A free archive of Dirt Rag articles.

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Review: Charge Cooker 4

Review: Charge Cooker 4

This is our third annual roundup of trail bikes that aren’t priced to the stratosphere. We could call them affordable, budget, real-world, blue-collar or college-fund-friendly, but someone would take offense at our assumption of disposable income level. It doesn’t really matter though. These are great bikes for the price, and we’ll leave it up to ...


Feature: The Legend of Victor Vicente of America

Feature: The Legend of Victor Vicente of America

Words: Christopher Harland-Dunaway Photos: Toby Kahn and courtesy of VVA Victor Vincente of America, a man born as Michael Beckwith Hiltner, stood on a dirt road that runs along the small mountaintop valley he calls home most of the year. “I mean look at this party!” he implored, as much to me as to the ...


New Juliana Joplin 29 or 27plus

New Juliana Joplin 29 or 27plus

Not to be outdone by big brother, Juliana announced an updated Joplin to coincide with the new Santa Cruz Tallboy (since they’re basically the same bike). The new Joplin shares a frame with the Tallboy, but comes with a lighter suspension tune designed to offer a plusher ride to lighter-weight riders. The suspension promises to be ...


New Santa Cruz Tallboy 29 and 27plus

New Santa Cruz Tallboy 29 and 27plus

The original Santa Cruz Tallboy is arguably the bike that signalled 29ers acceptance into the mainstream/cool kids’ cycling club. That’s not to say there wasn’t good 29er before the Tallboy or that it had the most revolutionary geometry. What is had was a certain something that was well loved and well used. Fast forward a few ...


Review: Marin Attack Trail 7

Review: Marin Attack Trail 7

This is our third annual roundup of trail bikes that aren’t priced to the stratosphere. We could call them affordable, budget, real-world, blue-collar or college-fund-friendly, but someone would take offense at our assumption of disposable income level. It doesn’t really matter though. These are great bikes for the price, and we’ll leave it up to ...


Review: Devinci Hendrix RS

Review: Devinci Hendrix RS

This is our third annual roundup of trail bikes that aren’t priced to the stratosphere. We could call them affordable, budget, real-world, blue-collar or college-fund-friendly, but someone would take offense at our assumption of disposable income level. It doesn’t really matter though. These are great bikes for the price, and we’ll leave it up to ...


Blast From the Past: Shoulder Owner’s Manual

Blast From the Past: Shoulder Owner’s Manual

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Dirt Rag Issue #138, published in October 2008. Words by David Alden-St. Pierre, MS, PA-C. Medical illustrations by Kerry Nicholson. Crash illustration by David Biber. You know the drill. Any number of things can send you flying through the air like Superman. Of course, Superman flies with his ...


Win a set of Vittoria Morsa tires

Win a set of Vittoria Morsa tires

We teamed up with Vittoria to give you the chance to win a set of Morsa enduro/DH tires. Simply complete the survey below by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, to be entered. We will choose and notify a winner the following day. The Morsa is a multi-condition enduro and downhill tire with aggressive open ...


First Ride: Rocky Mountain Pipeline

First Ride: Rocky Mountain Pipeline

For some riders the name Pipeline will bring up old memories of adjustable travel URT suspension and Giro Switchblade helmets. But put those thoughts out of your head. This new bike might as well be an alien species for how little DNA is shares with that early freeride bike. Much like the Sherpa, Rocky’s first ...


Featured Ride: Vulture’s Knob, Ohio

Featured Ride: Vulture’s Knob, Ohio

From the MTB Project description: “‘The Knob’ is considered the most unusual technical singletrack in northeastern Ohio. Small painted signs give indication about what to expect around the next turn, with names like Rock Tunnel, Fern Gully, Oh Sh#!, the Cradle, Friar Bryan’s Forest, Ant City … well, you get the idea.” The trail system, offering ...


