Sunday, 10 February 2013


Took Alan's new 29er  ( ChargeBikes Cooker HI )  for another spin today . See if I can manage to get on with it a little better .

It's not that it's no good , just that it's not quite right . Maybe it's just me , though . As I have said , I've been MTBing , like , forever , so it's fair to say I'm pretty stuck in my ways , and know what I am looking for from a bike .

I like the simple things .

The main issue last week was the gears . A newish idea . Drop the triple rings at the front for a double , and stick a wider spread of gears on the back to compensate . Mathematically , at least .
In practice, I was finding myself grinding along in the taller front ring , up to a point where it was getting tough , then , dropping down to the easy ring at the front , ( as you would traditionally ) , but the gear ' jump ' was too much .

So , this weeks spin was a similar affair to last week's. Wigan wetlands , and woodsy bog snorkelling . Slight change of plan . I figured , and by looking at the chainline , could see , that it might be better to ride more in the easier front ring , and only change up when it was fast fast .

It did seem a little better . On balance , I still think a traditional setup is better . I can't really see the benefit to just swapping the chainset for a double . All the shifty bits are still needed . BUT , if I could forget for a minute that I was riding mostly in the granny gear ,and changing the rear gears ,  it was actually OK .

Had some seatpost slippage again . Minor gripe . Easily sorted .

Brakes , ( Avid Elixir ) , not dead good . Probably a new ' out of the shop ' thing . Bit mushy .  The first service with maybe a quick bleed , would firm them up . I've read mixed reviews on the newer versions of these brakes , but earlier ones we had a few years back I really liked , and were no trouble . I dunno .

Overall , the bike is really good . I think the conditions ( V.V .V wet / boggy / muddy / gloopy ), did'nt do it any favours . On the odd bit of well surfaced path , it wants to roll along . It's good with the speed turned up a bit . At slower speeds , it's a little front heavy , and in tight turn situations , it's like turning an oil tanker , but , we did the odd bit where conditions allowed us to turn it up a notch , and it's a flier .
The front end requires a considerable heft to manual wheelie over stuff ( compared to my bike ), but the bigger wheels with their ability to smooth the trail a little , is ample compensation .

There's definitely an argument for including one in your quiver . On fast trails , ( say trail centres ) , flicking the back gears and keeping the speed up , it'd be a blast .

I'll take it up to Whinlatter or somewhere and let you know ....

Here , a picture of some bikes outside a cafe ....


Todays ride route , here .....

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