Name: Matt Arkwright
Frame Model: Onza Limey IV
Forks: Prototype Trial-Tech
Parts: Echo + trial-tech
Stem: Trial-tech 130mm (25 deg rise)
I would like to introduce you to a very different cycling discipline many of you won’t have come across. Bike Trials is the sport I have been involved in for over 10 years. I would describe Trials as an exciting and quite spectacular discipline both to watch and ride, where the main factors are stability and control under extreme conditions.
The picture above is of me sidehopping a cotton reel at Barrow farm – a Trials Park near Chelmsford. It gives a glimpse into the type of obstacles and moves that are used in trials.
There are 2 main sides to the sport; street and competition. Now I’m sure a fair amount of you will have heard of the famous Danny McAskill. He has certainly helped encourage new riders to get involved in trials and has converted it from an “underground” sport to one that is now more in the public eye. He is your typical street rider and his skills can be viewed in his videos with flowing lines and smooth transitions on urban terrain (he is also a very good comp-style rider but we wont go into that for the purpose of comparison!).
Competition riding is very different to watch. Riders have a different style and also use bikes which have completely different geometry to the street bikes. This is more my style of riding!
My bike can be seen in the image below. It has a low top-tube, very high BB and long wheelbase. And no; before the inevitable question is asked, it doesn’t have a saddle!
The idea behind this style of riding is to use more explosive moves. Normally during comps you will have a restricted run-up towards an obstacle, or, no run up at all! This means many moves involve taking off of the back wheel alone (static take-off).
I enjoy training on both natural terrain (rocks) and man-made/urban obstacles but I have to say the latter is my favourite. A mixture of both is essential to be the best. Power and technical ability are required in equal amounts which are put to the test during competitions and to be honest, the technical part of a section is my kryptonite! This is something I will be working on over the summer.
I have entered a number of national and regional competitions and also special events throughout my trials career and I will be blogging about my achievements, experiences and the social side of the sport. So stay tuned if any of this brief introduction to my world of trials interests or intrigues you!