Saturday, 31 December 2016
Friday, 30 December 2016
The Pipeline name has been used before by Rocky, It was a mid stroke freeride rig, maybe over looked by the RMX range that followed, But for 2017 the Pipelines back, but its an all new beast! First off its a + tyred bike, If you have not been on a + yet then try one, If you have been on a fat bike you know how well they roll for the size of the tyre, So the plus rolls even better than a fat bike, maybe as well as a large enduro style tyre, So Rocky have teamed up the new big tyres with a new bike, Its front section comes off the much loved Instinct trail bike, So its sexy carbon and for a Rocky it has a roomy top tube, its not crazy long like some magazines would like you to think is the way forward (more on this in a bit) but its not short either. The back of the bikes alloy and the frames built for a stealth dropper and has the Ride -9 chip so you can switch the angles from 67.2 all the way to 68.8 in seconds. Rocky are a cult brand and so its never going to be a low cost bike, but unlike some brands this bike has a parts list that needs no real upgrades thanks to Rockys long time links with fellow BC boys RaceFace along with Rockshox, maxxis, SunRingle etc..
So out on the trail you have a 150mm fork and 130mm in the rear, climbing the bike feels like im riding a 150mm trail/enduro bike, its no xc weapon but i can dig deep and keep up with the 120-130mm trail bikes on the climbs. Then we head down hill! + bikes give you so much grip!! you can brake later coming in to some turns while other turns you always brake at you dont have to hit them at all, it just never slides and lets go, It always grips and holds its lines, You soon find this bike giving you PB times on trails you had blasted on a 150mm enduro bike, What i loved was the sizing, the super long top tubes from the like of whyte just dont work for + bikes, they were never designed with plus in mind, we are now getting the grip and stable feel from the tyres, this means the top tube can return (not all the way back to the 90s) to a more standard size what gives the bike the pop and feel that had gone with the limo top tube sized bikes. So a bike with more grip than we have ever had and a geo that wants you to pop off stuff and ride the most badass lines makes this one fun bike that blurs the lines of a trail bike/enduro and even freeride! If you like your trails tight,steep, super tech with loads of roots and rocks then you need a Pipeline, Its that simple, This will let you hit tech lines that you feel should be done on a trials bike and you can see why this bikes on a must have list for a lot riders on the North Shore where this bike was developed as its perfect for this type of trails, At a xc trail centre i felt i did not get the best out the bike and it felt slow as it made the trail so easy (even if my times on strava were very fast), But if you like and ride a lot of natural trails and thinking of hitting the odd enduro or more trips to BikeParkWales then look at the pipeline, Also if you like mtn biking but have never mastered the wet roots and rock riding skills then try the Pipeline, it will make the best of the skills you have, The Pipeline gets the very best out of the + tyre size better than any other i have ragged yet. A very cool natural terrain weapon.
Wednesday, 21 December 2016
Thursday, 15 December 2016
Saturday, 10 December 2016
Looks like we have a new crew joining JC and myself on next years 305 ride, the Revolver ride will be 405+ miles up to Scotland in 24 hours, Then a good nights sleep, charge the lights and Garmins and then ride the 350+ miles back down to Devon in another 24 hour stint on the bike, This will be going off in May!
(4 of the 5 305 legends AKA the class of 2016)
(JC & i from Greenover will be back for more in 2017)
Thursday, 1 December 2016
Well this years just about done and its been a great year on the bike again, First off a big thank you to Greenover sports, Thompson bikes, Rocky Mountain bicycles and anyone thats helped me out this year.
(taking the win at Bike Fest in the 12 hour solo)The data :
|Elev Gain||319,970 ft|
(up to 4th in the south west cross series till i came down with the flu)
We got the year off to a slow start with my focus on bikefest and going better than i did the year before when i got 4th, my goal was to do more miles in the 12 hours, if that got me better than 4th great, if i was 10th, it was fine as long as i did better than the year before, just before bike fest we did the first ever Eat Dirt on Exmoor off road sportive, It was a geat event and the strava times showed i was smashing it and going better than i thought. I dropped in and did an enduro to get my skills on point and we were ready for bikefest..
