CRANKWORX: A HIGH-FLYING PARTY




                                                                                       ...
XC LEGS,
DH
   “THERE WAS ONE TRAIL I RODE FOR THE FIRST TIME DURING THIS PHOTO SHOOT.
    IT’S GNARLY—ONE YOU WOULD USUAL...
THIS MONTH
                                          Whistler throws a week-long party, and
                              ...
contents  86                                                                                     104




                 ...
MBA STAFF

          www.mbaction.com

              EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT
           JIM McILVAIN • EDITOR
  RICHARD CUNNI...
Remedy 9.9
             Mountain Tamer, Trail Blazer.




ABP RACE ™       DRCV ™                 OCLV CARBON ARMOR™
BATTLE PROVEN.
The HollowGram SI Crankset. The lightest, stiffest crankset on the planet.
                   Standard on t...
HAPPY TRAILS                                                                                       By Richard J. Cunningha...
THE MAC ATTACK                                                                                                By Jim McIlv...
HARD TALES

 IMAGES


Breaking
Rule
Number
OneThere is an unwritten rule that
mountain biking photos have to have a
rider ...
EVENTS

Lance, One
Year Later
Photos by Rob O’Dea

   The out-of-retirement, back-with-a-vengeance Lance Armstrong
had jus...
HARD TALES



WINNERS

One Contest,
Two Winners
  Remember the “Send Your Girlfriend to Camp” contest
we told you about in...
HARD TALES

 BIKES

Cannondale Shows
More 2010 Models
  Don’t worry. We will organize all the 2010 bike offerings into
an ...
TRAILGRAMS



                                                   NO MORE ENDOS
                                           ...
TRAILGRAMS




A letter from Bill Marcy in our September issue explained that he fell over a
lot due to his clipless pedal...
B RAKES by AV I D




  ELIXIR CR MAG
  (NEW)
ELIXIR FOR ALL
What started last year with two models has grown to
four, and now all riders from first-timers to the most  ...
TRAIL MIX


                                   QUALITY FAMILY TIME
                                                       ...
OCEAN TO DESERT
  Some homies from Oceanside and Carlsbad,
California, left their beach to come ride in Utah,
including Th...
TRAIL MIX

                                                                                  SANDY TRAIL
                 ...
THRASH TESTS                                                        Thrash test rating:
                                  ...
Niner S.I.R. 9 >> Single or Geared, Reynolds 853 tubeset.
Get the details: www.thebigrevolution.com
THRASH TESTS

LUPINE TESLA 4
HEADLIGHT SYSTEM
                                                                            ...
DRED TREAD                    C2C
               EXCAVATOR               HAPPY MEDIUM




                                ...
THRASH TESTS

GOPRO HELMET HERO WIDE                                                                               hours w...
©2009 FOX Factory Inc. All rights reserved




                                               In a perfect world.




    ...
THRASH TESTS

                                                                                         rain, we ran differ...
INSIDE LINE




                                                                                                          ...
MBA                est

A Capable Trailbike With An Old-
School Cross-Country Feel The Turner Flux
                       ...
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Mountain Bike Action december

