Chocolate Foot Puts Taree Trails Firmly On The Map

After receiving nothing less than glowing praise after last Sunday’s opening round of the SRAM Singletrack Mind series, mountain bikers are set to descend en masse to experience the incredible flowing trails of Kiwarrak State Forest at Taree first hand. Race promoter Chocolate Foot has helped put Taree firmly on the MTB map making it part of the prestigious SRAM Singletrack Mind series.

Now in its fourth year the SRAM Singletrack Mind series is well established as the premier east coast endurance mountain bike series and attracts a host of highly-credentialed riders and teams such as OnTheGo and Target Trek. The star entrant for round one was none other than Port Macquarie’s 4-time World solo 24 hour and 2-time MTB Marathon National Champion, Jason English. Fresh off his second Marathon Championships win the previous weekend his main rival, Canberra’s Ed McDonald, would be hoping that the tough course at Atherton might have drained English’s legs.

After a tough uphill start, English showed no signs that he might be carrying any fatigue in his system, going straight to the front of the Solo Male category and coming through in 7th position overall at the end of the first lap. He never relinquished the lead but with Ed McDonald slowly closing the gap. English upped the pace, culminating in English recording his fastest lap, and the third fastest lap of the race, on his final lap of the day. An extraordinary performance after 7 hours racing, with2012 Series Champion Ed McDonald just 10 minutes behind and Andrew Lloyd in third.

He doesn’t just look fast, he is fast! Jason English dominated his category and almost won the race overall.

The opening round also featured a number of new names to the series including Newcastle’s Stu Adams who took a hold on the Solo Male Masters category, engaging with series veteran Jason McAvoy in a battle to the end. McAvoy closed in fast through the dying stages, but missing the top step of the podium by just one minute after more than 7 hours in the saddle. After making her series debut at the final Singletrack Mind Series round in 2012, Eliza Kwan got bitten hard by the solo bug and has now established herself as a force to be reckoned with, taking the female solo win beating none other than solo 24 hour National Champion Liz Smith.

It’s all smiles for female solo winner Eliza Kwan.

The Male Pairs was an epic tussle with positions changing constantly throughout the day. Altitude Training Systems had the early lead after a flying opening lap from Oliver Dharma-Ratne. Manly Blue’s Miha Remec and Lucas Gamble settled into a consistent pace and eventually clawed back the lead, going clear of their rivals at half race time. The Cam Peterson and Rob Booker also showed that consistency pays, moving up to 3rd.

After their domination of the Mixed Pairs category last year, Bike Culture ACT’s Brent Miller and Brooke Rowlands would face an entirely new set of opponents for 2013. Team PCS Torq features Nick Both and Lindsay Gorrell, both talented riders in the Olympic format discipline but the question was, would that transfer to endurance racing? After a strong triple lap to set up the lead the PCS Torq pair set about defending their position from Bike Culture and the experienced pair of Gary Harwood and Martine Robin. Bike Culture broke through to first place momentarily but Both upped the pace to regain the lead.

Bike Culture ACT’s Brent Miller flying though the rainforest in pursuit of the PCS Torq team.

2012 Masters Female Solo series champion Wendy Stevenson was back and in-form taking the opening round convincingly. The Masters Pairs saw a breakthrough win for long time series competitors Justin Millington and Steven Powis while Masters Threes saw a sprint finish for 2nd and 3rd, the “Elderly Illegitimates” taking 2nd by a lunge while “Hunters Rule 5” were a lap ahead to take the win. The Alltrack Juniors are set for another successful year in the series with a win to open their account over the Sprocket Rockets and the local St Claire’s High School team.

While the “Rad Shreddas” had the lead of the Male Threes well under control, their next goal was to win the race overall, the only hitch … one man, Jason English, was on schedule to beat the entire field by himself! English’s awesome efficiency and consistency is now a thing of legend – in the end he came within two and a half minutes of beating the entire field on his own, an amazing feat to have witnessed and riders saying it was a pleasure and an honour to share the track with him.

Gary Millburn of the “Rad Shreddas” rode full gas all day to stay out of the clutches of an all-conquering Jason English.

Winners and podium getters shared in over $13,000 in cash and prizes made only possible by the kind support of generous series sponsors SRAM, Rockshox, Avid, Truvative,  Hammer Nutrition, OnTheGo, Finish Line, Serfas, Deuter, Mountain Biking Australian Magazine, Bellwether, James Estate, Cycology, Giant, Frameskin, Aussie Butt Cream and Flow Mountain Bike.

Having put so much time and effort into building the trails at Taree the Manning Great Lakes Tip Riders were elated to receive such glowing praise for their work and look forward to seeing more riders choosing Taree as the destination for their next MTB adventure.

The SRAM Singletrack Mind Series now sets course for the South Coast of NSW as the famous Coondoo Rd trails at Nowra play host for Round 2 on 26 May. For more information and full results see: www.chocolatefoot.com.au

4Shaw Mountain Bike Team Announces Partnership With Giant

Exciting mountain bike apparel brand 4Shaw has used the recent Oceania Mountain Bike Championships in Hobart to launch a Tasmanian team to contest national rounds and other premier events in 2013.

The four man line up consisting of owner Dion Shaw and veteran Nick Miller is balanced by exciting young riders Scott Bowden and Tom Goddard. The 4Shaw team has welcomed support from Giant Australia, with all riders on the superlight XTC 29ers for the year.

This team is an evolution of the growth experienced by the 4Shaw business which has seen Dion Shaw lead the establishment of the humble sock as a fashionable must have piece of cycling kit that have taken rapidly to riders feet across Australia in the last two years. Shaw is no stranger to the bike himself, having been a long time competitor on the national scene, and riding well in 2013 at the National Championships to win the expert men’s title at Stromlo earlier this year.

Shaw’s strategy is to remain heavily involved at the core of his mounatin biking roots, with plans to grow the team’s reach in coming years by adding riders across all major states to develop a truely national representation of the 4Shaw name. Apart from Giant, 4Shaw has a host of race sponsors behind the team including Ventouadidas eyewearSRAMKinchromeAussie Butt Cream and Ironhouse Brewery. Coupled with this the team also is looking stylish in off the bike clobber from Cruex Cycling and Pulchrum shoes. The full Tasmanian line up was an obvious choice for 2013, as the tight knit local community has helped create a strong bond and family environment amongst the team. The youth policy is also an investment for the future, with young Tasmanian riders now having the belief that they can match it with the best, based the the success of fellow islanders Sid Taberlay, Rowena Fry, Ben Bradley and Ben Mather.

Scott Bowden.

Under 19  Hobart student, Scott Bowden is a young rider to keep an eye on for the future. Dogged by badluck and poorly timed illness so far this season, Bowden has still excelled with a win in the Buller national round U19 point to point and 6th place in the national titles. The ex distance runner had obviously caught the eye of MTBA as one of nine athletes that have been nominated to the long-team for Junior Olympic Cross Country in preparation for the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships being staged in Pietermaritzburg, Republic of South Africa, in late August.

“I’m really excited to be part of the 4Shaw team this year. The work that Dion puts into making sure we have the best equiptment possible with attention to every little detail makes it a great team to be involved in.” said Bowden. “I’ve only been on the Giant XTC for a few days and I’m seeing the benefits already, especially on the steep climbs, with the 29er offering more grip.”

Tom Goddard.

Engineering student Tom Goddard also hails from a running background and has adapted the bike exceptionaly well in the last few years. The Launceston rider has already shown enough talent to rack up a top ten finish at the 2011 World MTB Orienteering Junior Championships in Italy, and is starting to put together some consistent results in national rounds of late with 5th placings in U23′s at Buller and Bright. With a few more years in this age group, Goddard is looking forward to more race experience. “I feel like I am improving in certain aspects of every race. It’s great to have 4Shaw behind me, and giving me the opportunity and motivation to get to more races.”

Hobart veteran Nick Miller balances out the quartet with over 12 years riding trails. A focused training schedule from Jenni King in the last few years has helped Miller go to the next level, being competitive at a national level and a recent bronze medal in the veteran men’s at the Oceania Champs. The business executive also offers sound advice and perspective on riding / career balance to the younger members who are are still studying.

With a recent relocation of the 4Shaw business to Melbourne, expect to see increased activity and awesome kit as this small business continues to grow as one of the hottest brands in Australian cycling. Follow the rainbow on their facebook page and on Instagram @4shaw_dion

The 2013 XCM National Champs, Atherton QLD

Jason English (Merida OnTheGo) and Jenni King (Target Trek) have won the 2013 Subaru Australian Cross Country Marathon Champions in Atherton, QLD.

English took out the gruelling 103 kilometre race in a time of five hours, 18 minutes – just over two minutes ahead of 2012 defending champion Andy Blair (Swell-Specialized).

