Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bikepacking, Rawang - Sekinchan Expedition, Part 2

Foldies on the trail...
People, especially cyclists on larger bikes are skeptical about foldies on the rough. Basically, a folding bike has more moving parts bolted together, so, the fear that it would fall to pieces while being ridden on rough roads persists.
So far, we've covered about 10km of dirt road and the bikes are holding up pretty well. The smallest bike of the lot was a 16" Dahon Curve SL rode by Angela, while Siang and Chris brought along their Birdy Disk foldies.
The only 'average' ride was Andrew's Dahon MuP8. Along the way, Chris Wong had experienced a puncture on his rear wheel.
We went to work in this right away and spent neary 30-minutes changing the wheel's inner-tube.
After the fix, we proceeded towards a Kampung that leads to the road towards Batang Berjuntai.
From there, the ride was headed towards the Selangor River where we rode alongside a bund.
There, we linked-up to the road perpendicular to UniSel and made our way down to the Batang Berjuntai Mines.

Chris Wong experiencing a rear tire puncture

A bridge-crossing

Siang pushing his bike across the bridge
Climbing a slope
 Testing the Jetstream's suspension
We had no issues clearing the bumpy path
Michelle did not complain about the bike at all. A few months back, I had it tuned by Ben Thiew from Putrajaya  Rodalink. The bike was making some really loud creaking noise.
For the amount of money paid, the Jetstream P8 is a bang for the buck.
It has a simple RST front suspension, and even though the shock travel was short, it was able to take away the thuds and vibration from the dirt track.
A rear Suntour air suspension gave it excellent handling.
We were also surprised with the performance of the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires. It was grippy on the trail as well as on the road.
The only issue I had the night before on my Jetstream EX was the hydraulic disk brakes.
Humidity had caused the fluid to 'swell' and unequal pressure in the brake lines had caused the calipers to lock on the brakepads.
Having learned about this issue earlier, I took a small syringe and bled the DOT4 fluid from the reservoir.
This did the trick and I am able to get the rear to freewheel without dragging.

Riding along the Batu Arang - Batang Berjuntai Road
The link to Batang Berjuntai Tin Mines

Michelle riding her Jetstream
Arriving at the second checkpoint
Detailed planning..
Siang had mapped out this trip in such a way, the route takes us through 70% offroad tracks.
He and Chris had a full-suspension ride while Angela, who was a seasoned bikepacker, had only her Dahon Curve SL to depend on.
The other two old-timer Yeoh and Tan had their large 26" MTBs.
If you are one of those urban cyclists, you might want to think twice on bikepacking along the rough trail.
I recommended the Schwalbe Big Apple 2.0 tires to Siang at Batu Gajah. It served me very well with zero puncture in the four years that I had been using them.
So far, Chris was the only casualty with only one puncture. The rest had no issues.
From the first to the second checkpoint, we've covered at least 25km of the route.
The ride to the Batang Berjuntai ex-tin mining ponds was really amazing. 
We get to cycle on the dirt track and linked out to the oil palm plantation and later rode for 8.5km on sand before turning out to a peat swamp...
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