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Stratos proto-tested at the #untamed ABSA Cape Epic

Stratos XCO Mountain Bike - Silverback Bikes

STRATOS IS BORN AND BRED FOR RACING AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL, AND CRAFTING THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB RELIES ON THE RIGHT PEOPLE AND PROCESSES. SILVERBACK HAS BOTH IN PLACE TO DELIVER THE RIGHT BIKES AT THE RIGHT PRICE.

With the unveiling of our new XC race machine, we put in place a testing and development process to put the platform through its paces. From top-level UCI racers, through aspiring amateur riders.

Design Ideation.

A clean slate is where Thomas, the engineer behind the Stratos started.  This was essential to not limit himself to updating existing designs and suspension layouts. Rather to create something truly great and innovative. The design and development of a brand new concept is something that brews in the mind of a design engineer for some time, before he puts pen to paper.  Stratos started with the intended suspension feeling. Small bump sensitive and big hit capable, but to pedal efficiently without being locked out, and to make a challenging design brief even more so, to use full available travel without wallowing.

Silverback, advanced design, technologie

Advanced design

The design process starts on Linkage, a suspension design program and then moves on to Solidworks, an engineering program. On Solidworks the shapes and kinematics are fine-tuned and flow test analysis can be run on the frame to pre-empt stresses.

Our engineers then work with the factory to meticulously work out the carbon selection and layup for optimum strength and stiffness to the least possible weight.   The frame has to pass rigorous lab testing before the first riding prototype rolls out of the factory.

Design, Silverback, Stratos

Performance-driven innovation.

The resultant design is dictated by performance, function-driven innovation. It starts with an asymmetric frame with a single oversized tapered pivot utilizing angular-contact headset bearings for durability and superb stiffness. A single piece carbon rear triangle with Flex-stays means fewer pivots and so less weight and less maintenance. User-Centred design means that the bearing choices and even tools needed for servicing are off the shelf items and easy to find in any bike shop.

Silverback Stratos, Bicycle, mountain bike

The proof is in the ride.

Real-world testing is ultimately needed to make sure that all the tests and design ideation creates a synergy. 

What in the world can be a better testing ground that putting the bike through initiates in the #UNTAMED ABSA Cape Epic, ridden by world class racers?

624km, 16650m Climbing, 8 Days. Two Teams. Stratos Prototypes.

“Celebrated for its testing nature, the Cape Epic’s 16th edition will cover 624 kilometres and total 16,650 metres of climbing. That equates to nearly riding up two Table Mountains per day, for a week.” Business Insider

Jennie Stenerhag racing her bike

Stratos Excels.

Thomas spent time with the riders at the Epic as well as inspecting the bikes after every stage to assess the condition of the bikes.

All Stratos bikes survived the Epic with not a single frame mechanical issue! And the rider feedback is crucial for continuous development for other SB bikes and the Stratos platform.  Strauss and Stenerhag took two podiums during the race.

“Descending with the Stratos is super flowy and responsive. I can really throw the bike around, pushing my limits” – Mariske Strauss, Silverback Racing

“The bike is light and climbs like a machine. It floats over rocks and roots, saving me energy when I race.” – Jennie Stenerhag, Silverback Fairtree

ABSA Cape Epic, Silverback Stratos

Pioneering user centred development.

Silverback also pioneered a new step in the bike testing process. We are launching a Global Pilot Program. 40 riders from across the world will actively partake in the testing of the new bike. Giving valuable real-world feedback to designers.

Silverback Test Pilot, Stratos

Winning races need a lot of luck, choosing the right bike makes you luckier.

“It climbs really well and feels light, and is agile on the descents – a true Race bike” – Nicola Rohrbach, Silverback SBC

“it shaved seconds off my downhill times – over my enduro bike!” – Luke Moir, Silverback Racing

Best In Class Bikes.

Stratos is born and bred for racing at the highest level, and crafting the right tool for the job relies on the right people and processes. Silverback has both in place to deliver the Right Bikes at the Right Price.

#SilverbackStratos #BornToBeFast #SilverbackBikes

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ABSA Cape Epic stage 7

ABSA Cape Epic , final Stage, Silverback Fairtree

”WE STOPPED AT THE MEDICS ON ROUTE AND THEY DID NOT SUGGEST ME CARRYING ON…”

Eight days, five venues, 630 kilometers, three big crashes and one-fifth overall. The 2019 ABSA Cape Epic is done.

Silverback Fairtree fought through every stage and with reason to give up their fighting spirit did not allow them too.

Disappointed to have not been able to race the way they wanted to in the final days and to show what they were fully capable of.

“Finishing this ABSA Cape Epic event hand in hand is already a massive achievement. This year this event has taken us through all emotions imaginable. Thank you Jennie Stenerhag for pushing on and crossing that line with me. I am happy to report that I am made of steel and everything seems to be in one piece,” says Mariske.

“We finished the ABSA Cape Epic but it was close that I would not get my 5th Cape Epic finishers t-shirt. I crashed badly in a long tunnel 42km into the stage and my arm swells up and looked terrible,” says Jennie

Jennie adds,” We stopped at the medics on the route and they did not suggest me carrying on, but I so badly wanted to finish. I had the arm bandaged and we rode to the finish. Once again an emotional finish at Val de Vie… But instead of celebrating the finish I went to the hospital for x-rays of my arm and shoulder. Luckily it was good news and nothing broken.”

