GEAR

Review: iXS Trail RS helmet

December 30, 2013 Karen Brooks 0

iXS calls this an “enduro/trail helmet.” What makes it so, exactly? The fact that it’s endorsed by freerider Ritchie Schley? As a matter of fact, this helmet offers extra protection for getting rad while still

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NEWS

Lapierre brings new mountain bikes to US shores

July 30, 2013 Karen Brooks 0

By Karen Brooks

Lapierre is a storied French brand that has been making bicycles since 1946. Last year it debuted an electronically controlled suspension system in Europe, for 2014 that system, called Ei, will be available in the States on a trio of bikes: the Spicy and Zesty 27.5-wheeled trail bikes, and the XR 29er for cross country.

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NEWS

Pivot gets in the 27.5 game with new Mach 6 and LES hardtail

July 29, 2013 Karen Brooks 0

By Karen Brooks and Adam Newman

Mach 6

Pivot showed off three new bikes at their DealerCamp oasis. First off: the highly anticipated Mach 6.

We’re at a point in mountain bike history when factors are converging to create a fresh bloom of creativity—namely, the enduro racing scene and the 27.5 wheel size. Pivot’s been working on a bike that takes advantage of “Goldilocks” wheels to dominate this new form of racing.

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NEWS

First look: New mountain and adventure bikes from Surly

July 23, 2013 Karen Brooks 0

By Karen Brooks

The first day of Saddledrive—a dealer and media-only event put on by distributor Quality Bicycle Producuts—the whistle sounded (yes, really) and eager attendees stampeded toward the line of waiting demo bikes in a grassy area at Snowbasin Resort in Utah. Among those were some surprise new models from Surly.

Straggler

First off, the Surly bikes. (drumroll please…) They’ve finally put disc brake mounts on a Cross Check-style steel cyclocross bike! Cleverly enough, it’s called the Straggler.

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Just Riding Along

Wheelies, wine, and oh yeah… racing too!

May 30, 2013 Karen Brooks 0

By Karen Brooks

It’s 10:21 p.m. and I’m typing this at a rustic wooden table in the dining area of a Boy Scout cabin. My cabin-mates are chatting, drinking water (or beer) and snacking, discussing today’s racing (and shenanigans) and tomorrow’s stage. Someone says, “Aw, it sucks you guys have to work.” But then I remind them that I’m technically at work when we’re out on the trail, too.

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NEWS

Juli Furtado unveils new Juliana bikes built by Santa Cruz

May 28, 2013 Karen Brooks 0

By Karen Brooks. Photos courtesy of Santa Cruz.

One of the coolest parts of my job is getting to meet those athletes or personalities who have inspired me in my own struggles to be a better mountain biker. So when I got an email from mountain bike legend Juli Furtado—one of my heroes from way back in beginner days—inviting me to a press camp to introduce a new brand she’s spearheading, I stared at the computer screen for a while in amazement. Juli Furtado! Wow! 

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Bike Industry News

NAHBS 2013 – Road bikes

February 23, 2013 Karen Brooks 0

By Karen Brooks

Sometimes you just want to imagine yourself sailing down a silky-smooth country road, wine and cheese in the bag, and sun shining… Here at the 2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show there are plenty of classically beautiful road bikes to inspire just such a vision. Here are a few.


Shamrock Cycles Fluid Druid

Simply a traditional road frame with fender capability. Pretty fenders, too. I love the little Brooks tool roll on the back of the saddle.

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Bike Industry News

NAHBS 2013 – City bikes

February 23, 2013 Karen Brooks 0

By Karen Brooks

Building a bike to be an everyday vehicle gives a lot of opportunities for creative framebuilders to add all kinds of amenities to their NAHBS show bikes. Here’s a few that have stood out so far.

Donkelope

This Donkelope caught my eye right away. Builder Greg calls it a steampunk bike. It has an actual bike lamp—yes, a lamp—from the early 1900s, retrofitted with a modern LED light inside. 

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GEAR

2012 gift guide and staff picks – Karen’s picks

December 13, 2012 Karen Brooks 0

By the Dirt Rag staff

This is our first attempt at a holiday gift guide, and, in typical Dirt Rag fashion, we had to do it our way. We’ll share a dirty little secret with you: most magazines’ gift/buyer’s guides are not created based on the recommendations of riders, but by the wants and desires of advertisers.

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GEAR

Review: Naked Loonie singlespeed

July 11, 2012 Karen Brooks 0

By Karen Brooks

You may know Sam Whittingham or his brand Naked Bicycles & Design by the award-winning bikes he’s shown at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Whittingham won the 2011 People’s Choice Award for an ultra-clean and minimalist singlespeed dubbed the Gentleman’s Scorcher. The Loonie 29er singlespeed Whittingham built for this test recently won the Best Mountain Bike award at the 2012 show, still caked mud from the many miles I put on it.

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NEWS

Mid-week update from the Trans-Sylvania Epic

May 30, 2012 Karen Brooks 0

By Karen Brooks,

We are having a great time here at the Trans-Sylvania Epic. Once again, Mike Kuhn and Ray Adams have put on a quality event, and I’m stoked to be here.

Eric is stoked about his high-viz glasses that ensure he stands out in photographs. 

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Just Riding Along

Assault on the Trans-Sylvania Epic, with a Cannondale Scalpel

May 8, 2012 Karen Brooks 0

by Karen Brooks

The Trans-Sylvania Epic stage race was so much fun last year—in that wonderful suffering kind of way—that I couldn’t wait to sign up again for 2012. Fortunately, Dirt Rag is now a presenting sponsor, so this event counts as “work.” Both Eric and I will be racing the Solo category, and various other staff may also drop by to check things out, particularly on Monday for the Ride for the Trails happening during Stage Two.

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NEWS

My bike at NAHBS: Naked, except for mud

March 9, 2012 Karen Brooks 0

By Karen Brooks

It was a sad day when I packed up the Naked custom singlespeed test bike I’d been riding. Sometimes it’s tough to let go of test bikes, and this one was particularly tough. A custom bike! That means only I am supposed to ride it! But the sad reality is that I couldn’t afford this sweet ride, and its maker, Sam Whittingham, can’t afford to just give it away, so someone else will make out.

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Just Riding Along

Dirt Rag visits Ray’s Women’s Weekend

February 24, 2012 Karen Brooks 0

By Karen Brooks

My favorite event on our calendar was this past weekend: the Women’s Weekend at Ray’s Indoor Bike Park in Cleveland. This is always such a good time, riding-wise and socially, and I’m not exaggerating when I say it has been fundamental to my development as a mountain biker.