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Sea Otter Tech: Magura brakes

Sea Otter Tech: Magura brakes

Magura was showing off its MT8 brakes – that’s Mission Team for those of you keeping score at home – and it sets the bar for lightweight performance. The whole master cyclinder is made from injection molded carbon fiber. Even the clamp is carbon. The lever is carbon fiber as well. At 53 grams per complete brake lever, it certainly won’t be slowing you down on the race course.

Also available are MT2, MT4 and MT6 versions, all sharing the carbon master cyclinder at different price points.


Sea Otter Tech: WTB

Sea Otter Tech: WTB

At the WTB booth we spied these Speed TCS wheels – the 29-inch All Mountain version. For about $400 you can grab a wheelset capable of more than just smooth cross-country riding. They are tubeless compatible too.


Sea Otter Tech: Schwabe tires

Sea Otter Tech: Schwabe tires

It can be intimidating trying to match tires to terrain. New from Schwalbe in 2011 is the Hans Dampf—when loosely translated from German it means jack-of-all-trades—is designed to have good all-around performance and predictable cornering characteristics and will seal on some tubeless setups without sealant. Initially the Hans Dampf is only available in a 26×2.35, but look for more sizes and a 29er version this fall.


Sea Otter Tech: Shimano

Sea Otter Tech: Shimano

Shimano continues to improve its 10-speed mountain drivetrains with trickle-down technologies from the top-level XTR group to the XT and SLX groups.

At the top, the new Shimano XTR Shadow Plus rear derailleur features a selectable pivot for the pulley cage (the small gold lever) that increases spring tension to minimize chain slap, which should also result in fewer dropped chains, when pedaling through rough terrain. Flipping the lever down reduces spring tension to the standard rate to make wheel removal easier.


Sea Otter Tech: Fox Racing Shox

Sea Otter Tech: Fox Racing Shox

Old-school meets new-school at Fox Racing Shox and their booth featured a fully equipped arcade. The Pac-Man game these guys are playing is probably older than the players!

 

We spied this prototype titanium crown at Interbike 2010. For 2012 Fox will offer an investment-cast, one-piece titanium steerer and crown option on their highest-end 26-inch 32 series forks. Weights reportedly start at 2.9lbs. with an uncut steerer.


Framebuilders flock to sunny San Diego

Framebuilders flock to sunny San Diego

Owners close Galbrith trail network

Owners close Galbrith trail network

By Adam Newman

The Bellingham Herald is reporting that the owner of more than 3,000 acres on Galbraith Mountain near Bellingham, Washington, is ending the recreation use agreement with a local mountain bike organization and will close the trails.


Packing for the Sea Otter Classic

Packing for the Sea Otter Classic

We’re heading west for the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California, this week.


Review: Niner Air 9 Carbon

Review: Niner Air 9 Carbon

By Shannon Mominee


First Impression: Ibis Mojo HD

First Impression: Ibis Mojo HD

By Josh Patterson

So a guy walks into a bar…

He spies a girl sitting alone. She’s attractive. Gorgeous, actually, with curves in all the right places. The guy buys her a drink, walks over and strikes up a conversation, but to his dismay, quickly discovers they have very little in common.


Brain fart: Here’s to good friends

Brain fart: Here’s to good friends

There a gremlins out in them ‘thar hills.

By Stephen Haynes

A few weeks back my riding buddies and I got together at our regular trails to do a little early spring riding. It was just cold enough to still be considered cold, but not cold enough to consider doing something else.


Michelin rolls out redesigned tires

Michelin rolls out redesigned tires

By Eric McKeegan

So recently I headed down to Birmingham, Alabama, for the Michelin Press Camp. I don’t know much about the state, and I’m pretty sure the last time I was there involved old vans, good-cop/bad-cop routines and a drug-sniffing dog. I’m a few years and a few haircuts removed from then, which is a good thing, since the fancy pants golf resort we stayed in might have thrown a younger me out. Anyway, other than one presentation, our time at the resort was mostly spent eating, drinking and sleeping, a fine thing since I don’t know a nine iron from a polo mallet.


NAHBS Spotlight: KirkLee

NAHBS Spotlight: KirkLee

It’s easy to think of carbon fiber bikes as mass produced plastic, but Brad Cason of KirkLee begs to differ. His brand’s own t-shirts asks: "Who says carbon has no soul?" Listen to Cason talk about their creation with the widget below.