Peter Hatton (Giant Racing) rounded out the podium, crossing the line in five hours, 33 minutes.

A five-time solo 24 hour mountain bike world champion, English had the endurance to come from behind to clinch the win.

English with his trademark victory wheelie. We’ve seen it many, many times! With such a tough, drawn-out race, the conditions suited English’s diesel engine.

“Because this race went out to 5 hours it worked in my favour,” English commented.

English moved from fifth place to second after two laps of the challenging tropical terrain before taking the lead with just 13 kilometres left to race.

“I knew if Andy didn’t slow down he would keep the gap.” English said of his second lap feats. “I had to rely on the challenge of the tough climbs to work their magic in my favour.”

The green and gold jersey adds to English’s solo 24 Hour Australian title won over the Easter long weekend in Canberra.

“Two national titles in 3 weeks, I feel a bit greedy but I’m stoked,” English remarked.

Blairy set the pace for 90km before English bridged the gap and rode away. Nonethless, Andy declared himself happy with the result.

After leading for the majority of the race, second placed Blair said he gave it everything.

“I wanted to ride my own race – if anyone got across to me I wanted to make them work for it,” Blair said.

“When Jason reached me I couldn’t hold his pace and he got away from me. I’m really happy with my race today though.”

In the women’s race, it was Victoria’s Jenni King who prevailed to claim the national title ahead of Therese Rhodes (Liv/Giant) and Sarah Riley (Liv/Giant).

King completed the 103 kilometre course in a time of six hours, 45 minutes – 15 minutes ahead of Rhodes and a further 23 minutes to Riley.

Jenni King is one of Australia’s most experienced and successful XC racers and it was her day in Atherton.

“I was just happy to finish, I had heard how tough the course was,” King gasped.

“I wasn’t even thinking about the result, but it’s a bonus to take the national title,” the 2012 Olympic Cross Country National Champion said.


2012 defending champion Peta Mullens (Target-Trek) was forced to withdraw midway through the race, leaving the door open for teammate King to claim the Australian jersey.

Irish national Jenny Fay (Swell-Specialised) was the first across the line but unable to claim the Australian National title.

“I rode away into the lead early in the second lap,” Fay described. “From there I raced conservatively but still working on the climbs which are my strength – the course suited me down to the ground, in fact if I could dream of a course this is it.”

Fay was disappointed her nationality prevented her from claiming the Australian title.

“It’s a bittersweet day given I still have Irish nationality so I can only claim the race win. I’m looking forward to racing the Irish national marathon champs in September,” Fay explained.

$375,000 Toward Australia’s First IMBA EPIC Mountain Bike Trail

The Mt Buller Mt Stirling EPIC Mountain Bike Trail Project today received a significant funding injection, with the announcement that the Victorian Coalition Government will provide $375,000 toward the project which looks set to become Australia’s first International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) EPIC mountain bike trail.

The project is a partnership between the Australian Alps National Landscape Committee Inc, Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management and the Australian Government through the T-QUAL Strategic Tourism Investment Grants program, and involves the construction of a 40.39km trail that will offer visitors to the region a long distance, cross-country descending ride, providing stunning views across the Victorian High Country.

Announcing the funding on behalf of Deputy Premier Peter Ryan this morning at Mirimbah Park, Member for Benalla Bill Sykes said the project would provide a boost to the local economy and contribute to the year-round tourism of the region.

“Showcasing the magnificence of Victoria’s alpine region’s countryside, the new trail will provide new jobs and boost the local economy by increasing tourist and business opportunities,” Dr Sykes said.

“New jobs will be created during the construction stage and, once completed, the region’s hospitality, tourism and other related industries like bicycle hire, repair and maintenance as well as outdoor lifestyle retail businesses will also provide further employment opportunities.”

Mr Ryan said the EPIC Mountain Bike Experience Project was a great example of all levels of government working with the local community to support the growth and development of the Victorian High Country. “The Coalition Government is pleased to be the major funding provider, with $350,000 from our $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, which was created to drive regional development across the state, providing better infrastructure, facilities and services,” Mr Ryan said.

“Our funding is complemented by the Federal Government ($125,000), Mansfield Shire Council ($25,000) and Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Resort Management Board ($225,000).

“The Coalition Government is committed to investing in regional Victoria to create prosperity, job opportunities, economic and social resilience and better quality of life.”

Representing the Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board at today’s announcement, deputy chairman Dean Belle recognised the contribution from government as well as the partnership behind the project. “It is very exciting to be involved in a project of this scale and we are grateful of the assistance provided by Regional Development Victoria’s Regional Growth Fund to support this important development that will benefit the entire region. It has been the vision of Resort Management to establish Mt Buller as the number one mountain bike destination in Victoria, if not Australia, and to have the support of government to help us achieve this vision is something we are very appreciative of.

“This project is a partnership that requires the input and teamwork of a number of land managers, who I would like to extend a thank you to for all their hard work in ensuring this is a project that has gotten off the ground. Resort Management has worked in conjunction with the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Parks Victoria throughout the lengthy planning process, and getting to this stage of the project would not have been possible without this collaboration.”

Construction of the EPIC Mountain Bike Trail will begin in December 2013. For further information on Mt Buller’s comprehensive network of trails, visit mtbuller.com.au.

Fresh: Specialized Unveils Full Suspension Women's 29er

Specialized Bicycle Components unveils the much-anticipated Rumor ‐ their first full‐suspension women’s 29er.

Built with Women’s XC Trail 29 Geometry, the Rumor is created from the ground up to be one of the lightest weight and best fitting full-­‐suspension 29ers for women.

“We built a full-­‐suspension 29’er because we have seen how much fit and 29’’ wheels enhance confidence and stability for women out on the trails,” said Women’s Product Manager Erin Sprague. “Our product testers are around five feet tall and their trail experiences have improved dramatically on this platform. We believe that this bike is a game changer, and women’s mountain biking is the next big thing,” she added.

The Rumor is available in three model levels and offers the latest available technology for women’s 29er riders. The all-­‐new Women’s M5 Alloy frame features Women’s XC Trail 29 Geometry and tube sets, 110mm front and rear travel, a tapered head tube for precision handling, internal cable routing, ultra-­‐low stand over height and unlike its competitors, water bottle clearance on all sizes.

Specialized was able to achieve this by designing the bike from the ground up, with a two‐piece top and shock carriage. This enabled the team to create in­‐line suspension and reach all 29er design targets in terms of stand over, ride quality and bottle clearance. The Rumor offers custom tuned suspension, appropriate for female riders. Extensive field‐testing and research on women’s center of gravity and weight distribution helped to determine the optimal spring rate for female riders. By designing the bike and suspension in tandem, Specialized has been able to achieve completely balanced performance that is appropriate to the female rider.

Specialized Autosag suspension tuning is available on the comp and expert level models. Autosag automatically sets the proper sag and air pressure in the shock, providing a quick and simple adjustment for optimal suspension performance.

To use Autosag, a rider sits in the saddle and pushes a specially designed transfer port on the shock to release air pressure until a set level, which is based on the rider’s weight. This equalizes the positive and negative chambers and achieves ‘perfect sag’. Perfect sag allows for any rider, regardless of mechanical experience, to properly set up the rear suspension of their bike to ensure a comfortable trail experience.

Women’s Body Geometry data was used throughout the development of the Rumor. The Jett saddle, Women’s Enduro grips and size specific components ensure that female riders get the best fit at every contact point. Everything from small diameter grips to size-­‐specific crank lengths are optimized for female riders.

Please visit specialized.com to learn more and experience the Rumor, the most stable and confidence‐inspiring women’s full‐suspension 29er on the trail.

Fresh: Specialized Unveils Full Suspension Women’s 29er

Specialized Bicycle Components unveils the much-anticipated Rumor ‐ their first full‐suspension women’s 29er.

Built with Women’s XC Trail 29 Geometry, the Rumor is created from the ground up to be one of the lightest weight and best fitting full-­‐suspension 29ers for women.

“We built a full-­‐suspension 29’er because we have seen how much fit and 29’’ wheels enhance confidence and stability for women out on the trails,” said Women’s Product Manager Erin Sprague. “Our product testers are around five feet tall and their trail experiences have improved dramatically on this platform. We believe that this bike is a game changer, and women’s mountain biking is the next big thing,” she added.

The Rumor is available in three model levels and offers the latest available technology for women’s 29er riders. The all-­‐new Women’s M5 Alloy frame features Women’s XC Trail 29 Geometry and tube sets, 110mm front and rear travel, a tapered head tube for precision handling, internal cable routing, ultra-­‐low stand over height and unlike its competitors, water bottle clearance on all sizes.

