Das Optics Sunglasses Review

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Das Optics sunglasses review

What’s better than a pair of sports glasses designed to protect your eyes and make it easier to see the trail while mountain biking? A pair made by a company owned by a 12-year-old rider and his dad, of course.

Das Optics sunglasses review

DAS Optics glasses (the name comes from the business’ mascot, their dog named Das) was founded by Grady Jensen and his dad, Chris. Grady wanted a pair of sunglasses similar to the ones that his friends wore on the trail, but rather than just buy him some, Chris decided to start a company that makes their own. The sunglasses retail for $40 USD and ten bucks from each sale of the glasses goes to the nonprofit of the buyer’s choice – making this a more than worthy endeavor.

The backstory isn’t the only boss angle in the DAS Optics story . The lenses and frames are slightly customizable thanks to an included sticker pack. Das Optics offers two models of sunglasses – the V2 and Sendees. We’re talking about the Sendees in our review.

Designed to be very lightweight, as well as protective, the lenses have UV protection and are large enough to fit comfortably while covering a good portion of the face. The shield-style design goes up over the eyebrows and down towards the cheekbones, providing plenty of coverage on the sides of the eyes as well. There are even small vents in the lenses to help prevent fogging and improve aerodynamics. Das Optics shades measure about 6 inches from temple-to-temple so they will fit adult-sized heads, too.

Das Optics review - vent detail.
Das Optics sunglasses in case
Das Optics sunglasses review - about 6 inches wide

The frames come in two different colors, black and white, ensuring that they’ll coordinate with the rest of your mountain biking gear. The white ones have lenses that have a bit of rainbow reflection to them, while the black ones have clear lenses. Don’t worry, both provide plenty of protection while out on the trail. And, although mountain biking is the first activity on the list, these sunglasses also handle other sports, such as Nordic skiing and downhill skiing. They are designed to work with different types of helmets and stay in place thanks to the solid earpieces.

Das Optics descending

Although the Das Optics Sendees were designed with kids in mind, these sunglasses will fit adult faces as well. The frames come undecorated, with a pack of stickers (and yes, even adults will enjoy putting them on their sunglasses) that contains pairs of small designs for the bottoms and sides of the frames. This ensures that you really can make them your own. The Das Optics sunglasses also come with a hard carrying case so your kids’ rad shades don’t get crushed when they’re not on the noggin’

Das Optics climbing

Our dirt rat really got his 1980’s on when he paired the Das Optics sunglasses with a yellow and blue jersey, pink gloves, and half shell. He’s tried to wear the sunglasses with his Fly Racing full-face mtb helmet, but the padding in the helmet won’t allow the temples of the sunglasses to get in there comfortably. That’s not a bad thing. Only dads should wear sunglasses with full-face helmets, right?

Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Review

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Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Review

Kids who enjoy a solid romp down the side of a mountain, complete with aggressive terrain, need a mountain bike that can handle every bump, rock, and other obstacles in their path. The 2020 Rocky Mountain Reaper definitely fits that bill. Coming in at three different sizes, although we tested out and will be reviewing the 27.5 model here. The MSRP for the Reaper 27.5 is $2,849.00 USD.

Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Review

Rocky Mountain:  Website | Instagram | Facebook

Available in a cool shade of brown with light blue accents on the front, the Rocky Mountain Reaper almost blends in with the terrain. After all, mountainside trails are known for being brown and surrounded by clear blue skies. However, what young riders are able to do with this bike certainly doesn’t blend in at all. With a bike that can handle enduro, downhill and all-mountain riding, it’s easy to see why.

The FORM™ Alloy frame features full sealed cartridge bearings and a press-fit bottom bracket. It comes with internal cable routing and 2-Bolt ISCG05 mountain tabs. Our demo weighed-in at around 31.5 lbs without pedals, meaning the Reaper is light enough for a young rider to handle, while while having the proper components and suspension to take on rough terrain.

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Compression adj on RockShox fork - Reaper 27.5 review
Suspension linkage - Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5

Your kid’s Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 will include a RockShox Deluxe Select RT shock with 130mm of rear travel, a RockShox Sektor RL 130mm fork, and a Rocky Mountain Toonie dropper (100mm travel) attached to a WTB Volt Race 142 saddle. The 27.5-inch tires, Maxxis Minion DHR II Folding 27.5 x 2.3 in both the front and the back, can handle even the roughest terrain. The overall size of them and the frame makes it clear that this bike is designed for older kids, those who have outgrown other models in both height and ability. The tires are mounted on Shimano MT400 Boost 15mm hubs in the front, with Shimano MT400 Boost 148mm in the back. Stainless steel spokes and WTB ST i23 TCS tubeless rims complete the picture.

Shimano brakes
Maxxis tire close-up

The Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 At-A-Glance

standover height icon

STANDOVER HEIGHT

31.18 inches

drivetrain icon

DRIVETRAIN

1 x 12

wheel size icon

WHEEL SIZE

27.5in or 26in

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WEIGHT

~31 lbs sans pedals

The brakes are Shimano M6000 2 piston stoppers with 180mm rotors and Shimano M6000 brake levers. Rocky Mountain Lock-On Light grips are attached to Rocky Mountain AM 760mm handlebars. The shifter is a SRAM SX Eagle.

Chainring and crank on the Reaper 27.5
Chainguide on the Reaper 27.5

What really gives the bike it’s power (besides your child’s feet, of course) is the drivetrain. It’s composed of a Sram SX Eagle chain, 30T chainring, and a 12-speed cassette. All can handle the speed and terrain of the mountainside while helping your young rider stay in control.

