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TESTED: TREK PROCALIBER 9.6

TESTED: TREK PROCALIBER 9.6

Is it a hardtail or is it a softtail? That is the question. No; that is A question? THE question really is: How does it ride? Our test team spent a few weeks putting the TREK Procaliber 9.6 through its paces to see just what kind of rider in the Sout ...

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GEAR CHOICE AT THE 2017 SANI2C – ALL THE STATS

GEAR CHOICE AT THE 2017 SANI2C – ALL THE STATS

  With over 4200 participants and nine accumulated days of racing over a total distance of 789km and 11 355 metres of ascent, the KAP Sani2c is the world’s biggest mountain bike stage race. We wanted to know more about the gear and components used by ...

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GREG MINNAAR ON THE PROS (AND CON) OF 29-INCH DH WHEELS

GREG MINNAAR ON THE PROS (AND CON) OF 29-INCH DH WHEELS

This past weekend, South African Greg Minnaar became the first rider to win a Downhill World Cup race on a 29-inch wheel bike. Not surprisingly, his record-extending success has been widely reported, but we wanted to find out more about the differenc ...

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BIKE STATS OF THE 2017 KAP SANI2C

BIKE STATS OF THE 2017 KAP SANI2C

  Since 2005, the Sani2c three-day stage race has given South African mountain bikers an annual dose of trail-riding fun. Yes, it’s grown to become the country’s largest mountain bike stage race. Yes, it’s an exceptionally important event for th ...

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TESTED: BONTRAGER CAMBION SHOES

TESTED: BONTRAGER CAMBION SHOES

It was love at first sight when we first laid our eyes on the Bontrager Cambion MTB shoes. They are probably the best-looking shoes we’ve ever seen. And we’ve seen (and worn) many… But good looks are one thing, how do these kicks perform on the bike? ...

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TESTED: BLS VELORACING BAG

TESTED: BLS VELORACING BAG

Packing for a ride or race day can be a hit and miss affair, especially when you're in a rush. Then even the neatest packing order goes out the window, especially when packing cycling-specific gear. This is more apparent when using generic luggage, w ...

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WOMEN’S MTB: FIND YOUR COMFORT ZONE

WOMEN’S MTB: FIND YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Mountain biking is probably one of the most fun ways to become fit, lose weight, spend time with your better half or family, and spend time outdoors. It is also a great stress buster! When you’re comfortable, you enjoy your riding and you want to rid ...

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SOUTH AFRICAN MOUNTAIN BIKERS, SHOULD YOU GET A COACH?

SOUTH AFRICAN MOUNTAIN BIKERS, SHOULD YOU GET A COACH?

  Races are a big part of the South African mountain bike market. Stage races and marathons/half-marathons dominate an annual calendar that boasts more than 500 mountain bike events. South Africans are naturally competitive, well the males certa ...

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OPINION: SA MOUNTAIN BIKING TOO ENDURANCE OBSESSED!

OPINION: SA MOUNTAIN BIKING TOO ENDURANCE OBSESSED!

Throughout the last couple of years, mountain biking events, specifically marathons (XCM) and multi-stage (STG) races, have taken South Africa by storm. The culture of endurance sports such as running and surfski-paddling, has resided in this country ...

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HOW TO MAKE CLIMBING EASIER (AND FASTER)

HOW TO MAKE CLIMBING EASIER (AND FASTER)

The best climbers are smaller and lighter than the average cyclist with around 350g of body weight per centimetre of height (that’s 170cm and 59.5kg!), unfortunately we weren’t all born to be climbers so we have to look at ways of maximising our pool ...

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TESTED- TREK FUEL EX 9.8

TESTED- TREK FUEL EX 9.8

TREK overhauled its entire performance mountain bike range for 2017, some models such as the Top Fuel were completely renewed and others were tweaked, such as the Fuel EX. Some get confused between these two models which both share ‘Fuel’ in their na ...

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HIPPO HOLLOW MTB CHALLENGE – THE NEW RACE NEAR KRUGER PARK

HIPPO HOLLOW MTB CHALLENGE – THE NEW RACE NEAR KRUGER PARK

  With a packed racing calendar full of choice, it takes a special kind of event to make an impact from the inaugural edition. The 2017 Vodacom Hippo Hollow MTB Challenge has set out to do just that, taking participants through some of the most ...

