Andreas Hestler

Feature

Introducing the Instinct Powerplay

December 14, 2018

The Instinct Powerplay will take you to the places you never thought possible. When it comes time to head out the door that epic ride into the alpine, you'll be riding further and faster than ever before on what is our most versatile e-MTB yet.

Taking our Powerplay™ line up to the next level, the Instinct Powerplay integrates our powerful Dyname™ 3.0 drive system with a 29” wheeled platform for fast rolling rides and long distances. Featuring the new iWoc TRIO remote, our RIDE-9™ adjustment system, tweaked suspension kinematics, and great small-bump sensitivity, the Instinct Powerplay™ is perfect for the big epic rides!

See the models

Previous Feature Journey through time When I was young my adventures started small – riding horses through the fields and woods near my childhood home near Lichtenfels, Germany – and grew to be grander over time. With each ride, I pushed myself to go a little further than before.
Next Feature Nordvegr: The Way to the North Whether it’s a trail you skipped out on or an area you didn’t have time to see, the things you didn’t do can be as motivating as the things you did.
Feature

Elements of Victory

November 27, 2016

Of all the events we attend every year, nothing makes us quite as proud as BC Bike Race. A seven-day international stage race, it's amazing to see so many people from all over the world enjoying our backyard’s choicest trails. It’s a tour of British Columbia’s rugged coast, and some of the world’s most challenging cross country singletrack—all explored while camping between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountain ranges.

This year’s 10th annual BC Bike Race was the perfect occasion to give our updated Element platform some real-world marathon XC testing. Bikes and bodies were pushed to the absolute limit over seven days of racing. The weather was wild, the trails were aggressive, and conditions were perfect to put the Element through its paces.

22 year old Quinn Moberg is a young rider from Squamish, BC that’s been with us for several years. It’s been incredible to see him develop into a true force to be reckoned with on the XC circuit, and he had some lofty goals for this year’s BC Bike Race.

Bike Check — Quinn Moberg

“BCBR is probably the roughest cross-country race around. This year’s race was especially cold and wet for all seven days, and I went through the whole race without a mechanical. I think that really says something about the quality of the gear I was running.”

“The new frame was a very big deal for me. I was immediately more confident technically, but also felt more efficiency from the suspension. On this new frame I choose not to run a shock remote, simply because I don’t think it’s necessary. Along with the new bike I was using the new Shimano XT Di2 for the first time. I found the electric shifting to be intuitive and lightning-fast, which was especially helpful when riding unfamiliar trails.” — Quinn Moberg

  • Frame: Element 999 RSL T.O. (size Large, Quinn is 5’11”)
  • Setup: Neutral RIDE-9™ position
  • Shock: Fox Float DPS Factory (100mm, no remote)
  • Fork: Fox 34 Factory (120mm)
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT Di2
  • Cranks: Shimano XTR
  • Brakes: Shimano XTR Race
  • Wheels: Stan’s NoTubes Valor
  • Tires: Maxxis Ikon 2.2 EXO TR 3C (23 psi front, 24 psi rear)
  • Bars: Race Face Next 35mm (10mm rise, cut to 740mm)
  • Stem: Race Face Turbine 35mm (80mm)
  • Grips: Race Face Half Nelson
  • Saddle: WTB Silverado Carbon
  • Seatpost: Race Face Turbine dropper post (100mm)
  • Pedals: Shimano XTR Race
  • Weight: 23lb

Stage 6: Squamish, Presented by Shimano

The Squamish stage is always a crowd favourite. From raw, steep, and technical singletrack, to smooth, flowy jump trails, there’s a reason that Squamish is on a lot of riders’ bucket lists. There’s something for everyone on this stage, but after five previous stages it’s got the potential to crush even the strongest riders.

  • Distance: 53 km / 33 miles
  • Climbing: 1,944 m / 6378 ft
  • Average Time: 4 hours 57 minutes
  • Winning Time: 2 hours 43 minutes

With one stage win under his belt already, Quinn had his eyes firmly on taking top-spot on his home terrain. But, with a strong field in play, and several competitors working together to protect the lead from the young local, a win in Squamish would be no easy task.

