Ride A BlueBike To Vote!

From the email:

Election Day in Massachusetts is Tuesday, November 6th, and Bluebikes is hosting a Free Ride Day to help you get to your polling location. Grab a free Adventure Pass from the Bluebikes app on Election Day by using code BIKETOVOTE: gift codes to redeem at a Bluebikes kiosk will be made available from our website before Election Day. The Adventure Pass includes unlimited 2-hour trips for a 24-hour period, so you can #BiketoVote in style on Election Day.

Once you have your free pass, head over to our Bike to Vote Guide to find a Bluebikes station near your voting site.

The early voting period is open until Friday, November 2nd. Head over to our early voting blog post to learn more about how you can cast your vote. You don’t need a reason to vote early, you just need to be a resident of the municipality where you cast your vote. If you have any questions on how to vote early or find your polling location, stop by and speak to one of our ambassadors at our Bike to Vote Pop-up Event next week:

  • Boston City Hall Plaza | Thursday, November 1st | 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Let’s Go on a Boo-Bikes Ride: Halloween Edition 

Celebrate Halloween and take Bluebikes to one of the many spooky events popping up across Metro Boston. From cheese and candy tastings to exploring historic graveyards in Boston, there is so much to do. We put together some of our favorite Halloween events and activities to attend across Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville. Check out our Halloween Guide, and hop on a bike today.

Now in a Neighborhood Near You

You may have noticed our new stations in more neighborhoods across Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville. Here is a look back on some of the major new updates and milestones for the Bluebikes system:
  • 60+ New Stations
  • 2,000+ Additional Docks
  • 800+ Bikes Added to Fleet
Record Day: September 9th, 9,974 Rides
Pop-Quiz Time: Want the chance to win free one-month membership extension? With 800 additional bikes in the field, how many additional wheel spokes have been added to our fleet? Leave your guess on this form by midnight on Thursday, November 8. The closest guess will be announced on Friday, November 9.

Closing Out Women’s Bike Month

Women’s Bike and Brunch

A little rain could not put a damper on our Women’s Bike Month close-out celebrations. The event kicked off with brunch and networking at Lucy’s American Tavern on Saturday, October 27th. With weather in our favor, we closed out the weekend with a leisurely ride along the Neponset River Greenway on Sunday, taking in the peak fall foliage.

Thank you to all the amazing women that came out to support the event: this is the first of many rides to come! Head over to our blog and check out the full recap and see additional photos.

Behind-the-Scenes Feature: Lindsey

Lindsey has been with the Bluebikes team since 2013. With a little bit of experience in every department, she now serves as the Bluebikes Field Staff Manager:

“I’ve been most excited about collaborating with other departments to help make the expansion into Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roslindale a success. It’s exciting to see bike share in Boston reaching different neighborhoods.”

Head over to the Bluebikes blog and check out Lindsey’s full feature. Interested in joining the Bluebikes team? We’re hiring.

As Women’s Bike Month 2018 wraps up, we took some time to recap all of the amazing women that we featured throughout the month. Check out the #WBM2018 blog post to learn more about some of the women who bike in Metro Boston, and staff members that keep the Bluebikes system rolling.

Let’s Go on a Bluebikes Ride

Bike to Vote Pop-Up Event
November 1st | 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. | Boston

Moving Together Conference
November 1st | 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Boston

Massachusetts Cheese Festival 
November 3rd | 10:30 a.m. | Somerville

Pumpkin Smash!
November 3rd | 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Boston

Somerville Neighborhood Cleanups
November 3rd – 10th | Various Times | Somerville

Roslindale Farmers Market
November 3rd | 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Boston

Election Day & Free Ride Day
November 6th | All Day

Winter Biking Basics Workshop
November 19th | 6:00 p.m. | Cambridge

Community Thanksgiving Dinner
November 24th | 1:00 p.m. | Brookline

Kestrel returns to offroad with carbon hardtail offerings

PHILADELPHIA (BRAIN) — ASI’s Kestrel brand is returning to the offroad market with a new carbon 29er hardtail, the MXZ, which will be available in two builds. Kestrel’s produced one of the first ever carbon mountain bike frames in 1988, also called the MXZ.

