Dirt http://dirtmountainbike.com Mountain Biking Magazine en Tested | Bell Super Helmet Review http://dirtmountainbike.com/products/tested-bell-super-helmet-review.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=121726 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:00:55 +0000 Dave Jaquin bell-super-review-dirt-mountain-bike-09
The Bell Super has been the trial lid of choice here at Dirt for a while now, there is always one or two in the back of the van and here's what we think of it.

Bell Super Review

Bell have been around for 60 years this year, in that time they have made helmets for riders like James Stewart and Aaron Gwin. Countless top riders all over the world have donned their protection when it comes to the flag dropping or clock ticking down. After a while making lids that missed the mark on style Bell came back and hit the bullseye with the Super. Bell pulled out the Super in 2013 and haven't looked back, with a new Super2 on the way and the Super 2R, the first helmet with a removable chin guard to actually look good things are looking good for the brand from Illinois. We get a lot of kit through the doors at Dirt and one solid stamp of approval is if the team pick it up and don't want to give it back. The Super has been one such helmet, Steve Jones has been using/abusing a Super for months now as has James McKnight and I have been giving one a go for three or four months. So after all this abuse why are there always a couple of them kicking around the back of the Dirt van?
bell-super-review-dirt-mountain-bike-02
Up to date design and some neat features have given Bell a solid boost in the world of trail helmets.

DESIGN

Bell might have been making helmets for a long time but visually this is a departure from the long vented, road lid with a peak style we have seen before. The Super has a low slung rear which makes sense for a lot of reasons. The main one being protection, we are riding bikes that are more capable than ever of covering ground fast, we are all going quicker. Just look at the racers in the EWS and you will see that trial and enduro bikes are quick. Those boys and girls wear full face lids mainly but us lot monkeying about of a weekend on the same bikes will benefit from some added protection. After all, the back of your head houses some pretty useful bits of your brain, best to keep it under wraps. The construction of this lid is well thought out with a high quality finish, it doesn't quite feel like the liquid In Mold system Bern use but this more traditional use of foam injected into a Polycarbonate shell feels solid. The peak is full adjustable, it can be pushed right back from the field of vision or brought down to block sunlight. We've been using this helmet in all sorts of weather. A quick wipe and chucking the pads in the washing machine every now and then keeps things looking and smelling good and it's holding up well. At a penny under £100 you might think this is a lot for a trail lid but when you look at the POC Trabec at just over £150 and the Troy Lee A1 around the same the Bell Super starts to make more sense. Bell have now released the Super 2R that integrates their new chin guard to give you a full face helmet based on this trail shape and for us it's the best looking design of it's sort after some epic fails from other manufacturers in the past. Here's the details on the Super and the main reasons why we keep using it.
bell-super-review-dirt-mountain-bike-03
Four brow ports matched with the perforated padding mean your head stays cooler than you probably expect, even on a hot day.

VENTING

The Super has 25 vents and four 'ports' over the brow that send air between the polystyrene inner shell and the foam padding. Being a bit of a sweater when it comes to riding a lot this is a welcome addition. It's something you probably won't notice until you pull on another lid but it really does make a difference to how hot your bounce gets.
bell-super-review-dirt-mountain-bike-07
Generous padding and a decent retention system that can be operated one handed mean the Super is simple to get on and stays put once it is.

PADDING AND FIT

As we are all blessed with different shaped heads so getting the right fit can be a challenge, every manufacturer has their own way of adapting a standard shell size. Bell call theirs the TAG fit system, it's simple roller that tightens a central ratchet pulling the internal cage onto your head. With a finger placed in the rear vent all this can be done with your thumb meaning one handed operation. You can adjust it once pedalling and it's just a neat touch if you are busy getting ready to ride. The internal padding is concentrated at the front and top of the helmet which makes sense as the retention system tightens your head forwards. Decent soft padding is more cushioned than some helmets that have minimal strips of foam, overall it's a snug fit once comfortably tight. The Dirt patented 'headbanger test' was passed too. Basically put a helmet on, do up the retention system but not the strap then go for a few quick Status Quo style headbangs to see if it stays put. The Super didn't budge!
bell-super-review-dirt-mountain-bike-08
One handed operation, the ratchet is easy to tighten and release offering a snug, comfortable fit that passed the headbang test!

STRAPS

Admittedly there isn't really a paragraph's worth of info on helmet straps but the Super has straps that start pretty low on your head, it's a deep helmet that drops behind your ears meaning shorter straps. Simple clips move the straps for and aft to suit your chin and neck and everything is secured with a simple pinch buckle. Wait on, think that's a paragraph about straps…

ADDED TACKLE

The Super has a couple of features that we haven't had the need to use but are worth mentioning. The GoPro mount slots into the central vent at the front of the helmet and uses a velcro strap to hold it in place. The mount works but it does feel a little far forward and when you have a camera in the waterproof case the added weight is more noticeable than a central mount. That said it's a neat feature and it's simple to fit your camera to. The other one is more contentious! Bell supply two goggle strap retainers that fit under the screws for the peak. This basically means you can lift the goggles off your face and under the peak when you don't need them. Useful maybe but in practice it's easier to pull your goggles down and flip them round your neck but it might be handy for some folk. It's a style issue we know but whatever your take on big eye shields and trail lids this one works well with plenty of space and a good amount of surface for a strap to grip.

OVERALL

After giving the Super some decent stick over the last few months it's a Dirt consensus that this is a top helmet. The additional protection round the back is welcome and the easily adjusted retention system combined with good padding and great ventilation means you can ride all day in comfort. We will be getting hold of a Super2 and Super2R soon and when they land we will let you know how they fair but for now here's the details if you want to get hold of one. Price: £99.99 Zyro UK 01325 741 200 www.bellhelmets.com ]]>
The Dudes of Hazzard - Enduro is on for you! http://dirtmountainbike.com/videos/dudes-hazzard-enduro.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=121422 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 08:47:53 +0000 Dave Jaquin The Dudes of Hazzard - Enduro is on for you! The Dudes of Hazzard are back with another Eurovision worthy Enduro sing along number. We're betting this is a chart topper and doubtless the karaoke bars of Kinlochleven will be bopping to these lyrics for a long time to come. The event Joe and the boys are shouting/singing/wailing about is the Dudes Enduro race that is taking place in Kinlochleven on the 8th and 9th of November, here's the info from No Fuss events and if you want to enter then get yourself to the link right here to claim you number board.

No Fuss Events

The final round of the Scottish Enduro Series will be hosted by No Fuss and The Dudes of Hazzard at their 3rd Annual 'This is Enduro Now' enduro in Kinlochleven. The Dudes of Hazzard Enduro has gained a reputation for great racing over challenging terrain, slick organisation and fantastic craic! These values are exactly what the Scottish Enduro Series is all about so there is little doubt that the final round and series prizegiving should be at this legendary event. Expect great stages and brilliant entertainment! This is Enduro Now is a 2 day event with practice on the Saturday and racing on the Sunday. Saturday night entertainment will be provided by Cut Media and the streaker might make a repeat performance! Sunday's prizegiving will include the winners on the day and also will be where the Scottish Enduro Champions will be announced. This really will be the season ender to beat all others! If you missed the latest trailer for their upcoming Dudementary then check that out here ]]>
Tested | Five Ten Impact VXi Review http://dirtmountainbike.com/products/tested-five-ten-impact-vxi-review.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120420 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:17:57 +0000 Dave Jaquin _JJ_1927
A whole new show from 5.10, the Impact has come a long way and gets better each time.

Five Ten Impact VXi review

We have seen that Ed likes the new clipless Impact Vxi shoes from 5.10 but what about the flat version? The first Impact shoe from 5.10 set a new level in the world of biking shoes and you still see old versions going strong today. Even top riders like Sam Hill are still opting for the old model over this new version but we got a fresh pair in and gave them a good hiding just for you. Basically what 5.10 have done is bring this shoe up to date with better rubber, less weight and a good stiff sole. The biggest thing about riding flats is getting enough grip, pedals pins rely on a few millimetres of rubber to hold on to and getting enough in all conditions will make or break a shoe. I've been riding the new Impact Vxi shoes for a few months now and I have to say they are some of the best performing shoes I've used, not perfect, but damn close. The new shoes are lighter, stiffer in the footbed, offer more protection and definitely more grip. Since the first Impact shoes came out the look of the shoes has always been a talking point. The first versions weren't exactly catwalk material but after some refining this latest shape looks good to me. Form and function can be fidgety bed fellows but tonight they are getting on well but what makes these shoes stand out?

Weight

Or lack of it, these shoes are a leap in the right direction. As Ed mentioned in the clipless review, sticking something heavy on the end of the levers that propel you is madness and saving weight at the business end of your legs is definitely a good thing. I've worn these shoes all day with no problems, riding, pushing back up and doing it all again feels good. The VXi's flats weigh 420g (size 9.5UK) a little more than the claimed 340g (9US), bang on the same as the clipless version that we expected to be a little heavier. Overall they have been slimmed down and feel a lot lighter when pedalling, during a long day out this is a definite advantage and will make a difference you probably never expected.
_JJ_1889
After a few months of riding the soft outer sole is holding up well.

Grip

Rubber is what 5.10 do best and the new Mi6 compound is their softest yet. I've been running these shoes on DMR V12's or Vaults and they grip well but offer something extra, slower rebound. As with a tyre slower rebound means longer for the rubber to stay in contact with the ground. If a tyre knobble bounces straight back of a rock or root then you are going to get less grip than one that forms around the shape of an obstacle as your wheel passes over it. All this stuff happens bloody quick but the combined result is very relevant, and with shoes it's no different. Repeated impacts, manoeuvring the bike with your body weight and of course pedalling while trying to do all this means you need your feet to stick where you asked them. Some give is helpful when shifting weight at speed and if you have been used to moving your foot about then these will impress you. The new compound works with the stiffer sole and means that everything stays put, once you place your foot on the pedal it stays there, you get feel through the pedals but they grip is immense. It also translates off the bike as walking is just as easy, Iv'e spent time sessioning tracks in the local woods and walking back for another go. They deal with steep stuff, rocks and roots well and they are comfy enough to wear all day. _JJ_1900

Footbed

This is noticeably stiffer than the previous Freerider skate style shoe and a step on from the Freerider VXi's, both these flexed around the pedal more. Some people prefer that feel but it can mean your feet feel it after a long day on the bike, for me the added stiffness was a bonus. If you are going to be spending time riding then being efficient and comfortable is important, the shape of the footbed supported my feet well, both walking and riding for long periods was comfortable. Other shoes on the market like the old Teva Links shoe felt solid but were let down by hard rubber in the soles that took a lot of wearing in before it came supple enough to grip flex. It was this flex that they felt reliant on rather than the rubber compound for grip which is where the 5.10's excel.

Fit

I've got wide feet and I didn't have a problem at all with the shoes pinching or feeling tight anywhere at all. There is enough adjustment in the lacing to cater for all sizes of foot and the laces grip well as you tighten them with the neat twisted elastic lace retainer taking care of the laces once tied. The one problem I found with the new Impacts is that they can get crap and stones inside, it's more noticeable when walking rather than riding which makes this less of an issue. The internal padding has been slimmed down in the weight loss program and that means the gap between your ankle and the lining can get bigger as your ankle moves and flexes during riding. It's not a huge issue and you probably won't notice but we did a bit but maybe we have skinny ankles! _JJ_1908

Protection

The main thing that 5.10 have done to protect your foot is the big rand around the toe box of the shoes. If you have ever caught your shoe on a root or flying rock and full tilt you will know how it can feel but the new shoes have this covered. There is also a raised arch section from the sole that protect the inside of your foot from any crank bashing as well as helping to absorb the rumble through your pedals.

OVERALL

After a few months of riding these shoes are well up for the job, they may cost more than a pair of skate shoes but you are paying for grip and the longevity that comes from solid build quality. Having got the shoes soaking wet and then stuffing them with newspaper they dried out pretty well, if you don't bother with them and chuck them back in the shed then they probably will stay damp for a while but most shoes probably would! Comparing them to the old Five Ten's as well as offering from Teva and Shimano these are way ahead in grip and as a package are, in my opinion, the best flat pedal shoe on the market today. The weight and new rubber compound is the main thing that makes the new Impact's stand out and aside from the niggle with crap getting inside them they are shoes worthy of your cash. Price: £114.99 Five Ten UK 01709 300 150 www.fiveten.com ]]>
Van Road Dual Slalom and Pumptrack Challenge http://dirtmountainbike.com/news/van-road-pumptrack-dual-slalom-challenge.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=121038 Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:08:21 +0000 Dave Jaquin van-road-pumprack-dual-slalom It's been a while since we had an email about a Dual Slalom race but that's just what slipped into the in tray this morning, from none other than World Cup and World Champ Manon Carpenter! After a cracking season of racing her and her Dad Jason have decided to put on this race to celebrate her medals and raise some cash for the trails and Van Road. Here's the word from Manon and we will be down there to show our support and maybe even ride!

Van Road Pumptrack and Dual Slalom Challenge

Van Road Trails have had a refurbishment recently and to see the summer off we are holding a Dual Slalom and Pumptrack Challenge on the 25th October. This event will also celebrate Manon Carpenter's incredible season of DH MTB racing, winning both the Word Cup and World Championship against some very tough opposition. All money raised during this event will go to supporting the trails. The Dual Slalom track at Van Road is one of the best and only DS tracks in the UK so it will make for some exciting racing. A Pumptrack Challenge, free of charge, will be run alongside for people to set times on whilst the DS is underway. Donations are very welcome however and will be used towards the cost of insurance and maintaining the trails! There will also be a Demo held on the Pro Jump Line between 12.15-12.45pm by local up and coming riders Alfie Stephens (Deity), Scott Merrell (Jimmys Iced Coffee, Steele Industries Ltd.) and Elliott Bassett (EZO Brand, Nookie Bikes) to show us all how it should be done! Please pre-enter the Dual Slalom race here There are limited entries so entering in advance will save you money and disappointment, as well as saving us some hassle on the day. Pre entries are not required for the Pumptrack Challenge. Spectators very welcome, come and join us for a great day out, you may even bump into a World Champion or two while you are here. You can keep up to date with the event via the Facebook page. DUAL SLALOM SCHEDULE 10am sign on 11:30am sign on closed 10am practice 12:00 Noon seeding runs 2pm Straight knockout racing one run on each track, maximum 2 second advantage for close racing. ENTRIES Online £15 - https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/120838/Van-Road-Dual-Race On the day £18 CATEGORIES 10-14 – Juvenille 15-16 – Youth 17-18 – Junior Amateur Men Amateur Women Elite PRIZES Prizes for Dual Slalom are very kindly being supplied by Saracen Bikes, Castle Bikes Shop, EZO Brand and Sacred Apparel. PUMPTRACK CHALLENGE The Pumptrack challenge is being run as a just for fun event to allow you to experience riding one of our most fun trails and to challenge yourself against some really great riders. Helmets and gloves must be worn, and bikes must have at least one working brake. All riders will need to register before riding, U18's will need parental consent. The Pumptrack challenge is ridden at your own risk but will be supervised by qualified cycle coaches. Sorry no prizes, this one is just for fun and glory. SCHEDULE 10-12pm for U18's on Beginner 2 Pumptrack (2nd track from entrance gate). This pump track is suitable for all riders aged 6+ as long as they are comfortable riding offroad. 1pm-4pm on Pro Pumptrack. Suitable for 10+ through to adults. Fastest time of the day counts! No fee for pumptrack challenge although a donation to Van Rd is welcome. ]]>
Superstar Components Delta Magnesium EVO Pedals http://dirtmountainbike.com/products/fresh-produce/superstar-components-delta-magnesium-evo-pedals.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120847 Thu, 16 Oct 2014 11:33:46 +0000 Ed Haythornthwaite EDH_6658

