Thursday, 18 July 2013

Swinley Forest on a Session 8

I decided to modify Stumpys Estranged Cousin, also known as a Trek Session 8 and swapped the cassette out for something that gave me a couple of climbing gears instead of 6 down hill and 4 hold on with your teeth gears.

I got the ratio quite well I did not loose much top end down hill gears but was able to climb a good number of hills. I went for a SRAM PG1070 12-32T instead of the factory SRAM PG1050 11-26T. First thing I noticed when I took the old one off was how light the new one was in comparison, did not expect that much of a difference.

Riding around on the Session with the new cassette made transitioning between trail sections easier. I found the change gave the bike better handling as I could pull off easier, even do wheelies which is achievement as the bike is about 18KG.

That said I had a lot of fun moving around trails designed for XC bikes. Although there were 3 points in the 28K run where my handle bars got erm stuck between trees and going into one corner it just could not turn without almost stopping.

Anyway a couple of vids of the day (it was 28 Degrees Celsius too)

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Bike Security

Securing your bike is of vital importance, more as a deterrent if it looks difficult they wont bother. When bikes are stolen you can report it to the police but they are limited with what they can pursuit if the owner has not taken adequate steps to protect their property.

Step One - 

Purchase a decent D-Lock or Two, a high quality chain lock and an krypton extension cable. At the very least a D-lock that is branded.
I also have a second D-Lock and Chain Lock if the environment is 'dodgy'.

The following site may assist

Step Two - 

Invest in security tagging usually allowing you to chemically mark the frame with a unique identifier which is registered on a national database tied in with the police. Electronic devices also exist. Check with your local police force as they may do this for free.

an example would be or

Also photograph your bike and any identifiable marks including the frame number and wheel serial numbers if present. Also obtaining a UV marker pen and decorating the frame or other key parts will come in useful when tracking components as the markings can only be seen by a UV light which most police forces have.

Step Three - 

Get insured,you can add a bike to a property insurance policy but chances are your bike is more likely to be stolen than your house (Lift with the knees and not the back). Cycle specific insurance exists not only for the bike when it is correctly secured using appropriate locks for the bikes value but it also insures the rider regarding public liability or being hit by an uninsured driver, cyclist or low flying pigeon. This may seem odd (not the pigeon) but this does help as it counts towards the character of the rider. Some policies also do a recovery service. I suggest looking at the following website

This may seem excessive but i do not drive, i have cycled since i was 5 and seriously when i was 12. I have had multiple theft attempts mostly when on the bike including at knife point (they failed).

The police will do what they can as they really do like arresting people if the evidence is available and they also like breaking doors down and they do recover a hefty amount of bikes as most stations i have seen have racks of recovered bikes. If they cannot find the owner they cannot return the item. Adequate locks will only slow the individual down or deter them from trying but we need to take steps that law enforcement can identify the owner and return the item.

That said there has also be an increase in riders with expensive bikes being followed home from trails and have bikes stolen from homes with poor storage like sheds or garages make sure the bike is securely stored at home as some locations may not meet insurance policy requirements.

One of the items I tend to do is remove the seat and post when the bike is locked up, it may not prevent the bike being stolen but it it will make it far more uncomfortable to steal.