MTB News & racing round-up for November 3, 2005
Edited by Steve Medcroft
Welcome to our regular round-up of what's happening in the dirt. Feel
free to send feedback, news and gossip to firstname.lastname@example.org
Twenty-four hours of cold and dark
Twenty-four hour races are supposed to be summer events, right? (Or at
least held in climes where the idea of staying up all night riding a bike
is a fairly pleasant proposition.) The team behind the Strathpuffer 24-Hour
has taken this quaint notion and thrown it right out the window - Strathpuffer
will be held on January 14-15 at Castle Leod near Strathpeffer, just north
of Inverness, Scotland.
Cyclingnews tech ed John Stevenson remembers Grundig Series events
at Strathpeffer back in the '90s, complete with long Scottish summer evenings.
But in January, things will be reversed - Strathpuffer will feature a
long Scottish winter night, with sunset about 4pm and the sun not peeking
out until about 9am the next morning. And at this time of year, snow is
not unlikely and it's certain to be cold.
For those hardy souls who are up to the challenge, the Strathpuffer 24
certainly looks like good value for money. Entry is just UKP24, which
the organisers describe as "the best pain/price ratio ever".
For more information or (gulp) to sign up, visit the promoter's Web
Rennie prepares for world record jump
Australian downhill rider Nathan Rennie is in final preparations for
his world record jump attempt, travelling from Sydney to outback South
Australia yesterday where the jump will take place. 'The Painted Desert',
where the jump will take place, is three hours outside the opal mining
town of Cooper Pedy on the road to Oodnadatta. Filming on a 30-minute
special on the jump has already begun, with the jump scheduled for Thursday,
Rennie is attempting to jump in excess of 116ft, the current world record
for a jump on a bicycle. A special 12 metre long, 3 metre wide ramp has
been constructed and the 2003 world cup downhill champ will be towed into
the ramp by motorcycle to reach the required speed for a successful attempt.
Seven Pan Am medals for U.S. mountain bikers
The U.S. National Mountain Bike Team collected
seven medals over the weekend – two of them gold – at the Pan American
Mountain Bike Championships outside Mexico City.
Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass.) rode to a Pan American Championship
in the elite women's race to lead an all-American podium that included
a silver medal performance from Kelli Emmett (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
and a bronze medal effort from Willow Koerber (Ashville, N.C.).
"I was leading in the first lap and then flatted. Kelli,
Willow and the Canadian rider passed me, and it took me awhile to get
back on. Finally in the last lap I was able to pull ahead and
get a little gap. I am thrilled with the win and I think this
was a great cultural experience for everyone." McConneloug said afterwards.
Full report & results
Kona re-signs two time Crankworx winner
The Kona Bicycle Company has announced the contract renewal of slopestyle
superstar Paul Basagoitia. Basagoitia, a Kona Clump Team Rider since 2005,
BIKE Magazine's Breakthrough Performer in 2005's Video Awards for his
performance in NWD 5 and winner of the Crankworx Slopestyle event two
years running, is now contracted with Kona through 2007.
"I'm psyched to be back with Kona," said Basagoitia. "The main reason I chose to stay with Kona is because it's a really tightly knit company;
everyone's really close. They're a great company to ride for, and a lot
Jake Heilbron, owner of Kona Bicycles, said of Basagoitia, "We're very
excited Paul decided to stay with Kona. His consistent podium finishes
prove he is among the best, if not the best, of today's freeride stars.
Paul is a huge talent, and we're predicting big things from him in the
As well as riding and competing for Kona's Clump team, Basagoitia will
collaborate with Kona's engineers and product managers to design a signature
line of freeride equipment, using his experience at the top of the competitive
circuit to help create high-performance gear.
"I'm stoked to be in on the design process," said Basagoitia, who has
always been interested in product engineering. "I'm looking forward to
working with Paddy White and Dr. Dew and make some really cool stuff."
Hans Rey launches Wheels 4 Life
Trials star Hans Rey - known for his spectacular displays of bike handling
at shows and major races all over the world - has announced the launch
of a non-profit charity organisation, Wheels 4 Life, that aims to help
raise the standard of living of people in Third World countries by providing
them with bikes.
"For many people, a bicycle can make all the difference to escape
the vicious circle of the poverty trap," Rey said in announcing this
charity. "I have travelled to almost 60 countries, and have met and
sometimes worked with people who make much less than US$200 per year.
Often they live in remote villages and the only form of transportation
they have is their feet. It is often too long of a walk to get to a job,
go to school or to the market to sell their goods."
"Wheels 4 Life will also support healthcare workers, nurses and
doctors to enable them to be more mobile, allowing them to see more patients
in less time. I'm working with local agencies, organisations, schools
and healthcare groups to assure the bikes donated will end up in the hands
of people who really need them. All of my work is on a volunteer basis,
and I pay all of my own expenses while working for W4L. We will keep administrative
costs to a minimum to assure that the maximum amount of money goes to
A donation of $150 will buy a person a brand-new 6-speed bicycle that
is specially designed for the rural areas and has durable, easy-to-replace
components. This price includes all shipping, duty and tax costs.
You can help Hans by donating to Wheels 4 Life through the organisation's
Spinner Aeris fork review: A knife-edged tool for the XC racer set
Cross-country racers are accustomed to choosing from just a few forks.
Spinner's light but effective Aeris is one that deserves to be added to
the range of options, according to James Huang.
The Aeris from Spinner
Spinner has been a huge OEM fork manufacturer for 20 years but isn't
widely known as an aftermarket company. It began designing and marketing
forks for the aftermarket about 10 years with a line of price-point forks
stamped with the InSync brand, but these are unlikely to have made an
impact on the consciousness of most 'serious' mountain bikers.
For 2006, though, Spinner is proudly selling under its own name and is
aiming straight for the ultrahigh-end XC race fork market with the incredibly
Spinner uses a unique forged
and polished titanium crown
Is my scale broken?
First things first: when I say "incredibly light", I mean it. My disc-specific
test fork, with a 180mm steerer tube had an actual weight of exactly 1215
(2.7 lb), including a standard starnut. Okay, so it's not quite 1.1kg
as advertised, but it's pretty close.
Many users will end up with less steerer tube anyway and will come closer
to hitting that mark. Either way, that's an impressive figure no matter
how you look at it, but when you consider that the fork is fully featured
with 80mm of travel, reasonably-sized 28.6mm stanchion tubes, and 'stable
platform' damping, that number holds even more significance.
As expected, a lot of effort went into reducing the chassis weight. The
lower legs are cast magnesium, the crown is forged titanium (yes, titanium),
and the upper legs and steerer are both made from a Scandium alloy. Even
all of the aluminum bolts and fittings are drilled out like crazy.
Read the entire Spinner
Aeris review here.
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