Bad news……Marzocchi is to close.

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Jul 232015
 

Breaking News: Marzocchi to Close its Doors

Tenneco has officially announced that Marzocchi will be closing closing its doors. A few months ago we first heard Tenneco were searching for a buyer for the company as they were looking to transition away from the suspension business. It’s apparent that didn’t happen, and they are now are discontinuing the business. There will be far reaching implications to this event (warranties, sponsorships etc…) that we will have more information on shortly. But here is the initial PR to all their shareholders.

Tenneco Inc. (NYSE:TEN) announced today its intention to discontinue its Marzocchi motor bike fork suspension business and its mountain bike business, and liquidate its Marzocchi operations.

These actions are subject to a consultation process with the employee representatives and in total would eliminate approximately 138 jobs.Tenneco currently employs 127 people at the Marzocchi plant in Bologna, Italy and an additional 11 people in its operations in North America and Taiwan.

Tenneco intends to assist its motor bike customers with the transition of current production to an alternative supplier and expects to complete the closure by the end of 2015.

“We sincerely regret the impact these actions would have on our Tenneco Marzocchi employees, and thank them for their tireless efforts to improve performance and reduce costs. Unfortunately, it was not enough to overcome continuing market challenges in the two-wheeler business,” said Brian Kesseler, chief operating officer, Tenneco. “We are committed to working with our employees’ representatives, and with our customers to make the transition as smooth as possible.”

This intended action is a part of Tenneco’s ongoing efforts to optimize its Ride Performance business globally while continuously improving its operations and increasing profitability.

Tenneco expected to record charges of approximately $27 million related to these actions in the third quarter which includes approximately $17 million of cash expenditures. These charges consist of severance and other employee related costs, asset impairment charges and other expenses related to the closure. The company anticipates improving financial results by approximately $7 million annually, beginning in 2016.

Tenneco is an $8.4 billion global manufacturing company with headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois and approximately 29,000 employees worldwide. Tenneco is one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and marketers of clean air and ride performance products and systems for automotive, commercial truck, and off-highway original equipment markets, and the aftermarket. Tenneco’s principal brand names are Monroe®, Walker®, XNOx™ and Clevite®Elastomer.

Who are you?…………Nepal’s Hardtail hero-Tangi Rebours

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Jul 172015
 

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 Imagine if you will being able to ride and live in a epic location. Not just somewhere like Whistler or New Zealand which are awesome places but will pale slightly compared to being somewhere almost off the grid as far as riding is concerned. It would be the biggest playground possible. Natural untamed and possibly unridden trails, Rich Cultures and everyday being, well awesome. Now for this “Who are you?” interview we catch up with a little know fellow who use to live in France but now not only gets to ride in the wilderness and epic terrain in and around Nepal, but actually gets paid to ride there and show others a adventure of a life time. Not only that but makes films about it too. Well after a brief exchange on HTN’s facebook page and seeing a couple of his adventures we had to ask..

Who Are you?

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Through the mill…Dmr Wing Bars & Sect Stem, Schwalbe Nobby Nic

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Jul 132015
 

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Schwalbe Nobby Nic Evo. ( 26 x 2.35)

£45  ( ish)

 

I was looking froward to trying these out. Even more so now I’m Tubeless.  They are “Tubeless Easy” which means they are pretty easy to fit. That they are. All I needed was Schwalbe easy fit, some Stan’s solution, tyres ( Dur) and a track pump.

They have a very rounded shape to them which in theory should give you lots of grip whatever angle you are leaning. The blocks are as you can see well spread and quite deep so ideal for soft conditions. The Snakeskin fends off rocks and the like whilst the Trailstar compound should give you lots of grip.

