A free archive of Dirt Rag articles.

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The One-Bike Challenge

The One-Bike Challenge

Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 790 MSL BC Edition How far can a short-travel trail bike take you? From Issue #187 We are at an interesting point in the technological advances in mountain bikes. For years the idea was always more. More travel, more gears, more bigger wheels. But now we’ve started to dial things back: Single ...


Review: Bontrager Old Man Winter boots

Review: Bontrager Old Man Winter boots

Cycling-specific, cold-weather boots have long seemed like a luxury item to me. That changed when I decided to get a fat bike for riding on snowy trails and decided to suck it up and pedal around my Colorado hometown all through winter. Suddenly, no overshoe was warm enough and no casual snow boot stiff or snug enough. After spending ...


Video: Jeff Jones—A man and his bikes

Video: Jeff Jones—A man and his bikes

Filmed over the course of four rides near the Jones Bikes headquarters in Southern Oregon, this latest Jones Bikes video combines riding footage, from rocky trails to urban settings, with Jeff Jones’ explanation of what makes his bikes ride the way they do. Learn more about the riding and the rider that created these bikes and ...


First Impression: Charge Bikes Cooker 4

First Impression: Charge Bikes Cooker 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: $2,400 Charge Bikes’ Cooker 4 ...


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

Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice 2015: Mike’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 editor-in-chief. If you want to know what we chose as our favorite bikes and gear of 2015, pick up the ...


Review: Scott Spark 700 SL

Review: Scott Spark 700 SL

From Issue #182 The dry, kitty-litter-covered trails of Bootleg Canyon in Nevada can be a cruel testing ground. The twisty singletrack is nearly traction-less and the many rock formations are often not for the faint of heart: While small, they can be steep and often located in turns. In the realm of modern mountain biking, ...


First Impression: Surly Wednesday

First Impression: Surly Wednesday

Editor’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: $1,500 The new Wednesday brings ...


Video: Say it ain’t so, Steve Peat: Don’t retire from racing!

Review: Trek 920 Disc

Review: Trek 920 Disc

From Issue #37 Bicycle touring has changed a lot over the past few years, and while riders once rejoiced for a smooth ribbon of asphalt, a rough and rocky road is now de rigueur. Right on the Trek website you see signs of this preference as the new 920 Disc is classified under the banner ...


Blast From the Past: The Power of Pump

Blast From the Past: The Power of Pump

Editor’s note: This article by Lee McCormack first appeared in Dirt Rag Issue #123, published in August 2006. These days you don’t have to reel in 20 miles of singletrack to feel like a mountain biker. You can blitz a downhill run, mess around at a skatepark, session some jumps or make a playground out ...


First Impression: Marin Attack Trail 7

First Impression: Marin Attack Trail 7

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: $2,750 Marin’s Attack Trail 7 ...


Enter to win a Shot XC helmet

Enter to win a Shot XC helmet

Hankering for a new lid? Snag a Shot XC, an Italian-made cross-country helmet from SH + and Gizmo Gear. We’re giving one away and all you have to do is fill out the short survey below by Wednesday, November 25, 11:59 p.m. We will choose a winner the next day. The Shot XC helmet features ...


Pivot returns as presenting sponsor of Dirt Rag Dirt Fest

Pivot returns as presenting sponsor of Dirt Rag Dirt Fest

Dirt Rag is pleased to announce that Pivot Cycles is returning as the Presenting sponsor for the seventh-annual Dirt Rag Dirt Fest, taking place May 20-22, 2016, at Raystown Lake in central Pennsylvania. “We are bringing a big fleet of bikes with all the newest models in every size for riders to try, including our ...


First Impression: Kona Hei Hei Trail

First Impression: Kona Hei Hei Trail

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: $2,500 The Hei Hei has ...


Featured Ride: Fresno-Sauceda Loop – IMBA Epic

Featured Ride: Fresno-Sauceda Loop – IMBA Epic

As fall and winter continue to march south, so too will our featured rides. This week we’re highlighting Big Bend Ranch State Park, which sits just north and west of Big Bend National Park in the southwest corner of Texas. It’s extremely remote, extremely beautiful and highly likely to provide you with a big does of ...


