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OCT 2016 VOL38

#MTB BIKE REVIEW F U L LS U S SA

@ F U L LS U S SA

F U L LS U S SA

F U L LS U S SA

p16 Sus the Santa Cruz Tallboy 3

TOBIAS GINSBERG

SA’S TOP XCM EVENTS South African mountain biking is based on the plethora of world class marathon races, from little ones organised by schools to 1 500 rider strong “Must Do Events”, we’re not short on options. Seamus Allardice ropes in some pro’s and a bunch of Full Sus contributors to find some of the best.

BUT FIRST, XCM? XCM is the UCI’s abbreviation for cross-country marathon racing. Currently there are only a few of the Ashburton Investments National Marathon Series races with UCI accreditation in South Africa, but Dryland Events have applied for UCI status for the 2017 Fairview Attakwas Extreme Challenge. Technically, according to the UCI, a marathon MTB event is anything between 60km and 120km long and riders don’t pass the same point twice, but this is South Africa and we’re long distance

crazy so we’re adding the ultra-marathons into the mix for the sake of this article.

WHAT MAKES XCM GREAT? For me, even if I know the route and know exactly what to expect I love the challenge of a marathon race. I don’t make the time to do 60km plus training rides often enough so it’s an excuse to ride my bike for longer. I ride harder too, especially uphill; not because I am racing for a place or to improve my seeding, but just because it’s a race and it’s fun to suffer on

the bike from time to time. Marathons in new places also provide the opportunity to explore new trails. And marathons on familiar trails provide the impetus to beat your personal bests on a segment or two. Plus there’s always the chance of clocking a faster time on a descending Strava segment than the race winner, which is worth absolutely nothing but good for personal pride non-the-less.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A XCM RACE For me I enjoy a challenging route, be it because it’s

technical like the PiketBo-Berg MTB Challenge or contains lots of climbing like any race in the Winelands, or because it’s an epic bucket list challenge like the Attakwas Extreme or the Trans Baviaans. While I have lots of advice for event organisers reading this, too much for a short article that’s for sure, my key advice when marketing a marathon event is to be honest. Don’t claim “singletrack for days” when there’s 5km in the entire route,

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WIN IMPI CHALLENGE ENTRIES

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EDITORIAL & XCM EVENTS

ED’S LETTER

THE SUS TEAM

FROM PAGE 01

Publishing Editor Shayne Dowling shayne@integratedmedia.co.za

SA’S TOP XCM EVENTS CONT...

Content Editor Seamus Allardice seamus@integratedmedia.co.za Art Director Annalie Boshoff

i

t’s with mixed emotions that I pen this month’s editorial letter. It’s only my fourth editorial column after all, but behind the scenes I’ve been involved since the outset. So it’s about time for a fresh approach and a new voice to bring you the mountain biking stories from the newspaper you’ve grown to love over the last three and a half years. We launched Full Sus back in April 2013, just after the Cape Epic and only printed about 8 000 copies – nearly all of which ended up in Joburg or Cape Town. Now 42 months and 38 issues on (thankfully the idea of MTB Monthly didn’t survive the first December) Full Sus has doubled in distribution, increased in size and I like to believe improved dramatically in content too! Personally I’ve had some great times and met so many amazing people. I went from a surfer who might have been convinced to take-up mountain biking to a mountain biker who really should retake-up surfing. It’s not all been plain sailing, the first 18 months were exceptionally tough as we struggled to find our niche and show to advertisers that Full Sus was here to stay. We’ve also made mistakes along the way, many of the spelling ones were mine – but you can’t let a dyslexic run around unproofed… The most mortifying though didn’t come from my keyboard, but rather on a trail I know like the back of my hand. Crashing and breaking the seat-stay of Ray Wilson’s personal BH Lynx during a test ride was the all-time personal low. Especially as it was followed by a 30 minute walk of reflection before I was picked up by my very understanding girlfriend. My proudest achievement at Full Sus was the launch of Full Stride and though it too has struggled to establish itself I really believe with a bit more focus and attention it can hold its own against its mountain biking sibling. To that effect I’m excited to announce that the ultra-trail running legend, Linda Doke will be taking over as the Editor of Full Stride. So keep an eye on the trail running side of things and follow her on Twitter, @lindadoke, to get to know her so long if you don’t already. Putting each issue of Full Sus together has always required a team effort. From the regular columnists (I’ve got to single out the eternals like Stirling and SJ Kotze, Jacques Marais, Oakpics and Mike Posthumus for special thanks for enduring with us over the years) to the contributors (Diana Carolin and Kate Slegrova in particular have been as much a part of the Full Sus furniture as any of the eternal columnists) and our “Rogue Contributor” David Bristow (who I presume is holed up in a five star lodge in Ethiopia waiting for Meurant Botha to arrive and build him some singletrack). Then there’s the design team: Megan Merifield, Shannon Flewellen and Annalie Boshoff who work long hours to make it all come together and put up with last minute changes. Gerrit Rautenbach does great work keeping my mistakes to a minimum and Eloise Meyer keeps all our salaries paid by making sales. Then there’s the glue which holds it all together Ashlee Attwood. She somehow manages to do everything the rest of the team say they’re too busy to do, and take photos, make coffee, crack jokes and roll her eyes at bad ideas – just in case someone tries to implement any hairbrained scheme. Producing an issue of Full Sus would be impossible without the input of all these fantastic people. And then there’s Shayne Dowling of course. Full Sus is Shayne’s baby, it was his brain child and he’s stood by it through times when I was ready to throw in the towel. Shayne, thanks for taking the chance on hiring me in the first place and for introducing me to this great sport. I’m glad I could witness Full Sus repaying your faith in the concept. And good luck for the continued growth ahead. Yes, on one hand I’m sad to step aside, but on the other I’m excited for the possibilities the future holds for Full Sus. If you’d like to keep tabs on my next adventure, which hopefully involves more writing and riding and less emails (but probably doesn’t), you can follow me on Twitter: @SeamusAllardice. Cheers,

Sales Eloise Meyer eloise@integratedmedia.co.za

Erik Kleinhans in action during the fantastic Fedhealth MTB Challenge.

PR & Promotions Ashlee Attwood ash@integratedmedia.co.za Regulars Stirling Kotze Snr & Jnr, Jacques Marais, Dr Mike Posthumus, Amy Burton, Estelle Pickard, Stefan Garlicki, Erik Kleinhans, Hendrik Lemmer & Kathryn Fourie. Contributors Diana Carolin. Rogue Contributor David Bristow Photography Ashlee Attwood, Oakpics.com, Red Bull Content Pool, Chris Hitchcock, Volume Photography, Newsport Media and thinkstock.com. Printing Paarl Coldset (Pty) Ltd Published by

Head Office | Cape Town Tel: 021 685 0285 Address: Suite WB03, Tannery Park 23 Belmont Road, Rondebosch, 7700 Postal Address: PO Box 259, Rondebosch 7701 Disclaimer The views expressed by the contributors and columnists do not necessarily represent the views of Full Sus or Integrated Media. Audit Bureau of Circulations of South Africa NPC

TOBIAS GINSBERG

TIME TO HAND OVER THE REINS

WWW.OAKPICS.COM

Senior Designer Shannon Flewellen

don’t say it’s rideable for all levels of rider if the route is actually quite technical. Yes you’ll secure entries in year one, but you won’t have repeat riders. There’s space for 60km rides which leave the finishers completely drained, but then be honest and bill it as tough. If you want to keep riders coming back in their droves year after year though there’s a definite recipe for success.

“IT’S FUN TO SUFFER ON THE BIKE FROM TIME TO TIME.”

ALLIANCE PARTNERS

COMPETITION TERMS & CONDITIONS

The Prize/s is as indicated, no alternatives or cash will be provided. The decision of Integrated Media will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. Under no circumstances shall Integrated Media or its appointed representatives and the prize donors be liable to anyone who enters these Prize Draws for an indirect or consequential loss howsoever arising which may be suffered in relation to the Prize Draws. By entering these competitions you make yourself subject to receiving promotional information. Entrants are deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions. Prize Draw Rules: The prize draw is only open to residents in South Africa. Employees of Integrated Media and their respective advertising, media and PR agencies, as well as the family members, consultants, directors, associates and trading partners of such organisations and persons are ineligible for the draw. Prize style and colour may vary. Competition closing date 24 October 2016.

ELEMENTS TO AN EXCELLENT XCM RACE Easy Logistics  Less than 90 minutes from a major urban centre  A shared start and finish venue Flawless Organisation  Good route marking  Well stocked water points  Ample parking and ablution facilities  Food carts and access to proper coffee pre-race  Well briefed medics, marshals and race admin staff  And a timing system which works well The Route It’s the race’s key unique selling point  So if the race is on well-ridden trails the other elements have to make up for the familiarity of the route. Some races excel at just this.  But if the route is unique, out-of-bounds outside of one special event, or a crazy challenge (like the Trans Baviaans, Trans Karoo or The 36ONE) I and many others are willing to tackle a logistical nightmare or two to tick a race from a bucket list (and return again the following year).

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XCM EVENTS C O N T.

SUS THE FEEDBACK: SA’S BEST XCM RACES FROM PAGE 02

ZOON CRONJE | NIKON

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JAMES REID

ROBYN WILLIAMS

@james_reid01 | Team Spur | SA XCO Champ & Ex-double SA XCM Champion Race: Illovo Eston MTB Classic (August 2017) Reason: It’s short, hard racing that sits somewhere in between a marathon and an XC race. It starts at a furious pace because of the KOM 3km in. It is held in a magnificent and underexplored part of South Africa and the landscapes it crosses are rich in diversity.

@RobsWilliams | Specialized Brand Ambassador | Triathlete turned MTBer Race: Fedhealth MTB Challenge (September 2017) Reason: It’s the first weekend in September and marks the start of spring. This is a superbly organised race with lots of climbing, amazing views and fun singletrack. It’s also a great one to use as a wake-up call as you realise how unfit and chubby you became over the winter period!

KATJA STEENKAMP

ERIK KLEINHANS

@KatjaSteenkamp | Breakaway Rides | 2016 Tour d’Afrique Winner Race: Tiletoria Elgin 70km (August 2017) Reason: The route is phenomenal with the Groenlandberg climb and incredible views over the Threewaterkloof Dam. It offers great balance between endlessly painful uphill riding, challenging rocky downhills and some singletrack delight the last few kilometres.

@erikkleinhans | Team Topeak Ergon | 2016 AmaRider 100 Miler Champion (among many other things) Race: Fairview Attakwas Extreme (21 January 2017) Reason: It starts in the Karoo, goes through an extremely rough valley to finish at the coast after some draining hills - what is not to like! It is a special race, the first one in the SA racing calendar, rough, a real mountain bike race.

CAREN HENSCHEL

NICO BELL

@bushbaby34 | Privateer | Race Across South Africa Finisher Race: Attakwas Extreme Reasons: I love it for the long distance (about 120km), challenging format of more difficult terrain first and flat roads later, the beautiful scenery and opportunity to ride through the beautiful Attakwaskloof. Plus Dryland are my favourite race organisers and Oudtshoorn is one of my favourite destinations for a short getaway.

