When testing long-travel bikes on the Bible of Bike Checks, we’re typically responsible of phoning it in on the uphills. Whether or not meaning simply selecting the smoothest, shortest fireplace highway climb or, god forbid, shuttling, it’s all the time been achieved for the higher good, not out of laziness. It’s a strategy to maximize our time on the downhills. In spite of everything, the downhill is why you’d purchase a long-travel bike within the first place.
So we’ll normally skew our data-collection efforts to favor the descents. However we discovered one thing attention-grabbing on our Park City long-travel take a look at loop. Despite the fact that the descents we selected had been within the generously lift-accessed Deer Valley Resort, there have been some surprisingly nice uphills obtainable for reaching them. Which is an effective factor, as a result of our mid-October timing put us in Deer Valley simply days after these lifts closed.
Hop on board for a lap with Gear Editor Travis Engel and Picture & Video Editor Satchel Cronk to get a way of what the take a look at bikes went via. Travis is using the Specialized Enduro and Satchel is using the Yeti SB165.
– Distance: 5.6 miles
– Elevation acquire/loss: 1,440 ft
– Hole to Deer Crest, Pipeline, Deer Crest, NCS, Devo, Previous-Skool, Pointy Rocks
We began within the car parking zone on the base of Deer Valley Resort and pedaled over to the doorway to the St. Regis resort. You switchback up just a few entry trails, beginning with Finns, then Hole to Deer Crest. Every are generously benched-in traverses that, supplied you’ve acclimated a bit, are an awesome warm-up. Then, it begins to really feel somewhat extra wooded and singletrack-y while you get onto Pipeline. Nonetheless, it’s a clean, pleasant, normally mellow grade which you can settle into.
A bit of previous a 3rd of the way in which as much as a mid-mountain space referred to as Silver Lake, you join up with Deer Crest correct, and issues open up somewhat extra. You would possibly even get the satisfaction of wanting down on locations that, simply fifteen minutes earlier, you’d been wanting up at.
Ultimately, you spill out on a flat fireplace highway (which, on most maps, continues to be thought-about Deer Crest) the place you’ll have the ability to relaxation for just a few hundred ft. Then, you’ll meet up with an intersection of Undertow, Fourpoint and Mid-Mountain. As a result of the resort was closed after we had been testing, we pedaled up the downhill path, Fourpoint to get some steep, technical sections within the loop, however throughout the common season, you’ll need to duck off the fireplace highway to the left and take mid-mountain to Silverlake. It’s what you would possibly name a downhill-uphill that, though you’re gaining elevation, it feels quick and flowy. That places you a fast, however steep, fireplace highway grunt away from the highest of NCS, the place the Park City long-travel take a look at loop actually exhibits its enamel.
NCS is available in like a lion. Proper off the bat there’s a pure squirrel-catcher of a rock part that I didn’t nail till day 4. Then, there’s a short, vast open traverse till you duck into the woods for some techy, behind-the-saddle puzzle-fighting, and the gnar issue retains elevating for a few quarter mile till you cross Fourpoint once more the place, as a result of we’re testing bikes, the Bible crew exits and pedals again up once more for extra climbing testing and, of course, extra elevation.
Ultimately, you link up with Devo which, in comparison with NCS, is a movement path. It’s nonetheless jagged and chunky, however in a approach that you just don’t must be Sam Hill to hold pace via. The baseball-to-basketball-sized rocks fluctuate from embedded fixtures to free radicals, so it’s a combination of bouncing and browsing.
Then, about midway down, our testers bailed out onto an entry highway to hike again as much as bag somewhat extra elevation. The straight fall-line fireplace highway takes you as much as Previous Skool which, because the identify implies, looks like a wide-open pedaly DH observe from the ’90s. It’s largely not steep, and largely not technical, however for those who assist it with just a few cranks right here and there, it’s quick.
Skirting by multi-million greenback homes, you ultimately come to the standout function of Previous Skool, which is a concrete utility bridge with a compulsory drop on the opposite facet. Take a look at it your first run.
Then, you’re again to regular, vast open turning and shredding till you duck into Pointy Rocks, which is an absolute deal with. A lush chute of natural filth that’s slippery when moist, you possibly can actually make some poetry when you get to realize it. It spits you out, lips grinning and forearms pumping, proper on the resort entrance, yards from the place you began.
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This text initially appeared on Bikemag.com and was republished with permission. Cowl photograph by Anthony Smith.
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