crossbar thoughts

rested and waiting

You’ll spend a lot of time sitting on the top tube waiting for friends to get the the bottom of the hill. Never had a frame do me so right on descents. I always know what’s happening through my hands and the bottom of my feet and its just so easy to lean it over when you need to. I know it’s all subjective and all that…. but  it’s a thrill to ride down hill. I climb just to come down.

Danny MacAskill returns to Edinburgh

Part ad / part profile … fully nice guy.

Profile of street trials rider Danny Macaskill. Using his new Lezyne Engineering tools, Danny Macaskill re-visits his old job, in the workshop of MacDonalds Cycles in Edinburgh Scotland and chats over his rise to success and how life has changed.

Featuring some new street trials content filmed exclusively for Lezyne by Cut Media’s Stu Thomson in the streets of Edinburgh. Danny also takes a mountain bike ride high on to Dumyat in Trossachs hills in Central Scotland and talks over his love for mountain biking.

Video: A glimpse at why the Classics are ‘classic’

Love the video of Cancellara’s win at Paris Roubaix in 2010

Re-live how the 2010 Paris-Roubaix race was won by the imperious Fabian Cancellara. From the 2011 British Eurosport coverage of Paris-Roubaix.

Then the analysis of the race ….

First outdoor ride on the Lynskey

The plan was hatched – a relatively early departure from the house then an hour cycling somewhere then an hour back. I ended up heading west through the less pretty parts of Dumbarton until I was under the Erskine bridge. Decided to ride over it as I had seen a cycle path over the bridge before and then attempted to fin my way back to glasgow on the south side of the river.

I had one or two extra meanders but came back through Govan. Here is ride

The view from the bridge is quite spectacular

sad to see that where I stopped to take this pic there were flowers in the railings where some sad soul decided to end it all in the past.

titanium on steel

I was using my Polar RCX5 with gps (and the gps was buried in my front pocket of my jacket meaning it’s view of the sky must have been greatly obscured by my body …. ) I also had my Edge mounted on the stem and the similarity between the data was amazing – I was expecting the Polar to be way out …. but after the ride it said 51.49km compared to Garmins 51.69km …. quite amazing. Would have been perfect if I had used the shoulder strap I think.

Uploaded both .gpx tracks into Sportypal to compare and here is the result.

as near as damn it

more Ti goodness from Genesis

Broken by

Genesis have been busy. He had a whole rack of prototype bikes on display at Icebike, most of which will be hitting these shores in the summer. A bunch of them had knobbly tyres so we didn’t spend too much time ogling them (even the 700C ones – sorry, ’29er’) but that still left us with new Equilibrium Ti.

If you’re not familiar with the Equilibrium, well it’s something of a modern classic. Steel bikes with carbon forks are twenty to the dozen nowadays, but roll the clock back a few years and your steel options were a lot more limited. The Equilibrium was one of the pivotal bikes in bringing steel back to the mainstream, the reason being that they really nailed it, first time. The original Reynolds 520 framed Equilibrium remains one of the best bikes we’ve tested, and it’s my bike of choice for long-distance adventures such as the 360km-in-a-day Bath to Colchester epic last year.


The current Equlibrium has gone up a step on the tubing ladder and it’s now made from Reynolds 725, but there has been plenty of demand, Dom told us, for something a bit more high end but sharing the same geometry and ride characteristics of the steel machine. And so the Equilibrium Ti was born.

It doesn’t look a great deal like the steel bike. At first glance it seems more compact and racy, but that’s down to the fact that it uses a much larger tubeset for the main triangle: in fact the geometry is exactly the same as the Reynolds-tubed bikes. Dom’s philosophy for the bike was that is should be stiff at the front end and compliant at the rear, something the steel bike manages very well in spite of only using standard tube profiles. The Ti bike is beefed up considrably; the XX44 head tube has enough room for a tapered steerer fork and the down tube is based on Genesis’ Latitude Ti MTB, albeit with thinner walls. That should make for pin-sharp tracking on the descents…


At the back end Dom has put a lot of work into the tube profiles to make sure that the bike has a similar compliant feel to the steel Equilibrium. The chainstays are flattened and the seatstays ovalised to work some laterally-stiff-yet-vertically-compliant magic.

It’s good to see that the Equilibrium Ti carries on the all-seasons philosophy of its commoner sibling; there’s mudguards eyelets at the rear and Genesis have sought out a tapered steerer fork with eyelets too, so you can fit full mudguards for winter excursions.

