SBC is celebrating over a decade as an Ibis demo center and dealer!
Find out for yourself why Ibis has been designing and building World Class mountain bikes for over 40 years! Stop by SBC to check them out.
Ibis bikes offer excellent performance while giving the riders the comfort they need for every ride. Using the latest technologies such as the DW link suspension system allowing Ibis mountain bikes to work very well on rough trails.
Ibis Cycles manufacturers their bikes in northern California since 1981. They produce the popular Ripmo and Ripley mountain bikes among other models. Whether it’s cross-country racing, technical trail riding, or ripping enduro courses, Ibis offers top-of-the-line equipment for every realm of the sport.
Shenandoah Bicycle Company is an authorized IBIS demo center and dealer of these awesome bikes! Visit our shop and test ride one today.
What We Ride – Madison Matthews – KONA Hei Hei
I’ve been riding this Hei Hei for the past year. It’s a blast to ride on our local trails. I built it from the frameset up and hand picked each part. It’s my favorite bike for technical riding.
The Hei Hei has 120mm of rear suspension travel, and I chose to pair it with a 120mm Ohlins RXF36 fork up front. Normally, shorter travel bikes like this, have forks with smaller diameter stanchions, but the added stiffness of the heavy duty fork is nice to have on the more technical trails.
The RXF36 has an air spring that can be easily adjusted for more or less bottom out resistance, and although its damper has both high and low speed compression adjustments, setting up the fork is very intuitive and simple. I like the fork to have a more linear feel, and I normally run the compression and rebound all the way open.
I usually stiffen up the compression on the fork a few clicks for a little more confidence on steeper downhills or hopping logs. It can help prevent the front end from “diving” and making you feel like you’ll go over the handlebars.
The wheels that I went with are a set of Industry Nine Enduro 315’s. The carbon rims are compliant and allow you to get away with slightly less pressure in the tires than most aluminum rims without the worry of getting a flat. I haven’t broken an aluminum spoke yet, but going with the 32 hole option means that if a spoke does break on a long backcountry ride, the wheel shouldn’t go out of true, and it will be safe to finish the ride.
I like to ride Maxxis tires, and I’ve been riding a Minion DHF up front and Aggressor on the rear (both 2.5″). Those are a great combination for the rocky soil that we have in this area.
This bike saw a few big rides this year and it has been reliable and fun to ride on pretty much any kind of trail.
If you want to discuss any type of cycling, bike engineering, or local rides, you can find me in the shop most days!
Cycle Engineer, Bike Enthusiast, and Guest Blogger
Confident City Cycling Class
The Confident City Cycling class will be held on Saturday, May 20 at Westover park. It will be led by League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructors. I took this class last year and it was an awesome experience. I had just bought my bike and I was still nervous about riding it around town.
This class gave me the confidence I needed to get out of my shell and to make good use of my beautiful bike. I was a beginner, but the amount of experience each student had varied. The instructors were very helpful and answered all my questions.
Among other things, we learned about the importance of checking our bikes over before each ride to make sure everything is ready to go. We did exercises that prepared us for situations we may face while driving in traffic and in trails (such as roadkill, angry drivers, and rocks). I was also taught how to change a flat which helped me feel less anxious about riding long distances.
Take this class! It’s freaking awesome. Here’s a link with more info!
Don’t let the couch eat you this time of year
With the days being shorter this time of year, sneaking in a post-work ride can be tricky. Luckily, bike lights have drastically improved over the past decade. With the bursts of spring-like weather we’ve been having this week, night riding is a very viable option to prevent the beer belly from growing too much. Here are a few more reasons you should consider snagging a light and heading out under the stars this year.
The ability to ride year round here is a major bonus to living in Harrisonburg. It’s not uncommon to find yourself getting burned out at some point though. Take a trail you’ve ridden hundreds of times during the day and it will completely change at night. The same features are there, but it’s incredible how different the trail appears when the only light you have is much more focused. If you find yourself getting tired of the same rides, grab a light.
There’s no better vantage point for a sunset than on top of one of the many ridge lines west or east of town. It’s hard to beat cruising up a mountain as the sky changes colors without feeling rushed for time. Sunsets around here worth watching and some of the best places to enjoy them aren’t accessible by car. Grab a light for the descent back down the mountain.
On a clear night the sky puts on an incredible show of stars. I guarantee it’s much better than the latest Netflix drama. Hone Quarry was my destination of choice last Wednesday night with a great wide open view above the reservoir. At some point in your ride turn your light off and look up.
A Few Tips
If you’ve never ventured out onto the trails at night, here are a few tips:
- Get a reliable light. There are many cheap lights out there that are very bright; however, the batteries are generally unreliable. I use Light and Motion’s Imjin 800 on my helmet and have been more than happy. It’s super light-weight and relatively inexpensive compared to other lights out there.
- Depending on what type of trail you’re riding, it doesn’t hurt to have two lights…One on the helmet, one on the bars. Your helmet light is crucial for scanning ahead into upcoming turns. I typically put my brightest light on my helmet, but that’s something to play around with. The bar light is helpful with depth perception because you can direct it downward more to fill the gap where you’re helmet light doesn’t hit.
This time of year especially, bring extra layers. As the sun sets, the temperature drops a good bit.
- Find some friends to ride with. Motivation is much easier to find with a group of people. Thomas leads a night ride from the SBC parking lot every Monday night around 8:30. If you don’t have any night-riding experience this ride would be a great intro. Massanutten is another great place to start. Don’t let the lack of sun get you down.
A recap of a ride we all should think about doing!
Our good friends Paul and Owen Johnston spent part of their summer vacation riding bikes together. We always love hear our customer stories of their riding adventures, this is the first, but not last, of Owen’s bike riding tours.
My Dad and I started our journey on the Cumberland Gap trail on 7/26/2016. The Cumberland Gap trail is a 150 mile rails to trail from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a great ride for the family. The trail is well maintained with great places to eat and camp. On the way up the mountain to the eastern continental divide, I was surprised at the gradual grade going up. Although it’s not a big grade, you can still feel the downhill after you get to the top. When you’re on the trail you can see some of the best sites I have ever seen.
There are many beautiful bridges and big tunnels. Big Savage tunnel was one of my favorites, it is the longest tunnel along the trail, over 3,000 feet long! This particular tunnel was in built in 1911. Each day my Dad and I rode about 45 miles. Except for the last day, because we didn’t have to set up camp, we road about 60 miles. On this trip we decided to camp with a tent but we now realize it’s easier to camp with hammocks. We decided to camp the two nights in Adelaide and Husky Haven campground in Rockwood, PA. When biking through neighborhoods, I was surprised about the generosity of the people who live along the trail. Although there were lots of them, two families stood out to me. In Rockwood, one family turned his dog’s play space into a camp ground and provided showers, water, and bathrooms along with fun games like pool and darts. He even had a phone charging station. The other family who lived along the trail in Van Meter, PA offered us home grown vegetables, cold beverages, and made us bacon and eggs for a good price.
The first two days were nice, sunny, and cool. However, on the last day there was a terrible rain and trust me, when the rain stops, you will feel so much better if you change your clothes. It may seem like a waste of time, I was skeptical too, but do it. It is worth it. We finished the ride on 7/28/2016 at Point State Park in Pittsburgh where we were met by my mom, my brother Peter, and my Grandmother and Dave. We had a great experience on the Cumberland Gap trail and would love to do it again.