Blessed with dry weather, the annual Evergreen Mountain Bike Fest was showing off some new wrinkles this weekend at Duthie Hill Park east of Seattle.
“I feel like I’m drunk on demos,” commented a rider in line at the Santa Cruz booth. It was his 12th test run of the day — and he still had two hours to go.
In a decidedly popular twist this year, the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance event offered demos from nearly all major bike makers for $40 — $20 for members. At the Evergreen booth, many demo’ers were either joining or re-upping membership in the 4000-member advocacy group. Combined with raffles, clinics, guided rides, jump shows and acres of trail at all skill levels, the festival is evolving into the Pacific Northwest’s mini-version of Outerbike.
Celebrity cameos were provided by Ibis-sponsored rider Jeff Kendall-Weed, whose new video of Invictus, “Washington’s gnarliest trail” at nearby Raging River, is getting wide play on social media. See for yourself. It’s a good one.
Riders raved about the demo deal. Some shops charge anywhere from $60 to $90 to demo a single bike, albeit usually for 24 hours. But most riders reported feeling like they got a good fix on a bike with 30 to 45 minutes given Duthie’s cornucopia of beginner, XC, jump, and flow trails.
Vendors had their latest and greatest on hand. Pivot, which stocked 60 bikes from both its national and regional demo fleets, was seeing brisk demand for its new Trail 429 all-around 29er.
Evil fans were rewarded with sneak-preview rides of LB (Little Better’er) Insurgents and Wreckonings. The upgrades feature new colors, bottle mounts and other tweaks. While demo bikes only are available now in limited distribution, the Wreckoning is scheduled for general release late this month, with the Insurgent due in July.
On the sleeper side, BMC’s Speedfox was getting strong word-of-mouth from riders for its Trailsync integrated suspension. Activating the dropper post engages or locks out the suspension, corresponding to how extended the post is.
The growth of flow and DH trails in the region was reflected in several vendors offering protective gear. Zoic’s booth was showing a new upgrade of its padded Impact liner, featuring tailbone and thigh protection in addition to hip coverage. Zoic’s DEFUZE foam soaks up and disperses more force, while its hexagonal shaping and blockchain configuration better conforms to body contours. Zoic is offering the liners in both men’s and women’s versions.
G-Form’s booth showed its new Pro Trail gloves as well as a full line of armor available for demo. The gloves feature back-of-finger foam padding for knuckle protection in crashes and wide-handlebar encounters with brush and trees.
For more information please visit evergreenmtb.org.