Author Topic: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?  (Read 45328 times)

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Offline Geoff Reid

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Update: 11 months and 1,970 Miles On My Boardman MX Race
« Reply #60 on: August 02, 2014, 11:51:20 AM »
Okey dokey....

I've been riding the Boardman MX Race for almost exactly 11 months and 1,970 miles of mixed road, cycle paths, canal tow paths and unmetalled roads. 

Overall I remain very happy with it and enjoy riding it as much, if not more than the first day I had it, although I have identified a (very small) number of snags which, although less than optimal, won't prevent me from buying another Boardman.

I'll deal with the bad bits first:

Wheels & Hubs:  The MX Race is built to a specific 'entry level' price point.  Most of the bike components are quite/very good imho...with the very notable exception of the rear wheel. Both wheels are built around 32 hole QR Formula hubs.

I have literally lost track of the number of times I've needed to re-true the rear wheel.  I realised very early on that very few of the 32 spokes on the rear wheel had been correctly tensioned and, a little while later, learned that the quality of the rear hub, freehub body and spokes is not particularly high and, being a big bloke, I'm probably likely to cause more component wear/failures than an average size/weight rider.

Spokes: I've replaced 9 or 10 spokes in the rear wheel - some failed (snapped) at the hub end and others suffered a thread failure at the nipple end.  All of them let go on flat, undemanding surfaces at moderate to low speeds.  I have no idea who actually builds the wheels, (probably some poor sod earning 10 pence a week), but I think low-quality spokes and poor assembly/quality control are to blame.  I bought a bulk lot of replacement (higher quality) spokes with which I'm gradually working my round round the rear rim.  I haven't had any issues with the front hub, spokes or rim yet :)

Hubs: The brand of hubs used are 'Formula' - each hub carries 32 spokes and the rear free hub body is designed to accept a Shimano type 9 speed cassette.  The Shimano (PG950 I think) cassette slows little sign of wear although I do keep my chain, derailleur, cassette and chainset clean and properly lubricated so I'd be surprised if it did look worn yet.  The freehub is a different matter though - I've just installed the 3rd since new.  The original started making a horrible 'clunking noise' at about 800 miles (iirc), the second at about 1,400 miles and the latest one about one week ago.  The replacement price is not huge, (about £15), which suggests to me that the quality is not particularly good either. 

The free hub body is reasonably easy to change although it does require the complete dissasembly of the quick release axle, bearing cones and ball bearings in order to remove the free hub body from the hub itself.  An 11mm allen key is also required to remove the freehub body although a small 11mm adaptor tool is supplied with new freehub bodies as supplied by Halfords.  Changing the freehub body does afford the perfect opportunity to clean, inspect and re-grease the QR axle and bearings. 

I reckon the Formula hubs are low-end but okay.  I haven't had any problems with the hubs themselves, just the bits that have been hung on and bolted to them.

Administrator Comment **note to self: Include Halfords part ref number**

It's not difficult to fettle the rear wheel, but it is an irritant...especially when the rest of the bike is so bloody good!  If I was buying an MX Race tomorrow I would keep my eyes open for a deal on a pair of Shimano RX05 wheels (about £150 pair) which are much better quality and will slot straight in* - incidentally I think the (28 spoke) RX05's are standard equipment on the 2014 Boardman Hybrid Pro. 

* Be aware though, that the RX05 disks are 'centre lock', not bolted on, so the Avid disks on the original wheels won't fit the Shimano wheels. The centre lock disks will fit the Avid disk brake calipers though. - factor the extra cost of new disks into any costings :wink: 

That's it for the bad :)

Other stuff:

The gear indexing has remained remarkably accurate and has required very little in the way of adjustment. As I've already said though, I tend to keep stuff clean and well lubricated so the experience of other riders might differ to mine.  The only time I've noticed any degradation of its usual precise performance was after 45 miles round Bath, Bristol and Avonmouth, fully half of it being on fairly gritty paths alongside the river Avon.

Steering remains light and nimble although the exterior cable routing has rubbed a fair bit of paint from the top of the forks. 

