New-look GT Factory Racing Downhill and Enduro team continues with Shimano Saint and XTR components for 2016 and 2017 seasons. The recently signed deal sees GT Factory Racing continue their 16-year winning relationship with world-leading component brand Shimano.
Riders such as Belgium’s Martin Maes are no stranger to working with Shimano. Despite only being 19, Maes has been already been part of the Shimano testing and development team during his time with GT and Atherton Racing.
Likewise, as part of the Trek World Racing set up last year, former World Cup Downhill winner Brook Macdonald (New Zealand) also continues his relationship with Shimano, where he will provide expert and invaluable feedback about Shimano components at the highest level of competition.
Joining Macdonald in the Downhill program are fellow Kiwi Wyn Masters, Sam Dale (UK) and Jackson Frew (Australia). Masters will join Martin Maes at the Enduro World Series and similarly Maes will also turn his hand to Downhill racing but will concentrate mainly on Enduro racing.
Team Manager Mark Maurissen is also a long-term Shimano fan having raced with XTR components for GT during the 1990s. “We need the best when it really matters so there’s no compromise for me, Shimano and GT all the way. I’m super excited to see what we’ve put together for the team. With the new faces in the team too I can’t wait for the season to begin,”said Maurissen.
The team’s GT Fury and GT Sanction bikes will be decked out with Shimano Saint for Downhill events or XTR for Enduro races.
Shimano Saint groupsets offer unrivalled durability for Downhill racing with single ring cranksets, two-way release Rapidfire Plus rear shift levers and hydraulic brake units featuring Ice Technology calipers and high-power ceramic pistons.
Meanwhile XTR groupsets offer the option of electronic Di2 or mechanical gear shifting on M9020 Rhythm Step drivetrains. Rapidfire XTR levers take care of shifting and Hollowtech II XTR cranks offer 1×11, 2×11 or 3×11 set ups. Combined with hydraulic brakes, XTR M9020 offers the finest example of Shimano’s engineering leadership and 34-years of experience in producing mountain bike components.
Shimano Europe’s sports marketing team will be the crucial link between the European-based GT Team and Shimano´s product development teams in Japan. Shimano’s Rudy Bouwmeester added, “Our relationships with Mark and GT go back a long way. We know we can put complete trust in the team and its riders to not only showcase our products at the highest levels and toughest conditions but also to help us develop and refine the way we engineer world class components.”
The Enduro team kick off their race program with a two-day race in the Chilean high Andes mountains over the weekend of 26-27 March, which will be supported by Shimano Latin America. The Downhill riders’ season starts two weeks later with Round 1 of the UCI Downhill World Cup in Lourdes, France, supported by Shimano Europe.
ION the Brand
ION Bikewear is definitely unique in comparison to most other bikewear out there. Their lines are inspired from surfing, which is where there roots lie. Initially established in 2004 they focused on wetsuits & neoprene products for the international windsurf, kitesurf, surf, SUP and wakeboard scene. ION’s unique combination of high quality products wrapped in a progressive style and design found fans all over the world – becoming the global market leader for wetsuits and harnesses in the wind- and kitesurf world.
Then in late 2012, ION took the same approach to the slopes, launching a separate bike division with functional cycling gear, clothing, accessories, gloves and protection.
I absolutely hate layers! To me the worst thing about Winter riding in the UK is that you have to wear a load of layers. It makes me feel really restricted & uncomfortable when I am riding. I have been waiting years for a solution for this and it looks like ION may have gone and cracked it.
I have spent the last few weeks testing this ION Womens Aerial Insulation Jacket. As the name suggests the jacket is designed to keep you warm, the Primaloft Silver lining in the jacket is designed to keep you warm on even the coldest of days. The jacket also has Thermo Mapping which prevents you from over heating.
The front of the jacket has a soft durable water repellency shell that will keep you dry during light rain shower, the back of the jacket has Technostretch fleece to let heat escape. The fleece like material on the back of the jacket doesn’t have any water repellency in it so I wouldn’t recommend this jacket for rainy days, but it will offer enough protection if you get caught in a small rain shower.
