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Builders for Builders: a Lost & Found Custom Bike Raffle for the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship

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Builders for Builders: a Lost & Found Custom Bike Raffle for the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship

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!

WTB Limited Edition NorCal Mountain Bike League Saddle

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WTB Limited Edition NorCal Mountain Bike League Saddle

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 – Morgan Taylor

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Stephanie’s Surly Wednesday with Studs and Sim Works – Morgan Taylor

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.

My Stinner 27.5+ Hardtail with Porcelain Rocket Toyota Trophy Truck Inspired Bags

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My Stinner 27.5+ Hardtail with Porcelain Rocket Toyota Trophy Truck Inspired Bags

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.

WTB’s Unisex Saddle the Koda

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WTB’s Unisex Saddle the Koda

Initially designed for women, but a favorite for men as well at the WTB office, the Koda is their newest saddle, available in two widths to match any rider. See more information at WTB. These should be in stock in a few weeks, so holler at your local dealer to check one out.

Giving My Firefly a Dose of Road Plus with WTB’s Byway 650b x 47mm Tires

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Giving My Firefly a Dose of Road Plus with WTB’s Byway 650b x 47mm Tires

When designing and conceiving my Firefly all road bike a few years ago, I wanted to be able to fit a 43mm tire, while maintaining a road geometry. “It’s not a cyclocross bike, rather a road bike with bigger tires and disc brakes” I’d tell people. Inadvertently, what I found was by allowing clearances for such a large 700c tire, I’d opened the door to even larger 650b tires.

I first used WTB’s “Road Plus” platform shortly after they released the 47mm Horizon tire. They sent the tires mounted to their Ci24 rims, built to White Industries hubs. While the wheels fit with enough clearances on my Firefly, I wasn’t a fan of the Horizon tires. Sure, they looked great and rode even better on sealed roads, but I found them to be less-than-ideal on the fire roads and singletrack I frequented in the mountains of Los Angeles.

Jump forward a year and WTB’s newest “road plus” tire, the Byway is now available and I’ve been riding them for a few weeks. The difference between the Horizon and the Byway is simple: there’s slight tread on the sides of the Byway, meant to give traction on loose corners. Well, does the Byway live up to the marketing jargon?

WTB’s CI31 Rims are in Stock

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WTB’s CI31 Rims are in Stock

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.

Enjoy the Weekend!

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Enjoy the Weekend!

This time of year, it seems like every other day someone’s in town, wanting to venture out into the mountains for some shredding. We’ve had a lot of rain in Los Angeles over the past few weeks, making the backcountry trails particularly tacky and chilly. This, as you’re well aware, makes for pristine riding conditions. Clayton had never ridden deep in the San Gabriels before, so I took him to Chilao, my personal favorite, for a bit of Friday morning shredding.

Enjoy the weekend and I hope you can get in some riding. Check out a few more photos below.

WTB: Limited Edition Buddy Newman Galaxy Saddle

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WTB: Limited Edition Buddy Newman Galaxy Saddle

In honor of the late Buddy Newman, WTB is using this limited edition galaxy print Volt saddle to raise money for the Nevada Union Miners mountain bike team’s race fees. The WTB Volt saddle, features titanium rails and DNA Padding, and is available in limited quantities of the 135mm widths. Head to WTB to scoop and support high school mountain biking!

WTB Introduces the 45mm Riddler Tire

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WTB Introduces the 45mm Riddler Tire

For those still wanting more rubber than the 40mm Nano and can fit a larger tire in their frame, WTB introduces the Riddler in 45mm. This multi-purpose tread is designed for everything from ‘cross racing to dirt road riding. Big tires like this can drastically change your ride quality, for the better. I’ve got a set of the Riddlers waiting to be mounted up and can’t wait to get in a few rides on them. In stock now at your local dealer and see more information at WTB!

Rie from Sim Works’ Hunter Cycles Woodrat 27.5″ MTB

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Rie from Sim Works’ Hunter Cycles Woodrat 27.5″ MTB

Designing and building frames for shorter riders, particularly women can be quite challenging. You’ve got to ensure there is enough standover and leg extension without compromising the feel of the geometry too much. There aren’t a lot of production frames out there for 5′ tall women either, forcing many people to look to the custom market.

Rick from Hunter Cycles has had a long relationship with Sim Works, a component brand in Nagoya, Japan. So when Rie from Sim Works moved to Portland to open their US-distribution, Rick wanted to surprise her with a new mountain bike. There are, after all, a plethora of trails to be ridden in Oregon and California.