Head tube badge - Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 review
Saddle detail - Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Review
Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Review - SRAM Eagle drivetrain

Speaking of control, the Rocky Mountain Reaper comes with the brand’s patented RIDE9 adjustment system. All that you – or your child – need is a set of hex keys to adjust the interlocking clips, customizing the bike to handle the given terrain. There are nine different possible settings (hence the name of the system), each of which changes the angle of the head tube and the seat tube. The reach and bottom bracket drop are adjusted as well. The three main angle settings, each broken down into several minute adjustments, are for neutral ground, high-speed stability, and proper traction when climbing. This makes the ride customizable, based on your child’s preferences and the mountainsides that they’re conquering.

Rocky Mountain Reaper Comparison Chart

The Reaper is available in 3 sizes. A couple of them can even accommodate different wheel sizes. Read our review featuring the Rocky Mountain Reaper 26 here.

Reaper 24Reaper 26Reaper 27.5
MSRP$1,949.00 USD$2,349.00 USD$2,849.00 USD
Wheel Sizes (in)
* factory set up
24*, 2626*, 2427.5*, 27.5+
Standover Height (in)
RIDE-9 settings, l-r
Slack, Neutral, Steep
27.24, 27.32, 27.3628.62, 28.70, 28.7431.18, 31.29, 31.37
Giro Disciple full face helmet - manufacturer photo - three quarter view

Full-Face Helmets

Protect your kid’s grill with the proper helmet.

Full-Face MTB Helmets For Kids

G-Form knee pads for kids

Knee Pads

If you ride a bike, you’re gonna fall down. Just sayin’.

MTB Knee Pads for Kids

Leatt 2.5 chest protector for kids

Chest Protection

Options from Leatt, Fox, and more.

MTB Chest Protection for Kids

Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Build Specs

FrameFORM™ Alloy. Full Sealed Cartridge Bearings. Press Fit BB. Internal Cable Routing. 2-Bolt ISCG05 Tabs. RIDE-9™ Adjustable Geometry + Suspension Rate
ForkRockShox Sektor RL 130mm
Front Travel130mm
ShockRockShox Deluxe RT
Rear Travel130mm
HeadseteFSA Orbit NO.57E
StemRocky Mountain AM
HandlebarRocky Mountain AM 760mm
GripsRocky Mountain Lock On Light
BrakesShimano MT500 / Shimano RT64 180mm / Shimano RT64 180mm
Brake LeversShimano MT500
ShiftersShimano SLX
Rear DerailleurShimano SLX
Cranks & ChainringsRace Face Ride Cinch 30T Steel
Bottom BracketRace Face BB92 24mm
CassetteShimano SLX 11-46T
ChainKMC X11-1
Front HubShimano MT400 Boost 15mm
Spokes2.0 Stainless
RimsWTB SX19
TiresMaxxis Minion DHR II Folding 27.5 x 2.3 / R = Maxxis Minion DHR II Folding 27.5 x 2.3
SeatpostXFusion Manic 30.9mm
SaddleWTB Volt Race

Who Is The Reaper Made For?

This full-suspension bike with 27.5 inch wheels is for kids who like the rough and beaten trails. It’s excellent for rock gardens and roots. The frame’s geometry is the perfect fit for steep descents, bike parks, and shuttle laps. Trail riders who don’t mind the bumps and young enduro racers will enjoy all the attributes of the Reaper 27.5. The bike’s suspension set up welcomes the jumps and drops that lie ahead. Even beginning mountain bikers who are advancing their skills on rugged rides will appreciate the bikes capabilities. Regarding size and fit, the Reaper 27.5 has a standover height of 31.18 inches and you can view the Rocky Mountain sizing chart here.

Angles And Measurements – Reaper 27.5

Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Illustration

Click the image above to enlarge it

TTH Top Tube Length - HORZ547mm
HTA Head Tube Angle66.4º
HTL Head Tube length100mm
STA Seat Tube Angle - Effective74.4º
STL Seat Tube length365mm
RC Rear Centre426mm
BBD Bottom bracket drop28mm
R Reach385mm
S Stack580mm
SH Standover Height792mm
WB Wheelbase1,100mm

Riding The Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5

Our kid is about 5’0 tall and weighs close to 90lbs with sopping wet gear and his pockets full of rocks. Over the last couple of years, his bike handling skills have improved dramatically. He’s always had a good sense of balance, but his confidence when riding technical features has risen. He’s not the fastest, but he knows how to roll the rocks and is comfy getting in the air.

Riding technical terrain on the Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5

Cornering on the Reaper 27.5 was pretty darn good. If you can do it properly and set your tire pressure correctly, the Maxxis tires aboard the Reaper hold true and track through loose dirt. You can’t execute correct body position when cornering on a bike that doesn’t fit, so be sure to get the right size Reaper for your kids. They’ll be able to loop through the berms a whole lot easier.

Cornering on the Reaper 27.5 - a full suspension mountain bike for kids
Cornering close-up on the Reaper 27.5

Shorter chainstays are now a common design feature a lot of mountain bikes for riders of all ages and the Reaper 27.5 is demonstrative of this. We compared its 426mm chainstay length to other bikes we’ve recently had (including a hardtail xc bike), and they’re all within a few millimeters. Shorter chainstays result in a more playful, quick-reacting frame. Longer chainstays are more stable at high speeds. With the Reaper 27.5, the rear end was stabilized by the RockShox shock. Of all things, something that our kid specifically spoke about was the saddle. He said it was super comfortable compared to other bikes he’s ridden. It allowed him to be a little more cozy and remain content on longer rides.

