Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fox; welcome to the whanau!

Hot of the press is some exciting news that Mountain Pedaler NZ can now offer the full range of Fox forks for complete bike builds.

With industry standard plushness, these forks were a popular choice amongst current Ventana riders, but with this formal supply agreement customers can now benefit from the backup and customer service of the Wanaka based Blue Shark boys.

A personal favourite is the Float 32 RLC, which is run at 100mm on the front of a test El Saltamontes. After 2 years of solid abuse and only a single oil change, this fork is still going strong and is a perfect match for the frame.

Another model that sets the benchmark is the Talas 36, with tree trunk sized stanchions and a kick ass travel adjust feature that transforms downhill shredders to uphill whippets!

Fox 36s handle bump duties on the front of the Terremoto tester

Both these forks and many others are now available for complete builds and should be the perfect fork for your next dream bike...

Mountain Pedaler out.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gringos pull off a stunner at Christchuch 12 hour

Gringos in the flesh; (Left to right) Lauren, Steve, Sam and Ollie

The El Ventana Gringos tackled the McLeans Island 12 hour in Christchurch last weekend, pushing the envelope of pain and luck to new levels and delivering a fantastic second placing in the process.

The race began at 10AM, with Rowan pulling out a first hot lap before the second rider Steve was off. After no sign of Steve the crew began to worry, and it wasn't until the word reached them that they learnt it had all gone pear shaped out on the course. No doubt due to a high speed cornering manoeuvre, Steve had blown out a tire, and had been forced to run 1/3 of the course before a friendly rider offered his own pump and tube to repair the puncture. Unfortunately, the pump had issues of its own, and the 20psi that Steve could squeeze out of it lasted only 500m, before another blowout rendered him running again! It was truly a day for friendly riders, as yet another offered their tube and pump, and Steve was off to finish his lap, only 20minutes later than expected!
Rowan (Left) tags out with Steve (Right) with Sam on transponder duties

The team now had a mission on its hands, with the goal of pulling in lost time to the leading teams who were lapping, a lap ahead. A series of hot laps by Ollie, Sam, Lauren and Rowan dropped the gap to around five minutes, but disaster struck on one of Sam's laps as his non-drive side XTR crank decided to part company, forcing Sam to complete a one legged lap.
Like the true battler he is, Sam was still passing people at the finish, and after completeing his single leg powered lap he reported that the leg in question was 'a bit sore'.

Sam stomps through the tent village with crank firmly attached

So nose was back on the grindstone again, but it seemed that lady luck had had her way with the Gringos, and as the hours ticked past they were fortunate enough to escape further punishment.

Perhaps the highlight of the race was the final pair of laps, where Ollie left at 10 past 9, knowing he would have to be on his game to make the 10:35 cut off. Considering that 25 minute laps were tough during the day, it was a tall order, but still he barrelled through with 10 seconds to spare, and Sam was off in a puff of dust. The pressure was on but it is testament to the courage of this Gringo that he didn't give up, peeling a minute off his previous best times and sprinting down the finishing chute to finish dead on 12 hours. After collapsing trough exhaustion at the finish, the team celebrated around him, as this feat of speed (at night and after a solid 12 hours of racing) was a fantastic end to the race.

Rowan even managed to squeeze out some structures
homework in between blitzing the course.

All up the Gringos placed second in the mixed category, and they have no doubts that with a bit of luck they could have made the top step. Still it was a great race, and a credit to the heart of the team that they pulled through the adversity to great result!

Lauren heads out on a lap, showing that her skills extend beyond the road!

Mountain Pedaler out...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Ventana El Ciclon; the ultimate trailbike?

The term 'Ultimate trailbike' is bandied about alot in the bike industry, with many companies claiming their latest incremental development to be the 'best of the best'.
Rarely do consumers get an unbiased glimpse at what these bikes really ride like without taking the punge and buying one.

Thankfully, a member of the MTBR communtiy has shared the insight gained through tests of the following bikes at the Interbike dirt demo:
  • Felt Compulsion 17-inch
  • Turner RFX 17-inch
  • Knolly Endorphin 17-inch
  • Turner Sultan 17-inch
  • Niner RIP9 17-inch
  • Titus El Guapo Titanium 17-inch
  • Norco Fluid LT 16-inch
  • Cannondale Rush Carbon team Medium
  • Cannondale Taurine Team Medium
  • Cannondale Scalpel Medium
  • Giant Trance X (medium)
  • Giant Reign 6.7” travel (medium)
  • Fisher Hi Fi Carbon medium
  • Fisher HI-Fi 29er medium
  • Kona Dawg Deluxe
  • Ventana El Ciclon
  • Turner RFX 2006
Check the full write up here...

So after some undoubtly tiring test riding, this fellow concluded that he wouldn't trade his El Ciclon for the world. Surely a great testament to the handling, build quality and style of this top notch frame.

Mountain Pedaler out...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tricks bits at Interbike

Craziness award goes to delta 7 for this frame straight out of Spiderman (pig?).
Clearly from somewhere where mud was rare ! Photo CyclingNews

The Interbike convention; Vegas' annual orgy of bike bling came to a close after a week of excessive naked carbon and metal polish. The product releases this year certainly didn't disappoint, and the Mountain Pedaler was content to surf the web taking in the new (and often crazy) new products.
One product line which looks to be on the up is Crank Brothers, who released improved and upgraded bits across their line.

The venerable Mallet receives a new gold coat and refined machining. Photo NSMB

New to the line are these trick wheelsets, featuring
some unique nipples and spokes wizardry. Photo NSMB

These sharp Crank Brothers parts should arrive in NZ next year, and will be available for new Ventana builds.
By all accounts the event is an exciting one, although I suspect that even for the Mountain Pedaler there is a limit to the amount of standing around and oggling bike bits that one can handle! Despite this, Mountain Pedaler NZ hopes to send a representative next year to get a first hand taste of what goes down.

Mountain Pedaler out...