Is it 2021 yet? This year hasn't exactly been full of sunshine and rainbows, but there's light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully. The chairlifts are spinning at locations around the world, new bikes and products are still being released every week, and there's a good chance your local shops are busier than ever. What follows are some of the highs and lows that happened in the mountain bike world during June 2020.
DH Racing Returns in Some Locations
Smaller scale races begin again
The return of World Cup and EWS racing is still at least a couple months away, but we did see a few smaller races successfully take place in June.
Windrock, Tennessee, hosted the first round of the Downhill Southeast
series, a race that attracted a strong field of pros, including Dakotah Norton, Neko Mullaly, Luca Shaw, Frida Rønning, and Kailey Skelton.
The first round of the NW Cup took place in Tamarack, Idaho, where World Cup regular Charlie Harrison took the win for the men, and Camila Nogueira stood on top of the women's podium.
Outside of the US, Thomas Slavik became the Czech national champion for Urban DH racing, his first race in four months.
Even though they're smaller scale events, it's still great to see results and race reports starting to trickle in.
All the New Bikes
From downcountry to DH, June had no shortage of new bike announcements.
The global chaos in late March and April caused many companies to delay their product launches by a month or two, which meant that June was packed with new bike announcements.
There was a bumper crop of XC / downcountry bikes, including the Specialized Epic EVO
, Revel Ranger
, Transition Spur
, and Yeti SB115
. All of those bikes have 120 millimeters of rear travel or less, and are designed to bring a little extra party to the normally serious world of cross-country bikes without making them too
heavy or slack.
June also saw Commencal unveil their new Meta TR
and AM, Santa Cruz launched the latest version of the 5010
, and Ibis' Mojo
also underwent the longer and slacker treatment. Specialized also launched a mixed-wheel version of the Demo, allowing racers and park rats to have the same wheel size setup as Loic Bruni and Finn Iles.
Bike Parks Reopening
The chairlifts are spinning once again.
It's summer time in the Northern Hemisphere, which means bike parks around the globe are starting to fire up the chairlifts. It's not exactly business as usual – restrictions are in places in many areas due to the coronavirus, whether those involve social distancing and mask wearing or limiting the number of trails that are open. In addition, the fact that international travel is still limited means that access to certain parks will need to wait.
All the same, some bike park laps are better than none, and the optimistic way to look at things is to take this as an opportunity to explore an unfamiliar area. It's a perfect time to try out that little bike park that you've been overlooking in favor of the bigger, flashier resorts.
Rocky Mountain Bicycles
Aluminum 2018 - 2020 Instinct & Pipeline frames recalled.
Rocky Mountain Instinct and Pipeline owners with aluminum frames that were produced between 2018 - 2020 were met with the bad news that their bikes had been recalled
due to the risk of the head tube cracking. According to the recall announcement, there have been a very small number of incidents reported out of over 4,700 units produced, and riders affected by this recall should stop using their bike immediately and contact a Rocky Mountain authorized dealer for instructions.
Rocky is taking care of the affected riders with a new front triangle, but needing to live without your bike during peak riding season is never an easy pill to swallow.
Multi-Day and Megavalanche Hopefuls
Racing may be resuming in some places, but cancellations keep on rolling in.
By now, race cancellations have become old news – realistically, it should be more surprising if a race actually takes place in 2020. June saw the cancellation
of the BC Bike Race and Trans Cascadia, multi-day races where riders are treated to a feast of prime singletrack. Controversy arose over Trans Cascadia's policy on refunds (only 50% of the $2,300 entry fee was being returned), but it looks like things have been smoothed over, and racers can now defer their entry until 2021.
Other cancellations included the Megavalanche, the Canadian MTB championships, and the North American Handmade bike show.