I recently had a trip to the Italian Alps at the end of the summer (September/October time), where I knew I would be inundated with punctures from big thorns in the country side, particularly when riding more cross country style rather than over the rocks.  I am used to dealing with thorns – after all we have enough brambles in England and riding cross country particularly down not well used paths often leads to the odd puncture here or there.  I find having the tyre pumped up hard (35-40 PSI) really helps and I generally use Schwalbe’s Nobby Nics in the winter and Kenda’s Small Block 8 tyres in the summer.  I have found that by running higher pressures allows me to use a lighter inner tube (Schwalbe, Geax, Vittoria, etc) and generally only get a puncture once or twice per hundred miles.  Read on for my review of the Michelin C4 Protek tube.. More »

The Finish LineThe Ride

Last week I took part in the London to Brighton Offroad Bike ride, organised by the British Heart Foundation (link).  I did the road version a few years ago which totalled 54 miles.  I tried to ride it ‘properly’ (yes on my full suspension mountain bike), but soon got very frustrated with the amount of forced stops due to bottlenecks, people crashing etc.  Instead I should have just enjoyed it for the day and stopped off at more of the village fetes and pubs – that’s the plan for next time I think.  I hoped the offroad version would be full of more serious riders, thinking that the distance of 75 miles alone would deter those who had not ridden or trained recently.  It mostly did, but there are always some people who should not have entered.  Now I will admit that I hadn’t done this kind of distance – a typical ‘long’ ride for me is 40 miles and taking 4-5 hours with 2000m of climbing, all offroad battling the natural single tracks around the Chilterns. More »

Possibly the cheapest mountain bike tyre repair you will come across – wet suit repair glue, duct tape, dental floss 😀

I recently bought some Nobby Nics for my MTB – I have done about 5 or 6 rides on them and they really bedded in nicely.   I noticed when I was getting the bike off the car rack that the rear had picked up a gash just under 1inch long on the sidewall, inline with the spoke direction.  I was a bit miffed as these weren’t cheap tyres, so I decided to try and fix it before chucking it out. More »

27. April 2012 · Write a comment · Categories: Bikes · Tags: ,

Tomorrow I am riding the Evans Ride It! 2012 in Hatfield.  The bike is stil filthy from last week’s Trail Break in Princes Risborough. The results aren’t up yet but we rode the ~27 miles in 2 hours 50 which wasn’t too bad going considering the conditions (very very muddy), and we were only 4 minutes off the Gold Standard time!  I should probably be cleaning the bike as it must have about a kilo of chalky mud stuck to it – but instead I cleaned and oiled the chain, gears and cleaned the suspension stanchions.  Instead, I am preparing myself with rocket fuel:

Evans Ride It! Hatfield!


The results are up. We had a great time and got very very muddy and wet.  My total time was poor (3h28), but this might explain why:

Mud face

In light of my recent post I decided against Schwalbe and stuck with Kenda – I now have a new Small Block 8 DTC (2.1) on the rear and a Kenda Nevegal Stick-E (2.1) on the front.  I’ve been out for a few blasts on it and now the ground has hardened up it rolls so much better than having even a worn Nevegal on the rear! Also the grip level seems pretty impressive, though I have only ridden in the dry with it.  So far so good…