29 December 2013

Fat Bike ride @ Hamsterley Forest

We havent been to the forest snce the summer hols and this trip was well over due. With the recent weather we were expecting some wet and muddy  conditions and Hamsterley didnt let us down. Its back its normla self deep wet mud everywhere! It was a chilly start to the day but the sun soon came out and was a lovely day. There was a bitterley cold wind on the open moors sections and on the exposed tops. This was the first time we have had all three Salsa Fat Bikes out for a blast. Below is a few photos from the days action.

Fresh Goods Sunday - Salsa Mukluk XS

Yes another Fat Bike joins the clan. I stripped my Mukluk2 2013 bike and sold the framset on. I was very lucky to pick up this Salsa Mukluk 2012 XS, second hand and in good nick. I didnt need to buy any parts as they were all salvaged from my mukluk2 and spare parts bin in my garage. This is now my youngest sons bike and he got it on Christmas day. He was over the moon as he always felt left out when he used his hardtail mtb when me/angus were both on fat bikes.  

26 December 2013

Boxing day ride on the Carbon Beargrease

Today was my first proper ride on the new Carbon Beargrease and it was an ideal winters morning with a hard overnight frost and plenty ice. When i left it was -2degrees but by the time i reached Sunderland it was +5degress. Due to the ground conditions from icy roads, frozen mud on the open singletracks, semi frozen mud in the woods and proper sloppy mud in the dense wooded areas there was plenty to test the bike. The XX1 model has quite a few modern technologies that i have not ridden before - single ring up front 28t, 11 speed 10-42 on the rear, bolt through axles & press fit bb. At first it was alittle weird not having to shift the front, my thumb kept looking for the trigger ! the 11speed on the back was very smooth with no massive jumps between the gear ratios. It was that smooth sometimes i could not tell if it had changed gear. I managed the muddy singletrack climb out of Finchale no probs in bottom gear but found it spun out a couple of times on some inter linking road sections. I have used Sram on road bikes - red & force with no problems but not on mtb's. I have always used Shimano over the past 30+ years and has proved to be very reliable. Angus has been using X9 on his old mukluk for nearly a year and loves it, he prefers it to shimano. First impressions over the alu beargrease are good. I cannot notice the lighter weight difference when riding it but over a longer ride it might make a difference or when i race on it. The biggest difference is how stiff the bike is, the bolt through fork and rear dropouts make a huge difference when you are out of the saddle honking up hill, i found that i had to change down a gear as i was spinning out on the climbs. It dosent feel so stiff thats its uncomfortable to ride, you can just cruise along on it. The 45NRTH Dillanger 120tpi ultralight folding tyres were perfect for todays ride but if it was anymore muddy then i would prefer my Nate up front. Im going to keep them on and see how they perform over the winter months then swap back onto my Husker Du's for the drier summer months. Below are some photos from todays 26miler. Enjoy  

First time on for the Wolvhammer's as well. New winter sock test coming soon

24 December 2013

Round 2 - Salsa Carbon Beargrease XX1 2014

Well the XL X9 model went back and correct size landed this time but was the mega bucks XX1 model. Just built it later this afternoon and just what a bike. The frame & fork is like nothing i have ever seen before. The tube diameters are just masssive in comparison to any other carbon frame i have ever owned or seen. All the photos on the web just dont show the true size and shape of the tubes which are a masterpiece. Yes its not mega light compaired to my alu Beargrease but the stiffness is unreal. I swaped a few of the standard parts for my own personal preference and needs a couple more fine tweaks and it will be ready for action. At the moment its weight is 25.11 lbs with standard wheels. With a set of Marge Lites / Hope's it should be nearer to the 24 lbs mark. It will propably be boxing day before i get out on the trails for a spin and see how to compairs to alu beargrease and mukluk. Again a big thank you to Jason @ Westbrook Cycles and Ison for sorting out a replacement bike just before crimbo. Westbrook Cycles have now got 1no Med Carbon Beargrease frameset inc hubs in stock. Give Jason a ring and he will sort you out a deal if your interested.  Below are a few quick photos before it got too dark.  

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from MBE

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year all all the riders and supporters of Muddy Browns Events. Hope you all have a relaxed time off over the festive period, try and brave the gale force winds / lashing rain and get a few training miles in bewteen eating & drinking. All the best and see you all in 2014.
Muddy Browns Events

22 December 2013

Fresh Goods Sunday - Cannondale Road Bling - Spidering

When this was first released by Cannondale i liked the look of the rings. The UK rrp is £200 - no way i thought, then when i was looking for something on Ebay i come across this by accident. The listing was dreadul to say the least and you would have never found it if you were looking for a Spidering. I won the auction and arrived the following day after some hassle with the  seller through Paypal. Fitting was simple if you have the correct tools for the job. Below are some photos i took during the job. Cannondale's new SpideRing is a one-piece combination of spider and chainring, improving chainring stiffness that improves shifting performance. Weighing in at just 175 grams (standard 53/39T configuration), this is a piece of art. The SpideRing is standard on the new 2013 Hollowgram SiSL2 cranksets, but is backward compatible with virtually all Hollowgram cranksets. Cannondale's One Piece Integration concept reduces the number of parts which improves performance in a simpler system.

SpideRing is officially compatible with SRAM 10-speed road and Shimano 11-speed road drivetrains. We suspect that it will run fine with Shimano 10-speed drivetrains, but have yet to try it ourselves. Installation is easy using the same lockrings (KP021) and lockring tool (KT012) Cannondale has always used.