A Weekend of Riding at Outerbike 2017 in Crested Butte, A MTB Playground

The Outerbike festival in Crested Butte this past August was surrounded by the mountains of the Colorado region, allowing for a mountain bike playground for riding demo bikes from some of the best outdoor/adventure brands.

Outerbike is a consumer trade show (not to be confused in any way with Interbike) run by Western Spirit Cycling Adventures – see issue #139 for coverage of their Grand Staircase Escalante tour – that is hosted twice a year in the mountain bike haven of Moab, Utah.

This year Outerbike expanded to a summer event in the Crested Butte region of the West Elk Mountains area of Colorado. Due to its high altitude, Mount Crested Butte offered an excellent weather alternative to the hellish summer conditions in Moab (which only hosts the event in spring and fall). Attendance was strong and that wasn’t surprising for the pervasive cycling culture of Gunnison County, the county where Crested Butte resides.

The outdoor festival was packed with enthusiasts and manufacturers. The easy weather and cool breeze made Crested Butte an ideal location for a mountain bike expo.

A wide range of attendees brought their own bikes to enjoy the ski lifts of Evolution Bike Park near the expo, and many others took advantage of the wide range of bike demos from manufacturers like Yeti, Ellsworth, Why Cycles, Proudfoot, Specialized, Giant, Haibike, Otso, Jamis, Rocky Mountain, Orbea, Scott, and Norco.

Riders who opted to demo the bikes onsite received a “demo card” which they could trade with a manufacturer to demo any bike of their choosing. A test ride could consist of riding out to a local trail, taking a dirt road up into the mountains, or utilizing the Mount Crested Butte ski lift to take one of the many downhill routes through the mountain.

Riders on the way up on the ski lifts at the Evolution Bike Park. For the downhill riders, the lifts were in operation all weekend and running for the masses of eager riders waiting for demo rides.

Once done, the rider simply returned the bike in exchange for their demo card back and moved on to the next manufacturer’s tent. Not only did this make for a fun-tastic weekend of riding, it presented a smart opportunity to shop for bikes with an epic test ride.  I was impressed with this event which was basically free to walk around in, with lots of incentives for a paid entry.

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