Randoms - Outerbike Sun Valley 2019

Jun 26, 2019
by Zach White  
Outerbike Sun Valley 2019

Sun Valley's Outerbike was the place to be for those who wanted to forgo the sometimes frustrating realizations of long lines to empty bike racks that occasionally plague more popular stops of the traveling demo event. For attendees, it was an all-you-could-eat buffet, as riders were only limited by which bikes they wanted to demo, and how long they wanted to spend pedaling them around on Sun Valley's buff trails during business hours. In addition to bikes, dozens of vendors were showing off their latest product.

Outerbike Sun Valley 2019

Esker had a handful of their 27.5" Elkats available to wing around the Valley, and I couldn't resist throwing a leg over one. The carbon 150mm travel, 1x-specific DW-Link design is available as a frame (with headset, shock and axle) for $2,850, with complete Shimano SLX flavored builds starting at $4,200. Two laps on the flowy Mindbender trail, and first impressions were of a well-sorted bike that was easy to hop on and get up to speed almost instantly. A few basics - 65.5-degree head tube angle with a 160mm fork, 75.9-degree seat tube angle, 425mm chainstays, and clearance for 2.8" tires. While Esker isn't giving specifics, expect a 29er version in the near future, too.

Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Hidden pivot bolts off the wishbone style shock mount are a nice touch in the form department, and Esker says the gusset-looking downtube protrusion is all for show, too.


Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
The lower linkage of Dave Weagle's Orion design fits snuggly around the bottom bracket, allowing respectably short 425mm chainstays.

Outerbike Sun Valley 2019

Less sendy, but still trendy, Moots Cycle's new Mountaineer looks to be what bikepackers dream of. Forgoing 27+ compatibility, the titanium frame is now 29er-sepcific and fits up to 2.6" tires. An angry inch(and a quarter) of YBB suspension should take the edge off of packed bikes bouncing down the trail thanks to an all-but-unchanged elastomer and coil design Moots has used since the 90's. Where's the pivot? It's up to specially designed chainstays to not only flex enough to accommodate the movement, but also act as a damper to keep the wheel from bouncing around like a pogo stick.

All the usual cage mount options should keep zip-ties and extra gear straps to a minimum on even the most gear-laden rides, if not provide a cleaner look more suitable to the $3,500 frame. Compatible with 120mm and 130mm forks, the latter will net a 67-degree head tube angle and 74-degree seat tube angle.

Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Outerbike Sun Valley 2019



Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Rotor's Kapic carbon cranks are now available, and come in Boost or Super Boost widths. Weighing in at 429-grams with a 32t ring, the cranks named after Cape Epic retail for $499.

Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Outerbike Sun Valley 2019


50, 51.... Continuing the one-upping trend, Rotor's new 12-speed cassette is now available in a 10-52 range, as well as a 10-46. The 10-52 is claimed to weigh a mere 312-grams, and offers a more evenly graduated span of gear choice. 7000-series alloy makes up the biggest six cogs, with the remaining six made of hardened steel. The cassettes are currently only compatible with Shimano freehubs.

Outerbike Sun Valley 2019

Tom Watson was rolling his 1999 Jamis Diablo around the venue, a bike he designed and LP Composites manufactured with a pocketed expanding silicon mandrel. In 1999. Still in impressively original condition, it was this old-guy's pleasure to reminisce with Tom about how amazing the original Hayes brakes were compared to Dia-Compe 987's, how underrated Hutchinson Python tires were for commuting, and how this was the bike that caused a huge headache over at Rockshox - the original single-crown 70mm travel "downhill" fork known as the Judy DH was originally named the Diablo until Jamis pointed out that they'd already called dibs on the name.

Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Outerbike Sun Valley 2019


Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Outerbike Sun Valley 2019


Outerbike Sun Valley 2019

Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Outerbike Sun Valley 2019

Wild Rye claims that their shorts fit 95% of the women who try them on, but they didn't have anything in my size. Alas, my search for llama-print shorts in a 36-waist and 13-inch inseam continues.

Currently, sizing is from 0-12, with plans of bumping up to size 18 next year. The Kaweah short(pictured) is their latest addition, which will retail for $95 and feature a 10-inch inseam, 4-way poly blend stretch material, and a zippered pocket big enough for an iPhone Plus with protective case. Named after a peak in California, the shorts will be offered in at least two patterns that will rotate seasonally.

