Category: bikes

Early MTB film might make you cry a little

a whole pack of fanny

a whole pack of fanny

Fanny pack? Check.

Daughter’s backpack? Check.

Bike cop uniforms? Check.

Bad-ass attitudes for no obvious reason? Check.

How the heck did these two not get arrested? They’re clearly terrorising this city with their knobbly-antics!

This MTB video from is just awesome in so many ways. It kinda hurts to watch though because I recognise myself in this… I had that helmet and yes, I thought I was this cool too…

First Fat Bike USA Championships: looks like a blast!

‘First off you’re riding bikes, on snow – that’s silly… but it’s fun!’

Did she say 3 psi? Feels like floating on air? And it’s on snow you say?

Where do I sign up?

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Some guy I know a few weeks back said, with considerable venom, “I HATE those fat bikes!”

Why? What’s to hate? They look like a blast. Fun + Bike = Hate…? And it’s for fat people? Nah that is awesome.

Enjoy the vid.

And just for good measure, another video from the Snow Epic 2014, last year in the Swiss Alps, 5 stages over 3 days.

Mini-Review: Focus Cayo 4.0 Disc

Blessed with friends in high places because I’m usually on my knees, your friendly neighborhood crankpunk went for a ride with a friend who works in the industry and was knocking about on this little nipper, the Focus Cayo 4.0 Disc, Focus’ entry level disc bike.

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I literally rode the thing up a 2km hill and then down the other side so this is hardly a review, but here’s what I gleamed from my brief affair with the Sram Rival bedecked steed.

It was good. I don’t like the after-thoughtish paint job, well the white details around the headtube and seat tube specifically, but other than that it was comfortable and tight in the corners and whilst not quite setting my heart on fire, I would have been fine either tootling around on it all day or putting it through its paces on a hammer ride with some pals – which is kinda exactly what it was designed for, as you can see here from the blurby blurb on the Focus website:

Performance and professional quality come in an affordable package in the FOCUS Cayo. There’s no better choice for gran fondos, sportives, and weekend racing events.

There’s no mistaking the FOCUS lineage in the sporty lines of the Cayo.

A compliant carbon frame lets you go further and faster for longer.

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Hurrah! All the cliches you’d expect really, but it certainly makes a case for itself, the Cayo 4.0, via your wallet: you can pick it up for about $3,150 or thereabouts. For a disc bike. The other appealing point is that the Cayo 4.0 has exactly the same frame as  the Cayo 1.0, a bike about $1200 more expensive.

‘Well of course, all brands are the same, only the groupset changes on the same models’ you may think, and you’d be wrong.

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Most brands use a different layup on say their XXX Dura Ace than you’ll get on the XXX 105 bike. Why? Hard to say it’s cos of $$$ because the difference in cost is so negligible, about $20, but then again what other reason can there be? But yeah, usually when you buy a 105 model instead of the DA model you aren’t only getting a cheaper gruppo but a cheaper frame too.

Not so with Focus, however. (And no, Focus do not pay me to say that, it’s just something I know and it’s another reason why they do make good bikes).

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The model I rode (pictured above) has, you’ll notice, a Roval at the back the kit wheel DT Swiss R24 Spline at the front, a switch forced by a last-minute pre-departure puncture. The bike handled well enough with the Spline at the front but these are pretty heavy wheels – race-minded folk would want to switch these pretty quickly, making the Cayo 4.0 more appealing to randonneurs and gran fondo riders than racers. (It also has a non-standard Rotor crank, on the factory model you get Rival).

The disc brakes were awesome, I’m a big fan of anything that might stop me hitting a wall and damaging the money maker, giving me way more time into the corners, the only drawback being the false sense of security that came with that – I almost spilled it on the second corner,  not a good idea on a borrowed bike!

With time on them it’s clear that you’ll gain more control and therefore more confidence into the turns.

I was, on the whole, though ever so briefly, quite impressed. A lot of bike for your bucks.

