So who was that guy in the CS gear on Moro Sports Extra? And why was he trying to bounce down Mt Fyffe on his head? Hot tips for thrill seekers - if you want a wild time, go downhill really fast, keep a loose grip on the bars and change gear while hitting a big rock. Giro helmets do break in two if you hit them hard enough. What a fully marginal frot out, lucky I was a bit out there to begin with, or I’d be worried now.
Hot off the press - new cycling publications apart from this newsletter. The Kennett brothers - Cycle Services "Wellington 1995 Mountain Bike Guide". This small purple and green bumbag sized book contains over 40 local rides, with all the info you need to get lost in the wops. It’s only $9.95, or free if you buy a new mountain bike, so save money by buying a bike.
For those of you who are thinking of buying a bike, we have the new "Cycle Services Mountain Bike Buyers Guide".
The aim is to give new bike buyers a good overview of MTB technology, and includes answers to the more basic stuff we get asked most frequently, and a Shimano groupset chart and bike pricelists. This one’s free even if you don’t buy a bike.
Tossers of the millenium award for being bogus beyond the call of usual standards of bogusness goes to a local bike shop currently advertising half price "Answer" bikes. Answer are about as likely to start selling cheap Asian department store bikes as Clodhopper brand bikes are likely to win the world downhill MTB champs. The current price of Answer frame sets is $5200 for the cross country, $6000 for the downhill and $3900 for the hard tail. We would be more than happy to sell you one, so queue up and place your orders now.
Bad news for hard drinking cycle couriers - we’re not having a BBQ and beer swill in the back yard this Xmas. Cleaning up the yard the next day with a hangover was too horrific to be repeated. All the unhappy cycle couriers who were hanging out for it will no doubt be staying fully sober this Xmas. Not.....
After having just attended the Shimano product seminar for 95 stuff, here’s the lowdown. All the road groupsets like Dura Ace, 600 Ultegra, 105 and RX100 have stayed the same. There is a new line of cheap roadie gear called RSX, that’s like RX100 but cheaper. The mountain bike stuff, as usual, has changed. The good changes include beefy parallax hubs for XTR, alloy quick releases, cartridge brake pads, 24 speed for LX, and some cool looking SPD pedals and shoes promised early next year. There’s also more use of stainlees steel nuts and bolts, which should last longer.
In the "take it or leave it" department - "IG" or "Interactive Glide" drive chain parts, which makes downshifting slightly smoother - hardly a problem before, and of course a whole pile of new parts; "M" system brake cables which are thinner and smoother than standard, but of course, a non standard size. The stuff works well, but more incompatibility is not high on the list of desired attributes. In the step backward department, we have optical gear indicators on XTR! (They already went too far up the range before), and "Easy set" front derailleurs on cheaper groupsets - easy, but very ugly. They also seem to have stopped making top-shifters. Some years ago, Shimano stopped making round chainrings, and only made biopace. Never mind.
Overall, the 95 stuff is good, and the stuff they make best is excellent - their rear hubs, clusters, front & rear derailleurs, brakes, bottom brackets, SPD’s and MTB shoes all fully go off. The current obsession with smooth shifting really misses the whole point - gears are a tool to go fast, not an end in themselves. Which brings us to chainrings. The new microdrive chainrings are a smaller bolt circle, and there are no longer chainwheels available for them. If you want a big gear for downhill, or you are a big grunter with legs like tree trunks, the options are to buy an adapter and fit a road chainring on the outside, or to fit another brand of crankset, like a Sachs, with the std size chainrings. You will also need to change the bottom bracket and front derailleur. It is cheaper to learn to pedal faster and wait till 1996 when Shimano will apparently be making some bigger chainrings. At present, chainrings are not a happy subject. The bolt circle diameter (BCD) for std road cranksets is 130 BCD, for std triples it’s 110 BCD with a 74 BCD inner ring, and for 94 & 95 Shimano triples it’s 94 BCD with a 58 BCD inner ring. (Questions not to ask : #1. Why?)
So that we don’t have all our buyers guides snapped by punters wanting to techno-weenie over the Shimano chart, we have included it here too, for all you confused regulars. (Aren’t all our regulars confused yet?)
After a lot of complaints that Bugles last crossword was too arcane - only one person successfully completed it - this months one is much easier. If you cant do it you are a few sausages short of a piss-up. Just to make sure you get in the right frame of mind, we have included :
Bugles Hot Crossword Tips - How to do the crossword like a Maestro
1. Grow dreads
6. Listen to dub music
2. Smoke heads
7. Drink strong coffee
3. Wear smelly gloves
8. Be arcane
4. Buy a Specialised FSR
9. Find out what arcane means
5. Bleat loudly
10. Say "Cheese"
The stars wheeled slowly in the cold sky above the moons highest mountain range - The Appenines. The last competitor in the lunar downhill championships was readying himself at the top of the start ramp. Bugle-Plus adjusted his cyberhelmet and had a last hit of narco-whiffTM. He checked his megadredz were styling for the holographers who would be lining the course. The galaxies media would be keenly anticipating his run down the tricky low-G descent, as it was his first time in action since his horrific endo on the red slopes of Mt Manganooee on Mars one year ago. That crash nearly finished him, but the tech-heads at "Psycleservitz" had virtually rebuilt him from the pedal-grapples up, theoretically making him 24% more efficient. The only problems remaining were mental.
