CRANKWORX: A HIGH-FLYING PARTY
MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION
DO WE REALLY NEED
MASTER TIGHT, TRICKY
SWITCHBACKS LIKE THE PROS
NINER R.I.P. 9
Att’n Retailer: Please display
$4.99 until December 3
“THERE WAS ONE TRAIL I RODE FOR THE FIRST TIME DURING THIS PHOTO SHOOT.
IT’S GNARLY—ONE YOU WOULD USUALLY CHOOSE TO RIDE WITH A DH BIKE. I TOTALLY FORGOT
I WAS ON A BIKE I HAD PEDALED TO THE TOP. I WAS AIRING A ROCK SECTION INTO A REALLY
STEEP PITCH WHEN I REMEMBERED. I STARTED LAUGHING TO MYSELF. IT’S REALLY EASY TO SHRED
ON THIS BIKE.” FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MATT HUNTER AND THE CLIMB-ABILITY/RIP-ABILITY
OF THE ALL-NEW ENDURO AT I-AM-SPECIALIZED.COM
Whistler throws a week-long party, and
you’re all invited to attend. Page 54.
Photo by John Ker
Photo by John Ker
BIKE TESTS FEATURE 108 Number Crunching Your
38 Turner Flux 80 Christmas On The How far do you go with one spin of
Capable trailbike with an old Mountain the cranks?
school cross-country feel. Ideas for the mountain biker on
50 Niner R.I.P. 9 TRAINING & FITNESS
Big wheels for the trail rider.
CRANKWORX 42 Switchback Riding Secrets
72 Rocky Mountain Altitude FESTIVAL SPECIAL Master those tight, tricky turns.
A lot of trail-riding attitude. 54 Whistler’s weeklong
86 Specialized P.2 World-class riders crash moun-
tain biking’s biggest party. 114 2009 World
Priced and designed to fly. Championships
66 Seen On The Street American women bring home the
104 Diamondback Scapegoat medals; men bring home a problem.
One tough animal to tame. Plenty of action off the slopes.
76 Riders Who Inspire 10 Happy Trails
Why our world needs more The year in review.
12 Mac Attack
100 Young Rippers Computers don’t ride bikes.
Introducing Alex Prochazka.
14 Hard Tales
Dreamscapes, kids and Lance’s
92 Inside The Pros’ Bikes 19 Trailgrams
JHK’s Fisher Superfly 29er. Cures for the clipless.
94 The Garage Files 24 Trail Mix
Gears galore: Ten, 20 or 30 speeds—
take your pick. You have never had so
Righting the Lefty. Riders enjoying riding.
many gearing options. Page 108.
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The HollowGram SI Crankset. The lightest, stiffest crankset on the planet.
Standard on the Cannondale Factory Racing Team Scalpel.
The good fight. cannondale.com
HAPPY TRAILS By Richard J. Cunningham
ecember already? I was talking about the 24 Hours in the Old
Pueblo today as if February were last month—which got me think-
ing about the year’s highlights. It was great that Lance Armstrong
returned to trounce Dave Wiens at the Leadville 100. Armstrong had noth-
ing to gain from crushing a field of hopefuls and has-beens, but there was
honor on the line, and the King-of-the-Tour demonstrated that he under-
stands exactly what that word means. Lance showed up early and rode
side-by-side with fellow racers, who were treated to the human side of the
most venerated and feared athlete in cycling today. For a week in Colorado,
Lance was a mountain biker: one man, self-supported, happy to be riding
on fat tires, with nature as his greatest rival and 100 miles of open country
ahead of him. His victory added some shine to the legacy of Leadville and
left the vanquished with a story they will tell their grandchildren. Lance
has an open invitation to any mountain bike race in this country.
Speaking about racing, the Kenda 2009, the Fuel EX and Stumpjumper
Cup series delivered as promised: a were tied at 4.7 inches.
full schedule of cross-country racing, Gary Fisher Bicycles scored two
with separate East and West venues huge victories for the 29er with two
and thousands of competitors who wins in the U.S. National
will happily return next year to race Championship Cross-Country series
again. We can thank Scott Tedro, Ty (men’s and women’s)—a first for
Kady, the folks at Sho-Air, Kenda and both classes (Katie Compton won the
Specialized for manning up to the National Short Track on a 29er with
task of rebuilding the national moun- 700C tubulars last year).
tain bike series that its caretaker, Specialized’s Ned Overend has been
USA Cycling, had left in shambles. riding a 29er, and one vote from Ned
We can also thank the Kenda Cup for is worth more than five votes from
supporting the US Pro series, which any major bike brand.
was piggybacked upon key Kenda Almost every top cross-country pro
Cup venues. If there can be a down- and two-thirds of the bike-park
side to its success, the cross-country crowd have been riding dual-chain- Seattle’s success points urban park
Kenda Cup left downhillers all ring cranksets—a trend largely planners towards an untapped
padded up with no place to go, won- ignored by the bike industry at large resource: thousands of acres of ugly
dering why USA Cycling hasn’t taken until SRAM launched XX. SRAM’s open space beneath freeway inter-
them seriously. stunning and well-engineered 2x10 changes and between public works
Racing devotees all preach that this drivetrain won’t begin to fill the vac- projects that could be reclaimed and
country’s next star will arrive from a uum in the marketplace, even if it is beautified for recreational cycling.
youth program, but during the week, readily accepted by major bike New York City successfully converted
they can all be found sipping beer brands. Reportedly, Shimano is an abandoned park into a showcase
with professionals. All except Matt readying its own version of 2x10— skills park for mountain bikes, and it
Fritzinger, whose NorCal High which should be called XTR-Duh, now hosts regular races. If it can hap-
School League was franchised in the because no parts maker is more close- pen in New York City, it can happen
southern half of California. The ly attached to professional cross- anywhere.
NorCal League is simply ripping it up country racing. Every year that passes carries a mes-
at the races and, while SoCal has a While the majority shareholders of sage for its successor. While I cannot
lot of catching up to do, they passed the sport sort out 2x10, what we real- foretell the future, it seems clear that
muster in their first season, and their ly need is a wide-ratio, nine-speed this year tells us that there are good
teams are rapidly gaining strength cassette so that the millions of us things ahead for our sport, but they
and numbers. California didn’t who purchased bikes with triple- may not come from obvious sources.
invent the concept; high school rac- chainring, nine-speed shifting sys- The next world champion may be a
ing leagues have been flourishing in tems can enjoy two-chainring shift- freckle-faced high school kid who just
British Columbia for a decade or ing bliss without spending thousands six weeks ago couldn’t tell a derailleur
more. of dollars on an incompatible ten- from a DVD. The best shifting trans-
Technology did not leap very far speed drivetrain or having to pony up mission you have ever ridden could be
this year. Wheel travel for the basic for a new bike. the one you already own, minus nine
trailbike settled in at five-inches-plus; Great news came from Seattle, gears—and your first wall-ride on that
a big I-told-you-so for the Pivot Mach Washington, with the opening of the 2x9 bike may be 50 feet below your
5, Turner 5 Spot and Santa Cruz I-5 Colonnade Mountain Bike Park, a morning commute. If you own a
Blur LT, which continue to lead the riding and skills park under an ele- Livestrong rubber band, be sure to
trend while industry giants Trek and vated stretch of the Interstate 5 free- wear it when you show up for that 24-
Specialized play travel tennis trying way. With so much pressure for hour solo race, because the man who
to find a permanent place between mountain bike riding opportunities lines up next to you might be the
the four- and six-inch marks. For near major population centers, chairman of the board. ❑
THE MAC ATTACK By Jim McIlvain
Man Versus Machine
The wrecking crew recently tested Gary said calmly as he walked away swayed. Once you feel it, no computer
an expensive, lightweight, dual-sus- from the pit area and headed home. is going to change your mind.
pension, cross-country race bike. To this day, the race tech probably This is not to say that data acquisi-
While on the bike, two of our test thinks that Gary’s reaction was that tion and quantifiable research don’t
riders noted a brief sensation of of an arrogant racer, but the techni- have their place. It would be hard to
drivetrain resistance during the rear cian was absolutely wrong. Nothing trust a product that hadn’t been sub-
suspension’s travel. It was only trumps an experienced rider’s in-the- jected to rigorous laboratory testing.
detected at a particular part of the saddle evaluation of a motorcycle or Still, at the end of the day, it would be
bike’s travel, and that was explained mountain bike. Nothing. harder to trust a product that hadn’t
in the review. Our write-up never As another example, we received a seen a lot of real-world abuse.
tried to explain the cause of this sen- question from a rider who com- Mountain Bike Action will continue
sation, because, quite frankly, we plained of drivetrain resistance when to test bikes the way we have always
didn’t know why the bike reacted reducing his fork’s travel. We threw tested them. We swap them between
the way it did. But we felt (and still the problem at one of the brightest the crew, plant our butts in the saddle
do) that our ride feedback was minds working with bicycle suspen- and ride the wheels off them. We don’t
important to any rider considering sion, Dave Weagle, of the famed dw- hook them up to computers or study
purchasing the bike. link. Dave tried but couldn’t come spreadsheets. What matters to you,
The bike company was furious. up with a mathematical explanation and us, is what happens on the trail. ❑
They supplied computer-generated for what the rider was feeling (much
charts and graphs to prove that we like scientists who could not, until
could not have felt what we did. very recently, prove that a bee could Jimmy Mac does use a computer for
They claimed our riders were wrong fly). More riders contacted us communication, so you can e-mail him
and demanded a retraction. explaining that they, too, had felt the at Jamesmac@hi-torque.com.
Forgive me if I’ve told you this same sensation. You could show each
story before, but it applies to this sit- of these riders reams of charts to
uation perfectly. Gary Nixon had an prove that what they felt couldn’t
amazing career as a professional happen, but I’ll bet that down to the
motorcycle racer, both on road race last rider, not one of them would be
circuits and America’s dirt ovals.
One time, Gary was at a road course
test session with his then-sponsor,
Kawasaki Motorcycles. His job was
to flail the bike around the course
for a few laps and then pit so that
the technicians and engineers could
download the data captured by on-
During one of these pit
stops, Gary explained what he
was feeling at a certain part of
the course and, to his amaze-
ment, one of the techs told him
he was wrong. The three-time
AMA Grand National Champion
couldn’t believe his ears. He again
articulated exactly what he felt out
there on the course, and the tech
again told him he couldn’t have felt
what he said he was feeling.
Astounded, Gary tried one more
Illustration by Eduardo Gutiérrez
time to explain what the motorcycle
was doing. The stubborn tech spun
his computer around, showed Gary a
screen with a bunch of wavy lines
and explained that those lines proved
Gary was wrong. Bet you can guess
what happened next.
“Well then, you need to let your
computer race that motorcycle,”
OneThere is an unwritten rule that
mountain biking photos have to have a
rider in the shot. Peruse the pages of
any Mountain Bike Action and you’ll
find we stick by that rule. Except for
today. Today is break-the-rider-rule
day, because while there are no riders
in these photos, try to look at them
without getting the uncontrollable urge
to throw on your hydration pack and
hit the trail.
Photos by Rob O’Dea
The out-of-retirement, back-with-a-vengeance Lance Armstrong
had just finished some race in France when he followed up with a
trip to Leadville, Colorado, to race the Leadville 100. Lance had
raced the event last year after announcing he was bored with hang-
ing out on the beach in Santa Barbara with his old friend Dave
Lettieri. He finished second that year and promised to be back to
improve on his time.
Promise kept. Lance finished the 100-mile endurance event in
six hours, 28 minutes and 50 seconds to beat six-time event win-
ner Dave Wiens by 28 minutes and over 1400 other riders by a
much wider margin.
loaded up and
gonna do what
they say can’t be
bike pros are pray-
ing that Lance No reason for disappointment: It would be the highlight of
stays busy with his most professional racers’ careers to finish in the top three at
road racing career the Leadville 100. Dave Wiens probably felt he let down his
and new Team fans with a second place. Not true. Dave’s ride was an amaz-
RadioShack so he ing achievement and ranks right up there with all the times he
leaves them alone. won the event.
Early morning rain: The lead group early in the event included Dave
Wiens (1), Lance (hidden behind Dave), Manny Prado (3) and Tinker
Juarez (1510). That isn’t dew on the trees. Racers faced a cold rain
to start off the suffer fest.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 15
Remember the “Send Your Girlfriend to Camp” contest
we told you about in our July 2009 issue? Well, we have
a winner, and her name is Erica Tonner, but that’s not
totally accurate. While Erica got to attend a Dirt Series
by Rocky Mountain Bicycles Skills Camp and received a
Erica Tonner: She gets the swag, but it was her boyfriend who
won the contest.
2010 Fox Racing Shox 32 TALAS RLC 15QR fork and a
two-year subscription to MBA, the true contest winner is
You see, Chris is Erica’s boyfriend, and to win all that
great stuff for her, he had to write a short essay on why
she deserved to win. The talented scribe waxed poetically
to beat out hundreds of entries (you can see his winning
essay at www.dirtseries.com).
“What an awesome time I had while at the bike camp,”
says Erica. “I am sure I have improved exponentially. Last
weekend, Chris and I went riding and he said it was night
and day. I feel like I’m in control while riding my line
instead of just being jostled around by our lovely North
Congratulations to Erica and Chris. Nice work—and
Chris, you are one lucky guy.
New skills: Erica shows off her new-
found skills after winning a Dirt Series
by Rocky Mountain weekend camp.
In Your Tire
Ever wonder what NoTubes tire sealant looks
like after a hot summer of riding? Kind of like
finding a rat’s nest inside your tire.
More 2010 Models
Don’t worry. We will organize all the 2010 bike offerings into
an easy-to-follow, easier-to-compare buyer’s guide. But, when
Cannondale RZ One Twenty: You’ll get four models (from
breaking news on 2010 models becomes available, we just can’t $1919 to $3849) to choose from, and don’t think of this as an RZ
wait for the buyer’s guide to show you. Here are a few more One Forty with an inch less travel. This 4.7-inch-travel trailbike
2010 models from Cannondale. has a different personality. It is for the rider who doesn’t want the
punishment of a cross-country race bike, but doesn’t need the
travel of a trailbike made for gnarly singletrack.
Cannondale RZ One Forty: This 5.5-inch-travel trailbike will come in
five models (one with a Truvativ HammerSchmidt crankset), two in Cannondale Moto Carbon 2, $5299: Cannondale is dropping
carbon and the rest in aluminum. Prices will range from $1919 to their downhill bikes (the Judge and the Perp) for 2010, so the 6.3-
$6199. This is Cannondale’s all-purpose platform designed to climb inch-travel Moto platform is their most gravity-oriented bike, but it
with cross-country bikes while still bringing a smile to your face on the is still within the realm of trailbikes that can climb reasonably well.
descents. They have worked to dial the shock and linkage to deliver There will be two carbon models and three aluminum-framed
small-bump compliance, no-harsh mid-stroke and plenty of bottom- models, the least expensive coming in at an attractive $2649
out cushion. price point. There will also be a women’s version.
You’ve read it in the mainstream media. saddle. Meet a few of the deserving young
Kids today are lethargic, Game Boy-addicted, racers who turned out at the National
sedentary, overweight little dumplings. Well, Mountain Bike Championships at the SolVista
some kids just won’t listen. Instead of sitting resort in Granby, Colorado.
on the couch, these rascals choose to sit on a
Mary Allen (901) and Courtney Comer—
Under-10 Class. Katherine Roberson—Under-10 Class. Mitchell Dutczak—Under-14 Class.
NO MORE ENDOS
Your August “Garage Files” on Avid Elixir
brakes helped me so much, and I don’t even
have those brakes. I’m an extreme novice
rider and have had problems locking my front
brake and going over the bars. The article
talked about adjusting the lever throw closer
to the grip for better modulation. I did what
the article said to do and had my best ride
ever today. I had soooooo much better control
of the bike. Thank you, thank you, and thank
BETTER THAN FACEBOOK
It was 1981. The mountain bike was
in its infancy, and I was riding a
Motobecane Super Mirage back and
forth to high school. Punk rock was in
its heyday, and I was at the Hollywood
Palace to see The Professionals. As I
looked around the crowd, one girl
caught my eye. When I smiled at her,
she smiled back. What a smile! We
hung out at the show, and I managed
to alienate her with my psychotic
teenage antics. NOT AS IT APPEARS
Fast-forward 28 years. I’m now a Educating the mountain biking community that skidding is not required
successful bike bum in the summer for an enjoyable day on the trails is an uphill battle. I’ve been verbally abused
and a ski instructor in the winter. As and threatened with physical violence for politely asking mountain bikers not
part of being a bike bum, I volunteer at to skid on multi-user public trails. I began talking to riders after reading
the Fire Cracker 50. This year, we all about the issue in your magazine. I was thus dismayed to see the picture of a
got the June issue of Mountain Bike biker bombing down a multi-user trail and kicking up a big roost in your
Action in the swag bag. There, on page September article about Flagstaff. Flagstaff is indeed a great place to ride. I’d
28, I saw that smile! A smile I hadn’t like to keep it that way and keep the trails open for us. Your picture contra-
seen in almost 30 years. After I read dicts your previous position on this topic. I hope that position hasn’t changed.
her comment, there it was, Cher Vella, Brad Andrews
Long Beach, California! Seeing Cher Grand Canyon Village, Arizona
on her bike, knowing that she’s part of That photo was shot on a designated downhill trail, not a multi-user trail, and
the tribe, made me feel connected in the roost you see was not caused by braking, but due to Flagstaff’s dry and dusty
some weird way after all these years. I conditions. Flagstaff deserves credit for making such a challenging downhill run
guess that’s the power of two wheels. available to gravity riders while offering plenty of multi-user trails for everyone
Jim “Jaime” Jimenez else. Of course, we are with you as far as skidding goes. Locking wheels equals los-
Alma, Colorado (10,578 feet) ing control, and that is never fun.
GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS
I have a carbon dually that is very light and sports five inches of travel
front and rear. This bike has frustrated me for the last year, as I have never Write us at email@example.com or
been comfortable with the handling. It either over- or understeered and, hard copy us at MBA Trailgrams, 25233
frankly, was a little like a high-maintenance girlfriend I used to date; what- Anza Drive, Valencia, Ca. 91355.
ever I did just wasn’t quite right. Then, I dropped my upper body by about Trailgrams tip of the month: Have a
three inches while riding. Now, the bike goes where I want it to go. This fender ready to go in case conditions get
may be old news to y’all, but it was such a relief, as I so wanted to love this sloppy. Already have the star-fangled nut
bike. Now I don’t just put it back in the shed when I get home; I adjust, lube pressed into the bottom of your steerer so
and shine it up so it is ready for our next ride. you can bolt the fender on and go. Take it
Edsel Falconer off when the conditions dry out. Fenders
From waaaaay Down Under are silly in the dry.
Check out more long-travel trailbike riding tips in our November 2009 issue. If
you don’t have a copy, call (800) 767-0345 or visit www.mbaction.com.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 19
A letter from Bill Marcy in our September issue explained that he fell over a
lot due to his clipless pedals. We told him to switch to platform pedals and
let the bruises heal. A lot of riders wrote in on the subject.