Wild Rye's Sandia long-sleeved jersey is rated at UPF50, and currently only available in the color shown, but should have more options by the end of the year. Wild Rye also offers a chamois short designed to be worn either by itself, or under their baggies, that retails for $115. Coming soon are a tank top, lower priced chamois, and more color options in current offerings.

This had nothing to do with Outerbike (that I'm aware of), or any products we were shown. It's just photo of a guy leaving the trailhead right before me, and I liked his style.]


Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Outerbike Sun Valley 2019

Fidlock has traditionally been more of an ingredient brand in their dozen years of business, providing companies like Bell with magnetic closures for helmet straps. Their magnetic water bottles have been mentioned before, but they just introduced a new collaborative project with High Above. The Lookout pack is Fidlock bottle compatible on both sides, allowing smooth access to bottles by comparison of pulling a bottle out of a holster. Look for the Lookout in shops later this summer for $125.

Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Showers Pass has a new hip pack, too. What basically looks like a little dry bag retails for $69, is waterproof, and designed to wear as a sling bag for those who don't think fanny packs are dorky enough in stock position. The hip pack also comes with a built-in beacon light for those transfer stages between the local trails.


Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Curious about the latest status of the infamous "Walmart bike"? Viathon had an M1 on display with a new copper color, and it sounds like they think the bright blue SID Ultimate fork is a great match as that'll be the stock fork on AXS and XX1 kitted models.


Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Outerbike Sun Valley 2019

Celebrating 25-years of making baggy cycling shorts, Zoic is expecting their latest design samples any day now. It was fun arguing with them about which brand can actually claim the first baggy short to hit the market back in '94. They made the claim, but didn't realize they were talking to an old Chrome Industries quality-control employee that was shipping out Chrome baggies in 1994.

Regardless, a quarter century of product history in this industry is respectable. Also respectable are their prices, with Zoic Ether shorts starting at $65 without a liner. On the women's side, the Naveah short is available in either 7-inch or 11-inch inseams, has 5 zippered pockets, and a flat waist for $70 or $80 for printed versions. Kids are covered, too, with $50 boy and girl version Komfy shorts, along with kid-specific chamois for $25.

Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Outerbike Sun Valley 2019

Squirt Lube is expanding beyond their wax chain lube, with a tire sealant that'll launch this April in Europe. Pricing and availability on Seal are still TBD, and there weren't any details on what makes it stand out from any of the other current sealants, other than that the larger bottle comes with a separate little container of Bead Lock - essentially little beads that help coagulate the sealant at punctures. The smaller bottles come with the Bead Lock already inside, which was explained as being less likely to settle too far away from the cap. Squirt was also showing off a reusable bike box and a little grocery-style gear bag with dividers inside to keep your dirty bits away from your snacks.

Outerbike Sun Valley 2019

Notably niche, Light in Motion's Rando is claimed to be the first bike light that can take a charge while in use. Solar jokes aside, those with dyno hubs could run all night without worrying about running out of light, or setting up camp in the dark when your wheel stops turning. The 500 lumen light retails for $79 and is available now. Light in Motion is also a firm believer in pulsating back lights verses traditional blinking lights, which have been proven to be difficult to gauge the distance and direction of their travel by highway patrol tests. The Vis 360 Pro is one of their latest helmet-specific lights that features a pulsating 25 lumen red light integrated into the battery, along with a 600 lumen headlamp, which retails for $130.

Outerbike Sun Valley 2019
Sun Valley. Come for the buttery smooth singletrack, stay for the Sheeptown shenanigans.



