Slack Randoms: A Climbing Mountain Trike with 1045% Gear Range, Collapsing Observatories & More

Dec 11, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  
We use Slack as our workplace communication tool at Pinkbike and we have a #randoms channel which we use to share an assortment of videos and stories from all corners of the cycling world and beyond... We thought a couple of the moments from the past week were too good not to share with a wider audience, so here are some of the highlights.

The Ascendu 3x3


Do you want to ride up really steep things, really, really slowly? The Ascendu could be the trike for you. The Spanish brand claims its bikes can comfortably climb up grades in excess of 50% and you can apparently even set your sights on 70% slopes on a good day.

The bike is able to achieve this thanks to a super-long, super-stable, 3-wheel set up and its gearing, which offers a 1000% range thanks to a Schlumpf Mountain Drive. The Mountain Drive is a planetary gearbox that replaces your front chainring and shrinks every gear by a factor of 2.5, doubling the expansion range of your bike. Combine that with a modern 12-speed cassette and you can end up with a very low gear to help you grind up the steepest of slopes.


Each front wheel has its own fork and the transverse beams allow them to work better on lumpy terrain. There's also a three-piece handlebar, with each wheel having its own control, allowing you to maintain better balance.

The bike is made in Spain from a lot of Reynolds and Columbus 4130 steel (its 1533mm wheelbase in Large makes it about 250mm longer than the largest Nicolai) and is available to pre-order now. More info, here.


MTB vs BMX vs Track Cyclist Sprints


In a Top Gear style race, Dutch BMX racer Justin Kimmann wanted to know which bikes were faster in a straight-out sprint - BMX, MTB or track - so he raced them together over 6 different distances to see which came out on top. The video is in Dutch but there are English subtitles. If you just want to see the races, skip to:

25 metres 3:40
50 metres 4:30
75 metres 5:40
100 metres 6:40
150 metres 8:00
200 metres 9:05

Crankpushers One-Ups Intend


If you thought the Intend Bandit was wild, Crankpusher takes it to its logical conclusion.

The First-Ever UCI E-Sports World Championships Won by Rower


The first-ever UCI sanctioned Zwift World Championships drew cyclists from a variety of disciplines. From XC's Jordan Sarrou to Cyclocross' Tom Pidcock and Road Cycling's Sarah Storey, but it wasn't a road cyclist than won it in the end, but a German Olympic rower - Ben Osborne. Osborne made his attack on the final slope of the race and maintained 10 watts/kg over the last 400 metres with a peak of 12 watts/kg to ride away from the peloton. Osborne took home a real-life rainbow jersey, a digital rainbow jersey to wear while Zwifting, and €8,000. The women's race was won by South African Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio.

Collapse of the Arecibo Observatory


It'll buff out.

Solving Everest's Mystery in The Ghosts Above


bigquotesIn “The Ghosts Above,” Sony Artisan photographer and filmmaker Renan Ozturk join an expedition to solve the Mount Everest mystery of who reached the summit first.



