Products, Bikes, The Funny, Some Racing.
KIDS IN ACTION
Last year I did a little segment on kids at Sea Otter. This is one of the coolest things to see here. They are lit up with excitement in every way and when they come down they are “DOWN”, which every parent I’m sure loves.
You will see kids racing, dad showing them the tricks on the downhill, the race face, Photos of “The Little Bella’s”, where Pro racers take time out of their schedules to show young girls proper riding and confidence, kids with mom and dad just enjoying the sun and fun.
So here are a few pics of the kids at Sea Otter 2014
Its great to see that this is truly a family sport that we can all embrace together. And we love to see our kids happy, So go out and get a bike and have some fun with the family.
While at Sea Otter you will always see something new that will be coming out soon or will be for the next year.
We ran into Trevor Gay from Airborne Bicycles and he was rocking a new prototype 650b (27.5) that Airborne has been testing.
With the advent of so many bicycle companies going to either 650b or 29er I could say that 26″ wheel may disappear soon except on low end bikes.
Airborne sees this and has been working on there first 650b. It will be around 5″ travel in the rear although they spec the prototype with a 150mm fork, one would guess it will be close. When ask if this would be the bike’s group spec, the answer was no. This was all set up to race this weekend.
The bike (as you see the photos)looks very impressive. If you notice the head angle you, will see the it looks very slack. It is a 66 degree head angle. I would say slack for a bike like this, but I see this as a good thing, as this will give better stability at high speed or steep drop-in’s, also a tapered head tube for a stiff front end.
The rear wheel will be thru axle which will give great stiffness when on the pedals and when hammering during that Enduro race or shredding your favorite trail. You will see that it will be able to allow a front derailleur for 2x 10 drivetrain or as you see it here set up in a 1x.
Its always cool to see the word Prototype on anything and seeing what Airborne has accomplished in a short time I for one am very pleased to see them heading in a great path. Having been a part of Airborne with our DH Web Team was great. They are coming up fast and doing it right for the consumer with great pricing and a decent product.
No word on release date yet, but stay tuned if your an Airborne fan on there website and Facebook fan page.
Dainese is back at Sea Otter this year and they have some new gear. If you don’t know this Dainese has always been at the forefront of protection, and they have brought innovation to the mountain biking market for decades.
Dainese hhas been a part of mountain biking since the early 90′s. They have sponsored some of the greatest and biggest downhill racers around. Currently you could see the Lapeirre DH Team taking the World Cups, as well as seeing yours truly [The MtnBikeRiders.com Team] taking on local events in our area. Yeah I had to plug us in this article, after all we are sponsored by the D-Store OC.
This year they have came out with a light weight trail pad that we showed you at Interbike last year. They are a memory based foam pad that absorbs impact energy at the pad in a way that it hardens up. Yes we know this isn’t new on the market, but what is nice about these pads are the thickness, they are only a 1/4 ” thick (not many out there do pads this thick). Dainese uses a technology know as “PRO SHAPE”. This is a product that was developed by Dainese for the growing need of light weight pads for Enduro racers. They have breath holes on the face of the pads for cooling, use a light weight breathable materiel all around, and durable where you need them.
RIDING GEAR TRAIL OR ENDURO
Not to be out done in the market Dainese has also come out with light weight riding shorts and jersey for the trail or enduro racer in mind. They are called the DRIFTER Short ($109.95) and DRIFTER jersey S/S ($59.95). Wicking away materials as well breathable, ease access pockets on the shorts as well as pull out liner.
Dainese also has nice gloves called the Rock Solid-C ($29.99). Made thinner to give you better feel from the handle bars to the bike motion while you ride. A great fitting glove that fits snug to the hand.
This year Dainese has changed up their DH gear a little with new color ways that let everyone know your coming down the mountain. They are called the Hucker Short ($99.95) and Basanite Jersey in long or short sleeve ($69.95 or $59.95 S/S). Nice big logos don each side of the jersey and shorts, but its not all looks, The jersey is also made to breath as efficiently as possible to keep your cool under pressure in a race or ride.
