With or without an internal combustion motor … here are half a dozen ways to get ahead (and stay ahead) of the pack.
Funky or Fun. Far-fetched or Absurd. Classic or Alternative. ACUMEN’s motion maestros check out six incredible ways of having fun while moving from Point A to Point B …
On Your Body: Craft Bike Tech Jacket
WHAT IS IT: Your first line of protection when the weather goes really grumpy. The Bike Tech Jacket - manufactured from technically advanced ThermoCool fabric – is not only waterproof, but also guarantees complete wind protection, even during those unpleasant Cape winter storms.
WHY DO YOU WANT IT: Available in classical black and white, it boasts highly rated eVent® fabric construction, thus improving the breathability whilst simultaneously keeping moisture out. A laser-cut panel design ensures an ergonomic fit and additional waterproofing, while articulated arms and a drop-tail back make for optimum coverage whilst cycling. Reflective strips furthermore ensure 360° of visibility to vehicular road users, especially after sunset.
DESIGN USPs: This is the bees’ knees, with soft-laminated wind- and waterproof fabric giving four-way elasticity for freedom of movement. The CRAFT secret is that this is manufactured from two high-tech polyester layers with a brushed backside, thus offering superb thermoregulation across a full spectrum of varying climatic conditions.
RRP: R1 999.00
On Your Head: MET Terra MTB Helmet
WHAT IS IT: A lifejacket for your brain! If you ever do come off your bike, the MET Terra All-Mountain Mountain Biking helmet is rugged enough to keep your cranium intact. Tried and tested construction, a comfortable fit and excellent protection (courtesy of the In-Mold Shell assembly) combine with a proven Safe-T Twist system for on-the-fly one-handed adjustment.
WHY DO YOU WANT IT: The MET Terra ensures a deep fit around your head, and has soft padding for an extremely comfortable feel. Coupled with the click-wheel retention system - which can be adjusted in small increments – the Terra epitomises solidity and safety. It also rates as one of the lightest helmets on the market, at only 295g.
DESIGN USPs: Well-spaced and spiked air vents provide large and consistent volumes of air-flow to your head, keeping it cool while on the move. The adjustable visor protects the face (and especially the eyes) from branches, sun, rain or mud-spatter from your wheels, while reflective decals ensure that you are visible to other road users at night.
GO GET IT: Craft outdoor technical apparel is available from most well-known national cycling retailers, or on-line from www.takealot.com & www.buycycle.co.za
RRP – R1,499
On Your Bike: Giant Anthem 0 Advanced
WHAT IS IT: This marvel of modern technology is truly the pinnacle of velocipede design … The GIANT Anthem 0 Advanced is an utter rocket-ship of a mountain bike, boasting a perfect combo of light-weight frame, cutting edge technology and thoroughbred geometry to blast you right to the front of the pack.
WHY DO YOU WANT IT: Think ‘state-of-the art’ … The Anthem 0 Advanced boasts a full-composite front triangle, mated to ALUXX SL aluminium rear triangle for additional rigidity. This revolutionary design creates a light, stiff and hyper-fast full-suspension bike, with an unmatched climbing capability, but without compromising its ability to soak up the rough. Add to this the OverDrive steerer tube system and you have a mountain bike that deserves its legendary XC racing pedigree.
DESIGN USPs: The Anthem 0 Advanced ticks all the boxes: an advanced-grade composite frame; a tried and trusted RockShox RS-1 100mm fork; the top quality RockShox Monarch RL shock; SRAM XX1 1x11 speed drive-train; classy SRAM XX hydraulic disc brakes; and SRAM Rise 60 wheels … it is a bike of absolute beauty.
GO GET IT: Available country-wide from all Giant Performance dealers, or check out www.giant-bicycles.com/en-za for dealer details.
RRP – R119,500.00
On the motorized side, we look at three cars similar at first glance, but with many a difference under the hood and inside. Read on and see which appeals to your soul ...
1) For the Heart: Citroën C4 Cactus
WHAT IS IT: Only the French could have come up with the Cactus, and only Citroën would have been daring enough to put it into production. That daring has paid off, as the Cactus has won a boatload of awards, including the 2015 World Car Design of the Year. Hard to classify, the Cactus is a compact hatchback paired with a hint of SUV for intriguing looks.
WHY DO YOU WANT IT: The Cactus is a car that will hopefully encourage other car manufacturers to break the mould and do something distinctive every now and again. If you look deeper, you’ll find a car that is not only fun to drive and to live with, but also offers excellent value for money.
DESIGN USPs: Most obviously, the Cactus has rubbery Airbumps on the sides to prevent damage from shopping trolleys and car doors, and probably from very minor accidents. The interior is classy and minimalist, with a large touch-screen dominating proceedings. A 1200 cc, 3-cylinder engine does duty in all three models, but in two of them a turbo has been fitted to increase power output from 60kW/118Nm to 81kW/205Nm. Unfortunately the rear windows don’t wind down, but pop out.
GO GET IT: Prices start at R229 000 and go up to R284 900. A 5-year/100 000km service plan is standard, as is a 3-year/100 000km warranty. Visit www.citroen.co.za for more information.
2) For the Head: Kia Picanto
WHAT IS IT: It might have been around for a while, but the Kia Picanto has been given a facelift that keeps it at the front of the budget motoring pack. It’s a good value, honest little hatchback.
WHY DO YOU WANT IT: The Picanto 1.2 is surprisingly fun to drive, the peppy little engine feeling far more alive than the paper figures of 65kW/120Nm would suggest.
Even the base model Picantos get air-con, an iPod compatible sound system, driver and passenger airbags, front electric windows and a trip computer. The 1.2 EX gets ABS brakes, which is worth the extra money in my book.
DESIGN USPs: When Kia designed the Picanto the brief was for an affordable car that made no compromise on styling, features or technology. The Picanto gets very close to realising this. Fuel consumption is a very good 6l/100km.
GO GET IT: Prices start at R139 995, but the pick is the 1.2 EX manual for R154 995. It comes with a 5-year/150 000km warranty. Visit www.kia.co.za for more information.
3) For the Planet: Zero DS electric motorcycle
WHAT IS IT: Where there should be a petrol engine there’s an electric motor. Where there seems to be a petrol tank, there is actually a charging cable. This is the Zero DS electric motorcycle, a vehicle that supplies emission-free commuting with decent performance, and in silence. The Zero DS is also a dual sport bike, which means it can tackle dirt roads.
WHY DO YOU WANT IT: Commuting for free is everyone’s holy grail, and the Zero DS comes very close to achieving this. It looks good too, and is very easy to ride as there are no gears and therefore no clutch. It even offers reasonable value when you take into account the savings on fuel, as a single charge should cost around R16.
DESIGN USPs: The electric motor produces 40kW and 92Nm, which is enough oomph for a 0-100km/h sprint of just 5,7 seconds. The standard charger takes just under 8 hours for a full charge, and the range on a charge is claimed to be 160km, at a cost of about R10c/km. This will vary according to how aggressively you ride, but makes most commuting possible. You just need to plan around load-shedding.
GO GET IT: The price is R167 775, including a 5-year/160 000km warranty on the power pack and 2-year warranty on the bike. Visit www.zeromotorcycles.co.za