Bike of the Week- Brook’s Intense Carbine custom build

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Brook’s carbine is built to be light and strong to compliment her aggressive yet smooth riding style. Some of the standout features are a full carbon fiber frame with our favorite full suspension upgrade, a cane creek DBair shock. A 1×10 SRAM X9 drivetrain featuring our new favorite shop upgrade, a raceface wide-narrow chainring, a Fox 34 fork and those beautiful Industry 9 purple wheels.SONY DSC

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Why it’s cool- A 26 pound bike with 160mm of travel is always going to be pretty cool, this one is extra cool because of how incredibly capable the Carbine chassis is, the i9 wheels add to the performance level with their quick engagement, the 1×10 drivetrain is upgraded with our new ‘shop favorite upgrade’, a Raceface wide-narrow chainring which pretty much renders chainguides obsolete for trail bikes.SONY DSC

 

Brook’s bike is pretty cool because this is one amazing bike that has enough personal touches that make it 100% unique, just because every part on it serves a singular purpose of making this a no compromise trailbike, doesn’t mean it can’t be one amazing looking bike at the same time.

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Bike of the Week- Intense Tracer29

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Considering the weather we’ve experienced all month, this weeks ‘bike’ should probably be a photo of a canoe, but I’m gonna keep it real and talk about one of our favorite custom builds. An Intense Tracer29 with some pretty rad bits hung from it’s hand-built in the USofA frame. The Tracer29 has two travel options for the rear shock, 5″ or 5.5″, the rear dropouts are easily swapped-out to go from 135×10 to a 142×12 through axle which this bike has. It is also running a Marzocchi Roco air shock, something we feels complements the VPP suspension design extremely well and matches the performance and plush feel of the ‘zocchi fork.

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This Tracer is sporting SRAM’s XX1 drivetrain, which is pretty darn cool. You get to ditch the front derailleur and shifter and still have a gear range that is equivalent to a 2×10 set-up. SRAM was able to pull this off by going to an outrageous 10×42 11 speed rear cassette.

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The 10 tooth cog on the cassette requires a special hub, which is quickly becoming available for almost all hubs, but it is yet another new ‘standards’. This bike rolls on a set of 29″ Enduro wheels from Industry Nine, a shop favorite. The i9 wheels are shod with a set of 2.4 Maxxis Ardent tires set-up tubeless.  There is a, now almost mandatory for any all-mountain bike, dropper post. In this case a Rockshox Reverb. One of the great thing about ditching the front shifter is it provides more room on the handlebar to place the remote for the seatpost. Notice the amazingly cool machine work on the Hope brake lever, they really know their way around a CNC machine. Easy to use, tool free adjustments for reach adjust and bite point.

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Why it’s cool: The Intense Tracer29 was the original longer travel 29′ bike when it was introduced in 2009 and it’s taken a few years for everyone to catch up and wrap their heads around just how capable a 5.5″ travel 29er can be. This bike is insanely fast in rough terrain. How fast exactly? That’s been tested: http://dirt.mpora.com/news/dirt-magazine-26v29-bonus-feature.html heck, they named it their ‘Trail Bike of the Year’. This is the first bike I’ve ridden that I honestly feel pedals like a trail bike and feels like my DH bike on downhill sections of trail. It’s just amazing. 

 

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Bike of the Week- Scott CR1 Comp

Scott CR1 Comp

Scott CR1 Comp

It might be too wet to get out and ride a mountain bike on trails, but there is plenty of time between the storms to log some serious mileage on a road bike. The Scott CR1 Comp is our Bike of the Week, why? Because for under $2000 it features a full carbon frame and fork which give our Northern Vermont roads a silky smooth feel.SONY DSC Scott has engineered the shape of the chainstays and seatstays to allow for some vertical movement when riding broken pavement, a serious benefit here. The frame is still plenty stiff at the bottom bracket, so it leaps forward when power is applied to the pedals.  SONY DSC The toptube and downtube meet at a seriously stiff headtube. the CR1 goes exactly where you steer it. This is the beauty of carbon frame construction, the designers can tailor the design to be stiff where it needs to be yet compliant where it can be. SONY DSC Don’t be afraid of the skinny tires, lack of rolling resistance is what it’s all about.

