Mountain Bike Action noviembre


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Mountain Bike Action noviembre

  2. 2. BATTLE PROVEN. The HollowGram SI Crankset. The lightest, stiffest crankset on the planet. Standard on the Cannondale Factory Racing Team Scalpel. The good fight.
  3. 3. THIS MONTH Don’t wait for the Interbike Show to open its doors. We bring you the show- stoppers early. Page 52. 46 70 Photo by John Ker Photo by John Ker BIKE TESTS FEATURES 104 Riders Who Inspire South Mountain Bike Patrol, 38 BMC TrailFox 01 42 Trek Unveils Its 2010 stewards of the preserve. Switzerland’s long-travel trail- Lineup bike interpretation. Bet Lance wants to ride one of these. TECHNICAL 70 The Ellsworth Truth The truth and nothing but the 78 Giant Rolls Out The 74 As Seen On ET truth. 2010’s Three components from our Faster, lighter and Ellsworth Truth. 90 The Specialized Enduro color-coordinated. SL Pro Carbon 84 Inside The Pros’ Bikes Max Plaxton shows off his Own the entire mountain. TRAINING & FITNESS Specialized cross-country racer. 112 Gary Fisher’s 46 Ten Long-Travel Trailbike 106 The Downhill Workhorse Hoo-Koo-E-Koo Tips Riding the 2010 RockShox A hardtail with history. Make your bike do the work. Boxxer Team fork. 108 Damage Control DESTINATIONS Tips for surviving a crash. COMPETITION 96 Sedona’s Warm Welcome 116 Crowning America’s Where to go when the snow falls. 2009 Champions MBA 2009 INTERBIKE America’s best battle at SolVista, PREVIEW Colorado. 52 Backstage Pass To Stop right there: The Mountain Biking’s Annual Trade Show DEPARTMENTS stoppers that we Over 70 products that you’ll see 12 Happy Trails compare all before the bike shops. Damon, Rebeca and Priority Cycles. other brakes to. They are 16 Mac Attack from PEOPLE The application store. Germany. 88 Young Rippers Page 74. Introducing Cierra Smith. 20 Hard Tales Specialized shows off the rest of its 2010’s. 4
  4. 4. contents Photo by John Ker Photo by John Ker 108 24 Trailgrams 126 Quick Releases A new team, a new hope and Gear bags for hauling your more 29er intrigue. stuff. 26 Trail Mix 130 Down The Trail VOLUME 24, NUMBER 11 All you need is love and a Old tips that still ring true. NOVEMBER 2009 camera. 32 Thrash Tests A warm vest, cool helmet and ON THE COVER fast inflator. (Clockwise from top left) New components pour out of our pre-Interbike special section. Aaron Gwin flies to a national championship. Photo by John “Are those 35 Inside Line thunderheads?” Ker. The 2010 Felt Virtue 2 gets a face lift and looks years More on mystery drag and younger. The BMC TrailFox is from a Swiss visionary who believes the only way getting tubed. to succeed is to make every design an over-the-top effort. Photo by John “The hills are alive” Ker. 82 How To Subscribe To MBA. MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION Magazine (ISSN 0895-8467 Canada GST 12500#9266RT: CPC INT’L. PUB MAIL Twelve issues for only $14.99 40024492) NOVEMBER 2009, Volume 24, Issue 11, is published monthly by Daisy/Hi-Torque Publishing Company, (lowest price of the year). Inc., with editorial offices at 25233 Anza Dr., Valencia, CA 91355. Subscriptions $19.98 for 12 issues (one year). Canada add $12 additional postage for one year, $24 for two years. Foreign add $15 additional postage for one year, $30 for two years. Foreign subscriptions are shipped by surface mail and may take up to 15 weeks to receive. Copyright ©2009 by Daisy/Hi-Torque Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Nothing in this magazine may be reprinted in whole or in part, by any means, without the express permission of the publisher. Contributors: Photographs should be submitted in digital form on CD or DVD. Images should be 4 megapixels or higher. High-qual- ity, low-compression JPEG images are preferred. Please limit submissions to no more than 20 photos at one time. Transparencies and prints will no longer be accepted for consideration; such images should be scanned and submit- ted as high-resolution digital files. Captions should accompany all submissions. Make sure the photographer’s name, address, phone number and e-mail address are clearly labeled on each CD or DVD. Submissions will not be returned. Written articles should be submitted on CD (unless other arrangements have been made with the editors), saved as “text” files, and accompanied by a printed version. Written submissions, both on paper and CD, will not be returned. The publisher does not assume responsibility for unsolicited material. PERIODICALS: Postage paid at Santa Clarita, CA 91383, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mountain Bike Action Magazine, P.O. Box 958, Valencia, CA 91380-9058. Printed in U.S.A. For Canadian returns mail to: Bleuchip International, P.O. Box 25542 London, ON N6C 6B2. WARNING: Much of the action depicted in this magazine is potentially danger- Bead it up: This handy gadget takes the ous. Virtually all of the riders seen in our photos are experienced experts or pro- work out of mountain biking’s most fessionals. Do not attempt to duplicate any stunts that are beyond your own thankless job. Page 32. capabilities. Always use discretion and wear the appropriate safety gear. November 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 5
  5. 5. ©2009 FOX Factory Inc. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. In a perfect world. DHXrc4 MTB FR/DH The DHX® RC4 is a new from-the-ground-up, rc2 purpose-built downhill shock with a World 40 Championship on its resume in its rookie year. Externally adjustable high and low rC2 speed velocity sensitive damping and In a perfect world, you’d ride what the World Champ rides. At FOX we a completely redesigned Boost Valve® for race what we sell. The 40® RC2 with FOX’s World Championship proven position sensitive ending stroke control, and proprietary FIT ™ technology produces incredibly consistent, act independently so you can dial in the fade-free damping, and FOX’s legendary chassis stiffness provides perfect balance of traction, small bump unrivaled steering confidence so you can push your limits. compliance and big-hit absorption. FOX Racing Shox. Purpose built. Race proven. We’re never done. Embrace your inner World Champion. Visit our all-new website:
  9. 9. C2C DRED TREAD EXCAVATOR HAPPY MEDIUM BLUE KING GROOVE john TOMAC TRACTI signature series Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Chris Wood Dean Howard
  10. 10. Photo Credit: Tom Lopes OF TELONIX HFACTOR EL MOCO BBG ON Photo Credit: craigglaspellphoto
  11. 11. HAPPY TRAILS By Richard J. Cunningham F rom Twin Falls, Idaho, to Mountain Bike Action’s offices in Southern California is a long stretch of driving for a one-day visit, but Damon Madsen and his wife, Rebeca, made the trip for the opportunity to show me his “Portafortuna” five-inch-travel, dual-suspension design. We had never met face to face, and I was unfamiliar with Priority Cycles (Damon is the lead designer, fabricator, welder and founder), so I had no preconceptions about the bike’s design or its intended purpose. All I knew was that the plan was to shake hands, go over the bike, take some technical photographs and then head out for an afternoon test ride. Damon and Rebeca drove straight through (check out Highway 93 on Google Earth, then tell me Damon Madsen that was fun). They showed up early, got the 25-cent Hi-Torque suspension rate, which drove a Fox Damon rode my Santa Cruz Blur LT- tour and were ready to rock. DHX Air shock (“Its wide range of Carbon, Rebeca had a prototype damping and rate adjustments made it Portafortuna much like the one I was the only choice”). By the time Damon riding—and I was surprised (to put it Damon’s candid, quiet demeanor did finished his dog and pony show, I was mildly) that Damon’s latest design was not mask his enthusiasm for building really curious to ride the Portafortuna. a sweet performer. Without touching a bicycles. He rolled the Portafortuna up During the pre-ride fiddling, our platform lever, the 29-pound trailbike and admitted that he used many of conversation traversed Damon’s bud- breezed up the route’s steep single- Brent Foes’ suspension concepts in the ding career as a frame builder. He and tracks and carved the twisting