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  1. Founded in 2014, every Kogel Bearings product is engineered and assembled in the USA, and are exclusively available in South Africa through ROAM Sports. All Kogel products use, only, the highest quality ceramic bearings and are all backed by Kogel’s industry leading warranty. This 2-year “Guaranteed Performance” warranty, pending annual bearing service and general maintenance, is backed up by ROAM Sports in South Africa. The best-in-industry warranty, for ceramic bearing bike products, means that if a Kogel product fails in the first year ROAM Sports will send you a new unit. Upholding general maintenance, of your bearings, will extend this warranty for a second year. This warranty covers everything, including alloy race corrosion, the most common reason for BB failures. View full article
  2. Kogel Bearings Products Ceramic Bottom Brackets: Each Kogel Bottom Bracket is specifically engineered to frame and crank standards with designs that do not require any shims, adaptors or countless spacers. The range of BB’s provide intricately machined, high tolerance alloy cups, covering all the main BB standards. They all feature ceramic bearings running on hardened alloy races, with the option of Road or Cross/All Weather seals to cater for all conditions and rider requirements. Based on availability, most of Kogel’s BB’s can also be purchased in a variety of colours, including Gold, Red and Blue. Pulley Wheels: 7075 Aluminium Kogel pulley wheels with sealed ceramic bearings to fit most current group-set systems. They were designed for high performance, low friction and with bomb proof stiffness for accurate shifting. Oversized pulley options can be purchased with Road, Cross/All Weather and Full Ceramic bearing setups. Kogel’s Oversized pulleys are available in three set-ups: 12/12T Oversized – The upper and lower pulleys consist of 12 teeth and are compatible with all modern Shimano 11 speed and SRAM Etap and Campagnolo 12 speed derailleur standards. 12/14T Oversized – The Upper pulley consists of 12 teeth and the Lower 14 teeth. These are compatible with Shimano 105 R7000, Ultegra R8000 and DuraAce 9100. 14/14T Oversized – 14T Upper and 14T lower. Designed for the SRAM Eagle and Shimano 12 speed mountain bike derailleurs. These pulleys maximize the tooth count to reduce friction. These are only available with Cross seals. Kolossos Oversized Derailleur Cage: It is the combination of the pulleys and detailed machined cage which makes the Kolossos the game changer it is. Large derailleur pulleys reduce chain deflection and slow the rotation of the pulley wheel bearings. Both of these factors lead to decreased friction and a more efficient power transfer throughout the drivetrain. The, machined, Kolossos cage plays it’s roll by increasing stiffness and therefore increasing the chain retention, further increasing drivetrain efficiency and improving your shifting. The Kogel Kolossos will not restrict your adventures as it is designed for both road and off-road use. Wheel Bearings: Kogel offers a large range of wheel bearings to suit almost every wheel setup. All wheel bearing sizes are available in Road or Cross seals. All are fully serviceable cartridge style ceramic bearings running on a hardened alloy race. Ti-Bolts & Preload Adjusters: New to Kogel’s range in 2021 are their ti-bolts and crank preload adjusters. Ti-bolts are available for your stem face plate, bottle cages and disc rotors. These and the crank preload adjusters are all offered in a range of colours allowing riders to personalize their builds to match their style. To find out more about ROAM Sports’s products including Kogel Bearing and the All Mountain Project disc brake pads visit www.roamsports.co.za.
  3. With international travel not really on the cards for the foreseeable future, you probably aren’t the only one looking out for some local options for a weekend away with the family. Local travel is the perfect way to satisfy that travel craving and let’s be honest, we live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. People travel from all over the world to visit what we have right on our doorstep. View full article
  4. One of those areas is the beautiful Overberg, specifically the coastline between Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond. The Kleinmond area needs no introduction, it’s a firm favourite for many a weekend adventure or day trip for a scenic drive along Clarens Drive, but while a busy beach might not be everyone’s cup of ale, there is a small reserve just off the main road between Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond that has some great trail running and MTB routes. While the MTB route is just 11km out and 11km back, it has some great views with just over 400m of climbing. Not much single track though but the jeep track is so technical at times it more than makes up for it. The route starts from the main car park where you can also purchase your day permit. It starts off with a gradual climb up along past the eco-cabins that have been put up recently. Called the Mbali Collection, they are 8 magnificent glass fronted eco-cabins built with as little impact to the reserve as possible. Five of them are 2 sleepers and three are 6 sleepers. The perfect place to relax and explore all that the nature reserve has to offer. Each cabin has its own bedding, crockery and cutlery and is powered by the Eskom grid with backup solar power. A Braai and grid is provided as well. The jeep track, as mentioned, is very rocky and technical so the ride still requires a fair amount of concentration. The road actually goes out all the way to the highlands road that links up to Grabouw but it’s unfortunately not possible to link up to Grabouw any more due to different landownership in the valley. The track follows along the Palmiet River which in summer is an excellent way to cool down as it can get quite warm in the valley. Winter rainfall means the river flows stronger in the colder months, which makes the views out over the valley pretty exceptional. Like I said, it might not have twisty singletrack and steep drop offs but the views more than make up for it. The jeep track route also makes it the perfect place for a novice or beginner cyclist to build up some confidence before tackling something a bit more advanced. There are a few river crossings which need to be navigated on foot but otherwise it is a great place to practise, especially if you have just moved from flat pedals to clipless pedals. We all know how daunting that can be, so having a space free of cars to build confidence clipping in is always a winner. Once you turn around you almost feel like you are in a different valley because you see things from a different perspective. It really makes the ride feel like you are going point to point instead of out and back. Also on the reserve is the Oudebosch Eco Cabins which make you feel about as close to nature as you can get. Just like the Mbali Collection they are glass fronted but they feature five four sleeper cabins with two separate bedrooms and a spacious kitchen, lounge and dining area. The type of place you can arrive on Friday evening with all your supplies and not leave till Sunday evening. A total mountain Emersion experience. Apart from the MTB track there are plenty of hiking trails of various difficulties waiting to be explored. The shortest being just 3km and the longest being 24km. For those who enjoy multi-day hikes, there is a fantastic two day hike called the Highlands Trail which leaves from the Iona wine farm. It’s safe to say that whatever sport or activity you enjoy other than your cycling, the Kogelberg area has access to it all. CapeNature is offering free entry at selected CapeNature reserves during Access Week from 13 - 20 September. For more information call 087 087 8250, email reservation.alert@capenature.co.za or visit https://www.capenature.co.za/events/access-week