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The world’s first 3-D printed bike goes SNAP…

These are coming, they must be, there will be some freaky time ahead when you buy a plan from Pinarello or whoever and then print your bike in your office. But, judging by this amusing video, not quite yet.

Here some students from Carleton University do a first time ever! test-ride of their plastic bike, or rather, they don’t. Still, kudos to them for suffering through the shutter clicks as the assembled media hone in on their acute embarrassment.

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They might have suspected something like this would happen though – here’s a quote from one of the lads after the press conference:

“Once we had attached wheels and a seat, we were ready to sit on the final product to see if it could withstand the weight of a person,” he said. “Ignoring the known weaknesses, like the part where the printer had run out of plastic and not finished the print or the one with a small crack, we decided to go for it.”

Crank on regardless fellas…

World Exclusive New Bike Preview! The all new VELOCITE SYN

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Velocite is a bike brand located in Kaoshiung in southern Taiwan, headed by husband & wife team Victor and Jessica Major.

I got to know Victor thanks to my racing here in Asia and my time as the editor of CyclingTime.com, and I’ve tested as few of his bikes over the past four or five years, with the Velocite Magnus being the stiffest bike I’ve ever ridden bar none. Word from Victor though is that this one is even stiffer (see the full press release at the bottom of this post).

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Victor just sent over these images if his new Syn frame, all built up and ready to go. Thoughts? Personally I think it looks really good. Liking the paint-job too.

I’ll be getting one of these to review as soon as I can, stay tuned for that.

You can get hold of one too, if you’re lucky!

Victor says:  “If you would like to be one of the first to try the Velocite Syn, and be a part of our live testing program contact us either via Facebook or on service@velocite-bikes.com .”

Wow huh. Get mailing.

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To read the full press release, please click below.

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Cancellara rekindles the romance of The Hour

by crankpunk. this article originally appeared on The Roar.

 

“What there is is a bike, black line, a track, and a clock.” – Graeme Obree

“It’s incredibly risky, because there’s no second place. You either win – or you lose.” – Chris Boardman

Officially known as ‘The World Hour Record’, it’s better known among aficionados as the Hour.

Though the Hour is still one of the few hallowed benchmarks in professional cycling, there was once a time when this record was challenged at fairly regular intervals, by the big names of the sport, bringing to it a romance and stature that has been missing in recent years.

That the Hour was seen as a test to be taken on only by the true strong men of the peloton as they neared the end of their careers tells you something of the difficulty of the task of riding absolutely flat out for a full 60 minutes.

On the 25th of October, 1972, the legendary Eddy Merckx set constructed Colnago bike. Such was the importance awarded the effort that Ernest Colnago himself flew to Mexico City to be Merckx’s mechanic, overseeing the bike’s preparation.

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Merckx’s record saw many a rider come and have a bash at it, but it stood almost 12 years, until Francesco Moser toppled it in 1984, by over 1.5km.

Moser though was using bullhorn handlebar, steel airfoil tubing, disk wheels and skinsuit, while Merckx, riding in an earlier era, didn’t have access to such technologically advanced materials.

It is partly these advances in equipment that have led to the Hour Record losing some of its appeal, as detractors of recent attempts have criticised the use of anything other than a traditional steel frame and drop bars, as used by Merckx.

The most famous of the innovators were both British, Graeme Obree from Scotland and Chris Boardman from England.

Obree looked to the bike for his advantages, building his own machine from scrap metal to take the record on the 17th of July, 1993.

Boardman, though he had a state of the art bike, was renowned for employing a full team of bike boffins and training gurus, proving to be a few years ahead of his time in his approach.

Incredibly, he then took the Hour record just one week later, by a mere 274 meters (52.270km).

The UCI redefined an hour record set on any kind of upright bike, irrespective of equipment, as the UCI Best Human Effort, but the UCI Hour Record remains the true benchmark, and disallows time trial helmets, disc or tri-spoke wheels, aerodynamic bars and monocoque frames.

