Make Tonight Free Mountain Bike Movie Night

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Free MTB Movie Night - Dec 13, 2020

Have you seen all of these before? Here’s a list of movies and a very exciting 2019 women’s XC race you can watch for free online today. We’ve chosen a couple of old favorites as well as a film released just a couple of months ago. Get the popcorn going and enjoy.

Women’s XCO finals – Albstadt 2019

Women's XCO Finals - Albstadt, 2019

Brutal climbs, wet woodwork, and greasy trails vs. some of the best women XC racers in the world. Click on the ‘Women’s XCO Finals’ tab on the right from a desktop to see the race.

Purple Mountains

Ok. We’re sneaking in a movie from professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones. He takes on exploring climate change and how it has become a politicized, money driven issue.

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Ryan Leech in Kranked 6 – Progression

Ryan is the ageless O-G of the North Shore and trials riding. This is a bonkers clip from 2006. Take a look at his online mtb coaching site, too.

The Flying Squirrels and Radical Rippers

Learn about a youth development mountain biking group for girls based in Bellingham, Washington.

Symbiosis

This one always chokes dad up because of the little kids at the beginning. He clearly remembers being at the old Whistler skills parks when the kids were still on a balance bike and 20in bike. Created by Scott Secco and Ryan Howard – this was part of a past Dirt Diaries film contest that took place during Crankworx Whistler.

Danny Macaskill – Industrial Revolutions

Mom found this one years ago. The music and cinematography are on par with Danny’s riding.

Bontrager Avert Women’s Mountain Bike Rain Jacket Review

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Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket Review - featured image

Lightweight enough to toss into your pack with your other gear, but with enough protection from the elements, the Bontrager Avert Women’s Rain Jacket will keep you dry on rainy days and warmer on those slightly crisp rides. MSRP is $169.99 USD and you can get it on the Bontrager/Trek website.

Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket Review - featured image

Available in three different colors, olive, black and cardinal red, as well as an array of sizes ranging from extra small to double extra-large – this women’s jacket was designed for durability and comfort.

Water beading upon the Bontrager Avert Women's Stormshell MTB rain jacket
Hydration pack on the Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket
Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket Review

It’s made of Stormshell waterproof fabric that has a 37.5 membrane that keeps you dry. The material is very breathable, ensuring that you won’t overheat on those hot, muggy days. With that said, the light protection that it provides makes the Stormshell jacket a great warm outer layer should the weather cool off a little while you’re out riding. After all, it’s rated for between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the temperature down even more with a a base layer like the Bontrager Vella Women’s Thermal Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey.

The jacket weighs less than half a pound. Normally, I just stuff it into my hydration pack, but it folds up well into the built-in pouch, too. The hood is compatible with various helmets, so you don’t have to make a decision between keeping your head dry or protected. The roll and click BOA adjustment system is a great amenity for this women’s rain jacket.

Hood over mtb helmet on the Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket
BOA hood adjustment system - Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket

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Hood down detail - Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket
YKK Zipper and seal tape detail - Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket

There are two pockets that both zip shut, giving you an extra place to keep your valuables. Plus, the semi-fitted style allows for plenty of movement without bulk, so you won’t have to worry about the jacket getting bunched up when moving on the bike. It’s comfortable when I wear a hydration pack as well.

On the bike with the Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket
The Bontrager Avert Women's Rain Jacket is flexible and comfy

My Experience With The Bontrager Avert Women’s Mountain Bike Rain Jacket

I have been using this jacket all season long and it’s been my favorite for cycling, running, and walks when the weather has been less than ideal. It’s small and light enough that I hardly notice it when it’s in my hydration pack. During a couple of NICA team rides that ran a bit past dusk late in the season, I simply dug this out when the temperature fell and was comfortable on descents at elevation.

During a heavier than expected rain storm in Moab last spring, the jacket performed very well. The YKK AquaGuard zipper and taped seams stopped water from getting inside and I really like the over-sized hood. The elasticized sleeves and waist cord are still springy.

Thanks to the Bontrager Avert Women’s Stormshell Jacket, you won’t have to wait for those perfect sunny days to head out on the trails.

Camelbak Flow Belt And Podium Bottle Review

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Podium bottle, 21oz - and Flow hip pack

It’s crucial to stay hydrated while riding. The main problem with water bottles is that they’re hard to access. You often end up having to stop mid-trail in order to remove them from the holder on the frame of your bike before you can take a drink. This makes it less likely that you’ll drink enough water during your excursion. The Camelbak Podium Flow Belt 21 oz takes care of that problem. The MSRP is $44.95 USD.

Podium bottle, 21oz - and Flow hip pack

Camelbak is known for their hydration solutions. They make both backpacks and belts, like this one, that are utilized by mountain bikers, hikers, runners, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Made of proprietary waterproof materials, Camelbak bags often have a built-in bladder that holds water, or they have an ingenious pocket and an easy to access water bottle, like this model.

