Archive for August, 2009

TSG Kraken

August 25, 2009

The first-ever helmet that automatically adapts to the head shape of its wearer

At this year’s Eurobike trade show, TSG plans to present a world’s first, the Kraken helmet. Thanks to the new Kraken Flex Tech system, this helmet automatically adapts to the head shape of its wearer, with the helmet’s inner shell hugging the head like an octopus. This is achieved through segmented EPS parts connected via thermoplastic joints and a hybrid nylon chassis. In case of an impact, the chassis keeps the EPS parts together while allowing for enough flexibility to adjust itself to the individual head shape of any wearer.
Unlike monoblock EPS helmets (with a shell large enough to fit many different head sizes and shapes), the Kraken helmet offers reliable protection as well as an extremely compact size. The Kraken Flex Tech system provides enhanced all-round protection due to a superior fit with improved wearing comfort.



Camellini to miss Worlds

August 24, 2009

Julien suffered a bad hand injury back in May at the 3rd round of the Nissan UCI world cup in Andorra.

After a pretty good start to the World Cup with a 10th and 13th Julien was fired up and determined for a podium in Andorra. In his qualifying run, he had the second fastest split time but on the lower part of the course, then slipped on a root and crashed into a tree flat out. Adrenaline got Julien back into his run and he was able to finished 12th – Julien was in considerable pain with.

After a trip down to the local hospital in Andorra it was confirmed Julien had pushed the knuckle back on his forth finger and broken the metacarpal bone requiring an operation to reset it and insert a screw to hold the bone together. Julien had the operation back in France and was hoping this would fix his hand and speed up the healing process so he could be back for the 5th round in Maribor.


Unfortunately the screw ended up causing Julien a lot of pain as it was digging into the muscle and flesh in his hand and he ended up having to get the screw removed once the bone had healed. Once the screw was taken out, Julien met the team at Alp d’Huez for the Mega Avalanche although at this point though he hand no feeling in his 3rd and forth fingers or the outside of his palm. He tried to ride and grip the bars tightly but the pain was too much and he couldn’t hold onto the handlebars for more than a minute.

Julien went home again and back to the hospital to see a nerve specialist. It was confirmed that a nerve had been damaged, one that runs through his hand and arm. This was caused either from the injury or the screw that was put in to fix his hand – there was nothing that could be done but only time would heal the nerve.

Since then Julien has been continuing with his training in preparation for the rest of the season and especially the World Championships in Australia in just under 2 weeks time. Last weekend Julien had to compete in a race in France to confirm he was fit to go to the World Championships with the French National Team.

Although Julien’s fitness, power and speed was there is was evident that his hand was not going to be 100% in time for the worlds. So it was decided by everyone that Julien would not be able to compete 100% and maybe not even be able to hold on for a full run – he will not be going to the World Championships.

Julien is bitterly disappointed – as we all are here at Team Chain Reaction Cycles / Intense. He had trained so hard this winter and continued to train hard on his fitness and power whilst having his hand injury. Julien is hoping his hand will improve enough for the world cup finals in Schladming but only time will tell.

Julien wants to send out his upmost apologies to all our sponsors and thanks everyone for supporting him this season.

Fresh Wallpaper

August 22, 2009

Adam Brayton photographed by Charles Robertson –


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RaceFace Atlas FR

August 20, 2009


At Distilled we feel pretty lucky to have received some great products from some excellent companies since we started a couple of years ago. Every time a package comes through the door, it’s a scramble to see what piece of bike candy we have been sent this time, and every time is as much fun as the very first. Even with all the great stuff we’ve been generously given, the latest DHL express delivery really blew me away. I have always had a thing for RaceFace cranks since my first pair of Turbine LP’s way back in 98 or 99 outlasted every other component on my bike. Back when bike components really weren’t up to the kind of abuse downhillers were subjecting them to, and I was using a 4-inch travel Sunn way outside the recommended usage instructions in the owner’s manual, it was trip to the ATM after literally every ride. Broken rims, broken derailleurs, and of course punctures on any trail with rocks bigger than your average piece of gravel made the mountainbiking experience an expensive and frustrating pursuit at times. However, even with the now laughable square-taper bottom bracket system, the Turbines were indestructible, flex-free (the rest of the bike flexed around them if anything) and the pedal threads never stripped out. After the third replacement swingarm sent over from France snapped on a horrible high-speed flat landing, it was time to hang up the Sunn but the Turbines lived on and were swapped to another bike. Now that I think about it, the RaceFace XY seatpost that came stock with the bike was also a revelation, as I honestly never had to tighten it once in the three years that I used it.