DON’T GIVE UP parallel to the pedal. Rather, when faced or snow. Not figuring on doing any real
Bill Marcy is most likely riding with with an emergency, I roll my ankle, riding, I only brought the old clunker
single-release cleats. He needs Shimano’s which leaves me firmly clipped into the complete with child seat and no riding
multi-release cleats. When I first started, bike with the 51s but allows me to get shorts, armor or shoes. The weather
I kept falling with my feet still attached. right out with the 56s. turned out to be beautiful, so I managed
Since switching to multi-release cleats, I As an experiment, I put one of each to sneak away for a 20-mile ride. I got a
have never had a problem with the foot type on my shoes. The left was a 51 and lot of strange looks from people watch-
pulling out accidentally or not being able the right was a 56. After adding two ing me ride down very difficult rocky
to get it out when needed. I have been turns of tension to the 56 pedal, neces- trails wearing hiking boots with a child
using them for almost ten years now sary to keep from inadvertently unclip- seat attached, but I didn’t care. I thought
and have always ridden SPD pedals. I ping with that design of cleat, I went rid- I wouldn’t enjoy the ride without the cli-
even got my wife using clipless with ing. It was a perfect demo. I had two pless pedals, and I was wrong. The
them, and that was quite a feat. I would emergency stops that day, one to each assurance of no clips through the rocky
also add that clipless pedals have a side. The stop to the 56 side went great. sections made me focus on the fun more
marked advantage for control of the bike The stop to the 51 side ended up in a than the potential fall. It was like being
when going downhill. It is actually the painful topple, with me still connected to on the trail 14 years ago—no high-tech
most noticeable benefit for me. I love the the bike. gear and no worries, just riding to the
feel of my feet being attached to the bike. Since then, I’ve done several rides edge of your abilities with your bike.
It gives me more confidence. I hope that with 56 cleats on both shoes, and the I have since returned to the moun-
this information will be helpful to Bill results are the best I’ve ever had with tains with my dual-suspension ride, and
and maybe some other readers, and clipless. I would recommend that Mr. I swapped out for the platforms before
everyone can enjoy their ride just a little Marcy try a set of the 56 cleats and see if leaving. Like I said, clipless pedals have
more. they help him before he abandons them. their place. The trick is learning which
Stephen Shelley Christopher Berchin places are better off ridden without
San Antonio, Texas Dearborn, Michigan them.
MULTI OPTIONS UNEXPECTED CONVERT Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
I used toe-clip pedals for the same rea- Bill, I feel your pain. I am a dedicated
son Bill Marcy outlined, much to the clipless pedalhead, and have been for the GO FOR THE FROGS
amusement of my friends. I tried clipless past 15 years. Through my own stub- The answer to pedal clip-out problems
pedals and had issues getting in and out bornness, I have valiantly refused to ride is Speedplay Frog pedals. There are no
of them. Determined to get better without them, no matter what the ter- springs to fight against, and the cleat can
results, I made an important discovery. rain or technical level. I usually came be rotated in the shoe to suit each rider.
Shimano makes two kinds of cleats: the out unscathed. Usually, but not always. In 14 years, I’ve never had an unwanted
SH-51, which is the “default” cleat So, it came with a dose of surprise to release, nor has my sub-conscious failed
shipped with pedals, and the SH-56, find that I now am an advocate of plat- to release my feet on a tumble. I have my
which is sold separately. The 51s are lat- forms, in the right conditions. right and left cleats adjusted differently
eral release, while the 56s are multi- My revelation came while camping in because, well, who has both feet the
angle release. I learned that my instincts Jasper, Alberta, Canada. The weather same anyway?
are not to rotate my foot in the direction was supposed to be the usual May send Ron Woodward
that the 51s need to disengage, which is up, some sun with a good chance of rain Toronto, Ontario ❑
QUALITY FAMILY TIME
myself after finishing a four-day
My daughter, Katie (age 15), and
White Rim ride in Canyonlands National Park outside of Moab,
er switchbacks (1200 vertical in
Utah. We had just climbed the Shaf
a couple of miles) and ran into several desert bighorn sheep.
Grand Junction, Colorado
We got a group of nine friends from
four states to
meet up at F.A.T.S. (Forks Area Trai
l System) in
South Carolina for three days of ridin
g. I never
laughed so much. What a great plac
e this is. This is
all of us before we hit the Brown
Wave. This is a
Photos by David Tufino/NYCMTB
Former World Cup Downhill Champion
Jurgen Beneke (1) defended his title as the all-
mountain king of New York City with his repeat
win at the second-annual NYCMTB Highbridge
Park Hustle + Flow All-Mountain Race. The
event is a unique all-mountain race made up of
five distinct legs (cross-country, pump track,
downhill, road climb and Super-D) with classes
for solo racers and teams (one racer for each leg
raced as a team relay).
New York City Mountain Bike Association
OCEAN TO DESERT
Some homies from Oceanside and Carlsbad,
California, left their beach to come ride in Utah,
including Thunder Mountain, Navajo Lake and Brian
Head. Yes, they had a blast.
BAER IN THE WOODS
The Rumblefest event in Port Alice, British
Columbia, was my first race at 61 years old.
The course went up from sea level to 1000
feet in about 2.5 miles. This is the end of the
second lap, and I was glad to have perse-
vered. There was one person still on the
course when I came in, so I was not last!
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 25
Me and my old JBC Pro Scandium on
the long, dense beach sands at Legian
Beach in Bali, Indonesia.
Rempoa, Banten, Indonesia
Flims, Switzerland, at 7000 feet, before starting a
five-hour epic. The landscape looks like something from
Lord of the Rings. Stunning. By the way, the bike is one
of 15 other bikes made by myself from different broken
frames. This one contains parts from four ex-bikes.
My stepsons, Robbie and Ryan, and their
buddies, Ryan and Dale, taking a well-
deserved rest at the top of the saddle lead-
ing into the Sycamore Canyon Valley.
San Diego, California
BECOME ALMOST FAMOUS
LOG RIDE We want to make you a star. Here’s how:
1) Image file size needs to be 600 KB or
My Trek and I on the larger.
McKenzie River Trail in 2) Tell us what is going on in your photo
Oregon, going to Blue Pool. (include names).
Kelly Warne 3) Include your name and the city and
Junction City, Oregon state where you live.
4) E-mail it to Trail Mix
Trail Mix rider of the month: Pua Sawiki ❑
THRASH TESTS Thrash test rating:
RACE FACE CANUCK JERSEY ★★★★✩ Delivers above average value and performance
★★★★✩ ★★★✩✩ Recommended for intended application
Style and function combined ★★✩✩✩ Shows potential but has drawbacks
★✩✩✩✩ Save your hard-earned bucks
We try to focus our “Thrash Tests”
on hard parts, but after we spent a few
rides in the $65 Race Face long-sleeve
Canuck Jersey, we knew we had to tell Tech features: Race Face is best are no rear pockets, we found a hidden
you about it. known for their hardware, but their side pocket designed to stash an iPod.
expanding apparel line is loaded with Finally, on top of feeling great, it looks
unique products. The Canuck Jersey is great. We never took a ride without
one of them. It is made from Quick someone complimenting the jersey’s
Wick, a proprietary fabric that is 46 style or print design. This jersey turns
percent Cool Dry yarn and 54 percent a lot of heads (in a good way) and
polyester yarn without chemical treat- makes you look good. Add this to your
ment. The sides and underarm panels Christmas gift list. You won’t be sorry.
are poly-mesh. They use flat-lock
stitching to hold it all together. The
jersey is available in a long- or $60
short-sleeve version in three color com-
bos and sizes from S-XXL. You can
reach Race Face at (604) 527-9996.
After the thrashing: We rode in
the long-sleeve version and loved it
from the first moment we slipped it on.
The jersey offers a loose and comfort-
able fit. The material feels thick and
durable without ever feeling hot or
heavy. It does a great job wicking mois-
ture, and the poly-mesh sides breathe
to keep you comfortable. While there
SELLE AN-ATOMICA TITANICO LD SADDLE
Back to the future
Saddles are the most personal choice saddle upper. Although this is a unique
of any mountain bike component. The feature, the showstopper is a 7.5-inch
$179.98 Selle An-Atomica LD Saddle channel cut into the center of the sad-
appears to have DNA from England’s dle (with rounded ends to prevent rip-
venerable Brooks Saddle, but the ride ping). Our saddle weighed one pound,
proved something different. one ounce. You can reach Selle An-
Tech features: The Titanico LD Atomica at (707) 372-6540.
saddle uses a leather upper that is riv- After the thrashing: The Titanico
eted to the steel seat rails and base. A LD saddle is delivered with the most
small hole in the nose of the saddle complete mounting instructions of any
allows for an Allen wrench to be saddle we have ever purchased. While
inserted to adjust the firmness of the most of the instructions are targeted
towards road riders, you will find them
helpful (if not a little overwhelming)
for fitting and adjusting the saddle to
your mountain bike. The saddle looks
so goofy that we were not ready for
what we experienced. The Titanico LD
saddle is a very comfortable and com-
pliant saddle, especially when you are
positioned in the center and spinning remove a star, though, because this
away. The rear of the saddle offers a saddle could be just the thing for riders
good platform to work from without who suffer from saddle discomfort or
feeling too wide. The nose is too short numbness. It looks like a throwback to
and lacks the width necessary for on- the past, but delivers modern-day
the-nose uphill struggles. We didn’t results.
Niner S.I.R. 9 >> Single or Geared, Reynolds 853 tubeset.
Get the details: www.thebigrevolution.com
LUPINE TESLA 4
helmet without needing to follow com-
★★★✩✩ a CNC-machine that Lupine feels
allows for greater precision of beam plicated step-by-step directions. If you
Burning through the dark control. The light is housed in a CNC- do read the instructions, and you
machined, shot-peened aluminum should, Lupine makes them easy to fol-
The days are getting shorter, so if body. Our light weighed 3.5 ounces, low. All the wiring and connectors are
you still want to get your rides in dur- and the battery weighed eight ounces. well-designed and insulated.
ing the week, a lighting system like the The kit comes with handlebar and hel- Inadvertent disconnection of the
$420 Tesla 4 is your best bet. met mounting options and a charger. wiring is unlikely. The mounting sys-
Tech features: The Tesla 4 comes You can reach Lupine at (877) 285- tems worked great and held the light
with a Tesla 700 headlight that pro- 4422. steady during rough times. The battery
duces a claimed 700 lumens. The After the thrashing: We mounted charged quickly, and we experienced
Lupine Hexagon Reflector is tooled on the light on the bike and later on the over two hours of burn time with the
light on its full brightness. The light
puts off a good amount of heat, which
will shorten the bulb’s life if you stand
around letting it burn. If you use it
while in motion, the air-cooling should
be adequate to prolong bulb life. Alpine
sells all the parts separately, so we’d
recommend getting the kit and then
purchasing another light and battery so
you can run lights on your helmet and
bike at the same time. If you are new
to night riding, this is a plug-and-play
system that you’ll find easy to use and
ready to go.
CRUMPLER BUMPER ISSUE
Covering too many bases
Crumpler describes their $95 Bumper Issue hydration pack as wonder-
ful for “hiking, biking, boarding and festival going.” Trying to cover all
those bases in an era of specialization is a tough goal.
Tech features: The Bumper Issue makes a fun impression with its
brightly colored, water-resistant 600D shell. Inside are a 150-denier
ripstop lining and three main pockets. Side clips can be released to
increase the capacity of the two largest pockets, offering enough space
to stow everything you need for an overnight, short of a tent. The
reservoir holds 70 ounces of fluid and has a wide slide opening and a
detachable hose and bite valve (with a removable cover). You can
reach Crumpler at (888) 384-3020.
After the thrashing: The reservoir is easy to fill and easier to
clean, thanks to the large opening. The bite valve didn’t leak and
flowed water well. The “cow-dropping protector” was somewhat both-
ersome to remove and replace. The pack itself is too thick. While it
might work great for hiking, boarding and festivals, it is overkill for
mountain biking, where less is more, especially if you are carrying it
on your back. The pockets are not as intuitive to access as on some
popular mountain-biking-specific packs, and there are not enough of
them for organizing the small stuff.
DRED TREAD C2C
EXCAVATOR HAPPY MEDIUM
BLUE KING OF
GROOVE john TOMAC TRACTION EL MOCO brian LOPES BBG
GOPRO HELMET HERO WIDE hours with NiMH rechargeable
Recording your ride made simple The Hero Helmet Wide
kit includes a five
megapixel Hero Wide
camera with 170-
lens, a shock-
one headlamp-style head
strap, one vented helmet
strap, two curved 3M adhesive mounts, two flat
3M adhesive mounts, one three-way pivoting side arm assem-
bly, two quick-release buckles, one USB/RCA combo cable, and
a one-year warranty. Additional expansion mounts are avail-
able separately, including handlebar/seatpost, chest harness,
roll bar, and surfboard mounts.
The GoPro Helmet Hero Wide works with a 2GB SD card.
GoPro claims the camera will be compatible with a 4GB SD
card, allowing for one hour and 52 minutes of continuous
video recording, once it releases a free software upgrade.
The Helmet Hero from GoPro is the world’s smallest wire- GoPro, (415) 738-2480.
less, helmet- and gear-mountable video camera for outdoor After the thrashing: We’ve experimented with a variety of
sports. The Helmet Hero Wide kit sells for $189. on-board digital video cameras, and without fail, after one or
Tech features: The GoPro attaches via a quick-release to two uses we were fed up with the hassle of external back-
both vented and non-vented helmets, bikes, kayaks, skis and packs, tangled wires, and guesswork-filled mounting positions.
snowboards. It even includes a head strap for wearing it like a The GoPro Helmet Hero is by far the easiest to use video
headlamp. The Hero has a 170-degree-angle lens and a five- camera we’ve ever tested, and it shoots quality video footage.
megapixel sensor for an immersive point of view. It is capable With the camera mounted, you can choose to record video,
of shooting 56 minutes of high-resolution video and photos take a still photo every five seconds, or use it as a regular still
every two seconds. The Hero is shockproof and waterproof to camera. Once done riding, you simply connect the Hero to
100 feet in depth. your computer or television via the included cable and watch
This second-generation Hero Wide has improved, with an yourself shred the mountain.
entirely new cir- Although the helmet mounts work very well, we became
cuit design to fans of the chest-mount harness ($39, not included). The chest
withstand ultra- mount takes practically all of the guesswork out of where to
high-vibration aim the Hero, because once mounted, we aimed it up as far as
environments. it could go, and that position was spot-on for a perfect, wide-
The battery life is angle view of the handlebar and trail ahead.
good for three The GoPro Helmet Hero Wide is not only a fun way to
hours of video record and share your riding experiences, but competitive
recording when types will appreciate the ability to record and analyze a full
using lithium bat- day of practice and race runs. Visit www.mbaction.com to view
teries and two some of the footage we’ve shot.
CST CAMBER TIRE as tight as with, say, a $65 tire. You can every penny counts, this is the best $15
★★★✩✩ reach CST at (678) 407-6770.
After the thrashing: Each Camber
you can spend on rubber. By the way,
CST is part of Maxxis Tires, and
Don’t break the bank
tire is marked with a suggested mount- rumors abound that because of similari-
ing direction, depending on which ties in tread pattern and sidewalls, they
How good can a $15 mountain bike wheel it is used on. Follow CST’s are essentially the same tire. Not true.
tire be? CST asks that you don’t judge recommendation. The Camber took to There is a big ride, and price difference
their tires by the price. Judge them by our hardpack trail surfaces like a duck between the two.
the ride. We did. to water. Everyone was impressed with
Tech features: The CST Camber this fast-rolling tire that did an ade-
tire comes in 26-by-2.1 or 26-by-2.25 quate job in the corners. We never suf-
sizes in either a folding bead or wire fered a pinch flat or a puncture. The
bead version. We went for the fatter of Camber can’t hang with expensive tires
the two in the wire bead. One tire that use multiple durometer rubber
weighed one pound, eight ounces. The (among other tricks), but come on
second tire was an ounce more. At this already, you could buy four of these
price, manufacturing tolerances are not tires for one of those expensive guys. If
rain, we ran different combinations of
FULCRUM RED FIRE WHEELS 2.5-inch Maxxis UST DH High Rollers
★★★✩✩ and 2.5-inch Maxxis UST DH Minion F
High-tech wheels from a legendary Italian brand tires, front and rear. One of the “black
eyes” of the tubeless world is how diffi-
Fulcrum mountain bike wheels hit while asymmetrical drilling permits bet- cult tires can be to mount. By simply
the ground rolling in 2004 and are an ter spoke balancing. The rear wheel has adding a touch of soapy water around
offshoot of Italy’s Campagnolo brand. 150-millimeter hub spacing and is 12- the tire’s bead, we were able to mount
World and Olympic champion Julien millimeter thru-axle specific. The front and properly seat both models of the
Absalon put their cross-country wheels hub only accepts 20-millimeter thru- Maxxis tires with a floor pump.
on the map, and we’ve been throwing axles. The Fulcrum Red Fire wheels are A huge concern when running tube-
down laps on our Fulcrum Red Fire sold complete with wheel bags and tube- less tires is burping the tire off the rim.
downhill wheelset at Whistler, less valve stems. Our Red Fire wheels In the past, we’ve had to run over 5 psi
Northstar Bike Park, Mammoth weighed 4.9 pounds per set. Fulcrum, more air pressure on certain tubeless
Mountain and SoCal downhill races. (619) 931-0106. wheels to keep the rubber from rolling
The Red Fire wheelset sells for $960. After the thrashing: The wrecking off the rim and rapidly losing air pres-
Tech features: The Red Fire’s crew raced and rode the Fulcrum Red sure. With the Maxxis UST DH tires
anodized rim is made specifically for Fire wheels on some of the most dynam- (and one non-UST type), we never
tubeless tires and utilizes Fulcrum’s ic terrain in the world, from the best burped a tire when pushing the Red
Ultra-Fit tubeless mounting system. California has to offer to the world-class Fire wheels to the limit on black-dia-
Milling inside the rim saves weight, riding of Whistler Mountain Bike Park. mond downhill terrain. On other down-
The wheels have held up well, consider- hill designs, we had to shy away from
ing the abuse they’ve seen. air pressures under 30 psi, but not on
As fans of tubeless tires in general, we these Fulcrum wheels. A 170-pound
are stoked when we see a performance rider confidently ran between 24 and 28
downhill wheelset that is tubeless specif- psi on every type of downhill terrain.
ic. Fulcrum insists that only UST or So, why not a higher star rating?
tubeless-specific tires be used on the Red Right out of the gate, we put some mas-
Fire wheels, so, depending on the ter- sive dings in both the front and rear
wheels, and they also came out of true
quickly. To our surprise, the deep, gash-
like dents in the rim didn’t hinder the
wheel’s ability to be run tubeless or
retain air when in use. The Fulcrum
Red Fire wheels are a great tubeless
design and lightweight for a downhill
wheelset, but we would label The
Fulcrum Red Fire a race-day-specific
wheelset and not ideal for everyday
SPECIALIZED S-WORKS MT HELMET increased comfort and
★★★★★ sweat retention. Our size
Light and stylish lid from the “Big S” medium helmet weighed
10 ounces. Specialized,
Specialized claims the S- (877) 808-8154.