After previously wearing ION clothing I had high expectations for this jacket. I have always found their kit to be of high quality and durable in all conditions and I wasn’t wrong. ION once again met my expectations, the jacket is extremely comfortable, it is non restricting which makes it easy to move around the bike. The primaloft silver lining & the thermo mapping in the jacket are ideal for keeping your body at the right temperature, preventing you from becoming to hot or too cold, therefore allowing you to conserve energy on your ride.
One of the great feature that comes with a lot of ION clothing these days is the Clear_Optics: integrated lens cleaning fabric helping you to keep your lenses clear on even the muddiest of days. The jacket also has two front zipped pockets reducing your chances of losing stuff during your ride.
This jacket isn’t just great for a day on the trails, it is also excellent for days on the hills hiking or even going out for a run. I have used this jacket now for a range of different activities and works fantastically for them all. The jacket retails for around £147.99, which is fairly reasonable for the quality & diversity of the jacket. The jacket is reasonably light and will easily fit into most backpacks.
Sizes: XS, S, M, L & XL
ION is about challenging yourself, experiencing nature and feeling its force. Therefore ION develops gear that is not only smart and innovative, but also transforms this passion into an unique design.
This product was provided to MTB Girls Ride F.O.C from ION UK.
I think it is fair to suspect that the makers of Xbionic are crazy mad Big Bang theory fans. They know the science behind all of their gear…even the socks.
I have been testing some X Bionic bike gear over the last few months. X Bionic were pretty adamants when we agreed to do testing that we test their whole kit and not just one or two pieces of it, they believe that in order to get the full potential out of their gear you need to match it with the right pieces. So even though the reviews are posted individually all testing was done when the pieces were paired with other X Bionic clothing .
Our Xbionic testing has included everything from jackets to socks, throughout the next few weeks we will be providing you with reviews from some of their line. Up this week is the Anatomical Bike Beaver Top.
“Because you need your energy for more vital things than sweating or freezing. The relentless search for efficiency in weight and performance ability ends with rodent. He’s perfectly adapted to the moist, cold enviroment, having been outfitted by nature for millions of years. The beaver. His coat is the inspiration for the unique material Macrotermes™. Half as thick as traditional fleece it still manages to improve on insulation. In combination with the 3D-BionicSphere® System it creates a product of the highest performance: the Beaver Performed Shirt™. It took a long time for the development department to be satisfied with it. The sport-specific fine-tuning began: computations, honing of details and function. In the end we have a perfect product especially for all types of cycling.”
Material: 86% polyamide, 14% elastane
We have been testing the Anatomical Bike Beaver top for a few months now. The top is essential a fleece, but it is a lot more to it. The top is fitted and the material is a lot thinner than your standard fleece top. The 3D-BionicSphere technology built into the top combines different techniques to aid your bodies climate control, preventing you from becoming to hot or too cold, therefore conserving your energy on a ride. The MicroDiffuser on the collar allows hot, moist air to escape and support the body temperature inside the jacket.
Technology wise this top is great for a climate like the UK, where we can experience a number of different temperature within a few hours. The top is comfortable as well, despite it being very fitted, the elastane allows the top to move with your body as you move around the bike. I have wore this top under a jacket & with just a base layer underneath and each time the top was great.
I would definitely recommend this top for all cyclist whatever your discipline. It is a great training top. I have been testing the top in winter & have been very impressed with it. It is clear that a lot of research has gone into the top and the technology behind it works very well.
The top retails at around £199, this price tag might put people off but the quality of the top and the performance you get out of it make the heavy price tag worth every penny.
Next Review SphereWind Jacket
This top was provided by X Bionic FOC to MTB Girls Ride.
The merger between Chain Reaction Cycles & Wiggle has been confirmed. The Merger will go through subject to clearance from the Competitions & Markets Authority. The combined business will now have revenues in excess of £300 million.
