News

Taipei Cycle Show Display Bike #3: STINNER Frameworks - Refugio

24 March, 2017

Each element of a Stinner’s fabrication is tirelessly and lovingly crafted in a process where each step exudes passion from its maker – wheel creation, frame prep, welding, paint, and final assembly resulting in bicycles renowned for their second-to-none aesthetic while also boasting versatility, simplicity, and irrefutable functionality. Details cleverly bolster cleanliness.

The Refugio is named after a tyrannicaly epic climb north of Santa Barbara, starting from shattered single lane pavement and punching skyward, peaking out 3,700 something feet later. Augmenting its climbing origins, the Refugio name also echoes of the high alpine shelters dotting the mixed terrain surfaces and stradas in the Maritime Alps – a versatile terrain where this Stinner shines as well, broadening its usage into a category defying nature.

WTB is incredibly thankful to showcase new Exposure 32 Road TCS tires on Stinner Frameworks’ beautiful Refugio. Just as the Refugio is too adeptly capable to be sentenced to singular usage, the Exposure 32 joins its 30 and 34mm siblings in redefining high-end road usage to beyond pacelines and time trails, begging the question of what can’t a supple road tubeless tire tackle through the Exposure 32’s smooth riding all-weather inspired tread pattern.

WTB would also like to thank White Industries for their continued help in ensuring we always have a way of displaying our newest products. The White Industries CLD hubs were a perfect final touch for such an awing bike.

Taipei Cycle Show Display Bike #1: Tina Kuo's Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Team

23 March, 2017

The Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Team brings space age futuristic performance to endurance riding by melding oversized high modulus carbon fiber responsiveness with the tirelessly smooth riding attributes favored by distance riders. From Tour of Flanders to the highest intensity time trial, there is little that the Synapse Hi-Mod can’t overcome.

 

This ground up, no-compromise build for Tina Kuo, head of WTB’s Taiwan Office, boasts progressively wide WTB Ci24 tubeless carbon rims supporting high thread count WTB Exposure 30 TCS tires, again blending lightweight efficiency with an effortlessly supple ride quality. A fully electronic Shimano Di2 Dura Ace and XTR drivetrain combines speed with range while a color-matched WTB High Tail Carbon saddle ties race inspired aesthetics to irrefutable comfort.

 

WTB is honored to highlight the duality of the Exposure 30’s intent on the Cannondale Synapse - a bike that is equal parts light, fast, smooth, and tireless – mirroring the intent of the Exposure 30mm high-end road tubeless tire.

 

Taipei Cycle Show Display Bike #2: Pinnacle Ramin 4

23 March, 2017

The Ramin brings thoughtful details to the no-nonsense simplicity of 29ers furthering functionality through attention to detail that emphasizes interchangeability with modern design cues. Twin down tube inner bottle bosses allow for a tighter, curved seat tube – shortening the modernized chain stay while still allowing for 3 water bottle capability. A 44mm head tube speaks to any fork compatibility while a 135mm rear quick release provides ease in wheel replacement while touring globally. Combined with a solid, tried and true Shimano 2x11 drivetrain, the Pinnacle Ramin 4 provides an excellent platform for dependable and capable off-road touring. 

Following Taipei Cycle, a group consisting of James Olsen, Ben Mills, Clayton Wangbichler, and Will Ritchie will bikepack the Khumbu region of the Himalaya. The group will fly into Lukla, Nepal where they will combine a Gokyo trek with a hopeful shot at the Rolwaling Valley over Tashi Laptsa pass at just shy of 19,000 feet. If successful, they will connect the greater Everest region to Kathmandu in a trip to raise funds to rebuild Nepal from its disastrous 2015 earthquake.

Each bike will be equipped with newly launched WTB Ranger 2.25 29” TCS Tough tires, providing a reliable multi-condition compliment to the diversity of terrain and conditions the group will face. After the trip, each Pinnacle bike will be auctioned off with funds donated to Smart Shelter, a Dutch NGO with a 2015 earthquake rebuild program.

