colnago

Welcome Taylah McLennan to The Pedaler. Who is he, and why did we want him as our head mechanic?

Taylah joined our team recently to assume the role of chief mechanic for 'The Pedaler' and as team mechanic for Cobra9 Intebuild Racing.  One year on from his move from Launceston, his skills as a mechanic and attention to detail are already widely known.  Journalism student and Cobra9 Intebuild Racing team rider Tim Lofthouse sat down with Tay and got the back story on what brought him across Bass Straight.

 

photo @cyclebro

photo @cyclebro

Gaining Momentum
  
At 22 years of age, Taylah McLennan has devoted half his life to the colourful but cut-throat world that is professional road cycling. And he has no plans of changing course. 
Surrounded by an abundance of rolling hills, winding countryside lanes, and a strong cycling community before most would consider giving their children training wheels, McLennan’s fascination with bikes began on the trails, away from the dangers of Launceston’s bustling and impatient traffic. Of course, he was unaware at the time, that he was laying the foundations for an enduring relationship with cycling, which he would later find out could take away life, as quickly as it could shape it.


Transitioning to the road, Taylah rode competitively through the junior ranks, but as he neared the sharp end of the sport, and after witnessing the death of a close friend whilst on a training camp in Tasmania’s Mersey Valley, he made the decision to pursue a career as a cycling mechanic. 


“I was only 15 at the time, it was a huge reality check for me. It changed my perspective on the sport permanently. I didn’t touch the bike for 3 months.”


On the cusp of cycling’s elite, McLennan thoroughly understands how important the working condition of a bike is to its rider’s safety. Professional cyclists rely on six kilograms of carbon fibre between their legs to carry them across thousands of kilometres, often at speeds exceeding 100km per hour. Indeed, the preservation and function of that 6kg is a matter of life and death. After the incident in Tasmania, McLennan felt the onus was on him to ensure that no-one else close to him ever had to experience such a tragedy.


Although he had been working at a bike shop in Launceston for several years full-time before hand, it wasn’t until his first year riding in Under 23’s that he decided he wanted to turn the job into his profession. With the death of a close friend painfully present in his mind, and the remnants of a fire competitive cycling had left burning within him, McLennan was determined to be the best in his trade. Determined to make a difference. 


 His breakthrough opportunity came in the form of a travelling mechanic position with New Zealand professional team, Pure Black. After catching word of his talent, New Zealand bike manufacturer ‘Avanti’- which his store in Launceston sold – Tracked down McLennan for the position. “It was the first team I ever worked with…They needed a second mechanic for the Herald Sun Tour (Melbourne)… and because they were on Avanti’s’, someone put my name forward”. 


After thriving in his role with the Pure Black Team, and with the excitement that came from working alongside professional athletes, McLennan set out in pursuit of other teams who could make use of his fast-developing skills. 


Over the next six years, McLennan became an integral part of many highly-regarded cycling teams, and kept a countless number of riders safely on the road. His work has also taken him as far abroad as the Middle East, where he supported Australian team Search 2 Retain in the Tour of Iran. A typical day on tour for McLennan seems just as exhausting as riding the break-away all day – with a constant need to be attentive and focused on efficiency, no time for a lapse in concentration.


 “We would start work before the stages at about 5:30am, and then usually finish up at about 9 in the evening,” “The stages in Iran were pretty hectic… rough roads, so there were a lot of punctures, broken wheels, crashes. A lot of very hard racing.” He recalled sitting in the team car with the race directors’ muffled Arabic voices shouting race updates through the race radio, “it was an experience, not knowing what anyone was saying” “he laughs. 


Having just spent his first months away from teams in six years, McLennan is now living in Brisbane, working in Milton’s The Pedaler Cyclery. The shop also serves as a base for emerging NRS and Continental cycling team Cobra 9 Intebuild racing.  This link was a big drawcard for McLennan, who is eager to be working with a team again after a year away from tours. 
This will also add to his experience as he works towards his ultimate goal of working full-time on a European Pro Tour Team. 


Former professional cyclist and manager at The Pedaler Cyclery, Josh Prete, has first-hand experience with McLennan’s ability, and says that his expertise working in the tours brings new strength to the workshop and their growing team as well.  “His constant determination to learn and develop new skills is his biggest asset” Prete says. The two’s relationship highlights the unwavering level of respect pro and ex-pro riders like Prete have for their mechanics. 
It’s difficult not to admire Taylah’s character and dedication. All too familiar with the difficulties which pursuing such a demanding and unpredictable career entail, the way that McLennan turned such devastation into life-long motivation, not only affirms his resilience, but proves he is a compassionate young man who takes immense pride in his work. 

“If you don’t love what you do, you’re not going to stick around long, you’ve just gotta’ love it”. 

Author: Tim Lofthouse

 

That's a wrap. QRTS 16 winds up on the Sunny Coast.

