Kath Bicknell

Blog

When you buy this women’s bike, you’re buying into a community as well.

There are a lot of things that go into choosing a new bike. In my opinion, some people fixate too much on brands, the drool level of the parts, weight and appearance, and forget about other important aspects which determine how much they enjoy using it.

Tthe 2016 Liv Avail 1 Women’s Disc is so much more than the sum of its (well thought out) parts. For new riders this alloy, Shimano 105 specced, AU$ 1,799 disc model is an entry point into a whole new community. In Australia, there are regular rides in most capital cities, and a quick look at the #LivBeyond hashtag on instagram will show you how big this community is becoming on a global scale.

I tested the Avail 1 Disc for the Summer 2016 issue of Bike magazine (Australia). The bike itself has a robust and instinctive ride feel with a frame geometry that encourages comfort and stability. A PDF copy of the full review is here. An excerpt and a gallery of extra images from the very first ride are below (so clean!). Double tap the images to see them bigger if you’re reading from your mobile.

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The Cannondale Synapse range suits riders who prefer a slightly relaxed position on the bike rather than super aggressive stance. The Women’s 105 5 features an alloy frame and  Shimano 105 shifting. My favourite feature is the SAVE Plus micro suspension, which transforms the ride properties of this $AU 1699 bike into one that you would think cost a lot more. With rack mounting points and a colour scheme that won’t show grime, it’s well suited to commuting through the city some days and longer adventures out of town or with a road bunch on others.

I tested the 2015 Women’s Synapse 105 5 for the Spring 2015 issue of Bike Magazine (Australia). You can download a PDF copy of the review here. An excerpt and a bonus gallery is below.

The frame, features and spec feature strong overlaps with the 2016 model, which you can read about on Cannondale’s US website. If you’re reading from your mobile, double tap the gallery to see the images in full size.

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DHaRCO is an Australian mountain bike apparel company blending detailed trail functionality with a casual, surf-inspired aesthetic. I first wrote about the range for Flow Mountain Bike when DHaRCO launched into its opening season in 2014. It was interesting to interview designer, Mandy Davis, as part of this article and learn first hand about the processes that happen behind the scenes before garments like these hit the shelves.

DHaRCO-clothing-51-Flow Mountain Bike

The antibacterial ‘j’adore rouler’ (I love to ride) t-shirt is a favourite on and off the bike. Photo: Chris Southwood for Flow Mountain Bike

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Rotorua is a mountain biking paradise. A lush, volcanic landscape, world class trail building, iconic events, and a community that lives, breathes and celebrates all the good things that cycling offers. It’s no wonder people keep returning to this destination again and again. Myself included.

This time I wrote two articles for SBS Cycling Central while I was there. One is a list of local knowledge and intel on all the bike things you should consider while you’re in town. The other is a list of recommended activities for off the bike, because you can’t ride all the time. I’ve tried!

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How do you navigate a rock garden when you hit it for the very first time? How do you make sense of the performance capabilities of a new piece of equipment, or a whole new bike? Read More