Follow the Instagram takeover from March 27th – April 10th

@wildernesstrailbikes

@evans_cycles

Pivot's New Phoenix Team PadLoc Grips

14 March, 2017

Words by Jeremiah Newman (he's also the super shredder in the photos)

When WTB launched PadLoc grips, they became a lot like 29” wheels. Some people LOVE them, and some people have an unfounded reservation about them, as if it were Hitler himself that came up with the idea. The only thing wrong with that is that all the haters of PadLoc have never even tried the grips. If the industry dismissed every little innovation that popped up on their computer screen, then we wouldn’t be riding the modern super machines that are today's bikes. Thankfully, there are some who have been intrigued by them enough to go out on a limb and give 'em a go. Those folks need no further convincing.

Chris Cocalis, owner and CEO of Pivot cycles, is arguably one of the smartest, most innovative bike designers in the industry. He tried the grips and loved them so much that he wanted to put them on all his bikes. He even took it one step further by designing his own version of the grip with Pivot’s very own name and logo. A man of that stature doesn’t just put his company’s logo on any old bicycle part. It must be thoroughly vetted and truly needs to be the best product available.

In my opinion, WTB PadLoc grips are just that. The best grips available! I’ve been riding PadLoc grips for over a year now, and Pivot’s own Phoenix PadLoc grips for about three months...they're incredible! They are light, squishy, comfortable, and glue the rider to the bars, even in the pissing rain. If hand fatigue is an issue, then these are the solution. The difference for me has been incredible!

Before you dismiss PadLoc grips as the devil himself, I simply urge to try them before you come to any conclusions. Head down to your local Pivot dealer today and give them a squish. You never know, your next bike could be a 29” wheeled, oval chain ring spinning, electronically controlled piece of space age plastic with a little bit of PadLoc squish!

Love at first ride: Bitten by the gravel bug

08 March, 2017

Words by Yuri Hauswald

I wasn’t looking for a new cycling love but that’s usually when IT finds you, right?! Not sure if it was the serenity of the remoteness, the expanse of the tall prairie grass, the punchy little hills that rolled off into the horizon, or the chunks of menacing flint that littered the roads, but it was love at first ride when I set tires on it. I’m talking about gravel, endless miles of it, and I’ve fallen head over heels for it since that fateful day back in 2013.

In the grand scheme of my love affair, I’m a late comer to the gravel phenomena that’s been sweeping across parts of the United States for the past decade or so. I didn’t discover gravel until the first year I did the Dirty Kanza, a 200 mile slog through the Flint Hills of Emporia, KS, a ride considered by many to be the toughest gravel race in the world. The way Dan Hughes, 4 X Dirty Kanza winner and, arguably, the King of the Kanza, remembers it, he started riding gravel in the early 90s because those were the safest, and coolest roads to explore. “Gravel racing represents the opportunity to push your own limits, usually due to the length of the events, and do so in a relatively car-free experience. Plus gravel roads in the Midwest are the coolest roads. They’re the twistiest and turniest and have the best vistas.”

Photo credit: TBL Photography

There are no National Parks in Kansas, there's no BLM land, and there certainly aren't any mountains, so gravel gives people a chance to see the landscapes just a few miles outside of town and get away from it all. And the landscape that’s outside Emporia, KS, the birthplace of the Dirty Kanza 200, well, it’s stunning. Yeah, I know, most folks don’t put “stunning” and “Kansas” in the same sentence, but they obviously haven’t experienced the geography that makes this part of the state unique and beautiful. The Flint Hills, also known as Bluestem Pastures or Blue Stem Hills, are a region of eastern Kansas and north central Oklahoma that contain the largest intact tallgrass prairie in North America. Less than 4 percent of the original tallgrass prairie remains—and most of it is in the Flint Hills of Kansas. One of the other distinguishing features of  this region, and the bane of those who dare to ride bikes through it, is the sharp, flint rock that has survived eons of erosion and is what prevented the tall grass prairie from being plowed under for farmland.  