  1. 1. CRANKWORX: A HIGH-FLYING PARTY MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 3 298 C0 CC www.mbaction.com DECEMBER 2009 DO WE REALLY NEED 30-SPEED MOUNTAIN BIKES? ARMSTRONG GETS HIS DIRTY REVENGE COOL STUFF FOR CHRISTMAS MASTER TIGHT, TRICKY SWITCHBACKS LIKE THE PROS NINER R.I.P. 9 Att’n Retailer: Please display $4.99 until December 3 TURNER FLUX
  2. 2. XC LEGS, DH “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 GUTS.
  3. 3. THIS MONTH Whistler throws a week-long party, and you’re all invited to attend. Page 54. 50 72 Photo by John Ker Photo by John Ker BIKE TESTS FEATURE 108 Number Crunching Your Drivetrain 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 your list. 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. 90 RSL A lot of trail-riding attitude. 54 Whistler’s weeklong Celebration COMPETITION 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. PEOPLE DEPARTMENTS 76 Riders Who Inspire 10 Happy Trails Why our world needs more The year in review. Carol Potters. 12 Mac Attack 100 Young Rippers Computers don’t ride bikes. Introducing Alex Prochazka. 14 Hard Tales Dreamscapes, kids and Lance’s TECHNICAL attack. 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. 4 www.mbaction.com
  4. 4. contents 86 104 Photo by John Ker Photo by John Ker 28 Thrash Tests An amazing helmet and a camera to put on it. 35 Inside Line Building trails and hanging your VOLUME 24, NUMBER 12 bike. DECEMBER 2009 126 Quick Releases ON THE COVER MBA goes to the movies. Chris Kovarik, an Australian who summers in Whistler, British Columbia, launches his Intense 951 right there in his backyard, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Photo 130 Down The Trail by John “That guy is faster than my flash” Ker. The Niner R.I.P. 9 offers a unique The first step to stunt riding. trail riding experience. Photo by John “Big wheels look better in photos” Ker. The 2010 Turner Flux delivers the goods for cross-country racers and trail riders. Photo by John “I want a turn on that Turner” Ker. MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION Magazine (ISSN 0895-8467 Canada GST 12500#9266RT: CPC INT’L. PUB MAIL 40024492) DECEMBER 2009, Volume 24, Issue 12, is published monthly by Daisy/Hi-Torque Publishing Company, 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- ous. Virtually all of the riders seen in our photos are experienced experts or pro- Re-ride your ride: This handy little video camera captures all the hills, spills and fessionals. Do not attempt to duplicate any stunts that are beyond your own thrills of your ride. Page 28. capabilities. Always use discretion and wear the appropriate safety gear. December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 5
  5. 5. MBA STAFF www.mbaction.com EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT JIM McILVAIN • EDITOR RICHARD CUNNINGHAM • EDITOR-AT-LARGE JODY WEISEL • FEATURE EDITORS ZAPATA ESPINOZA SEAN McCOY • MANAGING EDITOR JOHN KER • ASSISTANT EDITORS RYAN CLEEK KATHARINE McCOY JEFF SPENCER • TRAINING CONSULTANT JOHN TOMAC • CONSULTANTS MIKE BELL JOHN PERRY BRAD ROE • ONLINE EDITORS BradR@hi-torque.com TOM HINZ TomH@hi-torque.com ART DEPARTMENT EDUARDO GUTIE´RREZ • DESIGNER ALMA MARTíNEZ de DICSö • ASSISTANT DESIGNERS JACKIE CLEVELAND CASSANDRA MITTELBERG • COPY EDITOR LINDSAY WORDEN PAT CARRIGAN • PHOTO ARTIST WILLIAM C. HAWLEY IV • PRELIM COORDINATOR ADVERTISING DEPARTMENT ROBERT REX • NATIONAL ADVERTISING DIRECTOR ROBB MESECHER • ADVERTISING MANAGER DERRECK BERNARD • ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES JEROME DZIECHIASZ ERIC HARTER • ADVERTISING PRODUCTION MANAGER JENNIFER EDMONSTON • ADVERTISING PRODUCTION COORDINATOR LISA BECKWITH • ACCOUNT ADMINISTRATOR ROLAND HINZ • PRESIDENT & PUBLISHER LILA HINZ • ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER CASSANDRA MITTELBERG • ASSISTANTS TO PRESIDENT KATHARINE McCOY TOM HINZ JEFF SHOOP • CIRCULATION DIRECTOR TIM LaPAGLIA • PROMOTIONS ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL OFFICES 25233 Anza Dr. Valencia, CA 91355 (661) 295-1910 Fax (661) 295-1278 Any change of address or subscription problems please contact us by e-mail: wanda@hi-torque.com or call (800) 767-0345. www.hi-torque.com ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE IN TAIWAN WHEEL GIANT INCORPORATED P.O. Box 80, Changhua, Taiwan R.O.C. Tel (047) 352555, 350500 Telex: 58312 WGI Fax: 886-47-357860
  6. 6. Remedy 9.9 Mountain Tamer, Trail Blazer. ABP RACE ™ DRCV ™ OCLV CARBON ARMOR™
  7. 7. BATTLE PROVEN. The HollowGram SI Crankset. The lightest, stiffest crankset on the planet. Standard on the Cannondale Factory Racing Team Scalpel. The good fight. cannondale.com
  8. 8. HAPPY TRAILS By Richard J. Cunningham D 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. ❑ 10 www.mbaction.com
  9. 9. 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- the-bike sensors. 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,” 12 www.mbaction.com
  10. 10. HARD TALES IMAGES Breaking Rule Number 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. 14 www.mbaction.com
  11. 11. EVENTS Lance, One Year Later 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. Eastbound and Down: He’s loaded up and truckin’, he’s gonna do what they say can’t be done. Mountain 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
  12. 12. HARD TALES WINNERS One Contest, Two Winners 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 Chris Burk. 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 Shore trails.” 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. WEIRD Rat’s Nest 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. 16 www.mbaction.com
