Technology

Posted in WIENS WORLD on July 10, 2011 by ergonusa

July 9, 2011 – Gunnison, CO – As you may have noticed over the course of the past eleven months, I am a prolific blogger and all of this social media – twitter and Facebook – well, I just cannot get enough. I’m constantly blogging, updating my status on Facebook and tweeting every little thing. Okay, so I exaggerate. It doesn’t come easily for me nor does it feel natural, but that’s just part of being 46 years-old and not wired, in many ways, for this world of crazy technology. (I didn’t remember if I was 46 or 47 but I asked Susan yesterday and she confirmed for me that I am indeed 46. I guess I could have just done the math…)

But I am wired for riding my bike and I am okay with some technology. People often ask me what my favorite innovations in mountain biking are and lately, I always have the same reply: my iPod shuffle (anyone remember mixed tapes?) and tubeless tires. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my Ergon grips, my Canyon carbon fiber bike, my SRAM XX two-by–ten drivetrain and triggers, my DT Swiss carbon wheels, the stopping power of my Magura brakes and all of the other top-shelf accessories that our industry has developed and produced over the 25 plus years that mountain bikes have been around. But there’s nothing quite like dropping into a cool canyon in evening light on a tasty trail with your favorite tunes cranking out the soundtrack of your ride and insane traction provided by fat, tubeless tires with scant air pressure.

This morning I had an awesome ride on our local trails at Hartman Rocks: just my sweet Canyon Topeak Ergon Team Edition bike hovering on Continental X-King 2.4 Tubeless tires, my shuffle and me. I had to unplug a couple of times as I came across friends on the trail but, in most cases, they were also plugged in and silenced theirs too, or at least removed an ear bud (I actually like this pair of super cheeser headphones the twins brought home from a garage sale last summer. Big old foamies over the ears!), to say hey to me, as well. I like meeting people I know riding solo listening to tunes. There’s this unspoken understanding that while polite pleasantries will be exchanged, you both just want to get back to pedaling in your solo world with your tunes.

As many who mainly ride alone will tell you, it’s always a bit of a let-down when you realize your shuffle is out of charge or you can’t find it (those things are so dang small) or one of the kids borrowed you ear buds, but of course, just being out there usually trumps everything and it’s actually kind of nice to enjoy the silence now and again. However, as much as I love my shuffle, it doesn’t make me a better rider. My tubeless tires do.

Back in the day, most of us used to run 45-50 psi in our tires all the time: racing, training, everything. Otherwise, it was just too easy to flat. John Tomac would run less but he was so smooth he could usually get away with it. Now, on my fun bike or my training bike, aka, my everyday bike, I have my Conti 2.4 Tubeless tires with a scoop of Stan’s pumped clear up to 25 psi. If I put the pump to them every couple of weeks, I’ll find that, at times, I’m out there with 15-20 psi. Granted, the sidewalls are beefy and the tires aren’t designed to be svelte but that’s still crazy low pressure.

When I’m not racing, which is almost always (especially now), I want traction and reliability. We have some sharp-assed rocks around here and I don’t have the time to be monkeying around with my tires at home nor do I have time for getting flats or cut sidewalls out on the trail. I have never gotten a flat on any of the Conti tubeless ready tires. That’s nearly four years and many, many demanding off-road miles.

Along with reliability, which is great, this tire setup gives me, arguably, the most important thing in mountain biking: traction. Go ahead, reduce our sport to it’s most essential four or five elements and you’ll rarely leave traction off of the list. Braking, shifting, pedaling, reading the terrain, climbing, descending; what is the common element in all of these? Traction. I do some mountain bike clinics up at Crested Butte Mountain Resort and I always spend a little bit of time examining the tires of the riders I’m helping. Generally, they’re not tubeless and they’re pumped up hard as rocks. Imagine having less experience, fewer skills and less traction. I know it sounds like one of those too good to be true ads but it’s true: become a better climber, descender, mountain biker immediately, simply by running appropriate and compatible tubeless tires and wheels with lower pressure.

I even raced this heavier tubeless ready tire setup at Leadville in 2009. In 2007, 2008 and 2010, I ran what we have always called ghetto tubeless: regular lightweight tires on sealed rims with Stan’s latex. Ghetto tubeless is great for racing as your entire wheelset is so light and fast but the stress of preparing them and then racing on them has probably taken years off my life. I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent pre-Leadville in the garage messing around with ghetto tubeless, trying to get tires to seal, trying to get sidewalls to seal, trying to get tires to not lose 15lbs (or go completely flat) overnight. It’s unnerving to line up for a big race on a tire that was flat that morning when you woke up. In every race where I have run lightweight tires tubeless, I have had to hold my mouth just right when I descended so I didn’t flat, and, even with that, two out of three years of riding ghetto, I crossed the line in Leadville on a low rear tire.

That one year I raced with the bomber setup, I never fretted about my tires, not before or during the race; and that’s how I enjoy riding now, often times plugged in with Maiden, 16 Horsepower, Petty or Reznor providing the soundtrack and fat, robust tires pumped up soft floating over and through whatever variations the trails present. I wouldn’t mind trying a bike with a pair of those wagon wheels one day, though, but tubeless, of course.

