Words and photos by Zahir Nayani (@fasted500)
I’m Zahir Nayani, a lawyer from Swindon, UK. I’ve been riding bikes since my teens but developed a real passion for them over the past few years. Mountain biking at trail centres was originally my thing, but fatherhood (and its associated time constraints!) caused me to reassess my riding style, with the upshot of gravel and adventure riding now being my genre du jour.
I live close to The Ridgeway, a National Trail that passes through a surprisingly remote part of southern central England—awesome for long exploratory rides or just some #CoffeeOutside before work. Earlier this year, I came up with the Fasted 500 cycling initiative, which aims to get people from communities who might not traditionally gravitate towards riding bikes as a pastime to give them a go. I’m chuffed to see the initiative garner such support and traction from like-minded folks across the globe.
I’m lucky to own a custom bicycle made by local award-winning framebuilder and all-round good egg Pi Manson of Clandestine. Until recently, this was my only bike, and so I wanted it to cover most bases without needing to be cosseted. You know, honest unfiled fillets, room for bigger tyres, comfortable geometry for longer rides, and dynamo lighting for peace of mind. Pi made me a custom rack a few years ago, and I liked his ethos, manner of interaction, and obvious talent in bringing inanimate steel to life.
I’m relatively new to bikepacking and recently completed my first overnighter with my Clandestine at The Grand Rando hosted by The Woods Cyclery in the New Forest, UK. I also cycled my first 100 miles to that event too, which was awesome! As an aside, I’ve just also taken ownership of a pre-loved Singular Cycles Puffin fat bike (which I justified by it being sufficiently different to my Clandestine!) that I’m currently enjoying building up.
- Frame/Fork Clandestine (custom)
- Rims August Wheelworks
- Hubs SON SL (front) / Hope (rear)
- Tires Panaracer GravelKing SK 700 x 35mm
- Handlebars Deda Zero 100 (40cm)
- Headset Cane Creek 40
- Crankset Shimano 105 R7000
- Pedals Shimano PD-EH500
- Cassette 11speed, 11 – 34t
- Derailleur Shimano 105 R7000
- Brakes TRP CX9 with Salmon Kool-Stop Thinline pads
- Shifter(s) Gevenalle CX
- Saddle Brooks B17 Special
- Seatpost SimWorks Beatnik
- Stem Clandestine (custom)
- Front bags Wizard Works Mini Shazam
- Frame bags Wizard Works
- Rear bags Chough Stuff “Puffin Burrow”
- Accessory bags Snack bag and fork cargo bags from Collins Cycle Works
- Other accessories SimWorks Sim Drops Bar End Plugs, Widefoot CargoMounts
Going custom allowed me to go for a SONdelux connector-less SL dynamo hub to make wheel changes a little easier. The fork uses a special dropout which does away with the need for a wire between the hub and the fork, which is nice. And the small copper egg motif on the top tube is a little tribute to my daughter, whose favourite book is Meg’s Eggs, a tale of a witch whose cauldron sends forth… dinosaur eggs!
Find more from Zahir and his Fasted 500, a global cycling challenge promoting health equity and good vibes amongst traditionally underrepresented Muslim communities, on Instagram at @fasted500.
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