…about mountain biking is the views after all that effort.
June 15th, 2013
June 14th, 2013
I’ve been running a day-glow yellow Freestyle Gore-Tex Paclite jacket for about 10 years and it’s been excellent, but it’s finally started leaking at the seams and looks really grubby now.
With the January sale on Wiggle, I bagged this jacket at nearly 40% off, which to me seemed more reasonable than the insane RRP of £200.
I’ve been using it for six months now and it’s proven utterly brilliant at keeping the elements out in all weathers, to the point that my base layer and this jacket have replaced my old faithful Endura Windchill jacket and a couple of thinner layers on rides.
Like the old Pac-lite version it’s made to fold small, and the XL version takes up about double the space of an MTB inner tube, so it can just sit in my Rucksack during the warmer months without me needing to remove essentials like Jelly Babies and flapjacks from it.
It hasn’t exactly been a dry winter/spring this year and with a fortnightly wash in Nixwak Tech Wash, has kept this working as if it were still new; the couple of minor off’s I’ve had have not resulted in any tears to the fabric.
What has proven a nightmare is the waterproof zips, the pull tags are so small and have plastic covers on them, so it’s impossible to use then with any kind of glove on, during the winter months this proved a little tiresome when you want to quickly deal with some simple heat management.
Is it worth £200? I’m not sure it is, but if you can get it for nearer £150 then I’d highly recommend it, based on the last six months of heavy usage I’m going to get many years out of this jacket so it’s long-term value is great.
- Great fit with long sleeves
- Works brilliantly on a day long ride in pouring rain
- Reflective bits really stand out at night
- Removes sweat better than any other jacket I’ve used
- Packs down to a tiny bundle
- Really expensive on RRP (£200!)
- Zips are impossible to use with gloves on
- Velcro cuffs don’t stick for long
June 14th, 2013
So last Sunday I took part in the 50km route of Gorrick’s Test Valley Tour – Hot Challenge, it was a very different affair to the Wiggle Super Series and really relaxed with a lot of friendly people.
The route got a little technical in a few places, but nothing too taxing, even better this is the first challenge I’ve not had to get off of the bike to push up a hill.
After finishing the family joined me and we had a nice picnic together, we even sampled the excellent BBQ that was on offer, so a nice day was had by all.
Really recommend taking part in this if you get the chance, I’ll definitely be going to the Cold Challenge in October.
April 29th, 2013
Especially when it’s an action shot!
Taken during the Wiggle Ups & Downs 2013 event
April 28th, 2013
Spent my Saturday morning venturing in the hills near Dorking on the 2nd MTB event of the Wiggle Super Series, I really enjoyed this one, for me it was a lot easier than the Southern Rough Ride in the South Downs, which pretty much killed me.
Times came in last night and I got a gold, which was fantastic considering I was waiting on the tops of climbs for a friend.
April 13th, 2013
So the last few years I’ve just been doing MTB for fun, but late in 2012 I decided that I should start getting back into events of some sort, I didn’t particularly want to do racing in 2013, so after doing some research I found the Wiggle Super Series events.
In March I took part in the Southern Rough Ride, which is a 25 mile cycle through the South Downs starting in Amberley.
I’m still typing up my review of it, but I’ve enjoyed it so much I’m now booked into several events for the rest of the year, which includes Wiggle and Test Valley Tour, hopefully I’ll increase the amount of miles I take on with each challenge.
April 12th, 2013
My old XT bottom bracket finally gave seized up and needed replacing, I was looking at the Hope Steel Bearing one, but didn’t have the spare cash to get one at the time, so decided to go with a very cheap gap stop, which is why I got this Token MTB TK878EX Hollowtech bottom bracket which cost me a total of £17!
Build quality seemed good and there’s a wide choice of colours if that’s your thing, installation was also very easy (as it should be for this kind of fitting) and once fitted it was really smooth; on the scales it weighs in at 105g.
I’ve now ridden it through a large amount of mud, deep puddles and snow, as well as given it a good blast using a pressure washer a few times, I was surprised to see it held up well for 6 months of some awful conditions, a couple of months later however, it really started to show that it was a on the cheaper end of the scale in build and the seals just didn’t work as well as they should.
Once the late winter decided it should snow again and the temperatures dropped along with it, the Token BB ended up freezing and I had to bring it inside to thaw it out, which clearly showed that the seals were not doing the job anymore.
Taking it apart showed that there was a huge cake of mud inside and stuck to the sealed bearings.
So the big question is, if paying £17 is worth it against £30 for a Shimano XT one, based on the fact that my last XT BB lasted 2.5 years, it’s not worth it as an investment, however the Token BB is probably worth it if you’re heavily cash strapped and need something to get you through a season.
- Great colour choice
- Smooth to begin with
- Bearing are replaceable
- Not a long term investment
- Seals aren’t up to the challenge
- Replacement bearings are nearly as much as a new BB
- Anodising comes off when fitting
December 12th, 2012
Glasses fogging has long been an issue for me and since I switched to a pair of Oakley Jawbones with vented lenses, I’ve been forced to remove them every time I stop for more than a few seconds, which is annoying.
I found the Muc-Off Anti-Fog Treatment spray by accident when looking for the bike cleaner spray, I’ve used something similar to the inside screen of my car, so I was interested to find out how it would work here.
The bottle itself is small and easy to chuck in your bag, before each ride you just need to spray the inside of the glasses with a thin coat and after leaving it there for a minute wipe off with a lens cloth.
I’ve now been using this spray for six months and it’s been tested in a variety of conditions over 3 seasons and has performed very well, the only issues have been during long rides where it was very humid and hovering at about 5c-10c, I tend to run quite hot when on the bike, so while the lens had some minor condensation on it, it wasn’t so bad as that I had to stop or remove the sunglasses, but it was noticable.
Because you use so little the spray will also last about a year if you use it weekly, for the cost of the bottle, it’s very low risk and will last you ages, it definitely makes a difference compared to not using any.
October 30th, 2012
Yes, I admit it’s been a long time since I updated, let’s be honest though, the summer was pretty horrific, around here I think I had a total of 3 weeks of completely dry running, which has now disappeared and been replaced with even deeper puddles.
The bike has had a couple of upgrades, including a set of Rock Shox Reba RL forks, some Superstar grips and a soon to be fitted Superstar Grande Bambino headset, it also had a new cassette and chain fitted, after the old one blew up in spectacular fashion.
It’s been riding pretty nicely though, and I’m now ready to add some more reviews after giving some of the stuff I got over the last six months a proper thrashing, most impressive has been the XT M785 Disc Brakes, which have had pad replacements already, but other than that have required no adjustment whatsoever.
May 4th, 2012
So the small patch of dry weather didn’t hold and it’s now been coming down in Noah like proportions.
Last weekend I took the kids for a walk through Broxbourne Woods to see how bad it was and in some places it was really bad with rivers and lakes all over the place.
My mid-week ride this week I decided to follow part of the same route that we walked before only to discover in the last few days there’s been some major uprootings.
Don’t think I’ll be doing a little bunny hop over that!