Speaking of farmland, it was my third flat of the day during the 2014 DK 200 and I was sitting in a ditch along the side of the course fumbling with the fix, maybe 15 miles out of town and the finish, buzzards circling overhead, when I saw an oasis of hope. It was a handwritten sign, in kid scrawl, and it said: DK riders stop here. I stumble shuffled my way down there after fixing my flat and plopped myself on their lawn. I was shell shocked from the heat and the 180ish mile effort that I’d put in so far, and wasn’t very conversant, but I did nod my head in agreement when one of the kids asked if they could spray me with a hose. After the refreshing dousing, they filled my bottles with ice and water, and handed me a Coke, which tasted like a million bucks and drastically helped my sagging motivation. After about 10 minutes I struggled to my feet, thanked them profusely for their kindness, and soggily got on my bike and made my way to the finish.

Photo credit: TBL Photography

This is but one act of community kindness that I’ve witnessed out on course, or in town, during my four years of doing Dirty Kanza that epitomizes the love that locals have for this event, and is one of the many reasons that this race is near and dear to my heart. Now I know Dirty Kanza isn’t for everyone, and that my adoration for it might seem odd, but if you’re looking for a new challenge, and possible a new love when it comes to cycling events that are more about place than placing, check out the Flint Hills of Kansas, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Adventure, Escapism & Empowerment: Bringing Bikepacking Into Your Life

03 March, 2017

Words and photos by Cameron Sanders

If you give “Bikepacking” a Google, you’ll be bombarded with overwhelming lists of equipment reviews and route suggestions to leave you drooling and wanting to quit your job and hit the trail… but let’s admit it; most of us can’t afford to up and embark on year-long, month-long, or even 10 day-long journey, let alone buy all the fancy bikepacking equipment we've seen emerge over the last few years. The truth is you probably have the means to go bikepacking right now. Likely, you are able to accomplish some pretty rad trips at this very moment. Bikepacking is about the spirit of adventure, escaping the day-to-day and discovery. The most important tool to bring to any journey is the will to get out there.

 

Bikepackers are born from trial and error, expeditions you’ll remember for the rest of your days and some you’d prefer to forget, and repetitive touring. This blog will not be focusing on some outlandish epic adventure, or how you can best spend your entire paycheck on equipment. This blog is about empowering anyone, anywhere, equipped with any skillset, to get out there and @adventure_by_bike.

 

The Journey

The Journey is the most important part of any adventure. While the Baja Divide, Tour Divide, Iditarod Trail, White Rim Trail or that trip to Vietnam you’ve been dreaming about for half your life all rank up there in our minds, the best place to explore is the radius around your house you can drive to after work on Friday. The culmination of adventures you can have if you dutifully go bikepacking every other weekend will outweigh even the grandest singular pursuit. These micro-adventures, not only add up to a very happy lifestyle, but each experience builds to make you a more competent bikepacker and trip planner. Try a bikepacking trip straight out your front door - you’ll be surprised how empowering it is to spend the entire trip under your own power. You’ll be amazed by the places and things you never realized were lurking nearby.

Dream big tours while you execute small ones. Dreaming of riding the Tour Divide? Bikepack every mile of the 2745 mile epic around your neighborhood. Find out what’s the most elevation gain you experience in a 48hr window on the Divide and try and replicate the same gains on a weekend overnight (a challenging prospect if you live in Kansas or Florida). A good bikepacking trip may be linking all your favorite trails together, exploring totally new trails, or by simply randomly selecting backroads to explore you’ve never been on before. Have a friend pick gravel roads on a map at random and form a loop or use online tools to do the same (some cycling computers can also do this). I guarantee you, you will learn something important about yourself, your abilities and, most importantly, your expectations as a result of just getting out there.

It's good practice to have a route planned and available upon demand. I build my routes on Google Map Maker and ridewithgps.com, export .gpx files to my phone and cycling computer, and send .pdf files to my old black and white Kindle and phone. I use the paid version of the US Topo Maps app and cache detailed maps of where I plan to visit prior to departure, on my phone. For tours longer than a singular weekend, I annotate my .pdf file with additional details. A black and white Kindle can last weeks on a single charge and can be picked up for virtually nothing these days. Here's an example of the annotated route I made for my 3 Rivers 3 Sisters trip last fall. It's good to come back to these route plans post ride and follow up with lessons learned and altered expectations.

It is very important to be willing to alter your route mid-bikepack. “Summit-fever”, or sticking to your planned itinerary at all costs is dangerous and counterproductive. Know when to push yourself and when to change plans.

