Aaron Gwin: Without a Chain


by Byron on Jun 15, 2015 at 9:21 AM

For roadies, when it feels like there’s no chain, it means you’re so fit and on form that you float on the road and in the peloton. For downhillers, that’s something entirely different and one of the greatest feats we’ve seen on a bike. Watch Aaron Gwin’s run recapped and the entire video from RedBull.

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Dropbar MTBs are Back, FINALLY


by Byron on Jun 13, 2015 at 8:27 AM


Cutthroat Carbon Rival 1

Earlier this year, tweeted

I’ve mentioned dropbars quite a few times, occasionally posting on Tomac, and Mark V built his own in 08 and chronicled their history.


Finally, Salsa released their Cutthroat. If these catch on, maybe this will actually happen too

Dirt McGirt!

If dropbbar MTB is new to you, no problem, the reason we want them, and Salsa sees the demand, is versatility in varying dirt road conditions AND hand positions. So you want this bike for all the reasons the MTB was invented with multiple hand positions. My hands go numb in about 12 minutes on a flat bar. At every gravel ride I’ve done so far, participants are talking about dropbar MTB and there’s always a handful of hardtails blowing by us roadies on the washboard descents.

The Trek 920 I’ve been riding and writing about is a touring bike with 29r rims and tires, so a dropbar MTB from Trek et al is just an iteration away from even more choices in the adventure category.

Read more about Salsa’s Cutthroat on their blog and this truth about riding your bike all day

“Comfort is speed,” said Mailen, “especially when you are talking about riding 100 to 150 miles, or more, per day, day after day, the entire length of the country. A body receiving less punishment is one that can put more energy towards moving forward rather than reacting to impacts.”

WORD. Issue 25 of our magazine that dropped yesterday has 3 stories about the Grand Fondo Leavenworth, the hardest ride I’ve done in a couple decades of the bike:

Out there for 8 hours on dirt and gravel, when any number of things can go terribly wrong, flying into and shuddering through washboarded switchbacks, I was certainly thinking in the aftermath, “This is why suspension was invented,” AND “Could’ve used a MTB on that section, at least.”

And in case you missed it, the front end of the D-Plus is borrowed from mountain bikes…


Oh and there’s this

Eric's @iamspecialized #monstercross project bike. Part carbon 29er hardtail, part cross bike. All awesome. #mutantbike #frankenbike

A photo posted by Carytown Bicycle Co. (@carytownbikes) on

Don’t overlook the GT Grade either. For another take on the Cutthroat, see Guitar Ted’s post.

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Issue 25 Celebration


by Byron on Jun 12, 2015 at 12:55 PM

The joy of the fans, riding in new gear, and getting outside. Whether it’s winning a race or just finishing a big ride, Issue 25 celebrates success.

On iTunes

The Web

And mentioned on Medium for $15.99 a year or $3.99 an issue.

The free cover story for Issue 25 is about Remi McManus and his 40/40 Vision.

“I was inspired to embark on this project by many things and people, but the real driving force was to challenge myself and others. I also wanted to get back to the root of what made cycling and sports in general special to me in the first place, the friends made, the journey experienced, the stories told, and the memories.”

The rest of the stories include

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The Bcycle Hour


by Byron on Jun 09, 2015 at 12:16 PM


While the Wiggo hour record is being debated by the Brits and on social networks, at the Boulder Valley Velodrome, a new Bcycle Hour record was set...29.45km! In a suit. On a bike share bike.

Of course, I immediately challenged Pronto here in Seattle to, as they say, "step your game up."

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Live from the Keynote


by Byron on Jun 08, 2015 at 10:53 AM


In all the years covering the bike, never expected to see the naked bike ride in an Apple developer keynote…we’re following along because of the News app being discussed now. Besides our web view, our magazine runs on the iOS Newsstand app. What does the Apple News format means for our content? Waiting for 29th Street Publishing to debrief us. They’re our partner in mobile apps.

