Good Month / Bad Month: September 2018

Oct 3, 2018
by Richard Cunningham  

Rachel Atherton & Loic Bruni
Nothing better than a rainbow jersey to silence doubts

Your top 3 elite women from left to right. Tahnee Seagrave Rachel Atherton and Myriam Nicole.

Rachel Atherton is still a dangerous foe when she is injured, so you can excuse the press for assuming that the women's field had drawn alongside the veteran crusher this year and was finally in position to pour some water on her fire. Atherton's overall victory in the World Cup series this year was hard fought, but by season's end, it was clear that she was back on song. A winning margin of almost ten seconds at the Lenzerheide DH World Champs set the record straight. It was her fifth gold medal.
Loic Bruni Martin Maes and Danny Hart take all the medals in Lenzerheide.

Specialized's Loic Bruni was all business this year. The Frenchman is always smiling, but Bruni had an unmistakable look in his eye that hinted he was on the hunt. Working in the shadow of his friend, Amaury Pierron, Bruni's results steadily improved all season. Those close to Bruni said that he had one goal for 2018 - and when he went green at Lenzerheide, there could be no mistaking what had been in the Frenchman's sights. Bruni looks better in stripes. Welcome back.

Richie Rude
End of season crusher

Two EWS wins in September announced Richie Rude's return, and shook up the front runners, including Martin Maes, who has recently shoved enduro down the gullets of World Cup DH, and series leader Sam Hill, who had been sailing through the season with relative ease. Rude won four out of eight stages in Ainsa, Spain, and every stage in Finale Ligure. Some say that the Yeti rider's reinvigorated presence on the top step is in support of close friend Jared Graves who was recently diagnosed with cancer. That's good medicine, Richie.
Finale is one of Richie s favorites and today it showed. Richie closes out the season with two wins.

Aluminum Rim Makers
Ruaridh Cunnigham's 7.8-pound rear wheel

Ruaridh-Cunnigham (the EWS RC) Flatted 20 minutes into stage three a the Ainsa EWS race while defending a sixth place standing in the overall. Cunningham finished the stage, nearly destroying his rear wheel in the process. He and fellow racers used zip ties, a tube and an insert to nurse his Trek through the first day, but after that, the damage was monumental.

Rather than incur a five-minute penalty for a wheel switch, team mechanic Tyler West used hammers, hoof-trimming pliers, twisted spokes and epoxy glue to reshape the aluminum Bontrager rim into something that could finish the race. Ruaridh posted tenth in the final stage, 37th overall.
Rode hard but still a circle. It was time to get to work.

Valentina Höll
Clean sweep of the 2018 Junior Downhill

They say that luck and skill play equal parts in a championship victory. Vali Höll challenged that axiom by decisively winning every World Cup Downhill this year, then followed that with a gold medal at the World Championships.

When asked before the race, Höll said she was doubtful that she could follow a clean sweep of the World Cups with a win at the World Champs, but she aced the course, putting a little over ten seconds on her next rival. All eyes will be on her when Valentina steps up to the Pro ranks, where her Junior times would have placed her consistently in the top ten this year.
Pure focus from Vali Holl who took a clean sweep this season winning every World Cup and wrapping it up with the gold at World Champs.

Interbike Trade Show

Mixed opinions and a small turnout in Reno, Nevada

When a large animal nears the end, it isolates far from its pack and awaits death in solitude. Interbike, the largest cycling trade show in North America, has been circling the drain for a while, and the move from Las Vegas to Reno, Nevada, may signal its swan song.

Larger bike brands have pulled out of the show, preferring to host private launches to attract and defend their retail networks, while floor space is priced too high to attract startup brands who need access to retailers the most. Another factor may be that both shops and their customers have instant access to the latest and greatest cycling trends through social media.
Quite possibly the best display at the 2018 Interbike Expo.

To their credit, Interbike's management have been working hard at reinventing their show to be more relevant, and while the Reno Expo was a bit of a ghost town, their new Outdoor Demo venue at Northstar was applauded by all who attended. Worldwide, however, trade-only shows are declining in favor of public venues like the Sea Otter Classic. And, there's always Eurobike, which is being groomed by the powers that be to become the "one show" for the cycling industry. Miracles can happen - Interbike has ridden out some difficult storms in the past.

