middle

First Olympic-sized velodrome in the Middle East opens in Tel Aviv

TEL AVIV, Jerusalem (BRAIN) — The city of Tel Aviv has unveiled Israel’s newest velodrome, said to be the most advanced indoor bike racing arena in the Middle East.

Stan’s NoTubes hires Clayton Goldsmith for European OE sales and other projects

BIG FLATS, N.Y. (BRAIN) — Stan’s NoTubes has hired Clayton Goldsmith. Initially, Goldsmith is focusing on OE sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, but he will also lead several internal projects aimed at improving product availability and reducing lead-times for European customers.

How to build mountain bike dirt jumps

Learning to jump a mountain bike first requires you to find a proper jump you can practice on. Building things is fun, so let’s look at how to build tabletops — a great place to start. 

We’ll then move on to building doubles, hip jumps and step-ups. For tips on learning how to ride the jumps, see our guide to how to jump a mountain bike.

The tools you’ll need for building dirt jumps

  • A sharp spade
  • A shovel
  • A medium-sized wood saw
  • A gardening brush
  • A wheelbarrow
  • A gardening hoe
  • A gardening fork

The rules of building dirt jumps

Only build where you have permission. Clean up after yourself.

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How to build a tabletop jump in 11 easy steps

1. Clean up

First up, thoroughly clear any debris, etc from the area where you want your tabletop to stand.

2. Build solid foundations

Have a search for dead wood that you can use to make a solid foundation to your jump.

3. Scope out the centre of your jump

Lay the wood widthways across the table where you think the centre of the jump will be. This will make it easier when you want to turn your jump into a double (the idea is that you can pull out the middle without affecting the take-off or landing — more on that below).

4. Start digging

5. Dump the earth on the logs

6. Pack it down

7. Get shaping

8. Shape the transition

9. Smooth out the transition

10. Shape that lip

11. Leave it to set

How to build small doubles

1. Start removing dirt from the middle

2. Now you can pull out those logs

3. Smooth it

4. Reuse those logs and dirt

How to build big doubles

1. Plan it out

2. Pile up your logs

3. Lay down the dirt

4. Shape it into a slope

5. Pack it all down

6. Start building your take-off

7. Shape the take-off

8. Smooth the take-off

9. Leave it to set

How to build hip jumps

1. Find your location

2. Clear the area

3. Start making your take-off

4. Build your landing

5. Smooth it all off

 Step-ups

1. Find your location

2. Make your foundations

3. Start building it up

4. Shape the landing

5. Smooth out your landing

6. Remember to give the landing a wide base

7. Shape the take-off

8. Smooth it, smooth it

9. Leave it to set

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

Shimano SH-XC70 mountain bike shoe review

Although Shimano’s top-end SH-XC90 shoes seem to draw all of the marketing attention, it’s the second-tier XC70 model that have really attracted our eyes, packing most of the performance of the flagship model but at a significantly lower cost. Unless your feet absolutely need the custom mouldability of the XC90s, these should be all the shoe any cross-country (or cyclocross) rider will ever need.

  • Highs: Great fit, very stiff carbon fibre reinforced sole, heat mouldable insole
  • Lows: Non-heat mouldable uppers, tread material is too hard
  • Buy if: You’re a dedicated XC rider with normally shaped feet and don’t plan on doing much walking

It’s generally wise not to use relatively untested gear in a mountain bike race – in particular, one that’s 111km (69mi) long with more than 2,100m (7,000ft) of climbing. And there are few pieces of gear to which that rule is more applicable than shoes… and yet that’s just what we did. While we had all sorts of aches and pains after crossing the finishing line, our feet were impressively cosy and have stayed that way for every ride since.

