A NEW BIKE, A NEW RIDER AND A NEW LOAD OF BOLLOCKS
Being a top independent media journalist means that I'm generally swimming in high end products that appear in large piles on my doorstep. It's important to maintain that independence and not get caught up favouring any one brand over another as it can be pretty easy to fall into the trap of writing good reviews on products just because you got given them for free.
I like to think that I'm doing a stellar job of maintaining no brand favouritism (please ignore my sponsors page, we all have to get free shit where we can) but occaisonally a product comes along that I just have to have and will do anything to get it. So after a whole lot of hard work and some serious back scratching I am pleased to announce that I have signed with Super Cheap Auto and will be racing their first 27.5 wheeled enduro bike this coming season.
Here it is..the Ridgeback 27.5. It features a lightweight (apart from the heavy tubing) aluminium front end with a high tensile steel rear. It has some serious technological advances like huge disc brakes The rotors are 650mm and double as a rim bed for the aggressively knobbed Hoos Dong 2.1" tyres. And on those tyres the side knobs are so small and soft that they fold as soon as the bike is leaned over and automatically throw the bike into a two wheel drift to make the most of using the whole trail.
The suspension is cutting edge. Super Cheap have gone with a non adjustable coil unit in the rear. No compression or rebound settings to throw you off your game. But it doesn't stop there. The smart tech heads in the design department have gone with a pivotless back end which is possible with steel, as the flex in the seat stays acts as it's own pivot. Now this is where it really gets tricky. To modify that flex to get the most performance they have very cunningly welded in a brace to join the non-drive side seat and chainstays. This slows down and halts the suspension travel to prevent bottoming out and any premature wear on the last 3/4 of the shock stroke. Brilliant. So what would've been a wallowy 120mm of travel as been limited to 55mm to aid acceleration and add a dynamic mid-stroke with powerful bottom-out resistance as the brace fights against being ripped out of the stays.
I'll let you all into the little known world of pro contracts. It's normally very hush hush as most bike companies don't want anyone else to know how little they pay their pro riders. I went to see Super Cheap head of marketing Max Airfreshener at his office in Paraparaumu to negotiate my deal and get the scoop on the new bike. Here's how it went.
Therodfather: Hi Max. I'm therodfather from therodfather.co.nz. It's a real pleasure to meet the man behind the bike.
Max: What bike? Therodfather? That fishing charter business out of Kaikoura? Nice bumbag by the way....Goes well with those socks and sandals.
therodfather: The new 27.5 Ridgeback. No, therodfather knower of all off-road-bicycle things. Oh, thanks. You should see what I can fit in there.
Max: No thanks. Ah yes, the Ridgeback and therodfather, I heard about that memo. I thought it was an office joke. I hear you want to buy one and promote it for us at the mall. The offer of a 15% discount still stands. We'll want you to wear a sandwich board, a koala suit and hand out our specials brochure.
therodfather: Errr, we'll get back to that. I'd like to talk salary and race win bonuses. Also can we discuss a few things about the bike? Like who was the brains behind the suspension design, and why the decision to go 27.5 and not 27.5 plus or 29er?
Max: I'm not sure we're on the same page here Rog. You can take a couple of those lollipops from reception when you leave but I'm not giving you any money. As for the bike, we just ordered a few hundred units out of a catalogue from China for $47 each, with our own branding included. Turns out The Warehouse has been stealing a lot of our tool and accessories customers when they go in to buy a bike.
therodfather: Look Max. I'm not going to beat about the bush. I really want a pro deal from you guys. I need to be able to show my readers that I'm the real deal. How about i pay the cost price, that's $47 and I get a 15% discount on anything in the shop.
Max. You'll still do the mall?
therodfather: Sure thing. Is there a mask with that koala suit?
Max: Welcome to the Cheap Team Roger.
This news article is entirely fictitious and is authored by a bloke who has nothing left to lose. The content is in no way indicative of any imagined relationship with Super Cheap Auto and therodfather. While it may appear on the surface that the Ridgeback is portrayed as a less than capable race winning vehicle, it is the opinion of the author that it is almost up to the task it was designed for. Max Airfreshener is an imaginary character who in real life would be a kick ass marketing machine. Note: While scabs on the arse sounds quite dismal it's not as bad as you may have been led to believe. Also therodfather only wears socks and sandals to and from bike rides and at the mall.