If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to do the Cape Epic on a full-rigid, steel singlespeed, meet Max Menzies and his Mercer.
Here he is at this year’s Epic on that first gruelling hill:
This year was his fourth Epic tackled on a singlespeed but a first on this bike.
He named this baby “Scelerat” – a French word meaning villian/rogue/criminal. He says he chose that as his wife is French and it signifies his change to riding steel bikes.
This seems an appropriate choice in light of the fact that “steel is real”. And getting back to basics in their purest, simplest form is somewhat roguish. Those days before carbon, titanium and any kind of cushiony suspension. Times when riding success was measured by how blurry your vision was after rattling down a hill.
This is also why he opted for the brushed steel, no-paint look so as not to detract from the steel’s raw beauty.
Unfortunately, this year’s Epic on Le Scelerat was cut short by him inconveniently having a heart attack, but don’t let that put you off giving the singlespeed Epic thing a bash. Max certainly isn’t deterred. In fact, he’s acquired a bunch of extra bikes to alternate between to help him get his strength up again. He’s aiming for next year’s Epic, which Ironman USA will be sponsoring an entry for, with a development rider. Although he’d like to try that on a singlespeed he’s not sure he’ll get clearance medically (or from his wife) although we don’t see that phasing him.
We asked Max if he had any words of wisdom to share with fellow riders.
Staying true to his no-frills philosophy, he said:
“Heads up, don’t bother to take your camera with you, get off Strava and have fun”
We couldn’t agree more!
Let’s ride to the MAX!
But first, more pics: