Cannock Chase 1st Time Any Advice
Hi all I am collecting my new bike next Friday and the dealer (Certini Birmingham) has advised nearest decent trail is Cannock Chase, I have never been before but from the website (youtube) looks great. I just wanted to know if you have any advice or local routes, the ride will be totally about getting used to bike and maybe some small setup. I have been on a hard tail for a long time so will be a big change going FS.
If you start from the main visitor centre at Birches Valley, there's a nasty pointy rocky qualifier section at the start which I suggest you have a look at first before trying it. You can walk over it or ride around if you really don't fancy having a go (it takes practice) but it will be easier on a FS than a HT.
Follow the Dog is pretty easy, the Monkey Trail is an extra loop halfway around FTG and is quite hilly and a bit more technical. There's a couple of tricky descents so look where you're going and stop before you go down them if you're not sure. There's also a set of steps you need to go down and a main road to cross.
The blue route is OK but it's mostly fire road. Good for a long ride though and if you get to the far end you can follow the path to the Wimpy hut in Milford.
I've no idea whether the cafe/bike shop/toilets etc. will be open at the moment.
I wouldn’t bother with the Blue route, it’s just a longer shared use path like the green, no singletrack, lots of walkers and it’s 2 way. Nice for a pleasant ride but not a good test of a new bike.
It’s really well signed round, I doubt you could get lost, but If you go at the weekend just follow one of the other 1000s of bikes going round, it’s very popular.
The monkey is a bit more technical than the dog, apart from the black sections on the monkey which are a big step up. It’s a lot hillier though, so it depends on your fitness. If you’re only coming from Birmingham though there’s no reason not to save it and come again, it’s only down the road. I live on the edge of the chase and you can see the city centre from the end of my road.
Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
Consider the following:
# Bed the brakes in. If you don't do this your brakes will never be good until you take corrective action, which will take longer than bedding them in from the start!
# Brake and shifter lever position (along the bar and also around the bar).
# Brake lever reach position so that you can not only reach them with your index finger, but don't crush your first finger when braking.
# Saddle position, not just height but fore/aft.
# Suspension %sag (you have bought a shock pump haven't you?)
# Rebound damping settings. Start a third away from fast and adjust from there.
# Compression damping settings. Start half way and adjust from there.
# Tyre pressures front and rear, they do not need to be the same. From my early experience and from observing and interacting with other riders, tyre pressure is that last big thing that riders can do to improve their ride for free, but never actually do it!
I have been presented with a bike that was declared as ready to ride and it was a total abortion. One tyre at 43psi, the other at 17psi. Fork and shock at 20% sag apart from each other, rebound and compression damping setting so far apart, fork to shock, that I suspected sabotage! Levers hanging down almost vertically from the bar that I found them difficult to operate. I suspected that the technician who handed that bike over was not happy in his work! I was about to make a £3k buying decision, so you think he would have tried a bit harder. Maybe he was working his notice after being given the push; that would explain it.