Author: Eric L. Barnes

Lake Hickory MTB Trails Review

Lake Hickory MTB trails are located a little over an hour north-west of Charlotte NC and is a trail system that re-opened in spring of 2018 with over a $100,000 of renovations and improvements and rebuilt by Terra Tek, a professional trail builder. The trail system has three main sections for all skill levels and a paved greenway that runs between two parking areas. Here is an overview of the single track: The Hickory Springs Loop, a 1.5-mile beginner friendly loop, with easy access to the green-way. The Broyhill Trail, a 4.3-mile intermediate loop with spectacular views of Lake Hickory, fast flowy berms and some great trail features that will keep you on your toes. Skills Park and Rock n’ Road Pump Track: One of the biggest pump tracks in the region, as well as an advanced 1/8th-mile jump line. The trails had tons of flow and it was fun riding them but the whole trail system is only about 6 miles, so if you are an avid rider you may want to consider doing …

Halo Headband Review

I live in the southeastern United States and this time of year it gets miserable for outside activities. The high temperature is close to one-hundred, it’s humid, no breeze, and you sweat as soon as you walk outside. While mountain biking, a common occurrence is your helmet soaks up all your sweat and then when you hit any sort of obstacle that makes your head bob, the sweat pours out and down your face. Yeah, it’s gross. This is where the Halo Headband shines. It’s designed with a rubber gutter that wraps around your forehead and it catches any sweat and channels it to the side of your head. As someone who wears glasses riding with this has been a huge improvement for keeping my eyesight clear and lenses clean. Here is an up-close look at it: The Halo Headband is a one size fits all that is made out of an elastic material so it will stretch to fit any size head. I have a small head and have friends with larger heads, none …

Review: One Year with the CamelBak Rogue Hydration Pack

Living in North Carolina, I have thousands of miles of mountain bike trails throughout the state and the one thing I never want to be without is water. When I first started riding, I tried taking a single water bottle, only to drink it all in less than an hour on hot summer days. Cutting your ride short because you run out of water is never fun, and I felt it was time to get serious and invest in a hydration pack. CamelBak is a brand that has been around since 1988, and they are known for making packs specifically for mountain biking. The CamelBak Rogue Hydration Pack is the one I went with and have used it on every ride I’ve been on since it arrived. The CamelBak Rogue features an 85oz reservoir, Leak-Proof On/Off Valves, a top zippered pocket, and a bottom pocket perfect for your car keys, a multi tool, or anything else you need to carry that’s small. The back flap lifts up to expose the hydration bladder which features a …

Mountain Biking at DuPont

This past weekend a few of us loaded up and headed to the North Carolina mountains to ride a fourteen-mile loop at DuPont State Forest. This was my first time, and I’ve heard how great the area is for many years, so I was super excited to get to see it first hand. We parked in the Lake Imaging access point which is just off Staton Road, and it was a nice place since it was directly on the Lake Imaging trail access and far enough away from Hooker Falls access where everyone parks to walk to the falls. After spending a little time checking out the bikes, we hit the trails. The route we took was designed to hit some of the fun parts like Ridgeline and Hilltop, and those downhills did not disappoint. Based on Strava data the route we took was 13.93mi with 1,554ft of elevation, and you had to work for those fun downhills. The route we took is as follows: Lake Imaging Rd. Right on Jim Branch Trail Right on …

OMNI – The Smartest Safe Cycling Helmet

Coros OMNI smart cycling helmet is designed to help you get the most enjoyment and awareness out of your ride while enhancing safety. Coros OMNI – helmet, smart remote, and mobile app – delivers smartphone connectivity, two-way audio, and instant accessibility, all packed into a high performance, multipurpose helmet. Open-ear bone conduction audio – no wires, no earbuds, no safety compromises – links to your music, friends, bike mates, navigation, and ride data to enrich the ultimate riding experience. Features Include: • Open ear bone conduction two-way audio. • Smart remote for hands-free control. • Auto LED safety illumination feature. • App Data share with STRAVA™ and MapMyRide. • Impact alert sends GPS location to emergency contact. • Rain, water, sweat resistant (IPX5). • Aerodynamic 18 vent cooling design. The helmet is currently going through crowdfunding on Indiegogo and you can reserve one starting at $129. As of today it has raised enough money to meet their goal and will begin shipping next month.

Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance

Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance

When your bike breaks you have two options. Fix it or take it to the shop. We all know the most cost-effective solution is to fix it yourself, however, if you’ve never worked on a mountain bike you may not know where to start. “Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance” by Lennard Zinn is a paperback book that is a perfect companion for your garage. Lennard Zinn’s expert advice makes quick work of mountain bike repair. Newcomers and experienced mechanics alike will benefit from the hundreds of illustrations, the exploded views of how components go together, and Zinn’s practical, time-saving tips. Zinn’s friendly advice and years of experience make tackling even the most daunting task fun and easy. The book covers everything from the basics with instructions for regular maintenance and all the way through advanced repair with instructions on: Integrated-spindle cranks, clipless pedals, suspension forks, internal headsets, hydraulic brakes, hub and cassette overhaul, and much more Problem-solving for frozen parts, stripped threads, missing pieces Tubeless tires, sealant systems, flat repair, tire sizing …

Apple AirPods

Apple AirPods for Mountain Biking

Having trails near your house is a huge advantage for getting it a lot of miles each week, but it can get mundane because you know them so well that you can almost ride them on auto pilot. When this happened to me I almost wanted to stop riding because I knew it would be the same. This year I decided to try something different and that was listening to music and Audible books while I ride. We all do it in the car and I feel more comfortable on the trail than having to worry about being a defensive driver and watching out for the crazies on the road. The first few times I tried to use headphones they either kept falling out or starting hurting my ears after 30 minutes. When I heard about Apple’s new AirPods and had some friends using them that absolutely loved them. I ordered a pair hoping they would work and to my surprise, they have not only worked but work flawlessly. One of the neat features of …

Review: Fox Racing Sergeant Shorts

Having a nice pair of riding shorts is one of the best investments you can make as you start mountain biking and the Fox Racing Sergeant Shorts is a mid-range priced pair that will last you many years. The Sergeant Shorts are a good mid range pair of shorts. It includes two primary features, an outer short that is relatively thick and made of cotton and polyester. It’s sturdy enough to support going through overgrown trails, or falls. Then inside is a liner with thick high-density padding for optimum protection in the areas where you need it. Fox Sergeant Shorts Fit and Quality The shorts are made of great quality, and they feel like they can stand up to everything you throw at them. I’ve gone on a half a dozen rides already, and they feel just as good as they did when they arrived. Another advantage is the number of pockets in the shorts. It has six different pockets so you can hold anything you’d ever need for an average ride. The side pockets …

TETON Sports Trailrunner 2.0 Review

I’ve been riding for close to 20 years and one of the best investments I’ve made is a good hydration backpack. You can keep your eyes on the trail while drinking, store your car keys or food, and hold enough water for hours of riding. I consider wearing a hydration pack as important as wearing a helmet because getting dehydrated in the middle of a ride is not a fun experience and should be avoided at all costs. If you are looking for an affordable good quality hydration backpack then the TETON Sports Trailrunner 2.0 Liter Hydration Backpack aims to be an answer. Teton Sports Trailrunner Features The hydration pack is very lightweight weighing less than a pound dry and can hold up to 2 liters (70 ounces) of liquid. The biggest feature is its size and how comfortably it fits on your back. Once on, it sits high on your back above any jersey pockets and below your bike helmet. Right in the comfortable sweet spot. This pack would be great for not only …