Are You Using The Right Tool For The Job?
For Riders Who Want More.
Let’s cut to the chase: Retallack promises an epic experience — and it delivers one.
Nestled in the heart of the Selkirk Mountains, the Retallack Lodge is roughly 100 kilometers north of Nelson, B.C. That locates it about two hours away from the closest “bigger” airport, and a considerable driving commitment from Whistler, B.C., Seattle or Spokane, Washington.
But this is a destination perfectly designed for riders who want more — a bigger, faster, exclusive and more awesome experience — so the time spent traveling to get there is worth each and every precious second.
As cliché as it may seem to suggest, Retallack is a study in “for riders, by riders.” Because of its intelligent trail design — both natural and machine-built — Retallack’s trail network will give back pretty much exactly what you invest in it. Let go of the brakes and you’ll reach speeds that will keep even the quickest World Cup downhillers on their toes. Open your eyes and you’ll see things that would’ve rendered even Edward Abbey speechless.
If you’re reading this, though, it’s more likely that you’re a fan of what gravity can do to a bike than you are of hiking boots and binoculars. Not that those are mutually exclusive things, it’s just that you dream of ripping on two wheels and high-speed floaters, rather than walking to the top of a mountain.
You’re in luck. In Retallack, gravity is a much-celebrated force. And though you may choose to conquer it under your own power, shuttle vans and helicopters are waiting to drop you at the top of this backcountry wonderland. That way you can spend more time capitalizing on speed and smiles.
And it you’re going to make this long trip, you might as well come prepared. Make no mistake about it, you can run what ya brung — but having the right tools for the job can sometimes make all of the difference.
There are plenty of bikes out there that can “get the job done” but you want the experience of a lifetime, right? We all know how frustrating things become when your components aren’t up to your ambitions. We also all know how amazing your time spent out on that epic, once in a lifetime, tell your grandkids about kind of experience can be with the right equipment for the job. The right set-up for the terrain is a crucial ingredient to achieving an epic adventure.
We gathered some of our best friends and spent a week of riding the stellar terrain of Retallack earlier this summer, and we walked away better for the experience.
Was it the high alpine, hand-built singletrack littered with berms, rocks and big effortless floating step-downs? Was it the dense network of challenging, natural, loam forest fall lines that kept us ripping? Or possibly because they all finish directly behind the all-inclusive Retallack Lodge that has every amenity imaginable and a staff so friendly and helpful, they became close friends in a matter of minutes?
All of these things, paired with our carefully selected suspension, drivetrain, brakes and wheel choice to make our 8,000-foot descent from the heli drop an effortless, enjoyable, once-in-a-lifetime experience could have also been the reason. The right tools for the job allowed us to keep our mind at ease, our confidence on high and our stoke level through the roof.
Sound good? Head out and find out for yourself. But take our word for it: If you get caught out there with the wrong tools, you might miss out on experiencing a dream day of chasing gravity.
Let’s have a look at the tools we used for this job.
Front Suspension: 2016 RockShox LYRIK – You love your RockShox Pike — and so do we. It’s supple, strong, light and ready to take on nearly everything you throw at it. But maybe your are the rider looking for a little bit more, not that you need something stiffer with a longer travel option. But maybe you could put it to good use. Maybe a mini BoXXer is your dream come true.
We found that the new LYRIK chassis with the new Torque Cap hub flanges gave us just that little bit extra, right when we needed it. Maybe it’s time to find out for yourself. Read up on the new RockShox LYRIK HERE.
Drivetrain: 2016 XX1 – When you are willing to sacrifice nothing, go for the best — the original 1x drivetrain. It’s our premier 1x group, the one that started it all. And it still reins supreme. Optimal gear steps with the widest ratios designed into our 10-42T X-Dome cassette paired with a 32T Direct Mount X-Sync chainring gave us smooth, quiet and reliable shifting, no matter what we were up against.
Combined with our XX1 175mm carbon cranks— one of the lightest, stiffest, strongest and sexiest crank sets in the business — we had the ultimate drivetrain setup. See more about SRAM 1x drivetrain technology HERE.
Wheels: 2016 SRAM RAIL 40 – Looking for a wheel you don’t have to worry about? A wheel that doesn’t hold you back or keep you down? The SRAM RAIL 40 wheels did just the trick for us. A perfect balance between strength and agility gave us the confidence to never back down or question our direction.
New Torque Cap font hubs perfectly interfaced with the larger dropouts of the LYRIK fork providing that little bit of extra stiffness. All while the robust aluminum tubeless-ready rim and double-butted spokes combined with the quick engagement and smooth-rolling SRAM hubs helped us leave every worry in the dust behind us. Get rolling with the new SRAM RAIL 40 wheels HERE.
Brakes: SRAM GUIDE Ultimate – Although it might sound counterintuitive, a better brake lets you go faster. Knowing your brakes will always be there will inspire unshakeable confidence as you enjoy the ride down.
Guides are built to be lighter and more powerful, have superior heat management capabilities, giving you better, more consistent and more reliable braking. The SRAM Guide brake line will handle anything you can put it up against. Imagine what the Ultimates can do for you. Get all the details on the new SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes HERE.
All photos by Adrian Marcoux