Campus wheelie - Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 review

Having the suspension set up properly is paramount to ensuring your Reaper performs as intended. We do our best to keep a shock pump with us so we can add or release air depending on where and how we’re riding. The Reaper’s RockShox components are the right size because kids don’t need tons of travel and you can get the squish just right depending on your child’s weight and riding style.

The Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 is a rock chomper

Jumping with the Reaper 27.5 was always a good time. Getting up to speed on proper slopes is easy and the bike’s suspension assists with pre-loading for take-offs and smooths out the return to earth.

Getting the Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 in the air

The Reaper performed very well on jagged trails. Even pedaling up the chunky stuff while clipped-in, a strong intermediate rider will be able to maximize her/his power. Pedal-bob wasn’t an issue and the dropper post worked very well when our kid was pedaling across rolling country.

Doing a clipped-in technical climb

Summing Up The Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5

The Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 is going to be the choice for groms who like to chomp on rocks after they finish their vegetables. It has the right geometry and components for younger humans who appreciate earning their turns on trails with technical descents. The bike will really shine when the liftie removes it from the sled at the bike park and tells you to “have a good ride”. Rocky Mountain has been making award-winning bikes for decades and the Reaper 27.5 will prepare your kids for their first adult-sized mountain bike in the company’s line-up.

Gifts For Mountain Bike Dads

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Father's day gifts for mtb dads

Updated for 2020 – These gifts for mountain bike dads are sure to raise your status in the family! Want to solidify your rank as his favorite child or restore the youthful glimmer in his eye (even though nothing can be done about that receding hairline)? All you have to do is choose something that reinforces his love for mountain biking.

All kidding aside – here are a few gift ideas that may help you get something interesting for the old man.

VIEW the complete Ultimate Gift Guide for Mountain Biking

My Medic MyFAK First Aid Kit 

Dads love to keep everyone safe! The My Medic MyFAK (My First Aid Kit) was designed to be adaptive, functional, and indestructible. Importantly, this first aid kit measures 7.5”x6.5”x5” so it can fit in a hydration pack where it’s available when you need it. In addition, this kit comes in basic and advanced, so you can match the supplies with dad’s level of training. See our full MyFAQ Review.

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Five Ten Freerider Pro mountain bike shoes 

Give dad all-day comfort on and off the mountain. We love five tens for mountain biking,. Here’s why. Firstly, the Five Ten Freerider Pro flat pedal biking shoes provide grip and durability for all-mountain and enduro riding. Secondly, an impact-resistant toe box complements the medium-stiff build for a responsive ride. Thirdly, the signature sticky rubber and purpose-built tread pattern keep dad’s feet firmly planted on his pedals. Fourthly, these shoes look as good in the café as on the trail. These shoes are useful gifts for mountain bike dads.

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Dakine Hot Laps 5L Hip Pack

Keep dad’s back cool and dry with the Dakine Hot Laps 5L Waist Bag. This handy pack comes with a 70 oz (2 liter) lumbar hydration reservoir and Phaser bite valve so he can stay hydrated. The internal organizer pockets provide ample space for a multi tool, an extra tube and snacks.

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Park Tool’s Professional Tool Kit

Give dad the ultimate bike tool kit. Park Tool’s Professional Tool Kit includes 88 different tools so dad can complete repairs and bike maintenance at home. This kit includes a huge array of wrenches and chain tools galore. The included case will help dad keep everything organized. Tools are always appreciated gifts for mountain bike dads.

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Trek Top Fuel 9.9 XTR

Trek Top Fuel 9.9 XTR

This build to order all-mountain ripper is ready to become dad’s new set of wheels. Available in three colors in sizes from Small to XL, the Trek Top Fuel XTR just might earn its spot at the head of the dinner table. XTR is in the name because XTR is on the bike. This is Shimano’s best, and lightest, drivetrain group. Carbon wheels, a carbon frame and Fox Factory suspension will get the old man up and down the hills in style. As per the Trek site, the size medium weighs less than 25lbs! If you want to trim off more, dad has to hit the gym and skip the beers.

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NiteRider Lumina OLED 1200 Boost Headlight

Sometimes dad needs to get out for a ride after dark. The NiteRider Lumina OLED 1200 Boost Headlight has five light levels so dad can choose based on the conditions. The wide beam lens directs the light with even distribution to ensure that upcoming obstacles are seen. The digital display provides battery percent as well as run time, and the Lumina recharges quickly so it’s ready when its needed.

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Stans DART Tool 

Dad can keep the whole family rolling with the Stans DART Tool. Tubeless tires were supposed to mean the end of flats, but while flats are significantly reduced, they still remain a part of our life with tubeless setups. Stan’s DART Tool aims to make the inevitable tear or large puncture quick to fix by plugging holes and instantly sealing flats.

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Alchemy Arktos 

Transform dad’s ride! The Alchemy Arktos is made to handle all dad can throw at it. The Arktos features the patented dual-linkage suspension platform called “Sine” which resembles a sine wave when graphed. The design creates suspension that is regressive through the first part of the travel to absorb small bumps and provide climbing traction, is progressive in the middle to avoid wallowing on big hits or in hard, fast corners, and is regressive again in the last 15 percent of the stroke so the bike can use all of its rear-wheel travel. It’s efficient, responsive, and provides downhill capabilities unparalleled in today’s crop of modern trail bikes.

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Troy Lee Designs Raid Knee Guard

Troy Lee Designs Raid Knee Guard 

Troy Lee Designs Raid Knee Guards features neoprene construction with a breathable back panel for all-day comfort. Fit-Lock calf bandwill prevent slippage and the knee cap integrated w/flex panel provides flexibility for full range of pedaling motion. These pads also include abrasion resistant side padding for protection against bike frame & trail features.