Superstar Components Delta Magnesium EVO Pedals

Superstar Components originally made a name for themselves by selling great quality pedals at incredibly competitive prices, and since then they've become quite a success story, carrying on that trend with pretty much every bike component you can think of. Their latest new product is yet another addition to their comprehensive line of pedals, and these Delta Magnesium EVO pedals are squarely aimed at those riders looking to save weight whilst not compromising on performance. The 'Delta EVO' design is a relatively new one from Superstar, but we've already had chance to try out the cheaper aluminium version (which sells for £54.99), and we've been impressed by them. Good grip, plenty of strength, and decent bearings (each axle uses three bearings, a sintered bush and an oversized polymer bushing). As the name suggest this particular pair are the new magnesium bodied version, and the result of that material change is an 80g weight reduction, off an already light set of pedals. With steel axles fitted these come in at just 320g for the pair, and if you go for the Ti axle version they end up at a super-light 250g! So, if you fancy some decent pedals, and you fancy saving some weight off your bike, then we definitely think a set of these should at least be on your shortlist. Price: Steel Axle £89.99, Ti Axle £134.99 Colours: Black, Blue, Lime, Orange, Pink, Raw (Silver), or Yellow. Superstar Components 08454 758 338 www.superstarcomponents.com ]]>
Emyr Davies just proved that hardtails still rule http://dirtmountainbike.com/news/emyr-davis-just-proved-hardtails-still-rule.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120721 Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:19:43 +0000 Ed Haythornthwaite DSC06310 There's a significant contingent of the mountain bike community that for some reason think that hardtails are the dinosaurs of our sport, they simply don't 'get' them. They question as to why the hell you'd want to ride one when there are so many great full suspension frames out there. I mean they're slow right? Well last weekend Emyr Davies well and truly put that myth to bed with an outstanding result at the third round of the 2014 MIJ Downhill series at the Taff Buggy Trails. Riding a BTR Belter hardtail he managed to clock the second fastest time of the day! He was up against some stiff competition too. Mike Jones was the only rider who managed to beat him. As if that wasn't proof enough that hardtails can go fast, the next day saw the Welsh Champs take place at the same venue and Paul 'Burf' Burford, one half of BTR, also managed to pull out a great result on his Belter hardtail. He came 4th out of 43 riders in the senior category! He was only just over three seconds back from the category winner too, and a very respectable nine seconds back from the overall winner Mike Jones. So yeah, if you've got the skills there's clearly no reason why you should be going slow on a hardtail. Of course the added bonus of a hardtail is that they're a whole load cheaper than a full suss, and unlike a full suss they require zero maintenance. I'm sure there are still a load of you who think hardtails are pointless, but we love them! Hardtails definitely rule! Oh, and I almost forgot, both riders were also riding those dinosaur 26" wheels! If you want to see the full results from the tow races then just follow the links below, and if you too fancy belting around on a Belter then head over to the BTR website. MIJ Round 3 Results Welsh Champs Results ]]> Mavic Trans Provence 2014 highlights http://dirtmountainbike.com/news/mavic-trans-provence-2014-highlights.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120686 Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:11:06 +0000 Ed Haythornthwaite 2015 DATES AND ENTRY In an unprecedented major date change, the 2015 (7th) edition of Mavic Trans-Provence will take place three months earlier than previously, in the week of 20-27 June 2015. Operating during the longest and brightest days of the year, the journey will break considerable new ground in 2015. New zones and awesome fresh trails will be unlocked thanks to a different start point and a huge re-route in Days 1 thru 3. To sum up, they are lining up an itinerary which is more Alpine, passing through higher mountains, and containing considerably more descending than ever before... and all for no more on-bike ascending than usual. But it's not exactly going to be easy is it?...it is Trans-Provence, afterall. Entry application for Mavic Trans-Provence 2015 will take place this November 1st. If you're interested in taking part next June, visit the Trans-Provence website where you'll find information about the race package, plus instructions on how to compile and register your application. www.trans-provence.com ]]> Lourdes 2015 UCI DH World Cup Track with Laurie Greenland http://dirtmountainbike.com/videos/lourdes-2015-uci-dh-world-cup-track-laurie-greenland.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120541 Tue, 14 Oct 2014 08:07:11 +0000 James McKnight Many thanks to the riders, organisers and the event's official accommodation Hotel Alba for taking the time and effort to show us around. We'll be back in April! Check out the schedule for the 2015 World Cup series here. It's going to be the best season in years in terms of tracks. ]]> The Best Aluminium Downhill Bars of 2014 http://dirtmountainbike.com/products/best-aluminium-downhill-bars-2014.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120388 Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:00:01 +0000 Ed Haythornthwaite barpromo3

The Best Aluminium Downhill Bars of 2014

Words: Pete Scullion Handlebars make up two of the four contact control points on your bike, so it's vital that they perform the job well. A downhill bar should be strong, light and wide enough to provide control when the going gets interesting. A lot about a handlebar is personal preference, but beyond that, every good DH bar needs to have some key features. Strength is key. Modern handlebars are considerably wider than their predecessors, especially when it comes to downhill, and they need to be able to withstand a large amount of bending force. The longer the lever the greater the force, and so our taste for wider bars hasn’t made things any easier for manufacturers. As with anything, compromise is evident and a strong handlebar needs to be light as well. High-grade aluminium alloys provide a fantastic strength-to-weight ratio, making them perfect for this application. Flex and shock absorption are also important when trying to make a bar that will allow you to ride all day. Too stiff and your hands will start to suffer, as they will with poor shock absorption. A bar that exhibits too much flex will lead to vague steering and lack of feedback to the rider. Up-sweep and back-sweep should be sensible, but again, this is personal preference. A good downhill handlebar should come in a range of rises to accommodate everyone's tastes. Price shouldn't be sky high for an alloy DH bar and if you're lucky, there might be one in the same colour as the rest of your kit. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, it is now time to unveil our selection of the very best aluminium downhill bars on the market. Just get clicking below to see which ones made the grade… easton2

Easton Havoc 35

Easton have a solid reputation for making quality alloy handlebars, and the Havoc 35 is no exception. Much like their other top-end alloy bars, the EA90 alloy sports an impressive strength-to-weight ratio. Couple this with their Taperwall construction and you get a very light bar that is both strong, and in this case, very wide indeed. Cold-working increases the strength of the bar, so you know this bar is going to be strong where it needs to be and light where it doesn't. The 35mm clamp area ensures the strongest and most stable stem interface while allowing the parts of the bar that need to be the strongest to be just that. 800mm is certainly wide enough for even the most die hard of wide bar fans and will offer superb control and stability in the rough stuff. Laser etched cut down marks mean that if you don't have the widest shoulders on the planet, then you can trim them to suit. At 300g these bars are far from heavy, lighter in fact that some aluminium trail bars on the market. These bars are only available in one rise, 20mm, but that is sensible enough for today's downhill crowd. 9 degree back-sweep and 5 degree up-sweep is comfortable and should suit most cockpit preferences. Price: £69.99 Silverfish 01752 843 882 www.eastoncycling.com deity

Deity Blacklabel

Deity have been quietly producing fantastic handlebars for ages, but in the last few years they have been given a handy upward shove by the likes of Tracey Moseley and Cam Zink, amongst others. Their Blacklabel handlebar is their top of the range, World Cup downhill bar. The 787mm width should satisfy even the widest of shoulders. An increase in strength over previous models is thanks to their 'Gradient Butting Technology', which takes material from where it isn't needed and puts it where it is needed, to maximise strength and reduce weight. Deity's two-tone bead blast and mirror polished anodized finishes creates a very good looking handlebar, especially when combined with some of the brighter colours on offer. Three colour options, means you will be able match the carpet and the curtains. A single rise option of 15mm might not suit everyone but is suitably low for a downhill bar. The 9 degree back-sweep and 5 degree up-sweep should suit most. £59.99 is very cheap for a bar that looks this good and does everything you could need from a handlebar. Despite their width, the Blacklabel bars come in at a very impressive 306g, making them not much heavier than most aluminium trail offerings. Price: £59.99 Hotlines 01313 191 444 www.deitycomponents.com renthal

Renthal Fatbar

Renthal's almost immediate rise to the top of the mountain bike world is no surprise considering their heritage in the motor bike scene. Their solid reputation means that we mountain bikers expected nothing but perfection from them. Luckily, that is exactly what they have delivered. The Fatbar has found its way onto more than a few World Cup winning bikes since its inception, and its easy to see why. Weight is kept to a minimum without sacrificing strength by way of Renthal's taper tube construction, removing material where it's not needed. At 365g, this bar isn't going to win any weight awards, but you can rest assured these bars will come out the other side of a major stack more than happy. Width again is bang on at 780mm, which is more than enough for downhill use, especially if you're doing a lot of tree slalom. Four rise options cater for every requirement, while the 7 degree back-sweep and 5 degree up-sweep rounds off an already superb package. The shot peened finish is bombproof and keeps looking classy no matter what you throw at them. Cut down marks are ample and laser etched into the bar for longevity. Price-wise, these bars are a bargain. It's hard to find issues with the Fatbar and you know you have made a sound investment when you buy Renthal. Price: £64.99 Ison Distribution 01353 662 662 www.renthal.com raceface

Race Face Atlas

Race Face's return from the brink was more than welcome, as they are renowned for making high quality bike components at home in Canada. Their Atlas bar is designed with abusive riding in mind, and looks just the ticket. At £64.95, price is bang on the money. 785mm is suitably wide for downhill use and will provide ample control when things start getting fruity. Cut down marks are available for those who want to make them skinnier though. Internal tapering puts the weight and strength where it is needed, at the clamp and rise, thinning out towards the bar ends to keep the weight low. That weight sits at 340g, not excessive by any means. The Atlas bars come in 1/2”, 1 1/4” or zero rise, which should cover everyone's tastes, while the 8 degree back-sweep and 4 degree up-sweep might be less than most, but is within the realms of sensible and comfortable shape. Seven colours give plenty of choice, and there is even a raw finish if that's what takes your fancy. Cut down marks and centre etching mean you can trim these down and make sure your stem is sitting straight. Price: £64.95 Silverfish 01752 843 882 www.raceface.com funn

Funn Fat Boy

Funn are well known for making great products at equally great prices, and the Fatboy bar definitely ticks those boxes. The Fatboy is Funn's flagship, and shares exactly the same shape as the cheaper Full On bar, it's just made differently and from different materials. Originally designed with Sam Hill's input many moons ago, you know this bar is going to live up to its pedigree. 7050 alloy reduces the weight without putting strength at risk. 340g for a 780mm wide aluminium handlebar is far from ridiculous. Speaking of width, the Fatboy is available in 750, 785 and 810mm widths, meaning all shoulders and tastes are catered for. Three rises (7, 15 and 30mm) again mean you can get a bar to suit your needs. Up-sweep and back-sweep depend on width and rise, but all are sensible, comfortable options and the clamp area has angle markers for rolling the bars to suit. Cut down marks are available, allowing you to trim them to your chosen width. A hardwearing bead blast ensures any crashes won't end the life of these bars. Five colour options also ensure you can match the bars to the rest of the bike. Price: £39.99 - £42.99 Decade 01792 469 811 www.funnmtb.com answer

Answer Pro Taper 780 DH

Answer Pro Taper handlebars are legendary in the realms of mountain biking and the current crop of Pro Taper bars do a solid job of carrying the torch. The Pro Taper concept is a simple one, merely take material from where it isn't needed and put it where it is. The 780 DH’s are very much downhill orientated and are similar to the Eastons in that the gimmicks aren't anywhere to be seen. Pro Taper technology puts the material around the clamp and rise sections where the strength is needed, and removes it from the grip area, but without reducing strength. 780mm might not be the widest offering but is more than suitable for the task in hand, and cut down marks make it easy to trim them down if you want to. Two rises and four colours are on offer, which should keep everyone happy. Eight degree back-sweep and four degree up-sweep is slightly less than most, but is still within sensible dimensions, meaning all but the pickiest will find them comfortable. The price is sensible for a bar of this quality, and although the 335g weight is hardly out of this world, this bar may well be one of the strongest thanks to the Pro Taper technology. Price: £55.00 Hotlines 01313 191 444 www.answerproducts.com thomson

Thomson Downhill

Thomson are a company that has always done things differently and their stems and seat posts are the stuff of legend. Expanding their product line has been a slow and steady process, focusing on the things that make a product a Thomson product. Namely quality and performance. These Downhill bars are no different. Exactly the same construction as the Trail bars, the 7050 alloy is Hydraulic Press Formed to avoid the need for hand grinding, then the bars are bent manually. At the ends of the bar wall thickness increases 0.2mm to better survive ground impacts. A 65mm clamp area is specifically designed to work with Thomson's own direct mount stems. At 800mm wide the downhill bars are ample for all agressive use while laser etched cut down marks ensure you can cut them down to suit your tastes. 12mm of rise means this bar is bordering on flat, so it might not suit someone wanting a higher front end. Six degrees of back-sweep is three less than most, with the up-sweep being a modest four degrees. Definitely a bar that will suit someone with a fairly keen eye for bar dimensions. Coming in at 315g, these are certainly not the heaviest for the width and round off another classic Thomson product. Price: £99.99 i-ride 01444 243 000 www.bikethomson.com dmr

DMR Wingbar 35

DMR's Wingbar is another modern classic. Completely redesigned by Olly Wilkins in 2013, this version puts it squarely into the downhill bike market. Made from 7075 alloy, this is DMR's lightest, widest and strongest bar to date. As with all DMR products, the new Wingbar has been tested by their crack team of riders and has been fine tuned in the field. The 800mm width makes it one of the widest here and at 326g, also at the lighter end of the spectrum. The larger clamp area allows further weight to be saved and produces a very wide and strong bar. Laser etched markers mean you will always be able to trim them easily, even if you run them full width to begin with. Two rise options, 20 and 35mm, should cover most tastes and two colour choices should help you match everything up. The satin anodised finish is a classy one, and the DMR graphics give them a certain look. Five degree up-sweep and eight degree back-sweep are all sensible dimensions and shouldn't cause any problems with most riders. At £49.99, the Wingbars are sensibly priced and won't break the bank if you're looking for a pretty bar that has a good width to it. Price: £49.99 Upgrade 01403 711 611 www.dmrbikes.com spank

Spank Spike 777 EVO

You won't find any carbon in Spank's line up, regardless of the product. Aluminium is very much where Spank have put all their chips and that is evident in the Spike series. Spank have set out to make their alloy bars as good, if not better than carbon offerings. Their Super 6 alloy is already light to begin with, and their Extreme Gradual Taper takes the tapering of other bars to new heights. Two stage tapering ensures all the strength is where it is needed, and much like Thomson's bars, they have impact ends to deal with them coming into contact with the ground. The Spike bars have been designed specifically to have good damping characteristics, making these one of the comfiest DH bars out there. Coming in at 280g for the smallest rise, they are one of the lightest here and it's no surprise considering the thought and technology that has gone into these. You would expect a bar of this quality to fetch more than the £55 asking price as well. Three rises and a suitably wide 777m width take care of all possibilities, while a 6 degree back-sweep and 4 degree up-sweep make this bar one of the comfiest going. Price: £59.99 Hotlines 01313 191 444 www.spank-ind.com kore

Kore OCD

Kore have been around since the early 90’s and have a reputation for solid, reliable products which looks set to continue as the brand goes into its third decade. These 'OCD' offerings from Kore get the job done with very little fuss. 7050-T6 alloy is something many mountain bikers know and trust, so we know strength and weight will be good. That said, at just 285g for the 20mm rise models, these are certainly not going to cause any problems in the weight department. If the 20mm rise isn’t quite right for you then Kore also offer this bar in either a flat or 35mm rise version, both of which are equally impressive when it comes to weight. The 800mm width makes the weight seem even more impressive. Laser etched cut down markers are there, as are the stem centre lines and angle markers. Colours-wise, you get five options, covering most of the usual suspects. Price is at the lower end of the scale, cheaper than most in fact. A 7 degree back-sweep and 5 degree up-sweep keep things in the ball park again. Price: £49.99 Decade 01792 469 811 www.kore-usa.com burgtec

Burgtec Ride Wider

The guys at Burgtec clearly have their finger on the pulse when it comes to handlebars. Their original downhill bar came in at 750mm, which at the time was considered pretty damn wide, but owing to increasing trends towards ever wider bars, the current Ride Wider sits at a hefty 780mm. This should be more than wide enough to suit everyone's cockpit requirements, but laser etched cut down marks are there should they need trimming. Gone are the flat offerings, Burgtec seeing a falling demand for flat bars, but a 15mm rise option now compliments the 30mm rise model. Sweep is sensible at 9 back and 4 up, but rolling these forward or back shouldn't be a problem thanks to the etching on the clamp area. Weight is a very sensible 310g, which is impressive for a bar that passes and exceeds MX testing standards. If you want something to match your wild colour scheme then these might not be the best bet, only coming in shot peened black with yellow decals. The price is very sensible for a bar of this quality, and you know if you're buying Burgtec, you're buying British. Price: £64.99 Burgtec 01612 448 106 www.burgtec.co.uk danny

Truvativ Danny Hart BlackBox Bar

Truvativ's Danny Hart signature Blackbox handlebar is the 'Redcar Rocket's' take on the ever popular Boobar. Rather than continue to make minor modifications to cockpit setup (a 20mm rise with a 5mm spacer under the stem), Truvativ have made Danny Hart his own bar. Sporting the same butted 7050 alloy as the Boobar, weight is sensible at 340g, but as this comes in a bit heavier than the Boobar, you know strength will certainly be high. The 780mm width should suit everyone's needs with the usual cut down marks if required. To suit Danny's tastes the back-sweep is increased a further two degrees to nine, putting the weight of the rider further off the back of the bike. Up-sweep is kept at a comfy five degrees. A single 25mm rise option is on the money for a downhill bar, but anyone looking for something higher or lower will need to look elsewhere. Gold might not be everyone's cup of tea, but don't let the colour put you off as these bars are fantastic. Price is very much in the ballpark for a high quality, aluminium downhill bar as well. Price: £65.00 Fisher Outdoor Leisure 01727 798 340 www.truvativ.com ]]>
BDS 2015 Dates Announced http://dirtmountainbike.com/news/bds-2015-dates-announced.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120404 Fri, 10 Oct 2014 13:53:53 +0000 Dave Jaquin danny-hart-bds-2015-dates Just as Mike brewed the second cup of tea this morning the Dirt inbox pinged and we got word of the dates for the British Downhill Series in 2015. Si Paton and the crew got the green light from British Cycling a few weeks back securing the series for another two years so we should be seeing things grow in the coming seasons. The races are taking in some classic locations but also keeping Antur Stiniog from the race early in the 2014 season. The Fort William round happens just before the World Cup round so as we saw in 2014 there might be a good showing of international riders getting up to speed prior to the big race. Here's the word from Si, he's got a way with words!

