Ah the forest. The lush, green forest.
Darren Berrecloth and Ricky Brabec take us on a freeride journey.
Are you guys sick of seeing the “+” sign after wheel size standards? Ok, I didn’t think so. While the mountain bike industry tries to re-align itself on the topic of wheel sizes and tire widths, the rest of us are busy experimenting with tire spec, chainstay length, and bottom bracket drop. Out in Montana, Adam Sklar has some opinions about the aforementioned design options. Slacker, lower and longer bikes tend to enjoy going downhill faster and offer more stability at those speeds. All of which is particularly helpful when encountering a rock garden or chunky section of trail. Many of those design points that apply in Montana, apply in Los Angeles, where our trails are rocky, steep and our descents last for well over an hour at times.
Colin got this bike when he lived in Bozeman. Adam built him a pretty standard Sklar 27.5+ hardtail, and Colin spec’d the parts. Lining the beautiful desert tan frame are a slew of purple anodized components, including i9 hubs, Hope rotors, Twenty Six stem and collar. Keeping the front from buckin’ around too much is a 140mm Rock Shox Pike and Maxxis 3″ tires. Those rims? Cheapo Chinese carbon from eBay. Colin’s view on those are if carbon wheels are going to break after a few seasons, why not go with a cheaper alternative? He’s got the front laced to a SON hub for night riding in the mountains and is using SRAM XX1 with one of those trippy Wolf Tooth rings.
This bike is a beast and I can’t wait to shred with its owner and creator next week in Moab before NAHBS engulfs this website. If you’d like to read Colin’s review of it, head over to the Sklar Blog!
SRAM bringing some shreddy vibes for your Friday morning.
Traversing the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
By far the number one thing people bring up when they find out you’re going to Peru is Machu Picchu. In fact, that’s probably the response at least 95% of the time. To be fair, prior to stumbling upon photos of the Cordillera Blanca on Google Earth one day, Machu Picchu was always the first thing that came to my mind as well, so it’s a hard thing to fault. (more…)
With the 50:01 crew.
In preparation for NAHBS, I like to crank up my framebuilder observation scope, resulting in obsessive Instagram stalking of my favorite builders, even if they’re not attending the show. If you were to ask me the number one challenge builders are presented with currently, in terms of construction techniques, my answer would be swift and without hesitation: 27.5+ yokes. Designing a yoke that will clear the tire, maintain optimal chainline and allow the use of a range of ring sizes is not easy. The issue is sometimes you’ve only got millimeters to spare and while machining or casting a yoke would be an easy solution, you sacrifice weight. If you use normal chainstays and crimp to allow clearance, you weaken those points considerably. A few builders have cleverly designed their solutions. My current favorite is Cameron Falconer, who uses plate steel at the drive side and a normal, bent stay on the non-drive side. The asymmetry doesn’t bother me, yet when I see this design by Konga Bicycles, my mouth begins to water. Check out more at the Konga Flickr!
While traffic chugs along, two dudes go for a ride in Golden Gate Park in SF.
The prefrontal cortex is relatively well-developed in my brain, meaning self-control and personal safety awareness is high. Honed even. Other riders out there might have a more underdeveloped PFC, meaning they’re willing to huck themselves down massive step-downs and over canyons without more than a few moments of hesitation. In the world of mountain biking, I’d rank myself and my friends as capable riders. Obviously, many of the riders I photograph have skill levels that are a few notches higher than mine. Some of them grew up riding BMX or motocross and a mountain bike just feels natural up in the air, oftentimes one wheel or two at a time. Photographing these rad atavists is just one of the reasons why I love my job, yet all it takes is a change of scenery to feel like you’re in over your head. This sea change was found once we left the common trails in Hurricane, Utah for a neighboring outpost called Virgin. Home to RedBull Rampage and other free-riding spots, Virgin is in many ways, the home base for the sport. (more…)
Like big, chunky tires on your mountain bike or touring bike? Have an addiction to carbon rims on said bikes? Check out the WTB CI31 rims. 31mm interior rim width, strong as hell and in stock now. Head to WTB to read more and your local dealer for ordering.