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New startup links cyclists with global rentals, accommodations and events

TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN) — It’s a bold concept.

SRAM expands Guide brake line with Ultimate model

CHICAGO (BRAIN) — SRAM is expanding its Guide mountain bike disc brake line with the addition of the Guide Ultimate brakes, which promise improved performance and lighter weight than the original Guides, introduced last March .

SRAM Guide RSC brakes – First ride review

Robust, consistent, powerful and lightweight were the four criteria SRAM’s brake engineers were searching for when they began the development of the Guide brake two years ago.

The process began by taking a hard look at the competition and making note of what worked and what didn’t. The result of this competitive analysis is a new brake platform that appears to have shed the most common issues associated with past SRAM/Avid brakes, while maintaining robust braking power and improving lever feel and overall adjustability. We spent a few days test riding in Utah, and came away impressed.

  • Highs: Excellent modulation, easy to fine-tune lever feel
  • Lows: Slight weight gain over the brake system it replaces

SRAM's new centerline rotor was designed to run cooler and quieter than previous sram/avid rotor designs: sram's new centerline rotor was designed to run cooler and quieter than previous sram/avid rotor designs

Related: Complete breakdown of the three new Guide brake systems

On the trail

“Dancing around the edge of lock-up,” is how James Alberts, SRAM’s mountain bike brake product manager, described the Guide’s performance. We found it to be an apt description.

Our proving grounds in Moab, Utah, provided a range of terrain that offered drastically different levels of traction. Within a 10-meter section of trail, surface often changes from grippy sandstone, to sand over rock, to sand. In such conditions the ability to deftly adjust braking power without losing traction is paramount.

Over three days of testing we were always able to find the sweet spot between locking up the brakes and providing just enough power to slow our roll while maintaining traction and were never left wanting for power.

BikeRadar spent three days riding the new brakes in moab, utah. we came away impressed with the brake's consistency and modulation :

We found the Guide brakes modulation better than any of the company’s previous brakes we’ve ridden

Under hard braking the Guides feel quite similar to the X0 Trail brakes they will soon replace, though it’s their ability to deliver subtle amounts of braking power that make them stand out.

The modulation of the Guide brakes is markedly better than any of the company’s previous brakes we’ve ridden. The range between feathering the brake and locking up the wheels has been markedly increased. The result is predictable, controlled braking performance that allows riders to scrub the bare minimum amount of speed needed to maintain traction.

Ergonomics, too, are improved. The independent reach and contact point adjustments made it incredibly easy to dial in our preferred amount of throw and find our ideal lever position.

The icing on the cake was the sound of silence: the Centerline rotors appear to have silenced the warbling or “turkey gobble” sounds that has plagued past generations of SRAM and Avid brakes. Our test brakes were equipped with sintered metallic pads that stayed quite despite the dusty desert conditions.

Component manufacturer sram has just launched guide, a new brake platform designed with an eye towards adjustability and improved modulation. the guide lever offers independent reach and contact point adjustments, and uses a cam system, dubbed swinglink, that provides a progressive leverage curve for improved modulation: component manufacturer sram has just launched guide, a new brake platform designed with an eye towards adjustability and improved modulation. the guide lever offers independent reach and contact point adjustments, and uses a cam system, dubbed swinglink, that provides a progressive leverage curve for improved modulation

Verdict

The Guide RSC offers the user plenty of power and mountains of modulation. While the Guide RSC brakes deliver in terms of improving modulation and ergonomics, many readers are likely just as interested in how they will hold up over the long-haul. While we can’t weigh in with any conclusions yet, we’re hopeful that the new master cylinder design will prove less finicky than its predecessors.

We look forward to putting the Guide brakes through a full test to report back on long-term durability.


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CRC MTB Marathon Series enters final round

Three cycling events over one weekend is the perfect opportunity to put your summer training and fitness to the test, and we think round five of the Chain Reaction Cycles MTB Marathon Series will do the trick.

Powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport, the final round of the season will be held in Ruthin, Wales on the 15-16 September 2012. For the first time in the series’ history, the round will feature three events:

  • Vitus Sportive: The road sportive will open the event on the Saturday morning and feature 45 and 80 mile options around the rolling Clwydian hills area.
  • Exposure Lights Big Night Out Night Marathon: Taking place on the Saturday night at 7.30pm, it follows the same principle as the standard marathons. They’ve put together a 40km loop loaded with single track, open moorland, forest roads and fast flowing off road sections making this event a real challenge. The route is pretty much ridden entirely in the dark, so strong legs but equally strong bike lights are a must.
  • CRC MTB Marathon: Taking place during the day on Sunday, the marathon features four different distances (80km, 70km, 55km & 29km). The route starts out heading onto the Clwydian hills, incorporating fast flowing single tracks, technical forest sections, tough climbs and breathtaking descents. The course climbs up onto both Moel Arthur and Moel Famau, giving you spectacular views of the surrounding Clwydian hills and North Wales coast.

See the event listing on BikeRadar Training here.

CRC mtb marathon: crc mtb marathon

The final round of the series is to be held in Ruthin, Wales.

Entry open – make sure you get in now.

Entries to all three events are open now. If you’re up for doing two events over the weekend, there is a reduced ‘weekend ticket’ available for ?47.

To enter the Vitus Sportive please go to the entry page and to enter the ELBNO and/or the CRC marathons please go to the marathon entry page.

If all this riding sounds like your ideal event but you don’t think your fitness is up to scratch, take a look at our new?Flat out Fit?mountain bike training plan. Designed exclusively for us by?Pro Ride Guides?(the official coaching partners of the?Megavalanche), the regime is?meant for intermediate and novice trail riders who want to improve their fitness levels. It’s based around three rides per week and one or two home workout sessions that require no equipment.?

Intrigued by the Flat out Fit plan? Head over to?BikeRadarTraining?and check out some of the free sample sessions.?You can purchase the?full training plan?for just ?9.99.

BikeRadar Training?is a free online resource for you to?record and analyse?all aspects of your?training, log your?training routes, get yourself tailored?training plans, see how you’re doing on our?leaderboards, set goals and plan your season with a comprehensive?events guide.



The Chilterns Challenge returns

On Sunday 2 September 2012, Rough Ride Guide will be running their Chilterns Challenge mountain bike event.

Dubbed the ‘cycle network’, the aim of the day is to experience a great route along the finest natural Chilterns singletrack, with added emphasis on the social side of riding.

Organisers say they want an event that enables people to ride new trails and challenge themselves, but also to have fun and socialise during and afterwards.

There will be refreshments en route, as well as spot prizes, hot showers and a big screen showing cycling films, all for just ?15 if you pre-book.

The Chilterns Challenge

Having grown up in the Chilterns and written guidebooks for the area, Rough Ride Guide’s Max Darkins has included some of his favourite trails and created challenging routes for all abilities.

Max explains how the Chilterns can be difficult to explore on your own, so the Challenge is a great opportunity to ride some fully signposted singletrack, meet new riders and be able to push yourself knowing that support staff can collect you if you hit trouble. ??

The routes are circular off-road mountain bike trails, with 100, 75, 50 and 25km options. This year, there’ll also be a 10km family trail.

All the routes share some of the same trails, with the shorter courses peeling off the longer ones – the organisers are keen to point out that it’s not just a 25km loop on repeat!?

You’ll also be able to change the distance you’ve opted for on the day, so there’s no pressure to carry on if you’re having a bad ride, and you can continue on the bigger loop if you’re feeling good.?

The 100km route:

As the elevation profile shows, there’s a challenging mix of climbs and descents on offer

Improve your mountain bike fitness

If 100km of singletrack riding sounds like your ideal event but you don’t think your fitness is up to scratch, take a look at our new?Flat out Fit?mountain bike training plan.?

Designed exclusively for us by?Pro Ride Guides?(the official coaching partners of the?Megavalanche), the regime is?meant for intermediate and novice trail riders who want to improve their fitness levels. It’s based around three rides per week and one or two home workout sessions that require no equipment.

Flat out fit sample sessions: flat out fit sample sessions

Intrigued? Take a look at?some of the free sample sessions?and?purchase the?full training plan?for just ?9.99.?And if mud and singletrack aren’t your thing, check out our?events calendar?to find something that suits you.

BikeRadar Training?is a free online resource for you to?record and analyse?all aspects of your?training, log your?training routes, get yourself tailored?training plans, see how you’re doing on our?leaderboards, set goals and plan your season with a comprehensive?events guide.

Video round-up: Alex Rafferty vs France

Every Wednesday we’ll be posting two of the best videos to appear on ChopMTB during the previous seven days.

