The Sedona Mountain Bike Festival has recently become the unofficial kick-off to the mountain bike season every March in the heart of Arizona’s finest singletrack. The red rocks and warm weather provide a stunning backdrop to all the new and cool mountain bike gear the industry has to offer this early in the season.
The festival returns to the Posse Grounds Park in the heart of Sedona in 2020, and a host of demo rides, product launches, activities, and programs got underway yesterday. Here’s a small sampling of the new and cool we spotted during the kickoff day.
It was a packed day under the mountains at the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival today, with vendors, riders, kids, and dogs. Photo: Brittany Jones
Guerrilla Gravity’s The Smash is a 29-inch 145mm-travel hulk of a bike. The American-made carbon frame can be run in Crush Mode for a more poppy trailbike feel or in Plush Mode for a more enduro feel that smooths out rougher terrain. I rode the Smash in Plush Mode. Full disclosure: as a shorter person who isn’t usually a big fan of 29ers, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this bike. While the Smash isn’t particularly climbing-oriented, I had very little trouble with the front end wandering on steeper climbs. The steep seat tube angle likely helped quite a bit by keeping my weight forward over the front of the bike. It does have a longer wheelbase, which was noticeable in tight turns, but overall, the bike was surprisingly well balanced. And although, I didn’t have any long or super technical descents on the trail, the Smash had me feeling very “hulk smash!” going down the trail. Photo: Brittany Jones
Rubicon Expedition Product moves rooftop tents off your roof with a unique hitch-mounted platform. Moving the tent off the roof saves wind-resistance-related gas-mileage and allows you to drop the tent off the hitch for a basecamp that’s independent of your car. An elevated platform and legs that allow you to level the tent on uneven ground means you get a bed-height, bed-like camping experience. Photo: Brittany Jones
REP was also showcasing a Northshore-style bike rack attachment to add to the platform that should be available in the coming months. Photo: Brittany Jones
In an effort to keep clothing in use and out of landfills, Patagonia set up their Worn Wear booth at the festival to repair or patch worn, torn (and in at least once case, burned) gear, and festival attendants were ready, bringing enough gear with them to keep Patagonia busy all day. Photo: Brittany Jones
Patagonia doesn’t have a deep selection of mountain bike apparel, but the pieces they do have look good and are all fair trade certified. Photo: Brittany Jones
Club Ride’s super breathable dissolving fabric is coming to a long sleeve near you! The top is made with a special dissolving fabric and then run through a solution that, well, dissolves it, making it incredibly lightweight and breathable, while still offering full sun protection. Perfect for the Sedona desert, right? Photo: Brittany Jones
Perhaps best known for their mountaineering shades, Julbo was showcasing the Fury, their newest performance sunglasses. According to Julbo, their light sensitive Reactiv Photochromic lenses will adjust to accommodate full sun all the way to night riding, and the flexible, bendable nose and earpieces let you customize the fit to your face and helmet. Photo: Brittany Jones
Club Ride is fully embracing the Sedona vibe with these fun new prints. The men’s Mountain Surf shorts with Saguaros, chili peppers and road runners look right at home in the Arizona desert. They even spruced up the pearl snaps that they’re best known for with a Saguaro blossom print. Photo: Brittany Jones
Some new prints spice up Club Ride’s jersey lineup too. Photo: Brittany Jones
Animal print mountain bike gloves! What more do you need to know? Count on Zoic to keep mountain biking fun and lighthearted. Photo: Brittany Jones
Demo bikes at the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival, sure, but what about demo shoes? Five Ten, Liv, and other companies had bustling crowds of folks checking out demo shoes for their rides. Photo: Brittany Jones