2015 partners


Great Rock is supported by some fantastic brands for 2015 and it’s something worth shouting about. I’m more than happy to recommend the kit that I use because it’s tried and tested by me and if it didn’t work without lots of faff and fixing then I wouldn’t want it. It also helps if the kit looks good and can put on a pretty face for the relentless Instagram photos!

Kit has to work well in the tough and rocky conditions of Hebden Bridge, as pictured above, as well as at Gisburn Forest, Lake District, Basque Country, Pyrenees and all the other places that it gets dragged, ridden, thrown in vans, carried up mountains, crashed, rained on, sun bleached, sweated on and cleaned over and over again. It’s making me all excited just thinking about all the adventures to come this year!

Frames are Santa Cruz

Clothing, helmets and pads are Sweet Protection

Drivetrains, brakes, pedals and shoes are Shimano

Forks are X-Fusion

Wheels are Mavic

Bars, stems, saddles and grips are Chromag

Tyres are WTB

Dropper posts are KS

Frame protection is Invisiframe

Chain lube and bike cleaner is Squirt

Waterproof socks and gloves are Sealskinz

Trail tools are Lezyne

Bike travel bag is Evoc

Haircuts and beard trims are North West Barber Co.

Evoc packs

I’ve got two new EVOC riding packs. The Freeride Trail Team 20L on the right and the CC 16L looking all clean on the left. I’ve been using Evoc packs for the last year and have been impressed with their quality details, practicality and looks. I especially like the stability of the harnesses, both when the packs are fully loaded and when they just have a couple of bits in them. Usually I find that the first thing to go on hydration packs are the zips, but the durability of the ones here are top notch.

For more details click here for the website of Silverfish, the UK distributor of Evoc products.

Evoc Bike Travel Bag

It's the best

If like me you’re going off for some big mountain riding this year, chances are you will have to pack your bike up and put it on a plane. I’ve just been out to Greece to run a week of mountain bike skills courses with Greek riders. I’m also making 2 trips to visit and work withwww.basquemtb.com as well as working with the infamous alpine stage race www.trans-provence.com this year.


For my Greek trip I’ve just used the fastastic EVOC bike bag and will be using it for the rest of my travels this year. It really is the Rolls Royce of cycle travel equipment. Like the hydration packs that EVOC make, it’s of top quality construction and has very well thought out design features. Also like the packs it comes in the funkiest colours and even made me look classy as I strolled through the airport, like a jet set hobo of the open skies.


Ease of use is outstanding. All you have to do is remove the wheels, bars and pedals to get the bike all packed up. I also unscrewed the rear mech (without disconnecting the gear cable). This is way easier than the last time I flew and almost completely dissembled my bike for packing in a cardboard bike box. The EVOC bag also takes up less space than a cardboard box and easily goes in the back of a car. Rebuilding the bike takes hardly any time, which helps get your trip off to a relaxed start.


My bike was well protected in the case by the various pads and blocks. There is strong protection for your forks and a solid base that fits under the chain stays and bottom bracket. It was also held in a secure way, not rattling around in the bag at all, because of the various Velcro and buckled straps. Removable struts are inserted into the ends of the bag as well as on the outside of the integrated wheel bags. These give external protection and as they are removable, also mean you can collapse the bag down for easy storage when it’s not in use. There are handy zipped pockets for pedals, QRs etc. A solid base and wheels at the back make the bag dead easy to move around and it even stays stable going up and down steps as well as on and off the airport transfer bus. These EVOC dudes should start making bikes! There are well placed handles all around the bag for baggage handling joy.

You can fit road bikes as well as mountain bikes in the EVOC bag and it will even take 29ers if that’s how you swing. It retails for £279.95. You can find out more about where to get hold of one from www.silverfish-uk.com

Ed Oxley

Packing an Evoc bike travel bag


Bag Cast