Gear

Review: Pearl Izumi Versa Shorts and Tops

When Pearl Izumi created its new Versa line, it had a few things in mind. According to the company, “It had to be comfortable. Functional. Extremely versatile”. All of which are characteristics that I personally look for. Aside from making packing for trips easier, I like to know that I can run down to the […]

Review: Leatt DBX 3.0 All-Mountain

Leatt is well-known for protecting vertebrae and collarbones with its line of neck braces, but after riding with this DBX 3.0 All-Mountain for half a year, I suspect we’ll be seeing the Leatt name on a lot more heads. The protractedly named DBX 3.0 All-Mountain is a modern, extended-coverage helmet, keeping skulls and their contents […]

Review: Falconer Custom

Tester: Eric McKeegan Age: 43 Height: 5’11” Weight: 165 lbs. Inseam: 32” According to the advice from modern, data-driven marketing gurus, a business needs an expensive, responsive website with accurate prices. Social media posts need to be constant. And of course, local competition should be kept to a minimum. Mr. Cameron Falconer doesn’t seem to […]

Review: Niner SIR 9

Tester: Scott Williams Age: 31 Height: 5’10” Weight: 175 lbs. Inseam: 32” In early 2017, the SIR 9 had vanished from Niner’s website, shocking and confusing more than a few fans of this steel-framed classic. It wasn’t until June that Niner officially released its newly revamped SIR 9, and with the dust settled, it was […]

The Pisgah Stage Race bike and gear guide

By Andrew Vontz In 2017, I competed in the five-day, five-stage Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race, survived the most technical trails I’d ever ridden on a demanding course and came away with strong ideas about how to do better in 2018. Based on what I learned and extensive conversations with Pisgah honchos like Chris Komanski, […]

New forks from FOX

Fox released its entire 2019 line up. Here are some of the highlights: 34 Step-Cast More than one staffer around the office has eyeballed the 32 Step Cast for personal bikes, but the 100mm travel limitation prevented anyone from pulling the trigger. Rather than extend the travel of the 32, Fox slimmed down the 34 chassis, […]

Review: Big Agnes Shovelhead down jacket

By Helena Kotala  Whether you’re going bikepacking or doing a long winter ride in ever-changing conditions, a packable yet very warm jacket is an invaluable piece of gear for when you reach camp for the night or the temperature suddenly drops 20 degrees high in the mountains. There are two routes to go for such […]

The Bomber Z1 returns – Marzocchi drops new fork range

The original Marzocchi Bomber Z1 changed the way we all ride mountain bikes. Not only did it change riding, but it forced the competition to step up and offer better products. The new Z1 looks to carry on the tradition of ride quality over all else. Marzocchi is now owned by Fox, so these forks will share […]

New RockShox SID and TwistLoc remote

Cross-country racing continues to get more and more technical and demanding and the new SID looks ready to continue RockShox’s winning ways in the Lycra arena. RockShox SID World Cup A no-compromise, elite-level racing fork, the new SID World Cup is a short-travel tool for winning races. FEATURES / BENEFITS New friction-reducing DebonAir™ air spring delivers […]

Review: Kona Big Honzo DL

Tester: Brett Rothmeyer Age: 40 Weight: 165 lbs. Height: 6’1” Inseam: 32″ Dropping into the first section of fast and flowy singletrack on the Big Honzo DL was like plugging a Les Paul into a Marshall stack and hitting an open A chord. We are not talking a Roy Orbison open A; we are talking […]

Trek Full Stache – 29plus – full-sus

Trek’s Stache 29plus hardtail has opened many eyes to the wonderful weirdness of 29plus tires. Ever since the introduction of the SE4/XR4 29×3 tire in the Fall of 2017 I’ve been wondering if there might be a bike designed around the capabilities of this tire. I stopped wondering a few weeks ago when this weird […]

A brief history of the dropper seatpost

In the early days of mountain biking, quick-release seatpost binders were on the bikes even when the wheels were nutted. The trails in those days were usually pretty primitive and bore little semblance to the IMBA-spec’d trails being built today. Many steep descents required the saddle to be lowered out of the way so you […]

Review: Bontrager SE4 29 x 3.0 tires

I’ve been a fan of Bontrager’s Chupacabra tires since they first hit the market. For something so light and fast the Chupas manage to provide predictable traction in conditions that should stymie its pattern of small tread blocks. But that lightness comes at a price. I’ve punctured these tires a fair number of times in […]

Review: Restrap bikepacking bags

With the explosion of bikepacking, the market has become inundated with small bag makers, each with their own take on a relatively simple concept: holding stuff. It seems that each city has its own local bag maker and each maker has its own cult following. Restrap is a small British bag and accessory company out […]

First Impressions: New Santa Cruz Blur and Highball

Many mountain bike cross-country courses are becoming increasingly gnarlier, demanding a fine balance between trail capable and lightweight race sleds. The recent Stellenbosch World Cup course is a perfect example. Riders are often choosing full-suspension cross-country race rigs over their hardtails for increased control, power delivery and taking on all that chunk at mach speeds. […]

