Remy Morton returns from serious injury.
Australian rider Remy Morton overshot a jump at Loosefest last July. The wreck took a serious toll on Morton, who sustained broken ribs, punctured lungs (yes, both of them), a broken collarbone, dislocated hip, and a broken neck.
Despite all that, this video (at right) showed up in February, revealing Morton to be back in fine form. If you don’t feel something akin to warm and fuzzy whilst watching it, you might want to check to see if you have a pulse.
It's that time of the year when secret prototypes stop being secret
It's that time of the year when racers start putting new products to the test—products the general public is not meant to see quite yet. That was likely the case when keen eyes spotted Aaron Gwin running a...Wait, what the hell was that shifter thing
on his handlebar in his Instagram post? Mike Levy figured it was a clicker courtesy of Box Components. Gwin himself chimed in to say "Nope, it's not Box"...though we still don't know who's handicraft it actually is. And then there was that heretofore unseen BlackBox-labeled RockShox Lyrik
that photographer Dave Trumpore snapped images of during the Andes Pacifico enduro race. Or the 29er Norco DH bike
that Sam Blenkinsop was spotted with at New Zealand National Champs.
And let's not forget Wyn Masters' prototype GT downhill bike
. We could go on and on. Then again, sometimes companies want
you to know they are working on something LighterStifferRadder, but want to maintain a sense of suspense. Consider the carefully arranged flirtation that was Aaron Gwin riding a cloaked bike
Artisan Beards and Bikes
Handmade Bike Show delivers the goods.
Look, 99.9 percent of the bikes you'll see on this site have the name of a major brand on their downtubes. And there's nothing wrong with that. Big brands often employ massive teams of engineers and designers to create some truly stunning, state of the art rigs. But there's something to be said for the little guy—the lone craftsman creating a bike that is as much a vehicle for motion, as it is a vehicle for artistic expression.
NAHBS, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, is the epicenter of North America's custom bike building world. Or, at the very least, the big annual party where the shiniest, prettiest bikes are brought together, beards are stroked and craft beer consumed.
NAHBS is, in some ways, the polar opposite of the big-tent, team truck, Crankworx-style event and it's interesting as hell. RC attended the show this year and, as a framebuilder, had a lot to say. You might want to start here
Robb Thompson wins Photo of the Year
A photo is worth a thousand words… it’s a gluey, old nag of a cliché and a saying that makes many writers see red. But this much is true, a great riding shot can, at times, distill everything that is magical about riding a mountain bike—the thrill, the serenity, the potential to undertake an adventure you’ve never even imagined before. And, of course, staring at great photos is an excellent way to burn 15 minutes of your work day before lunch break rolls around.
To that end, we sifted through thousands of images and pared the lot down to 32 finalists for our 2017 photo of the year. Throughout the month of February, you readers whittled those finalists down to a single, winner—Robb Thompson’s work at left.
Thompson joins the ranks of past winners, including John Wellburn, Toby Cowley, Sterling Lorence, Christoph Laue, Sean Lee and Steve Shannon. He also walked away with $10,000 (CAD), which made February a very good month for Robb Thompson.
Those Who Fear The Robot Apocalypse
Both Shimano and SRAM appear to be revving up their electric drivetrains
Electronic drivetrains are nothing new. They've been popular on the asphalt side of things since 2009 and Shimano's Di2 XTR and XT groups have more than a few season beneath their respective belts now. If, however, you thought that was the end of it, you're sorely mistaken. Both Shimano and SRAM appear to be working steadily on more advanced versions of what's currently available. Shimano recently filed an eyebrow-raising patent application
that appears to outline a completely interconnected, electronic component system—as in, you hit a button that drops the seatpost and the suspension travel and damping automatically change as well. Similarly, photos appeared that suggest that Nino Schurter is testing a wireless, eTap version of SRAM's Eagle XX1
mountain bike drivetrain.
If you're a fan of going electric, this is great news. If you fear the inevitable robot apocalypse, it's probably time to stock up on your stay-calm meds. Change is coming...and it will take batteries.
Warm and Fuzzies
You Thought February would be drama free? Think again
Look, the past year has been a… difficult… time for just about everyone. And by “difficult”, I mean a veritable dumpster fire full of insanity. There’ve been threats of “pre-emptive” nuclear annihilation, accusations of international espionage and general batshit craziness from every corner of the globe. Even the winter Olympics weren’t immune to the drama, with a Russian athlete getting popped for doping in the curling event. Really? Curling? Great. We’ve stooped to using performance-enhancing drugs in a sport that’s as physically demanding as the act of scraping dog shit off a frozen lawn. Well, at least February proved a controversy-free month for mountain bikers, right? Eh…not exactly.
Following the undeniably tragic school shooting in Florida, a petition began circulating on change.org. The petition demands that MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op), Canada’s largest outdoor retailer, stop carrying Giro and CamelBak products (among others).
Why a boycott? The petitioners argue
that Giro and Camelbak's parent company (Vista Outdoor) is a supporter of the gun-rights lobbying group, the NRA, as well as the owner of both Savage Arms and Federal ammunition. Nearly 40 percent of Vista’s profits, the petition contends, are derived from sales of firearms and ammunition. The petition holds that boycotting Vista’s cycling brands will, in a roundabout fashion, pressure Vista to change in regards to its arms business.
The petition quickly garnered more than 50,000 signatures and, within 24 hours of our reporting on it, the boycott elicited a staggering 1,500-plus comments from Pinkbike readers. The boycott also may have been a contributing factor in MEC's decision to, in fact, stop carrying products from brands owned by Vista Outdoor. MEC announced its new position on Thursday.
Some readers support the idea of sending a message with their dollars (or, more precisely, by withholding their dollars). Other readers argue that Vista only recently bought these cycling brands. Boycotting these cycling brands, they contend, only hurts the riders who work at Bell, Giro, CamelBak and Blackburn, and who have no connection whatsoever to Vista’s firearm brands. CamelBak issued this statement
regarding their position on the boycott.
This much is clear: if you were hoping that February would be a month clear of controversy, you’re out of luck. Perhaps March will provide smoother sailing.