This record, held originally by Merckx, lasted from that Mexico ride in 1972 until 2000, when Boardman rode it and beat it by a slender 70 meters – putting into real perspective just how fast Merckx was.

In 2005 Ondrej Sosenka bettered that effort at 49.700m, but as a result of two positive doping tests in his career, the result is tarnished.

And so we come to Cancellara. If anyone can have a real go at Boardman’s – and Sosenka’s – times, it is the big Swiss. And in having a go he is reigniting the romance that once existed between the Hour and cycling.

“It’s for sure, this year,” his general manager Luca Guercilena said. “He has the hour record in his legs.

“We have two windows where he’ll have a peak in form, the two weeks after Paris-Roubaix or after the Tour de France,” Guercilena added.

If Cancellara is in a form similar to last year at Roubaix then he will have a real chance of taking the Hour, adding this illustrious record to his already stunning palmares.

And with it, he could entice other hard men from the pro ranks to get their wheels on the track.

Cancellara’s team is already in preparation for the attempt.

Twenty-five people – 15 from Trek bicycles, engineers and biomechanics, and 10 from the team – are working on the record,” Guercilena said. “We are trying to make the bike and wheels faster while staying in the UCI’s rules. You need time for this.”

And so modern technology should still give Cancellara an advantage, but little in relation to what materials are available for road and time trial bikes these days.

It is still, essentially, man against the clock, in a thrilling, compelling and pulsating battle.

Martyn Ashton & friends, oh my goodness

by crankpunk

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this made me laugh. and gasp.and then as i read more about the film it brought a tear to me eye.

holy flip.

“It’s very different to what I planned but I’m really starting to love it and care for it,” Ashton said about the film. “It’s a brilliant collection — you can lose the fact that we’re on a road bike as it just looks like a great piece of riding. The first Road Bike Party was all about it being a road bike but this one, the road bike doesn’t get a chance — the stuff that we do collectively is beyond what would be ‘normal’ for a trials bike. It’s exceptional.”

Ashton had a terrible accident whilst competing that left him paraplegic and in a wheelchair, something i didn’t know about until i saw this video this morning.

Martyn’s attitude to the accident is humbling.

“I just felt lucky, you know? ‘F–k, I nearly killed myself’. But I hadn’t, so I felt really chuffed to be honest.”

and the fil,? wow. incredible stuff. i’m out to buy me some Vision wheels after i post this…

all the best Martyn, crank on!

check out the amazing video here below…

 

 

a chat with Graeme Obree

by crankpunk

after helping to get the word out about the new film about Graeme Obree’s attempt at the world land speed record that is currently in post-production – The Outsider: Graeme Obree’s Story – i decided to chance my arm at wrangling an interview with the legend himself in the hope of further pimping the film.

well, i say that, but the ulterior motive was, if i’m honest, simply to be able to chat to a man i have admired and respected from afar through the years, since i first became aware of him and his cycling around 1990.

i usually prefer to take excerpts from interviews and to mould them into an article, but such was the enthusiasm barreling down the phone line from Graeme – and indeed, such was the fun i was having – that i’ve decided to simply transcribe the entire interview.

it’s long. but you know what, i do believe that you have the attention span to get through this! inspired by Mr. Obree, it’s ‘go large or go home’ day here on cp & company…

and so, here you have it: Mr. Graeme Obree, in his own inimitable words…

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GO: Hello?

cp: Hello! It’s Lee Rodgers, I’m calling for the interview.

GO: Ah yes hello! Listen, this line isn’t so good, would you mind calling my land line?

cp: I tried that but it didn’t work.

GO: What number did you try?

cp: +44XXX-XX-XXXX.

GO: That’s not right. Try this one. +44XXX-XX-XXXX.

cp: OK will do.

GO: Ok then cheerio.

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