By Barry Wicks
Flat tires are starting to really cramp my style. One flat tire can be attributed to many things. Five in three days is a curse. I think I need to go down to the chapel by the river and make peace with the forest nymphs tonight.
By Karen Brooks
It’s the fourth day of the Trans-Sylvania Epic – humpday. Some of us have made it this far, but broken frames and broken dreams abound. A stomach virus has been creeping its way through the peloton, taking out contenders like Karen Potter, who was leading the women’s field until it got her. Our own Josh got it on Monday night and couldn’t start Tuesday. So far I seem to be lucky.
By Jeremiah Bishop (2010 and 2011 race winner)
The combination is really magic, I think; graham crackers, cheap ass, marshmallows from a run down gas station, some Hersheys bars, and of course fire.
Suppose fire makes a lot of things happen. The human rise to global domination and the improvement upon the cold graham cracker chocomallow sandwich…
It’s not the just racers who get nervous before the start of the Trans-Sylvania Epic. Co-promoter Mike Kuhn has his share of butterflies too.
By Mike Kuhn
The hardest part is just ahead. Lots of volume, lots of intensity, little time for rest. No time to stop. Less sleep. More stress. Go, go GO!
If you think this sounds exactly like the opposite of what athletes are supposed to do to bring about peak performance you’d be right.
By Karen Brooks
Josh, Dirt Rag editor, and I are now at the Seven Mountains Boy Scout Camp, nervously preparing for the start of the Trans-Sylvania Epic. We begin our adventure at three this afternoon with the opening prologue, a time trial of 10 miles. Josh’s wife Jamie is our directeur sportif.
By Justin Steiner
Here at DRHQ bikes boxes are constantly coming and going with some of the latest and greatest—and sometimes not-so-greatest—bicycles currently out on the market. I was personally pretty stoked to see Pivot’s Firebird show up at our door ready for my flogging.
Well, it was bound to happen eventually. Czech rider Jaroslav Kulhavy stormed to victory in the elite men’s cross country mountain bike World Cup in Dalby, Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom on Sunday, May 22.
This past weekend Whistler Mountain Bike Park opened for the season, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of the crews who worked tirelessly to get it ready. Check out this video of how it all came together.
Next up at Whistler, the Crud 2 Mud race on Sunday, May 29. Registration is open now.
Specialized has now joined the growing green movement with an Eco-Index initiative that will evaluate their products during design and production, and joining a carbon-fiber recycling program.
We spied with our little eye this disc-brake equipped prototype Specialized Crux at Sea Otter.
Can’t say we’re really surprised, since disc brakes have been gaining momentum in the cyclocross scene after they were allowed by the UCI for pro-level racing.
Look for a disc brake version of the Crux in showrooms this fall, along with other disc cyclocross bikes following.
Similar to what that other big company that starts with an "S" has done, SRAM has split its top-level XX brake lineup into two parallel systems, one for racing and one for more adventurous "trail" riding.
Here they are side-by-side for a comparison.
By Karl Rosengarth
Magura offers a wide range of suspension forks with a dizzying array of options, so I’ll focus on some global features and changes that run across their entire 2012 product line. Speaking of lineup, check out the list at the end of Magura’s 2012 fork offerings.
by Karl Rosengarth
Magura invited journalists to Sedona, AZ to try out some of the very first production samples of their all-new MT8 brakes, and to flog their 2012 Thor suspension fork.
By Hans Rey and photos by Andy McCandlish
By Josh Patterson
When Ibis returned from the grave in 2005, they did so with a new motto, “steel is real…heavy.” The new Ibis, once again fronted by founder Scot Nichol, is focused on all-carbon, all the time. Ibis doesn’t do model years and, as a company, is not quick to bring new products to market.
By Kyle Lawrence
SRAM could raise as much as $300 million in an intial public offering, according to Bicycle Retailer, after the company filed preliminary paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The number of shares and the prices have not been determined or disclosed, but it was revealed that the stock ticker would be "SRAM". The rapidly growing company reported net sales of $524.1 million in 2010, and has grown at a rate of about 16 percent annually in the past four years. The company estimates it holds about 15 percent of the $3.5 billion bicycle components market.
By Karl Rosengarth
Stan’s NoTubes will be at the DirtFest demo zone with a whole truckload of wheels for riders to demo. If you’re there, stop by and test ride a set to enter to win a pair of hoops to take home with you. They’ll have wheel sizes and axle types in every common size, so don’t worry about fitting them on your bike.