descents design. The 7007-alloy aluminum his brother were inspired to build their with a nimble and balanced feel. It bog- frame was beautifully painted with a first custom dual-suspension bike in gles the mind that such accolades could creamy white sparkle finish, but its high school after reading a line in be bestowed upon an industrial-looking construction was a bit rough and angu- MBA that mentioned that the easiest machine, but the reality was that every lar—far removed from the curvy car- way to experiment with new designs attribute that Damon had previously bon and manipulated aluminum tubes was to grab a hacksaw and modify an ascribed to the bike was brought to life that grace the latest big-brand bikes. existing bike. “It was a Schwinn as I made my way around the test loop. That said, the Priority Cycles design Crossroads 700C bike,” Damon Before I rode Damon’s sported a number of unusual features laughed. “We made a crude shock on Portafortuna, I would have scoffed at that begged for explanation. an old lathe and grafted a swingarm the suggestion that at such a late point Any skepticism that I harbored onto the frame. The rear wheel was in the mountain bike’s development about the utilitarian machine before like, five inches off center, and it had cycle, an aspiring garage builder me faded as Damon glided around his something like a 76-degree head angle. could produce a single-pivot suspen- creation, describing the purpose of We quickly learned a lot about bikes.” sion trailbike that could go wheel to each detail. The triangulated swingarm Damon’s interest lies in dual-suspen- wheel with the likes of Specialized was long and Foes-esque, with a scissor sion trailbikes, but he has built a num- and Trek in both the handling and link above to control lateral flex and a ber of designs, including hardtail 29ers pedaling departments—but I would single pivot located well ahead of the and even a few road bikes. He freely have been wrong. Damon has to bottom bracket center. Machined arch- admits that his Priority Cycles enter- smooth out the cosmetics before his es and dogleg fittings reinforced the prise has not grown large enough to Portafortuna will be ready for prime lengthy chainstays and directed the support him—yet—so Damon day-jobs time, but the engineering and perfor- swingarm beneath the front derailleur as a machinist. Miracles happen; it mance are spot-on. I hope we hear and bottom bracket. He explained that, wasn’t so long ago that I, too, was more good things from Priority as complicated as it seemed, the for- burning up welding rod well past mid- Cycles, and I guess I should thank ward pivot was the simplest way to night, hoping to break into the moun- Damon and Rebeca for driving such a achieve good pedaling without adverse- tain bike biz. great distance to remind me to dig a ly affecting the suspension. Like Foes, The three of us set off on a local little deeper when I search for innova- Damon settled upon a low-leverage 2:1 loop that I often use for bike testing. tion—where the new sprouts live. ❑ 12
  14. 14. THE MAC ATTACK By Jim McIlvain Visiting The Application Store A s a rider who just a few years Software from Apple’s application store Perfect Shift: Use the iPhone’s built-in ago fell on the leave-it-behind turns the iPhone (or iPod Touch) into a camera to shoot a photo down the chain- side of the cell phone debate, it is supercomputer that would make Dick line (including the derailleur pulleys and hard to believe that today I feel naked if Tracy jealous. The application store has cage) and this simple program instructs I leave for a ride without my trusty hundreds of applications that were writ- you which way and how much to turn the Apple iPhone stuffed in a hydration ten just for mountain bikers. Strolling barrel adjusters on your shifters for per- pack pocket. The little device has the virtual aisles of the mountain bikers’ fect drivetrain shifting performance. It can become as essential as the helmet on my applications section, I couldn’t believe identify Shimano or SRAM components head and the cushy chamois under my the apps being offered. (including the Truvativ HammerSchmidt other end. SpinCycle: Place the iPhone in your crankset), and a SRAM XX group update The reason for jumping ships started baggy short pocket (or tuck it in the leg is promised. An added feature alerts you out with safety concerns. Knock on of your Lycra short) and this application to a bent derailleur hanger. wood, but after 20-some odd years of monitors your spin. It instructs you to Disaster Avoidance: Using all the mountain biking, I’ve never found shift up or down based on your cadence, tricks the iPhone offers (accelerometer, myself lost or seriously injured while on the incline of the trail and your exact proximity sensor, ambient light sensor and a ride. A good sense of direction and location on the mountain (based on memory), Disaster Avoidance learns how never giving in to peer pressure (“Come input from the built-in GPS sensor). You fast you ride in different situations and on Jimmy, you can jump down that.”) can choose between race, training or calculates your riding ability. If it senses has worked pretty well for me. Still, the cruising modes, and you’ve got 32 voices that you are riding over your head, it phone gets stuffed between the spare to choose from for receiving instructions broadcasts “Danger, Will Robinson! tube, patch kit, tire pump and Clif Bars, (mine is set on Sgt. Hartman, the gun- Danger!” in the voice of the “Lost In so I might save the day for some other nery sergeant from the movie Full Metal Space” robot. It’s already saved my skin trail user. Jacket). on a number of occasions. But my iPhone has turned out to be Cheater Line: Using data acquired Virtual Joe: Say you come to a tricky so much more than a 911 terminal. from GPS, enhanced satellite imaging switchback and would like some coaching and the U.S. Department of Interior on how to clean the section. Take a photo maps, Cheater Line charts a cross- of the section and let Virtual Joe do the country, Super D or 24-hour rest. In a few moments, Virtual Joe deliv- course and suggests where an ers an animated video of Bikeskill’s Joe unscrupulous rider can cut the Lawwill riding the troubling section while course with the least likely chance giving tips for proper positioning and use of being detected. While the com- of the bike’s controls. pany protects the identity of the Skunk Dunk: Alerts the rider when an riders who have already purchased article of riding gear is omitting an offen- the program, they claim, “A num- sive odor. We’ve heard this is one of the ber of top professionals, including best-selling applications used as a gift. Bet two former national champions, you know somebody to give Skunk Dunk are currently using the program.” to. Lift Line Time: Tired of wait- Stuff Yo Face: This app calculates how ing in the lift line at your favorite many calories you’ve burned on a ride and bike park? Lift Line Time moni- then suggests the appropriate amount of tors the length of the lift line and food to consume after the ride. It can be the number of riders coming down programmed for bakery, burger, pizza or the mountain, beeping you when Mexican food and, using the GPS feature, you will experience the shortest will actually order you the meal from a lift line wait. local restaurant so it is ready when you In The Bag: Ever drive to a arrive. trailhead only to find you forgot to Ride It Off: The same as Stuff Yo Face pack your shoes, or gloves or hel- except it tells you how long you have to met? Enable In The Bag, place ride to burn off the pizza, burrito and your iPhone inside your gear bag donuts you ate yesterday. and lift it up. The phone’s built-in Leave Me Alone: My favorite. It dis- accelerometer senses the bag’s ables all the other programs and lets you weight and will alert you of what enjoy your ride. ❑ it thinks you are missing. “You for- got a shoe,” is broadcast in the ber his iPhone voice of Jill Taylor (the “Home He cannot remem to reach have Improvement” mom). I don’t number, so you’ll ing him at know how it does it, but this app Jim my Mac by e-mail even alerted me to a missing Halo Jamesmac headband. 16
