The Longest Day
Today marks the shortest day of the year, December 21st. The Winter Solstice. It's the perfect day to reflect back to when temperatures were warmer, rides required less layering, and daylight lasted for what seemed like an eternity. Six months ago on the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, we set out with the silly idea to ride 100 kilometers in a day on the North Shore.
Here in North Vancouver we are incredibly lucky to have three mountains flush with diverse trails that are all within spitting distance of each other. We hadn’t planned on doing a classic North Shore “Triple Crown” (riding up and down all three mountains in a day) but we knew that that was our best option to collect the kilometers we needed. With a route created to snag all the steeps and deeps, all hands were in and alarms were set.
Our start time was 5:00 AM at Panorama Park located in Deep Cove. Eight sleepy souls with eyes at half-mast feverishly stuffed food, layers, and tools into their packs along with copious amounts of coffee into their bodies. With our tires ceremoniously dunked into the calm waters of the Cove we began our mission.
You never know what you’re going to come across in the forest. Old rusted out pots, glass mason jars, beer bottles, broken china plates, all pointing to a very different era in these woods.
With Seymour done and dusted there were two mountains that lay ahead of us. The signs of how tough riding on the Shore can be began to show with our Garmins only reading 35 KMs after one and a half mountains.
After navigating our way across a steep, sandy slope where a landslide had occurred a couple of years prior we figured we should probably stop again. While we definitely weren’t hungry, we knew that if we didn’t keep feeding the fire it would burnout without hesitation.
“I needed that Vaseline earlier. I wish I knew Dre was packing it around before we did all of that climbing.” — Kevin Calhoun
With the light fading, dirt and rock transitioned to gravel and pavement, we were at the homestretch. Pedaling through the streets of Horseshoe Bay we arrived at the parking lot where cold beers and salty potato chips awaited us.
"Once everyone is tired and things are starting to get weird, that's when you find the character within, and you truly know the grit of your friends." — Andreas Hestler
"Everyone in this group impressed the hell out of me. Eight of us tearing up the climbs and fully pinned back down! Bunch of legends!" — Jesse Melamed
With the sun dipping below the horizon we submerged our tires into the waters of Horseshoe Bay and the journey was marked complete. The numbers were in: 3706 metres of climbing, 3712 metres of descending, 15 hours and 42 minutes in the saddle, and 87.1 kilometres travelled. We all decided that even though we had come up short on the distance that we set out to do, it was one hell of a hard ride that included some of the best trails on the Shore. We did it all in one day, and as a group without any losses.
A special shoutout goes to Margus Riga who made this entire journey with a massive camera bag strapped to his back all while hitting rad lines and leading the climbs with flats to boot!
Save Big With Rad Santa
The temperature has dropped, the days are shorter than ever, and ground that was previously a mixture of brown and green has been coated in a thick blanket of white. The holidays are once again upon us and in the spirit of giving we have decided to offer up big discounts on all Rocky Mountain apparel. Whether you're shopping for yourself or a fellow shredder we have a variety of apparel to help you get rad.
DISCOUNT CODE: RADSANTA
Click the link above to shop our apparel and be sure to use the discount code RADSANTA during checkout to receive 30% off all apparel! Items that are on sale already are included, which equates to almost 60% off of some pieces.
**We cannot guarantee delivery before December 24th during the holiday season. Sale valid until December 31st, 2016. Please note our warehouse is closed from December 22nd until January 3rd, 2017. Orders placed during that time will not be processed until we return.**
Get Kitted, So Kitted
Winter is here in the Pacific Northwest. We've pulled the lights and thermal gloves out of the closet, and embraced grimy post-work rides. But, with the holidays coming and plenty of riding still left in 2016, we thought it would be the perfect time to offer up some huge discounts on apparel.
Discount Code: GETKITTEDSOKITTED
Hit the link above and use the discount code GETKITTEDSOKITTED during checkout for 30% off all apparel! This sale includes on-sale items, for savings of almost 60% on some pieces.
