Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oils Aren’t Oils – Wet, Dry, Wax, Ceramic Which One is Best for Your Bike?

So are you confused about which oil is the best for your bike? Finnish Line produce a range of chain oils suitable to different riding condition and riding Needs, Let Himalayan Single Track help you out deciding which oil is the right one for you:-

Why Use Oil? Chain oil, now days also referred to as Chain Lube has advanced away from straight oil based substance to variations of synthetic, wax, teflon and ceramic blends. We use Chain Lube on our chains to keep them lubricated and running smooth. A dry chain cases abrasion, wears down fast the cassette and chain rings and does not run smoothly on the bike. A lubed chain runs smoother, prolongs the life of your components and if you use the right lube in the right environment can prevent your chain from “gunking” up!

When to Use: - Basically you should check your chain before every ride, if its dry apply your lube. First you should just wipe down the chain then apply in small drops to the chain while rotating the peddles. If using a wet Lube give your chain a light wipe after applying.

Wet Oil – Finnish Line’s wet oil is perfect for cross-country riding, its goes on wet and stays on wet. Best used in wet/muddy conditions it coats the chain with a protective film. The down side of this oil is that it can gunk up in dusty conditions due to its absorbing properties and though the application last longer than ceramic, dry or wax lubricants its requires more often cleaning of the chain. Best used for long distances and extreme weather riding … Like Nepal Monsoon!

Dry Oil  - Dry Lube delivers a stronger and drier friction fighting film, attracts less grime, offers better rust protection, runs cleaner, and withstands higher extreme pressures, increasing the time between lube applications! Its milky white appearance lets you visually see where it is, and where it is not. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so thanks to the new color and consistency, you can be sure that every link is properly lubed and protected! This lubricant is perfect for on or off-road riding - especially in dry, dirty, dusty conditions, while providing improved wet weather performance. 

Wax Lubricant - Finish Line's WAX Lube goes on wet, but dries to a hard, dry, super-slick wax film. No oily greasy film to attract or absorb dust and dirt. This kind of lubricant is the best to protect the lifespan of your chain/cassette/crank rings and also produces a good performance in dry dusty condition. This Lube has to be applied more often than most other forms of Lubricant. The best part of this lube is that it repels dirt and you rarely have to clean your drive chain before re- applying. Perfect for cyclists who value cleanliness over all else.

Ceramic Wax Lubricant – A wax-based lubricant featuring nano-sized platelets of ceramic boron nitride and micron particles of fluoropolymer. Ceramic WAX creates a coating with an extremely low coefficient of friction. Every time Ceramic WAX is applied, the ceramic coating is enhanced, ultimately providing the durability of many oil-based lubricants! Ceramic WAX ensures total drive train cleanliness without the ‘distance’ compromise that other wax lubricants require. With Finish Line Ceramic WAX there is no ‘wetness’ or stickiness on your chain or parts, so dirt or grime are not attracted or absorbed by the lubricant. By avoiding abrasive wear, parts run more smoothly and last much longer!  Best used on performance bikes and high end drive chains.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Heli-Biking in Nepal - The New Age Rush......

It seems that Nepal is becoming an adventure capital for tourists and in keeping with this theme Himalayan Single Track introduces a new package “Heli Biking”. Fly high above the Kathmandu valley, hover over World Heritage Sites and tourist attractions well above the crowds, noise and hustle and bustle of the city. Get a unique bird’s eye view of the living breathing culture of Kathmandu, seeing where the modern meets the ancient, then fly over the rural fields and above the National Park on the rim of the Valley. From here the skies open up to rolling valleys and the snow capped peaks of the Himalaya.

Chisapani, our destination, is a Traditional Tamang Village nestled on the edge of Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park on the Kathmandu Valley Rim. This small village boasts some of the best views of the Himalaya possible from Kathmandu and in itself is a worthy place for a day trip or overnight stay. The snow capped peaks march along the horizon and seem so close you can almost reach out and touch them. In Chisapani you can visit the local Cheese Factory and Buddhist Monastery and enjoy some local Nepalese Tea before starting your ride.

