By William Bowker (11) and Charlie Bowker (9)
Bianchi Jab 27.1 + and Trek Kids DS
High above the trail centre of Glentress is the Buzzard’s nest car park, and at precisely 9.45 on the morning on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week we gathered with fellow riders and headed even deeper into the woods.
The very first thing we did at dirt school was a bike check. This was extremely important, as we then knew we were less likely for our bikes to fail! Our instructors were both brilliant, professional riders who took us seriously and treated us kindly, whilst always subtly showing off!
Learning new skills
We always started out in the skills area to learn skills we could use out on the trail to help us ride and clear obstacles. Some skills that we learnt were manualing (like a wheelie, but only using your weight) and a bunny hop. On the second day, we were all really excited as that day we were learning to jump, allowing us to flow over the trails really easily. We first got very low on the bike and then pushed as hard as we could to gain maximum airtime.
Trek Kids Dual Sport
Our bikes performed very well. Charlie rode his Trek Kids Dual Sport. This bike doesn’t have any suspension but as Charlie is pretty light, that’s not too much of a problem! He has upgraded the tyres to Bontrager Team Issue XR2’s which give added grip on the trails. Plus he has also upgraded the pedals to Bontrager Line Pro. The spikes on the pedals mean there’s plenty of grip for shoes. Charlie also asked Euan at Criterium Cycles to put some wrapping on the chain stay so as to prevent the chain from slapping the stay which is really effective and looks dead cool. The Trek Kids Dual Sport was very good at climbing as well as descending and was a great bike to ride at Glentress – we did blue, green and red routes and it handled them really well.
Bianchi Jab 27.1 +
Will rode his new Bianchi Jab 27.1+. It was absolutely outstanding. The fantastic tyres on their 2.8″ rims provide loads of grip so it’s great on both climbs as well as fast technical descents. The beefy suspension is great for the whole trail and the bike itself is so light that Will is able to hold it with one hand! The bike feels good to ride and can get to amazingly high speeds. With its tyres, it is the ultimate machine for tackling speedy and flowing trail, technical climbs and descents alike. Plus it simply floats over mud. For someone who really enjoys trying new obstacles, or just going very fast over anything, then you’ll love this bike. Plus, it has internal cable routing, so it’s much easier to clean and looks better overall. The brake system is hydraulic, so you only need one finger to operate it. This allows you to have all the others on the grip and gear levers giving you much more control. No bike I’ve ever ridden could equal this bike, and I plan to keep it for as long as I can.
Dirt school was absolutely brilliant. We did 3 days (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) and the the three hour session each day from 10.00 till 13.00 literally flew by. Next year we are definitely going again in the summer holidays. Will should be able to go into a slightly older group because he will be 13.
We thoroughly recommend this course, and both of these brilliant bikes!
Call our store in Edinburgh on 0131 663 6220 or our Online help centre on 01629 593724 to discuss availability of the Bianchi JAB 27.1 Plus.
The bikes ridden by the boys were a Trek Kids Dual Sport and a Bianchi Jab 27.1 Plus, both available from Criterium Cycles, voted one of the Top 20 Independent Bike Shops in the UK for 2016, 2015 and 2014.
Will is wearing a Bontrager Solstice Youth Helmet, Endura MT500 Gloves and a Bianchi short sleeve jersey. Charlie is wearing a Bontrager Rally Helmet, Endura MT500 Gloves and an Endura Jersey, all of which are available at Criterium Cycles.