Lapierre Ezesty AM Ltd By Alex Boyce There are those mountain bikers who wish to remain on the trail because they believe e-bikes are not bicycles or they don’t like the look of them, or they are heavy and are basically in some corners considered motor bikes. Well, they have not looked at or seen the new Lapierre eZesty AM LTD. It’s impossible to ride and not notice you might be on something totally different. Standing there and look for a moment, because you might not be sure it’s an e-bike. First, you can’t see the motor, then the rest of it looks like a normal bike, and the slightly thicker downtube might be the only indication that something motorized is hiding inside. THE BIKE With the carbon eZesty, Lapierre has focused on building one of the sleekest and lightest all-mountain/enduro e-bikes we’ve seen. The Fazua motor and battery are hidden in the down tube and can even be removed completely and the bike ridden without. That makes the eZesty a true dual-purpose bike. Our test bike with motor and pedals weighed in at 41l pounds (18.7 kilograms). Without the motor, it’s 34.5 pounds (15.5 kilograms). Whatever way you look at it, the bike is light. The 9–12-pound weight savings compared to the standard e-bikes on the market means greater speed and greater agility on the trail. No doubt thanks to LaPierre rider Nicholas Voullioz (one of the greatest downhill racers of all time), the eZesty is based on race-oriented geometry. “Nico” has put his most recent ideas on geometry into this bike and with 470mm of reach and 435mm chainstays on the large size we tested. These numbers are very similar to their non e-bike version. The 65.5-degree head angle is just right to give riders descending stability at speed and uphill some precise maneuverability without lifting on steep sections or getting hung up in corners. The suspension dynamics work well, and the bike is one of the most balanced e-bikes we’ve ridden. The riders felt stable and relaxed on descents and yet were able to react quickly to what the trail presents to them. THE PARTS The build for our top-of-the-range model is focused on performance and weight. With its mix of carbon wheels and components, along with Fox’s top-of-the-range air-sprung suspension components fitted, the eZesty looks great and is flawless in performance. Thanks to the SRAM Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, there was plenty of gear range to choose from with zero mis-shifts. The Guide RE Hydro brakes offered solid stopping, thanks to 200mm rotors. Lapierre have added their carbon-tubed dropper seatpost, which saves weight but maintains strength. It was flawless during our time on the bike. The eZesty has 2.5-inch Maxxis tires on wide 35mm rims, giving speed and grip on the trail, and the weight savings are significant with the carbon rims. THE MOTOR The Fazua power system is one of the most recent and physically smaller systems available to bike makers. Its credentials are based on light weight, smooth power and a form factor that allows frame designers to integrate it into their frame in one of the most low-profile ways yet seen. The system uses a 250-Wh battery that gives riders a power boost that would be similar to an Eco Trail mode on a traditional motor system. While the reality is that this means riders use their legs more, it’s worth noting that this is where the bike’s lighter weight really factors in. The effective range in our experience for a 200-pound rider is about 3000–4000 feet of altitude change, depending on the power mode used and other conditions. The control system is a low-profile design with only the battery’s LED lights visible and a color denoting the power mode selected. Switching the system on is done on the remote and on the power pack, which you have to do after every charge, which takes about two hours. The power delivery is soft and supportive. When it comes to tackling the climbs, the LaPierre doesn’t not push you up as much as it reduces the level fatigue you exert. With hard efforts you feel like you’re in an aerobic state, not anaerobic. After more extensive testing on the Fazua motor, we have to say it is one of the quietest systems on the market. It has a very slight whirring sound that is barely perceptible. The motor voltage regulator apparently varies slightly according to the battery charge, with a deliberate softening of the push the motor provides as the battery is near the end of its capacity. Hill starts with this motor do require you to actually use your legs, which requires a bit more technical finesse. The engagement and disengagement of the motor is very soft in all conditions, and the bike does not wheelspin or suddenly cut. WHO IT’S MADE FOR This bike is aimed at the all-mountain or enduro rider. The bike can be ridden with the motor connected or with the battery cover only. This means you effectively have either an e-bike or a non-assist mountain bike. Our preference is obviously as an e-bike, so we rode it that way in a variety of places, including around the mountains of Florence and on some hard-core trails in the Italian coastal city of Finale Ligure, which is host to the final stage of the Enduro World Series each year. “The Lapierre was a refreshing reality check. Lightweight e-bikes on descents are more fun. Heavyweight bikes are more like driving a truck through a wall. Once you step back into the world that the eZesty opens up, you question the advantages that large, heavy motors give you.” This bike is meant to bridge the gap between traditional enduro-style MTB riding and the world of e-bikes. It’s not that different from either, but the eZesty has a lot of charm and enough power that it does actually make you think about what type of riding you prefer. If you want to ride a sofa up the hill, then this is not the bike for you. If you want to have some of the lightning-fast sporty mountain bike feel but don’t want to die on the way up the hill, then this bike will be ideal. THE RIDE Cruising around and picking your lines on the transfer trails and on climbs is much like a normal bike, except with this type of power system you can maintain the duration of your climbs for a lot longer. We wouldn’t say that it gives you a significantly higher average speed like a more traditional e-bike motor, but you end up riding closer to a non-assist bike speed. The result is an experience that puts the riding much more in the hands of the rider, as