My name is Stefano Dolfin. I’m an MTB rider from Italy, racing DH and 4x at ProTour level. Training involves my dirt bike, DH bike and enduro bike, with lots of technical downhill sections. Of course, to get to the downhills you involve a lot of uphills which adds greatly to overall fitness as well. For instance, on my local trails around the town of Mandello del Lario in the Italian Alps, a 20km ride can easily have 750m ascent – it’s a great, tough work out.
Two years ago, I introduced riding an E-MTB into my training. There are so many good reasons for this.
First, it allows me to explore new trails in my area looking for specific training routes. On the E-MTB I can explore further and check out more of the trails without wasting energy if the trails turn out to be not that good. I can then pick the most suitable routes for particular training requirements.
Secondly, on recovery days I can do a properly relaxed ride at exactly the effort level I need to. As we all know, recovery is an important part of training and it’s far too easy to get a bit carried away and not recover properly. The E-MTB has really helped me with this.
More importantly it means I can add really technical uphill sections to my ride instead of just going up the fireroads. Steep, techy climbs that are almost impossible on a non E-bike can be (sometimes, not always) ridden on the E-MTB so add a great deal to my training in terms of technical ability, endurance and concentration levels. The whole work out can be made much more intense. I’ve found that by training my brain going up as well as downhill, my concentration levels have really improved, and I can ride harder for much longer without making mistakes.
This kind of riding involves a lot of gear shifting, and the motor on the E-MTB adds a lot of torque to the chain as well. With that in mind, I have been testing the new ONZE-117 Rollerless chain from TAYA. This is an innovative design that TAYA have produced which gets rid of the roller in the chain as a separate part so the chain lasts longer and runs more quietly. As a TAYA test rider it was up to me to see if this was true for the E-MTB! It turned out to be an amazing chain. Even though it’s not E-bike specific it coped with everything I rode, uphill and down, changing gear sweetly and smoothly every time.
I tested it for a full year on those hills around my home with 70 hours of riding on the E-MTB – that’s 1,200 km of technical trails ridden with 45,000 m ascent and descent. I’ve worked out that’s about 10,000 gear shifts in total, and the chain hasn’t missed or hung up on any of those shifts. That’s really impressive. It’s exceeded my expectations massively.
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