CTC Forum - MTB

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Updated: 2 hours 18 min ago

Re: Off road rides, Colchester area

14 October 2014 - 9:34pm

Friday Woods is OK and can be challenging in the wet - I've done this quite a lot over the years with my now grown up sons. They did the Boxing day bikes vs runners at the start of the year.

Alton Water as previously stated also OK

Wivenhoe trail is flat but at least off road.

Rendlesham Forest also has some good trails but not that brilliant. Usual forestry commission stuff.

Tunstall Forsest much better much info out there about them. Not tried this but told it has a wild jump zone

Thetford is possible best and has some reasonable red routes - Pretty soft compared to Wales, Scotland etc

Danbury is small but I'm told OK - tried it once, broke bike and did a fair deal of walking - Jump area plus cross country

Epping Forest is also said to be OK but not many waymarked routes - not tried this one.

Hope that helps,


Re: 29 incher - all hype?

11 October 2014 - 10:57am
26 to 29 is quite a big step. Bigger wheels roll easier especially over potholes and imperfections.


Re: 29 incher - all hype?

11 October 2014 - 9:46am
Virtually all of the new MTBs have 650b ie 27.5" wheels!! This means that the 29er was in fashion for 3 years.

In order to keep selling bikes year after year the manufacturers keep re inventing the wheel.

It's very annoying that manufacturers are producing products that have built in obsolescence of only 3-4 years. It is the same as regards parts, it is now very difficult to buy new suspension forks that don't have tapered steerer tubes which makes a huge number of perfectly good frames obsolete.


11 October 2014 - 12:44am
Check this out: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... -the-ridge. Not mountain biking but biking on mountains.

Re: Moving up from 32 tires to 38/42 - how much of a differe

3 October 2014 - 5:07pm
Hi Andrew and Bicycler,

Just to say many thanks to both of you for your replies, they're a great help.


Re: Moving up from 32 tires to 38/42 - how much of a differe

2 October 2014 - 4:41pm
As far as wheels are concerned, for comfort you want the lowest tyre pressure at which you don't get pinch punctures (aka snakebites) when you hit a rock or pothole. Bigger tyres allow lower pressure, and hence more comfort.
Better quality tyres with lighter, more flexible sidewalls will help a little too. Vittoria Voyager Hyper are good (37 or 40), but they are slicks and not too good on muddy sections or loose gravel.

You can also gain comfort by "riding light" for the worst bits - freewheel, hover just off the saddle by an inch or two, and a light/loose grip on the handlebars. It's too tiring to try it pedalling for very far, but can make quite a difference for short sections.

Re: 29 incher - all hype?

2 October 2014 - 10:47am
I've had a few: hated the first [a Genesis first generation]. Then I built a single speed based on a Gary Fisher Rig and it rode superbly! It quickly became the bike of choice [out of a selection of 10!]. Now I have a Salsa Fargo custom build for touring, but often pull it off the rack for local rides.

I still have 26ers and use them, but 29er are hard to beat when used for single speed or touring.

Re: Moving up from 32 tires to 38/42 - how much of a differe

1 October 2014 - 4:10pm
The cheapest thing to do is to experiment a bit with tyre pressures. If you generally just pump tyres up to the maximum pressure on the sidewall then one or both tyres are probably overinflated. If tyres are overinflated then the ride will be harsher and the tyres will grip less effectively. This document explains the science and recommends pressures for general road use: http://www.bikequarterly.com/images/TireDrop.pdf Mountain bikers or those riding rough surfaces often go for even lower pressures but for a mix of on and off road you have to find a happy medium between on and off road performance.

There is quite a bit of extra air in a 37-42mm tyre so otherwise identical wider tyres should be noticeably more comfortable (again, at the right pressure which will be lower for the wider tyre). I tend to go for the biggest tyres that will fit my 700c bikes whilst still leaving some gap between the tyre and mudguard.

Tyres are the main thing which can be changed to suit terrain. Some people find that suspension seat posts provide a worthwhile increase in comfort over bumpy terrain and some of those can be bought relatively cheaply.

Moving up from 32 tires to 38/42 - how much of a difference?

30 September 2014 - 8:28pm

Firstly let me say I'm new to both the forum and cycling, so apologies if this question doesn't make any sense, is on the wrong sub-forum (it's not a mountain biking question but it is related to going off-road, so I though this would be the best place) or what have you.

I recently bought a hybrid bike (Ridgeback Velocity 2015) for commuting, and am very happy with it so far as a commuting/road bike. I've also increasingly started using it for leisure rides on the weekends as well and have found a route that I like a lot; however some of the route is on a couple of miles of very badly maintained towpath (theoretically paved, but in practice just a mess), and I find cycling on this section quite bumpy and jarring. Another part of the route is a dirt and gravel track through a park; while riding the bike on this is comfortable enough, I've noticed my bike skidding a bit on the track (this may be more my riding skills than anything else). A friend suggested putting thicker tires on my bike in order to both make it a more comfortable ride on rough surfaces as well as hold better to dirt tracks and the like. The bike came with 32 tires; however I think I can go up to 38 or possible even 42. My question is, how much of a difference do you guys think putting on thicker tires would make? In particular, how much more comfortable would it make riding on the rough path? Is it worth it or is the difference not going to be particularly noticeable? Is there anything else I can do other than changing tires to address these issues?