there is no power boost to get you out of trouble when you make an error. Technical trails are therefore about skill and much closer to the normal bike climbing style. We noticed way less wheelspin and traction loss with this system, plus we found a cadence of about 70 rpm to be ideal in power delivery and torque. On flat trails it’s much easier to ride along past the 15.5-mph limit than a normal motor. Resistance is incredibly low, combined with the lower system weight, and the speed restriction is imperceptible. The bike will go as fast as your legs allow. Cornering and short sharp climbs are therefore actually a bit more fluid, as you don’t have a heavy weight penalty that takes more effort to change direction. Owing to its weight, going downhill is where the eZesty seems to show its real advantage. “Stable” and “agile” were the two words most often used in describing the Lapierre’s descending prowess. When popping off a jump, the rear wheel follows the rider and is more sensitive to rider inputs, and it does not drop away beneath you. Brake hard into a corner and the bike does not throw you forward with a big change in weight distribution; it’s easier to keep the bike balanced. The suspension feels more reactive and more sensitive to our suspension setups, which is all a consequence of the lower weight. When we tried to pick the bike up and hop over trail obstacles, the bike responded smoothly. According to Lapierre, Vouilloz spent a lot of time tuning the ride for more aggressive situations. In very rocky conditions we found ourselves bouncing around less than a normal enduro ride. The ride was probably one of the smoothest rides we have had on any e-bike when descending. The bike sticks to the trail really well, and once set up correctly, the suspension is supple and reactive, which is really a pleasure to ride close to the limit. THE VERDICT Lapierre have really come up with an outstanding product. The Fazua motor system has created a situation where once you have adapted to the different assisted ride style, you want to ride it more, as downhills are more enjoyable. The Lapierre was a refreshing reality check. Lightweight e-bikes on descents are more fun. Heavyweight bikes are more like driving a truck through a wall. Once you step back into the world that the eZesty opens up, you question the advantages that large, heavy motors give you. It’s not that it’s better, but it’s different enough to a more traditional system that opens up other descending possibilities. Our experience with speaking to Fazua’s service center when we were exploring the motor left us content. The maintenance software is exhaustive in what you can find out about your e-bike. Fazua will call you and log in to your bike if you want them to, to check out its health and see if there are any issues. The batteries on the eZesty are actually light enough that you could carry one in your backpack on long rides and essentially have a greater range than a normal e-bike on just one battery. Lapierre have taken a different approach to range, and the advantage is the fun factor. This bike is a bit like using the pinch function on the phone for the first time; it just makes sense. On the climbs the bike tames the pain but makes you still earn the summit. The bike is well-finished, and despite the price, it is worth the money. The technology and quality are exceptional, and it is a technical product that is the starting point for the next generation of e-bikes, which many have been waiting for. SPECS LAPIERRE EZESTY AM LTD Price: $8631 Motor: Fazua Evation 1.0 Drive Pack 250W Battery: Fazua Evation 250 Wh Charge Time: 3.5 hours Top Speed: 25 km/h (with assist) Range: Up to 35 miles Drive: SRAM Eagle, 12-speed, 11-50T Brakes: SRAM Guide RE Controls: Fazua Fork: Fox 36 Float 15×110 160mm Frame: Carbon Rear Shock: Fox Float Tires: Maxxis High Roller II Wide Trail 27.5×2.5 Weight: 34.5 lb. Color choices: Grey Sizes: 43cm/50cm www.lapierre-bikes.com THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET ELECTRIC BIKE ACTION In print, from the Apple newsstand, or on your Android device, from Google. Available from the Apple Newsstand for reading on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Subscribe Here For more subscription information contact (800) 767-0345 Got something on your mind? Let us know at hi-torque.com The post Bike Review: Lapierre eZesty AM LTD appeared first on Electric Bike Action.
All hail First Look Friday, your weekly look at the hottest new road and mountain bike swag to land at BikeRadar HQ. This week we have some flashy Russian-made road hubs, a step-through mountain bike designed for older riders, an alarmingly light saddle and some shred-tastic goggle-like shades. If that isn’t quite enough to tickle your tech pickle, nuggets lovingly picked from the rich gold seam that is launch season in the cycling world that have made their way onto the BikeRadar homepage this week include Cervélo’s new go-fast gravel bike, Colnago’s bang-on-trend V3RS, Specialized’s first-ever foray into the world of electric bikes, Yeti’s all-new 27.5in-wheeled SB165 and much, much more. In the meantime, sit back, relax and immerse yourself into a world of true tech nerdery. Raketa road hubs Raketa, a brand based in Russia, has just released its first ever road hubs. Raketa Raketa — a Russian brand specialising in high-end hubs — has just launched these delectable road hubs. The hubs have been two years in the making and are its first-ever road offering, previously only producing track hubs. The hubs are compatible with all current axle standards and Raketa claims that, due to the hubs’ construction, adapting them to any future standards should also be possible. The hubs are built around an Alto Cycling freehub. This 4-pawl freehub is made in the USA and boasts a near-instantaneous 2.5-degree engagement. It is availble in XD, Shimano HG or Campagnolo bodies. The hubs are claimed to weigh 342g for a rim brake hubset and 421g for the disc equivalent Raketa claims that it considered developing its own freehub system but, acknowledging that it is a young company with limited resources, it decided to focus on the hub itself, leaving the whole freewheelin’ business to those who have experience in the area. The hubs are triple-sealed, with labyrinth seals on the end caps, a rubber lip on the freehub and sealed bearings rounding out the package. On the subject of bearings, the hubs are built around NSK bearings and, should these develop any play, a small bolt can be undone to adjust the preload. No special tools are required to do this and it is claimed that it can even be done with the wheels still fitted to the bike. The hubs are claimed to weigh 342g for a rim brake hubset and 421g for the disc equivalent — a respectable figure that is comparable to similar premium hubs with inbuilt preload adjustment (lighter hubs exist but they typically don’t feature external preload adjustment). The hubs are available in any spoke drilling from 12 to 32 spokes, with any custom combination possible. Raketa has in-house anodising facilities, so dozens of different colours in either a gloss or matt finish are available. Custom engraving is also offered. The hubs are also available in a disc version. Raketa The hubs are available in rim and disc brake options. 