TESTED: Canyon Spectral AL 7.0 NS FUZZ
BEHIND THE CURTAIN WITH Martin Whiteley TREK World Racing in numbers
"I always have an eye on the big jumps"
04/2015 issue 1
6 Behind the curtain with Martin Whiteley 12 Trek World Racing in numbers 14 Canyon Spectral SL 24 Nico Vink 32 RRP Enduro Guard 36 NS Bikes FUZZ 46 Spicak, Slovakia 54 History of MTB Mountain Cycle 62 Romania 68 Ladies: Sonia Skrzypnik 72 Training at home Impove your aerobic endurance 76 Comics - Atlantic Gangbang
MAIN EDITOR Mariusz Sojka
ors welcome Working on the first issue of CHAIN magazine feels like going on a new, exciting trip, one you can't actually be sure how it's going to turn out although you're pretty sure it will be a great journey - especially if you have done it many times before. From the other side, this magazine is a totally new experience for me. Over 15 years ago I started a mountain biking website for the Polish community, called DH-zone.com, which grew up over the years and became the most important website about downhill riding in Poland. Even today it is still visited by over 500,000 unique users every year. A lot of great years, memories, and people - it naturally makes me feel proud and motivates me to go forward. While watching how the mountain biking scene is changing, we got this idea to start CHAIN magazine, something that will be easy to access and, most importantly, that will give us the opportunity to share our passion for cycling, including enduro, downhill and freeride. At very beginning of this journey I met some good people, and I feel I won't be getting back home any time soon. It is starting to look really interesting, especially with the first hill just behind me. Feel free to check out how it was, and be sure you follow CHAIN magazine!
EDITORS Filip Janiszewski Artur Kołodziej Bartosz Słomka GRAPHICS Barnaba Szczepański COMICS Witek Zielonka SPECIAL THANKS Jakub Béreš Ollie Jones Krittekorn Siriprechapong Jakub Fišer Shawn Harrington Tomasz Dębiec Haitman Rivas Mike Cartier Victor Velez Mikołaj Wincenciak Michał Bąk KINETIC SCOTT SPORTS website www.chain-mag.com FACEBOOK: wwww.facebook.com/chainmag COVER: Fabien Barel / CANYON
Andrej Grznár Jakub Béreš
Behind the Curtain with Martin Whiteley
words: Mariusz Sojka
Each success has its hidden heroes standing in the shadow of glory. Martin Whiteley is one of these people, and also one of very few with a strong influence on today's DH scene. It is a great honor for us to give you a closer look at his achievements. Enjoy! CHAIN: Hello Martin! Let's begin our interview with an unusual question. If not bikes... Are you wondering what would you be doing every day, if it wasn't for your cycling passion? I actually got offered two pretty cool jobs on the same day when I was 20. One was to be a breakfast DJ on a top radio station and the other was to be CEO of the Australian Cycling Federation. So if I chose the radio job, I guess that’s where I’d be now, somewhere in that industry. Chain: Fortunately, everything went as was written in the stars, and your cycling career took off. Can you explain its progress from the beginning? After joining the Australian Cycling Federation (ACF) as a very young CEO, I had a lot to learn and spent 10 years in that position 6
growing Australian cycling. We became a force in track cycling, and our road cycling was beginning to get stronger. I also started the Australian Mountain Bike Association during that time, independent of my work with the ACF, and developed a National Series. From that came Cadel Evans and many other great riders. After bringing MTB into the Australian Cycling Federation, I was asked to join the UCI Mountain Bike Commission, and in early 1990 we developed the first rule book for international Mountain Biking. In 1994 the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) asked me to join their office in Switzerland, but that was a very difficult decision, to leave my home country of Australia, move half way around the world to a country that spoke a language that I didn’t. There was no Skype back then, or email, so it was a big deal. I took a year to make up my mind, and the UCI waited for me which was great. I left the ACF after completing 10 years of service and moved to
Switzerland in early 1996. In my new position I was not only responsible for the general administration of the MTB discipline, but also running the World Cup and being Technical Delegate for XC and DH. It was a demanding job as there are now about five people doing what I did, and the hours and days were very long, but it was an exciting time. The World Cup had great sponsors who were taken care of by an outside agency, and the property made good money for the UCI. We were live on Eurosport and the bike industry was doing great. At the end of my five years in that position I had the honour of being the Technical Delegate for Mountain Biking at the Olympic Games in my home city of Sydney, at a venue I found and developed six years earlier. For me it could not have been a greater way to end my career at UCI by being the TD for MTB at my home Olympics. I then went on to start 23 Degrees Sports Management and create race teams.
MARTIN WHITELEY 23 Degrees / Trek world racing
RIDERS MANAGED BY MARTIN WHITELEY: Greg Minnaar Matti Lehikoinen Brendan Fairclough Gee Atherton Rachel Atherton Dan Atherton Kyle Strait Cam Zink Karlis Kisuro Zigmars Skolinsh Fionn Griffiths Liam Killeen Kashi Leuchs Justin Leov Mathias Flueckiger Neko Mulally Brook MacDonald George Brannigan Anton Cooper Laurie Greenland Dennis Dertell Cyrille Kurtz David Vazquez Clay Porter Sid Taberlay Luke Strobel Sam Blenkinsop Bernard Kerr Harry Heath Cesar Rojo Mick Hannah Sean McCarroll Missy Giove Marielle Saner Markolf Berchtold Naoki Idegawa Daisaku Kaneko Andrew Neethling Lindsay Klein Lukas Flueckiger Emily Batty Tracy Moseley Willow Rockwell Aaron Gwin Greg Williamson Ben Forbes Junya Nagata
I had no real idea how to do it, had no reputation in the industry for running teams, and only had 16 weeks to do it!
