Sunday, December 19, 2004

John Tomac Wins the 2004 Kamikaze Downhill!

This news is a bit old but it's worth mention anyway. The legendary John Tomac showed up to race the 2004 Kamikaze Downhill at Mamouth Mountain this year and took home top medal after throwing down the fastest time!

Tatoo Lou Deangeles another oldschool notable was also there and running fast times and took third, edged out by Colin Bailey. Gotta love JT and the oldschool hutzpah! He stil has the speed to win on the "fastest course in the world", even after retiring several years ago.


Saturday, December 11, 2004

Big Bear kills off DH racing

Big Bear is throwing in the towel and locking the gates on downhill racing after an accident and subsequent lawsuit as reported by VeloNews.com. Now I feel bad that some one was seriously injured as we all do, and I don't know all the facts about this specific case, but come on . . . Here's an open letter to the person who filed this suit:

Did you really think it was safe to hurrel down a mountain on a bike? Did it not cross your mind that you might hurt yourself in this endeveour? Did the pages of legal fine print you signed before riding not ring a small bell (danger, be careful)?

How about the tons of folks all around the mountain in full face helmets and body armor? Surely you skinned your knee before as a kid on a schwinn stingray without the assistance of any rock gardens, trees, or steep decents . . . so you thought this former x-games event would be a safe and without risk? I'm racking my brain with creative license yet I can't imagine many realistic senarios out there where Big Bear could be at fault for your mishap or misfortune.

Accidents happen . . . That's bad luck and life. Now you've chosen to take your misfortune and turn it into a bad experience for an entire sport; it's pretty pathetic. Big Bear has been force into a corner with legal bills and I don't blame them calling it a day. I blame you mr lawsuit filer for not taking responsibility for your actions. Extreme sports are called that for a reason. Body armour, fullface helmets and steep slopes and the risk they create shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. You showed up for the adrenaline, and now you have the nerve to blame others for your accident. Clearly your eyes were open as you rode the chairlift up to see what you were getting yourself into. If you shut them on the way down and crashed that's your fault, not Big Bears'. To sue them over this accident is pathetic and cowardly. If I'm mistaken in the facts please write me (you write me, not your wussy lawyer). I'd love to print your side of the story for the world to decide.

For those bikers with lawyers in waiting, go take your stinkin' ambulance chasin' lawyers and your wheel chairs some where else, cause your not welcome at my playground any more . . . mountain biking is better off without folks like this on the trails who think accidents are someone else's fault. Maybe this guy should consider sueing his mother too for having him and his father for not teaching him better braking techniques on his old schwinn. Damn candy ass.

-mtnwing

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Mountainbikes and motorcycles . . . perfect together?

The love of all things two wheeled seems to cross over for many race fans and riders over the years. Many of the top bike suspension designers made there start with motocoss bikes or motocycle racing. Same is the case with a few of the riders like Johnny O'Mara, Shawn Palmer, and Randy Lawerence. All had ties to the dirt bike world before hitting the mountainbike scene. Mert Lawill and Horst Leitner two of the legends for full suspension bike design got there start in MotoCross racing. Same can be said for Dan Hanebrink, the genious tinkerer up in Big Bear. The list of names goes on and on. And don't for get legandary bike magazine editor Zap who started at Motocross Action and now runs a part of the action at Trek Product Management.

So it's only natural for other companies to try to bridge the gap between mountainbiking and motocross riding. Perhaps Fox has been the most successful at this. Other notables include Progressive Suspension, Hayes, Marzocchi, Magura, Curnutt, Answer, Troy Lee, White Bros, and Dainese.

That doesn't mean it's always a good strategy though! The biggest train wreck for this bridging strategy is Cannondale. They proudly launched air and tried to jump to the stars building a full moto business, but they weren't up to snuff when it came to this step-up challenge and crashed hard in bankruptcy. Others like AXO, Alpine Stars, and Bombshell have come and gone from the bike scene like sparkling stars in the night.

So it's interesting to note that Specialized Bicycles has recently been spotted with ties to Ricky Carmicheal and Chad Reed. These high profile Moto athletes are certainly the cream of the crop (alongwith James Stewart - not with Specialized) if your going to promote your company to this side of the two wheeled world.

I can only wonder if we'll start to see more from Specialized in the form of Moto products over the comming year or two??? Certainly tying up two top stars for sponsorship is a good way to get the word out. The Moto industry certainly is a big market and a interesting way to grow a company that may be looking for new markets to enter and dominate. Only time will tell, but this sponsorship by Specialized is an interessting move to watch.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Bad day for the squirrel

Ever tried bunny hopping a 40 pound DH bike . . . Nearly all modern DH bikes come with cushy springers like your mother's Oldsmobile and parts that are burly and add up in weight.




So when a squirrel darts out on your next ride, just be sure you ate your Wheeties . . .

Or you can lighten up your bike for easier defying of gravity . . .

The real question here is do DH and Freeride bikes really need to be this heavy?
I say no! No! NO!

Many of the top DH parts & frame companies are still using less expensive materials and antiquated techniques to build their so called "top o' the line parts and frames". Why . . . because it's cheaper and easier to build . . . and they can still charge you a lot of hard earned coin and bank it.

Only a few proud, bold and brave MTB companies have begun to push the envelop with modern materials like Carbon, Magnesium, Ti, and Fortal for Mountainbike parts, and most often just for the XC mountainbike set. This is a shame as DH & Freeride bikes could be a lot more fun and rideable if only they got on a "high carb" diet. Pickup a road bike magazine or flip on the Tour de France and you will quickly see that the road bike market is "lite years" ahead when it comes to using sophisticated manufacturing techniques and materials to bring the weight of parts down. There is absolutely no reason the DH and freeride community couldn't "also benefit" from these same hi tech and lighter materials.

So here's a shout out to some of the companies that are doing their part to lighten the load for Mountain biking, especially in the Freeride and DH markets.

Wheels:
Spinergy - innovative composite spoke technology to build amazingly strong and light DH wheels

Frames
Elan Remec DH - carbon DH frames

Scott USA - lightest carbon freeride/fs frame in the world

Forks
Manitou - Light weight carbon forks
Bombshell - (R.I.P. - Betty and Marilynn Forks)

Parts
Easton Products - Awesome, well built carbon and Magnesium Parts
RaceFace - Carbon/Fortal Cranks

This is just a short list there are definitely some other great companies building the "good stuff". Hopefully the rest of the industry will see the "lite" and follow suit with better quality parts that lighten the load for the DH and Freeride crowd.

Launching Some Air - Mountainbikes.net Blog Goes Live

Welcome to Mountainbikes.net Blog

This new blog is launching with the goal of entertain, informing, and keep mountain biking fans everywhere up to date on interesting new and old products, people and events in the mountain biking industry.

In a few short weeks we'll be covering InterBike USA right here so keep it tuned to our digital trail and look for many more great events in the future.

Also, don't forget to checkout our "Sista' website", www.Roadbikes.net for cool coverage on the skinny tire'd part of the sport.

Thanks for visiting!





Thursday, August 19, 2004

testing blogger system

testing the blogger system, first post to mountainbikes.net