Liam's 2023 tech predictions, how to bleed hydraulic brakes and how to upgrade your bike
As we roll into a fresh new year, we start 2023 with Liam's tech predictions and look at ways to upgrade your bike. Plus, all there is to know about bleeding your hydraulic brakes, and we share our tubeless tyres knowledge. Plus an important Salsa recall. Let's take a look.
- 2023 UK gravel events - the best off-road races of the year
- Gravel bike vs mountain bike: what are the differences?
Trail essentials - all the kit you need to take on a mountain bike ride
How to bleed brakes - SRAM, Hayed and Magura
Even the thought of bleeding your hydraulic brakes may seem complex and somewhat daunting, but with the right tools and some patients, it isn’t as complicated as you think. In this week's 'how to' feature, we tell you all there is to know about your braking system. Maybe this is your first off-road bike, and you’ve not yet had to even think about the mechanics of your brakes. You may think all brakes have the same bleed technique and even wonder why you need to change the brake fluid.
In this helpful feature, we put your mind at rest and explain the tools needed, why bleeding SRAM, Hayes and Magura are different from other brands, and a step-by-step guide on how to become a pro at keeping your brakes running smoothly.
Liam’s 2023 tech visions
As the new year starts all over again, so does the world of off-road tech with no doubt lighter, faster new or updated technology and sometimes something a little risky, bizarre and unconventional. Whatever is thrown in the midst, Liam Mercer shares his predictions of what he hopes will happen.
After seeing Scott introduce its integrated rear shock design, the brand kept throwing out more models featuring this neat concept. Seen on the Spark, Genius and Lumen, the shock is tucked away inside the downtube and gives the bike clean, smooth and sleek aesthetics while protecting its bouncy powers from debris. Liam thinks we will see more of this from Scott. Talking about shock designs, more and more unusual suspension creations have appeared as time goes on, and maybe we will see additional patents turning into real-life consumer products. Liam thinks so. Take a look below at all the cool predictions on his list.
What are tubeless mountain bike tyres?
Talking about gaining more technical knowledge about what modern equipment lives on your bike, we share with you everything there is to know about tubeless mountain bike tyres. Whether you had your tyres converted to tubeless professionally in a bike store or you are contemplating doing it yourself, it’s good to know what’s going on inside those tyres and how can it be possible to have a tyre without an inner tube and what to do when the tyre goes flat, yes, unfortunately, that can still happen.
Some of you may be reluctant to turn to the tubeless system if riding anything slightly older, as most modern bikes often become tubeless-ready. Our feature may sway you to turn to tubeless and eliminate any worries and questions you may have.
Give your off road bike some upgrade love
A new bike straight out of the shop is ready to ride, of course, but it has so much more potential to make it ‘yours’ and to give it some upgrades by adding extras or some flash of colour. It may take a while to figure out what you need to improve your cycling experience, but once you start fettling around with different products, you will start having a better understanding of what you like in a bike, what works for you and what you can do without.
Upgrades can transform a bike into something unique and personal to you. As I talked about earlier, there is the option to change a standard tyre to a tubeless set-up, or maybe changing the tyres to something more suited to the typical terrain you usually encounter, and there is always the option of better, maybe more colourful handlebar tape or grips to wow your riding mates.
Changes to gravel event
Known for its mass start, the Unbound Gravel event has made some big changes to its format, with the event - formally known as the Dirty Kanza - putting the rider's safety first in preparation for an expected 4,000 plus riders lining up. Since its premier event in 2006, no changes have been made in terms of organisation, rules and regs.
Changes will mainly affect the Elite riders, with the first change being the decision to have a staggered start between the mens and the womens field, giving a separate focus to both genders. The elite riders will start their 200-mile journey separately from the amateurs, who can also ride a 25, 50 or 100-mile route if they wish. Another prominent change, again only affecting the elite riders, is that the added aid of aero bars is no longer allowed to be used with the intention of increasing the competitive side of racing.
Recall from Salsa
An urgent recall has been issued to riders who own the Cowbell Carbon and Cowchipper Carbon Handlebars due to safety reports of cracking when in use. The handlebars affected were issued between January 2018 and August 2022 and have also been part of full bike builds on Salsa Cutthroat, Warroad, and Warbird models.
Salsa Cycles have said they will offer an exchange of the handlebars for a free replacement. They also warn that you stop using the handlebar immediately, even if it looks fine. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Salsa issues stop-ride on carbon handlebars due to safety risk