Not all that long ago, Whistler based brand Chromag jumped into the plastic pedal game with their new ‘Synth’ pedal. Modeled after Brandon Semenuk’s signature ‘Contact’ pedal, they take on a similar outline and come in at about the same weight, but at roughly half the price. Plastic pedals in general are more economical and seem to absorb impacts better than aluminum. One point of interest with the Synth is that Chromag offers replacement plastic pedal body sets for just $15 USD/pair. Follow along to see how they’ve worked out through the long haul. Details 15mm at platform center Polycarbonate/nylon 110mm x 107mm 9 pins per side 380 grams per pair 5 colors $58.50 USD / replacement bodies available for $15 Chromag’s claimed weight is 380 grams/pair. These came in at just a touch over that, but keep in mind there is a few grams worth of dirt caked into them. As for the size, these are pretty middle of the road at 110mm x 107mm. Most of the grip you’ll find will come from the pins, rather than the pedal body – aside from this raised lettering, there isn’t really much in the way of traction coming from the pedal body itself. The side view above reveals the concave shape of the pedal fairly well. There are 9 replaceable pins per side. Easy pin swaps via an allen key… The pins have an interesting shape to them and thread in via a jam nut that sits in the pedal body, that way you won’t strip them out. On the trail I’ve used the Synths for most of my flat pedal excursions this winter and typically have ridden them with a pair of Etnies Marana shoes. I’ve spent time riding them on my trail bikes, e-bike and also a little bit on my Ticket-S. These come in toward the slightly smaller end of what I’m looking for in a flat pedal, although I did find them to be plenty supportive. On trail, the traction was right in the sweet spot. That would be loosely defined as somewhere in between “too much shifting around” and “too hard to move your feet when they end up in the wrong spot”. The former I would associate with a pedal that is low on traction and/or design quality, and the latter I would associate with a pedal like Chromag’s ‘Dagga’ – Chris Kovarik’s signature pedal, which could be savagely over the top for some. As far as the shape is concerned, I generally prefer quite a bit of concave so I did get along admirably with the Synth and found it very natural and effortless to find that “home spot” for my foot placement. The fact that these are modeled after Semenuk’s Contact pedal means that they sit inboard toward the cranks for more “trick control”. I don’t exactly do any tricks on my bike and the only time I’m upside down is when I crash. So I did find this “inboard” feel a bit strange at first, but got used to it rather quickly and surprisingly didn’t find any abnormal wear on my crankarms due to it. Touching on durability – while the Santa Cruz area isn’t known for being rocky, I did have a handful of encounters which the pedals seemed to glance off nicely, without taking on too much surface damage. As far as the bearings are concerned, I’ve found no play has developed after a moderately wet winter and plenty of hosings. In good form, Chromag offers rebuild kits and spare axles on their website. In terms of axle strength, these survived Brandon’s Rampage win and most of his insane filming over the last year without bending, so I doubt normal folks will have any issues. Overall I’m definitely not afraid to admit that I like plastic pedals in general and the Synths are no exception. They might not have the same luster as their aluminum counterparts, but do come with a much lower price tag attached, and at about the same weight, without any compromise to ride quality – or durability for that matter. One thing that sets these apart from some of their competitors is the fact that they’re less “disposable” and have spares easily available, should you need them. My only minor complaint was having to get used to my feet being a bit closer to the cranks, which turned out to be a small matter. Aside from that, the feel and ride quality is up there and the size is pretty agreeable, in the middle – some might prefer larger or smaller offerings, but these are safe. All in all, the Synths are really good pedals for the money, and the availability of spare parts makes for nice insurance. www.chromagbikes.com
Big news out of the Enduro World Series team today with the announcement of the 2021 race calendar. As well as there being brand new venues added to the 2021 event calendar, the EWS will also be returning to Derby, Tasmania, for round two of the series. How good is that! Derby has of course hosted two EWS events in the past, and it’s also been voted the Specialized Trail of the Year twice, proving its popularity with riders, spectators and locals. Additionally, the e-MTB off-shoot of the Enduro World Series, the EWS-E, is set to expand to five rounds for 2021. We’re intrigued to see how this series evolves, and also to see which EWS competitors decide to make the jump to e-Racing given the huge uptake in e-MTBs over the past few years. There’ll no doubt be more brands wanting to get in on the racing action. Anywho, here’s the official release from the lovely folks at the Enduro World Series – get excited! The Enduro World Series is coming back to Derby! Enduro World Series Unveils 2021 Calendar The Enduro World Series (EWS) is excited to announce its 2021 calendar – featuring brand new venues, reimagined classics and an expanded EWS-E series. The season will get