BDS 2015 DATES

Rd1 April 4/5th Ae Forest Re-developments are in place to enhance the track as we return again to the Scottish Borders to kick start the season off in style as we are hoping to finish into the large field across the road. Watch this space! Rd2 May 16/17 Nevis Range, Fort Bill UCI Cat 1 Three weeks before the World Cup there we saw Specialized's Troy Brosnan make a whistle stop tour, taking fifth place at this years BDS. A month later he took his first ever World Cup win at Fort Bill. He put his success down to riding the track at the BDS a month before. Expect to see a large influx of international riders entering this event. Rd3 May 30/31 Llangollen UCI Cat 2 Steeper and more technical than Switzerland's Champery according to Giant's Danny Hart. Saracen/Madison's Manon Carpenter said it was the hardest course she raced in the whole of 2014, that includes all of the World Cups. We will again return to the dark woods of Llangollen, to test the Worlds best riders. With the event being one week before the World Cup at Fort William this event will bring out all the big guns. Rd4 June 27/28 Rhyd Y Felin (Bala) Widely recognised as one of the best DH race courses in the U.K. This epic course that was originally built by the likes of Dan Brown, Cunny and the Brains has it all and with the assistance of the Pearce Cycles crew on the uplift, expect this one to go down in the history books for the first ever BDS there. Rd5 July 11/12 Moelfre Moelfre, love it or hate it's the Marmite of downhill in the UK. Fast open Welsh hillside with only two trees close to the finish, the only course longer is Fort William. Speeds will be high as the riders descend down and traverse around Farmer Jac's mountain before they hit the 4x track and float across the finish line. Rd6 September 19/20 Antur Stiniog The sun shone in March this year and we hope for the same again in September. Expect even bigger crowds, is that even possible? The venue now comes with two exciting added attractions, the longest zip wire ride in the World along with the indoor caverns fitted with trampolines. Don't forget the race though, this will be the final and riders will be giving it their all, fighting for those valuable points to take the series win in their respective categories. rachel-atherton-BDS-2015-

ENTRIES AND PRIZES

Online entries open Saturday the 3rd of January 2015 for those with 100 British Cycling points or more via the British Cycling website. Entries will be £75.00 per round. Confirmed prizes and sponsors: £10,000 in prize money and £20,000 in products. Schwalbe for the Elite Women and Elite Men. Surf n Turf (Instant Shelters) for shelters, flags and banners Hope Technology for trophies. Youth - Marzocchi Masters - NS Bikes Veterans - Dainese Women - Flare Clothing Juniors - Spank The Mud Hugger for the fastest time of the day at £100 per round. Rose Bikes for the Biggest Winning Margin at £100 per round. Works Components for the fastest time through the speed trap at £100 per round. Timing will be by Sports Timing Services / Tag Heuer. And here's a few snippets of the 2014 season if you needed reminding how good it was! Dirt Orange video from Round 5 Llangollen Video Highlights Llangollen gallery Fort William Video ]]>
Dirt TV 2014 Enduro World Series Rd7 Finale Ligure | Race Highlights http://dirtmountainbike.com/racing-events/dirt-tv-2014-enduro-world-series-rd7-finale-ligure-race-highlights.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120379 Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:03:26 +0000 Dave Jaquin It all started back in April when the Enduro World Series kicked off in Chile where Jared Graves and Anne-Caroline Chausson took the first race wins. At round two in Scotland it was all change and Nico Lau and Tracey Moseley took home the Tweed jackets as the season got into full swing. Moseley maintained her lead in Valloire and Jared Graves landed another after some amazing racing on the steep alpine tracks. Before the series headed over the water the race in La Thuille gave some more superb tracks and it was all change on the podium as Damien Oton took his first win and Moseley again clinched the win in Italy. Over the pond and round 5 at Winterpark, Colorado Anne-Caro came back to take a win and Graves nailed another to keep his season rolling. Onto Whistler and after his epic win in 2013 Jared Graves set another notch in the Enduro results sheet and Cecile Ravanel took he first ever EWS win taking vital points from Tracey's lead. All the results from the last race can be found below along with the links for some sweet galleries our man Ben Winder shot out there. Dirt TV 2014 Enduro World Series Rd 7 Finale Ligure | Preview 2014 EWS Finals Finale Ligure, Italy: Photo Gallery – Practice Day One 2014 EWS Finale Ligure: Photo Gallery – Practice Day Two Dirt TV 2014 Enduro World Series Round Seven Finale Ligure | Race Day One 2014 EWS Finale Ligure: Photo Gallery – Race Day One Dirt TV 2014 Enduro World Series Round Seven Finale Ligure | Race Day Two 2014 Enduro World Series Round 7 – Results ]]> Tested | Leatt Enduro knee guards review http://dirtmountainbike.com/products/first-ride-review-leatt-enduro-knee-guards.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=113054 Wed, 08 Oct 2014 12:44:02 +0000 Dave Jaquin leatt-enduro-knee-guards-test-dirtmountainbike-05

Leatt Enduro Knee Guards Review

For sometime now Leatt have been leading the way in the neck brace market and taking their range forward the South African brand have developed protection products to keep the skin attached to the rest of your body. Knees are one area we are all prone to losing claret through, annoyingly they take ages to heal as you rub off the nice big scab when sweaty pads are removed or legs bend when riding. Personally I have always used pads with a soft front, I prefer the flexibility and solid caps always seem too chunky and make you feel like a robot not a rider. Leatt's 3DF pads have such a soft covering and those have been pretty good so far but can suffer a high speed flaw. With pads like this, when you do stick your knee into the ground or a nice spikey rock they can grip what ever you hit and be pulled down priming you for a scrape. That said, it’s not always the case and they can stay put but on more that one occasion I have been picking dust and crap from behind knee pads post bike ejection. leatt-enduro-knee-guards-test-dirtmountainbike-12 Leatt have come up with their new 'Enduro' pads from a new angle. I'm not sure there is any real need to call them Enduro pads but for this much protection they are pretty light and feel so when you get them on. They have a plastic cap over the knee then a second plate that covers the upper shin so if you do bail to knees you are more likely to slide than fill your pads with mud and crud. They look like they should be heavier but the pair only gain 126g over the soft faced 3DF pads and I didn't notice at all, if anything they felt lighter as they looked bigger if you know what I mean? The new pads have two hard shells mounted in rubber and stitched to a layer of 3DF foam, this is all fixed to the main body of the pad with a silicone gripper at the top and stretchy elastic ‘sock’ with an opening at the back of the knee to keep the sweat away. The front plates are vented and the rubber that the knee cap protection sits in wraps around the side of the knee giving some extra protection if you dump it sideways. Everything is held in place with two decent straps that run through loops that are easy to grab from behind your knee's when putting them on. They also have a knee cap locator piece inside the pads that my knobbly knees fitted into a treat!
Wrapping around the outside of the knee the rubber casing should protect you from if you drop it sideways.
Vented plastic caps keep you pretty cool when riding and should offer a good slide if you do bail.
Decent wide straps keep things in place without the need to over tighten them and the rubber tabs are easy to grab when pulling the pads on.
Vented front panels will sit inside your shorts but should help with keeping things cooler.
Overall the pads are well put together with some heavyweight stitching holding everything together.
Locating your knee in the pads is a neat addition and worked well with my knobbly knees!
For pads with a plastic cap setup they are shorter than offerings from IXS, POC and Troy Lee but for me that worked out. It’s a good balance of coverage and protection, pads covering the whole leg for me getting too hot riding all day. Although the lower section didn't cover all the scars from the meeting of pedal and skin the added protection would come in handy if you had a big off or sent your pedal shin-ward.

First ride conclusion

I've been wearing these for the last couple of months and spent most of the day in them when the temperature was around 26 degrees, first impressions are good. They are light for their size and fitted me well, I've got average sized pins and a 32" inside leg, the L/XL's fitted fine. Venting is good, not that you feel the breeze through them but they were definitely less sweat inducing than some others with a fully padded front. The pads feel solid once they’re on and the straps do their job without me needing to over tighten them. The open section behind the knee keeps things cool out back and overall they are well built with big, tightly spaced stitching keeping them all together. For the price they are about mid range and if they survive like the soft fronted 3DF's have then I would be more than willing to spend that on these. I've yet to nail myself and test these pads out fully but as soon as I do I'll report back on the skid factor of the hard shell and let you know how they go. Price: £69.99 Hotlines UK 0131 319 1444 www.hotlines-uk.com www.leatt.com ]]>
Tested - Five Ten Impact VXi Clipless Shoes Review http://dirtmountainbike.com/products/tested-five-ten-impact-vxi-clipless-shoes-review.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120338 Tue, 07 Oct 2014 17:23:45 +0000 Ed Haythornthwaite EDH_6652

Tested - Five Ten Impact VXi Clipless Shoes

I won't beat about the bush here, these are the kind of clipless shoes that I've always dreamt of. Why? Well on the one hand the fashion conscious part of me hates wearing XC disco slippers (plus they're normally too stiff to walk in, and offer little protection), and then the performance part of me hates wearing a heavy pair of skate style shoes. If you think I am being picky about the weight thing then I challenge you to go for a ride in a heavy pair of shoes, and then do the same ride in a light pair. Honestly it makes a big difference, and if you ask me it's a bit perverse trying to save weight off your bike when you then go and fix lead weights to the engine that's trying to drive it. So, what I've always wanted is a light set of skate style clipless shoes, and that's exactly what these are. At around 420g for each these are lighter than many XC shoes, yet they feel remarkably solid. There's a good amount of toe protection too, and I think Five Ten have got the stiffness of the sole pretty much spot on. It's stiff enough not to cause problems on a decent length ride, and at the same time it's flexible enough for those times when you need to get off and push. Somewhat unsurprisingly given Five Ten's reputation the Mi6 rubber sole provides a whole pile of grip. Of course when you're clipped in that attribute doesn't really come into play, but it's definitely welcome during those moments when you can't quite get clipped back in and are left balancing on your pedals. I think these shoes are a winner for that fact alone. What else do I like about them? Well the extra long cleat slots are a definite plus point in my eyes as they give far more scope for adjustment. If I'm just riding trails then I tend to run my cleats in a position that most shoes can deal with, but if I'm riding DH then I prefer my cleats to be set considerably further back as I find it massively reduces the strain on your leg muscles. To obtain this setting on most shoes requires some DIY modification, but with the Five Ten's there's none of that hassle. I also like the velcro strap across the top of your foot as this definitely helps to keep your foot in place when pulling up, plus it helps to keep your laces out of harm's way. Is there anything I don't particularly like about my 'dream' shoes? Unfortunately yes. Perhaps my expectations were too high thanks to my initial impressions, but I was expecting these to be just the ticket for grotty winter conditions. To be fair they do shed mud like no other set of Five Ten's I've used, they almost self-clean, but I was just surprised when my feet were soaking wet within minutes of starting a ride. Ok, so I was riding in pretty atrocious conditions, but I've ridden other shoes that have kept my feet dry for far longer. Aside from the discomfort, the water getting in also means that the shoes get considerably heavier, and then take a fair old while to dry out again. That said, these definitely don't get as heavy as previous Five Ten's (or other skate style shoes for that matter), and they also dry out quicker. Maybe it's impossible to make a skate style shoe that doesn't suffer from this problem? Maybe my dream shoes can be nothing more than a dream? Those slight niggles aside, it's fair to say I love these shoes, and I think you will too. To me they are clearly a big step in the right direction as far as mountain bike clipless shoes go, and right now I can't think of any other shoes that I'd rather wear. If you too fancy trying a set out then my only advice would to be to make sure you try some on before you buy because we've found them to be very 'roomy', so much so that we've go down half a size, but once you've got the fit right I don't think you'll want to ride in anything else...well on your feet at least. Price: £139.99 Five Ten UK 01709 300 150 www.fiveten.com ]]>
Justin Leov's EWS diary - Holding on to it! http://dirtmountainbike.com/racing-events/justin-leovs-ews-diary-holding.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120317 Tue, 07 Oct 2014 12:36:23 +0000 Ed Haythornthwaite JER_7375

Justin Leov's EWS diary - Holding on to it!

Words: Justin Leov Photos: Jérémie Reuiller It's been a busy time since the last EWS in Whistler. I've been back trackside working for Trek World racing’s DH program in Méribel France at the WC finals and at the World championships in Hafjell Norway. It was a great finish for our guys with a medal and two top 5 places and I was proud to be there helping them achieve their goals. Then after 2 months away I also got to fly back to New Zealand to see Luca and Tory for 2 weeks. Coming into the race in Finale I was sitting 3rd in the points for the series and my goal was to hold on with the hope of taking my first EWS overall weekend victory. The main changes I made coming into this race were a bike and wheel size switch, swopping my usual 29er Remedy for the new Carbon Slash 650b. It would be the first time racing this bike and I chose it because of the terrain that Finale has to offer – tight technical corners are common in a lot of the stages. JER_4042 There were a lot of changes to get used to before the race, the feeling of the wheel size and the travel difference between the two bikes being the biggest. Coming from 150mm of travel up front on my Remedy and 140mm of rear travel it was a fair jump in travel to the Slash’s 170mm up front and 160mm rear. I arrived at Finale 10 days early this year for a chance to really make sure I was over the jet lag from traveling back from NZ. It was also an opportunity to get to know the area better as this is going to be my base for the 2015 race season with Tory and Luca. I can no longer handle the time away from them; with travel back to NZ too much with such a busy schedule this should be a better outcome. It’s a great location to train. With two days practice and all stages accessible by car we had to do a lot of shuttling in the team van to get in some practice on the different stages. I have to admit I really dislike shuttling by vehicle these days and try to avoid it. I prefer to ride up and typically wouldn't shuttle at home at all, unless I go to a ski resort that has lift access. Still, to be competitive here you need to practice at least a few runs on each stage so shuttling was a must. JER_4080 I felt really strong leading up to the race and my feeling on the bike was really good too, so excitement levels were high. After some big days on the hill for Thursday and Friday I was well practiced for Saturday’s racing but also noticed my legs felt a little tired from so much descending. We woke on Saturday morning to a beautiful day with temperatures set to be more like a summers day rather than autumn conditions. Setting off for the first stage of the day I was feeling good and warmed up well. Dropping in for my run I was a bit too eager to race and was finding myself a little too fast into the first sections. Trying to keep myself aggressive, I was making small mistakes but thought I had put down a good run. Stage 2 had felt good straight away in practice – a couple of short climbs and some technical rocky sections suited me, though one in particular was hard to get through cleanly. Setting off for this stage I felt a little off guard and was riding tight. Annoyed, I started to pick up the pace again only to have a really big moment, nearly crashing through a rocky line and hitting my forks on the side of one of the bigger rocks. I was surprised to stay on my bike and lucky at the same time. Crossing the line I was frustrated and decided to really go for it on Stage 3. JER_5615 The temperature was now getting close to the 30's so keeping enough fluid going into the body was the challenge. Thank god I was wearing such a ventilated helmet! Stage 3 had some flatter sections to it and a really slow technical climb so I thought it was a stage I could make up some time on. The problem I had was that by being overly aggressive I was making mistakes and riding sloppily. After crossing the line on Stage 3 the heat was nearing the peak of the day and with the last liaison climb of the day I started to get cramp coming in my legs. With a good amount of climbing still until the feed station and with my water levels low I knew it was not a good place to be. Walking sections of the climb I managed to find a rhythm enough to get me to the feed station where I loaded up as much as I could with electrolytes before carrying on to the last stage of the day. I knew I needed a fast stage but with the cramp on the climb I was uncertain if I would be able to actually race once I put the power down. IMG_3219 Dropping in to Stage 4 I tested the legs and was safe from the cramp. Pushing on I put together a clean run with only some small mistakes, but I was still lacking the pace I knew I had and disappointed to be riding so badly after feeling so good all week. The ride back to the finish was a flat spin of roughly 6 km and thinking the cramp was gone, I was wrong big time – I had cramp in both legs and so bad I couldn't spin through it. It felt like someone was jumping up and down on my legs. After a few minutes of this it occurred to me that my day could be coming to an end if I couldn't get back for the finish time check. I started to panic a bit and that only made it worse. Luckily Jared Graves was beside me and able to grab me before I fell over on road. I relaxed and soon was able to get into a slow spin and back to time check for some hydration and rest. JER_6672 Recovery was the only thing on my mind. I booked in for a massage and started loading up again on the fluids. I managed to get back under control by dinnertime and with an early night I hoped to feel better for Sunday. Sitting 14th after day one was not where I wanted to be and I was extremely gutted. After ten and a half hours of sleep I woke feeling a lot better. My legs were still tender but with no signs of the cramp, and with a climb of 20 km to come I was glad about that. Just to be sure I was diligent about drinking regularly and as we progressed up the climb I felt better and better. Stage 5 was a much better feeling than any of my stages the day before. I made a real effort to be patient and carry smooth speed around the turns. I was really glad to finish the run and find out I had ridden the 2nd fastest stage time. That's more like it! Going into the final stage of the weekend, one of the longest and most demanding, I was excited - I'd found my speed again and hoped to back up another solid run to pull back some time. Riding up to the start and talking with Jared he described the stage as " the last day of school " and it really did feel like it. JER_6668 Dropping in I set myself a good pace and kept it up throughout my run. Limiting my mistakes and riding well I also found I had better legs today - I had recovered well from yesterday. Finishing the stage in 3rd I was really happy to end the year with a good stage. After time check I was hoping to have moved up from 14th and was surprised to have jumped to 7th overall for the weekend. It meant I stayed in 3rd place overall for the series. I finished with a huge smile and it was an amazing feeling to stand on the podium with Jared and Damien. It's been a really crazy year for me with so many ups and downs, near misses and could-have-beens, but I’ve no regrets - racing is racing. JER_7402 Trek Factory was again the top team for the series and I was super happy for my team mate Tracy to finish World Champion once again! A big shout out to all my team, sponsors, supporters and followers, without all this support I just couldn't do it! Trek Factory Racing, Fox Racing Shox, Shimano, Bontrager, MET, Bluegrass, Adidas eyewear, Stages power meters, CNP. Not to mention my family and friends who are always there! I'm already looking forward to next season and I'm sure another crazy year off racing! Its time to board the plane again, and some quality time to spend with Luca and Tory! See you all next year! - Justin - If you missed the full results from the race then you can find them here, and if you watch one thing today it should be our final highlights video from the 2014 Enduro World Series. ]]>
Geek Stats - EWS7 - Finale Ligure http://dirtmountainbike.com/racing-events/geek-stats-ews7-finale-ligure.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120308 Tue, 07 Oct 2014 10:36:50 +0000 Mark Shilton fab

