Dirt Rag Magazine

First look: All-new 2014 Marin bikes


By Eric McKeegan, photos by Adam Newman

Last year Marin was sold to a private European investment group. From the outside, this move didn’t change very much, but it allowed Marin to invest in more design manpower, and these bikes are the first of what Marin promises to be many new designs. All models below share 27.5 wheels, and Marin will not make any 26-inch full suspension models for 2014.

 

First up is the Attack Trail, utilizing the latest iteration of Marin’s Quad Link Suspension design. The 150mm rear travel is matched to a 160mm fork, with all three models using the impressive new RockShox Pike fork. An aggressive 66.5 head angle , 13.3-inch bottom bracket and 17.1-inch chainstays show Marin is paying attention to the current long travel market. As of now, only three, carbon-framed models will be available. Canadian prices are $4,190-$7,870, and we’ll get U.S. pricing ASAP.

Also new this year is the Mount Vision line. In person, the Mount Vision and Attack Trail seem very similar, in both looks and design intent. Dig in deeper, and the suspension design is revealed to be a single pivot system, with a linkage driving the shock, and a flex point built into the seat stay, eliminating the need for a pivot in that location. Front and rear travel is matched at 140mm, with Fox 34 forks.

 

Three carbon Mount Visions will range between $5,030 and $7,550. Alloy models, with a carbon rear end (needed to create the flex point) will run $2,950 or $3,990.

The Attack Trail is marketed as a trail bike, and the Mount Vision an "enduro" bike. This seems to be the opposite of what many companies and consumers are selling and using for enduro races. The lighter and conceivably more efficient Mount Vision seems much more trail-able to me, with the longer travel and slacker angles of the Attack Trail would fit in well at the enduro events I’ve attended.

If all the complexity of travel lengths and suspension have you down, take a look at the Rocky Ridge. The lack front end (67.5 degrees), short rear end (16.5 inches) and a low bottom bracket (12.7 inches) should make this bike a very capable trail bike. Two models, both with 130mm forks, will be available for $1,890 and $2,520 (Canadian).

 

Nice touches include internal dropper post routing, a bent seat tube for short chainstay clearance, a 1×10 drivetrain with chainguide, a front derailleur mount, and a 142mm rear hub. If you haven’t ridden a newer aggressive trail hardtail, you owe it to yourself to do so, and the Rocky Ridge looks to be a good place to start.

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Gallery: Heckler’s Rock at Canadian Open DH – Crankworx

hecklers-10

Words and photos by Adam Newman.

The week-long celebration that is Crankworx climaxes each year with the Canadian Open Downhill, a three-minute blast down some of the most technical riding on the mountain.

The highlight, of course, is Heckler’s Rock, where beer-soaked fans were pre-gaming as early as 10:30 a.m. for the 3 p.m. finals.

An ominous sign when walking down to the Rock.

We all know what fuels this party.

Even hooligans have rules, and this one was strictly enforced.

Well… I guess so, yeah.

Oh, yeah, there’s racing too.

Coming…

Going…

The chairlift passes directly over Heckler’s Rock, and some passengers put on quite a show.

This guy doesn’t even have shoes on!

Canadian junior national champion Mark Wallace enjoying the home crowd.

Attempts to keep the track clean almost lead to disaster.

The guy in the jorts needs to put down the phone and pay attention.

Mitch Delfs shows he’s got the moves off the bike as well as on.

 

Nudity was the theme of the day.

You’ll find a few more obstacles on the Canadian Open track than you would at a normal DH track.

Loic Bruni wasn’t distracted by the on-course scenery.

Canadian hero Steve Smith rallied after an early crash to claim his second straight Canadian Open win.

And there was much rejoicing.

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First look: Trek offers limited-edition Ticket and Session Park


By Adam Newman

For nearly a decade Trek has been building dirt jump and slopestyle bikes for its sponsored athletes and mostly leaving consumers out of the equation. The Ticket Signature was briefly available as a complete bike, but with most riders preferring to build up their own ride depending on how they would use it, sales were sluggish.