Matt Page wins 24 Hours of Exposure becoming British and European Champion

Posted in EVENTS, RACING with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2011 by worksrider

Matt, a friend of Ergon for many years, and a firm believer in our products won 24 Hours of Exposure becoming British and European Champion solo rider.  It was an extremely hard race, and very close at times (I know, I was there and stayed up all night to watch).  Matt switched from Ergon GX1 to GS1 (the marathon grip) the week prior to the race.  He told me “normally I would never change something so close to the race, but I trust Ergon.  It is one of the few companies which I trust.”

After the race, very emotional he thanked us for our work and all the support.  My response was that we did very little by comparison!  His opinion of the GS “It is the best that you guys have ever done.  I didn’t think there would be such a difference to the GX1, or that a grip could be so much better than what I had considered was the yardstick”.

The video here is great.

Ergon is very proud of Matt’s achievements.  As am I.

Worksrider

NEW BLOG URL

Posted in NEWS on September 21, 2010 by ergonusa

Please note, this blog has moved to: http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/blog/

WILL IT COMPOST?

Posted in ERGON PRODUCT, LIFESTYLE on September 20, 2010 by ergonusa

An Ergon customer takes out new Green Lab packaging and tests how it breaks down in a home compost pile!  Love this!  Click the image below to read the review!

SAALHAUSEN: TOP 10

Posted in RACING, TOPEAK-ERGON on September 20, 2010 by ergonusa

The Bundesliga series is completed with Wolfram Kurschat and Robert Mennen finishing in the Top Ten of the last race.

Wolfram Kurschat and Robert Mennen finished well at this weekend’s Bundesliga final in Saalhausen, Germany with 8th place and 10th place respectively.

The race in Saalhausen, Germany is a classic.  This year the organiser paid host to the final of the Bundesliga series.  Riding and representing Team Topeak Ergon were Wolfram Kurschat and Robert Mennen.  For the overall classification there was no longer a chance – injury and other commitments earlier in the season had put pay to that.  All the same, the boys were hopeful of a good finish on race day.

Wolfram started well, slipping only a couple of positions at the start of the race.  At the end of the first lap he was in a solid 14th place.  The following seven laps saw him picking riders off, one by one, and by the end he finished in 8th, with a time of 1h47m14s.

Robert race was very similar, and he was able to convince with a solid 10th place.   His first lap was especially convincing, as he went into the second in 15th (just one position behind the multiple former German Champion Kurschat).  With a race time of 1h48m55s 10th place was his.  “Following the break from racing over the last couple of weeks I had trouble finding my rhythm.  With that in mind, 10th place is a good result.”  Robert said following the race.

For the team the next few weeks will see the last few races of another successful season.  The German Marathon Championship and the Cote d’Azur await the riders as the remaining highlights.

TRANS ZOLLERNALB: LAKATA 3RD

Posted in TOPEAK-ERGON on September 20, 2010 by ergonusa

Alban Lakata takes third place at the Zollernalb Stage Race.

In the fight for seconds at the Trans Zollernalb stage race, Alban Lakata took third overall.

In the premiere of the new event, the Trans Zollernalb saw riders tackle three stages taking them 250km through the Swabian Alps.  The first stage was on Friday, was over 60km long and the introduction to the 3 day event.  The second stage was 77km long with 1800m of climbing.  Finally the third stage of this ‘everyman’ race was on Sunday, with 76km to be tackled.

Starting for Team Topeak Ergon was Alban Lakata.  The Marathon World Champion was considered one of the favourites prior to the race.  Lakata less sure before the start, because of  the continuous press appointments that packed the three days.  The opening stage on the Friday saw him finish 8th.  The second day saw motivation return and he won one of the sprint classifications during the stage.  Crossing the line in fourth, it was now down to the final day to defend the 2 second lead on 4th place and try to claw into the 1 second lead of 2nd.

The final day came and once again Lakata won a sprint classification.  In the final sprint to the line, he finished second.

The overall classification saw the Austrian defend 3rd place.  The fight for time was one that Lakata lost, but it was extremely close.  The second placed finisher and Alban were level, but Lakata didn’t have enough in him to take the position.  “The closeness of the result is infuriating.  With just one second deficit to second place you can’t help but think about everything you could have done to make up that time.  All the same, it was a great race and when all is said and done, it was pretty successful.

ERGON CABARET TO BE PRESENTED AT INTERBIKE

Posted in EVENTS, TOPEAK-ERGON with tags , , , on September 16, 2010 by ergonusa

Heading to Interbike?  If so, consider yourself invited to the Ergon Cabaret on Thursday, September 23 from 4-6 PM at the Ergon booth (#4361).   Spend a few hours at the end of the day hanging out with the people that make Ergon what it is.  Also, take the opportunity to chat with Ergon athletes Dave Wiens, Irina Kalentieva, and other members of Topeak-Ergon USA.  FREE poster signings will also be available from Dave and Irina.

Make sure to swing by the Ergon booth early in the week and request a ‘VIP Ticket’ for use during the Ergon Cabaret.  This will allow you to take part in the limited amount of adult beverages being served while supplies last.  Lets just say, the early birds get the worm  ;)

Look forward to seeing you all there!

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