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Bicycle Fabrications unwraps its 2-D suspension design

Bicycle Fabrications unwraps its 2-D suspension design

By Josh Patterson, photos by Justin Steiner and Maurice Tierney.

In issue #163 we covered five of the most interesting bikes of this year’s North American Handbuilt Show. Hank Matheson of Bicycle Fabrication had this downhill prototype on display. It caught our eye because it stood in such stark contrast to the rows of glossy, finished frames. That, and because it appeared that a significant portion of the suspension relied on old bicycle inner-tubes and electrical tape…


Life as a privateer racer – Windham World Cup

Life as a privateer racer – Windham World Cup

By Karl Rosengarth and Jon Pratt

Leif Lorenzen of Croton On Hudson, N.Y., has dreamed about competing in a World Cup event ever since he started downhill racing in 1999. In 2012 his dream came true.

Lorenzen was one of six discretionary selections who represented the USA in the Men’s DH event at the Windham World Cup (along side riders who earned enough World Cup points for automatic selection).


Ventura Park Pump Track opens in Northeast Portland

Ventura Park Pump Track opens in Northeast Portland

Portland Design Works and the Northwest Trail Alliance recently to announce the grand opening of the Ventura Park Pump Track in Northeast Portland. The facility is the latest effort by the NWTA to increase access to and awareness for mountain biking in the Portland region. Late last year PDW donated $4,500 to the NWTA and Portland Parks and Recreation to pay for construction of the track.


Mondraker readying Forward Geometry with zero-length stem

Mondraker readying Forward Geometry with zero-length stem

We’ve been seeing the pictures online for a while, but it looks like Mondraker‘s Forward Geometry concept with a handlebar that mounts directly over the fork is ready for production. 


Capture inspiring moments and help raise $100k to protect the outdoors

Capture inspiring moments and help raise $100k to protect the outdoors

CLIF Bar’s Meet the Moment program invites outdoor enthusiasts to inspire and be inspired, empowering them to Protect the Places We Play by shar


Like to get high? Mountain Creek opens 50-foot BagJump

Like to get high? Mountain Creek opens 50-foot BagJump

Mountain Creek Bike Park continues to step up its game with the opening of the 50-foot BagJump air bag. Bike Park guests can now go big with confidence and dial in their tricks within the safety of the BagJump landing pad. The BagJump product has proven to be popular with athletes of all ability levels from beginners who are just getting started to seasoned professionals looking to push the limits of the sport.


UCI releases 2013 schedule – no Windham stop

UCI releases 2013 schedule – no Windham stop

We had such a great time in Windham this year that we were pretty disappointed to see it wasn’t included in the 2013 UCI World Cup schedule. Looks like we might be driving a bit further to Mont Sainte Anne…

There’s also word that there may be a stop in China, but those dates have not been set. That would be big news for sure. 

2013 UCI DH Schedule


Review: Naked Loonie singlespeed

Review: Naked Loonie singlespeed

By Karen Brooks

You may know Sam Whittingham or his brand Naked Bicycles & Design by the award-winning bikes he’s shown at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Whittingham won the 2011 People’s Choice Award for an ultra-clean and minimalist singlespeed dubbed the Gentleman’s Scorcher. The Loonie 29er singlespeed Whittingham built for this test recently won the Best Mountain Bike award at the 2012 show, still caked mud from the many miles I put on it.


Review: Gravity G29 singlespeed

Review: Gravity G29 singlespeed

By Lee Klevens, photos by Justin Steiner

The G29 is about as basic of a singlespeed mountain bike as you can get. Gravity is a small brand under the BikesDirect.com umbrella that strives to offer bikes with a bit more bang for the buck by making a name brand ride without the name brand price.


Dropper seatpost review roundup

Dropper seatpost review roundup

We rounded up six of the hottest dropper seatposts on the market to see how a diverse set of engineering principles is helping more riders than ever before get down.

Crankbrothers Joplin 4

Tested by Josh Patterson


First look: 2013 Scott Genius 650b and 29er

First look: 2013 Scott Genius 650b and 29er

By Eric McKeegan

2013 Genius

Scott’s Genius line of trail/all-mountain bikes is now a decade old and after 10 years of design and development, they surprised the heck out of me by dumping the 26-inch wheel size and creating two new platforms from the ground up. The Genius 900 series is the 29-inch bike, and the Genius 700 series, pictured above, is 27.5-inch (650b).


