Category Archives: Mountain Bikes

18650 Battery Charger

If you’ve got some 18650 Batteries then your going to need a charge, i opted for a cheap one that included 2 batteries from eBay. It charges them for around 4 hours in which time the charge light goes from cherry red to a more orange / red.

My batteries are only lasting around 1 week on full power for around 15/20 minutes of use. and towards the end of the week you can tell that they are starting to die off, as there is less output from the light.

If you find your light won’t cycle through modes properly then its more than likely a weak battery over a faulty light unit.

18650 Batteries

I recently did a post on bike lights mainly the Cree XM-L T6 1300Lm as i had purchased one on eBay. When they turned up they didn’t have any Batteries so i though no more of it and headed straight for an AA battery thinking it would fit, but they don’t fit as you need 18650 Batteries.

On the net i couldn’t see any pictures comparing a standard AA battery against a 18650 battery.

As you can see there’s quite a bit of size difference. I bought 2 UltraFire 18650 3.7v and a charger for £12 delivered from eBay

AA battery against a 18650 battery (Length)AA battery against a 18650 battery (Width)
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Cheap Bike Lights Cree XM-L T6 1300LM

So the nights are starting to get darker and riding home is going to be getting slightly more risky over the next month or so, so i guess i’m going to need a set of lights for my Dawes XC 1.6.

Now i’ve seen £200 plus lights working like the Hope Vision 4 LED Front Light, that is one bright light. but since its a tad on the expensive side (lol) i don’t think i’ll be getting it.

Also its only like a 5 minute ride for me to get home and the roads aren’t particularly dark so my visibility isn’t to bad.

I didn’t really want to get cheap lights well because they are shit usually use huge battery’s and well they usually aren’t much good.

One my last bike a few years back i opted for some cateye lights in a set that cost around £30/£40, and they where ok and better than cheaper brands.

This time i’ve taken a slight gamble, not knowing how good this front light will be but it cant be any worse lighting wise than a cheap light.

I’ve bought a CREE XM-L T6 LED which is kind of a torch but you can mount it on your handlebars. it claims that its 100LM compare to the 1000LM of the ope light above. LM is short for Lumens it basicly how bright a light is the higher the number the brighter it is.

A car 60w light bulb (kinda a stand bulb on cars) is 800LM but its apparently not focused.

It only has one small but bright LED in the torch. there where some 1600LM lights but they where slightly more money and my thought was i know that the hope is bright at 1000LM so do i really need 1600LM

Maybe if i’m really impressed by the 1300 LM Cree T6 light that i get, then i might just upgrade next winter, thats if i’m still riding daily.

Anyway i’d do bit more of a detailed report when i get the light.

Fixing a warped or bent disc brake rotor

Shimano 180mm RotorWhen i bought my new Dawes xc 1.6 i never bothered giving it a ride before i bought it and it turns out that the front brake disc catches on the caliper. don’t worry about trying to alter the caliper itself although there is movement to do this i found this took longer than my current method.

Basically if you turn the bike upside down and spin the wheel to which ever disc is causing issues. and you see which way the warp / bend goes, all you need to do is stop the wheel and push your disc the opposite way and then ride the bike to check if it still rubs.

I’ve found out that the discs are pretty soft and will bend easily back to another position so a slight push with your hand is usually enough to stop and excess rubbing noise or vibration.

Dawes XC 1.6 2011

So i’ve just got my new Dawes XC 1.6 2011 mountain bike and i must say that i’m really impressed with it. the only things i’ve altered is the saddle which is now way more comfy and put some downhill handlebars on which have given the bike a wider stance which makes it handle better.

I’m really suprised how solid the bike feels even though some of the Shimano componants are at the lower range of the scale. whether this will hold up or not is yet to be seen.

The Shimano brakes all though not a branded level like Deore or XTR, still offer an amazing amount of stopping power and feel. Ok they aren’t as nice feel wise as my old Hope M4’s but they aren’t £120 brakes. The back rotor is taking slightly longer to bed in over the front, but after a week of riding its starting to get there.

I’ve never ridden with wide tyres like 2.1’s i’ve usually had 1.9’s. but in honesty i’m pretty suprised that they aren’t that hard to push round and are offering a good amount of grip on loose surfaces, also in the wet they didn’t seem to throw much standing water up at me.

I’m going to have to order a frame protector for below the chain as it does slap a bit when dropping of kerbs, but what bike doesnt.

The front forks are RST Gila with mechanical lockout. so i guess they aren’t going to be the worlds best fork but the abilitly to alter the amount of bounce on the go is pretty good, since i manjorly do road work then i’ve got them set pretty hard with just a bit of bounce to soak up kerb drops, over all they aren’t that bad.

I’m really please with my Dawes XC 1.6 2011 which is a 22″ frame the laergest they do

Colour Gloss black
Weight 14.2kg
Sizes 18,20,22 inch
Frame Dawes Alloy 6061
Fork RST Gila with mechanical lockout (80mm travel)
Headset Alloy 1″1/8 Ahead
Shifters Shimano Acera 24 speed
Rear derailleur Shimano Acera 8 speed
Front derailleur Shimano Altus triple
Freewheel Shimano 
Front hub Shimano alloy 32H QR
Rear hub Shimano alloy 32H QR
Rims Alex DH19 double wall
Spokes Stainless steel
Tyres Kenda 26×2.1
Chainwheel Truvativ Isoflow 42/32/22
Bottom Bracket Sealed Cartridge
Brakes Shimano hydraulic discs
Brake levers Shimano
Handlebar Dawes riser
Stem Dawes Ahead
Seatpost Dawes alloy micro-adjust
Saddle Dawes special edition white
Grips Kraton rubber
Pedals Alloy platform

Bedding in Mountain Bike Disc Brakes

When you get your new mountain bike with either mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes you might find that they aren’t very good and have a lack of stopping power, don’t panic they just need bedding in.

Ever manufacture give different advice but as a rule of thumb a mixture of slower gentle stop at first and then a few harsher stops from a high speed will soon see your disc brakes working well within around 10 minutes you can have them bedded in fully.

There is such a great difference in stopping power. I’ve just bedded in my front brake and its now at the point where it wants to stop you compared to the back brake which is still very shit. and it just feels like its making contact but not working.

Cube Bikes

I was over at Stif Bikes yesterday and i happened to noticed the majority of bikes they had in Where an unknown brand to me called Cube. Now i’ve not really done much biking of late, but when i was younger it was all i did.

Cube LTD CC Rear Seat PostI saw the Cube 2011 LTD CC, It costs around £800 which is pretty reasonable for a mid range bike, but what i find more appealing is that it doesn’t look like a £800 it looks more like a £1200 bike.

The build quality looks second to none (I haven’t owned or been on one). The welding looks really neat the paint job is spot on i don’t think you could complain about anything on the bike, it comes in the following sizes 16″18″20″22″ so i’d probably opt for the larger 22″ knowing i can put the seat down over opting for the 20″and sitting really high.

The Rear Gears are dealt with via Shimano Deore XT and front via SLX, you get Shimano’s hydraulic disc’s. The only thing that i don’t like is the tyre width for me 2.2’s are to big i’d opt for a 1.9.

You can visit Cube’s and cahnge the langgaue to English in the top right.
Cube 2011 LTD

Cube 2011 LTD