Hut to hut in Guatemala with Hans Rey and Tom Oehler

Hut to hut in Guatemala with Hans Rey and Tom Oehler

Words: Hans Rey Photos: Stefan Voitl A young man, 18-year-old Kevin, stood on a dusty street corner on the outskirts of Antigua, Guatemala, waiting for us. Two years ago he received a bicycle from Wheels 4 Life through his school, “Escuela Proyecto La Esperanza,” which was founded and is run by a UK-based charity. When we found ...


Video: Kona Precepts in the Alps

Video: Kona Precepts in the Alps

Kona’s Precept line of entry-level trail/enduro bikes offers three full-suspension models each under $3,000 (the 120, 130 and 150). In September, Kona sent a crew to the Swiss Alps to ride these bikes. Two Days in the Alps – Kona Precept from Kona Bikes on Vimeo.  


Choice Cuts: Bikes we’d buy under $3,000—an introduction

Choice Cuts: Bikes we’d buy under $3,000—an introduction

Every year for the last few years, Dirt Rag has gathered up a half-dozen or so full-suspension trail bikes for complete testing that fall into the entry-level/affordable/budget category. Yes, three grand is still a lot of money, but good bikes aren’t cheap and this price point is much more reasonable for the average enthusiast rider willing to ...


Review: Bontrager Flare R Tail Light

Review: Bontrager Flare R Tail Light

Seven years ago, I rode my bike across the country with nothing but a $13 red bike light strapped to my seatpost. It wasn’t very bright and functioned more as hopeful optimism than a true safety device. Now I’m pleased to see that daytime running lights for bikes are being taken more seriously. The Bontrager Flare R ...


Personality: Andreu Lacondeguy

Personality: Andreu Lacondeguy

Words and photos by Malcolm Mclaws From Issue #187 Andreu Lacondeguy made his Crankworx debut in 2006. His arrival in Whistler, British Columbia, as a fresh-faced, clean-cut unknown was an introduction to someone who would become one of the most well-known and colorful riders ever. This is Little Andy. With a riding style that has ...


Guided tour to take cyclists to the South Pole

Guided tour to take cyclists to the South Pole

Looking for the ultimate cycling adventure? This might be it. From the tour company that created the 120-day Tour d’Afrique from Cairo to Cape Town, as well as a handful of other continent-spanning journeys, the expedition planned for December 2016 should put them all to shame. TDA Global Cycling is hosting an 18-day ride it ...


Enter to win the Scott Tyrant Oxide goggle

Enter to win the Scott Tyrant Oxide goggle

We’re excited to be giving away a pair of Scott Tyrant Oxide goggles this week to one, lucky Dirt Rag reader. All you have to do is fill out the survey below before midnight on Wednesday, November 18. We will choose a winner the morning of November 19. The Tyrant is a brand-new product and ...


Atherton family joins Trek Factory Racing Downhill for inaugural season

Atherton family joins Trek Factory Racing Downhill for inaugural season

(Waterloo, WI) — Trek and Trek Factory Racing announced today the creation of a marquee World Cup-level Downhill racing program for the 2016 season. The new team will take on the full UCI World Cup series as well as select regional Red Bull events. Joining Trek Factory Racing Downhill for its inaugural season will be ...


Rusch Job: Riding with no hands

Rusch Job: Riding with no hands

By Rebecca Rusch From Issue #188 As a kid, being able to ride no-handed was a rite of passage and the pinnacle of bike-handling coolness. It’s a killer move I never mastered until well into my 30s. I’d started bike racing and I’d won a few events, including three 24-Hour World Championships, but all I ...


Featured Ride: Gooseberry Mesa – The Big Loop

Featured Ride: Gooseberry Mesa – The Big Loop

Gooseberry Mesa, located in Utah’s southwest corner, is simply one of the most magical places I’ve camped and ridden in the American west. Granted, there’s a lot of territory I haven’t visited, but there’s no denying the worthiness of this destination. Having been constructed over 20 years ago by the Harris brothers, the Gooseberry Mesa ...


Video: Trail Doctor on greening your mountain biking

Video: Trail Doctor on greening your mountain biking

Dan Milner, aka Trail Doctor, believes that because we ride in wild places, we owe the environment some respect. In this EpicTV video, he offers eight tips for “greening” your ride. Some of them are rather simple while others are potentially controversial. What do you think?


Sea Otter adds e-bike race for 2016. Do motors belong?

Sea Otter adds e-bike race for 2016. Do motors belong?

