Showing posts from August, 2013

Real Bikes Englewood is Now Selling Fixies

Simplicity is a beautiful thing. When it comes to rides there is nothing simpler or more elegant than a fixed gear bike or "Fixie." A standard fixie has a high tensile steel frame, 3 piece cranks, at least one brake and a flip flop hub. These are street bikes that can be used for commuter or training purposes, they are low cost (About $325.) and they are a blast to ride.
I decided to give one a try at my local shop Real Bikes Englewood. "One thing you have to keep in mind," noted Melody Vasbinder, who owns the store with her husband Gary, "You can't stop pedaling. You can speed up and you can slow down but you can't freewheel." This becomes clear the moment you put a foot down on the pedal but once you start moving the appeal of these bikes quickly becomes apparent.

There is no hesitation when you turn the pedals on a fixie. The power of each pedal stroke is directly transferred to the rear wheel propelling you forward. Your speed can pick up ver…

2013 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR EVO

No trip to Winter Park, Colorado would be complete without a bike test. Luckily the people from Specialized were on hand doing demos of the 2013 line and they were kind enough to lend me a helmet as I took out a 2013 Stumpjumper FSR EVO. Since I already used my lift ticket for some downhill fun the day before then I would have start at the bottom of the mountain to do a little exploring.
Right from the start I was amazed by how light this bike was. You could curl it with one hand. I'm assuming it was the carbon version but I do know that it had been modified from its original set-up. Instead of the 2 by 10 gearing it had a single sprocket and the forks had the black coating now becoming popular with Enduro cyclists.

I took off down a dirt road and decided to kick this off with a technical climb into the woods. Right off the bat I was impressed. I had come down this two way trail the day before and found it to be challenging on the descent but now I was raging up it with barely a …

Colorado Freeride Festival (Part 5 of 5)

The final event of the Colorado Freeride Festival was the Intergalactic Pond Crossing. This is a contest for only the greats, partaken by men and women of superior skill and daring. The riders must be willing to don a lifejacket and before a crowd of onlookers balance across an 8 inch wide floating bridge over a freezing pond. Few will make it to the other side but those who do will earn prizes equal to their greatness.
Ok, I'm being a little sarcastic but the pond crossing really is a fun event. After a full weekend of hardcore racing this is where everyone has one last chance to gather, cheer and laugh. 

With an open sign up process the riders ranged from 10 year old kids to top professionals like Jerome Clementz, Ben Cruz, Jeff Lenosky and Tracy Moseley. Regardless of their accomplishments on the dirt, this challenge was the ultimate equalizer for all participants.
The race started at 3 pm just after the rain subsided and even though the crowd was a bit smaller (Due to the 10 …

Colorado Freeride Festival (Part 4 of 5)

The schedule for the 2013 Colorado Freeride Festival had an action packed variety of contests. While there was something for everyone's taste many of the races were overlapping so you did have to choose what you were going to watch and perhaps overlook something else. 
The easiest to watch was the Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour Slopestyle contest. This Gold level event took place within eye shot of the Festivillage so it was easy to know when the action was buzzing. In addition the hill alongside the jump course allows for seating that makes almost every inch visible without having to move but this was one performance you did not want to miss.

This year's course was designed by Tom Hay and New Zealand freerider Kelly McGarry. Easily noticeable for his long scraggly blonde hair and height (Over 6 feet tall), Kelly helped develop a slopestyle course that allowed the riders to go all out on nearly every jump. In cases like this where a rider tweaks the course it usually benef…