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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 the aforementioned, then an even greater welcome, though you must be lost.

It’s mostly, but not entirely about me bike and will likely be totally self-indulgent. No apologies…

I have two and a half sort-of mountain bikes. And I love them all.

My newest bike is based on a Salsa Dos Niner frame that is slightly too big for me. The Dos was Salsas first 29er frame and has slightly unusual rear suspension that consists of a small aircan mounted above the seat-stays. 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.

My older bike is mostly an On-One Inbred 29er frame with other 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 hardtail 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.

My full-sus is an older Salsa Big Mama frame in what is humorously called ‘Orange Funk’ but is poo brown. Sadly I killed it over the winter by repeatedly taking it out in the deep, claggy mud, then jetwashing it and squirting all the moving parts with WD-40. Consequently all the moving parts have seized up in a weird mud/WD-40 varnish and I have to replace all the bearings and bushings. Hmm… when I get around to it. So I took all the bits off, cleaned and de-seized them and put them on the Dos.

De Dos goes 11 speed

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

Filled under : Bike Bits , Endless Droning On
ad min, October 11, 2017

Spain, again

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

Filled under : Bike Bits , Endless Droning On , Travel
ad min, August 11, 2017

Dos Niner!

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

Filled under : Bike Bits , Endless Droning On
ad min, June 25, 2017

Top Ten Albums…

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 Bent. Ariels 2004 … Continue reading

Filled under : Endless Droning On , Not Bikey
ad min, January 22, 2017

Sub-zero

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

Filled under : Bike Bits , Endless Droning On
ad min, January 22, 2017

Christmas Peddling

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

Filled under : Bike Bits , Endless Droning On
Tagged on : freezin' , Frosty , misty
ad min, January 1, 2017

Effing Chain Wear

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

Filled under : Bike Bits , Endless Droning On
ad min, October 24, 2016

Me Usual 20 Mile Short Route – Reprise

I have dropped the ‘winter’ from the title because it’s my all year route now! Living in the North-East tip of Leyton in the ‘Desirable Barclay Estate’ has some advantages. Firstly, Leyton house prices. Cheaper than the surrounding areas. Then there is the close proximity to Walthamstow Village, handy for … Continue reading

Filled under : Bike Bits , Endless Droning On
Tagged on : Epping Forest , Pug , Salsa Big Mama
Ali, October 11, 2016

Spain, Brand New Second Hand Hope Brakes and Stealth Dropper

So just a few days to go before Spain, prepping the bike and checking all was good, stuck a nice new super-fast Thunder Burt tyre on the rear and then the damn Shimano Saint levers started to leak. Badly. I am worried that the non-Shimano mineral oil that I am using is shit … Continue reading

Filled under : Bike Bits , Endless Droning On , Reviews
ad min, September 27, 2016

New second-hand Salsa Big Mama build and other bits…

I have got meself a full-sus 29er frame. It is a Salsa Big Mama in a colour called ‘Orange Funk’ and is poo brown. Over the last week I have swapped the wheels and drivetrain from the Inbred, chucked some other bits on from the shed, and bought a couple … Continue reading

Filled under : Bike Bits , Endless Droning On , Reviews
Ali, July 9, 2016