Dirt's most popular articles of 2016
What you read this year
2016 has been a year filled with crazy stories. We've had all the usual mtb madness along with some tragic farewells and a healthy dose of the surreal too.
When it all boils down here are the most popular stories that went on the Dirt site in 2016. We based this purely on pageviews so if you don't agree with the list, you've only got yourselves to blame!
Specialized Enduro 2017
"And the tradition continues, for this new Enduro is a bear of a bike. Of the many caniforms running loose amongst the complex inlets the separate Vancouver Island from mainland British Columbia, the bike, a hint of ‘Rupert the Bear’ in its colourings, is all about tearing through the undergrowth, munching up root, hauntingly powerful."
Stevie Smith passes away age 26
"At home, in his close-knit Vancouver Island community, Smith was known as a consummate outdoorsman. This is where he spent time fishing, camping, and sinking birdie putts on the golf course. His spirit was infectious and inspirational. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his close family and those he positively affected."
Rachel Atherton accuses Rob Warner and Claudio Caluori of ‘taking the piss’ in her race run
“Why not say the truth?? Because I work DAMN hard!! I train damn hard with my coach , my mechanics and I work on my bike setup and suspension like there’s no tomorrow, I focus on every aspect of racing, I analyse & doubt myself, my experience with injuries has taught me my limits & my abilities, I live for racing, it makes my heart beat!! YES I do ride with my brothers a lot, but I also ride ALOT on my own , and it kind of takes the piss when all you say is “because she rides with her brother" I am, along with all the other women, athletes in our own right, bike riders because WE have the SKILLS, not because we blindly follow the boys with our eyes closed. So Sort it out please boys!!!" (sic).
RADON SWOOP 170. TOP DOG?
"So low, so slack, so balanced, and just a hooligan through and through. Unrestrained madness. There simply can be no measured remarks about this bike when the delivery is simply so flat out in its nature. Swoop cannot be more appropriate a name, its a bike that builds in momentum, driving confidence ever upwards."
Slovenian downhill champion Zarja Cernilogar dies age 26
"The Unior Tools team rider was the overall champion of the IXS European downhill cup in 2013 and 2014 and had picked up a number of World Cup top tens across her career.
"Unior tools said: 'Zarja was a positive person, full of love for life, always curious and always with a smile on her face. Zarja was a great friend and a great racing companion, always full of positive energy. Zarja, we will miss you!'"
THE BEST SPD TRAIL AND ENDURO SHOES
"With many of us riding up-to-date long travel enduro bikes for stage racing, trail centres and up-lifting, there has been a strong focus on efficiency on all terrain, whether going up or down. Throw in a good number of pro downhillers riding ‘clipped in’ and all this has sparked some really positive developments in clipless shoes and pedals.
13 things you know if you’ve dated a mountain biker
"Fit, healthy, funny, attractive, great drinkers, sociable, fashionable. Despite all their flaws, there’s lots to love about mountain bikers."
Healing vibes to Brendan Fairclough after he crashes on his Canyon Gap
"We hope Brendan is feeling better in the morning and able to shake off any damage from the fall. His unique lines and crazy hucks have done Britain proud for the past three years at Rampage – and we heard he had some new tricks lined up for this year’s competition. It would be great to see him charging tomorrow night, especially as he’s the only representative from the World Cup scene."
Is this the nastiest case of trail sabotage yet?
"Someone has clearly gone to a lot of effort to cause harm here and we're not exaggerating when we say this could easily kill someone. It's doubly scary when you consider we're getting into night riding season."
The best downhill mountain bikes of 2016
"It’s not perfect but if you want the bike that’s best suited to charging on the steepest, roughest tracks in the world (i.e technical downhill tracks, not those which would involve lung reconstruction work), this is the one. Most surprisingly of all it does it with a combination of silence and poise that we’ve simply not come across before.
This bike has been turning heads since it was first announced. Its lines are clean and its asymmetrical design gives it a space age feel. This is a design that will no doubt be jotted down as iconic in the annals of mountain biking."