underway in New Zealand in March, visiting Nelson for the first time in the series’ history. Situated on the Northern tip of the South Island, this small city is famous for clocking up the most sunshine hours in the country, but also its steep, natural and burly trails. Round two heads back to the inimitable Derby, Tasmania. This tiny town has embraced mountain biking and in just a few years created one of the most iconic riding destinations in all of Australia. It’ll be the third time the series has visited Derby and with good reason – their ever expanding trail network has twice been voted the Specialized Trail of the Year. Get the Shrek masks out again lads, it’s EWS Time! For round three it’s back to one of the UK’s most famous venues, the Tweed Valley in Scotland. After a six year hiatus the series will return to the hallowed trails of Innerleithen and the surrounding hills, which for the last three decades have acted as the proving grounds for some of the biggest names in the sport. The Tweed Valley will also act as the first round of the 2020 EWSE Series, putting e-bikes through their paces on some of Britain’s most challenging terrain. The second round of EWS-E will head back to Valberg in France, to take on the region’s infamous grey earth in the Southern Alps. Val Di Fassa in Italy will play host to EWS round four. This stunning venue nestled high in the Italian Dolomites became an instant rider favourite when it first appeared on the calendar in 2019, featuring long, physical stages amongst some of Europe’s most dramatic terrain. It’s across the pond to the USA for round six, for the series’ second visit to Burke Mountain in Vermont. Serving up some classic East Coast riding, Burke’s trails will make their EWS debut later this season when they host round six. Famed for its raw and technical terrain, Burke will offer up a challenge to even the most experienced of racers. And for the first time in the series history, there will be a second USA stop, as round seven heads to the West Coast and one of California’s most talked about mountain bike destinations, Northstar. The resort’s dry and rocky trails pushed riders to the limit when they were featured in the 2019 calendar – and in 2020 they’ll expand the offering to e-bikes to form round three of the EWS-E Series. The EWS-E then heads back to Europe for the penultimate round in that most dramatic of settings, beneath the Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland. Wyn ‘Whip-It’ Masters, proving aero is not actually everything. We expect many adoring fans will be returning to Derby for a close encounter with their favourite racers. For the final round of the EWS the series will crown its series champions in the sport’s spiritual home of France for the first time. Loudenvielle in the Vallee Du Louron in the South West of the country offers up a slice of classic French enduro – steep and natural trails and of course, some of those infamous French switchbacks. And whilst the series champions may be decided in France, there’s still one of the largest events of the year to go – the Trophy of Nations in Finale Ligure, Italy. This celebration of the sport sees Industry, Rider and Nation trophies up for grabs at the biggest race of the year, all set against the stunning backdrop of the Italian Riviera. It’s also the location for the final EWS-E round, and where the very first EWS-E Champions will be decided. Chris Ball, Managing Director of the Enduro World Series, said: “We’re all really excited by the 2021 calendar – it’s a great mix of established and new venues. “We’re especially excited to offer two USA rounds for the first time and expand the EWSE to five rounds.” Ella Connolly negotiating granite boulders many times her size. About Shimano Enduro Tasmania The Shimano Enduro Tasmania was a ground breaking event when it first visited Derby in Tasmania’s North East in early 2017. Helping to create the juggernaut that the Blue Derby project is, both the 2017 and the 2019 return received the highest acclaim winning the Specialized Trail of the Year award. Race Director, Ian Harwood from Event Management Solutions Australia has thanked the Tasmanian Government and Events Tasmania for their continued support in showcasing the state to the world. “Without the support of Events Tasmania, we would not be able to showcase the best riders in the world, taking on the best trails in the world”. The 2019 edition of Shimano Enduro Tasmania saw in excess of 5000 spectators cheering the riders on. In 2021 the schedule will be expanded into a more inclusive multi day festival with a dedicated EWS Kids event, Ebike events with the Derb-E and an expanded line up of entertainment. “As part of our on-going commitment to support and grow cycling our region Shimano Australia proud to help bring the world’s best riders back to the trails of Derby in 2021. After a fantastic event in 2019 we are looking forward to an even bigger party in Derby next time around. Bring your bike, bring your mates and come down and make some noise”, Toby Shingleton, Shimano. Can we just fast-forward to 2021? Mo’ Flow Please! Enjoyed that article? Then there’s plenty more to check out on Flow Mountain Bike, including all our latest news stories and product reviews. And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up to our Facebook page and Instagram feed so you can keep up to date with all things Flow! The post The Enduro World Series Is Coming Back To Derby! appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.