6-bolt hubs are currently available for discs, with centre lock to follow later in the year. The novelty that the hubs are designed and made in St Petersburg, Russia — a nation not widely known for its cycling manufacturing provenance — also undoubtedly adds to their cool factor. The hubs cost $468 for the disc version and $448 for the rim brake version. While certainly not cheap, they (on paper at least) present decent value for money compared to, say, a DT Swiss 240s hubset (approx $560). The hubs are due to start shipping throughout August and September, with pre-orders now open. International pricing is not available but worldwide shipping is offered. If freewheelin’ ain’t your thing, as mentioned, Raketa also produces a number of track bike hubs, chainrings and cogs, all of which look as lovely as its road hubs. Disc hubs: $468 Rim brake hubs: $448 Buy these delightful road hubs direct from Raketa Islabikes Jimi The Jimi is a MTB designed for older riders Jack Luke / Immediate Media Islabikes launched the Janis, Joni and Jimi — a range of bikes designed specifically for older riders who still want to live life on two wheels — earlier this year. We have got a hold of the Jimi — the step-through mountain bike from the range — for testing and, so far, we like what we see. Much like its expansive selection of early-life tot-to-teen-sized bikes, the Icons range features a number of touches that are designed to make cycling a more accessible and enjoyable experience for those in their golden years. Starting with the obvious, the bike is a step-through design, which makes a bike easier to mount. This is vital if age-related mobility issues begin to creep in. You’ll be able to spin up just about anything with this diminutive 26t chainring Jack Luke / Immediate Media The gearing is also generously low, pairing a 10-40t Sunrace cassette with a spin-tastic 26t chainring. This chainring is mounted to Islabikes’ own crankset, which is claimed to have a lower-than-average Q-factor. This can improve pedalling performance and comfort for some riders. The bike is fitted with SRAM Grip Shifters. Interestingly, the profile of the rims is specially formed to ease tyre fitting and removal. This means the rims are not tubeless compatible but will make life a lot easier should you get a trailside puncture. A rigid carbon fork is employed to reduce weight. Jack Luke / Immediate Media Reducing weight was also a priority with the bike, and our size medium model comes in at a respectable 10.28kg. With this in mind, given the bike is designed for those that are less likely to get their thrills from sending mad huckz, it should come as no surprise that the bike forgoes a suspension fork in favour of a lighter carbon fork. This bristles with mounts for Anything-style cages or mudguards. The whole package feels very well refined and as a general do-it-all bike — for riders of all ages, really — the Jimi appears to be a compelling choice. Stay tuned for a full review soon! £1,199, international pricing TBC Buy the Jimi direct from Islabikes Schmolke TLO saddle The saddle was so light we had to tie it down to stop it floating away! Jack Luke / Immediate Media This ludicrously light (64g!) saddle from Schmolke — the German composite expert’s first saddle to wear the TLO (The Lightest Only) crown — is said to be the result of Stefan Schmolke’s experiments in his own “secret lab”. Remarkably, this full carbon shell saddle is rated for both road and mountain biking. The saddle feels reassuringly solid despite its low, low weight Jack Luke / Immediate Media While this is, at best, anecdotal, giving the remarkably tough feeling Schmolke TLO saddle a squeeze results in considerably less concern for our undercarriage compared to similar ultralight perches. The 8Nm maximum torque value on the rails is also reassuringly high. While not the absolute lightest saddle on the market — that crown goes to Gelu’s 38g K3 saddle — it is a whopping €5 cheaper than that model. It also has a marginally more generous 100kg max rider weight compared to the Gelu’s 95kg. This is obviously a very, very niche choice that is unlikely to appeal to the vast majority of cyclists but, for those who want an ultralight option that appears to be actually usable, it could be a compelling option. €495, international pricing N/A Buy Schmolke’s TLO saddle from Star Bike Smith Wildcat sunglasses You too could look as cool as our Mallen with Smith’s Wildcat sunnies. Jack Luke / Immediate Media Smith’s lairy, large and loud Wildat goggle-like sunnies are a bold statement that is bound to delight the outgoing on-bike fashionista. The nose bridge is adjustable. Jack Luke / Immediate Media The extra-large coverage of the lenses extends way into the periphery, keeping the frames well out of sight. The replaceable nosepiece — which is coated with a tacky hydrophilic (i.e. it stays sticky when wet) rubber — is also adjustable for fine-tuning fit. The legs are coated with the same material. The hinge mechanism is satisfyingly… clicky? Jack Luke / Immediate Media The arms have a deeply satisfying indexed click when moving them into the open position. Swapping lenses is also very easy. The lenses are also coated with a hydrophobic coating, which is said to keep things clear in moist conditions. The glasses are available in three different frame colours and three different lenses, including a clear option. We have the stealthy Matte Moss frames, but the office favourite is by far the Refresher yellow-and-pink Matte Citron finish. At £165 RRP ($199.00 / AU$299.95), the Wildcat’s come in at roughly the same price as, say, an Oakley Jawbreaker, though you do get the additional clear lens and a hardshell bag for that price. £165 / $199 / AU$299.95 Buy Smith’s Wildcat sunglasses from Optimal Optic
