Friday, June 29, 2012

PHF - In Russia they do Drive Shows a little differently

Slack, slack......slack, yes, I know my Petrol Head Friday updates have been pretty slack....I have got a ton of topics to cover and I'll get to them one day.

Anywho........Petrol Head Drive Shows seem to be the new black, every man and his best mate wants to put a regular show, usually on youtube, which revolves around driving cars that they are passionate about (with the obligatory breaking the speed limit and power sliding)........not that there is anything wrong with that......other than maybe Top Gear started this format about a million years ago and do a really good job at it (ask the BBC how profitable the show is).

But in Russia, they will always do things a little differently, and there is no way you could call this an original idea.

How's this for a show (I'm not making this up), I present you to Blonddrive.tv, hosted by the 55th Anniversary Playboy model (she mentions this a bit) model Irina Olkhovskaya.

The latest update Olkhovskaya reviews one of the most popular cars of communist Russia, the ZAZ 968M
I actually think she does a good job, this clip is very informative and you really do get the know the car.


OK, so Olkhovskaya may not be dressed practically for test driving or even changing a tyre, but it doesn't seem to slow her down.
Yeah, it's a girl in skimpy outfit talking about cars and it won't win any awards....but where else are going to learn about the ZAZ 968M? Don't try to tell me you have heard of it before.

Anyway, Blonddrive.tv, not a bunch of aging men power sliding cars.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tallboy LT - Thoughts, Ramblings and Tasty Humble Pie


Well, I'll have to say that the Tallboy LT and I are getting along just dandy and yeah, I had some preconceptions on how 29er's will handle our local Nelson trails. (Well, even Caleb is starting to call Nelson the All Mountain capital of NZ......he wrote that in the latest issue of Spoke).

I know, I know, you guys have had enough about hearing that our local trails are steep, long and harsh, but they are.  Not much I can do about that, and you have to adapt to survive.  Big tyres, big travel, big rotors, bla, bla, etc, etc.

I just love brand new bike models, I love analysing builds, love planning what trails I need to ride so I can get comfortable with the set up and just really getting to the know the bike. Just love it and any reason to go and check out some new trails in Rotorua, a new bike is always a great excuse.  Make sure you check out Te Tihi O Tawa.

And, yes, as we all remember, I am not an early adopter to the world of big wheels and how they could even be suited to Nelson trails........honestly, I do know someone who moved to Nelson and sold his supposed all mountain 29er because it couldn't make it down Supple Jack......yes, making wide ranging statements like this will always just get me into trouble.
Luckily, Caleb is always keen to prove a point and show me the correct road to humility, so I have been eating humble pie since the start of the year.

So for me, there are two 'must do' trails that prove to me that the bike will work here in my adopted home town, which are Peaking Ridge and Supple Jack.  Peaking Ridge is fast, steep, rocky, rooty, has a massive climb to get to it and will probably include some arm pump.  Supple Jack is slower, very rocky, lots of off camber switch backs, not too steep but narrow, with small cliff edges and has a not quite massive climb to get to it.


So how did my ride down Supple Jack go, well, actually a lot easier on the Tallboy LT than I would have thought.  The Tallboy LT made easy work of the switch backs, drop that big 29er front wheel in, the steeper than 26" geometry means you just turn the bike and with a wheel base that is exactly the same as my Nomad Carbon, it just gets make it around, easy.  The next testing part of Supple Jack is the rocky section, pictured above.  There is a semi-defined line to take, but these varied sized rocks do move about and every time we get some heavy rain the line will change.  Again the Tallboy LT made easy work of this section, the new Float 34's are ample stiff enough to point and shoot, so is the frame and the combination of big wheels and VPP suspension meant I just had to hold on.

So I have pretty much bonded with the Tallboy LT, I still want to stick a 2.4 tyre on the front (to compensate for my messy riding style) and try wider bars......for some reason, this bike just feels like it needs wider bars.
I am finding that the Tallboy is leaning towards the 'all mountain' end of the trail bike scale, it feels more capable than the TRc or LT/LTc (what do I mean by more capable?, basically if you screw something up, the bike will let you get away with it, bad lines, bad landings and you can ride over gnarly stuff with, etc).

For the most part, this bike is not about it's wheel size.  The 29er wheels give it the characteristics that 29er converts love....precise sharp steering, steam roller feel and the momentum of the big wheels when you get them up to speed.......but I would say that pretty quickly you won't notice/care what the wheel size is, the bike just feels fun and capable.  You'll be thrashing through single track, popping over rocks and roots and hucking off jumps without a care in the world.

As I mention previously, this bike just feels at one.  Everything works well, you can't really isolate only one bit of the bike that makes it feel special.  The Tallboy LT/LTc is getting rave reviews from the mtb press, What Mountain Bike are calling it 'the fastest, most controlled and confident all round trail bike we've ridden'

I think I might need to try the carbon version very soon....it's has found a place in my heart and some room in my garage

Oh yeah, a quick rant about the CCCP, I just love the way my bike turned out, it's also very hard wearing, I haven't stuck much frame protector tape on and I can't find any horrible scratches on it yet.  It's so nice to have a bike that you can customise.  Well worth the effort....and people can identify me from a distance when I am riding it (or find me if I ride off above mention cliff edges).  Very cool.


Last, but in no way least, here is Mike Ferrentino to explain the finer point on the Tallboy LT

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tallboy Vs Tallboy (or Doppelganger Friday)

Spoke #47 just landed in my mailbox and Caleb has a write up between the Tallboy Carbon and Tallboy Alloy

Caleb rides around on a Tallboy Carbon, most of the time, so I figured he would be the best person to check out the Tallboy Alloy and see what he thought (because I know you guys won't believe what I say).....anyway, Spoke is always worth reading, but it's worth rushing out and getting your hands (either in reality or virtually) on the latest issue....also there's a great picture of Harriet on page 54.....that's a drop, not a roll in.

Oh yeah, this is a true comparison, Caleb moved his parts across from his personal bike to the alloy frame I provided.

You might be surprised in his thoughts.

One of the above is Caleb Smith, the other was the barman at the Black Seeds (played in Nelson).....pictures either borrowed off facebook or txted to me by Rubbish Man.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Stuck Indoors?

So the weather is pretty much pants for the most parts of NZ, here are some nice videos to help you escape.

First up, DirtTV Val di Sole World Cup Finals......flying kiwi's.

More Mountain Biking Videos

Next up, Jamaican Fat Tyre Festival, is it me....or does Jeff Carter appear in the clip?  Don't you just want to go and ride your bike now?


If you need to take a picture of your Santa Cruz and you use instagram, make sure you use #santacruzbikes and your bike might be famous for a split second (mine is at the 24 second mark)


Here are a bunch of Ibisian's, who ride bikes a hell of a lot better than I do.  Anne-Caro, Lopes and Andrew Whiteford.


Some people who can ride a shed load better than me....and make great video clips.



Oh yeah, Ridley Scott's Prometheus (Alien Prequel) starts tomorrow....what could be better?  Looks scary too.


With all this snow, I have been thinking I should invest in some winter tyres.....what do you think?