I engaged the front fork suspension lock-out about 400 miles back, (making the forks solid), just to see whether I could live without front suspension when the time comes to replace the MX.  I haven't unlocked them since so I guess I will be able to live with solid forks. There is a noticeable difference in pedalling effort - it is a fair bit easier climbing hills with solid forks   That said, if you regularly ride with a camera on the bars front suspension does smooth out many/most of the camera rattling bumps :)

Tyres:  I still love the kevlar re-inforced 700x35c Schwalbe Tyrago tyres although I've just started using 700x32c Schwalbe Marathon Plus.  The Tyrago's are cracking tyres which have suffered very few punctures but I wanted to try a harder wearing and even more puncture proof tyre.  I've read reviews which suggest that a Marathon plus on the rear might well last up to 4,500 miles, and a front up to 6,000. 

The Marathon Plus, called a 'commu-tourer' by some, is initially about twice as expensive as a Tyrago, (£24 each as opposed to £12 for a Tyrago), but considering I've already worn out 2 pairs of Tyragos and am well into the 3rd set, the Marathons *ought* to prove more economical in the long run and require less maintenance (tyre changing).  Whether the Marathons will be as 'sure footed' on loose surfaces as the Tyragos remains to be seen (I doubt they will) but with a well defined 'touring' tread pattern they should cope well enough with the sort of riding I do.  I have already noticed that, (having less rolling resistance than the Tyragos) the Marathon's provide a slightly faster and easier ride.  On one of my various commuting routes, (7.5 miles), I have been consistently 1mph faster each way all week.  I am aware, however, that the increase might also be due to my increasing fitness levels, but I think it is the tyres :)

I've added a Topeak Super Tourist DX rack and trunkbag  The racks are easy to fit and not as expensive as you might think for such a high quality bit of kit (£25'ish). The trunkbags are expensive, (about £70), but are very high quality and very rugged.  I use my every ride and have yet to find it lacking in any detail.  I highly recommend them.

I'd still recommend the MX Race although I'd also suggest that new owners make any problems they encounter with the rear wheel a warranty issue with Halfords.  Halfords now own the Boardman Brand and, in my honest opinion, could quite easily sort out issues like this. Had I not been able to sort these things out for myself I would have been back to Halfords several times by now - getting more frustrated with each visit.

My next bike will either be a Boardman Hybrid Pro or a Ghost Speedline 5700 City Bike.  The choice probably depends on what Halfords do with the Boardman marque.  If Boardmans component specifications begin sliding I'll probably go for the German built Ghost, but if I were buying a new bike today it would definitely be one of the more expensive Boardmans.....









« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 04:11:52 PM by Geoff Reid »

Offline ferdinand

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #61 on: August 18, 2014, 07:03:43 AM »
Time for some feedback from me.

I mentioned upthread that I was looking at a Boardman MX Comp (ie Hybrid leaning towards having a bit of a Mountain Bike character).

I had one for about three days, which was fine but I discovered that for 90% of my cycling I will not need the suspension. So after about 20 miles I took it back and switched to the Hybrid Team 2014 (which leans more towards a road bike character). The gearing is higher, it is 25% lighter, and the components are a little better. I was concerned about the wheels/hubs after Geoff's previous post and this one has branded ("Mavic") wheels. Very happy with the decision so far.

First impressions are that the bike is ridiculously quick, and seems to be about half the weight of my previous bike, which was a decent hybrid used in London around the millenium. Things have come a long way. Despite being 4x years old, and a little overweight, I seem to be able to hit 30mph on the flat already. I'm currently trying to get into a habit of doing a 45 minute ride before breakfast.

The oe tyres are quite road orientated, narrow (28mm) and high pressure (100 psi) so it feels a little harsh. I may switch to something wider and more comfy with a bigger tread for the winter. They won't be Schalbe Marathon Plus since I hear that these virtually need a crowbar to remove from the wheel.

One shock is the amount of extra kit that is necessary. They said allow 10-20% of the price of the bike for accessories. 40-50% is closer by the time I will have finished.

I'm also - so far - very happy with Halfords service.

So far:

Boardman Hybrid Team 2014 - £750. Reduced to £600 by discount-nurdling.

