Author Archives: "Nicole Formosa"
Similar to the New Age devotees who flock to Sedona, one is never truly lost there, simply searching for clarity on a new path, and before long, we found ours. Soon, our tires were crunching along on a narrow strip of loose, rocky dirt lined with desert sagebrush and foreboding Prickly Pear cactus needles as we wound our way up to treeline, dwarfed by magnificent red spires stretching for the sky.
Caliente, Nevada, isn’t what most mountain bikers think of when fantasizing about their next ride destination. The one-time mining and Union Pacific depot town of 1,100 sits two hours northeast of the glittering lights of Las Vegas in the middle of the Nevada desert, at 4,400 feet in elevation.
This bike impressed all the testers with its sensible component choice, lightweight, stealth matte-black carbon frame and variable suspension, making it practical for XC races or all-mountain rides.
Construction is set to start next year on a long-awaited bike park at Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe. The yet-to-be-finalized plan includes a total of nine to 10 miles of entry- to mid-level gravity-oriented trails that will be built in the East Peak Basin area at the top of the gondola, accessed by the Comet Express and Big East lifts.
The portfolio of brands under the Easton-Bell Sports umbrella—Giro, Blackburn, Easton Cycling and Bell Helmets—stands to gain additional investments in product and marketing with the company’s now-nearly sole focus on the action sports industry.
Yeti’s decision to focus all its racing resources on enduro could mark a pivotal shift in competitive mountain biking. The company said on Monday that it would support a full team of enduro racers including Jared Graves, who placed second overall in the Enduro World Series last year and is also a DH World Championship bronze medalist and Richie Rude, the 2013 Junior DH World Champion. Because of this increased investment, Yeti Cycles will no longer take part in World Cup DH racing.
If you’ve been watching our 2014 Bible of Bike Tests Roundtable Reels, you’ll know that we’re fans of the RockShox Pike. One of its features incorporates these easy-to-install volume spacers that can be used to change the spring rate. SRAM calls them Bottomless Tokens. In this video, SRAM race technician, Sean Cruickshanks explains what they do and how to install them.
I NERVOUSLY ROLLED up to the starting line, wrapped my hands around the bars in a white-knuckled death grip, firmly planted my flip-flop on the pedal and hunched myself over in racing position. I glanced at the two competitors to my left, then at the racer on my right. The announcer count- ed us down. I pedaled half a stroke, promptly popped a wheelie and landed flat on my back, clumsily taking the woman to my right down with me.
Chances are you haven’t heard of Kirk Pacenti. Chances are you have heard of 650B, or 27.5, the wheel size between 26-inch and 29ers that the industry can’t seem to get enough of right now. Save for Specialized and Cannondale, 27.5-wheeled bikes have become the dominant choice on the majority of all-mountain, 5- to 6-inch trail bikes for most brands. Some, like Giant and Scott, have almost entirely foregone both 29ers and 26-inch wheels to focus on designing frames around the mid-sized hoops.
To most mountain bikers, Mammoth Mountain needs no introduction. This is, afterall, the ski resort that pioneered lift-accessed riding and, in turn, transformed a non-descript, dusty access road into one of the most famous race courses in the world. Now, as Mammoth Mountain emerges from a difficult past few years, it wants to revive its reputation as a world-class cycling destination in order to attract more visitors and drum up business in the financially-strapped mountain community.
The Southern California bike industry turned out in the hundreds last Friday night to support Wheels 4 Life, the nonprofit organization of mountain-bike luminary and Laguna Beach, California, local Hans Rey. Wheels 4 Life provides bicycles to villagers in developing countries, mostly in Africa, in hopes of improving the quality of life. The bicycle allows locals the ability to get to work or school, or to carry goods, which would otherwise be done only by walking.
We can still hear the ringing of slot machines in our ears, and the feeling of the oppressive desert heat singing our skin hasn’t quite worn off, but despite how our bodies and minds may feel after six long days in Las Vegas, Interbike 2013 is officially over.
While the show is still fresh, though, here are a few more noteworthy bits of gear you can expect to see on store floors next year.
liv/Giant started from scratch with its women’s line for 2014, developing the bikes from the ground up, all based around the ever-more-popular 27.5-inch wheel size. That means unique geometry, colorways and graphics and factory molds cast specifically for women’s frames, an investment few brands are making.
Jeff Archer houses about 450 vintage bikes in his shop and museum in Statesville, N.C., the majority of which are mountain bikes. His collection traces the sport’s entire technological history, including the quirky, kooky stops along the way (ahem, Manitou FS and Ritchey Lite Beam). Displays of craftsmanship and artistry from a generation of builders rest inside Archer’s walls: Potts, Shafer, Breeze, Bontrager, LeMond, Klein and Fisher are all there. It’s truly the mothership for bike geeks.