Sea Otter 2016: Jamis adds women’s 26plus hardtails and expands 27plus lineup

Sea Otter 2016: Jamis adds women’s 26plus hardtails and expands 27plus lineup

The rumors that 26plus tires were on the way  have been out there for for months and Sea Otter brings first public sightings of the new/old wheel size (those old enough to remember may be having Gazzaloddi flashbacks.) It might seem like ONEMOREWHEELSIZE, but 26plus makes sense. While we are fans of the 27plus wheel size, it ...


First Impression: Kona Hei Hei Race DL

First Impression: Kona Hei Hei Race DL

Since this is a “first impression” write up, I will give you my unvarnished first impression of Kona’s new carbon Hei Hei Race DL: “Woo hoo!” The Hei Hei Race DL marks Kona’s return to using carbon fiber frames on its (non-DH) mountain bikes, after a few years spent refining the process and finding the right ...


Sea Otter 2016: Fuji updates 27plus bike, adds carbon fat bike

Sea Otter 2016: Fuji updates 27plus bike, adds carbon fat bike

Fuji’s Bighorn 27plus trail hardtail will recieve an update for 2017 that was showcased at Sea Otter. The bike is ready for whatever with 27.5 x 3.0 Schwalbe Nobby Nics, SRAM GX components, a KS Lev dropper post, internal cable routing, three sets of bottle cage mounts, rack and fender mounts and 120 mm of ...


Sea Otter 2016: Trek Farley EX

Sea Otter 2016: Trek Farley EX

Bets around the Dirt Rag virtual water cooler (which is located in the virtual Dirt Rag HQ) put money on Trek releasing a 27plus full-suspension trail bike or a Stache 29plus full-suspension ripper. Neither guess was accurate, obviously. Instead, Trek dropped a 27.5 x 3.8 Farley EX trail bike with full suspension at the Sea Otter Classic. Actually Trek ...


Sea Otter 2016: Vittoria expands line with new tires, rims

Sea Otter 2016: Vittoria expands line with new tires, rims

Vittoria had some first look surprises on the first day of the 2016 Sea Otter Classic. Besides new tires, the brand is jumping into rims with both feet. The Reaxcion SL 29 is an impressively light 1,430 gram aluminum wheelset directed at the cross-country market. It’s tubeless ready and features Speedlock sidewalls, which is an ...


Sea Otter 2016: Pivot updates LES carbon hardtail

Sea Otter 2016: Pivot updates LES carbon hardtail

For 2016, the Pivot Cycles LES carbon cross-country hardtail received a few notable updates that were announced today at Sea Otter. The frame dropped more than 50 grams, with complete geared bikes available under 20 pounds. The frame features Boost 110 mm front and 148 mm rear spacing, full Di2 integration via the Pivot Cable Port system and ...


First Look: Shimano XT Di2 and SLX 11 speed

First Look: Shimano XT Di2 and SLX 11 speed

XTR M8050 In not altogether unexpected news, Shimano trickles-down electronic shifting to XT level with a new M8050 group. Before you get all excited, this stuff isn’t hitting the shelves until September 2016, so you might still be pulling cable and not pushing electrons to shift for a while longer. The new XT group gets most ...


Blast From the Past: Knee Owner’s Manual

Blast From the Past: Knee Owner’s Manual

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dirt Rag Issue #135, published in May 2008. Words by David Alden-St.Pierre, MS, PA-C. Medical illustrations by Kerry Nicholson. As a mountain biker, at some point in your life, you’re going to have some knee pain. In fact, mountain biking and grinding, creaking, cracking, crunching knees almost go ...


Win a Finish Line care package for your bike

Win a Finish Line care package for your bike

We teamed up with Finish Line to offer you the chance to win a care package for your bike. Simply complete the survey below by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, April 20 to be entered to win. We will choose and notify the winner the following day. The prize package is worth $145 and includes the following: Pro ...


Featured Ride: Kokopelli Loops Ridgeline Tour, Colorado

Featured Ride: Kokopelli Loops Ridgeline Tour, Colorado

There are many reasons why Fruita, Colorado, is a famed mountain biking destination, and the Ridgeline Tour of Kokopelli Loops is one of them. This is a difficult, expert-level ride with rewarding views of the Kokopelli Loops, Colorado River and McGinnis Canyons. Accept that hiking your bike is a foregone conclusion, then set out to enjoy ...


