Photos courtesy of Scott Enduro Cup
This past weekend I joined elite riders from across the world at the third and final stop of the Scott Enduro Cup presented by GoPro at Canyons Resort. The final stop on the North American Enduro Tour traveled 17.2 miles of trail with 3,200 vertical feet of descending with sharp switchbacks, off-camber rooty singletrack, and the bike park flow trail. I was fortunate enough to secure a ride on a top-secret bike from Salsa (more on that soon) and tackle the same trails that the elite riders tear apart.
The Park City area is the world’s first and only International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Gold-Level Ride Center, and this race marks the third year Canyons Resort has hosted the Enduro Cup. The course at Canyons Resort requires riders to have the endurance to sustain energy while pedaling on non-timed transfer stages and impeccable skill to charge down the steep, technical timed descents. If you think enduro is all about chairlifts and downhill, think again. Some of the transfer stages included 30 to 40-minute sustained climbs in the Utah heat.Tweet Print
Oakley’s newest retail store, located in the King of Prussia Mall is the first in the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia area. Besides carrying an assortment of products—apparel, luggage, watches and backpacks, it’s eyewear selection (as you’d expect) is amazing.
It features Oakley’s new in-store optical center, one of only 20 in the country, enabling customers to fill eyewear prescriptions directly at the store and choose their own standard or custom frame coloring and style. In King of Prussia, an Oakley licensed optician uses a motion capture device Oakley helped develop. It’s placed on the selected frame while the customer is wearing it and, in just a few seconds, the program reads and records the customer’s measurements to match to the prescription. This allows those with more advanced prescriptions to wear any of Oakley’s high-wrap sports shields. Turnaround time averages one week and the final product can be picked up at the store or sent to a home address.
Custom colored Oakley Flax glassess assembled right at the store.
Another cool feature (one I took advantage of) is the ability to walk into the store and choose any combination of frame style, color, ear sock color, lens tint and even brand logo color on some models from a computer program. The store has every combination in stock so you can create and walk away with your custom design that day. Oakley also has a full collection of its own custom designs on hand in the store as well.
Besides choosing my colors I went with, on the opticians recommendation, the Grass lens, which is actually designed for golf. It works amazingly well deep in the woods, vividly pulling out colors and shadows of the trail better than any other tint I’ve tried. Look for a more in depth prescription lens test in a future issue of Dirt Rag.Tweet Print
We got our first ride on Magura’s new four-piston brakes in Sedona, Arizona. The design is based on motorcycle technology, with four independent pistons and brake pads.Tweet Print
Single chainring drivetrains have taken the mountain bike world by storm over the past few years. For many riders in many types of terrain, it just works. There are fewer gizmos on the handlebar, fewer moving pieces to maintain, and thanks to new products like Wolf Tooth Components‘, nearly all of the range of gearing—nearly that of a double chainring setup. They also work wonderfully to clear the rear tire on fat bikes and are necessary on some new suspension bikes that don’t even bother with a front derailleur mount.
I’ve been running my hardtail as a 1×10 for a few months now and have been quite happy with it, but there were certainly times I could have used an extra cog at the low end, and really never felt like I was spinning out on the top end. I wanted to gear down but normally a typical 32 chainring and 36 cog is as low as you can go. Now, Wolf Tooth is one of a handful of brands now producing 40 and 42 tooth adaptor cogs and SRAM-compatible direct mount chainrings with the narrow/wide pattern. They were kind enough to send over a set and I installed them this week.Tweet Print
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.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
Jeremiah Bishop showing us the locals know how to have fun.
The leaves have changed and are falling fast, the mornings are met with frost, and the sunscreen is packed away. The days are growing shorter and the riding season is becoming shorter still. But before winter begins to blow its icy breath upon the landscape, we have a lot more riding to do.
Chris Scott is the driving force behind Shenandoah Mountain Touring and the Stokesville Lodge.
With a lot of product testing still to be done, we packed up the ol’ Dirt Rag van and headed south to Stokesville, Va., to meet up with Chris Scott and the gang from Shenandoah Mountain Touring. Bunked up at the Stokesville Lodge, we brought a gaggle of trail bikes to ride this week that will likely be bike shops’ bread and butter come spring, all ringing up the register at about $2,500.
See the bikes and more after the jump. Read the full storyTweet Print
By Stephen Haynes
Twice a year, in the tiny town of Oakridge, Oregon, Randy Dreiling and Oregon Adventures host Mountain Bike Oregon with the help of trail maintenance and advocacy groups the Disciples of Dirt and Greater Oakridge Area Trail Stewards, as well as many local businesses and volunteers.
Now in its ninth year, Mountain Bike Oregon is a well-oiled, all-inclusive festival that brings together hundreds of riders from nearly two dozen states (and beyond) to sample what many consider Oregon’s premiere mountain bike trails, with shuttle service and guides included in the price of admission.
For $430, you get a spot to pitch your tent, breakfast, pack-your-own style lunch, dinner (with vegetarian options), free beer and wine from local breweries and vineyards, nightly spectacles such as bike toss and mini bike races, an expo area with bike demos, yoga classes, ladies-only rides and clinics, and enough stunning scenery to keep your mouth agape when it’s not smiling from the onslaught of awesome singletrack.
I rolled into Greenwaters Park on the shores of the Willamette River just before noon on Friday, quickly established camp and headed straight for the guide tent to suss out something to ride on.
Helpfully assisted towards a departing shuttle, I found myself in a van, in a strange town, with nine people I’d never met before, driving to a trail I’d never heard of. I was becoming slightly nervous at the prospect of potentially being in over my head. It bears mentioning that this was the first time I’d ever been shuttled anywhere before. All of my experiences in the short time I’ve been mountain biking have included riding uphill before I get to ride down. In this case, my fears were unfounded as the smooth singletrack and stunning scenery were all that awaited me. My biggest problem was cramping up from having not warmed up at all…
The other component I wasn’t wholly prepared for was camaraderie. Turns out, sitting on a school bus for 45 minutes and then enjoying hours of amazing singletrack with 20 other folks is a great way to get to know people. Who’da guessed?
The guides do an amazing job as well, both as guides and ambassadors for the area. Their knowledge of the trails and friendly demeanor makes it feel less like being “guided” and more like a buddy showing you around. The guides’ system of client control allows faster riders to move ahead and lets slower riders not feel like they’re getting dropped.
Of the trails I rode, ATC (Alpine, Tire Mountain, Clover Patch) stands out as the highlight of the trip. The scenic terrain includes stunning vistas of the Cascades, open glens with fantastic wildflowers and stands of old growth forest that had me pretending I was on a speeder flying through Endor (one insanely fun section of Alpine Trail is even called “Jedi”). It’s not all downhill on this one though—you’ll have to work for some of the fun. With 2,300 feet of climbing, your legs will know you’ve been riding all day. The plus side to that number is that there is 5,500 feet of descending… Keep smiling.
In addition to the standard list of guided trails, there are several additional “add-on” rides and activities available. For $30 you can do the Moon Point ride, a 16-mile screamer with more than 4,000 feet of elevation loss, proceeds from which benefits Greater Oakridge Area Trail Stewards. For $50 you can do the Entire Middle Fork, a 32-mile technical challenge. Or for $25 you can do a rafting trip down the Willamette River. Sign up for these when you register to make sure you get a spot.
While the atmosphere is friendly, the beer pours freely and the trails are seemingly without limit, MBO is not for beginners. A certain level of skill and confidence is definitely required for the trails that the festival promotes. They do offer a lower rate for non-riders to come and enjoy the event as well as reduced rates for children. There is enough riverfront and hiking trails to keep most kids happy, should you be turning it over in your head.
For what was once a logging industry hub and now turned outdoor enthusiast Mecca, I’d say the town of Oakridge and the folks at Outdoor Adventures have the right ingredients to make Mountain Bike Oregon a long-lasting and unforgettable event. MBO is offered twice a year with sessions in July and August. They cap attendance and space fills quickly, so book early.
On the Cover
Our own Adam Newman was at the Fort William World Cup downhill in Scotland where he caught GT Bicycles’ Gee Atherton with deadly focus in his eyes as he rode to victory.
Catching Up With Juli Furtado
After her legendary race career ended Furtado became somewhat of a recluse. Now, with a new bike brand in her name she’s ready to be back in the spotlight.
Remember Spooky Bikes? We do and they’re back in business. Also, an inside look at the Dirty Kanza 200.
Longer Than Life: Team Seifert’s Ultimate Mission
By Karen Brooks
Two Iraq war veterans embark on a special mission at the Trans-Sylvania Epic stage race to honor a fallen comrade and friend.
Haste Ye Back!
By Adam Newman
Get a first hand look at the chaos of a world cup downhill from a first time attendee. Adam not only sets the scene but also provides travel information should you want to attend next year (and yes, you should.)
Welcome To The VooDoo Lounge: The Joe Murray Interview
By Gary J. Boulanger
Joe Murray probably isn’t the first name you think of when it comes to mountain bike pioneers but his design legacy has affected nearly every aspect of off-road riding today.
Access: The End Of The Road
By Frank Maguire
Copper Harbor, Michigan is an unlikely place that has become a must-ride destination in the U.S. Here is why you need to go.
- Trek Lush 29SL
- Raleigh EVA 29 Comp
- Cannondale Trigger 29er 1 long term test
- Kona Raijin Ti hardtail
- Specialized Enduro Comp 29 SE
- American Classic’s affordable wheelset
- Helmets from Bell and Uvex
- Magura’s new TS6 fork
- Riding kits from Gore and The North Face
- And a lot more…