Review: Soma Condor bars

Every time Dirt Rag editor Eric McKeegan looked at the Soma Condor drop bars on my gravel bike, he just shook his head and laughed. Which made me laugh. Why? Because they do look pretty ridiculous. But all giggles aside, these bars do have a purpose aside from looking funny, and that’s to provide an […]

Review: Tepui Kukenam SKY 3-person Tent

Photos by Peter Bakken We’ve all seen these rooftop tents floating through magazines and the interwebs, but not many of us have actually seen them out in the wild, so I was pretty excited when Tepui Tents out of Santa Cruz, California, was willing to send us their 3-person Kukenam SKY for review. Arriving in […]

Review: Oddity Cycles Punk Rock Jazz

Tester: Stephen Haynes Age: 39 Height: 5’11” Weight: 200 lbs. Inseam: 30” A thought experiment, if you’ll indulge me. Try to picture the bike you learned to ride on. Think about the memory of that bike, just the bike; do you remember it? Chances are good that you do, and for most of you, that […]

Review: Kenda Hellkat 27.5 x 2.4 tires

By William Kirk Kenda introduced the Hellkat as a full-on downhill tire capable of handling the most rugged of world cup tracks. The tire is aimed at a wide variety of technical terrain; its large center blocks and aggressive cornering knobs place it at the forefront of Kenda’s assortment. I fitted the 2.4 inch Hellkat’s […]

Review: Carver Ti All-Road

Tester: Karl Rosengarth Age: 59 Height: 5’10” Weight: 150 lbs. Inseam: 32” Carver’s Ti All-Road is a mountain biker’s road bike. With a design aimed at mixed- surface comfort and stability, the All-Road stands ready for rough road rambles, gravel grinds and singletrack shortcuts. The Bike Built from 3/2.5 titanium alloy, the All-Road comes with […]

Review: Surly Big Fat Dummy

Name: Evan Gross Age: 30 Weight: 187 lbs. Height: 6’2” Inseam: 36” Introduced in late 2016, the Big Fat Dummy is not just a Big Dummy (Surly’s original 26-inch wheeled longtail cargo bike) with fat tires, though the name makes it seem as such. But there’s a lot more than just fat tires that separate […]

Review: Grip Studs

By Ryan Eisenhower If you have ever spent time in Central Pennsylvania in the middle of winter, you know that we can experience a wide range of conditions over the course of 4-5 months – from mud to packed snow to slush then frozen solid in what seems like a never-ending cycle most years. Fat […]

Review: Club Ride Blaze Vest

Not all vests are created with riding in mind. From a company like Club Ride that blends lifestyle and riding, sometimes leaning a little too heavy to the lifestyle end of the spectrum, I was glad to see a piece that was more on the riding end while still keeping the off-the-bike nerd factor in […]

The Kona Satori returns – a mid-travel 29er trail bike for the masses

  Remember Kona’s first 29er trail bike, the 130 mm Satori? Five years ago it was a solid first effort, with 68/74 head/seat angles, just over 17″ chainstays, and a long reach for the time. When the Process 111 hit the market, the Satori disappeared. Or maybe it disappeared before the 111? Does it really […]

Review: Ladies baselayers from Garneau and Pearl Izumi

We still have 1-2 more months of winter in the northern states. My dad resides in Yuma, Arizona and would call 40°’s winter, but whatever your cold tolerance is, baselayers can be a key component to enjoying the outdoors. Baselayers need to wick away moisture in cold temperatures and should be lightweight and fit snugly […]

Review: Women’s riding hoodies from Garneau, Pearl Izumi and Club Ride

As a curvy woman, I often struggle to find technical clothing that fits well. Investing in an outer layer that fits right and checks all the boxes on my “must list” is not an easy task. I decided to seek this golden chalice of perfection and gather three outer layers for riding that I thought […]

Review: Marin Wolf Ridge 8

Tester: Eric McKeegan Age: 43 Height: 5’11” Weight: 165 lbs. Inseam: 32” Not since the launch of Kona’s Magic Link bikes (R.I.P) has there been a bike that creates such a sudden, visceral and polarized response. The Wolf Ridge is an ungainly looking conundrum of a bike, drawing questions of motorization and general confusion about […]

Review: Bontrager women’s winter wear

Bontrager B2 long sleeve base layer – $85 When riding in cold and/or potentially-wet winter conditions, layering and dressing appropriately is of utmost importance. That being said, I usually opt to get my upper body base layers from the thrift store, discarded Dri-FIT tops from New Years resolutionists that do a fine job of wicking […]

Review: “Cool weather casual” kit from Club Ride

Gravity Flannel – $100 The Gravity Flannel from Club Ride has all the aesthetic qualities suitable to both hearty frontier folks and the casual Friday crowd, with functional highlights that make it easy to do just about anything in. Constructed of a polyester/flannel blend, the Gravity has the strange quality of being quite structured, meaning […]

Review: Trek Roscoe 8

Tester: Karl Rosengarth Age: 59 Weight: 150 lbs. Height: 5’10” Inseam: 32” The Bike The Roscoe checks key trail-bike boxes with its relaxed head angle, short chainstays, wide (740 mm) bars and a short (60 mm) stem. Factor in the de rigueur dropper post and RockShox’s capable-yet-affordable Judy Silver 120 mm fork, and the Roscoe […]