Posts Tagged ‘wheels’

Well, it has been a while since my last post. Things have been rather hectic in Sweat ‘n Gears land, but I am now making the time to try and post something on a regular basis.

So this morning while on Facebook, I saw an awesome video from the guys at Vittoria. And hats off to them for showing the hardships the pro riders need to go through, especially in what we are referring to as Spring.




So you’ve all heard of Danny MacAskill, the trials rider like no other. Well, fellow trials rider Martyn Ashton decided to do something spectacular, but with a twist.

Ashton decides to display his awesome bike handling skills using a Pinarello Dogma 2 – the £10,000 carbon road bike the same as used by Bradley Wiggins for his Tour de France win.

The 5-minute vid, a promotion for WD-40, was filmed in a variety of urban and coastal settings. Ashton also hits the skatepark, rides a wall of death at the fair, and backflips from the most unlikely of locations – a golf course bunker.

This past week my dear brother sent me a link to site that contains ‘225 photos of sexy girls riding bicycles‘.  Although there a lot of images from new photography site TheFIXFIXFIX, there are also a host of old and new images of girls on bikes. Including celebrities such as Katy Perry, Heather Graham, Kate Moss, Cheryl Cole, Zooey Deschenal, Monica Bellucci, Kelly Brook and Heather Graham to name but a few. Even cycling’s very own Liz Hatch makes an appearance.

There aren’t too many images of girls on road bikes, but those that like cycle chic and fixed wheels will be pleasantly surprised by what you will see here. Here’s a sample of what you may see on the site:


Diablo from NeilPryde Bikes

Diablo from NeilPryde Bikes

A few posts ago you saw me in a video as part of an entry process to become a NeilPryde Epic Rider. A few days later I was lucky to be informed that I was selected to become a NeilPryde Epic Rider. I even have my own page on the company’s website.  For this, the company let’s me try out their bikes – the Diablo and the Alize – and provide my feedback on it, while at the same time telling you about it.

So the company goes out to to find a select few people who are passionate about cycling, give them each a bike, and let them spread the news about the company and its products. For a company breaking their way into the cycling market, I still feel this is a clever marketing tactic. No matter which way you look at it. Clever!

So, who or what is NeilPryde? Well, let me introduce NeilPryde to you – the condensed version:

  • The company was created in 1970, and by 1973 becomes the world’s largest sail provider;
  • By ’82 NeilPryde branded windsurf sails enter the market;
  • In ’83 a guy by the name of Fred Haywood, using NeilPryde sails, breaks the 30 knot speed barrier (55.5km/hr);
  • Then in ’89, the company launches the industry’s (wind surfing, of course) first fully integrated carbon Matrix Rig System;
  • Official supplier of sails at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona;
  • 2007-2009 company carefully studies their consumer base to consider brand extension opportunity;
  • Extensive market research shows 60% of NeilPryde customers are also cyclists;
  • In 2009 bike division established – NeilPryde Bikes – headed up by Michael Pryde
  • Strategy for entering the cycling market starts to develop and division begins working with BMW Group Designworks USA

So, wanting to break out into a new area, the company decided to speak to its customer base. After carefully listening to what their windsurfing customers had to say, they found that cycling was a very popular sport amongst their fans. And so NeilPryde Bikes was born.

I’ve included a video the company created that talks about how the two bikes the company currently produces – the Diablo and the Alize – came about through the partnership they have with BMW Group Designworks USA.

Since becoming an Epic Rider, I received the Diablo in matt carbon complete with Shimano Ultegra and Mavic Kyserium wheels. I’ll include some pictures of the bike in a different post but for now I’ll let you see how the bike was introduced to the world:

A pretty awesome way to launch a bike aptly named the Diablo. Not sure I would ever do that myself, but I think it does the trick. Last week the company went on to release a behind the scenes video of the ‘Pyromaniac on Wheels’. This is it:

The question is, how good are these bikes? Well, only time will really tell. Not to mention a lot of road testing from myself and the other Epic Riders. However, this morning the company announced it received an iF Product Design Award 2011 in the Leisure + Lifestyle section for both the Alize and the Diablo. For over 50 years the iF Design Award has served as a recognised trademark for outstanding design all over the world. So the company is onto something good here.

And if Procycling UK is anything to go by, then the Diablo looks set to make a remarkable impact upon the market.  I, for one, am looking forward to it!

Team Garmin Transitions F1 SL Team issue Felt

So back in September I was lucky enough to spend some time out in Boulder Colorado. A beautiful place to say the least. In preparation for going out there, I was planning on tackling Mount Evans. The highest paved road in North America. See my previous post about this trip.