“I went into the Squamish stage of the race with a mentality of two steps forward, one step back. I knew that with my confidence on the new bike and my familiarity with the trails I could descend faster than anyone else on course. Just before the the first decent I pushed to get away from the other top guys, I didn't want anyone around when I was descending because I didn't want to give away my lines. From there, I was able to conserve my energy on the climbs versus everyone chasing me down, and just put in time to grow the gap.” — Quinn Moberg
 

Quinn’s racecraft belies his years, and he came into the day committed to the strategy of winning on the descents he was all-too familiar with. He executed his plan by pushing hard to enter the opening section of singletrack three corners ahead of his nearest competitors, and then proceeded to nail all his lines while his opponents’ small mistakes began to stack up a time deficit.

From there, Moberg held onto his lead and put several minutes into the rest of the pack. Arms up across the line, he’d accomplished his goal. These 55 kilometers of racing have been the competitors’ favorite stage over the last few years, and to take the win here was a massive accomplishment.

10 Years

As BC Bike Race celebrates its ten year anniversary, we’re reflecting on where we have come from. The event, our bikes, and the trails here have all evolved in parallel. The bikes we race today, with advanced suspension platforms, dropper posts, and properly aggressive geometry, are nothing like the past. Neither are the trails that are built by dedicated clubs and meticulous trailbuilders. As for the event, it’s evolved from riding a lot of gravel and piecing together little bits of flow, to riding a ton of handcrafted singletrack masterpieces.

BC Bike Race is a rough, tough, seven day singletrack adventure. Throughout the week, bikes and bodies take some serious abuse. The best bikes for this event aren’t pure XCO whips or enduro sleds, but something else instead. This year I rode the new Element, and it excelled over multiple days of demanding terrain, and delivered a hell of an experience. I’ve ridden many different bikes over the years, and I can say without hesitation that this is the best bike I’ve ever ridden.” — Andreas Hestler, BC Bike Race

“Racing at home is a bit different than racing anywhere else for me. I feel a strong sense of community here and there are so many people that support me and allow me to do what I do. I put a lot of pressure on myself to win races at home because I treat it as my end of the deal. People in town support me, cheer for me, guide me, and motivate me. This is my way of giving back to all those people.” — Quinn Moberg

Thanks to the whole BCBR crew, the many volunteers, and all the trailbuilders for helping make this event possible! Thanks to Tristan Uhl's moustache for existing, Tippie for keeping the stoke high at all times, and Andreas Hestler for repping BC on a global stage. Thanks to Manuel Weissenbacher, Andreas Hartmann, Greg Day, Sammi Runnels, Udo Bolts, Carsten Bresser, and all the other racers who came to battle it out. And of course, a huge congrats to Quinn Moberg for taking two stage wins and claiming fourth in the GC!

See you all next year!

#lovetheride #elementsofvictory

Video by Mindspark Cinema

Photography by Margus Riga & Norma Ibarra

2017 Rocky Mountain Element

Previous News Save Big With Rad Santa Get at least 30% off on all Rocky Mountain apparel this holiday season with the coupon code RADSANTA.
Next News Get Kitted, So Kitted With the holidays coming and plenty of riding still left in 2016, it's the perfect time to offer up some huge discounts on apparel. At least 30% off all the kit you need!
News

Be in Your Element

June 27, 2016

Intended Use: XC
Front Travel: 120mm
Rear Travel: 100mm
Wheel Size: 29”

This is the result of over two decades at the front of the pack. The new Element features more efficient suspension performance, refined marathon geometry, Ride-9™ adjustability, and room for two bottles inside the front triangle. The smallest details were examined in search of point-n-shoot rigidity and unrivalled speed.

“This new Element is a full-on XC marathon weapon, but with the confidence of a trail bike” says product director Alex Cogger. “People used to show up to BC Bike Race expecting to grind fire roads all day, only to walk the descents and snap their made-for-the-scale bikes in half. XC racing has evolved, and bikes that can’t handle the real world have no business on the course.”

