Intense Cycles opens European office in Spain

TEMECULA, Calif. (BRAIN) — Intense Cycles has launched a new European division in Barcelona, Spain, that will house inventory and service supporting the majority of the continent.

Liv introduces women’s-specific tri bike series

NEWBURY PARK, Calif.?(BRAIN) — Liv has introduced a new line of women’s specific triathlon bikes, called Avow Advanced. The bikes offer easily adjustable fit, lightness and aerodynamics. Liv’s engineering team used its 3F design philosophy, which creates bikes based on female global body dimension studies and body composition data to best harness a woman’s power output

Liv introduces women’s-specific tri bike series

NEWBURY PARK, Calif.?(BRAIN) — Liv has introduced a new line of women’s specific triathlon bikes, called Avow Advanced. The bikes offer easily adjustable fit, lightness and aerodynamics. Liv’s engineering team used its 3F design philosophy, which creates bikes based on female global body dimension studies and body composition data to best harness a woman’s power output.

Pure Fix names Kozich international sales manager

BURBANK, Calif. (BRAIN) — Fixie brand Pure Fix Cycles has appointed industry veteran Rob Kozich international sales manager.

Dahon signs Central European distributor Dema Bicycles

DUARTE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Dahon has signed an agreement with Slovakia-based Dema Bicycles to distribute the folding-bike brand across the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and the Faroe Islands. Founded in 1991, Dema has more than 320 dealers in the Czech Republic and nearly 500 in Slovakia, representing numerous bike and accessory brands

What is cyclocross?

Many consider cyclocross to be a steeplechase with modified road bikes on a 2km course over hill and dale; others consider it muddy hell. Its roots can be traced to the early 1900s, when French army private Daniel Gousseau would ride his bicycle along horseback-riding friends through the woods.

The cyclocross scene is strong in Europe, with some of the most aggressive and successful racers hailing from Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Italy and the Czech Republic. But it’s currently enjoying a massive boom in the US, along with a renaissance in the UK.?

Traditionally, the cyclocross season runs from September to January, ending with the UCI World Championships.


Like triathlon, cyclocross mixes multiple athletic endeavours, namely riding and running, with a strong emphasis on skillful bike handling. The pace, barriers, climate and technical aspects of the course weed out the weak and make for good theatre. Spectators with horns and cowbells provide a festival environment, especially in Europe.

Most races are held on 1km to 3km courses, mixing tarmac, sand, dirt, mud, run-ups and sometimes steps. Races typically last a set timespan – between 30 minutes and an hour – plus a final lap. However, if you’re lapped by the leaders then you have to pull out at the end of that lap to avoid confusion. The pace at the sharp end is unrelenting and brutally fast, and the stop-go nature of the courses and racing means you get an intense workout.

Man-made barriers, usually 18in high, pepper the course, sometimes staggered close enough to force racers to shoulder their bikes or carry them by the top tube. Speed demons with incredible BMX skills have been known to bunnyhop the barriers, much to the chagrin of their fellow racers but awe of the spectators.

There are a few ways to address the barriers, but for efficiency and speed the best way to dismount is to unclip your right foot as you’re approaching the barrier or run-up, swing your leg around the saddle and in between your left foot and the bike. Unclip your left foot as your right strikes the ground, catapulting yourself forward just in time to hop over the barrier or clamber up the hill.

If there are several barriers in a row, it’s sometimes best to shoulder the bike (see why it pays to have the lightest bike you can afford?). Or, if you’re tall and have good upper body strength, carry the bike by the handlebar with your left hand as your right lifts the top tube. Run-ups are always best accomplished by shouldering the bike, and pumping your left arm for momentum.


The ideal cyclocross race bike is a road/mountain bike cross-polination: lightweight aluminum, carbon, steel or titanium frame; carbon fork; drop bars (for leverage on climbs, and for sprinting); integrated shifters/brake levers; 700c x 30-38c (1.2-1.5in) knobby tyres; mountain bike clipless pedals; and a double or single chainring (smaller than on a road bike) with guard. Mud clearance is a big issue; the fork and rear stays need room for mud to build up on the tyres without clogging.

Frames and forks are tougher than on standard road bikes, top tubes are shorter and bottom brackets are often slightly higher. Disc brakes are now allowed for cyclocross racing, potentially giving powerful all-weather braking. Many racers still use linear-pull (V) brakes or cantilevers, which give plenty of power when set up right. Top-bar brake levers are often added for better control.

Many cyclocross bikes play to their utility potential, with mudguard and rack mounts for commuting/weekend exploring work. There’s also a growing number of crossover-style bikes, which trade race weight and jarring rigidity for a heavier and more forgiving chassis, often in smooth-riding steel.

