Father’s Day 2019 – Dad Bike Checks

Father's Day bike checks - 2019

A lot of you enjoyed our Mother’s Day Bike Checks post last month so we thought we’d follow it up with one ferda-dads. We reached out to several father’s across the mtb plains and we’d like to say thanks to all those who took the time to brag about their bikes and kids.

Kris “Krispy” Baughman And His Pivot Firebird

Pivot Firebird - Kris Baughman

I’ve been a fan of Pivot ever since the company was founded. My son and I have been riding Pivot’s bikes for years. The DW-Link suspension and amount of engineering that has gone into the brand is among the best in the business. Because of this, my Firebird 29er has a good look to it and it fits me nicely.

After some additional modifications, this bike works very well for me and my style of riding. After throwing on a 27.5 rear wheel that gives me a little more tire clearance in the rear end I’ve noticed improved handling in tight turns.

My soon-to-be wife, Leslie and I have founded the RaceKraft MTB team. It is a gravity focused group of teenagers. Along with the trail and park riding, we also cover off-bike training and mental preparation. It’s great to be riding with this group of kids. Our season finale will be participating at the 2019 MTB Nationals in Winter Park next month.

Jeff Burgner And The Rocky Mountain Instinct

Rocky Mountain Instinct - Bike check

It’s Father’s day, so let’s talk bikes. If your family is like ours, then you have groms that love to shred the gnar. In order for dad to shred just as hard (or at least try to), you’ll need a bike that’s capable of a lot of things. For me it is a long travel 29er. A bike that you can take to the bike park with the kids, or go on an extended adventure ride, and get out there. The Rocky Mountain Instinct bc edition was the choice for me.

The Instinct bc comes in two models. The Alloy 50, and the race ready Carbon 90. The Alloy 50 is the obvious choice for me, as it is what I consider a fairly priced mountain bike with a solid build, and great suspension. It’s an aluminum framed machine that comes with some burly fox suspension. A Fox float 36, with 160 mm travel, and grip damper in front. Bring up the rear is a Fox Float dpx2 with 155 mm travel. This my first bike with a piggy back shock, and man are they nice. Sealed cartridge bearings are the norm on all the pivots. With this bike, I’ve upgraded to the Sram Eagle 12spd, gx build which is just a great advance in bike technology. The dropper is Fox, branded as a Raceface turbine. It’s a well engineered piece of equipment that’s a pleasure to sit on. All of this radness gets you going and feeling loose. That usually means slow down! In order to do so 4 piston Sram Guide RE brakes with some monster truck 200 mm rotors do the trick. Some other bling on the Instinct bc I think is coo, are the DT Swiss rear hub, and the WTB race saddle. Details, details they can get boring, I get it. So then, how does it ride?

For me the Instinct bc rides freaking awesome. It climbs like you think a 29er should, has a bottle cage inside the frame, descends like a boss, and can hit jumps with the groms. The suspension is plush, and gloss metal flake brown color of the Alloy 50 rocks. It’s something I can pedal the extensive single track in the high mountains of northern Utah, and rally on some of the more chunky terrain in Southern Utah, but that will have to wait for winter. I’m really stoked on the Rocky Mountain Instinct bc Edition Alloy 50 so far, can’t wait to pile on the miles this summer. Hopefully the @huck_it_cru will see you on the trails. The @huck_it_cru would like to thanks Slim and Knobbys bike shop, (@slimandknobbys) our local bike shop for being rad and supporting mountain biking in Heber, Utah.

Rocky Mountain Instinct - Father's Day bike check 2019
Old car and Rocky Mountain Instinct
The trail ahead of a Rocky Mountain Instinct

Follow Jeff and his family: @huck_it_cru | @carson_shreds  | @hurricane_cam_  | @freeformpix

Jeff would like to thank his local bike shop: @slimandknobbys

Dre Hestler And His Rocky Mountain Instinct

Dre Hestler - Father's Day Bike Checks

I have two kids both boys, age 6 and 9, it’s awesome to see what is available now compared to 5 years ago – we finally have some great choices out there for kids. I’m running my daily rider here. It’s more of a team build than stock, but what the heck – it’s just the way I like it. My son’s bike check on his Rocky Mountain Reaper will be published soon.

  • Rocky Mountain Instinct BC large, 155mm rear and 160mm front
  • New Coil Fox DHX2 Coil: Hmmm will this make me faster, cause I have to keep up to the kids? Plus the Fox 36 Grip 2, yes harder to dial in, but well worth the effort.
  • New XTR: Drive train and brakes. Wow is all I have to say. Yes things do get better, arguably since my 6/7 speed XT and full rigid bike with toe clips circa 1987.
  • Race Face: Grips, bars and stem – fatter grips for my dad hands and just cut down my bars to 780. Ran 800 for the last 2 years, but hit too many trees. 50mm stem, keeping things tight and inline.
  • Maxxis Tires: Nothing but the best for grip and traction – EXO always and 2.5 WT Minion DHF 3C up front and 2.4 DHR II EXO 3C rear. Grip and traction all day long.
  • Fox Transfer Post: Just moved to a 175 because I could and haven’t really found the steeps that are needed. But it’s only been a week, eh!
  • Outfit: 7 Mesh Eldorado Top and Glidepath shorts. Love the style and functionality. These guys are dialed. All their products ring with authenticity.
  • Smith Session Helmet and Ryder’s Anti-Fog Roam eyewear sitting in a super dorky dad position.
  • Shimano AM9 shoes: They’re a little bit soft, but great contact with the pedals – clipped in for sure. Year round comfort – race or ride!!
  • Pedals: XTR, again. Yes things get better and better, lucky-us mountain bikers!
  • One Up: This is what you can’t see. The EDS tool in the head tube and Tube strap keeping things tight-n-ready on my EveryDay Carry (EDC). Still haven’t plugged the pump in yet. Still thinking fashion, but I carry it in my pocket.

Dan Klein And Evil Bikes

I’ve always loved riding bikes, my parents drove me all over Wisconsin to race cross-country in the WORS series when I was a teen. I had the coolest bike ever, a 1997 carbon-fiber Trek 9800 with an ultralight RockShox SID fork! Fast forwards 20 years, and I live near Seattle, WA with my lovely wife (Judy) and we have two amazing kids (Nory and Elo). Our family is 100% bike crazy.

It all started with the kids were tiny, like age 2. At first, Judy and I would run behind the kids to help push them up the hills on Boot Camp at Duthie. When they got too fast to chase, I needed a bike to keep up. I had been away from biking for a while during school, and was totally shocked to see that the local stores didn’t have even one carbon fiber hard tail for sale – hah! All the bikes were full suspension nonsense with long, low, and slack geometry – looked slow to me, but I figured I’d give it a try. I started on a Transition Scout, thinking I wouldn’t need much bike to ride with the fam. It was great, but the kids quickly started going bigger and faster, and got heavy into downhill racing through Sweetlines.

Now that Elo is 8 and Nory 10, they’re crazy good and I struggle to keep up. To compensate, I upgraded to an Evil Insurgent LB and also built an Evil Faction 2 dirt jumper, although Judy will quickly point out that we technically share the DJ. The Insurgent is a special bike, the back end is super light and stiff, I can float through rock gardens or just pop over them – wow! It sends jumps like a dream too, however not quite as well as the dirt jumper. The Faction 2 is the first bike I’ve ever built from the frame up, including the wheels, fun!

Riding bikes has become our family passion, we spend every free second on the trails and even got a giant van to allow us to spend more time out in the woods. We still love local trails such as Redmond Bike Park, Duthie, Tokul, Raging River, and Tiger Mountain, but our favorite place to ride is Whistler. You can follow our adventures on Instagram @djklein, and maybe we’ll see you out on the trails soon!

Steve Lloyd And Norco Bikes

Steve Lloyd and his sons

Our family has chosen biking to be our bonding time. Ever since I become a dad I knew I wanted to teach my kids to ride bikes and enjoy the outdoors through biking. There has been learning curves to figure out what works and what is best for us as a family as far as bikes go. When I was searching as to what bikes were available for kids and at a price range I could afford I started looking at Norco.

The Fluid lineup was fairly new but looked like it would be a good fit for Weston. We anded up getting him the Norco Fluid 24 inch full suspension bike. From the moment he got on it things changed. He knew he was on a big boy bike now. He had always been hesitant on jumping bigger jumps with his hard tail he had been riding before, but it was full send time to him now. The bike has real working suspension and a pedaling platform that also worked really well. I was stoked to say the least. West could pedal anything I could. Trails like the crest were possible for my 8 year old to shred now. Me being a huge fan of Norco because of these little bikes opened a door way for us to start working with Norco as a family. I ended up getting a Norco Range 29 which I love. The bike not only pedals and shreds trail well, but it jumps extremely well. It has become my new bike for shredding I street.

Last year we had a goal as a family to do bike packing. We created a video about our experience. It was an amazing time to be biking the backcountry with family and sharing the outdoors with my kids. The experiences of spending time with your kids in the outdoors is irreplaceable and I am so stoked to have it as a tool to parent.

Although biking is not cheap and getting kids nice bikes is something hard to justify sometimes, I am a huge believer that the experiences you have riding as a family will create strong bonds that can’t be broken. Our family is super close. Its because we have chosen to spend our time in the outdoors together.

Steve Lloyd and son - Father's Day bike checks 2019

Follow Steve and his boys: @lloydboys

Steve would like to thank: @norcobicycles | @sweetwoodsmokehouse  | @peakrefuel  | @envecomposites  | @demonddirt

Brett Thompson And The Santa Cruz Megatower

Father's Day bike checks -Santa Cruz Megatower

I got my first mountain bike in 1989 during my senior year of high school. It was a Trek 820 and the word “Antelope” was on it somewhere. Other things I remember about the bike include its rigid frame, cantilever brakes, straight-up geometry, pink plastic water bottle cage, infinite gears and yes- even a Blackburn Mtn. Rack. I believe I picked it up for around $800. A quick inflation rate check makes that about $1,600 in modern USD. Shortly after I got my bike, I got to go over the bars on Moab’s Slickrock trail. It was wonderful. That trail was the Studio 54 of 1980’s mountain biking.

