July 2017 - Good Month or Bad Month?

Aug 2, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  

Sam Hill
Flat pedals keep winning medals.

Well, it didn't take long for Sam Hill to figure out how to be a successful enduro racer – with only two races left to go he's a strong contender to become the next Enduro World Champion. His victory at Aspen wasn't exactly surprising – this is Sam Hill we're talking about here – but it was a testament to just how well-rounded of a rider he's become. The long tracks and high altitude took a toll on many of the top contenders, but Sam remained as unfazed as ever, putting the power down on those flat pedals to take the win.

Whistler's up next, and the steep and rugged tracks should be even better suited to Sam's aggressive, take-no-prisoners riding style – there's a strong chance that August could turn out to be a good month for the speedy Australian as well.
Same hill leaving a trial of dust and loam down stage 5.
Eyes on the prize. Sam Hill on course in Aspen.

Brandon Semenuk Fans
Minds were blown. Again.

Watch enough slopestyle / dirt jumping videos and after a while they can all start to blur together, becoming a repetitive montage of flips and spins, lips and landings. That is, unless you're talking about something from Brandon Semenuk. July saw the release of version 3.0 of his RAW 100 series, another installment of mindblowing mountain bike trickery.

Semenuk remains the king of style – his movements appear effortless, no matter how difficult the maneuver, and every motion is controlled and calculated, a lesson in bike handling wizardry. Even just the first two seconds of the video are ridiculous - I still can't wrap my mind around how he can make that berm manual to rear wheel flick / scrub look so easy. Semenuk is currently at the top of his game, and it's inspiring to witness the master in action, even if it's only for 100 seconds at a time.


Racing and Riding
Long live long rides.

July is the peak of the summer riding season in the Northern Hemisphere, and it was a month packed full of big races. The BC Bike Race celebrated its 11th year in existence, as hundreds of racers rode from the Sunshine Coast up to Whistler, while the Trans BC Enduro kicked off its second season, treating riders to six days of challenging riding in interior British Columbia. Over in France, the https://www.pinkbike.com/news/megavalanche-2017-race-day.html Alpe d’Huez produced the usual batch of mass-start carnage videos, as hundreds of riders tried to navigate through the slushy snow. And all of that was on top of the World Cup racing in Lenzerheide, the EWS in Aspen, and multiple national championship races.
2016 BC Bike Race

Whether you were a spectator, participant, or even if you avoided competition all together and headed out into the woods by yourself, July was a good month for big days on the bike.


Megavalanche Cheater
Smile, you're on social media.

The Megavalanche has an especially large concentration of riders with POV cameras, due to the fact that the race's mass start is almost guaranteed to produce some entertaining footage. That also means that if you're going to cheat, there's a good chance someone will get it on film, as racer number 1613 found out.

After the race was over, multiple videos emerged that showed the racer blatantly cutting off a huge chunk of the course, rolling over the tape and down an open hillside to move up further in the rankings. According to Dirt, the rider has since been disqualified, and issued an apology; I'm sure that the amount of internet hatred that was directed his way made him really, really, regret making that poor decision. Moral of the story? Don't cheat – you'll get caught, plain and simple.

Tires Holding Air
Gwin and Rude's podium dreams dashed by punctures.

Once again, potentially winning runs at the highest level of mountain biking were stopped short by something as simple as a flat tire. In Aaron Gwin's case, he was up by 1.5 seconds, rocketing down the dusty track in Lenzerheide and only a few turns away from the finish line when his rear wheel smacked a rock and sliced his sidewall, deflating his chances of making it onto the podium.

Richie Rude suffered a similar fate at the Enduro World Series in Aspen, Colorado, hitting a rock on the very first stage of day two. In both cases, the riders were running DH casing tires with foam inserts, but even those preventative measures weren't enough to keep the sharp rocks at bay.
No words for Aaron Gwin.
Gwin took the puncture in stride, but it surely must have been a tough pill to swallow.

