How the Shogun became the Sholto 

A mid-90s Shogun Alpine GT, but it feels like a brand-new bike to ride.

I wanted to refurbish my mid-90s Shogun Alpine GT touring bike. I’ve owned the bike since new, in fact I remember going on my first solo tour on the Shogun around the Bunya Mountains for my 30th birthday in 1994. The original spec was based on Shimano STX RC, with a triple crank, and cantilever brakes that I could never get to work well.

When I got a custom (Frezoni) road bike for my 40th, the Shogun was passed on to my teenage son, and then as components wore out, it started to morph into other roles. It was a singlespeed flat-bar city bike for a couple of years when I first started work with BQ. 

When I began cyclocross racing it was set up 1×9 and I found it some amazing old Shimano XTR v-brakes, but this was before narrrow-wide chainrings and the Shogun had an unfortunate habit of dropping the chain in muddy creek crossings.  The whole bike and I had a lay-down in ‘Hepatitis Creek’ at the State titles at Ipswich one year.

Its most recent incarnation was once again around the city and flatter rides on rail trails, with the same 1×9 drivetrain and Soma moustache bars. A week-long tour on the Victorian rail trails was a highlight for this bike last year.

I’ve been bike-packing mainly on dirt roads on a 29er mountain bike for the last three years, but I wanted to get a road touring machine ready for a self-supported End-to-End ride in the UK.

I could have bought a new Wayward Cape York tourer, because they are fantastic value and a well thought-out spec. But I also wanted to pay tribute to my friend Sholto, who died after a battle with a blood disease earlier this year. Sholto was an intrepid tourer who rode across the US, and also did the LEJOG End to End (Lands End to John O’Groats that is).

So, here is the ‘Sholto Alpine GT’ in all its refurbished glory. It was no cheaper than buying a brand new Wayward Cape York.

The frame was powder coated in candy green by Robertos Custom Powder at Morningside. The decals were designed and applied by me, printed by Vinyl Lettering Direct.

The parts mix was assembled with an eye on value, ease of use and durability. Most parts are from the value end of the Shimano range, and just a couple of pieces were re-used from the most recent build of this bike, notably the brakes (Tektro v-brakes operated by Tektro RL520 levers) and seat post.

The wheels are brand new, Shimano 105 5800 32-hole hubs on H Plus Son Archetype rims. The wheels were built by Craftworx in Brisbane. Tyres are WTB Exposure 700×32.

The drivetrain highlights are the beautiful Middleburn R01 cranks, with a 94 bcd (bolt circle diameter) spider, bought direct from the UK. The chainrings are TA Speclalties, a French brand. I found a source in Sydney for these chainrings (new/old stock) and as a result have 44T and 42T big rings, and 30T and 29T small rings.

The bike is set up with 42-30 chainrings. The derailleurs are Shimano Tiagra (front) and Alivio (rear), and the 9-speed Alivio cassette is 11-34. Shifters are second-hand bar-end Dura Ace 9-speed. It’s all lower-end Shimano, but it all works well together because it’s 9 speed and friction shift.

The finishing kit reprises some favourites from other bikes. My cyclocross bike has a WTB Volt saddle (143 mm width) and 46cm-wide Ritchey compact alloy bars. So does this bike.

Of course for any bike I assemble, you can pretty much guarantee that I’ve sought (& received!) the assistance of Emma a.k.a Bike Bestie to turn my pile of parts into a working bike. It only took us two evenings to get it done!

I’m experimenting with exactly how the Sholto will be set up for load carrying. I have a generic front rack ($20 from Abbotsford Cycles) which has a black Wald 137 basket, secured with cable ties.

The Wald 137 easily swallows enough gear for a weekend pub-stay ride. I can add my Bridge Street saddle bag for another 8-10 litres of capacity.

The Sholto Alpine GT has restored a frame I’ve always found comfortable and fun to ride, and I can’t wait to try it out on some weekend tours around SEQ. 

They’re not just plugs, they are news items

Andrew Demack and 20% co-host Cathy Peel discuss upcoming bike events around SEQ.

It’s the plugs episode of Briztreadley.

Plugs and patches. Don’t forget patches.




A Classical Spring

Mat Hayman stuns the cycling world, and maybe even himself, by winning the 2016 Paris-Roubaix.

Here’s episode 9 of the Briztreadley podcast for 2017 … and it’s Spring Classics Time.

Your host Andrew Demack is joined by Euro cycling watcher Nicholas O’Donnell for a discussion of Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders, the Ardennes classics and more.

Find out what a Monument is! Get the Briztreadley scoop on Jay McCarthy’s future! Find out if Simon Gerrans is past it! All in this week’s Briztreadley podcast.


