Tag Archives: mountain biking

trials bike mountain bike skills

The Drum Up Scottish Cycling podcast 18 Trials and sponsorship

In this show I interview Kevin Johnston of the Clydesdale Colts cycling club and who is also involved in the the Scottish trials club. We talk about how young riders can use trials bikes to get on bike skills quickly that can be easily transferred to mountain bikes.

In Motherwell they were looking to raise awareness of what he calls the best kept secret in cycling – how the trails bike can be used, and even with a simple grass area and cones course.

Any Scottish cycling Go-ride club can get involved and Kevin is keen to share the knowledge.


After that, keep listening I give a few thoughts about big event sponsorship based on my talking to a few major sponsors at the Motherwell tour series.

Listen in the player below:

Or listen on Apple Podcasts:

Here’s Lee Craigie’s Ted Talk, as mentioned in the show.

24 hour mountain biking event in scotland

Scottish cycling podcast 15: Richard and Tom Seipp!

Have you ever met a 12 year old that has raced 100 miles solo over 24 hours, ridden 215 miles in a day and attempted one of the toughest self-supported bike events in the world?

In my previous show I shared my brief thoughts following a chat with Richard and Tom Seipp. I’ve overcome technology problems and can bring you the full chat – listen to it below or get along to Craigton Mountain Sports on Biggar Road in Fairmilehead for 7pm to hear all about it. (Buy tickets here: 10% discount for Drum Up followers if you use the code DRUMUP on checkout!)

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24 hour mountain biking in Scotland

Scottish cycling podcast 14: bikepacking and long distance mountain biking

In this show I record my thoughts after a chat with Richard Seipp and his son Tom. They are speaking this Thursday 16th February in Edinburgh about long distance rides like the Highland Trail 550, the Strathpuffer 24 hour and tours in Europe.

Listen to my thoughts below or go along to Craigton Mountain Sports on Biggar Road in Fairmilehead for 7pm to hear all about it. (Buy tickets here: 10% discount for Drum Up followers if you use the code DRUMUP on checkout!)

UPDATE: I managed to publish the full audio of my chat with Richard and Tom Seipp, which you can listen to HERE.

Scottish cycling podcast 9: XC racing with Kerry MacPhee

In this show I’m talking cross country mountain bike racer Kerry MacPhee. We discuss how anyone can get started in racing, how to handle the challenge of stepping up from junior to senior level, the extra challenges beyond just training and racing such as logistics, the mental side of racing and gaining personal sponsorship.

You can subscribe on itunes to lisen on your mobile or listen below.

A photo posted by @kerrymacphee on

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’tis the season to help good ventures

A child seat built specifically for trails. This makes two kickstarter posts in one day, but the idea behind Macride was conceived in Scotland (I suspect) and it has been tested in the Ochil hills of Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire over the past few months, so I wanted to give this one a shout too.

You can contribute to this kickstarter fund – there are only a few hours to go on this one.

Kenta Gallagher Wins XC Eliminator in Nove Mesto

Scottish XC rider Kenta Gallagher won the XC Eliminator at the World Cup in Nove Mesto at the weekend. A great win at international level.

Kenta had been on the British Cycling performance programme for a few years and been supported by the Braveheart Fund. Lately I had begun to wonder about results, with younger compatriot (and fellow BC Performance rider) Grant Ferguson seemingly overtaking him. However it’s easy to forget the Braveheart and BC Performance might be more about developing athletes than getting on the top step of the podium. As an armchair follower who isn’t plugged into the MTB racing scene, I don’t have much of an idea what the performance path and the expectations really are but this result is obviously a step up at elite level.

Below is the press information from Endura, cycle clothing sponsor of Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team for 2013 and 2014. I get a sort of squeamish feeling running press releases – I should really be doing the stories myself – but time is tighter than a carbon post fused in a seat-tube right now.

Kenta Gallagher of the Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team, sponsored by Endura, won the XCE in Nove Mesto last Friday. The second round of the UCI MTB World Cup Series kicked off last Friday with the new Sprint Eliminator (XCE) discipline. The Sprint Eliminator begins with a time trial around a short urban course filled with obstacles. The top 32 women and top 32 men qualify for competition and then race in heats of four, with the top two in each heat moving on to the next round. Eventually, the top four riders race for the World Cup title. The IOC came over to Nove Mesto na Morave to see if this young and dynamic form of mountain biking can be added to the Olympic Games in Rio 2016. A final decision will be made in September later this year.

Kenta Gallagher XC Eliminator win
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Jaymie Mart memorial downhill

Jaymie Mart was a seven times Scottish downhill series winner who tragically died in September last year.

A new Mountain Biking festival, ‘Jayfest’, has been announced, and will be held in her memory in Innerleithen, Scotland, from 14th to 16th June 2013.


