All posts by jmpreston

A lowly intermediate mountain biker who loves to ride the big kids' trails with roots, rocks, and ruts. My favorite trails are around Moab, UT, Lake Tahoe, Downieville, CA, and near the west entrance to Zion National Park and Bryce National Park. Mostly I ride the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29er A Solid Ride

My wife Katya demoed this bike during the 2016 Hurricane Mountain Bike Festival.  She felt it was not as agile as her Yeti SB95c or the Liv, see my blog post about the Liv.  Still, it is a good ride and value and worth considering.  She felt she had good control even though the head tube angle was at the cross-country level.

Trek Fuel EX 9.9

The bike is a 29er with the great roll-over of the big wheels.  Katya tested it on the North Rim Trail on Gooseberry Mesa.  This is mostly intermediate but there are some rock gardens and ledges that can be challenging for intermediates.  Low advanced level in places that requires some agility and courage, especially along the edge of the mesa.  One mistake in places and you drop over 100 feet to a pile of rocks.  Good place to test a bike!

Continue reading Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29er A Solid Ride

2016 Live Intrigue (Giant woman’s bike) Agile

My wife Katya demoed the Liv Intrigue on the South Rim and Hidden Canyon trails on Gooseberry Mesa, Hurricane, Utah during the Hurricane Mountain Bike Festival in March 2016.  Those are upper intermediate to double black diamond trails and a serious test of a bike.

Live Intrigue 2016

Her conclusion, the bike felt light and sporty and she had no problems with the less expensive components compared to XT level components on her Yeti.  Katya is a slower cautious intermediate rider who rides the toughest trails but knows when to walk it.

Continue reading 2016 Live Intrigue (Giant woman’s bike) Agile

Fox Factory 34 2017 Fork! Wow Upgrade!

I’ve rode a Rockshox Revelation RCT3 140mm fork for the past two and a half years since my Yeti was new.  Nice, but I’ve been over the handlebars or crashed more than a few times on what I consider small rocks, maybe 6 – 10 inches high.   After two nasty crashes recently, one that had me limping around Fruita, CO for a few days and unable to ride,  I had enough.

Testing the fork on Moab ledges. North 40 Trail.
Testing the fork on Moab ledges. North 40 Trail.

Fox redesigned their 34 line in 2016 and I was noticing the smoother and more controlled rides over gnar at the Outerbike and Hurricane mountain bike festivals.  After the Fruita incident on the Holy Cross Trail, which I blogged about recently, I was headed to the fall 2016 Outerbike in Moab.

Continue reading Fox Factory 34 2017 Fork! Wow Upgrade!

Hanging out in Moab!

I’m riding the trails here for another week and then home to Silicon Valley for the winter.  I don’t have much left to shoot for my next Moab Mountain Biking Trail Analysis videos for this area.

The upper Whole Enchilada is open but very cold and muddy when not frozen.  Not sure I want to ride it now.

Trying out my new Fox Factory Float 34 2017 fork.  So far it is amazing!!!  Blog post to come but so far it is far safer and more plush at low speeds than the Rockshox Pike or Revelation.  My Revelation will be on eBay next week!

Overlooking Arches NP and Salt Valley from Alaska Trail.
On the Alaska Trail, Klondike Bluffs, Moab Ut. Arches on the left and Salt Valley far below.

 

 

Biking the Bartlett Wash Slick Rock Moab!

I added a short video of biking this amazing slick rock area north of Moab!  Much more beautiful slick rock than usual, and mostly very smooth.  It is like powder skiing 🙂  A real bonus is that the climb to the top is easy and scenic.  Perfect beginner / intermediate terrain with some scary stuff for advanced riders.

 

 

Yeti SB5+ 2016 demoed near Moab, Utah.

Trying out the 5+ on the Moab Brand Trails, my favorite testing grounds. I didn't ride Deadman's but with fresh legs would love to. Maybe March 2017 Outerbike.
Trying out the 5+ on the Moab Brand Trails, my favorite testing grounds. I didn’t ride Deadman’s but with fresh legs would love to. Maybe March 2017 Outerbike.
I’m impressed! This is probably the first plus tire bike I’ve rode. The wheel and tire diameter is only 1/2″ less than my 29er but the roll-over with the 150mm fork and plus tire is amazing! 
 
It isn’t just tire size that counts. Unlike most plus bikes the 5+ is designed for a plus tire.  Yeti has made small design changes to fit the bike purpose.

Continue reading Yeti SB5+ 2016 demoed near Moab, Utah.

Heading to Fruita, Moab, and Hurricane / St. George

I’m going for three weeks at the end of September and including Outerbike in Moab.  I’ll miss Rampage this year.  I’ll add some more bike evaluations and collect additional material for my trail analysis videos.

I need to shoot a bit more video in the Fruita / Grand Junction area such as an intermediate trail in the Lunch Loops, Horsethief Bench and that amazing drop-in hike a bike, a re-shoot of Dippity, and probably one of the trails farther out Mary’s such as Troy Built or Steves, or both.  So this winter I should have enough for a Trail Analysis video for that area.

Continue reading Heading to Fruita, Moab, and Hurricane / St. George

Ibis 2016 Ripley LS Trail Bike Review

Ibis Ripley LS 2016 Hidden Canyon
The Ripley LS Trail Bike At The Beginning Of the Hidden Canyon Trail.

Yep, I tested this bike on the famous / infamous South Rim and Hidden Canyon trails on Gooseberry Mesa, Hurricane, Utah.  My wife and I were demoing bikes at the March 2016 Hurricane MTB Festival in Hurricane, Utah.  This is near the famous Red Bull Rampage site.

Continue reading Ibis 2016 Ripley LS Trail Bike Review