Geek Stats - EWS7 - Finale Ligure

So the 2014 Enduro World Series draws to a close with Jared Graves deservedly taking the overall title but the big headline for the weekend has to be an incredible comeback for Fabien Barel. Less than six months from a broken back to standing on top of the podium once again. We also musn't forget Jerome Clementz who came back too, to finish fourth overall. So where did Barel find the speed to take the win, and how did Graves keep it steady to take the overall? Let's take a look with the last Geek Stats of the year...

Stage rankings

Coming into the final round, Jared Graves knew he could afford to take it easy. He only had to finish 23rd overall to take the title but he wasn't hanging about! After an 8th on stage 1 he moved up into 3rd after stage 2 and was sitting pretty in 4th at the end of day 1 and then made up more time to take second overall after the long final stage.

You can see how Barel almost completely dominated the race from start to finish - winning the first stage and only giving up the lead for a single stage at the end of the first day. It's interesting to see how the last stage allowed quite a shake up in the overall positions. This stage was around 15 minutes long - nearly 40% of the total race time and it caused a few shake ups. Damien Oton managed to move from 9th up to 3rd overall in this single stage while the overnight leader, Yoann Barelli dropped down to third on stage 5 and then finished up in 5th by the end of day 2.

Looking at the time gaps it's even more apparent how dominant Barel was. Barelli managed to stay with him and just edge in front by half a second by the end of day one but you can see all the rest of the final top 10 steadily drifting further away, and Barelli joining this trend over the last two stages. A few riders made up some time on the final stage, but by this point Barel had a big enough cushion to take the win regardless.

It's worth noting a couple of riders who didn't manage to make it into the top 10. Richie Rude was sitting in second place only six seconds off Barel and Josh Carlson wasn't far behind in 8th place but both suffered snapped chains that dropped them down to 74th and 80th overall. A mechanical on a long stage like that is a cruel way to end the season!

The heatmap - Barel's dominance shines through

The heatmap showing performance by stage just underlines what an incredible performance Fabien Barel put in at the weekend. He was the only rider to place in the top 10 across all six stages, and in fact was never outside the top 6. That is an impressive weekend for anyone, let alone for a first race coming back from a broken back! Two riders who seemed to have almost a mirror of each other were Damien Oton and Yoann Barelli. You can see the light squares in the first three stages for Oton - 13th, 28th and 10th not what he would have wanted to start with - while Barelli was consistently in the top 10 and won stages three and four, but Oton came back with 2nd on stage 4 and then won the long final stage, while Barelli faded with 19th and 11th on Sunday to drop back to 5th. Joe Barnes also had an inconsistent weekend. A decent 8th overall but a stage win, a 2nd and a 3rd was tempered by 20th, 11th and 21st on the other three stages.

So there we have it. Graves convincingly took the overall with a solid second place, but the race really was dominated by Fabien Barel. With Jerome Clementzlso coming back here to place in the top 5, I hope all these guys can stay fit and healthy for next year because it's going to be one hell of a season if they can!

]]>
2014 EWS Finale Ligure: Photo Gallery - Race Day Two http://dirtmountainbike.com/racing-events/2014-ews-finale-ligure-photo-gallery-race-day-two.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120282 Mon, 06 Oct 2014 12:44:32 +0000 Ben Winder
Jared Graves talking to the Pope of Enduro (Enrico Guala), just 45km and a few hours away from becoming the Enduro World Champion.
Could this be the most consistent performance in a single race, Anne-Caro Chausson took the win at every single stage this weekend and finished an entire minute up on closest competitor Tracy Moseley.
Anneke Beerten, finding her way down some of the most fun looking singletrack we’ve ever seen, and landing herself with a 4th place.
Dreamy singletrack on Sunday, somewhat of a complete contrast to a few of Saturday’s stages.
It maybe dreamy, but it still had the occasional climb thrown in the mix, which added another element of difficulty to the stages. Which also reminded the riders it wasn’t just a downhill race.
Every stage has had an incredible view, with sweet little towns and villages dotted all around the place.
Damien Oton was in second place in the series whilst coming into this final race, and finished up in second in the series. He finished in 3rd in Sunday’s race.
Joe Barnes putting in an extremely strong performance this weekend, winning stage 2, third in stage 5 and second in stage 6, but unfortunately came into a little bit of trouble on the 1st stage with a pretty big crash, but all in all he’ll be pretty happy with his 8th place result.
Yoann Barelli up on track putting in a pretty good result this weekend, leading the race after day 1 it was looking like he could be about to take his first EWS win, but he wasn’t quite able to hold it together in Sundays race, still coming in, in 5th position.
Jerome Clementz passing at warp speed, and into 4th position. Fantastic result considering his injury earlier in the year.
What a way to come back from what could have been a career ending injury. Fabien Barel is a man who can never be written off, as he proved here by taking victory in the final race of the season.
Sam Flan supporting the Brits abroad, and giving it some this weekend.
Greg Minnaar and Peaty made the trip out for this race as an end of season finisher, not sure how keen they were on the total distance they had to cover but they gave it a good go. Greg finished in 26th and Peaty in 36th.
Super fan Ben Cruz comparing stomachs with Anneke Beerten.
Your women’s overall podium, Tracy Moseley, Anne-Caro Chausson and Cecile Ravenel.
And your men’s overall podium, Jared Graves, Damien Oton and Justin Leov.
This weekend we saw one of the most incredible recoveries, at the first round of the EWS Fabien Barel broke his back and now, just a few months later he's returned to the final round and was able to win this round here in Italy. Jerome Clementz also put in a pretty incredible performance placing in 4th after suffering from a pretty serious injury earlier this year. Jerome Clementz passing at warp speed, and into 4th position. Fantastic result considering his injury earlier in the year. Anne-Caro Chausson seems to be able to turn her hand to anything and still manage to dominate, this weekend she won every single stage, but she wasn't able to take the overall title due to Tracy Moseley's strong performance throughout the entire season. Could this be the most consistent performance in a single race, Anne-Caro Chausson took the win at every single stage this weekend and finished an entire minute up on closest competitor Tracy Moseley. Jared Graves must've had a few nerves in his stomach before race day today, all he had to do was hold it together and put in a strong consistant run to win the series, fortunately that's exactly what he did. Finishing in 2nd place today he did more than enough to secure the overall title. Now all that's left to say is bring on 2015! Oh, and if you missed out on our other coverage of this race then you can catch up below... Dirt TV 2014 Enduro World Series Rd 7 Finale Ligure | Preview 2014 EWS Finals Finale Ligure, Italy: Photo Gallery - Practice Day One 2014 EWS Finale Ligure: Photo Gallery - Practice Day Two Dirt TV 2014 Enduro World Series Round Seven Finale Ligure | Race Day One 2014 EWS Finale Ligure: Photo Gallery - Race Day One Dirt TV 2014 Enduro World Series Round Seven Finale Ligure | Race Day Two 2014 Enduro World Series Round 7 - Results ]]>
2014 EWS Finale Ligure: Photo Gallery - Race Day One http://dirtmountainbike.com/racing-events/2014-ews-finals-finale-ligure-italy-photo-gallery-race-day-one.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120239 Sun, 05 Oct 2014 00:30:40 +0000 Ben Winder Finale Ligure EWS Finals 2014 – Race Day 1 The dust has settled and the sun has set on what turned out to be a monumentally tough day for the competitors here in Finale Ligure, Italy, for the first of two days of racing that will conclude the 2014 Enduro World Series and see its champion crowned.
Day number 3 here in Finale, and race day number one. Step one coffee, step two another coffee, step three… the fun begins.
As the sun rises over the Mediterranean, Tracy Moseley is the first girl off and heads straight towards the top of stage one. Not a bad way to start a 50km day!
Possibly one of the best ways to get around on these Italian roads, just make sure you have your wits about you.
The trails are built from dirt that dreams are made of, Joe Barnes sending it into 13th position after day one.
Another lad who’s close to our hearts here at Dirt is Greg Callaghan, placing just one place in front of Joe, he’ll be looking to break the top ten tomorrow for sure.
Jerome Clementz. The speed this guy generates coming out of even the tightest of turns is phenomenal. The Cannondale racer finishes the day in a respectable seventh place: definitely not bad for someone coming back from an injury.
Nico Lau looked fast in the super-tight tech, but the day didn't turn out quite how he would have hoped. The Cube rider sits in sixth going into day two.
The main man today, Giant's Yoann Barelli. Having looked exceptional on every stage, it came as little surprise to hear he was leading the overall after all four stages had finished. Fabien Barel, is only half a second behind him though, and absolutely anything could happen tomorrow.
Damien Oton, currently ranked number two in the standings, but by the looks of things he’s going to be  hard pushed to take the top step as he’ll need to rely on Jared Graves placing quite low down in the rankings to be in with a chance.
Anne-Caro Chausson is a full minute up on Tracy Moseley after today. Tracy punctured today, which has given Anne-Caro an advantage that will be hard to loose.
Talking of leaders Jared Graves is the series leader and looking to be putting down a safe performance at this round to secure the overall. We’re still sure he’ll be hungry for the win, and there’s no doubt in our mind that he could still take the win here in Finale.
Fabien Barel put down an incredible performance today after breaking his back at the first round of the EWS this year; he’s come back with vengeance. Leading the race all day until the final stage, where Barelli took the lead from him.
The wonderkid Martin Maes in a pocket of sunlight under the thick forest canopy. The GT rider finished the day in 11th, whereas his teammate Dan Atherton wound up a further 10 places back.
Sun and sea. What more do we need to say?
Oh yeah bike racing too! Mega Swede, Hanna Jonsson, disappearing off down to the beach.
Another legend of MTB not able to challenge the overall due to injuries, finishing almost a minute back he’s clearly not 100% just yet, but all the same great to see him back racing.
We’ve been out on course all day – that is, in between coffee stops (when in Italy etc.) – and have been witness to some incredible displays of technical riding skill on what is a test of riding prowess to push every rider to the limit. The day of extremely technical riding and cramp-inducing transfer stages had a distinctly French stamp on it, with seven of the top ten riders flying the blue, white and red flag. Watching riders such as Yoann Barelli, who finished the day in the lead, and compatriot Florian Nicolai, sitting in fifth, turn what looked like near-impossible rocky challenges into little more than a walk in the park was truly a sight to behold. Nico Lau looked fast in the super-tight tech, but the day didn't turn out quite how he would have hoped. The Cube rider sits in sixth going into day two. But while Barelli’s speed on the track was astonishing – he looked pinned absolutely everywhere – more of a surprise perhaps was the tale of the comeback kid. Fabien Barel has a fierce competitive drive and few would have counted him out of the running pre-race. Having recently overcome the broken back he sustained in Chile for the first round of the EWS, even Barel himself couldn’t have wished for his day to have gone any better. Winning the first stage was a tad above his own goal of breaking into the top 10, and riding consistently fast throughout the day eventually put him in second place, just a fraction of a second behind Barelli. With the sort of riding Yoann was showing today, that is no mean feat. The main man today, Giant's Yoann Barelli. Having looked exceptional on every stage, it came as little surprise to hear he was leading the overall after all four stages had finished. Fabien Barel, is only half a second behind him though, and absolutely anything could happen tomorrow. The other comeback rider today was none other than Jerome Clementz, but although the 2013 Enduro World Series Champion put in solid performances and looked more than exciting on track, he wasn’t able to match Barel’s supreme speed and finished up the day in seventh. It’s all about consistency here, and although some of the sport’s superstars couldn’t get to grips with the racing – Greg Minnaar, Steve Peat, Cedric Gracia and Nicolas Vouilloz all failing to make it into the top 25 at close of play today – downhill’s Junior 2013 World Champ Richie Rude showed that his lack of years will not affect his chances. The American has perhaps been denied his chances at breaking onto the World Cup DH circuit properly this year, but seeing his speed and skill today, together with consistent riding that never saw him outside the top five in the stage results, it is clear that Rude could go on to become one of mountain biking’s greats himself. A well deserved third place in the end, and if he keeps as consistent tomorrow we wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the podium when racing finishes. Oh yeah bike racing too! Mega Swede Hanna Jonsson heading down to the beach In the women’s category, Tracy Moseley reportedly suffered with a flat tyre, but there is no denying the form that we saw from Anne Caroline Chausson today. There was a lot of time to be made up in the beyond-tight turns of Stages 1 and 2, and the Frenchwoman put every bit of skill that has taken her to so many titles throughout her career to flow through where others struggled to even stay on the bike. Chausson was fast through the tech, electric when things opened up for Stage 4 and the high speed ‘Men’s Downhill’ trail down to the shimmering blue sea. Cécile Ravanel has gathered momentum throughout the season and that trend shows no signs of changing. She stayed well and truly in touch with the two previous Downhill World Champions and battled to a close third place in the end. She’s breathing down Tracy’s neck, whereas Anne Caro strides ahead by 58 seconds… The trails are built from dirt that dreams are made of, Joe Barnes sending it into 13th position after day one. It’s going to be an interesting day tomorrow, with 45km total riding compared to today’s 50, and two stages as opposed to four today. Riders were looking punished at the end of the day, so who knows how they will cope with the almost equally as tough ride tomorrow. Just remember that Graves pretty much just has to hold it together and finish within the top 23 (that’s if Damien Oton wins too, after finishing today in ninth) to seal the deal and win the series. Things are closer in the women’s and everything is to play for. Stage 6 is the long and brutally physical clincher to what has been an awesome season of racing, but right now we simply cannot imagine how the day’s events will pan out. Who’s your money on? Results day 1 Men 1 Yoann Barelli 2 Fabien Barel 3 Richie Rude 4 Jared Graves 5 Florian Nicolai Women 1 Anne Caroline Chausson 2 Tracy Moseley 3 Cécile Ravanel Full results here. ]]>
2014 EWS Finale Ligure: Photo Gallery - Practice Day Two http://dirtmountainbike.com/racing-events/2014-ews-finals-finale-ligure-italy-photo-gallery-practice-day-two.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120210 Sat, 04 Oct 2014 02:07:37 +0000 Ben Winder Excitement and Apprehension: Finale Ligure Enduro World Series 2014 Practice Day 2 There’s a mix of emotions here in Finale Ligure, Italy, on the second official day of practice since the course map was announced. The excitement comes from a varied and at times incredibly testing set of stages – six in total over the two days of racing – while the apprehension surfaces when the overall course layout is approached.
Sunshine, sea, dust. What more could we ask for? How about some earthy, loamy, tree-covered flowy trails high up? Check. The course is a challenge in all aspects, and its technicality in places is up there with the most difficult of the season.
Anneke Beerten hitting Stage 1 at warp speed.
Getting signed in and ready for the beating that this course is keen to dole out in abundance. 95km over two days: it's not going to be any old ride in the mountains.
So... golden dirt, sea and sun.
Italy... Quite some country. The landscapes, architecture and culture here never cease to amaze.
Yeti's Richie Rude showed he can enduro with the best of them over in Colorado (where he finished second and took three stage wins), and will be looking to see 2014 out with a bang on these dry Italian trails.
Injuries are a big part of the game. Ben Cruz knows all to well, but keeping in high spirits, and keeping the fingers crossed for the x-rays to come back.
The preferred mode of transport (for a select few) at these events is a moped… just remember, it’s a rental… don’t be gentle. (return it in the dark)
From mountains to sea, and every thing Italy can provide in between. What a place. Get here for a holiday if you like the sounds of it so far, you won't be disappointed.
Joost Wichman, 4X World Champ and all around nice guy. Yet still showing us his skills on a bike on one of the most technical stages of the entire weekend.
Affy, someone you can’t ever rule out. Incredible skill on a bike but can he put it all together?
This place looks like paradise, and you know what? It is. But unfortunately there’s this bike race going on, ha.
The man (Jared Graves) who is currently leading the series, and looking to make a serious impact on this race. He’s 290 points ahead, does he want the race more or the series?
One half of DirtTV working hard/working on the tan.
Let’s face it if you’re a lover of singletrack, why aren’t you in Finale?
Damien Oton, in touching distance of the overall top spot this year, could we see the EWS getting dominated by the French?
The sun sets on another sunny, brilliant day of riding. But how will things differ once racers are pitted against the many kilometres of transfers tomorrow and Sunday? Only time will tell.
There is no doubting the challenge and difficulty of the terrain here: Stage 1’s tight and tricky turns are proving beyond the grasp of some riders, while Stage 4’s loose, unforgiving surface is likely to claim many victims when riders attempt to hit it at race pace. But the real subject of debate here is the length of the transfers – the pedalling on tarmac between timed stages. If you look at the course map (view it in our event preview here.), you’ll notice a lot of blue – that’s the riding to get to the riding… While the descents are up there with the best, the pedalling is certainly a point of contention. Having said that, the feeling isn’t particularly negative, more that riders are wondering whether they will survive the weekend! It is going to be a test of fitness to make it through, that is for sure.
So golden dirt, sea and sun…
So golden dirt, sea and sun…
So what is going to produce a winner here in Finale? Previous races here have proved that those who tend to do well when it comes to reading the terrain excel here. Six of the top 10 in 2013 were French – perhaps the nation’s style of enduro racing, with little-to-no practice prior to the event helping with Finale’s ever-changing trail surface. The ground under wheel takes shape with each and every rider, its dust and plentiful loose rocks morphing as more tyres roll through. Even for those who have seemingly reaped the benefits of an open shuttle policy (uphills here are almost entirely on public roads, so there is little option for the race organisers to disallow shuttling during practice), the constantly shifting trail surface is going to call for razor reactions and pinpoint skills.
From mountains to sea, and every thing Italy can provide in between. What a place. Get here for a holiday if you like the sounds of it so far, you won't be disappointed.
From mountains to sea, and every thing Italy can provide in between. What a place. Get here for a holiday if you like the sounds of it so far, you won't be disappointed.
Nico Lau would have won here in 2013 if it hadn’t been for a simple human error in missing his midday check-in that gave him an unfortunate one-minute time penalty. The Frenchman has had an up and down 2014 season, but there is no denying his ability to read terrain and he must be the favourite for the win here, a victory that would back up his win at Round 2 in Scotland. Jerome Clementz and Fabien Barel, who finished first and fourth respectively in Finale in 2013, have both come back from injury and will be looking to do themselves proud – one last blast for the year. While Damien Oton was somewhat of an underdog last time round, even though he finished in a seriously respectable eighth place, his win at Round 4 in La Thuile this year, along with his current second-place standing in the overall, must pit him against the sport’s heavyweights for a claim at the win and the title? Jared Graves and Justin Leov, the two superstars sandwiching Oton in the overall with their first and third places, are both well accustomed to the pressure of competing at the highest level, and while it would take a disaster to knock Graves off the top spot (he only needs to finish in the top 23 to win the series title according to EWS), Leov has everything to gain. We wouldn’t like to make a guess at the outcome of the women’s race, as we will be unashamedly supporting Tracy Moseley in her quest to secure the second Enduro World Series title for Britain after winning so convincingly in 2013. Her arch rival (in a friendly way) Anne-Caroline Chausson is nipping at her heels in second place: may the best win.
One half of DirtTV working hard/working on the tan.
One half of DirtTV working hard/working on the tan.
We are biting our nails, there is a big weekend ahead and with 50km of riding tomorrow and 45 on Sunday, absolutely anything could happen. Enjoy the photos, check out our DirtTV event preview here (those boys have it tough), and look out for our Saturday round up once the dust settles on day one. ]]>
First Look | Hope Tech Enduro Wheels http://dirtmountainbike.com/products/fresh-produce/first-look-hope-tech-enduro-wheels.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120123 Fri, 03 Oct 2014 12:29:37 +0000 Dave Jaquin All new rims from Hope technology for 2014. 510grams, anodised finish and their top quality hubs. Could this
All new rims from Hope technology for 2014. 510grams, anodised finish and their top quality hubs.

