Steed Ride Club Winter Training

For the third year running, we are back with a winter Zwift ride club!

All the details to get set up are below. If you have any questions please email ridegroup@steedcycles.com

Rides are every Sunday morning at 8:35AM starting on the 17th of November. After rolling out from the starting gate, the Steed Cycles ride leader we will begin with a  brief warm-up (for about 5 minutes) and ramp up to ‘club-pace’ of 2.5 – 3 W/kg, slowing down briefly at times (1.5 – 2 W/kg) for the club to re-group – please keep with the ride leader during this time.   In the final 10 minutes, riders will get to ‘stretch their legs’ and can break loose from the pack to the end if they choose – or just hang with the group.  Enjoy!

Everyone is welcome – you do not have to be a part of the Steed Ride Club to attend so encourage your friends and family to ride along.

Steed Ride Club’s winter training event link via Zwift will be live 5 days before each event.

Schedule

17th Nov 2019 – 8:35AM

24th Nov 2019 – 8:35AM

1st Dec 2019 – 8:35AM

8th Dec 2019 – 8:35AM

15th Dec 2019 – 8:35AM

How to join the ride?

– Use the Zwift Mobile Link app on your phone. Click the Events tab and Join the “Steed Ride Club Winter Workout” on Sunday at 8:35am. You can also join the event directly on the Zwift app on the morning of the event.

– Add the letters STEED to the end of your name using the user settings of the Zwift app. This will make it clear who is part of the club ride. (We will use this to identify ride club members for prizes.)

– Try and get on Zwift at least 5 – 10 minutes in advance of the start time to make sure you are not late and get in a bit of a warm-up.

– When it’s nearing time for the event to start, you’ll see a popup letting you know it’s time to officially join and get to the starting line.

– You can click “Let’s Go” or just let it auto-select to teleport automatically to the starting gate. You can also click on “JOIN EVENT” at the bottom left.

– Zwift will take you the virtual starting gate with all of the other riders and the countdown will begin.

If you are not on Zwift, here are some links you can follow for more information on how to get started.

https://support.zwift.com/categories/what-you-need-to-ride-BJjM4TyeH

http://road.cc/content/feature/213282-get-started-zwift-and-make-your-home-trainer-sessions-more-fun-virtual-races

There are also tons of Youtube videos with tips on how to get started.

Click here to see our range of trainers available in store or online.

Have fun!!

Staff bike check – Scott’s Megatower.

Scott loves his Megatower!

Welcome to the first post of what is hopefully many in our new Bike Check series! Here at Steed we’re super lucky to be able get our hands on some super cool bikes and parts. This means that sometimes our bikes can be a little out of the norm in the best possible way, and we think it’s worth sharing with you guys!

Our service manager Scott loves his Santa Cruz Megatower. He bought it right after launch and wasn’t disappointed. While he admits that it’s a lot of bike for him, it’s his daily ride and is a great bike for the shore and a much better all rounder than you might expect. Despite the big wheels, it still handles the tight janky riding on the shore and corners way better than expected. He’s left wondering how he could improve on it and if anything else would indeed be an upgrade?

Scott’s bike has some cool customisations going on!

Let’s start with the most obvious thing – the decals! Santa Cruz provide decal kits in a range of colours to customise your bike (available in store). Instead of going right over the top, he staggered them to give it that cool 80s throwback look. We all think it looks awesome!

We all love the throwback decals Scott has fitted!

 

The cockpit set-up is super important on any bike, as it’s one of the places that you’re always in contact with the bike. As such it can define whether or not you’re comfortable on the bike and can make or break the feel of the bike for you. Scott has opted for Ergon grips for that optimised hand position, a Race Face Atlas stem and OneUp’s carbon bars for some extra compliance and comfort.

Cockpit set-up is super important, so Scott has his dialled.

 

Those of you with eagle-eyes might have noticed the Sram G2 brakes rather than the stock Codes. Scott has fitted these as though they’re a little less powerful than the Codes, they have a lot more modulation, which he prefers. Though you can feel the slight power difference on big bike park days, that only makes up a small amount of his riding, so he doesn’t mind.

