Guided Rides South Wales Archives - Wye MTB

Used and Abused – Gear Review 2019

We are in the lucky position that we get to ride our bikes almost daily in some amazing terrain in Wales – alright I know that is rubbing it in – which means we really use and abuse our kit!  We have picked 6 of the best we have used for our guiding and coaching this year;

Here are first few of the standout bits of kit….!

Orange Bikes 

I know their looks divides opinion, and that people think the suspension design is simplistic , but these bikes really do just keep on working!

We have had 2 this year, Windy’s Five and Gareth’s Stage 6.

Both have done over 150 big days out, and the only maintenance has been one set of bearings each. That’s a massive £40 spent between both bikes to keep them running sweet, and less than an hour on the tools. Compare that to some of the fancy linkage bikes out there, the Oranges just keep handling the abuse we dish out with no complaints.

The angles are super sorted too, which means you can grind them up the hills, and then have a smile for miles all the way down, and we all know there are some epic downs here in South Wales!

Yes the single pivot means that it can ‘jack up’ under braking, but choose your braking spots, anad learn to keep the throttle open and these are as fast as anyuthing else out there!

Burgtec Grips and Pedals

We have been using a range of the Burgtec products, from the bars, stems, chainrings, pedals and grips, but the two stand out products have been the grips and pedals.

We have used the new Greg Minnar grips. First thing we admired was the price…..£19.99 is mega competitive for some grips.

We really got on with the shape – 31.5mm seems to be the perfect width for our hands, and the tapered core means our hands sit really comfortable on them. The 25A rubber is supersoft (when you think the softest tyres are 42A) and this seems to really help absorb vibrations and help maintain grip, especially in the wet. All in all, they are the best £20 upgrade we have spent on our bikes!

What can I say about the pedals?

The composite ones below have been on the e-bike all year. £44.99 and they haven’t missed a beat!

They have the same great shape as the Penthouse ones, and have the same bearings and sealing too. The thinner pins, means they aren’t quite as planted as their more expensive brother, which means when we have been getting rowdy on the trail bike, the Penthouse have been the go to pedal of choice.

More to the point though, we haven’t had to touch them all year. Sure, they have some great battle wounds, from some of the rocky descents in Wales, but they just won’t die!

Still running the same bearings from new, and still super smooth!

Madison Flux waterproof Jacket

This has been the ultimate guiding waterproof, and we have given it some testing! It has a lovely soft shell construction, and a 4 way stretch to the material, which makes it super comfortable to wear, and a great fit!

It’s also super light and pack down really small, meaning there is never an excuse to not pack it in the guiding bag!

I think this also helps with it’s versitility. You don’t get too hot in it when cuaght in a summer downpore, but it’s great with a few layers underneath in the winter too.

The soft shell material, together with it’s great breathability, means we wear it a lot as a wind jacket when it’s not raining as well.

We really do think we are going to be hard pushed to find a better one, particularly for the money (£119)!

You’ll have to wait until Friday to find out what the other 3 bits of kit are!!!

Happy Shopping

British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership

Mountain Bike Leadership

Mountain bike leadership, National Governing bodies and insurance. What’s is all about?

WyeMTB is an accredited centre through British Cycling which allows us to deliver their Mountain Bike Leadership Awards. David Windebank better known as ‘Windy’ was one of the original BC leadership tutors moving from the Scottish Cycling Mountain Bike program when it was updated in 2011, since then he has gone to become a Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 tutor.

Last month saw Gareth Sheppard complete the tutor pathway under the watchful eyes of Rachael Crewsmith and Windy to become a Level 2 Mountain bike leadership tutor. Gareth brings a vast amount of experience to the WyeMTB team, leading the British Cycling Paralympic team to London 2012 and taking the Welsh team to the Commonwealth Games. One of the first level 3 guides back in 2013 the pathway for Gareth to becoming a tutor has been long but fulfilling journey!

What is the British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership award Scheme?

British Cycling (BC) is the national governing body of cycling in the UK. Over the years, BC have been focused on road cycling, track cycling and cyclocross. In recent years their focus has moved to more recreational cycling like Mountain Biking and this is where the leadership scheme fits.

Membership and Registration, why so much?

To become a mountain bike leader, you will need to become a member of BC and register with the MTB leadership scheme. If this is the first time joining a national governing body this will feel like a lot of money, it is, but you get a lot for your money!

The majority of the payment goes to the leadership department to affiliate with their Leadership scheme, and you will be sent a great 200+ page handbook based on the level 2 Mountain Bike Leader Award.  The cost also includes the compulsory Level 2 Safeguard training course and finally, this is the best part; once you are qualified, BC will provide you with public liability insurance which can be used when leading guided rides…. Amazing!!!!

British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership

The British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership scheme is split into 3 levels

  • Level 1: Currently a site-specific training course, used in conjunction with a British Cycling centre accreditation. There are some developments coming with this award, so watch this space!

 

  • Level 2: The MOST popular level and the one that most people enrol as their first step to becoming a mountain bike leader. The award is split into 3 parts
    • Training: 2-day event where the BC tutor runs through a range of topics, for example, trail side repairs, navigation, leadership styles and a number of practical sessions
    • Consolidation: at the end of the training event your tutor will sit down and create a development plan specific to each candidate. This development plan will look at exactly what needs to be done before assessment.
    • Assessment: 1-day event, a BC tutor will run through the criteria provided by British Cycling. The development plans are designed to ensure the candidates are ready for their assessment. The key to this is that candidates can present themselves then they believe they are ready.

 

  • Level 3: The top-level award and can only be reached if you have either completed the Level 2 award or hold an older MTB leadership award still recognised by BC e.g. MBLA. The award is split into the same three sections as the level 2 award, however the course is more intense and equips you with the tools to  lead sessions in wild and remote areas.

WyeMTB run all the above courses and dates for 2020 are live in our website. We run the course across South Wales and Cannock Chase. If you would like more information please drop us an email: Hello@WyeMTB.co.uk or call Windy on 07887998795 for more details.