Through the Mill… Carboncycles & Muckynutz

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Jun 262015
 

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Carboncycles Exotic Nion grip

www.carboncycles.cc

£7.79

These grips are from Carboncycles. If you haven’t heard of them don’t be surprised as they aren’t widely known here in the UK. However they do a huge range of products aimed more at XC and trail, but also bmx parts and more. These are the Nion loc on grip. They sport the usual diamond pattern with a grid pattern on the underside. Not only that but you can chop and change the collars to suit your colour scheme. In fact you can have a collar each end or a end cap is up to you and the choice of colours.

So how have they done? Well i tend to kill grips rather too easily. Not by wearing them out, but by making them go sticky. Well I don’t run gloves… These however I have worn out. To start with they are a little hard and tend to need a few rides to soften them up a bit but after that they aren’t too bad.  The grid pattern is ideal for wet conditions as it provides a bit more grip. They weigh in at 85g a pair and at 130 mm long they are about right length wise.

The collars are removable which is good if you damage one or just want to change the colour. This also means you can have the allen bolts facing whichever way suits you. the logo isn’t very obvious and I did tend to have to tighten them somewhat tighter than I would like. But other than that they are fine.  Like I said they can be a bit on the hard side but lasted the best part of 3-4 months being used to commute and some long rides. There’s not much more to say really. These are a bargain and look the part. With the ability to change collars or the grip on it’s own is rather a clever idea.

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 Mucky nutz Face fender XL

all good bikes shops

£9

In theory the wet weather has gone to annoy someone else, but this being England it soon comes back. Now you might not want to have to run mudguards all the time but this one from Mucky Nutz is ideal to keep on your bike all year round. Now the eagle eyed of you will notice that although this is the XL ( Extra Long) it’s been trimmed at the front. Surprisingly this hasn’t really hindered it at all and it’s kept pretty much all the muck out of my face.

They are dead simple to fit  and the only bit of faffing is getting the velcro the right length. You can get round this by using zip ties but they will mark your forks . The Velcro means you can whip it off quick too.

So a simple mudguard from one of if the original Fork/face fenders that works and comes in a range of colours to suit your steed.

 

Who are you?……… The Marvellous Marcia Ellis

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Jun 262015
 

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We catch up with another of  Dame Cycling’s finest. Originally from South Africa and now living here she is a definite shredder and ferociously competitive. Despite being fairly new to riding she is more than making up for it by having a fair old go at different types of racing and riding. Not only that but all on the same bike. It’s certainly clear that she loves riding her trusty steed and going on whatever ad/misadventures she can. Always smiling until it’s go time. When she is not riding/ racing she has to work full time and study. So it’s fair to say she likes to be kept busy. But who is she? Well you know us here at HTN we like to find “Grassroots” riders as well as pros. So we ask…..

Who are you?

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Through the mill…. Cranked magazine

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Jun 232015
 

 

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In a world where everything seems to be heading onto “Online” it’s refreshing and pleasing to see a new magazine break from the tread and do things a bit different. The Mastermind behind this is none other than Seb Rogers. If that name sounds familiar, then the chances are you have seen and/or read his work before. Also if you attended the Bristol Bikefest you would of come across him there too. Seb wanted to bring a magazine into a world of “Must have and now!” which isn’t. Okay yes you should own a copy but it’s not a 5 minute fix. Think of it this way, some mags are like energy drinks or fast food, quick, easy, and done in 5 minutes. Cranked isn’t. Cranked is sit down with a nice cup of tea, and a few of your favourite biscuits in a comfy chair perhaps in the sunshine and just lose yourself in a world outside the must have generation. It’s a fine cream tea with proper scones and jam, not a burger and fries. It’s a fine real ale that is to be savoured not a quick pint of dubious larger.

It goes beyond the high fives and fist bumps. It goes into detail and depth. It draws you in to what the writer is saying. It’s informative, insightful, and to be quite frank, incredible. To call it a magazine is a bit unfair. It’s much more. I purchased a copy a few weeks ago and still haven’t finished it, even after many cups of tea and rather too many Ginger Biscuits. It’s managed to keep the art of storytelling alive. Lets be honest we all love a good story, it’s soul and centre of being who we are. Cranked magazine is just that. It is indeed and Magazine for Mountain Bikers.