(the 305 ride)
BikeFest was a classic, i lapped everyone! i crushed it, taking the win!! my year was done , well it could of been.. Later that summer i would team up with the greenover crew to ride at 24-12 in the team event in the 24 hour race, my form was not great, I did the exmoor round of the xc endurance series to get fit and try and peak for this key event, plus i joined the rest of the wednesday crew at a 130 mile ride to lands end, we did it with a 20mph av!, We put in a solid ride at 24-12 but the form was not what i wanted, we finished second and we had a blast, but the following weekend we had a new challenge..
(racing never get old)
Yes the following weekend we had another 24 hours with no sleep, 5 riders that did not know much about each other with a plan of sorts hit the road to do 300 miles in 24 hours! My form was great (a week late) and we had some dark times in that 24 (turns out a lack of sleep and foods not a great idea) but at the end of the ride we had taken our riding to a new level and opened our eyes as far as rides for next year! The 305 crew was born!
(xc,enduro,endurance and cross we have done it all this year)
Plus we did the Triple Crown, another classic and a true hardcore ride, maybe the best one yet,sure was another hard day on the bike, we have since clocked up some miles on and off road, gone to some demo events and then jumped in to the cyclocross series, I might have focused on endurance over speed work but i love a race and i have never had a proper go at cross till now and im loving it and had some great battles and made some new riding bros. Now its time to end the year with the Rapha 500 and get ready for 2017! Its going to be an epic year!!
Friday, 18 November 2016
First off we have the frame, as good as the parts might be, A quality frame should be the key area as this lets you upgrade in the future and will give you the ride quality. The pilot frame i got to try was flat black, It looked very simple and maybe lacked much hype at first glance, But up close you soon spot a lot going on with the profile of the frame, I liked the wishbone seatstay and the headtube /down tube have some nice sexy lines. The fork helps keep the price down, so its carbon legs but with an alloy steerer, For a weekend worrier this is no bad thing, So many steerers get damaged by riders over clamping down stems and cutting steerers then this is a good bit of future proofing and at a very small weight cost, Most the parts and wheels are Thompsons in house brand and all look and feel good, but some future bling would help drop some weight and add some style point.
On the road and you know your on a Thompson, that bb stiffness shines through and getting the power downs not a problem, The bike does not jack hammer you on the long rides but its not that soft either, This comes from a racey frame and the deep rims, The frame for sure feels like a top end carbon racer, Those wheels do add a little weight but get them rolling in the 20mph and above range and they hold speed so well! Plus they felt ok in cross winds as well. handling was sharp, crisp and sporty and lets you push your limits in the turns. I would be happy to race some crits on this bike, So if your looking at maybe going racing in the future or just want a sporty race feeling bike then this bike stands strong with any other in its price point, add custom colourways and spec options and it might just make your other options look a little less attractive and the custom colours also keeps the Thompsons looking look a lot less dated than brands with colour years.
Its a race bike from a cult brand at a much lower price than you might think given just how good the frame is on its own. So future proof yourself with this if your thinking of a long term race bike/sporty mile muncher, as the frames worth some upgrades in the future what would only make the bike faster and more custom tuned.
Saturday, 12 November 2016
so here we have my new cross bike for a long term review, So i did a few cross races started to love it and felt an upgrade was needed, i wanted a pure cross bike, So went on the hunt, when talking to my LBS they said about the Grade x, I said no as i wanted a cross race bike not a gravel bike, They sent me the link to the X, Its very much the sleeper in the Grade range, while the rest are gravel bikes named after the group set the the X does not, It also does not stand for the X factor, but Cross, as in cyclocross.. Next year GT will make this more clear by calling it the cx, So the frames the alloy model from the Grade range, so its burly slack and low, The fork comes from the carbon range with a bolt hub, Spec wise GT show they know how to spec a cross bike, the flair bars from the other Grades has gone for a more cross style bar and the group set comes from Sram in the shape of the Rival 11 speed. Wheels are jalco with some cross tyres from Clement. The only part i changed was the seat, just because i had a nice blue Fabric to match the colour, but the stock saddles a great Fizik.
