Dirt Rag Magazine

Access Action: Tahoe trailbuilders create magic with US Forest Service


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Recently the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA) finished construction for the year on the Lower Corral Trail Enhancement Project and held a big grand reopening party and volunteer workday. The project in South Lake Tahoe, California includes purpose built features for mountain bikes including high wall berms, rock jumps, tabletop jumps and log rides. TAMBA partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to create one of the first trails of this type in the country in a National Forest.

Learn more about the trail and the project.

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SPOT rider tracking added at NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike race


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The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race presented by Dirt Rag Magazine has partnered with event tracking provider Trackleaders.com and device maker SPOT LLC to become the first stage race in North America to equip top racers with tracking devices. The 2014 edition of the race will May 25-31.

The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic (TSEpic) will outfit 15-20 selected athletes per stage with SPOT’s smallest production satellite tracking device to date in a test of the technology ahead of full implementation in 2015.

Read the full story

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First look: Cane Creek’s new Inline trail bike shock


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When Cane Creek first invited us to a media event to unveil a new product, it was going to take place out in California, during the crazy time that is the Sea Otter Classic. I was relieved when it was postponed and moved to Cane Creek’s home-turf in North Carolina. Not only would it be one less thing to try to cover at Sea Otter, but I’ll take a ride in the Pisgah National Forest over any trail around the Laguna Seca racetrack. So, I happily made the drive south from Dirt Rag HQ to check out the new Inline shock, tour Cane Creek’s facilities, and ride some bikes at both Pisgah and Dupont forests.

But this isn’t about me, it is about this new shock.

Let’s take a look…

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Review: Jeff Jones Bend H-bars


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The new Bend H-bar from Jeff Jones builds on a legacy of creative tinkering started over a decade ago by the man himself. The idea behind the new $85 Bend H-bar was to create a svelte version of his signature Loop H-bar without. Less material means less places to mount things like GPS, lights, bell and other gadgets, but, like Swedish design, sometimes cutting things down to their essence makes for a better product.

Read our full review.

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Review: Spank Spike pedals


 

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Flat pedals are something of a rare sight around the Dirt Rag office. From full-lycra to full-face rides, chances are we’re clipping in. Case in point, see the Tech Editor column in Issue #175.

All this cleat-lovin’ makes it even more interesting that when the Spank Spike pedals showed up at the office there was a bit of a scrum to see who would get to ride them. With a massive platform and 10 adjustable pins per side, it was pretty clear they would be taking traction to a whole new level.

The aluminum alloy body is cold forged rather than extruded for a better strength to weight ratio, is only 12mm thin (not including pins) and features an angled leading edge and sides to help deflect pedal strikes and for cornering clearance. Each pedal features eight hex head pins and two grub screws per side and they all come uninstalled for a little DIY setup. The body spins on a steel spindle with an oversized steel bearing on the inside and an IGUS bushing on the outer. The body itself mounts fully flush against the crankarms and requires a pair of included washers to keep it spinning freely. The bearing’s bulge is also imperceptible underfoot. At 400g per pair, they aren’t super light, but competitive with other high quality flats.

Riding with a pair of super-sticky shoes like the FiveTen Freerider VXI, the Spike pedals deliver an insane amount of grip. While it obviously cannot replicate the lifting forces of a clipless pedal, the combo all but eliminates foot rotation, so if you need to adjust you have to lift up your foot and place it back down. With less aggressive footwear this issue largely disappears.

Over the past few months I’ve ridden the Spikes on all sorts of bikes, from trail riding to city rides to fat bikes in the snow (they shed snow very well). One little turn of the acorn nut to tighten up some free play was all the maintenance needed. Safe to say the thin profile and massive size of the Spikes has spoiled me against all other flats. They’re available in five colors for $129.

 

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A visit to Pivot Cycles headquarters


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Sometimes this job is pretty ok. When I inquired with Pivot about a new Mach 6 to review in the Rag, Chris Cocalis, head honcho at Pivot, invited me out to enjoy a few days in sunny Arizona. He knew the riding around here in Pittsburgh can be dicy this time of year, making to hard to really discern much about the performance of a long travel bike. (It is really good for sussing out mud clearance issues…)

Anyway, I got the full tour while I was there, first on the weekend, and then on Monday when the whole crew was around. From the outside, Pivot HQ is just another beige building in an office park, but inside is another story. While frame production is overseas, Pivot builds all complete bikes in its facility, and still retains the ability to build a complete aluminum prototype in house. Lots of big machines and metal shavings everywhere.

Keep reading.

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8th Ride For Rwanda to be biggest yet


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What began as a 50th birthday ride for one of the event founders has become an annual tradition for the Orange County cycling community. The 8th Annual 50 Mile Ride for Rwanda will be held on Saturday April 26, 2014 in Orange County, Calif. Event organizers expect over 1,000 mountain bikers to join this year’s event. The 50 Mile Ride for Rwanda supports two non-profits: World Bicycle Relief and Team Rwanda Cycling.

Read more about the ride here.

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Coming Soon: The Stokesville Campground Ride Center


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You may have noticed from the recent batch of bike First Impressions that have been popping up on this site, the staff recently embarked on a little trip to focus solely on a $2,500, six-bike test for the upcoming February issue (Dirt Rag #175). Our chosen location was the Stokesville Lodge in Virginia, just outside of the bustling college town of Harrisonburg.

The area is famous to a large part of the right hand side of the country for more than just exceptional riding: it boasts upwards of 500 miles of amazing singletrack, is home and training grounds to Sho-Air/Cannondale pro Jeremiah Bishop and NoTubes’ Sue Haywood and on top of that the Stokesville campground behind the lodge is home to the legendary Shenandoah Mountain 100 race.

As good as the camping is with its vast network of trails right out of you tent flap, it’s never been open to the public for anything other than the race on the last weekend in August and the Virginia Mountain Bike Festival in late May. Much to the delight of many, we found out that this is about to change, likely as soon as this summer.

Read more about the Stokesville Campground.

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