The Jank Files - Season 2, Episode 2
The racing season hit hard and fast when it finally made its debut. Starting with Zermatt in the last week of August and finishing with two races in Italy, Pietra Ligure and Finale Ligure, before the end of September. The 2020 season was a flash in the pan packing a lot of action into just a few weeks.
Riders around the world were on the “hurry up and wait” program this year, and Jesse Melamed, Rémi Gauvin, and Andréane Lanthier Nadeau were no different. Even by mid-August, they were unsure whether or not they’d be making the trip over to Europe to race, and in the final weeks before Race 1, they went all in and boarded a plane.
Jesse said it best with, “We’re back in Italy. We’re back living off gelato.” Filmed in both Pietra Ligure and Finale Ligure, this is Episode 2 of The Jank Files.
Filmed by Caldwell Visuals
Photos by Kike Abelleira
A big thank you to all our sponsors!
Race Face, Maxxis, Fox, Shimano, Smith Optics, WTB, OneUp Components, Stages Cycling, EVOC, RideWrap
2021 Rocky Mountain Slayer – Wade Simmons’ custom build
The Slayer was designed to be ridden fast, sent off huge hits, and take the abuse of a bike park lap after lap. The Godfather of Freeride, Wade Simmons, has been sending it aboard Rocky Mountain for nearly 30 years. Wade put freeriding on the map, and he’s still out there sending it aboard custom-built bikes.
Frame: Slayer, size Large, RIDE-4 Position 4 (Steepest)
Fork: Marzocchi Bomber Z1 Coil 180mm
Shock: Marzocchi Bomber CR 230x65mm, with Rocky Mountain shock bearing eyelets
Stem: Race Face 32mm reach, 35mm clamp
Handlebar: Race Face SixC 800mm width, 35mm clamp, 25mm rise
Grips: Race Face Half Nelson
Brakes: Shimano XTR 4 Piston | Finned Metal Pads | RT86 203mm Fr | RT86 203mm Rr
Shifter: Shimano XTR 12-speed
Derailleur: Shimano XT 12-speed
Crankset: Race Face SixC
Cassette: Shimano XTR
Chain: Shimano XTR
Chainguide: OneUp Components Chain Guide Top Kit V2
Pedals: Race Face Atlas pedals
Wheels: Race Face Turbine R 27.5 wheels
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF DD MaxxGrip 27.5x2.50WT Fr / Maxxis Assegai DD MaxxGrip 27.5x2.50WT Rr
Seatpost: Race Face Turbine R 175mm drop, 30.9
Saddle: WTB Volt
Click here to visit the 2021 Slayer builds.
2021 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt – Jesse Munden’s custom build
Quick and nimble, the Thunderbolt is all about being playful out there on the trail. What says that better than a kid who can nose bonk, spin, and jump just about anything. Jesse Munden is from Kamloops, British Columbia and at 14-years old is already making noise. He’s been on Rocky Mountain for the past few years and rides everything from a Slayer in the bike park to an Altitude Powerplay on the local trails – but the Thunderbolt is his favourite. The kid loves to jump, spin, and play – so we let him.
Frame: Thunderbolt Alloy, size Small, RIDE-9 Position 9 (Steepest)
Fork: Fox 34 Float EVOL Grip2 Factory Series 140mm
Shock: Fox DPX2 210x55mm, with Rocky Mountain shock bearing eyelets
Stem: Spank Spike 33mm reach, 35mm
Handlebar: Spank Spike Vibracore 780mm width, 35mm clamp, 25mm rise
Grips: Spank Spike
Brakes: Shimano SLX 180mm Fr | 180mm Rr
Shifter: Shimano Deore 12-speed
Derailleur: Shimano Deore 12-speed
Crankset: Race Face Aeffect
Cassette: Shimano Deore
Chain: Shimano Deore
Pedals: Spank Oozy
Wheels: Spank 350 wheels (with Tubes!)
Tires: Maxxis Dissector EXO MaxxTerra 27.5x2.40WT Fr and Rr
Seatpost: Fox Transfer Post 150mm drop, 30.9
Saddle: Spank Oozy
Click here to visit the 2021 Thunderbolt builds.