Fox Racing supports IMBA’s instructor certification program

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Fox Racing is continuing its support of International Mountain Bicycling Association’s Instructor Certification Program for the third year “Fox Racing wants to help our sport grow and understands that certified instructors play an important role in bringing new riders into the community and showing them the ropes,” said Tammy Donahugh, IMBA’s instructor certification program manager. IMBA launched the program in 2013 to offer professional training and certification for individuals who lead group rides or teach mountain bike skills clinics.  Fox Racing outfits IMBA Instructor Trainers and supports new instructors

Nomination period now open for Interbike’s Retailer Innovation awards

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (BRAIN) —The self nomination period has opened for the  new Interbike Innovation Awards for retailers.

How to ride drop offs with confidence

Drop-offs can crop up in the form of rock steps, tree stumps or purpose-built drops and must be rolled down or jumped, with most red-rated trails having a drop or two. Follow our guide to negotiating this trail obstacle and you’ll be hammering down drops in no time.

  • How to ride flat turns at maximum speed
  • How to air drop offs
  • Best mountain bike: the ultimate buyer’s guide

With the right technique and a bit of practice you’ll get the hang of drop offs in no time. If you’re new to them, we recommend building up in height until you’re comfortable and confident. If you are unsure or riding slowly, smaller drops can be rolled. Bigger drops and higher speeds require jumping the drops. 

Practice is key here, particularly when it comes to jumping the drop. Find a kerb and practice getting your body position just right or your local trail centre might have a skills area with a series of drop offs at various heights which you can get to grips with. 


Roll the drop

1. Control your speed

Use both brakes to slow you down to walking pace. Scan the trail ahead to find your exit line. Keep your eye on the edge of the drop and keep the brakes covered.

2. Let the bike roll away from you

As the front wheel rolls off the edge, allow the front of the bike to roll away from you by extending your arms and letting the saddle slide through your legs. Keep your weight back, but there’s no need to sit on the rear tyre.

3. Return to position

Jump the drop

1. Fully commit

2. Lean back

3. Absorb the landing

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Industry ‘upbeat’ for 2017 after a tough year

Executives share thoughts in new BRAIN issue. LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (BRAIN) — After a year in which the industry struggled with surplus inventory and a rapidly changing distribution system, many supplier executives said they were cautiously optimistic about their prospects in 2017.

NS Bikes launches burly, aggressive Snabb Plus 29er

NS Bikes today announced the launch of the Snabb Plus, the first full-sus 29er bike from the Polish brand.

  • Best 29er trail bikes
  • Best mountain bike: how to choose the right one for you

Pitched as a “big wheeled beast that is quick as lightning but also pure fun to ride”, the Snabb Plus uses the brand’s pre-existing and highly acclaimed Snabb as a template and joins an increasing number of rowdy, shorter travel 29ers on the market.

The Snabb Plus is supplied with 29” wheels, but as the Plus suffix suggests, it is also designed to accommodate 27.5×3.0 tyres should the stock 29×2.35” Fat Alberts not be girthy enough for your needs.


The bike is designed around a 140mm fork and a 130mm rear end, with NS opting for this amount of travel after deciding that 29ers in the 160mm-travel range are simply “too much”. 

The Snabb Plus has a bang-on-trend 67-degree head angle which, when paired with the steepish 74.4 degree seat angle and stubby 433mm chain stays, should make for a playful bike which will pedal back up to the trailhead with relative ease.

  • NS Bikes Snabb T1 review

NS bikes is well-known for producing burly and reliable bikes which have always appealed to the aggressive rider. The Snabb Plus shares this characteristic, with the beefy one-piece rocker arm moving on “high-end MAX bearings”, which the brand claims will reduce service intervals for the bike.

