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Home again: A south Texas microadventure

Home again: A south Texas microadventure

With apologies to Bill Bryson.  I come from San Antonio. Somebody had to. There are generally two types of people born in San Antonio: those who can’t imagine leaving, and those who can’t wait to. Raised by two Midwesterners who often seem bewildered as to how they ended up as residents of the Lone Star State in ...


Featured Ride: Paradise Royale Loop

Featured Ride: Paradise Royale Loop

This mountain-bike-specific trail system in the Paradise Ridge area of the King Range National Conservation Area is the result of a partnership between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA), along with the Redwood Coast Mountain Bike Association. The 11.6-mile Paradise Royale Loop is a great introduction to the ...


Inside Line: Bell Helmets 360-degree camera

Inside Line: Bell Helmets 360-degree camera

Bell Helmets is introducing an integrated camera and mountain bike helmet that allows 360-degree 4K video capture, mobile editing and sharing, and intuitive digital capabilities. The setup utilizes the Bell Super 2R and a 360fly camera. The design will offer an enhanced footage field view and action perspectives and eliminate camera mounts and hardware. This new integrated ...


Review: Raleigh Grand Prix

Review: Raleigh Grand Prix

This Raleigh with the classic name may in fact be the sleeper bike of 2015. At first glance, it’s a fairly conventional steel road bike but in fact it has a secret identity as a travel bike. At the heart of the Reynolds 520 butted chromoly steel frame is the Ritchey Break-Away system. Look closely and you’ll notice the double ...


Feature: The Voice of Amanda Batty

Feature: The Voice of Amanda Batty

Words by Chris “Bama” Milucky Photos by John Shafer Originally published in Issue #187 Amanda Batty gained a degree of notoriety [in 2015], not because of her race results as a professional downhill and enduro racer but because she abruptly resigned from a position as an online columnist due to sexism, double standards and misogyny ...


Bikes and Craft Beer—Exploring a Passionate Relationship

Bikes and Craft Beer—Exploring a Passionate Relationship

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in Dirt Rag Issue #176, published in April 2014. It’s technically a “Blast from the Past” story, but is still (and probably always will be) relevant. Words by Jeff Lockwood. Photos courtesy of Dogfish Head, New Belgium Brewing, Oskar Blues, Trek and Tröegs Brewing. As someone interested in mountain ...


Featured Ride: Cottonwood Valley Trail System – Blue Diamond Loop

Featured Ride: Cottonwood Valley Trail System – Blue Diamond Loop

Ringing in the New Year in Las Vegas? If so, you might want to bring or rent a bike to ride off your hangover on New Year’s day. Believe it or not, the Las Vegas region offers a lot of great riding, from the Boulder Canyon trails to the Cowboy Trails just south of Red ...


Blast From the Past: Trans Iowa and The Rise of Gravel Grinders

Blast From the Past: Trans Iowa and The Rise of Gravel Grinders

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in Dirt Rag Issue #157, published in July 2011. Words by Guitar Ted. Photos by Steve Fuller and Jeremy Kershaw. Not beholden to any sanctioning body, having devised their own rules, and in a lot of cases with no entry fees, these events are carving out a sub-culture of ...


Öhlins to release RXF 34 fork

Öhlins to release RXF 34 fork

Motorsport suspension giant Öhlins has been secretly working on its first trail bike fork, the RXF 34. It will be the first trail fork to feature a twin-tube design, duplicating what’s found on the Swedish brand’s TTX rear shock. Öhlins has also partnered again with Specialized in the development (a common thread for all of ...


Featured Ride: Black Canyon Trail IMBA Epic

Featured Ride: Black Canyon Trail IMBA Epic

The Black Canyon Trail (BCT) is truly epic, stretching from Highway 69 south to the Carefree Highway, just north of Phoenix. This MTB Project ride lists total mileage at 67.5 miles of 100% singletrack, but I’ve also read reports of 78 miles of total rideable trail. Either way, you’ll want to break this ride into ...


Review: Salsa Powderkeg Tandem

Review: Salsa Powderkeg Tandem

This review was originally published in our sister magazine, Bicycle Times Testers: Justin Steiner and Emily Walley Salsa first began prototyping tandems back in 2010 when former Salsa Engineer Tim Krueger and his wife Odia saw other couples racing the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival’s Short and Fat Race on tandems. Now, many prototype miles later, ...


Review: Hearing Protection from Etymotic

Review: Hearing Protection from Etymotic

I know what you’re thinking: “Why is a mountain bike magazine reviewing hearing protection?” Even though our sport doesn’t inherently require hearing protection, I’d bet most of us do something from time to time that requires, or should require, a little extra love for our ears. Think building trails in the woods with chainsaws or attending ...


