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Buy a foot of trail for a chance to win any Santa Cruz bike

Buy a foot of trail for a chance to win any Santa Cruz bike

The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship employes 15 full-time trail builders, has clocked in more than 30,000 volunteer hours, maintains 30 trails, has built 25 miles of new trails in the past year, and serves more than 200,000 riders each year in the Downieville and Lakes Basin areas of California. 


Review: Gates Centertrack Carbon belt drive system

Review: Gates Centertrack Carbon belt drive system

By Stephen Haynes, photo by Justin Steiner

Gates is a Denver-based company that has been manufacturing belts for automotive, agricultural, and industrial applications for more than 100 years. The company partnered with Spot Brand, located in nearby Golden, Colorado, to develop a belt-driven drivetrain for bicycles in 2007. Gates’ Carbon Drive System uses a high-strength belt that has carbon fiber cords embedded in a rubberized belt. The sprockets are machined from aluminum.


Review: Spot Rocker singlespeed

Review: Spot Rocker singlespeed

By Stephen Haynes, photos by Justin Steiner

The Rocker SS is Spot Brand’s steel, belt-driven, singlespeed 29er. Spot started as a singlespeed-specific component manufacturer in the ‘90s, so they know a thing or two about the genre. Since 2006 the company has applied that know-how to 29ers.


Descending 30,000 feet at the Chomolungma Challenge

Descending 30,000 feet at the Chomolungma Challenge

By Justin Steiner, photo courtesy of Snowshoe Mountain Bik Park

We’ve packed up the van and we’re on our way to the Chomolungma Challege – the race to descend nearly 30,000 vertical feet. That’s the height of Mount Everest, from which the event draws its name.


First look: 2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude 650b

First look: 2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude 650b

By Adam Newman, action photos by Margus Riga,

When Rocky Mountain set out to redesign the genre-bending Altitude trail bike they had a broad stroke of travel lengths – and wheel sizes – to choose from. When the dust settled, the 650b wheels were combined with 150mm of travel and a novel, adjustable-geometry linkage.


Niner tweaks Jet 9 family with redesigned RDO, new Carbon

Niner tweaks Jet 9 family with redesigned RDO, new Carbon

We were enamored with the original Jet 9 RDO we reviewed in Issue #164 (read our first impressions here and here) and now Niner has announced some changes that make it even more likable.


Reader’s Rides: Custom-fabricated full-suspension fatbike

Reader’s Rides: Custom-fabricated full-suspension fatbike

Editor’s note: Chris saw our short video about the Salsa full-suspension fatbike prototype and wrote in with the story of his own build. Thanks Chris! Got an interesting or unusual bike you’d like to share? Send some details to web@dirtragmag.com

By Chris Willsey,


First Impression: Nukeproof Scalp

First Impression: Nukeproof Scalp

By Eric McKeegan,

Some of you might remember the name Nukeproof. Part of the high end mountain bike component cottage industry that flourished during the 90’s, the name disappeared from the U.S. market years ago.


Breck Epic – Stages 4-6: Bourbon and powdered donuts

Breck Epic – Stages 4-6: Bourbon and powdered donuts

By Montana Miller

Stage 4 — Aqueduct Loop — 41 miles

I’m hiking up the same hill that I’ve walked up a few times earlier this week. It’s not getting any easier. Across the top, then down a super fast descent that’s covered in baby heads. I get off the front brake and bounce down the trail.

At the bottom, I catch my friend the Bradley the Birdman of Charleston. I cup my hand over my mouth and fire the customary greeting birdcall at him. “Kah-Kaw!”


Trek launches cyclocross team with 8-time US champ Katie Compton

Trek launches cyclocross team with 8-time US champ Katie Compton

Trek Bicycle launched the Trek Cyclocross Collective, a US-based ‘cross racing team headlined by eight-time US National Champion and all-around badass, Katie Compton. The three-time World Championship medalist, who began her professional racing career on Trek’s East Coast Regional Mountain Bike Team, will represent the Collective at world-level events, while a small army of popular domestic regional athletes will bring the world of Trek cyclocross to their local race series’ and the United States Gran Prix.


Riders Write: Butte 100 race report

Riders Write: Butte 100 race report

By Miguel Arias, Bikeparts.com / Waltworks,


2012 24-hour World Championships cancelled due to lack of participants

2012 24-hour World Championships cancelled due to lack of participants

Pretty shocking news this week as word came that the 24-hour World Championships to be held in Canmore, Alberta, Canada, would be cancelled due to lack of sponsor support and low participation.

In a letter posted on the 24 Hours of Adreniline website, race founder Stuart Dorland said it would not be "economically and administratively feasible" to hold the race. 


Registration open for King of the Mountain Enduro in NJ

Registration open for King of the Mountain Enduro in NJ

Registration for the upcoming King of the Mountain All-Mountain Enduro race on September 29th and 30th is now open. The King of the Mountain at Mountain Creek Bike Park in Vernon N.J.—just an hour north of New York City—promises to be a classic enduro much in the style of the original gravity-focused enduros made popular in Europe.


Breck Epic Stage 3: Survival turns to sunshine

Breck Epic Stage 3: Survival turns to sunshine

By Montana Miller,

“Can you imagine shooting a kangaroo with a bow? The things have hands. It’d rip that arrow out and stab you,” my friend Brad says. We’re sitting at the dining room table in the condo. Just finished the stage.

Today’s race was way better than yesterday’s.


Breck Epic Stage 2 – High mountains and low temperatures

Breck Epic Stage 2 – High mountains and low temperatures

By Montana Miller,

“Alright, Stage 2 of the Breck Epic! Go!” the announcer says over the loudspeaker. 

A drop of rain hits my arm. We follow the police car out of town. Up the first climb. I get off my bike and start to walk. The rain is coming down steadily.

“Don’t worry guys, there’s blue sky right over there!” a volunteer yells. I hope it makes over here.


Review: Surly Moonlander

Review: Surly Moonlander

By John Herron

When I heard I would be getting a Surly Moonlander for the winter, I couldn’t wait for the “snow bike” (and the snow) to arrive. Sadly, we had an eerily snowless winter in 2011-2012. Fortunately, I’ve come to understand that the Moonlander is a “fatbike” not just a “snow bike.” And that Roger Rabbit cartoon tires are just as fun on sand, ice, and slime as they are in snow.


Ride report: Norco Sight and Range 650b

Ride report: Norco Sight and Range 650b

By Adam Newman

It can take years to design and develop a bike from scratch, as Norco has done with the Sight and Range 650b platforms, so neither design is a quick adaptation of an existing bike to catch the 650b wave expected to crest in 2013. Despite retaining Norco’s tried and true suspension design and other technologies, not a single frame tube is carried over from the 26-inch bike.


Breck Epic Stage 1: Pennsylvania Creek

Breck Epic Stage 1: Pennsylvania Creek

By Montana Miller, 

Three minutes into the race, climbing up Boreas Pass, my calves are locking up. It feels like there’s a baseball embedded in each leg. Damn my meathead friends for making me climb a 14er two days before the race.

The top single speed guys are gone. The neutral start isn’t very neutral. I forgot how hard it is to race at elevation. The people that live here are just spinning away. Bastards.

Down some single track, off my bike, hiking up a steep section of jeep road. One of my Neanderthal friends from Pittsburgh is behind me.


Breck Epic – Checking into the Single Speed Frat House

Breck Epic – Checking into the Single Speed Frat House

By Montana Miller,

On the last day of Breck Epic, the fastest single speeder gets to shave his pubes. The slowest single speeder gets glue those pubes to his face.

I’ll be racing all week, and posting updates and results here. I really hope I don’t lose. I already have a beard.

A couple weeks ago, I headed out of Pennsylvania. I’ve been on the road traveling around Colorado, riding everyday and trying to adjust to the altitude.


From Repack to Rwanda – Mountain bike history on display

From Repack to Rwanda – Mountain bike history on display

A 1983 Cunningham R1 built in Fairfax, Calif., for Charlie’s future wife, multiple NORBA champion Jacquie Phelan. Weight is 27 lbs.

By Gary J. Boulanger


Review: Jamis Bossanova

Review: Jamis Bossanova

By Karl Rosengarth


Review: Singular Peregrine

Review: Singular Peregrine

By Matt Kasprzyk

I’ve been searching for a bike that could handle miles of urban streets as well as dirt—a bike that could endure the abuse of rough gravel roads and provide me with the freedom to explore.


Issue #165 on newsstands now!

Issue #165 on newsstands now!

In this issue

From the outside looking in

By Abram Eric Landes and Eric Benjamin

We’ve covered the Trans-Sylvania Epic and Dirty Kanza 200 before, but there’s something about these two races that keep us coming back.

What’s brewing in Bentonville

By Josh Patterson


Review: GT Performer

Review: GT Performer

By Adam Lipinski

The Performer 26 is a big wheeled version of the famous 80s Performer BMX that many of us lusted after as kids. The Performer 26 is one of two models in GT’s adult BMX line, the other is the $735 Interceptor, which features a butted chromoly frame and modern components. The Performer 26 is designed to be a functional blast from the past, built for riding in bike parks and general cruising around town.


Spotted online: Kona Taro long-travel hardtail 29er

Spotted online: Kona Taro long-travel hardtail 29er

know you’re thinking "Kona already has a long-travel hardtail, the Honzo." Well you’re on the right track, but we just spotted this aluminum brother on the Kona website (among the complete 2013 lineup). 