Introducing the Overtimepack
IF SOME IS GOOD, MORE IS BETTER
The Overtimepack allows you to ride your Powerplay farther than ever before, putting more time in on the trail before needing a charge.
The Overtimepack is a range extender for our Powerplay lineup that offers an additional 330 Wh of battery capacity. When combined with our massive 672 Wh Powerplay battery, you have over 1000 Wh to drain before it's time to rest. It's about more saddle time, more trail time, and more of the good times.
The Overtimepack drains its full 330 Wh capacity before you use any of the 672 Wh battery in your Powerplay. Your iWoc remote will read as fully charged until you begin to work your way through the main 672 Wh battery of the bike. The “RIDE MORE, FASTER, FURTHER” indicator on the Overtimepack will let you know how much of your 330 Wh battery remains.
- No need to stop & swap batteries - Already plugged in, just keep riding.
- Anti-rattle rigid attachment - Exterior battery mounts are notoriously sloppy. We offer a solid mount that’s designed for aggressive mountain biking.
- Theft deterrent design - Tooled attachment discourages the theft of expensive accessories.
- A more comfortable way to carry more energy - No need to carry a heavy battery on your back. Not only is it unsafe, but it can also throw your balance off.
- A better handling eMTB - Overtimepack pack is located down low on the bike by the drive
You can use the standard Powerplay 5A charger for the Overtimepack (while attached). You can charge both batteries in parallel with two separate chargers even more quickly. Overtimepack can serve as a Jerrycan charger, filling the main battery without a charger. It takes 2.5 charges of the Overtimepack to Jerrycan fill a 672Wh Powerplay battery completely.
If the 672Wh battery in your Powerplay is empty, the Overtimepack will charge your battery to nearly 50% in a little over 2 hours.
Filmed by Liam Mullany
Featuring Vaea Verbeeck
Photos by Margus Riga
Get them started young! Everyone deserves a Rocky Mountain, even if you’re not ready to push the pedals yet. Starting with an easy to maneuver run bike, the Edge series offers a wheelsize for any young rider.
The 2020 Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro Team
We’re excited to return to the Enduro World Series this year with our existing Canadian partner, Race Face Performance Products. Over the past two years, the Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro team has made its mark on enduro racing and we’re thrilled to keep up that momentum.
Over the past few seasons, we’ve watched Jesse Melamed, Andréane Lanthier Nadeau, and Rémi Gauvin come together as a team and add their own flavour to enduro racing. We’re proud to have all three of them on board this year and excited to bring the world along for the ride with a second season of “The Jank Files”.
With the recent news of race cancellations in South America, we'll be ready as a team for when the race schedule is back to normal.
Peter Ostroski has been riding for Rocky Mountain in one way or another for 18 years! He’s been on every enduro race team we’ve ever had and these days his race schedule includes a mix of EWS races, the Trans Madeira, and the BC Bike Race. 2020 marks a particularly exciting season for Peter, with the announcement of his home tracks being raced at the EWS #6 in Burke, Vermont.
Guiding in the Dolomites
We hope this story inspires you and allows you to daydream about your past riding adventures. As riders, we know that spending time on the trails helps us during these times of uncertainty, but we ask that you minimize the risks to yourself and others, and join us in following all local health guidelines as you venture outside.
Story by Julia Hofmann
Photos by Mattias Fredriksson
When I was young and exploring in the garden and woods around my house, I always found the most joy in sharing my discoveries with others; a new hiding spot or some exciting forest treasure. As I’ve gotten older, it’s still a favourite pastime, only now my world extends further, and my discoveries are much bigger.
I’ve spent several years riding my mountain bike through remote, little-known places around the world. Usually, I’m barely back at home before the next wave of wanderlust comes over me and I feel the pull to set off again.
I am fascinated by the people I’ve met, different cultures and landscapes I’ve experienced, and the incredible singletrack I’ve ridden. Each country has had unique trails; in Chile they are deep and dusty, in Canada they are steep and technical tracks through the forest, and in Norway the trails run between the fjords and over stone slabs and tree roots. Kosovo, Albania, France, Spain – each has had a different flavour. In sharing details about my travels, I am able to inspire others to also explore the world with their bikes – and it feels as joyful as sharing my garden hiding spots back in the day.
