Posted on Leave a comment

Silverback Synergy motivates former postman under circumstances

Silverback Synergy, one leg, bicycle


Former postman Glenn Johnstone is unstoppable when he puts his mind to something.

The mountain biking amputee, 50, from Stanley, County Durham was blessed with a prosthetic leg from a former professional Skier in the USA.

Silverback Synergy, Glen Johnstone, amputee
Glen’s prosthetic leg from a former professional Skier in the USA.

Whilst he was doing deliveries as a postman he noticed he had developed a limp. He did not give it much thought up until an elderly lady pointed it out.

He was 27 years old when he was diagnosed with a giant cell tumor in his right leg. Glenn Johnstone then had his right leg removed above the knee in 1995. From 12 surgeries, dealing with many infections. After 10 years of suffering, he is now permanently working as a Rehabilitation Assistant on a Hyper Acute Stroke Unit.

Silverback Synergy, Glenn Johnstone
Glenn took a while to be positive and determined to get back on the saddle

This took him a long time to be positive and determined to get back on the saddle. As a keen cyclist, he started a Facebook group to show his progress and encourage other people around the world.


After doing his reseach, Glenn was sponsored by Brian Barlett, president of Leftside Industries. The false knee has a tendon that allowed him to take part in sports like mountain biking.

In 2016 Silverback Bikes sponsored him a Synergy, which he loves.

“I love the color, the frame, it’s a beautiful bike to ride and so comfortable,” says Glenn.

Glenn Johnstone
From bad days to big smiles

He has gone through very dark days of being indoors which is hard for him to explain. “It feels as if there was no day or days as such, just a long endless period of pain and loss of visits to the hospital,” said Glenn.

Glen has good days and bad days. Sometimes, we all need to take stock and just reflect on our situation says Johnstone. “the last 3 years has been a very hard road, not only contending with having to put a leg on every day but also dealing with Non-Hodgkin’s and the after-effects of treatment. Taking time for yourself and doing things that make you happy is important,” said Glen.

Silverback Synergy, Amputee,
Self love is very important

He has taken part in a few triathlons and will never stop loving his daily rides. “it’s a release, a way to getaway. Once I hit my local trails, there is nothing better than listening to my headphones and just being in my own world,” says Glenn.

It is all about having fun

On his Silverback Synergy, he likes to attempt some tricks like wheelies, stoppies, bunny hops and pretty much jumping or dropping off stuff.

During his life-changing journey, he has set himself three goals that he has achieved: re-learning how to ride, getting back to work and taking my first holiday overseas.

Read more about Glenn: Spy Cycle

Greg Miller is also one of our ambassadors, read his story HERE.

Posted on Leave a comment

Riding a fat bike to work is my secret to happiness

Silverback Scoop, fatbike, fat bike


Since 2015 Anni decided to drop the four wheels and pick up the two wheels. Her Silverback Scoop helps her keep fit and be happy.

“I have positive energy at work which makes happy,” says Anni.

26-Year-Old, Anni Kassuk lives in the largest city in Finland. This seaside port city is too large to be a village and too small to be a metropolis. The capital, Helsinki, is a very culturally active place to visit and a good place to ride your bicycle.

Anni was convinced on FatBike Day in 2017 to get herself new wheels. Riding has always been a hobby of hers since she was a little girl. Helsinki has given her many compliments: “Nice bike”, “Look at that bike” & “is it hard to cycle with FatBike?” from bystanders.

She works 9,5km from home & wakes up every morning or a bit later in the day depending on her shift. With a cup of coffee and eats her breakfast like any other young professional. She does not follow any diet plans-she just hops on her bike and enjoys the fresh air.

Silverback fat bike, snow
The Silverback Fatbike gang.

Having a job that requires her to work shifts did not discourage her from cycling to work 5 days a week. Previously, she was living 1,5km from her work which was a breeze until they relocated her.

Her household owns three bicycles, a Silverback Scoop Single, Silverback Scoop Double, and another mountain bike. Having many routes to pick from all depends on what time she starts work.