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Blackburn Chamber HV Floor Pump

Does dad obsess about the tire pressure in his mountain bike tires? The Blackburn Chamber HV Floor Pump boasts massive air volume to make quick work of airing up your family’s mountain bike tires. The large four-inch gauge lets dad know exact pressures in both PSI and Bar measurements. Small touches such as an extra-long hose, a durably oversized main body, a hose keeper, and an alloy cap and lever on the pump head make this floor pump a pleasure to use.

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Yeti Rambler 20oz Tumbler

One cup to rule them all. The Yeti Rambler 20oz Tumbler keeps dad’s coffee hot and his beer cold! The double-wall vacuum insulation ensures that dad’s drinks remain at the perfect temperature longer.  This tumbler is perfect for camping or road trips. The stainless steel construction withstands dents and dings.

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Marmot Anderson Lightweight Flannel Shirt

The Anderson Lightweight Flannel Shirt by Marmot looks as good on the trail as it does playing corn-hole in the backyard. This lightweight double-brushed flannel is the perfect layer for spring or fall afternoons. The CoolMax moisture-management technology gives dad the performance he needs for quick rides and everyday family activities.

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Santa Cruz Megatower Carbon CC X01 Eagle

If dad is an enduro enthusiast, the Megatower Carbon CC X01 Eagle Air Reserve Complete Bike from Santa Cruz might be the bike for him. Santa Cruz built this bike solely for stopping enduro clocks a tad faster and providing the most aggressive riders with and brawler of a big wheel bike. With some of the longest reach numbers, steepest seat tube angles, and longer wheelbases, this progressive 29er likes to get rowdy.

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Leatt DBX 5.0 All Mountain Jacket for the bike dads

Leatt DBX 5.0 All Mountain Jacket 

The Leatt DBX All-Mountain jacket is made of waterproof and breathable material with adjustable ventilation. It boasts a dirt/water/stain resistant coating to take on any weather conditions you might face. The four-way stretch shell material allows full range of motion. This jacket features a new patent-pending magnetic hood system that keeps the hood magnet fixed over the helmet or fixed at your back so it won’t flap around.

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Oakley Frogskins Prizm Sunglasses 

Whether did is hitting the trail, strolling through the city, or soaking up some rays on the beach, these Oakley Frogskins Prizm Sunglasses will keep dad’s eyes safe and stylish.  These sunglasses boost contrast, offer protection from 100% of harmful UV rays and look cool. Sunglasses are some of the most inexpensive and most useful gifts for mountain bike dads.

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Dakine Dropout Jersey

The Dakine Dropout Jersey features a classic baseball cut with a dropped hem, giving dad the added coverage he needs for ripping tight trails. The Dropout is made with Quick Dry polyester that is designed to disperse moisture for enhanced evaporation, keeping dad dry and comfortable. Bonus: the fabric is finished with Polygiene treatment to fight bacteria build-up so dad’s jersey always smells fresh.

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Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Preview

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Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Preview

The Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 is a full-suspension mountain bike with a 130mm travel RockShox fork and 130mm of rear travel. The bike comes with a dropper and 27.5 inch wheels. You can also fit 26 inch wheels to the bike.

Rocky Mountain Bicycles:  Website | Instagram | Facebook

Our kid rode this bike in several places over a few months and the two really bonded. It was like Eragon finding Saphira, Han and the Millenium Falcon, Harry and his Nimbus 2000.

Stay tuned as we work on our full review and post an in-depth article within the next week or so. If you don’t already – please follow MTB With Kids on Instagram and Facebook. Sign up for our emails on the home page, too. It helps us keep you up-to-date with reviews, tips for riding with kids, trail and destination info.

Mother’s Day Bike Checks – 2020 Edition

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Mother's Day Bike Checks - 2020
Mother's Day Bike Checks - 2020

Once again we reached out to moms so they could share their stories and show off their bikes. Everyone’s story is unique, but there are common threads – the freedom that comes from riding a bike, the mental and physical challenges, the rewards of sharing this sport with their children; and living a healthy, active lifestyle. On behalf of the kids, significant others, family, friends, ride club partners, everyone – THANKS MOM!

Nicole Deguise And Her Norco Bikes

Nicole Deguise and her Norco SIght

I am really looking forward to my son and soon-to-be sibling to get into mountain biking with my husband and I! I got into mountain biking 13 years ago as a way to spend more time with my now husband who had moved to BC for the mountain biking! Little did I know that I would fall so much in love with it! I quickly joined an all female mountain biking group to improve my skills and only a few short years later participated in my first enduro here in Squamish “Hot on Your Heels”.

My 18 month old son isn’t too interested in hopping on his Norco Runner since he would rather sit in the Chariot and be pulled by me on my 2020 Norco Fluid VLT 1. This bike has become my saving grace when it comes to keeping fit and on the trails while 5 months pregnant! It’s great at pulling my son to and from daycare and also allows me to get a quick lap in on my local trails.

I can’t wait until baby sibling arrives in September to get back on my favorite bike 2019 Norco Sight Carbon and get back to the North Shore of Vancouver and keep up with my friends!

Nicole Deguise and Norco Fluid VLT1

Sarah Fenton Tippie And Her YT Industries Bikes

Sarah Fenton Tippie and her YT Industries bikes

I’ve mountain biked for the better part of 35 years! I grew up in Deep Cove – North Vancouver, BC; where the first off-road bike shop opened. They rolled these new “fat tire” bikes off the back of the truck from Marin County. I grew up with a hardcore mountain bike influenced lifestyle. And although I never had the urge to race, bikes are in my blood. In 2007, after a decade living abroad in London UK and working in the film business, I was at a party at Crankworx and met my future husband, freeride pioneer Brett Tippie. Sparks flew, and we arranged to go on our first date in the Whistler Bike Park.

