Friday, July 29, 2011

Petrol Head Friday - Nurburgring in the Wet

Think you're a pretty good driver?  Check out Andreas Guldin's (chief instructor at Nurburgring driving academy) wet lap in a Formula Super Car, the guy has some skills.
Check out how quick he is to correct over steer in the wet, very cool.



Oh yeah, still lusting after a Porsche Bike?  Here's the new one, yours for about Euro 6000.00.  Nice eh?

Oh, I will leave you with this......just how cool is Red Skull's car in the new Captain America movie?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Straitline - New Stuff

The guys at Bikemag.com were lucky enough to see the new AMP pedals from Straitline, when they were at Crankworx.
These new pedals are designed to be an all mountain pedal and lighter than the current pedal (which will now be called the De Facto pedal).  They AMP pedal has a claimed weight of 330 grams and the bush and axle systems remain the same as the reliable De Facto pedal.  So you get Straitlines reliability and easy maintenance with less weight....don't worry, you can still stick them on your DH bike if you want.

Will keep you in the loop when I can get my hands on some.

Check out how the outside edge of the pedal has been angled, to cut down on pedal strike, those guys at Straitline are always thinking.
Got to have a good selection of colours too.




Don't forget about Straitline's new Race Rings (which I just landed), they are made from 7075 T6 hard anodised aluminium.  Come in 32T, 34T, 36T & 38T, any colour you like as long as it's the titanium-ish colour pictured below.  Because they are hard anodised, they are stronger than you and will probably out last your bike.  Also quite light.......just going around fitting them to my bikes now.
Straitline have also been working on a Gyro headset system, in their spare time.
It obviously works really well, since Brandon Semenuk took out the Crankworx Redbull Joyride.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Petrol Head Friday - 2012 Nissan GT-R Top Gear Test Track

I've been away, so just getting back to our usual programme of Petrol Head Friday.

Short and sweet, why you should lust after the 2012 Nissan GT-R?  Because it's a lot faster than you think.



Don't forget that the GT-R is really easy to modify too, how about 850HP?


Also "Big Ups" to the hard working guys at Blue Shark (they are the nice people that distribute and service Fox Racing Shox for NZ. Actually your forks probably need a service now, best you rush them down to Blue Shark, give them a call on 03 443 8414).
The guys at Blue Shark tracked down this clip of Monster Tajima's record breaking run of Pikes Peak. I recommend you watch the whole thing.
Also good luck to Rossco, who is looking to buy his first hot hatch.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Santa Cruz Blur TRc - Better than Xmas


I've been pretty excited about the release of the TRc and I just love the way carbon frames are lighter, stiffer and so much nicer to ride.
The numbers of the TRc look good, sweet geometry and crazy lite weight.
At the same time I didn't want to over-hype the Blur TRc to myself and make it so mythically good, that it wouldn't live up to expectations.
So what is the new Santa Cruz Blur TRc all about, Super light weight trail bike?  Blur 4X reincarnation? Mini Nomad?  Marathon Race bike?  A bike that's too slack or not slack enough?  All of the above? None of the above?


Still not excited?  Righto, go and grab your bike, what's it's frame weight (that heavy eh?)  What's it's wheel base?  Made from flexy alloy? Geometry all over the place, because you've been 'upgrading your bike' over the years and your b/b is as high as a kite, stem is as long as a fishing rod and head angle is steeper than a farm gate or slacker than Richard Linkalater?  


The 4.9lb frame means that you will easily end up with a 26lbs bike without stupid lite parts...it also mean that  Mike Metz will end up with a sub 22lbs bike.  Of course, since the TRc is made of carbon, you can expect it will be laterally stiff and very nice to ride. 

The TRc's long(ish) TT means XC race bike aggressive feel and you can run a 50mm stem on the bike and not be super cramped.  Short chain-stays, scalded cat climbing ability (no really, I'm talking XC race bike climbing not just good climbing). Long wheel base, stable at speed and/or when the going gets steep....the slack head-angle means you're still feeling confidant.

So what do I think, well the TRc is just bloody amazing, it's been forever since I have spent any time on a bike with less than 140mm of travel.....to be honest, 160mm front and rear has been my standard fare for as the last 5 years.  So moving to a bike with 130mm front and 'only' 125mm rear, I was ready for a shock to the system.

The TRc is noticeably faster to ride 99% of the time, the low b/b meant that carving corners was just so much fun and required little effort, it was like the TRc was reading your thoughts.  I just kept going faster, trying to see how much speed I can carry through the next corner.  The long(ish) wheel base and slack(ish) makes the TRc so stable when you point is downhill, you would think you're on a bike with a lot more travel....think Nomad.
The 68 degree head-angle is a little steeper than what I've been used to for quite sometime, again, Santa Cruz know what they are doing and this just keeps the handling feeling crisp.  Honestly, you will just be blown away at how well this bike handles and just how capable it is.

The bottom bracket height will mean that I won't be just smashing my way through rock gardens any more, but I am sure that it's time I started to actually pick lines and become a smoother rider.  Been relying on long travel to get me out of trouble for a while now.
The TRc make you feel more in tune with the ride, you have more feed back and get a lot of joy picking your way down the trail, instead of just flattening the terrain beneath you.

So, I'm pretty much smitten with the new Blur TRc...that I think my current fleet of 160mm travel bikes will be having a rest.  I'm looking forward to my weekend rides and my old favorite trails seem new and exciting again.

Santa Cruz have done it again, the bike does exactly what Santa Cruz wanted it to do and it might be the bike that you've been looking for and you might not have realised.

Petrol Head Friday - Monster Tajuma


If you haven't heard of Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajuma, you better click over the the wiki page and brush up.
Two days before Tajuma's 61st birthday, he set the fastest time up the Pikes Peak Hill Climb.....breaking the 10 minute barrier, with a time of 9min 51.28 secs.  As these things go, Tajuma held the current record, set in 2007 in a time of 10min 01.41 secs.  Tajuma drives a modified (850 bhp modified) Suzuki SX4....so if you currently drive a Suzuki and think it's not very cool, I suggest you rush out and get some coloured mud flaps and an "I  Monster" sticker....and you'll instantly be cooler than before.

This is probably be the last year the Pikes Peak Hill Climb will be run in it's current format, the 19.99km road, with over 156 turns and climbs to 1,439 meters will be completely sealed by 2012.  Any who, thank you 'Monster' Tajuma, you are an inspiration to Petrol Heads everywhere.

Enough jibber jabber, here's the clip of Monster's record breaking drive.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Dirk Peter's, A Bad Day in Geneva

Picture not of France
Dirk's start to the week has not been good one, well you would probably call it a bad start.  On arrival to Geneva, Dirk's got bag stolen, which contained all his money, his passport and basically everything you need when you are travelling in Europe.  
His bad day did not end there, his Blur XC Carbon was then stolen from the youth hostel.....and it was locked up.

Things are starting to look up (well the only way is up from there, isn't it?).  His bag has been handed into the police, so Dirk at least has his passport back. 

After a couple of emails to Santa Cruz, the Swiss Santa Cruz distributor (http://www.santacruzbikes.ch/) is helping Dirk out and sorting out another Blur XC Carbon for Dirk to ride.  

Gaz from NZO clothing has organised a bank account for donations to help Dirk out, account details are;
BNZ  02 0412 0071745 66
Better than International Rescue eh?

Any-who, here is Dirk's report from the Coupe de France VAL D’ ISERE....where his last worry was a chain dropping on the start line.....hardly counts as a worry.

After two Swiss Racer Bikes Cups so far this trip it was good to head to France and get a taste of the racing in a different country. I arrived after a long train journey from Switzerland on Thursday and was able to get out on the track for a look around on the Friday before race day on Saturday. The venue was high at 1800m above sea level and this added an extra element to what was already a hard course. Also it was longer than what we have been racing recently and lap times were 19 to 20mins in duration. It was a great location, right up high in the Mountains and we were treated to beautiful weather each day although because of the altitude it was still a bit chilly at times. The track was a good test with a nice mix of climbing and descending and in practice I was riding well and feeling confident for the race.
Unfortunately I had a horror start. As the gun went and I put the power down to move off the line my chain came right off the big chain ring. Initially I thought I had broken it but thankfully it had just fallen off. By the time I got going again I was dead last and with 106 starters I had a fair bit of catching up to do.
I was able to make good progress back up through the field taking advantage of any chance to overtake. I may not have made many friends with some slightly dodgy passing manoeuvres but within two laps I was up into the top 30. I could monitor my position each lap with the aid of the timing board at the start finish line and although it got harder to gain places as I moved up inside the top 20 I could see that I was racing well. The last couple of laps were especially hard as the constant passing accelerations I had been making all race began to catch up with me. Still I picked off a few more riders and after a bit of a battle up the last single trail climb I finished up in 11th place. In the end it was actually a decent result but a bit frustrating as I knew I would have been capable of much better.
I now have quite a big break from racing with nothing planned until the Czech Republic World Cup round in August. So a good chance to get back into some quality training through July and enjoy the European Summer.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Anja McDonald is the 2011 NZ CX Champ

Anja takes out the 2012 NZ CX Champs.....Anja's pretty multi-talented bike rider and now has a host of national titles, which includes the 2010 Single Speed National Champ and 2007 NZ National XC champ.

Full results can be found here

Friday, July 01, 2011

Images of Squamish


Marc & Hannah are currently in Squamish, supposedly the riding is crap and they are not having any fun....as we can see from Joe Sales great photo's....riding looks boring.....NOT.

Hannah is preparing for the BC Bike Race, so wishing her the best of luck.

Photo's thanks to Joe Sales, check out joesales.ca for more of his work.

Petrol head Friday - Scotty's addendum

Stylie has cranked out a car for PHF that isn't euro-wank and appeals to my southern bogan roots. Given we're mixing bikes and cars here, I thought I'd share a small story about one of my best nationals road trips and adventure in my own bogan wagon.

Datto - circa 2001
Meet the beast: a 1979 Datsun 220C (the C stands for Cedric) with a transplanted LD28 Diesel engine mated up to a Celica five-speed column shift. Column shift means bench seats, bench seats mean that you can fit a crapload of people in it. It was a lounge suite on four wheels. I got it for a grand from a mate whose parents owned it from new, and had made a few tweaks to it.

So it transpired that the lads and I (being Jarna, Hayden and Jayde) decided to load the car up and head to Wanaka. We decided we'd all take a holiday from the stressful lives of being students on holiday and spend a week on the chairlifts at Cardrona.

Ready to rock
There's something special about a vehicle that can take half a scarfie flat and haul everything up the northern motorway out of Dunedin in fifth gear. The other thing that was a bit unique about this wagon was the kobe exhaust that ran out the back which behaved and sounded like a straight pipe, the end result being that the guys at the top of the chairlift could hear us coming from the bottom of the hill.
Finger for added greatness
Long story short, much fun was had, we stayed at a camp site that got flooded out. The thing I loved about this car is the fact we spent $96 on diesel, we had heaps of room and the only thing that actually went wrong with the car was Jarna locking the keys in the boot and us having to take the back seat out and smash through the tank wall.
Gangsta
Alas, I moved to Welly for a couple of years and just before we left it dropped the timing chain, so I gave it away. I'm spending a lot of time these days looking for a vehicle that offers the similar levels of comfort and fuel efficiency for the next nationals road trip with the wife, bubs and a bunch of bikes. Anyone got any susggestions? The best I can find is a double cab hilux!

Petrol Head Friday - Pro-Touring

You probably need to know about pro-touring, I kind of like the idea, although I would have changed the leaf spring rear suspension first......and not so keen on chrome wheels, I would probably want some HRE Wheels.



And in car rental news, Hertz and Shelby might be teaming up again........I really hope so, I want to rent an over powered Ford Mustang.  Here is the wiki page about the Shelby Mustang, if you don't know what I am going on about.