Posts in the category Mountain Bike

2016 Axle Standards, Part 1: Rear 148mm Thru Axle Coming Fast & It’s About More Than Just Better Wheels


Just when you thought things might be settling down for a bit, with 650B wheels all but taking over the mid/long travel segment, 29ers owning the XC field and 26″ bikes relegated to entry level, youth and gravity bikes. Alas, the 148mm thru axle that seemed to be a novelty when introduced on Trek’s 2015 Slash and Remedy bikes may soon be ubiquitous.

But why?

Surprisingly, there are a lot of reasons why this makes sense. Ones good enough to actually justify the annoyance of another axle standard that’ll require new hubs and new frames to take advantage of. Ones that will make mountain bikes better in quite a few ways. And while most companies we talked to wouldn’t provide details of their own forthcoming products on the record, some would speak in generalities. We have it on good authority from some of the biggest parts suppliers that the 148mm axle standard will become the major new feature of 2016 bikes from almost every major company. SRAM is on board since they’re providing the wheels for Trek’s new Remedy 29er, the first bike to use Boost 148. And Norco told us outright they’re “planning … a couple of new platforms to use this standard.”

Here’s what we learned…


Just In: Ultra Wide Ibis 741 Carbon 27.5 Wheels

Ibis 741 carbon mountain bike wheels super wide enduro (3)

As the march to a wider wheel seems inevitable, certain companies are pushing that notion to the extreme. At this point in the evolution, you can’t talk wide wheels without including Ibis Cycle’s new line of carbon hoops. Boasting massive internal and external widths, the wheels are barely a step below the “+” size rims found in 29″ and now 27.5″.

Aimed squarely at the growing Enduro market, honestly the Ibis 741s look to be an enticing option for anyone looking for ultra wide, light wheels for their mountain bike. Then there’s the price – considering they are less than a set of rims from some competitors, Ibis seems to be building momentum for their stand-alone wheels…


Shredits: Drew Bezanson and Morgan Wade Defy Gravity, Plus the Making of ‘The Ridge’ with Danny MacAskill and Cut Media

No easing into this week, we’re blasting into the weekend with this insane clip featuring Drew Bezanson and Morgan Wade. The RedBull production was filmed in the Dark Woods, or South Wales specifically. This proves that they are both magicians with a bike…


Chromag Shores Up a Fat Bike with Nice Dreams

Chromag Nice Dreams fat bike  (2)

Based on the fact that their warehouse and office is hidden within Whistler’s Function Junction, it’s safe to assume that Chromag is a North Shore brand through and through. Because of that, you might not expect to see a fat bike from Chromag, but that’s exactly what we have with the Nice Dreams. Looking at the bike though, it’s clear that this is a fat bike with plenty of influence from the shore.

What started as a prototype frame after getting their hands on an early sample of a RockShox Bluto suspension fork, eventually turned into the production bike you see here. After enough desire was expressed both within the company and from potential customers, the first 10 Nice Dreams frames were made…


How Low Can Your Gauge Go? Kappius Offers Incredibly Accurate Pressure Gauges

Kappius pressure gauge fat bike cross ultra low bicycle

A lot has been made recently about bicycle pumps and the ability of their gauges to be accurate at low pressures. Most tend to maintain the highest level of precision at pressures well above where the average fat bike, cyclocross bike, or even mountain bike is run. One or two psi off might not seem like much, but when you’re only running 10 psi, up to 20% variance is a big deal.

Apparently, when Brady Kappius isn’t busy rethinking bicycle hubs and designing complete wheels, there is enough time to come up with gems like his new Digitial Pressure Gauge. Available in 3 varieties, the Gauge will be sold in Fat Bike, Cyclocross/Low MTB, and Cyclocross/MTB pressure ranges. The Fat Bike model will measure from 0-15 psi with 0.01 psi resolution, then 0-30 psi also with 0.01 psi resolution for the Cyclocross/Low MTB option, and finally 0-50 psi with 0.02 resolution for the Cyclocross/MTB gauge all with a +/- 1% accuracy.

Each gauge is for presta valves only and includes a bleeder valve so you can pump up the tire past the desired pressure, then bleed it down to the precise number. Powered by an included 9v battery, the gauge has a 20 minute auto off feature, and each model has a pressure limit that is twice the intended pressure range (so don’t use the fat bike model on your road bike!). Available for pre-order currently on the Kappius store, each gauge will run $159.99 with your choice of units and will look slightly different than the early prototype gauge above.

D.FENDER Brings Made in the USA Coverage to Blutos, Fat Bikes, and 29+

DFENDER Final Proof

The more we ride, the more fenders like the new D.FENDER seem like a great idea for year ’round riding. Currently one of the few fenders designed specifically for fat bikes that is actually shipping, D.FENDER boasts all of the benefits of similar designs. The minimal design provides just enough spray coverage to keep your fork seals, lower headset, and eyes/glasses/goggles clean, but adds hardly any weight and easy attaches to the fork.