@nicobellsracing | NAD Pro MTB Team | Reigning National Marathon Series Champ Race: Ashburton Investments National Series: Sabie Classic (February 2017) Reason: It was one of my first races when I started out in mountain biking. Over the years I have had both good and bad results in the Sabie Classic. The terrain is harsh and unforgiving, with the rain or heat as added factors, as well as the hour long climb to the top and 3 000m of climbing in total in the ultramarathon. There’s no hiding; if you’re strong you win.

SEAMUS ALLARDICE

ROBYN DE GROOT

@SeamusAllardice | Full Sus | Editor of Full Sus Race: Piket-Bo-Berg MTB Challenge (Sept 2017) Reason: It’s probably the toughest 63km race in SA, but worth every pedal stroke. The trails are mind-blowing; rocky, technical and if you don’t carry momentum you are made to work doubly hard. The views over the plains of the Weskus, Swartland and orchards of Piket-Bo-Berg are as breath-taking as the climbs. And the event is organised by the most amazing people who are so stoked to share their mountain with visitors from across the Cape.

@robyndegroot | Team Ascendis Health | 3 Time SA XCM Champion Race: The Attakwas is most definitely my favourite… with the Sabie Marathon a close 2nd. (Attakwas 21 January & Sabie Feb 2017) Reason: They’re the epitome of what marathon MTB racing should be: Challenging, well-balanced, demanding, technical, mountainous, yet also including jeep tracks and some district road in the right proportions. Both require you as an athlete to manage yourself physically and mentally really well, but also take care of your equipment too.

DIANA CAROLIN

DR MIKE POSTHUMUS

@di_carolin | Cycle Lab | SA Vet’s XCO Champion Race: I can’t narrow it down to just one! Reason: That’s a very hard question to answer as there are so many of them! I couldn’t pinpoint one in particular. Any race that is technical, has lots of singletrack, gnarly descents and not too many mind numbing open roads is a winner!

@MikePosthumus | William Simpson Cars | Sports Scientist & Science2Sport Coach Race: Die Burger MTB (29 July 2017) Reason: Due to the proximity to Cape Town, amount of singletrack and the quality of the extensive Stellenbosch trail network which gets opened specially for the day.


NEWS

INTRODUCING THE KNYSNA BULL Stage racing is evolving in the Garden Route where the Knysna 200 has been reinvented as the the Knysna Bull. The new event has claimed the GR300’s great pre-Epic spot on the stage race calendar and will be making use of the Knysna 200’s format of three roughly 65km stages to showcase the best riding the area has to offer. In addition to the three longer trail stages through the indigenous forests and pine plantations surrounding Knysna the Knysna Bull will also boast a Thesen Island lagoon-side urban prologue. The pre-Epic calendar slot positions

PHOTOS OURTESY OF JULIE-ANN HOFFMAN

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SUS THE KNYSNA BULL the Knysna Bull as a great final tune-up before the March mountain biking showpiece while the Knysna location and manageable stage distances make it ideal for the less competitive riders looking for a bike based getaway. Riders are encouraged to book accommodation in Knysna, allowing them to bring their family along too.

Dates: 23 to 26 February 2017 Stages: Urban Prologue plus Three ±65km Trail Stages Race Village: Thesen Island, Knysna Entry Fee: R4 950 per rider Website: www.knysnabull.bike

FS NEWS

OCTOBER IS NEW BIKE MONTH

you can always look to save some cash and purchase this year’s model at the sale price because you know the bike brands are keen to move the old stock. We’ve spotted a few cool bikes in the shops ourselves, including a Cannondale Scalpel Si Carbon 3 (±R60 000) the new Specialized S-Works Epic HT (R129 999), and perhaps the most exciting of all, given its Olympic performances, Scott’s Spark RC 900 World Cup (±R99 500) should also be in stock by the time you read this.

SPECIALLIZED S-WORKS EPIC HT

JACQUES MARAIS

The 2017 bikes are pouring into the local bike shops as this is typed, so if you’ve just picked up your copy of Full Sus from your local bike shop take some time to look around at what they have in store. Though this is probably jinxing it, the recent relative Rand strength has also meant that the price increases on 2017 models aren’t quite as eye watering as they were for 2015 and 2016… so there’s some good news for would-be new bike buyers too. Alternatively, if you’re not looking to upgrade to SRAM Eagle, Di2 or Boost hubs (if your 2016 bike isn’t already boosted that is),

MTB TAKE-OVERS In August the Chinese consortium behind the IRONMAN triathlon series took over the Cape Epic and then in September ASG Events announced they’d purchased a controlling stake in the TransCape mountain biking stage race. For the Epic entrants the take-over will change very little, but for mountain biking in general it should signal a step up in quality as the series of mountain bike qualifying stage race events are created or purchased. For the would-be entrants to the TransCape ASG Events buying a controlling stake will make a significant impact however. They can expect the

CANNONDALE CARBON-3

SCOTT SPARK RC 900 WORLD CUP

event to be run on a larger budget; opening the 2017 field to more riders and bringing their formidable logistics expertise to one of the toughest to run events on the South African calendar. From a media perspective ASG’s involvement will also mean more coverage and a greater showcase of the special route the TransCape follows. We hope though that the TransCape won’t lose its intimate feel. It’s a tough ride but the luxury accommodation and gourmet catering take the edge off the TransCape. ASG Events and event founder, Lenore Collett aim to build on those foundations – and we’re sure the TransCape will go from strength to strength.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE TRANSCAPE VISIT: WWW.TRANSCAPEMTB.CO.ZA

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NEWS

FROM PAGE 06

THIS WAY OUT CAPE TOWN WINS RETAIL DESIGN AWARD

115kg rider on an extra-large frame of the same model bike. This is clearly going to affect how your suspension performs, which means your comfort and control aren’t quite optimal.” RBC staff are all CyTech Level 3 certified and make use of the Push Industries Factory Tuning Centre resources including, research, tooling, components, fluids, and valving schematics. If you’d like your suspension serviced or custom tuned by RBC you can have your fork or shock sent to them by your local bike shop, as the shop currently does when it send the parts to the importers for the major services on Fox, Leftie or RockShox components. Or you can remove the part yourself and ship it to them. RBC aims for a 48-hour turnaround time.

To find out more visit: www.robbiesbicycleconcept.co.za.

THE ETHICAL DILEMMA OF THERAPEUTIC USE EXEMPTIONS With the release of Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins’, among others, Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) data by the Russian Hackers, Fancy Bear, the spectre of doping is once again looming large over cycling. Whether it’s a legitimate treatment for a severe medical condition, an exploitation of loop-holes in the law combined with a less severe medical condition, or outright cheating it remains to be seen. But it seems like Wiggins in particular is on shaky ethical ground. After saying in his autobiography that he’d never used injections for anything other than vaccinations and drips, Wiggins, according to the leaked reports in fact received intramuscular

injections of the corticosteroid triamcinolone, which is used to treat severe asthma and allergies – but which reduces swelling, supposedly supresses fatigue and helps shed weight – shortly before the 2011 and 2012 Tour de France, and the 2013 Giro d’Italia. The situation is eerily similar to the accusations levelled against Alberto Salazar and the Oregon Project, an elite training group for middle and long distance runners, who are charged with exploiting the TUE system to give healthy athletes an advantage from prescription medication. Legally there might be nothing wrong, but ethically it all appears very grey. So it’s a story to watch closely as it develops. Hopefully it results in a greater scrutiny

BRITISH CYCLING

Robbie Powel launched the first mountain bike suspension service and tuning centre, RBC (Robbie’s Bicycle Concept) in Port Elizabeth recently. RBC focuses not only on the speedy and professional servicing of all the major suspension brands, including FOX, RockShox, Lefty, DT-Swiss, X-Fusion, and Suntour but also on the tuning of rear shocks and forks to better meet the needs of the individual rider. As Powel explains: “Standard factory suspension settings supplied on all bikes are done for an average rider’s weight and skill level. So the settings tend to be the same on all sizes in the same model range of bike. So if you are a 65kg rider on a medium frame, you are riding a factory suspension setting that is the same as that for a

The THIS WAY OUT bike and outdoor shop, located at 16 Buiten Street in Cape Town, won the 2016 Retail Design & Development Award in September for stores occupying less than 1 000 square metres of floor space. “We are thrilled with the award! We were up against some very established retail chains as well as many stores in new stateof-the art centres like Mall of Africa,” said Robyn Self of Plan-It Design, the company behind the design and shopfitting of the store. Readers of Full Sus should already be familiar with the THIS WAY OUT stores as they act as concept stores for Rocky Mountain’s South African importers Hullabaloo. Alongside the beautiful Rocky MTBs the stores showcase the sailing and all-weather performance gear Helly Hansen, Race Face MTB components, Evoc packs, Alpinestars gear and Easton wheels. The Cape Town city centre store also features a coffee shop, while the Meerendal and Contermanskloof stores dovetail with the facilities on the farms. To find out more visit: www.thiswayout.co.za.

BOTH PHOTOS SUPPLIED

BOTH PHOTOS SUPPLIED

ROBBIE POWEL LAUNCHES ROBBIE’S BICYCLE CONCEPT

in the TUE process and the clamping down on an avenue of potentially unethical practice. On the plus side, for South Africa though, two of our foremost Sport Scientists Dr Jeroen Swart and Dr Ross Tucker have been the go-to sources for scientific clarification for many international publications, including Cycling News.


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RIDE REPORT

In September Shayne Dowling took part in the Fedhealth MTB Challenge and decided rather than just give you his impression he asked a bunch of fellow riders to share their race day experiences.

A HEALTHY CHALLENGE t he second Fedhealth MTB Challenge, organised by Stillwater Sports, took place on Sunday 4 September. The race starts and ends on the stunning Meerendal wine farm, the same venue from which the Cape Epic starts, so it comes with the MTB pedigree and expectation of great riding – it doesn’t disappoint. Of course anyone who came to the event and thought it was going to be a leisurely Sunday doddle was in for a big surprise. The Tygerberg Trails are superbly maintained by the Tygerberg Mountain Bike Club and while they offer sublime singletrack riding they also offer some serious climbing. The pro’s took it in their stride and while they were tested they made short work of the course and were back to enjoy the Fedhealth pop-up village and even in the winner Erik Kleinhans’ case going back down to the track to cheer on the weekend warriors and mates. And really the story of the Fedhealth is really about the main field.

JUAN WEYERS

(main picture) Age: 36 Distance: 60km How fit are you: Fit (average

SUS THE RIDER FEEDBACK

Your thoughts on the route?

It was tough, especially the last section – the quarry climb up to Dorstberg.

SIMONE VAN AARDT Age: 24 Distance: 60km How fit are you: Fit (average

3/4 rides a week)

Your thoughts on the route?

