Heads up – The Koppenberg

4SHAW Koppenberg Socks

Translating to Heads Mountain – Koppen is also an abbreviation for Cobblestones. Which all makes a lot more sense when you know that refers to kinderkoppen or “Children’s Heads”. The name of this brutal pinch then makes a lot more sense. Cobblestones the size of children’s heads.

With up to 22% grade, this would be difficult, but the combination of steepness and cobblestones means even the pros struggle with the challenges of the Koppen. Many a rider has been seen running their bike up the hill, after losing traction on the hill.

Even with it’s evil reputation, oddly the hill doesn’t hold a lot of strategic significance in the Tour of Flanders – it’s too far away from the end of the race and and too short to be decisive. Instead, the Koppenberg is about pride, bike handling skill, and surviving one of many nasty cobbled hills of East Flanders.

Get your Koppen on!


The Story of the Paterberg

4SHAW Paterberg Sock

In possibly one the most successful but also shameless attempts to garner more business from passing cyclists (long before coffee shops started popping up on local bike tracks) a farmer in Kluisbergen in East Flanders paved the road nearby his house in 1986 so the Tour of Flanders would go past nearby. Needless to say, it worked and Paterberg joined a select group of steep pinches to be incorporated in the Tour of Flanders.

Often the penultimate climb, it’s 400m averages 12.5% but ramps to 20% for a final, excruciating push over the finish line.

Get your Paterberg on.

Climb the Bosberg

4SHAW Bosberg Sock

Another Iconic Belgie Hill – literally meaning Forest Hill. Maybe Forest Hell would be more appropriate. Partially paved, partial cobbles in the steep upper parts of the hill mean the Bosberg bites, and bites hard.

The Bosberg was the final climb in the Tour of Flanders from 1973 to 2011. To add insult to injury the Bosberg was usually proceeded by Muur van Geraardsbergen when it featured in the Tour of Flanders. Edwig Van Hooydonck immortalized the climb by making decisive attacks on the Bosberg twice before soloing to the finish in 1989 and 1991.

Get your Bosberg on here.

Meet the Kemmelberg

4SHAW Kemmelberg Sock

From our new Belgie Berg range, Kemmelberg celebrates the hill formation in Flanders.  A favourite of the spring classics, it is not so much the height, or the gradient, but where riders find it in the course of race that defines the Kemmelberg.

Kemmelberg can be make or break – and its history includes not just cycling folklore, but infamy in war too. Rightly so, the hill takes its name from Camulos, the Celtic god of war.

Buy Kemmelberg Online Here.

Scotty Bowden Cross Country Mountain Biking, Clifton Beach.

Thanks to Warren Frey for the awesome camera work and a huge thanks to Rianrex for the amazing piloting skills which helped us show Scotty Bowden doing what he does best.

2015 Australian MTB Championships

The 4SHAW Dyad racing the 2015 Australian Mountain Bike Championships

By Scott Bowden

WOW! What a weekend it was in the Victorian Alpine town of Bright for both members of 4SHAW DYAD. With myself securing my first national title in the U23 Men XCO and Tom finishing a solid 8th we were both very happy with the results of the weekend.

The 4SHAW Dyad racing the 2015 Australian Mountain Bike Championships

Things kicked off as usual with Tom and I meeting at the Melbourne airport, driving 3.5hrs to Bright courtesy of Tom’s Dad, Rob in the hire car. The system followed during the weekend was almost identical to every other race we had been to during the season, as to avoid trying new things before the biggest race of the summer. By now we have got things fairly well dialed especially our pre-race meal cooked by Tom – chicken and mushroom risotto.

The 4SHAW Dyad racing the 2015 Australian Mountain Bike Championships

With a different style track to all others we had raced on so far this season a few extra nerves were raised. The track consisted of a 1.25km start loop which was much longer than any other this season, and shorter climbs and descents, making it a much more punchy course broken up with false flat fire tail sections.

The 4SHAW Dyad racing the 2015 Australian Mountain Bike Championships

Things fell into place perfect for myself throughout the race, other than a crash on the first lap where I lost my front wheel and went OTB. I managed to lead into the single track after the start loop and build an advantage from there to the finish. Crossing the finish line first had been my goal since the start of the season and everything I achieved leading up to it has been a massive bonus!

Tom has recently commenced his last year of his Engineering degree and in the lead up to the race had been juggling work, study, living away from home, training, racing and travelling – a hectic schedule! All the while managing to pull out 8th place at the National Championships.

The weekend was capped off nicely with overindulgence in fine food at the Bright Brewery and one or two frothies to celebrate. This week sees me take a few days off the bike to rest, recover and reset before the next challenge, whilst Tom will be lining up for the grueling Otway Odyssey in Forrest, VIC this weekend.

The 4SHAW Dyad and 4SHAW Boss Dion Shaw on the podium at the 2015 Australian Mountain Bike Championships

A massive thank you to all our sponsors for their incredible support this season! Notably Dion Shaw from 4Shaw for his ongoing support of the team, Evan James for helping out in the feedzone passing us bottles all season and Jenni King from Pedallab for her super coaching! We are already looking foreward to the 2015/16 National Series! Ciao!

Photos by AMB.