With gas prices coming down just a nudge our wanderlust kicked in hard.
When it became perfectly clear we weren’t going to be able to wait any longer we threw our bikes and ourselves into the truck and headed for Points East.
We dreamt of roadtripping to British Colombia or Deer Valley or even the Dolomites, but do to time and work and life restrictions we settled on Mammoth Mountain.
Beside our wallets, we double-checked our packing list to make sure we had maximum thrill/minimum hassle dialed in. Take a little peak inside to see what might make your next lift-assisted bike trip a little more enjoyable.
Brad's Pivot Switchblade
“I didn’t want a new bike, but my marketing guy told me the founder and owner of Kali Protectives shouldn’t be riding a five-year-old bike,” said Brad Waldon. “I was still very much enjoying my Santa Cruz Bronson. I had never really taken to the whole 29er thing, so when my new Pivot Switchblade arrived with 29 inch wheels I was a little skeptical. I gave the big hoops a go, but I was not impressed and was ready to switch back my Bronson. But the fine folks at Pivot were kind enough to swap me out to some 27.5 hoops and BOOM the Switchblade came alive for me. It has enough to travel for an amazing day at the bike park and is agile enough to make my local trails super fun. I can still climb pretty well and I can also bomb on it. I couldn’t be happier.”
Jon's Pivot Switchblade
“One bike quiver, yeah right. That’s what I thought until I got my Pivot Switchblade,” said Jon Sacks, Kali National Sales Manager. “For my everyday rides, I carry two water bottles and I have the flip chip in the high position for the perception of increasing its climbing capabilities and decrease pedal strikes. But on our recent trip to the Mammoth Mountain Bike park I decided to flip my chip to the lower setting. While this settling not only lowers the BB, it also slackens the head tube and seat tube 0.5 degrees. The Switchblade was great on the loose pumice that is Mammoth mountain. The bike is extremely maneuverable for a 29er and such a blast to ride.”
We wanted some new rubber for our trip to Mammoth, so we hit up WTB for some new tread. When we asked WTB what would make good tire for the volcanic pumice of Mammoth Mountain, we got a very thoughtful and thorough response: "All Vigilante 2.5-2.8 tires feature TriTec Compound, which utilizes three rubber compounds to provide different levels of traction, support and durability based on their placement within the tread. The entire tread pattern is supported by a base of high durometer rubber, which also transitions halfway into the height of the knobs and allows for the use of softer knob compounds without the tire folding due to cornering forces. The top of the center knobs consist of a medium durometer compound to provide traction and durability without sacrificing rolling efficiency, while the outer knobs feature the softest compound to deliver maximum grip and slow rebound. The is a great match for the sharp edged granite rock and moon dust at Mammoth Mountain. Give'em a try!" -Gary Gleason
WTB was spot on. The Vigilante was a great tire for everything Mammoth Mountain had to offer.
CushCore Bead Dropper
We have taken to throwing this oversized, tire-peeling wonder into our go back. It is a God send when trying to mount a pair of those less-than-friendly CushCore inserts into a set of tires, but it's also just the perfect peace-of-mind when you are on the road and can’t remember the last time you put sealant in your tires and you want to do a little top-off with as little hassle as possible. The big green blob is carbon rim friendly and, in our opinion, money well spent.
Lezyne Pressure Overdrive Pump
Speaking of air quality, we're crazy for our Pressure Overdrive. This pump works perfectly fine as a regular pump and is God send if you end up needing to seat a set of tubeless tires. This is definitely a "better safe than sorry" item that we are stoked to have in the car.
They make the Pressure Overdrive in a digital version, but we're just not ready to admit a pound this way or that is going to make us better riders.
Lizard Skins Grips
These Lizard Skins Grips are the Monogramed Izod Polo shirts of our youth, functional while also being bespoke. Now if we told the boss his new Lizard Skins Lock-On Grips were “bespoke” he would definitely unlock them and throw them in the trash, but since his previous grips were completely trashed and, dare we say, totally gross, we are pretty sure he won’t say anything about his grip other than, “Thank you".
Ride Concept Livewire Shoes
As a long time rider of SPD pedals when I switched to flat pedals, I really struggled to find a pair of shoes that fit like my former fancy EYE-talian cycling shoe.
Kali Invader 2.0
I wear this helmet almost every ride. I love the protection a full face offers but get tired of wearing one after the first 30 minutes. I rode the Invader 2.0 at Mammoth Mountain where you see more full faces than half shells. I was able to push myself on the Mammoth jumps, drops and black trails without thinking about losing my teeth and roll the casual trail and not have the feel all “why do I have this hot full face on?” Loved Mammoth. Loved my Invader.