STEVE ANDERSON Age: 37 Distance: 60km How fit are you: Average

(I ride/exercise more than twice a week.)

Your thoughts on the route? Really enjoyed the route, it gives you a great opportunity to explore several of the trails in and around Durbanville in one day, it was technically challenging and tested multiple MTB skills.

Describe your race day experience: Good day on the

bike, need to train harder for next year.

What would you change to improve the event? The first

descent down from the mast was a bit hazardous for those of us at the back of the pack. Perhaps a slightly less direct route down. The goodie bag received at registration was pretty barren as well. The race in one line… Come prepared for a testing day on the bike.

Left: Not for the feint hearted, the Fedhealth will test your technical skills.

3/4 rides a week)

Besides for the quarry climb, which was brutal, the route was great. I love the Tygerberg MTB trails - and was super-excited to be one of the first riding the new puffadder loop in Hoogekraal!

Describe your race day experience: I didn’t have

the greatest ride as I was recovering from a cold but overall the event ran with no hiccups, and the weather was great.

What would you change to improve the event? Definitely

remove that quarry climb…

The race in one line…

Climbing, climbing and more climbing. Below: Nadine Wakefield crests the summit to the Telkom mast. Breathless, and that’s just from the view.

DEREK KREUGER Age: 64 Distance: 35km How fit are you: Average (I exercise 4 times a week.) Your thoughts on the route? I can sum it up in one word: “stunning”.

Describe your race day experience: While I was thrilled at not stopping/walking onthe concrete ascent to the Telkom Mast, also riding down and staying upright on the descent of Porcupines Plunge. I did struggle a bit in the heat on the last ascent to Hoogelegen.

Describe your race day experience: Good. Only issue

was cramping during the last couple of KM.

What would you change to improve the event? At

Contermanskloof, instead of riding the DH track coming off the hill, I’d suggest the last part of the final Blue Route DH – I think it’s called Cheeky Corners.

The race in one line… Awesome, really well organised event.

What would you change to improve the event? I often

wish for more descents, particularly those that are fairly technical, but which are fast and flowing like the Contermanskloof singletrack. The race in one line… A great event in which to test one’s reasonable fitness level and technical MTB riding ability in a “racing” environment.

KARL PARKINSON Age: 47 Distance: 65km How fit are you: Average Racer! Your thoughts on the route? A seriously good, challenging route, with tough climbs and fast descents. Not for the novice!

Describe your race day experience: Good, conditions

were excellent. I was impressed with the manning of water points and the refreshments available.

What would you change to improve the event? …Less tar? The race in one line… A must do for any serious MTB’er!


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TRAILS - MALEALEA

GETTING THERE ON THE MASERU BYPASS: ENTER LESOTHO AT THE MASERU BORDER POST, THEN TURN RIGHT ONTO MAFETENG ROAD AFTER 1KM. PASS THE AIRPORT, TURN RIGHT AND CONTINUE FOR 60KM TILL YOU REACH MOTSEKUOA TURN-OFF TO MALEALEA.

RIDE THROUGH THE GATES OF PARADISE Go head to head with your inner wild child within the grassland ridge trails rucking high near Malealea Lodge, without a doubt one of Lesotho’s top eco-tourism experiences. Photographs and words by Jacques Marais. LOCAL BUZZ Here’s the deal: Malealea Lodge is one of those places you visit because you hanker for wide skies and fresh air. It is rustic, utterly no-nonsense and so vast even your echo will have an echo. Rugged canyons sideswipe amidst the sweeping wheatgrass hills rising up towards the high Maluti peaks, and the riding is endless. Peace of mind and freeranging exploration come as part of the deal and, once on the bike, you’d be hard-pressed not to utterly lose yourself within the vastness of nature. The place to base yourself is at the eponymous lodge, superbly situated for mountain bikers, trail runners, outdoor folk in search of a wilderness escape or families on the hunt for the full African Monty. Accommodation options range from backpacker dorms to delightfully earthy selfcatering suites, as well as stunning campsites with scenic views into the valleys below. The bar and restaurant will not disappoint: ice cold Maluti beers are a given, and you can bargain on sumptuous homecooked meals and honest-togoodness country hospitality.

Trail running routes will suit the bike-disadvantaged types, with a rollicking playground to the east. Pass the little local village – with stone-walled huts crouching right on the edge of the valley – and continue along the rim of the gorge. Look out for a footpath worn into the sandstone to your left, and follow this into Knysna the gorge to scramble up-river for a proper endorphin outing.

Berlin and various other global centres, as this is a prominent turn-around point. A gravel road splits to the right here if you want to continue on the flats, winding along the edge of a scattering of agricultural fields. You can expect gravity to start kicking in from here, so knuckle down as you crank all the way to the actual ‘Gates’, a narrow cutting through which the road winds right near the summit. Stop and take in the breath-taking view before cresting, then keep an eye open for the first dirt track to your left. This is where things get interesting, as you will be winding your way through and past a succession of Basotho villages clinging to the

LESOTHO Malealea Lodge

WHERE TO FIND US Lesotho is building a reputation for itself as the #MountainBikeKingdom. From guided tours to races and DIY bike trips Lesotho offers it all. Malealea is in eastern Lesotho, roughly 80km south of the capital Maseru. yellow shop-cum-bar – will see you re-joining the main gravel road to Malealea, about half-way up the ‘Gates of Paradise’ pass. Your ride up to this stage clocks in at around 12km, with a whole bunch of trippy cattle tracks into the valley below just begging to be explored. There are also many more

“IT IS RUSTIC, UTTERLY NO-NONSENSE AND SO VAST EVEN YOUR ECHO WILL HAVE AN ECHO.” TRAIL LOW-DOWN Choices, choices … if you’re keen on an easy-ish family ride, your best option is to head up along the main gravel road from the Malealea main entrance. This gradually ascends up to the impressive ‘Gates of Paradise’ Pass, mainly along a gentle uphill for approximately 3 - 4km, making it a doable ride, even for the kids. Look for a sign confidently displaying distances to Tokyo, Los Angeles, Cape Town,

ridges. Your best bet will be a combination of route finding and stopping to chat with the locals as you dip-and-slide along donkey paths, gravel roads and cattle tracks weaving amidst the rural sprawl. Basically, you will be circumnavigating the mountain in an anti-clockwise direction, so look out for route options following the contour line to your left. An eventual climb back up to the Matebele Café – you can’t miss this little

The colourful Matebele Café is a good spot to stop for refreshments.

rambunctious rides on offer along the Ha Patela Route (49km) or the annual Malealea Monster route (65km). Chat to the guys at Reception (the lodge does rent out mountain bikes as well, so they have good local intel). Otherwise, just point your front wheel up any given mountain, and go boss.


e

TRAILS - MALEALEA

OCTOBER 2016 VOL38

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SUS THE MALEALEA MTB ROUTE

Just so you know how far from the maddening crowds you really are.

GRADING: Intermediate to Extreme DURATION: Dependent on route chosen – from 1 hour to 7 hours CONFIGURATION: Out-andback or Circular options START POINT: Malealea Lodge TERRAIN: Gravel, jeep track and singletrack MAP: Basic map from lodge ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Permit from Malealea FACILITIES: Rondavels, farmhouse bedrooms, Basotho huts, forest huts (backpackers) and camping. Plus a good restaurant.

You’ll have to ride up here to see what’s in paradise.

CELL RECEPTION: Patchy BEWARE OF: Donkey carts; dodgy characters; locally brewed beer. BEST TIME OF YEAR: Each season has its own beauty OFF THE BIKE: Majestic scenery, friendly villagers, refreshing river swims, birding, Bushmen paintings, day and overnight pony treks, hiking, scenic drives or even a visit to a Sangoma. MORE INFO: www.malealea.co.ls GPS: S290 49.704 / E27⁰ 35.981

Lesotho is a welcoming country for adventure seekers.

“TRAIL RUNNING ROUTES WILL SUIT THE BIKE-DISADVANTAGED TYPES, WITH A ROLLICKING PLAYGROUND TO THE EAST.” Jacques Marais is the South African trail guru. If he’s not scouting a new MTB trail he’s trail running a new route in the Drakensberg. His new book, Top MTB Trails 2, has just hit the shelves of all good book shops and you can purchase a copy for R250. Follow him on Twitter @ JacqMaraisPhoto


14

RIDE REPORT

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF PETER KIRK MEDIA

Recently returned from the spectacular St Lucia wetlands for the iSimangaliso MTB Diana Carolin reflects on the World Heritage site and the mountain biking stage race it hosts.

RACING THE HIPPO TRAILS OF ISIMANGALISO

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wo years ago when I did my tour guide course we learnt about the St Lucia Wetlands being a World Heritage site. I knew I had to get an opportunity to go there. Not long afterwards I heard that there was a mountain bike event held there. It made perfect sense to me to go ride the event and see the St Lucia wetlands. So, thanks to the organisers and Full Sus, I got to enjoy the fantastic experience of riding in the extremely biodiverse World Heritage site. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is 332 000 hectares in size and contains three major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems, and most of South Africa’s remaining swamp forests. It also boasts Africa’s largest estuarine system, 526 species of birds and 25 000 year old coastal dunes. The park also provides a habitat for impressive big game, such as elephant, wild dog, cheetah, black and white rhino and buffalo as well the small oribi – all of which have been reintroduced to the area. The name iSimangaliso means “miracle and wonder,” just in caseKnysna you didn’t already gather that it’s a pretty special place! The aim of the event is to raise awareness and much needed funds for conservation in the area. On Wednesday evening my partner, Robbie Powell,

notorious as a past SA Downhill Champ amongst other things, and I were welcomed to the iSimangaliso MTB along with our fellow riders. After registration we were all given a talk on the perils of wild animals and what to do in situations that may arise when faced by the various animals mentioned. It was a pretty sobering talk and got us a little apprehensive about what was to come in the days ahead. There were different accommodation options for the event. We opted to stay in accommodation in St Lucia on the first two nights and would have done the same for the following two, but that was already sold out so we tented it for nights three and four.

STAGE 1 On Thursday morning we rode from our accommodation to the start, at Sugar Loaf Camp Site on the edge of the estuary. We had a quick breakfast of banting muesli and oats then made our way to the start line. The distance for the day was 43kms along a boardwalk, through various wetland pans, past the remains of burnt out forest, past hippo wallowing pits (where game rangers awaited us for our safety), through some forest, back through St Lucia town then along a jungle path and a short strip of tar to the finish. The

WHERE TO FIND US

Swaziland

Isimangaliso Wetland Park

KWAZULUNATAL

Richards Bay

As Di explained the iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a 332 000 hectare conservation area incorporating eight eco-systems. It stretches from Maphelane in the south to Kosi Bay, on the Mozambique border in the north; the foothills of the Lebombo mountains in uMkhuze in the north east to the coastal forests and rolling grasslands of Lake St Lucia’s Eastern and Western Shores. To find out more visit: www.isimangaliso.com.

“THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY WAS THE MAJESTIC MALE KUDU THAT STOOD RIGHT IN OUR PATH AND STARED AT US FOR AGES.” highlight of the day was the majestic male kudu that stood right in our path and stared at us for ages. It took quite a bit of persuasion from Robbie to get him to move off. I wish I had got a photo of him. He really was splendid. The ride was pretty muddy in places but that was a good thing as it meant that the area, which had been locked in drought for so long, had received some much needed rain. After the finish we went back to the accommodation and washed off all the mud in the pool. Yup, despite it being mid-August it was lovely and

warm in St Lucia, at a balmy 26 degrees! We then headed out into St Lucia town, took a wander around and had lunch. That evening dinner was at six-ish and we were given an informative talk by one of the local park managers. Each evening there was a talk on the history of the area and there was an auction one night for a weekend for four people to come to the reserve and watch three lions being introduced to the area. This was a wonderful moment as one very kind lady bid the full R27 000 needed to relocate and release the lions! Thanks to her generosity

the lions have a new home and the reserve has one more attraction for tourists.

STAGE 2 Each day started pretty early. So much for my holiday! The warm weather, great company and fun riding did make it all a lovely change from the day to day grind in Cape Town though. We rode with a fantastic bunch of guys at the sharp end each day, pushing ourselves hard but having fun while we did it. The trails we rode through the bush were so much fun and super fast. Each day we saw zebra, giraffe and various antelope. On day two we rode from St Lucia to the Bonamazi Game Reserve and it was “hippo spotting day”. I saw their spoor for the first time in my life. This, while riding into a monstrous head wind along a number of pans that never seemed to end. There was a


The iSimangaliso routes may seem flat, with minimal climbing, but they’re far from easy.

The small field of riders keeps the iSimangaliso MTB exclusive and helps ensure game sightings daily.

brief distraction when some wildebeest ran out of the bush in front of us. That woke us all up! But we must have been snoozing again later as a whole bunch of us got lost about 4km from the end and had to press the emergency button on our trackers so a ranger could come and find us and direct us to the finish. We spent that evening walking around a water hole next to the camp looking at a nyala male who was grazing peacefully and trying to spot the croc that had been there earlier that day.

STAGE 3

Day three, which was 95km long, proved to be the best day. Fantastic, fast singletrack and a spectacular wipe out by Robbie was the talk of the day. He did a full 360 with his bike still attached to his cleats! There was a much needed storm and some heavy rain as we lay in our tents that night listening to some die ore hard party animals doing the “Leeuloop” in the main tent. Each night there was musical

ly. e any

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a the g un e e so ach nd

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my

g er a

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RIDE REPORT

OCTOBER 2016 VOL38

entertainment for those that chose to stay up and socialise.

gravel road for a fast dash back towards the finish.

STAGE 4

SUPPORTING THE ISIMANGALISO WETLAND PARK

Day four was another very early start from Mkhuze Game Reserve out along a district road and then into the hills. Through villages to the cheers of the kids and up some steep climbs! I began to think that my 32 chain ring wasn’t such a good idea after all. But soon the climbs were over and I was happy for it again, as we stormed down fast, flowing, trails at super high speed. It is hard to describe how fantastic it was to fly along at top speed through the bush completely at one with my bike and totally in the moment! Like surfing a great wave or being mesmerised by something beautiful. It was truly spiritual. The bush permeates you with a sense of calm and peace. For about 20 minutes it was just the two of us winding through the bush in silence, dodging thorn bushes and ellie poop. Then some of the guys caught us and the spell was broken as we hit the

Riding through the bush certainly makes you aware of the plight of the animals and the lack of rain in the area. It was very dry and barren and a little heart-breaking to see. I do hope that it rains more and that the balance is restored. All the rangers and land owners in the area are doing a fantastic job and really deserve more support for their tireless effort. If you love the bush, and even if you don’t, go and do this event. You’ll be more in love with it or completely converted! A big thanks to my partner for being such a great sport even when I was a hard task master. To the guys we rode with, you all made it so much more entertaining and fun. Bravo to the organisers and all involved for a memorable four days at the iSimangaliso Mountain Bike Event.

SUS THE ISIMANGALISO MTB INFO ISIMANGALISO MTB DATES: 17-20 August 2017 INCLUDES: 4 nights’ accommodation and all meals WEBSITE: www.isimangaliso-mtb.co.za FACEBOOK: iSimangaliso MTB 4 Day

Diana Carolin has been a long time contributor to Full Sus, penning a regular column in 2015, submitting race reports and articles on sports massage therapy. She’s currently focusing on Olympic format racing with the aim of representing SA at the Master’s World Champs. Follow her on Twitter: @di_carolin.


16

BIKE REVIEW

Like many of the best bikes of 2017 this Tallboy 3 comes SRAM Eagle equipped.

PARTY AT THE FRONT,

BUSINESS

IN THE BACK Let’s be honest we’re all looking for that one bike that does it all and fortunately so is the bike industry. For the reincarnation of the bike which started the do-it-all bike segment we roped in our cycling encyclopaedia Rudolf Zuidema to test the new Santa Cruz Tallboy 3. P H O T O S B Y A S H L E E AT T W O O D .

a

quick look at the new bikes from all the major players and you can’t help but notice that the emphasis on most new models is versatility. Short travel bikes are getting more trail capable, longer travel bikes are pedalling better and getting lighter and let’s not forget the possibility to change wheel sizes on the same frame! Into this maelstrom jumps the new Tallboy 3. Since its introduction the Tallboy has undoubtedly set the benchmark for the trail capable 100mm XC 29’r and for 2017 the new version is raising the bar yet again with a complete makeover from the previous model and the ability to run multiple wheel sizes on the same frame. Out front the party gets wild with the geometry now designed around a 120 or 130mm fork (depending on the wheel choice with 130mm specced for 27.5+ wheels). A longer toptube means you can run a shorter stem for snappier handling, while making the most of the slacker than normal 68 degree head angle when you point the nose down the mountain. The Factory Series FOX 34 Boost fork is a great choice. It provides much better tracking than the spindlier 32 and the new FIT4 damper provides a plusher and more tuneable ride than the CTD damper of the last few years. Out back is where most of the changes have come.

Most noticeable is that the lower swing link is now safely tucked into the frame above the bottom bracket giving the bike a much cleaner look. Shorter chainstays provide better traction when climbing and shorten the wheelbase allowing better manoeuvrability in tight terrain. The proven VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) suspension strikes a superb balance between pedalling efficiency and big hit compliance. Rear wheel travel has been increased to 110mm with damping taken care of by a Factory Series FOX EVOL rear shock which features a dual piston chamber and Open Mode adjust like the RP23 of old. Other notable frame features are very robust frame protection guards on the chainstay, driveside seatstay and downtube. There’s a front derailleur mount (only compatible with Shimano Sideswing derailleurs) still and the frame features fully lined internal cable routing for the rear derailleur and dropper post. SRAM’s new X01 Eagle 1 x 12 drivetrain takes care of propulsion on the Tallboy 3 CC XO1 AM 29 build we tested without skipping a beat. The biggest benefit of the 50T sprocket is that one can now run a bigger chainring upfront, to prevent spinning out in the high gear on descents. SRAM Level TLM brakes are paired with 180mm rotors front and

“FIRST IMPRESSIONS LAST AND THE TALLBOY DEFINITELY MAKES A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION!”

rear providing much more consistent braking than the Elixir series brakes that they replace. RaceFace/Easton ARC 24 rims are laced to DT Swiss 350 hubs for a reliable all-purpose wheelset. Traction is provided by a Maxxis Minion DHF on the front and Ardent Race on the back. A Santa Cruz 800mm carbon car and RockShox Reverb dropper post round out a very versatile and high quality build. First impressions last and the Tallboy definitely makes a good first impression! Considering a build that includes a 34mm stanchion fork, dropper post, seriously aggressive front rubber and a mid-range alloy wheelset, this bike is not only light but it screams purpose at you as it stands waiting to be ridden. From the very first moment you climb on the Tallboy it pushes you to ride harder and faster.

Uphill or downhill, it’s relentless in pushing you till you have a constant grin on your face. More than anything the Tallboy 3 is testament to the fact that a bike is only as good as the sum of its parts. Everything works together to create a bike that lives up to the dream of its designers, a bike that is as happy crunching the miles of your favourite marathon or stage race as it is chasing KOM’s at your local trail centre. Our test bike has a price tag of R 85 000 and from what we’ve seen of 2017 prices is very competitive and good value for money given the spec, especially for a boutique brand like Santa Cruz. To be that competitive with a top of the range carbon frame though means that there has to be a compromise somewhere. In our opinion that compromise came in the wheel choice. They’re

undoubtedly reliable and good quality, as you’d expect from Race Face and DT, but the wheels are noticeably heavy once you get rolling. A bike this light wants and deserves a carbon wheelset to unleash its true potential. The lower rolling weight and extra stiffness of carbon rims will only add to what is already an exceptional ride. So before you go and buy your next big brand bike thinking a boutique bike is unaffordable, go and see a Santa Cruz dealer about the Tallboy 3!

Right: The Factory Series FOX 34 Boost fork handles the rough stuff with ease. Far Right: For 2017 Santa Cruz have tucked the VPP lower swing link out the way above the bottom bracket.


s s . a P y .

BIKE REVIEW

OCTOBER 2016 VOL38

17

Sus that massive 50 tooth sprocket on the Eagle cassette.

SUS THE TALLBOY 3 GEOMETRY

RRP R85 000

for the Tallboy 3 CC XO1 AM 29 spec. All measurements are for a medium frame size in the low geometry setting.

Head tube angle

68°

Seat tube angle

73°

Top tube length

603mm

Head tube length

100mm

Chainstay length

432mm

Wheel Base

1 145mm

Standover height

706mm

Reach

430mm

Stack

603mm

Seat Tube Length

420mm

Front Centre

713mm

BB Height

330mm

BB Drop

40mm

Rudolf Zuidema has a wealth of cycling industry experience, having worked for some of the biggest bike brands in the world both here and in the UK. On the mountain he’s a firm believer in more travel equals more fun. Follow him on Twitter: @rudolfzuidema


KLEINHANS MUESLI

Erik Kleinhans doubts anyone will argue with his choice of heading for this month’s column because marathon mountain bike racing is undoubtedly the most popular cycling discipline in SA.

NICK MUZIK | CAPE EPIC | SPORTZPICS

GARY PERKIN | CAPE EPIC | SPORTZPICS

18

THE CYCLING BOSS IN SA

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ith our beautiful nature, our roads becoming increasingly dangerous, the social aspect of XCM racing, the profusion of well organised events and awesome trail networks popping up all over the show – XCM is for sure the pedal choice for most in our country. Even though I also enjoy the speed of a road race, once upon a time the tension of an XCO suffer session and my constant crashes in the velodrome, marathon racing stole my heart the first time I lined up on fat tyres for the Cape Epic. Marathon racing is the longer, tougher form of off-road riding. Sometimes point-to-point, but mostly a big loop through mountains, trails, for three or more hours. I love that it can end up being really challenging and take in uncharted territory. Participation levels are at an all-time high too with more than seventy stage races on the SA MTB calendar and some one day events boasting up to 5 000 participants. There are so many players who make marathon riding what it is today; everybody plays their part – no matter how big or small – to keep this snowball rolling. And at this stage it’s still just getting bigger. We have a chicken and egg scenario with regard to who has the biggest impact, as you need the riders, the importers and the events to complete the circle.

