To take a break from the long work days running around on foot at the Sea Otter Classic, I signed up to ride the MTB Gran Fondo at the event. Having never been to Sea Otter, I took a leap of faith and assumed I could “demo” a bike from any number of manufacturers for the recreational 20-miler. It was a bit of a gamble because there was a chance I would end up without a bike. But the other risk was getting a bike in my size.
Specialized continues its offerings for the female rider with the new Rumor, a full-suspension women’s specific 29er that’s been two years in the making.
Disc or Cantilever? Take your pick.
As the debate continues over disc verses cantilever brakes on cyclocross bikes, a new bike by BH, with some clever design ideas, has left the options open. While delivering a top notch, ready to race CX bike, the Spanish bike builders have left the choice of stoppers up to you. The 2013 RX Team is a carbon monocoque frame with some unique features that allow the bike to be built with either cantilever or disc brakes.
Class and sophistication spin from the wheels of this distinctive dream bike, transforming the every-day commute into a bold statement for the eco-conscious professional. Shiny chrome components hang tastefully from the handcrafted, fillet-brazed frame, and custom wood fenders keep the rider clean while adding a hint of elegance to this functional work of art.
At its inception in 2004, the Specialized Demo was a 9.5-inch travel, huckster-oriented freeride bike. Today, the name is all that remains. The Demo has steadily evolved from the once overbuilt, ultra burly 48-pound rig into a maneuverable 8-inch travel downhill race bike.
A year and half ago, when I first stole a ride on Yeti’s 152-mm travel aluminum SB-66, my immediate reaction was to accuse the staff at Yeti of callous selfishness and exclusivity. Now that I’ve spent significant time on the SB-66 C, I’m standing my ground on that charge. Of course, I mean it in a most complimentary way.
(October 13, 2012)-Scot Nicol of Ibis Cycles chose the USGP weekend in Fort Collins Colorado to reveal the newest steed in his impressive line of products. The new disk brake equipped Hakkalugi Carbon Cyclocross bike is actually a redesigned frame built around the older Carbon Hakkalugi which first came out in 2009, and before that the steel version, which debuted in 1997.
Slayin' the Trail on Rocky Mountains Do-It-All Trail Bike
Pedaling up Cement Creek Trail we gained elevation as the sun dropped close to the ridges. Topping out Hunter hill above 12,000 feet we gazed towards Teocalli and Pearl Peak in the breath taking alpenglow.
Twenty-niner hardtails are synonymous with cross-country racing; with low BB heights and steep, quick-handling geometries, they’re designed for speed. The smooth-rolling, confidence-inspiring big wheels and efficient platform that make the 29er hardtail the go-to for racers can also be leveraged to create trail bikes that make you forget about rear suspension.
I’m ripping my favorite afternoon singletrack loop in the Colorado high country—Doctor Park in Crested Butte, a true mountain bike trail. The climb seems to have flown by as I top out and begin the flowy yet technical descent.
There are trails that bring out the truth in a bike, and bikes that bring out the truth in a trail. Pivot designed the Mach 5.7 to achieve the latter and, trust me when I say, it’s a hell of a lot more fun that way.
Ride Stoke from Marin - Makes us want to go ride SF
MSRP: $1,675 (Frame Only), $5,275 (As tested)
by Jordan Carr
Building custom bicycles is an artistic passion few can actually call their day job. After nine years in the profession, Santa Cruz, Calif.-based John Caletti knows just how fortunate he is.
Weight: 25.66 lbs.
by Trina Ortega
I’ve gotten my fair share of the stink eye from female riders, who can be very competitive even if they’re not racing. It’s just the nature of hardcore mountain bike chicks.
Cooking up the Perfect Enduro Bike
by Jordan Carr
Long, fast ’n’ rowdy descents, steep and technical, tip-of-the-saddle climbs, and all varieties of intimidating technical terrain—the kind of stuff that could reduce a XC bike into splintered pieces of carbon—this is what trail bikes are made for.
