A free archive of Dirt Rag articles.

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Blast From the Past: Tips for fixed gear mountain biking

Blast From the Past: Tips for fixed gear mountain biking

Ed. Note: This piece was originally published in Dirt Rag 106 in March 2004.  For the uninitiated, a fixed gear bicycle is a singlespeed without a freewheel—if the wheels are rolling, the cranks are turning. Rudy Nadler is one of the many people who have learned the joy of off-road fixed gear cycling, and when ...


Win an Osprey Raptor 10 Hydration Backpack

Win an Osprey Raptor 10 Hydration Backpack

Contest ended. Congrats to Joel Hauschild of Council Bluffs, IA! We’re sorry the promotion you are trying to access has ended. Osprey has partnered with us to give one winner a Raptor 10 Hydration backpack. Enter to win below. You’ll love the way Osprey’s Raptor 10 carries when you’re riding rough, technical terrain thanks to the BioStretch- harness ...


Scotland’s Torridon & Skye mountain bike tour

Scotland’s Torridon & Skye mountain bike tour

Words by Anna Barensfeld, photos by Ursin Gabriel The burly bottom bracket of my bike was digging into my neck. I’d overhead-pressed my rented Yeti SB5 just one more time for the final hike-a-bike up and over this remote rocky pass in heavy wind and a soaking rain. With a chunky trail and steep incline, ...


Two-Wheeled Musings

Two-Wheeled Musings

Words by Paul De Valera My bicycle is my best friend, my only true ally in this world. My bicycle will never betray me. Though it may break and throw me off into a bush or get a flat and make me push it now and again, it won’t ever work toward my undoing — ...


Review: Pedaling Innovations Catalyst Pedals

Review: Pedaling Innovations Catalyst Pedals

By Jon Pratt I switch back and forth between clipless and platform pedals to test various shoe / pedal combinations at work, but when I’m out riding for pure pleasure, you’ll find me on flats more often than not. I’ve always liked the ability to adjust my foot position based on the terrain I’m riding, ...


Mountain Bike Trailer Park: Chasing Ducks – The Lumberjack 100

Mountain Bike Trailer Park: Chasing Ducks – The Lumberjack 100

Ed. Note: Mountain Bike Trailer Park is a regular column written by Uncle Dan that appears monthly on the Dirt Rag Interwebs. If you missed his previous columns, check them out here. Part One – Chasing Ducks “My focus today is like a bird dog in a field of ducks!” I got this text from ...


Blast From the Past: First ever production full-suspension singlespeed, the Kona A

Blast From the Past: First ever production full-suspension singlespeed, the Kona A

Ed. Note: This review of the Kona A, the first ever production full-suspension singlespeed, was originally published in Dirt Rag 102 in August 2003.  Rider: Philip Keyes Height: 6’2” Weight: 196lbs. Inseam: 34” Kona is one cool company. Case in point: these guys are offering the first-ever production dual suspension singlespeed. They had to know ...


Win a Ryders Eyewear RYDERS FYRE- Lens

Win a Ryders Eyewear RYDERS FYRE- Lens

Contest ended. Congrats to Sarah Holland of Moody, AL ! We’re sorry the promotion you are trying to access has ended. Ryders Eyewear has partnered with us to give one winner a RYDERS FYRE- Lens. Enter to win below. The five most innovative advancements in sports optics, packed into one lens. Developed in partnership with Essilor® ...


Review: Kona Honzo CR Trail DL

Review: Kona Honzo CR Trail DL

Tester: Scott Williams Age: 31 Height: 5’10” Weight: 175 lbs Inseam: 32″ Back in 2012, Kona unleashed the Honzo, an aggressive all-mountain steel hardtail featuring geometry that was long, low and slack before those aggressive angles were common among trail bikes. After spending some time aboard my friend’s Honzo, I felt like it suited my ...


