Elan Valley Mountain Biking

I’ve recently been to the Elan Valley for a weekend with a few friends. It was only 2 weeks ago but looking at the weather outside today it feels like it was months ago. As you’ll see from the video above we had the last of the summer weather and we all agreed it was one of the best weekends we’ve had away.

I’d ridden some of the routes before so wanted to show the guys who hadnt been a good time and also wanted to ride me some new stuff. So Day 1 was pretty familiar, Day 2 a hybrid of some routes I’d been studying on the MBWales website.

Most of the riding in the area can be found on the MB Wales website link below. My advice is to look at the routes and pick and chose the bits you want to do and creat a hybrid in a route planner like OS Maps.

The riding is mostly pretty good going and suitable for all with a reasonable fitness level. Techinically there’s a few areas that will test your handling skills should you decide to ride at speed, but its generally a friendly area to ride. Some steep hills will likely have you pushing or puking! There is a climb that is called “puke hill” that will have your front wheel wandering and lifting and takes some effort top stay positioned for the duration.

Be prepared with food, water and layers as the riding is remote and if you find yourself caught in bad weather or with a mechanical or accident, as you will find yourself in a remote spot.

To provide some variety to the natural beauty, recently some flow trails have been built close to the Caban Coch Reservoir. These provide some groomed smooth trail fun and as they are only a short pedal from the Elan Valley Visitor Centre, they make for a nice finish to a ride.

We camped at Elan Oaks campsite just down from the visitor centre and it was perfect for all our needs, ie it had a shower and a toilet block.

Hope you enjoy the videos, if you want to know anything about the routes please let me know. I’m tempted to put a little pack together with routes and advice.

Thanks, Tim

CO2 vs Mini Pump

In my latest video I’ve used my expert knowledge and experience to deliver a no nonsense overview of a couple of CO2 adapters and how the use of such devices compare with a mini pump.

Be awesome if you head over to youtube and watch it and leave your comments there.

Big thanks!

take care

Here’s another one – about tyre sealant..

Forest of Dean ride with Pinned TV

Wow! I haven’t uploaded here since November 15th…  Maybe its time to knock the blog on the head. What do you think?  What would you like to see here?

Anyway – one of my more recent videos has got a great response on YouTube.

I think I got everything right – thumbnail, title, tags etc and it helped that those things mentioned/featured a successful MTB channel – Pinned TV

If you haven’t seen it yet – its a simple vlog from a day in the Forest of Dean on a large group ride with Pinned TV and Si & Oliver from Malverns Classic.

pinned capture

Massive thanks to Jim (Pinned TV) who, a week after I uploaded my video uploaded his and gave me shout out and link to my channel.

So – go an watch it – PLEASE subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already…

 

 

 

AllyGuard / First Impressions

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AllyGuard – looks stealthy

There might be a really good reason I haven’t seen an aluminum mudguard on a bike before but I’ve been asked to take a look by the guys at AllyGuard, who are designing some new accessories for your bike out of aluminum.

I have just fitted the black version to my bike so this is a very early first impression.  I’ll check in after a few weeks riding to see how its holding up to some “ahem” Spring weather in the UK!

I will say, it looks very nice on my bike.

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AllyGuard – plenty of clearance

The boost RockShox Revelation fork on my San Quention have plenty of clearance for 2.6 inch Schwalbe tyres and a thicker than normal front fender.

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AllyGuard – black is the new black

The stealthy look against black forks and stanchions is very cool indeed but that is crying our for some orange stickers or paint to match my Marin…  I’ll have to think about that.

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AllyGuard – Protection against rattle and frame rub

The aluminum guard comes with some foam pads to protect against frame rub and rattle. I’m not entirely sure how long these will last, so I will be keeping a close eye and maybe upgrading to 3M tape over the top to keep them in place and waterproof it.

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AllyGuard – Protection against rattle and frame rub

The AllyGuard fits to your fork just like any other front mud guard, but as its made of metal the point where it meets the frame requires some padding. As per above – this is the area I will be keeping a close eye on.

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AllyGuard – Protection against rattle and frame rub

The guard comes with all the pads and cable ties you need and fitting is  doddle as you’d expect.

AllyGuard – safety is definitely our number one priority. The cable ties fitted and spares or specifically chosen in strength to ensure any riding conditions however in the unlikely scenario that the rider were to fall onto the guard with a substantial force the cable ties will break detaching the AllyGuard from the bike dissipating the energy minimising any risk to the rider.

Our guards are made from grade A1050 aluminium, this grade is chosen because of it’s very high ductility. Meaning no matter how deformed the guard gets if at all it can be bent back to shape countless times, although we wouldn’t want you riding around with a guard looking past its best so we would probably just replace it for you.

Being a softer aluminium if the AllyGaurd were ever to contact the stanchions it would not scratch it as the densities between the AllyGuard and the stanchion are so drastically different as the stations are a vary dense hard alloy.

They come in raw/silver and black and are available from AllyGuard’s ebay store – link below.

allyguard1

Follow AllyGuard in Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allyguard/

Buy yours here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AllyGuard-MTB-DH-Aluminium-front-Mudguard-Mountain-bike-accessory-Downhill-/382636044741

allyguard in colour

The Next Best Thing

Adidas TERREX Trail Cross MTB Shoes
Adidas TERREX Trail Cross MTB Shoes

If you have just starting out in mountain biking its likely you’ve gone out and bought yourself a hardtail from your LBS (local bike shop) along with some basics such as a helmet, multitool, tyre levers and a pump.

I know I thought I had everything I needed at home as I had bikes of sorts, so must have all that I needed. I didn’t really but I had enough to get me started. Before long you will find excuses to buy new tools, fancy mini pumps, specific clothing and backpacks with more pockets than you think you will ever need.  Continue reading “The Next Best Thing”