 

It has been an unusual Queensland Road Team Series (QRTS) in 2016 with the event under a cloud until early in the year.  Just when the spectre of a year without elite team's racing looked to be on the cards, a shorter format four round event heavily shaped towards crit racing was presented. Gone were the back to back road stages of previous years, replaced with Team Time Trials and multiple criteriums with heats and finals.  It seemed on paper to be a year where the series has taken a small step backwards.   On a personal level, I also missed visiting the country towns this year such as Kingaroy and Gympie where the locals seem more enthused about the event and the benefit to the local tourist trade that it brings.

Despite the shift the series has taken this year, the racing was still intense and consistently enjoyable.  Our squad was our most age diverse ever with 24 years separating our youngest to oldest rider.  The new faces in our team lifted the overall strength of the squad although the varied approach to training and racing still provides a nice touch of reality.

 

Our stand out rider for the entire series was Mitch Neumann who has been a model of consistency across the entire event.  His Individual Time Trial win up Montville in round 4 was most definitely the highlight, with the overall round honours also a huge bonus.  I could spend many paragraphs regaling the merits of his endeavours for us in 2016 but those who know Mitch, know this would make him uncomfortable.  7th overall for the series was a fine tribute though and one we would like to build on for 2017 (if he indeed can survive another year at Cobra9 Intebuild Racing).

 

The other members of the team have also put out credible and in many cases, career best efforts in 2016.  The ageless Kurty seems to find another level each year alongside Adam who also has stepped it up despite the advancing years.  Josh Prete who arrived in our team, and at The Pedaler in 2016 has been a great influence on all the lads and especially on our attitude towards our racing.  Rather then concerning ourselves with sitting in and surviving till the pointy end of the race, the approach has shifted towards trying to win or get a result, even if that means losing.  

 

A few member of the team staff need to be singled out for high praise.  Brett from Megabake again has been a huge supporter and all round good guy.  He adds so much to the atmosphere around the team at races, and his Cobra9 TV episodes (seen only by the closed group sorry) are as famous as his taste for the rum.  

 

Adrian Duffy QC is another supporter who adds mirth and depth of personal experience to the whole team.  I'd like to provide an element of insight into his musings however doing so may end his professional career.  He loves the team, the boys and the Cobra9 mentality and we love having him at races.  His chosen nightcap trends towards the reds.

 

Luke Stenner is another famous part of the Cobra9 Intebuild fabric who is essentially behind the entire race weekend operation.  Notoriously detailed run sheets and time tables are his strength.  The rum though, may be his weakness.  That and white shirts.  His role gets bigger every year and despite a crowded work/life schedule, he keeps getting it done.  It has been a pleasure being 'beside' you all year mate.

The last sneaky member who always flies under the radar is Dugs Macarthur.  I spell his name wrong more often then any other rider yet he keeps showing up.  Dugs essentially runs the team for us away from races and makes all the tough decisions.  He also races and has some of the best calf muscles known to South East Queensland.  We are already working on the 2017 team and race calendar and the team simply wouldn't exist without him.  I probably should pay him.

This year we also had a quality bunch of Sponsors.  Intebuild and Cobra9 again provided essential funding support alongside a family of riders who follow the team week in and week out.  This family has been running strong for over 10 years and the Elite Racing component is a babe in arms compared to the established originals.  The Intebuild founding group has a vast amount of experience and business acumen that has been wonderful for the younger riders to experience.  Hopefully the period of time the new members spend riding with our team will leave them better for the experience.

 

Attaquer again has backed us to the hilt with clothing.  The quality of the kit is remarkable and the feel and ride comfort is unsurpassed.  For a brand that earned their stripes with cutting designs and edgy motifs, the functionality and durability of the garments is impressive.  We can't wait to unveil the design with Attaquer for next season.

POC again has provided safety gear which is visually appealing while still being at the cutting edge of design.  We have now racked up 6 broken Octal MIPS for 2016 without a single concussion or neck injury.  We also get to look bling in the varied eye wear offerings, time trial overshoes and assorted wet weather kit.

2016 marked our emergence with Colnago as well.  Whilst organising a fleet of top end Nagos was a risk, the bikes are just superb.  It is very rare that every rider on the team is enamoured with their rig.  The C60s are immense machines, and the V1rs have proven to be wonderful race weapons.  The diverse range of colours has snapped many necks at the brew shops of Brisbane. Hopefully we can maintain the rage with the Italian Stallions in 2017.  Obviously, The Pedaler will do its bit providing the underlying Service Course for the Squad again in 2017.

 

4Shaw again has maintained our sock game in 2016.  While the focus from Dion has moved a little into the world of the Barbershop at the moment, there is no questioning the quality and styling of his socks.  He is also a Tassie legend through and through.

 

Megabake and Brett Ledger are more then sponsors but it would be remiss not to describe the virtues of their products.  The Megabake bar range has been the staple race diet of every rider for the entire year and has proven again to the perfect race fuel.   The quality, individually sourced ingredients paired with Brett's OCD regarding his recipes guarantees a certain quality.  A new product to the line, the Megabake Museli will be one to watch in 2017.

