Racing Your Heroes – With Mike Jones, Innes Graham and Laurie Greenland.

An interview with the young guns of the World Cup; Greenland, Graham and Jones.

From the deep sea of talent on the World Cup downhill circuit, to make a name for yourself and stand out from the pack is no small challenge.

For three young guns, Mike Jones, Innes Graham and Laurie Greenland, the future looks more than bright and they have already begun their quest to leave a lasting impression on the international race scene.

Mike Jones follows team mate Joe Smith in high winds across Aonoch Mor.
Mike Jones follows team mate Joe Smith in high winds across Aonoch Mor.

 

Going head to head with their heroes has become nothing more than business as usual and despite an ever-expanding sponsor list, each one of them is shrugging the pressure to climb the ranks and become the household names of downhill that they always dreamed they could be. What the next years have in store for the trio is anyone’s guess, but determination and hunger for silverware and World-titles will be no problem. Time to find out more from the young senders themselves.


 

Innes Graham

19 year old, Innes Graham, is the youngest, possibly wildest, wheel of the four-part MS Mondraker racing machine. After plenty of podium time as a junior in 2013, Innes today is always out causing a stir on track with aggressive, wild, lines and full-gas crash saves. Following a top 20 at Fort William, he would head home from the last Swiss round with a broken collarbone on his birthday, but there’s no doubt he’ll be back and hounding at the heels of the World’s fastest all over again before the year is out.

Innes will be out with a shoulder injury following Lenzerheide, but see light at the end of the tunnel.
Innes will be out with a shoulder injury following Lenzerheide, but see light at the end of the tunnel.
Innes in front of his home, the famous Mondraker 'space ark'.
Innes in front of his home, the famous Mondraker ‘space ark’.
Happy healing to Innes after meeting a tree on his race run in Switzerland and taking home the lousiest birthday present ever - a broken collarbone.
Happy healing to Innes after meeting a tree on his race run in Switzerland and taking home the lousiest birthday present ever – a broken collarbone.
Innes Graham charging out of the gate into the heavy rain at Fort William.
Innes Graham charging out of the gate into the heavy rain at Fort William.

Are there riders you look up to and if so who?

For sure there are a lot of riders I look up to. To me Peaty is one of the most iconic riders of all time, Greg Minnaar for consistency and Gee Atherton as well. The British guys at the top especially inspire me and I want to be where they are. There’s also a bunch of up and coming riders that I have a lot of admiration for –  Mike Jones, Loic Bruni and Troy Brosnan.

How does it feel to compete against MTB’s biggest names?

It’s pretty mental… I didn’t think I’d ever be in this position, going head to head with them so soon. This year at the first BDS at Ae forest, myself and Reese Wilson qualified in the top spots together and we were all alone at the start gate after Josh Bryceland and the big names… It was so silent and so weird! Then I went and made a load of mistakes and finished 6th, but it was a great experience!

What do you see as the key to your present and future success?

It’s a bit of a cliché but I’d say ‘having fun’. There’s always training, but you can’t ride your best when you’re not having fun. It has to be the most essential aspect of racing DH.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

That’s a tough one, but for sure still riding bikes. Hopefully, finger crossed podiums… It’s a big shout but that’s where I want to be at least by the time 2020 comes around! I hope the tracks go and get more gnarly again like they were when I was growing up watching the videos with Sam Hill and that. I’d expect some major technology to be a part of it by then as well with telemetry playing a big role, more like F1 is today.


Laurie Greenland

1997 born, Greenland, is Trek World Racing’s not-so-secret weapon of the future. Already performing at a level that sometimes makes a lot of elite riders look over the hill, Laurie is a pocket rocket with style and a dead-cert for the junior podium every weekend. Under the guidance of Martin Whitely, Justin Leov and not least his senior TWR team mates there’s no doubting his threat level as he joins the big leagues next season. Watch this space!

Junior national champ and of course TWR's big name of the future, Greenland.
Junior national champ and of course TWR’s big name of the future, Greenland.
Laurie battling on with no more pedal power at Round 3
Laurie battling on with no more pedal power at Round 3
Perhaps outshined by Gwin's successes, Greenland too made the podium without a chain at Leogang.
Perhaps out-shined by Gwin’s successes, Greenland too made the podium without a chain at Leogang.
Greenland follows mentor, Brook MacDonald into the dark.
Greenland follows mentor, Brook MacDonald into the dark.
Greenland's fork fresh from servicing amongst those of the big names he's looked up to all these years growing up.
Greenland’s fork fresh from servicing amongst those of the big names he’s looked up to all these years growing up.
Greenland sticks to the Scottish woodwork in the forest at Round 2.
Greenland sticks to the Scottish woodwork in the forest at Round 2.

Are there riders you look up to and if so who?

I think the answers might be the same for most people, but no doubt about Steve Peat being up there for me… Sam Hill too, obviously. Those were the guys that really spurred me on for riding. Nowadays I have riders in my own team like Brook MacDonald, who always impress me out on track and can give me some solid advice.

How does it feel to compete against MTB’s biggest names?

It’s a surreal feeling actually, but maybe one of the best I’ve had from my racing so far though – getting close to some of those top guys… I think by the end of the season I’d be a fair way back, but I know I’m making good progress!

What do you see as the key to your present and future success?

I think a really good off-season is key nowadays and it’s really important to keep your training fun. I’ve found so long as I’m enjoying mine I keep doing it! To be on the right team is a big thing, atmosphere-wise. As long as you have a good group of people around you and you’re having fun there’s no reason why shouldn’t be giving it 100% and going for the top results.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Definitely I’m aiming to follow in the footsteps of someone like Bruni or Brosnan. I want to find my feet early on in elite and really become a staple name in the top ten. It’s easier said than done, but I’ll be giving it a good pop!


 

Mike Jones

Sixth at Windham in his first year elite and third place at Lourdes this season, there’s no escaping the fact that Mike Jones has arrived as a top-flight racer. Last winter Tahnee Seagrave’s former FMD team mate took on arguably the World’s ultimate off-season training program, travelling down under to join Sam Hill in Perth. That kind of tutoring simply can’t be bought and if he wasn’t fast enough already, as exemplified by his two junior WC wins, the rest of the racing world is surely sweating to think of what is next to come from the Welsh CRC dangerman.

Jones steps up to the podium for the first time in elite this year at Round 1 in France.
Jones steps up to the podium for the first time in elite this year at Round 1 in France.
Suns out, tinted lens out, Mike takes a very unusual outside line, possibly hoping Sam Hill never finds out.
Suns out, tinted lens out, Mike takes a very unusual outside line, possibly hoping Sam Hill never finds out.
With eyes on the prize in a sport where a determined mind is more than half the battle, Jones is set to far.
With eyes on the prize in a sport where a determined mind is more than half the battle, Jones is set to far.
Jones rides the classic boulder section of the legendary Fort William race track.
Jones rides the classic boulder section of the legendary Fort William race track.
As a welshman, Jones is no stranger to the steep and slippery. There's little doubting how important the valleys of home have been to the development of his skills.
As a welshman, Jones is no stranger to the steep and slippery. There’s little doubting how important the valleys of home have been to the development of his skills.
Jones walks the Swiss course with some fine company - Sam Hill - no less.
Jones walks the Swiss course with some fine company – Sam Hill – no less.

Are there riders you look up to and if so who?

Well there’s one sitting just next to me right now! It’s gotta be Sam Hill… of course a lot of the other riders on the top as well.

How does it feel to compete against MTB’s biggest names?

For sure it´s good to know that I’m not a slow rider anymore and to belong to the group of fastest riders in the World. I try to not get too ahead of myself and just to keep headed the way I’m going.

What do you see as the key to your present and future success?

Training is probably the single biggest part of getting fast on a bike. If you feel comfortable on what you’re riding and you have good people around you, you will always do well. Being on a top team means you can practice with people who have experience at the highest level of the sport and you can learn and feed of them.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

…  I want to be at the top, no question. I want to win World Cups and the overall, win World Champs…   I just want to be best in the sport.

LIV 2016 Range Preview

2014 saw LIV launch as a standalone brand, a women’s specific range from Giant. With a comprehensive range of hardtail and suspension bikes, it grows to meet the demand for a growing segment.

Fast forward to 2016 the range is super strong and complete. With the addition of the Intrigue SX for 2016 with generous suspension travel and high end spec, the women’s enduro category now has a serious contender.

[divider]Intrigue SX[/divider]

Based around the aluminium Giant Trance 27.5 platform, the Intrigue SX is not going to be afraid of tough terrain. With 140/160mm travel, slack head angle, wider bars, meatier tyres this bike speaks stability and confidence. For steep terrain, or pushing the speed limits this is the one.

The Intrigue SX goes for – $4799

Giant 2016 79

  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape

[divider]Intrigue 1[/divider]

LIV’s Intrigue 1 uses 140mm of Maestro suspension with a FOX fork and rear shock.

A double chainring with a wide range of gears and adjustable height seatpost highlights the massive versatility of this trail bike!

Intrigue 1, $3599.

LIV Intrigue 1
LIV Intrigue 1.

[divider]LIV Lust[/divider]

The world’s first women’s specific carbon dual suspension bike with 27.5″ wheels goes even higher spec for 2016. The Lust Advanced 0 is a seriously gorgeous bike, and dripping in the highest quality components around.

The Lust range begins at $3499 for the aluminium frame, and tops out at this one below for $9399.

