Dirt Rag Magazine

Is this the first 3D printed metal bike frame?


British brand Empire Cycles has partnered with a Belgian firm to create what they are calling the world’s first 3D printed mountain bike frame. Renishaw, a first that specializes in advanced 3D printing techniques, builds the frame layer by tiny layer from titanium. The finished product is said to be one third lighter than a traditional titanium frame because of the accuracy available in construction.

Right now the frame is said to be undergoing tests before being made available to the public, but so far so good. Get more on how the process works over at dezeen.com.



Dirt Rag is hiring

Last week Dirt Rag’s Publisher Maurice Tierney and Karen Brooks, the former editor of Dirt Rag and the founding editor of our sister magazine Bicycle Times, mutually decided to part ways.

“I’m proud of the work I’ve done with both Bicycle Times and Dirt Rag, and am excited to go off in new directions,” Brooks said.

“We wish Karen all the best,” Tierney said. “We’re also really excited about the future of Bicycle Times.”

Rotating Mass Media, parent company of Bicycle Times and Dirt Rag magazines, is now looking to fill the position of Editor of Bicycle Times or Online Editor.

Get the details here.


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.


Shimano opens new business center in CA


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.

Join us for a tour of the new facility.


Support trail access in Marin County and you could win this bike


Marin County, the birthplace of mountain biking, has suffered for decades with lack of good, legal singletrack. Access4Bikes is working hard to turn the tide in Marin and open up more riding opportunities for our vibrant mountain bike community.

Funds raised from this campaign will go to building more trail miles at Camp Tamarancho, one of the best riding spots in the county, and to advocating for more singletrack on public lands. Marin Bikes and Access4Bikes are giving away a 2014 Marin Rocky Ridge 7.6. Tickets are for sale now at Access4Bikes.com for $10 each. The more tickets you buy the better chance you have to win. Ticket Sales will be open until March 4 at 5pm and the winner will be announced on March 5 on the Access for Bikes Facebook page. The winner will also get a 2 year Tamarancho trail pass.

The Rocky Ridge 7.6 is a hardball designed for aggressive trail riding, with low, slack geometry and 27.5 wheels. Read our first impressions of the bike here, and watch an upcoming issue of Dirt Rag for a long-term review.

Access4Bikes has a long history of strong advocacy to change policy and elect bike friendly officials across the county.

There is a big opportunity to influence the Marin County Open Space road and trail management plan. For more information visit access4bikes.com/win-a-marin.



Intense Cycles factory tour


Bike factories I love?

Ad Intense to this list. Every effort is made to have raw local materials come in one end and bikes out the other. This was evident on a recent tour of their facility in Temecula, Calif. We heard there was a new bike on its way so we stopped by to see what was going on.

Intense Cycles also announced this week that founder Jeff Steber and partner Marv Strand have hired Andrew Herrick as the company’s CEO.

See more photos from the factory here.


Team CF returns as Rare Disease Cycling


I remember when I first moved to the East Coast and Team CF (Cystic Fibrosis) formed in Philadelphia. They were a small group of mostly local riders who had a lot of heart, some notable results and now a big vision: Take it all up a notch and create a larger regional, and maybe national, presence to raise awareness for the cause. It impressed me how quickly they became a dominant force. Go to any regional endurance or National Ultra Endurance Series race, and you were guaranteed to see a lot of blue and white argyle, often leading the charge.

Team founder and major funder Dr. Jim Wilson, who has been the leading researcher on cystic fibrosis in the world for over 20 years, is not only an avid mountain biker himself, but also saw firsthand how vigorous exercise like mountain biking was as effective as therapy for kids and adults with the inherited, chronic lung disease (and let’s face it, it’s way more fun). He wanted to use cycling as a platform to promote fitness for those with CF, to increase awareness of CF, and to raise money for CF research.

In short order the elite mountain bike team (the team also includes cyclocross racers), led by Christian Tanguy, Cheryl Sornson, Gerry Pflug, and Selene Yeager cleaned up at nearly every endurance race in the Mid-Atlantic region, not even Trek legend Jeff Schalk could stop Tanguy in the NUE series that first and second year. Along the way, besides the elite squad, he nurtured a growing band of amateur cyclists on the club team, many who had Cystic Fibrosis themselves and used the sport to retain a better quality of life.

As the team broadened, its riders began successfully hitting select stage and marathon races on the west coast as well as foreign lands such as Africa, Brazil and Costa Rica with success not only in results, but also in spreading the message of Dr. Wilson.

Heading into this year there’s an important name change and a new look—Team Rare Disease Cycling. This represents Dr. Wilson’s ongoing research well beyond just CF but to all rare diseases. The elite team has also added notable racers, including up and coming pro Cole Oberman, to leave an even bigger footprint, both in its race results and message. The team, along with The Penn Center for Orphan Disease Research and Therapy, will also be hosting a “Million Dollar Bike Ride” this May in Philadelphia to raise money for rare disease research.

If what I’ve seen so far is any indication, Rare Disease Cycling will be a force to be reckoned with—and definitely fun to watch—this season.

Click here to learn more about Rare Disease Cycling…


Ray’s Indoor Women’s Weekend – Feb. 14-16 in Cleveland and March 7-9 in Milwaukee

Ladies, there’s no reason to park your bike for winter if you live near one of Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Parks. Especially with the hugely popular Women’s Weekend coming up quick.

On the Friday of each weekend the ENTIRE park is closed to men from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and pro rider Leigh Donovan will be hosting clinics and instruction. Plus there’s free lunch from Chipotle, door prizes, goodie bags and more. After 4 p.m. the party continues, but you’ll have to share the park with the dudes.

Then on Saturday and Sunday women will enjoy half price admission. Tickets are $25 for Friday’s activities and half off normal prices for Saturday and Sunday.

Women’s weekend will be February 7-9 at Rays Cleveland and March 7-9 in Milwaukee.

Check out our photo gallery from last year and visit the Ray’s website to register.

See you there!


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