Best winter tyre for Stanmer

Update

Baron is fitted and rolling and tried in differing conditions from liquid to super-sticky and it is an improvement. The tread is similar to the Bonty but larger size seems to reduce tendency to dig below the surface so it rolls easier. It does not slide much into corners even when front loaded with lots of weight and lots of braking but you can force it to break away if you push the brave/foolish button.

Surprisingly the root grip is excellent with only the side angle kickers forcing it offline. Rock grip seems good and even chalk sections grab a little. It will slide on steeper off camber stuff, e.g. tank trap, but even then it is predictable on both the slide and the grab back. This can be important to a taller rider as it reduces the likliehood of high siding yourself. Rolling resistance is medium so it may be worth trying it as a rear tyre too; need to consider this.

So overall my preferred choice for winter and maybe even a muddy August afternoon in the rain…….

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Shrinking groups

Summer evenings are disappearing and many riders will only ride at weekends and holidays.
Regular groups shrink in size with only a few hardy souls venturing out into the darkness but if you have never ridden in the dark the difference is remarkable.Familiar trails seem strange and new and the challenge is renewed. Speeds seem to rise and you feel that you are hurtling along, although the cycle computer betrays the lie. The thrills and excitement are new and fresh even though this is a trail you have ridden numerous times before. And that hill that you dread as it seems to go on forever is diluted in the darkness as you cannot see the top. You concentrate just on the next section and find that you reach the top more easily because you have not been thinking about the whole hill.

You do not need any other equipment apart from lights which range from hundreds down to a few tenners. High end lights are powered by LED lamps and can have super lightweight lithium polymer batteries and with a set on the handlebars and one on your helmet you can tackle the most technical trails with confidence.

So shrug off the mantle of darkness and pull on an extra jersey and ride the winter nights. That expensive toy in the garage will get more use, you will be much stronger on a weekend ride, fitter next spring and the few of us who do ride in the dark will appreciate having a riding buddy.