The UCI have changed the rules once again and this time they have reduced the number of women that can make it through to the world cup finals. Previously 20 women were able to proceed through to the finals from qualifying this has now been reduced to 15. The junior field has also been culled with the number of Jr riders making it through to the main event being cut from 30 – 20.
Could this be a deterrent? Resulting in less women and junior riders attending world cups if they have less chance of getting through to the finals? Therefore preventing potential young & new talent entering the sport.
The UCI have stated that they have introduced these changes in order to “protect the integrity of the course and therefor improve the quality of competition”. However I can’t help but think this change won’t be anything but negative!
Whats your views?
The Solstice is the new womens specific backpack from CamelBak new MTB low rider range. It’s designed to move your load down towards your waist. This change gives you a lower centre of gravity and a wider range of movements so essentially it should be easier to manoeuvre when you are descending!
I used to often take large backpacks out on rides but often find that because I had a bigger space I would just fill it with unnecessary stuff. So when I first saw the Solstice on first impressions I thought it looked far too small and was sceptical about being able to fit all the essentials into the backpack, but the bag has ample storage and a place for everything:
- Fleece-lined Sunglass/ media pocket
- Magnetic catch for tube
- Stretch overflow storage (also fits goggles perfectly)
- Helmet holder
- Armor Carry Straps
- Lumbar compression straps
- Blinker tab
- Waist belt pockets
- tool roll
The Backpack design means that the majority of the weight is focused on your waist rather than back, this aids stability during descents. The focus of the weight on your back is also design to reduce the strain on your back therefore preventing lower back pain from occurring.
I couldn’t believe how much comfier this backpack felt in comparison to other hydration packs I have used in the past. During descents it was extremely stable and at times almost unnoticeable. I often develop a sore lower back pain if I ride with a backpack on for long periods of time, but the smart design of the soltice definitely helped combat this. With all the benefits of this bag it is definitely my go to bag now for a trail rides and even on a hike. Retailing from as low as £60 this backpack is an absolute bargain.
This backpack was provided FOC from Zyro Distribution for product testing.
Safe, Secure & Stylish
Safety is key with the Bluegrass Brave helmet. The design and construction of this helmet has been carefully developed to ensure optimum protection for your head. The Brave helmet has the capability to withstand double the impact of most helmets this is because it is the first helmet on the market that uses D30 inserts. The D30 inserts are the result of highly innovative technology. They are made from a tactile polymer material which is composed of intelligent molecules. These are free flowing when at rest but stiffen on impact.
It is the smallest features of this helmet from the air vents on chin guard which prevent over heating on the warmest days to the easy use of goggles with the helmet. Giving maximum field of vision.
For me the comfort level of a helmet is crucial. Most of the time you have a helmet on for a significant amount of time and even after long days of chairlift and gondola runs this helmet still felt extremely comfortable. The padding in the helmet was perfectly position for optimum comfort. For this Bluegrass used an anti-allergenic fabric varying the thickness according to the position in the helmet. The interior pads are also removable and can be hand washed.
No hearing loss – Definitely my favourite feature of this helmet. Bluegrass recognise that an accident is more likely with loss of hearing. This often isn’t recognised by many brands. Bluegrass have taken steps in the development of this helmet to ensure minimum hearing loss.
Overall I loved this Helmet. I wore it consistently for over a month when I was over in the Alps this Summer and never once did I find the helmet uncomfortable, it is exceptionally light for all the features that are built into it. The helmet is also available in 4 vibrant colour combinations.
The helmet is available in 4 sizes, XS/S, M & L/XL.
Weight: 1015g (XS/S), 1035g (M), 1085g (L/XL
This helmet is available in 4 different colours
Helmet is available for £153 from Chain Reaction Cycles
Looking for a new trail Helmet then why not check out our review of the New MET Lupo helmet.
Bluegrass Brave Helmet was provided FOC from Bluegrass Eagle
I’ve spent the last month trying out the new trail helmet from MET. The Lupo helmet is new to the MET/Bluegrass trail range for 2016. The helmet is claimed to be the perfect balance between aggressive styling, ventilation and comfort. The helmet weighs in at only 270 Grams making it one of the lightest all-mountain helmets in the market. Making it the ideal choice for long days on the saddle.
It is clear that METs main design objective for this helmet was to provide maximum comfort & protection to the rider. The helmet has multiple features that are designed to keep comfort levels high! Even down to the anti pinch buckle on the chin strap.
With 20 vents in the helmet your not going to over heat with this helmet on. The large centred vents provide that much needed ventilation when you are working hard on the bike.
The Safe-T Advanced Fit System was easy to adjust and really made the helmet feel fitted and secure to my head. The contact points have a larger cradle surface which also significantly increases the comfort of the helmet.
The Gel 02 pads at the front of the helmet are designed to keep your head cooler on those long trail riders where you are pushing the limits. The gel pads also don’t absorb perspiration like the regular foam pads in most helmets. The only downside of the pads is that when the helmet is on a tight setting the pads press into your forehead and can become slightly uncomfortable after wearing the helmet for a significant period of time. The theme of light, breathable & strong also continued onto the Kevlar straps.