  15. 15. FASTER, NO MATTER THE TERRAIN. Designed for riders who appreciate the superior performance and quality of a lightweight, hand-built wheelset, Bontrager XXX, RXL, and Rhythm Pro wheels help you climb with less effort, accelerate out of switchbacks more quickly, and descend with greater confidence and control. Whether you’re looking for the lightest option for your 29er or an incredibly strong cross country wheelset for your trail bike, Bontrager has the perfect wheelset for the way you ride. Upgrade your ride to the legendary performance of Bontrager wheels. BONTRAGER.COM © 2009 TREK BICYCLE CORPORATION
  16. 16. The Power of 4 The four most innovative brands in cycling have come together behind one singular goal: to craft the most advanced 2x10 cross country group ever: XX™ A complete group that weighs in at less than 2300 grams. The fastest, cleanest shifting in mountain biking. More options and adjustability than ever before. New patented technologies. Praised by the best riders in the world. Faster. Lighter. The game has changed. © 2009 SRAM, LLC
  17. 17. Julien Absalon, Team Orbea and XX Test Rider
  18. 18. HARD TALES Going Big With Specialized Specialized introduces their long-travel line in Whistler I n our October issue we brought you a first look at Hit and Demo downhill bikes. Along with ripping through Specialized’s refined and redesigned cross-country and Whistler on Specialized’s latest downhill creations, we had trailbike lines from Snowbird, Utah. For their gravity the opportunity to ride with Specialized team riders Sam bikes, Specialized hosted media from around the world at Hill, Brendan Fairclough, Matt Hunter and Darren Whistler Mountain, the world’s premiere gravity park. Berrecloth. Whistler was the ideal spot for throwing a leg over the fifth We’ve included highlights of Specialized’s 2010 generation of the Enduro all-mountain trailbike, and the Big long-travel bikes in this month’s “Hard Tales.” SPECIALIZED SX TRAIL One of the most versatile and popular long-travel bikes, the SX Trail sees some major revisions for the 2010 model year. Most noticeably is the straightened-up top tube. The frame has trimmed down by a quarter of a pound thanks to new tubing and shock mount configuration. The bike park oriented SX Trail now has a 29.5-inch-wide handlebar, Specialized’s Clutch tires with the SX casing, FSA Gravity cranks and a Gamut shiftable chainguide. A favorite of Specialized team riders Darren Berrecloth and Matt Hunter, The SX Trail has dialed geometry for throwing big tricks or charging technical downhill terrain. Race-specific: The 2010 Specialized Demo 8 features race-oriented fixed geometry, such as the 64-degree head angle and a 13.5-inch bottom bracket. SPECIALIZED DEMO 8 II At first glance, the 2010 Demo 8 II downhill race bike may not appear to have undergone any changes other than new Team graphics. Not true! Specialized altered the D8’s geometry to meet the demands of their World Cup downhillers Sam Hill and Brendan Fairclough. The new Demo 8 has a 1.5-inch head tube and features the refined “Team” geometry with a lower bottom bracket, slacker seat tube angle and integrated bearing head tube for a lower handlebar height. In order to achieve the geometry tweaks, Specialized had to basically redesign the entire Demo 8 Built to go big: With relaxed geometry and short chainstays, the frame. The Demo 8 is built up with a Fox Shox DHX RC4 coil SX Trail is an agile long-travel machine built to shred bike parks. shock, a 29-inch-wide handlebar, the air-sprung RockShox The 2010 SX Trail is claimed to weigh about 36.5 pounds. Boxxer World Cup, and custom Avid Code brakes. You’ve heard us sing the praises for Specialized’s downhill tires, but we’re not the only ones who know their capabilities. Sam Hill and Brendan Fairclough are free to run any tires they choose, and they prefer to run Specialized’s downhill rubber. The 2010 Specialized Demo 8 is equipped with a Specialized Clutch front tire and a Specialized Chunder rear tire. We’ve ridden nearly every generation of the Demo 8 line, and we can say without a doubt the revised 2010 has the most active rear suspension to date, which means you’ll have more control on high-speed rugged terrain. Specialized says the complete Demo 8 II package weighs in at 38.5 pounds. Performance tune: The Demo 8’s FSR suspension separates suspension actuation from the wheel path. Badge of honor: How progressive the Specialized cold forges suspension feels is frame junctions that connect the bike, such Trail tuned: The SX Trail is equipped governed by the sub- with the new Fox Shox RC4 shock seat stay driving the as the head tube, to maximize frame featuring a custom yoke that goes shock. around the seat tube. strength. 20
  19. 19. HARD TALES Specialized S-WORKS ENDURO The fifth generation of the Specialized Enduro gets a com- pletely redesigned six-inch-travel “X-Wing” carbon fiber frame and custom-tuned Fox RP23BV shock with Fox’s Boost Valve technology. Specialized says the size medium S-Works Enduro weighs 26.8 pounds without pedals. The new frame aligns the shock and the seat stay for increased rear-end rigidity, and the drivetrain features a cus- tom Shimano double ring 22/36 cranks and a Gamut shiftable Cool cap: No part of the 2010 S-Works Enduro was chainguide. left unrevised, including this ultra-lightweight top cap. Specialized ditched their dual-crown fork found on the high- end Enduros over the last few years, opting for the air- sprung, single-crown Specialized E160 Future Shock fork. It has adjustable travel from 5.3 and 6.3 inch- es and a 20-millimeter Maxle thru-axle, and a claimed weight of just 3.9 pounds. Claimed to come in at under 27 pounds, the S- Works Enduro is an extremely capable bike, as it can crest the toughest climbs and roar through technical descents. Do-it-all: The 6.3-inch-travel Enduro is built to conquer whatever the mountain throws your way, including technical climbs and challenging down- hills. The Specialized Eskar tires and adjustable Command Post seatpost speak to the Enduro’s versatility. SPECIALIZED BIG HIT If you’re looking for a capable downhill or park bike but are on a limited budget, the seven-inch-travel Big Hit was made for you. The Big Hit uses technology that has trickled down from the Demo line of bikes to create an affordable downhill machine. The Big Hit III features Specialized’s FSR suspension and has geometry dialed in for aggressive riding and agile handling. The Big Hit III features a Fox DHX 4.0 shock and a RockShox Domain fork with a 20-millimeter Maxle thru-axle. The Big Hit is equipped with a 29.5-inch- wide handlebar and Specialized’s Clutch downhill tires. 22
  20. 20. TRAILGRAMS sive trail-riding tune and found on numerous pros’ bikes. Moreover, Fox’s owner’s manual recommends that rid- ers leave their fork in the locked-out position. So what gives? David Yarden Newbury Park, California Lockout is no longer an on/off switch on most new suspension components (although it can be adjusted to feel that way). The damage outlined in Fox’s answer (bushing wear, performance dete- rioration and oil breakdown) is caused by extensive lockout use when the lockout force adjustment is set near or at its maximum resistance. Fox does not rec- ommend this setting for extended use GOING BIGGER keeping agile handling, plus you get (and neither do we). Reducing the lock- I was reading Richard more fork travel. It would look funny, out force and riding with the lockout Cunningham’s August “Happy Trails” but 29ers look funny anyway, so, no lever engaged is a recommendation that and thinking about his obvious addic- harm, no foul. Fox and MBA have suggested for riders tion to 29ers. I could not help thinking Jonathan Dodds who want a firm riding fork. Never that he is already a generation behind. Kansas City, Missouri engaging the lockout and instead adjust- Everyone knows the real future is in ing the low-speed compression is another 32ers. The 32er size will easily carry YEAR OF 29 way to arrive at close to the same ride you over any obstacle, including curbs, I just read Richard Cunningham’s characteristic. stumps and Smart cars. The contact August “Happy