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HOW TO CONQUER FLOATING BRIDGES

HOW TO CONQUER FLOATING BRIDGES

There are more and more floating bridges taking riders across rivers, dams and river mouths in South African races and also on some trails. Many are hesitant to tackle floating bridges, but you needn’t be. Here’s how to conquer them with confidence.  ...

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10 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH SCOTT’S JOGGIE PRINSLOO

10 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH SCOTT’S JOGGIE PRINSLOO

The 2017 Absa Cape Epic was dominated by one brand: SCOTT. The Swiss-based bike brand won four stages and the overall title in the Men’s race, claimed seven stage wins and the overall title the Women’s race and secured all eight stages and the overal ...

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TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND WIN!

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND WIN!

If you’re doing the 2017 KAP Sani2c, take our rider survey and stand a chance to win a Specialized gear hamper worth over R5000! TREAD, the authority on South African mountain biking, is interested in you, your gear, your training and your bike. If y ...

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TESTED: TREK TOP FUEL 9.8 SL 

TESTED: TREK TOP FUEL 9.8 SL 

TREK revived the Top Fuel model two years ago to be the brand’s high performance XC/marathon race model, replacing the Super Fly 100. We got to spend a few weeks getting to know the current version of the brand’s storied racing model that has already ...

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2017 CAPE EPIC: FAST AND FURIOUS – A ONE-OFF OR THE FUTURE?

2017 CAPE EPIC: FAST AND FURIOUS – A ONE-OFF OR THE FUTURE?

    There’s been much discussion about the increased pace of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic. A race that’s traditionally been an endurance test became somewhat of a speed test this year – and it caught many off guard. Their training wasn’t for spe ...

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2017 CAPE EPIC: ALL THE RIDER STATS

2017 CAPE EPIC: ALL THE RIDER STATS

      The Absa Cape Epic isn’t a young man’s event. That’s according to the 2017 rider statistics that show that only 12% of the male entrants this year were younger than the age of 30. Also notable is that 27% of the entrants spent more th ...

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GEAR CHOICE AT THE 2017 ABSA CAPE EPIC: ALL THE STATS

GEAR CHOICE AT THE 2017 ABSA CAPE EPIC: ALL THE STATS

    The Absa Cape Epic is the pinnacle event in mountain bike stage racing. Everything about the event is difficult, especially securing an entry. Once you have the entry though, you have the difficult task of spending a good few months pre ...

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BIKES OF THE 2017 ABSA CAPE EPIC: ALL THE STATS

BIKES OF THE 2017 ABSA CAPE EPIC: ALL THE STATS

  The annual Absa Cape Epic is considered by many to be the ultimate proving ground for bikes, gear and riders. It’s not only the distance, the terrain, the conditions and the weather; it’s the pressure that makes the bike stats from this race r ...

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CAPE EPIC 2017: HARD RACE OR SOFT RIDERS?

CAPE EPIC 2017: HARD RACE OR SOFT RIDERS?

Was the 2017 Absa Cape Epic particularly brutal, or were many of the riders that started it under prepared? It’s a question that’s been raised regularly since the decision by the organisers to shorten Stage 2 from 102km to 62km due to predicted extre ...

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MUMS at the EPIC 2017

MUMS at the EPIC 2017

We celebrate Mother's Day one Sunday a year. But we all know that for Moms, every day is Son's or Daughter's Day. Joanne Badenhorst (Mrs TREAD), a mother, will be featuring three Epic moms each day during the 2017 Absa Cape Epic on www.treadmtb.co.za ...

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10 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH MAX KNOX

10 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH MAX KNOX

Max Knox, the current South African marathon and national marathon series champion, was able to compete in his ninth Absa Cape Epic this year, thanks to a new venture into mountain biking by paint and coatings giant, Kansai Plascon. Although only 29 ...

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10 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH MARISKE STRAUSS

10 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH MARISKE STRAUSS

The top South African female finisher at the 2017 Absa Cape Epic was Mariske Strauss of the Hansgrohe Cadence OMX Pro team. She and teammate, Annie Last of England, spent the entire race in third place overall, but fortune favoured them on Stage 6 wh ...

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MUMS AT THE EPIC – STAGE 7 – AND THAT’S A WRAP

MUMS AT THE EPIC – STAGE 7 – AND THAT’S A WRAP

How so much can happen in eight days is difficult to comprehend. There were so many extremes, from weather conditions (4 deg C to over 40 dec C), emotional highs and lows (seeing riders you know succeed one day then struggle the next); and this year ...

