Tyre story – Hans Dampf Evo MTB Tyre – SnakeSkin


  
The new tyre

It has been a while since I reviewed anything so thought I would share my thoughts on something that just seems to work. I am not very swap and try when it comes to equipment I just like good stuff that works well, it might not have the very best of the best quality but has to do what it does well. Take my brake spec on my mtb – I asked Carl at the shop what brakes to get – he was steering me towards hope when I mentioned these should be fit and forget type brakes. Hence the same XTR brakes on my bike for 6 years and apart from 1 bleed and 3 different sets of pads nothing has been fiddled with.

But tyres have had their issues. I was on the misconceived idea that I was sort of racer having tried 3 sets of racing Ralph’s over the years. But grip was pretty sketchy in scotland doing typical riding and sidewall was a painfully thin learning curve having ripped two sidewalls open riding flinty tracks a half hour for the house.

I moved onto maxxis ardent tyres and I liked them a lot more. It was only an issue with a bad thorn and dried up sealant after 2 years of no maintenance that made me think I should take more care. I refilled the sealant and pumped the tyre up hard (60psi) to seal the edges. Max recommendation is 45psi for the tyre width and rim but seriously – I had tea to make and drink when BANG the tyre had popped off the bead was stretched and sealant was on the wall.

So I started shopping for a new front tyre and I decided to go wider and bought a trail star hans dampf 29×2.35 

Fitted pretty easily on stans rim and sealed very easily. 

On the trail the HD is a step up from the ardent – incredible feedback from the front and stays planted on the trail. When railing through berms the slightly worn ardent on the back would start washing out before the front. As for trail speed I didn’t notice a huge drag factor and let’s face it the weakest link in a race setup would be still be me.

  
Was thinking about replacing the worn ardent on the rear in a while and whilst a HD is tempting I have read that it rips easier there and most people seem to suggest a nobby Nick is a good match. More on that later.

no space for 26 anymore


Having a clear out and getting rid of the tyres at the back of the cupboard – all 26″ tyres (or tires as those less proficient in language like to say)

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All Tubeless ready / UST

Michelin ATX 26×2.2 £10

Schwalbe Racing Ralph 26×2.1 UST £15

Schwalbe Ice Spiker PRO 26×2.1 Tubeless Ready (only used to race Strathpuffer 24 in Jan 2013 – some spikes missing but other than that nearly no wear … replacement spikes available) £25

maxxis Medusa 26×2.1 Tubeless (I think this is even quicker than racing ralph and better grip in marginal conditions). £15

or £50 all in incl postage to save my faffing

Lynskey Ridgeline SL


First ride today – just after this picture was taken more snow fell – but it feels fantastic. Back at shop now to slam down the stack height and to fit a tubeless rim strip to the rear. Then I will go for a mission on normal trails to compare with the older bike

 

Picture 1

Maxis Medusa – quick review


After last weekends antics I have a quick review on this tyre. I am running a 26 tubeless version on my rohloff titanium mtb. I can only compare it to racing Ralph’s, Larsen TT tyres and specialised the captain.
This tyre is fantastic – I had read it was good for shedding mud but it does more than that – I have not had a slip or twinge from it these past 100km. It held its line on off camber wet rock – gripped through goopy mud and doesn’t seem that slow rolling along fireroads.

Also it holds air well on a UST rim and a wee touch of pink writing is fine by me too. Hopefully get out again the next day or so.

A sad day: Toys being sold – KLEIN ATTITUDE with Pace Forks and 2 wheelsets


SOLD SOLD SOLD ….SNIFF

 

Moving house and storage is going down so we are selling bikes – 3 0f them at least.