The shimano sh-xc70 shoes lack the heat moldable uppers of the top-end xc90 model but provided your feet are fairly typically shaped, these should work well: the shimano sh-xc70 shoes lack the heat moldable uppers of the top-end xc90 model but provided your feet are fairly typically shaped, these should work well

Even without the heat mouldable uppers of their more expensive SH-XC90 cousin, Shimano’s SH-XC70 shoes proved to be wonderfully comfortable

We didn’t really notice the reduction in foot fatigue that Shimano claims with the new, flatter Dynalast shape, but the roomier toe box left ample room for our little piggies to wiggle around. Further back, though, the well-shaped synthetic leather uppers wrap tightly with their cleverly reversed middle straps (something Alberto Contador used to have done on his custom Sidis), ratcheting main buckles, and deep heel cups.

Despite the very secure hold, the feel was very evenly and pleasantly snug, with no pressure points to pinch or rough interior seams to irritate. Should you need them, Shimano makes the XC70s in a wide fit, too.

The XC70 shoes are built with abbreviated carbon fibre reinforcing plates in the midsoles rather than the full-length plates in the XC90. Whatever difference in stiffness that results is slight at best, as we still found the XC70s to be plenty stout. Moreover, there’s essentially no weight penalty. Shimano’s own specs put the XC70 just 5g behind per pair. We weighed our size 43s at a good – though not fantastic – 730g including the heat mouldable insoles.

The tread is more generous than the xc90 model but make no mistake - these are best used for pedaling, not walking. the tread material is quite hard and slippery on rocks and roots. there is, however, a rubber coating in the middle to provide a bit of purchase should you miss your pedal: the tread is more generous than the xc90 model but make no mistake - these are best used for pedaling, not walking. the tread material is quite hard and slippery on rocks and roots. there is, however, a rubber coating in the middle to provide a bit of purchase should you miss your pedal

Real carbon fibre is only used under the cleat area but the shoes are still amply stiff for everyday cross-country riding

Shimano graces the XC70s with a more generous tread than the XC90 although, as with any stiff-soled mountain bike shoe, walking is best left to short stints – and the shorter, the better. The cat’s-tongue lining in the heel cup also keeps the backs of your feet from pulling out of the shoe when trudging uphill (without wearing holes in your socks or creating blisters) but the tread blocks themselves are still awfully hard. Grip is pretty good on softer surfaces but scrambling on rocks and roots can be a little treacherous.

We’ve noticed slightly faster-than-expected wear on the tread (which is non-replaceable) but the uppers have been holding up quite well otherwise, particularly with the light armouring built around the toe box. Past experience has demonstrated excellent overall durability with Shimano footwear, too.

The plastic cap provides some protection for your toes while also boasting a legitimately effective vent right up front. additional light armoring is built in a little further back: the plastic cap provides some protection for your toes while also boasting a legitimately effective vent right up front. additional light armoring is built in a little further back

There’s light armouring around the toe box to protect your feet from minor impacts. The vent in the front of the shoe is legitimately functional

All that said, the XC70 shoes are clearly intended primarily for pedalling, not walking, and in that context there’s little to complain about. Though perhaps a bit pricey, they’re very comfortable, they’re well built, and unless you’re planning on spending a lot of time on foot in rocky conditions, should last for several seasons.








By admin on August 19, 2014 | Mountain Bikes
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Santa Cruz Bantam review

The Santa Cruz Bantam follows the aggressive, shorter travel lead that started with the Blur 4X, and was carried through the Blur TR and 5010.

Ride and handling: stiff, with low-slung cornering confidence

Riding the Bantam is a refreshingly simple experience. Pedal or brake hard and it lifts and stiffens slightly. Freewheel and lean back and the front comes up nicely for dropping and hopping. It’s not the cleverest way to interact with the trail, but is intuitive and communicative. The frame’s character makes it fun and involving.

For a 125mm travel bike, the frame is heavy, and it’s stiff, even by linkage bike standards. You can stick the big 650B (27.5in) tyres into corners with fork-crushing force. The frame can be relied on to rail out or stick a line through the sketchiest rock sections. You’ll get some rumble through your shoes as a result, but it’s usually helpful feedback, rather than distracting kickback. Pedal bob on smoother sections is easily remedied with a flick of the Pro Pedal lever on the Fox shock.

