Monthly Archives: June 2012

First Custom Build – Part #2…

Wheels, headset & stem

Well, as you can see from the photo – the build itself hasn’t moved on much since  part #1  (13th June)

One of the reasons for this delay is that I’ve been waiting for the chain device to turn up from Superstar Components (see below) before installing the chainset, drive train, pedals etc.

And yes, I could’ve at least installed the bottom bracket but that leads me on to the other main reason things haven’t moved forward much;  I still don’t own a bicycle work stand so a bike with no handlebar (again, see below) is pretty much impossible to work on, as to me – once the bike is upside down – the handlebar of any bike is the work stand! – that’s not completely true, I’ve also been known to use the old classic “wedge-the-rear-tyre-in-between-the-garden-gate-uprights”

new parts received since last post

New parts received since last post;

NukeProof Element Half-Waffle Lock-On Grips  – Yellow

NukeProof Logo Chain Stay Protector  – Black

Superstar Components Plasma Chain Device  – Gold/Red..that’s right, that’s how we’re rollin with this bike 😉

Bomber‘ Marzocchi Fork Decals  – Yellow

Commandeered from Rockhopper since last post

Additional parts ‘freed’ up from Rockhopper;

Easton EA50 Monkey Bar 685mm – Black/Yellow

Specialized Q/R Seatpost Clamp  – Black

I (think I) now have everything for the final build…except brakes!

…I missed out on some amazing deals on Magura brakes from Chain Reaction Cycles last week but as they say…you snooze, you lose 😉

So it’s back to the original plan of upgrading the Rockhopper’s stoppers to Shimano XT (with 2x 180mm rotors) and commandeer the set of Shimano Deore’s as well as the 180mm & 160mm rotors that are on the ‘hopper for the Snap build.

The next instalment should be all lovely photos of a nice, shiny, fully-built, custom-made…

…NukeProof Snap Ride-it-Like-You-Mean-it ‘Urban-Dirt-Bomber…fingers crossed as I’m itching to ride it




Click here for Part #3


Categories: Custom Build, Dirt Jumping, Mountain Biking, Photography, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Danny Who…?

Some Tuesday Morning Vintage Street Trials for ya!

Mickael Dupont showing what can be done on a vintage ladies push bike…pretty amazing and very funny 🙂


Thanks to DH Reno for finding this one!

Categories: Jumps & Tricks, Music, Street Trials, Video | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three Crosses…

Les Troix Croix

I can sum up Fridays ride in one word…”Killer” –  The highest I’ve ever climbed by about 200m, the most elevation gain in a single ride by the same amount and a 500m altitude gain in the first 6km of the ride…it was a tough one for sure;

I tried to set off at 10h00 as it looked like it was going to be a hot one but it was closer to 11h00 by the time I actually left so at 1,800m high I was sweating it out in the midday sun with over an hour to go til I reached the top

I was also regretting the change from an 11-34t cassette to a 11-32t as even in my lowest gear some parts nearly had me off, pushing…but not quite…no pain, no (altitude) gain 😉

Killer Loop

I didn’t plan on turning the ride into such a hard one – I guess it was a mixture of missing a turn 7km in, curiosity and then sheer stupidity had me wondering what was ’round the next bend?

I wanted to ride up to Les Eduits de Chantemerle (at about 1,800m) then traverse across/gentle climb and link up with what is the Chantemerle green resort run in the winter.  Then hit the amazing singletrack through the forest I’d discovered the week before and then rip the seriously fast descent down past Villeneuve before more singletrack all the way home…but it didn’t go according to plan

Only 100m alt. to go…

Once I realised I must’ve missed the turn and my legs we’re starting to feel it a bit I saw this sign and was curious as to whether is was the same Troix Croix where the Prorel chairlift starts in the winter.  Thought it must be seemed like a cool idea to ride up there.


It was.  And at 2,000m alt. I probably should’ve stoped there and started the really fun stuff of heading down the mountain – fast.  Especially as there’s marked out Downhill trails from there which I’ll be getting the lift up to next weekend.