Fast forward a few decades and it’s amazing how much bikes have changed. Materials and components have resulted in high-performance machines that cost thousands of dollars more than a suitable car. Don’t get me wrong – I’m thankful for these modern two-wheeled accoutrements. They’re all on display with the 2019 Santa Cruz Megatower.

This bike is way beyond my abilities but I can still enjoy it. The geometry is comfortable and that makes for suitable pedaling. My 12 year old just said “It’s magical an looks good”. I agree. The magic is in the suspension and dropper. The Eagle drive train makes the 29inch wheels go round. The Megatower’s brakes are pretty cool, too.

Santa Cruz Megatower - rear shock
Santa Cruz Megatower - rear brake
Santa Cruz Megatower - dropper lever

Ben Webster And Pivot Cycles

Ben Webster and Family - Father's Day bike checks, Pivot Cycles

The mountain bike has been a big part of my life for over 20 years. When my wife and I started a family we wanted a big family and I wanted the mountain bike to be a part of our lifestyle. So since they could saddle up on a strider they have been riding some kind of 2 wheel magic. Building a fleet of bikes for my kids has been a moving target for the past couple years, trying to adapt to growth spurts and phases. Until a certain height, with a growing family it was hard to find extra money for more than department store bikes, but they have always had a bike to ride. A few years ago as the market shifted verily quick from 26” inch to 27.5 inch wheels, I was able to get 26” product on closeout just as our oldest son was getting into the XS 26” sizing.

The line up now consists of a Pivot Mach 5.7 alloy 26” in XS(fits my 11 YO son), Pivot Mach 5.7 Carbon 26” in Small(15 YO just grew out of it, will be passed onto the next one), Comencal Meta HT 24” (Fits my 10 YO son), and the latest add is a Pivot Mach 4 Carbon 27.5 for my 15 year son. He just completed his first full season of XC racing and really enjoyed it and wanted a bike geared more towards that end to pursue it further.

I am currently riding a Pivot Mach 5.5 Carbon with Fox Live. With so many bikes in the house already, I want to have one mountain bike that is fun while riding with my kids on greens but can turn around and rally with friends on the more technical black trails of South Mountain. The M5.5C does all of it, and does it with a smile on its face and mine. With the Fox Live suspension, its capabilities are further expanded in both directions, with even more XC pedaling capabilities and a plusher feeling from the constantly active rear shock. I chose Shimano XT for the drivetrain and Reynolds carbon/Industry 9 wheels with Maxxis Minion F&R for tires.

Ben Webster's son - Pivot bikes
Webster boys mountain biking in the desert
Best kids mountain bikes

Kids’ Mountain Bikes
Start at this page to find the best mountain bikes for kids for two year olds through teenagers

Whistler's Lord Of The Squirrels

Go On A Family Bike Ride
What’s on your bucket list for family mountain bike rides? How about Whistler’s Lord Of The Squirrels?

Real cost bike calculator

Have A Good Laugh – Or Cry
Find out how much that mountain bike really cost you with our mountain bike real cost calculator

We Choose The Best Locks For Mountain Bikes

Best bike locks for mountain bikes
Best bike locks for mountain bikes

Mountain Bike Theft Happens

According to the National Bike Registry, 1.5 million bicycles are stolen each year. Bike locks are the only deterrent to thieves on the lookout for mountain bikes. Sometimes, would-be thieves only decide to strike when they see an poorly bike. After your see which three locks we have selected, read on to learn about our best practices for keeping your mountain bikes safe and sound.

The best u lock for mountain bikes

Best U Lock For Mountain Bikes: Kryptonite Evolution Lite Mini-6 U-Lock

The Kryptonite Evolution Lite Mini-6 U-Lock is the best U lock on the market today. This tiny black and orange beauty weighs 39% less than its parent, the Mini-5. Keep this key lock in your bag, or throw it in your pocket if you are traveling light. Use the Evolution Lite Mini-6 on your travels on transportation, metro areas, and public bike racks.

U Lock Materials

The Mini-6 is made out of max-performance steel. This means all 6 x 2.75 inches are created out of high-quality, long-lasting materials. Not to mention the substance of the stuff only weighs 1.95 pounds! There are also 3 keys made of stainless steel, as well as 1 LED key fob replacement.

U Lock Durability

The thickness of this U lock is 11 millimeters of hardened steel. That means a drop or a fall won’t destroy it. For even more durability, this mountain bike lock has a rotating dust cover and stopper plug to prevent the lock from failing due to debris.

U Lock Level of Protection

Kryptonite rates their locks on a 10-point system. The number 1 is the most basic level of protection, and 10 the most secure. The Evolution Lite Mini-6 rates as a 7.

The high-security cylinder is resistant to both drills and picks. Not to mention there is a reinforced cuff over the crossbar and cylinder. Twist attacks? Not anymore. This bike lock boasts protection in the form of a double-deadbolt, bent-foot design.

As an added safety precaution, this lock is eligible for the Key Safe Program. This program allows you to register your key number to make replacement simple. There is an additional fee, but it allows you to use this U lock for a very long time to come.

Finally, you can register for optional, $2500 anti-theft protection on the official Kryptonite website.

The best chain lock for mountain bikes

Best Chain Lock For Mountain Bikes: Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 1090 Integrated Chain Lock

In terms of chain locks, the Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 1090 Integrated Chain Lock is the best in the business. Black and orange are the colors, 35.5 inches is the length, and 6.1 pounds is the weight. Although heavier than U locks, the chain lock is longer, more durable, and can withstand more malicious treatment.

Chain Lock Materials

The chain links and 3 included keys are made from 3T manganese steel, and the sleeve on the outside is made from water-resistant nylon. The purpose of this accessory is to protect your mountain bike from the tough lock chains underneath. As an added bonus, the sleeve also protects the chain from nasty weather!

Chain Lock Durability

The 1090 integrated chain lock boasts 6-sided links, 10-millimeters apiece. It is also able to withstand quite a bit of mistreatment, whether from the climate or those with cruel intent. Furthermore, a sliding dust cover is included to protect the lock cylinder from dust, rocks, and other debris.

Chain Lock Level of Protection

Since the Series 4 1090 Integrated Chain Lock is a Kryptonite, it follows the same security point system as the first product on our list. However, this lock received an 8 and there are plenty of reasons why. Not the least of which is the oval crossbar headlock that works to double the strength of the mechanism!

The Series 4 1090 also eliminates the usual vulnerability at the end of chain links. How? By using a hardened deadbolt to secure the chain at each of the ends. Kryptonite calls this the End Link Design. Additionally, this bike lock features a cylinder resistant to drills and picks.

The $2500 anti-theft protection is optional, and it is available on the official Kryptonite website. Additionally, this bike lock qualifies for the Key Safe Program. Simply register your key numbers, and if your keys are lost or stolen you pay a small fee to receive replacements.

Thule cable lock for mountain bikes

Best Cable Lock: Thule Cable Lock 6ft One-Key System

One of the best cable locks to keep your mountain bike safe is the Thule Cable Lock 6ft One-Key System. At 6 feet long, there is no bike size you cannot wrap this black lock around. In fact, you can secure up to 4! Whether on your hitch rack, cargo carrier, or roof rack, you won’t have to worry about the safety of your bicycle.

Cable Lock Materials

The Thule Cable Lock is made of braided steel, and double coated with plastic. This helps protect your bike, rack, and vehicle from scratches. Additionally, the whole thing is self-coiling which comes in handy when trying to store it. That goes double for storing in small spaces such as a backpack or beach bag!

Cable Lock Durability

The hefty plastic coating protects the steel from bad weather, and the hinged cap protects the cylinder from dust and dirt. Hefty braided steel forms a strong 10mm diameter underneath the polyethylene, meaning you can give this product the business without fear!

Cable Lock Level of Protection

Thule does not include a system to rate the level of protection offered by its products. However, there is ample information online that would place the safety rating at a 5 out of 10. You can trust it for many situations such as travel, but professional bike thieves can break through with with inexpensive cable cutters.

The cable lock is a one-key cylinder, and you can have the cylinders to all of your Thule products keyed the same. That makes it easier for you. However, that also makes it much easier for a thief to steal all of your Thule items.

There is also a lifetime manufacturers warranty available from Thule on the lock itself.

Best kids mountain bikes

Kids’ Mountain Bikes
Start at this page to find the best mountain bikes for kids for two year olds through teenagers

Whistler's Lord Of The Squirrels

Go On A Family Bike Ride
What’s on your bucket list for family mountain bike rides? How about Whistler’s Lord Of The Squirrels?

Real cost bike calculator

Have A Good Laugh – Or Cry
Find out how much that mountain bike really cost you with our mountain bike real cost calculator

Our 3 Best Practices To Protect Your Mountain Bikes

Tip 1: Inside Is The Safest Storage Place

Even mountain bikes stored in the garage or out on a balcony should be locked. Once when traveling in California, we visited an aquarium and took great care to take the front wheels off the bikes and store all four of them in the van as opposed to locking them on the bike rack.

Tip 2: Use Multiple Locks

All locks do is buy you time and help deter theft. We have four bikes to keep safe and we often use a combination of all the types of locks mentioned in this article when camping.

Tip 3: Keep Your Locked Bikes Within Eyesight

Even if we have multiple locks on our mountain bikes, I always keep them in eyesight. When we stop a restaurant after a ride, my wife knows I will not sit at a table where we cannot see the bikes. We always leave someone in the car if we go to a grocery store.

