Outerbike Moab – Bikes, beers and big rigs

By Simon Stewart

The year’s first Outerbike took place over the weekend of March 13 in Moab, timed just right to take the sting out of Spring mud season and give folks an opportunity to put away the ski boots, shift gears and go play in the dirt. Attendance was right around 500, about half of the fall Outerbike. The big three of Trek, Specialized and Giant, who exhibit at the fall Outerbike, were notably absent. And while they were missed, many of this year’s hot bikes resided under the slightly smaller easy-ups of the likes of Yeti, Ibis, Pivot, Rocky Mountain and even smaller newcomers like Durango. Perfect weather, dialed organization and a chill vibe made this first spring Outerbike an instant favorite among both attendees and exhibitors.

Outerbike Moab

If you want the first demo ride on your potential dream bike, get out there early: gates open at 9 am, but this line started at 7.

outerbike moab

If you do happen to be hung-over, the gracious hosts cooked up over 30 pounds of bacon to help take the edge off.

Ibis booth Outerbike Moab

Then, Snag a sweet ride.

Scot Nicol Outerbike Moab

Maybe even get lubed up by an industry luminary.

outerbike moab shuttle
Each day, shuttles run to popular Moab trail systems, but staying near the expo is the way to go if you’re trying to demo as many bikes as possible. Moab’s trails are perfect for testing, with a mixture of tech, flow, rock and dirt. But let’s be honest: who in their right mind would pass on a shuttle up the Magnificient 7 trails.

MRP Marketing/Product Manager Noah Sears

MRP Marketing/Product Manager Noah Sears showing off the 160-millimeter, 27.5-version of the Grand Juncion, Colorado company’s Stage Fork.

MRP Marketing/Product Manager Noah Sears

The always picturesque La Sal mountains in the background with Noah Sears owning a tricky rock move.

Meet Randy Owen and his ’04 Kenworth with over two million miles. “It’s what gets me through–thinking about where I get to ride next,” said Randy, who was on a run to Albuquerque when he happened to glimpse Outerbike from the highway, prompting him to make an unplanned stop. After all, a six-hour detour is like a trip to the corner for him.

outerbike moab trucker

No room for hitchhikers with Randy’s Santa Cruz Highball in the cab.

Durango Bikes Outerbike Moab
It’s no secret that we, here at the magazine, are fans of short-travel 29ers with aggressive geometry, and this bike is exactly that. What’s even cooler is that it didn’t even exist back in December. Durango had a rideable test bike only three weeks after inception, then played around with travel and pivot locations and viola: three months later, here it is. There are still a few remaining tweaks to be made before final production, but here are some numbers to think about; 67.5° head angle, 130-millimeter fork and 120 millimeters of rear travel paired with nice short chainstays. Need I say more?

outerbike moab

Testing bikes is thirsty work. Luckily Outerbike has that covered as well: just step into the beer garden.

outerbike moab

The Moab Brewery is brewing some fine beer these days–good enough to make you question if you’re still in Utah.

Whether you’re in the market for a new bike or not, definitely put Outerbike on your list. The expo will return to Moab in the Fall from October 2nd-4th, and there will be one in Whistler in June. If I were a betting man, I’d wager that the Canadians will be putting on one hell of a good time, too.

Visit outerbike.com to learn more.