The bottle does not wiggle around on this Camelbak accessory belt
Camelbak Flow Hip Pack and Podium Water Bottle

Camelbak Podium Flow Belt Specifications

Dimensions13 x 44 x 11cm / 5.1 x 17.3 x 4.3"
Gear Capacity2L / 120in³
Fits Waist / Hips28-46 in / 71-116 cm

The Camelback Podium Flow is a lightweight belt that attaches around the waist. It’s easily adjustable, thanks to the nylon strap and buckle system. Along with the built-in zippered pockets, there’s an elastic sleeve that securely holds a water bottle (included with the belt), that slips in and out easily. You no longer have to awkwardly reach for a frame-mounted, water bottle holder.

Flow label on Camelbak hip pack
Interior of Camelbak Flow hip pack

Both of the included pockets were designed with utility in mind. The top zippered compartment contains handy spaces that hold the various tools that you may need in order to adjust your bike on the side of the mountain or other trail, while the front, smaller pocket holds keys, energy gels, and more.

Racing with the Camelbak Flow/Podium hip pack

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Here's how the Camelbak Podium bottle opens and closes
There's a lot of extra belt on the Camelbak Flow hip pack

Even when fully loaded with a full water bottle and plenty of tools, it will stay in a comfortable position around your waist. Plus, the mesh back panel is breathable, limiting sweat from building up when you wear it.

The Camelbak hip pack is comfy and functional

Available in several different colors, including all black, a camo combination named camelflage and brown seal, and a lighter mineral blue and silver, you’ll be able to choose the shade that best matches your bike, riding gear, or protective clothing. No matter the color, the Camelback Podium Flow has built-in reflective patches that make it easier for vehicle and other bikers to spot you in the dark. Camelbak really thought of everything when they designed this hip pack, waist pouch… whatever you want to call it.

Camelbak Flow / Podium hip pack

Keep It Rolling With The Camelbak Podium Flow Belt

Both our lads like this accessory a lot. We had to pick up one for our youngest when our oldest was flaunting it on rides and at races. The bottle stays put in its pouch because there is a quality elastic holding it in place. These have been put through the wringer over the course of a season. The zippers are durable and have not broken down. Overall, this is just a well-designed product that works great for both the lads. They carry snacks, tools and extra tubes in them – sometimes a packable rain jacket.

Prevelo Alpha One Review

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Prevelo Alpha One Review

Your child’s first pedal bike will need to be designed so it’s “easy” to ride. It will need to have the right saddle height, reach, and bar width. The cranks, wheels and pedals all need to be the proper dimensions. If you have a child who is about 3-5 years old and ready to pedal – look no further than the Prevelo Alpha One. This single-speed 14inch wheel bike retails for $359.00 USD on the Prevelo website.

Prevelo Alpha One Review

Prevelo:  Website | Instagram | Facebook

Your little one has mastered the balance bike and perhaps has a friend or sibling who can ride a pedal-powered bike. For many, the Prevelo Alpha One is going to be your kid’s second bike. It has the geometry and build that are two of the keys to learning how to ride a real pedal bike. Your child’s ability and will are going to help turn those keys and unlock a fun, new world of riding bikes together.

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Overview Of The Prevelo Alpha One

standover height icon

SADDLE HEIGHT

15.6 – 17.5 inches

drivetrain icon

DRIVETRAIN

Single Speed

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WHEEL SIZE

14in

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WEIGHT

~13.45 lbs

Set Up For the Prevelo Alpha One

Of course the Alpha One has kid-sized everything. From the cranks to the brakes, the bike is set up for smaller feet and hands, shorter arms and legs. As opposed to the Alpha Zero, Prevelo’s balance bike, the Alpha One has a front brake as well. This is a great additional opportunity and natural advancement for building one’s skills and bike control. We also like the bashguard on the front chainring as well as the quick-release seat post collar.

Prevelo Alpha One bike badge
Hand on bar - Prevelo Alpha One
Prevelo Alpha One saddle
Prevelo Alpha One rear dropout

Be Sure To Get The Freewheel Option When Ordering The Prevelo Alpha One

The Alpha One comes with a coaster brake installed as the default build, but a freewheel option is available and perhaps preferable to most customers. Our kids had coaster brake bikes when they first learned to ride. That was over 10 years ago and we simply didn’t know any better. But in our opinion, going from a coaster brake bike to freewheel bike could be a cumbersome switch or unfavorable learning curve for children who have balance bike experience.

Add-Ons And Color Options

All the add-ons and options for the Alpha One include: a kickstand, the aforementioned freewheel kit, custom color grips, a bicycle bell, rider name lettering, USB rechargeable lights, the Prevelo Trade-Up Club Membership, a riser bar, and a 13t or 15t rear cog. The bike ships with a 14t rear cog.

Internal cable routing, clean welds and optional colors make the bike visually appealing to both parents and kids. Available colors for the Alpha One include: Speed Silver, Power Purple, and Braap Blue.

The Prevelo Trade Up Club

Learn About The Prevelo Trade Up Club

Prevelo also offers a Trade-Up Club Membership. As of this writing, the cost is $69.00 USD. The program allows you to save money when sizing-up while your kids continue to ride a Prevelo. Get all the detail and terms by visiting the Prevelo website.