The recently launched mountain bike website delivers a daily all killer, no filler mix?of downhill, freeride, dirt jump and all-mountain action. Here’s what they’ve been watching this week…

Take one barking mad British enduro racer, a descent littered with riders and a chest mounted GoPro, and what do you get?

Alex Rafferty of Pro Ride Guides. In three barnstorming minutes at the Passportes du Soleil, he threw caution to the wind trying to claim as many scalps as he could. Check out the video below to see how many he managed.

Strength in Numbers – full Whistler segment

With all the fuss about Where The Trail Ends, it’s easy to forget the other big MTB movie of the year,?Strength in Numbers. Well, this should put it back on the radar?–?the full Whistler segment, rammed with scrubbing, whipping and singletrack slaying action.

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Save 50% on BikeRadar Training Plans

To celebrate the official Olympic opening ceremony and the start of the Olympic Games we are having a flash sale on all BikeRadar Training Plans! You can get 50% off all plans until 6am Monday 30 July!

To get your discount;

1. Log into BikeRadar Training.

2. Find a Training Plan that suits your riding style.

3. Enter the code: OLYMPICS1

All our Training Plans are exclusively designed by cycling experts for BikeRadar Training. We have a selection of plans to suit all riders both novice and intermediate and ranging from road race, time trial, sportives to mountain biking.

BikeRadar training plan sale:

Mountain Bikers: Get Flat Out Fit with our Training Plan

Pro Ride Guides have designed an eight-week, Flat Out Fit training plan exclusively for?BikeRadar.?It’s?meant for intermediate and novice trail riders who want to improve their fitness levels, and is based around three rides per week and one or two home workout sessions that require no equipment.?

Whether you’re targeting weight loss, all-round endurance or full-on?race?fitness, this training plan is for you. Flat Out Fit training is designed around?minimal equipment, effective use of time and a proven training philosophy that will change the way you ride forever.

Intrigued by the Flat Out Fit plan? Head over to?BikeRadar?Training?and check out some of the free sample sessions.?You can purchase the?full training plan?for just ?4.99. This weekend save 50% on RRP of ?9.99

Road Riders: Get expert advice from Koolstof coaching and improve your performance

For the past decade,?Koolstof Coaching?have been helping cyclists of all abilities reach their goals, from novice sportive riders to professionals. Using expertise gained from more than 30 years of competitive cycling, founders Julius Jennings and John Bennett have compiled a comprehensive range of training resources. Koolstof have designed some exclusive?training plans?forBikeRadar?Training, covering everything from road race power build to sportive summer plans – there’s a plan to suit your training goals!

Whether you’re training for a?sportive,?road race,?time trial?ormountain bike?event, BikeRadar Training has professional training plans developed and designed to help you reach your training potential.?Join?for free now and start monitoring your training efforts. And don’t forget to take part in our monthlychallenges?and gain ride inspiration by exploring our?route maps.



Events coming up this summer

Have the Tour de France and Wiggins’s success inspired you to start pushing your riding to the next level? Want to have a training goal to work towards? Or do you just want to get out and compete?

The August events calendar?on BikeRadar Training is full to the brim of listings to keep you occupied this summer. Here’s a taster of some endurance races you could get involved with…

Ritchey TrailMasters, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport

To be held on 17-19 August 2012, TrailMasters?will be a three-day event filled with classic cross-country trails and challenging timed sections. It’s open to solo riders and teams of three, so get a bunch of mates together and head to the heart of Wales for this enduro challenge.?

More than 220km of riding will be covered, plus 7,000m of climbing and six stages. However, if the three days are too much or you don’t have much time to spare, you can go along and take part in the day rider event (Saturday), enjoying the ride as well as the atmosphere.

Expect some challenging ups and downs in the linking stages, and some fast, flowing, fun-packed special stages that will test riders on technical skills as well as stamina and speed.

Ritchey trail masters:

Three days of classic XC trails and challenging timed sections await at Ritchey TrailMasters

If three days of riding sounds like your ideal event but you don’t think your fitness is up to scratch, take a look at our new Flat out Fit mountain bike training plan. Designed exclusively for us by Pro Ride Guides (the official coaching partners of the Megavalanche), the regime is?meant for intermediate and novice trail riders who want to improve their fitness levels. It’s based around three rides per week and one or two home workout sessions that require no equipment.?

