Gumber Bothy vs Holland Wood New Forest, Camping near London with bikes.

Its finally summer here in London and I’ve been able to get away a bit to do some camping.

Thanks to Straton we had a big ass van to use for the weekend and so we packed our mtbs in and drove down to the south downs to Gumber Bothy.

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The camp site was about 15min up a gravel track which was hard with all my gear on my back.

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Bleds packed a lot lighter.IMG_5965

 

We set up camp and went for a little ride around the woods then went to the pub and came back for a fire and whiskey.

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My camp setup.

2015-05-24 15.30.01-1Next morning feeling hung over we rode to some trails in Houghton forest. It was all off road from the campsite across farms and forest. Something like this roughly.

Untitled-1The ride was really nice and quiet and we found a couple of fun trails. My phone was flat so I dont have any pic but strat made this LOL video of the weekend.

Next little trip was out to Brockenhurst here

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to a campsite in New Forest called Holland Wood. There’s a few campsite in New Forest, they all look like they are run by the same people and look roughly the same. We rode our bikes to waterloo and jumped on a train for an hour and a half and then rode 10 min to the camp.

We setup and chilled for a bit then rode into Brokenhurst for some food.

2015-06-09 17.01.59Unfortunately the campsite doesn’t allow any wood burning so we couldn’t use our biolite stove to make hot food. It was a bummer cause I love making a little fire and being able to charge my phone.

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Next day we went for a ride around the forest. The paths are well marked and they are strict about you sticking to them. So it was more a gravel grind than mtb but that was ok cause ash was on 35c.

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I guess one of the cool things about New Forest is all the wild horses and ponys. Like everywhere! And they dont give a shit, they are so used to humans they just hang out where ever.

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Like in this huge field of weird bumps. What are they from?

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the forest was kinda cool looking too when you go into it.

IMG_5138and there was a bike shop in Brockenhurst which does rentals if you need a bike and had a cool little workshop and rad old mtb.

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and a couple of ok pubs like the Rose and Crown with this beer garden.IMG_5117also had Auckland Ave! IMG_5120but I gotta say that no wood fires (even if it is more eco) definitely put a damper on my trip. That and not being allowed to got off piste in the woods. It all seems a bit PC.

So there you are. Clear winner. Gumber bothy for its sweet fire pit and trail shredability. You can make it a stop off of you are doing the South Downs way which I plan on doing some time in the future.

 

 

 

 

Chinese carbon 29er bike check and FM-056 frame review

2015-06-15 12.31.21 2015-06-15 12.32.37 2015-06-15 12.31.292015-06-15 12.32.002015-06-15 12.31.38 I bought this frame off ebay in March last year after doing extensive reasearch on the mtbr forum. It was £280 shipped with a full carbon fork (now on my commuter) Think I payed another £35 import charges. I built it up with a second hand fox float, sram x9 cranks running a direct mount wolf tooth chain ring (32t) Chris king BB off my surly. Xt shifter and cassette and zee mech. The wheels are halo super drive and xcd hubs (mismatched cause that was all that was in stock at the time) on halo vapour tubeless rims with cxray spokes. Racing Ralph at the rear and Hans Dampf at the front seams to be a light and grippy combo for the muddy english trails. Ive got whiskey carbon bars 74cm and a cheap kalloy stem 70mm. The brakes are formula R1’s which are ok but not great. They are quite light and I got them fairly cheap. I got a fizik gobi muzzle saddle that I love on top a KS LEV 150mm dropper with the cable run though where the front mech would go so its quite tidy and got a southpaw remote lever for it which I really like.

I’ve been riding this bike a lot. I’m actually on my second chain and cassette now. Riding it around town and out to Epping and back I wear out the 11t and 12t cogs quite quick. But other than that the gear range is fine.

Its 11.1kg as you see it and feels fast as fuck. It climbs great and being clipped in I can hop it and float over roots with ease reducing the hammering on the rear end. I’ve been riding it kind of half cross country and half trail and even take it down the DH runs in Swinley forest. I’m a bit conscious when riding it not to push it too hard. I try to stay in the transitions of jumps and not huck to flat but I think I’ve definitely given it a bit more abuse than it was designed to take and its still going strong. I’m so happy with it that if it broke tomorrow I would just get another one. I think that for the money it preforms so well.

I’m probably going to put sram GX or X1 on it soon to give it a bigger gear range and might try out one of those oval rings, see how they feel. But even as it is now its my favorite bike to ride.

Arlo’s Bike

Staff Bikes – Arlo “T-Rex” White

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The youngest member of the White family loves bikes; he’s only 17months old but is already on two wheels.

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As his dad it was my duty to give him the raddest ride, and obviously had to get some heavy modifications done to customize it.

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The bike started out as a stock Cruzee balance bike. First, I dropped the weight down from 4.4lb to 4.0lb, I also lowered the height of the seat. The specs suggest that it will fit a 2 year old, but Arlo fits it no worries with the lower height. I also designed a custom head badge with the aide of Regal Casting in Mt Eden. I just got some special wax and carved a T-Rex design into and they cast it in bronze, it’s truly the pièce de résistance of the ride.