  13. 13. HARD TALES BIKES Cannondale Shows 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. KIDS Trail Blazers 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. 18 www.mbaction.com
  14. 14. TRAILGRAMS 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 MBA, of the bike. Thank you, thank you, and thank you! Ray Frady Rittman, Ohio September, 2009 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 mbaction@hi-torque.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
  15. 15. TRAILGRAMS 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. Steve Dika 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 ❑ 20 www.mbaction.com
  16. 16. B RAKES by AV I D ELIXIR CR MAG (NEW)
  17. 17. ELIXIR FOR ALL What started last year with two models has grown to four, and now all riders from first-timers to the most ELIXIR CR demanding pros have an Elixir that’s perfect for their ride. Fact is, everyone’s ride benefits from more control, more power and greater comfort – and that’s what Elixir’s TaperBore Technology is all about. Now, with the addition of the Elixir 5 and the CR Mag, you can choose from a wider range of tasty features to fit your needs. There’s a new sheriff in brake town, and its name is Elixir. avidbike.com ELIXIR 5 ELIXIR R (NEW) (updated) Clean Sweep Rotors 140 (rear only) /160/185/203 mm G3 Six Bolt NEW 160/185 mm Center Lock Rotors (LockRing not included) ©2009 SRAM LLC
  18. 18. TRAIL MIX 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. Steven Heil Grand Junction, Colorado RIDING F.A.T.S. 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 must-ride destination! Greg Neel Ashburn, Virginia CITY BIKING 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). Jamie Bogner President/Co-Founder/Race Director New York City Mountain Bike Association 24 www.mbaction.com
  19. 19. 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. Kevin Talbot Hurricane, Utah 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! Richard Baer Victoria, British Columbia, Canada December 2009 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 25
  20. 20. TRAIL MIX SANDY TRAIL Me and my old JBC Pro Scandium on the long, dense beach sands at Legian Beach in Bali, Indonesia. Hendro Poernomo Rempoa, Banten, Indonesia REAL RECYCLING 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. Sergio Beresovsky Milan, Italy FUTURE CHAMPS 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. Todd Galarneau 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 (mbaction@hi-torque.com). Trail Mix rider of the month: Pua Sawiki ❑ 26 www.mbaction.com
  21. 21. THRASH TESTS Thrash test rating: ★★★★★ Perfection 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. 28 www.mbaction.com
  22. 22. Niner S.I.R. 9 >> Single or Geared, Reynolds 853 tubeset. Get the details: www.thebigrevolution.com
  23. 23. THRASH TESTS LUPINE TESLA 4 HEADLIGHT SYSTEM 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 HYDRATION PACK ★★✩✩✩ 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. 30 www.mbaction.com
  24. 24. DRED TREAD C2C EXCAVATOR HAPPY MEDIUM HFACTOR TELONIX BLUE KING OF GROOVE john TOMAC TRACTION EL MOCO brian LOPES BBG signature series signature series
  25. 25. THRASH TESTS GOPRO HELMET HERO WIDE hours with NiMH rechargeable ★★★★★ batteries. Recording your ride made simple The Hero Helmet Wide kit includes a five megapixel Hero Wide camera with 170- degree wide-angle lens, a shock- proof/waterproof quick-release housing, 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 32 www.mbaction.com
  26. 26. ©2009 FOX Factory Inc. All rights reserved In a perfect world. DHXair MTB AM/FR/DH 5.0 talas The DHX®Air 5.0 is the heavy-duty trail riding Th Th in ing ng n rc2 36 s sh shock in a lightweight package. The large rge ge volume air spring and position-sensitive, vo vo ive, ive, ve, .AS RC2, In a perfect world, you’d be instantly ready for any terrain. With the 36® TALAS® RC2, RC2, rC2 velocity sensitive Boost Valve® damping ve o of p ping r-bump -bump -b mp offer an amazing amount of stutter-bump p you are. The 3-position lever allows for on-the-fly travel adjustments with optimized ptimized t ized ti i e through big-hit performance in any type th h ny ype p pe spring curves, for repeatable and consistent performance. The tool-free thru e thru thru of of terrain. With adjustable ProPedal, edal, ed l ® axle system makes wheel changes fast and easy, and massive 36 mm stanchions nchions chi ns h s linear adjustable rebound and indepen- li i d indepen- nd pen d e deliver unparalleled stiffness and front-end confidence so you can keep pushing ushi ushing hi d dently adjustable bottom-out res stance, resistance, esista ce, esist nce s t e the limits. Purpose built. Race proven. FOX Racing Shox. We’re never done. ne. e. th th the DHX Air is ready to get you there... you there... o he e.. h w wherever your there might be. Visit our all-new website: foxracingshox.com
  27. 27. THRASH TESTS 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 downhill abuse. 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. ❑ 34 www.mbaction.com
  28. 28. INSIDE LINE 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. 36 www.mbaction.com
  29. 29. MBA est A Capable Trailbike With An Old- School Cross-Country Feel The Turner Flux swingarm pivot yoke that sweeps around the front derailleur D 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- able. 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. Singletrack: Weaving 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 38 www.mbaction.com

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