There’s plenty of fantastic content in this month’s MBUK, from a look at the Fort William World Cup through the eyes of a pro and a privateer, and how to jump and corner like Brendan Fairclough, to riding some of the UK’s most fun trails just a stone’s throw from London. Plus, there’s guide to all of the best trail centres in the UK, a Mint Sauce cartoon supplement and two exclusive stem top caps to collect. Four £1,000 hardtails are put the test to see which rules the trails, and legs are thrown over three US machines from Trek, Intense and Juliana in the issue’s first ride reviews. You’ll also find Rachael Atherton as this issue’s pro columnist and an introduction to Remy Morton, a young Aussie pinner to watch out for, as well as much, much more. Pro vs privateer MBUK gets up close and personal with Reece Wilson of Trek Factory Racing and privateer Taylor Vernon as they tackle the 2019 Fort William World Cup. It’s one of the wildest and most demanding races of the downhill season, but how different is the race for a pro and a privateer? Reece Wilson waves to the crowd at the legendary Fort William World Cup. Steve Behr Pro tips World Cup star Brendan Fairclough drops his pro tips on how to take your cornering and jumping up a level, plus there’s advice on how to not just survive but thrive when riding in the Alps as the summer season kicks off. Brendan Fairclough knows how to handle a bike and gives you his tops tips on how to improve your cornering and jumping. Duncan Philpott The Downtime Podcast Find out about Chris Hall, the man behind the Downtime Podcast, as the team chat with him about how it all started, his favourite guest and some of his highlights. You can also listen to MBUK‘s very own edition, so make sure you check it out. Testing Bikes – Rob Weaver & Seb Stott from the MBUK Test Team We join Chris Hall — the man behind the mic — for a spin and a catch up about his podcast series the Downtime Podcast. Steve Behr The Surrey Hills The Surrey Hills is an area packed full of awesome trails, and MBUK brings you its top recommendations for a brilliant weekend of riding there, with maps and all the info you need to have a great time. The Surry Hill might not be mountains, but they sure offer huge fun. Russell Burton 1k warriors In this month’s bike test, four £1,000 hardtails from Giant, Cannondale, GT and Saracen are put through their paces to see where each bike shines and falters, and to discover which bike is best suited to the style of riding you prefer. Find out bike you get for £1000, and which might best suit your style of riding. Steve Behr What else? That’s not all, you can read all about the team’s attempts at enduro racing, trying to ride three of Wales’s best trail centres in a day and a trail tyres group test, with recommendations on what’s the best high volume, sticky rubber currently out there. You’ll also find nine reasons to ride Finale Ligure and there are updates on the team’s long-term bikes, plus a whole heap more besides. So grab a copy to catch up with it all. Staff writer Luke tried his hand at enduro racing at the Transcend Fest, read about his exploits and plenty more in the mag. Brodie Hood Special bumper issue This issue is a special bumper edition and brings you a comprehensive trail centre guide of 88 locations to ride throughout the UK. There’s also a Mint Sauce supplement that chronicles Jo Burt’s history of mountain biking’s most famous sheep, and two exclusive stem top caps to collect. Our special bumper issue brings you these fantastic goodies. MBUK
There are hundreds of sportives in the UK, you could take on a different challenge event every weekend if you were so inclined. However, there are only a handful of must-ride, iconic sportives that have become a fixture in the cycling calendar. The Fred Whitton Challenge stands out from the pack, now in its 20th year the 114 miles cover some stunning terrain, offer spectacular views around every corner and strike fear into the hearts of all but the hardest of riders. Part 1: Meet the Team Alpecin riders training to take on L’Etape du Tour 2019 Part 2: Team Alpecin conquer road descents The team chose to ride together. Immediate Media 2,500 cyclists set out every year to test themselves against the course. The fastest will be back in just under six hours, but it’s not uncommon to record 10 plus hours. Luckily for this year’s event the weather was fair, adding rain into the mix would bring another level of suffering. The Team Alpecin riders were all Fred-newbies. For Marie-Louise Kertzman the 114 miles distance would be her longest ride and for Michael Rammell the 3,700m of climbing would be an elevation PB. Any endurance event can be daunting. With the main climbs taking the limelight it can be easy to neglect nutrition and pacing. And let’s not forget, with an elevation gain comes descending, in the case of the Fred Whitton the descents demand 100 percent concentration. Team Alpecin part 2 | conquering road descents Leading up to the event the nerves and doubts steadily built, weather forecasts were being checked every few hours, praying for dry roads. Ride reports from previous years, social media tips and advice were consumed, looking for any encouragement possible. Nerves were palpable and all the talk was focused on the ride. In total there are 10 named climbs on the route. Fears, doubts and planning “In the week before I felt nervous but excited about the event,” says Nick Mayer, “but as the weekend arrived I started to become more nervous and I began to doubt my own abilities. “I think as a team we spent so much time talking about how hard it looked and I was reading things on social media platforms that only seemed to hype up the difficulty even more. I think that is what the Fred Whitton Challenge does to people — it’s such a notorious ride in the cycling scene, known for being the hardest in the UK; it casts doubt in people’s minds.” Nick Mayer. © Henning Angerer How each rider deals with fear or self-doubt is unique, telling a teammate not to worry are just hollow words. The only way to really conquer fear is to grab your bike and get stuck in. So, after registering on the Saturday the team stretched