Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Grizedale
October 26th, 2020

So for whatever reason the Lake District is significantly under explored by me. This is largely because the Peak District up until to 2014 was within riding distance and it was a case of why bother, loads to explore on my (relatively speaking) doorstep.

Now living on the coast, yes I could ride a mountain bike to either of them (Edale about 50 miles and Ambleside about 60 miles), but I’d be in no fit state to do a decent ride and the bike home again. So bike wagon it is and driving north is a lot easier than east so the Lakes is now much more favourable, particularly as the Welsh have decided the English aren’t welcome at the moment.

There is a bit of irony that one of the most mountainous regions in the England doesn’t have more trail centres but what it lacks in man-made trails it more than makes up for in bridleways and spectacular scenery. Perhaps at its best at this time of year as the leaves on the trees turn into a riot of colour.

So Grizedale Forest it was, a good base for a half day big loop over to Coniston and around back up to Hawkshead. It rained, occasionally biblically all the way around, but it was worth it. Must go back more often.

Grizedale Loop

Grizedale Loop

Grizedale Loop

Grizedale Loop

Local Gravel
October 23rd, 2020

Don’t need to go to Belgium for roubaix or New England for gravel. Plenty of both on the local doorstep if you know where to look…

#Keepingitlocal

Gravel Routes

Gravel Routes

Gravel Routes

Gravel Routes

Whinlatter
October 13th, 2020

Drove North to a very quiet Lake District to just outside Keswick for some autumnal biking. Whinlatter Trail Centre is new to me and the area is named by a Norse word meaning ‘gorse covered slopes’. These days it’s mostly covered in commercial forestry. Rode the red run a couple of times which has a pretty decent descent – unfortunately in the last 100m of the finish I knackered the rear wheel and rolled into the finish on the rim protector. Turns out spare parts are not to be had either… May be off the trails for some time.

Whinlatter

Ti Cross Deluxe Revisited
October 10th, 2020

Ti Cross Deluxe

So a few years ago I had the genius idea of getting a 26″ mountain bike frame and turning it into a cross bike. My mate Jam was selling one of his fleet and in short order I had another beautiful Ti Deluxe frameset and a set of wheels. The silky Chris King hubs were relaced onto 700c/29er rims ready to run tubeless and er, I needed a load of other bits.

So I found a nearly new Cross Bike for sale in the North East and one lunch time nipped out to pick it up. It donated the initial kit for the build, with the exception of the chainset, headset and forks which came in from elsewhere. Standard upgrading bits over time followed as they wore out or broke.

Tyre clearance

This year it was time for new tyres so I upped to 40mm ones which just about fit and went tubeless. That was well worth it because the ride quality is much better and the new tyres are pretty much perfect for local riding.

Along with a new rear mech (which was scarified to fit one of the boys’ bikes), I also had to replace the big ring which was an experience as the Stronglight one that I found although claimed to be compatible, didn’t without considerable time with the file to make it fit to the crank spider properly.

The trusty seat post and saddle have transferred over having done many miles and have transformed the ride making the bike far more comfortable for longer rides.

Ti Cross Deluxe

So it’s a bit of a misfit bike. Not a mountain bike in the true sense, nor a genuine cross bike or gravel bike either. I will say 26 ain’t dead as all the good ones have all become 29ers like this.

Fettling the Lizard
October 7th, 2020

Chameleon

The Big Orange Santa Cruz has been great, but hasn’t really been vertically challenged what with COVID-19 and local riding. Flinging it around Long Mynd showed it was bit under-braked so I upped the rear brake to a 180mm and the front up to a 183mm. Let’s see if that plus new fluid in the lines makes a difference.

Chameleon

The rear shifting has also been a bit speculative particularly in the middle of the cassette. Having tried the standard adjustment it’s not been right so I wondered if it was the SRAM gearset. I’ve started with the shifter, trying a second hand XO unit as a first cure. It’s a chance to tidy up the flight deck too.

Chameleon

Chameleon

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