Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Want to have an African Adventure...?

Do you fancy a break from the norm? Travel? Adventure? and all round life altering experience?

Well my girlfriend found this and thought that it may appeal to some of the Banshee community.

You could be, wait for it... a

'Bicycle Maintenance Training Officer!'

and not just at your local council... no, in Zambia!

This is a 3 month voluntary charity position for those who are 21+ and have to have relevant experience.

This trip will cost you time and money, but it may be an experience that shapes the rest of your life... why not take the plunge??

If interested, click here.

Spread the word, as this may just be what someone you know is looking for.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Legend Spotted in the Woodlot

Eh Keith,

We all I can say is you created a bike that is stupidly fast. It is going to take me a little time to get used to it as it is way slacker and lower than what I am used to normally, but it is a dream to ride. The pedal platform on the bike is really good. You mash on the pedals and the bike just goes like stink.

I did a little blog entry about my first ride. http://mtnbike.blogspot.com/2009/01/installation-lap-2009-banshee-legend.html

Feel free to use it on the Banshee blog if you like.

Have a good one.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

MUD, MUD and more MUD

England's economy might be going down the toilet, but one thing we are never short of is RAIN...shame we can't export the rain to bolster our GDP??

the recent bout of freezing weather (courtesy of northern winds) has passed, and we are back to our typical mild (4 degrees celsius) temperatures and wet weather with plenty of wind

nothing like finishing a hectic week at work with a great night ride, out I went into the rain and spent a solid hour slithering around the muddy singletracks, technical climbs and descents of NW London's "hampsted heath"

it got so foggy and muddy out there I could hardly see towards the end of the ride, and wondered if my light batteries were going flat?

got home kinda muddy.....

the only hassle is cleaning the bike, well a few buckets of water and some muc-off takes care of that! then you have to clean yourself, your shoes, your pads and clothing, mud everywhere

its all good though, the buzz of a good ride is always worth the wear and tear to your bike and all the cleaning afterwards

if you are contemplating going riding in the Winter, my heartful advice is just to get out there and do it regardless of the snow /rain / winds! such a good buzz...

happy winter trails to all Mythic and Banshee riders!

Rob C

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wildcard in action at Esher

my riding buddy John "Jesus" Holme is a hardcore rider for sure, if he's not commuting to work on his fixie, he's out in Swinley Woods at night, on his own, blasting around on his Mythic Viento

On the weekends, he usually comes down to Esher Shore on Sunday's - Sunday past he brought his good friend Dan Maran, who did some photos of John riding in the bike park

John has a Mythic Wildcard for play-time, and its a killer choice for somewhere like Esher Shore with its big mix of trails

thanks to Dan for the cool photos!

Rob C

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Virtual pivot maintenance

The Rampant, Rune, Pyre and Legend have virtual pivots which are very easy to maintain using the clever axle and grease port system

From time to time, its good maintenance practise to flush the grease through the bushings on the axles, to keep everything running 100% sweet.

The IGUS bushings are made from a self lubricating polymer but since mountain biking is a dirty, wet environment it makes sense to do a little preventative work from time to time

Its very simple to use, and you can re-grease your bushings in less than 5 minutes using simply a 2mm allen key, grease gun and a rag

Stage One - remove the plastic cover from each of the grease ports, as seen in the image above

I have labeled the main pivots 1,2,3 and the smaller pivots 4

The main pivots have the grease port flushing system as these pivots take most of the load and have axles running through the frame.

The smaller pivots 4 do not need a grease port but its probably a good idea to disassemble it from time to time to clean it up and check everything is 100%

Stage Two - remove the set screw. Each pivot has a small set screw which is removed using a 2mm allen key - in the image above I am using a Park AWS-10 multi tool but in the workshop I would normally use a seperate 2mm allen key as its easier to rotate in a confined space

Before you get the grease in there and make things messy, its worth checking the pivot bolts and axle head are tight, take your allen keys and snug them up just to be sure

Once the set screw is removed from the pivot, you are ready to use the grease gun

Stage Three- greasing the pivot. I am using a Dualco grease gun with high quality waterproof bicycle grease. Push the gun tube into the pivot and pump the gun a couple of times, until you meet resistance and grease starts backing up

Replace the set screw, wipe excess grease with a rag and replace the plastic cover

Repeat this procedure for each of the main pivots 1,2 and 3

After the procedure, you will see dirty / old grease working its way around the pivot axle edges, this is normal and means your new grease has flushed your pivots clean, give this dirty grease a wipe clean otherwise it might end up on your nice riding pants :(

happy trails!