Accommodating overnight camping may or may not be an issue depending on your proximity to public lands. Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service Lands are best for accommodating impromptu adventures and offer the most camping flexibility. Visitors on these lands are allowed to disperse camp – or camp outside of officially designated locations – for free, given they follow some basic guidelines:

  • Follow Leave No Trace Principles and keep our public lands pristine.
  • Do not camp within a half mile of designated develop campgrounds or sites.
  • Do not camp within visibility of travel corridors, be they roads or trails.
  • Do not camp within 150 ft. of waterways (lakes, streams, ect.).
  • Do not camp in camping restricted areas/corridors.
  • Know and adhere to any fire restrictions. Practice fire safety.

Additionally some agencies, like the US Forest Service and some State Parks, offer primitive cabins, yurts, fire towers and huts for various rates. These huts can often be linked together to form multi-day bikepacking adventures. Utilizing these huts can help you get started if you are still working on growing your equipment arsenal. Remember to check on whether these resources require reservations (most do) before taking off. Recreation.gov is the best source for discovering most federally reservable sites and cabins.

For at least some of your adventures, let the place itself be the deciding factor for route development. For example, go bikepacking someplace because that area of the state or those canyons or peaks interests you. Look for primitive roads and trails to interconnect within the area. This sets you up for an entirely different kind of experience than hitting the local “flow” trails… a journey of discovery.

Add your own personal flair to your bikepacking expeditions. Like to fish? Learn how best to carry a fly rod while cycling and plan an adventure to an alpine stream or lake. Enjoy rock climbing? Plan a series of trips along canyon roads or river bluffs in search of climbs with your climbing gear in tow (which is a challenge, I can assure you). Take your fatbike skiing. Ride towards a mountain you’ve always wanted to summit. Get as close as you can and then stash your bike in the woods, transfer your touring bags to a backpack and head for the peak.

I will be covering “bikepackrafting” – my personal favorite form of adventure cycling – later this year.

The Stuff

Bikepacking is the balance of being self-sufficient and traveling with as little “stuff” as possible. The more you bikepack, the more stuff you’ll get rid of. There’s no doubt that money can assist you in getting your loaded rig’s weight down through high-end ultralight gear; however, a few good packing decisions can make a bigger difference than a bottomless bank account. Additionally, weight isn’t everything. Straightforward reliability is a much more important gear/component factor for equipment selection when bikepacking than counting grams.

Know your machine. Having at least a basic understanding of your bicycle is absolutely paramount when doing remote cycling. The further you plan on getting out there, the more you should know about your bike and how to repair it. If you breakdown days out from the nearest town, it’s not only a bummer, it’s dangerous. I find that remoteness - or distance away from services - can be just as big of a factor in my equipment selection as anticipated time spent traveling and/or distance traveled. It goes without saying, if you’re bringing a tool for making field repairs, know how to use it. Don’t try a new repair technique on the trail for the first time. Fortunately, youtube and quality time with your bike can teach you all you need to know.

Be creative. Nearly all the new fancy bikepacking gear on the market today wasn’t around just a few years ago. Garage tinkerers have built the bikepacking gear empire of today and you are just as capable. Look at every empty space on your bike as a potential way to store things. Tape a spare tube under your saddle or behind your seatpost yolk. Store a spoke or two taped down inside your handlebars (only if you know how to repair a broken spoke or else what's the point). Use some King Cage dryer hose bottle cage mounts to put cages all around your bike and remember: bottle cages can hold more than just water bottles and water bottles can hold more than just water. There are tons of excellent DIY resources online for the crafty. If you can’t fabricate worth a lick there’s always the tailor in town, the welder and metalworker down the street, or the drafter who can make you 3D blueprints to send to the printer. The majority of my bikepacking gear has been fabricated by myself, neighbors, and cycling friends I’ve met through social media.