Thursday, 3 November 2016
Sunday, 30 October 2016
Sunday, 23 October 2016
So after a year of riding and racing 12 hour and 24 hour endurance events the body has had a kick in the butt as we have jumped in to the south west cyclocross series, having raced one event tow years ago on a 29er and then came back last year to race two rounds we were keen to do some more, we hit the series at round 2, fast and flat track at Taunton, with lots flip flop turns and banks we were stoked to roll in for 5th!! few weeks later and the east Devon round, few more ramped climbs and my poor form at the this time showed, paced it in for 9th, one week later and were in Exeter, this tracks got loads long draggy climbs and ruts but its not very tech, we come in 9th again but well off the pace.. Another week and its the Barnstaple round, and were on the new GT grade x, i felt a lot better than the week before, the track was still not over tech but i felt ok, yet we finished..11th! time to try and get in shape before the next event or find some faster legs! still great winter fun.
This is the Thompson Capella disc, Thompson has put lot time and money in to developing this bike and it shows, Designed as a cutting edge endurance road bike, but dont think of this as a endurance road bike from 5 years ago with long head tubes, and tug boat handling, this is the new breed of road bikes that go back to the era of what a true road bike was, yes you can do a sportive on it, a club run with the fast boys and just about any style of road riding, its the classic road bike reborn!
Friday, 21 October 2016
Thursday, 20 October 2016
Monday, 10 October 2016
so almost 2 years, how did it do, was it worth the money.. Well the bike did good, plus has to be full 105, a solid frame and a great value winter bike or first road bike, If your planning on getting one, dump the tyres, they maybe 25mm but these are cheap steel beaded, switching tyres changed the ride and helped me not get dropped on the group ride, it was that big of a change, the only other change i made was the wheels, if your looking at this bike for the long term that be the big upgrade, i put some old dt swiss wheels from my old spec tarmac comp and again boosted the ride by making it feel and ride quicker in the hills, other than this the bike stayed stock, its a great value ride what for the money still wins its price range hands down.
Hi all, The last month we have jumped in to the cross racing season and raced round 2 of the south west series, this taunton track was fast and flat, i came in pumped for a result and put in a big effort and come out the race with a 5th! 2 weeks later we were in North Devon for the next round, few more ramps and my lack form was showing, i got a solid 9th, Then just 7 days later we were in Exeter for escot, one of the hardest races of the year with its ruts and bumps and this year a lot long draggy climbs, this showed my poor form even more and i had a bad race and never got going, i planned to make a big push on the last lap but ended up getting wiped out twice by other riders, my 9th here was not what i wanted but at the same time with my lack good legs right now im going to have to take and hope to bounce back as were racing again this sunday, on the plus we have a new bike for this weekend, so lets hope that works out well.
Sunday, 25 September 2016
Saturday, 24 September 2016
Sorry for the lack of blogs, its been a big year, after the win at Bikefest we had a few weeks to recover and then get in shape for 24-12, racing as part of a team for Rocky Mountain in the 24 hour race, It went real well and we came home second. While on the road we went from Exeter to Lands end (130miles ) with a 20 mph av as part of the fight club team. The weekend after 24-12 we were again going without sleep, this time we were riding for 24 hours and a spot 305+ miles away from where we started!! This was my first outing for Thompson bikes on the road, we smashed it! since then we have been blasting out the road miles and helping with the Thompson road bike demos as they hit the UK shore, Im a big fan of the brand and the bikes it makes, so im super stoked to say i will be riding for Thompson on the road be it racing, adventure,training, sportives and much more in 2017! So its time to get in shape and we have now jumped in to the cross racing and got a 5th at my first race of the year, As for the Mountain biking im also pumped to say my deals done and im starting my 5th year as part of Rocky Mountain bicycles!! so i will be out crushing the trails, doing a range of racing and media and i cant wait to get up in the hills on my new team bike that lands next week! i will get a photo of that up here early next week so keep checking back!
Friday, 5 August 2016
Thursday, 30 June 2016
Tuesday, 28 June 2016
Sunday, 26 June 2016
Thursday, 23 June 2016
Wednesday, 15 June 2016
website and trying what colour you would like your next speed stick to be. very cool, nice work Thompson bikes.
Tuesday, 14 June 2016
1, Never give up!: keeping going when the body and mind say stop can be very hard, these races are a mind game, You have to be mentally prepared for some real lows over the 12 hours and a lot does go through your head on why you are doing it, if its late in the race think of the finish line, all the weeks/months of hard work and the pain and hard work you have just done for the last 7/8 hours, you cant do that to throw in the towel, let yourself down or others, Or focus like i do on the now for most of the race, the next few turns, the next section of trail, staying in the now will take away the thought of 6 hours still to go.