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Duthie 15


by Byron on Jun 07, 2015 at 6:15 AM


Cyndi, Pam, and Steve at Duthie

Well that was fun! Spent the afternoon riding bikes at Duthie during the Evergreen MTB Festival, including this BMC fourstroke FS01 29. Less concern this time about wheel sizes and more the energy of the place, families, little kids, and women, and all them riding. It was a wheel size for everyone and there’s such a great vibe going on with dirt, including last weekend at the Grand Fondo Leavenworth.

ballah BMC

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A New Medium


by Byron on Jun 05, 2015 at 9:02 AM

Today we joined a select group of publications in the beta launch of Medium’s custom domains:

“What does that mean?,” you ask?

No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative. It gets the people going! – Chazz, Blades of Glory

Medium does get the people going…as Anne-Marie Slaughter from New America wrote: “We are on Medium because its format, mission, and success resonate.” Agreed! And for us it’s where we’ll share more of the nature, joy, fun, and challenges of life on two wheels. It pairs very nicely with what we’re doing with our magazine too, to build a larger subscriber base, and as a response to Facebook’s web takeover.

Follow the Medium Bicycles Collection at the new Bike Hugger URL, and for more about Medium, read Ev’s post – it’s provocative.

And I appreciate your support of the independent web, the magazine, and what Bike Hugger does. Of course, here on the blog will keep right on blogging. On Medium and with a new domain, we’re just focused on the magazine and for the next of couple years, at least.

24 covers so far

The current magazine issue is 24 Change and 25 Celebration drops next week.

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Vitesse Cycling Musette


by Byron on Jun 03, 2015 at 8:11 PM

A photo posted by Byron (@bikehugger) on

A sucker for waxed canvas, like our tool roll, in burgundy. SF Bag’s musette has been around a shoulder on rides ever since it arrived for review a few weeks ago. What do I like the most about it? Just a simple musette to toss an iPad, wallet, battery, cord, and snack in for the commute or ride into town for a meeting. The Vitesse is made to order and costs $69.00

  • Waxed canvas - brown, burgundy, blue
  • Naturally-tanned grizzly leather tab closure with black screw stud
  • Nylon ajustable strap
  • Two internal pockets
  • Dimensions: 15.5” x 10.5” x 2~.5”
  • Weight: Standard-11.1oz. With flap-13.5 oz.

Mine was made with a flap. Find more photos of the Vitesse on our Instagram.

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Delft Bicycle Parking


by Byron on Jun 02, 2015 at 4:33 PM

Leave it to the Dutch to update a rail station to focus on bicycles.

At the Central Railway Station of Delft (Netherlands) there is room to park 5,000 bicycles in an underground bicycle parking facility.

More information in this blog post. As the video shows, the station features seamless entry from the local bike path, two-tier parking (loading a bike onto the top rack is not as tricky as some people make it), electronic signboards that let you know how many free spaces are in each row, train-ticket sales machines, and video monitors that display train departure times. Revolving doors lead you directly into the station, and an escalator takes you down to the platform with commuter trains leaving for the Hague and Rotterdam. There’s even a bike-maintenance shop on the premises, and a bike-share station for those who don’t have their own rides. Upstairs, you’ll find the bus station, and outdoor parking for an additional 3,700 bikes.

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Grand Fondo Leavenworth 15


by Byron on Jun 01, 2015 at 1:51 PM

not quite the top of the climb

The Swakane Canyon climb during the Grand Fondo Leavenworth was like my One-Eyed Willy on Sunday – gonna find a treasure at the end of it. I knew it and just kept pedaling. The rest of the Grand Fondo Leavenworth stories, the bikes, and set up will appear in Issue 25 of Bike Hugger Magazine later this month. In the Medium Bicycles Collection this morning, I wrote about going into save mode during the final ascent, and just before that thinking someone had stolen my car.

So what did I find? The change I was looking for and what the theme for Issue 24 is about. I also have Mark V to thank for the bike design, setup, and anti-cramping protocol to get through the ride. Here’s his bike


and the rear of mine…the XO derailer is paired to a SRAM Red 22 shifter for 11 speeds and an 11 x 36 spread. I used every inch of those gears too.


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