Mike Aitken is a beast!

His riding is impressive, most impressive.

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Levis BMX Team

Tough jeans call for tough riders. Press play, observe the carnage.

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You remember that bad show "Pacific Blue"

Well TAG does and if you don't then consider yourself lucky. Looks like Tag thinks that us bike people only have a 30 second memory. They are truly trying to reinvent the wheel.
TAG Wheels will be offering a new wheel system next week at Interbike.

“Our wheels provide long term value in a classic stylish (to be read "SPIN") look,” says Mike Thomas V.P of TAG Wheels. “The wheels are extremely easy to use, offer a great ride, and with MSRP starting at just $429 per set our TR3 wheels are affordable for any rider.”
Stay tuned for in-depth Interbike coverage next week as we report all the latest and greatest, needless to say this product will not be one of them.

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iPhone meet bike, bike meet iPhone.

A good friend to TractionMag and ambassador of E13, John P. has brough to our attention this great new app for your iPhone.

Lately, I've been trying to find mods to make my all-moutain bike feel more like my DH bike, and dialing in the head angle seems to be a good place to start for me. The problem I've had is getting an accurate measurement of the Headtube Angle without blowing a ton of $$ on a tool I probably won't use that often. Luc posted up a link for a cool looking inclinometer made by Wixey, but those run about $40. On the other hand, you can get a cheap dial-type angle gauge from almost any hardware store, but their accuracy (and clarity) is mediocre at best.

Enter the iPhone (and all of the d-bags like myself who actually like these things). They've got a cool application in the Appstore that has a really slick and very accurate inclinometer that you can download to your phone. Cost? $0.99. Search iTunes for "Clinometer" or check the Top 50 paid Apps - it's currently sitting at #35. You can zero the thing on any surface so that it gives you an accurate measurement even if you're not necessarily sitting on a level surface, and it uses the iPhone's built-in accelerometers.

Keep up the great work John, check out his work and his friends at E13.

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USA Cycling changes things up.

We have known about this for a few months now. Seems as is they have just released all the details about the change.

For 2009 USA Cycling will be doing away with the current category breakdown and adopting a more "global" system. Beginner, Sport and Expert are to be replaced with Categories 1, 2 and 3.

The "Pro Class" will be absorbing most of the current semi-pro field as they will be given the chance to move up. I imagine that many semi-pros will be downgrading to category 1 in fear of being swallowed whole by the pros.

There are going to be many critics of the new system. what ever USA Cycling seems to do there are critics and naysayers, I am by no mean defending them but I think this will make for a cleaner system. The current system has labels that give a direct connotation to the skill level of the rider that is always true. This generalization of a skill level will give some more credibility to the sport.

Want to read the fine print, click here USA Cycling

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World Cup Finals Wrap-Up

Schaladming World Cup Winner!

Sam Blenkinsop 4:10.16
Sam Hill +1.64
Gee Atherton +2.20
Steve Peat +3.04
Greg Minnaar + 7.40
Justin Leov +8.17

Minnaar secured the overall win and Rachel put a hurtin on the women's field with a 13.67 second win! She as well secured the overall win for the series. Some very impressive notes, Sam Hill hit a tree in the first woods section with his right shoulder almost knocking him off the bike. In a turn on the lower half of the course he got sideways and nearly high sided the bike. Still pulled a 2nd place finish. Kovarik bit it hard in the top wood section, the crash was hard enough to cause him to throw the race, he had his helmet off and was sidelined for a while before re-mounting and riding down. Ruaridh Cunningham's inside line was only taken by a few people but it caused him an awkward crash. The only other person to take that line, that I saw, was Brendan Fairclough, his run was maybe the most exciting for me. At the split he was ahead of the entire field by almost 2 seconds and as the 2nd to last man down he stood a good chance of taking the win. In the last exit of woods he washed out the front wheel and slid to the bottom of the 16 foot muddy transition, without his bike. It was a big upset. In USA news, Aaron Gwin was able to grab another top 10 finish, the first being Mt Saint Anne, extremely impressive for his first year of mountain bike racing.

An exciting race for the final of the season. Freecaster will be bringing you the next 3 seasons of UCI World Cup racing. For the rest of the year they have a few more events planned as well as the newly reinvigorated Red Bull Rampage. Stay tuned.

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World Cup Finals Live


I stole this from DSmith

Getting to the bottom of this fixed gear phenomenom.