Sale valid until December 1st, 2016.
See you out on the trail!
Trail Journal: Volume One
Volume One of our Trail Journal is dedicated to the enjoyment of putting rubber-covered wheels into dirt. It is a collection of some of our favourite stories, images, bikes, and characters. Collectively, the stories in this magazine trace Rocky Mountain's journey—looking back through 35 years of good times, and forward at what's to come.
From Margus Riga's madness, to Owen Perry's photographic Ode to BC, to Paris Gore's stunning cover shot, we've tracked down our most memorable images and stories. We dug into the archives for some of the pivotal bikes and moments in our history. Wade Simmons shared his adventures in the Dolomites, legendary photographer Sterling Lorence gave us some insight into the process of capturing his iconic Maiden image, Danielle Baker explored the Nuu-chah-nulth Spirit Forest on Vancouver Island’s west coast, and Fred Glo schooled us on the early days of enduro racing.
Thomas Vanderham gave up his backcountry coffee method, Andreas Hestler celebrated 10 years of BC Bike Race, distributors sent postcards from across the globe, and Dirk Janz and Helle Schuster enjoyed schnapps on the Walmendingerhorn.
The Trail Journal has been offset printed in limited quantities, and looks great on your shop bench, the porch at your backcountry cabin, or that designer coffee table you're too afraid to put your feet up on. Reading it may not be quite the same as sitting down for coffee with Rocky Mountain founder Grayson Bain, or dropping in on a full-moon night ride in the Italian alps with Simmons, but it's pretty damn close.
—The Rocky Mountain Bicycles Crew
Carson Storch Podiums at Rampage
Congratulations to Rocky Mountain's Carson Storch! The Bend, Oregon freerider took home 3rd Place at the legendary Red Bull Rampage in Virgin, Utah. He also claimed the Best Trick award for his massive mid-course 360 drop.
Return to Raw
This year's Red Bull Rampage saw a return to the raw, natural landscape that it was known for in the early days. With the blank canvas of a new venue, Carson teamed up with three other riders to build a massive feature with terrifying exposure—unlocking a line that event organizers had previously called impassable.
From there, Carson and his dig crew of Dustin Gilding and Calvin Huth split off from the other riders and chiseled out a landing for a huge mid-course drop, and dialled in several more significant features on the way to the bottom of the course.
"My line here at Rampage has a bit of everything. Steeps and exposure up top, big jumps and high speed lower down... a load of stuff I want to ride, so I'm happy with it." — Carson Storch
We wanted to do something special with Carson's bike for Rampage, so we worked with Painthouse Customs to create this 'Americamo' painted carbon Maiden. The design is inspired by the "dazzle camouflage" used on WWI naval ships.
He runs his Maiden in the slackest Ride-4 position, and with the Equalized geometry set up to use 26" wheels.
After eight days of building, it was time to put tires into dirt. With a steep, technical top section, tons of style, massive tricks, and a strong finish, Carson had all the elements of a great Rampage run. He would end the day in 3rd place, behind Antoine Bizet (2nd) and Brandon Semenuk (1st).
The judges were also vehement that he was the clear choice for Best Trick with his massive mid-course 360 drop. HUGE.
"Can't believe I ended up on the podium with third place, and took best trick. Such a crazy day! Thanks so much to my diggers, friends, family, and sponsors. I was riding for you today Kelly [McGarry]!" — Carson Storch
Congratulations to everyone who rolled through the Rampage start-gate this year. Healing vibes to the guys that got injured out there, hope to see you back soon! So many heavy moves went down, and the sport progressed by leaps and bounds yet again.
The late, great Kelly McGarry was a mentor and friend to Carson, and he'd have been so proud of his ride. A result like this has been a long time in the making for Carson, and we're beyond fired up for him. Already can't wait till next year!
2016 EWS Team World Champions
Photos by Matt Wragg.
Nobody ever said it, but after being runner up in 2014 and 2015, the goal at the beginning of this season was to capture the team title. The Rocky Mountain Urge bp Rally Team was gunning to be 2016 Enduro World Series Team World Champions.
EWS Round 1 Corral, Chile
Round #1 began with a flight to South America, and a few trips by boat to travel from our accommodation to the start of the race in Corral. The team would see 200km of riding between the four days of practice and racing, a big test of their off-season training. There was concern of a forest fire at one point, but when the smoke and the dust settled the team settled into their groove. It was a start much like the season would end in Finale, racing from the hilltops down to the ocean.
- Florian Nicolai — 5th
- Alexandre Cure — 15th
- Rémi Gauvin — 25th
- Jesse Melamed — 36th
- Sébastien Claquin, U21 — 2nd U21
EWS Round 2 Cerro Catedral, Bariloche, Argentina
- Florian Nicolai — 12th
- Alexandre Cure — 34th
- Rémi Gauvin — 19th
- Jesse Melamed — 48th
- Sébastien Claquin — 1st U21
EWS Round 3 Wicklow, Ireland
It was time for a change of pace and to come back to Ireland where we've had good results, and incredible hospitality. Wicklow does a great job of using the little elevation they have to create a fun, technical course. Voted best race on the circuit last year, the fans really get into the race and make for a great atmosphere—nothing like hundreds of Irishmen screaming at you to motivate a sprint to the finish! With all five racers placing inside the Top 20, the Rally Team took 1st in the Team category and jumped into the lead for the team overall.
- Florian Nicolai — 5th
- Alexandre Cure — 10th
- Rémi Gauvin — 19th
- Jesse Melamed — 16th
- Sébastien Claquin — 4th U21
Back to the towering mountains of Italy, in La Thuile, we saw the return of ALN (Andréane Lanthier Nadeau). She was out with an injury early in the season but was back and eager to race! With long punishing descents that would be more commonly ridden on a downhill bike, the La Thuile course put riders to the test. The big story this weekend was ALN. Maybe it was the espresso, or the pizza, but whatever fueled her hunger it worked, as Andreane landed on the 3rd step of the podium, proving that she has the speed and skills to play at the top!
EWS Round 4 La Thuile, Italy
- Florian Nicolai — 5th
- Alexandre Cure — 11th
- Rémi Gauvin — 23rd
- Jesse Melamed — 13th
- Sébastien Claquin — 2nd U21
- Andréane Lanthier Nadeau — 3rd
EWS Round 5 Aspen Snowmass, USA
The USA round is always a tough one for the Frenchies for whatever reason. Maybe the high altitude, or the different terrain, but we suspect it's the lack of baguettes, meat, and cheese. The tracks in Colorado are generally fast, tight, and loose—a big change from the steep, technical tracks of Italy. Flo and Alex pushed through to take respectable results, but it was Jesse who broke into the Top 10 for the first time. Another team win extended our lead on the category, and we headed north to Canada for the next round.
- Florian Nicolai — 13th
- Alexandre Cure — 26th
- Rémi Gauvin — 12th
- Jesse Melamed — 8th
- Sébastien Claquin — 2nd U21
- Andréane Lanthier Nadeau — 11th
EWS Round 6 Whistler, Canada
Whistler is our second home, and the first home of Jesse Melamed. The Crankworx EWS course is a monster of a race that takes a toll on both rider and bike, combining bike park and the raw, natural trails of Whistler and Blackcomb. Unfortunately another hand injury took ALN out for the rest of the season, so it was up to the five remaining riders to get it done. All the pressure or none, Jesse rode his race from beginning to end, knocking loudly on Richie Rude's door, and taking 2nd place! His first EWS podium, with family and friends surrounding him at the Whistler Village finish line.