Hope Tech Enduro Wheels

We all know Hope have been making some of the best hubs on the market for years now, more recently building them into rims from other manufacturers and selling full wheelsets. As with everything from Hope, their drive stems from the capability to design then make pretty much anything themselves. So with that in mind the guys set out to design their own rims and build wheelsets that are Hope through and through. What they have come up with is triple cavity, welded and eyeleted rim that weighs 510g (27.5) which is just 57g heavier than an Enve M70 carbon. The biggest step from a manufacturing point of view is the fact that Hope don't actually make their rims in Lancashire, don't worry though, Hope were keen to stress that this isn't a slippery slope towards Far Eastern production. We asked Hope about it and they said that the decision to go to Taiwan for rims was that making them involves, extrusion, bending and welding. All of which are metal forming processes rather than the machining and assembly production method that Hope are experienced in. Basically the same reason Hope don't make their own LEDs for their lights. They are looking at doing this themselves but with so many different things going on this is on the back burner for the time being. We saw Hope's new rims earlier this year at Core Bike Show but they are now out for you to buy and we have got a set ready to roll on a test bike.
All in house, Hope's new wheels are laced to their proven Pro II Evo hubs.

TECH ENDURO RIM

The new rims have been built with a triple cavity similar to the Stan's Arch and Flow rims Hope previously used Hope's wheelsets. The internal width is somehwere in the middle of what you would expect from rim like this at 23mm, Mavic's Crossmax Enduro rim come in at 21mm, DT Swiss EX471 at 25mm and the Stan's Flow is 25.5mm. The rims are extruded from 6061 T6 aluminium then welded and eyeleted before being anodised then water transfer logos are added. They should stand up to abuse from rocks well but only time will tell, and we will be taking them for a roasting in the next few weeks. Hope-Tech-Enduro-rim-dirtmountainbike As you will have seen Hope aren't afraid of spending a few quid on a machine if it does the job right and building their new wheels is no exception. Holland Mechanics built a machine from the ground up to deal with one the smallest components, the nipples! This might seem nuts but Hope are future proofing Instead of tensioning the wheel from the inside like a traditional spoke key, this machine works from the outside to a double-ended nipple (calm down now) meaning they have options to develop deep section carbon rims in the future. This big new machine stresses the wheel in the same way a wheel builder would but even though the machine can do almost anything a person can Hope still insist that every wheel is hand checked and passed product control by a technician. We could go on for hours about their fancy new machine but we won't all that we'll say is that it 's about as good as it get from factory built wheels.
The heart of Hope and the new wheels , the Pro II Evo hub is easily serviced and as reliable as they come.
Simple graphics for the new Tech Enduro rims, water transfers over an anodised finish.
Keeping the back end going we will be running SRAM's 11 Speed setup mounted to Hope's XD driver body.
Double ended nipples...mmmm
At £380 for the pair we could have the best wheelset for the money out there. We will get them thrashed around the woods and report back.
Hope have gone for an eyeleted and welded rim and a 25.4mm internal width to fit the Endruo/Trail market.

SPECIFICATION

Going by the weights and measures Hope have a rim that is right down the middle. Weight for the 27.5 rims we are testing is 510g, same as a Stan's ZTR Flow but heavier than DT Swiss' EX4171 that tip the scales at 475g. Mavic have rims that go either side of half kilo weight with the pinned EN423 rim at 630g and the top end SUP welded EN821 rim at 460g. Hope seem to have struck a good balance here between, weight, width, construction and price.
Sticking to what they know Hope have gone for anodising to finish their new rims.
Sticking to what they know Hope have gone for anodising to finish their new rims.
23mm internal width Welded and eyeleted 6061 T6 aluminium rim Triple cavity construction for added strength Black Sapim Race stainless steel double butted spokes Silver Brass nipples Standard hubs available in Black, Silver, Blue, Red, Gunsmoke and Purple Straight pull hubs only in Black Front wheels supplied with QR and 15mm conversions included (9 and 20mm conversions available separately) Rear wheels supplied as 135mm QR (135x12 and 142x 12 conversions available separately) 32 hole Pro 2 EVO hubs 4 Pawl ratchet mechanism Stainless Steel, sealed cartridge bearings Rim ERD: 26" 539 // 27.5" 562 // 29" 600 Weights for rim only 26"-490g, 27.5"-510g, 29"-540g Compete standard wheel weights: 26" F 911g R 1020g // 27.5" F 923g R 1061g // 29" F 962g R 1093g Price £380.00/standard hubs - £420/Straight pull Hopetech.com 01282 851 200 ]]>
This is what happens when a 73ft front flip goes pear shaped... http://dirtmountainbike.com/videos/happens-73ft-front-flip-goes-pear-shaped.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120152 Fri, 03 Oct 2014 11:21:12 +0000 Ed Haythornthwaite 2014 Red Bull Rampage - New course unveiled 2014 Red Bull Rampage - First Impressions 2014 Red Bull Rampage - Line Selection 2014 Red Bull Rampage - Rampage Rookies 2014 Red Bull Rampage - First Tracks 2014 Red Bull Rampage - Makken Haugen drop 2014 Red Bull Rampage - Whip Session Red Bull Rampage - Vital Slideshow Bull Rampage 2014 - Andreu Lacondeguy Winning Run POV Red Bull Rampage 2014 - Final Results & Winning Run ]]> 2014 EWS Finals Finale Ligure, Italy - Practice Day One http://dirtmountainbike.com/racing-events/2014-ews-finals-finale-ligure-italy-day-one.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120134 Fri, 03 Oct 2014 00:52:25 +0000 Ben Winder Finale Ligure, the final stop on the Enduro World Series calendar, and the home to some of Europe’s best riding. And it’s only a couple of hours along the coast from Nice (about 15 euros on the train)
Finale Ligure, the final stop on the Enduro World Series calendar, and the home to some of Europe’s best riding. And it’s only a couple of hours along the coast from Nice (about 15 euros on the train)
The entire mountain bike circus is in town and things are shaping up for what looks set to be a truly memorable season ender at the Enduro World Series (EWS) finals here in Finale Ligure, Italy.
There’s no doubt that this place is stunning, trails that finish on the beach and stunning historic sites to behold.
There’s no doubt that this place is stunning, trails that finish on the beach and stunning historic sites to behold.
As we tend to the first-degree burns induced by today’s Italian sunshine, a reminder of the intensification of the 2014 series for its closing round, with almost 100km of riding over two days and some of the most challenging terrain of the year, we are reflecting on what has been a monumentally arduous season of racing across seven rounds (including this one) in six different countries and with as many race formats.
Italy: the home of the Ape, three wheelers and the standard lamppost dent.
Italy: the home of the Ape, three wheelers and the standard lamppost dent.
We are here – along with a huge proportion of the mountain bike industry and many hundreds of riders – to witness the closure of this second year of racing, and of course to enjoy a little Italian culture and sunshine while at it. That’s the beauty of these events – there are pros, amateurs and industry types alike all keen to give it a shot and put themselves to the test against what is going to be a truly tough two days of racing this weekend coming. With four stages on Saturday and two stages on Sunday, plus a lot of pedalling between them, this is going to be a test for each and every competitor.
Dropping in… After miles of winding roads and dirt paths, eventually a start sign appears and the racing begins.
Dropping in… After miles of winding roads and dirt paths, eventually a start sign appears and the racing begins.
Today riders were out on course – many with van-assisted shuttling – testing out some of Finale’s very best, and what a course the organisers have set. While some lower-down trails contain loose, unforgivingly sharp stone, those high up in the hills are flowing dreams. By all accounts, Stage 6, the crux stage of the race, is one of the best trails of the season. British racer Phil Shucksmith described it as “the best… just the best” to us earlier, and with its seemingly endless turns, fresh dirt, huge elevation drop and little in the way of pedalling we can hardly disagree.
Nico Lau here on stage 3 here, which is a pretty flowy fast track but somewhat of a contrast to the other tracks for Saturdays race day!
Nico Lau here on stage 3 here, which is a pretty flowy fast track but somewhat of a contrast to the other tracks for Saturdays race day!
Elsewhere on the course there is punishment to be doled out in great proportions. Intensely technical, sometimes to the point of borderline ridiculous, there is enough to test the skills of any seasoned pro rider here. And on that note we will mention the heavyweights present: Fabien Barel, who has recovered from his serious back injury, and Jerome Clementz, 100% healed after a nasty collarbone break, are back on the scene and will be gunning to upset the apple cart, who knows how they could affect the overall results.
When it comes to Finale, we just get big smiles and high spirits, but what do you expect with the amazing coffee and ice cream...
When it comes to Finale, we just get big smiles and high spirits, but what do you expect with the amazing coffee and ice cream...
On that note, looking at the overall in the men’s category, it is certainly all still to play for, with Aussie Jared Graves leading out France’s Damien Oton by 2,690 points to 2,400. Kiwi Justin Leov is only 90 points further back in third overall and Nico Lau has 2250, with Rene Wildhaber and Florian Nicolai not far behind with 2240 and 2160 points respectively. With 500 points up for grabs for the win, the race is definitely still on.
Setting up of the pits set up were delayed this weekend due to the market being held... They definitely have the pace of life here right in Italy!
Setting up of the pits set up were delayed this weekend due to the market being held... They definitely have the pace of life here right in Italy!
Tracy Moseley seemed to have things wrapped up with her dominating performances at rounds two, three and four, but round one winner Anne-Caroline Chausson has pulled it back in her favour and the two now sit at 2250 and 2170 points respectively. With 400 points up for grabs for a women’s category win, Round 6 winner Cécile Ravanel isn’t completely out of the mix in third place overall with 1950 points.
Did we mention this place is amazing?
Did we mention this place is amazing?
It’s going to be a long weekend for everyone, whether that means learning the many kilometres of timed stages as a racer, ensuring the smooth running of such an important and prestigious event as part of the EWS crew, or surviving the carnage as a spectator/reporter... Town is buzzing and expectations are high for what looks to be another classic Finale event. ]]>
Dirt Issue #152 Out now http://dirtmountainbike.com/news/dirt-issue-152-now.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=119733 Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:22:58 +0000 Dave Jaquin Dirt-152-cover-Josh-Bryceland-dirtmountainbike It's time to get down to the shops and pick up another cracking issue of our fine magazine and this month peg leg Josh Bryceland graces the cover clearly going at full tilt in true Ratboy style. Also in this month's mag...