Win a lump of wood, with Cathy Peel

Episode 3 of the Briztreadley podcast for 2017 … and it features

  • Co-host Cathy Peel with an update on her new role within the Commonwealth Games
  • Coverage of the Wild West XC and Samford cyclocross races, including interviews with Jared Graves, Declan Kilkenny and Been Albany
  • An in-depth look at media coverage of the recent Santos Womens Tour, with our Adelaide correspondent Jordana Blackman.

And if you know who Anna Meares’ newest best friend is, be the first to comment on the Facebook post and one of these souvenirs from the opening of her eponymous velodrome will be yours*.

Souvenir from the opening of the Anna Meares Velodrome … it could be yours!

Cyclocross all over, and road racing in Adelaide

Hi team!

Here is episode 2 for 2017 of the Briztreadley podcast.

Joining host Andrew Demack in the studio this week is Hayden Lester.

Among the stories we cover:

  • Dan McConnell and the battle to be a sponsored rider in the UCI XC World Cup
  • Cyclocross in Japan, Hungary, Belgium, and Samford.
  • The Santos Womens Tour
  • The Tour Down Under
  • and so much more! Well, not much more really. That was about it.

C grade is underway in Budapest cyclocross!


Any old road is fine for touring, riding and having fun

Testing the Cannondale Slate on the fire roads of the Glasshouse Mountains on a Neil  Ennis adventure ride. My buddy Emma is keeping an eye on me in the background.

Testing the Cannondale Slate on the fire roads of the Glasshouse Mountains on a Neil Ennis adventure ride. My buddy Emma is keeping an eye on me in the background.

And here is Episode 23 for 2016 of the Briztreadley podcast.

In the show this week:

  • Andrew Demack interviews Alee Denham, who runs a wonderful website called
  • Hayden Lester chats with the winner of the SEQ downhill series.
  • And Andrew reviews the Cannondale Slate.

Get into it!


From Wooroolin to Wisconsin, wherever the trail takes us

Sarah Hammond from Melbourne, smashing the 2016 Trans Am bike race.

Sarah Hammond from Melbourne, smashing the 2016 Trans Am bike race.

And here is Episode 15 of the Briztreadley pod for 2016,  hosted by Andrew Demack:

  • Sarah Hammond from Melbourne is doing an amazing ride in the Trans Am bike race. We talk with last year’s Trans Am winner Jesse Carlson about what’s going on.
  • Andrew pops up to Kingaroy to get a sneak peek at the Kingaroy to Murgon section of the new Kingaroy to Kilkivan Rail Trail, to be opened later this year.
  • Hayden Lester interviews an intrepid overseas bike tourist, with cool stories of touring around Mt Fuji and all over Japan. And the intrepid tourist? His brother Joe.

Listen, enjoy, and share it with your friends! I’m going to try something over this weekend (Ootober long weekend), so hopefully nothing too weird happens!



The un-Brisbane episode: Derby, Victorian rail-trailing, Roubaix

A cutting on a rail trail ... this is on the High Country Rail Trail somewhere between Bonegilla and Tallangatta.

A cutting on a rail trail … this is on the High Country Rail Trail somewhere between Bonegilla and Tallangatta.

Here’s Episode 11 of the podcast for 2016. Much thanks to Ashley and Alix Everton, Eleanor Jackson, Kaleb Griffiths, and Hayden Lester, for all their excellent input in this episode.

Stories from:

  • The rail trails of north-east Victoria, especially the Murray to the Mountains.
  • The National Marathon XC championships in Derby, Tasmania
  • The cobbled classics in Europe.

A scorcher for the Coot-Tha Burn

Champions aplenty on Mt Coot-Tha last Saturday. Here's one of them, Craig Hinkins.

Champions aplenty on Mt Coot-Tha last Saturday. Here’s one of them, Craig Hinkins.

Lots of sweating involved in this episode of the Briztreadley podcast. Some of it just sitting at a computer, editing interviews. But also …

Chris Welsh, Jordana Blackman and Andrew Demack were all out and about at the Coot-Tha Burn, getting some great interviews.

We talk to Craig Hinkins, Peter Shield, Jordana and Tamyka, Matt Keenan and Robbie McEwen, and of course we enlist Jens Voigt into the on-going quest to bring all koala thieves to account.

That wasn't easy. Tamyka and Jordana smile for Chris Welsh's camera, despite being close to death.

That wasn’t easy. Tamyka and Jordana smile for Chris Welsh’s camera, despite being close to death.

2016 episode 1: Finishing off the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail

bvrt for pod

And we’re off and riding for 2016. In this first episode regular hosts Andrew Demack, Chris Welsh and Jordana Blackman are joined on the line by Paul Heymans from the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Users Association, to share some exciting news!

And we chat about the fun and games in RAdelaide.