This bike is the direct result of many experiences, beginning with my 44 Bikes touring bike and culminating with the Moots Baxter I spent a great deal of time on last year both fully-loaded and set up in what I could call expedition mode. After a lot of back and forth, I realized that I like 29+ bikes for bikepacking and yeah, titanium is really nice for desert riding. These mental musings came to the full realization after spending some time talking with Adam from Sklar Bikes this summer in Bozeman.
This year at Grinduro, eight frame builders presented bikes in partnership with Maxxis, Sram/Zipp, Columbus, and Hope Tech. The theme? What is your ideal Grinduro bike? This outstanding Sycip gravel bike brought classic Sycip details to a modern platform.
Bombtrack announced the Hook EXT C model last year. It was the flagship lightweight carbon gravel bike with a bit more versatility added in for the long haul, with the needed bosses for fenders, racks, and other touring essentials. The 2020 Hook EXT C now features a T47 bottom bracket, SRAM Rival, and 650b Hunt Adventure Sport wheels with 2.0″ gumwall WTB Venture tires.
The WTB Byway tire is a perfect choice for mixed-terrain riding. It’s been our go-to tire of choice for 650b gravel rides and while we’ve been really pleased with the tire’s abilities, our praise has been cut short by the lack of a 700c version. Today WTB announced the Byway is now available as a 700c diameter, with 34, 40, and 44mm widths, in both black and gumwall. Head to your local WTB dealer for ordering.
A few towns over from Downieville, California, where John works at Yuba Expeditions during the summer months, is Quincy, California where Cameron Falconer‘s workshop is. John and Cam knew each other back when they both lived in the Bay Area and since relocating to what is called the “Lost Sierra,” John really wanted a road bike that could handle the area’s veritable Sierra chunk.
Those looking for more grip on loamy surfaces on their plus bikepacking or trail bike can rejoice at the latest drop from WTB. The Vigalante is now available in a 29er plus package. To keep the weight down and the durability up, WTB utilizes their TriTec compound, which balances traction, support and durability, keeping your sidewalls tear-free and the casings supple. Head over to WTB to read more and your local dealer to order.
WTB has come a long way with their “road plus” tires over the years since the first Horizon tire hit the market. Now, the Venture has quickly become a favorite over here and now it’s available in both 650 and 700 in the 50mm widths. Head to your local dealer to see one in person and to WTB to see more information.
I was amazed at the number of 333 Fab bikes rolling at this year’s Super Stoke Weekend. One of which was this limited edition, Kyler Martz-designed, Now You’re Finished-painted, AirLandSea all-road/light tourer, piloted by Gideon Tsang from Austin. Morgan Taylor reviewed one for the site last year. Max from 333 Fab designed these bikes as a “Cascadian Rambler,” meant to take on all day or multi-day dirt road rides throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
These bikes are made in a limited production run, with various sizing to ensure the rider can get their custom fit dialed in. You can choose from one of seven sizes, with the ability to fit riders ranging from 5’ – 6’5”. The sizing doesn’t stop at the geometry alone, Each individual size has its own specific tubeset with engineered tube diameters to ensure a proper ride quality. How they build up the frames is up to them! I particularly took to Gideon’s build spec, as it’d be close to how I’d build one of these up myself.
If you’ve ever been to Downieville, you know what a magical place it is. So magical that WTB teamed up with the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship to make a run of these commemorative Volt Pro saddles with a special Downieville graphic. On sale now for the holidays and a perfect fit for your trail bike! Head to SBTS’ webshop to scoop one up.
Wow. Just wow. Robert from Blue Collar Bikes brought my favorite bike to the 2018 Grinduro Town Hall. Painted to match his iconic van, this Nigel 650G featured components from PAUL, 3T, WTB, White Industries, SRAM, and a Fabric saddle. There are so many NorCal brands on this bike, all within a short trip from Sacramento where Blue Collar is based.
There’s not much else to note about this bike, as it’s a prime example of a bike that tells its own story. My only regret was not taking this photo as well!
Following up with their popular Byway tires, WTB launched two new road plus options. With a 27.5 by 47mm design, the new Sendero and Venture tires are for your all-road, or ‘cross bike and while the Venture features a minimal tread design, the Sendero has aggressive knobs. See more details at WTB and holler at your local dealer for ordering.
Just over a week ago, I was meant to be racing this bike, in my first ‘cross race in a very long time. The Friday night before the race, I pre-registered to make things go more smoothly on race day, and had everything ready to go. As it turns out, I wasn’t going to make it to that race.
