T-shirts & Hoodys for sale

Look closely into the beard…..and you will see a code to live by. “Chin Up”.

Designed by Morvelo these ‘Chin Up’ T-shirts and hoodys are now for sale from the online shop. Just click on ‘Shop’ above and get your beard on.

Support your local trail builders

It’s a very funky e-newsletter with videos and stuff from the Singletraction trail builders.

Chromag Bar, Stem & Saddle

There are a lot of great bars and stems on the market that all do the same job. As long as you get the lengths and angles that you prefer, then how do you choose between what’s out there? On looks of course dummy! Saddles are more personal and I’ll come to that later.

I think this Chromag bar and stem are worth buying on looks alone. The chrome finish on the bars manages to be understated and flash at the same time. They’ve taken a couple of scrapes but are no worse for it than painted or anodised finished bars would be. The stem manages to combine a retro BMX like look with a minimal modern vibe. The Chromag logo and pin striping to one side looks distinctive and classy. What about performance though? Oh well, if you must….

The OSX bars are 780mm wide (even though it says 760mm on the Chromag website) and I’ve kept them uncut. I paid a price for this when I tried to bunny hop through a gap between a barrier and a tree. I’ve been happily hopping through here with 740mm and 760mm bars, but not the first time I went in with the Fubars. It fucking hurt me and hurt my companions with laughter. However I’ve had more advantages to running the wide bars than I’ve had inconvenience with narrow apertures. Enough said. They are classed as a DH bar and weight is a reasonable 310g. They have a 25mm rise, with 5º upsweep and 8º back sweep. These numbers are perfect for me, with a nice neutral hand position. They come in a load of other colours too including black chrome. Cost for the chrome finish set is RRP £89.99.

The Ranger stem is marketed as an all mountain product. I like the low stack height with zero rise that it has. I’m digging the way that all its edges are rounded to prevent nasty moments if you do a ‘love maker’ onto it. The one I’ve got is 70mm in length. Weight is around 170g, so no grief there and like the bars it comes in colours galore. Price is RRP £104.99. That’s actually quite a lot isn’t it? It does look bitchin’ though.

With a seamless leather cover, (yes leather baby!) titanium rails and a weight of just 240g I think we’re onto a winner with the Moon saddle too. Again it just looks so damn cool with the pin stripes and sexy slim profile. Performance is great with this one for sure. The rounded, falling away edges at the nose and back make it easy to move around on and get behind, without short snag-age. The rounded nose is also good for perching up on for awkward climbing moves. Wear seems to be pretty good so far. You can’t really say much about saddle comfort as we are all differently ‘bummed’. It works for me and I’ve done some long days out on this one. RRP is £91.99.

All in all a dandy cockpit and bumpit. ‘Pimp’ is such as nasty word with little class that I don’t want to sully this excellent kit with it. After all have you seen the cars those pimps drive?

 

Check more Chromag kit out here on the Shorelines, UK importers website.

 

 

Pedals of the Year

Grippy as kittens

Without doubt my favourite pedals, the DMR Vaults combine everything that I want in a flat pedal. 400g for the pair, big platform, very grippy, strong, easy to maintain, slim and available in lots of colours. I’ve been running a green pair for a year  with no problems, they’re ready for new bearings now. However they’re just not going to match the new frame I’ve got coming so here is a new black pair. These are re-designed slightly with re-profiled ribs to make them more resistant to impact. If you compare them side on to my green ones, you can see the ribs get thicker as they taper towards the axle.

Hope Race Evo M4 Brakes

Hurray! These special edition brakes are now available to buy. Originally they were only available as a custom build for ‘lucky’ people. I first saw them on Rowan Sorrell’s Orange Alpine 160, that he had built up for the Urge Cabo enduro race. I wanted them instantly on looks alone! Minimal levers with powerful calipers, all decked out with a touch of the ‘sponsored rider’ green anodising. Gorgeous. Looking swanky is one thing, but do they work?

It was Rowan's bike

I fitted this set to my Labyrinth Agile just before going out to the Alps to work on the Trans Provence race, (see my write up of the event here). I was really pleased with the performance of these brakes in the Alps. A long and steep 20 minute descent is going to highlight any problems with your brakes and we were riding 3 or 4 of these every day for 7 days. I’m running 203mm floating rotor on the front and 183mm floating rotor on the rear. I never experienced any over heating or brake fade. The rear rotor was doing a fair bit of pinging, as it cooled down at the end of some trails, but there was no effect on the braking power. If I lived in the Alps, I’d fit a big rotor on the back as well as the front, but for most of the riding I do it’s not necessary. Plenty of stopping power with a fantastic feel at the lever, so far so good.

It didn’t rain in the Alps though, so it was only on returning to the UK and the winter slither that I was able to see how the brakes faired in the wet. I’m happy to say that they are just as impressive as they are in the dry. The brakes lose none of their feel, or their controlled power.

The Race M4s have a lovely progressive feel and are not grabby at all. With the lever reach adjust, I’m able to have them biting nice and close to the grips, just where I like it. It’s easy to bring the bike to a quick and controlled stop. The Race lever combines minimalistic design with great functionality.  The lever hook is just right and feels dead secure. The great thing about the feedback you get through the lever is that you really can feel and control the grip you have at the tyres. Simply put you can decide if you skid or not. It’s like having finger ABS!

So with this package you get killer style as standard and feel good factor that comes with knowing that the product is all made in the UK. The lever is lightweight, all bolts are titanium, maintenance is straight forward and parts are easy to get hold of (should you need to do anything. I haven’t had the need).

Cost is £219 each end for the complete brake including 183mm floating rotor and caliper mount, all bled and ready to fit. More details on the Hope website.