The combination of easy shock sag, an already low bottom bracket and the frame’s stiffness makes it a natural turn-and-burn trail ripper. During testing in Nevada’s Bootleg Canyon, it left longer travel bikes eating dust on the swerving, rolling narrow gauge trails. There’s no reason why it won’t be every bit as insolent and engaging when tackling slippery British singletrack.

Santa Cruz haven’t sacrificed their high standards of strength or stiffness just because this bike has less travel and is made from alloy. It inevitably makes the Bantam heavy for its category, but it’s still a load of fun.

Frame and equipment: tough with interactive suspension, but heavy

Built in a fun, medium travel, relatively low cost, back-to-basics style, the Bantam is no featherweight. It uses a a modified Heckler single-pivot frame pumping out 125mm of communicative, confident handling swagger.

Santa Cruz have been making single-pivot suspension bikes since their first Tazmon in the early 90s. Hingeing the back end off a pivot level with the middle ring still gives a simple but effective interaction between bike and trail.

The easily serviceable, lifetime warrantied collet bearings on the middle ring-optimised main pivot are the same across all Santa Cruz swingarm bikes.

We’re becoming firm fans of the extra rough rolling speed and grip of 650B wheels compared to 26in. The Bantam is definitely one of the better showcases of its advantages in aggression terms.

The Bantam will be available in a range of build kits to complement its affordable price/aspirational brand appeal. Our sample used a Shimano XT kit with a Fox 32 Factory fork upgrade. UK prices and specs are currently unconfirmed but a similar build on Santa Cruz’s UK site costs ?4,164 – a frame and shock costs ?1,349. Complete bikes in the US start from $2,599.?

Test spec?

Frame: Custom 6066 alloy

Shock: Fox Float Evolution CTD

Fork: Fox 32 275 CTD TA, 130mm

Headset: Cane Creek 40

Brakes: Shimano XT, 180/160mm rotors

Saddle: WTB Silverado Team

Stem: Truvativ AKA, 70mm

Handlebar: Easton Havoc alloy, 750mm

Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth

Grips: Santa Cruz, locked

Transmission

Cranks: Shimano XT, 42/32/24T

Bottom Bracket: Shimano XT

Derailleurs: Shimano XT

Shifters: Shimano XT

Cassette: Shimano XT, 11-36T

Wheels

Rims: WTB Frequency i23 650b

Hubs: WTB.15mm (front), 142×12mm (rear)

Tyres: Maxxis High Roller 2, 2.3in

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.


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Pro bike: Adam Craig’s Giant Trance Advanced 27.5

Enduro racing is drawing in athletes from both the cross-country and the downhill ends of the mountain bike spectrum. Adam Craig, a former World Cup cross-country racer, has made enduro racing the focus of his 2013 season. His weapon of choice is Giant’s new Trance Advanced 27.5 0 with a component package tailored to the rigors of enduro racing.

For most of the season Craig was riding an aluminum prototype version Trance 27.5. (We caught a glimpse of his prototype before the official 2014 models were unveiled earlier this year.) Now he’s racing a Trance Advanced 27.5 frame with a carbon front triangle and an aluminum rear end. The carbon front end shaves approximately 300g from his aluminum prototype. In addition to feeling more precise, Craig says the carbon front triangle damps impacts and provides a livelier ride.

Upfront craig runs a 160mm rockshox pike: upfront craig runs a 160mm rockshox pikeCraig’s 160mm RockShox PIKE

In terms of component selection, Craig’s race bike is not so different from the 2014 Trance Advanced SX, which adds a 160mm fork, piggyback shock and stout components to a Trance Advanced 27.5 chassis.

Upfront, Craig is running a 160mm RockShox PIKE fork. The 170lb (77kg) racer runs 62-70psi in the PIKE, depending on the course. “I was running closer to 70psi at the Canadian Open Enduro because it’s so steep and I was trying to keep the front end up and out of holes,” he said.