91 Comments

  • 99 0
 Pros:
Dropper
Modern Wheelbase
Massive gear range

Cons:
Steep head angle
Heavy for a hardtail
  • 39 0
 You're hired
  • 4 0
 Good thing it has a dropper post, else descending that thing on technical trails would be... ...awkward?
  • 5 0
 Kazimer approves of the chainstays
  • 2 0
 + holds 6 bottles in the rear triangle
  • 86 4
 When you can walk up faster than pedal - I think I'd rather just walk up.
  • 14 1
 Seriously, no thanks on this
  • 40 0
 It sounds significantly less enjoyable than hiking
  • 46 0
 It seems almost like the opposite of shuttling. You can ride the ups, but need someone to drive you back down the hill, as I can't imagine trying to go downhill much faster than walking pace with 3 handlebars to deal with.
  • 12 0
 @ocnlogan: yeah wtf, crawl up and ride down on a mobility scooter
  • 6 1
 Now I understand the why sram thinks we need 52 tooth cassette!
  • 2 0
 Made from "a lot of Reynolds and Columbus 4130 steel " and lots of powder coat. I can't imagine what it weighs.
  • 6 0
 As I've gotten older I've discovered I can briskly walk faster than I can climb moderate pitches on a mountain bike.
  • 26 1
 The point isn't that it makes sense, the point is that it's quirky, playful, creative, and hilarious! It might be short on practicality, but it's got soul. Honestly, pedaling that thing looks like it would be proper, goofy fun.
  • 6 0
 @ocnlogan: the cockpit design was inspired by the uss discovery
  • 2 0
 ...said no Eagle owner ever...
  • 1 0
 Your post says it ALL . everyone else can stop typing , including me .
  • 1 0
 @neimbc: Enjoy your hike-a-bike with that trike on your back
  • 50 0
 Probably still weighs less than the new Shore.
  • 7 1
 Or the Privateer 161
  • 2 0
 yeah but is it built for durability tho?? haha
  • 49 2
 Looks like a session
  • 24 3
 "Do you want to ride up really steep things, really, really slowly?"

My wife: "But I do that already"
  • 19 1
 While I have no desire to own or ride one, that trike might be one of the most interesting bikes I've seen in a while.
  • 20 0
 I just want to see Chris Akrigg back wheel hopping it around on some rocks, because you know he could
  • 7 0
 I was impressed with closet storage capability.
  • 22 6
 "You will climb unrideable climbs." That is what e-bikes are for.
  • 14 1
 I'll be first in line when the Ascendu Tandem comes out.
  • 12 0
 you'll also probably be the only one lol
  • 4 0
 @monkeybizz: Yes hostess, Tandem for one, please!
  • 2 1
 There won’t be a line.
  • 12 0
 All of that and only *one* bottle mount?
  • 2 0
 You can see another one on the back of the seat tube...
  • 2 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: Oh, well then I take it all back....
  • 11 0
 10 watts/kg is pretty nuts
  • 8 0
 Love that hill climb bike. It must have space for, like, 30 water bottles, most of them on the handlebars.
  • 5 0
 That trike is LONG as f*ck, but not so slack.... bet it's a riot on the way back down!

And definitely leave it in that closet where it belongs....
  • 7 0
 At least they read all the comments demanding proportional chainstays.
  • 3 0
 @pinkbikeoriginals Don't be outdone by this, dig up a SRAM dual drive, swap out the freehub body for xd, put eagle 52 on it, and then attach that wheel to a bike with a pinion gearbox. And tell us how low the gearing is. Pretty sure it would take a day in first gear to actually make the rear wheel go one revolution. I mean if the Grim Doughnut wasn't enough.... maybe let Waki help design it? lol
  • 4 0
 When engineering goes terrible wrong . That's the dumbest bike ever invented . I saw a guy with no legs that climbed a mountain by pulling himself up with his arms . he was moving faster than that absurd contraption .
  • 6 0
 That trike is a human powered rock crawler!
  • 6 0
 73 deg seat tube angle, must climb like garbage.
  • 4 1
 Would love to set the pressures, compressions, and rebounds of the two Fox forks on that trike way differently just for the lolz
  • 2 1
 I started to watch that film about who got to the summit first but my laundry needs hanging out. Can someone enlighten me please - who got to the summit first? Were they lying when they said they both got to the summit together?
  • 1 0
 This Ascendu bike may offer a solution on the "very low / long ram" without the need for the "slack". Just push the fork forward over a pair of links and make it rotate at the front end of those!