Take look at our review of the 2014 LIV Lust 27.5 2.

Giant 2016 70

Giant 2016 81
LIV Lust Advanced 2.
Giant 2016 82
FOX Float suspension front and back.
Lust Advanced 2_Blue_2000px
LIV Advanced 2, $3499.

[divider]Obsess[/divider]

For 2016 the cross country race hardtail from LIV consists of two carbon models. Obsess Advanced 2 for $2999 and Obsess Advanced 1 for $5799.

Giant 2016 80
The detail on the Obsess Advanced 2 is fantastic.
Obsess Advanced 2_Comp_2000px
Obsess Advanced 2, $2999.

 

See more from Giant’s 2016 range here.

Giant 2016 Range Preview

Walking into a room full of brand new 2016 Giants is naturally going to raise heart rates and eyebrows with us at Flow, the range is so dialled and complete. Here is a brief overview of what caught our eye.

Giant 2016 123
New bikes, fresh new kit, bring on 2016!

*Click images to enlarge.


2016 is a big year for development on the road bike side of things at Giant, so the bulk of the mountain bike range remains fairly unchanged from the 2015 lineup.

Take a look at our highlights from the women’s specific LIV range here: LIV 2016.

Check our review of the 2015 Giant Reign 27.5 1, Anthem SX, LIV Lust 27.5 2  and 2015 range overview.

From a quick look at the range we were able to see:

– Giant is very much behind 27.5″ wheels for everything aside from cross country racing. With the Anthem X 29er and XTC 29 hardtail being the only two models with 29″ wheels.

– Bold new colours are everywhere, following on from the 2015 range Giant have gone even brighter. And they look HOT.

– Anthem X 29ers will have a new top tube shape for strength, internal cable routing and a 142x12mm through axle.

– More single ring 11 speed drivetrains than ever before, especially with the new Shimano XT 11 speed. Giant feel it is lighter and easier to use.

– New Giant saddles in the range, with three shapes to match the bike’s intended use – Forward, neutral and upright.

– Redesigned Contact Switch adjustable seatpost – Zero offset, and new two-bolt clamp. Better adjustability and smoother action, and in three lengths to suit the frame size.

– FOX suspension more prominent in the range, especially the new FOX Float DPS shock with the EVOL (extra air volume) air can.

– New performance logo, from the Stance and upwards. Sharper and fresher look.

– Trance models will have bigger legged forks, via a RockShox Pike and FOX Float 34 (no more 32mm legged forks).

[divider]Giant Trance 27.5[/divider]

Giant’s do-it-all trail bike is their most popular suspension bike. With 140mm of Maestro rear suspension, 67 degree head angle and 440mm chain stays, this sums up trail riding in a light and versatile package.

Three carbon models and two aluminium, pricing ranges from $3399 up to $7499.

Giant 2016 28
This bike is a real winner, the Trance Advance 27.5 1 for $5499.
Giant 2016 35
FOX Float 34 leading the way, bigger diameter fork legs for more steering precision.
  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape
  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape

[divider]Giant Reign 27.5[/divider]

In the catalogue, the colour description for the Reign Advance 27.5 1 simply states ‘green’… That’s a bit dull, we’d have gone with ‘pollen celeste’.

The Reign Advanced is a serious bike, raked out angles and a plush 160mm of travel for giving trail hell, this bike has quickly become a popular one for the emerging enduro crowd and race scene.

Josh Carlson may go faster than you on his one, but at least you can look the part.

Pricing ranges from $3799 for the aluminium Reign 27.5 2 up to the Reign Advanced 27.5 0 for $7999.

Giant 2016 16
The Reign Advanced 27.5 1. A composite front end paired to an aluminium rear end, with all boxes ticked for seriously hard enduro shredding.
  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape
Giant 2016 17
Colour matching gone wild! Pike dressed perfectly.
Reign Advanced 27.5 0.
Reign Advanced 27.5 0.
Reign Advanced 27.5 2
Reign 27.5 1.
  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape
  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape

[divider]Giant Glory[/divider]

The Glory 27.5 range expands for 2016 with the addition of the carbon version – the Glory Advanced 27.5, shaving 200g from the frame and delivering a ride quality that composite bikes are known for, less fatigue and more precision.

Ranging from $3499, up to the $7999 version pictured below, there are four Glory models to choose from in 2016.

It's finally here - the Glory Advanced 27.5. This premium one for a pretty reasonable $7999.
It’s finally here – the Glory Advanced 27.5. This premium one goes for a pretty reasonable $7999.
  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape
Giant 2016 93
A dialled spec, composite frame and all for $5499.
  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape

[divider]Giant Anthem[/divider]

The only dually in the Giant range with a choice of two wheelsizes, it’s also available in three variants, it has many personalities: The Anthem 27.5, Anthem X 29er and Anthem SX 27.5.

For 2016 the 29er Anthem X receives a new aluminium rear end with a bolt-through 142x12mm axle, and a stronger top tube and seat tube junction.

Giant Anthem 27.5

From $2999 for the basic aluminium Anthem 27.5 up to the Anthem Advanced 27.5 0 for $9299.

Giant 2016 3
The Anthem Advanced 27.5 1 – $4999.
Giant 2016 1
So much yellow, so much good spec!
  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape
Giant 2016 57
Hello, race track! The Anthem Advanced 27.5 0 is a seriously hot rig. $9299 for this guy, whoa!
  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape

Giant Anthem SX

SX stands for ‘shred harder’, right? Well, with dropper posts, more fork travel and a slacker head angle the Anthem SX blurs the line between the Trance 27.5 and Anthem 27.5. Read our review of the 2015 model here.

Two versions of the Anthem SX 27.5 at $4299 for aluminium, and Anthem Advanced SX 27.5 for $5799

Giant 2016 58
Anthem Advanced SX 27.5. Big rubber, dropper post, 120mm fork for a little bit more go go. $5299 for this little ripper.
  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape
Giant 2016 21
Anthem SX 27.5, with an aluminium frame for $4299.

Giant Anthem X 29er

With such a focus on 27.5″ wheels, Giant still represent 29ers where they feel they suit best – cross country.

Two models, the aluminium one for $3299 and the one pictured below – Anthem X Advanced 29er for $5299.

Anthem X Advanced 29er_Comp_2000px
The Anthem X Advanced 29er, big wheeled fans rejoice!

[divider]Giant XTC Advanced[/divider]

Giant’s carbon hardtail remains unchanged for 2016. With two wheel sizes there is still a choice, but it’s 27.5″ wheeled version that scores the highest spec and higher grade frame construction.

Advanced SL Composite brings Giant’s finest material to the mountain bike range.

Pricing ranges from $3199 for the XTC Advanced 27.5 2, and up to the super-light XTC Advanced SL 27.5 0 for $8699.

Giant 2016 96
Full Shimano XTR Di2, SL-grade composite frame and composite wheels for the premium hardtail.
  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape

Stay tuned for more, as we get our grubby mits on a few of these sweet new rides.

An Odyssey Through Paradise – Boosting Fresh Trail in Cairns

Part 2 of our mini 3-part series highlighting the region and its perfect fit with Mountain Bike adventure features Evan Winton and Sam Fraser attacking some fast and fun descent in the thick Tropical North Queensland hills.

No berm or jump is left un-tamed as the duo soar into the blue skies on a custom-built line of big jumps and berms right in the middle of the rainforest, bordered by the Kuranda Scenic Railway and the noble Glacier Rock point. Sit back and hold on. This one is going to be exciting!

TP18-06-15-1-22 NOO4614 NOO44181 NOO4646

 

Something German is Heading Down Under – Canyon Bikes are Coming

The legendary Fabien Barel.
The legendary Fabien Barel.

Canyon is about to enter a new era – and a new continent. The launch of Canyon Australia & New Zealand is coming.

Following years of success throughout Europe and beyond, riders Down Under are next in line to benefit from direct access to Canyon bikes alongside full local service and sales support for the first time ever. Breaking away from the norm is central to everything that Canyon does, whether in bike design or the way the company does business.

As a pioneer of direct sales within the industry, orders placed online at Canyon.com will be assembled at the Canyon Factory in Koblenz, Germany, and sent straight to the doorsteps of riders Down Under.

ae3625fa4b7b0a90e5bbe1cfa047ea6c
The Canyon Spectral, 130 mm (29”) or 140 mm (27.5”).

 

  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape

The new team at Canyon Australia & New Zealand will operate out of Melbourne and provide full support to customers in the region, from service queries to buying advice, in addition to representing Canyon at events from 2016 onwards.

Canyon 5
Canyon Enduro guru – Joe Barnes.

Leading the team will be the new Australia & New Zealand Market Manager, Darryl Moliere: “After following the Canyon brand for many years, I can honestly say that I am extremely excited and honoured to be the first Australian member of the global Canyon Crew.”

“Having recently returned from a visit to Canyon. Home in Koblenz it was clear to see that the whole team there, from R&D right through to production and quality assurance, is focussed and driven to create the best bikes, as proven by the numerous awards and distinctions Canyon bikes have received already in Europe. To be able to offer these bikes to the Australian and New Zealand markets for the first time with a level of service that matches the product quality is going to be a new and exciting period for all cycling enthusiasts from Down Under.”

publicpreview-1
Canyon Australia and New Zealand’s Marketing Manager – Darryl Moliere.