From Chisapani two trails snake their way back down into the Kathmandu Valley. The first is a fast and fun unused jeep trail. Beginning with four kilometers of gentle descent passed the Natural Dhaps (Wet Lands) and then drops down through un-spoilt Rhododendron and sub tropical jungles alongside the fast flowing waters of the Nishnumati River. It’s fun and scenically beautiful. As we emerge out of the jungle there is a section of technical single tracks followed by another steep and fast descent back down into the Valley. The ride concludes at Sundari Jal, a great place to visit the “Beautiful Water” as its name suggests, have a picnic lunch or visit the Sundari Mai Temple.
The Second Trail is a more direct descent, steep and fast. But first you have to push and carry a little bit to get to Borland Bhanjyang. From here follow the trekking trail as it plunges downwards. Hard packed clay that can be a bit slippery in the monsoon but in the dry season it offers the chance to pick up some speed as you pass through the jungle, by small villages and then onto the long stone stair case that spurts you our at Mulkharka. This trail is defiantly for experienced mountain bikers and is most enjoyed on a full suspension bike.

If you are an adventure seeker looking for something new, then you should put Heli-Biking in Nepal on your adventure calendar for 2012.... email the team at Himalayan Single Track for more information. Chisapani is just one destination for Heli Biking, throughout 2012 we will be writing about other destination in opening up for the ultimate downhill rush....

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Well the monsoon is just about over and the streets of Thamel are filling up with tourists. Winter season is almost here and Himalayan Single Track is excited to unleash some new adventures, we are also very excited about the clear weather and mountain views. Kathmandu Valley is at its very best right now for biking.…

Morning Ride ...
So you just have a couple of days in Kathmandu and are seeking some action and adventure, then this is the package for you! This journey takes you to the scenic heights of Nagarkot, Kathmandu’s premier hill station from where, on a clear day, there are simply stunning views of the Himalaya from Far West to Far East. Let your wheels take you downhill along quite jeep trails, past terraced farm lands and traditional villages down to the Melemchi River from where we drive to the tranquil settings of the Last Resort nestled in the hill side above the Bhote Kosi River. The second day is a heart pounding voyage down one of Nepal’s wildest and most famous short rafting rivers, The Wild Bhote Kosi with its raging waters hailing from the snow capped peaks of Tibet! Buckle in and get ready for the ride of a life time. If that’s not enough Adventure for you, you can always add on an extra day and go Bungy Jumping or Canyoning with the Last Resort Team.

MORNING RIDE – 6am to 9am
A great way to beat the heat and traffic, three hours of early morning exploration around the Kathmandu Valley. Ride with our staff and other local riders, the route changes every day, but it’s always fun, there always single tracks and of course we always stop for Chai, Channa and Anda (Nepalie Tea, Chick pea Curry and Boiled Eggs).

Ride with one of Nepal's Pro Riders
Are you a serious cyclist and want to experience a fast track ride around the north of the Kathmandu Valley and discover some fun and technical single tracks? Then sign up for this ride and not only will you enjoy, but the  proceeds go directly to the top ten rider who is your guide. Meet one of Nepal’s best professional riders and enjoy this half day of riding, then get to know them a bit over lunch and coffee.

Morning Ride, Breakfast and Massage. Experience the Kathmandu Valley Trails at their best, in the crisp early mornings. Three hours of riding takes us around the north of the Valley, through rice fields and traditional villages. Let our experienced guides show you secret single tracks and hidden temples before returning to Kathmandu for a hearty breakfast and Coffee in Mandala Street. Make a quick trip to your hotel for a freshen up and then head to the Serenity spa for a 60 min rejuvenating massage. A great way to start off your day in Kathmandu.