Sarah Fenton Tippie dropping in
Sarah Fenton Tippie loves her YT eBike
Sarah Fenton Tippie and Brett Tippie in southern Utah

Before long, we had children, two girls. Jessamy, born in 2008, and Alix, born in 2012; then married (yes in that order) at the top of Whistler Mountain with our DH rigs before all our friends and family. After the ceremony, we rode down to the bottom in a massive party train. Biking gave me my first bite of freedom when I learned to ride a bike at age five. Mountain biking has given me fitness. It had provided an amazing group of friends. It has brought me to my husband. It is everything for us. My younger daughter has some extra needs and it took her a little longer to get the hang of it, but she is now pedaling on her own. I burst into tears seeing that accomplishment! Her smiling face was priceless. My older daughter Jessamy loves to shred, and as a family – mountain biking is a bonding experience creating lifetime memories.

My current bikes: 2019 YT Decoy e-bike (I LOVE my ebike!). A newly built up big bike park shredder, a 2019 YT Tues. I also have a 2016 YT Capra enduro bike.

Carmen Granados And Her Yeti SB6

Carmen Granados and her Yeti mountain bike

I’m a wife and mother of twin boys. I started mountain biking in 2014 with my family and have been enjoying it ever since. We travel a lot due to my husbands work and are fortunate to ride in some really cool places. So far my favorite places to ride have been Colorado and Southern Utah. Mountain biking is a great way for us to spend time together as a family and grow together as riders.

Carmen and her Yeti SB6
Enjoying a break in the Utah desert

I ride an XS Yeti SB6, it was between this and a Yeti Beti Sb5 but ultimately chose this one for its ability to take on any terrain. It climbs extremely well for a long travel bike. I’m running SRAM Eagle XO1 with GX cranks, SRAM Guide R brakes and Maxxis Minion DHF and Aggressor. Fox 36 170MM fork and a Fox DPX2 in the rear.

Instagram:  @the_caro_family
Buy the Yeti SB6:  Competitive Cyclist

Tania Gregory And Her Trek Top Fuel 9.8

Tania Gregory and her Trek Top Fuel

Eight years ago, when my husband and I first started dating, he got me into mountain biking. Fast forward to today and we now have a 20 month old son, Lawson, who already loves bikes as much as we do. My favorite person to ride with is my husband and I can’t wait until we are out on the trails with Lawson ripping it up too. Right now he rides in a Thule Yepp on the front of our Trek Farley. Although, after some modifications he is finally tall enough for his balance bike!

Riding bikes has become a huge part of my identity. I race cyclocross, triathlon and mountain bikes, but mountain biking is my favorite. I mountain biked until I was almost 8 months pregnant and I was racing again by the time Lawson was 9 months old. I am happy to know my son will grow up riding bikes and be surrounded by awesome people.

I currently ride a 2020 Trek Top Fuel 9.8. It is actually my 3rd Top Fuel. I think it is the perfect bike for me. I like to race XC, but I also like to send it on the rocky technical descents that we have here in New England. It offers a great balance for someone who wants an efficient climber, speed on the flats and enough travel to smooth out the terrain.

Tania Gregory - Trek Top Fuel rider and racer

Kristen Gross And Her Rocky Mountain Element C70

Kristen Gross and her Rocky Mountain Element C70

I have been a rider through every season of my life. I was that kid careening around the neighborhood with a look like a loose Labrador. I raced through university and it also kept me sane in the early days of my career when all I had time for was work, and riding (maybe). It was there for me when I moved to a new country as a new wife, and there still when I became a new mom. And riding was there for me when I became a widowed mom. Never did I imagine I’d also rely on it to get us through a global pandemic, but here we are! My son and I are finding at least 30 minutes of normal a day on our 2.5 mile loop. Riding helps soothe my racing mind just as well as it revs up a tired soul. It’s good on its own, and wonderful in a group. It spans the difference between opposite ends of many a spectrum. So somehow, it always fits.

Keeping mom's Rocky Mountain Element clean and ready to ride
Riding the Rocky Mountain Edge 14
Nothing but smiles aboard the Rocky Mountain Edge 14

My bike is a 2019 Rocky Mountain C70 Element that I customized with We Are One “Insider” wheels laced to Onyx racing hubs, a full SRAM XX1 golden Eagle drivetrain with Qarq power meter, one-up Everyday Carry tool, RaceFace carbon Next bars, and a Specialized Power saddle. With 2 water bottle cages and a Backcountry Research Mutherload strap, I’m officially pack-less on this whip. I planned to race it at the 2019 BC Bike Race but ended up with a plan-ending concussion a couple of weeks prior. This beautiful bike is ready for the next opportunity. I will be too, my young training partner will make sure of it.

Shannon Kochis And Her Scott 900 RC World Cup

Shannon Kochis - Mother's Day Bike Check

I have a love and passion for riding bikes with my children, community and friends! My favorite bike is the Scott 900 RC World Cup full suspension run with Podium wheels. It’s my favorite bike for all trail conditions! My favorite place to ride is Copper Harbor, Michigan. 2nd place is the Vasa!

It was 2015 when I got Into biking. Some amazing friends that I would see at church took me for a mountain bike ride in the woods. It gave me a sense of freedom I haven’t felt that in a long time. I think when you are a mom, you put that in the back burner naturally and start to forget who you really are. There are always challenges that we face with riding. There is always someone who is going to be better and faster than you. It’s easy to forget the reasons you started in the first place. Making time for biking is essential for my strength mentally, physically and emotionally.