Details

  • Full Smoothwall™ carbon frame weighs 2250g (size Medium, including shock and hardware. Two-tone paint on T.O. frame adds 30g)
  • Ride-9™ adjustability chip moved into the link, saving weight and bulk
  • All sizes fit two water bottles inside the front triangle
  • Future-proofed to run Di2, Fox Live, and a dropper post concurrently
  • Frame available with special edition Team Only paint job
  • Cartridge bearing pivots with simplified hardware
  • Single-sided chainstay pivots for a narrower rear triangle—eliminates heel rub, even with Boost spacing
  • Fits standard, widely available 6.5x1.5 shocks
  • 2x compatible
  • Clearance for 29x2.35 tires
  • Full-length internal shift, dropper post, and lockout routing, plus internal brake routing in the front triangle
  • Oversized headtube and downtube ports for ease of cable routing
  • New derailleur hanger design reduces hardware complexity
  • Lightweight bolt-on axle saves 35g compared to a traditional Boost axle
  • PressFit BB92 bottom bracket, ZS44 | ZS56 headset
  • Post-mount 160mm rear brake
  • Max 1x chainring size is 38t with SRAM, 36t with Race Face
  • Max 2x chainring size is a full size 28t/40t
  • Sizing: S/M/L/XL/XXL

Suspension

We tuned our four-bar Smoothlink™ suspension to increase the anti-squat values and maximize pedaling performance without sacrificing the traditional Rocky Mountain ride feel. It’s supple off the top and features good progression to avoid bottoming. We focused on mid-stroke support to keep more travel available, and lowered the shock leverage ratio for better suspension performance and adjustments.

Party up front, business in the back. The new Element was designed around a longer 120mm fork because it’s nice to have a bit more forgiveness four hours into a hammerfest. The result is a bike that pedals like a rocketship, but doesn’t get hung up or turn skittish when things get technical.

Geometry

The new Element received a substantial geometry update, while retaining the confidence and handling that people loved about the previous generation. It’s slacker to keep things stable when you’re seeing stars four hours in, but uses a longer fork offset to keep steering dynamics precise.

We’ve shortened the rear centre, lengthened the reach slightly, and steepened the seat-tube angle—allowing for shorter stems and wider bars without sacrificing a powerful pedaling position. The bike hasn’t been stretched into downhill sled territory, but we’re offering an XXL size for those that need longer reach.

Ride-9™ Adjustability

With the increased demands of modern XC courses and stage races, our Ride-9™ adjustment system allows riders to fine-tune the Element’s geometry and suspension. In adapting the system from our trail bikes, we moved it from the forward shock mount into the link—reducing weight and bulk. The headtube angle can be adjusted from 69° to 70° and the suspension rate can be tuned for an XC race feel or a more aggressive trail feel. For multi-day stage racing, marathon racing, and real world XC, this makes it easy to dial in the perfect balance of snappy, confident, and responsive.

Technologies

  • The Ride-9™ system allows riders to adjust geometry and suspension to specific riding styles and terrain. Nine configurations are possible thanks to two interlocking chip inserts.
  • Smoothwall™ carbon uses one of the world’s most sophisticated carbon processes to build frames with industry leading stiffness-to-weight, ride quality, and durability. By using rigid internal molds, we are able to perfect the shape of the internal features and eliminate excess materials. We use different types of carbon in specific frame areas to maximize stiffness and impact resistance while minimizing overall weight.
  • Smoothlink™ suspension stays supple yet supportive through a wider range of gears than conventional single pivot or other four-bar suspension configurations. This patented system reduces both pedal-bob and bottom-outs, while allowing us to fine tune variables like braking and climbing traction across a wide range of intended uses.
  • Size Specific Tune™ ensures that riders of all sizes get the right balance of small-bump compliance, mid-stroke support, and end-stroke progressiveness. Our design team does custom shock tunes based on real world field testing, and adjusts each tune for every specific frame size, from S to XXL.

Models

Element 999 RSL // Element T.O. Frame

Element 990 RSL BC Edition (Colour 1 & Colour 2) 

Element 970 RSL (Colour 1 & Colour 2) **2x versions available in some markets**

Element 950 RSL. **2x version available in some markets** // Element 930 RSL model will be same colour as 950 RSL, but is not shown above.

Available late 2016. Pricing to be announced.

Previous News Fresh Threads on the Web Store New technical and lifestyle apparel available now, plus a Summer Sale!
Next Feature Welcome to the Family Vaea Verbeeck We filmed this little shredit with Vaea last year. She's been part of the Rocky Mountain family for a while now, and she's chomping at the bit to get racing in Lenzerheide next month.
Feature

Dumbing Down the Shore

April 10, 2016

Wade Simmons finally speaks out on what he calls the "de-gnarification" of Vancouver's North Shore.

With apologies to Keyser Söze.