Designed and developed by Jarrod Bunk of City Cycle Supply, D.FENDER is laser cut from temperature resistant Lexan plastic and fit specifically for the RockShox Bluto suspension fork. After beginning testing in July of this year, the fender is finally shipping to customers after 11 revisions in the design. According to Jarrod, the made in the USA aspect is important for all of the D.FENDER products so it took some time to find someone to cut and screen print the fenders locally.

As the original D.FENDER are rolling off the production line and shipping to customers, Jarrod is also introducing two more fenders that should keep the rigid fat bike riders clean and happy…


Must Watch: Lars Sternberg as the Loam Ranger is The Hero We Need

Between the trail, the drifting, and the music, this video with Lars Sternberg perfectly encapsulates the feeling of shredding mountain bikes. Here’s what Lars had to say about the video:

LOAM is a term I try and refrain from abusing. 

It used to be a word used only to refer to those really special conditions, days spent so deeply engulfed within it, that it was hard to see. To simply utter the phrase would result in an acknowledging nod from another member of the club. Like a secret password. A word shared between a few who were lucky enough to experience it. 

Today you can read and hear it in modern MTB culture everywhere. It’s become something used in so many incorrect ways it’s lost its effect. Everybody’s out there to get it, shred it, blow it up… what was once a word only to be busted out when trying to recapture those truly magical moments or trails, is now the primary candidate for many a jabrone attempting to recount their epicness. 


SRAM Clarifies Direct Mount X-Sync Chainring Compatibility with Handy Chart

Recently, SRAM announced their new direct mount chainrings that take advantage of their patented X-Sync tooth profile. The chainrings follow an industry trend of offering lighter chainrings with more size options that highlights the advantages of a 1x system. Due to the different bottom bracket and spindle lengths, figuring out which offset chainring you need for your next build might not be as easy as you would hope. To help ease the selection process, SRAM put together a chart outlining what rings are compatible with which cranks.

All that’s left is to bolt it on and pedal away…


Sneak Peek: Louisville Mega Cavern will House World’s Largest Underground Bike Park

Louisvill mega cavern bike park mtb bmx underground cave  dirt jump (5)

Beneath the streets of Louisville, Kentucky, there lurks a monster. But this is no horror story, it’s one of dreams. Specifically, the wild dream to turn the largest cavern in the state of Kentucky into a multi-faceted business park that will soon be home to the largest underground bike park in the world. What sounds like an absolutely insane idea comes to us from co-owners of the Louisville Mega Cavern, Jim Lowry, Tom, and Don Tyler. After all, as Jim told us, their motto is “you have to be a little crazy.”

Crazy doesn’t begin to describe the Mega Cavern itself. Opened in the 1930′s by Ralph Rogers as a limestone mine, the man-made structure had been mined 24 hours a day for 42 years straight. When the digging was complete it had left a massive cavern with 4 million sq. feet and over 17 miles of passage ways. Considered to be the largest building in the state of Kentucky, the decision to turn the Mega Cavern into a business park required the creation of new building codes due to the out-of-the-ordinary circumstances.

After purchasing the cavern in 1989, Jim and his partners began a recycling operation inside in 1992 which still runs to this day. It wasn’t until 1999 that they started building offices inside for local businesses to lease, which now accounts for a half million square feet inside the cavern. Before any businesses moved in, the owners were faced with an interesting dilemma. The ceilings were so high -more than 90ft in some spots- that prospective customers came in and couldn’t picture the space being utilized, so they left. Eventually, enough dirt was brought in to raise part of the floor 62 feet, leaving a 24 foot high ceiling which was standard for warehouses at the time. Above the 24 foot high ceilings, there is another 26 feet of solid limestone – enough for geologists to call it one of the safest places in Kentucky. So safe, in fact, that it was one of the largest fall out shelters during the Cuban Missile Crisis capable of housing 50,000 people, and still acts as a safe haven for vaults and other storage today.

Even though the cavern has a massive heating and air conditioning system, Jim said it’s never used. With a nearly constant 58º F temperature, body heat and heat radiating from computers and equipment is enough to keep it comfortable. That makes it ideal for an indoor bike park as well as the zip line and ropes course since it remains warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Considering how little we actually saw of the cavern, it’s hard to process just how big it really is. One of their biggest attractions this time of year is the Lights Under Louisville – a 1.2 mile drive through the cavern in the family vehicle to see an expansive display of 2 million Christmas lights. Even though they are adding a 385 thousand square foot bike park, it seems like they are just starting to scratch the subterranean surface…