Works MT is the lightest hel- After the thrashing:
met in the world that com- The first thing you’ll notice
plies with CPSC standards about the new S-Works MT
and sells for $200. helmet is its stylish, perfor-
Tech features: New for mance-oriented appearance,
2010, the S-Works MT helmet yet it doesn’t look as though
now features a mountain it belongs in the pro road
bike-specific visor, new peloton. Its mountain-spe-
graphics, and maximum ven- cific visor now mounts to
tilation for endurance racing. the side of the helmet
Meeting safety standards for instead of the center like on
bicycle helmets, the S-Works their Decibel helmet. The
MT is made from dual-densi- praise doesn’t stop at the MT’s appearance, as it’s extremely
ty EPS foam and has a lightweight and comfortable. The additional padding in the
Kevlar-reinforced Inner front of the Pro Fit 360 retention system greatly increases
Matrix design to save weight and achieve larger vent ports. comfort. Although designed for competitive endurance
The Pro Fit 360 retention system is adjustable on the fly and racing, the S-Works MT’s stylish appearance, remarkable light
has been slimmed down to drop some weight. The thin, soft weight and improved level of comfort will earn it high marks
padding now reaches around to the front of the forehead for from those poised on the starting line and the trailhead. ❑
Photo courtesy of IMBA.
NEW TRAILS loose-knit group of riders. They would rather form a partnership
I have a number of riding buddies who are ready and will- with an organized club. IMBA can help a new club get started.
ing to pitch in the labor to make new singletrack in our Or, you might be able to save time and energy by taking your
local forest. Where do we start? How do you find out who plan to an existing club.
controls and manages the land? How do you submit a pro- 2) Many of IMBA’s clubs have partnership agreements with
posal? local land managers. These formal partnerships allow the clubs
Gene Fine to propose new trails, gain approval and get them built on a rea-
Los Alamos, New Mexico sonable timeline.
Thanks go out to you from all mountain bikers for 3) Get in touch with every rider you know, form a working
your offer to build us some new singletrack to ride. The group, and invite them to join your local organization.
International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) According to Judd de Vall, a pro rider and IMBA trail builder
deals with building, improving and maintaining single- who has built dozens of world-class trails and jump parks,
track all over the world. We asked Mark Eller, IMBA’s “Involving a wide range of people gives everyone ownership and
communications director, for the goods on how to get a ensures the project’s future. The best singletrack trails, stunt
trail project underway. areas and jump parks tend to be the result of a blend of ideas.”
First, it’s great to hear that Gene wants to get his trail 4) There is no such thing as being too organized when it
built with the land manager’s blessing. Unauthorized trail comes to trail plans. Essential elements for presenting your
building is a growing problem, and while it offers a short- ideas include a well-dialed presentation, a walk-through tour of
term fix, the end result is usually a short-lived trail that gets the proposed corridor and a highly detailed map of where your
closed within a season or two. Worse yet, the existence of these trail will be situated.
trails can jeopardize future projects. Forming a strong part- 5) Work with the land manager to develop a comprehensive
nership with the land manager will create a situation in signage system for your trails. Signs should be placed at the
which everyone wins. entrance and other key locations. The main sign should describe
The best way to get a new trail built is to take a well- the overall trail network, offer safety guidelines, provide risk
planned, business-like approach. Detailed tips on how to write a warnings, and give helpful, site-specific tips.
successful trail proposal can be found in IMBA’s books “Trail 6) Be prepared to make a commitment to inspecting and
Solutions” and “Managing Mountain Biking.” We also offer maintaining the trail after it’s built. Even the best-designed
lots of free resources on our website, www.imba.com. Here are a trails need continual upkeep, and land managers will be more
few more tips to get your project started: enthusiastic about your proposal if your group is willing to stay
1) Land managers are generally unwilling to work with a involved in maintaining the trail in the years ahead. ❑
Got a question about mountain biking? Send it to “Inside Line” and let some of the most know-
ledgeable folks who ride answer it for you. E-mail your question to Inside@hi-torque.com, and we’ll
get it answered.
A Capable Trailbike With An Old-
School Cross-Country Feel The Turner Flux
swingarm pivot yoke that sweeps around the front derailleur
avid Turner was one of the first believers in the
now-proven theory that a short-travel, dual-suspen- to meet the suspension’s offset lower link. The bottom
sion bike is more efficient and far more versatile bracket, lower-link pivot and shock mount are integrated
than the traditional hardtail. He has been building some of into one masterfully carved piece of aluminum, and the sus-
the world’s best dual-suspension bikes for two decades, and pension’s upper links arch inwards to meet the upper shock
the 2010 Flux is the most recent Turner to carry on David’s eyelet with minimal use of materials. All moving parts pivot
cross-country heritage. on composite bushings, and there are grease ports at each
pivot location so anyone can maintain the Flux’s moving
WHO IS IT MADE FOR? parts. There is a lot going on with the Flux frame, but the
At 24 pounds, ready to go, and without any fluffy parts to elements blend well, which gives the Turner a simple, airy
hinder its performance, Turner’s Flux is a lightweight cross- profile.
country trailbike that could easily be outfitted as a racing
machine with the addition of lighter wheels and tubeless WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
tires. The Flux is the go-to bike for competitors who want David Turner is a great technical bike handler, so we
one bike to race and trail ride—or any cross-country enthu- expected each part chosen for the Flux Pro-Kit build to
siast who loves the old school, snappy steering and quick- reflect a specific purpose. Industry Nine XC wheels are later-
accelerating racer feel, yet still needs a bike that can descend ally stiff and light enough for all but weight weenie racers.
a steep, rocky section without fear. Who can argue with Fox Suspension? The Flux gets a spe-
cially valved Fox Float RP23 shock and the 2010
FIT-valve-equipped 32 Float F32RLC 100 fork.
The surprise addition was Formula R1 brakes—
arguably the lightest cross-country brakes avail-
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
The dw-link suspension is hypersensitive to
compression damping, so most dw-link
subscribers use custom-valved
shocks with more air-spring
volume and the least
amount of compression
valving possible. We dis-
covered that using 30-
percent sag at the shock
and running the fork’s
spring pressure slightly
stiffer (25-percent sag)
gave the Turner the
most balanced ride.
through the woods and
slashing up and down
switchbacks is fun stuff aboard
the Flux. Its steep-for-2009 head
tube and seat tube angles, along with
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM? the bike’s 16.7-inch chainstay length, are close to the geome-
David Turner is the master of aluminum, and was once try of the golden years of cross-country racing, so it should
the strongest supporter of the venerable Horst-Link suspen- come as no surprise that the Flux simply shreds in the mid-
sion, but he abandoned that design and experimented with a dle chainring. Its 2.0-inch rear tire would give up traction
single-pivot suspension before settling on the dw-link sys- when we pushed it hard around corners, but not in a scary
tem. The key ingredient of dw-link (a dual-link version of manner.
the classic four-bar design) is its anti-squat feature that can- Climbing: Where Turner’s version of dw-link suspension
cels out most unwanted suspension bobbing associated with shines is climbing in big gears up moderate grades. The Flux
pedaling. moves out with alacrity. Racers will appreciate this, because
Beyond dw-link, however, is Turner’s mastery of compo- most hill work is done in the middle ring. Granny gear
nent integration. David’s pioneering use of complex CNC- climbs feel firm at the pedals, and there’s little or no tenden-
machined frame junctions is well represented on the Flux’s cy for the bike to loft its front tire when the grade is steep.
3.9-inch-travel aluminum frame. The asymmetrical The slightly forward position created by the steepish seat
swingarm uses Turner’s trademark rectangular tubes (which angle requires some rearward pressure on the saddle to pre-
terminate at stiff I-beam dropouts) and a sweet-looking vent wheel spin, but once noted, it makes for a much more
Taking it to the edge:
Few cross-country rac-
ing machines are more
adept in technical situ-
ations than the Turner
Flux. It tracks precisely
and exudes confi-
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 39
ergonomic climbing position on nasty grades. If you are of
the opinion that no suspension is the best suspension for
climbing, then engage the Fox ProPedal lever, and the Flux
will oblige with a rather harsh ride and a near-hardtail feel
at the pedals. We left the platform option off to let the sus-
pension keep the rear tire hooked up. In fact, we only used
the ProPedal to test its effects.
Descending: Pointed back down the mountain, the Flux
makes its pilot wish that he had an inch or more of wheel
travel. The bike’s excellent handling and strong, easy-to-
modulate brakes make it easy to ride up to the razor’s edge
of its cross-country suspension and skinny, 2.0-inch Kenda
Karma rear tire. The Flux is so enjoyable on the downhill
sections that it leaves you wishing for more. On a side note,
when coasting, the Industry Nine wheel’s freehub ratchet
makes a hissing sound—something between a draggy disc
brake with metallic pads and a stick rubbing on a cross-
country tire tread. The sound is a bit unnerving initially.
Braking: The Formula R1s are strong stoppers that deliv-
er boosted control and less hand fatigue on long descents.
Some of the crew marked these stoppers down as the most
powerful brakes they have ever enjoyed.
TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?
If we used it for trail riding, then our first upgrade would
be to switch out the rear tire to a matching Kenda Nevegal. What it’s made for: Climbing is particularly effective with the
Another upgrade worth considering would be to order up a Flux’s suspension left on because the bike rolls so smoothly
over the chatter without bleeding leg power. Purists may
15QR thru-axle fork. The reality is, however, that the Pro- choose the Fox ProPedal option, but it isn’t necessary.
Kit is perfect for the bike’s intended application as a race-
able cross-country machine with tons of trailbike perfor-
mance in the bank.
TURNER FLUX PRO-KIT
BUYING ADVICE Price $6478 (frame/shock $2395)
Heavy-handed, big-travel trail skidders should steer clear Country of origin USA
of the Flux. This is a refined machine designed for better Weight 24.1 pounds
men. Experienced trail riders who can ride a lightweight
Hotline (951) 677-1711
cross-country bike at the speed of light will love the Turner
Flux. It’s far more capable than most dedicated cross-coun- Frame tested 17" (medium)
try racers, and it gets its edge from Dave Turner’s sensible Bottom bracket height 12.9"
geometry choices and unparalleled experience with the Chainstay length 16.7"
genre. If you want a lightweight, dual-suspension bike and Top tube length 23.3"
have a need for speed, look no further. ❑ Head angle 70°
Seat angle 73.5°
Standover height 29"
Suspension travel (front) 3.9"
Suspension travel (rear) 3.9"
Frame material Aluminum
Fork Fox F32 RLC 100
Shock Fox Float RP23
Rims Industry Nine XC
Tires Kenda Nevegal (2.1"), Karma (2.0")
Hub Industry Nine
Brakes Formula R1 (6" rotors)
Brake levers Formula R1
Crankset Shimano XTR
Shifters Shimano XTR triggers
Handlebar Easton Monkey Lite SL (25.5")
Front derailleur Shimano XTR
Sweet integration: (clockwise from top left) Turner’s CNC- Rear derailleur Shimano XTR (Shadow)
machined bottom bracket catches the lower link pivot and Chainrings
triples as the shock mount. Turner’s vertical shock place-
Shimano XTR (44/32/22)
ment and tucked-in dual-link suspension give the bike a Cassette Shimano XTR (11-34)
clean and lightweight profile. Formula R1 disc brakes are Pedals None (weighed with Shimano XTR)
beautiful, powerful and remarkably lightweight.
BUIL TO WIN
RIDER: GEOFF KABUSH :: PHOTO: GIBSON
M axxis is proud to introduce the new
Aspen XC race tire. A tire made for
speed and control, and a personal preference of
XC Champion Geoff Kabush. The Aspen boasts a
low profile center tread, extremely lightweight
construction and cornering lugs that grip in
the tightest corners. The perfect tire for cross-
country racers seeking an edge.
The Aspen – Built To Win.
MBA TRAINING AND FITNESS
How To Ride
Turns Make your
switchback to ride can be easily negotiated after dismount-
ike ’em or hate ’em, switchback turns are a fact
of life in the mountains. If you are lucky, your ing bears witness to this.
local singletracks were cut in relatively recently Being forced off the bike to round a corner is a conces-
by bike-friendly folks who rounded the turns just right sion that many mountain bikers are reluctant to make, so
for a mountain bike’s 43-inch-wheelbase. More likely, they view switchbacks with contempt. Seasoned trail rid-
however, you’ll be facing much tighter bends, often ers take them as a challenge—and often backtrack to retry
with steps, that many of us assume were intentionally the ones they fail to ride cleanly. Of course, there will
constructed as barriers to cyclists—which is laughable always be switchbacks that prove too difficult or precari-
considering that with rare exception, the world’s trails ous to master, but with the addition of a few skills and
were made for foot travel, long before the mountain some practice, most can be ridden. The following tips will
bike was conceived. The fact that the most difficult get you started.
Go ahead, rip it up: Trails at pay-and-
play parks like Whistler Mountain in
British Columbia are reinforced to with-
stand the most aggressive riding styles.
When you ride on public lands, however,
avoid skids and slides. Roll the corners.
Action: Wade Simmons, Freight Train
Trail, Whistler Mountain Bike Park.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 43
MBA TRAINING AND FITNESS
TAKE THE PATH OF LEAST DESTRUCTION
There are three ways to negotiate a
tight downhill switchback. The most
destructive is also the most popular: A)
Lock the rear wheel and turn in sharply.
B) Skid the rear end around and release
the rear brake when the bike is pointed
down the next straightaway. If this is you
and you are not riding at a bike park or
on an official racecourse, you are a jerk. If
you don’t agree with me, spend a couple
of days with an IMBA trail crew fixing
switchbacks that have been beaten into
gravel and rutted by skidders, and you’ll
emerge with a new perspective.
The second method requires a skill set
that eludes most enthusiasts (you’ll need
perfect balance and ice cold nerves): A)
Turn in slightly and stiffen your upper
body and arms. B) One-third of the way Downhill switchback, step one: Start Turn in decisively, step two:
around the corner, squeeze the front well to the outside of the turn, pedals Turning in early and with conviction
brake hard enough to lift the rear wheel level, and use both the front and rear is the key to success for downhill
and pivot at the waist to swing the rear brake with even pressure to control speed switchbacks. Aim for the inside of
end of the bike around. C) When the bike and avoid skidding. Stay low and cen- the corner, even though it looks
tered on the bike so you won’t be caught steeper there. This will provide more
is pointing down the next straight, release too far behind upon exiting the turn. options as you exit the switchback.
the brake and roll down the remainder of
the switchback. With a little practice, a
novice rider can pull off a nose-wheelie
turn on relatively flat ground, but repeat-
ing the same trick down a rocky switch-
back on the edge of a cliff requires mas-
tery of the move that I don’t possess. I
won’t risk it.
The third method is the least destruc-
tive and most useful technique. Most
switchbacks, even the tight ones with
steps, can be ridden around without
resorting to dramatic tricks or destructive
skidding. The key is to use both front and
rear brakes, but keep the wheels rolling:
A) Start your turn wide and steer in with
a decisive twist of the handlebar as close
to the apex of the switchback as possible.
B) As your front wheel passes the turn’s
apex, ease off the brakes and let the bike
bounce down the step. Forget about the
rear wheel—it will find its way around.
Keep your front wheel online, and all will
end well. C) Force yourself to look around
the bend and down the straightaway
while you completely release the brakes The panic point, step three: With the Look down the trail, step four: To
and resume pedaling. (I talk myself bike pointed down at such a steep angle, exit a switchback (or any turn) prop-
through this last step to make sure I don’t and the edge of the trail looming closely erly, lift your head and look directly
to the front wheel, the final third of a down the trail. It is common for a
stare over the edge.) downhill switchback spooks most riders series of stairsteps to follow a steep
Tip: A remote-adjustable seatpost like into abandoning ship when, in fact, they switchback, so stay ahead of the
the Gravity Dropper will lower your fear have successfully turned the corner. bike and save the celebration for the
factor and the bike’s center of gravity— Overcome the paralysis. Order your arms next rest stop.
highly recommended for difficult switch- to steer into the corner a bit more, and
backs. ease off the brakes.
MBA TRAINING AND FITNESS
TAKE YOUR TIME AND GET IT RIGHT
Uphill switchbacks require patience,
power and proper weight transfer. Trials
riders like Ryan Leech teach us that we can
hop our bikes up almost anything, but
Ryan’s mastery is beyond the reach of aver-
age enthusiasts. What we can all learn
from Ryan, however, is to size up the turn
ahead of time, enter the corner with a plan,
and stay cool as we execute the sequence of
moves we need to get up and around the
Here are the steps: A) Begin by getting
into position early with your weight near
the nose of the saddle and your upper body Uphill switchback, step one: Start well to the outside of the turn, and be settled
lowered over the handlebar. B) Choose a into a climbing position, crouched low over the bike and ready to weight the rear
tire for traction.
gear that is low enough to get up and over
the turn, but not so low that you will risk
spinning the rear tire. Second gear is usual-
ly better than the granny. C) Steer your
bike like it is an old school bus. Start the
turn as far to the outside as practical and
steer into the corner with a decisive twist
of the handlebar—you won’t need to lean
the bike much. D) Take your time. Think
only about turning the handlebar into the
corner and keeping sufficient weight on
the rear tire for traction. Slow down and
reposition yourself if necessary. Rushing
an uphill switchback invariably ends in
disaster. E) Saw away on the handlebar to
maintain your balance. Let the front tire
wander all over the trail, because only
climbing traction and the position of the
rear tire matters on an uphill corner.
Tip: Most riders lose traction or simply
fall over in the final third of an uphill
Turn in decisively, step two: Angle the bike into the turn (you don’t need to lean
switchback because they fail to turn the much) and give the handlebars a big twist to initiate the turn so that you round the
handlebar enough to make a significant switchback close to the apex. Don’t attack; pedal smoothly to stay balanced.
The crux move, Exit, step four:
step three: Two- By the final three
thirds of the way pedals of the
around is where switchback, most
most riders fail and riders will be star-
set a foot down. ing at the trail
Forget about where directly in front of
the front wheel is their wheel,
going, keep pedal- which causes the
ing and concen- rider to drift wide,
trate on maintain- and the bike to
ing rear wheel trac- fall towards the
tion. At this point, inside of the cor-
you should feel like ner. Flick the han-
you are seated dlebar about 30
upright in a chair, degrees into the
steering the bike turn to catch your
like a school bus— balance as you
it’s not an intuitive accelerate out of
process. the switchback.
- New pressure-formed “impact-zone”
protection areas for chest,
shoulder, elbow and upper arm.
- Chest area features removable
hard plastic breast plate.
- Thumb loops keep arm
protection in place.
- Injection-molded plastic shoulder cups.
- Adjustable Velcro® strap closures.
- Open weave stretch fabric gives
great ﬁt and ventilation.
visit us at SIXSIXONE.COM
or call 661 257 2756
MBA TRAINING AND FITNESS
AVOID DAMAGING SWITCHBACKS
THANK YOU FOR CARING
Trail designers avoid switchback turns because they are extremely time
consuming to construct and are subject to vandalism by ignorant members
of every backcountry user group. Maintaining switchbacks is a grueling
task. Because they are usually built where the terrain is excessively steep
or rugged, soil and reinforcing material often have to be imported from
elsewhere on the mountain. So, if you and your skidding buddies gouge
out a rut around a switchback, a volunteer—probably another mountain
biker who doesn’t skid up the trail—has to walk a few miles up to the site,
dig, and then carry filler rocks and reinforcing materials to fill the rut
(simply filling it with dirt won’t work because boneheads will dig that out
in one run). Then, the trail worker must redesign the entrance to the turn
with features like stone steps so that it will resist rutting in the future.