Even by Semenuk’s lofty standards, this mountain biking edit is something pretty special What do you get when you take a modern day mountain biking legend in the shape of Brandon Semenuk, the winner of Red Bull Rampage 2019 no less, and cut him loose in Japan’s Hakuba Valley? Well, to be frank, you get this – ‘Light Speed’; one of the fastest, most furious, most gravel-crunching, stoke-inducing bike edits we’ve seen in a long time. Cliched descriptive phrases like “face-melter” get thrown around a lot these days but this video, we’ll admit, is definitely in that ballpark. Pumping music accompanies this adrenaline-shotgun-blast to the face, with Semenuk serving up an absolute feast of jumps, tricks, kick-throughs and no-handers along the way. Buckle up, hold on tight, and let the Whistler wizard entertain you. This is the good stuff. This, right here, is the good stuff. You May Also Like Parallel | Watch Brandon Semenuk And Ryan Howard Serve Up The Ultimate Duet Watch Tomas Slavik’s Winning Run on World’s Longest Urban Downhill Track The post Light Speed | Brandon Semenuk Goes Full Charge Mountain Biking In Hakuba Valley appeared first on Mpora.
Sexy time, good times, shred time, buddy time or time-out? Whatever it is, treat yourself. This is exactly what we’ve been doing recently. Having finally cleared the monumental workload of testing the 25 hottest eMTBs for 2020, we decided to hell with it. Time to do exactly what eMTBs were made for: live life to the fullest. The highlights The best 2020 eMTBs under € 5,500 The eMTB Light concept – a new type of (E-)mountain bike? Lisbon: E-MOUNTAINBIKE City Escape powered by Haibike The top 10 dream eMTB destinations How does your eMTB’s lithium ion-battery work? Of course, we first made sure that this issue wasn’t short of captivating stories, know-how, inspiration and an interesting group test. You could accuse us, fairly justifiably, of being workaholics, but we want to drive the nail home on the best stories, discover the newest technology and keep our finger on the pulse of the latest developments. It’s just too pressing, even when the working day should be over. Sounds cheesy, but this is the price of genuine passion for the work you do. After our huge group test with 25 of the most promising new eMTBs for 2020 in E-MOUNTAINBIKE Issue #019, we asked ourselves: which is the best eMTB for less than € 5.500? We’ve also taken a closer look at the emerging eMTB Light category. Our latest E-MOUNTAINBIKE City Escape powered by Haibike took us to Lisbon and together with our art director Julian Lemme, we explored a lesser-known side of this current must-visit city. Included: quality time with Julian’s dad, girlfriend, trail dog Bonnie, and local Joao Mourao from WeRide. Other stories of note include visits to chemistry labs, Tuscany, South Africa and the Franconian bastion of beer, Forchheim, Germany. The latest issue is available now in our free magazine app. If you haven’t installed our app yet, now’s your chance to download it for free in the App Store (iPhone / iPad) or in the Play Store (Android smartphones & tablets). Our free, digital magazine is the centrepiece of our work and definitely the best way to experience our content, with interactive features as well as beautiful photography and videos all packed into a unique design. If you like our website, we’re sure you’ll love our magazine app. By the way: the app even gives you access to all of our back issues – hours upon hours of first-class content! All the bikes in this issue CENTURION No Pogo E R2600i | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 140 HPC | Haibike XDURO AllMtn 3.0 | Moustache Samedi 29 Game 4 | RADON RENDER 10.0 | SCOTT Genius eRide 920 | Specialized Kenevo Comp | Specialized Levo SL | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper SRAM AXS 29 | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo | Trek Rail 7 What to expect in this issue How much should you budget for a good eMTB? After lining up 25 of the best eMTBs in our big 2020 high-end eMTB group test in our last issue, we’ve picked out eight of the most exciting bikes under € 5,500 to compare. What should you look out for when buying an eMTB on a budget? Where will you have to compromise? And, finally, which is the best eMTB under € 5,500? Unavoidable happiness on the trail, a whole new riding experience and one burning question: is it even an eMTB? What underpins the eMTB Light concept and why are bikes with little support so revolutionary? Read on to find out more. Hardly a day goes by without news about battery technology for e-mobility. Lithium-ion batteries are still the battery of choice for mobile devices, including eMTBs. Read on to find out why this is the case and why battery chemistry is top secret. You don’t need a chemistry degree for a basic understanding of how the battery on your ebike works For many years, we just had bikes. Perhaps you called them bicycles or cycles, but whichever description you preferred, the meaning was the same – two wheels, pedals, a drivetrain and a saddle.. Life was simple. So, why have things changed? Each E-MOUNTAINBIKE City Escape guide inspires in its own unique way. Get to know a new side of global cities, meet interesting locals and pick up the best insider tips, from the local lingo, the dos and don’ts, to the must-visit cafes, bars, restaurants, and bike shops. Naturally, GPX files of selected routes are included. In each City Escape, we also present the bikes that we used for exploring the city and its surroundings. YT Industries, currently one of the world’s most popular bike brands, commands you to “Live Uncaged.” We rode bikes, drank beer and lifted weights with founder and CEO Markus Flossmann, to take a look behind the scenes and understand what’s behind the brand’s guiding principle. If you have already installed our free app, simply open it and download the latest issue right now. If not, first download the free app from the App Store (iPhone / iPad) or the Play Store (Android smartphones & tablets) and then download the latest issue in the app. All you’ve got to do then is sit back and enjoy (ideally with a cold beer or a delicious cup of coffee)! #qualitytime Der Beitrag Out Now! E-MOUNTAINBIKE Issue #020 – Treat yourself! erschien zuerst auf E-MOUNTAINBIKE Magazine.
