Many people have written about how gnarly the drop-in to Horsethief is, and I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of it as well. Well, the only thing I can add is that the pictures just don’t do it justice. All of the obstacles are WAY larger in real life, and it’s hard to believe that someone actually chose to put a trail there. When you have to scramble (use your hands) to climb back up a trail, you know that, really, you shouldn’t be riding a bike on it.

Located just up the mountain, Dry Lake is a quick 6-mile drive from downtown. If you prefer to bike or hike to town, the Spring Creek Trail runs straight from the campground, down the mountain, into Steamboat Springs.

When I took it out on the trail, I expected it to be fast and to pedal like a demon… and that it was. The Jet 9 flew up the hills, cranks spinning like a fan blade thanks to the light, efficient setup.

Out on the trail, the Instigator straight-up rails! Yeah, it’s hard to know exactly what this bike is meant to be… but whatever it is, one thing is certain: it’s fun! Providing mad traction on the climbs thanks to the fat tires, the slack geometry makes railing high-speed corners an absolute breeze. Pinning through a rock garden or launching a drop? No worries, the 140mm-travel fork has you covered!

It’s mid-September, and the crew is packing their bags and getting ready to head to Interbike! This year, Jeff, Syd, and myself will be in attendance, getting the scoop on the upcoming 2014 bikes and gear. As always, we will be bringing you the freshest info right here on the blog, including quick bike reviews from the Outdoor Demo.