Multiply that effort by every switchback on your local mountain, and you
will begin to understand how much wasted time and effort could be
avoided if we learned to control our speed and corner without locking up
our rear wheels. ❑
Up and over: The R.I.P. 9 will have you
rolling over obstacles that you didn’t
think were possible to clear. The combi-
nation of superior traction, quality travel
and spot-on geometry make this bike a
Big Wheels For The Trail Rider
The Niner R.I.P. 9
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
he Niner R.I.P. 9 is not just another four-inch-travel
trailbike. While the majority of trailbikes utilize 26- Our R.I.P. 9 was built like it was intended as a trail rider’s
inch-diameter wheels, Niner only builds their bikes last bike. Starting at the front with a 2010 Fox 32 F-Series fork
with 29-inch wheels. Add the big hoops to Niner’s CVA sus- with Fox Isolation Technology (FIT) and a 15QR front axle
pension technology and you have a unique, fresh trailbike that and ending at the Shimano XTR rear derailleur, there wasn’t
handles singletrack like no other bike. one corner cut or compromise made. As it rolls, this R.I.P. 9
would set you back something in the neighborhood of $6000.
WHO IS IT MADE FOR? Our Niner used a bolt-on rear wheel skewer. Niner employs
Since Niner offers the dual-suspended Jet 9 (tested MBA, this setup on their single-speeds and feels it adds rigidity to the
February 2009) for cross-country racing and the W.F.O. 9 for bike’s rear end.
more technical trails, they could concentrate on the needs of a
trail rider when designing and building the R.I.P. 9. That HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
means you get 4.5 inches of rear-wheel travel and a frame Ergonomics: There is no mistaking that you are aboard a
designed with an emphasis on longevity and reliability. 29-inch-wheeled bike when you take your place at the controls
on the R.I.P. 9. It is not the standover height, which at 30
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM? inches is reasonable for any trailbike with this much travel, or
The R.I.P. 9 is an aluminum-framed trailbike. It boasts a the big wheels that tip you off. It is the feeling of sitting inside
tapered head tube that accepts a conventional 1-1/8-inch the cockpit rather than on top of it that clues you in to the
steerer tube or tapered steerer tube (RockShox, Fox and unique ride experience that lies ahead.
Moving out: The 29-inch wheels (and the taller gear-
ing they bring to the party) require a little extra effort
to get rolling from a dead stop, but once up to a com-
fortable spin, the large wheels float over trail chatter,
maintaining momentum that no 26-inch-wheeled
trailbike could match. For singletrack, we set the CVA
suspension with a full 20-percent sag and never felt
the need to employ the shock’s ProPedal
Cornering: Niner has dialed
the R.I.P. 9’s geometry so the
bike snakes along a twisty
singletrack with the agility of
a 26-inch-wheeled bike. The
bike offers the cornering
traction of tires one size
larger than what they are
rated. This allows the rider
to hold a higher speed on the
intended line without taking a
skills clinic. If you do need to
scrub speed, the added traction
allows you to go deeper into the cor-
Manitou offer 29er forks with the tapered steerer tube). The ner and use less brake. The only time you
top tube and downtube are hydroformed. Forged or extruded sense the larger wheels is when the corners include
parts are used to increase strength without a weight penalty. elevation gain.
The non-drive-side dropout is replaceable, as is the drive Climbing: The key to successful ascension is to find a
side. Why? This allows you to adapt a Maxle rear axle, a gear you can spin and work it. Dropping below a comfort-
Rohloff internal speed hub, or, like on our test bike, a tradi- able cadence will take more effort to overcome because of
tional nine-millimeter axle. your taller gearing and the bike’s close-to-30-pound
Niner’s dual-link suspension is called CVA, short for weight. Still, if you do find yourself dropping rpm, out-of-
Constantly Varying Arc. The forged lower link swings below the-saddle efforts are rewarded with great traction and no
the bottom bracket, and the triangulated swingarm sits low in noticeable suspension bobbing.
relation to the plane of the axles to obtain clearance for 2.35- In the rough: This may be the most unique characteris-
inch tires and a short-for-29er chainstay length. The seat tube tic of the bike and one of the hardest to explain. We can’t
is angled to make room for the tire during full suspension say, like Niner claims, that the larger wheels feel the same
compression. The linkage configuration was chosen to keep as adding travel, but they definitely help in rough terrain.
the suspension moving under braking and acceleration. The wheels and the suspension constantly divvy up the
The frame even includes integrated cable guides if the rider hit-absorption duties, and it is hard to tell when one
wants to use an adjustable-height seatpost. Niner really does hands off to the other. The R.I.P. 9 bites the trail, absorbs
sweat the small stuff. or rolls the hits (big and small) and allows you to hold
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 51
intended lines with seamless and progressive performance.
Only bottoming the suspension clues you in to the end of
the travel, and even then the chassis is solid and predictable.
TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?
Niner says the R.I.P. 9 can be built for park riding. We feel
the bike’s true potential is for serious trail riding and recom-
mend going with the company’s W.F.O. 9 if you are a season
We’d ditch the bolt-on rear-wheel skewer in favor of a
The big wheels put you at a gearing disadvantage over con-
ventional wheels. The lowest gear on the R.I.P. 9 is compara-
ble to a 42 chainring (the granny gear) matched to a 30-tooth
cog on a 26-inch bike. If you’ve been eating a lot of pizza lately,
that will be a tall gear on the last few climbs of a long day.
This is a no-brainer for any rider considering moving from a
29er hardtail trailbike to dual-suspension. The trail riding
experience is seriously enhanced with the addition of this
bike’s quality travel. It is not as simple for the trail rider
currently using a 26-inch-wheeled bike; it all comes down to
riding style and terrain. Riders who frequent tight trails with
lots of ups, downs and speed change-ups will be hard pressed Finding the good line: The R.I.P. 9 gives you more line options
because of its tractability. Don’t give up. Put the power to the
to give up their 26ers. Riders who battle loose surfaces, lots of pedals and this bike will pull you around and through situations
trail chatter and love to flow will find themselves ripping on you weren’t expecting to clear.
the R.I.P. 9. ❑
NINER R.I.P. 9
Price $1799 (frame, headset and shock)
Country of origin Taiwan
Weight 29.6 pounds
Hotline (877) 646-3792
Size tested 18" (medium)
Bottom bracket height 13.75"
Chainstay length 18"
Top tube length 24"
Head tube angle 71.5°
Seat tube angle 74°
Standover height 30"
Suspension travel (front) 4.7"
Suspension travel (rear) 4.5"
Frame material Aluminum
Fork Fox 32F 29 RLC
Shock Fox Float RP23
Rims NoTubes ZTR Flow 29’er
Tires Panaracer Rampage 29 (2.35")
Hubs Chris King ISO
Brakes Shimano XTR
Brake levers Shimano XTR
Crankset Shimano XTR
Shifters Shimano XTR Rapidfire
Handlebar Syntace Vector (27")
Front derailleur Shimano XTR
Rear derailleur Shimano XTR
Beauty to behold: (Clockwise from top left) The head tube will Chainrings Shimano (44/32/22)
accept tapered steerer tube forks, the hardware covering the sus- Cassette XTR (11-34)
pension’s sealed bearings looks like it was borrowed from NASA Pedals Shimano XTR
and the forged lower link swings below the bottom bracket.
The New Titus El Guapo. Speciﬁcally engineered for irresponsible people.
Enjoy a ﬂex-free, Advanced Thermal Formed 6000 series aluminum frame, exclusive forged and machined
aluminum rocker and a bunch of the World’s best parts. Six inches of legendary Titus suspension, and the
ability to ride where you probably shouldn’t. To ﬁnd out more about the Titus El Guapo visit titusti.com
MBA 2009 SEASON WRAP-UP
C ran kw or x
World-class riders crash mountain biking’s biggest party
n the six years since its inception, the Kokanee Crankworx Festival has become
Whistler’s biggest mountain bike event and rivals any mountain bike festival in
the world. The weeklong festival consists of both amateur and professional riders
competing in gravity-fed racing and a slopestyle contest. Each year, the Whistler
Mountain Bike Park and its surrounding trails grow more impressive, and the
Crankworx Festival follows suit.
We picked the brains of a handful of the event’s major players and asked them to
elaborate on their 2009 Crankworx experience. Brian Lopes brought home a healthy
paycheck for a few days of work by winning three events. Greg Watts captured
slopestyle gold, Tyler Morland saw his vision of the Canadian Open Downhill race-
course come to life, and Jill Kintner won both slalom races and scored a second place
in the Air Downhill.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 55
MBA 2009 SEASON WRAP-UP
C ra n k w o r x
Talent pool: The skill of the slopestyle
riders competing at Crankworx is off
the charts. Cove Bikes’ Eric Lawrenuk
spun above the crowd in the qualifiers,
but missed out on a spot in the finals.
B r i an L op e s
At 37 years old, World Champion Brian Lopes isn’t slowing down.
Although he retired from World Cup downhill racing years ago, he won
his fourth consecutive A-Line Air Downhill race, besting several current
top World Cup downhillers. Lopes also won the Giant Slalom event and
the Canadian Enduro Open Downhill race. How does he still do it?
“I have the track wired, plus my years of jumping experience are a big
advantage on this course,” explains Lopes. “The fact that I’ve always rid-
den a smaller bike in this event helps me stay a bit lower. I probably lose
some time in the chattery turns, but downhill bikes feel too big for me on
The famous A-Line Downhill isn’t a technically demanding event, like
the Garbanzo Downhill or Canadian Open Downhill course, but it’s no
“I’ve won the 14-minute-long Garbanzo Downhill and actually thought
it was physically easier than winning the A-Line event,” Lopes says.
“Garbanzo is so gnarly. You have to pace yourself, because there will be
places to make up time in the long event. A-Line’s race may be easier Big winner: Brian Lopes dominated (almost) every
technically, but there’s no place to make up any time. Every jump is way event he entered. He leads the field through the
too short for the speed we’re hitting, but you have to pedal any chance Enduro Open course. For the Enduro Downhill,
Lopes raced his 6.3-inch-travel Ibis Mojo HD with a
you can. You have to race A-Line perfectly, every jump and turn, and Marzocchi 66 fork. For rubber, he used his signature
sprint the entire time. Out of the four years I’ve won that race, this year prototype 2.35-inch Kenda El Moco front tire and a
was the least physically demanding of all my wins. I wasn’t huffing like in 2.2-inch Kenda Karma rear tire mounted to Easton
the past.” Havoc wheels and ran tubeless with Stan’s sealant.
Wall of refreshment: The top slopestyle
riders can navigate a variety of terrain
features. Geoff Gulevich sends his Rocky
Mountain off a wall ride.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 57
MBA 2009 SEASON WRAP-UP
C ra n k w o r x
Crowd favorite: Whistler’s own
Brandon Semenuk is at the top of the
slopestyle game. He won this year’s
Crankworx Colorado event and nar-
rowly finished second in Whistler.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 59
MBA 2009 SEASON WRAP-UP
C r an kw or x
The champ: High-flying Greg Watts soared
to victory in front of thousands of fans
aboard his custom five-inch-travel Gary
Fisher Roscoe. It has tweaked geometry for
slopestyle riding and is equipped with an
air-sprung RockShox Lyrik fork and
1. Justin Leov, Trek Racing, 13:44.55
2. Chris Kovarik, Chain Reaction, +2.06
3. Sam Hill, Monster/Specialized, +3.76
4. Marc Beaumont, GT Bikes, +14.00
5. Curtis Keene, Specialized, +18.00
6. Andrew Neethling, Trek Racing, +26.77
7. Steve Smith, MS Evil, +32.41
8. Bryn Atkinson, Crankbro/Intense, +33.14
9. Jack Reading, Ellsworth/Oneal, +35.90
10. Bernat Guardia, Massi, +37.08
1. Miranda Miller, Santa Cruz, 16:32.32
2. Emmeline Ragot, Suspension Ctr, +3.69
3. Kathy Pruitt, Jamis, +20.32
4. Fionn Griffiths, Norco, +25.24
5. Danice Uyesugi, Trek/SRAM, +40.38
Payday: By our calculations (meaning adding up his over-
sized podium checks) Brian Lopes (4) brought home $9000 in
prize money from his four days of racing. Three first places
and a second—not too shabby.
G r e g W a tt s
Over the past five years, Northern California’s Greg Watts has
been at the forefront of the slopestyle scene. However, Watts’ biggest
contest victory came when he beat the world’s best tricksters at their
own game. Although he won the Volkswagen Best Trick contest at
last year’s Crankworx, his previous best result in the slopestyle con-
test was seventh place. What was going through Greg’s head during
his final, contest-winning run?
“Basically, the whole day all I could think about was that final
run,” Watts said. “I had so much going through my head that I don’t
think I really decided on the tricks of my final run until I dropped
in! It’s definitely a nerve-racking event, but not because of the huge
crowd or because it’s the biggest contest of the year. It is the chance
of getting really hurt that causes the tension. Once I got to the bot-
tom of my clean run, it was the best feeling in the world.”
Jared Rando Pinner: You may recognize
(right) did his Steve Smith from our
team proud as September issue “Young
the top qualifier Rippers” feature. Stevie
in the Giant rode fast all week, scoring a
Slalom. After seventh in the Garbanzo
eliminating Mike Downhill, sixth in the Air
Haderer here, he Downhill, and third place in
cruised to the the Canadian Open
finals, where Downhill event.
Brian Lopes got
the best of him.
1. Brian Lopes, Ibis/Oakley/Marzocchi
2. Jared Rando, Giant Bicycles
3. Johannes Fischbach, Ghost
4. Michal Marosi, Self
1. Jill Kintner, Intense/Red Bull
2. Emmeline Ragot, Suspension Ctr
3. Leigh Donovan, Self
4. Manon Carpenter, Royal/661
Strait ahead: SoCal’s Kyle Strait kept the
backflips and tailwhips at home, and brought
his race face to Crankworx. Kyle won the tra-
ditional Dual Slalom by beating Brian Lopes
in the finals earlier in the week, but only last-
ed a few rounds of the Giant Slalom.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 61
C r a nk wo r x
MBA 2009 SEASON WRAP-UP
Crack the whip: Brendan
Fairclough finished second place
to his teammate Sam Hill in the
Canadian Open Downhill. It’s no
surprise two of the top World
Cup racers finished first and
second on such a physically
rider Kelly McGarry floats
off one of the many
Slopestyle course fea-
tures. All eyes are on each
slopestyle rider during
Spin to win: Last year’s Crankworx
Slopestyle champ, Andreu Lacondeguy,
won the VW Trick Showdown with a 360
flatspin Superman and brought home
$6000 for his effort.
1. Brian Lopes, Ibis/Oakley/Marzocchi, 4:20.45
2. Chris Kovarik, Chain Reaction, +3.03
3. Andrew Neethling, Trek Racing, +3.97
4. Jared Rando, Giant Bicycles, +4.56
5. Marc Beaumont, GT Bikes, +6.83
6. Steve Smith, MS Evil, +7.48
7. Fabien Cousinie, Kenda/Morewood, +7.70
8. Justin Leov, Trek Racing, +8.12
9. Brendan Fairclough, Monster/Specialized, +9.05
10. Kirt Voreis, Santa Cruz Syndicate, +9.46
1. Fionn Griffiths, Norco, 4:50.71
2. Jill Kintner, Intense/Red Bull, +1.00
3. Emmeline Ragot, Suspension Ctr, +1.33
4. Micayla Gatto, Commencal, +1.82
5. Melissa Buhl, KHS, +2.78
1. Kyle Strait, Specialized/Team America
2. Brian Lopes, Ibis/Oakley
3. Johannes Fischbach, Ghost
4. Neko Mulally, Specialized/Team America
WOMEN’S Hands on: The mastermind
1. Jill Kintner, Intense/Red Bull/Oakley behind the Canadian Open
2. Fionn Griffiths, Norco Downhill course was
3. Micayla Gatto, Commencal Downhill Champion and
4. Melissa Buhl, KHS
fellow Tyler Morland. He
broke a pedal at the top of
the course, but managed to
salvage a 12th place.
Over the past couple of years, the Canadian Open Downhill
has evolved into one of the most demanding racecourses in the
world. Whistler local, Canadian Downhill champion and SRAM
“Special Agent” Tyler Morland explains how the Canadian Open
Downhill course was the culmination of a three-year vision.
“In the past, Crankworx has hosted the Canadian National
Championships or a Canada Cup,” explains Morland. “About
four years ago, when the CCA (Canadian Cycling Association)
held the National Champs here, it really left a nasty taste in the
racers’ mouths. Six dudes in matching CCA polo shirts who had
never ridden a mountain bike barked orders to change the course.
Reaping rewards: From that point on, we decided to host our own legit downhill
Whistler local Kenny race and make the Canadian Open Downhill course the best
Smith was instrumen- ‘true’ downhill racecourse in the world. Crankworx draws the top
tal in the development athletes; therefore, Whistler Mountain was fully supportive of a
of the extremely tech- downhill course that was ‘man-sized.’
nical Canadian Open “We pushed a good portion of the course under the chairlift so
Kenny blazed the it wasn’t hidden in the trees and made sure we had several tech-
course on his way to nical elements to ensure that the best all-around rider would
sixth place in a field win,” Morland says.
stacked with World “The Canadian Open course was three years in the making,
Cup regulars. and to accomplish it took a lot of work and discussion. The key
was to stick to our original vision and not get sidetracked. It
could not have been pulled off without the help of Kenny Smith,
lead hand Andrew Gunn and machine operator extraordinaire
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 63
MBA 2009 SEASON WRAP-UP
C ra n k wo rx Jill Kintner
On the women’s side of Crankworx,
Jill Kintner brought home the most
hardware with wins in Slalom and
Giant Slalom, and a second place in
the Air DH A-Line Downhill race.
However, despite the intense racing,
Jill feels that Crankworx is actually a
refreshing event away from the World
“Crankworx is a great break in our
season and also serves as perfect train-
ing before the World Championships,”
Kintner explains. “Events like the
Giant Slalom have the same intense
racing action as 4-Cross, but without
all of the pressure of having someone
crash into you. Giant Slalom has a lot
of potential, because it’s fun for the
riders and incorporates an event from
ski racing into mountain bikes.
“Crankworx is so fun and the trails
are so good that I decided to try the A-
Line Downhill, too,” Jill said. “The
fact that it’s a five-minute event makes
Breaking away: Jill Kintner smoked the competition as she won both the Giant it far outside of my trained endurance.
and Dual slalom, and finished second in the A-Line Downhill. “My hands were I like the fact that you don’t have a
hurting so bad,” said Jill. “I’m not used to racing downhill, and at the end of the person in front of you like 4-Cross,
race I had to sit down just to be able to hold on to the handlebar. That’s when and the conditions are changing all of
Fionn got a little time on me.”
