IMG_2950-tintIf there is one press event that I relish, it is the one hosted by Magura USA in Sedona, AZ.  The red dirt trails winding through the scrub covered canyons give way to amazing views of rock spires and blue sky.  It is a great place to test one’s skills and one’s equipment and I always come away rebuffed by at least a few trail features that taunted me to ride them.  Better to live and ride another day.


There were other vendors there as well, showing their wares.  Bosch had a covey of E-Bikes there in all kinds of flavors.  SKS had some new pumps and other air-supplying devices as well as some new fenders.  Vredestein had the revised Bobcat trail bike tire mounted on most of the rigs there and the bikes were supplied by Intense Cycles.  Club Ride was there as well, and had the new line of short liners and other samples of their causal yet techy bike clothing.



My ride for the week, an Intense Carbine.

So then, some highlights.


Magura kept it simple. There were not too many new things from Magura this year, but two things stood out.  One was a revision to the brake lever assembly allowing for a closer reach position (so that they can run closer to the handlebar grip).  They are retro-fittable to the Next series of brakes and will be carbon for the MT-8 series and aluminum for the MT-6 and 7.  There is tool free and tool required versions (for reach adjust). Also mentioned was a recent release of a master cylinder and lever for the Moto world that adjusts to simulate a piston bore diameter change.  That might make it to the bike line at some point.


The brakes on the Palmer bike below.



Special Edition bike for Shaun Palmer from Intense Cycles.



Beautiful art work.


There is also a limited edition MT-7 Raceline brake.  The MT-6 brakes I was riding this week were powerful enough, super smooth, quiet and progressive.

race line cut

Product features:

  • Carbotecture® SL brake lever housing and aluminium handlebar clamp in neon yellow
  • Ergonomic, 2-finger brake lever
  • Adjustment of lever reach
  • Forged 4-piston brake caliper with banjo
  • MagnetiXchange brake pistons for easy brake pad replacement
  • Weight: 375 g
  • Compatible with all MAGURA Storm and Storm SL discs
  • Color:  Raceline neon yellow / Raceline logo – laser engraved lever
  • 5-year leakproof warranty for brake levers and cylinders after providing the original proof of purchase
  • Designed and engineered in Germany
  • $310 US MSRP [rotor and bracket sold separately]

IMG_2986The TS8-R 140mm fork is still a great choice for this type of riding conditions, having little brake dive, a stiff chassis, and great manners overall, although still giving up a little in suppleness over smaller chatter compared to the competition.  It feels great on the ledge drops and quick climbs that make up so much of this area.  No changes to the suspension forks were announced and the eLECT cartridge was nowhere to be seen on the demo bikes.


Vredestein had some road and MTB offerings on display, but the most important product was the new Bobcat. The Vredestein Bobcat is a full figured tire, very knobby and with a high volume.  I had them on the Intense bike I rode on trail and they handled the chunky terrain quite well.  Compared to the first revision of this tire, the sidewalls were beefed up and the tread compound was softened to a 55/60/55 shore hardness.  The tire gained approx 100g in the process. I never heard of anyone damaging one or having flatting issues, nor did I hear them complain about general tire performance during the first press camp time.



DSC07069SKS is really into fenders and inflation, showing some new goodies for 2016.  There was a set of Fat Tire fenders on display (not the final product in the pic) and that bodes well for fans of Fat Bikes.  They may not be 5″ tire rated though.  As well, there was a bevy of pumps, giving you all kinds of options for inflating your tires on trail or on the road.  We were supplied with a sample pack of 5 pumps.  Details below.  My fav is the Airboy CO2 that does double duty as a Quick Fill or manual air supplying device.  Very cool.


Mark Burgener of SKS talks pumps while practicing yoga. Modified Crane pose.


Prototype fatty fenders.





My favorite model, the Airboy CO2, blending an adjustable CO2 cartridge type dispenser with a mini pump.






Bosch is really into E-Bikes and had a fleet of FS and more commuter ready bikes to ride (Fat Bikes too).  I rode the Felt model on a mix of paved road and dirt and had a great time, although the debate of where they belong and where they do not, and even if they are still really a bicycle rages on.  I penned some thoughts about this here, after my ride and some frank discussions on the genre.



My ride for the E Bike sampling.


Club Ride has a very cool vibe going on with their take on technical riding clothing that also works well before and after the ride, and even might be worn when you have no intention of riding.  From the Club Ride website:

In the spring of 2008, Founder Mike Herlinger had just finished another great ride on some of Sun Valley, Idaho’s epic, local singletrack.

Basking in the post-ride afterglow, he realized he was running late and needed to get back to town to meet some friends at the local watering hole for a burger and some cold beers.

Moment of decision: take the extra time to run home and change, or turn heads at the restaurant in his Lycra kit.

Opting for the wardrobe change, he arrived at home to ditch the Lycra and don more suitable attire.  When he grabbed one of his well-loved, vintage Western shirts, he had an idea. “How cool would it be if I could just ride in this shirt?”

From that simple question, Club Ride was born and has been built on the conviction that cycling apparel can be both technical and stylish.

Throughout that summer, designs were drawn, friends were consulted, and fabric was cut, sewn and re-sewn. Then the prototypes were tested on rugged mountain trails and 15-mile evening commutes (the fun part). Eventually Club Ride solidified and became something real.

Club Ride has a look and function that is unique. They put on a fashion show for us, with the owners of the Sedona based bike shop, Bike and Bean, acting as models for the night.  This could be the most scenic runway ever, backed as it was by the red rocks of Sedona.  I have ridden in the sample shorts/jersey they provided and so far they have been solid performers.  If you like to ride and not look like a refugee from the chorus line OR a gravity seeking grommet, then check out Club Ride.


Mike Herlinger, Club Ride founder (on right), took us through some of the clothing line.



Lots of Club Ride for the ladies as well.


My time in Sedona was a blast and I thank Magura USA, all the vendors there, the folks at Bike and Bean, our trail guides, and the two ladies that cooked all those great meals.  Thanks for the calories.


Me, in the green pack.  Image courtesy of Club Ride


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Note: Our impressions resulted from actual experiences and the samples provided  for review and testing at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches. We are not being bribed, nor paid for this review, and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.