80 Comments

  • + 153
 If you find yourself at night on a mountain bike, towing a burning log, in a race, you’re doing something right.
  • + 147
 If your log burns bright, the curry was right
  • + 102
 @browner: Username checks out.
  • + 21
 @browner: Tow it too long, your rear hoop will be gone.
  • + 1
 @GalenS: hahaha. Made me laugh that.
  • + 42
 Summation of article:
-Bikes are getting WAAAY better looking than they used to be
-Moots cares enough to have their screw slots perfectly vertical
-Copper and black bikes with blue forks look awful
-Shorts actually have an inseam measurement (who knew?)
-Hip packs refuse to go away
-Burning log pulls looks like a lot of fun
  • + 4
 The middle-school skater-punk in me is glad about the hip-sacks.
  • + 13
 @woofer2609 if anyone ever has the audacity NOT to ensure their screw slots are not perfectly aligned to same angle, be it vertical or horizontal, then they have no right to hold a screw driver in their hand ........
  • + 3
 @HairyLegs: Is this application sensitive to torque? If so I would end up with anxiety over which to prioritize: alignment or torque
  • + 1
 "-Burning log pulls looks like a lot of fun"

I'll bet it's not as much fun as a burning caber toss.
  • + 2
 Okanagan summers prove hip packs are waaaaay cooler than back packs!
  • + 2
 @showmethemountains: perfectly aligned screw slots look faster in the parking lot, so this wins Razz
  • + 9
 I remember seeing that Jamis in a catalog when I was working in a shop...I wanted one so bad. It just looked futuristic.

I hate to say it, but I am a firm believer in hip packs now as well. I feel like a dork riding with one, but then, I have always felt like a dork riding my bike. It is perfect for short after work loops here in AZ (mine has a small bladder in it.)
  • + 7
 I switched over too last year. Why hate to say it? Backpacks suck so much.
  • + 2
 I've been using one for many...many years, of a variety of styles. Where I mainly ride it's hot...really hot...and backpacks are way too uncomfortable, plus no shoulder strain, easier to get to stuff, and so on. I really can not understand what all the disdain towards hip packs is about...it's a thing that does a job, and does it well. Ride what works for you and F the fashion police!
  • + 3
 And those yellow side knob (Michelin?) tires from the late 90s!

I moved to a hip pack recently, and also here in AZ. Never going back. I've got a Dakine hot laps 5L, with a 2L reservoir. It's enough for a rip up South Mountain and back, and having airflow over my back is the best.
  • + 2
 @James2785: I've got the same pack, and it's good, but not perfect.

I was a fannypack skeptic for a long time, and in my climate I can usually get away without a pack on anything less than 2-hours. But I've been training on longer rides this season further from the trailhead, and backpacks really do heat you up.

I love the extra airflow and general comfort of my Hot Laps, but when it's full with 2L of water, tools, a spare tube and snacks for a longer ride, it's impossible to keep it from flopping around on the descents. Once I've drunk about 1/2 the water, I can re-cinch it down and that problem goes away.

I'd like to hear how the Fidlock does going down a rocky-downhill or flow/jump trail with both bottles full of water and a decent amount of gear in the pack. Does it flop around, or manage to stay closer in?
  • + 2
 Hippacks are perfect If your like me and cant ride with a pack, due to the uncomfortableness from riding without one for so long, but want a little more storage. I dont even care what people think, anyone I enjoy riding with either uses one or doesnt care. Have only heard one comment from some rock climbers that sounded negative but I dont think anyone honestly cares.
  • + 1
 geez.. those backpacks are so burdensome... I can't believe anyone would ever ride with one.. .
  • + 2
 @billybobzia: well, to some they are. It's nice to have options
  • + 2
 I like to ride with my CamelBak Palos LR 4 hip pack (which I got for $15 - long story) half full of water, and a fidlock water bottle with sports drink mounted on my frame. I can go for a few hours with that amount of hydration, and I don't have to worry about the hip pack flopping around as much as it does with the reservoir full.
  • + 3
 @atourgates: You're right on that, when it is full at the start of a ride it doesn't stay put as well. I opted to strap my spare tube, CO2 and tire lever to my frame and keep just water, food, a multitool and little spare parts in the pack. This is working out pretty well.
  • + 2
 Back in my BMX days (in the 90s), I wouldn't dream of going on a street ride without my Vision Street Wear hip pack containing some tools and chainbreaker. Then the meme of dorks wearing fanny packs started, and the BMX world turned against hip packs. I'm glad to see them making a comeback. They're so practical.

