LONG"TERM RIDES

The En­duro’s un­scathed af­ter some ad­ven­tures in the Arctic Cir­cle

Mountain Biking UK - - CONTENTS -

The lat­est on our team bikes – where we’ve rid­den, what we’ve changed on them and what we’ve bro­ken this month!

I’ve been far and wide with the En­duro this month. As far north as the Arctic Cir­cle, in fact, where I ex­plored a pretty much un­tapped trail bike par­adise in Nor­way’s Lyn­gen Alps. Be­fore I went, I was para­noid about break­ing parts, be­cause I’d be so far from any bike shops. Thank­fully the En­duro made it through in­tact. It even sur­vived the hard­est test of all – be­ing thrown around by air­port bag­gage han­dlers. They did man­age to lose it though, and leave it on the run­way in a thun­der­storm! Luck­ily I was re­united with it the next day, and the wait made me even more ea­ger to get stuck in.

Af­ter de­lib­er­at­ing about what bike to take on the trip, I was glad of my choice, be­cause the big­wheeled Spe­cial­ized proved per­fect for the trails in Nor­way, which had ev­ery­thing from nat­u­ral swoop­ing sin­gle­track to man­made rock drops. The 29in wheels helped me carry speed and made the sav­age tech­ni­cal climbs that lit­tle bit eas­ier. An­noy­ingly, the lower shock bolt kept com­ing loose, but luck­ily I’d had the fore­sight to pack the req­ui­site 5mm Allen key in the En­duro’s down tube SWAT box.

So far, the Ridge Com­po­nents car­bon wheels I fit­ted last month are go­ing strong. The in­crease in stiff­ness over the stock Ro­val Tra­verses makes line choice no­tice­ably more pre­cise and means there’s less squirm when push­ing hard into turns. To com­ple­ment the wheels, I’ve treated my­self to a new rear tyre – a Maxxis Min­ion DHF. It’s not the quick­est-rolling tyre, but hav­ing run it both front and rear on my down­hill bike for a while now, I’d have to say that the in­creased trac­tion is worth the ex­tra ef­fort. I’ve gone for the harder dual-com­pound ver­sion, be­cause Maxxis’s ‘3C’ tyres just don’t have a long enough life­span on the rear for me.

The two weeks of solid rid­ing in Nor­way was great for get­ting in tune with the bike and it’s in­spired me to do some more ex­plo­ration now that I’m back on home soil. Time to hunt out some big rides with equally big de­scents...

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