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Updated: 4 hours 14 min ago

Scott Week in Deer Valley

15 hours 8 min ago

I spent a week riding hardtail, enduro, trail, freeride, downhill, AND road bikes with Scott. Here’s my take…

Apparently I never used my T-Rex-style, cyclist-adapted arms for anything but steering and steadying myself on bike, cause they hurt after 3 days of lift riding during the first 1/2 of Scott Week. 

Twinlock control on the Genius locks out the suspensions while the XTR stops the break and the SRAM XO-1 propels it.

Pushed, clicked, and shifted every knob and lever hanging off a bar so wide, crows could flock on it. At times, that meant I wasn’t in the right gear at all, and my seat was dropped too low or high. 

Genius LT Tuned (long travel and the best spec)

Eventually I forget about the rear wheel, realizing it’ll follow the leader, I just steered the front, focused on the good lines. Letting go of all I knew about keeping a cross bike upright in the mud helped too, it was like I’d unlocked the next level. On a CX bike, it’s a constant balancing act between the wheels and always pedaling for traction. Leaning into a berm with the Genius, my thoughts were only on the distance from A to B, and the next turn.

After the Genius, I rode a Scott Gambler and caught some air with it, about the width of a credit card. It maybe the most appropriately named bike since the Tarmac. On it, I broke even.

Compared to levers and switches hanging off the wide-as-a-church-door bar on the Genius, the fewer controls on this bike can be summed up as muscle memory.

Gambler on top of the mountain, near the microwave towers.

A well-designed, big-hit bike allows you to just point and shoot; there’s no need to pick a line, just roll across the terrain like you’re in a Desert Storm driving a Hummer.

I finished my mountain runs on the 2015 version of a Voltage. The Swiss engineer that designed it for freeriders, asked how it went. I tried to sound like I had some authoritative knowledge with, ‘A bit tight.’ Then he told me in extensive detail how the suspension coil was too large for me and I should try a medium next.

“Alright,” I replied and took a big pull from a hydration pack bite valve. 

I just thought it was super fun with my arms up and out in the attack position, standing on the pedals, demanding, “what else this double-black trail got?”

Voltage in the Aspens before a double-black trail

Scott’s road engineer assured me with thru-axles, there was no brake steer or fork shudder, and he wasn’t lying. Descending from the lodge on a twisty road towards Silver Lake, I pushed it until the Contis felt twitchy. On the big hits, the seat cluster took the brunt willingly, and with the next turn of the pedals the bike was back in line, tracking true.

Impressive.

The Scott marketing language describes the Solace with “zones.” One for comfort and the other power. Translate that to mean Scott has found a fine balance between horizontal stiffness and lateral compliance. A bike that accelerates well with all-day comfort is what all manufacturers are chasing now. In the past couple decades, the bike industry figured out stiffness, and now performance comfort is what their CAD programs are crunching. 

Solace with disc balances performance and comfort

Speaking of the back in the day, their was a time when getting a new pair of shoes for road or mountain was a two-week ordeal. You had to break them in, they rubbed you raw for a while, and not anymore. Scott handed me these shoes at the start of the week and I rode them everyday. The fit was near perfect with no breaking in. 

Team comps MTB fit great and are very comfortable

When you look at Scott’s complete line of road and mountain, it’s no surprise they’re staffed with industry veterans and making products as good or better than any other company in the industry. They don’t refer to themselves as the other S, but if you’re interested in a quieter company spending less on marketing and more on engineering and development, find a dealer near you. I recommend them for the shoes alone.

The only complaint was their water bottles are a few generations behind the big-pour, soft-squeeze version standards on the market today, like the Purist or Camelbak Podium.

Map of a Steady Hundred Miles or So

15 hours 19 min ago


Sharing an annotated map of our steady hundred miles or so ride from West Seattle to the rural roads of East King County last weekend. On this ride I ran over a slug, a snake, and saw Sir Mix-A-Lot’s house. Also dived right to avoid a distracted driver and cleared an unseen drainage ditch that unsteadied our bikes like an IED had gone off. Shaking that off we continued to pedal and…

When we turned out of the trees into the sun, it was like the opening sequence of an action flick.

A cross-dissolve transition from shade to the sun and into a fast descent with twisties.

He’s the climber and me the rouleur, and I did what was expected in this section.

Shift+click, click to a lower gear, and put the hammer down.

That curves ahead sign is my cue to GO!

Read the rest of the story in a free preview article from Issue 15 of our magazine that drops next month. It’s shared ad-free in the Medium Bicycles Collection.

Issue 15 Preview: Steady for a hundred miles or so

19 hours 13 min ago

Steady for a hundred miles or so

Here’s a free preview article from the next issue of our magazine that’ll drop in August like the hammer did when we saw a curves ahead sign. It’s shared here in the Medium Bicycles Collection.

The Case for Nibali’s Win

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 00:08

The cheering kid, the man with a camera for an arm, her very French, Cest la vie hair stylings…and Nibali gaining more time

Bike Hugger Magazine contributor, Patrick Brady makes the case for Nibali on his blog, Red Kite Prayer.