CHAIN: What was your function in UCI, and how has it has changed over the years? I was originally employed as the UCI Mountain Bike Coordinator and, as I described above, I was responsible for general administration (like rules, meetings, publications, calendar submissions, fees, licensing and so on), and then I was also responsible for all the technical aspects of the World Cup implementation. That meant site visits in the off-season, and then being at every World Cup as a Technical Delegate. I worked closely with the rider representatives to bring in a new era of safety standards that didn’t really exist before. I did more than 100 World Cups as UCI Technical Delegate. I was then promoted to Offroad Manager, overseeing MTB, BMX, Cyclo-cross and Trials. These days they don’t really have anyone taking specific care of DH in the UCI office (since Chris Ball left), and the office staff never come to the races. There are a lot of secretaries it seems! I had no secretary or assistant so I was very good at filing, photocopying and sending out letters too! CHAIN: Where did the idea of leaving work for the UCI and taking up the challenge of setting up the Global Racing team come from? So after the 2000 Olympics I decided as I flew out of Sydney that it was time to resign from the UCI. I had the idea of running my own Sports Management Company as I was beginning to evolve as a manager, having mentored Cadel Evans and a new young rider I’d discovered in Africa, called Greg Minnaar. I also had an idea for a Downhill team that had one rider from each continent to show how global the sport is….and developed the concept of ‘Global Racing’. It was super difficult setting up a team when
Through a partnership with Arai Mountain in Japan and its owner, we funded the team for 2001 and 2002 and didn’t need sponsorship money from the industry, which gave me time to prove myself as a Team Owner. In our first year we won the Men’s DH World Cup with a 19 year old Greg Minnaar, got 2nd in Women’s with Missy Giove, and were the number 1 team. It was a fairy tale year. The funding for the team dried up in 2003 so I funded it myself to keep it on the road, with talented riders like Andrew Neethling, Matti Lehikoinen and Cesar Rojo. Are there things that you would like to change in today's image of the races? Maybe bring back to life the 4X competition or lift the ban on skin suits? I think the sport of Downhill racing has a great image at the moment. I feel we need to work closer with the TV production company to arrive at the best format for Sunday’s race schedule. I have made a new proposal to the UCI for a different system of categorizing riders and determining how people qualify to race World Cups. I think this is key for making it even more attractive for TV, and while I can’t discuss it much right now I do understand it has been well received. CHAIN: Did the financial crisis of 2008 had a big impact on what you are doing and the relationship with the sponsors?
It was a difficult time for my clients in the cosponsorship categories. Overall, the top riders have continued to receive good salaries from top teams, but some of the smaller deals like helmets, eyewear, footwear etc. were difficult to maintain at previous levels. As a company we opted to reduce the number of athletes we managed and give them more service during that time. It was the right thing to do. CHAIN: Is it getting more difficult for professional riders to get sponsorship and a contract? Before it was easier for riders outside of the top 20 men to earn a basic contract but now that is much harder. The top guys (top 10) have always earned a good living, and only a few top women do. CHAIN: I really liked your work time in
the G-Cross Honda team, probably mainly due to the technical background of the team. It was a breath of fresh air, the Japanese car brand, very original, slightly futuristic bike RN01 and 2 very promising riders - Minnaar and
Fairclough. What goals had Honda brand entering the arena of the World Cup and as you recall your collaboration?
Actually donâ€™t forget Matti Lehikoinen who won 2 World Cups for Team G-Cross Honda and is one of my favorite riders to watch of all time. So during 2003, an ex-rider from Global Racing, Naoki Idegawa of Japan who in 2003 was riding for Honda in Japan, set up a meeting with Honda, myself and Greg Minnaar and soon after we agreed to run their new World Cup program which became Team G-Cross Honda. That was a great experience and taught me so much about how to run a professional race program. The Honda Racing Corporation (with whom I had my contract for 4 years) is one of the best companies in the world for learning about race team operations. After 4 seasons with Honda, it was clear this project was coming to an end for them. They had achieved what they set out to do and basically that was to show the world that their engineers were capable of re-thinking the fundamental bicycle design and propulsion, and go on to win World Cups.
CHAIN: Do you have the impression that the UCI has lost understanding of mountain biking? There have been quite a few controversial decisions in recent years, a lack of interest in the Enduro competition or Freeride (well, maybe it's better?), focusing on road cycling.. Ultimately there are 2 things that have to be remembered. The first is that the UCI has to answer to its membership which is the 180 or so National Federations, who’s main focus is Road Cycling (and where most of the money for the UCI comes from). Secondly mountain biking does belong under the control of the recognized body for international competitive cycling, but that it’s a discipline that has been losing money for the UCI over the last 5 years or so. Without the UCI investing in the World Cup and the discipline in general, things would have been a lot worse. There are some good staff there that care passionately about MTB, but it’s difficult when the discipline is losing money compared to others, to argue for more investment and attention. I think the people who say we are better off without the UCI have not really imagined what that would be like, or understood what the World Cup’s 25 year history means to the riders and teams that race it. You can’t buy that history or heritage. It will always be better to work with the UCI, continue to educate those within the UCI that have the power to effect change, and not be disruptive to progress. Of course there are things that frustrate me from time to time, but overall I know it could be a lot worse, we could be an independent boat in a large sea, but with a disposable rudder… CHAIN: Is it too late for Enduro and Freeride to be incorporated into the UCI's structures? I cannot speak for Freeride as I’m out of that loop and personally I'm not a fan of sports that are judged by humans….I prefer the clock, it’s never wrong. I think there will be a time where EWS and UCI can work in harmony together as long as each other’s rights and needs are respected and managed well. The Rainbow jersey and title ‘World Champion’ in cycling are UCI properties and I think they would be a nice addition to Enduro. CHAIN: At 23 Degrees Management do you receive messages or applications from talented riders? All of the time, and of course I would never discourage that. However, a kid who has just picked up a bike and wants to know how he can get on Trek World Racing needs to research things a little more. For the most part I am already aware of the riders I want to work with before they contact me. I do a lot of research and result comparisons to arrive at my list of ‘interesting riders’ before I make the next steps.
CHAIN: What do you think about the introduction of fees by the UCI for filming and taking pictures during the World Cup? I’m afraid this is all part of the growing pains. The UCI owns the rights and they sell them to a production company, Red Bull Media House. Part of that contract gives RBMH full exclusivity to race footage. This is normal in MotoGP, Formula One and most other top sports we aspire to be. At some point you have to move from being a relatively small sport that needs every bit of YouTube footage from whomever, to being a professional broadcast sport where the quality of the footage and images are managed well.
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HAIN: Do you think that a eturn to the transmission f the World Cup on urosport channel would be good move, especially for ponsors?
course, but not necessarily urosport, but any major broadcast hannel. This is an important goal r the sport’s credibility and the nancial strength of the sport. his will encourage more talented hletes, non-industry sponsors and mportantly, new spectator markets. ur internet numbers are already ry impressive so we just need to eep focusing on delivering a great pectacle on the screen.
