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.

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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

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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”

Winter is here

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Hello!

I’ve had a self induced few weeks off the bike while doing a mini challenge and some intense training for a half marathon that I completed last week.  Yes, I ran 13.1 miles on the road in just under 1 hour 59 minutes.  I may be a little hooked on the idea of doing more of this, but more on that another day. For now though…

It’s on!

Yes its on, the heating is on. Winter is here! I have caved and let her put the central heating on (but I will be checking the thermostat everyday) and as every bike ride is likely to include a mud bath, its nice to know I can come home to a warm house and a hot shower!

Its the season to “make the most of it”. Getting out on those cold and damp days, rather than when its chucking it down with rain, and get out and do some “Winter miles” for those “Summer smiles”.

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Winter miles they say…

The trails on my doorstep are muddy from about mid November through to March.  We pray for the frost and stick to the ones with rocks, roots and less clay content. There is no winter/mud tyre that can cope with clay!

This limits  our options so its time to get some longer rides in. So I got my Winter Season off to a good start on Sunday with about 35 miles of pedaling.

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Mud bath

It was just me on Sunday; though I did make plans to meet a few others from MB Swindon for a coffee stop in Marlborough. However that didn’t happen due to the other group of riders having some mechanicals and running over an hour late.

So I did what I like to do and rode, explored, made it up as I went along and stopped to take a few photos.

I had my own “mechanical” that involved forgetting my keys and the rest of the family had gone out. Luckily like a good Boy Scout (I was never in the Scouts), I was prepared.

I was wet and beginning to get cold, so armed only with the contactless paying capabilities of my iPhone I somehow found sustenance and warmth by way of a visit to my local Costa for a cup of tea and cheese toastie. I changed my wet socks, broke out my spare gloves too…  I survived Bear Grylls eat your heart out!

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Not a very exciting blog post, but with so many photos taken on Sunday I had to write something and share them…

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Coffee Stop #1 of the Day. Greggs in Marlborough
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Obligatory Instagram photo

 

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Here’s some of that mud I mentioned
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Somewhere under there is a crank and chain ring
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That’s nice!

The Italian Job – Nant Yr Arian

I am sure there are better sections of trail – I know there are. Steeper, faster, more technical etc but The Italian Job is something special I think.

This was my second visit to Nant Yr Arian and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this trail centre. We rode the Summit trail which perfectly suited our needs to top off the weekend of riding in Snowdonia.  Approx 2 hours of trail with some of the best purpose built singletrack you can ride.

Everyone talks about the Mark of Zorro (a seemingly never ending 2km descent zig zagging through the pines to the bottom of the hill), and High as a Kite (the final tree stump ridden exposed descent to the centre).  Don’t get me wrong, these are both excellent trail sections – the entire trail is a great one actually – but the Italian Job is a real treat and here’s why.

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Nant Yr Arian’s cafe and trail head is at 300m which makes it different to many that we are used to in South Wales for instance, where they are typically situated 200m lower. As you can see from the pic above (the view from the car park), this means you already have some height gained and Nant Yr Arian delivers you a cracking piece of singletrack and a great descent within 5 mins of the car park!

The Summit Trail as a whole is superb and yes Mark of Zorro is a real thrill but the Italian Job delivers smiles and grins straight away.

I need to go back for another go ASAP.

Here’s Mark of Zorro just for good measure!

Contact Info

For trail information call the Nant yr Arian visitor centre: 01970 890453

Visit http://naturalresources.wales  or email: bnya@naturalresourcewales.gov.uk

Follow Nant yr Arian on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bwlchnantyrarian

Getting There

Located 10 miles east of Aberystwyth on the A44, two miles west of Ponterwyd.

For Sat Nav/GPS/Mapping Services use: SY23 3AB
OS
Grid Reference: SN718813

Forget last weeks GoPro advice

Last week I said – “Chest cam footage is boring!”

Its is mostly, unless your are watching something Kurt Sorge hitting the 2016 RedBull Rampage course.

This has a certain appeal as you can feel the 50 foot gap jumps and vertical drops.

I don’t ride like this, so if I want anyone to watch or even be a little bit interested in my videos I need to do something different. My tips for ONLY using one angle such as the chest mount:

1. Keep the video short – 1 minute or so
2. Within the video keep the clips to a few seconds each
3. If you want to show long sections of the same bit if trail, just chop a second or two out of it along the way. It may look jerky at times, but this is a far more interesting in my opinion.
4. Maybe add some music – be careful as Youtube is a bit fussy on the copyright – Music is especially useful if you want to cover up swearing, shouting or to make a longer video a little more appealing

So once again with some music courtesy of Youtube’s library of tunes

If you have any more tips please post them below…