  5. XC11 TR - Tubeless ready all-purpose MTB tire intended for XC and marathons. Thanks to the VECTRANTM PUNCTURE BARRIER, the XC11 TR has excellent puncture protection under the tread and more importantly at the most vulnerable part – the sidewalls. The tread pattern of the XC11 TR tire provides low rolling resistance, self-cleaning and good grip. Available with black or beige sidewalls XC12 TR - Tubeless ready tire intended for XC and marathons. Thanks to the VECTRANTM PUNCTURE BARRIER, the XC12 TR has excellent puncture protection especially at the most vulnerable part – the sidewalls. The tread pattern is designed for speed and excellent cornering in mixed conditions except deep and sticky mud. Very good shock absorbance provided by this tire makes this model ideal for using on the roots and bumpy terrain. True XC champion tire. The design is based on our highly appreciated MTB tubular tires. Available with black or beige sidewalls XC14 TR - A tubeless-ready tire intended especially for XC races with mixed terrain conditions. Thanks to the VECTRANTM PUNCTURE BARRIER, the tire has excellent puncture protection especially at the most vulnerable part – the sidewalls. A directional arrow-shaped tread pattern provides outstanding grip and fast cornering. Even wet roots and stones won’t slow you down. A proven tire at the World Cup level. Gravel Swampero - The perfect tire for the most challenging conditions. No need to worry about the weather. A directional arrow-shaped tread pattern with overlapping central knobs guarantees fast-rolling, exceptional grip and self-cleaning properties. The wide tread and the durable flexible Jubena layer covering the sidewalls protect the tire from receiving damage from stones. A Puncture-proof ply under the tread minimizes the risk of punctures and contributes to the overall reliability of the tire. The high TPI casing construction, together with the soft tread compound, smoothes out any surface and prevents the tire from bouncing on uneven surfaces. The Swampero is also made to be long lasting and guarantees high mileage. Available with black or beige sidewalls Gravel Speedero - Made for speed. It doesn't matter if you ride on asphalt, cobbles, forest paths, sand, grass or gravel. The Speedero always provides uncompromising acceleration and ease of riding with plenty of grip and cornering safety. The wide tread and the durable flexible Jubena layer covering the sidewalls, protect the tire from receiving damage from stones. A Puncture-proof ply under the tread minimizes the risk of punctures and contributes to the overall reliability of the tire. The high TPI casing construction, together with the soft tread compound, smoothes out any surface and prevents the tire from bouncing on uneven surfaces. The Speedero is also made to be long lasting and guarantees high mileage. Available with black or beige sidewalls Gravel Thundero - A universal tire for those who don't want to think about where to go. The Thundero can do it all. The middle part of the tread, composed of tightly packed cubes, creates speed and surprisingly quiet rolling with three indented rows of knobs on the outer tread, which bite literally into any surface. This provides excellent grip even on unpaved surfaces and allows you to turn sharply. The wide tread and the durable flexible Jubena layer covering the sidewalls protect the tire from receiving damage from stones. A Puncture-proof ply under the tread minimizes the risk of punctures and contributes to the overall reliability of the tire. The high TPI casing construction, together with the soft tread compound, smoothes out any surface and prevents the tire from bouncing on uneven surfaces. The Thundero is also made to be long lasting and guarantees high mileage. Available with black or beige sidewalls The Status EST 24 has a classic chevron tread pattern and offers a good performance and price ratio. Comtura 5 TR - Tubeless ready road tire for those who cannot be bothered with inner tubes anymore. Comtura 5 TR was designed to provide tubeless fans with a very reliable tire, reasonable mileage and a good price. Although this model is our entry-level tubeless tire it is definitely a pleasure to ride this tire. Available with Black sidewalls in 25c and 28c Comtura Duo - The most universal tire model in the new Comtura line Comtura Duo is a racing performance tire with excellent puncture resistance over additional mileage. Performs wherever, whenever to your highest expectations. VECTRAN PUNCTURE BARRIER under the tyre tread not only provides the best possible puncture protection but also ensures cornering and stability. Available with Black and Beige sidewalls in 28c Elite S3 - Guaranteed specified weight In spite of its low weight, this tire has very good puncture resistance and mileage. Elite S3 <225 g is an enhanced successor of the Tufo‘s best-seller S3 Lite <215 g. In addition to the improved tread pattern, it has a new carcass with a higher 210/375 TPI count and wider base tape. The result is a supple ride and excellent handling. VECTRAN PUNCTURE BARRIER under the tire tread not only provides the best possible puncture protection but also ensures cornering and stability. Available with Black and Beige sidewalls in 25c Very popular training tire for all-around use with higher inflation pressure. Available with Black as well as Beige sidewalls Hi–Composite Carbon Application of composite puncture proof ply and high composite carbon tread compound made it possible to use thinner tread and still maintain high mileage. Thinner tread also lowers rolling resistance while the tire is maintaining ideal shock absorption properties and high puncture resistance. Available with Black as well as Beige sidewalls Tufo Tires are available from all leading bike shops nationwide. To stay up to date, please follow us on social media Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/positivesportssolutions_sa Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/positivesportssocialmedia
  6. South African cyclists now have more access to bespoke component upgrades, thanks to ROAM SPORTS. Founded in 2021, by mountain biker Matthew Stamatis, the company focuses on making high quality products available to the South African market. ROAM SPORTS’ stable of offerings is set to grow but the company launched by securing the exclusive South African distribution rights to Kogel ceramic bearings. The Kogel Kolossos oversized pulley wheels and rear derailleur cage increases efficiency, and let’s face it looks great too. Photo by Matthew Stamatis. View full article
  7. Utilising a blend of direct-to-consumer and a bespoke physical store distribution model, cyclists can purchase ROAM SPORTS’ products online or in select local bicycle stores. The online store runs on the Shopify platform and features nationwide shipping billed at a flat rate; except on orders containing a Kogel Kolossos oversized rear derailleur cage, or a set of pulley wheels and a bottom bracket, where shipping is free. ROAM SPORTS endeavours to ensure all orders are delivered within 48-hours and will communicate any unexpected delays with customers, especially those who live in rural areas where the 48-hour delivery time is not always achievable. ROAM SPORTS launched by introducing Kogel Bearings to the South African cycling market. Designed and developed in El Paso, Texas, Kogel Bearings are the brainchild of former Belgian bicycle shop owner Ard Kessels. He was frustrated by the quality of stock bearings which many of the bikes he sold came equipped with. As a result, Kessels developed a range of bottom brackets specific to frame and crank type combinations to eliminate the use of spacers and adapters usually needed when fitting generic products. Living in Belgium, he knew the abuse bearings take when exposed to inclement weather and the conditions created by it. With this knowledge and experience, he then developed bearing seals specific to riding terrain and conditions to help improve the durability of his bearings. Kogel’s full product line of ceramic bottom brackets, derailleur pulleys, oversized derailer cages and wheel bearings are available, exclusively, through ROAM SPORTS in South Africa. ROAM SPORTS founder Matthew Stamatis with his Kogel equipped Cannondale SuperSix Evo. Photo by Coetzer Cooke. “I’m really excited to launch ROAM SPORTS and introduce South African riders to Kogel Bearings” company founder Matthew Stamatis said. “I’ve been using their oversized derailleur pulleys and ceramic bottom brackets on my bikes for a few months now and can attest to how smooth and fast they are. As a road- and mountain- biker myself it was essential to me that any products ROAM SPORTS sells have a real-world benefit to South African cyclists.” “Kogel Bearings are just the start however” Stamatis continued. “I hope to announce more exciting products soon. Not just in the cycling space. But they’ll all be outdoor orientated and thoroughly tested in local conditions to ensure they add value to South African outdoors-men and -women.” For more information on ROAM SPORTS and Kogel Bearings visit www.roamsports.co.za. To stay up to date on the company’s latest offerings follow @roam_sports_za on Instagram. ROAM SPORTS Stockists: www.roamsports.co.za (Nationwide) Leighs Cycle Centre - Umhlanga (KZN) Biket - Hillcrest (KZN) Bicycle Service Company - Midrand (Gauteng) African MTB Team Workshop - Pretoria (Gauteng) Specialized Stellenbosch - Stellenbosch (Western Cape) Specialized Tygerberg - Durbanville (Western Cape) DT Cycles - Potchefstroom (North West Province) Kogel’s bottom brackets are specifically designed for particular frames, eliminating the need for spacers or adaptors. This ensures a creak free ride, as well as improved efficiency thanks to Kogel’s smooth rolling ceramic bearings. Photo by Kogel Bearings.