First Ride Review: Intense Carbine

First Ride Review: Intense Carbine

By Zach White  Monster truck. If Dirt Rag would allow for a two-word review, that’d be the summary of Intense’s new 29-inch, 160 mm/155 mm front/rear travel Carbine. From the flashy, neon paint job to the ability to roll right over anything it was pointed at in Sedona, Arizona, last month for the Magura/Intense press ...


The Hidden Downieville

The Hidden Downieville

Words by Kurt Gensheimer, photos by James Adamson  California is home to nearly 40 million people. With constant urban and suburban sprawl, it’s a state where change and “progress” is inevitable. But there is a corner of California called the Lost Sierra that hasn’t changed much since the 1849 Gold Rush. Plumas and Sierra counties ...


Youth Bike Summit creates lifelong bicycle enthusiasts and leaders

Youth Bike Summit creates lifelong bicycle enthusiasts and leaders

This fall, hundreds of kids, their parents, youth leaders and bike enthusiasts will gather in Arlington, Virginia for the seventh annual Youth Bike Summit to help shape the future of cycling in the United States and around the world. For a weekend, participants will gather to listen to seminars, take part in a group ride, ...


VANLIFE: Sunragin’

VANLIFE: Sunragin’

Words and photos by Kurt Gensheimer At 11,542 feet above sea level, Hoosier Pass south of Breckenridge, Colorado, is not the ideal spot in which to be driving an unfamiliar RV, especially in the middle of a snowstorm. But alas, that’s where I found myself only two hours after purchasing a 1990 Toyota Sunrader sight ...


Otso Cycles launches Lithic Hiili carbon fork

Otso Cycles launches Lithic Hiili carbon fork

A new fork from Otso Cycles boasts the largest tire clearance of any cross/gravel fork and is the next product in the component brand Lithic. Lithic is a project of Otso, with the aim of bringing very specific components to market.  The new Hiili full carbon fiber fork joins the Corundrum drop handlebar and Beryl wheels ...


Win a Kryptonite Stronghold Anchor and New York Fahgettaboudit Chain 1415 and New Your Disc Lock

Win a Kryptonite Stronghold Anchor and New York Fahgettaboudit Chain 1415 and New Your Disc Lock

Contest ended. Congrats to Braxton Francom of Lehi, UT! We’re sorry the promotion you are trying to access has ended. Kryptonite has partnered with us to give one winner a Stronghold Anchor & New York Fahgettaboudit Chain 1415 & New Your Disc Lock. Enter to win below. The Ultimate Mountain Bike Security Package! Whether bolted to the cement ...


Access: The 42nd Parallel

Access: The 42nd Parallel

Words by Anthony Duncan, photos by Jesse Cheers I’ve always been vaguely aware of bear protocol when out in the wild. I say “vaguely” because my bear knowledge has never really been tested … until recently. Here’s the scenario: It’s roughly 3 a.m. and I’m wide awake in a hammock after a nearly 50-mile day ...


It Sounded Like A Good Idea: Love

It Sounded Like A Good Idea: Love

Ed. Note: It Sounded Like A Good Idea is a new semi-regular column by Olympic track racer Bobby Lea and endurance mountain bike racer Ian ‘Big DiRtY’ Mullins who have teamed up with plans to race Cape Epic, Breck Epic and Leadville next year. But, this isn’t just another story about some guys going to ...


Niner SIR 9 returns as a trail/bikepacking mash-up

Niner SIR 9 returns as a trail/bikepacking mash-up

The hardtail renaissance continues with Niner’s all new SIR 9. Niner bills it as a “do it most” bike, and that sums it up pretty well if you ask me. And if you are reading this, it is easy to assume you are asking me. Some highlights from Niner: Reynolds 853 steel provides the supple, comfortable ...


The Rant: Millimeters Matter

The Rant: Millimeters Matter

Hang on, hang on Yes, it’s the little things Yes, it’s the little things That do us harm I’m not a stranger Ain’t a mystery When we both get it wrong -“Hang On,” Dr. Dog The longer I ride bikes, the more it seems that tiny changes can make a big difference in my enjoyment ...


