Archive for September, 2011
Just a couple of images of Dave Haygarth going through the pain barrier at the 3 Peaks with his Whyte Saxon Cross.
Cedric’s latest race report…
The last race of the season went down well for me as I finished 2nd of the British Cross Triathlon Championship. That makes it 5 podiums in 5 years for this race but still no win. But as much as I could/should have won the last 2 years, this time I don’t have much regret as the course was tailor made for Rich Stannard (3 times aquathlon world champ and one the fastest swimmers in the world). Losing 3 min on the swim was actually ok, but this year the bike course was modified and a lot flatter and a lot less technical – not much could be done to eat up that deficit, especially after bending my front derailleur on the 2nd lap and being stuck on the middle ring until the end of the bike. I had the best run of the field afterwards, but not much faster than Stannard which means I had to be content with 2nd. But I am happy with this result even though this marks the end of the (tri) season for me: I have decided not to go to the World Champs of XTERRA in Maui this year. I went the last 2 years and I kinda got used to this end of the season bonus, but finances are tight and 2 weeks in Maui ain’t exactly cheap. The money purse only goes 10 deep there and as much as I could hope for a top 15, a top 10 seems a stretch too far…next year I’ll be back stronger than ever.
I will still race a few duathlons and XC races till the end of this year, but will seriously decrease the volume of training and start to plan next season. I am hoping to race 2 or 3 ironman, a few half ironman and most of the XTERRA circuit next year, with possibly races in South Africa, Japan and Canada.
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150413765787009.414762.530252008&type=1 Cedric racing his Whyte E120 at the British Cross Triathlon Championship.
Buy the latest issue of What Mountain Bike out now, to read all about the new Whyte 2012 range, including the 20c, 829er, 146 X and the Saxon Cross CX bike.
“Whyte’s new flagship trail bike ticks every box for technical XC riding.”
- What MTB.
The design team have been preparing for the 3 peaks with something special.
Here is what Whyte designer, Ian Alexander had to say about his CX project…
Whyte CX Prototypes for the 3 Peaks.
Just over a year ago I was trying to make my mind up as to what bike I should ride the 3 Peaks on. It was actually a difficult thing to nail down. You could still run flat bars if you wanted, but that’s not a CX bike lets face it. But while I wanted to respect the long history of the race with a traditional looking CX bike, I wanted some technology in there as well, like disc brakes, and some geometry that was more off-road than pure road. Despite a lot of searching around, there was nothing readily available that would let me build the bike I was riding in my head.
In the event, the 2010 3Peaks didn’t happen for me at all, as family events intervened. But at about the same time we got the nod to develop the Whyte CX bike for 2012 production. I settled on a design and the first prototype frames arrived not long before Christmas which was lucky, as for the following month snow sat on the ground and a load of miles got put on the prototypes that otherwise probably would have been put on other projects.
Confidence and Control were the two key objectives of the Whyte geometry on these bikes, and we achieved that with longer and slacker frame geometry and wide bars and short stems. The combined effect really produced a step in performance when properly off road. Other MTB design cues are the continuous outer cable runs (top tube of course) front facing slot in the seat tube clamp, and post mount disc brake tabs on the forks and the rear Dropouts… clean tidy and quick to set-up.
The Race bike and the T bike I’m taking to Helwith Bridge are the early iterations of the prototypes. They spawned the Kings Cross, Charring Cross and Saxon Cross models launched in July. So to bring the project full circle, the 2011 3 Peaks will be the final test for the prototypes. We also have Dave Haygarth, who races in the Wheelbase team, very kindly running the third prototype Whyte this year. Dave’s a top 10 finisher, and has an unbroken run of 3Peaks since ’95.
Whyte were very fortunate to secure a set of the not-yet-released Hope Hydraulic disc brake converters to try out which means I should be hoping for rain and wet conditions to maximize any advantage these fantastic brakes are going to liberate.
Wheels and tyres are always the subject of a lot of 3 Peaks discussion, and I’ve been approaching this from an MTB perspective as well. Full UST 29′er MTB wheels with standard Maxxis Locust CX tyres and a bottle of Latex per tyre, have so far proved really reliable down to just 45psi. But for the Peaks I’m hoping this set-up will prove reliable and light with a tubeless set-up at 65 psi, hopefully mitigating the risk of pinch flats on the notorious rocky stretches, I’m hoping so anyway. The big benefit has also been the wide rim width of the 29′er MTB rims meaning much less tyre roll and thus better cornering stability thanks to the 21mm rim width on the 33mm tyres.
Groupset is Sram, as thanks to some cross compatibility between their road and MTB groups I’ll run 2×10 XX crank (42/28) and an 11-36 cassette with a short cage XO rear mech. I have got the new Shimano CX-70 top pull front mech though, as it negates the use of one of those pesky rollers on the frame… A short 70mm Whyte stem, and the widest possible FSA shallow drop alloy bars complete the cockpit.
So there we are, I think I’ve got it covered but I’ll find out on Sunday afternoon if it’s back to the drawing board on not…
Thanks to Dave Haygarth, check out his superb 3 Peaks blog. http://3pcx.blogspot.com/
Thanks to Alan at Hope for the latest Hope Tech CX brakes. www.hopetech.co.uk
It’s official, The Whyte 146 X is going to make you push yourself on the trail and it’s going to reward that commitment!
Following our recent press camp at Cannock trails, What Mountain Bike give our top of the range trail tamer a thrashing and come back for more!
Buy a copy of the awards issue of What Mountain Bike now and see just how the Whyte 146 Works won “Aggro Trail Bike Of The Year”!
The nights are getting shorter and it has suddenly dawned on me that evening rides are in finite supply for 2011. I have been trying to maximise on them and cram in regular 2 hour blasts when possible. I don’t like riding on my own much and it sucks that most people have normal day time hours for work, as I always want to ride in the day. This week I joined a crew from my local bike shop, the ride wasn’t epic, but it was so cool seeing places that I’ve never seen before, despite having lived in Croydon for my whole life! The grass was getting long and yellow and the fields were full of heather. Everything looked so soft and beautiful I couldn’t believe I was just a stone’s throw away from home. September is a lovely month for riding, aside from the sadness that comes with the knowledge it won’t last very long.
We ride our bikes…check out the latest from Ian and Pat as they start the CX season and prepare for the 3 peaks with the Whyte Saxon Cross.
So as the “big one” approaches fast next Sunday (Three Peaks), the R&D team have been hard at it prepping and “shaking down” the new CX bikes ready for Ian to go for it.
I have raced both last Sunday and also last night in Western League events.
What a contrast in weather! Sunday was fine although with slightly damp ground conditions after recent rain. Results attached herewith. I managed to claw my way up to 18th place after a steady start, whilst Nic Burridge got into the top 10 also mounted upon a prototype Whyte CX bike that he has built up himself. He was very positive about the handling of the new design.
In total contrast, it was steady rain yesterday evening at Swindon Supermarine Rugby Club.
The course was slippery and muddy as a result. In these conditions the MTB inspired geometry of the new Whyte CX bike proved to be superb. The front end allows for faster corner entry and exit to be maintained without fear of the front tyre “washing out”, particularly on off-camber sections.
Several times I followed riders on road geometry based CX bikes, who crashed because their front wheels shot away suddenly whilst my bike gave plenty of warning of lost grip and thus precious time to avoid losing control.
Furthermore the disc brakes have predictable and reliable stopping power in the wet, so later braking increases the average speed as well.
Next stop, the Peaks.