RockyMounts adds fork mount vehicle racks for thru-axle bikes

RockyMounts adds fork mount vehicle racks for thru-axle bikes

RockyMounts announced the introduction of four new products that expand bike transport and storage options for both mountain bikers and road cyclists. The SwitchHitter and HotRod feature thru-axle mounts. The StreetRod is a thru-axle adapter for existing racks. The SwitchHitter arrives ready for standard 9 mm quick release forks and includes three interchangeable axle mounts ...


Feature: Coming up short—In search of the truth about women’s-specific bikes

Feature: Coming up short—In search of the truth about women’s-specific bikes

By Kate Skrainka Get to the bottom of it. That was my goal: Once and for all, to clarify the murky, muddy waters that are women’s-specific bikes. I pored over vintage bike catalogs, read up on the mathematics of frame geometry, interviewed more than a dozen people and tested a few bikes. I heard a lot ...


First Ride: New Maxxis 27plus, 27.5 and 29 Inch Tires

First Ride: New Maxxis 27plus, 27.5 and 29 Inch Tires

Words and photos: Emily Walley and Justin Steiner The mountain bike market is a flurry of activity right now as frame, wheel and tire manufacturers strive to sort out where the current evolution and specialization of mountain bikes will end up. On one end of the spectrum, we have enduro bikes with descending capabilities that ...


Rocky Mountain introduces new aggressive trail bike: the Pipeline

Rocky Mountain introduces new aggressive trail bike: the Pipeline

Rocky Mountain is jumping in the full-suspension, plus-tire game with its new carbon Pipeline: a bike with 150 mm front suspension, 130 mm rear and room for 27plus tires (up to 3.25 inches). The bike is 1x-specific, features internal cable routing, stealth-dropper routing, a PressFit BB92 bottom bracket, Boost spacing and is offered in sizes ...


Review: Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail

Review: Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail

Tester: Justin Steiner | Height: 5’7” | Weight: 165 pounds | Inseam: 31” The Megatrail is the second bike released by Colorado-based manufacturer Guerrilla Gravity. The company’s first bike was a full-bore downhill bike dubbed the GG/DH. Where the GG/DH was designed to punish downhill courses, the Megatrail strives to blend downhill prowess and pedaling ...


IMBA adds spring edition of Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

IMBA adds spring edition of Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

For more than a decade, IMBA has hosted Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day in October. This year, for the first time, it has added a spring event on June 11. You’re invited to register a ride, sign up for an existing one, or simply spend the day enjoying dirt on two wheels with the kid(s) ...


Mavic’s Crossmax wheels get Boost-ed with wider rims

Mavic’s Crossmax wheels get Boost-ed with wider rims

Mavic’s Crossmax MTB Wheel-Tire System line got a little wider. Mavic unveiled its first two wheelsets with Boost compatibility: Crossmax Pro and Crossmax Elite. Both are available now, in 27.5 and 29, and at a new low price point for the Crossmax line. Each is Shimano/SRAM compatible and can be converted to the XD driver. ...


RockShox drops new rear shocks and 29plus forks

RockShox drops new rear shocks and 29plus forks

Last week RockShox announced new sizing for rear shocks, which it dubbed Metric Sizing. This has create some confusion among consumers, but the idea is to consolidate shock sizes into fewer options, while improving performance and longevity. RockShox isn’t alone here, with many other OE manufacturers following suit. The Deluxe and Super Deluxe are the first ...


Win a Fabric Carbon Scoop Saddle and XL Grips

Win a Fabric Carbon Scoop Saddle and XL Grips

Win a Fabric Carbon Scoop saddle and XL Grips! The Scoop is available in three rider profiles so the winner will be able to choose the Scoop that best suits their needs: Flat for a more aerodynamic riding position, Shallow for all-day performance or Radius for a more upright, comfort focused position. All you have ...


