trails

BRAIN Dealer Tour: Is Palisade the next big MTB destination?

PALISADE, Colo. (BRAIN) — BRAIN’s Dealer Tour braved rain and even a bit of snow pedaling about 20 miles from Grand Junction to the small town of Palisade on Thursday, visiting the town’s Rapid Creek Cycles & Sports. While Palisade is best known now for its wineries and its peaches, the town could become one of the major mountain biking destinations in a few years, if the owners of Rapid Creek have any say in it.  The store is owned by  Scott Winans and  Rondo  Buecheler. Buecheler was the founder of Over The Edge Sports in Fruita, Colorado, (where the Dealer Tour visited Wednesday) where he helped build the trails and biking community that made Fruita one of the most popular mountain bike destinations in the country. In Palisade, he has similar plans.

Bosch’s new ‘eMTB Mode’ automatically switches between assistance modes

IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) – Bosch has launched a new trail riding feature for its Performance Line CX. This new feature, called eMTB mode, will automatically change between assistance modes depending on pedal pressure to optimize support on different types of terrain

Giant Bicycles Canada to open new store in Whistler

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (BRAIN) – Giant Bicycles Canada has announced the opening of its newest retail store, Giant Whistler, located in Whistler, B.C. The new store will hold a grand opening on Friday, May 19, the same day Whistler Bike Park opens for the season.

GT Bicycles sponsors Whistler Mountain Bike Park

WILTON, Conn. (BRAIN) — GT Bicycles is the new sponsor of Whistler Mountain Bike Park, in Whistler, British Columbia and will supply frames for all bikes including rental, retail, and programs at the park.  “GT is all about the business of having fun on two wheels, and to do so in Whistler, with some of the world’s best trails, is incredible,” Mike Marro, GT’s global senior brand manager.

GT Bicycles sponsors Whistler Mountain Bike Park

WILTON, Conn. (BRAIN) — GT Bicycles is the new sponsor of Whistler Mountain Bike Park, in Whistler, British Columbia and will supply frames for all bikes including rental, retail, and programs at the park.  “GT is all about the business of having fun on two wheels, and to do so in Whistler, with some of the world’s best trails, is incredible,” Mike Marro, GT’s global senior brand manager. “This partnership gives us a unique opportunity to connect with the gravity community and get more riders on GT bikes.” GT’s rental fleet will consist of over 300 Furys as the downhill option and nearly 200 Sanctions and Forces as the all-mountain/enduro options

STC applauds bill that would end blanket ban on bikes in Wilderness areas

WASHINGTON  (BRAIN) — The Sustainable Trails Coalition is applauding legislation introduced last week that would end a ban on bikes, wheelchairs, strollers and game carts in federally designated Wilderness areas. The bill, introduced by Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., would let federal land managers regulate the use of such vehicles on Wilderness trails.  STC was founded in 2015 to lobby for reversing bike bans in Wilderness areas as well as in Recommended Wilderness, Wilderness Study Areas, on the Pacific Crest Trail, and on parts of the Continental Divide Trail

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

6 tips for trail night riding

Although the days are now getting longer, riding at night still means riding in the dark. So as night ride season continues, often in conditions that may be cold, dark and frequently wetter than an otter’s pocket, there are plenty of ways to ensure the fun doesn’t have to stop. So read on to find out how to turn the dreary depths of winter into some of your best months of riding ever.

  • The best mountain bike lights
  • 7 ways for mountain bikers to relieve the pain of winter training

1. Get lit

A decent front light is essential if you want to enjoy nicely illuminated trails rather than spending the whole time scrabbling around in the dark. You may be able to get away with a 400-lumen light if you know the way, aren’t looking to ride like Danny Hart and don’t have a mate with a 5,000-lumen monster on his bar that leaves you in perpetual shadow. But if you’re wanting to go faster and harder, look for at least an 800-lumen output.

  • The best mountain bike lights

2. Mount up

There are a couple of options when it comes to mounting your light. The obvious choice is the handlebar, especially if it’s an all-in-one-unit. Alternatively, you can fix it to your helmet, but avoid this with a heavy light because it’ll cause the lid to shift around when you ride over bumps.

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The other consideration is the type of trail you’re riding. If there are lots of tight turns, a bar-mounted light won’t shine around the corners, which is where you need to be looking. A head-mounted light solves this issue because it shines where you look, but if there isn’t enough light to also flood the trail directly in front of you, you may struggle. The best option is to have both head and bar-mounted lights.

3. Pick the right route

If you’ve never been for a night ride before, try it out on a route you know well before adventuring into the wilds. You’ll be surprised by how alien the trails look and feel. Cues that you use to initiate turns and features you’re familiar with will be cast into shadow and won’t appear when you expect.

Take it easy — you won’t be ‘winning’ Strava on your first outing. Trail centres are ideal places to hone your night riding skills. The tracks are less likely to have hidden surprises such as stumps or rocks that could cause you to crash. You can always challenge yourself with more technical trails once you’ve built up your confidence.