Rob C

getting even lighter....Rampant

Another day...another light weight bike part

my good buddy John "Jesus" Holme hooked me up with a WTB Devo Ti saddle at the weekend, its stupidly light yet actually very comfortable for "athletic" types like myself ha ha

its shaved another clump of weight off my Rampant, I need to get the Rampant weighed soon as last time it was sub 30lb with heavier tires, heavier saddle and heavier pedals

its SO much fun to ride, and everyone who wanders into the Freeborn Esher shop picks up it and goes "wow that's light"

we sold another Rampant at the end of last week, and the dude who bought it called me up 2 days later after going riding, and simply said "completely awesome!"

if you are looking for a very quick, fun short travel play bike then Rampant is your #1 choice, it has not been at all bothered by the filthy English winter...you should have seen it yesterday before I washed it!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

new MYTHIC website goes live

Long overdue, the new 2009 website for Mythic Bikes is finally live

the new site features alot more information on all the new Mythic frames, a tech page with lots of detail, build page showing recent custom builds and contact information for exclusive UK importer Freeborn

expect lots of tweaks and extra images over the next couple of months



Rob C
Mythic Bikes / Freeborn

Monday, January 12, 2009

Paradox in ACTION

Ryan gives us a quick review of the Paradox


When you get here we have a new area to ride in. It is a large hill that is pretty technical because there is zero maintenance done. It is pretty firm dirt with some round rocks around. Then thanks to the tons of rain that can show up at once lots of sections that are rutted out and roots exposed. In sections it rolls up and down making for short downs and quick ups.

I learned a lot about the Hammerschmidt on this. First is the sensation of being able to dump or jump a huge amount of gears with NO penalty. It is even faster and better feeling than going from the 12 tooth to the 11 tooth on the rear cassette. Instant, effortless release or engagement for the most part.

This was a delight when going on a flat and then down a section to then need to just have a easy gear to muscle up the rooted, rutted exit. This combined with the huge 29er tires, I have been getting over obstacles that I did not expect. THEN throw in the quick handling from the chainstays. …….

There are some sections that are rutted lanes that usually start with a 1 to 2ish drop into a rutt trail with rocks then roots. The head angle felt pretty good for a typical 5” fully bike to attempt instead. So still at ends about the head angle. I did measure it and it appears it is 69.5.

Because most of the trails we are riding are down, they all spit out onto a lower road that wraps back around the hill and then traverses back up to the start point to then spider out in a different direction of your choice. So with this longer section of up hill I got to try out pushing a slack head angle up the hill. Even on the real gear grinder granny sections, never really felt like I was pushing a slack angle up the hill. I need to get you out on your Paradox because I know you have some other specific things you want it to do and need to see if it fits.

The more I ride the Paradox the more I want to ride the Paradox.

Anyways, this was a short report from riding this weekend with Lance, Stijn, Ceri and about 3 other locals from Hsin Jhu. Stijn of course just commented endlessly in Euro babble about tires. He wouldn’t ride it to learn. Ceri was rocking the trails on his Niner RIP. I think the wheels are really out of true and he was noticing some flex. Lance road all bikes plus the locals, Reign and Intense SS with I9 wheels on just about all sections.

Anyways, you all should have lots of time to ride during new year and lucky to get to this trail it is easy and can avoid all the traffic that grid locks Taiwan for 10 days.

I have some pictures but they are locked in Lances camera at the moment and I am not sure where sleeping beauty is now.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Banshee RUNE on Australian Mountainbike Magazine

XXIV's Rune finally got a 2 page review in the Dec|Jan 09 issue of the AMB magazine.

here are some of the characteristics loved by the testers:

"On the trail, the Rune loves to descend fast, flowing singletrack.."

"The Rune was surprisingly adept at serious downhilling, taking 10+foot gaps and drops with no complaints at the rear end.."

"Compared with a lot of frames on the market today, it felt rather long in the cockpit, which gave it a confidence inspiring and more stable feel at high speed than even some of the best off-the-shelf downhill rigs available"

"The rear triangle is made from ribbed tubing that is designed to maximise the frame's rigidity without sacrificing weight. This is really noticeable on the trail as the back end stays straight as an arrow."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

new website for ESHER SHORE

the new website for Esher Shore bike park is now up and running

the next site I am working on is http://www.mythic-bikes.co.uk/ which is long overdue


Rob C

Monday, January 5, 2009

Banshee riders represent in [R]evolution mag.

Alan Hepburn gets a sequence shot on the contents page (P2-3) of him doing a backflip drop / step down on his rampant.