The frame and fork (with headset and seat clamp) will retail for about £1,500 and there’ll be a Shimano 105-equipped full bike available too for about £2,200. That’s similar money to the Kinesis GF-Ti that was third overall in our 2011 Bike of the Year round-up, and it’s a similar steed; it’ll be interesting to see how the two compare when we can get our sticky mitts on one. And, of course, how the Titanium bike compares to the steel one.

Friday Bike ART: Skeleton Bikers

David Lemm Skeleton Bikers

David Lemm is an artist & illustrator based in Edinburgh.

Using simplistic shapes and forms, David manages to achieve striking, thought provoking images.

See more of David’s work here.


The Legend is Reborn: Santacruz Superlight 29’er

The Superlight is the bike that launched Santa Cruz into the stratosphere. It was a combination of low weight and capable full suspension performance. It blended technology and reliability and offered it at reasonable price. Well those qualities are still important so Santa Cruz is offering the Superlight with 29er wheels now. Travel is 100 mm or 4 inches and geometry is optimized for a 4 inch travel fork with the head angle at 71 degrees.

Here’s the specs and available kits:

Claimed frame weight is 5.9lbs for a medium with shock.


The venerable Superlight gets big wheels this year. The addition of 29-inch wheels is the biggest change to this cross-country full suspension bike since its introduction in 1999. No VPP, no ABP links to adjust the shock rate, just a straight-up single-pivot XC bike with 100mm of front and rear travel.

According to Santa Cruz Bicycle’s marketing honcho Mike Ferrentino, the growing popularity of 29-inch wheels necessitated the development of a budget-minded full suspension platform for the masses. “The Superlight is the ‘gateway drug’ to Santa Cruz for many riders,” said Ferrentino. “Many first time buyers are now buying 29ers. These riders don’t want to buy a $5,000 mountain bike.”

The Superlight has a standard 135mm quick release rear end.

The Superlight frame retails for $1,050, complete bikes will start at $1,850. Complete bikes are available now but it will be several months before the frame-only option will be in stock.

While carving through the red Sedona dirt I felt the Superlight 29 did most everything one looks for in a cross-country full suspension.

The rear suspension is firm and did not feel as active as the company’s VPP bikes. The suspension firms up while grinding away in the granny ring—not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion. The Superlight’s rear end did not feel as stiff as the Tallboy’s, though I didn’t consider the flex significant enough to be detrimental to the bike’s handling.

Full suspension does not get any simpler, nor lower maintenance than this. The Superlight 29 could be a good choice for new riders looking to buy their first full suspension, and a great option for up-and-coming NICA racers.

something new to me (flea bay): Look HSC5 Fork

Fork no scooter


The HSC 5 SL model was the first fork in the world to offer carbon dropouts directly compressed and molded with the blades. With its weight of less than 300 grams (256 grams, uncut), the HSC 5 SL fork remains reliable, comfortable, and laterally stiff. This is a real technological marvel!

Hushovd ‘not obsessed’ with Roubaix

interesting article from velonews …

There’s only one race that Thor Hushovd wants to win, and that’s Paris-Roubaix.

The former world champion doesn’t hesitate when he says that the Hell of the North is his top goal for the upcoming spring classics campaign, but he insists he is “not obsessed” with the cobblestone classic.

“It’s not an obsession, I just want to really win that race,” Hushovd explained to “I have had a few major goals in my career and I’ve been lucky enough to achieve many of them. What remain are a major classic and the Olympics. And if I had to choose one classic I want to win, it’s Roubaix.”

His high-profile move to BMC for 2012 will put him center-stage for the cobblestone classic.

With the spring classics season officially opening this weekend with semi-classics Omloop Het Nieuwsblat (the former Het Volk) and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, many are wondering how Hushovd and new BMC teammate Philippe Gilbert will manage their classics ambitions.

The pair insists there is no conflict over their respective ambitions. Both want to win and expect to win, but they are close friends and often train together from their European home base in Monaco, and promise to divvy up the monuments between them.

The choices are obvious, with Gilbert naturally drifting toward the hillier classics such as Liege and Lombardia while Hushovd takes on the more punishing courses at Flanders and Roubaix.

The one point of conflict could be Milan-San Remo, but Hushovd says having the two superstars share the leadership duties in any race will only enhance their team’s and individual chances.

“Philippe can attack on the Poggio and I can sit in on the bunch. If he stays away and wins, that’s great. If he’s caught, then that means I won’t be doing the chasing and I can be fresher for the sprint,” he said. “Having us both in the race is a benefit, not a problem. We are good friends. We understand each other and we communicate.”