Blast From the Past: CamelBak Bandido Product Review

Blast From the Past: CamelBak Bandido Product Review

Editor’s note: If you think that lumbar waterpacks are a recent innovation, you’d be wrong. Back in 1998 Adam Lipinski reviewed the way-ahead-of-its-time Camelbak Bandido for Dirt Rag Issue #69. The Bandido is a lumbar pack that doubles as a water pack. The Bandido has two pockets on the sides for popular tools, money, power ...


Featured Ride: High Desert Trail System, New Mexico

Featured Ride: High Desert Trail System, New Mexico

The next time you find yourself road tripping across the American southwest, pull off Interstate 40 just west of Gallup, New Mexico, to ride the High Desert Trail System. The singletrack snakes up and down past unique stone features and plays host to a 12-hour mountain bike race. The system is well-maintained and well-signed. The ...


Domahidy Designs is now Viral Bikes

Domahidy Designs is now Viral Bikes

Domahidy Designs, the Colorado-based bicycle company launched two years ago by Niner Bikes co-founder Steve Domahidy, has been re-branded as Viral Bikes. “The realization came hard and fast that Domahidy Designs was not working as a brand name. Of course, I believed in Domahidy Designs, but I was also obviously too close to really get that the ...


This Just In: 2017 Fox 32 Step Cast fork

This Just In: 2017 Fox 32 Step Cast fork

Fox is set to release its new 32 SC (Step Cast), a dedicated cross-country fork that shaves a half-pound off the current model 32. Engineers achieved this with an all-new chassis design. Looking for any way possible to shave weight they shrunk and narrowed the crown and arch so the upper tubes have a 120 ...


2015 Literature Contest Winner: Green Bean’s Last Run

2015 Literature Contest Winner: Green Bean’s Last Run

Words: Hank Hansen Illustrations: Juliana Wang Green Bean’s chest hurt. Again. He didn’t quite know how to describe it—pressure, kind of, almost like something was overflowing inside him, but sharper. Not that he had tried to explain it to anyone. The lexicon of pain that Green Bean’s friends employed had no room for things like “tension” ...


Underground Bike Works, a new John Parker joint

Underground Bike Works, a new John Parker joint

It was with some excitement that we read this press release. John Parker? Missy Giove? Frank the Welder? 27plus and 29plus bikes? Yes to all those things. John Parker’s new bike company will debut at Sea Otter 2016. Here’s the press release that got us all excited: John Parker, founder of Yeti Cycles, announced his return ...


Review: Juliana Furtado and Norco Fluid 7 Forma

Review: Juliana Furtado and Norco Fluid 7 Forma

Tester: Emily Walley | Height: 5’4” | Weight: 110 pounds | Insteam: 29.5” Originally published in Issue #189 As women’s mountain bike options continue to evolve, it can be difficult to find the ideal bike for your skill level as well as your wallet. If you are a new rider, with undetermined commitment, the options ...


Suspension manufacturers introduce metric shock sizing

Suspension manufacturers introduce metric shock sizing

We received a somewhat strange press release today (March 31) from SRAM and are just going to let it do the talking. Below it is our attempt at an explanation. “Six of the bicycle industry’s main suspension manufacturers announced today that, beginning with model year 2017 bicycles, consumers will see several new shock lengths and fitment ...


Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned

Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned

Disclaimer: When an invite simply entitled “Back to the Future” came in from Specialized to go to Moab, Utah, for a few days to test out a new bike that it dubbed “the latest technological breakthrough in mountain biking,” it was the worst kept secret in the industry. This was the U.S. launch of the brand’s ...


Blast From the Past: Speciality Files—1995 Crestone S.A.S. Comp 202

Blast From the Past: Speciality Files—1995 Crestone S.A.S. Comp 202

Editor’s note: This edition of “The Speciality Files” first appeared in Dirt Rag Issue #111, published in November 2004. Words and photos by Maurice Tierney. Lucien Lewis bought this bike new in 1995 for around $750. The French Canadian suspension design consists of rubber bands adjustable by switching between hard, medium and soft bands. “If ...


Win a Funn component package

Win a Funn component package

We teamed up with Funn Mountain Bike Components to offer you a prize package of bars, stem and pedals worth $275. All you have to do is fill out a short survey below by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, to be entered to win. We will contact the winner the following day. Good luck! ...