Intrigued by the Flat out Fit plan? Head over to BikeRadar Training?and check out some of the free sample sessions.?You can purchase the full training plan for just ?9.99.

Cyclothon UK

Cyclothon UK is a team relay road endurance race round the legendary Grand Prix Circuit, to be held on 13 September. Teams of four to eight riders are invited to challenge themselves and each other in relay events of eight or 12 hours in duration.

Cyclothon UK differs from many sportives and endurance challenges in that it provides an added level of quality, comfort and luxury for the more discerning rider. Cyclists will enjoy hearty catering throughout the day, complimentary massages, excellent entertainment, comfortable seating areas, hot showers, WiFi access, plenty of cake and even a refreshing beer at the finish.?

The prize list for this year’s event?is a big incentive to take part. Category winners will be rewarded with bikes and accessories from Rose, Hotlines and Schwalbe, or a luxury European cycling holiday courtesy of Love Velo.

Teams from Schwalbe, Rose Bikes, Nintendo, Sega and BikeRadar will be going head to head along with sporting celebrities who are lining up for the challenge.

If you’re interested in entering the Cyclothon UK event you can find out more details on the challenge here.

Of course, we’ll be following the BikeRadar team and keeping track of how their training?is going in the run-up to the event. You can get ready for the event too – get the boost you need with one of our professional training plans.

Cyclothon uk:

Cyclothon UK teams will ride around the legendary Grand Prix circuit at Brands Hatch

To view the full line-up of summer events, check out our calendar. And if you know of some rides or races going on that aren’t already listed, feel free to add them.

Are you interested in entering events but want to get fitter first? Then head over to our new fitness site,?BikeRadar Training. It’s a free online resource for you to?record and analyse?all aspects of your training, log your?routes, get yourself tailored?training plans, see how you’re doing on our?leaderboards, set goals and plan your season with a comprehensive?events guide.

August events to challenge your fitness

Have the Tour de France and Wiggins’s success inspired you to start pushing your riding to the next level? Want to have a training goal to work towards? Or do you just want to get out and compete?

The August events calendar?on BikeRadar Training is full to the brim of listings to keep you occupied this summer. Here’s a taster of some endurance races you could get involved with…

Ritchey TrailMasters, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport

To be held on 17-19 August 2012, TrailMasters?will be a three-day event filled with classic cross-country trails and challenging timed sections. It’s open to solo riders and teams of three, so get a bunch of mates together and head to the heart of Wales for this enduro challenge.?

More than 220km of riding will be covered, plus 7,000m of climbing and six stages. However, if the three days are too much or you don’t have much time to spare, you can go along and take part in the day rider event (Saturday), enjoying the ride as well as the atmosphere.

Expect some challenging ups and downs in the linking stages, and some fast, flowing, fun-packed special stages that will test riders on technical skills as well as stamina and speed.

Ritchey trail masters:

Three days of classic XC trails and challenging timed sections await at Ritchey TrailMasters

If three days of riding sounds like your ideal event but you don’t think your fitness is up to scratch, take a look at our new Flat out Fit mountain bike training plan. Designed exclusively for us by Pro Ride Guides (the official coaching partners of the Megavalanche), the regime is?meant for intermediate and novice trail riders who want to improve their fitness levels. It’s based around three rides per week and one or two home workout sessions that require no equipment.?

Intrigued by the Flat out Fit plan? Head over to BikeRadar Training?and check out some of the free sample sessions.?You can purchase the full training plan for just ?9.99.

Cyclothon UK

Cyclothon UK is a team relay road endurance race round the legendary Grand Prix Circuit, to be held on 13 September. Teams of four to eight riders are invited to challenge themselves and each other in relay events of eight or 12 hours in duration.

Cyclothon UK differs from many sportives and endurance challenges in that it provides an added level of quality, comfort and luxury for the more discerning rider. Cyclists will enjoy hearty catering throughout the day, complimentary massages, excellent entertainment, comfortable seating areas, hot showers, WiFi access, plenty of cake and even a refreshing beer at the finish.?

The prize list for this year’s event?is a big incentive to take part. Category winners will be rewarded with bikes and accessories from Rose, Hotlines and Schwalbe, or a luxury European cycling holiday courtesy of Love Velo.