"In between" Mountain Bike Wheel Size popular at Sea Otter
As the industry continues to evolve, the 29er market is thriving, but on the horizon for many manufacturers is rather unchartered territory. The “in-between” 650b wheel size was the popular topic at this years Sea Otter Classic with a good number of manufacturers introducing 650 products. As an industry driven trend, it will be interesting to see if consumers embrace the wheel size and its off road advantages.
As one of the oldest names in cycling, Raleigh has been a staple among two-wheeled enthusiasts since the late 1800s, but despite a short foray into the off-road world in the early ’90s (hinged upon a branding-style sponsorship of John Tomac), Raleigh primarily has been glued to the pavement side of the sport.Raleigh Talus Carbon Pro 29er
After 10 years of supplying crafted, frosty malt beverages to the gritty, knobby tire culture of the Rockies, Dale’s Pale Ale has made a foray into the bicycle business with an Oskar Blues-branded 29er. Inspired by several months of beer-infused conversation, REEB Cycles debuted late last year with a handbuilt, trail-oriented, belt-driven singlespeed 29er.REEB Cycles
Gates Carbon Drive 29er
Sometime between the death of the aluminum hardtail and the popularization of full suspension, we strayed down the platitudinous path of categorization: XC race, trail, all-mountain, gravity, or DH.... While these names may help guide an uninitiated buyer to the right machine, it's the new wave of bikes designed to transcend categorization that arouses wide-eyed enthusiasm from the true aficionado of singletrack.
My, What Big Wheels You Have
by Jen See
The Fate is new for 2012 from Specialized Women. It’s the first carbon 29er designed specifically for women riders from Specialized.
I’ve been riding the Fate since November on the trails around Santa Barbara, California. The bike handles best on smooth, fast trails, and I had the most fun with the Fate on the rolling terrain of our local coastal bluffs.
Fatback Titanium - Stopped by Nothing
Price: $4,500 (as tested)
Weight: 30.75 lbs.
At first glance, it resembles a bike that may be aboard the next mission to Mars. With its 4.7-inch tires and 90-mm-wide rims, Fatback’s well-refined contribution to the fat bike movement is sure to turn a few heads out on the snow-packed trails.
Trek Slash 9 - Don’t Just Enjoy the Descents, Slay Them
Price: $5,780 Weight: 30.5 lbs. www.TrekBikes.com
Purpose-built as a descent-hungry, speed-dialed workhorse with 160 mm of travel, Trek’s new Slash 9 shows how the company has made some impressive refinements over its previous enduro-oriented bikes.
Boo Bicycles was founded in 2009 when professional road racer and mechanical engineer Nick Frey contacted James Wolf, an industrial designer who specializes in bamboo fabrication, about building bicycles from bamboo. The two set out to craft high-performance bicycles using a combination of natural bamboo and synthetic carbon fiber to provide riders with a comfortable, durable and unique frame option.
Elegance in Motion
Bamboo, hemp fiber and plant-based epoxy: These may sound like items on a list of OG materials your iconoclastic hippie buddy is using to construct a greenhouse for his new medical-marijuana grow operation rather than the ingredients of a high-end bicycle frame. But master framebuilder Craig Calfee is showing high-performance bicycle enthusiasts that sustainable materials are a viable option in a world of toxic compounds and conspicuous disposability.
Engineered for Efficiency
Striving to design and build a race-ready DH bike takes a serious amount of engineering and R&D time. It’s something many bike companies find to be a monumental challenge not worth tackling. But with a full line of successful DW Link bikes and a knack for meticulously engineered designs, Pivot owner Chris Cocalis views the Phoenix as a natural progression for Pivot’s trail bikes.
A Simple Matter of Proper Execution
Even if I were mad about golf, I’d never buy a stuffy Buick just because Tiger Woods drives one. If NASCAR was my compulsion, the vision of Danica Patrick climbing from the window of a 750 horsepower muscle car, persuasive as it may be, would not snare my devotion to Go Daddy. Characteristically, the marketer’s shameless selling of a legendary name does not easily influence me.
