27 February 2013

Light nights and warm days

The nights are getting lighter and the days warmer. First night ride of 2013 without using any lights. Quick blast around Durham with a chilly breeze, 13 miles later with a few diversions due to closed bridges and fallen trees. The Beargrease FAT was going well and turned a few heads around the riverside tracks in Durham.
With the day temperature getting above freezing and a nice winter sun shinning i dragged my supersix hi mod out for a good blast around the little hills in Co Durham. Still snow on high ground, icy roads and plenty of pot holes - 3100+ft of climbing and 35+ miles, great riding day/evening.
A couple of new bling items will be built up soon and fitted to the FAT, photos to follow.

25 February 2013

Some stuff that works & some stuff that dosent

Click To Enlarge
When I was over in the Lakes we called in past a bike shop http://www.dc-cycles.co.uk/ (no surprise there then) and got talking to Dave and ended up buying one of these. Not cheap by any means but I was sick of my ears and head getting cold. This is made from double 100% merino wool layers and big enough to cover all of your ears. I was going to use it in the Lakes but it was too hot & sunny, shock horror but on Sundays ride it was tested to the full. I had a strong wind and temperatures around zero degrees but my head was warm for a change and it made all the difference. Just got to sort out my feet now! Northwave Artics are quite few years old and looking worse for wear.

Now then onto things which are not so good. I have had some crap BB's in my life of cycling but this has beat all records by a long way. My Salsa Mukluk came with an E Thirteen XCX external BB30 BB. It was starting to sound and feel alittle rough after a couple of months but when I swapped it over onto the Beargrease it was getting worse with every ride. So after three months use it has been removed and waiting to be sent back. I contacted Silverfish regarding the BB and they confirmed which replacement one was required so have upgraded to the higher spec bearing model to see it lasts any longer. They said to return the other one through my LBS who can return it back under waranty and they will have a look at it. I will just have to wait and see.

23 February 2013


Need more space as the house is overflowing with bike stuff stock at the mo!
All the following items are for sale, open to offers tel 07796553213 and more pics are here - https://picasaweb.google.com/scotbrown1/EBAYITEMS?authkey=Gv1sRgCP6rjun79cr27AE

HED 3 Tri spoke front carbon wheel. SOLD
700c Clincher type rim. Approx 870g. The wheel is in excellent condition, been used for approx dozen 10mile time trials. Hub is perfect condition, no signs of wear in bearings. No damage to carbon anywhere. Running approx 1mm out of true from new.

HED 3D Carbon disc rear wheel. SOLD
700c Clincher type rim. Approx 1390g. Shimano 8/9/10 speed compatiable freehub. The wheel is in excellent condition, been used for approx dozen 10mile time trials. No signs of wear in bearings. No damage to carbon anywhere. Running approx 0.5mm out of true from new.

HED DEEP 90mm Carbon rear wheel 650c SOLD
Shimano 8/9/10 speed. Aero falt blade spokes. Brand new Continental Podium 19mm tublar tyre fitted. Hub in perfect order but please note the following info regarding the rim -THE ALU RIM THAT IS BONDED TO CARBON RIM HAS SPLIT IN A FEW PLACES AND IS COMING AWAY.

Syntace Space Control Brake Levers SOLD

These are made for aerobar type handlebars / tri bars with internal bar-end mounting. Cold-forged, CNC 6000 and 7000-series aluminium construction. These only weigh 184g. Space Control's 20 mm wedge design mounts securely on most aerobars without the use of shims and the bearing-type pivots ensure that the smooth, precise lever. In excellent condition apart from a couple of light scratches to the anodising on the corner of one of the levers. These were £70+ new and are very rare in the UK.

Cinelli Angel bars inc Shimano Dura Ace 9speed bar end shifters and syntace computer mount. SOLD
The Angel is built in aluminium alloy AL 6082 T6. Suitable for 1 1/8” Ahead-Set forks or old 1” with an adaptor (not supplied). The armrests are in aluminium alloy AL 5754, with five small holes to choose the right fixing position on the clamp. The armrests are fixed to the wings with an innovative fixing, rotating system to find the right position. The central extension arms can be adjusted forward and backwards.
These are in used condition and are still working perfect. Please note the following – the outer bar extensions have been cut down and the rear left bar plug is missing (doesn’t affect use). They have also been drilled on the under side for external brake cables or cabling can be internal. (holes can be covered with bar tape). The central extensions have been reduced where the gear shifters are fixed. They have not been cut on the length so there is plenty of adjustment. The arm pads have been zip tied onto the holders as well as the Velcro fasteners. The female nut on the lower stem clamping bolt has been replaced with a nut (this doesn’t affect use and can still be tightened ok). There are a few general light scathes to the anodising with general use.

