Getting the Most out of Outerbike Crested Butte

Trail 401 in Crested Butte, CO (photo: Magua X)

You’ve spent the past few months reading reams of reviews, poring over geometry charts, and comparing build sheets. Your budget is set, all you need to do now is line up test rides. If there was only some way you could ride a bunch of bikes from different brands back-to-back on the same awesome trails to make your decision…

Well friend, you’re in luck! Just such an event exists: Outerbike. New for 2017, Outerbike is adding a summer event to the calendar in Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado, August 18-20.

What is Outerbike?

The bikes are waiting for you (photo: Michael Paul)

Outerbike is a three-day demo event billed as the best in the universe! Top manufacturers including Yeti, Evil, Giant, Rocky Mountain, Pivot, Ibis, Scott, and Fezzari, will be on hand with their latest and greatest bikes for you to try. Outerbike offers three different levels of passes for the weekend:

  1. Full Demo ($200): This pass gives you three days of access to all demos, shuttle rides, lifts in the Evolution Bike Park, all Crested Butte Mountain Resort lifts and trails, as well as three lunches, and beer for two evenings.
  2. BYOB: ($160): Bring your own bike. Maybe you’ve already found your perfect bike and you’re just looking for an excuse to ride. The BYOB doesn’t include demos, but gives you access to the trails, shuttles, lifts, lunches, and beer.
  3. Social Card ($70): Just looking to party? Then this is the pass you want. You get lunches each day and beer in the evening, but no access to demos, shuttles, or lifts. Perfect for the non-riding spouse, partner, or friend.

The Venue

Crested Butte from above (photo: Dave Kozlowski)

Mt. Crested Butte has roots that stretch back to mountain biking’s infancy. In the 1970s locals could be seen cruising the trails around town on klunkers. It’s home to one of the oldest off-road events in the world, the Pearl Pass Tour, now in its 41st year. As a destination, Mt. Crested Butte consistently ranks among the best in the world, known for its endless miles of backcountry singletrack with incredible views.

Setting the table at the Evolution Bike Park (photo: Chris Segal)

In recent years, Crested Butte Mountain Resort has developed the Evolution Bike Park, boasting over 30 miles of trails for riders of all abilities. With several uphill trails, plentiful green and blue downhill trails, and a few super steep, technical black diamonds, Evolution Bike Park will be your proving grounds for Outerbike. Demo passes include lift tickets for all days so you’ll be able to get lots of laps on a variety of bikes and terrain, maximizing your testing opportunities without getting too tired from climbing.

What to Bring

While the exhibitors will be providing the bikes, there are a few items you’ll need to bring with you. Most notably your helmet, pedals, and shoes. Beyond that, take whatever you would bring for a typical ride: hydration pack, multi-tool, snacks, sunscreen, etc. Since Crested Butte is big mountain country, you may want to pack an extra layer or rain jacket just to be on the safe side.

Coming Early or Staying Late?

Trail 401 (photo: Greg Heil)

You’ll get your fill of trails at the Evolution Bike Park during Outerbike, but if you’re planning to spend some extra time in the area before or after the event, here are some can’t miss rides:

  • Upper Westside to Town: From the top of the chairlift take Upper Westside -> Westside -> Happy Hour -> Upper Loop Trail System -> town. Once you’re in Crested Butte, you can take a free shuttle bus back up to the resort!
  • Doctor Park: Just southeast of Crested Butte lies the Doctor Park trail, which just might be the best descent in the area. It can be ridden as a loop as long as you don’t mind grinding your way up a few miles of gravel at elevation.
  • Trail 401: For awe-inspiring views, you can’t top this trail. Trail 401 sits just north of Mount Crested Butte and can be ridden from there if you’ve got the legs for a really big day.
  • Reno -> Flag -> Bear -> Deadman Loop: The best loop ride in the area features a little bit of everything from gravel road grinds, to flowy singletrack, to steep, tight switchbacks.
  • Hartman Rocks in Gunnison: On your way south out of town, stop in Gunnison to check out the Hartman Rocks trail system. This huge trail system has over 50 miles of singletrack for riders of all skill levels.

Where to Eat

Secret Stash

Your entry to Outerbike covers lunches for you, but what about the rest of your meals? Crested Butte might be tiny, but luckily it has plenty of dining options.

Visit Outerbike.com for more details and to register for the Crested Butte event!