Anni throwing up the peace sign.

On some mornings

Anni & her Scoop Single would take a short trip on the train to work and cycle home.

When she has time to spare, Anni would take a ride through the forest and mountain bike tracks just for fun, sometimes alternating routes by riding along the railway.

Her Silverback Scoop rides over asphalt and dirt roads for a few miles, “I haven’t had any official problems with my Silverback so I never needed to take it for a service,” says Anni.

Anni’s route to work on her Silverback Delight
Selfie, commute, Silverback fat bike
Dependent on the weather, she may use a train as well.

Having a healthy hobby that gets you places was not a hard decision for Anni. 

Every Thursday Anni and five other friends would meet up to cycle for fun and shred some tails, however, she would still use her FatBike to commute. Who said a FatBike is not good enough to get to work?

Silverback scoop delight, handlebars
Her fatbike travel over all different terrains on her way to work


Anni loves her bike and needed to customize her wheels to suit her personality, “I changed the Bulldozer tires to tubeless Jumbo Jims, I changed my rim strips to neon pink strips and changed the flat handlebar to 25mm riser bars,” said Anni.

Her decision for a FatBike also originated from her taking part in a FatBike tour where she had an E-Bike at the time. She was offered to try out a Silverback FatBike and once she started pedaling she knew immediately what she wanted.

At home, she displays her Silverback Scoop Single on a dresser in the living room. She takes good care of her bicycle & even steps in the shower with her Fatty after a muddy ride.

Silverback Delight, Fat Bike
The 2017 Silverback Delight Fat Bike

Before the FatBike

Anni used to ride her old mountain bike to work & used her Silverback Scoop for mountain biking only.

Anni’s experience is that her Silverback Scoop Single provides excellent traction on all terrains, this made the bicycle an excellent choice for the different weather conditions Helsinki has to offer.

Fortunately, her workplace has showers for her to take a quick splash before her shift starts.

Anni’s wish is to see the world encouraging commuting to work on bicycles and hopes that more girly components would be made for bikes in the future.

Silverback Scoop, fat bike, commute
Fully Kitted for her trip to work.

Not sold on a Fatbike? Check out these cool places to ride with a fat bike: 10 Reasons you need a Fatbike.

Get out & Ride! #BornToBeFast

Posted on Leave a comment

Silverback KMC shows fighting spirit

Silverback KMC, Mariske Strauss, Annie Last


3rd Overall | 8 Days | 658KM | 13530 Climbing | Epic.    

The Grand Finale at Val de Vie Estate put on a grand day for a cyclist to celebrate the 15th edition of the Absa Cape Epic. It has been a tough 8 days for our Silverback riders.

From the majestic slopes of Table Mountain to the rocky Robertson for the first three days, with a transition stage, where we stayed for one night before we settled down until we headed to the Grand Finale with a manic time trial in between.

Silverback KMC, Mariske Strauss, Annie Last
Silverback KMC mariske strauss and annie last speaks to the media

We started the race with 6 riders, Silverback- KMC, Mariske Strauss & Annie Last (Team KMC EKOI SR Suntour), Silverback OMX Pro Team, Martin Gluth & Raphael Gagne and our support team Silverback Volvo, Shaun-Nick Bester & Jaco Pelser.

The racing has seen Silverback-KMC take control of a situation that was not in their hands and proved that taking home a 3rd Overall on the final stage is possible with great support and determination. Mariske and Annie showed the importance of experience and partnership.

For the second time, we are inspired by the grit and sportsmanship of the two ambitious ladies that they have shown us through the struggle – those who overcome the storm can achieve brilliant results. You are heroes!

Mariske & Annie were not quite happy that they could not perform the way they have planned to this year. However, the amazing duo crossed the final stage of the Absa Cape Epic in 5th place in front of a massive crowd applauding them at Val de Vie.

The UCI Elite men, Silverback OMX, Gluth & Gagne shook things up mid-way. They have only known each other for a short period of time before they started the Epic race. Moving from 33rd in the overall rankings after one day, up to 13th on Day 6! They also achieved two 11th place finishes. Before Stage 6 Gluth fell ill to a virus that has been spreading through the Epic race village.