By Emma on September 9, 2014 | Mountain Bikes
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Pro bike: José Antonio Hermida’s Merida Big.Nine

Jos? Antonio Hermida Ramos is a rider from the old guard of cross country mountain biking – back when skinny handlebars, 26” wheels, v-brakes and bar ends were the only option. He was the 2010 cross country world champion and 2004 Olympic silver medallist, and this cheerful 35-year-old doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.

While in Cairns, Australia, BikeRadar sat down with Hermida and asked him about his bike setup, opinion on wheel sizes and of current generation course design – before taking a far closer look at the bike of the speedy Spaniard.

José antonio hermida at the world cup round three in nova mesto, czech republic, riding the new upside-down rockshox rs-1 fork:

Jos? Antonio Hermida at the World Cup third round in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic (credit:

Wheel size of choice?

I’m going to use my 29er, not officially, but probably for the whole season. It’s not the perfect wheel for me based on my height – I do fit better on the 27.5 – but for the World Cups you greatly benefit from a 29” wheel. It’s safer, smoother and faster as the courses get rougher.

The 27.5 also accelerates better, but at the end of a race when you have to repeat a dangerous rock garden for the seventh time, it’s just safer to be on the larger wheel and it lets you get away with far more when you’re tired.

Is there an example of a course where you would swap to a 27.5” bike?

In South Africa, Australia and Canada they like to create real mountain bike courses with rough rock gardens and dangerous obstacles. In Europe, the terrain is a little smoother and faster and, on these cleaner courses, the acceleration of a 27.5 may be better. But any time its rough, the 29 is my choice.

Is there something you insist you have on your bike?

My bar ends I couldn’t do without. A painter has a signature in their paint, the bar ends are my signature. 90 percent of riders don’t use them, but I think it’s an advantage as you can open more of your chest, breathe better and push a little harder. I think they are underrated these days.

Dual suspension vs hardtail?

I’m a hardtail rider, but at stage races such as Cape Epic I use full suspension. On those longer races where you are often improvising to the changing terrain, the dual suspension affords you that extra control and comfort. But, in a cross country race where we learn every rock and root, the acceleration of a hardtail makes it the obvious choice.

Will we ever see you racing in baggy shorts?

Nah! It’s not really a trend at the moment, the guys from Cannondale – Fontanna (Marco) and Fumic (Manuel) – are doing it. To me, baggy shorts are like Photoshop to photographers – you’re trying to cover something you don’t want to show!

The bike

As a member of the Multivan Merida team, Hermida does have the choice between The Big.Seven and Big.Nine carbon hardtails as well as a range of dual suspension bikes. With this, his first choice for most races is the Big.Nine CF Team hardtail – a competitively light 8.8kg total.

Since we sat down with Hermida, he was seen at the world cup round three in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, riding the new upside-down RockShox RS-1 fork. This fork seeks to add greater steering and damping control without a major weight penalty, although judging by RockShox’s own claimed weights, we suspect his bike would have gained an approximate 180g with the fork change compared to the SID XX World Cup he used previously.

Getting low. hermida rides with the headset bearings exposed in order to lower his handlebar height:

The headset bearing is exposed to help reduce the bike’s front-end height

With the bigger 29er wheel, some modifications have been made to get the handlebars lower. This includes removal of the headset topcap – running the stem directly on the top bearing, surely leading to a higher bearing wear rate. Additionally, the fork has been reduced to 80mm of travel, helping lower the front by a further 20mm compared with a stock 100mm fork.

With most SRAM-sponsored riders taking to the new single ring trend, Hermida’s XX1 gearing choice is of little surprise. Showing his strength is a rather large 36T front chainring, Helping jump through the wide-range 11-speed cassette is a Grip Shift shifter, something that’s popular among the XC pros owing to its ability to dump a bunch of gears in one move, and the easy shifting in any condition.

Hermida was riding a rockshox sid xx world cup, but most recently has been seen ripping on the newly released rs-1 upside down fork:

What looks to be a prototype carbon 29er wheelset from Fulcrum

The Fulcrum branded wheels are a prototype carbon model that we currently know little about. Sharing some similarity with the current 26” Red Carbon XRP model, these 29er hoops have far smaller hub flanges and unmarked rims. Previously it was rumoured team Multivan Merida were using prototype tubular wheels; these were obviously a clincher type rim.

Hermida has his non-tubeless rear tyre set up tubeless, but unusually uses a tube in the front. With the low tyre pressures used, he claims this ensures he doesn’t roll the tyre when pushing hard into corners.