He’s also changed up the Fox 36 fork for a Rockshox Lyrik. The 36 is a great fork, but Scott is a Rockshox fan all the way. He opted for the Lyrik to match the Super Deluxe on the rear and he loves the Charger 2.1 damper.

Sram G2 brakes take the stopping duties here.

 

If you’d like to talk to us about bike fit or about custom builds/upgrades, don’t hesitate to get in touch or come see us in store. We have a bunch of super experienced staff on hand that can help you get your bike to where it needs to be!

 

 

Specialized Turbo Creo – first look

Specialized recently launched the all-new Turbo Creo e-road bike. With a 480WH battery and the new lightweight SL 1.1 motor designed specifically for the Creo putting out a maximum of 240W, the Turbo Creo is a revolutionary new breed of machine.

The new Specialized Turbo Creo is a sleek looking machine

What is it for??

Let’s address the elephant in the room first. Who and what is it for? Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 3 or 4 years, you’ll know that e-bikes are getting more and more popular. There are two main use cases for modern e-bikes – utilitarian (commuting, cargo bikes etc.) and pleasure (e-mtbs). The Turbo Creo falls squarely into the latter ‘pleasure’ category. Though it could easily be used as a commuter, that isn’t it’s primary intention.

Until recently, mountain bikes were the only e-bikes to really fall into the pleasure category, but why? Road cycling is fun too, right? Well, as it turns out, designing an e-road bike that’s actually still fun to ride like a regular road bike is no mean feat. E-road bikes have been around for a couple of seasons now, but haven’t gained a whole lot of traction. Meanwhile, Specialized have been taking their time to perfect the design of the Turbo Creo so that they get it right the first time around. And boy did they get it right!

Specialized’s tag-line is “you, only faster”, and I get it. Without the assist, it isn’t hard to ride at all – it feels like a planted road bike, with no drag from the motor when turned off. It’s also not like an e-mtb that gives you buckets of power. It’s smooth and organic feeling; it gives just a slight assist when you need it, giving you that extra push to conquer a steep climb, or to keep up with your buddies on the bigger rides.

The TCU controller is smart, simple and easy to use.

Features

All the current Creo models have Specialized’s FACT 11R carbon frame – the same that they use in all of their high-end S-Works bikes. Coupled with the lightweight motor and battery, this means that our SL Expert model in store weighs in at 27.7lbs without pedals. Now that’s light! Built in is the Future Shock 2.0 damper for comfort. The spec on the SL Expert model includes Ultegra DI2 drivetrain with XT derailleur and a wide range 1x drivetrain running an 11-42t cassette. Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes take the stopping duties, and Roval C38 carbon wheels keep you rolling. It’s a sweet build with everything you need, and nothing you don’t.

The FACT 11R frame has ample clearance for wider tires!

This build is road specific, however the bike shares the same frame with the Creo SL Expert Evo – their gravel specific build. All it would really take is a change of tires to set the regular SL Expert up for gravel, as the rims are plenty wide, and the frame has clearance for massive gravel tires and is dropper-post compatible.

All of Specialized’s Turbo models are compatible with Mission Control – their bluetooth app. The app is super useful and really unlocks the potential to these bikes in a way that you can’t with many other e-bikes. You can tune the power delivery and modes and much more in a way that suits you, putting you in control of the way the bike rides. You can also monitor things like cadence, battery level, assist etc. so you can get the most out of the bike every ride, and use it for mapping, diagnosing errors etc.

The Turbo Creo rides and handles much like a regular road bike.

Riding the Turbo Creo

While we haven’t spent a ton of time aboard the Creo, it didn’t take long to get to grips with it. It’s a comfortable bike with a nicely compliant yet snappy frame, and the Future Shock helps to take any road buzz out. The Geometry is based on that of the Tarmac – it’s designed to feel like a fast, racy bike, not a lazy e-bike, and that it does. The low, central weight of the motor and battery and legitimately aggressive geometry make the bike feel quick and reactive. When you consider what this bike really is – not just a road bike but an e-road bike, it really puts this bike head and shoulders above the competitors.

