The wet weather this July hasn’t stopped us from riding, but the conditions do take their toll on the bike and the rider. Here are a few tips which should make your muddy rides easier for you and your steed… you might even start to prefer it!

The rider:

  • Adapt your kit, a rain jacket + trousers will keep you reasonably dry (make sure not to over dress underneath to avoid condensation) and most of all will keep your clothes clean… your washing machine will be thankful for it! To clean your rain kit, hose it down before taking it off and Bob’s your uncle!

    What we use: Patagonia Torrentshell jacket + trousers

  • Keep the extremities warm, Merino wool socks are a must and a pair of neoprene gloves (not too thick) will make a big difference when the temperature drops.

    What we use: Seal Skinz socks, Mavic Cyclone gloves

  • Keep your vision clear, it’s the biggest problem and unfortunately, there isn’t a perfect solution, but a dry clean cloth kept in your sleeve will allow you to wipe your glasses/goggles every time you stop.

  • Do not hose your muddy shoes or they will never dry again! Just let them dry (you can stuff them with newspaper) and then brush the dry mud off.

The bike:

  • Use the right lubricant, use a wet conditions lubricant before you go out. A silicon lubricant applied to your frame (kept away from the brakes!) will stop the mud sticking on it… at least for a while! After your ride, lube every nook and cranny of your bike (transmission and suspensions of course but also suspension knobs, shifters, brake levers,…).

    What we use: Muc Off Wet Lub and GT85

  • A small mudguard under the arch of your fork will keep most of the projection away but will also protect your fork’s joints.

    What we use: Marsh guard

  • Mud tyres make a massive difference! If you don’t have the budget or if you need to pedal, change just the front tyre, you will feel a lot more in control.

    What we use: Maxxis Wet scream or Specialized Hillbilly

  • You can make a small “cover” for your rear brake caliper to stop the mud getting in (mud means pads wearing more quickly and pistons getting dirty), I personally use some blister plastic (Hope’s brake pads do a great job!)

    Here is a posh example :

 

photo by: my-new-stuff.com

The skills:

  • Choose different lines from usual to avoid the biggest obstacles (roots, ruts,…), don’t be afraid of staying away from the most obvious line to find “clean” spots to brake and turn.

  • Keep some pressure on your front wheel to get the most grip out of it.

  • Keep your braking smooth.

  • Stay loose on the bike.

  • Speed is (still) your friend! If you ride too slow, your tyres are going to clog and you won’t move at all anymore… remember to keep your braking smooth though!

Well equipped, riding in the mud is fun… and there’s only one way to get better at it – get out and ride!!

 

Burner 2014

For their 20th anniversary, Turner Bikes has created a special edition of the Burner, their first model, here is how I built mine:

*Frame Size & Color: Large Burner, Polished

* Rear Shock: Fox Float CTD Factory

* Fork: Rock Shox Pike Solo air/160mm

* Brakes: Hope E4 Race, 203/183mm

* Shifter: Sram X.9

* Cranks: Shimano SLX with Hope Bash and 24/34 chainrings

* Chainguide: custom

*Front Derailleur: Sram X.9

* Rear Derailleur: Sram X.9 type2

* Pedals: Hope F20

* Stem: Hope 50mm

* Handlebar: Renthal Fat bar Lite

* Seatpost: Yep Uptimizer ST

* Saddle: Fizik Gobi

* Cassette: Sram 11/36* Headset: Hope

* Grips: Renthal Kevlar

* Tires: Michelin Wild Rock R’ 2 reinforced Magic’X&Gum’X

* Rims: Flow EX 27.5″

* Hubs: Hope Pro2 Evo

The bike rides amazingly, DO believe the hype, 27.5″ wheels carry a ton of speed through the rough and the low BB is brilliant in corners. A massive thank you to Turner Bikes, Hope and Yep components for their help.

DHR 2014 2

Here come my new DH beast! Low, slack and with finely tuned suspensions, this thing is FAST!

