Snickers Urbania Dirt Jump Jam (Part Two)

We are back from our Puerto Rican vaca-*cough*cough* WORK TRIP, where the Snickers Urbania festival went down. Phil was one of the few invited riders to attend the event, and he whipped and flipped his Haro Steel Reserve 1 to the delight of thousands of spectators at the event. It was really well attended by all of the San Juan locals, and the riding level was really high. The riders put on three or four jam sessions, and even though it poured rain a little bit between the demos, we managed to keep the dirt jumps running all day.

Here are a few pics from the week in Puerto Rico, along with the second half of the video footage that we shot while we were down there.

A view of the crowd from the top of the roll-in:

Phil flipping his Steel Reserve 1:

Phil tailwhipping at some local dirt jumps:

Here's the video footage from the event:

Wanna ride the Death Road?

There's a road in Bolivia that goes from La Paz to Coroico that has earned the distinction of the "world's most dangerous road" since it has claimed thousands of lives since it was built. This road is about 40 miles long and descends almost 11,000 vertical feet along a narrow, twisty, dirt road...most all of which has a sheer cliff off of one side that plunges hundreds of feet to the valley floor below. A modern highway has replaced this trecharous road for travelers going from La Paz to Coroica however this "old road" is favored by mountain bikers. Tour operators run shuttles from La Paz up to La Cumbre where approximately 200 mountain bikers from all over the world take their chances on the Death Road every day. The ride iteself takes about 4 hours and riders are treated to incredible views of the Andes mountains, dense rainforests, and waterfalls. Most tours involve stops at small food kiosks along the way where local fare can be purchased.

Vertigo Biking Company is one such tour operator who has chosen to use Haro Extreme X6 bikes for its shuttle program on the Death Road. Vertigo chooses to use Extreme X6 bikes because they perform well, are easy to maintain, and hold up to the abuse. General Manager Pablo Paz is so pleased with the bikes he hopes to purchase several more for his shuttle fleet after the first of the year.

If you happen to find yourself in Bolivia, be sure to look up Vertigo Biking and become a Death Road survivor!


Snickers Urbania Dirt Jump Jam (Part One)

This image seems all to familiar this year...sleeping in a random airport, somewhere in the world. Hours of traveling and sleepless nights for only a moment of glory in front of thousands of people.

This particular trip is proving to be well worth it, though. We're in Puerto Rico for the Snickers Urbania demo/contest. We'll be joining Greg Watts, Tyler McCaul, Robbie Wright and Andrew Taylor for five days of dirt jumping in warm weather--a far cry from the cold, dark skateparks we've been riding in for the past few months.

We arrived to warm weather and sunny beaches, and took our time getting adjusted to the warm weather. We hooked up with one of our local buddies named Pedro, and he took us to a few riding spots, and I'm typing this update from a satellite truck at the event. I have a bunch of riding pics from our trip, but I'll save those for the next post, as the next demo starts shortly. Until then, here's an edit of the trip so far:


Haro beach cruisers at the SEMA Show

The SEMA Show is the largest aftermarket automotive product tradeshow in the world...and Haro was there! Held in Las Vegas, Nevada in early November, this monster of a trade show attracts over 120,000 people from all over the world.

We had 2 of our Railer sport cruisers in the bed of the Anarchy Eyewear Nissan Pre-Frontier. The Anarchy Pre-Frontier was built as a pre-runner style truck designed for handling all types of terrain from asphalt to dirt and snow to mud.

We had a Zimzala beach cruiser in the bed of the Navy Nissan Frontier. This truck was commissioned by a Naval officer who is taking part in the building of a new destroyer for the US Navy, USS Sterett DDG-104. This ship was commissioned on the East Coast and will travel to the West Coast in September. At that time, the Frontier will be placed on deck for photographic purposes.

Both vehicles appeared in Heatshield Products' booth at the SEMA show. These trucks will go on to be displayed at several different auto shows and lifestyle events over the next several months.

Many thanks to Michael Macare of Dragon Aftermarket Consulting from making this happen!


What the heck is 650B anyhow?