For Canyon’s Head of Business Development & Business Intelligence, Ward Grootjans, the move represents a new challenge: “We have been eyeing up Australia and New Zealand for a number of years and are now prepared for market entry. These two markets have great potential but require a different approach due to the physical distance away from our base in Germany.”

“When visiting Australia a few months ago I was taken aback by how large and engaged the cycling community is. Talking to riders over there it was clear that Canyon will be most welcome! With Darryl on board we have a Market Manager with years of experience and with an open mind on changing the bike industry by introducing a direct seller like Canyon. We are excited to get started and be able to offer the full Canyon experience to our customers from day one.”

Establishing a presence for Australia and New Zealand continues Canyon’s international expansion beyond its European core. Alongside recent arrivals, South Korea and Japan, Canyon Australia & New Zealand becomes the 16th representative worldwide to provide a direct point of contact for local riders.

  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape

 

Canyon Australia & New Zealand will be up and running by the end of the year to offer the most sought-after models from the 2016 range.

To keep up-to-date with the latest developments subscribe to the Canyon Newsletter or like Canyon on Facebook.

Stay tuned for more information!

Stay tuned for more
information

 

Justin Leov – Staying ahead in the Enduro World Series

Preparations for Samoëns couldn’t really have gone much better for me. I’ve had plenty of good riding in Finale both on and off road and temperatures have been in the mid to high 30’s every day so it’s been great for getting used to the heat.

EWSSMNS15_leov_By AleDiLullo-9694Family life has also been great with Tory and Luca settled into our apartment and getting into the Italian way of life. We have had the opportunity to experience a Sagra in the village and plenty of local experiences of both food and culture.

So leaving for France I was in a good head space and excited to be back into the Alps on the longer more demanding courses. These are typically my favourite courses of the series and my preferred racing format for Enduro.

The weather was looking good once we arrived but forecasts suggested we could be in for a thunder storm or two over the weekend. From previous time spent in the Alps I’ve experienced this all too well and knew what to expect. It was going to be important to have both dry and wet weather eyewear ready to go at all times. I’ve been caught out without the right eyewear before and it can be a costly mistake so I had my Roll Offs, ID2 goggles with the dual lens to handle the cold or hot conditions and my Evil Eyes Evos all setup ready on standby for what ever was going to be thrown at us.

EWSSMNS15_leov_By AleDiLullo-4699

Being able to walk only one stage of the course this year was a new aspect to this style of racing for me. The stage we walked would be raced without a practice so again a new format which would be an interesting challenge.

I felt a bit rushed actually when race day one came around. I’d spent the day before running about the town getting organised and the day seemed to disappear quicker than expected. Actually finding stage 3 to walk took longer than planned and then hopping into bed knowing I needed to be at the pits at 7:15am was all a bit rush rush rush. I was running a million miles an hour in my head and sleep wasn’t coming, one of those nights you wished to have an on/off switch.

EWSSMNS15_leov_By AleDiLullo-1008

Up early for the first day of racing and on the lift for a practice run on stage one. This would be a physical and demanding course, but I was excited as it would be a tough one on the body and serious time could be made. A totally dry course which had rocks, roots, fast and slow sections a real mix. Looking at the sky it was black and temperatures just started to drop…I knew what was coming!

Yet before I left the pits for race stage 1 the rain started and as we were half way up the gondola ride the lift was shut down as thunder and lightning began. Waiting in the lift when you see that kind of activity around is always a bit of a nervous time. They won’t run the lift until the storm clears and you could be waiting a long time. We were lucky this time and within 10 minutes we were away again and the sky looked like the storm would be passing soon and fine weather would follow. A bit of a course delay would also hold up things so to get everyone through the day, one stage was cut from the race.

Dropping into stage one I started on the attack. The roots in the dry were slippery and having not practiced in the wet there were some bits you needed to hold on for. I felt really good and my run was going to plan when I came to a wooden bridge which prior to an uphill section. As soon as my wheels touched the bridge I knew I was going to crash and I hit the ground hard. My saddle was twisted and I had to knock that back straight before taking off again. Due to this bring before an uphill section I had no speed and was forced to run it. Now the heart rate was on red line and I needed to be fast and clean for the rest of the run. Coming out of the woods for an open section of grass there was a helicopter picking up the injured rider that had been our course hold. It was extremely windy and the course tape and grass was blowing everywhere. Slightly distracted for a second wondering what was happening I misjudged the next corner and could see I was either going to clip the marker pole or go through the tape. Aiming for the pole I hoped to shoulder it and carry on but it jammed between my forks and bars and I was thrown over the handle bars and onto the ground. Getting up I noticed my stem and bars were twisted so I kicked the front wheel to try straighten it out. Nothing with the first two kicks, and the third buckled my front wheel so I jumped on and tried to finish the run with it twisted. I was gutted, it was almost impossible to ride and I was a lot further from the finish than I thought. I didn’t hear a rider catching me coming into the finish but Jerome had caught me and he was third off so that meant I had lost a minute!!!

EWSSMNS15_leov_By AleDiLullo-0686

Riding back to the pits I was totally gutted, my weekend had gone from hero to zero on the first stage! I needed to ride fast in every stage now and there was no chance to crash again, and the body was feeling the effects of the tumbles. I pressed the reset button and went up for a practice on stage 2. This was a shorter more DH style stage, I really liked the dropping turns and it was a lot of fun to ride. You needed big brakes and clear vision on this one! With the sun now out again the conditions were also improving and it would be less slippery for the race so things were looking up!

The heat had returned for stage 2 race. On the line it would have been around 30 degrees and I was keen to push on for a fast run. Things went to plan and crossing the line I had put in a solid stage to finish 4th. This was a much better effort this time but still some work to do.

Now onto stage 3 this was a 40min ride from the pits with no lift access to the start; this was the stage we walked yesterday. To be honest it was a stage I knew would be my weakest link for the weekend, it had some fun sections but I knew it wouldn’t be a race winning stage for me. Being 1.9km in length I planned to ride it smooth and not let a mistake cost me with any crashes.

Dropping in things were going well but I was braking too much and fighting the bike in sections. Hitting my rear derailleur on a tight switchback corner didn’t help either and now I had only had the biggest gear to deal with. Entering the main rocky area I braked quickly as there was someone on course walking up! With everyone yelling at her I actually thought she was trying to stop me as a rider has fallen. Not the case, she didn’t know I was on course and soon jumped off. I finished out the run disappointed in my stage and losing another 11 seconds. What a day!!!

Going into day two I was sitting 17th overall and I had the series lead slipping from my grasp. My goal now was to attack and try get some positions back. If I could get closer to the top ten then maybe I could keep the series lead and that was my principle motivation for day two.

EWSSMNS15_leov_By AleDiLullo-8944

Stage 4 was a longer stage, a good mix again of everything and very freshly built. It would be a stage to push on but also one to respect as the tight switch back corners would be hard to ride on the limit without a moment or two. I set off smooth and made sure to be slow enough for the danger bits. One small misjudgment and I couldn’t slow the bike down enough to make a corner….not crashing but I went through the tape. I pulled the bike back on course and didn’t lose a lot of time. The rocks were coming out of the corners and the blown out lines were hard to push on without risking a lot. Another corner caught me out and this time my front wheel pushed and down I went. I was up super fast and able to finish the run without any more problems. I was able to still put in a top ten finish for the stage so with one more to go I needed to keep up the pace but be on two wheels!!

Stage 5 was a middle length stage and I liked the style a lot. Fast, some great rocky sections and a lot going on. I hit my lines all the way down and put in a good effort to be clean. Another top ten finish but not what I had hoped. I’d certainly fought some battles this weekend and came out second best a few times so to see I had at least pulled myself back to 12th overall was something positive to take away. Richie Rude put in an impressive ride to take his first overall victory so I was stoked for him, and I knew he would be getting closer to me in the series points. A quick math calculation would reveal I had managed to keep the series lead by 40 points so that was another positive for me to take away.

MJW_7065.CR2

Heading to Colorado it’s going to be some exciting weeks of racing coming up. France you have been a tough one to me!!

Fresh Product: Shimano AM9 and AM7 gravity shoes

Shimano have finally released a follow up to their more-popular-than-Shawshank-Redemption AM45 gravity shoe. We’ve seen prototypes of these shoes on the feet of the Athertons being tested on the World Cup circuit for many months, but now we’ve actually got a set in our grubby little hands and we’ll be taking them to the trails very shortly.


 

Shimano AM9 2

The AM45, despite looking (and weighing) a little bit a killer whale strapped to end of your legs, must be one of the most popular shoes on the market. They’ve always been targeted at the downhill/gravity market, but the ridiculous comfort and off-the-bike grip that they offer has made them equally popular with trail riders too. With the improvements offered by the AM9 and flat pedal version, the AM7, we think this cross-category appeal is only going to increase.

The most obvious change from the AM45 is the reduction in weight, and the addition of a Velcro strap across the upper of the shoe. The AM9s are almost 25% lighter than the AM45s, as well as being a little less bulky overall. This is great news, as weight of the AM45s always bugged us – they were a heavy shoe to lug on a long ride.

Shimano AM9 6
The Pedal Channel. Good name for a cable TV cycling show too!

The lace cover remains. It not only keeps your laces out of harm’s way, but also keeps water out of the shoe. The addition of a Velcro strap meas you can tighten them down for a more even fit, which will appeal especially to those riders who are focused on pedalling performance as well as comfort.

