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New to Cambridge and mountain biking, currently looking for a decent hardtail and all the safety bits you recommend to come riding with you. I currently have a Specialized Pitch Sport 650B but i don't feel its quite as good as the one i had in Australia so i'm looking at a Cube Reaction Pro 2018. (Any input would be great!)
I just have a couple of questions;
Do you still ride in the winter time?
How much of the ride is on roads? (I'm not keen at all riding next to traffic)
Welcome to Cambridge! The group is still going - not that I can validate as I haven't been out in yonks due to working for americans.
Rides happen all winter, and a new runs list no doubt published soon.
I am not best positioned to comment on bike choice - will let others reply.
Hey Adriano, thank you for the reply. I might wait a little bit before joining, thank you anyway.
Actually there's nothing to join. Whenever your fancy it, just turn up at our meeting location, 7:30pm Tu and Th, and we'll go for a ride and pub visit.
welcome to Cambridge.
I have ridden with this bunch for 10 years now, and I think I can safely say that there has been only maybe a dozen occasions where NO ONE has ridden on a Tuesday or a Thursday.
What I’m saying is regardless of the weather there is almost always some one going to ride, and usually has a good idea where they are going. there are a few hardcore riders that can’t go more than a couple of weeks without a social pint and will be out regardless.
the routes to get out of town generally do require some use of the roads, but there is safety in numbers, and we don’t normally have any issues with the cars. we choose our routes to include the best bits of track, field edge, permissive routes and where necessary, roads. when we are out of town we will be on the trails for at least 60% of the time, but where roads are used they are generally quiet country lanes and you can see/hear cars coming a long way off.
you will find we can cover between 20 to 25 miles in the winter and 35 to 50 miles in the summer, all dependant on the weather, numbers, mechanical issues and how quick people want to get to the pub.
we are proud of our inclusive ethos and even roadies are welcome ;) and we do our best to keep everyone as part of the group on the trails. We don’t leave anyone behind to fend for themselves, unless they specifically tell us to.
you do find there is a vast range of skills and fitness, so it is inevitable that the group gets strung out sometimes, but someone is always ready to ride at the back and motivate and we do stop regularly to catch a breath, re group, talk rubbish and decide where to go next. Also, if you are one of the fit racing snakes and too fast for us, just remember to look over your shoulder from time to time and make sure we haven’t taken a sneaky break.
as for your bike choice, I’m not in a position to comment as I’m not familiar with either bike you mention. on the whole, hard tails are fine, just make sure you have adequate clearance between the tyres and the frame/forks as there are some areas we use that are "challenging" to ride in the winter due to the sticky properties of the mud. i.e. 2 parts superglue and 1 part concrete and one part lead. there have been occasions where bikes have had to be pulled along by a less muddy bit until the mud can be cleared and we can ride again. :joy:
whatever you settle on, get good lights for the front, preferably 2 sets, one for the head and one for the bike, battery life needs to be about 3 to 4 hours. Wear a helmet as trees hurt when they hit you. Use a rear light, to be safer on the roads, and it is always nice to use a rear mud guard, no one likes to eat the spray/ chunks from the back of your bike, and it keeps you a bit cleaner for the pub….. but the pubs seem to be happy to see us (or our money) and don’t make a big fuss. Oh yes, wear clear safety glasses, especially at night, as we do ride singletrack and forests and you do get twigs and other plants hit you in the face for the fun of it.
hope to see you out there soon.
Hi Rob - welcome to Cambridge, turn up say hello and enjoy the evening.
Pat referred to the mud. You won't have seen Cambridge winter mud in Australia. Irrespective of the bike you are sitting on, it is well worth investing in some mud tyres for the winter, they make riding a whole lot more pleasant due to better grip and being less prone to clogging up. Maxxis Medusas, Maxxis Beavers, Bontrager Mud X all come recommended as will others I'm sure
Don't be put off, the winter rides can be the best ones, especially if the hip flasks come out.
totaly agree Tony.
perhaps i was a little TOO helpfull ;)
Hey, thanks for all the info guys! (A* for Pat lol) I hope to be out before xmas, I've taken onboard all your input and I'll be buying helmet, rear mud guard and decent lights in the near future. Great that I had so many replies, see you all soon!
unfortunately i'm not going to be out again before Christmas:angry:
i've just been back to A+E and been given a walking cast for my broken ankle! only took them 11 days and a repeat visit to get it diagnosed.
on the plus side i've also found i'm pretty much faster than all the townies, even in a walking cast and on a folding bike.:bicyclist: