By Matt Kasprzyk
Salsa’s tagline “adventure by bike” is actually more of a mantra according to Pete Koski, Salsa’s design engineer. Everything the company does is filtered through those three words. The Horsethief is the latest bike the phrase has inspired. Salsa’s goal was to design a bike that could devour technical trails like Horsethief Bench in Fruita, Colorado.
By Jon Pratt, photos by Justin Steiner.
By Eric McKeegan
Thinking more about fast group rides, maybe a bit of racing, or even some light touring? Let’s take a look at the Secteur, which is the aluminum version of Specialized’s Paris Roubaix-winning (and creatively named) “Roubaix.”
Videos of insane urban downhill courses have been a huge hit online, and the popularity of bringing the sport to new venues has prompted a full race series to emerge.
In 2014, the City Downhill World Cup series will grace at least half a dozen cities in Europe and South America, with talk of more venues to come. A pilot race will be held June 22, 2013, in Bratislava, Slovakia.
By Karl Rosengarth
In my previous post, I shared some cool reader art from the Dirt Rag Time Machine. It turns out that Uncle Karl was holding out on you. I also have a sweet stash of vintage advertisements.
As I’ve said before, time travel is notoriously rough on paper, so forgive the less-than-pristine quality of some of the following images.
By Eric McKeegan, photos by Adam Newman
By Estela Villaseñor, photos by Bob Allen Images
Word on the street (or at least the fat bike forums) is that Kona will be the next major brand to introduce a production fat bike, and we’ve got the spec sheet.
Never afraid to push into unique market segments, Kona has a long tradition of niche designs such as the long-tail Ute cargo bike and the specially-designed Africabike. Now as fat bikes continue rolling from the margins of the market to becoming a mainstream model, I’m not too surprised to see Kona getting on board.
By Eric McKeegan
A few weeks ago, X-Fusion announced sponsorship of the Pivot Cycles factory downhill team, maybe a bit of an odd pairing, considering the X-Fusion line-up does not include a dual crown fork.
By Adam Newman
Kent Ericksen has been building with titanium for more than twenty years, and this year he was showing off his brand’s new suspension design, complete with a full-titanium rear swingarm and this boxy chainstay yoke.
The inaugural Grand Junction Off-Road endurance mountain bike event and free community concert, presented by U.S. Bank, and produced by Epic Rides will take place in Grand Junction on Labor Day weekend, Friday, August 30 through Sunday, September 1.
Niner Bikes posted on MTBr today that the company is readying a new model, and is asking the public for input on the name.
Saying it will "appeal to old-school MTBr readers in particular," the steel hardtail will featured a rear thru-axle, short chainstays, a slack 44mm headtube, internal routing for a dropper seatpost, and Niner’s BioCentric bottom bracket.
By Mike Cushionbury
Two French brands, Time and Mavic, have signed an agreement for technical collaboration to design and manufacture clipless pedals together in France.
For 2013 Shimano will offer multiple 650b mountain bike wheels at various price points and new Dyna-sys Deore XT and SLX components designed specifically for 650b and 29-inch wheels.
By Eric McKeegan
Every few months Problem Solvers comes out with a widget or two that makes me think, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Here are three quick ah-ha items they were showing off at Frostbike.
The 2013 North American Handemade Bicycle Show was the Year of the Fat. More than a dozen builders had fat bikes, both 26 and 29+, in their booths. Here’s part two of our sampling. You can read part one here.
Reeb Cycles is an offshoot of Oskar Blues Brewing Company from nearby Lyons, Colorado. (Spell it backwards and you’ll get it).
By Adam Newman
Each year at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show there are some clear trends. Randonneuring bikes, disc brake cyclocross bikes, track and fixed gear bikes, and 650b mountain bikes have all had their moment in the sun. This year the clear favorite for custom builds was fat bikes.
More than a dozen builders had fat bikes in their booths, and here’s a sampling:
I really thought they would go straight for 650b wheels. Then again, developing these products takes years, and this bike was likely well underway before the current 650b surge: the Enduro 29er.
With 155mm of rear wheel travel in a chainstay that is only 10mm longer than the 26-inch version (430mm), it shouldn’t have the land-yacht feeling you might expect. Mated to a 150mm Fox 34 Float CTD fork, this is one of the most burly 29ers we’ve ever seen.
By Eric McKeegan.