So, already biased in their favor, I opened the box and took a look at a shiny orange pair of Atlas FR cranks. Like the Turbines I always loved only lighter, with a real bottom bracket featuring a heat-treated cromo spindle, and some seriously nice yet understated graphics resembling topography lines on a map. No pedal inserts due to the use of an aluminum with that they claim is 20 per cent stronger than traditional 7050 alloy adds to the aesthetic appeal of these cranks, and the weight is feathery for what should be a bomb-proof crank in terms of strength. Manufactured in Canada, the CNC’ing process makes for a very dirrerent looking product than the current crop of forged cranks, which tend to be more rounded and organic in shape, but I have always loved the lines that only a CNC machine can produce. It was a toss-up between mounting these things on the office wall for decoration or putting them on the bike, but Jon at RaceFace might not be too impressed with a review on how well the Orange anodization goes with my furniture, so onto the Boot’r they go for a full east coast test. Check back later in the season for more details on what should prove to be one of the best products of the year.


Leov’s Crankworx Garbanzo Win

August 19, 2009

TSG/Oakley Collaboration

August 19, 2009

For its 35th anniversary, Oakley designs TSG helmet with signature art work

In 2010, Californian sports equipment manufacturer Oakley will be celebrating its 35th anniversary, a good enough reason for the brand to look back to the first Oakley product ever – a motocross grip – and launch an original grip line featuring special artwork. In collaboration with safety gear supplier TSG the brand came to create a helmet with an original grip design. The result of this collaboration will be presented at the Eurobike 2009 trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany.


Superlight: Oakley’s 35th anniversary models

Matt Simmonds Wins UK NPS 4

August 18, 2009
Whilst the rest of the team have been out in Whistler after the Canadian world cup rounds, Team’s Matt Simmonds has been home training and representing the team back home in the UK on the domestic race scene. After some great resent results for Matt – 3rd at the National Championships and a 21st and 22nd at the 2 Canadian World Cups – Matt took his first National win last at the weekend at Caersws.
From Matt: “Upon my return from Canada following the Bromont World Cup, I had planned on a few weeks rest and recovery, before preparing for the final round of the World Cup in Schladming, Austria. However, instead I found myself driving to Mid Wales for the fourth round of the British National Point Series at Caersws. Caersws has been the location of a number of races over the last six years and the hill hosts a number of different courses. On this occasion one of the steeper tracks was used, the top of which consisted of stumpy off camber sections leading into some really steep turns and then continued to the best section in my opinion; some real fast jumps!  
The whole of Saturday was assigned for practice, this made for a fun days riding with friends that I hadn’t seen for a while. By the end of the day, I felt I knew the course well with my confidence high leading in to Sundays seeding run. 
On Sunday, my qualifying run went well – going hard at the top of the course, then conserving some energy for the final in the lower sections, I crossed the line with a time of 1:36, which placed me in second place in the elite category, being just piped to first place by Tom Deacon who was less than a second faster. I was feeling confident as the final runs approached later that afternoon.
Come final runs, the track was becoming blown out due to the dusty conditions, this caused a few casualties. My run  was 98% perfect with only a few slip ups on the bottom section where I did not manage to carry as much speed as I had done earlier in the day, but made up for it with some super strong pedaling. I came across the line with a time of 1:33:005, taking the hot seat, and subsequently the win. 
Big shout out to James Hughes who managed to stay on his bike and took second place ahead of Dave Smith in third. Many thanks to SPS for a great weekends racing.You can also check out this cool footage from the race courtesy of Stu Thomson at

Canadian Open Downhill

August 18, 2009

The Canadian Open Downhill was the final event of Kokanee Crankworx 2009, with nearly 300 riders taking part in the newly redesigned, very challenging and burly DH course designed by pro downhiller Tyler Morland.

In the Pro Men category, Sam Hill(AUS) took first place for the second year in a row with a time of 3:02.56; Brendan Fairclough(GBR) took second place with a time of 3:10.73; Steve Smith(CAN) took third place with a time of 3:11.77 and Joshua Button(AUS) took fourth place with a time of 3:12.00.