Could this be another nail in the coffin for those small local bike shops…. I certainly hope now!
Stefan Barden, Chief Executive Officer of Wiggle, said:
“In the global online retailing market in which we operate, there is a compelling industrial logic for our two businesses to come together to become a stronger force. We have long respected Chain Reaction Cycles as a business and share its values and commitment to delivering the best possible price and first class service for its customers. Like us they have a deep seated love of cycling. The combined business will offer all customers an extended range of brands and products, with Wiggle’s strength in tri-sports and road cycling complemented by Chain Reaction Cycles’ strength in mountain biking, BMX and road cycling too. The deal propels Wiggle faster towards its objective of building a global online champion and a major British export success story.”
Chris Watson, Managing Director of Chain Reaction Cycles, said:
“This is an exciting new chapter for the Chain Reaction Cycles brand. Since the business started in 1984, we’ve grown strongly from our mountain bike origins in Northern Ireland to meet the needs of more MTB, BMX and road cyclists across more countries. Coming together with Wiggle is a great way to continue that growth, as a global force in cycling and a leader in technology, eCommerce and innovation.”
Former DH world champion Morgan Charre has signed for Bergamot Hayes Factory Team. Charre is currently ranked 5th in the UCI rankings. Morgan is the last of the top 10 females riders on the circuit to announce who she would be riding for in 2016. Team speculation for 2016 is over and with the start of the season just around the corner we can’t wait to see how it pans out!
Bergamont Hayes Factory Team welcomes downhill world champion Morgane Charre French rider Morgan Charre, the 2012 women’s downhill world champion and currently on 5th place in the UCI rankings, has joined the Bergamont Hayes Factory Team. She will join teammates Eddie Masters, whom Steve Jones of Dirt Magazine once described as “the most casual guy” in the World Cup circus, and his New Zealand countryman Rupert Chapman. Riders will compete at all Downhill World Cup races and the Downhill World Championships in Italy, as was at all Crankworx events. We will also see the Bergamont Hayes Factory Team racing at the German iXS Downhill Cup in Winterberg. Fans should not miss this opportunity to meet the riders and burn their tracks into the course together.
Bike Biz is reporting some pretty massive new today? Could it be true
“BikeBiz believes Wiggle is on the verge of absorbing its main retail rival Chain Reaction Cycles. It’s said to be highly likely that the sale will go through next week, multiple sources say.
Founded in 2009 as an offshoot from a Portsmouth bike shop, Wiggle grew and grew, and was sold to Bridgeport Capital for £180m in 2011.
Chain Reaction Cycles sprang from a small bike shop in the tiny town of Ballyclare in 1989. The shop is now a barber’s shop, a very small barber’s shop. This was the second shop. The first, started in 1984, was Ballynure Cycles, an even smaller operation. The business was founded by George and Janice Watson – their first sale was a chain link costing 11p. When, in 1998, the business moved to Ballyclare the decision was made to change the firm’s name, and Chain Reaction Cycles was born. The website was launched the following year.
Almost 40 percent of CRC’s sales come from outside the EU, as dealers in Australia and America know only too well.
Wiggle and Chain Reaction have been fighting head to head for many years, with Wiggle moving ahead of Chain Reaction in 2013 when sales at the family-owned firm dropped six percent to £145m. The Watson family is said to have a personal fortune of £200m.
German bike brand Cube has very recently moved to Wiggle after formerly being distributed by Chain Reaction.Nobody at Wiggle or Chain Reaction will confirm a sale is on the cards.”
Its the announcement that everyone has been eagerly awaiting/had already guessed.
2015 world cup series winner Aaron Gwin will ride for YT industries in 2016. Gwin announced back in December that he would be parting ways with Specialized after they couldn’t come to a financial agreement after three seasons together.