Snabb Plus 1 specs

  • Frame: NS Snabb Plus w/ 130mm rear wheel travel, AL6061-T6+AL6066-T6 custom formed and butted tubes, internal cable guide routing option, MAX bearings in all pivots
  • Shock: Rock Shox Deluxe Debonair RT3, 185×50mm
  • Fork: Rock Shox Pike RC 27,5″ fork w/140mm travel, 15mm axle, alloy steering tube
  • Headset: GW integrated tapered IS42/52, sealed
  • Stem: NS Quantum Lite 31.8, 45mm
  • Handlebar: NS Evidence Lite (762mm / 30” wide)
  • Grips: Octane One bolt-on, one-clamp
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide R, 180mm front & rear centerline rotors
  • Shifter: SRAM GX 11spd
  • Derailleur: SRAM GX Type 2.1 long cage, 11spd
  • Bottom bracket: Truvativ GXP 73mm
  • Crank: SRAM GX 1200 170 mm Boost Direct Mount X-SYNC 30t
  • Chain: KMC, 11spd
  • Cassette: SRAM XG-1150, 11 speed 10-42
  • Rims: New NS Enigma Roll 29”, 32h (PLUS compatible) tubeless ready
  • Hubs: NS Rotary 15 Boost disc (sealed bearing), NS Rotary Cassette 148×12 Boost (sealed bearings)
  • Spokes: 14G-2.0mm w/ 14mm nipples
  • Tires: Schwalbe Fat Albert Front & Rear combo, 29 x 2.35 foldable bead, SnakeSkin, TL-Easy
  • Seatpost: Rock Shox Reverb Stealth 150mm travel ( 170mm for L size), internal cable routing, 31.6mm
  • Saddle: Octane One Rocket w/hollow cromoly rails
  • Bike weight: 13.9 kg (w/o pedals)
  • Price: £3699.99 / €3999

Snabb Plus 2 Specs :

  • Frame: NS Snabb Plus w/ 130mm rear wheel travel
  • AL6061-T6+AL6066-T6 custom formed and butted tubes, internal cable guide routing option, MAX
  • Bearings in all pivots
  • Shock: Rock Shox Deluxe Debonair RL, 185×50mm
  • Fork: Manitou Machete, 27.5+ fork with 140mm Travel
  • Headset: GW integrated tapered IS42/52, sealed
  • Stem: NS Quantum Lite 31.8, 45mm
  • Handlebar: NS Terra (762mm / 30” wide)
  • Grips: Octane One bolt-on, one-clamp
  • Brakes: SRAM Level, 180mm front & rear rotors
  • Shifter: SRAM NX trigger 11speed
  • Derailleur: SRAM NX 1×11 X-HORIZON
  • Bottom bracket: Truvativ GXP 73mm
  • Crank: SRAM NX 24MM 170 Boost BLK X-SYNC 30t
  • Chain: KMC, 11spd
  • Cassette: SRAM PG-1130 11 speed 11-42t
  • Rims: NS Bikes 29” tubeless ready
  • Hubs: NS Rotary 15 Boost disc (sealed bearing), NS Rotary Cassette 148×12 Boost (sealed bearings)
  • Spokes: 14G-2.0mm w/ 14mm nipples
  • Tires: Schwalbe Nobby Nic 29 x 2.25 foldable bead B/B-SK HS463 PSC OEM SnakeSkin, TL-Easy, Folding
  • Seatpost: Kind Shock E-TENi Stealth dropper-post, 125mm travel, 31.6
  • Saddle: SDG Circuit MTN saddle w/cromoly rails
  • Bike weight: 14.1 kg (w/o pedals)
  • Price: £2599.99 / €2899

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Giant Reign 27.5 1 review

Over the last couple of years, Giant’s Reign has been steadily notching up some impressive results at the Enduro World Series, while continuing to be a regular sight on the trails around the UK.