Shorts are made of a nice light materiel, but durable nylon to protect that tush of yours. Nice big panels are placed on the shorts to assure quality air flow for comfort while racing. Pants are also available for $129.95.
Glove that we haven’t seen as of yet look like the Rock solid -C, but with one exception, they incorporate Dainese’s Pro Shape technology on the knuckle area, still giving you great breath-ability, with protection to the top of the hand ($39.95).
WHERE DO THEY THINK UP ALL THESE WONDERFUL THINGS
Where does Dainese come up with all their ideas? Well a picture is worth as they say ‘A thousand words.”
For Dainese products go to Dainese.com, your local bike store near you, or you can contact one of three Dainese D-Stores D-Store Orange County, D-Store San Francisco, and D-Store Chicago.
NEW AND COOL
Redline is well known for their exploits in Cyclecross and they are know stranger to cross country bikes by no means.
Their latest is the new 29″ D880, the flagship in the line with the D860 below the D880. These two are their full suspension models, fallowed with the D680 carbon Hardtail.
As you can see the D880 is Fox equipped with Kashima coat fork and shock, Sram 1x drivetrain, Crankbrother conponents.
Here you have the Redline’s 29 hardtail equipped with Fox, Sram, and Crankbrothers. The D860 in the background. The D860 come with Rock Shox suspension and Shimano equipped 2x drivetrain, and Crankbrothers components.
The pricing is not bad for what you get speced on the bikes. Prices are $3749 for the D880, $2749 for the D860 and $3999 for the D680
Look for these hot numbers at a dealer near you or contact Redline at Redline.com
Now if you remember we did a little post on”COMMITMENT” ( Interbike 2013) when we came back from Interbike about Giant Bicycles taking a big leap for their top Off-road line. Giant had been testing the 27.5 wheel size for just over a year, so when we saw the line up, no one was more excited then me to try one out.
Well the wait is over and this will be one of our first test for the year with a 2014 bike and Giant is a bike company that truly believes in “No Boundaries” and this is apparent more then ever with the new line up they have this year.
Giant has equipped 29 bicycles in 12 model titles with the 27.5 size tire, “Phew I did the math and hope I got that right.”
Now we all know this isn’t the first company to do 27.5, let alone in a Carbon frame, but if you look at any of the Advance line and the degree of thought put into it, you will come back walking away saying these are the most sexy looking, cleanest lines, and coolest parts groups you could get on a bike short of a custom build.
When I first received the Anthem Advance 27.5 1 I really didn’t want to ride it, I wanted to just look at it, sounds weird, but we all do it when we get a new bike. Its a beautiful bike. I just wanted to sit there and check it out up close, from one end to the other, studying the curves of the Carbon frame, looking at the links, and parts. One thing comes to mind “Feng shui”. This bike has a sexy flow of lines from the headtube through to the Maestro links, to the rear triangle and the parts package is spot on, Shimano XT, Fox suspension, topped off with Giant’s very own components.
After I was snapped out of my state of bliss from my friend rapping me on the head, I noticed his strange look of discuss in me and I felt the drool running off the side of my lips, he gave a loud “LET RIDE MAN!!!” OK so after composing myself it was time to work this baby out and see what this 27.5 thing is all about…
One thing I noticed off the bat was the head angle of the headtube, it looked slack compared to my first gen Anthem and those since, so this made me wonder about the handling and after all the preliminary set up was done I did feel the Anthem Advance felt different in the cockpit. The ergonomics of the the controls felt great, I could reach all the FOX CTD levers well, shifting with the Shimano XT is excellent, Giant's components consist of the control Stem and Bars, Seat post and the P-XCR1 27.5 rims, and sure you could get better parts here, but out of the box they do the job great.
I might add the Giant rims that come on the Anthem Advance 1 are Tubeless compatible and have all the parts to set them up, but out of the box they come with tubes in them.
With that all said lets get down to the nitty gritty of what you want to hear, “THE RIDE”!!!