CHAIN: Do you have any special, crazy memories from the old days? Many, but because a lot of them involve clients or riders I used to manage, it’s never appropriate to discuss them in public, but we know how to celebrate the big victories! One thing though that I don’t like is the kind of crazy partying that ends up destroying property or antagonizing the police. This can ruin a race venue and mean we will not be invited back. It’s happened before and we have lost some great venues. Usually it’s not the big name riders that cause problems, it’s the young kids new to the World Cup circuit that want to be like Palmer or something, and they cause a lot of headaches for the series. CHAIN: Do you not think that the rivalry between riders on the 26 and 27.5 inches wheels can be a little uneven, both for DH, and Enduro? The evidence is clear that 27.5 inch wheels are faster, and there are many companies making those wheels and tyres now so there is no excuse for anyone that wants to be super competitive. You can get the wheels you need if you want them. CHAIN: Have any of the riders you have worked with ever have any special requirements? (salmon sandwich before the start, Chopin's music in the service area, etc.) Not really. At Trek World Racing we provide on our truck a quiet area with beds where they can
get out of the main noisy area and relax before their race, in darkness and quietness. We prepare the meals they want, and anything else they need, but there are no strange requirements. CHAIN: What does the future of Trek World Racing team look like? Is the Enduro Team a distinct unit? There is a difference as the names suggest. The Trek Factory Racing teams (Road, XC and Enduro) are all owned by Trek, these are Factory teams. Trek World Racing is owned by 23 Degrees and it has Trek as the title sponsor. We are very happy about the progress of the young riders we chose in 2013 and we’re getting ready to renew our new contract with Trek for 2016 onwards. We are even talking about a new Junior Development program, so we are very happy with how things are going. Trek place a lot of trust and faith in us, and to date we have a great record. A total of 69 World Cup podiums and eight medals at World Championships. CHAIN: What's your advice to young riders, watching the scene and dreaming of a great career? Remember why you do this, because you love it. Train hard, prepare for your races well and if you have the talent you will rise to the top and be noticed. It takes a lot of discipline and hard work to make it into the World Cup top 20. These guys make a lot of sacrifices, and you have to be prepared for that.
Spectral SL CANYON Spectral AL 7.0 is a bike dedicated to all-mountain riding, but we have proof that it can do much more than that! words: Mariusz Sojka
Canon Spectral was my first opportunity to become acquainted with the German brand, which has, since it entered the bicycle market several years ago, achieved great success and has appeared at many important events around the world. The company was founded in 1994 and has, after many years of testing and hard work, come up with bicycle models which perfectly combine practicality with a range of innovative features. And let’s not forget their great design! Canyon bikes are eye-catching from afar, but what are they like up close? FIRST IMPRESSION My first impression of the ride was quite interesting, because I normally ride a bike with 26” wheels with 150 / 150mm travel. Even though both models were size M, my hands felt more comfortable resting on the handlebars of the Spectral, with arms slightly bent at the elbow. Spectral AL 7.0 is a slightly lower version of the highest 8.0 EX version; the difference between the models are the fittings (1x11 drive train,150 / 140mm travel, a flatter 66.4º head angle, and of course a difference in weight of more than 1 kg). Our version had 140mm travel, a 2x10 drive train (38/24 - 10-36) and a 67º head angle. Over the year, slight improvements were made to the model -
the front triangle was extended by 15mm and the bridge was shortened, which made the bike ride more stable and with greater torsion. 18
A new chain guard was also included, which was bolted with two screws â€“ this is a major improvement, although the material used could be more rubbery to prevent the chain leaving marks on the guard. COMPONENTS This CANYON model mainly features Shimano fittings - we have the XT 1x10 speed drivetrain, alongside SLX shifters and an XT 175mm crank. The SLX brake series feature large discs (200mm / 180mm) which help to control the bike at each and every moment. For comfort there are large contoured Ergon GE1 grips, and the Rock Shox Reverb Sealth seatpost reminds us that we are dealing with a real enduro bike. I had an unusual experience with the KMC chain X10-93 - I broke it twice in a week, but as I'm not superstitious I carried on cycling without waiting for the third time. The bike is largely driven by lightweight DT Swiss M1700 wheels with Continental Mountain King 2.4 tyres, which for their size roll well and without much resistance. Together with the sophisticated suspension, which remains rigid while pedaling, the bike is very easy to accelerate. It is generally quick and at the same time 'not tiring', assuming that we apply a little bit of force to gather speed on the red beast. The weight of the bike with NS Aerial platforms amounted to about 13.7 kg, but we have to admit that we didnâ€™t feel the weight while riding the bike or even lifting the bike by the saddle. Magic?
RIDING The test ride took place just after winter on fairly steep descents and very winding paths, with lots of protruding roots and stones. Oh yes! They were probably the ideal conditions to test this bike, especially because just a week earlier I had traveled along the same route on my own 26 ' bike. The front 140mm travel seemed a bit small, but with a larger wheel the 650B bike rode incredibly smoothly and at the very beginning I felt I could safely focus on the line of travel. A long ride on the route was an opportunity to see how the suspension copes with strong pedaling (sitting down). The 74.5 ° seat tube angle
was steep enough to be comfortable on the ride. The Canyon Spectral rode really well, and even when unlocked the suspension (Descend) remained virtually motionless when pedaling hard. Maneuvering the bike in the terrain came very easily, except for very sharp returns - after all, a big wheel reacts slower than the 26 “, but on the other hand it gains on ride-ability.
The 67º head angle is in practice not as steep as in 26” bicycles, so I felt very confident on steep terrain.
Spectral AL was quiet during the ride, nothing knocked around; this is mainly due to the ingenious chain-cover and the plastic runner, mounted on the lower tube of the rear triangle. By the way, this is a very cool and simple patent that distinguishes Canyon bikes from other brands. The bike does not feature loud graphic designs or contrasting colours. On the contrary, its colour is uniform and calm. On a cloudy day the cherry red becomes very toned, but in the sun the bike starts to glitter an eyecatching bright red.
