Semenuk ushers in a new dawn for Rampage
Brandon Semenuk wasn't the first rider to bring a single crown fork to the slopes of Red Bull Rampage, but he is definitely the first to truly realise their potential. Semenuk's winning run on his way to a record-breaking fourth title included both bar spins, tailwhips and flipwhips. It was a run that combined slopestyle with all-mountain at the biggest freeride event of the year in the fashion that the 'Keep Rampage pure' detractors always feared and, you know what, it was absolutely sublime.
A combination of technology, experience, skill and a well-crafted line came together for a run that sets a new direction for Rampage. It's likely we'll look back on this run as era-defining alongside Cedric Gracia's backflip, or Zink's Oakley Sender 360 drops. It was a run that raised the bar for the discipline and will force the rest of Semenuk's competitors to up their games for 2022.
Hand Built Bikes
Pandemic projects break cover at the Bespoked Show
The pandemic left a lot of us stuck indoors with plenty of extra time on our hands to twiddle our thumbs, argue endlessly online about whether Carole Baskin killed her husband and laugh at the beached Evergiven ship. However, some mountain bikers took the initiative and instead created beautiful hand-crafted frames that were revealed at the Bespoked Show.
The steel enduro bikes stole the show from Coal Bicycles' dual short link '84
, to the high pivot Howler Frameworks Fenrir
and the Ra Cycles .12
made from stainless T45 steel. But there were plenty of other oddballs there too, including a hardtail with almost fully integrated cables
, an Italian carbon hardtail with 180mm travel and a bike that has been pedalled at nearly 300kmh.
Of course, there's another small batch project that launched in October - the Grim Donut II. Built in-house at Pivot's facility in Arizona, we're busy testing it as we speak, stay tuned for more because we have big plans.
A sustainable future for mountain biking
Industry leaders sign Cop 26 pledges
COP 26, UN Climate Change Conference, kicked off this week and it is being touted as a pivotal moment in the fight against the climate crisis. If we are to limit global warming to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, we need immediate major reductions in Greenhouse Gasses, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Cycling is generally an energy-efficient mode of transport but leaders in the industry have still stepped up to encourage the industry to continually improve on its green credentials. Firstly, Shift Cycling Culture's Cycling Industry Climate Commitment letter
is an urgent appeal to acknowledge the industry's responsibility in reaching the UN Paris Agreement targets on Climate Change, and to do so collectively, signed by Specialized's Mike Sinyard, Dorel's Peter Woods, Schwalbe's Frank Bohle and more.
Secondly, the Cop26Cycling.com letter
asks World Leaders to commit to boosting cycling levels to reduce carbon emissions and reach global climate goals quickly and effectively. Its signatories include the UCI, IMBA, Sustrans and the World Cycling Alliance.
We hope these letters help to produce real change and that cycling can be at the forefront of the fight against climate change.
Hallucinogens, home invasion and hypothermia, all in a night for our newest tech editor
There's nothing like a near-death experience to keep you grounded, at least that's the one positive Henry is taking from the latest Field Test. Henry headed up to Pemberton hoping to learn which of the latest crop of trail and downcountry bikes climbs like an ivy watered with jet fuel and descends like an anvil chucked out of a helicopter, but instead he experienced a different set of highs and lows.
If you haven't yet heard Henry's account in his own words, I'd recommend you check it out in the Pinkbike podcast, his story starts at 6:00:
Bones at Rampage
Injured bodies littered the Rampage site
We couldn't celebrate Brandon Semenuk's achievement at Rampage without also acknowledging the bodies that littered the same hillside at this year's event. In the run-up to finals, Brage Vestavik picked up a dislocated shoulder
and humerus fractures, Carson Storch broke his collar bone
and Andreu Lacondeguy also suffered undisclosed broken bones
. Camz Zink also took a slam in training but opted to compete anyway with a bruised lung.
Unfortunately, the list of casualties doesn't stop there and Tom Van Steenbergen had to be transported off the hillside
on a backboard with multiple injuries after a crash during his finals run including breaking his left and right hip sockets into multiple pieces, breaking a piece off the top of his femur, breaking a piece of his lower vertebrae, and separating his shoulder.
Yes, Rampage is a great show but it often comes at the cost of the bodies the world's best freeriders who sometimes find themselves on the wrong side of the risk vs reward seesaw.
Light evening rides
Standard Time hits the Northern Hemisphere
It's that time of year again. The clocks were turned back for a lot of the Northern Hemisphere, which means we've lost our precious evening sunshine and will now have to dig out the lights and batteries to get in an after-work ride. The good news is that today's lights weigh less, burn longer and are relatively affordable, but night riding still isn't everyone's cup of tea and can be a bit hairy if you ride alone.
Our advice is to get a group of riding mates to keep you motivated, make sure you have the gear to keep you warm and dry through the worst winter weather and start on some easier trails to work your way into it. Whatever happens, it has to be better than watching shitty Netflix romcoms or yet another scripted reality show, right?