Featuring the new Rocky Mountain Pipeline
Starring Wade Simmons, Brett Tippie, Geoff Gulevich, Eric Lawrenuk, Andreas Hestler, and Todd "Digger" Fiander
Created by Union Co.
Produced by Brian Park
Thanks to the NSMBA for all their work
Photography by Margus Riga

Previous Feature Welcome to the Family Vaea Verbeeck We filmed this little shredit with Vaea last year. She's been part of the Rocky Mountain family for a while now, and she's chomping at the bit to get racing in Lenzerheide next month.
Next News Introducing the Pipeline The confidence of plus-sized tires in raw, technical terrain is now available in an aggressive trail chassis.
Feature

The Black Canyon Trail

April 15, 2015

Film by Brian Vernor
Words by Wade Simmons
Photography by Margus Riga

For some, adventure is defined by harrowing near-death experiences. For me, having the intent to adventure is what defines it—even just getting away from civilization for a short while. And with that in mind we organized a trip to Arizona’s Sonoran Desert for an overland bikepacking trip early this spring: three self-supported days on the Black Canyon Trail’s 80 miles of secluded singletrack.

The roll-call included Olympian Andreas Hestler, shiny new tattooed freerider Geoff Gulevich, renowned filmmaker Brian Vernor, Rocky Mountain product guy Alex Cogger, and washed up old freerider Yours Truly. Our first goal was to escape the Pacific Northwest’s winter weather, and our second goal was to test Alex’s fancy new bike design.

We fumbled with our gear for hours in the parking lot of a Prescott motel the night before departure, packing and re-packing, adding and discarding. Ultimately we probably did pack too heavy, but there are the necessities of course: coffee, chocolate, down, wool, and whisky. Fully loaded, our steeds probably tipped the scales at 45+ lbs, and I was less and less sure that this was going to be fun.

There was something liberating in the first few pedal strokes that next morning leaving our drop-off zone, an innocent abandon of responsibility and order that comes with an uncertain weather forecast and only a vague itinerary. Fortunately, the overland bikes performed just as Alex had promised. It was evident in those first few miles that having our houses and kitchens packed along with us wasn’t going to keep us from having fun. It might have been the combination of increased overall mass and over-sized tires, but whatever it was we were having a blast absolutely ripping up the desert terrain on these fully loaded pack-horses—skids, drifts, airs, and all.

The Black Canyon Trail runs roughly 80 miles North to South. Beginning on a high plateau, it winds through rolling grasslands before descending into a landscape of Saguaros, Chollas, and other Sonoran Desert flora. We were treated to chilly nights and frosty desert mornings, but once that sun rose, layers were peeled and we had to contend with the steady, relentless heat of the day. The landscape we encountered was fully alien to us, full of incredibly beautiful things just waiting to stab you the moment you stray from the trail. Between the bullet-holes in everything and the buck-naked rider we ran into on day three, it was clear this trip was about getting weird in the desert.

 

We had been modest in planning our daily mileage expectations, allowing for explorations up various drainages, relaxed lunches by the Agua Fria river, and the necessary sessioning of worthy trail features. Each night however, our camp spot was reached a little later than expected, assembling tents and cooking dinner by the light of our headlamps.

Grizzled old-timers and keyboard adventurers alike might be disappointed by the lack of hardship we encountered—water wasn’t hard to come by, we ate enough, the bikes worked flawlessly, and the dire weather forecast never materialized. But for us, the trip was a complete success. We had a blast, it was an insight into new possibilities, and the best adventures are the ones that inspire future adventures.

--

Words by Wade Simmons
Photography by Margus Riga
Film by Brian Vernor
Produced by Brian Park
Music by Brandon O'Connell
Featuring the Rocky Mountain Sherpa
Ridden by Wade Simmons, Geoff Gulevich, Brian Vernor, Alex Cogger, & Andreas Hestler

Presented by Rocky Mountain BicyclesManitou, & Pinkbike.
Supported by Overland JournalArc’teryxPorcelain RocketExped, & Defy Products.
Thanks to Scott Struve, Luke Musselman, Julian Coffey, Christophe Noel, Jo Salamon, Scott Felter, Benoit Deshayes, & Paul Breedlove.