Santa Cruz Fans

Josh Bryceland and Santa Cruz part ways

Josh Bryceland literally grew up racing and riding for Santa Cruz Bicycles. Founder Rob Roskopp wasn't interested in a corporate powerhouse team when the Santa Cruz Syndicate was formed. He wanted to put together a racing family that reflected the riding-community vibe that the brand was built upon. That commitment forged an unparalleled bond of loyalty between Santa Cruz and its athletes. Reportedly, Josh's offer from Roskopp was simply "Be Josh and ride Santa Cruz bikes." The crew at Santa Cruz is going to miss the Rat. There is no escaping, however, that the journey from boy to man means leaving home to find your own way, and that's probably what's happening here.

Öhlins' New Product Launch

Unanticipated fork recall precedes the Swedish brand's 2019 roll-out.

Öhlins announced a recall of its RXF 36 29/27.5 air forks and all RXF 34 air forks only a week before the suspension brand was set to release its 2019 product range. The timing could not have been worse, but I'll give them huge points for taking the safe route and not delaying the bad news until the press were safely back home after their rollout.

The culprit was a top cap on the spring side that might come loose and become a projectile. I measure the integrity of people by how they handle themselves when things go wrong, and in this case, Öhlins and Specialized are taking swift and proper measures to get their customers back on good forks. Click here if you are affected by the recall.

BC Freeride Community

R.I.P. Ingrid Doerr

The BC freeride community lost one of their best on September 21, when Ingrid Doerr left us at only fifty years. We best know her as the founder of Roach and by her pioneering soft protective gear designs that set the mark for the entire genre to come. For many, Roach pads were the uniform of shred. Ingrid will be missed. Her family asks that donations to her memory be sent to animal rescue organizations.
Founder of Roach Clothing and good soul. RIP Sept 21 2018

Jared Graves

Recovering from brain tumor

Jared Graves suffered seizures shortly after the Whistler round of the EWS and it was discovered that he was suffering from a brain tumor. It's going to be a tough road to recovery, in part, because the affected area is where motor activity is located. Send all the good stuff his way: prayers, healing vibes, happy thoughts, and if you feel inclined, a crowd-funding page has been set up on his behalf. Heal up Jared!
back in the mix and only 11 seconds out of the lead Jared Graves was happy with his day.

Posted In:
Industry News


  • 262 2
 Looking forward to good month/bad month when Graves is on the bike again
  • 46 1
 I'll toast to that, get well soon Jared
  • 20 5
 Good month: Jared Graves
Bad month: Riders hoping to win an EWS race not named Jared.
  • 21 0
 It's weird to read it as it's a bad month coz jared graves recovering from brain tumor.