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CAPE EPIC 2017 DAY 7 – TREAD NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

CAPE EPIC 2017 DAY 7 – TREAD NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

Day 7, Stage 6. The Queen Stage of the 14th edition of the Absa Cape Epic on the penultimate day. Some would say that’s cruel. We say, that’s the Cape Epic – deal with it. And it was a truly epic Epic stage with a climb up the monstrous Groenlandberg ...

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MUMS AT THE EPIC – STAGE 6

MUMS AT THE EPIC – STAGE 6

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CAPE EPIC 2017 DAY 6 TREAD NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

CAPE EPIC 2017 DAY 6 TREAD NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

Day 6, Stage 5. At 84km a shortish stage, but with 2100m of climbing and a high percentage of singletrack, far from easy… Olympic champion, Nino Schurter and his young SCOTT SRAM Racing teammate, Matthias Stirnemann, won the stage and took the overal ...

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MUMS AT THE EPIC – STAGE 5

MUMS AT THE EPIC – STAGE 5

  2017 is the first Cape Epic where TREAD is a digital media only, as we stopped doing a print issue in about June 2016. It has been so liberating and we have been on a growth spurt ever since. It enables us to cover the Epic in a different way ...

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CAPE EPIC 2017 DAY 5, TREAD NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

CAPE EPIC 2017 DAY 5, TREAD NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

Day 5, Stage 4. Finally a longer stage! More distance, more time, more climbing. More like the Cape Epic we know. The Cape Epic that everyone prepares for. Well, most of the field anyway. The first four days this year were unusually short (an average ...

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MUMS AT THE EPIC – STAGE 4

MUMS AT THE EPIC – STAGE 4

Stage 4 at the Absa Cape Epic felt like we experienced four seasons in one day. Fresh start with drizzle, windy and sunny, hot and humid, and now the rain. Despite this all the mums today were making the most of being in this privileged environment. ...

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CAPE EPIC 2017 DAY 4: TREAD NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

CAPE EPIC 2017 DAY 4: TREAD NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

Day 4, Stage 3. “After two rugged days, riders will get to enjoy a shorter stage and the mountain biking delights of Greyton.” That’s what the race guide says about today’s 78km stage with 1650m of climbing that started and finished at Elandskloof ne ...

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MUMS AT THE EPIC – STAGE 3

MUMS AT THE EPIC – STAGE 3

    With the stage being a relatively short one today (by Epic standards), it was a mad rush for the TREAD team to get from the various water and spectator points, and then to the finish. The top riders came through Water Point 1 at a blist ...

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CAPE EPIC 2017 DAY 3 – TREAD NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

CAPE EPIC 2017 DAY 3 – TREAD NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

Day 3, Stage 2. For the first time in Cape Epic history, the organisers shortened a stage because of “projected extreme heat”. What should have been a 102km haul from Hermanus to Greyton became a 62km leg to Caledon. Some riders were disappointed, bu ...

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MUMS AT THE EPIC – STAGE 2

MUMS AT THE EPIC – STAGE 2

Stage 2 at the 2017 ABSA Cape Epic, started with a bit of a shake up with the route being shortened by 40km due the threat of excessively high temperatures. All our mums today where at the race village in Elandskloof, about 26km outside of Greyton, w ...

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CAPE EPIC 2017 DAY 2 – TREAD NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

CAPE EPIC 2017 DAY 2 – TREAD NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

  Day 2, Stage 1 – the customary reality check day at the Absa Cape Epic. The day when those that thought they were conditioned enough to finish the race realised they weren’t. Yes, it was hot, but it’s been hotter. Yes the surfaces were rough. ...

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CAPE EPIC 2017 DAY 1 – TREAD NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

CAPE EPIC 2017 DAY 1 – TREAD NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

The first stage of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic was the shortest of the eight stages, but it wasn’t short on drama. Dry, dusty conditions, combined with very high temperatures left some riders gasping for water (and air) during the 26km route that started ...

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SOUTH AFRICAN CHAMP KNOX, CONFIDENT OF CAPE EPIC SUCCESS

SOUTH AFRICAN CHAMP KNOX, CONFIDENT OF CAPE EPIC SUCCESS

South African champion Max Knox, feels quietly confident about his chances of success at the 2017 Absa Cape Epic, which starts on Sunday. Knox has spent the past week training around his hometown of Sabie with his Colombian teammate, Leo Paez and fee ...

