Who are you? ……………… Olly Forster-Editor of Sender Magazine

 General  Comments Off on Who are you? ……………… Olly Forster-Editor of Sender Magazine
Aug 092017


Here at the HTN not so secret HQ and around this little green isle we like the simpler things in life. Well we like Hardtail Mountain Bikes instead of Full sussers. Well mostly. You will also no doubt know for me there is something else I like and have I hope inspired you to like too.  And so it would seem that in the depths of Bristol a man with a plan which flew in the face of modern ” Must have now” thinking by starting a new magazine. Not just that but he’s gone “All in” and it’s all in house from writing to printing. A bold move today as we see a decline in magazine sales.  Not bad for a fellow who started up somewhat further north and for now is making the South West his home. Turns out he can ride a bike pretty well too and is all round top chap. 

So after reviewing his first issue of  Sender Magazine we had to ask…. Who are you?

Continue reading »

Through the mill – DMR V Twin Clipless Pedals

 General  Comments Off on Through the mill – DMR V Twin Clipless Pedals
Jul 252017


DMRBikes V Twin Clipless pedal

£129.99 ( RRP)

All good bike shops


Well we know DMR Bikes have been changing tack over the last few years and revising some old favourites too, and so it seems to be the way they are going with the latest in pedals. These are a whole new game and a whole new pedal too. No mucking about with a current pedal then slapping a clipless system. Oh yes they are clipless. No this is a neat and clever pedal indeed. I have had a set on the Trailstar for the best part of 4 months and have tried a different number of set ups.

So what’s so special given their price? Actually a lot. Firstly they weigh 546g a pair which is a bit weighty but with good reason. They are tough. But that’s not all. They have a sprung clipless system so you pretty much automatically clip in every time. The system bears a resemblance to a certain other companies system of old. But if it works why change? But from here it all changes. DMR give you the option to run Pins and or plain Nylon bumper but with the added bonus of a shim to get the position right depending on what shoes you run.

Clever eh? I did start out with the pins in. Whilst this was spot on for not losing your foot position it was a bit of a game unclipping. Now this could be down to a, the pins being really grippy which is handy when you just want to rest your foot on the pedal for those iffy moments or b, The shoes on my clipless shoes are pretty flat so lots of grip. Or it could be a matter of both which is quite likely. This did prove to be a bit unnerving when it came to wanting to unclip in a hurry. I tried with fewer pins but in the end opted for the plain Nylon bumper with a shim underneath. This worked very well and allowed for the 5 degrees of float.

Clipping in was a doddle and considering I haven’t run clipless for almost 10 years until this year it was surprisingly simple to get use to once I had the cleat position spot on, ( Well almost). Unclipping was a breeze too as it is a very positive feel. The sprung body helped clip in easier as well. The wide cage helped keep you balanced and felt not unlike the V12 pedal just deeper. They hardly got stuffed with mud so unless it was really thick you could clip in with no hassle. All in all there have been a damned fine pedal and with plenty of set up options they are a winner. They might be a bit costly and bulky but they should in theory last.

The only downside I had with them is the supplied cleats wore a bit quick which made unclipping a bit scary and always in those sketchy moments too. But by switching to Shimano cleats this  was soon resolved.

A damned good pedal which comes in a range of funky colours to suit your needs and plenty of set up options too. Also Upgradebikes.co.uk carry all the spares and can service the pedals so you can keep on rolling.


Just Landed – Sender Magazine

 General  Comments Off on Just Landed – Sender Magazine
Jul 202017



Sender Magazine

£10 + Postage.

Available from: Trailhead Bike Co. Shrewsbury. Soho Bikes – London. Also, sendermagstore.bigcartel.com




In a day and age where instant is everything and you can find pretty much anything on your super hi tec Phone, Tablet, Laptop and even watch, why on earth would you launch a magazine? I mean it’s old hat isn’t it? Prints dead right? Er no. Not by a long way. If like me you like the “Feel” of the paper, the smell of the ink and the simple er simplicity of a good old fashioned magazines and the plan and simple fact that magazines are so much more than the latest web edit/story/whatever then it makes sense.


The first thing you notice about this magazine is from the word go it’s very different to a lot of main stream mags. The lack of ads and the fact whilst it’s quite small size wise but none the less packed with stunning photos and has already bagged some pretty well known names means it’s not messing about. 112 pages of pretty much killer articles means you may be distracted for a while. It’s rider owned too, so you know it’s going to be stuff you would like to read.