Teams from Schwalbe, Rose Bikes, Nintendo, Sega and BikeRadar will be going head to head along with sporting celebrities who are lining up for the challenge.

If you’re interested in entering the Cyclothon UK event you can find out more details on the challenge here.

Of course, we’ll be following the BikeRadar team and keeping track of how their training?is going in the run-up to the event. You can get ready for the event too – get the boost you need with one of our professional training plans.

Cyclothon uk:

Cyclothon UK teams will ride around the legendary Grand Prix circuit at Brands Hatch

To view the full line-up of summer events, check out our calendar. And if you know of some rides or races going on that aren’t already listed, feel free to add them.

Are you interested in entering events but want to get fitter first? Then head over to our new fitness site,?BikeRadar Training. It’s a free online resource for you to?record and analyse?all aspects of your training, log your?routes, get yourself tailored?training plans, see how you’re doing on our?leaderboards, set goals and plan your season with a comprehensive?events guide.

Top five fitness tips for mountain biking

Push your riding to the next level with this new training plan, designed exclusively for BikeRadar Training by Flat Out Fit cycle coach Joe Rafferty, of Pro Ride Guides.

A fully qualified mountain bike tutor, former Loughborough sports academic and GB athlete, Joe?has been a mountain bike coach and personal trainer for eight years. He currently specialises in enduro training and looks after Kona’s?Alex Stock, one of the UK’s top enduro riders. Joe’s also a self-confessed all-mountain addict and gear geek.

Joe explained to us?why mountain bikers should train to help improve their general riding:

“The main reason we ride is for fun, and in all honesty we’re almost always happier when either gravity is on our side or the trail flows well enough not to get us huffing and puffing. So what’s with all this training malarkey, then? We’re mountain bikers, aren’t we? Well, what if I told you that with a little bit of training you could make even the roughest trails flow, and you could have enough energy to make the ups as playful as downs. Would that tempt you? What about the confidence to tear up that last climb just to bomb back down?

“We know all too well that time on the bike is key, but with the way we all work and give ourselves so little time to play, our fitness becomes one step forward and two back. This training plan is designed to help you get a grip of your potential again. It’s designed to help you get progressively fitter with no gym membership, no expensive equipment and no wasted time. In fact, don’t think of it as a training plan, think of it as guidance.”

Tame the trails with added mountain bike fitness:

Joe demonstrating how taming the trails is easier with greater mountain bike fitness

Joe Rafferty’s top five fitness tips

Getting fit isn’t about eating an organic banana 34 minutes before your session, then gulping a protein shake three breaths after your last rep. For the average person it’s actually pretty simple. Following these five tips should set you on the right track:

Eat the right things:?Cut your sugar intake, avoid overly processed foods, wean yourself off copious amounts of caffeine and you might just be able to hear what your body is asking for.

Avoid the weekend warrior trap:?When it comes to improving, consistency is key. Four quality sessions per week will give you much better improvements than one long slog that leaves you needing the week to recover.

Rest properly:?To improve, you need periods of stress (physical exertion) and recovery. They are of equal importance – sleep well and have at least one full rest day per week.

Commit:?If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it properly. Find out what motivates you, plan, set goals and go for it. When things get tough, remember where you want to be and why.

Progression:?Doing the same ‘grey ride’ week in, week out means you’ll eventually plateau. Progressing your training intensity and volume will keep you improving.

Get Flat Out Fit with BikeRadar Training

Joe has designed an eight-week, Flat Out Fit training plan exclusively for BikeRadar. It’s?meant for intermediate and novice trail riders who want to improve their fitness levels, and is based around three rides per week and one or two home workout sessions that require no equipment.?

Whether you’re targeting weight loss, all-round endurance or full-on?race?fitness, this training plan is for you. Flat Out Fit training is designed around?minimal equipment, effective use of time and a proven training philosophy that will change the way you ride forever.

Intrigued by the Flat Out Fit plan? Head over to BikeRadar Training?and check out some of the free sample sessions.?You can purchase the full training plan for just ?9.99.

Joe rafferty of pro ride guides:

Joe Rafferty of Pro Ride Guides

BikeRadar Training is a free online resource for you to?record and analyse?all aspects of your training, log your?training routes, get yourself tailored?training plans, see how you’re doing on our?leaderboards, set goals and plan your season with a comprehensive?events guide.