First Up The Klein

Attitude Race Aliminium Frame S/M 2002 – only 2.8lbs in weight. (which cost £980 when new)

There are two wheel sets with the bike – A rolf Propel lightweight race set shed with bling Schwalbe Fat Franks. Gearing is 32:14 on this set.

offroad wheel set is a mix (rolf Propel UST at rear with 32:16 setup) this is shod in a Larsen TT UST tyre

Front is a Michelin XC – slightly chunkier front tyre for both a bit of shock and really great grip. Hub is Hope Pro3 and the rim is a MAVIC 819 tubeless.

Pace RC31 forks

Pace RC31 rigid forks are some of the lightest fromt MTB forks around.

Klein’s legendary paint job with very few nicks and cuts ….

Broken apart everything will fetch 800ish and more on flea bay (where it is heading next) but would prefer to sell as whole …. SOLD SOLD SOLD sniff ….

Schwalbe redesign their racing Ralph


The Racing Ralph gets a new tread pattern this year along, and will utilize the cross-country PaceStar Compound. The new profile has rearranged the knobs, and should give a more consistent feel (* for me this is important of sliding on my arse with the slightest amount of mud on the tyre – grip goes instantly with no warning), with better transitioning and traction.

The 29er profile was also tweaked, and is more spread out then the 26er, to take advantage of the big wheels larger contact area. They did a major overhaul on the casing, changing it from 67tpi to 127tpi, giving it a more supple feel, and losing 30 grams and decreasing the rolling resistance by 20 percent. The new tires are certainly light, coming in at 455 grams for the 26×2.1, 495 grams for the 26×2.25, 495 grams for the 29×2.1, and 535 grams for the 29×2.25 size. The tires are all tubeless ready (except for the Performance series), and come in a slew of version and sizes, including 26×2.1, 26×2.25, 27 1/2 x 2.25, 29×2.1, 29x 2.25 and a big wide 2.9×2.35. The TL ready tires have some optional sidewall versions, such as SnakeSkin and DoubleDefense, and they even have hand-made tubulars. They also added a 4Cross edition of the Racing Ralph using the new GateStar compound with SnakeSkin sidewalls and come in a 26×2.25 sizing. The GateStar is a combination of the PaceStar for the center section, and the downhill VertStar for the shoulders, giving it great usage for 4Cross, SuperD and Enduro racing.

A confusing mix all with the same name …..  more info here 

Here is just part of the dizzying variety on offer. Do you think they need to make the difference clearer?

 

 

Another day at Glentress and another Racing Ralph UST torn


I was filming last week – but schedule was to do so in Peebles and promised an early 4:30pm finish. So a plan was hatched to hit Glentress in the late afternoon for a burn up the hill to the radio mast. I put the Carver Ti Bride (my rohloffed 96er) on the roof of the car.

I had a nagging feeling that I had left something behind as I was driving down the road but had been going through the checklist….

Bike … check

Shoes … check

Helmet … check

Pumps (air and shock) check … you get the idea … then whilst filming I thought of socks and thought Bingo that’s what I forgot … luckily the very excellent BSpoke bikes was a couple of hundred metres away – and the BikeHub at Glentress is also great although I had a fear that it may have closed early …..

So got to the centre paid my £3 parking then set the Garmin 305 onto the ride I did in a pack and in snow in Jan in an effort to see how much quicker summer is.

The route I took (GPX file is here if you want it) in Jan was followed as I was soon so far ahead I couldnt see the little figure that acts as a pace maker when doing Garmin routes ….

The ride is lovely winding up the red and black routes to the radio mast at the top ….

You go over the little wood tricks on the way up – a great way to get your focus balanced before pointing downhill.

Skinny's on the way up

The higher black part of the climb has one or two tricky sections but the idea is to get all the way up without putting your foot down … I did but only for a p*ss break !! (the gpx file for the route up is here)

Radio Mast - all downhill from here

Got to the radio mast in about 1h10min and then I was ready for a smashing downhill. 200m down the road as I was leaving the Fire Road to get onto first singletrack …. Clank ….. Tsssssss. My new Racing Ralph UST was pissing air. Rolling it on side to get sealant to plug was no use … tried adding high volume air and lay on side for gloop to work and no good.

Thought I would have to bite the bullet and put a tube in as the hole / tear was pretty small when it dawned on me … that earlier nagging feeling. I gave my last inner tube to my friend Findlay when he had a puncture and I wasn’t carrying one.

some of the single track I missed

BUT … it was a beautiful night – the air was still and sun was pure delight … I help up the saddle and proceeded to run down the mountain following the escape route. It was just over 13km up and only a 4.7km run down in stiff carbon soled MTB shoes. Still exercise is exercise.

Shame to miss out on the nice singletrack descent and the swooping bermed loveliness but I could have been working or sat on my arse somewhere.

Comparing the routes in Sportypal it was interesting to see my average speed up was higher than my up/down average in a group in the snow in Jan

HRM route reading on the Suunto Movescount site

The question at the end is why Schwalbe one of the biggest and some say best tyre manufacturers has such a problem in their UST department? Having one Racing Ralph rip on a normal groomed made MTB course could be construed as unlucky but to have a second one go so quickly is ridiculous. The terrain is not rough – probably smoother than nearly every XC course I have ridden on. So good riddance to the RR and time to get the Maxis Larsen TT on the bike.

Has anyone else had a problem with Racing Ralph’s?

Spring Clean – small changes to the Ti Bride


There I had it – had an hour to spare whilst some computer effect work rendered so out to the garage it was.

OLD EGGBEATERS removed (free to a good home so drop me a line)

New XTR pedals put on …

 

like a big fat zero

 

 

Old 2BLISS Specialised ‘The Captain’ removed – only holds air for two days – its a UST / 2bliss ready hatefest.

New Racing Ralph put on (hopefully not to be destroyed like the last one)

 

 

all sorted

 

 

SPIFFING … and back to work

HAVE YOU HAD A CLEAN OUT / OVERHAUL LATELY?

 

To go faster offroad go fat and go soft: tubeless tires debunked


Peter Nilges did his graduate dissertation at the German College of Physical Education, Cologne, and researched the subject of rolling resistance. The article was published in themountainbike-magazin.de.

Peter measured rolling resistance under varying conditions. Three different tyres (Schwalbe’s Fast Fred, Racing Ralph and Albert Brothers) in three different widths and at four different pressure levels (1.5, 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0 bar – c. 21, 28, 43 and 57 p.s.i.). The test course is an uphill grade, 460 m in length, with side by side road, gravel and a meadow surfaces. Nearly 350 test rides totalling a distance of 150 kilometres.

Effect of tyre tread pattern on rolling resistance

mtb_tyre_rolling_resistance.jpg

The Albert Brothers, with their coarse tread pattern, were the hardest to roll on all surfaces. Surprisingly enough studded Racing Ralph’s fine pattern rolls easier on-road than Fast Fred, a semi-slick, while positions are reversed off-road. The explanation is likely to be found in the structure of the tread pattern and the carcasses’ flexibility (Evolution Design). Racing Ralph’s studs protrude significantly further but in the tread area are spaced more closely so that they nearly form an uninterrupted centre ridge. This lets the tyre roll more smoothly on firm ground, as opposed to continually descending into the gaps between individual studs, only to have to rise again. Off-road on the other hand flexibility has a more significant influence than the tread pattern. The thinner rubber layer on the carcass of a semi-slick can adapt more easily to an uneven surface.

Effect of tyre width on rolling resistance

mtb_rolling_resitance.jpg

The test covered widths from 2″ to 2.4″, or 50 to 62 mm. While on-road there is no marked difference between a narrow and a wide tyre, off-road the wide tyre is proven to roll more easily! The rougher the ground, the greater the advantage, as the data obtained on grass proves. The wider tyre’s contact area is wider, but shorter. Moreover wider tyres have larger diameters, and again that improves rolling. Off-road rolling resistance decreases significantly with increased tyre width. For instance on grass the wide mountain bike tyres required 15.41 W less rolling resistance power than their narrower equivalents.