Frostbike is the annual dealer expo put on by Quality Bicycle Products (QBP). While February in Minnesota might not sound so inviting, this is a great event, full of people who really, really love bikes. Besides QBP’s roster of house brands (Salsa, Surly, Foundry, 45NRTH, All-City, Civia, Problem Solvers, and more) there are more than 100 other companies in attendance.
By Justin Steiner,
Crankbrothers recently announced a new version of the Mallet dh. According to Crankbrothers, rider and racer feedback lead them back to a pedal with a larger platform and more traction. The first two versions of the Mallet both had a fairly larger platform, while the third iteration, launched in 2011, offered a narrower platform. Generations two and three offered six adjustable and replaceable traction pins apiece.
Portland framebuilders Ira Ryan, left, and Tony Pereira joined forces to create Breadwinner cycles.
By Karen Brooks
By Karen Brooks
Sometimes you just want to imagine yourself sailing down a silky-smooth country road, wine and cheese in the bag, and sun shining… Here at the 2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show there are plenty of classically beautiful road bikes to inspire just such a vision. Here are a few.
Simply a traditional road frame with fender capability. Pretty fenders, too. I love the little Brooks tool roll on the back of the saddle.
By Karen Brooks
Building a bike to be an everyday vehicle gives a lot of opportunities for creative framebuilders to add all kinds of amenities to their NAHBS show bikes. Here’s a few that have stood out so far.
This Donkelope caught my eye right away. Builder Greg calls it a steampunk bike. It has an actual bike lamp—yes, a lamp—from the early 1900s, retrofitted with a modern LED light inside.
By Adam Newman
Riders are always looking for new challenges and new places to ride their bikes. Adventure touring and bike-packing are two of the fastest-growing segments of the industry, and like every year, the North American Handmade Bike Show is setting trends that the rest of the industry is likely to soon follow.
Though adventures can be had on any bike, more and more riders are designing, building, and riding bikes specifically designed around touring or racing on unpaved roads or rough terrain.
The inherent width of fat bikes’ rear tires requires the use of a wider bottom bracket shell, thus a wider crankset and spindle. There are a few options on the market, but brands spec’ing new bikes and those building them up from scratch have a new option from SRAM, the first of the “major” brands to introduce fat-specific equipment.
By Trina Haynes.
As a cyclist and a mom of two, I am quite familiar with Nashbar’s offerings. Over the years it’s been the cost effective outlet for my hubby and I to get new gear without breaking the bank.
This year Nashbar is breaking into the 650b market with the $500 Bee’s Knees single speed. This is not the first 650b I have played around on and I already enjoy this “tweener” size.
Cherubim by Shin-Ichi Konno won the President’s Choice award and Best of Show at the 2012 NAHBS.
By Gary J. Boulanger
By Adam Newman. Photo above by A.E. Landes, photo at right courtesy of Team CF.
By Trina Haynes. Photos by Emily Walley.
From ultra-beginners to advanced riders, ladies traveled far and wide to enjoy a day of one-on-one coaching and a weekend of women dominating Ray’s Indoor bike park in Cleveland.
By Ryan Johnson
Editor’s note: Each year we cover dozens of the most beautiful bikes in the world at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show and other local shows. But what happens to them after the display booths are disassembled and the lights go out? After all, bikes are built to be ridden, not to sit around and look pretty. So we followed up with some of the bikes and builders we’ve covered in the past to see how these works of art are holding up.
Ever wanted to test your meddle at the BC Bike Race but find it’s always sold out?
Dejay Birtch at the 2012 Trans-Sylvania Epic. Birtch will represent Ride for Reading in 2013.
Ride for Reading is teaming up with professional mountain biker Dejay Birtch to create an innovative, professional mountain bike team. Birtch will not only represent Ride for Reading through racing, he will serve as an ambassador of the organization by collecting books, visiting classrooms, and spreading Ride for Reading’s mission as he travels from race to race.
By Eric McKeegan. Photos by Adam Newman
Editor’s note: Will this process work on your bike? I have no idea, so please don’t ask me. But since we get paid the big bucks to be human guinea pigs, we went ahead and tried it anyway. Caveat emptor and all that…
By Montana Miller. Photos by Adam Newman.
Tubeless fat bike tires have quite a few benefits. They roll faster (by eliminating friction between the tire and tube), can be run at lower pressure without risk of pinch flatting, and are lighter.