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STRAVA PREMIUM – IS IT WORTH THE MONEY?

STRAVA PREMIUM – IS IT WORTH THE MONEY?

  Everyone loves the prestige that comes with being a VIP. Think of the exclusivity of the blue tick on Twitter, or special access to the reserved lounges at airports. When it comes to the Strava community this is no different. Actually, it’s pr ...

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BEST VALUE-FOR-MONEY THREE-DAY MTB EXPERIENCE? THIS IS IT!

BEST VALUE-FOR-MONEY THREE-DAY MTB EXPERIENCE? THIS IS IT!

I’m not saying don’t do stage races. They offer a great experience and are normally highly rewarding to complete. All I’m saying is R2400 for three days of the most interesting, stimulating mountain biking is a very reasonable price to pay. And maybe ...

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TREAD’S TOP 10 STORIES FROM THE 2016 CAPE EPIC

TREAD’S TOP 10 STORIES FROM THE 2016 CAPE EPIC

Karl Platt wins No. 5 We called it in our preview, but it’s still an incredible achievement. The German champion Karl Platt won his fifth Cape Epic title, matching the record set in 2015 by Swiss star, Christoph Sauser. While Sauser holds the record ...

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THE ONE THING THAT WILL IMPROVE YOUR SPEED INSTANTLY

THE ONE THING THAT WILL IMPROVE YOUR SPEED INSTANTLY

We teach hundreds of South African mountain bikers at our TREAD Skills Clinics each year. For many, confidence and speed are secondary to just trying to stay upright and avoid crashing or stopping at every obstacle. But there’s one simple thing that ...

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10 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH FRITZ PIENAAR

10 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH FRITZ PIENAAR

In my opinion, Fritz Pienaar is one of two men that sparked the growth and subsequent popularity of mountain biking in South Africa (the other is Cape Epic founder, Kevin Vermaak). Pienaar is the Director of Advendurance, the company that owns and or ...

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SCOTT GENIUS 720 PLUS

SCOTT GENIUS 720 PLUS

The Plus wheel size is still finding it's feet, but we still believe it is becoming a permanent category because of the advantages it offers. We got to test the Genius 720 Plus in mid 2016 on very familiar trails in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, which o ...

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CAPE EPIC; ARE WOMEN TOUGHER?

CAPE EPIC; ARE WOMEN TOUGHER?

There’s often discussion about whether women are tougher than men when it comes to endurance sport. The Cape Epic is one of the toughest endurance sports events on the planet and a good place to examine this. By Sean Badenhorst Photos: Dino Lloyd ...

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MASTERING MUD

MASTERING MUD

Because most of us seldom head out to ride when it’s really muddy, we’re usually caught by surprise when we’re faced with a muddy ride or race. As an obstacle, mud can vary in depth, texture, viscosity and duration. But the best way to tackle it, in ...

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 CAPE EPIC: DON’T BLAME THE ROUTE, BRU. HTFU!

 CAPE EPIC: DON’T BLAME THE ROUTE, BRU. HTFU!

Over 25% of teams that started, did not finish the 2016 Cape Epic and the difficulty of the route seemed to be the most popular excuse. We say excuse because participants seldom volunteer self-blame when they can’t finish a Cape Epic. We expect 2017’ ...

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ABSA CAPE EPIC 2016 RIDER STATS

ABSA CAPE EPIC 2016 RIDER STATS

The Absa Cape Epic delivers eight days of globally relevant mountain bike racing drama each year. Drama because, well, it’s mountain biking; and the riders are human. We’ve been publishing details on the rider stats after each edition. Here’s a look ...

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IT’S POSSIBLE: FROM PITCHES TO PEDALS

IT’S POSSIBLE: FROM PITCHES TO PEDALS

Gordon Gilbert is a name that pops up regularly in the top 20 overall finishers at mountain bike races. It’s also a name that’s been mentioned by numerous football commentators during professional games. What’s the connection? By Sean Badenhorst Phot ...

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BIKES AND GEAR STATS FROM THE ABSA CAPE EPIC

BIKES AND GEAR STATS FROM THE ABSA CAPE EPIC

We’ve made a bit a habit out of publishing and analyzing post-Cape Epic statistics. The bike and gear stats are based on feedback from the 1200 participants in the race and provide a good snapshot of what’s currently relevant in the marathon/stage ra ...

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