Specialized was able to achieve this by designing the bike from the ground up, with a two‐piece top and shock carriage. This enabled the team to create in­‐line suspension and reach all 29er design targets in terms of stand over, ride quality and bottle clearance. The Rumor offers custom tuned suspension, appropriate for female riders. Extensive field‐testing and research on women’s center of gravity and weight distribution helped to determine the optimal spring rate for female riders. By designing the bike and suspension in tandem, Specialized has been able to achieve completely balanced performance that is appropriate to the female rider.

Specialized Autosag suspension tuning is available on the comp and expert level models. Autosag automatically sets the proper sag and air pressure in the shock, providing a quick and simple adjustment for optimal suspension performance.

To use Autosag, a rider sits in the saddle and pushes a specially designed transfer port on the shock to release air pressure until a set level, which is based on the rider’s weight. This equalizes the positive and negative chambers and achieves ‘perfect sag’. Perfect sag allows for any rider, regardless of mechanical experience, to properly set up the rear suspension of their bike to ensure a comfortable trail experience.

Women’s Body Geometry data was used throughout the development of the Rumor. The Jett saddle, Women’s Enduro grips and size specific components ensure that female riders get the best fit at every contact point. Everything from small diameter grips to size-­‐specific crank lengths are optimized for female riders.

Please visit specialized.com to learn more and experience the Rumor, the most stable and confidence‐inspiring women’s full‐suspension 29er on the trail.

Fresh: RockShox Updates The Monarch

Monarch RT3 paved the way last year with the introduction of Rapid Recovery with it’s all new damper design: now the rest of the family follows. The entire Monarch family now is tuned with Rapid Recovery.

Monarch RT3

REFINE, REFINE, REFINE

In addition to the new Rapid Recovery rebound tune, Monarch XX, RL, RT, and R have improved compression circuits that improves compression bump performance while expanding the tuning flexibility for bike brands, allowing even further refinement to their chosen tune. these refined beauties run smoother, quitter and more consistant than any previous version of Monarch.

WALKING ON AIR

that new bulge at the bottom of the new air can isn’t an extrainous industrial design feature, it’s a redesign of the negative air volume in the Solo air spring system that improves small bump performance.

On top of that, Monarch RT3, XX, RL, RT and R now features a high volume eyelet option called HV-i. it allows for a higher volume, less progressive shock without the bulk or weight of the full High Volume air can. HV-i couples perfectly with bikes that need a little less progression, but don’t need the full High Volume air can system.

RT3 in white.

ICING ON THE CAKE

New and improved seals help keep the Monarch rear shocks performance constant and reduce friction, retaining Monarch’s position as the best performing, most-versatile air shocks on the market.

Click to make me bigger.

Newly Crowned National Champion To Race At Taree

After conquering a brutally tough course in the Australian Marathon Championships, Jason English (Merida OnTheGo) added a second Marathon National Champions jersey to his collection last weekend. Having won two national championships in the past month, the Port Macquarie based rider is set to race this weekend’s opening round of the SRAM Singletrack Mind series at nearby Taree.

Jason English on his way to racking up yet another solo victory at the 2011 SRAM Singletrack Mind Series.

It will be the first time a major state-level event has been held on the new course in Kiwarrak State Forest and the Manning Great Lakes MTB Club have been putting in a huge amount of work to ensure that the trails will be fast, fun and worthy of a World and National champion such as English. The 10.5km course uses just fraction of the trails available in the area – a destination well worth a full weekend’s exploring.

The course, while reasonably flat, contains plenty of challenge, frequent passing opportunities and should make for flat-out, tight and competitive racing for the 7-hour race duration.

The event will also feature many highly credentialed riders sure to keep the heat on English and his new team OnTheGo also fielding 8 other athletes. The start line will also feature 2012 mixed pairs series champions Brent Miller and Brooke Rowlands, Open Solo champion Ed McDonald, and Solo Masters champions Garry James and Wendy Stevenson.

Entries for the opening round of the SRAM Singletrack Mind Series close at midnight this Wednesday night (24 April).

For more information and entry details go to: www.chocolatefoot.com.au

Fresh: RockShox Announces The New SID and Revelation

The new RockShox SID and Revelation retain all the character, which made them two of the most successful XC and Trail forks ever, while enhancing control and comfort for all riders.

SID XX 29QR

Both are now available in 26”, 27.5” and 29” wheel sizes to serve all mountain bikers. SID is the most successful XC racing fork ever, with a tally of Olympic, World and World Cup titles too long to mention, available in travels from 80 to 120mm. Revelation combines the best of RockShox engineering to provide a trail fork from 120 to 150mm of travel with record breaking weight. Both SID and Revelation feature the Motion Control DNA damper, which has been reworked and updated to deliver the best performance on the trail.

Revelation RCT3

DIG VALVE: THE TRAIL SPECIALIST

The Dig Valve is the name of the latest addition to the damping circuit on both SID and Revelation. RockShox has re-designed the rebound piston to accommodate the Dig Valve, which provides the optimal level of control for both low and high speed compression, carefully controlling the oil flow to provide the rider with the right amount of support and impact absorption. The piston redesign allows the use of Rapid Recovery, a rebound tune that allows the shock to recover faster between consecutive bumps, for greater traction and a more controlled ride.

MOTION CONTROL DNA

Motion Control DNA is available exclusively on SID and Revelation, in four models tailored for each individual riding style:

XX – Designed for riders looking for more efficiency. The XX Motion Control DNA damper features RockShox’s XLoc hydraulic remote lockout for the lightest, most ergonomic go-fast solution.

RCT3 – Designed for riders looking for more bump gobbling performance. The new RCT3 damper features three distinct knob positions – Open (with low speed compression adjust.), Threshold and Lock.

RLT – Designed for riders who are looking for more stable ride. Featuring the adjustments of Motion Control – compression-to-lock with adjustable threshold.

RL – For riders looking for a more simple approach to suspension set up. The Motion Control DNA spring tube and refined Dual Flow rebound mated to compression-to-lock adjustability with a factory set threshold.

Click on me to make me bigger.

 

Shimano MTB GP at James Estate Race Wrap

The brand-new mountain bike trails on the award-winning James Estate Winery in the Upper Hunter Valley attracted a record-field of 300 riders and more than 200 spectators on Saturday to its inaugural racing event. Round 2 of the SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix series was held at the vineyards at Baerami, which has now established itself on the map for Australian mountain bikers.

Cheeky Velosport racers Andrew Lloyd (Barnsley, NSW) and Sarah Neumann (Kahibah, NSW) claimed the prestigious seven hour solo victories and James Lamb (Erina, NSW) and Susanna Fasold (Bonnet Bay, NSW) won in the four hour solo categories.With a huge contingent of local riders from the Hunter, Newcastle and Sydney areas not only participating at the event at James Estate but also claiming a lot of the podium positions in the race, the huge pool of racing talent and potential for the sport in the region was obvious on the weekend. With James Estate’s senior winemaker and trail builder Graeme Scott, who competed in the race himself as well, Muswellbrook Shire’s Mayor Martin Rush officially opened the mountain bike trails on the winery, which are now open for the public to use and enjoy. Mr. Rush welcomed riders from as far as Canberra, Dubbo and Port Macquarie at the cellar door in the beautiful vineyard setting at Baerami on Saturday morning.

Racing amongst the vineyards. Gee, I’m thirsty all of a sudden….

“This is a fantastic showcase for our region! Congratulations and thanks to the entire James Estate team and to Rocky Trail for bringing this event to the Upper Hunter Valley. We are excited to welcome so many mountain bikers and their families here and hope that a lot of you will come and visit us again,” said the Mr. Rush as he sent the riders off to the start line.

The race track put together by event organisers from Rocky Trail Entertainment was just under 10 km long and featured technically challenging single trails through the bushland surrounding the vineyards and fast fire trails, which offered spectacular views of the Upper Hunter Valley wine country. The riders literally rode through the winery, passing oak barrels before coming back to the event centre located right in front of the cellar door, which added a very unique touch to the race.

With 15 completed laps on the tough course, last year’s SHIMANO MTB GP Series Champion Andrew Lloyd from Barnsley was the outstanding solo winner of the day in the seven hour competition, completing only one lap less than the SHIMANO team of three riders who took out the overall line honours.The four solo competition was the most popular race of the day – riders finished just after lunch and took in the scenery, tasted the delicious James Estate wine and enjoyed the tasty cheese and olive treats from the region. James Lamb from the Central Coast took out the hotly contested solo elite race ahead of Jorge Baron Morris (Kensington, NSW) and Aaron Lakeman from Westmead (NSW), all three completed nine laps.

Andrew Lloyd on the way to the win in the seven-hour solos.