By Montana Miller
It took longer to get to Ohio than usual, because I got stuck behind a house.
I don’t like going to Ohio in February but my girlfriend is in school there, so every few weeks I have to head into the grey plains.
Fortunately there’s an awesome trail, Vulture’s Knob, just a few miles from the college in Wooster. Friday was barely above freezing, and alternating between rain and ice pellets. I still wanted ride. So I went out.
By Matt Kaspryzk
These last couple seasons I’ve welcomed some time off my bike. The winter months have given me time to prepare both mentally and physically for riding in the coming season.
The first Dirt Rag issue of 2013 has shipped to subscribers and will appear on newsstands Tuesday, February 12. As always, order a subscription and not only will you never miss an issue, you’ll get your copy before anyone else. Can’t wait? Order a single issue or subscription through one of our digital options for your tablet.
On the cover: Photo by Michiel Rotgans.
By Karl Rosengarth
Chances are you’ve never met former Dirt Rag employee Emmet B. Handy. Despite the fact that he’s never ridden a bicycle, let me assure you that Emmet is a legend among Dirt Rag staffers. For several years, Emmet played a critical role in the production of the magazine.
I figure it’s high time that the rest of the world learns the truth about this hidden hero. I recently caught up with Emmet, and we talked about the old days, and what he’s been up to lately.
The Outdoor Experience Organization—promoters of The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic- and TransRockies Inc—promoters of TransRockies Challenge – have agreed to exchange entries so that top riders from each side of the continent can participate in the other’s event.
Editor’s note: Montana Miller is our new columnist, and Knobby Meats is a weekly column about bad decisions, good times, and riding bikes. Enjoy!
By Montana Miller.
I munch on a raw potato, while drawing a big loop on the computerized topo Saturday night.
By Adam Newman. Photos by Ethan A. Glading.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you may have heard the UCI Cyclocross World Championships were held this past weekend for the first time ever in the U.S. Though the weather caused a few headaches for racers and promoters alike, the even was a smashing success and a great opportunity for the U.S. ‘cross scene to show the world how much it loves the sport.
By Justin Steiner
Specialized classifies the Crosstrail series of bikes within the “fitness adventure” category, which is an apt description given their aptitude on mixed surfaces. My Crosstrail Sport Disc retails for $830, making it the second least expense disc brake equipped model in the lineup. Only the base Crosstrail Disc is cheaper at $630.
The high school cycling movement continues to gain momentum in California
"Singletrack High", a documentary about a progressive approach to body, mind and character developmentthrough the sport of high school mountain biking premieres tonight in Mill Valley, California. The premiere is at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre, at 8 p.m.
By Adam Newman. Photos by Justin Steiner.
It’s hard to believe that not very long ago the idea of a carbon fiber mountain bike seemed like an extravagant folly, but these days it seems like carbon hardtail 29ers are about as common as belly buttons. German powerhouse brand Focus is no exception, bringing its Raven platform to the US to join its expansive lineup.
By Stephen Haynes
There are very few cycling goods out there that live up to the perceived reputation inherent in the name given to them. The Wolvhammer winter boots from 45NRTH are a fine example of performance actually meeting perceptions.
World record holder and mountain bike legend Jeff Lenosky has joined X-Fusion‘s growing team of athletes and brand ambassadors. In 2013, Lenosky plans to continue highlighting his head turning trials skills at multiple demonstrations across the country. On top of his national tour and dealer visits for long-time frame sponsor Giant Bicycles, he also plans on getting his competitive fix at select enduro events around the country.
By Neil Browne. Photo by Todd Trisch.
These past weeks the cycling world has been rocked by the admission of widespread doping from several riders. The parade of cyclists willing to unburden themselves from the guilt, or perhaps to reduce their suspension under undeniable evidence, continued with Danish rider Michael Rasmussen. Nicknamed “The Chicken” from a Danish cartoon, Rasmussen’s professional cycling career started with mountain biking and ended this week as a member of a professional road racing team.
By Jeff Lockwood.
I’m driving home after barely hanging on for a pathetic 16th place in a soul-crushing amateur cyclocross race in Rillaar, Belgium when I get an email from a friend in the United States asking me to translate “Handups are not a crime!” into Flemish.
The timing of the email turned my grimace into a smirk.