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If you're a dedicated bike commuter and you ride in foul weather, you know the importance of bags and panniers actually keeping your stuff dry. This past winter I had the opportunity to test out the Detours Georgetown Dry Pannier. The Georgetown repelled everything that Mother Nature (and I) could throw at it.
Detours Georgetown Dry Pannier Features
- Interior zip pocket
- Key clip in front pocket
- Removable shoulder strap
- Haul handle
- Roll-top closure
- TPU-coated waterproof flap
- Dimensions: 9.5 x 8 x 15 inches
- Volume: 850 cubic inches
- Product Weight: 2 pounds
- Capacity: 22 pounds
- Price: $105
Detours Georgetown Dry Pannier ReviewFirst and foremost, the Detours Georgetown Dry Pannier is fully weatherproof. I had it out in heavy rains, snow, sleet, plowing through slushy puddles, and even dry, dusty dirt roads and it kept everything (truly everything) on the outside. The only thing I didn't do, was fully submerge it. The Georgetown packs serious weather protection. With the weather-protection comes durability. The pictures to the right are after the winter of use. I used the Georgetown almost daily all winter long and after it's all said and done it looks almost brand new. The Georgetown is very unassuming. Solid black, basic cube shape, and only a few key features. While it's not a feature-heavy pannier, it excels at almost everything it does have. It features a single, open compartment design. The interior does feature a slim, zip pocket and a lot of open space. The 850 cubic inches seemed to swallow gear. I could comfortably fit my lunch for the day, change of clothes, jacket, and some miscellaneous items with room to spare. The main compartment is protected with a velcro, roll-top closure. In a pinch for large loads you can utilize the roll-top for extra room, you just might not be able to close the lid. Over the top of the roll-top closure is a lid that is secured with two buckles. The lid provides extra waterproofing and two webbing attachment points for lashing on extra gear. I would have loved to seen a telescoping lid so the roll-top could be fully utilized but that does add complexity to a design that works very well. The front of the pack does feature a small velcro pocket which is good for keys or other small items you want to have handy. It does come with a shoulder strap, which to be honest, I didn't use a single time, but liked the option. Let's get to the rack attachments. This is what makes or breaks a pannier in my opinion. For the Georgetown I'd give it a B and here's why. For the top bar attachment, this was good. You have a single, spring clasp which is strong and sturdy plus two hooks. What brings the grade down for me is the lower attachment. It's a hook on an elastic. The pro is it'll fit a wide variety of racks. The con is it always requires two hands to take it on and off. When balancing a loaded bike, this was a pain. I did get use to it, but I've used other panniers that have a more "one hand" friendly attachment system. Detours also included some nice reflective accents on the Georgetown. I will admit I err on the side of "more is better" but they do include some. They also include a rear-light strap on the back of the pannier which is my favorite "unspoken feature". I love to see small features like this in design, especially for visibility. The Good
- Fully waterproof
- Lower attachment system requires two hands
Bottom Line:The Detours Georgetown Dry Pannier is hard-working and fully weatherproof. It definitely needs to be in your consideration set for a general purpose pannier. Buy Now: Pick up the Detours Georgetown Dry Pannier [gallery]... Read more...
The Icebreaker SS Roto Zip Jersey is a bike jersey gone smell free. After a hot summer of testing here's what I found. Oh yeah, Icebreaker kicked over the jersey for testing and review.