Mother’s Day 2019 – Mom Bike Checks

Mother's Day bike checks 2019

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there who enjoy mountain biking and/or encourage their kids to ride. Let’s take a look at what some of the moms are riding this season. Many thanks to each of you for taking time to share the photos and words for this post. We hope you enjoy your ride today!

Kaylee Gibb And The Pivot Mach 6

Kaylee with her kids

Kaylee Gibb and her three children. Photo by Ryan Gibb.

Some tragedies have happy endings. With the first child we decided to drop some coin on a little Giant strider – knowing more kids would get to use it! Well the drunk lady who drove through the yard and ran it over had different ideas… pulling it out of the ground un-bending a few parts and adding some trike handle bars to it fixed it. It has now been passed on to the third kid! Worth EVERY penny. The moment they can glide – they can pretty much pedal with a few tries on a pedal bike… in comes the Spawn. Same thing; cost a ton of coin but they hold their value, have decent brakes, and are quite light which was the most important thing on our list. This bike has gone through 2 and will soon be passed on to the third child (plus still sell it when we’re done for a decent amount).

My feeling on bikes is you put into it what the kid’s going to get out of it, not what your money says you can buy. Sure there are $2000 bikes out there for my 6 year old, but she’s not into it that much… yet. She likes to ride occasionally with me and push herself with her peers around, so we opted for a well priced Norco that has good disc brakes and a little bit of travel to keep her from fatiguing too quickly. She also has plenty of gears that she still isn’t super sure what to do with!

My Mach 6 is next level. Definitely the smallest bike I’ve owned minus the DJ. It’s an XS and feels pint sized! I LOVE IT! Its built a bit tough for most because of the style of riding we do, but it could be built up extremely light and be an XC killer and handle some seriously technical steeps no problema! It is a good family bike as well for growing kids. I’m 5’3″, 115lb..and not growing! It can fit the older siblings and be passed down for sure! It’s a bit of an investment, but for the person who loves to ride, ride comfortably, ride aggressively, and likes to progress… it’s a sure fit!

Kaylee riding with chlldren

Riding in the Utah desert. Photo by Ryan Gibb.

Kaylee with kids and caterpillars

Stopping to investigate the caterpillars. Photo by Ryan Gibb.

Courtney Nash And The Transition Sentinel

Courtney and her daughter

Courtney Nash and her daughter. Photo by Eric Brown.

I can’t wait to get back in the bike park with my 7 year old daughter! Her little brother is progressing with the bike stuff as well, but skiing may be his true sport. Cleo got a 20 inch Norco Fluid and she really likes that thing. She’s learning the reality of having a full-suspension kid bike with the squish, but having to pay for the weight on the climbs.

My new bike day was just a over a couple of weeks ago and I ended up with a 2019 Transition Sentinel Carbon GX. At first I didn’t want a 29er, but after I demo’d it for a few hours, this was a quick upgrade from my Patrol. I can’t get over how well my bike corners – even at high speed. Every moment where my brain screams, “You’re going to slide out!”, I mentally and physically prepare to adjust my body position and weight, but the bike never lets go. Even through long, big, loose corners. I keep pushing it and pushing it, but the bike won’t give up. All the normal attributes of a 29er are prevalent, but the Sentinel’s performance on technical terrain and jumping were initially surprising. It took me a few rides to dial in the suspension and now I’m pretty much in love.

Photos by Eric Brown.

Courtney would like to thank: @transitionbikes and encourage everyone to donate what you can to the WMBC (Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition). They’re the trail organization in Bellingham responsible for tracks including Unemployment Line, Evolution, and several more.

Sarah Paxson And The Kona Hei Hei

Sarah Paxson and the Kona Hei Hei

Sarah Paxson is expecting a bike ride – and a second child. Photo by Spencer Paxson.

I’ve been riding the Kona Hei Hei since 2013, and really enjoy the current iteration that I am on, the 2016 Hei Hei Race DL. For me, the bike suits my needs because it is a cross-country, endurance-oriented bike, but is also confident and playful on the trail. I stated riding mountain bikes in 2010, and there was a time when I enjoyed a bigger bike for hitting jumps, steep lines and pushing my skill limits. But these days I feel fulfilled with a “low air diet” and really value getting out for longer missions or short and fast outings between work and family obligations. Here is a bit more detail on the setup:

The frame is a size medium, with 120mm travel up front and 100mm in the rear. The wheels are 29” diameter, and since the bike is already so light (carbon frame and nice components), I like to run heavier tires so that I feel more confident on the trails. It makes for a fun combo – a zippy little bike with good grip. For gearing, I run a 32-tooth chainring up front with a 11-46 cassette, which gives me plenty of gear range for most climbs. Finally, I have a dropper post that gets the seat out of the way for riding downhill or across rough terrain.

We are expecting our second child in August, so I’m currently using this bike as my so called “gravel commuter” to continue to enjoy time in the woods. As with baby #1, my bike serves as a motivator for getting back in shape to enjoy all the fun trails in Bellingham.

Photos by Spencer Paxson.

Sarah would like to thank: @konabikes

Sarah Rheuban And The Canyon Spectral

Sarah Rheuban and the Canyon Spectra

I ride a Canyon Spectral AL 6.0. It’s pretty perfect for me. The geometry and setup is versatile and can handle everything from single track to chasing my crazy boys at the downhill park. The bike worked well for me right out of the box. I haven’t really done anything to it other than swap out the saddle for a Terry saddle. The bike can go anywhere I want it to go – it’s a jack of all trades. And it’s got a sweet blacked out paint job. It’s like my little black dress, if I could wear my little black dress in the mud. I love it!

Sarah and family
At the bike park with the kids

Sarah and her family run Prevelo Bikes. Please visit their website. You can also follow Prevelo Bikes through Instagram @prevelobikes.

Ginger Rosenbauer And The Trailcraft Cycles Big Mesa, Trailcraft Cycles Maxwell 26 Plus

Ginger and daughter of Trailcraft Cycles

The best thing about riding a bike is getting to be outside and enjoying time with people I love most. The bikes I ride and enjoy the most are the Trailcraft Cycles Big Mesa and new Trailcraft Cycles Maxwell 26 Plus. The Big Mesa is a hard tail its light and with its 1x 28T on the front and 11-42 on the rear this allows me to tackle most the mountains around here in Colorado. Mostly I just try to keep up with our kids that are getting faster and faster every year! I enjoy the versatility the Big Mesa which can be ridden with 27.5 or 26 Plus tires. I prefer the 26 Plus wheels for the extra stability and traction they provide cornering on the loose granite or dry blown out trails that happen end of season. I’m not an expert rider and the bigger tires give me more confidence on the trails.

Th Maxwell 26 Plus full suspension is awesome and a lot of fun to ride – it’s going to be my new Moab bike for sure! I ride this bike in a size small and love the Maxxis DHF and DHL tires for extra grip, MRP Ribbon 140mm fork and it has a Fox Transfer dropper. Its super sweet and very plush to ride.

Best wishes for a fun Mothers Day and Happy Trails Ladies!

Ginger and kids riding mountain bikes in the desert
Summer bike ride

Ginger and her family run Trailcraft Cycles. I thought she’d be riding a different brand of bike because we’ve done reviews for the Maxwell line. When I saw her on one of her bikes for this post, I needed a little more detail. Ginger said she is 5’4″ tall and added “Our small size Big Mesa and growing Maxwell line fits riders up to 5’6” so it’s a perfect bike for growing teens and Moms”. Please follow Trailcraft Cycles through Instagram @trailcraftcycles.

Traci Thompson And The Yeti SB100

MTB mom and kids model the Yeti SB100

Mountain biking has allowed my family to go to spectacular places over the last several years. From red rock deserts of the American southwest to the loam of the BC, we have been able to ride together a lot as the kids have been growing up.

I like the Yeti SB100 because its climbing ability isn’t compromised by its suspension set up. That being said, it’s still a capable bike on mildly aggressive downhill terrain. This 29 inch wheeled mountain bike allows me to ride how I want. I enjoy undulating desert single track and challenging climbs – so this bike’s carbon frame and 1x GX Eagle drive train fit my style very well. If you were to place this bike on a spectrum ranging from hard tail XC racer to all-mountain thriller, it would definitely lean towards the latter, but if the terrain gets a bit technical, the dropper post lets me easily put my weight over the rear of the bike. The stock Maxxis DHF tire on the front is a little more burly than XC rubber, so it helps maintain traction and steering control on loose trails. For a full-suspension bike, I think the weight is reasonable. The medium sized 2019 Yeti SB100 weighs in at 29lbs with pedals and a water bottle cage.

Traci mountain biking with the Yeti SB100
Rolling in on the Yeti SB100

Traci’s family runs the Mountain Biking With Kids website. She would like everyone to get out on bikes with their families and support your local trail organization through dig days and/or financial contributions.

LittleBig Bike Review

LittleBig Bike Review - Featured Image

Long gone are the days of starting your child off with a tricycle or some other single-use bicycle. Now, they need to begin working on their balance and their riding skills with a bicycle that will grow with them. This is where the LittleBig Bike comes into play.

This bike starts out as a simple balance bike – no training wheels needed. And then, as your child matures and is able to handle a bike with more advanced features – you can add the drivetrain. We had three different sized riders with different abilities get on the bike and take it for a spin.

Designed For Kids Aged Two to Seven

In the past, kids started out with the aforementioned tricycles and then progressed to small two-wheeled bikes with stabilizers or training wheels on them. As their balance got better, those training wheels were raised up slightly, and then more so, until they could be taken off. Thanks to the LittleBig Bike, these introductory stages are skipped over. Kids learn to balance on two wheels right away.

Mom and dad look on...

