Category Archives: Specialized
Yonder Journal: Sunchuli Pass – Lord Nerd Beta
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While the first day of the Sunchuli Pass’ coverage focuses mostly on gear and bikepacking check lists, there are a lot of excellent passages like the following:

“We went to Bolivia because of the mines.

Everywhere else in the world roads go where roads go and trails go where trails go. There is very little confusion about which is which, and it’s clear where one ends and the other begins. Roads are wide, paved or graded, and maintained to some degree. Trails get rad. In Bolivia, because of the mines, the situation is more fluid.

If gold was discovered on the top of Mt Whitney, and California didn’t give a fuck about large scale mining and environmental stewardship because it was the poorest country in South America, somebody with three snow shovels lashed to the front of a minivan would figure out how to build a road to the top. Now imagine thousands of Whitneys, only 40% taller, steeper and more rugged. That’s the Cordillera Apolobamba.

That’s why we went to Bolivia. To ride a network of the world’s most ambitious, ludicrous roads. Roads that defy physics. Roads that weave throughout an ancient and venerable Alpine Wonderland that is currently transitioning into to Tolkien’s Mordor.”

Like this? I do. If you do, you can continue reading more from Yonder Journal’s recent excursion to Bolivia. There’s also a great list of what kind of gear to carry and how in this post. I can’t wait to find out if they finished the damn ride this time. Also, how fuckin’ metal is that poster?!

May 21, 2015 4 comments
Taking on the #FlowShiv – Chris Riekert
HT Profile

Taking on the #FlowShiv
Photos and words by Chris Riekert

Here in the hallowed halls of the big red ‘S’; you know, the Death Star of the cycling world… you might be surprised to see there are some real people roaming around. Real people that are, first and foremost, big fans of bikes.

People like my buddy John Friedrich, the only man I know who would happily talk about the different weights of DOT brake fluid and what they offer to the rider, literally, until you’d choose water boarding over continuing the conversation… Or like our mechanic Patrick “Tree” Miller who seems like someone delivered to earth in one of those rescue pods shot through space as the planet Krypton went through nuclear collapse. Patrick is the NICEST most willing to help person I’ve ever met… and yes, he is a bicycle mechanic! How about that?

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May 14, 2015 20 comments
Trail Hunter in the Sawtooth Range

One of the nicest guys in mountain biking, Matt Hunter takes to Sun Valley’s high elevation singletrack with his buds. Whether you’re into covering a bunch of distance on a huge loop or setting up a base camp and doing day trips, Idaho’s Sawtooth National Forest is a bucket list riding destination.

Apr 21, 2015 Comments are OFF
Deux North’s Hunt 5

“Inspired by the sport of professional rally car racing, Deux North took a special group of riders to the Rally de Catalunya in Spain for Hunt 5. In Salou, they met one of the world’s best drivers, Kris Meeke, and recorded his story of passion and adventure. Traveling along the route of the World Rally Championship, from Barcelona to Valencia, Deux North ran into some of the most beautiful places on earth as well as some interesting surprises and setbacks. It was Kris’ story that inspired Deux North’s hunters over their four day trip and to this day. This is Hunt 5, as told by World Rally Championship driver, Kris Meeke, and Deux North’s Hunters.”

See more at Deux North.

Apr 7, 2015 5 comments
Specialized’s New Zertz Command Cockpit
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Once in a while, a company like Specialized makes a truly innovative product, well before anyone else. I was both in awe and extremely jealous when I saw this contraption. Only compatible with the Zertz road bike, the Command Cockpit keeps the data where it needs to be, in your face. Smoother is faster, remember? But weight is most important. Specialized has won the “gram game” with this ultralight component.

Check out more below.

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Apr 1, 2015 17 comments
Yonder Journal’s Dead Reckoning
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The latest from Yonder Journal is quite possibly (actually, it just is) the largest project the team has ever undertaken. Here’s the synopsis:

“In 2015, Yonder Journal will investigate, ascertain, and document the peripheries and possibilities of exploration by bicycle. We call this project Dead Reckoning*. At it’s core we will apply the technologies and methodologies of adventure biking, bike-packing, and ultra-lightweight touring, to multi-day expeditions with a focus on going Over Mountain, the concept of Over Mountain being the the most essential and transformative form of human exploration.

The first of our Dead Reckoning expeditions took us to New Zealand’s South Island where we would attempt to cross the island from east to west, traveling across roads, trails, and unmarked land that has seldom if ever seen bike traffic. The crux of our route would be a Broderick Pass, a seldom traveled route hidden deep in the Southern Alps. It was quite an adventure.”

Check out some samples below and the full, massive photo story at Yonder Journal.

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Mar 31, 2015 8 comments
Specialized: Audax Road Shoes
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While audax events may be incredibly challenging, the beauty is their non-competitive nature. Riders simply must complete the set distance within the time limit. This endurance sport has grown from its roots in the 19th century to still being popular today, with many major cities having their own randonneur club.

Specialized has been expanding their product line to move away from the “all pro all the time” look and shifting its sights onto fundurance and expedition style riding. The Audax is one of those shifts: a shoe meant for long distance rides. With, what feels to be a wider footbed, comfy fit, reflective hits and easy on-easy off Boa lash, the Audax has some great details.

Since I’ve only put a few rides in while wearing these shoes, I won’t give them a full review, but a detail photo and a short write-up should suffice for now. Now, why does a shoe named after audax riding have a road cleat and not an SPD cleat? I have no idea. Still, they do look a lot less race-oriented than other shoes in their product line. Available soon in a variety of colors from Specialized.

Mar 25, 2015 21 comments
Jonathan’s S-Works Epic 29r Burry Stander Edition
Jonathan's SWorks Epic 29r Burry Stander Edition

When South African, World Cup champion Burry Stander suffered a tragic death on a training ride in 2013, Specialized lost not only one of their riders, but one of their family members. To honor his death, they released an S-Works Epic 29r under their Specialized Projects line.

Based on their FACT World Cup geometry, this flashy frame is covered in a sparkly orange paint, adorned with African art and features a graphic inspired by the South African flag and Stander’s unique personality. The resulting product makes for an orange blur that glows in the late-afternoon sun (and is rather hard to photograph).

As far as tech is concerned, this S-Works Epic frame features a FOX/Specialized remote Mini-Brain with AUTOSAG, pushing 95mm of travel and a Rock Shox Sid Brain. Built with Sram XO1 and rolling on Roval Control SL 29 with Maxxis Ardent gumwalls set up tubeless, this thing is ready for blast off.

While I’m sure it’d take a while to truly grasp what this frame represents, Jonathan has taken quite a liking to it. All I can say is damn, look at those chain stays!

Feb 23, 2015 19 comments