Opinions

You don't have to like them but everyone has them. These are ours... you may not like them but we have them!

Fancy Opinions

After years of writing stuff about cycling, it was time to try something new - longform.

cycling with diabetes

Cycling with diabetes – an exercise in calories

Turns out hopping on a bike and going for a blast is no longer as simple as it used to be – do it wrong and you can pass out mid pedal stroke!

Pivot Point

It was not until very recently that the importance if this bike dawned. It was more than just a bike racked, it was in fact a pivot point in mountain biking history.

SIT Sprint Interval Training

Can SIT or sprint interval training sessions be as effective, if not far more so, than sessions much longer in duration? I did a bit of a test to find out.

Regular Opinions

It started back in 2001 or so and just kept going. Here you'll find the (very) edited collection of posts we made, including great stuff from @gearingrich, who was on the ELEVEN vélo wagon for the last two years before we stopped in 2015.

TRP 970SL Brake review

I’ve been riding these brakes for a little while now – certainly long enough to know how they work, feel and generally perform. About time I told you a bit about them then… I’ll admit, there’s always been ‘something’ about TRP brakes which has put me off – I won’t say I can’t pin-point it, because I know exactly what it is: ‘Tektro Racing Products’. Yup, I was being a brand snob. There’s just too much of a connection to cheap Tektro brakes on bikes where the manufacturers are cutting out groupset components to hit a price point. Regardless, I…

Made In…

This is a piece I wrote for the Mountaincycle.com blog when it was still… well alive. “Incrementally I don’t know what it would cost you to fab the frames stateside, but I’d be willing to buck up for it. I would no more buy a Browning shotgun made in Japan, a Llama pistol made in Spain, or a high-end bike, like I thought yours were going to be, made in TW… Fire the damn bean counters and give me an American flag on my frame!” This was an email that landed in the inbox at Mountain Cycle Inc.’s inbox this…

The State of affairs… part 2

After what has been a totally manic week, which sees your truly coming down with a case of ‘cabin fever’, after what seems to be the week of endless rain, Friday night is finally here and there’s nothing on the tube but the wedding stuff. Looking down at the floor, the magazine lying discarded reminds me what this whole part 2 thing was supposed to be about, after part one seemed to poo on the hot topic of the last week, internet forums. This week I spent the whole week working on a sales strategy document to present to the…

The State of Affairs… part 1

Just off the plane back from the 2011 Sea Otter and there was plenty of things to ponder, after being on the front lines for 4 days. As most know, I went over there on official business, doing the Mountain Cycle thing for the 4 days. It was a big event for us as a company, as it was the first time in somewhere around 10 years that Mountain Cycle fronted new bikes to a public audience. The reaction to the line was fully positive, especially when one considers that there are still some tweaks to be done to colours…

POC Sports mtb gloves: Review

‘Back ion the day’, read close to 10 years ago now, we used to be the distributors for Scary Fast Racing’s glove. Gloves, if you knew them, were some of the best on the market. To this day actually, I think that SFR ‘Spyder’ glove is still one of the best lightweight gloves ever made. Since my secret stash of Scary Fast finally died, I have been searching near and far for what I would consider a suitable replacement. Where that has come from has been somewhat unexpected. Enter POC. If you don’t know, and chances are most don’t, POC…

Off into the wild

One could sit back and ponder just what the hell was all that about but near a year and a half of work came to a sudden and abrupt head a little over a week ago in Taipei, as the new Mountain Cycle line was finally revealed. It’s been interesting since then… It stared with the lead up. Several days in Taipei building the bikes which included receiving the San Andreas 2.0 frames at 8pm one day out, after their journey right from the factory, via the Mega Fast Train, to me in the basement of a building – an…

Things that Make you Go…..Mmmmmmm.

Every now and then on the trail I see something and think Mmmmmmmmm. The mind starts ticking and inspiration flows. I thought I had to share the latest installment. Its been a while since I have been near a DH bike, unless of course walking past the neglected DH bike inthe garage consitutes being near one, let alone thrown my leg over one. OK, I’ve not ridden a DH bike in a long long time, probably too long. Been thinking about a spin lately, but just couldn’t get myself motivated. Well the motivation just turned up in a big way…

Wait! The MTB weight conundrum…

The prototype bike came off the line, ended up in a box and was in my hands within a day. A few days later I was out riding on it, working out all the little things that needed correction – hardly anything. A few days prior there was much stressing, after the frame was weighed at the factory and the number that came in made us all not so happy. And so the folly began. Several hours of discussion, emails and whatnot, followed by many hours of 3D CAD work, and weight had been reamed out of the frame. We…

Too Hot to Ride, Do Some Trail Work.