Shimano AM9 5
The lace cover keeps your flailing double-knots away from pedals and drivetrains.

Both the AM9 and AM7 offer good ankle protection, with a raised inner cuff, and the toe box is super reinforced too. On the AM9, the huge ‘Pedal Channel’ helps guide your cleat back into the pedal. If you’re the kind who prefers not to clip, the AM7 has a super grippy Vibram sole in a highly textured pattern for sticking to flat pedals.

Shimano AM9 4
The AM7 has a grippy Vibram sole.

The AM9 and AM7 will be available in Australia from August/September. Unfortunately we don’t have any pricing yet.

Shimano AM9 7
The AM9 in a size 43 weighs in at 450g per shoe.
Shimano AM9 8
The AM7 is a little lighter at 400g for a size 43.

 

foot orcas
The now superseded AM45 Free Willy shoes.

N1NO – THE HUNT FOR GLORY – Chapter 4 “There is no place like home”

There is no place like home. Chapter 4 of Nino Schurter`s #HUNTFORGLORY shows the 3x World Champion in his familiar surroundings.

Nino is known for being a professional mountain bike athlete, always on the run, and always busy. Yet Chapter 4 is all about Nino’s roots, where it all started, and what he is doing when not surrounded by cameras but rather by his family and friends. Check out where Nino takes you on a very private tour.

Ashes to Agassiz – Official Trailer

It’s a real barnburner. A man at the top of his professional prowess, his mountain bike a natural extension of him, one of the best riders the sport has ever seen.

But like all great heroes, adversity comes a knocking. For Graham Agassiz, a relatively benign descent—one he’s done a hundred times before—decided to reach out with its wicked limb and smack him down. Shove a fat slice of humble pie in his face.

With his neck broken and a career in jeopardy, the road back to the top comes with dangers and demons along the way.

A film by Sherpas Cinema Presented by: Monster Energy In Association with: Kona, SRAM, Giro, Pinkbike

Available on digital download August 25th.

Mega Megavalanche Glacier Carnage!

With less snow at the start of this years Megavalanche, the speeds got a little out of hand!

Watch as Jamie Nicoll weaves his way around, through and over the carnage of the start to end up finishing in 7th position.


 

Jamie Nicoll crashing into other riders straight after the start. 
Discover the first 2mins of the race on the glacier with this onboard camera during Megavalanche.
Jamie managed to get 7th !

Video: Insane Crankworx Slopestyle Highlights

Whips, flips and plenty of tricks. Watch the highlights from the slopestyle finals.

It was stop two of the Crankworx World Tour, as the competition moved to Europe and the stunning mountain setting of Les Deux Alpes, France. The battle was on as riders fought to deny 22-year-old Canadian Brett Rheeder from taking the new Triple Crown of Slopestyletitle.

With the bar set so high from the start, there was no room for filler tricks and riders were clearly feeling the pressure to pull out banger moves in the less than ideal gusty weather.

Who put together the perfect run and claimed victory?

 

Loic Bruni wins Crankworx DH, Les 2 Alpes

The Crankworx France vs. The World team captain and current leader in the Crankworx DH Championships, Loic Bruni, seized the win in the Les 2 Alpes downhill race with a commanding lead and a roar from the French fans.

19450033419_c0a82465b8_z

For much of the race, the three-time winner of the Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS – European Downhill Cup, Gee Atherton, held first spot, having had an early crack at the baby powder-fine dust of the run. Once the top racers came barrelling down the hill, however, he quickly found himself out of the hot seat, fellow countryman Bernard KERR (GBR) knocking him down, and Bruni securing the win by a stellar 4.6 seconds for a 3:44.7 finish.

19448815928_368c2745c0_z

“My run was quite loose, but I felt fast. It’s good in front of Remi and, you know, we’re Team France, so it’s good,” he said, referencing the friendly Crankworx competition to see if France would dominate on home turf.

Altogether, Team France secured three first place wins, putting them well out front of Team World; although, the wins did not come easily—including Bruni’s. Heading into the gate at the top of the course, he discovered he had a flat tire and almost had to drop out as he did not bring mechanical support.

“I saw my friend. He came here to watch and ride and he had a Lapierre—a good tire—and then he gave me his wheel just before I raced,” said Bruni, who was all smiles on the finish line.

19450159449_e3bf9615b2_z

Wyn Masters, who was seeded first coming into the finals, was not so lucky, getting a flat on course to finish out of contention.

Bruni’s fellow Team France teammate Myriam NICOLE (FRA), meanwhile, said she felt she was in a shaky position before her last run, having just returned to racing.

“On this track, it’s a bit hard to do a really perfect run, so there is always some mistake. I haven’t been racing for more than two months because I had a broken collarbone, so I’m really happy with the win,” she said.

Sitting five seconds behind after the seeding run, Nicole had to lay it on the line to beat Tracey HANNAH (AUS), whom she edged out by .02 seconds for a 4:28.3 win. Asked why she feels the French riders are doing so well, Nicole chalked it up to the terrain.

19450082319_20188b8478_z

“I think we’ve got good trainers in France and the Alps help us to do good as well,” she said.

France versus The World was devised to see whether the strong French mountain bikers were reaching the status of French road cyclists, leading the pack in the two-wheel world, though it did not have any monetary value on the line.

This year, Crankworx did introduce a significantly larger prize pot, however, rolling out four series races and the King and Queen of the Crankworx World Tour. Some $10,000 is riding on the Crankworx DH Championships, for the rider who can win all four races, and $25,000 for the King and Queen of Crankworx, and that has one a frontrunner for King sweating. Bernard Kerr admitted he has woken up from fitful sleeps over the standings, particularly one where he dreamed it was like a video game.

19629777262_7efe8a9a9c_z

“It was like a game like Mad Skills MotoCross or something, but like a Pump Track version and I clicked finish too early and I came in sixth and I woke up like, why did I click finish? I could have done better,” said Kerr, noting $25,000 is money worth worrying over.

This final event wraps up the last of four days of competition at Crankworx Les 2 Alpes and the second stop of the Crankworx World Tour. The Crankworx Whistler runs August 7-16, 2015.

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS – European Downhill Cup

Final Standings:

ELITE MEN

1.   Loic Bruni (FRA)

2.    Remi Thirion (FRA)

3.    Sam Blenkinsop (NZL)

4.    Guillaume Cauvin (FRA)

5.    Bernard Kerr (GBR)

 

ELITE WOMEN:

1.    Myriam Nicole (FRA)

2.    Tracey Hannah (AUS)

3.    Emilie Siegenthaler (SUI)

4.    Elenora Farina (ITA)

5.    Carina Cappellari (SUI)

France vs. The World final standings: FRANCE WINS

Official European Whip-Off Championships— Rémi Thirion
D.S.&S.— Tomas Lemoine and Adrien Loron 3rd 
Les 2 Alpes Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox — Anne-Caroline Chausson 1st and Corentin “CoCo” Percier Quarter Finalist
Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle — Antoine Bizet and Louis Reboul
Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS — Loic Bruni 1
st and Myriam Nicole 1st

Brett Rheeder wins 2nd round of the Triple Crown, the Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle

After thrilling the Kiwi fans by sharing his victory lap in the Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle with friend Logan Peat, Canadian Brett Rheeder earned himself another celebratory sail through the concourse, taking the second round of the Triple Crown of Slopestyle in style.

Rheeder put himself on top in the Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle right out of the gate, earning a 93.25, four points more than friend, rival and fellow Canadian Brandon SEMENUK.

“Somehow I still have a chance at winning this Triple Crown. I would be stupid not to keep going. I’m trying my hardest,” he said in interview from the finish corral where a gaggle of press was waiting.

19424080678_e63b227b16_z
 

One of the only riders to deliver the kind of beautiful run commentators can proclaim “the run to beat,” this was actually the first time Rheeder ever completed a run on the course, a course where he broke his back two years ago. He was also up against some tough conditions, with winds gusting through the French village hard enough to postpone the start in a rather fitting follow to his Rotorua performance where torrential rain caused similar delays.

19616498871_cc330b91e0_z 

Battling the hurdles, he admitted to being stunned by his victory.

“Once again, I’m on top of the world,” he said, noting Semenuk just didn’t deliver the run he needed for a win.

The Triple Crown of Slopestyle was introduced in February as a new title for the inaugural Crankworx World Tour. With New Zealand and the French festival now part of the Crankworx family, the title was set as the ultimate challenge to see if one rider could take home all three Crankworx Slopestyle victories in a single year.

19424118538_73e35d93d9_z 

The only rider to come close to this type of conquest, to date, is Semenuk, who has won the Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle, his hometown event in Whistler and the Crankworx Colorado festival, no longer in existence.

Semenuk is known the world over as the preeminent talent in this young sport and he expressed extreme disappointment in his own performance after the event.

19425561589_4ee1488c51_z 

“I just didn’t ride very dialed in. I wasn’t too happy with my runs,” he said quietly.

Rheeder will now have one last event to win, Red Bull Joyride in Whistler, to secure the crowning glory and a potential $75,000. Joyride is of significantly greater magnitude, with crowds of 30,000-plus lining the hillside, which comes at the end of the original, 10-day Crankworx festival.

19424139378_758dd3a6f0_z 

Men’s results:

1.) Brett Rheeder (CAN)

2.) Brandon Semenuk (CAN)

3.) Thomas GENON (BEL) 

Tune in to Crankworx.com to watch all the action beginning tomorrow:

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS – European Cup: Sunday, July 12 14:00 France; 5 am Whistler, Canada; midnight Monday, July 13

Watch Bas van Steenbergen Rip Trails in BC

Filmmaker Liam Mullany joins forces with van Steenbergen for our latest Red Bull Raw 100 clip.

