Father’s Day 2019 – Dad Bike Checks

Father's Day bike checks - 2019

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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
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