  • Best mountain bike: the ultimate buyer’s guide
  • 27.5+ vs 29 bikes: what’s faster?
  • The top 5 mountain bike trends for 2017

Spec overview

  • Frame: ALUXX SL-grade aluminium
  • Fork: RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air, custom offset, 160mm (6.3in) travel
  • Shock: RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X1 (1×11)
  • Wheelset: DT Swiss M1700 Spline, Schwalbe Magic Mary Snakeskin Trailstar (f) and Schwalbe Hans Dampf Snakeskin PaceStar (r) 27.5×2.35in tyres
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide RS, 200mm (f), 180mm (r) rotors
  • Bar/stem: Giant Contact SL DH, 800mm/Truvativ Holzfeller, 50mm
  • Seatpost/saddle: RockShox Reverb Stealth/Giant Contact SL Neutral
  • Weight: 13.4kg (29.54lb), medium size without pedals

The frame

Part of the Reign’s popularity can be attributed to its decent proportions. A reach of 444mm in the medium certainly puts it right up there alongside the likes of the impressive Canyon Strive with its race-oriented geometry. Although those numbers are already towards the lengthier end of the spectrum when compared to many other mainstream brands, Giant will be introducing an XL Reign for 2017, which will be a welcome addition for taller riders. Geometry across the other sizes will remain the same, though.

A slack 64.9-degree head angle and 343mm bottom bracket further underline the Reign’s preference to be heading down the hill rather than up.


We shouldn’t overlook Giant’s proven, well-mannered, twin-link Maestro Suspension system, which delivers 160mm (6.3in) of travel via the RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 rear shock.

The spec

The Reign 1 isn’t cheap, but it does drop slightly in price by £200 for 2017, where it’s ditched the RockShox Pike fork and Reverb post we rode in favour of a Lyrik and Giant’s own Contact SL dropper. While the gearing and brakes remain the same, the 2017 Reign 1 also gets own-brand wheels rather than the DT Swiss numbers seen here.

The ride

Giant Reign 27.5 1 early verdict

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Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Carbon 650b review

Specialized’s Stumpjumper FSR Comp Carbon family covers every possible modern trail bike base, including 29er and plus versions, but it’s a conventional cruiser rather than a radical charger.

  • Best mountain bike: how to choose the right one for you
  • Less is more: why the 27.5 Plus standard is doomed

A mid-range composite front end is mated to an M5 alloy back end, and the down tube features Specialized’s unique SWAT internal storage hatch under the bottle cage. The RockShox Monarch RT shock gets a bespoke ‘Rx Trail Tune’ and ‘Autosag’ side valve for easy set-up of the 150mm stroke.

The rear of the shock uses a custom cradle to connect to the shock driver yoke, which in turn connects to the U-shaped linkage of Specialized’s FSR kinematic. A curved seat tube and 148mm wide Boost rear hub allow super-short asymmetric chainstays, and gear and dropper post cables are all routed internally. The down tube sports a big protective plate in front of the PF30 bottom bracket shell and there are also chain guide mounts.


The tight grip of the SRAM GX rear mech and Race Face direct-mount chainring meant we never felt the need for a chain guide, though. The RockShox Yari RC fork is a seriously tough unit, while the Specialized Butcher and Slaughter tyres get reinforced Grid casings.

The 200mm front rotor on the size L and XL bikes amplifies the power of the SRAM Guide R brakes. Specialized’s bar and stem suit the trail character and the own-brand dropper is reliable, if eye-wateringly rapid in action. Specialized’s 29mm internal width wheels add tyre volume, but reduced spoke count affects stiffness.

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MBUK December edition is on sale now

We may be heading into the gloomier months of the year, but that’s not getting us down here at MBUK because all the 2017 gear is beginning to pour in, ready for testing.

  • Best mountain bikes under £1,000
  • Best mountain bike: how to choose the right one for you

We get a load of marketing gumpf from the companies about how good these new products are, but really what matters is how they stand up to The MBUK Wrecked and Rated treatment over the course of a wet, grimey UK winter. We’ve just completed our first big 2017 bike test on some of the most interesting bikes to hit the shop floors across a number of disciplines.


Maybe you’re not in the market for something quite as big as a bike, but you need some ideas on kit to buy or gift ideas. (Christmas is only a month or so away you know!) If that’s the case then we’ve got you covered with our Ultimate Gear Guide 2016, which we’re giving away with this month’s mag.

Don’t worry, we’re not fully settled in for winter just yet. This month our features celebrate the best of the summer and show some of the amazing moments you can have when you go off the grid in the mountains with your bike. Dan Milner takes us exploring in Sweden and Hannah Barnes goes on a three-day epic through the Italian and Swiss Alps.

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