Review: Two MTB shoes you can walk in

Review: Two MTB shoes you can walk in

Words and photos by Adam Newman Remember when clipless mountain bike shoes were terrible? It wasn’t that long ago that most were just glorified road bike shoes with rock-hard soles and even harder plastic nubs glued to the bottom that gouged up your floor and turned every smooth surface into a skating rink. Or worse, ...


Video: Salsa Cycles presents ‘Instruments of Adventure’

Video: Salsa Cycles presents ‘Instruments of Adventure’

In summer 2016, five friends traverse a large swath of southern Alaska by sea kayak, fat-bike, and packraft. Through interviews and footage, shot underway, the adventurers share their experiences and reflections about their journey. Traversing wild landscapes by human-power isn’t a quest to achieve enlightenment. You might, but that’s not the point. Counteracting a cresting ...


Rusch Job: Blood Road

Rusch Job: Blood Road

Words by Rebecca Rusch They call Ho Chi Minh Trail the Blood Road because so many people lost their lives there. This complicated network of paths and trails runs from north Vietnam through the jungles of Laos and Cambodia, then re-enters Vietnam near Ho Chi Minh City. The trail was the main supply route for ...


Review: RSD Wildcat

Review: RSD Wildcat

Rubber Side Down isn’t a new brand, but it has quietly built an ever-expanding series of mountain bikes. Previously, those bikes have all been hardtails, but 2017 brings the Wildcat, a full-suspension departure from RSD’s hardtail homogeneity. As is the case with those hardtails, RSD’s first foray into full-suspension is distinctive, to say the least. ...


Blast From the Past: A Little Slice of the 14th Annual Punk Bike Enduro

Blast From the Past: A Little Slice of the 14th Annual Punk Bike Enduro

Ed. Note: The following takes place between stage 7 and stage 10 of the Punk Bike Enduro in 2004. This story originally appeared in Dirt Rag 105.  Words by Joe Whitehair We leave the beer van behind and begin the uphill slog on a rough and gritty road, wet with snow dissolved from sparse traffic and salt, ...


Race Report: Rothrock TrailMix

Race Report: Rothrock TrailMix

I often say that I don’t really race. I do a few events a year, but I usually would much rather go on a big group ride with friends than spend the day trying to ride faster than other people. That being said, I have had a lot of fun at every race I’ve ever ...


First Ride -Fox DPX2 – twin tube air shock for aggressive trail bikes

First Ride -Fox DPX2 – twin tube air shock for aggressive trail bikes

The Float X was feeling a bit off the back these days. With the DH-worthy Float X2 holding down the gravity racing side of the spectrum, and the newish Float DPS supporting the XC side, the Float X was never a terrible shock, but it felt and looked outdated. It’s large size and barely-accessible rebound ...


Film Review: ‘The Cure-All’

Film Review: ‘The Cure-All’

Words by Jordan Villella, photos courtesy of Red Bull Media House  Sure, pick the office vegan to go see a flick that involves the words “meat sweats.” Joking aside, I had a great time at Bierport, sharing beers with old friends and catching the premiere of the new Red Bull Media House film, The Cure-All. The ...


If you build it, they will ride: pop-up bike lanes prove that demand exists

If you build it, they will ride: pop-up bike lanes prove that demand exists

Last September, the town of Macon, Georgia installed a network of temporary bike lanes. In the two weeks that the lanes were up, bike traffic increased by nearly 900 percent, more city residents were inspired to ride instead of drive and many residents also visited places that they normally wouldn’t because of the ease of access.


Riding on the Dragon’s Back in Roanoke, Virginia

Riding on the Dragon’s Back in Roanoke, Virginia

There was a hint of skepticism on my guides’ faces as we stood in the parking lot and they looked all 5’3″ of me up and down, no doubt trying to decide if it was going to be a mistake taking me on this ride. “What’s your overall skill level? What’s the longest ride on ...