A dozen Race Face employees are back at work at their desks this week after the company’s new owner, Chris Tutton, purchased it out of receivership, Bicycle Retailer is reporting. Tutton is currently the director of OE sales at Easton-Bell and is the former vice president of sales at Race Face.
“We purchased everything, the trademarks, intellectual property, buildings, machines, raw material and inventory. We expect to ship Race Face product on Friday,” he said.
Belive it or not, not all builders at NAHBS specialize in road, track and touring bikes. Bicycle Fabrications‘ Hank Matheson builds some of the wildest and craziest downhill mountain bikes we’ve ever seen. Oh, and a pretty beach cruiser for his mom, too.
Listen to our interview with him with the widget below.
By Barry Wicks
By Sonya Looney
Transylvania. When we hear it, we think of Bram Stoker’s classic gothic horror, Dracula. In one month’s time, The Trans-Sylvania Epic will commence. While I don’t think there will be any vampires trying to suck my blood, the course over the week will be trying to suck the life out of me, but I will overcome.
That’s Local Fast Girl to you!
By Vicki Barclay
By Josh Patterson
This spring I had the privilege of pre-riding what will be the final stage of this year’s Trans-Sylvania Epic course. TSE promoters Mike Kuhn and Ray Adams led us out of the Seven Mountains Boy Scout Campground—which will be our home the weeklong event and where five of the seven stages will start and finish—and into the rock and root infested trails that surround State College, PA.
Building lugged steel mountain bikes isn’t easy. The fittings are rarely designed with mountain-friendly angles in mind. But Dave Hill of Victoria Cycles can bend steel to his whim, creating this retro-styled singlespeed mountain bike.
Learn more about Hill and his bikes in our interview with the widget below.
By Karen Brooks
This past weekend, a few of us Dirt Rag staffers traveled to Massanutten Resort in Virginia for the Massanutten YEE-HA! downhill race. This is a venerable race with a long history… in fact, the guy that makes it all happen, George Willetts, entertained us with tales from way back of lake jumps, rigid rigs with toeclips (and plenty of broken frames), and insane photos ending up in the Rag.
By Justin Steiner
As a northerner, Yankee if you will, I’m always stoked to head south for bicycle events, ‘cause you know you’ll be treated to some good ol’ Southern hospitality when you get there.
By Josh Patterson
Last year it was the Fisher Superfly 100. This year the Gary Fisher brand has been completely absorbed into the Trek mothership. The Superfly, along with other Fisher 29ers, is a now member of Trek’s "Gary Fisher Collection."
Editor’s note: Freeride superstar Darcy Turenne spoke with us about her impact on the development of the Vixa, which we reviewed in Issue 156. You can learn more about Darcy at her web site, hellodarcy.com.
What specific input did you have in the development of the Vixa?
The Ales and Trails Festival is May 21 in San Rafael, Calif., and if you make it there, be sure to bring a print out of your favorite cycling photograph to enter in the Dirt Rag Photo Contest.
The winner will be chosen anonymously be attendees and will be published in our Rider’s Eye photo section.
Santa Cruz unveiled a trio of new models this month, the Highball, Tallboy and Blur TRc, but they slipped in one major new update at the Sea Otter Classic: a redesigned Blur XC carbon.
Significant changes include a tapered headtube, larger downtube, a lighter frame weight and new paint options.
By Shannon Mominee
Over a sunny weekend at Sea Otter I had the opportunity to demo the 2012 BMC Trailfox TF01 Carbon from Swiss manufacturer BMC. Born on the premises that it should operate like a Swiss Army Knife, BMC spared no expenses or technology when creating this full-suspension machine.
After a public outcry and thanks to lobbying on the part of trail advocates, the 44 miles of trails outside Bellingham, Washington, will remain open to mountian bikers and hikers as negotiations continue between the land owners, the city, the county and a land trust.
Trek has instituted a new recycling program at its Waterloo, Wisconson, manufacturing facility for all the scrap carbon fiber created by domestic production. Trek has been building with carbon since 1992.
Discarded trimmings, damaged frames and other parts are collected by Trek and sent to Materials Innovation Technologies, a South Carolina-based company that specializes in recycling carbon fiber.