Icebreaker SS Roto Zip Jersey Features
- Material: GT 200 (200g/m2 merino wool, spandex)
- Active fit
- Eyelet Panels for venting
- 1 rear zippered pocket
- Half-length zipper
- Recommended Use: mountain biking
- Price: $119.95
Icebreaker SS Roto Zip Jersey ReviewThe Icebreaker SS Roto Zip Jersey is almost like the anti-bike jersey. It's loose fitting bike and not flashy. With that said, it's probably more at home on a mountain bike ride than a road ride. I wore mine mainly on my daily bike commute. For mild to hot temps the Roto Zip is light and airy enough to keep you comfortable. The Merino wool fabric is light and comfortable on the skin. For extra venting Icebreaker included the half zip (which is also fantastic for showing off your hairy chest) and some eyelet fabric under the arms and at the top of the back panel for increased airflow. Performance was good. It kept me cool, wicked the sweat away, and stayed smell free. My longest time between washes came in July when I went three weeks riding daily in the Roto. Three weeks of hot summer riding and the Roto was virtually smell free. It was like the Royal Gardens compared to the smell of your typical jersey after 20 minutes of riding. A single pocket on the bottom right side is just the right size for a gel or bar or keys. I found the loose nature of the fit wasn't good for putting your phone back there. It just bounced and tugged all over the place. I like that the Roto isn't flashy, it isn't skin tight, and it performs exceptionally well. The Good
- Light and airy
- Smell Free
- Loose fit
- You won't look like a road warrior in it (if your into that sort of thing)
Bottom Line:Icebreaker SS Roto Zip Jersey is awesome for a commute or mountain bike jersey. Buy Now: Pick up the Icebreaker SS Roto Zip Jersey[gallery] ... Read more...
KEEN has been continuing to update and expand their line of bike specific shoes. The KEEN Springwater II Biking Shoe is no exception. At home on the trail or the commute, the Springwater will give you year-round performance.
KEEN Springwater II Biking Shoe Features
- Upper: Leather, synthetic and mesh
- Hook-and-loop closure
- Full-length SPD compatible plate
- Removable insole
- Midsole: EVA
- TPU cleat cap plate
- Removable metatomical footbed
- Use: Cycling
- Outsole: Non-marking rubber
- Fit Tip: Keen advises this style runs about a 1/2 size small
- Weight: 18.72 oz
- Price: $99.95
KEEN Springwater II Biking Shoe ReviewThe KEEN Springwater II Biking Shoe is a versatile shoe at a great price point. It provides good performance for the money and has held up well over a summer of daily bike commutes and other rides. On the performance side the Springwater II does well. The combination of the stiff, EVA midsole and triple velcro straps provides good power transfer to the pedals. It's not going to be all-star performance, but then again it's not made to be an all-star shoe. As a bike commuting shoe or a recreational MTB shoe, it performs well. I've found conflicting info on sizing. A little bit of research found that KEEN advises to size up a half size but this wasn't the case for me. I typically wear an 11 and the size 11 fit me perfectly. The lugged sole provided good traction in the dirt and sand for the times when pedaling wasn't an option. Riding comfort was high. The shoe has some nice padding in the upper. This does make the shoe "warmer" on hot days but is great on cool mornings. I also think it's going to do well on dry, winter commute days. My big complaint is with the velcro enclosures. I have a "normal" volume foot. To get a snug fit, I had to cinch the straps down so tight and practically ran out of velcro. The two lower straps are held on by maybe a half-inch. This has led to considerable fraying of the end of the closure with the rest of the strap practically brand new (see pic to the right). My other complaint is the shoe is very bulky. It's a very wide shoe. I couldn't find a performance disadvantage to this but it's worth noting. The Good
- Great shoe for the price
- Sole is long-lasting and provides good traction
- Straps are too long and velcro is too short
Bottom Line:For the money, the KEEN Springwater II Biking Shoe is a strong performer and a great buy. Buy Now: Pick up the KEEN Springwater II Biking Shoe[gallery] ... Read more...
The Sugoi RPM Jacket is a hardworking, full protection jacket. It'll keep you dry, even in the strongest of downpours.
