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TSE Stage 7: Buekes takes stage as Bishop wins overall

TSE Stage 7: Buekes takes stage as Bishop wins overall

Photos by A.E. Landes photography,

Expectations that the final day of competition in the week-long 2012 NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag would be uneventful proved to be fanciful dreams of those at the top of the leader boards. The Men’s Open category saw aggressive racing from the gun while several in the Women’s field saw opportunities to attack the pace eased between the two front runners.


TSE Stage 6: Johnson demonstrates prowess on rocks of Tussey Ridge

TSE Stage 6: Johnson demonstrates prowess on rocks of Tussey Ridge

Tussey Mountain Trail. The crown jewel of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag. Stage 6 through Rothrock State Forest was intense. Thirty seven miles of beautiful trails surrounded in emerald green hues from the sea of ferns and the brilliant white of blossoming mountain laurel were the playground for the racers left in the TSEpic.

A four-mile neutral rollout added mileage to the stage, but warmed up the legs and it was all guns blazing off the start as the final men’s podium is far from decided.


TSE: Johnson First Across Line; Bishop and Sornson Extend

TSE: Johnson First Across Line; Bishop and Sornson Extend

Raw Pennyslvania trails built by 19th century loggers and CCC workers in times long past were the theme for day five of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. RB Winter which played host for the race is one of PA’s beautiful State Parks – a spring-fed lake surrounded by lush green foliage and dark pine forest in an elevated valley and served as the start location for a 25 mile course of "old school" mountain biking.


TSE: The hardest part of racing is not racing, by Vicki Barclay

TSE: The hardest part of racing is not racing, by Vicki Barclay

By Vicki Barclay,

May – a beautiful month for bike racing and bike riding. People are signing up for events left, right and center. Me? I’m starting to think of May as my bike-crashing month.


Preparing for the Dirty Kanza: Holding the Fire

Preparing for the Dirty Kanza: Holding the Fire

By Tim Ek, Photos by Imaginegnat.com,

The phrase, “Dirty Kanza 200” causes an involuntary physiological response within me. I wish I could control the butterflies’ fluttering wings in my belly, but I can’t. I even call on race experience in an effort to quell the quiet storm that’s gathering deep inside me, but it’s quickly trumped by memories.


TSE Stage 4: Bishop takes time, Haywood makes it three for four on Allegrippis Trails

TSE Stage 4: Bishop takes time, Haywood makes it three for four on Allegrippis Trails

"Nuclear."

That’s the word Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) used to describe the pace during the Raystown stage, Stage 4 of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag. Only 25 seconds separated Bishop from Barry Wicks (Kona Bikes) at the start of the day. By the end that lead had ballooned to more than six and a half minutes.


Preparing to battle the gravel – Dirty Kanza 200 preview

Preparing to battle the gravel – Dirty Kanza 200 preview

By Emily Brock,

Kansas is stranger country than most of us are willing to admit. In 1541 the Spanish conquistador Coronado marched a small army across its scorching midsummer plains, searching for gold in the Land of Quivira. He found nothing. On the dusty plains of central Kansas, Coronado finally lost hope of ever discovering cities of gold. He turned his men around and trudged back again, retreating across that dry indifferent landscape.


TSE:  Wicks Claws Backs Seconds; Haywood Claims Second Win on Coburn Stage

TSE: Wicks Claws Backs Seconds; Haywood Claims Second Win on Coburn Stage

Forty seven miles and more than 5,000 feet of elevation gain on wide open gravel, paved and dirt roads made for a fast and attack-fueled Stage 3 at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. The attacks came early and often and left the men’s field strewn across the Pennsylvania countryside.


Mid-week update from the Trans-Sylvania Epic

Mid-week update from the Trans-Sylvania Epic

By Karen Brooks,

We are having a great time here at the Trans-Sylvania Epic. Once again, Mike Kuhn and Ray Adams have put on a quality event, and I’m stoked to be here.

Eric is stoked about his high-viz glasses that ensure he stands out in photographs. 


We ride Magura’s new TS fork lineup

We ride Magura’s new TS fork lineup

By Jon Pratt,

This past week I found myself in familiar territory for Magura’s press camp; the Red Agave Resort in Sedona, Arizona, where Dirt Rag had spent Spring Break earlier this year. A world-class trail system literally starts in the resort’s backyard. Trails like Llama, Highline, Templeton/Baldwin, and Slim Shady, show you all that desert riding has to offer.


First impression: Jamis Dragon 650b

First impression: Jamis Dragon 650b

By Stephen Haynes, 

The steel framed Jamis Dragon 650b is an understated beast ready to take you on any quest you may have in store for it. Saddle up and sharpen your broad sword, this bike is ready for adventure.


TSE Stage 2: Wicks takes stage win, narrows gap to Bishop, Sornson grabs women’s GC lead.