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GT-Edge

This, like many other ongoing projects has been floating around the shop for around 6 months. Sometimes the last thing on your mind is fixing your own bike when we have such a busy little bike shop. My project list is never ending and I needed to get at least one thing sorted from the list.GT

 

This bike is an absolute mix ‘n’ match of parts; every part, except the tyres, I had in my personal inventory, and as one friend put it “it looks like a Brian bike”. In some ways I was stoked with that comment.

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Here is the rundown of bits:

The frame, fork and headset came from a customer, Richard knew I was stoked on this frame and he really did me a solid with a trade that worked for both. I am very grateful to have such awesome customers that do things like that.

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Headset is nothing fancy, it’s an OG Diacomp unit that were some of the first on the market, I like the fact is in perfect condition and a real innovation for its’ time. Stem and bars are standard equipment found on many bikes I have owned.

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Wheels are something I had laying around, Profiles laced to Mavic’s with DB Wheelsmith’s. I have to admit the wheels are not the strongest ever made but they work well and look good.

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I think the coolest part is the cranks, BB and sprocket. The cranks are Middleburn MTB cranks that I found at the dump. BB is a Royce Ti unit with Aluminium bolts, another score from the dump. The sprocket is a Profile 3sp BMX unit I have had in my stuff for years now; originally from a small shop in Hamilton. Chainring bolts I fished out of Mike Z’s ano bolt jar over a few beers in his shed and to finish it off is a custom-made chain guide I made in the shop from various parts and aluminium bits.

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I have been riding the bike for the last two days and it running pretty sweet; some little tweeks and it should be mint.

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Got to say it’s pretty god damn light, I have no idea about bike weights but 8.5Kg seems pretty light?

That’s about it.

Now ride it.

Posted in .

Whats the craic?

That means whats going on? If your not from the UK. Well most of you already know if you follow me on instagram so I would ask whats the point of blogging? Well I get to rant a bit and go into more nerdy detail I guess. Also all you luddites not on instagram can get updates blog style like its 2010.

First off some super limited custom merch.

The Skull Bike Club Dirtnap fender2015-04-02 18.18.30It works like this and keeps the mud off you face.2015-04-02 18.28.48

Endorsed by the Squirrel Master himself.
2015-04-05 13.04.32Field tested in the swamp lands of Epping Forest.2015-04-05 16.47.47

Although it doesn’t keep the rest of your bike clean at all.2015-04-05 12.51.45

These were stenciled with spray paint so took a while to make and the graphic isn’t very robust so I might wait till I’ve got some screen printing facilities to make some more. The big vinyl stickers are really fiddly too. 2015-05-19 17.06.57Couple of other things that happened.

I met the man himself King of headsets and hubs, Chris King.
2015-04-17 08.34.50I rode a ebike for the first time. 2015-04-10 16.29.51I broke my nose by face planting into a tree in Epping.2015-05-16 13.23.20

And left a scary mess in the woods. Lol2015-05-16 13.07.57-1I’ve been riding the shit out of this Guy. Bike check coming soon.2015-05-03 16.47.18My vintage mtb addiction is back and I’m buying more stoopid rad stuff.
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Last but not least Rad Rider is back again!

Skulls, Plagways and Squirrel on the mix. As always some steel drum, thrash metal, afrobeat and whatever other weird records we picked out. Terrible mixing on this and awful sound quality from my dodgy turntable setup, but at least we don’t talk through it.

Enjoy.

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Rad Rider 7 by Mark Boswell on Mixcloud

Also in dropbox for DL.

 

Bike check: Justin’s dirtdrop-monstercross-explorcycle

IMG_0445I’ve been after a kind of fatboi cyclocross bike to go exploring and city park shredding for a while and I finally got one.
Curve Cycling is a kind of roadie vibe outfit from Straya that makes some nice carbon rims. This frame came up as a kind of kickstarter type deal. It’s a 4130 cromoly front triangle with a house brand carbon fork, so nothing too fancy. But it’s solid as a brick poo-box, which suits me. It’s been the perfect bike to explore my new hood in Wellington. It’s comfy and fast enough on the road and reasonably capable off-road. I like that there are no rules with this sort of bike – I can just go for a cruise down the road, hop up onto the footpath for a bit, scope a trail, see where it goes and then ride home.
IMG_0516I wanted a fairly strong set of wheels for it, so I got some Stan’s Crest 29er MTB hoops on some Hope hubs. The 45c continental Cyclokings (I think) are really wide and go pretty well on and offroad. I didn’t want to get some fancy shifter/brake levers because I know I’ll smash them into some rocks or a tree sometime (I also don’t have much money), so I got some cheap used Sram Rival units. I scavenged a few bits off my poor old commuter bike, like the Sram cassette, the Sram Rival derailleur, the chain, the Thomson seatpost and the Flite saddle (now a 90s Bontrager saddle). The Wolftooth 40 tooth chainring was a Trade Me bargain. I wasn’t sure how it would go without a clutch derailleur, but so far so good. The cranks are Shimano Dura Ace with Shimano XT trail pedals. The brakes are Avid BB7 road with 140mm rotors front and back. I splashed out on a Chris King headset, because I’m worth it and the rasta vibes make lol.

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So far I’ve ridden this thing on long-ish road rides, singletrack, rough-as rocky gravel, sand, mud – pretty much everything – and it’s heaps of fun. It’ll never have that F1 sharpness and speed of an road bike, nor does it have the carve and plow of a mountain bike, but it rules for those ‘I wonder where that goes’ sort of rides.