The UCI released the 2015 schedule today and it includes six cross-country events, seven downhill events and zero cross-country eliminator events.
The season will kick off on April 11-12 with round one of downhill in the new venue of Lourdes (France). Although new to the World Cup calendar, Lourdes has already hosted the French Cup, and will present riders with a 2.5km long course that descends 600 meters in altitude.
The other first-time destination next year is Lenzerheide, Switzerland, which will organise a double event (downhill and XC) on July 4-5. This will be the first of three consecutive rounds (2015-2017) in the Swiss resort as it prepares to host the World Championships in 2018.Tweet Print
After a bit of a summer vacation, World Cup downhill racing returns this weekend with the first of two North American stops at Mont Sainte Anne in Quebec, Canada. As always, the one and only Claudio Caluori shows us the track.Tweet Print
Yesterday we brought you news of a new Specialized downhill bike with bigger wheels, and today it’s Santa Cruz’s turn. Seems the gap in the World Cup schedule was the perfect time to finish off the new products and we’ll be seeing a lot of new stuff at Monte St. Anne this weekend.
The new V-10 is virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor, with the tried-and-true VPP linkage and full carbon construction. It took a keen eye for spectators to spot the differences at Innerleithen where Josh Bryceland rode one to the UK Nation Championship last weekend.
Details are scarce but we’ll likely know more after the racing is over. Stay tuned…Tweet Print
Despite the continued success of athletes Troy Bronson and Aaron Gwin on the UCI World Cup circuit, Specialized’s top-tier Demo downhill bike has been around for quite some time. Advancements in carbon fiber and shock technology—not to mention those bigger wheels—meant it was time for a new bike. Specialized took advantage of the long layover between races on the UCI calendar to get the bike to its top athletes in time for its debut at Monte St. Anne this weekend.Tweet Print
Specialized will update its women’s specific line to include a redesigned Era 29 to go along with the Fate hardtail. The Era is essentially an Epic with women’s specific geometry. Previously, the Era was only available as a 26-inch bike. At the top S-Works level, it, as well as an updated men’s Epic will feature a custom inverted 2015 RockShox RS-1 fork with Brain inertia internals.Tweet Print
Quite a few bike manufactures are making women’s specific bikes these days and many of them are employing the tweener, 27.5 wheel size. Raleigh has joined the party with its 2014 Eva hardtail line which has switched to 27.5 wheels throughout. Last year’s Eva models were all 29ers and I had the opportunity to review the Eva 29 Comp (Dirt Rag Issue #172). I’m excited to get a chance to ride the 2014 model and compare the two.Tweet Print
Bikes like the new Yeti SB5c pack a ton of technology, and usually carry a price tag to match. Lots of folks write to us criticizing the crop of new bikes that are, admittedly, pushing the price envelope at five, seven, even ten thousand dollars. Is that a bad thing for consumers? Not at all, I say.Tweet Print
The Thunderbolt is an all-new model in Rocky Mountain’s 2014 lineup. With its 120mm of travel, this 27.5 dual-boinger is Rocky’s general-purpose “XC” platform. The Thunderbolt slots in between the company’s Element “XC race” and Instinct “trail” bikes. Mind you, the folks from BC have high expectations of what an XC bike should do. Product manager Ken Perras told me, “The bike is designed to put the fun back into XC riding. That means hitting the lines reserved for something with a bit more travel, linking up those roots into a double, and letting go of the brakes on that crazy chute.” Read the full storyTweet Print
In the current issue of Dirt Rag (#178, on sale now) you’ll find a ground-breaking interview with Reverend Bob Seals of CoolTool, Kleen Kanteen and Retrotec fame. This multi-faceted artist, activist, frame builder, race promoter and team owner, if not agitator, ran his whole operation out of his ranch just outside of Chico, California.
Seals was first interviewed in Dirt Rag #38 in July 1994 by Fernando Avallone and we strongly suggest you find and read that original interview, there’s too much there to miss. We also suggest you read the new interview by the same author in Issue #178 if you haven’t yet. Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting outtakes that didn’t (or couldn’t) make it to print. Most of these unimaginable stories are being told for the first time right here, in this second installment.Tweet Print
Photos by Mike Schirf.
Last week Scott kicked off its 2015 product season at the lavish Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley near Park City, Utah. It was a great venue for some first impressions on the newly tweaked trail bikes and a look at their broad lineup of offerings. From the bike under you to the helmet on your head, and everything in between, Scott has something worth checking out.
I spent quite a bit of my time riding the Deer Valley trails on either the 27.5 Genius 700 Tuned or any of the 27.5 Genius 700LT models that I could get my hands on. The LT was a very hot bike during our stay and there weren’t enough for the rabid press to go around.Tweet Print