www.pinkbike.com/photo/18468990

The bike will be as long as we want, without leaning the fork too much or streching the rider too far...
  • 1 0
 Wouldn't it make more sense and make a more enjoyable climbing bike to mount low gearing on a long wheel base 36er or even develop 36+ or 36 fat tires ? I know that switching from 29x2.3 to 29x3 made a huge difference in my ability to climb rocky and rooty steep sections.
  • 1 0
 interesting build... I'm sure it could be useful for something, besides mountain biking... really though, beside the over built monster truck look. I see the wheel base as the biggest issue. It's just like me trying to off road with my Caddi Escalade ESV.. sure, it's got a 6.2L engine, all time 4x4 and boat load of horse power BUT, it's a long vehicle not well suited for off road. I'll bottom out too frequently and it's just a big vehicle in general. just like that monstrosity.
  • 3 0
 Remember when they used to say that short chainstays help you climb better by tucking the rear wheel under you?
  • 4 0
 "ride any terrain" ......ecept single track .... bummer
  • 5 0
 Send one to Sam Pilgrim
  • 3 0
 Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.
  • 1 0
 Could you not just pedal a regular bike up the impossible climb with the same 1000% drivetrain? It would be lighter, and you would look less stupid. Aside from your near zero pace and 150rpm cadence of course.
  • 3 0
 The chainstays are a little long for my taste.
  • 3 0
 That track cyclist needed to adjust his gearing for the distances.
  • 1 0
 Take the Bowhead trike from the previous post, remove the battery and motor and add a standard recumbent drivetrain, and it is better than the Ascendu at everything.
  • 4 0
 pinkTRIKE.
  • 1 0
 That was good
  • 2 0
 I'd love a go on that climbing trike and I don't give a shit if it's slower than walking, I'm a rider not a walker.
  • 3 0
 if anything ever didn`t need inventing,this is it.
  • 2 0
 And press fit BBs.
  • 1 0
 I rode a Schlumpf Speed Drive on a Spot steel hardtail once. If money was no object, I would have one my trail bike, no question. Fantastic.
  • 3 4
 Ever heard of an Ebike or Dirt bike? Also very cable on climbs that would otherwise be uncomfortable or impossible. Hiking shoes are likely cheaper and just as enjoyable downhill.
  • 2 0
 This is not the enduro bike test I was looking for...
  • 2 0
 I want the electric version
  • 1 0
 waiting for the E-trike version. i want +700 watts with a 1000% planetary drive.
  • 3 0
 Nuke it from space
  • 2 0
 Only 1 water bottle mount? Seriously?
  • 1 0
 Dude I can totally see some dork on the Front Range riding that trike on Green Mountain.
  • 2 0
 i wouldnt buy it, but i would definitely ride it.
  • 2 0
 Actual f*ck?

Its not April 1 today?
  • 2 0
 Bloody state of Everest, shameful.
  • 1 0
 What a great stocking stuffer! Ordering an Ascendu 3x3 for everyone in the family this year.
  • 2 0
 My god, why didnt someone tell him this was a fucked up idea
  • 1 0
 Why is that urban-XC-dual-slalom a thing, and pedal rock crawling not?
Pedal rock crawling, F*k it, im all in.
  • 1 0
 Someone tell this people it's way too early for April 1st jokes.
  • 1 0
 That Fox fork....holy crap
  • 1 0
 Why does this seem less stable than a 2 wheeled bike?
  • 1 0
 Innovation that certainly doesn't excite.
  • 1 0
 But you can store it anywhere!
  • 1 0
 Must be Australian April 1st today!
  • 1 0
 had to double check that it wasn't April 1st..
  • 1 0
 I think I could just ride up most of the climbs in that video on my bike.
  • 1 0
 That goes for all of us
  • 1 0
 @Websterminator: No way. That one guy in the video was pushing his lame ol’ 2 wheeler up a 10% grade gravel section.

Are you telling me that you could ride that?
  • 1 0
 @hllclmbr: Yep! I'll be doing it tomorrow at noon on Cerro Alto Mountain. Pull your balls out of your purse and join us.
  • 1 0
 Does it come with a bearded lady, and a hundred pound man eating chicken?
  • 1 0
 "Lots of space on the frame"
Mike Levy: "It's free real estate!!"
  • 1 0
 Comical
  • 1 0
 BF4 anyone?

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