BIKES SPECS: Frame Shock Fork Headset Stem Handlebar Grips Brakes Shifters FRONT Derailleur REAR Derailleur Crank Chain CHAINGUIDE Cassette WHEELSET Tires Seatpost Saddle Pedals Bike weight
CANYON Spectral AL/140mm FOX Float CTD Performance Boost Valve Fox 32 TALAS CTD FIT Performance Cane Creek 40 Iridium \ 3 - 0 \ Iridium \ 3 - 0 \ Trail Ergon GE1 Shimano SLX Shimano SLX Shimano Deore XT, 10s Shimano Deore XT, Shadow Plus, 10s Shimano Deore XT 175mm KMC X10-93 Canyon E168 Shimano SLX, 10s 11 - 36 DT Swiss M 1700 Spline Continental Mountain King II 2,4" RockShox Reverb Stealth Iridium \ 3 - 0 \ Trail Sattel ~13.0 kg (w/o pedals)
SUMMARY Canyon Spectral AL 7.0 is a light and fast bike which, when going downhill, rides with verve. Although the bike is classified as all-mountain, the fourhinged suspension, 27.5 inch wheels and ingenious geometry make the bike ride quickly in every area, and people accustomed to a 26-inch bike will quickly be persuaded of the benefits that the popular 650B wheel size brings.
Nico Vink No matter if you're a downhill or freeride rider - you probably know of Nico Vink and his aggressive style of riding. There are also some rumors that he's one of the nicest guys among MTB riders. One thing is 100% sure - he's fast and he likes to go BIG, like a true freerider!
date of birth: 23/03/83 height/weight: 1.83m / 83kg
music: I listen to loads of music, Metal, Stoner Rock, Country, I got a pretty wide range, most of the music I listen to is older music before the 90th's
favorite drink: Thee
education: School of life
favorite riders: Mike Aitken, Andreu lacondeguy, Josh Bryceland, Brandon Semenuk
discipline: Anything on two wheels and off road how long do you ride: 29 years most crazy thing you did: Two years ago I road a pretty crazy shoot in Utah filming with Damien from fast focus favorite food: Pizza, Sushi, Pasta
last gift that you received? I cant really think of anything what's in your fridge at the moment? Dont really got a fridge of my own. I'm mostly drifting. where would you travel with time machine? I would go back to the 60th's and ride motto for a little
top 3 films: Sugar man, Mcconkey and The story of Anvil
CHAIN: Hello Nico! First of all, lets give some more details about you. Where are you from, and how started your international career? How did you progressed as a young rider? NICO: I'm from Belgium. I started my International career when I was 16 racing European champs in La Molina. I got a little lucky getting selected for the national team, one of the guys on the national team got injured and they took me as a replacement. At that race I did better then all the other juniors on the Belgian national team and I got selected for worlds in Are (Sweden) later that year. From then on I got better and better sponsor deal. I grew up in a my parents bikeshop so I never had a short of bikes in my younger days. Bmx, Xc, Dh I had the toys to do it all and my parenys fully suported me in what I did. My dad used to be a MX racer so he enjoyed watching me ride bikes. CHAIN: We remember you from old days as a downhill rider, very top of WC. When did you decided to focus on freeride and big jumps? NICO: I did not really enjoy the racing anymore. Things just got to serious and I felt like it was time to move on and to focus on some other stuff. At the end of my racing days I road loads of motto because you could go way bigger on them, I always loved jumps on the DH and bmx bike. That brought me to Freeride :) CHAIN: Do you fear of something? Because when you ride, you look like fear doesn't know you.
NICO: I do fear, but mostly my will to try stuff is bigger. CHAIN: How do you describe your style of riding? NICO: I love going fast and ..
I always got an eye on the big jumps!
CHAIN: Many people know you from downhill movies like Earthed. Do you think these movies helped your career? NICO: Yeah, To me Alex made a bunch of the coolest video's in MTB Not just because I was in there but everytime I watched a video of alex I wanted to grab my bike and go ride. I'm super proud to be in those movies and they helped my career allot. CHAIN: How looks the downhill/ freeride scene in Belgium? NICO: It feels like the scene is getting bigger and bigger. Its all still pretty smal compared to other sports but there's definitely more guys riding. There's also a good vibe on most of the spots. CHAIN: What do you think about Enduro. Any chance to hit the enduro events in future? Do you like to ride uphills? NICO: I dont think I'll be doing enduro events any time soon. I love going for a ride but I don't see myself racing enduro. I dont mind uphills but I prefer them on my MX bike. :-)
CHAIN: "Ride Creation - bike park engineering" is your project. How is it progressing, and what is your role? NICO: Ride Creations is something I started two years ago with my good friend Kristof Lenssens. Its a trail building company. We are taking it pretty easy but its slowly growing. This winter we've done our first big project; its called the Nordeifel gravity bike park in Germany. Normally it will open this summer. I really love building stuff to ride on an this is what I will do after riding. CHAIN: What's your opinion about latest trends of big wheels (27,5 and 29)? NICO: I'm still on 26 inch. I dont feel like changing yet, Maybe if I still would be racing i would ride 27,5 because its faster. But for the type of riding I like I'll stay on 26 for a while, I just want my bike to be playfull. I'll never ride 29, Thats for Cyclo cross and road bikes. CHAIN: What were the best moments in your career?
NICO: Anything involving the fest, Riding Ron's farm and Kamloops, Riding whistler with Steve Murphy. Anytime I chased Andreu, Aggy, Ratboy, Fairclough, or Semunuk down the hill. Those guys got so much style and control. Being on there wheels is just insane. CHAIN: Please don't fix that missing tooth! It looks nasty :) How did you did that? NICO: Long story, Its a couple of crashers. First time I knocked out 5 riding the vert in my local skatepark. I fixed everything and then I knocked out one more missing a TB in the miniramp in my local skatepark. fixed it again and then it died on me and I had to take it out. I have to disappoint you, I fixed it this winter. My dentist could not take it anymore and started fixing it. CHAIN: Which riders you admire and what NICO: Anyone who's down to earth and is riding for the right reasons. CHAIN: Thanks a lot for the interview, and hopefully, see you somewhere, someday!
RRP EnduroGuard Who likes having mud flung from the front wheel straight onto the face? Not us, which is exactly why we have decided to test new RRP Enduroguard fender.