Now I’ll be honest all of the above is what is suppose to happen. For me however it’s been a bit of a tricky trail. I run my tyres about 27 psi but have found that from time to time the front lets go. Not great for confidence. In one case it resulted in a rather unfortunate Off. I’m sure in loamy conditions they are great but round here they are pretty much everything but.  In soft pine needles they were ok but a couple of moments didn’t put me at ease. In fact no matter what surface they have been a bit well, scary at times.  They do roll well and wear is really good, but we haven’t got on that well. Maybe in a Vertstar compound and a little heavier duty might help on the hardtail. I did have a freak puncture due to a rock which meant stop pump up tyre , slosh sealant around pump up again, ride, stop repeat. But once i got more sealant in the tyre it was all good.

I’m not going to write them off yet. maybe run a little lower pressure and see what they will be like in wetter conditions. Fingers crossed.  For Summer and hard trails i would stick to Hans Dampf up front and rock Razor on the back. I found both of these to be better than the Nic.

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Dmr Wingbar mk3 and Sect stem

Bars = £49.99

Stem = £49.99

Well as you know we are fans of DMR here at HTN so when a pair of the Wing Bars and a Sect stem turned up I wasted no time fitting them. The Bars are 780mm wide 35mm rise and come in a snazzy Nickel grey finish which looks very nice and wears well.  The Sect stem is aimed more at dirt jump but turns out to be pretty good on the trail too. At 0 rise and 40mm reach it’s going to make for nippy handling.

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The bars have a nice sweep on them and despite being 780mm wide don’t feel too wide.  They take a fair bit of buzz out of the trail  and with 35 rise they help keep the front up a bit which I know is rather in the face of fashion. The finish is spot on although I would prefer to see Etched markings for width as the painted marks tend to wear off. However the rest of the bar has been out in all sorts and still look almost like new.  They feel good as I said and aren’t too stiff nor flexy. There’s not a lot to say other than that. They are a good price too.

The Sect stem is a bit of a Marmite one I’m afraid. The large clamp which uses 2 forward facing bolts and 2 rear facing bolts to secure the bars does a grand job of securing the bars. They are rather large bolts too which is great for strength but do add a fair amount of size to the stem. I would like to see them come down a size so it doesn’t look quite so bulky especially as it slims off a fair chunk by the time it’s got to the steerer clamp. The other down side of a large front/bar clamp is it does make fitting a set of lights, or other bar mounted gadget a tad tricky.  The slim steerer clamp is much more to my liking but maybe a bit deeper would help balance out the difference in size.

The only real gripe apart from the size issue is how chuffing tight you need to do the bolts up. I have had to get a little heavy handed to make sure they don’t move. A little grease did help but i still found i was doing them up a bit tighter than i liked. Other than that this is a great set up and whipping through tight sections is a blast. The Orange finish is rather snazzy and a little Sect logo adds a touch of style too.

All in all a good set up if you like a tough but quick handling bike. Like i said the size and having to tighten the bolts are the only gripes I have. At less than a 100 notes it’s a fair deal too and a little different from the mainstream.

Through the Mill… Carboncycles & Muckynutz

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Jun 262015
 

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Carboncycles Exotic Nion grip

www.carboncycles.cc

£7.79

These grips are from Carboncycles. If you haven’t heard of them don’t be surprised as they aren’t widely known here in the UK. However they do a huge range of products aimed more at XC and trail, but also bmx parts and more. These are the Nion loc on grip. They sport the usual diamond pattern with a grid pattern on the underside. Not only that but you can chop and change the collars to suit your colour scheme. In fact you can have a collar each end or a end cap is up to you and the choice of colours.

So how have they done? Well i tend to kill grips rather too easily. Not by wearing them out, but by making them go sticky. Well I don’t run gloves… These however I have worn out. To start with they are a little hard and tend to need a few rides to soften them up a bit but after that they aren’t too bad.  The grid pattern is ideal for wet conditions as it provides a bit more grip. They weigh in at 85g a pair and at 130 mm long they are about right length wise.

