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Quote of the Day: Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5

Tyres for the Alps? The question is currently burning like Madras with too many chillis in the minds of the TFITers at the moment.

What do you take? Speed or grip? Which manufacturer? Which type?

Then like a poet sitting on the throne of truth (…!) Matt W sent through a sage Whatsapp this morning of a quote he read on BikeRadar about the Maxxis Minion DHF 3c 29 extolling the virtues of 2.5 over the 2.3…

… but if gravity is the gravy on your riding roast, the 2.5in is unbeatable…

Quite what the tyres are like I have no idea (although they get 4/5 on BR and are outrageously chunky looking) AND Mark T is sporting a close cousin on the front of his G13 at the moment.

But I have to say, Guy Kesteven – just wow, that is definitely my quote of the day…

Deathgrip

Brendan Fairclough, Brandon Semenuk, Josh Bryceland, Sam Hill, Andreau Lacondeguy, Sam Reynolds, Ryan Howard, Nico Vink, Andrew Neethling, Dan Atherton, Kyle Jameson, Olly Wilkins.

Yeah, that’s kind of a role call of the “somewhat super-talented” and “substantially fearless” right there.

So Mr Fairclough’s long gestating MTB monster of a film “Deathgrip” is out on various channels today. I’ve just pressed the hot and sweaty “buy” button on iTunes and will be enjoying this later tonight but in the meantime, check out the trailer if you are in any doubt at the size of these guys balls.

 

TrailAddiction no more

Wow. What a shocker.

While waiting for a code build this morning I had a quick browse of the interweb for all things MTB and Les Arcs related (37 days and counting) and came across the TrailAddiction site.

Or rather I didn’t, because all the site has on it is a “highly sterile notification” that TA have gone into administration.

This is super sad news because Trail Addiction have been stalwarts of Alps related fun for many a year and I know a couple of people who thoroughly enjoyed trips with them in the past. My heart also goes out to anyone who has (or had) a trip for this year booked with them as the statement on the site (related to package holidays):

These holidays will not be going ahead…

…seems fairly brutal and final to me. According to the TA site, it also looks like the Les Arcs Enduro2 event has been canned as well. That sucks. It really, really does. If you know anyone who has something booked – pass the word.

#Update – apparently this happened in March – shows you how on the ball I am! However, it still sucks monkey balls…

TrailAddiction? #TrailRehab

If only I’d fitted a tow bar

I’m lucky enough to live in a part of the world where I can ride out from my front door and get to a mass of excellent trails without ever having to look at my car. But, as with everyone else who likes to mix it up occasionally there comes a point where your MTB has to be attached to / inserted into your car to get to the trailhead.

And seeing as I live in the UK where a pickup truck is not really an option as a daily runabout that means using a bike rack of one kind or another. And that, if I’m honest, terrifies the living pants off me.

You know, that highly uncomfortable feeling when you catch sight of the “bike shadow” as you drive (clearly at no more than 65mph…) to the ride site and feel that slightly puckering feeling as you see it wobbling around in the wind or as you go round the corner.

So I’m always interested in any method of “securely” and “safely” transporting your beloved and highly precious bike that does not involve borrowing a van from your local friendly Bob. So it was with great interest I followed a link from James G this morning to check out Scorpion Racks.

This Surrey Hills based company offer a very sturdy and securely fixed mounting rack (with two fitting options – plate or towbar) which will take up to two bikes, is apparently Carbon Fibre friendly (they are from Surrey after all…), folds away and allows you to still access the boot if needed.

It’s not cheap at £349 but to be honest, securely fitting your bike to your car is not really something you want to skimp on. So all I’ve got to do is fit a towbar…

Trail Hazards, Mark’s G13 and a Jeffsy

Ah summer in Surrey. Dry trails. The marbles are in full blossom and the BOA (Bramble on Apex) have their thorny goodness available to snag the unwary rider on every corner. It is a thing of wonder and joy. Except of course for the little bitey bastard bugs or of course the ones with a death wish that seem to want to be eaten by you as you hurl yourself down your local trail.

However, mountain bikers of Surrey we should all rejoice – at least we have no bears! I refer you to the video James G sent me this morning posted by Dušan Vinžík on YouTube which shows what riders in Slovakia have to deal with. Kind of puts those “bitey bugs” in perspective doesn’t it – they may bite but they’re unlikely to eat you AND your bike…

I have to agree with panzerfaulst12345 though – just exactly why the fuck did they stop!?!

Anyway – for those that can there is a brief PB ridette this evening planned leaving mine at 7:30ish. After all we only have a rapidly reducing 58 days until wheels down in Les Arcs for “The Foam Tour 2017”.

And speaking of that, most have heard (and seen the results on Strava…) that Mark T has taken delivery of his Mojo/Nicolai G13. I think that’s what its called at any rate. I did catch Mr T taking delivery of it at Cycleworks and I’m looking forward to Mark leaving me in his dust on a TFIT in the near future. Hopefully now Mark has had chance to get a couple of rides in (and bagged some well respectable PRs and a 3rd on the TFIT roller) he’ll be commenting on his most considered of first impressions here soon.