While 1x drivetrains are still not exactly commonplace on road bikes, the range offered by the 11-42t cassette felt adequate for the majority of situations. While the bike is a little heavier than your standard road bike, the brakes were plenty powerful enough to slow it down with no trouble.

While the Turbo Creo certainly makes climbing easier, it doesn’t feel like it’s doing all the work for you.

The real killer feature of this bike is of course the motor. The fact that it doesn’t put out tons of power and torque is a big part of what has enabled Specialized to keep the weight low – it doesn’t need a huge battery to power the motor, which helps with the handling, but the power delivery is truly spectacular. Often you can barely feel the motor kicking in, giving the bike a much smoother, more natural feel to it. The biggest problem (I feel) with many e-bikes is that the massive boost in power means that once you hit the top speed limit, the bike actually feels like it’s slowing you down. On the Creo it turns the power down gradually so that you don’t actually feel it dropping out, and rather than feeling like you’re being held back, the low weight and rolling resistance mean that you can just keep on riding through and above it.

The Turbo Creo makes a lot of sense as a gravel bike and comes in their “EVO” gravel spec.

Summary

E-bikes are a divisive topic still, and it’s clear that they’re not for everyone, and that’s perfectly okay. The Turbo Creo at first seems to blur the lines between a commuter style e-bike and a road bike and at first glance it might appear difficult to define it’s purpose. Take a closer look though and it quickly becomes clear that Specialized were extremely purposeful in the way that they designed the Creo. It’s designed for fun, to help cyclists enjoy their ride and to make the most of every time they get out. It doesn’t get a whole lot clearer than that!

Come and see us in store if you’d like to take the Turbo Creo out for a test ride or to speak to our sales staff why it might be the bike for you. You can see our range of stock here.

 

Riding the Santa Cruz Tallboy 4

The 2020 Tallboy 4 is a purposeful looking bike.

The Santa Cruz Tallboy 4, new for 2020 is the latest of their bikes to be updated, and has followed suit with the rest of the line-up and the lower-link driven shock.

The new Tallboy comes with 120mm of travel out back, and 130mm up front. With numbers like that, it would be easy to write it off as a twitchy XC bike, better for riding uphill and on flat XC trails than anything else. But you would be wrong. Very wrong!

The premise behind the new lower-link bikes is that the new leverage curve on the shock both enhances suppleness and small bump sensitivity at the start of the stroke, but ramps up towards the end. What this means is that it’s comfortable and grippy when the rider is sitting on the bike, but when they hit large bumps it resists harsh bottom-outs.

The new Tallboy 4 is the latest bike to receive Santa Cruz’s lower-link design.

Geometry:

Not only have Santa Cruz moved the shock to the lower link, but they’ve given the geometry a total overhaul in line with modern standards. It has a slightly longer reach, similar BB height, and importantly a super slack 65.5 degree head angle and a steep seat tube angle of 76.5 degrees. It’s in these numbers that the magic happens.

With the new geometry, the bike takes on a very different character, without wanting it to sound like a cliché, the Tallboy 4 really is a downhiller’s XC bike. The head angle might be slack, but the seat angle helps keep that front wheel weighted. This is the magic of their new-school geometry, and while these numbers may not be particularly progressive on a big travel enduro sled like the Megatower, it certainly is when applied to the Tallboy.

The Tallboy 4 climbs like a goat!

The ride:

You’re probably asking how this feels on the trail, with a rightful amount of skepticism. Well, it’s certainly a very different feeling bike to most out there. The short travel combined with the steep seat angle and light weight make it a breeze on the climbs. I found myself standing sprinting on technical climbs where I would sit and spin on my Nomad, and cleaning technical sections that I quite often wouldn’t even attempt. You point this thing up, and it goes! Not only is it light and responsive, it has the grip to put that power down.

What goes up must come down though, right? And boy does this thing come down. The slack head angle and long reach on the new Tallboy make this thing super stable, it absolutely rips down the trails. I found that you can pick up speed quite quickly, and the geometry inspires confidence to ride this bike fast! You have to be careful though; the lack of travel means that rowdy moves can catch up with you a little quicker than on a longer travel bike, and there’s certainly less margin for error. It definitely isn’t as forgiving a ride as it’s longer travel counterparts, but it rides with the same character – fast with a plush rear end that ramps up quickly.