My humble opinion is that it all starts with the riders; the passionate people who enjoy spending a morning or sunset outside on their bikes, even if it is on a simple gravel road. We are those free spirits who just love being out in nature. Then we are absolutely spoiled with fantastic bikeparks all over the country to load up on those kilometres and smash the Strava segments. After the fat tyre enthusiasts, the trail networks play a really big part in the continued growth of marathon

“MY HUMBLE OPINION IS THAT IT ALL STARTS WITH THE RIDERS.” riding. Living in Stellenbosch, we are treated to so many options and every now and again a new one pops up, but apart from that, the trails are just getting better, more fun and exhilarating. How awesome is it to be a mountain biker right now! There’s also constant improvement in equipment, bikes are getting lighter, geometry more comfortable, suspension smoother and so much more quality equipment and products are available. I’m still a little disappointed that my lovely Canyon bikes are not available in SA, but at least you can get your hands on some cool Topeak and Ergon

products. The importers do not always have an easy time with the exchange rate playing havoc, but if you love riding, you need these guys and you just swipe that credit card! Bike shops create an atmosphere which helps encourage the growth of mountain biking too. These days many also boast a coffee shop, which makes them the perfect spot to start or end a ride the right way. A good bike shop will always be the centre of every cycling community. Riding and racing my bike is my profession, so yes, sure there is a place for pro’s in this marathon circle of ours! But the job is not about me as an individual, but rather about mountain-biking in general. It’s fellow professionals and my role to promote this lovely sport of ours by being good ambassadors. And also to promote our partners, sponsors (most of them passionate cycling brands) and events which in turn showcase our lovely country. Last on my list is all the great stage races and marathons on our calendar, some of them had a huge impact on marathon mountain biking growing so rapidly in this country. As you all should know, us Saffas have got quite the competitive spirit and love to get together for some suffering, followed by a Spur burger and a beer! More than seventy stage races, hundreds of one-day marathon races… they create a great form of interaction, socialising, the new golf if you will. But it’s not all rosy as

NICK MUZIK | CAPE EPIC | SPORTZPICS

MR MARATHON

Above Left: Erik leading the marathon charge in the 2016 Absa Cape Epic. Above Right: Exciting trails lead to exciting riding. Below: South Africa’s great marathon races attract top international riders to race and train in SA.

mountain biking is becoming increasingly expensive. Especially the stage races are taking their toll on the piggybanks of riders, but don’t ever let that hold you back. Get

on the bike, get outside and go enjoy the trails of one of our many trail networks! And maybe just ear-mark one or two of the seventy stage races to do a year…

Erik Kleinhans has joined the specialist marathon racing team of Topeak Ergon, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be hearing any less from the Lion King. Follow him on Twitter: @erikkleinhans, or visit www.topeak-ergon-racing.com.


DIE GROOT LEM

OCTOBER 2016 VOL38

m

Hendrik Lemmer het vandeesmaand Wikipedia gelees en nou is hy vol idees. Lees verder om uit te vind oor sy maraton-wedloopskema.

“HY HET NA ‘N HEEL DAG SE RYERY OP

361 volstruis voëls net buite die prentjie.

DIESELFDE PLEK UITGEKOM WAAR HY DIE OGGEND VANAF VERTREK HET!” punt wedren wat elke jaar van rigting verander, die Trans Karoo oor 247km van Ceres tot die sterrekykdorp, Sutherland. Jy sien seker sterre teen die tyd wat jy in Sutherland ingery kom. Niks kom egter by die moeder van alle malligheid, die wedren waar jy vier weke kry om klaar te maak van Pietermaritzburg tot by Wellington, net duskant die wynlande van die Paarl. Hierdie wedren, wat natuurlik in die winter gehou word, strek oor 2 300km as jy nooit verdwaal nie. Ek onthou my gebroeder het die storie een jaar aangepak maar moes in een of ander kloof stop want hy het net drie weke verlof gehad. Mens kan die ryers op ‘n tracking-storie volg en ek onthou op ‘n kol het hy na ‘n heel dag se ryery op dieselfde plek uitgekom waar hy die oggend vanaf vertrek het! Hy het ook een aand in die Drakensberge se sneeu

met ‘n oom van SomersetWes geslaap om warm te bly. (Genoeg hiervan, daar is glo kinners wat die tydskrif lees.) Nou weet ek daar is ryers wat al rekords opgestel het om van die Egiptiese piramides tot in die Kaap te ry maar wat is die next frontier, of uiterste wat ons Suid-Afrikaners aan gaan dink om die verste, hoogste, moeilikste, uiterste bergfiets beproewing daar te stel? As daar ‘n manier was om oor die oseane te kon fietsry sou ons seker al ’n Sea to Sand, van Mauritius tot in Durban gehad het. Dalk moet ek vir my mede-Stellenbosser vra hoe op aarde hulle oor die water met hul karre gery het in Parys na Dakar en dan kan ons ’n Parys-DakarKaapstad bergfietswedren reel met Giniel en sy Toyota as lead vehicle. Dit sal die ultimate wees en Wikipedia kan dan hul definisies bietjie opdateer.

OAKPICS.COM

MARATONGEK

JAZZ KUSCHKE

arathon mountain bike races, often referred to as cross country marathon (XCM), are a very demanding form of mountain bike races covering at least 40 kilometres (25 miles) usually in mountainous terrain. Events held in Europe are typically just a little longer than the average cross country mountain bike race. Marathon events in the USA and Canada are typically longer than 100 kilometres (62 miles) and are very different from cross country races.” Dis nou die definisie van die maand se topic, Marathon MTB volgens Wikipedia, wat natuurlik nie rekening hou met SuidAfrikaners nie. Hulle spog dat die Amerikaners se gunsteling marathon-afstand ’n 100 myl is, in ons taal 160km. En dan moet Lance nog seker pille gevat het toe hy dit probeer wen het. Ongelukkig vir die Amerikaners kan hulle glad nie kompeteer as dit kom by ons nasie hier aan die Suidpunt van Afrika nie. Hier het ons mos ‘n kompetisie om die langste, hardste, verste, uiterste wedrenne te organiseer en daar is hordes mense wat daaraan deelneem.‘n Paar voorbeelde: As jy iemand in Port Elizabeth sien bergfietsry dan vertel hy jou lat hy oefen vir die “Trans”. Nee, dis nie Transalp of Trans Rockies nie, dis die 230km wedren daar in die Oos-Kaap, die Trans Baviaans. Vir lank was dit seker ons langste bergfietsmarathon, maar nou is daar ‘n magdom ander wat die uiterstes toets. In Oudtshoorn-omgewing is daar ‘n 361km wedren rondom die dorp! Net een sirkel maar dis seker die grootste sirkel in die Karoo. Deelnemers het dan ook 36.1 uur om klaar te maak. Ek dink 361 volstruise jaag jou seker van waterpunt tot waterpunt. Die Wes Kaap het nog ‘n ander lang punt tot

19

Hendrik ‘Groot Lem’ Lemmer is ‘n fietsry-kommentator en ‘n eiendomsagent. Hy bly nog steeds in die tuiste van bergfietsry in Suid-Afrika, Stellenbosch, en as jy nie omgee oor ‘n Twitter-oorlog of twee nie kan jy hom volg: @GrootLem.


20

COACHING & HEALTHFUL AMY

AMY BURTON

ASK DR MIKE NORMALISED POWER VS. AVERAGE POWER In this issue Dr Mike Posthumus answers a reader’s training related question regarding normalised power compared to average power. “Dear Dr Mike I have recently bought a stages power meter and been trying to understand my numbers. Should I be looking at my average or normalised power, and which one is a better measure of performance. Secondly, I have heard about other people which use their power during a MTB marathon race to pace themselves. How do you recommend I do this? Regards, Martin” Dear Martin, Thank you for the question. Firstly, as all first time power meter users instantly find, power readings from your power meter is very stochastic, meaning that it is a constantly changing number that jumps around quite a bit, and more than first time users expected. Generally going uphill you will normally produce much higher power numbers, and generally lower or none when on flats or downhills, respectively. Normalised power (NP) is a better measure of training intensity and performance over time, when compared to average power, since it is an algorithm developed to produce a number which more accurately represents the physiological cost to your body. The algorithm weights towards bigger power numbers and takes zero power into account, thereby producing a value which is a far better representation of how hard you have worked than average power, especially when riding on a mountain bike, where power is even more stochastic. For example, during a mountain bike race, your average power is often a poor reflection of how hard you worked, due to singletrack or extended downhills where you were not peddling. NP takes this into account and calculates an intensity, which would be equivalent to sitting on an indoor trainer at constant power for the same duration. This means that if you normalized 300 watts for 60 minutes, the physiological cost would be equivalent to sitting at constant power of 300 watts for 60 minutes. Normalised power can therefore be used to calculate your intensity factor (IF). Your intensity factor is calculated by dividing your NP by your functional threshold power (or FTP). Your FTP is the maximum amount of power you can sustain for 60 minutes. Therefore if your FTP is 300 watts and your NP is 300 watts for 60 minutes, your IF for 60 minutes is 1.0, indicating that you performed at your absolute maximum for 60 minutes. There may be a way of cheating the system, but generally speaking you should not be able to achieve a NP greater than your FTP for 60 minutes or more. If you do, your FTP is more than likely higher than what you think it is. Due to the above rule, you can use IF as a gauge if you are pacing yourself correctly during a MTB race. If you are racing a 60 minute race, you would want to try and keep your IF at 1.0, or as close as possible. If you are doing a race where you are expected to finish in three hours, for example, then maintaining an IF for the first hour would be a great mistake. During a MTB marathon race (approximately 60 - 70km) you have done exceptionally well if you are able to finish the race with an IF of anything between 0.85 and 0.9), therefore to pace yourself, try and keep your IF at 0.9 for the first hour. Thereafter you can try and keep it as high as possible. This pacing strategy will lead to a far better finishing time that going out hard and exploding, but crawling home. Holding back slightly (i.e. not going at 100%) for the first hour will only have you lose seconds; compared to exploding and crawling home could mean you lose several minutes or hours.

Dr. Mike Posthumus is an accomplished academic with UCT’s Exercise Science and Sports Medicine faculty and a coach with Science 2 Sport. Find out more at: www.sciencetosport.com

Power your way through your next marathon ride with the energy stored in this Almond and Coconut Flour Banana Bread recipe from Amy Burton.

t

his delicious grain free banana bread is tasty as well as super healthy and nourishing. I always like to sneak Superfoods into my baking recipes and in this one I used delicious baobab powder, which is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which in turn help with collagen and elastic production, giving you supple and younglooking skin! It also has a fresh and fruity flavour, which compliments the banana bread well. This banana bread is the perfect trail snack and will provide you with that burst of energy when you are feeling flat. It’s also super easy and quick to make. Happy baking!