Prevelo Alpha One - Rear Tire/Wheel

Geometry/Numbers For The Prevelo Alpha One

Prevelo Alpha One Geometry Illustration

Click the photo to enlarge it

A Wheel Size14"
B Wheelbase26.3 in / 667 mm
C Effective Top Tube Length13.7 in / 349 mm
D Head Angle69°
E Seat Tube Angle70°
F Chain Stay Length10.7 in / 271 mm
Weight (including pedals)14.4 lbs / 6.5 kg (13.45 lbs / 6.1 kg with freewheel kit installed)
Minimum Saddle Height15.6 in / 397 mm
Maximum Saddle Height17.5 in / 445 mm
Bottom Bracket Height6.7 in / 170 mm
Gain Ratio3.7
Standover (ground to top of top tube)14in / 355.6mm

Prevelo Alpha One – Specifications

FRAME6061 heat treated aluminum alloy custom formed tubing
FORKAluminum alloy blades with chromoly steerer tube - 35mm rake
SEAT CLAMPAluminum alloy with toolless adjustment
FRONT BRAKETektro aluminum V-brake
REAR BRAKETektro aluminum V-brake & coaster brake
FRONT BRAKE LEVERTektro aluminum short reach
REAR BRAKE LEVERTektro aluminum short reach
CRANK SETPrevelo anodized alloy 3-piece square taper with 85MM crank length.
SPROCKET25T with double chain ring guard
BB SETSealed cartridge
HEAD SET1 1/8" threadless
RIMAluminum with grinded sidewalls
FRONT HUBLightweight alloy 1-piece forged CNC with low profile rounded hex bolts
REAR HUBSteel with integrated coaster brake - 14T cog
TIRE & TUBEKenda Small Block Eight Pro 14 ×1.5
SADDLEPrevelo small kid saddle
HANDLEBARPrevelo Aluminum - 470mm wide x 50mm rise - 22.2mm to 19mm taper
HANDLEBAR STEMAluminum 30mm extension
GRIPKraton rubber
PEDALSComposite with 9/16 chromoly axle
Prevelo Alpha One pedal, crank, bashguard
Quick release seat post collar - Prevelo Alpha One

Riding The Prevelo Alpha One

We found the perfect candidate to ride our Prevelo Alpha One. Derek’s a lad just shy of 5 years old who had never pedaled a bike on his own who had a year of balance bike riding under his belt. This was truly the perfect applicant for the job.

Inspecting the Prevelo Alpha One

After inspecting the bike for a moment, we adjusted the saddle height using the quick-release seat collar and Derek mounted-up. We were sure to play it safe and have the saddle low enough so the rider could easily plant both feet on the ground. He pushed around with his feet on his own for a bit so he could get used to the bar width, kid-sized grips, and the hand brakes.

The reach is an important fit factor for kids' bikes
Hand on bar - Prevelo Alpha One
Foot on the pedal - Prevelo Alpha One

Our first task was to see if Derek could coast down a gentle slope with raising his feet off the ground and then resting them on the pedals when he felt safe and confident. Getting his feet off the ground was easy enough. His balance bike experience enabled him to do this on the third try. Getting Derek to rest his feet on the pedals only took another 5 minutes or so.

Next was pedaling. This concept can tough for a kid to grasp initially. When you take a moment to think about it – it’s foreign at the very least. The physical motion that takes place when pedaling a bike involves alternating the force exerted from left-leg to right-leg in a constrained circular motion. This is one of those things that you really have to simplify when instructing.

Getting both feet on the pedals

Watching this take place in-person with a new rider who’s ready to try this and figure it out is really rewarding. Derek and his mom were both shocked when he got a couple of full rotations on the pedals. From there, it’s just a matter of maintaining forward momentum while safely controlling the bike.

Pedaling for the first time - Prevelo Alpha One

With each attempt, Derek was able to go farther and farther without having to put a foot down. We were on a paved bike path and our demo rider soon learned how to use both hand brakes evenly while making turns and even climbing slight hills.

Taking the Prevelo Alpha One to dirt

Our next location with the bike was a small skills park. We were excited to see that Derek was ready to take the Alpha One to dirt and build upon his skills.

Riding the Prevelo Alpha One

He rode the bike with confidence. As opposed to being on a wide-open paved trail – some of the terrain was bordered with weeds and sagebrush. The Kenda tires did a fine job on the dry, loose dirt and our rider was able to handle weaving the bike through the channels of trails.

Inspecting the repair stand at the skills park

It was great to see how Derek was able to brake evenly with both front and rear brake on the Alpha One. This being his first experience with handbrakes, he simply took it as fact and used them as instructed.

Prevelo Alpha One Summary

We were beyond stoked to see a kid ride a pedal bike on his own for the first time with the Prevelo Alpha One. Derek’s mom was always close by and she shouted with joy when he took off on his own.

Due to your child’s size and abilities, your kid’s first pedal bike may not be the Prevelo Alpha One. The company also offers bikes with 16inch wheels and 20inch wheels. Although they’re different sizes, they still serve the same purpose: enabling kids to have fun on bikes. The Alpha One is definitely the right tool for the job if you have a young child who’s ready to give it a shot. If you want to ensure success, start with a balance bike such as the Prevelo Alpha Zero. This will properly prepare you daughters and sons to build the foundation necessary to advance to pedaling.

