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Hi! I own a laptop myself, and do sometimes run into difficulties, that not even the manufacturers web-pages can solve. A friend of mine has set up a site at http://dreamwater.net/tech/laptops/, which works on the same principle as dooyoo, where the reader sends in their opinions and comments. Right now the site is limited, and the links are not all set-up, but next time you have a problem with your laptop, why not check this site out as by then it should have grown to give you all sorts of technical help with your laptop.
Do you find that sport trainers are often too narrow? Do you find that often after only a couple of uses, new trainers look like you've had them for an eternity? Do you object to paying obseen prices for trainers, when you know that most pars are made for a couple of pounds in third-world countries such as Taiwan or Pakistan where people are exploited on a day to day basis? If so you are like me.... OK, the fact that trainers are narrow for me is not the companies fault, my feet are square so this is understandable, but I do feel that the price paid for trainers, the build quality, and the money given to workers at the other end is shocking! People in Britain on average own at least one pair of trainers. On average, British people replace trainers every 10 months. The average pair of trainers normally costs around £50, however, trainers cost companies such as adidas and nike as little as £4.00 to make a pair. If there are say 50 million people in Britain these companies make on average from us a year £2,700,000,000 that two thousand seven hundred million pounds in twelve months!
After months of prevaricating over getting it all set up, I finally sat down and installed the latest online food shopping programme 'tescodirect'. I knew that it would save me money before I started, as delivery to me was £5, whereas it cost me around £8 there and back in the car + wasted time trawling around the shop, queing forhours at the check-out, and finally transfering everything into the car! At first 'tescodirect' from tesco can seem like a bit of a chore. It seems to take hours to create a list and order at a time which suits you. Infact at first it was taking me 30 minutes for an average sized order, which would take an hour in the shop, plus 30 mins to get there and back. - so it may seem like ages but, to me it saved around an hour per shop! Now, after creating a selection of shopping lists, shoping for a week takes no more than 15 mins, so once you've got the hang of it its definitly worth it!
Other than MBR, What MountainBike?, is one of my favorites. This mag comes out quarterly, but if you want it make sure you're there when it enters the shops, as, even though its just a mag, it sells out in no time. Its similar to MBR by the fact that its not just downhill/jumping orientated, like many others such as MBuk are. As it comes out 4 times a year, its always packed full of reviews and bike tests. The best part of the mag for me is the way they do the testing. Other mags will do a variety of different products, but only one model from each type. On the other hand What Mountain Bike?, tests, for example, every single brake lever they can get their hands on. This is why its so good - you are able to compare all products there and then, rather than waiting for the next mag to come out which 'might' review something similar.
If you're fit enough and have a reasonable road bike, Time Trialing can be a great way to make a bit of cash, especially as its good fun, and you get fit at the same time! I regularily participate in local races, which can be from 10 miles to 50 miles. If you need an idea of how fast you must go to be in with a chance, the following are some typical times: 10 miles - 24-25 mins. 25 miles - 1:10 - 1:15 50 miles - 2:30 - 2:40 If you think you are up to it, why not check Cycling weekly, availible from WH Smiths e.t.c, which has pages of races across the country.
I bought this crankset recently for my new bike. If ever there is a prize given for the best crank ever, i believe that this is the one that should get it. The complete crankset and rings itself is unbelievebly lightweight (just 647grams), 50 grams lighter than an XTR Crankset! Ontop of this the beefy hollowtech design makes it super stiff, with no noticable flexing. I've heard many reports that this crank creaks all the time, but this simply isn't the case. - one person said that he kept them super clean, and still they creaked, the thin is you are mean't to load cranks up with as much grease as you can to stop creaking, obviously, cleaning will have the opposite effect!
Having owned one for 3 years, I can truthfully say that this is alot of bike 4 the money. For a start there is the aluminium frame - no disc brake mount, but on a £280 bike, this frame is super light (4lbs ish)! The frame is exceptionally responsive, and is light enough to chuck about. The stiff rear end means that acceleration is extremely sharp! Ontop of this, the level of componentry my machine was specced with was great. 21 speed sti shifers allowed me to jump around the gears no problem! In another review of this bike, I've heard the reviewer complaining about rusty cables. I've had no such problem, as I regularily use a teflon based wax lubricant to shed water from my wires. My only gripe is with the forks. They are the major let down to this otherwise exceptional bike. If I were to buy this again, I would go for the fully rigid model. The forks specced on this machine are not up to all of the hype and press they receive. They are heavy, and have no rebound damping, which means pogo-stick action and no control. They also flex loads under weight which can be rather unnerving! My advice, buy the rigid machine and by some chocolate with your spare cash!