In the elite females the podium from Round 1 was repeated – Sydney’s Susanne Fasold won ahead Emily Cunningham and local newcomer to the mountain bike racing scene, Laura Renshaw from Merewether.Continuing the popular endurance racing series, Rocky Trail will host round three of their SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix at Ourimbah MTB Park near Wyong on the Central Coast on 15 June. For further and more detailed results, please visit www.rockytrailentertainment.com 

 

Fresh: New XTR Brakes, XTR Carbon Wheels, and 27.5 XT Wheels

For 2014 Shimano has updated the XTR XC brakes (including a carbon lever), introduced new XTR carbon tubular wheelsets, and added 27.5 to the XT range of wheels.

XTR – Light weight XC racing brake update

Light weight for race specification, subtle control with improved lever design, and more consistent brake feeling.

New XTR lever with carbon lever.
New XTR brake.

 

  •  Optimized material and structure for light weight
    • Magnesium BL/BR ,carbon lever, titanium small parts
    • 40g lighter than BR-M985
  •  Refined piston with sealing construction BL
  •  Optimized power curve, improved master cylinder & piston design (free stroke, rigidity)
  •  Ergonomic lever shape
  •  Total design of heat management
  •  I-spec compatible
  •  Ice-Technology pad compatible
  •  Reach adjust (tool)
  •  Easy and clean bleeding
    • One way bleeding caliper
    • Funnel bleeding

XTR “Freeza” Rotor

The new XTR rotor using “Freeza” technology.
  • 40 degree C more reduction in heat (vs SMRT98)
  • Aluminum Radiator fin
  • Clad rotor blade
  • Rotor size: 203mm /180mm /160mm /140mm

 

XTR Carbon Tubular Wheelset

Tubular wheel with super light weight carbon rim, optimized design for XC race.

New XTR Carbon 29er Wheel (Rear)
  • Super light weight full-carbon offset rim
  • 28pcs of straight black spokes and aluminum black nipples
  • *Quick engagement freehub body (36/360 degree) for perfect traction
  • High rigidity with front 15mm and rear 12mm E-thru axle
  • Easy maintenance and longer durability
  • CENTER LOCK rotor mount for easy and quick installation

 

XT 27.5 Wheelset

XT wheels now in more size options.

 

Fresh: Meet The New Boss – Pivot Cycles Introduces The Firebird 27.5

Whether you’re sending it in Whistler, gunning for the overall in Downieville or pinning 30-minute descents on a 6-hour epic through the Rockies, the Firebird 27.5 has your back.

By many accounts, the 26-inch version was the ultimate long-travel trail bike, revered for its unique combination of climbing traction, acceleration, and descending capabilities. That excellent pedigree made it the ideal starting point for a 27.5 chassis.

“The new Firebird 27.5-inch model takes everything that’s great about the Firebird and makes it better. It’s definitely a favorite around our office,” offers Pivot president and CEO Chris Cocalis, “Within a line of very versatile bikes it stands out because it really is a quiver-of-one. It rewards and inspires confidence for an aggressive rider.”

The original 26-inch Firebird was unique. The level of engineering sophistication, obsessive production tolerances and attention to detail rare qualities in the category. The 27.5 shares all of those attributes. For a brawler of a bike, there was (and still is) a ton going on both on the surface and under it, a quality defining all of Pivot’s offerings.

The evolution to the 27.5-inch standard is a testament to Pivot’s belief that boundaries exist to be pushed against, in this case re-engineering a very successful and award-winning platform to accommodate a wheel size that made more sense for its intended use.

To make the best even better, the headtube angle has been slackened, the low BB height maintained, and the amazing Fox Racing Shox 34 added, a 160mm travel 27.5-specific fork that complements already best-in-class handling.

The Firebird 27.5 continues the tradition of its predecessor. It’s a showcase of cross-functional capability, providing riders with the confidence, capability and performance to excel across a wide range of demands. With the update to 27.5 wheels, the boundaries between disciplines become less defined; the frontiers pushed back to reveal new terrain, new speeds and record-breaking performance in enduro racing, park and gravity riding or the occasional DH race.

The new Firebird 27.5 along with the rest of the Pivot Cycles line will be available for media and consumer demo at this weekend’s Sea Otter Classic with bikes shipping in May. To view a schedule of upcoming demo stops or to locate a Pivot dealer, please visit http://www.pivotcycles.com/

  • 6.6″ (167mm) rear travel.
  • dw-link suspension design with rearward wheel travel path. Incredible square edge bump performance and unparalleled pedaling efficiency.
  • Pivot specific, custom valved Fox CTD or DHX Kashima coated shock technology featuring increased rider tunability and incredible small bump sensitivity.
  • Full 1.5 head tube with custom Pivot angled headset design optimizing the Firebird 27.5 as an ultimate Enduro machine.
  • ISCG O5 mounts included for single ring and chain guide compatibility.
  • Patented Pivot floating front derailleur mount. Keeps the chain in the sweet spot of the derailleur for better chain retention. Combined with our custom MRP LRP 2X chain guide, our floating front derailleur mount creates  perfect shifting performance and worry-free chain retention even the roughest conditions.
  • 142mm rear spacing with 12mm through axle and 160mm post mount dropouts. Why? Maximum. Frame. Stiffness.

Fresh: Turner Czar carbon 29er race bike

High performance bicycle designer and manufacturer Turner Bicycles presents its first carbon mountain bike, a full-suspension, 100 mm travel, 29r aimed directly at the marathon/XC racer. Using Toray high modulus carbon fibers, the Czar embodies Turner Suspension Bicycles’ track record of producing national-championship winning bikes that offer a feeling of both refinement and effortless handling.

“We’re going to place the carbon bikes in our line where we feel they’re most advantageous to the type of rider they’re aimed at,” says Turner Bicycles’ founder David Turner. “We’re going to look at those people who are hyper conscious about saving every gram they can.”

For all the details, including geometry, click here to view Turner’s official release.

Led by bicyclist David Turner, Turner Bicycles has been making high performance suspension mountain bicycle frames since 1994. We’ve earned our winning reputation by delivering performance, pedaling efficiency, and reliability—and have a large following of devoted Turner Riders who have come to rely on the progressive evolution of our bikes and our exceptional customer service. Turner Bicycles has been at the forefront of suspension bike technologies with our Burner, Stinger, Nitrous, RFX, Flux, Highline, and Sultan, among others. At Turner Bicycles, we ride what we build, so we design and build quality without compromise.

Fresh: Yeti Carbon SB95C and ARC Carbon Hardtail

Yeti announces the SB95C and ARC carbon hardtail.

SB95C

SB95C

The ultimate big-wheeled trail bike just got better.

The SB95C isn’t just the most advanced 29er we’ve ever made, or the most advanced carbon frame we’ve ever designed, it might be simply the best bike we’ve built to date.

This is the culmination of more than six years of work and testing on the SB platform. There’s the revolutionary Switch Technology suspension platform, which received rave reviews on the SB-95, for snappy pedaling and predictable bump absorption; the slack, low-slung geometry that keeps the bike attached to the trail; and a new carbon frame that makes the whole package lighter and livelier.

And now we have the SB95C, which carries the same progressive geometry, short chain stays, and five-inch travel as its 29er predecessor but wraps it all in a light, stiff high-mod carbon frame that is the result of years of R&D and testing on the trails we call home. The one-bike quiver? This could be it.

Features:

• HIGH MODULUS CARBON FIBER MAIN FRAME AND SWING ARM
• SWITCH TECHNOLOGY PATENT-PENDING SUSPENSION SYSTEM
• FULLY SEALED ECCENTRIC SYSTEM
• OVERSIZED PIVOT PINS WITH ENDURO MAX BEARINGS
• SPLINED BB SHELL ACCEPTS REMOVABLE ISCG 03/05 TABS
• TAPERED INSET HEADTUBE – 44MM/56MM
• DROPOUTS ALLOW FOR 142MM X 12MM AXLE
• POST-MOUNT REAR BRAKE TAB
• INTERNAL CABLE ROUTING ON REAR TRIANGLE
• CUSTOM CHAIN-SLAP GUARDS
• CABLE STOPS FOR HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE SEAT POST
• DIRECT MOUNT FRONT DERAILLEUR

Specs:

Travel: 5.00” – 127MM
Weight: 5.75 LBS  – 2.6 KG
Sizes: SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE, X-LARGE TURQUOISE, BLACK
Rear Shock: FOX CTD ADJUST – 7.5”X2.0” / 191 MM X 51 MM
Bottom Bracket: 73MM SHELL
Rear Wheel: 142MM SPACING – 12MM AXLE
Front Derailleur:  DIRECT LOW MOUNT – E-TYPE
Seatpost: 30.9MM DIAMETER
Build Kits: ENDURO, RACE, XTR

Pricing:

SB-95 Carbon Pricing is $3990 Frame/Axle RRP
SB 95C XT EASTON – $6990
SB 95C XT RACE – $7450
SB 95C XTR – $9100
SB 95C SRAM X0 – $7590
SB 95C SRAM XX1 – $8050
All prices with FOX 34 120MM CTD

 

ARC Carbon

ARC Carbon

A perfect blend of carbon fibre, big wheels and Yeti XC heritage.

