Mountain Bike Shenanigans

That was 2016
December 31st, 2016

I’ve rarely written an end of year summary, but 2016 was important because its was really the year I (psychologically speaking) really started riding again. I got back on the bike in April and gradually ramped up the riding and sustained it for the rest of the year. I found a colleague at work who was like minded and we clocked up a good mix of road and off road routes.

As the year closes Strava tells me I’ve clocked up 96 hours riding, covering 2,145km over 147 rides. That’s not to say every ride was recorded often taking the kids to school in the trailer and picking them up again didn’t get captured but sometimes it did. I don’t care about those not being captured.

Veloviewer

Back in November I rode out with an old friend who I know through Singletrack, Alex Leigh. He introduced me to some decent riding and a pre and post ride drinking culture in the blended edge that exists between the Malverns and the Forest of Dean. It was a highlight of the year. Alex also introduced to relive.cc and have occasionally enjoyed looking at some of the recorded routes.

Last year I reduced bike numbers selling my beautiful IF Planet Cross in Aquamarine fade. I rode all my other bikes over the course of the year, the Remedy has needed some love (and still needs the forks servicing) and the Ti Deluxe too. After well over 2,000km the Ti Crown Jewel needed a new chain and the Singlespeed just ploughed on often with the kids in tow. As winter came I knew it was time for a winter hack. After riding the Ti Deluxe a bit, I decided the sensible solution was another Cross Bike.

Ti Deluxe: Photoshoot
November 27th, 2016

It’s late autumn rolling into winter setting the backdrop for the updated bike.

Independent Fabrication Titanium Deluxe

Independent Fabrication Titanium Deluxe

Independent Fabrication Titanium Deluxe

Independent Fabrication Titanium Deluxe

Independent Fabrication Titanium Deluxe

Independent Fabrication Titanium Deluxe

Independent Fabrication Titanium Deluxe

Ti Deluxe: Updated
November 27th, 2016

So after hammering it around over the summer, I decided that it was time to invest some love in the Titanium Deluxe. This bike still ticks boxes, but the game has moved on and it was due some upgrades.

Back in the day the Magura Marta SL Gold editions were an awesome set of brakes, but Hope have in my view set the modern standard with their new race-spec brakes. So it was time to get some of those on with appropriate Ti fasteners.

The Fox floats had started leaking out of the compression adjuster at the bottom of the leg. They need a service and will find a new home on the Rockhopper, but I wanted the security of the QR15 setup that makes so much sense so upgraded to some new forks, had the tapered steerer replaced with a straight 1 1/8th and bought the bits to convert the Chris King hub.

Took a while to get all the bits ordered and the work complete, but it’s all done now ready to ride!

Old cockpit
Independent Fabrication Titanium Deluxe

Rear end before upgrade
Independent Fabrication Titanium Deluxe

Chris King Disc Hub
Independent Fabrication Titanium Deluxe

Chris Rowe’s paintwork still looking good…
Independent Fabrication Titanium Deluxe

Insanely expensive new bits for the hub
Independent Fabrication Titanium Deluxe

New brakes
Independent Fabrication Titanium Deluxe

Anti-rattle measures
Independent Fabrication Titanium Deluxe

New callipers and pinstripe tape
Independent Fabrication Titanium Deluxe

RP23
October 15th, 2016

So having had the Remedy since 2008, it’s asked for very little. Ragging it around over the summer proved that it actually needed some mechanical attention beyond my skills so there was only one place to call, TF Tuned. Tim Flooks might have hung up his hat, but the customer service is still awesome. Booked in on Sunday, posted Tuesday, Serviced Thursday, back with me and refitted by Friday.

Fox RP23

Fox RP23

Upgraded with Push tuning and piston body and serviced to my specifications it’s pretty mega. The Welsh borders are calling…

Gnatted
June 30th, 2016

Hamsterley by the Mast

Throughout the English-speaking world ‘gnat’ is usually reserved for small, biting flies, allied to mosquitoes but most of the groups for which British entomologists have used the word do not bite. Note that the only groups of British Diptera which ‘bite’ (and only female flies do so) are species of Culicidae (mosquitoes), Scatopsidae (blackflies), ceratopogonidae (biting-midges), Tabanidae (horseflies) and Muscidae (houseflies and allies). In some parts of the world Ceratopogonidae are called ‘no-see-ums’ because females are small, do not whine like mosquitoes, and attack en masse, producing a large number of suppurating spots.

Little buggers got me good tonight at Hamsterley Forest. Gnats. Millions of ’em.

IMBA: Long Live Long Rides