Are you having problems with regular mis-shifts, or gears taking ages to engage? Well if so, why not follow the following tips that could get your gears super smooth and quickly in all conditions! For a start, make sure you are using appropriate gear outers - many people, unknowingly actually use brake hoses instead or gear hoses, which will completely mess your gearing. Why? - well its quite simple, brake cable outers are a coiled piece of wire, coated in plastic, whereas, gear outers have the wire running long ways from end to end (straight rather than coiled), which greatly reduces friction, especially on cuves in the wire, and reduces the effort you need to put in to shift. If your gears are moving quick, but not into the correct sprocket, make sure the tension is correct, as the cables do streach. Once you've got the derrailier moving into the right place, grab a can of TF2/GT85, or similar teflon based spray and blast the hoses full of it - seems simple, but believe me, it works! Finally, investing in a decent set of cables is also a good idea. Standerd cables work ok, but by using a shimano cable can produce far better results. The shimano cables are actually made up of more, much thinner strands of metal, which makes them move smoother. They are pricy at £5.00 each, but are definetly worth it!
What do you look for when looking for a Mountain Bike frame. Here are some questions you should ask yourself: 1) Do you want suspension - if so how much travel. Full suspension bikes come in many shapes and sizes. Firstly you must consider what type of Mountain biking you are doing. If trail riding, 2-4 inches should surfice, whereas, for down hilling you should be looking for at least 6 inches. If you are a lightweight XC racer, a ridgid rear end is still the most popular choice, as you'll go faster (less bob), and the bike will be much lighter. What is bob? Bob is the word given to what happens with suspension as you pedal. What happens is that when weight is applied to the pedals, some of your effort is converted into compressing the shock instead of turning the rear wheel. As a consequence, it can be more tiring to ride a full suspension bike. 2) What different frame mterials are availible, and what are their characteristics? Aluminium - Very lightweight however not as strong as steel or titanium. Large diameter tubes are common as the increase stifness. Many full suspension frames are made from this, and you can get an aluminium from as little as £200, although the build quality won't be up to much. Look out for Butted frames, which can be half the weight, and take some of the ridgity out of the frame. - Buy if you are looking for a lightweight ridgid rocket! Titanium - Many different types of titanium are availible, and although it is considered by many as a 'wonder metal', it is uncommon because of its hefty price tag. For the cheapest, about £600 for a airborne, but for the best about £1500 - £2000 for a litespeed. Steel - Some steel frames are, and I agree, heavy, cheaply built, and generally won't last a long time. These frames you will find on the very most basic of bikes, e.g Apollos and Falcons. When you look further up the price
range a whole new range of possibilities become availible. It is fairly well known for a decent steel frame to feel better than titanium or aluminium, and be more durable at the same time. I've recently bought a Full-Dynamix steel frame, its as light as any aluminium frame, and handles like an absolute dream, so don't write steel off as a frame material, just because of its heavy cheaper counterparts.
Although not owning one myself, I have had time to test the performance of the Asus nVidia Geforce II GTS. First thoughts of mine were to the sheer speed of this card. My friend who was running one with an Athlon 650 was achieving phenomenal frame rates in the newest games on top detail levels. I use a TNT2 currently, and although you may think as long as the image frame rate is enough to look smooth, an extra 40 fps is really astonishing. The picture quality is marginally better than that of my TNT2, but the increased frame rate really brings things to life. Frame rate and general 3D performance is made so exceptional because the new generation of Geforce chips actually takes on more of the processing tasks normally left to the CPU (Infact older cards aren?t really fully hardware), so if you are running a slower Pentium II or K6-2, performance should still be very reasonable. On top of that, this should also be the case if you have a slower 1 or 2x AGP main board, as less information needs to flow from CPU to GPU (although I?ve never tested this). This is a card I really want to get my hands on, its also good value at the moment, as its substantially less than any Geforce II Ultra, or Geforce 3, yet is still about 85-90% as quick!
Although 3D performance is starting to seem a little outdated with this card, I still recommend it as a good all purpose 3D and 2D card. The card may lack speed, but it sure packs a punch when it comes to features, especially considering its age. As cheep as a Riva TNT2, its only marginally slower, but boasts the possibility to run two monitors side by side to extend your desktop. The software and driver support from Matrox is top notch. Bump mapping is for me however the cards greatest feature. Images created using Environment Bump mapping are unrivalled, and as its hardware bump mapping, it takes it in its stride. Overall, the G400 is a competent card. Although lacking in GPU speed, features, and image quality is superb, a great buy for someone on a tight budget.
MBR, Wow, what a fantastic magazine. MBR is refreshingly different to other Mountain Biking mags out there. The main thing is that is isn't solely orientated around downhilling, duel, and jumping - as other mags often are. You can be sure that there will be something interesting and new inside each mbr. Every month you get new routes to ride, right across the country. Maps include handy locaters which show you in which area of Britain they are, if your geography is not too hot. MBR also features many exclusive tests and reviews on items that won't be hitting the shelves for months to come. Other than MBR's "ride guide", and the exclusive test, you will also find information useful to help you in the workshop - Readers letters are particularily interesting. As with most magazines, MBR features the occasional competition where you could win your dream bike, and nearly once every two months you will be please to find useful free gifts glued to the front cover of the mag. All in all, I have found that after reading about every MTBing mag on the shelf, MBR is definitely the most informative and interesting read. Definetly worth a try, at £3.25 its a bargain!