Come and join Celine and our female store Ambassadors for some fun events this October. Our major brand partner Specialized bikes have had a great campaign to get more women riding called “Healthy Catch Ups” the last few years and we love nothing more than to help promote a healthy lifestyle and encourage everybody to get outdoors and exercise.
So this October we have rides and clinics catered for the female rider of all abilities to come together and be part of our Healthy Catch Ups. These event fill up fast so please email your interest to us as in some cases we will have to have a waiting list. [Our skills course is limited to 15 riders]
Please see below a description of what each event is about and if you have any questions please contact our friendly staff instore or via email or phone 98502996.
Event 1 -Topgear Cycles Women Cyclist Pilates Class Monday October 3rd 6.30 pm
Event 2 -Topgear Cycles Women’s Shop ride- October Thursday 6th with Celine and Karina 9;30am
Event 3 – Topgear Cycles Women’s Beginner Mechanic Course – October Thurs 13th 6:30pm
Event 4 -Topgear Cycles Women’s Mountain Bike Mechanic Course – October Thurs 20th 6:30pm
Event 5 -Topgear Cycles Women’s intermediate to advanced MTB Skills session with Jenny King – Oct 23rd Sunday 2pm EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED OUT :]
You need to email us to register your interest in these events, please email and state the event you would like to attend and we will email your confirmation. firstname.lastname@example.org
Event #1 Pilates
Come along for a stretch and a core workout after your weekend of cycling. Be inspired by Celine who has over 20 years of Pilates and fitness training experience in her favorite class. Cost $15 Event is at Topgear Cycles
Event #2 Bike Path Ride
Womens bike path ride 35km, Group ride with Karina Jo and Celine around our beautiful bikepaths. This is a no drop ride all welcome , road , hybrid, mtb bikes ok. Allow 2 1/2 hours, with coffee at Heide Museum at the end of the ride. More details on our website to come. This event is free . We will start and finish at Topgear Cycles.
Event #3 Mechanic Course, The basic’s
Ever wanted to know what to do if your chain comes off mid ride or you struggle to fix a puncture? Want to learn how to maintain your bike so it runs trouble free when your out on your bunch rides, well this course is for you. This is a hands on course which will have you confident to fix those annoying mechanical things that can ruin a ride, see our website for more details and to book your spot. This is a free event. Event at Topgear Cycles Time :
Event # 4 Mechanic Course for mountain biker’s.
Know the basics but want to learn more about your mountain bike? Suspension set up and maintenance, whats the deal with tubeless tyres, how to change hydro brake pads, gear adjustments then this clinic is for you, if there is something specific you want to learn about your bike bring it along and we will help you out. Free event, Event is at Topgear Cycles
Event #5 Women’s Mountain Bike Skills course. [aimed at the intermediate to advanced rider] THIS EVENT IS NOW BOOKED OUT! Thanks for the huge response for this we will have to do another one!
This session is aimed at the rider who already has done some mountain biking and can ride single track . This is aimed at the rider who wants to take their riding to a new level. You will learn technique from one of Australia’s best female Mountain Bike riders in Jenny King. Jenny is a 3 time Australian Mountain bike champion and a very successful cycling coach. Jenny had one of her athletes Scott Bowden race both the road and the Mountain Bikes at the recent Rio Olympics! Please email us your interest and what MTB events you have done in the past and what skills you would like to improve on and are you a current MTBA license holder? This session will fill up so please get in early and we will confirm your spot and we will reply shortly there after. Please include what type of racing or riding you have done in the past. Location :Westerfolds Park Templestowe, Cost: Free :]
THIS EVENT IS NOW BOOKED OUT!
