New Bikes, New Gear and Amazing Trails

A Shout out from BIKE Week in Sun Valley, Idaho

By Vernon Felton

Once a year we BIKE editors ditch the cubicles at the mothership and head out for a week of riding the latest bikes and products on some of the best trails in the country. We call the event "BIKE Week" and those days spent on the trail are often our first opportunity to really get out and ride next year's crop of promising gear. It’s also a great opportunity to get inside the heads of the engineers and product managers who designed those new bikes and products.

Smith Optics promotions manager, Gabe Schroder, and longtime pro, Eric Porter, thread the needle on some fine Sun Valley singletrack.

BIKE Week, in short, is our own version of a press launch, except since this is BIKE’s dog and pony show, there are no PowerPoint presentations, or afternoons whiled away in musty conference rooms; just quality one on one time with the new and shiny bits–and by “quality time” we mean days spent laying tracks down on the finest trails this country has to offer and seeing what the new products have to offer.

Big miles are ridden. Elevation gets racked up. Corners get blown at high speeds. Someone usually bleeds. Malted beverages are quaffed en masse.

In the past, BIKE Week has taken us to the north rim of the Grand Canyon, down the Umpqua River Trail in Oregon, up into the La Sal Mountains of Utah (to name just a few past destinations). This time around, we’re riding the trails of Sun Valley, Idaho. With more than 400 miles of singletrack coursing through the valley, there's been no shortage of amazing trails to pant our way up and scream back down.

Rest stop atop the final climb of today's ride. Over the past few days, we've racked up 75 miles of riding and 8,000 feet of climbing..

Stay tuned, because over the next few weeks, we'll give you a peek at some 2013 bike models from Cannondale, Diamondback, Santa Cruz, Scott Sports, Trek and Yeti. Likewise, we've got the skinny on new products from Avid, Bontrager, CamelBak, Club Ride, Dakine, Gravity, Hayes, RockShox, Smith Optics, SRAM and Sun-Ringle.

Long rides require proper hydration. It's science.