Wednesday, July 23, 2008
They currently have the ONLY medium anodised Blur LT2 in the country, which is pretty special.
Even more special is they have the LAST anodised medium Chameleon available. Santa Cruz have decided against doing anodised chameleon's now, so this is it. One of the last left, actually now that I see it. I'm pretty tempted myself.
Anyhow's, give Matt a call at Planet Cycles;
216 Dominion Rd
Mt. Eden Auckland
09 630 6940
So it's been nearly three months since Xterra NZ; the last time I wrote. It's hard to believe really, the weeks have merged into a bit of a blur.
Since Xterra I've been working pretty hard. It's just crazy the amount of stuff that's going on in Taupo; we're at various stages of building three new power stations, while maintaining our current generation.
Plenty of work to do and a huge opportunity to learn from some pretty smart cookies.
It's also been time to have a bit of fun. Free from the constraints of structured training I've been getting in some pretty wicked adventures, exemplified perhaps by our ride on the winter solstice.
The concept - shortest day, longest ride – was executed on a track of indeterminate legality. We'd been drawn by tales of sublime descents through mature beech, technical root sections, and the prospect of possibly finishing in darkness. The ride didn't disappoint and 8hours after leaving the car we were back, buzzing after a mind-blowing final 20min descent. It's definitely in my top-5. Want to do it? You'll have to join us next time.
I received an Ibis Mojo shortly into autumn and have been having a lot of fun on that. It takes a completely different style of riding than the Blur so that's kept things interesting. It's a great bike really; only marginally heavier than my race bike but feeling a lot plusher and solid. I had a blast sliding it around a very greasy Old Chevy at the recent Poker Run raising funds for Annika and Garth as they head over to the Singlespeed Words. It was a freezing day, more so when the per-lap beers wore off, but we kept at it for a few hours after and finished with snow falling!
The Ibis is built with 08 XT, including the wheelset so its been useful comparing it with the XTR on my Blur. On the whole, XT has really impressed me. I've found that XTR shifts much better, especially in foul conditions, but the XT is completely satisfactory.
I really like the XT braking and haven't noticed a big difference between wheel sets. All up, pretty impressive for a groupset significantly cheaper.
Of course, you can have too much fun and my overindulgence was exposed as I started to race again. It wasn't so bad at the Craters Classic at the start of June; last year I had an epic battle with Stu throughout before edging him at the finish. This time around he was much stronger, riding away everytime we got to a hill and taking first place comfortably. Even so, I went ok to get 2nd. Every year I'm struck by how evilly hard it seems to be for the season.
Fast forward 5weeks to the final round of the N-duro and it was a different story. Whakapap was open by then so on the very rare fine days I could be found up there. I'd hardly touched the road bike and it showed; I was a slug. I wound up cruising in a full half hour after Cabin, who'd won on a single speed! Pretty good motivation to get riding again – there were a few dudes, and one girl, who shouldn't have been ahead!
So this last week has been good. I'm piecing together some road fitness and aim to be at the Whaka 100 in much more dominant form. The Taupo Cycle Challenge is holding a concurrent cross-country race this year so I'd like to perform there too. Linking together all of Taupo's single track, it should be a 70km epic that is true to its philosophy, enunciated so sensitively by Bike Taupo's Pete Masters: 'the idea is that your as rooted a unit as if you'd ridden around the lake.'
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Following in the footsteps of the Blur LT's redesign earlier this year, the Nomad is the latest recipient of SCB's next generation VPP.
The Cliff Notes for this redesign are as follows:
- Revised links and VPP shock rates
- Grease ports in lower link
- Carbon fiber upper link
- All new link hardware
- Shorter chainstays
- Redesigned front triangle
- ISCG 05 mount
The "why" of this requires a little more explanation:
The VPP revision results in a flatter shock rate, meaning a less dramatic falling rate at the beginning of travel, and less of a rising rate near bottom-out. The instant center of the rear suspension now sits lower than before, and the new design has less chain growth than the old one. These elements make the new bike pedal and climb more efficiently than before. The geometry of the bike still ensures excellent stability, but the suspension feels more lively and the new Nomad feels more snappy and responsive everywhere.
The new linkage design features 15mm diameter alloy axles bolting directly into the frame that are locked in place with ultra-trick collet heads.
These control preload on the angular contact bearings in the lower link, which are in turn easily lubed up via the grease ports in the link. Each frame comes with a grease gun.
The upper link is molded carbon fiber. These changes result in vastly improved weather resistance, longer intervals between servicing, much easier user serviceability (lower link can be removed without having to take the cranks off), and improved chassis rigidity.
Changing from the old clamshell welded top tube design to a triple butted 6000 series aluminum front triangle allowed the engineers to increase strength and stiffness in the front end, incorporate ISCG 05 chainguide mounts and increase head tube diameter to 1.5", yet at the same time reduce frame weight by a third of a pound over the previous model. Frame weight for a large size powdercoated Nomad running a RockShox Monarch 3.3 is 6.9 pounds. Smaller frames will weigh less, as will anodized frames.
