Mountain Biking

ALine Welcomes Ant Henry

Catalog pose

Catalog pose

Massive huge gigantic thanks to everyone who has booked in on a session, recommended us to a friend, shared or liked a post.

ALine Coaching is continuing to expand. Carrying on with of principles of professional experienced coach's we have an announcement. 

We are stoked to welcome Anthony Henry to the team.


Ant is a passionate mountainbiker who has dedicated his training and education to athlete development with Mountain Biking being his main focus.

Staying true to the ALine roots Ant is a veteran of Whistler Bike Park where he undertook his initial guiding and skill development training. Whilst in Whistler Ant specialised in kids camps ...... hint hint.

Ant has been working with the team in the background for a couple of months and we are stoked. We think you will be also.

A Graduate in sports science from Sheffield Hallam University Ant went on to a dedicated and integral member of the BlueSteel SnC team who specialise in strength and conditioning with a keen interest in mountain bike specific training. With BlueSteel Ant has been lucky enough to work with some of top performing DH athletes in the world.

With Dr Gareth Jones bringing his sports psychology and now Ant Henry with his body and strength mechanics, we are building a strong team of professionals to help you get where you want to go. 

Is it mental? or is it physical? we find the two are generally linked but either way, we have got you covered.


Thanks again


The ALine team

Hardtail steel big wheel circus #26isdead

I was at a mates house the other week and there, in the corner was Josh Brycelands HighBall XC rig. Full black carbon, 800mm DH bars, a dropper post and I had a massive bikegasm. Thats it I thought thats the dream! 

So I put a post on my personal social media explaining I wanted a HT Carbon 29er and does this make me a bad person. Will I have to go to confession! A mate posted up saying he had Cotic Solaris which I can borrow for a week or so if I like. I thought well why not, its not the Carbon XC race bike I had in mind but I "Knew" I liked steel so I hopped on.

That was a month or so ago now and I'll be honest. I miss it............

Steel is from the earth, it moves and flows with the trail! Its got soul :-0

Knowing isnt doing! Riding is not an intellectual endeavour. My head knew I liked steel but my body had forgot.

When you look at the stats on the Solaris it does not show any particularly aggressive geometry, in fact it has been designed to give very neutral handling. This works for me. The bottom bracket height isn't as low as some who brand themselves as aggressive but this makes movements such as manuals etc much more efficient! 

People say the big wheels are much less capable on steep and tight terrain but I didn't find this to be true. To prove it heres a video of me falling off....... There were a number of bikes I could have used for this challenge but I chose this one !

Not an advert for a bike or our riding skills but as far as Im aware that corner is still unridden! I think its fair to say the bike was not the limiting factor. 

  • Was I comfortable riding steep technical terrain - YES
  • Did it corner well - YES (got my best results racing ThisIsSheffield Dual on this beast)
  • Did it jump well - YES (jumped everything I can on the Brondog)

The material a full suspension bike is made of is important in terms of stiffness and weight etc but for a hardtail, the material has a profound effect on the ride, on the "feel".

If your thinking of picking up a new hard tail I'd encourage you to put all your preconceived ideas to one side and get on a test ride! All the desk time and study can help map out the costs but when it comes down to it......Let your body decide!

If your interested in organising a test ride with Cotic get in touch direct at or call 07970853531!

Im going to test ride a couple more but Cotic is at the top of list!

Specialized 2FO

Shoes are unbelievable important. They are the main contact point with your bike. Get a pair that fit and appropriate for the task! 


Check these beasts

Quick pic while conducting the walking round the house test! #ProPhotgrapher

Quick pic while conducting the walking round the house test! #ProPhotgrapher


1. Much better fit (than my previous shoes).

2. Recessed cleat so I get the benefit of support from the pedal cage.

3. Far more support with a stiffer sole and all over stiffer shoe.

4. Excellent cleat movement, I can get these as far back as I need.

So far, really impressed. The biggest thing for shoes will always be fit and with my narrow heel, relatively general forefoot and low volume these take good care of these hotdogs.

Theres also far more support than you may expect. They look like a trainer but actually perform more like the more traditional SPD shoe. The sides and the tongue are really stiff. 

So down sides.... The extra support is provided by the stiffness in the sole but also the sides. This is something which has caused some mild discomfort in one pressure point (right ankle) over the last 3 days of riding. This is something Im sure will disappear as they mold to feet but I will keeping an eye on them. Thats the only downside and it's a result of one of the benefits - typical.

If you're looking for some new SPDs these are brilliant. Possibly the best I have ever had. Will post some pics in a years time :-).

I bought mine from JE James in Sheffield for just under £100. All Specialized dealers should be able to order them in, if they don't stock them.

Well you may remember our 5:10 review last year? They have bitten the dust.

I never got on with the 5:10 for 3 main reasons

1. The fit never was quite right (and this is the main one).

2. The soles where soft. My feet actually got tired. 

3. The cleat was not recessed enough in the shoe so I had little support from the rest of the pedal. It gave a real pressure point under the foot.

The shoes are completely worn out out now and I have posted some pictures but please remember, Im in my shoes every day and through winter they get soaked every day and dried every day. Im actually quite happy at how long they lasted. Its also worth mentioning a good few of my friends run 5:10 clipped and love them. You can see the soles snapped at the cleat and began to degrade (as do all).

Anyone else out there used 2FO? Or the clipped 5:10s?






1. Length

2. Width

3. Volume

Then there are how these interrelate. For example your foot may have a broad heel and forefoot, or a narrow heel and a broad forefoot low volume high volume etc. With a shoe it all depends on the "last" the manufacturer is working to (the last is 3D mold the shoe is moulded too). Whilst there is variation within a manufacturer's range as a general comment you will find manufactures have a general "fit".


To check the length of a shoe, take out the inner sole and stand on it making sure it is holding your weight, your standing upright and your heel is right back towards the rear.As a guide your looking for a finger width between your toe and the end of your inner sole. This "IS" the internal length, the numbers on the box will always vary. note: this only works for length! does not  reflect width. Put the inner sole back in put em on, waggle your toes, walk about and make sure your heal is secure, a good fit will give you even pressure across your foot, room to waggle your toes and hold your foot firmly in place.



A video of me eating bush #PandaEyes #29er

This weeks Tuesday Challenge was fun to film with me old mucker Rich Baybutt. While we were there though we found another little puzzle to work on. The corner was too steep to roll so it was going to  be a "bring the back end round" kind of corner. 

Before I attempted this feature, I checked the fall out zone for danger (A trail feature can result in a crash, but its the landing which causers the injury). 

When we looked at the footage, this made us laugh, thought it might make you laugh too! 

Tight steep technical, the 29er was the obvious choice.................

Find something you can almost do, practice it till you can. How you practice is the key

How would you practice getting round this corner?

Post up below


PS had a long term test ride on the Cotic, is it the appropriate bike for this shenanigans?  Nope but its a tonne of fun. #SteelIsReal