Thanks to the excellent team at Team Garmin Transitions, I was loaned a Team issue F1 SL Felt for my trip up the mountain. Here are some pictures of this awesome machine that I had the privilege to ride:

Mavic Cosmic Carbone's on the Team Garmin Transitions F1 SL Team issue Felt

Team Garmin Transitions F1 SL Team issue Felt

3t stem and bars

Team Garmin Transitions F1 SL Team issue Felt

Team Garmin Transitions F1 SL Team issue Felt

Team Garmin Transitions F1 SL Team issue Felt

The bicycle belonged to Andrei Krasilnikau

The rear forks that provide a very comfy but responsive ride

Team Garmin Transitions F1 SL Team issue Felt

Team Garmin Transitions F1 SL Team issue Felt

Nice ride on the fi'zi:k saddle

That's me on the bike enjoying the quiet roads of Boulder

Now for those of you who aren’t aware, you and I have the chance to purchase the bikes directly from the Team. The bikes can be purchased from SlipStream Sports website. Click here – to see what they have available. My suggestion is to get in there quick as the team will be moving over to Cervelo. So why not become one of the very few that can own a team bike?

Christian Meier's team issue Felt

Dan Martin's Felt

David Millar

Team issue Felts at Team Garmin's service course

And some more...

Team vehicles outside

Well, it’s been a full year since The Tour of Britain was last here. And this year’s event did not disappoint. From the outset each stage tested the strength and determination of each team and by stage 3, they were moaning non-stop at how hard it was. So different from the 2009 event where they were moaning at how easy the race was. Seems which ever way the organiser’s take it, they just can’t win.  Oh, and don’t get me started on the home-based fans. When will they get it in their silly little heads that it’s an 8 day event. This means there are not enough days to get around the whole country. In order to do that, the ToB’s event status would need to increase (to maybe even ProTour) and take in at least two weeks of racing. Maybe then each and every town and region could be visited by The Tour. But until the UCI decides otherwise, the event is going to stay an 8-day race.

Anyway, this year I was lucky enough to get an invitation to the finish in Glastonbury for the 176km stage 5. The previous day’s stage was the hardest of the 2010 Tour, so they boys legs were going to be tired in the run into Glastonbury. For the full race report for Stage 5, click here.

Now, as I had a very cosy spot right by the finish line, I tried my best to take pictures of the riders as they came by. Here’s what I managed to get:

Glastonbury stage finish for The Tour of Britain

Dean Downing from Rapha Condor Sharp

The Honda lead car coming through the finish

Marco Frapporti

Marco Frapporti

Bradley Wiggins blowing a kiss to the crowd in celebration of his second place

Michael Golas

Pieter Ghyllebert

Garmin - Transitions' Dan Martin

Ronan Van Zandbeek

The bunch sprint

Stephen Cummings

Team Sky's Geraint Thomas

Cervelo's Dan Lloyd and Roger Hammond

Jeremy Hunt

Mark Renshaw

Mark Renshaw

HTC-Columbia's Mark Renshaw

Kit Gilham

Garmin's Cameron Meyer

Podium Girls' Lauren and Anna

Marco Frapporti

Michael Golas

Michael Albasini

Michael Albasini

By Peter Hodges

Andre Greipel takes second stage win in Great Yarmouth

Andre Greipel (HTC-Columbia) takes the stage win into Great Yarmouth

Andre Greipel sprinted to his second stage win of The Tour of Britain, heading Borut Bozic and Lucas Sebastien Haedo across the line.  Greipel’s teammate Michael Albasini continues to hold the race lead, though his advantage was cut by two seconds to 1 minute 26 seconds, as Bozic moved up into second in the overall standings thanks to time bonuses gained during the stage.

Despite losing two members of their six rider team to illness, Team HTC – Columbia still managed to provide Greipel with the perfect leadout, as Mark Renshaw set up the German to take the win in Great Yarmouth.

The longest stage of the race saw The Tour make its first ever visit to Norfolk since its re-birth in 2004, with huge crowds all along the route as local communities and businesses across the county came together to support Britain’s biggest professional cycle race.

After a rousing send off from the crowds gathered in King’s Lynn’s Tuesday Market Place, riders headed out to the north Norfolk coast via the Sandringham Estate, where Johnny Hoogerland took the honours at the intermediate Sprint, ahead of Vacansoleil teammate, and Sprints competition leader, Michal Golas.

Out in front for much of the day was Cameron Meyer, who earned the Honda Combativity Award for his long breakaway, initially in the company of Jeremy Hunt, before the Brit sat up leaving the Garmin – Transitions rider briefly alone.

Meyer was soon joined by Team Saxo Bank’s Jaroslav Marycz out front, with the duo building an eight minute lead as they rode through the Norfolk countryside, being greeted by crowds at every town and village they passed through, with particularly large crowds welcoming The Tour to Norwich midway through the stage.

With Team Sky working hard on the front of the peloton to reduce the deficit as they sought to set up Greg Henderson for a second stage win the gap began to steadily decrease, with just a 2 minute 35 second advantage remaining with 25 kilometres to go.