And speaking of bike reviews – a certain Mr F spent last Friday at Swinley Forest at the YT Industries demo day trying out his current source of major temptation – the YT Jeffsy 29er – again, we hope for a post ride appraisal shortly

See you later or on Thursday

If your Mountain Bike could talk

It’s still Friday.

Still time to ponder what would happen if your MTB could talk…

Massive kudos to the guys at IFHT for this nugget of genius!! See you at Dave’s later

Sense of humour and DaveFest 2017

Ride a mountain bike? Chances are you probably have a sense of humour – and you don’t shave your legs – and you like mud – just like the guys at Transition Bikes!

While drooling over the new Transition Throttle 27.5 on their site yesterday I came across a couple of highly appropriate “cos its Friday” type videos for your general amusement. The first is the “Carbon Hardtail launch” video:

These perhaps might also get the TFITers into an appropriate mood for tonight’s inaugural “DaveFest” ride at Peaslake (thank you for the bed space Mr D and sorry for naming this as a fest…). Also a massive thank you in advance is rightly due to Mrs D who is simply a legend for agreeing to not only put up with crashing but also has agreed to FEED a houseful of slightly smelly guys on Saturday am!

Yep tonight we all have a free pass to head out to Peaslake for some of the best fun in the Surrey Hills – it’s been a while and I cannot wait. I’m hoping we get to try the drops I saw Hoong K and James G having some fun on a couple of weeks ago as well as maybe a bit of “Barry knows Best” before retiring for several post ride beers. And then some more. Meeting a David D’s ready to ride at 6:00 sharp!

So – it’s Friday – settle back with your bacon butty and morning coffee and enjoy some more Transition love as well as “How to be a Mountain Biker” (cheers to James G for the link).

This second one is particularly for Matt W, who somewhat shares Transition’s feelings about eBikes methinks!

Les Arcs MTB: Emily Horridge, La Varda and Mont Jovet

We have 93 days until Les Arcs 2017 and so it’s very timely that James G sent me a cracking link last night to a video he found of Emily Horridge, our guide on the Saturday of “The Foam Tour” as we head up to (and down) Mont Jovet.

The video shows Emily absolutely hammering down another highly fabled trail in the region “La Varda” and having seen a couple of other YouTube specials of this trail, all I can say is just “OH MY GOD”. Aside from clearly being awesome on an MTB I’ve also decided Emily is 183.2% cooler than I already thought she was due to the Transition Bikes logo at the start of the vid (these things matter…!). If you’ve got 10 minutes and you want to appreciate just how hard Emily is riding the trail, watch the video and then compare to the (highly respectable) video of the same trail on the DirtMountainBike article below. I think the word I’m looking for here is “commitment”…

This sent me on a quick Googlespasm and I came across this great article on DirtMountainBike:  “Here are another three amazing Alpine tracks that you’ve got to go and ride” which quotes TrailAddiction boss Ali Jamieson listing three amazing videos (at least one I’ve posted previously by Lars Thore Aarrestad) and what do you know – the article has both La Varda and Mont Jovet listed. The La Varda trail is described “Technical, scenic and exposed” and Mont Jovet as “Out and Out the longest, best and most varied flow-fest of a trail, ever

Wow!

20 to 30 minute Hike-a-Bike

So I’m still obsessing about Mont Jovet. It’s getting a bit worrisome to be honest. We are under 3 months from our Les Arcs trip and I simply keep thinking about the phrase “20-30 minute Hike-a-Bike” described on The Inside Line site…

The phrase fills me with a certain amount of dread for two specific reasons:

  1. Many moons ago on the first TFIT Morzine trip a certain Greg LB took us on a “slight trail detour”. That would be a slight trail detour that was straight up (and I mean straight vertically up) the side of a valley in Switzerland. We all made it to the top (and the ride down was simply epic) but Oh my God it nearly killed me.
  2. The ability of anyone who rides a MTB to underestimate the obstacles ahead for the benefit of those who are unaware. You know, it’s the phrases like “Oh it’s all downhill to the pub from here” or “Yeah, just a short easy climb”… only for the horrible truth to be revealed in a bucket full of sweat and usually excessive swearing.

So in preparation for this and because I needed to spend some time fettling my Scout’s suspension I’ve spent quite a lot of this weekend out on my bike including a cheeky old-skool ride up to the PB with Mark T and Bob M.

As we were pushing up a particularly vertiginous climb to the top of the bowl I was talking to Bob about bike carrying (i.e. the 20-30 minute Hike-a-Bike) and he was wondering if there is such a thing as an MTB shoulder strap to make a climb not only hands free but also slightly easier than slinging your steed over your shoulder.

So this morning a quick Googleisation revealed the answer is basically no (unless anyone can enlighten me otherwise?) which I am very surprised about to be honest. I found a bucket load of advice on bodging straps and backpack mounts but none that really came up with an answer. I did however find this extremely enthusiastic video from Dan Milner on Epic TV giving sage advice on hauling your rig the right way. Maybe it’s just a bit of well placed padding with some good technique then? We’ll see.

I also took out the GoPro as it was such a glorious weekend and while filming down Flat out Fun managed to capture me completely stuffing up a corner and eating some dirt. Best thing about a GoPro sometimes is seeing how appalling your line choice and body/bike position is (guilty) just before you hit the floor!

So as penance I thought I’d share this “how not to ride a corner” snippet. What a tool!

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