  8. The official route starts and ends in the town of Citrusdal on the N7, but you can really start from wherever you like as it is a circular loop. If you are keen to ride over three days, it is actually better, from a cycling point of view, to not start in Citrusdal. Let’s start with the fastest options and work our way down. For me, there are three great options for tackling this route that will appeal to most levels of cycling fitness. Option 1: The non-stop ride This is obviously for the seasoned cyclist looking for a good challenge. Taking on the 247km route non-stop takes some planning, unless you ride with a support vehicle, of course. If you are tackling it unsupported from Citrusdal you can bank on the longest section between shops of around 70km. From the start, at Citrusdal you have around 70km to cover before getting to Algeria. There is a small permit office here with a basic shop with cokes and chips etc. More substantial food only comes at Krom Rivier at 105km or Cederberg Oasis at 115km. Mount Ceder at 125km also has a restaurant when you can get a good meal. There are rivers and streams along the way that you can fill up on water once in the Cederberg, especially in winter when there is good rainfall. Summer is a different story though, temps can hit 40 degrees plus and there are probably only three perennial rivers on the 247km loop. So if you tackle the route in summer, be prepared for the heat. My favourite times for riding the route are Autumn and early Winter before it gets too cold and muddy. Once you leave the Cederberg Oasis you have about 30km before the first stream that you can get water at, and then about another 35km after that till you hit the town Op Di Berg which has a Spar and nice coffee shop where you can get food. After Op Die Berg there is pretty much nothing till you hit Citrusdal 70km later. There is a stream just before you hit the dirt road going up Middelberg Pass, it flows pretty much all year round, but after that there is nothing. If you are relatively fit you can tackle this route with two 750ml bottles, obviously it also depends on how hot it is but with cool weather you shouldn’t need to have more than 2 bottles on the bike if riding unsupported. Option 2: The two-day ride. My favourite starting point for a 2-day ride is in the Cederberg, at the legendary Cederberg Oasis. It’s not always practical for a quick weekend trip, though, as it does add quite a lot to the drive time. Starting in Citrusdal does mean you drive-through after work on a Friday, stay over, and then start riding early in the morning. There are quite a few options to sleep over just outside of Citrusdal on the descent of Middelberg Pass, which would also be a safe spot to leave your car. I have left my car on the main road in town for a night and didn’t have any issues, so there is also the option of driving up early on a Saturday morning from Cape Town, parking in town, and riding the route. The town of Citrusdal is very busy with farm vehicles and trucks going through non-stop so it is a bit of a shock to the senses coming out of the peaceful and quiet Cederberg into a bustling small town. Finishing just outside of town will help you keep that sense of calm a little bit longer. For a 2-day ride, the Cederberg Oasis is a fantastic spot to sleep. It’s really affordable and the food is amazing, especially the Pork Ribs. They have several different accommodation options so you don’t need to carry bedding etc. The first day from Citrusdal to the Cederberg Oasis is roughly 115km if you take the detour through Krom Rivier and you climb around 1900m for the day. Stopping in Krom Rivier for Burgers and Beer is an absolute must, there is a stunning restaurant there with great food and beer (Nieuw Brew) that has been locally brewed in the Cederberg using fresh mountain streams. There are some great accommodation options here too if you like something a bit fancier, but it does make Day 2 a little bit longer. The last 10km from Krom Rivier to Cederberg Oasis takes you past Truitjieskraal which is renowned for its Rock Art and 37 world-famous rock climbing routes. It’s quite loose and technical through here but nothing that can’t be accomplished after a few beers at Krom Rivier. Day 2 is a mammoth day, really hard in the beginning, easy in the middle, and a hard climb at the end. Although it is a 134km day, the last 18km to Citrusdal is all downhill. So technically it’s only a 115km day with 1800m of climbing. The first 22km after leaving Cederberg Oasis sees you climbing most of the day’s elevation gain, 1100m to be exact. You have four proper climbs which max out at 16.5% gradient only to descend again once you hit each summit. It is a very nice wake-up call. After you have done the 1100m of climbing the route is pretty rolling with no major climbs till you get to Middelberg Pass. Once you leave the Cederberg you have about 55km of tar before you get to the base of the Pass. Middelberg Pass is a proper climb, around 5km long with a max gradient of 16%, it is the ultimate test of how hard you pushed the last two days. If you haven’t left much in the tank for this last climb it can hurt in all kinds of ways, but once you get to the summit and you know it is 18km of downhill to the finish, all that suffering is replaced with the excitement of cold beers waiting for you at the finish. Option 3: The three-day ride For those wanting to take a more leisurely attempt at the Cederberg Circuit, there is a nice three-day option that splits the route up into 3 manageable days on the bike. Kunje Guesthouse at the base of Middelberg Pass is the start and endpoint of the loop. Granted, it’s not ideal starting straight up Middelberg Pass but at least you get it done early. Day 1 is roughly 83km to the town of Clanwilliam where there are many options for sleeping as well as restaurants for a good supper. You do go off the “official” Circuit loop for about 6km to go into town but it does give you the most options. Day 2 is roughly 80km from Clanwilliam to the Cederberg Oasis with the main challenge on this day being Uitkyk Pass. Again, stopping at Krom Rivier and wine tasting at the Cederberg Wines are two great highlights for this day. Day 3 is roughly 110km from the Cederberg Oasis to the finish back at Kunje Guesthouse. The main challenge of this day would be the first 20km or so with 1100m of climbing. Each option, whether you want to hit it non-stop or go over 3 (or more) days, has its own challenges and rewards. I will say though that taking things slowly will enable you to truly take in the majestic beauty of the Cederberg and enjoy some of its attractions. There are so many hikes in the area that are a great way to spend a day if you want to slow things right down. Jamaka, Sanddrif, and Mount Ceder are great camping options if you prefer to tour with a tent and your own food. It’s safe to say the Cederberg pretty much has something for everyone! Starting Point: Citrusdal Finishing Point: Citrusdal Distance: 247km Elevation Gain: 3700m Terrain: Roughly 80km tar and the rest, gravel
  9. For many riders local to the Western Cape the Cederberg needs no introduction as a riding destination. The Cederberg Circuit is a 247km circular route which offers riders the opportunity to explore this majestic area in their own time. It is a proper gem and only 2 hours from Cape Town. For those reading this who aren’t based in the Western Cape, or if you are but haven’t had the chance to venture out to this beautifully challenging part of the country yet, this article should provide all the info you need to plan a great a weekend or week of adventuring through the area. View full article
  10. It was a cold Autumn morning when I picked up Erik Kleinhans in Durbanville. The sun had not risen yet as we embarked on a 2-day mission through the heart of the Cederberg, along the popular Cederberg Circuit route. The plan was to drive up to Citrusdal early and be on the bikes soon after sunrise to tackle the 247km route over 2 days. View full article
