Dirt Rag Magazine

Rebecca Rusch versus Jay Petervary’s Backyard Fat Pursuit


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By Rebecca Rusch

Photos courtesy of Salsa Cycles

Why does riding and pushing a heavily laden fat bike up and over the Continental Divide in February through the dead of night appeal to anyone at all? I’m not sure I have the answer, but I went searching for it when I lined up for Jay Petervary’s inaugural Backyard Fat Pursuit in Island Park, Idaho.

I got more than I bargained for. I went all in and came away with a pulmonary edema and a DNF.

Read the full story

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A brief history of the Dirt Rag Office Dogs


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Canine co-habitation has long been a part of the casual atmosphere that prevails at Dirt Rag headquarters. From rides to relaxation, they are a constant companion. Some are gone, some are still with us, but they all warm our heart – and our toes under our desk.

With the assistance of the respective poochies’ partners, I offer this tribute to the four-legged denizens of Dirt Rag, past and present.

Meet them here.

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Riding with the Breeze


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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.

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Trail Shooter: The Dirt Rag guide to mountain bike photography – Part 1, the basics


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Those of us dirt bags reading this magazine have a common interest, for better or worse: riding mountain bikes. Additionally, most of us like looking at engaging photographs, as well as documenting our own adventures. It’s high time we write about making better photographs of our adventures, so you can share them with your friends, or even better, in the pages of Dirt Rag in our Rider’s Eye section. Note for photo nerds: I’m breaking some very complex ideas and concepts down into easily digestible chunks for people who aren’t photo geeks.

Ready to take better photos? Click here.

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Photo Gallery: Bilenky Junkyard ‘Cross


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A long-standing Pennsylvania tradition, Bilenky Cycle Works has hosted a… unique cyclocross race each winter through a salvage yard. There are no UCI officials measuring tire widths, the barriers are not to spec, and #handupsarenotacrime.

This Saturday the annual event was pushed to new levels with the influx of humanity (and inhumanity) in town for the Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships. The Junkyard Cross was tapped as a qualifying event for the Big Show, with heats of riders dualing for a finale and a chance to race in the Sunday’s main event. If you favored style over speed, you could still enter Sunday’s Everyone’s A Winner race, complete with universal #1 number plates.

There were a few scary moments, and likely some flat tires, but overall the event was one of the most amazing spectacles I’ve ever seen. Until Sunday that is…

Stay tuned for more!

Click here to see the gallery!

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Inside Line: Mountain bike highlights from Eurobike


By Jeff Lockwood

It’s the end of August and we’re in Germany. That means it’s Eurobike time. Here’s a selection of some interesting mountain bike bits we’ve seen over the first day and a half of the show.

Breezer Repack

Joe Breeze was part of the Repack gang racing down Mt. Tam back in the 1970′s. Around the same time, he was also building some of the first mountain bikes before they were known as mountain bikes. In fact, the first fat tire bike built by Joe Breeze, the Breezer #1, is now in the Smithsonian Institute of American History.

Under the Breezer brand, Joe has kept right on designing and building bikes. Sensing that today’s enduro riders share the same spirit of adventure and fun of the sport’s forefathers, and to capitalize on it, Breezer has unveiled the all-mountain, 160mm-travel Repack.

The Breezer Repack 27.5” wheels 160mm of travel for Enduro riders

The three Repack models all feature 27.5” (650B) wheels, a Breezer D’Fusion hydroformed custom-butted 6066 aluminum frame, and the all-new patented MLink suspension system.

The pivot in this design is situated at the middle of the chainstays, which make the links longer. Breezer claims this creates a more rigid rear end for more efficient climbing, yet retain the ability to take all the downhill abuse enduro riders throw at it.

Breezer says the Repack bikes will arrive in January.

Vaude

Long known for their great bags and other cool outdoor gear and clothing, Vaude has jumped into the mountain bike shoe market for 2014 with the Taron MTB shoe series.

The three shoes in the Taron line retain the sleek styling Vaude is known for. Two of them are low-cut, while one is a waterproof mid-cut. There is almost no stitching on the top of the shoe, in favor of bonding at the seams. The soles of the shoes are inspired by mountain bike tires, and definitely look like it. There’s a nylon board inside the bottom of the shoe that makes it stiff for power transfer, yet the tire-like base of the sole, which is made in conjunction with Vibram, is soft and grippy enough for your off-the-bike sessions.

DZR

California shoe company DZR has a new shoe for those of the freeride and/or downhill persuasion. The Sense Pro features adjustable stiffness thanks to two different footbeds: one that’s stiff and one that’s not so stiff. The toe and heel of the sole are a bit more rugged than the middle of the sole. This allows less wear on the toe and heel, and more grip at the pedal interface.