New from Santa Cruz: Highball, Tallboy

New from Santa Cruz: Highball, Tallboy

Note: You can read about Santa Cruz’s other new offering, the Blur Carbon here.

(L to R: Santa Cruz staff Josh, Nick, Ariel, some fellow journalists, and Mike, giving his "serious face")

By Karen Brooks


Continental unveils new wheelie tire

Continental unveils new wheelie tire

Tire-maker Continental unveiled a range of new products this week, including an industry-first: a tire designed specifically for making riding wheelies easier.

With the same shape as some of their traditional off-road treads, the tire is 300 grams lighter and has a special "springy" rubber compound that will allow you to lift the front end more easily and keep it lofted.


New from Santa Cruz: the Blur TRc

New from Santa Cruz: the Blur TRc

By Karen Brooks

The venerable brand from NorCal introduced three new bike models earlier this week, and I was one of the lucky stiffs who got to check them out on the kickass trails on and around Gooseberry Mesa in southern Utah. Santa Cruz really knows how to impress: not with slideshows of graphs, but with lots of time on singletrack.


First Impression – Giant Anthem X 29er 2

First Impression – Giant Anthem X 29er 2

By Karl Rosengarth

It’s about time.

Giant finally mated their proven Maestro suspension design with big wheels. Viola! Giant gives birth to the Anthem X 29er lineup in model year 2011.

This bouncing baby boy sports 100mm of front/rear travel, thanks to a Fox F29 RL fork with QR15 thru-axle up front, and a Fox Float RP2 rear shock (coupled to Giant’s Maestro rear suspension).


Review: Yeti 575

Review: Yeti 575

By Justin Steiner

Yeti is without a doubt one of the most iconic of the long-standing U.S. bike brands. I’ve always been impressed with, if not a bit puzzled by, the loyal cult following surrounding Yeti—known as the Yeti Tribe. After all, how many other bike companies have fan pages (www.yetifan.com)? Given the opportunity to test the redesigned 575, I jumped at the chance to drink the Kool-Aid.


Giant unveils new XTC Composite 29er

Giant unveils new XTC Composite 29er

Following last year’s successful launch of the Anthem X 29er full-suspension XC bike, Giant is introducing an all-new 29er bike for competitive XC racing and riding: the XtC Composite 29er.


Dirt Rag Spring Break 2011

Dirt Rag Spring Break 2011

We traveled to Western North Carolina this past weekend to visit two more companies for our Made in America series and naturally, get some riding done.


NAHBS Spotlight: Groovy Cycleworks

NAHBS Spotlight: Groovy Cycleworks

Rody Walter of Groovy Cycleworks built this 650b mountain bike for an old-school rider who wanted a modern interpretation of his vintage ride. Listen to Walter tell the story of its creation with the widget below.


Readers Write: Love what you ride

Readers Write: Love what you ride

Editor’s note: Readers Write is a showcase of essays and stories from readers just like you who want to share their experience. If you have something you’d like us to consider publishing, please send it to editor@dirtragmag.com.

by W. K. Medlen, Huntsville Alabama


Merlin sold to Competitive Cyclist

Merlin sold to Competitive Cyclist

Online retailer Competitive Cyclist is best known for selling, but in this case it was doing the buying, having purchased Merlin Bikes from American Bicycle Group.

Merlin has been a pioneer in the development of titanium frames since 1986 and will reach a broader audience through the new venture. Currently the Merlin web site simply features a logo with he words "Brand rebirth underway".


Win an entry to the BC Bike Race

Win an entry to the BC Bike Race

If you’ve been thinking about making the trek to British Columbia for the 2011 BC Bike race, here’s a chance to win one of two free entries, courtesy of Kazimirski Law Corporation. The Kazlaw Community Foundation is providing two spots at BC Bike Race the race people who make mountain biking happen in their community.


Banks close the books on Race Face

Banks close the books on Race Face

The rumors you’ve been hearing are true. Race Face is out of production and likely to be liquidated. A reciever took over the company’s assets from its bank, and in a letter to Race Face employees dated March 14 the reciever, Grant Thornton Limited, announced that it was terminating all Race Face employees at its New Westminster factory, and at its operations in Taiwan.