Sugoi RPM Jacket Features
- Material: [shell] HydraShield (polyester), DWR coating; [collar] polyester brushed microfleece; [reflective accents] 3M Scotchlite
- Fit: semi-fitted
- Venting: core
- Seams: fully taped
- Price: $119.95
Sugoi RPM Jacket ReviewThe Sugoi RPM Jacket does exactly what it was made to do: keep water out. The DWR coated shell shed water, even in heavy rains. Off the hanger I didn't notice the jacket "wetting out" at all. I give high marks for keeping water out. Unfortunately the RPM also kept water in. It doesn't do a good job at all with breathability. Pit zips help with venting your core but thats it. The positioning of the vents isn't conducive to strong cross airflow but you do get some. Once I started sweating it was game over. Combine that with humidity from the air and you have a recipe for getting wet. The inside doesn't have a liner so the sleeves stick your arms. One feature I do like a lot is the reflective accents. They are very bright and great for getting attention of drivers in low light conditions. The accents are along the main zipper, a line design down the sleeves, and down the back. The collar is a microfleece that is extremely comfortable on your face and neck, even when it's soaking wet. The wrist cuffs are elastic and velcro. They were easy to pull on over gloves and the velcro is enough to keep the cuffs tight and prevent them from pulling up. The back of the jacket is cut a little longer for additional coverage. The Good
- Keeps the water out
- Good reflective detailing
- Not breathable
- Keeps your sweat in
Bottom Line:Great at weather protection and reflection, bad on breathability. Sugoi got many of the tiny details right on the RPM though. Buy Now: Pick up the Sugoi RPM Jacket [gallery]... Read more...
As a bike commuter, trail runner, mountain biker, and general outdoors person I've been through a lot of different pairs of sunglasses. I've had a hard time finding one pair that suited all the different conditions I played in. My favorite pair to date was a pair of glasses with interchangeable lenses. I got sick of switching lenses. I needed one pair that could literally do it all. Enter the Julbo Dust Sunglasses. Julbo sent me a pair to test and review and here are my thoughts.
Julbo Dust Sunglasses Features
- Frame: nylon
- Lens: Zebra Antifog Photochromic (polycarbonate)
- Frame Measurements: (lens width) 66 mm, (bridge) 17 mm, (temple) 120 mm
- Nose Pads: yes
- Temple Pads: yes
- Protective case: yes
- Recommended Use: running, hiking, biking
- Manufacturer Warranty: lifetime
- Price: $160
Julbo Dust Sunglasses ReviewThe feature that sets the Julbo Dust Sunglasses apart from other sunglasses is the Zebra Antifog Photochromic lens. It is a lens that can literally span most all conditions. For those not familiar with photochromic lenses, they change based on the amount of light, i.e. they get darker as the sun gets brighter. With the Dust riding in low-light (not night) conditions it allows enough light to pass through so you can see. When it gets bright the lenses get nice and dark. Pair that with a reflective coating and even on the brightest days here in Central OR I haven't gotten eye fatigue. I haven't ever had to squint while wearing the Dust. The one thing that is missing in my opinion is the Zebra lens isn't polarized. If Julbo could include that I'd be 100% happy. Yes, I want my cake and I want to eat it too. The Dust does come with a removable lens option that includes a polarized lens, a low-to-medium light lens, and a clear lens. Next on my list of "extremely important" features are the "rubber" nose piece and temple pieces. They kept the glasses in place, even on my sweatiest rides and runs. Nothing like cranking through some downhill singletrack and have to push your glasses up. It wasn't an issue at all with the Dust. The frame is very comfortable and somewhat flexible. A couple of color options are available. My preference was the very "Euro" blue. The Dust is fairly lightweight, meaning that I put them on and I didn't notice them. I'm not a weight weenie so I don't know if it truly is "lightweight" compared to other frames out there. On the quality spectrum, the Dust is high. Julbo has been around for while and their background in glacier glasses have set the ground nicely for high quality products. The Good
- Photochromic lens is highly versatile
- Non-sweat-slippage rubber on the nose piece and temple pieces
- Photochromic lens isn't polarized
Bottom Line:The Julbo Dust has become my go-to all around sunglasses for bike commuting, running, and other two-wheeled pursuits. Buy Now: Pick up the Julbo Dust Sunglasses [gallery order="DESC"]... Read more...