The next day we saw Raphael Gagne and Silverback Volvo rider, Shaun-Nick Bester put on the Lonely Leopard jersey. These strongmen crossed the line seconds after each other at the Grand Finale!

It has been an incredible performance for the Silverback KMC. We couldn’t be more proud of Mariske & Annie for wrapping up this grueling and brutal stage race event.

Silverback KMC, Mariske Strauss, ABSA Cape Epic

A special thanks to the entire Silverback support crew for helping making this event a phenomenal success. From the team who worked behind the scenes, the sponsors, the fans and media – all who combined to make our teams reach higher heights.  

#SilverbackBikes #BornToBeFast #SESTA #SBC #UNTAMED #ABSACape Epic

Silverback Sesta, Silverback KMC, XCO
2019 Silverback SBC Race Machine

Check out our upcoming races: CLICK HERE

Get the Cape Epic Prolougue Winner – SESTA SBC: CLICK HERE

Posted on Leave a comment

Silverback ambassador challenges #untamed ABSA Cape Epic again!

road bike, cycling


Q: How long have you been racing for?

A: Since I was 8 years old. I am 42 years old man and still love to train and race on my bike as fast as I can.

Q: So this is your 4th Cape Epic, how have you been preparing for it?

A: I follow plans built but today’s plan and I just do the daily workouts prescribed according to my available riding time. I ride with Power and just make sure I hit the values and enjoy the customized sessions.

Early Morning training sessions

Q: Which other races have you done, that are over 100KM?

A: Most stages race in South Africa (Joberg2C, Attakwas, Wine2Whales, Cape Pioneer, Tankwa, Sani2C) , New Zealand and Australia.

Q: Which bike will you be riding on at the ABSA Cape Epic? 

A: The Silverback Sesta with full XTR.

Cape Epic, Sesta SBC, trail dog, bicycle
Silverback SBC MTB and his companion
Podium Status


Q: What is your goal for the 2018 ABSA Cape epic?

A: Podium in masters for sure!

Q: Your riding partner, have the two of you raced together before? What were the best results?

A: Yes, we train together and have raced before. We won Tankwa trek (In Cat), Won National Xco at Stellies along with top 3 at Wine2 Whales, Australian 24 hr Champs back in 2002 & 3rd Solo Cape Pioneer.

Q: Share with us your toughest training week schedule leading up to the race?

A: Suppose the last 3 weeks are the hardest as you are the most fatigued and just want it to end. But for me it is a pleasure to ride my bike and race it.

cape Epic, Paris Basson, road bike, ambassador

Q: What is your greatest challenge you believe you may have to face during the race and how you plan on overcoming that?

A: Sleeping in a tent and sickness. I’ll make sure I’ll bring my earplugs, I do not want to fall sick so to eat well, and my take probiotic’s.

Q: What is your daily recovery strategy following every stage?

A: A Massage, good nutrition, supplements and being off my feet as much as possible!

Q: Advice for aspiring riders who want to take on the #Untamed?

A: Don’t take it too serious and enjoy the luxury of riding your bike for a week across this rad country!

Q: What is the next goal after #Untamed?

A: Bike packing around SA and Europe by always discovering a new area and tracks.

Looking to take on a stage race? HERE is how you avoid knee injuries.

Turn On Your Twitter & Instragam Notifications To Stay Up To Date With The Latest Silverback Racing News At The ABSA Cape Epic.

#weareOMX #SilverbackVolvo #SilverbackBikes #BornToBeFast #Untamed

Posted on Leave a comment

Silverback ambassador, Greg Miller leads the Cape Epic

Greg Miller, UCI World Cup, Stellenbosch


Temarah: Being the Lead Motorbike at the UCI World Cup & ABSA Cape Epic, how did that all come about?

