mountains

Raffle of handmade custom bikes to benefit Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship

GRAEAGLE, Calif.

North Carolina’s Motion Makers Bicycle Shop to open third store in May

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BRAIN) — Retailer Kent Cranford has announced plans to open a third Motion Makers Bicycle Shop later this spring.

Lezyne adds custom route-building feature to its GPS devices

TAIPEI (BRAIN) — Lezyne has added a route-building function to its GPS cycling computers and watches.

Where does World Champs medal winner Laurie Greenland go riding?

Laurie Greenland is currently one of the fastest downhill racers in the world. His second-place run at this year’s World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy, was nothing short of mind-blowing. We sat down with the 19-year-old Bristolian to ask him about how he got into the sport and where he goes riding.

  • Rob Warner’s top 11 moments
  • Subscribe to Mountain Biking UK and get your first five issues for £5

Growing up Laurie lived in a house overlooking St George’s Skatepark, and its cracked and crumbling 1980s concrete bowls were where his love of skateboarding and BMX began. He might never have discovered mountain biking if it hadn’t been for his dad. “He got into mountain biking because he was bored watching me at the skate park,” laughs Laurie. “He got himself a bike, and we’ve always done everything together, so I just tagged along with him and his mates when they went riding. They’d go to the Mendips, the Forest of Dean and Wales.”

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Laurie has no shortage of great riding locations on his doorstep, but it’s the riding in South Wales that he loves the most and where he spends much of his off-season.

We asked him why this is the case: “The hills are big and there’s just so many steep loamy trails. If you know the right spots, there are new tracks popping up everywhere. It’s as if the trail fairies have been out overnight! I love it when I haven’t been home all summer and when I come back there’s so much new stuff to ride. In the right conditions the tracks here are some of my favourites in the world.”

Welsh Downhill Mountain Bike Association

Cwmcarn

Black Mountains Cycle Centre

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

Horse for the Course: Niner RKT 9 RDO for the Ouachita Challenge

In its fifteenth year, the Ouachita Challenge, a 60-mile mountain bike race in western Arkansas, uses two greatly varying IMBA Epic-rated trail systems (Lake Ouachita and The Womble) and a bit of dirt and paved road to piece together an incredible day of racing. This year’s race saw perfect trail conditions thanks to recent rains, sunny skies and a mild temperatures.

The area’s rural nature, rolling hills, limestone rock and numerous creeks offers a perfect canvas for mountain biking. Even if you don’t go for the race, a trip to the region will offer mountain bikers of all abilities and tastes a good time.

  • The course: The Ouachita Challenge, a 60-mile race through the mountains and woods of western Arkansas, with more than 6,000ft / 1,800m climbing, also taking some dirt and paved road
  • The equipment goal: A light, capable cross-country machine suited to insulating me from a long day of rugged riding
  • The horse: A mostly stock Niner RKT 9 RDO in X01 / RS-1 build kitted with a dropper, Maxxis Crossmark II EXO/TR tyres, Selle SMP Drakon saddle and JPaks RukSak stem bag

At 60 miles, this was to be my longest mountain bike race to date, so I sought advice from past participants on bike and tyre choice. In deciding upon an ideal bike, it became clear that a full suspension 29er would be a great place to start, insulating me from hours of rugged riding.

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With more than 6,000 feet of climbing, a light bike would be appreciated. Niner’s RKT 9 RDO had caught my eye when it was launched in 2015. The carbon race bike looked like a light, capable option and it proved to be perfect for Ouachita.

The Ouachita Challenge traverses 60 miles (with more than 6,000 feet of elevation gain) through the Ouachita Mountains of west-central Arkansas

  • Review: Niner RKT 9 RDO
  • Full suspension vs hardtail – which is faster?

Niner RKT 9 RDO

Maxxis Crossmark II EXO/TR tyres

Selle SMP Drakon saddle

JPaks RukSak stem bag 

Backcountry Research frame and saddle mounts

Ergon grips/bar-ends GS2

Bar Fly 4 MTB Garmin mount

Bontrager TLR Flash Charger floor pump 

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

Horse for the Course: Niner RKT 9 RDO for the Ouachita Challenge

In its fifteenth year, the Ouachita Challenge, a 60-mile mountain bike race in western Arkansas, uses two greatly varying IMBA Epic-rated trail systems (Lake Ouachita and The Womble) and a bit of dirt and paved road to piece together an incredible day of racing. This year’s race saw perfect trail conditions thanks to recent rains, sunny skies and a mild temperatures.

