INDIANAPOLIS (BRAIN) — Silca, the historic Italian pump brand now owned by American engineer Joshua Poertner , is now shipping its first pump since Poertner took over the brand last year. The SuperPista Ultimate pump is made in the U.S. and features a variety of new technologies to justify its $445 retail pricing. The 7-pound pump is a completely redesigned version of the Silca SuperPista pumps that have been on the market for decades. It retains modified versions of the all-metal presta chuck and leather plunger gasket of the original
KETCHUM, Idaho (BRAIN) — Hotlines UK is the first U.K. distributor for the U.S. clothing brand Club Ride.
BEAVERTON, Ore. (BRAIN) — Yakima Products is expanding its line of tray-style hitch racks with the new FourPlay and TwoTimer models
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (BRAIN) — Industry consultant group Gluskin Townley is making a bike brand marketshare report available at a significant discount this summer. The roughly 20-page report contains detailed market share information for 36 bike brands who sell into all distribution channels in the U.S. The report includes unit and dollar sales figures for the brands.
MIAMI (BRAIN) — J&B is now distributing Portland Design Works products nationally, the distrbutor announced Thursday. “The crew at PDW focus not only on how they can make what is already on the market better, but also by becoming a student of the details and taking efficiency, aesthetics, durability, and rebuildability into account,” the company said. “PDW is such a well-established brand, I can’t wait to offer their products to all of my accounts,” said inside sales manager, Vin Meloro. PDW’s most popular products are available now through JBI.bike
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (BRAIN) — Bixbi bikes is launching a new line of 12-inch wheel balance bikes for the 2014 summer. The Route 12 bikes are available in five colors and weigh 7.4 pounds.
MOORABBIN, Australia (BRAIN) — BikeBox will become the exclusive distributor of all Orbea products in Australia effective July 1, providing technical support and warranty service to new and existing customers.
CHICAGO (BRAIN) — Todd Schmidt is joining SRAM’s Road Marketing Communication team as a brand manager for SRAM and Quarq, the company announced this week.
MANCHESTER, N.H. (BRAIN) — The Bike Cooperative has added Osprey Packs to its supplier network, meaning the co-op’s members will now earn rebates on their purchases of Osprey products. “Our members are thrilled that we’ve added such a high-quality brand like Osprey Packs to our stable of supplier partners,” said Scott Barrett, president of The Bike Cooperative. “It’s a brand that outdoor enthusiasts hold in high regard and seek out, which is one of the many reasons we think this partnership will be great for our members. At the same time, we’re committed to help Osprey grow their market share in the IBD space
When it comes to achieving consistent results within the Australian mountain bike scene, Andy ‘Blairy’ Blair is a name often high in the rankings – whether that’s in cross-country eliminator (XCE), Olympic discipline, marathon or even enduro mountain biking. Blair’s first race for Australia was at the Cairns World Cup in 1996. At the time he was just 17; now, with more than twice that life experience, he’s preparing for his return to Cairns to represent Australia on the world stage.
Based in the nation’s capital, Canberra, Blair has easy access to a strong local race scene featuring the likes of Olympian and 2013 World Cup second-place finisher Dan Mcconnell. As a full-time engineer, Blair shares the same challenges as many of his local competitors: having to balance a career outside sport with the demands of being an elite athlete.
For 2014, the team Swell-Specialized rider and 2012 marathon national champion has shifted his focus to the shorter, faster format of cross-country Olympic (XCO) racing. Blair told BikeRadar: “I’ll be racing the opening two World Cup rounds in hope of qualifying for the Commonwealth Games. There’s only three spots available for the men and between the strong U23 field and the likes of Dan Mcconell, it’s going to be tough.”
“My national season didn’t go how I’d planned, I’ve been fighting a mystery virus since the first round in Adelaide and only recently have I been finding my speed – even though I don’t feel 100 per cent. I’m going to need a strong performance at the world cups to prove myself for Commonwealth Games selection.”
Andy Blair of Swell-Specialized
BikeRadar took a look at Blair’s new 2014 race bike before a recent national XC round. Riding a mostly stock 2014 Specialized S-Works Epic WC, there’s little Blair has changed beyond the saddle, grips, tyres and brakes. We’ve previously reviewed this bike in detail and found it be a true ‘no-excuse’ race weapon.
At 10.11kg, it’s not a superlight rig, but keep in mind it’s a dual-suspension 29er in a large frame size. Furthermore, Blair’s marathon success has led him to run with reliability over ultimate low-weight.
Bolted to the rear seatstay, the Brain is remote of the rear shock – ready to react to rear wheel feedback
A standout feature is Specialized’s own Brain technology that keeps the suspension locked out against rider input but reactive to bumps beneath – it’s not new technology but something that continually gets better with each year’s revision.
As a SRAM-sponsored rider, it’s not surprising to see Blair with a full XX1 groupset and matching brakes. Blair’s frame is single-ring specific and has no capability to mount a front derailleur, enabling Specialized to further stiffen and lighten it with an oversized drive-side chainstay.?
Specialized is starting a war on the hydration pack: part of the new SWAT system allows for two bottles in this dual suspension frame
Although the stock bike includes Specialized’s new SWAT (Storage, Water, Air, Tools) box for emergency repair storage, Blair wasn’t running one. “I actually don’t have one, otherwise I’d probably use it. I always carry spares with me. It’s often quicker to repair your own tyre or chain than run to an allocated service zone, even on a 5km lap course.”
Could this be a new top-end Specialized Phenon?
The pre-production Specialized saddle is perhaps the most exciting item. It appears to be a new S-Works level Phenon saddle; Specialized’s mountain bike-specific saddle but with carbon rails and what we think could be an overall lighter construction.?
Complete bike specifications
See our gallery (top right) for a more detailed look at the bike.