MERIBEL WORLD CUP FINALS

It was the race of the Rat, a perfect way to round off the season and a race that will go down in history for Bryceland. The race was electric and the times were tight but it was a big win for the UK in Meribel, Manon Carpenter and Josh took the overall titles with the British stamp firmly set in the 2014 season we were hoping for a repeat in Hafjell. Dirt-152-Meribel

Hafjell World Champs

We know that it wasn't to be, Manon made it stick and took home the stripes but leaving it all to the last jump Ratboy went heavenward for a bit too long. The resulting broken foot looked a horrible shape but he's on the mend and with Gee Atherton taking the win it wasn't all bad! Dirt-152-Worlds

Loose Fest

Serious hucking went down at Loose Fest as Nico Vink and the world's best riders took on some monstrous jumps, if you missed the video then check it out here and pick up the mag for the full story. Dirt-152-Loose-Fest

CrankWorx Whistler

Another year and Crankworx shows that it can be even bigger and better than previous years, the Whip Off was won by the late entering Finn Isles and at 14 he is the youngest to have even entered never mind won the thing! Check out the full story in the mag and if you fancy getting yourself a subscription then check out the deals right here. Dirt-152-Cranky ]]>
The 10 Best Mountain Bike Carbon Bars http://dirtmountainbike.com/products/10-best-mountain-bike-carbon-bars.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=119943 Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:56:03 +0000 Ed Haythornthwaite barpromo

The 10 Best Mountain Bike Carbon Bars

I don't think I know anyone who doesn't want their bike to be as light as possible. Of course you don't want it so light that it's going to fall to pieces, you want it strong but light. The old saying goes; strong, light, cheap...pick two. It's true too, you can't have it all. If you don't mind spending a bit of money though then it is tough to beat carbon when it comes to strength to weight ratio, and whilst we now see carbon popping up on pretty much every part of a bike, there was a time when it was treated with much suspicion. It was bars though where we saw the first real acceptance of carbon, albeit after a lot of naysayers. Compared to something like a carbon frame a set of carbon bars is relatively affordable and simple, and the benefits are clear to see, so I suppose it's not really too surprising that this is where carbon really started to take off. They are considerably lighter than an aluminium set, and despite there still being a minority out that that still refuse to believe it, a decent set of carbon bars will be stronger than their aluminium counterpart (just watch the video on the final slide if you still don't believe how strong they can be). So, if you've got a bit of spare cash and want to upgrade your bike then we'd definitely recommend treating yourself to a set of carbon bars. They don't just save weight though, a well designed set can also provide a welcome extra bit of 'give' compared to an aluminium bar, which your hands and arms will thank you for. Which ones should you go for? Well like so many other things on a bike some people will like one thing and others will like another. Width is a fairly simple thing to tick off the list, and most of the bars that have made it into our top 10 will be wide enough for anyone, and the same goes for rise with most being available in various versions to suit all tastes. It's when you get to sweep though that things get a bit more tricky, and the best advice we can give on that front is to try before you buy. Obviously there are a lot of bars out there to try, but we've made things simpler for you buy selecting what we think are the 10 best mountain bike carbon bars on the market. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, get clicking below to discover which carbon bars made the grade... havoc35

Easton Havoc 35 Carbon

No selection of top carbon bars would be complete without a set of Easton's. They've been setting the benchmark ever since carbon bars took off and these Havoc 35's are their latest and greatest. The oversized 35mm bar clamp has enabled Easton to make these 800mm wide bars the strongest they've ever made, yet they weigh next to nothing. We've found many 35mm aluminium bars to be too stiff, but these seem spot on. Price: £129.99 Weight: 225g Silverfish 01752 843 882 www.eastoncycling.com nuke

Nukeproof Warhead 760 Carbon Riser Bars

These Nukeproof bars are the cheapest here, but the relatively low price shouldn't put you off as there's no doubt in our mind that these are quality bars, and incredibly strong. Perhaps the only drawback to them is that they are only available with a 20mm rise, and they're 760mm wide, which might not be quite wide enough for some. If those numbers suit you though, and the 9° back-sweep and 6° up-sweep shape, then these are a great buy. Price: £100.00 Weight: 250g Hotlines 01313 191 444 www.nukeproof.com deity

Deity DC31 Mohawk

Ever since we first tried their Blacklabel bars we've been big fans of Deity bars thanks to their great shape. What we really wanted though was a carbon version, and that's exactly what we've now got in the shape of these ones. Deity reckon they are the strongest carbon bars on the market, and with them being the heaviest here we don't doubt that. It would be good to see a few rise options alongside the standard 25mm, but apart from that we love them. Price: £130.00 Weight: 270g Hotlines 01313 191 444 www.deitycomponents.com syncros

Syncros AM1.0 Carbon

Syncros are another company that has been making quality carbon bars for years, and these latest ones continue that trend. The 35mm bar clamp helps keep these strong despite the seriously low 200g weight, and at 760mm wide they should be wide enough for most tastes. As for rise, these only come with a low 10mm rise, but if you're running big wheels then the chances are you're going to be looking for something low anyway. Price: £125.99 Weight: 200g Scott Sports 01670 712 129 www.syncros.com sixc

Race Face SIXC 35

This is the latest 35mm bar clamp version of Race Face's much loved SIXC bars, and the increase in diameter has resulted in these bars being lighter than ever before, despite being even wider at 800mm. With 10, 20 or 35mm rise options everyone should be able to find something to suit, and we simply love the overall shape and feel of these bars. There's no doubting that these are a very classy set of bars. Price: £129.00 Weight: 210g Silverfish 01752 843 882 www.raceface.com renthal

Renthal Fatbar Carbon

Renthal bars are nothing short of legendary but it was a long old wait before we got to see them offer a carbon version. When they finally did it was a little on the narrow side for our tastes (740mm), but then after some more waiting we got these 780mm ones. They were worth the wait! With a choice of 10, 20, 30 or 40mm rise Renthal offer more options than anyone else we can think of. Price: £134.99 Weight: 225g Ison Distribution 01353 662 662 www.renthal.com truvativ

Truvativ Jerome Clementz BlackBox Bar

Coming in at 750mm wide these bars won't appeal to all, but on the flip side we know of several riders who absolutely love the 7˚ back-sweep, 5˚ up-sweep shape of these bars, which is a little straighter than some others. They are beautifully finished too, so if you think they'll be wide enough for you, and the 20mm rise is ok, then we definitely recommend trying some out, as you too may love the shape of these bars. Price: £155.00 Weight: 240g Fisher Outdoor Leisure 01727 798 340 www.truvativ.com thomson

Thomson Trail Carbon

After years of making some of the finest stems that money can buy it was a somewhat logical step for Thomson to start making bars, and these ones are every bit as classy as their stems. We particularly love their understated finish. Shape wise they are quite low and straight with a 12mm rise, 6˚ back-sweep and 4˚ up-sweep, and they're only 750mm wide, but that shape seems to go down well with some riders. Price: £124.99 Weight: 208g i-ride 01444 243 000 www.bikethomson.com answer

Answer ProTAPER Carbon SL 780

Answer's ProTaper bars are nothing short of classics thanks to their superb shape and great quality. We've seen carbon versions for some time now but these latest 'SL' ones are 15% lighter than before, yet every bit as strong, thanks to a new one piece continuous lay-up construction. With a 780mm width and both 12.7 and 25.4mm rise options these super light bars should be on everyone's shortlist at the very least. Price: £139.99 Weight: 215g Hotlines 01313 191 444 www.answerproducts.com enve

Enve DH Bar

Last, but by no means least are these 800mm wide bars from ENVE. Considering they make arguably the best carbon rims in the world it isn't surprising that ENVE can also make incredible carbon bars. These have been well and truly proved on the World Cup circuit, but if you're still in doubt as to just how strong a set of carbon bars can be then just take a look at the video below of them being tested... http://vimeo.com/90550852 Price: £150.00 Weight: 235g Saddleback 01454 285 285 www.enve.com ]]>
EWS 2014 | The track for the Grand Final of Finale Ligure has been announced http://dirtmountainbike.com/news/ews-2014-track-grand-final-finale-ligure-announced.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120043 Wed, 01 Oct 2014 13:33:25 +0000 Ali Todd 10392873384_7064bff4b1_o Photos: Matteo Cappe Finale Ligure needs no introduction as an EWS round - it's been on the circuit since the EWS began a few years ago, and is now bookending the 2014 season, and they've just released the course info. Here's the press release. (And if you missed the last highlights video, from Whistler, it's here) mappa  

Press release:

Here we are: the most awaited event of the year is almost here. THE event, the race-worth-a-season: it is difficult to find other attributes to describe the weekend which is going to take place at Finale Ligure on the 4th and 5th of October. The location which has written the history of mountain-biking in Italy is getting ready to be at the centre of the enduro world during the three days of the last round of the Enduro World Series 2014. During the event, the staff of the Superenduro Powered By SRAM will take care of the technical aspects of the organization joining forces with the Finale Outdoor Resort team. After the success of the La Thuile round, Italy is all geared up to host – for the second time this year – the Series able to inspire the top riders of the World Enduro scene. They cannot wait to fly on the twisty trails of the Finale backcountry, in the breathtaking views of the Liguria Sea. During the seven events which have been organized here, at least 25 different trails have been used, all of them perfectly prepared to be enjoyed by mountain-bike legends and by recreational riders. However, the surprises ready for this 2014 edition are going to be beyond expectation. Six Stages, all of them totally new. New trails never ridden by mountain-bikers. The race course of Finale is going to amaze the riders and it will offer the best of what any mountain-biker can hope for in this kind of terrain. Two days of pure and hard racing, with a 95 km course, split in between 50 km on Saturday and 45 km on Sunday, with a total of 2300 m of descend and without any mechanical uplift. The event will officially kick-off on Thursday the 2nd with the free practice. At 7.30pm all the are women participants are invited at the EWS Women’s Summit that will take place at the Bar Caviglia. Friday October the 3rd, between 10am and 6pm, the registration office will stay open (under the Superenduro marquee) to collect number plates and finalize the registration. At 6.30pm the briefing for the athletes will take place. The registration office will also be open on Saturday October the 4th between 7am and 8am. THE COURSE Saturday The first transfer will be toward San Bernardino before dropping down the SP1 Pianarella Trail. A 2,5 km long trail for the Special Stage which will alternate flowing sections with techy passages on rocks and in switchbacks, before the second transfer to Feglino. From the San Rocco church the SP2 will start on the Neanderthal Trail. This SP, which passes throughout areas inhabited by prehistoric man, will present a first pedalled section, followed by a rocky bit and by a toboggan run which means pure fun. After SP2 the riders will be back to the paddock area for the time control. The SP3 of the day, known as Megalithic, will start again from San Bernardino with its sections of trail inherited from prehistory. The SP swaps between pedalled sections and technical parts that are exposed, reaching the village of Calvisio Vecchio. From the village the riders will move toward the Manie highland, passing through the famous Roman Bridges road, to finally reach Bric dei Corvi, where the SP4 DH Men course starts. The SP is one of the most panoramic trails of the entire Finale area, with steep sections that seem to drop into the sea. The long day of Saturday will end at about 6pm, followed by an aperitif and a Dj set in the Piazza Garibaldi square. On Sunday, the start will be given again at 8am, when the riders will head to Feglino to go thorough the time check at the San Rocco church. Then the transfer will be on asphalt up to the Pian dei Corsi, famous for the old abandoned Nato base, which will be the start of the SP5 Cravarezza. An old trail, ridden for the first time something like fifteen years ago, when Freeride was still at its beginning here at Finale. A series of corners and compressions, a real paradise for riders, to conclude the SP and head up to Monte Alto. From there the SP6 Super Groppo course, the longest SP in the history of Finale Enduro will start. Six different types of woods, from cedar trees to beeches, will offer different terrain to the bikers. Endless and fast changes of rhythm will challenge them, they will start to feel the five Special Stages in their legs. After their last effort, the riders will finally reach the finish line in the paddock area where the closing award ceremony will take place at 5pm. Thursday and Friday will be practice days with mechanical uplifts, but only on asphalt roads. The off-road transfer sections will be kept closed to traffic to protect the environment and for safety reasons. We finally remind all riders and the he general public that in the race book they will find the full details of the event. Enjoy the weekend of Finale Ligure! And we've got a few videos from last year: And a brilliant time-lapse: ]]>
Steve Peat Syndicate 2015 | Enduro Launch http://dirtmountainbike.com/news/steve-peat-syndicate-2015-enduro-launch.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120044 Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:41:57 +0000 Dave Jaquin Steve Peat Syndicate 2015 Steve Peat needs no introduction, his race program the Steve Peat Syndicate has been running for 5 years now and today he announces that the 2015 team is open for business. The principle is pretty simple, you pay upfront for a bike, kit and most importantly the support of the main man and his team to make you the best racer you can be. The price might seem high at a fiver under £6K but just think what you are getting for that when a bike of the calibre offered by the team is going to set you back somewhere near that figure. You will be exposed to pro level training in both physical and mental environments and get support at the races from the team, riding with Peaty and the rest of the guys is only going to help as well! Here's the word from the Syndicate: IMG_6707 Steve Peat has long been known as a rider that takes promising talent under his wing, and there's a big list of riders from Marc Beaumont, to Brendan Fairclough, to the current World Cup DH Champion, Josh 'Ratboy' Bryceland, that have benefitted from Peaty's knowledge and support. Steve massively enjoys this role, and the Steve Peat Syndicate is his way of taking this to the next level and supporting another generation of racers.
"I don't know if I'd ever have been where I am today without Peaty's help and advice over the years. Steve has made me a way better racer, simple as that." Josh Bryceland
Peaty's experience, knowledge and passion for racing is just one of the reasons why his Syndicate is unique. The place to find more information about exactly how the set up works, and why it could be worth joining the same winning team as the current Elite UK Gravity Enduro champion, Neil Donoghue, is over at the Steve Peat Syndicate website stevepeatsyndicate.com. SPS are now taking inquiries from any riders, regardless of location or race category to be considered for the 2015 program. Tweedlove EWS Enduro World Series Peebles 2014 80 Just like Peaty and enduro shredder Neil Donoghue, as part of the Steve Peat Syndicate, riders get to race on state-of-the-art Santa Cruz machines - buying into the SPS enduro team package gives you the option to pick the Santa Cruz bike that fits your own needs the best. Bronson, Nomad and Tallboy LT models have all been successfully raced depending on the terrain this season. Whatever your choice, the 650b or 29-er Santa Cruz machines make for an awesome, reliable race weapon. _MG_2625 Another key ingredient behind Peaty's success is the help of a dedicated team of professionals at Sheffield Hallam University in Steve's home city, and, as part of the Syndicate team, the door is opened to the same world class fitness and psychological resources used to win the DH World Championships. Whatever your goals, joining the Syndicate enduro program is your chance to improve into a fitter, faster racer in a friendly team environment, backed by over two decades of mountain bike race knowledge. So there you have it, if you want to get serious about your racing and get the most out of one of the most respected riders in the world look no further! ]]>
Red Bull Rampage 2014 Final Results & Winning Run http://dirtmountainbike.com/news/red-bull-rampage-2014-final-results-winning-run.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=120000 Tue, 30 Sep 2014 10:54:27 +0000 Dave Jaquin

Red Bull Rampage 2014

After a week of dust, sweat, rain and heat Rampage came down to a couple of minutes of magic from Spaniard Andreu Lacondeguy. There were some pretty massive tricks thrown down but the smooth run with a super technical start gave Lacondeguy a score of 95.25. Cam Zink took best trick with a massive 360 on a line that Semenuk went for too but didn't land as smoothly. Lacondeguy didn't take his second run as the score was high he seemed confident it wouldn't be beaten. Zink took home second place for his run with Semenuk in 3rd, Kyle Strait in 4th and Brett Rheeder rounding out the top 5. After all the weather on the new hill and digging lines from scratch it was good to see this bonkers event go down smoothly. Graham Agassiz sat out finals after a crash and there were some other big offs but nothing too bad. red-bull-rampage-2014-tom-van-steenenberg-front-flip

Van Steenballs

They should have a biggest balls prize at Rampage and if they did the prize would have gone to Tom Van Steenbergen. The 73ft Canyon Gap had been flipped in practice and during the event, Kelly McGarry over shot in practice then came up short for finals. Van Steenbergen took things to the next level and went for a FRONT FLIP on the 73ft Canyon Gap, he looked good coming into the landing but hit the downslope and got sent forward and his suspension compressed fully and sent him forwards. He was ok and if he had landed better he could have been on for a massive score for sure.