DZR Sense Pro for the downhillers and freeriders

Two different sole compounds.

 

One footbed is stiff, while the other one is more flexible.

Juliana

Julie Furtado was one of the most successful mountain bike racers in the 1990′s. She was in the Olympics, and has been inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame.

More recently, she’s been doing work with Santa Cruz bicycles, and now we have the Juliana brand of bikes, which are for women. And they’re some sweet bikes. Let’s let the photos of these 27.5” bikes speak for themselves.

Kona

Fat bikes are getting a lot of curious looks here in Germany.

Mission Workshop

Mission Workshop is well-known for making some serious messenger bags, backpacks and other urban riding clothing. But their interest in cycling goes deeper than bikes ridden in and around the city. As their marketing guy, Lyle, told me, “All of us at Mission Workshop ride mountain bikes, and we wanted cool stuff to ride with.” And that’s how Acre was born.

A sub-brand of Mission Workshop, the Acre line of trail packs and apparel shares the same high-quality features and well-thought out design details.

 

The Hauser trail pack looks similar to Mission Workshop’s other backpacks in style, but their functionality is obviously aimed at mountain bikers with things like the ability to use a hydration bladder.

 

Capacity options (not the capacity of the hydration bladder) are 10 and 14 liters.

Instead of including a number of internal pockets for tools, etc., Acre decided to include a complete removable tool roll. Pretty cool.

WTB

What’s as light as carbon fiber, but a little more sensible to handle the abuse of certain types of mountain biking? What’s light enough for cross-country riding, but made for all-mountain riding?

If you’re thinking it’s the new KOM i23 aluminum rim from WTB, then you’re right!

Available in all mountain bike wheel sizes, the KOM rims feature the WTB Tubeless Compatible System (TCS). The TCS system combines the WTB rims and tires that is compatible with all international tubeless standards.

WTB minimized rim thickness wherever possible in an effort to get weights comparable to carbon fiber.

X-Fusion

The X-Fusion Hilo SL is a lighter version of their Hilo 125 dropper post. Like it’s heavier sibling, the slimmed down hydraulic SL offers 125mm of infinitely adjustable travel to stabilize your ride. It weights in at 450 grams with the included remote.

Cube Stereo Hybrid 140

Electricity is creeping into all areas of cycling, and the 140mm travel, 27.5” party is no exception. We’ve seen a lot of electric motors thrown into frames in all sorts of manner. However, Cube seems to have given some serious thought into this model.

The engine on the Stereo Hybrid is situated at the bottom bracket, but the pivot for the rear link is there, as is the seat of the shock eyelet. It’s all at a low position on the bike, so the center of gravity is lower. This means more agility.

Wood you?

Want a unique look for your wheels? How about these wood grain graphics? These are aluminum rims, but a wood grain graphic… even inside the rim.

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Inside Line: Santa Cruz gives us a single-pivot Solo, the Bantam


What a year for Santa Cruz, after releasing the Bronson, Solo and Heckler models earlier this year, the Bantam is the fourth new 27.5 model to emerge this year. (Seventh if you count carbon and aluminum models separately.)

Packing 27.5 wheels and 125mm of the tried-and-true single pivot suspension, it offers the same geometry as the Solo model at a lower price point with less maintenance. It sports the same 68 degree head tube angle, 17.1 inch chainstays and low 13.1 inch bottom bracket. Just like it’s big brother, the Heckler, it has a 142×12 thru axle, a threaded bottom bracket and ISCG tabs.

The new bike follows Santa Cruz’s model of offering similar bikes in both single pivot and VPP variety, e.g. Tallboy/Superlight 29, Bronson/Heckler, and now Solo/Bantam.

 

 

 

There will be two colors available: green and black, as well as two build kits at $2,599 or $2,899. 

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Inside Line: Rocky Mountain strikes with new Thunderbolt


Is it an XC bike? A trail bike? Rocky Mountain would say yes to both. The Thunderbolt’s 120mm of travel and 27.5 wheels bridge the gap.

When compared to the Element, Instinct and Altitude, the Thunderbolt’s Rocky Mountain heritage is evident, with a strong family resemblance. But unlike the brand’s dedicated XC offerings, the Thunderbolt is meant to be a more playful and aggressive bike for a wide variety of riding styles. Absent, however, is the Ride-9 chip found on its siblings, so the suspension is not as adjustable.

Most models of the Thunderbolt will use 142×12 E-Thru rear axles, internal cable routing, stealth dropper post routing and BB92 bottom brackets.

There are four models:

770: $3,999

750: $3,299

730: $2,599

710: $2,099

No word yet on availability. We’ll likely know more after Interbike.

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