Mark W

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Mark W last won the day on September 10

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About Mark W

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  • Birthday 12/29/86

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    Trials, photography, filming, fun.
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    Mark Westlake
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    Inspired Arcade.
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  1. Your point about needing to be on the right social media to see things is the same as needing to be on a forum? You can still search social media in the same way you can search a forum to view things too, for example on Instagram I just search for the things I'm interested in to see them without having to follow many people. The main benefit, and what makes it less niche to me, is that rather than having to be on TF, Espacetrial, whatever the Spanish forums are, the Russian forums, etc., it's a much bigger, broader international audience. It's an example I use often, but I quite like Shintaro Otake's riding and I would never have seen him if it weren't for Instagram (and happening to search for a hashtag). In terms of following riders, Instagram is by far the better one to use, and is a much nicer place to be in general than Facebook from my experience.
  2. There are people making a living from riding solely from social media - people who otherwise wouldn't have been able to through 'conventional' sponsors. You can see clips from the worlds best riders who ordinarily wouldn't have put videos out. It's possible to discover riders you'd never heard of simply through a hashtag. It's helped it massively.
  3. F1

    Leclerc promoted to Ferrari for 2019, Kimi dropped to Sauber on a 2-year deal. Wut.
  4. Street trials is way too niche for any of the big brands to get involved with. The Ion and Flow are both good. There's pros and cons to each. The Ion is pretty light and has disc brakes as standard. The cons are that it's got a lot of proprietary parts on there, so for example the sprockets and freewheel are Echo's own spline type so you haven't really got any options for changing them without changing a lot more of the bike too. It also uses a front freewheel system (the freewheel is located on the crank arm rather than on the rear hub) which I'm not really convinced by for street use. The chain is always spinning on it so it feels like it gives a lot more resistance when you're coasting along, and it's also a pain in the arse if you get jeans caught up in them. I got pretty good at sewing when I had a 20" with FFW. As before, if you want to change that with so many parts being specific to Czar/Echo it's pretty tricky. You wouldn't be able to fit mountain bike cranks to it, for example. The Flow is a little heavier, largely due to having steel forks. The square taper cranks aren't necessarily ideal either, but with it having a normal MTB-style threaded BB shell you can change them to pretty much whatever you want further down the line. The geometry is decent and the wheelset is nice and solid too. It doesn't have discs as standard, but most Inspired retailers will give you the option to upgrade to the same BB5s on the Ion, or Hope or Magura brakes. They're both fun bikes to ride though - I've spoken to a reasonable amount of people who ride one or the other and they all seem to be buzzing about them. They'll both be more than up to the job of getting you started with street trialsy stuff, and you'll be able to progress on them too without necessarily needing to replace half the bike. As Luke said the other option is to go second hand - just make sure that you're getting a decent spec, and that it's in good condition. You won't have the same benefits of getting a warranty and after sales like you would with a new bike, so it pays to be fussy about getting plenty of photos of the bikes you're interested in to see just how 'used' they are. EDIT: Oh, SLX brakes - I'd probably be more inclined to use the BB5s on the Ion rather than switch to the SLXs. The Shimano brakes I've tried have generally had quite a lot of pad knock, and although you can minimise that, the BB5s are pretty solid without needing to mess with them. They don't quite have the same feel due to them being cable rather than hydraulic, but they're pretty powerful. Trialtech and possibly Jitsie do upgrade pads for them as well which are well worth getting.
  5. The acting was solid, Ben. You'll be swiping drinks from Victoria Pendleton before you know it. Really good video, wouldn't expect anything less
  6. They thinned out their range a bit - the ZOO! stuff fell out of favour a bit as the geo wasn't quite rose-tinted-glasses enough for some people. They still put out GU frames and bikes until recently, but the Echo range expanded a bit and basically covered what they were offering with GU too. The GU bike was a lighter, more high-end type bike, but their latest SL Pro/Ti Pro bikes were almost the same thing. Czar is their street-orientated line, and covers street trialsy type stuff and some more MTB/street cross-over type stuff too.
  7. I'm well aware that this is the driest thread ever created on here, but I know some of you peeps on here are self employed. How are you making the whole 'work place pension' thing work? I think I'm along the right lines, but I wanted to see what solutions other people were using. As with everything tax-related, the HMRC website is somewhere between "horse shit" and "dog dick" in terms of usefulness, and with TF being the font of all instant knowledge I thought I'd see what people had to say on here while I'm waiting for an appointment with an accountant...
  8. I think it'd be fair to say lessons have been learned from this one. From speaking to Stan they're planning on trying something out that'll be a little different to previous Tarty Days/Weekenders. To @marg26 - that Google search shows me more than one result, but that's algorithms and stuff at play I guess. There could have been more promotion for it, but I'm not sure 'the mountain bike press' is the way to go as it's not really going to be of as much interest to the wider world. Previous years have sold really well without having to go down that route too, and although that's not to say that other options shouldn't have been explored, I think it's probably more of a reflection on the time of year of the event, how people are feeling about making the trip to ride places/events, and so on. As mentioned before, Radical Bikes themselves have had issues with low attendance so it's not necessarily restricted to the trials world either. Anyways - sounds like they're putting on an event in lieu of the Weekender. I hope everyone who goes has a good time!
  9. Radical Bikes ran a dirt jump event themselves earlier this year and had around 1/3 the turn-out they had last year, so it isn't limited to trials. There were probably a few contributing factors to it - possibly a little too late in the year, too close to other comps, etc. Ironically since it's been cancelled a few people have come forward and said that they were planning on buying tickets nearer the date, but I still think it possibly would have been too little too late. It sucks, but hopefully next year's event will go better.
  10. Some nice lines in there, G! Got around a fair few locations while you were over by the looks of things.
  11. Haha, I was referring to your initial question in your post
  12. You engineers and your insistence on accuracy. Congratulations though in any case!
  13. F1

    That race was much better than I expected it to be! Assumed the Ferraris would just disappear off into the sunset and then it'd just be each time in line astern, but that was an interesting watch.
  14. The street side of stuff is doing OK from what I can see. The trialsy side probably isn't as big as it has been but there are still a lot of people around. Outside the UK it's doing really well. I wouldn't use TF to judge the state of much really - activity levels here are more of a comment on how big social media is now rather than how big the trials scene is.