Commencal unveils 2013 lineup with new hardtail models

Commencal unveils 2013 lineup with new hardtail models

Commencal sent us a look at its 2013 lineup today, and it includes several new bikes.

First up is the El Camino range, which includes 26- and 29-inch models, as well as a 26-inch, 120mm full suspension model and women’s specific models. Build kits are at the value end of the spectrum. 


Can’t make it to France? Watch Crankworx Les 2 Alpes online

Can’t make it to France? Watch Crankworx Les 2 Alpes online

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes will launch July 9-15 and a partnership with Red Bull Media House will share the action from France with the rest of the world. Red Bull Media House will power live webcasts of three events; the SRAM Dual Speed & Style on July 12, the Teva Best Trick Showdown on July 13 and the Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle presented by iXS on July 14.


NEMBAfest at Kingdom Trails an action-packed affair

First Impression: Devinci Wilson SL

First Impression: Devinci Wilson SL

By Justin Steiner

We’re rolling into the heart of summer, and I’m happy to report I’ve had a good bit of saddle time in on my Devinci Wilson SL test bike. I’ve got some east coast racing in, as well as a trip to Whistler bike Park to sample Shimano’s latest Saint goodies.


IMBA taps Santa Fe, N.M., to host its 2012 World Summit

IMBA taps Santa Fe, N.M., to host its 2012 World Summit

The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) chose Santa Fe for its 2012 World Summit, October 10-13, 2012. Coming to town will be 400 of the most dedicated, experienced, and well-traveled mountain bikers in the country including national cycling journalists, bike manufactures, and IMBA members.


Spotted in the pits – Windham World Cup tech report

Spotted in the pits – Windham World Cup tech report

By Karl Rosengarth and Jon Pratt

Fox Racing Shox iCD

It’s been spotted quite a few times already this year, but now we’re getting more details on Fox’s iCD electronically controlled suspension system. Both Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox) and Catharine Pendrel (Luna Chix) have been running the iCD on the World Cup circuit this year, but at Windham there were a total of nine riders on the system.

The battery-powered system electronically switches between three modes:


SRAM details new XX1 11-speed drivetrain

SRAM details new XX1 11-speed drivetrain

Now that cassettes have grown to wider ranges than ever before, the popularity of single-chainring setups has grown exponentially. Running a single front ring means fewer dropped chains, less shifting hassles, more tire clearance and better suspension design opportunities.

Realizing the evolution of dedicated mountain bike drivetrains, SRAM has pulled the wraps of its 11-speed, single chainring group, XX1. 


Windham World Cup racing recap: Americans represent on home soil

Windham World Cup racing recap: Americans represent on home soil

Once again American Aaron Gwin was on the top step of the Elite Men’s DH podium.

By Jay de Jesus, photo by Jon Pratt


Windham World Cup: Qualifying complete, Gwin on top again

Bike check: What they’re riding at Windham

Bike check: What they’re riding at Windham

By Jon Pratt and Karl Rosengarth,

We’re hanging in the lift line at Windham and scoping out the rides of both pros and amateur racers alike. We asked them about their setup and what the downhill course is like this year.

Rae Gandolf, Zanesville, Ohio


We’re in Windham, N.Y., for World Cup racing

We’re in Windham, N.Y., for World Cup racing

By Jay de Jesus, photo by Jon Pratt

Thursday


Thomson details carbon, titanium bars, plus more

Thomson details carbon, titanium bars, plus more

Thomson posted on its blog today new details about its upcoming handlebars, the very first of the brands’ products to be made outside of Macon, Georgia. On their way this fall are carbon mountain bike bars, carbon road bars, titanium mountain bike bars, and aluminum downhill bars. Details are live now in the Thomson website.


Journey to the Mecca: Whistler Bike Park

Journey to the Mecca: Whistler Bike Park

By Justin Steiner, action photos courtesy of Sterling Lorence and Shimano.

Whistler Bike Park has long been the Mecca for gravity riders thanks to its lore as the end-all-be-all of downhill riding. I know, because my heart raced like a sugar-addled 4-year old when I learned I had been invited to Shimano’s 2013 Saint press launch there this year. Like most gravity riders, Whistler has been high, if not on top of my bucket list for quite some time.