Rear suspension travel is still 140mm, making the Trance Advanced one of the shorter-travel bikes on the enduro race circuit by 10-30mm. The Giant racer is able to get the most out of every millimeter of travel thanks to custom valving in his RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 rear shock. The special tuning makes the initial stroke more sensitive, which provides a bit more rear wheel traction. He runs between 155-165psi in the rear shock.

Craig humbly attributes much of his success this season to his ability to keep air in his tires while many of his competitors struggled with flats. “Schwalbe has been ahead of the curve when it comes to enduro racing,” said Craig of his tire sponsor. When we caught up with him following the Canadian Open Enduro at Crankworx, Craig was running a prototype of Schwalbe’s Magic Mary upfront with a Hans Dampf in the rear. Both tires have Schwalbe’s Super Gravity casing, which features reinforced sidewalls to decrease the likelihood of pinch flatting, even at low pressures. Craig generally runs 22psi upfront and 24psi in the rear tire.

The hans dampf 27.5x2.35in has a round profile and evenly-spaced knobs that make it a very predictable rear tire: Schwalbe’s Super Gravity casing allows riders to run low pressures without fear of pinch flatting

Like the majority of SRAM-sponsored enduro racers, Craig is running an XX1 drivetrain. His years of cross-country racing fitness allow him to turn over a big ring; he’s been alternating between 36t and 38t chain rings this season. “I like to run the biggest ring I can because it keep me up higher in the block and gives me better chainwrap,” Craig said.

While chain rentention on xx1 is very good, enduro racers can't afford to drop a chain in the middle of a stage. craig runs mrp's all mountain guide with a carbon backplate: while chain rentention on xx1 is very good, enduro racers can't afford to drop a chain in the middle of a stage. craig runs mrp's all mountain guide with a carbon backplateXX1 is favored by many enduro racers for its reliability

When it comes time to slow down, Craig uses SRAM’s XO Trail brakes. Though individual enduro stages might be relatively short, riders can be on their bikes all day. Running a 203mm front rotor and 180mm rear rotor allow him to brake with less effort. “It’s not really for power – it’s more a matter of managing fatigue throughout the day. If you can squeeze your brakes with five percent less effort over the course of a day of enduro racing you’ll be better off,” Craig said.

Complete bike specifications

  • Frame:?Giant Trance Advanced 0, size medium
  • Fork:?RockShox PIKE RCT3 Solo Air, 160mm
  • Rear shock:? RockShox Monarch Plus RC3, w/custom tuning
  • Cranks:?SRAM XX1, 36T chainring, 175mm crankarms
  • Chainguide: MRP AMG Carbon
  • Chain:?SRAM PC-XX1
  • Cassette:?SRAM XX1
  • Brakes:?SRAM XO Trail, 203mm front rotor, 180mm rear rotor
  • Shift lever:?SRAM XX1
  • Front derailleur:?N/A
  • Rear derailleur:?SRAM XX1
  • Wheelset:?DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline 27.5
  • Tires:?Prototype Magic Mary 27×2.35in (front), Hans Dampf 27.5×2.35 (rear)
  • Saddle:?fi’zi:k Tundra 2, K:ium rails
  • Seatpost:?RockShox Stealth Reverb
  • Stem:?Truvativ Stylo T20, 60mm
  • Handlebar:?Truvativ Jerome Clementz BlackBox Bar, 750mm wide
  • Grips:?ODI Ruffian (wire-wrapped on)
  • Pedals: crankbrothers Mallet 3
  • Accessories: King Cage, Incredibell

Critical measurements

  • Rider’s height:?1.8m (5ft 11in)
  • Rider’s weight: 77kg (170lb)
  • Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 77.5cm
  • Top tube length: 600mm (23.6in)
  • Head tube length: 100mm (3.9in)
  • Total bike weight: 12.7kg (28lb)


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NICA to test middle school program

BERKELEY, CA (BRAIN) — The National Interscholastic Cycling Association is launching a pilot program this fall in Minnesota to introduce middle school students to mountain bike racing. The goal with the pilot is to learn best practices and to develop curriculum specific to the sixth- through eighth-grade age group that can be shared with other leagues. NICA executive director Austin McInerny hopes that a year from now NICA can formally launch a middle school program across all nine of its state leagues

Trail Tech: Cutting through the 27.5 hype

Question: “I borrowed a buddy’s new 27.5in mountain bike for the weekend. I could not tell much, if any, difference between it and my 26in trail bike. It certainly didn’t roll as well as my 29er. Is 27.5 just an attempt to get riders to upgrade?”