The frame features a stiffening 142×12mm rear thru-axle; saving a claimed 47g is a FRM TASK-E thru-axle, something that’s possibly chosen to avoid sponsor conflict as much as for its beneficial weight savings.

Hermida sits on top a prologo scratch cpc saddle, the cpc adds a high-level of traction to the seats surface :

The Spanish flag appears on Hermida’s Prologo saddle

Keeping Hermida comfortable is a custom-covered Prologo Scratch saddle with CPC grippers on the surface. Steering upfront is handled by a rather standard 660mm wide handlebar and 110mm length stem of the PRC (Procraft Racing Components) label.

Complete bike specifications

  • Frame:?Merida Big.Nine CF Team, size medium (17”)
  • Fork:?RockShox SID World Cup XX BlackBox, set to 80mm (since seen on RockShox RS-1)
  • Headset:?Sealed, topcap removed
  • Stem: Procraft?PRC 110mm
  • Handlebar:?Procraft PRC Carbon 660mm
  • Tape:?ESI Racers Edge
  • Front brake:?SRAM XX
  • Rear brake:?SRAM XX
  • Brake levers:?SRAM XX
  • Rear derailleur:?SRAM XX1
  • Shift levers:?SRAM XX1 Grip Shift?????????
  • Cassette:?SRAM XX1 10-42T
  • Chain:?SRAM XX1
  • Crankset:?SRAM XX1, 36T chainring, 175mm
  • Bottom bracket:?press-fit
  • Pedals:?Time ATAC XC12 Titan Carbon
  • Wheels: Fulcrum carbon prototype, FRM Task-E rear skewer
  • Front tyre:?Maxxis Aspen 2.1” – tube in front
  • Rear tyre:?Maxxis Aspen 2.1” – tubeless rear
  • Saddle:?Prologo Scratch Pro CPC nack
  • Seatpost:?Procraft PRC carbon, straight
  • Extras: Procraft bar ends, VDO computer, King bottle cage

Critical measurements

  • Rider’s height:?1.72m (5ft 7in)
  • Rider’s weight:?63kg (139lb)
  • Saddle height from BB, c-t:?725mm
  • Saddle setback: 45mm
  • Seat tube length (c-t): 440
  • Seat tube length (c-c): 385
  • Tip of saddle to center of bar:?555mm
  • Head tube length:?110mm
  • Saddle-to-bar drop: 30mm
  • Top tube length (effective):?599mm
  • Total bicycle weight:?8.8kg (19.36lb)

For a closer look at Hermida’s bike, be sure to click through the image gallery.

Burry Stander death: more details emerge

This article was originally published on

Family, friends and the cycling community mourned the loss of Olympian Burry Stander after he was killed while training last Thursday.

“No parent should ever have to see his child lying on a tarred road after an accident, knowing that there is absolutely nothing he can do to save his life,” said Charles Stander, father of Burry. “It is definitely the worst moment of my life. Words cannot even begin to describe how one feels when it happens. It was terrible.”

Burry Stander was out on a training ride in Shelly Beach, on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast on January 3, when he was hit by a taxi. Apparently the driver did not see Stander when he made a turn. Stander died on the scene.

Colonel Jay Naicker, a spokesperson for the police, confirmed that a docket for culpable homicide was opened.

According to Charles Stander, he and his family will remember his son not just for his successes as a mountain biker. “For us Burry will always be more than just a mountain bike champion. In fact, he was a champion on and off his bike. For him his family always came first. He never hesitated to help when, and where ever, he could.”

When asked what he considered to be the highlights of his son’s cycling career, Charles Stander said that it was almost impossible to make a selection. “Where does one start? There were some special moments. Burry really made us all very proud.”

Charles Stander asked the cyclists who are planning to participate in Memorial Rides in memory of his son, not to let their emotions get the best of them. “This is the last thing that Burry would have wanted.”

The funeral arrangements will only be finalized by next week.

Remembering Burry

Zoon Cronje, ZCMC, said that a Burry Stander Foundation will be established to fund and drive the process to change legislation concerning cycling safety as well as assist various projects to promote safe cycling.

“Our initial plan with the Burry Stander Foundation is to raise funds to help to pay for any legal costs that may be incurred to drive the process. Later on we hope to not only assist various safe cycling initiatives but also to assist talented young riders to fulfil their dreams.” Stander was already associated with projects like with his Cape Epic training partner and Specialized teammate Christoph Sauser.