- Florian Nicolai — DNF
- Alexandre Cure — 105th
- Rémi Gauvin — 12th
- Jesse Melamed — 2nd
- Sébastien Claquin — 2nd U21
EWS Round 7 Valberg-Guillaumes, France
The French side of the team was excited to return to their native soil. The legendary tracks in Valberg are steep, wild, and natural—an incredible venue for the penultimate race of the season. Alex and Flo bounced back from crashes and mechanicals in Whistler to take solid results in the maritime alps. "A lot of nose turn here at Valberg, it's really cool ride at home," said Flo. However, it was Jesse that stole the show, taking 3rd—backing up his podium in Whistler, and silencing any whispers of home track advantage. The Claq stayed consistent with another 2nd place finish in U21, and the whole team was fired up to bring it home.
- Florian Nicolai — 4th
- Alexandre Cure — 10th
- Rémi Gauvin — 24th
- Jesse Melamed — 3rd
- Sébastien Claquin — 2nd U21
EWS Round 8 Finale Ligure, Italy
A series of consistent results brought the Rally Team to Finalé sitting in top spot for the Team overall standings, but the overall win wasn't a sure thing. To make matters worse, Jesse was fighting a nasty illness. The whole team had to battle hard this weekend, but ultimately had a great race with three top 10s and the whole team finishing within the top 25.
- Florian Nicolai — 8th
- Alexandre Cure — 13th
- Rémi Gauvin — 22nd
- Jesse Melamed — 7th
- Sébastien Claquin — 7th U21
In the dusty hills above the Mediterranean Sea, our little Rally Team took on all comers and sewed up the Enduro World Series Team Overall World Champion title! In the individual overall rankings Flo finished the year in 6th, Jesse in 9th, Rémi in 15th, and Alex in 17th. The Claq earned himself 2nd place in U21. By all measures a year we're massively proud of.
Mission complete. Finalé is a great place to finish the season. Whether you win or lose, you're at the beach in Italy, on the Mediterranean with great coffee and food, and your bike. This year we managed to win the Team Overall, and have some individual successes along the way. We'll look to come back next year with more determination, focus, and fun.
Thank you to Florian Nicolaï, Jesse Melamed, Rémi Gauvin, Seb Claquin, Alex Cure, and ALN for an incredible year. Thanks to Lilian, Matthieu, Scott, and the rest of the crew—and thanks to Fred Glo for supporting this from the very beginning. The end of this season is bittersweet, with some of our favourite competitors retiring from racing. Salute to Anne Caroline Chausson, Nicolas Vouilloz, and Anka Martin for their contributions to mountain biking. It won't be the same without you on the circuit!
We would like to thank all of our sponsors, who have supported us from the first pedal stroke and supply us with the best parts available: Urge Bike Products, Maxxis, Shimano, Fox, Stan's Notubes, FTI Consulting, Race Face, Royal Racing, EVOC bags, Smith Optics, Val d'Allos, One Up Components, Clif Bar, 7 iDP, and WTB.
See you on track next year!
—Rocky Mountain Bicycles & Urge Bike Products
The Slayer is Back!
- Intended Use: Enduro / All Mountain
- Front Travel: 170mm
- Rear Travel: 165mm
- Wheel Size: 27.5”
Designed to lay waste to the world’s roughest trails, the Slayer is back as an all-carbon weapon. From the most aggressive Enduro World Series tracks to bike park laps and big mountain lines, its downhill-bike capability and pedaling responsiveness are matched with an uncanny ability to find and hold speed in rugged terrain. All killer, no filler.
