Viva Las Vegas

In a drunken stupor you awake to find your clothes missing and a strange hotel room with passed out strippers strewn about. Don't panic, just take a deep breath and relax you have plenty of time to update your website with new bike offerings from Interbike.

With the end of the race season comes Interbike, ushering in all the new must-haves for the next years riding. It’s a good time to connect with friends lament on times past and get your dollars full of baby oil and glitter. For those of you who have never made the trip, it is one filled with a mix of emotions. The show offers everything your little heart desires for two wheels, the Demo day lets you test pilot a bevy of expensive steeds and the location lends it self to parties and mayhem. But after a few days the walk around the convention floor begins to make your dogs bark, the new product loses its luster the electro shock from the carpet annoys you and prices for alcohol kill your wallet. But hey that is the nature of Vegas “in and out” just enough to make an impression and then another year of work and riding. We will try to keep you abreast of the situation so that you can be all the rage at the water cooler with your new bicycle product wizardry. If we seem a little slow just remember, we have just woken up in a strange room with strippers and chaos, it may just take a few minutes to catch our bearings and deliver the goods to you.

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SRAM Blackbox Shift Levers

SRAM always knows how to treat the elite riders in there stable. Special edition colors for Boxxers, copper plating on code calipers, the white out paint job on Juicy Ultimates the list goes on and will continue to go on. The latest edition to the specialized kit is this series of SRAM XO shift levers personalized for Sam, Steve and Nathan. Anodized black and custom grooving as per rider spec. They do not have any plans as of yet to release these goods for mass consumption but you can bet that if they do superfans across the land will be standing in line, lunch money in hand.

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E.13 New Limited Colorway

Lutze got the jump on everyone as far as E.13 is concerned. Seafoam green looks to be the latest offering from the boys in the Northeast. We will be sure to check in with Tobler and crew in Vegas and give you any info we can muster.

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They hate our Freedom

Those crazy canucks are at again with some zany antics! Kind of beat us to the punch? Not to mention the story on page 22! Macleans

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Sram plans to make you see RED

Sram has already made the jump into the road component market. For 2008 they plan on delivering the best road group available. RED is a new line featuring everything from new innovative double-tap shifters to super compact rear mechs. and titanium laden front mechs, all the goodies. The Gucci line will be seen at Interbike as well as tested. They spared no expense utilizing materials such as ceramic bearings, structural carbon and titanium. For you pro Campy, anti Shimano crowd they even have under tape cable routing for that oh so clean look.

Sram recently acquired Zipp Wheels, world domination is on the horizon. Go see Red

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2 North American WC's for 2008

Two North American World Cups! Mount Saint Anne and now Bromont for 2008. The UCI just announced its acceptance to have Bromont host a UCI World Cup race. Bromont has been home of many Canadian Cups as well as the Masters, footage can be seen in "Earthed 2" as well as "Illusionary Lines" both of which feature the famed bridge jump. This is big new for us mooks in the States we will be getting our things together and trying to fight our way to via for a chance to compete with the big boys. (aka: lose to the big boys) The translation come via an online french translator, so it is a little shaky when read but rest assured 2008 will be a phenomenal year for racing in North America. We got our chance, lets hope we do not get screwed.

"In spite of the eulogistic comments received for the organization, with the raised foot, of the 5e section of the World cup of bicycle of mountain, the Union international cyclist (UCI) preferred to grant the stage of August the 2 and 3 to Bromont rather than Saint-Félicien.

Suspense was untied yesterday, whereas the last box to be confirmed in the calendar posts from now on Bromont. The previous week, is July the 26 and 27, the tradition was respected by granting the three events to the Mount-Saint-Anne.

"It is sure that it is a little disappointing, but it is business. They had the choice between presenting an event on two different sites or at Bromont which had put everything on the table and was able to present the three events. I expected myself some a little by knowing that Bromont had presented its candidature ", admit the president of the organization félicinoise, Martin Demers, was not surprised to see that the UCI had privileged Bromont

In spite of his site and his course enchanters, Saint-Félicien was underprivileged owing to the fact that it could present only the cross-country race. However, the UCI clearly implied that she would recommend a place in measurement to organize the three events, that is to say the cross-country race, the descent and the Fourcross race. A requirement that Bromont could satisfy perfectly.