Greg: I had done some work for the Absa Cape Epic in 2014 and 2015. I managed their trade tech zone. When a spot opened up for another lead motorbike for 2016, I had just completed the 2015 Amageza Rallye. They obviously realized that I would be better suited to being on a bike. I was lucky enough to be offered the spot.

Temarah: What does it all entail being the Lead Motorbike at these two big events?

Greg: The Lead Bikes roles are different on the World Cup and The Absa Cape Epic. At the World Cup we had 2 lead bikes alternating leading the races. The bike that wasn’t leading out the race would do a track sweep, about 2 minutes before the start of each race. This is to make sure the track was clear and that all the marshals were ready.

The lead bike on the race would be between 30 sec to 1 minute ahead of the leader. The purpose of indicating to the media camera’s that the leaders were approaching. As well as getting the marshal to make sure the track was clear. Also, have a number board on the front of the bike indicating to the spectators how many laps are left.

On the Absa Cape Epic, we have 3 lead bikes. We would run ahead of the leaders and various time intervals. Usually, we are marshaling traffic at the start of the stages, as the race usually starts on district roads. Then we are making sure that all the route markers are clear and there is nothing obstructing the route. We carrying marking tape with us just in case we need to clarify any markings. The route guys do such a great job that our days are usually pretty easy.

Silverback Ambassador, Cape Epic
Lead Motorbike, Greg Miller at the UCI MTB World Cup in Stellenbosch on the 10th March 2018.


Temarah: How many times have you been a Lead Motorbike?

Greg: This is my 3rd year as a Lead Motorbike at the Absa Cape Epic and my 5th year working on the event.

Temarah: How does one prepare for an event like this?

Greg: I’m not nearly as well prepped as I would like to be. Even though we are on motorbikes, you still need to have a decent level of fitness. Riding off-road bikes on tight mountain bike trails and be pretty physically demanding. For the past few months, I have been super busy working in Photographic production and have had minimal time to train. In the offseason, I try to keep myself in shape Running, Mountain Biking and Surfing.

Temarah: What are the essential tools/resources that you will need?

Greg: We carry route tape with us. We have a saw, in case we need to cut fallen branches and wire cutters in case we need to open fences or closed gates.

Temarah: How does it feel to be taking the Lead?

Greg: We have the best seat in the house. We get to watch the world’s best marathon racers battle it out at the front of the race and we get to ride some pretty awesome trails, that would usually be out of bounds for off-road bikes.

Silverback ambassador, Greg Miller, cap


Temarah: How long have you been riding on a Silverback?

Greg: I’ve been a Silverback Ambassador since 2014. I had taken an overextend sabbatical from Mountain Biking after I retired from racing professionally in 1997. The guys at Silverback were instrumental in getting me back on a Mountain Bike.

Temarah: What does being a Silverback Ambassador mean to you?

Greg: The Silverback guys got me back into Mountain Bikes and it was incredible to get back on a bike after so many years and to see how far the technology had progressed. What I really like is that even though the bike is marketed as a Germany brand there is something really South African and local about it, the engineers and designers that I have worked and ridden with have such a passion for the sport and the brand and it really finds it way into the finished product.

Temarah: Have you entered any of these races before or plan too?

Greg: I think I have missed the window to try any of these big marathon stage races, plus I have been spoiled getting to ride them on a motorbike… it much easier that way hahaha, I did do the U – Stage race a couple of years, most mostly as a social event with my friends… These days I just love riding my Mountain Bike to hang out with my mates, pull some wheelies and still play like a kid.

Find out how our teams did at the 2019 ABSA Cape Epic: Stage 1 Results

#weareOMX #SilverbackVolvo #SilverbackBikes #BornToBeFast #Untamed

Posted on Leave a comment

Silverback announces teams for the UCI World Cup Series and the ABSA Cape Epic

Silverback Volvo, Silverback OMX, team


The Silverback OMX Pro Team is proud to announce our 2018 team. Our sponsors and support staff that will be competing at the Absa Cape Epic. The biggest full – service mountain bike stage race in the world.

