Author Archives: "Vernon Felton"
Specialized’s Butcher Control tires started life as downhill-only models and you can still pick up either the downhill or freeride versions. Here, however, is how the much lighter, all-mountain flavored Butcher Control fared during a season of riding.
Enduro racing is overhyped, overplayed and over exploited. Kittens and angels die every time a marketing hack whispers the words, “enduro-specific.” It’s gotten that bad. And yet, enduro might just be the best thing to happen to mountain biking in years and years.
Where do we start? How about this: the Edge 1000 promises to be the most fully-functioned cyclocomputer on the market. That’s a bold claim, but consider this: the Edge 1000 does all the typical high-end GPS and performance tricks–plus it communicates with your smart phone, lets you compete (during the ride) with other riders’ performances on specific segments and that’s just for starters…
You can argue that mountain biking is all about the gear or that mountain biking is all about the rush of riding, but I think riding is also, at its core, a very human thing. Riding offers us a means of connecting with other people and this can be as profound as the ride itself.
It doesn’t look comfortable. Not by a long shot. The new Tioga Spyder Stratum saddle looks more like a sexy cheese grater than a comfortable saddle and most of us are loathe to rub our tender bits on cheese graters. Looks, however, are deceiving–Tioga’s innovative saddle is plenty comfortable.
What is it, exactly, about yellow shoes? I don’t know how it happened, but they have become the de facto thrown gauntlet, a proclamation that their owner is not here for a friendly little group ride…he’s here to demoralize, destroy and bury everyone on the trail today.
There’s a commonly held belief that ultra-light steel hardtails are relics of a more sedate time–that t they can’t keep pace with today’s more aggressive riding styles. Breadwinner Cycles’ Bad Otis turns that notion on its head.
When you dump a couple grand on a mountain bike, you may not expect it to remain The Pinnacle of Bitchen-ness forever, but you probably didn’t expect it to become the butt of jokes within three seasons. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel like you got, you know, a little screwed. Screwed by the manufacturers and the media. But keep this in mind: there’s no fighting bike technological progress.
Do we feel bad about pummeling the bike voted “Best Mountain Bike” at this year’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show? Hell no. Not when the winner, Breadwinner Cycle’s Bad Otis, is 25 pounds of brawling fun. And, yes, that’s a six-inch travel Pike up front.
One in three bike shops in America closed their doors during the past 13 years. While it’s hard to deny the Internet’s lure of big savings, if we spend all of today’s dollars online, there aren’t going to be many
neighborhood bike shops tomorrow. You, however, can do something about that.
What really sets British Columbia apart from the rest of the world? It’s trail access, as well as land-managers who support the building of new trails.
It’s hard to get inside a kid’s head, to remember how scary or intimidating riding a bike once was for yourself, before the same experience magically morphed into this thing that’s thrilling and invigorating today. But if you do that–and put away your dream of teaching them to catch big air or rail singletrack in a single day–you might just make a lifelong rider of a grom.
A hardtail is a hardtail is a hardtail, right? Nope. Sure, they all lack rear suspension, but that’s where the similarity often ends. Transition’s TransAM 29er is a good example–a steel-framed wagon wheeler that’s less interested in winning races and entirely obsessed with making short work of technical terrain. Vive la difference.
I’m as sentimental as a razor blade when it comes to material stuff. It’s just so much crap, really. The exception is old cycling gear. It litters every corner of my life. I haven’t ridden toe-clips since 1990, but I will gouge your eyes out before I let you walk away with my last pair of Alfredo Binda toe straps. Why? Sometimes a thing is more than just a thing–it’s a reminder of what truly matters.
The road trip is a hallowed part of the mountain biking experience. And for good reason. Making those life-changing journeys happen, however, when you’re also toting around a dog, several smelly children and a load of diapers, it’s less-obviously awesome, but still worth every tantrum, mis-timed potty break and parental meltdown.