Video: Eliot Jackson’s off-season

Video: Eliot Jackson’s off-season

Eliot Jackson takes what he gets, from off-season moto training to shredding his Pivot Phoenix Carbon DH bike, and finds his flow on both in Southern California. Eliot Jackson: Off Season from Pivot Cycles on Vimeo.    


Save the dates: indoor MTB clinics for women

Save the dates: indoor MTB clinics for women

The Wheel Mill in Pittsburgh and Ray’s MTB Indoor Park in both Cleveland and Milwaukee are hosting women-only weekend clinics this winter and spring. Boost your mountain bike and BMX skills in a supportive, no-pressure environment even as the snow flies. The Wheel Mill, Pittsburgh Ride Like a Girl Weekend Date: January 9-10, 2016 The weekend ...


The Rant: Quality

The Rant: Quality

From Issue #187 “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” is book I read in my 20s. Looking back, the thing I most liked about it was how it made me feel not alone. At the time, I was too young to really understand author Robert Pirsig’s battle with schizophrenia, marriage and fatherhood, but his ...


Test Ride Report: Cannondale Slate

Test Ride Report: Cannondale Slate

Photos by Jesse Carmondy and the author It was a pretty difficult prototype to disguise. When former professional racer Tim Johnson started ripping around on a modified Cannondale affixed with a Lefty suspension fork a few years ago it attracted quite a bit of attention. Would he race cyclocross on it? Was it even allowed? Was ...


Editor’s Choice 2015: Our favorite ride gear

Editor’s Choice 2015: Our favorite ride gear

This is Dirt Rag’s second year doing an official “Editor’s Choice.” With editorial staff of all shapes and sizes, spread out all over the country, we can’t just pick one product per category and call it the best. Also notice our timing. While we could do this in the early spring, how much ride time ...


Editor’s Choice 2015: Our favorite bikes

Editor’s Choice 2015: Our favorite bikes

This is Dirt Rag’s second year doing an official “Editor’s Choice.” With editorial staff of all shapes and sizes, spread out all over the country, we can’t just pick one product per category and call it the best. Also notice our timing. While we could do this in the early spring, how much ride time ...


Editor’s Choice 2015: Our favorite components

Editor’s Choice 2015: Our favorite components

This is Dirt Rag’s second year doing an official “Editor’s Choice.” With editorial staff of all shapes and sizes, spread out all over the country, we can’t just pick one product per category and call it the best. Also notice our timing. While we could do this in the early spring, how much ride time ...


Blast from the Past: Dirt Rag’s 2005 Interview with Theodore Stroll

Blast from the Past: Dirt Rag’s 2005 Interview with Theodore Stroll

Editor’s note: In 2005, Philip Keyes interviewed Theodore Stroll for an article on the legal issues surrounding Wilderness access that ran in Dirt Rag Issue #112. Stroll is the author of the law review article: “Congress’s Intent in Banning Mechanical Transport in the Wilderness Act of 1964.” Theodore J. Stroll; Penn State Environmental Law Review (Volume ...


Video: How to plan your own MTB adventure

Video: How to plan your own MTB adventure

The world is getting smaller; places are easier to get to; flights easier to book. But getting your head around the idea of planning your own bike adventure—whether it’s on home soil or heading somewhere exotic—can seem like a big headache. In this final episode of Trail Doctor, photographer and series star Dan Milner pulls ...


Featured Ride: Fort Clinch State Park, Florida

Featured Ride: Fort Clinch State Park, Florida

Not all great rides have to be epic death marches. Fort Clinch State Park, just north of Jacksonville, Florida, offers a fun and flowing loop that offers a mere 80 feet of elevation gain in 5.4 miles. Take a look at the elevation chart and you’ll see a low elevation of just three feet above sea level, ...


Inside Line: Ibis releases the Trans-Fat, a fat tire version/conversion of the Tranny

Inside Line: Ibis releases the Trans-Fat, a fat tire version/conversion of the Tranny

One of the more interesting features of Ibis’ Tranny 29 hardtail is its two-piece frame. Not only can it be taken apart to fit in a airline-legal bag, it can also be used to tension a chain for singlespeeding. Now you can take your Tranny fat-biking by replacing one piece of that two-piece frame with a ...


Beer and Bikes: Oskar Blues and its home-brewed REEBs

Beer and Bikes: Oskar Blues and its home-brewed REEBs

American cyclists know full well that beer and bicycles go as well together as 90-pound European roadies, white Spandex and strong espresso. Along Colorado’s Front Range, one company takes that pairing particularly seriously, building bikes in the same way it brews beer: one at a time, with a guiding ethos of fun, craftsmanship and quality. ...


Blast From the Past: The Bobby McMullen Interview

Blast From the Past: The Bobby McMullen Interview

Editor’s note: Then-editor Michael Browne interviewed blind mountain bike racer Bobby McMullen for Dirt Rag Issue #122, published in July 2006. We’re happy to report that McMullen is still shredding. You can follow him via Facebook or rideblindracing.com. The act of riding a mountain bike requires amounts of athleticism, coordination, balance and attention that most ...