Keith Bontrager after Stage 2 of the Trans-Sylvania Epic

Bald Eagle Prologue Launches Year Three of Trans-Sylvania Epic

Bald Eagle Prologue Launches Year Three of Trans-Sylvania Epic

Barry Wicks of Team Kona trails Bishop by one minute after the first day of racing.

Photos by AELandes


Keith Bontrager on preparing for the Trans-Sylvania Epic

First impressions: Scott Spark 29 RC

First impressions: Scott Spark 29 RC

By Eric McKeegan

Prep Time For Trans-Sylvania Epic is almost over. I’m still debating clothing choices, getting nutrition squared away and deciding on using bottles versus a hydration pack. I’ve been fortunate not to worry too much about bike choice though: Scott was kind enough to send me a Spark 29 RC to ride and race.


SRAM readying new XX1 drivetrain with single chainring, 11-speeds

SRAM readying new XX1 drivetrain with single chainring, 11-speeds

Just in time to give us something to talk about over the weekend, SRAM sent out a notice that they will be releasing a new drivetrain this summer dubbed XX1, designed around a single front chainring and an 11-speed cassette. 


Another Dirt Fest in the books

Another Dirt Fest in the books

By Josh Patterson

The dust has settled from the third annual Dirt Fest. The demo crews have packed their bikes and headed to the next town; music no longer echoes through the woods; and the local ground squirrel population is breathing a collective sigh of relief; as are we at the office, as we do our best to recover from the weekend’s festivities.


Epic Teams are hugely popular at 2012 Trans-Sylvania Epic

Epic Teams are hugely popular at 2012 Trans-Sylvania Epic

Epic Teams are the fastest growing category at this year’s NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic Presented by Dirt Rag and for good reason. The fun, team approach and the complete customization of the week afforded by this choice has numbers tripling in this category in just one year.


North American Enduro Tour returns for second year

North American Enduro Tour returns for second year

The 2012 North American Enduro Tour (N.A.E.T.) is back and going bigger in its second year to gather athletes at many of the continent’s best race venues for the rapidly growing mountain bike discipline of Enduro racing.


POC Speed Zone Awards Fastest DH Riders at Mountain States and Eastern States Cup

First Look: Foundry Broadaxe 29er

Review: Slingshot DD-M

Review: Slingshot DD-M

By Adam Newman

Let me start by saying this: if you’re going to ride this bike, you better have nice teeth and a strong neck, because you’re going to be doing a lot of smiling and nodding when your riding buddies start asking you where the cable is.


We’re at Dirt Fest – Come join us!

We’re at Dirt Fest – Come join us!

The time has come: we’re setting up shop at Dirt Fest, our annual mountain bike festival at Raystown Lake, Pa. 

The vendors are setting up, demo bikes are being prepped and the beer is on ice. 

If we’re not around much in the next few days, now you know why. 


Review: Fox Van 36 FIT RC2

Review: Fox Van 36 FIT RC2

By Josh Patterson, photo Justin Steiner

Ongoing refinements in air spring technology have made coil springs an increasingly rare commodity these day. For Fox Racing Shox, the long-travel realm is the last bastion of the coil-sprung fork. The Van series comes in 160mm (tested) and 180mm flavors and is designed for all-mountain and park riding.


Review: Magura Thor T150 fork

Review: Magura Thor T150 fork

By Karl Rosengarth, photo by Justin Steiner


Huge battle looms for ladies at Trans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag

Readers Write: Massanutten race recap and photo gallery

Readers Write: Massanutten race recap and photo gallery

Editor’s note: From time to time we get submissions from readers about their bikes, their rides, or any other type of cycling-related stories. Some we chose to share with other readers online or in the magazine. Got a story you’d like to share? Send it to editor@dirtragmag.com.

By Robert Lewis, photos by Ian McAlexander / ITMexposures.com,


President George W. Bush joins in on W100 Wounded Warrior ride

President George W. Bush joins in on W100 Wounded Warrior ride

No matter which end of the political spectrum you fall on, you have to respect former President George W. Bush’s ability to tear up a trail. It’s quite possible he was the most physically fit president we’ve ever had. 


Win prizes and help charity with the Cycle Burn Challenge

Review: Syncros freeride/downhill wheelset

Issue 163 has shipped!

Issue 163 has shipped!

Issue #163 has left the printer and is on its way to subscribers and newsstands now.

In this issue

2012 North American Handmade Bicycle Show, By Marie Autrey

There’s more to NAHBS than just eye-candy. The show is also about pushing the limits of design and fabrication. This year we chose to highlight the bikes that we most wanted to ride.

Access Action – Back to the Wild, By Frank Maguire


‘Reveal the Path’ world premiere May 31 in Minneapolis

‘Reveal the Path’ world premiere May 31 in Minneapolis

Join in as the creators of "Ride the Divide" take you on an adventure that will leave you with an eager desire to chart your own course to far away lands or simply to discover with eyes wide open what’s right around the bend.