Posted In:
Industry News


  • 82 5
 July was a great month. Made my first enduro podium and a picture of me got into the recap on here! ITS ALL ABOUT ME.
  • 41 1
 Right on man, congrats. I on the other hand, have gotten slower, less fit, and significantly uglier.
  • 16 0
 @Session603: also, my wife finally realized how much time I spent riding bikes. Bad month for her.
  • 2 0
 That's awesome dude! Keep trucking!
  • 5 0
 @Beazy: "you don't want me getting fat do you hun?" works every time
  • 5 0
 Good month here, lost my shitty job, started my own Gardening Business !! Shout out to anyone in Melbourne needing their garden maintained - Use the code 'pinkbike' and I'll work you a fine deal!
  • 2 0
 @Waldon83: All I grow are weeds Frown
  • 32 0
 July good month for riding... Bad month for forest fires and smokey skies in BC, and an incredible wind storm that has pretty much decimated the Mtn Shadows zone in Golden
  • 1 0
 That sucks. Are you able to travel at all to ride? It's smokey down in the Fraser valley, but at least it's not burning!
  • 2 0
 @Denah: We are getting the smoke here in the Seattle area. Must be pretty bad up there..
  • 1 0
 I can't even see down the main street here in Squamish it's so bad
  • 2 0
 we have the smoke all the way over here on Vancouver Island. Hate to think what it is doing to the interior.
  • 2 0
 Cant see whistler peak from the valley, this weeks phat wednesday cancelled due to air pollution levels sucks!
  • 6 1
 @Poulsbojohnny: Yeah, you can't see the North Shore mountains at all. Everything's kinda orange. Trump would love it.
  • 1 0
 I wonder what the impact will be for the EWS next week.
  • 4 0
 Good month for my racing, bad month because everything in Montana is on fire and my favorite trail in the state is about to be torched! Even worse, one of the firefighters that was working on it died from a falling tree.
(Sorry for the negative post but when you haven't seen the sun in a couple weeks and can't ride much it's easy to forget the good)
  • 2 0
 once it rains, we'll make it better than ever.
  • 30 1
 Megavalanche Cheater

Sorry he cheated or sorry he got caught?
Apologies after doing something wrong intentionally are such garbage.
  • 9 2
 Would it be better to apologize first? "Sorry guys but I'm gonna cheat". ????
  • 3 42
flag Matt115lamb (Aug 2, 2017 at 15:29) (Below Threshold)
 Do you REALLY care ? Have you NEVER cheated ? It's only a fun race anyway !
  • 1 21
flag Matt115lamb (Aug 2, 2017 at 23:14) (Below Threshold)
 Is that's the only thing pinkbike could scrape up for 'bad month' ? My vote would be 'pinkbike writers' for being so fxxking lazy !
  • 9 0
 Matt115lamb is rider 1613!
  • 1 1
Hehee ! Must have woke up grumpy ( for a change ) , BUT there is worse things happening than some bloke cheating and being crucified for it !
  • 32 2
 That wasn't a cheater line... it was a STRAVA line.
  • 13 0
 You can DQ me but my strava is staying.
  • 24 0
 July was a good month bad month. Started dating my yoga teacher....and then found out she's getting married next month.
  • 2 0
 Well that sucks.
  • 9 0
 @Nocturnal7x: yup. Feel sorry for her fiancé.
  • 22 4
 July , good month for DH!! 27.5 ain't dead
  • 21 9
  • 9 0
  • 15 0
 Flat prevention = no win. Goes to show 1) how hard those guys must be charging and 2) the tire gods care not what weapon you bring to the fight.
  • 6 0
 hahaha flat tire defender stock went down big time after costing Gwin the race
  • 10 0
 I feel like who gives a crap about all the sponsored stuff...July is just good because we get to ride.
  • 7 0
 I used to race cross and a little down hill back in the 90's. Turns out, I wasn't fast enough or good enough to win and it wasn't as much fun as just riding with my friends. I say, come to PB for some updates if that's your thing. Then spend the rest of your time riding!
  • 11 6
 On one hand, I'm bummed for Rude and Gwin.

On the other hand, not slicing your tires on rocks is part of picking winning line choices, no?