Fifteen kilometres to go and the advantage was south of one minute, and as they approached Great Yarmouth Meyer opted to go it alone, shedding Marcyz as he made his way into the finish town.  The Australian though was caught inside the final two kilometres, as Team HTC – Columbia came to the front with Bert Grabsch and Mark Renshaw, piloting Greipel through the final couple of corners and safely onto the long finishing boulevard.

The large awaiting crowds at the stage finish in Great Yarmouth

As the field snaked out of the final turn, Greipel burst past Renshaw to cross the line first, taking his second victory at a British seaside resort in six days, after his opening leg win in Blackpool on Saturday.

Speaking after the stage, winner Andre Greipel said that despite the flatness of the profile it was still another tough day in the saddle, describing the stage as “hard!”

“We were not so fresh at all with just four riders left in the race, so it was quite a good powerful beginning to the stage for the team.  We tried to keep the breakaway as small as possible as we were all pretty tired from the last two days.

“We were happy that just two riders were away and we could sit on as the other riders chased the breakaway down.  At the end we were focused on the sprint, and Bert Grabsch and Mark Renshaw gave me a really good position, and quite a good leadout from Mark.  I think we can be really happy with this victory.

“Sky had to chase the breakaway down, so there was no one left to do the leadout, so we were just sitting on and with two kilometres to go we went, and that’s how it was.

Greipel also spoke about the loss of teammates Tony Martin and Marco Pinotti to illness, praising the German, who has worked so hard for race leader Albasini, in particular, saying, “Tony is like a locomotive, once he is riding his bike as fast as possible, he never can stop so this is a really big thing that we lost him.  I hope we are able to defend the jersey until London.”

One of Albasini’s rivals for the Yellow Jersey presented by Bikeability is Team Sky’s Greg Henderson, who took fourth in the finishing sprint, the same position he currently lies in overall, 1 minute 33 seconds behind first place.  Henderson currently wears The Prostate Cancer Charity Points Jersey, as the races’ most consitent finisher, but has his eyes on other prizes too.

“The aim’s the overall in London,” said Henderson after the stage, “And I have to try and get on the podium.  It’s a very important race for us, a home race, and at the moment I’m in fourth place so I’m chasing time bonuses along the road and chasing time bonuses at the finish.  But it’s been a long hard week and it’s taken its toll on not only myself but the whole team, who are riding full gas for me.

With several riders closely bunched behind the race leader, The Tour of Britain is boiling down to an exciting two final stages, but Henderson says that the closeness of the General Classification poses problems.

“They’re not going to let me go anywhere, Columbia mark me, we mark certain people.  There’s a core group of people who can’t go anywhere basically and I can’t slip into a move because they’ll chase me instantly.  Everybody’s on their last legs, so we’ve just got to keep fighting until London.”

Also fighting on for another day was Team Raleigh’s lanterne rouge Peter Smith, who came home in 80th position in a group containing Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas.  Smith now sits in 83rd place, 1 hour 6 minutes and 13 seconds behind the Yellow Jersey.

Stage Seven sees The Tour of Britain visit Suffolk and Essex, heading across the two counties from Bury St Edmunds to Colchester, taking in 152.3 kilometres of racing.  Beginning at Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds, riders will race through Haverhill, Long Melford and Sudbury, on their way into Essex where they will face crucial intermediate Sprints at Braintree and Tiptree before the drag up East Hill in Colchester to the finish line.

Current yellow jersey of The Tour of Britain - Michael Albasini (HTC-Columbia)

Stage Six Results

1) Andre Greipel                            Team HTC – Columbia               4:09:05

2) Borut Bozic                               Vacansoleil Pro Cycling             @ same time

3) Lucas Sebastien Haedo             Team Saxo Bank                       @ same time

Honda Combativity Award Winner: Cameron Meyer       Garmin – Transitions

General Classification standings (after six stages)

1) Michael Albasini                        Team HTC – Columbia               24h 02m 14s

2) Borut Bozic                               Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    @ 1m 26s

3) Richie Porte                              Team Saxo Bank                       @ 1m 27s

The Prostate Cancer Charity Points Jersey standings (after six stages)

1) Greg Henderson                        Sky Professional Cycling Team  48pts

2) Borut Bozic                               Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    42pts

3) Michael Albasini                        Team HTC – Columbia               39pts

The King of the Mountains Jersey standings (after six stages)

1) Johnny Hoogerland                   Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    54pts

2) Richie Porte                              Team Saxo Bank                       45pts

3) Dan Martin                                Garmin – Transitions                  32pts

The Sprints Jersey standings (after six stages)

1) Michal Golas                             Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    27pts

2) Richie Porte                              Team Saxo Bank                       18pts

3) Johnny Hoogerland                   Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    15pts

The Tour of Britain is proud to be partnered with The Prostate Cancer Charity.  Don’t forget this September your chance to follow in the wheel tracks of the professionals and ride three stages from The Tour of Britain.  Go to to find out more!