Various accessories added so far. I've gone for good quality kit without going mad. "Mad" would involve cycle computers with GPS and mapping for around £200. RRP seems meaningless, and amongst this first list there are about £75 of discounts from RRP.

Cateye Basic Computer. Speed, mileage, average etc - £25
Cycling Shorts - £20
Cycling Helmet - £30 reduced from $50.
Pump - £25
Wedge (under saddle) Bag with Puncture Kit etc - £10
"Compo" Gloves (Fingerless Cycling Mitts) - £20
RFID Tag for Use with immobilise.com service - £15
Locks - £60

Still to come

Mudguards. Probably Chromoplastics - £30
Pannier Rack, Pannier Bag - will probably follow Geoff's recommendation but something slightly lighter duty (eg 15kg capacity not 25kg), not needing to carry adult labradors. £80-100
Bar Ends (maybe). These are "horns" for the end of handlebars to help when climbing - £15
Some sort of clip-on pedal setup.
Lights - £50 (?)
Tiny spare lights for the wedge bag for when I forget the lights.
Floor pump.
Some sort of bike rack to lock it to at home or my insurance is invalid.

It is well worth the discounting games. By the time I am done that will have saved £200.

Ferdinand

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #62 on: October 17, 2014, 02:24:36 PM »
Hey Ferd, thanks for the comprehensive reply and apologies for my tardiness in responding (nose to grindstone etc) :)

I'm told that the Mavic wheels are pretty good, certainly a large improvement over the rims and hubs on the MX Race.  I'm at 2,600 (mixed terrain) miles on the MX now and have become 're-proficient', (meaning I've re-learned those skills I had as a teenage cyclist), at spoke replacement & wheel truing.  I think I've reached an almost Zen-like understanding and acceptance that my build, weight, mid-level quality of components and their assembly (of wheels) and the use I put the MX to is going to result in regularly bent wheels and broken spokes. 

The above said, I remain very happy with my MX and always, always look forward to riding it and expect to do so (as I did last year) through the winter. :)

How are you getting on with the hybrid team?  I'm already considering what will replace the MX as my main commute from next spring, (I'll probably keep the MX as a spare & camping trip bike), and keep coming back to the Boardmans, specifically the hybrid team or pro.  I've had brief fascinations with Ghost 5700 speedline and one or two 29'er versions of the Cannondale Bad Boy, but I keep coming back to the Boardmans because of the design, look, price point and component spec.

BTW, Unless I'm using my bar-mounted camera I unlock my front forks on only the roughest tracks or paths now, virtually never on the roads.  I'm also ready for a slightly higher geared groupset with less ratios.

 

Offline ferdinand

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #63 on: October 29, 2014, 03:35:36 PM »
Latest.

I've just gone past 500 miles now, of which perhaps 50% (mainly ex-railway type trail, or bridleway, but occasionally more extreme) is trail not road.

The tyres I went for were Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 37mm wide tyres (usually labelled 35mm), which are only slightly heavier (475g each vs the 400g Vittoria Zaffiro 28mm road tyres that came with it), and have the Schwalbe Kevlar and multi-rubber-construction anti-puncture high efficiency doodahs. That is about half the weight of a Marathon Plus. But pricey - I ordered mine from Germany for £50 the pair rather than about £40 each here. Very good, wet or dry. Recommended.

I'm not a weight weenie - the weight is coming off me not the bike, but half a kilo saved in half a dozen places adds up a lot extra not added so I try to look reasonably hard for the lightest appropriate piece without spending £££. Half a kilo saved on each of bike rack, pannier bag, 2 tyres, front light, mudguards, lock, and so on, does become significant in toto when the bike itself is 10kg.

I haven't had a tremor from the bike except for a reluctance to engage the big chain wheel and sometimes needing to drop down a couple of gears then back. That becomes far better once I have cleaned the mechanics. The Halfords Clean Chain machine works, but is fragile. Still gearing up my courage to cycle down a shallow flight of 8 steps on my normal circuit, but I think it will be fine. I love the Hydraulic Disk Brakes.