Spotted online: Pinarello returns to mountain bikes

Spotted online: Pinarello returns to mountain bikes

The famed Italian bike brand may be best known for its road racing winning machines, but for 2013 it will be re-entering the mountain bike market with the Dogma XC, a carbon fiber hardtail 29er.

If you’ve seen the Dogma road bike, you know Pinarello loves to embrace unusal frame shapes. The Dogma XC is no different, with a unique seatstay clamp design that they say dissapates vibration.


Review: Canfield Nimble 9

Review: Canfield Nimble 9

By Josh Patterson

Canfield is a small, Utah-based company that has been building downhill and freeride bikes since 1999. Lance and Chris Canfield have four bikes in their current line, two of which are 29er hardtails with short chainstays and slack head angles.


Registration for 2013 Trans-Sylvania Epic p/b Dirt Rag now open

Registration for 2013 Trans-Sylvania Epic p/b Dirt Rag now open

Registration for the 2013 running of the Trans-Sylvania Epic stage race in State College, Pa., running May 26-June 1, 2013, is now open, and the first 50 spots are available at extra special pricing at TSEpic.com.


First look at new helmets from Kali Protectives

First look at new helmets from Kali Protectives

By Josh Patterson

The Avana, above, is Kali’s new all-mountain helmet. We reviewed the company’s popular Avita model in issue #156. One of our quibbles with the Avita was that it didn’t offer quite as much rear coverage as comparable models from other companies. Kali took this criticism to heart when designing the Avana. This new model offers more rear coverage and uses multiple foam densities to increase the helmet’s ability to dissipate energy upon impact.


RockShox Reverb gets longer travel option, Stealth routing

RockShox Reverb gets longer travel option, Stealth routing

As the popularity of dropper seatposts continues to rise, so too does the number of travel, diameter, and hose routing options.

Yesterday, RockShox unveiled the Reverb Stealth with 150mm of drop and internal hydraulic hose routing. It will also be available in a 34.9mm diameter, to accomdate more frames. The hose exits at the bottom of the post and mates to a Matchmaker compatible clamp. 


Evolution of a cover illustration

Evolution of a cover illustration

The illustration on the cover of Issue #164 was created by artist Chris B. Murray. Below you’ll see a series of sketches that he and Art Director Matt Kasprzyk worked on to finalize the design. You can see more of Murray’s work on his website.


Issue #164 now on sale!

Issue #164 now on sale!

Today is the official on-sale date of the latest and greatest issue of your favorite mountain bike magazine.

Cover illustration by Chris B. Murray.

Features

Ladies First, By Melanie Strong

But what began as a transparent effort to win the heart of a man turned into a lifelong passion. Thanks to the many men who are often the ones to teach us how to ride, but please let us pass.


Red Bull Media House, Outside Television join forces

Red Bull Media House, Outside Television join forces

Outside Television today announced a long-term programming partnership with Red Bull Media House that includes original series, films, and future productions involving Red Bull athletes and the two partners’ complementary television, print, online, mobile, and social media activities.


Hands on with Turner’s 650b full-suspension prototype – the Burner

Race recap: ‘Be careful what you wish for’, AKA, ‘The Stoopid 50’

Race recap: ‘Be careful what you wish for’, AKA, ‘The Stoopid 50’

Yes, that’s the trail. Not pictured are the rattlesnakes.

[Photos courtesy of Bob Popovich]

By Karen Brooks 


Hutchinson: New treads to shred

Hutchinson: New treads to shred

By Josh Patterson

Hutchinson is investing a lot of resources in developing its gravity-oriented tires. The French tire manufacturer now has full range of DH tires to suit most conditions. From top to bottom you see the Toro, an all-arounder, available in 2.5 and 2.35; the DZO, for wet and muddy courses; and the Squale, for dry and rocky conditions.

Note the stepped blocks on the DZO. These serve as guides for shaving the tread.


Gallery: Massanutten Hoo-Ha! Triple Crown XC race

Gallery: Massanutten Hoo-Ha! Triple Crown XC race

Below is a gallery from the 24th-annual Massanutten HOO-HA! Triple Crown XC races at Massanutten Resort near Harrisonburg, Virginia. More than 150 racers turned out for the Saturday Super D and Short Track events while even more people (250+) came out to race their bikes for the full race on Sunday.

These photos are by Ian McAlexander. See more photos at ITMexposures.com.