The Ultimate Annapurna - Hike, Ride & Raft
The perfect holiday package in Nepal. 15 days packs in Trekking in the Amazing Annapurna region over the challenging Throng La, then mountain biking all the way down from the holy temple at Muktinath to Tatopani for a soak in the natural hot springs, then rolling on down to Maldhunga for three days of rafting and camping on the Kaligandaki River, sleep under the stars, raft the wild white water, mountain bike some of the most exciting trails and trek one of the world’s most famous trekking routes! This is one of the best adventure packages on earth so pack your bags, tie your shoelaces and get ready to trek, bike and paddle you way around Nepal!

POKHARA VALLEY BY LAND AND AIR 2 Nights 3 Days – Ex Pokhara
Soar high above the beautiful Pokhara valley amidst the eagles and snow capped mountains, feel the peace and silence of the wind as you glide cross country, the world shrunk into insignificance below you. Tandem Paragliding is perhaps the closest that you can get to free flight and a true exhilaration. Now you have seen the valley from above peddle your way along country trails traditional villages, gently climbing to Dhampus, a lovely tea house village nestled high up on the hillside with spectacular views of the Himalayan Peaks. The following day roll down hill and cross country to Tatopani Hot Springs and back to Pokhara with a visit to the famous Mahendra Cave on the way. A brilliant way to end a short stay in Pokhara.
Get ready to ride your way to adventure today with the team at Himalayan Single Track. See you in Nepal soon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My First Mountainbike Race in Nepal

So, here we go. I arrived in Nepal the 8th of September, and got introduced to Himalayan Singletrack, where I will be doing my internship for the next three month. I was so excited to come here and do my trainee. I’ll be helping in the office, working with marketing and sales.  

On the first day, I got introduced to the company and the staff. Jenny took me on a ride through the small streets of Thamel, where I meet some of the hardcore mountainbikers of Nepal. They were all really nice and I felt at home immediately. I got a really nice mountainbike so I was ready for the nec mountainbike race 10th of September. After the flight from Denmark to Kathmandu I was really tired so I went to bed at 4 p.m. But I still remember my thought that first evening: “It GREAT to be back!”.

Early morning the 10th: Woke up early and went to the Himalayan Singletrack office with Jenny. We picked up breakfast for all the mountainbikeriders, who would come a few hours later and have a cup of tea or coffee, and some bananas and croissants, before we would go to Bhaktapur for the race. My stomach was a mess, and being nervous for the race didn’t really help, so after seven toilet visits - within one hour - and a lot of toilet paper in my backpack I was ready to go. 

We all went on our bikes to Bhaktapur, as a big group of Himalayan Singletrack-riders. It was really awesome to see so many keen riders!! In Bhaktapur more riders showed up, and we all sat in front of the starting line, chatting, eating M&Ms, having fun, and talking about the upcoming race. My stomach was getting better, but I was still nervous, even though everyone was very relaxed and easy-going. Anyway, I thought it would be a very good idea to visit the toilet one last time before the race – just to be sure, haha! So I crossed the road and went into someone’s backyard and found the toilet. I’m still not really comfortable with the Nepalese toilets, but I manage. But when I was done, and wanted to get out, someone (an old grumpy woman!!) had locked the door so I couldn’t get out. In my panic, and in lack of self-control, I started yelling and calling for someone – anyone!  It took me around 5 minutes to get in contact with a Nepalese man who came and opened the door. Thanks God!!

We went to the start line and I was still talking about everything and nothing, when someone suddenly said: “GO, GO, GO!!!” and apparently the race was started. I had a great start – the last one over the startline, with a great view and a lot of people to follow. Haha – the best position! I even managed to keep my position throughout the race. 

