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Winter Thursday

Last week’s ride was not typical. Carl and I were early and headed out to check the trails before the ride at 7pm. This bit was typical. I had set up ready for a cold, frosty ride with lots of layers and a fat tyre on the front but it seemed slightly mild.WP_20160123_001

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Going, going, gone

After many years and many thousands of miles my Mojo will visit Stanmer no more. It has died from internal injuries probably due to old age so it is time to be put down like a faithful hound or aged grandmother perhaps. Many hills, many trails, slightly less jumps perhaps but in all seasons and it has coped pretty well.

It can be a little flexible but a Lopes link improved this considerably and improved shock bushes kept it smoother for longer. Local chalk and clay does kill bearings so they have needed frequent replacement but quite a simple job to do this. Integrated headset was fine and needed just bearings when winter grime had leached inside and started tinworm on the ball bearing surfaces. Bottom bracket eventually struggled to cope with many changes of bottom bracket furniture but this was needed due to the high mileage and the poor conditions rather than any weakness or design fault.

Paintwork has been robust and solid but protective tape, lots of washing and little touch ups from the supplied pot have kept up appearances. Seatpost insert has been solid and outlasted a Joplin dropper post and is not creaky or a poor fit however it likes a little pot of magic carbon grease and lots of winter wiping.

It is a little old school in its’ geometry but it climbs well, traction is excellent, front wheel sits and steers on the ups and downwards it takes bumps well, it does not fall through the suspension travel if set correctly and has a light touch over the bumpy stuff. It jumps fine but squirms a little unless it lands dead straight and although the head angle seemed slack when new current figures make it seem steeper now.

As an all round bike it has coped with anything local and national but I never threw it off an Alp and it has not needed to suffer many jumps to flat at low speed but it has managed a couple of races, been lead bike in the dark a few thousand times, managed dozens of long distance rides with aplomb and been through and over most of the local flora and occasional fauna.

It was very expensive and only the longevity has justified spending the same on a bike as you could on a car so the law of diminishing returns establishes itself once more. The extra cost gets you newer, lighter, stronger and great quality but it is not twice as good as something half the price but it is a bit better. Everything is made to size and replacement bits fit nicely. Tolerances are tight but this a good thing allowing the bike to feel a bit tighter than you expect on rough stuff.

As an early adopter of the carbon frame the early question was always strength, especially on impact, however the ibis has been grounded over obstacles, had flint chunks fired at it, been dropped more times than I would like to admit and the frame has shrugged it all off. Keeping any frame for years and years and in use rather than hanging forlorn on the garage wall is not a common thing but better, lighter frames are not that common even if price is not a factor. The suspension using the DW link is super for pedalling and better than my previous Nomad or Marin suspension systems in most situations that I usually ride.

As it has had a long, hard life I expect the wear and tear marks are commensurate for this but if you were considering any second hand frame, especially carbon there are a few detailed photographs to aid your inspection.

IMG_3974This is the insert for the lower link and is is loose inside the frame. I have heard of this in frames of other makes so checking really carefully is required in order to notice the slight initial movement of an assembled bike. Under no shock force and link removed it wobbles with your fingers.

IMG_3975Upper link point is fine despite a million movements so carbon itself does not wear out if there are no friction surfaces.


Bottom of the rear triangle which is the lowest bit of the bike and which bottoms over logs and rocks. Super solid, seemingly very, very thick and not covered with dings and dents – part of the price paid here.

IMG_3979Running a fatter tyre in wrong conditions caused a little wear when the mud built up however prudent tyre sizes avoided a repeat of this and this was years ago so no time based fatigue of the carbon matrix



So great bike for me and a difficult problem in choosing a replacement with the obvious criteria of colour paramount. Thursday nights in the dark just don’t seem right without an orange flash somewhere in the trees.


Tuesday’s ride – painful with a difference.

WP_20131123_006 It started off as a regular Tuesday ride with Tom’s warning of gales and mud reducing the field to half the regular size. With Ash in puncture land somewhere on the SDW Tom re-jigged a route to allow a rendez-vous and avoid a headwind or the remnants of the travellers and their detritus. So tarmac, orchard, hill that hurts, horseshoe and another hill that hurts. Definitely not a Thursday ride but not getting dropped and not everyone else found the pace easy.  Finding Ash we turned with the wind and rode the ridgeline. Continue reading