Trails” about this being patch delivers insane grip, even with the year of the 29er. I agree with all of lightly knobbed tires, allowing smooth the 29er advantages, but disagree that rolling and high traction. Sure, it will the 26-inch-wheeled hardtail will be take frame designers and component “left without a chair.” Having lived in manufacturers a little to optimize the West and now the Midwest, I have everything, but at this size, 1.5 inches learned that the location and local ter- of travel will feel like five inches on a rain should decide what type of moun- less wheeled bike. The 32er will also tain bike best suits a rider’s needs. If I allow for radical simplification of the were still living in Idaho, the bike I’d drivetrain. There will be a need for plan to buy would be a long-travel 26er only a 1x9 drivetrain with a granny or short-travel 29er, because the terrain out front. This will primarily be used is rough and technical. Here in Iowa, for climbing, as the momentum from our trails are hardpack with short hills the 32er will carry the rider over any and tight switches. There are a few flat and downhill section once up to small drops and logs to ride over, but speed. Yes, change is always difficult, nothing big. Riding these trails with but once riders get a hold of the 32er, suspension or big wheels makes it too nothing else will do. Okay, I think easy and takes away the challenge and 27.5-inch wheels are a better answer, the reason I love mountain biking. BEND IN THE ROAD but could not resist. Riding anything other than a 26er Our friend Jim (the guy on the Jeff Bradley hardtail on my trails would be just like right) is getting ready to return from a Denver, Colorado riding on the road. It is for this reason seven-year stint in Germany. After my new mountain bike in 2010 will be reading your article about Bend, 96er BACKWARDS a Specialized Stumpjumper Comp HT Oregon, (MBA, May 2009), Jim added I don’t care for 29ers, but I see them with 26-inch wheels. Bend to his short list of places to settle. as acceptable from a scientific stand- Jonathan Olson He flew back on a scouting mission point. A bigger wheel will increase Cedar Rapids, Iowa and asked my husband, myself and our pedaling efficiency and have a better mutual friend, Gordon, from Phoenix, contact patch, etc. The flipside is you LOCKED UP Arizona, to join him. We started near have extra weight, decreased agility I was very surprised to read in the Mt. Bachelor and rode the Whoops and slightly slower responses on the August “Inside Line” that riding with a Trail to this convergence of trails front end. Fox fork locked out causes premature marked with a red Phoenix (the locals My random thought is this. Run a wear and is not recommended. I have say it’s a magical place). After riding 29er frame with a 29-inch rear wheel been riding my Titus Racer X with the the sweet, twisting singletrack through to take advantage of the bigger contact Fox 32 F-Series RLC fork locked and the pine forests, we have to agree. Jim patch. Then run a fork with 1.5 inches the blow-off threshold set low for about bought a house in Bend before the bike more travel than intended for the six months (ever since another MBA trip was over. bike’s frame and run a 26-inch wheel article recommended this very setup.) Linda Straub up front! This would maintain the MBA editors said that this setup is con- Boise Idaho intended geometry of the frame while sidered to be the best all-around aggres- 24
  21. 21. DANGER ABOVE John Neiley (August “Trail Mix”) probably had Steve’s Loop to himself, because off in the distance it looks like there was a storm a brewing. Being out there in an electrical storm is not where I’d want to be. The lightning is one thing, but it is the risk of flash floods that would worry me. The Steve’s Loop and Mary’s Loop trail sys- tem winds its way in and around canyons and washes where flash flood- ing is prevalent. Just a little safety tip for those unfamiliar with the risks of riding in the backcountry. Andrew Jarolimek McKinleyville, California , MB,A2009 August Carbide. Thanks to Joel Smith and everyone affiliated with Tomac Bikes for looking after people who love to ride and race, whether they are beginners or pros. Chris Sharp STAY AFTER SCHOOL TAKING SHOTS Team Director I can tell from the August “Mac Great write up on the Tomac Backbone Adventure Cycling Attack” that you get it. It’s true that Snyper (MBA, August 2009). Our thunder in the distance is getting loud- entire fleet of Tomac Bikes is on its NEW TEAM er! You can’t go to a race (NorCal or second full season of racing without a A company who wanted to form a SoCal) and not be swept up. It’s inter- single frame failure. Some of these mountain bike team approached me. I esting to see where SoCal started at bikes are even from 2004 when they remembered reading the story about this year and where NorCal is now. It were retired from racers like Jeremy starting a team (MBA, July 2009) and was also eye opening for the SoCal kids Horgan-Kobelski and Dave Wiens. grabbed the issue. It’s been a great help who went to the first state champi- These bikes are still raced almost with getting ideas and knowing what onship as they saw the “promised every weekend. Charles Libolt (Pro to do. We now have a bike company land” of large fields and deep, high- DH), Austin and Cody Benge (U-23), backing us and a shop offering deals level racing. They saw what SoCal will and Jim Roff (Cat 1) regularly race on parts and service. We are a small become. But the fantastic thing about downhill and slalom/4-Cross on their squad of four riders from a Cat 3 the state championship is that, even Snypers if the course dictates a faster, Clydesdale to a first-year Cat 1 rider. though the level of sophistication was shorter-travel bike. Vanessa Humic Thanks for a great article and support- higher in NorCal, the spirit was the (Cat 1) has landed podium spots in ing grassroots mountain biking. same. Everyone was helpful, welcom- downhill, cross-country and Super D, Kerry Waldman ing and hugely passionate. In my mind, all on her two-year-old carbon Tomac Rodder Racing ❏ the high school movement is the future of the sport. And 25 years from now, Write us at or hard copy us at MBA Trailgrams, when these kids have kids, it will be 25233 Anza Drive, Valencia, CA 91355. Trailgrams tip of the month: The even more magnified! amount of pressure you apply to your brake levers depends on the surface you Matt Gunnell are riding. The worst braking technique is locking either wheel. Keeping the Executive Director wheels rolling is the key to control. A locked-up wheel cannot be steered. SoCal Interscholastic Cycling League November 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 25
  22. 22. TRAIL MIX Our bikes during the bumpy After having crawled through the concrete jungles of trek down to Gooseberry Mesa Tokyo Metropolis for one sultry day, my bike, Marin, near Hurricane, Utah. eventually found what was all around that could help Shalyn and Jason Gates make it get going Temecula, California Chaturong Yongsiri Tokyo, Japan While mountain biking the New Hartford Town Park Trail system in New York, I came across a field of tril- a liums in bloom. I leaned my bike made with a camera. I went out for This is the coolest mistake I’ve ever against a tree so that I could take the ted a self-portrait. I set the timer on the night ride in the fresh snow and wan like it picture with my cell phone. t-mode. After the red light flashed camera and set the camera to nigh Peter Inserra was done, but it wasn’t. The shutter usually does, I thought the camera picture Oriskany, New York cam, and I thought I had a useless sound went off as I picked up the of my palm. Not true at all. Eric Whiteside East of Osan AB, South Korea 26
  23. 23. Used to be, you had to choose. Balanced, confidence-inspiring trail bike or quick and agile race whip. Now you can have both in one race-ready package. The all-new 22.5-pound Felt Nine Team, with a superior Ultra High Modulus (UHM) carbon fiber frame that’s custom designed to make the most of its 29-inch wheels. The Nine Team is one of five new bikes in Felt’s 2010 Nine series. Go big. Go fast. Go Felt.