Not all weight is created equal. This one’s an important factor to continually refine. Weight lower and more centered to your bike frame is better than weight higher and further away from your frame. This is why having a good framebag is so important. By putting most of your heavy gear low and centered to your frame - like in a framebag - you create a much more stable ride. Weight on your back not only leads to additional fatigue and sweat for you, but it makes your cycling experience significantly less stable. If you have to ride with a pack, try and keep it to a fanny pack. For this reason, I ride with my hydration bladder in my framebag, running my hose out of the bag and attaching it to my handlebars, rather than in a backpack. Water is heavy and if I have to ride with a pack, I’m going to put my lightest equipment in the pack.

Don’t let the lack of fancy equipment be the reason you don’t go bikepacking. I would encourage you to go out and ride with incomplete, or subpar, setups (as long as you’re not putting yourself in needless danger). While bikepacking you will think of things you never previously imagined needing, and more importantly, realize a lot of what you thought you needed would be a waste. Keep safety in mind, and manage risk through good planning, communication, and balanced equipment. Remember there is no perfect, ultimate bikepacking setup. Your needs will change overtime just like your adventures.

Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS). KISS is the mantra of First Responders the world over. This same mentality applies to bikepacking. The extra “features” along with the “bells and whistles” a lot of products advertise more often than not end up being pointless hindrances. If you’re an ultralight backpacker, you’ve probably come to similar conclusions.

Just as road cycling and mountain biking can be further broken down into sub-disciplines with their own variations on the bicycle, so is bikepacking multi-disciplinary. More than likely the bikepacker you’re looking for is not the rig with the highest price tag at your local bike shop (unless your LBS carries a Moots or two). Suspension forks and dropper posts add significantly to the complexity of your bicycle but perhaps your backcountry adventures require such components…. Perhaps not.

More on suspension… Suspension parts are complicated. If you’re running a hardtail or a full suspension, the extra weight of your equipment may require you adjust your sag. If you don’t know what sag is or how to adjust it, then you have some work to do prior to taking off bikepacking with suspension. Know what the dials do on your bike’s suspension. Know how to adjust your suspension’s air and have the tools to do so. Know how temperature variations affect your moving parts, including your dropper post. Full suspension bikes will greatly limit the space you have available for a framebag. Remember, your framebag is one of the best places to store weight on your bike. If you experience catastrophic suspension failure in the backcountry, there will likely be no way to fix your problems trailside.

International Travel requires additional preparations. Your bicycle and your kit need additionally levels of attention when traveling internationally. Things like tubeless sealant, compressed white gas, hydraulic brake fluid, parts for more “modern” cranks and wheel standards, and so on may not be available in all locations. Steel bicycles are also advantageous in the instance of frame failure, as metalworkers with the means and ability to repair steel are common the world over.

If you’re wondering what I ride, I’ve purposefully been vague on disclosing my bikepacking kit. This is because bikepacking is a personal journey and your equipment needs are likely different than my own. I will go out on a limb and disclose fat and midfat tires have revolutionized how I ride. While fatter tires do behave very differently than traditional suspension systems, they do eat up the bumps and help you and your equipment have a more enjoyable ride. This in turn allows me to focus more on keeping my bike simple and straightforward. Fat tires additionally open up entire new realms of adventure previously unobtainable, and I’m not just speaking of winter snow rides. Personally, I never run more than 1x drivetrain and have been known to bikepack singlespeed. Finally, #SteelisReal, especially when it comes to bikepacking.

Reliability. Durability. Repairability.

The Routine

Go Bikepacking. That’s all there is to it. If you have a limited supply of gear, skills, experience, and time still Go Bikepacking.

Set yourself a goal: “try it for the first time”, twice a season”, “once a month”, “every Saturday night”, “every other weekend in summer and twice in winter”. Make adventure cycling an integral part of your life. As you grow as a bikepacker, challenge yourself with new expectations, routes, places, and distances. Once you’ve got things down pat, spread the love of bikepacking to your fellow cyclist.

Follow My Adventures on Instagram @Adventure_by_Bike!

Rad People Who Ride: Amanda Schaper

01 March, 2017

Photo credit: Gritchelle Fallesgon / @gritchelle

Amanda Schaper is a well-known name, athlete and smile among numerous disciplines of riding. She shows up to races with everything dialed and, without fail, leaves with everything covered in mud even after the driest races. While her photos may lead you to believe she spends all her time on skinny tires, she's also a force to be reckoned with when her mountain bike comes out to play. Though last year was her first time racing the Downieville Classic, she instantly became one of the most animated and skilled athletes to grace the event. We look forward to her determination and energy there this year!