Lying around: Despite coming off a freshly
broken collarbone, Cam McCaul threw
down some impressive runs. Washing out
on a front flip ended his quest for the
1. Greg Watts, 96
2. Brandon Semenuk, 95.25
3. Martin Soederstrom, 90.75
4. Paul Basagoitia, 90
5. Cameron McCaul, 89.25
6. Mitch Chubey, 87.75
7. Darren Berrecloth, 87.50
8. Andreu Lacondeguy, 83
Downtime: Brad Oien
of Huntington Beach,
California, cruises a
steep drop on the
Open Downhill course
running under the
Sent into orbit: Former Crankworx slopestyle rider Paul
Basagoitia throws a 360 tailwhip off the first drop-in on the
Slopestyle course. The skill level of the riders at Crankworx is
CANADIAN OPEN DOWNHILL
1. Sam Hill, Monster/Specialized, 3:02.56
2. Brendan Fairclough, Monster/Specialized, +8.17
3. Steve Smith, MS Evil Racing/Red Bull, +9.21
4. Joshua Button, Mongoose Gravity Team, +9.44
5. Neko Mulally, Specialized, +12.03
1. Emmeline Ragot, Suspension Center, 3:45.05
2. Micayla Gatto, Commencal, +2.01
3. Claire Buchar, Team ChainReactionCycles.com, +7.94
4. Danice Uyesugi, Trek, +21.43
5. Dawn Cashen, Cycle Path Kelowna, +48.29
Don’t feed the
Berrecloth is already a
legend in the young sport
of mountain bike
slopestyle. It’s been
tough sledding for him at
recent Crankworx events,
as crashes have prevent-
ed him from advancing to
the finals. ❑
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 65
MBA 2009 SEASON WRAP-UP
Spy shots, new gear and famous faces
long with Whistler’s incredible terrain and riding action during
Crankworx, the Village has a unique life of its own. At any given
moment you’ll see a world-class rider cruise by you on a bike full of
prototype components, spot a streaker or a guy in a bunny suit, catch one of
the live bands on stage, or strike up a conversation with a famous face in the
crowd. Crankworx is many things, but most of it’s unpredictable. The next
couple of pages capture some highlights from within the Whistler Village.
Customize: Slopestyle star Cam McCaul runs his Saint shift
lever mounted on the downtube to keep it from cluttering up his
handlebar, and he has one less cable to get in the way for
held the Saint
The cupcake eat-
killed time while
the judges scored
the photo entries.
Smith (right) and
Brian Lopes (next
to Smith) can eat
about as fast as
What is it?: Cruising the pits of Crankworx always
reveals some prototype bikes and components. We
spotted this new brake from Avid, and it appears to be
a bit of a hybrid between their Elixir and Code brakes,
and geared toward long-travel bikes.
Sideshow: Ryan Leech is one of the world’s best trials riders, and
his exhibitions in Whistler Village have become a staple during
Winning style: Sure, Sam Hill (right) won the
Canadian Open Downhill, but his best showing
of the weekend was at the Troy Lee D3 party.
Sam and his mechanic, Jacy Shumilak, show
off some sport jacket style.
Showstopper: The Troy Lee
Designs D3 helmet was the
guest of honor.
Going up: The beauty of Crankworx is
that while all of the action is going, on
riders can hit the mountain for a day
full of downhill runs. You never know
who will end up sitting next to you on
the chairlift. (Left to right: Richey
Schley, Wade Simmons and Bryson
Martin Jr.) Around the clock: Whistler has the world’s best mountain
bike park, but when the sun goes down, the fun doesn’t
end in the Village. Check out Troy Lee Design’s D3 helmet
introduction party at the Savage Beagle Lounge.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 67
MBA 2009 SEASON WRAP-UP
World Cup ready: You may have spotted Rocky
Mountain’s 2010 Flatline World Cup race bike under
Team Maxxis racers Luke Strobel and Sabrina Jonnier. Built to pin it: The
We had the chance to ride the bike on the trails of Flatline World Cup is
Pemberton, about 30 minutes outside of Whistler. The equipped with a Fox
World Cup model shown here will sell for $5999. Shox RC4 shock and
a Shimano Saint dri-
vetrain. The Flatline
WC is race-ready off
the showroom floor.
Nice touch: Rocky’s Flatline is loaded with unique com-
ponents, like this exclusive direct-mount stem from
Prototype: D’Arcy O’Connor is the Rocky
Mountain engineer behind the new race-oriented
Flatline. His personal rig features a trick prototype
floating rear brake Rocky is experimenting with.
Two versions: The Rocky
Flatline Pro is a more wallet-
friendly downhill rig. With A
RockShox Boxxer Team fork
and Vivid shock, the $3999
Flatline Pro is the best deal
going in downhill racing.
the horns at
Brandon runs a
friction shifter on
M.C. Tippie: North Shore legend Brett
Tippie was on the scene throughout
Crankworx. His hyper-energetic personality
was entertaining for sure.
Big mountain style: Over the years,
these guys’ talents have graced the
pages of MBA on many occasions.
From left: legendary rider and Rocky
Mountain employee Wade Simmons,
iconic photographer Sterling Lorence,
and big mountain rider Thomas
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 69
Old tricks: The swim-ride-run
gang has used the steeper
seat tube geometry trick for
years. Does it translate as well
to the dirt?
A Lot Of Trail Riding Attitude
The Rocky Mountain Altitude 90 RSL
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
anada’s Rocky Mountain Bicycles doesn’t leave many
stones unturned when it comes to cross-country You are paying a big admission price for the Altitude 90
bikes. They have defined four cross-country cate- RSL, so Rocky Mountain didn’t cheap out on the compo-
gories: cross-country race, cross-country performance, cross- nents. From the fork with the 15QR axle to the Mavic
country marathon and super cross-country. Bikes range in wheelset, there isn’t a component that needs to be upgraded.
travel from 3.9 inches to 5.9 inches. Our Altitude 90 RSL The Formula R1 brakes are hard not to linger over. There is
falls into the marathon slot with 5.5 inches of travel. no wasted material in the tiny reservoir/lever assembly, and
the braided steel hoses and banjo attachments to the calipers
WHO IS IT MADE FOR? look like team-issue items. The frame is made in Taiwan,
The Altitude 90 RSL is designed for riders who need a but the bike is assembled in Canada.
good amount of travel to navigate tough trails covered in
rocks, roots, dips and steps. This high-priced trailbike is HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
light enough and plenty quick enough to be considered for Ergonomics: Don’t expect to be hitting your knees on the
racing endurance events. handlebar due to Rocky Mountain’s Straight-Up Geometry. It
is nowhere near that exaggerated. You’ll find yourself in an
upright riding position without feeling cramped. The
front end sits high enough that some riders may want
to invert the stem to lower the bar. The standover
clearance is excellent for a bike with this much
travel, and our test bike was size large to boot.
Moving out: The Altitude 90 RSL feels like a race
bike getting up to speed. The rear suspension pivots
on oversized bearings, and the two-piece rocker
seems to rival the rigidity of one-piece units. There
is nothing lost in the translation. You put in
the wattage and the bike responds
with forward momentum.
Triathletes have used the steep-
er seat tube geometry trick for
years, and in terms of putting
the power down, the
Altitude 90 RSL gets it
Cornering: Racing DNA
is still evident when you hit
the twisties. The bike is
light on its feet and allows
the rider to make quick line
choices without paying the
price in stability. The bike loves
to be powered out of the corners,
and the brakes’ performance makes
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM? riding deep into corners just as much fun.
The Altitude 90 RSL’s frame and seat stays are crafted Climbing: This thing climbs like a billy goat. We found
from carbon fiber, while the more ding-susceptible chain- ourselves staying in the saddle longer and pushing gears that
stays are tubes made from aluminum. The frame has a would make Geoff Kabush proud. The shock is valved exclu-
steep, 76-degree seat tube angle that Rocky Mountain has sively for Rocky Mountain, and it is fitted with an extra-
dubbed their Straight-Up Geometry. They feel that moving volume air canister. The result is a rear suspension that can
the rider slightly forward results in better power delivery be ridden most of the time without the ProPedal feature
(due to the rider’s position over the cranks) and more com- engaged. We only flipped the blue lever on smooth, long
fort. climbs or on pavement.
The Altitude 70 RSL has the same carbon frame as the In the rough: There are no communication issues
Altitude 90 RSL (with a split downtube to cradle the shock between Rocky Mountain and Fox Racing Shox. They did a
and internal rear-derailleur routing), but dropping to the great job of dialing the suspension components to the bike’s
Altitude 70 gets you an aluminum frame with similar suspension design and frame construction. The bike soaks
geometry and a slightly different rear-suspension design. In up the rough and allows the rider to concentrate on riding.
other words, our ride observations will apply to the Descending: The Straight-Up Geometry does not equal
Altitude 90 RSL and the Altitude 70 RSL, but the models straight-over-the-bars. Rider weight is positioned slightly for-
below this point may deliver different ride characteristics. ward, so sliding back on the slim Fizik Gobi XM saddle is a
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 73
simple and necessary maneuver. The brakes back up the rest
of the bike’s performance and never faded or made weird
TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?
Our bike suffered from chain suck issues while dropping
from the middle to the granny gear. However, it never
jammed the chain into the frame or chainstay, because the
sound of the miss-directed chain alerted the rider to back off
and get it back on track. In fairness, our test bike was used
when delivered, so this problem may have been caused by
something that happened before we got it.
We have to mention this, too, although it may be coinci-
dence. One of the wrecking crew strained his back while
seated during a hard effort on a steep climb. The Straight-Up
Geometry? Maybe. The new position may require some
adjustments for riders used to more relaxed geometry.
If you need more travel for the trails you ride, but don’t
want to give up the performance of a shorter travel trailbike,
the Altitude 90 RSL fits the bill. It gives you lots of travel
while remaining a quick and fun bike to ride. And while
$5000 isn’t small change, it is a grand less than many high-
performance carbon fiber trailbikes. The Altitude 90 RSL
may be the biggest sleeper of 2009. ❑ Move to the rear: The Altitude’s forward rider position didn’t
cause much trepidation when dropping off or into something.
Move back and let the suspension do its job.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN ALTITUDE 90 RSL
Country of origin Canada
Weight 27.1 pounds
Hotline (800) 663-2512
Size tested 19" (large)
Bottom bracket height 13.5"
Chainstay length 16.9"
Top tube length 23.25"
Head tube angle 69°
Seat tube angle 76°
Standover height 29.5"
Suspension travel (front) 5.5"
Suspension travel (rear) 5.5"
Frame material Carbon fiber
Fork Fox 32 Float RLC
Shock Fox Float RP23 XV
Rims Mavic CrossMax SLR
Tires Hutchinson Python (2.3")
Hubs Mavic CrossMax SLR
Brakes Formula R1
Brake levers Formula R1
Crankset Race Face Next
Shifters Shimano XTR Rapidfire
Handlebar Race Face Next XC (26")
Front derailleur Shimano XT
Rear derailleur Shimano XTR
Chainrings Race Face (44/32/22)
Altitude attitude: (clockwise from top) Pivot bearings are well-
sealed from the elements, the Formula brakes continue to Cassette Shimano XT (11-34)
impress, Race Face cranks keep the weight off, and there’s a Pedals None (weighed with Shimano XTR)
very unique seatpost clamp.
Why the world needs
more Carol Potters
his is the first time we’ve
featured someone who is not a
rider in our “Riders Who
Inspire” series. But once you get to
know Carol Potter, you’ll understand
why she is as deserving as any rider we
have featured to date.
As the executive director of Park
City, Utah’s, Mountain Trail
Foundation, Carol Potter has her work
cut out for her. The Mountain Trails
Foundation was established to educate
people on land use planning and con-
servation practices, particularly with
respect to multi-use trails and trail sys-
tems. The foundation is responsible for
improvements to Park City’s trail sys-
tem through signage, trail construction
and maintenance. If that isn’t enough,
she helps with acquisition and admi-
nistration of trail easements by public
agencies, an essential service in an area
where the majority of the surrounding
mountains are privately owned.
Carol has worked for the Mountain
Trail Foundation for six years and
served ten years before that with a
similar foundation in Michigan. “I can
remember when seven people would
attend a trail-planning conference,”
laughs Carol. “Today, 700 people show
up.” Her expertise is writing proposals
for grants that will secure the budget to
build and maintain her beloved Park
City trail network. Carol is an equal
opportunity grant writer. She doesn’t
care if the grants come from the federal
government, state government or pri-
vate organizations like IMBA or the
American Hiking Alliance. Every
penny helps to maintain the existing
trail network and to add miles of new
trails every year. explains Carol about a community time for trails.”
Carol is the first to admit that a lot that always put a high priority on What does Carol say to others look-
of hard work was done before she their trail network. ing to experience the trail success that
joined the Mountain Trail “This is a very social community, Park City has enjoyed? “I have so
Foundation. “Park City passed an and that spirit extends to the trails,” much fun connecting with other trail
ordinance over 17 years ago that says Carol. “Park City has always groups,” explains Carol. “Drop me an
required new developments to put in been trail friendly, and we continue e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and
trails and link existing trails,” to grow our trail network. It is a great we’ll compare notes.” ❑
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Ideas for the mountain biker on your list
t is not too early to start thinking about all the mountain bikers on
your Christmas gift list, and we can help you get started right now.
The MBA wrecking crew put their helmets together and came up
with a list of gift ideas that we know any mountain biker would love to
find under the tree on Christmas morning.
Some ideas will set you back a pretty penny, while other ideas won’t
ding your wallet at all, and these inexpensive gifts might be the most
appreciated of the season.
So forget about giving a gaudy tie or a Denny’s gift certificate. Give a
gift that shows the mountain bikers on your list that you really care.
Here are a few ideas to get you in the spirit.
Personalized grips: This is the coolest yule-
tide gift idea of the year. You already know
that Lizard Skins offers their Lock-On grips
($27.50) in a bunch of styles and colors. A
set of grips would be a great gift, but you
can do better. Sweeten the deal by having
your friend’s name laser etched on the Lock-
On ring. Lizard Skins only charges $2.99 for
this customization, and they turn around
custom orders fast. Just make sure you
spell your friend’s name correctly. Lizard
Skins at (801) 785-7546.
Feet covers: There is no such thing as too many riding socks, and it is
almost as much fun to give socks as it is to receive them. We like to
give a color or print that we would never buy for ourselves. It always
makes for a great ride when your buddy shows up with the pink flying
pig socks on. Of course, you can play it safe and buy earth tones.
Boring. Don’t buy white socks. Those are for roadies. SockGuy, (760)
804-1344, makes hundreds of fun designs.
Miles of sweet singletrack: Park City,
Utah, offers miles of amazing single-
track riding. The $17.99 Park City’s
Prime Cuts trail guide book by Charlie Stay inflated: What self-respecting mountain
Sturgis and Mark Fischer is the best biker doesn’t need a stash of tubes? Okay,
way to get the most out of your next smart guy, one who rides tubeless tires. Either
visit to the area. The book is sized to fit way, you can make both types of riders’ eyes
into a hydration pack and printed on light up on Christmas. Give the tube guy a few
thick, water-resistant paper. Give this tubes and the tubeless guy a bottle of NoTubes
book to a riding buddy with a not-so- tire sealant. Both products are readily available
subtle suggestion that a road trip needs at your local bike shop.
to be planned. Get Prime Cuts from
White Pine Touring at (888) 649-8710.
For bad times: The $25
Lifesaver: They are Adventure Medical Kits’ S.O.L.
actually called shells, (Survive Outdoors Longer)
but we call these thin Survival Pak takes critical survival
jackets lifesavers. items and packages them in an
They weigh next to ultralight, waterproof drybag. The
nothing and can be S.O.L. Survival Kit includes a
stuffed into a sun- compass, mini rescue flash signal
glass pouch (we’ve mirror, slim rescue howler whistle,
seen Johnny Tomac waterproof and windproof match-
do it). Where they es, waterproof Tinder Quik,
turn into lifesavers is Heatsheets blanket, fishing kit
on the ride where and duct tape. Whoever gets this
you bonk, get caught present will remember you fondly
in a storm or have if they ever have to use it.
the temps drop
faster than expected.
These shells offer
great protection for
their size and hold in
just enough body
warmth to get you
Doc in a bag: The $11 Adventure Medical Kits’ Ultralight .3
first aid kit settles the national healthcare debate with a mix
of ten bandages, dressing gauze, safety pins, After Bite
wipes, antihistamine, ibuprofen, antiseptic wipes, tape and
antibiotic ointment. The kits are available in bike shops or
by calling (510) 261-7414. Perfect for the rider on your list
who is a little wild.
Shop rags: Every rider
needs a shop rag with-
in reach of his bike
stand, so how come
there is never one
around? Your friends
will think of you every
time they get grease
on their fingers if you
wrap up a bunch of
shop rags and put
them under the tree.
You can find rag bun-
dles at any auto supply
store. Mom, this gift
will also stop the mys-
of bathroom towels
and washcloths from
the linen cabinet.
Donate labor: If money is tight this Christmas,
offer something more personal. Why not pre-
sent a gift certificate to a riding friend stating
that you will change and pump up X number of
flat tires for the recipient. Your gift certificate
can be used at home or on the trail. The certifi-
cate only covers the labor. Your buddy has to
supply the tube.
Toe straps: Even if
the lucky recipient of
your generosity doesn’t use
toe straps on his pedals because he uses clipless pedals,
that doesn’t mean the straps won’t be accepted with enthu-
siasm. Toe straps are used for a number of tasks, including
securing wheels to bike racks, holding the rear suspension
when you remove the shock or adding strength to a seat
pack or headlight battery. In a pinch, you can always use
them for handcuffing the guy you catch trying to break into
cars at the trailhead.
Fast inflate: Pumping up flat tires on
the trail is a real buzz kill. The fastest
way to get going again is a CO2 blast,
but most riders only carry a pump
because it costs about $3.70 to shoot
off a CO2. Well, it doesn’t cost a dime
for the rider who gets a Genuine
Innovation’s $19.99 Air Chuck SL for
Christmas. Even if you still carry a
pump, the Air Chuck is there to get
you going fast. You can find the Air
Chuck SL and extra CO2 cartridges at
just about any bike shop.
MBA subscription: This issue offers our lowest subscription price of the year. You can’t
go wrong. You can buy a year’s worth of Mountain Bike Action (that’s 12 issues) for
about the same price you pay for nine days of home Internet service. Operators are
standing by at (800) 767-0345, or order at www.mbaction.com. If your buddy already
has a subscription, we’ll just add your gift and extend it.
Chain lube: There is not a mountain
bike on the trail that doesn’t need its
chain lubed occasionally. A bottle will
last all season. Be safe and stick with a
lube that has been formulated for
mountain bikers (it will say so on the
bottle). The key is not putting on too
much of the stuff.
Bike detailing: Nobody likes to do it,
but everybody likes the result—a bike
that looks clean and race-ready before
an important ride. Your gift will be a gift
certificate promising to clean and polish
a friend’s bike.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 83
Join the ranks: If there is one organization that does
the most good for mountain bikers (other than Pizza
Hut), it is the International Mountain Bicycling
Association, or IMBA. They are the collective strength
of all mountain bikers and represent us from the halls
of Congress to the conference rooms of city hall.
They teach riders to build and care for trails and give
us all a good reputation to live up to. Memberships
start at $20 (youth and student) and go up to $1000
(the Singletrack Society). Membership is a really
thoughtful gift to bestow on any mountain biker. Call
them toll free at (888) 442-4622.