The Trans-Sylvania Epic Experience: Tips from a first-time stage racer

The Trans-Sylvania Epic Experience: Tips from a first-time stage racer

When you express to a co-worker or family member that you signed up for the Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race you’ll likely be greeted with an interesting response, and rightfully so. You want to do a what? On your pedal bike? You’re going to do this for how many days? The conversation continues but ...


Marin Wolf Ridge 8 completes line with GX Eagle build

Marin Wolf Ridge 8 completes line with GX Eagle build

The 2018 Marin Wolf Ridge launched at the Sea Otter Classic this past April with the Wolf Ridge Pro at the top of the line and the Wolf Ridge 9 as the less expensive build. Marin just released the details on the last bike in this group, the Wolf Ridge 8, which offers a more ...


SRAM GX Eagle- 12 speed for the proletariat?

SRAM GX Eagle- 12 speed for the proletariat?

The appeal of a 500% gear range with a single derailleur is undeniable for most riders. It was also undeniable that affording either XO1 or XX1 Eagle was out of reach for a large swath of riders. At a complete group cost of approximately $525 (crank, chain, cassette, shifter, derailleur) GX Eagle flys much closer to earth ...


Support the trails in the Epic Rides series, enter to win a bike

Support the trails in the Epic Rides series, enter to win a bike

Epic Rides is hosting a fundraiser called Hail the Trails to benefit the trail systems on which the Epic Rides Off Road Series events take place. The public can purchase as many raffle tickets as they’d like at $4 apiece. Each ticket purchased equals an entry into a raffle for one of three bikes, a ...


Dirt Rag issue 199 is here!

Dirt Rag issue 199 is here!

Welcome to our second annual Guest Editor issue. This time around we present none other than Joe Parkin, celebrated racer, writer, book author and former magazine editor. As an introduction to this special edition, he in part pens, “Photographers like to say that the best camera in the world is the one you’re carrying right ...


Win an Ergon SMA3 saddle and GA2 grips

Win an Ergon SMA3 saddle and GA2 grips

Contest ended. Congrats to Tony Dlouhy of Niles, MI! We’re sorry the promotion you are trying to access has ended. Ergon has partnered with us to give one winner a SMA3 saddle and a pair of GA2 grips! Enter to win below. Two products. One goal. Elevating your all-mountain experience by enhancing your ergonomic needs. The GA2 ...


Video: Trail Boss – La Milagrosa, Arizona

Video: Trail Boss – La Milagrosa, Arizona

Trail Boss is a video series produced by Jeff Lenosky and documents his attempts to ride some of the most technical trails he can find. A veteran rider with a 20-year professional career and three Observed Trials U.S. National Championships to his name, Lenosky uses his skills to ride the unrideable. This latest Trail Boss ...


Essay: Ignorance is bliss

Essay: Ignorance is bliss

Words by Helena Kotala, photos by Evan Gross As someone who has been serious about riding bikes for a relatively short period of time, I still vividly remember being a beginner. Well, to be honest, I started riding bikes seriously a long time ago (around age 10 or 11), even raced a little, but then ...


Specialty Files: 1982 TS Isaac

Specialty Files: 1982 TS Isaac

Words and photos by Jeff Archer These days, it’s tough to go on a group ride without at least one rider on a Trek mountain bike. Let’s take a quick look back to see how we got to this point. Trek was founded in 1976 and produced high-quality road bikes in Wisconsin. By 1980, the ...


#VANLIFE: Glenn Vanzig

#VANLIFE: Glenn Vanzig

Words and photos by Watts Dixon I thought I was doing the right thing, approaching the cop. Being proactive. Humbly and apologetically explaining why my van was going to be in a one-hour-only parking spot at the rest plaza for the next six hours. With his attention focused on whatever he was shoving in his ...


Santa Cruz launches new Nomad, new wheels and a Juliana enduro bike

Santa Cruz launches new Nomad, new wheels and a Juliana enduro bike

    NOMAD! Those who pay attention to such things had figured the Nomad was next up for a revamp, as it was looking a little dated in the very competitive all-mountain/enduro category. Drawing from the V10 downhill bike, the new Nomad actuates the shock with the lower link. The rest of the Santa Cruz ...