Raw 100 is a video series designed to highlight the talent and creativity of filmmakers. It’s said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, and this series celebrates that idea.

The rules for each video are simple: 100 seconds in length, no slow motion footage, and no music. By having to work within these limitations, filmmakers have to get creative and think outside the box.

In this Raw 100 video, Liam Mullany delivers a video featuring Bas van Steenbergen that will leave you chomping at the bit to hit the trails.

filmmaker-liam-mullany-shooting-mountain-biker-bas-van-steenbergen-in-british-columbia

Born in British Columbia’s lower mainland, Liam Mullany grew up immersed in mountain biking’s second wave of North Shore influence. Surrounded by some of the most sought-after trails on the planet, he spent much of his time as a kid behind the handlebars of mountain or BMX bikes, or trading skin with the pavement on a skateboard.

filmmaker-liam-mullany-rigs-his-camera-crane-at-a-shoot-for-red-bull-s-raw100-bike-film-project

After graduating with a degree in civil engineering in 2012, Mullany made the decision to steer into the abyss of film making and cinematography. Influenced by the skate and bike movies he grew up watching as a kid, his favourite feature films, as well as photography ranging from landscape to commercial, Mullany blazes his own path through the noise.

Perhaps there are some residual mathematics at play in navigating his balance between polished commercial chic and the experiential grit of the action sport documentary aesthetic. Despite occasionally having the opportunity to play with slightly more complex tools, Mullany’s central focus is on the athlete as a subject, and what first drew him to videos as a kid remains unshaken.

Outside of the realm of mountain biking, Mullany has recently shot projects with Adidas’ Olympic track team, the Vancouver Canucks, The North Face, Legs of Steel, as well as a growing number of commercial endeavours. He is also a member of Absolute Zero Cinema, a partnership including David Peacock, and Andre Nutini, who are currently in the post-production stages of a two-year Legs of Steel ski film, Passenger, premiering in the Fall of 2015.

Make sure to follow Liam on Instagram to stay updated with all his latest adventures.

Official European Whip-Off Champs

It was the longest the judges ever deliberated for a Whip-Off, but ultimately one sideways moment of steeze prevailed as Brazilian Bernardo Cruz leapt off the line to a win in the Official European Whip-Off Championships.

19551852562_f9d942a493_h 

Hitting the 45-degree mark and swinging back for an arrow-straight run-out, Cruz not only managed to steal victory from the reigning Official World Whip-Off Champion, Finn Iles, but also put ‘The World Team’ out front right off the bat in the Crankworx ‘France vs. The World’ battle, a friendly competition to see if the French will dominate on home turf.

“It was a great day for me…I just tried to think: get sideways and then put the bike back. I put the bike straight and then I cannot say I did better, but I did well,” said Cruz, whose whips at the World Whip-Off Championships in Whistler have consistently turned heads.

19558640055_3fe46ef8bb_h

Debate appeared to wage in the judges’ corner as the sport’s creator, Sven Martin, and judges Colin Duncan, Greg Watts and Cam Zink debated whether 15-year-old Iles had really been beaten with whips so comparable on style and amplitude.

Iles won the world over last August, after his hometown crowd successfully lobbied to get him into the competition, though he was technically too young to compete at the all-day event. He not only proved he was worthy, but walked away with the big win, leaving fans to light up social media with an endless river of posts under the hasthtag #LetFinnin.

19558650385_4fa4b32f2c_h

This time, another young competitor from the Whistler region, 10-year-old Jackson GOLDSTONE (CAN), stole the show, rocking up to the line and pounding out some big air, though he was half the size of the other riders. His efforts earned him an honourable mention as he held the commentators’ attention all evening, pedalling his way all the way to the top of jumps he is still too light to coast up.

On the ladies side, Casey BROWN (CAN) continued to ace it. After winning in Whistler and Rotorua, in the first round of the Crankworx World Tour, she pulled a hat-trick to come out ahead of Emilie SIEGENTHALER (SWI), second, and the captain of Team World, Anneke BEERTEN (NED).

19551818622_2008cfdf22_h

“It’s nice to have more women in the field this time… Makes hitting the jumps so fun,” said Brown, who was breathless in the finish coral, admitting her calf muscles were cooked.

The Les 2 Alpes competition wasn’t as long as the original Whistler event, however, strong heat and dry conditions did make it a tough dust-up for the riders, 150 of whom showed up to compete and shepherd the fourth Crankworx Les 2 Alpes into the record books.

19562885341_48a14d8602_h

Final resutls:

MEN                                                   

1.   Bernardo CRUZ (BRA)

2.   Finn ILES (CAN)        

3.   Dave McMILLAN (AUS)

HONOURABLE MENTION: Jackson Goldstone

 

WOMEN:

1.    Casey BROWN (CAN)

2.    Emilie SIEGENTHALER (SUI)

3.    Anneke BEERTEN (NED)

The win for Team World marks a 150-point lead for the global team over the France in the first event of Crankworx Les 2 Alpes. This friendly competition will use the same point system as the King and Queen of the Crankworx World Tour.

 

Team World:

Official European Whip-Off Championships — Bernardo Cruz (BRA)

D.S.&S.— Cam Zink (USA) and Tom van Steenbergen

Les 2 Alpes Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox — Anneke Beerten (NED) and Matt Walker (NZL)

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle— Thomas Genon (BEL) and Tomas Zejda (CZE)

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS — Rachel Atherton (GBR) and Marcelo Gutierrez (COL)

 

Team France:

Official European Whip-Off Championships— Rémi Thirion
D.S.&S.— Tomas Lemoine and Adrien Loron
Les 2 Alpes Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox — Anne-Caroline Chausson and Corentin “CoCo” Percier
Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle — Antoine Bizet and Louis Reboul
Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS — Loic Bruni and Myriam Nicole

 

Tune in to Crankworx.com to watch all the action beginning tomorrow:

Dual Speed & Style – Friday, July 10 16:30 France; 7:30 Whistler, Canada; 2:30 am Saturday July 11 Rotorua, New Zealand

Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox – Friday, July 10 20:00; 11 am Whistler; 6 am Rotorua, New Zealand Saturday, July 11

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle—Saturday, July 11 16:30 France; 7:30 Whistler, Canada; 2:30 am Rotorua, New Zealand Sunday, July 12

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS – European Cup: –Sunday, July 12 14:00 France; 5 am Whistler, Canada; midnight Monday, July 13

Round two of the Crankworx World Tour Launches in Les 2 Alpes, France

As a heatwave rolls through Europe, Crankworx Les 2 Alpes is shaping up to be one hot ticket with the biggest downhill race in its four-year history and heady competition among those vying for King or Queen of the World Tour.

Current frontrunner in the King of the Crankworx World Tour standings, Martin SÖDERSTRÖM (SWE), has announced he is out with a tibia and fibula fracture, pushing athletes like, Bernard KERR (GBR), Brett RHEEDER (CAN), Loic BRUNI (FRA) and Joost WICHMAN (NED) into a battle for the lead.

CWX 5 (1)

Sӧderstrӧm is a major contender in the dual speed and style, pump track and slopestyle, and his eight-week hiatus will scramble the Crankworx World Tour leader board, creating plenty of space for a new force on the gravity scene.

Equally intense, the race for the title of Queen of Crankworx will continue this weekend with the deepest women’s field in Les 2 Alpes history as Casey BROWN (CAN), Anne Caroline CHAUSSON (FRA), Rachel ATHERTON (GBR), Tracey HANNAH (AUS), and Cecile RAVANEL (FRA), among others, look to challenge current leader Anneke BEERTEN (NED) at this pivotal point in the season.

“Racing pump track is just something I love to do. It is so much fun and the atmosphere is always good,” says Beerten, adding “… I’m excited to hear Anne Caro is racing, but at the end of the day I just have to put down the fastest lap I can no matter who I am racing against.”

The Crankworx DH Championships, meanwhile, will be an dog fight as nearly 300 riders tackle the infamous Les 2 Alpes Bike Park DH course.

CWX 4 (1) CWX 3 (1) CWX 2 (1) CWX 1 (1)

“It’s fast, steep and loose as can be. The DH this year will separate the men from the boys and women from the girls. The heat across France has made the track dusty and loose and the winners won’t be separated by a hundredths of a second. This is a tough track,” said Crankworx General Manager Darren Kinnaird.

But the big story of the French festival is expected to roll out in the Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle as Brett RHEEDER (CAN), the current FMB Diamond Series Leader, challenges the Triple Crown of Slopestyle.

CWX 7 CWX 8 CWX 3

“I come into Les 2 Alpes with no expectations. I’m hoping to ride the best I can and let the chips fall where they may,” says Rheeder, a typically understated competitor.

He will be challenged by last year’s Crankworx Les 2 Alpes champion Anthony Messere and slopestyle behemoth Brandon Semenuk, the man with the most Crankworx Slopestyle wins and the reigning FMB World Champion. 

“This is the first year of the Triple Crown of Slopestyle and Rheeder stepped up in Rotorua to take the win. He’s proven he will be a force this season with another win two weeks ago at Swatch Prime Line, but it would be a mistake to count out guys like Semenuk, Genon, Rogatkin or Messere. This is always the longest, most technical course of the year and it’s truly anyone’s game,” says Darren Kinnaird, Crankworx World Tour manager.