their legs with a 40km ride around Grasmere, guided by a couple of riders from Kendal CC with the aim of getting some local knowledge and boosting the confidence. The route took in the final climb of the Fred Whitton, Blea Tarn, which serves up stunning views that will signal the end of the climbing on Sunday. However, the road signs warning of 30 percent plus sent shivers down the spine. “After the ride we sat down as a team and went through the route together, discussing different climbs, descents and areas where we could recover,” says Nick. “Having the local knowledge was absolutely invaluable.” Marie-Louise conquering pre sportive nerves. Up and up It’s difficult to talk about nerves without mentioning Hardknott and Wrynose. The double header climb is the blockbuster conclusion to the ride. Steep, narrow, bumpy and full of other riders. The combination is the stuff of nightmares especially after 98 miles and numerous ascents. Talking to the local riders, they were very keen to highlight how dangerous the descents are and how much respect you need to show every section. It’s easy to get fixated with Hardknott. You see countless images of riders straining every sinew to crawl up the toughest sections. However, there is more to the Fred Whitton than the final climb. The team ride up some of the toughest climbs on the sportive. In total, riders tackle 3,700 meters of climbing, which is a big day out by anyone’s standards. When you realise the most height gained in one climb is just 298m it gives you an indication of just how many peaks you have to scale. The climbs are very similar in character: relatively short, very steep and narrow with a consistent, awe-inspiring backdrop. The difficulty level is taken to 11 when you add in hundreds of other riders sharing the small roads, everyone in their own private battle to get to the top. The differing speeds and styles can offer a new challenge at any moment. Your concentration needs to be sky high, ratcheting up the fatigue. Training for the event saw the team heading to any local hill to get some muscle memory in the legs. However, finding hills with similar gradients is much easier said than done… Marie-Louise Kertzman © Henning Angerer “I made sure to tackle as many hard climbs as possible during training,” says Marie-Louise, “luckily, there are plenty to choose from near Bath and I felt I was ready for most of the climbs come race day. Well, except for Hardknott. There’s no preparing for Hardknott. I definitely feared that one!” Busy climbs Another of the toughest climbs on the route is Honister with early ramps hitting 25 percent plus, the fact that the climb comes relativity early in the ride means a swarm of riders will keep you company. “I didn’t like the climb up Honister as there were simply too many people on such a narrow road and I couldn’t get into my own rhythm.” Nick reports. “I wasn’t worried about my ability to get up the climb but more concerned with the people around me. There are plenty of other riders on the climbs. Immediate Media “There was a lady in front of me, and she was out of the saddle, pushing hard but she seemed to be going backwards, I could see my front wheel getting closer and closer to her back wheel. A gap opened and I had to put in more effort than I would have liked so early in the ride, but I needed to get past for my own safety!” In total there are 10 named climbs on the route, they tend to merge into one another with only the most savage or scenic standing out. However, the cumulative effect of that number of short steep climbs really take its toll and pacing and nutrition are key to surviving the ascents and finishing strongly. Fuel for the ride “One thing I’ve struggled with is pacing on long climbs, but the issue with pacing wasn’t just restricted to long climbs – rather efforts in general,” says Michael. “I always get giddy and excited and start too fast, which usually leaves me empty with too much of the ride to go. I recognised after around 50 miles or so that I had probably worked too hard up to that point and had fallen foul, once again, of my own lack of pacing discipline.” Michael Rammell. © Henning Angerer The team had decided to ride as a group as much as possible, there are sections of the route, such as the A66 drag, where riding in the wheels will save energy. On the climbs everyone was free to ride at their pace but would re-group as soon as possible on the flat sections. A target time of eight hours seemed realistic and achievable with an average pace of 14mph: well within the riders’ capabilities. Kendal CC had advised against using the official feed stops, the first comes at 50 miles into the ride and is positioned just before the testing climb of Newlands Pass. A target time of eight hours seemed realistic, with an average pace of 14mph Climbing with cold legs and a full belly isn’t a great combination; also 50 miles into the ride would run the risk of under fuelling. The team decided to go for three stops at 30, 60 and 100 miles. A military operation on the Saturday had prepared three boxes of bottles, bagels, jelly babies and various snacks. These were divvied out to kind volunteers to be distributed on race day. This allowed for constant fluid and food intake from the start, with Marie-Louise giving reminders to keep eating. The benefits of good fuelling were felt at the end of the route. The benefits of good fuelling were felt at the end of the route. After the last few climbs there were a few gaps between the team but all the riders finished strongly setting a good pace on the flat sections back into Grasmere. “I ate religiously during this ride, right from the start, even when I really didn’t want to,” says Marie-Louise. “It was harder than I imagined, but it seriously paid off. I didn’t bonk and I had as much power in the final hour as I did in the first, which astonished me.” A downward spiral Needless to say, with short steep climbs come short steep descents. It’s rare to climb hills over 30 percent unless, of course, you are a true sadist, even the local riders told us they don’t tackle Hardknott on a regular basis. However, tackling descents over 30 percent was a totally new experience for the team. Steep and twisty with a bumpy road surface made for a true test of brake pads and arm muscles. Normally, the descent is the time to get some rest and power back in the legs. In the Lakes that really isn’t the case and the