Effect of tyre pressure on rolling resistance

mtb_tyre_pressure_rolling_resistance.jpg

As soon as you leave the road, reducing tyre pressures does not just leave rolling resistance more or less unaffected, as can be heard here and there, but actually reduces rolling resistance! This is true even on level paths of fine gravel, but the rougher the ground, the greater the effect, as the grassy ground shows. Reducing tyre pressure from 4 to 1.5 bar (57 to 21 p.s.i.) can save an averaged 20 W! The main reason for this is the unevenness of the ground. A tyre with less inflation can adapt to unevenness more easily. The total system needs to be lifted to a lesser degree and less frequently. Resistance is reduced, less power is required. Off-road a reduction of tyre pressure reduces rolling resistance. In a meadow for instance going back from 4.0 to 1.5 bar (57 to 21 p.s.i.) can save remarkable 18 Watts of power.

tyre_pressure_rolling_resistance.jpg

On an identical course and at exactly the same speed, the widest of the tyres tested here at 1.5 bar (21 p.s.i.) requires a solid 50 W less power than a narrow tyre at 4.0 bar (57 p.s.i.).

Rolling Resistance Conclusions

Anyone who wants to ride really fast off-road needs to decrease tyre pressure. The rougher the ground, the more pronounced the effect. In addition traction and comfort increase, too. Due to their thin and flexible structure, semi-slicks offer the best start-up values for minimizing rolling resistance off-road. With a reduction in pressure, however, the risk of a flat increases. And traction with the semi-slick is limited. So the answer to the question of which width is best off-road clearly reads ‘fat tyre’ both for superior traction and snake bite prevention.

For cross-country-races and marathons involving only a small percentage of tarmac a wide tyre with low pressure is recommended. The most overestimated aspect here is the frequently criticized extra weight of the wider tyre. To accelerate a pair of tyres with an extra weight of 500 g from 0 to 25 kph in 4 seconds requires an additional 4.2 W power. On the other hand the wider tyre on a grassy surface saves you 15.5 W against a narrower specimen, and this at the low speed of 9.5 kph. Moreover the rolling resistance reduction has a continuous effect while lighter weight is only of relevance during acceleration.

Translation thanks to www.bicicletta.co.za

Lennard Zinn on rolling resistance

“During any rolling resistance test, you obviously have to keep tire pressure constant so that you can compare apples to apples. Beyond that, tire pressure should come down when the road is wet or rough, and not just for shock absorption. If the road is rough, the tire has less rolling resistance when softer since the small bumps and gravel chunks are absorbed into the tire, rather than throwing the entire bike and rider up and back as happens with high pressure, costing energy and requiring re-acceleration of the bike. It’s the same reason for why the rolling resistance of a mountain bike is reduced with suspension and low-pressure, tubeless tires – the “sprung weight” is reduced.”

Kirroughtree 10 – 2010 ‘mud and mayhem’


Change over for teams

How good was that?

Total Shock and Awe on a bicycle. Quite possibly the best biking weekend of the year so far – went down Friday after putting the girls to bed. The team were registering so I didnt have to and after one dropout we had to rejig teams so i was put in a team of 3 with two other teams of 4 taking part.
Staying in something called Conifers – a mtb’ing owner so friendly reception.

nick either fired up or needing a poo

My nice teamates made more than a few comments about the big front wheeled 96’er ‘clown bike’ was a bit harsh I thought …. but i was to be vindicated.

After the crappy internet entry and bad updated website the No Fuss organisation for the day was good, top course and perfect enduro setting and then the rain really started.