The first issue alone has none other than Jo Burt, Chris Porter and our man in Canada Seb Kemp. It also has an epic trip across Peru, the rather intriguing subject of E bikes and a in depth piece about bridleways and so much more. For your £10 you get 130 pages of which only 16 are ad pages. Yes that’s right. It’s printed on nice thick paper with stunning photos and has that rather special smell that is unmistakable.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this issue and will most likely read and reread it again and again. There just isn’t enough time sometimes but Cranked magazine certain lets you just stop and lose yourself for a little while

It all came about with the help of Kickstarter and this means you , yes you can be part of it. It’s available from  www.cranked.cc, so don’t just sit there. Get on there and get yourself a copy. Best get a few biscuits and some tea in too.

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Who are you?…. Swindon’s first fast lady – Kelli Salone

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Jun 112015
 

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  What can you say about Kelli? Well for one she will mostly likely kick your ass as well as being Kick ass ( I believe that’s what the kids say) . Not just on a bike either whether it’s road, 4x or anything it would seem, oh no. She use to do a few Martial Arts competitions. Not only that but I have meet her once many years ago when she was a poster girl for Ison Distribution. Now however she is backing and promoting women in cycling.  She is still always “Stoked” to be doing something to do with riding and still would leave a few lads in her dust. So she’s fast on a bike and with her wit too.  She is also a very busy lady what with attending  numerous cycling events, promoting and running her Team and business and also family life. So we were lucky enough to catch up with her for this interview.

But who is she you say? Well lets find out as we ask….Who are you?

 

 

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Through the mill……..Just landed. Muc-Off

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Jun 042015
 

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Some fine new goodies arrived for keeping my bike and myself going. Bike gets the MO94 which will repel muck, mud and the like whilst keeping it running nice.

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And also this rather hi tech Lube which is suppose to repel water with a Hydrophobic system. Should keep the chain running real quiet and nicely. Comes with a little UV light so you can make sure you have the chain lubed ok. That’s when you stop finding out what else lights up with it.

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Muc-Off are branching out into more products for personal use not just keeping your bike going. One is to help you go and keep going and the other is for when you stop and need to recover. All rather clever and may well get put though it’s paces if i can get to Bristol Bikefest in a couple of weeks.

Who are you?…………….. The ever talented Mr John Lord

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May 282015
 

 Here at HTN we do get to grab a fair number of racers as well as grassroots and if we’re really lucky Pro riders. Quite often they are er.. well Youngsters. Full of fire and still more or less bounce. However there are those who have been razzing and racing in one form or another for a good few years, of which I am one of the brigade. However some of you out there are still super fast and still holding your own against the young un’s. We catch up with a fellow from a little way up the road in Gloucester who has been known to not just race 4x, but DH and XC on the same bike as well as racing BMX and the new fangled Enduro. Now that kind of thinking is just up our trail. A all round top bloke who is riding for a great team. He always has time for his friends and teammates when he isn’t  “Giving it the berries”.  But who is he? Well we had to ask..

Who are you?

 

 

 

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Through the Mill………….Maxxis, Weldtite, Stan’s, Juice Lubes, Endura & Schwalbe

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May 222015
 

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Maxxis  26″ 2.30 Shorty

£40

Any good Maxxis dealer ( www.kustombikes.co.uk )

 

Maxxis released this tyre last year and I managed to get hold of some for myself. I forked out for these myself. They are pretty light and the block tread cuts through loose dirt and mud with no problems. They clear pretty quick too as the blocks are well spread out. They roll fairly well for a Mud type tyre. They aren’t as good as i hoped and at 40 notes they lack a good sidewall. These are only the 3c version but still a bit more sidewall protection would of been good as I did put a hole in the sidewall. It took nearly 30 min for the Tubeless sealant to seal the hole, but this could been down to the sealant being a bit shaken up. I also managed to pull both front and rear tyres off the rim. The Front was on a Downhill and may of been because I turned a bit hard. I’ll never quite know as it happened rather quick and resulted in me on the deck. The rear popped off as a hop over a small rock garden. This again could be due to running a “Ghetto” tubeless system but given that they have been run through rocks and all manner of surfaces was a bit annoying.