HEALTHFUL AMY: BANANA BREAD MARATHON FUEL BANANA BREAD MARATHON FUEL

*This recipe was adapted from www.comfybelly.com.

INGREDIENTS:

✱ 1 teaspoon baking soda ✱ 1 heaped teaspoon chia seeds ✱ 2 teaspoons baobab powder (Available from www.superfoods.co.za) ✱ ½ teaspoon salt (Himalayan or Karoo is best!) ✱ ¾ cup almond flour ✱ ¼ cup coconut flour ✱ 2 tablespoons olive oil or melted coconut oil ✱ 3 eggs ✱ 1 cup mashed ripe bananas ✱ ¼ cup honey/maple syrup

METHOD:

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. 2. Whisk or blend all your wet ingredients together, then in a separate bowl stir your dry ingredients together with a fork and then add to the wet ingredients and whisk well, but do not over-mix. Pour the mixture into a baking tin and bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean. 3. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving with farm butter and maybe some jam. Or cut into slices and cling wrap for your next mountain biking adventure.

Amy Burton is a mountain biker, trail runner, graphic designer and foodie. She has recently of opened a Rawfood and Superfood smoothie bar at Trail and Tar in Tokai so drop by for a great healthy treat. When she is not riding her bike, running or running her own business, she posts amazing recipes and photos on Instagram, so follow her at @healthful_amy.


OCTOBER 2016 VOL38

COMPETITION

WIN

ENTRIES TO THE IMPI CHALLENGE Win one of twenty sets of entries to the Impi Challenge events in Gauteng or Cape Town in October and November. Simply email us and tell us where the Impi Challenge events are being held.

THE PRIZE Win a set of two tickets, valued at R400 each, to either the Gauteng (15 & 16 October | #IMPI4GP | Smuts House, Irene) or Cape Town (20 November | #IMPI5CT| Lievland Wine Estate, Stellenbosch) Impi Challenge Events. The Impi Challenge is an adventure obstacle course trail run, which tests your fitness and is sure to leave your muddy face smiling from ear-to-ear when you cross the finish line. Both the final Gauteng and Cape Town events of 2016 feature the 10km Challenge and 5km Dash Impi Challenge race distances, and you’ll have to face either 20 or 10 obstacles depending on your chosen race distance. For more information on the Impi Challenge visit www.impichallenge.co.za.

HOW TO WIN

Tell us where the Impi Challenge you’d like to win entries for is being held. Simple! Email your answer, your ID Number and a contact number to comp@fullsus.co.za. Entries for the Gauteng Impi Challenge competition close on the 10th of October 2016 while entries for the Cape Town Impi Challenge completion close on the 24th of October. We have 10 pairs of entries to give away to each event, so get those answers to us fast.

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22

DHI COLUMN

“I CHARGED TO THE FINISH AND SURPRISINGLY WENT INTO THE LEAD ALMOST TWO SECONDS QUICKER

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF GDC ILMENAU 2016

THAN MY TIME IN SEEDING.”

STEF’S FIRST EUROPEAN WIN After a 2nd, 7th, 6th and a 4th in his last three outings at Ilmenau in Germany, Stefan Garlicki was confident of a good result heading into the 2016 race.

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lmenau is one of the German national rounds and it has always been a special place for me ever since I first came to Europe in 2011. It was the place where I first achieved a podium. I finished 2nd there the first time out and I have been back every year since, apart from 2012. The other special thing about Ilmenau is the fans, they are nuts and it feels like a mini World Cup! Coming into the 2016 event I felt more confident than ever before and felt ready for a win. Physically I was feeling good and the bike was on point which always helps the confidence! I really focused in practice on lines and getting the fastest option everywhere

which I think I have overlooked a bit in previous years. I also focused on being smooth which is key, as keeping speed is not always the easiest thing to do. I did loads of runs in practice and felt good heading into seeding focussing on carrying good speed which worked perfectly as I seeded 3rd just off the leaders, which I was really happy with as I knew I had more in the tank come race day. With almost 500 riders taking part in the event by race day the track got so blown out. Lots of riders were actually posting slower times on their race runs than they had in seeding, which was surprising. I knew a perfect run would be hard to come by, but after

changing a few crucial lines before the final I felt ready for it. I have a bit of a routine which I do before each start: I listen to music and do a warmup. But as I entered the starting gate, with 20 seconds to go to my start time I was told I had to wait. Some other riders needed a rerun! Not ideal! So out of the start hut and back to the music for another 10 minute wait, which definitely added some tension but maybe it was good. Back in the start gate, I set off and nailed the top half of the track just as I’d planned. But about half way down I just started overcooking some turns and making silly errors, which I knew were costing me. I charged to the finish and surprisingly went into the lead almost two seconds quicker than my time in seeding. I still did not think it was good enough… but somehow the last two riders did not better my time and I got my first ever European win! I was in disbelief as I did not feel it was a winning run, however looking at the times, not many people went faster than they had in seeding due to the challenging track conditions. It

LEFT: The postrace media work is all part of the job.

Stefan on the top step of the Ilmenau podium. was not the run that I expected to win with, but regardless I will take it! I’m absolutely over the moon and it’s a dream come true to finally stand on the top step in Europe. I could not have done it without my team, sponsors,

trainer and all the other people including family and friends who have supported me from the beginning. I will do my best to keep the ball rolling into the final world cup and the world champs!

Stefan Garlicki is the reigning South African Downhill MTB Champion. He’s sponsored by Investec, will be racing in Europe this year and sharing his experiences with Full Sus readers. Follow him on Twitter: @StefanGarlicki.


LIV BEYOND

OCTOBER 2016 VOL38

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think about crunching away for a minimum of 60km and chuckle to myself; bouncing on my 160mm travel bike, baggies flapping in the breeze. I am not a marathon rider, but the few times I have been coerced into doing marathon type races I have given it my all and not done that badly. Heck, once I even podiumed! But I have zero strategy, zero knowledge on how to ride marathons… and I don’t actually own a full set of lycra so I am far from being able to give advice. But I know a certain someone who’s pretty darn good at marathons, and her name is Frances du Toit. Freshly turned 19, young Frankie (as she is affectionately known) rides for the Kargo Pro MTB Team and is sponsored by Kargo, Giant Liv, HIGH5, Shimano, Hoopers VW, Adidas Eyewear, Continental, Squirt and RSA Web. I first spied Frankie at the Eurosteel Drak Descent race in Underberg, where she and teammate Hayley Smith soundly whipped my partner and I into second place in the women’s team category. I figured she’d be just the person to offer advice to marathon newbs like myself. KF: When did you start riding and how did you get into riding mountain bikes? FdT: I’ve always ridden a bike and I started doing the 10km kiddies’ races at the events my parents went to on the weekends. I was super competitive and must have had some natural talent buried somewhere because I did well in them. I graduated to the 20km and a few years later, the 40km. I only started doing cross-country in high school but hated it because I never did well. At the end of Grade 9 I started training and started performing in the cross country and decided that I actually enjoyed that format of racing too. I would say I got

into it because of my parents; they have always ridden and always encouraged us to ride. I was lucky though because they let me develop my love for cycling by myself, they didn’t force anything on me. KF: When did you know you were getting fully into marathon riding? FdT: I think I got into marathon riding before I got into cross country, so I got into it when I was quite young and I loved the challenge of riding longer distances. It’s also less intense than XCO. Not just the racing, the whole atmosphere is more relaxed and less stressful. KF: What are your favourite marathon events to compete in? FdT: My favourite marathon events are the Eston Illovo and the Karkloof Classic. Both of them have amazing singletrack that just make the race so much more fun to ride. I haven’t ridden many marathons outside of KZN so I can’t compare them to anywhere else. I would have to say my least favourites are races with mainly open roads and not enough singletrack, and bumpy riding. KF: Can you give us your ‘top tips’ for training for a marathon race? FdT: Well for a marathon you have to have endurance, so I do longer rides, with two interval sessions a week. The intervals will be a bit longer than the intervals I will do for XCO racing, so for example five minute hill intervals, 10-15 minute threshold intervals. I generally train on my bike or on the Kickr’s in my coach’s (Johann Wykerd) studio. I also do two strength and conditioning sessions a week in which I do a mix of kettlebells, stretching, plyometrics, cardio and core. KF: What about nutrition and hydration tips for marathon racing? FdT: Obviously nutrition for a marathon is very important, and the combination below

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READ THE REST OF KATH’S INTERVIEW WITH FRANKIE BY SCANNING THIS QR CODE OR GOING TO WWW.FULLSUS.CO.ZA.

FRANKIE DU TOIT’S

TOP TIPS FOR MARATHON RACING When people mention the word ‘marathon’ to Kathryn Fourie, her mind generally flashes to visions of lean leg muscles crunching away on some hellish climb up a never-ending dirt road. So she roped in someone with lean leg muscles, to share some XCM know-how. works really well for me: Pre-race: I will eat toast and scrambled eggs and cheese – my preferred prerace breakfast – about two and a half hours before I race. Leading up to the race I will drink water or water with a HIGH5 electrolyte tab. I’ll have a bar ±30 minutes before the race. I prefer the natural, wholefoods bars that HIGH5 make. During: Depending on the length of the race, either gels or half a bar every hour during the race, as well as an energy drink (HIGH5 Energy Source). The HIGH5 gels have a thin consistency, which is why I like them. After: Within half an hour of finishing a race I have a HIGH5 protein recovery shake, and something to eat within 90 minutes of the shake.

KF: How should riders approach their race strategy for riding marathons? FdT: For me it depends who is on the start line with me and how I’m feeling. I’ve had success attacking off the start and maintaining the gap, and then there’s been times when that has failed dismally and I’ve been caught and dropped like a hot potato halfway through the race. I think if it’s your first

marathon you should start conservatively and if you’re feeling stronger towards the end start increasing your pace. It’s better to finish strong than come crawling over the finish line! I think men’s and women’s racing is different. The men generally have more contenders which can change how you race, but it is also how the individual prefers to race and what their strong points are.

Kath Fourie is a project manager, a Masters student, a double UCI Masters World Champs medal winner and now a regular contributor to Full Sus. She can be found on the trails of Howick with her little pack of trail dogs, and Mark Millar, chasing down KOMs.

https://www.liv-cycling.com/za/


24

F E AT U R E S N A M E S

BIKE MECHANICS 101 (THE FEMALE VERSION) In celebration of women’s month, Estelle Pickard arranged a Dirt Diva social ride for, well, anyone who wanted to join. As expected, many keen beans (including one very chivalrous man) pitched for this excursion. But it ended up being a costly excursion for one rider.

