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mountain bike magazine

EXCLUSIVE STORY |Dirt Pike | 5 EPIC TRAIL STORY | Nomadic Dreams in Mongolia | 12 BIKE CHECK | Firefox Maximus 29 | 18 FRESH JUICE| 661 Recon Helmet | 22 HOT EVENT | Palpa Urban DH Race | 24 WHATS UP | Rumble in the jungle | 28 HOT EVENT | Nyquist’s epic day | 30

Another great year comes to an end with our 24th issue which features Kelly McGarry on the cover who was in India recently and was spotted flying on his bike somewhere in the Ladakh region. We hope to bring you full details about his epic trip soon. 2014 saw some great improvement in the riding scene. Himachal Downhill Mountain Bike Trophy which was First DH race of India was conducted successfully and a second DH race in the North East region is scheduled for this December! In this edition check out another great pump track that has evolved in this country and also know more about the riding possibilities in Mongolia which was recently explored by our friend Tangi Rebours with Max Commencal. The Palpa urban DH race details will definitely make you want to participate in this crazy race conducted in Nepal. Continue reading our 24th issue and we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year well in advance. See you in 2015 with our 3rd printed collector’s edition and our overhauled website which will be more interactive.

Vineet Sharma

Founder, Editor-in-Chief | COVER PHOTO: Red Bull Content Pool RIDER: Kelly McGarry LOCATION: Red Bull Rampage 2014 (Utah)

The Team: Editor in Chief: Vineet Sharma Deputy Editor: Vinay Menon BMX Agent: Dipak Panchal Photo Editor: Malcolm McLaws Himalayan Trails Minister: Naveen Barongpa

Freerider Mountain Bike Magazine #410, Sector: 10 Panchkula (Haryana). 134109 - INDIA. ........................................................ This magazine is intended for free distribution and is only available through our web portal. E-mail us for more details. ........................................................ Feel free to write or contribute. E-mail at: |

Contributing Editors and Photographers ISSUE # 24 Aju George, Tangi Rebours, Himalayan Bike Bar, Shyam Limbu, Kate Hobson, Ryan Fudger, Garth Milan, Marv Watson, Red Bull Content Pool

It all started last year when we decided to build couple of bike obstacles behind our hostel. After visualizing some jumps and couple of berms, we bought the necessary tools in no time and the digging started within a week after planning the design. The core digging team which includes Me, Sachin aka Sasi and Mangal were soon approached by couple of riding friends who were curious to know what we were upto. These guys were stoked once we revealed the plan and wanted to help us with the work. While the digging process was on, we realized that the land is pretty big and is not used for any other activity. The common idea rumbling in everybody’s brain was… “Why don’t we build a bigger bike park for everyone”?

Words & Photography: Aju George


We did some research on the internet and found more ideas which gave us a clear image of what we wanted to do in that location. A pumptrack! But a plan that big needs an approval by the directors of the site and a quick proposal was submitted which got the attention of Sir Sreekanth and the The Chief Dr. Samson Mathew. The equally excited duo gave us the instant approval within two weeks!


Our campus: It’s very green and bicycle friendly. Well, there is no option but to ride bicycle within the campus. Really! It’s a rule. So one will experience 95% bicycle commuting here which is a good thing. We even expected the entire bicycle commuting crowd to start riding on the coming pump truck and the official bike park digging started with this expectation.


There are not even a handful of bike parks in India at the moment. So what do we do to get inspired for the design? Watch videos day and night, browse websites and images which did inspire us a lot and help us to come with a blue print of the track which was shown to the estate maintenance department who made more changes and suggested the top layer mixed with fine gravel and sand will be the best for this location. This was a learning opportunity for us even though we made a small DH track in Mysore at Augstins Place and we had also got some riding tips earlier from our friend Chippy in Kuttikanam which gave us confidence riding our bikes on different terrains


The track digging and shaping which was about to take almost 8 months was going on smoothly. We all were excited to see the diagrams coming out alive and the plain park actually started to look like a pumptrack. We had to hire few workers to get the work done on time. But it was not that easy to get the work done with them as the communication was a major barrier with these workers who could only understand Tamil and none of us speak Tamil at all. However after few days and showing them the photos and videos they got the idea what are we upto and things were on track again. It was fun to check out their reactions when they saw the photos and videos. But it was even more exciting to see their precious reaction when they saw us riding on the track while we were testing the kickers. Soon they wanted to try riding on the track which led to slight delay in completing the project‌ but we’re not complaining. Heavy rain disrupted the following weeks, but we were bit relaxed as minor retouching was left. This dream has become a reality after eight months of struggle. Everybody is happy shredding on the pump track that is located in this educational institution. Probably the only one in India, maybe Asia where anyone can come ride as much as they want without paying. More and more people are coming in with curiosity and our next challenge is to get some good reliable dirt jump bikes that can make riding more pleasure and increase the riding skills. At the moment only 2 dedicated bikes are kept in the park. We should find some sponsors soon who can help us to run the park smoothly with world class facilities for the riders.


