Friday, December 23, 2011

Bukit Timah Reserve Mountain Bike Trail

(Photo Above) The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is one of the Asean Heritage Parks,  covering 3,043 hectares and bounding four reservoirs: (i) MacRitchie Reservoir, (ii) Lower Peirce Reservoir, (iii) Upper Peirce Reservoir and (iv) Upper Seletar Reservoir. The forest reserve is rich in biodiversity that contains flora, fauna, Seraya, Mock Durian, Forest Praying Mantis and the Singapore Freshwater Crab, and other animals like the pangolin, Horsfield's Flying Squirrel and Colugo. Besides acting as water catchment for the reservoirs, the forest reserve also purify water in the reservoirs. A network of mountain bike trails offer bikers an environment to appreciate nature, practice biking skills and improve cardiovascular wellness. The following photos provide a glimpse of over 25km of mountain bike trails.
(Photo Above) This stretch of trail is one of my favorites, not because it was technically challenging, but one of the few trails that bound the reservoir. Some distance down is a narrow downhill section infested with roots - that leads to the water if you don't turn in time. One more thing, look out for fishing hobbyists!
(Photo Above) The bridge used to be a single narrow log hanging over the stream. Bikers usually carry the bikes and balanced over the plank. I admired those who wear clipless SPD shoe, having to tip-toe with 12kg to 15kg bikes on their arms. Thanks or no thanks, a more discern bridge is built across the water. You can easily cycle over it!
(Photo Above) This is the only section in the trial where you have to carry the bike up. Have yet to see anyone pedal up this hill. I wish they could construct a riding path up this section.
(Photo Above) The water in the forest reserve is crystal clear, after being filtered along the way downstream...
(Photo Above) Paradise... 
(Photo Above) This is what happen if it continue to rain non-stop for two days...
(Photo Above) The obstacles are both man-made and natural...
(Photo Above) The best and fastest way to go downhill is to bump hop over the root invested section. The challenge remains on climbing up! Any suggestion?
(Photo Above) A clever way to leverage on a dead giant tree to make a bike trail...
(Above Photo) Going down is fun, I cannot say the same for climbing up...
(Above Photo) Before: Good luck to you.
(Above Photo) After: Thanks to the team who maintain the trails, they make this section more interesting to ride :D
(Photo Above) I am always tempted to jump from this man-made logs' obstacles. Has anyone tried jumping this?
(Above Photo) This shot was taken up slope. Well, most of the bikers will choose the easy path rather than bump over the log. The challenge lies on charging down the pool of water without slipping your wheels.
(Above Photo) The mountain bike trail in Bukit Timah Reserve does not have a good drainage system. Three days of continuous rain had resulted some sections of the trail challenging to ride without slipping. To add fuel to fire, the greasy roots would certainly excite some bikers who love to drift the bike while turning. The consolation is that you will not hurt if you fall, even without gloves and protective guards.
(Above Photo) You don't ride in this section, you slide...
(Above Photo) Anyone can bunny hop over?
(Above Photo) This is the top of the Bukit Timah Hill. Most of the bikers will rest here to regain strength before charging downhill to the end point...unless you want to go another round.
(Above Photo) This is the end of one of the mountain bike trails.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Recommended Tire Pressure for Off-Road Tire and Road Tire

Off Road Bike Tire Pressures
Generally, the tire pressures for off-road bikes depend on the the following factors:

1. Volume of tire 
Larger volume tire require lesser tire pressure, while smaller volume tire require higher tire pressure. Depending on the types of ride, the volumes of MTB tires varies according to the types of bikes. Generally, the tires of XC bike have smaller volume than trail and AM bikes, while that of DH bike have the largest volumes of tires.

Recommended tire pressures for off road bikes:
XC Bike: 1.85 to 2.0 (>35psi)
Trail Bike: 2.0 to 2.2 (30psi to 35psi)
AM Bike: 2.1 to 2.4 (20psi to 30psi)
DH Bike: 2.5 to 2.7 (18psi to 25psi)

2. Weight of the rider
Heavier rider require higher pressure. The recommended tire pressures as illustrated above are based on 140 lbs to 150 lbs riders. You may want to vary the tire pressure to suit your weight and ride.

3. Types of terrain
Lower tire pressure is more preferred in wet terrain to provide better traction and minimize slipping. Generally, if you are riding an AM bike under wet condition, adjusting the tire pressures to 18 psi for tubeless tire may not be uncommon. My favorite tire pressures for AM bike in wet condition is 18psi for front tire (Nevagal Tubeless 2.35) and 20psi for rear tire (Nevagal Tubeless 2.1). For dry condition,, I prefer 22psi for front tire and 25psi for rear tire.

4. Types of tires
Generally, tubeless tires require lower tire pressures than tube tires. Depending on all of the above factors, pump the tire pressures according to your comfort level. If speed is your priority, go for higher tire pressure but you will sacrifice traction. If the terrains are very rocky, too much pressure may bounce you off your saddle while too low pressure may puncture your tires. Try to experiment the ideal tire pressure that best suit your weight, the riding terrain and the types of ride you want. For XC bike, I prefer 35psi for both tires (XR3 2.2 tube tires) in normal trail condition.

Road Bike Tire Pressures

The tire pressures for road bikes are simpler and straight forward. The tubes are generally very thin and speedy is normally the priority. The recommended tire pressures for road bikes are as follows:
(1) 110 lbs: 95-105 psi
(2) 140 lbs: 105-115 psi 
(3) 170 lbs: 110-120 psi 
(4) 200 lbs: 120-130 psi 
(5) 230 lbs: 125-135 psi