Once a year Wide Open Distributors invite their key dealers to a fun filled two days of bikes and shiny bits with a bit of food, beer and riding and once again Spoke scammed an invite to take some pics and generally get in the way. We converged at Rydges Hotel in the middle of a 2 day rain shower to learn the latest tech from brands like Intense, FSA, ENVE, Stans, Soma, Gravity, Deity, Juice Lubes, Thomson, SDG, ODI, Marzocchi, POC and some other stuff before too many beers meant we had to sober up for dinner at Abracadabra in town.

The most exciting thing to happen to Wide Open recently is the addition of Intense Cycles to compliment the exotic range of bicycle bits they already stock. Intense have been real busy and have just recently released 4 new bikes with a new linkage system called JS Tuned. Have a look.

The Recluse with Foundation build kit.  140mm travel. 66 degree head angle. Long reach. Trail attack weapon.

Intense have put themselves at the head of the game with new linkages, slick paint jobs and a whole new line up.

The Spider 275. 115-130mm XC/trail bike with a 67 degree headangle. And a super long reach of 467mm for this large

The bikes have a Kiwi flavour due to the build kits being put together by Wide Open to reflect our tastes and terrain. The Foundation build and the Rotorua build, a burlier kit for the more discerning customer.

The ACV . A 275 Plus bike. Seen here on 3.5″ Panaracers, as the 2.8″ Maxxis tyres that were meant to go on it hadn’t arrived yet.

Wide Open mean business when it comes to putting their products out there in the NZ market, so if you are thinking about a new bike, then the team will see you right and look after you through your local bike shop.

The 29er Primer. Comes in this SL version with carbon rocker link and titanium hardware or a standard alloy rocker with steel bolt kit . 115-130mm. 67.5 degree head angle.

Carbon and ti

Yes. I nearly wet my pants too. Intense M16 Long Range Attack Missile. Supposedly it’s for DH racing.

There’s a few colour options too


Intense have obviously updated their website and it’s pretty slick and can give you all the correct info you need to convince you they are a brand to be proud to own. www.intensecycles.com

Wideopen also bring in POC. They have a few new goodies being released later on this week. There are some pretty cool new features in their clothing and protection range 

Chris King goodness

Needle bearings in a Chris King Freehub. One of the many reasons why CK isn’t cheap but once you have it you are a customer for life.


Another exciting brand they have is Deity. Strong looking pedals , handlebars and stems.

Did you know Fox Racing has bought Marzocchi? We’ll see a lot more of this brand and tech guru Cam told me that their fork quality appears to be improved already.

Stans Rims have been busy redesigning their alloy rims and have gone wider and have options for Plus builds too. Our favourite, the Flow now has a 29mm internal bead width and is hookless. Stans hubs have recently been redesigned and have stronger axles and bearings. If you want a great quality, price conscious wheel set then I reckon you cant beat a Stans from Wide Open. They have the Bravo carbon wheels too.

Absolute Black have every ring configuration known to man. Oval is big news these days, even in road. 

Deity. Carbon. Tough. There’s a colourway to match your bike.

Intense USA sent their Marketing guru Mike Dettmers down to us for a chat and to ride the luscious trails. We took him down some secret and not so secret trails in the rain. He rides a Primer 29er with DVO shockers as his personal trail bike. He rides it pretty good..  29ers are back for good now. You sure can’t call this an XC bike. 

Meet the boss man, Matt Whitaker. Not just a fat cat in the office, he used to be John Kirkaldies mechanic in the USA and he was a pretty fast DH racer himself. I even used to let him beat me occasionally . From bringing in ODI grips 15 odd years back, he now supplies us with some of the fruitiest brands cycling has seen. He only sells stuff that works and he wants you to be stoked or he wants to know about it. Even when we were wrecking his new bikes in the wettest conditions ever seen, he still let us go crazy until this moment here when he said ENOUGH! Lets go drink beer.

Sexy ACV.

JS tuned lower link with grease ports and collet axle system tucked into short stays.

When tech guru Cam isn’t drinking and trying to push POC gear on unsuspecting Specialized dealers, he rides a mean Tracer 275c pretty darn fast and I spent the whole weekend trying to show him what it’s like to ride at 50. (years old that is, not mph )

Kris (Grom) and his lube station. Another great Wide Open rider. Road or dirt or tools, he kicks ass.

The hidden end of the super smooth Thomson Covert dropper. All Class.

I took the Hightower to the party with a Marshguard  the only Wide Open product on it hoping Matt would hook a brother up with some swag……Nothing.

Spooky. A few beers , a new camera and I think I’m Caleb Smith

Some new colours in the POC helmet lineup

It wasn’t all fun and games. I got pretty wet.

…And dirty. We had local riders Weasel (In the blue jacket far left) and Jeff Carter (In God knows what that is he’s wearing far right) leading us out to make sure we didn’t ride any pirate trails by mistake. 

The weather didn’t really faze anyone and we had mega trains down the trails with whooping and hollering. Friday afternoon saw some people heading back home while the rest of us made the most of Rotoruas trails and stayed on for the weekend and enjoyed the sunshine and almost dry trails that soon followed. Roll on next year Wide Open!

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