Posts in the category Feature

Where to Ride: Beech Mountain, NC – Mountain Bike Park, Killer Road Riding & More

beech mountain resort mountain bike park and area riding and attractions

Looking for the perfect riding getaway that easily blends first class road and mountain biking with plenty more family friendly activities worthy of a week in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Beech Mountain, located in northwestern North Carolina, has just that, with a pro-level DH course mixed among beginner-to-advanced lift-served bike park, world-class road riding and everything from hiking to caverns to zip lines to keep everyone entertained.

Beech Mountain Resort serves as a nice center to it all, surrounded by plenty of restaurants, lodging and non-riding activities. Roll through for details on the riding options, recommendations for where to stay and eat and things to do off the bike…

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First Look: Meet The New Asymmetric & Concentric Specialized Demo Carbon

Specialized-Demo-650b-Carbon-2015-

Between a paradigm shift in mountain bike wheel sizes, and a gradual evolution in geometry, the landscape of the modern downhill bike is dramatically different than when the last iteration of Specialized’s Demo was introduced.

Working with recently acquired team rider Aaron Gwin and rising star Troy Brosnan, Specialized has created an all new Demo that pays homage to the free hucking and World Cup winning ways of the old 26″ model, but introduces a series of innovations.

Drop past the break for the full run down.

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First Look: New Carbon Devinci Spartan Enduro Bike- Plus Actual Weight

2014 Devinci Carbon Spartan_00

Built long, slack and low, the Spartan is an everyday trail weapon bringing 160mm of split pivot powered travel to the battle. The 27.5″ version of Halo’s Master Chief has proven itself, being raced with great success at everything from the elite levels of Enduro racing, to Crankworx, and the occasional World Cup round.

After having been finally released last year as an aluminum model, the podium charting formula has now been transferred to carbon. Learn more about the transformation after the break… READ MORE ->

Suspension Setup Series #3: Set Compression & Rebound to Maximize Traction

Bikerumor how to set up your mountain bike suspension guide for maximum performance - rebound and compression damping tips

In Part One, we discussed sag, which puts your suspension in the right position, setting the stage for good performance. In Part Two, we talked about low speed compression and the various “platform” settings available on modern forks and shocks, recommending you try them wide open to fully utilize all that R&D that went into them in the first place.

For Part Three, we’ve once again turned to Duncan Riffle (Rockshox PR manager & 2x U.S. DH Champ), Mark Fitzsimmons (Fox’s pro athlete suspension tuner), Eric Porter (veteran pro mountain biker, Manitou test athlete) and Josh Coaplen (Cane Creek’s VP of engineering).

As a quick primer, your compression and rebound circuits control the motion of the suspension by controlling the rate of movement. Without it, you’d basically be riding a pogo stick. They do this by forcing oil through an orifice, and the size of that hole controls the speed at which the oil flows through it. Smaller holes mean slower oil flow, which means more damping. Bigger holes mean less damping, which equals faster movement. There are two types of control over hole size. Usually for low speed, you have a fixed port size with a needle or some other barrel that opens or closes access to that port in steps. High speed compression is typically handled with a spring or shim stack holding a seal over larger ports. With enough force, the shims flex or the spring is compressed and the ports are opened, letting more oil flow through to handle big hits. The strength of the shims/spring dictates the amount of force required to flex them. Your particular fork or shock may operate differently, but the principle is the same: Control oil flow and you control the rate of compression or rebound.

Here’s how to use that to your advantage and help keep the rubber on the trail…

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Bike Check: Greg LeMond’s Mavic Equipped 1989 TVT Carbon

Greg Lemond 1989 tour TVT carbon mavic bike (2)

It seems fitting that right after getting to see Greg LeMond’s TVT Carbon race bike at the Mavic 125th Anniversary presentation, that ESPN would air their 30 for 30 program titled Slaying the Badger. Now, as the only clean Tour de France winner from the United States, LeMond holds an even greater place in American cycling history, though there are many who knew that all a long. In addition to being the first American to win the Tour, Greg was also one of the first to use carbon fiber with his 1986 win against Bernard “the Badger” Hinault being carbon’s first.

