A name you may not have ever heard before, Elka Suspension have been involved in motorsports for decades. Based in Quebec, Canada, they have recently turned their attention to mountain bikes, leading to the release of their new downhill/freeride oriented shock, the Stage 5.
Yes it's that time of year! Yes the World Championships are almost in our backyard! No, not all of us will make it there due to our various lame excuses. If you're like me you'll have to settle for live Interweb viewing pleasure, right here on Rotorburn.
Rod at Blue Mountain Bikes was kind enough to send us one of the new Po1nt (Point 1?) Split Second standard-mount (not direct-mount) stems to check out, and boy have these guys put some effort into this stem. Weighing in at a mere 138g with steel hardware, this could well be the lightest stem on the market, and with its nickel finish and clean lines it’s also one of the sickest looking.
In 2008, Gee Atherton took out the senior men’s Downhill World Championships in Val di Sole – the first ever senior men’s DH world champs win on a fully Fox-equipped bike, only a few years after Fabien Barel snared the first ever world champs victory on a Fox rear shock. For 2009, 200 replicas of Atherton’s fork and shock were made available to the public. Thanks to Netti Atom and Ken @ TeKin Suspension, we’ve been able to test these for the past few weeks.
A new improved dampening system, a larger chassis for improved stiffness and to top it all off they are lighter than the previous model. Beefier and lighter hey, sounds like witchcraft. Lucky for me I was given a chance to check out this witchcraft at the second round of the aussie national series at the Illinbah venue in Queensland.
BOS Engineering shocks, with Olivier Bossard at the helm, have been on more senior men’s downhill World Championship-winning bikes than any other brand of suspension. Their custom dampers and forks, initially developed for 10 times world champion Nicolas Vouilloz, were not readily available to the public “back in the day” due to their prohibitive cost and custom-tuned nature.
...the possibilities of this system are endless and the fact that it uses familiar technology such as AVI files and SD cards means you don’t need to go around finding any specialist parts or software codecs to record and play your movies.
TIA (This Is Australia) gives us a look at what some of our best riders have to offer, what they're up to and what they think of some of the other Australian riders. Featured riders include Nathan Rennie, Jared Graves, Chris Kovarik, Jared Rando, Amiel Cavalier, Ben Cory, Sam Hill, Mitch Delfs, Rhys Willemise, Joel Bain, Shaun O'Conner and more.
With the dust barely settled after the National Championships in Canberra, the fourth and final downhill round of the Australian National Mountain Bike Series descended upon the small town of Mt Beauty for a weekend of impressive and exciting racing.
The XCL is a mountain bike, a bike that climbs capably and bombs technical cross country descents like it’s its job, a bike that you can thrash all day, put away dirty and pull out a week later ready to do it all again, it’s a downhiller’s “second bike” that will handle everything from the occasional day of runs when the big bike is out of service to snapping gates on the 4X track and sessioning dirt jumps...
So you think you're pretty handy with your handycam? Perhaps you, like a lot of other budding filmers are pondering having a crack at your own DVD?
Well today's your lucky day because now is the time to find out if it will suck or not!
“What do you call a sport that takes three minutes to complete, a sport that pushes you to the limit both mentally and physically, a sport where the courses are as varied as the riders and the countries they are from?” Welcome to Between The Tape, the latest film from Clay Porter.
Amiel Cavalier is a man with momentum. Hot off a great National series and a new sponsorship deal seeing him go overseas to have a propper go at the NORBAS, the guy is set to make a mark overseas in 2007. Sam Davies catches up with the latest factory Giant rider.
The 2006 World Championships have come and gone. Three years of much anticipation for it to only fly by in a single action packed week. For riders, it’s the moment of truth, trial by fire, for spectators and supporters it’s the equivalent of schoolies week. If only I did a little less partying, I’d remember more of it…
Round 2 of the 06 / 07 National Mountain Bike series made its way to Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park in Tasmania. Travelers from around Australia congregated to compete in the various disciplines on offer to find out who was fast, who wasn't and who really didn't care. The most important part of mountain bike racing is of course to have fun!