Riding on Fromme on the North Shore, I found myself riding as fast as my Nomad in places, the bike really coming to life on the smoother trails such as Lower Expresso. I did find that the arm pump set in a lot faster than on my Nomad however!

What goes up must come down, and boy does it come down fast!

The Tallboy 4 certainly isn’t an XC race bike for the reasons you would imagine. It sits somewhere in a niche between the Blur (XC race) and the Hightower (aggressive trail), so I guess this makes it a slightly less aggressive trail bike. Either way, I get it, and there will be others out there that do too. “Downhiller’s XC bike” makes sense to me, as somebody who always prioritises fun over climbing prowess and would never own an XC race bike.

It may seem as though lately Santa Cruz have been consolidating the design of their lineup of bikes, and it could appear that there are a lot of very similar bikes in the lineup, but I don’t think this is a bad thing. They have certainly refined their design template and that’s no bad thing, but all of their bikes fall into a very deliberate bracket. You simply have to choose your wheel size, and choose your travel for your intended riding.

The Tallboy 4 is all about fun at the end of the day.

So who is the new Tallboy for?

The Tallboy is really a swiss army knife of a bike, but it’s not for everyone. Maybe you love the climb, and don’t mind sacrificing a little comfort on the descents on your ride. Perhaps you like to put a lot of miles into your rides and don’t want to give up pedal efficiency whilst enjoying the ride. It could also be a great bike for stage racing, for example BC bike race. It would also make a great second bike, if your first bike is a downhill bike or a long travel enduro rig.

Spec options:

The 2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy 4 is available in both Aluminium and Carbon, C and CC models, in a range of build specs, from basic to bling. Complete bikes start at $3649 for a solid build with SRAM SX Eagle 12sp and Santa Cruz’s legendary build quality. The carbon C models start at $5649 and the range tops out at $13699 for an AXS wireless CC build with carbon Reserve wheels. Incredibly all models (apart from the base model aluminium) come with a 12sp drivetrain, either a 35mm stanchion Rockshox Pike or a Fox 34, 4-piston brakes. These features to me speak volumes about the bike’s intentions of being a real shredder, both up the hill and down. Check out the full specs here.

Tidy cable routing is just one nice design feature on the new Tallboy

Final thoughts:

The new Santa Cruz Tallboy 4 is a bit of an oddball of a bike, ushering in a new age of  capable mountain bike geometry. For something that climbs like it does, it really has no business being such a ripper on the descents. I can only suggest you try one!

Dealing in Santa Cruz bikes since their infancy, Steed Cycles is Canada’s oldest and biggest Santa Cruz Dealer. We have a fleet of Santa Cruz bikes available to demo and hold stock of all the bikes we demo, so don’t hesitate to contact us to try or buy one! Visit our Demo Bikes page for more information or see our range of stock.

Four-piston brakes and a 1×12 drivetrain make the Tallboy a super-capable bike.

2019 Season Round-Up

The summer has come to an end here in the northern hemisphere and we’re headed into fall. The temperatures are dropping and the nights are getting longer. Summer of 2019 was an amazing season here at Steed Cycles, and we’d like to take a moment to reflect on some of the best bits.

We had an incredible year for Ride Club in 2019!

2019 Ride Club

Ride Club is a social road cycling club, with 5 different ability groups. 2019 was our biggest and best year yet for Ride Club. With a massive 270 members, we kicked it off in style back in April with monthly BBQs (thanks to Bridge Brewing for the refreshments!) for all members and a brand new jersey for everyone.

Amazing weather this summer meant conditions were great and barely any rides got rained out. We saw a bunch of old faces and new ones too with an incredible average turn-out of 100 riders. For those newbies, it was great to meet you and we hope you come back next year!

Notable moments include monthly tech-nights, the introduction of gravel rides for this year, and an expedition to Mt Baker  back on the 24th August . The photos from this ride alone speak volumes!

