Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Something To See Here - New Bikes From Santa Cruz

I thought it was time I posted some pictures of the new Santa Cruz models on my blog......just in case you haven't seen them yet.
This is the new Blur TRc, carbon frame, VPP suspension, 5lb frame, 5inches of travel and super sweet geometry, if you're not excited by this bike....well then you might be excited by the ones below.
Anyway, I've pretty much decided it's going to be my next bike.
More here;
Santa Cruz have been dropping hints about the Highball for a while now, so now it's out in the open.
Light (2.4lbs), stiff, razor sharp, nimble and razor sharp.  And as Santa Cruz say, designed to do two things, 1. Race 2. Win.
Bikeradar.com have quite a bit of info on the bikes, but I will repeat some of the info they posted....worth reading.
"Santa Cruz have eschewed in-molded carbon headset bearing races – instead fitting the tapered head tube with an inset upper and external lower type headset – saying that the weight to be saved is less than most would expect. They've also specced the bike with a standard threaded alloy bottom bracket shell. The latter, it might be noted, is considered by just about every other player in the super-light carbon 29er hardtail game as a dinosaur that needed to be left behind for weight savings.

Nick Anderson, Santa Cruz’s design engineer, said they could have dropped another 75g or more by using a press-fit design, but it was decided by internal committee that riders would prefer the more convenient compatibility the standard offers. “We do a lot of frame-only sales and we feel like our customers like having a bike with a threaded bottom bracket because it makes it a little more versatile,” said Anderson. “We spent some time talking about whether or not we wanted to make it singlespeed compatible with either an eccentric [bottom bracket] or adjustable dropouts, but you just pay too big of a weight penalty to do that and so we decided just to keep it as a geared race bike."
“It wasn’t important for us to be the absolute lightest,” he continued. “ But we wanted to be lighter than mostly everything. At a certain point there’s a weight/durability trade-off and if you make a bike 10 percent lighter, it’s not 10 percent weaker, it’s like half as strong. So we tried to find a balance where we were as light or lighter than the competition, but not to the point that it’s a road bike.”


Some more info can be found here;

Last, but not least.....the Tallboy aluminium (or Tallboy Al...you can call me Al), just like the Tallboy Carbon...but not made of carbon (and no XXL size). So same geometry, same lines, same great suspension (same Bat channel?), a little bit heavier and cheaper.

And for more info click here;

Did I miss anything?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nothing to see here


Officially the news of a new Santa Cruz bike will be released at 12 noon tomorrow (tomorrow US Pacific time); looks like cats are getting out of the bag......but I didn't tell you OK?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Petrol Head Friday - Pagani Huayra


As we all (im)patiently for the Sea Otter Classic to see a glimpse of the the new bike stuff that may or may not be available for the up coming season....so to distract us from new bike stuff there is always new car stuff to look forward too.

Check out the autoblog.com post of the cars that were at Geneva Motorshow (a few weeks ago), I like the Fiat 500 Zagato and the Toyota/Subaru collaboration project of the rear wheels drive small sports car.

Anywho.....Pagani were not at Geneva, but they have released a brand spanking new Super Car called the Huayra (pronounced 'why-eera'), it's named after the Argentinean god of wind.
I'm sure that Mr. Bangle would be happy with the Huayra......it does look like a Super Car to me.

So what you need to know is that it's made of carbon fiber (with titanium weaved into it), every bolt is titanium and has an 700bhp 6.0-litre twin turbo V12 AMG motor (exclusively made for Pagani, you won't find this V12 engine in a Mercedes run-about) which should be good for over 375 km/h.

The Huayra only weights about 1350kg's too (which is probably less than the car you are driving at the moment).
It will also hit 100km/h in about 3.2 seconds and cost about a million euros.....so you might need to win Lotto a couple of times to afford it.

Below the lucky people at EVO magazine get to start up the new Huayra and rev the bejebus out of it.....and for most of us, the only chance we'll get to drive one is in a game (sigh).......I am sure they would make you a bike rack if you needed too.



