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Introducing two more 2012 bikes from Kona

Introducing two more 2012 bikes from Kona

Last week we brought you the scoop on two new 29ers from Kona, and today it’s a pair of gravity-oriented sleds, the redesigned Operator and the all-new Entourage.

The Operator


Cable to hydraulic disc brake adapters ready

Cable to hydraulic disc brake adapters ready

Spotted on the Ahrens Bicycles blog: the cable to hydraulic disc brake adapters developed by Ahrens and 324 Labs are now available for pre-order.


Ticks suck!

Ticks suck!

By Gregory A. Cummins, D.O., M.S. American Board Internal Medicine Fellow Candidate, American Academy of Wilderness Medicine

Illustrations by Andy Jones


Review: SRAM XO group

Review: SRAM XO group

By Eric McKeegan

Spreadsheets. I hate them. But when I sat down and made one to compare the SRAM XO 2×10 drivetrain’s gear ratios to a standard 3×9, a few things really stood out to me. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s get an overview before delving deeply into the netherworld of gear charts.


Catching up with Thomas ‘Hurl’ Everstone

New all-mountain bikes from Transition, Commencal

New all-mountain bikes from Transition, Commencal

Transition Bandit 29

Transition Bikes recently took the wraps off their Bandit 29, an agressive, full-suspension all-mountain bike.

The rear triangle features Transition’s new internchangable dropouts with allow for a 142mm thu-axle or a 135mm quick release. The swingarm moves through 130mm of travel and the tapered headtube is designed around a 140mm fork, most likely the new Fox 34.


GT shows off new models for 2012

GT shows off new models for 2012

By Josh Patterson

The Zaskar 100

The Zaskar 100 is new for 2012 and replaces the Marathon in the GT lineup. GT designed this bike as a race-ready bike for the weekend warrior looking for a performance-oriented ride with that requires a minimum of maintenance.


Vassago Black Label frames now available

Vassago Black Label frames now available

Vassago may specialize in making heavy-duty steel mountain bikes, but they wanted to offer their customers something a little bit more refined. Enter Black Label.


First look at two new 29er trail bikes from Kona

First look at two new 29er trail bikes from Kona

The Satori

Kona said its US sales force was asking for something bigger. Something badder. Something that could handle tough terrain without sacrificing ridabilty.


First Impression: Kona CoilAir

SRAM offers DH-specific XO components

SRAM offers DH-specific XO components

Since downhill bikes, especially in racing, are such specialized machines, it’s no surprise that SRAM is now offering a downhill-specific group of components in its race-worthy XO line.

Included is the first carbon-fiber downhill crankset, a chainguide and a downhill-specific rear derailleur, designed for the close-ratio cassettes used in DH and 4-cross.

Prices are equal to those of the standard XO components.


Fox Racing Shox truck and trailer stolen

New shock, fork tuning options from Fox

New shock, fork tuning options from Fox

By Josh Patterson

Fox is introducing two changes for 2012: one that makes their suspension forks even smoother, and one that makes their shocks more adjustable.

Up front, Fox forks will be using new low friction wiper seals manufactured by SKF.  Aftermarket seals are now available to for your fork.


New packs from CamelBak

New packs from CamelBak

By Josh Patterson

Charge LR


New carbon Niner Jet 9 RDO ride report

New carbon Niner Jet 9 RDO ride report

The Jet 9 RDO has 100mm of rear suspension travel. Expect the alloy version to follow suit for 2012.

By Josh Patterson


First Impression: Bronto Willy singlespeed

Foundry crafts tough carbon frames

Foundry crafts tough carbon frames

By Adam Newman

Carbon fiber isn’t just for risk-averse racers any more. That’s the ethos behind Foundry Cycles, a new brand specializing in hard-working carbon frames for hard-working riders.


Review: Protec Cyphon helmet

Review: Protec Cyphon helmet

By Eric McKeegan

The Protec Cyphon helmet is a crossbreed, combining genes from skate and XC helmets with a hard shell bonded to an EPS foam liner. Make no mistake; at 500g you won’t see this on the head of whatever doper is winning XC races this year, although even on multi-hour rides I never found myself thinking about the extra 250 grams I was carting around on my head, but I was happy for the increased coverage and non-roadie squid looks.


