Category Archives: Bike and Components Reviews

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.

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Durango Blackjack Trail Bike Reviewed – Wow!

Durango Blackjack 2015

Owner Jeff Estes rigs up my demo ride at the Outerbike festival in Moab, UT in October 2015.

I’m trying to remember when Katya and I first met Jeff and Wendy but I think it was at the huge Sea Otter Classic bike festival a couple of years ago.  At the time they didn’t have a trail bike.  All mountain was as close as they could get for us.  After a few beers we felt like we knew them forever.  You have to meet these folks!!!!

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How To Choose A Trail Category Mountain Bike – Analysis For Intermediates

We spent 2 1/2 years researching and riding demo bikes after we attended the 2013 Fruita Fat Tire Festival in Colorado. We had no idea what a bike festival was about but soon discovered that we were riding waaaay better bikes than our decade old Cannondale cross-country (XC) bikes. We were able to ride farther and at a higher skill level than we ever imagined. But why?

This video shares my research and experience with trail mountain bikes, a category of bike between cross-country and all mountain. I hope it saves you a lot of time and expense. I get into some details but try to focus only on what really matters for intermediates.

See my blog at http://intermediatemtb.com for information on specific bikes and my trail analysis for intermediates videos. You can also subscribe to this channel to be notified of uploaded videos – and there are a bunch more to come for Lake Tahoe, Moab, Zion-St. George, UT and Fruita – Grand Junction, CO.

2016 Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 – A Fine Trail Bike

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I demoed this bike on the technical rock tread of the Stiles Ranch Trail in Santa Clara County’s Santa Teresa Park in south San Jose at Trailhead Cyclery’s Dirt Demo on November 8, 2015.  This trail is upper intermediate technical difficulty and one of the best test tracks I’ve found outside of Moab.   I hit large rocks and bounced through dense rock gardens that are at intermediate level or above.  I never popped up my front wheel to climb them, imitating a rider who misses his or her line or doesn’t have that skill.

Video: Riding the Trance over modest rocks. The wide angle lens of the iPhone flattens the rocks; they are bigger than they appear.

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Yeti 2016 SB4.5c Trail Bike Tested In Moab

The Yeti 4.5c being tested on the Moab Brand Trails, Moab, Utah.
The Yeti 4.5c being tested on the Moab Brand Trails, Moab, Utah.

Update from Moab October 2016:  I tested the 4.5 against the 5.5 and 5+ at this Outerbike and for combined agility and roll-over at intermediate speeds this is my preferred ride.  However, the 5+ is VERY tempting 🙂

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The 2016 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Redesigned – Excellent!

Specialized Stumpjumper
The 2016 29er version of the Specialized Stumpjumer.

I rode the gnarly rocks and switchbacks on the Stiles Ranch Trail in Santa Clara County’s Santa Teresa Park in south San Jose at Trailhead Cyclery’s Dirt Demo on November 8, 2015.  This trail is upper intermediate technical difficulty and one of the best test tracks I’ve found outside of Moab.   I hit every large rock I could target and avoided the best lines.  Some rocks were 6″ or so in height and presented a vertical face to me.    The rocks are spaced close to each other in many places so you hit them one after another will little time to prepare for the next.  I never popped up my front wheel to climb them.

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