Taking off on the Prevelo Alpha One

Introducing The Specialized Carbon Hotwalk

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Specialized Carbon Hotwalk - Balance Bike for Kids

Would you pass up the opportunity to make something like this if you had the resources to do so?

Specialized Carbon Hotwalk - Balance Bike for Kids

From Specialized…

The team at Specialized just built the ultimate first bike. Full carbon and only 2.1kg/4.63 lbs… Now don’t you wish you were younger?

On December 3rd, cycling fanatics will be able to share their love of carbon race machines with the future performance rider in their lives. The new super lightweight Hotwalk Carbon features a purpose built carbon frame for better handling and more control. No details were spared on this build, including a lightweight FACT 9r carbon frame, fork, and handlebars. The wheels are carbon, too, and feature Rhythm Lite tires with super-light casing. The grips feature a 38% smaller diameter, offering a better grip for little hands. And to top it off, the Hotwalk Carbon is equipped with a Low friction Body Geometry Saddle, with an integrated carrying handle.

Starting as a daydream napkin sketch, the Specialized team quickly took action and utilized their decades of knowledge in carbon layups to bring this bike to life. Because, hey, if the parents get to play around on the best bikes all day, why shouldn’t the kids!

And yes, of course it’ll cost you, just a cool $999 USD. What was that about the N+1 rule? Gotta start ’em young 😉

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Specialized Carbon Hotwalk in the shop

Chill – It’s Still Just A Balance Bike

The first real, good kid mountain bikes were one-offs created by parents, designers and/or craftspeople who had the skills, tools, and materials to bring an idea to life. Our son’s first quality purpose-built kid-sized bike was made out of a need from moms and dads who worked at major bike brands.

The sport has aged well, and with more and more 1st generation mountain bikers having families of their own – the market is growing for quality bikes and gear for kids.

Obviously, this bike was designed and created as project that can be akin to a concept car that that graces the pages of Motor Trend or Car And Driver. But like all things in the mountain bike world – if you have means, then there is a premium product for the having.

Riding the Specialized Carbon Hotwalk

15yo Aiden And 17yo Wyatt Ride Kong

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POV Video - Kong - Virgin, UT

Our friend Aiden Parish stitched together this POV video of him and our oldest son Wyatt hitting Kong for the first time over the 2020 Thanksgiving break near Virgin, Utah. We owe Aiden a big thanks for sharing this video with us.

Follow Aiden on Instagram @aiden_parish83 and Wyatt @wat_is_good. Aiden and his brother Alex @alex_parish1 are the initial members of @parish_brothers_racing.

If you’re not familiar with Kong, it’s a line near the Red Bull Rampage site that many pros ride and advanced riders can test their mettle on. The trail is accessed via Flying Monkey and its notable features are a series of exposed ridge-to-ridge drops and rolls that leave zero room for big errors.

The boys were supposed to ride this with friends who were familiar with the trail, but following a hard crash by one of them earlier in the day, the ride was put off. Nonetheless, after Aiden’s dad offered to shuttle them up so they could check it out – it was go time.

For over a year, Aiden and Wyatt have been riding together because they’re members of the Racekraft Gravity Development MTB Team. They decided each of them had the ability to do this due to their experiences riding together. This being their first time down Kong, they took the time to inspect each feature, determine the lines, and only ride it if they knew they would succeed.

Aiden is 15 years old and rides a Santa Cruz v10 in this video. Wyatt is 17 years old and rides his Transition Sentinel. One of the more interesting details is that you can hear Aiden clipping in and out of his pedals. That’s just next level.

Wyatt said one of the toughest moves on the trail was on the first feature where the trail made a slight dodge to the right when you had speed after the initial slab. You can see that based on how the video is spliced up, both riders were sure be patient and stay on line when starting to roll in on a drop.

When they had the opportunity to ride the trail again the next day, they exhibited their smarts once again and decided to ride other lines nearby.

Prevelo Alpha Zero Review

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Prevelo Alpha Zero - Review

Can you imagine the beginning a long, enjoyable story that will take several decades to consume? If the equivalent to this saga is the start of your little one’s enjoyment of cycling, then the preface can take place upon the Prevelo Alpha Zero.

Prevelo Alpha Zero - Review

Prevelo:  Website | Instagram | Facebook

The Alpha Zero is Prevelo’s 12-inch wheel balance bike/run bike engineered for kids who, on the entry side, are about 18 months old and up. It has a standover height of just 7 inches and a minimum saddle height of 11.5 inches. The maximum saddle height for the bike is 14.6 inches. MSRP for the Alpha Zero is $199.00 USD.

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A Quick Overview Of The Prevelo Alpha Zero

standover height icon

SADDLE HEIGHT

Min ~11.5 inches

drivetrain icon

DRIVETRAIN

None – It’s Push-Powered

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WHEEL SIZE

12in

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WEIGHT

~8.5 lbs

The Prevelo Alpha One Is Minimal. And That Makes It Huge.