What Comes With The Bike

The bike comes with all the tools you will need to assemble the bike and convert it from a balance bike to a pedal bike. There is a wrench for the rear bolt-on axle and properly sized hex keys. When in its balance bike configuration, a plastic dust cover can be placed over the rear chain ring.

It’s Not Just A Kids’ Bike – It’s A Transformer!

These helpful videos were created by LittleBig Bikes. They take you though the assembly of the bike and how to go through its configurations.

Little Balance Bike

Big Balance Bike

Adding The Pedals

The First Stage – The Little Balance Bike

The LittleBig Bike comes already set up for kids ages two and three. This is the balance bike stage. There are no pedals and there are no stabilizers either. Instead, your child uses their feet, which should be flat on the ground when they are in the bicycle’s seat, in order to propel themselves forward. While it’s common for kids of this age to use their feet as the brakes, which works just fine, because they won’t be able to move at a high rate of speed, the LittleBig Balance Bike actually comes with front and rear hand brakes. The creator of the bike, the LittleBig Company, believes that kids this age can learn to use hand brakes fairly easily. And, it’s true! One of our test riders had never used hand brakes before. With a little instruction from his dad, the little ripper was braking safely and evenly.

Comfy on a descent while riding the LittleBig Bike
Powering along the dirt on the LittleBig Balance Bike
So much fashion and function with the LittleBig Bike

The Second Stage – The Big Balance Bike

Once your child gets taller, it’s time for the second stage of the bike. This is also a balance bike stage, but it’s set up for slightly older kids, usually those age four and five. The back section of the frame is one of the ingenious ways in which the bike grows with your child. All that you need to do is flip that back part of the frame and move the seat to the (new) top section. This provides more vertical height and pushes the seat back slightly so that there’s a longer reach for the handlebars.

The Third Stage – The Big Pedal Bike

Finally, when your child is ready for something even more advanced, pedals, the bike easily converts to accommodate them. There’s a separate pedal and crank assembly that can be attached to the bike. You don’t even need to break the chain! Since the hand brakes are already included, you just have to add this one section and then your child has a mini mountain bike that they can use to cruise along the trails.

Standing up on the pedals with the LittleBig Pedal Bike
Posing with the LittleBig Bike in pedal bike configuration
Simon Evans - Founder of LittleBig Bikes

Simon Evans – Engineer, Inventor, And Founder Of Little Big Bikes

Simon was kind enough to spend a few minutes on the phone with us and talk about his invention. When asked about the inception of what lead to the LittleBig Bike, he said:

“I used to work in a bike shop and I remember one day very specifically. On our sales floor there was a balance bike, then a 14-inch bike, and a 16, and an 18, and a 20. And they were all lined up. I thought, ‘Why do you have to buy all these different bikes?’ Why couldn’t you just have one bike that adapts?

This was the ‘light bulb’ moment that went off in my head. I knew what I had to do. I didn’t know exactly how I was going to do it, but I knew what I wanted to do.”

Specifications And Features

Because the LittleBig Bike changes sizes with your child, there are three different sets of specs for it. Starting with the minimum saddle (seat) height, at stage one, it’s at 14 inches, then it moves up to 18 inches and 19.5 inches at stages two and three.

The maximum saddle height is at 18 inches in stage one, and then 22 inches for stages two and three. Another important measurement is the wheelbase. It’s at 27.5 inches in stage one. Stages two and three are the same here – 26.8 inches.

Wheels on the bike are sized at 14″ and the bike weighs 11.25lbs as a balance bike and 14.55lbs set-up as a pedal bike.

LittleBig Bike Size Chart

Little Balance BikeBig Balance BikeBig Pedal Bike
Min Saddle Height (inches)141819.5 (or 18" with optional short seatpost fitted)
Max Saddle Height (inches)182222
Top Tube Length (inches)13.515.515.5
Head Angle (degrees)667070
Seat Angle (degrees)787070
Wheelbase (inches)27.526.826.8

The LittleBig Bike is available with or without the additional pedal and crank attachment. You can also buy that attachment separately. You also have your choice of bright colors, including flame red, apple green, electric blue, and sparkle pink. The company even sells helmets on their website to match (or not match) your kid’s next bike.

Lovingly designed and hand-assembled in Ireland, the LittleBig Bike company does their part to ensure your young riders get off on the right foot when they become a part of your #mtbfamily.

Quick release seat collar for the LittleBig Bike

The bike features a quick-release seat collar.

This is where the drive train is secured on the LittleBig Bike

The pedals are fastened to the seat tube with these 2 bolts

Hand brake for LittleBig Bike

Front and rear hand brakes.

LittleBig Bike Review - adjustable frame

The front/rear portion of the frame is fastened here.

Getting Around On The LittleBig Bike

All our riders enjoyed the bike because it put them in control right from the start. Each mode of the bike was suited to each riders’ abilities.

We did our best to get one young lad to pedal on his own for the first time, but the pedaling was just not happening during this show-and-go impromptu session. There is absolutely no pressure with this bike though! We just converted it back to a balance bike and the young ‘un enjoyed riding the bike up and down the sidewalk.

Almost the first time pedaling solo on the LittleBig Bike

Your Child Could Use A Bike That Can Actually Grow Along With Them

If you want to pass your love of mountain biking on to your children, do your best to start them off at an early age. The LittleBig Bike is an excellent option for learning the initial skill-set that a child will build on for years to come. You won’t have to worry about buying a new bicycle every year since this one will grow along with them. These bikes are designed to last, too. When your children outgrow the Big Pedal bike, it can easily stay in the eco-system via resale or being handed off to another young rider.

When WIRED labels your invention as “genius”, you’re in pretty good shape. Ireland’s Simon Evans has come up with a kid’s bike that that is superbly functional, and good looking. It would make Artemis Fowl green with envy. The design of the bike allows it to be enjoyed for multiple years by the same rider who will grow several inches. As a parent of a growing pre-teen and high schooler we hope Mr. Evans’ next endeavor will be applying his learnings to larger bikes.

Best kids mountain bikes

Kids’ Mountain Bikes
Start at this page to find the best mountain bikes for kids for two year olds through teenagers

Whistler's Lord Of The Squirrels

Go On A Family Bike Ride
What’s on your bucket list for family mountain bike rides? How about Whistler’s Lord Of The Squirrels?

Real cost bike calculator

Have A Good Laugh – Or Cry
Find out how much that mountain bike really cost you with our mountain bike real cost calculator

Little Rider Co Jersey Review

Little Rider Co jersey review

Mountain bikers of all ages wear long-sleeved jerseys in order to protect their arms and upper bodies while on the trails. That way, in case of a fall, they don’t end up with severe road rash. The jersey provides some sun coverage as well, helping prevent sunburn. With that said, it’s important that the jersey be lightweight enough to be comfortable and easy to movie in. The Little Rider Co. ‘Classic’ Jersey fits the bill quite nicely.

A Great Jersey for Young Mountain Bikers And BMX Kids

The Little Rider Co. ‘Classic’ Jersey in Stealth is dark gray with black markings and a white logo. It’s designed for very young mountain bikers and comes in sizes two through five. The jersey is machine washable (a must, since it’s made for performance) since it’s made of lightweight polyester. It must be hung or laid flat to dry. One of the best things about it is the fact that it provides full coverage. The long sleeves and high neckline provide plenty of protection while allowing the rider to comfortably wear a helmet. Our review is centered on an item from the ‘Classic’ series. Little Rider Co also offers a ‘Balance’ series and a ‘Signature’ series. Be sure to check them all out.

Little Rider Co MTB jersey for kids
Life Behind Bars graphic - Little Rider Co jersey

This Is Good Stuff

The jerseys are not flimsy or hastily constructed. My wife and I have owned mtb jerseys that are outdone by the quality of the Little Rider Co. kids’ jerseys. Just by running the fabric through my forefinger and thumb, I could tell that this falls into the category of Quality Goods. The stitching on the inside of the jerseys is even and smooth. The dye-sublimation for the graphics is sharp and bright. The elasti-cuff sleeves will help keep the cuffs in place on the rider’s wrists. The color range for this jersey is shown below.

Little Rider Co, Classic jersey colors

Model Time!

We had the opportunity to run into fellow #mtbfamily @pedaladventures in St. George recently. Their youngest son was taking a break from international traveling but was still for up slipping on one of these sweet looking jerseys. Now, you wish there was a Big Rider Co, right?

Little Rider Co - jersey model
Little Rider Co Jersey Review - St. George
Little Rider MTB jersey review - wood feature
Little Rider Co sleeve detail

Little Rider Co Size Guide

Little Rider Co jersey size guide

Click the size chart to enlarge it

About The Little Rider Company

The Little Rider Company is a UK-based business that specializes in mountain biking products for kids between the ages of one and five. They were founded due to the lack of equipment available for children in that age range, especially the ones who want to ride their mountain bikes alongside their parents or older siblings. They make jerseys, like the ‘Classic’ one reviewed here, as well as helmet bags, balance bike accessories, and other clothing.

As this endeavor is rather new, your little one may be a candidate for the company’s Little Rider Co Army. Take a look at their site and read the ‘Little Rider Army’ page to see if your womp rat is up for the job.

Will Little Rider Co ship to your corner of the world? Chances are pretty good. As per their website: We aim to ship to ALL international locations. Shipping times will vary depending on location. We will aim to package and ship your order within 1-3 days.

Best kids mountain bikes

Kids’ Mountain Bikes
Start at this page to find the best mountain bikes for kids for two year olds through teenagers

Whistler's Lord Of The Squirrels

Go On A Family Bike Ride
What’s on your bucket list for family mountain bike rides? How about Whistler’s Lord Of The Squirrels?