Here is the detailed build :

*Frame Size & Color: Large DHR, Orange anodised

* Rear Shock: Elka Stage 5, Ti spring

* Fork: Boxxer Race with Fast CO3 cartridge and black stanchion

* Brakes: Hope V4, 203/203mm floating rotors

* Shifter: Sram X.9

* Cranks: Race Face Atlas

* Chainguide: Shimano Saint

* Rear Derailleur: Sram X.9 type2

* Pedals: Hope F20

* Stem: Hope integrated

* Handlebar: Renthal cut to 760mm

* Seatpost: Easton EA70

* Saddle: Reverse

* Bottom Bracket: Hope

* Chainring: Race Face Single 36t

* Cassette: Sram 11/26

* Headset: Hope

* Grips: Renthal

* Tires: Maxxis Minion F, 2.7, ST

* Rims: Mavic EX721

* Hubs: Hope Pro2

I’ve just got my Boxxer back from Fast Suspension… and it’s had a few nice tweaks!

The standard stanchions have been changed for some custom black ones, stiffer and more importantly with less friction than the original ones. Internally the CO2 open cartridge I used to run has been upgraded to the new CO3. This new version keeps the key features of the former one, open bath and all parts machined in-house in Brittany but with an added external adjuster for high speed compression via a very neat push/pull knob. To finish it off, I had a set of custom moto stickers made by Slik Graphics… bring on the summer!

fast suspension boxxer

Jo is selling his trusty 5.Spot. This is an amazing trail bike, it will take you anywhere and back with a smile.

The frame has been fully rebuilt at the end of the season (new axles and bushings), got a couple of minor scratches and a dent under the bottom bracket (see photo). Suspensions have been serviced.

Built as follow:

Frame : Turner 5.Spot 2012, Large (1.78cm/1.85cm), RP23, custom colour “sparkle white”
Fork : Revelation RCT3, 150mm, dual air, 2013
Wheels : Hope ProII Evo, ZTR Flow, 2012
Gears : 2x10v, X9, dérailleur+chain+k7+cables/housing new
Brakes : Hope M4 Evo Race, match makers, 200/180, rear disc=1 week old
Crankset : XT 24/34, 175mm, Hope bash, 2013 /new BB
Seatpost : Reverb 2013
Stem : Hope 70mm
Bar : Renthal Fat bar Lite, 2013
Grips : Renthal kevlar
Sadle : WTB Silverado new
Tires : Specialized Butcher Control 2.35, new
Headset : Work Components -1.5°

Price= 1620£/1900€

After being bought by Adidas, the leader of flat pedals shoes, has developed and brought out some new products using the experience of the German giant. The first is the Freerider VXi (“five ten innovation”). Those shoes don’t have much in common with the original Freeriders; lighter (-100g), thinner (less friction with the crank), stiffer (better energy transfer) and more breathable, they are much more efficient when pedalling. The big change though is the completely slick part on the sole of the shoe.  The goal? Being able to move your foot more easily on the pedal without compromising the grip and… it works! It doesn’t make any difference when walking on dry ground but beware the shoes are REALLY slippery on wet surfaces! These shoes are perfect for riders who like to pedal and hike a bike only on dry terrain! I do love them though but would keep a pair of traditional Freeriders for wet rides.

Freerider VXi

As the (very happy) owner of a beautiful Turner DHR, I was looking for a chainstay protection up to par …. Not an easy job when you consider the shape of the swingarm (there is a machined part near the crankset which is very difficult to cover) and the anodised finish of the frame (normal stickers don’t stick), not finding an efficient solution I ended up with a couple of marks but most of all, quite a noisy bike! After a bit of research, I found out that the top World Cup mechanics are using a tape made by 3M and described as “rubber mastic” (ref. 2228). This thing comes in different length and widths, sticks to anything (the easiest way to get rid of it on a bike would be to sell the frame), is kind of soft/sticky so can be moulded around shapes, is light and slim and most of all, shock absorbant! A perfect silencer for my weapon of choice.

2228 on DHR3

Here is my new DH bike, a Turner DHR 2012.

I’m using pretty much the same parts as last year, apart from new bars (Renthal) and lighter/tougher saddle (NC17).

Fast Suspensions has also updated the suspensions… can’t wait to open the throttle wide!

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