organisers and marshalls are exceptionally keen to highlight the myriad dangers that are lurking around every corner – cattle grids, pot holes, off-camber turns. The Fred Whitton route has it all and is a true test of endurance and bike handling. Because the descents got steeper and gnarlier as the ride went on, I can’t say I got more confident as time went on that day Over the 20 years since the inaugural Fred Whitton Challenge took place there have been many wet and soggy race days. How anyone manages to complete the descents from Honister, Hardknott and Wrynose in one piece is truly astounding. Tales of riders having to slide down on their bums make perfect sense. Certainly, walking down these hills in cleats would be totally horrendous. “Because the descents got steeper and gnarlier as the ride went on, I can’t say I got more confident as time went on that day,” says Marie-Louise. “However, now having completed the Fred Whitton Challenge, I feel much more confident in my ability to cope with the busiest and steepest descent.” A sting in the tail As mentioned earlier, the Fred Whitton Challenge finishes with the double-header of Hardknott and Wrynose. The whole route demands respect but the most feared and highly anticipated section comes at 98 miles. A line of riders snaking up the pass highlights what lies ahead, an average gradient of 13 percent doesn’t fool anyone, this climb is a beast and the early ramps of 25 percent sap the energy. If you make it past the first set of corners the gradient eases for a while before you are soon climbing sections well over 30 percent. Head down and pushing on up the FW climbs. “The sheer gradient forced me to adopt a strange position on the bike,” remembers Michael, “trying to stop the front wheel leaving the road but as others will attest; you do whatever works for you to get to the top.” “There was no settling into a rhythm or routine, it was just simply a case of dragging myself up whichever way I could and it certainly wasn’t pretty!” contemplates Nick. “I got to one hairpin and I thought, ‘That’s it, I can’t do anymore, just get off and walk’ but then heard someone shout, ‘Come on, this is the last hard part’, which gave me such a fantastic boost of confidence that I dug deep and continued.” Once over Hardknott, the challenge is not over as Wrynose awaits the weary riders. This is the easier side of the Wrynose climb and compared to what has just passed it is something of a respite. However, there is little time to recover and your legs certainly won’t thank you for another ascent. A relaxed post-ride atmosphere in Grasmere. The Fred Whitton Challenge is a special event, the atmosphere at the start/finish in Grasmere is relaxed and friendly with a very down-to-earth feel. No hype or over-the-top theatrics are needed. The location and route speak for themselves. The locals have taken the event to their hearts with shouts of encouragement and support from 6am until the last riders are finished some 11 hours later. Cheering crowds on the climbs, supportive marshals at every turn and even car drivers waving in support. It is going to take something very special to top that as a weekend of cycling. The support from locals for riders is astonishing. Immediate Media
Stage 6 – Sechelt to Langdale | Presented By: Shimano | Distance: 49.3 kms | Elevation Gain: 1403 meters After five stages, the trail starts to take its toll. Yesterday was a grinder, a boat load of up and down, with plenty of fast pedaling to make the legs beg for mercy. Racers woke to Read More The post BC Bike Race: Stage 6 appeared first on BIKE Magazine.
We’re just a mere week into the Tour de France and there’s already been some bonkers action from Alaphilippe, who at the time of writing was just still holding on to the yellow jersey. With more action to come, it’s still anyone’s guess who’s going to win the whole event or even hold on to the yellow jersey on a day-to-day basis. It’s exciting stuff watching The Tour, so check out our guide so you don’t miss a single second of the action. Specialized’s World Cup-winning Demo 29 finally hits the market How to watch the Tour de France 2019 live on TV Elsewhere in the cycling world, we’re enjoying a World Cup doubleheader of XC, XC short track and downhill that kicked off last weekend in Andorra on the impossibly technical terrain over the mountains just outside of La Massanna. In the XC, we saw Nino Schurter take the win by a mere 2 seconds over Mathias Flueckiger, while Anne Terpstra beat Jolanda Neff by a big 36-second margin. The Short Track champions were Henrique Avancini who pipped Schurter to the post and Alessandra Kelle beat Neff by a tiny margin. And in the insane downhill competition, a determined Loic Bruni and the ever-successful Rachel Atherton won the weekend’s racing in the elite categories. It was quite spectacular. This weekend, then, the World Cup circus returns to Les Gets after a 15-year hiatus. The last time the world’s best set wheel to dirt during a top-level competition on the famous Mont Chery hillside was at the 2004 World Championships when the winner in the men’s was Fabien Barel — who was awarded the gold medal after Steve Peat crashed out in a cloud of dust on the last turn. This marked the starting point in Peat’s career as he chased the elusive World Champs title. How and when to watch the 2019 UCI MTB World Cup and World Championships So, who’s likely to win this round? War is waging for the overall lead in both the men’s and women’s races and it’s still totally up in the air about who is going to come out on top. Looking at previous form from the Crankworx events at Les Gets you might want to put money on Troy Brosnan and Rachel Atherton for the wins. Unfortunately, Rachel Atherton ruptured her Achilles tendon during Thursday’s training. This blows the women’s race wide open and it could be Marine Cabirou’s time to shine on home soil. Make sure you tune in to Red Bull TV on 12, 13 and 14 of July to watch all of the action from Les Gets — I’m certain it’s going to be an incredible weekend with some of the best racing this season has seen yet. In the tech world loads of new kit has recently been launched including bikes from Juliana and Santa Cruz, RockShox’ Reverb has been updated and BMC has gone to town producing more new bikes than you can shake a stick at, such as the Roadmachine and the XC-tech-inspired, soft tail URS gravel bike. So what delights