Assault on the Trans-Sylvania Epic, with a Cannondale Scalpel

Assault on the Trans-Sylvania Epic, with a Cannondale Scalpel

by Karen Brooks

The Trans-Sylvania Epic stage race was so much fun last year—in that wonderful suffering kind of way—that I couldn’t wait to sign up again for 2012. Fortunately, Dirt Rag is now a presenting sponsor, so this event counts as “work.” Both Eric and I will be racing the Solo category, and various other staff may also drop by to check things out, particularly on Monday for the Ride for the Trails happening during Stage Two.


Trans-Sylvania Epic pro mens field filling up fast with top talent

Trans-Sylvania Epic pro mens field filling up fast with top talent

In recent days pro men from across the United States have finalized their commitments to this year’s NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic and once again it will host the strongest field to assemble in North America for a mountain bike stage race.


Review: Santa Cruz Tallboy Aluminum

Riders Write: The story of Black Lightning

Riders Write: The story of Black Lightning

Editor’s note: We love to hear from readers who want to share their story with others. Got something you think Dirt Rag readers would be into? Send it to editor@dirtragmag.com.

By John Frachella


Access Action: Creating a public gravity park

Access Action: Creating a public gravity park

Words by Frank Maguire, photos and illustrations by Jon Pratt and Shea Ferrell of Flowline Trail Design


First Impression: Moots MX Divide

First Impression: Moots MX Divide

By Adam Newman

I didn’t have much warning when I found out the Moots demo truck was going to be in our neck of the woods this week, but luckily for me, riding bikes is kinda part of my job. So on Tuesday I rolled over to Pittsburgh’s popular North Park to find the big, blue and white Moots Sprinter van ready and waiting.


Review: Turner DHR

Review: Turner DHR

By Justin Steiner

Turner Bicycles lays claim to offering the world’s first production downhill bike, so it’s no surprise David Turner continues to push the limits of production race bikes. After all, the downhill market has evolved substantially since 1996 when Turner’s Afterburner delivered a whopping 3.6” of rear wheel travel.


Join us for Dirt Fest 2012

Join us for Dirt Fest 2012

Mark your calendars and cancel your other plans, Dirt Rag’s Dirt Fest is coming up quick. Join us May 18-20 at Raystown Lake, Pa., for three days of bikes, beers, and bigtime fun.


First Impression: Niner Air 9 RDO

U.S. Grand Prix of Mountain Biking begins Friday

U.S. Grand Prix of Mountain Biking begins Friday

The 2012 US Grand Prix of Mountain Biking is set to make its official debut Friday in the picturesque town of Port Angeles, Washington. From April 26-29, the Grand Prix in conjunction with the NW Cup, is set to host one of this year’s most highly anticipated races on US soil.


Sea Otter downhill – the right tool for the win

Sea Otter downhill – the right tool for the win

By Josh Patterson

Sea Otter’s downhill course is tame by World Cup standards; it’s short on elevation, devoid of large drops, and lacks technical terrain. One racer described the course as “a single-slalom course on steroids.” This is not a dig at Sea Otter’s DH course, far from it. It’s oddball courses such as this one that challenge racers and team mechanics to re-evaluate their set-ups. For many gravity racers, both professional and amateur, the biggest challenge at Sea Otter is choosing the right bike.


Eastern States Cup announces race dates

First Impression: Spot Rocker Ti and Mavic CrossMax ST 29 wheels

First Impression: Spot Rocker Ti and Mavic CrossMax ST 29 wheels

By Eric McKeegan

Covering the Sea Otter classic can be a lot of work, but sometimes we’re able to slip away and get some riding… I mean, "product testing", done. I rode this setup in the Gran Fondo mountian bike ride.

Spot Brand Rocker Ti


Sea Otter 2012: New 29er, 650b and DH bikes from Norco

Sea Otter 2012: New 29er, 650b and DH bikes from Norco

By Eric McKeegan

Norco was showing off three new mountain bikes at Sea Otter this year; a new 29er platform, a 2012 Aurum DH bike, and the 160mm-travel 650b prototype.


Sea Otter 2012: New Knolly Endorphin

RockShox adds 650b, drops Dual-Air

Sea Otter 2012 tech roundup: Spotted at the show

Sea Otter 2012 tech roundup: Spotted at the show

By the Dirt Rag staff

Easton Havoc 35

Wider is better! That’s the trend in gravity-oriented handlebars. That’s all well and good, but wider bars put even more stress on bars and stems. Easton found that the stresses produced by 800mm-wide bars were pushing the durability limits of the existing bars and stems. Easton’s all-new Havoc 35 addresses the issue by upping the handlebar/stem diameter from 31.8 to 35mm.


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