Choosing the right Enduroguard is simple, there’s a choice of two sizes (short and long, good for 80-120 mm of travel and 130-200 mm, respectively) and a range of colours. The material used for the fender, which is polypropylene, is 0.81.2 milimetres thick and seems to be durable. It’s easy to bend, allowing for proper fit against the fork. A more in-depth manual seems unnecessary, as the 4 included zip-ties and 8 holes make for an easy install. As soon as I rode into the forest, I became glad I had the fender on, and eyewear was no longer necessary. I chose the long size (designed for forks with 130-200 mm of travel) and it was perfect with my 150 mm fork. I rode through long, muddy gulleys, wet fireroads and even through standing water. Hardly any dirt or water was able to find its way onto my face. Even though the Enduroguard can’t keep the frame clean, it significantly reduces the amount of gunk being flung on the handlebars and the rider’s clothes and face. I wonder how well would it work if the fork’s arch was a bit further back, just like on Manitou forks. I suspect it would be fine, though. The clearance between the frame and the fender is sufficient, as is the one against the tyre. There’s plenty of room for mud, provided that the fender’s been installed correctly. As long as factory-built bikes don’t feature similar fenders, it’s worth spending a little money and getting plenty of comfort in return. weight 23g (short), 26g (long) colours: black, white, green, red, pink price: £8.99
More at: http://www.rapidracerproducts.com
FUZZ After so many years of developing dirt bikes, the Polish company NS Bikes has created something that a lot of riders have been waiting for - a true downhill bike. words: Artur KoĹ‚odziej photos: Mariusz Sojka MikoĹ‚aj Wincenciak
First impression: well its big. and its beautifull The latest project of the well-known firm NS completes its full range of MTBs. The latest downhill range is built to the latest standards and is called FUZZ. How has it worked out in practice? Welcome to the test! NS Bikes has, for a long time, been associated with dirt and Freeride bikes. Some time ago, the Polish company decided to include downhill bikes with large 27.5 inch wheels. Downhill biking was not totally unknown to the company as the owner of the firm, Szymon Kobyliński, had competed in downhill bike competitions before he founded NS. First impression Well, it’s great. Second impression? Wonderful. Everybody who tried out the bikes was impressed. The entire construction of the bicycle appears compact and low. Last year's flashy colours have been subdued and this bike’s look has really benefited. The matt black fits well with NS’s lemon-coloured designs that appear on other components of the bicycle. NS’s wheel rims also have the same colour scheme, and the two lemon-coloured spokes perfectly complement the design. At the top of the fuzz range, there are some unusual combinations ... Lever X5 X9 with derailleur X9, Vivid R2C2 with Marzocchi 380r2c3, Mozzart tensioner and
the well-known crank Descedant. A great feature is the ability to lead wires inside the frame, as well as the traditional way. The rest are produced by the firm 7-anny: NS Rotary 650B rear wheel with 157mm hub QR20. The handlebar NS Evidence NS has a width of 800 mm and the handlebar stem is DM - 40 / 48mm. Unfortunately, the downside of this bike is the Marzocchi 380 C2R2 front fork. Our tester rode last season’s RC3 model (i.e. the current r2c2 model) and it is afflicted by the same jumping action that wears out the hub and therefore remains the Achilles heel of this year's model. RIDING The first ride was not easy, especially when on tight and sharp bends which is not the suitable terrain for the new size, especially after changing from the standard 26“ wheels. It takes more than several minutes of riding to get used to and control the behaviour of 650b. We decided to wait and refrain from making any hasty judgments, and checked the ability of the new NS product and size 27.5 " wheels on high-speed DH routes and it is for these types of routes that the 650b wheel demonstrates its advantages.
We didn't have THE perfect conditions to ride NS FUZZ... BUT gueSs what?
We LIKED IT!
Our tester’s first word was "super"! It turns out that on rocks and roots the larger wheel gives you an advantage and it really makes a big difference to the experience. The four-hinged NS suspension gives a light "kick" but does not "pump". Additional note: The testers were all 176cm tall and they agreed that size ‘S’ would have been better for them. COMPONENTS & GEOMETRY The handlebar and stem form a great set. The 800 mm width was not too large for the test rider who was 175cm tall and weighed 74kg, though in our opinion the 780 mm width appears to be a safer option. The suspension is a classic 4-hinge that masterly selects small unevennesses and it doesn’t strike the ground when landing after a long drop or hop. The 350LBS spring perfectly fitted our testers who weigh 72kg and 74kg. The rear triangle provides the option of shortening the “CS” parameters from 447 to 432 mm, while the bike gains manoeuvrability. To add to this, the cosmic wheel base is reduced to an acceptable 1216mm. When talking about geometry, we can’t avoid the angle of the head, which at 63.5 degrees is the ideal value. A few words about the rest of the components: the saddle and seatpost Octane ONE perfectly suit the colour of Fuzz. As far as quality is concerned, we do not have any objections. We welcome the use of the Mozartt tensioner. When it comes to performance, the workmanship is no worse than can be found in global brands (np.E13). The black KMC chain also looks great. The brakes are Avid Code R, a poorer Code version that offers fewer adjusters - we do not have the pad contact adjusters. The 203mm discs provide excellent power and modulation. As for us, the only downsides of Fuzz are the previously mentioned 380 components. Overall, our team of testers initially held varying opinions about the bike but after testing it they were all positively surprised! The bike’s construction is very well made and looks beautiful. What we really liked about this bike is that it is quiet. This is the great merit of the ride. The Schwalbe Magic Marry 2.35 tyres were the perfect choice and worked well in all conditions, keeping the bike on the right track.
NS Fuzz versions 1 and 2 have the chance of becoming a bestseller in Poland and abroad.
The whole product is excellently made and at a reasonable price which will, without a doubt, make NS Fuzz the No. 1 among Polish downhill bikes.
