Nothing beats the view from the Edge of the World, a Sun Valley classic. Not a bad place to host Outerbike if you ask us. Katie Lozancich Photo.
Sun Valley, with its 400+ miles of singletrack, was a fitting destination to host the mountain bike demo extravaganza known as Outerbike. The resort, transformed into a bustling market, was teaming with bike enthusiasts eager to see and try the latest products in the industry. There were a lot of products, bikes, and knickknacks on display at the event, but a few particularly caught our eye. Here are our favorites from the Sun Valley Outerbike stop:
Zoic Men’s Evolve Jersey - $80
Versatility is key when it comes to gear. If you can roll straight off the trail to the bar without having to swap clothes, then that’s a huge win in our books. Zoic’s Evolve jersey does just that. Don’t let its casual appearance fool you, it’s lightweight and breathable like your typical ¾ jersey—its just has a bit more style. Plus, the bison print scored a few extra brownie points for us Wyomingites.
Transition Patrol Carbon GX - $4999
The only thing harder than picking a bike to demo was deciding where to ride it. Ultimately the Transition Patrol caught our eye. It’s a lot of bike to handle with 170mm travel in the front, and 160mm in the rear. We were a bit skeptical about how it’d pedal since it looks like a downhill plow, but it held its own on Sun Valley’s ascents. If you could have just one bike in your garage, this wouldn’t be a bad choice.
What separates Transition from other bike brands is what they call Speed Balanced Geometry (SBG). It might sound like a bunch of flashy buzz words, but it’s a unique approach to bike geometry they’ve been working on since 2015. In Transition’s eyes, bikes needed to evolve with the times, and as a result, they’ve made some noticeable changes to their frames. Those include the classics: longer reach and slacker head tube angles, but the real magic happens with a reduced fork offset. If you really want to nerd out about all the changes, Transition goes into lengthy detail here. But essentially the quick synopsis is that the system gives you more steering control over your bike on the trail by putting more weight on the front wheel.
Showers Pass Waterproof Socks - $37
Socks can be a piece of gear we often overlook, that is until you stumble across an unexpected creek crossing. Now you’re riding back to the car with damp and unhappy feet. You could avoid this situation altogether with a pair of Showers Pass waterproof socks. These socks are constructed with three different layers. One is the knit-like exterior, which feels like a regular sock. Underneath that is a waterproof breathable Artex™ membrane and an anti-bacterial lining. Basically, you’re getting a rain bootie that’s been engineered down into a sock. Magic. And while that might sound like a lot of layers on your feet not to worry, the extra construction doesn’t compromise its breathability.
High Above Hip pack Collaboration with Fidlock - Cost TBD
The High Above Hip Pack/Fidlock Collab has not been released yet and will be available soon. For now, you can buy both products separately here:
Hip packs are possibly the hippest trend right now in biking. Terrible dad jokes aside, they’ve become the go-to pack choice because of their size and convenience. But many hip packs do have one pitfall: water bottle holders. The standard slide in water bottle holder just doesn’t cut it. Try riding through a rock garden and your bottle will likely hop out like a salmon jumping upstream. An elegant solution is Fidlock. It’s a magnetic locking system that keeps water bottles secured, and it’s commonly used on bike frames to replace the usual water bottle cage. They’ve taken note of the hip pack trend and collaborated with Bellingham-based High Above packs. The duo is a win-win for all. Not only do you get a finely constructed pack, but the Fidlock attachments ensure that your water isn’t going anywhere–no matter how bumpy the ride.
Light and Motion Bike Lights - $129-240
The fun shouldn’t have to end when the sun sets, but if you’re going for a night pedal you’ll want a light you can rely on. Light and Motion is a brand who’s quietly been crushing the illumination game for the last 25 years. What’s neat is that they didn’t even start out as a cycling brand—they originally made lighting equipment for underwater photography. So, any light you purchase from them is going to be shock resistant and waterproof. Our favorites for mountain biking were the Taz series. Ranging from 1200 to 2000 Lumens, these lights deliver an exceptionally powerful light on the trail for a fairly reasonable price.
Trevor Kennison airing huge into Corbet's Couloir on a DynAccess Hydra monoski. Nic Alegre photo. When snowboarder Trevor Kennison hit the ground on that fateful day in 2014, he immediately thought it was all over. A morning of riding fresh powder and hitting jumps on Vail Pass had suddenly turned into his worst nightmare. Kennison had just broken his back and his life was about to change forever. He was paralyzed from the waist down. The story doesn’t end here, though. Fast forward a
Taking toxic chemicals out of tent fabrics is just one way the outdoor industry is addressing sustainability. Mountain Hardwear photo. In a 2016 study, Duke University researchers found that most commercially-available recreational tents were covered in chemicals hazardous to human health. What started off years ago as an initiative to make tents safer by coating them in flame-retardant chemicals to prevent fiery accidents, ended up creating sleeping spaces covered in toxic substances.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is upgrading its global weather forecasting model for the first time in 40 years. NOAA’s new model is a step into the future, utilizing better computer technology in what is called a dynamical Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere (FV3) model. For scientists, this means better data to predict severe weather like winter storms and hurricane paths. For us, it means a more accurate daily weather forecast in terms of temperature and precipitation.