Massive thanks to all of our 36 Ride Club leaders for 2019 for the grand total of 324 groups led! You all did an amazing job and we can’t thank you enough.

Click here to find out more about the benefits of joining Ride Club and to join for 2020.

NSMBA Fiver #4 presented by Steed Cycles and Patagonia. Photo by Scott Robarts

NSMBA Fiver #4

This year’s fiver was an absolute blast! For those unfamiliar with the fiver’s, it’s a casual evening race series held by the NSMBA throughout summer between Seymour and Fromme with an enduro format. Each round is sponsored by a different local business (usually bike-related) with Steed and Patagonia headed up rd.4 on Fromme.

The route for rd.4 was absolutely killer, taking in some classic trails. Stage 1 was a real thigh burner  – 7th Secret into Leppard. Stage 2 changed things up with a climb back up mountain highway to drop into Lower Oilcan. Stage 3 was a quick blast down the very end of Dreamweaver. All in all, a great mix of trails and a sweet race!

The race was wrapped up back here at the shop with live music from The Tanglers and a serious spread of food and drinks provided by the kind folks at Patagonia. The BBQ and bar were expertly handled by our pair of Australians Jarrad and Michael.

Follow this link to find out more about the Fiver series and all that the NSMBA does.

We helped put down some fresh dirt on Pennzoil this year!

Dig days

We do our best here at Steed to give back to the trails, and for the 2019 season, we adopted Pennzoil near the bottom of Fromme. This trail was getting pretty beaten up and rutted out, so we chose to give it our loving attention. This meant a financial donation and regular dig days with members of staff and customers turning up to lend a hand in giving the trail a new lease of life.

We re-sculpted some really rough trail before the wooden roller so that the right hand line around the rock feature was more easily rideable. Currently we are working on building a new exit that better utilises the available terrain and elevation so that mountain bikers needn’t ride the hiking path at the very end and can instead ride something with better flow.

To find out more about the NSMBA’s trail adoption program, click here. You can read more about what we do on our Community Involvement page.

Thanks Phil, for just being you!

Killer staff

For summer of 2019 we had an amazing crew on board. We work hard to make sure that we have the best staff around and this year was no exception. Everyone was motivated, keen to ride bikes and help customers ride their bikes!

We’d like to thank each and every one of you for making the 2019 summer what it was and for just being you!

If you want to put a name to a face, you can see our staff page here!

Massive thanks to all of our racers, ambassadors and everyone else this year!

Ambassadors

A huge thank you to all of the ambassadors and race team!

Ambassadors are a huge building block of the community, volunteering at trail days, group mountain and road rides, and races. We couldn’t do it without them!

John Ramsden, who has been racing for us as well as an ambassador for 15 years, gets an honourable mention for convincing Phil, Branden and Kim to enter the Trans-Cascadia 4 day Enduro down in Washington. From all reports it was an amazing and epic event with killer singletrack, and views that will never be forgotten.

Check out our Race Team page to see who is racing for us this year.

And a massive thank you to all of our customers!

Customers

A bike shop couldn’t be what it is without the customers, and here at Steed, we think we have the best customers around! 2019 was an incredible year for all of us. We got some great rides in, met some amazing people, and the shop had it’s biggest and best year ever.

We truly have you guys, our friends and customers, to thank for this. From those that have been shopping with us from the very start way back in 1997, to first-time customers. We couldn’t do it without you! Thank you for being a part of the Steed community.

 

Sorry if we’ve missed anyone out on here, we appreciate every single person that’s been a part of our journey so far, and we can’t wait for summer 2020!

Ride Club BBQ @ Eydt

On June 20th we partnered with The Eydt Wealth Advisory Group to host a special rooftop edition of the monthly Steed Ride Club BBQ.

After a few fun laps of Stanley Park, Cypress lookout or out and back to Horseshoe Bay, we all headed back to Edgemont to enjoy the summer evening on a private patio.

The views, food, beer and friends were incredible! Thank you to Windsor Meats, Beere Brewing and The Eydt Wealth Advisory Group for this event. We look forward to making this a yearly event.