have we got in this week’s edition of First Look Friday? Keep scrolling to find out! Manitou Mezzer Pro enduro fork The Mezzer is a good looking fork. Alex Evans Staying true to Manitou’s rear-facing arch design, the brand new Mezzer looks like a burly and capable enduro-focussed fork. Weighing 2,067g for the 180mm travel 29-inch wheeled version, it features 37mm stanchions and a Hexlock SL2 15mm axle that, Manitou claims, should help to keep the fork mega stiff. The classic rear-facing arch has been machined out to save weight Alex Evans There’s a fully-adjustable Dorado Air spring that should help you tune the ride feel along with high- and low-speed compression adjustment and low-speed rebound adjustment that are all externally tuned. The air chamber has a system called Infinite Rate Tune that lets you adjust how progressive the fork is, and how much mid-stroke support it has using a third air chamber without sacrificing small bump sensitivity. They feature both high- and low-speed compression adjustment Alex Evans The fork’s available in 27.5- and 29-inch versions and has between 140mm and 180mm of internally-adjustable travel in 10mm increments. There are also four offset options, two for each wheel size: the 650b models come in 37mm or 44mm while the 29er forks are available with 44mm or 51mm offsets. There’s external low-speed rebound adjustment and the fork uses a 15mm axle Alex Evans The fork’s black legs and chrome graphics certainly look striking and I can’t wait to bolt a set to my test bike and give them a thrashing. $999.99 Buy now direct from Manitou Red Bull Spect Fly sunglasses These Spect glasses look like they’ve been inspired by other iconic models Alex Evans Departing from its drink-focused business plan of promising to give you wings — or at least a sugar- or caffeine-fuelled buzz for 20 minutes – Red Bull is now branching out into the hard and soft goods markets. The Spect glasses are a confident attempt to mix both casual and sports-specific glasses into one package. The wire arms help to secure the glasses to your head. Alex Evans Red Bull and Spect formed their partnership back in 2016 and have now developed this range of glasses and goggles together. The Fly sunnies here feature a dual temple system that helps to secure the glasses to your head with two pre-formed wire arms that loop over the back of your ears. The wire arms are retractable into the glasses so if you’re just chilling at the pub you can slide them away — but as soon as you intend on getting rowdy on or off the bike slide them back out. You can extend or retract the wire arms at will Alex Evans The lenses are polarised and have an anti-reflection coating, so you should be able spot the fastest lines out on the bike or the quickest way to the bar. The dual temple system is available in plenty of different styles so if these Oakley Frogskin and Rayban Wayfarer inspired glasses aren’t your thing, fear not. £135 / €150 Buy now direct from Red Bull Hayes Dominion A4 hydraulic disc brakes The Dominion brake levers look smart Alex Evans Although it’s not new to Hayes’ brakes lineup, the Dominion A4 boasts a 4-piston caliper, adjustable lever reach and pad contact position and specially-designed disc rotors that claim to help reduce noise and vibrations. The Dominion is an enduro-focused brake that has been designed from the ground up to produce excellent levels of power. Hayes claims it does this by having a structurally rigid design, a Kevlar hose and a dual-port bleed system to help you get the best bleed possible. The brake lever uses cartridge bearings and the lever’s master cylinder has the smallest amount of dead stroke possible before the brake’s pistons actuate. There’s an aluminium piston with a piston glide ring to insure smooth actuation. The caliper is good looking and has some nice features Alex Evans The caliper features a system to help align it correctly with the disc called Crosshair, which uses small grub screws that you can tighten to align the brake and they use DOT 5.1 fluid which is widely available. $229.99 Buy now direct from Hayes Pro Bike Tool Torque Wrench Set There are 12 individual tools in the set and a 100mm extending bar Alex Evans Every budding mechanic aspires to build up and eventually complete their toolset, but this can come at a great monetary cost, especially if you’re wanting to fill your toolbox’s draws with Silca kit. A torque wrench is a great bit of kit to own, too. It’ll help stop you overtightening bolts, rounding heads out or stripping threads. Are cheap and good mutually exclusive? The Pro Bike Tool torque wrench set seems to indicate they aren’t. Alex Evans Enter Pro Bike Tool. Its budget-friendly torque wrench is adjustable between 2Nm and 20Nm, comes with an extension bar and 11 tool bits that include 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.5 and 2mm Allen keys and Torx 10, 25 and 30 heads. The wrench uses a 1/4-inch square driver which means it’s compatible with other socket sets. The ratchet is driven using a 72-tooth cog. The torque wrench looks great. Alex Evans The set feels well made and is fairly weighty and robust, but only years of hard use will be able to show any weaknesses. I’m looking forward to spending more time with the wrench in my man cave soon. £57.99 / $59.99 Buy now direct from Pro Bike Tool BiSaddle ShapeShifter EXT Stealth saddle The carbon railed model is pretty pricey! Alex Evans Our behinds are all different shapes and sizes. That’s just a fact of life, right? BiSaddle argues that it’s going to be quite a difficult task to find a seat off the shelf that’s perfectly suited to your derriere and that’s why it’s gone to town by making an entirely adjustable saddle. The width, angle and profile of the seat are all easily altered thanks to the saddle’s split shape design. In addition, each of the saddle’s component parts are replaceable, so if you damage them or they wear out you can buy new ones. So, what’s the benefit? Well, you’ll be able to find a saddle that suits your needs perfectly and one that, if your needs change, the saddle can be adjusted to reflect those new demands. And what’s the ultimate aim? To ride in complete comfort without any numbness or soreness that can be caused by a seat. The wings are as close as they’ll go, making the saddle as narrow as possible Alex Evans The seat with its wings adjusted outwards Alex Evans The saddle might look kinda strange but we’ve been assured it’s comfy! Alex Evans Okay, so it’s a bit pricey but can or should you put a monetary value on your private bits’ happiness? $349 Buy now direct from BiSaddle
