Dirt Rag’s top web posts of 2017

It’s that time of year when we all look back at the past 12 months and take stock of what we’ve accomplished and the memories we’ve made. Here in the world of Dirt Rag Web, we took a look at the analytics and what some of our most popular content this year has been. Here are the top 10+ posts on our website this year:

1. Santa Cruz Chameleon returns as 29/27plus hardtail

Santa Cruz brought back the Chameleon this year as a 29er/27plus compatible hardtail and our freelancer Zach White got some of the first turns on the new rig in England last February. This post detailing info and first ride impressions on this adaptable bike was a class favorite and the most popular content we put on the Interwebs in 2017. Be sure to also check out the full review here.

2. Yeti YB4.5c

According to reviewer Zach White, the Yeti SB4.5c “feels like something a downhiller dreamed up for an ideal cross-country bike, with its interesting mix of firm and short travel, longish wheelbase and slack front end.” This trail rig is a great choice for those looking for a quiver killer full-suspension bike, and White goes into detail why in this comprehensive review.

3. First Impression: Trek Fuel EX 7

The Trek Fuel EX 7 was part of our sub-$2,500 full suspension trail bike roundup in print issue 197 early in the year. This Boost-spaced 29er can easily be converted to a 27plus rig and comes fully-capable from the box, but is also worthy of future upgrades. This first impression details the parts kit and initial thoughts, but be sure to also check out the full review here.

4. First Ride: Kona Process G2 153

Kona launched a new Process line this year and our editor, Eric McKeegan, was on site in British Columbia to check out the latest bikes first. The previous generation of Process bikes won riders over with dialed geometry, sturdy builds, decent suspension and reasonable prices. The new generation improves on these aspects and also adds a carbon version. As McKeegan says, “These new bikes seem to be an evolution of the revolution that Kona help to start with those first Process bikes.”

5. A Conversation with Gary Fisher: 9 ways he was right (and 1 way he was wrong)

We interviewed Gary Fisher about a number of different ways he influenced the bike industry, from bike geometry to spec to big wheels. He was right about a lot of things over the years, but what about that one time he was wrong?

6. Review: Scott Big Jon fat bike

The budget-oriented Scott Big Jon fat bike holds its own against fancier, more expensive options, offering a comfortable cockpit, predictable ride and plenty of room for carbon upgrades to shed a few pounds. Zach White tested one out last winter in Colorado and it’s safe to say he was pretty impressed.

7. Review: Pivot Switchblade Pro

The Switchblade came to us with the baggage “Bike of the Year” awards from other media outlets, and being the contrarians, we desperately wanted to prove them wrong. It turned out that was really tough to do. This 29/27plus full suspension aggressive trail bike instead proved itself to be much more versatile than expected and perhaps truly deserving of all the accolades.

8. First Impression: Marin Hawk Hill

The Marin Hawk Hill the cheapest in our lineup of sub-$2,500 trail full-suspension bikes this year, but it’s far from overmatched.  Judicious use of house-branded components keeps the budget tight, without cutting corners on important bits, such as drivetrain, brakes and suspension. Our first impression discusses specs in more detail, and be sure to also check out the full review with thorough ride impressions here.

9. Review: Kona Honzo CR Trail DL

Kona’s Honzo CR Trail DL is one of many variations of the Honzo, sporting 29-inch wheels and a matte carbon frame on the trail-oriented Honzo platform. While no 27plus compatibility or singlespeed-ability might eliminate this version of the Honzo as an option for some, our CFO Scott Williams fell in love with this bike. Be sure to check out his review to find out why.

10. First Impression: Trek Farley EX 9.8

Do people who ride their fat bikes year round know something the rest of us don’t? Dirt Ragger Jon Pratt tries to find out on the Trek Farley, a full suspension fat bike featuring 27.5 x 3.8 inch tires. Check out his initial thoughts and find out more about this bike in this first impression and if you’re really inrigued, read the full review here.

A couple honorable mentions:

It’s clear that you all love bike reviews, and rightly so. But here are a couple non-bike-review stories that were popular this year.

2017 NAHBS Photo Dump

Pretty pictures and more from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Stay tuned because we’re headed back to NAHBS in 2018.

Iron Bicycles and Buffalo Soldiers

Did you know that the first documented mountain bikers were actually African-American soldiers? This interesting history piece tells the story of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps, which were part of the post-Civil War peacetime army in the United States.

What was your favorite story, either in print or online, that we published this year? Tell us in the comments!