Jason Miles Racing.com


LoCo Tuning
December 16, 2014, 8:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Loco Tuning, the masters of mountain bike suspension tuning and servicing, are continuing to look after my forks and shocks in 2015. Anyone who knows how inept and lazy I am when it comes to keeping my suspension forks properly maintained will know that this comes as a relief.

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Not only will Simon and the rest of the team at Loco keep everything working correctly, they can custom-tune suspension forks and shocks to match your riding style, weight, etc. Make your suspension better-than-new, in other words.

And if your knob falls off, they can get spare parts too.

Thanks for your support chaps!

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Craft clothing
December 10, 2014, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m super-chuffed that Craft are very generously sponsoring my clothing needs for 2015. In fact, they’ve sent me a huge box of winter gear to see me through the remainder of 2014, too. Just in time really as I’m writing this in the middle of a Weather Bomb (I prefer the scientific term for this, but anyway).

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I’ve been a fan of Craft stuff for years, spending my hard-earned on it as it’s brilliantly designed, well made and lasts. The fact that I’m regularly banging in 15 – 20 hour weeks on the bike, my clothes need to be good as nobody wants to see me riding around with my bum cheeks hanging out of worn-out shorts :-/

Some highlights in the box are – windproof tops, windproof bibtights, warm and windproof gloves, waterproof jackets…some summer stuff that will have to wait for a while yet…a brilliant hat that has a windproof panel on the front to avoid midwinter Ice Cream Headaches, socks, thermal jerseys, baselayers (regular and ‘Active Extreme’ with a Windstopper panel on the chest) and some proper heavy-duty not-messing-about waterproof “Siberian” overshoes.

“There’s no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothing”, or something. Now I’ve no excuses not to go out in the middle of an Explosive Cyclogenesis

 

 



Mount Zoom tubeless valves
December 8, 2014, 6:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Tubeless set up does my head in. Yeah yeah, it’s dead good once it’s working and things are so much better than riding a bike with inner tubes….but I often find myself with a tyre that won’t seal on a rim or with a valve that leaks air faster than I can put it in while creating several large puddles of liquid latex on the kitchen floor. I’ll not go into the time when the cat walked it all over the carpet. Occasionally it ‘just works’ but invariably it’s a right faff.

I noticed that Mount Zoom were doing some universal valves. I must admit I was a bit sceptical about the ‘universal’ bit but Ant sent some over for me to try. Enough valves for a couple bikes.

First I tried them on some Syncros rims on the Scott Genius. Tubes out, screw valves into rim – they come with a rubber ‘O’ ring on each screw-down collar that’s there to improve the seal and lets you get things really tight. A couple of splashes of Squirt sealant (good stuff, easily as good as anything else I’ve used), remount the tyre and re-inflated first time with a track pump.

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Ten minutes, no massive puddle of sealant, no tantrums, everyone’s happy.

If you prefer to mount the tyre first and then put the sealant in, each pair of valves comes with a handy valve core remover.

After the positive experience with the Syncros rims I got cocky and tried the other pair of valves on my freshly-built Strathpuffer Racy Singlespeed – this time a pair of Stans 355 rims and a pair of non-tubeless ready tyres. I had to pump a bit faster with the trackpump and I have to admit I did break a sweat at this point (but there was no way I was going to waste a C02– I think I also used a bit more sealant than I did with the proper tubeless tyres but once again the valves didn’t leak, all the air went in, the tyres did that satisfying-but-also-a-bit-scary BANG as the bead was pushed into place. No leaks from the bead/rim interface, so the Squirt sealant did its job perfectly.

I’m impressed. I wasn’t sure that the valves would ‘just work’, especially with two different rims but I spent a total of 30 minutes on this. What’s more I sort of ‘won’ four inner tubes.

Available in black or red, get your Mount Zoom valves from the XC Racer Shop. While you’re there, don’t forget your Squirt sealant.