1st lap - and this was in the dry

It rained – it was muddy – the loops off the regular trail broke up immediately and slithering and OTB was the order of the day for most on the downhill sections – saw an ambulance (or 4) take away the badly injured and that doesnt count those had to get taken to A&E to patch up by their mates. Ramon after getting a bright pink bandage on his first lap – baled again on the second – hit the same spot but this time made a whole right down to under muscle.
Great mortals just let rip across the routes and mud and somehow made it to the bottom (in most cases). The race was cut short by an hour due to deteriorating conditions and after certain sections had been closed – so i had to miss my 3rd lap and instead have a massage and a beer while john was still out on the course. This did not detract from the challenge or the sense of achievement.

Garmin Screen 1
Garmin Screen 2

Nick came in for the team of 4 with only 10seconds left on the clock – they had done 7 laps along with the other team of 4 and we in the team of 3 had only managed 8 laps in the 9 hours.

After my second lap - much muddier

Stuart after his first lap

Carver did me pride as the clown bike survived 2 foot drops into mud potholes without flipping me over the bars like all the regular riders. Never bailed once just one clumsy sidefall on mud and a few dabs on the course. Respect though to a singlespeed 29’er and a mad man on a cyclocross bike.

Stayed a night down there but even my bike was a bit damaged as the Rohloff cable was fecked by the mud.

race numbers stopped some of the spray
Mark and sore shoulder - the second most injured in our team

New tyre (ned) on racing ralph is dead


Pissed off that Racing Ralph has tear on the seam that cant be repaired – bought a pretty cheap (£23) Specialized  tubeless tyre for the race on Saturday.

Overend

Fitted looks quite tall

not the raciest tread

XTR brake on rear looks neat

XTR and Rohloff yummy

Lots of stopping power too.

Carron Valley destroyed my bike again


Well slight exaggeration – but my liking of this course has not improved.

this video is before they carried out work on the trails – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgbGiuYFN-0

Went down the run and smacked (or more appropriately twatted)  a massive rock and heard it hit the downtube and crunch underneath. Then further down the run the rear started feeling squishy – stopped at the bottom to see sealant pissing out of a small hole …. to make matters worse it was the Racing Ralph UST tyre which just went on and which costs a fortune.

I opened the bag and got out the spare inner tube which I have been carrying for years unused to discover it was a 1.75-1.95 inner tube – oops not great for a 2.3 tyre … still in it went – pumped up the tyre and although a bit loose went for the second lap.

Changes to Carron Valley:

Top section very smooth now – taken away the singletrack wild edge it used to have – the one drop (kelpies staircase) they did have is now very tame. Pipeline however is great – new little prejump sections which get you up higher so yo can land on the downslope …. I lacked the balls, youth, suspension and deathwish to do some of them – but the second run was nicer so i am sure 4 in a row would be great.

little jaunt on old bikes


Nice single-speed day out with Findlay. He is the proud owner of a steel beast and my Klein needed a run out.

Went exploring for trails and although we never really found any (except a boggy field full of cow shit) it was still nice to stretch the legs for a couple of hours.

Felt me legs burning this morning on cycling the girls to school and nursery.

Going Tubeless


I have been tubeless on my MTN Bikes since 2000 and there’s plenty of benefits to this system,  greater traction, generally lighter weight, and fewer flat tires. I have always gone the UST way until I bought the front wheel for the Carver ….

UST approved tires and rims are the ultimate for ease of installation and reliability. Using non-UST rims and/or tires can make installation vary from tricky to difficult. If you do ride hard trails regularly, and have to run high air pressures to avoid pinch-flats, or ride in areas where thorns are a problem, then a tubeless conversion would probably make the most  sense.

merida 100 marathon – Selkirk

For the ultimate in tubeless tire reliability it is always a good idea to use UST or tubeless ready equipment. Mavic and Hutchison worked together to create UST, or Universal System for Tubeless, to solve problems associated with leaving tubes behind and set standards for other rim and tire manufacturers to work towards. UST compatible systems should allow the user to install the tires by hand and inflate with a standard floor pump. The tires will have an extra layer of rubber inside the carcass to seal against leaks. They do not have to be used with a liquid sealant.

