Cam MTB - the Cambridge Mountain Bikers' Forum

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  • Wear a helmet. Despite recent advances in medical science, brains still cannot be mended nor replaced.
  • Wear gloves or mitts. Hands often hit the ground first. Cuts and grazes invite infection and a hospital visit.
  • Wear eye protection, it only takes a twig or thorn to lose an eye. Crud catchers are a good idea in mucky weather.
  • When downhilling, for your own protection, allow plenty of space behind the rider in front.
  • Bring a bare minimum emergency tool kit and a spare inner tube.
  • Breakdowns are a bore. Plan not to have any by ensuring your bike is in perfect working order.
  • Punctures are also tedious. You can minimise them by fitting latex tubes, slime tubes or running tubeless tyres.

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Looking to join you guys but help needed first


Looking to join you guys for some rides sometime soon hopefully. I live north of Cambridge,not too far from where you guys meet. I have read the FAQ section and am looking to buy some suitable front light for my bike. I followed the links at the bottom but these seem fairly old now? Was wondering what sort of light output I would be aiming to look for?

Also i have the basics of hydration pack, tools, pump and puncture kit and spare inner tube, is there anything else you would recommend? I have padded shorts a base layer and jersey but not a jacket? Would this be worth purchasing?

Also I am hoping due to the fairly flat terrain of Cambridge and it's surroundings areas my Specialized Rockhopper hardtail should be ok with 100mm travel fork?

Sorry for all the questions don't want to turn up and struggle or cause myself problems by not being properly equipped.

Re: Looking to join you guys but help needed first

Hi Ian

some quick answers to your questions.

Your bike should be fine. My winter bike is a Kona hardtail with 100mm travel and that does me fine. I would recommend a (waterproof) jacket for the odd inclement moment that we sometimes have. They are particularly useful on leaving the pub when it always feels colder. There are plenty to choose from at a range of prices. Personally I wouldn't spend a huge amount because of the high risk of snagging on brambles etc. As for lights there are plenty of opinions as to what constitutes a good light. See the thread called 'Paging Paul Stafford' from a few days ago to see a link to an inexpensive light from Amazon. You'll want something with 3 hours+ battery life. Quoted light output in lumens is not reliable usually, especially if buying a low budget light but I would aim for something with at least 500 lumens.

Hope that helps and we see you soon.

Re: Looking to join you guys but help needed first

Hi Ian,

I'm a newbie too, I've had 2 rides out with these guys so far and the routes are good and the people friendly. I have a Fuji hardtail with 100mm and that has stood up to everything I have thrown at it, you'll be fine.
Re lights, yes you need good ones, I brought a Cateye Nano shot (£60) for my helmet and a Lezyne superdrive XL (£40) from Wiggle, for the bars. Both are USB re-chargable which is great. Although not top of the range, they brighten up the darkest wood sufficently. You could spend A LOT more and get brighter but for my level they're ideal. I dare say my inner gadget geek will cause un upgrade at some point!
Jacket is a good idea but every night is different at the moment.

Hope this helps

Re: Looking to join you guys but help needed first

I'm riding a cotic soul - hardtail is fine. A few ride rigid 29ers...

As for lights I've just bought a 300 lumen Exposure joystick ( which is fine brightness wise.

I have also used 1000 lumen lights of ebay which also work well:

they take a single 18650 battery which doesn't last a ride, but you can swap it out mid ride. Also the power switch is high-low-flash-off, so trick to go from low to high.

There is also this type:

they have an external battery pack that lasts longer, however I have had reliability issues and the mount for the pack hasn't been the best quality.

Ayup make some a price!

Jacket is good in the winter - I don't come out if its raining the summer! Something a bit warmer is nice for the ride home.


Re: Looking to join you guys but help needed first

I think Chris means his Joystick 400 lumens!?!

Re: Looking to join you guys but help needed first

yep, 400 it would be!

Re: Looking to join you guys but help needed first

Thanks for the replies. I will have a look for a light with around 400 lumen output then. I was looking at the lezyne ones someone mentioned and will look into a reasonably priced coat, never thought of the bramble issue! Just need to pop my off road tyres back on as currently running road tyres.

Re: Looking to join you guys but help needed first

PLEASE can we update the lights FAQ? It's so out of date, I wouldn't want someone to turn up having spent 200 quid on an HID light?! Can you even buy them any more?

Re: Looking to join you guys but help needed first

Hi Ian,
I have a couple of jackets, tops and a Goretex paclite I'm wanting to get rid of
if your a 38-42ish chest. Just sitting in back bedroom at moment, it's all good stuff (I seem to be inflicted with a shopping disorder)& it'll be cheap because I'm too lazy to ebay stuff.
Also got a quality light you can have cheap as well!

Re: Looking to join you guys but help needed first

Hi Duncan,

Thanks for the offer but I think those jackets might be too small for me I tend to need a large size which I think is 42-44 so might be a bit of a tight fit on me!

Re: Looking to join you guys but help needed first


I am new to Cambridge and am interested and heading out with your group.

Do I just turn up or do I need to join as member?

This Tuesday a good night to head along?


Re: Looking to join you guys but help needed first

Hi Chris,

No need to become a member of anything, just turn up and ride. Newbies always have to buy a round at the pub though.

Check out the lights thread and the general notes at the top of every forum page and you should be OK.

Pasty Tom

Re: Looking to join you guys but help needed first

Right have managed to get myself a light from Amazon, someone on here recommended it in another thread. Was only £20 but hopefully will be ok enough to start with, says it's 1200 lumens but that aside from what I can find on the net is more like 650 but should be enough. Also got a pack a mac that will do till I can get a better jacket.

So hopefully if I have recovered by Tuesday from doing the London to Cambridge ride I will be joining you guys for a ride.