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Mountain Biking

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Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:29 pm PostPost subject:
istoo
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i wrote a massive tome and then the computer borked... so summarizing this time!

Bikes are my first love, ridden MTBs since 1988. So things have changed since then quite a bit, suspension has pretty much hit a sweet spot, so has geometry. wheel sizes is the current review time along with drive train setups.

26, 17.5 (650b) and 29ers all out there, my MTB fleet are all still 26er, all five of them, and then the fit bike, road bike are the two variants on that. Whats better, really not a lot in it, alothugh i am 6ft3 and have a long torso i dont get on with 29ers too slow and doesnt suit the riding i do. 27.5 seems to the the current sweet spot for wheel sizes. why change? the rest of the bike compnents kind of advanced as far as they can.

drive chains, 2x10 or 1x11 are the two popular setups these days. I ride bennachie ever week at least and a 2x10 is more suited as the climbs are hellish and the descents are quick, so you need the range. if you are strong you can get away with a 1x11 but i have never been much of a climber, necessary evil!

FS bikes arent heavy anymore, my current 160mm enduro bike is a smidge under 30lbs. and thats with DH tyres, big rims, big discs and a dropper post and SPDs. Bike categories are nuts now, so many sub divisions to choose. Enduro all the rage just now, long travel slack angled lightweight FS bikes. Pick up a bcopy of 'what mountain bike' they have a nice summary of the top 3 bikes/ components in every category.

Like clarky i support Local Bike Shops where i can. But my allegiances lie with two riding pals who own shops. Bike remedy in Stonehaven (Christian) top bloke, laid back as they come but fast as hell on a bike. And for exotica, Richard at Gravity Sports in Buckie. Christian is about your size and 'guessing', your weight. i am probably in that realm too... but do try before you buy, ergonomics are a heck of a lot better but certain brands don't suit certain body shapes. Additionally Women Specific bikes now exist narrower bars longer top tubes etc. subtle but the differences can make or break your choice.

Pedals, I ride have ridden with both but tend to ride with SPDs same setup for all the bikes, the fatty is on flatties just now just for snow use Smile flats are fine, if you can still bunny hop then all is not lost, SPDs tend to make some folk lazy, but for super rocky stuff even the DH racers use SPDs. Start with flatties if you like then progress, if you want to. my riding pals are mostly SPDs with one or two on flatties, usually for knee/ankle reasons.

Aberdeen, i live in Insch so Bennachie/Millstone is on my back door, literally. Pitfichie i rarely go, but its OK, the DH track can be a mudfest. Scolty has the most trail building at the moment, and got some cracking technical enduro/DH tracks in there. but is bothered by mud, but over winter the hard frost made it VERY fast Smile

I guess you are mid/late 30s? i am shit with ages, Fee is obviously much younger Wink So one thing that has exploded is the amount of trail centres, i grew up and still love riding in the mountains most. trail centres are where i go if its too muddy or for weekends away with big groups. Of the trail centres, scotland is amazing, and yet Grampian is by far the worst represented region. You have;

Glenlivet, incredibly flowy trails, can be really quick if you are on it, not technical but the red/black flows incredily well.

the 7 stanes developments; Ae, Dalbeattie, Kirroughtree, Innerleithen and Glentress (cant remember the other two). The latter are the most popular, Glentress is a holiday resport now...

Laggan wolftrax by Dalwhinnie, more gradient, nice trails but in the middle of nowhere, which i like. that said i prefer to be in actual hills Glen Feshie is a nice ride out that way.

Golspie, hidden gem imho. (same trail builder went on to build glenlivet)

Learnie Red Rocks (black isle) is not a lot of vertical gain, blight wit trees down, a bit like kirkhill.

Monster Trails, at Fochabers, used to be very popular but the riding group who started building has disbanded a bit and the trails are not quite linked up, Ben Aigan was shut as a centre a few years ago. but still worth a wander. One of the Scottish Elise guys is a biking pal of mine, is the importer for some bike exotica, lives right beside there....

Swanley/Fetteresso. Know it very well, was some great trails in there but the FC blitzed them 6-7 years ago. I helped build there, was a regular til i moved to insch.

Countesswells, actually not bad.

Durris, some secret squirrel DH trails with some big gap jumps.

Fort Bill, home of the DH world cup, you can rent a DH bike for the day, same at innerleithen and do uplift days. fort william if very special in my eyes, start near the sea go to 40000ft and batter down for as long as you can hold on. Speaking of which the world cup is there in June agian. Really worth a trip.

As for clubs/ rides, ABZ mates race is a laugh, worht going to one for the craic.

Ecurie Neep are still on the go, but lots of factions and break off groups all over the place now.

Kirkhill, always was and still is a mudbath. Although trails opening up a bit more as there are some trailfariies busy there. Also some secret squirrell trails in the Tyrebagger side. One of the sparrows crane ops in the quarry rides, and builds trails.

Can happily take you out for a trundle one day if your bored.

Strava very popular at the moment for routes etc, if you log on to that you can see popular routes / loops. Otherwise check out the neeps trail guide;
http://www.ecurieneep.co.uk/routes.asp
there is also a website called MTB trails orsomething...

