Long Live TimFromWales

I have just closed my other blog (TheGearFactor) as I have decided to focus on this blog for all my mountain biking / cycling etc posts, reviews, photos etc.  This means I have merged both sites – so there may be some odd posts with no photos and broken links.

These will be fixed in due course!

Tim (FromWales)

MagicShine MJ-880 and MJ-818 Lights

2000 lumens of award winning lights! What more could you ask for to illuminate your trail and brighten up your night rides?

The kind folks at MagicShine UK solved my night riding issues last winter by supplying me with a set of MJ-880 front and MJ-818 rear lights. Both powered off the same battery with a Y Splitter cable they operate at maximum for around 1-2 hours and then with some appropriate dimming, a further 2 hours can be achieved easily.  The MJ-880 alone can run for 2 hours on full power and as you can see form the video, turns night to day!

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Veni Vidi Vici Vitus


My plans for Saturday changed a few times throughout the week. Until almost the last minute I had intended to do a big mountain ride and navigate my way around the classic Welsh Brecon Gap. This was to be a test of my fitness and the Vitus Escarpe on a big ride – with 35km of rugged Brecon Beacons riding and a tasty 1000m of climbing. With my fitness feeling a bit off, this was going to be a bigger test of me rather than the bike.

A friend, who I ‘blame’ for my interest in mountain biking, responded to my request to help me test the new wheels on the steep and technical hillsides of South Wales and we met at lunch time for what would be a great few hours.

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Ch Ch Ch Changes…

Vitus Escarpe VRX

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting on a new bike, and today I did this.

Selling my Giant Trance this week had been a bit of a dilemma. There was nothing really wrong with it, and since making the switch to 1×10 in the Spring it has seen a new lease of life.

I was quite sad to say goodbye to such a trusty bike but at 4 years old it had served me well and it was time to step up.

So after much searching, reading and procrastination, today saw me getting behind the bars of a new machine!

Continue reading “Ch Ch Ch Changes…”

When is the right tyre the wrong tyre?

Pick a tyre, any tyre!
Pick a tyre, any tyre…

The tyre debate comes up all too often on forums, on the trail, in the pub, in magazine letters pages etc. “What tyres do people recommend for mud/trail centres/down-hill, XC?” Delete as appropriate…

It’s the source of frustration for forum administrators (“This discussion has been moved to the tyre debate thread – along with ALL the other tyre questions.”) and I am sure magazine editors get way more letters and requests than we ever see printed.

Is it the most often posed question among the MTB community? Its certainly “up there” but may have been replaced in recent years by the wheel size debate or now the Enduro vs trail bike dilemma.

The sheer selection of tyres available to us is huge. Maxxis, Continental, Bontrager and Specialized are the main culprits for this choice but there are a handful of others such as On-One that throw a low-priced-spanner into the works every now and again to make us think even more.

Continue reading “When is the right tyre the wrong tyre?”