Tag Archives: #26aintdead

First MTB video shot with the GoPro Hero 3+

First impressions of the GoPro Hero 3+ Black

Took the GoPro out for the first time a couple of days ago. I rode out the door to Raincliffe Woods, did a few miles & then stuck the best bits together. This is the result:

The crash at 1:46 was down to a rock or tree stump that my foot hit with the pedal behind it! I thought I was just brushing some vegetation, turns out it was a bit more solid! It crossed my mind to leave that bit out..! But it feels better to be ‘honest’!

The video looks kind of speeded up in places but only the very start is messed with. The rest looks quick because the trail is very overgrown at the moment!

I’ve been impressed with the GoPro so far, features wise it’s hard to beat. For me though the picture quality just seems noticeably better than the competition.

A sharper version will be on Vimeo, minus music, when it uploads! A link will be edited in shortly…

Banshee Rune Quick Review

Banshee Rune First Impressions

Banshee RuneFollowing on from the wheel size post from, er, a bit too long back…
…the Banshee Rune can be run as a 26er or 650b (27.5er). This is good news IMO, if only because it allows a frame upgrade by swapping all the bits from your 26er whilst still giving a bit of future proofing or choice depending on how you see things. To change wheel size you just fit the relevant set of dropouts. The dropout height is also adjustable to give 3 different geometries. The one I rode was in it’s 650b guise. Many forks these days do 26 & 650b with the same fork, which is great for the indecisive!

I got the chance to ride one whilst helping take groups round Dalby’s demo route for EDS Bikes. The Rune is a 160mm travel frame & was set up with a Rockshox Pike fork & Cane Creek DB Air shock at the rear. The shock had the ‘climb’ switch on it, for …climbing, but I left it open all the time & it still climbed pretty well. In fact it climbed easily as well as any 125 – 150mm frame I’ve ridden.

If you’re like me, climbing well is good, but of no use whatsoever if the thing doesn’t descend!

Happy to say it went down one of the black descents faster than I’ve ever been & it seemed happier in the air than anything else I’ve ridden 🙂
This isn’t a substitute for actual jump technique! I’m happy on the jumps, but this frame inspired extra confidence.

The Pike fork was great, although the fork model is up to you. The Cane Creek air shock performed extremely well, the back end of the bike tracked the ground as you’d want it to, although part of that has to be down to the frame design as well.

Although a Canadian brand, Banshee are apparently designed by a Scottish chap. He actually lives in Scotland as well & so the bikes have mud clearance. Yey! Another nice touch is that the bearings are deliberately standard sizes meaning you can use any quality bearings that are the correct size.

When I look at a suspension frame, I tend to look at how a bump will work on the pivot points. On some frames a hit seems to impact a bearing more than rotate it & to my mind this will wear it out quicker. The Rune looks like the bearings won’t be stressed in this way & so I would guess they’d last well. The design seems to give a nice stiff frame laterally which helps keep you pointing where you want & other bits of good design include the stays being built from a kind of rectangular figure of eight cross section to add strength whilst keeping the weight down a bit.

Not sure what the weight was but it didn’t feel heavy to lift & rode a bit lighter than it felt as well.

I always feel I should be honest & say something bad if it needs saying, but in the 4 or so demo laps I did I couldn’t find anything negative! The funnest bike I’ve ridden in a long time & I want one..!

Apologies for the lack of pics, I was riding & my GoPro hasn’t arrived yet! But here’s some video of a Banshee rider trying to break his bike…

Orange Five long term review

Orange Five Long Term Review

Orange FiveThis isn’t so much a detailed review, you just need to Google for tons of reviews & info on how it rides & handles. This is more about how it stands up to long term use. This one’s an ’08 model – not so much has changed for 2010; a slightly lighter/stronger top tube by Reynolds & the head angle is a little bit slacker. I wouldn’t have said it needed it, but it’ll make the bike slightly more stable at speed & help prevent over the bars incidents on the really steep bits.

…back to the bike – it’s lived up to expectations. No major problem’s so far since it was bought in Dec 2007. It was the basic ‘S’ model with factory upgrades where it seemed worth it. Forks were upgraded to Fox TALAS RLC, hubs, brakes & headset to Hope items & a GravityDropper seatpost added by me. Reasoning was that drivetrain stuff will wear out anyway, so why pay extra at the start? Just upgrade if necessary when stuff wears out.

The forks went to MOJO after a year to have the TALAS system sorted, it almost stopped working due to an unsealed system on the ’08 forks that lets in dirt. They fitted the ’09 assembly which has been great – instant travel adjust instead of almost instant, and it’s now sealed. It’s currently the only system that’s so easy to use you can adjust it on the move.

Pivot bearings are still smooth, so well done Orange for quality bearings & a design that obviously doesn’t put much stress on them. Had to change the shock bushings & went for TF Tuned stainless ones which have been good so far, and they sell the tool for DIY purposes. Although it’s nothing to do with Orange as such, the Fox shock has done well. No issues & it’s easy to change seals on the air can & add some float fuid every so often just to be on the safe side. Mojo reckon if you do this you won’t need a factory service as soon.

Most upgrades have been due to wear & tear or personal choice rather than breakages. One exception was a front rim – bent the original WTB item on not too heavy a landing. Replaced it with my current rim of choice, a Mavic EN321 (used to be XM321); cheap, reasonably light & I’ve not bent one yet. I replaced the rear recently with one that became spare from another bike. It’s handy that EN321’s & WTB SpeedDisc AM rims take the same length spokes, so can be swapped without replacing the spokes if they’re in good order. The other major replacement was a set of Middleburn RS7 cranks, due to the Truvativs being required for another bike. Nothing wrong with the Truvativ set, the external bearings don’t last ages, but I got a lot longer from them than from Shimanos I’ve used. The RS7’s are an awesome bit of kit & there’ll be a detailled review sometime.

That’s it really, does everything I need & does it well.

[edit] I am still using this bike in 2014! Obviously components wear out, but the frame is still fine. It’s running on the original shock & has only had 4 sets of pivot bearings & 3 sets of shock bushings so far… #26aintdead