  11. Day one would take us from the start in Citrusdal to Cederberg Oasis before following along the looped route the next day to finish back in Citrusdal. The drive was pleasant. It only took us around 2 hours to get to Citrsudal as the roads were fairly quiet. We parked on the main road in Citrusdal and started getting our gear ready to depart. The forecast for the day was strangely hot for this time of the year. A maximum temperature of 27 degrees, with no cloud cover, meant we started shedding layers pretty quickly after the 6 degrees starting temp in Citrusdal. The Cederberg is known for its heat in summer and freezing rain in winter so the best time to go is April - June and late July till November. After a really cold winter in Cape Town, it was actually so nice to be riding in short sleeves for a change, and with all the rain the Cederberg has had this winter there were plenty of fresh mountain streams to cool off in. The first 40km or so of day one had us riding the farm roads up towards the Clanwilliam dam, the road is mostly tar and is quite busy with farm vehicles and trucks. There is the odd inconsiderate driver but we found the trucks to be quite considerate and passed us with plenty of space. As soon as you hit the gravel below the dam things quiet down considerably. I can’t remember when last I saw the Clanwilliam dam so full. There were sections where it was almost spilling out onto the road. It might not be the Cederberg but it is a very picturesque ride with stunning views out over the dam. The kilometres seemed to tick by and before long we had made the right turn into the Cederberg. There is roughly 25km from the turn to Algeria, with the looming challenge of Uitkyk Pass just beyond Algeria. I forgot how much climbing you actually do before you even get to Algeria, the road is rolling and you are pretty much only going up or downhill with very few flat sections to speak of. You don’t descend too much at least which means each “up” is less “up” you will have to take on when you climb Uitkyk Pass. We rolled into Algeria around midday with a slight tailwind on our backs so we were starting to feel the effects of the heat. Especially since our bodies were still in winter riding mode. After a quick coke and some chips, we took on Uitkyk Pass. The pass was tarred a few years ago, so unfortunately it has lost some of the personality that it had when it was a rocky gravel road but it is still a solid challenge. I prefer climbs that have corners in them, the switchbacks tend to break up the monotony sometimes, so I always seem to struggle up Uitkyk as it is pretty much a straight shot up the valley with only one really tight corner about a third of the way up. Once you are at the top though, the views are stunning as you look back out through the valley you have just climbed up. It’s pretty fast from here on out till you get to the short climb and descent to Krom Rivier. We still had the tailwind on our backs so made quick time to Cederberg Wines. They were also grading the road as we rolled through so some sections were still pretty soft but those infamous corrugations were nowhere to be seen for at least 40km. As far as rough terrain the Cederberg is definitely in good nick at the moment with all the winter rain and grading of the roads. After a quick photo stop at Cederberg Wines, we pushed on to Krom Rivier where we had planned to stop for lunch and beer. The Cederberg has two local breweries and Nieuw Brew is based down in Krom Rivier, so it is available at the restaurant down in the valley. The restaurant is pretty stunning, they have built it into the landscape with as little impact as possible. You actually still feel like you are sitting in the Cederberg wilds, even though you are in a rather nice restaurant. The burgers were incredible, or maybe that was just because we were starving after a couple of hours on the bike? Either way, the food and beer were delicious. It’s definitely worth the little detour off the “main road” to visit Krom Rivier. After lunch, instead of climbing back the way we came we took the incredibly scenic route past Truitjieskraal, which is world-renowned for its rock climbing routes. It is only a 10km section but it has to be my favourite part of the Cederberg, mostly because you are off the ‘main road’ and you finally feel like you are in the middle of the mountains, away from it all. It’s quite loose and rocky through this section but the 700x45 tyres on the Canyon Grizl were more than adequate for the task. Once we got through the Truitjieskraal section it is just a short downhill on the ‘main road’ to our sleepover spot for the night, the Cederberg Oasis. The Oasis is one of my favourite spots for bikepacking because they have affordable accommodation so you don’t have to carry a tent, or bedding, etc. and the food is amazing! So you literally just need clothes for the evening and cycling clothes for the next day if you don’t like riding in the same gear. It makes it very pleasant for all the climbing when your bike isn’t 20kg+ with all your sleeping and cooking gear. Erik and I both went for the legendary pork ribs, they are so big they have to bring the chips on a separate plate. For the really hot days, there is a small pool that you can cool off in and there are some walking routes if you feel like taking a stroll up one of the koppies close to the Oasis. My favourite accommodation option here is one of the wooden A-Frame tents. Comfortable enough for a good night’s sleep, but still wild enough to feel like you are on an adventure through the mountains. After a quick breakfast of cereal and toast with jam we got back on the bikes and began the next half of the loop back to Citrusdal. In terms of “attractions” in the Cederberg, most are seen on day one so maybe plan more time for the places you would like to visit. Day two is pretty much just riding out of the Cederberg through the many Rooibos farms. There is a new coffee stop around 30km into Day two which is open on weekends only. They took an old abandoned shepherd’s house and turned it into a nice little shop. Other than that we just had to make use of mountain streams till we got to Op Die Berg. It’s only 65km to the town but you can bank on around 3 hours of riding with all the climbing you do in the first 25km, which is almost 1200m. We were ravenous when we got to Op Die Berg so thankfully there is a little coffee shop there that serves meals too. It was quite a bit colder on the second day so the coffee was great. After filling up on more burgers and chips we hit the 40km or so of tar that takes you to the base of the Middelberg Pass. There are no shops on this section, so we relied on what we had on the bike and filled our bottles at the last stream just before the big climb. The tar road was fairly quiet as the only vehicles on it are from the farms in the area. The tailwind from the day before was now a headwind which added to the challenge of climbing almost 2000m for the day. Erik and I took turns upfront as we pushed on. Of all the times I’ve ridden in the Cederberg I’ve only done Middelberg Pass once, and I couldn’t really remember much about it, just that it was quite tough. Thankfully though you get a lot of switchbacks and tight corners in this climb so I was able to break it up into smaller sections. After all the climbing we did in the first 25km and the headwind from Op Die Berg there were times on the steepest gradients of 16% that I was tempted to walk, but we soldiered on and eventually made it to the sign on top of the pass where we could stop for a photo. There is not much to say about the descent into Citrusdal, apart from it being some of the best fun you will have on a bike. It’s 18km straight downhill and once the gravel becomes tar, you can really send it. We increased our average speed for the ride by 3km/h in the last 12km. It was full sendy send, with super tucks and everything. It is a popular road on the weekends so keep an eye out for cars coming up the pass. It was a great way to end the ride, having so much fun on the descent helped me to forget about the suffering earlier on and just made me keen to ride some more. I do slightly regret finishing on the main road in Citrusdal as it was busy with trucks driving up and down. I kind of felt all the bliss of the Cederberg slowly seeping out of my pores. Next time I will aim to finish just outside of town to preserve some of that bliss. Keep an eye out for a Tips and Info article going live soon where I break down the ride into one, two and three-day options. More info For more info on the Cederberg Circuit and other Cape Cycle Routes visit: https://capecycleroutes.co.za/route/cederberg-circuit Starting Point: Citrusdal Finishing Point: Citrusdal Distance: 247km Elevation Gain: 3700m Terrain: Roughly 80km tar and the rest, gravel
  12. Press Release The XPLR collection from SRAM, RockShox, and Zipp celebrates a new era of drop bar riding with three product sets to make gravel yours. Every upgrade works great by itself or all together. So pick a path, or mix and match galore. After all, gravel is what you make it. View full article