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They have worn fairly well however and when the conditions are right they aren’t bad. Not brilliant but not bad either. The are aimed as a trail tyre so it will depend on where you ride. They aren’t really a hard pack tyre but cope ok. The other issue i have had is the blocks on the side of the tyre have started to split from the tyre surface. Nothing major but it happened quite soon after getting them. They haven’t got any worse and it seems to be a trait with them as i have seen the same on other Shortys.

A tougher side wall would be better and they are a smidge on the pricey side as they aren’t as “Clever” as some tyres out there. But for soft conditions they are ok.

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Weldtite and ez fit 008

Weldtite TF2 Dry wax.

£8.50

All good bike shops

This is a dry Lube from those clever people at Weldtite. It’s a dry wax lube that is well … a dry wax. A little thicker than most lubes and because of it’s pale blue green colour easy to see where it’s gone. Which is handy. It dries pretty quick and leaves a waxy texture on your chain. It’s best for wet to dry conditions and it seems to last a fair old while. It’s even put up with a fair bit of mud and rain to be honest and as it’s quite course round here a reliable chain lube is a must.

The bottle is 100ml and as you don’t need loads it lasts. It has as you expect from TF2 got Teflon in it which makes it slippery than a slippery thing, which is good for chain right?. It also reduces noise by quite a bit too. this is a handy indicator to add more later if it get noisy again. I can’t fault this lube and definitely recommend it.

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Schwalbe easy Fit

£8

We all have times when the tyres just won’t play fair. No matter how much huffing and puffing you do, or cursing or using various other products usually designed for something else they just won’t sit. This can be more of a game with tubeless where the battle between getting air in quicker than it gets out is one that darkens and car park or home.  Schwalbe where on hand with this nifty little bottle of Easy fit. It does what it says it does. makes tyres easy to fit. The little spongy bit means you don’t end up with solution all over your floor and no dribbling,well not from the tyre anyway.

I have used this a lot of late and every time if you have prepared the tyre right it works a treat. tyres slip on to the bead with no stress and further more it reduces that heart stopping pop you get sometimes fitting tubeless. Even with my Ghetto set up it’s worked almost every time. The times it didn’t was more to do with the tyre than the Easy fit.

a great idea that takes a bit of stress out of tight fitting tyres. well worth the money.

 

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Stans No Tubes tire sealant.

£15

www.paligap.cc

Well as i have said i run a ghetto tubeless system which involves keeping a rim tape in and a fair bit of electrical tape or Duck tape. Whilst this is cheap you still have to be sensible and use a sealant. Well this is where the king of tubeless comes in. Stan’s is well known for their rims and tubeless kits but also if you are a bit skint you can just but the solution. Comes in a 16oz bottle with markings on the side so you can see how much you use. easy pour top saves spilling it everywhere. The instructions are pretty clear as is the guide to measurements.

ok you do look a bit of a nutter when you use this stuff as you do have to shake it quite frequently or you’ll end up with all the little bits that lock the hole sat in the bottom. When i say frequently I mean nigh on every measure unless you are really rapid. Now i was a smidge cunning and opted for Schrader vales with removable core vale centres, and had a old syringe to get the solution into the tyre without having to take the tyre off. this made it quick and fairly unmessy.  It works really well unless it’s been shaken up a fair bit to getting a hole in the tyre. The one time I have noticed this is when i caught something and a hole appeared in the sidewall of the Maxxis Shorty. It wasn’t a bit hole but took the best part of 20 -30 minutes to sort. But seal it did and lasted until i took the tyres off.

It works and that is it really. You can get diddy little bottles to carry in your pack if you do a all day adventure.  It’s Non Hazardous, Non corrosive and Non toxic. Which is good too especially if you do get a puncture that it can’t sort.

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Juice lubes Bearing Juice

150ml = £5.99

www.juicelubes.co.uk

We all have to look after our bearings from time to time, mental and physical. That’s where this rather good grease from Juice Lubes comes in. well for your bike at least. Not recommended for your mental state, honest.

It’s slightly more sticky than some greases out there and this is ideal for loose bearings. It also means it stays where you put it. well pretty much. Ideally fill a grease gun up with it for for hassle free repacking. I however have had no real issue with just “Whacking it in there”. It’s super slippery ( Dur) but last a fair old while. And it certainly resists muck and water knackering your bearings.  It does what it says it does and being in a bright orange coloured tube you should be able to find it easy.

