Photos by Craig DeMartino
With experience and aesthetics honed at Black Sheep Cycles, Moonmen Bikes are both cutting edge and decidedly retro, inspired by moonlit rides on the Front Range of Colorado. And it’s not just the custom, one-of-a-kind titanium frames being crafted in Fort Collins—the team is building its own custom titanium bars, stems, seat posts and forks as well.Tweet
I’ve always been drawn to unusual products and technologies. When the strangest gear shows up at Dirt Rag HQ I’m always first to raise my hand to try it. After all, that’s how cycling journalists like myself earn the big bucks. When I saw the Lauf forks at the Sea Otter expo I knew we had to get one in the pages of Dirt Rag.
Like countless great ideas, the genesis of the Lauf came over post-ride beers. The goal was to create the lightest possible racing suspension fork. Using the latest composite materials, the engineering team made it a reality, with the prototype winning its first race in June 2013.
Now, I’m not going to be winning any races any time soon, but I’ve been riding with a rigid carbon fork for a few years now, and the concept of the leaf spring Lauf didn’t seem so crazy to me. While it looks outrageous, the 60mm of suspension travel is accomplished by flexing the six composite leaf springs per leg.Tweet
Steve Peat is naturally the star of his eponymous show, but in this episode the real darling is Josh Bryceland, Peaty’s Santa Cruz Syndicate teammate who picked up his first ever World Cup win at Leogang.
A “chilled out session”? Looks pretty wild to me!Tweet
I will never get tired of these insane helmet cam runs. Can you imagine anything like this ever taking place in the US? Neither can I. Here’s Marcelo Gutierrez tearing it up in Bratislava, Slovakia.Tweet
When GT unveiled its Force and Sensor bikes last year they were a big hit with their sponsored athletes, but for the rigors of the DH-level Enduro World Series tracks, they knew they had to offer something to bridge the gap between the 150mm Force and 220mm Fury downhill bike. Enter the rebirth of the Sanction, this time as a 27.5, 165mm platform that is designed expressly for the “e-word.”Tweet
If you don’t think e-bikes are a real mover in the bicycle marketplace? Look no further than the entry of Bosch in the marketplace to prove that some big brands are willing to invest serious resources in the growing market. For 2015 it has paired up with a few key brands to bring e-bikes with Bosch motors and control units—already a huge hit in Europe—to U.S. dealerships. Look for bikes from Haibike, Felt, and Lapierre, including this Overvolt FS900.Tweet
If you just dropped a months’ salary on a new mountain bike, and then thrashed it down a mountain, you’re probably going to want to take care of it and keep it running smoothly. You might know the Finish Line brand for its huge selection of chain lube, but I got a look at some of the latest bike-care products coming to your bike shop this summer.Tweet
The Mach 4 has always been an important bike for Pivot Cycles. It was the brand’s first big hit, and long a mainstay of the lineup. But let’s face it, a 26-inch bike with 100mm of travel is a hard sell these days, and the new, fourth-generation Mach 4 Carbon has not only embraced all the current design trends and standards, it is creating new ones.
Like all Pivot bikes, the heart of the full carbon frame is the dw-link rear suspension, considered one of the finest ever created for controlling pedaling forces into the suspension. Instead of choosing a travel number and going for it, Pivot tried lots of different suspension setups before deciding on 115mm as the best compromise between racy pedaling feel and trail-bike performance. The 27.5 wheels allow for industry-leading standover height in all sizes, including extra small.Tweet
Niner continues to expand beyond its original mountain bike lineup with an all-new, full-carbon cyclocross bike dubbed the Blood, Sweat and Beers, or BSB9 for short. With a sub-1,000 gram frame, full carbon fork and a suite of top notch components, it’s a no-compromise race bike that can be used year round.
We also got a peek at a new 29+ platform, the ROS9+, an adaptation of the popular ROS9 hardtail 29er.Tweet
Last year we saw a prototype fat bike rim from Stan’s NoTubes, and while we figured a 26-inch wheel was in the works, today we saw the finished product: the Hugo is a 50mm-wide, tubeless rim with a unique cross section and options in all three wheel sizes.
We also got the details and a ride in on the new Grail disc road wheel that is perfectly suited to all manner of “road” applications and slots in between the IronCross and Alpine models.
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The old-school, East Coast riding that make the trails at Slatyfork famous more than two decades ago are back with an expanded race weekend at the Pocahontas Trails in West Virginia. The new, three-day format features a short track race, an XC race and an enduro August 22-24.
The weekend of racing showcases what the Slatyfork trails are all about: scenic singletrack, challenging rock gardens, 100-year-old railroad grades, spruce forests and spectacular vistas.Tweet
Photos by the author and Dane Cronin, courtesy of GT Bicycles.
There are dozens of cross country bikes on the market, and many of the were developed with racing in mind, then adapted back or watered down for the average trail rider. GT took the opposite approach with the new 110mm Helion. Starting with a more modern, progressive geometry and its proven Angle Optimized Suspension system, it has built a bike that could certainly race on Sunday, but is more at home riding for fun the rest of the week.
The Helion lineup will come to the US this fall with five models starting at just $1,549. We got our first ride on one on the trails surrounding Park City, Utah.Tweet
Photos by the author and Dane Cronin, courtesy of GT Bicycles.
Let’s face it, the vast majority of us are never going to need the kind of elite-level performance that modern race bikes are designed for. We want other things, like bigger tires, maybe some fender mounts, and a slightly more comfortable ride for our real-world behinds. GT is jumping into the fray with a new model aimed at the core the recreational road bike market with the new Grade.
The frame is built around GT’s famous Triple Triangle design, with carefully shaped tubing to create a compliant ride. There’s also room for tires from 23c to 35c knobbies and fender eyelets front and rear. Featuring carbon and aluminum options with complete bikes starting at just $799, there is likely to be an build spec for everyone.Tweet
Summer is in full swing and that means it’s only a matter of time until we get to head north to the biggest of all mountain bike festivals in Whistler, B.C. Aside from the competitive riding there is some competitive creativity going on as well, with riders and photographers shooting to be the best in the GoPro Dirt Diaries and the Deep Summer Photo Challenge.
The participants have been announced for what will surely be another year of groundbreaking visual imagery.Tweet
Technically it’s the JYD, but the name is a nod to the brand’s fondness for pro wresting. The JYD is a new monstercross/cruiser/mountainous/urban assault vehicle that is designed to be low-tech and big fun. Like most of All City’s bikes, it’s made from steel with some nice touches that set it apart, including the track-end style dropouts and the segmented “New England” style fork.
It’s built beefy with extra gussets for years of thrashing. The bottom bracket is a standard threaded affair and the rear spacing is 135mm. It even has fender eyelets to keep your keister dry. Yes it will fit a 29×2.25 tire, and no, it isn’t suspension corrected. Nor does it have disc brakes. It seems to make use of some sort of rubberized pad that slides along the rim…
It’s available in a frameset only. Want one? Better hurry. There are only plans for 150 to be built this year, dropping in September, and no promises on a second production run. Bring $550 to your nearest All City dealer to get in line.Tweet
As fat bikes get more and more popular, riders are looking for ever more performance from big wheels and tires. Fatback is one of the original fat bike brands, hailing from the Fat Bike Capital of the World: Anchorage, Alaska. Its latest project is the full-carbon Corvus frame and fork, which has been built into this 22 pound rocketship pictured here.Tweet
My favorite World Cup venue is once again filling up with fans and racers as the third round is underway this weekend in Ft. William, Scotland. Can Gee Atherton repeat his win from 2013? Can Peaty grab a win on home soil? Will there be any 26-inch bikes still around? So far we know Lapierre, Devinci and Specialized will be debuting new machines this weekend.
Check out what the racers will face with a run from the always-entertaining Claudio Caluori.Tweet
SQ Labs is a sister brand of German engineering wunderbrands Liteville and Syntance, focusing mainly on fit points: grips and saddles. The 711 grip looks like the Incredible Hulk wrapped his mighty paw around a round grip and gave it a squeeze. It’s perfectly shaped to fit your hand as you hold it.Tweet
A few months back we brought you details of the Megatrail, the second bike from the upstart Guerrilla Gravity based out of Colorado. The American-made frame is adjustable from “trail mode” to “gravity mode” with a swap of the shock mount, and the geometry drops and slackens out for near-downhill bike levels of performance.
Framesets start at $1,925 with complete bikes starting at $3,495. Keep an eye out as we hope to have one in for testing soon.Tweet