Pilates is back on this Monday 22nd August at the shop in Bulleen. With over 20 years of experience teaching Pilates and strength and conditioning Celine can help you with the right exercise’s to improve your cycling. Perfect for the cyclist who does a lot of weekend cycling, set your week up with this workout! Contact the shop on 98502996 or email email@example.com
This week we got to test out the new Specialized Levo mountain bike at Lysterfield Park. We were surprised what this bike delivered in power and handling. It weighs approx 22kg but rides like a normal Mountain Bike just bigger and better. The power that this bike delivers on single track is out standing, I really had to adjust my riding style as this bike really took off when you pushed on the pedals. Interestingly the bike responded better when you tap lightly on the pedals, something that I had to change my style of riding coming out of corners, which I normally push hard to regain lost speed. The exclusive, German made Brose 250 watt motor is custom-tuned to smoothly and quietly add additional power to the pedals to make climbing nearly effortless, and the output is fully adjustable to conserve energy with a free phone App called Misson Control. You can customize the wattage of each of the three power modes, (Eco, Trail, and Turbo), or program in the duration of your ride in hours or miles or kilometers with “Smart Control,” to best manage battery life. The bike powers up to 25km/hr which on single track really gives you enough power to get up the toughest climbs with ease.
At the battery, you’ll find that it’s fully integrated with the down tube and easily removable for quick charging or swaps. We were really surprised with the life of the battery , I rode pretty much in full Turbo mode for 1.5 hours and it had only used 40% of its charge.
After setting up the bikes suspension the same way we would normally set up a Specialized bike. The Autosag makes it so easy to get this bike dialed in to the rider. we hit the trails. Tim and I were laughing so much in the flowing single track with what this bike delivers. You dont notice the weight of the bike , but you do have to adapt your pedaling style.
One of the highlights is how clean the frame looks, the motor is so well integrated into the bottom bracket that it almost disappears
Everything you need to control the pedal assist is located on the key pad on the down tube. The center button powers up the system and the + and – buttons add or subtract assist levels.
This bike certainly leads the electric/power assist bikes that are on the market at the moment for both looks and performance. The techy stuff certainly blew us away, not sure if this bike is for every one but there are more and more people seeing the benefits of powered assist bikes in our market. I was recently in the French Alps cycling and a guide we had booked for the day , who was a former Down Hill racer was a big wrap for them. Once the lift had stopped taking bikes up the mountain for the downhill run he would just jump on the powered assist bike and enjoy the flowing DH trails with out the 1 hour climb to get up. He said he actually road more because of the assistance which can only be a good thing.
We will have a instore Demo bike soon so come try for your self, you wont be disappointed, like Tim and myself you will leave with a smile on your dial.
The Levo comes in hard tail and dual suspension models at varing price points. 2017 model and prices will be available end of July.
Ever wondered why cyclocross bike’s are so popular? Well they are so versatile and reliable on any surface. Topgear Cycles Team rider Bryce Young has tried one out for a few weeks on a few different rides. Check out his thoughts below…
“After spending the time to get the setup right the Crux has continued to amaze me by its versatility and how rewarding every ride is.
An hour or two on a mix of known dirt and sealed tracks was all that was needed to be ready to use the Crux in the recent 65km Dirty Gran Fondo.
The Crux has no trouble holding speed on the undulating logging tracks of Mt Disappointment north of Melbourne. Whether on the brake hoods or down in the drops, the Crux is easily guided across seemingly rough terrain in a comfortable manner. The all-terrain tyres provide exceptional traction and control on both steep climbs and steep descents and return every confidence when riding into and through corners of varying surface condition.
In a more urban scene a new element of fun exists in the commute to and from work. The sealed paths of the ever-expanding cycle network can be ridden with road bike efficiency without any need to panic if the path condition slowly deteriorates, or even becomes a gravel track. Once again, the efficiency continues and the tyres perform well and within their capability, wet conditions are no challenge and that shortcut (or maybe longer diversion) around the oval or on the other side of the creek is a new possibility. With the inclusion of disc brakes the increased stopping efficiency is a very welcome addition that also removes the past worry of gravel or water on the braking surface on the rims.
Venturing out on a recent Sunday social ride we started on the bitumen to wynd our way toward the back country roads of Melbourne’s outer northern suburbs (Arthur’s Creek, Hurstbridge, Wattle Glen, etc). This gave the advantage of maintaining the fitness levels on roads that have very little (if any) traffic. Apparently there was some rain adding to the already wet roads but it didn’t seem to throw any dampener on the ride. Another 60+ km’s ridden on mostly dirt roads, with some corrugation making my teeth rattle where the wheels, tyres, comfort and efficiency were not a limitation. After a clean the Crux is ready again for the recovery commute…”
Topgear Cycles Team rider Virgini Bernard took on the challenge of a off road triathlon in NSW and was first age group women to cross the line, here is her race report and photos.
