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    Mountain bike stage races are one of the sport’s most enjoyable challenges, and having the right bike setup makes it even better. For the uninitiated, imagine traveling to an amazing riding destination, seeking out the best rides the area has to offer, and checking them off, day after day, with hundreds of your friends. It’s an enormous undertaking that’s absolutely worth the effort. Each race has its own flavor, but what they all share is that an appropriate bike setup is crucial to the experience. Take Pennsylvania’s legendary Transylvania Epic, for example. The race takes place over seven consecutive days [...]

    Recall Summary Name of product:Zipp 88 aluminum hubs for bicycle wheels Hazard: The hub flange ring on the front hub can fail posing a crash and injury hazard. Remedy: View Details Replace Consumer Contact: SRAM at (800) 346-2928 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET on Friday, or visit or www.zipp.comand click on Recall Notice for more information. Report an Incident Involving this Product Recall Details Units About 12,000 Description The aluminum hub shell is silver. The outside flange ring is gray aluminum in the standard option and blue, gold, gray, pink or [...]

    “Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?” - Robert Burns, Auld Lang Syne Regardless of whether your New Year’s celebrations historically generate a swill-fueled forgetting of all acquaintances, both new and auld (not to mention the question of where the hell your keys went), or sweating to the oldies on the trainer while watching some ambiguous, youthful face ravenously shout at a ball perched atop a brightly lit building, let Skratch accompany you along your journey. Why, with a little ingenuity and some booze, your cherished Exercise Hydration Mix will transform into an elixir worthy of the [...]

    Whether you’re buying a gift for a loved one or a riding buddy, if they’re a mountain biker, they’re bound to be picky. That mountain bikers tend to have strongly held opinions is well known, and that fact makes buying a mountain bike-related gift a challenge. However, any of the following gifts will appeal to a wide range of riders, significantly improving your odds of getting them a gift that they’ll appreciate and actually put to use. Blackburn Wayside C02 Inflator Simple, reliable, and absolutely indispensible, this C02 inflator makes a great stocking stuffer. It’s a perfect solution for quick [...]

    Admittedly, the tail end of fall is an odd time to write about bib shorts that are designed to keep you cool. But hey, I’ve been riding in the Santini BCool Bib Shorts since July, and frankly, I’ve been a little busy lately. However, instead of chalking this up to simply being a lapse in my productivity, I’m more of the opinion that the extended test period actually adds an extra dimension to the review of these bib shorts, given that I can now attest to their dual ability to exceed expectations in both cold and hot conditions. Let’s dig [...]

    Leg Warmers Vs. Bib Tights

    In the vein of cutting to the root of closely guarded, seemingly ambiguous preferences, I thought that I’d dig into the seasonal debate of warmers vs. bib tights. Like all things bike, it’s a polarized debate with little room to sway detractors from their soapboxes. However, unlike many of the face-palm-debates of cycling gear, both sides of the fence have rather compelling reasons to stand on. But to come to a winner, we need to get into the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of both warming methods. Bib Tights Until recently, almost all bib tights pretty much sucked. Sure, there were [...]

    “And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.” - Friedrich Nietzsche Interbike 2014. What can I say, there were people in kilts, there were people in kits, and oh yeah, there was a bike show, too. This year, I mixed it up a bit and only went for a day. From a trend spotter’s point of view, and also as someone that prefers the comfort of his own bed, this is really the way to do it. Along these lines, I have a fast track, at-a-glance report on the trends of the show and [...]

    Perhaps a handful of you remember, but I wrote out some Interbike predictions last year that wound up being pretty spot-on. Honestly, though, it’s not terribly difficult to pull off when there’s a conveyor belt of vendors pouring through the Competitive doors everyday. Regardless, you don’t work here, nor are you inclined to attend the show, so I felt it prudent to provide you with a heads-up on what I expect to see from the show this week. In other words, I’ll be telling you about what’ll be worth getting excited about. Let’s see if I can get it right [...]

