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Finding the Perfect Mountain Ride

Insider knowledge and guidelines for choosing your new mountain bike
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By MIKE MILLER  |  Special to Moonshine Ink

Shopping for a new mountain bike can be a technical and confusing process these days, especially with so many options; travel (length of suspension), wheel size, build kits, and frame material. It’s quite the investment to step up to the newest technology. Here at the Gravity Shop in Tahoe City our bikes start at around $3,000. If you’re in the market for a cheaper option, you may be better off looking for a well-maintained bike that’s a few years older. After some time spent on a high quality bike you will see the benefits of the new technology allowing for a safer, easier ride.
Riding season in Tahoe runs from May through October, offering six months of fun without open chair lifts or winter weather holding you back. Unless you plan on having multiple bikes for different disciplines, looking for one bike will come down to the style of riding and the type of terrain you prefer. Here are some tips to help track down the perfect wheels.

Use manufacturer websites — Santa Cruz Bicycles, Julian Bicycles, and Devinci are good options — to help narrow down a few models. The descriptions of each category are very detailed and will help you find your perfect ride.

Devinci Bikes will host a demo day on June 10 at Gravity Shop.

Ultimately, getting out on a few bikes for a test ride will help answer all your questions — and try your best to not buy on color.


It’s no secret that the Tahoe Basin, with its rugged, technical trails and sweeping lake vistas is a mecca for mountain bike enthusiasts. Jeremy Benson’s guidebook, Mountain Bike Tahoe: 50 Select Singletrack Routes, is a testament to that paradise, offering a comprehensive guide to some of the best mountain terrain the Basin has to offer.

Benson’s guidebook covers not only the areas surrounding the lake, but also some of the regions on the outskirts of the Basin, like Graeagle and Carson City.

Benson expertly outlines specific route names, mileage, ride type, level of difficulty and fitness intensity. He includes a smattering of personal photographs, offering a glimpse of some of the trails he highlights. If his guide doesn’t convince you that you need to get yourself a mountain bike and get out on the trails right now, then his photographs certainly will.

~ By Tara May/Moonshine Ink

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December 13, 2018