Waiting for the Phoenix to rise

Waiting for the Phoenix to rise

By Matt Kaspryk

You ever get really excited about something? Like when you get a little taste of a great new thing and can’t wait to try it again! You know, like what you got from those guys for free that first time. Yeah, a thing like that is what I’m talking about!


First Impression: Trek Session 8

Opening the Green Mountain Forest

Opening the Green Mountain Forest

It took years of waiting and countless hours of volunteer work, but the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont is finally welcoming mountain bike riders.

Cyclone Trail, Waitsfield, Vermont.

By Patrick Kell

Photos by Ryan Thibault courtesy of MTBVT.COM


Life after traumatic brain injury

Life after traumatic brain injury

Editor’s note: In “Brain Sprain” (issue #153) we examined the after-effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Post-Concussive Syndrome (PCS) from a medical standpoint. That’s only half the story—Jason Carter shares his first-hand account of living with the effects of severe head trauma.

by Jason Carter

Illustrations by Kako


Alex Pro booted by sponsors for rioting

Alex Pro booted by sponsors for rioting

Professional mountain biker Alex Prochazka, who goes by the name Alex Pro, seems to have thrown away his career after several photos of him rioting in the aftermath of the Vancouver Canucks’ loss in the Stanley Cup Finals surfaced online.


Behold: Niner’s new carbon full-squish

Riding the all-new Shimano XT

Ventana El Saltamones gets around

Ventana El Saltamones gets around

By Eric McKeegan

I recently finished the print review of the El Saltamones, and never got around to creating a first impression blog. Maybe it was the difficulty in building it up (took more than six months to get all the parts together), but when I finally got it running I just wanted to ride, not talk about it any more. So how about some photos instead?

Anyway, here it is after a bit of mud at DirtFest.


Under test: Breezer Cloud 9 Pro

Under test: Breezer Cloud 9 Pro

By Maurice Tierney

What better way to “Get the Skinny” on a test bike than a ride with it’s creator? Joe Breeze is a legend of mountain biking and we’re fortunate to have an office nearby his home turf of Marin County, Cali-for-nye-aye.

Joe is a super-nice guy and it’s a super-pleasure to take a ride with him on his home turf.


A detailed look at new Whisky Parts

A detailed look at new Whisky Parts

Quality Bicycle Products, the bicycle industry’s largest wholesale distributor and parent company of Surly and Salsa bikes, pulled the cover off their new carbon fiber forks and accessories brand, Whisky Parts Co.

In late July they will be offering a complete line of high-performance road, cross and mountain bike forks, with carbon handlebars, seatposts and bottle cages following in the fall.


Riding the 2012 Mavic Crossmax wheels

Riding the 2012 Mavic Crossmax wheels

By Adam Newman

Mavic doesn’t design wheels, they design wheel systems, with each component – hubs, spokes and rims – crafted in conjunction to achieve the ideal ride qualities. The 26-inch Crossmax wheel lineup has been completely redesigned for 2012, with three wheelsets with similar technologies but very different ride characteristics.


TSE: A learning experience

TSE: A learning experience

Vicki Barclay held on to finish third, that’s her second from the right.

By Vicki Barclay


Waking Up, or Going Back to Sleep

Waking Up, or Going Back to Sleep

(Or, ‘Dicky Stole My Title’)

By Karen Brooks

Josh asked for a “look back” kind of post about the Trans-Sylvania Epic, and I’m glad he did – it’s fun and therapeutic to evaluate such an undertaking after a week’s worth of reflection.


Mavic redesigns Crossmax wheelsets

Mavic redesigns Crossmax wheelsets

By Adam Newman

For the past decade or so, Mavic has moved its thinking that bicycle wheels are made from individual components to a philosophy of "wheel systems". Since a change to any piece – hubs, spokes and rim – affects the other, the French manufacturer designs and builds wheels with all the components working together to provide the best ride.


We’ve got our hands on 2012 Shimano XT

We’ve got our hands on 2012 Shimano XT

By Justin Steiner

Shimano’s venerable XT group is turning 30. To celebrate, Shimano has infused the groupo with a host of new technology trickled down from last year’s completely redesigned XTR. We briefly covered the group’s public introduction at Sea Otter, and I’m at Lake Tahoe to put the new group through its paces. Shimano invited a group of us media hacks out to take what may well be the first public rides aboard the 2012 group.