Previous Feature 2015 BC Bike Race This year's BCBR was one of the toughest years ever. We set-up beer gardens and a kids pool to ease the pain.
Next News Introducing the Rocky Mountain Sherpa Designed to carry you and your gear to the ends of the earth, far from the nearest Strava segment.
Feature

The Staycation: A Vancouver Island Adventure

September 10, 2013

Rocky Mountain's athletes enjoy traveling all over the world to ride their bikes in unique, beautiful locations. Everywhere they go—from the backcountry of Argentina to the Great Wall of China and countless places in between—they hear people share their dreams of one day riding on our home turf in British Columbia. That’s why this year Thomas Vanderham, Brett Tippie, Geoff Gulevich, Wade Simmons, and Andreas Hestler decided to reinvigorate their love for home by exploring Vancouver Island, just a short ferry ride from our North Vancouver headquarters.

Fueled by too much coffee in the mornings and too many beers in the evenings, this was a great trip and one that certainly helped reconnect us all to our roots. There's no question that we'll be back to continue exploring the island’s rich trail networks and connect with the many amazing people we met along the way. Love the Ride!

———

Words by Andreas Hestler. Photography by Margus Riga.

Previous Features The Staycation: A Vancouver Island Adventure This year Thomas Vanderham, Brett Tippie, Geoff Gulevich, Wade Simmons, and Andreas Hestler decided to reinvigorate their love for home by exploring Vancouver Island.
Next News Thunderbolt New for 2014, the Thunderbolt is an agile, playful XC bike that loves punchy, technical climbs and flowy singletrack descents.
News

The Altitude Enduro Team Tastes Enduro World Series Racing

July 30, 2013

The Rocky Mountain Altitude Enduro Team is fresh off its first Enduro World Cup race at Winter Park, Colorado.

The team of Jesse Melamed (21, Whistler, BC), Kevin Soller (25, Breckenridge, CO), and Peter Ostroski (24, Intervale, NH) is captained and mentored by Olympian and Canadian cycling icon Andreas Hestler. They’ve landed several top ten finishes in the North American Enduro series’, and their sights are firmly on the North American Enduro World Series events.

The Colorado Freeride Festival, held at the Trestle Bike Park, played host to the first ever Enduro World Series event in North America. With 151 pro men taking the line, including experienced professionals from Europe, this was a rigorous test for the Altitude Enduro Team’s young development riders.

Five timed stages ranging in time from 5 to 11 minutes put the riders through rough, rocky descents and over bike park jump trails at an elevation of over 10, 000 feet. Dark thunderclouds peppered day one with hail, and the daily heavy showers kept the stages tacky, difficult, and yet super fun.

After racing as an individual for the last couple of years, I am stoked to be part of a fresh new team. Being part of something that we do as a collective just keeps the riding fun”. — Kevin Soller

“This event showed me that I can be competitive on an international level, and doing it at the first World Cup in North America, wow! I’m motivated to grow with this new discipline and can’t wait for the next one in Whistler.” — Peter Ostroski

Jesse Melamed posted some impressive results with a 16th, 18th, and a 23rd, but the flat tire on stage 3A cost him a crack at the overall top 20. Peter Ostroski was consistent all weekend long with a 38th overall. Kevin Soller crashed hard on stage one and gained ground all weekend long to finish a respectable 71st.

With Round 5 of the Enduro World Series in Whistler BC only two weeks away, the team is looking forward to some competition on home soil. Feeling comfortable pushing World Cup speeds and knowing that they can mix it up with the top racers in the world will provide even more confidence heading into the later part of the season.

The Rocky Mountain Altitude Enduro Team is presented by Shimano, Kazlaw, DLD Financial and BC Bike Race. The team rides Rocky Mountain Altitude bikes equipped with Shimano, Fox, Race Face, DT Swiss, and Continental componentry, and wears Sombrio clothing and Ryders eyewear.

Race photography courtesy Brad Torchia and Trestle Bike Park. Team photography by Margus Riga.

Previous News Jesse Melamed's Crankworx EWS Report The Crankworx Enduro World Series race has come and gone. 21-year-old Jesse Melamed of our Altitude Enduro Team was the event's biggest surprise, earning a blisteringly fast 6th place against an incredibly stacked field.
Next News New Altitude Rally Edition Bikes Have you got enduro fever? So do we. Our new Altitude Rally Edition bikes are race-ready out of the box.
News

New Altitude Rally Edition Bikes

July 11, 2013

A race-ready enduro bike.