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Armadillo Raptor base layer
December 4, 2014, 5:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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Not many things survived 24 hours in the recumbent tandem. Most of our belongings ended up on the floor of the human-powered vehicle, crushed and soaked in the sweat, water and urine of two people. It was a grim environment. Hot, incredibly humid, cramped and unhygienic.

Fortunately the various items of expensive (and quite heavy) recording equipment and cameras survived and so did the tandem, which was pretty much as good as new at the end of the 565 mile ride. It needed a good rinse with a pressure washer, but it was otherwise ok.

We survived too – in spite of various items of Guy’s clothing causing him some (well-documented) intimate discomfort. My clothing on the other hand gave me no trouble at all. Part of it was pure luck, but it was mostly because of the clothes I was wearing.

As well as one pair of shorts, I wore a total of three baselayers. All brilliant, but chosen for different parts of the event. A couple of very light mesh ones for the daytime but for the colder, darker hours I wore a merino t-shirt provided by Armadillo Merino. In fact, if they’re good enough for astronauts, they’ll do for me.

First off, these are incredibly comfortable. Some merino garments can itch and irritate the skin, but this is the softest and smoothest out there. The fit can be ‘roomy’ if you order your regular size and you’re not a beefcake (I’m not a beefcake) but size down a little bit and it’s spot-on.

Speed with Guy Martin Year 2

Also the ideal t shirt for having a laugh in

 

The styling doesn’t shout “look at me!” as there’s hardly a visible logo – just a small one on one sleeve and near the lower hem, so ideal if you’re a logo-averse or on the telly.

Performance-wise, I couldn’t fault the shirt at all. The temperature in the tandem dropped quite dramatically during the night but my core temperature was nice and steady. The shirt inevitably got wet but it didn’t ever feel saturated or become heavy in spite of the environment making evaporation almost impossible.

I’ve worn the t shirt pretty much all the time since – in 24 hour mountain bike races, running or popping down the shops. A truly brilliant piece of kit.

I’ve since received a pair of Armadillo socks which I’ll wear through the winter (including the Strathpuffer 24 hour race in January) to see if they can help keep my toes warm. Stay tuned…



The dust has settled…
November 19, 2014, 6:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

…at least I thought it had, until a fireman asked for a selfie with me yesterday. In front of his colleagues and mine.

Apart from that though, things have been getting back to normal after 5 or so weeks of doing very little exercise, relaxing and gaining some weight. The WEMBO 24 hour race in Fort William back in October took a lot out of everyone who took part and I’m no different so the rest was well-earned and welcomed.

24 hour race pits need to be equipped for everything

24 hour race pits need to be equipped for everything

To bring my winter excesses to an abrupt halt I’ve entered the Strathpuffer as a one-geared soloist again – I’ve just checked the calendar and it’s only 8-and-a-bit weeks away so it’s a good job I’ve been back at the coal face for the past few days. I’m doing my usual “training that’s loosely based on a plan but it’s the middle of winter so I’m allowed to mess about a bit” prep for the Strathpuffer but it normally ends up ok. I’ve been running regularly for the past couple of weeks too – it’s not much use in 24 hour racing but it makes a change and hopefully keeps cycling boredom at bay, a big problem for me when the dark nights and mornings arrive.

In between now and the massive drive to the Highlands then is a hard few weeks of hard training, getting my legs (and back and abs) back into singlespeeding and big rides – I bet the Pennine Bridleway is quiet at this time of year, I really should try a long Audax, I might get chance to have another look for my helmet light that I lost at Penmachno 12 months ago and the North West Cyclocross scene has no doubt been missing me ;-)

tough, good brakes, green bar tape. Ready for the hard (and wet) miles...

tough, good brakes, green bar tape. Ready for the hard (and wet) miles…

Other news? I picked up a lovely sponsorship deal with Craft clothing a couple of weeks ago after I wore their kit in The Tandem On The Telly. I’m chuffed and I’m very grateful for their support as it’s brilliant stuff and it’s all arrived in the nick of time to keep me warm and dry in crappy weather.

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Gratuitous logo-muddy leg-doorstep shot

 

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