CAAD 5 Aero frame with Integrated Aero Carbon forks, Handmade in the USA. Comes with original Campagnolo Record SI Hiddenset headset and original seat collar (never used). Owned from new and purchased from Westbrook Cycles. The frameset is in mint condition and only done approx 300ish miles from new. The frame was fitted with bike shield from new so has no cable rub marks or scratches. There are a couple very minor chips with general use on the lower left fork blade (see additional photos). Very light marks from some heel rub on left bottom stay (only notice them if you are looking hard). See the geometry chart below for exact sizes.
Frameset spec - 68mm English bb, braze on f mech, 27.2mm seatpin

CAAD5 Aero Multisport (700c wheels)

Geometry Chart 56

measured size (cm)* D 53

saddle height minimum (cm)** 69.3

seat tube angle (degrees) A 77

head tube angle (degrees) B 72.5

horizontal top tube length (cm) C 54.0

seat tube overall length (cm) 62.2

chainstay length (cm) E 40.5

fork rake (cm) F 4.3

bottom bracket height (cm) G 26.5

wheelbase (cm) H 100.3

trail (cm) I 6.2

standover at top tube midpoint (cm) J 78.1

bottom bracket drop (cm) K 7.5

front center distance (cm) L 61.0

• For aerodynamics this frame has a top tube lowered by 3 cm with a resulting shorter head tube.

• The measured size is from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the top tube at the seat tube axis.

• Due to the aero seat tube extension, there is a minimum saddle height measured from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of a Selle Italia Flite saddle.

Our bladed Aero frames are combined with wind-cheating, lightweight Aero carbon fiber forks that offer remarkable vibration-damping abilities.

21 February 2013

Three Days of Fantasic Riding

Well the forecast was looking on the brighter side for a change so it was time to hit the saddle. On Sunday the CX bike was dragged out for a 38 mile ride along the lines with a couple of friends, the sun was shining but still cold. My legs were starting to hurt by the time we hit Birtley so I swung onto the road for a cruise home to help my legs out over the next two days planned riding in the Lakes. It turned out that I only missed another 4-5 miles from the full planned route, theres all ways another day.
Day two we hit Whinlatter forest for the Altura Red routes. We always do the North loop first so of we head. Tracks were way drier than normal and the sun was out, very rare. Sweating on the climbs but very cold on the descents. Fair amount of ice but the tracks were fast under tyre. Second section of the downhill was closed for maintenance but nobody was working on it. Still got the last section, best bit in back down to the road. Back to the carpark to drop off coats etc then onto the South loop.

Expecting the same trail conditions as the North we thought we were going to have a flying loop but no, alot wetter / muddier and more ice but the sun was still out. Good climb to the top for a few quick pics then downwards. The first section is very rough now and needs sorting out. The second section was closed but at least two blokes were working on it. Last section was a good blast before heading back to the carpark. One thing to note I checked the Forestry Commission and http://cyclewise.co.uk/ website before going and neither mentioned that there was sections closed on both loops, not good compaired to 7 Staines site (there is notice on now for the South Loop!)

Day three and the last day we headed south to Grizedale Forest to tackle the North Face red route. This is the first time to Grizedale compaired to our many visits to Whinlatter. We have heard / read some very neutral / negative comments so was not sure what to expect really. We headed for the visitor centre which was empty as the Forestry Commission has decided to close all there shops (inc Hamseterley & Whinlatter) to find the start. Once through the gate it was a uphill drag to get into the woods then stright onto singletrack. Rough in places but ok. Again sunny but cold in the shade / descents and loads of ice again. There was a good mix of singletrack, forest track, rock gardens etc. There was one section closed with nobody working on it and the diversion was boring. There was a second section closed but the signs were flat on the ground and barrier removed, there was a lad in front who went down it so we followed. Pleased we didnt miss this one out, good singletrack and no signs of anyboby doing any work at all. The only fast flowing downhill singletrack was the very last section back to the centre. Fantastic views of the fells etc. Defo be going back again but the road there is crap and takes ages so unless you are in the Lakes around that area its not worth the drive. Not many photos as the camera battery wa flat and forgot to charge the spare.