And this is my short version, lunch over...
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Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:32 pm PostPost subject:
istoo
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oh and current reviews;

http://www.mbr.co.uk/news/bike_news/best-mountain-bike-bike-of-the-year-323484

but there is not as big a gap now between good and bad as their used to be. still some bad ones but on the whole MTB setups are getting a lot better.

Canyon/ YT industries / Radon the big German low cost hi spec brands are very popular just now. But they dont have shops, and you are taking a total punt. Mainstream manufacturers all have their selling points and a lot of bikers are brand loyal. I am a total bike snob so end up with custom builds, or exotica. Onyl as i am now old enough to afford them after spending most of my life drooling over them. And yes i will (happily) spend the value of a good track car to by a bicycle, and no they dont have engines.
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Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:33 pm PostPost subject:
AK
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heading out to Kirkhill around 1pm tomorrow if anyone is up for it
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Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:34 pm PostPost subject:
AK
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TYRES:

I was really struggling for grip yesterday... when it either got boggy or in slushy snow. I'm running fairly run of the mill Maxis Ardent tyres (26x2.25). I was running quite high pressure (~55psi)

Any tips to get the best out of these tyres in those conditions..... or are they just shit in them? Lower pressure better in snow?

Had a shotty of McBrides bike with 29x2.25 tyres and had no problems at all Laughing They are Maxis too, but unsure if Ardents. Similar tread either way
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Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:29 pm PostPost subject:
Andy10v
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55psi is insanely high! Shocked You would have no grip and just bounce off everything

I would try 35psi and experiment from there. Lower pressure will give more traction, however you increase the chance of the rim hitting the ground and pinch puncturing the tube, you will also dent the rim. Rider weight will play a factor in this, experiment and see what suits you and where you are riding. When it is tool low it will be squirmy and you can even pop the bead off.

If you are going to huck/smash the back wheel into stuff you will need to pop the pressure up a bit.

If you want to run very low pressures then you want to set up tubeless, no tube to pinch, self seal small punctures and you will gain more traction as the tyre can deform more.

Same as cars you can get mud tyres, snow tyres, ice tyres lightweight XC tyres, super soft tacky downhill tyres that last 1 weekend Laughing

Some people start at 40 psi and keep dropping the pressure until you rim strike in normal riding, then stick it back up 5psi. There is no real magic answer though, just some time spend riding and tweaking.
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Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:55 am PostPost subject:
Daveb
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Yeah thats way to high. Im usually 35 front, 40 rear.
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Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:04 pm PostPost subject:
AK
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last time i was out in snow the pressures were lower (~40) and it was better, but the snow was harder.

Will drop a bit and try Smile
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Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:34 pm PostPost subject:
James B
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I'm interested in joining for some hill action. I'm a lot better going down the hill than I am climbing but even then I do treat the downhill sections like I do my track days; brake nice and early Mr. Green .

I used to love biking and got quite into it for a number of years but a succession of injuries kept me off the bikes and then I lost interest.

These days I have a Specialized XC Pro any road and light forest stuff I do.
Then there's an early Bullit (the orange one) in full downhill spec and another Bullit that's a cross between the two disciplines.



I don't have pics of the other bike but it's still not been out on a hill yet. Need to stick on the narrower tyres as I decided to build it with the widest tyre that can fit so it looks pretty ridiculous!

People are more than welcome to borrow any of the bikes.
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Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:41 pm PostPost subject:
AK
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Fancy a run out on Sunday?

I'm down at Oulton Fri/Sat... but will be home for Sunday afternoon Smile
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Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:45 pm PostPost subject:
Fee
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James B wrote:
I'm interested in joining for some hill action. I'm a lot better going down the hill than I am climbing but even then I do treat the downhill sections like I do my track days; brake nice and early Mr. Green .



We should go together....Adam is a bit like his track driving....
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Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:48 pm PostPost subject:
James B
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AK wrote:
Fancy a run out on Sunday?

I'm down at Oulton Fri/Sat... but will be home for Sunday afternoon Smile


Much that I would love to go this weekend I'm afraid I'm partying it up in London so won't be back till later on Sun.

I am also out on Friday 20th which probably puts me out of action for Sat but Sunday 22nd would be good.
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Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:49 pm PostPost subject:
AK
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i'm out at SLS awards on 21st, photo shoot on 22nd.... hehe
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Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:49 pm PostPost subject:
James B
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Fee wrote:
James B wrote:
I'm interested in joining for some hill action. I'm a lot better going down the hill than I am climbing but even then I do treat the downhill sections like I do my track days; brake nice and early Mr. Green .



We should go together....Adam is a bit like his track driving....


You know, I suspected that would be the case... Laughing
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Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:51 pm PostPost subject:
James B
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AK wrote:
i'm out at SLS awards on 21st, photo shoot on 22nd.... hehe


Ah yes, I remember now that was on.

Photo shoot. You tart. Cool
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Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:52 pm PostPost subject:
AK
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aye, page 3 Razz

Na, for Fee's car
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