When we normally do a bike review, we pour over the specs in order to inform readers of all the details. In this case, the facts are minimal because the bike is minimal. The drivetrain consists of your kid’s feet, legs, and gumption. In the beginning, slowing down the bike and braking will be done with the aforementioned items. After the beginning, your little one will learn how to use the rear Tektro v-brake on the bike controlled by a hand lever on the right side of the bars. The cable for the brake streams neatly from the lever and it’s internally routed through the down tube. It’s nice looking.

Seat collar on Prevelo Alpha Zero

Colors And Add-Ons

The bike’s looks are classic and will appeal to both girls and boys. Color options for the frame include Speed Silver, Power Purple, and Braap Blue. When shopping on the Prevelo website, you can also add optional: colored grips, a bike bell, rider name lettering, or USB rechargeable lights.

The Prevelo Trade Up Club

Learn About The Prevelo Trade Up Club

Prevelo also offers a Trade-Up Club Membership. As of this writing, the cost is $69.00 USD. The program allows you to save money when sizing-up while your kids continue to ride a Prevelo. Get all the detail and terms by visiting the Prevelo website.

Hand brake detail - Prevelo Alpha Zero
Prevelo Alpha Zero - Top Tube Badge

Start With This Balance Bike Instead Of A Pedal Bike With Training Wheels

The Prevelo Alpha Zero is made to introduce your kids to the concept of balancing on a bike without the distractions of pedals or the safety net of training wheels.

The same will or gumption that drives your children to propel themselves along by walking or running the bike as they’re firmly planted on the saddle is going to allow them to progress.

Once comfortable with the physical demands of achieving basic angular momentum, your child will discover that if the thrust is increased, she/he will be able to keep both feet off the ground longer and glide greater distances without their feet touching the ground. In our experiences, this has been the most important skill that enables a young rider to safely transition to a pedal bike with confidence.

Having the right tool for the job is important. Again, that’s where the Prevelo Alpha Zero comes in. It’s made to fit small, young children. It’s made to help them succeed.

Cockpit view - Prevelo Alpha Zero
Rear end - Prevelo Alpha Zero
Tire tread detail - Prevelo Alpha Zero

Geometry For The Prevelo Alpha Zero

A Wheel Size12"
B Wheelbase22.9 in / 581 mm
C Effective Top Tube Length11.6 in / 295 mm
D Head Angle67°
E Seat Tube Angle69°
F Chain Stay Length8.9 in / 225 mm
Prevelo Alpha Zero Geometry Diagram

Click the photo to enlarge it

Prevelo Alpha Zero – Specifications

FRAME12"
FORK22.9 in / 581 mm
SEAT CLAMP11.6 in / 295 mm
REAR BRAKE67°
REAR BRAKE LEVER69°
HEAD SET8.9 in / 225 mm
RIMAluminum with grinded sidewalls
FRONT HUBLightweight alloy 1-piece forged CNC with low profile rounded hex bolts and sealed hub
REAR HUBLightweight alloy 1-piece forged CNC with low profile rounded hex bolts and sealed hub
TIRE & TUBEKenda 12 x 1.75
SADDLEPrevelo balance bike specific saddle
HANDLEBARPrevelo Aluminum - 375mm wide x 50mm rise - 22.2mm to 19mm taper
HANDLEBAR STEMAluminum 30mm extension
GRIPKraton rubber

Riding The Prevelo Alpha Zero

It isn’t complicated. It’s just fun. Our rider rode this bike for better part of the summer and his confidence grew as the season went on. The Prevelo works on grass, concrete, pavement, gravel, and dirt. The absence of a top tub on the bike makes it super easy to get on and dismount. The quick-release seat post collar allows one to adjust the saddle height as needed without the needing a hex key.

The Prevelo Alpha Zero even works on grass

Getting familiar with the Prevelo Alpha Zero in safe, controlled surroundings.

Taking on a pump track with the Prevelo Alpha Zero

Little kid – big world. You gotta have guts to hit pump track. Think about it. If these rollers were scaled up for adults, these would be serious obstacles. The right fitting bike makes all the difference.

Dressed to the nines on the Prevelo Alpha Zero

With a proper sized bike for this age category, your rider should be able to straddle the bike with both feet planted firmly on the ground.

Climb mode on - Prevelo Alpha Zero
Getting ready for the next leg of the ride
Looking good on the Prevelo Alpha Zero - a balance bike for kids

Riding Off Aboard The Prevelo Alpha Zero

If you have a young one who is ready, or soon to start cycling, the Prevelo Alpha Zero is a must-have balance bike. It’s sized right. It’s priced right. It is made so children can begin to learn the fundamentals of riding a bike. The kid sized saddle, handlebars, and grips are specifically designed to make your kid comfortable when they take the plunge into the world of bikes.

Following dad's lead on singletrack aboard the Prevelo Alpha Zero

Shred Til Bed Book – From Kids Ride Shotgun

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Reading the Shred Til Bed book

From the makers of the Kids Ride Shotgun bike seat comes the most captivating page-turner of the year: Shred Til Bed – The MTB Animal Alphabet.

Reading the Shred Til Bed book

A-B-C… Don’t worry. We won’t ruin the ending. This hard-cover book has 52 pages of wonderful illustrations featuring members of the animal kingdom mountain biking across terrain that would send Curious George back to the hospital.