Better late than never (it’s been three weeks now!), here is my Xterra Jervis Bay 2016 story.
I was pretty excited to head again to Jervis Bay for XTerra Asia Pacific and Australian championships. My training had been pretty relaxed since Crackenback, but it seemed to suit me well at the time and I was pretty happy with how well things were going for me in the three sports.
This was my second time racing XTerra Jervis Bay, having raced there 2 years ago. Since then I had also become quite knowledgeable of the region since my partner Scooter grew up in Nowra and his parents still live in this area. I even went on – what I thought were – MTB training rides at Christmas and Easter (yep, a lot of road trips from Melbourne).
Two years ago I was a complete beginner in MTB’ing and I had unresolved health issues which meant that although I was very happy to be at the start line and then reach the finish line, this race in 2014 definitely wasn’t the race of my life.
This time round, not saying that expectations were high given how long my racing season had been, but there were definitely expectations of competitiveness improvement!
I had plans to drive there with my good friend Chris Dimos (an Epic rider as well, dealing with the good people of Berwick Cycles) who is also quite addicted to all things off road. Unfortunately Chris had come down on his last training ride (the Sunday before!) in the Youies, smashing his shoulder on one of the nasty rock gardens. Diagnostic was broken collar bone. Chris eventually still decided to come with me on the drive, which saved me from trying to book flights and buses two days before the race…
Chris had rented a house by the beach, sharing with other athletes. One of them was Renata Bucher and she was waiting for me to complete a training lap of the bike leg, we also ended up riding with Elite Triathlete Penny Hosken. The start of the ride was similar to the bike course two years ago, with some riding on 4-wheel drive roads with huge deep puddles. To my surprise the second part of the ride was on single tracks I hadn’t ridden before. Speak of secret training at Christmas and Easter!! The single tracks were in pretty good conditions and this bike leg (one lap 30km) was a lot of interesting fun!
The next day (Friday) Renata and I went on a little swim and (part) run reccie. It was really good to get to know her better and share her experienced elite race prep, especially the swim reccie that I have never really done properly. The rest of the day went by quickly just sitting around the house resting up the legs, watching the heavy rains as they came and went…
Then came race day. One word when we woke up: STORM. The weather seemed bad enough in the morning when the enticer and sprint races were on. By 11:30am when we lined up for the Championship race, it was havoc. No rain, but the wind and the chop were shockers.
The XTerra people decided that we would do a one lap 1.5km swim instead of the usual 2 lap 750m swim. It was bad enough trying to swim through the break once, they didn’t want people to fight through that twice (and tired the second time).
I had a chuckle thinking about our swim reccie the day before, completely useless!!
So off we went. The current due to the waves was huge. I’ve made the mistake before to still spot the buoys in these conditions. That leads to a terrible fail, right? So I was very careful to keep sighting way off to the left, because that’s where the waves were coming from. Well, that worked pretty well and I was feeling sorry for all the people I could see drifting away…
When I exited the water I knew I was well placed, but quite unsure of overall placing.
The transition areas and race HQ were situated on the RSL car park 600m from the beach. So we had a “pre-T1” transition area where we could put runners on to run to T1. With all the rain we had the day before and overnight, T1 was already a mud fest.
I reached my bike and I can see that all the other bikes around are still in. Winning!
Off on the bike, I decide to ride conservatively on the fire roads. It would be very easy to go hard on these sections and be cooked with 25km to go. At the 5km point, I get passed by another female age grouper, and I am very proud to say that I decided to stick to my plan. No chasing. But then she passed me, slowed right down and I ended up on her wheel in about 15sec. A bit puzzled, I rode around her and I can hear her breathing hard. Like, hard. With 25kms to go. Well, good luck to her. I never saw her again (except on the podium!).
