Monday, December 31, 2012

Vibram Lontra

Look what I got for Xmas - a new set of Vibram shoes.  The Lontra is an insulated and weather-proof design - meaning I can wear all year round, unlike my KSOs that leaked a little.  The cuff makes them a bit harder to put on but they are super-comfy once you are there.  Thanks to K and L for sourcing in the US and shipping :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Thanks to S and P I have just received a Lightskin seat post.  This incorporates a set of multi-function LEDs directly into, and flush with, the seat post itself.  The batteries pop in at the bottom of the tube.  Perfect for my folding bike where external lights are a pain.  Currently I can only find this for sale in Singapore for 33.9mm, but there were some other sizes on ebay.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

XMas 2012

We've gone ultra-traditional with our XMas tree this year but I think it looks really nice as a result.  We got the tree from Dane End Farm (, locally grown and fresh cut and a pretty good price!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nexus 4

Huzzah!  My Google Nexus 4 was delivered today - took only a few mins to have it up and running.  It certainly feels great - much more substantial than my S3.  Haven't found anything that slows it's 4-cores down yet either.  I think I am going to be very happy with this phone :)

More photos here:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Zoom G3x

A belated birthday present just turned up - the Zoom G3x.  I had the G3 previously, and this is identical with the exception of an expression pedal bolted on.  For the price these really are fantastic effects pedals - I highly recommend (in fact I think this is now my 4th Zoom over the years - better each time!).

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Selle Italia C2

Came in the post this morning and a welcome replacement for my 4 year old (and very worn) WTB team saddle.  This one is meant to be super comfy with gel inserts and perineum cut outs (whatever that is).  More importantly - it is black and red :)
UPDATE: it was too narrow, the Man Gel Flow (same but wider) is now on the bike and is the most comfortable saddle ever!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shimano Saint MX80

Look what turned up today - some Saint MX80 pedals for when I am feeling more adventurous (read - too scared for clips).  Hopefully fit them this weekend for a test ride...

Hope Brakes

New brake discs have arrived for the bike.  Hope 185s up front and 160s at the rear.  These are floating (hence the red spider).  Initial impressions are good - but I need a couple of rides to let them bed in before passing judgement.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Nobby Nics

New tyres turned up - just taken them for a 12 mile test and all is well.  They are Nobby Nic 2.25" Double-Defense with a different compound centre, to outside.  Compared to my old Panaracer Trailracers they are faster in a straight line but don't shed mud quite as well.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Singapore F1

It was by absolute chance and sheer good luck that I  found myself on a flight to Singapore last Friday.  Thanks to MB and MU I have just finished a weekend of F1 at Singapore.  It was great - even Katie Perry couldn't spoil it.  Just a shame Lewis' gearbox gave up half way through...



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New YouTube Vids

I've put some new vids up on youtube - specifically of some MBKing in North Yorkshire and some underwater ones from Greece.  They are all here:

Insomnia 2012

Here we are again... through shear fluke none of us have died in the last 3 years of doing this, so we'd thought we'd give the Grim Reaper another shot!

Our merry team of 4 will be braving the cold, the dark, and the trails of Bedgebury for a 12-hour 20:00-08:00 night endurance mountain-bike race in October! Yes, freezing cold, pitch-black October. It starts on Sat 20th and ends on Sun 21st. Let's hope the tea shop is open all night again!

The team:

Richie-Rich: Gadget mad, his ultralight bike is no longer ultralight due to the tech he has strapped on. Most likley to run out of batteries.

Josephene: Tea and cake mascot for the night - is always found with a cuppa in hand. Most likely to fall off.

PeaceS: Breaks Landrovers for fun, has yet to break his bike - will this be a first? Most likley to be found sleeping halfway through.

Jasathalon: Will be doing this for a brief warm-up to his usual exercise routine. Makes Lance Armstrong look a bit lazy. Most likely to finish!

 Donate here:

BOO - the organisers have cancelled due to lack of interest.  Will have to do something else...

Monday, September 10, 2012

MBK North York Moors

Had a great weekend up North with the boys. Lots of biking around trails and the moors. Highlights were MASSIVE descents and when the Landy blew its prop shaft on the way back! Exhausted :)

More pics here:

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Sailing in Greece

Just back from a 2 week sailing holiday in the Ionian islands of Greece. Week one was full on sailing, week 2 was in a villa in Sivota (Lefkada island). Lots of sun, very hot (40C in shade) but plenty of cold beer :) More photos here in this link...

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Cycle 2 Work

So - here it is - my new commute from Kings Cross Station to Thomsons offices (near Victoria). Time on the tube was around 30 minutes and was hot. I take about the same time in the morning (don't want to get hot and sweaty) but in the evenings I storm through London in under 20 mins - and get exercise for free.

The Cycle to work scheme means I acquired a folding bike and all relevant accessories in time for the Olympics - but I pay for it before tax spread over the year. Makes it quite compelling. I need to use it for around 110 days to earn the cost of the bike back in saved Tube fares.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Beast

In case you think the recent city-bike means I have gone soft on my MBK, think again. Here's the Beast with its new Saint cranks on...