The helmet overall has a great secure, light feel and is extremely comfortable. It comes in 5 dynamic colours and in 2 sizes M & L.
The helmet fits extremely well, it provides increased protection without any increased weight. The only niggles I had with this helmet was that the Gel O2 pads at the front of the helmet could become slightly uncomfortable after wearing the helmet for long period of time.
It isn’t uncommon to be patriotic to your home town. But it makes it a little easier when you live somewhere as awesome as I do. Fort William is known to most as the home of British Downhill, but this small highland town has so much more to offer than just a Downhill track. Sure the track is heaps of fun and brings in thousands of visitors every year but the riding is so much more diverse than just that one track. This was showcased at the 2nd round of the Scottish Enduro Series a few weeks back, the race had a perfect balance of bike park to natural riding.
The 2nd round of the SES was my very first Enduro race so I thought I’d ease myself in and enter the lite category. I came away from the weekend with two thing.. 2nd place and an enduro convert. I now see the appeal of this discipline. You don’t have the same waiting around that you do in Downhill, your constantly on your bike having fun and after all that’s why we all ride to have fun and enjoy ourselves. Despite this I still have a love for big bikes and chairlifts which I can’t see changing anytime soon.
My favourite time of the year in Fort William is normally around late April till the end of June. The weather is usually nice, the midges are still in hibernation and most of the visitors still think we are snowed in so the place isn’t overly busy.
As I sit writing this outside in 22 degree heat I think it is a fair statement to say that winter is behind us (despite last weeks snow). I must admit I surprisingly enjoyed winter this year, there wasn’t too much snow at ground/trail level so I got out on my bike heaps and there was still enough up top to get some good snowboarding nailed. I am however glad to see the back of winter now. It was fun while it lasted but now it’s Bike, BBQ & Beach time. Summer plans are nearly finalised, we’re heading to France, Italy & Switzerland in June and then over to Slovenia in August. We also have our first Girls group ride in just under 2 weeks in Fort William. It’s a great chance to ride with like minded girls (at a discounted rate). Check it out here.
Girls Group Ride in Fort William on the 21st of May
This past weekend was the first weekend of Gondola uplift in Fort William, which to me signifies the start of Summer, the sun even made an appearance on the Sunday too.
The weather over the last few days has been phenomenal in Fort William the sun has been shining so brightly that it woke me up at 5am this morning and I decided to head out on a pre work bike ride (I might be a sleep at my desk by lunch time). Long may Summer continue.
Until Next Time 🙂 x
Fort William DH tracks opens tomorrow for the Summer!
Specialized bicycles will be on hand all weekend with demos & ride outs! Even offering people the chance to try out the Öhlins equipped Demo 8 Carbon.
Saturday ride out will take place at 10am & 2pm. Sundays ride out with Specialized rider Hannah Barnes is at 10am.
The world cup season is well underway! I can’t believe we have already had the 2nd round.
Local Aussie Tracey Hannah put a stop to a British 1,2 &3 grabbing 2nd place and her best result since Wyndham 2012, Rachel Atherton continued to dominated securing the win by a huge 7 second gap.
There wasn’t any major surprises in this race. We had previously predicted that Tracey Hannah would do well on her home track and that Atherton would continue her domination. Carpenter however seems to be struggling to get out of the start gates, after dominating back in 2014 she has never quite got that flow back.
Rd 3 sees the World Cup to head back to the old favourite that is Fort William on the 4th/5th June!
Full Womens Results
Absolutely delighted to announce that MTB Girls Ride will be ambassadors of Qloom Bikewear in 2016! The surf inspired range is some of the best kit that I have ever worn so I’m super stoked to have been asked to be an ambassador for such an awesome brand!! 2016 is going to be one hell of a year! Look out for our awesome Qloom/MTB Girls Rides group rides throughout the summer.
Our first group ride is happening next month, it will be hosted at the mountain bike mecca that is Fort William! So come along and get involved! It is going to be and awesome day!
What a weekend of racing! With the 2nd round of the EWS taking place in Argentina & the 1st round of the BDS being held at AE Forest. I don’t think there could have been anymore contrast between the condition these two lots of riders faced over the weekend.
Unfortunately the stereotypical Scottish weather prevailed and the riders were subject to rain & mud for the entire weekend. Still looked like a fantastic weekend of racing. With Rachel Atherton missing it is hard to say if these result are an indication of the world cup season that is kicking off next week in Lourdes.
Photo Taken from Manon Carpenters Facebook
Elite Womens Top 3
- Manon Carpenter
- Tahnee Seagrave
- Katy Curd
Women Top 3
- Eleanor Maxfield
- Megan Whyte
- Deborah Primrose
Junior Womens Top 3
- Cairn Bell
- Rona Striven
- Rosy Monaghan
Full BDS Results
EWS Results Rd 2
Conditions on the other side of the globe couldn’t be more of a contrast to the delights offered in Scotland, the sun was out and the dust was thick!
Photo: Sven Martin (Taken from Anneke Beerten Facebook)
Womens Top 3:
- Celine Ravanel
- Casey Brown
- Isabeau Courdurier
Full EWS Results Here