USE Trackring

A new USE track ring was on display at Eurobike. The ring is currently designed for Dura-Ace Cranks and will be a super stiff setup that will wrap around the tabs of the spider.

The Midas touch.

7,066.55 is a lot to pay for a bike rack. Well, the more I think about it I guess it is actually pretty reasonable of you will be using it to hang your $113,064.81 fixed gear bike. All you tight pants wearing trend setters better start saving mom and dads nickels.
Cause this status symbol will certainly cost you all your Dunks and New Eras. Aurumania is a company based in Europe that gets off on making things with gold. The bike is plated in 24 karat gold and has 600 Swarovski crystals adorned upon it. They claim on their site that they make"Wow-Extraordinary" things. Whatever, the email for this company is stopdigging@aurumania.com.
I say stop frontin!

Here is a LINK to an even bigger asshole with no respect for bikers.


Tokyo Parking Garage for Bikes

Here is a culture that embraces the everyday cyclist a little more than we do.

Straitline and the new stems.

The new Bronze 35mm/50 mm stems 164grams/185grams MSRP $125

This is the new toy, 28.7mm 135 grams including the 8 bolts! MSRP $140
Check out the new gear at STRAITLINE. We will get some more info at Interbike for you.
Eurobike was sick.


2009 Rockshox Boxxer, steppin up the game.

RockShox® BoXXer® - Be Faster

It’s lighter, more precise and ultimately faster. Increased confidence and control with decreased weight. The most successful downhill fork of all time is now all new for the first time in its storied history.

They have some new killer graphics incorporating the stanchions as well as lowers. New gradients marks on the stanchions to help with sag. New control knobs that are more secure and incredibly precise.

Boxxer World Cup

  • Target weight: 2720g (265mm steerer tube)
  • Mission Control DH Damper
  • Solo air w/Volume Adjust
  • Colors: White / Black / Red

Boxxer Team

  • Target weight: 2950g (265mm steerer tube)
  • Mission Control DH Damper
  • Coil with Drop Stop
  • Colors: White / Black / Red

Boxxer Race

  • Target weight: 2950g (265mm steerer tube)
  • Motion Control IS Damper
  • Coil
  • Color: White / Black / Red

What’s New?

  • 35mm Chassis
  • Mission Control DH
  • Maxle Lite DH
  • Air Volume Adjust (World Cup)
  • DropStop (Team)
  • Direct Mount Stem compatible

Available Early 2009

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SRAM has a content update

Check out SRAM's website, they have put up new content for the 2009 offerings. New forks for Rockshox, new brakes for Avid such as the Elixir. Truvativ even has the Hammerschmidt up, if you have not seen the details yet. I took a spin on one and have to say that the shifting is very exact and quite smooth. Still seems to be a product that I really did not picture myself needing but it is a step in the right direction. Truavtiv also has new bars up and various finishes for cranks and stems. I will be a little shutterbug at Interbike and get you some more details in person. Till then surfs up on the ole internet.

Oh by the way the new Elixir brake (pictured above) is very impressive.

Freecaster gains huge momentum!

The first kick-ass news to come out of Eurobike is detailed below. Finally some even better coverage. You light my fire Freecaster.

EUROBIKE, Germany -- Freecaster.tv, the World’s leading free source for high quality action sports videos and Apple Design Award winner, is proud to enter into a three year agreement with the UCI to feature LIVE, and on-demand, the MTB and BMX World Championships as well as exclusive coverage of the MTB and BMX World Cup races.

"This landmark 3 year partnership reflects Freecaster.tv’s continued dedication to mountain biking and BMX, and a giant leap forward in delivering World Class racing to fans. This is also creating new opportunities to present the sports to a larger and new viewing public" said Raymond Dulieu, founder of Freecaster.

"Freecaster.tv was launched in May 2004 and has seen steady growth in viewership year-on-year. 2008 represented a new milestone in our history, with live commentators delivering all the action from the Nissan UCI mountain bike DH and 4X races. Now, from 2009 until the end of 2011, our continued partnership with the UCI will deliver all mountain bike disciplines as we add XC racing to our rostrum of DH and 4X coverage from the World Cups and World Championships. Furthermore, we will webcast exclusively the UCI BMX World Cup and Championships LIVE every year." he adds.