Up until now Gwin has only ridden for American Brands (Yeti, Trek & Specialized). YT are a German brand and like many other European brands they are really beginning to turn mountain biking on its head. The North American brands probably never worried themselves about YT before, as they were so far away and they seemed to have a direct focus on Enduro, but now with one of the best ever rider in the world on their books, the threat level of YT has just soared.
YT team is owned by Martin Whiteley who Gwin previously raced under at Trek World Racing.
The announcement came exactly a week after YT rider Kelly McGarry tragically passed away.
“Exactly one week ago the terrible news about the death of YT team rider Kelly McGarry made headlines all around the globe. The team at YT is still at a loss for words regarding the sudden loss of this extraordinary character. Unsure about the right moment to release the much-anticipated news about Aaron Gwin and the downhill team, YT has now decided to make it official: Aaron Gwin is coming to Forchheim!”
A lot of people are pretty skeptical over yoga… I used to be one of those people myself! But I hold my hands up, I was wrong!
Yoga helps clear your head an allows you to concentrate better! If your head is focused on all the worries of the day you aren’t concentrating on the trail in front of you, which means you are more prone to crashing, therefore more likely to hurt yourself.
Mountain Biking is great, but there is no question that the tension we evoke on bodies through it can leave us feeling very tense & strained. Yoga helps to relieve that tension and allows you to keep a good range of motion in your joints.
The more flexible you are the greater control you are going to have on your bike!
With focus comes balance. Improved by practicing Yoga – essential for Mountain Biking. In Yoga we learn to use our focus to improve our sense of balance. Practicing balancing also tends to strengthen up core muscles and helps the body start to understand how to balance – the muscles remember what to do.
Yoga generally improves posture which helps increase lung capacity by giving more freedom and space in the ribcage, upper chest, and upper back. Yoga also teaches us to control our breathing and to keep the breath calm and steady during difficult and uncomfortable postures. Yogic text the Hatha Yoga Pradipika says “When the Breath is Steady so is the Mind” and as most Mountain Bikers will know it is really important to stay relax when you are riding technical steep terrain. Yoga helps teach us how to stay connected to our breath.
This article was provided by a third party source, who isn’t a qualifies instructor.
Over the last few weeks I have been riding around on Reverse Component Escape Pedals read down to see what I thought of them.
Reverse Bike Components are the sister company of bike brand Solid. But if I am being truthful before I tried these Escape pedals it would never have crossed my mind to buy them! In comparison to some of the more popular component brands, Reverse aren’t as well known in the UK. However after trying these pedals I don’t see why they shouldn’t be. They offer a good quality cheaper alternative to some of the leading component brands.
The first thing that caught my eye with these pedals was how bright they are! I was testing the Candy Red colour & between them and my bright yellow Vitus bike I could be seen from the summit of any mountain.
The last few weeks I have been testing out these Escape Reverse Component pedals. The pedals retail for around £55. Each pedal comes with 16 Hex Pins & 8 Grub Pins.
The pedals were tested in a range of different conditions. I found they offered a good amount of grip in all the conditions they were tested in, although they definitely aren’t the grippiest pedals I have ridden on. However there was still sufficient enough grip and I definitely felt comfortable & in control of the bike. These Reverse pedals were also the first flats that I had ridden in a long time that didn’t lose any pins within the first few rides. The pedals are a lot thicker than some of the leading competitors so I found they were more susceptible to hitting off the ground and low lying debris & rocks underneath the pedals.
The pedals weigh in at around 406 grams per pair so they are fairly light and won’t add much weight to your bike.
Overall I am really impressed with these pedals, when comparing them with pedals in the same price category they rank pretty high. They are a great starter pedal, the grip is sufficient enough that you will feel you have descent contact with the bike and they aren’t going to break the bank either. Reverse component do offer a higher priced pedal range these include the Black One & Escape Pro, I suspect these pedals would be much more capable of competing with the likes of Vaults & Spikes.
Price: Approximately £55
Weight: 406 Grams (per pair)
These Pedals Were Provided by http://www.reverse-components.com F.O.C for testing
Lapierre Gravity Republic Announces New Team, With the Addition of Two New Female Riders!