It should be a good news he's recovering?
  • 25 0
 @chyu: @OzMike First things first: as someone who lost both parents to brain cancer, 100% of my heart, hopes & healing thoughts are with Jared and his family.
We should all pray/meditate/wish for a miracle for Jared: that's the positive power of a community.
If you take the time to study the outcome statistics for brain cancer, however, it quickly becomes evident there is *no* good news with brain cancer. You don't recover from brain cancer, malignant or benign, like you do with tumors in other areas of the body: in most cases you don't recover at all. Glioblastomas took my parents: it is the most common malignant form of the glioma family, which accounts for 80% of brain cancer incidents. Survivorship rates for this cancer are less than 1% over 5 years. Quality of life after just 12 months is so low, that you no longer envy those who lasted longer than that.
We should all be pulling for Jared, but no amount of positive thinking makes this "good" news.
  • 1 0
 Shred on Jared Graves I will be thinking about you and throw some roast for you. Best wishes in the future bro. Treat that tumor like a fine-tuned bike. Beat it all the way to the end for a WIN!
  • 46 0
 Sam Hill, pretty sure he had a good feckin month
  • 2 0
 To be fair, winning is pretty much business as usual for Sam Hill. It sucks for him, but he can only have a bad month on the rare occasions where he doesn’t win. Smile
  • 42 2
 Started off as a bad month for Gee, then got a whole lot better.
  • 36 7
 Ya Gee basically won the worlds(tuffest single race) by winning hardline.
  • 7 21
flag CM999 (Oct 4, 2018 at 1:29) (Below Threshold)
 @jrocksdh: So he should. The course was built by his brother, he had endless practice on it and the athletes who beat him race after race werent there
  • 1 0
 @CM999: guessing you missed minnaars commentary.
  • 35 0
 When do we start calling him Ratman?
  • 7 1
 I say batman basically flying rat
  • 4 0
 @getsomesy: So, Doveman? Since doves are considered flying rats by many?
  • 2 0
 @megatryn: pigeons, man, pigeons are flying gutter rats
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: So, Pigeonman then. (In Norwegian, doves and pigeons are the same word)
  • 35 7
 I'm sorry, but Ohlins and Specialized are 'taking swift and proper measures'?
What exactly are they, cuz from where I'm standing as an owner of 36RXF forks, NO remedy has been told to me.Neither Ohlins nor Specialized notified me of the recall. I read about it(like prolly everyone else) on here, TWO WEEKS AGO.
That Specialized has a temporary 'fix' is NEWS TO THEM. I called them the next fricken day and they flat out denied having ANY knowledge.
Since then I've called Specialized twice, and NOTHING has been done about it.
Every other time I've been involved in a recall, the manufacturer notified you what you need to do to remedy the problem at the same fricken time they notified us of the problem.
Here, Ohlins/Specialized has simply said 'don't ride your bike, we'll get back to you', and nothing else.
For their part, Specialized of course if trying to play themselves as just another 'injured' customer, and have ZERO plans of doing anything on their own.
I'd say that PB slapping Ohlins and Spec on the back for a 'job well done' surprises me, but their primary focus is selling ad space(in case you didn't see it, Ohlins bought a big banner ad on here for the '19 shit, right after the recall notice), not championing their readership.
  • 2 1
 I thought it was unheard of they just like, "dee-dee-deetle-deetle-dee" didn't address problems they were having, then came out with new products. Blew my mind.
  • 5 1
 It’s specialized, you should be thanking them for not suing ohlins for unauthorised used of their name in the press release **eyeroll**
  • 1 1
 Specialized said in an email, that they were replacing forks with new ones until they ran out, to buy time for Specialized and Ohlins to get the warranty process rolling.
  • 2 0
 I propose small contest: name one brand from bike industry with reputation worse than Specialized right now. GO!
  • 1 0
 @EnduroriderPL: pacific cycle
  • 1 0
 @BCtrailrider: tell me more!
  • 2 0
 @EnduroriderPL: they make most Walmart bikes, enough said
  • 23 2
 I wonder how many EWS racers, if any, would switch to a carbon rim if that rule didn't exist.
  • 20 1
 Öhlins will rebound back...#facialreconstruction
  • 8 1
 Compression fractures?
  • 2 1
 I see what you did there
  • 20 3
 I know this is going to be a bad month; i just learned that there are UCI sanctioned eBike races...
  • 4 1
  • 4 6
 There's nobody forcing you to watch them
  • 3 0
 Already heard one of my mates on a hire bike say “ahhhh I can’t go there! My battery is gona run out”.
Yeh he got left and laughed at
  • 7 0
 Bad month - found crack in my frame. Good month - whole new bike coming. I used to hate on boost, but now I realise if you have a 2016 bike that needs warranty you're going to need to replace frame, fork, wheelset and crank.
  • 11 0
 Sell the crack---> Good month
Smoke the crack---> Bad month
  • 10 0
 Because of Ingrid, bad. R.I.P.
  • 11 0
 50 is too young
  • 11 3
 Good month/bad month, where the below threshold comments are more interesting than the content.
  • 35 2
 Clicking on the below threshold is like going on the dark web.
  • 6 0
 @dougwagz: call it the time out table.
  • 5 9
flag WAKIdesigns (Oct 3, 2018 at 14:06) (Below Threshold)
 This is a bad month for dick cheese collectors
  • 1 0
 Say what you want, but I like the monthly recap!
  • 9 1
 @WAKIdesigns: lucky for you your all stocked up on premium dick cheese...
  • 7 1
 @enger: I wanted to end up below threshold... damn... apparently “Shimano Pedals suck” is more offending
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I thought the law on circumcision was being toughened up in Sweden. #banmgm
  • 1 4
 @BenPea: it was the Law of Circumference...
  • 11 5
 Bad month because I sold my last mountain bike and really doubt I'll ever get another one (unless I somehow manage to win one)
Good month about what's to come next in life (hopefully)
  • 16 0
  • 5 0
 Babies? Give it four years ad a balamce bike will give you the excuse to get a hold of a new bike.
  • 20 0
 Sounds like the ultrasound showed triplets.
  • 27 0
 K-ron, picture this: your alleged future children will grow up with a dad that doesnt even shred. Eventually your alleged wife will leave you because her gnar will remain unshred and she will find another ripper. Your alleged offspring will look up to him because he shreds. Then you will think "that was me, the kind of man she (allegedly) fell in love with". You will be a shadow of your former self and forget how to ride a bicycle completely, despite the popular simile.

