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Peaslake

Enduro or Enduro (in pink?)

Two versions of the 2018 Enduro lined up in the Walking Bottom Carpark on a perfect windless Thursday evening, basking in 24 degrees with dry trails, that a week before had been slime and gloop for a shakedown ride courtesy of Certini Bike Company in Saltash. A gaggle of eight of us had been lulled to the trail head with the promise of single layered clothing and some ‘lights off’ riding. I had the 29in version in medium 160mm Öhlins RXF 36 fork with RockShox Monarch Plus out back, and Andy on an identical 27in version with 165mm travel.

Monarch shock was a breeze to setup, autosag is pretty good, but does need a little extra pressure, the fork however does require faffage. Without being boring you need to set the ramp up pressure in the lower (that replaces tokens in most other forks) then add air in the upper (as you would do normally). I got it about right, but even with the rebound in it’s fastest position it’s not as quick as I’d like. This might be correctable with more time, but would mean delving into the dark side of internet browsing and finding ten other ‘experts’ with their ideas to try out.

Anyway enough mucking about and losing the daylight we headed up for a favourite loop taking in Pitch Hill, Winterfold and a smattering of Holmbury Hill. Pedalling up was fine, if not enjoyable, it could really do with a longer travel dropper post 125mm doesn’t really cut it nowadays. And with a mind on the terrain coming up I didn’t want the saddle poking up too high. The summit soon arrived with a good smattering of like minded riders looking out across the Surrey Hills in that perfect evening glow.

And down thick and creamy we dove, this always has a mixture of fear and elation combined, you have to fully commit on this trail, steep bumpy gullies and then into some good sized drops, perfect for a long travel bike, and make it we did (with about 10mm of travel left). Big smiles, adrenalin pumping and a big tick to the Enduro. And so onwards, the rest of the ride is a little less hectic, but does take in some fast single track, twisting descents and loamy goodness.

For a very first ride the bike handles very well, you do sit more ‘in the bike’ than my existing steed, as the current trend for longer, lower, slacker prevails. The rear is definitely more burly and requires more effort to flick, front is lively and eager, it grips corners without the front or rear suddenly letting go and it crushes medium sized roots, rocks and debris with impunity.

We had to have a blast down ‘Barry’s’, and although some sections are quite worn it never fails to please and felt that bike carried good speed, and would have been better if I’d timed the pump sections better, I’m sure that would come with more time onboard. And to the pub, where a quick glance at Strava confirmed a number of PB’s. We discussed ornithology, fork pressures and everything in between over a couple of pints and everything was good with the world.

Need to get a demo on the Bird AM9 now!

Some footage below for those that don’t like their retinas.

Steve

strava eve

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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!

Trail Days

Now I’ve got to be honest – nothing quite beats that ‘new bike’ feel.

The joy. The utter pleasure. The all encompassing frisson of slinging your leg over what is always a substantial outlay of cash. It’s awesome. Of course there is always the n+1 rule and a lot of us are blessed with experiencing that joy more than once. Those with n+1 bikes are many.

And then there is Matt W.

Matt is what you could refer to as a ‘frequent renewer of bikes’. Since I’ve known him he’s had 5 (I think) and he’s now moving onto his sixth. Yep, Matt has acquired a new bike and I believe if I have interpreted the ‘bad poetry hints’ on Whatsapp correctly, his new Transition Smuggler will be getting it’s first outing this evening.

It’ll be bling. It’ll be custom. It’ll be a thing of unfeasible beauty. It will without a doubt be 100% Matt. As with all prototypes, details are a little thin on the ground at the moment (I’ve seen the frame but not the finished product) but I will post something here as soon as I can so we can all revel in the creation.

And speaking of new bikes – a few of the TFITers have signed up to the excellent sounding “Trail Days” run by Specialized. It’s a free demo day of the latest and greatest that the chaps from the US have to offer from the Turbo Levo, all-new Enduro, Stumpjumper and Rhyme models.

I am very interested in having a crack at the Stumpjumper – which has always been a personal favourite (until I discovered my Bandit) and riding it on vaguely familiar trails will be awesome. We’re heading to the session at Peaslake on 21st May.

I highly approve of manufacturers showing off their hard work this way – and let’s be honest, it’s always gonna makes that n+1 decision that bit easier to make!

It’s been a while

Yep, it’s been while since I posted (or specifically since I’ve found anything interesting!) but David D to the rescue by posting this little nugget of two crazy Mo Fo’s in Trebevic, Sarajevo.

Wonder if we could convince someone to build one of these in the Surrey Hills – perhaps in Peaslake?

Speaking of which, Peaslake ride this evening – bit of Barry’s and some other things Steve has been cooking up. We also have the re-appearance of Matt (or new boy Matt…) after a slightly long absence – he’s possibly earned this after building his house!

Peaslake ride does however mean I’ll be watching David D drink pints post ride for a change.

Something not right about that.

Walking bottom at 6:30pm

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