Landrace Blackstar, Saved by Discs and Hexr 3-D Printed Helmet
Anyone out there still there not on disc-brakes? I implore you to jump right in, the water’s great. The urgency underpinning this technology-shift will inevitably be a function of a few personal variables: your bike-skills to confidence ratio (the big one), your weight, age, perspective on crashing/injury etc.
I only mention this because I got caught out my second ever ride on our brand new Landrace Blackstar test-bike. We were invited on an extremely snazzy corporate ride around the steep Kent hills, to dispense bike-positioning advice and to be general good riding role-models. Somewhere around Toys or York’s Hills, I got above myself and almost above the hedge-rows.
Too comfortable and over-confident, I barrelled down a narrow descent way too fast, hit the apex perfectly, only to be met by an agricultural vehicle crawling up the other way. At a more modest pace I would have had an eternity to stop, swerve, maybe all the above. At the pace I was going the one chance I had was to dive on the discs with a Popeye grip – except between me and the tractor were a few esteemed guests – almost certainly CEO’s of listed companies. Currently I was scheduled to hit them fractionally before I hit the tractor. Not a good look for the supposed ‘expert’. I shouldn’t have been able to change line at the speed I was travelling, with the front tyre buried deep into gravel-strewn ancient tarmac. With a shimmy and barely audible chirp from Schwalbe Pro One rubber I shifted line with the back wheel bouncing up and down off the road like an excited puppy. I hauled up with a couple of feet to spare, hoping my body language exuded a generalised ‘nothing to see, air’.
The fact that you are reading this in a Cyclefit Journal and not page five of The Daily Mail with a headline – “Cycle ‘expert’ thug plays bike-skittles with blue-chip company bosses” is testament to three things – disc-brake technology, 28mm tyres and the superb design and build of our new Landrace Blackstar. There is simply no way I could have or would have stopped if I had been using caliper brakes and 25mm tyres. Not enough raw power and certainly not enough grip. The game has indeed changed. Thank god.