Despite being written for pseudo arty coffee shop worshipping Aucks who wouldn’t be able to pick a trend if it ran up the leg of their flared polyester jumpsuits, they still insist on having features like the one on Page 28 of the September issue "What’s In/What’s Out". Included in the What’s Out list is : Mountain bikes - Who’s seen a dirty one lately? - even the $399 ones are overpriced. Included in the What’s In list : Aussie muscle cars - a stylish personal statement, and Vespa motor scooters - a charismatic retro-chic scooter.
With hit picks like this, we have to wonder if Auckland cafe society is starting to inbreed.
Anyway, here’s a couple of our own - What’s In : Mirkins - when Auckland trendies catch on to these, they are going to be huge. What’s Out : Auckland trendies - who’s seen a clean one lately? Even the $25 ones are overpriced.
A special offer to Auckland readers - own your own Mirkin. Send $14.95 to "Mirkins Unlimited", 174 Cuba St, Wellington, and we will send you an exclusive hand made mirkin. Simply clip out the coupon and send today!
Mirkins Unlimited Limited Offer - Yes please rush me my very own mirkin today.
__ Large __ Male __ Black
__ XL __ Female __ Blonde
__ Fully Frot Size __ Unisex __ Purple
Name : Mr/Miss/Mrs/Ms/Dr ___________________________
Address : Street : ___________________________________
Suburb : __________________________________
City : Auckland
Extra styling filth points to Extreme Bicycles for their new 95 MTB brochure. While other bike companies are writing stuff that makes punters want to go to bed, these guys are writing stuff that makes punters want to go to bed with their bikes. These guys are more out there than we are, we thought, as our eyes alighted on this fully marginal prose - the bike as sex object :
"Extreme Frenzy" ... A lethal mix, all killer, no filler! Sneak up behind it and take your mount - you’ll get a tingling sensation, that’s just your hair standing on end. But you hang on tight ‘coz this baby is going to buck your brains out.
This is frot we thought, where do these guys get their stuff from? But hey - what’s this we see? The "Extreme Reactor" is just waiting to GO OFF! Is this a clue? And then, reading on further, the "Extreme Chaos" gives it all away - NIHILIST FEATURES! It says in big block letters. "Sphink" say Team Nihilist, "Where are our royalties?" A new suspension frame will do nicely, and all will be forgiven!
Speaking of Extreme, we were most impressed to hear that their top sponsored rider - "Animal" - was arrested in America while over for the Worlds. He was picked up for making "whooping noises" in a shopping complex. He didn’t go quietly. Maybe he’s been riding an Extreme Frenzy
Regular readers may recall back when we recommended FLAT SADDLES (ie. Not pointing up or down, but approaching that which could be considered parallel with the ground).
The next step is having your saddle at the right height. For efficiency, the best position is to have a slight bend in your leg. To measure this, sit on your bike in your usual riding shoes, drop one pedal down to the lowest point, and with the ball of your foot above the axle of the pedal, and your foot parallel with the ground, check that you have a slight bend in your leg. (Raise or lower your saddle till you do!)
There are a lot of myths surrounding this process. The most common is the old heel on the pedal/straight leg one. This is not accurate - if you do it in bare feet, you will end up the saddle too low. If you do it in shoes, it will vary depending on how thick your heels are.
Another common myth is that there is some accurate rule by which seat height can be measured (like, 1.075 times inner leg measurement). Variables include foot size, foot to leg length ratio, pedalling style (toe down, flat or heel down), pedal clip system, riding position, crank length, pedalling speed and individual preference.
In the end, the easiest method is to set the seat up with a slight bend in your leg, then fine tune it by trying a few mm up or down until you find what feels best. Mark the post with a marker pen while experimenting, and file or saw a mark in it when you have decided.
The next step is to get a downhill seat height. Threre are some people who say that you should ride with the seat at the same height all the time, but these people are almost invariably not the fastest downhillers. A lower seat makes it easier to move around on the bike, and lowers your centre of gravity. Too low, and it’s hard to pedal on the uphill sections. Try dropping 2cm for moderate tracks, 6cm for hardcore, 12cm for verts, Again experiment about, then put in some marks. A grunty, easy to use, steel quick releasing lever and clear marks makes the whole process a lot faster. (Don’t do this if you are a poseur with a titanium seat post, because marking it will probably make it crack.)
Finally, make sure you check your seat post height regularly - some of them slide down a little when ridden hard.
Not having a huge spare wedge to spend on zipping over to America, we have to admit, we have not been hanging out at any huge international bike shows, nor have we set up any massive new import deals to flood the market with thousands of the latest titanium coated gear cables.
But, we did check out the NZ bike expo in Auckland, and we have read all the latest mags, so here’s an outline of what seems to be happening. The NZ expo is way too early, so there was hardly any 95 stuff on display. This essentially makes the expo a complete waste of time, so if it’s not moved to a later time slot next year, the NZ expo’s days are numbered.
