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

Lee Quarry – A Sort of Review

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Lee Quarry

Why a sort of review? Cos I only “sort of” rode there.

Being a little pushed for time but also being in the neighbourhood of one of the first “trail centres” I heard of when I started mountain biking a few years ago, meant that I had to give it some sort of a visit. And the sun was shining so it would have been rude not to, even if I was only able to stay for an hour or so. So here goes: Continue reading “Lee Quarry – A Sort of Review”

Wildcat Gear – Bikepacking Kit

Wildcat Gear – Bikepacking Kit
Wildcat Gear - Lion, Tiger and Ocelot
Wildcat Gear L-R : Tiger, Ocelot and Lion

Good bikepacking and camping kit is not cheap. Lets get straight to it. To kit yourself out with enough gear to support you for even one night under the stars (or the drizzle!) can cost you £100s. Seriously this is not for the faint of heart or tight of pocket.

A good sleeping bag and by good I mean light, warm and one that can pack down to a manageable size can cost you £100 or more on its own. Ask around, hit the bike and bivi forums and you will get advice from regular bikepackers on where the best buys are – I recently looked at tents for instance and found that for a 1 man portable tent I could pay  anywhere from £50 to £200 – for a one man tent yes!

Don’t forget your sleeping mat, stove, food, change of clothes and all the usual paraphernalia that we carry on our backs for a long day in the mountains and on the bike. The shopping list is long…

MTB Guiding using Wildcat Gear
Tom Hutton of MTB Guiding

You can take your chances with weight, price and brand of all of this kit and do it on a budget, risking your night of comfort possibly and carrying some extra weight or you can go the other end of the scale and invest some money in good kit that is light. Which ever way you go you need to somehow fix all of this stuff to your bike.

Bar harness, seat post pouches, frame bags, etc – This is an area you should not compromise. Whatever you paid for your sleeping bag, you do not want it falling off the back of your bike in the mountains and getting wet and muddy or worse still it falls out and you don’t notice for a few hours!

And if you bought a super expensive tent or something that is maybe a bit on the heavy side you will want to make sure its fixed firmly to your handle bars (usually where it goes).

On a recent weekend bikepacking with MTB Guiding, myself and 2 friends were provided with a variety of different pieces of kit all securely fixed to our bikes using Wildcat Gear bikepacking harnesses. Once you have figured out the straps (this isn’t quite plug n play) its fantastic and the Lion bar mount and the Tiger for the seat post provide very sturdy platforms for your equipment.

We rode approx 90km through the Cambrian mountains in mid Wales and never lost an item and once secured the Lion in particular just seems to become part of the bike as it is fixed in 4 points to the fork and the bars.

The weekend with MTB Guiding was a taster as you can’t simply spend £100s and £100s on all this equipment to find that you don’t enjoy bikepacking and I certainly enjoyed it. I will be doing this again soon and at the top of my shopping list is this superb kit from Wildcat Gear.

You can buy in a few stores, or try the website:

Retailers – http://www.wildcatgear.co.uk/retail-stockists/

Web shop – http://www.wildcatgear.co.uk/shop/

 

 

 

GoPro HERO 4 Session – review

gopro hero 4 session review

As promised a few weeks back I am now going to do a brief review of the brilliant GoPro HERO 4 Session Action Camera.  Did I say ‘brilliant’?   I meant ‘simple’ and ‘easy to use’.

This is my 3rd GoPro. I started with a HERO 960 a few years ago and instantly fell in love with photographing and filming myself slowly riding through trees and down muddy slopes.

Continue reading “GoPro HERO 4 Session – review”

Review – Booicore Changing Towel

Booicore - Changing Towel
Revenge of the Muddy Sith!

Remember those days when you used to change in and out of your sandy swimmers on the beach when you were younger?  Your Mum would hold the towel around you promising you that no-one could see your tiny little butt and stuff…  Well, here’s the news – everyone could see around the back!

Continue reading “Review – Booicore Changing Towel”