We never like to think of ourselves as slow, but we were definitely deliberate in our approach to 29ers. And as with all things, once we committed, we committed fully. The hardtail Big Top, the first 29er we were proud to call a Yeti, debuted in 2010 after years of above- and below-the-radar tinkering by a core group of Yeti employees who were enamored with big wheels.

It was no one-off. The following year we rolled up on a full-suspension 29er, the ridiculously fun SB95. And now we’re back again, taking everything we’ve learned over the years about bike racing, big-wheel handling, and materials engineering to deliver the all-new ARC Carbon. Twenty years of ARC racing heritage updated with fast-rolling 29-inch wheels and a light, snappy, high-mod carbon frame. For you smaller riders, we made the small and extra small sizes with mid-sized 27.5” wheels for added stand over and improved handling.

Basically, take Yeti’s most storied XC race bike, make it even more stable, add bigger wheels, then make the frame as smooth and responsive as only the best carbon frames can be. That’s the ARC Carbon.

Features:

• HIGH MODULUS CARBON FIBER MAIN FRAME
• TAPERED INSET HEADTUBE  -44MM/56MM
• INTERNAL CABLE ROUNTING FRONT/REAR DER
• 29” WHEEL SIZE ON M-XL SIZES, 27.5” ON XS-S SIZES • YETI LOOPTAIL REAR TRIANGLE
• GEOMETRY COMPATIBLE FOR 100MM-120MM FORK
• REMOVABLE ISCG MOUNT
• BOLT-ON CABLE GUIDES
• DIRECT-MOUNT FRONT DERAILLEUR
• 142X12 REAR AXLE

Specs:

Weight: 2.6 LBS – 1.18 KG
Sizes: X-SMALL, SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE, X-LARGE BLACK, TURQUOISE
Botton Bracket: 73MM SHELL
Rear Wheel: 142MM X 12 MM THRU AXLE
Front Derailleur: DIRECT MOUNT
Seatpost: 30.9MM DIAMETER
Build kits: ENDURO, RACE, PRO

Pricing: 

ARC – Carbon Pricing is $2690 Frame/Axle RRP
ARC XT EASTON – $5600
ARC XT RACE – $6050
ARC XTR – $7700
ARC SRAM X0 – $6200
ARC SRAM XX1 – $6650
All prices with FOX 32 100MM CTD

Aaron Gwin On Track For 2013

Aaron Gwin breaks cover to talk about his move to Specialized and reveals his aims for 2013.

It has been several months since Aaron Gwin made his well-publicised move from Trek World Racing to the Specialized factory team.

Now at home in his new set-up we caught up with the two-time World Cup Champion to talk training, Troy Lee and the new season.

MacAskill's Imaginate – Episode 1

Today sees the release of the first instalment of ‘MacAskill’s Imaginate’. A project that has been two years in the making, the first episode is aptly titled ‘In the balance’ as a persistent back problem for Danny looks as though it could stop his most ambitious project to date before it has begun.

We follow Danny to Newport Beach in California, where he tries to identify and remedy a problem that not only threatens the project but his career as a rider.

Under the watchful guidance of Red Bull UK’s Head of High Performance Darren Roberts, Danny trains with world renowned mountain bike siblings ‘The Athertons’ and meets trials bike pioneer and one of Danny’s heroes Hans Rey, “I definitely see Hans as a role model, it’s good to talk to him about injuries and see how you can make a comeback.”

Regular Gym work and physiotherapy may heal the injury over time, but it is only when Danny visits spine surgeon Dr. Robert Bray at the D.I.S.C facility that he finds a solution to combat the problem without restrictions, but at what price?

MacAskill’s Imaginate – Episode 1

Today sees the release of the first instalment of ‘MacAskill’s Imaginate’. A project that has been two years in the making, the first episode is aptly titled ‘In the balance’ as a persistent back problem for Danny looks as though it could stop his most ambitious project to date before it has begun.

We follow Danny to Newport Beach in California, where he tries to identify and remedy a problem that not only threatens the project but his career as a rider.

Under the watchful guidance of Red Bull UK’s Head of High Performance Darren Roberts, Danny trains with world renowned mountain bike siblings ‘The Athertons’ and meets trials bike pioneer and one of Danny’s heroes Hans Rey, “I definitely see Hans as a role model, it’s good to talk to him about injuries and see how you can make a comeback.”

Regular Gym work and physiotherapy may heal the injury over time, but it is only when Danny visits spine surgeon Dr. Robert Bray at the D.I.S.C facility that he finds a solution to combat the problem without restrictions, but at what price?

Avid Introduces New Elixir 9 And 7 Trail Brakes

Avid is proud to introduce the new Elixir 9 Trail and Elixir 7 Trail hydraulic disc brakes. Together with X0 Trail, they form the Avid Trail Family, the key to more power and control with less weight and zero fuss.

Each Avid Trail brake features monster all-mountain power courtesy of a new 4-piston, dual-diameter caliper design. And with weights dipping below 350 grams, each of these three models gives up nothing when it’s time to climb.

ELIXIR 9 TRAIL (Application: XC/TRAIL/AM/FR)

Elixir 9

Weight: 350 grams Carbon Blade (Front; Direct Mount, 160mm rotor)
Color: Black Ano
Fluid: Dot 5.1
Rotor Size: HS1 160/170/180/200mm
Caliper: Forged 2-piece Aluminum
System: 4-Piston Dual-Diameter Caliper
Pads: Organic with Steel Backing Plates
Additional Features: Tool-free Contact Adjust; Tooled Reach Adjust; Tooled Banjo Adjust; MatchMaker X Compatible

 

ELIXIR 7 TRAIL (Application: XC/TRAIL/AM/FR)

Elixir 7

Weight: 355 grams Alloy Blade (Front; Direct Mount, 160mm rotor)
Color: Storm Grey
Fluid: Dot 5.1
Rotor Size: HS1 160/170/180/200mm
Caliper: Forged 2-piece Aluminum
System: 4-Piston Dual-Diameter Caliper
Pads: Organic with Steel Backing Plates
Additional Features: Tooled Reach Adjust; Tooled Banjo Adjust;MatchMaker X Compatible

 

FOX Releases 2014 All-Mountain Suspension

FOX introduces an updated 34 TALAS fork and completely new FLOAT X air shock.

FOX—the industry-leading ride dynamics company—has announced the release of two 2014 all-mountain products with the 34 TALAS CTD 160 fork and FLOAT X CTD shock.

The FOX 34 and the FLOAT X

The 34 TALAS

The 34 TALAS features a completely redesigned TALAS travel adjust system and the FLOAT X is a new reservoir air shock platform.

The 34 TALAS fork has key design changes that translate to smoother travel and improved handling. The updated CTD tune provides more damping support in each mode for better efficiency and control.
The TALAS system uses an air spring design similar to FLOAT, giving it superior bump compliance for more comfort and traction on the trail.
Mated to the air spring is a hydraulic travel adjuster that provides quick, crisp travel changes between 160mm and 130mm. All 2014 TALAS forks use the new travel adjust system.

The FLOAT X CTD

The performance advantages of the FLOAT X’s reservoir design make it ideal for aggressive all-mountain riding. The increased oil volume and dual piston damping system produce an incredibly responsive ride while maintaining a consistent feel through rugged terrain.
The base valve on the reservoir gives the Climb, Trail and Descend modes a wide adjustment range to perfectly match trail conditions.

Specifications

FOX FACTORY 34 TALAS CTD w/ Trail Adjust 160

  •   New TALAS travel adjuster
  •   160mm/130mm travel range
  •   3 on-the-fly settings with Climb/Trail/Descend
  •   Trail Adjust tuning range (1, 2, 3)
  •   Air spring pressure
  •   Rebound
  •   15QR thru axle
  •   26” and 27.5” wheel options
  •   4.33 lbs. / 1,964 g (26”)

FOX FACTORY FLOAT X CTD w/ Trail Adjust

  •   New reservoir air shock platform
  •   3 on-the-fly settings with Climb/Trail/Descend
  •   Trail Adjust tuning range (1, 2, 3)
  •   Air spring pressure
  •   Rebound
  •   Low friction hardware
  •   Remote option
  •   0.8 lbs. / 365 g (8.5 x 2.5, no hardware)

New SRAM Roam And Rail MTB Wheels

You don’t win by being the lightest. Or the stiffest. Or the toughest. You win by being the fastest. And that takes a wheel designed specifically for the modern mountain biker. At SRAM, we start with the demands of the terrain and work forward from there—carefully balancing each wheel’s design around five key attributes: weight, inertia, engagement, stiffness and durability.