Real cost bike calculator

Have A Good Laugh – Or Cry
Find out how much that mountain bike really cost you with our mountain bike real cost calculator

Marin Hawk Hill Jr. Review

Marin Hawk Hill Jr Review
Marin Hawk Hill Jr Review

The Marin Hawk Hill Jr mountain bike is a smaller version of the Hawk Hill, with the geometry made smaller and more proportionate for kids. Its stand over height is about 24.5 inches. If you’ve been looking for a mountain bike for your young rider, one that shows just how serious he or she can be on trails – then the Marin Hawk Hill Jr is a great option.

Don’t Take Our Word For It – Take This Kid’s

12 year old YouTuber OneMTB gives you an in-depth look at the Marin Hawk Hill Jr.

The Marin Hawk Hill Jr Is Designed For a Smooth Ride

This Hawk Hill Jr is designed for the trails, thanks to its suspension system. In the front, there’s the X-Fusion 120mm-travel fork. The back features an X-Fusion O2 Pro R shock. There’s also Marin’s MultiTrac suspension platform that’s designed to cushion bumps while riding. When you combine this with the tires, which are 24 x 2.25″ Vee wire, you get a flowy ride.

Built For Young Mountain Bikers

The bike features a Series 3 6061 aluminum frame. The handlebars are made in Marin Mini-Riser style, with a 15mm rise. Those same handlebars consist of 6061 double-butted aluminum, which is both strong and light. The Hawk Hill Jr comes with a Deore 1×10 drivetrain, a Marin forged alloy 1×10 hollow spindle crankset and nylon pedals. The bike comes with 24-inch wheels, but it you can also run mom’s or dad’s old 26-inch rims in this sled.

A Sleek Looking Kids Mountain Bike

The front and rear brakes are both Shimano BR-M315 Hydraulic Disc brakes, with the front rotor measuring at 180mm and the back 160mm. The Hawk Hill Jr comes in two color combinations – charcoal and purple and charcoal and cyan, and it has an overall sleek look. If you add a dropper post, it can be internally routed.
Best kids mountain bikes

Kids’ Mountain Bikes
Start at this page to find the best mountain bikes for kids for two year olds through teenagers

Whistler's Lord Of The Squirrels

Go On A Family Bike Ride
What’s on your bucket list for family mountain bike rides? How about Whistler’s Lord Of The Squirrels?

Real cost bike calculator

Have A Good Laugh – Or Cry
Find out how much that mountain bike really cost you with our mountain bike real cost calculator

Pivot Mach 6 Carbon Review

Pivot Mach 6 Carbon Bike Review


A Progression Of Perspective

The evolution of the trail bike over the last few years has taken some dramatic leaps via engineering, the ease of prototyping and materials. Several manufactures have adopted a pragmatic philosophy geared towards producing the ideal mountain bike. The Mach 6 Carbon is Pivot’s latest species in the family of full-suspension quiver killers.

Pivot Mach 6 carbon and rider
  • Large Pivot Mach 6 Carbon with Pro XT/XTR build
  • 27.5 inch wheels
  • 6.1 inches full-suspension front and rear
  • Our demo weighed in at an even 30lbs without pedals and with a plastic water bottle cage attached to the down tube
  • Enduro, All-Mountain, Medium Travel Trail Bike
  • 15 year old Utah boy
  • 5ft 10.5 in tall
  • 140 lbs with gear
  • 3.5 cumulative high school GPA
  • Enjoys enduro races, rides bike parks as well as NICA and the dirt jumps
  • Will work for cold hard cash, sushi, Hawaiian shirts and/or bucket hats.

VISIT PIVOT CYCLES: Website | Instagram | Facebook

Sizing And Specifications For The Pivot Mach 6 Carbon

Pivot Mach 6 Geometry Chart

Click on the Pivot Mach 6 geometry chart to enlarge it.

Mach 6 Carbon Frame SizeRider Height RangeStand Over Height
Extra Small4’11" – 5’4”27.9"
Small5’3" – 5’6”28.0"
Medium5’6” – 5’11”28.8"
Large5’10” – 6’3”29.0"
Extra Large6’2” +29.0"

At A Glance Geometry

The modern geometry on this bike checks all the boxes for performance and efficiency. The wheelbase on our large measures 45.43 inches. A chain stay length of 16.95 inches is common across all sizes from XS – XL and the large frame sports a 66.25º head tube angle. Each size also has a 13.6 inch bottom bracket height.

Enduro Bikes for Kids
The Best MTB Helmets for Kids
Mountain bikes for NICA racers and athletes

The Frame

The foundation of this bike is its full carbon frame with state-of-the art materials and proprietary molding technology. The Pivot Mach 6 double-wishbone rear triangle design with Boost spacing is borne from mechanics originating from downhill bikes. Why does this matter? The result is a stiff frame which is energy-efficient, responsive and capable of hosting wider tires. These assets carry over to the real world when when pedaling uphill as well as making split-second decisions on technical descents. A front derailleur can be added to the bike. The internal cable routing is attractive and the frame is compatible with internally routed dropper posts. Best of all, a DW-Link® suspension design complements the frame’s temperament like peanut butter and jelly; like Eddie Masters and L-O-Ls.

An Expert Has His Say

To get a bit more detailed, we spoke with Pivot Ambassador and Go-Ride rep Kris “Krispy” Baughman. He told us, “Due to the design of the DW links and the way they fit together, it not only creates a smooth ride, it makes the bike very easy to maintain.

“The DW-Link suspension on the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon is super plush and pedals extremely well. The suspension handles rocky and sharp terrain due to the system’s traction and flat-prevention characteristics.”

Wheel Set And Tires

The Pivot Mach 6 Carbon comes with a DT Swiss wheel set. The 30 spoke aluminum M1700s are a solid option for this sled because of their durability and weight. The hoops are laced to DT 350 centerlock hubs and straight-pull spokes. Numbers for the front hub are 15×100/110mm and rear hub measures in at 12×142/148mm. Maxxis tires on our demo were of the Minion DHR II (rear) and Minion DHF (front) flavor.

DT Swiss M1700 wheel set
DT Swiss hub
Maxxis tire detail

Pivot Mach 6 Carbon Cockpit – Drivetrain, Bars, Brakes, Saddle, Dropper

Our demo was the Pro XT/XTR build and it featured the nifty 1×12 11-speed transmission with 11-46 range cassette. A 30t front chain ring mounted to a 175mm Race Face Aeffect crankset transferred power from the pedals to the ground.

Shifting the bike was managed via Shimano XT M8000 11-Speed levers and silky smooth Shimano XTR GS 11-Speed rear mech. A pair of smartly designed and comfortable pair of Phoenix Team Padloc grips adorned the 815mm wide carbon bars.

Shimano XT M-8000 brakes help slow and stop the bike along with the system’s center lock rotors. The 125mm Fox Transfer dropper post made the Phoenix WTB Pro Vigo saddle fall and rise.

Pivot Mach 6 Carbon Suspension Run-Down

The Fox suspension on the bike features a Fox Factory 36 27.5″, 44mm offset, FIT4 – 160mm fork and Fox Factory Float DPX2 shock. Front and rear travel for the bike are both spec’d at 6.1 inches (155mm). Pivot has even added a dandy of a feature called the ‘Pivot Sag Indicator’ to the rear shock. The goal of this little endeavor is to assist you with tuning the rear shock to your weight.

Pivot Mach 6 Fox 36 fork

Fox 36 Fork

The Fox 36 Fork on the Pivot Mach 6 Carbon offers 6.1 inches of Kashima coated travel. Tune it correctly for a plush, responsive ride.

Pivot Mach 6 Fox shock

Fox Factory Float DPX2 Shock

We kept a shock pump handy to get this thing dialed. It worked as good as it looks and it provided great traction while climbing.

Pivot Mach 6 linkage detail

DW-Link® Suspension Design

We learned that DW designs its linkage specifically for Pivot’s catalog of bikes. The result provides for an efficient, versatile riding experience.

Pivot Mach 6 rear shock sag setting adjuster

Pivot Sag Indicator

This is a really clever way of fine-tuning the sag on the rear shock. Bernard Kerr takes you through how to do it in this D-I-Y video.

Riding The Pivot Mach 6 Carbon – An Advanced Mountain Bike For Advanced Riders

You can certainly take this bike on your local single-track XC loops and have a great time, but it’s designed for so much more. Wyatt, our test rider for this bike, is a 15 year-old mountain biker who enjoys getting on technical terrain as much as racking up the miles. He said, “The Pivot Mach 6 Carbon didn’t limit what I wanted to do. It was comfortable to pedal and I really noticed how the suspension and frame worked together on the rocks.”

All-Mountain Riding On The Pivot Mach 6

Our first outing on the bike was to St. George, Utah where we rode the 6 mile long Barrel Roll trail. This trail undulates with a max elevation gain of about 300 feet and features expert rated technical climbs and descents. It was the perfect initial testing ground because the Mach 6 began to showcase its versatility right from the trail head. Turtle Wall and Paradise Rim were also on the itinerary.
Climbing Barrel Roll trail, Pivot Mach 6 carbon
Pivot Mach 6 carbon review - Barrel Roll trail
The carbon frame, DW-Link suspension, and dropper post all work together to make cranking uphill a pleasant chore. Wyatt was able to move the bike through all 3 axes of rotation in order to attack a series of ascending rock steps, narrow corridor, or hairpin turn on the trail. Descending the trail on this bike was simply free money; because again, the bike’s geometry and suspension worked in concert.
Kid mountain biker
The Pivot Mach 6 provides a balanced ride
Pivot Mach 6 carbon bike review - mtb kid

The Pivot Mach 6 On It’s Home Turf

We dialed things up a notch and rode some more advanced terrain in Sedona. Even if you’re a capable rider, the bike will continue to inspire calm and cool confidence. The Pivot Mach 6 Carbon partnered with the Hiline Trail like a margarita and your favorite molé. Getting to the downhill section of Hiline requires a bit of work via technical ascending and the bike did not hold our rider back at all. Wyatt was able to onsight Hiline’s descents and leave me in the dust. I’d love to share some photos of this ride with you, but really – the kid got in a state of flow and simply could not stop.
Climbing the Hiline trail - Pivot Mach 6 carbon

Downhill Trails With The Pivot Mach 6 Carbon

After chalking up some aggressive trail riding, it was time to hit full-on downhill terrain with the Mach 6. During the winter months, our favorite local trails are covered in feet of snow so we had to continue our travels in order to see if we could break this bike. Nevada’s Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park is a great zone to see how durable your bike really is. In our experiences at Bootleg, we have had to replace wheels, derailleurs, and tires because of the area’s hard, sharp rocks. And this is just on the intermediate trails.
The Pivot Mach 6 looks great standing still, too
Pivot Mach 6 mountain bike review
Consider the Pivot Mach 6 carbon for your rippin' mtb teen
Following a warm-up run, we shuttled to the top of Snakeback and let loose. The Mach 6 carbon once more flaunted its functionality. The overall configuration of the bike was again happy to strike off-camber, sharp rocks at speed. The Mach 6 scrambled over abrupt technical terrain as surefooted as the canyon’s bighorn sheep. The Maxxis tires performed admirably on loose gravel in the turns on the bike park’s dual slalom course.