Tern D7i

Via work's cycle2work scheme I've just purchased a Tern D7i folding bike. Curiously the 3.5 mile trip from Kings Cross to the Office in Victoria takes about the same time on a bike as it does on the tube. It should be a nice alternative to the heat of the tube!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Hurrah for the internet and used bike gear. A set of Saint cranks came in the post this morning and should be fitted this evening. This is the final piece of my bike-project and replaces the overly-silver XT cranks currently in place.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Marin 5.9 First Ride

At last - everything is assembled and the bike ready for its first run. J and I took a 16 mile route through the woods and fields of Hertfordshire. First impressions: phenomenal! The DT Swiss forks are amazing - soaking up all the harsh vibration that the Fox F120s let through. The Launch Control (drops the nose 35mm when climbing) works brilliantly and really helps make climbing more comfortable. The rest of the bike feels super tight and sharp with very little mechanical drag. I'm absolutely chuffed with the final results...

Marin 5.9 Carbon frame with Fox RP23.
DT Swiss EXC 130 with Launch control, ABS and 15mm thru-axle.
Marin Maxel 12mm rear axle conversion using Quake dropouts.
Hope ceramic BB, headset, seatpost.
Crank Brothers Eggbeaters 3 red/silver.
Avid Juicy Carbon brakes.
Shimano XT gearset.
Mavic XM-317 rims on Hope Pro2 hubs and Panaracer Trailraker PR tyres.
FSA seat-post and stem with Eastern EA70 Monkeybars and WTB saddle.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

DT SWISS EXC 130 15mm

At last - my new forks have made it from Germany. These are astonishing - carbon legs, hollow rear-arch, launch control, and light as a feather. The Launch Control means I can drop the nose by 30mm by simply hitting a big red button. Once at the top of a climb I just bounce the forks and they 'blow off' coming back to a full 130mm. More pics here...

Thomsons Benefit Games

I never miss a chance to create a new mini-me. This time it comes directly from work. Thomsons Online Benefits has launched its 'Benefit Games' site - and with a few clicks I created this :)

I now get to return each day (with my mascot) to participate in the games. It's open to all - give it a go!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Marin Transplant

The build is complete (for now). Took it for its first test ride last night and all went well. The rear feels stiffer and the bike as a whole a bit more 'chuckable'. Now the wait starts for the new forks. More pics here...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Marin Frame Arrives

My Marin 5.9 2009 frame arrived this morning. The anodised aluminium is almost matt black, and the carbon rear arm is amazing. I took my current Marin for one last ride before surgery starts later today!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Room Swap

We've undergone a room swap. My study is now the spare bedroom, and the old spare bedroom is now a large double study for K and I. We now have computers facing back to back, a large bookcase and - best of all - all my guitars along one wall :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

DT Swiss EXC 130 15mm

I found what must be the last set of EXC 130 15mm in Europe! A German store had one set left - and at discount price too! They are now also en-route. The Launch Control will make climbing easier - and the carbon fibre build will match the rear arm :) The big bike build-off event should start next weekend (customs allowing).

Monday, April 30, 2012

MV2009 Pro!

This frame is winging its way to me from Palm Springs (USA) as we speak. It's taken me nearly 2 years to track one down - and in the end a chance search on ebay found it. Not only that but I managed to get it for a third of its value! Question now is what hardware to pair with it - am thinking DT Swiss EXM 150?!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Loud shirt day at work...

We usually dress down on a Friday - but with this Fri being a holiday it was announced we would do it today instead. One caveat - you must wear a loud shirt with a prize for the best/worst dressed. I think I am in contention :)

UPDATE: I won! The rubber chicken accessory clinched it :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Walkera V120D02s

Time for an upgrade - out goes the V120D02 and in comes the V120D02s - the 's' is important here - it means more power, simplified design and more robust internals. It also comes with the new Devo 8s transmitter with colour touch-screen! Should be here in a week - then the V120D02 goes to eBay :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sky+ HD 1TB

Finally had enough of our original issue Thompsons Sky+HD box. So have ordered the newer 1TB version, which will also support Anytime+. Shipping is 28 days though :(

Friday, March 16, 2012

Romania - the new office!

I headed back to Romania for a couple of days this week. Main objective was to look at the new office and plan some of the detail around its set-up. Also had to entertain some of the new recruits. Was a great trip, but shattered on return to the UK!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Zoom G3

I managed to condense my old Zoom G2.1u and my Looper into one pedal. This one is actually pretty good and allows you to emulate 3 separate stomp boxes (or modellers) at any time. Also features a looper and tuner to boot.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Band!

A work competition - I was not responsible for the costumes of the others!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Blade 450X

Blade have released details of their new 450 heli. This one is a bit special - comes with a beast-x built in to the receiver. I've been hanging off on a 450 size, but this is more than likely going to be the one I end up with. Link in title...

ooOooo - there's a 300X version coming out too!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Aqualisa HiQu Bath - problems!

Been having some ongoing problems with the digital bath system we installed late last year. Despite 3 engineer visits, and every component being swapped it was still struggling to reach a hot output. About half the time it works fine and you have a hot bath. The other half - it never reaches temperature (red ring never turns white).

So, I decided to try and investigate. I found that by lowering the cold water pressure (turning bathroom taps to full cold) I could coax it to achieve heat. It seems that the system cannot dial down the cold input enough - so that even with full heat output from the combi, it mixes too much cold (we have a 42KW combi so we should have no problems).

So - a cunning fix. I simply turned the in-line tap half off on the cold side. This artificially limits the cold pressure allowing the hot/cold ratio to be hotter. Seems to be working fine now - even with the combi on economy mode (had to be full heat before).

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Samsung 900X1B Wifi Problems

I have been having some problems with my new Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook (NP900X1B-A03UK), whenever on battery the wifi performance was terrible when used with a Netgear WNDR3800. After much investigation I finally tracked down a solution. Go into control panel, select the power profile and click advanced - now turn the wifi to max performance when on battery. Has been great ever since...