I went around the bike course feeling very slow. Ha! The week before I had raced the You Yangs Crazy 6hrs and this course is very very fast. So on this sticky muddy technical course, I felt… slow. I even stopped for a couple of mud baths. But then nobody caught me except a few guys. So surely it wasn’t that bad!
Back in transition and my support crew is hysterical. Still leading!! I put my runners on and I’m headed to the beach again for the 2kms beach run section.
Yes, it was still windy, and we were running straight into it. I ended up having to carry my visor in my hand, it just wouldn’t have stayed on.
The run was a mix of beach sand, sandy trails, muddy trails, puddles, a bit of road. A lot of fun. I was happy to be able to run at a good pace after my horrible run leg at Crackenback. I was passed by a couple of guys but no girl, woohoo!
Onto the finish in a little under 3hrs, first female age grouper. I managed to beat one of the 10 female pros so I was 9th female overall.
And because it really was my day, I won an XTerra wetsuit as the fastest female AG split.
I had no idea they were giving away wetsuits for fastest swim splits! Nice! And I also made the video cut, which really makes me feel like a movie star, just for one day.
Big shout out to my favourite bike shop people, Top Gear Cycles’ Peter and Celine and the team for the on-going support. It’s great to know that you guys are only a phone/text message away for advice and gear selection. I’m very proud to be racing under your colours… also because this tri suit is fantastic!
Xterra New Zealand
1000m Swim/27km Mtb Ride/11km Trail Run
Xterra New Zealand is an off road triathlon set in the beautiful surrounds of Rotorua. The mountain bike trails built in the Whakarewarewa Forest are world famous with over 120km of amazing signposted tracks. The race itself starts on Lake Tikitapu, one of many lakes in and around Rotorua. The event attracts over 2000 competitors with trail runs, Mountain bike race’s, and off road triathlons. I entered the long course race which is a qualifing race for the Xterra world champs in Hawaii. The distance is 1000m swim , 27 km mtb ride and a 11km trail run.
After injuring my calf on a hiking trip 4 weeks earlier I wasn’t expecting to much of a result , infact I didn’t know if I could even get to the finish line as I was still hobbling a few days before the race.
Race day was perfect with cool morning, overcast with no wind. Our race was at 11am so the conditions were perfect. After a traditional Maori welcome the race started with a mass start. The quality of the water is truly amazing, crystal clear and about 18 degrees. I managed a good start only to loose a lot of places around the first buoy. Swimming’s not my strength and I just tried to concentrate on my technique and get out of the water in one piece.
Transition is right on the lake with just a over-pass stair climb to negotiate. The first 2km of the bike course is a tight flowing single track path, which made passing very hard. Once we got onto the fire road climb we could sort our selves out. The bike course includes some of the best single track trails in the Redwoods MTB park that I have ever ridden. The race organisers had set out a good course with fireroads making up most of the climbing and some sweet flowing single track on the down hills. With my poor swim I get frustrated in the singletrack with the slower riders and big groups that are hard to ride past. I kept telling my self that I really need to improve my swim if I am ever going to move up in my age group. The 26km took me approx 90min with a crazy 7 min descent to finish of the bike course. Certainly a challenging bike course for triathlete’s and mountain bikers alike.
The run is two laps of Lake Tikitapu which is made up of single track , a nasty set of stairs , sand and a undulating fire road. I managed to jog most of the first lap with my calf holding up thanks to the calf guards that I had brought during the week.
I always thought they looked strange but I am a big wrap for these after wearing them. Even though my race prep was limited and my fitness since my last race in Jinderbine 8 weeks earlier has slipped I was happy to get to the finish line on a challenging course. I managed 14th in my category and are already planning to race here next year. Next time allowing extra days to explore the local trails after the race.
Race results for the Elites
Lizzie Orchard, NZL
Sarah Backler, NZL
Rachel Challis, NZL
Mary Gray, NZL
Pl Name Final
1 Braden Currie, NZL 2:05:42
2 Sam Osborne, NZL 2:07:23
3 Bradley Weiss, RSA 2:11:33
4 Olly Shaw, NZL 2:11:50
Lake Crackenback Cross Triathlon Race Report
Hey everyone, my name is Virginie and this is my first race report as part of the Top Gear Racing Team.