447 / 432
1206 / 1191
1240 / 1216
1260 / 1146
Frame Shock Fork Headset Stem Handlebar Grips Brakes Shifters Derailleur Crank Chainguide Chain Cassette Rims Hubs Spokes Tires Seatpost Saddle Pedals Bike weight
NS Fuzz w/203mm (8”) Rock Shox Vivid R2C (9.5x3.0”) Marzocchi 380 C2R2 w/200mm FSA sealed bearings NS Direct Mount 31.8 (40 / 48mm) NS Evidence Plus (800mm) O1 bolt-on long Sram Code R, 200mm front & rear SRAM X5 10spd SRAM X9 Type 2 short cage, 10spd Truvativ Descendant, 36t, 165mm Mozartt Presto steel with bashguard KMC, 10 spd Sram PG-1030, 11-28 NS Enigma 650B 32h NS Rotary 20 / 157mm 14G-2.0mm w/ 14mm nipples Schwalbe Magic Marry 27.5x2.35 Octane One 30.9 Octane One Rocket ~17.1 kg (w/o pedals)
words: Filip Janiszewski photos: Jakub Fišer
Bike Park Our trip to Špičák in the Czech Republic ended in a rather unplanned manner, but that is how it is – when something surprises YOU, it usually ends positively. This is exactly how it was during our trip to the Czech Republic. Although the elevation of Špičák Mountain (1202m) is not that high, the approximately 350m altitude of the site still afforded many excellent riding opportunities. For some time now the bicycle infrastructure has been going through a process of expansion - and today Špičák offers a wide range of choices and possibilities for bikers who can combine freeride, downhill, north shore and jumps. The bikepark focuses particularly on the freeride and downhill techniques, but you can also find jump sections, single track, and a skill center for beginners to acquire the essential biking skills, situated at the entry to the cable station.
What does Špičák offer? Forest Virgin and Black Friday - there is only one way you can describe it – mega fun! These are not simply downhill or freeride tracks, but a specific combination of both elements, combining normally difficult to find technical sections comprising rocks, fast and simple jumps, northshores, gaps, wallrides and huge bands - everything that we like the most! STRUGGLE IXS DH – this a different story, a very difficult and demanding DH route at a European level. This shit is 'crazy! To ride the entire route and fly all the elements you need to have the grandes cohones and a little above average skill. Apart from the main lines, care was also taken with the design of the connectors and alternative lines on the Virgin Forest and Black Friday routes, where there are severe drops and downhill steps, as well as sections of DH described as "expert only" - and frankly, they know what they are doing describing them like that! To sum up - the routes are awesome, at a European level, mega fun, with mega flow, and something for everyone. Even a beginner should be OK on 95% of the Virgin Forest and Black Friday tracks.
Facilities: Located at the lower cable station, everything the cyclists needs:
Accommodation Base (Ubytovanie): Spicak is a winter resort on the border with Germany. The accommodation facilities are huge, with a lot of hotels and private accommodation (Czechs normally sleep in tents and cars, even at -2 ° C at night). Everyone will find something just right for them, and the prices affordable – a two bedroom apartment with a kitchen, bathroom and living room with TV cost us 300 koruna per person (~ 10 EUR).
• bicycle service • a place to wash bikes (2 hoses, no pressure washers) • shop with parts (tires, inner tubes, brakes, brake pads, lubricants, helmets, armor, and protectors) • bicycle rental • cycling school, the opportunity to ride with a master! The lower station also features a very cool restaurant that, unlike such shrines in Poland, has a very affordable selection: • bowl of goulash or tomato soup - 30 koruna (~ 1 EUR) • chop with french fries and sauce - 120 koruna (~ 4 EUR)
At the official end of the season, the Czechs had a great event called "Retro Race" where anyone could participate - on one condition: they had to use a bike and clothing from the 60s, 70s or 80s. :) The memories from this were priceless!
Haitman Rivas Mike Maldonado Jakins
TB Mountain Cycle - San Andreas, 1991 words: Mariusz Sojka photos: Shawn Harrington
Mountain C 1991 In today's episode of the History of MTB we will go back very far, because it's the beginning of the 90s, and even a little earlier. Those were the times of the 'crooked' experiments and often terrifying solutions, among which very occasionally appeared hit structures. However, in the jungle of ideas there were some 'gems' - smaller or larger, which could leave the competition far behind. Today we will see just one of these bikes - before you is the Mountain Cycles San Andreas 1991. If the company’s name doesn’t ring a bell, don’t worry. The brand did not survive the test of time, and was sold in 2001 already, then once again in 2007, it was passed into the hands of a Taiwan partnership called Ideation Industrial. Starting this year, you could still see occasional models, but now it’s hard to find any trace of this company’s bikes.
Cycle San Andreas
..but let's go back to the beginning. California, year 1988 - Robert Reissinger creates Moutain Cycle, which consists of 7 people working full-time. A very small team, but with great devotion begins to realize the idea of producing the most progressive MTB. At a time when MTB was influenced mostly by road cycling, the new model of the San Andreas was simply put - a revolutionary bike. An appearance inspired by motocross, 100mm stroke, monocoque frame design, a front fork (upside down!), one of the first disc brakes in a bike – these are probably the main ideas, which no company has completed yet. A single-pivot suspension in a bike for the time being actually worked (despite the elastomers), and to this day we can see similar structures in many well-known brands, such as Orange, Santa Cruz, Morewood, Cycletech or even Polish Kross. The bike, contrary to appearances, didn’t weigh much.
A bike from the last series of the structure from 2002 weighed less than within 12kg. The author of the idea, Robert Reissinger, has inspired many designers since then, and certainly led MTB’s trends towards today's mountain bikes. It is worth noting that the latter bikes of the brand appeared frequently in the DH, also in Poland, around the year 2000. The San Andreas model is also the only bike exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Francisco, as an example of modern design.
...don’t come Here looking for Dracula!
ROMANIA words and photos: Tomasz Dębiec
The country of Prince Vlad the Impaler – the progenitor of Dracula - is certainly one of the most interesting in Europe. Tourists are increasingly willing to look here, even if it is to look for traces of the world’s most famous vampire, or to see the country’s historic towns and castles. Romania, however, attracted us for something else – the beautiful Carpathian highland areas that are not yet crowded with tourists, such as the Rodna and Făgăraş mountain ranges.
