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Sea Otter Classic 2019: Niner Bikes’ MCR 9 RDO Prototype Full Suspension All Road

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Sea Otter Classic 2019: Niner Bikes’ MCR 9 RDO Prototype Full Suspension All Road

Whoa whoa whoa. What? Last year we saw a plastic shelled prototype of Niner’s full suspension all road, the MCR 9 RDO, and this year at Sea Otter, the brand teased an updated prototype, to the shock and awe of trail shredders and roadies alike.

Niner calls the MCR 9 RDO their Magic Carpet Ride, alluding to the cushy feel that full suspension offers all-day gravel racers. Their theory is the suspension allows riders to run their tires at higher pressures, avoiding snakebite tire tears, rim damage, and less rolling resistance, all with 50mm x 27.5 clearance. Their CVA design – constant varying arc – boasts modified leverage ratios for less travel and total lockout maximizes energy on pavement climbs. The frame is made from Niner’s RDO carbon layup, with one piece forged linkages, has a removable front derailleur mounts and has full sleeve internal routing.

While this bike might not be for everyone, it is cool to see. If you’re feeling this design, let Niner know in the comments and be on the lookout for the MCR 9 RDO late 2019.

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Follow Niner on Instagram and follow Rebecca Rusch on Instagram.

Racing Along the Ruta del Jefe in the San Rafael Valley

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Racing Along the Ruta del Jefe in the San Rafael Valley

Over the past few years, there’s been an awakening of sorts within my scope of reporting and documenting cycling: when I travel to cover an event, or set out to ride in even a familiar landscape, I like to know the geopolitical, geographical, and geological history of the land in which I’ll be pedaling across, over and through. As much as this awareness contributes to a better understanding of the land we all recreate on, it’s also a way to pay respects to the prior inhabitants of these fragile landscapes.

This interest in the background and history of a place was a large motivation for me to take part in the Ruta del Jefe: a race through the San Rafael Valley, and Santa Rita Mountains, coordinated by Sarah Swallow. Last weekend, the race went down, and up for that matter, all around the San Rafael Valley, but the weekend had much more on the agenda than just riding bikes: it was a lesson for us all in how to sustainably use the land and how we could offer up our recreation as a resource.

The Devil in a Dress; L’Eroica Celebrates Alfonsina Strada – Tenzin Namdol

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The Devil in a Dress; L’Eroica Celebrates Alfonsina Strada – Tenzin Namdol

The Devil in a Dress; L’Eroica Celebrates Alfonsina Strada
Words and photos by Tenzin Namdol

“The act of remembering is about the future, not the past.” -Dr. Tashi Rabgey

There was a poster on the door of the Jolly Bar in downtown Gaiole In Chianti advertising a one woman play about and dedicated to Alfonsina Strada, the only woman to have competed in the Giro d’Italia way back in 1924. She was called “The Devil in Dress” by the press who sensationalized the story of a woman riding the Giro against pro racers of the time who were very well known and very male. Strada is no doubt a darling of the Italian vintage cycling social scene but completely unbeknownst to me. The play was one of the many official events organized for the L’Eroica weekend of ogling at relics that function as baseline vision for countless daydreams of bike builds, some looking much like the bike Strada rode for the Giro.

We Spent Black Friday in the Mountains of Los Angeles!

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We Spent Black Friday in the Mountains of Los Angeles!

While Black Friday follows a holiday meant to celebrate the togetherness of friends and family, we oftentimes get swept up in consumerism. Hey, it happens. Deals here, deals there. Lines, lines, lines! The whole ordeal can really taint an otherwise pleasant weekend. Don’t even get me started on Thanksgiving in itself. (You should read the history behind what this holiday was founded on, written by the Manataka American Indian Council.) Now, I’m not writing this piece to get into the complicated history of Indigenous Lands and religious zealots’ squandering of natural resources. I actually like what this time of year embodies but I approach the subject with great care. No matter how you look at it, we are all on Native Lands.

ENVE’s New Gravel Fork and Bars

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ENVE’s New Gravel Fork and Bars

This line has been in the works for a long time. ENVE’s new Gravel line features a new fork, which will fit a 50mm tire, has a 50mm rake and features a 395mm axle to crown. The new handlebars measure 54 cm, 56 cm, 58 cm, 60 cm at the drops and at the hoods 42 cm, 44 cm, 46 cm, 48 cm, with an 80mm reach. Check out all the details of the new Gravel line at ENVE.

Beyond Mountain Bikes with the Rocky Mountain Solo 70 – Morgan Taylor

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Beyond Mountain Bikes with the Rocky Mountain Solo 70 – Morgan Taylor

Beyond Mountain Bikes with the Rocky Mountain Solo 70 – Morgan Taylor
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

When you think Rocky Mountain, you think mountain bikes. That’s where their focus lies and for that reason you may not even be aware that they’ve made a handful of drop bar bikes over their nearly 40 years in business.

The Solo has been in the BC-based brand’s lineup a long time – as both a cyclocross and a road race platform – but this most recent iteration skews more toward fat tires, cargo carrying, and, well, slotting a bike into the current hot niche in the drop bar world. It’s a step that, in my opinion, aligns this bike more with the others in the current Rocky Mountain lineup.

A Weekend in Stillwater, Oklahoma at the Land Run 100

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A Weekend in Stillwater, Oklahoma at the Land Run 100

Mud. It’s hell. A catalyst for catastrophe and the end game for any bike event. Honestly, it’s been the one thing grating at my conscious since first accepting the invitation to the Land Run 100 late last year. For six years now, Land Run 100 has been put together by Bobby Wintle and the team at District Bicycles in Stillwater, Oklahoma. It’s a challenging race on a challenging course, yet the entrants must adjust their own psyche to determine what mental state they will choose to enter these dirt roads. Be it personal grit, the desire to complete the course in its entirety, glory, or to be the fastest group of racers in one of many categories. Racers register for the event to conquer their own goals.

The story of competition is as old as the ages, yet the history of the Land Run was one formed long before the existence of dirt roads as we know them today.