The annual traveling circus known as the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) is the high point of the year for the arcane world of custom crafted bikes. I connected with the 2013 edition of the show in Denver a few weeks ago, and I was damn lucky to have my bike-geek daughter along as an interpreter.
Skis for the Snowbound Connoisseur
When picking out a new pair of skis, most of us don’t think to ask about core materials, side cut or vibration dampening — in fact, even knowledgeable ski bums probably don’t have more than a general understanding of these topics. Fortunately for you, the designers at Park City, UT-based RAMP Sports live and breathe ski engineering and manufacturing. It doesn’t take long after stepping on to their small manufacturing floor to see that building handmade skis is both a passion and a way of life for this small collective of diehards.
Drink coffee, go really fast
Coffee and cycling go together like beer and brats. It may be because the local coffee shop is the ideal spot to hook up with your buddies for a ride, or because you want to get a quick jolt so you can drop them at the county line sprint. But the simplest explanation lies in the data, which strongly suggest that caffeine improves performance for endurance athletes — cyclists, triathletes, runners, you name it.
Now you're ready for some Football
The Nike Vapor Laser Talon was designed from the start to shave time off a critical combine metric — the 40-yard dash. Given that goal, Mr. Golden Shoes himself (a.k.a. Michael Johnson) was brought in as a consultant on the project and emphasized the importance of the “Zero Step” in determining an athlete’s propulsion and acceleration.
Rack 'em up
Indoor bike racks come in all shapes and sizes, most of them trending toward “modern chic” or “classic natural”. Some just look like ugly contemporary sculptures. The Make 001 Bike Rack ($180), first product of fledgling design group Make, combines the best of both worlds with an unpresumptuous shape and clean design.
No cubes in this icebox
Guys like to climb stuff — trees, corporate ladders and, of course, icy mountains. The scarier, the better. The Black Diamond Ice Box ($80) is a great solution for storing lots of pointy gear that needs to be handy at a moment’s notice. The box holds four tools, a pair of crampons (stop giggling, dammit)…
Sick paddlin, brah
Northeast dwellers currently whimpering through this nasty cold snap may take solace in dreams of Three Brothers Paddle Boards ($1,200+). How can anyone not feel warm and fuzzy while imagining a calming upright cruise through warm coastal waters? Based out of Daytona Beach, Florida, Three Brothers hand shapes some of the best paddle boards —…
Know the course like the back of your hand
Golfers looking to escape the winter weather and start working on gloved tan lines will be all too happy to let the Garmin Approach S2 Golf Watch ($250) remove a stripe of sun from their arms and a few strokes from their scorecards. Much like the S3 Approach, the S2 comes preloaded with maps to…
Much like the carpenter, a skier is often no better than his equipment. Fit matters, weight matters and material matters, which is why freeride pros Eric Hjorleifson and Fredrik Andersson combined their decades of ski experience as inspiration for the Dynafit Beast 16 Binding. Available only in a limited run of 2,500, these bindings employ…
Get off the pipe
Leaving first tracks through three feet of fresh stuff on an uncharted backcountry run can be a spiritual experience — especially for snowboarders struggling to get off the pipe. It’s tough to be sure, as most lift tickets lead away from the Promised Land and deliver only crunchy corduroy runways back to the beast. To help powder seekers find salvation, Austrian manufacturer Splitsticks (~$1,800) has developed a complete splitboard package that conquers the mountain.
I ain't afraid of no snow
Winter is the time of year when we reflect on those epic single track rides that cleanse the soul and remind us why we ride in the first place. But it’s also a season to remember that while you’re sitting on the couch with your rig hanging on a stand your fitness is disappearing faster than the sun. Let’s not let that happen. There’s no need to hang up the bike when it gets cold.
Now we're really piste off
With record storms dumping fresh powder in the Rockies and Pacific Northwest, we couldn’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year than celebrating with a trip to the nearest ski hill. What fun would a resort trip be without ducking under the safety ropes to sneak a few turns in the untouched backcountry? With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of gear that will be equally useful bombing through 20 inches of fresh powder and charging lines of freshly groomed corduroy snow inbounds.
Light on your feet, heavy on technology
The adizero Tour ($180) is the latest adidas shoe to integrate the company’s ultra-lightweight adizero technology already found in everything from running shoes to soccer cleats to basketball shoes. As a result, the new model weighs in at mere 10.6 ounces when using the included Cloudfoam insole — making it 38% lighter than the already…
50 mph on a skateboard, brah
If what you know about skateboarding is huge verts, Vans shoes, or longboarders on college campuses, then the Loaded Boards Chubby Unicorn deck ($360) and the whole downhill/freeride movement will blow your mind. Somewhere between snowboarding and street luging, this fun activity involves crazy talented and insanely balanced (maybe not mentally) human beings flying down streets at 50 mph, pre-drifting into turns and emasculating “play it safe” onlookers the whole way.