You’ve probably heard the buzz about 650B wheels. It may have left you wondering, “What the heck is a 650B wheel?”. In a nutshell, it’s a wheel size that measure 27.5”, so it sits exactly smack-dab in between a 26” wheel and a 29” wheel.

You may have heard a thing or two about 29” wheels…how effectively they climb, how stable they descend, how nicely they corner, how effectively they keep their momentum, and how well they roll over obstacles in the trail. You may have also heard a few things about 29ers that isn’t quite so positive…they feel like “big” bikes, they accelerate slower than 26” wheels, they are harder to corner in really tight switchbacks, and that they are hard to fit smaller people onto. Both sides of the coin are true…29” wheels are super fun to ride, but they do have their drawbacks, too.

650B wheels are a “compromise” of sorts. You get many of the same benefits that 29” wheels have to offer in terms of more traction for climbing, descending, and cornering. Since the overall wheel diameter is bigger, you also get the benefit of improved obstacle rollover. However, given the fact that a 650B wheel diameter is smaller than a 29” wheel, they accelerate better and they corner with more precision. Since 29” wheels require a frame with geometry to accommodate the larger wheel size, the result can be a bike that is harder to fit smaller people or a bike that just feels “big”. In fact, one of the best benefits of 650B wheels is they can utilize 26” wheel frame geometry with very few or zero tweaks to the frame itself.

650B really is the best of both worlds. Don’t misunderstand, we think 29ers are cool and they ride awesome, but we know that aren’t for everyone. If you are someone who falls into that category for one reason or another, then a 650B bike might just be the ticket for you.

So are 650B-equipped bikes going to make 26” wheel and 29” wheel bikes obsolete? Not if we can help it. We don’t see one of these wheel sizes as the “be-all-to-end-all”. Nor do we see any one of these wheel sizes as being far superior to the others. We see 650B as being another choice for people to ride, enjoy, and have fun on.
Want to learn more about 650B? You can read my 650B vs 26" wheel side-by-side ride test here.

The Haro Beasley 650B hardtail


The Beasleys are here!

After many delays, most of which were far outside of our control, we're pleased to announce that our first production run of Bealsey 650B bikes are in our warehouses! This is a very small run that consists mostly of 1 x 9's with a few 20" SS bikes. The balance of the SS bikes are due to ship any day so we should see those in a couple of weeks.

This first run is selling incredibly quickly...most of the shipment we just received is going to satisfy dealers who pre-ordered these bikes. So if you are thinking about picking up a Beasley, I'd head to your local dealer NOW!


Vegas Trip

So my wife Megan had to go to Vegas this week for a Spa tradeshow, I figured why not tag along and do some desert riding!  Unfortunately I only had room for one bike, and I wanted to hit a couple of the skateparks down there, so the Steel Reserve was the only option.  Long story short, I got bored riding the skateparks, headed out to bootleg canyon, and rode dh shuttles with Metal Mike on my steel reserve, complete with a Fox 36 float with 80mm travel and Kenda k-rads with 70psi.  It was a little sketchy to say the least, you know what I'm talking about if you've ridden there before.  I made it out alive though, and actually went pretty fast!  I was actually a lot of fun, and will probably make me smoother on the X7!  It brought me back to the days of before I had a DH bike and I use to race downhill on a hardtail.


Haro in Kenya

As you can probably imagine, we got a LOT of sponsorship requests here at Haro. I think I could practically fill the bed of my truck up with all the proposals that roll in this time of year.

A couple of weeks ago, I got a request that really caught my eye. Here's the e-mail I received:

My name is Nickson Mwaura and resides from a small town(Gilgil) in Kenya,East Africa. Have been doing mountain bike racing for the past 5 years and have had the national title for two years 2004 and 2005.
I recently got a Haro bike V4 SERIES, which I rode at one of Kenya's greatest mountain bike races. The news is it felt so balanced on climbs and descents which resulted in me winning the event in a time record.
My query, is it possible to get sponsored by HARO.
Attached herewith are some photos of me at the event.