NAHBS Spotlight: Watson Cycles

NAHBS Spotlight: Watson Cycles

Andrew Watson of Watson Cycles is a young builder from Connecticut who brought this snowman to the show. It puts big feet on the ground with 3.7” Surly tires and luggage racks, but unlike many bikes with those features, it isn’t merely a pack mule. Andrew calls it “my utilitarian utility bike,” but it’s pure mountain bike too, with modest chainstays, derailleur drivetrain, and plenty of standover height.

Listen to Andrew go over some more of the details in our interview.


NAHBS Spotlight: Retrotec

NAHBS Spotlight: Retrotec

Curtis Inglis loves curves. On bikes that is. His retro-inspired road and mountain bikes blend modern materials and design with vintage looks. He builds bikes under both the Retrotec and Inglis labels.

Listen to our interview with Inglis discussing his work with the widget below.


NAHBS Spotlight: Retrotec

NAHBS Spotlight: Retrotec

Curtis Inglis loves curves. On bikes that is. His retro-inspired road and mountain bikes blend modern materials and design with vintage looks. He builds bikes under both the Retrotec and Inglis labels.

Listen to our interview with Inglis discussing his work with the widget below.


We’re at the Seattle Bike Expo

We’re at the Seattle Bike Expo

We’re sending our "West Coast" office up to Seattle this weekend to visit the Seattle Bike Expo. Held at the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal, it promises a whole weekend worth of cool stuff with more than 250 exhibitors scheduled to appear.

Highlights include appearances by racer Axel Merckx, satirical cycling blogger BikeSnobNYC, stunt rider Ryan Leech and bicycle fashion show.


Behind the scene at NAHBS

Behind the scene at NAHBS

 

Taking it over the top in 2011

One of the most rewarding things about shooting bikes and builders at NAHBS is having a couple of minutes away from the bustle of the show floor to chat with individuals behind the bikes. The builders seem to appreciate a brief respite from the constant barrage of questions and talking points—it’s nice to see everyone relax just a bit and take a deep breath.


Readers Write: Let us be sick

Readers Write: Let us be sick

Editor’s note: Readers Write is a collection of essays and fiction written by readers. Have something you’d like to submit? Send it editor@dirtragmag.com.

by Jim Murren

The Mountain Bikers Liberation Front (MTBLF) says to the bosses of the world, “there are days in this life that the trail calls us in such a way that we are not able to resist.” We do not say that out loud to them, but rather we say, “I am sick and will not be in to work today.”


We’re at the National Bike Summit

We’re at the National Bike Summit

The National Bike Summit, held this week in Washington D.C., is a gathering of voices from the bicycle industry, advocacy groups and concerned citizens to make their case to Congress for making "strategic transportation invenstments that foster healthy people and healthy communities."


Industry Insider profile: Paul Sadoff

Industry Insider profile: Paul Sadoff

The Industry Insider Series is our look behind the curtain at the folks who keep the bicycle industry rolling. This interview features Paul Sadoff, who has been building custom bicycles under the Rock Lobster brand for more than 30 years.

Hometown? 

Los Angeles, Calif.


New products from Shimano for 2012

New products from Shimano for 2012

We’ve just gotten some new product updates here at Dirt Rag HQ from Shimano for 2012. Some of it is completely new and some is trickle-down technology from higher spec components. Anyway you slice it, it looks cool to us. Here’s what we can share with you:

SLX group: SLX brakes receive many of the updates that show up for Deore XT. With Servo-Wave, Ice Technologies brake pads, oversized 22mm ceramic pistons, and the one-way bleed integrated into the new design. The brake lever mounts are also Ispec compatible for reduced system weight and simplicity.


New products from Shimano for 2012

New products from Shimano for 2012

We’ve just gotten some new product updates here at Dirt Rag HQ from Shimano for 2012. Some of it is completely new and some is trickle-down technology from higher spec components. Anyway you slice it, it looks cool to us. Here’s what we can share with you:

SLX group: SLX brakes receive many of the updates that show up for Deore XT. With Servo-Wave, Ice Technologies brake pads, oversized 22mm ceramic pistons, and the one-way bleed integrated into the new design. The brake lever mounts are also Ispec compatible for reduced system weight and simplicity.