Spotted online: Kona Taro long-travel hardtail 29er

Spotted online: Kona Taro long-travel hardtail 29er

know you’re thinking "Kona already has a long-travel hardtail, the Honzo." Well you’re on the right track, but we just spotted this aluminum brother on the Kona website (among the complete 2013 lineup). 


Online retailer Backcountry.com now selling bikes and bike gear

Online retailer Backcountry.com now selling bikes and bike gear

After what can be deemed as no less than a 15-year oops, the climbers, hikers, skiers, and, yes, cyclists, at Backcountry.com have finally acknowledged… their customers want bikes, too. Mountain, road, cyclocross, triathlon — without a full selection of bikes and bike gear on Backcountry, even the most truehearted Backcountry loyalists have been forced to celebrate New Bike Day at somebody else’s shop. Until now.


A special offer from a big fan

A special offer from a big fan

Actor Woody Harrelson was in our hometown of Pittsburgh recently shooting a movie, and a friend of Dirt Rag was tasked with taking the budding mountain biker on a few rides while he was here. When we found out he was in town, we sent him some copies of the magazine and a T-shirt. Now he’s returning the favor for Dirt Rag readers.


New Gear: Crank Bros. Iodine 29er wheelset

New Gear: Crank Bros. Iodine 29er wheelset

Crank Bros. didn’t just scale up its popular and eye-catching Iodine wheels when they decided to build a 29er version, they went back to the drawing board and built a whole new wheel with a redesigned rim profile.


Navigating peaks and valleys

Navigating peaks and valleys

By Matt Kaspryk, photo by Jaimee Fristedt.

It might sound really strange for me to admit this, but I think this is true for a lot of riders: my interest in mountain biking ebbs and flows – or has peaks and valleys, if you like.


Tackling the Chomolungma Challenge – 30,000 feet of descending

Tackling the Chomolungma Challenge – 30,000 feet of descending

By Justin Steiner, photo courtesy of Snowshoe Bike Park.


Trek 2013: New trail 29er hardtail, plus other changes across the line

Trek 2013: New trail 29er hardtail, plus other changes across the line

Trek sent us some details of the 2013 mountain bike line and the biggest news is the introduction of a trail-oriented hardtail 29er, the Stache. While not as extreme as bikes like the Kona Honzo or Diamondback Mason, it is still built around a 120mm fork, a 142×12 thru-axle, ISCG tabs, short chainstays, internal dropper post rounting, and a 2×10 drivetrain. There will be two trim levels available. 

Stache


Singlespeed USA invades Vermont

Singlespeed USA invades Vermont

By Ryan Thibault, courtesy of MTBVT.com,

This year SSUSA crash-landed in the posh resort town of Stowe, Vermont. Under the cover of darkness the singlespeeders crept in and by first light they were amassed. What ensued was a siege that small town New England has not seen the likes of since the Revolutionary War.


Race report and rider spotlight: Specialized Enduro at CO Freeride Festival

Race report and rider spotlight: Specialized Enduro at CO Freeride Festival

By Matt Weatherbee

For the last five years, Trestle Bike Park at Winter Park, Colorado, has played host to the mountain bike festival Crankworx Colorado. This year was the dawn of the Colorado Freeride Festival. Despite the lack of the Crankworx name, this year’s festival was as big as ever and did not disappoint the athletes or spectators.


24 tips for racing your first Leadville Trail 100

24 tips for racing your first Leadville Trail 100

By Ellen Hall

If you’re one of the lucky ones who will be at the starting line this year, there are less than two weeks to finish preparing for the Leadville Trail 100. I attempted the race in 2009, pulled out and called it a day as it started to thunder storm on my ride up the Powerline climb.


First look at Shimano’s new Zee group

Salsa details full 2013 bike lineup

Salsa details full 2013 bike lineup

We saw some of Salsa’s latest offerings earlier this week – see our first ride impression of the Beargrease – but today they laid it all out in the sun.

New bikes include aformentioned Beargrease, the Colassal – a disc-brake road bike, and the Warbird – a bike specifically designed for gravel racing. Changes come to nearly all the other models as well. Here’s some highlights:


Rising From Ashes: Rwanda’s Olympic MTB Glory

Rising From Ashes: Rwanda’s Olympic MTB Glory

Tom Ritchey participates in the first Wooden Bike Classic race in Rwanda, September 2006.

By Gary J. Boulanger


First Impression: Norco Aurum 2

First Impression: Norco Aurum 2

By Jon Pratt,

The Aurum 2 is Norco Bicycles’ entry level downhill bike offering. At a mere $1,000 more than an Aurum frame kit, this complete bike packs a lot of punch for the money. It’s also a significant upgrade from the Team DH model it replaced; with better square edge bump compliance, more efficient pedaling through increased chain growth, a reduction in brake jack, and a more easily tuned suspension.