Stan’s No Tubes has become a key figure in the tubeless movement, taking some of the customers and making fans with their simple, yet effective conversion systems. Most any standard rim can be converted to a tubeless system with a Stan’s No Tubes Rim strip kit or the combination of fiberglass strapping tape and their yellow rim tape. Both options will seal the spoke holes. The former will work best with tyres that are a bit “loose” on the rim and the latter for “tighter” tyres. This conversion is a little bit more work than slamming a tyre on a UST rim, but it can work great. We’ve used both Stan’s rim strips and their tape kits with great success.

Valve stem choice must be made according to rim cross section. Mavic and Shimano rims really need their own proprietary valve because of the channel shape in the center of the rim. Stan’s valves work fine in their rims and most other kinds, but make sure that the valve hole in the rim isn’t drilled so big that the small rubber end of the valve stem can easily pull through. Some buy cheapy presta tubes and cut the valve stem out of them, leaving a small disc of rubber at the base.

Tyre choice can make or break the success of the conversion.
Obviously, UST tyres are going to work well. UST tyres also have an extra layer of butyl rubber inside the tire carcass to hold in air and this offers a slightly stiffer and more puncture resistant sidewall. For this reason, UST tyres are heavier than their non-UST counterparts. Tubeless Ready tyres are designed to be run tubeless, so they have a stiffer bead for safety, but they lack the extra layer of rubber inside. They are a good choice for those wanting lighter tubeless systems and don’t mind pumping their tires up more often.

Here’s where it gets sticky, most people will choose to run a liquid sealant anyway because of its puncture sealing properties. So why go UST? Good question. As stated before, UST tyres are stiffer, so for extreme terrain they are a great choice. Any other tyre will benefit from sealant, as it seals the bead to get started and seals punctures when they happen out on the trail. However, many tyre manufacturers do not recommend that tire sealant be used with their tires. Kenda, for example, states that the use of liquid sealants will void their tire warranty.

From my perspective, going tubeless offers some advantages that outweigh the work and expense of the conversion. A tubeless conversion will almost always be a wee bit lighter than similar tubed equipment. Potential weight savings aside, the real benefit is performance. I used to run my tyres with 20 psi more pressure than i do now. Looking back, i suffered a bit with a bouncing bike to avoid pinch flats on the block rocky Cape Town trails – something that is less of a problem in Scotland. The firm tyre i also thought would be quicker as there was less drag (from the bigger patch in contact with the path) Although any minuscule increase in speed is nothing compared to the loss of energy that is caused when the trail robs some of that forward energy to bounce you and bike upwards over obstacles.

I now get a much more comfortable ride because of the lower air pressure that I am able to use. Slightly softer tyres conform a little more to the trail so traction is increased. Let’s see…better ride, more traction, and far fewer flat tyres. This is why we like product development. Do i have flats?  Apart from a torn tyre wall twice and a bent valve that then leaked air  not really.

While riding on the trail, it is important to remember to do things differently when you hear the inevitable psssst-pssst-pssst as you roll over something nasty. With tubes, you normally stop when that happens. With tubeless, and especially with liquid sealant in your tires, it is important to keep riding. Maintaining momentum will allow sealant to reach the puncture zone and do its work. If the hole is anything but a legitimate gash, liquid sealant does wonders if allowed to form a clot. Of course, if the hole is too big for the sealant to do its work, you can always install a standard tube. Simply remove your tubeless valve stem and install the tube as normal.

New 650b wheel for Carver


Going to get a 650b wheel made up for the carver. Stan’s ZTR 355 run tubeless on a Hope 2 hub with a lightweight  160mm rotor.

This should stop the very slight toe overlap from the 29’er wheel yet still give small bump compliance of a larger wheel.

