Author: Jason Mitchell

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

Tours: Ride With Your Bros What’s better than backcountry powder shared with a couple of good friends? Skiing with your buddies in the trees, sharing a great line on an open slope and watching your mates pop off bumps into the pow is a great way to spend a day. Now, if that makes you smile, think about expanding it to 12 good friends. Think about a day of good powder and good runs shared with the 12 friends you would most like to spend time with. Then expand the thought to three of four days in succession. If it…

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Over the last few years, the term “trailbike” has taken on new meaning for the bike industry. It refers to the 5-6″ travel steed that’s not light enough for XC racing, but not quite burly enough for DH racing. Many of these bikes do a pretty decent job at everything, but I’d like to suggest that there’s really no need for such a bike. As suspension designs are refined and new shock technologies are introduced, 6-8″ travel bikes are becoming more and more efficient every day. And, most importantly, once the trail points downhill, nothing beats 6″ or more of…

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Turner Suspension Bicycles, Inc. has been hard at work refining the already race proven design of the DHR. Racers want two things, less weight and incredible handling. In a word, SPEED. Our frames have always had a great reputation for quality and workmanship, and our DHR is known for its ability to corner like it’s on rails. So our challenge was to take a successful design and make it better. Working with the Maxxis team and a number of riders during the Pre season, we developed the next generation of downhill race bike. Faster and lighter. The results were so…

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Twenty-seven of the world’s most progressive mountain bike free-riders competed at the third annual Red Bull Rampage at the Kolob Reservoir this past weekend. Athletes traveled from as far as Australia, Czechoslovakia and Canada to participate in the two-day downhill free-riding event. Throughout the weekend hundreds of spectators were hypnotized by the skills of these young riders who repeatedly hucked themselves down intimidating 25 foot plus vertical drops – sticking hip jumps, olies and 360’s in the burly terrain, just outside of Zion National Park. The competitors took turns climbing the red colored mountain side and then aggressively charging down…

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At Interbike, the Outdoor Demo is always the best time of the show. You get to ride the latest bikes from every manufacturer and quickly weed out the contenders from the pretenders. Santa Cruz has long been a contender in the high-end bike market. They have also been on the cutting-edge of suspension design since acquiring the rights to the Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) suspension design. First introduced for the DH market in the V10, then pushed to the trailbike market with the Blur–everyone wondered when they would enter the freeride market with a VPP design. Well, for 2004 Santa…

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I have been riding full suspension bikes for 10 years. I have seen all the designs come and go and the problems adherent to the designs. I’ve always been a fan of linkage bikes; they all seem to have more quality travel. When I decided on a new bike for 2003 a few things were needed. It had to be beefy, have plenty of travel, sport a good linkage design and have the ability to run a front dérailleur. There aren’t a lot of choices when trying to build a bike with these specific requirements. While at Interbike 2002, I…

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Dakine, makers of technical and functional ski, snowboard, skate, windsurf and surfing equipment and accessories have unveiled their latest creation in their hydration pack line, the RPM. Having happily used the Dakine Vertex ski pack all season, I was eager to strap the RPM on and head for a ride. Dakine, simply put, just knows how to make durable, functional and great looking packs. I found the Vertex to be the best light backcountry pack… period! After using the RPM hydration pack, I now am convinced that Dakine knows what’s up. The Dakine RPM pack is the ultimate pack for…

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The area around Brian Head, UT is home to some of the finest, relatively unknown, singletrack in Utah. Typically, areas in Southern Utah such as Zion Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Moab are sweltering in the summer months, while temperatures around Brian Head remain relatively cool and rarely reach above 90-degrees. For that reason, this area offers plenty of untapped potential to those seeking relief from the unbearable riding weather that is typical of Southern Utah. My first experience with the trails around Brian Head was nearly 3 years ago. A friend recommended we try the Navajo Lake and Virgin Rim…

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Balfa Cycles is a small Canadian bike manufacturer headquartered in the heart of Montreal. The crew at Balfa is easily some of the most laid back people in the industry. The operation is headed up by a crew of super-cool people who simply know how to make and keep good relationships with suppliers and vendors. In the Western USA, Todd Kerbs reps for Balfa and can’t stop talking about how amazing their bikes are. Since Balfa is a smaller bike company, I had yet to ride any of their bikes until Interbike 2003. It was then that I took the…

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The battle for long-travel single-crown supremacy has begun. OnePointFive has promised to change the way we all think about suspension design, headsets and frame building. The whole idea of changing the “standard” has many people up in arms. “We don’t need a larger head tube!,” cry some., while others sing it’s praise as the greatest new invention to hit mountain biking since suspension was invented. The idea behind OnePointFive is that head tubes and steerer tubes would be stronger and less susceptible to ovalizing, which is typical of most DH race frames over a season of racing. Headsets and bearings…