What was left of his nervous system was still a touch jumpy as he considered the dusty lunar downhill. Then it was time. The start droid gave Bugle-Plus the 10 seconds to go signal. One last look out at the earth hanging low in the blackness over the Mare Ibrium, and the start gate flew open. His leg pistons flailed furiously as he accelerated down the ramp and onto the first straight. His heavily spiked tyres dug into the ground, kicking up a rooster trail of moon dust as he hit his optimum launch speed of 190km in just 11 seconds. The first left hander loomed rapidly and he took it sweetly, getting 45 metres of air before hitting down and grabbing big handfuls of his Shimagura poly-stoppers for the subsequent right-hand hairpin, also flawlessly executed. Through a pitch-black tunnel for 2 seconds, then over some 30 metre whoops and into the most technical part of the run, the Copernicus boulder fields. Threading his way through the massive jagged rocks with skill and body language, Bugle-Plus was pumped. The arti-adrenalin coursed through his carefully designed robo-musculature and he knew it was going to be a great run. Then, right on the good line, a huge chasm yawned. Reacting instantly, he lofted his 2195 model Specialized Susperbike into the black sky, crossing up brilliantly as the flashes of the hologs lit up the course below. Touching down at hell-pace, he flashed through the esses and just the finish remained. He crossed the line with his arms raised triumphantly and cruised to a halt. A huge crowd of fans, media and fellow competitors clustered around as Bugle-Plus waited patiently for his spacesuited tech-heads Ovular and Hendry to unplug his telemetry and separate him from his biowheels. The Old Plymouth boys, Darn Mikkelson and Darryn Henderson the VII had already conceded defeat as Bugle-Plus’ time flashed up on the results screen. He was the winner with a new moon-record time. His comeback was complete... The body parts he had left strewn throughout the solar system, from the ice fields of Neptune to Earth’s own Grand Canyon were forgotten. His machine body was peaking and his long lost humanity faded finally into history as the derricks winched him onto the victory podium to receive the accolades of an awestruck populace. His metallic fist raised the trophy over his head and his reinforced ceramic jaws parted in a steely smile as he considered the challenges of the limitless future - maybe it was time to try the forbidden "Red spot risk run" on Jupiter... After all, you have to be a machine to clean that one! Fin.
It was dark, cold and threatening to rain when TEAM CYCLE SERVICES DOWNHILL POSSE (ie. Bugle, Dan and I) left the capital, but by the time we landed in Wanganui’s Lismore Forest the sun god was smiling and all was well. Lismore Lookout, a scenic forest lookout in Wanganui’s largest private forest. The course, which Bugle and I managed to practise only twice, was a 3km slog of loose gravel, angry hairpins and heinously flat headwind ridden straights. The competitors, 70 in all, were allowed three qualifiers to make the final 10. Lots of blood, lots of fear and lots of sweat later the call went out. All 3 CS riders made the grade so up we went and down we went, speed, fatigue, hairpins, bruises and finally the finish line. The boys went off. Dan 1st equal, Bugle 4th, Neil 5th, woohoo. TEAM CS GOES OFF AND NOTHING ELSE. CU, Bronson.
Desperately Seeking Loose Merkins to go.
"First I got stuck behind a slower rider who was wearing a hot pink merkin, and wouldn't let me pass".
"A designer merkin attached with a little smear of glue gave her the added confidence she needed to frolic on the beach until sunset. The folks at Mona Workman couldn't guarantee that the hairpiece would stay in place during the woman's dip in the water, so they warned her that if she saw a furry animal swimming past to grab it, as it could be a migrating merkin".
"The sight of my bike cart-wheeling between my legs with my feet still firmly strapped to both pedals permanently engraved on my mind".
" We can get them in 13 colours" says proprietor Abe Lourie, "and the different sizes allow the wearer to choose between foliage Tom Selleck would be proud of, or sedate smaller tufts".
"Don't bother wrapping them, I'll eat them here" C.J. Mackay
Evening Post's "About Town"
Wellington is fast becoming a Mecca for the mountain bike cult, in which practitioners wearing tight outfits tackle steep slopes and descend at rocket speeds. Some pay up to $12,500 for a top-line bike, which will go more places than a Lada four wheel drive, and cost not much less.
The Capital's terrain and the people who cycle over it have spawned a new language; you can get a dose of it in a hilarious newsletter for cultists by partners Ian Gregson and Henry Chlebowicz at Cycle Services in Cuba St.
The newsletter, printed on bilious green paper, is acquiring something of a collectable status, with mirkins for sale adverts, and frequent references to "shralving". You'll find mirkin in your dictionary all right, but shralve requires a special definition in the newsletter. Shralve is from a surfing term, and means going to the edge, or pushing to the limit
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