The Stan’s No Tubes ZTR 355 650b Disc Rim is a lightweight 650b rim. At about 385g, it is comparable to most 26 inch rim weights, and can save valuable rotational weight to further enhance the 650b experience. The design takes advantage of both disc and tubeless technology to build a rim that is strong, thanks to a triangulated shape that holds the tire firmly, thanks to re-thinking what it takes for a rim to hold a tire. The tight fit makes running low pressure tubed or tubeless easy, and the short rim wall means that both pinch flats and “burping” is less common.

The Stan’s No Tubes ZTR 355 650b Disc Rim is crafted from 6061 aluminum and is drilled for 32 spokes — no eyelets.  The rim works with and without tubes. Maximum tire pressure for 2.2” or larger tires is 40psi, 2.0”(43psi), 1.5” (50psi), 1.0” (55psi). 385g.

Ride





New Racing Ralph’s on the bike following my torn sidewall and bent valve …. sounds bad but then it may be because I am to blame:

Stopped to add air to rear tyre
Pushed handpump tyre on hard and THAT bent the valve.
So valve broken and pissing air (a technical term) I resorted to pumping up madly and then riding sections back – stopping whenever the back went really squirly ……
Think I rode it too flat and torn sidewall only appeared then.

So Racing Ralph on and new valve and I headed down the road (only a 5 mile cycle from here) to ride around Cathkin Braes where the 2014 commonwealth mtb course will be set. Not bad geographical venue although it’s going to be quite a build to get a top XC course in there – but brilliant for heritage and will be the closest course to Glasgow …..

Think there is more to explore but was a tad tired from the 5-a-side the night before so quite an easy one as also was trying to navigate and find a possible cracking loop. Appently the Glasgow MTB Club do a turn down there so must find out what they do.

only the 2nd UST tyre destroyed in 5 years.



new tyre on tonight.

Tired time for bed bust just put a racing ralph Schwalbe UST tyre on the carver after busting a valve and tearing a sidewall on the Michelin UST tyre that was on while cycling Carron Valley on Wednesday.

bent valve
Ride tomorrow should sort it out.

Selkirk 100


Just back from 6 weeks work in the Middle East and with the Xizang sitting at home in the cupboard I thought it was time to put it through it’s paces.

the route via Garmin

Had entered the Selkirk 100 (well actually 75km) and although training was virtually non existent – unless of course sitting on a gym bike counts as real training – I was up for it. I had ordered some UST tubeless tyres for the race and a new Rock Shox SID team 2007 fork …. tyre sent was the wrong one and the Fork was at my friend’s house. A little moan as he was supposed to race but had decided to bail out and had gone to see girlfriend in Birmingham leaving my fork locked in his flat. Oh crap.



Still went along ready for the 19 degree C and sunny weather that the forecast had predicted … instead rain and mud. So tyre choice crap Kenda Karma2.0 (nice tyre in any not wet conditions pretty fast rolling and good grip) back (tubed) and UST Schwalbe Skinny Jimmy 1.9 on the front. Forks still 10 year old SIDs which may have blown seal as they barely compress. Wearing in the Rohloff Speedhub hasn’t even started – it is supposed to take 1000 miles – so a race is not the most sensible way to start.
During the race the gear chang
es on the Rohloffseemed to get stiffer and stiffer – thought at first it was sore wrists after all the falls but something definitely wrong. Only twigged a few days later that the cut off bar grip had slipped and was so tight against the twist shift that the friction was making changes difficult. Now aware of it it is easy to avoid

So blame the equipment but it was me at fault … not fit enough and due to weather / practice / equipment I must have fallen off or gone over the bars at least 12 times in the race.

The bars on my saddle are bent now –

too many crashes or just shoddy construction. After 5h 42m with a terrible ave speed I came in 64th.

Retirement even before I felt competitive.

Still a few changes since then. Put on a 90cm stem and the new Sid forks and the bike is feeling great again….

who knows I might actually get some miles in soon.

new fork and stem