Sir Chris Hoy pens Flying Fergus kids' books

Former track cyclist Sir Chris Hoy has taken the wraps off his new children’s books, part of the Flying Fergus series.

The first two titles in the series will The Best Birthday Bike and The Great Cycle Challenge, to be released in late February 2016. They were written alongside award-winning author Joanna Nadin, and focus on the exploits of Fergus, an ordinary nine-year-old boy with an extraordinary imagination.

Related: Chris Hoy’s hand-built Shand keirin bike revealed

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Any old iron

The first instalment introduces our hero Fergus, who wants a top-of-the-range “Sullivan Swift” bike for his birthday. But money’s been tight since his dad disappeared years before, and his mum and granddad have struggled to make ends meet.

So instead, Fergus inherits his dad’s old rusty bike – but when he heads out to test it at the park with his best friend Daisy and his faithful dog Chimp, he discovers there might be more to the old bike than meets the eye…

Freedom and adventure

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Giro Empire VR90 shoes

With a lightweight but durable upper, a stiff carbon sole clad in soft Vibram rubber, and a lace-up closure, the Giro Empire VR90 shoes are a great option for cross-country riding, and good for fair-weather cyclocross. More aggressive trail riders might find the shoes lacking in protection on the sides of the feet, but the uppers have shown resilience from standard wear and tear.

Following on the success of its road lace-up Empires, Giro starting riffing on the design for MTB shoes in late 2013. A limited edition Empire VR90 followed last year, with this production show available now.

Four BikeRadar testers have worn the shoes for months, in everything from casual off-road riding to eight-hour cross-country races to trail riding to cyclocross. Our consensus is that they are fairly stiff but quite comfortable on the bike. For those doing lots of hike-a-bike, you’ll probably prefer something with a more flexible sole. But for short scrambles the Empire VR90s work great, with the almost-gummy Vibram outsoles gripping well on rock and the light weight almost disappearing from your feet.

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The Empire VR90s hold up well to rough treatment and cleaning. We were pleasantly surprised to note that we never felt the need to adjust the laces during rides or races – a good thing, because it ain’t easy

My test pair of 45.5 shoes weighed 700g. I normally wear 45, but like most testers I had to go up a half size because the VR90s fit snugly through the forefoot. While many other Giro shoes come in wide options, the VR90s do not.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Watch Claudio Caluori’s greatest hits from 2015

The ultimate Claudio megamix

Claudio Caluori of Switzerland poses for a photograph during the first stage of the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship at the Red Bull Crashed Ice in Quebec City, Canada on November 26, 2015. // Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20151128-00304 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Claudio Caluori of Switzerland poses for a photograph during the first stage of the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship at the Red Bull Crashed Ice in Quebec City, Canada on November 26, 2015. // Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20151128-00304 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

We have to say that Claudio Caluori has really stepped up his efforts with the helmet cam previews this year. …Continue reading »
Source: MBR

BikeRadar gear of the year: Aoife Glass's 2015 picks

It’s been a bumper year for women’s cycling in 2015, with new pro teams, increasing financial support, more media coverage and, of course, more and more gear designed for women at all levels of road cycling and mountain biking. 

I joined BikeRadar in the spring, shifting over from my previous role as deputy editor of Total Women’s Cycling. It’s been rewarding and fascinating to track  how women’s cycling has evolved over the year and continues to change.

It’s becoming clear that bike brands, clothing companies and equipment manufacturers are sitting up and taking notice of the ever-increasing number of women riding, and the fact that we’re a diverse bunch, riding at all levels, all disciplines, all ages and all around the world. 

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Highlights for me have included watching the cream of the female pro peloton lay it all on the line for La Course in Paris, and getting to shred the revamped Juliana Roubion on the old mining trails of California. It’s been exciting to hear how brands like Bell Helmets are putting their money where their mouths are and investing in quality research to ensure they’re getting it right for women, with many more brands investing in marketing, research and product development. 

There’s also never been more choice when it comes to women’s bikes, clothing and gear – though I feel there’s room for even more. 

So after thinking long and hard, I’ve selected the products that have stood out for me over the past year. These are the items I reach for again and again, the ones I bore my friends talking at length about, and the ones I’d recommend. 