Watch out for the coming videos and tons of photos from this park which became a reality. A big shout to our supporters Sir Sreekanth, Sir Samson – Director, Estate Maintenance Dept. Our riding buddies like Augstin, Jibin (Chippy) and Michael McLean from Mountain Bike Kerala who inspired and helped us to build this track. Find us on



Mongolia the land of the famous Genghis Khan, a country slightly larger than France with only three million people, making it the lowest population density in the world (this statistic is made for me!) By: Tangi Rebours


Nomadic life is still the life style of many Mongolians, moving their ger,(round tent) their family and all their goods where ever they are needed depending on the season. We were very lucky to be invited here by our dear friend Christopher Giercke and his Mongolian wife Enkhe. They own a tented summer polo club in the Orkhon valley (literally in middle of nowhere - forget electricity, phone or internet, here you find nature in its most primitive form and beauty.) Their goal is to reintroduce polo to Mongolia by helping young local kids to play the sport‌



It is difficult to imagine that it was from this actual valley that hundreds of years ago, Mongolia started one of the biggest empires in history. Horses and archery were the ultimate weapons at that time (A little less efficient nowadays‌)

I’ve never been a big fan of horses myself but I assume from watching these kids galloping full speed on their horses in the middle of the steppe. That they have a wonderful feeling of freedom. So what about riding a bike there? Honestly, in a land of horses, I feel a little bit alone with my Meta Hip-hop, even if I quickly find some interest from the rare locals people that I meet.


Nomadic life means a small impact and little trace on nature. We were looking to ride single tracks but we found none of them. The hills are totally virgin, not one trace or track, just grass and rocks….and so many hills as far as the eye can see. In beginning you feel very intimidated by this huge space in front of you, you’re lost in its immensity, shy, you loose your confidence, your mark, you don’t know which way to go… Then you realize that you can go where ever you want, choose the least steep way to climb, then at the top you have an unlimited choice of line. You discover a unique feeling of freedom that I have never encountered before.

This is the reason I ride a mountain bike, this feeling that you can escape, at least for a while, the reality of this world, returning life to this simple pleasure of being free.

In Mongolia I definitely found it. Thanks to all the members of the Giercke family for your hospitality, it is so refreshing to meet passionate people who like to share what they have. Big thanks to Commencal for making the most fun and reliable bike to ride.


Himalayan Bike Bar Old Mission Road - Manali Himachal Pradesh - 175101 Ph: +91 941 861 2482

Words & Photography: Vineet Sharma

Many hate them but many love them. 29ers are better than any wheel size or not is still a big argument… or not? Let’s ignore that question and continue to check this latest offering by Firefox bikes. Maximus D - which proudly rolls on 29” wheels. FR MTB MAG | 18

Surprisingly the bike overall build is not too bad. The frame design is sleek with clean lines and the matt paint finish is great. The frame welds are strong and the overall frame design scores 7/10, but there were many occasions where slight flex was felt while using it on brutal terrain which may compromise the frame strength on long term usage.

The alloy hardtail frame of Firefox Maximus comes in 2 size options: 17.5” (shown here) and 19”.

We still wonder why not more frame size options. Maximus D is available for INR 24,750 which is not bad for an entry level mountain bike that can be a decent investment for beginners who want to experiment with a bigger wheel size instead of the traditional and trusted 26”. The bike can also be upgraded with many aftermarket components if you plan to use it more seriously. The only closet rival we see for this bike in the Indian mountain bike market is the B’twin Rockrider 5.3 Big which is priced at INR 38,000 which comes with better brakes and drivetrain if compared with the Maximux 29.

Overall, Firefox Maximus D can be a good investment for someone looking for a 29er which is not heavy on the pockets.


