30 March 2014

Fresh Goods Sunday - Park Tool PP-1.2 Disc brake piston press

After years of replacing disc pads and pushing pitons back in place it was time to buy a proper tool to carry out the job. As i have found if you are not careful when you are pushing pistons back into the caliper they can jamb / go in unevenly with possible leakage from the seals. The PP1.2 has a thin shaped wide blade which is ideal for the job. The handle is the same as there screwdrivers with grippy sections. The tool should see pad replacements made easier for many more years to come. Here is the tech info from Parktool. The £25 rrp is high but the quality is there. When this model first come out a few years ago it was the rpp that put me off from buying it but when i seen it advertised for £13.55 inc delivery i gave in and bought one.  

27 March 2014

Thursdays cruise around some local trails on my Carbon Beargrease

Using up my last few days holidays from work = time to get a few miles in. Up and out on the trails after dropping the kids off for a few hours ride before the heavy rain forecasted for 11am onwards. I headed over to Baxters wood to join onto the line towards Brandon before turning off down to Croxdale Estate then out towrads Bowburn direction. From Bowburn around the back way to Low Shincliffe - Maiden Castle - around Durham city Centre then back home via Frankland woods. The trails were alot muddier than i was expecting and its time to get the Mud Shovels back on again. The dusty tracks have gone and with more rain over the next few days it will be back to slop / puddles again. Todays ride was 27+miles in 2.5hrs, nice and steady away taking in a few photos along the way.  

26 March 2014

Play time on the Fat bikes in the local woods

Teachers are on stike so Angus is off and i had a half days holiday = Play time on the Fat Bikes. We had a ride over to one of our local woods called the Chicken Farm woods. We havent been for a couple of years and the local kids normally make a few dirt jumps etc but it been ripped up and new tracks everywhere from quad and motorcross bikes. One good thing was it was nice and sheltered from the freezing cold wind and soon warmed up climbing up the short steep climbs in the valley. Many years ago this was where Angus broke his wrist and had a pot on for six weeks! Below are some photos and here is a LINK to a few short video clips.  

24 March 2014

A ride in the sun & wind again, also update report on Schwalbe Marathon Extreme Tyres

Todays ride was going to be a gentle / steady away one but I had a full on head wind for the 8 mile outward leg but had a more gentle cruise back. It was a lovely sunny day but a very cold wind again. Im sick of the wind now and looks like no more sun for the rest of the week. When i finished todays ride i was just thinking about the tyres i have fitted and just how good they have been.
Update Report - Schwalbe Marathon Extreme Tyres - I bought a pair of these a few years ago and have used them for many a ride out over various terrain from tarmac, loose gravel, mud, dusty lines & grass. I use them all year round and they dont get swaped for seasonal tyres, to me they are a fit and forget tyre. The front one is showing no signs of wear but the rear has started to wear on some of the knobs but probably 1000's more mile left in them. Since my original purchase i have bought another two pairs which are on my Cannondale Super X & Angus's Scott CX Addict. 
In use they are perfect for 95% of my riding that i do on my Eastway & Dale. The only problem is if you take them fully offroad in deep mud they clog up and you loose grip, but they were never designed for fully muddy offroad use. They were designed for "expedition and rough terrain". Solid construction from all-around SnakeSkin fabric layer. The HighDensity belt protects against punctures and is made even more efficient in this latest version with the addition of ceramic coating. SnakeSkin + HD Ceramic Guard = Double Defense. Additionally the tyre uses the latest compound- Triple Nano Compound ensures safe grip on wet roads, low rolling resistance and remarkable durability. The reflective band on the sidewall works a treat in car head lights from the side when out on night rides in the winter or ealry morning commutes.  
Mine are the folding 32c version, they also come in 40c width but i dont have enough frame clearance. They are not a feather weight tyre but one you can trust.  Its a real shame Schwable discontinued this model last year as its a winner in my eyes.

23 March 2014

Fresh Goods Sunday - Xlab Top Tube Frame Bag - round 2

As can see by the title this Round 2 for this bag. I bought one last year for my Beargrease and was a perfect fit and size. It has performed well in carrying various small items to date with only one small glitch. When i went to open the zip there was a small piece of grit which had lodged in the zipp and got caught between the teeth, after i picked it out and straighted the zip teeth it was back in action again. I decided to buy another one for my Eastway ST1.0 and again to took a few miuntes to fix/adjust with plenty of velcro to wrap around the head / top tube. Again if you shop around you can get them at a good price. I paid £11.67 inc delivery this time. Here is the blog on the first one fitted to the Beargrease