“I’m super fired up that the Slayer is back. A few things really stood out to me through the development process—it pedals incredibly well, carries a ton of speed, and that extra bit of travel is awesome when you really want to rally! I see myself spending a ton of time on this bike." — Thomas Vanderham
- Full Smoothwall™ carbon frame
- Ride-4™ adjustability chip for precise geometry adjustments
- All sizes fit one water bottle inside the front triangle
- Future-proofed to run Di2 and a dropper post concurrently
- Max type Enduro cartridge bearing pivots with simplified hardware, Pipelock™ rocker link pivot
- Shock-eyelet bearings for small-bump sensitivity
- Single-sided chainstay and seatstay pivots for a narrower rear triangle—eliminates heel rub, even with Boost spacing
- Metric shock, 230x65
- 1x specific
- Clearance for up to 27.5x2.5 “wide trail” tires, and compatible with 26+ tires (26x3.0)
- Full-length internal dropper post and lockout routing. Internal brake routing in the front triangle, internal tube-in-tube shift routing
- Oversized downtube ports for ease of cable routing
- New derailleur hanger design reduces hardware complexity
- Lightweight bolt-on axle saves 35g compared to a traditional Boost axle
- PressFit BB92 bottom bracket, ZS44 | ZS56 headset
- Post-mount 180mm rear brake
- Max chainring size is 36t
- Sizing: S/M/L/XL
Our four-bar Smoothlink™ suspension has been tuned to eat up rough terrain and square-edged hits. We also increased the anti-squat values to make sure the bike pedals efficiently—whether you’re sprinting for a transfer stage or grinding towards a backcountry descent.
The Slayer features shock-mount bearings for incredible small-bump suppleness. Predictable, efficient, and capable, its rate curve provides good support at sag and a moderate ramp towards the end-stroke.
When we decided to bring the Slayer back, we knew it needed the crush-everything-in-its-path attitude of the previous generation while keeping the agility and efficiency that made it a favourite among aggressive trail riders. The updated geometry retains a fairly steep seat-tube angle, while the reach has been extended and the head-tube angle has been slackened.
We kept the BB drop neutral and the rear centre quite short to improve cornering, and shortened the seat-tube lengths to make room for the next generation of longer dropper posts.
Our Ride-4™ adjustability system was chosen for the Slayer in order to provide precise geometry adjustments while leaving the suspension curve virtually unaffected. The head-tube and seat-tube angles can be changed by just over a degree, and the bottom-bracket can be raised or lowered by 7.5mm. This allows racers to adapt their geometry from track-to-track while keeping shock tuning predictable and simple.
Size Specific Tune
Size Specific Tune ensures that riders of all sizes get the right balance of small-bump compliance, mid-stroke support, and end-stroke progressiveness. Our design team does custom shock tunes based on real world field testing, and adjusts each tune for every specific frame size, from S to XL.
Announcing the Reaper and Growler
We're fired up to launch two new bikes: the Reaper and the Growler! The Reaper is a pint-sized full suspension shredder that can be converted from 24" wheels to 26" wheels, while the Growler is an ultra-capable plus hardtail that's both playful and intuitive. Get all the details below.
- Intended Use: Youth Trail
- Front Travel: 120mm
- Rear Travel: 130mm
- Wheel Size: 24” / 26”
The Reaper provides the same aggressive trail performance found in our Thunderbolt and Altitude full suspension bikes in a smaller package for young rippers. It can tear up singletrack, smash technical descents, and slay bike park laps all day long. And, because we know that kids grow (and have younger siblings), the Reaper is easily convertible from 24” wheels to 26” wheels and vice versa. Don't fear the Reaper.
"The Reaper is the most fun and lightest full suspension bike I've ever ridden. It's good for everything! I can sometimes pass my dad on the trails and I'm even riding A-Line in the bike park!" —Dane Jewett, 10 Years Old
- Intended Use: Trail
- Front Travel: 120mm
- Wheel Size: 27.5+
The Growler takes full advantage of high volume 27.5+ tires and next generation trail geometry for a capable, confident ride. More traction makes short work of scrabbly climbs, more forgiveness helps hold aggressive lines, and intuitive handling keeps the ride playful. Cheers, eh!
Mountains as Far as the Eye Can See
Mountains, mountains, mountains. As far as the eye can see. We are definitely in the Alps…
Words by Remi Gauvin, photos by Matt Wragg
La Thuile 2016 will go down as the most descending in 4 days I have done to date. In those days we descended 15,000m, wore through brake pads, and made a short career of tires. We also had a lot of fun.
