I have blisters on top of blisters after 5 hours of track building and course raking. The weather is going to be great for round 6 of ESES. The course is running great with many new sections.
Thanks to john for sending me pictures of his Travers Bat Fastard Fat Bike, proving that Fat Bikes can jump!
Thanks to Tim Johnston who has just sent me this review of his Nextie Jungle fox wheels (unsolicited). He put them on something called a Surly Krampus (never heard of them!)
So this is a review for a set of Nextie Jungle fox 29+ wheels built for me by Michael of Travers Bikes.
Quick background, I snapped up a large Krampus ex-demo stock bike about six months ago after having rode burly 29ers for years and at the end of last year a short few months on a full fat bike with 4" tyres. Did not take long for the penny to drop with how capable 29+ is and for me it ticks all boxes, especially as a hooligan trail hardtail with a big fork.
Anyway, back to the wheels. I knew from previous experience from buying a set of carbon hoops as an upgrade to a Tallboy a few years back, that loosing weight in the wheels and gaining stiffness at the same time is the best upgrade you can give a bike. With this in mind as soon as I was hooked on the 29+ format I knew what would be next.
Not wanting to break the bank, but also not wishing to order direct from China myself and have a British middle man to deal with warranties etc..I contacted Michael. At that time he was badging the rims up with his own logos as you can see from my pics, but they are essentially exactly the same Nexties as he is selling now ( except you can choose any logo you want by the looks of it ).
First thing you notice when you see these rims in the flesh is how deep the profile is and how cavernous and solid they feel. The skinny Roval carbon hoops I'd had before were like matchsticks in comparison. I chose the matt black option with black spokes and Hope hubs, and was well impressed with the overall stealth look and build quality. They mounted up tubeless first time with a couple of nice pops and have proven air tight with no leaks or loss of air.
Out on the trails they are as stiff and quick to pick up speed with as you would expect of a wheelset that is loosing over three pounds compared to the stock tubed Rabbit Holes Surly wheelset. I had purposefully left the Rabbit Holes with tubes and not attempted to go tubeless in order to get as big of a weight change as possible, just for the hell of it. Bike was transformed, lightning fast and super stiff. I have the rear wheel slammed all the way forward in the dropouts on my Krampus and there is not much tyre clearance, but I have no tyre buzzing to date due to the stiffness of the wheel, and on certain hard berms on my local trails that would flex certain 29er wheels I had in the past, they passed with flying colours.
After messing around with a few different tyres, I settled on the Chupacarbras as my favourite plus tyre. They seem to suit this rim very well, and the slight echo sound you get as they roll with the deep section rims has a reassuring Fat Bike feel to them, even though they are super fast / light and have amazing grip.
So as far as negatives go I have yet to find any, they are still true and running smooth. The terrain I ride day to day is Swinley Forest and Surrey Hills, so hardpack and rooty natural forest stuff. Last weekend however I took a trip to Wales and with 14psi each end I smashed down rocky trails all day with no damage to the rims, even though there were a few loud pings and smacks coming from the back end.
Overall you cant go wrong with an upgrade like this and t is especially relevant to a plus bike I feel as the weight is largely in the wheels. Dealing with Michael was great, expect a personal customer service and a well built set of wheels. Highly recommended.
There are just 2 round left of the 7 race Essex Summer Evening Series (ESES) and it is looking like it is going down to the wire in the mens senior race and the "Segment Slam" competition with just a matter of a few points separating the leaders.
Round 5 saw a return to winning ways for Dan Barford allowing him to claw back some valuable point on the current overall leader Kurt Minter. The fast flowing course suited Dan's style allowing him to pull clear of the leading group of 3 which included Kurt, Mark Shepard and Will Kearse on the 2nd lap. This group soon splintered reformed then split up again during the race until the final positions were settled with Dan 1st, Kurt 2nd and Mark 3rd.
The Youth race was equally hard fought with the lead changing hands a number of times over the first 3 laps before Kieran Jarvis pulled out a 5 second lead over Robert Staines with George Crocombe a fine 3rd still on the road to recovery after a wrist injury earlier in the season.
A shout must go out to Jane Brockman who not only rode but was one of the assistant British Cycling commissioners for the race, It would be great to see a few more ladies giving it a go.
The Potash venue is turning into a great circuit with many riders preferring the fast flowing old school XC feel to brutal Hadleigh Park (2012 Olympic MTB venue). New technical features have been added each week. We uncovered some disused earth works from a previous paint ball site that once cleared of nettles made for some demanding single track features.
You can still enter the final 2 round online or on the day (£2 extra). The final round is shaping up to be a cracker with the biggest field of riders yet. There are lots of chance to win a prizes, click on the link below for the chance to win a pair of Lauf Trail Racers 29er forks.
Everyone who races, marshals or helps during the series will be entered into a draw at the end of the series (07/07/15) you simply place your number board in the container as you cross the line on the final round and numbers will be drawn at random. Prizes included a pair of Lauf Trail Racer 29er forks..yes another pair that is 3 in total (including the "Segment Slam"), a Hardnutz Stealth MTB helmet, an hour session at the "The Plumb Blossom Clinic" from our resident fitness guru Rob Williamson, plus many more prizes that we will announce closer to the date.
Praxis Works new 11-40 cassette in stock now, no more messing around with adapters. This is a complete cassette for just £99
Nextie 29+ Jungle Fox build, gloss black with white Nextie logo and Halo hub
Thanks to John for a photo of his titanium collection. 1x Rudy, 1x Angus, 1x Bat Fastard and a Jones interloper.
HAND BUILT TITANIUM FRAMES.