Damian Breach has been taking photos of bikes and bike related things for longer than I care to remember. He is currently living abroad, acting as a photojournalist and writing articles for magazines.
I decided to catch up with him and give you all a look inside his life.
Blur Optics is a relative new comer to the reasonably flooded goggle market. Do we need more choice than we already have? I think so. While the goggle market has quite a number of brands that cover the latest and greatest speed hole, tear off, anti-fog, super stealth, don’t block your nose feature set, there is always room for improvement, especially when they are offered for a cheap price.
Helmet Cam Review 3: Launch Helmet Cam Complete Pro Kit
In the third chapter of our series, we look at an up and coming company in the helmet cam arena. In business for about a year and a half, Launch Helmet Cams are based in Western Australia, and is the brainchild of Matt Fitzhardinge and Markland O'Connell. Along with motocross, wakeboarding, surfing, skating, snowboarding, these guys both are aggressive mountain bikers, spending most of their time doing downhill or jamming in skateparks... so you know these guys have extensive first hand experience with how rough you can get with electronic gear you wear while playing...
Illicit Industries - Australian designed, Australian-made and with their sights firmly set on producing blinged-out components to rival any of the world's major manufacturers. We've got their 20mm Front Hub and brand new sealed 1-1/8" Headset for you to drool over.
Ever hear someone say “you like a little pie with your sauce” when you or someone else is hosing down a meat pie with 10 litres of sauce? Probably not, but that idea comes to mind when watching this video...
Super 8 is an Aussie production that travelled the entire eight rounds of the World Cup circuit, covering 8 countries and capturing all the downhill and mountain cross races. Super 8, eight World Cups and 8 countries, get it?
Ahhhhhhh Thredbo. It takes me back, back to the start of it all. Back to the nineties, back to a time where hardtails with 3 inch travel forks and 3 chain rings were still accepted downhill machines, when Ronning, Sharples and Miller were the stars, when downhill was in its prime and crowds swarmed the hill like flies...
MOREWOOD NDIZA ST – Attack of the flying Zulu Revi
Although unknown here, Patrick is a big name in South African DH racing having been the national champion for three years running. Not only is Patrick entirely responsible for the development of the Morewood brand and the design of the frames, he actually constructs every frame himself.
How many times have you suffered that bittersweet feeling of riding at a level you didn’t think you were capable of, and not having the ability to relive, or share the experience with your fellow riders (or uninterested non-biking friends).
Helmet cams are one of the greatest little accessories you can buy… Granted, they aren’t cheap, and you have to already own a compatible camcorder. But oh… the benefits you get if you take the plunge and get a helmet camera setup of your own….
Steve Peat left me with my jaw on the ground numerous times, you could see how Sam Hill could change direction at ridiculous speeds and Rennie never once looked out of control, even when he had a flat tyre!
I imagine it happens to every serious cyclist after a while… whether it arises from a desire to know, repair and tweak your own gear to it’s highest possible level of performance, or you’ve had one too many experiences of walking your bike home after something broke down on the trails, or you’ve simply run out of money due buying all the carbon/titanium/beryllium widgets for your prized steed and you have none left to pay for service at the LBS, everyone eventually learns how to do work on their own bike....
SRAM – The acronym stuck like a knife in Shimano’s side. Of course these days, knives come in many flavours; most notably the X-7, X-9 and deadly-ninja-stealth X-0. In the past we’ve checked out the X-7 and X-9, so to complete the lineup I’m reviewing SRAM’s X-0 setup including the new ‘06 trigger shifter.
We had 1800km of travel planned involving a 1.8L Sedan, 2 DH bikes, 4 Adults and a bucket load of smelly helmets and body amour. Sure we could have attached a trailer for the weekend. Or even setup some roof racks, but with the price of fuel these days such options were going to hit the pocket hard on an already expensive weekend away. The best bet for us was the new Grip Sport Quick Grip tow bar carrier.