Why it’s Cool: The CR1 is cool because it’s full carbon frame and Shimano 105 components will ride every bit as well as any $5000 super-bike without breaking the $2000 mark. Every summer, it seams, we have a month of extremely wet weather. When you have a roadbike, you don’t have to stop riding while you wait for a break in the weather. Think about all your riding buddies sitting at home on the couch as you are out adding horsepower to your pedal stroke… when the trails dry out you’ll be faster and they’ll be slower. That is kinda fun.

 

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Wet Weather Got You Down?

We know how you feel…  Record breaking rainfall amounts over May and June have left our local trails saturated and kept us off our mountain bikes for the better part of 3 weeks.  It’s easy to grab the bike and head out on the trails as soon as the sun comes out, but realistically we need a few days in a row of sun before most of our trail network is rideable.

What to do in the meantime?  Luckily, Trapp Family Lodge has done an excellent job keeping their trails open throughout this rainy stretch.  If you’ve never experienced mountain biking at Trapp Family Lodge, now is the time to head up the hill and check out their excellent trail network.  Their trails feature an amazing mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails and is arguably the best place in Stowe for beginners to try mountain biking.  For more info, check out their FAQ page

There are also numerous fire road/dirt road options if you need to get out and spin your pedals.  One of our favorite spots when it’s wet (aside from Trapp Family Lodge) is the Cottonbrook trails.  Mostly double track mixed with some old single track make Cottonbrook a great place to get in miles, even in the rain.

Of course, rainy stretches are a great time to clean your bike, take care of any worn out parts, or upgrade to that high/low compression adjustment fork you’ve been eying.  Our incredible bike mechanics are here and ready to make sure you’re getting the most out of your current ride.  Whether it’s advice on suspension tunes, a complete drive train overhaul, or anything in between – we’re here to help.

We came across some GoPro footage from last season the other day, so we chopped it up and threw together a short video from our local trails.  You’ll recognize the fun, flowy sections of Cady Hill Forest single track if you’re lucky enough to have ridden here.  Just look out for that tree at the end of the ride!

 

Make sure to get out there and do those sun dances!!

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New Intense Builds

Hi Bikers!

Boy do we have some eye candy for you!  Our service department just finished building up two bikes from Intense Cycles, a Carbine and a Tracer 27.5.  These two bikes are quickly becoming favorites among avid Stowe riders, and there’s no wonder why.  Whether you prefer the classic 26 inch wheel or want to test the relatively untouched 27.5 waters, either frame will blow you away with performance and overall versatility.  If you haven’t had a chance to throw a leg over an Intense, definitely stop by the shop and give one a test ride.  For now, check out this gallery of two of the snazziest bikes we’ve put together this summer.

 

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Just a reminder – tomorrow is our women only group ride!  We tend to leave the shop around 6:15, so make sure you arrive with enough time to get your riding gear on, tweak your bike setup, or anything else you might need to do to make your ride that much better.  You can find more info on our facebook page or by calling the shop!

Friday night will be our non-gender-segregated group ride as usual.  Same time frame as the womens only ride, but you can be male, or female, or whatever.  Super duper manly men only rides don’t exist yet, sorry.

See you on the trails!  ; )

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Bike of The Week- Rocky Mountain Element 970 RSL BC Edition

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This weeks bike splits the difference between XC Race Rig and fast Trail Bike, in fact, it’s not between the two categories, it fits cleanly into both categories. Utilizing a Fox Talas fork with 120mm of travel that can be reduced to 90mm with the flip of a switch, allows for two very distinctly different rides. At 120mm the Fox fork slackens the geometry and raises the bottom bracket enough to make the BC Edition a fast trail ripper that can handle some pretty gnarly terrain. The RockShox Reverb post helps as well, allowing for on-the-flay seat height adjustment and it allows you to get the seat all the way out of your way when the trail plunges. In the 90mm setting steepens the front end, quickening the steering, making this a no compromise XC Race bike, capable of lining up on the start line of any race.