Saint-Félicien had tried to mitigate this gap by taking an agreement with the organization of the Mount-Sainte-Anne so that the latter holds two fourcross and downhill races. This alternative was not retained by the leaders of the UCI."

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Verde BMX

New bike company Verde will be releasing a new line next week at Interbike. The bikes look very promising and the design detail seems to be pretty dialed. We will collecting info at the show on them and other kick-ass companies.

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Matti breaks back

Yesterday, while filming in Helsinki Matti Lehikoinen suffered a terrible crash breaking 3 of his vertebrae. He still has all the feeling in his outer extremties. His prognosis is very positive and they expect him to make a full recovery, obviously quite a bit of time off the bike will be needed. His injury was sustained just a few days after the last World Cup race where he left the Honda team and signed with a new team for 2008. It has also been confirmed that he will be taking Kovariks place at MS-Intense.

"I spoke to Matti for 10 minutes this morning. He's in a lot of pain, but he is remaining completely positive. He told me that he went to go off a very small drop off, about a meter high, on his home trails when something caught his rear wheel just as his front wheel left the drop off. The bike pitched suddenly forward and threw him over the handlebars onto his back. He knew immediately that he had suffered a severe injury, and remained still as his mate called for the ambulance. Right now all we can do is wait for more information from the medical experts, and support Matti, and his family who have been very shocked by this news," - Martin Whiteley.

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Kovarik may be checking the classifieds

If you think really hard, so hard you have to squint your eyes you will slowly remember those early days of Team Qranc out of Big Bear back in 1999. All right now that you have that memory concentrate on those GT Lobos they were riding, you know the one with the Hope hub, Rock Shox disc brakes and the quintessential red Boxxer. Now that I have got your synapse firing it should be easy to remember a young Chris Kovarik on this team. Wide-eyed and bushy tailed, ready to destroy anything that Norba threw in front of him.

Well that was one of my first memories of the guy, seeing him destroy the course and the bike. He then moved onto Intense, an American powerhouse company with an Australian powerhouse rider. He would hit the Norba and World Cup circuit with friends Nathan Rennie of Yeti as well as Steve Peat and Kirt Vories of GT. His most standout race would come in 2002 at Fort William, Scotland. He crushed the field of pro men, winning by 14 seconds. Which still stands as one of the most impressive wins and displays of bike handling ever. In 2003 he suffered a badly broken ankle from a motocross accident, the accident and an offer from Haro would put his career in jeopardy with Intense. Steber brought him back and in 2005 he began racing the World Cup circuit once again.

His career lately has been rocky, with mechanicals and flats he sunk down the standings. It didn't help that the Canucks wouldn't let him into the country taking away his chance at Mount Saint Anne, which he won in 2006. So it is no huge surprise to hear rumors of him leaving the MS-Intense race team. The speculation has been floating around of possibly Matti Lehikoinen filling his shoes on the team with his recent departure from big ole factory Honda.

One thing is certain it is a marvel to watch Kovarik ride, he shows such utter disdain for the terrain in front of him and makes the trail beg for forgiveness. Scott Hart said it best about his riding style "evil".

He will soon land another ride if he needs it and we will all have to get used to seeing him on something other than a Steber bike. Of course if you look hard enough, you know enough to squint you may just see him on his old Lobo.

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New World Disorder 8

Nashville what?
So it looks like we are on "8" at this point. I'm guessing that when we finally hit number 13 huckers will be gapping major bodies of water and small third world countries. Regardless of the high-five bro factor, I will be there drink in hand to help usher in the new flick. Because if there is one thing huckers can do, its huck! So I will certainly watch. Pray for some racer footage...