Now, by combining the years of refinement on the Ticket hardtail and full-suspension models with Trek’s own Project One paint shop facilities in its office in Waterloo, Wisconsin, it will be releasing very limited runs onf special bikes under the Race Shop LTD label. Small production runs ("in the triple digits") means you better get to your local Trek shop in a hurry. First up are the three frames we saw today:

 

The Ticket DJ is the modern evolution of the dirt jump bike Trek has been building for years. Designed with the direct input of riders like Cam McCaul and Brandon Semenuk, it can be configured countless ways with ISCG tabs, sliding 142×12 dropouts and a derailleur hanger. It will be available in the spring, only in this blacked out paint, for $700.

 

The Ticket S was built to be the ultimate slopestyle bike, with 100mm of travel and 100mm-130mm forks. It matches the geometry of the hardtail so the athletes can switch bikes back and forth without having to adjust. The suspension uses Trek’s ABP linkage with a chip that allows for a small adjustment to the geometry, head angle and shock rate. It too will be available in only black, for $1,500, but will hit stores in late 2013.

 

The third bike is the Session Park frame. When Semenuk was preparing for the last Red Bull Rampage, he rode a modified Session with a custom swingarm that transformed the World Cup winning race bike into a more playful freeride bike. The rear travel has been shortened to 190mm while the shock rate has been made more progressive, and Semenuk said he runs his RockShox Boxxer fork at 190mm to match. The chainstays are also shorter at 420mm. It uses Trek’s patented OCLV carbon front triangle and will come in two sizes, medium and large. It will retail for $4,500 and be available in the spring.

Not into black? There will also be even more limited-edition versions of the C3 Project athletes’ custom painted bikes. First up is Ryan Howard’s stars and stripes Ticket S. Expect even more limited production runs, likely less than 100 units. When they’re gone, they’re gone, and Trek will decide which one to make next.

 

The Race Shop LTD program will also include other limited-edition goodies, including a straight up replica of Fabian Cancellara’s Paris-Roubaix-winning Domane road bike and the one-piece carbon fiber bar and stem used by the Trek XC race team.

Want to see the bikes in action? Check out Anthill Films‘ NotBad:

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First impression: Ghost AMR Riot 9


By Eric McKeegan, photos by Adam Newman

Let’s get the basic stuff out of the way about this company first. One: Ghost is a German brand, part of the Accell group (parent company of many brands, including Raleigh, Diamondback, Redline and others). Two: Starting soon, Ghost will be available, via a dealer network, across Canada. Three: No current plans for U.S. distribution.

OK, now let’s get on to the bike. This is the AMR Riot, a carbon fiber 130mm trail bike with 27.5 wheels. The rear suspension is a Horst Link design, with an extra link tucked into the bottom bracket area. It moves on Norglide bushings.

The first bit of the travel is on the regressive side of things, which helps keep suspension bob in check, getting more plush mid-stroke for more better bump absorption. That extra link changes the progression of the suspension over the last 20 percent of the travel as the progression ramps up aggressively, to the point where it’s nearly impossible to bottom out the shock.

The rest of the bike features all of the stuff we’ve come to expect on modern trail bikes, with nice little touches that show someone at Ghost is paying attention. The internal routing has multiple optional for entry plugs to get a custom set up depending out your cable routing needs, be it for 1x , 2x or 3x drivetrains, brake lever set-up (moto or standard) and dropper post choice.

 

The cables run inside the bottom bracket shell out through the chainstasy, eliminating the common ugly loop of cable under the BB. The BB92 press fit bottom bracket is standard enough, but a small plastic chain catcher keeps the chain from falling off the little ring. And finally the rear brake mount is a post style, but it is a separate aluminum piece that uses the rear axle as the rear mounting point.