No matter where you ride, SRAM wheels will take you further. RISE higher. ROAM farther. RAIL harder.

ROAM 60 (Intended Use: XC/TR/AM)

ROAM 60 – it’s the only wheel you need. By layering extra material onto stress points, ROAM 60’s UST compatible CARBON TUNED rim is light enough for long climbs and strong enough for the toughest Enduro races. It’s DOUBLE-DECKER hub shell design takes straightpull spoke slots and stacks them two-by-two—distributing force perfectly around the wheel’s SOLO SPOKE design. The resulting wheel dish is wider, maximizing lateral stiffness while retaining frontal compliance. If you love to ride, this is your wheel.
  • Available in all 3 wheel sizes: 26”, 27.5” and 29”
  • CARBON TUNED unidirectional and woven carbon fiber, asymmetrical rim profile
  • WIDE ANGLE profile: 21mm inside, 28mm outside rim width
  • UST compatible
  • Available with 11-speed XD driver body for SRAM XX1 or 9/10-speed driver body
  • Aluminum nipples with nylon lock ring
  • SOLO SPOKE design with double butted, stiff stainless steel spokes
  • Durable hub internals with STAR RATCHET 36T system
  • SIDE SWAP easy conversion to all axle types
  • DOUBLE-DECKER hub shell design
ROAM 60: Weight*
26” - 1495g
27.5” - 1550g
29” - 1625g
*Wheel pair in lightest configuration

Available: July (26”) and August (27.5” and 29”)

ROAM 50 (Intended Use: XC/TR)

It’s everything the modern mountain biker could ask for. One of the lightest alloy trail wheels in the market, ROAM 50 delivers a smart balance of weight, inertia and stiffness—making for a very responsive and predictable wheel. Thanks to our WIDE ANGLE rim, its tire profile delivers superior traction.
  • Available in all 3 wheel sizes: 26”, 27.5” and 29”
  • Lightweight aluminum rim with asymmetrical TAPER CORE profile
  • WIDE ANGLE profile: 21mm inside, 25mm outside rim width
  • UST compatible
  • Available with 11-speed XD driver body for SRAM XX1 or 9/10-speed driver body
  • Aluminum nipples with nylon lock ring
  • SOLO SPOKE design with double butted, lightweight steel spokes
  • Durable hub internals with STAR RATCHET system
  • DOUBLE-DECKER hub shell design
Weight*
26” - 1475g
27.5” - 1530g
29” - 1610g
*Wheel pair in lightest configuration

Available: July (26, 27.5” and 29”)

RAIL 50 (Intended Use: AM)


An alloy rim that does what other alloy rims can’t. With WIDE ANGLE rim design providing superior stability, RAIL 50 can withstand the most aggressive All-Mountain/Enduro riding while setting a new benchmark for lightweight in the category. Featuring the perfect balance of strength, stiffness and width for All-Mountain/Enduro terrain, RAIL 50 delivers best-in-class ride quality all the way down.

  • in all 3 wheel sizes: 26”, 27.5” and 29”
  • Lightweight aluminum rim with asymmetrical TAPER CORE profile
  • WIDE ANGLE profile: 23c, 28mm outside rim width
  • UST compatible
  • Available with 11-speed XD driver body for SRAM XX1 or 9/10-speed driver body
  • Aluminum nipples with nylon lock ring
  • SOLO SPOKE design with double butted, stiff steel spokes
  • Durable hub internals with Star Ratchet system
  • SIDE SWAP easy conversion to all axle types
  • DOUBLE-DECKER hub shell design
Weight*
26” - 1690g
27.5” - 1750g
29” - 1830g
*Wheel pair in lightest configuration

Available: July (26, 27.5” and 29”)

TECHNOLOGIES

TAPER CORE
Strong in the right places. The sidewalls of SRAM rims are reinforced along the wings to withstand major impact. But the sidewalls then taper in along the center—reducing overall mass. The result is a very light rim with excellent dent resistance.
SOLO SPOKE
With SOLO spoke, you’re never wrong. SRAM wheel design eliminates the need for different spoke lengths—one size fits the entire wheel. This identical-length design means no longer wondering whether you have the right front/rear/drive-side/nondrive-side spoke handy.
Front + Rear + Drive-Side + Nondrive-Side = 1 Spoke
CARBON TUNED
Strong like bull, light like carbon. Every Carbon Tuned rim is designed with a distinct style of riding in mind. By selectively layering woven carbon fiber at high-stress points and using unidirectional fiber throughout, SRAM creates rims that yield a remarkable level of strength and durability—while remaining lightweight and responsive.
WIDE ANGLE
Take corners as fast as you want. SRAM wheels have a wider rim profile without significant added mass. This profile holds tire shape better, preventing tire roll and giving you superior comfort and traction around corners.
19mm XC Racing
21mm Trail
23mm All Mountain
DOUBLE-DECKER
Stacked in your favor. This hub shell design takes straightpull spoke slots and stacks them two-by-two—distributing force perfectly around the wheel’s SOLO SPOKE design. The resulting wheel dish is wider, maximizing lateral stiffness while retaining some frontal compliance.
XD™ DRIVER BODY
XD is a new driver body design that allows the use of the SRAM XX1 10-42 cassette and provides an improved interface.
SIDE SWAP
Switching axles has never been easier. Threadless side caps can be installed and replaced by hand—no tools necessary.
STAR RATCHET
This patented freewheel system uses precision ratchets with extremely high load capacity and reliability. Thanks to its no-tools-required design, routine maintenance is easy.
UST TUBELESS
No tube, no-brainer. UST Tubeless rims feature hooked edges designed to seal with UST compatible tires. The result is improved traction and control, less inertia and fewer flats.

 

Inaugural Mountain Bike Race at James Estate Winery

More than 200 mountain bikers are expected to race at James Estate in the Upper Hunter Valley at Baerami. The event will be the second in the five-race SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix Series, which offers four and seven hour challenges for solo and team riders.

James Estate is located in the Upper Hunter Valley, about 2 hours West of Newcastle in Baerami near Denman/Muswellbrook. The winery is not only well-know for its delicious wines, but also for the beautiful surrounds. Visitors to the Cellar Door at Baerami can not only explore the property on a ridge walk, which takes them to a magnificent lookout high above the vineyards, but they can also ride their mountain bikes on custom-built trails.

James Estate was recently awarded the title “Star Cellar Door and Best Additional Experience” by the Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine, which is a credit to the efforts of its General Manager and winemaker Graeme Scott.

“Mountain biking is a great passion of mine and I’ve been building trails on the property for the past four years. We’ve had many visitors on two wheels to the Cellar Door over the past few weeks since opening the trails to the public”, says Graeme Scott who was able to secure an event by race organiser Rocky Trail Entertainment for James Estate. They will host one of their SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix endurance series races at the winery on 20 April.

“It is a unique location and the enthusiasm and hospitality of the entire James Estate crew was just irresistible”, said organiser Martin Wisata from Rocky Trail. “We are excited to include a brand-new venue into our SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix racing series and help put this beautiful spot in the Hunter Valley on the map for Australian mountain bikers”, he added.

About the race at James Estate
The race track will be just under 10 km long and feature awesome singletrails through the bushland surrounding the vineyards and offer spectacular views of the Upper Hunter Valley wine country as riders will make their way back to the event centre, right in front of the cellar door.

Every race participant will receive a complimentary bottle of James Estate Wine and all visitors and spectators will be treated to culinary treats from the region with tastings by Baerami Olives and Hunter Belle Cheeses. Free kids races and activities will keep young visitors busy and entry for spectators is free.

The James Estate cellar door will be open all day. For further information please visit www.rockytrailentertainment.com

BTR Fabrications – From the Ground Up

Walking into the workshop at BTR Fabrications, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in an ironmongers, a car repair shop or a man-shed of epic proportions. Surrounded by both familiar and ‘what on earth does that do’ engineering machinery, you quickly realise you’re at the heart of where something special happens. This is where bikes are born.

Bourne from the ambition to design and build bikes for individual riders, rather than a one-size-fits-all bike for the masses, the bespoke cycle industry centres around the passion and craftsmanship of people like Paul Burford and Tam Hamilton, who are Burf and Tam Racing Fabrications. Working from their shed in Littlehampton, UK, BTR have delivered frames to customers around the world, specialising in their steel hardtail models, the Belter, Ranger and Ripper, whilst developing prototypes such as the 4X-specific Ignitor and the Enduro DH full-sus Thrasher.