  “I had to push it on this track, it was pretty loose but fast. It’s great to see my teammate Brendan come second as well.” says Sam Hill

In the Pro Women category, Emmeline Ragot(FRA) took first place with a time of 3:45.05; second place went to Micayla Gatto(CAN) with a time of 3:47.06; third place went to Clair Buchar(CAN) with a time of 3:52.99 and fourth place went to Danice Uyesugi(CAN) with a time of 4:06.48.

Sam Hill sealing up his gold medal run


Sam Hill, Brendan Fairclough and Steve Smith on the podium for the last race of Crankworx 2009

Photos and commentary: Geoff Jansen

iXS Downhill Cup, Chatel

August 17, 2009

Nick Beer and Floriane Pugin were the winners of the second-to-last race of the European downhill series. A total of close to 300 riders participated at the race in Châtel. Portes du Soleil’s bike mecca welcomed riders from 18 countries with a perfectly organized event that featured top-level sport.

 The Bike Patrol course was already considered as one of the toughest of the series, and despite some modifications that was no different at 2009’s edition. Due to the revised trajectory the course became even faster, making it more demanding for all riders and very interesting for the spectators. And for once even the weather was absolutely perfect, so all riders could rely on the same conditions allowing for fast runs.

 Floriane Pugin

Floriane Pugin

In the seeding run it already showed that the fight for the podium spots would be tight. Nathan Rankin (NZL – Iron Horse Playbiker) managed to get the right to start last in the finals. Due to a slight mistake, Nick Beer (SUI – Scott 11) posted the second fastest seeding time, but he still earned valuable points for the series’ overall where Benny Strasser (GER – iXS/Toxoholics) had been in the lead after Leogang’s race.

The Elite men category’s result in the final resembled last year’s result a lot, as Beer managed to distance Nathan Rankin by two seconds. At 22 years of age, Beer is currently ranked fifth in the world ranking, thus took over the lead in the series’ overall as well, proving his qualities once again and showing that he has closed the gap to the world’s elite riders this season. Third place went to Pierre Charles Georges (FRA – Solid AClass) who has proven that he is well capable of finishing within the Worldcup’s top20 positions recently.

 Nick Beer

Nick Beer

The podium in the elite women’s race was an all-french affair: Reigning European champion Floriane Pugin (FRA – Kenda), beating her compatriot Sabrina Jonnier (FRA – Maxxis / Rocky Mountain) for the victory. Jonnier had been teh fastest in the seeding run, but only by six tenth of a second. Finishing in third was Caroline Sax (FRA – Geko Bike). France’s successful work regarding young talents also showed in the junior women’s category: Laura Lohner (FRA – VTT Morillon) won the race ahead of Tahnée Seagrave ( GBR – Intense) and Leoni Dickerhoff (GER – iXS/Toxoholics).

With 45 starters, the junior men’s category boasted a strong field and was won by Florian Arthus (FRA – Clic Chambéry Savoie) who narrowly beat Marius Paccolat (SUI – Verbier Bike Team) and Alexandre Lohner (FRA – VTT Morillon). The master’s category was won by Heins Hostettler (SUI –, with frequent podium finishers Markus Bast (GER – NOX Cycles) and Marcel Waldmann (SUI – DT Swiss/iXS) taking the other podium spots.

Already after the series’ third race the summary is very positive, as the series has been firmly established on the racing calendar and the number of high-profile riders participating is steadily rising. The fact that the number of participants in the junior men’s category is also growing is another plus as iXS Sports Division as main sponsor has always put an emphasis on promoting young talent. The series’ finals will be held on 12th/13th September in Bischofsmais, Germany.

Crankworx Slopestyle

August 16, 2009

Today was a big day in Crankworx 2009. It started off with Canadian Open Enduro where Brian Lopes added another win to his tally and then moved on to the Canadian Cheese Rolling Championships where the dust flew and bodies tumbled after an 11-pound cheese wheel. Then came the heart of Crankworx, the Monster Energy Slopestyle. Greg Watts took the win as Brandon Semenuk followed in second and Martin Soederstrom took third. Andreu Lacondeguy took the best trick with a 360 flat spin superman.


Andreu Lacondeguy Taking his second try at the 360 Flat Spin Superman


Greg Watts sealing up his win with his legendary Flipwhip


Andreu Lacondeguy celebrating his VW Trick Showdown win


Greg Watts and  Andreu Lacondeguy celebrating their wins

All photos and commentary: Geoff Jansen