Author Archives: "Nicole Formosa"
Specialized has tweaked its popular Rumor women’s-specific trail bike to give it a few modern touches like snappier geometry, more travel and 27.5-inch wheels. The changes reflect Specialized’s evolving philosophy to offer multiple wheel sizes on its popular mountain bikes, whereas the company was previously firmly planted in the 29er camp.
Of the hundreds of athletes who competed this weekend at Crankworx Rotorua, only one went home after his race and started his homework. That one would be Sean Bell, a 16-year-old junior at El Toro High School in Southern California, who’s in New Zealand on his first international trip ever to race the enduro for his sponsor, Santa Cruz Bicycles.
Since we are in Rotorua, New Zealand, for Crankworx, we paid a visit to the new Nzo store in the center of town. Nzo is an apparel brand that has been making mountain bike shorts and jersey for nearly 20 years under the direction of owner Gary Sullivan, or Gaz. He opened the concept-style shop two months ago with the building’s owner Craig Corbett.
I was about to embark on an overnight hut trip riding the brand-new Santa Cruz Highball on one of the most pristine pieces of backcountry singletrack in New Zealand, and all I could think about was not becoming breakfast for the swarm of sandflies feasting on every square centimeter of my exposed skin.
First, know this: The three bikes released today from Santa Cruz are nothing like the trail and all-mountain bikes the brand has become synonymous with in the last three years. There is no rear suspension on any of them, and no suspension at all on one. Instead, Santa Cruz has gone back to the drawing board on two models that will already be familiar to followers of the brand: the Highball and the Stigmata.
Central Oregon boasts some of the best mountain biking in the state with a vast range of trails and climates–from primitive singletrack slicing through lush old-growth forests in Oakridge and McKenzie Bridge to a berm-lover’s dream in Bend’s high-desert tundra.
President Obama signed the annual defense spending act into law last Friday, and along with it, a bill that accomplishes the near impossible–adjusting a 50-year-old wilderness area boundary line to allow access to mountain bikers.
The Dudes of Hazzard make the trip across the pond to rip trails and experience some North American staples including rodeos, pancakes, and taxidermied Canadian bears.
A new IMBA-backed trail network in rural Nevada could open to mountain bikers as soon as 2016 if Patrick Kell wins over the right wallets. Kell is IMBA’s southwest regional director, and he’s been tirelessly promoting the project outside Caliente, Nevada–a town of fewer than 1,200 people located about two hours northeast of Las Vegas.
Hans Rey’s annual fundraiser in his adopted hometown of Laguna Beach, California, is about as close to a black-tie affair that the mountain-bike industry can muster. And this year, once again, tickets sold out as 180 friends and supporters of the legendary trials and adventure rider came together to help raise $58,000 for Rey’s Wheels 4 Life foundation.
Female mountain bikers rejoice–apparel designed for our contingent of riders is finally improving. The clothing coming out next spring covers a wide range of styles, and is designed around practical fabrics, flattering fits and color combinations that have actually been thought-out instead of being an afterthought.