para que los pilotos puedan seguir montando todo el año, sin importar el tiempo.  Montar siempre me ha dado una salida para escapar de todas las presiones del mundo moderno.  En este clima de austeridad británica me volveré a girar a la bicicleta como una forma de transporte y placer.