I will start with the thing I hate most on an XC bike, the climbing. I’m a Downhiller by nature, but riding a XC bike is important to training, I do like going on a long ride with friends, so its important to have a great bike that can do this efficiently and the ANTHEM 27.5 1 does this with ease.
I noticed very quickly that the Anthem Advance feel while climbing up was lighter feeling then a 29″, but ascended a little better then a 26″. The weight felt better then a 29″, yet it feels like a 26″.
Reaching down to lock out the FOX CTD Pro Pedal to lock out mode on the fork and rear shock was no problem. Once you have this on the ANTHEM 27.5 1 was a tractor up the hill. Tight switchbacks were more manageable then being on a 29er.
While doing any type of climbing the bike felt nimble and reactive to my input on the trail at all times, in a standing pedal, mashing the pedals its light feel will get up and go. The Maestro suspension preformed by far better then all passed Maestro suspension’s. How do they get it any better.
This was truly a nice bike to climb. I never felt like I got the work out from the bike itself.
Now this is where I want to have my fun and this is reward time after the climbs, so how did the new Anthem Advance 1 do? “It did better than great. At times I didn’t feel like I was even no XC bike, but more like on a tail bike with more suspension.”
In comparison to my first gen Anthem Team 26″ and the last of the 26″ Anthem X (I did call upon a friend to try out his Anthem X to compare), the descending on the 27.5 was by far more stable at speed, line choice with the 27.5 size wheels was a mere point and shoot feel to it. with the bigger tire size, raked out headtube and a frame that is stiff in all the right spots, the Anthem Advance puts the fun in XC riding. The stock tires held grip good and I would look for something more to my needs. Under braking the XT disc brakes work awesome and pull you down in speed with no problems. In the photos you will see the comparison of the 27.5 to that of the 26″ wheel and that of the 29″ wheel. I doesn’t look like a lot, but size matters.
Before going down I turned the CTD levers to descend and the Anthem’s Fox fork and Shock worked great. One thing I have to put in here is that since getting this bike I have not dialed in the front or rear suspension at all. Out of the box it has worked fine.Jumping on the Anthem Advance is a dream, it handles air time nicely if you want to have fun on some little jumps on a trail.
As I mentioned I had asked a friend who I knew had the last of the 26″ Giant Anthem X 1. I had not ridden his bike before and I wanted to see just how much of a difference it would be, plus he had never ridden a bike with the bigger wheel sizes. This was a in the field blindfolded test ( really wanted to try that).
Just to see how much of a difference there is between a 26 inch and 27.5 inch I called my friend Juan Arrello to bring his Anthem X to do a ride compare and what I found out was there is a huge difference in how both bikes feel.
The older Anthem X feels so twitchy in the handling compared to the Anthem Advanced 27.5. You wouldn’t think this small amount would make this much matter when it comes to the overall ride-ability between the two.
The 27.5 wheel size feels like no other Anthem since and the 29″ does have its place. With this being said I have to say that the 26″ wheel size may be a thing of the past sooner then later. In my opinion the 27.5 wheel size is truly the choice for my size over the 29er.
You get all the characteristics of the 26″, the feel of the 29er without the wheel weight, and without loosing to much of the handling characteristics in tight areas.
My friend Juan had this to say about his ride on the Giant Anthem Advance.
“I own one of the last of the 26″ wheel Giant Anthem X. The ride is great but after riding a 27.5″ Giant Anthem it was like night and day. First of all the 27.5″ rolls so much smoother over exposed tree roots, fixed rocks, and wash board surfaces at breaking points. On the 26″, one is more dependent on a well tuned suspension to smooth out the ride, as for the 27.5″ it felt like I had more suspension even though both bikes have the same 4″ travel. The 27.5″ really complimented the 4″ travel suspension the Anthem. On the descent I also noticed the amount of speed I picked up and to sustain the speed without much rider input to keep up the momentum. I liked the fact that I was able to brake a bid late going into a turn but at first I had to get used to turning the larger wheel but I quickly adjusted. Even though the 26″ is more nimble on tight turns I like the fact that the 27.5 rolls much better if there are obstacles in the turn. There was a very slight difference in acceleration but with proper gear selection acceleration differences was insignificance to me. Overall I wished I would have waited one more year so I wouldn’t buy the last of the 26″ Anthem and I could have been one of the first to purchase a 27.5 Anthem.”