Also love the insistence on calling them hip packs instead of fanny packs. Reminds me of another 90s staple, Seinfeld... It's European!
  • + 1
 @James2785: Hutchinson python gold actually. Michelin's were either green with tan sidewalls, red with black sidewalls or black with black sidewalls.
  • + 13
 That Esker Elkat Eskool.
  • + 11
 That old pickup photo is worth an article on it's own. Love it.
  • + 4
 Looks like it might be a rare NAPCO version Apache with those 8 lug wheels
  • + 1
 56 Chevy 3100?
  • + 10
 where can I get cool pattern mtb shorts like that for dudes? c'mon internet, help a brotha' out
  • + 3
 Agreed! My first thought as well.
  • + 2
 HandUp has some nice ones I think
  • + 1
 @ryan77777: thanks! placed an order
  • + 6
 I got a chance to ride an Esker Elkat for a few rides 2 weeks ago -- super fun bike and really comfortable. I was pr-ing some of my regular descents on my second ride. I'm really excited to see what Esker comes out with down the road.
  • + 2
 A very nice looking bike, if they offer a LT 29er I will have to put it on my list for sure!
  • + 9
 That Esker looks perfect. So clean.
  • + 1
 Agree. Super clean. Surprised we don’t see more of those
  • + 2
 Looks beautiful, but why so much seat tube. Hard to judge dimensions from that photo but I want that thing just proud of the TT.
  • + 1
 @won-sean-animal-chin: they're a fairly young company Wink
  • + 1
 @dirtyburger: Long seat tubes are awesome for us taller folks with long legs. I detest short ST's!
  • + 1
 @pedalhound: run a 200 mm dropper, I'm a tall guy, 6'5", and have a frame with an 18" seat tube with a 9.8 dropper and it's excellent.
  • + 1
 @martins: Oh yeah, it's on my list. I currently run a 170 OneUp dropper and still have about three inches of seat post showing...lol.
  • + 5
 I got a chance to demo an Elkat on some of my local trails last fall and it was a blast. Really fun and poppy, pedaled fantastic, and quite good on the downhills. I don't really have a need for a 150mm bike in my stable but if I did I'd have one.
  • + 4
 It looks like it checks all the boxes. Love to see more new bikes like that.
  • + 3
 Be looking to get a new stead in the not too distant future, if they release a shorter travel version I'll be very tempted.
  • + 4
 The Elkats looks nice, but I really have to question whether these designers have ever had to work on their own bike's pivot bearings. Two sets of main bearings are UNDER/built-in-to the bottom bracket, on one of the muddiest parts of the bike. Awesome. I'll just have my personal mechanic see to it.
  • + 11
 Hello jayacheess, Im the engineer for Esker. The bearings rotate around the BB shell sleeve and are contained in the lower link. Once the lower link is removed its actually quite easy to get to the bearings and replace as needed. Ive personally put close to 2000 miles on my bike riding all over the rockies(Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado) and up into BC(Rossland, Inveremere, Nelson, Castlegar) quite a bit, including doing the Trans BC last summer.

That being said my goal as the engineer is to always look to improve the reliability, serviceability, and functionality of our bikes. I will store this thought in my head for future CIP and designs.

Hope youre enjoying the summer and take a look at our website for future demo days, we'd love to get you out on one our bikes!

Cheers!
  • + 3
 @mtnman4life: Looks sweet to me, you should be proud of your work!
  • + 3
 "and how this was the bike that caused a huge headache over at Rockshox"

Bzzzzt Wrong... but thanks for playing... the Diablo fork debuted five years BEFORE 1999. Jamis has always held trademarks on all their model names since the 1980s, and the Diablo was one of them. In 1994 the name was attached to a chromoly framed hardtail with a chromoly fork. The Rockshox Diablo was in pre-production status for sponsored racers exclusively during the 1994 racing season, got featured in MBA under that name, but over the fall they renamed it to Judy after Jamis pointed out their trademark violation. The production forks (XC and SL in 63mm travel, and DH in 75mm) debuted for the 1995 model year with those dreaded plastic body thru-shaft cartridges (which had to be recalled because they were constantly blowing) which had replaced the original aluminum bodies in the pre-production Diablo forks (and had been reliable).
  • + 5
 My only question is why "Judy"?! Judy seems like a huge swing from *Diablo* (spoken in a dramatic voice that can't be applied to Judy with a straight face)
  • + 4
 I never got rid of my fanny pack. 30 years on and I still use it. It holds one banana, a PB&J, and an extra bottle of water.
  • + 4
 Butt packs are the best and always have been. People occasionally try to mock me for it and I just scoff at them and pity their ignorance.
  • + 4
 Hell yes on the LP Composites handlebar that Jamis is sporting! I ran one of those for years in the carbon/kevlar weave pictured and it's still going strong.
  • + 1
 I had one too - beautiful stuff.
  • + 3
 Regarding first baggy short brands - don't forget Nema and Dirt Designs. Not sure of the time line, but both were mid 90's purveyors of MTB baggies.
  • + 1
 Some nice stuff here. I've been dreaming of owning a Moots bike for nearly 30 years and will gladly accept one, but I would also be happy with that pickup and bike in the back.