Smooth gift: Give the gift of smooth shifting. A
couple of derailleur cables to replace the dirty and
frayed cables that have lost their crispness are a
great present/upgrade. Throw in cable nipples and
donuts. Cable nipples slide on the end of freshly cut
cables, get crimped and eliminate the possibility of
cables fraying. They’re cheap, small and super-
essential. Cable donuts are tiny rubber O-rings that
slide onto cables to keep them from hitting the
bike’s frame tubes.
Skinny gift: Do you know that Mountain Bike Action
has a brother? Just about every mountain biker we
know has a road bike and would enjoy the latest news
on new bikes, trick carbon fiber wheels and what
Lance Armstrong has for breakfast. A subscription to
Road Bike Action is a gift that keeps on giving all year-
long. Call (800) 767-0345 or visit www.mbaction.com
Deck the halls: Earth Studio in Moab,
Utah, offers a wide selection of moun-
tain bike Christmas tree decorations.
Prices range from $16.95 to $22. Call
them at (800) 463-4064 or visit their
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 85
Priced To Fly
Specialized’s P.2 jump bike
tomized Alex rims. The three-piece chromoly cranks work
n developing their Progressive (P. bikes) bike line,
Specialized’s mission was to design a bike that was at in cooperation with a polycarbonate bash guard and ISCG-
home dirt jumping or street riding. Although the bike mounted chain guide.
looks simple when compared to a full-suspension rig, it
requires specific engineering to develop a bike that’s versa- HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
tile, lightweight and can handle the rigors of daily abuse. Ergonomics: The P.2’s steep, sloping top tube is no acci-
Specialized has four P. bikes in their line, priced from $940 dent. The frame is designed so riders can throw down tricks
to $1650. and easily flick the bike around. The short, 40-millimeter
Specialized Aggro stem and two-inch-rise handlebar speak to
WHO IS IT MADE FOR? the P.2’s stunt riding build.
A dirt-jump-specific bike is designed for riders who Pedaling: On a jump bike, you need enough gearing to get
require geometry and components specifically intended for yourself rolling before a rhythm section or to accelerate
launching dirt jumps, riding urban terrain and sessioning quickly before a stair gap or wall ride when street riding.
The P.2’s chromoly Fuse cranks are stiff and built to take a
beating. The eight-speed drivetrain is a good choice for a
jump-specific bike, as climbing ability isn’t a concern.
When dirt jumping or riding in a skatepark, you
want minimal rolling resistance, because the terrain
is often groomed dirt or concrete. The Specialized
Rhythm Lite Control tires have just enough traction
for riding off-road and are perfect for this
Jumping: Mountain bikes built
for dirt jumping differ from BMX
bikes designed for the same
duty in that mountain bikes
have bigger wheels and
gears, allowing them to ride
rougher trails and get to
locations BMX bikes can-
not. Hence, the reason for
the suspension fork. On
average, suspension perfor-
mance isn’t as sophisticated
in dirt jumping as it is in trail
riding or downhill, and forks
like the 3.1-inch travel
Marzocchi DJ2 are perfect for the
job. The coil-sprung DJ2 has minimal
adjustments and felt pretty good out of the box.
skateparks. These frames share geometry traits racers look Riders looking for an even stiffer feel can utilize the air
for in a dual-slalom or 4-Cross bike, such as short chainstays assist valve atop the right fork leg. The DJ2 doesn’t use a 20-
and low bottom brackets and standover heights, so it is not a millimeter thru-axle like many of the top jump-specific slid-
stretch to see the P. bikes used in this type of competition. ers, however Specialized does use a 3/8-inch BMX-style axle
for increased robustness over a standard quick-release. The
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM? rear end of the bike employs that same axle.
Specialized no longer sells the P. bikes in two sizes (short Manualing: Getting the front wheel off the ground, or
and long); the only size available now is the previous “long” manualing, is not only a maneuver in its own right, but the
frame. The aluminum P.2 features a double-butted down- catalyst for several tricks. The short, 15.5-inch chainstays
tube, forged head tube, and horizontal dropouts with hard- make shifting your weight rearward virtually effortless. Like
ware for a single-speed or cassette setup. the bunny hop, learning to manual will open up an entirely
new world for a rider and improve his overall bike handling
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT? ability.
The purpose-built P.2 features a coil-sprung, 3.1-inch-trav- Cornering: With steep angles intended for quick maneu-
el Marzocchi DJ2 fork, Avid Juicy 3 hydraulic disc brakes verability, the P.2 handles like a dual-slalom racer when rid-
with a six-inch front rotor and a five-inch rear rotor. den on a hardpacked pumptrack. The Rhythm tires have
SRAM’s X.5 short cage rear derailleur and SRAM X.4 eight- minimal tread, so you can’t push too hard in the corners,
speed trigger handle shifting duties. The Specialized Rhythm but they are still capable of carving turns. The short chain-
Lite Control tires are designed specifically for dirt jumping stays, 3.1-inch-travel fork and 69-degree head angle keep the
and street riding and are mounted to Specialized’s cus- rider’s weight centered. And, when riding aggressively,
Perfect form: The
Specialized P.2 is built to fly.
The dialed geometry and
comfortable frame design
gives pilots confidence to
have fun while sending it.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 87
simply shifting weight forward gives the Marzocchi-sprung
front end enough traction to hook up when you’re lapping
your friends on the pumptrack.
Everything else: Climbing, descending and singletrack
riding are not in the P.2’s vocabulary. If you need your
mountain bike to do more than jump or handle an
occasional 4-Cross, Specialized makes the P.All Mountain
TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?
We tweaked the Alex wheels quickly, which can be expected
with a bike that sees as much abuse as the P. bike. One of the
only upgrades we’d recommend would be a tougher set of
wheels—once the Alex hoops give up.
Riders looking to run the P.2 in the single-speed configura-
tion would likely be able to use the built-in chain tensioner on
the rear dropouts and ditch the bulky bashguard.
Whether it’s the flagship model in the line or a more afford-
able offering, Specialized pays attention to detail. Although the
P.2 isn’t the premier jumper in the line, it’s a more than capa-
ble ride that’s built to rip up local trails, neighborhood streets
and skateparks. The dialed geometry and a proven component
spec make the $1350 Specialized P.2 a steal. ❑
Corner pocket: With tight-steering geometry and short chain-
stays, the P.2 whips through jump trails. The fast-rolling
Specialized Rhythm Lite tires are ideal for hardpacked terrain.
Country of origin Taiwan
Weight 32.5 pounds
Hotline (877) 808-8154
Frame tested One size only
Bottom bracket height 11.8"
Chainstay length 15.5"
Top tube length 22.5"
Head tube angle 69°
Seat tube angle 71°
Standover height 26.5"
Suspension travel (front) 3.1"
Suspension travel (rear) None
Frame material Aluminum
Fork Marzocchi DJ2
Rims Specialized/Alex P.Disc AM
Tires Specialized Rhythm Lite
Hubs Specialized forged, HiLo
Brakes Avid Juicy 3 SL
Brakes Levers Avid Juicy 3 SL
Crankset Fuse tubular chromoly
Shifters SRAM X.4
Handlebar Specialized alloy riser (27")
Front derailleur Poly bashguard
Rear derailleur SRAM X.5
Chainrings Fuse 34-T
Built to bash: Designed for dirt jumping, the Specialized P.2 Cassette SRAM PG-830 (11-28)
is equipped with burly chromoly cranks, a stout 40-millimeter Pedals Alloy platform
stem and gold Specialized HiLo Hubs.
We Offer a 30-Day
Policy, Plus NO- 1.909.947.2100
local or international
with NO Restocking or toll free 1.888.880.3403
FEES! or www.JensonUSA.com
Vredestein Black Panther
26x2.0 or 2.35 Folding
Vredestein Bull Lock
26x2.0 or 2.35 Folding
Vredestein Tiger Claw
26x2.0 or 2.35 Folding Shimano LX M581 Rear
MSRP $55.95 s traditionally-sprung (
a ly p g
This is a traditionally-sprung (i.e. not Shimano LX FC-M582 Crankset
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These LX RapidFire levers are ideal for almost every rider.
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Marzocchi 44 RockShox Reba
Team ‘09 Fork Marzocchi 66 RC3
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Black, 120mm, TST2 White 100mm, Disc Only, Fork ‘09
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Disclaimer* Quantities on some items may be limited - shop early for best selection. Pricing may vary between our magazine ads, catalogs, showroom, JE281B00 SP281B00 GL281A00
retail stores, and website. Currency ﬂuctuations, manufacturer price increases, model year changes, and other factors may cause our costs to change.
JensonUSA reserves the right to modify our prices at any time without notice. Prices listed do not include shipping. Errors in product descriptions, weights, MSRP MSRP MSRP
prices, or photography are unintentional and subject to correction. Customer bears the cost of return shipping for exchanges/returns unless Jenson USA has $64.99 $104.99 $35
made a shipping error. Please call for a return authorization number. Jenson USA strives to offer the best prices on every item we sell. We will price match
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order is placed. This does not include items which are on sale/clearance/blowout. Price match may not be combined with any other offers. * All Shimano
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JHK’s new Fisher
Superfly 100 29er
ight after Jeremy Horgan-
Kobelski won the 2009 Cross-
Country National Championship,
we asked him if we could shoot him for
“Inside.” To our surprise, he offered a
counterproposal. He wanted us to show
off his new bike instead.
We weren’t so sure this was a good
deal, until we saw the bike he was talk-
ing about. It was a 2010, full-suspension,
carbon fiber Superfly 100 29er. Jeremy
told us that he liked this bike more than
the hardtail 29er with which he had just
won his latest National Championship.
He would have raced this bike, instead of
his hardtail 29er, but he hadn’t put in
enough saddle time to work out the per-
fect setup. He assured us, however, that
this was the bike he would be racing
from this point on. Here it is:
1. 2010 Gary Fisher Superfly 100,
full-OCLV carbon fiber frame, XL
size, 4.3 inches of rear-wheel
“This is definitely the best full-sus- 20
pension bike I’ve ever ridden. It is an
incredible bike for everything from all- up tubeless with Stan’s Racing 7. RockShox Monarch three-posi-
day riding to World Cup-level racing. Sealant. tion, custom-platform shock,
I’m amazed at its versatility. In many “The new Bontrager tires have made currently tuned for 4.3 inches of
situations, it climbs better than my a big difference in switching over com- travel, set to the “B” tune option.
hardtail, and on descents it is simply pletely to the 29-inch platform. They’re “I run the shock at 160 psi and usu-
incredible. The ABP rear pivot is almost as light as 26-inch tires, and the ally leave it in the mid-gate position for
traction is so much better. The XR1 both racing and training.”
absolutely amazing at isolating pedal-
and 29-0 are incredible in loose and
ing input and keeping the rear wheel
dry conditions. For muddy races, I’ll 8. Cane Creek Frustum ZS thread-
glued to the ground in cornering and step up to the more aggressive 29-3’s.” less headset, 1-1/8-inch top bear-
under braking. A big shout-out to Brad ing, 1.5-inch bottom.
P. and Big Ned at Fisher for a sweet 4. Bontrager RXL stem, 90mm
bike.” reach, 17-degree rise. Stem is run 9. Avid XX disc brakes.
inverted to lower the bars. “The new Avid brakes are so power-
2. 2009 RockShox Reba 29er fork, ful that I can always use a 140-millime-
with 3.9 inches of travel, hydraulic 5. Fizik Tundra seat, custom color ter rotor, even on the big-wheeled
XX lockout, and tapered steer tube. scheme. bike.”
“I run my fork with lower negative
pressure and faster rebound than many 6. Bontrager XXX Lite Carbon 29- 10. Bontrager XXX Lite Carbon
people, as I like the stiffer initial stroke inch wheels, with Bontrager cen- Riser handlebar, seven-degree
and positive feel of faster rebound.” terlock hubs and DT Swiss center- sweep.
lock adapters. Wheels were rebuilt “I like riser bars, not so much for
3. Bontrager XR1 Team Edition with DT Swiss Revolution spokes, the additional height (I use a negative
(front) and Bontrager 29-0 (rear) saving 4.23 ounces compared to the stem), but because the additional
tires. Both are tube-type tires set stock wheelset. sweep is so comfortable.”
12 Weight: 22 pounds
4 Estimated price: $9000
11 1 8 10
11. Bontrager RXL ACC ring options are perfect for cross- 20. SRAM XX ten-speed
(Aluminum Core Construction) country racing.” cassette, 11-36T.
Carbon seatpost, 13-inch length, “The new XX rear cassette has
with .8-inch setback. 15. Crankbrothers 4Ti been a real game changer. Having
Eggbeater pedals. the range of an 11-36 makes it
12. ESI Racer’s Edge grips. “The Eggbeaters are the best ped- possible to both run a smaller big
“The ESI grips are amazingly light als I’ve ever used. I never have to ring (with the 11) and climb steep
and feel great, even on four- to five- worry about clipping in, no matter hills in the big ring (in the 36). In
hour rides.” how muddy or nasty the conditions
fact, there have been a few times
are. Getting into the pedals at the
that I’ve switched to a single ring
13. Truvativ XX 175-millimeter start is a snap.”
in the front (a 36 on the 29er)
16. SRAM XX chain, 113 links. because of the range on this
14. Truvativ chainrings, 39/26T. cassette.”
“Most people think you need a 17. SRAM XX ten-speed rear
large big ring for mountain biking. derailleur, with ceramic bear- 21. Truvativ BB90 ceramic
The reality is that a 39-tooth or even ings in the pulleys. bottom bracket bearings, as on
a 38-tooth big ring is enough for the Trek Madone.
every situation in cross-country 18. SRAM Red road-bike front
racing. The smaller big ring shifts derailleur. The derailleur is 22. Genuine Innovations BigAir
better in a 2x10 setup, and you’ll end mounted to a custom adaptor, CO2 tire inflator.
up with a better chainline most of the made by Jeremy’s mechanic.
time, since you don’t need to
cross-chain as much. The new XX 19. SRAM XX shifters.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 93
Tools you’ll need
• Allen wrench
• Shimano bottom illimeters
• Tape m easure in m r
biplate (or simila
• Cannondale Lu
quality grease) l
nd is very helpfu
• A bike worksta nal)
Righting the Lefty • Air filter spray
• Zip-ties (maybe)
• Shock pump
ost Cannondale Lefty (and Headshok Fatty) fork
owners are terrified to service the thing, and we
can’t blame them. After all, the Lefty’s amazing
performance and rigidity is due partly to the 88 needle
bearings (sets of 22 sandwiched between four races) that
assure the internals slide stiction-free inside the stanchion
tube. Can you imagine opening your Lefty and having 88
needle bearings fall onto the garage floor?
Well, it can’t happen. The truth is, the Lefty fork is ultra-
easy to service. Headshok Product Manager Drew Hanna
dropped by the garage to take us through servicing and
checking the stack height on any Lefty fork.
Put the bike in a workstand with the front wheel off the ground.
Release the air pressure via the Schrader valve at the bottom of
the leg. Remove the fork’s lockout lever by loosening the two- Slide the fork’s damper out of the fork tube by lifting on the front
millimeter Allen pinch bolt. Slide the lockout lever straight up wheel. You can use a toe strap to hold the wheel up or simply use
and off the fork. your foot or leg to hold it up.
Loosen the outer collar using your Shimano bottom bracket tool. Thanks to Cannondale’s engineers for not designing hardware
that would require special Cannondale tools to service. Slide the collar off.
4 6 7
Remove the half-moon split rings that are Loosen the clamp at the top of the fork
under the upper cap. No tools necessary. boot (the rubber accordion thing). Just
You can pull them apart with your fingers. above the fork boot is an air filter that we’ll
get to later. Your fork may have a zip-tie
instead of a clamp. If so, you need to cut
Let go of the wheel so the damper
slides back into the fork tube. Now, If your measurement comes up short, you
measure from the top of the threads (at need to reset the fork’s bearing stack
the top of the fork) to the bottom of the height. It is easy. Lift the front wheel and
fork leg. The 110-millimeter travel Lefty tap it down a few times. Measure again,
(4.3 inches) should measure 700-mil- and repeat this set until you get the full
limeters, and the 140-millimeter travel 700 or 730 measurement. The fork will
Lefty (5.5 inches) should measure 730- make a solid sound when the bearings Slide the fork boot down to reveal the
millimeters. are at their proper height. ultra-cool square fork leg.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 95
Slide the boot back up. Be sure to overlap with the air filter boot. Tighten the
band clamp or replace the zip tie.
The leg shouldn’t be very dirty if your fork
boot is in good shape. If it is dirty, wipe it
clean. Lift the wheel up and down a few Above the fork boot is a rubber sleeve with a foam filter inside. A bonus tip is to
times and wipe it again. pull the clamp off the top of the sleeve to access the filter.
Now the fun part. Wipe grease on the four Pull the sleeve away and spray a small amount of air filter oil (available from any
flat surfaces of the fork leg. motorcycle store).
Lift the front wheel up with your foot and replace the two split
rings into the upper cap of the damper. These rings are marked
so you can tell the top from the bottom.
15 Replace the lockout lever to a position of your preference and
tighten the pinch bolt.
Lower the wheel so the damper slides into the fork leg, and
thread on the outer collar.
Cannondale’s Drew Hanna made it look simple because it is.
Hand-tighten the outer collar, and use the Shimano bottom This Lefty service shouldn’t take you more than a half hour to
bracket tool to snug it one-quarter turn. complete.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 97
L OF T E PRICE
& SAVE! Only $14
for 12 isAGues
O MOUNTAIN YOUR CREDIT CARD
N SEND IN T ADY AND CALL:
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MBA YOUNG RIPPER
Introducing Alex Prochazka
racing,” says Alex. “I buckled Aside from being a talented mountain
down a few weeks before the biker, Alex has several other interests.