Featured Ride: Bull and Jake Mountain—IMBA Epic

Featured Ride: Bull and Jake Mountain—IMBA Epic

As we discovered during our spring break trip to Mulberry Gap just outside of Ellijay, Georgia, the mountains of Northern Georgia are an underappreciated hot bed of incredible mountain biking. This region’s combination of significant tracts of public land in the Chattahoochee National Forest, ample elevation change, old logging infrastructure, CCC-era legacy trails and a thriving mountain bike culture ...


Video: Hans and Peaty traverse Iceland

Video: Hans and Peaty traverse Iceland

Mountain Bike legends Hans Rey and Steve Peat completed an epic Iceland Traverse in August 2015. They were joined by local rider Runar Omarsson and the folks from Icebike Adventures as they crossed the country from north to south. The video provides a sample of the entire country and the phenomenal mountain biking available to ...


Review: Bontrager Old Man Winter boot

Review: Bontrager Old Man Winter boot

Cycling-specific, cold-weather boots have long seemed like a luxury item to me. That changed when I decided to get serious about fat biking and spend every weekend exploring snowy trails high in the cold Colorado mountains. Suddenly, no overshoe was warm enough and no casual snow boot stiff or snug enough. After spending a few ...


Inside Line: Canfield Brothers Launches Redesigned Balance

Inside Line: Canfield Brothers Launches Redesigned Balance

Bellingham, Washington-based Canfield Brothers has launched its redesigned 2016 Balance, a 165-millimeter all-mountain bike drawing heavily from the company’s downhill heritage. Now in its third generation, the Balance combines gravity oriented geometry with the patented Canfield Balance Formula™ suspension. “Long before the enduro craze, we had our own idea of what an all-mountain bike should be—just as capable of ...


Bell Helmets working to get more women into mountain biking

Bell Helmets working to get more women into mountain biking

PRESS RELEASE — Bell Helmets today announced an important extension to its new Joy Ride women’s program – the launch of six Joy Ride grassroots program cities, each with a dedicated female mountain bike ambassador. These ambassadors will help inspire and enable female mountain bikers with regular, structured, fun and social rides that appeal to all levels of riders where they ...


Inside Line: RockyMounts TomaHawk fat bike rack

Inside Line: RockyMounts TomaHawk fat bike rack

Fat bike car racks were a bit slow to come to market even as frames shod with four- and five-inch tires took off out of the gate. Now, RockyMounts is offering a fat bike roof rack for $160. The TomaHawk can fit almost all wheel sizes: 20 inches to 29 inches, and up to 5-inch fat bike ...


Video: Adventures of Slowmo Bro, part 3

Video: Adventures of Slowmo Bro, part 3

“Adventures of Slowmo Bro” is a video series produced for the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) that features professional mountain bikers teaching lessons on trail etiquette and trail maintenance. NICA oversees middle and high school mountain bike racing and launched this series with the support of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). Episode 3 features ...


The Ultimate Ride to the Ride, Part 6: Missouri and the Katy Trail

The Ultimate Ride to the Ride, Part 6: Missouri and the Katy Trail

Catch up: A cross-country bike tour with a twist: Chris Reichel is riding his mountain bike from Colorado to North Carolina and hitting all the best trails along the way. If you missed earlier installments of the Ultimate Ride to the Ride, see them here. By Chris Reichel I never thought I would say this ...


Tell us what you think and win big

Tell us what you think and win big

Welcome to the Dirt Rag year-end mega sweeps survey! This information will help us better serve you with great content. Your answers will remain anonymous and can enter you to win a Fuji Auric 1.7 (MSRP $3475). Fuji’s Auric 1.7 features the proven MLink suspension platform: a four-bar linkage system that uses a mid-length rear ...


Blast From the Past: By Law, Mountain Bikes in Wilderness

Blast From the Past: By Law, Mountain Bikes in Wilderness

Editor’s note:  It’s been over 50 years since the Wilderness Act was enacted, 30 years since mountain bikers were banned from Wilderness, and over 10 years since Ted Stroll wrote his article in the Penn State Environmental Law Review showing that the original congressional act had no intention to kick bikes out. Last year Stroll ...


Enter to win some of mountain biking’s best books

Enter to win some of mountain biking’s best books

VeloPress is the leading cycling publisher and is giving away three of its most popular books. From the Marin Headlands to Morocco, travel through amazing stories from the earliest days of mountain biking in Charlie Kelly’s “Fat Tire Flyer.” In Rebecca Rusch’s “Rusch to Glory,” written by the Queen of Pain herself, read how one woman went from ...


