Sunday, October 12, 2014

Getting out on my 29er

Monday, 21st July 2014: I couldn’t resist going out for a spin on Tillie, my new 29er, my first 29er.  (Trek Stache).  The temptation was too great, despite it being a Monday, or because it was a Monday with too long to the weekend.    The route is here on Bike Route Toaster. the time had come to to try out my new bike on some longer tracks. This loop heads out to Abington on the Roman Road (Worsted Street)  and back on Rowley Lane. Rowley Lane connects Babraham and Stapleford by a path that has been upgraded to a bridleway.

The route is a shade under 50Km/30miles with some minor lumpiness. The Roman Road undulates up to around 70m – twice!  The bike was great on the ups and downs. It was stable without being boring. I even enjoyed the uphills. Now I admit I might be a bit biased, but without prompting when my son went for a spin he said the same thing – just it quick it rolls.

Flowers along Worsted Street
Roman Road Cambridge to Balsham

Bridleway to Hilderhsam

The view from the Roman Road-Hildersham bridleway

Furze Hill

Furze Hill

Abington-Babraham Footbridge over A11

A field of flowers along Rowley lane

As you can see not too many pictures – I was having fun riding my bike.


  1. Nice bike! Similar to mine (hardtail 29er with Fox shock). I was always amazed at your ability to ride over the rough on boneshaker 32mm tyres.

    I've switched my 29er tyres to tubeless and now run the tyres around 20-25psi - so much more comfort off road. I really like the 29er format for long distance riding as it feels like I can go much further than I wanted to with 26. I think it rolls similar to my 32mm touring bike, but with much more comfort offroad. The bike inspired me to attempt the Wessex Ridgeway and Ridgeway.

    1. The 29er is so much more pleasant on the trails. The only downside is that I have had more punctures in three months on my MTB than during the last three to four years. My 6th puncture was last week, which I discovered just before setting off to Thetford. (Following much of your? route I think.) So I took my hybrid. Less noise on the tarmac, but I found the tracks hard work, especially the sandy ones.
      It seems that tubeless is the answer, although being stingy I am waiting until the current tyres have given a bit of wear. I have to pay far more attention to the track with skinny tyres, whereas on the 29er I look around more.

    2. Most new bikes come with lightweight tyres especially road and MTB and are puncture prone. I always go for more puncture proof tyres, or did before tubeless. I'm not sure now.

      If that link is correct, your wheels and tyres are TLR TubeLess Ready. You have to add a rim strip and goo. I did it with a Stans Notubes 29er XC kit as it had everything I needed:

      Re the Thetford route, you mean the Peddars Way? Yes, I put that in OSM and never rode it due to it being mostly on road. I was expecting a long distance offroad route before I'd mapped it. I've been riding bits of the Greater Ridgeway west of here since.

    3. My other bikes have Schwalbe Marathon plus tyres, not totally puncture proof, but pretty close. So it has been a bit of a shock having to deal with lots of punctures again. I found an old puncture repair kit in my cycle toolbox where all the glue had evaporated.

      So I will go tubeless when the tyres have worn a bit more.

      The route I took was on the OSM cyclemap, highlighted in green. I went north from Gazeley, past Cavenham Heath etc. A high percentage is off-road. It provides inspiration.