While the credibility of professional cycling certain merits skepticism, epithets and innuendo simply accelerate a race to the bottom. What if the sport is in the midst of rebuilding its integrity, and Nibali’s impending victory is the rightful result of talent, training, teamwork, and timing? If evidence shall be required to support accusations, what is needed to restore credibility?

Our policy is, if they test nonnegative then we discuss, until then Nibaly was 3 minutes off the Reis Hautacam record. That’s not extra terrestrial and, as he said himself, he acquired a 7 minute lead over 20 stages

I’m very different than Lance,” said Nibali, whose news conference manner is certainly far less combative than Armstrong’s. “I haven’t done one huge performance. I got 30 seconds here, 40 seconds there.”

And hey I rode a new Tarmac like he’s racing earlier this year.

Photo: Photigule uploaded to Flickr

He’s Not Racing Road with these….

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 05:03

Didn’t know I wanted Camo Sidis with pink socks until I saw Blake wearing them last night. Blake is getting ready for Cross season…that starts for us immediately after the Tour. And we’re getting real restless about it.

Le Tour Stage 18 Recap: Rain into the Ditches

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 04:58

Rain hissed on the road, as they turned a tight corner towards the finish…and crashed leaving Ramunas Navardauskas free to ride in solo for the win.

Grosse chute incluant @romainbardet et @petosagan (sous les 3 km) / Big crash with @petosagan & @romainbardet #TDF pic.twitter.com/YnnN6OCFDR

— Le Tour de France (@letour) July 25, 2014

Rain quotes paraphrased from Tom Robbins.

Short History of Tour Time Trials

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 03:45


With the time trail stage tomorrow, the Tour uploaded this video sharing the history of the race of truth. The edit includes Indurain blowing past Lance when he was wearing the world champ jersey.

Le Tour Stage 18 Recap: 7 Minutes

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 03:45

Finishes alone

Stage 18 Recap: What can you do in 7 minutes? Nibali is winning the Tour.

Being discussed more than his win, is the women with the phone he shoulder checked…

So she's calling her friends saying, "I'M ON TV," then Nibali shoulder checks her. Awesome. pic.twitter.com/MpxWUjpkgZ

— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) July 24, 2014

On G+ and Facebook.

Le Tour Stage 17 Recap: A Hot Mess

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 03:45

Stage 17 Recap: two winks, a cheer, a win in a polka-dot kit, that's like this Tour… a hot mess. pic.twitter.com/cbeuR8WI4B

— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) July 23, 2014

and hey…

Say what you will about the Lance/Jan era, but watching the Tour the last couple years makes me realize how sincerely I loved their rivalry.

— Stevil Kinevil (@StevilKinevil) July 23, 2014

In this Tour, anything goes…winking is contrary to every narrative ever written abut the human condition and suffering in the Pyrenees. So why not take a pull from the moto?

Then wheelie across the finish tomorrow.

Scott Week: Genius LT Tuned for Enduro

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 12:23

Scott Genius LT Tuned. Photo taken with Mike Schirf

Was having so much fun on the flow trails at Deer Valley, decided for the last run to try a double black. After 5 runs on Sunset and Naildriver, I walked the gnarliest sections of Twist and Shout. Had the spirit and desire, but not that technical of skills. The bike could totally handle it though, and I felt I let it down. Feeling like I owed the Genius something, raced against a setting sun to get the shot on a fire road between alpine meadows.

The Genius LT Tuned is refined for 2015 and it’s got the pop-on-the showroom looks, just look how the sun lit up the graphics. Compared to the Spark I rode in Sedona, the slack geometry is for aggressive trail riding and I kept my weight forward and arms out, steering the front end through the turns.

Richard from Pinkbike told me at dinner that the soul of mountain biking is in Enduro, which this bike was made to race. Considering that Enduro is inclusive with no rules, and anyone can compete on the same course as the pros, that’s now on my list of stories to write. I’ll do it with a bike like the Genius LT Tuned. I haven’t been to an Enduro, but expect it’s like gravel is to road now.

See more photos from Scott Week on G+. And if you’re interested in riding in Park City, at the first IMBA Gold Level riding resort with world class trails. I’ve ridden in Park City now several times and recommend White Pine Touring as a guide. Just a few weeks ago, I took the GT Grade on Mid Mountain trail and featured that story in Issue 14 of our magazine.

Slaying the Badger is on Tonight

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:07

Our friends from Rapha reminded me that tonight on ESPN, is Slaying the Badger. Check your local listings and read the entire first chapter from the book

In the midst of competition, Hinault attempted to snatch victory like a furious, clawing rodent… he acted not only for himself but for a nation horrified that its great race might be hijacked by an American outlaw.

Le Tour Stage 16 Recap: Take a Bow

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 04:16

Take a bow, photo @JoshRBurrows

Voeckler tries to steal the show, but in the Pyrenees, Mick Rogers takes a bow.

And a press car was where it shouldn’t be….