The NSW State DH Series wrapped up in fine fashion at the State Mine track in Lithgow. The competition was close in most categories with competitors vying for overall series points and the title of State Champion in their respective classes.
If you happen to have owned a set of Rock Shox Quadra 5’s or a set of Judy’s or my personal fav the old Quadra 21r !!! then you’ve most likely been around the sport for quite a while and will know how rad Hans "No Way" Rey really is ! Sure most people know of him and that he rides trails bikes .. but do you know his journey to fame or his impact on the sport of Mountain Biking ?
After a very long wait the Mitcham Mountain Bike Strategy has finally been made public. The area of Mitcham holds the majority of trails close to Adelaide and so of vital importance to the future direction of MTBing in the state of SA.
Who is Utopia Optics ? if you have been living underneth a rock for the past year then you will probably be asking this question but even if you do know the name maybe you have been wondering where the hell they have come from ?
"The NSW State DH series moved east for this round, from the barren hillside of Mt. Stromlo last month, to the damp and isolated forest on the south coast. The track was located 40 minutes south of Nowra, up in the hills, far, far from civilisation. After driving along the dirt road for 20 minutes to get there it felt a long way from anywhere."
Ever ridden your bike on the surface of the moon? Nah, neither have I. But the third round of the 2005 NSW State DH series seemed to bear a resemblance to the surface of our nearest planetary neighbour.
With the first round out of the way, the NSW State Downhill Series moved to Thredbo for the second round. The weather reports leading up to the weekend looked good, and with good memories from the National race last December, quite a few people were heading down there.
While most were packing up to go home after the nationals, a few people had great big grins on their faces.. why? Because they had an all expenses paid press camp to attend at Mt. Buller! Almost all of Australia and New Zealand's press were there, a bunch of pro riders including Rennie, Atkinson and Hill, add a few young guns to the mix and you have what one could imagine as a good time.
Identiti is a well known bike brand in the UK and more recently the United States and Canada. Their first frame the Dr Jekyll, first debuted in the golden days of dual slalom back in ’98. Six years later the Jekyll is still going strong. It has also finally landed on Australian shores. So what’s all the fuss?
What happens when you travel a full season with the factory Yeti MTB team to every Norba and North American World Cup downhill and 4X race ? The answer my friends is 2 hours of mind blowing world class racing action! It's time for all you race nuts out there get excited, 'cause Synopsis is a must have title if your serious about your gravity racing.
"For some of us it’s stunning good looks, for others it’s remarkable intelligence and for the rest of us it’s the illusion of either of the former; whatever your justification is for additional cranial protection, there is no argument that a full-face helmet is your best bet..."
J5ive reviews Shimano's Hone crankset.
"Last years release of The Shimano Saint series sparked the World Wide Web slander of the big S. Consumers were outraged that in order to use one of shimano’s products nearly the whole groupset was required. The one exception for this was the crankset..."
A lot of you by now have become familiar with DHDirect, a small Australian company that imports bike products. Most notable of these are the yum-cha-do-the-job-at-a-fraction-of-the-price products (not that Turner and Mojo aren’t notable). These products are mass produced in some Asian factory (I assume), and are re-branded by heaps of different companies. In short, DHDirect decided to go with their own brand, and that brand is BiLT.
Formerly known as “Piss-Weak Productions”, Eye-Spy entertainment bring you Inertia ! "Inertia" in-er-sha: a property of matter by which it remains at rest, or in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force. Who said MTB movies were not educational?
The trilogy that was dead lives again. Mudcow 4: On Top Down Under is getting close to dropping and the crew behind the movie and a whole lot of exciting developments; Dylan Jeffries, Ben Bramham and Glen Jacobs catch up for an interview to give you guys the dirt...
Despite looking like something out of Star wars, the X pedal is definitely something to consider when looking for your next set of foot rests. The sealed bearing platform pedal is brought to you by the frame manufacturer (Xtension) famous for those Azonic badged frames
In early 2004, Evil Bikes teamed up with Canadian born riding icon Chris Donahue. Soon after, Chris began working with the Evil engineering team to develop a signature model frame that would be fitting of the Donahue and Evil names. Recently, Chris has been shredding the streets and trails of his native B.C. Canada on a new Evil prototype.