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Endura chamois cream

125ml = £9.99

all good bike shops

Well if you ride a lot or even if you don’t and you wear shorts with a chamie in them then you need something like this. It reduces chaffing and soreness around those sensitive bits. You do look a bit odd applying it so best done where no else is to save your pride and blushes. i never use to bother but events transpired that i had to do something in the end.

It’s easy to apply and doesn’t smell as far as i can tell and it does indeed reduce chaffing. How much you need is down to you.. I need a fair bit but if it means I don’t walk like John Wayne then all is good. It’s Anti bacterial too so that’s another plus and you can use it after a ride to reduce soreness and heal. a definite must if you ride any distance.

 

Tool box preacher…..The last (News)stand

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May 182015
 

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So that’s it. No more tear assing up to the Newsagents and kicking small school kids out the way or shoving OAP’s off to get their morning paper to get the latest papery goodness from Dirt. Yes I know it’s going to be “Digital” but I’m not happy, In fact i’m rather upset by the whole affair to be honest. Digital is fast Food and Dirt like many good mags is not of that vain. It wasn’t perfect and I didn’t always agree with what was written but I have followed Dirt for it’s entire paper existence. No I haven’t kept every issue because I have moved a few times and you soon run out of room. I wish I had though. There was no silly give away nonsense for the most part because it simply didn’t need to. Ok we all love stickers so they were always welcome especially the proper Dirt TLD flames style ones. But Dirt was what got us properly hooked on what was out there. Internet maybe fine for somethings and as I’m writing for a internet  here on HTN I can’t begrudge the Net. But I simply like, no sorry love mags. I have written an article before about this if you remember or look back through the pages. It’s the buzz of getting the latest issue to see what was going on. The smell, texture, the photo’s which some poor soul may of spent hours trying to get “That” shot, The words written by people who are passionate about a simple little sport/ lifestyle. I’ll miss Seb Kemp’s mad mutterings and odd predictions and antidotes and the musings of Richard Cunynghame whom I have meet and interviewed. Not only that but I did enjoy the mad antics that James McKnight got upto as well as the rest of the crew.

But it seems to me that it’s not just us fans of the paper mag who will be somewhat disgruntled. All those people who contributed whether words or pictures, the folk whose job it was to see Dirt through the whole printing operation, the newsagent who now have one more line snatched from them thus once less bit of income, and so may more. It seems to me that everything has to be “Now”. Food, Films, music and now even mags are going that way. Even bikes. yes there I have said it. It’s all too clever. All too gadgety and slowly but surely moving away from the essence. But the bike thing is for another time. I don’t get the same sense of anticipation  from the Web as I do from a mag. Digital seems so…… well clinical and removed. Sanitised and safe. Oh yes it springs up some nice bits and bobs but it’s like Trail centres. All manicured and made easy. Yes I like them from time to time but every time? No. I like the effort of raw of well made natural trails and the differing conditions of what’s outside my door. Mags are like this. Dirt is the Downhill, Enduro, Scene mag that was and is the Moto gear to the lycra glad brigade. It wasn’t perfect but who is. It was the representation of all the crazy things going on on the race scene or at crazy competitions like Red Bull Rampage and many more and even ventured into places and scenes. It wasn’t chilled out or relaxed. It was a strong fine coffee to kick you into gear, it was the Energy drink to buck you up, it inspired you to go get your blooming bike and just pretend even in the confines of your own head that you were Peaty or Hill or who ever you follow.  But it wasn’t just the mag it’s self. Sprung and then Earthed were part of it. One went with the other, and for that it was great. But now it’s gone. At least in hard copy format. And for that it’s a damned sorry state. Whether it was the bean counters rubbing their hands and tutting at the seemingly out of date ideal of paper, or the Folk deciding to take their ads elsewhere because the “Kids ” don’t do mags I don’t know. But we can guess. So I’ll end with this.

Dirt magazine you will be sorely missed, but not forgotten. yes I shall still go look at your site because it’s only fair.  But it won’t be the same. I shall look through what ever issues I kept and with regret not of kept more. I wish you the very best and maybe just maybe some brave soul will take a punt and pick up the Mag and once more grace the shelves.

Dirt the magazine is dead, but then again so is Elvis.. Isn’t he? Or…..is he?

 

also thanks to all those who have contributed to Dirt over the 18 yrs and 159 issues.