  24. 24. TRAIL MIX A photo taken after a long day riding the Palo Duro Canyon located in the Texas Panhandle. A great place to ride and camp. Rick Kieffer Austin, Texas Are there any bad trails in Tahoe? Riding through Big Meadow. Brian Bartholomew Santa Clara, California 28
  25. 25. My ’05 Norco Six in its element, Alpine Country, Pemberton, B.C., Canada. All mountain...all of it. Cookie Blosee Vancouver, B.C., Canada
  26. 26. TRAIL MIX Nothing compares to Moab, Utah, for the trails, views and people. I recently completed six days of riding that words can’t describe and pictures that don’t do it justice. Kell Heikoop and Daryl Goodfellow Burlington Ontario, Canada This is the view enjoyed by my Specialized and me from the top of Santiago Peak, at 5700 feet, the highest peak of the Saddleback Mountain range in Orange County, California. Clouds were around 4000 feet, so it felt like being in an airplane looking down at the clouds. It took over four hours to get here, and it was worth all the effort. Jeff Eales Mission Viejo, California BECOME ALMOST FAMOUS We want to make you a star. Here’s how: 1) Image file size needs to be 600 KB or larger. 2) Tell us what is going on in your photo (include names). 3) Include your name and the city and state where you live. 4) E-mail it to Trail Mix ( Trail Mix rider of the month: Matt Fritzinger ❑ 30
  27. 27. November 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 31
  28. 28. THRASH TESTS Thrash test rating: ★★★★★ Perfection PRESTAFLATOR ★★★★✩ Delivers above average value and performance ★★★✩✩ ★★★✩✩ Recommended for intended application Never have to pump again ★★✩✩✩ Shows potential but has drawbacks ★✩✩✩✩ Save your hard-earned bucks Wish the air compressor in your garage had a presta valve adaptor so you didn’t have to hand pump every presta-valved tube and tubeless tire? After the thrashing: The first without incident (or breaking a PrestaFlator gives you that adaptor— time we used the PrestaFlator, we sweat). The PrestaFlator really comes and a lot more. blew a loose-fitting Kenda Nevegal in handy for tires that just don’t want Tech features: The PrestaFlator tire right off the rim. After the ring- to seat properly. The PrestaFlator connects to your air compressor with a ing in our ears had subsided and we made short work of those jobs. We replaceable I/M compressor quick- had collected the shards of rubber found the tool’s gauge to be accurate, release attachment. It has a cast alu- from the ripped tube, we took and the big printing makes it easy to minum pistol grip handle with bead- PrestaFlator’s instructions more read. The PrestaFlator feels like a tool blasted finish. A two-finger, variable- seriously. It says right there in the that will last for years. Get one and rate trigger valve controls airflow. An manual to take it easy with a light you will have the most popular garage air gauge (up to 174psi) is protected in trigger squeeze when adding air. From on the block. a rubber housing. The brass presta that point on, we filled tires and tubes chuck is rebuildable. The tool will work on presta and Schrader valves. The PrestaFlator sells for $39.95, and the company offers an array of accesso- ry attachments and rebuild kits. You can reach PrestaFlator at (518) 577-2150. LAZER GENESIS RD 1 RACE ★★★✩✩ For the hard-to-fit head After the thrashing: The Rollsys fit- ting system is not a cute gimmick. The Lazer Helmets knows that no two Rollsys dial reels in or takes out a tiny heads are the same, and instead of monofilament line that runs through the designing a helmet with a liner that helmet’s fit pads. We didn’t have trouble might favor one type of head over anoth- fitting any of the wrecking crew with a er, they came up with an idea to fit single helmet. Lazer was also nice everybody. enough to use different colors for the Tech features: The $175 Genesis RD retention straps so it is easier to know Race helmet has an internal fitting har- which strap to pull on when adjusting. ness that Lazer calls the Rollsys. Plop The helmet feels light and offers ade- the helmet on and turn a dial (popping quate coverage for cross-country racing up from the shell near the rear of the or trail riding. Some riders will experi- helmet) to adjust the harness to the size ence slight changes in their head size and shape of your noggin. The helmet’s during rides due to temperatures (of the liner and shell are in-molded (they start environment and their bodies). These production as two pieces and come out riders will love the Rollsys, because they as one). The helmet has 19 vents. Pads can adjust the fit on the fly. The Genesis are removable for easy cleaning. The RD 1 Race is highly recommended for helmet weighed ten ounces. You can riders who have had fit issues with con- reach Lazer at (952) 236-4440. ventional helmets. 32
  29. 29. WOOLRICH WEATHERCHASER VEST ★★★✩✩ It does more than keep you warm A must-have accessory in your clothing arsenal is a high- quality riding vest. A vest will help you survive a cold ride in comfort and may get you out of a bad situation. Woolrich offers the $70 Weatherchaser Vest that is ready to do both. Tech features: The Weatherchaser Vest has a 100- percent Polyester Microfiber shell and 90/10 poly- ester/cotton liner. It is available in Cinder, Burnt Orange or Tidal colors in sizes medium through XX-large. The vest has a full-length zipper, three zippered pockets and a 2.5- inch-tall collar. The vest (size large) will increase your hydration pack load by 11 ounces. You can reach Woolrich at (800) 995-1299. After the thrashing: This is not a cycling-specific vest, so why did we like it so much? It’s warm. The shell does a great job of blocking the wind, and the thin liner holds body warmth in. We were caught by a surprise cold snap while on an overnighter, and the Weatherchaser was the warmest item we had next to leg and arm warmers. We are happy to report that it kept us toasty in mid-30-degree temps. The construction is impeccable. It’s hard to believe that we are headed into fall, but that’s why we opted for the Burnt Orange color. That color helps eliminate you as a target during hunting season. One tip is to buy one size CONTINENTAL KAISER TIRE smaller than usual if you are looking for a snug cycling fit. ★★★★✩ Tires handmade in Germany Continental brand tires are good enough for the first fami- ly in downhill racing—the Athertons. The new Kaiser tires have a downhill-specific tread pattern and sell for $75 each. Tech features: The Kaiser features a double-walled, three-ply casing, and is constructed with Conti’s special soft and tacky Black Chili compound. The Kaiser is sold in only a 2.5-inch width and for 26-inch wheels. The ramped center knobs are designed for minimal rolling resistance, while broad shoulder knobs provide cornering bite. The Continental Kaiser tires weigh two pounds, three ounces each. (877) 395-8088. After the thrashing: From a distance, the Kaiser tire looks better suited for a monster truck than a mountain bike, so the first thing we did was weigh the tire side-by-side with proven downhill treads—the Maxxis 2.5-inch 3C High Roller and Specialized’s 2.5-inch S-Works Chunder. Despite its appearance, the Continental Kaiser was six ounces lighter than the Maxxis High Roller and ten ounces lighter than the Specialized Chunder. The Kaiser does not roll as fast as other downhill tires on hardpacked terrain, but in loose, rocky and damp conditions, it blew us away. This is a tire built for the dynamic terrain of the World Cup circuit, and it showed its capabilities on the steepest and rockiest trails. The tacky Black Chili com- pound maintains excellent traction through slick rock gar- dens and high-speed off-camber corners. Despite the Kaiser being significantly lighter than other top downhill tires, we had only one pinch-flat puncture during testing. The Kaiser’s superb performance on steep, technical terrain and its relatively light weight make it the ultimate sleeper in downhill race rubber. November 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 33