I have a pair of running lights for the helmet, and raided Aldi for a full set of winter togs,and I've picked up a Replay 1080 XD Mini camera to play with and for evidence should the worst happen, which kills my computer with the size of the video files. It is 3/4 the size of a Smartie tune, and sits on the helmet via zip-tie with a 1 button on, 1 button to record setup, and vibrates to confirm each.

I have had a single puncture which I think was down to overinflating the rear tyre to over the 85psi max. I now go for 5 bar or 75 psi.

In a couple of weeks I hope to do the Isle of Wight Coastal circuit. Currently happy doing 30-35 miles in a day once a week or so. Last Friday that was the 25 miles round all the Ladybower Reservoirs, followed by the 10 miles round Carsington Water in Derbyshire. Super ride.

And I have a (very) embryonic blog at http://therecycledcyclist.wordpress.com/ .

Ferdinand

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #64 on: November 01, 2014, 11:31:17 PM »
Latest.

I've just gone past 500 miles now, of which perhaps 50% (mainly ex-railway type trail, or bridleway, but occasionally more extreme) is trail not road.

The tyres I went for were Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 37mm wide tyres (usually labelled 35mm), which are only slightly heavier (475g each vs the 400g Vittoria Zaffiro 28mm road tyres that came with it), and have the Schwalbe Kevlar and multi-rubber-construction anti-puncture high efficiency doodahs. That is about half the weight of a Marathon Plus. But pricey - I ordered mine from Germany for £50 the pair rather than about £40 each here. Very good, wet or dry. Recommended.

I'm not a weight weenie - the weight is coming off me not the bike, but half a kilo saved in half a dozen places adds up a lot extra not added so I try to look reasonably hard for the lightest appropriate piece without spending £££. Half a kilo saved on each of bike rack, pannier bag, 2 tyres, front light, mudguards, lock, and so on, does become significant in toto when the bike itself is 10kg.

I haven't had a tremor from the bike except for a reluctance to engage the big chain wheel and sometimes needing to drop down a couple of gears then back. That becomes far better once I have cleaned the mechanics. The Halfords Clean Chain machine works, but is fragile. Still gearing up my courage to cycle down a shallow flight of 8 steps on my normal circuit, but I think it will be fine. I love the Hydraulic Disk Brakes.

I have a pair of running lights for the helmet, and raided Aldi for a full set of winter togs,and I've picked up a Replay 1080 XD Mini camera to play with and for evidence should the worst happen, which kills my computer with the size of the video files. It is 3/4 the size of a Smartie tune, and sits on the helmet via zip-tie with a 1 button on, 1 button to record setup, and vibrates to confirm each.

I have had a single puncture which I think was down to overinflating the rear tyre to over the 85psi max. I now go for 5 bar or 75 psi.

In a couple of weeks I hope to do the Isle of Wight Coastal circuit. Currently happy doing 30-35 miles in a day once a week or so. Last Friday that was the 25 miles round all the Ladybower Reservoirs, followed by the 10 miles round Carsington Water in Derbyshire. Super ride.

And I have a (very) embryonic blog at http://therecycledcyclist.wordpress.com/ .

Ferdinand


I suffered clunky up-changes on the chainset until, at about 1,500 miles I finally got around to investigating it properly, and realised that the front mech was about 2mm too high on the seat tube and the top limit screw (which limits how far the mech will push the chain to the right) needed a slight adjustment to allow a bit more travel.  The next 1,000 miles have been much, much better :)  In fact they've been so much better I felt a bit of dork for not checking it sooner.  Next time I won't take it for granted that that the manufacturer and supplier, (Boardman and Halfords in this case), have set teh bike up perfectly pre-purchase.

I use a Parks Tools chain scrubber which has proven sturdily efficient and leaves my chain looking 'as new'.   I've used the same chain lube since new, Halfords own brand (Bike Hut) wet lube and my chain and cassette are still in very good nick considering that they're not particularly expensive items :)

I also run 5 bar in both hoops.   

I've favourited your blog - looking forward to seeing what, and where, you get up to.  Do let us know if you Youtube any of your rides - I particularly enjoy watching other peoples rides and have several times ridden a particularly attractive area after seeing it on youtube first.