Gilbert says he will make a run for Flanders this year, meaning that he and Hushovd will likely play a similar San Remo strategy at the Ronde, but the world No. 1 says there’s no way he will race Paris-Roubaix, at least not for the next several years. That means Hushovd is BMC’s leading captain for his favorite classic.

“It’s the hardest one-day race out there. I just love Roubaix and the whole history behind it,” Hushovd continued. “It was one of the few bike races that I could watch as a kid on TV back in Norway. I remember the mud, the dust, the cobblestones, the crashes, bikes breaking. I won the amateur version in 1998. That gave me a taste.”

BMC brings perhaps the strongest classics lineup to the monuments this year. Hushovd and Gilbert will be the team’s clear leaders, but behind them is tremendous depth with other potential winners, including George Hincapie, former Flanders champion Alessandro Ballan, Marcus Burghardt, Greg Van Avermaet and workers such as Quiziato.

All of those riders, including Hincapie, say they will work for BMC’s frontline leaders, but anything can happen during a race and there might be unseen scenarios opening up to allow one of the team’s wild-card riders to stay clear in early moves. Having such a deep team will force the others to chase, allowing Gilbert and Hushovd to pounce at the decisive moments; or at least that’s what team brass is hoping for.

“We will be among the strongest teams during the classics; just look at the names,” says BMC sport director Fabio Baldato, no slouch during his day on the cobblestones. “With Philippe and Thor, we can expect to win just about every classic we start. Everyone will work together so the team wins. Whoever that might be doesn’t matter.”

Hushovd has been nipping at the edge of Roubaix success the past several years. Last year, Hushovd was hoping to fulfill a dream of winning Paris-Roubaix while donning the world champion’s rainbow jersey.

Instead, Garmin-Cervélo played a wily team tactic, putting Hushovd on pre-race favorite Fabian Cancellara’s wheel and allowing Johan Vansummeren to make a go. Vansummeren was strong enough to stay clear, giving Garmin an emotional and elusive classics victory, but leaving Hushovd with a bitter taste in his mouth.

Hushovd, however, said his best chance to win was in 2009, when he was flying in Cervélo’s first year, but crashed late in the crash to lose position to eventual winner Tom Boonen.

With such a powerful squad at his disposal, Hushovd knows that this year could be his best chance ever. He also knows that there’s no hiding on the cobblestones.

“Of course, I would like to win Roubaix, but I will not freak out if I do not win it,” he said. “If I am not able to win it, it is because I am not strong enough.”

And just to get a feel of the event have a look at a slower take on the classics…..

Choosing display on your HRM

I have been asked before what views I select on my HRM to help me with training. Well it depends on the sport …..
The polar RCX5 actually displays 4 lines of data and very customisable …..

So without further adieu

Bike Display
Display 1 ( for turbo trainer)

Display 2 (my HR display)
HR pointer
HR in zone
HR ave

Display 3
HR breakdown (one view – shows time spent in each zone)

Display 4
Speed Average
Speed max

Display 5
Time of day

Display 6 not used

Display 1 (general overview)

Display 2
HR pointer
HR in zone
HR ave

Display 3
HR zone breakdown (one view)

Display 4
Pace (not that accurate with gps but still a guide)
Pace Average (more useful)
Previous lap (m:ss/km)

Display 5
Time of Day

Display 6 not used

The Bike has arrived

Hooray I said coming in the door and spying the bike box in the hall

1st decant

There is a lovely christmas feeling as I lifted the frame out of the box … something lovely about that first assembly … but maybe not this time.

Problem One … no pedals despite the listing showing pics with pedals although no work in the listing about their inclusion or exclusion.

then a bigger problem as I look at that bloody stupid Hope Headset design that requires expander bolts …. so 10pm I am lying on my back in the hall with the bike on tope of me upside-down with a torch in my mouth trying to thread the bolt in the headset. Feck that is impossible so Saturday sees me at the bike shop looking to get the fork fitted and to buy some pedals.

Problem 3:

‘Why is the headset steerer cut?’ so short asks Carl ….. Only one bolt on the stem can cinch it shut …. fine on a turbo but you don’t want to be doing 70mph down a hill with that surely?

an inch short - story of my wife ....

So anyone with a small bike want an Easton EC70?

eBay to the rescue and so i have just bought a Look HSC5 SL to replace it.

I like the bike though … so far in an hour turbo ride it seemed good …. need to hit the road for a test ride.