My kids and I ride once a week together. They are always involved with Norte and all the biking fun we have in this community. The greatest feeling is seeing your child finish a race they never thought they could do. I always have a smirk on my face when I listen to their race replay. My kids participate in Mud Sweat and Beers, TC Trails Fest, Ore2shore and Iceman.

Shannon Kochis jumps on her Scott mountain bike

What I love most about biking is – I ride with kids that are faster than me. I look up to them as much they look up to me. I don’t know a sport that has adults and kids that run in the same pack. It’s so good for our kids’ self confidence to be around adults ranging from 30’s to 70’s. I love seeing My children know all the adults around bike community. You don’t need to be good or fast at it. You just need to show up. Kinda like racing, The hardest part is showing up. The rest is history.

Shannon races for City Bike Shop.

Anne Madeo And Her Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 27.5

Anne Madeo - Specialized Stumpjumper

Biking represented freedom to me as a child. It was a way to explore the world and see my friends without relying on my parents for a ride. Mountain biking was a natural outgrowth of that childhood love, expedited by a move to UT and being hit by a car while road biking. After I was hit, I no longer felt safe riding on city streets, but missed the freedom and joy I felt while biking. A few years after I was hit, I started mountain biking by joining group rides, taking lessons and attending clinics. I haven’t looked back. After a year of riding frequently (and breaking a bone or two), I decided it was time to get a new steed and I wanted a significant upgrade.

My current bike is a 2019 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 27.5 that I bought after riding it at a women’s MTB retreat. I don’t feel qualified to evaluate the condition of a bike, so had been reluctant to buy a demo. But, I knew the wrench that worked on the fleet, I trusted her and had really liked the Stumpjumper. It’s a carbon frame (I wanted something light), has 150mm of travel front and rear and stock components including SRAM GX Eagle. I like to ride most everywhere (serious DH trails are probably my least favorite), so wanted a bike that was a quiver killer (probably one of the most overused terms in all of mountain bike reviews).

Although I’ve tried to get the other members of my family (2 sons, ages 13 and 16 and 1 husband, ageless!) interested in mountain biking, I’ve had very limited success with those efforts. So, the majority of my riding is with friends and it’s been pretty awesome.

Anne Madeo - riding in Utah

Anja Mueller And Her Rocky Mountain Altitude C70

Anja Mueller and her Rocky Mountain Altitude C70

I am not sure who is more stoked about the two of us riding matching bikes this year – my 3-year-old daughter Sofie (on a 2019 Rocky Mountain Edge 14) or me, the Mom?! She has been on a bike since before she even walked (and loves it so far!) and just recently switched from a run bike to her pedal bike. We love riding on the North Shore as a family – especially now with everything else closed down.

Mountain biking is the perfect escape for kids and for the parents. Having her on a burlier bike with proper tires makes riding in the woods so much more fun. I am currently on maternity leave with my second child, 10-month-old Greta, so getting out on some good personal mountain bike rides has been too rare for my liking. To compensate I have been trying to up my wheelie game with the Ryan Leech #30daywheelie challenge – I’m on Day 10 – and still have a ways to go. I can’t wait for more rides with my husband, girlfriends, colleagues, and of course my two girls! Time to put #2 on a run bike.

Anja Mueller sending from The North Shore
Mother and daughter on mountain bikes
Maple syrup saddle - Rocky Mountain Bikes

I am currently riding a 2020 Rocky Mountain Altitude C70 with an almost fully stock build. Small changes include a Rocky Mountain maple syrup saddle (WTB Deva), some matching RaceFace Next SL cranks, and pink grips (just because). Currently on flats instead of clipless because of the wheelie challenge. I have been on each iteration of the Altitude since 2012 and love it as my go-to bike. It’s playful, has plenty of travel, it’s great on the uphill, and just makes me smile every time I ride.

Thanks to the North Shore Mountain Bike Association and all the volunteers for keeping our North Shore Trails in great shape. Get your membership or trail boost when you ride here!

Ashley Rainey And Her Canfield Balance 27.5

Ashely and her Canfield Balance 27.5

Two years ago I started mountain biking because I thought my dog would enjoy a faster pace than hiking allowed. I was hooked after one ride and dove in quickly, taking as many clinics as I could. I struggled for years to get my son outdoors and become more active with no luck. I was over the moon when he took to mountain biking. At 12, my son has reached the age where he rarely emerges from his room. I cherish our adventures on the trails, which open him up to talking to me. We are extremely fortunate to live in a bike-oriented town. A few blocks from us is a large pump track and we spend hours there sharing our dirt jumper. I love the community of friends I’ve developed through biking. As a single mom, I find their support priceless.

Ashley riding in the PNW
Ashley storming the woods

All-mountain riding is my discipline of choice. I’ll gladly endure a suffer-fest of an uphill grind to hit long steep technical descents. I’ve had my current bike since January. It’s a 2016 Canfield Balance 27.5”. I moved up from a small to a medium frame because I’m 5’4” with legs on the longer side. My previous bike wouldn’t accommodate a long enough dropper to get my saddle out of my way. To shorten up the reach, I added an Industry Nine A35 32mm stem. I use a 170mm dropper and my saddle is a Terry Topo – it’s been my saddle since I started riding. I love the stability of my new bike, I’m more than willing to hit small drops and pop over roots and bumps instead of slowing down to roll over everything like I did on my previous bike. A few other additions on my bike are Spank Oozy Trail 345 wheels with Magic Mary tires, a Cane Creek Helm 170mm fork, Cane Creek Double Barrel air/CS shock (165mm), and a One Up 32T oval ring.

I’m not the bravest rider, but I do love a good endorphin rush, and this bike delivers on giving me more confidence to test my abilities to get a little spicier on the trail. My favorite thing, beside the longer dropper post, is how the bike handles turns! My friends always get an earful at the end of a ride about how much fun the turns were!

Ruth Roeber And Her Trek Bikes

Ruth Roeber and Trek Bicycles

Because I was born in the beautifully chaotic city of Bangkok, I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until I moved here for college. However, it wasn’t until I became a mom that biking became a natural extension of my life. We put our kids on Striders as soon as they could walk. When they were old enough to pedal their bikes, mountain biking became a way of life for us.

After breakfast on weekends, we pack our helmets, load the bikes & changing tent, throw lunch in a cooler, put snacks in the kids’ packs, fill the gallon water bottle we keep in our car, etc. This ritual became our family’s rhythm. Now the twins are 14 and they consistently outride me.

We still ride together on weekends, and to be honest, they probably have more fun riding with friends. It’s bittersweet really, but after all, that’s what I hoped for all along—keeping them on bikes on the road less traveled. Our family has traversed five continents together. But in the end, it’s the simple and sweet memories of us sitting and laughing in the trunk of the Subaru all these years after a ride at a local trail that makes motherhood incredibly delightful.

Ruth Roeber mountain biking with her family

I’m lucky to have two amazing bikes: the Trek Procaliber 9.7 pictured above – plus a Trek Stache 9.7. And thanks to my local IMBA chapter (Northern Indiana Mountain Bike Association), I have great places to ride them.

Chris Schieffer And Her Ibis Ripmo AXS

Chris Schieffer and her Ibis mountain bike

Mountain Biking is our social life. I love it. My husband loves it. Our kids love it. The dog loves it. We’ve never done many “traditional sports” but we are outside on trails in some capacity whenever we get a chance. We bike as a family, we bike with friends, we bike locally, and we travel to bike. We ride a variety of trails, we race, we ride cross country, enduro, downhill, dirt jumps and everything in between. For the last few years we purchased the MTBParks Pass and made a point to road trip and bike as many bike parks (in the west) as possible (100% worth it, by the way). This year, with the pandemic, it’s going to be different, but it won’t stop us from riding. The only downside of loving bikes is my boys are the same size, so there’s no hand me downs – that means we’re always making a twofer bike purchase, and it gets rather expensive. As a family we have to stagger our bike purchases year after year so it makes sense financially to enjoy our hobby.

Oh my bike, my sweet, sexy bike… this is actually my SECOND Ripmo in a row, and my fourth Ibis – so needless to say, I’m brand loyal in the bike dept. I seek out (and destroy) rugged trails with lots of rocks and drops so I need something that can handle versatile downhill terrain, but is also amazing at climbing because the trails around me are ALL up, and then ALL down. I switched the suspension to DVO all around. Rev Grips get added to all my bikes, because they save my hands during those long park days (which we have many). For the groupo, I finally moved to the Sram Eagle AXS electronic shifting on this build and HOT DAMN, I LOVE it! I also have the Rockshox Reverb AXS dropper and the responsiveness is the best thing ever. The OneUp Components EDC Tool allows me to go on shorter rides without carrying a pack. The last custom piece of this build is the Shredly SUCCI print custom stickers made by STKRD for my frame.

Adrienne Schneider And Her Norco Bikes

Adrienne - Norco eBike

Growing up in Northern Michigan, I moved to Lake Tahoe at 18 to find a bigger playground! After blowing out my knees repeatedly during my ski career, my orthopedic told me I needed to ride bikes to get stronger. I had no experience with bikes without a throttle previously, and he said I wasn’t allowed to get on my moto for a while.

This riding rehab quickly turned into a career that was eventually sidelined by a broken back in Europe at my last World Cup race. After one more season racing nationally and coaching women’s camps, I knew I wanted a child. And it was time. Then, on December 8, 2016 my life changed forever! I would say being a mother easily became the best adventure I have ever been on! Life changes a lot in a beautiful way, and it gives a new meaning to the concept of absolute love.

Mountain biking is something that I love doing and I don’t think that I’ll ever get tired of. It lets me travel to places I would normally never get to, and meet some of the coolest people. And there is no one better to share that life with but Nikolaj.

Adrienne and son are all smiles when mountain biking together
Adrienne and son pause for a photo during a mother and son bike ride
Adrienne and son mountain biking

Norco Bicycles has supported me in my adventures, later becoming a Sales Rep for them. So, you can probably understand why I have more than one bike. My first bike of choice is an Aurum, but I bought a more versatile Range VLT e-Enduro bike last fall. Nikolaj had bikes before he could even walk. He currently rides a Norco Runner 12. With more and more pedaling lately, I’ve added the Norco Sight A1 (27.5) as my current weapon of choice. It‘s an All-Mountain rig with Norco’s Ride Aligned™ technology that has 160mm/150 travel.

Getting your kids hooked on bikes at a young age is the perfect antidote to the addictive draw of Minecraft and other sedentary indoor activities! And there is nothing like passing on the stoke from one generation on down to another.

Lisa Sklar And Her Custom Sklar

Lisa Sklar and her Sklar mountain bike

I like mountain biking because I get to try and keep up with my kids, and my husband gets to try and keep up with me. We live in a great place, Boulder, Colorado. And, mountain biking is a great way to get out there. We especially like camping and biking high up in the Rockies. Plus, I’m the only mom I know whose kid made her a mountain bike. That’s pretty cool!

Lisa Sklar riding her custom built Sklar mountain bike
Custom Sklar Mountain Bike

My bike has 27.5″+ wheels and tires. It has 120mm of front travel. These custom machines offer so many opportunities for great design – whether it be dialing in just the right combination of geometry, fit and component selection. Or, optimizing flex and feel with material selection.

