The Mountain Bike Life

I have been thinking for a while about writing a mountain-bike-to-English translation dictionary. Lord knows if you’re around mountain bikers for any length of time, some sort of translation aid is necessary. However, I have been assured that perfectly good glossaries already exist, so I spent a minute or two pondering why I felt such a tool was necessary, and I realised it all comes down to one word: jargon. Photo courtesy of Subsetsum One of my pet peeves in life in general is people who engage in jargon, and – even more so – people who correct others for not using quite the right jargon. It’s exclusive and exclusionary. By definition jargon is a way of keeping new people…

As ever I need to begin by framing my post with a little back story. For years I was as obsessed with the emergence of new technology, new concepts, new materials, in short new bikes. In fact for a long time I think the ‘bling’ was more important than the boom in terms of my trail riding. Now don’t get me wrong, I still love a bit of shiny bike kit and I’m really intrigued to see where the sudden explosion in fundamental MTB changes will take us. As I’ve written on this fair site before its a very exciting time in Mountain Bike terms. But at the same time I’m arriving at a conclusion about equipment selection that may…

Redbull Rampage, debatably the most notorious freeride event of the year, goes down next weekend (October 11-13).  One of my first posts for The Mountain Bike Life was about the competition, and why I think it’s so important to the sport.  Next weekend, the bike community will gear down and watch one of the most visually spectacular competitions.  I write this partially out of my own sheer excitement, and also partially in response to an article I saw on Pinkbike concerning the evolution of Rampage. While the sport progresses every year, so do the courses and features.  Slopestyle is now in the X-Games, and the use of man-made features has permeated the Rampage scene. Pinkbike touched on the important issue…

On October 12th I am scheduled to race The Santa Cruz Super Enduro. I am super stoked to be apart of this local race that is only open to about 200 riders. Since this is is on one of my local trail systems I have been taking it pretty seriously. Here are a few things I have been doing that any aspiring enduro racer should keep in mind leading up to a race. Pre-ride the course If you are close enough to the race venue go ride there a few weeks in advance. Pay attention to things such as soil, rocks, roots, and any other features on the trail.  Take your first time slow and get to know the trail…

Who says there are no downhill parks when you live in the Midwest. Just this year Gravity Logic designed and built a downhill park at a skill hill in Milwaukee, WI. Formerly Crystal Ridge is now The Rock Sports Complex, located in Milwaukee County Wi. Earlier this year I got my first intro to downhill biking in Jackson Hole, WY and I knew this park was going to open in late June. With a newborn, busy work schedule and family events it wasn’t until August that I carved out some time to go there and give it a try. Also I got to see how my GT Force worked in the environment it was meant for. It turned out to…

There is no other way to say it that is not to the point and sums it all best the result on September 20th…… After 40k of riding….I failed to finish the task before me. The Friday night the first of a serious of storms came through and was still going at 6 am Saturday morning. Stopped for a bit till after the 8 am start. But stormed again during the 40k section. Which when you add in the supposed fact that Ganaraska Forest has a lot of sand mixed in with the dirt it supposedly drains well. Well, that I can say is a myth. Combined with an already wet ground due to a wet year. Well, to say…

Anyone who knows me will tell you I am not a fan of climbing. Of course to be a good climber you have to be fit, which unfortunately right now I am not. It doesn’t help that my trail bike weighs 38lbs either. Now I am not lazy, I prefer the term efficient. Why do extra work if you don’t have to? So I am always looking for something that would help me be more efficient. I think I may have found the answer… Niner bikes demo at Tech Valley Cycles in Malta, NY For a while now I’ve been looking into bikes with bigger wheels but just could never commit. I mean all I’ve ever ridden are bikes with…

I see this question asked almost everyday on Mountain Bike forums. If you’re going to be riding with platform pedals, you owe it to yourself to pick up a set of shoes with a sticky rubber compound. Instead of the sole pattern hooking to the pins, the soft rubber compound absorbs the pins gluing the pedal to the foot. This practically eliminates any shifting when riding over chattery terrain. They may be a bit pricier than your average shoe, but definitely worth it in the long run. The three brands and models I recommend looking into are as followed. Five Ten, they are the gold standard for mountain biking shoes. They have a vast array of bike specific shoes, my…

To C, or not to C? When I bought my newest bike, I was living and riding in British Columbia. I’d been looking at the various carbon offerings coming to the knobby world over the last few years, but I always assumed they were the sort of upgrades you’d get if you were a weight-weenie riding purely XC – the sort of thing that would go on the modern-day equivalent of my lovely Veronica (the fully-rigid aluminium Klein Attitude I’ve almost killed myself on multiple times up here). As it turns out, I was dead wrong! I went carbon, and I love it. Unboxing, the first thing I said was “Unnff that’ssogoodlooking.” My dad said something about it being “loud…

Mountain bikers are tough. We smash the toughest terrain, the steepest climbs, the gnarliest descents, and yet we keep coming back for more. When injuries occur, we naturally want to get rolling again as quickly as possible. Luckily, there is a wonderful little device that can help us do just that. Mountain bike crashes are a fact of life  What is it? Ankle Cryo Cuff Knee Cryo Cuff Elbow Cryo Cuff Cryo Cuff IC Cooler The Aircast Cryo Cuff is a system of automated cooling and compression devices to assist with recovery from injuries and surgery. It comes in a variety of different sizes and configurations allowing it to be used on different parts of the body including knees, wrists…

The behemoth of the North American cycling trade shows is over for another year, bike geeks from all over the world are stumbling home with sore feet and hangovers. The industry has blown it’s load, showing us all what we have to look forward to over the next year and all I have to say is…meh. Photo courtesy of Interbike Media Resources One thing I noticed with this years coverage is that there was nothing truly new at the show. Yes there were the always crazy one off items that get their 5 minutes of glory…but what came out of the show that we have not already seen or known about? Nothing new from Shimano and nothing we haven’t already…

It wasn’t a mountain bike, but it was 100% mine. I suppose that in the truest sense of the word, it wasn’t really my first bike. The first bike I remember riding – the one I learned to ride on – had a banana seat, something that sparkled, some pink and purple bits, and ape-hanger handle bars. Yes, I am a child of the 70’s – how did you know? But I don’t remember that it was ever really my bike. Most likely it belonged to one of my sisters and I got to borrow it. At best it was a hand-me down, though I didn’t care at the time. This bike though, the one that was indisputably mine, was…

1 42 43 44 45 46 61