WTB’s Riddler 45mm tire gets some love in the latest from the tire manufacturer.
This year, I’ll be covering the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s Triple Crown events: Lost & Found, Grinduro, and the Downieville Classic. My intent with this is to grow the Stweardship’s presence, help them raise money and spread the stoke for the Lost Sierra. Jumping on board with this project is just the icing on the dirt cake!
“Custom frame makers Sklar, Stinner, Mosaic, and McGovern have teamed up with world-class component makers ENVE, Chris King, SRAM and WTB to create four unique and beautiful custom bicycles that will be raffled after the gun goes off for the Lost and Found Gravel race. All proceeds will benefit the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship.
Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship is a non-profit organization that builds and maintains multi-use trails in the Sierra Buttes, Tahoe, Plumas and Lassen national forests. Their mission is building sustainable recreation-based communities through stewardship, job creation and hosting world-class events. SBTS has donated an estimated 72,000 hours of volunteer labor, maintained over 800 miles of shared use trails and created nearly 80 miles of new trails since 2003.
The bikes will be exhibited at the Lost and Found gravel race and the raffle will be live, with $20 tickets, from June 2nd through June 15th, hosted by The Pro’s Closet. All donations and raffle ticket purchases are tax deductible.”
Check out more details on these bikes and how to buy a raffle ticket below!
This is a great-lookin’ saddle, with an even better story and cause!
“WTB has teamed up with the NorCal High School Cycling League to introduce a limited edition saddle where a portion of the proceeds contributes to the Buddy Newman Scholarship Fund, which in turn covers race entry fees for high school athletes throughout the racing season.
With over 1200 kids actively participating and racing in the NorCal League between grades 9 to 12, the league has provided an introduction to the mountain biking community for an ever-increasing amount of high school students. The NorCal League introduces riders of all skill levels to the benefits of a lifetime of mountain biking and helps support the next generation of mountain bikers.
The WTB NorCal League saddle is a Team-level Volt 142 saddle, which features titanium rails and our top-tier DNA Padding. It’s available for purchase through WTB.com for a retail price of $129.95 and a portion of the proceeds will be contributed to the Buddy Newman Scholarship Fund. We only made 100 of these California-inspired saddles, so they won’t be available for long! ”
Scoop one up at WTB!
Stephanie’s Surly Wednesday with Studs and Sim Works
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor
Stephanie’s Surly Wednesday represents layers of history, each meaningful and useful in their own right. When studying architecture and art history, I learned that such layers of history are referred to as a palimpsest. Rome is the classic example of a palimpsest, a city in which successive generations have built on top of what came before. New additions have been built on top of existing infrastructure, though the original shape and character still shines through.
Stephanie’s Wednesday has been successively repurposed over the past couple of years, moving away from its original life as a fat bike with trail geometry, to where you see it currently as a cold weather commuter with signs of its enjoyment along the way. Used and adapted, used some more, collecting knicks and character throughout. Our bikes are where we layer our history: through experience, they become greater than the sum of their parts.
The Byway, Cross Boss, Nano, Resolute and Riddler tires all come in a gumwall option. These models are in stock now for ordering from your local dealer and will add a classic look to any bike. Check out more information at WTB.
Things don’t always go as planned. That’s what I have to tell myself all the time. Last winter, Clayton from WTB and I planned on doing the Tahoe Rim Trail, the week of Interbike, not with any political agenda in mind, just that it worked for both of our schedules. It was the only week where neither of us had anything penned in our calendars.
While you can do the TRT on a rigid bike, you’ll probably have more fun on at least a hardtail. Clayton’s route includes a lot of singletrack on the eastern side of the lake and like everything up there, it can be rowdy at times. I planned on bringing my Stinner Frameworks, with a few component upgrades, which would make the long days and high elevation gain a bit easier. All I needed were some bags.
I’ve been using Porcelain Rocket bags for quite a while now and while my trusty frame bag fits my road or cross bikes, even my 44 UTE quite well, it wouldn’t cram into my hardtail. Around the time I was planning for this, Scott from Porcelain Rocket launched his sealed waterproof bags, with the first special color offering being “Prolly Gold,” or Coyote as the rest of the world calls it. I was honored and slightly amused at the playful nod to my obsession with various shades of tan, so I reached out to Scott, with the emphasis on the byline: nothing special, just want to buy a bag.