The race was really nice!! I enjoyed it so much. Even though I very fast lost sight of the other riders in front of me, I still enjoyed the view, the nature and all the obstacles on the road: goats, cows, people, more people, kids, dogs, cars, busses, rice, wood, rocks, old women, and almost everything you can crash into during a race. But it was really fun!! And I only crashed two times, on the downhill part. When I finally reached the finish line, I was KAPUT!! Everyone else had finished long time ago, but I was just happy that I had finished my very first mountainbike-race, and I was still alive!! 

It was a really nice race, both for beginners (me) and professionals. Volunteers were standing on the course - some showed the right way, others forget to show the way - but it was a very good experience for me, because it wasn’t such a technical race, but more like a “fun” race.

I’m so happy to be back in Nepal!!  I’m sure I’m going to have a lot of fun with Himalayan Singletrack and I’m looking forward to explore more of the beautiful and friendly Nepal :-) 

See you at Himalayan Singletrack J
Sine Lysdahl  13/9-2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Aayman Tamang

At sixteen years old Aayman is a young rising star in Nepal, the current junior champion and the youngest rider ever to complete the grueling 12 day stage race “Yak Attack” around the Annapurna Circuit, he certainly has potential for a bright future in Mountain Biking. His interests lie in bike mechanics and he is a keen student in the workshop. Aayman has a great personality that makes him a fun guide, he has good knowledge of all the trails around Kathmandu and he speaks great English.

What He Rides:- Trek 8500 Custom Built Hard Tail…..catch him if you can.

Rajan Bhandari

Rajan is the newest additional to Himalayan Single Track Team. He works in our office and workshop. He is new to mountain biking and has just brought his very first mountain bike which he rides everyday! Already he has good strength and riding ability. Rajan will be training in our team as an all round rider, mechanic, guide and sales person. He is fun and friendly and improving his English everyday!

What He Rides:- Honey Hunter and Proud of It!

Sine Lysdhal

Sine is a fitness freak and a   pro windsurfer. She comes from Denmark and is returning to Nepal in September to work in Himalayan Single Track and swap her Windsurfer for a Mountain Bike. A student of Tourism she will be part of our team for three months and we are looking forward to having Sine on board! Sine will help out in the office, sales department and also join in tours and morning rides.  Sine is ready to have some fun in Nepal, help out Himalayan Single track and make some new friends.

What She Rides: Normally a board.... now Scott Hard Tail

Thursday, August 4, 2011


So you have just brought or are thinking about buying a new bike and confused about all the choices you has to make and which parts will work best for you and your budget. Lets Himalayan Single Track help you out.

Factory Built Bikes – A factory built bikes comes with the manufactures specifications; depending on the price of the bike you get a mix of good quality and low quality parts. By mixing the quality of the parts the manufacturer can control the budget of the bikes. For example you might get a really good suspension but only mechanical disc brakes, or you might get high end brakes and low end drive chain. 

Custom Built Bikes – Custom built bikes are made to order to fit your riding style, body size and most importantly budget. First you should determine the kind and amount of riding you will be doing and then we can suggest which parts and frame are best suited to you and your budget. For example if you are planning to ride mostly gentle on road and city riding, then we would suggest a cheaper suspension and better shifting components.

There are so many options when it comes to buying a bike so below are some of the components and terms you may come across when shopping for a bike:-

FRAME - This is the body part of the bike that supports you and all the components, you should always talk to a professional when buying a frame to make sure you get the correct size for you. The incorrect frame can result in a very uncomfortable ride.
DRIVE CHAIN – This is the part that propels the bike, its engine so to speak (of course the rider is the main part of the engine). Drive chain means – Chain, Sprocket, Front Derailleur, Rear Derailleur, Shifter and Crank. All of these components come in a varying range of qualities and prices. In Nepal it is most common to find Shimano and Sram Brands. Shimano is normally the best option as it’s is readily available and replacements parts. The more money you spend here the better performing bike you will get, 7,8,9 and 10 speed are available. 9 speed is most popular these days in Nepal and gives you a good range of climbing gears.