Though most Trek bicycles are now built overseas, some high-end and prototype production is still handled in its Wisconson hometown.
By Josh Patterson
After five years of service the Ibis braintrust had wrung all the performance they could out of the very successful Ibis Mojo SL frame. Making the Mojo lighter required Ibis engineers to go back to the drawing board. They used different layups and molds to craft an even lighter 140mm trail bike.
We were snapping pictures of a prototype from another company when Ned Overend rolled by on this new model from Specialized. Dubbed ‘Carve,’ this will be a 29er-only model from Specialized. The Carve will have an M4 aluminum alloy frame, tapered head tube, threaded bottom bracket and a 27.2mm seatpost for added compliance.
Much like Specialized’s full-suspension Camber line, the Carve is targeted at budget-minded riders and will be positioned between the Stumpjumper and Rockhopper lines.
Snow might still be falling in British Columbia, but spring is just around the corner and Whistler Mountain Bike Park is slated to open on Saturday, May 20.
The new Solite 150 serves as a helmet-mounted light, as a "miner light" with the provided headstrap or as a flashlight (head unit clips onto battery pack). Runs for 3 hours at 150 lumens (full power) or 6 hours at medium power or 40 hours at flashlight power. Available in May for $180. www.bikelights.com
Big-wheel riding weight weenies have long lamented the absence of the SID from RockShox 29er fork line. For 2012 they get their wish. The 29er SID World Cup features 32mm uppers molded into a carbon fiber crown and steerer assembly. It will be available in 80 and 100mm travel options with a traditional 9mm quick release as well as the 15mm Maxle Lite system. Weight is reportedly 1,582g or 3.48lbs.
Chris Currie, founder of the bicycle equipment retailer Speedgoat Cycles announced today that he was leaving the brand he began 14 years ago.
In a short note released today, Currie say as of May 1 he would no long have any active stake or operational role in the company, which was aquired by Spire Holdings LLC in 2010.
We got our first peek at Hayes’ Prime brakes at last year’s Sea Otter, and these new stoppers have finally hit the streets (we just got a set for review, so keep your eyes on our print mag for a full review). The reach adjust knob has detents and is tucked within the design (not exposed on the outside). A stroke-adjust lever allows riders to fine-tune the amount of free-play at the brake lever, for dialing in the feel of the brake. The 26mm diameter pistons are larger than previous Hayes models, for better stopping power.
Redline unveiled their disc-ready 2012 Conquest Carbon cyclocross platform at this year’s Sea Otter. This purpose-built racing frame features 1.5 tapered steerer, BB30 bottom bracket, internal/shift cable routing, and carbon dropouts. The frame is disc brake ready, with post-mounts on the chainstay and fork. The semi-sloping top tube is touted to aid in pickup, yet leaves plenty of room for shouldering. Available in frame/fork for $1,600. Complete bikes come in a Pro build for $2,600 or a Team build for $3,500.
For 2012 model year BMC is releasing a carbon fiber version of their Trailfox 150mm trail bike. The X0 build will sport a Fox Talas Performance FIT RL 15RQ TS fork, Fox Float Performance RP2 BV rear shock and will be available in July for around $7,000. The XTR version (shown) will come with a Fox Talas Factory Kashima FIT RL 15QR TS fork, Fox Float Factory RP23 BV rear shock, and will hit the trails in September (price TBA). Available in S, M and L frame sizes.
Oakley plans to drop their new Fast Jacket "sports performance" glasses in May 2011. They come with two sets of lenses and retail for $220 with Iridium lenses, or $280 with photograde or polarized. Several frame/lens options will be offered.
Oakley makes all of their glasses from scratch in their California factory. The lenses start as raw polycarbonate, which Oakley turns into precision optics via injection molding. The frames are made in-house too.
For the 2012 model year, SRAM’s workhorse XO group will be availble in this silver polished finish.
Topeak designs and produces an astoshing array of tools, accessories and equipment, and they’ll be bringing even more to dealers’ shelves this summer.
This waterproof iPhone case has a quick-release mount and will work with many other touch-screen smart phones as well.
We spied this POC Trebec Race helmet at Interbike and it’s now available to the public. It features in-molded construction for the highest level of protection possible. The shell is optimized with no seams at the most exposed areas and wraps completely around the core. Compared to a traditional bike helmet, it fits more like a skate helmet that completely surrounds your head. There are three sizes and should retail for $179.