The old Nomad defied easy categorization. It spanned the gap between heavy duty long travel trail riding and aggressive terrain high performance abuse and found friends at either end of the spectrum.
This redesign muddies attempts to pigeonhole the bike even further.
It's lighter and more responsive, but at the same time stronger and more stable. The territory that the Nomad calls home has grown in size...
Available late October, in the following colors - black, white, red, yellow, lime green, liquid blue, ano green and ano slate. The new Nomad will be shown at both Eurobike and Interbike, and there will be a whole raft of them available for test rides at the Interbike On Dirt demo. Photos are attached below, and high resolution images are available upon request. Geometry chart attached is based around a 545mm axle to crown fork length.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
Vert also told me he was happy to wait for the first red medium LT2 to arrive in NZ, but I can understand why he couldn't wait.
I think he likes it, this is what he posted on Vorb. Which reminds me, I better finish building mine and stop being fussy on those last few parts.
I have been mountain biking for around 10 years now and got more serious into the sport about 6 years ago.
Over my years of riding of have had quite a few bikes, I would rather not say what number, its something I don't want to think about. I figure the reasons behind having so many bikes was I like to ride all different types of bikes, its fun! And my search for the ultimate bike.
I remember when I 1st starting riding I always wanted a Santa Cruz, I am not sure why, I had never ridden one and had only seen them in magazines, but a Santa Cruz was my dream bike. Around about 3 years ago I chanced upon and opportunity to buy a Santa Cruz Heckler frame, I couldn't believe it, I built it up, rode it and instantly fell in love. The Heckler was the best bike I had ever ridden, it was incredibly fast down, it handled brilliantly and it climbed with ease. I had this bike a while and even flogged the 5th Element shock in it and replaced it with a DHX air which just made things all the better. The Heckler had its downfalls though, it suffered from Brake Jack and it had a flexy rear end. I had also over built the bike into a burly tank, it weighed a lot.
Late 2006 I read Santa Cruz was releasing a new version of the Superlight and I wanted one of these. I ordered mine in November and got it early May 2007 This bike I loved and still do, this was a perfect XC bike and I highly recommend it to this day. It built up lightweight, it was quick up and down, it was faster than I could ride it!!
A month or so later I meet a guy from Canada who I am now good friends with, he joined us on a trip up to Rotorua and mentioned he had a VP-Free frame for sale. Well I bought it and sold the Heckler. The Free was my 1st taste in VPP suspension and I liked it, I liked it a lot!! The Free was a big bike, it was way too big for me, I struggled to throw it around it cornered slow too. Really the frame was too big for me, I think a size small would have been perfect. The Free to me was a big XC bike because this bike climbed really well. I found this bike climbed better than my Superlight!!
I had the Free for about 6 months before selling it and buying 2008 Santa Cruz Bullit frame, I am still not really sure why I bought this but I did. It was a great bike, it didn't climb as well as the Free but it cornered a lot better and was faster downhill - well actually I am not really sure as I didn't actually ride this bike much before I put it up for sale.
I came to a bit of a realization about a month ago - I have had many bikes and often have 4 current ones in my stable. Really all I needed was 1 bike that did it all (and a commuter SS). I didn't ride DH, I didn't need a big travel bike so the Bullit went up for sale, the roadie went up for sale as that never got ridden. And then the Superlight (frame) went up for sale. Because I wanted one bike that I could ride everything I loved to ride on.
I knew what bike I wanted I had already heard great things about it and after some discussions with the importer I found out that Burkes Cycles was getting one last week.
I promptly bought the Blur LT2 and scrambled to stick it together before the weekend. All my parts except forks were going on from the Superlight so it was going to be light build. I picked up some Pikes for a good price from Bike Barn and I was set.
I have just spent all day Saturday riding this bike, we went Jungle riding. We had wet slippery tracks there was even snow. We rode through a rockgarden, down green mossy rocks, over death slippery roots and through thick sticky mud.
Today I was up Makara Peak, we rode the usual and threw in T3 and Vertigo for shits and giggles.
I think the Blur LT2 will be the last bike I ever own, I have never ridden anything like this before. This bike climbs hills easier than anything I have ridden and it is quick and predictable on the down - just point and the bike will do the rest. The 140mm rear travel feels limitless and soaks up everything, coupled with the 140mm Pike on the front. The frame feels smaller than it is, I think this is due to the low standover height. The top tube feels short and there is heaps of room to maneuver over this bike even with the seat up. The bike feels incredibly stable I found myself using the brakes a lot less than usual, it corners with ease and hugs the track.
I have built this bike to a polite 28.5lbs using all my XC parts from my Superlight, I have chucked on some coil Rockshox Pikes and the bike feel very balanced. At the moment the bike has 1.9 Red Phoenix tyres, these have handled the task well but I feel a 2.1 tyre on the front may be more confidence inspiring. Other than that I am keen to see what forks will be released for 09, it would be interesting to see how the bike rides like with 160mm up front.
Other than that I am pretty stoked with the bike, it is better than I could have imagined and its better than anything I have ever ridden.