Colorado Crankworx to focus on “In the winter I ski tons, and my dad
my tricks, and I felt really good. and I are super into modifying diesel
It’s a shame to get injured in the trucks,” says Alex. “In my downtime
first slopestyle of the year. from riding and racing, I’m taking class-
“I overshot a jump that I was es in Vancouver teaching me how to
planning on flipping out of,” Alex work on diesel engines.”
describes. “I had done it about a Although Alex is gaining recognition
thousand times before, but this as a remarkable mountain biker, his
time I was in trouble and had to father was a major player in developing
ditch my bike. I landed on my the Whistler Mountain Bike Park into
knee, and that snapped my femur what it is today. “My dad, Tom ‘Pro’
in half. I needed surgery to repair Prochazka, managed the Whistler
my leg, and had a rod and some Mountain Bike Park from 2001 to 2007,”
screws put into it. Alex explains. “He focused on develop-
“I was told it would be 12 ing trail features that are both progres-
weeks from when I broke it sive and safe. My dad has become inter-
before I could even do anything. nationally known for his trail develop-
But, I’m already walking after ment and works for Gravity Logic as a
just a month. I hope to be active design manager. He travels the world
again by December.” offering advice to resorts looking to
Despite Alex’s serious injury, develop their own summertime moun-
he has a positive outlook on his tain bike parks.”
recovery and can’t wait to get A member of Commencal’s Young
lthough only 18 years old,
Alex Prochazka (Alex Pro to back out and do what he loves. Guns mountain bike team, Alex is a tal-
his friends) is no rookie to Most mountain bikers, no matter ented rider with remarkable versatility.
elite-level mountain biking. We first how old, can’t even comprehend how Along with throwing backflips, he fin-
saw Alex at the age of 15 when he amazing it would be to live in ished 19th at the 2008 Junior Downhill
qualified for the famous Whistler Whistler. Alex has lived there his World Championships and is a past
Crankworx Slopestyle. Ever since, the entire life, and is well aware of his Canadian Junior Downhill National
Whistler native has not only pro- incredible situation. Champion. Growing up with the sport of
gressed as a slopestyle rider, but has “My friends and I were just talking mountain biking virtually blowing up
racked up an impressive résumé com- about this the other day,” laughs Alex. around him, he credits several mountain
peting against that clock as a racer. “We were saying how we know how biking legends with helping him get
Ironically, just a week before we good we have it, because of the awe- where he is today.
caught up with Alex at this year’s some riding. Almost every day we’ll “When I was a kid, it was guys like
Crankworx Festival in Whistler, he ride the mountain, then later in the Wade Simmons, Richie Schley and
suffered a serious injury in the day hit up the Air Dome to work on Darren Berrecloth that I really looked up
Crankworx Colorado Slopestyle event. tricks, followed by cooling off at the to,” explains Alex. “I feel fortunate to
“I had spent most of my summer lake in the Village.” have been given the opportunity to ride
with guys like that as I was growing up.”
Alex understands how serious his bro-
ken leg is, but he’s focused and deter-
mined to get back on the bike. “I’m not
leery about jumping on the bike; I’m
hungry!” boasts Alex. “In the past, I was
never really hurt. I broke collarbones
and wrists, but nothing that ever
required surgery. That changed when I
had this rod put in my leg, as it stays in
At 18 years old, Alex has a mature
outlook on his career in mountain bik-
ing. “Riding is something I would like to
turn into a longtime career, but I’m also
just having a lot of fun on my bike and
am doing good at it,” Alex explains.
“This sport, meaning slopestyle, is so new,
I’ll have to just play it by ear. I don’t really
even know what’s going to happen to the
sport in the future. It’s blown up so much
in just the past five years, the future seems
pretty exciting.” ❑
If you like Mountain Bike Action Magazine,
then check out all of the action sports titles online at
the two-speed Truvativ HammerSchmidt FR transmission
n 2007, Diamondback experimented with a prototype
all-mountain bike built to test the limits of their exist- that’s bolted to ISCG mounts. The HammerSchmidt gear-
ing six-inch-travel Mission trailbike (tested in our July box simulates the shift between a 22-and 36-tooth
2009 issue), and the Scapegoat was born. The original chairing.
Scapegoat debuted at the Interbike tradeshow that year,
and after an onslaught of inquiries about the prototype, HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Diamondback decided to produce the bike for a limited We’ve thrown a leg over all of Diamondback’s full-suspen-
run in 2009. sion bikes with their Knuckle Box four-bar suspension: the
five-inch-travel, cross-country-oriented Sortie; six-inch-travel
WHO IS IT MADE FOR? Mission trailbike; and now the six-inch-travel, burlier spec’d
The Scapegoat is an aggressive, black-diamond/park Scapegoat.
bike designed for riders who attack technical descents but Ergonomics: Any bike with the HammerSchmidt trans-
have the fitness to pedal their six-inch-travel machines mission has such a unique profile that it tells you it’s built
uphill. for some seriously aggressive riding. In the saddle, the
Scapegoat has a mysteriously cramped cockpit, despite a 23-
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM? inch-long top tube. The 25-inch-wide handlebar is narrow
The six-inch-travel Scapegoat shares the same for today’s cross-country bikes, let alone a six-inch-travel
aluminum frame as the aforementioned park bike, and is partly to blame for the awkward in-the-
saddle feel. The bulky Diamondback Brics grips had to go—
we opted for a thinner lock-on pair.
Pedaling: Despite the black-diamond-trail component
spec, the Scapegoat is an impressive pedaling machine. We
felt almost no unwanted suspension movement while mash-
ing in the saddle with the Fox’s ProPedal lever engaged on
the DHX 5.0 air shock. The two-way ProPedal lever is easy
to reach, as the top of the shock is near the downward-
sloping top tube.
The HammerSchmidt transmission
will take some getting used to (as does
any two-ring setup), but once
you’ve re-wired the shifting
mechanism of your brain, you’ll
be using the transmission to your
HammerSchmidt’s gearing setup
will do you the most good when
the chain is towards the middle
of your cassette, otherwise the
drastic drop or rise of the front
chainring will send you into a furi-
ous rear-derailleur-shifting frenzy to
find the appropriate ratio for the terrain.
Climbing: Going uphill is when you really
Diamondback Mission, except for a more robust, straight- take advantage of the HammerSchmidt, as it takes you and
gauge downtube for added strength. the Scapegoat to the top of steep climbs that other six-inch-
Diamondback’s four-bar Knuckle Box suspension is travel bikes would have no hope of cresting. When you’ve
designed so the wheel rate starts off linear and finishes reached the limit of what your legs can dish out, use the
slightly progressive. This results in improved small-bump left-side thumb shifter to drop into HammerSchmidt’s low
compliance, more perceived travel and bottom-out protec- gear and find a ratio that will get you to the top.
tion. Diamondback says their Knuckle Box pivot locations The 6.3-inch-travel fork requires you to exaggerate
result in minimal chain growth and that pedal feedback is bending at the elbows to get your chest over the front of the
non-existent. bike to keep the front wheel from wandering.
HammerSchmidt’s planetary gear design has a lot of
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT? moving parts working together to deliver its unique gear
On the front-end of the bike stands a 6.3-inch-travel Fox ratios. The result of the internal mechanism’s workings is a
36 Float RC2 fork mounted inside the 1.5-inch head tube. small but noticeable amount of drag on the drivetrain when
Instead of the Fox RP23 shock used on the Mission, the pedaling in the 36-tooth gear, especially uphill. The drive-
Scapegoat features a Fox DHX 5.0 air shock with a piggy- train drag is the trade-off for getting a 36.5-pound, long-
back reservoir. travel rig up steep ascents.
The most noticeable difference between the two bikes is Descending: As impressed as we were with the
Tough going: Although a good
pedaling bike, the Scapegoat’s
flexy rear end made navigating
rough descents a chore.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 105
Scapegoat’s pedaling efficiency, we were equally disappoint-
ed with the bike’s ability to handle the landscape it was
designed to tame. The fly in the ointment? Rear-end flex. On
some high-speed rocky terrain, the sensation was so distracting
that we dismounted to make sure all of the pivot bolts were
tight and the rear wheel wasn’t out of true. After several sec-
tions of tough terrain worthy of the 6.3-inch-travel, 20-mil-
limeter thru-axle Fox fork and Avid Code downhill brakes, we
concluded that the rear end of the bike felt as though it was
twisting, winding up and countering the steering input from
the rider at the handlebar.
Cornering: At low speeds, or on uphills, the Scapegoat is a
decent navigator of tight turns. However, once the trail opens
up, changing direction at speed or braking hard to make a
downhill switchback means that the flexy rear end once again Spin and grin: Hauling the 32-pound, six-inch-travel Scapegoat
greatly impacts the bike’s handling. up steep climbs isn’t the easiest feat. However, the
Braking: The Scapegoat’s Avid Code brakes were developed HammerSchmidt transmission makes getting a burly bike to the
top of climbs possible.
on the World Cup circuit and have maximum-strength stop-
ping power. The eight-inch front brake rotor and seven-inch
rear rotor wouldn’t be overkill for a bike that can rip through BUYING ADVICE
expert-level downhill terrain; however, on the Scapegoat We’ve been fans of Diamondback’s Knuckle Box Sortie and
they’re out of place. The Code’s resin brake pads are quiet and Mission (where we noticed frame flex and felt it was accept-
aren’t ultra-grabby, but they lack sufficient friction on the rotor able, and even welcome, for trail riding), but we can’t recom-
for keeping speed in check when you need it most. We recom- mend the $5200 Scapegoat as a serious black-diamond bike
mend running at least one metallic brake pad up front. when companies like Specialized, Scott and Trek (to name just
a few) offer proven designs that can truly “do it all” by cruis-
TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS? ing uphill and crushing descents. News is that the 2010
You won’t find a more versatile wheelset than the Scapegoat is getting a complete redesign, so a bargain on the
Scapegoat’s Mavic CrossMax SX hoops. The SX hoops are 2009 model may not be a bargain after all. ❑
tubeless ready, and we highly recommend converting.
Swapping the 25-inch-wide handlebar for a 27- or 28-incher DIAMONDBACK SCAPEGOAT
would reduce front-end twitchiness and give the Scapegoat a
bit more stability when pointed downhill. Price $5200
Country of origin Taiwan
Weight 36.5 pounds
Hotline (253) 395-1100
Frame tested Medium
Bottom bracket height 13.75"
Chainstay length 17.35"
Top tube length 23"
Head tube angle 67°
Seat tube angle 72°
Standover height 29.5"
Suspension travel (front) 6.3"
Suspension travel (rear) 6"
Frame material Aluminum
Fork Fox Shox 36 Float RC2
Shock Fox Shox DHX 5.0 Air
Rims Mavic CrossMax SX
Tires WTB Prowler, WTB Stout
Hubs Mavic CrossMax SX
Brakes Avid Code
Brake Levers Avid Code
Crankset Truvativ HammerSchmidt FR
Shifters SRAM X.9
Handlebar Answer Pro Taper OS (25")
Front derailleur N/A
Rear derailleur SRAM X.0
Got your Goat: The Truvativ HammerSchmidt transmission
is standard equipment. The Knuckle Box four-bar suspen- Chainrings HammerSchmidt (36/22)
sion is designed to have a wheel rate that results in Cassette SRAM PG990 (11-34)
improved small-bump compliance. You won’t find a tougher, Pedals DB Sound Alloy
or more reliable, all-mountain wheelset.
N u m be r Cru n c h in g
Wheels And Drivetrains
What every pedal rotation gets you or costs you
RAM’s recent announcement of their XX
Group (MBA, September 2009) and rumors of
a similar ten-speed cassette being readied by 26-INCH WHEELS
Shimano have generated a lot of excitement from
everyone but single-speed riders. The SRAM XX We have calculated the distance advanced with a com-
Group’s heart is a ten-cog cassette matched with a mon trailbike using an 11-34 cassette and standard
two-ring crankset. 44/32/22 chainrings on the crank. This combination gives
The ten-cog cassette turns the tables on conven- you 27 gear choices and moves you from as little as 4.4 feet
tional wisdom and opens a new world of gearing per crank revolution to a giant 27.23 feet.
possibilities for everyone from cross-country racers
to 29er riders. Specialized has already paired the
SRAM ten-cog cassette with a three-ring crankset
on their 2010 S-Works Stumpjumper, and cross-
country racers are ditching a chainring to return to
true “ten-speed” bikes.
The question riders are asking is, “What am I
gaining and what am I giving up by stepping up to
a ten-cog cassette?”
The wrecking crew fired up the spreadsheet program to
find out (on paper) what those ten cogs bring to the moun-
tain biking table. Now don’t call this a gear-inch compari-
son, because it is not. What our calculations show is how
far your bike will move forward each time you complete a
crank rotation based on the gear you have selected and the
size of the wheels on your bike. THREE-BY-NINE
We figure this forward movement by taking the wheel
size and multiplying it by the chainring. We then divide 29-INCH WHEELS
this number by the rear cog. Next, we multiply this result
by pi (3.14159). Finally, we divide this last result by 12 Same as above, but this time with 29-inch wheels.
(because there are 12 inches in a foot) to get the distance
traveled after one crank rotation.
Step one: 26 (wheel size) x 32 (chainring) = 832
Step two: 832 / 34 (cog) = 24.47
Step three: 24.47 x 3.14159 (pi) = 76.87
Step four: 76.87 / 12 (inches in a foot) = 6.4 feet
Welcome to the world of 2x10 drivetrains. While numbers
cannot tell the whole story, they do reveal what you lose and
what you gain. We start with SRAM’s 11-36 cassette mated to
Game changer: The SRAM XX cassette starts with an aluminum the Truvativ 42/28 and 39/26 cranksets.
36- or 34-tooth cog. The next eight cogs are machined in one piece, The numbers show that the lowest gear possible (26 chain-
and an 11-tooth cog slides on to function as a retaining washer. ring with a 36 rear, or 26:36) moves you forward 4.92 feet,
which is half a foot more than a conventional 22-tooth granny the tall top end (42:11), you pay the price on the low end
gear mated to a 34-tooth cog. It is almost identical to a 3x9- (28:36) of almost a foot—even taller than a 29er’s lowest
equipped 29er’s lowest gear, shown above. For a rider with a gear. If you go for the lowest geared XX crankset (26:36), you
good power-to-weight ratio, riding a cross-country race bike or lose almost a foot on the top end. The 3x9 may be at a disad-
expensive sub-26-pound trailbike, this will work. However, it vantage when it comes to chainline and shifting performance,
may cause problems for heavier riders on heavier bikes, espe- but it still offers a wider spread of gearing choices on both
cially later in a ride when every hill feels a little steeper and ends of the spectrum.
longer than it actually is.
On the other end of the spectrum, the 2x10 offers less gear
on the top end if you are spinning the 42:11 combo. On a TWO-BY-TEN
smooth, long downhill, tuck in and pedal away with a gear that
moves you about a foot less every pedal rotation than your
buddy mashing a 44:11 on his 3x9.
What does the 2x10 movement mean to 29er riders? You
Note that you can’t have both with the 2x10. If you go for
better be fit. We teamed a Truvativ 39/26 crankset with
SRAM’s 36-11 cassette for this big-wheel roll out. The low-
est gear, 26:36, is about half a foot taller than a 22:34
combo and equivalent to a 22:26 on a 26er. That would be
a tall gear for anyone except a racer on a lightweight 29er
race bike. Now, if an enterprising rider matched the 11-36
ten-cog cassette with a 44/32/22 crankset on a 29er, he’d
have a low gear that mirrors a conventional 26er’s low
gear. Now, that’s an interesting idea.
On the other end, the tallest gear you’d have, 39:11, is
over a foot off the top end of a nine-cog, 44:11 gear combo.
That is not as much of an issue as the low gear, because
how often do you find yourself spun out on a downhill?
We are going to run the drill again, same as above,
except this time, we mounted the SRAM 11-32 cassette.
Following tradition: A nine-cog
cassette and three-ring crank is
still the most accepted drivetrain
combination in mountain biking
for trail riding and cross-country
racing. Change is on the horizon.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 109
Nu mber C runc hi ng
THIS IS GETTING CRAZY
SRAM never intended their XX cassette to find its way
onto a drivetrain with a triple-ring crank up front. They
feel some of the XX magic is its smooth chainring shifting,
because each chainring only has to be designed to move the
chain in one direction (you can only upshift from the
smaller ring and downshift from the big one). Still, some-
body has done it, and that somebody is Specialized.
The 2010 Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper Carbon is
fitted with a SRAM XX 11-36 cassette and 44/32/22 chain-
rings. The combo gives you a tractor-pulling low gear and a
Bonneville-Salt-Flats top end. The lowest gear moves you
forward 4.16 feet each revolution, so you better be great at
spinning the cranks or balancing (or both). The top end of
27.23 feet for each crank revolution is the same as a con-
ventional 3x9 and way more top gear than a World Cup pro
Ten-speed: Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski used ten speeds, a
chainguide and 29-inch wheels to win the 2009 Cross-
Country National Championship. He gave up gearing on both
ends and worked the center. It was all he needed.
NOT LIKE YOUR DAD’S
Another application that SRAM didn’t intend their XX
group to be used for was converting a 2x10 cross-country
race bike into a 1x10 bike. But it has already happened, and
the combo won a cross-country national championship. The
rider, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, and his Fisher 29er, used a
SRAM XX 11-36 cassette, a Truvativ Noir crank (not the
XX crank), a 36-tooth chainring, no front derailleur and a
This setup is course spe-
cific, because the lowest
gear rolls out at seven and a
half feet. There are only so
many times the legs can
push that gear up a steep
climb. Top end doesn’t suf-
fer because this is a 29er.
JHK got almost 25 feet
every time he turned the
crank in the 36:11 combina-
Before you write off the
ten-speed as something only
a World Cup racer could
love, think about all the
Breaking the rules: Leave it to Specialized to push the boundaries.
The 2010 S-Works Stumpjumper offers its riders 30 gear choices. single-speed riders who do just fine with nine fewer gears.
Although four of the gear combinations overlap (on paper), they When used by a fit rider on a light bike, the ten-speed drive-
don’t overlap on the trail. train has already proven to be a winner.
NOT OF THIS WORLD
Old-school riders use a system to calculate their forward
movement based on equivalent wheel size. The concept,
called the gear-inch system, dates back to a time before bicy-
cles had chains.
The concept was dreamed up when safety bikes, which
used a crank-and-chain drivetrain system, began to replace
the big-wheeled bikes of the 1800s, whose cranks mounted
directly to an oversized front wheel.
Taking the rear wheel’s diameter, multiplying it by the
front chainring and then dividing that number by the rear
cog calculates gear inches. You come up with a two or three
digit number that works for the sake of comparison and little
else. Take, for example, a mountain bike with 26-inch wheels
in the middle ring (32 teeth) and the top cog (in this case, a
34-tooth cog). So (26x32)/34=24.470588 gear inches, or a
little over two feet.
This gear-inch calculation is suitable for comparison with
your other gear selection options, but it doesn’t translate to
the real world. That’s because one revolution of a 32/34-gear
combination on a 26-inch-wheeled bike is going to move you
six feet, five inches down the trail—not two feet. ❑
Two-by-ten: Big wheels, light carbon fiber frames and two- Take your pick: It is not uncommon for a rider with a single-
by-ten transmissions have found favor in cross-country racing speed drivetrain to put the hurt on riders with far more gearing
(usually the last places to adopt new technology). Are you choices. A study of our two-by-ten and one-by-ten charts may
willing to give up seven gears? prove to be all the gearing you need.
Long days: A cross-country race is a few hours of intense suffering. Trail rides can be three times that long and will wear you down in
a different way. At the end of an epic, it is a blessing to have plenty of gears to choose from.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 111
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Ba t t l e O f
Th e S e x e s
American women bring home the medals;
men bring home a problem
ature dictates that males and females of the same species diverge in
appearance and behavior—and nowhere was that more evident than at the
2009 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Canberra, Australia. The
sexes couldn’t be more different than those on the American mountain bike team.
Our women racers are on top of their game, while our men have some soul searching
to do. America needs to rethink its entire program if it ever hopes to become competi-
tive on the world stage again. The disparity is so great between the sexes that it is
hard to believe both the men and the women have germinated from the same racing
American women finished in the top three of the cross-country, downhill and
4-Cross (where we took two out of the top three spots). And, all those top slots were
backed by other American top-ten finishers in each racing discipline.
As for the American men, our high point was an eighth place in the Cross-Country
event and an eighth in the 4-Cross, which, in a field of 32 riders, is hardly worth
licking a stamp to write home about, especially with the Eric Carter and Brian Lopes
years still fresh in American-racing memory.