Shred Til Bed - Cover
Shred Til Bed - Gg

Written by Kids Ride Shotgun Co-Founder, Dan Necklen – along with art by Mike Hearsey, the book cleverly pairs mountain biking vernacular with animals that begin with the same letter.

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The illustrations are a a lot of fun and you can keep your kids engaged with the sport rain or shine while introducing and/or reinforcing a tad of extracurricular learning.

Shred Til Bed book - Kk
Ll - Shred Til Bed book from Kids Ride Shotgun

Mountain Biking In Bellingham With Kids

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The best mountain biking trails for families and kids in Bellingham

Cascadia’s backwoods are home to some of the best mountain biking in the country. Tall old trees, mossy granite, exposed roots, and dirt that deserves its own seat on the periodic table are what you are here to see. This is a sample of some of the best family friendly mountain biking trails in Bellingham, Washington.

Bellingham is just thirty minutes south of the Peace Arch border in to Canada. The town is also headquarters for Evil, Kona, and Transition bike companies. We have the luxury of having friends who live in the area – and through their generosity of playing tour guides, our family has experienced some of the best riding in the region.

BELLINGHAM MTB Weather
WMBC - Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition

The WMBC Is The Local Trail Organization

If you’re planning on riding Bellingham or have enjoyed the trails in the past, take a moment and donate to the WMBC right now. The Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition is composed of a board and volunteers who are among the most active mountain biking communities on the planet. And, because of contributions from families like yours and mine, the WMBC can build more trails so we can all enjoy the outdoors together.

In addition to being stewards of the trails, the WMBC sponsors events, youth programs and service learning opportunities.

Galbraith Mountain

Galbraith Mountain Trail Map

Examine the embedded map and you’ll see that the Galbraith mountain biking trails mimic a Paris street map. If you can spend a few days here, you’ll reap the rewards. You can ride the north of the mountain or the south. The south side is most popular because that’s where most of the trails are accessed. Park on Samish Way just west of Galbraith Lane. An early arrival in the day will guarantee parking. If you have a hitch mounted tray rack, be sure to move it in upright position. This is so you maximize the available space for vehicles to maneuver in a parking area with limited space. If the lot is full, you can park on the side of the road, but make sure your car is completely off the road.

Parking: Google Maps
Who It’s For: balance bikes through advanced mountain bikers

Galbraith is privately owned and as mentioned above, the WMBC (Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition) is the trail organization responsible for preserving the relationships that keep the area accessible. The WMBC also creates new trails, maintains the existing trails, and is also responsible for the majority of the fundraising. Bellingham’s mountain biking community is among the best and strongest in the nation. Citizens put in the volunteer hours and pony up the dough to make things work.

We can’t write about everything on Galbraith, but we strongly encourage you to explore and plan your family’s bike rides based on your abilities and levels of interest. Always keep in mind that when you’re riding with your kids, it’s not your ride. It’s your job to keep the itinerary fun and safe. Carefully cross Samish Way to get on Galbraith Lane / Pipeline Road. Once you’ve crossed the road, head north.

You get to earn your turns on Galbraith. There are no lifts, paid shuttles, or self-shuttling. Check the weather and bring appropriate clothing. Plan ahead and be sure to have space in your pack for your kids’ extra clothes, additional food and water, whatever they need to make the ride a success. Always keep in mind that you’re responsible for creating positive experiences for your young riders.

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Beginner Trails On Galbraith Mountain

Once you’re on Pipeline Road, continue north to the southwest zone of the mountain. Here you’ll find trails like Bunny Trails, Little Dipper, Art’s Trail, and more. You can make loops from these trails that use Pipeline Road as the main corridor. You can get creative and make a route that resembles a figure-eight. Clock-wise or counter-clockwise, out-and-back and so on. You could even incorporate a couple of blue/intermediate trails like Pony Express or Mole Trap if your group is up to the task. Galbraith can keep everyone in your family pedaling and interested.

Crossing a bridge on Galbraith Mountain's beginner / family-friendly mountain bike trails
Getting back to Pipeline Road on Galbraith Mountain in Bellingham, WA
Mountain biking with kids in Bellingham, Washington - Lost Giants trail

Evolution, Unemployment Line, And Atomic Dog

These three trails are for adventurous intermediate riders through advanced riders. There are steep, elevated features; jumps and drops. Link these three trails together by pedaling to where Evolution starts. From the south parking lot on Samish Way, here’s how you get there: Cross Samish Way. Go north on Pipeline Road / Galbraith Lane and continue on Last Call. Cross Pipeline and get on Lost Giants. Take a right on Dog Patch. When you reach Towers at the end of Dog Patch, take a left on Towers. Get on RD 2300 at the intersection and take a left on Three Pigs. At the next intersection, get on Huff and Puff. At the end of Huff and Puff, go right and meander to the start of Evolution.