  30. 30. THRASH TESTS OAKLEY RETRO GRIP FLEECE HOODY ★★★✩✩ Stylish performance outerwear The Oakley Retro Grip hoody is designed for riding in breezy weather, but is stylish enough to be worn off the bike as well. The Retro Grip hoody sells for $85. Tech features: Made from 100-percent polyester, the Retro Grip has a special pocket for your media player and a port for your earphone cables. It has a fixed hood, thumb- hole cuffs, and the Retro Grip gets its name from the graphic on the chest. If you look closely, you’ll see it’s a closeup shot of Oakley’s first product, a grip for a motocross bike. Oakley, (800) 431-1439. After the thrashing: To be honest, this is one product we didn’t want to completely “thrash,” because it’s a stylish and versatile product that we hope to wear for months to come. The Retro Grip hoody is perfect for cool weather rides and commutes, as polyester doesn’t absorb sweat, and the thumbholes will keep the sleeves in place when you’re pin- ning down the trail. We regularly found ourselves reaching for the Retro Grip hoody and stashing it into our hydration pack before rides instead of our old standby jacket. The best aspect of the Retro Grip hoody is that it can function as a brisk-weather riding jacket and fit the bill for casual wear. SPECIALIZED PHENOM SL SADDLE ★★★★✩ Road-race style turned dirty two widths, 130- and 143-millimeters, Specialized took the high-performance and weighs 6.7 ounces (130-millimeter qualities of their elite road racing Toupé version). Specialized, (877) 808-8154. saddle and adapted them to cross-coun- After the thrashing: The saddle is try riding and racing. The Phenom SL often an overlooked component of the allows your hips and lower back to sells for $150. mountain bike, which is unfortunate, curve in a natural manner. Tech features: The Phenom saddle because besides being a contact point The rounded corners and top cover features Specialized’s Body Geometry between you and your bike, it greatly on the Phenom mean you won’t snag design to assure blood flow to a man’s influences your position on the bike and your shorts on the edges of the saddle sensitive areas. The carbon-reinforced can reduce the aches and pains associat- when moving front to back and side to shell is tuned for sitbone flex and is ed with long rides. All of the features side. Often we reached for the more rigid than the Toupé road saddle. Specialized set out to address with the Specialized Phenom SL after riding a The Phenom has a snag-free recessed race-oriented Phenom are evident when test bike with a saddle that caused lower cuff, and the down-turned perch is on the bike. You may not necessarily back pain or excessive numbness, and it designed for seated climbing. The hol- notice the increased blood flow, but remedied the problem. low titanium rails support the ultra-light, relieving pressure on certain nerves If you’re unfamiliar with Specialized’s dual-density foam padding, and the reduces numbness. The sloping nose of Body Geometry products, we recom- cover has a water-resistant Micromatrix the saddle is important, because it does- mend visiting a dealer to see if the gear cover. The Phenom SL is available in n’t interfere with the male anatomy and can improve the quality of your ride. ❑ 34
  31. 31. INSIDE LINE GETTING TUBED Does it matter what tubes I use in my tires? ness (these are Kenda Danny Macrone thicknesses. Other Redmond, Oregon makers may have dif- Short and sweet. That is how we like “Inside Line” ferent thicknesses). A questions. Your to-the-point question is something very fast cross-country few riders pay much attention to. That’s why we con- racer may want to tacted a guy who devotes most of his attention to the shave weight, so he subject. Jim Wannamaker, Kenda’s North American could opt for a thinner Bicycle Division marketing director, explains the wall tube (0.73-mil- importance of picking and using the right tube. limeters) compared to Does it matter what tubes you use in your tires? Absolutely. a standard wall thick- To begin with, you need the appropriate tube size for your tire. ness. The typical week- Check the sidewall of the tire for this information. If the tire is end warrior will do marked 26x2.35, then use a corresponding size, such as a best with a normal 26x2~2.4 tube. This will fit best. wall (0.95-millime- A tube is a bag that holds air and will fit the cavity it is ters) thickness tube. placed in. So a 2.3~2.4 tube will fit the 2.35 tire pretty easily Keep in mind your and not give you grief. If you take that same tire marked 2.35 weight, riding type, and insert a tube that is marked 26x1.75~1.95, the tube will bike type, where you ride and the air pressure you run. Each fit, but it will be undersized. Once the undersized tube is one of these has an impact on what tire/tube combination is inflated inside the tire, it will stretch and thin out its wall right for you. A 220-pound rider has different needs from a thickness. This is when you are more likely to have a blowout 150-pound rider. Someone who is really hard on the bike needs or become more susceptible to a puncture, as the tube is very to consider the forces applied to the tire/tube. thin. The fork and shock of a dual-suspension bike will absorb If you use a larger tube, say 2.5~2.7, in this same 2.35 tire, more of the bumps and keep the wheels on the ground better the first problem is mounting it and getting it to fit inside the than a hardtail bike. Hence the tire may wear faster. Riding channel of the rim and the tire. You will have trouble getting where there are lots of sticks and sharp-edged rocks is different the tire on the rim with this oversize tube. And once on and from riding on hardpack or soft dirt trails. inflated, it will be heavy and may not roll as true as a tire Nothing affects the ride more than air pressure. Tubes with with the correct size tube in it. no air mean you are not going anywhere. Tubes with 40 psi The next thing to take into consideration is the type of rid- (pounds per square inch) mean you can pedal, but you may ing you are doing. Tire and tube manufacturers make tubes in bounce too much. Start high and lower the air pressure by different wall thicknesses for different purposes. Tube wall increments of 2 psi until you feel a better ride. thickness can range from a very thin 0.45-millimeters to a Finally, try to use tire and tube products from the same thick 2.25-millimeters (these are Kenda sizes). Obviously, the manufacturer. Why? Many manufacturers have different ways thicker the wall, the harder it is to puncture the tube, but also of calculating size, and if you have a tire marked 26x2.10 from the heavier the tube becomes. And tubes can come with a one company and a tube from another marked “Fits sealant inside them to seal punctures. 26x1.75~2.35,” you may run into difficulties. It is like shirts What tube to use? A downhill or gravity rider with a big- and shoes. Companies have different measuring methods. One hit bike most likely will have 26x2.5 or larger tires on his company’s large is another company’s medium. One compa- bike. The ideal tube for this tire is one that has a thicker wall ny’s size 10 is another company’s size 11. So you have to check of rubber, and this would be a 1.2- or 2.25-millimeter thick- them out as to what is a good fit. ❑ November 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 35
