Greetings from Sun Valley, Idaho, where Trek and Gary Fisher are doling out test rides of the latest and greatest bikes for the coming year. Look for a complete report on the front page of bikemag.com in the next day or two.
Trek Travel, the global tour guiding outfit, was on hand to help an assembled crowd of international media wankers get their bikes set up. These guys have pretty stinking cool jobs, and did a great job taking care of riders and their bikes—everything from chainlube, Powerbars and sunscreen before the ride to ice cold beers afterwards.
The first ride of the day was a 12-miler up Bald Mountain. We took Warm Springs Trail up the ski mountain switchbacks for a payoff of fast, shaded singletrack on the other side. Conditions were primo: temperatures were mid 70s, skies were bluebird and there was a decent breeze. Sucked a lot of wind as we started at 6,000 feet and climbed about 1,800. Image above courtesy of the Garmin Edge 305 and Motionbased.com.
I rode two new Gary Fishers on Day 1—a HiFi Pro Carbon and a HiFi 29er. The 29er was the first chance to ride a Fox fork with a 51-millimeter custom offset, which combined with Fisher’s “G2” geometry makes for a tighter turning bike at low speeds.
Fox also is supplying custom offset forks for Gary Fisher’s 26-inch HiFi, with a 46-millimeter offset in lieu of the standard 39-millimeter setup. The Carbon HiFi with 26-inch wheels I rode weighs in at just 23.3 pounds (medium). The frame weighs a svelte 4.7 pounds and sports some pretty trick carbon engineering in its shock mounts.
It’s been entertaining to see the Euros shake their heads at all the big wheels. Twenty-nine-inch wheels are purely an American phenomenon.
Stay tuned for more. Next up are Trek’s new goods, including the wholly redesigned Fuel EX bikes, with their concentric rear axle/pivot; the Top Fuel 69er, a four-inch full suspension rig with a 29er up front and traditional 26er in the rear; and a hardtail version of the 69er. Also hoping to get some time in on Gary Fisher’s new Superfly—a gorgeous looking carbon 29er hardtail.