Jaymie was a colourful and well known personality in Scottish mountain biking, and although I did not know her, and am not plugged in to the downhill scene, my brother did and was deeply saddened to hear of her passing.

Here is the media information for the event- with pro rider Tracy Mosely, and coaches Emma Guy and Tracy Brunger (formerly of the Glentress Hub) on board it is sure to be a great event.

Download the Jayfest poster PDF

Jayfest will host an invigorating range of mountain biking events, complemented by a multitude of supporting events over the course of the weekend. Jayfest aims to promote biking, the arts, fun and laughter, all in the stunning setting of the glorious Tweed Valley.

The weekend will offer a variety of biking coaching sessions and races, and will also including a world record attempt at the longest mountain biking train. The festival will also include The Marketplace, a chill out teepee, children’s entertainment, pump track, and nutrition and wellbeing booth.
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Rab Wardell in Germany and Bike the Rock MTB race

Rab Wardell is often good at promoting his sponsors in different ways – such as the West Highland Way ride for Kinesis Morvelo.

Here he is riding his Trek Superfly on the trails and paths from the Burg Teck, situated at 2544 feet, high above Dettingen unter Teck in the district of Esslingen in Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The film was shot by Johny Cook.

“Wie in Deutschland” – “Like in Germany” from Johny Cook on Vimeo.

Rab is racing the Bike The Rock Elite MTB XC race on Sunday, along with fellow Scot Dave Henderson of GT Muc-Off Racing.

Dave described the XC course as a bit like Inerliethen- savage up and savage down. It is a strong field with the likes of Nino Schurter, Florian Vogel, Manuel Fumic, Marco Fontana and Fabian Giger – all riders who compete in the World Cup series.

Good luck lads!

Follow the tweets on #biketherock

Video courtesy of johnycook.com/

Tweedlove stories – Andy Barlow

Here’s a really nice video of Andy Barlow, Dirt School coach, riding mountain bikes in the Borders.

Vid is from the Tweedlove festival – nothing to do with retro bikes and clothing – it’s a 10 day cycling festival in the Tweed Valley in Scotland’s Borders region from 24th May to Sunday 2nd June 2013.

It includes enduro and DH races, a road sportive, a town centre crit in Peebles and numerous other events.

Tweedlove Stories 6 – Andy Barlow from Calum Darling on Vimeo.

Andy went to school with my wee brother – both were well into mountain bikes back then and obviously still are (I’m hoping to post something from the latter man soon). Andy is someone who helps to propel mountain biking in Scotland with Dirt School, providing coaching, courses and guiding.

Bike review: Lapierre Spicy 916

This post comes from my brother Chris Philipson. I am always keen to keep abreast of mountain biking, although I sold off my own 26″ hardtail in 2011-12 to replace it with a with a multipurpose Kinesis winter road / cyclocross bike. The spirit of that purchase is evident in Chris’ own do-it-all mountain bike, albeit he has gone for the best kit he could get his hands on.

Hasn’t everyone always wanted to build their dream bike? Since I was about 15, I certainly have. Well last winter, I broke my back (for the second time!) in a skiing accident, and I split up with my girlfriend – so I had a bit of time on my hands. I also had a refund from my season ski pass, and felt like I a project.

The build has some DH bits, and some more all-mountain bits. It’s a “quiver killer” designed as a do-it-all mountain bike covering both XC and DH bases, specifically for the alps.

This is not a complete custom build though. I bought a 2012 Lappiere Spicy 916 from Flying Fox. In 2012 you could not buy a frame-only from Lapierre. If you could have – I would have done just that.

I’d been riding a Transition Covert in the Swiss Alps for a couple of years. The Covert is perfect, in almost every way – but with the Hammerschmidt build I had, she was a touch hefty for long alpine ascents.

I guess normally, I wouldn’t change bits on a bike when I bought it – because it would get in the way of riding time. This time, though, it would be a few months before I could ride it. So I decided to sell some of the bits (Swiss prices! 😉 ) and replace them with my preferred choices.

Size and geometry

The stem on this bike is 35mm! Normally the shortest you’d go with is 50mm. This is the shortest available apart from a Mondraker style bike, that comes with a 5mm “on top” stem. They make their top tube longer to account for this – and with this medium size bike, that’s effectively what I’ve done.

Mondraker developed a completely new geometry where they extended their top tube lengths, but made an almost zero length stem. The short stem gives really fast, controllable steering.

And I have ended up with a medium size frame – instead of a small that I have ridden in the past. The small was a bit short, but this years medium was long, which suited me better as someone with short legs and a long body.

The longer top tube still gives you cross-country style climbability with you stability as well as more weight directly over the front wheel.