FULL RESULTS

1. Andreu Lacondeguy 95.25 2. Cam Zink 89.50 3. Brandon Semenuk 89.25 4. Kyle Strait 89.00 5. Brett Rheeder 88.50 6. Kyle Norbraten 82.75 7. Jeff Herbertson 82.50 8. Brendan Fairclough 77.25 9. Paul Basagoitia 76.50 10. Mitch Chubey 76.25 11. Szymon Godziek 76.00 12. Kelly McGarry 73.25 13. Thomas Genon 71.50 14. Louis Reboul 70.75 15. Carson Storch 69.25 16. Pierre Edouard FERRY 67.50 17. Geoff Gulevich 66.00 18. Ramon Hunziker 37.75 19. Tom van Steenbergen 35.00 20. Mike Montgomery 24.00

Photo Gallery

Front flip madness from Tom Van Steenbergen, he was ejected on landing but massive balls effort for giving this one a go!
Style for miles and the amplitude to match it. Andreu went big and kept things clean to take the win. Huge off axis flip on the Polaris sender.
A lot of riders used the top of the course to air some tables and Andreu is one guy who can make them look the best. Moto flat before dropping into the big stuff.
Cam Zink took best trick with this 360, he was stoked to get this but he knew there was more in the tank for his final run. 2nd place overall for Zink.
Brendan Fairclough had a racer's run with some big gaps and drops thrown in for good measure. Here he is floating over a big one that sent him on to 8th overall.
Dropping from the skies. Andreu sent a HUGE drop up top and this photo almost doesn't look real! Massive respect for him and a well deserved win.
What a trophy! Smiles all round for Andreu and YT with Zink it second it was a 1,2 for the German brand.
]]>
The new GoPro Hero4 has arrived, and it's raised the bar once again http://dirtmountainbike.com/products/fresh-produce/new-gopro-hero4-arrived-raised-bar.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=119962 Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:28:20 +0000 Ed Haythornthwaite gopropromo As hard as others may have tried, we are yet to find a helmet cam that can rival a GoPro, and the bad news for the competition is that the bar has been raised once again with the release of this new GoPro Hero4. Like before, this new Hero4 comes in two different versions; Black and Silver. The range topping Black is where GoPro have really gone to town, and the video below explains what's new... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rcDPF14sr0 So yeah, this new Hero4 Black is seriously powerful, so much so that to be honest it's probably overkill for most people, and you'll need a fairly serious computer to go with it if you want to take full advantage of what it can offer, otherwise your computer will no doubt grind to a halt trying to deal with the massive files. Knowing what consumers are like, and considering that this Black camera doesn't cost that much more than the Silver, I think a load of people will probably want to rush out and buy this one, but I'm not sure that's such a wise move. Yes it'll no doubt be incredible, but it's really a pro piece of kit that'll require a pro filmer/editor to get the most out of it. Of course it will also work as a point and shoot, but do you really need all the bells and whistles if that's all you're going to do? Plus the Silver offers something that the Black doesn't... Price: £369.99 Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 15.10.09 I think the more sensible money will be spent on the new Hero4 Silver, as seen above. Ok, so it might not be able to film quite the same jaw dropping frame rate as the Black, but GoPro reckon it's still better than any camera they've produced before, and that's saying something. Interestingly this Silver camera does offer one thing that the Black doesn't, and that's a rear touchscreen. This could well be the thing that makes your average consumer opt for this camera over the Black, so maybe it's a smart move from GoPro? Watch the video below to exactly what the new Hero4 Silver offers... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKM9jAqJZoY If you're honest, then unless you're a pro you've got to admit that the Silver probably offers all you could ever want, and most likely a whole load more too. We think these things will sell like hot cakes. Price: £289.99 Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 14.55.25 The two Hero4's aren't the only new cameras from GoPro as they've also just announced the release of this new 'Hero'. I think this camera is possibly even more exciting than the first two, and that's because it offers high-quality 1080p30 and 720p60 video alongside 5MP stills (at 5 frames per second), for just under a hundred quid! I almost think GoPro could be doing themselves a disservice with this camera because realistically it's probably more than enough for most peoples needs, and yet it costs a fraction of what the more expensive ones do. As I said before though, I am sure a load of people will just want the fancier ones almost just for the sake of it, but if you just want to film some great video to share with your mates then this could be just the ticket, and it won't leave a massive dent in your wallet. Price: £99.99 www.madison.co.uk www.gopro.com ]]> Red Bull Rampage 2014 - What's been happening? http://dirtmountainbike.com/news/red-bull-rampage-2014-whats-happening.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=119937 Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:04:50 +0000 Dave Jaquin red-bull-rampage-2014-sunset-gap
Some of this still went down in the desert...
Photo: Red Bull

Red Bull Rampage 2014

We were expecting Rampage to kick off last night but, well, it rained! Not what you expect in the desert but some flash flooding shut things down after qualifying. So after all the dirt was shovelled last week it was mother nature that turned up and wazzed on the riders leaving their creations in a bit of state.
red-bull-rampage-2014-tyres-mud
But tyres also started looking like this which put an end to qualifying and delayed finals.
Photo: Red Bull

QUALIFYING

Despite the weather qualifying went ahead and there was some bonkers action going down and every rider got their first quali run down. The weather then began to turn and only four riders rolled out for their second run before the rain, lighting and what then turned into flash floods arrived with vengeance. Makken Huagen who was the first rider to drop the massive step down last week ejected mid backflip but walked away fine, Geoff Gulevich, Ryan Howard and Yannick Granieri all had solid runs but it was Szymon Godziek who took the big balls prize. Last year Kelly McGarry made history flipping the Canyon Gap at the old site but this year Godziek did the new gap in qualifying and flipped it perfectly. Brendan Fairclough is pre-qualified for this years event but Bernard Kerr was out there for the firs time and he only just missed making the cut in his first ever Rampage, massive props to him for getting out there and riding! The final results for qualifying look like this:

1 Graham Agassiz 94.00 2 Brett Rheeder 86.50 3 Tom Van Steenbergen 83.75 4 Jeff Herbertson 82.50 5 Paul Basagoitia 82.00 6 Szymon Godziek 80.50 7 Kyle Norbraten 80.25 8 Louis Reboul 78.25 9 Carson Storch 77.25 10 Geoff Gulevich 77.00

After the rain set in Red Bull release the following updates to let everyone know what was going on: UPDATE [Saturday, 3.45pm MT/11.45pm CEST]: Due to heavy rain and thunderstorms at the event site on Saturday, Run 2 of qualifying wasn't allowed to go ahead. The Red Bull Rampage schedule is therefore changing to ensure that there are the very best conditions for competition. Most notably, the finals will be delayed and the event site in Utah will not be open to the public on Sunday, September 28. A revised schedule will be announced shortly with details of the date for the finals and the transmission time of the live stream. UPDATE [Saturday, 8.00pm MT/Sunday, 4.00am CEST]: Finals are now currently scheduled to take place on Monday, September 29 (subject to change due to weather). Schedule info will be released later on Sunday. Transmission of the live stream is expected to begin on Monday at 1.00pm MT/9.00pm CEST. The time is subject to change due to weather or other factors outside of Red Bull’s control.

Finals

So with finals set to start at 8PM tonight we're keeping our fingers crossed that the weather stays good and the riders can get their lines ready for the big event. Here are three of the runs from qualifying that will give you an idea of the lines riders are taking:

Tom Van Steenbergen

Szymon Godziek

Brett Rheeder

]]>
Here are another three amazing Alpine tracks that you've got to go and ride http://dirtmountainbike.com/news/heres-another-3-amazing-alpine-tracks-youve-got-go-ride.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=119922 Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:13:01 +0000 Ed Haythornthwaite alps Much like surfers wanting to catch that perfect wave, us mountain bikers always seem to be hunting out the perfect trail. Does it even exist? Who knows, but earlier this year Dirt's James McKnight reckoned he had just found the best trail in the Alps (home to arguably some of the finest trails in the world), and that claim led to a whole pile of people writing in reckoning that they knew of even better Alpine tracks. We featured a few of them already, but this morning I got an email from Ali Jamieson, the Boss, Head Trail-Sniffer and eater of all unwanted food at trailAddiction, and the man behind the Trans-Savoie Enduro. He thinks he can outdo all the trails that have gone before, and after running the highly successful Alpine mountain bike holiday company for many years, and putting together the Trans-Savoie, there probably aren't many people who know more about Alpine trails than he does. So, without further ado, here's what he has to say on the matter of the best Alpine tracks... "I should try to stay out of these kind of "best trails" discussions since I'm naturally going to be a little biased. Then again, I have spent the past 15 years pretty much riding all over the world as much as I can, simply to try and find the very best trails that are out there, so I think I've got quite a broad overview." "And with that in mind, I gotta say that in my personal opinion, I think I can one-up the trails you already posted recently on the site. So, here are my top three, all picked for different reasons..."

1) EPIC

http://vimeo.com/48019171 If you're after a truly EPIC big-mountain adventure (or rather, a one-day expedition!), this has to be the one. It's the Grande Sassiere on the French/Italian border. Not only is it the longest and highest rideable peak in the Alps (thats a fact, not an opinion - it starts at 3750m and ends at 800m), it is also awesome, technical singletrack all the way! There's not a single bit that can't be ridden from top to bottom, and it's bloody awesome too! The downside? Unfortunately it involves a 1 hour van uplift, then a four hour hike a bike to get into it, which is why we don't ride it much! In fact I've only ever done it once, when we shot this video, but it just so happens that I've got a small hardy crew together of ex-guides to go and do it again next Sunday as a kind of end-of-season treat to ourselves. I can't wait!

2) TECHNICAL, SCENIC & EXPOSED (but still 100% rideable and enjoyable)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdubWYlYpqw&feature=youtu.be This category has to go to the fabled La Varda trail in Les Arcs which is actually accessible by lift, and then only a short 20 minute hike into it. It's more than worth the effort. PS: If you don't think it looks all that exposed, skip to 2:55!

3) OUT AND OUT THE LONGEST BEST, AND MOST VARIED FLOW-FEST OF A TRAIL, EVER.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1iDZl_UBH4&feature=youtu.be The video doesnt do it justice but you get the idea. Best of all you can ride out of the front door of the refuge (as we did in the video). This is the Mont Jovet ride into the Bozel Valley (between Les Arcs and Courchevel). This was actually a stage in the 2013 Trans-Savoie and even the fastest guys in the world took 25 minutes to get down it! There's no climbing in it at all, either, so that gives you an idea of just how long it is. Come on, you've got to give it to Ali, that's a pretty damn fine selection. Reckon you've found something to rival those? If so let us know. I think we might have to start to looking outside the Alps in order to try and raise the bar even further. ]]>
Video - 2014 Red Bull Rampage - Testing Lines http://dirtmountainbike.com/videos/video-2014-red-bull-rampage-testing-lines.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=119896 Fri, 26 Sep 2014 10:21:20 +0000 Ed Haythornthwaite Screen-Shot-2014-09-26-at-10.11.01

2014 Red Bull Rampage - Testing Lines

How long does it take to build a solid Red Bull Rampage line? That is the question. While pre-qualified Rampage riders enjoy the luxury of two extra days of digging before having to compete, the cast of hopefuls who ride in Friday’s qualifying round are feeling the pressure. Most have begun testing their lines, with mixed results...
You visualize something; you have this image of how it’s going to work in your head,” says Mike Hopkins in the video above. “More often than not you’re like, ‘well, that didn’t work. As riders find out what works and – more importantly – what doesn’t, they build the confidence it takes to attack their line in competition. “Everything’s working pretty good, but I’m just coming in so fast,” says Brendan Howey, referring to a big double-drop-to-gap he incorporated into his line. “I’m going to have to brake quite a bit into that next jump. It’s not necessarily too difficult; it’s just scary.” Wil White was one of the first riders to start riding his line, and found out the hard way that one of his drops was larger than expected. “It’s really scary,” he says, “because I don’t get to ride stuff this big unless [I'm at Rampage]. It’s always a wake-up call.” “It’s pretty exciting to see that it’s going to work,” says Mitch Ropelato about his speed-focused line. “It’s a little rough around the edges… But we got one more day left. Might crack a couple nuts doing it, but you gotta crack a few eggs to make an omelette.” Watch Ropelato and friends crack their eggs during finals on Sunday, September 28, starting at 1pm MT (8pm BST, 9pm CEST) on the official Red Bull Rampage site. In the meantime stay tuned to Dirt for all the latest 2014 Red Bull Rampage news, and if you've missed out on the coverage so far then you can catch up below... 2014 Red Bull Rampage - New course unveiled 2014 Red Bull Rampage - First Impressions 2014 Red Bull Rampage - Line Selection 2014 Red Bull Rampage - Rampage Rookies 2014 Red Bull Rampage - First Tracks 2014 Red Bull Rampage - Makken Haugen drop 2014 Red Bull Rampage - Whip Session Red Bull Rampage - Vital Slideshow Red Bull Rampage 2014 - Kelly McGarry's Crash ]]>
Race Report: Schwalbe British 4X Series - Round 7 - Leamington Spa, Warwickshire http://dirtmountainbike.com/news/race-report-schwalbe-british-4x-series-round-7-leamington-spa-warwickshire.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=119839 Thu, 25 Sep 2014 13:25:56 +0000 Ali Todd during the 7th and final round of On Sunday, 21st September, the Schwalbe British 4X Series made its final stop of the 2014 season at Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. Round 7 of the series would see riders racing on the popular Leamington track that is always kept in fantastic condition by elite rider Nathan Parsons. The track is flowing, fun, great for beginners and a challenge for elites. With a few tweaks by Nathan in the last few weeks, the scene was set for a great days racing. It was great to see so many new faces at the event. With the BMX National season now finished, it was especially nice to see so many BMX riders giving 4X a go. The weather forecasters got it spot on. Sunshine all day and a dry track meant that we were in for a fantastic final round of the 2014 series. After 2 hours of practice, racing began at 12.00. All riders competed in 3 motos to qualify them through to the knockout stages. There was action in every race and with big crowds cheering them all on, the atmosphere all day was great. In the women's racing, it was great to see Katy Curd racing 4X again in her rainbow jersey after being crowned the 4X World Champion back in June. It was also great to see 19 riders entered in women's - the highest rider category on the day. The women's racing was also close and unpredictable. Lots of passing was making predicting the result tough. In the men's it looked like being a Beaumont versus Ferris battle. Coming into the weekend Duncan Ferris was leading the overall points, however after only competing in 4 races so far in 2014, Scott Beaumont was in a great position to add his Leamington result to his points total and take the Series Championship. Through the motos it was Beaumont, Ferris and Alex Metcalfe who were winning races and looking like the favourites heading into the finals. So, after the motos, quarter finals and semi finals, it was time for the finals. In the Big Fun category there was a great entry of riders, but at the finish it was Chris Beckett who took the win ahead of Marti Pearce, Stuart Wiltshire and Ryan Turner. For most people, the rippers have been a real highlight of the year and Tyla Rosser has been the star of the show. However it looked like he may not have this one his own way. As the gate dropped it was BMX rider Sydney Allen who took the lead down the first straight. Rosser was on his, but at the finish line it was Allen from Rosser, Rhys Mahon and Adam Wilson. On to the Juveniles and the ever stylist Dec Willicombe took the win ahead of SShane Davies, Fin Keogh and Harry Fernihough. In the youth, Dylan Grell Delsol has been getting stronger and stronger all year. Dominating at Leamington he took the win from Shane Redgewell, Stuart Burrows and Allen Dalleywater. In juniors, the season long battle again had the crowds going wild. On this occasion it was Conor Hudson taking the win ahead of Joe Wallbridge, Keaton Greenwood and Rhys Jenner. We are all looking forward to some of these guys being in Elite next year..... Seniors and Adam Thomas looks to be back at his best - winning this round ahead of James Whitby, Tom Burch and Dan Wagstaff. The Masters always deliver a good show! Lee Ferry was the man on it, winning the race ahead of Stephen Russell, Andy Robson and Mark Fernihough. In the Vets, Ben Rafferty has been the man to beat all year, but on this occasion it was not to be. It turned into the battle of the disciplines.... Julian Allen fresh from a great BMX season took the honours here ahead of British Downhill Series Organiser Si Paton, with 4X National Champion Rafferty in 3rd and Simon Rickett in 4th. The women's finals lined up. In the small final Tyde D'Souza took the win to grab 5th place on the podium. In the main final it was Katy Curd in gate 1, National Champion Liz Fowler in 2, Cara Murray in 3 and young Megan Wherry in 4. The gate dropped and down the first straight it was tight, with Curd holding the advantage. Through the first turn she pulled a small lead, but Fowler was close. By the finish line, Curd held on to take the win ahead of Fowler, Murray and Wherry. A fantastic day for women's 4X and a real feeling that this category will just continue to grow in the coming years. during the 7th and final round of The elite men's finals were the last races of the day and the 2014 season. In the small final, Dave Richardson made a great pass on Paul Bakewell to take the win and 5th overall for the day. In the main final, Scott Beaumont took gate 1, Duncan Ferris in 2, Alex Metcalfe took 3 and BMX rider Oliver Cutmore in gate 4. The gate dropped and Beaumont got the holeshot. Beaumont, Ferris and Metcalfe got very close on the first straight and Ferris backed out of the action. Into turn 1 Beaumont was pulling a lead from Metcalfe. Cutmore was close to Metcalfe all the way but at the finish it was Beaumont from Metcalfe, Cutmore and Ferris. A truly fantastic days racing was followed by the prize giving ceremony for round 7 and for the overall series titles. Full results from Leamington can be found here. 2014 Overall Series Champions The 2014 Schwalbe British 4X Series has been one of the best yet. Great racing at every venue, new tracks in the series, new faces at every race and the usual great atmosphere everywhere have made 2013 memorable. With just under 300 riders competing in the 2014 Schwalbe British 4X Series, the sport continues to go from strength to strength. These guys and girls though are the champions. The riders who over 7 rounds gained the most points and took home the number 1 plates for 2014. during the 7th and final round of Rippers - Tyla Rosser Juvenile - Dec Willicombe Youth - Stuart Burrows Junior - Connor Hudson - 44 Racing Senior - James Whitby - Slam 69 Masters - Stephen Russell Veterans - Ben Rafferty Women's - Cara Murray - Maxim Bikes/Intrepid Apparal Elite Men's - Scott Beaumont - Yeti Racing UK Full results for the 2014 Series are here. Team Cup winners - Dartmoor/X-Fusion Team Cup results can be found here. So that's it from another year of Schwalbe British 4X Series. We just want to thank our title sponsors Schwalbe for their continued support of 4X racing. The team at Naked Racing for registration, finish line and set up, Mark and Sue Metcalfe for call up and start gate, all the marshals throughout the year, the medics, Mop Head and Andrew Cooper for commentating, Pete Newman for the film edits, Charles Robertson for the photos and all the BC commissaries. Finally a huge thank you to the riders, friends and families who continue to support 4X racing. See you all in 2015. For full details check the website www.british4x.com For daily updates follow www.twitter.com/british4x To discuss the series, like www.facebook.com/british4x Photo Credits: Charles Robertson. ]]> Trek World Racing Stories 1.4 http://dirtmountainbike.com/videos/trek-world-racing-stories-1-4.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=119768 Wed, 24 Sep 2014 17:37:52 +0000 Dave Jaquin It's been a great year for the Trek World Racing Team, Laurie Greenland taking the National Champs title and second place at Worlds then there was THAT run from Neko Mulally at World Champs that basically stunned everyone! It seems Neko was pretty surprised to stay on the hotseat as long as he did and with an luck harnessing the focus that having no chain gave him in future races means he could be on for some more top results, it's not every day that you get your second best elite result with no chain! Two weeks before that legendary run the team were in Meribel for the last race of the World Cup season and every one of the Trek team seemed to be loving the track for World Cup finals. Justin Leov has been working with the team all season and helping the guys out with his race experience, he predicted tight times and he wasn't wrong! Getting back to World's the racing gets even more focussed than World Cup finals, it's all or nothing and the team have to pull it all together for one run. The full team from Trek was out in Hafjell for Worlds and with such a great track to finish the season each rider is proud to pull on their national jersey come race day. It seems that the number 13 is lucky for some and for Neko Mulally it will no doubt be a pretty important race plate for the rest of his career. Check out the rest of the episodes here and some behind the scenes insight from Trek's mechanic Ben Arnott. Episode 1.2 Episode 0.5 A Mechanic's point of view Part 1 Check out the bottom of the page for the rest in the series. ]]> Video - Transition Bikes with possibly the best press release yet http://dirtmountainbike.com/products/fresh-produce/video-transition-bikes-giddyup-bikes-press-release.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=119752 Wed, 24 Sep 2014 16:58:26 +0000 Ed Haythornthwaite Screen-Shot-2014-09-24-at-16.54.44