Monday, March 21, 2011

Dirk Peters 2nd U23 at Oceania Champs

Shepparton, Victoria, Australia, March 18 2011
all photos thanks to Russel Baker
A report of the XCO race by Chris Mildon can be found on mtbnz.org this is what Chris wrote about the U23 race.
"The Under 23 Men’s race had drama from the start. Dirk Peters (Rotorua) was caught out by the advanced start gun, and had to fight hard to remain in touch with Australian leader Paul van der Ploeg on the narrow Mt Major course. Peters gained all race but couldn’t bridge the gap to van der Ploeg who claimed an impressive back to back Oceania Championship title in this category. Brad Hudson (Christchurch) worked his way into third outright on course, but suffered a similar fate as Fry earlier in the day, being railroaded off course during a passing manoeuvre. Hudson badly damaged his front wheel in the crash, and couldn’t complete the race. Sam Shaw (Rotorua) benefited from Hudson’s withdrawal, but also worked his way into third on his own fighting merits. "  


The lower picture is of a section that some riders were having difficulties with.....but not Dirk

Friday, March 18, 2011

Petrol Head Friday - Chris Bangle

You can tell I'm a designer, got my black turtle neck on
Chris Bangle was described by Jalopnik.com as the Charlie Sheen of auto designers, wikipedia say that the BWM community have been polarised since he joined BMW in 1992.
By polarised, they mean hate, some folk hate him so much, they got angry and started an online petition to STOP Chris Bangle! (they also made t-shirts and badges...they were angry....man), It must of been pre-facebook, I can only find a Chris Bangle facebook page to 'like'
If you really hate someone, make a badge

Which is more than enough for me to like the man.....and if you ask someone 'what do you think', you should be prepared for an honest answer, right?



He also knew that no one in Italy wants to be a train driver and designed the Fiat Coupe. (I'm a bit of a fan)


Upsetting BMW owners is what he's best known for, his BMW designs are refeared as 'flame surfacing', check out the BMW X Coupe Concept and you'll see what I mean.


The other term Chris Bangle is known for is the Bangle Butt, which was first came about in the 2002 with the 7 Series BMW.
Time Magazine named the 2002 7 Series as one of the 50 Worst Cars in all time, which also became the best selling 7 series for BMW.
Does my Bangle Butt look big in this?
Anywho.......Chris Bangle quit from BWM in 2009 and there was a large sigh of relief heard around the globe and more people still wrote that they hated him.

Bangle has now joined Samsung to design laptops and mobile phones.....which personally I think is a little sad, cars are the new white-ware and mobile phones need designers?

So to end today's PHF, here's one of those BMW movies featuring a flame designed Bangle Butt car......can't wait for the Samsung Bangle butt phone.
  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hipster Traps being set up around New York City

Breaking News, Hipster traps are being set up in New York, more at Bikerumor.com and Gawker.com,
I fear that this may be a start of a dangerous trend that could easily end up in NZ.

Let's be careful out there eh.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A bit more Steve McQueen...

In last Friday's PHF post Mike posted a video of the famous car chase scene in Bullit. For those who didn't see Steve McQueen at his best, here it is again:

Brian Lopes got inspired by the air time on the streets of San Francisco, he had a go himself!

But Lopes was on two wheels, McQueen on four. Not to be outdone, McQueen can also get the wheels off the ground when only two wheels are involved.
Unfortunately it was not enough to escape those pesky Nazi soldiers. 
McQueen's character in the great escape was trying to get to Switzerland. Those Brits love Switzerland it seems...
Photo courtesy of Spoke Magazine
Well Steve Peat is a bit of a legend, a modern day Steve McQueen perhaps?
Well Troy Lee Designs think so, McQueen gets a helmet
Photo courtesy: Motorcycle.com
as does Peaty
Photo courtesy of Steve Peat's twitter: @StevePeat
And Troy Lee Designs don't just make helmets for anyone...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Petrol Head Friday - The Movies

A lot of people like having list of their favorite stuff.....that's not really me, but I sort of have a list of favorite movies with driving scenes in them.