AIR SUSPENSION/SPRING SUSPENSION – The two main differences here are weight and performance. Air suspension is generally light and the ride feeling is much smoother. Air suspension is also adjustable which means you have control over the firmness of your suspension. Higher end spring suspensions also allow you to control “Rebound” which is the speed which the suspension travels back to its original position. Suspension also comes in a range of “Travel lengths” which means the amount the suspension travels up and down. For cross country riding 80 to 100 mm is recommended.

LOCKOUT – This is a function on the suspension that “locks it out” and makes it a stiff fork which helps you to save energy when riding on smooth services or doing a long “on road” climb.
HUBS – Choose the best you can afford. The hub is the central part of the wheel and the better quality you buy the better rolling speed and least resistance you will have. Plus the feeling will be much better. For cross-country riding and long climbs you will be thankful for a good solid high performance Hub.

MECHANICAL/HYDRAULIC DISC BRAKE – Disc brakes work on a rotor or “Disk” which is attached to the hub at the centre of your wheel set where V-Brakes work on the rim of your wheel. The position of the disc means it comes in less contact with dirt and mud and also gives less resistance which gives for a better performance and stopping power and also elevates the weakening of the wheels rims caused by the abrasiveness of V-Brakes. In Nepal Disc Brakes are recommended over V-Brakes and in fact almost all but the most basic bikes produced these days comes with some form of Disc Brake. There are two types of disc brake, Mechanic which is operated on a wire system and Hydraulic which is operated on an oil system. As a rule Mechanic disc brakes are cheaper and a little bit easier for the novice mechanic to maintain. But Hydraulic disc brakes have a superior feeling and performance. When choosing your brakes, you should always check the availability of replacement brake pads in your area.


Helmet – A helmet is the most important item when biking, after all you should always protect your head. You may be a good rider, but accidents always happen. You should buy the best quality helmet you can afford.

Spare Tube – Makes for a quick and easy fix for a flat tire.

Patch Kit – A set including special rubber glue, tire levers and patches to repair a punctured tube.

Multi Tool – A set of Alan keys and screw drivers that can help you do basic trail maintenance and adjustments to your bike to keep your ride smooth and hassle free. You should also make sure that your tool kit includes a chain breaker to fix broken chains. There is nothing more frustrating than a long walk home with a bike that can easily be fixed.

Pump – Small tire compact pump to pump up your tire should you get a flat.

Water Bottle – Essential to keep you hydrated while you ride. Not drinking enough fluids during a ride will affect your performance.

As you enjoy more cycling here are some items than can make your riding more comfortable.

SPD Peddles and Shoes – many people ask are they really required. SPD Peddles are special peddles that lock to clips you put on the bottom of cycle specific shoes. When buying shoes for mountain biking in Nepal you should look for a mid range quality shoe that will be comfortable to walk during those times you have to carry your bike. Super stiff shoes with ridge soles are normally just for professional riders and are not that comfortable for the beginner rider.

Cycling Clothes – Cycling jersey’s Slacks are purpose made for the comfort of Cyclists. Jerseys are light and comfortable ad normally have three pockets in the back which you can easily carry a pump, patch kit, an energy bar, some loose change and a multi-tool and other basics you need to get you through the ride.
Ride Computer – Be able to track your ride distance, travel time and average speed. Computers are a great way to help you improve your performance.

Lights – If you plan to ride at night time, investing some money in a good set of front and back lights is important – Be Seen and Stay Alive.

Carry with a simple first aid kit when you and  ride, accidents happen and it’s good to be able to patch up scratch and scrapes before they get infected.

Always ride with friends is a good idea to stay safe, in case of accidents and also you will enjoy more if you have some buddies to share your mountain biking experience with.

Be aware of dogs, and traffic, just a parting tip, some dogs can be nasty and like to chase and bit bikers!

 And our final and most important tip … have fun and enjoy your bike!