It was this passion for travel and inclusion that led to my guiding career. I wanted to help other mountain bikers enjoy what I was experiencing; nature, the trails, and the local culture in these special places. So when I was asked if I wanted to do some skills training and guiding in the Dolomites, I couldn’t refuse.
The Dolomites are one of the most unique and impressive rock formations in the world. And although they are just three and a half hours drive from where I live, I had never been to the area. I only knew of the Dolomites through winter sports and road bike racing – every road biker dreams of doing the famous Sellaronda route one day – but I had no idea that a world-class mountain biking paradise was also tucked away there.
When I finally stood in the mountains there I was overwhelmed by impressiveness of the landscape. Whichever way I looked – north, south, east or west – each and every vista was picture-postcard worthy. The sight of these huge, sheer rockfaces rising up out of the pale green undulating meadows is so powerful that it literally takes your breath away. The infrastructure is perfect for mountain bikers too; all the gondolas take bikes and there are plenty of lifts to access the riding zones. I knew instantly that this was one of those big discoveries and I couldn’t wait for the joy of sharing it with others.
For the first few years, I found the layout of the mountains confusing. There are so many different interconnecting valleys in the Dolomites that I would suddenly find myself in the wrong one. Often it would be getting late and I had no idea how to get back to where I was meant to be. (Having an e-bike came in handy in these situations.) I was grateful that my friend, Arno Feichter runs the local bike shop in Sexten and is also a guide. He gave me the lay of the land and also introduced me to all the secret little gems that can only be found with local knowledge.
The natural trails here are steep and technical at the top, often taking you over rugged, rocky slab formations – with no room for error. Further down the valley and below the treeline, the ground gets softer and the trails become more flowy and playful, with a slippery tree root here and a natural berm there. Back down at the bottom, it’s either time for a pizza or another lift to head back up the mountain.
Over the past few years, more and more flow trails have been developed in the Dolomites, allowing even the greenest of mountain bikers to enjoy the high-mountain scenery and creating the perfect environment for my beginners’ skills courses. Combining a guided experience with some skills training – correct position for braking, pushing, and jumping – allows riders to feel more confident and therefore get more enjoyment out of the trails and stunning environment.
Whenever I’m in the area, Arno shows me yet another, even more stunning trail in the Tre Cime region. Last autumn we spent five days together; on E-bike reccies, carrying our regular mountain bikes up technical sections via ferratas, and doing laps on the Helm; the local mountain near the village of Sexten. And even with that, I’ve hardly even covered a quarter of the trails, so there really is plenty experience – and share.
Julia Hofmann has been a part of the Rocky Mountain family for several years. While she spends her time on a myriad of different bikes from us, the ones featured in this article include her Altitude Powerplay, Altitude, and Slayer.
Story by: Greg Hill
Photos by: Bruno Long
The topic of electric mountain bikes tends to be a polarizing conversation these days and people can be defensive and confrontational, no matter what side of the coin they’ve chosen. In my mind, the general adoption of e-bikes as a means of transportation is a given and the conversations would be more constructive if they focused on how and why they can improve our lives and took a step away from a judgmental “no way” stance.
I’ve spent the last two years of my life focused on proving the potential of electric adventures. I gave up using fossil fuels to access my adventures and have worked hard at the idea of exploring what it means to adventure sustainably. Living in British Columbia, 98% of our electricity is renewable hydroelectricity. If there’s ever a place where an electric vehicle make sense, it’s here. A major challenge I gave myself when switching to a more sustainable way of adventuring was to try and summit 100 peaks through the use of my skis, climbing shoes, running shoes, or on my mountain bike - accessing everything with the help of an electric car. By accomplishing this goal, I proved that electric cars are viable as adventures vehicles but couldn’t help but wonder what other modes of transportation could help the process. What were some ways in which I could travel further into the backcountry where my little hatchback didn’t want to go? Or what about other people that were interested in the idea of a sustainable adventure but couldn’t afford a $45,000 car?