Chloé Gallean & Rae Morrison
In 2016 Nicolas Vouilloz & Adrien Dailly will be joined by two new female riders: Rae Morrison and Chloé Gallean. But that’s not all! Three further male riders will also fly the Lapierre flag in 2016: Thibaut Daprela, Maxime Folco and Florian Golay. On the team calendar: Enduro, DH & e-bike races.
Rae Morrison finished in 9th place overall in the EWS 2015, and has been riding Lapierre since the beginning of this winter. Coming from an XC racing background in New Zealand, Rae competed self-funded in the 2015 EWS series. Gradually improving throughout the season, she finished in 5th place in round 7, Ainsa (Spain) and round 8, Finale Ligure (Italy). Other highlights for 2015 included a 3rd place finish at the Alpe d’huez Megavalanche. Rae will be doing the full Enduro World Series in 2016.
Chloé Gallean has been competing in French and World Cup DH races since 2006, regularly mounting the podium. Recently winning the 2015 San Remo nighttime urban downhill on a Lapierre Spicy, and taking her first steps in e-bike racing on an Overvolt, Chloe has proved herself to be a great all-round rider. She will be competing in e-bike races throughout France and some of the Enduro World Series in 2016.
“Having spent a good few days testing and having fun with Transition, it has been so refreshing to see how passionate and involved they are about our sport. I strongly believe that FMD and Transition are an amazing match and together can make big steps in the right direction. They are eager to see us develop as a team and do anything they can to help, which is such a positive feeling going into the season. Let the journey begin!” – Tahnée Seagrave / Transition Factory Racing
“2011 was the last year a Transition Factory supported team competed on the World Cup circuit. And I am absolutely psyched to have this crew representing us and how our partnership has come together. From the first instant I spoke with Tony Seagrave, it was apparent to me how parallel our motives and expectations were. Having just returned from a week in Wales working with the full team, I’m amazed and inspired by their passion for racing and all things related.
Being able to work so closely with their mechanics on their race bikes and assure they have absolutely everything they need for success was invaluable. Working directly with the mechanics and athletes is as streamlined as it gets. There are so many nuances involved with equipment and race-craft at this level, and being able to tap into my racing and inner bike geek eliminates all communication barriers as we’re speaking the same language. I have no doubt that it is going to be an exciting year and I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do on the TR500!” – Lars Sternberg / Transition Bikes
“For the first time in FMD Racing’s history, we have been able to work closely with our main sponsor – the mechanics, riders and I have just had Lars spend a week at ‘FMD Towers’. He was able to visit MoJo whilst the mechanics and riders were setting up their TR500’s with their new Fox suspension and was also on hand to advise and assist at testing the following day… Lars’ input has been, and will continue to be, invaluable. We also found out he sucks at karting!
We are so stoked to be part of the Transition family – the whole FMD team wanted to partner with a company that believes in what we are doing and where we are going. After speaking to several companies, there was one company who’s enthusiasm stood out, a mutual respect followed and a new ‘bromance’ was formed. This partnership allows us to continue our development of young riders so we can ensure there is a proper structure that gives the correct support and opportunities.
Tahnée tested several bikes at the end of 2015 and the Transition TR500 – straight out the box – was the only one that instantly had her grinning. I will not say “the bike is faster, the company is awesome” like everyone else but what I will say is that the riders love the bike and the company is full of people that truly love to ride bikes – all bikes. This love gives them the ability to build the bikes everyone wants to ride.
The ‘stoke’ factor is mutual and long may it continue!” – Tony Seagrave / Transition Factory Racing
Continuing FMD’s development heritage the Team consists of two programs. World Cup and Development – Tahnée Seagrave and Neil Stewart make up the Transition Factory Racing roster. Whilst Kaos Seagrave, Joe Parfitt and Jamie Edmonson comprise the Transition / FMD Racing roster.