I've published a couple of nice rides, (in amongst other stuff), on my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRej2c9ACQw5_aOTs48IYIw

Offline Gambler

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Re: Update: 11 months and 1,970 Miles On My Boardman MX Race
« Reply #65 on: December 06, 2014, 08:13:37 PM »
I have literally lost track of the number of times I've needed to re-true the rear wheel.  I realised very early on that very few of the 32 spokes on the rear wheel had been correctly tensioned and, a little while later, learned that the quality of the rear hub, freehub body and spokes is not particularly high and, being a big bloke, I'm probably likely to cause more component wear/failures than an average size/weight rider.

Spokes: I've replaced 9 or 10 spokes in the rear wheel - some failed (snapped) at the hub end and others suffered a thread failure at the nipple end.  All of them let go on flat, undemanding surfaces at moderate to low speeds.  I have no idea who actually builds the wheels, (probably some poor sod earning 10 pence a week), but I think low-quality spokes and poor assembly/quality control are to blame.  I bought a bulk lot of replacement (higher quality) spokes with which I'm gradually working my round round the rear rim.  I haven't had any issues with the front hub, spokes or rim yet :)

Hi Geoff,

I plan to do a full introduction soon but I've been using the MX race for just over 12 months and 2,500 miles.

Thoroughly enjoyed reading and re-reading this thread over the past 12 months.

I was cleaning my bike today as it was absolutely filthy after only 3 commutes this week (10 miles each way) when I noticed one of the rear spokes was broken. It had come away from the hub. When lubing the chain I noticed the same wheel is not true at all. First time this has happened.

Do you mind if I ask which spokes you bought and more importantly the size (length)? I measured the spokes earlier and thought approximately 290mm but when checking on chainreactioncycles just now the options are numerous!!

Many thanks

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #66 on: December 06, 2014, 10:45:27 PM »
Hi Gambler, welcome to TS .

I can't get to my pc tonight but promise I'll give you the right spoke size (and supplier/type) late Sunday morning :)

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #67 on: December 07, 2014, 06:18:39 AM »
 
Hi again :)

I've found the ebay seller I purchased my spokes from: click here.

Unfortunately my invoice/order doesn't show the length I ordered so I'll measure them and post the length later today.  (My memory tells me they're 293mm but don't hold me to that yet!)

A pack of 10 spokes (with p&p) is £3.40.  Much cheaper than many others but, (imho), better quality than o.e.m on the MX.

Offline Gambler

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #68 on: December 07, 2014, 07:53:39 PM »

Hi again :)

I've found the ebay seller I purchased my spokes from: click here.

Unfortunately my invoice/order doesn't show the length I ordered so I'll measure them and post the length later today.  (My memory tells me they're 293mm but don't hold me to that yet!)

A pack of 10 spokes (with p&p) is £3.40.  Much cheaper than many others but, (imho), better quality than o.e.m on the MX.


Thanks for the link Geoff.

I've removed the broken spoke and it measures 291mm but obviously that's with the end bit missing.

Ebay seller has a choice of 292mm or 294mm so I'm guessing 294mm is the one to go for?

I can't believe one spoke has caused the wheel to become so buckled. Gutted as I'll have to drive to work now!!

My plan this weekend was for a full clean and relube before fitting some new sks long guards which arrived this week.

Thanks again.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #69 on: December 07, 2014, 11:51:44 PM »
Yes, I think you're right - 294mm.

I measured one of my replacement spokes and I make it 293mm (measuring from tip to the the centre of the spoke at the angled end).

Click thumbnail to enlarge:



When measured from the tip of the threaded end to the farthest part of the spoke shaft (not counting the swaged bit which secures into the hub body) it is indeed 294mm.

When fitted to my rear wheel none of the spokes has ever poked up through the rim tape or required filling down to size :)



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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #70 on: December 08, 2014, 12:07:05 AM »

Oh, nearly forgot to say:  The nipples on my replacement spokes are slightly longer than the o.e.m which is useful because on each failure I've been able to identify whether it's a replacement or o.e.m spoke which has failed.

To date none of the replacement spokes has failed :)


I can't believe one spoke has caused the wheel to become so buckled. Gutted as I'll have to drive to work now!!