Whether you’re training for an event or just want to tear the legs off your riding buddies in the virtual world as well as the real world, racing on Zwift is a great way to compete, train and have fun on your bike. Zwift racing is one of the newest and most exciting forms of bike racing out there, and if you’ve not yet taken the plunge, you could be missing out – not only on some great training but also on a lot of fun. If you’ve invested in a smart trainer, racing on Zwift is one of the best ways to get the most out of your lovely new toy because it enables you to compete against other like-minded cyclists from all over the world, whenever suits you, and from the comfort of your own home. And while a Corinthian spirit might be admirable, it’s not all just fun and games – virtual racing can be a serious business. Eight pro teams competed in this year’s Tour de Zwift, for example, and the first ever UCI Cycling Esports World Championships will take place later this year. Maybe you’ve got what it takes too? There’s only one way to find out… If you’re new to Zwift and wondering what it’s all about, don’t forget to check out our complete guide to the online virtual training and racing platform. What you need to get started Before you can start racing, you’ll need to sign up for a Zwift account, if you don’t already have one. You can get a free seven-day trial if you register for a Zwift account online, but after your trial period ends it costs £12.99 / $14.99 per month to continue using it. There are a few things specific to racing, beyond the standard turbo training accessories, that you’ll want to ensure you have in place before you jump into a race. You can race online using any Zwift setup, from budget trainer to the ultimate smart bike, but for the best experience you ideally want to use a smart trainer. If you only have a classic-style trainer you can use an on-bike power meter to race, but you’ll miss out on simulated gradients, which are a key aspect of creating an immersive experience. Just like in the real world, the most important thing is to make sure you’re prepared for the entire duration of the race (races tend to last between 20 and 40 minutes). If you have to stop mid-race to fill your water bottle or grab a towel, you’re going to be dropped immediately. So, make sure you’ve got two full bottles (consider filling one with water and the other with a sports drink), your towel is within reach, your fan is set up correctly and all of your devices are plugged into their chargers. How to sign-up to Zwift Visit the Zwift website to sign-up for a free seven-day trial. After your trial period ends, Zwift costs £12.99 / $14.99 per month. Even the pros race on Zwift these days. Zwift How to find a race on Zwift Races in Zwift are classified as events, so the easiest way to find them is on the Events page in game or to use the Zwift Companion app. You can then filter events according to what kind of race and category (more on this later) you’re looking to enter. Once you’ve found a race you like the look of, simply tap the plus icon next to your category to enter the race. Before signing up, make sure you read the description carefully because each race can have slightly different rules, and you risk getting disqualified from the results if you break any of them. You should also consider signing up for a ZwiftPower account so you can be included in the official race results. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to link it to your Zwift account via the connections page of your profile on my.zwift.com. The easiest way to find races is via the Zwift Companion app. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media How to pick which category to enter Similar to how bike races in the real world are organised, Zwift races are split into categories to make each race more of a fair fight. In Zwift, it’s fitness that determines your race category, not points accumulated through your results in previous races. Each category in Zwift is determined by your watts per kilogram (w/kg) at Functional Threshold Power (FTP), so the higher the category, the stronger riders in that race will be. The four categories are: A: 4.0 w/kg or higher B: 3.2-3.9 w/kg C: 2.5-3.1 w/kg D: 2.4 w/kg and below You can work out your w/kg by dividing your FTP (if you don’t know what yours is yet, you can take one of Zwift’s FTP tests to find out) by your weight in kilos. For example, if your FTP is 250 watts and you weigh 65 kilos, your FTP would be 3.85 w/kg, putting you in category B. Once you’ve selected a race, you need to choose which category you want to enter, and you can also set a reminder or add it to your calendar. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media Zwift racing tips: six tips to become a virtual racing supremo 1. Do your homework Knowing the course is a key component to success in Zwift racing. There are short crit races that favour sprinting, speed on the flats and repeated efforts well above FTP, but there are also hilly races that take in lumpier routes, such as the Volcano Climb, or on occasions, the Epic KOM. Knowing when the attacks are likely to come, or where to attack if you’re feeling strong, can be the difference between getting dropped, getting in the bunch or blowing the race to bits with your attack. Just like in the real world, moving up to the front of the bunch before the start of a climb is a great trick to give yourself a greater chance of staying with the group. If you’re sitting at the back you’ll have no choice but to hold the wheel in front when the pace rises, but if you start at the front you can drift back through the pack and get a draft on every wheel in the group. Zwift races will typically surge at the bottom of the climb as everyone fights for position, so be prepared to make an early effort. Sitting too far back in the bunch also puts you at risk of missing an important move. When the going gets tough, riders will start to leave gaps, meaning you’ll have to make surges to try and bridge to the group in front. The pace inevitably heats up on the climbs, so make sure you’re ready for it. Zwift 2. Horse for the course Don’t forget to optimise your bike setup for the course – the bike you choose will have a bearing on your performance, depending on the demands of the terrain. If you’re racing a flat course, forget about weight and focus on aerodynamics, but if there’s a huge climb on the course you might be better served with a lightweight setup. And before anyone thinks it might be worth riding a TT bike on the flat courses, don’t forget that you can’t draft other riders when using one of Zwift’s time-trial setups, so it’s going to leave you at a very significant disadvantage. If the race course features a lot of climbing, picking a heavy bike could slow you down. Zwift 3. Full gas from the gun If you’ve never done a Zwift race before, it’s hard to grasp exactly how hard the first few minutes of the race can be. Get the game loaded up with plenty of time to spare and get in a good warm up. Your avatar will automatically be transported to the start of the race course a few minutes before the start, but if you want a place at the front of the pack (which you really do) then get set up and join the event as early as possible. Once you’re in the race pen, keep on spinning your legs and start pushing some big watts just before the start gun, so you don’t miss the jump. If it’s a big race and you miss the initial sprint off the line, you’ll end up at the back of the pack and it will be very, very hard to move up to the front. The most likely outcome is that someone in front of you will lose the wheel and your entire group will get shelled. Game over. Instead, dig deep into your suitcase of courage and hold that wheel in front. Like cyclocross or criterium racing, the effort will probably be way above your FTP for the first few moments, but it will eventually settle down to a more sustainable level. 4. Surf the wheels Remember to pay close attention to your draft status as well. When you’re in the draft, your avatar will sit up and put their hands on the hoods, but when you’re not they’ll move into the drops. Drafting saves you around 25 per cent of the effort of riding solo, so let everyone else burn themselves out before you attack. As former world champion and Classics legend Hennie Kuiper said, “Racing is licking your opponent’s plate clean before starting on your own”. 5. Get aero Did you know that you can do a ‘supertuck’ on descents too? If you stop pedalling while going fast enough on a steep descent, your avatar will sit on the top tube to coast downhill in a more aero position, helping you stay in the pack while getting a little rest. Timing your attacks and PowerUp use effectively is key to Zwift racing. Zwift 6. PowerUps Lastly, when you’re ready to attack, make good use of PowerUps. We’ve covered PowerUps in more detail in our Zwift guide, but using them in the right place and at the right time can be a game changer. Saving a Helmet Aero Boost (which reduces your avatar’s aerodynamic drag by 25 per cent for 15 seconds) for the sprint to the finish, for example, could be the difference between a good result and finishing in the middle of the pack. The Feather Lightweight PowerUp, on the other hand, reduces your avatar’s weight by a whopping 9kg for 15 seconds, so is best used to attack on a steep climb. To activate a PowerUp, you just need to hit the spacebar on your computer, or the on-screen PowerUp icon in the Zwift Companion app.
When iconic mountain bike magazine, Dirt Rag, shut its doors X weeks ago, its Dirt Fest event series was left with an uncertain future. The Pennsylvania- and West Virginia-based happenings were the embodiment of Dirt Rag’s unpretentious attitude and loyal following. So, maybe it should come as no surprise that the show will go on. Read More The post Dirt Rag Dirt Fest Events: Same Time, Same Place, New Names for 2020 appeared first on BIKE Magazine.
When Chromag first launched the alloy handlebar in 2003, it was one of the widest bars on the market at 720mm. Times have changed!( Photos: 10 )