I know they're going mach chicken and I can't even relate to their speed and reaction times, but I do know I've only sliced sidewalls when not paying attention and riding stupid. Isn't that part of the game?
  • 12 0
 It's on such a vastly different level, us mere mortals vs. these guys, that it's really hard to put that out there. Not to mention the terrain alone can mean that any line you choose is going to have some risk of flatting, even if it's the ideal one. Either way, a bummer to see anyone's race end that way.
  • 10 0
 Mach chicken, hah! One thing about the line choices is that Gwin was the last guy down on race day which means a bunch of things could have showed up in his line that weren't there prior. At the end of the day, it's just bad luck imo.
  • 18 0
 I think at their level, it's mostly a matter of speed rather than line choice. Aaron sliced his sidewall by slamming into the same rut everyone else was riding, he just went way too fast and hard for it.
It says a lot about their skills: "too fast" for us is when we get out of control/crash. For those guys, it's when their equipment starts to fail.
  • 1 0
 @fabdemaere: great point.
  • 6 0
 F* it's cold here in NZ. Still riding though!
  • 3 0
 Its been sooo wet and cold this winter.I'm over it.
  • 3 0
 Had to rewatch it (for the 187th time)... Those first 2 seconds of Semenuk are indeed ridiculous.
  • 3 0
 Been so wet here in PA biking has been tough even on a fat bike spent most of July whitewater boat riding!!
  • 2 0
 White water kayaking, is DHing on a very big, very wet trail. Have to love it in July!
  • 4 0
 It's was a great month until I tore my quad tendon at whistler????
  • 4 0
 My sympathies. I have a hurt Achilles. Tendons suck when they're hurt :/
  • 1 0
 That sounds unbelievably painful. Healing vibes sir.
  • 4 1
 Getting a flat tire is the most common "issue" on a bike. It's not a "bad" thing.
  • 1 0
 We had a massive wind storm in revy too . Ripped big trees out of the ground and even slab out of lost boys . Came out of nowhere ,we had ridden all day then boom 100km.winds . Didn't know it hit golden .
  • 1 0
 I wonder what the pressure in Semenuk's tires is like. The skittering sound suggest very high pressure. Or... maybe he is running solid tires. No flats for him!
  • 6 0
 wouldnt be surprised if it was between 60 and 80psi. But I mean that is also just groomed dirt. he isnt charging down sharp rocks.
  • 4 0
 He also is riding manicured trails/jumps primarily
  • 4 0
 Whatever pressure compliments having his suspension almost fully on lockout.
  • 1 0
 Yes watching that I was thinking just how hard are those tires! What an amazing guy, those skills...
  • 4 0
 Pretty sure the ground is hollow underneath.
  • 3 0
 He probably pump his tyre based on the sidewall recommendation. Does this kid even know he can run 20+ psi?
  • 1 0
 He would go faster with plus tires with 14 PSI. -Plus Sized Tires Fans
  • 5 0
 @onetrykid: He needs 29in tyres, he would cut that video by seconds!
  • 7 3
 hey nobody died
  • 11 0
 Google says over 6,000 people every hour.
  • 4 0
 Actually, about 4.5 million people die every month and about 500,000 of those deaths are due to injuries.
  • 8 0
 The more you know!!
  • 2 0
 Semenuk's video has my favorite soundtrack of all time.
  • 1 0
 running the procore setup instead of an insert would have kept the tire on the rim even if the sidewall cut
  • 1 0
 I want to know what tires Gwin and Rude tore open?
  • 3 0
 Don't recall Gwin's, but Rude was on Minion DHF with DD casings.
  • 2 0
 Rude was on Minion DHF but they were DH casing not DD casing, and Gwin was on Onza Aquila.
  • 1 1
  • 7 0
 @Fresh1: That's a 2016... We're in 2017.
  • 5 0
 @Archimonde: damn, there was a lot of stuff I meant to get done in 2016.
  • 3 0
 @Fresh1: That is the bike check for the sb6 he rode last year. Here's the bike check video Vital MTB ran of the sb5.5 he rode this year. His mechanic says DH casing, and you can also see it printed on the tire. www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYvOlA5v5bI
  • 4 0
 @Iamwarthog: Good call, thanks!
  • 1 3
 I don't see why tubular tyres aren't used. Especially in downhill, lighter, no tube and can ride full gas when the tyres flat without having to worry too much
  • 4 0
 Because you'd rip them off the rim in the first corner?

Don't get me wrong, tubulars are awesome for CX, and maybe even XC if you've got the cash, but the interface and sidewall is not even remotely close to strong enough for DH.
  • 4 10
flag hamncheez (Aug 2, 2017 at 16:37) (Below Threshold)
 even roadies are moving away from tubulars
  • 11 1
 Even roadies are moving away from tubulars...
  • 15 1
 @parkourfan: I don't understand why our comments are the same, yet different outcomes
  • 9 12
 I don't understand why our comments are the same, yet different outcomes.
  • 2 1
 @parkourfan: Roadies are moving away for the aero advantages of clinchers
  • 1 0
 @YungSketchy: much easier to change a tube or put a tube into a tubeless setup when the worst happens. Sending your rider out on course with a tube of fix a flat for your tubulars is a prayer at best
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