But having such a strong start to the race and establishing such an impressive time buffer is something that they are proud of. Once again they have proved that a great partnership is worth so much in this extraordinary race.

Missed what happened yesterday? Catch up: ABSA Cape Epic Stage 6

ABSA Cape Epic, Stage 7

#SilverbackBikes #BornToBeFast #Untamed

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Silverback SBC withdraws form ABSA Cape Epic

SILVERBACK SBC WITHDRAWS FROM ABSA CAPE EPIC

We at Silverback Racing value the health of our riders more than race results. Based on the recommendation of a medical professional, we made the decision to withdraw team Silverback SBC, from the 2019 ABSA Cape Epic.

Konny developed health issues on Stage 3 that led to lower back pain. To continue with the race would be at the risk of a prolonged time period off the bike and possible long term nerve damage in his back.  Nicola will return home to focus on his coming race season.

True to the nature of the #Untamed ABSA Cape Epic, Silverback SBC has had an unpredictable race, with Nicola puncturing 2 days back to back, first on Stage 1 (but still finishing 10th overall on the GC) and then stage 2 (dropping them to 32nd overall on the GC) and having to fight back to an overall 26th place after Stage 3.

Silverback Fairtree

Mariske Strauss and Jennie Stenerhag is currently in 4th place on the UCI Womens GC and riding consistent with the aim of getting back on the podium.  Strauss & Stenerhag continues racing and will still have our full support during the last stages of the ABSA Cape Epic.

Silverback’s new Stratos XC Race bike platform R&D testing is part of Silverback Racing’s goals for Epic.  With our Design Engineer assessing the bikes after each stage, and spending time with the riders, vital insights gained from the Epic will be used for R&D purposes, as well as setup recommendations for when the Stratos platform is market bound, meaning a better bike.

“We are sad to pull out of the Epic with our mens team. However Konny’s immediate and long term health is more important than completing. We should not lose sight of what we achieved already – racing the toughest MTB race with prototype race bikes, the feedback from racers to engineers and the confirmation of design theory, product quality and geometry of our bikes.  A win for Silverback BIC Quality”

– Marthinus Kruger, Team Manager, Silverback SBC. .

Rohrbach with an overwhelmingly positive Epic history, teamed up with Looser, a marathon specialist, with the aim of adding to his Epic achievements. Read the full team announcement HERE.

Nicola’s Epic history:

2016

-GC 2nd

-5x stage wins

2017

-GC 3rd

-2x podium

2018

-CG 5th

-2 x stage wins

Silverback SBC, ABSA Cape Epic
Some days just don’t work out as planned
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ABSA Cape Epic Prologue

PROLOGUE: BATTLE LINES DRAWN FOR 2019 ABSA CAPE EPIC

The 2019 ABSA Cape Epic kicked off on Sunday the 17th March. Once again the Prologue was held on the slopes of the iconic Table Mountain. The 21-kilometer long course features 600 meters of climbing, followed by technical descending. Both starting and finishing on the University of Cape Town’s sports fields. This fast and furious track is ideal for cross-country racers however there is still a long race ahead.

Our UCI Women’s team, SILVERBACK-FAIRTREE consisting of Mariske Strauss and Jennie Stenerhag finished 5th. Furthermore, the SILVERBACK-SBC men’s team finished in the Top 15.

Silverback Fairtree finished the opening stage in a time of 55:45. Thus, this places them about 4 minutes behind the winners. With a whole week of racing ahead, the ladies are motivated to make up this time on stage 1 and step onto the podium.

Overall results: UCI Women

  1. Investec-songo-Specialized: Annika Langvad (Denmark) & Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) 00:51,44,7
  2. Kross-Spur Racing: Ariane Lüthi (Switzerland) & Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) 00:54,19,9 +2.35,2
  3. Summit Fin: Candice Lill (South Africa) & Adelheid Morath (Germany) 00:54,33,8 +2.49,1
  4. Meerendal WIAWIS Rotwild: Sabine Spitz (Germany) & Nadine Rieder (Germany) 00:55,11,4 +3.26,7
  5. Silverback – Fairtree: Jennie Stenerhag (Sweden) & Mariske Strauss (South Africa) 00:55,45,4 +4.00,7
Silverback Fairtree, ABSA Cape Epic prologue
Mariske Strauss & Jennie Stenerhag
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Silverback KMC shows fighting spirit

Silverback KMC, Mariske Strauss, Annie Last

FOR THE SECOND TIME WE ARE INSPIRED BY THE GRIT AND SPORTSMANSHIP OF THE TWO AMBITIOUS LADIES FROM SILVERBACK KMC

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.

LONELY LEOPARD

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

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Silverback ambassador challenges #untamed ABSA Cape Epic again!

road bike, cycling

CAPE EPIC: DON’T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUS AND ENJOY THE LUXURY OF RIDING YOUR BIKE FOR A WEEK

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

INSPIRE

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

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Silverback ambassador, Greg Miller leads the Cape Epic

Greg Miller, UCI World Cup, Stellenbosch

WE HAVE THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE WITH SILVERBACK AMBASSADOR, Greg Miller.

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.

PREPARATION

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

BEING A SILVERBACK AMBASSADOR

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