Bike news round-up: Latest gear & events

New Saracen website, MS Mondraker DH team, QECP trail building & more

This news round-up is a compilation of stories that have caught our eye in recent days but haven't been covered on BikeRadar. From the latest product news to details of routes and events, we’ll be bringing you short snippets of information in one handy article.

Product & team news

2012 Saracen bikes now online

The 2012 Saracen website is now live, featuring the British brand's full catalogue of mountain and urban bikes, plus news from the Madison-Saracen downhill team. Technical advice, an online shop and a blog will be added soon.

The brand-spanking new saracen website: the brand-spanking new saracen website
The brand-spanking new saracen website: the brand-spanking new saracen website

MS Mondraker Team gears up for 2012

A new downhill outfit will be contesting the UCI World Cup series in 2012 – the MS Mondraker Team. It’s the result of a union between Austria’s MS Evil Racing and the Mondraker Factory Team, which wound up following the retirement of three-time world champion Fabien Barel. The team will comprise Brook MacDonald, Damien Spagnolo, Markus Pekoll and Emmeline Ragot, and will ride the Mondraker Summum.

Mondraker team: mondraker team
Mondraker team: mondraker team

“The team is very sad that we had to let some of our riders go but also happy about the new riders Damien and Emmeline, and about Brook and Markus to still be with us,” said MS-Racing owner Markus Stöckl. “Each of them is a great rider and has a cool personality, so we're looking forward to some successful and fun race weekends.”

Rewards scheme for Wattbike fans

After seeing word-of-mouth sales skyrocket, Wattbike have introduced a rewards scheme for UK customers who recommend their stationary trainers to friends, family or colleagues. Rewards range from Rapha gift vouchers to free products from Castelli, Bont and Sunnto.

Routes, races & rides

Hampshire trail builders issue rallying call

Volunteers are needed at Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire for trail building duties. An additional 1.5km has been added to the orange-graded mountain bike trail since June, with the guys behind the development hoping to add the same again, as well as improvements to what’s there already, before reopening it as a red trail this summer.

QECP trail builders:
QECP trail builders:

To make the plans reality, they need extra manpower. Trail building weekends will take place on 28/29 January, 25/26 February and 24/25 March, and they're reaching out to mountain bikers to help. To get involved, email qectrailbuilding@yahoo.co.uk, tweet @eldiablobrewery or visit QECP Trail Builders on Facebook.

Proposers of Dorset bike park look to shore up support

A coastal bike park complete with skills area and pump track could be built in Chewton Bunny, Dorset – providing local residents don't come out in force against it. Funding for South Shore bike park is already in place but its future depends on the outcome of a public consultation that ends next week.

The process is being carried out by post, which fans of the park think plays into the hands of its opponents, described on the Pro Elbows blog as "that particular breed of elderly local with nothing better to do than complain about stuff". Christchurch Borough Council are accepting response forms, downloadable here, until 3 February. For more information on the plans, click here.

An artists impression of south shore bike park: an artists impression of south shore bike park
An artists impression of south shore bike park: an artists impression of south shore bike park

Dragon Double

Given that the Wiggle Dragon Ride and Etape Cymru are both based in Wales and organised by the same company, it's no surprise to see entry to the sportives being offered as an all-in-one 'Dragon Double' package. Priced at £100, a limited number are available here from 9am on Wednesday until 5pm on 31 January, or until they sell out.

The etape cymru takes place in the hilly north wales countryside:
The etape cymru takes place in the hilly north wales countryside:

After early cycling flirtations with the Tour de France on childhood holidays, John Whitney fell for it hook, line and sinker in his mid-20s as an escape from the more sedate sports of his youth. As a classically trained news reporter, he snagged his dream job as a cycling writer straight out of college and is now fully immersed in the industry and wouldn't have it any other way.
  • Discipline: Road

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