I have to admit that I wasn't aware that organized mountain bike races even existed in Kenya, so this was a pretty cool request.

With his sponsorship request, Nickson also sent a race report from the prestigious 10 to 4 Bike Challenge on the slopes of Mount Kenya where he mentioned racing his V4 to a course record. What he didn't mention is not only did he win this race in record time, but he did it after breaking his chain at the beginning of the race.

We decided that Nickson has a lot of potential, so we're sending him a brand-new Flightline Expert to race on and a Haro jersey so he can keep representing Haro in Kenya. One of the stipulations of giving Nickson this support is he must give his V4 he's riding now to a fellow racer who is in need of a new bicycle or to someone who would like to start racing mountain bikes but is unable to because they cannot afford a bike.

Once Nickson receives his bike, we'll be posting more pictures and his future race reports.

Here's a little more information about Nickson:

Name: Nickson Mwaura

Age: 27

Birthplace: I was born in a small town in Kenya called Gilgil

Years mountain biking: I have been mountain biking for 5 years now

Profession: I'm a second hand clothes dealer in my home town. I'm also involved in volunteer jobs ie conservation. We(my team) recently took part in a self sponsored tree planting activity in a town far away from my town where we have had mountain bike races since the year 2000.

Goals: My goal in biking has been to improve both in standards and performance and to once ride in the international scene among other world top mountain bike riders. My goal in life has been to be successful in whatever I do and to become a mentor to whoever may want to follow in my line. I have been thinking of what i can give back to mtn biking and how I can improve the levels of competitive mountain biking in my country.

Check out the zebras in the background!


Blurry Photos @ Windells

We made a quick trip to Windells tonight to check out Ben Boyko's progress. Boyko is building a bunch of new stuff at Windells for his part in the upcoming Rockstar video. Phil is going to be a camp counselor at the Northwest School Of Freeride this summer, which is the mountain bike version of Windell's snowboard camp. Everyone is building up a storm on the 80 acres of land...some for upcoming video parts, others for '09 training. Once the camp opens up, all of the stuff we're building is going to be rideable for the campers.

We snapped a few pictures tonight, but the light in there was pretty weak, so the pics came out kind of blurry. We'll make up for it this weekend at the jam session, which anyone can attend and shred with their favorite pros from the northwest.

The land around Windells is absolutely mint for trail riding, but they also have a bunch of great concrete obstacles around the camp...as well as a great indoor spot (complete with a trampoline). They are building a new website, which should be live soon. Stay tuned for more updates on the NWSOF!


Skatebarn Session w/ Phil Sundbaum

As promised, the video clip from last Friday's Skatebarn session. This is a pretty typical session, which goes down on a daily/weekly basis with the Washington crew.

Introducing the all-new Pivit Feather Lite pedals

They are slim, colorful, lightweight, and grip shoes like you wouldn't believe. Think we're talking about a herd of supermodels at the shopping mall? Heck no, we're talking about our new Pivit Feather Lite pedals.

Here are all the specifics on these babies:
  • 6061 alloy with CNC machined pedal body

  • Ultra thin profile; 14mm at thinnest point and 17mm at thickest point

  • Machine cromoly spindle

  • Sealed bearing/bushing design

  • Replaceable pins

  • Sand blast anodized finish in three colors: Hot Pink, Slate, Royal Blue

  • Weight: a mere 16 oz per pair

  • Suggested retail: $99

The Pivit Feather Lite pedals are in stock now, so if your dealer doesn't have them yet, ask them to order them for you.


Throwing Fish With Phil

Phil and I were in Seattle doing a bit of shooting, and along the way we decided to hit up the world famous Pike Place fish market - where they throw fish and all that. Phil's buddy Ben works there, and he got us lined up to throw/catch a fish in the market. They normally don't let anyone do this, so we were pretty stoked to get to do it. Check it out!

Here are a few photos of Phil's Steel Reserve 1...the full video clip from this weekend should be ready soon. We went back to the Skatebarn in Renton (where we had the SOS premiere) and shot a few clips. Just a fun session with some bangers mixed in.