Dirt Rag Magazine

‘The Mountains Don’t Care’ – Tour Divide gear rundown


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The stuff. All the things that I’m carrying. When it’s all laid out, it doesn’t look like much for a few weeks of living off the bike. But when I’m pushing it up a mountain road, it feels like a ton.

I’ve never cared about how much my race bike weighed. I’ve always felt that the main difference between a 20 pound mountain bike and a 27 pound mountain bike is about $2,000, and the fact that a heavier bike won’t break when you hit a rock the wrong way.

But this is different. When the dry weight (no food or water) of the whole setup is pushing 50 pounds, I’ve been doing everything I can to save weight. I even bought a kitchen scale to weigh crap. And I’ve been debating the little things: do I need a wool hat if I have a jacket with a hood? Probably not. Saved 150 grams.


Editor’s note: Montana is a former intern at Dirt Rag and longtime friend-of-the-mag, so we were especially proud when he completed the 2,700-mile Tour Divide this summer in his first attempt. Read his epic account of the trip here. You can also follow along with all his adventures on his blog, The Skrumble.

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Opinion: Stop complaining about expensive stuff


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Bikes like the new Yeti SB5c pack a ton of technology, and usually carry a price tag to match. Lots of folks write to us criticizing the crop of new bikes that are, admittedly, pushing the price envelope at five, seven, even ten thousand dollars. Is that a bad thing for consumers? Not at all, I say.

Read on to find out why.

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Racing the Scott Enduro Cup at Canyons Resort


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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.

Read more about the race here.

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Custom Oakley glasses at your fingertips


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.

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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.

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Installation: Wolf Tooth Components 1×10 setup


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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.

Take a closer look.

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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.

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25th Anniversary: 25 years of dirt to dish


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dr-anniversary-logo copyThis 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).

Read about some of Dirt Rag’s not-so-illustrious moments here.

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