Getting This Bike In The Air

Wyatt said, “Getting the bike in the air is a lot of fun. Again, the suspension allows you to make small mistakes without big consequences.” Is it really cliché if it’s true? The bike IS flickable. The bike IS playful.
Jumping with the Pivot Mach 6
Rampage site jump on the Pivot Mach 6
Step-up jump on the Pivot Mach 6
Gap jump on the Pivot Mach 6 carbon

Summing Up The Pivot Mach 6 Carbon

After carefully selecting the design and engineering characteristics that have made other bikes in the Pivot catalog successful, the company has evolved the Mach 6 carbon into lively and witty bike.

There’s just no other way to say it. Whether you’re churning out the watts to get to the top of the next hill or bombing down technical terrain – the Mach 6 carbon yearns to help you build and release the kinetic energy that makes this sport so rewarding and fun.

The Pivot techies are just as concerned about the ride up the mountain as the ride down and it’s all on display with this bike. Furthermore, we’re convinced that Pivot Cycles is nothing less than a team of number crunchers who like to get loose. And because they have families of their own, they even went the extra mile to create a size range of bikes that most other manufacturers do not match. This allows your entire family to enjoy higher, longer and faster rides together on premium mountain bikes.

Best kids mountain bikes

Kids’ Mountain Bikes
Start at this page to find the best mountain bikes for kids for two year olds through teenagers

Whistler's Lord Of The Squirrels

Go On A Family Bike Ride
What’s on your bucket list for family mountain bike rides? How about Whistler’s Lord Of The Squirrels?

Real cost bike calculator

Have A Good Laugh – Or Cry
Find out how much that mountain bike really cost you with our mountain bike real cost calculator

Easter Gift Ideas for Mountain Biking Kids

Easter gifts for mtb kids
Easter gifts for mtb kids

Easter is right around the corner! If you do an Easter basket or an egg hunt for your kids, why not include some MTB goodies?

Our kids look forward to our Easter egg hunt tradition.  Since these kids insist on continuing to grow, we need to buy them some new MTB clothing for spring/summer anyway. We often include these items in the Easter egg hunt to make it more fun. Our kids are way more stoked to find new MTB gloves in an egg than they would have been had we just handed them to them before our next ride.

Here are some ideas for your upcoming spring event!

osprey kids mtb hydration pack

Osprey Moki Kids’ Hydration Pack

Instead of a basket, your kiddo can collect Easter goodies in a useful hydration pack! The Osprey Moki is a great choice for your little one. With just enough space for a 1.5L hydration bladder, a few extra snacks, and an extra layer of clothing, the Moki works great for short bike rides or hikes with the family.

Buy this kids’ hydration pack from:

Easter gift for mtb kids 2019 shuffle youth led mips

Specialized Shuffle Youth LED MIPS Helmet

Everyone loves a new lid! The Specialized Shuffle Youth LED MIPS Helmet is a child sized helmet that includes a magnetic buckle and an integrated LED tail light to increase your child’s visibility for evening or morning riding. This helmet features MIPS, or Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, which helps to reduce the energy from certain impacts to better protect your child’s head.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

Easter gift 2019 kids mountain bike shoes

Five Ten Freerider VCS mountain bike shoes

The Five Ten Freerider VCS mountain bike shoes have Stealth Marathon rubber, helping your little ripper’s feet to stick to platform pedals. The colorful suede and synthetic mesh uppers breathe well. Your kiddo will love these shoes!

Buy these kids’ mountain bike shoes from:

Easter 2019 gift kids dakine mountain bike jersey

Dakine Prodigy S/S Jersey

Set out on that spring ride in style! Made with the same quick-drying, odor-fighting, stretchy material as the big ones, the Dakine Prodigy S/S Jersey is a kid jersey with style. This is a raglan-sleeved concert tee for the trails and a uniform for getting rad.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike jersey from:

Easter gift 2019 kids mountain bike gloves

Troy Lee Designs Air Gloves – Youth

The Troy Lee Designs Air Glove is a well ventilated and lightweight glove designed to provide superior protection and comfort. They are meticulously tested with acute attention to detail and a fearless sense of style. With a vast color selection, your young rider will be hitting the trails in style.

Buy these kids’ mountain bike gloves from:

Easter 2019 gift kids mountain bike knee pads

G-Form Pro-X2 Knee Pads – Youth

From after school trail rides to cruises around the neighborhood, the G-Form Pro-X2 Knee Pad keeps your kids protected on the bike without any unnecessary weight or bulk. These lightweight and flexible pads are body-mapped for a comfortable fit, but will harden upon impact to absorb the energy of unexpected spills and tumbles.

Buy these kids’ mountain bike knee pads from:

timber bell Easter gift for mountain biking kids

TIMBER Quick-Release Mountain Bike Bell

Keep an ear on your little rider with a TIMBER Quick-Release Mountain Bike Bell. This bell provides awareness when you need it, silence when you don’t. The simple on/off lever controls the internal clapper. The timber bell can be easily mounted anywhere on your handlebars or right on the grip for instant shifting between ring and silent mode.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike bell from:

Easter gift 2019 kids mountain bike shorts

DaKine Kids Pace Shorts

Stretchy and adjustable, the DaKine Kids Pace Shorts won’t just inspire your kids to get out and ride, it’ll have ’em looking like the prodigies that they are destined to be.

Buy these kids’ mountain bike shorts from:

Easter 2019 vivofit jr kids activity tracker gift

Garmin VivoFit Jr activity tracker

Garmin created the VivoFit Jr. for young kids seeking an activity tracker that doubles as a stylish watch with its fun-loving graphics. Featuring a built-in accelerometer, the VivoFit Jr. tracks steps taken throughout the day, as well as sleep throughout the night. It’s fully waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about ruining it from submersion in the bath or neighborhood pool. Another cool feature is the replaceable battery, which lasts up to a year of use and doesn’t require constant re-charging.

Buy this kids’ activity tracker from:

Mountain Bike Deals for NICA Racers – Spring 2019

Bike deals for NICA and high school racers - spring 2019

The snow is finally starting to melt after the longest winter ever! It’s time to get out on the dirt and ride mountain bikes!

You’re in luck if your kids are teens or pre-teens!  The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) provides a way for kids to continue to  enjoy outdoor adventures and learning new skills on their mountain bikes with their peers.  Last year, nearly 30,000 student-athletes participated in NICA mountain bike events.

Bike deals for NICA and high school racers - spring 2019

If your mountain biking kid grew a few inches over the winter, you may be thinking about picking up a new ride for their NICA racing season.  Here is a short list of some of the best deals available now for kids who are training for or racing NICA.

Giant Fathom - Spring deals for NICA racers

Giant 2018 Fathom 29er 2 Mountain Bike

SAVE 21% – MSRP $1070, now $849

With smooth-rolling 29” wheels and a lightweight hardtail frame, the Fathom 29 mountain bike will keep your NICA rider fast, balanced and in control on all types of XC terrain. The ALUXX SL-grade aluminum frame features a relaxed geometry quality that’s ideal for challenging XC trails. The Fathom provides 100 mm travel with a SR Suntour Raidon XC LO-R fork. The Maxxis IKON tubeless tires and Shimano M315 hydraulic disc brakes provide great traction and stopping power.

This mountain bike is currently available in sizes small, medium, large and XL with a minimum stand-over height of 28.7 inches.

Find this mountain bike deal at:

29er Bikes for NICA kids

Diamondback Overdrive Carbon Pro 29

SAVE 43 % – MSRP $2,799.99, now $1,599.99

The Diamondback Overdrive Carbon Pro 29 is a race-ready lightweight carbon hardtail mountain bike that your NICA racer will love and your wallet will appreciate. The Overdrive Carbon Pro features SRAM’s GX 11-speed 1x drivetrain and provides an ultra-wide range of gears for easy climbing and quick descents. The Rockshox Reba RL fork smooths the bumps and the Shimano SLX brakes provide speed control and stopping power. The Overdrive Carbon Pro comes with tubeless ready wheels to keep your NICA kid from being sidelined with a flat during a race or training.

This mountain bike is currently available in sizes small, medium, large and XL with a minimum stand-over height of 30.5 inches.