Transition Bikes - GiddyUp Bikes Press Release

Normally we don't feature press releases, but we're going to have to make an exception for this gem from Transition Bikes. They recently announced the launch of four entirely new bikes, and by entirely new I mean they're a complete departure for Transition in terms of suspension design. Previously Transition have been famous for their single pivot with rocker system bikes, but now they bring us 'Giddy Up Link Suspension'. What's it all about? Well watch the official press release video below to find out... http://vimeo.com/106423928 So yeah, they've moved to a true 4-bar arrangement and are basically fed up with bikes being so categorised, so all the new models are 'designed for up and down mountains'. We like Transition's style. What weapons have you got to choose from? Well they're all below... First up is the Patrol... patrolinfo And if you want to see more of the Patrol click on the gallery below:
Bike_Detail_Patrol_1
Bike_Detail_Patrol_2
Bike_Detail_Patrol_3
Bike_Detail_Patrol_4
Bike_Frame_Patrol_1
Bike_Frame_Patrol_2
Mountain biking on unknown cascadian trails.
Next is the Suppressor, which on the surface at least seems very similar to the Patrol, apart from the smaller wheels. These days there really aren't many choices out there if you're looking for something with 26" wheels, but this has all the makings of a great option. suppressorinfo Click on the gallery below to see the Suppressor in more detail:
Bike_Detail_Suppressor_1
Bike_Detail_Suppressor_2
Bike_Detail_Suppressor_3
Bike_Detail_Suppressor_4
Bike_Frame_Suppressor_1
Bike_Frame_Suppressor_2
Bikes_Action_Suppressor_HighRes
Slightly down the travel scale is the new Scout... scoutinfo If you want to see more, you've guessed it, click on the gallery below:
Bike_Detail_Scout_1
Bike_Detail_Scout_2
Bike_Detail_Scout_3
Bike_Detail_Scout_4
Bike_Frame_Scout_1
Bike_Frame_Scout_2
Bikes_Action_Scout_HighRes
And finally, but by no means least is the Smuggler that caters for those wanting even bigger wheels, and even less travel. smugglerinfo Yep, and there's more shots of it in the gallery below...
Bike_Detail_Smuggler_1
Bike_Detail_Smuggler_2
Bike_Detail_Smuggler_3
Bike_Detail_Smuggler_4
Bike_Frame_Smuggler_1
Bike_Frame_Smuggler_2
We can't wait to throw a leg over these new bikes, because as you might have guessed from their video, if there's one thing the Transition boys can do, it's make a fun bike. www.transitionbikes.com ]]>
The return of Eric Barone http://dirtmountainbike.com/news/return-eric-barone.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=119734 Wed, 24 Sep 2014 15:09:19 +0000 Dave Jaquin the-return-of-eric-barone If you dont' know who Eric Barone is then you need to watch these videos to double check how fast he has been on a bike. He set the World Record for downhill on a modified bike in 2000 when he clocked 222km/hr or 138mph in old money at Les Arcs on the speed ski run. Speaking of speed records, if you didn't know Markus Stöckl who runs the MS Intense Team holds the record on a production bike which isn't far off the modified record at 210km/hr or 130mph, he set it in 1999 at La Parva in Chile. Have a watch of these videos, would you want to give it another go after crashing like he did?

Les Arcs Record

In 2002 Nicaragua was the scene of Eric Barone's near death accident when his forks snapped just after he registered 172km/hr or 107mph through the speed trap. He was thrown off the bike and tumbled down the hill breaking a load of bones and losing his helmet at the same time. He didn't ride a bike for 10 years after that but now he is back and attempting to break just his record and no more bones.

Nicaragua high speed crash

New record attempt

At 53 Barone is aiming to reach 230km/hr and this is the trailer for a film about the attempt, it looks pretty damn good to us and the hour long film will be out soon. Big Mike has been told there is a premiere in Paris so he'll probably dig out his tux and head for the red carpet. We'll keep you updated on the release as we get news.
Here's the word from the press release:

'THE RETURN OF ERIC BARONE' A DOCUMENTARY AT FULL SPEED

How do you get back on your feet after a near-death experience especially as an extreme sport legend in his fifties ? Although he retired in 2002 after a nearly fatal accident, the speedbike world record holder makes his come back at the age of 52. Directors Emmbé and Castor followed him for three years to document the story of his return. Eric Barone, 54, is the fastest man on a mountain bike, with a speed record of 222.22km/h on snow. In 2002, he violently crashed during his attempt to break a new record on the Cerro Negro volcano in Nicaragua. 10 years after coming so close to death, he decides to overcome his fears and live his life to the fullest. For him, that means setting up a new attempt to break the world record, he still holds. 'The Return of Eric Barone' is a 52 minutes documentary shot in HD on the snow speed tracks of Arc 2000 (Les Arcs, France) and Chabrières (Vars, France) After the success of 'Over The Edge' independently produced and sold worldwide by NBC Universal and Terranoa, the direction and production have once again joined forces to produce their second film together. The producer 3GO, teamed up with Cow Prod in association with Binocle, Horus, and Redkenn Prods to make this film available worldwide for TV broadcasting. We can't wait to see this and making the record would be an amazing achievement for anyone let alone someone who has come so close to killing himself trying it before. ]]>
Video - 2014 Red Bull Rampage - First Tracks http://dirtmountainbike.com/news/video-2014-red-bull-rampage-first-tracks.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=119742 Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:56:20 +0000 Ed Haythornthwaite Screen-Shot-2014-09-24-at-14.49.17

2014 Red Bull Rampage - First Tracks

Shaping the next famous Red Bull Rampage line takes time, and the first three days of building on site saw a field largely focused on carving berms and lips into the steep upper reaches of the course. One Rampage rookie, however, has spent the first three days lining up an entrance into the lower jumps of the course, and on day three he became the first rider to put tyres to dirt. Sunday was the first day competitors were allowed to bring their bikes on course and Nicholi Rogatkin was the only one to take advantage...
“I’ve spent minimal time on a downhill bike,” says Rogatkin in the video above, referring to his background as a BMX and slopestyle rider. “I’m just trying to spend as much time as I can on it.” After taking multiple practice runs at the Polaris RZR Moto Booter, Rogatkin felt comfortable enough to send it. By Monday he was almost linking the entire bottom half of his run together, including a few small backflips and suicide no-handers on his final step-up jump. “I’m having fun out here," he says. "That’s the goal.” While many of the competitors haven't thrown a leg over the bike yet, most have been working hard on the gnarlier upper mountain sections and are well on their way to finishing the more serious half of their lines. It’s expected that by Wednesday we'll see more bikes on course. In the meantime, Rogatkin knows he has work ahead of him. “I think I'm done for the day,” he says, as he puts his bike away. “I need to get up there and start building my upper line.” Stay tuned to Dirt for all the latest 2014 Red Bull Rampage news, and come Sunday you'll be able to watch the main event live on the Red Bull site. If you've missed out on the coverage so far then you can catch up below... 2014 Red Bull Rampage - New course unveiled 2014 Red Bull Rampage - First Impressions 2014 Red Bull Rampage - Line Selection 2014 Red Bull Rampage - Rampage Rookies ]]>
Video - 2014 Red Bull Rampage - Rampage Rookies http://dirtmountainbike.com/videos/video-2014-red-bull-rampage-rampage-rookies.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=119736 Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:02:39 +0000 Ed Haythornthwaite Screen-Shot-2014-09-24-at-12.59.11

2014 Red Bull Rampage - Rampage Rookies

Every year Red Bull Rampage breaks in a few new riders, inviting them to scratch their own mark in the Utah mountains. For 2014, the list includes Kyle Jameson, Nick Pescetto, Carson Storch, Nicholi Rogatkin, KC Deane, Szymon Godziek, Bernard Kerr, Louis Reboul, Jeff Herbertson and Mitch Ropelato. Most have visited before, either as members of a previous competitor's dig crew, or while shooting edits which ultimately showed event organizers that they were capable of riding the steep, demanding terrain. On the other hand, some have never built in Utah.
Walking up here, I was like, 'They got the wrong site, man. This ain't rideable!'
"I actually got the invite right after [Red Bull] District Ride," recalls Rogatkin, who arrived on site with only his father in tow to help build. Thanks to social media, he was able to add two Utah locals to his crew. Relatively new to mountain biking, Rogatkin has spent most of his time on a hardtail bike, rather than the big downhill machine that Rampage requires. He says that the late invite gave him "less than a week on my downhill bike to prepare." The harsh landscape and difficult building conditions of the desert shocked a few rookies, including World Cup racer Mitch Ropelato, who only received his invite last Wednesday. "Walking up here, I was like, 'They got the wrong site, man. This ain't rideable!'" he jokes in the video. "At World Cup's you can just show up and the trail's built." Others, like KC Deane, were well prepared to deal with the task. Deane, who has been actively training to get into Rampage since 2012, has teamed up with Rampage veteran Paul Basagoitia and a few talented trail builders to build a line with huge exposure. "This is what I want to do," he says. "I'm looking forward to qualifiers." Anyway, here's the video...
Stay tuned to Dirt for all the latest 2014 Red Bull Rampage news, and come Sunday you'll be able to watch the main event live on the Red Bull site. If you've missed out on the coverage so far then you can catch up below... 2014 Red Bull Rampage - New course unveiled 2014 Red Bull Rampage - First Impressions 2014 Red Bull Rampage - Line Selection ]]>
77 Designz Freesolo - The World's Lightest Chainguide? http://dirtmountainbike.com/products/fresh-produce/77-designz-freesolo-worlds-lightest-chainguide.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=119674 Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:27:34 +0000 Ed Haythornthwaite EDH_6638

77 Designz Freesolo - The World's Lightest Chainguide?

Those of you with a good memory might remember the name 77 Designz. A few years back we saw them produce a beautiful, and extremely light direct mount stem, but then things went a bit quiet on the 77 Designz front. After a brief hiatus though the German company is back, and this time they've got a brand new chain device for trail/enduro use. Top only chain guides for 1x10 or 1x11 setups are nothing new, but this one stands out thanks to both its unique design, and incredibly low weight. EDH_6629 Yes those scales are reading correctly, this thing weighs in at just 20g, and that's including all the mounting hardware. You might not even need the spacing washers! With a clutch rear mech and a narrow/wide chainring you might think that you don't need a chainguide, and 99% of the time you probably don't, but even with the best setups your chain can still come off occasionally. If you happen to be racing that could be disastrous, and even at the best of times it is still annoying, so we would always recommend running some form of top guide as a belt and braces approach. Riders who aren't running one normally seem to be doing it for cost and weight reasons, but this thing really does weigh next to nothing, a small lump of mud would weigh more, and we think it is incredibly well priced, especially considering how nicely it is made and finished. EDH_6635 Part of the reason why 77 Designz have been able to make this so light is because they've come up with a unique (as far as we know) one-bolt design. Normally if you mounted a chainguide like this to just one of the ISCG bolts the whole thing would rotate of its own accord, but as you can see in the photo above this chainguide has little prongs at the bottom that make contact with your bottom cup, and therefore stop any rotation. Simple, but clever. Of course this only works if you have a conventional bottom bracket (both ISCG 05 and original ISCG are catered for), but fear not if you have a press fit bottom bracket because 77 Designz are also offering a two-bolt version for such situations, and at 27g it only weighs a little more. One that mounts to a high direct front mech mount is in the pipeline too, and if you want some bash protection then 77 Designz also produce a neat little 'taco' that attaches to the two remaining ISCG tabs. One of those will set you back £26.78 (weird pricing is due to exchange rates), and weighs just 37g. EDH_6642 All the various versions of this guide are made to work with a 28-34t chainring, as is the bash guard, and as you can see in the video below it's incredibly easy to fit, you shouldn't need to tinker with any other part aside from the chainguide itself. http://vimeo.com/104875099 Because this is a top only guide, once it is correctly fitted and aligned it causes no friction or noise, you won't even notice it is there. Considering that fact, and that this weighs next to nothing and won't break the bank, we think running one of these is a bit of a no brainer if you're using a single ring on your trail/enduro bike. Is there anything we don't like about it? Well yes there is just one slightly annoying thing and that is that for some stupid reason 77 Designz have decided to use a 4mm allen key bolt to mount the thing, and then a T20 torx key bolt to adjust the upper guide. It's not even a bloody T25! Why companies can't use one bolt type on their products is still a mystery to me. Anyway, that small annoyance aside, we really like this product. Price: From £35.99 www.77designz.com ]]>
Mavic Trans Provence 2014 | Day 2 http://dirtmountainbike.com/news/mavic-trans-provence-2014-day-2.html http://dirtmountainbike.com/?p=119618 Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:10:08 +0000 Dave Jaquin first day of the Trans Provence 2014 it was a big start to racing on day two. A 3 hour hike took the riders high into the mountains ready for their race from Prads to Colmars through some stunning scenery. Ines Thoma is still leading the Women's race and described the hike as the longest she has ever done on a bike whilst Ed Oxley, who was sporting his new 'aero beard' said he had found a stubborn person inside that came in useful on the climbs. Atop the mountains riders were had to dodge a few sheep but were treated to what looks like some stunning terrain and amazing single track riding. Some of the aerial shots along the big soft ridges look incredible and if you didn't want to do this race already you might just get saving for next year now. Into the woods the corners got tighter and the trails a bit more technical, Ben Cruz came giggling out of the woods unfazed by the big hike as the racing afterwards was clearly a big enough reward!
Trans Provence 2014 is proving tiring for the riders, there are even battles for cake!
Trans Provence 2014 is proving tiring for the riders, there are even battles for cake!
It seems everyone is having a good time out there and lets be honest, it's pretty hard not to! Great trails, all your kit sorted out for you and a few beers at the end of the day has got to be one of the best ways to enjoy a bike race.
It was one hell of a hike to get to the start but the trails paid you back with interest.
Sprinting hard the flat sections were tough but rewarded with some quality trails at a better angle.
Repairs and snacks with a view, all part of the Trans Provence experince.
On the edge in some unbeatable scenary.
Then into the woods where things got tighter.
Speed blur, riders opened the throttle on the steep open sections.
Francois Bailly Maitre is still leading the race with Jerome Clementz hot on his heels.
Did we mention the scenery is pretty good?
Yep, thought so...
And then to bed, under the stars after a few beers. Not a bad idea this Trans Provence!

DAY TWO Stage Results

Trans-provence-2014-day-2-stage-results

Day Two Overall Results

TP-2014-OverallDays-Day2 ]]>