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
We had seen it coming. There were spy shots and rumors tossed around about a full-suspension fat bike. In fact, the Bucksaw isn’t even the first one—several smaller brands have built bikes that qualified as “full-suspension”, but this one is different. This is a major brand making a big commitment to a new product segment, and bringing an advanced suspension design with it. Mike Riemer, Salsa’s Marketing Manager, said that Dave Weagle, the creator of the Bucksaw’s Split Pivot suspension, told him it was the most complex project he had ever worked on.
One thing is for sure, this is not a “stealthy” bike. From the big tires to the candy-colored paint, the Bucksaw is breaking a new trail in mountain biking. But how does it ride?Tweet Print
Salsa got its foot in the door last year with the introduction of the carbon fiber Beargrease, and now it’s applying that experience to the Horsethief and Spearfish models. We got a sneak peek and a first ride on the 120mm-travel Horsethief at the Scott Enduro Cup in Park City, Utah.
Built to tackle big rides in big mountains, the aluminum Horsethief adopted the excellent Split Pivot suspension last year and the carbon model matches the geometry of the that model, with a 130mm fork, 17.2-inch chainstays and a 68.1 degree head tube angle.Tweet Print
Photos courtesy of Scott Enduro Cup
This past weekend I joined elite riders from across the world at the third and final stop of the Scott Enduro Cup presented by GoPro at Canyons Resort. The final stop on the North American Enduro Tour traveled 17.2 miles of trail with 3,200 vertical feet of descending with sharp switchbacks, off-camber rooty singletrack, and the bike park flow trail. I was fortunate enough to secure a ride on a top-secret bike from Salsa (more on that soon) and tackle the same trails that the elite riders tear apart.
The Park City area is the world’s first and only International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Gold-Level Ride Center, and this race marks the third year Canyons Resort has hosted the Enduro Cup. The course at Canyons Resort requires riders to have the endurance to sustain energy while pedaling on non-timed transfer stages and impeccable skill to charge down the steep, technical timed descents. If you think enduro is all about chairlifts and downhill, think again. Some of the transfer stages included 30 to 40-minute sustained climbs in the Utah heat.Tweet Print