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December 20, 2012

Trek

When I started cycling, in 1998, my first bicycle was a Trek. 14 years later we have come full swing to a place where I am now working with Trek in 2013 to further the brand in South Africa. As an official brand ambassador, you will see the logo here on the website, as well as the odd post about new stuff from Trek in South Africa. This is all standard stuff and not something unusual to you here, so why share the info in such a simple way?

Well, lets go back in time a little, and look at the Trek philosophy:

When Trek began in 1976, their mission was simple: Build the best bikes in the world. Simple. Clean. Clear. All things we like here. Things we champion.

Today, they’ve added to their mission: Help the world use the bicycle as a simple solution to complex problems. Sounds familiar? Sounds a little like hunting for the Ellipsis. Sounds like Trek believe the world’s problems can be solved on the bike.

This, directly from their website: “The bicycle is the most efficient form of human transportation. It can combat climate change, ease urban congestion, and build human fitness. It brings us together, yet allows us to escape. And it takes us places we would never see any other way.

Trek. We believe in bikes.”

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So let’s get down to some of the very cool things Trek do:

70-90% of the material in their packaging card stock is recycled, a mix of post-industrial (unused scraps and discards) and post-consumer (used material diverted from the waste stream before it can end up in an incinerator or landfill). Post-consumer is best for the environment, so they use it whenever possible. In the few cases where recycled material is not an option, they use only material sourced from certified sustainable forests.

Trek are dedicated to SPEED. As I am tackling Ironman South Africa in April again, attempting as much of a balance of control and speed at the national Xterra series and climbing the Dolomites in September, SPEED will be on my mind. Trek’s dedication to finding SPEED is incredible. Their Speed Concept, Superfly and Madone series’ of bikes are pure speed. I have spoken about system integration for a while and the Speed Concept currently standing in my lounge, half built, is proof that Trek are serious about system integration.

Trek are dedicated to the end user, and specifically, service to the end user. After numerous discussions with the Trek South Africa team, it’s clear that their focus is client service and the best warranty on the market. They are an extremely client-centric environment, and recently, they launched the Trek Riders Club – so if you currently own a Trek, get signed up there.

Currently residing in my lounge is one of these frames:

It’s a Speed Concept 9.9 and I have been carefully selecting parts for it for the last week. Finding the best combination of weight, quality, reliability and cost has been a fun exercise. Most important is the bike fit, but the fun bit is selecting all the parts that fit together best. I am excited to share the build with you early in 2013.

Also coming in 2013 are new racing machines for mountain biking as well as road cycling, where I will be tackling the Xterra series in South Africa as well as races like Sani2c, Joberg2c and Wines2Whales on the mountain with a Superfly 100; and riding 2000km in 10 days with 52 000m of vertical in the Dolomites on a Trek Domane. I will detail these bikes in 2013 as well.

Along with Trek comes Bontrager, and this brand that started in the 1970’s with Keith Bontrager and grew into a brand that has flourished to produce some of the worlds best cycling accessories. I have just started using their shoes and helmets and I am pleased with the simple integration of technologies that work. The adjustment clips, the customisable footbeds and the careful application of specific materials that could only be there after many hours of “in-the-field” testing have certainly turned me into a fan. Here are the three products I am currently using, as well as the saddle that sits on top of the Speed Concept for now.

RXXXL Road Shoes

RXL Mountain Shoes

Specter Helmet

RXL Hilo Saddle

I look forward to bringing you the full build on the Speed Concept as it’s required some careful thought to prepare a bike that is going to be comfortable for training, as well as supremely fast for racing 180km before running a marathon. Pure aggressive speed is not the goal here. This is more like working with a torque wrench; instead of a hammer.

A big thank you to Trek South Africa for believing in the vision of Urban Ninja. I look forward to working with you in 2013 and beyond.

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