The Crankworx World Tour will be broadcast live so fans around the world can follow all the action as they did in Rotorua, where webcasts were viewed from Qatar to Mexico, Iran to South Africa.

CWX 2

Watch the second stop of the Crankworx World Tour unfold live at Crankworx.com:

D.S.&S. Finals – Friday, July 10 16:30-18:30 CET, 7:30 am PST, 2:30 am (July 11) NZT

Les 2 Alpes Pump Track presented by RockShox – Friday, July 10 20:00-22:00 CET, 11 am PST, 6am (July 11) NZT

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle – Saturday, July 11 16:30-19:00 CET, 7:30am PST, 2:30 am (July 12) NZT

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS – European Downhill Cup – Sunday, July 12 14:00-16:00 CET, 5:30am PST, midnight-2am (July 13 NZT)

New Long Travel Single Crown Forks From RockShox – Lyrik and Yari

The Lyrik is back, fresher than ever. Filling the big gap between the RockShox Pike and the BoXXer, the burly single crown fork will go up to 180mm of travel in 27.5″ size, and 160mm for a 29er.

If you’re still shredding trails on your 26″ RockShox Lyrik, you’ll now be able to give it a refresh with the new internals available as an aftermarket upgrade option – The Charger Upgrade Kit.

The Yari is a completely new fork, with a more basic internal keeping the price down. With travel options ranging from 120mm up to 180mm plus a Dual Position model, this fork looks like a lot of boing for your buck.

[divider]Australian pricing[/divider]

The Lyrik will be priced the same as the 2016 RockShox Pike:

Lyrik and Pike Solo Air – $1499.95

Lyrik and Pike Dual Air – $1599.95

Yari forks across wheel sizes and front hub options – $1099.95

Here’s the details from SRAM:


Lyrik

INTRODUCING THE NEW LYRIK – FOR THOSE WANTING MORE.

Everything you love in Pike in a stiffer, more capable, longer travel option. We built the new Lyrik for the riders who know there will always be more to explore, more to challenge and more to conquer. If it’s out there, they’re going to ride it, and the new Lyrik will always be up to the task.

It’s built on a stiffer yet lightweight 35mm chassis, equipped with the world-acclaimed Charger Damper featuring new Torque Cap and Boost compatibility, and is available in 160mm-180mm travel options for 27.5” and 150mm-160mm for 29”.

Lyrik combines single crown weight and agility with dual crown strength and aggression, blurring the lines of capability that limit all other forks in its class. The new Lyrik is built to inspire confidence and give you that much more. So keep going – Lyrik is ready.

MY16_RS_LYRIK_275_RCT3_GLBLK_Front

NEW TECHNOLOGIES:

  • •  15×100 and Boost 110 (15×110) versions
  • •  Torque Caps compatible (15×100 andBoost 110 versions)
  • •  Tapered legs, taller stiffer brace – chassis optimized for stiffness and light weight
  • •  New retuned Solo Air spring with additional negative volume for a plusher initial stroke
  • •  Bottomless Token tunable in both Solo Air AND Dual Position Air configurations• SKF wiper seals – lower friction better sealing• User tunable rebound damping via internal shims (same as BoXXer)

PROVEN FEATURES:

• 35mm chassis
• Charger Damper with new SKF cartridge seal

reduced friction and extended service intervals • Solo Air and Dual Position Air
• Fast Black upper tubes


Yari

AGILITY AND STRENGTH IN A RELIABLE BOMBPROOF PACKAGE WITH MORE TRAVEL CONFIGURATIONS

Yari is for riders who aren’t afraid to go for it. For the ones who don’t know where the limit is, but are prepared to find out. The climbs, jumps, views, and natural terrain these riders encounter might be new to them, but they want to experience it all.

Built with the same confidence-inspiring strength and stiffness as Lyrik and featuring the new, refined Motion Control damper, Yari is available in shorter travel configurations (starting at 120mm), making it a perfect complement to any ride.

Riders who are constantly testing their own limits can be confident they’re well within Yari’s. Introducing the new 2016 RockShox Yari – Go for more.

MY16_RS_YARI_275_RC_GLBLK_Front

NEW TECHNOLOGIES

  • •  15×100 and Boost 110 (15×110) versions
  • •  Torque Caps compatible (15×100 andBoost 110 versions)
  • •  Tapered legs, taller stiffer brace – chassis optimized for stiffness and lightweight
  • •  New retuned Solo Air spring with additional negative volume for a plusher initial stroke
  • •  Bottomless Token tunable in both Solo Air AND Dual Position Air configurations• SKF wiper seals – lower friction and better sealing • New refined Motion Control damper:
    – Rapid Recovery rebound– Re-tuned high speed compression to match Charger

PROVEN FEATURES

• 35mm chassis
• Fast Black upper tubes
• Solo Air and Dual Position Air

 

GoPro’s Tiny New 74g Camera, Hero 4 Session

The wearable camera giants, GoPro have announced a tiny new camera weighing only 74g, with only one button and controllable via their GoPro mobile app.

The small size, with a durable and waterproof casing up to 10m, it is going to open up endless possibilities for mounting this thing anywhere you want.

Function wise, the new Hero 4 Session packs many of the features of the 147g Black and Silver model cameras, but loses out on 4K and 2.7K footage capturing capabilities.

It uses the same mount as current GoPros, with the addition of a ball-joint mount (pictured below, third image) for even more mounting options.

The built in battery will give you two hours of claimed run time, and can be recharged via a micro USB cable only, similar to the Shimano Sport Camera we use a lot.

CHDHS-101_main1

HERO 4 Session Features

$579.95 AUD

– Stunning 1080p60, 720p100, and 1440p30 video

– Waterproof to 33’ (10m), no separate housing required

– Easy one-button control: short press of shutter powers camera on and begins capturing video, long shutter button press powers camera on and begins capturing time-lapse photos

– Captures 8MP Single, Burst, and Time Lapse photo

– Compatible with GoPro mounts and accessories

– Dual Mic system captures enhanced audio during high wind and water-based activities

– Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth® enable easy connectivity to GoPro App and Smart Remote

– Auto image rotation corrects image orientation during recording

– Includes standard and low-profile frame mounts for increased mounting versatility

– New Ball Joint Buckle mount is included

 

And lastly, who doesn’t love a GoPro, GoPro video made by GoPro!

Video: Highlights From a Wild Lenzerheide World Cup Downhill

All action race highlights from a sun-scorched Lenzerheide World Cup

P-20150704-00606_News

You’ve seen the results

You’ve seen the full replay

And now you want an eyeful of the best bits.

Intrepid filmmakers (and by “intrepid” we mean lightly toasted in the scorching Swiss sun) the Parkin Bros were track side to capture the action at an arid Lenzerheide World Cup final.

P-20150704-00615_News P-20150704-00612_News P-20150704-00609_News P-20150704-00608_News P-20150704-00602_News P-20150704-00599_News P-20150704-00604_News P-20150704-00603_News P-20150704-00601_News

Specialized’s Electric Assisted Mountain Bike, The Turbo Levo

Electric assisted mountain bikes are on their way to Australia, and Specialized are on board in a big way with their new Turbo Levo range.


_MG_15_05_Levo_8362

Mention electric mountain bikes and watch the internet implode. Battle lines are quickly drawn with riders dividing into the ‘it’s not mountain biking’ camp, or the ‘this is awesome’ camp. Whichever side people tend to ascribe themselves too, you can almost certainly bet they haven’t actually ridden one of the new generation of pedal-assisted mountain bikes.

Before we we get ourselves sucked into the pros, cons and propaganda from both sides, let’s take a look at Specialized’s new e-bike offering.

Specialized: To be clear, the Turbo Levo is a trail bike with pedal-assist Turbo Technology, not an electric bike or motorcycle with a throttle. Some riders and trail users may not be as excited as that you and your Turbo Levo are sharing the trails with them. Please be aware of the rules and laws of your local trails.


What is the Turbo Levo?

As far as we can tell, the Levo looks to be an adaptation of Specialized’s new Stumpjumper 6Fattie, with a 3-inch x 650b tyres to deliver absolutely bag loads of traction. If you didn’t see our coverage from the launch of the new Stumpy, take a look here. We also tested Specialized’s new Fuse 6Fattie hardtail just a few weeks ago and came away really, really surprised.

But of course the tyre size is completely secondary to the real talking point of the Levo, its electric motor which should help you crest the nastiest hills like feeling like Lance in his most turbo-charged era.

_MG_15_05_Lift_2102

Specialized have been developing electric bikes for a while – their Turbo electric assisted commuter bike is an impressive piece of work – but e-mountain bikes are a different kettle of fish, and the hub-drive motors found on many commuter bikes aren’t appropriate off road. Instead the Levo uses a centre-mounted motor, that has been custom built exclusively for Specialized.

Of all the electric assisted mountain bikes we’ve seen so far, this has to be most cleanly executed from a visual standpoint. It actually looks like a normal bike at first glance, which can’t be said of all e-bikes. Fitting in a motor, battery and associated electro-doids can make it hard to create a bike with decent geometry – the Levo’s geometry figures all look relatively standard, with the exception of the chain stays which are a lengthy 459mm to allow the motor to be squeezed in.