Katrina Strand And Her Transition Patrol

Katrina Strand and her Transition Patrol

It was an easy sell, mountain biking. Nature is my medicine, and it is a great tool to get me there. I come from racing around the world – DH, Enduro and even dabbled in XC. But my favourite is getting lost high in the mountains away from the world, disconnected and free. My daughter Anna loves joining me on the MacRide, and cruising on her run bike. She already has her call to nature, too! Hopefully soon we’ll be adventuring way out there together.

I’m in love with my Transition Patrol. It is my everything bike. Up, down, all around, great in the park, and capable of all day epics too. I have it spec’d with Fox Shox, Shimano, Maxxis and Chromag – all the best.

Katrina and her daughter out for a ride

Website:  Strand Training
Instagram:  @katrinastrand
Buy the Transition Scout:  EVO
Mentions:  Transition | Fox Head | Fox MTB Suspension | Maxxis | Shimano | Chromag | Evolution Bike Shop | RideWrap

Traci Thompson And Her Scott Genius

Traci Thompson - Mother's Day 2020

I grew up spending lots of time in the outdoors: camping, hiking, boating and wandering around in the desert looking for dinosaur bones. I was in 6th grade when my parents bought mountain bikes for our family. We had lots of adventures on our bikes – one especially memorable ride led to us finding and adopting a puppy that some jerk had dropped in the desert to die. Mountain biking made us tougher. Although my sister and I grew up doing gymnastics, we were challenged by this new sport. My dad had to use his favorite catchphrase: “No Sniveling” on more than on occasion. I have some excellent memories of the type 2 fun that we had as a family on our mountain bikes. As an adult, I love mountain biking with my kids for many reasons. First, I love the challenge. There are always opportunities to improve in mountain biking. Mountain biking gives us the chance to do things that scare us and work toward small goals. Second, I like stress relief that comes from being in nature and staying in the moment. Everyone feels happier after a ride! Finally, I enjoy spending time with my family and making memories. We have lots of adventures that we’ll never forget like the time we were caught in a flash flood or the time our youngest kid crashed into a cactus when we were 8-miles into a 16-mile loop trail. Mountain biking memories are the best!

Traci - Guacamole trail near St. George, Utah
Traci Thompson - Riding in Whistler, BC

I’ve had this bike for a few years but its proven all-mountain geometry and set up have been a lot of fun everywhere I ride. All the boys in the family has carbon frames, but with the modifications I’ve made, my bike is the lightest. It weighs less than 30 lbs. I upgraded the drivetrain to a 1x and added Stans wheels. The external RockShox dropper is easy to maintain and the Scott TwinLoc remote lets me adjust my suspension without my hands leaving the bars.

Kasey Wierzba And Her Norco Revolver

Kasey Wierzba and her Norco Revolver

Sometimes a mom just needs to get lost. Lost from the hustle, lost from the daily grind. A mom needs to get lost in the moment with nothing but a dirt trail ahead. This is why I love mountain biking. If I’m training for a race, it gives me a focus and a means to direct energy in a positive way. If I’m riding with Liam, my 11 year old, it’s a back and forth of fun competition. He chases me up the climbs and I follow him on crazy, gnarly stuff as he tells me “no ride arounds, mom.” Riding with my little dude, Adrien (7), is all about exploration. Just this week we were riding in one of my favorite areas and he lead me to a natural spring which I had no idea existed!

Kasey Wierzba takes a break on her Norco Revolver
Trying to keep up with Kasey Wierzba and her Norco Revolver
Long distance call on a long distance bike

I ride a Norco Revolver hardtail while I’m cross country racing. This bike is a little whip. It’s really light, responsive and it feels like a natural extension of my own body. It’s a race machine; high modulus carbon 29er decked out with Sram XO components and a RockShox Sid ultimate. The super light Stans Podium SRD wheels float up any climb. For a hardtail, this bike can take a lot without beating me up. I can roll through rock gardens and down rooted steeps without loosing control. In a straight away I can lock out the front shock, stand up and jam. I’m not a total tech geek, but when you build up a bike that just fits and feels so good it’s completely worth it.

Mentions:  Norte Youth Cycling

Jerel Wilson And Her Trek Top Fuel 9.8

Jerel Wilson and her Trek Top Fuel 9.8

Mountain biking allows me to escape and become part of nature. It gives me the opportunity to feel alive, challenge myself in rock gardens and take calculated risks that often give me butterflies in my stomach – like sending it. I love hitting the trails with my kids (3 and 5) and my colleagues at NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association) the most. Getting the opportunity to lead beginner women’s rides through the Trek Women’s Advocacy program as well as training volunteers in communities all across the nation working to get #morekidsonbikes through NICA programming shows me time and time again the power of bicycles and how wonderful mountain biking communities are across the nation. It’s a community I am proud to be part of and I hope that both my girls will become lifelong cyclists.

Crushing rocks with the Trek Top Fuel 9.8
Jerel leads her kids through the forest on her Trek Top Fuel
Jerel enjoying the woods - on bikes

My 2020 Trek Top Fuel 9.8 comes sweetly spec’d and ready to roll right out of the box and it’s even set up tubeless. It flies over EVERYTHING without beating you up so you have energy to play with the little ones or jump on that Zoom call after your mid-day ride. This bike has made me a better technical rider, especially in the rock gardens and is wicked fast on all the flow trails. Smiles for miles!

Photo Credits:  Deborah Hage
Mentions:  TORC, Triangle Off-Road Cyclists