Category Archives: MTB
Pining over the Pinion Drivetrain System – Adam Sklar

Words by Adam Sklar, photos from Sklar Bikes, diagrams from Pinion

The Pinion Gearboxes have been around for a long while now but their popularity in Europe is just now starting to break its way into the US bike scene. Last Fall Sklar Bikes started receiving orders for frames built with the mounting system for these gearboxes and as someone who had eyed them for years, with only a little riding experience, I was pretty excited. Being that Sklar builds all custom bikes, it feels great to offer something that is really special and harder to get. These frames have mostly seen use as commuters, “bikepacking bikes” and everyday trail bikes for customers who are maybe less maintenance-inclined or just intrigued by this neat system. So far all of those customers have been psyched on their bikes and I am happy to build with Pinion, though there are certainly pluses and minuses that come with it. At the end of the day, it is pretty easy to overthink a bike, but of course, overthinking bikes is my job and so what follows are my thoughts on Pinion from the perspective of someone who builds bike frames for a living and also spends a whole lot of time riding them. (more…)

May 22, 2018 12 comments
50to01 in South America

The boys from 50to01 take on a challenging EWS course in South America, but inject it with a bit of fun they’re known for!

May 8, 2018 1 comment
Spring Has Sprung and the Spanish Bayonet are Blooming

Our local species of yucca, aptly named Spanish Bayonet – Hesperoyucca whipplei – has decided to show the world its life work this month, blooming alongside the singletrack and mountainsides of the San Gabriel range here in Los Angeles. These plants will grow to maturity in around five years and shoot out a beautiful inflorescence, which grows extremely fast, reaching over 10 feet tall. These towers of white flowers attract pollinators from moths to bees and hummingbirds, as well as sending a sweet scent across the springtime air. Yesterday, on our 23-mile singletrack “descent” – which packed in over 4,000′ of elevation – I couldn’t help but stop every time one of these beautiful blooms shared our singletrack. More on that later…

May 7, 2018 2 comments
Niner is Either Pushing Buttons or Pushing the Envelope with the MCR

Four years ago, while visiting a big cycling company, a bike like this was hanging in a corner of a conference room. It was a prototype that they said would never see the light of day. At the time, I joked about how it would cause such a stir amongst both mountain bikers and road cyclists alike. While the other brand kept their bike locked up, Niner went public with the same idea. They created the MCR, displayed it at Sea Otter, and just leaked a bit of information, slating a 2019 dealer release, making it official:

“So, with our expertise in off-road bikes, we’ve developed a gravel bike that can tackle the roughest roads without sacrificing performance for comfort. The MCR utilizes Niner’s patented CVA suspension design with a leverage ratio tuned specifically for shorter travel, suspending the whole bike, not just the rider, bringing greater comfort, control and efficiency to the gravel riding experience. This means you’ll be able to run higher tire pressure, which will come in handy when you need to switch from road to groad. No more adjusting tire pressure mid-ride.”

Read more at Niner and I’m sure you all have strong opinions about this one!

May 4, 2018 55 comments
Do Not Miss the Jay Bird Films and Tumbleweed Bikes Project – El Silencio: Cycling the Peruvian Andres

The poster for the tour, designed by @horizonlines is available at the screenings

Tonight’s premiere of El Silencio: Cycling the Peruvian Andres at Golden Saddle was excellent. The visuals, story, and cast of characters are as memorable as the scenery. Seeing these vignettes in video is an exceptional experience, especially after seeing so much of Ryan Wilson’s photography work from the area over the years.

Do not miss this film as it tours the West Coast of the US. Future screenings are on the way, along with an eventual web-release.

Here’s the press-release from Tumbleweed Bikes:

“Cycling the Peruvian Andes, a Jay Ritchey Film. El Silencio brings the viewer along through the highs and lows of four cyclists as they traverse the mountainous Peru Divide bikepacking route, and was filmed entirely by bike. Joining the tour are: Jay Ritchey, filmmaker; Daniel Molloy, owner of Tumbleweed Bicycle Company, and Pepper Cook, adventure cyclist. A Q&A session will be held following the film for those interested in learning more about bicycle travel, bicycle design, and more. We hope you will join us!”

Tour dates and tickets listed below:
● May 5, Ventura, CA: Ventura Bike Hub
● May 8, Oakland, CA: Luckyduck Bicycle Cafe
● May 9, Fairfax, CA: Marin Museum of Bicycling
● May 11, Portland, OR: Velo Cult
● May 15, Seattle, WA: Swift Industries @ The Rhino Room

May 4, 2018 No comments yet
The LA Times on the Gabrielino Trail Re-Opening Effort by MWBA

“Erik Hillard has always believed the best way to know a rugged trail is to bike it. But for nearly a decade, the historic Gabrielino Trail in the peaks above La Cañada has been all but unknowable to mountain bikers.

The 2009 Station fire and the rainy season that followed it rendered impassable much of a 26-mile stretch of the trail.”

Check out the full story at the LA Times and see our gallery in the Related sidebar!

May 3, 2018 1 comment
A Santa Rosa Frame Building Flashback: 1990’s Rigid Kostrikin SSMTB

Santa Rosa – and all of NorCal for that matter – has a rich history with frame builders. From Eisentraut to Salsa, Sycip, and Retrotec, the names and faces of this little realm within the cycling industry have such great stories to tell. While I’m working on a few more posts from my recent trip to Santa Rosa, I thought I’d share this unique build with you.

High in the rafters at Trail House hangs this 1990’s Kostrikin rigid single speed mountain bike. These days, bikes like this are still rolling around, converted with “limp dick” stems, baskets and flat pedals, these once race-ready bikes have found a life living as commuters, bar bikes, tourers, and grocery getters. There was a time, however, when these were the pinnacle of racing technology. Although the single speed market was and seemingly still remains a small percentage of this population. (more…)

Apr 29, 2018 25 comments