Groupset / drivetrain

I’ve gone for the 2×10 Shimano XTR the bike was specced with. If I was in the UK I’d go for a 1x set up, but over here in Europe, a 2x works a treat because there is more climbing.

Unfortunately there was a design fault on the mech hanger on previous Spicys – they only had one bolt. My first day riding it in Zermatt, and I hit the rear mech on a rock, damaging the frame. Thankfully Flying Fox (and Steve at Hotlines) were legends with the warranty, and sorted me out with a 2012 rear end to tide me over, and then a 2013 frame. Lappy have now sorted it, and changed the hanger to a more standard 2 bolt design (like everyone else!).

Lapierre Spicy 916 build
With the XTR shadow rear mech, its arguable whether a chain device is even needed. I was used to having everything locked in place with the Hammerschimdt gearbox on my Covert, so I decided to add a CGuide from Bionicon. A legendary bit of kit that matches perfectly with the shadow rear mech. The only problem then was protecting the chainrings (and the XTR ones aren’t cheap to replace!)

Lapierre Spicy 916 build
I went for a carbon bash guard from Carbocage. It was designed to pair up with their single ring guide – but they were happy to sell it on its own. It required a fair bit of filing to get it flush enough with the frame for the 2x set up, but that combined with a couple plastic washers (from an e-13 bottom bracket and crankset), and it fitted a treat. I couldn’t really find many bash guards that would fit with the XTR 2x set up. If their Saint one comes out I might try that too. The Carbocage one does slide over rocks nicely though.


The Spicy came with Formula The One discs. I’d had them on my Covert before, and I’m pretty happy with them. They are nice and light, but a touch on the flimsy side. My biggest gripe is the cost of spare parts. If I had to replace them I’d perhaps go for Hope M4’s for their sturdiness and more sensibly priced spares. I upgraded the discs to floating rotors because the heat dissipation helps a lot on long alpine descents. They were silly priced though – and I used Hope titanium bolts instead of the formula ones because they were about half the price – you cant have rusty bits on a bike this bling! 😉

Lapierre Spicy 916 build

I had been pondering a Whyte 146, so I couldn’t help reading about the carbon Haven wheels. Silly price though, so I couldn’t allow it. That was until I spotted a set massively reduced, and I realized selling the new aluminum set would get close to paying for them.

Marsh Guard is such an easy and light solution to mud in the face I thought I’d give it a try. I accidently ended up with two, so I thought I’d try one on the back and see if my riding pack ends up any less wet. It’s probably not worth having on the back though.

Finishing kit

The specced 711mm Easton carbon Haven bar was changed to a 750mm Easton Carbon Havoc bar – that was a no brainer.

The 70mm Haven stem was ditched for a 35mm Havoc. This was a tricky one, I was trying to make the the length as similar as possible to my Covert – and I do like a short stem, but I was worried that this was perhaps a bit too short.


Seatpost – I couldn’t resist making use of the stealth cable routing on the 2013 Spicy frame. The stealth reverb adjustable seatpost comes in a 150mm extension model – which measured up exactly right for me and on a 160mm travel bike it makes sooo much difference. You can pedal uphill with full leg stretch then slam it down into downhill mode easily. 

The internal cable routing of the Spicy is just perfect. The frame came with a cable run through to make the reverb routing easy. The little plastic clips that you get with the reverb were perfect for making the front end super neat.

Contact points – pedals, saddle and grips

My previous pedals had died, so I couldn’t resist going for the Hope F20’s. I’ve left the centre to pin spots free, to give them a touch of a concave feel. The hope grip doctors pair up nicely with the ESI silicone grips and help protect the carbon bars.

Lapierre Spicy 916 build

The ESI Silicon grips are not lock ons. They are super grippy and more shock absorbing, but also way lighter than lock ons. This enabled me to add Hope end plugs.

So far I’m pretty happy with the Fizik Gobi saddle – and I’m resisting the carbon model!


I do like the compression adjust on the Fox 36 Floats, compared to the previous oil bath model I had. Had I been choosing I’d be giving the Boss deville forks a closer look mind!

Easton have just announced a free upgrade to new bearings and spacer kit – which should eliminate problems with the bearings wearing out due to the Preload adjuster either unthreading or being set slightly wrong. I’m looking forward to fitting mine as I already have a slight play in my bearings. No- I don’t have an excuse to rebuild the Haven’s with gunsomoke Hope Pro2’s though! ☹


She’s come in at bang on 12.6 Kilos (27 pounds). OK, I’ll admit it, I’m a weight weeny, and many may say that I’d get more advantage by loosing some weight myself. It’s true, but I did loose the same amount as the difference between my Covert/Hammerschmidt build at 15.5kgs.

All the hardware I could possibly change is Ti!

She was named after the Malaysian for chilli sauce – Sambal. Spicy – gettit?

Lapierre Spicy 916 build