Thirty years after its debut, the famed race is scheduled to return this fall with racing of all types.Tweet Print
Cannondale has announced that its North American OverMountain team will, for the first time, be racing and adventuring on the all-new Lefty SuperMax suspension fork this season.
A 26-inch, 160mm travel fork has been seen under team riders and the 29er version is currently 130mm. This is a particularly interesting announcement on the eve of next week’s global OverMountain bike launch in Spain where Cannondale will be introducing two new bikes.
The SuperMax’s race debut will be in the Enduro World Series under OverMountain team riders Ben Cruz, Jason Moeschler team newcomer Marco Osborne and eventually Mark Weir who is currently healing from a broken hip.
According to Cannondale its team riders were instrumental in the development of the SuperMax’s new internal components, most of all a Wide Mouth Piston, which is said to increase small bump sensitivity and high-speed suppleness. The SuperMax’s dual crown structure makes it radically stiff, yet the minimalist single-leg design makes it as light as some of its competitors cross-country race forks.
“Going into the SuperMax testing I was a bit apprehensive,” said Weir. “After I got on it and started riding, it is a difference you would have to ride to believe. I’ve been riding the same corners for 15 years, and I try to carry my speed through every time. On the SuperMax, I’ve never been faster.”
This year marks drastic changes for Intense Cycles. With a new CEO, CFO and COO in place, company founder and owner Jeff Steber along with his original business partner Marv Strand both agreed, “This is a very exciting time, a reinvention of our brand.”
Steber added, “I designed a guitar before I could play one and I went into the mountain bike business with the same energy.” For the complete tale of how Steber almost went into the guitar business instead of bikes as well as the story behind Intense’s rise to fame check out our special 25th Anniversary Issue (#176), coming soon.
Intense was an early pioneer in downhill racing, not only in the amount of riders that rode its bikes but also in that the brand ushered in a new look. “Intense downhill racers began wearing motocross inspired gear instead of Lycra, specifically Shawn Palmer,” recalled Steber. “He changed the sport forever and this brought us a lot of attention. In 1996 when he won a silver medal at the World Championships, that’s when Intense arrived.”
Another pioneering move by Steber and the Intense brand was the embracement of 27.5-inch wheels. “We were one of the first to move to this wheelsize when the Tracer 275 came out in 2012”, Steber says. “I called it 275 because 650b sounded too roadie.”Tweet Print
This year is a major milestone for Dirt Rag. We’re celebrating 25 years of printing the magazine. The ‘Rag has gone from being hand-stapled in Maurice and Elaine Tierney’s basement for East Coast consumption in 1989 to where we are today in 2014: enjoying rapid circulation growth and distribution across the globe.
As part of the celebration our next issue will feature special content that’s sure to become a collector’s item. One feature story, written by Gary Boulanger, is an inside look at the history of Dirt Rag with an inside view of how it all began and how we got to where we are. As part of that, I’d like to share a few extra stories over the next few weeks that came out of Gary’s research. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them as much as I do and will look forward to reading this special feature when it arrives on newsstands April 1 or in your mailbox even sooner if you’re a subscriber (hint, hint).Tweet Print
Last weekend while doing trail work Cannondale-WTB OverMountain rider Mark Weir was crushed by a 300-pound tree limb, breaking his pelvis in three places. We talked to him by phone from his home in Novato, California, where he’s recuperating for the next six to eight weeks. Mark was especially disappointed about the accident because he just signed a new, three-year contract with the Cannondale OverMountain team. All things considered Weir seemed in good spirits and was happy to talk about his ordeal.Tweet Print
The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag is now offering a three-day stage race alternative called TS3 during the Epic targeted towards racers who can’t be away for an entire week. TS3 racers get the same benefits as the 7-day Epic competitors (since they will be riding the same courses) including fully stocked aid stations, mechanical supplies at each checkpoint, a daily quick bike check by Freeze Thaw Cycles from State College, back up mechanical assistance from SRAM and BMC’s neutral support bikes available at each checkpoint.
TS3 also includes special prizes from event partners tossed in at random through the weekend. Overall TS3 GC and enduro awards include $10,000 in prizes. TS3 will start on Sunday, May 25 and finish Tuesday, May 27 (the first three days of the 7-day race.)
TS3 racers will mass start separately on Sunday and instead of racing the classic ITT they will do two cross-country style laps on the time trial course. The next two days will be the Coopers Gap epic stage followed by the Galbraith Enduro on Tuesday to decide final TS3 GC.
We sat down with Trans-Sylvania Epic promoter Mike Kuhn as asked him a few questions about the new event. Read our interview here.Tweet Print
A good pair of winter shoes is key for year round riding if you live where it gets cold and snowy. Depending on your region, super duty boots like Lake’s MXZ might be overkill, that’s where Lake’s new $260 MX145 mid-weight winter shoe comes in.
The water resistant upper is constructed with a combination of waxed canvas, leather and a waterproof membrane to keep foul weather elements at bay. The fiberglass injected sole is stiff enough for good power transfer and the durable rubber lugs provide good traction in snow and over wet, slippery logs and rocks.Tweet Print
Photos by Maurice Tierney and Shimano
In response to its rapid growth, Shimano American Corporation has expanded its Irvine, Calif., office building by some 48,000 square feet turning it into a massive 51,000 square foot distribution center. An entirely new, modern business center also opened directly across the street for Shimano’s marketing, R&D and inside sales staff.
A recent move by Shimano to go dealer direct with its products, which also includes Pearl Izumi and a host of fishing brands, not only means lower prices for the customer but a need to expand warehouse capability for shipping, receiving and storage. Even after a year the project is still being completed with a new fire sprinkler system being installed, new hi-tech conveyers being finalized and large storage spaces being prepared. Other changes to the former offices include a fishing rod and reel repair and warranty center for quick turnaround.
Shimano’s Marketing Manager Joe Lawwill, who raced professionally for over 10 years and won a Masters Downhill World Championship in 2002, showed us around the entrance to the new, highly modern Business Center. Visitors are treated to an action video loop on the main screen while a smaller interactive monitor showcases Shimano’s history in cycling.Tweet Print
The first issue of 2014 has shipped to subscribers and should be showing up on newsstands any day now. Want to make sure you never miss an issue? Pick up a subscription.
You may have noticed from the recent batch of bike First Impressions that have been popping up on this site, the staff recently embarked on a little trip to focus solely on a $2,500, six-bike test for the upcoming February issue (Dirt Rag #175). Our chosen location was the Stokesville Lodge in Virginia, just outside of the bustling college town of Harrisonburg.
The area is famous to a large part of the right hand side of the country for more than just exceptional riding: it boasts upwards of 500 miles of amazing singletrack, is home and training grounds to Sho-Air/Cannondale pro Jeremiah Bishop and NoTubes’ Sue Haywood and on top of that the Stokesville campground behind the lodge is home to the legendary Shenandoah Mountain 100 race.
As good as the camping is with its vast network of trails right out of you tent flap, it’s never been open to the public for anything other than the race on the last weekend in August and the Virginia Mountain Bike Festival in late May. Much to the delight of many, we found out that this is about to change, likely as soon as this summer.Tweet Print