Thawing out from Frostbike

Thawing out from Frostbike

Frostbike is Quality Bicycle Products annual in-house tradeshow. If you’re not familiar with Quality Bicycle Products—known as QBP by bicycle shop employees the world over—you’ve certainly had dealings with them via your local bike shop. QBP bills itself as "the shop behind America’s shops" they supply small parts, service items, and even complete bicycles to over 5,000 shops in North America. Frostbike is a chance to get the scoop on what you’ll be seeing in your local bike shop in the year to come.


Thawing out from Frostbike

Thawing out from Frostbike

Frostbike is Quality Bicycle Products annual in-house tradeshow. If you’re not familiar with Quality Bicycle Products—known as QBP by bicycle shop employees the world over—you’ve certainly had dealings with them via your local bike shop. QBP bills itself as "the shop behind America’s shops" they supply small parts, service items, and even complete bicycles to over 5,000 shops in North America. Frostbike is a chance to get the scoop on what you’ll be seeing in your local bike shop in the year to come.


Cold Weather Gear… For Dogs?

Cold Weather Gear… For Dogs?

By Shannon Mominee

It’s hard to keep sane through the winter with the short amount of daylight hours, below average temperatures, and an activity level that wants to dip to near hibernation. I probably would sleep straight through January and February if I didn’t feel guilty about not taking my dog, Roman, to the trails for exercise.


Access Action: CO Roadless Project

Access Action: CO Roadless Project

by Nat and Rachael Lopes


Industry Insider profile: Steve Garro

Industry Insider profile: Steve Garro

This episode of the Industry Insider profile series features Steve Garro, the man behind Coconino Cycles.

Hometown?

Tuba City, AZ. {for reals}

Current location?

Flagstaff, AZ

What do you do for/with/to bicycles?


Industry Insider profile: Steve Garro

Industry Insider profile: Steve Garro

This episode of the Industry Insider profile series features Steve Garro, the man behind Coconino Cycles.

Hometown?

Tuba City, AZ. {for reals}

Current location?

Flagstaff, AZ

What do you do for/with/to bicycles?


Ride the Divide on tour

Ride the Divide on tour

"The world’s toughest bike race isn’t in France."

That’s the tag line for Ride the Divide, a feature-length documentary about the 2008 Tour Divide race, a 2,700-mile haul along the Continental Divide. The race begins every summer in Banff, Alberta, to the New Mexico-Mexico border. There is no outside support allowed, there are no prizes and there is nearly 200,000-feet of climbing.


Mountain bike injuries down 56 percent

Mountain bike injuries down 56 percent

via Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

A new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found the number of mountain bike-related injuries decreased 56 percent over the 14-year study period (1994 to 2007), going from a high of more than 23,000 injuries in 1995 to just over 10,000 injuries in 2007.


One can be wonderful

One can be wonderful

Editor’s note: Chances are, you’ve noticed a growing number of unicyclists out on the trails. Think your singlespeed is simple? Try one gear AND one wheel. Dave Krack of Butler Wobble sent us this piece with some tips for trying it yourself. His advice: It’s not as hard as it looks!


Review: Fatback Aluminum

Review: Fatback Aluminum

Fatback Aluminum

By Lee Klevens


Cold Weather Riding: Keep Yer Pants On

New qualifying series for Leadville 100

New qualifying series for Leadville 100

If you’ve tried and failed to get a lottery entry spot in the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race before, now you can race your way in. AEG, operator of the Amgen Tour of California, and Life Time Fitness have partnered to create a qualfiying race series for entries into Leadville.

The three 2011 qualifying events will be held in June and July in California, Colorado and the Northeast. In 2012 and 2013 additional races will be added in Texas, the Southwest, Midwest, Southeast, and one more in California.


Industry Insider profile: Dan Powell

Industry Insider profile: Dan Powell

Dan Powell

Hometown?

Born in Detroit, Michigan. But I grew up in Lansing and went to college in Marquette, so really I consider the entire state of Michigan my hometown. Michigan is America’s high-five you know.

Current location?

Portland, Oregon.

What do you do for/with/to bicycles?


Industry Insider profile: Dan Powell

Industry Insider profile: Dan Powell

Dan Powell

Hometown?

Born in Detroit, Michigan. But I grew up in Lansing and went to college in Marquette, so really I consider the entire state of Michigan my hometown. Michigan is America’s high-five you know.

Current location?

Portland, Oregon.

What do you do for/with/to bicycles?


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