Lighting is crucial for safe riding in the dark, and it’s required by law to ensure that you are seen by other road users in low light conditions. But beyond making your presence known to others, effective lighting can increase your comfort levels while riding in the dark, save you from pothole pinch flats or obstacles on the road, and help keep you on course. Getting the most from the smallest package is of course what the market demands and the challenge for lighting designers—and you can still expect to pay top dollar for good form and high function.
When the 60 participants of that first Tour de France set off from Paris in 1903, they were racing for a first prize of FF 3,000 (old) French francs that at the time would buy you 7,500 one-kilogram loaves of bread. Our present day Tour winner nets 450,000 Euro that equates to rather a lot of bread.
We’ve had our share of Whytes come through the MBA offices in the last 24 months. This distinctive UK based brand is a minor player in the global bike game, but their bikes have consistently impressed us. A while back I rode their carbon framed 29C and declared it the best hardtail I’d ever ridden—to this day I’m more than happy with that statement!
If you’ve been living under a rock for a year or so, you mightn’t have heard about ‘gravity enduro’. It’s a real buzzword around the MTB world at the moment with enduro-specific this and enduro that popping up in everything from helmets to handlebar grips.
Claudio Chiappucci was a rider who inspired a whole generation of cyclists with his defiant and brave racing style. They called him El Diablo, the Devil, and to his rivals he was just that; a defiant and unpredictable devil of a bike racer, a man who would inflict pain at any given, or even stolen moment.
As the light fades and the temperature drops the temptation to stay in bed in the morning grows and we often find ourselves riding less in winter. Bicycling Australia contributor Peter Maniaty recently blogged about the winter sirens on his blog Carbon Addiction calling you stay in a nice warm bed.
As far as bicycle manufacturers go, the South African-born Chinese-based SwiftCarbon is a young brand. In fact it’s so young that if it was a rider it would still be on a very modest roll-out. It only officially came into being in 2008 as the brainchild of an ex-South African professional cyclist of self-confessed modest ability called Mark Blewett, who also happened to have qualifications in industrial design.
Italian brand formula is best known for their brakes, but year or so ago they released their first suspension fork; the Thirty Three. It was a lightweight cross-country model offering 100-120mm of travel but it was only made to suit 26 and 27.5-inch wheels. This struck us as odd when the XC market is dominated by 29ers.