Chris Soininen talks through doing a flip whip (with sequential pictures) on P18-19 in the jump masterclass section.

also should shout out to their mate Tim who grabbed the cover shot this month.

Great work all round guys! Check out the shots here...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ridiculous... just ridiculous!

Click here for high quality

into the modern age with the VIENTO

My good buddy John "Jesus" Holme has finally traded in his 2003 Scirocco for something a little more modern

Actually it was my old Scirocco, that John had bought off me several years back, and damn I gave that bike a good thrashing before John got his hands on it

Abusing my old Scirocco at Esher Shore

Having owned 2 chaparrals (2003 and 2006), 2 sciroccos and now a wildcard, its safe to say that John is something of a Banshee / Mythic 'aficionado'

If you don't understand what that fancy word means, John is a bike rider and appreciates damn good bikes and that is why he always buys Banshee / Mythic for his off-road adventures

John is also the most hard working member of the Esher Shore trail crew, alongside my good self of course, and works in the bike 'industry' so we are more than happy to hook him up with killer deals on his new frames

John has wanted a lighter trail bike for some time, as the Scirocco was somewhat burly, and John had hung some burly (for a hardtail) kit on there, and ended up with a freeride hardtail and a freeride suspension bike...the same thing basically minus a rear shock and some pivots!

He chose a anodised black Viento frame with gold graphics in medium size, and I rebuilt it today in the Freeborn Esher workshop whilst John helped out in the shop (he's a hard working guy for sure)

Using my finely honed mechanics skillz, it didn't take long to swap the parts across, and he ended up with a sweet bike by the early afternoon

His Viento has a Pike 454 Air fork, Hope Pro II hubs on Mavic rims, Maxxis tires, Avid Juicy 5 disc brakes, SRAM transmission, E13 DRS chain device, Shimano XT HT2 cranks, Thomson stem and Race Face Atlas low rise bars, Syncros pedals and some other good bits

Plans include a brand new rear wheel based around a blue Hope Pro II hub with a lighter DT 5.1D rim, some kevlar XC tires, installing a new Shimano HT2 bottom bracket, replacing the wobbly rear mech with a new Sram X-9, and swapping out the seatpost (old school Roox) for a Thomson Elite - all these measure will shed some weight and improve function - and finish making his Viento into the lighter trail bike he really wants

Initial thoughts on the Viento is that its simply awesome, I had a quick car park test and it feels very nimble, is longer in the top tube than the medium Scirocco, and has a lower front end (it doesn't have the "hucking" feeling of the Scirocco

John spent an afternoon with Hot Carl riding the rebuilt Pump Track at Esher Shore and said the Viento feels very quick (much quicker in corners than the Scirocco) and a little softer in the rear end which is good news as the Scirocco was a little harsh on the rocks and roots

happy trails!

Rob C

Saturday, January 3, 2009

the AMP has landed

After spending some time last year looning about on Keith's (Mythic / Banshee design engineer) AMP prototype both at Esher Shore and Woburn Sands, I was stoked to see the production AMP finally land at Freeborn here in England

The first customer was Steeeev, who also got to ride Keith's AMP prototype last year, and immediately said "I will have one!"

Steeev has been something of a fixture at Esher Shore for years, helping to maintain the old dirt jump park, rebuild the DJ park into the Slopestyle park, left alot of blood on the dirt jumps due to numerous crashes and also did an infamous MC act at the 2006 Esher Shore Jam which left many parents wondering what kind of event they had brought their children to!

Steve has built his long AMP up with a Pike coil u-turn fork slammed all the way down, Saint cranks, E13 chain device, 1 x 9 gearing with 36T c/ring and Shimano roadie derailleur driven off a XTR shifter, Avid Juicy 5 brakes, Hope Pro II hubs on Mavic rims, Specialized semi-slick LK Fast Trak 2.0" tires and Diablous stem, Easton EA-70 bars and so on..

Weight wise, its probably about 26-27lb, judging against the weight of my Mythic Rampant, we'll try to weight it soon, whatever the weight is, its certainly ALOT lighter than Steeev's old Mythic Scratch or his Mythic Chaparral!!

Keith has definitely worked his magic on the geometry numbers, the AMP feels solid and snappy under power and steering input, but without feeling so twitchy that its going to throw you over the bars on the first mistake

The Dirt Jump market here in the UK is very odd, and even established players like DMR and Identiti admit they don't sell alot of frames since bringing out their cheaper complete bikes which appeal to the groms, but for the older, more moneyed Dirt Jump and Street connoiseur, the AMP is more than worthwhile of your consideration when selecting a new frame for your ultimate custom build!

enjoy your AMP steeeev!