  32. 32. INSIDE LINE 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, and we’ll get it answered. WHAT A DRAG, PART II I ride a five-inch-travel, 2007 Specialized Stumpjumper Conversely, the steeper head angle when the fork is lowered equipped with a Fox fork that adjusts from 5.5 inches means more of the force is transferred into the horizontal vec- down to 3.1 inches of travel. When I’m climbing and drop tor. The reason for the drag is that the horizontal vector is the fork to its lowest travel setting, I immediately feel drag pointing into the incline (i.e., there’s more force trying to in the drivetrain. Pop it back to full travel and the drag is drive the bike into the mountain, instead of moving you up gone. What is going on? Is there a way to prevent this it.) Add in the fact that the rider usually shifts his weight for- feeling? ward while climbing, thus compressing the fork and steepen- Dan Newman ing the head tube, and the effect is even more pronounced. Sacramento, California The benefit of lowering the fork is that it puts the rider in a We ran this question in our May 2009 issue, and better position for effective and powerful pedaling, but the many riders wrote to say they felt the same sensation trade-off is that it also increases the horizontal vector of the as Dan. David Roman of Thousand Oaks, California, force pushing forward on the front wheel. who is a schoolteacher by trade, put some thought into As a quick experiment to demonstrate the effect, place a the phenomenon and came up with this explanation. book on an incline (simulating the incline of the mountain). I have an explanation for the sensation of drag when lower- Place a pencil (eraser side down) on the book and hold the ing a fork for climbing. The reason is actually fairly simple. pencil toward the top. The pencil represents the front end The force that propels the bike forward is transferred forward (head tube/fork) of the bike. With a finger on your other from the center of the rear wheel in a straight line from the hand, apply horizontal force (not parallel to the book’s rear axle to the front axle (i.e., parallel to the ground, whether incline, but perfectly horizontal) near the bottom of the pencil. on an incline or level ground). This “straight-forward” force Try it with the pencil at different angles. The steeper the pushes the front wheel forward at the axle. Because the front angle, the more the pencil pushes into the book and, thus, the end (fork/head tube) is at an angle to that forward force, the more force required to move the pencil up the incline. The force acting on the front end is split into vertical and horizon- slacker the angle, the more easily the pencil moves up the tal vectors (shown below). The slacker the head angle, the incline, until the angle becomes too slack and it just rotates more force going toward the vertical vector, which is why upwards (like a slack bike doing a wheelie on a climb). slack/long-travel bikes tend to wheelie (succumb to the vertical Hopefully, the image and the experiment will demonstrate force) or at least get squirrelly on steep climbs. the simplicity of the concept. 36
  33. 33. 351g A well-rounded brake at a competitive price. At 351g (160mm rotor, front, post mount), the RX is a lightweight brake with the power to handle all of your XC, Trail, All-Mountain, and Enduro needs. Featuring a 1-piece caliper, the RX delivers impressive modulation and power. Experience the value of Formula’s RX on your next ride.
  34. 34. MBA est Switzerland’s Long-Travel Trailbike Interpretation BMC TrailFox 01 B MC hails from Switzerland and is a name that American riders will be hearing more of. Its presi- WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT? dent, Andy Rihs, is a Swiss visionary who believes With its over-the-top design and engineering, you’d expect that the only way to succeed is to make every design an that the TrailFox 01 would be outfitted with a flashier-than- over-the-top effort. The BMC TrailFox 01 is a stunning necessary component group. Not the case. BMC splurges expression of this belief. where performance must never be compromised (Fox Racing Shox suspension, DT Swiss X 1800 wheels and Schwalbe WHO IS IT MADE FOR? tires). BMC then opted for Shimano’s workhorse XT group Trail riders seeking a longer-travel machine will find the for the TF01’s drivetrain and brakes. For the cockpit, BMC BMC a near-perfect blend of aggressive and efficient quali- specs its home-designed Scor Race saddle, seatpost, stem and ties. bar. WHAT IS IT MADE FROM? HOW DOES IT PERFORM? The TrailFox 01 is an aluminum-framed work of art, BMC’s TrailFox 01 takes a mile or so to make friends crafted with triple-butted tubes that are so wildly profiled with. At first, the chassis feels tall and its geometry too cross-country to be taken seriously by those with a ride-aggressively-or-go-home attitude. However, the first-time TrailFox rider quickly discovers that BMC knows a lot about trail riding. Pedaling: The TrailFox’s rear suspension dips slightly with every pedal stroke, but its effect on performance is negligible, so we were not tempted to flip the shock’s ProPedal lever on except during long climbs or endless fire road sessions. Use the Fox fork’s TALAS travel adjust- ment to further brighten the TrailFox’s climbing performance. The BMC’s steering responds more quickly with the fork travel short- ened, and the slightly steeper effective seat angle leaves your legs feeling fresher on steep climbs. and manipulated that it rivals the curvy lines On the trail: Steering feels of cutting-edge, carbon fiber designs. BMC gave the TrailFox quicker than we have come to expect from a 68-degree head 01 5.5 inches of suspension travel on both ends with their angle, probably due to the TrailFox’s short, 90-millimeter own rendition of the ever-popular dual-link rear suspension. stem and mid-width handlebar. Drop the air pressure in the The beautiful BMC’s design features are beyond skin jumbo-sized Schwalbe tires to 28 psi front and 30 rear, and deep, as evidenced by its upper rocker link and bottom they roll faster than many 2.0-inch cross-country tires, but bracket assembly, which are created by welding mated alu- with gobs of traction in reserve for steep climbs and fast cor- minum forgings together. This construction method results ners. The bike’s ride-everything-from-the-middle handling in lightweight, yet rigid, structures. The TF01’s dropouts are makes any type of ride a delight, because the rider is always similarly constructed, with the rear brake caliper cleanly in the sweet spot for climbing traction, balanced cornering integrated into the left-side forging (BMC calls this “Natural or hard braking. The front end can feel light up steep grades, Born Post Mount”). but this is due more to the abundance of grip afforded by the Other BMC treats can be found at the head tube, where 2.4-inch tires than a flaw in the bike’s geometry. the headset bearings are integrated into the frame, and at the Descending: Open up the TrailFox 01’s suspension and seat tube/seat stay junction, where BMC works some metal let it rip. The BMC rolls smoothly over some gnarly bumps, magic to split the top tube into a tubular Y-shape to rein- and it keeps the tires on the ground around fast corners. force the area. BMC’s wrap-around, quick-release seat tube The feel of the BMC is trustworthy, but if you push it deep clamp is quite impressive. The frame and shock can be had into the realm of a black-diamond bike, bouncing through for $2249. boulder fields and sticking bad landings from sizable jumps, 38