Field Tested: Shimano XM9 Shoes

Field Tested: Shimano XM9 Shoes

When Shimano announced the XM9 and XM7 earlier this year, I couldn’t have been more excited. These shoes looked to be perfect for cool-temperature fall, winter and spring riding. Now with a couple weeks of riding in these shoes, I’m stoked to report the XM9 is every bit as good as I had hoped. This is the ...


Featured Ride: Bomb Dog Loop – Coldwater Mountain, Alabama

Featured Ride: Bomb Dog Loop – Coldwater Mountain, Alabama

Alabama might not be the first state to come to mind as a mountain bike destination, but Coldwater Mountain near Anniston, Alabama, is positioned to change that notion. Coldwater Mountain has earned Bronze-level status as an IMBA Ride Center with 25 miles of newly constructed trails already on the ground. Plans are in place to increase ...


First Impressions: Norco Torrent 7 Plus

First Impressions: Norco Torrent 7 Plus

Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it! Price: $2,425 The Torrent name is ...


Crankworx World Tour expands for 2016

Crankworx World Tour expands for 2016

PRESS RELEASE — Crankworx World Tour announced it’s adding Les Gets, France, to the family. Crankworx begins in Rotorua, New Zealand, March 9-13, 2016, and will hit Les Gets the following month for a June 15-19 run. The event returns to its Whistler home base in British Columbia, Canada, for a 10-day event staged August 12-21. Nestled in the 12-resort ...


Video: Riding Lakes Basin with Mark Weir and Ben Cruz

Video: Riding Lakes Basin with Mark Weir and Ben Cruz

Only 30 miles north of legendary Downieville, California, sits an oasis of empty, deserted old mining trails ready for plundering. The Trail Ninja (Dan Milner) joined Cannondale riders Mark Weir and Ben Cruz for a two-day romp around the Lakes Basin area, pulling mile upon mile of flowy turns and endless rocky staircases out of ...


First Impression: Transition Patrol 4

First Impression: Transition Patrol 4

Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it! Price: $2,999 Last year, Transition Bikes ...


Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice – Adam’s Honorable Mentions

Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice – Adam’s Honorable Mentions

Editor’s Note: Our 2015 Editor Choice Awards are out now in Dirt Rag Issue #188. But those items aren’t the only things we were impressed with this year. Here is a list of honorable mentions from our previous web editor (and current contributing editor and editor-in-chief of Bicycle Times, our sister mag). If you want to ...


First Impression: Scott Spark 950

First Impression: Scott Spark 950

Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it! Price: $2,700 Scott’s cross-country specific Spark ...


Blast From the Past: Repair Tags We’d Like to See

Blast From the Past: Repair Tags We’d Like to See

Editor’s note: This contribution from GorillaNet first appeared in Dirt Rag Issue #72, published in May 1999. Problem: Bike makes klunking noise. Fix: Sat bike in corner, listened for two hours. No clunking noise noted. Problem: Frame shimmies at high speed. Fix: Tightened brakes, packed hubs & bottom bracket with sand. High speeds now much ...


Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice 2015 – Katherine’s Honorable Mentions

Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice 2015 – Katherine’s Honorable Mentions

Editor’s Note: Katherine, our new web editor, wasn’t on staff when the 2015 Editor Choice Awards were being collected for Dirt Rag Issue #188, so her honorable mention list is made up of stuff she purchased during the past year on her own dime. If you want to know what the rest of the staffers chose as their favorite bikes and gear ...


Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice 2015: Justin’s Honorable Mentions

Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice 2015: Justin’s Honorable Mentions

Editor’s Note: Our 2015 Editor Choice Awards are out now in Dirt Rag Issue #188. But those items aren’t the only things we were impressed with this year. Here is a list of honorable mentions from our general manager and photographer. If you want to know what we chose as our favorite bikes and gear of 2015, ...


First Impression: Devinci Hendrix RS

First Impression: Devinci Hendrix RS

Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it! Price: $2,999 The Devinci Hendrix RS ...


Featured Ride: Cuyamaca to Noble Canyon – IMBA Epic

Featured Ride: Cuyamaca to Noble Canyon – IMBA Epic

Just an hour and a half drive northeast of San Diego you’ll find the gold rush town of Julian, and just a few miles south of that former boom town, you’ll find the trailhead for the Cuyamaca to Noble Canyon IMBA Epic. This 29-mile ride descends and ascends 3,800 feet of elevation as it traverses as ...


Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice: Eric’s Honorable Mentions

Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice: Eric’s Honorable Mentions

Editor’s Note: Our 2015 Editor Choice Awards are out now in Dirt Rag Issue #188. But those items aren’t the only things we were impressed with this year. Here is a list of honorable mentions from our tech editor, Eric. If you want to know what we chose as our favorite bikes and gear of 2015, pick ...


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