Mountain Bike Shenanigans

More Scott Maintenance
October 28th, 2017

So after the Dark Peak adventure back in August the rear wheel on the Scott started playing up and the tyres needed sorting (slow flat in the front) plus a solution to pinch flats was needed. So strip down time. Investigation reveals that the free hub bearings were seized solid and the hub bearings were both on the way out. So old ones out:

More Scott Bearing Maintenance

New bearings for the Syncros hubs to go in (2x 6902 and 2x 6903) with hopefully better quality bearings and seals

More Scott Bearing Maintenance

All back together and ready to roll.

More Scott Bearing Maintenance

On the tyre and tube front after a bit of research I’ve plumbed for the Schwalbe Procore dual pressure system. Best way to describe it is a road bike tyre with no tread and a small tube running at 80-90psi inside the main chubby tyre which is inflated via a special valve and runs sealant.

More Scott Bearing Maintenance

It sounds more complicated than it is. The kit is comprehensive and it all goes together okay. The biggest challenge is getting the chubby tyres to seal on the rims. Mine both were leaking at the valve but with some faffage I reckon the sealant and a couple of rim side o-rings have done the job. At this stage it could be epic or an expensive mistake. Let’s see what two days hard trail riding delivers…

More Scott Bearing Maintenance

Ti Cross Deluxe
October 22nd, 2017

At the end of last year I started building up a new winter bike. Independent Fabrication legendary collector Jam Price let one of his fleet go, I bought a second hand cross bike that had been used twice for parts and by January I was hacking about on a decent steed and working out what was needed to make it right. I’d worked out that cross bike parts would go on a 26″ IF without any problems and after the Aquamarine Fade Planet Cross, I’d decided that the next one needed to be Ti and disc equipped. So behold the updated and reimagined vision that proves that 26″ wheeled mountain bikes have untapped potential.

Independent Fabrication Ti Cross Deluxe

Independent Fabrication Ti Cross Deluxe

Independent Fabrication Ti Cross Deluxe

Back to the Peak
August 20th, 2017

I thought I’d close up a great summer of riding on the Scott by heading back to an old stomping ground and riding some of the trails that first introduced me to the Dark Peak. In about 1997 when I moved to Manchester it was one of the first rides I did, back then on a rigid hardtail with 21 gears. Riding into Edale is one of my favourite routes. I parked up in Hayfield and road in over Jacobs Ladder and back via Mount Famine. All was good until about 30 seconds after this photo when I got a pinch puncture.

Jacobs Ladder, Edale

I drew blood on both thumbs trying to unseat the beads of the tyres and then when I eventually did, they then wouldn’t seat properly again. To top it all the patches I put on the tube didn’t stick and ten minutes later I was stopped again this time by the river getting eaten by midges whilst I changed it again. After that I was back on it cleaning the ascent up Chapel Gate and nailing it all the way back to Hayfield. Proper ride.

Back to Glentress
July 15th, 2017

Thursday. Leave work drive completely the opposite way to home back to a place you haven’t been for 13 years. Find the same place to stay and the same place to eat. Welcome back to the Tweed Valley, Glentress and Peebles.

The border on the A68

Friday day off work and riding to be done. Glentress Red Route (I had completely forgotten what this trail was like) kicks things off. The trail head is completely unrecognisable. Bike park is new. Quick loop around and back for a coffee. Refreshed out to do the black, ah this is more like it. Those trails that Wee Ben and I did in the snow. The ones I rode with other friends over the years. Still a bugger of a climb. Body armour on for the descent. Deliverance feels slow today, bit over grown. Redemption, still that cramp inducing grind back to the fireroad. Yes I still hate you climb. Spooky woods and the rest and back to the trail centre for lunch.

Innerleithen Forest Singletrack

Refueled, it’s time to head off to Innerleithen. Jon Woodhouse and I rode this not long after it opened. We got lost. It was miserable. The downhill run on the insane course we did was far more memorable. Still today I’ll be remembering that climb to the trig point. That goes on. And on. Then the false summits. It eventually ends and I’m on top of what feel like a mountain with a cracking view. This is why.

Minch Moor Summit, Innerleithen Forest Trails

Back on the Road
May 27th, 2017

Summer 2017

Back on the road bike for the first time in 2017. Feels weird to be on something so svelte and with twitchy handling and narrow bars. I’d like to say it was fast as… but I had a terrible week of punctures, the highlight of which was a 5 mile walk to work in brand new SPD SL cleats. Those Mavic tyres have been terrible, time to go back to Michelins.

IMBA: Long Live Long Rides