Is this the lasting influence you want to have on your alleged offspring?
  • 10 0
 Colonizing Mars? Moving in to an assisted living facility? What kind of life change would cause you to say you will never own a bike again???
  • 2 1
 Became a road rider?
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: give it 1 years and get them on a Weeride. I fully recommend it.
  • 6 0
 Bad month for me...broke my hand while riding. Hit another rider head on & shattered my 2nd metacarpal. Gonna be off the bike for months
  • 13 1
 stop punching riders!
  • 8 0
 you're not supposed to be jousting with other riders mate!
  • 1 2
 pumptrack gone wrong? thats the only way i can see this happening
  • 4 0
 Singletrack trail, two downhill sections converge at a blind corner, I was heading north on the trail, the other guy was heading south on the same trail. Barely had time to say "OH FV*K" before impact.
  • 11 0
 @Highrevkev: geezus! Time to redesign that section
  • 2 1
 Hey, me too! Except I had a bad jump take off with an even worse landing. I got a spiral fracture in my 3rd metacarpal, and another at the base of my last metacarpal. Time to start riding more like I'm 40, not 14.
  • 2 0
 As usual it's a great month for bike industry because, as always, PB is there for the rescue trying hard to change a monumental discredit from (used to be consider as a hi-end) suspension manufacturer enriched by completely f*cked up timig to start another marketing campain.
  • 2 0
 Agree, except that Ohlins was never high-end in MTB.
  • 1 0
 @Slabrung: technically I think that you're right BUT I need to point out that when you know something about Olihns in the moto world you would automatically assumed that with that kind of experience and knowledge in performance suspension that are able to make at least a solid good product. That kind of recalls from other producer would be just another "oh, well shit happens" but launching air cartridge in 2018 thats something else. And not something to be proud of.
  • 2 0
 Well, Öhlin's announcement certainly put a damper on the exciting new product.
  • 1 2
 I respect Roskopp's initial vision of a family instead of a corporate team, but the replacement of Peat and Bryceland with Vergier and Shaw show that vision has gone out of the window. I guess I don't blame him but it does take away from that cool, laid back image that made Santa Cruz great.
  • 7 1
 How so? Having met both Shaw and Vergier, they are both rad dudes that freaking shred and love to ride their bikes. There will never be another Peaty or Rat, thats just a simple fact. Don't discredit the young guns just because they aren't Peaty or Rat.
  • 1 0
 Bad month for Trestle bike park, cancelling the closing weekend for a snow forecast that has already changed to rain. Lots of angry riders.
  • 2 1
 You seem to forget Bruni won MSA too this year, so he's not a World champ one hit wonder
  • 2 1
 Interbike is dead! Mt.Biking died since the motorize BS was let in! Good riddance!
  • 2 0
 EWS under UCI control and UCI endorsing Ebike racing make this a Bad Year.
  • 1 0
 He ain’t NOBLE !
He ain’t PEACEFUL !
But he is a PRIZE bellend !
Better luck next year Donald ! Hehee
  • 1 0
 what bike for the rat now ?????
  • 2 1
 I’ve a gut feeling that he’ll be on a Rotwild!
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 bad month for blogvertisers pretending not to be.
  • 2 3
 Viva la rata! Best of luck to him on his next move. This is such an iconic pic of him. A picture is worth 1000 words.
  • 4 5
 Hurricane Florence= month killer
  • 14 2
 Nope! Hurricane and Tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia.
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