Again there was no notice of closed sections on the web or at the start. We did have a look around the on site cycle shop which was very well stocked and great choice of everything http://www.grizedalemountainbikes.co.uk/ didnt have time to sample the cafe!
Day Four and it was back to normal, bloody freezing with strong wind and no sign of the sun. Had to go and buy another coat as I was that cold. Check out the temperature on the way home in the afternoon, it was -2 when we got to Alston and that was without the wind chill factor !
Back home and half day washing bikes and kit, oh the joys

16 February 2013

Bedding in first ride

First gentle stroll out on the Beargrease. Took both of my sons out for a little ride around some local tracks. Couple of hours later we had covered 17 miles. Still plenty of snow left (see pics below)
 Top of the first hill, track has been well washed out
 Young and daft!
Dont see gate pillars like this anymore
 Interesting carving
Must have bad eyesight!
Not sure who is going to use this footpath today
Still big snow drifts in County Durham
Its have a quick rest
which way do i go dad ?
Bottom of first downhill, nice and fast/bumpy & muddy

15 February 2013

The Beargrease has finally landed

Well the UK has been waiting along time for this model to land and they are as rare as Bear Shit in this Country. I choose the framset option as I already had a Salsa Mukluk 2 2013 model and all the parts would swap straight over apart from the lower headset. It was defo worth waiting for and got it built up this pm with no problems at all. Many thanks again must go to Westbrook Cycles for sorting it out with Ison Distribution, check their website www.westbrookcycles.co.uk I have really enjoyed riding the FAT BIKE since owning one from late last year and the looks / comments you get never end when your out and about on it. Watch out as I may be coming back out of retirement & start MTB racing again this season on it! think the last one i did was the Hamsterley Hammer! LOL. If your interested in Fat Bikes then check out the UK FAT BIKE website here - http://www.ukfatbikes.co.uk/ some canny lads as well, the numbers are starting to grow in the NE as they are getting more and more popular.

Oh she has landed
Bare frameweight inc rear mech hanger & bolts

 Fork weight uncut
 Complete bike weight

And its ready to go and get muddy this weekend. I am also going to fit some down hill tubes to try and get it near the 27lbs mark. Also with a new wheel builds - Marge Lite rims & Hope Fatsno hubs the complete weight come be around 25-26lbs.

13 February 2013

The joys of Winter Tyres (car ones lol)

What a day, was at work 6.45am and had seven site visits to do with the temperature not getting above 0 degrees it was fun to say the least. Baltic strong wind and blizzards, oh the joys of living in the uk. To make things even worse the 10mph club was out again later this afternoon clogging the roads up. One thing I can say if you have a few spare bob kicking around get yourself some proper winter tyres. I have been using them for three winters now and they are spot on. I got these (pic to left), not the cheapest but wearing well, no excessive road noise and alot more grip than a ordinary tyre http://www.tyremen.co.uk/range/vredestein-snowtrac-3.aspx

It will be all gone by the morning, due to rain all night and 7 degress tomorrow, what on earth is happening to the climate? Not been on the bike since last Saturday so need to be out, busy day at work tomorrow as well so might be Friday before I can get out. Weekend is looking ok at the mo, get some miles in.

12 February 2013

Selkirk Mtb Marathon 2013 News

Talking about Selkirk, things are different up in the Borders this year. The Welsh Marathon lot have dropped it and the local lads who sort out the course are organising it themselves instead. Its now on Sat 8th June - full details are here http://www.selkirkmtbmarathon.com/ and on line entry is here http://www.entrycentral.com/index.php?festivalID=328

The water splash that you never know how deep it is, normally over the bars job for a good soaking before dropping back onto the road.
Entry fees are reasonably (if you get your finger out and enter now) but if you are only doing the 25km and/or a child there is no discount :-(

25/50/75km Marathon (Earlybird - before 1/3/13) - £25
25/50/75km Marathon (Standard- 1/3/13 to 1/6/13) - £30
25/50/75km Marathon (Entry on the Day) - £35

Camping for Fri & Sat night @ the Rugby Club (cheap bar!) with event T shirt as well.

11 February 2013

General News Update

Well I have dragged this old site back to life since I last used in 2009! That is probably around the time the photo was taken of me at Selkirk.
I have added pages to the top right with all the Autumn Series & One Peak Event info. I will be updating this Blog from now until the start of the Autumn Series with some important news and probably just some general shite relating to cycling probably or life in general.
Watch out for me along the lines, around the back country lanes of Co Durham etc or at local cycling races.
Well better go and wash two muddy bikes from yesterdays event and probably freeze my arse off in the process ;-)