Keith Bontrager changed the world of mountain biking more than a few times and he did it out of his own garage–making magic from the things he found in dumpsters. Keith Bontrager is one of cycling’s greatest, and most humble talents…. which is why we are putting him on a stage, tossing hundreds of questions at him (including your questions) and broadcasting the entire affair right here on bikemag.com, this Thursday June 20th at 10 A.M. (Pacific Standard Time).
The last rendition of the Crankbrothers Mallet, the 1/2/3, has become popular among all mountain riders, but World Cup downhill athletes kept asking for a pedal that was more like the original Mallet. Listening to their feedback, Crankbrothers started the yearlong process of creating a brand new, "old-style" Mallet, exclusively for downhill racing. Here's the behind-the-scenes story of how that pedal--the new Mallet DH/Race-- was developed.
We spent most of the day looping the green and gold treasures that wind through the forests, but the real riches we discovered were the down-to-earth people who seem to experience mountain biking sremoved from the baloney that distracts us from what really got us into mountain biking in the first place: time spent communing with our surroundings and the people we share that space and time with.
The FS01’s geometry is set somewhere between ‘trail’ and ‘cross-country,’ making it eager to rally through corners and manual through whoops when the track points down. Where other cross-country bikes might start feeling sketchy, this bike just wants to go faster. Our test model broke, but BMC states that this is a first-time failure for this model. Check out the review for more.
The Sunshine Coast dirt, made famous by the Coastal Crew, is the stuff mountain bikers' dreams are made of. But beyond the bounty of gold dirt, the thing that makes this place so special to ride is that there are trails: carved-and-cared-for-by-mountain bikers trails.
Denizens dressed up as bananas, clowns, and disconcertingly hairy prom queens charged through the sleeting darkness. Featuring fire spewing barricades, chants of “Hurry up, buttercup!” and the occasional Krispy Kreme donut followed by a bourbon chaser, SSCX proved a remarkable display of how much fun can be had while being absolutely miserable on a bike—a perfect opening act to the big race.
Her crouch is like a freerider approaching the canyon lip, followed by an explosion. No wasted movement, no fear. Her claws, I now understand, are like pinner pedals. Her long tail is like a rider getting really far behind the rear wheel.
"She riiide in di skyyy!” proclaimed a local when Katie came ripping out of a particularly tight, rocky section that conveniently delivered us to a corner pub. By the time we spilled into Kingston, all but the ride itself had been forgotten. The symphony of freehubs rivaled the sound of traffic as we rolled through the island’s urban center in the red glow of the sinking sun.
Here is a sick video clip from Foxhead's recent shoot to promote its new Rampage Pro Carbon helmet and updated apparel line. Watch Cam and Tyler McCaul, Kyle Strait, Steve Smith and Josh Bryceland shred these NorCal trails—and then try to resist getting on your bike.
I was staring into the first hairpin of Pressure Drop. The trail disappeared mere feet beneath us before reemerging as a sliver of dirt on a distant hill far below. One by one we dropped in, pinning it to the next ridge and beyond, dropping back below the tree line. Somewhere in the shade of the canopy, as the trail coiled through thick stands of trees and over gnarled webs of roots, Pressure Drop became the famed Carlton Pass. Gaining speed here was easy, scrubbing it wasn’t always, and several riders failed to keep things rubber-side down.
The mountain biking that most people experience and fall in love is radically different than the image of energy drink-fueled aerial tricksters, cowboy huckers, and jock-like racers that dominates the media. Most mountain bikers I know are under represented....This trip is about bringing the pleasure of the road and the thrill of the trails back into people's lives.
Being born of necessity meant the trail occasionally lead us out of the jungle and through populated pockets during our descents, enmeshing us in rather than removing us from local culture. We found ourselves in several back-alley rallies, a herd of white people on two wheels stampeding through peaceful mountain villages. Ripping fence-line singletrack through shantytowns, we wove between shacks, dodging goats, boosting off drainpipes, water bars and eroded stairways. We charged down steep, crumbling roads more worthy of rear-squish than portions of the trail had been. The first time a group of locals stood, watching us near a tight corner, I approached cautiously. The reaction was not what I expected.
I still cannot believe that the World Championships were on American soil. If you weren't there, you blew it.
Is anyone else nervous that the star of Enduro has flared up too brightly, too quickly and will burn out just as fast? Certainly in North America there is far too much talk and excitement, especially when very few people have tried Enduro or even know what it is.
Geared toward the locals, the Bicycle Bash—dubbed ‘A Celebration of Jamaican Bicycling Culture’—kick-started our weeklong adventure and really was just what the name implied. Hundreds of Jamaicans crowded James Bond Beach in Oracabessa. The bikes were a hodge-podge collection of two-wheeled Frankensteins, festooned with rainbows of spray paint, stickers and rust. Tendrils of bare-wire ran batteries of lights likely to turn an air-traffic controller epileptic. Dancehall spilled out of speaker boxes wedged into front triangles. Some bikes were pedaled from as far as 30 miles away with bare feet or flip-flops.