In a year that has seen us post nearly 5,000 stories from the world of mountain biking, some of them grabbed your attention more than others. Based on page views
, here are the ten top stories from the news feed this year:1. Jolanda Neff Criticizes Pauline Ferrand Prevot for 'Stupid Move' at Tokyo Olympics
At the biggest XCO race for 5 years, longtime rivals Jolanda Neff and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot led the race in the first lap and the pair approached the Sakura Drop at high speed, Neff following closely behind Ferrand-Prevot. Just as both were committed to the ramp, Ferrand-Prevot braked before rolling it, while Neff was forced to drop off the side at low speed.
2. First Look: Lal Bikes' Supre Drivetrain Splits The Derailleur In Half Before It Happens On the Trail
It would be fair to say that mountain bikers everywhere have had a bad experience with a derailleur at one time or another, which is what drove Cedric Eveleigh of Lal Bikes to create the Supre Drive, a drivetrain system that separates the two functions of the standard derailleur (shifting and tensioning the chain), while also placing the purpose-built derailleur out of harm's way. The Supre Drive's four key elements are durability, efficiency, chain damping, and a lower unsprung mass, all on a high pivot suspension platform.
3. Final Results from the Val di Sole DH World Championships 2021
The World Championships returned to Val di Sole with some huge results. Myriam Nicole had a perfect run in the Elite Women's race to fly into first place by nearly five seconds. Marine Cabirou laid down one of the most impressive performances as she fought through her injury from Les Gets to cross the line in second place. 2020 World Champion, Camille Balanche, didn't match her winning run from last year, but she still walked away from Val di Sole with the bronze medal after a great run on the tricky course.
The Elite Men's racing provided plenty of drama as Greg Minnaar took his fourth World Championships title. Benoit Coulanges came close to taking the top spot, but he would have to settle for the silver medal as he came across the line 0.227 seconds behind Greg. Troy Brosnan rounds out the top three riders and was the only other person to come within a second of Greg Minnaar's winning time.
4. First Look: All New 2022 Scott Spark - The Next Generation of Integration
Olympic years often mean new XC bikes as brands pull out all the stops to give their racers the most advanced tool for arguably the biggest prize in cross-country racing. The Spark, now in its fourth generation, was initially launched in 2008. Since then its won several World Championships, a pile of World Cups and even Olympic golds.
With that in mind, Scott introduced the all-new, completely redesigned Spark product range. The range includes the RC race bike, the 900 trail bike, and the Contessa, as ridden by Kate Courtney This bike immediately looks very different from its predecessor, but that's not to say it doesn't look like anything else.
5. Shimano Introduces New 'Linkglide' Drivetrain Technology with Bold Longevity Claims
Linkglide was not designed not to be the lightest weight but instead to prioritise durability and shift performance. It also represented something of a fork in the road for the brand’s drivetrains. Hyperglide+ remains the lightweight fast shifting performance range, while Linkglide will sit alongside their current offerings, as opposed to replacing them.
Shimano claims that their testing shows that Linkglide cassettes are 300% more durable than prior Hyperglide cassettes, and three times less degradation to the cassette should mean fewer chain skips, more mileage, and better shifting long into the cassette’s lifespan.
6. Why Shorter Cranks Are Better (According To Science)
There aren't many win-wins in mountain-biking, but shorter crank arms could be just that.
Most bikes have crank arms between 170 and 175 mm long, and it's been that way for a long time. Some brands spec 170 mm cranks on their smaller sizes and 175 mm cranks on the larger sizes, and you can even buy 172.5mm cranks aftermarket, suggesting that the ideal length for pedalling ergonomics, efficiency, power and ground clearance must be somewhere in that range. But there's a fair bit of published science on crank length which tells a different story.
7. Review: The 2022 Specialized Turbo Levo is the New Benchmark
Last year, Specialized's Stumpjumper EVO took home the Pinkbike Mountain Bike of the Year award thanks to its versatility and high level of refinement. As the follow up act, Specialized have released an electric version of that bike, the third generation of the Levo. The two models aren't completely identical – for one thing, the Levo runs a mixed wheel setup – but the numbers are close, and the intended use remains the same.
8. Ridden & Rated: 11 of the Best New Men's Riding Pants
The heavy, MX inspired pajama pants of the mountain biking past have given way to fitted, light-weight, breathable pants that have all the mobility and performance of thermal lycra tights, but offer the more robust performance of purpose built mountain bike apparel. Below you'll find eleven pair of mountain bike specific pants ranging from pedigreed downhill race pants to pants designed specifically for cool weather pedal missions to a pair of pants that'll keep you warm and dry when Mother Nature throws everything at you.
9. Tom Van Steenbergen Broke Hip Sockets Into Multiple Pieces, Femur, Lower Vertebrae & Shoulder in Red Bull Rampage Crash
Tom Van Steenbergen was on a heater of a run at Red Bull Rampage after front flipping off his massive drop, a stunt that earned him the coveted Best Trick Award. After stomping the trick, he went deep on a back flip on the following step down and took a heavy crash.
Medics immediately surrounded him and quickly took him off location on a spine board. Now, he has posted an update from the hospital
on his multiple injuries, which include 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.
10. Mountain Biker Stabbed by Hiker After Right of Way Dispute
A mountain biker in Bellingham was stabbed after a right of way dispute on the Stewart Mountain Trail in Bellingham. A post on the Whatcom County Sheriff Office Facebook Page
reports that deputies were called to a trailhead car park in the 3500 block of Y Road on the afternoon of March 6 after a report of a stabbing with several parties involved.
A group of hikers had been hiking down the multi-use, bi-directional trail when they encountered a mountain biker going up the trail. It appears that neither party was willing to yield and an argument broke out over who had right of way.