Maybe not the best advice to be honest, but that’s just what 10 foolish members of the Glenrock Trail Alliance did today. As temperatures went up and over the 40 degree mark and some poor souls took part in an adventure race around us (whats the fun in adventure on a day like this?), we got in and hand finished some new trail in the park. The section of trail we were working  on (Upper Jumping the Gun) is a heavily used section of trail that was flat and straight. Funnily enough, the lack of grades and lack of curves…

Mavic R-SYS SLR Exalith Review

Anyone who’s read a Bike Crit-ique of mine on a bike that has a aluminium rims with a silver brake track is probably used to seeing a comment about how ugly I find that look on a bike. Until recently the only way around that has been to either run a carbon wheel, which isn’t to everyone’s desires or budget, or to run a set of Ceramic-coated Open Pro rims which leads you down the route of a traditional 32h wheel build. When Mavic announced their Exalith black aluminium coating with the launch of their new SLR wheels last year…

The Wrap

I started this journey because I had lost my motivation to ride and I wasn’t getting out and enjoying cycling. My weight was rising and my fitness was plummeting.

The temptation

I was reading the Ed’s intro in the latest issue of Bikemag. It basically went like this: Boy discovers riding. Riding was fun. Boy becomes serious and then pro but when he turned pro, it became work… and not fun. Boy, now Man lost interest in riding. Fun was gone. Man stopped riding. Recently, with new job Man rediscovered the fun bit. Man now realises riding is about fun, nothing else. Man’s having fun. Last week, Lenny and I hit up Awaba. 20km of single track bliss, including some new trail I have not ridden before. It’s the first time…

Wider is better, yes it is.

When it’s wider, it just feels better. Got your attention you dirty minded folk, haven’t I? So just what am I on about? Wide bars on your bike, most notably your mountain bike. You see, like many ‘old sKool’ riders out there (ie. been riding since some point in the 80’s), I grew up with bars being a certain width, which usually narrower than shoulder width. So, like everyone I came to believe that the ‘norm’ was the best option. Over the years the bars I ran widened slightly, adding an inch to either side but for the most part…

The Karel Factor

When we first kicked off the VVC at Awaba, I remember meeting an very enthusiastic chap and his (poor?) better half. The chap stood out because he had an enthusiasm that was hard to define and when you consider he took the train up and rode to the event, only to then ride 12 hours solo, how he managed to keep the enthusiasm going was, to be perfectly honest, not easy to understand. Come the second VVC, there he was again, this time with an even louder shirt and hooking into the ‘bribe for laps’ scheme like there was no…

Not until the fundamental changes…

I was reading the other day on some mountain bike forum that such and such a bike looks like some other brand’s bike. It’s not the first time this has come up and it’s not going to be the last. What it signifies though is that ‘that’ particular avenue has gone as far as it can go. It’s something I ponder quite a bit – ‘where to next?’ to put it another way. In the case of say a mountain bike frame, there literally are so many ways you can stick the various bits together and do so in an…

An accidental victory.

I really didn’t mean to, I had no expectation of doing so, and I still don’t quite believe that I did. But a few weeks ago, I went and won the solo part of the 12 hour Day Night Thriller race in Taupo, New Zealand. This was my last warm-up race before the big scary one, the World Solo 24 hour champs in Canberra on 9-10 October. I’ve done the Taupo race a few times before, as part of a team and solo. I even did it solo on a singlespeed cyclocross bike a few years ago. So I knew…

Reflections…

I was looking through old ‘draft posts’ that I had stared in the WordPress database and found the below bit. I am not sure when I wrote it but is must have been around 2007 or so. It’s interesting reading this little time capsule now, some 3.5 years on from when I sat down and wrote the words, I guess trying to explain what had happened to Lab-Gear V1.0. Reading it now and looking at what has transpired over the past year and half or so, it seems that I have ended up where I have wanted to all along…

Interbike, come and… gone

Yep, it was a week of compacted madness. Personally, it meant that I climbed on board a plane, one of those new BIG ones with two full decks, and flew up to LA on the Tuesday, drove to Vegas, and then on the Friday, drove out and flew back. Not my fave way to spend 30 off hours but hey, Interbike had to be got to. Anyway, I really was not sure what to expect, I knew Eurobike has been causing a little grief and Cannondale and Giant didn’t turn up at all. In a way it felt all very…

Pro Cycling – Why Bother?

Bit of an odd article title for someone who’s obsessed with cycling isn’t it? Maybe, but when someone who – in theory – shouldn’t even be racing utterly dominates a Grand Tour and then continues his season expecting (or at least being expected) to dominate the very next Grand Tour and biggest event on the cycling calendar, why should I bother? Firstly, a bit of background about me – probably the most surprising thing being that I’m still fairly new to road cycling. Sure, I’ve had road bikes in the past (an early Giant TCR back in the late ‘90s…

fear of carbon

For some reason, despite a major need for one of those old carbon Proflex/K2 bikes, I have always had a fear of all things carbon. Well founded fear or completely irrational?Probably the latter and as such I recently had been starting to be swayed towards its pretty looks. Some nice Ritchey parts (seat post and bars) had found their way onto my main ride and have been great. No complaints at all with them and the actual feel of the bars is better than anything I have used before. That opinion swaying towards the use of carbon may have been…