Camelbak unveils new, redesigned packs

Camelbak unveils new, redesigned packs

By Josh Patterson

Camelbak seems to be in a constant state of refinement. There’s always something that can be made lighter, more ergonomic, or easier to use. For example, last year’s Charge LR has been updated with a back-loading (Your back, that is.) reservoir. This allowed the company to up the cargo capacity significantly.


First ride report: Niner’s redesigned S.I.R. 9 steel hardtail

First ride report: Niner’s redesigned S.I.R. 9 steel hardtail

By Josh Patterson

Last year about this time Niner Bikes unveiled its first carbon full suspension platform, the Jet 9 RDO (read our review in issue #163). This year Niner took time to reinvest in one of the first frames in its line-up, the geared and singlespeed-compatible S.I.R. 9. The company felt steel bikes were being equated with retro, which seemed unfair to such a versatile frame material.


Recommendo: Burger King bacon caramel sundae

Recommendo: Burger King bacon caramel sundae

By Adam Newman

You read that right. My productivity for the day stopped dead in its tracks when I found out about this brilliantly mad concoction. If you’ve ever dipped your french fries in your Frosty (and who hasn’t?) you already know the delicious combination of salty and sweet that Burger King is going for here. 


First Impression: Lenz Sport Mammoth

First Impression: Lenz Sport Mammoth

By Jon Pratt

Devin Lenz has a history of producing some great bikes. Inheriting its DNA from the Behemoth, the first long travel all-mountain 29er, and the Leviathan 29 x 4.0, the Lenz Sport Mammoth is designed to tackle technical terrain while maintaining a frame weight capable of that all-day epic ride.


First Impression: Focus Raven 3.0 29er

First Impression: Focus Raven 3.0 29er

By Adam Newman

Focus is a German brand that has been making a large push into the U.S. market in the past few years with its range of aluminum and carbon road, mountain, and cyclocross bikes. In fact, the company’s first bikes were a range of mountain bikes in the early ‘90s after being founded by Three-time cyclocross World Champion Mike Kluge.


First impression: All-new Shimano Saint M820 group

Review: Norco Truax

Review: Norco Truax

By Eric McKeegan,


New gear in the Dirt Rag store

New gear in the Dirt Rag store

We’re serving up some fresh merchandise for summer, including a new (but kind of old) T-shirt design and pint glasses with the fearless raccoon who first appeared at Dirt Fest. 


Riders Write: The Fire of Dirty Kanza

Riders Write: The Fire of Dirty Kanza

By Tim Ek,

This race just won’t leave me alone. I poured over its details beforehand and now that it’s done I can’t stop replaying the scenes in my mind. I close my eyes at night and there I am back on Battle Creek Road, trying to remain calm as I scan the flint rock under my feet for a lost tool. When I do fall asleep, the dreams I have are visions of leaders slipping away from me as I succumb to another flat tire. 


First Impression: Pivot Mach 5.7 Carbon

First Impression: Pivot Mach 5.7 Carbon

By Karl Rosengarth

The Mach 5.7 is Pivot Cycles‘ vision of the ultimate 26-inch trail bike. The company seems to have hit their mark, as the do-it-all Mach 5.7 is Pivot’s top-selling model. With 145mm (5.7 inches) of proven dw-link rear travel and a sexy carbon frame, the Mach 5.7 Carbon certainly has a lot going for it.


Anatomy of a gravel race bike: my Dirty Kanza 200 rig

Anatomy of a gravel race bike: my Dirty Kanza 200 rig

By Josh Patterson,

One of the things I enjoy most about endurance gravel events is that they challenge participants to innovate. Gravel racing is a new and evolving niche. Companies are starting to take note, but for the most part it’s about improvisation and ingenuity.


First Impression: 2×2 Cycles Motorcycle Bicycle Rack

First Impression: 2×2 Cycles Motorcycle Bicycle Rack

By Justin Steiner,

I’ve written previously about the extensive crossover between cycling and motorcycling. The logical extension of these shared passions is combining the two. Like many, I’ve often daydreamed about being able to commute to and from a mountain bike ride on my moto.


200 miles of bad roads – Dirty Kanza 200 race report

200 miles of bad roads – Dirty Kanza 200 race report

By Josh Patterson, photos by Josh Patterson and Corey Godfrey 


Another Keith Bontrager dispatch from Trans-Sylvania Epic

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