A story...

I just switched to a hip pack for much of my riding and wish I had done it sooner. So much more comfortable. My case might be somewhat unique, but I had surgery on my neck not long ago and long rides wearing a pack were annoyingly painful. The hip pack allows me to carry bike stuff and some more water without any pull on the neck.

The Lookout looks really nice. Anyone have (good) experience with those Fidlock bottles?
  • + 1
 A question did you notice any difference in hip/knee pain/discomfort? Or notice a difference in bike control? I have shoulder/neck issues and I have been tempted to switch the last few years I'm concerned that I'm going to rob Peter to pay Paul.
  • + 1
 @loganflores: Nothing noticeable in the hips/knees, but it definitely changes your center of gravity a bit. Mostly lower so generally a good thing. The changes take a little bit to get used to, but nothing that impacts bike control in a big way. I felt the trade-off was worth it. I'm carrying less to so that likely helps.
  • + 1
 @bignoah: thanks that is helpful. I've ridden hip packs way back
But they have improved so much I might take a swing even the old ones back then had some huge plus sides If you didn't have to pack much I imagine it's even better now. Do you have a suggestion for a good pack?
  • + 1
 @loganflores: I picked up a Camelback Podium Flow that I got on sale someplace.

PS. Also good for hiking - holds a phone, a snack, some poo-bags for the dog, etc..
  • + 1
 Hey Light in Motion, MAKE A GENERATOR LIGHT ALREADY! Allowing charging while riding is stupid. If you have a battery to charge from, USE IT TO RUN THE LIGHT. Lamest concept in lights I've seen. Randonneurs use generator hubs for the longest rides, so the name doesn't really fit either.
  • + 4
 The Esker doesn't use dw-Link. It does use a Dave Weagle design, but he calls that one Orion.
  • + 3
 Love my Zoic shorts, but hate their zippers. I'd happily spend a few more dollars to have good zippers that don't break so I can actually use and trust the zipper pockets.
  • + 4
 Esker Elkat for the win. Best mountain bike I've ever ridden!
  • + 3
 Agreed! The Elkat has made me rethink how much travel is actually necessary in a bike. A day in the park or descending super steep chunky terrain, and the Elkat just soaks absolutely everything up! I’ve encountered a few situations where I overshot or even cased a landing and it reacted with complete composure and kept me moving forward. Plus, it just hovers over rooted pedally sections effortlessly. I love it!
  • + 2
 I worked at LP composites back in the 90s and helped build those diablo frames. That was the first FS bike I ever rode. Sure brings bass back some memories
  • + 3
 @Pinkbike: not a Jamis Dakar. It's a Diablo.
  • + 1
 Stink bike fake news
  • + 3
 Fanny packs hahahahahahahaha
  • + 3
 Bum bags
  • + 2
 Everyone I know who Sports a fanny pack it's because they're packing heat
  • + 1
 They packing something hahahaha, nobody worried though.
  • + 2
 I came close to buying a Jamis Diablo in the late 90s. Thank god the bike shop couldn't get one for me.
  • + 1
 Put that Jamis Diablo with a trek y bike and it sounds like someone beating War drums as they roll down the path
  • + 1
 Right in my backyard. Wish I could’ve gone.
  • + 1
 still rock a 30 year old hipsack and rocky mountain
  • + 1
 I'm still riding a pair of LP carbon-kevlar handlebars on my old Super V
  • + 1
 The perfect "hydration" bum bag! Finally!
  • + 1
 NEMA!
  • - 1
 Looks like Dentist Party.
  • + 2
 Dentist parties all have nitrous balloons

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