 

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 2.11.01 pm

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 2.11.25 pm

[divider]The Motor[/divider]

250W motor specs:

– Compact and lightweight at 3400g

– Quieter, quicker engagement with the smoothest disengagement

– 530W / 90Nm power output

– Battery will recharge in 3.5 hours,

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 2.11.49 pm
That’s a whole chunk o’ battery.
[divider]Mission Control App[/divider]
Unlike other brands which use an onboard computer, Specialized have gone down the route of an external app. For iOS and Android devices, the Mission Control app gives you all the toys to tune the bike including a Smart Control algorithm allows you to set your desired ride time, distance, or destination and it will adjust the Levo’s motor and battery output to suit. Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 2.12.08 pm

_MG_15_05_Lift_0387
What massive climb?

[divider]Australian pricing[/divider]
S-WORKS  TURBO LEVO FSR 6FATTIE $14,999

TURBO LEVO FSR EXPERT 6FATTIE $9,999

TURBO LEVO FSR COMP 6FATTIE $7,999

TURBO LEVO HT EXPERT FAT $7,999

TURBO LEVO HT COMP 6FATTIE $5,999

TURBO LEVO HT COMP 6FATTIE WMNS $5,999

Specialized Unveil Completely New Camber, in Two Wheel Sizes and with new Brain Shock

Not long after Specialized revamped the classic Stumpjumper and introduced the Rhyme, we’ve been handed the exciting news that a whole new Camber will also be on its way for 2016. Do these guys sleep? So many new bikes, so much work!

The new Camber is a completely fresh bike, but its position in the market remains the same. Filling the gap in Specialized’s line up between the racy Epic and all-mountain Stumpjumper, the Camber is a popular one for riders seeking a lightweight, short travel dually with a confident feel on the trail.


We recently tested the Camber’s bigger brother, the brand new 2016 Stumpjumper FSR – hear our thoughts. 


Camber 1
The top tier S-Works Camber FSR Carbon 29. A whopping $12999!

[divider]Highlights of the new 2016 Camber range[/divider]

– Available in TWO wheel sizes, 650b and 29″.

Previously a 29″ only model, riders will now have the ultimate choice, two wheel sizes. Choose between smaller diameter 650b wheels for a fun and flickable ride, or 29″ wheels for speed and confidence.

The 29er uses 12mm of travel, the 650b has 130mm.

We’re all about choice, as no two riders will want to ride one trail the same way, so having the same bike in two wheel sizes is a great option. The 29er will have shorter travel (120mm front and rear) and sharper geometry than the 650b model (which runs 130mm-travel front and rear) to play to the strengths of the bigger wheels.

In an effort to simplify the large range, there will be no Camber EVO model, with the 650b version filling that void with slightly more travel a more aggressive riding style.

Camber 12

– All-new geometry with shorter chain stays and a slacker head angle. 

The 2016 Camber will have a wheelbase of 1119mm (650b) and 1135mm (29″). But most interestingly to note is that the chain stays on the 29er drop from a previous length of 450mm  to a short and snappy 437mm,the  same length as the upcoming Trek Fuel EX 29. The 650b version is much shorter again.

The all-new 650b model will have very tight 420mm length stays which brings it right in line with other fun and playful bikes. I It’ll be a sweet bike to ride, for sure.

Head tube angles are slackened off, too. With the 29″ Camber moving from 70 degrees to 68, and the 650b version will sit at 67.5 degrees. The low bottom bracket height remains the same, 329mm (650b) and 335mm for the 29er.

Camber 5

– New Concentric Link FSR, for a stiffer and lighter rear end.

The linkage arrangement has been given a big shakeup. The new Concentric Link is allows weight to be saved from the seat stays and is said to be a stiffer arrangement.

Camber 8

Camber 3
The fat carbon stays bolt onto linkage centred around one pivot. It’s all lighter and stiffer than before.

– New Position-Sensitive Micro Brain rear shock.

Short travel suspension bikes from Specialized use their proprietary inertia valve suspension design – The Brain. Constantly evolving, this very clever system has the ability to give your rear suspension ultimate efficiency – it ensures your suspension is only activated when an impact occurs from the ground upwards (i.e. hitting a bump), and not from you pushing down on the bike (i.e. pedalling). You can dial in how much damping you want from the Brain, from almost totally non-existent, through to super firm.

The Brain concept has been around for yonks, but for 2016 we will see the Camber with its own special variant called the Position Sensitive Micro Brain, and we like the sound of it very much.

The Position Sensitive Brain will let you feel the trail underneath more. The inertia valve will only engage when you’ve reached the sag point of the travel. The first 25% of the travel will remain open and plush.

Whilst the Brain has always been great in that it let’s you hammer hard on the pedals without the rear suspension bobbing bob as you do, we’ve found it it can be somewhat unpredictable and intrustive at times. For instance, when pumping the ground, or pushing into the bike to preload the suspension to make a jump, we’ve often found the Brain can make the rear suspension feel a little funky.

So, with this new 25% of ‘brainless’ portion of travel at the top of the stroke, we can envisage this letting the rider feel the terrain a little more, not skimming over the top of it.

Camber 9
The new Micro Brain operates along the same lines as earlier Brain shocks, but the inertia valve is always kept open in the initial 25% of the travel.
Camber 11
The blue dial adjusts the firmness/sensitivity of the Brain, so you can adapt its performance to suit your trails.

– SWAT Door.

Like the new Stumpy and Rhyme, the Camber gets the new SWAT Door. There’s literally a hinged door, that gives you access to the the big space inside the downtube for storage. Understandably, we’ve heard many people deride the new SWAT Door (or Glovebox as we like to call it) but we’re sure it’ll end up being super useful. It’s all part of Specialized’s goal of freeing the ride of the need to use a hydration pack, as you can mount a water bottle, tools, and spares on/inside the bike.

Camber 10
The SWAT door. A handy place to stash your spares, you sandwich, or hide your Euros if riding in Greece.

– Taco Blade front derailleur system.

Following suit of the Enduro and Stumpjumper range, the Camber will now use Specialized’s trick front derailleur mount, the Taco Blade. This allows the bike’s rear end to be super short in length, whilst still allowing the use of a front derailleur if needed.

Camber 6

Details are a little light on the Camber at this stage, but stay tuned as we attempt to find more out about this sweet new bike. In the meantime, have a flick through our reviews of the original Specialized Camber.


S-Works Camber 29:  http://flowmountainbike.com/tests/tested-specialized-s-works-camber-29-finished/

Camber Expert Carbon Evo 29: http://flowmountainbike.com/tests/tested-specialized-camber-expert-carbon-evo-29/

Women’s Specific Rumour Expert Evo 29: http://flowmountainbike.com/tests/shred-ette-specialized-rumor-exper-evo-29-reviewed/


[divider]Australian Retail Pricing[/divider]

S-WORKS CAMBER FSR CARBON 650B $12,999

S-WORKS CAMBER FSR CARBON 29 $12,999

CAMBER FSR EXPERT CARBON 650B $8,799

CAMBER FSR EXPERT CARBON 29 $8,799

CAMBER FSR ELITE CARBON 650B $7,799

CAMBER FSR ELITE CARBON 29 $7,799

CAMBER FSR COMP CARBON 650B $5,799

CAMBER FSR COMP CARBON 29 $5,799

CAMBER FSR COMP 650B $3,499

CAMBER FSR COMP 29 $3,499

CAMBER FSR 650B $2,799

CAMBER FSR 29 $2,799

CAMBER FSR GROM $2,999


 

Fresh Product – Specialized 2FO Clip Lite shoes

Specialized’s new 2FO Clip Lite is a lightweight version of a shoe that we’ve grown to love at Flow.

The Original 2FO is a super comfortable and casual trail riding shoe for both flat pedal and clipless riders. But taking it to the next level, the new Clip Lite (clipless only) version is lighter, slimmer and uses BOA dial for quick adjustments and a snug fit.

Available in men’s and women’s, expect to see these sweet kicks land in Oz by late August, and be on the shelves of Specialized stores for $269.

61116-67_SHOE_2FO-CLIPLITE-MTB_OAKGRN-GUM

So how much lighter is the Clip Lite? Not a hell of a lot, about 50g or so per shoe. But as we’ve pointed out before, saving weight from your pedals means less mass to lug through each pedal stroke.

How many pedal strokes do you make in a three hour ride? As many as 10,ooo or even more! We wanted to save every gram possible to help lighten the load – Specialized.

The shoe features a 3/4 Lollipop nylon shank in the sole to stiffen its structure under pedalling loads, but retains flexible in the heel and toe for comfort while walking. Like the orignal 2FO, there should be plenty of grip when you’re not in the pedal too, with the sole formed from Specialized’s Slip Not compound. The Clip Lite is available in four colour ways, from the subtle to the not so.

61116-60_SHOE_2FO-CLIPLITE-MTB_BLK-MONGRN_TOP 61116-60_SHOE_2FO-CLIPLITE-MTB_BLK-MONGRN_BOTTOM

  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape

You’ll find all the usual Body Geometry features in this shoe, too, with a specially designed arch support and the compatibility to accept the multiple interchangeable Body Geometry insoles to customise your fit. For us, the addition of the BOA adjustment system is a big plus – the laces were the only real weakness in the original 2FO (you can read our review of the original 2FO shoe here) so to have them replaced with the excellent BOA system is great.

 

Home turf: Claudio Takes On Lenzerheide, World Cup Preview

Loose, dusty and rough. How will Claudio Caluori fare on the new World Cup track he helped create?