The area’s rural nature, rolling hills, limestone rock and numerous creeks offers a perfect canvas for mountain biking. Even if you don’t go for the race, a trip to the region will offer mountain bikers of all abilities and tastes a good time.

  • The course: The Ouachita Challenge, a 60-mile race through the mountains and woods of western Arkansas, with more than 6,000ft / 1,800m climbing, also taking some dirt and paved road
  • The equipment goal: A light, capable cross-country machine suited to insulating me from a long day of rugged riding
  • The horse: A mostly stock Niner RKT 9 RDO in X01 / RS-1 build kitted with a dropper, Maxxis Crossmark II EXO/TR tyres, Selle SMP Drakon saddle and JPaks RukSak stem bag

At 60 miles, this was to be my longest mountain bike race to date, so I sought advice from past participants on bike and tyre choice. In deciding upon an ideal bike, it became clear that a full suspension 29er would be a great place to start, insulating me from hours of rugged riding.

ADVERTISEMENT
advertisement

With more than 6,000 feet of climbing, a light bike would be appreciated. Niner’s RKT 9 RDO had caught my eye when it was launched in 2015. The carbon race bike looked like a light, capable option and it proved to be perfect for Ouachita.

The Ouachita Challenge traverses 60 miles (with more than 6,000 feet of elevation gain) through the Ouachita Mountains of west-central Arkansas

  • Review: Niner RKT 9 RDO
  • Full suspension vs hardtail – which is faster?

Niner RKT 9 RDO

Maxxis Crossmark II EXO/TR tyres

Selle SMP Drakon saddle

JPaks RukSak stem bag 

Backcountry Research frame and saddle mounts

Ergon grips/bar-ends GS2

Bar Fly 4 MTB Garmin mount

Bontrager TLR Flash Charger floor pump 

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

Dealer Tour LA, Day 3: Escape to the Conejo Valley for LA’s finest riding

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.

Mondraker Foxy Carbon 2015 – first look

Following on from its phenomenal Forward Geometry range of aluminium bikes, Mondraker has just released one of the most exciting trail bikes we’ve ever seen – the Foxy Carbon.

The Spanish bike manufacturer’s radical Forward Geometry concept extends the top tube of the bike by up to 60mm and uses either a 10mm or 30mm stem. This keeps the cockpit the same as equivalent-sized bikes, but puts the front wheel further out in front by lengthening the top tube. 

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Video: Mondraker CEO Miguel Pina on the new Foxy Carbon

The effect of this is increased grip and stability in almost all situations; the wheel doesn’t lift on steep climbs, the direct steering response keeps things accurate through tight switchbacks and you’ll never be pitched over the bars on descents. It also distributes the rider’s weight evenly between the front and rear wheels, offering the optimum riding stance.

Mondraker foxy rr carbon 2015: mondraker foxy rr carbon 2015

2015 Mondraker Foxy RR Carbon

Mondraker released this technology on select models in 2013, but committed to it across their range in 2014. To do this when the rest of the industry had been taking things 10mm at a time takes balls, but it’s paid off for Mondraker and now other brands are starting to realise the potential.

Mondraker foxy xr carbon 2015: mondraker foxy xr carbon 2015

2015 Mondraker Foxy Carbon XR

Frame: commitment to beauty

The geometry of the new Foxy Carbon is based around that of the 2014 Foxy frame. Its shape follows the same lines as the alloy version, but is more refined and classier looking. The domed area of the top tube – where it meets the head tube – is more streamlined, accentuating the length of the front triangle.

But looks aren’t the only things the carbon Foxy has going for it. By using a careful layup procedure and the highest grade of carbon available, Mondraker has produced an incredibly stiff front end. This is key to the Forward Geometry concept; unwanted flex in such a long front triangle would give terrible handling. Three years of development work have paid off though, and the frame is precise and reliable, yet comfortable and resilient.

Mondraker foxy r carbon 2015: mondraker foxy r carbon 2015

2015 Mondraker Foxy R Carbon

High-end carbon fibre production is dealt with best in the Far East, and the Foxy Carbon emerges from the same factory as other well known high-end frames, though is the most advanced and intricately produced frame to date. The bottom bracket boom shows this off perfectly. It protrudes unsupported from the curved join of the down tube and seat tube. But you’d never know – it’s rock solid under power and suffers no apparent torsional flex.