Although there were virtually no suspension bikes on display in Auckland, it’s fairly clear that the future advancement of MTB design and marketing lies in full suspension bikes. There are so many different designs out there, but so few that look like they have paid any attention to the past 20 years of motorcycle suspension development, or even to basic properties of physics, like leverage. We pick the Specialized FSR, and the AMP (and clones) as two intelligent designs that really work, and are available in NZ. Fox rear suspension units are most likely to become the industry favourites, and are likely to be the best backed up in NZ.
On the front, Manitou would again be the first choice, with an excellent new range, including a beautifully designed elastomer fork retailing at under $700, and an elastomer/oil fork for downhilling at $1150. Rockshox have got some cool new forks including the Judy DH, a monsterous bright red, downhill fork - not light, but very grunty. AMP are continuing to refine their ingenious fork, and are definitely worth considering as a long travel cross country fork.
Colours for 95 tend very much towards the blue, purple and shades of silver, with subtle touches of metallic. The big question is "Will green anodising be the in colour this year?" We say not - it will be available, but blue & purple anodising is here to stay.
The choice of bike brands this summer will be huge with Specialized, Marin, Yak, Reiker, Balance, GT, Bauer, Giant, Trek, Alpine Stars, Avanti, Diamond Back, Milazo, Cannondale, Scott, Klein, Raleigh and Extreme all offering full ranges of mountain bikes. The strong NZ dollar combined with a glut of competing brands means that prices will probably stay about the same as last summer. We predict a roadbike revival, as mountain bikers buy second bikes and take to the streets.
Components are still a bit of a nightmare with Shimano continuing to screw up all interchangability and sizing standards. By redesigning their components every season they can keep one step ahead of all of the other after market manufacturers, but there are now several European and American brands like Campagnolo, Sachs, Dia Compe, and Mavic who are gaining ground - we’re keeping our fingers crossed, because 90% market share is not healthy.
Ultimately, as the number of bicycles keeps on growing, the number of choices keep growing too, and the market becomes more segregated and specialised. Look out for "downhill" as the next big trend, with a whole new sub culture of thrashers, and "downhill poseurs" with full face helmets and big suspension.
This year we will have the most styling and going off selection of mountain bikes we have ever had, including some awesome buys in the $800 to $1800 price range, and a fully frot range of suspension forks, so hopefully there will now be absolutely no reason whatsoever why anyone would go anywhere else, unless they’re playing better music.
Mervin slowly woke up. Stumbling out of bed, he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. Then he tripped over his dresser, shouted "Damn!", and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes properly. He got dressed, then examined himself in the mirror. "It’s a good day to ride," he said to his steely-jawed reflection. Then he jumped on his fully suspendered RSJ2001 and rode through the kitchen, over a sofa, around the stereo and out the front door. Then disaster! His gel-damped, front rebounder axle retention unit bottomed out on the kerb, propelling him swiftly into a stream of oncoming traffic! He felt, rather than saw, the blur of a car below him, and using his extensive trials skills, honed by minutes of not much practice, Mervin managed to land violently on the bonnet of a police car. 3 or 4 kilometres later, Officer Blunt remembered where the brake pedal was at and pulled over. As he came to a stop, Mervin rolled off the car, grunting and rubbing his shoulder. Leaning out of the window of his battered car, the cop said "Here, where’s your ‘elmet, son?" " I don’t need one, mate, I’ve got an afro!" exclaimed Mervin cleverly, pointing at his number one. "Er...is it..um..standards approved?" asked Blunt uncertainly. "Back off man....don’t get technical," growled Mervin, as he untangled his bike from the windscreen and backed away. Somewhat confused, Officer Blunt was slow to react as Mervin leaped onto his bike, then fell off screaming and holding his nads, then vomited, then turned his bike the right way up and remounted it very slowly and pedalled off into the distance on the wrong side of the road. Turning to his partner, who was busy picking glass and Shimano grease out of his moustache, Blunt said thoughtfully, "Blimmin cyclists! Think they own the road!" Then without looking, he pulled into the traffic, turned on his lights & siren and drove up and down Aro St very fast for the hell of it.
Wheels, Henry, Oli, miscellaneous Cycle Services paparazzi, greetings, Pete here X Office Express grunt beaming in from hippie infested urban Nelson. Well, July 25 came and went, innocent families fell victim to senseless acts of excessive violence at the hands of deranged psychopathic murderers, movie stars with impossibly white teeth and beautiful children indulged themselves in sexually deviant team sports, the earth planet turned, and Peter's CS account remained unpaid. For these happenings there are reasons. None of which concern you or I except perhaps the outstanding CS account I find myself responsible for. The reason the account remains unpaid is simple: have no idea how much money I owe you.lf you could send me a copy of my account will be only too happy to send a cheque covering the outstanding balance. Bob Marley had dreadlocks.
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