Who are you………….The Wee Wizard that is Pete Scullion

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Aug 292015
 

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We love a rascal here at HTN and there aren’t many as much of a rascal as this fellow. He maybe edging towards 30 but still has the enthusiasm of a 10 year old. Which is no bad thing. But there’s more to him than skids , wheelies. He rather likes a challenge too. I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting “Wee Pete” but I have no doubt that it will be a rather interesting and amusing time. Whilst I myself have not meet him I do know a man who has, and this is his view.

 “When Odin made men they had to make Pete’s physical form slighter than that of a regular man for fear that otherwise he would be a towering giant that would too easily dwarf all others and crush then with his mighty wit, intellect and bike skills.” – Jamie Edwards Editor at large for Wideopen Magazine.

 So when he’s not an a mini adventure, also known to write for numerous magazines including Wideopen and Singletrack to name a few. Well lets take a ride through the Whacky world of Pete as we ask 

Who are you?

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Who are you?……….Proving Old Guys still rule. Paul Mounsey

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Aug 182015
 

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Now most folk when they get to  certain point in their lives will think maybe it’s time to take life a bit steady. You know kick back and enjoy life, do a bit of gardening, go for their paper in the morning and complain about youngsters. Well not everyone follows this particular path. Oh No. Paul will be up there in race kit ready to show a clean pair of heals to just about any cheeky scamp who thinks “Who’s this old guy?”. This old guy is a absolute shredder and will quite likely leave you to carry your pride home. What’s more he only really started racing just about 3 years ago. Yes 3. Not just in one discipline either .  No sedate walk down to the shops for this fellow , oh no. Most likely he’ll be racing , flat out. So just to prove that it’s not all about the Yoof of today, let me introduce you too Paul Mounsey and we ask 

Who are?

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Through the mill…Genesis & Carbon Cycles.

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Aug 112015
 

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Genesis Latitude 27.5

C/o ralphcolman.co.uk

£1199.99

First off lets make a point. This is a upgraded model that was kindly loaned to me to “Give it a go”. So a few bits are not as standard. The standard kit isn’t bad for the money as it’s mostly Shimano Deore, The wheels are a Deore / alex rims affair, Maxxis ardent tyres keep the wee beastie rolling, and with numerous “Own Brand” parts here and there it all looks like a good set up.

 

The Wheels, Brakes, Headset, grips,Chainset and rear mech have been upgraded. I run flats so after a rummage in the parts box I dug out my old DMR v12’s. Right enough about what was changed, what about what we had. The Genesis frame is Mjölnir Seamless Double-Butted Cromoly and the bumps up front were taken care of ( More or less) by X-Fusion Velvet RL2, 120mm forks.  Genisis and ttm aug just landed 009

Now this is the first 650b/27.5 bike I have actually ridden so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. i knew they were faster as I’m the only one in our crowd who ride that is still on 26. So the best way to find out was to jump straight in. I picked the bike up from Ralph Coleman Cycles in Taunton and rode the slightly longer way home via the Quantocks. Seemed like a good plan at the time. On the road the Latitude goes along pretty swiftly and the same when it came to the rather long drag up to the top of the Quantocks. Across the top through all the wide rolling trails the bike “woke up”. Get it over a certain speed and it livens up from plodding donkey to somewhat spritely Moor land pony. The Ardent tyres gripped and rolled spot on but the bigger wheels made short work of rough sections and flowing parts it just wanted to go faster. In fact the frames “suppleness” and slight give encouraged you to kick on a bit quicker. It wasn’t until I headed downhill  I noticed the forks were a little on the stiff side and lacked small bump sensitivity.  They are at the lower end of the X-Fusion range  but do feature Air spring, Rebound and Lock out as well as 15mm tool less axle system. As for steering I couldn’t fault them. No flex or wandering just sharp and responsive handling.

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With minimal gusset and clean lines this is a nice looking bike

I have done a few rides on this bike and as i say up to a certain speed it just gets on with it, but after that say 10-15 mph it really livens up. Not just downhill where it wants to get a fair shift on but across and uphill. You could quite easily get a bit carried away and end doing a bit more than you planned. It’s a great all round do damned near anything within reason bike. Yes some bits need to be upgraded as time goes on but for the most part it is a worthy buy for someone who loves the feel of steel. However some parts need to be changed rather quicker than I would like. The saddle is not the most comfy and after a few miles/hours you know about it.You don’t notice straight away but like those old school chairs after a while it’s not great. A flatter saddle with a groove in the middle  would be a good up grade. The Handle which are also “Own Brand” are far too stiff and at a odd angle. No matter what position I put them in they didn’t feel quite right and after a few miles the did tend to make my hands a bit numb.