Naturally, my electric exploration took me into the field of e-bikes. I had ripped around on an Instinct Powerplay in our trail network which is usually for shuttling and it was an eye-opening experience. My friend and I rode right from town, climbed to the top easily, laughing and chatting on the climb, and had an absolute blast coming back down. The Instinct Powerplay proved itself to me as a viable way to work the local trail network, but what about as an adventure mobile?
Last spring, I set up a Growler Powerplay for going places in a simpler way and without the use of my electric car. I’d set it up for nearly every type of adventure I could think of which included panniers and baskets on the front and back for my climbing gear, running gear, and most importantly my ski gear. It's a little odd for such a sick mountain bike to become a gear-laden donkey, but I promised it some great adventures.
I had no idea how useful this e-bike was going to be. Since I’m a skier first and foremost, my first goal was to ride my e-bike out of town, and climb and ski Revelstoke’s iconic peak, Mount Begbie. I’d skied Mount Begbie many times before, but setting out and riding 15km to the trailhead, summiting, shredding, and then an E-asy ride home was both simple and rewarding.
That trip up Mount Begbie was just the start of my time on the Growler Powerplay and what truly blew my mind was something I hadn’t expected; the fact that it opened up the door to adventures for others in my family. My 13-year old daughter took the bike for a 20km ride simply because she was having a great daydream and wanted it to continue. She’s not one for cardio and I’ve always had trouble motivating her to get and explore with me. There was another day where she was determined to join me on a road ride, and spent the time coaching me on the climbs with both encouragement and enthusiasm.
My 70-year old dad, who is not a very active person, threw his leg over the Growler Powerplay and joined me on a road ride up to the Revelstoke Dam. While I huffed and puffed my way up the valley, I couldn’t help but recognize how special it was to be able to go and exercise with my dad. Opportunities like this have never come along before, and it was the e-MTB that made it a reality.
Last July, my friend and I borrowed two Instinct Powerplay’s and headed to Joss Mountain for what was sure to be an epic ride. I was sitting at 98 summits accessed electrically and I wanted to get to the top of a mountain by e-bike. The Joss Mountain trail ascends 1100m and is about 17km return with several hike-a-bike sections. This trail was built to access a summit lookout for monitoring wild fires and was not designed to be ridden. For the sections that were too steep to pedal (even with the assistance of the drive system), the “walk-mode” feature kept us moving onward and upward towards peak #99.
All summer, I used the Growler Powerplay to rip around town, get groceries, go rock climbing, and cut down the time spent getting to trailheads. Sure, I could have ridden by normal mountain bike to them but this allowed me more energy for the activities themselves. And being honest with myself, even though it’s only 2 km into town I sometimes get lazy and don’t want to pedal my mountain bike. The e-bike helped me overcome that that laziness and all of a sudden it just seemed simpler with less involved to ride than drive.
Now that it’s winter again, I’ll use the bike less as the roads here are completely covered in snow. Yet when the roads are clear I’m happy to pedal up to the local ski resort, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, where their electric-run lifts align with my own beliefs. When the roads open up again in the spring I’ll be back pedalling up logging roads to access deeper backcountry ski routes.
Frozen Bikes and Big Descents: Thomas Vanderham takes on the Variables of Trans-Cascadia
“Some of the best riding I’ve done – I don’t even know really how to put it into words.” - Thomas Vanderham
With a career spanning two decades, Thomas Vanderham has dabbled in just about every style of riding going – he’s clearly best known for his freeriding edits – but it’s been some time since he’s participated in anything with a timing chip. “This was a little bit of a departure for me, but I’m always open to new experiences,” he says of his experience at Trans-Cascadia; a 4-day backcountry enduro held in the depths of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington state.
Despite spending a little time reading up on the event, having seen coverage from previous years, and hearing first-hand accounts from past participants, Thomas found prepping for the event quite the challenge. With a variable weather forecast that called for the possibility of freezing temperatures and snow, there was a lot for him to consider about what to bring and how to best set up his bike.
“I talked to a few people who had done it and definitely heard that 29-inch wheels were the way to go just because of how much pedalling there was and the type of terrain.” Thomas built up an Instinct BC and lightened it up a little with a different rear shock and a few other changes. Based on what he had heard about the length of the days and stages, he put 203mm rotors on the front and back. “This wouldn't be my like typical setup, but it ended up being so clutch.”