It’s well written and whilst it’s not quite the same vain as say Cranked Mountain bike Magazine it’s very much on it’s way to being a cult mag. The Photos alone are pretty special just add to the whole package. In depth interviews and articles and as already mentioned great photos mean this should grace any home/van/bag etc. Who is it for? Anyone who simply loves to tear ass about on bikes, pulling skids, hitting jumps and simply having a blast.


Olly Forster and the gang have knocked out a belter of a mag. Downside? How on earth are they going to beat it with issue 2? And before you ask, yes I paid for my copy.

Go on buy it. You will not regret an instant.


Through the mill — eXotic AM/DH clipless/flat pedal

 General  Comments Off on Through the mill — eXotic AM/DH clipless/flat pedal
Jul 082017



eXotic AM / Dh clipless – Flat pedal



It seems there will always be the debate about which is best, Flats or Clips. Everyone has their own ideas. However that may not be such a problem as those clever folk at eXotic have solved it to a point by doing, Both.

They aren’t what you call lightweight compared to some of today’s offerings and they do bear a passing resemblance to the old Shimano offerings of days gone by,  but hang on they are only £32.19. Now that’s ridiculously cheap. Even for a flat pedal let alone a clipless version. Strangely whilst they are a bit bulky, they aren’t anymore so than the DMR V Twin. But are they any good?

Well they are. It does take some getting use to the idea that one side is a clipless system and the other a flat but this isn’t a worry because as long as you have fairly flat soled clipless shoes the flat side grips quite well. Not perfect but well enough for those moments you aren’t sure you want to be clipped in or are just getting going. They are a decent size so there’s plenty of room for your feet. I would of liked to of seen a better  system than a plate either end but it’s not the be all and end all.  I had no trouble using the flat side in a variety of different foot wear.



The clipless side is also pretty good. No it doesn’t have the clever floating/ sprung system like some pedals and the cleats are rather different. But clipping in is fairly easy and straightforward. They aren’t as positive as a certain other pedal and I did find they required a bit more force to engage. Clipping out was a bit too easy at times too, but for the most part they are pretty good. A wide platform keeps your foot well balanced and feels rather reassuring to and you don’t particularly feel you are floating on top of the pedal. I did find I had to run the cleats a bit further forward, but whether this is because of the pedal or the shoe I’m not sure.



So overall these are a cheap and clever way to get into Clipless pedals and they actually work well. If they were a little thinner they would be even better but they should last a while due to lack of flex. They are aimed at All Mountain and Downhill, but I can see them being a good commute pedal too. Once again eXotic have done a sterling good job.

Ttm. Just landed Deathgrip – the Book of the film

 General  Comments Off on Ttm. Just landed Deathgrip – the Book of the film
Jun 282017

Well it’s been a bit quiet from the HTN test facility. Mostly due to the laptop killing the hard drive off. So we have had to go a bit modern.

To start off a new era hi tech approach wannabe a rather special book. You will all know no doubt that a certain rider (Brendan Fairclough) known for his speed and style and also the infamous DMR Death grip er grip and just lately a film which goes by the Deathtrap name now has a book about the Deathtrap film. Edited by our favourite (well one of favourite) scribes, non other than James McKnight. It features the story behind the film made by Clay Porter with many other notible names adding their photos and words.


price: £15 + £2 postage UK £5 Worldwide

Available from,  deathgripbook.tv

As to how good it is? Well it only landed today. I may be a bit occupied. But in the meantime here is few pics. So far it looks stunning.


With contributions from a great many people.


And from some rather splendid locations.


It looks to be a belter. Best get on and buy the film too now then..


Who are you?……….. Tom (Glow) Dunn

 General  Comments Off on Who are you?……….. Tom (Glow) Dunn
May 022017

Tom dunn 2

 There seems to be something in the water in the West Country, and I don’t mean Cider or variations thereof. Whilst most folk are looking to get the latest tricked out Full Suss bike one West Country fellow is bucking the trend and going down the Hardtail route. But it wouldn’t be just a normal set up either. He’s well known locally for going like a rocket and numerous short “Edits”. But it’s not all bluster and stance. Not by any means as his recent results have shown. He’s also pretty handy at finding the er hm “racing line” too, but we’ll skim over that. So who is he? well by now you know the question.

Tom Dunn. Who are you?


Continue reading »