Despite the organised chaos of the workshop, Burf and Tam both have established backgrounds in engineering, expertly combining their knowledge of materials, techniques, design and CAD, to produce these handbuilt beauties. And whilst their frames can be bought off-the-peg with standard BTR geometry, the guys pride themselves on being able to customise numerous aspects of their stock frames to their customers requirement, such as a half-degree angle here or an extra few millimetres there, so no two bikes are ever really alike!

After seeing how their bikes and team riders perform in local grassroots races (they’re currently on a winning streak), and seeing their popularity and customer service in the field…literally, we approached the guys with a view to making this film about them, to show their expertise and skill, together with their enthusiasm and personal enjoyment in crafting these bikes.

During our two day shoot working alongside the guys in the shed, it was clear that, like a tight sounding band, Burf and Tam didn’t really need to talk to each other that much, with each of them concentrating on the task in hand, then handing their work back and forth until the tubes started to resemble those trusted parts we see each day. After a lot of precision cutting, milling, notching, de-burring, cleaning and welding, Ripper frame number 021, for local rider Aaron Bennett, gradually started to take shape on the jig. As the second day drew to a close, the signature BTR ‘X’ tube gussets were welded into place by Burf, and the frame was finally born.

“Two guys with a dream, in a shed…and it’s actually happening.”

Wombat 100

Come autumn in the Macedon Ranges, the Wombat is spotted. Will it be cuddly? Will it have its claws out?

Unquestionably one of Australia’s premier marathon races, the Wombat 100 will kick off this weekend from the beautiful surrounds of the Cammeray Waters resort in Woodend, just 90 minutes outside Melbourne. Always a chilly start, the action will heat up quickly on a course that has, over the last five years, garnered a deserving reputation as being, simply, world class.

With over 50% flowing, groomed single track, fast fire trail, pine forest singletrack, isolated 4WD trails and a disused airstrip, competitors will tackle the full range of trails and terrain in the Wombat State Forest and surrounding pine plantation. On either end of the main event is the laid-on hospitality of Cammeray Waters: with on-site accommodation, camping, food, kids races, jumping castles and the nearby towns of the Macedon Ranges in full autumn colour this race is a destination event for the whole family.

And at the pointy end? When the northerners venture south on to his territory, Adrian Jackson is always twitching for a win. Last year Shaun Lewis pipped him at the line and AJ is keen to go one better but will be battling two pairs of legs this time around with Lewis and Blair – two of the strongest mountain bike racers in the country – now riding for the same Swell-Specialized team. Throw in to this mix Tasmanian hard man Ben Mather who has made the trip across Bass Strait, world 24hr Champion Jason English and always threatening Andrew Hall and Andy Fellows and the pace in the men’s field will be frightening.

The women’s field is stacked. With a start line to rival a national championship, Australia’s best female marathon racers will be thrashing it out over the epic Wombat course. In their first marathon meeting since the Highland Fling last year, defending champion and marathon specialist Jenny Fay will be going head to head with national XCO and XCM champion Peta Mullens. Nipping at their heels and more than capable of taking a win will be Rowena Fry, ’10 winner Jenni King, ’09 winner Tory Thomas, Jo Bennett and 100 mile specialist, Naomi Hansen. For fans of top flight mountain bike racing, this is a heart starting field.

Online entries are closing Wednesday 10th May so click on the link there’s:

http://www.maxadventure.com.au/wombat100/

Beware the Wombat.

Fun facts

  •   The 18km junior ride developing the young champions of tomorrow
  •   The accommodation, camping availability, bike demo day and kids activities at the event centre making it a weekend for the whole family
  •   Magellan Strava Segment on the course offering some great prizes

RockShox Announces All New PIKE, 2104 Monach Plus, And New Reverb Stealth

RockShox has announced three new offerings. The return of the PIKE, the 2014 Monarch Plus (at 325g), and a hydraulic update the Reverb Stealth

Introducing the all-new RockShox PIKE

A comeback has never been so amazing. After taking a few years off, PIKE comes back in the RockShox lineup, as the ultimate trail fork. Your trail could be a silky smooth ribbon of singletrack, or a rock-infested goat trail in the Alps. Either way, there is a PIKE for you. All wheel sizes, with 26”, 27.5” and 29” options, and 160mm and 150mm travel models, plus a 140mm version for the 29” platform. The RCT3 damper is available in either Dual Position Air or a Solo Air version to complete the offering.

THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS

PIKE is as stiff as a Lyrik, thanks to its 35mm stanchions and chassis, but at a trail fork weight. How so? The lower legs are asymmetrical, to maximize stiffness and precision on the braking side and save precious grams on the damper side. The 160mm 26” version clocks in at a svelte 1,837 grams (4.05 pounds).

FASTER AND MORE SECURE

The all new 15mm Maxle Lite featured on PIKE requires no tools to adjust the lever position or secure the wheel, and provides an even more solid and reliable interface between the fork and wheel.

CHARGER DAMPER

Simply put, the all-new Charger damper we developed for PIKE is the most refined damper RockShox has ever produced. It’s a bladder-charged damper, which means it has consistent performance even during the longest, hardest descents, plus
it allows complete control for the trail with open, pedal and lock positions (RCT3 version). A Rapid Recovery rebound circuit completes what many testers have described as the “best RockShox fork ever made.”

 

2014 Monarch Plus

In 2014 the new Monarch Plus has even more to offer. Providing traction-gaining suppleness, giving you more control over any type of terrain – all in a lightweight (325g) bombproof package. Proven Rapid Recovery, and Solo Air technologies come standard for this lightweight big hitter. Now with twice the rebound range, the new Monarch Plus allows you to take your riding to levels you never thought possible with a short and mid travel air shock.

We have trimmed the fat and added muscle: new sleek adjusters, a lower profile air valve location all while achieving quieter action. The new RockShox Monarch Plus will give you the extra confidence and control in the scariest situations.

With Rapid Recovery, your rear wheel can return to the ground faster upon consecutive hits, giving you greater precision and control no matter what the trail throws at you. With Monarch Plus your all mountain or trail machine will get a massive ego boost in any terrain… maybe even you.

With printed Sag Gradients on the damper body and Solo-Air adjustability, initial set up and on the fly tuning has never been so simple.

Available with an RC3 or R damper, coming in two different colors, and five different sizes, the 2014 Monarch Plus will have you covered no matter what you ride, or how you want to look doing it. Now with a damper design similar to its big brother Vivid Air, the new Plus will have you thinking you’re on a long travel DH bike, slowing down might be your only problem now.

 

REVERB STEALTH WITH CONNECTAMAJIG

RockShox Reverb has quickly become the synonym for the best adjustable seatpost on the market, thanks to its unique features, such as the hydraulic remote control and the amount of options that make it ideal for all riders.

Today RockShox expands the array of options by adding a 150mm travel version for Reverb Stealth, a 34.9mm diameter option (560g) for all models and the new Connectamajig quick-release hydraulic hose option on Reverb Stealth.

TRAVEL AND DIAMETER OPTIONS

Reverb is now available in 100, 125 and 150mm travel options (150mm for Reverb Stealth only), ensuring each rider can find the appropriate version to better suit each one’s frame size and configuration, in addition to riding style and personal preferences.

With the addition of the 34.9mm diameter version for both Reverb and Reverb Stealth, and the already available 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters, Reverb is designed to fit the vast majority of the existing mountain bike frames on the market.

STEALTHY AND QUICK

The cleanest house routing for an adjustable seat post meet easy installing and maintenance: Reverb Stealth is now available with the Connectamajig hydraulic quick-release for the remote control hose. Connectamajig makes it a breeze to route the hose into the frame when assembling the seatpost on a bike, and allows for several disconnects and reconnects before a system bleed is required.

 

Olympians Add Oceania Title To Resume in Tasmania

2012 London Olympians Dan McConnell (AUS) and Karen Hanlen (NZL) have been crowned the 2013 Oceania cross country champions in Glenorchy, Tasmania.

McConnell successfully defended his title in the elite men’s category, beating challengers Sid Taberlay (AUS) and Luke Fetch (AUS) to the line.

“I have won this a few times,” McConnell said of his third Oceania title. “It’s a very good race to set up the season with a lot of UCI points on offer, it’s really going to help me for the rest of the season in Europe,” the Trek Factory rider said.

Tasmanian expat Taberlay, lead the field for the first two laps, riding in a lead group of five including three under 23 competitors.

The inclusion of the under 23 riders Anton Cooper (NZL), Jack Haig (AUS) and Dirk Peters (NZL)  to the lead group ensured a fast and furious pace, eventually getting the better of Taberlay who dropped back with three laps remaining.

“I was pretty comfortable in the first two laps,” Taberlay said. “But by the third, those guys started hitting each other so I kind of didn’t quite have it on the steep part of the climb so I let them go.”