Juliana Roubion 2 CC XX1 2016

Five Ten Freerider Wmns

Giro Women’s Undershort

Lululemon Ta Ta Tamer sports bra

Rapha Women’s Long Sleeve Brevet Jersey

Polaris Mica jersey

Flare Roost DH Shorts

Hope F20 flat pedals

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

RockShox' Yari fork is a lot like a budget Lyrik

When you’re trying to cut corners on a bike build, cheaping out on the suspension is never a good idea. But affordable doesn’t always mean inferior – and that’s what RockShox is hoping to demonstrate with its new Yari suspension fork.

Unveiled earlier this summer, the Yari can be thought of as a Lyrik for riders on a tight budget. It’s available now and retails for $700 / £560 / AUS $1,190. While it’s not exactly cheap, it becomes more palatable when compared with the Lyrik, which goes for $1,030 / £824 / AUS $1,776.

Related: RockShox Lyrik RCT3 Solo Air

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More importantly, the Yari fills a hole in RockShox’ OE line. It will come stock on a wide range of more affordable trail and enduro models in 2016. Until now RockShox lacked an affordable fork with 35mm stanchions. This should be a plus for many riders – allowing them to get nearly the performance of a Lyrik or a Pike on a much more affordable mountain bike. 

So how similar is the Yari to the Lyrik? Very.

In fact, its magnesium crown and lowers are identical to the Lyrik.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Boost your bunnyhops: explosive movements take you higher

You may have seen our original bunnyhop video, which featured a couple of ways of working it. Now Matt Legg-Bagg from Bristol’s Pedal Progression runs through how to get those hops higher.

Related: How to bunnyhop

The bunnyhop movement is an explosive one – the more you put in, the more you’ll get out. Big movements with your feet & heels, to drive the bike into the air, are what you want.

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How high you get your front wheel makes all the difference… concentrate on a good pumped manual to get high. You need big compression with dropped heels – push with your legs to get the front wheel up up. This dictates the bunnyhop, because if the front doesn’t get up enough, the rear wheel won’t follow

A big bunnyhop will take you out of your comfort zone. Find an obstacle you want to get over, and replicate its height with a piece string to practise, so that if you mess up it’s essentially risk-free. Wait till you’re nailing it every time, then take it to the real obstacle.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Giant Rail trail helmet

Giant probably isn’t a brand that comes to mind first when you think of trail helmets. If this new Rail model is any indication though, that’s going to change pretty quickly.

Giant’s first serious foray into the hotly contested category is supremely well ventilated, competitively light, and feature packed. Best of all, it’s a relative bargain with a high-end look that belies its appealing price tag, making it my favorite trail helmet to date.

Generous coverage and generous airflow

As is pretty much required for trail helmets these days, the Rail covers more of your head than models that are more intended for cross-country riding. The rear of the helmet extends down past your occipital lobe and the sides even dip down a bit in front of your ears to provide more protection for your temples. Despite the additional coverage, I haven’t found any sunglasses yet that don’t play well with the shape.

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There’s almost more air than shell on the exterior of the Giant Rail trail helmet

That extra coverage doesn’t at all come at the expense of ventilation, either – and in fact, I’ve found the Rail to keep my head cooler than many road helmets I’ve tested over the years.

Comfort to match

Features galore

Close enough to perfect for me

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

J.Laverack J.ACK Ti Disc

J.Laverack is a new British company. Its opening gambit, the J.ACK Ti Disc, aims to be a four-season bike for all surfaces.

Not only is the frame the first thing you notice on seeing the J.ACK, we’ve barely taken our eyes off of it since. For a frame to outclass Dura-Ace is unusual, but then nothing about this bike is run of the mill.

Related: J.ACK titanium road bike by J.Laverack – first look

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Stunning finish

That beautifully finished frame is made from customised 3Al/2.5V titanium. The stout head tube, housing a steerer that’s tapered for increased stiffness, is fronted by a choice of two head badges. The tubes are on the chunky side of slender, and round except for the top tube’s flattened underside.

Widely set chainstays and downswept seatstays meet at sturdy dropouts, the frame takes 28mm rubber with mudguards, 32mm without, and mudguard, rack or Di2 fittings are available at no extra cost. The welding is stunning, and so neat it’s almost invisible in places. The cables benefit from full-length outer casings, passing through internal channels with immaculately smoothed edges.

Surprisingly stiff and punchy

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar