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
I’ll admit, when I first saw the magazine ad for the Specialized Enduro 29 featuring Matt Hunter getting completely horizontal, I too wondered if there was some trickery involved. “No way he rode that out,” I thought. Well I sure was wrong. Check out Hunter’s mastery on the trail and photographer Sterling Lorence’s mastery behind the lens:Tweet
Take a peek inside what’s in the latest issue…Tweet
Our next issue is on its way, and our cover story is the search for adventure. Gerhard Czerner and Martin Bissig went searching for it in the mountains of Morocco—not known as a mountain bike destination, the “Chamonix of the High Atlas” towers more than 13,000 feet above north Africa. Watch as they reach the top of the world and enjoy a challenging and perilous descent.Tweet
As you might have heard, we’re celebrating our 25th Anniversary this year. As a bit of a thank you gift to the head honcho around here, Publisher Maurice Tierney, we partnered with BaileyWorks to produce this custom, one-of-a-kind Citi Pack backpack.Tweet
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
Details are still scarce about the new RockShox RS-1 inverted fork, but today SRAM released this teaser video with Kate Courtney and Russell Finsterwald. They’re the future of XC mountain biking—in more ways than one. Courtney and Finsterwald are classic overachievers: She’s a NICA alumnus gone World Cup hopeful (and is a Stanford undergrad in her spare time), and he’s a former U23 National and Pan Am champ ready to compete in 2014 at the pinnacle of our sport. Stripped of team logos, and outside the boundaries of course-marking tape, however, both are simply mountain bikers with a passionate penchant for new trails and eye-opening adventures.Tweet
By Anka Martin. Photos by Sven Martin.
Our trip went down in early February in beautiful Nelson, New Zealand and the surrounding areas of the Nelson Tasman district. We planned a little backcountry adventure with a few of my friends on our Juliana bikes.Tweet
Author and journalist Molly Hurford rides a lot—and knows countless women who ride a lot—and inevitably all that riding can lead to a little… discomfort. It’s a subject that she found nearly all the women she knows, from beginners to pros, were reluctant to discuss at the their local bike shop or with their male peers.
So she sought out to answer those questions for female cyclists, by talking to experts in the industry, doctors, product designers and riders. The result is “Saddle, Sore”, an e-book guide for women and their bike. No matter how much you ride, it shouldn’t be uncomfortable, and Hurford’s book can help you avoid some uncomfortable conversations.
Hurford will also be following up with online articles with new topics as they arise, as well as answering readers questions and some video interviews.
You can purchase and download a copy of “Saddle, Sore” in PDF or EPUB format (compatible with most tablets) now.
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
I made an attempt at a Colorado Trail tour last summer, only to be thwarted by rain (and I’m glad I was, seeing how it turned out to be the week of the disastrous Boulder floods).
This summer I know what’s at the top of my to-do list: Hermosa Tours‘ new 10-day self-guided adventure along the CT. What does “self-guided” mean? You’re out there on your own, with you and your friends, but Hermosa will take care of logistics, as well as carrying all your gear (food, water, firewood, whatever you bring) from one campsite to another. Forget bikepacking, that means you can full-on shred the 200 miles of trail with more than 75 percent singletrack.
In all it’s nine riding days, 10 nights, and one layover day from Salida to Durango, for just $950. Hermosa will even set up some canopies and a deluxe kitchen setup for you each night, so you can focus on chowing down. The ride starts and ends in Durango, and includes a ride to the start in Salida.
So bank some vacation time this summer. I know I will be.
By Joh Rathbun. Photos by Jason Van Horn.
Most ladies I know wouldn’t be too happy if you told them they “ride like a girl” — unless you’re one of the ladies from the Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay, that is.
On February 1, I joined up with ladies from the BTCEB for the monthly Ride Like a Girl event. Ride Like a Girl is the first Saturday of the month, and is ladies-only. According to the group’s meetup.com page, “The emphasis of these rides will be [to have] fun and to meet other women who love to ride. We have rides geared towards all level of riders with experienced leaders.” This was my first time riding with them, but not my first time at El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve, commonly known as Skegg’s. It’s part of a green belt just south of San Francisco comprised of 62,000 acres of land, in 26 open space preserves.
BTCEB was founded in 1987, and is a founding member of IMBA. From its website, “BTCEB has been a leader in encouraging low-impact environmentally friendly riding, volunteer trail work participation, cooperation among different trail user groups, and grass roots advocacy. Of course we also love to ride bikes and have fun!”
While the sun was out, the temperature was low compared to our recent weather—about 50 degrees. After introductions, Amy Arcus led while Jane Moorehead swept the eight of us. We entered the park on a downward singletrack. The redwood forest welcomed us with the hush of wind through the trees and the smell of wet earth. The singletrack led us past the redwoods and lush bracken ferns, to tight madrone and tanoak groves. After the dryness we experienced in Santa Cruz, the forest felt fecund.
“Strava clocked us at 10.5 miles and 2,400 feet of climbing, I think the elevation gain is a little high but I’ll take it,” Amy said, but it didn’t feel like 2,400 feet of climbing, as the downhill and uphill changed frequently. We rode trails like Sierra Morena, Methuselah, Giant Salamander, Blue Blossom Trail, and rode the Fir Trail back out—which was a nice graded fire road. Ten women, one crash, lots of laughs, and 10 miles later, we exited the park, blissed out.
BTECB stoked us out on snacks after the ride—and there was even beer. Big ups to Inga Beck for arranging the Ride Like a Girl Ride, and to Amy and Jane, who may not have known the names of all the trails, but knew how to have fun. Lastly, here’s a big thank you to Family Cycling Center for the loaner bike—the Santa Cruz Blur LTC was built for Skegg’s! Like my carpool buddy, Donna Riggs said, “It was worth the drive.”
Joh Rathbun is a freelance writer, and columnist and ride leader for Shine Riders Co. To stay up to date on West Coast events, like her Facebook page, or contact her at johrathbun.wix.com/freelancewriter.
The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag is now offering a three-day stage race alternative called TS3 during the Epic targeted towards racers who can’t be away for an entire week. TS3 racers get the same benefits as the 7-day Epic competitors (since they will be riding the same courses) including fully stocked aid stations, mechanical supplies at each checkpoint, a daily quick bike check by Freeze Thaw Cycles from State College, back up mechanical assistance from SRAM and BMC’s neutral support bikes available at each checkpoint.
TS3 also includes special prizes from event partners tossed in at random through the weekend. Overall TS3 GC and enduro awards include $10,000 in prizes. TS3 will start on Sunday, May 25 and finish Tuesday, May 27 (the first three days of the 7-day race.)
TS3 racers will mass start separately on Sunday and instead of racing the classic ITT they will do two cross-country style laps on the time trial course. The next two days will be the Coopers Gap epic stage followed by the Galbraith Enduro on Tuesday to decide final TS3 GC.
We sat down with Trans-Sylvania Epic promoter Mike Kuhn as asked him a few questions about the new event. Read our interview here.Tweet
Southwest Airlines has always been the most bike-friendly of the bunch. Now it’s added New Belgium to its list of in-flight beverages. Now you can reminisce on your favorite ride with a tasty Fat Tire Amber or Shift Pale Lager at 35,000 feet when flying Southwest or AirTran.
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.Tweet
Think you’re tough for riding through the winter? Check out this documentary about the 2001 Iditasport adventure race along the Iditarod Trail on foot, ski or bike. Covering up to 1,100 miles across Alaska in the winter could be life-changing or deadly, depending on how it goes. Watch for endurance race legend Mike Curiak on what appears to be an early version of a home-grown fat bike. I’m sure the bikes ridden these days look a lot different!Tweet
I was just dreaming about this the other day. Now my winter just got a little brighter.
The Dirksen Derby is a snowboard rally race held every year at Mt. Bachelor in Oregon to raise money for paralyzed snowboarder Tyler Eklund.
Kirt Voreis and Carson Storch seem to have forgoten their snowboards but luckily they brought their mountain bikes. The rest is history.
Via Tae Likes Bikes.Tweet
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.
See you there!
This is Chapter Two of the five-part short film “Cold Rolled: Marquette Michigan’s Snow Bike Route”, an action documentary from Clear & Cold Cinema, Salsa Cycles and TravelMarquetteMichigan.com that will explore the history and progression of winter cycling culture in the adventure-loving Lake Superior harbor town of Marquette, Michigan.
Marquette’s Noquemanon Trails Network has nearly perfected equipment and techniques used to launch its Snow Bike Route, a 15-mile winter singletrack developed for fat tire bikes. The fast narrow trail features flowy terrain, steep descents and large bermed turns. It’s believed to be the first trail of its kind–but more importantly, it’s pretty fun.
Chapter Two features an interview with Marquette, Michigan native and Noquemanon Trails Network volunteer Mike Brunet who led development of the new Snow Bike Route. Archival newscasts, photos and home video demonstrate the long history of winter riding in Marquette that led to development of the new SBR.Tweet