Dirt Rag Magazine

Adam Newman

Adam Newman


Online Editor

Yeah, but what do you ACTUALLY do around here?

Watch cat videos. Blog about cat videos. Come up with catchy hashtags about #catvideos.

What do you think about when you're riding your bike?

I wish I was riding my other bike.

How would you rate your coffee consumption on a scale of 8-10?


Complete this sentence: "My other bike is …"

...an 800 horsepower gas-guzzling drag car.

What are you eating, drinking, reading, or fearing these days?

I am buried under a mountain of RSS. I felt physical pain when Google Reader went away.

Elvis or the Beatles?


Say something profound and meaningful in exactly seven words…

1. something 2. profound 3. and 4. meaningful 5. in 6. exactly 7. seven 8. shit ...

I like your answers. How can I get in touch with you?

Email me

Shine Riders Co. hosting pump track skills day


Whether you are a racer, freerider, coach, photographer, writer, film-maker, weekend warrior, newbie, or just checkin’ out nature, Shine Riders Co. has you covered this weekend with a low-risk, co-ed instruction day at the Chanticleer Pump Track in Santa Cruz.

The event is one of many monthly meet-ups of the Shine Riders Co., a group that inspires and educates new female mountain bikers and connects female riders in the area. It will be hosted by Joh Rathbun, a frequent contributor to Dirt Rag and a pro downhill racer. “The pump track is a great way to work on your skills in a low-risk environment,” she said. “It is co-ed and all ages, so I urge everyone to grab a friend, sister, mother, and/or cousin and come on out!”

The event starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 30. Participants are asked to be sufficient, which means bring your own water, food, bike and safety gear. You can RSVP at the Shine Meet-up Group page. See you there!



New e-book answers ladies’ sensitive questions about cycling

saddle-soreAuthor and journalist Molly Hurford rides a lot—and knows countless women who ride a lot—and inevitably all that riding can lead to a little… discomfort. It’s a subject that she found nearly all the women she knows, from beginners to pros, were reluctant to discuss at the their local bike shop or with their male peers.

So she sought out to answer those questions for female cyclists, by talking to experts in the industry, doctors, product designers and riders. The result is “Saddle, Sore”, an e-book guide for women and their bike. No matter how much you ride, it shouldn’t be uncomfortable, and Hurford’s book can help you avoid some uncomfortable conversations.

Hurford will also be following up with online articles with new topics as they arise, as well as answering readers questions and some video interviews.

You can purchase and download a copy of “Saddle, Sore” in PDF or EPUB format (compatible with most tablets) now.



Hermosa Tours offers 10-day Colorado Trail adventure


I made an attempt at a Colorado Trail tour last summer, only to be thwarted by rain (and I’m glad I was, seeing how it turned out to be the week of the disastrous Boulder floods).

This summer I know what’s at the top of my to-do list: Hermosa Tours‘ new 10-day self-guided adventure along the CT. What does “self-guided” mean? You’re out there on your own, with you and your friends, but Hermosa will take care of logistics, as well as carrying all your gear (food, water, firewood, whatever you bring) from one campsite to another. Forget bikepacking, that means you can full-on shred the 200 miles of trail with more than 75 percent singletrack.

In all it’s nine riding days, 10 nights, and one layover day from Salida to Durango, for just $950. Hermosa will even set up some canopies and a deluxe kitchen setup for you each night, so you can focus on chowing down. The ride starts and ends in Durango, and includes a ride to the start in Salida.

So bank some vacation time this summer. I know I will be.




Specialized quietly releases 27.5 tires


There was no fanfare and no press release, but a handful of 27.5 versions of Specialized’s tires have become available on the brand’s website. There are versions of the S-Works Fast Track (2.0), Ground Control (2.1) and Butcher (2.3) listed.

The new tires are notable in that Specialized doesn’t make a 27.5 bike to fit these tires, though a push into the aftermarket segment is certainly a good idea since the wheel size is here to stay.

Will there be a new round of Specialized bikes built around 27.5? No comment yet, but the brand was famous for saying it would never make a 29er, and we all know how that turned out:


UPDATE: We got a hold of Specialized and predictably enough they didn’t spill the beans on any new bikes, but they did confirm these tires are going after the aftermarket segment.

“A lot of riders think of us as a bike company,” said Sean Estes of Specialized. “In reality, tires were our first product and we remain a tire company as well as a bike company. These treads reach across XC to Trail to All-Mountain giving these riders high quality choices for their 650b wheels.”


Review: Kona Honzo


It was certainly not the first, but no bike typifies this new genre of “trail” or “all-mountain” 29ers quite like the Honzo. The brainchild of some serious gravity-addicted minds at Kona, this ain’t no old-school big wheeler.

How so, you ask? Well, up front the 68-degree head tube angle is mated to a 120mm RockShox Revelation (though it can easily handle a 140mm fork) and out back the chainstays measure a teeny-for-a-29er 16.3 inches. The stays are so short, in fact, that Kona designed the bike around a single-chainring-only drivetrain. No front derailleurs need apply. The frame has a great low-slung, BMX look that I like a lot. Kona also deserves a shout-out for the tinted clear-coat finish and retro graphics. Everyone at Dirt Rag HQ agreed it was a handsome fellow.

Does it shred as mean as it looks? Read on.


DH wheels are going big in 2014

Some spy shots floating across the web today:

Kiwi Brook MacDonald posted this pic on Instagram of his 27.5 Trek Session that he’ll be racing at the New Zealand National Championships tomorrow:


Meanwhile, Kevin Aiello was spotted in Bootleg Canyon, Nevada, with this 29er KHS prototype at the Mob ‘N’ Mojave race. Aiello raced a 27.5 downhill bike in 2013, so the only way to go was bigger.


Will the bigger wheels lead to faster times this summer? We’ll have to wait and see. My guess is there will be several 27.5 DH bikes at Sea Otter and nearly every major brand will have one by Interbike.


Riding with the Breeze


It’s hard to imagine a more unassuming guy than Joe Breeze. Unlike his contemporaries Gary Fisher or Tom Ritchey, who are easy to spot in a crowd, Breeze could be the guy standing in line in front of you at the grocery store, or your friendly neighbor who always greets you with a wave and a smile. Of course, if you live in Fairfax, California, there’s a good chance he is both of these things.

Read more and see photos from our day with Joe Breeze.


Quick look: Gravity Anomoly shorts

Gravity Anomaly is a small operation founded in 2012 that is sold only online or at small pop-up shops or events. All of its products are made in the USA and use domestic fabrics whenever possible. 

Teamster Shorts $64


The Teamsters are cross-country or general-purpose shorts that hit above the knee. They have the full complement of pockets that you would find on a pair of cargo shorts or blue jeans, including a rear pocket. The 4-ply nylon shell is mud and water repellent and light enough to wear all summer.

Longhaul Shorts $79


The Longhaul shorts are more gravity oriented, and hit just below the knee. They fit well over knee pads without looking like an NBA baller. They are adjustable at the waist with large Velcro straps and have the same standard pockets—including two rear pockets, which are rare for a gravity short. The front pockets are deep enough that I didn’t have to worry about things falling out when getting rad.

Considering they are made in the USA and are as well-made as most other shorts I’ve tried, the price is a steal. I don’t think my satisfaction is any sort of anomaly. See the shorts as well as some new jerseys at gravityanomaly.com




Recommendo: North Face Base Camp duffel bags


In this business, we travel a lot. Planes, trains and automobiles, as well as the occasional water-born vessel, that’s the life. We carry a lot of crap too—helmets, shoes, pads, all sorts of oddly shaped items. That’s where the North Face Base Camp Duffel comes in. Available in several sizes, they’re perfect for getting my stuff from Point A to Point B.

There are no features, no frills, no fancy pockets or organizers (except for the zippered mesh pocket in the lid). It’s a big bag to hold your crap.

Read about what makes them so great here.


First Impression: Breezer Repack Team


After years of fits and starts the final wall holding back the flood of 27.5 trail bikes broke, as more than a dozen manufacturers brought new or redesigned models to market. One was something of an unlikely source: Breezer. Yes, Joe Breeze was a key player in the birth of mountain biking but in the past decade his brand had been largely devoted to practical city bikes and some 29er hardtails.

So I wasn’t the only one surprised when Breezer skipped past short-travel XC bikes and went all-in with the unveiling of a 160mm, 27.5 bike aimed squarely at big-mountain and enduro riding. And what moniker would grace such a groundbreaking design for the brand? None other than Repack, named for the world’s first downhill race that plunged 1,300 feet down a dirt road in Fairfax, California, in the late 1970s.

Read the full story

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