In a nut shell I have to say that every time I ride this bike I love mountain biking more and more everyday.
The parts group is top notch as it should be at what your paying and Giant is not skimping here. They are giving you a race ready bike out of the box, now its up to you to take it to the podium or race it at your favorite trail.
Oh and what is this little baby going to cost you, only $4750.00, is it worth it, I would say an outstanding “YES!!”
Well were back at one of the biggest cycling events on the west coast, RL sent me in to cover this . I hitched a ride with Corey Pond who works for the Dainese D-Store OC who happens to be our team sponsor.
If you have ever taken the drive up to beautiful Monterey from the 101 freeway its quite a nice drive and being with great company is always a delight and what makes it more interesting is when you think about all the conversation you get into and the wide assortment of subjects you have to laugh at how you pass the time.(yeah we don’t talk about bikes 24-7)
Arriving at the race track always gets you excited, to know you have made it, to see all the flags flying, seeing the people you know, and to know in the next few days Laguna Seca Raceway will be buzzing with tons on people, being in the middle of it all is truly exhilarating.
In the next few days we will be covering new products, bikes, the funny, crazy, some race shots, and whatever else may tickle our fancy. One thing that will be missed at this years Sea Otter will be some of the big names in downhill, this weekend is also the first World Cup event and some of these racers always bring in the crowds.
So sit back and relax and we will bring to you all things Sea Otter.
On the wonderful world of Social Media there’s something that goes on every Thursday called Throw Back Thursday or #TBT. Since most mountain bikers are visual learners ( I made that up), I figured here’s a list of various videos that showcase some of our favorite things from the days of our childhood.
M.A.S.K. I think this show helped me develop a love for full face helmets.
GoBots…everyone knows that they came out first, so that means Transformers copied them.
The Animal. Man didn’t this toy seemed like it was the best thing EVER!
Since we are a bicycle site, check out this totally rad Huffy commercial.
I’m sure there’s more videos that I can post, but this one is pretty cool. It’s the Helltrack scene from Rad, one of my favorite movies ever!
- Full-width 4.7” tires provide optimized traction and stability across snow, sand, and soft trails.
- Agile geometry keeps the Blizzard feeling like a true mountain bike.
- Strapless Frame Bag (sold separately) designed specifically for the Blizzard by Porcelain Rocket keeps your gear safe and dry with water resistant fabric and waterproof zippers. Main compartment for jacket or food, with expandable pocket for tools and other items.
- Rock Shox Bluto RL suspension forkwith 100mm of travel and a 15x150mm thru-axle.
- Two Anything Cage™ mounts and extra bosses allow additional custom frame bag options.
- Custom Race Face 24T narrow-wide single ring and bashguard features drive-side offset for optimal shifting performance while maximizing climbing ability. Allows for easy 2x conversion.
- Front derailleur mount
- Sealed bearing 6-pawl heavy duty freehub for increased torque in soft conditions.
- Internally routed full length housing
- Stealth-dropper compatible
We’re happy to introduce a new bicycle company in the USA. It’s so new that we’ve got the only two of it’s kind. What makes the Soyater so special? Well first of all it’s full carbon and they’re 650b/27.5. So let’s take a look at the two models we have. Soyater MSRP: Braver (red and black) $2000 and the Team (green and black) $1300.
Shimano Deore 2×10 drive train. SR Suntour XCT fork. WTB tubeless wheels and tires. Soyater branded cockpit., Decipher Hydraulic Brakes.
Soyater Team 650b.Shimano Deore 2×10. SR Suntour XCT forks. Mechanical brakes, Soyater branded cockpit. CST tires and Maverick wheels.
Like I mentioned, these are the only two of it’s kind in existence. We’ll be putting them through the paces in the next few weeks to see how the do. But if you want more info about the Soyater Bikes, you can go to WaterBearcycles.com