The pandemic has us in the throes of deep wanderlust. While travel has been momentarily halted, stories such as this get our minds whirling into a spiral of possibilities. Paulo LaBerge and Heather Plewes toured throughout Tanzania and Eastern Africa, penning a journal of sorts for Esker Cycles, filled with short stories. Today, we’re sharing those tales…
Search Term – Change
Baja Divide: May You Fill Your Belly, Get Moving, and Be Grateful for the Tailwind
The doorbell of the Alaska bike shop jingled shut as another khaki shorts cruise ship goer left, leaving me alone at the counter for a brief moment to contemplate my future. My job at the bike shop would end in mid-September, and I wanted to be riding the Baja Divide in mid-January. These things were clear, what lay between them was not.
Gold Amidst the Dust: A Hardtail Gallery from the 2019 Downieville Classic
Hardtails. Antiquated examples of mountain bike technology to some but to others, they’re liberated and simplified machines. Each year, I plan on riding a full suspension in Downieville, yet I always end up bringing my hardtail for one reason or another so this year, I took a look at just some of the bikes that were rolling around this Gold Rush town.
Inside / Out at Neuhaus Metalworks and a Look at the Hummingbird Steel Hardtail 29er
For a two-man operation, Nick Neuhaus and Daniel Yang have their systems dialed. Or, maybe the manpower limitations of being a small team have been the motivating force behind the duo’s streamlined Marin-based, framebuilding operation, Neuhaus Metalworks. Hailey Moore and John Watson spent some time talking shop with Nick and Daniel on their innovative 3D printed components and how these parts lead to higher efficiency in their US-made frames. Read on for a closer look at Neuhaus’ exciting approach to making steel and titanium mountain bikes.
Snowed Out at the 2023 Sedona Mountain Bike Festival
The last time we reported from the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival was in November of 2021 and conditions were perfect with sunny skies, warm days, and cool nights. Bike demos and clinics were abundant; everything went according to plan. This year, however, with the festival back on its spring schedule during the first week of March, the weather wasn’t so cooperative. After a sizeable snowstorm caused the first day of the festival to be canceled, Josh and Spencer ventured up to the land of red dirt and vortexes to see how the subsequent days would be salvaged. Thankfully the event organizers, vendors, and festival-goers made the best of things and there were still plenty of bikes and products to show off along with abundant festivities to partake in. Let’s take a look below at what we found!
Following the Footprints of the Jaguar: Ruta del Jefe Migrates to Cuenca Los Ojos
Ruta del Jefe is a weekend of adventure cycling, education, community, and advocacy that has taken place in the Sky Islands region of southern Arizona, which we’ve previously reported on here, here, and here. Beginning in 2024, the event will occur in Cuenca los Ojos, a protected landscape in Sonora, Mexico’s Sky Islands. Below, this two-part collaborative story (“The Watershed of the Springs” by Sarah Swallow and “La Aventura” by Daniel Zaid) details what’s next for Ruta del Jefe along with other recreational and educational opportunities in these borderlands.
Under No Pretext Should Radness Be Surrendered: Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol Review and Factory Visit
The Trail Pistol is Guerrilla Gravity’s short travel trail bike with 29″ wheels and 120mm of travel. It’s the type of bike that seemed to fit my riding style, and I was super excited for the opportunity to spend some time with one for a long-term review. Since the factory where these bikes are made is just a short drive from where I currently live, it made sense to combine the review with a more in-depth look at the brand, their manufacturing process, and the modularity of their bikes. The original article was close to 6500 words, so we decided to split it up a bit for everyone’s sake. Next week, we’ll share a slightly shorter article that takes a look at the modular frame platform, new paint schemes for the brand, and the next-gen Gnarvana, which is GG’s long travel enduro bike. Let’s get to it!
Radar Roundup: Sklar Raffle, Austere Goes Sand, MW Stahl, PEdALED Amani, Japhy in Stock, and Velo Orange Build Diary
Our Radar Roundup compiles products and videos from the ‘net in an easy-to-digest format. Read on below for today’s findings…
Josh Reviews His Mash-Up Sklar Sweet Spot: The Sweet Jammer
The Sweet Spot from Bozeman, MT-based Sklar Bikes is a steel hardtail mountain bike designed to be a venerable quiver-killer. Built around 150mm of front suspension, with clearance for up to 29 x 2.8 tires, its geometry embraces builder Adam Sklar’s mantra of “fast is fun, but fun is fun-er.” Sweet Spots were Adam’s first foray into offering a small batch frame design and sizing, which he hopes will make his bikes more accessible and faster to produce.
I picked up a Sweet Spot of my own earlier this spring after many years of searching for the perfect hardtail. Due to a few requests I had to make it even sweeter, it turned into a custom project that retained the established Sweet Spot geometry and material selection. Below, let’s take a closer look at my build in addition to a brief interview with Adam about these bikes and his design/build process!
Trail Time with Breadwinner’s Bad Otis: A 160mm Travel 27.5 Shred Sled
Earlier this year, Locke Hassett had the pleasure of spending a few months riding Breadwinner Cycle’s Bad Otis. This modern 27.5-inch wheel hardtail – with snappy short 415mm chainstays, 66° headtube angle, and 160mm of front suspension – presented him with some interesting considerations about mountain bikes, the sport as a whole, and what it means to him. Continue reading below for Locke’s in-depth review of the Bad Otis, along with some other relevant revelations…
The 2019 Sea Otter Classic Mega Gallery
Wow. Just wow. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this great – emotionally, not physically – after coming back from a tradeshow. It’s been three years since the last time I went to the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. In years past, it felt like a flat-brimmed, Monster Energy, bro fest and honestly, it was kind of overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, that is a broad stereotype and isn’t fair, but I’m not the only one who had that perception. This year, however, the ‘Otter felt more diverse, more inclusive, albeit with a few hiccups – like the racing announcer, and that Canadian company with the ‘booth babes’ wearing bikinis to sell their cheap sunglasses, but overall, I was impressed at how much Sea Otter has improved.
We’ll go into this more in-depth later, with an article by contributor Erin Lamb coming shortly, so right now let’s dive into the tradeshow itself!