Outerbike Bashing

The 2014 Yeti SB66 Carbon.

Words and photos by Ben Gavelda

Buying a mountain bike is a hefty investment. There’s no way around it. The hard part is debating how much of your toils should be poured into a fancy machine of alloy, carbon, oil and rubber. You’re likely hooked if you’re reading this, and you know how much joy these toys can bring. You’re aware that the investment pays off in miles, smiles and journeys. But what’s it worth? Will it last? And what are all these wheel sizes? Whether you spill a grand on a used one, swipe ten Gs on the credit card for a top-shelf model or settle for something in between, you want the best for your buck. Even more, you’d like to ride the dang thing before you cough up the coin.

This is where Outerbike comes in. Set in the mountain bike Mecca of Moab, Utah the event draws loads of bike manufacturers and brands to a staging ground of bike and gear demos set over four days. The operation is smooth and the vibe is relaxed. There’s a hint of seriousness leveled with afterhours shenanigans, too. Miles of trail tear out from the Bar M trailhead, where the event is located, and clockwork shuttles are lined up each day for longer rides around the area. The onsite and complimentary food, water, beer and energy morsels help keep you going when you’re rifling through bikes on the search for ‘the one.’ From buff to rocky to paved (there’s a bike path all the way to town for road demos) there’s terrain to satisfy all and enough to give a bike a serious bashing.

If you’re curious about buying a new bike or simply just want to rip some of the best bikes on the planet for a few days, Outerbike is the spot. And Moab in October, well, it’s pretty damn hard to beat. Freehub spent a quick two days ripping through bikes and capturing the scene. Here it is in photos.

The 2014 Yeti SB66 Carbon

A bevy of bikes from the 2013 Outerbike Demo in Moab, Utah.