 

The Riot will be available in five sizes. All sizes share a 68-degree head angle, 17.1 chainstays and 73.5-degree seat angle. The size large I rode has a 24 inch top tube, matched to a 60mm stem (which is stock for all sizes) was a fine fit for my 5 foot 11 self.

 

There will be three trim levels available, all with Shimano groups and Fox suspension. I headed out for a nice ride with Ghost’s Ruben Torenbeek. We spun down to the Lost Lake area in Whistler and got right to it on a technical climb. Right off the bat, I noticed the Riot is the the best pedaling FSR-style bike I’ve ever ridden. I never touched the CTD lever on the rear shock, and never felt the need to do so. Even with the dropper post slammed, out of the saddle the suspension behaved itself, resisting bob without feeling too harsh. It’s almost dw-link feeling, in a very good way.

Headed back down similar terrain, this was an easy bike to get used to, with very little time needed to adapt. I didn’t get info on the BB height, but it felt low enough to corner to corner aggressively, but not too low as to smash pedals and cranks while climbing.

Unfortunately, without U.S. distribution, this may be the only ride I’ll ever have on the Riot, which is a shame. From my short time on it, I came away impressed, and would love some more time on it. I’m a bit jealous of the people living within the global Ghost dealer zone.

Specs

  • 130mm front and rear
  • 27.5 wheels
  • Full carbon frame
  • Aluminum linkage parts
  • RIOTLink suspension system, patented pending by Ghost Bikes.
  • Disconnect Brake Mount, a new design brake mount where forces go directly into the X12 axle instead of the seat stays
  • Frame weight: 2.1kg
  • 3 models: AMR Riot 5/7/9
  • Fully internal cable routing
  • BB92 bottom bracket
  • Tapered Headtube
  • Reverb Stealth seatpost
  • 68 degree headangle
  • 73.5 degree seat tube angle
  • 435mm chainstays
  • Composite bushings
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First look: 2014 Norco mountain bikes


By Adam Newman

Norco went big last fall with its 2013 line and the introduction of bigger, 27.5 wheels. Now for 2014, it’s expanding the new wheels to more models and refining the popular Range and Sight models.

The highlight is the carbon fiber version of the Sight, with its 140mm of travel and FSR-derived suspension. The frame retains the geometry of the alloy version, but beefs up the bottom bracket to the BB92 standard. In fact, there are actually two versions of the carbon frame—one with a front derailleur direct mount and one without.

The Sight LE model (pictured here) and the Sight 7.1 will come with SRAM XX1 and XO1, respectively, while the Sight 7 1.5 has a Shimano SLX build and the 7.2 uses an X7 2×10 setup. Both versions will be available as a frame-only. There are also two aluminum versions as well as an aluminum frame-only.

 

 


The Fluid and Faze models slot in under the Sight, both in terms of travel and price.

 

The Fluid is an aluminum, 120mm frame in both 29er and 27.5 options with two build kit in each wheel size and prices ranging from $1,675 to $2,245.


 

The Faze is a 100mm 29er with three spec levels and prices from $1,315 to $2,330. Worth noting is the 140mm Shinobi 29er goes away for 2014, as most trail and all mountain riders were opting for the Sight and Range instead.


 

Then there’s the Bigfoot, Norco’s Canadian-bred fat bike. Acknowledging that it is likely a second or third (or eighth) bike for many riders, it’s built to hit a price point that won’t make you feel guilty about hanging it up all summer: $1,415. Its aluminum frame actually shares some tubing with the hardtail mountain bikes and fits a 170mm rear hub. The aluminum fork is 135mm. The tires spec’d are Vee Rubber’s 26×4.0 Mission tread and the 9-speed Shimano drivetrain is built with durability in mind.  

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East Coast bike parks announce Triple Crown Enduro Series


Burke Mountain Bike Park, The Kingdom Trails, Mountain Creek Bike Park and Highland Mountain Bike Park are pleased to announce the launch of a new East Coast focused Enduro series. With the support of presenting and supporting sponsors Mavic and Shimano the new Eastern Enduro Triple Crown Series will link the three largest and most well-established existing northeast races into a three race series this fall.

The plan is for each resort to retain the identity and operations of their signature world-class events, but the three races will be linked by an overall points series and follow the same guidelines for formats, categories and timing systems. This will provide competitors with a consistent racing experience at each event. With over $20,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs at the three races there is plenty of incentive for racers to put the east coast on their travel calendar this fall.

The dates for the three races will be as follows:

  • September 7: The Kingdom Enduro – Burke, VT
  • October 6: King of the Mountain Enduro – Vernon, NJ
  • October 19: OverMountain Enduro – Series Finals – Tilton, NH

 

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Help send US athletes to the World Championships


There is no lack of bad blood between Sho-Air owner and team founder Scott Tedro and USA Cycling. Earlier this year his US Cup series broke ties with USAC over its mandate that riders follow UCI rules banning them from participating in non-USAC races like the Leadville Trail 100 and the BC Bike Race.

But now, as final preparations are being made for the World Championships in South Africa later this month, Tedro has come to the support of American racers, despite his own team’s Jeremiah Bishop not earning an automatic berth or submitting a nomination for a discretionary pick.

Last week Sho-Air International, Tedros freight company, announced it was setting up a fund to assist all 35 representatives selected by USAC. It will provide a check for $100 to each rider. Due to budget constraints, USAC is able to provide travel assistance to Mountain Bike Program Director Marc Gullickson and little to none to the 35 athletes.

Sho-Air welcomes mountain bike fans and industry members to contribute to the fund with any dollar amount they can to help showcase American talent on the world stage.

Created on August 9, the fund has already raised $19,207 at the time of this post.  

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QBP launches new brand aimed at sportsmen


QBP surprised us over the weekend without the announcement of a new brand aimed at sportsmen. Cogburn Outdoors is the latest brand from the parent company of Surly, Salsa, Foundry and more.

The first product, a fat bike known as the CB4, is an alloy model that shows its family heritage if you look closely, appearing very similar to previous Salsa Mukluk models but with a new top tube. We don’t have all the details of the parts spec yet, but it is shown built with Surly Nate tires, a SRAM 2x drivetrain and Surly’s non-drilled rims.

But what really sets it apart is the RealTree camouflage finish applied by Dynamic Finishes in Kansas City. The non-camo parts are all flat black to avoid glare.

Since it’s designed for hunters and fisherman, they’re going to need a way to haul their gear, and the Scabbard is an aluminum attachment that goes on a rear rack to safely carry a rifle, bow or rod.

No word on pricing or availability yet, but look for more in September.

Unlike ATVs or snow machines, fat bikes allow access to the backcountry without any impact on the habitat.

What do you think? Will sportsmen take to fat bikes?  

Introducing Cogburn Outdoors from Cogburn on Vimeo.

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Norco previews 2014 lineup with carbon Sight 27.5 and Bigfoot fat bike


Looks like we’ll get our first glimpse of them at Crankworx next week, but today Norco sent out some details of its forthcoming lineup: 

Sight Killer B carbon

The hugely successful Norco Sight Killer B is going carbon for 2014. Featuring the same dialed geometry as its aluminum predecessor, but with the added strength, stiffness and weight savings of carbon. Internal cable routing, optional 1×11 gearing, and Reverb Stealth routing complete the cleanest, lightest, and fastest trail bike on the market.

Threshold

The Threshold series of cyclocross bikes was launched last year and for 2014 the lineup is going full disc. Integrating new SRAM hydraulic disc brake technology with a race-ready frameset makes for an out-of-the-box weapon eager to dominate the racecourse.

Revolver

The 2014 Revolver is the stiffest, lightest XC race bike Norco has ever made. Featuring full carbon construction, Norco’s Gravity Tune geometry and available in both 27.5/650B and 29" wheels. Match the wheel size with your style and the Revolver is a recipe for the podium!