    The Road to Mont-Blanc

    The high mountains are a mysterious and unpredictable place offering a moment of escapism to experience life amidst a journey of new and unknown limits. On August 4th 2014 Mavic road ambassador Mike Cotty faced his toughest challenge yet, a 1,000 kilometre non-stop journey across the Dolomites, Eastern Alps and Swiss Alps including 21 mountains and over 21,000 metres of climbing, or the equivalent of ascending Mount Everest nearly 2.5 times in a single ride. Battling adverse weather conditions in the Dolomites and a punishing headwind for the final 500 kilometres meant that Mike had go above and beyond the [...]

    Photos: Re Wikstrom | Location: Canyons Resort, Park City, UT If you’re reading this, you probably know that FOX Racing Shox has been losing ground lately to some key competitors. And while the seemingly unstoppable California brand was resting on its reputation as the leader in mountain bike suspension, its competitors were hard at work cranking out products that were aimed squarely at challenging FOX’s dominance. The tension came to a head when RockShox released the updated Pike, and in the process, redefined what consumers expect from off-the-shelf suspension. Sensing the shifting tides, FOX has pushed back with the redesigned 36 FLOAT, [...]

    Reviewed: SRAM Guide Brakes

    Photos: Re Wikstrom Trying to track down a bleed kit for a non-Shimano brakeset in our office should have been my first clue. I mean, I’ve long been aware of the popularity of Shimano’s stoppers, but the blank stares and prevailing “sorry, I run Shimano” replies from my fellow dirt shredders drove the Japanese manufacturer’s dominance home. Fortunately, with good timing on my side, I’d heard a buzz about SRAM‘s new Guide brakes, which had just landed and were said to be quite the improvement over current models under the Chicago-based brand’s umbrella. I mounted up a set and have [...]

    Niner RLT 9 vs. BSB 9 RDO

    Photos: Re Wikstrom It was around this time last year that I first laid eyes on the Niner RLT 9 at Interbike. Needless to say, it was a pretty big deal at the show, but for whatever reason, the official rollout was lengthy, and the RLT didn’t start hitting the shelves in mass effect until just a few months ago. Similarly, albeit better timed, the BSB 9 RDO was launched just shortly ahead of the ‘cross season. And though I’ve been riding both bikes over the entirety of the summer, these ‘cross bikes have seen little to no actual ‘cross [...]

    With the last of the Grand Tours underway, the Euro pros are arriving at peak form, but to the horror of the masses, this translates to arriving in veiny form. Persistently lowering body fat percentages, blazing summer temperatures, and well, riding 150k per day for an entire summer are the primary culprits. However, ever since Bartosz Huzarski became the first cyclist since Big George to try and capture the birthing of an alien from their legs, the pros have been attempting to demonstrate some one-upsmanship — particularly Garmin-Sharp, or soon to be, well, Cannondale Something Something Sharp?   While it [...]

    Photos Courtesy of P2P Here in Park City, we’re fortunate enough to have one of the finest trail networks in the world. In fact, if you ask the IMBA, we have the finest in the world. However, the question begs to be asked: what does this even mean? Well, in the shortest sense, it means that we have more than just awesome trails; we have awesome trails in abundance. Where it gets trickier, though, is explaining this in reference to the self. It’s a selfish thing really, Mid-Mountain, Crest, whatever — these all account for singular rides, albeit epic ones. [...]

    Last December, I had the privilege of conducting a nearly hour-long interview with one of cycling’s most important figures, Louis Garneau. Of course, I had to get there first, and I’ll tell you, getting to Quebec City, Quebec isn’t easy. First, there’s the flight to Chicago, which always leads to an extended layover in Chicago. Incidentally, there are only two cities that fly to Quebec City — Chicago goes directly, and New York connects from Calgary. Either way, you’ll probably come in on a late-night puddle hopper, only to land in a dark, cold, and almost entirely French-speaking country. As [...]

    Made with almond flour, these pancakes are gluten-free and lower in carbs than traditional pancakes. Skip the sugar crash and fuel up for morning rides with these hearty pancakes that have an ideal mix of carbs, protein, and fat. The batter will be thin and delicate, more like a crepe than a pancake. Almond flour is just finely ground whole almonds. Most groceries now stock it in the baking goods aisle or with natural foods (one common brand is Bob’s Red Mill). You can make your own using a food processor or blender—just be sure not to grind the nuts too [...]