  13. XPLR DRIVETRAIN Tailored to the needs of drop bar riders, SRAM’s new 1x-specific wireless drivetrains target a gearing sweet spot. With a 10-44T cassette and matching derailleur, you get big range for gravel climbs and tight jumps for fast riding on road. Choose from three levels—RED, Force, and Rival—that all feature SRAM’s innovative AXS wireless shifting, chain management, and refined hydraulic disc brakes. XPLR ETAP AXS REAR DERAILLEURS If your ride doesn’t feel complete until you get a little dirt on your tires, you know the importance of capable components that can tackle anything. The SRAM XPLR eTap AXS rear derailleur is a dedicated 1x specific unit designed for use with XPLR 10-44T cassettes. It makes for an uncluttered drivetrain that takes on pavement and singletrack with equal aplomb. Wireless and proven eTap shift logic, AXS connectivity, and advanced chain management mean this derailleur does exactly what you want when you need it. Available at SRAM RED, Force, and Rival levels Wireless electronic eTap shift logic for intuitive shifting, easy setup, and reliability 1x specific for use with 10-44T XPLR and 10-36T cassettes SRAM AXS enabled, allowing easy personalization Chain management keeps the drivetrain quiet and secure Larger X-SYNC pulleys for increased durability and efficiency Compatible with existing eTap batteries XPLR 10-44T CASSETTES Make that daily ride from your front door a little spicier with some dirt. The 440% range of the XPLR 10-44T cassette provides smooth gear progression when you’re sweating up gravel climbs, and tight jumps on the high end for when it’s time to drill it on asphalt. Shift features on each cog are optimized for electronic shifting, so you’ll get fast, smooth, and precise shifts every time. Available at XG-1271 and XG-1251 levels X-Range gearing gives you more range and a smoother gear progression, so you’re always in the right gear 440% range gives the coverage 1x gravel riders want For use with XPLR 1x rear derailleurs Compatible with Flattop chains Compatible with XDR driver body MINI CLUSTER technology for light weight and durability NEW DIRECT MOUNT 1X CRANKSETS We originated the 1x drivetrain, and the SRAM RED and Force 1 cranksets evolve the innovation. Lightweight and stiff direct mount 1x chainrings in sizes from 38-46T mate with durable carbon arms to place your bike’s gear range in the sweet spot for your needs, with minimal complications. Our game-changing X-SYNC narrow-wide chainring technology keeps your chain where it needs to be, a new wide stance option provides maximum tire clearance, and our XPLR 10-44T cassettes take care of the range. So you can focus on the fun. Single-ring drivetrain simplifies functionality and reduces weight New direct mount chainrings shed weight compared to a traditional spider SRAM X-SYNC wide-tooth, narrow-tooth chainring technology provides maximum chain control Laser-etched chainring finish is more durable DUB bottom bracket adds durability, simplicity and broad compatibility Can be upgraded to a power meter FORCE 1 WIDE CRANKSET We originated the 1x drivetrain, and the SRAM Force 1 Wide crankset evolves the innovation. It’s lighter, stronger and simpler and are direct mount for less weight. Wide variant cranks accommodate the largest of tires for your 1x gravel machine. Direct mount chainrings in 38t through 46t DUB bottom bracket adds durability and simplicity Wide chainline crankset to fit the biggest gravel tires Longer DUB crank spindle accommodates both Road and MTB width frame bottom bracket standards for unmatched cross-compatibility across brands Compatible with 135, 142 and Boost rear spacing Can be upgraded to a power meter XPLR SUSPENSION RockShox brings the party to gravel with a new fork and dropper post. The allure of the open gravel road might be paradise for adventurous riders, but it still comes with its own set of tiny speed bumps. With so many gravel riders getting off-road, it was only a matter of time before we found our small-rock rhythm. The all-new XPLR collection is designed specifically to make dirt road journeys extra efficient and more enjoyable. Suspension adds more comfort to take the edge off. It adds confidence and more control when the terrain gets challenging. And it means riding faster while maximizing your grip on rough roads. Built from the ground up to gravel, the new Rudy features enough travel to keep your ride comfortably in control when curiosity takes you off the beaten path. Matched with the fresh Reverb AXS XPLR, we’ve created a gravel specific design complete with built-in compliance to really open it up on new terrain. Rudy Ultimate XPLR The new Rudy is a perfect match for your gravel bike. It’s energy-efficient for straightaways and offers enough travel to keep you comfortably in control when things get rough. Featuring all-new 30mm upper tubes built around the Charger Race Day damper (our lightest damper ever) and our proven SoloAir spring. Rudy offers precise steering, full or short fender compatibility, and the looks to make your road bike proud. Everything designed with the needs of gravel riders in mind. Purpose-built and laser-focused on gravel and e-gravel bikes 30mm upper tubes are light and look the part 30mm or 40mm travel options Charger Race Day damper tuned for gravel needs with rock-solid lockout and a full range of rebound adjust Solo Air spring perfectly tuned for shorter travel and efficiency over bumps Short fender compatibility with a 3-bolt system Full fender compatibility with custom stealth stay bosses Lightweight machined and anodized crown offers a premium and durable finish Maxima Plush damping fluid reduces friction and silences damper noise Up to 700x50 tire clearance Available in new Kwiqsand Signature colorway or Gloss Black E-bike approved Reverb AXS XPLR The new Reverb AXS XPLR dropper post delivers more control, confidence, and fun on gravel roads everywhere. Getting the saddle out of the way means more room to move, saving you from awkward manoeuvring and sketchy descents. We created an all-new design complete with lightweight air-only internals featuring built-in compliance we call ActiveRide. It’s like travel for your saddle. Enabled by SRAM AXS technology, Reverb AXS XPLR is part of the ultimate personalized cockpit. New 27.2mm Reverb AXS XPLR delivers more control, confidence, and fun for gravel ActiveRide - Air only internals provide a fully rigid top-out position. With the touch of your AXS controller, you’ve got built-in compliance to ensure comfort and control over the roughest sections of gravel Two travel options to choose - 50mm or 75mm Saddle clamp options compatible with 7mm round rails, 7x9mm oval rails, and 7x10mm oval rails Seat post length includes 400mm and 350mm (50mm drop only) AXS Technology allows rider customization via the AXS Mobile App AXS handlebar controls (drop or flat bar) Shared battery with all other SRAM AXS enabled components System is completely waterproof and dustproof to IP69K - take it anywhere SRAM AXS battery and charger included 101 XPLR wheelset The 101 XPLR is our first purpose-built wheelset for gravel. Thanks to our MOTO Technology, this wheelset arms gravel cyclists with more control and durability over harsh terrain, providing a smooth ride quality that helps reduce rider fatigue. That means a more comfortable ride. Think of it as a magic carpet ride over primitive roads, especially with large tubeless tires at lower tire pressures. This wheelset is ideal for gravel racing, adventure or any long day in the saddle. ZR1 hubset for better seal design, improved durability and quicker response with 66 points of engagement Our MOTO Technology, the 101 XPLR’s single-wall rim construction, provides excellent compliance and vibration damping TyreWiz is an add-on option for 101 XPLR to dial in your pressure for an even more compliant ride Available in 700c or 650b with a 27mm wide internal profile Weights: 700c: 1,665g / 650b: 1590g Available in two colors, Standard and Kwiqsand Lifetime Warranty G40 XPLR tire The tire’s casing and bead-to-bead puncture protection strip navigates the fine line between supple and stiff so that grip and performance do not suffer while making an incredibly durable gravel tire The G40 XPLR 40mm width was carefully selected to be most effective with its tread pattern while also fulfilling riders’ evolving preferences for wider tires for gravel events and off-pavement riding Weight: 480g Tubeless Ready and Hookless compatible, tube compatible ETRTO: 40-622 (700x40c) Tan sidewall Service Course SL-70 XPLR handlebar Updated distinctive Zipp cosmetics 70mm reach and 115mm drop allow a comfortable hoods position and a shallow drops position 5° drop flare and 11° drop outsweep creates a drops position 6cm wider than hoods Ergonomic top with 3° backsweep Matte Black nano blast aluminum ISO 4210 compliant. See Declaration of Conformity for details. Lifetime warranty