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Why It’s Cool- We all want our toys to serve multiple purposes, this bike does. Trail ride it all week then go racing on the weekend. You won’t feel you bought a ‘jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none’, you’ll feel like your bike kicks ass. The dropper post, adjustable travel Talas fork and 3×10 drivetrain are the keys to this bikes utility, they allow for two very different ride feels. The move to simplify gearing is just great when you have a clearly defined purpose for your bike, when you want versatility nothing beats a full set of gears.

Who It’s For- The Rocky Mountain Element RSL BC Edition will appeal to anyone who is starting to feel like maybe 160mm of travel ‘all mountain’ bikes are a little bit over-kill for the trails they ride. Someone who wants a bike that can fly on the uphill sections but doesn’t feel handicapped on the downhill. If you want to try your hand at a bit of racing but really love trail riding and only want one bike? This is a perfect solution.

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Bike of the Week- Intense Tracer 27.5

ImageThe Intense Cycles build bicycles from two materials, carbon fiber and 6000 series aluminum. The aluminum frames are built almost entirely ‘in-house’ in Temecula California, from design to welding, machining linkages and heat treating, it’s all done by a small crue of dedicated bike fanatics (the only thing they out source is painting, which is done just down the road). The tracer 27.5 is aluminum, this is important because it allowed for many small design tweaks during development, intense jumped into the ‘tweener wheel size whole-heartily and built this frame from the ground up to accommodate the wheels. Something that building with carbon, unfortunately, doesn’t allow.

Why It’s Cool- Many of us have spent some time on 29″ wheeled bikes and have been amazed at the wheel’s ability to roll over anything in their path, grip wet roots and rocks while climbing and maintain traction deep into corners. 29ers are pretty darn cool riding XC/trail type terrain and pretty much unbeatable climbing in technical terrain. So what’s not to like? Where they have short comings is, well, fun. They aren’t very nimble, they are harder to manual or wheely and they act funny in the air. If you are new to the mtb game you’ll probably be happiest on a 29er, but if you have a long history with 26″ wheels but want some of the things a 29″ wheel brings to the table you are a candidate for a tweener bike.

    The tracer 27.5 feels a whole lot like a 26″ wheeled bike, well, because the reality is that this new wheel sizes isn’t actually half way between 26″ and 29″, it’s really closer to 27″… but that extra inch means a lot. That intoxicating grip and roll-over of a 29″ wheel is there, the tires seem to float across root mats without sinking down between each root, the tires hook-up and grip, but at the same time the wheel feels more ‘alive’ than any 29er I’ve ever ridden. The FUN is there, the bike doesn’t feel like a monster truck, it feels nimble and playful like a 26″ bike, just with more traction. Image

   The Tracer 27.5 has adjustable travel of 5.5″ or 6″, has a seat tube port to run an internal Rockshox Stealth dropper post and can be equipped with either 135x10mm rear drop outs or 142x12mm rear through axle. It’s available in four ‘standard’ colors and a whole bunch of custom colors (for an up-charge). Standard colors are: Works Raw, Intense Red, Flo Green and Black Chrome. It comes stock with a Fox CTD shock and the amazing Cane Creek Double Barrel Air is an option. Intense is offering the bike in two build options, Expert and rallye or as a frame which can be custom spec’ed, prices start at about $4200 for full builds.

Who It’s For- The Tracer 27.5 is going to appeal to an aggressive trail/AM rider who is looking to gain an advantage over a 26″ bike while climbing without losing the things we like about 26″ wheels on the down-side. It also should appeal to anyone who values products that are really Made In America.

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