Monday, August 13, 2007

Cove Hustler Report and Mountain of Hell Video

Took a trip to the Lakes on Saturday afternoon, to catch up with Tom and Jenny, and on Sunday take the Cove Hustler on a blast round Grizedale.
Ended up doing 21 miles, bits of the North Face trail and the Lawson Park descent. The Hustler was excellent, only weighing 26.5lbs meant it was so easy to ride up the hills, but also very chuckable over trail obstacles. The build was very cross-country, I reckon my build will be 4lbs or so heavier (heavier forks and wheels primarily making up for the difference), which should make it around 30lbs. The frame is very well made, and the headtube area is pretty burly, the tubes being square section here, changing to circular section down by the bottom bracket. Feels good on the downs, but some decent forks (Rockshox Coil Lyriks arrived from the states last week - got busted for £100 import duty though) with 20mm through axle along with a 70mm stem will make the steering precise and direct, the 90mm stem fitted felt like a large scaffolding pole, and the Marzocchi XC700 forks were flexy and clunky - no buttery smoothness here - can't wait to get my frame now, although still not got a confirmed date for this boo :( pretty much got all the parts to build it now apart from the frame!

Mountain of Hell Video
Marcus has done a top job of editing the Mountain of Hell footage, check it out here:
I won't get fooled again! Cheers to Marcus for a job well done,

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Wales: Penmachno and the Marin Trail

Took a trip to Wales on Sunday, to try the trails in the Betws-y-Coed area, Penmachno (not tried this before) and the Marin trail in Gwydyr forest (did this some time ago on my Nicolai
Penmachno was good, cleared it in 1hr 35mins. Lots of puddles on the track so got quite wet, but the singletrack sections were quite long, and the fireroad climbs seemed bearable.

The Marin trail starts with a little singletrack climb, then into a seemingly unending fireroad climb. Then I crashed fairly badly on the first proper descent, slipped on some wet flinty stuff, front wheel hit a log and over I went grrrrr damn hardtail. Clearly I blame the hardtail, as the vp-free would have soaked up the log and railed the wet flint in super tacky tyres. Over I went, landed smack on my helmet (not broken) and shoulder. Anyway, the rest of the ride seemed like short singletrack sections interspersed with LONG fireroad climbs. I think I was pretty drained towards the end, along with shoulder pain - however managed to enjoy the final descent with the little jumps woo! Total for the day : 24miles

Taking this (Cove Hustler) out at the weekend from Bike Shed in Scisset (

Looking for a lightweight travel full sus - this weighs 26.5lbs apparently, however my build would include Rockshox Lyriks (20mm through axle security) and a possible coil shock upgrade later (this could be a good megavalanche bike) so will be a bit heavier.

We'll see how it rides, possibly meeting up with Tom for a jaunt in the Dales, other option being a Dalby forest recce....

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Back in England - wrecked kit lists

Back in England now - mmm great

Actually Wrecked Kit list:
2 x Maxxis High Roller 60a Rear Tyres
2 x Maxxis Minion Super Tacky Front Tyres
1 x Crank Brothers 5050 pedal (crank side needle bearing in many pieces)
3 x Mech Hangers
1 x Specialized Saddle (bent rails)

Probably Wrecked Kit List:
1 x Rear Mech (currently on a bent mech hanger so hard to tell, but I reckon its twisted)
1 x Rear Wheel (in need of some serious truing - possibly beyond repair)

errrr - thats it. Not too bad for 4 weeks in the alps...