Archive for the ‘MTB’ Category

More irrational desire!

November 2, 2007

I’ve seen this rather tasty looking new Cove Hustler:
Jummy prototype Cove Hustler

Except it isn’t a Hustler at all! Apparently it’s a prototype 6″ frame based on the STD and Shocker frames, it just happens to have a Hustler sticker on it, and rumour suggest it’s a different sticker the other side! According to Silverfish UK, responsible for importing Cove, it’s more likely to be a part of the 2009 line-up, which means production models may be seen by summer 2008. Just as well really, as I absolutely love the look of it and want one! Can’t justify why at all, I just do, so the wait might give me time to save up. I’m really hoping that isn’t a prototype colour as well, I’m calling it pistachio green and think it’s the dogs danglies, although Sassy pink might look good too 😉

Cove will still be doing the Hustler…

Cove still doing the Hustler


A picture can paint a thousand words – but it’s not always better

September 16, 2007

Whilst a picture can paint a thousand words, I have been struck recently by how it doesn’t always show things in their best light.

Exhibit A is the new 2008 XT crankset:
2008 XT chainset

The previous incarnation of the XT crankset was striking, not necessarily beautiful, but it certainly stood out from the crowd. When the 2007 XTR crankset emerged, it was a thing of beauty, so when a revamped XT was announced, particularly celebrating 25 years, my appetite was well and truly whetted, expectations were high. Then the first pictures started to emerge, and I have to say I was underwhelmed, it was beyond understated, it just didn’t look anywhere as nice as the model it replaced, in fact the chainrings were more interesting to look at – oh no, what had Shimano done? But then I got to see them in the flesh. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a moment of revelation, I still think the previous model was better looking, and yet there is a certain something. They do look better in the flesh, you can see the attention to detail, and they are rather tactile, so maybe Shimano are onto a winner after all. I want some now, and I’m sure once bought and fitted, I’ll come to love them just the same.

Exhibit B are the new Hayes Stroker disc brakes:
Hayes Stroker

It was a bit round the other way with these. I saw them in the store first, and really liked the look of them, the orientation of the lever body for the bladder reservoir, and the aluminium dial on the piston for adjusting reach, there’s just something quite sexy about these, and they felt rather good too. Shame the picture doesn’t live up to much then.

Finally, Exhibit C – the new 2008 XT disc brakes:

2008 XT disc lever

OK, a little bit cheeky this one. When I first saw the pictures I thought they looked the dogs danglies. now I’ve seen them in the flesh and they are even better than that, I almost made my decision on new brakes on site of them without even trying! Having actually tried them, I’m pleased to say that they live up to the looks.

Early summer

April 15, 2007

Dry trails

I’m loving this early summer weather we are having at the mo – I set off out before 9am and was still fine in just a shirt and shorts. The trails were bone dry, and lovely and dusty, what a lovely morning riding.

This riding solo malarkey can be quite fun actually.

Downlandbiking skills day

April 14, 2007

I’ve had a couple of excellent days out riding with Grant of, the first just a general ride with him and Damian (Another Sussex-MTB regular) to see what our riding was like over Jevington way on the South Downs. The weather turned a bit poor towards the end but otherwise it was a great day’s riding. The second more recently was a Skills day, with Damian along again. We both had a great day and got a lot out of it – you can read more on the Sussex-MTB site HERE.

Blur on the berm

(Thought I’d use a different photo to the obvious ones – but check out more on the Flickr account – use the link over there on the right => )

Aren’t bikes great?

April 9, 2007

I’ve had a fantastic Easter weekend, lots of time with the family, playing with the kids, good food and drink, and of course lots of chocolate. But one of the best things was an absolutely fantastic morning riding on the Sunday, everyone was enjoying the weather, everyone tried things they hadn’t before and pushed their personal boundaries, and the sun shone the whole time! That’s what I love about riding, the fun and the camaraderie.

Tommo and me

Hoops is a nutter - gap jump

Shimano Disc brake bleed – little tip

April 2, 2007

Zip tie lever

I read somewhere on singletrackworld about this little tip, but wasn’t necessarily convinced myself. Well whilst fettling the bike recently, I probably let the disc piston out too far when cleaning, and consequently afterwards the front brake felt awful – I wasn’t pulling the lever all the way to the bars – but not far off, and no power what so ever, could quite happily pull on the brake and the wheel would still roll whilst walking the bike – NOT GOOD!

Having not enjoyed the pleasure of bleeding brakes yet, I was quite looking forward to giving it a first go, but then remembered about this and thought I might as well give it a go first. Basically get some zip ties, and tie the lever back in it’s ‘pulled in’ position as tight as you can get it. Then leave the bike overnight, stood normally, tyres down. This should then allow any air bubbles to rise to the reservoir, you may need to give the hose a little shake as well, or tap the caliper lightly just to help (I didn’t need to).

I just came down this morning and tried it out, wow – the brake was powerful once more, biting almost as soon as you pull the lever – like the ‘Stiff’ position shown on the Shimano service instructions, rather than ‘Loose’ as it was. Now the back brake that I thought was fine doesn’t feel as good – that must of just been ‘Slightly stiff’, so that’s having the same treatment.

How to really clean your chain

April 1, 2007

I’ve heard lots of different ways; Lob it in the shed and face the orange crust later, scrub with a brush and GT85/WD40 it before lubing when you next need it (My personal preference),use a proper chain cleaner, remove the chain and put in a jar of petrol/diesel. There are many ways of cleaning your chain, but if you really want to do it right, then this is HOW.

Chain apart

😉 😆

Another gorgeous Ellsworth paintjob

March 30, 2007

I thought the ‘Nebula Blue’ paintjob offered on the Epiphany was lurverly – as mentioned here, but I’ve just seen the ‘Red Velvet’ option for the Truth – nice!

Red Velvet

I’m off to Wembley!

March 22, 2007



I mentioned HERE that my favourite band in the world – METALLICA – are coming to the UK on July 8th to play the new Wembley Stadium. Well, thanks to some fast dialing by Jimbo, the 2 ‘old skool dads’ will be there again with their flecks of grey 😉

And as if that wasn’t enough, the Tour de France hits the UK that weekend, with the Prologue on the Saturday, and the 1st stage from London to Canterbury on the Sunday. So we’ll go and watch that first then, before hitting guitar and bike shops in London, then off to the gig!

Stage 1 Tour map

Sussex MTB Tours

March 15, 2007

Sussexmtbtours banner

A rather good friend of mine – Jimbo – has been riding MTB for a good few years now, running his own website for organising rides and just general banter.

Well now it’s time to expand and he’s offering guided rides around the South Downs, trust me, there are plenty of hidden secret gems there to enjoy if you know where to look, and Jimbo certainly knows where to look!

So if you’re interested, pop over to the site and take a look: