Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ode to the Highside

Oliver resplendent in his yellow Highside

Mountain Pedaler NZ is good friends with Krank Dirtwear, a Hanmer company producing top quality threads purpose built for NZ riding. A favourite Krank product of ours would have to be the Highside, and the way it continues to perform despite prolonged abuse never ceases to amaze us.

A prime example is the weekend of torture just survived. Bikes were set aside on Saturday as Oliver took to the hills around Arthurs Pass. Rather than scoping for lines, the real purpose was to climb Castle Hill Peak (2000m) before the snow set in. While companions were swapping layers like they were going out of fashion, the Highside (in combination with a Rush thermal layer) performed remarkably well, especially considering the brisk ridge wind, changing slopes and the user's propensity to sweat buckets.

The next day, an early morning single speed mission aboiard the El Toro was on the cards, and again the Highside performed flawlessly; only a quick opening of the 'pit-vents' was required to regulate body temperature.

The Highside is super breathable, but more than that it draws a perfect balance between breathability and waterprooffness, important when it comes to keeping your limbs and torso dry during the inevitable mid ride storm.

Even after this tortuous weekend, and despite battle scars from a year of use the Highside soldiers on, and has taken its place as the Mountain Pedaler's favourite riding top!

Check for details on this awesome piece of kit.

Mountain Pedaler out...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Free replacement bushes now in stock

A few Ventana customers have reported issues with the bushes on their Fox shocks wearing prematurely. This has been linked to Fox speccing low quality bushes on their shocks, however Mountain Pedaler NZ is offering free replacement shock bushings for all frames within their warranty period (typically 2 years). The new bushes feature a high quality teflon and brass lining which should keep them running for much longer than the stock bushes.

Let us know if your El Cuervo, El Saltamontes, El Capitan or El Rey has developed slight play in the rear suspension. This is usually identified by a small amount of vertical movement apparent when lifting the seat. Give us a buzz if you are having this problem and we will get bushes out to you as soon as possible.

Replacement is a simple press out with appropriately sized sockets and a vice, and your local bike shop should make short work of it if you are less mechanically inclined.

This Mountain Pedaler service ensures that you and your Ventana have a smooth and worry free ride!

Mountain Pedaler out...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Flow and go on the Wharfedale

Last Sunday, an keen group of Ventana riders; Oliver, Pete (aboard their El Saltamontes) and Shaun headed for the hills west of Christchurch at Oxford.
The destination was the famed Wharfedale track, and on arrival the wise decision was made to park after the first fords and ride to the trail head. In the latter stages of the ride (with legs fading) this proved exceptionally cunning!

The track started with an easy climb on a smooth beech leaf surface, a great way to ease back in to NZ single track for Oliver who had been riding Vancouver's North Shore only a week ago.
Clearly it took some adaptation, with a couple of technical sections getting the better of him (note the picture below!)
Oliver fails to keep the rubber side down,
performing an inverted trunk inspection

From here the track got better and better, with swoopy turns leading to technical challenges like dips and off camber sections that challenged both skills and courage! Perfect terrain for the Ventana El Saltamontes, with the 4" of travel devouring all bumps in sight and with just the right angles to attack dips and corners with gusto.

This track really must be ridden to be believed, and despite recent rain the surface was tacky with only a few boggy sections.

After a rest for lunch at the Warfedale hut, it was back on the bikes and out to Lees Valley, where two epic hill climbs on gravel road took us back to the Oxford township.
Scenery was amazing, while the only wildlife to speak of were some crazy cows that insisted on stampeding down the 4WD track out.

Oxford township with its old-town charm served as an excellent pie stop, with the warmer cleaned out of $1 specials. Just as light began to fade we made it back to the van, and were off home with memories of the epic ride to take us through till next weekend.

Check the Kennett Bros. book for details, as this is a must for Christchurch riders, or indeed anyone planning a roadtrip in the area.

Oliver 'turning the frown upside down'
as the end of the last climb is reached
Mountain Pedaler out...