Danny & Al test out the Exploro in Michigan… in January.
Al McWilliams has raced and adventured all over the world on every kind of bike, “I’ve been asking for this bike for a long time. I want a dirt bike that’s built to go as fast as my road bike. I hear a lot of people talking about comfort vs. speed vs. fun but for me going fast is fun and comfortable.”
John Chinchen has been rocketing up the road ranks as a golden child. The rest of the team look at his dedication to training and diet in awe as they finish a growler of Belgian Trippel. “The Green Mountain Stage race has a dirt descent in the middle of the queen stage. Last year I was plagued by mechanicals; this year I’m going back on the Exploro to handle the 100+ miles of road racing and fast dirt descending.”
Jay Ellis is a mechanical engineer and veteran cyclist, “The lack of sacrifice in the Exploro is amazing. They haven’t given up much in any category to gain in another. This isn’t a bike that’s okay at everything and great at nothing. It’s going to go really fast, all of the time.”
Cat Culkin specializes in ultra endurance events. She hasn’t entered a 12 or 24-hour challenge without setting a course record.
Scotty Albaugh is new to cycling after running distance Division I NCAA. Spending four years running as many miles as most serious cyclists ride, Scotty is ready for the less abusive 200 miles of gravel offered by Dirty Kanzaa, “I’ve been focusing on mountain bike racing since I switched over from running, so with the Exploro I can use my technical skills to go even faster on the road and gravel sections.”
Danny Soltan is also a college runner now earning a PhD in material sciences at the University of Michigan. Dr. Dan is a cyclocross specialist with excellent technical skill, but at 60kgs he wants to push the distance up to meet his potential. “Even on minor rolling terrain power-to-weight really starts to matter after hour four, but aerodynamics matter more the longer you’re out there too. I need the Exploro to maximize my weight and aerodynamic advantages at events like the Tushar Crusher, Fool’s Gold or Land Run.”
Mike Simonson, a veteran mountain bike pro and original endurance scene racer (Bell’s, Trek), has no question about the bike choice for the team, “for our events we’ll need to go 35mph in a peloton on the pavement and then rip a mountain bike trail on the same bike. Cross bikes are an option, but get sketchy at high speeds. The Exploro is as rock-solid on a fast paved descent as it is on the single track climb.”