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Cannondale is really focusing on the freeride market this year with their Gemini line of bikes. The Gemini 900, 1000 and 2000 will basically cover most of the bases for the typical freerider. The entire Gemini line uses a single allen bolt to adjust the rear travel between 140mm, 150mm and 170mm — a sweet feature! The 900 comes in at $2,199 retail price; a true bargain in the typically $2,500+ freeride bike market. As a single-pivot design, the Gemini works well — using tried and true suspension principles. The most surprising feature of the Gemini is its light weight.…

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The first time I saw a Suunto wristop computer was at the on-snow demo for the 1999 Outdoor Retailer Expo, held at The Canyons Resort in Park City, UT. I remember being dumbfounded talking to the rep as he explained all the amazing things the watch could calculate. I was sold immediately and soon found myself with a Suunto Vector on my wrist, tracking my ski runs and mountain bike rides. I came to rely on the Vector. But, like all pieces of technology, it soon got passed up by smaller and more sophisticated devices. Enter the new Suunto X6HR…

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Sometimes I think the soul of skiing gets lost somewhere between the $62 lift tickets and the high-speed quads. High-class slopeside lodging, apres ski festivities, multi-million dollar “cabins” and spoon-fed courduroy–they all chip away at the true soul of skiing. What is the soul of skiing, you ask? For me, the soul of skiing is sharing a bottomless powder day with 2-3 of your closest friends. It’s hooting and hollering your way down a steep, powder-filled glade with a huge smile on your face. It’s being alone in the backcountry… that’s soul. Unfortunately–because of the meager Utah snowpack and overcrowded…

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TIMO PRITZEL (GERMANY) GRABS FIRST PLACE IN FINAL EVENT Whitefish, MT – February 17, 2003 -One of the most inventive free-ride mountain bike events, Red Bull Freezride, went down this weekend at Big Mountain Resort in Whitefish, Montana. Celebrating its second year, Red Bull Freezride combines the elements of free-ride mountain biking and technical park riding in a snow- and ice-covered environment. This winter slope style and jib park event challenged the assembled crew of 54 pro and semi-pro riders with varied backgrounds in mountain bike, BMX and skatepark riding. The dynamics of this year’s demanding course allowed for multiple…

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Looking for a new gadget for your adventures this spring and summer? Check out these new offerings from Suunto and the GPS analysis software from Endless Pursuit. Watches and GPS technology has come a long way over the past few years. These products have been getting smaller and more featured-packed by the day. Check out this new gear–now you will have no excuse for getting lost on your next adventure! SUUNTO Wristtop Computers Suunto continues to be the premier brand when it comes to technically-advanced watches. We’ve used the Vector, Advizor, X6hr and the S6 over the years–each one has…

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Outdoor Retailer Winter Market came to Salt Lake City at the end of January. While there, we noticed a few companies and products that were out of the ordinary. Some of their products aren’t revolutionary, while others are. These are just a sampling of the products that stood out as top notch. Pearl Izumi & eVENT Fabrics Pearl Izumi has long-offered some of the best cycling clothing in the industry. This year, they are introducing some new products to expand their reach into the running and outdoor market in general. They have come out with a new running shoe line…

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Zion Canyon National Park is one of the most visited of our National Parks. If you’ve been there, you know why–the canyon, with its 3,000 foot redrock walls, is one of the most amazing sights you’ll ever see. And, if you’re into hiking and exploring, Zion Canyon offers adventures galore; from multi-day, multi-pitch rock climbs to narrow slot canyons to high-altitude deserts, Zion Canon National Park has it all. Come summertime, the only way in and out of Zion Canyon is by shuttle bus. Luckily, the buses run frequently, so you don’t ever have to wait too long. One of…

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HEAD introduced the behemoth Monster M103 ski in 2001. At the time, it was the battleship of powder skis. The mammoth waist of the original Head Monster was wider than many skis at the tip! These skis were HUGE and intended only for the wide-open spaces of Alaska. Now, for 2003, HEAD has moved into the freeskiing and big mountain market in a big way. The Monster ski has evolved into an entire line of skis ranging from a mid-fat to a full-fledged fatty. HEAD’s day has arrived. The world is ready for the new Monster line. New for 2003…

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It’s almost winter… the days are getting shorter and it’s getting cold and windy outside. The last rainfall in the valley has hit the upper elevations pretty hard, but not hard enough to make me think the trails would be too muddy. Well, I proved that wrong. Not having taken a day off to relax in awhile, I decided to take a long weekend and do some riding before the snow falls. So, Bevan Erickson and I hooked up early on a Monday morning to hit the trails up American Fork Canyon, one of our favorite local destinations. We’ve hit…

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The best part about Interbike… the new bikes. We visited a few of the leading full-suspension bike manufacturers and even tested some of their bikes. Here’s the list of some of the hottest new technology in full-suspension bikes for 2003. Azonic 2003 Mountain Bike Frames Azonic introduced an entirely new frame line this season called the XTENSION Series. These new bikes use the fully-active Horst Link licensed from Specialized, Fox shocks, Alcoa 7005 tubing (and 6061 on the Recoil), fully sealed cartridge bearings, replacable deraileur hangers and a sweet looking polished finish. There are three bikes in the line. Azonic…

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