Posts Tagged ‘equipment’


Time to dust off your mountain bike

April 16, 2009

As we move into mid April it is time to be thinking of putting away the skis and snowboards and at the same time dusting off the mountain bike. A little time spent at this time of year ensuring you have the right kit will help you to avoid disappointment when you get a sudden call from a mate to go out to the mountains only to find you never had the brake fixed on your bike. So here are a few reminders.

Body protection and your helmet

You may well have grown an inch or so since last year so it is as well to check out the kit you wear. 

The single most important item of personal clothing for downhill mountain biking your helmet –  ensure you always wear a helmet to protect your head against accidental falls. It is not enough to assume that you are talented and very competent to perform downhill mountain biking because safety is a very important issue as well. On no account must you put your life in peril and so wearing a helmet at all times is the best downhill mountain biking tips that you can get. 

Other kit will include shoes, gloves and knee and elbow protectors – again you will have probably grown and there is nothing more uncomfortable than forcing your feet into a pair of shoes half a size too small. We also recommend that you take a light weight back pack – so important for carrying that Mars Bar or other essential sustenance which is so appreciated after an hours biking. We also recommend you ensure your body is well hydrated whilst mountain biking so take along enough liquids and water to ensure that you don’t get thirsty.

Your bike

Maybe Santa crammed a brand new mountain bike down the chimney but whatever the situation and this applies to new bikes as well it is very well worth your while giving your bike the once over. Check nothing is loose, the saddle, the handle bars, the chain – check the brakes are working properly and the gears are sliding from one to another in the right manner. Oil the chain, check the pedals, make sure the tyres are in good order and you have no punctures, check the tyre pressure. Nothing too onerous here – just some basic common sense.

Where to go

It pays to search for relevant downhill mountain biking tips. One place where you can find useful downhill mountain biking tips of where to go is through online sources and via mountain biking forums. We also suggest (if you are not already) that you become a member of a downhill mountain biking club. Never be afraid of asking a question: mountain bikers are on the whole a friendly crowd and always willing to share their tips and experiences

So get ready for what will be a wonderful summer of mountain biking and we thought you would like to see the video below from XTremeVideo of some great action shot in South Africa, Andorra, Spain, the UK , France and Italy.

Ok so that was rather extreme, but that is what we are all about – whatever you skill levels we hope you have a great time.


How to hang glide part 3 – for Nicholas Cage

April 4, 2009

We are now ready for take off and again we have turned to for their excellent instructional videos. As you will appreciate if you have been looking at our blog over the last couple of days these videos are posted mainly for daredevil actor Nicholas Cage who is threatening to strut his stuff in the air rather than on the stage so we hope they are appreciated.

Launching or take off is all about getting the nose of the hang glider at the right angle combined with speed of air over the wing so you are literally pulled into the air as expertvillage demonstrates.

And here expertvillage talk about launching in a light wind, stalling and diving.

Ok so we are now in the air and although we published the video below from expertvillage  in our first blog about how to fly a hang glider a couple of days ago we have included it again – just in case you have forgotten about turning, stalling, increasing speed – its all about the centre of gravity and what your body position will mean to the centre of gravity and therefore how it will affect the flight of the hang glider.

Landing – oh yes an important element – speed, angle, approch – you’d better get it right but this expertvillage video should help.

And to finish off this series of blogs on hang gliding we have posted another video from expertvillage on what you might need to take with you – the hang glider, harness, helmet, warm clothing and of course to start with, your instructor.

Thats about it for the time being – we are very grateful to expertvillage for their videos and if you want to learn more can we suggest you visit their website – the link for which follows –

We hope you have fun and Nick, if you are still there, we would love to hear how you get on in Switzerland.


What clothes for snowboarding and which freestyle snowboard to buy

December 18, 2008

The guys from expertvillage have put together some great videos of ‘how to’ – the other day we were complaining about the gallons of water that have been dumped on us here in the south of France. Of course what that has also meant is that when you gain altitude that rain has turned to snow so tomorrow we are heading into the southern Alps for the first days skiing of the year.

As a result we thought we would put a couple of ‘how to’ videos onto the blog about matters which concern the snow and today we present, courtesy of expertvillage a how to buy skiing or snowboarding trousers/pants, where the rating system concerning waterproofing and breathability is explained, and then we look at some basic instruction on how to buy a freestyle snowboard.

Basically when it comes to waterproof clothing the thing to remember is that you must be comfortable – so you don’t have water and snow coming through your clothing but at the same time have a material which will breath to allow the sweat to escape – otherwise when you cool down you will get cold. Also remember you must allow room for additional ‘layer’ or ‘layers’ of clothing under your ski pants. Its common sense really, conditions can get bad when you are at 9,000 feet above sea level and if you are uncomfortable and cold you will not be having much fun.

So the waterproof rating goes from 5,000 to 30,000 – the higher the number the more expensive – 30,000 is probably for polar explorers so a score at that level may be OTT – they recommend a mid range rating of between15,000 and 25,000.

As for the freestyle snowboard – consultation with the shop sales assistants is highly recommended but in a nutshell if you are looking for a freestyle board they recommend a symmetrical board which is no higher than your shoulder height as this will assist your direct switch and you should have no problem in going in either direction – too short a board is unstable and difficult for learning tricks, too long a board is tough to control.

We will no doubt find plenty of guys in the Alps tomorrow – the French schools break up for Christmas – wherever you are we hope you stay warm and safe in the mountains.