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.

Photo: CAMMTB Winter 2022-23 rides have been posted up - please click on the Runs List link..

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Noob questions

So, I destroyed my drivetrain with the mud on the Roman Road this morning, which leads me to ask three questions:

1. Who do you trust in the Cambridge bikeshop community to bend the derailleur hanger back in place and set the bike up as a single speed? (I'll need a tensioner, no sliding dropouts)
2. When you have a mechanical and you're a half marathon from home, how do you get your muddy self and bike back home (other than walking)?
3. Is the single speed going to be more reliable in muddy conditions? Since there's not too much steep climbing, I think my legs might be able to handle it. What's the recommended gearing?


Re: Noob questions

Hi Marcel.

It got to you! That cambridgeshire gloop will ravage a drive train at this time of year...

1. As for trustworthy bike stores - Townsend Light Blue is worth a look, there is a bike mechanic in the group who may have better advice but he can be quite shady...
2. A bit low on rescue options but on occasions better halves have been called to collect a stranded individual by car. I think avoiding this situation is why a number of us run single speeds at this time of year.
3. Singlespeed is safest in my opinion although sometimes tough on the dutch hills. However, many ppl run gears all year round and just hope they avoid a blockage. As it happens, a very trustworthy chap on this forum is selling a singlespeed surly if it would be of interest / the right size / permitted. Could do a welsh exchange if that suited?


Re: Noob questions

Thanks Adrian!

I'm gonna take it over to Townsend tomorrow and see how much damage I did before I decide what to do about ss setup. If I can just replace the zee rear mech, it's gonna be about the same cost as setting up for ss. If the cassette is trashed, then I think I'll just swap out the cassette and mech for a cog and a tensioner.

Sadly, I suspect the medium surly would be a bit small for me.


Re: Noob questions

Hi Marcel,
As a yokel and mtb rider of 27 years I'm always keen to help anyone whoose hardy enough to take on our mud at this time of year. If you want I can have a look at it for free ( I have a rear mech alligning tool) and advise you on the best option for riding here.
Duncan aged 50 and four months!

Re: Noob questions

brilliant, always willing to take free advice! When and where?


Re: Noob questions

Hi Marcel,
you can reach me on