  35. 35. Switch hitter: The BMC will climb smoothly without switching on the Fox RP2 shock’s ProPedal feature, but the addition of the pedal plat- form gives the TrailFox 01 an ener- getic feel under power. November 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 39
  36. 36. Trailbike Interpretation an aggressive rider will notice flex in its rear suspension. Speed control is not an issue aboard the TrailFox, because the seven-inch rotors and fat rubber make for impressive braking. Shimano gets high marks for its no-rub XT disc brakes. XTR and XT stoppers usually develop a rub at least once during a day’s ride, but not this time. They were responsive and powerful without being grabby. TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS? We hit upon one troublesome detail that was probably an assembly mistake at the factory. The left-side retaining screws backed out of the suspension’s lower pivot linkage, twice. A call to BMC North America netted new screws and helped us find the root of the problem. It seems that the alu- minum screws should have been secured with a thread-lock- ing fluid. Our TrailFox pivot bolts were assembled with grease. A thorough cleaning of the pivot assembly and the application of some thread locker was an easy fix. Most accomplished bike handlers will toss the TrailFox’s narrow 25-inch handlebar and opt for a wider one. Finally, riders who are more gravity oriented will accuse BMC designers of making the chassis too lightweight for no-com- promise descending. BUYING ADVICE Riding the BMC TrailFox 01 was an unexpected pleasure. Quick, like a fox: Brisk steering and a light feel at the pedals make the BMC TrailFox 01 a great choice for racer types who Its performance is well-suited for all-day rides over technical are making the transition to a dedicated trailbike. terrain, and its easy-going manners and smooth-riding sus- pension make the hours pass by in a most enjoyable fashion. BMC TRAILFOX 01 BMC’s long-travel trailbike joins MBA favorites like the Giant Trance for do-it-all, cross-country performance. ❑ Price $4499 Country of origin Taiwan Weight 29 pounds Hotline (952) 941-9391 Frame tested 18.5 (medium) Bottom bracket height 13 Chainstay length 17.125 Top tube length 23 Head tube angle 68° Seat tube angle 73° Standover height 30 Wheelbase 44.25 Suspension travel (front) 5.5 Suspension travel (rear) 5.5 Frame material Aluminum Fork Fox 32 TALAS 140 Shock Fox Float RP2 Rims DT Swiss X1800 Tires Schwalbe Nobby Nic (2.4) Hub DT Swiss X1800 BMC’ing: (Clockwise from Brakes Shimano XT top) BMC uses a dual-link Brake levers Shimano XT suspension configured much Crankset Shimano XT like Giant’s Maestro system. Paired halves, which are then Handlebar Scor Race (25) welded together, form a light- Shifters Shimano XT weight and rigid rocker link. Front derailleur Shimano XT The same construction tech- nique is used for the bottom Rear derailleur Shimano XT (Shadow) bracket shell. Shimano XT Chainrings Shimano XT (44/32/22) disc brakes delivered no- Cassette Shimano XT (11-34) drag and right-now stopping performance. Pedals None (weighed with Shimano XT) 40
  37. 37. Passion Driven. Our brand was bred from the very roots of mountain biking, rider: Nick Pescetto NOT borrowed from the automotive or any other industry. We are unique and exclusive, photo: Matteo Cappe - designing and manufacturing tires specifically for your sport, your lifestyle, your passion.
  38. 38. I n 2007, Trek Bikes under- went a significant change in their mountain bike culture, and in the company itself. The 2010 Trek decision was made to invest in the terrain around the company by building over ten miles of MBA TECH trails and hiring a full-time trail builder. Around this same time, Trek began development on what has become their bread and butter ABP (Active Braking Pivot) and Full-Floater suspen- Mountain Bikes Trek debuts new suspension bikes in Austria sion, found on their high-end cross-country bike the Top Fuel, the Fuel EX trailbike and the versatile Remedy all-mountain platform. We’ve been impressed with each of the above-men- tioned bikes and were eager to find out how Trek would be able to improve on these plat- forms for 2010. We had the opportunity to get a first glimpse at Trek’s Top Fuel, Fuel EX and carbon fiber Remedy in the Salzkammergut area of Altaussee, Austria. 2010 BIKE UPDATES Although Trek’s entire line of moun- tain bikes receives revisions and upgrades, we’re going to focus on the updates to their flagship and upper-end models. You will find many of the tech- nologies applied to these bikes will trickle down to more budget-friendly versions. Top Fuel ($2599-$6499): Trek claims their carbon fiber Top Fuel 9.9 is their fastest race bike ever, that’s also versatile enough for trail riding. The eye-catching carbon fiber frame retains the no-cut seat mast, BB90 Net Molded bottom bracket with drop-in bearings, fications we’d like to see on the bike, ear shock feel of a coil spring. The Fuel ABP Race System and magnesium Evo such as utilizing one of the new thru- EX will carry the DRCV shocks down Link. New for the 3.9-inch-travel Top axle trailbike forks. The 2010 Fuel EX the line to the aluminum EX 8 model. Fuel is the custom Race Cam shock that 9.9 now is equipped with an air-sprung The carbon fiber-framed Fuel EX 9.9 takes a Fox RP23 shock and makes it Fox Shox 32 F-Series Fit RLC fork with and the 9.8 receive Trek’s OCLV carbon equal parts race, and equal parts trail. a tapered alloy steerer tube and 15QR seat stay. The carbon stay uses Trek’s The ProPedal positions 1 and 2 maintain thru-axle. However, the biggest news Net Molded precision-fit bearings and that same plush trailbike feel, while comes in the area of the Fuel EX 9.9’s all-carbon disc brake tabs. position 3 gives the highest degree of new shock and rear triangle. The EX 9.9 Taking a page from the Top Fuel, the lockout ever offered by Fox, ideal for receives Fox’s DRCV (Dual Rate Control Fuel EX line will utilize the lighter, one- out-of-the-saddle sprints and extended Valve) RP23 shock technology that Trek piece ABP Race rear axle down to their climbing. The premium 21.2-pound Top describes as having two shocks in one. aluminum EX 7 model. Fuel 9.9 features the SRAM XX group, The goal of the DRCV is to provide effi- Remedy Carbon ($2600-$6499): Bontrager XXX Lite wheels and has a cient pedaling while being able to transi- Trek takes their OCLV carbon frames to price tag of $6499. tion into soaking up big hits without any the all-mountain category as their six- Fuel EX ($1399-$6499): We fell in compromise in suspension performance. inch-travel Remedy gets a carbon love with the 2009 4.7-inch-travel Fuel The Fox DRCV shock is designed to makeover. Designed specifically for the EX 9.9 (tested in our August 2009 seamlessly transition between the first carbon Remedy, Trek deploys their issue), but had a short wish list of modi- and second chambers providing the lin- Carbon Armor to protect against rocks 42