Perhaps the best innovation in mountain bike racing is the mountain bike festival. Take a bike race and extend it over the course of a weekend; add a party with plenty of beer and food; maybe throw in bike demos; some entertaining, un-timed events just for fun; and for the most highly-evolved mountain bike festivals, drop the racing part altogether.
Any way you slice it, attending a mountain bike festival, whether large or small, is guaranteed to be a great time! Party down at these 10+ great mountain bike festivals in 2018.
Sea Otter Classic, Monterey, California
April 19-22, 2018
The next mountain bike festival in 2018 is coming quick: The Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California will be held in less than two weeks. In addition to one of the largest industry expos that’s open to the public, Sea Otter boasts every type of bike racing imaginable, and great riding in the nearby Fort Ord Trail System. The massive scale and wide appeal draws enormous crowds–Sea Otter claims 72,500 attendees and 9,600 racers in 2017.
- Honorable Mention: Sea Otter Europe, Girona, Spain, June 8-10, 2018.
Roam Bike Fest, Brevard, North Carolina
May 11-13, 2018
Roam Bike Fest is a three-day women’s only mountain bike festival and the event is making it’s east coast debut at REEB Ranch in Brevard, NC. Ladies can demo bikes from Liv Cycling, Specialized, Ibis Cycles, and Rocky Mountain Bicycles. Plus, free shuttles and rides with local guides in Dupont State Forest. There will also be SHREDtalks (industry-led speeches and presentations), SRAM maintenance clinics, female-focused short films or lady shredits, food trucks and tacos(!), and an 80’s themed dance party. Oh yeah, and it wouldn’t be a REEB Ranch experience without camping, beer, and hitting the pumptrack–ladytrain style. Sorry, fellas, all this fun is for ladies only!
West coast women can attend Roam Bike Fest West in Sedona, AZ on Oct 26-18, 2018. For more epic women’s events in epic locations like women’s mountain bike retreats and the Sturdy Dirty Women’s Enduro series, check out Roam Events.
Dirt Rag Dirt Fest, Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania
May 18-20, 2018
Dirt Fest is one of two premiere East Coast mountain bike festivals, with the first edition taking place way back in 1991. For 2018 Dirt Fest will host at least 43 brands, with bike demos on the singletrack in the Allegrippis Trail System. With group rides, clinics, local beer, and live music, one thing you count on is that the Dirt Rag folks never take themselves too seriously!
- Honorable Mention: Dirt Rag Dirt Fest West Virginia, Bruce Mills, West Virginia, July 13-15, 2018
Crested Butte Bike Week, Crested Butte, Colorado
June 21-24, 2018
The Crested Butte Bike Week is the world’s oldest mountain bike festival, running continuously since 1981. Like a fine Scotch, CB Bike Week only gets better with age. The 2018 event will include long-time classics like the Chainless Downhill World Championships and the Fat Tire 40. The Big Mountain Enduro Series is also going to be in town at the same time. For the less competitive types, Thursday will feature guided ride opportunities on the mountain bike trails in and around Crested Butte.
NEMBAfest, Kingdom Trails, Vermont
June 22-24, 2018
Held at the famous Kingdom Trails in Vermont and hosted by the New England Mountain Bike Association, NEMBAfest is the other must-visit East Coast festival. The 2018 edition will feature bike demos, various clinics, live music, and guided group rides.
Mountain Bike Oregon, Oakridge, Oregon
July 20-22, 2018
Mountain Bike Oregon (MBO) is renowned for the incredible shuttle rides on fabulous Oakridge singletrack. Add the most expansive bike demo in Oregon to some of the best mountain bike trails in the world and a free beer garden featuring local beer, hard cider, and wine, and MBO deserves a spot on your MTB festival bucket list. Space is limited and MBO usually sells out, so be sure to register ASAP.
- Honorable Mention: Mountain Bike Oregon August Edition, August 17-19, 2018
Downieville Classic Festival, Downieville, California
August 2-5, 2018
The Downieville Classic Festival is “a weekend of racing and partying in the Sierras where riders have to pick one tool for two disciplines: a 29-mile cross country race, and a 15-mile downhill with 5,000′ vertical drop,” according to their website. And it’s so much more: with partying a-plenty and a massive jump into the Yuba River, there’s no better way to spend a weekend in the Sierras.
Wydaho Rendezvous Teton Bike Festival, Grand Targhee, Wyoming
August 31-September 3, 2018
A very strong contendor for ride of the year at #wydahorendezvous, climbed to the top of .38 special and descended all the way to the valley via peaked, Colter's escape, and mill creek. ??????????????????????? . .. … #grandtarghee #optoutside #bike #flatpedalswinmedals #justgonnasendit #ridehardtakechances
The Wydaho Rendezvous has it all–bike demos, skills clinics, guided rides, shuttles, live music, and local beer. They even have some events on their calendar simply labeled “Shenanigans.” Considering the amazing trails available at Grand Targhee Resort, is there a better venue for a mountain bike festival?!
Crankworx, Whistler, British Columbia
August 10-19, 2018
Crankworx Whistler is the largest mountain bike festival in the world, with a claimed 312,636 spectators in 2017–over 30,000 of whom were in attendance at the Red Bull Joyride event alone. Crankworx is also one of the longest festivals in the world, too, spanning a full 9 days of racing and revelry in arguably the best mountain bike destination in the world.
Crankworx events for 2018 include:
- Red Bull Joyride
- Canadian Open DH presented by iXS
- 100% Dual Slalom Whistler
- RockShox Pumptrack Challenge
- Official Whip-Off World Championships presented by SPANK
- Deep Summer Photo Challenge
- Fox Air DH
- Dirt Diaries
- Garbanzo DH
- CamelBak Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized
- A-Line Women’s Only Session
- Bell Helmets Canadian Open Challenger Enduro
- Clif Dual Speed & Style presented by Muc-Off
- Women in Action – Action Sports Forum
- SRAM Women’s Clinics
- Yoga with Abi presented by GT Bicycles
- Freehub Trail Day
- Women of Crankworx Autograph Signing
- Specialized Movie Premier of Motive
- Alpine Trails Opening
- Shirts Off Their Tracks – Brain Injury Research Fundraiser
Crankworx is also hosting events outside of Whistler in 2018.
- Honorable Mention: Crankworx Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria, June 13-17, 2018.
- Honorable Mention: Crankworx Les Gets, Les Gets, France, June 20-24, 2018.
- Honorable Mention: Crankworx Rotorua, Rotorua, New Zealand. Stay tuned for 2019 dates.
Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival, Cable, Wisconsin
September 14-16, 2018
The Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival plays host to the long-running Chequamegon 40 race, along with bike demos and plenty of family-friendly events. While you’re in the area, be sure to ride the expansive CAMBA Trail System.
Outerbike, Moab, Utah
October 5-7, 2018
Outerbike markets itself as “The BEST bike demo event in the Universe.” While Outerbike has expanded to four different events in three different locations, the Fall Moab event continues to be the marquee. With a plethora of brands in attendance, great riding on-site at the Moab Brand Trails, and shuttles to the best trails in Moab, this is one festival you can’t miss.
- Honorable Mention: Outerbike Crested Butte, Colorado, August 17-19, 2018.
- Honorable Mention: Outerbike Bentonville, Arkansas, October 26-28, 2018.
- Honorable Mention: Outerbike Moab, Utah – Spring. 2019 dates not yet announced.
Sedona Mountain Bike Festival, Sedona, Arizona
While the 2018 edition of the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival has already taken place, this fast-growing festival is worth putting on your radar for Spring 2019.