Andre

Hy Team!

2011 is going by real fast and it‘s already near middle of the year!

Although on the team for almost a year I haven‘t posted much.

So what has been going on here in Gersthofen? To catch up I wanted to do a news and parts review together and after thinking about that for a while – why not doing a „Rides“ department. That means that all team members show of their new/old bikes and parts. So I go first.

Here are the news.

Some of you might remember that Michael and I did the 24hours of Finale in 2010. Michael broke his frame already during his stay in Italy and has replaced it with a very nice IF. A week after the race I went out for a ride and found a crack on the top tube myself and had to admit that this race was taking a hard toll on our bikes. But with the help of Jelle from singlespeed.nl and the nice guys from Ninerbikes I was able to replace it with a new Sir9 frame. It just changed from tang to kermit green (the colour I would have liked in the first place). But the Niner guys also did some work on the frame and changed some details, i.e. in the bottom bracket area, the rear stays and the gussets (and maybe some other things I just didn‘t see). All in all minor changes but I think the frame got stiffer, but it still rides as a steel frame should.

I the steering department I changed for Ragley and a 3T stem just to compare it with my beloved Luvbar. Holding them on top of each other the grip area (angel and length) is almost the same. Because of the constant creeking I replaced the seat post with a Crank Brothers and it is working – hey I can‘t say too much in this respect – SSP….

Some months ago I ordered a new fork for my frame to come, but I couldn‘t have waited any longer since it is a Niner carbon fork to replace the matching steel fork. The first time I could test this baby it was with my first Niner. I took it for a really nice daytrip in the Schliersee area and was totally hooked. It might have been that the original fork was 490mm long and the carbon 470mm but steering felt direkt quick and save. When I looked down I could see the fork work hard but it never felt soft. It was like riding with a suspension up front – point and shoot – let the fork do the rest. When I put it on the new bike it was just the same – even that I had a 470mm fork to replace this time.

Our sponsor Geax put some new tires in the market. A year ago at the 2010 24h of Finale there have been some sets out on the race. Now we had the chance to get our tires for 2011. What I am talking about is the new 2,2 AKA. At first glance it just looks sexy – the little knobs pointing forward. Mounting was easy with the folding one. You wouldn‘t think it has much grip but it really does. I have taken it out on dusty roads, hardpack as well as on soft forrest trails and it always felt save with reliable feedback. It has a nice feeling in the corners, maybe because of the round shape with special side knobs. Not sure on how they would ride in muddy conditions I was surprised again. I would defenitely recommend them for soft and loose packed conditions and moist areas. And Luca from Geax even put a gift in the box – a pair of their still to be released 29er tire – a set of Mezcals. Only having seen the tread on their homepage I was anxious to put it on my bike. I replaced the also new AKA front and back and went out for a ride. Did I say the AKA lookes sexy? For the Mezcal there is only one direction forward! The arrow heads in the middle provide just the right amount of traction – and I‘m riding SSP! The only times I had to be carefull was on very moist or muddy conditions, but thats more than OK since it is a lightweight race tire. Cornering again felt secure, this time the side knobs being more exposed than at the AKA. Since it was spring time here in Germany I put the Mezcal to its limits – deep mud. Especially up front you have to be a little more carefull. So I ended up with the AKA up front with the Mezcal in the back and I love it. And it looks sexy. So thanks to Geax for their support for our team. Luca also told me that there will be a 2,0 version of the AKA. From my experience this might be a really nice race tire.

So now I am awaiting the parts from our new sponsor – Homebrewedcompnents – to go with the current colour code.

Beside me on the table are some new Halorim SSP hubs that will go together with a pair of WTB Laser TCS trail rims.

This year there are only three races already planned. First will be the 12 hours of Kühlsheim together with Micahel – to make up for the bad karma from last year. Then there will be Schlaflos im Sattel where I hope to see most from our team. And I will be riding the SSWC2011 – Ireland here I come! Not sure if there will be others since it will be a busy year for me. But thanks for having me on the team – even if I haven‘t met all of you, it‘s nice to know you are out there as well!

André

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