Straight out of the box, Altitude Rally Edition bikes are ready for any Enduro start-gate. Featuring premium race-tuned suspension, DH width bars, 1x10 drivetrains, and burlier wheels, our Rally Edition bikes are ready to put power down between the tape and smash berm after berm.

Altitude 770 MSL

Rally Edition

  • SMOOTHWALL™ Carbon Front Triangle / FORM™ 7005 Series Custom Hydroformed Rear Triangle / ABC™ Pivots / Tapered Head Tube / Press Fit BB / Internal Cable Routing / ISCG05 Tabs / RIDE-9™ Adjustable Geometry + Suspension Rate
  • 66.2° - 67.8° headtube angle
  • Full-width bars provide a more aggressive cockpit for increased control
  • Wider rims provide a bigger footprint, with more rubber on the trail and more wheel stiffness for confident cornering
  • 160mm Fox 34 Float Kashima FIT CTD fork
  • Custom tuned Fox Float X Kashima CTD shock
  • Avid Elixir 9 Trail hydraulic disc brakes provide more power and modulation
  • E-Thirteen TRS+ Chainguide and SRAM X9 1x10 drivetrain is ready for charging out of start-gates
  • 142mm E-Thru rear axle increases stiffness
  • Internal cable routing keeps cables neatly stowed, with service-friendly ports
  • Internal “Stealth” dropper-post routing tucks the housing inside the frame for minimal clutter
  • BB92 pressfit bottom bracket provides maximum lateral stiffness

Altitude 750

Rally Edition

  • FORM™ 7005 Series Custom Hydroformed Frame / ABC™ Pivots / Tapered Head Tube / Press Fit BB / Internal Cable Routing / ISCG05 Tabs / RIDE-9™ Adjustable Geometry + Suspension Rate
  • 66.2° - 67.8° headtube angle
  • Full-width bars provide a more aggressive cockpit for increased control
  • Wider rims provide a bigger footprint, with more rubber on the trail and more wheel stiffness for confident cornering
  • 160mm X Fusion Sweep RL2 Air fork
  • Custom tuned X Fusion 02 RL Remote shock
  • Avid Elixir 7 Trail hydraulic disc brakes provide more power and modulation
  • E-Thirteen LG1 Chainguide and SRAM X7 1x10 drivetrain is ready for charging out of start-gates
  • 142mm E-Thru rear axle increases stiffness
  • Internal cable routing keeps cables neatly stowed, with service-friendly ports
  • BB92 pressfit bottom bracket provides maximum lateral stiffness
 

 

Previous News The Altitude Enduro Team Tastes Enduro World Series Racing The Rocky Mountain Altitude Enduro Team is fresh off its first Enduro World Cup race at Winter Park, Colorado.
Next Rider Profiles Rocky Mountain Welcomes Back Thomas Vanderham
Feature

Fourtitude

July 03, 2013

Rocky Mountain's riders are a diverse bunch, and we take pride in that. Our Altitude platform is equally diverse, so with this Fourtitude video we set out to explore what four very different riders could bring to the Altitude 790 MSL.

Wade Simmons, Andreas Hestler, Thomas Vanderham and Geoff Gulevich all ride the 5.18 lb Altitude 790 MSL frame in the video. The Ride-9 system allows them to set their geometry and suspension rates up in a variety of ways. Wade runs it slackest; Thomas runs it in slacker & progressive (forward & down, aka "Vanderham Mode"); both Dre & Gully run the bike neutral & progressive (furthest down).

Wade wanted to showcase the kind of "steep & deep" technical riding that he enjoys on a daily basis. These natural steeps lurk on Vancouver's North Shore, but rarely see bikes that aren't full travel downhill rigs. We're pretty sure The Godfather would be stylish on an old 10-speed too, but it's always humbling to see him bring flow to the burliest lines.

Andreas "Dre" Hestler is an Olympian and has plenty of experience racing TransAlp and Enduro events, so it's no surprise that he coaxes blistering speed out of the Altitude. For Fourtitude he took it to Squamish, where he gunned for some Personal Bests on one of the nicest trail networks around.

Thomas Vanderham likes to take each new bike to Kamloops - a landscape he knows and loves, and the Altitude was no exception. For its maiden voyage he took it out for some true trail blasting, from corner slashing to his patented whips.

