All photo's are Copyright of Scott Swalling or the tagged Photographer. (Background photo Scott Swalling Photography).

About Me:

24Hr MTBike racer and general bike rider, climber and mountaineer. Good coffee drinker and cake eater (any cake, seriously, don't leave your cake laying around). Also, I like to try new things that challenge me.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Gorrick Brass Monkeys Rnd 1

Well this weekend sees the first of the Gorrick Brass Monkeys, put on by the Army Cycling Union.  These tend to be fast and not so much fun. ;)

The weather is looking like it my play into my hands, cold, wet for the days before and heavy going.  Single speed it is then, unless they change to fire road trucking, then I'll just be annoyed as it turns into a 4hr CX race and I will have a bread knife at a gun fight.

Great to see a number of CW team mates heading out as well.  Hopeful some podiums.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Weldtite Dirt Trap Chain Degreaser Machine

I do get a little excited every time a Weldtite parcel arrives, "What do I have to play with now?"  Well this time it was this

Dirt Trap Chain Degreaser Machine thumbnail 
 Weldtite Dirt Trap Chain Degreaser Machine, the smallest such machine I have seen or used.  I tend to be the brush sort of person and have developed a technique that stops be getting covered in the grot of the chain.

However, this is a pretty good little machine and is easy to use and clean as you can pull it apart pretty easily.  I should have taken a photo when using it, but I tend to clean my bikes before me, and haven't been carrying a camera.

It does sit well on the chain and supporting arm is a very simple and effective way to keep the machine in place, it is easy enough to add more degreaser whilst it is still in place on the chain.  It worked well on chains that were slightly to medium covered in grot, but struggled with heavy dirt and mud, this just made a mess of the machine.  But this would happen with any chain cleaning machine, so a quick degrease and scrub is very helpful.

The machine does manage to clean the chain really well, some don't clean the inside of the links that well. The easy of use I guess is the stand out for me and the fact it does pretty good job. 

I did find with the sandy types soils that I ride in most of the time, I still need to use a tooth brush to clean the inside of the links properly.  I also found that my single speed chains seem to snag a bit in the machine, due to their slightly wider gauge, I was a little surprised by this, but it worked great on my road and CX bike.

In Summary, this is a good little chain cleaner and will get used on my road and CX bike a lot and maybe my MTB's if I run gears.  It doesn't cope that well with heavy dirt and mud, but what really does other that a good stiff brush?  For ever day grot it is perfect and as I clean my drive trains more than anything else, it is damn helpful for the geared bikes.  It has found a place in my cleaning bucket and wont be leaving it in a hurry.

Nice little device guys.

Been a bit quiet

I have been a bit quiet on here lately, life in general has been keeping me busy and I have been hatching plans, which will become clear in time.

But what I can tell you is the work has started on the new bike shed, some of you would call this a garage (silly people) and that I have started entering races for next year and despite 10 days of a bad cold I remain optimistic about the upcoming Merida Brass Monkey winters enduro series.  The 25th Nov, will test this.

Riding wise things have been a bit up and down this year, but 2011 was a great year, so I can't really complain, and I have been to Alaska mountaineering and Canada for a general climbing and MTBiking holiday with Nik which was awesome.

As winter closes in, those who know me well the cycling will keep ticking away, but my thoughts turn to winter and ice climbing.  With so much happening and quite a bit of required expense a European trip might not happen this year.  So can everyone cross their fingers for a Baltic winter so the winter climbing venues of the UK come in to brilliant conditions so we can steal a weekend here and there on the tools.

I know it is quite the end of the year, but I feel a couple of thank you's are needed.  A massive thanks to Nik for her unbridled support and motivation, Solo 24hr racing is certainly a team support, even if it is one riding and the other feeding, motivating and checking on ones health.

To Cycleworks, thanks for the support, team rides and friendships, lets hope I can deliver more come the 25th Nov.

To Alkit and Peglers, you guys have all been awesome, supporting and supplying quality kit rapidly, I don't think I thank you all enough.

Weldtite, what a bunch of great people, for a simple and informative product review, I have had some pretty cool and very useful products, it has been fun testing some of the products.

To the Denali team, as we all know things didn't go to plan and we all learnt a great deal.  But without you all, it would have been a very different experience.

Thanks everyone.