Mountain Bike Shenanigans

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.


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


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.


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.



Not Torremolinos
September 30th, 2020

I am reliably informed that Torridon is epic “big” mountain riding, some of the best descents that a seasoned well-travelled rider has ever done, and definitely some of the worst/best climbs available. It should definitely be on your bucket list. It looks mint.

Liathach & Loch Clair, Glen Torridon

5 hour drive from Glasgow means it’s definitely more than a day trip… Kudos to David Dunlop for the tip off.

Long Mynd
September 25th, 2020

So there is a bucket list of places to ride and trips to do. Some are more obtainable and do-able than others. Not that it is written down, but it’s there. Some of them are things I’ve read about, or heard of, others are places I’ve driven past and thought – need to ride that one day. Having been a resident Northerner for nearly 25 years, heading towards South Wales means passing through the hills of Shropshire and the enticing lure of Long Mynd.

Translated as the Long Mountain, it’s a 7 mile (11 km) by 3 mile (5 km) wide lump of volcanic geology sticking up to 1,693 ft (516 m) at the Pole Bank trig point. The heathy moorland plateau is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is largely owned and managed by the National Trust. Bit like the Forest of Bowland – steep sides, flat on top.

Anyway enough waffle. Met up with Al as it was about half way for each of us. Rode a route based on Al’s prior local(ish) knowledge. It was ace and well worth the wait. Bluebird skies, the sun burned away the chill and the wind picked up but the trail conditions were good!

Long Mynd

Long Mynd

Long Mynd

Long Mynd

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