Evolution starts off fine and well, and the first challenging move is a sweeping left turn on to a wood feature that leads into a long, elevated laddered log. We have nothing like this in Utah and I’m always enamored with this feature. I’m not good enough to ride into the start of it yet, but I always like seeing it. Once you’re on the log, it’s well over 30 feet long and roll off sends you into another ramp with steep roll-down. From there, it’s hooting and hollering through more features and jumps. The trail ends on the Towers access road. Take a left on Towers. Pass the Pump Track trail and you’ll arrive at Unemployment Line.

The Evolution sign on Galbraith Mountain
Point-of-view screen grab of the elevated bridge on Galbraith's Evo trail.

The start of Unemployment Line was rebuilt a couple of years ago and it’s more of an art installation opposed to the drop-in of a mountain bike trail. When you see it in person, you’ll understand. The trail is only 3,800 feet long and it’s rated intermediate, but riders with good jump skills will get to enjoy it the most. There are a couple of berms on this trail that rival the Daytona Speedway. Unemployment Line ends on RD 2300. Take a right and pedal over to Atomic Dog.

Atomic Dog is another intermediate rated trail that will leave everyone in your group barking with joy. The features aren’t as big as Unemployment Line, but the flow of the trail is top-shelf. Keep your speed and you can clean a step-down, step-up which is one of the trails biggest moves. The trail ends at the intersection of Gate and Switch and Towers. From here, you can head back to the car, or prep for another lap on the mountain.

Mohawk

Mohawk is an advanced trail riddled with jumps and berms. It was built by a group of diggers known as The Shire Crew. Follow them on Instagram at @shire.built. The jumps at the bottom of Mohawk are world-class, if you or your kids have the skills to ride these – they look like a lot of fun. Our oldest and a couple of his friends where able to experiment and unlock the entire line. Get to the top of Mohawk by pedaling to the top of Huff and Puff. Take a right.

The Mohawk trail on Galbraith is a Shire Built endeavor
Riding Mohawk on Galbraith Mountain

Galbraith Mountain Is Big

There’s about 80 miles of trails packed into this zone. If you’re in town for more than a couple of days, you’ll get to find what works best for your family when you add mountain biking on Galbraith to the mix. We’ve been on several more trails here, but your experience will be your own and there is plenty to choose from. If you’re not from the area, you’ll be pleased to find that most of the climb trails are in shaded trees and they’re not straight up. Our youngest made it to the Evolution trail when he was 9 years old. Every rider is unique and Galbraith can accommodate everyone who likes to mountain bike.

Cedar Dust Jump Lines - Gabraith Mountain - Bellingham

Cedar Dust Jumps

Located near the west-central zone of Galbraith Mountain are the Cedar Dust Jump Lines. There are four trails rated from easiest to most difficult: Green, Blue, Black, and Expert.

Do laps and improve your skills; carefully working up from one line to the next. The Green line has tables where novice and beginning riders will learn to build speed and get their wheels off the ground. The Blue line has a couple of drops and doubles. The Black and Advanced lines have gaps.

People come to Galbraith just to ride these jumps for hours on end. They’re just another good reason to plan a trip and get this mountain biking destination off your bucket list.

Blue Steel

Opened in September of 2020, Blue Steel is a jump line composed of 7 BIG features. The line was designed and constructed by pro Nico Vink in partnership with Transition Bikes. Prior to dropping in on the jumps, you’ll see a sign with “Tips From Nico” that can help you complete the jumps in one piece.

Entry gate at the Blue Steel jump line – Galbraith Mtn.
Hitting a jump on the Blue Steel line

Chuckanut Mountain

Chuckanut Mountain Trail Map

Our family has only ridden a couple of trails on this mountain and they’re very challenging. I’m not ashamed to admit that I walk a few features because I don’t have the skills to get down them on my bike. If I put in the work at build up my skills, maybe I’ll be able to clean ’em when we return. On the other hand, our kids were able to ride from top-to-bottom when they were 13 and 9 years old. Gauge your family’s skills properly. Play it safe and have a rider in your group with at least strong intermediate skills pre-ride these in order to ensure a good time for all.

Drop Off: Google Maps
Pick Up: Google Maps
Who It’s For: strong intermediate through advanced mountain bikers

Double Black Diamond And Double Down

The route we describe here is a shuttle ride. Chuckanut Mountain is south of Bellingham. When you approach the mountain on Chuckanut Drive turn on to Hiline Road. Hiline will merge into Cleator Road. Keep going until you reach the viewpoint where you can see the ocean far, far below. Cleator Road is three miles long. If you park facing the road, ride or hike up the Double Black walk up for a few hundred yards. Double Black Diamond will begin on your right.

Double Black Diamond is a mile long and it’s wonderful. Exposed steppy roots and switchbacks, narrow lines through trees adorn Double Black Diamond. In my opinion, the toughest move on this trail is short bumpy strait with roots that leads into left turn. I have to dab it with a foot to get through. The rest of the trail is composed of similar goodies. Double Back Diamond ends at the Fragrance Lake Road. Cross it and you’ll begin Double Down.

During the summer, we traveled through the PNW with our friends, the Parish family. Aiden @aiden_parish83 and Alex  @alex_parish1 make brief appearances in these videos.