Fluid 7

The cycling community fell in love with 27.5/650B wheels but there remains a lack of choice at the lower price points that the majority of mountain bikers are looking for. The Fluid 7 series answers this need, taking what we love about the 29" Fluid 9 series and applying it to 650B. Suspension kinematics and geometry are specific to the wheel size, delivering the ultimate trail mountain biking experience in a very affordable package.

Bigfoot

Norco is introducing a Fatbike for 2014. A versatile yet affordable option for snow, sand or wherever you plan to go, the Bigfoot brings the joy of fatbiking to the masses.

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Mountain Bike Hall of Fame announces 2013 inductees, moves to Marin


The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame announced its 2013 inductees today, and said it is moving from its longtime home in Crested Butte, Colo., to Marin County, Calif., long-considered the "birthplace" of mountain biking. 

The 2013 inductees are: 

Advocacy

CORBA—The Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association was founded in 1987. This advocacy group was formed to represent the interests of mountain bikers in response to trail closures in the Santa Monica Mountains and Rim of the Valley Corridor near Los Angeles. CORBA formed and quickly became a prominent voice of reason in the chaos of newly emerging mountain biking advocacy. A year later, and with other like-minded advocates CORBA became one of the five founding clubs of IMBA.

Journalism

David Epperson—Epperson has been on the Mountain Bike scene for nearly three and a half decades, and almost always with a camera in tow. Dave could have been placed in the MBHOF as easily for a Pioneer as he could for Journalism. One thing is clear: David’s photography and presence throughout the history of mountain biking is an on-going contribution that has profiled and promoted the sport of mountain biking.

Pioneers

Robin and Bill Groff—The year was 1983; the location Moab. The golden days of Moab’s mining boom had long since passed, and although Arches and Canyonlands National Parks existed, tourism was not a major factor in the local economy. Jobs were few and Robin and Bill Groff (along with their father John) had recently been laid off from their mining-based employment. It seemed to make no real sense at the time, but the brothers were avid cyclists and they decided to open a bike and outdoor gear shop. The rest is history.

Racing

Marla Streb—If Marla Streb had not been born, mountain biking would have had to invent her. Marla has done it all: Racer, Advocate, Teacher, Explorer, Businesswoman and kick-ass rider. The amazing thing is that she didn’t start riding seriously until she was 28. As a competitive athlete, she went on to win the X Games Championship, a UCI World Cup in downhill, three U.S. National Downhill championships and, perhaps gnarliest of all, she has twice been Single-speed World Champion.

Nicolas Vouilloz—Nico won the Downhill Mountain Bike World Championships 10 times, starting as a junior in 1992 and finishing his career with the his 10th victory in 2002, only placing lower in 2000 finishing 8th. He also won sixteen World cup Downhill races. Nico then went on to racing Cars. After several years’ absence from the mountain biking scene, Vouilloz returned to race professionally in 2007 at the fourth round of the World Cup in Champery, Switzerland. He is currently tearing it up in the Enduro World Series.

Elected by a vote of past Hall of Fame Inductees and current Hall of Fame members, the Class of 2013 will be welcomed into the Hall on Wednesday, September 18. The Induction Ceremony will take place at 6:00 p.m. during the Interbike Show in Las Vegas. The event is held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center, in the Islander F Hall, immediately following the first day of the indoor show. All Interbike attendees as well as the public are welcome. 

Also announced today was that after 26 years of being located in Crested Butte, the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame will be moving to Marin County this fall. The MBHOF will be transferred to a group of Marin County Inductees including Joe Breeze, Otis Guy and Marc Vendetti. More to come on this exciting change.

The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame & Museum was founded in 1988 in Crested Butte. Ten mountain biking pioneers were inducted that first year; between three to seven mountain bike legends have been selected annually since then. The 2013 selections bring the number of Hall of Fame inductees to 125 individuals plus nine groups.

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