She may be into bikes for the fun of them, but she also happens to be the Marketing Manager for Giro. You'll likely find her at cycling events pushing the good word of Giro and providing next-level amounts of stoke while simply inspiring others to get out and ride their bikes. 

Give her a follow on Instagram for endless ridespiration through races, adventures and a variety of humorous antics. 

Photo credit: Dain Zaffke / @dain_zaffke
Name: 
Amanda Schaper. Nice to meet you!

Home Shop and City: 
Santa Cruz, CA! I’ve grew up near this area, migrated south for college, and lived in Southern California for 12 years before making my way back up to the good land in 2014. I still have a soft spot for Golden Saddle Cyclery in LA from my SoCal days.

Photo credit: Peter Thomsen / @peterthomsen

Notable passions, feats of accomplishment, interests, goals, phobias and unusual experiences: 

A few recent accomplishments I’m proud of: Surviving my first real enduro at Trans Cascadia in 2016 and even winning a few stages (on Vigilantes!). Getting the fastest overall women’s time on the gravel descent stage at Grinduro in 2016 (on Nanos!). Landing on the podium in my Masters race at the 2017 Cyclocross National Championships (on Cross Wolfs!).

Goals: Become a more self-sufficient bike mechanic. Podium finish in this year’s Downieville Classic All-Mountain World Champs. Podium finish in my Masters race at Cross Nationals in Reno (okay, let’s get real…I want to win). Improve my sewing skills. Be better about changing my car’s oil on schedule. Someday do a bike tour along the Pacific Coast from Canada to Mexico.

Favorite WTB product:
Nano 40c TCS Light/Fast Rolling. I’ve rolled on these during countless crazy adventures over all sorts of terrain, and they’ve never let me down.

Photo credit: Robin O’Neill / @robinoneill

Favorite Ride:
Oh man, that’s tough! But really, I think all my favorite riding is right here in Santa Cruz. I’ve gotten to ride some amazing trails and roads all over the world, but something about this place is just so special. Our trails are all kinds of fun, and we have a ton of variety between the trail networks in this area. Our roads are unreal—maybe not the nicest pavement, and sometimes they might not even be pavement—but nothing compares to our big climbs and big descents that wind through the redwoods with coastal views along the way. All that aside, my favorite ride might just be cruising the Wilder bluffs with my main squeeze, Scott, on our tandem under the sunset.


Background, how’d you get into riding, what kept you going with it?
Mine is the stereotypical story of boy introduces girl to bike, relationship with boy doesn’t stick, but relationship with bike does. I started riding in college because my boyfriend at the time was into mountain biking, and he encouraged me to give it a go (thanks Colin!). It didn’t come easily or very naturally (I’m well equipped with the fear gene), but after a few trailside meltdowns, I started building skills and having fun.

At the time I lived in Santa Barbara, and I always saw a crew of people out riding in their matching team kits—it was the local Platinum Performance Team, and they looked like super heroes to me. I wanted in. I wasn’t very good at riding, I was brand new to racing, but when I approached them about joining, they welcomed me with open arms (thanks Todd and Terry!). And that lead me down a path that really influenced my life.

I started XC racing and was immediately hooked. The community that I suddenly found myself in felt like instant family, and I’ve never looked back. After a few years of racing XC, I tried cyclocross and got super into it because it’s silly fun and cx people are simply the best. Seriously—come to a cross race and try not to have fun. In addition to cross I still race some XC, dabble in enduros, and do a few gravel races.

Once I started racing, bikes became a huge part of my life, and even resulted in a career change after a few years. I went from working as an environmental planner to starting a marketing career in the bike industry in 2010. And the rest is history! I’m so lucky to work at Giro and live in Santa Cruz. Pretty much everything in my life—my career, my friends, my partner, my sock collection—has come to me because of bikes.

What kept me going with it? I just can’t live without it!