La Thuile is on the French-Italian border near the famous mountaineering towns of Chamonix and Courmayeur. Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in Europe, loomed over most of the stages throughout the weekend, but the weather played nice.
Stages were almost all accessed by lift with the exception of stage one. This meant that while our legs were fresh at the start of each stage, the long steep runs were punishing on the rest of our bodies. Riders were complaining that their arms were dead by the end of each run. All stages were physical in their own way and each one had a solid dose of climbing. The energy we saved on the transfers was more than spent on the stages.
Stage 1 started across the valley from the ski resort, and was the one stage without chairlift access. We climbed Col San Carlo and then up into the alpine, 900 meters above La Thuile. The stage started with some typical tight European switchbacks before passing through grass fields and dropping into the woods below. Alex Cure and Andreane both finished 4th on this stage.
For Stage 2 we headed back to the lift and made our ascent to the start. This stage started in the alpine, flagged though rough rocks and gorse bushes, only burned in by the countless riders who were sent to ride through it. Next we cut through a farmers cattle field—in practice we'd encountered a herd of stubborn cattle here, and they could not give a damn if there was a bike race happening where they wanted to graze. Then, finally ending on an old access road that zig-zagged across the bottom of the hill. Andreane finished a career best 2nd place on this stage and Florian took 3rd in the men’s field.
Stage 3 was one of the fastest stages of the weekend, but also one of the longest, with a brutal climb at the bottom. Fast rock faces and high speed corners in the alpine, twisty woods in the middle, followed by some of the best steeps of the race. Just when you thought it might be all over the course turned a sharp right and sent us onto a gravel road pointing right back up the hill. During the race the crowds screamed at you to pedal, while your legs screamed at you to stop. Stage 3 one of the best of the weekend, but it was also one of the worst of the weekend.
A night off to reflect on the days racing went by quickly. Soon we were back on the top of the mountain about to drop into Stage 4—one of the longest and most physical stages of the race. It seemed that it was always just slightly flatter than you wanted. A gravel road climb in the middle of the stage had me seeing red into the next section, and hanging on by a thread by the end of the stage. Andreane showed her fitness once again and backed up her first day with another 2nd place.
Stage 5, although not extremely physical, was very technical. Steep off camber sections meant that you had to be precise and patient in during the stage in order to shine.
The final stage of the weekend stage had a mixture of the highlights of every stage of the race. Tight switch backs, technical off cambers, steep chutes and a solid climb in the middle of the stage. The bottom was lined with spectators as you entered the finish area. It was a great stage to finish the weekend on.
Florian Nicolaï said that although he was happy with his 5th place result, he didn’t perform his best in a few of the stages and it cost him. Nevertheless, his consistant performance bumped him up into 3rd place in the Overall category.
Jesse also felt that his 13th didn’t reflect his pace this weekend and a few mistakes on Stage 5 knocked him back in the overall. After injury troubles the last few rounds, it's great to see him smashing stages again.
Andreane was of course over the moon with her result. 3rd place in her first real race of the season!
Once again the team as a whole performed spectacularly. We were the number one team on the weekend and added 100 points to extend our lead in the Team Overall. Andreane finished a career-best 3rd, while Florian finished 5th in the men’s. Alex finished 11th, Jesse 13th and I finished 23rd. Seb also took 2nd place in U21, keeping pace in his season-long battle with Adrien Dailly.
Next stop, Aspen!
— Remi Gauvin
Fresh Threads on the Web Store
We've got lots of fresh threads available in our Web Store. From technical apparel to new lifestyle and heritage pieces, we've got great gear to to fly the flag—including a collaboration with Race Face!
Even better, you can use the code SUMMER10 at checkout for 10% off all apparel. Valid till the end of August. See you on the trails!
Riders: Kevin Calhoun & Justin Roy || Vaea Verbeeck
Photographer: Margus Riga || Margus Riga
Locations: Vernon, BC || Pemberton, BC