  14. Jamie Owen, marketing manager for Thule SA, gives the below advice and tips on the different ways you can transport your bike(s) on your car, the features and benefits of each and how to know the capacity and limitations of certain styles and vehicle placements. The right rack for your car The first questions you should ask when selecting a bike rack is what type of vehicle you have, what type of bikes you are transporting and how many bikes you would like to carry? Bike racks come in a variety of styles and can be mounted on a vehicle’s roof, on the tow bar, on the trunk/rear door, or in the bed of a pickup truck. The type of vehicle you have will identify what bike rack options are available. How to select the right bike rack for your needs… After determining the number of bikes you plan on transporting, you can then decide on how you want to carry your bikes. As mentioned, there are four options to choose from. Roof top Bicycle Carriers To mount a roof top bike carrier, you will first require a roof rack on your vehicle. The roof mounted bike carriers are designed to carry one bike per carrier but depending on the width of your roof rack and the load capacity of your vehicles roof you are often able to mount 4 and occasionally even 5 bike carriers onto the roof racks. A roof mounted bike carrier gives you full access to the trunk of your vehicle. Generally, they also stay mounted to your vehicle even when you aren’t transporting bikes which saves on storage space. Roof mounted bike carriers are a great option if you ever tow a trailer, boat, or caravan as you can still mount the bikes to your vehicle whilst towing. Roof mounted carriers come in either a fork mounted bike rack that secure to the quick release or thru-axel of your fork. An example of this is the new Thule TopRide. The other option is an upright bike carrier that doesn’t require removing the front wheel. These carriers either mount to the bicycles frame, such as the Thule ProRide 598 or mount to the front wheel such as the Thule UpRide which has zero frame contact. These carriers are quick to load and unload and are a great solution if you have a vehicle that is not too high off the ground. Benefits of rooftop bike racks: • You don’t require a tow bar to be mounted to the vehicle. • Your bicycles won’t get as dusty on gravel roads. • You will have full access to the vehicle’s trunk/boot. • You can still use the vehicle to tow a trailer/caravan/boat. • The bike racks can stay mounted to the vehicle so there is no need to store them. • You can purchase an additional roof mounted bike carrier when required. Towbar-mounted bike racks: Tow bar-mounted bike racks are the most common style of bike carriers and are a great option if you already have a tow bar on your vehicle or plan on installing one. These bike racks can carry 1 to 4 bikes, are easy to mount and limit heavy and high lifting. Tow bar bike racks also come in two styles: platform and hangon carriers. Thule platform carriers can carry up to 3 bikes (four if you add a fourth bike adapter which is compatible with certain models), are designed to make loading and unloading quick and easy, fold up when not in use, easily accommodate a variety of frame styles and have a tilt function to access the vehicles trunk. They also come standard with locks so that the carrier locks to the vehicle and the bicycles lock to the rack. All Thule’s platform carriers also have integrated lights and a number plate holder. One of the best options for this style is the Thule EasyFold XT 3, a fully foldable, compact, and easy-to-use towbar-mounted bike rack for all types of bikes, including E-bikes. Hanging tow bar racks can carry up to 4 bikes. Instead of the bikes standing on a platform the bikes are secured by hanging from the top tube. These carriers are more affordable than platform carriers and are ideal for shorter trips. Benefits of towbar-mounted bike racks: • The platform versions have integrated locks, lights, and a number plate holder. • They are simple to use and don’t require bikes to be lifted very high. • They are the only option for E-bikes. • No concern of damaging bicycles on low hanging structures. Trunk bike racks: For vehicles without a roof rack or towbar, a trunk bike rack is an ideal option. This style of racks can transport 1 to 3 bikes, they are foldable and can thus easily be stored when not in use. These carriers are a great option for cyclists who want the bikes mounted to the rear of the car without having to install a tow bar. Although these carriers are not compatible on every vehicle, they can be used on several different sedans and hatchbacks, so they are also a good choice for those who change vehicles often. The new Thule Outway range consists of a 2 and 3 bike hanging option as well as a 2-bike platform option. All three Thule Outway carriers fold up for easy storage and come standard with locks so that the rack locks to the car and the bikes lock to the rack. Benefits of trunk bike racks: • You do not have a tow bar or roof racks on your vehicle. • You are a casual rider that does not ride often. • You change vehicles often. Truck/Bakkie Bed Racks: Truck/bakkie owners, have the option to easily load their bikes onto an in-bed bike rack for mounting inside the bed of their truck. The Thule bed rider is one option which allows two bikes to be mounted by their forks inside the bin. Another option is quickly and securely strapping up to 7 bikes onto a tailgate pad such as the Thule GateMate Pro which protects the bikes with integrated straps and prevents the tail gate from getting scratched. Once you’ve decided which type of carrier will be best for you, you’ll need to decide exactly which model to go for. To help you select the best rack for you, check out our interactive Thule Buyer's Guide for a comprehensive step-by-step tutorial of which bike rack would be best for your vehicle, bike styles and number of bikes to carry. All options are available at Thule Partner store nationwide or shop online www.thulestore.co.za
  15. If you have been around the Western Cape road riding scene for a while the chances are you have heard about the Four Passes route. Or perhaps you have already ridden it and experienced one of the Cape’s best road bike loops. If not, hopefully this article will give you some good insight into what is one of my favourite routes. View full article
  16. This route feature is made possible by Toyota. We were lucky enough to take their Urban Cruiser 1.5 XR out for the trip, more on the car later. The Route As the name suggests, the route is made up of four passes, namely, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Viljoenspas, Franschhoek Pass, and Helshoogte Pass. Where to start? There are a few options. Most riders start in Somerset West to get an early attack in on Sir Lowry’s Pass. I like to start at Specialized Stellenbosch since they have great coffee and snacks for after the ride. Plus those rollers between Stellenbosch and Somerset West aren’t much fun after 120km. Sir Lowry’s Pass Sir Lowry’s Pass is by far the trickiest of the four climbs because it is not the most cycling-friendly road. Thankfully though it is the first pass so you can up and over pretty early in the morning before the traffic starts. A pre-sunrise climb on quiet roads gives you a chance to appreciate the beauty and difficulty of the climb. I find it the hardest of the four passes, mainly because it is so steep and the road is pretty much straight. At least with Franschhoek Pass, you get some switchbacks and corners to break up the mental fatigue of the climb. The viewpoint at the top of Sir Lowry’s gives you a great perspective of where you have ridden from, it’s definitely worth a stop and a quick photo. The first decent food stop is the petrol station on your left as you turn into Grabouw, they have been known to have a DJ outside with pumping tunes over the weekend so you might enjoy some vibes there before heading off again. It’s worth noting that the village on the left just before Grabouw can feel a bit sketchy, thankfully you are heading downhill and are at a proper speed so just keep your eye out for animals crossing the road. Riding the route the other way around (i.e Helshoogte and Franschhoek Pass first) can feel a lot more unsafe as you are climbing pretty slowly up the hill. I’ve been looking forward to driving the new Toyota on the block for a good while, there is something about the Toyota brand that just gets me excited. After Grabouw there is only one more feed stop before you hit Franschhoek. At the base of Viljoenspas after the climb and descent, there is a spaza shop on the lefthand side of the road. Pretty safe to stop at and enjoy a coke. It can get cold on this route so pack some warm gear if the weather looks suspect. When we climbed out of Grabouw on this ride the Wahoo was reading a temperature of 1 whole degree. Viljoenspas Viljoenspas is pretty stunning, especially in winter when you have snow on the peaks in front of you. With Hans se Kop on your left and the upper Grabouw dam it makes for a great photo or just a quick breather while you enjoy the view. After the descent down the other side of Viljoenspas, the road rolls on through the farmlands which gives you some time to collect yourself for the next pass, Franschhoek