But I thought I’d go higher.  I got up over 2,200m and literally had to stop.  The air is noticably thinner up at that height and it was hard work.  Plus as soon as you stopped for a breather you were attacked by small flying things.  I decided to turn back and hit some DH runs down to the forest, get out of the sun and try and get back to my original plan but I was exhausted by then so even the twisty singletrack in the woods where I’d had so much fun the week before was proving tricky with mistakes being made all over the place.

Got a bit spooked by the Blair Witch wigwams up in the middle of nowhere as well as some interesting looking characters hanging out by a van on a dirt track.  That with smacking my shin pretty hard with a miss-pedal, nearly losing my water bottle in a fast flowing stream and coming very close to wiping out big time over a jump I decided it was time to go home…


Categories: All Mountain, Mountain Biking, Mountains, Photography, Serre Chevalier, Single Track, XC Mountain Biking | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

First Custom Build – Part #1…

2011 Nukeproof Snap frame

Decided to build up a fun bike for town, skate park, BMX track etc.  It will be based on the frame above (2011 Nukeproof Snap) and be built up with the aim of ending up with a good, solid bike at a good price.

The fully built versions of this bike sell in the UK for about £1,400 for the ‘Comp’ model and nearly £2,100 for the ‘Pro’ version.  I want my version to come in at less than £500 for everything…we’ll see

I will be using as many of the old/spare components I have lying round as possible and looking for good deals on all the other bits I’ll need.


Above two pictures show the spare parts that I can use for this project that I already have;

Fork :  2006 Marzocchi MX Comp Air (105mm travel)

Wheels :  SunRinglé DS2-XC

Tyres :  Schwalbe Nobby Nic & Racing Ralph

Rear Mech :  Shimano Deore LX Mega9 – needs new jockey wheels (see below)

Shifter :  Shimano Deore Mega9

Cassette :  Shimano CS-HG50-9 11-34

Chain :  Shimano HG-53 9-speed

Rear Brake Rotor :  160mm

Front Brake Adapter :  Superstar 180mm PM-IS

Seat & Post :  Specialized BG

Pedals :  Welgo B087

New Parts

These are the new parts that have already arrived;

Frame :  2011 NukeProof Snap (Regular, Yellow)

Crankset :  Truvativ Hussefelt 1.1 DH (Limited Edition – White)

Bottom Bracket :  Truvativ Hussefelt 

Chain Ring :  Blackspire Mono Veloce 34t  – will replace the 38t ring currently on the crankset.  A 38t single ring set-up is pretty useless in the Alps, unless all you want to use the bike for is lift accessed downhill & bike parks (and I’ve got the DH bike for that 😉  )

Headset :  Nukeproof Warhead 44IISS

Stem :  eXotic Carbon Matrix F Stem – 60mm x 25.4mm

Jockey Wheels :  Tacx Shimano 8, 9, 10-sp (the jockey wheels on the old Deore mech need to be replaced)

Gear Cable Outer/Casing :  Goodridge – White

Grass Snap

There’s still a few more bits on the way and some parts still to free up from the Rockhopper.  I’ll show these in the next instalment and hopefully it’ll be looking a little more bike-like by then 😉

Click here for Part #2

Categories: Custom Build, Mountain Biking, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

More Urban Downhill…

Red Bull Monserrate Devotees 2012

From Youtube :

“MTB downhill riders flyed down the Mythic Monserrate hill in Colombia. The winner of the Red Bull Monserrate Devotees was the Slovak athlete Filip Polc who managed to go through the 2.2 km downhill track in only 04:26 minutes. Think you can do better? Hop in an airplane, find the Monserrate hill, have your buddy film you doing the same set, and create a video response…or just watch the video. Both options are pretty sweet.”

Thanks again to Lomax Bike for finding this one!

Categories: DH Mountain Biking, Events / Races, Mountain Biking, Movies, Music, Red Bull | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lake Run…

Did a new route yesterday afternoon.  Was another hot one so set out at about 15h00 and drove to the village of Villar-Saint-Pancrace which is just outside Briancon.