Also, if you think it would improve my ride in these respects, are there any particular tires you'd recommend?

Many thanks.

Re: Lesser known hazards for off-road cyclists

29 September 2014 - 10:25pm
Idiots shooting a shotgun in the general direction of the Fife Coastal path. Even spent shot raining down through a tree stings.

Re: Coed Y Brenin

24 September 2014 - 11:31pm
I haven't been to Coed Y Brenin for about 15 years I reckon. I remember it being great fun. I bet it's expanded a bit.

I did just get back from a week in Wales with my disabled wife though. You have to pay to park everywhere, even to stop in a car park to use the loo. The car park police were hovering like vultures.
I spent a lot of money in Wales, it did at times feel as though they didn't want tourists there though with their parking police everywhere.

Re: Coed Y Brenin

24 September 2014 - 11:17pm

Having sunk the best part of £800 all in including accommodation, transport, equipment and food (sourced locally) on a family activity holiday in the UK instead of joining the hordes abroad someone gets their panties in a bunch because I offer information that anyone with access to a map could have found out for themselves - without a shadow of a doubt the money saved on parking by myself (did it once on the last day there) and others would no doubt find its way into the local economy somehow

Regurgawhateveryournameis get a grip, some of us don't have fortunes to squander, and if my saving £5 on parking so I can enjoy it elsewhere offends you do me favour and hold your breath while I look for two damns to give

Re: Coed Y Brenin

22 September 2014 - 1:20am
It seems to me that it is a car parking fee not a site usage fee. If the OP hasn't used the car park I don't see what the objection is.

Provided of course that it was a safe place to park and wasn't in fact a passing space*, field gate, grass verge (etc.) or obstructing road traffic.

*The ability of some folk to mistake passing spaces for parking places conveniently provided at regular intervals along single track roads beggars belief

Re: Coed Y Brenin

18 September 2014 - 12:07am
Dwi'n dod Cearfyrddin, gwiboi - felly dwi'n 'get' Cymru.

You are defending antisocial tightwads who are happy to enjoy a facility but can't be bothered to make a reasonable and nominal contribution to that facility's upkeep.

Re: Coed Y Brenin

17 September 2014 - 12:09am

Ignore him, he obviously doesnt get Wales. this isnt the sort of place where we are after your money.
Or why these cycle tracks are there.

You can come and ride on the Brechfa Forest tracks around here (better than the Coed-Y-Brenin ) any day, any time and because we dont have as many cars to deal with we dont even charge for car parking. It was considered but it will only happen if the number of cars requires us to build car parking space.

Turn up on your bike to the other sites and enjoy yourselves, no need to dig into your pockets.

Croeso i Gymru (am ddim)

PS: Could you post where the car parking is, for anybody who is interested.

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/recr ... PicnicSite

There is also a FREE children's playground if they dont want to ride with you as well as the special Child/beginners bike trail at Byrgwm. Did I mention that you are NOT expected to pay to come here or to park, it isnt that kind of money obsessed place. For that sort of holiday try London.

Re: Coed Y Brenin

16 September 2014 - 11:47pm
To summarise, you had an amazing day's fun for you and all the family but couldn't bring yourself pay for parking.

That's £5 less for Natural Resources Wales to reinvest in the facilities.

Cheers. Well done you.

Re: Mountain Bike For Touring ?

15 September 2014 - 11:37pm
Cheap and chearful, but fully operational.

Re: Mountain Bike For Touring ?

15 September 2014 - 10:46pm
I thought this was pretty interesting.


Re: Bike recommendations to replace my full susser

5 September 2014 - 8:56am
For the type of riding you are doing you could probably use a rigid or front suspension MTB.

Off the shelf makes I like are Lapierre and Whyte.

For the generous budget you have at your disposal I would be looking at a custom build. For a lot less I built my own lightweight trail bike based on a Kinesis Maxlight Pro 3 frame. I have 2 front forks for this frame a 100mm suspension and a carbon fibre rigid which I can swap in less than 30 minutes depending on the type of riding I'm going to do.

Another thing to consider is if you are going to have 26" wheels or a 29er.

Re: Bike recommendations to replace my full susser

2 September 2014 - 8:53pm
If you like the Marins then you'll probably like the Whyte bikes too. Quite pleased with my T129 - rarely switch the rear shock off as it works so well anyway when not needed. Quite often I'll lock the front when climbing on tarmac.


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