Pass. The Theewaterskloof Dam is also a great spot to stop and enjoy an energy bar or gel, the dam is full at the moment with all the rain so if the day is warm enough, a sneaky swim will be well worth the effort. If you have ridden in the area, you will know it can get pretty windy on this side of the mountain. Make sure you have someone with you who makes a nice big slipstream, if it’s a windy day the drag along the dam to the base of the pass can be hell. Franschhoek Pass Franschhoek Pass is pretty exceptional, especially on the Villiersdorp side. I see so many cyclists climbing up the Franschhoek side and then turning around at the View Point. They really are missing out on one of the Cape’s (and possibly South Africa’s) most beautiful and rewarding climbs. If water is running low, don’t worry there are a couple of streams flowing most of the year along the pass. Franschhoek Pass is only 2km shorter than Sir Lowry’s Pass but it does feel longer because of all the switchbacks and corners. Watch out for the Valentino Rossi wannabes who think the pass is their personal race track on the weekends, it is an incredible road to drive as well so unfortunately, it does attract the fast and furious. Best to stick as far left as possible and try not to ride next to each other here. Franschhoek is very well known for its wine and food so it makes for an amazing lunch stop, since most of the climbing is done you might even enjoy some beer or wine with lunch. If you are passing through on a Saturday the Farmers Market is a must. Great food that you won’t have to wait too long for. Toyota has done well to beef it up a little to give it that authentic Toyota offroad styling. It is called the Urban Crusier so don’t expect it to stick with its bigger brother the Land Cruiser. The 1.5 engine though is more than capable in an urban setting and on the open road. As cyclists we need space and the Urban Cruiser delivers on this well. The space inside the car is great, with plenty of room for kit bags and floor pumps. With the seats folded down, it swallows a road bike easily. After Franschhoek it’s basically a hop, skip, and a jump to the finish in Stellenbosch. If you have paced yourself well the drag to Pniel and the climb up Helshoogte should go by quickly unless the South Easter is blowing of course. That can make the road Franschhoek to the left turn at Boschndal very interesting. I don’t know why but Pniel is one of my favourite little towns in the Cape. It just feels like it has so much history and personality. If you have the time it is definitely worth exploring a little bit. If Burgers and Beer is more your thing after a ride, Stellenbosch has plenty of that, another great reason to start and end in Stellies. The extra lift in the suspension and higher body height than that of the Yaris for example gives you a lot of confidence on gravel roads. The ride is very comfortable with little to no body roll in tight corners. It may be called the Urban Cruiser but it will be comfortable in pretty much every terrain, apart from hardcore 4x4 tracks. Route overview The 130km route gives you about 1800m of climbing and the steepest gradient is 7.7% GPX Route Download: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36969110 Ready for your own adventure? For more info on the Toyota Urban Cruiser click here.
  17. Westfalia is a long-established German company. It is notable for inventing the fixed-ball type towbar that this bike rack now attaches. For local support, Westfalia bike racks are distributed within South Africa by Positive Sports Solutions. We tested the Westfalia 3 Bike Carrier. If you’re looking for other reviews, it appears to be marketed overseas as the Westfalia Bikelander (if part numbers are to be trusted). The Westfalia 3 bike rack is rated to carry up to 90 kilograms (at 30 kg per bicycle) making it suitable for heavier e-bikes. Its own weight is 19 kilograms making it reasonably movable by larger humans when detached from a vehicle. Installation and Storage The Westfalia’s appendages fold up smartly (without tools) to improve manoeuvrable and significantly reduce storage space. It is in this form that the carrier arrives, assembled in its box and ready to be fitted to your car. The installation is straightforward. It attaches to the towbar with a levered clamp holding it firmly in place. The clamp mechanism has a built-in lock to secure it in place and offer some resistance against opportunist thieves. Then you can connect the electrical plug, raise the mounting bracket (tighten it in place), fold out the rear light clusters, and flip open the wheel holders which click into place. And the Westfalia is ready for action. A super convenient feature is that The Westfalia can fold forward with bikes fitted to allow for access into the back of the car. It is also worth noting that the Westfalia is approximately 800mm long. Perhaps it is because I am familiar with a relatively compact car (VW Polo) but I became very conscious of the rack poking precariously out of parking bays. Yes, it's a marketing video but the nice man does do a good job at explaining the finer details of the Westfalia's operation. Bike Fitment Bikes are held in place at the wheels and on the frame. An arm with pincer-like clamps grasp the bicycle frame and u-shaped mounting tube. While wheel holders and straps secure the base of the bike. The arms have clamps on both ends. There is a clamp that mounts to the bike rack and a clamp for the bicycle frame. The arm for the third (and outer most) bike clamps to the middle bike and not to the bike rack. Each arm has a lock on the bike clamp to ensure that they remain closed during transport and to prevent easy access to the bikes. The two clamps on the arms are part of the same system and do not work independently of each other. To open the bike rack clamp, you must close the bike frame clamp on the other end of the arm and vice versa. This means that while attaching the arm to the bike the clamp on the bike rack end can move freely. This can be helpful for easy adjustment but is also frustrating when awkwardly balancing bikes during fitment while the arm keeps moving out of place without a fixed attachment to the bike rack. Another downside is that the clamp does not remain in place when you remove a bike. Meaning that you can’t simply return knowing that the clamps are already in the best position to load your bikes. This minor niggle aside, the clamps feel very secure when in place and offer a reassured grip to the bicycle frame. The frame clamp can only open so much which limits the size of tubing it can clamp to. Don’t expect to fit the clamp around oversized or oddly shaped tubes, stick rather to the seatpost or thinner top tubes. The wheels go into holders that fit snuggly with the tyres. The holders can slide back and forth along a rail to adjust a bike’s wheelbase. A strap runs through each wheel and over the rim to secure it in place. Tightening and releasing the strap is a simple task. If you ride a large modern trail, enduro or downhill bike it is worth noting that the wheel holders only extend so far. The longest bike I tested the rack with was 1227 mm and that was starting to edge over the wheel holders. Although I did not test it, there might be issues with bikes longer than 1300 mm wheelbase. Likewise, I’m unsure whether Plus-sized mountain bike tyres fit into the wheel holder cups. No matter the bike rack it is always a puzzle getting bicycles to fit without contact. The Westfalia offers a reasonable gap between the bikes which easily accommodates modern boost axle sizing on mountain bikes. The wheel holders also place the bikes at slightly different angles to allow for wider rear ends. While the spacing is good, the arm attachment on all bike racks of this design is a bit like playing pick-up sticks. Thankfully, on the Westfalia, the third arm for the outer most bike (that fastens to the middle bike) does save you from the impossible task of sliding it through the mess of the two fitted bike frames to reach the support tube. Pricing The Westfalia 3-bike carrier retails for around R15,999 with the 2-bike option at R13,999. If you’re looking to carry normal bikes, this places the Westfalia squarely in the price bracket of other premium European competitors. But should you be looking for something to specifically carry heavier and bulkier e-bike loads, then Westfalia does dip considerably below the pricing of its rivals. Conclusion The Westfalia 3-bike carrier is a well-rounded, sturdy towbar bicycle rack. The star feature is the weight limit means that it is capable of holding heavy ebikes. The fitment is a breeze and it folds up into a compact shape for storage. In terms of fitment, there is generous spacing between bikes, the wheel mounts are easy to operate but the arm clamps can be a little fiddly in a rush.