McConnell however, held the wheel of the under 19 junior world champion Cooper and Haig before the pair broke away to complete their final lap in what was clocked as the fastest lap time of the day.

That left the Victorian to ride tempo to the finish line one lap later to claim the Oceania title, over two and a half minutes ahead of Taberlay.

“There was a fair battle with the under 23 guys and there weren’t too many elite men here today, the younger guys had one less lap so the pace was a lot faster than the elite guys.

“I just tried to stay out of their way and they set a good pace for me so I was able to use them to get a bit of gap on the rest of the elite field,” McConnell said.

In the elite women’s race, Hanlen made up for a shaky start, racing from fifth position to first during the five lap race.

“I had a really slow start,” Hanlen described. “but I then managed to come back nice and strong on the third lap and kept coming back for the finish – I was really wrapped to get a win for an Oceania championship.”

The mother of two took out the race ahead of Australia’s Rowena Fry (TAS) and Tory Thomas (VIC).

Fry led the race from the gun with Hanlen hot on her heels, however after the first lap was completed, the New Zealander had slipped well down the field.

Hanlen spent the next two laps making up ground, catching Fry by the bell lap and consolidating her winning position to take a comfortable 45 second win.

“I have been having this happen in my national series and I know once I get through the second lap I kick in and seem to just get stronger and stronger,” said Hanlen.

For Launceston born Fry, the place result was made extra special with the support of family and friends.

“I was really really happy with second,” Fry exclaimed. “I was happy to pull off a podium finish and with a few more races under my belt I should be able to move up a place in the future.

“There are a lot of friends and family here to watch today, I love racing in Tassie and the course in Hobart is great.”

In the Under 23 racing, Rebecca Henderson (AUS) claimed the Oceania Championship title, the 21-year-old testing herself against the elite women, finishing a lap early with a sizable lead on the entire field.

In the men’s race, Cooper made a decisive move mid-way through the final lap with Haig holding on for second, Peters third.

Kovarik and Buchar Score Oceania Titles in Tasmania

Downhill super couple Chris Kovarik (AUS) and Claire Buchar (CAN) have claimed victory in the Subaru Oceania downhill championships in Glenorchy, Tasmania on Sunday.

Kovarik’s victory (3:08.65) over Troy Brosnan (3:11.12) and Jack Moir (3:11.66) earned the 35 year old his first Oceania title while his partner Buchar (3:55.05) won the race but missed out on the title due to her Canadian citizenship.

“It still means a lot,” Kovarik said. “I’m 35 and some of these guys are almost half my age so to still be up there with the young fellas and still get good times is a good thing for me personally.”

Kovarik (Kovarik Racing), a four time Australian champion, was ecstatic after improving on his seeding run by over 4 and a half seconds.

“I was a little bit nervous at the top, it was cold up there so I was trying to keep the muscles warm but once I got into the start gate I was in race mode,” Kovarik said.

“I stalled once or twice but I was a little bit more cautious in some of the sections which were blown out but I can’t complain, that was an awesome run,” the Queenslander explained.

Silver medallist South Australia’s Brosnan (Monster Energy/Specialized) said he was happy with his run.

“I went really smooth up the top and just let it go at the bottom,” Brosnan described. “I did pretty well and improved on Chris’ first place time from seeding – he just turned it up today so it’s pretty good for him.

“I’ve got a little bit more work to do before the World Cups in June,” the former junior world champion said.

Having suffered a mechanical during seeding, Brosnan was in the Subaru hot seat for the majority of the race before Kovarik crossed the line as the final rider to take on the challenging Glenorchy track.

“It was pretty weird starting almost first and coming down and sitting in the hot seat for a while but hopefully I won’t be having too many more of those situations,” Brosnan remarked.

For 19 year old Moir (Yeti  – Foxshox Racing), the podium result was a career highlight.

“I had a really clean and smooth run and got a break in the wind at the bottom so it was really good,” Moir said. “This is one of my better results – racing in the elite category against some pretty top riders so I’m really happy with that.”

Buchar (Kovarik Racing) was the sole competitor in the elite women’s race, resulting in the downhill Oceania title to go begging for 2013.

“It was pretty disappointing to not have any competition – but that isn’t the only reason we race,” Buchar said. “I knew I didn’t have to push myself too hard and with my hand injury so I just made sure I stayed on my bike,” Buchar commented on her broken hand she sustained in February at the Australian Championships.

In the under 19’s events, Thomas Crimmins (NSW) and Danielle Beecroft (NSW) became Oceania Champions for the first time.

Crimmins (Giant Bicycles) won the title in a time of 3 minutes and 15.92 seconds, 1.75 seconds in front of Luke Ellison (Cycle Zone) with a time of 3 minutes 17.67 seconds over 5 seconds in front of Brent Smith (TWE Wheels/Endeavour Cycles) who crossed the line in 3 minutes 21.27 seconds.

“I really enjoyed it, it’s been a really fun season and I can’t wait to do more,” Crimmins said.

Beecroft’s (Pivot/Jetblack) win was a belated birthday present, the 18-year-old coming of age on Good Friday.

“It’s my first Oceania race so it was really good to come down to Tassie to compete,” Beecroft said.

“The track was really good, I had a really smooth run and stayed on my bike. This is my last race in under 19’s in Australia so it’s really good to get the title,” she said.

2013 Australian Interschool MTB Championship

The 2013 Australian Interschools MTB Championships presented by Thredbo MTB saw around 250 riders from over 50 schools compete in the 4 different event disciplines.

Thredbo MTB are excited to be carrying on the tradition of the Interschools Mountain Bike Championships. Interschools MTB competition has been an annual event on the mountain bike calendar in Thredbo for the past 16 years now and it keeps getting bigger & better every year with more riders, faster racing and new friendships made every year.

Interschools gives riders a special chance to experience mountain biking, the enthusiasm and energy of this popular sport in a competitive, educational and supportive atmosphere. The primary aim is to promote participation and evoke interest in competitive cycling in the younger generation. All divisions are based on the riders school year, division 3 being years 7 & 8, division 2 years 9 & 10 and division 1 years 11 & 12.
The event kicked off on Friday with DH practice and the Dual Compressor in the afternoon at Friday Flat under bluebird skies. The course was littered with berms & rollers which made for exciting racing from the young guns.
Riders awoke on Saturday to more bluebird skies with the threat of a rain storm later in the day. The main Thredbo DH was being raced with one diversion around the famous ‘Snakes & Ladders’ section. We were in for some fast racing from the boys as the dark clouds started to roll in. The heavens then opened up and the rain came down before everyone moved to the Pump Track for the Thredbo MTB Pump Track Challenge. The Pump Track Challenge being a fun side event was open to only one rider from each school. Some quick laps were put down and we even saw Alec Reid from Edmund Rice beat Troy Brosnans 2 lap Thredbo Pump track record.
Sunday saw the final event the X-Country. Riders made their way back to Friday Flat in the freezing temps early on Sunday morning. The XC course was a shortened version that was used for the national round in February.
Interschools are about getting the riders to excel over all disciplines regardless of their background which has led to the King & Queen of the Mountain awards. To be eligible for King or Queen of the mountain the rider must enter all 3 main events and place highly in each of them.
In the end Rachel Weinert & Riley Lowe took out the Div. 3 Queen & King. The Div. 2 was taken out by Nicole Thiele & Alec Reid.
Josh Lea and Kellie Weinert taking the Div. 1 King & Queen respectively.
The champion school trophy was taken out by Heathcote High School who had nearly 50 entrants!

Huge thanks to Thredbo MTB for putting on events like this. These events promote the sport to the younger generations and also create our future stars!

An Evil Uprising

On one unusually sunny and warm winter day in the Pacific Northwest, we set out with only the best of intentions to film a marketing video that would hopefully be used for the launch of our new 150mm carbon Uprising trail bike.

You know the kind of video, scenic vistas, perfect weather and a bag of reasons why should buy this bike.

Well… like a hyperactive 13 yr old who missed a dose of ridilin, we too lost focus and completely failed in our mission. So what we are left with is an edit of us chasing around Evil Worldcup rider Luke Strobel and wasting our only sunny weekend of winter… hope it was worth it..

Santa Cruz BRONSON

Two decades of evolution. Three minutes of video. Four of the World’s Greatest riders. BRONSON.

An entirely new frame, new wheel size and new perspective on what a 6” travel, 27.5″ wheel, bike can conquer.

Locked up for months of secret testing, Bronson breaks straight onto the scene as the Syndicate’s race bike for their Enduro World Series campaign.

From Tazmon to Bronson… Santa Cruz defines each new era. Welcome to our Group B. If you’re a spectator on track, please take a step back.