The bike is available in 2 colors. Dark grey and White. Here are more specs of the Firefox Maximus 29:


• Size : 17.5”,19” • Frame : Alloy Hardtail MTB • Fork : SR Suntour XCT hydraulic lockout 100mm


• Shifters : SHIMANO EF51 , 8 speed • Front Derailleur : SHIMANO TX50 • Rear Derailleur : SHIMANO M360 Acera • Crankset : PROWHEEL 24/34/42,170mm • BB Set : VP-BC73 Sealed Cartridge • Cassette : SHIMANO CS-HG31 11-32T , 8 speed • Pedals : WELLGO PP


• Rims : Alloy 32H Double Wall Rims • Tires : KENDA 29 X 2.1”


• Seat Post : ZOOM Alloy 30.4 X 300mm • Handlebar : ZOOM Alloy 660mm , 31.8mm 20mm rise • Stem : ZOOM Alloy , 28.6mm • Brakes : Tektro , mechanical disc w/Shimano levers • Headset : FP 1-1/8” threadless , semi integrated ADVANTAGES OF A 29er: 1: Increased ability to roll over obstacles compared to 26. 2: Good for tall riders. 3: Ride at higher overall speeds and with good momentum. 4: Less likely to sink in sand / mud

DISADVANTAGES OF A 29er: 1: They are heavy. 2: 29er wheels/tires/tubes are not commonly found. 3: They are slower to accelerate and harder to stop. 4: Cornering is not great. 5: 29er wheels are not as strong as 26”.


Words & Photography: Vineet Sharma We tried the six six one Recon Stealth helmet which one the best open face mountain bike helmets available in the market today. The construction of this great helmet is like a chemistry book which boasts 25% polycarbonate, 44% EPS, 14% ]polypropelene, 6% foam and 3% plastic. This combination offers an excellent protection and weight reduction at the same time.


Overall this is a comfortable and light weight mountain bike helmet. The Recon Stealth helmet is available at Himalayan Bike Bar for INR 6980. Here are the features of Six Six One Recon Stealth Helmet:

Coming to the main question… how does the Recon Stealth helmet fits? The fit is fantastic! Our test pilot Sunil did not have any negative points after trying this helmet. The helmet is very good for all day usage and you can really feel the air coming in and out from the big size 18 intake and exhaust vents with interior channeling. The padding also did an impressive job absorbing the sweat and preventing it getting in the way. There is also a traditional ratchet adjustment system which provides quick sizing adjustment. However the newer version (2015) features a BOA reel which could be a better option. However the package is not bad at all and it will provide excellent protection with its extended drop in rear. Whether you are ride XC or Enduro this helmet will do the job and will make you look good at the same time.



The first ever Palpa Urban Downhill Mountain Bike Race organized by Switchback Nepal completed successfully on September 13, in Tansen, Palpa Western Nepal. The event was the first of its kind, not only in Nepal but in the whole of Southasia. The race saw participation of 21 riders from India, China, Denmark, UK and various cities around Nepal including Kathmandu, Dharan, and Pokhara. By: Shyam Limbu


The total race track of this year’s Palpa Urban Downhill Mountain Bike Race was 1.8 kilometers, which included a short forest section that opened up into the winding narrow alleys of the town of Tansen. The race was supported by more than 200 local volunteers and saw an enthusiastic turnout of over 8000 spectators. The event was a successful beginning to what many mountain bike enthusiasts believe is a bright and exciting future for mountain biking in Nepal, establishing Nepal as a major international mountain bike destination in the world. FR MTB MAG | 25

“We see such races on TV but today we are seeing it live right here in our city” said a Tansen local. Locals believe Tansen has the potential to become a national and international mountain bike destination. 14 year old Chris Keeling secured first position in this year’s race completing the 1.8km downhill race track in 4.16.26 minutes. Chris was the overall winner of the National Downhill Championship 2014. Earlier this year, Chris also won third position in the junior’s category of Mega Avalanche held in France.


1.20 minutes on completing the race in 4.5 siti po rth fou d ure sec a mb utes. Shakar Yakthu pleting the race in 4.55.76 min com on siti po h fift d ure sec and Suman Tamang e in Tansen was y comfortable. The crowd her ver felt It . me eso aw s wa il time I heard “The tra my adrenalin pump up every felt I d, tire ng bei te spi De truly amazing. fellow riders has been here for three days with all my ng Bei . on me er che wd cro the Nepali mountain araderie is very important for cam s Thi e. enc eri exp ul erf a wond t. d Buntay Pandey, a participan biking to grow as a sport.” sai

is the very first time an ut organizing this event as it abo s vou ner ite qu re we e to have and “W in Nepal. We wanted our riders ce pla en tak has e rac hill wn rt from urban do ely grateful for the local suppo rem ext are We e. saf be and e enjoy the rac am G Limbu, Race ne it without them.” said Shy Palpalis. We could not have do . Director of Switchback Nepal Switchback Nepal intends to

make this an annual event. FR MTB MAG | 27

By: Kate Hobson

Rumble in the Jungle is the latest in a series of mountain bike stage races organised by TheYakAttack, the team behind YakAttack- Nepal, the highest mountain bike race on earth. Rumble in the Jungle takes place in Sri Lanka and will be the first international mountain bike race to ever be held on the island. Sri Lanka is situated just 400 miles north of the equator and is one of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots. The 4 day stage race takes riders from the tropical lowlands and jungles at only 100m above sea level, through mountain hugging tea plantations, across the islands highest plateau, before finishing at the cultural capital of Kandy, a city steeped in history and home to the world famous Temple of the Tooth. The final day of the race package will see riders transported from Kandy, back to the coastal resort of Negombo, via a scenic train journey, for an end of race prize giving ceremony and beach party. The race is being title sponsored by the islands national carrier, Sri Lanka Airlines who are keen to promote the island as a destination for adventure seekers as well as sun worshippers, with a wide array of activities available, including whitewater rafting, surfing, scuba diving, trekking and of-course, mountain biking. FR MTB MAG | 28