It's surprising, isn't it?  We take the little buggers for granted but they certainly make their absence felt.  Having disk brakes is a real benefit when a wheel goes out of true.  I can well imagine what an utter pain it would be to buckle a wheel with rim brakes, and several miles yet to go.....

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Well, at 2,800 miles the rim on the rear wheel started to fracture and was replaced with a 36 spoke wheel of much better (stronger design).  The difference was felt immediately - it is noticeably stiffer than the o.e.m original.  Very pleased with the replacement.

At 3,015 miles I replaced the original chain, (I'm not sure who manufactured the o.e.m chain), with a 114 link (9 speed) SRAM chain and the PG950 (9 speed) cassette with another PG950.  The teeth on the original cassette haven't worn out, but the retaining pins which keep the cluster together failed some time back and although this isn't a problem when the cluster is installed on the freehub body, they were in the habit of falling apart when I removed the cassette from the freehub body.  The PG950 isn't supposed to be rebuildable, (although the PG970 is), but it was annoying me slightly so I replaced it.

I sourced the cassette and chain online for £25.00 delivered. (£40+ from other retailers).

I whipped the chainset off for inspections, (3 wheels on the pedal crank) showing signs of significant wear but still quite serviceable.

Front mech (SRAM X5) is showing significant wear on just one of its pivots - this will need replacing before I do the BHF London To Brighton ride in June - (Did I mention that elsewhere on TS?, if not I'd better start a thread begging for sponsorship!)

Rachael gave me a Brookes B17 leather saddle at Yule.  My bum loves it more with every passing mile.  :smitten:



 

Offline Mellon

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i do apologise ive skipped a huge amount of posts............get the Boardman  ;D
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Offline Geoff Reid

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i do apologise ive skipped a huge amount of posts............get the Boardman  ;D

71, to be precise :)

I'm very glad that I did get the Boardman. Now I'm pondering whether to get another Boardman in April or steadily upgrade the groupset etc on the MX, or keep the MX 'as is' as a 2nd (spare) bike and primary winter commuter*

* I've ridden all through the, (admittedly very mild), winter but shod with Schwalbe Tyrago's I'd happily ride through some slightly worse weather.  Coldest morning ride home so far has been -4C, during which I did need to find a solution to brain-freeze caused by cold air, lack of hair and a helmet with fairly good air venting.

Solution to brain-freeze = stretch a woollen cap over helmet! :)

Offline Muggins

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Apparently the way to prevent brain freeze is keep your tongue touching the top of your mouth.

Good luck with that one!   :laugh:
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Ah, it seems I'm incapable of keeping my tongue still  ;D

I've had ice-cream brain-freeze via the roof of my mouth, and cycling brain-freeze through the top of my head....so now I'm wondering what it would be like to get both at the same time.  Presuming that eating an ice cream on a cold day doesn't cause a crash itself, I'm wondering what the physical effect of a double brain freeze would be?  :buck2:

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The cold gets to my sinuses.....result whole headache.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Geoff Reid

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The cold gets to my sinuses.....result whole headache.


Sinuses...what are they good for, eh?


Anyhow, I was intending to replace the Boardman next month and have accordingly spent some time looking at potential replacements.  After careful consideration and reflecting on my learning experience with the Boardman MX race, I've decided that the best £1,000 fit for me would be.....another Boardman :)

Given that I would essentially be buying the same basic bike, (but with higher quality individual components), I've decided to keep the MX and steadily upgrade some of the components to a quality and mix of my choosing, rather than to a 'price-point' chosen by the manufacturer.   This was quite an easy decision really because, firstly, I really like the MX and have grown very attached to it and, secondly, I'm not easily swayed by peer pressure, marketing campaigns and magazine articles about what's 'in' this month so I don't feel particularly anxious about riding an older model in public :)

To that end I'll start another thread covering my gradually upgrading of the MX.  It's suffered very few problems, (non of them insurmountable), over its first 3,000 miles so, here's to the next 3,000! :)

From now on I'll be posting stuff about my MX Race here: Commuting By Bicycle #2 Upgrading My Boardman MX Race: The Next 3,000 miles