Top of the list is Bullitt, Steve McQueen, A Ford Mustang and Dodge Charger....what more do you want?


Now you can't be a Petrol Head without having seen the Italian Job (that's the original one made in 1969, not the one with Marcy Mark in it.....you should also know that it had a Lamborghini Miura in the beginning of it)
Lots of cool Italian cars to watch out for too.



The French Connection should be high on most peoples list, supposedly some of the scenes was shot without permission and contained an actual crash.



Gone in 60 Seconds (1974, not the crappy remake).  This movie had a 34 minute chase scene, destroyed 93 cars and had real accidents (hitting a lamp post at 100mp/h) and since it was made in the '70's everyonejust seems a lot cooler.....they don't make them how they used to.



Ronin is my personal favourite, there are 90 cars destroyed and if you're a car spotter...there are almost 200 cool cars to look out for.  The anorak's should know that the main cars are the Mercedes Benz 450 SEL 6.9  and an Audi S8.  The other anorak fact is that movie had a BMW 535i with M5 wheels, the reason being was that director, John Frankenheimer, was a big fan of BMW M series cars, therefore didn't want to wreck a real M car.  The below car chase scene was filmed at actual speed.



Let's not forget the Blues Brothers, supposedly 70 cars were destroyed.....other than the movie is just cool.



Vanishing Point (1971) contains a Supercharge Dodge Challanger.......what else do you need to know?



And I'm looking forward to Drive Angry....looks like it's on the right track.

Riding Super D with Joe Lawill

Just noticed I've been so distracted that I haven't updated my blog for a week....and tomorrow is PHF day, so I better throw in some mountain bike stuff.
Found this on the Santa Cruz website.



Also, been reading through a few blogs and I noticed that Anka Martin won the South African DH champs (woo-whooo) on a white V10 Carbon......Anka must be pretty special to have a custom white V10 Carbon.

You can read more about Sven and Anka's adventures on their blog here;  they a great couple, we did Peaking Ridge and Nydia bay with them.
Just in case you're not keeping track of national women's DH titles........don't forget Harriet Harper is now the NZ National Champ and she's riding a V10 Carbon too.  Just saying.

Also, you should go and rush out and get the latest issue of Dirt Magazine, Sven Martin (yes married to Anka) has a piece on New Zealand.....supposedly I get a mention.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Petrol Head Friday - You Need to own an Alfa Romeo

Every Petrol Head NEEDS to own an Alfa Romeo, some are better than others.
The good Alfa's are sublime, the average ones are still amazing and bad ones will make just make you cry because you just can't understand how a company that has made so many good cars can make one so bad.

Anyway.......if you're going to buy one Alfa Romeo, my vote is for this one......so they better make it.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

2011 MTB National Champs Dunedin - More Racing and Standing on Podiums

Harriet Harper 2011 National Champ
Surprisingly OK Picture taken by me
National Mountain Bike Champs, win the race, become the National Champion.......how hard could it be?
Pretty dam hard, you got a whole bunch of competitors trying to do the same thing, some of the best and arguably the most technical courses in the country and a bit of rain to keep things entertaining.
Add an Earthquake in Christchurch and Orientation Week in Dunedin for distractions (not forgetting it was frikin' cold....for us Nelsonians too, had to dig out the puffer jacket).

Some people just seem to be able to sort out winning the right races and getting it right on the day.
Harriet Harper Pro-Women DH National Champ
picture thanks to Jono Baddiley


Harriet Harper has now been the national champ for three years running and is also the 2010 Oceania Champ.  Harriet was the fastest women down the hill and some of the junior women have been snapping at Harriet's heels during the MTB Cup rounds (the marks on her right leg are from a crash, not from anyone snapping at her heals), but she was a good 20 seconds up on the rest of women at the National Champs.

