Signed in as:
Signed in as:
Solihull CC holds group rides for those members who want to explore the the paths and tracks that link roads. In our crowded environment, roads can never be avoided completely, but it is possible to ride a circular route that is mostly off-road.
We aim to run weekly Rough Stuff Rides on an ad-hoc basis. Some start from the local area, and some from a meeting point further away. These are intended for cyclo-cross, gravel and mountain bikes.
The way to find out about upcoming rides is to join the "SCC Off-Road Riders" WhatsApp group. If you are a club member, and you want to join this group, please use the CONTACT US form below.
Most of our routes are published on a club page at plotaroute.com. To access that, either create a login or use the Club Key: "1929".
Inchford Brook - Monthly Rough Stuff Ride - 26-Jan 2022.
Most bikes can be ridden off-road. But cyclists now have a choice of bikes specifically designed for this purpose. Let's take a look at the usual options.
Mountain Bikes are the most rugged. They come in variety of forms with varying degrees of suspension - from full-suspension downhill facers, through all-round 'hardtails' to bikes designed for heavy-duty touring or bikepacking. Choose a mountain bike if you want to ride over the roughest terrain and up and down the steepest hills.
Gravel Bikes are very popular at present. They look like a road bike but the frames are designed to allow bigger tyres to be fitted and to clear the occasional obstacles encountered off-road. They have disc brakes for increased stopping power and often allow for the fitting of mudguards and bike racks. Choose a gravel bike if you want a bike that will take you almost anywhere - on and off-road.
Cyclocross Bikes are the greyhounds of off-road riding: lightweight and designed for this winter racing discipline. They have similar characteristics to gravel bikes but are unlikely to allow for mudguards and bike racks. However, they are perfectly capable of covering even the roughest terrain - because in the last resort a cyclocross bike can always be carried! Choose a cyclocross bike if you want to challenge yourself by riding fast off-road and if you think you might want to try cyclocross racing.
After the bike, the next most important choice for off-road riding is tyres. There is a bewildering choice of those now, but the main categories are based on the type of tread:
The key to riding off-road is tyre pressure. It needs to be less than when riding on the road, but how much less depends on the ground conditions. If its dry and the ground is hard, then the pressure can be just a bit less than you would normally ride on the road. If you don't have suspension, then the reduced pressure will make for a smoother ride. If it's soft and muddy, then your tyre pressure should be reduced even further. This increases the amount of tread in contact with the ground. But don't reduce it so much that the rim hits the ground when you go over a bump.
The other choice with tyres is whether you use inner tubes or tubeless tyres. That is a whole subject in itself, which you'll need to read up on elsewhere., but suffice to say that tubeless tyres are particularly useful off-road because they can seal themselves in the event of a puncture.
You should always carry a basic set of tools when riding off-road. Things can shake loose on rough ground, and you need to be able to fix a puncture. And there is one other very useful thing: a bell. You will often encounter walkers and horse riders while riding off-road, and they may not hear you coming. You can shout a warning, but the 'ting' of a bell often gets attention and comes across as more friendly. You must slow down to pass walkers and horse riders, and you should be prepared to give-way to them. Let's enjoy the trails and paths together.