Photo credit:  Mike Estes / @m_estes 

Tube or Tubeless, why?
Tubeless! Because flat tires are a bummer, and I love running low pressure. On the rare occasion that you do get a flat, tire plugs work great. My MTB and cross bikes are all setup tubeless, but I’ve yet to ditch tubes on my road bike.

3 most important things to bring with you on a ride?
Legs, lungs, laughter.
 
Craziest thing you’ve seen or witnessed on a ride?
How about in a race? Because I’ll never un-see what I saw in the stripper bus shortcut at the 2016 Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships in Portland. Let’s just say I got my dollar’s worth. 

Most important lesson to teach the groms?
Respect for trails and other trail users. I think that’s the number one thing that will help improve trail access for mountain bikers. Thank you NICA for making that an emphasis in your program!

Photo credit: Jordan Haggard / @jordan_clark_haggard

Left my wallet in… (fill it in):

My jersey pocket. It was probably only pieces of my wallet held together with a hair tie (ID, insurance card, credit card, $20), and it’s probably clean from accidentally going through the laundry.

Anything you’d like to plug, courtesy of WTB’s blog?
Grinduro registration opens in April. Grab yourself a set of Nanos and come join the party! www.grinduro.com

Andes Pacifico 2017 with Marco Osborne

17 February, 2017

Words and photos by Marco Osborne:

This year was my first ever AP and I was stoked! I’ve heard so many good things about this event, so it was time to check it out. 5 days of blind racing and adventures through the Andes sounded like a great way to start off the race season.  Without all this big stress of the EWS races, this one was all about the experience. Having fun on the bike, adventuring into new zones, and sharing it with new friends.

Day one- We started off the day driving up too La Parva ski resort where we then took the ski lift up to the first stage. Riding the famous #antigrip was no easy task. My hands were put to the test after 2 months off the bike. Long, Fast and rough stages made for a very difficult first day. 

Day two- The second day we were still high in the Andes mountains, very deep into the back country. After a two hour drive in the pickup trucks, we climbed for another hour into the Santa Matilde region. 

 

This area was home to ranchers and hundreds of wild horses. The day consisted of two long stages where the goal was to go fast and try to avoid the dangerous cactus.

Day Three- This was the longest day of the race, taking place in Chicureo. An area known for its endless Moto trails, that ran all the way to the City of Santiago. The day started with a 17 minuet stage descending over 4,000 feet. This stage was a true test of physical strength, endurance and technical ability.  We then took the pickups on a serious mission, a three hour shuttle up very exposed and rugged dirt roads. Then we finished the day with four fast Moto style stages, ripping all the way down to Santiago. This was our final day in the Andes on our quest for the coast.

 

 

Day Four- Our new camp was based in the small town of La Ligua, a region know for it’s Chilean pastries and hand made sweaters. We were now in the coastal range mountains, so the stages were much shorter. We raced 4 fast and flowy stages that dropped into the Valle Hermoso.

 

Day Five- On the final day of racing we all had one goal, make it to the beach for a big piscola celebration. We raced in two different areas, two stages in Pullally and two in Papdu. The trails were once again very fast and loose, Ending with very fresh cut course that challenged everyone to the final stage. Everyone’s spirits were high as we could see the coastline and our final destination of Cachagua. We made it! It was time to celebrate, jump in the pacific ocean and share a drink with the crew!

The Andes Pacifico event staff did an amazing job. From the amazing meals, beer on tap, Shuttle drivers, Medics, to the camp set ups , this trip was an absolute treat. 

In the last month Chile has been hit with devastating wildfires. The fires have completely wiped out everything in its path, leaving many peolpe without homes and jobs. The fires were so bad, the Organizers at MontenBaik had to change the route of the race. With only two weeks before the event, the MontenBaik team scouted new locations, pulled permits and re organized the last three days of racing. They were very stressed out but made this best of the situation. In the end, the race turned out just perfect, Huge THANKS go out to the entire MontenBaik crew for making this happen! 

 This race is what mountain biking is all about.  Adventuring into the unknown, making new friends and sharing this crazy experience together. Andes Pacifico does it right!! See you next year. 

Jerome Clementz: Season starts with a win!