Find this mountain bike deal at:

Spring 2019 deals for high school mountain bike racers

Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball Carbon R Complete Mountain Bike

SAVE 15% – MSRP $2,799.00, now $2,379.00

The Santa Cruz Highball Carbon R Mountain Bike is a featherweight hardtail ideal for cross-country NICA racing.  The Highball Carbon R build with SRAM NX components and FOX Rhythm fork weighs only 24 pounds. The Santa Cruz Highball Carbon R Mountain Bike provides progressive geometry allowing your NICA racer to stay composed while tackling technical trail features at speed compared to other steeper head tube angle bikes on the market. Other modern geometry updates include a moderately longer reach and wheelbase for more stability at speed and over rough terrain. Other frame features include  internal dropper post compatibility and internal routing of all cables to keep everything looking clean. Your mountain biking kid will stay hydrated on the longest training rides thanks to the three bottle mounts on the frame.

This mountain bike is currently only available in small and medium with a minimum stand-over height of 27.87 inches.

Find this mountain bike deal at:

All-mountain bike for high school racer

Devinci Spartan XT Complete Mountain Bike 2016

SAVE 43% – MSRP $3,499.00 now $1,999.99

The Devinci Spartan XT Complete mountain bike is an all mountain bike that will be at home in enduro as well as NICA cross country races. The full suspension Spartan XT boasts a race proven Split Pivot suspension design paired with a RockShox Pike RC Solo Air 160mm suspension for a smooth ride. The Spartan includes RaceFace Æffect R30 wheels with burly Maxxis High Roller II (27.5 x 2.3″) tires for great traction. If your NICA rider lives for the descents, this may be the perfect ride for them.

This mountain bike is only available in size small. Fits riders with a stand-over height of 28.6 inches.

Find this mountain bike deal at:

Best mountain bikes for NICA racers

Salsa 2018 Deadwood Sus 29 Full Suspension Bike – NX1

SAVE 32% – MSRP $2799, now $1899

The Salsa Deadwood SUS is a full-suspension short-travel mountain bike with 29” wheels. The Deadwood SUS has an aluminum frame with a tapered headtube and Split Pivot suspension. This full suspension trail bike has a Rock Shox Recon RL Boost 120mm fork and a Rock Shox Monarch RT3 w/Debonair shock giving your NICA racer 120mm front and 91mm rear suspension travel to tackle the most technical trails. The hydraulic brakes will ensure responsive speed control and stopping power.

This mountain bike is currently available in sizes small, medium and large with a minimum stand-over height of 29.1 inches.

Find this mountain bike deal at:

Mountain bikes for teens - Transition Smuggler

Transition Smuggler GX Evo Complete Mountain Bike 2017

SAVE 39% – MSRP $4,400.00, now $2,699.97

The Transition Smuggler GX evo Complete Mountain Bike includes the GX Eagle 12speed drivetrain and RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air front and Monarch RT3 Debonair rear suspension. This bike has an aggressive geometry highlighted by the 67.5° head angle to give your NCA rider confidence on the descents.  The 29-inch wheels and award winning Giddy Up suspension design work together to smooth out rocks and roots. This trail bike comes with a RockShox Reverb Stealth (B1) Dropper to keep your NICA racer on the pedals no matter what the trail throws at them.

This bike is only available in sizes medium and large. The medium size Transition Smuggler GX evo Complete Mountain Bike fits riders with a min stand-over height of 27 inches.

Find this mountain bike deal at:

Banshee Spitfire - full suspension mountain bike for teenagers

Banshee Spitfire GX Jenson Spec-B bike

SAVE 51% – MSRP $5,307 now $2,599.99

Starting with Banshee’s all-new KS Link suspension platform, the Spitfire GX Jenson Spec-B mountain bike features superior components at a great sale price. Jenson’s USA exclusive build pairs the Spitfire frame with SRAM’s all new GX Eagle 12 speed drivetrain. The 10-50t Eagle cassette will give your NICA racer plenty of range to charge the straights and spin the climbs. The Rock Shox Pike RCT3 fork will smooth out the trail. RaceFace Aeffect 27.5″ wheels and large Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires will provide excellent traction.  As an added bonus the Rock Shox Reverb Stealth dropper seat post will keep your NICA rider happy whether climbing or descending.

This bike is only available in small and medium sizes. The small Spitfire GX fits riders with a minimum stand-over height of 26.92 inches.

Find this mountain bike deal at:

Full suspension mountain bike for teenage racer

Salsa 2018 Redpoint Carbon GX Eagle Full Suspension Bike

SAVE 37% – MSRP $5099, now $3199

The Salsa Redpoint is a 27.5″ wheeled 150mm travel trail bike any NICA rider will love.  The Redpoint features a carbon front triangle & carbon seat stays and tapered headtube to keep it light and fast. The Split Pivot suspension and frame design creates the perfect balance between trail bike climbing ability and all-mountain descending. This bike features the SRAM GX Eagle 10-50T,  Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5 x 2.5″ and a Rock Shox Reverb Stealth Dropper.

This mountain bike is currently available in sizes small, medium, large and XL with a minimum stand-over height of 29.1 inches.

Find this mountain bike deal at:

Enduro bike for NICA racers and teenagers

Pivot Switchblade 29 Race XT Complete Mountain Bike

SAVE 10% – MSRP $3,899.00, now $3,509.10

The Pivot Switchblade 29 Race XT Complete Mountain Bike is a sturdy aluminum full suspension bike that your NICA racer will enjoy. The Switchblade’s DW-Link suspension directs power to conquer the steepest climbs and smooths the bumps on the descent. The Switchblade geometry provides just the right balance of steering precision and downhill composure at higher speeds. A great benefit of this mountain bike is the ability to swap between the quick-rolling 29er wheels and 27.5+ wheels to match the needs of the terrain.

This mountain bike  is currently only available in medium with a minimum stand-over height of 27.75 inches.

Find this mountain bike deal at:

Best mountain bikes for NICA athletes

NINER AIR 9 RDO X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike – 2018

SAVE 38% – MSRP $5,300.00, now $3,299.00

The AIR 9 RDO X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike is a lightweight hardtail carbon mountain bike with progressive geometry. Your NICA rider will love this build which pairs Niner’s Race Day Optimized carbon frame with SRAM’s XO1 Eagle one-by drivetrain, hydraulic brakes, and a plush and lightweight RockShox SID RLC fork to maximize control and comfort.  The 120mm travel fork slackens the headtube angle to 69-degrees to make the bike as much fun on trail rides as it is on race day.

Find this mountain bike deal at:

Aaron Gwin Is Race Ready For 2019

Aaron Gwin Interview 2019 - featured image

If you have a kid around the age of three, chances are good they are going to start their cycling history similar to how Aaron Gwin started his. Perhaps a hand-me-down bike from a family member or neighbor will spark a lifetime of experiences enjoyed on two wheels. For those of you not familiar with Aaron, he is America’s best professional downhill mountain bike racer. A thumb injury limited his performance last year, but he’s healthy now and ready to go full-throttle.

When we attended the last round of racing this year at Bootleg Canyon, Aaron was kind enough to answer our questions about his progression from BMX, to motocross, to mountain biking; his dedication and discipline, what he puts in his oatmeal, and that sweet Intense M29 he’s on this season. Thanks for your time Aaron, and good luck this year!

Aaron Gwin Interview 2019 - featured image

Photo by Brett Thompson

MTBK: When you were younger how did you get into riding bikes?
Aaron: Wow. That’s a while back. It started when I was three, I think. My parents got me my first bicycle. My baby-sitter at the time had a bike for her son that was a little older than me and my mom bought it, repainted it and gave it to me for Christmas one year. It was a full-on department store tiny little kid’s bike. We have photos of me riding it still. It had the full red solid wheels. There were no spokes and it was pretty funny. So, that was my first bike. I never had training wheels. My mom just took me out in the park in the grass and started pushing me around until I figured it out. When I was four, we got a bike – I think it was an Elf. I don’t know if you remember those back in the day, they were these BMX bikes. There was a company called Elf Bicycles. No, I think Elf was the bike after that. I had Dyno before that, it was a Chrome Dyno. And we used to go to the park all the time to just burn off energy because I had a lot of energy as a kid and there was a BMX track right next to the park that we used to go to and I’d watch guys ride and I got all fired up on it. So, my parents got me a track bike then we started going to the track I think right when I turned four. And that’s kind of where it started. My whole life feels like it’s a timeline of racing because I’ve been racing since basically I was four or five so I remember everything based on the races we were doing at that age.

MTBK: Did your parents play a big role in supporting you during the early days?
Aaron: Yeah, for sure. They were 100% supportive from the beginning. It started out as a fun thing, it’s always been fun but we definitely started traveling a bit more. By the time I was six, we were doing some nationals and by the time I was eight, we were racing BMX all over the country. We were flying around to the nationals and doing all that. Then I moved on to motocross when I was 12 and then I got into downhill right before I turned 20. But until I was 17 or 18 and moved out of the house, my parents were the ones driving me to the races and doing everything. It was a family thing – the three of us for a long time. It was cool.

MTBK: Kids dream of getting their first sponsorship – you got yours when you were eight?
Aaron: Yeah, it was a trip. It wasn’t really anything we set out to do sponsorship wise. BMX is not cheap but it’s not super expensive like motocross or some other sports. It’s really just the travel fees but we started picking up sponsorships. I remember I was sponsored by Vans when I was eight and I got a free pair of shoes and I thought that was the coolest thing ever because I liked Vans shoes when I was a kid. So, I didn’t really care about bike parts and stuff that was more for my dad but I was pumped on the free shoes.

MTBK: Tell me more about your BMX racing.
Aaron: I think it all just happened pretty naturally and we raced a lot and it just seemed like every year we started racing more and more and then we were battling for championships and doing all that stuff and it got pretty serious. I think by the time I was about almost nine, I stopped racing. I loved riding my bike but I think after all the traveling and all the racing, I just wanted to be a normal kid and hang out with my friends and play baseball and do some other stuff. So, I never stopped riding but I stopped racing when I was eight or nine for a couple of years until I got into motocross. When I was younger, I always wanted to race motocross.