Thank you to everyone who came out to ride with friends. We are already planning another unique event with The Eydt Group and our July/August/September BBQ’s. Stay tuned on our socials for more details.

Thank you to Chris Mallinson for all the great photos. View more of his photos of the event on the Steed Ride Club Facebook Page

Join the Steed Ride Club Today!

John’s Tour Aotearoa

Tour Aotearoa – Bikepacking New Zealand

We are excited to share JOhn Ramsden’s adventure across New Zealand by bike. Learn more as he prepares for this ride of a lifetime and follow along.

Tour Aotearoa is one of the world’s great bikepacking trips: stretching 3,000km from Cape Reinga to Bluff it follows a combination of cycle trails, tracks, paths and lanes connected by the most enjoyable country roads available.

I first heard about it from Anka Martin at TransProvence 2015. It was her intent to participate in the first event which occurred in February of 2016. The event is the brainchild of Jonathon Kennet who has patched together the collection of roads and trails that trace the entire length of New Zealand.

The event is a Brevet. There are a few rules. They can be essentially broken down to

  1. It is self-supported – no outside help
  2. You must complete the exact route in more than 10 days and less than 30.
  3. You must have 6 hours rest in the 24 hour period from 9am to 9am, and
  4. There are 30 photo control points where you must take a picture to prove you were there.

And that is essentially it.

I have had a fair amount of time to think about the event and the logistics involved. I have used the information I learned from bikepacking the Stagecoach 400 as well as reading many blogs from the original event in 2016 such as http://www.ankamartin.com/blog/2016/3/23/bw0vmhh3b905dydeblh1nlyaeht5lb  

I will provide more on my choices in another blog.

You are required to carry a SPOT or similar tracker for the entire event. Follow us at www.maprogress.com under Tour Aotearoa 2018. There are 6 waves of 100 riders each. The first wave of which I am a part starts February 10, 2018 and the last wave starts February 28. I will be posting as I travel along.

Follow John as he rides here: https://share.garmin.com/JohnRamsden

 

Digger Kneeds Knees

Photo by Pinkbike

Back in 1996 I was first introduced to Todd “Digger” Fiander on a bike ride on Mt. Fromme. At the time all the good trails were the secret ones and Todd rode them all. I was lucky enough to get the invite on a few of these rides and knew Todd was going to be a big part of the next revolution in mountain bike trail creation.

He was building trails and filming friends insane enough to ride his trails to make his famous North Shore Extreme Videos. Todd asking me to be in his first NSX video not only got my name into the video and out into the community but also gave publicity to my new bike shop – Steed Cycles. The timing was great and so was what Todd was up to.

The North Shore Trails are well known not only locally but by mountain bike enthusiast all over the world. This is all owed to the hard work and passion of one man – Digger. Because of Diggers work on and off the trails we were able to captialize on the growing mtb scene. People wanted bikes that would allow them to keep up with Todds work and to make sure that their bikes were North Shore worthy. This meant that bike manufacturers changed their suspension requirements, tire sizes and geometry to keep up with Todd’s trails.

Steed Cycles and myself personally owe a lot to Digger not only for his constant support of Steed but for making trails that I personally love to ride and get so much enjoyment from.

We have learned that Todd will be taking some time off from the trails later this Summer as he goes under the knife to replace both of his knees. He will potentially be taking 1 year off and the community has banded together to create a fundraising campaign for the man himself – Digger Kneeds Knees!

Please contribute what you can or share the story with those you feel could give back. We look forward to seeing Todd back on the trails in 2018 better than ever. The Shore wouldn’t be the incredible mountain biking haven it is without the passion and dedication of this man.

https://www.gofundme.com/digger-kneeds-knees

Thank you for everything Digger! Heal up!

Cervelo Reinvented R Series #gotitatsteed

From geometry and technology to components and features, the R Series has been fundamentally re-engineered, revised and reinvented. The R5 makes no compromises as a race machine first and foremost. World Tour riders praise its new pro fit, stable and responsive handling, and unrivalled stiffness and lightweight design. Bernie Eisel calls it “the perfect bike […]

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