Welcome to my blog. A special welcome if you are not me. If you are a member of my family or one of my friends, judge me kindly. If you are none of that lot, then an even greater welcome, though you must be lost.
It’s mostly, but not entirely about me bikes and will likely be totally self-indulgent. No apologies…
I have three mountain bikes, and I love them all.
Well, I say three but I have four frames and enough boxes of parts to build up three bikes at any one time. The parts regularly get shuffled around according to the season, the weather, my whims, what broke. It is a perpetually morphing bunch of bikes.
My Current lineup:
Santa Cruz Blur LT
My newest purchase but oldest frame, built in 2006 and at the time a pretty good frame. Less cutting edge now as they went on to improve the Blur greatly over the years, but still the highest performing frame that I have. Currently bouncing around with 135mm of travel at the back and 160mm at the front, it nips through the twists and turns with its tiny retro 26″ wheels.
Salsa Dos Niner
The Dos was Salsas first 29er frame and has slightly unusual rear suspension that consists of just a small aircan mounted above the seat-stays and no pivots. The idea is that the chain-stays flex and the aircan provides the damping, but not much of it. This was a great idea because it is simple and the ‘softtail’ gives some of the benefits of a hardtail and some of those of a full-sus. It was also a terrible idea because you have to mount the aircan as high as you can, meaning that the seat tube is tall and the seat stays are short to fit the aircan in so the tyre clearance is minimal and anyway the chainstays inevitably snap through having to do all the flexing/springing. But these problems are of no consequence, as it has the best orange paint-job ever. Probably my fastest bike and in the summer this thing is a joy to throw through the trails.
My oldest bike but youngest frame is mostly an On-One Inbred 29er hardtail frame with bits bolted on. If you are not familiar with the Inbred, the words ‘Mountain Bike’ might conjure up images of a lightweight frame, colour coordinated parts, suspension front and rear, talk of ‘bob’ and ‘rebound’, stuff like that. The Inbred is not at all like that – it is a steel frame and the purists will tell you that steel frames are responsive, springy, efficient, (none of that ‘bob’ and ‘rebound’ b*llocks) that they keep their inertia, can power up hills etc. Which is true. It also doesn’t hurt that they are cheap. It is currently running with rigid Charge forks, it is simple, reliable, and goes like stink. The suspension comes from the tyres, the long springy forks and the long springy seat tube. I would also say that it is enormous fast-rolling fun when I am fit, but an utter bastard if I am not.
Salsa Big Mama
A full sus 29er, it is currently out of service due to lack of parts. It’s colour is humorously called ‘Orange Funk’ but is poo brown and it features a fat dent on the fat downtube where I was hit by a Ford Focus. Lucky the BM took the hit, not my leg. I killed the bike last winter by repeatedly taking it out in the deep, claggy mud then jetwashing it and squirting all the moving parts with WD-40. So all the moving parts seized up in a weird mud/WD-40 varnish and I had to replace all the bearings and bushings. Then I built it back up, took it for two rides, bought the Blur frame and nicked all the good bits back off it for the Blur.
It is 12 years old and has tiny tiny 26″ wheels. It has 135mm of bounce at the back and 160mm at the front. S’very cool, I love it. I only started mountain biking in 2015 and went straight to budget used 29ers. Lots of fun, but the Blur is … Continue reading →
I have been working on my poor BM for months and it was almost ready to go in November, but I nicked the good bits off it and put them on my Inbred that I was prepping for the miserable winter months. But now with the help of Ebay and … Continue reading →
London awoke this Saturday to a couple of inches of snow – excellent! At last I had the chance to put the ‘Ice Spiker Pro’ tyres on that I bought from Ebay two years ago, but had never used because since then it hasn’t properly snowed on a day that … Continue reading →
I wasn’t going to use the Dos during the winter because winter is bad for bikes. Like the Big Mama I killed. But it is so much nicer than the Inbred that I have tried to make it viable. This includes a custom made mudguard to protect the tiny air … Continue reading →
So it was back to Denia this July – woo-hoo! Ryanair seem to have stopped allowing bikes on board, so we flew Easyjet this time, which was fine. Last year Dave and his family were there at the same time as us lot, so Dave and Juan showed me the … Continue reading →
Having pretty much destroyed the Salsa Big Mama over the winter months through neglect and poor maintenance I found myself idly browsing Ebay’s pages for 29er frames. Amongst the usual, boring, expensive stuff shone this unusual and VERY orange Dos Niner frame. So I bid on it and won it. … Continue reading →
Roxy Music Gong. Camembert Electrique Brian Eno. Here Come The Warm Jets Yes. Yessongs The Associates. Fourth Drawer Down 1981 Some Bizarre 1981 Rip Rig & Panic. God 1981 The The. Infected 1986 This Mortal Coil. Filigree and Shadow 1986 Jackie Leven. Forbidden Songs of the Dying West 1995 David … Continue reading →
At the moment I start my weekend rides at about 7.00 AM while it is still dark. The weather is clear and cold, -1 to -4º C, meaning that the ground is solid, the skies full of sunrise and the mist drifts off the river. Air!!! I suffer from some sort of … Continue reading →
Been off me bike for a while – I am building an effing great big shed and having being inspired by the Shed Of The Year telly programs earlier this year, I am making it far too complicated. So it is using up all my weekends. And money. But I … Continue reading →
A couple of weeks ago I found myself at Cannock Chase, happily cycling around when my chain snapped. This was particularly annoying because I wasn’t wearing my hydration pack because Follow The Dog is only six miles long – what can go wrong? The pack has my full paranoia kit in … Continue reading →