Sea Otter Classic, the California event that “kicks off” the road and mountain bike race seasons each April, has announced it will host an e-mountain bike race at next year’s event. While plenty of battery-powered technology has seeped into mountain biking via electronic shifting and suspension adjustment, this move strikes me as ominous. The manufacturers ...


Don’t Miss: Old Man Winter Rally

Don’t Miss: Old Man Winter Rally

Oskar Blues’ Old Man Winter Rally had a wildly successful first year in 2015, with nearly 700 riders from Tour de France participants to 10-year-olds on fat bikes, and is set to go even bigger in 2016. The event takes place in Boulder County, Colorado, on February 7, 2016, and you’re invited.   Choose either the ...


T47: More standards, more problems, or one bottom bracket shell to rule them all?

T47: More standards, more problems, or one bottom bracket shell to rule them all?

Years ago, in search of more stiffness, cranks with 30 mm aluminum spindles were introduced. Unlike the steel 24 mm spindles already on the market, those new oversized spindles didn’t work with the established threaded BSA bottom bracket. This led to a new standard: BB30. The BB30 standard involved bearings installed directly into frames and snap rings ...


Dirt Rag Issue #188 is out! Editor’s Choice awards inside

Dirt Rag Issue #188 is out! Editor’s Choice awards inside

On the cover Andrew Whiteford does some tree splitting in Northern Thailand. Photo by Jay Goodrich. The Dirt and Readings This year history was made when the U.S. held its first ever World Cup cyclocross race. We show you in The Dirt along with a first hand account by American ‘cross racer Adam Craig in ...


Blast From the Past: Incidente

Blast From the Past: Incidente

Editor’s note: Incidente originally appeared in Dirt Rag Issue #85, published in April 2001. Words by John Freeman. Art by Rudi Nadler. They have brought in the young American from very high up in the mountains —dark and Italian— one of them speeding dangerously down its spiraling curves the other waving a frantic handkerchief in ...


The Rant: Genetic predisposition

The Rant: Genetic predisposition

Originally published in Issue #182 Some people claim there is a “wheelie gene” and either you are born with the innate balance needed to wheelie or you are doomed to a life of dull, two-wheels-on-the-ground riding. I’m not sure if I subscribe to that theory, but I do buy into the idea that some of ...


Feature: Riding the forgotten Argentina Railroad

Feature: Riding the forgotten Argentina Railroad

Words and photos by Dan Milner This story originally appeared in Issue #183  “It’s the most shitty looking, crappiest trail I have ever seen,” says Hans Rey, not mincing his words. We’re tired, hungry and cold and have found ourselves passing the night in the one-horse Argentinean border town of La Quiaca—a town that seems ...


Featured Ride: Big South Fork IMBA Epic

Featured Ride: Big South Fork IMBA Epic

The massive 125,000-acre Big South Fork (BSF) National River and Recreation Area, which sits roughly 80 miles northwest of Knoxville, Tennessee, was one of the first National Park Service units to embrace mountain biking back in the early 1990s. Though just one trail was initially open to mountain biking, additional trails have steadily been opened to ...


Video: Adventures of Slowmo Bro, part 2

Video: Adventures of Slowmo Bro, part 2

“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 2 features Greg Minnaar and ...


First Impression: Trek Fuel EX 29 9.9

First Impression: Trek Fuel EX 29 9.9

Few bikes have such a storied lineage as the Fuel EX. Trek introduced a refreshed version of its 27.5-wheeled version last year with the incorporation of the Fox Re:aktiv shock technology. This year the 29er model gets the same treatment, with a host of the same features plus some new ones. While still built around a 120 ...


First Impression: A proper English saddle

First Impression: A proper English saddle

No one knows better than a woman how impractical and uncomfortable fashion can be. And no one knows better about suffering on a mountain bike than a singlespeeder. While I have no patience for the physical tyranny of high heels, I will—apparently—put a hard leather saddle on a derailleur-free, suspension-free mountain bike and commit myself ...


Inside Line: Industry Nine expands 2016 off-road range

Inside Line: Industry Nine expands 2016 off-road range

Asheville, NC – Industry Nine, a cycling components manufacturer in the heart of Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, has announced new rim options for mountain and fat bikes, and a new plus-size rim option. Fat Bike Two new tubeless fat bike rim options join the well-received BigRig 825 Carbon. The new BigRig 975 Carbon and ...


