Ten years of innovation, 2019 awards, Field Test 2020 : Pinkbike Digest

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What’s going on in the mountain bike world? The Pinkbike Digest showcases the top dirt articles from our mountain bike sister-site, Pinkbike.com. You’ll get coverage from racing, tech, and some fun storytelling along the way.



Looking Back on Ten Years of Mountain Bike Innovation
By: Richard Cunningham

Richard Cunningham’s career has spanned the history of the mountain bike, but he’ll say, without hesitation, that this past decade has been one of the sport’s most dynamic periods of change. Innovations and new standards seemed to pop up monthly, and the controversies they spawned were legion at times.

Let’s revisit some of them.



Video: Welcome to the 2020 Pinkbike Field Test
By: Brian Park

Every year for as long as most of us can remember, the Pinkbike family has made the pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the annual bike industry trade show and bro-fest called Interbike. This year the event was cancelled, so our crew got together near Whistler, BC, and did something better with our time: rode the hell out of a bunch of brand new, high-end mountain bikes.

For science.



Pinkbike Editors’ Christmas Wish Lists
By: Richard Cunningham

“Every day is like Christmas.” So goes the oldest joke among media test editors, and yeah, it’s pretty much true. Boxes show up on our doorsteps in all shapes and sizes, especially during the spring and fall new-product seasons. The only things missing are wrappings and bows.

So, what would a rider who wants for nothing related to mountain bikes put on the top of his or her Christmas wish list? We put that question to PB’s test editors and you may be surprised by some of our answers. And, what about you? If you could be gifted one thing, what would top your list?

Read more.



2019 Trailforks Awards: Advocate of the Year Winners
By: Trailforks

Trailforks Advocacy Awards are never easy awards to hand out. Not because it’s difficult to find individuals or groups deserving of this award, but the opposite. Not a day goes by that we do not hear or read stories of individuals or groups going above and beyond when it comes to protecting, investing and advocating for public spaces and trails we choose to recreate on. This year’s class of winners are doing exactly this. Each group has dedicated their time and resources to make sure we have these public spaces and trails to recreate on now and into the future.

Find out the winners here.



Shimano Gearbox in the Works – Patents Filed on Hybrid Chain-driven Sequential-Shift Transmission
By: Richard Cunningham

Jack Luke, an assistant editor at BikeRadar, routinely scours the US Patent Office for cycling-related filings. This one was tucked away under the ubiquitous title, “Sliding Component and Bicycle Internal Transmission Device” by Shimano Inc. in Japan. See the patent application here.

In his comprehensive article, Luke mentions that the word “gearbox” never appeared in the patent. No doubt an intentional ploy to hide the monstrously huge news that the world’s largest component maker in cycling has been developing a comprehensive strategy to produce a sequential-shifting 13-speed hybrid transmission that substitutes heavy, draggy gears with lighter, more efficient roller chain, sealed from the elements and bathed in an engineered lubricant. All this, including advanced drawings of how the gearbox will be mounted in production and its programmable electronic shifting controls, are described in detail.

Read more.



Can you guess the bike brand from the head tube badge?
By: James Smurthwaite

Although it doesn’t serve any functional purpose, a nice headtube badge can really make a bike feel special. Much like Jaguar or Rolls Royce in the car world, some brands go all-out and manufacture a plaque for the front of the bike, whereas for others, it can be a graphic included in the paint job.

Whatever the case, do it right and it should make your bike instantly recognizable. Below are 25 headtube badges to take a guess at. The quiz starts easy but will get harder as you go through. Any brand names in the headbadges have been blurred out so you can just read the answer. Let us know how you got on in the comments at the bottom of the quiz.
Read more.



2019 Pinkbike Awards: Mountain Bike of the Year Winner
By: Mike Kazimer

The Mountain Bike of the Year award is a broad category, one that’s open to everything from ultralight cross-country machines to World Cup-worthy DH bikes. Rather than award prizes for every single genre and sub-genre of bike, the breadth of this category allows for the bikes that impressed Pinkbike’s editors the most to rise to the top.

This year’s nominees included the Forbidden Druid, a high pivot trail bike; the Specialized Enduro, a smash-all-the-things long-travel 29er; the Norco Optic, an energetic trail ripper; and the Santa Cruz Hightower, a versatile mid-travel machine.

Who won Mountain Bike of the Year?



10 of the Best Handlebar Mounted Bike Lights Ridden & Rated
By: Nikki Rohan

Night riding season is just around the corner. Lighting systems have historically been big-ticket items – a daunting financial investment for entry-level night riders. Today, however, several affordable options are on the market that over-deliver at entry-level prices. If you already have a bomber system, feel free to read through to see what’s new, but this review is essentially aimed at riders contemplating an initial purchase.

You’ll need to know some basics on the science and technology behind riding at night. What are the units of lumens and lux? What’s better: a focused beam or a spread array? What about charging rates? How long are the burn times at different settings? (Read more.)



Must Watch: Fabio Wibmer Sends HUGE Gaps in Paris and Lyon for ‘Urban Freeride Lives 3’
By: Ed Spratt/rasoulution

When Fabio Wibmer sets out on his very own journey through France you can expect banger after banger. Starting in Lyon, the capital of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, the Austrian bike phenom makes his way up to Paris, sending one sketchy staircase after another and pulling some mighty jumps until he reaches his final destination at the famous Eiffel Tower.

Read more.


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