This week I’m using Trail Tech as a soapbox to tilt at windmills. Not just any windmill, mind you. There’s a certain windmill, one with a bead seat diameter of 584mm that goes by the name 650b, which needs to be dealt with frankly. ??

Not a week goes by that we don’t have a story on BikeRadar about another bike company releasing a 650b bike, wheelset, tire or fork.

News stories about 650b mountain bikes appear to go hand-in-hand with comments from the peanut gallery about how “650b is just an industry ploy to sell more bikes.”

While 650b may or may not be an industry conspiracy, calling it “27.5” most certainly is.

Why should you care?

You should care because you’re being sold the erroneous notion that mountain bikes with 650b tires occupy a Zen-like middle ground between the low weight and flickability of 26in wheels and the momentum-carrying, obstacle-smashing attributes 29er riders love.

This had lead several bike companies to foresee a day in the near future when 26in and 29in mountain bikes will become obsolete. In this future, spandex-clad cross-country racers, average Joe trail riders and flat brim-wearing gravity shredders join hands around a 27.5in campfire, sing “Kumbaya” and rejoice that we have come full circle; we are at one with the wheel once more. I’m not holding my breath; 26in wheels are still fun and you can have my 29er when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

The idea that the 650b mountain bike embodies the best of both without the hang-ups of either is as misleading as the 27.5 label. One has to run a very large 650b tire before you actually reach a measurement of 27.5in from the ground to the top of the tire.

The cycling industry is pushing 650b wheels to be known as 27.5 because it makes more sense on the sales floor, despite the fact that it's not an acurate description of tire size or of how these bikes perform: the cycling industry is pushing 650b wheels to be known as 27.5 because it makes more sense on the sales floor, despite the fact that it's not an acurate description of tire size or of how these bikes performThe 650b mountain bike does not split the difference between 26in wheels and 29ers

That’s because the 650b wheel is much closer in diameter to a 26in wheel. For reference, there’s a 25mm difference in bead seat diameter between 26in and 650b, but there’s a 38mm difference between 650b and a 700c (29in) wheel.

It’s easy to fall into this ‘tweener’ mindset. I’m guilty of calling it “the middle wheel size” when searching for a synonym for 650b. And I must admit that several of the 650b trail bikes I’ve ridden this season do have a Goldilocks’ like feel to them. (The Norco Sight B1 and the Santa Cruz Bronson come to mind.) But this sensation is more the result of dialed frame geometry than of cramming a slightly larger wheel into a frame. And, yes, wheelsize and frame geometry go hand in hand, but it’s the later that truly makes a bike perform on the trail.

I don’t think 650b is a crock, or that the differences between it and a 26in wheel are so small that they are not worth the fuss – that’s for you to decide on the trail.

There are performance gains that come with this slightly larger diameter wheel and there are a lot of great 650b mountain bikes being produced. But the advantages don’t place this wheel smack dab in between 26in and 29in wheels.

As for the conspiracy theorists out there, yes, there has been a concerted effort by bike and component companies to develop new 650b products because there are small, but measureable performance gains over 26in wheels. Some folks seem to forget that bike companies are not non-profits (at least not on purpose), and that their employees have mouths to feed, too.

In the end, I know I’m fighting a losing battle. When it comes to naming this wheelsize, 27.5 will trump 650b because it makes more sense when explaining the differences between one wheel size and another on the sales floor. As riders and as consumers, just keep in mind that those differences are not cut straight down the middle.?

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Trail Tech: Cutting through the 27.5in hype

Question: “I borrowed a buddy’s new 27.5in mountain bike for the weekend. I could not tell much, if any, difference between it and my 26in trail bike. It certainly didn’t roll as well as my 29er. Is 27.5 just an attempt to get riders to upgrade?”