On several occasions the mountains in Romania simply took our breath away. The first time was in the Rodna mountains, when after a few hours of climbing, searching, finding and losing the trail, we finally found ourselves on a beautiful ridge path, only to be caught out in a torrential downpour. There was, however, some happiness in our misfortune as we found a shepherd’s path well-trodden by sheep. We found our way down into the valley and were able to take our GoPro camera out of its cover. On another occasion – this time in the Făgăraş mountains - we found a trail that was so rarely frequented that you might have thought it simply didn’t exist. Here, the only descent from the hanging valley was a steep gully. Finally, with the help once again from some sheep that had trodden a path through the meadows, we returned to dwarf mountain pines, a beautiful mountain river valley, and civilisation. Such experiences just happened and were part of the unexpected pleasures of our adventures in the region. We also had the opportunity to visit the Rodna mountains and the lower parts of the Făgăraş mountains, which we found to be full of steep and attractive paths. In the highest parts of the Făgăraş mountains, however, we struggled with the extreme slopes, tight bends and scattered boulders. In the highest altitude vegetation zone in Romania, with peaks in excess of 2,500 metres, the main ridge rarely emerged from the clouds 64
which were most frequently visible at night or in the early morning. We waited for a weather window at the Bâlea Lake chalet (altitude approx. 2,000 m) to view the mountains in all their glory. We had our five minutes and we used them. We climbed up to the main ridge at 6 am, though a moment later the clouds formed once again on the mountains. A thin layer of fog, several dozen meters thick, flowed from one valley to another over our heads at high speed. The temperature, although the middle of summer, was barely 3ºC.
Sometimes, the wind blew white fog illuminated by the sun around us, so that we were just above the clouds. Then, we could see our own shadow on the clouds below, surrounded by a halo. This is the so-called Brocken spectre, a rare phenomenon which has, since the 1920s, been connected to some superstition held by some Polish climbers. It says that he who first sees a Brocken spectre should not laugh because death awaits him in the mountains. The bad spell is nullified if you see your own shadow on the clouds three times. There is nothing we like more than frequent trips to the mountains, and that includes viewing the Brocken spectre at least three times :) One of the most characteristic features of the mountains in Romania is the well-developed pastoral culture. There are flocks of sheep almost everywhere, in every valley. Cheese is transported, even to the most inaccessible places, by donkeys which seemingly overcome the difficult paths with great ease. Thanks to shepherding we were able to discover some cool tracks, and every morning at the shelter on Bâlea Lake we ate delicious cheese, though there is also a dark side for enduro explorers. There are packs of guard dogs, which sometimes number a dozen or more. If the path runs nearby grazing sheep this could mean serious problems. Only in places where the tourist is not a rare sight are dogs accustomed to strangers and do not care about their presence. In a crisis situation one should be calm and pretend not to be afraid of being eaten alive. In the end, the dogs almost always respond to the commands of the shepherds.
The Romanian mountains exhausted us, but the trip turned out to be more than satisfying. the potential to explore the mountains in this country is almost infinite!
If you're talking about mountains in Romania, you have to mention the Transfăgăraş road, which crosses the Făgăraş mountains from north to south. This is certainly one of the most beautiful mountain roads in the world - gently leading through extremely exposed areas. It casually climbs in places where you would never expect to even meet a goat, and finally enters a tunnel under the main ridge. Moreover, this was filmed by the Top Gear team, with Jeremy Clarkson shouting his admiration whilst turning tight bends in a fast sports car. For us, travelling by bus was a practical way of getting to the heart of the mountains and also searching for better weather. 67
Sonia Skrzypnik She is definitely the fastest women on a downhill bike anywhere in Poland. Although it's hard to be a professional rider, she's doing her best to stay at the top and enjoy racing with the guys. Gentleman - meet Sonia! date of birth: 17.08.1993
top 3 films: Rocky I, II and III
height/weight: 1.83m / 63kg
music: The Analogs, Bodies, Bat For Lashes, donGURALesko, CYBERPUNKERS, Dope D.O.D, AC/DC, Disturbed, Korn, Slipknot..
city: Bytom education: Marketing Management BICYCLE: Commencal Supreme DH V3 Park Preferred style: Depends on what :) how long do you ride: For 7 years, 4 years downhill cycling how long do you ride: Promotion at work favorite food: Chips
favorite drink: None in particular favorite riders: Mike Aitken, Andreu lacondeguy, Josh Bryceland, Brandon Semenuk last gift that you received? Some sexy underwear what's in your fridge at the moment? I suppose nothing where would you travel with time machine? To the start of the cycling adventure
words: Artur KoĹ‚odziej photos: Maciej BÄ…k 69
CHAIN: Thank you for accepting our invitation. Your bike history – everybody’s is always a little different. How was it with you? Adrenaline has always attracted me. I have done a lot of crazy things because of this hormone that is secreted in my body. Why the bike? I still don’t know 100% the answer to this question which I have been asked umpteenth times. It just happened, it was meant to be, and that is good.I was involved in all cycling disciplines, hoping I would be the best in ALL, but that is not possible. Dh racing in POL is one way to prove yourself, maybe get a title or a prize in the form of equipment. All these factors came together and also the generous encouragement: "you can do it, you can come first", which pushed me to where I am now. 70
CHAIN: A new season, a lot of changes .. Let’s talk about the 2014 season .. How would you rate it, which was the season for you, and the most important question – why did you leave TEAM RMF ? Let's start with RMF. The beginnings were difficult, there was a lack of communication between us. The 2014 season was already different. I got on really well with the guys; it felt like family. The boss always helped when he could. I learnt a lot from my cooperation with the team and this will be useful in the future. I don’t think that it was a waste of time for me and the team. Thank you for our time together at the yellow team :) We split after I felt a lack of desire to race with them. As we know, RMF is a Polish team, which depends only on Polish riders.
CHAIN: We are going to torment you with more questions about RMF. How would you rate those several years of cooperation? Did the "relationship" help you develop your career, or did it restrict you too much? “Limit” is the wrong word, there were some commitments to the team that you had to fulfill, meaning to race in Polish competitions and win. Did it bring anything? Definitely, it gave me more technical skills and I have many pleasant memories, hehe :) CHAIN: Ok, enough of the past .. What about now and the future? As we know from your funpage, you have new sponsors. My helpful sponsors are: Horizon Bikes, Gregorio, Commencal, Endura, Mozartt, Airbike. This line-up will support me in the 2015 season. What will come of this? Certainly a load of fun in good company. I feel like I've just started to race. A lot of new things will happen to me. I have not yet been in such a euphoric state, if we are talking about the cycling world. CHAIN: Will this mean that in 2015 we will see your name on the starting list next to a club? No, there will be no club. It is just Sonia Skrzypnik. I’m a nonattached member, and for the time being I feel good. CHAIN: What are the everyday activities of the "fastest" woman in Poland?
