Singletracks’ Best Mountain Bike Reads in May

In May we spoke with athletes, looked in-depth at tech topics, talked about trail etiquette, and explored public lands issues.
Photo: Matt Miller

The Singletracks staff and our contributors spend a lot of time every day, week, and month drafting up gear and bike reviews, and informing readers with breaking news and press releases. All of us try to devote an equal amount of time diving into the culture of mountain biking, digging into news and trends on a deeper level, and connecting with the mountain bike organizations and advocates who make our rides possible.

For May, we spoke with a lot of athletes who are gearing up for the race season, or who might have moved on from racing. We looked at more tech topics, like when carbon fiber goes bad, and explored public lands issues, like the connection between recreation and the decline of wildlife.

Browse our best reads and features that Singletracks published in May and find one to dig into after a good ride.

How Do Carbon Mountain Bike Frames Break? Shawn Small of Ruckus Composites Fills Us In

Lighter, stiffer… and just as vulnerable as any other frame material. Carbon fiber has its achilles heels, and no one wants to be out of a several-thousand-dollar frame just because of a bit of damage. That’s where Shawn Small of Ruckus Composites comes in. Small fills us in on the process of carbon fiber repair and some common types of breaks.

You Don’t Have to Love Suffering to Mountain Bike, But it Doesn’t Hurt

Photo: Lorenzo Jimenez

Mountain biking is hard. There’s no getting past that, but as the sport grows, the barriers to entry are arguably getting smaller and less painful. Here’s a read on why getting a dose of pain every now and then is still a good thing.

This Former Judo Black Belt Now Races EWS: The Julie Duvert Interview

EWS Finale 2020

From Judo black belt to Enduro World Series racer; some people can do it all. Our Tech Editor sat down with Julie Duvert for an interview to learn all about the fast Frenchwoman.

A Growing Movement Aims to Simplify Trail Etiquette Through Old-Fashioned Courtesy

If an equestrian is passing a mountain biker on an uphill only trail, but the equestrian is also a hiker, then who has the right away? Some might argue that rules and etiquette could all be done away with – if – everyone slowed down just a little bit as they passed each other and said hi. Singletracks Editor-in-Chief Jeff spoke with Erik Hillard, who has a solution that is as simple as seeing and acknowledging others on the trail.

Shifting Gears: Pro MTB Racer Kelli Emmett’s Transition to Managing Athletes at Juliana Bicycles

Photo: Sven Martin

Kelli Emmett has been a familiar name since the early days of enduro and the late days of Super D. Find out how she made the transition from athlete to brand manager.

Kasper Woolley is Competing at Enduro’s Highest Level – With a Pituitary Tumor

Kasper Woolley, 22, has had over 20 broken bones over the course of his life. A pituitary tumor was determined to be the culprit, causing a decline in hormones and bone density. He’s still competing and thriving in the Enduro World Series and is racing for Yeti Cycles this season.

These Women Saw a Void in the MTB Apparel Marketplace — So They Filled It

Photo by Ryan Bent

Mountain bike apparel has long catered to men. Women have tired of the poor-patterned, ill-fitting options out there, and some are starting their own brands. Singletracks contributor Lindsay Warner spoke with women from three brands, to find out what needed to be done differently, and how.

FKTs Are Known to Be Awesome [The Stoke]

Photo: Jeff Barber

Different things stoke us. For Jeff, this time it’s the FKT, or the loose competition of sorts that’s become more common in the MTB world over the past few years. Think of it as a Strava segment, but much longer, and with the intent to inspire friendly competition.

There’s a Lot to Say About Recreation and Wildlife in Vail. Mountain Bike Advocates are Caught in the Middle

Photo: Matt Miller

The elk population has been in decline around the Vail, Colorado area for years. We know why that is, but officials don’t know why the populations aren’t rebounding as quickly as they have in the past. Mountain bikers and recreationists have taken much of the blame in media, but there’s more to it than that.

Some Trails We Ride for a Lifetime: Mount St. Helens Internalized

Trails, whether we believe it or not, are ever-changing. Gerow reflects on one of his favorite rides near his former home and why it won’t ever be the same.

Kate Courtney’s Mechanic, Brad Copeland, Tells of Managing 3 Mechanicals in 2 World Cup XCO Races

Photo: Gerow

When Kate Courtney has a mechanical in a World Cup race, the pressure is on. Brad Copeland recounts his thought process and how he pieced a tricky mid-race mechanical together in his mind to get Courtney back on the track as quickly as possible.

Stop and Smell The Privet, Then Pull It Up By Its Roots Please

Photo: Jeff Barber

Privet is a nasty little bugger of a plant. Jeff takes a look at the tricky, invasive roots and why they might be best plucked right from the ground.

Nino Schurter Says Dropper Posts are More Fun! [Interview]

If the fastest XC racer in the world says that dropper posts are better, we should listen.

New Remote Work Opportunities Mean a Chance to Finally Move to a Mountain Bike Town

Photo: Maureen Gaffney

When Maureen got permission to work remotely, she went, like much of America. Singletracks contributor Maureen Gaffney dishes out her reasoning to up and move to a new place, and it aligns with new data out there, and why the pandemic made for a convenient excuse for thousands and thousands to search for a new home.