Joe Hanrahan: BIKES
Age: 37 | Vitals: 5’11″, 165 lbs. | Years riding mountain bikes: 23 or so | Current residence: Salt Lake City, Utah
I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where I spent the majority of my childhood doing something outside (except that one summer I largely wasted playing the first version of Zelda). Bikes have been a huge part of my life since the very first pedal stroke I took on my training-wheel-equipped Schwinn Stingray.
I’m one of those bike dorks who says the movie Rad had a significant effect on his future trajectory. Seriously, Rad changed my life. It had everything: racing, freestyle, Send Me an Angel, and even some of the earliest freeriding caught on film—some of the poacher shortcuts ridden during Hell Track Qualifiers. All of it was transformational for me. I remember leaving Northridge Cinemas, going home, grabbing my bike, and figuring out my first freestyle move.
After a few years of smashing my shins doing the same 10 tricks, I set the freestyle bike down and picked up a mountain bike, some sort of Cannondale with sick Miami Vice colors. My stomping grounds were the ravines in Lake Park and the Milwaukee River Trails, some of the most classically shady trails in existence to this very day. Riding mountain bikes was pure freedom, fun, and speed.
For college, a skiing affliction coupled with my mountain bike addiction brought me out to Colorado Springs where “long” downhills like The Chutes blew my Midwestern mind. Rides got bigger, and downhills got longer. I also got my first bike shop job during college. It seemed harmless at the time. Little did I know….
After college I skied in Utah for two years, then tried to go legit. I cube-farmed in San Francisco then Boulder, where the heavy-duty cycling culture in each town had a lasting effect on me. Riding mountain bikes was the easy outlet and fix for my adrenaline. I did it a whole lot.
When the Internet bubble burst, I was laid off, and deferred back to Alta. I then followed a seasonal migration to Moab, Utah, and picked up a job wrenching at Poison Spider. I showed up in town with two hardtails and a CX bike, and soon made the arrangement to have a 7″ travel Foes Fly deducted from my paycheck. I hesitate to say it that was all downhill from there, mostly because I lived in a camper by the river that summer, and now I have a house. Also, I never stopped loving big, hurtful trail rides. But I did start racing and riding a whole lot of DH, and gained an appreciation for big squishy bikes and all they can do.
I ended up in Denver, where I’ve wrenched, managed, and sold stuff both out of and into bike shops. I raced DH fairly seriously for a few years, won a National Championship (30-34 expert. Woot!) and got kind of fast for a married guy with a day job in Semi Pro. I quit for a few years but made my comeback last season in 2011. I’ve been known to race CX now and then and have finished mid-pack in the Bailey Hundo a few times, too. I enjoy being well rounded, basically a sucker for challenges on two wheels.
All Content by Joe Hanrahan
In short, the ENVE Composites Twenty6 AM wheelset is the current pinnacle of durability, stiffness, and weight in the all-mountain world.
The 2013 Surly Krampus brings back those good old memories of rallying rigid bikes with canti brakes; but instead of steep angles, long stems, and terrible tires, you’re on a sweet modern machine.
After a long wait, reviewer Joe Hanrahan finally got a Knolly Chilcotin. While he continues to put it through its paces, here’s a first look at the bike and Joe’s early impressions of the ride.
When BLISTER reviewers aren’t out testing new stuff, what do their own builds look like? Here’s Joe Hanrahan’s answer.
Making your bike lighter doesn’t necessarily make it better. Knowing where to cut weight—and where not to—will save you money and get you a safer, better ride.
The WTB WeirWolf 2.3 AM TCS is a sleeper in the AM genre, and it’s definitely worth a look for its balance of speed, traction, and value. Plus it has ziggurats. Bet your lame tire doesn’t have ziggurats….
The fit, adjustability, storage options, and well thought-out details of the Osprey Raptor pack add up to create a near-perfect riding pack.
The Santa Cruz Nomad C is a stiff bike with precise handling whose descending capabilities leave little to be desired—once the suspension is dialed.