17 February, 2017

For my 3rd edition of "Andes Pacifico", I was excited to come back to Chile to escape the freezing temperatures from France, ride good tracks and of course be back on racing!

The Montenbaik crew, which organizes it since 2013, and has year by year improved by listening feedbacks from international riders but also from the 90 riders who attend this event. For Jérôme it's a must do! During 5 days, this must-do event start from the high Andes mountains at 3600 meters elevation above Santiago, and reach the coast in the pacific ocean side in "Cachagua".

This multiple days race offers intensive stages with lots of pick up shuttling in the furthest countryside of Santiago to ride some of the best trails! Some days we even reach more than 40 minutes timed stages (for the best), with "anti-grip" terrain where you need to deal slippery ground and cactus trees in some inside corners! This year Chile has been caught by serious wild fire and the organisation has to find a plan B in last minutes to change route! Big up to the organisation crew for this amazing reactivity.

 

Blind races has always fit with Jérôme's style of riding. International riders have travelled worldwide to join the event: Marc Scott (Santa Cruz), Yoann Barelli (Commencal), François Bailly Maitre (Ibis), Cédric Gracia (Santa Cruz).

By reading the best lines, Jérôme manages to be in the first spot at the beginning of the week. Some excellent riders coming from Chile are pushing their limits too, like Milciades Jaque or Pedro Fereira who respectively end up 2nd and 4th at the end of the week. Jérôme delt also a strong François Bailly Maitre, winner of the 2016 edition, who finishes in 3rd position overall. 

Jérôme: "I am super happy with my accomplishment of this week I pushed hard to get into the race directly on the first stages, and it pays off! I tried to ride fast but also cleverly to end up at the bottom with no mechanical. Of course I enjoy the event too by drinking a beer after each day of racing with all the riders! It's a long race and appart of riding you have to deal with mechanic by yourself every night, and I like these vibes!"

Photo: Dave Trumpore

 

 

Brian Lopes Adds Rims and Tires to His Sponsorship With WTB

17 February, 2017

Eight years ago, we were honored to announce a new saddle partnership with legendary mountain bike racer Brian Lopes. Today we're stoked to announce Lopes will be adding WTB rims and tires to his quiver of bikes. 

Bragging rights...something Lopes has spent the last few decades gathering an endless supply of. Four world championship and nine national championship titles to his name and has won 25 world cups in a range of disciplines including four-cross, dual slalom, downhill and BMX. Somehow not amazed yet? Lopes has also been inducted into both the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame as well as the BMX Hall of Fame.

“After so many years of being sponsored by WTB for saddles, I’m excited to grow my relationship with them by adding tires and rims to my program.  The variety and quality of choices they offer for every condition is going to making riding and racing way more fun this year.” - Brian Lopes

A bit more from the man, the myth, the legend himself...

Sponsors:  Ellsworth, Pearl Izumi, X-Fusion, Factor, Renthal, ODI, KS, HT, G-Form, Lazer, Oakley, GoPro, KMC, Wheycoco, Chris King, Bike Co., and of course WTB.

How long you have been with WTB?  This is my ninth year.

Age: 44

Discipline:  I do them all.

Hometown:  Laguna Beach, CA.

Favorite place to ride:  Anywhere in B.C., Canada.

Fun fact:  The more air you are catching, the more fun you are having.

How does WTB contribute to your success?  You spend a lot of time sitting on your seat and having a place to plant my butt that comforts me for all those hours. I’d call that a success.

How you started out competing?  My dad took me to the BMX track in 1975 for my first race and that’s where it all began.

First experience with a bike:  Well I’m sure I rode around the streets before that first trip to the BMX track, but when I was 4 years young the biking started.

Who do you look up to?  I look up to a lot of people.  I try to surround myself with good people and most of them all have some qualities that I admire.  

Other activities(off the bike):  Moto.

Beverage of choice:  Lemonade. 

Place you have always wanted to ride:  Bolivia… my wife is from there and the mountains are huge.  There have been many riders who have done shoots there and it looks like a cool place to adventure.

Instagram handle:  brianlopes

Facebook page link:  brian lopes

Twitter handle:  brianlopes

Website link:  www.brianlopes.com

1 2 3 45 Next »