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Missing teeth / Mt Vic mudfest

Posted in Bikes, General, Racing by brettok on October 11, 2009

While our trip to Rotorua last week was a write-off, I did manage to see some cool bikes which got me thinking about my own bike’s set-up on the return trip (which could’ve really put a snowy damper on the weekend if we were a few hours later.)


Bike Culture  is a cool shop specialising in high-end mountain bikes, and the bike du jour in Vegas seems to be light (carbon), long-travel (140-150mm) with 1 x 10 or 2 x 10 (or 9 if that’s what you’ve got) drivetrains and height-adjustable seatposts.  

As Josh has been running a 2 x 9 system with great success, and myself testing the SRAM XX groupset, we brainstormed about what would work for me and my bike in Wellington.  As I’m nowhere near as strong as Josh, his gearing (29-44) would be too much for me to push up the hills.  And the XX of course runs a 36 tooth sprocket on the rear, helping make the 28-42 up front more manageable.

After days of calculating and seeing what was available/compatible, I decided to drop the big ring (44) and replace the 32 with a 36, and the 24 with a 26.  But after more deliberation, the 24 stayed, as did the 11-34 cassette out back.  So I retain my lowest gear, and lose some top end, but I hardly used the biggest gears anyway.  This is how it looked;


With the direct-mount derailleur unable to be moved down any further, the chain would derail easily when ridden only up the street, so it would never survive on rough trails.  A bash ring was needed.  Something light, but not too expensive (as I don’t know how long this experiment will last!).  An E Thirteen Turbocharger was the ticket;


Still yet to ride it, but I’m looking forward to getting back on my own bike after the different ride characteristics of the GT.  I got no riding in during the week, due to bad weather and other commitments meaning I didn’t get to pre-ride the course for today’s PNP race on Mt Vic.

My head hasn’t really been in the racing frame of mind recently, with the Whaka disaster playing on me all week (I wished I’d gone on and completed the last section, but at the time it didn’t seem the right option.  Hindsight is a bitch.)  All week I was tossing up whether to race today or not, but Josh, JJ and Marj did their best to encourage me to get out there, and I needed to log some more time on the test bike too.

JJ goes downhill, fast.  Photo: Andy Woodwark

JJ goes downhill, fast. Photo: Andy Woodwark

With Ratas absent due to his bucks show yesterday, a chance at a podium opened itself up, and of course I did my best to put undue pressure on myself.  The morning dawned sunny and crisp, and the track was in pretty good condition generally considering the rain during the last few days.  Except for the bits which were totally boggy…

Before the implosion.  Photo: Nige Sanders

Before the implosion. Photo: Nige Sanders

I got off to a good start, climbing up the first pinch in 2nd, then being passed by Simon Kennett across the top, and singlespeeder Geoff Notman, who I re-passed going into the slippery, steep ski-slope.  From there I felt like the good start was taking its toll a bit, and I let Simon get a gap, thinking I’d make up time later (my usual ploy).  Geoff passed me again on a climb, and I also dropped back from him heading towards the southern part of the course.  I was going backwards, which was at least better than going down.  

Hard woman.  Photo: Adrian Rumney

Hard woman. Photo: Adrian Rumney

That was to come next.  Going into a section I’d never ridden before, laden with slippery roots and tight corners, I went down, remounted, and flailing on the pedals trying to clip in, went down again, harder.  I landed knee first on a root, and as other riders streamed past, I decided that would be enough.  My head had done me in again.

Josh, chasing the Tiger.  Photo: Nige Sanders

Josh, chasing the Tiger. Photo: Nige Sanders

I hung around to cheer on my friends, and they had great races again.  Marj made me feel totally soft, as she’d been hit by a car on the way to the race (!) and then smashed the field, in a good battle with North Island Pro/Elite XC champion Samara Sheppard.  Plus she had blood streaming from her knee which made me feel even softer.  Josh podiumed again, taking 3rd and had also crashed several times.  

Those two have got their heads in the right place for racing at the moment.  Time to get mine right, get back on my own bike and have some fun.

Maybe the missing teeth will help.


4 Responses

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  1. Brewsher said, on October 12, 2009 at 9:13 PM

    You need one of these

  2. brettok said, on October 13, 2009 at 6:34 AM

    Yeah I checked those out, but couldn’t get one here. Do you have one of them?

    • Brewsher said, on October 20, 2009 at 10:30 PM

      Just plain ones on both my MTBs – I don’t need a big ring! and I run a single 36t on the hardtail with one of these:

  3. brettok said, on October 25, 2009 at 6:42 PM

    Got me a BBG Superlight ordered…

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