I don’t enjoy Double Down as much as Double Black Diamond, but that’s only because I can’t ride it all. There are roots on off-camber slopes and tricky rock sections. On our most recent trip, I was able to do a section for the first time and that made me feel like a pro. Double Down has a couple of optional features that easily qualify as expert. One is a rock drop that carries riders about a dozen feet from leap to landing. Another is a booter that launches qualified riders through the uprights of a couple of tall, thin trees. Score!

When you reach the bottom of the Double Down trail, merge on to the Fragrance Lake Road and head south. This is where you get picked up by your shuttle, at the Lost Lake Parking Lot. On one side of the lot, there is 15 minute parking so you can avoid paying the day use fee.

Waterfront Pump Track

Bellingham Waterfront Bike Park Map

Pump tracks and skills parks are great because everyone can enjoy them. Young ‘uns on balance bikes, moms on dirt jumpers, dads with bmx bikes, and groms on hardtails can all have a good time at the pump track. Access the Bellingham Waterfront Pump Track via Granary Road or West Laurel Street. The area is marked by old red-orange tiled storage tanks remaining from a paper processing plant. There’s plenty of parking and space to work on your cornering, jumping, etiquette, diction and vocabulary.

Location: Google Maps
Who It’s For: everyone

Riding at the pump track - Bellingham, WA
Taking a break at the Waterfront Pump Track - Bellingham, WA

Lake Whatcom Park

Lake Whatcom Park Map

Location: Google Maps
Who It’s For: strong intermediate and advanced mountain bikers

Chanterelle Trail And Brown Pow

This area is home to the multi-use climb trail Chanterelle and the downhill romp Brown Pow. When ascending Chanterelle, be conscious of hikers and trail runners. Be on your best behavior and yield to foot traffic. If you have a bell, the Chanterelle trail is where you want to use it. This route can be busy on the weekends and we had several hikers thank us for using our bells. For our family, coming from dry and dusty Salt Lake City, climbing the three miles on close-to-sea-level Chanterelle is nothing short of pleasant. There are a few road crossings where you can take a break. At the top of the lower section of Chanterelle, there’s an overlook where you have a wide open view of Lake Whatcom.

Climbing the Chanterelle trail by Lake Whatcom.
Side show attractions. Mushrooms on the Chanterelle trail.

When you start Brown Pow, it’s on the stunning side and sans rock slabs – it embodies what makes the PNW famous for mountain biking. Compared to what we normally ride in Utah, the dirt can be considered tacky – even in blown out corners.

Near the bottom of Brown Pow there’s a couple of spaced out roots with small drops that warrant the trail’s advanced rating. An eager intermediate rider will enjoy the trail no problem even though he/she may have to hop off the bike and walk a couple of sections. Put this ride on your to-do list if you have more than a couple of days in town. It’s worth it. If you’re visiting in the heat of summer, a jump in the lake on the way back to the parking lot is a no-brainer.

Mom rides Brown Pow - a Bellingham fave
Go jump in a lake after you ride Brown Pow near Lake Whatcom

Ultimate Gift Guide For Mountain Bikers

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Gift Guide for Mountain Bikers
Best gifts for mountain bikers

ULTIMATE GIFT GUIDE FOR MOUNTAIN BIKERS

Holiday gifts for mountain biking kids, moms, dads and everyone else

Do you have a mountain biker in your life?  Our 2020 gift guide for mountain bikers might be helpful as you search for the perfect gift. We’ve made our lists and checked them twice in order to compose our Ultimate Gift Guide For Mountain Bikers. You will find everything from tools and accessories to complete mountain bikes.

Looking for mountain bike gifts for less than $30, the best enduro mountain bikes for kids, or a mountain bike for your high school NICA racer? We have suggestions for balance bikes, your kid’s first pedal bike and quiver killers for teens.

Gifts for cycling / mtb boys and girls 1-3 years old

Don’t just say “Start ’em young”. Do it and see mountain biking gifts for 1-3 year olds.

Prevelo Zulu One kids' bike

Make your little ones’ first experiences on the bike memorable with these selections.

Bell Sidetrack II MIPS Child and Youth Helmet

Some of the items on this list for mountain biking kids include shoes and knee pads.

helinox swivel chair gift for teen mtb

Need gifts for your pre-teen? Look at our picks for bikes, protective gear, and more.

JBL Clip 3 Portable Speaker teen gift

Our gift ideas for teen mountain bikers will keep ’em stoked all year long.

Helly Hansen W Seven J Jacket rain jack for mountain bike mom

Among our choices for mom – we have clothing, gear upgrades, bikes, gloves, and tools.

Help the old man keep his mountain bike habit going with our gift list for dad.

Kids ride shotgun seat gift for mountain bike dad

The items in this list were chosen so your entire family can mountain bike together.

We hope you find these stocking stuffers for mountain bikers a relief and affordable.

Smith Squad goggles gift for mountain bikers enduro

Our favorite gifts ideas to keep your enduro mtb kids race ready and stylish.

PNW Loam Grips nica gift mountain bike

Get your NICA league MTB racer something useful and/or rad for the upcoming season.

Atlas Prodigy Youth Neck Brace 2020 mountain biking kids

Downhill mountain biking is fast ‘n furious. Lots of protection choices make the list.

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