A still from the Disney movie ‘Cars’, about a plucky little car who wanted to race the Tour. pic.twitter.com/XJydV0FLLF

— nyvelocity (@nyvelocity) July 22, 2014

Rest Day for Us Too

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 08:18

In the Aspens, mayne, with a nice whip

A rest day for the Tour and one for us to get caught up on photos, videos, and words after a week on the road in Vegas for SXSW, then Scott Week. Here’s a storied, swipey, touchy version of my Genius LT Tuned ride.

Lots of things to push, click, and switch

And if you’re into that sort of industry intrigue, at the high end, Scott specs SRAM drivetrains with XTR brakes. I pushed and clicked everything hanging off that bar and it all worked splendidly. Even flipped the chip, which switches the geo from short to long.

Also see this vignette on Medium about the Voltage I rode too.

Rode a Freeride Bike

After I’m through the 5 gigs of photos taken, they’ll get shared like this one in the G+ gallery.

Le Tour Stage 15 Recap: 10 Meters Short

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 02:17

Jack Bauer the cyclist pulled for like 24 hours, breakaway nearly stayed away, the catch, and then Kristoff wins!

2ème victoire pour le Viking / 2nd victory for the Viking @Kristoff87 #TDF pic.twitter.com/d1votOenD7

— Le Tour de France (@letour) July 20, 2014

That was 10 meters too short for Bauer and left him shattered.

China-Loading Before High Cascades 100

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 01:59

Mark V China-loads before a race

Yesterday Mark V raced a 100 miles on his mountain bike. Like his adventure on gravel, his athletic ability is unprocessed and unrefined….organic even. He just shows up at events like this periodically.

The front of the field is no longer in sight, though it’s not like I didn’t already know that I’m not fit enough to hang with them. Long distance isn’t my forte, and I don’t really have that many miles in my legs this year. – from Issue 13, Grand Fondo Leavenworth

Raced complete

Expecting a dream sequence in his 100-mile MTB race report for the next issue of our mag, like Jim Morrison met him on the trail, and insisted he continue. Texting from somewhere in the Oregon outback, I received periodic updates

don’t carbo load before races; I china-load.

my triceps hurt so bad….like I sat in a car for a game of “Punch Bug” w Mike Tyson.

and

13hrs;dunno

At Leavenworth, he blamed his horrible cramping on the lack of Chinese food

But whether Leavenworth is more Bavaria or rural Washington, I am clearly not going to get the type of semi-authentic Chinese food I’m craving.

Good thing he found some in Bend and finished with legs intact.

Issue 15 drops next month with articles about the mountain biking I did during Scott Week too.

Le Tour Recap: Been Mountain Biking

Sat, 07/19/2014 - 01:05

@letour: Let's start the mythical Col d'Izoard! #TDF pic.twitter.com/VsjAbco0XA” rode this in 2008! Wonder if patch of grass has grown back…

— Andrew Gregory (@Andrew_Gregory) July 19, 2014

Riding mountain bikes for the past few days with Scott Bikes during Scott Week, our Tour coverage will resume tomorrow, ‘till then have a look at this BBC article about racer body types.

One of the race’s most famous climbs, the Alpe D’Huez, a difference of three kilos could make a difference of up to two-and-a-half minutes over the 14km of the ascent.

Also see the AP’s interactive feature on the Tour. 

American Andrew Talansky became the latest top rider to abandon the Tour de France. Defending champion Chris Froome, two-time winner Alberto Contador and sprint specialist Mark Cavendish have already been forced out of the race due to injury after all suffered heavy crashes in a treacherous first half of the Tour.

And we’re tuning in again tomorrow.

Chrome Mobile Factory Tour

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 06:59

Today and tomorrow in Seattle, at the new Chrome Hub, they’re making shoes, drinking beer, and offering discounts. Check the flyer for the details.

Le Tour Update: Tour Delayed

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 00:38


Breaking: Tour De France On Hold As Cyclists Ride Over To Creek To Check Out Bugs

Traveling from Seattle to Vegas for another Mobile Social, and now in Park City for Scott week, haven’t seen the Tour in a day. Then I learned from the Onion that the racing was delayed because Andre Greipel found some stick bugs down at the creek! Funniest commentary I’ve seen for a race that’s the most interesting and unpredictable Tour in decades. And why is that? As Patrick Brady said,

cause we’re not just waiting to see who Froome is gonna F up each stage.

For more entertaining views of the Tour, also see the Crash Graphic and what it’s like on the sidelines.

Mobile Social Interbike 14

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 14:15

The ride started at Zappos HQ

After another fun Mobile Social in Vegas, that started at Zappos HQ, we’ll ride the Strip again during Interbike. That’s our traditional, annual ride and will post the details as soon as we have them.

What we know now is we’ll ride on Thursday, September 11th, to downtown again.

Mobile Social SXSW V2V

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 04:51

We’re riding the Strip again tonight and this time with SXSW during V2V 14. We’ll meet at Zappos.com HQ by 6:30 for a mixer and then ride to the Tuesday Night Networking Party at Deuce Lounge in Aria.

See you there.