While visiting Santa Cruz en route to Los Angeles, Rick surprised Rie with this Japanese curry-colored Woodrat 27.5″ hardtail. Santa Cruz locals, X-Fusion sent over their Sweep fork and dropper post to offer all the squish needed for this rowdy hardtail. WTB’s KOM rims, laced to XT hubs with Trail Boss 2.4″ tires would give Rie plenty of confidence while cornering. The Praxis works Turn 1x MTB cranks with a SRAM GX derailleur keep those wheels turnin’. The SRAM Level TL brakes and GX shifters round out the build with the Sim Works Ronda Stem with the Smooth Booth Hunter bars would give her the control she needs.

Overall, this is a jammin’ bike and Rie has been loving it here in Los Angeles on our dusty trails! Don’t worry Rick, we’re taking care of her down here!

Turn Your MTB into a WTB Scraper Bike

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Turn Your MTB into a WTB Scraper Bike

If you love some wide-ass tires on your mountain bike, check out one of the newest players to the plus-sized game. WTB Introduces the Scraper rim, designed specifically for 2.8″ or 3″ tires and meant to take a beating on the trail or your next bikepacking trek. The Scraper comes in two models: the i40 is designed for 2.8” tires while the i45 is optimized for 3.0” and both are TCS tubeless compatible. For more information, head to WTB and for ordering, holler at your local dealer.

A 4th of July Red White and Blue Stinner Frameworks Monster ‘Cross

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A 4th of July Red White and Blue Stinner Frameworks Monster ‘Cross

Cue the speech from Independence Day, mashed up with Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA with a few fireworks and explosions, playing on a bluetooth speaker aboard a Ritchey from the 90’s (any one will do, just not those Lite Beam frames.) That was what inspired the newest from Stinner Frameworks and Golden Saddle Cyclery.

When I returned from Spain with that Monster Cross Crema Duo, rolling on 27.5 wheels and Maxxis tires, Kyle’s eyes opened wide, sparking a conversation. “Do you like those wheels?” Or something of that nature. After a few rides together, he called Aaron at Stinner, just as they were about to get started on his ‘cross bike and told them to hold off on design and construction. The following few days were spent problem solving how to fit that size tire and a traditional 1x crank. It ain’t easy and there isn’t Boost available for road / cross yet, making it difficult to get the chainstay clearance you need.

Why would you want those wheels anyway? See, Kyle and myself enjoy riding our ‘cross bikes on singletrack and dirt roads probably more than racing itself. What is essentially an XC tire fits in with this riding more, especially in LA, where the sandy and loose trails need as much rubber contact as possible. With a tubeless tire, you can run a low pressure and still have a large contact patch. So the 27.5 platform allows that, with some extra cushion too, but it’s nice to have an option to race. That’s what’s so versatile about a bike like this. It’ll fit a 700 wheel with up to a 45mm tire for racing ‘cross or it’ll fit a 27.5″ mtb wheel for thrashing trails and fire roads. The bottom bracket is designed to ride similarly with either wheel size. Coupled with the SRAM 1x system and its 10-42t cassette, you don’t spin out while you’re riding to the trail either. For wheels, I’ve been riding the WTB Horizon Road Plus system on my Firefly on and off, so I wanted to let Kyle get some time in on it too.

So what about that paint? Well, why not? That frame is made in the USA and today is the 4th of July! Stinner’s in-house design and paint team killed it with this one. My mind was blown when I saw this one…

Enjoy your 4th!

WTB’s New Ranger 27.5+ Tire

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WTB’s New Ranger 27.5+ Tire

I’ve been more than impressed with the recent 27.5+ offerings from WTB, including the Bridger which are on a Retrotec hardtail I’m reviewing currently. The Ranger is their newest offering in the plus size market, covering everything from hardpack to loam in wet to dry conditions. Head to your local dealer to check these out, and see more information at WTB.

2016 NAHBS: Hunter Disc All Road with WTB Road Plus Wheels

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2016 NAHBS: Hunter Disc All Road with WTB Road Plus Wheels

Over the years, NAHBS has become the launching platform for companies to release new products, utilizing custom frames as the backdrop. One of those new projects are the WTB Road Plus wheels and tires, finding themselves on this Hunter Cycles Disc All Road.

The concept is simple. Generally speaking, a 47mm 650b wheel has the diameter as 700 x 30mm tire. The tire they’re using for this system is the new Horizon Road Plus Tire. These new tires accompany WTB’s new 650b disc wheels.

Back to the bike. This Hunter Cycles really pops, with a wishbone rear, Shimano flat mount disc mount design and that elegant fork crown. The build is topped off with Praxis cranks and Sim Works cockpit. Enjou!