Never stop riding
There’s a reason the term “cold feet” is synonymous with apprehension and doubt in our vernacular. It’s a miserable physical experience that will drive even the most dedicated to question moving forward.
12 gifts for the adventure seeker
He shows up at Christmas dinner with new scars and less digits from his latest cage dives and winter Alpine ascents. His tales, most of them true, scare Aunt Betty to tears and enchant the kids. And while the adventurer’s gifts for you usually amount to a carved tribal trinket or a rock from a…
Music and snow sports go together like Rick Ross and cheese covered honeybuns, but squeezing your favorite cans inside a helmet is rarely a formula for comfort. The POC Receptor BUG Communication Helmet (~$330) skirts this dilemma by integrating Beats by Dr. Dre headphones into the helmet neck roll, which combines bass-heavy tunes with a…
A wicked curveball
You may have never been beaned by one in the stands, but that doesn’t mean a cool baseball is out of reach. Bergino Handmade Baseballs ($20) combine your love of the sport with whatever else it is you’re into. Hippie who loves catching pop flies? Tie-dye peace ball. Crossword nut who always nails clues about…
12 gift ideas for the fitness obsessed
The fitness fanatic is the man that puts in a quick 5K before the rest of us have even tossed the beans in the burr grinder. His body fat is measured in fractions, and biceps in feet. His dinner conversations involve things like basal metabolic rate; his pecs flex, noticeably, when he passes the pepper….
Make the best runs yours
One of our many joys in life is taking the yearly hajj to our nearest ski Mecca. Days of fresh powder, nights of warm (or warming) beverages and dreamy broken-bone memories make this annual pilgrimage worthwhile. Luckily, even after the snow melts, there’s Lifts and Bounds Ski Run Art ($165) to add a dash of wall…
12 gift ideas for the active adventurer
The outdoorsman on your list is easily identifiable: he’s rarely home and smells faintly of man sweat and wood smoke when you do catch him between excursions. His particular passion falls within an extensive of range possible pursuits (noodling for catfish, anyone?), but one thing is for certain — he does them outside. His look…
If the race goes to the swift, the swift are advised to go get a pair of On Cloudracer ($129) running shoes. 18 Cloudtec low-profile cushioning elements increase running efficiency, according to an independent research study (through the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) that showed a lower heart rate and reduced lactate buildup at a…
It's not Jarvis...yet
Oakley’s Airwave goggles are a new breed of advanced snow sport eyewear equipped with a heads up display that simulates viewing a 14-inch screen from five feet away when a user looks in the lower right corner of their peripheral vision. That description sounds confusing, but the important thing to remember is that the technology…
When the snowing gets tough, the tough go running. But stepping out for a few dozen miles in the crunchy or slushy white stuff isn’t for the faint of heart — you have to be prepared. Solomon can help you do just that with their Snowcross CS ($200) lightweight winter trail running shoe. It looks…
There aren’t many situations or locations that preclude pulling out your smartphone. Your anniversary dinner with your wife should probably be at the top of that list. Out on the ski slopes the phone also doesn’t see much daylight, but because of the chore it requires versus the acrimonious stink eye. Outdoor Research Stormsensor Gloves…
A hidden gem
Even if you’re sidelined by bitter weather, we doubt you’ll take umbrage with the newest member of the Nike club (how clever) — the VR_S Covert ($299+). Available in February 2013, Nike’s sharp new red driver sports a High Speed Cavity Back, bringing a technology once reserved only for irons to a fairway near you….
No, it’s not what NASA nicknamed Neil Armstrong when he was crabby. The Surly Moonlander ($2,350), a cartoonish-looking bicycle in Surly’s new ultra-fat-tire series, is meant to go where no bike has gone before. The Moonlander doesn’t just survive off the beaten path — it excels. This Surly 4130 CroMoly steel-framed beast wears 4.7-inch wide…
Frontal lobe fashionista
Be honest. When’s the last time you ever conducted an intense time trial on your bike? So why does your noggin need an overpriced, wind-tunnel-sculpted monster again? SAHN is an upstart brand that leveraged the industrial design and protective sports helmet backgrounds of its two founders to create a new breed of head gear built…
Blow down the mountain
If the dictionary was filled with pictures, you’d fine the Snolo Sleds Stealth-X ($3,000) nestled right next to the term “over-engineered”. It’s comprised of three distinct parts: a carbon fiber mono shell sitting area, a single front ski with foot pegs and a connecting arm. Releasing a locking nut separates each of these parts, making…