For the very first time the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup pays a visit to Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Boasting a newly built track, that’s been specifically designed with racing in mind, and surrounded by snow-capped mountains and an emerald lake, it’s the picture-perfect setting for a new round.

Course commentator, Claudio Caluori, has been involved with the track from the start and has seen it turn from an untamed mountain to a World Cup worthy run. Join him and Colombia’s Marcelo Gutiérrez as they take you on a loose, dusty and rough ride down the epic new track.

What’s your involvement been with this course build?

Claudio Caluori: Many people think I built the track but I didn’t. Rafael Rhyner from Trailworks built and designed it. Before the course was there I walked down the mountain with Rafael and we discussed what lines would be good to use, so I’ve seen it transform from a mountainside to a World Cup course.

What were you looking for when scoping out the course?

We tried to have a good mix between bike park style and natural stuff as more and more riders were asking for natural stuff. They don’t want to just have a freeway bike park track. I think Rafael got a good mix.

Is the course comparable to any other on the circuit?

No, it really has it’s own style. It’s not completely natural but it’s not bike park either because even the built stuff is rough and loose. I had my concerns when I looked at it and walked down the course. It seemed that some parts might be a bit weird. But when you ride it on your bike it all works out. My favourite part is the jumps, they’re shaped so well. It’s really good fun. The last drop is a bit scary, it was good to survive that one without a crash.

What’s the most challenging aspect of the track?

The first rock garden isn’t that easy if you come into it with speed. Before that there’s an off camber section which is really soft and loose. We wanted to leave it completely natural, but the ecologists here said we’re not allowed to ride on top soil, so yesterday we had to scrape it off, put it on the side and will have to put it all back after the race.

What’s the style of the course?

Every track builder has their own style. Rafael comes from a bike park background, not race tracks, and you can see that, but he managed to merge both worlds together and create both natural stuff and bike park elements.

Some people are saying its way too bike park, but as soon as they ride it they’ll see otherwise.

 

 

 

Riding with DHaRCO – Sydney’s Northern Beaches – the Aussie Lifestyle

The Northern Beaches of Sydney is the home of DHaRCO, where the lightweight and breathable apparel products were born and bred.

The idea behind the brand is balancing simple fashion in a casual laid back style, but with maximum technical capabilities.

 

DHaRCO teamed up with Mondraker Australia, Bliss Protection Australia, Dirt Merchant and Sean Anderson to release an edit showing the lifestyle and riding in Sydney, Australia.

DHaRCHO 14

DHaRCHO 19 DHaRCHO 20 DHaRCHO 7 DHaRCHO 6

The video is about life – work hard, play hard. It’s about finishing a day in the office and heading out to meet some friends for a ride, getting loose and ending with a cold beer at the beach. What could be better?

Coupled with sick riding, the edit shows the heritage of Sydney with natural rock features, berms, loam and the beach – all part of the local ride scene.

DHaRCHO 21 DHaRCHO 10

This is what we call no ordinary life

Home

http://shop.flowmountainbike.com/

DHaRCHO 3


The film was possible thanks to the support of DHaRCO, Mondraker Australia, Bliss Protection Australia, Urge Helmets and DirtMerchant.com

Filmed and Edited by the talented Sean Anderson (Boorangee)

And of course there is no edit without great riders, so big kudos to: Ryan Hunt, Matt Hardwick, Genevieve McKew, Jake Newell and Kellie Weinert

Behind the scene photos thanks to Matt Staggs. At only 16, a serious injury has seen him off the bike for 8 months and counting. So he has jumped behind the lens to make the most of his downtime.

Trek’s Three New 2016 Bikes – Top Fuel, Fuel EX 29 and Procaliber SL Hardtail

Keen eyes may have spotted Aussie Trek Factory Racing riders Dan McConnell and Bec Henderson riding some prototype bikes early this season, but these were whisked away from sight too fast for us to confirm exactly what we saw.

Did we spy a new XC dually using the EVO/Full Floater suspension system? And was that a carbon hardtail using a decoupled seat tube junction like Trek’s Domane road bike? No way, that’d be too much awesome… Well, turns out it we saw BOTH, actually. They’re both coming for 2016, along with another bike for riders who mightn’t be quite so worried about going as fast as Dan McConnell.


Trek unveil three new bikes: the Top Fuel, Procaliber SL and completely revised Fuel 29


mdelorme_mcconnell_action
What bike have you got there, D-Mac?

[divider]Top Fuel[/divider]

The Top Fuel is back! This incredible race bike disappeared from Trek’s range a few years ago, but for 2016 it’s making a return, replacing the ageing Superfly 100 platform (which we’ve tested extensively). The Top Fuel is entirely new beast with the sole purpose of tearing cross country race tracks apart and setting personal bests on trails all over the place.

It has 100mm of rear travel, adjustable geometry via a Mino Link and weighs only 1900g for the top end carbon frame. It’ll be available in aluminium and a women’s version, too.

_S6O4227
The Top Fuel SL’s tiny EVO link, driving a stout 100mm of cross country tuned travel.
  • News
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Featured
  • Plain
  • Mobile
  • Two shots - both landscape
  • Three shots - Big on top
  • Four Shots - Big on Left
  • Five Photos
  • Two shots - landscape and square
  • Three shots - Big landscape, two small squares
  • Four Shots - All Same Size
  • Mobile (new)
  • Two shots - vertically stacked, both landscape


The frame design brings the new Top Fuel in line with the rest of the dual suspension range from Trek (and represents a clean departure from the original designs from the Gary Fisher Collection), using the Full Floater/EVO Link controlling the rear shock and the rear wheel pivoting around the concentric ABP Pivot at the rear axle. This suspension system is one of the leading platforms on the market and we welcome its arrival to shorter travel applications.

Both the new Top Fuel and Procaliber SL will use Trek’s ‘Smart Wheel Size’ fit system, assigning the best wheel size to the frame size. Larger frame sizes from 17.5 and up will have 29” wheels while the smaller 15.5 size bike uses more proportional 27.5” wheels. The 29″ Top Fuel will also use the new Boost hub standard – wider hub spacing front and back – creating stiffer 29″ wheels, and adding tyre and chainring clearance, too.

Top_Fuel_9_9_SL_Angle
HOLY S$%T Batman, that looks fast sitting on a computer screen! $9999 for this one.

The adjustable geometry is a neat touch – we wish more short-travel bikes came with adjustable geometry to let you dial in the ride performance you want. The geometry numbers are definitely racy – even in the slacker setting, the Top Fuel has a head angle of 70 degrees for razor sharp handling.  What’s also cool is that the frame’s designed to accept an internally routed dropper post, which is a nod to the increasing interest in short-travel droppers in this market segment.

[divider]Procaliber SL[/divider]

Seen the Trek Domane? This impressive endurance road bike frame broke the internet a couple years ago with technology we’d never seen before, but the moment we saw it it had us thinking how well it would translate into a hardtail race bike.

Essentially the new Procaliber SL is a carbon hardtail with up to 11mm of compliance via the IsoSpeed decoupler.

IsoSpeed:

The IsoSpeed decoupler allows the seat tube to pivot and flex independently of the seatstays, taking the sting out of the trail without losing any pedalling power to a rear shock or stiffness to multiple moving parts and pivots. Trek claim the new frame is 70% more compliant than the existing Superfly hardtail.

We can only imagine how much you’ll be able to hammer this bike without it skipping around uncontrollably like a classic race hardtail usually would on loose surfaces. Needless to say we’ll be getting our hands on a test bike as soon as they land in Oz.

Procaliber_9_9_SL_Angle
Top shelf race bike – Procaliber 9.9 SL – $8999

The Procaliber SL frame weighs 1012g around 100g heavier than the outgoing Superfly SL. While that figure makes it notably heavier than some of the competition, we’d imagine the compliance benefits will be well and truly worth it. Once again, the Smart Wheelsize System is used, with little wheels for littler riders, and 29″ hoops on frame sizes 17.5″ and up.

Like the Top Fuel, the Procaliber also scores the new internal cable housing system dubbed ‘Control Freak’. It’s Di2 compatible if you’ve got the good stuff, and a large port under the downtube means you’ll able to access and tie the internal cables together inside the frame to reduce unwanted rattling. Clever!

The Procaliber SL will replace the carbon Superfly hardtails, with the aluminium Superfly 5, 6 (WSD), 7 and 8 remaining in the range.

_S6O4224
The IsoSpeed decoupler, allows the seat tube to flex independently from the rear end of the bike. It’ll give you up to 11mm of compliance.
mdelorme_yamamoto_action
Taking the sting out the trail, without losing power to unwanted rear suspension action.

[divider]Fuel EX 29[/divider]

A Flow favourite, but not without a few niggles in our opinion, the Fuel EX 29 scores some nice tweaks for 2016, too. We’ll see Boost hubs to add stiffness, chainstays shortened from 452 down to 437mm (hooray!), the new internal cable management system and Mino Link geometry adjustment.

Asset_335957

Interesting to note is that we won’t see Trek’s DRCV on the new Fuel EX 29. With FOX’s new Float DPS / EVOL rear shock, Trek were able to achieve their desired spring curve that was previously only possible with their proprietary DRCV shock. So going forward we’ll see standard shocks on the Fuel EX 29 at least – we wonder if this will also be the case on the Fuel 27.5 and Remedy?

It certainly sounds like Trek have made improvements in the areas that we wanted them to. Mind readers!