Yakuza is Iron Horse's new freeride series for riders looking to go big on limited funds. Whether you're a grom getting into the sport or a seasoned rider on a budget, these huck-worthy 6061 alloy hardtail and dual suspension frames are engineered for performance on the most demanding trails, downhill courses, and urban riding.
In the first part of our series, we got you in touch with the darker side of your riding. In this, the second part of the Fly By Night series, we're going to give you the low-down on the two most important components of any serious night-riding light system: the battery and the bulb.
Commencal have jumped on the sneak peak bandwagon to show us some of their lineup for '05. One thing is for sure, with prices like these we're bound to hear alot more of Commencal in the next 12 months.
Well, it's that time of year again. The international racing season is coming to an end and '05 gear is starting to show up in random places. Today we are lucky enough to have a very good look at what looks like a very strong product range from Iron Horse. The press release includes <b>many photos</b>.
"..Hello again there everyone, it’s been quite a while since my last report, due to races of some kind pretty much every weekend, so its time now for an update from the last 4 major races; starting with the 2 World Cups in Canada in Mont Saint Anne and Calgary and the last 2 NORBAs in Idaho, and Snowmass..."
"..Running 4-5 inches of rear wheel travel and 100mm travel forks it was fitted out perfectly for the trailriding community. Our bike was finished in a stunning anodised blue finish with all the manufacturing qualities you’d expect from a bike like this. Beautiful welds, simple yet effective gusseting and a very cool machined shock and pivot mount on the swingarm were some of the standout features..."
"..The first race this month took us to Killingworth, Newcastle NSW, home of team GT, and their star rider Adam Smithson. This track is also familiar with the likes of Rob McNaughton, "Newcastle Dark Horse". The track used was the same as last years State Round which made for early runs to be quite quick on this basic yet fun track..."
"The track at Brookfield this year had been moved to an entirely new location. With the help of a few private land owners and one not so happy neighbour (who actually wasn’t affected by the race at all) we were all greeted with a brand new race track..."
"The track had seen numerous improvements and upgrades which kept all the riders happy. The biggest note was the newly constructed professional start ramp, can anyone say Pro! The track was also lengthened a bit, a few more jumps added, and the fun factor cranked up to 11..."
"Summer has ended again and for all us racers out there it means the end of the national series and the start of respectable travelling times to races. Yes boys and girls the state series is upon us..."
Dom and I check in with our review of the ultra-high-end, ultra sick Foreplay MX from Cove. Thanks to Adam at South Shore Bikes for the chance to review the bike.
Discussion <a href="http://www.farkin.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=204523#204523">here</a>.
Ricky Boyer has jumped aboard and has kindly offered farkin his report of what's been happening in his area lately. In this issue (hopefully more to come) he travels to Buller for the final national round then to Dargle for the first NSW state round.
"I don’t know about other people, but typically I don’t like wearing elbow armor. They restrict movement, have bad ventilation, get stuck to the Velcro on your gloves, increase arm pump and can give you strange rashes..."
Scott checks out TLD's elbow armor offering.
"Recently, thanks to the generosity of our local bike shop, the Brisbane bureau of Farkin.net got our grubby little hands on Norco's budget entry into the cross country / all mountain market; the VPS Fluid 3.0.."
"With footage from Cairns in deepest darkest North Queensland via Fellcrag and the Gold Coast all the way to Thredbo, Jindabyne, Mt Baw Baw and Canberra in the south, A New Race captures some full on racing and off-it's-head freeride action.."
Since Jon Weaving at GripSport is such a nice guy, he decided that hooking us up with some brakes to test wasn’t enough; he wanted us to play with his top-of-line Workshop/Race stand and optional Tool Tray and review it as well.
Having seen the great success Ty and Dom had with the Armor hydraulic disc brake package earlier in the year, I was excited when a package turned up at our door with Armors’ even lower priced cable disc brakes inside.
