Cycle trials has a far wider audience than you may ever imagine. Almost everyone at some period in their life will own a cycle, it’s a fact. The world of cycle trials has been embraced by many of the leading talents on motorcycles over a long period of time who made it to the very top of their chosen discipline with pedal power as opposed to going along the traditional motorcycle route. In particular in Great Britain we have some young riders who are already world champions and destined to go even further in cycle trials. They are from a new generation, and to aspire to the next level they need a new cycle to compete on; let Trial Magazine introduce you to the next generation of cycle trials: the new Jitsie range.
If there’s one thing that pretty much all of today’s top motorcycle trials riders have in common, then it is that they all ride bicycle trials.You may ask why? It’s the best training tool for improving your balance, technique, precision and strength, which can then be carried across to the motorcycle. Let’s not forget, it is a lot of fun to do as well! Even at the world championship rounds you may spot riders playing on their cycle trials bikes. 2017 is a big year for Belgian brand Jitsie who are presenting their Varial trials bicycle range, a true reflection of their 100% focus and commitment on cycle trials.
WORLD CUP 2012
The decision for Jitsie to get involved in the bicycle trials market dates back to 2012 after attending the World Cup in Knokke, Belgium. Jitsie noticed there was a wide variety of apparel used by the competitors but nothing really seemed especially developed for trials. It wasn’t long afterwards that the development team from the Belgian brand got to work and came up with a first line of specifically bicycle-trials gear, highlighted by a super lightweight short that didn’t restrict riders in their movements. Further key products that were released shortly afterwards were bike trials shoes and shin guards, much to the riders’ delight. The focus quickly shifted to the development of the hard-parts range under the guidance of ten-time World Champion Dani Comas, who joined the brand in 2013. As any bicycle trials competitor will confirm, weight is the number one enemy in bicycle trials as there’s no engine to help you jump onto the difficulties. It’s all down to the good-old human body and technique.
The goal from the start was to develop a full range of Jitsie technical parts and then move forward towards the production of a complete bicycle. A bike that would be suitable for the elite riders to compete at World Cup level as well as amateur riders to have fun on. In other terms, to get the whole family involved with a bicycle range to suit everyone. Jitsie made the clear choice for simplicity and functionality and didn’t move to new standards or complex and expensive tube designs. The Varial range is founded on conventional and proven standards, with minimalist lines but with the ability to rhyme performance and efficiency.
There’s one cool feature on the Varial bikes that makes it stand out from its competitors and that is the ability to mount a saddle. The place where the saddle is to be installed on the Varial frame is covered up by a stylish silicon seat plug. It’s only a 30 second job to replace the silicon seat plug with the specially designed seat, it really is that easy. It wasn’t actually that long ago that all the bikes had a seat but that slowly disappeared on the competition bikes.
The bicycle trials scene has undergone a real revolution with the growing popularity of street trials, thanks to the amazing videos by riders such as Danny MacAskill and a whole bunch of other riders. Bringing trials into the cities and showing what could be done on a trials bike has made such an impact on the sport. Beyond its practical side for riding from spot to spot in the city the seat also gives a trials bike the look and feel of a real bicycle. This certainly helps to attract a broader public to trials as a bicycle without a seat isn’t really perceived as a real bike. Moreover, at a time when the UCI is trying to promote the ‘urban’ side of trials and bringing it closer to the BMX scene, the return of a saddle on a competition trials bike seems to fit in perfectly.
THE VARIAL RANGE What makes the Varial bikes interesting and stand out so well is that Jitsie has developed almost all the standard parts on the bike, from the frame and fork to the handlebar and drivetrain, and so on. Furthermore, pretty much each of the original parts that are mounted on the Varial bicycle can be upgraded to a Race version from the Jitsie catalogue. That’s great when you know the Jitsie parts catalogue for bicycle trials is quite big!
The Varial range consists of seven bikes that offer quality equipment and light weight at a great price. The 26” bike for example is priced at £1,169 and weighs in at 8.3kg whereas the 20” 1010 bike with rim brakes only weighs in at 7.4kg and retails at £1,049. With the Varial bicycle range, Jitsie in a short space of time have made a remarkable entry on the bike trials scene as a manufacturer.
A large range of bikes to choose from at great prices, the choice is yours. What are you waiting for?
Team Rider: Nicolas Vallee
Team Rider: Adam Morewood
As the whole project came to life it was very rewarding.
R and D work was ongoing all through the project.
Team Rider: Alejandro Montalvo Team Rider: Rafa Tibau
From boy to man the Jitsie range caters for all ages and abilities. 92