Gear

Yeah I can be a little bit obsessed with gear and yeah I know it’s not just about kit it’s about actually riding a bike too, but cool kit is, well cool.

Some kit I spend hours researching, other things I buy on recommendation from friends, other bits because I need them or they are shiny. I can live with the last part just fine, thanks.

Bikes

I’ve got a couple. Not as many as I want but possibly as many asI really need.

29er Trek Fuel EX 8 (2014)

This is my ‘take me to my happy-place’, blast some trails, fun-time, best-of-the-best, ‘I will cut you if you try to take it’ bike.

From stock I’ve had a Rockshox Reverb dropper fitted, swapped to the Nukeproof bars from my hardtail and put some Renthal grips on.

Rubber-wise I tried the Bontrager XR4 Team Issue and found that after a few crashes where the front just suddenly lost it that I wasn’t getting on with them. Since then I’ve moved to a Specialized Butcher up front and a Purgatory rear and they are so superior it’s ridiculous.

As part of swapping tyres I converted to tubeless. Yeah the bike comes ‘Tubeless ready’ only it doesn’t really as you have to buy the tubeless valves and specific Bontrager rim strip. It should really say the rims are ‘tubeless compatible’. Also I had the seemingly common issue with the Duster rims and the knocking noise that can develop while running tubes due to the crappy rim joint finish.

Whyte Cambridge (2013)

This is my commuter (on the occasion that I do ride to work), round town and weekend rides with Mel bike. It’s great but the chainstay clearance (feet can catch) has bugged me in the past. Proper pedal position is key.

Upgrades to contact points include Ergon grips, Continental tyres, some MKS pedals and SKS mudguards.

Specialized Rockhopper Pro (2010)

Bought by an previous employer of mine (who was great guy and lover of bikes who is sadly no longer with us) on the cycle to work scheme.

This bike has been with me on many adventures and will hopefully see more in the future when it has a child seat and later a trailer buggy/bike attached to it.

Kit

I like Endura clothing for fit and performance and most of my shorts, a jersey or two and mid-layer plus gloves and soft headwear from them.

Fiveten and Shimano are favourites for footwear with the Freerider Contact and DX MP66W “Stormtrooper”.

I’m liking my latest helmet, the Bell Super 2R (with MIPS). Got a good deal on it and then bought the chin bar separately at a later date.

I have some Morvello kit which I really rate for performance and style and also some Vulpine kit that I treasure.

Riding pack is either a Camelbak Mule NV or more recently an Evoc FR Team Enduro backpack protector insert. It’s a great pack but a little long sometimes which is has to be to include a protector with good coverage.

Gadgets

Got me a GoPro Hero 3+ for some helmet, chest or bike mounted filming. Hoping to do some more filming on and off bike mounted in the coming months. Nothing serious, for personal amusement only though I may share online.

GPS courtesy of an ageing Garmin Edge, those new Garmin units are awfully tempting but I can’t justify buying one while the current one works. Strava via this or the iPhone.

What’s Next?

I’m pretty much there with kit. Yeah there always something new that I want but with a kid on the way I’ll soon need a pretty good reason to be spending money on gear.

Time to enjoy and be thankful for what I’ve got and only buy what I really really need.