Push Your Downhill Limits
A 26-pound carbon bike built with Sram XX components may not seem like the customary description of a long-travel trail bike, but if you’re looking for an efficient, versatile 150 mm travel bike, Trek’s Remedy 9.9 fits that description to a T.
Ready for Battle
Oozing carbon from every pore and weighing in at a mere 22.8 pounds, the 2011 Specialized S-Works Epic 29er is everything one could ever want from a XC race bike and more.
Washing a bike for the first time is a defining moment in the relationship between bike and rider.
Scott Launches New 26-inch and 29-inch Sparks in Idaho Style
by Berne Broudy
(July 11, 2011) Sun Valley Idaho is abuzz. Rolling into town a neon sign flashes: “Welcome Mountain Bikers…Ride Sun Valley…Get Stoked.” It’s a few days before Mountain Bike Nationals here in the heart of Idaho, also home to Scott Bicycles.
Niner introduces new Jet 9 RDO, Carbon 100mm travel 29er.
Carbon has allowed bike companies to make so many improvements to similar aluminum models. The biggest advantage seems to be weight. Niner has dropped the weight of their full suspension Jet 9 with this new carbon version.
High Tech Carbon Composite Frames from the Heart of Old Santa Fe
Just across from the Tree House Pastry Shop and Café, in a characteristic, haphazardly zoned neighborhood/business district in central Santa Fe, N.M., in a rusted, corrugated metal building, there is a bike shop called Frankie Flats Bicycle Repair.
I am sitting on a chairlift in Angel Fire, N.M., on a moonless, September night, and I have just finished my 29th consecutive run on the resort’s infamous World Cup downhill course.
Bullet Proof on a Budget
When I pulled up to the trailhead this summer, other riders mostly seemed confused by the imposing steed I had in tow. Its steel-gray, aluminum frame and flashy, blue rims made an immediate impression.
Inverted 4-Bar Suspension
The Solstice 160mm travel, inverted 4-bar suspension chassis needed only a 300-yard section of trail—one that resembled class V rapids frozen in a river of stone—to prove its merit.
Riding and Racing the 2011 S-Works Epic 29er
Fast, efiicient, and light: Exactly what you want in a race bike. Specalized has built the ultimate race machine with the 2011 S-Works Epic 29er. The best technology and lightest components do come at a price though...
If the Enduro Pro were a teenager, the little punk would live on synthetic energy drinks, and walk the halls wearing a flat brimmed hat, baggy pants, and an mp3 player streaming Kid Cudi. All the while, still pulling off a top spot on the honor role.
Every fall Interbike brings most cycling businesses to Vegas to show off their 2011 products. It is a great place for industry folks to see products first hand as well as ride some new bikes. We caught up with a few companies at the show and here are some products we thought were cool.
Modern Steel Tubeset means Comfort of Steel with Precision Handling. Hand Made in Boulder, Colo.
Boulder based Mosaic Cycles hand builds custom and a line-up of titanium, steel and stainless steel bikes in their North Boulder shop.
All You Have to Do is Ride
by Chris Hanna
Wearing your old stretched-out tighty-whities in the name of saving some cash isn’t anything worth bragging about. There’s no argument they’ll serve their purpose, you can still go to the movies and play basketball in them but there just won’t be a twinkle in your eye.
A Classic for Every Day
By Scott Leonard
Western Colorado is laced with brilliant gravel roads that cross mesas, link river valleys and breach rugged passes. These rough roads are littered with steep climbs, fast descents, loose gravel, washboard and potholes.
Mountain Flyer Exclusive (oooooh)
Tomac is set to add several new bikes to their lineup for 2011 and over the weekend of Aug. 7-8, 2010 the Mountain Flyer staff got a chance to check out two new trail bikes from the legendary namesake.
I first got word of the 69er (or 96er if you’re avoiding any suggestive reference to porn star fantasies) notion back in February when I ran into Travis Brown at a nordic ski race. I was skeptical but with a few concise sentences on the concept, he had me more than a little intrigued.