GripSport brought the brakes into the county and head-honch Jon Weaving had thrown a set of them our way to see if they were up to the standard of their hydraulic counterparts.
Shamefully brought to you by Litter Mag, "Clappin Yo’ Dome" (CYD) is photo and, as it turns out, video guru Shawn Spomer’s first release. A look at the ’02 and ’03 Norba DH circuit, the 2002 Red Bull Rampage, spronging, experimental 20" mountain bikes, super-grom Californian dirt jumpers, black diamond freejibbing and whole lot more.
The Red Bull Ride 2 DVD captures all the action from the third annual Red Bull Ride held in Jindabyne earlier this year. Featuring interviews with riders, course designers and marshals as well as slick footage from the event proper the video gives a good insight into what goes into putting on a world class freeride event from both and organisers and competitors point of view.
The Sydney trip had been in the pipeline for months and after much umming and ahhing over whether we would go, where we would stay and who would be in effect, the decision was made to bite the bullet and go freestyle with no booked accommodation, just tickets, bags and pockets full of drinking money.
<b>Part 2 !</b> Well it is finally here, spurred by Glen’s random appearance on Farkin.net's forums we jumped at the chance to interview the "God Father", a man who has seen all there is to see in the industry and can give an honest opinion on how things are in the MTB World. *Due to Glen's generous responses we have opted to split this interview into 3 parts to be released over the course of this week.
Well it is finally here, spurred by Glen’s random appearance on Farkin.net's forums we jumped at the chance to interview the "God Father", a man who has seen all there is to see in the industry and can give an honest opinion on how things are in the MTB World.
*Due to Glen's generous responses we have opted to split this interview into 3 parts to be released over the course of this week.
"Jeremiah has been photographing mountain biking for around 2 years now and has been published in magazines and catalogues around the world. He also runs a successful custom helmet painting business, which counts the winningest BMX rider in X-Games history, Dave "Miracle Boy" Mirra amongst it's clientele..."
"After doing some online research and consulting with my LBS, I settled on making the change to an ISIS standard bottom bracket paired with a set of FSA V-Drive Xtreme cranks, certified by both Pepsi Max and Mountain Dew to be the most "EXTREME!" crank your money can buy (actually I made that up)...."
"JIBBING is the name given by producer Thor Wixom to mountain bike riding in the street, at skate parks and at dirt jumps. “Jib” a recent arrival at farkin.net headquarters, is Wixom’s look into the world of mountain biking without the mountains..."
"Tubeless tyre setups are becoming an increasingly common sight on both cross-country and downhill bikes. The benefits they offer include the ability to run lower pressure in your tyres without worrying about pinch flats and better tyre profile, which makes them an obvious choice for downhill riders..."
Ty checks out a set of Truvativ cranks and tells of the goods and the bads. "Truvativ’s Hussefelt crankset has become a common feature on many bikes over the years on everything from burly hardtails to full on downhill rigs....."
Thor Wixom is an old hand at the mountain bike movie game with previous films such as ‘Plush’ and the ‘Down’ series establishing him as an innovative and visually spectacular filmmaker. The latest DVD offering from Wixom’s Invictus Productions, "Statement" recently made the rounds at the farkin.net offices, giving us a chance to bring you an Australian exclusive review.
"As a follow up to his feature gallery of Sea Otter photos here on farkin.net we've picked the brains of professional photographer Shawn Spomer on how to get the most from your camera and make your mates look like pros." - Ryan
Ever wondered what happens when some of Australia's fastest Downhill riders decide to contest a 24 hour race? Well apparently they take out third place overall and have a great time doing it, talented bastards! Team Arai Global Junior Development rider Lindsay Klein reports on last weekends 24 hour race held at Fellcrag, just outside of Beaudesert in South-East Queensland
Ever heard someone go off about huckers? Ever heard someone else go on about how dh'ers don't have the guts to do the big drops? Ryan investigates whether or not there is conflict between the two sides.