Thomas was also really happy about was his tire selection. After debating for a long time about weight, compound, width, and tread pattern, he ended up with a DHR2. “It’s not a mud tire, but it's the closest thing to a mud tire in a more normal tread pattern.”
The next challenge was what to bring for clothing and gear. “Packing was quite difficult – you're only allowed to bring one bag and I wanted to be as prepared as possible.” He threw in multiple jackets, layers, and extra gloves, socks, and eyewear. This allowed him to approach each day of the race like he was prepping for a day of ski touring – ensuring that he had warm and dry options in his riding pack for all occasions. “I probably over-packed every day, I certainly had a heavier pack I think than some of the other riders out there, but I just never wanted to be uncomfortable. I had a warm layer; a light puffy jacket for rest stops. And then I had two rain layers in my pack just in case one got really wet. I saw some of the serious racers rolling around with next to nothing, I was pretty impressed with that.”
Coming into the race, Thomas didn’t know a lot about the details of the terrain. “I came in without any expectations – and it was a week of standouts! They were some of the best trails. They were as good or better than advertised; incredibly long sustained downhills” – especially on Day 3.
On the morning of Day 3, Thomas and the other racers had woken up to snow in the campground and frozen bikes and tents. “It was just clear and cold and when we were riding there was no problem with temperature, we were nice and warm. The approach to the first trail was incredible. It was really misty with the sun coming through it was so beautiful up on this ridgeline.” Racers pedalled up a 1000-foot climb from Takhlakh Lake and took in some incredible views of Mount Adams along the way. The first stage of the day was an 1100-foot descent over 1.2 miles of super-fast gravity-fed flow, following that they traversed along a road to the top of the next stage and to 1200 feet of descending over 1.5 miles with a little rolling climb – and easy grind – in the middle. At the bottom of the stage, they were treated to a big fire and hot lunch. But what truly made Day 3 a favourite among racers was yet to come.
After lunch, they got a bump up in shuttles to the ridgeline on the non-motorized side of the Gifford Pinchot. From the drop-off point, racers had a 1-1.5-hour pedal with a couple of playful descents as they traversed. The snow at the top of this next stage made everything a little more exciting, and the Strawberry mountain trail which had been universally described as “an insane descent” and “deep loam” and “12/10, best ever” did not disappoint.
“I think that was an 11-minute trail and it just felt like you were going mach speed the whole time,” says Thomas. “It’s something I don’t get to ride very often, and I was just loving it!”
Unfortunately, the day was cut short due to weather. “The whole day was incredible until the end, we got cut off the last stage because a big snowstorm rolled in. [Before that was] some of the best riding I’ve done – I don’t even know really how to put it into words.
[The Trans-Cascadia team] do an amazing job of creating really good sightlines so that even though you are riding it blind, you can really see what's coming. They do a good job of making it safe in that way. A lot of the trails are formed by motos, so they have this incredible sort of arc to the turns. With the good amount of moisture in the dirt too, it made it so fun to ride. It was tacky. A little bit was muddy, but it was awesome.”
Although Thomas wistfully wonders what Trans-Cascadia would have been like had it been sunny and warm the whole time, he also felt that the extreme weather added to the overall experience. “It wasn't the easiest, but it was cool. It created some incredible scenery; seeing the snow on the mountains and the trails. The trails were just this perfect brown ribbon framed in with the white snow on the side. It was pretty spectacular! It was a week full of hooting and hollering and high fives. And I thought on numerous occasions through the whole week that my bike was feeling so good. I think I brought the perfect bike.”
Thomas Vanderham Slayer Raw
Starting with Carson Storch in Utah, following up with Rémi Gauvin on Vancouver Island, the Slayer Raw Cut series wraps up with freeride legend Thomas Vanderham riding Kamloops, British Columbia. Over the years, Thomas has filmed numerous riding segments in BC’s interior. His riding style seems to work so well on the trails around Kamloops, being that the trails give him plenty of opportunity to ride fast and send it big. Known for throwing massive whips, Thomas always looks incredibly composed on his bike.