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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2011 Race Bike

Here it is, my machine for the New Year.
Santacruz Blur XC Matte Black Carbon frame
2011 Shimano XTR
Fox Fork

I have had the chance to put it through its paces in training and am very pleased with how it is going. In particular I have found the new XTR to be brilliant. It is a very classy group set. Light weight but you know you can rely on it to stand up to the abuse that comes with racing. Shifting is amazingly smooth, the triggers have a nice soft release and gear changes are very quiet. The brakes are also a highlight. The levers have a very nice feel to them and are good and powerful.

Another feature that I really like about the new bike is the remote control lockout on my Fox forks. Rather than stuffing around reaching down to manually turn a lever on the crown of the fork I now have a simple thumb button on the bars. Locking the suspension out is now much more accessible and can be activated to make anything from a long seated climb to a short burst out of the saddle more efficient. Because it is so easy to apply it becomes much like an extra gear change.

Weight wise the bike is about 1lb lighter than my previous one and it is noticeable the difference in climbing and also moving back up to speed out of corners etc. It definitely feels a lot zippier and more responsive to any acceleration.

I have been really enjoying riding the new bike. It is so nice to have new gear again it really helps freshen the mind and adds a bit more excitement back into the training. Thank you to Stylie at Santacruz New Zealand, As well as Sheppard Industries for helping me out with the Shimano components and Blue Shark Ltd for doing the same with the Fox fork. And to Rob and Mike at Bike Culture thanks again for your incredible support and the bike build.

My first race for 2011 is the 1st round of the Nduro Summer series on the 9th of January which will kick off a busy schedule where I will be racing most weekends building up to the National Championships in Dunedin on the 27 February and finishing at the Oceania Championships in Australia in mid March.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mid North Island Cup Final, Napier.

I really enjoy getting across to Napier. It’s always good riding in the Esk forest. The trails are a bit steeper and tighter than at home and the race organisers always put together a great course. Conditions on the day were super dry and a lot of the corners had big dusty washouts so it got pretty loose at times. There was a fair bit of climbing in the 9km course and 4 laps in the Hawkes Bay sunshine made for a fairly tough day. I managed to finish off the series with another win and as this will be my final race for the year it was good to go out with a bang.
I have a bit of a rest week coming up and then it’s into the N Duro Summer Series and the Nationals starting early in the New Year. Can’t wait.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rotorua Mid North Island Cup

Round 3 of the MNIC was held here at home in Rotorua. It was a good race and I enjoyed the chance to have a thrash around a few of my old favourite trails. The legs are going well at the moment and I managed to get another win under the belt. Using these local races is great prep for the upcoming National season and I am having a lot of fun getting out there and supporting the series.
The Rotorua round marked the end of an era as it was long time Rotorua MTB Club XC event organiser Mati Tomasevic’s last race in charge. Thanks Mati. I would also like to acknowledge Rotorua Hyundai for their great support of the race and the Rotorua MTB Club.