The Foxy Carbon is also based around Mondraker’s proven Zero suspension platform, which uses a floating shock design to offer 140mm of travel, and is totally isolated to braking and pedaling forces. Where some other designs rely on pedaling forces to offer a compression-resistant platform, the Zero system works so well you simply don’t notice.

It’s very progressive too, so when you’re riding hard there are no nasty surprises or strange characteristics. It’s certainly one of the best platforms available, and offers no-nonsense performance.

The detail: a host of neat features

Keeping the Foxy Carbon looking clean is an internal cable route, using the large down tube to hold the cables. The Foxy is compatible with Stealth type seatposts, and has cable entry points on top and underneath the down tube for optimal routing.

Internal cable routing keeps the foxy carbon looking neat: internal cable routing keeps the foxy carbon looking neat

Internal cable routing

This impressive looking bottom bracket area of the frame is key in making the frame perform well. Mondraker spent a long time, and developed many prototype frames to perfect this – it’s certainly one of the most visually pleasing parts of the frame.

Mondraker spent a long time and developed many prototype frames to perfect the design of the bottom bracket area: mondraker spent a long time and developed many prototype frames to perfect the design of the bottom bracket area

The Foxy Carbon’s bottom bracket area

While the aluminium Foxy looked robust and stocky up front, the head tube area of the Foxy Carbon looks sleek and almost organic. It’s not just about aesthetics though; the long and stiff front triangle is key to the arrow-straight steering precision. 

The long and stiff front triangle is key to the foxy carbon's arrow-straight steering precision: the long and stiff front triangle is key to the foxy carbon's arrow-straight steering precision

Smooth head tube

Though optimised around a single-ring setup, the Foxy accepts a bolt-on machined aluminium front mech mount, using the same mounting bolts as the neat shock mudguard.

The foxy accepts a bolt-on machined aluminium front mech mount, using the same mounting bolts as the neat shock mudguard: the foxy accepts a bolt-on machined aluminium front mech mount, using the same mounting bolts as the neat shock mudguard

Removable front mech mount

Despite the security of modern single-ring chain retention, you don’t want to foul your carbon frame if the chain jumps off. Mondraker specs a guard that mounts on to the ISCG mounts, specifically to catch the chain if this happens.

ISCG mounted protector plate: iscg mounted protector plate

ISCG mounted protector plate

The FG30 stem comes as stock on the 140mm travel Foxy Carbon, although the extreme racing model – the Foxy XR – also comes with the aggressive FG10 stem for direct control, as well as a 160mm travel fork.

The fg30 stem comes on all models appart from the xr carbon, which gets the fg10: the fg30 stem comes on all models appart from the xr carbon, which gets the fg10

Forward Geometry

The shock is actuated from both ends, floating between the lower linkage and the upper rocker. It gives no pedal feedback, no brake jack and has a naturally rising rate which, combined with the damping on the rear shock, offers a very progressive feel with a supple beginning stroke.

The shock is actuated from both ends, floating between the lower linkage and the upper rocker. it gives no pedal feedback and no brake jack : the shock is actuated from both ends, floating between the lower linkage and the upper rocker. it gives no pedal feedback and no brake jack

Mondraker’s Zero suspension platform

Ride and handling: light, lively and agile

We recently test-rode the Foxy Carbon RR in Alicante, Spain. Anyone familiar with Forward Geometry will feel at home the Foxy Carbon RR – it offers the same confidence for a noticeably lower weight (some 2kg lighter than the aluminium model).

The light feel doesn’t just come from the low weight though. The frame feel is incredibly lively. It’s responsive, light and skippy, which made us wonder how it would feel when thrown in at the deep end.

Luckily Mondraker is a company made of riders, and those riders had one hell of a test ride planned for us, led by the company’s bike-shredding CEO, Miguel Pina. Following a clutch-melting uplift we arrived high in the mountains at a notorious trail – apparently the last big ride here resulted in a broken ankle, a broken arm and several pinch punctures!

Test riding the foxy rr carbon in alicante: test riding the foxy rr carbon in alicante

Andrew Dodd test-riding the Mondraker Foxy RR Carbon in Alicante

We flew straight in to a gully filled with babyhead-sized rocks that would normally have alarm bells ringing, but the Foxy felt planted and dampened, never out of shape or out of its depth. The carbon construction is to thank for this, as well as the oddly silent ride – at times we wondered if we’d dropped the chain or even had one at all! The Foxy Carbon is a seriously quiet bike.