Dirk Peters Pro-Elite XC start
Easy, Step 1; just beat all these guys.
Step 2; Ride Bike Fast
Dirk Peters,  is now the Under 23 National Champ, second year in a row now.  For most of us, that would be enough.  Dirk's goal was win the race out right, but an extremely determined Carl Jones wasn't going to let that happen.  Dirk had to settle for 2nd place overall and U23 national champ.
Not forgetting that a young Anton Cooper, who started two minutes behind the Pro-Elites, caught and overtook the lot of them.  An impressive ride by Anton.
Step 3; Stand on Podium

Vero Sandler...you're right, that's not the 4X track, it's the DH.
Vero Sandler winning the 4X
BIG thanks to Jono B for the picture
Veronique Sandler, is now the Open Women's 4 Cross national champion.  The field was small and competitive.  Vero seeded with the fastest time and went on to win the title.
The next day Vero got second place in the junior women DH...not bad at all.....the only real problem is how much faster she rides my Driver 8 than I can.
picture thanks to Kalem Dow's facebook page.
The fastest man on a Santa Cruz Bullit

photo thanks again to Jono B


Tom Burns, Tom seemed to get it right for the National Champs, an injury in Nelson he decided to forgo the Christchurch round to recover.  This paid off and Tom is now the U17 National Champ.


Blair Stuthridge, Blair pretty much whips his age group category (Masters 40+) and does lap times that would make the younger riders envious.  Blair and his Blur XC Carbon can usually be found at most of the local Canterbury races.


Leighton Kirk, pic thanks to Jono B again
Yeah, OK, this isn't from the National Champs, it Nelson
Leighton Kirk, Leighton's time of 3.11.70 gave him the 13th fastest time overall, which was enough to give him second place in the senior men's category.  Not too bad at all, I'll expect we'll see him racing pro-elite next season.
Boyd G, hey..this picture ain't too bad, how the hell did I do that?
Boyd Grinstead, Boyd being getting quicker with every race leading up to the National Champs and the Master 30+ class is over competitive, especially against the other quick Nelsonians.  Hayden McKay was less than 2 1/2 seconds, which gives Boyd second place.  Going to be a competitive season leading up to the 2012 national champs, that's for sure.
picture thanks to Jono B, that's him on the 3rd place podium
Jono Baddily, Jono was a late starter in nationals racing.  I told him that he would enjoy the new Fringe Hill DH track (Nelson) where he manage to get 2nd place in the Master 40+ class.  The competition was pretty stiff at the National Champs and Jono was pretty happy with his third place.  He also takes very nice pictures.


Eloise Fry, Eloise was consistent enough through the MTB Cup rounds to finish 2nd overall.  The Pro-Elite Womens field was very competitive and with Rosara Joseph turning up, the pace was manic.  Eloise snuck onto the podium in fifth place.


So not a bad day in the office for Santa Cruz riders, 5 national champions for 2011 a couple of 2nd places, a 3rd place and a 5th......so a lot of standing on the podiums after some hard racing.
2011 National Champ, Cam Cole
Who took out the Pro-Elite Men's DH you ask?.......well that would be Cam Cole.  If I was a betting man, he would have been my pick, even though a guy with a British accent that people were calling George turned up to race.
Need more info on the 2011 National Mountain Bike Championship?  Click here;

BlackCat and SRAM Collaboration for NAHBS show



Here's a nice little video from Brian Vernor about getting a bike ready for the NAHBS show.

Believe it or not, I actually own a black cat frame, one day I will get around to building it up....but it's a work of art and I quite just looking at it.
I've been riding with Todd and Jen, both here in Nelson (NZ) and Santa Cruz (California)....Todd might also kick around Santa Cruz Bicycles.......when he's not making his own bikes....which is how I met them.

As you were.