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Cross Bikes

The Sevens of D2R2

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

D2R2, the Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnee, is the sort of event that challenges a rider, not only to ride great distances and climb what seem like endless New England hills, but also to come up with a bike that will meet all its challenges for traction, comfort and speed. With up to 180km of mixed-terrain and as many as 10,000ft of vertical gain, this is no small challenge. Every year we love to look around and see the bikes, and it seems that each year we also see more Sevens.

We might be uniquely suited to building this style of bike. We saw Axiom road bikes modified to take wider tires (and a flat bar) like the one below. We saw Mudhoney CX race bikes, and we saw Evergreens aplenty, our purpose built mixed-terrain bikes.

Here are just a few of the Sevens we saw at D2R2.IMG_1050IMG_0996IMG_0999IMG_1007IMG_1004IMG_1061

Julie’s Mudhoney PRO

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

JWMPRO4

This is Julie’s Mudhoney PRO, our top of the line cyclocross race bike. This one has Sour Apple Chris King disc hubs and matching headset, both the wheel and bike builds done by the good folks at Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington, MA. This is a fast bike for a fast rider, and we think it came out great.

Ken’s Evergreen SL

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

17758114924_a8a868661d_zThis is Ken’s Evergreen SL, another great build from Bob at Wheel Werks in Crystal Lake, IL. It’s hard to tell how well the bike came out, because Ken more or less immediately put it through hell (see his comment below), and he sent pictures with it still covered in mud from one of the more intense editions of the Dirty Kanza in recent memory. We love it.

Ken says:

The bike is great, couldn’t be happier. Two days after I picked it up I did a 300k and if performed perfectly in terms of fit and performance. Also did Dirty Kanza 200 a few weeks later, same thing (rider, not so good…19hrs, 59 minutes).

See more of Ken’s photos here.

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2015 Dusk to Dawn Ride

Monday, July 6th, 2015

June’s Dusk to Dawn Ride was another inaugural event for Overland Base Camp, the more organized incarnation of our own Rob V‘s obsession with dirt and mixed-terrain riding. D2D indulges Rob’s penchant for late night adventures, serving up 85 miles of crazy trail sections linked by pavement. A bonfire at the turnaround gave riders an opportunity to refuel.

Out of the Night - video image - Rob Vandermark

This style of riding demands a lot (including a SPOT tracker and enough battery to power lights through most of a night on the trail), not just physically, but also mentally. All your concentration is riveted on a patch of light ahead of your front tire, and staying upright depends on reading the line quickly.

This edition of D2D was plagued by downpours, but all the riders finished safely and happily, if not completely exhausted.

Some photos below:

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Mesmerized by the Dusk to Dawn Fire - photo - Rob VandermarkOn the Bridge of Dusk to Dawn - photo - Rob VandermarkThe Rain Returns at the Dusk to Dawn Ride - photo Rob VandermarkThinking About Beginning the Next Leg of the Dusk to Dawn - photo - Rob VandermarkDrying Feet and Shoes at the Dusk to Dawn Ride - photo - Rob Vandermark

Horses for All Courses

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

JohnShredThree of us showed up for this morning’s shop rideĀ on three different bikes (while others…ahem…chose to sleep). It’s only 10 miles, but all on twisty, rooted, rocky single-track, one of those cool stretches of uninterrupted dirt that seems so improbable so close to the city, but it’s a gift we avail of ourselves year round, year-after-year.

It was just the regular Thursday morning dirt commute, but here’s where it gets interesting. One of us rode a mountain bike with 2.3s. One of us road an Evergreen with 40c tires, and the third road a cross bike with 32s. None of us was out of our league, and none of us seemed to have too much bike. Were there differences in how we performed over the varied terrain? Sure. The mountain bike was fastest through rock gardens and over roots. The other two bikes were faster on packed climbs. But it all evened out, and we all had fun.

This was one of those cool, unintentional experiments that yielded reinforcement for an idea we’ve been nursing for a long time, that the common conceptions about the “right” bike to ride in a given situation are probably not more than reasonable suggestions, and that really, you just have to ride what you love.NeilNMatty Don’t get trapped by expectations. Be led by fun.