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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 121 > THE NOT SO NUTTY PROFESSOR

THE NOT SO NUTTY PROFESSOR

Sanny takes a step into the alternative bike world of Ben Cooper. What he finds is that it isn’t just about the bike. Not even close.

I first came across Ben and his Glasgow-based shop Kinetics many moons ago when he started plying his somewhatremoved- from-mainstream bikes and accessories in a small row of shops just down the road from my parents’ house. Aside from his infectious enthusiasm, I was struck by just how much of a practical problem-solver he is for all things mechanical and electrical and by his love of engineering and industry. While some of us lusted over the latest Deore XT-sporting, Tange Prestige ultralight race frame from some obscure US manufacturer, Ben was already into gearbox hubs, dynamo lights and recumbents coming out of Germany. While most bike shops would be offering fairly standard servicing and repairs, Ben was getting acquainted with a welding torch and soldering iron. Not for him the standard puncture repair and gear adjustment. Rather, if you had a problem that nobody else could solve, like the A Team, Ben would be the man to call. Fitting discs to a Brompton? Sure, no problem. Want to cut your frame in half and fit S&S steel couplings for pain-free flights? He could do that too. Long before drones were a thing, Ben was already building and piloting them himself. You get the picture.

INTERVIEW

Nope. It’s meant to look like that…
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About Singletrack

Editorial: Longer Shortcuts Chipps encourages us to expand our mental maps and seek out the hidden byways between here and there. In between, happiness lies. UK Adventure: There Be Dragons Here! Probably… Sanny takes advantage of the long dry summer to check out a Lake District route reputed to be so wet, steep and horrible that only a fool would try it. Column: Jason Miles Jason just wants to ride a long way. However, he’s not keen on being judged for it. Classic Ride: Clwydian Hills Tom Hutton takes us on a tour of this lesser known riding spot in an eort to persuade us there’s more to Wales than trail centres and Snowdon. International Adventure: Just When It Was Going So Well Jason Miles dons his best Lycra and jumps on one of the worst bikes he’s ever ridden to take part in a local Spanish stage race. Spoiler: he doesn’t win, but by getting to hear the tale, you do. Interview: Simon Gallup - There Is No Cure Best known as the bassist from The Cure, Simon Gallup is a cycle nerd and collector of Orange Bikes. Chipps goes to check out what’s in his shed… quite a lot as it turns out. Behind The Scenes: Build It And They Will Come Antony de Heveningham takes a look at unauthorised trail-building and asks whether this is breathing life into the trail network, or threatening its very existence. Behind The Scenes: MIPS - Twisting My Melon Our resident neuroscientist Dr Barney Marsh checks out the technology behind MIPS helmets and the injury risks driving their development. Bike Test: XXC We test out three short-travel, full suspension bikes from Intense, Saracen and Yeti to see how this new crop of slack(ish) but swift bikes compares to their steeper cross country brethren. Plus much more…