On special loan to the Mavic Yellow house for the event, Greg’s 1989 winning TVT carbon bike was his return to the peloton after nearly being killed in a hunting accident. In addition to the revolutionary carbon fiber tubes bonded to aluminum lugs, Greg’s bike was also outfitted with Mavic wheels and a Mavic drivetrain which was a major departure from the overwhelming use of Campagnolo at the time. As the story goes, LeMond went on to beat Laurent Fignon by just 8 seconds after an amazing time trial where Greg finished 58 seconds ahead on the final stage.

The rest as they say, is history. But you can check out Greg’s bike after the break…

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Review: Lapierre Zesty 327, The Budget 650B Ripper

Lapierre Zesty 327 (11)In San Francisco, $2,900 is one months rent in a small studio apartment in a semi-gentrified portion of downtown. Elsewhere, that small fortune could net you a reliable economy car with sufficient miles on the odometer to have circumnavigated the world a half dozen times.

Yet in the strange world of cycling, that tidy figure seems paltry compared to the cost of this years latest crop of enduro wonder bikes. Since those bikes are often only within the reach of dentists, lawyers, and trust fund babies, today we’ve turned our focus to something a little more attainable.

The Lapierre Zesty 327 is a 150mm travel bike that retails for “only” $2,900, but shares an Enduro World Series proven pedigree.

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2015 Trek Bikes Sneak Peek – New Road, Adventure & Mountain Bikes Coming!

2015-Trek-Emonda-lightest-road-bike

As this post goes live, the North American iteration of TrekWorld 2014 is kicking off, showing all 2015 bikes to dealers. Official info and images will be coming soon, but we couldn’t wait to give you a quick look at some of the highlights for their ’15 range.

Starting with their biggest road news of the year, the ultralight Emonda greeted everyone with a hanging sculpture of prototype and test frames dangling above the flagship SLR 10. If you recall, that bike has a 10.25lb claimed weight, which comes with the title of World’s Lightest Production Road Bike.”

UPDATE: Part Two posted here.

Roll on for pics and words…

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Just In: NOX Composites AM-275 Carbon Wheels

Nox Composites AM 275 650b carbon wheel  (8)

By this point, there is a good chance you’ve heard of NOX composites. Founded in 2012 by two engineers and based in Tennessee, NOX wanted to offer the benefits of carbon wheels but at prices more riders could afford. Unlike some of the cheaper carbon options, NOX rims are their own design which allows them not only to create what they feel is the best performing rim, but oversee quality control as well.

As their first 27.5” rim, the AM-275 jumps right in with a full Enduro build that’s in line with current rim trends. The tubeless compatible carbon rims feature a hookless bead design and an asymmetric offset for better spoke tension. At roughly half the price of the Enve gold (carbon?) standard, how will the NOX AM-275s compare?

Initial weigh in and details, next…

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Rockshox RS-1 Inverted XC Suspension Fork – First Impressions & Actual Weights

Rockshox RS-1 inverted suspension fork review and actual weights

If you want to turn the mountain bike suspension world upside down, just create a fork that flips convention on its head, uses proprietary parts and price it into the unobtanium range.

That’s exactly what Rockshox has done with the RS-1. Introduced in April, they just finally became available about a month ago and I’ve been hammering it nonstop ever since. It combines Rockshox’s well regarded current damper technology with a massively stiff design and reasonably light weight, and, fortunately, it’s performance seems justify its rocking of the boat.

To put these first impressions into perspective, it’s important to clarify the brand’s goals for the RS-1. Being a cross country race item, weight was among them to be sure, but it wasn’t the biggest target. That would be performance, and it was tackled in two ways: Suspension tune and handling. The latter is the most noticeable difference by far. Not only does it set the bar for XC forks to come, it sets it really, really high. It’s easy to make a fork massively stiff by increasing stanchion diameter and beefing it up. To do it in a lightweight, XC race ready frame that feels like something much bigger is incredibly impressive. They also wanted to give it an race specific tune. Cross country competitors are notorious for damping the life out of their suspension in a misguided effort to make it more efficient, so Rockshox used this opportunity to tune the compression damping in a way that didn’t flop about under sprints but could still soak up trail chatter to maintain traction. When the fork can stay in contact with the ground without robbing the rider’s energy, that’s the real definition of efficiency, and their new Accelerator Damper seems to do just that.

Ready to race?

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