This summer my wife and I undertook a road trip of epic proportions.
Traveling from Georgia to California and stopping at many places along
the way, our travels lasted for almost two months and involved about 600
miles of dirty singletrack under my mountain bike tires and about 7,000
miles of pavement under the tires of my Toyota T100 pickup truck. Such
an epic journey called for a reliable bike rack, and the Yakima Doubledown Ace 4 proved to be just such a rack.

Click on over to to read the entire review.
I decided to try my hand at a creative intro to a Cinema Sunday blog post:

Really, I want to know who comes up with these ideas. The conversation must have gone something like this:
“We want to make an awesome dirt jumping/freeride mountain biking movie, but piles of dirt in the woods are so boring to look at.”
“Well, what if we go way up in the French Alps and build a massive slopestyle course, but… wait for it… we make all of the jumps look like castles. I mean, who thinks that castles aren’t cool?”
“Yeah, but we need to kick things up a notch and stop thinking about what mountain bike movies have done in the past. Let’s take a page out of the snowsports book: we’ll get the Red Bull helicopter up there and shoot uber hi-def fly-by shots of all the riders for some killer slo-mo action?”
“Guys… I think we have a winner.”
Click here for the original blog post.

While it seems that some companies have jumped into the 650b movement
headfirst, other companies are testing the waters with just a couple of

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The downhill trails at Snow Summit Mountain Resort in Big Bear, California are steep, rocky, and very loose… and just when you think the trails can’t get any harder, there’s a booter or a mandatory drop. That combination makes for some pretty hairy riding, but despite the demanding trail conditions, the local riding scene continues to thrive.
This past summer, Big Bear local and Chains Required team rider Scott Durkin took the time to show me around his stomping grounds, and I got intimately acquainted with Big Bear’s dust and rocks. During one of the lift rides to the top, Scott mentioned in passing how there were no videos showcasing the riding at Big Bear that come anywhere near professional quality. It seems like everyone nowadays has a GoPro, but how many helmet cam videos can you watch before you get fed up with the perpetual shaking?
Well, Scott teamed up with local filmer Tony L’Ambrose, and they decided to change that. The result is the video below. Check it out, and let them know what you think in the comments section!
Click over to Singletracks to check out the video.

While most of what we’ve been writing here on Singletracks refers to
650b as a new mountain bike trend, if you look at the history of the
sport this wheel standard is anything but new. We stopped by
the Ritchey booth at Interbike and spotted a 650b Ritchey from the 70′s
standing right next to Ritchey’s newest 650b hardtail wonder bike:

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It’s been all over the blog and the forums on
the industry is quickly jumping behind the new 650b/27.5″/tweener wheel
size, whatever you want to call it. This year at Interbike I was tasked
with covering the new 650b products–quite a tall order! In this series
of posts I’ll highlight a number of 650b bikes that I spotted at the
show. I’m sure that I missed a few, and others will be featured in their
own posts–so stay tuned to the blog as we catch up on the Interbike

Click on over to Singletracks to read the rest of this blog post.

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the release of Surly’s Krampus, and when talking about what this bike is, it’s probably best to begin by talking about what it’s not:
It is not a “fat bike” with massive 4 or 5-inch tires designed for
maximum flotation and slow speed crawling. It’s not a race bike either…
it’s somewhere in between. That place in between goes by the name of

Click on over to for the full review.

The Mission is Diamondback’s rendition of the all-mountain 26”
wheeled bike. With a full 6-inches of travel front and back, a 67-degree
headtube angle, a beefy 6061-T6 aluminum frame, tapered headtube, ISCG
05 tabs, and thru-axles front and back, this is a burly bike that wants
to play rough.

Click on over to to read more.

I’ve spent plenty of time riding a full-suspension 650b bike over
the course of this summer, but I had yet to see how the tweener wheels
handle in a hardtail package. So, when I wandered over to the KHS booth
and noticed the beautiful carbon frames rolling on WTB Laser Disc 650b
wheels, I had to grab one and take it for a spin.

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I did a significant amount of work proofreading and fact checking for Dirt Rag Issue #164. Specifically, I hand in editing these articles:
  • "The Flight of Dickarus"
  • "Catching Up With: Brian Lopes"
  • "Ladies First"
  • "Land of Enchantment"
  • "Manic Mechanic"
  • "Tokul Creek Trails: A Silver Lining in Pay-to-Play?"
  • "The Carbon Cycle"
  • "Yoga for Mountain Bikers"
  • "Deschutes Brewing Chainbreaker White IPA"
  • "Leg Lube"
  • "Trampled by Turtles: Stars and Satellites"

I had a readings piece featured in Dirt Rag issue #164 about the Dominion Riverrock Festival held in Richmond, Virginia.

New this year to Spot Brand Bicycles
is the Honey Badger. Based off of their classic Rocker frame, the new
steel-framed Honey Badger features a very similar geometry (that has
been slightly tweaked), but there have been many significant
upgrades that help provide significant performance improvement.

Click on over to for more info!
I wrote a portion of this blog post:

At first blush, Shimano’s rendition of the hydration pack shows some serious promise. This definitely isn’t a pack that you would ever wear for a hike: it is designed specifically for comfort when you are on the bike–and that’s a good thing!
One thing that has annoyed me about hydration packs in the past is how they tend to jump around on me when I take air. I like riding with a hydration pack, and I like riding aggressively, and basically every pack that I have ever used has failed to ride silently–some to lesser degrees than others. It seems like Shimano’s X design might have resolved this issue! Of course, I can’t be sure unless I actually get one loaded with water and gear and out on the trail, but the design is promising.
Add in the fact that is spec’ed with a Hydrapak reservoir (which I am a big fan of), and Shimano’s initial hydration pack offering may be setting itself up to make a real dent in the market!

My first taste of the dry, dusty desert singletrack of Bootleg Canyon was aboard the Yeti SB-95
and what a taste it was! With 29” wheels, 5” of travel front and back,
and a 68.5” headtube angle, this is an aggressive bike that was ready to
tackle the most technical Outdoor Demo test track that had been marked
out in the barren landscape.

Click on over to Singletracks to read the rest of this article.