2.Love the suffer and pain! : yes you will feel like c*ap at some point but don't get miserable, you need the attitude that keeps you positive and up beat, when it rained at bikefest this year i just looked at it that this will let me pick some new lines, I'm a skilled rider, i might make some time up and a bit of slip and slide might make things wild and fun, plus it just made the race more bad ass, rather than thinking great its hammering down I'm cold wet and i have 4 hours of chafing to come.. put spin on it and work your head game.
3, keep it fun: Having a pit crew to help feed you food,bottles and time checks helps keep things simple, it also gives you a few seconds to talk to someone, its lonely out on the track some times trying to focus for 12 hours to hit lines, time checks and asking what food you want just helps make you think of other things and that race might say solo, but you cant let your pit crew down by bailing because it was hard, its a 12 hour race, its not easy!
4,pacing: yes going out hard on a xc race and going pop with 20 mins to go can be nasty, but bonking with 2,4,6 hours to go will be a big problem and end your race some times or make you ill, so dont go out all guns blazing, turn it down just a little, try and save a little bit of energy as you will need it later.
5, data: i run a garmin but i keep it simple on race day, time,speed,miles, that way it lasts the 12 hours and i dont need the info till i get home, All i look down at once in a whiles the time of day, rather than a stop watch, this way my brain has to workout how long i have to go, how far i have been, i never take much interest in the speed but you could see each lap if your doing the same speed on a long flat section or at the top of a climb, but again i just focus on the now and its there if i want it, as for miles i know i did 109 last year so if i was first or last this year i wanted to do more in the 12 hours ( i won with 127 miles covered), so this can work to push you later in the laps.
Plan b: mid race you might want a couple of off laps, when you turn it down even more, real recover, few seconds lost on these laps may give you the boost and motivations to push on when you thought of calling it a day or to then give it the last push and dig hard for a few laps, maybe spin the legs up the climbs on some laps to change muscle groups and flush some lactic acid out, also maybe stand once in a while to help stretch to fight of cramping and getting back pain.
Talking in your head: Great sayings like "you are better than you think you are and you can go further than you think you can", or "never give up", so you know its not an option, i always think "fight to win, fight to win Don" lol, this is off an old vid from the 1989 Worlds that someone says to Don Myrah, its stuck with me and it always comes in to my head when i'm battling the demons in my head mid race, it works for me! I also think about doing it for my Dad, he passed away a few years ago, but he was mentally the strongest person i have ever met and he would not give up and i would not want to let him down, do what works for you!
nutrition: This is simple, listen to the experts, follow no one! find what works for you, i could not do 12 hours on gells, so i know if im racing im just burning sugar, so im taking in cola and snicker bars as my main food and drink, the odd other drink to help keep off cramps and to switch things up, i mostly drink as eating slows me down.
Fuc*ed it up: failure.. its a great way to workout how to do it better next time, my first 12 hour i paced it but i was also just racing myself, this year i paced it, but turned it up when i needed to catch riders/time and also had some off laps to recover, i rode smarter,fast and went further.. Have fun with it, don't stress if you don't win, you can only turn up with the best prep you can and do the best ride you can, if you do this what ever result you get be happy with it.
Monday, 25 April 2016
The racing year kicked off with a trip to round 2 of the UK Enduro series sponsored by Rocky Mountain Bicycles, The event had some great stages and the weather was perfect for some hot action, Having been based on the road bike over the winter it was nice to get on the Thunderbolt for 2 days and try and get back up to speed, Sadly my speed was way off on day one and just not as smooth or as flowing as i like to be and the times showed, On day 2 i was feeling more at home on the bike but i was still not happy with my pace and so just had fun on the bike. Still we had a great weekend with the Greenover/Rocky mtn crew and it felt good just to be back riding in the dirt. We will be back riding an event on exmoor this coming weekend as we try and build up some more speed on the mtn bike as we head in to Bikefest.
Tuesday, 22 March 2016
Quick update, we have started the year with some solid training, we have yet to race this year as we focus on the 12 hour solo at bikefest in June, Ridings going well but we still have a lot work to do as far as getting the weight down and getting more power. The new Rocky Mountain team bikes so nice, we should drop in to the rocky backed UK enduro series next month to race the second round of that series and workout if i want race enduro or on the road this year. big update coming next. thanks for coming on my blog.