SENIORS I was so excited to see a magazine dedicated to e-bikes that I immediately signed up for a subscription and just recently renewed for another year. Let me throw out to you a segment of the population your magazine seems to be missing, and that is those of us over the age of 65 who got into e-bikes because it was the only way we could get outdoors and enjoy biking again. I do applaud your review of the Pedego Boomerang Plus, which is the bike that I use. I purchased it two years ago because I had such severe peripheral neuropathy in my legs that walking was near impossible. I find e-bikes to be my salvation. However, when I read your magazine, it really seems devoted to the people under 40 for mountain bikes, and challenging the alps and long-range-distance combat-ready for action articles, trick gear, off-road fun etc. I may not renew again because a lot is not relevant to me. Let me give you another example. The Thule EasyFold carrier is a nightmare! Why? Because many of us over the age of 65 are widowed, divorced or single, and we only have ourselves to try to get the e-bike on the Thule rack. To get an bike up there on their wobbly ramp is an accident waiting to happen, but no one shares this info with us. Twice the ramp spun out of the Thule carrier and the bike went down with me with it. We need to know this information. I have written Thule letters about this. A friend of mine came up with a different design and a local welder designed the ramp, and now I am totally independent—free to load and unload my Boomerang Plus without worry. Reviews in your magazine need to address all age groups. Thule EasyFold carrier For those of us of an older age range, a bike on a regular road system is out of the question. I ride with my two sisters, and we do this only exclusively on dedicated bike paths. I am not asking you to change your e-bike magazine format towards seniors, but it would be nice if you could focus on a few things: 1) Recommendations and reviews that work for seniors, especially those with a low step-through, lighter weight, etc. 2) Gear and tips for seniors for getting the best benefits out of their e-bikes (i.e., I never realized how heavy the bike is and how it important it was for me to work on my upper-body strength to hold onto the bike when I stopped). 3) Articles on the best dedicated e-bike paths that are available across the country, and believe me, I have been on some of them in New England and they are outstanding. 4) And hearing inspiring stories of people over the age of 65 who are enjoying their e-bikes in finding a new life out there instead of being stuck at home looking at four walls Nancy Parciak Thank you, Nancy, for being a subscriber and for taking the time to write! It’s so important to get feedback from our readers, and I really appreciate it. I’m not currently a senior, though. I’m just about to turn 50, but I wrote about senior-focused tech in a previous job. I do think you’re right about doing a few more senior-focused articles in each issue. Low step-through frames are becoming available more. Lighter ones come at a premium cost. I love your idea about great destinations/paths, and I would like to hear from more people like you to hear how people are enjoying e-bikes and expanding their fun, lives and horizons! We would love to see photos of your ramp solution. I’m picturing an engineering marvel, as the Boomerang has some unique clearance issues. As an apartment dweller, hefting that thing up and down stairs was a challenge. THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET ELECTRIC BIKE ACTION In print, from the Apple newsstand, or on your Android device, from Google. Available from the Apple Newsstand for reading on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Subscribe Here For more subscription information contact (800) 767-0345 Got something on your mind? Let us know at hi-torque.com The post Letters: In The Fast Lane at 65 appeared first on Electric Bike Action.
SRAM has issued a recall notice for a limited number of RockShox 29er Lyrik and Yari forks after concerns that a fault may cause the lower legs to break. Cheap bike helmets: 6 affordable lids for road, mountain and leisure riding How to watch the Giro Rosa The brand identified a small number of forks that may have a long-term metal fatigue issue. While it says that most of the products affected have already been identified and rectified, it is keen to ensure that all potential customers are aware of the issue, so decided to raise awareness via media, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (US CPSC) and Canadian authorities. The recall notice has also been reported on Bicycle Retailer. According to the fault listed on the CPSC website: “the fork’s lower leg assembly can break and cause the rider to lose control, posing crash and injury hazards,” though SRAM is keen to stress that this is unlikely to be an imminent or catastrophic failure. The forks affected are primarily located in the USA and Canada SRAM/ RockShox Around 940 forks are believed to be affected primarily in the US (840 forks) and Canada (around 80), which were sold both as aftermarket products and as original equipment fitted to bikes, including models of the Kona Process 153, Santa Cruz Megatower, Trek Powerfly LT and Scott Ransom 930. Serial numbers affected are 02T95514009 to 08T96214665, which can be found on the rear of the fork crown. The forks are black or black and red, with a casting code of 18 and O or 19 and A embossed on the webbing of the fork arch. The casting number can be found on the fork arch, as pictured SRAM / RockShox To check if your forks are affected, or for more information, visit the SRAM website or contact SRAM directly. SRAM has advised anyone with affected forks to stop using them immediately and to contact SRAM or a local dealer who will supply free replacement lower legs. Mountain bikes that may be affected: Kona Process 153 29 Kona Process 153 DL 29 Kona Process 153 CR 29 Kona Process 153 CR DL 29 Kona Process 165 29 Santa Cruz Megatower 29 Trek Powerfly LT 7 US Trek Powerfly LT 9.7 US Scott Ransom 930
With number 69 on his board and jeans on his legs, Johannes Von Klebelsberg definitely made an impression in Leogang.( Photos: 5 )