I started my sporting career as a triathlete a few years ago and got pushed into the off road adventure a couple of years ago.
I got my first MTB two years ago and I’ve been riding it on and off the first year “participating” at the odd MTB and off road events until the news came down that the Cross Triathlon Worlds Champs would be in Australia at Lake Crackenback in November 2016. I started riding my MTB more seriously last winter. Training was going great guns, with me winning the Cross Triathlon Victorian Champs in my age group in Bendigo last November.
Fast forward to February… and the Cross Triathlon Australian Champs. Training had been good, I felt my MTB had gone up a notch and my running was going well.
If you have never stayed in the Thredbo/Crackenback area, please, go. It is an amazing place in lots of different ways. It’s high up there in altitude (by Australian standards…), comparable to Falls Creek, but it doesn’t look like it. The resorts sit along the Thredbo/Crackenback river so they actually look like villages in the valley. With Mt Kosciusko on one side, you don’t really feel like you’re on top of the world like in Falls Creek or Hotham. Plenty of trees and wild life (deers, kangaroos). And the warmth. Air temp 22 degrees, feels like 30.
Pre race preparation went fine.
The lake was a bit warm with lots of things growing in it. A bit like swimming in this lake where Harry Potter has to dive in to save Ron and Hermione from the lake people in the Three Wizard Tournament movie.
The MTB course was nice, flowy and fun but to be honest I was a bit disappointed because it seemed too easy to ride. I had spent time improving my skills and it didn’t seem to matter that much on this course. Oh well.
The run course was designed to test strength. That’s OK, I feel strong!
Then came race day. Bring it on.
Turned out it was going to be a non wetsuit swim. That made me happy because I’m a strong swimmer, am I not?
Well, yes I usually am. I didn’t have a good start, then got bashed and pushed down. I ended up swimming breaststroke 40m in to calm down a panic attack. Things settled after that and it was a long slow slog to pass as many people as I could. When I exited the water I didn’t have my usual lead (was 3rd) and I felt I had used up much more energy than usual. As I found out later this is called ‘swimming in altitude’.
Onto the bike (2nd) and straight up the technical bits. I wasn’t really happy with how much my heart was pounding in my chest but at this point I wasn’t worried yet. I passed heaps of people on the first lap, including the leading lady in my age group. My competitive self couldn’t be satisfied with only passing people, I also wanted to stay on the wheels of the fast guys. That was a good plan until I realised that my heart rate was still sky high. Assuming it was already there during the swim, it would have been there for more than an hour by now. I was killing myself. Time to slow down. My second lap was a bit slower and a lot less controlled. I managed to stack coming down the technical bits. I lost the flow. My brain wasn’t quite there anymore. In other words, I was overcooked.
I was so happy to get off the bike. Now onto the run. Run. Run. OK, walk. See, when you’ve raced a three hour race as if it was a sprint, slowing down is not going to get you back. There is no coming back. Second place in my age group was only 40s behind, she passed me half way through the first lap. The eventual winner passed me not long after, then the third place not long before the end. I could have fought this one, maybe. Maybe not. At least I got to see and cheer on a lot of friends on their way to the finish line!
Of course I’m writing this after taking the time to analyse my race. It wasn’t that clear at the time why things happened the way they did. And people are quick to say that you just had a bad day. Maybe I had a bad day. But the Worlds are going to be same place and same course so I can’t buy in the bad day, otherwise I’ll just do the same mistakes in 8 months.
So what am I going to do? Well, I reckon the key is the bike course and the altitude. The bike course is fast. There is a lot of pedalling to do to be fast and less oxygen to fuel it.
I don’t know what you’re going to do this winter, but I’m going to work on my endurance. I’m going to train for the Worlds as if it was a 5+ hours event (instead of 3). Let’s see how this goes!
Big thank you to the great team at Top Gear Cycles who set me up on my new Specialized Epic in a very short time. Turns out this bike is fast. It’s almost too fast for my fitness level 🙂 so rather than slowing down I’m going to improve the engine!