Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon of the Kona team came into the 2009 BC Bike Race with the recognition and confidence that follows all defending champions. In 2008 the duo proved to have had the strongest legs and best technical skills over the course of last-year’s seven-day race, which started in Victoria and finished in Whistler. This year, Wicks and Sneddon have been forced to play catch up — the duo finished second in both the first and second stages of the BC Bike Race to motivated Canadian riders Seamus McGrath (Jamis) and Chris Sheppard (Santa Cruz).
Giant Factory Team rider Adam Craig won the 2008 national championship cross-country race in Mount Snow, Vermont, using a single 35-tooth chainring and half of MRP’s System 3 Carbon downhill chainguide. That race underscored his and other top cross-country racers’ commitment to leave behind multiple front chainrings for a light and simple single-ring solution.
You’ve heard the rumors about SRAM XX. There’s been speculation about how many speeds it would have, what gear combinations would be available, how light it would be and what it would be made of. Now we have all the answers. XX is SRAM’s first complete off-road group, featuring an industry-first 10-speed mountain bike cassette and the first double-ring crankset from a major group manufacturer.
First seen in public at Sunday's Bump n’ Grind event in Alabama (round three of the Pro XCT Tour), Sam Schultz’s pre-production Gary Fisher full suspension bike is full of new features. The team ventured south to participate, and tucked in the race trailer alongside the team-spec Superfly hardtails and Procaliber 26-inch-wheeled, full-suspension bikes was a completely new, full-suspension 29er that incorporates the lightweight carbon of the Superfly, big wheels from the HiFi 29er, plus flagship design elements pioneered in the Trek line.
If you pay attention to how mountain bike development goes over at Giant Bicycles, you already anticipated the arrival of the composite Anthem X model. This is how it works at Giant: First they prototype a model, build the first production model in aluminum and then follow it up with a composite flagship after the design has proven itself to the consumer.
Editor's Note: VeloNews' new technical editor, Zack Vestal, comes from the Trek-VW mountain bike team, where he was the mechanic for three years and, most recently, the manager for two years. Prior to working for the team, he spent more than 10 years in the cycling industry, both behind a desk (briefly) and in front of a workstand (extensively).
Lance Armstrong is preparing diligently for the Leadville 100 mountain bike race in Colorado, training in nearby Aspen to acclimatize to the altitude. As of Monday, Armstrong had ridden parts of the 100-mile Leadville course two or three times and was doing daily road and offroad rides, said Trek spokesman Ben Coates. "Lance is in Aspen with a couple of guys, one of them is a trainer that he is working with. He looks super fit when I saw him the other day, and he seems to be taking the race very seriously," Coates said.
The climax of South Africa’s 2008 Absa Cape Epic mountain-bike race came in the final kilometers of stage 5, a hot, dusty 146km slog from Swellendam to Bredasorp on April 2. Belgian Roel Paulissen rode the rim of a Mavic Crossmax SLR rear wheel for nearly 18 kilometers on gravel and pavement to preserve his Cannondale-Vredestein team’s lead. The sketchy move paid off: Paulissen and his teammate Jakob Fuglsang lost only three minutes on the day, and went on to take the race’s overall win four days later.
Features: The Koski Stronghold Deluxe is a forged hollow stemof 6061-T6 aluminum with a four-bolt polished silver front plate. The shaftis matte black.The Stronghold Deluxe stem is available in two finishes, called “shotpeened black” and “polished silver,” two angles, namely 7 and 15 degrees,and five lengths: 60, 75, 95, 110 and 130mm.All of the bolts take a 5mm hex key.Likes: This is a handsome and lightweight stem available in lotsof finishes, angles and lengths. It is plenty stiff, and it has a largeclamping area with the bar (these two features are probably interrelated).Dislikes:
Features: The matte-black Deda Newton is machined from 2024 T6aluminum. The silver front cap is held on with four titanium bolts, which,like the fork-steerer clamp, accept a 4mm hex key.The Newton comes in 90- and 95-degree angles in lengths of 105, 115and 125mm. The Deda N’Bar matches it in graphics and quality.Likes: Like the Newton road stem, this is a strong, superlightstem, and I find it to be adequately stiff.Dislikes: Not a one.Other: You have to very careful not to over-torque the smallbolts.The Deda single-bend bars, namely the N’Bar and BarOne, come only inthe relatively short 560mm