The collars are removable which is good if you damage one or just want to change the colour. This also means you can have the allen bolts facing whichever way suits you. the logo isn’t very obvious and I did tend to have to tighten them somewhat tighter than I would like. But other than that they are fine.  Like I said they can be a bit on the hard side but lasted the best part of 3-4 months being used to commute and some long rides. There’s not much more to say really. These are a bargain and look the part. With the ability to change collars or the grip on it’s own is rather a clever idea.

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 Mucky nutz Face fender XL

all good bikes shops

£9

In theory the wet weather has gone to annoy someone else, but this being England it soon comes back. Now you might not want to have to run mudguards all the time but this one from Mucky Nutz is ideal to keep on your bike all year round. Now the eagle eyed of you will notice that although this is the XL ( Extra Long) it’s been trimmed at the front. Surprisingly this hasn’t really hindered it at all and it’s kept pretty much all the muck out of my face.

They are dead simple to fit  and the only bit of faffing is getting the velcro the right length. You can get round this by using zip ties but they will mark your forks . The Velcro means you can whip it off quick too.

So a simple mudguard from one of if the original Fork/face fenders that works and comes in a range of colours to suit your steed.

 

Who are you?……… The Marvellous Marcia Ellis

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Jun 262015
 

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We catch up with another of  Dame Cycling’s finest. Originally from South Africa and now living here she is a definite shredder and ferociously competitive. Despite being fairly new to riding she is more than making up for it by having a fair old go at different types of racing and riding. Not only that but all on the same bike. It’s certainly clear that she loves riding her trusty steed and going on whatever ad/misadventures she can. Always smiling until it’s go time. When she is not riding/ racing she has to work full time and study. So it’s fair to say she likes to be kept busy. But who is she? Well you know us here at HTN we like to find “Grassroots” riders as well as pros. So we ask…..

Who are you?

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Through the mill…. Cranked magazine

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Jun 232015
 

 

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In a world where everything seems to be heading onto “Online” it’s refreshing and pleasing to see a new magazine break from the tread and do things a bit different. The Mastermind behind this is none other than Seb Rogers. If that name sounds familiar, then the chances are you have seen and/or read his work before. Also if you attended the Bristol Bikefest you would of come across him there too. Seb wanted to bring a magazine into a world of “Must have and now!” which isn’t. Okay yes you should own a copy but it’s not a 5 minute fix. Think of it this way, some mags are like energy drinks or fast food, quick, easy, and done in 5 minutes. Cranked isn’t. Cranked is sit down with a nice cup of tea, and a few of your favourite biscuits in a comfy chair perhaps in the sunshine and just lose yourself in a world outside the must have generation. It’s a fine cream tea with proper scones and jam, not a burger and fries. It’s a fine real ale that is to be savoured not a quick pint of dubious larger.

It goes beyond the high fives and fist bumps. It goes into detail and depth. It draws you in to what the writer is saying. It’s informative, insightful, and to be quite frank, incredible. To call it a magazine is a bit unfair. It’s much more. I purchased a copy a few weeks ago and still haven’t finished it, even after many cups of tea and rather too many Ginger Biscuits. It’s managed to keep the art of storytelling alive. Lets be honest we all love a good story, it’s soul and centre of being who we are. Cranked magazine is just that. It is indeed and Magazine for Mountain Bikers.

The first issue alone has none other than Jo Burt, Chris Porter and our man in Canada Seb Kemp. It also has an epic trip across Peru, the rather intriguing subject of E bikes and a in depth piece about bridleways and so much more. For your £10 you get 130 pages of which only 16 are ad pages. Yes that’s right. It’s printed on nice thick paper with stunning photos and has that rather special smell that is unmistakable.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this issue and will most likely read and reread it again and again. There just isn’t enough time sometimes but Cranked magazine certain lets you just stop and lose yourself for a little while

It all came about with the help of Kickstarter and this means you , yes you can be part of it. It’s available from  www.cranked.cc, so don’t just sit there. Get on there and get yourself a copy. Best get a few biscuits and some tea in too.

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