This big step forward for Silverback-Volvo as the team will be competing in the Absa Cape Epic as support riders for Gluth and Rapael.

With many years in the game, 26-years old Shaun-Nick Bester & 23-year old Jaco Pelser, are honored to offer support. Both men started riding in their teens and has just returned from riding for international road cycling teams abroad.

Photo: Shann-Nick Bester & Jaco Pelser at the harsh 2018 Tankwa Trek Race #SilverbackVolvo


Riders will race a total of 658km with 13 530m ascend; this includes four consecutive days of over 100km. The final stage is far from easy. Stage 5 has been remodeled to be different, as opposed to previous years.

As South Africa and the international circuit prepares for the opening leg of the 2018 UCI World Cup in Stellenbosch on March 10. Our OMX riders are already in training mode for the World Cup, leading into the Cape-Epic.

The UCI World Cup being held in Stellenbosch for the first time this year. It is a world-class setting for world-class athletes, with the added bonus of South Africa’s landscapes, mountains and agricultural setting.

Silverback OMX Pro Team Gluth, Gagne, Clacherty & Strauss, will be participating in the UCI World Cup XCO event.

The seven-event series is the annual pinnacle of international cross-country racing. With the world’s best elite and under-23 riders competing on 5-7 laps of an intense, testing 4.5km course.

Gagne, a rider from Canada, and new member to the Silverback OMX family. He represented his country at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and also won the 2015 Pan-American Games and National Championships. Gagne also achieved a top ten World Cup result and placed seventh at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. “I am planning to race all the World Cups in 2018 and my goal is to be in the top 15,”he adds.


Frazer Clacherty, Junior National Champion is working his way up through the Under 23 ranks; he achieved a new record, 7th at the European Championships and 10th at the World Championships in 2015. Moreover, Last year saw him record a career-best 6th place at the Albstadt World Cup. He also retain his Under 23 National Champion’s jersey.

Mariske Strauss from Silverback OMX Pro Team will be partnering up with British professional rider, Annie Last, who forms Silverback-BH. They finished in second place at last year’s ABSA Cape Epic. Furthermore, there is no doubt that this dynamic duo will be worth keeping an eye on. Strauss will also be taking part in the 2018 UCI World Cup.

Lastly, this will be Gluth’s fourth year with the OMX PRO Team, “I am really happy to have another year on Silverback Bikes and I can’t wait to check out the tracks with my new team mates,” says Martin.

SA team announcement: National Team Announced

We are pleased to be partnered with the amazing: Volvo Car SA, Squirt Lube and best4Sports, Uvex and Vye, for these challenging events our teams will be partaking.

Be on the lookout for Team Silverback at the UCI World Cup in Stellenbosch and the ABSA Cape Epic wearing our #BornToBeFast T-Shirts.

Find us:

Facebook: Silverback Bikes. Instagram: @silverbackbikes. Twitter:  @Silverbackbikes

#SilverbackBikes #BornToBeFast #InspiredByYou #weareOMX #SilverbackOMX


@VolvoCarsa @Squirtlube_sa @Best4_sports @Uvexsports @Vye

#SilverbackVolvo #VolvoCars #ApplyPerformance #Best4Sports #BetterYourBest #Uvex #Vye

Download this document in PDF format

Posted on Leave a comment

What makes the Scalera a great aero road bike?

Scalera road bike frame - Silverback Bikes


The Scalera is a race-bred high-performance carbon platform. This design combines rigidity as well as aerodynamics into a highly effective road bike. The carbon layup is dialed to be stiff in high load areas while retaining lightweight regions where lesser loads are exerted. Moreover, it is calculated to meet the high demands of racing cyclists. Size-specific geometry tuned to results in an accurate as well as agile ride.

The leading edge of the frame as well as fork feature aerodynamic drag reduction zones. Therefore, by decreasing the air velocity over these specific regions. It will result in a pressure gradient increase to result in lower surface drag.