Feature: Fat biking through the Arctic

Feature: Fat biking through the Arctic

Words and photos by Bjørn Olson From Issue #182 “Mend your equipment if you are to prevail” Both hands gripped our handlebars tight, squeezing the brake levers, often dragging a foot to slow our steep and icy descent from Rainy Pass. Instead of snow, typical on the Iditarod Trail in early March, we were riding ...


Video: Oregon’s Trans-Cascadia Enduro

Video: Oregon’s Trans-Cascadia Enduro

With only their bikes, gear and tents, Smith riders Rosara Joseph, Sarah Rawley, and Liz Cunningham embarked on a unique backcountry mountain bike experience in the misty mountains surrounding Oakridge, Oregon for the the inaugural Trans-Cascadia Enduro. Unfolding over four days with 21 race stages and 32,000 ft of descending on unknown trails, the riders ...


The Ultimate Ride to the Ride – Part 5, Hello Single Speed Kansas City

The Ultimate Ride to the Ride – Part 5, Hello Single Speed Kansas City

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 didn’t have much of a schedule or ...


Blast From the Past: What About B.O.B.? — Mountain Bikes and Cash Crops in the San Bernardino Mountains

Blast From the Past: What About B.O.B.? — Mountain Bikes and Cash Crops in the San Bernardino Mountains

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in Dirt Rag Issue #77, published in February 2000. Words by Matt Artz. Art by Robert Rose. The first time I heard the term B.O.B., Clem and I were discussing a planned five-day bike extravaganza across Santa Catalina Island. He explained how a “Beast Of Burden”—a one-wheeled mountain bike ...


Musings on East San Diego County Singletrack

Musings on East San Diego County Singletrack

Words and photos by James Murren Feature story from Issue #182 The Cuyamacas My bike leans against a tree as I walk in cleated shoes through the green spring grasses in the direction of granite slabs slightly visible from the trail. Remembering a group of picnicking students that had piqued my interest during a previous ...


Featured Ride: Douthat State Park IMBA Epic

Featured Ride: Douthat State Park IMBA Epic

Douthat State Park sits in the Appalachian Mountains just a little over an hour’s drive north of Roanoke, Virginia. This 4,500 acre park provides a mix of newly-constructed trails as well as many miles of Civilian Conservation Corps legacy trails. This 18-mile IMBA Epic loop is the highlight reel of the 40+ miles of trails ...


Sedona Mountain Bike Festival Announces 2016 Dates

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival Announces 2016 Dates

Kick off spring next year with a trip to the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival in Arizona the weekend of March 4-6, 2016. Last year, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the inaugural edition of the festival and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a dose of sunshine and slickrock to jump-start their riding season. The 2016 event will build ...


Apply to be a Bell Joy Ride Ambassador

Apply to be a Bell Joy Ride Ambassador

Female mountain bikers, take note: There is only one week left to apply to be a Bell Helmets Joy Ride ambassador! If you are excited about welcoming more women into mountain biking and wouldn’t mind doing it with significant support from one of the sport’s most recognizable brands, get your application in by November 1. ...


The Ultimate Ride to the Ride – Part 4, Kansas Singletrack Surprise

The Ultimate Ride to the Ride – Part 4, Kansas Singletrack Surprise

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 Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3 of the Ultimate Ride to the Ride, you might want to start there. By Chris Reichel ...


First Ride: Ibis Ripley LS

First Ride: Ibis Ripley LS

Last year, I reviewed the Ibis Ripley. I liked it well enough, but my tastes in mid-travel 29er leans towards low and slack, while the Ripley is more long-travel cross-country. I also got yelled at (via email) by for being too soft on the bike. Which was a valid complaint, as I had inadvertently cut ...


Moots Cycles Ti Sticks to support Charlie Cunningham

Moots Cycles Ti Sticks to support Charlie Cunningham

Charlie Cunningham gave a lot to the world of cycling. From custom frames to roller cam brakes, 135 mm axles to the founding of Wilderness Trail Bikes, he has shaped the sport of cycling as much as anyone. Now it’s time for us to give back. After suffering a serious brain injury as a result ...


Apply for a Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew Visit

Apply for a Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew Visit

The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is now accepting applications for 2016 visits from the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew, IMBA’s grassroots educational program. Featuring a traveling team of two as well as nine regional staff members, the program offers everything from sustainable trail building schools to high-level land manager trainings, as well as organizational support ...


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