With grip­pier rub­ber it­ted, it’s time to try and qui­eten things down

Mountain Biking UK - - LONG-TERM RIDES -

I hit the trails with new con­fi­dence this month, after fit­ting tougher tyres. Last month’s blowout at BikePark Wales re­in­forced my opin­ion that skinny side­walls are def­i­nitely not for me, so I opted for some Maxxis Min­ions with the mid­dleweight ‘EXO Pro­tec­tion’ cas­ing. They’re not quite as fat as the 2.6in Sch­walbe Nobby Nics they re­placed, at 2.5in front and 2.4in rear, but are ‘Wide Trail’ ver­sions that have been op­ti­mised for use on wider rims and still blow up pretty big. I’ve used the DHF for years, so I know I get on with it. The DHR II is more of an un­known quan­tity, be­cause I’ve tended to run a semi-slick on the rear for faster rolling. But I’m rid­ing more off-piste and bike park stuff th­ese days and fewer trail cen­tres, so I fig­ured I’d try some­thing with a bit more brak­ing and cor­ner­ing grip.

First im­pres­sions are promis­ing. Dur­ing my first trip to the ex­cel­lent Black Moun­tains Cy­cle Cen­tre I never felt short of grip, even with the tyres be­ing the dual-com­pound rather than pricier ‘3C’ ver­sion – although there were ad­mit­tedly no wet roots or pol­ished rocks to try them out on. I didn’t feel like the knob­bly rear was hold­ing me back ei­ther. In fact, I went so fast (by my own mea­gre stan­dards)

chas­ing Jonny and Jim­mer down the awe­somely-named and crafted Well-Oiled Weasel that I didn’t no­tice a sniper root ly­ing in wait for me and ended up tak­ing an up-close look at the un­der­growth. For­tu­nately, I was able to bounce right back up.

With no bad be­hav­iour from the tyres to dis­tract me, I could fo­cus on the ride. Well, that and the an­noy­ing rat­tling. I iden­ti­fied two causes

– the mess of ca­bles out front of the bar, due to Scott’s ‘TwinLoc’ sus­pen­sion-ad­just­ment sys­tem, and the in­te­grated Syn­cros bot­tle cage and multi-tool that Scott sent to me along with the bike. The first re­quires some ju­di­cious ap­pli­ca­tion of elec­tri­cal tape, while I’ve hope­fully al­ready fixed the sec­ond by tight­en­ing up the tool’s pivot bolts and the bolts se­cur­ing the cage to the frame. Fin­gers crossed, I’ll be mak­ing my way down the hills much more stealth­ily on my next ride! www.scott-sports.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.