This week I’m using Trail Tech as a soapbox to tilt at windmills. Not just any windmill, mind you. There’s a certain windmill, one with a bead seat diameter of 584mm that goes by the name 650b, which needs to be dealt with frankly. ??

Not a week goes by that we don’t have a story on BikeRadar about another bike company releasing a 650b bike, wheelset, tire or fork.

News stories about 650b mountain bikes appear to go hand-in-hand with comments from the peanut gallery about how “650b is just an industry ploy to sell more bikes.”

While 650b may or may not be an industry conspiracy, calling it “27.5” most certainly is.

Why should you care?

You should care because you’re being sold the erroneous notion that mountain bikes with 650b tires occupy a Zen-like middle ground between the low weight and flickability of 26in wheels and the momentum-carrying, obstacle-smashing attributes 29er riders love.

This had lead several bike companies to foresee a day in the near future when 26in and 29in mountain bikes will become obsolete. In this future, spandex-clad cross-country racers, average Joe trail riders and flat brim-wearing gravity shredders join hands around a 27.5in campfire, sing “Kumbaya” and rejoice that we have come full circle; we are at one with the wheel once more. I’m not holding my breath; 26in wheels are still fun and you can have my 29er when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

The idea that the 650b mountain bike embodies the best of both without the hang-ups of either is as misleading as the 27.5 label. One has to run a very large 650b tire before you actually reach a measurement of 27.5in from the ground to the top of the tire.

The cycling industry is pushing 650b wheels to be known as 27.5 because it makes more sense on the sales floor, despite the fact that it's not an acurate description of tire size or of how these bikes perform: the cycling industry is pushing 650b wheels to be known as 27.5 because it makes more sense on the sales floor, despite the fact that it's not an acurate description of tire size or of how these bikes performThe 650b mountain bike does not split the difference between 26in wheels and 29ers

That’s because the 650b wheel is much closer in diameter to a 26in wheel. For reference, there’s a 25mm difference in bead seat diameter between 26in and 650b, but there’s a 38mm difference between 650b and a 700c (29in) wheel.

It’s easy to fall into this ‘tweener’ mindset. I’m guilty of calling it “the middle wheel size” when searching for a synonym for 650b. And I must admit that several of the 650b trail bikes I’ve ridden this season do have a Goldilocks’ like feel to them. (The Norco Sight B1 and the Santa Cruz Bronson come to mind.) But this sensation is more the result of dialed frame geometry than of cramming a slightly larger wheel into a frame. And, yes, wheelsize and frame geometry go hand in hand, but it’s the later that truly makes a bike perform on the trail.

I don’t think 650b is a crock, or that the differences between it and a 26in wheel are so small that they are not worth the fuss – that’s for you to decide on the trail.

There are performance gains that come with this slightly larger diameter wheel and there are a lot of great 650b mountain bikes being produced. But the advantages don’t place this wheel smack dab in between 26in and 29in wheels.

As for the conspiracy theorists out there, yes, there has been a concerted effort by bike and component companies to develop new 650b products because there are small, but measureable performance gains over 26in wheels. Some folks seem to forget that bike companies are not non-profits (at least not on purpose), and that their employees have mouths to feed, too.

In the end, I know I’m fighting a losing battle. When it comes to naming this wheelsize, 27.5 will trump 650b because it makes more sense when explaining the differences between one wheel size and another on the sales floor. As riders and as consumers, just keep in mind that those differences are not cut straight down the middle.?

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SDG Galaxy saddle review

The chromoly-railed Galaxy is one of SDG’s?more affordable saddle offerings, although?there’s also a titanium alloy version available for ?20?more.?

The only real downside of steel rails is?weight, but the SDG Galaxy is in the ballpark for the?money. It’s in the middle of the range for both?length (271mm) and width (142mm) but has a?slightly broader nose than most perches, which works well?on steep climbs.?

The padding is firm at the back and softer in the middle. All in all, it’s good stuff.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.