With an overall prize fund of $20,000 the race has attracted some big name riders including Ismael Ventura (Spain), Yuki Ikeda (Japan), Ajay Pandit Chhetri (Nepal), Sonya Ewonus (USA), Kirsten Kogler (Germany), MyriamSaugy(Switzerland) and Sonia Lopes (Portugal). The race has also attracted a large international field of riders looking for adventure rather than glory, taking advantage of the opportunity to ride through areas rarely frequented by everyday tourism. Rider numbers have been capped at 50 for the first year and this will include 6 Sri Lankan riders who have been invited by TheYak Attack to participate in the race, all of whom will be taking part in an international mountain bike race for the first time. As part of TheYakAttack initiative the top placing male and female Sri Lanka riders will also be offered places to compete in in Yak Attack –Nepal.

Rumble in the Jungle commences on 19th November 2014. Daily updates, photos, video footage and results will be posted on both the race website – and on TheYakAttack’s Facebook page – where more details, including stage distances, elevation profiles etc. can also be found. FR MTB MAG | 29

Photography: Ryan Fudger, Garth Milan, Marv Watson


In the first ever Red Bull Dreamline held on the east coast, 12 finalists out of a field of more than 32 riders rode downhill at speeds of over 30 mph and reached heights of 40 feet in the air in front of a crowd of 3,500 spectators. Ryan Nyquist finished on top, wowing his peer judges in this by-the-riders, for-the-riders event.


rain delay could not deter professional BMX riders from elite competition at Red Bull Dreamline this afternoon at the Oskar Blues REEB Ranch in Hendersonville, NC. Former North Carolina resident Ryan Nyquist, who turned 35 this year, showed the stable of up andcoming BMX riders that he still has plenty of gas left in the tank. James Foster, of Redlands, Calif., came in a close second while Australia’s Kyle Baldock took third place. “To be here in North Carolina and win is epic,” said winner Ryan Nyquist. “The fans were awesome. One of the best feelings all day was after one of my runs when I ran the entire fence line and just did high fives with the fans. It’s cool having that support. Everybody came out and stuck with us through the rain. It cleared up and we had a beautiful day.”


James Foster won the respect of the judges by tricking all 10 hits in one run, with multiple combos like a backflip triple barspin and a back flip barspin to tailwhip. Baldock had some of the biggest tricks of the day, wowing fans with his three double tailwhips and back flip tailwhip to barspin. Nyquist’s runs were highlighted by his signature barspins and propelled him to the front of the pack of younger riders. Nyquist came out on top with his 270 barspin and 270 one-handed x-up on the shark fin. Nyquist was one of the few riders to trick the top half of the course and continue all the way through with hits like a flip nohander to barspin and a 360 suicide no-hander to late barspin.


Finals Results:

1- Ryan Nyquist Santa Cruz, CA 2- James Foster Redlands, CA 3- Kyle Baldock Queensland, AUS 4- Pat Casey Yorba Linda, CA 5- Chris Doyle Pittsburgh, PA 6- Dennis Enarson San Diego, CA 7- Paul Langlands Cambridge, NZ 8- David Godziek Suscek, POL 9- Mike “Hucker” Clark Huntington Beach, CA 10- Corey Bohan Corona, CA 11- Matt Cordova Longmont, CO 12- Jaie Toohey Sydney, AUS


Based in Manali – The Mountain Biking Capital of India, Himalayan Mountain Bike Network is managed by passionate and experienced riders who offers exceptional quality mountain bike camps, MTB races throughout the year, bike trails and park management solutions and various events revolved around our sport. By sharing this passion for mountain biking Himalayan Mountian Bike Network strives to provide the best riding experience you can get in the Himalayas.


FOLLOW OUR TRAIL ON FACEBOOK >> Photo: Vineet Sharma | Rider: Lee Bartlett | Location: Manali, INDIA

Profile for Freerider Mountain Bike Magazine

Freerider Mountain Bike Magazine #24  

Issue #24 - November 2014

Freerider Mountain Bike Magazine #24  

Issue #24 - November 2014