The plan was to drive a little way above the village (about 1,400m alt.) park up there then ride the 6km climb up to Le Mélezin, a hamlet at about 1,850m then shred the single tracks back down through the trees to the cars but a mixture of a wrong turn on the way up and just plain feeling up for it we decided to climb the extra 3km to Lac de l’Orceyrette which sits @ about 1,950m, nestled in between some 2,700m peaks, the highest of which is Pic de l’Aiguiller @ 2,725m alt.

And I gotta say it was well worth the 90min climb.  It really is an amazing spot up there and further inspection on Google Earth today shows there’s what looks like some awesome singletrack hidden away in the pine forests – that I’ll be checking out next time 😉

There looks like there could be a whole heap of different trails to hit on the way back down from the lake but not knowing the area too well we stuck mainly to the fire roads with occasional excursions hitting the singletracks that cut through the trees (although due to the speed you pick up on the fire roads plenty were missed I’m sure).  Once you get down to about 1,600m or so there’s some full on downhill trails to keep you on your toes.  It’s like a criss-cross maze of downhill tracks and me leading the way I obviously took a wrong turn (again!) and we ended up about 75m alt. below the cars.  So one more 0.75km(ish) climb and all-in-all a pretty tough 20km loop and it was to the bar for a well deserved pint or two…

EDIT – more research on Google Earth :  it looks like the next time we continue past the lake and up about another (what looks like) 4km-5km and climb to Chalets de l’Alp which sits at over 2,200m alt. then it’s a descending traverse to Chalets de la Taure before rippin the trails through the pines all the way down to the bottom…happy days 🙂



Categories: All Mountain, Mountain Biking, Mountains, Photography, Serre Chevalier, Single Track, XC Mountain Biking | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup – Round 2


Like a London bus, you wait around for what seems like forever then two come at once…!

…it’s been about 11 weeks since the 1st Round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup back in Pietermaritzberg, S.A and now it’s back with a bang!  With Round 2 this weekend taking place at Val di Sole, Italy.  Then Round 3 at Fort William, Scotland next weekend…things are definitely gonna start heating up!


Don’t forget – you can watch the Elite Men & Women’s Downhill Final’s tomorrow LIVE from Val di Sole on


Sam Hill on his new Specialized S-Works given the track a once over…



Categories: DH Mountain Biking, Events / Races, Internet, Mountain Biking, Streaming, TV, UCI World Cup | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Back in the Saddle…

After 2½ weeks with no riding  at all (due to the constant irritation of having to earn the rent!)  I went out and hit it hard today with a 28km ride and a climb up to about 1,530m.  I thought if I left it to later in the afternoon the warmest part of the day would’ve passed – wrong.

It was still about 27°C when I set off but there was a slight breeze which must’ve kept me cool for nearly 20 seconds 😉

I headed down to the river then dodged the dogs, walkers & dog walkers down to the little bridge crossing @ Fortville – it’s a nice, fast 1km run down to there which takes about 3mins.  After that there’s a nice shady 1km climb up to the  little hamlet of Pramorel which has great views across the valley.  Then more climbing on tarmac (about 1.5km) until you get to a cheeky little left turn that I discovered last season – it’s an overgrown 4×4 track that winds up for another 1.5km or so before breaking out into some gnarly downhill (actually one of the resort ski runs back into Briancon) with views over the town.  As is normally the case – it’s all over far too quickly.  The temporary electric fence across the trail and the cows were all that slowed me down.  By the bottom my back brake was smoking – literally…

At the bottom of this run you have to hit the breaks again but extra hard because you come flying out, all Pepsi Maxed up straight into the main road out of town! (on a Friday afternoon)  A couple of hundred metres of tarmac you can cut back and follow the river along some amazing single track back up to the little Fortville bridge.  Although this time you don’t cross it.  Just keep following the trail up river which after a nice climb on a section of fire road and a fountain to fill your water bottle spits you out above the village of Chantemerle.  Then it’s single track heaven until Le Moulin Baron and you cross the valley…and then the real climbing starts…

Categories: All Mountain, Briancon, Mountain Biking, Photography, Serre Chevalier, Single Track, Wildlife, XC Mountain Biking | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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