Geoff Gulevich is better known for his slopestyle riding, but he was excited to bring his playful approach to the Altitude. He decided to shoot his section on a short road trip through Oregon, where he had a few tricks up his sleeve.

Previous News Introducing the Instinct MSL SMOOTHWALL™ Carbon comes to our much-loved Instinct platform.
Next Features Fourtitude: Four Riders + Rocky Mountain Altitude
Feature

An Argentina Adventure

August 22, 2012

Sitting on the edge of the Andes, Bariloche is famous for its Catedral ski resort, the biggest in South America, and for its notoriously rugged backcountry terrain. After bouncing around various ideas of where we should take this year's Rocky Mountain adventure, we dug deeper and discovered that Bariloche has a burgeoning mountain bike scene with killer trails and passionate locals. That, and Argentina's warm sunshine in February sealed the deal.

The trip wasn't about finding big hucks, shredding scree slopes, heli-shuttles, or filming for a feature movie. It was about finding a true mountain bike adventure and sharing it with close friends.

So, we pulled together the team of Thomas Vanderham, Geoff Gulevich, Wade Simmons, and Andreas "Dre" Hestler, as well our very talented friends Margus Riga and Ambrose Weingart to capture the trip's visuals, and headed to the Southern Hemisphere. With the help of our amazing guides, Martin "Cepi" Raffo, Bojan Magister, and Gonzallo Serenelli, we found the adventure we had hoped for and much more. From the friendly and welcoming locals, to the jaw dropping natural beauty surrounding Bariloche and its world-class trails, we'll remember this trip for the rest of our lives.

When we travel together with our bikes and gear, we use the term "Shock and Awe" for the airport check-in experience. Seven guys with seven overweight bikes and gear bags is a sight to behold and Air Canada's check-in staff have come to know us well. Our trip down to Buenos Aires was smooth and we had a fun (too fun) night there before heading to Bariloche the next day. There, we met our amazing guides and we had enough time to get a quick rip in to work the cobwebs out from two days of travel.

Our first day of riding had us giddy - we knew we'd stumbled upon something big. It was so gratifying to come so far and be rewarded with such great riding and awe-inspiring terrain. The riding above the Catedral bike park had us feeling like we were riding on Mars with jagged red rock spires in the distance. The next day we climbed for two hours up to a refugio, which is a mountaineer's hut staffed year-round. With epic views of the lake and the Andes, we descended into what seemed like a natural bobsled track full of little drops and rock gardens. Another all-time day and further confirmation we hit the motherlode.

When we were above Catedral, we could see a snowcapped Volcano in the distance. We were told that soon we'd be riding almost all the way up the it in coming days. A three hour climb through rainforest, past huge waterfalls and incredible vistas put us into a glacial moonscape. We climbed and hiked in dense fog over volcanic rock up to over 7000 feet. Out of nowhere a refugio appeared, a welcome sight for a bunch of cold and tired guys. After a late night and lot of red wine, we were greeted by a bluebird morning and the realization we were on the edge of a massive glacier and in the middle of a mountain bike playground.

Right outside of the town of Bariloche is some of the sweetest ribbons of singletrack any of us had ever experienced. Not only that, but directly in town is a top quality shuttle zone that had us saying "one more run" over and over.

With the trip winding down, we simply had to get one dawn patrol ride checked off the list. We ascended in pitch-black darkness with headlamps to the top of a 3000 foot ridge and waited for the golden light to appear. The sunrise was worth the suffering. On our last day, we rode with locals on their home shuttle trails and it turned out to be the most fun day of the whole trip. Their warm spirit and big passion for mountain biking rubbed off on us and it was the perfect end to an unforgettable trip.

Previous Feature The Road to Rampage Rampage is, in our opinion, the pinnacle of modern freeriding and words can't describe the intensity of being there in person. Yet, behind all the glamour and media attention of the Finals are countless hours of planning, traveling, digging, testing, sculpting and refining the ridiculous lines that epitomize the competition. This is a short film about all the blood, sweat, and beers that happen behind the scenes of Rampage.
Next Feature The Jank Files - Episode 5 Between Rémi’s budding slopestyle career, Jesse’s broken hand grip mods, and ALN’s on-the-fly packing, the team joined Peter Ostroski in America and took on California in style. Now that the dust is settled, check out Episode 5 of The Jank Files.