Featured Ride: Kerr Scott IMBA Epic, North Carolina

Featured Ride: Kerr Scott IMBA Epic, North Carolina

“Welcome to Wilkesbermo.” Kerr Scott gets its nickname from the hundreds of bermed and banked terns, and has been compared to a 30-mile roller coaster ride. Kerr Scott, located in central North Carolina, has three main trail systems: Dark Mountain, Overmountain Victory Trail and Warrior Creek, plus shorter trails either looping or connecting to those ...


New Archi Enduro RR helmet from Urge

New Archi Enduro RR helmet from Urge

Urge is a company that has long focused on the enduro market, and the Archi Enduro RR (Race Ready) helmet was specifically designed for the world’s toughest enduro events and the riders who race them. The design is intended to provide the lightest weight and best ventilation possible for long enduro stages with plenty of ...


Just nod if you can hear me

Just nod if you can hear me

Words and photos: Chris Milucky, aka Bama From On the Road With Bama, a column in the print magazine Originally published in Issue #189 Dear Bike Industry: Roll down your window. Your lips move, but I can’t hear what you’re saying. When I was a child, I used to ride my bike over to your house. We’d cut paths ...


Review: Trek Fuel EX Jr

Review: Trek Fuel EX Jr

Testers: Eric and Oona McKeegan Originally published in Issue #138 Buying your kid a bike is a good idea. Is buying your kid a better bike a better idea? Fortunately my daughter and I got the chance to find out with the new Fuel EX Jr. Unlike the full-suspension kids bikes that are often all ...


Opinion: Let me be direct

Opinion: Let me be direct

In an era when consumers can research and purchase almost anything online and have it shipped directly to their door, bicycle consumers must take the extra steps to visit their local bicycle retailer to get bikes from major brands. It isn’t as though consumer direct sales are impossible for something like a bicycle—similarly high-risk products ...


Review: Cannondale Habit Carbon 1

Review: Cannondale Habit Carbon 1

Tester: Mike Cushionbury | Height: 5’10” | Weight: 155 lbs. | Inseam: 32” Bike sizes: S, M (tested), L, XL | Price: $7,460 Before Cannondale’s new 27.5 Habit had even been released, it gained considerable momentum and interest when WTB/Cannondale rider Jason Moeschler won the coveted “All-Mountain World Championships” in Downieville, California, thanks to a ...


First Look: SRAM Eagle 1×12 drivetrains, XX1 and X01

First Look: SRAM Eagle 1×12 drivetrains, XX1 and X01

That is it. The rumored 1×12 speed drivetrain from SRAM. Actually that is one of two. Above is the new XX1, which is aimed at cross-country racing. Below is X01, for enduro racing and trail riding (we didn’t get a nice drivetrain shot of this one).   XX1 Eagle Crank – $425 The cranks get ...


Blast From the Past: Cheapo Bike Rack

Blast From the Past: Cheapo Bike Rack

Editor’s note: This article by Truls Johnsen first appeared in Dirt Rag Issue #101, published in July 2003. Mountain biking eats some serious dough, and after I acquired the perfect dirt bag mountain bike road trip vehicle (an ‘84 Vanagon camper) I realized that I could use a cheap roof rack to carry bikes in ...


Charlie Cunningham: An update

Charlie Cunningham: An update

Charlie Kelly visited Charlie Cunningham recently and sent us this report on how the mountain bike icon is recovering from the devastating injuries he sustained following a serious bicycle accident in August. In addition to multiple fractures (ribs, clavicle), Cunningham sustained a life-threatening head injury. Cunningham has recovered from most of the structural damage. There are residual effects ...


Win new Vittoria Barzo tires

Win new Vittoria Barzo tires

We partnered with Vittoria to offer you the chance to win a pair of Barzo tires. All you have to do is complete the survey below by 11:59 p.m., March 30. Good luck! The Barzo features a medium-depth, moto-block pattern tread designed for technical cross-country terrain. Barzo tires also have an alternating center ridge to ...


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