Cauliflower wings and knee pads – IMBA’s Model Trail Program is back!

Cauliflower wings and knee pads – IMBA’s Model Trail Program is back!

Ed. Note: Mountain Bike Trailer Park is a regular column written by Uncle Dan that appears monthly on the Dirt Rag Interwebs. If you missed his previous columns, check them out here. Have you had those breaded cauliflower “Buffalo wings” yet?  I first saw them a few months ago at a restaurant. They’re kind of a chicken ...


Win a pair of MICHELIN® Force AM Tires

Win a pair of MICHELIN® Force AM Tires

Contest ended. Congrats to Nick Stroud of Bremerton, WA! We’re sorry the promotion you are trying to access has ended. MICHELIN® has partnered with us to give one winner a pair of MICHELIN® Force AM Tires. Enter to win below. Developed with the help of top enduro riders, the MICHELIN® Force AM tire is a force ...


Dirt Fest 2017: Something for everyone and a fun time for all

Dirt Fest 2017: Something for everyone and a fun time for all

Words and photos by Jarrod Bunk Dirt Fest is a bit of a homecoming for me each year. I don’t get to see or ride with friends who are relatively close to me throughout the year, because, bike shop life, so I get to typically catch up as well as ride some fresh new bikes. ...


Review: Cannondale Bad Habit Carbon 1

Review: Cannondale Bad Habit Carbon 1

When the Cannondale Bad Habit Carbon 1 rolled into HQ, I was skeptical at first. Big ol’ meaty 27plus tires, 120 mm of front and rear squish, the fork was missing its right half, and a dropper. For Pete’s sake, a dropper! I admit, my skepticism was likely driven by the fact that all of ...


It Sounded Like A Good Idea: The Beginning

It Sounded Like A Good Idea: The Beginning

Ed. Note: It Sounded Like A Good Idea is a new semi-regular column by Olympic track racer Bobby Lea and endurance mountain bike racer Ian ‘Big DiRtY’ Mullins who have teamed up with plans to race Cape Epic, Breck Epic and Leadville next year. But, this isn’t just another story about some guys going to ...


Paul Camp wows “journos” with blue bits, bike rides, beer

Paul Camp wows “journos” with blue bits, bike rides, beer

I have a warm place in my heart for Paul. Just look at that happy camper. Paul Components and Dirt Rag Magazine both started in 1989 and we’re both pushing 30 years as companies. We met at Interbike before either of us were big enough to even have a booth. And we’ve grown together over the years ...


Win a Trek Remedy 8 or Remedy 8 Womens Bike

Win a Trek Remedy 8 or Remedy 8 Womens Bike

Contest ended. Congrats to Kat Elton of Durango, CO! We’re sorry The promotion you are trying to access has ended. Wha?! Trek has partnered with us to give one winner a Trek Remedy 8 or Remedy 8 Womens bike. Enter to win below. Remedy is your full-suspension ride to the next level with 150mm of ...


Access: Meccas and the lands of no man

Access: Meccas and the lands of no man

Words and photos by Leslie Kehmeier. Originally published in Dirt Rag 193.  Road trips have become a regular part of my work routine as I seek out mountain bike stories across the country. Over the last few years I’ve crisscrossed many states north and south, coast to coast, visiting both the renowned as well as ...


New Trek Session, now with big wheels

New Trek Session, now with big wheels

Two wheel size choices, and stiffer, stronger, lighter. The Session is all new and ready to continue winning World Cups.   The new Session gets longer, lower, stiffer and more adjustable, which is what all updated bikes seem to do these days. The real news is a frameset option for 29 inch wheels. When you ...


Review: Jones Plus

Review: Jones Plus

For the uninitiated, Jeff Jones has long sought to built the best non-suspended mountain bike in the world, without consideration for trends, gimmicks or nostalgia. His latest model, the Plus, is made in Taiwan from butted chromoly with a Boost 148 rear axle and available in three sizes, two with a diamond frame and a ...


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