Key features:

  • Advanced aerodynamic toptube
  • Lightweight yet stiff
  • Aero Tubing profiles
  • Internal cable routing
  • SBC Advanced Aero Carbon fork
  • Size-specific steering geometry
  • Integrated seat clamp
  • SBC power transfer BB formation
  • Shimano Ultegra groupset

The Scalera road bike received Eurobike Award in 2012, for its design innovations. The Scalera is UCI compliant and approved. Not to mention in 2018 the Scalera recently won a Readers Choice Award from READ MORE

Scalera road bike - detail images

Below is a video showcasing the Scalera and what makes it a great road bike.

Here’s the product page for Scalera: CLICK HERE

Posted on Leave a comment

Deaf people can do anything hearing people can do – except hear

adventure, deaf, south africa - Silverback Bikes


Having a hearing disability and being an active cyclist sounds dangerous, right? Not for Johan Reyneke.

Reyneke, 35 years-old, and raised in South Africa, has had a total of 10 bicycles in his lifetime and has had the opportunity to travel to numerous places around the world.

Johan was about 3 years old when he started finding pleasure in the two-wheel machine. I am the only deaf family member. It is tricky but a great challenge for him, so he continued to cycle & it never stopped him from reaching his accomplishments.

bicycle silhouette shadow silverback bikes
Johan on his Silverback Adventure

The Family.

Reyneke has been wearing a hearing aid for the majority of his lifetime, a silent world is something that he is quite familiar with, “I can hear nothing and when I do hear – I can hear some sounds and someone calling my name,” he explains.

His wife and 1-year-old daughter are both hearing-impaired. The Reyneke family reside in a community with over 1000 deaf people which makes life a lot easier for the entire family when it comes to communicating and socializing with other people, “we as deaf people don’t really go to dark places because we need light to see to communicate,” says Reyneke.

mother and daughter in the bush
Johan’s wife walking in the field, somewhere in South Africa
deaf cyclist enjoys biking, hiking, cape town
Johan and his wife loves any kind of adventure

People tend to think cycling is very risky for deaf people. Naturally, observations skills improve with time, particularly with lip reading, facial expressions and being aware of his surroundings. “My eye-sight is very visual and sharp,” says Johan. The only time he feels unsafe is when he does not have his mobile phone on him or when he is cycling alone.

His biggest obstacle is to maintain a safe position on the road. Imagine the shock one gets when a vehicle appears right next to you, without hearing it before it does. It is easy to start wobbling and an accident can occur.

Johan is a Senior Draughtman by profession but enjoys entering cycling races. After the big accident, Johan is still looking forward to doing more races, as the Cape Epic.

“I was racing in a road competition with a group and another cyclist hit his front wheel with his back wheel, I lost balanced and crashed very hard.”

deaf adventurer, hiking, Table mountain, trails
Some where in Cape Town South Africa

Always inspired to do more.

His achievements inspired other deaf people to cycle too, “I won gold for MTB in World Deaf Cycling Championships in 2006 in the USA as well as top 5 in the Deaflympic Games in 2009, Taiwan.”

Not able to hear has taught Johan many more values than people that have all their senses.

“I am more self-disciplined and I motivate myself.”

sido 1 silverback bicycle
Another trail conquered on his Silverback Sido 1

Johan’s goal is to take part in the annual Cape-Epic on his newly owned Silverback 2017 Sido 1, “I love my Sido 1.” adds Johan.

Johan is a big bike fanatic and only change the teeth single drivetrain to 34T. He really wants a SESTA SBC with a Full carbon Frame as his next bicycle.

Cycling is not as dangerous for a deaf person, as people sometimes make it out to be, “what I lack in hearing, I make up for in other ways, Johan adds.”

silverback trails
Johan’s best machine of choice

“Believe, you can do it. When it is though- don’t just give up, the end result is that you enjoyed it,” he says inspiringly.  Johan encourages other deaf cyclists to never look back when cycling in a group or in a single track. He hopes to prove that deafness is no barrier to live and should not prevent people from embracing their passion.

Go out, and never back down. Let his story inspire you as Silverback is #InspiredByYou!

Find more stories HERE