I work in a sports shop and that is pretty cool. I don’t earn a lot, but enough to put away a few cents for the season. I have great people at work, who are my faithful fans. When new supplies arrive it means a lot of exercise, hehe :) This is also a pleasure that is also useful. It is better to work than to sit and wait for a miracle from heaven, and this is as difficult in Poland as it is in many countries. CHAIN: What are your weaknesses? What would you like to improve in your riding or in preparation? I think maybe I could go just a little faster. I have some catching up to do; about 30-40seconds. CHAIN: Do you ever have doubts about whether gravity racing will continue the following season in YOUR country? That's the question you need to ask the people who have been DH racing in Poland since the beginning.In my opinion it looks bad and I don’t know how it will it look in a few years’ time, but I'm not a prophet. DH definitely gets media attention - something is happening, but what will come out of it, I do not know. CHAIN: You’ve competed a lot abroad. What’s racing like in our neighbouring countries? What would you adopt from other countries for our PP? The best observation I made was in Maribor (Slovenia) at
the IXS Cup. I was in love with the atmosphere over there, I even met a nice bachelor. They are all nice to each other and that's cool. I would like to recreate that atmosphere in Poland, so that judges at competitions in Poland don’t always consider their jobs as a form of punishment. CHAIN: What trails does Sonia Skrzypnik prefer? What are your favourite trails in Poland and the world? I haven’t seen a lot around the workd this season but this will change. However, these Polish trails I know well: Palenica Ustroń -Wisła Stożek( aline) - Czarna Góra I don’t like narrow trails, I like those where there are many lanes to choose from, which are up and down and have mega fast ramps and high jumps. And the best are those that have asphalt on the trail, hahaha :) CHAIN: How do the men react when a woman overtakes them? I try not to be too wild. If I see someone on the trail, and that person has a different pace, I wait until they ride away and then I set off. CHAIN: Do you have any dreams related to MTB? I’ll ride for as long as possible, to make money from it and to be myself and independent no matter how my life turns out. CHAIN: Thank you for your time and we wish you only victories in the 2015! Thank you! 71
Training at home: Improve your aerobic endurance words: Bartosz Słomka photos: KINETIC
Training at home is a basic form of exercise which both amateur and professional sportsmen can do. In this article I will try to provide some rules for training on stationary exercise bikes that will be useful to you in the cold weather, or in preparation for the season. One of the differences between exercising on a stationary exercise bike and training in the open-air is that there is no wind to cool you down. When starting your workout you won’t feel uncomfortable but the heat produced by the exercise takes its toll on long, or short but intensive, workouts. During workouts the body increases its temperature which helps to generate energy. The thermoregulatory system uses sweating as a way to remove excess heat. This is dangerous in terms of training because the loss of water and dissolved minerals in sweat significantly weakens and can even prevent you from 72
continuing further training. The loss, in this way, of potassium, magnesium and sodium disrupts the transmission of information and makes it difficult for the muscles to work. So it’s worth consuming a large amount of liquids containing basic minerals. It should also be remembered that the thermoregulation system is slow in providing information about thirst. So pay attention to regular drinking to prevent the feeling of dryness in the mouth. If you have this feeling it means that it is no longer possible for you to have adequate hydration during your workout. Each person has individual fluid needs, so it isn’t possible to specify a fixed amount that would be ideal for every individual. When training, each individual should come up with a suitable hydration regime for themselves. To reduce sweating and cool off during training we suggest you set the fan to effectively air the entire skin surface. If you place it to the side it will not have such an effect.
"If you don’t have enough breath to talk with a friend whilst cycling it's very likely that you are in the area of your aerobic threshold."
The location of this type of training is also important - it can be an interconnecting room, a partially heated garage, or another room where air exchange is possible. If training is performed indoors, it should be in a space that is large enough to fit the stationary exercise bike and some other pieces of furniture, so we can experience it for ourselves how much CO2 we exhale during our workout. 73
Preparation prior to training: - towel - 500ml Isotonic drink - 1.5 l another mineral-enriched drink - a table for drinks and any equipment - a fan in front of the stationary exercise bike - during long workouts TV or good music is useful, but it should not distract you from your training Below we present a description of the training schedule, which can be successfully carried out at home on stationary exercise bike equipment to improve aerobic capacity at various ranges. In this section we will focus on exercises with acceleration, variable cadence and pace endurance. 100% FTP â€“ marks the intensity of exercise. This value corresponds to an intensity of effort, which if exceeded means that your fatigue will rapidly increase due to the significant accumulation of lactic acid. 74
TRAINING 1 (with acceleration, 2-3h):
2-3 hrs cycling non-stop
For the final 2mins of each 10-minute-ride accelerate to 103% FTP
(Pace with changing cadence, 2h):
(at basic endurance pace, 1-3h):
40mins cycling nonstop;
15min cycling non-stop
20mins cycling at various speeds
76-91% FTP every 1min +15 rpm from the main pace 76-91% FTP
6-10 x 5-10mins cycling at constant speed
76-91% FTP (you can accelerate in the first stages to find the fastest speed you can maintain at each stage) No effort or very little effort
40min continuous cycling; 20min cycling with varying intervals
76-91% FTP Every 1min +15rpm from the main pace
somewhere Our Father Who art in Heaven
I thought this was some hitchhiking woman..
oh but she mightbe cheap though..
..AND I swear not to exceed the speed limits!
Im so lonely on the road..
..AND not to hit ANY MOre dear!
I need some company, a lady maybe, a prostitute.. she don't need to be young
AFTER SO LONG, SOMEONE IS COMING!
your bike won't fit, kid Checkmate
there is one rule i choose the music
you. e v lo s y a lw a l il And I w
I will always love you.
ou. Hmm... y g n li r a d y m , u Yo
we will see!
THE TURN of DEATH !
In the name of the Father..
over there! and the Son.. and the holy spiri t..
IT'S ALL BECAUSE OF THIS DAMN GPS!
I'M starting to think we're lost.. or maybe not?
YOU TOOK THE WRONG road DUDE!
WE HAVE A PROBLEM, LOOK At THAT!
how much do we weigh?
but dont worry, kid!
that bridge will probably collapse
but if we hit at top speed we will naturaly fly over it.
OK, I NEED TO GO!
good.... help me
HEY, I GOT AN IDEA!
o h o
,y o h
m r fo We
we under pl
Just in time, i'm almost out of rum
I will save it for later..
after an hour of wandering...
hey dude! wanna see atlantic gangbang?
like a loser
you need to go around
i'll take a shortcut
To Be continue...
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