    Words: Mike Cotty Through careful development, analysis, design and testing fabrics and materials have been constructed to allow you to perform to your highest level despite the conditions that you face. Whilst it may be less pleasurable in the rain, wind or cold knowing that you are well protected should bring an extra level of confidence, allowing you to keep riding. Being comfortable on the bike is fundamental in not only enjoying your ride but also getting the most from your own athletic ability. Whilst there are many different disciplines in cycling, from the highest level of professional racing all [...]

    Photos Courtesy of Corima Surely, you saw Nibali ride to victory on Corima wheels this summer, but long before Astana set out on its Tour campaign, I was riding a pair of Corima’s Aero + carbon clinchers. Now, I’m no stranger to “spendy” wheelsets. From triathlon to track, I’ve been lucky enough to be sponsored by some of the biggest names in cycling. However, I’ve never actually found a set of race wheels that felt both comfortable and secure enough to train on. And while I know that carbon clincher/tubeless technology has come a long way in the past few [...]

    Danny Summerhill. If you’re unfamiliar, he’s a cyclocross prodigy with a penchant for road racing. However, this is putting things lightly. As a junior, he became one of the first, and still only, American’s to stand on a World’s ‘cross podium. And now, going into his third season of racing for UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, he’s quickly moving up the ranks of professional road cycling.  I caught up with him right before the start of the Tour of Utah to see how his preparations have been going, and just as importantly, to get a feel for one of American cycling’s rising [...]

    To some, it was a war of attrition, for others, a road to perdition, and in terms of the chase for Yellow, the Tour was akin to a medically induced coma, with the fleeting pangs of excitement resulting from the involuntary finger twitch. Sure, it certainly began with potential, but after Stage 10, the Tour turned into the same race that it is every year — a battle for second place. Though, of course, this is summarily speaking. Between the margins, the race was actually more nuanced and interesting than it’d been in years. So let’s take a skip down Memory [...]

    Coconut water is naturally sweet and high in the electrolyte potassium. So it’s not uncommon for people to ask about the use of coconut water as a real food sports drink. But, when assessing the use of coconut water as sports drink, what comes to mind is C.G. Jung’s idea of “shadows” — the aspects of our lives that are in actuality completely opposite of what we think or perceive. It’s an apt reference point, because if sports drinks have a dark shadow, it’s coconut water. Coconut water is fine if you just want something real to drink when you’re not [...]

    If you search the Internet for training advice, you’ll find more than just a few words of wisdom about how to get faster. But for the sake of consolidating it all for you, the consensus out there is that, to get faster, you have to go harder. And while long slow distance (LSD) training definitely has its place (especially when it comes to ultra events), it won’t make you any faster. Instead, you’ll just suffer less during your training. So, the question begs to be asked: How do you know how hard to go? Well, that’s where heart rate training [...]

    Photos: Re Wikstrom | Location: Golden, Colorado It would make sense if you’ve been wondering, “What’s up with Yeti?” After all, it’s been a while since we’ve seen any new hardware from the boys in Golden, Colorado. As it turns out, though, the radio silence has been masking some big changes, with the new SB5C serving as the first shot fired in Yeti‘s latest offensive. And to answer your immediate questions: Yes, it’s the new incarnation of the SuperBike lineup, it also has 27.5-inch wheels, it won’t be offered in alloy, and the suspension design isn’t like anything that you’ve ever seen. [...]

    If you’ve been paying the slightest bit of attention to the Tour thus far, you’ve noticed the all-encompassing swell of crowds along the English roadside. Sure, it’s been impressive, and at times deafening, but it’s also yielded some stern warnings from the peloton, caused numerous crashes, and oddly enough, inspired a complete and utter damnation of selfies — praise to this simply on principle. In all, though, the swarming mass of irresponsible behavior should be viewed as less than alarming, especially from a country where hooliganism is nearly passable as a recognized sport. Surely, there must be a common thread. [...]