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There are however some neat features. The double bottle cage is nice touch if you like long days or are touring, and the sculpted rear drop out is a nice touch ( see above) and there is plenty of tyre/mud clearance too. I would like to see a “Custom spec” version which yes would cost more but would be a excellent bike that will do pretty much all kinds of riding within reason.  I had a lot of fun on the Latitude and for once kept up with everyone else. A fun and practical bike for those who would like something a little different. I would prefer a slightly smaller 16″ version to the 17.5″ one i tried. I think I would of gotten up to a great deal more mischief.  If you don’t want to go for the full bike and just get a frame, well guess what? iIt comes as a frame and is a bargain at £275, oh did mention in comes in a rather snazzy Solar Orange colour..

 

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Carbon Cycles Exotic Thermoplastic Pedals.

£23.44

Direct From www.carboncycles.cc

When these pedals landed I wasn’t sure quite what to make of them. The were a little heavier than the DMR V12’s i had been running and were Thermoplastic. They come in a range of colors and with 10 pins to keep your feet planted they are actually quite good. Actually that’s not quite true. I haven’t mentioned they are Sealed bearings. Yes at less than £24 notes. So at that price they are brilliant. I have given them hell over the numerous months I had them and they hardly faltered  despite the shorter than normal pins. they have bee beaten by rocks and roots, stomped on and done 500+ miles of off road and yet they still carry on. Yes they have a smidge of play in them but nowt to worry about. They have done well out on the trail and would make a great Dirt jump/bmx pedal too.  They are lo profile even with the slight ridge in the middle you don’t think about them too much. The pins are replaceable and if you wished you could put longer pins in but to be honest they don’t do bad as standard.

All in all a bragin pedal that is good quality and cheap. What more could you want.

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TTM………Just landed. Steele Industries Ltd

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Aug 082015
 

A couple of bits hit the mat this week from Steele Industries ltd. Once pics were taken they were fitted.

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How will they fair with my special ability to kill grips  and Exmoor’s rocks? well you’ll have to wait and see.

Bad news……Marzocchi is to close.

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Jul 232015
 

Breaking News: Marzocchi to Close its Doors

Tenneco has officially announced that Marzocchi will be closing closing its doors. A few months ago we first heard Tenneco were searching for a buyer for the company as they were looking to transition away from the suspension business. It’s apparent that didn’t happen, and they are now are discontinuing the business. There will be far reaching implications to this event (warranties, sponsorships etc…) that we will have more information on shortly. But here is the initial PR to all their shareholders.

Tenneco Inc. (NYSE:TEN) announced today its intention to discontinue its Marzocchi motor bike fork suspension business and its mountain bike business, and liquidate its Marzocchi operations.

These actions are subject to a consultation process with the employee representatives and in total would eliminate approximately 138 jobs.Tenneco currently employs 127 people at the Marzocchi plant in Bologna, Italy and an additional 11 people in its operations in North America and Taiwan.

Tenneco intends to assist its motor bike customers with the transition of current production to an alternative supplier and expects to complete the closure by the end of 2015.

“We sincerely regret the impact these actions would have on our Tenneco Marzocchi employees, and thank them for their tireless efforts to improve performance and reduce costs. Unfortunately, it was not enough to overcome continuing market challenges in the two-wheeler business,” said Brian Kesseler, chief operating officer, Tenneco. “We are committed to working with our employees’ representatives, and with our customers to make the transition as smooth as possible.”

This intended action is a part of Tenneco’s ongoing efforts to optimize its Ride Performance business globally while continuously improving its operations and increasing profitability.

Tenneco expected to record charges of approximately $27 million related to these actions in the third quarter which includes approximately $17 million of cash expenditures. These charges consist of severance and other employee related costs, asset impairment charges and other expenses related to the closure. The company anticipates improving financial results by approximately $7 million annually, beginning in 2016.

Tenneco is an $8.4 billion global manufacturing company with headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois and approximately 29,000 employees worldwide. Tenneco is one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and marketers of clean air and ride performance products and systems for automotive, commercial truck, and off-highway original equipment markets, and the aftermarket. Tenneco’s principal brand names are Monroe®, Walker®, XNOx™ and Clevite®Elastomer.

