On the ground at the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Consumer demo event brings riders and industry together in desert

Event
Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

The 2019 Sedona Mountain Bike Festival was a hub of all things fat tires.

Best way to shop for a new mountain bike? Head to a consumer demo event of course. It’s just common sense. If you want to know which new bike is the right one for you, trying before you buy is always the best answer. And events such as the fifth annual Sedona Mountain Bike Festival, March 1-3, present just such an opportunity.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

There were hundreds of demo bikes on site, including the full suite of Pivot offerings.

This year’s exhibitor line-up included the likes of Ibis, Pivot, Yeti, Specialized, Salsa, Transition, Canyon, and many more. There were also numerous component and apparel brands showing off their latest designs and even offering special deals. And of course the Sedona area riding is pretty good, too. Though a freak snowstorm closed down some of the over 200 miles of spectacular singletrack, there was still plenty of delicious red dirt to shred, including the flow trails and pump track inside the city park that played host the event.

10 reasons why the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival belongs on your bucket list

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Not a bad place to drink a post-ride beer and catch some music.

This year’s Sedona Mountain Bike Festival also featured an array of great food trucks to keep you nourished between rides. And when riding was done, there was a beer garden where they were pouring tasty adult beverages from the likes of Ska, Oak Creek, Wanderlust, and Dark Sky. There was also live entertainment all three days, featuring bands such as Decker and the Dead Country Gentlemen.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

The delicious red dirt of Sedona.

Mtbr made the trip to Sedona to check out the scene, and while this editor is on the sidelines recovering from injury and couldn’t ride, we still got a good look at what has clearly become a seminal event on the mountain bike calendar.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Numerous brands chose the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival to launch new product, including Salsa, which unveiled three new bikes.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

CushCore was in the house showing off its expanding array of flat protection inserts, which now includes plus, standard, XC and gravel.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

The Sedona Mountain Bike Festival attracts lots of cycling luminaries, including enduro star and Yeti Factory Team rider Richie Rude.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

The scenery isn’t too bad here.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Can’t beat that deal.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Lazer was in Sedona showing off its new Coyote MTB helmet.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Everybody loves a party.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

MRP was showing off its best suspension and chain retention goodies — and offering some sweet deals.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Bikes weren’t the only thing you could test.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Right next to the venue was a pump track and flow trail, perfect for getting in demo bike hot laps.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

All the essentials in one easy to navigate place.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Gotta love that backdrop.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

So many trails so little time.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Lunchtime at the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Former gravity racing star Leigh Donovan was in the house leading ride clinics.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Floyd’s of Leadville had all your post-ride recovery needs covered.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Stan’s made the trip west to the desert.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Colorado’s Revel Bikes chose Sedona as launch site for a whole new bike brand. Can’t wait to test these bikes.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Meet the Flexx handlebars, which claim to deliver superb small bump compliance. Interesting idea.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

The Sedona Mountain Bike Festival is the brainchild of the people at Over the Edge Sports, one of the best bike shops in town.

Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

The beer selection was top notch.


About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


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  • John says:

    As great as the festival was, bike manufacturers need to bring more small frames to demo. My wife and other women we talked to were pretty disappointed at the slim pickings available to them. Some booths didn’t have any smalls, and most had only a couple. Manufacturers are missing out on half the population and potential market for more sales.

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