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t was all sunshine and blue skies until one of the ladies misjudged a sneaky, short and steep embankment. The type you have to ride up fast and with commitment, but if feels like you’re riding head on into a wall. I didn’t see the whole spectacle happen, but arrived just in time to see my friend sliding down the embankment like custard over jelly. She was fine, but her bike wasn’t. Her bike’s chain slipped off and got stuck between the cassette and rear hub. Being one of those riders who have the mind-set “If you want to ride it, you must be able to fix it (to some extent)”, I tried to fix this problem, but soon realised I’m not quite strong enough to do what was required. I tried, and tried, and tried to get the chain unstuck, but to no avail. After about fifteen minutes of brute effort, the first male victim rode past. I flagged him down and he was all too keen to help. It turns out he’s a Frenchman living in South Africa, keen on downhill riding and likes helping out helpless ladies on trails. Despite us having all the trail tools on hand, he couldn’t fix it either. He rode off and we kept trying.

KNOW YOUR BIKE

Eventually we gave up, and another friend offered to speed ahead and come pick up bike and rider at the nearest road. Straight after the ride, we took the bike to a bike shop thinking they’d be able to fix it quick-quick, but two cups of coffee and a few muffins later, we were told “sorry, not today”. The shop took the bike in and about a week later my friend got a quote for the repairs. It read something like the table on the right: Gasp! Was that a quote for a car or a bike repair? When she posted a copy of the quote to our Dirt(Y) Divas WhatsApp group, I could sense her panic. Her words were: “Help! This is the quote from Saturday after my bike broke, seems like there’s a lot wrong with my bike. What does a girl do?” She clearly didn’t know which of these items on this quote were critical and which ones were maybe not so urgent, which caused said panic. So what was necessary and what was not? After working in the belly of Revolution Cycles for three weeks, this quote looked slightly less intimidating to me than it did to her, but I’m still no expert on the topic. One thing is clear

Rear triangle

So from what I learnt at Revolution Cycles, here are a few basic pointers, which you can keep in mind when those big intimidating bills do their rounds:  Bearings: If you want to check if your bearings are due for replacement, hold your frame and spin the wheel (or rotate your handlebars, as the case may be). If the frame has a slight vibration to it when the wheel turns, your bearings are due for replacement. Once they’ve been taken out, ask to feel your bearings. If you play with it, rolling it between your fingers, it will feel rough (almost like there’s sand inside) opposed to smooth.  Chains and cassette: They work in symbiosis and wear and tear together at the same rate. You cannot put a new chain on an old and worn-out cassette and vice versa. The chain stretches and the teeth of the cassette wear out simultaneously. If you are told to replace the one, but the other can stay, ask why that’s the case.  Forks: Depending on what kind of fork you have, it needs to be serviced approximately every 50 to 150 hours of riding. For some of us that’s quite

Stem Frame

Saddle Seatpost

Cassette

though – we need to up our game when it comes to knowing how our bikes work. Knowing how to ride them is not enough, unless you have a tree growing money in your backyard...

Suspension rocker linkage

Bar Shifters & brake levers Hydraulic brake line Fork stanchion Fork Nipple

Spoke

Crank Rear shock Rim

Chain rings Front derailleur

Tyre Rear derailleur

Chain

Hub Brake disk

“THINK OF YOUR BIKE SHOP AS YOU DO OF YOUR HAIRDRESSER. BUILD A RELATIONSHIP OF TRUST AND ASK FOR ADVICE.” often, for others, that might be once a year. If you’re a recreational rider, not riding more than twice a week, once a year should be fine. Fork services are expensive, you’ll have to deal. Keep your fork clean and dust free to avoid the corrosion of the seals on your fork (which leads to oil seeping through). I know, it’s a mountain bike, but try to keep it clean. It will live and love you longer.  Brake pads: You can check your brake pads yourself and see how worn they are. If there’s less than 1 mm of pad left, it’s time to replace them. Now!  Brakes in general: In Stirling Jr’s own words: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  Cables: If you’re having trouble changing gears, it is often your cables that need replacement. Go with the Teflon coated cables if you live close to the sea, they take a bit longer before they start giving issues.

We don’t have to feel this clueless when we get presented with quotes for bike repairs. If you don’t know what’s going on, ask. Ask your bike shop to explain why the items need repair or replacement. Ask them which items are critical to fix or replace and which ones can wait a bit. Tell them that you’re not all that clued up and would like to learn more. They’ll be happy to guide you. Think of your bike shop as you do of your hairdresser. Build a relationship of trust and ask for advice. If you’re not sure about certain suggestions made to you, ask a friend who knows more than you. And essentially, remember to ask what’s critical and what can wait? Ask what items on the quote are related to one another. In that way you can break down what’s being done to your bike and see what is essential for you to be able to ride next weekend, and what needs to go into next month’s budget.

Bike Shop Quote 1 x Full Service, Full Suspension

R895

1 x Bearing

R130

1 x Brake Lever

R340

1 x Chain

R325

1 x Rear Pulley Kit

R290

1 x Dust wiper Kit

R560

1 x Fork Full Service

R500

4 x Bearings

R360

2 x Brake Bleed

R400

1 x Brake Pad set

R 319

PLUS VAT

VAT

Total:

R 4 119.00

Estelle Pickard is a lawyer on sabbatical. She recently started the ladies specific cycling apparel brand Dirt Diva and will be providing a regular column for Full Sus on the trials and tribulations of finding her way as a woman on a mountain bike. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellodirtdiva.


26

STIRLING REVOLUTION

THE

GOOD

THE & THE

BAD

UGLY

Bike shops take a lot of stick, writes Stirling Junior. Sometimes they are accused of up-selling unnecessarily, sometimes that servicing prices are too high, that bikes are too expensive, or that the mark-up on parts/spares/accessories is too big…

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or every 10 accusations thrown at us, maybe one is accurate. The rest of the time we are getting a very unfair wrap. People forget that most bike shops are independently owned and the owners are normal people trying to run a successful, competitive and efficient business; just like any good entrepreneur. We have rent to pay, stock to buy (yes buy, it is very rarely consignment), overdrafts to cover and most importantly staff to employ. All that said, retail is a cutthroat sector and the cycle industry is no different. It is survival of the fittest and that “fitness” is regularly affected by the good, the bad and the ugly elements in each link of the bicycle shop retail chain. At the top of the food chain are the multitude of brands. The brands compete on quality, price, technology and/or brand image. Consumers will often accuse the big brands of putting

all their money into marketing hype. The big brands do spend more on marketing for sure. But they also spend a lot more on research, development, pro teams, pro feedback and testing. All of this usually results in superior products, which inevitably should cost more. The good brands constantly innovate and improve their offerings, they release new products to stay up-to-date with the emerging trends and they test, develop and market their range of offerings so that we as the consumers can get the maximum benefit. The bad brands just rest on their laurels until we grow tired of the same-old same-old. The ugly brands make false promises, release untested products, and don’t take responsibility when they fail to live up to the brand’s promises. Each brand needs to be imported into South Africa. This

is where the biggest disparity occurs between the good, bad and ugly... the distributors. A brand can only be as good as the importer who distributes it. Good distributors start with enough capital to stock up sufficiently while still marketing their products aggressively in South Africa. Good importers don’t add too much mark-up (they need to rely on volume), but make enough margin to secure their long term existence. This profit is key for them to grow and to provide you with back-up well into the future. Very importantly, the good importers ensure that they always have sufficient spare parts, have short lead times on new product, attempt to forecast both stock and exchange rate expectations, and when needed are helped by their good brands to resolve issues. Then there are the bad importers failing on many of

the above points and very quickly beginning to struggle, forcing “ugly” strategies and desperate tactics. The most common issues we see are overpricing the product in the SA market, not carrying enough of the stock that sells, and not providing back-up and support to shops and customers. The string of importers for a particular bike brand over the past decade is a good example, but I also fear that the brand didn’t give the importers much support. We, as the shop, are the next link in the chain. We come in different shapes and sizes... big multi-brand shops, single-brand concept stores, high-end, low-end, super-focused genre specific, online shops, and maintenance centres. If you really want to simplify things, shops can be defined by two departments. Do they have a good, honest and reliable workshop, and do they carry lots of bikes, parts and merchandise, both in-depth and variety in the cycling genre’s that they claim to specialise? If the answers are yes, then that is a good shop. Good stores will provide the customer with honest pre-purchase advice and substantial after-sales service. Good after-sales service can be tough as shops are often hamstrung by a lack of back-up from its “bad” suppliers. A good store will develop solid relationships with its loyal customers and will fight in your corner should an issue arise. Pricing is going to differ between all stores. Location, target customer, level of service, overheads, quality of brands stocked etc. are all going to influence the shops pricing choices. Prices do not determine a good or a bad store, but if set incorrectly, pricing can determine the shops viability.

“YOU ARE THE FINAL LINK. THERE ARE A LOT OF YOU. YOU COME IN MANY MORE SHAPES AND SIZES.” Finally, there is you, the customer. You are the final link. There are a lot of you. You come in many more shapes and sizes. Men and

women, young and old. Different riding preferences, brand preferences, budget, fitness, skills and ambitions. And then everyone has different personalities, different upbringings, different approaches, and different expectations. Defining an individual customer is impossible but what is consistent are the characteristics displayed by good, bad and ugly customers. Good customers approach problems calmly, negotiate fairly, believe in mutual respect, exchange good banter, buy into regular bicycle maintenance, get excited about new products and most importantly, they love riding their bikes. We as shops will fight tooth and nail to keep our good customers. We don’t want to lose them to other shops and we’ll usually bend over backwards to keep them happy. Usually this is an easy and rewarding task because good customers show their appreciation (plus they are happy to spend a bit of money too). Bad customers think that sending us a kak email when they have a problem is the most productive option, they’ll bully when negotiating, treat staff disrespectfully, will ride their bike until something breaks, believe that any issue is someone else’s fault and show no enthusiasm when talking about riding their bicycles. Our mission is to try to educate bad customers and instil passion and positivity thus turning them into good customers. It is much more satisfying to convert a bad customer into a good customer than to tell a bad customer who has become an ugly one to find a new shop. Ugly customers think that he who shouts loudest is heard, have unrealistic expectations, do not listen to logic or reason, make ridiculous demands, treat their bikes poorly and threaten various form of retribution. Unfortunately ugly customers are lost causes and they’ll probably struggle to find a shop that they can have a lasting relationship with. They flit from one shop to another. Online shopping may be their best option, and is a blessing for local bike shops. Bottom line: mutual respect between distributors and retailers and between retailers and consumers is all that’s required for happy cycling.

The Stirling Revolution column is penned by the father and son, LBS owning, pair of Stirling “Snr” and Stirling James (SJ) “Jnr” Kotze. With years of industry insider knowledge they’re your, and our, link to the retail side of the bicycle trade – and while they might upset the odd sensitive reader their insights prove invaluable time and time again.


28

GEAR

Ok so once you’ve crossed the finish line, had your chocolate milk, 10 Cokes (with it’s 10 spoons of sugar per cup) and caught your breath, what’s your go-to bevvie asks Shayne Dowling?