Rob Warner returns to host the English MTB DH and 4X commentaries, following a hugely popular first season behind the mic. Our BMX and MTB XC commentators will be announced shortly. New features on Freecaster.tv will include live results and rankings. Freecaster.tv will supplement the central UCI TV production with its own cameras to produce a course preview, a review of the competition to date, rider interviews, tech reviews and a post race analysis. All coverage will be accessible free of charge in flash video format to any computer connected to the internet with an adsl line.

Alexandre Baudin, marketing manager at the UCI stated "Freecaster.tv has a long history of featuring and supporting mountain biking and BMX. Their passion, professionalism and deep understanding for cycling combines with their technical expertise to make them the perfect partner for the UCI, who is further investing to strengthen media coverage of the sports. This unique partnership is a very important step to ensure free and global visibility for cycling throughout the world thanks to Freecaster.tv's large syndication of their video player to partner websites".

Other major events on Freecaster.tv are: the MX1 and MX2 World Championships, Red Bull X Fighters, X Games, Braun cruZer Tour, the Swatch TTR Snowboard World Tour, Swatch Beach Volley Ball World Tour and many more.


Eurobike...like Interbike just, better.

Well the Outdoor Demo maybe a tad sweeter in the west but Eurobike is where all the new 2009 bits and pieces really make their debut. Not to mention all the wonderful "euro" only product that we get to drool from afar over. Well we have heard the crys from all you readers and we dispatched our very own operative to Euroville to observe, catalog and examine all that they have to offer. If he is any kind of newsman we will be getting intermittent messages describing all the wonder and lust. If any of our Euro friends happen to see him around the convention floor be sure to stop by and ask him various questions in your native tongue. Dave, are you reading this, send us something!

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Fastest Freshman

Below is a note from the Kranzels they have been putting together this program for a while now and are trying to push kids into the sport and education.
Just a side note, the picture is the 1948 Princeton Swim Team. I do not vouch nor trust the guy in the center.

Team Kranzel Bike, in conjunction with www.Racersedgeonline.com and the Mid Atlantic Race Series, is happy to announce the return of the Fourth Annual Kranzel Bike / Racers Edge, Daniel J Kranzel Memorial Scholarship. To be awarded to the “Fastest Freshman” rider competing in the Downhill event at the Mid Atlantic Cup Finals being held at the Wisp Resort in McHenry, MD. On September 20TH & 21st 2008

This year’s award will be is open to all new College, Business, or Trade school freshman for the 2009 school year. The rules are simple. Fill out the entry form at registration and be the fastest freshman down the mountain. The award is open to both new freshman men and women. The cash will be split between the fastest man and woman freshman, with the balance of the prizes going to the fastest time. You don’t have to win your race; you just have to be the fastest of all the other worthless, useless, lower than pond scum freshman. Simple enough? Now drop and give me twenty!!!

This year’s award so far consists of a minimum of $200.00 cash, to help pay for your beer, I mean books... Along with a whole assortment of other cool and useful things to use while you spend the next four years avoiding meaningful employment and drinking beer, I mean learning and preparing to save the world. All in all we think once the rest of the donations come in we are looking at a total package worth over $600.00!! All this for riding you bike a millisecond faster than the next guy? Who would have thought?

One thing is I ask you to remember why we do this. Daniel was a beloved Uncle who was the same age as me. He loved riding his Motorcycle his jeep and his Corvette. I can still picture him doing wheelies on his old Schwinn Stingray 5 speed, but most of all Danny liked to fight for the little guy. He was a small in stature but was a tough as a Pit bull. He loved to see the little guy get what he deserved and made a point out of sticking it to the man. We lost Him a few years ago due to complications from Diabetes. All we ask is that you enjoy life, finish school, and if possible give some little guy a helping hand where you can. Any personal Donations to the American Diabetes Association will be appreciated by everyone afflicted.

As an added bonus, this year Kranzel Bike, along with friends and family members, will be donating $1.00 for every rider who registers for this weekend’s race to the American Diabetes Association in the name of all the Mid Atlantic Finals Participants.

Since the inception of this award, Kranzel Bike, and friends and family have
Donated over$4000.00 in cash, prizes and donations to help new college students,
As well as Diabetes research.

Rick, Jake, Jon, and Derek Kranzel
Team Kranzel Bike


Better Health

Providing transportation for employees is providing a better way of life as well. A story I came across on CNN, more companies should follow.

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