Dirt Rag Magazine

Adam Newman

Adam Newman

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Inside Line: GT redefines XC with new Helion

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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.

Take a closer look at the new Helion.


Inside Line: New GT Grade action/adventure/anywhere bike

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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.

Get all the details here.


Crankworx announces lineup for GoPro Dirt Diaries and Deep Summer Challenge

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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.

Get the full story here.


All City unveils new Junk Yard Dog

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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.

See more photos here.


Video: Ft. William World Cup preview

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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.

Watch the preview here.


Video: Guerrilla Gravity introduces the MegaTrail

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.


First look: Cannondale’s no-compromise F-Si 29 race rocket hardtail

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To the casual spectator, it may seem that World Cup level XC racing is more about lung capacity than technical innovation. After all, aside from being light weight, the bikes don’t need to do anything complex, right?

Not exactly. And that’s where the new Cannondale F-Si comes in. Yes, it’s one of the lightest, stiffest hardtails on the market, but it also introduces a host of new features and technologies that—in the Cannondale tradition—set it far apart from the competitors.

Read the full story


Installation: Wolf Tooth Components 1×10 setup

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Single chainring drivetrains have taken the mountain bike world by storm over the past few years. For many riders in many types of terrain, it just works. There are fewer gizmos on the handlebar, fewer moving pieces to maintain, and thanks to new products like Wolf Tooth Components‘, nearly all of the range of gearing—nearly that of a double chainring setup. They also work wonderfully to clear the rear tire on fat bikes and are necessary on some new suspension bikes that don’t even bother with a front derailleur mount.

I’ve been running my hardtail as a 1×10 for a few months now and have been quite happy with it, but there were certainly times I could have used an extra cog at the low end, and really never felt like I was spinning out on the top end. I wanted to gear down but normally a typical 32 chainring and 36 cog is as low as you can go. Now, Wolf Tooth is one of a handful of brands now producing 40 and 42 tooth adaptor cogs and SRAM-compatible direct mount chainrings with the narrow/wide pattern. They were kind enough to send over a set and I installed them this week.

Take a closer look.


Yes, it’s real

I’ll admit, when I first saw the magazine ad for the Specialized Enduro 29 featuring Matt Hunter getting completely horizontal, I too wondered if there was some trickery involved. “No way he rode that out,” I thought. Well I sure was wrong. Check out Hunter’s mastery on the trail and photographer Sterling Lorence’s mastery behind the lens:


Details announced for SSCXWC14 in Kentucky

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A sample of the scene from SSCXWC13 in Philadelphia.

The 2014 Raleigh Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships will be held at Eva Bandman Park in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday, October 25, 2014.

This year’s event will continue the great tradition of prior Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships, with a full weekend of qualifiers, racing and celebration – all carefully choreographed for an outstanding participant experience and only 45 minutes of pain.

Get all the details here.


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