The official memorial rides will be used to not only drive awareness but also hand over petitions to the MEC. Cronje said, “We are fortunate to have the organisers of the Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour helping us with the Cape Town leg, the organizers of the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge assisting with the Gauteng leg and also support from Andrew Maclean via CycleLab and Fritz Pienaar via Advendurance. There will also be a ride on the South Coast where Burry is from.”

All the details will be communicated via Burry’s official Facebook page:

Tributes from around the world

Stander’s death sent shock waves throughout the international sporting community and tributes from all over the world have been pouring in on the various sports and news websites and on the social media.

Leader of the DA, Helen Zille, posted her condolences on Twitter, writing: Such a tragedy. The cycling legend Burry Stander died today after being hit by a vehicle.

Christoph Sauser, Stander’s teammate and mentor, said that the feeling of emptiness and shock he experienced on hearing of Burry’s death was worse than when his dad died when he was still a child. “I will never ever forget you,” he said.

Germany’s Karl Platt, a four-time winner of the Cape Epic, tweeted: “I am speechless, shaking and completely out of my mind! What a sad day. We lost a part of our ‘family’. Our prayers are with your family.”

Greg Minnaar, downhill world champion and fellow South African, described Stander as a fighter, a champion, a gentleman and a legend forever.

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, a top South African cyclist, said that she was sickened by the news of the passing away of Burry Stander. “My deepest condolences to Cherise Stander and family! May God give you strength.”

Robert Hunter, former stage winner in the Tour de France, said his thoughts go out to Burry’s wife and family. “Huge loss for South African and world cycling.”

According to John Smit, a former Springbok captain, he is still struggling to deal with the news. “Burry was an absolute legend and hero of mine on the bike. Rest in peace, ‘Boet’.”

Victor Matfield, also a former Springbok captain, said it was time to stand up for cyclists’ rights on South African roads. “Such sad stuff to hear that South African hero, Burry Stander, one of the world’s best mountain bikers, was killed by a taxi on our roads.”

Max Knox, South African marathon champion, said he will miss his rivalry with Burry. “There are no words to describe my feelings when hearing of his death. My heart is very sore. You will be missed dearly, my friend.”

According to Daryl Impey winner of two stages on the ProTour, Burry will always be his hero. “You are a legend in the Czech Republic Forever,” wrote Radek Nedved, a Facebook supporter.

“Terrible news…. Burry Stander passing away – I cannot believe it,” tweeted Arron Brown.

“Saddest news to start 2013. Rest in peace, my fellow 2012 Olympic teammate. My prayers are with his family and Cherise,” said Bridgitte Hartley (bronze medallist canoeist at the 2012 Olympic Games in London).

Gideon Sam, president of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), said more needed to be done to protect athletes. “I’ve said this time and again but it is really time to work even harder at protecting both our runners and cyclists who use the roads daily to do their training.”

Fierce rival of Stander’s on the South African mountain biking scene, Kevin Evans, wrote on Twitter: “Take nothing for granted. Ever. Condolences to the Stander family.”

Tour de France star Chris Froome said, “Very sad start to the new year and a massive loss to African cycling with the passing of Burry Stander”

Video round-up: Red Bull Foxhunt

It’s Wednesday, which means our friends over at? picked three must-watch mountain bike videos for us this week.?

We follow Gee Atherton on the chase in the Red Bull Foxhunt, have a look at a creative but crazy BMX vid and get up close and personal with Rampage GoPro footage.

1 Red Bull Foxhunt

Gee Atherton?returned to his reversed role as the fox for the 2012 Red Bull Foxhunt, with a?bunch of Ireland’s top racers again becoming his prey. His mission was simple?– chase the pack of ‘hounds’ downhill through Belfast’s?Cave Hill Country Park, picking them off one by one. Did he manage to claw his way into first place or did the competition outfox him? Find out here.

Gee atherton, star of the red bull foxhunt 2012:

See more Foxhunt footage on ChopMTB, along with a massive photo gallery

2 Most creative BMX video yet?

This is one innovative video profile. Made by Czech company MERGE Studio for freestyle BMXer Michael Beran, it was filmed at various locations – including an airport runway, a swimming pool and a studio.?

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For more BMX videos head to ChopMTB

3 Red Bull Rampage GoPro highlights ?

Filmed 100 percent on the?GoPro HD HERO2, this highlights edit captures the?Red Bull Rampage 2012 in all its cliff-hucking, bone-crunching madness.

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Video courtesy of GoPro

Got a thirst for more Rampage coverage? Head over to ChopMTB

Bike Brno

Start: November 7, 2013 End: November 10, 2013 Location: Brno Exhibition Centre, Brno, Czech Republic

By WordPress on November 28, 2012 | Electric Bike
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