Gravity Nationals weekend recap

Gravity Nationals weekend recap

By Justin Steiner,

USA Cycling’s Gravity Nationals weekend wrapped up Sunday at Beech Mountain, N.C., culminating in the men’s and women’s Pro downhill races to crown new national champions. Racers of all ages and ability levels traveled from all over the country to participate in four days of dual slalom and downhill racing. Even before on-sight registration closed Saturday afternoon, attendance was said to be up around 14 percent over last year with roughly 470 race registrations for the weekend. Here’s a day-by-day recap of the highlights.


Video: Spotted on the trail: Salsa full-suspension fatbike

Video: Spotted on the trail: Salsa full-suspension fatbike

We caught Salsa’s Mike Riemer on the trail with a very unusual bike beneath him…

Salsa Full-Suspension Fatbike from Dirt Rag Magazine on Vimeo.


It’s official: Intense readying Tracer and Carbine with 650b

It’s official: Intense readying Tracer and Carbine with 650b

The Tracer 275 is the latest offspring from the creative mind of designer/president, Jeff Steber. The idea to do the 275 came to Steber while he was traveling abroad. A few weeks later, he was riding the first prototype.


First ride: Salsa’s ‘racing’ fatbike, the Beargrease

First ride: Salsa’s ‘racing’ fatbike, the Beargrease

By Maurice Tierney,

Unveiled in Utah for the 2013 model year, the Beargrease is Salsa’s new lightweight racing fatbike. Those of you in southern latitudes may not know this but there’s actually lunatics out there who ride and even race bicycles on snow, and they need fat, fat tires to do so. Fatbikes, with their 3.8” and larger tires are gaining popularity for their floatation abilities over sand, snow, any any other surface for that matter.


First ride: Surly’s new Krampus, a ’29 plus’ with 3-inch tires

First ride: Surly’s new Krampus, a ’29 plus’ with 3-inch tires

By Maurice Tierney, wheelie photo by Matt Cacho.

With all the buzz over Surly’s new platform, I was quite excited to get a chance to ride one at Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah, where it was to be unveiled. I had seen the fuzzy, grainy spy photos and had some clues as to what was going on. I knew it involved yet another new tire size. What new trend were the folks in Minnesota cooking up now?


First look: Felt FX3 carbon cyclocross with disc brakes

First look: Felt FX3 carbon cyclocross with disc brakes

By Gary J. Boulanger,

The governing body for international bicycle racing gave the nod for disc brakes to be used on cyclocross bikes a couple years ago, but the development process to bring a carbon machine to market takes a while. Felt responded quickly, and now offers two carbon models, the F1X and F3X, to compliment its aluminum F65X model, carried over from 2012.


Whisky unveils thru-axle disc-brake road and cross forks

Whisky unveils thru-axle disc-brake road and cross forks

  

By Maurice Tierney,

Whisky Parts Co. just unveiled the first carbon fiber, disc-brake, thru-axle road and cyclocross forks here at the Saddledrive dealer event in Ogden, Utah.

Road? Cross? Thru-axle? Why yes, it is a stellar idea. Whisky’s mantra is is to make tough and durable parts, and these parts express that emotion rather well.


Video: Gravity Nationals course preview at Beech Mountain, N.C.

Video: Gravity Nationals course preview at Beech Mountain, N.C.

By Justin Steiner, photos by Justin Steiner and Emily Walley.

Balmy temperatures and threatening skies greeted riders from all over the country at Beech Mountain Resort yesterday for the opening day of this year’s Gravity National Championships.


First look: Felt’s 2013 FRD carbon 29er

First look: Felt’s 2013 FRD carbon 29er

By Gary J. Boulanger

Long before the larger bike companies took notice of carbon fiber 29er hardtails, the Irvine, California-based Felt Bicycles offered a small stable of models, and after a slow evolution of design and several international race victories, has poured heavy resources into revamping its flagship Nine line for 2013.


Felt brings redesigned 150mm Compulsion to America

Felt brings redesigned 150mm Compulsion to America

By Gary J. Boulanger

Originally introduced in Europe as a 26-inch wheeled aluminum long-travel machine, the 2013 Felt Compulsion is coming to America, and relies on a refined patented Equilink suspension platform, adding 10mm of rear suspension adjustability to its base of 150mm of travel.


A beginners guide to randonneuring

A beginners guide to randonneuring

Randonneuring is long-distance, unsupported, noncompetitive cycling within prescribed time limits. The events—called brevets—are 200km (13.5 hour time cut-off ), 300km (20 hours), 400km (27 hours), 600km (40 hours), and 1000km (75 hours). Grand Randonnées are 1200km and riders must finish in 90 hours or less.


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