  18. The Westfalia Bike Carrier is a towbar mounted bicycle carrier with variations for carrying two or three bikes. View full article
  19. The Breedekloof Wine Valley region is a favourite among wine connoisseurs and is fast earning a reputation as a family-friendly getaway with quaint bistros, cycling trails and wineries that go the extra mile when hosting their guests. This hospitality extends into the Gravel & Grape. The riding terrain of the event covers vineyards, gravel roads and single track that is freshly prepared for the riders. Hosted by the local farming community, the Gravel & Grape is a fun and friendly experience for all who enter. The trails are technical and challenging, providing a true test of the rider's mountain biking ability. The main event is the Gravel & Grape Extreme 3-Day. The distances, for day one, two and three respectively are 35km, 55km and 50km. Even better, day one is a late afternoon/night ride! Riders can look forward to a late afternoon start and a unique night-riding experience, starting and finishing at Botha Kelder. Day two starts and finishes at Dutoitskloof Wines while day three starts and finishes at Jason's Hill Private Cellar. For those on a “day budget”, the Gravel & Grape Extreme 2-Day is ideal (55km and 50km) - you don’t have to worry about leaving home on a Friday. Stage race beginners should tackle the Adventure 2-Day (35km and 30km). The weekend of mountain bike fun takes place in and around the Breedekloof Wine Valley - the nearest town is Rawsonville - while the new race village format takes riders to different wineries each day. All the rides are clover-leaf format. All three days - and both days on the 2-Day events - include a mixture of handbuilt single track, unrivalled wine valley scenery and well-stocked water points. Cross the finish line and enjoy a wide variety of wines from the region - the main reason for entering! At R5400 per team entry, the Gravel & Grape Extreme 3-Day is excellent value for money and an ideal event for mountain bikers looking for a change of scenery. The Extreme 2-Day is R3600 per team, while the Adventure 2-Day is R3300 per team. E-bikes are also welcome at the Gravel & Grape. Event Info gravelandgrape.com 3-Day: 1-3 October 2021 2-Day: 2-3 October 2021 Extreme 3-Day: R5400 per team of two Extreme 2-Day (2-3 October): R3600 per team of two Adventure 2-Day (2-3 October): R3300 per team two
  20. The Gravel & Grape is your window into the world of the Breedekloof Wine Valley. Three or two days of unbeatable riding (choose from three events!) through the Western Cape’s hidden gem wine region, over and across trails that will delight all levels of mountain biker. Even better, the Gravel & Grape takes place just an hour outside of Cape Town, starting and finishing each day at three different wine farms. The 2021 Gravel & Grape will take place 1-3 October. View full article
  21. As the control centre of the bike, the handlebar is the area where riders devote the majority of their focus, and, as part of the frontal area, they are a source of aerodynamic consideration too. So when you’re choosing how to upgrade your bike, race-comfort and aerodynamically advanced handlebars are more than worthy of your consideration. Building on those considerations, PRO’s new Vibe Evo bars are packed with features to enthuse even the most detail-orientated, gear head. The starting point was to design the handlebars around the concept of providing the best sports bike experience. Their futuristic look – with the stem sweeping into wide top section, curving into hoods and down to the compact drops – hints at their superb functionality. They boast a lightweight but strong 390g T700 carbon construction with five comfortable hand grip options (on the tops, in the pursuit position, corner grip, on the hoods and on the drops). Entry and exit ports to the bars allow shifter cables and hoses to run cleanly and silently through the inside of the handlebars and out through the stem. This means the front end of the bike can be clean and cable-free. The drops can either be wrapped with handlebar tape or they can take PRO’s specially designed Ergonomic Drop-Grip (PRGP0087) which ensure great control in all weather conditions. Constructed from a high-grade rubber their textured finish ensures both comfort and relentless grip even in pouring rain. The replaceable grips on the tops of the Vibe Evo handlebars negate the need for wrapping the tops, meaning that a single role of tape is ample for wrapping both drops. Completing the seamless integration is the attachment point for a forward bicycle computer mount. Two rivnuts sit on the underside of the bar/stem area, providing a fixing point for bike computer mounts (or other mountable bags and accessories) to integrate into the handlebar’s aerodynamic design. PRO Product Development Team Manager Mark Kikkert said: “We looked at the cockpit as a complete system, not just a handlebar and stem. We took into consideration the placement of brake/shift levers and how the shape of the handlebar could provide a more seamless transition for more comfort. There’s ergonomic features for comfortable riding all day long, aerodynamic features with the top shape, and a provision for holding an aerodynamic/pursuit position on the bike. Plus being a one-piece design, the handlebar is plenty stiff enough for all-out sprint efforts. This means the handlebar can suit a lot of different riders. Finally the integration of the top grip is a unique way to offer comfort and control, while simultaneously keeping the aerodynamic profile and cutting down on the total system weight compared to using regular handlebar tape. With the new Vibe Evo we are entering a new era for integrated cockpits that PRO has been offering for over 15 years." The bars include allow +/- 2 degrees of stem angle adjustment with a 1 1/8 shim. Fitting of 1 1/4 steerer tubes is possible with the removal of the shim. The bars come in widths of 38, 40 and 42cm with stem lengths of 105, 115 and 125mm. PRO Vibe Evo handlebars will be available from retailers from July 2021 onwards. PRO Ergonomic Drop Grips available from November 2021 onwards.
  22. Launching today (Tuesday 27th July) PRO’s new Vibe Evo handlebars take style, aerodynamic optimisation and ergonomic comfort to a new level with an integral stem, hose and cable integration, top section grips which seamlessly transition into the hoods, all wrapped up in a neat carbon package. View full article
  23. Earlier this year Cycles Direct, also known as Specialized West Coast re-opened their doors and welcomed customers into their new retail space in Sandown Retail Crossing. View full article
  24. The store has a long history with the Specialized brand stretching back well before the current subsidiary was formed in 2012. Owner, Gina Wills spent 21 years in the motor industry, ultimately running Audi and BMW dealerships, until her passion for cycling and vision of owning and running a premium cycling concept store saw her buy Cycles Direct in 2016 and build on the existing partnership with Specialized. The move to a new retail space was driven by the need to expand the space and elevate customer experience. Sandown Retail Crossing is ideally positioned to serve a growing cycling community in the rapidly expanding residential suburbs around Parklands and Tableview. With quick and easy access from West Coast Road, an artery connecting the suburbs to the CBD, and plenty of secure parking it is easier than ever for city-bound commuters to drop off and collect bicycles, or just stop in to browse. The store is uniquely positioned to serve a variety of riders. A Velosolutions pump track at the Generations school just one kilometre away attracts youngsters looking to play and hone their skills, while the Tygerberg MTB Club trail network, one of the largest and most successful mountain bike trail networks in the country, is just a ten-minute drive away. Finally, the cycle lane between Blouberg and Cape Town CBD is an iconic route for roadies headed towards Atlantic seaboard climbs or just spinning their legs and taking in the view. The new store is more than just a bike shop: it serves as a one-stop shop for active people, with a physio, bio kineticist, and dietician all practicing in-store. Pilates classes are also hosted twice a week. The Seattle coffee bar at the entrance of the store sees to all customers caffeine requirements, while providing a comfortable space to relax and chat or catch up on emails. The most notable feature of the new store is the airy and welcoming space, with easy access to the workshop for anyone seeking advice from the technicians or a quick fifteen-minute fix. The experienced and friendly sales team are always on hand and ready to point you in the right direction whether you need specific technical guidance or are just browsing. The Retül Fit room is equipped with a state-of-the art Retül Vantage 3D motion capture fit system, to make sure you are perfectly set up on your bike: comfortable and able to eke out every last watt when you need it. If you are passing through the area pop in for a coffee and a chat with Gina and the friendly and experienced team. The store is open from 09:00 to 18:00 during the week and from 09:00 to 14:00 on Saturdays. Specialized West Coast Shop 10 Sandown Retail Crossing Sandown Road Table View Telephone: +27 21 036 2800 Instagram: @cyclesdirect Email: sales@cyclesdirect.co.za Website: http://cyclesdirect.co.za/
  25. Follow the story of two unlikely characters from McGregor, but from very different backgrounds, who have the odds stacked against them as they team up to conquer the world's most prestigious mountain bike race - the Cape Epic. View full article
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