2013 is a special year for me. It’s the first time I get to defend my World Title. It is also my first year back at Horspath. First year to be using an Archie Wilkinson, but hopefully not the last year of me on a Lynskey.
Last season, as I said previously, was very much up and down. I was training hard, but didn’t feel the benefits until the big one at the Europeans at Ipswich. Further into the year I was getting tired of my bike. My ride was lacking that something special, the extra spark that would drive things forward. More riders started to use MTB wheels and wider tyres were much in demand. This was the main reason I started thinking about an alternative to my beloved Lynskey. I simply could not fit a tyre wider than a 1.5 at the back. There is still hope of a new frame design being made and I sincerely hope I will ride one in Oz, but for now I have to concentrate on what I have and use it well.
The Archie is completely different to my old set up. Very short and sharp geometry comparing to relaxed and slack Lynskey frame. It is significantly heavier too, but I still have room for improvement in this area. Handling is better in some respect, again I am still learning it. Important bit is tyre choice, as fitting a 1.9 Larsen is a struggle and sticking to a 1.5 Houff drops the bb a level too low. I decidied to switch my Kenda Small Block 8 1.75 from the front to the back this year. I personally think it’s a better option to Maxxis. First of all you have more room in the frame, just in case a slight buckle, second of all there is far less drag. I found Maxxis to be extremely hard work, and finally lower profile gates better. I think it’s a great compromise for an Archie Wilkinson bike. Smoother tread rolls faster, but it is wide enough to give you plenty of grip. There is also a 1.9 version which could be used at the front. Tyres are folding, so very lightweight, dual tread compound (DTC) mean that your middle section is made of a harder compound, ideal for getting out of the gate, and sides are made of softer, sticky rubber giving you plenty to corner on. Price is comparible too, if you do a good search.