4. Make friends

5. Keep your distance

6. Stay safe

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

Our 10 most anticipated mountain bike products of 2017

As 2016 winds down, it’s time to look forward to new advancements in mountain biking. Here are some of the model year 2017 products and general trends that our team of mountain bikers is most looking forward to riding in the year ahead. 

  • The top 5 mountain bike trends for 2017
  • Five exciting cross-country race bikes for 2017

Liv Hail – Aoife Glass, women’s cycling editor

The brand new Liv Hail is one of my most hotly anticipated products for 2017. 

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This 160mm-travel aggressive trail bike is designed for the rigours of enduro racing, with some pretty bling kit at the high end of the range. It’s also one of an increasingly rare number of bikes with a geometry specifically designed for women. Liv bases its bike geometry on data gleaned from a global body dimension index, refined with comprehensive testing from riders and racers. I’m very interested to see how this bike feels in action on big terrain!

More affordable 1×12 drivetrains – Josh Patterson US technical editor

Many of our test team, myself included, have been impressed with the shifting and range of SRAM’s new XX1 and XO1 Eagle drivetrains. While they’re impressive, they are also extremely expensive for the average rider. 
What I’m looking forward to in 2017 is the introduction of 1×12 groups at more affordable price-points. I don’t know for certain that this is in the cards for the new year, but given the high level of aftermarket competition for 11-speed cassettes and add-on cogs that outgear SRAM’s own 11-speed mountain groups, it seems very likely that SRAM will push forward with an X1 level 12-speed group to maintain a competitive advantage. Once this happens, the front derailleur will become as outdated as bar ends. 

Focus Vice – Reuben Bakker-Dyos, videographer

Coming from a road and cyclocross background, I naturally gravitated toward hardtail 29er mountain bikes, but I found fear was a major barrier in progressing. So with the assistance of a Focus Vice, I’m hoping to gain confidence when the trails get steeper and the terrain gets gnarlier. With the 120mm travel shock, 130mm travel fork, burlier-than-I’m-used-to tyres and a SRAM NX groupset, the Vice is a middle-of-the-range trail bike perfect for building skills.

More aggressive 27.5+ tyres – Seb Stott, technical writer 

Shimano Steps – Tom Marvin, technical editor, What Mountain Bike magazine

Nicolai Gemetron – Rob Weaver, technical editor-in-chief 

Fox Live Valve – Jon Woodhouse, technical editor 

Cannondale Scalpel – Joe Norledge, videographer 

Giro Privateer – Jack Luke, staff writer 

Long-travel 29ers – Ed Thomsett, staff writer, Mountain Biking UK magazine

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

Does aero matter for mountain bikers?

In the world of road cycling, aero — that’s aerodynamics for people who are going too fast to say complete words — is king. In everything from bikes to helmets to clothing, trying to slip through the air with as little drag as possible is a priority, with extra slippery fabrics, extreme tube profiles and wind tunnel testing being a major selling point even on bikes not designed to win races.

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  • Less is more: why the 27.5 Plus standard is doomed

When it comes to riding bikes in dirt, it’s been less of a consideration. I’m currently unaware of any mountain bike on the market that brags about its aero credentials and only in recent years have we seen lids that tout a wind cheating profile; most of those tend to be repurposed road helmets too. 

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While cross-country racers have traditionally stuck to tight fitting lycra and helmets without peaks, most mountain bikers tend to use baggies whatever discipline they ride. There are some reasons for this. The biggest is obviously fashion. Even at the genesis of the sport the long haired hippy types that thought drifting old beach cruisers down a hill in Marin County would be a laugh chose to wear jeans and flannel shirts, rather than traditional cycling clothing. There was a good reason for that — apart from ensuring a rugged looking legacy — because having thick, baggy clothing afforded more protection from the inevitable crashes that result from riding silly bikes on slippery surfaces.

For the first part of my test I decided to investigate just how draggy different clothing styles are by doing a very simple roll down test on a fireroad

Even in modern times, mountain biking is arguably still more closely aligned with ‘action sports’ such as snowboarding and motocross rather than road cycling, and so the culture and clothing tends to reflect this. Of course, whether some of the brightly coloured baggy clothing that you see out on the trails is objectively ‘cooler’ than skin-tight clothing is up for debate; to be honest both are a hard look to pull off when in the company of people who don’t partake in either sport.

Anyway, ever since 2008 “tight fitting clothing” has actually been banned in downhill racing by decree of the UCI, cycling’s governing body. Take a look at the Enduro World Series and you won’t see anyone sporting a skinsuit either, though many of the top riders certainly modify their sponsor’s clothing to make sure there’s not an excessive amount of material. 

Part one: the roll down test

Part two: the offroad test

So, what should we take away from this? Well, if you just want to go fast, then clothing does matter

Other benefits

You can read more at BikeRadar.com