26 January 2014

Fresh Goods Sunday - Park Tool Mavic Spanner

I just hate the amount of different spoke keys/spanners there in on the market. Why do wheel manufacturers use so many different sized/shaped nipples. I purchased the Park Tool SW-12 to replace the freebie plastic ones that Mavic inc with their wheels sets. As you can see in the photo this is most of my collection to suit most of my wheels. Here is the techincal info on the tool, the rrp is £13 but i paid £7.29 inc next day delivery. I have also got the SW-13 for Mavic wheels and has been excellent in use.  


Trail running around the local tracks

Due to the weather at the weekend being a complete washout i decided to dig out my old trail shoes. Last Sunday was my first run in probably nearly a year. It was lashing rain, mud was upto my eyes and flooding, what more could you ask for, oh yes strong wind as well. I a planned a local loop not too far away from home so i could cut sections off if i blew. Well after an hour i got back and was soaked to the bone but checked the mileage on the Garmin and decided to add an extra loop on, 1hr 16mins in total. Today the weather is just the same- pouring rain, cold, wet & muddy but the wind is even stronger so back out again on the local trails. Did the same loop as last Sunday, 4mins quicker and felt ok so added another 32min loop on. Duration 1hr 32min and my feet & legs are sore now. I should really loose a stone or two before starting to run again but what the hell need to get out there. No surprise that i never seen anyone out on a bike both times but Arran did follow around today on his Mukluk, he loved it - well going through all the mud and massive puddles!   

24 January 2014

Last ride on the steelie this week, wash up time

Today was the last ride on the ST1.0 for this week. Everyride has been wet & muddy so it was time for its first proper wash down. I have been using Fenwicks cleaning products for many years. I buy the Fenwicks undiluted cleaner and dilute it down to make the FS-10. Its very good value as the one litre bottles were half price last year! Simple to use, gently hose off the mud build up, squirt some FS-10 on everything. Leave it for a few minutes then start to wash the bike. I also use the FS Foaming Degreaser, i have used this since it first came out onto the market a few years ago and have not used anything different since. Depends on how much grease/grime to are trying to remove sometimes i put on a second application. The foam stays in place and unlike liquid degreasers tends not to go all over the place and waste it. After that i dry the bike off and squirt some GT85 over the mechs and some Finishline lube on the chain. Thats it ready for some more offroad miles.

22 January 2014

Steelie blast along the lines

My new Eastway ST1.0 got dragged out again for a quick blast along the lines which were still flooded in places and very muddy. On the plus side it wasnt raining but misty / overcast. After the first few muddy/wet rides on the Eastway there was alot of spray from the bottom of the front mud guard but i found an old mudflap and it has sorted out 90% off the spray. Worked out cheaper than buying a full set of new guards. The front brake has developed a squeal when applied so i will check the toe in on the pads, apart from that its a lovely comfy bike to ride. The Sram Apex gears are very smooth and quick to change and plenty of gear ratio for everything i have ridden so far. This is bike is going to be stopping in my fleet for many years / miles to come.  

19 January 2014

Fresh Goods Sunday - Blackburn Mammoth 2 Stage mini pump

I bought a Blackburn Mammoth mini pump earlier in the year and mounted it onto the Beargrease and was only used a couple of times (thank god). A couple of weeks ago it was required for some action but failed so I was going to bin it. When i looked at replacing it i noticed that Blackburn products have a lifetime warranty on them and it was less than a year old as well so off i trot to the post office, that was shock number one - nearly £3 2nd class and not even recorded delivery, i only paid £13 for it inc the p&p. Second shock was the time it took to get a replacement, less than a week later from me posting it 2nd class there was a brand spanking new pump on my doorstep - fantastic service from Ribble Cycles / Madison. It is now in place back on the Beargrease ready for action, hopefully not in the near future !

New one, not sure if they have changed any design features, looks the same apart from the colour and graphics

Original one that was sent back

18 January 2014

FOR SALE - Carrera Subway Alfine Eight MTB / Hybrid

Had a second clear out and my Alfine mtb is going. Great bike for jumping on and go, no hassle. I have put the original mudguards back on that it came with. Great value for money. Full details are on the right.

17 January 2014

Local road ride around the country lanes

Finally got out on the bike for a couple of hours today. Its been a very busy week with work and just not had a chance or the motivation to drag myself out. Finished early and off out for a road ride around the local villages / country back lanes surrounding Durham. Managed 32 miles in just over 2hrs with 2000ft+ climbing. The weather was not great - windy at times, cold, overcast, wet oily roads, light rain but its all part of the fun!
I got an Endura baabaa short sleeved base layer for crimbo so decided to wear it today for the first time. It was wicking well and felt very comfy next to the skin. I normally buy the transmission model but you have to wash them after every ride. Time will tell how it performs and i will report back in Spring.

14 January 2014

Busy in the man cave - Ridley Asteria build

We have been busy building up the little un's next road bike. He is riding a Cannondale Caad 650c at the mo and should still be ok size wise for this season but decided to get his next one ready. This is the big un's old frameset and is mint condition ready for a build. We had all the parts from other bikes apart from new bar tape it was a free build. The frameset has lovely shaped tubes and when the sunlight hits the paitwork it has a glitter effect. Below are some photos of the completed build ready for action (well i might swap the bars for some smaller compact ones).

12 January 2014

Fresh Goods Sunday - Northwave Celsius Artic GTX Boots

This is the third pair of Northwave boots in our house now. Angus was wearing my original ones from many moons ago but Santa left a pair of new ones! These are the Celsius Artic GTX mtb version. They dont change much over the years but there is a new lacing system of a pull chord type instead of standard laces. The velcro closure system is still the same and works well. Northwave tech info is here on the boots. Another good thing is the range of sizes they manufacture the boots in. The fit is good and you dont have to size up much if you wear standard winter socks.

11 January 2014

Local 1/2 over the top on the Fat Bikes

Rest day on Friday for a longer ride today as the forecast was looking good. Up early and away out the door just before sunrise. A few miles into the ride the sunrise was fantastic which was a good start to the ride. The ground was frozen in places with an overnight frost but where it was sheltered there was still plenty of soft mud! We headed over to Broompark and up the old railway line to East Hedley Hope, then a off road farm track upto Towlaw. The wind was blowing a gale and straight into our faces which made it very hard going on the open / exposed sections. From Towlaw we did a road section instead of crossing over the Moor as the last section will have been under 2ft of water. The country lanes were like an ice rink, had to take it very steady. It was then back onto farm tracks to join in about 2/3rds up the Waskerley Way. From here it was straight down to Consett, turn right then back to Broompark & home. We had to have a refuel at Lanchester as our legs were running low on energy by this point. Great 39miler is some serious headwind, icy roads & freezing cold. It was that cold with the windchill factor i didnt take that many photos but below are a few, enjoy   
Sunrise just before 8.30am

Energy Bar frozen by the time we got to Tow Law

Ideal shelter from the wind

Didnt stop long here, you could hardly stand up

Lanchester food stop
Cooling the pies down in the wind, they had just come out of the oven

Nearly home, only another 4 miles

9 January 2014

Day 2 - Ride 2 on the steel - even more mud and flooding

The sun was out again and so was Eastway. With more storms through the night the offroad tracks were rather damp / muddy under tyre. Today there was long stretches under water and the soggy mulch/mud is getting deeper. Still a lovely day for a ride!

FOR SALE - Having a clear out

Im having a clear out of some bikes and parts. On the right is some new For Sale pages added with full info on the items. I will be adding more in the next few days. If you are interested just let me know. I can also post all items as well.