The closest we came to a Downhill podium position (even when it is expanded to
include the top five positions) was a 13th place with a time gap wider than first and
second place in the men’s Cross-Country event (and that was a two-hour race versus
the Downhill’s two-minutes and 30 seconds).
Photo by Victor Lucas
British royalty: The perennial “Mr. Second
Place” at the World Championships, Steve
Peat, didn’t come up short this year. His
downhill win was the most popular of the
weekend, even among his rivals and the
partisan Australian fans.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 115
C H A M P I O N S H IP S
PACK YOUR BAGS
Nine of the top 20 downhillers at the Worlds cut their real world education. It must have worked, because today,
teeth racing in Australia and New Zealand. Before you claim American road racers are the toast of the Continental towns.
home-court advantage, these are the same riders who consis- They have been winning the pro tours.
tently school us on our own shores. If Americans are serious Not so with the American mountain bike racer. The times
about running with the big dogs, they need to bid farewell to have changed, and the current crop of racers is not inclined
America’s disjointed downhill race series, mediocre sponsor- to give up the familiarity and comfort of America to head
ships and tasty McDonalds. We aren’t tough enough, our into the unknown.
courses aren’t challenging enough and our fast food is too No sweat. If the American men won’t go to the mountain,
plentiful. they shouldn’t expect the Mountain Bike World
In cross-country, Swiss and French riders have claimed Championship title to come to them. Those rainbow-striped
six of the top ten positions. Switzerland cut their teeth bat- jerseys aren’t handed down to the coolest guys on the cir-
tling against 2008 World Champion Christoph Sauser for the cuit—just the fastest women. ❑
last decade and, to give them more oomph, the Scott
Swisspower team has had Thomas Frischknecht tutoring
them (and he is working miracles). Hill biking: The Canberra, Australia, downhill course was more of
There was a time, long ago in a far off galaxy, where a hill than a mountain. This presented the racers with hard deci-
young American bicycle road racers packed their bags and sions about what equipment was best suited for the course.
eked out a living racing in Europe just for a chance to get a
Photo by Victor Lucas
D o w n hi ll
Photo by Victor Lucas
Commander Cody: Former American Downhill National Champion Cody Warren was the
top American finisher in the Men’s Downhill event, putting in a Herculean effort to make
up for an early split time that had him outside of the top 20.
Photo by Robert Jones
Versatility: Melissa Buhl was the only gravity rider to place in the top ten of two disci-
plines, the Downhill and 4-Cross. In this day and age of specialization, Melissa is still a
rider who would rather race both than sit one out.
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 117
Equipment dilemma: The Downhill
course was not as technical as
many World Cup courses, and
some riders, like Fabien Barel,
elected to run single-crown forks.
His first split was second only to
Steve Peat, but his top speed
1. Steve Peat, Great Britain, 2:30.33
2. Greg Minnaar, South Africa, 2:30.38
3. Mick Hannah, Australia, 2:31.02
4. Fabien Barel, France, 2:31.17
5. Sam Hill, Australia, 2:33.04
6. Gee Atherton, Great Britian, 2:334.31
7. Nathan Rennie, Australia, 2:34.31
8. Justin Leov, New Zealand, 2:34.32
9. Chris Kovarik, Australia, 2:34.35
10. Steve Smith, Canada, 2:34.50
13. Cody Warren, United States, 2:35.95
15. Kyle Strait, United States, 2:36.31
18. Brian Lopes, United States, 2:37.58
21. Aaron Gwin, United States, 2:38.12
22. Duncan Riffle, United States, 2:38.46
1. Emmeline Ragot, France, 2:50.05
2. Tracy Moseley, Great Britian, 2:52.54
3. Kathy Pruitt, United States, 2:54.89
4. Fionn Griffiths, Great Britain, 2:56.79
5. Floriane Pugin, France, 2:57.31
6. Claire Buchar, Canada,, 2:59.42
7. Micayla Gatto, Canada, 2:59.44
8. Mio Suemasa, Japan, 2:59.56
9. Melissa Buhl, United States, 3:01.69
10. Joanna Petterson, South Africa, 3:03.30
Photo by Victor Lucas
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 119
Photo by Victor Lucas
Photo by Robert Jones
Come from behind: Mick Hannah was as far back as fifth
Miss Dependability: Kathy Pruitt has proven she knows how to place over the beginning of the course and used the second-
get the job done. When the pressure is on, Kathy is a rider you fastest top speed of the day to claw his way to third before
want in your corner. crossing the finish.
4 - C ro s s
American sandwich: Australia’s Caroline
Buchanan finds out what an American cheese-
burger must feel like. Sandwiched between
Jill Kintner (left) and Melissa Buhl, the 4-Cross
podium was a pure celebration.
Eye of the tigress: Jill Kintner ran her own RESULTS
racing program this year that took her all the
Photos by Victor Lucas
way to the 4-Cross World Championships’ MEN’S
podium. Missing the rainbow jersey is only 1. Jared Graves, Australia
going to make this lady more determined. 2. Romain Saladini, France
3. Jakub Ruha, Czech Republic
4. Rafael Alvarez De Lara Lucas, Spain
1. Caroline Buchanan, Australia
2. Jill Kintner, United States
3. Melissa Buhl, United States
4. Anita Molcik, Austria
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 121
C r o s s- C ou n tr y
1. Nino Schurter, Switzerland, 2:04.39
2. Julien Absalon, France, +00:03
3. Florian Vogel, Switzerland, +00:58
4. Jose Antonio Hermida Ramos, Spain, +00:58
5. Geoff Kabush, Canada, +02:04
6. Cedric Ravanel, France, +02:35
7. Jean-Christophe Peraud, France, +02:59
8. Todd Wells, United States, +03:06
9. Jaroslav Kulhavy, Czech Republic, +03:22
10. Christoph Sauser, Switzerland, +03:45
18. Adam Craig, United States, +05:03
29. Sam Schultz, United States, +07:31
34. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, United States, +09:01
1. Irina Kalentieva, Russian Federation, 1:43.20
2. Lene Byberg, Norway, +00:13
3. Willow Koerber, United States, +00:52
4. Sabine Spitz, Germany, +01:30
5. Anna Szaframiec, Poland, +01:37
Photo by Robert Jones
6. Catharine Pendrel, Canada, +02:36
7. Cecile Rode Ravanel, France, +03:07
8. Esther Suss, Switzerland, +03:40
9. Eva Lechner, Italy, +03:58
10. Heather Irmiger, United States, +04:12
14. Katherine Compton, United States, +06:32
15. Georgia Gould, United States, +07:01
21. Mary McConneloug, United States, +08:31
Weeping willow: There were tears of
happiness after Willow Koerber (11)
spun out the ride of her life to best
rivals like Sabine Spitz, Catherine
Pendrel and fellow American Heather
Irmiger. Willow’s ride was inspirational.
Photo by Robert Jones
In the family: It is the second year in a
row that Switzerland lays claims to the
men’s cross-country rainbow jersey. Nino
Schurter defended Switzerland’s honor by
besting last year’s runner up, Julien
Photo by Robert Jones
Big Wheel: Chalk one more achievement
up for Todd Wells and 29-inch wheels.
Todd broke into the top ten of the cross-
country, and the larger hoops helped get
December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 123
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December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 125
s winter moves in upon us, the
days get shorter, nights get colder
and conditions become less than
ideal for mountain biking. To help keep
your riding spirits high (and entertained),
we’ve compiled a list of mountain bike
DVDs for your viewing pleasure.
Hopefully, the flicks below will inspire
you to dig up those insulated gloves,
waterproof shoes and snow tires, and get
back out on the trail before spring rolls in.
1 high-definition film about the progression aof
Live free and ride: Freedom Riders is
trail building in the United States over the last
ten years. The movie highlights a small group
of riders who evolved from covertly building
rough and unsustainable trails to developing a
precedent-setting relationship with the Forest
Service and creating some of the best freeride 3
trails in the country. “Freedom Riders” is a
look at the evolution of the sport, from an 2
activity reserved for the few who rebelled
against the spandex-clad status quo to the
mainstream sport it is today.
$19.99, (307) 690-7411
2 dugParty into their archives, sifted through
crashers: The DH Productions crew
decades worth of footage, and pulled out the
sickest crash clips they could find for OTB,
otherwise known as Over The Bars. You will
watch the athletes involved take you through
the details and explain why they push their
limits for the sake of progression. Featured ath-
letes include Aaron Chase, Cam McCaul, Jeff
Lenosky, Josh Bender, Randy Spangler, Wayne
Goss, Kyle Ebbett, Andrew Neethling, Cam
Zink, Mike Kinrade, Steve Romaniuk, Jim
DeChamp and more. $19.99, (814) 422-7878
3 production the leader: Anthill Films isof new
company started by several the
Photo by Sterling Lorence
people responsible for successful movies like
Seasons and Roam. Anthill’s debut project is
called Follow Me and is slated for release in
spring 2010. In every experience, from sending
giant step-downs to high-speed trails, it’s
always better to share the ride. Follow Me has a
star-filled cast of riders, including Gee
Atherton, Ben Boyko, Geoff Gulevich, Sam
Hill, Matt Hunter, Cam McCaul, Brandon
Semenuk, Stevie Smith, Kurt Sorge and
(604) 567-1011 4
4 instructional video developed by Pro is an
Pro style: Fluidride’s Like A
riders. The video delves into proper body
movement, and each technique is explained in
a way that will be helpful to everyone from
beginners to pros. The techniques discussed
cross over to most forms of cycling, from
cross-country to downhill to dirt jumping.
$24.95, (206) 547-0712
5 andTip top: comes the creator ofPoint, a new movie
Between The Tape
from filmmaker Clay Porter. The Tipping Point
highlights every round of the 2008 UCI World Cup
series, as well as the World Championships. Shot
in the United States, Australia, Finland and
Canada, The Tipping Point documents the sport of
World Cup downhill mountain bike racing.
$19.99, (800) 727-6689
6 Allout Productions, Days offeature release from
Riding dirty: The fifth
Dirt, offers up a blend
of downhill and freestyle action. From the hills of
Oakland to Crankworx, Days of Dirt showcases
America’s finest riders getting down and dirty,
doing what they do best. Featuring rippers like
Cole Bangert, Brad Benedict, Ryan Condrashoff,
Brian Miller, Alex Reveles, Duncan Riffle, Luke
Strobel, J.D. Swanguen, Greg Watts and more,
Days of Dirt will get you stoked to get dirty.
$21.95, (800) 962-7497
7 Radicalabout the high-definition8tribute tofrom
Films is a
ride: Kranked Revolve
ride and the rider. Revolve is shot from the French
Alps to the lush coast of British Columbia and
incorporates dirt jump, trail riding, slopestyle and
downhill. Featured riders include Jamie Goldman,
Sam Pilgrim, Lance McDermott, Steve Romaniuk,
Sam Hill, Brendan Fairclough, Bobby McMullen,
James Doerfling, Rene Wildhaber, Mike Kinrade,
Garett Buehler and more. $27.95,
8 innovative mountain bike ridersisin theof the most
Greatest hits: Jeff Lenosky one
his career has spanned more than a decade. Jeff
Lenosky’s Greatest Hits includes some of the most
jaw-dropping video segments from the last ten
years. This DVD documents Jeff’s progression all
the way from the original classic Keepin’ it Real to
his award-winning section from Chain Reaction 5
and everything in between. $19.99,
9 Rub some dirt on it: Freeride Entertainment’s
last edition of the New World Disorder series,
NWD 10: Dust and Bones, is shot in high definition
with Red cameras and brings you the ultimate
throw-down segment by Darren Berrecloth, unbe-
lievable backflip combinations from Greg Watts
and the new-school styles of Graham Agassiz.
Watch Paul B slay his personal slope-style course
in Nevada, Gee Atherton shred through the forests
of Italy, and Aaron Chase session Highland
Mountain Bike Park in New Hampshire. Throw in
the rest of the top dirt jumpers and slopestylers, 9
and this world-class mix will have you reeling.
NWD 10 is the culmination of a decade’s worth of
blood, sweat and tears.
(250) 352-3377 ❑
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made in Lifetime Full 3.64 lb. $3623 EverTi, Fondriest,
Colorado Warranty Titanium (weights : + 5%) identiti, Litespeed,
Amazing 2008 KHS DH bikes More SALE BMC ‘08 SLC01 $3900 $2999 Merlin, Mondonico,
deals! and frames online! models online BMC ‘08 SLT01 $3000 $2299 Pashley, Redline,
BMC BMC ‘08 SLX01 $2600 $1999 ‘08 ar XT Ridly, Ritchey,
Alite Bike ‘07 DH200
Hydra. $5300 FS03
$1500 Apex Frame/fork. Elemen t 4”, Carbon re : Scapin, Sibex,
$1040 $799! ut shocks Tora
2K discs 4” Trav. Bike Kits extra. & Fox lock-o 370 $799 e
Frame $699 ! $3399 Bik Soma, Spank, Spot,
brakes! Full Frame $1449 Element 30 $11700 $999 $1399 Surly, & more!
$ 139 ! Saint & Element 50 $
Fox 36 4” Travel Road Bikes &
DT XM180 available options online!
Largest Marin Suspension Dealer since ‘04 More SALE “Simply put, the Marin Largest Volume USA Dealer for 2009 so far . Best selection & service!
Why? Best selection, service, & PRICES! models online blew our minds. It is the We offer the full line of Lynskey
new standard!” -MBA
F ‘08 Mt. the ‘09 6” el titanium road & mtn bikes!
e of er
Bikar winn 5” trav “Bike of the year” -Mtn
frame OFF Vision l Wolf 5.5”
frame 99 ye trave Biking magazine. Why?
$2 99 Ridge patented 4 axel through Ridgeline: 26er, 29er, or
$9 $1400 $9 singlespeed
Full bolt design for unbeat- models USA
Titanium e: USA fram
bike able rigidity. Instanta- am
$3700 neous pivot center for 295! $1295!
unsurpassed rising rate
$2199! pex Frame line
599 prices o
n The 5” models are very
6.6”travel Bike $1 light weight: only 5.9 lbs!
Adrenaline Build Kits: Pick a frame from our massive online selection , pick a build kit, call for prices on any & all desired
upgrades, pay with your credit card, then sit back & wait for your perfectly assembled & tuned bike to arrive by UPS!
More Apex XT Comp Victory Unlimited Master Pinnacle XTR Sale Maximum dels
Over & sale mo FF!
kits Tora Kit Build Kit Build Kit Build Kit Build Kit Build Kit Build Kit Build Kit 30 Newp to $1700 O
online! $649 $949 $1249 $1575 $1849 $2449 $2949 $3649 online
Fork Rock Shox Tora Marzocchi 44 Marzocchi 44 Fox ‘10 Vanilla RL Fox ‘10 Vanilla RL Fox ‘10 Vanilla RL Reba Race Pop Fox ‘10 Vanilla RL Bikes
(Others: call) TST2 lock-out TST2 lock-out (Float RLC +$225) (Float RLC +$225) (Float RLC +$225) (Float RL +349) (Float RLC +$225) Too!
Brakes Shimano Hydra. Shimano Hydra. Avid Juicy-3 Avid Juicy-3 Magura Julie HP Avid Juicy-7 XTR Juicy Ultimate
Derailleur R XT (or X9) XT (or X9) XT (or X9) XT (or X9) XT (or X9) XTR (or XO) XTR (or XO) XTR (or XO)
Derailleur F Sram 3.0 Sram 3.0 XT (or X9) XT (or X9) XT (or X9) XT (or X9) XTR (or XO) XTR
Crankset TruVativ 5D TruVativ Firex FSA Gamma EXO FSA Gamma EXO XT (or Race Face) XT (or Race Face) XTR XTR
Wheelset Shimano/Alex Shimano/Alex Formula-Mavic Mavic Crossride Mavic Crossride Hope-DTX430 Sun Dirt Flea Hope-DTX430
Bar FSA XC280B FSA XC280B Truvativ Stylo Race Face RXC Race Face RXC Race Face Deus FSA XC-190 Race Face Carbon Famous Brand 4-5” adjustable
Stem FSA STOS190 FSA STOS190 FSA FR230 FSA FR230 FSA FR230 Thomson/Hope FSA OS-115 Thomson (or Hope) travel frame with Fox RP23
Seatpost FSA SL280 FSA SL280 FSA SL280 FSA SL280 FSA SL280 Thomson Elite FSA SL280 Thomson Elite $1400 SALE $ 799
Seat WTB Rocket-V WTB Rocket-V WTB Speed-V WTB Speed-V WTB Rocket V WTB Rocket V WTB Devo WTB Rocket V Ti. XT info
Shifters Deore-9 spd Deore-9 spd XT (or X9) XT (or X9) XT (or X9) XT (or X9) XTR (or XO) XTR (or XO) Apex Call for
Cassette HG50 11-34 HG50 11-34 HG50 11-34 Sram 980 11-34 Sram 980 11-34 Sram 980 11-34 XTR 11-34 XTR 11-34 bike !
Chain KMC KMC Sram PC951 Sram PC951 Sram PC951 Sram PC971 Sram PC971 Sram PC991 $1449
Headset Ritchey Logic Ritchey Logic Ritchey Logic Ritchey Logic FSA Orbit XL2 FSA Orbit XL2 FSA Orbit XL2 Any (up to $140)
Tires Smallblock-8 Smallblock-8 Kenda Kinetics Kenda Kinetics Kenda Kinetics Nevegal Kevlar Nevegal Kev. Nevegal Kevlar
bike selection Orange County California Store Custom hand
on earth: Over 60 In Orange County, 10 minutes from Disneyland, 45
minutes South of LAX airport. 1.25 hours North of San priced as pairs ( F & R )
frame models from Diego. 366 South Tustin, Orange CA 92866. Mapquest us! All with DT XR4.1 or Mavic 717 rims, DT 14 guage spokes
Litespeed, Lynskey, We are on the West side of Tustin $519 Hope (Black, Red, Blue, Pewter or Gold)
Merlin, Moots, Everti, Ave, just North of the 22, & just West
Voodoo, Eriksen and $619 Hadley (Black, Red, Blue, or Silver)
of the 55. Hours: 9-6 M-F, 10-5 Saturday. Revo spokes (saves 1/3 lb.) +$33. Colored Nipples +$14
more: on our website!
DOWN THE TRAIL
ay back in 1999, North-Shore-style stunts were relatively new to riders
outside of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, but they were catching
on fast. We grabbed some lumber, nails, a hammer and saw and put
together an entry-level skills course of our own to join the fun.
The trail: Find some used
(or new) 2x10 boards. Use
a ten-foot board to con-
nect the two Burros. It’s
best to use 3/8-inch lag
bolts to snug the board to
Horse play: Save yourself a lot of time
and sweat by picking up two 24-inch
Classic Burro sawhorses.
Ramp it up: Make sure the ramps on each side of the
bridge are longer than your bike’s wheelbase. Cutting
them too short will cause your chainring to dig into your Tighten it up: Attach the two ramps to the Burros with 3/8-inch
stunt and make riding up or down way harder. lag bolts and tighten all your hardware.
Walk the plank: Your stunt is
ready to master. After not more
than an hour of use, check the
hardware to make sure it is tight,
and inspect your wood for
cracks that could lead to sudden