MTBK: How did the transition go from BMX to motocross? That’s a pretty big leap if your family is not already in to motorcycles.
Aaron: For sure. That’s probably why I got into BMX because I wanted to race dirt bikes. My dad was like, “Let’s get you a bike and start there.” And so, I remember asking for a long time and finally when I was 12, he got me a Kawasaki 80 and we started riding that thing. So, it was a big step. I remember it being a big deal for him because I had wanted one forever and he’s a physical therapist and my mom’s a nurse – so they see all the injuries and stuff. They weren’t too pumped on it, especially my dad and finally we broke him down and he got me one. But it took a little while. And then we were kind of full-on with racing dirt bikes for about five or six years and trying to go pro doing that. So, that ended up being the same thing. We went to a lot of nationals and we were riding a lot till I was about 17.

MTBK: What drew you to motocross?
Aaron: I think it just always looked really fun. I would watch the races when I was a kid. And then I had a couple of neighbors that had dirt bikes and I just always thought that they looked super fun. It was kind of like a bicycle that you didn’t have to pedal in my eyes so I liked it.

MTBK: How’s the thumb?
Aaron: The thumb’s good. It’s been a bit of a long process. It was one of those weird injuries where it felt fine to ride for maybe three, four months now – but it’s still a little bit sore. I don’t notice it all when I ride. It’s just the joint and stuff, the ligaments are bit messed up. So, it’s just a slow healing process. Hopefully I won’t land right back on it in the next couple of months. But, it doesn’t bother me when I train or ride at all, so it’s all good.

MTBK: Are you going to be able to go full throttle?
Aaron: Yeah, for sure.

Aaron Gwin downhill race, Bootleg Canyon

Photo by Brett Thompson

MTBK: The DH field is stacked now more than it’s ever been. The younger fast kids are getting faster and it seems everyone is stronger now. With all these guys coming up, what are you looking for to most this year?
Aaron: I’m just looking forward to getting back at the races, being healthy, getting a new bike out and just getting comfortable – and then just seeing where we’re at. I didn’t get to race much last year. I really only raced one World Cup before I got hurt and then at the rest of the races, I was injured and probably shouldn’t have been riding for most of them. And the other ones I had a very limited time on the bike – so it wasn’t really a fair shot for me. I’m looking forward to being back at the races 100%, getting time in on the new bike and getting everything dialed. I’m excited. There are a lot of guys going fast but I feel good. I’m sure by the time Fort William comes around, we’ll be fired up pretty good.

MTBK: Why do you race at Bootleg Canyon?
Aaron: or training and just fun. I’ve been coming out to this race in March every year for seven or eight years probably now and it’s good for me. It’s so different than what we race on the World Cups; the bike setup, everything is completely different. But there’s always guys here going fast and it’s a longer track, so it’s good to kind of see where your fitness is at and getting some good riding with my buddies. It’s just more of a fun race and a preparation race for me.

Aaron’s Sponsors

Intense Cycles
Fox mtb suspension

MTBK: What can you attribute your discipline to as far as staying healthy, making good choices, staying fit?
Aaron: For me, I’ve always been pretty self motivated. I’ve never really lacked the discipline to train and work hard and go after what I want. That’s kind of where I get a lot of the confidence with my racing. It’s in the work that I put in. I feel like my fitness is really the only thing that can hold me back. I feel like if the bike is set up well for me and I’m fit – nobody can beat me. That’s how I’ve always felt. I feel my fitness is what holds me back the most. It’s pretty rare that I feel like people are just flat out going faster than me. I think my preparation is what I work really hard at it because that’s what gives me the most confidence when I ride. I’ve just always been willing to put in the work. And as you get older and mature and more, you see the results of your hard work and you’re always learning and improving. I enjoy that process of just getting better and experimenting in the gym or whatever and trying to figure out ways to get stronger. Every year, it’s a constant search to try to get better and to also just try to keep things fresh and be motivated but it doesn’t seem to be too hard for me to stay motivated.

MTBK: You said your fitness is the only thing holding you back and so that leads into my next question, how do you mentally prepare for a race? Has it changed over the years or what do you do now?
Aaron: Nothing really changes mentally. I don’t do a lot to mentally prepare. I think my best mental preparation is just being physically prepared. If I feel physically prepared and I feel good on the bike then my mental game is strong. If I know that the bike’s not 100% working for me or if I’m maybe not where I want to be physically then that’s the place I focus on improving. The mental side is just, I’ve always been a racer and when it’s time to race, I can just get it done. I have the ability that when it counts, I can throw down a good solid run. I don’t ride over my head and I try to just be smart about how I approach my race weekends. So far it’s worked out pretty good for me.

MTBK: What are your current favorite healthy foods?
Aaron: There is stuff I eat every day. I wouldn’t say I’m on a diet but I just eat really clean and I try to get the right amounts of the right things at the right times. I pretty much have eggs and oatmeal every morning and I enjoy that. I have to put ham in my eggs. In my oatmeal I put a little bit of yogurt, berries and peanut butter. The yogurt changed the game on the oatmeal for me. It makes it so much easier to eat. It’s not all dry and gnarly. So, I look forward to that every day and then just healthy meals. I think as I’ve gotten older too and I’ve eaten clean. You develop more of a palette for really clean food whether it’s chicken or vegetables or potatoes or whatever. I enjoy eating that stuff.

MTBK: One of the things we like about this sport, is accessibility to the athletes. Are you cool with that stuff most the time?
Aaron: I really enjoy it. It was a bit of an adjustment early in my career because nobody ever knew who I was when I came in. And I came in under-the-radar and then started doing well. Once you have success, everybody loves you and then you have a couple of rough years and then you get some negative stuff. That was a little bit hard for me to take back in 2013 or whenever that was. But as you mature over the years and learn to just enjoy what you do and you make the decisions that you think are best and you’re okay with that. I think as far as the fans go, it’s only fun. Everybody’s got their opinions and their favorite riders and whatever so that’s kind of what makes sports what they are. If everybody loved everybody, so to speak, you wouldn’t really have some of the rivalries, or the hype, or the tension. I think it’s cool and I’m blessed to have a lot of great fans. I get a lot of love from my supporters and it’s a trip for me to think back on now. I remember showing up to this race 2008 and literally nobody here would have known who I was and now I show up and everybody knows who I am and everybody stops by and says, hello. It’s always a bit of a cool thing coming back to these local races. I remember where I started and where I’m at now. I’m just blessed to be where I’m at. I enjoy it a lot.

MTBK: Do you have any advice for parents with kids who like to race bikes?
Aaron: Everybody’s got to do what they believe is best. It is a sacrifice you make. If you’re going to spend time with your kid going to races, you’re giving up part of your life to do that. You’ve got to be able to make that choice up front so that you don’t feel like your kid owes you success. From my experience of watching the parents and riders we’ve worked with, you need to decide to support your kid at whatever level your kid is happy with. I think knowing that up front is good, then there are not any surprises or expectations. You can just give it your best shot. If it works out, great. And if it doesn’t, you have a great time as a family spending time together. I always had a great time with my parents. Honestly, when I stopped racing motocross, we never thought I was going to make it. We put in all that work and travel and time and it looked like it wasn’t gonna happen for me – but we didn’t regret it. We got a lot of really fun time together as a family and we’re still really close. Then it ended up working out with downhill. But I think for parents there’s a lot of value in that one. I’m not a parent, so I can’t speak too far into it. But I think for me as a rider or as a coach, it’s just keeping the kid focused on the things they can control. It’s just learning, getting better at working on their weaknesses – not getting caught up in rivalries with other kids and whatever. It’s about trying to improve each weekend; enjoying what you’re doing and just getting better. That’s always been my goal and it still is now.

Bootleg Canyon MTB Park - Aaron Gwin

MTBK: Tell me about the bike you’re on this year.
Aaron: We’re on the M29 intense. It’s a full downhill bike. I’ve been on the bike a couple of months now since I signed my new contract. We’re kind of going back and forth between the large and the extra large because I’m a little bit between sizes. I think I’ll end up on the extra large for the World Cups and just testing through parts and all kinds of things. It’s been awesome and I’m really liking the bike so far. We’re just trying to get into the races a little bit this year and see where we’re at. I have the opportunity with Intense to sort of change things or do whatever I want but I really like the bike right now. We just want to get it to the races and get it through a season and see where it stacks up.

MTBK: Is this is a stock frame then?
Aaron: Yeah. Everything on this bike is Stock. We had some prototype links we were messing around with a few weeks ago, but I didn’t like them quite as much. I’m just on a full stock bike right now.

Aaron Gwin Intense M29 DH bike - rear brake detail
Aaron Gwin Intense M29 DH bike - all triple crowns

MTBK: Do you have to do things over and over before you know you want to change something?
Aaron: Kind of. It depends. We’re just trying to shorten the rear end a little bit instead of making a whole new carbon mold. We were messing with the links, but it changed the leverage ratio on the bike too much where it just wasn’t worth it. So, like I said, I’m a little bit between sizes but we’re back to stock now and it’s feeling good. I’ll probably just race the stock XL all year.

MTBK: Aside from Intense, who’s sponsoring this year’s campaign?
Aaron: We’ve got a lot of the same people that I’ve been with the last three years with TRP, we got a full drive terrain breaks derailleur, shifter everything with them that we’ve just developed over the last couple of years, actually, and it’s just now getting to be available to the public. Fox Suspension which has been with me my entire career. E13 wheels and cranks, they’ve been with me last three years and that’s been great and then STG, Renthal, ODI, HT pedals, kind of everything I’ve had design input in and stuff like that. So, it’s great. And then our new sponsor this year is Kenda Tires and that’s been exciting. We got some new tires in the works and I’m really liking the tires that we got so far. So, we’ve got a lot of big plans over probably the first half of this year to introduce a few more tires to their lineup and it’s a good group of supporters. And definitely we’re really happy to have everybody we’re working with.