Review: Intense Tracer 29

Rich Dillen: Back to reality

Rich Dillen: Back to reality

By Rich Dillen

Trying to put a finger on the horns of my dilemma without getting pricked


Yeti’s Chris Conroy on the SB-66

Yeti’s Chris Conroy on the SB-66

Yeti’s president  discusses the new Switch suspension platform and the new SB-66 all-mountain bike

By Josh Patterson

First off, there were rumors and speculation about a new suspension platform being developed but Yeti did a surprisingly good job of keeping things under wraps. How hard is it to keep something like this a secret in this day and age?


Summertime at Dirt Rag HQ

Summertime at Dirt Rag HQ

By Shannon Mominee

Summertime at DRHQ is a special season around here. Our house/office goes from freezing cold to hot and humid. Stink bugs, ants, spiders and the rest of the insects are in full force. Our resident bird couple make non-stop food runs from their nest built into the brick of the patio, and somewhere around here the black snake is killing vermin that wander on to its territory. At least it hasn’t found its way into the house again.


Knowledge through suffering

Knowledge through suffering

The complete women’s field at the Trans-Sylvania Epic. Looney is at far-right.

By Sonya Looney

Transylvania Epic. It ended only 3 days ago. In some ways, it feels like it’s been weeks since I said a heartfelt goodbye to our crew at Boyscout Basecamp and in other ways, I feel the pain like the swollen lump on my leg with every footstep as a reminder of the joy and the suffering.


First Impression: Jones diamond frame

First Impression: Jones diamond frame

By Justin Steiner

Not all that long ago, owning one of Jeff Jones’ bikes was completely out of the question for most of us. Between the high price necessitated by one man lovingly and artfully crafting beautiful titanium bikes out of his garage and the multi-year waiting list, very few lucky individuals were able to experience the Jones philosophy of how a bike should ride.


NiteRider: Same price, twice as bright

NiteRider: Same price, twice as bright

NiteRider has been lighting your ride since 1989, and now thanks to the rapidly advancing LED technologies on the market, they’ve been able to effectively double the light output of their lineup for 2012 while keeping prices steady.

At the top of the lineup is the new Pro 3000 LED. Yes, you read that correctly, 3,000 lumens. The six LEDs can be fully programmed by the owner to customize brightness, flashing and settings. Run times range from 90 minutes to 36 hours(!) 812 grams. $699.


Brain Fart: This is awesome

Brain Fart: This is awesome

I’m terribly late with a lot of web content, and our illustrious web editor is probably rightfully miffed at me. I am sorry and I am not awesome with deadlines.

But you know what is awesome? This is awesome. My four-year-old son, first ride on a bike with pedals. Was it wrong that I wanted to offer him a celebratory beer when we got home?


Review: Diamondback Sortie 3

Vicki Barclay’s most memorable stage

Review: SixSixOne Recon

Review: SixSixOne Recon

By Matt Kasprzyk

The Recon is a new in-mold helmet from 661 that caters to a seemingly growing market of mountain bikers hungry for trail protection at an XC weight. The sizing of the S/M I’ve tested seems to be on point with other manufactures and provided almost skate-style coverage of the sides and back.


NAHBS Spotlght: Alchemy Bicycle Co.

NAHBS Spotlght: Alchemy Bicycle Co.

Alchemy Bicycle Company had a short trip to make to the 2011 North American Handmade Bicycle Show in its native Austin, Texas. With no true speciality – except perfect fit – Alchemy can build road, mountain or cross bikes from steel, titanium and carbon fiber.

Listen to master builder James Flatman talk about his bikes with the widget below.


Rebecca Rusch goes to Plan B

Rebecca Rusch goes to Plan B

By Rebecca Rusch

Five days of the Trans-Sylvania Epic down and two more stages to go. I’m sitting solidly in 5th place in a super strong women’s field. I’m sort of OK with that, sort of not.


Brain Fart: Out and about (with kids)

Brain Fart: Out and about (with kids)

Odin enjoying his favorite outdoor pastime.

By Stephen Haynes


Review: Scott Scale 29er

Review: Scott Scale 29er

By Karl Rosengarth

The 2011 model-year marks the unveiling of Scott’s carbon fiber Scale 29er. Like its previously-released 26” brethren, the 29” Scale benefits from a major re-engineering that Adrian Montgomery, marketing/PR director of Scott USA, summed up.


First Impression: Airborne Goblin

Ice cold beer cures all

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