THE STALWARTS

01 02 CASTLE LITE

Up until recently most rides would end with a Castle Lite. The big boys quickly saw the potential of being at the finishing line of events and quickly crept into the hands (and fridges) of most beer drinking sports folk. Business clout aside the beer is damn good. In fact I would rather have a Castle Lite before its big brother – and if on tap it’s a nobrainer. Castle Lite has a maize component not found in many other beers available at the finish line and delivers a really crisp flavour with a clean aftertaste. The 4.0% alc/vol leaves the dryness in the beer which makes it closer to more traditional beers and a great beer to drink while swopping war stories afterwards. ABV 4.0% www.castlelite.co.za

Yes, yes we know you head for the car and your pre-prepared ultra recovery shake – well the A batch certainly, but let’s be honest, the biggest motivation over the last 10 kays was the thought of an ice cold beer! Yes, ladies you too! So while we have our tongue firmly planted in our cheeks when we place the golden brew under recovery drinks we did think it would be cool to taste a few of our favourite after action satisfaction brews. So can beer be healthy? Sure. But like all things in moderation (one or two a day max). All beer contains Vitamin B in various levels and guises, Vitamin B6 and B12 being the most prevalent. However for those guys who wish there was a comments button below, the alcohol in the beer cancels outs any benefit – of course not so in the low or no alcohol brewskies. Beer contains the same number of antioxidants as wine; they are just different antioxidants due to the ingredients (barley and hops vs grapes). Beer also contains silicon which is apparently found in very few foods but is really good for your bone strength – who knew? To find out more about the health benefits of beer scan this QR Code.

THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION

RECOVERY DRINKS NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK

WINDHOEK LIGHT

Windhoek delivers a very staunch and loyal consumer. It is a “natural” beer with no added preservatives – uhm as opposed to which beer? I always find myself thinking. Jokes aside, Windhoek is a stunning beer. The Windhoek Light is really tasty, it has a great hopsy flavour complimented by the malted barley. The alcohol content is a low 2.4% alc/Vol and yet maintains the crisp, dryness wanted in a beer – it also means that we can have one more without to much concern. ABV 2.4% www.windhoekbeer.com

THE DESIGNATED DRIVER NON-ALCOHOLIC

05

ERDINGER WEISSBRAU

I love Weiss beer. Made with wheat it is a tasty, normally hazy but with a distinct Weiss beer (banana for me) taste. While not a traditional tasting Weiss, the Erdinger explodes with flavour: Malty, not exceptionally dry (which of course is also as a result of having little to no alcohol) a nice mouthfeel and a lovely “beer” flavour, with a very pleasant and distinct malty aftertaste. All natural, the beer doesn’t come across as a lightie, it’s really lekker and the bottle and packaging can hold it’s own in any company. ABV <0.5% int.erdinger.de

THE CRAFT BEER REVOLUTION

03 DARLING BREW – SUN GAZER

A light craft beer – yip at only 2.6% alc/vol. The Sun Gazer comes from the brewery making big waves, based in the dorpie of Darling. Not only are they producing quality beer but have also established a really popular MTB event. I’m just waiting for the MTB label! Sun Gazer is a flavourful beer that has a distinct floral flavour – it reminds me of a light “IPA” and has a lingering aftertaste. In the distinct Darling Brew bottles that are awesome in their own right and the juice is definitely one to savour at the end of a race. ABV 2.6% www.darlingbrew.co.za

04 DEVIL’S PEAK LAGER

The first crafty beer (see what I did there…) in a can! The Devil’s Peak looks over the brewery in the trendy suburb of Woodstock. It is a slick little operation that is producing quality bevvies. The lager is exactly what it’s supposed to be: A clean, dry and really tasty beer that delivers a long finish. A great full mouthfeel, but like most good lagers isn’t so strong on flavour that you don’t feel like coming back for another - believe me you need to; just to make sure that the next one tastes as good as the last! ABV 4% www.devilspeakbrewing.co.za

06 BECKS BLUE

A clean, crisp-tasting beer. Becks has the bitterness of a beer and is quite dry; it has a light malty aftertaste. The mouthfeel is less than a conventional beer but that is to be expected with an almost non-existent alcohol content. Drink the beer when it’s really cold to get the most out of it – when you cross the line, go for the one at the bottom of the ice bucket! ABV <0.5% www.becksurbancanvas.com


COMP & PIC OF THE MONTH

OCTOBER 2016 VOL38

WIN A DEVIL’S PEAK HAMPER Post a photo of yourself enjoying a Devil’s Peak beer (before or after a mountain bike ride preferably, but not essentially) and tag Full Sus and Devil’s Peak Brewing Company to stand a chance to win a Devil’s Peak hamper. THE PRIZE: Win a bumper Devil’s Peak hamper which contains a Devil’s Peak Brewing Company t-shirt, a Devil’s Peak Peak Cap, a case of the refreshing Devil’s Peak lager and a case of the tasty Devil’s Peak Pale Ale. For more information on Devil’s Peak Brewing Company and all their beers visit www.devilspeakbrewing.co.za.

HOW TO WIN Post a photo of yourself enjoying one of Devil’s Peak Brewing Company’s fantastic beers, bonus points if it’s clearly after a ride, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag Full Sus and Devil’s Peak Brewing Company to stand a chance to win. Entries close on the 24th of October and participants must be eighteen years of age or older to enter. To simplify your tagging - here are the essential social media handles, if you’re not following Full Sus and Devil’s Peak Brewing Company already you should rectify that now too. FULL SUS Full Sus @FullSussa @fullsussa DEVIL’S PEAK BREWING COMPANY Devil’s Peak Brewing Company @DevilsPeakBC @devilspeakbc # #DevilsPeakBC

ARE YOU AN OLD HAND AT XCM RIDING? TRY AN ULTRA-XCM, LIKE THE 36ONE CHALLENGE, FOR A NEW EXPERIENCE. Oakpics is a Strand based photographic company. They shoot a vast array of events, covering everything from wild horses to weddings.

But it’s in MTB that they’ve carved out a niche as one of the leaders in the field. If you spot them on the trails, usually when you’re picking yourself up after an unexpected brush with the ground, you can purchase the photos directly from their website. Or book them to shoot your event. Call them on 021 854 8723 or visit www.oakpics.com.

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PIC OF THE MONTH


30

CALENDAR

MUST DO EVENTS GAUTENG 1 October: Nissan Trailseeker GP #4 BUNDU BASH The Gauteng Trailseeker events are hard to beat. Check event 4 which takes place from Buffelsdrift in Pretoria. Visit www.trailseekerseries.co.za for more info.

KZN 7 - 9 October: Berg & Bush Descent We did it in 2015 & we’re going back this year. It’s a stunner of a stage race. If you can join us, join us. www.bergandbush.co.za

W’CAPE 7 & 8 October: The Weskus Phat Bike Adventure What fat bikes were really made for (apart from the snow obviously), trekking across the beach with a bunch of mates, enjoying a beer at the end of the day while the sun sets across the Atlantic Ocean. Surely that’s reason enough to enter: www.weskusfatbike.co.za 15 & 16 October: The U – MTB Stage Race @ Piket-Bo-Berg Trails The stage race exhibition of Piket-Bo-Berg’s trails, more singletrack and less kays per day. Sounds like a winner. www.piketbobergtrails.com

E’CAPE

NOVEMBER GAUTENG 05 Carnival City Macsteel MTB 06 Babba’s Lodge MTB Series # 11 12 Hakahana 2016 Enduro Championships 12 Telkom 94.7 Mountain Bike Challenge 19 Magalies Adventure 19 Rust de Winter MTB Challenge 26 Nissan Trailseeker GP #5 DIAMOND RUSH

MPUMULANGA 05 Alzu Tour de Farm

13 13 19

19 19

LIMPOPO 05 Magoebaskloof MTB Classic 26 Roossenekal Yellow Arum Lily Festival 27 Swadini Forever Resort

FREE STATE 30 The Munga Enter or follow the race which caused one of the biggest buzzes of the 2015 MTB Season by visiting www.themunga.com. The 2016 race promises to be even bigger and better.

KZN 05 Gooderson Monks Cowl MTB 12 Bestmed KZN Balito Expedition 20 Sappi Karkloof Trailblazer 27 Eston Xmas Classic

W’ CAPE

24 - 29 October & 31 October to 5 November: Wild Corridor Tour by bike from Addo Elephant National Park, over the Cockscomb through the Baviaanskloof and across the Garden Route National Park to Plett in five days of amazing riding. Luxury camping included. www.wildcorridor.co.za

04 Cape Classic 380 04 FNB Wines2Whales Adventure. 05 Bonnievale Bonanza 2016 07 FNB Wines2Whales Race 11 FNB Wines2Whales Ride 12 Delheim Outdoor Weekend The weekend kicks off on Saturday with a trail run & a night ride before the action concludes on Sunday with

Advertise your event in Full Sus and we will send you copies of the paper for your goodie bags or registration table. Call Eloise on 021 685 0285/6

Get your event listed here for free! Email all your 2016 event dates and details to sussed@fullsus.co.za to make sure you don’t miss out on the coverage.

an Enduro as well as 7, 12 & 30km mountain bike races. Visit www.dirtopia.co.za. Delheim MTB Day Delheim Enduro Sanlam MTB Invitational A two day stage race based on the ever-growing trails of the Paarl Mountain. Stage 1 is a tough 60km while Stage 2 is an easier 40km. Find out all about it by going to: www. sanlammtbinvitational.co.za. Nissan Trailseeker #4 Meerendal To Hell and Back Ride South Africa’s original stage race, To Hell and Back. The 22 year old event races into Die Hel and back

out over two days as it covers 60km per day. To find out more click on www.tohellandback.co.za. 20 2016 Langebaan LCE MTB Funride

DECEMBER GAUTENG 01 Monument MTB Festival 03 BoutTime WTF Race Sponsored By Navworld 03 XCOSA Grand Finale 18 Babba’s Lodge MTB Series # 12

NW’ PROVINCE 03 ATKV Buffelspoort MTB

KZN 04 Stihl Sharks Trail Adventure

W’ CAPE 03 Pennypinchers Origin Of Trails 2016 04 Spur Adventure Team/Solo Race #4 17 Cape Agulhas MTB Classic 17 Wolwedans MTB

E’CAPE 10 Foolish Frenzy

MPUMULANGA 09 ER2EC Charity Tour Elephant Ride

Now’s the time to start ramping up your training for the big MTB goals, like the Fairview Attakwas Extreme MTB Challenge, early in 2017.

ZOON CRONJE | NIKON

AUGUST


OCTOBER 2016 VOL38

CALLING ALL LOCAL BIKE SHOPS AND MTB EVENTS If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to stretch your advertising budget and reach a nationwide audience you can advertise here. Call or email Eloise Meyer on 021 685 0285 or eloise@integratedmedia.co.za to find out more.

CLASSIFIEDS

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Full Sus October 2016  

Sus the October issue of Full Sus #MTB

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