Finally, Wurkstand.  Almost everyone knows the melancholic footnote to our season has been the loss of the founder to this local company.  Steve Small will always be in our corner, and every C9 kit produced going forward will honour the big man.  We also lost team rider JJ to depression this year and these pair of tragedies has coloured the 2016 season for all involved.  

Despite these equally horrific happenings, the members of Cobra9 Intebuild racing have soldiered on all year.  No one has forgotten these team members.  We talk and laugh regularly at the antics of both of these special guys when on bunch rides or at events away from home.  Indeed it would seem that on occasion, they are both still with us and I hope that this remains the case well into the future.  As long as their memory lives on, then they live on.

What's next?  Well, a few extra kilograms and schooners of beer in the short term.  2017 promises a lot although with the underlying structure around elite racing in Australia still uncertain, it looks like another year where hedging your bets may prove important.  Nationals in January will again be the kick start to the season and then on it goes.  We'll keep you posted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buying a Bike - The Pedaler Process

Harry Dennis

Harry Dennis

The cycling industry is awash with incredible deals on great quality bikes. There is also a huge second hand market flooded with proper weapons.  It truly is a buyers market with access to deals and bikes across a range of platforms.

 

You can walk in to any concept store and buy a top of the line bike often for heavily discounted prices. They come out of a factory, already half assembled, with the same bar, stem, tyres, saddles, cranks. While you get a whole lot of bike for your buck, the client has very little control over the types of the components included or the sizes of these elements. You save money by buying a bike built for a generalised geometry driven by industry standards. 

Harry Dennis

Harry Dennis

 

At 'The Pedaler', we understand the appeal of this and we appreciate it provides certain fiscal and quality related benefits.  The quality of bikes available through this network has never been better and there are some super shops selling some beautiful rigs.

Nick Woods

Nick Woods

However, we believe an alternative process should be available to the client.  When buying a bike through 'The Pedaler', you are in control of the entire process. Everything from the choice of tubes through to the frame colour is a decision to be made by the client. We also work closely with the best bike fitters in Queensland to ensure that all the parts of the bike are perfectly suited to you and your riding style.

Harry Dennis

Harry Dennis

We are aware that we are not always able to compete based purely on price point for some components given the discounting afforded the larger chains and their strong relationships with certain companies.  With that in mind, we are openly transparent regarding the build cost break down and strive to get you the exact bike you want.  This may mean sourcing rare components or items to help make your bike unique.  We strive to get you the bike you want at a fair and reasonable price.  Every build we complete is unique and every client gets the same care and attention along the way.  

Once your bike is ready, we encourage you to take it for a test ride alongside our Pedaler / Cobra9 Elite Squad. Take the opportunity to get a few tips and enjoy a brew with some of Queensland's best and most promising road cyclists.

Every build we complete is unique and every client gets the same care and attention along the way.
Nathan White

Nathan White

 

The trio of bike brands we carry, Ridley, Colnago and Johnson, are all companies we have 100% faith in. They are very different, and yet similar at the same time. All brands create aesthetically beautiful bikes and back that up with a high level of performance. Ridley allows us the freedom to choose custom paint and designs, and incorporate the full group set into the builds to make the price point remarkably competitive.

Colnago is one of the oldest and most well known brands on the market with a place in the industry untouched by other contemporary players. 

Johnson is one of the newest and most exciting brands to emerge in the boutique space and comes locally from the Sunshine state.

All brands create aesthetically beautiful bikes and back that up with a high level of performance.

I am excited about building dream machines for our clients.  Every dream machine starts as an idea.  A concept that needs finessing.  Have a chat to us at 'The Pedaler' and experience the comprehensive and personalised approach that we are well known for.

Cyclebro

Cyclebro

Words - Josh P.

 

 

Colnago Master Light AD4 Build - Colnago Perfection

We have been building up a very special bike over the past few months.  Since December, we have been compiling components and waiting for the hand built and hand painted Colnago Master frame set to arrive.  It landed a week ago and the last seven days have been spent watching as this beautiful machine comes to fruition.

We've taken a few photos but they won't do it justice.

Build

Master AD4 size 53 frameset

Colnago Carbon 1" Street Fork

Campagnolo Super Record Groupset 53/39 w. 12-29 Chorus Cassette

Colnago Master Seatpost

Colnago Carbon Headset

Colnago SLR Ti Saddle

3T Stealth Stem

3T Ergonova Bars

Campagnolo Scirocco 35mm Clincher Wheelset GP4000 Tyres

Colnago Cages

Build - Josh Prete

Wurkshop Launches at The Pedaler

After careful deliberation, we now provide full bike mechanic services out of our Milton Cyclery.  We also offer a Valet Service for those that are too busy to drop off and pick up.

To cater for this service, The Pedaler welcomes Joshua Prete into our family.  Josh has raced extensively across Australia and internationally.   He has also has been working as a mechanic for the past 5 years including many years specifically working with Colnagos.

 

We offer an extensive range of bike service options and use only Park Tools and Wurkstands within our Service Course.  Give us a call when you next need a service for your bike or yourself.