It’s also very agile – changing direction, even at speed, was a relaxed affair and we never worried about approaching rocks or turns. The front-end stiffness really does offer incredible precision – we were able to point the front wheel into minute gaps with confidence, even when running scared from Mondraker’s test riders, who were always hot on our heels!

The Foxy’s climbing prowess is impressive too. Even in loose, dry Spanish conditions we easily ascended steep and technical climbs. 

Where the previous aluminium Foxy frame was stiff and offered a great ride, the Foxy Carbon offers a new, updated feel. It has all the ride attributes of a lightweight all-mountain bike and the downhill ferocity of a long-travel, slack-angled bike. Which is exactly what it aims for.

We found the foxy rr carbon to be light, lively and agile: we found the foxy rr carbon to be light, lively and agile

The Foxy RR Carbon was light, lively and agile

Having spent a lot of time on the aluminium models, we can certainly see where Mondraker are headed with the Foxy Carbon. And it’s going to upset a lot of major bike manufacturers that have committed to (shorter) expensive carbon fibre mouldings.

That alone makes us smile – Mondraker made the decision to produce this beast of a bike when many manufacturers were still scratching their heads over 27.5in wheels, let alone long wheelbase geometry.

As far as we’re concerned, the future for trail bikes is definitely longer, slacker and lower, and right now, Mondraker are the forefront of this movement. Unless you plan on buying a Foxy Carbon, we wouldn’t advise test riding one – it’s so good, a purchase would be inevitable!

UK pricing for the 2015 Mondraker Foxy Carbon range is as follows:

  • Foxy R Carbon £4,399
  • Foxy RR Carbon £4,999
  • Foxy XR Carbon £5,999
  • Foxy XR frame £2,699


Cane Creek announces two new hires

FLETCHER, N.C. (BRAIN) – Cane Creek Cycling Components announced two new hires on Monday:  senior design engineer Jim Rathbun and marketing coordinator Joel Burgess

Genesis Equilibrium Disc review

The Genesis Equilibrium Disc offers a good ride quality and great looks. Reynolds 631 steel tubing is a lighter, stronger evolution of the classic 531 tubeset, which air hardens after welding, and is also used for the curved, lugged fork whose slim disc-specific blades not only complement the frame’s design better than any carbon offering could, but further enhance the lively ride quality.

  • HIGHS: Engaging, forgiving ride quality, great looks, nice wheels
  • LOWS: If you want to head into the mountains or go racing, look elsewhere
  • BUY IF… You value the riding experience more than absolute speed

The frame is beautifully constructed, immaculately finished and arrived very well set up. The handlebar height on our 56cm model is determined by the reasonable 150mm head tube height plus extra 27mm of external headset. It was perfect for this bike, low enough for tucking down out of the wind, but ideal for a relaxing cruise along the top.

Genesis equilibrium disc: the tall head tube and headset create a relaxed riding position:

The tall head tube and headset create a relaxed riding position

Termed ‘Sportive Disc’, the Equilibrium is intended for day-long comfort, and although it gave the impression of a sedate ride, we were hardly any slower than usual around our test circuit.

Shimano’s high quality XT mountain bike hubs are laced three-cross to 32-hole 23mm wide H Plus Son Archetype rims, creating very smooth-rolling, tough and forgiving wheels. The increased width adds stability and the extra air volume in the 25mm tyres results in a more cushioned, grippier ride.

The cable-operated Hayes CX Expert brakes took a little time to bed in, but were consistent in the wet, and have ample power to haul bike and a big rider to a controlled halt.

Despite its extra weight, the Equilibrium willingly springs into action when hustled, accelerating with enthusiasm and maintaining flatland speed with ease. In the hills, gravity determines that the Genesis isn’t a naturally rapid climber, but the sensible 34×28 bottom gear will get you up almost anything. Coming down, the bike’s mass and stability combine with those wider rims and tyres to keep it absolutely planted, and the power of the disc brakes maximises the frame’s deft handling, making descents fast, fun and safe.

Mudguard eyes give the Equilibrium year-round versatility, and its refined ride put a smile on our faces every time we ventured out, proving that quality can be as important as outright speed.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.


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