Who are you?…………Nepal’s Hardtail hero-Tangi Rebours

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Jul 172015
 

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 Imagine if you will being able to ride and live in a epic location. Not just somewhere like Whistler or New Zealand which are awesome places but will pale slightly compared to being somewhere almost off the grid as far as riding is concerned. It would be the biggest playground possible. Natural untamed and possibly unridden trails, Rich Cultures and everyday being, well awesome. Now for this “Who are you?” interview we catch up with a little know fellow who use to live in France but now not only gets to ride in the wilderness and epic terrain in and around Nepal, but actually gets paid to ride there and show others a adventure of a life time. Not only that but makes films about it too. Well after a brief exchange on HTN’s facebook page and seeing a couple of his adventures we had to ask..

Who Are you?

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Through the mill…Dmr Wing Bars & Sect Stem, Schwalbe Nobby Nic

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Jul 132015
 

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Schwalbe Nobby Nic Evo. ( 26 x 2.35)

£45  ( ish)

 

I was looking froward to trying these out. Even more so now I’m Tubeless.  They are “Tubeless Easy” which means they are pretty easy to fit. That they are. All I needed was Schwalbe easy fit, some Stan’s solution, tyres ( Dur) and a track pump.

They have a very rounded shape to them which in theory should give you lots of grip whatever angle you are leaning. The blocks are as you can see well spread and quite deep so ideal for soft conditions. The Snakeskin fends off rocks and the like whilst the Trailstar compound should give you lots of grip.

Now I’ll be honest all of the above is what is suppose to happen. For me however it’s been a bit of a tricky trail. I run my tyres about 27 psi but have found that from time to time the front lets go. Not great for confidence. In one case it resulted in a rather unfortunate Off. I’m sure in loamy conditions they are great but round here they are pretty much everything but.  In soft pine needles they were ok but a couple of moments didn’t put me at ease. In fact no matter what surface they have been a bit well, scary at times.  They do roll well and wear is really good, but we haven’t got on that well. Maybe in a Vertstar compound and a little heavier duty might help on the hardtail. I did have a freak puncture due to a rock which meant stop pump up tyre , slosh sealant around pump up again, ride, stop repeat. But once i got more sealant in the tyre it was all good.

I’m not going to write them off yet. maybe run a little lower pressure and see what they will be like in wetter conditions. Fingers crossed.  For Summer and hard trails i would stick to Hans Dampf up front and rock Razor on the back. I found both of these to be better than the Nic.

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Dmr Wingbar mk3 and Sect stem

Bars = £49.99

Stem = £49.99

Well as you know we are fans of DMR here at HTN so when a pair of the Wing Bars and a Sect stem turned up I wasted no time fitting them. The Bars are 780mm wide 35mm rise and come in a snazzy Nickel grey finish which looks very nice and wears well.  The Sect stem is aimed more at dirt jump but turns out to be pretty good on the trail too. At 0 rise and 40mm reach it’s going to make for nippy handling.

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The bars have a nice sweep on them and despite being 780mm wide don’t feel too wide.  They take a fair bit of buzz out of the trail  and with 35 rise they help keep the front up a bit which I know is rather in the face of fashion. The finish is spot on although I would prefer to see Etched markings for width as the painted marks tend to wear off. However the rest of the bar has been out in all sorts and still look almost like new.  They feel good as I said and aren’t too stiff nor flexy. There’s not a lot to say other than that. They are a good price too.

The Sect stem is a bit of a Marmite one I’m afraid. The large clamp which uses 2 forward facing bolts and 2 rear facing bolts to secure the bars does a grand job of securing the bars. They are rather large bolts too which is great for strength but do add a fair amount of size to the stem. I would like to see them come down a size so it doesn’t look quite so bulky especially as it slims off a fair chunk by the time it’s got to the steerer clamp. The other down side of a large front/bar clamp is it does make fitting a set of lights, or other bar mounted gadget a tad tricky.  The slim steerer clamp is much more to my liking but maybe a bit deeper would help balance out the difference in size.

The only real gripe apart from the size issue is how chuffing tight you need to do the bolts up. I have had to get a little heavy handed to make sure they don’t move. A little grease did help but i still found i was doing them up a bit tighter than i liked. Other than that this is a great set up and whipping through tight sections is a blast. The Orange finish is rather snazzy and a little Sect logo adds a touch of style too.

All in all a good set up if you like a tough but quick handling bike. Like i said the size and having to tighten the bolts are the only gripes I have. At less than a 100 notes it’s a fair deal too and a little different from the mainstream.