World Premiere, Las Vegas, NV
September 26, 2007
Doors Open: 8:00 pm
Show Starts: 10:00 pm
Palms Casino
Hosted by: Freeride Entertainment
Live entertainment, riders and tons of prizes.

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Ken Goto

I have been a fan of Ken Goto's work for some time now. He captures skate like few others, more engulfed by the characters that participate then the action itself. This love of portraits has breathed quite a bit of life into his portfolio from snapping beautiful images of skater-actor Jason Lee or brutally honest pics of Mobb Deep star Prodigy. His site features a good selection of works Ken Goto Photography

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Sombrio Girls

Dave Watson and Company have been hard at work fusing killer design with exceptional function into MTB clothing for quite a few years now. They have not left out the ladies at all. Sombrios girl line is at the peak of the off-road fashion pyramid. To showcase there latest designs for women, they have crafted a beautiful website that enables you to peruse and believe that women do not have to look like candy bar wrappers when they set out to go riding. Thank you Sombrio.

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Maribor WC, Lehikoinens last on the Honda


Matti Lehikoinen and the Honda Racing team have parted ways. This past weekends Maribor World Cup race was to be his last with the team. Lehikoinen "Today is my last day with the team, and for me, this is where it all began, Maribor 2001 when I met Martin. So I'm so happy to have had my greatest career success so far, here where it all began for me. Now it's time to celebrate!".
Lehikoinen is rising to the top at a rapid rate with a win at Champery this year and a second place overall win for the series he will be hungry for the top podium next year. It has yet to be determined where he will be next year but we are sure he will bring the same drive. Honda new comer Brendan Fairclough and veteran Greg Minnaar will be rounding out the team for next year and we hope to see Brendan back in form.

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The last World Cup of the season.

Sam Hill won in Maribor. Gee placed second. Seems as if Sam is the new World Cup overall winner as well as the World Champion.
The top finishes at this race was littered with riders who usually are contending just to edge into the top ten. It is a welcome site to see them on the podium. Congrats to Matti for placing second in the overall pushing out Steve "I will race to the grave" Peat.
Graves got the shaft again in 4x. The World Cup season comes to an end and Interbike is a week away.


The Bos

Bos Engineering is back in the DH game with an all new rear shock.
You too can own a piece of engineering marvel for the cool price of $925.00, thats alot of cake.

This is taken from the press release:

The new Bos DH rear shock is born on Qbikes DH Team request. Cyril Lagneau (team manager) and Jack Roure (mechanic), asked us if we would be able to design a specific damper for their new DH frame meant for Mickaël Pascal. The instructions where clear : make a performing shock, specificly setted for the bike's rear suspension geometry, reliable and without any gadget. So, we made it !
This shock is very simple, but trully efficient. We used all hour knowledge to design it. It is adjustable in low and high speed compression plus rebound. It's PURE EFFICIENCY. !

Besides Q Bikes DH Team, Fabien Pedemanaud will get one for his 2007 season (read previous news), and we decided to built a very small quantity of shocks, that will so be available as a very limited edition for pro and/or amateur, but always demanding racers.

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The creepy guy that put this thing in his basement has programmed it for all sorts of fun.

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It has been a while...

I suffer from a broken shoulder blade, broken bike and broken spirits. 4 weeks! The longest I have gone without riding my bike in 7 years. Big wipeout in Whistler.

World Championships 2007
Sam won! No Shit. It had to be his Scott goggles which gave him a clear, unobstructed view of the trail that ensured his victory.

The big story in my eyes was Minnaar who got 4th, only 7.95 seconds of Hill, crashed in his race run dislocating and breaking his shoulder and rode the rest of the 2 minute 40 seconds down the mountain. He will not be racing in this weeks World Cup final in Maribor, Slovenia.

Flipper has got some great pics so clicky on the righty.

Alot of new things have been happening in our bike world. New products abound and Interbike peeks its head in the next two weeks. So glad I did'nt buy an iphone right away. Fixed gear is up and running, sort of. And we are playing with a slight western theme here at TractionMag.

I will talk to you soon.
I promise.

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