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Just wanted to share a few things that are going on here at Singletracks this month.

Trail Tuesdays

Every Tuesday we’ll post a trail-related article on the blog (in fact we started this a couple Tuesdays ago). Articles will include trail reports, featured destinations, and mountain bike trail news.

Mountain bike rentals

A couple weeks ago we added a field to our bike shop database to note whether shops rent mountain bikes. It’s a question we constantly hear (and ask ourselves whenever we travel!) so help us out by updating rental info for your local bike shop. Look for the “Does this shop rent bikes?” link on the right side of the page and let us know either way.

Unbiased product reviews

We’re in the process of removing affiliate sales links from the singletracks gear review pages in an effort to keep our mountain bike product reviews as unbiased as possible. We’ve always shied away from placing affiliate links in product review articles (“pro reviews”) to keep things honest and now we’re extending that thinking to user-generated product review pages. So whether you’re reading a full blown product review on the blog or checking out the list of “best MTB products,” know that we aren’t trying to make a buck for ourselves by promoting certain products or brands over others.

And unlike some other MTB blogs and websites, our ad sales and editorial teams are completely separate. That means we don’t charge manufacturers for product reviews (advertorials) and our writers aren’t influenced by ad contracts. This is a pretty standard arrangement for print publications but as far as we know it’s still rare in the online world.

Faster page load times

We’ve been tweaking pages and scripts on singletracks and the upshot is you should notice much faster page load times throughout the site. Just like in mountain biking, faster is always better!

New snow sports site launch: THIS IS AN AD

Ok, shameless plug time. Last week we launched a snow sports website (skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.) called SnowToIt.com and we’re running a contribution contest through the new year. The site works like singletracks (user reviews, photos, videos, etc.) and if you add your content right now you have a pretty good chance of winning one of 9 weekly prizes like a $50 Backcountry.com gift card. So if you’re off the bike and on the snow already, SnowToIt.com is a great place to find resorts and backcountry trails!

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# Comments

  • mtbgreg1

    Cool stuff! Snowtoit.com is looking awesome!! This is a great addition to the online outdoor sports community!

  • dgaddis

    The site loads a LOT faster now. Whatever you did, good job ’cause it worked!

  • RidingPastor

    the site definitely loads much faster. great job.

    I would like to know what you all think you should look for when making a bike rental.

  • AK_Dan

    All great things, thanks for keeping the site progressing and improving. Im glad to see the focus on trail topics as this is an area I have been increasingly active in, building, advocacy, access issues, etc. Quite a few of the trails we ride on and enjoy didnt ‘just happen’ there was a lot of work and effort that got them on the ground. Hopefully information on these issues will get more riders involved, or at least more informed.

  • trek7k

    @RidingPastor: I’ve found a few things when renting bikes that might be helpful:

    1. Outside of major riding destinations like Moab, it’s hard to find local bike shops that even rent mountain bikes. One a trip to Albuquerque a few years back I called 10 shops and only one rented mountain bikes.

    2. Fleet age and composition is important. I once rented a bike that ended up being a 3+ year old hardtail that was basically a small step up from a Wal-Mart special. Ask which specific models are available, including the year of the bike.

    3. Extreme bike sizes (small, XL) can be hard to find. A shop may boast half a dozen different rental models but if they don’t have the bike you want in your size it doesn’t really matter.

    4. Rental pricing may seem high at first but consider your alternatives. Flying your bike typically costs $75-$100 each way so if you’re only planning on riding a couple days it totally makes sense to rent a bike. Even if the cost of flying a bike vs. renting are the same, consider the hassle of packing/unpacking your bike and you’ll see that paying $100 a day for a rental is totally worth it, especially if you can rent a high end bike that’s nicer than your own rig. 🙂

    5. Read the rental contract carefully. Some shops may offer additional insurance (like renting a car) so if you tend to bash bikes around, this might be a good purchase.

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