For whatever reason when gearing up for cold or wet rides i never thought about my feet. I don't know how many times I finished a ride with frozen feet. Those days are gone now thanks to the Sugoi Resistor Booties
Sugoi Resistor Booties Features
- PU coated stretch fleece provides wind and waterproof protection
- Waterproof taped seams
- Durable locking zip with guard
- 3M Scotchlite reflective accents for added visibility
- Price: $50
Sugoi Resistor Booties ReviewThe Sugoi Resistor Booties are very simple, yet effective in design. They slip over most technical bike shoes and are held in place by stretchy fabric, elastic, and a rear zipper. I tried them over my Keen commuter shoes and they didn't fit, at all. On road shoes or technical MTB shoes they fit snugly. The PU coating does a good job with shedding water and wind. After a 3 hour wet ride my feet were still dry. The fleece lining provides some warmth, but it isn't substantial. On super cold days I'll pair the Resistor Booties with thick socks to keep my toes toasty. Sugoi included a couple of reflective accents, which are nice, but as a commuter I'd like to see more. If you need the booties it's probably raining which means visibility is lower. More reflective details would be a nice add. The Good
- Solidly waterproof
- Good fit
- Could use some more reflective detailing
Bottom Line:Great option for weather protection for your feet on cold, wet rides. Buy Now: Pick up the Sugoi Resistor Booties [gallery]... Read more...
Looking for a versatile cycling jersey? One that will keep you from frying in the sun but won't make you overheat? Or one that you can layer on top of other pieces of clothing in changing temperatures? Check out the Solar Vita Jersey from Specialized.
Specialized Solar Vita Jersey Details
- Lightweight polyester material provides UPF 50+ protection
- Full length, semi-locking zipper
- Specialized logo gripper at the bottom prevents slippage
- 3 back pockets and additional security pocket to store essentials
- Long sleeved version delivers extra sun protection, but is lightweight enough for year-round use
- MSRP: $100
Specialized Solar Vita Jersey ReviewAs I mentioned in my Best of the Bike Trip article, the Solar Vita Jersey became part of my daily biking ensemble for my 6 week cycling tour of the PNW Coastline. I wore this thing every day! Rain or shine, the Solar Vita Jersey was always my outermost layer to get some visibility. I loved the versatility that this jersey offers- you can wear it when it's warm and not overheat, thanks to the thin material, but you can also toss it over a baselayer on cooler days, and not sacrifice that nice visibility that the bright yellow color offers. The full front zip makes it easy to take the jersey on and off if you're in a rapidly changing climate, or to just get some more ventilation for when you crank up those hills. The pockets are great, fit is great, and the versatility makes this a "must have" piece of clothing for your cycling wardrobe. The Solar Vita Jersey is available in a short sleeve and long sleeve version, and I found that the long sleeves allowed me to keep my arms from frying on the warm days, thanks to the lightweight UPF 50+ material, and also allowed me to use the Solar Vita as a lighter weight long sleeve layer. I enjoyed not having to glop pounds of sunscreen on my arms each day! However, where the Solar Vita really shines is on the slightly overcast days. You know, those days where you don't really think you're going to need sunscreen, but at the end of the day, you discover your arms have turned a lovely hue of red? Well, on those deceptively cool days, the Solar Vita provided just enough warmth and provided the sun protection I needed.
Bottom LineA must have for cyclist who find themselves outside in a variety of spring and summer weather.
Check It OutSpecialized Solar Vita Long Sleeve Jersey... Read more...
Though biking days for this season are limited for me, I'm still trying to crank out a few last road rides before the weather totally turns and the roads become skating rinks. Before heading out on a ride, I grab my Specialized Prevail Biking Helmet to protect my dome from anything from flying debris to the unexpected spill.
Specialized S-Works Prevail Helmet Details
- Dual Density EPS Foam
- Kevlar Inner Matrix reinforcement
- Mega Pouthport and 4th Dimension Cooling System for ventilation
- Ultralight Mindset micro dial fit system with height adjustability
- Tri-Fix web splitter, Instrap webbing attachment and 4X DryLite webbing on straps
- MSRP $230
Specialized S-Works Prevail Helmet ReviewAlong with using the Prevail for my daily rides, I used the Prevail this summer on my biking epic from Seattle, WA to Eureka, CA so it definitely saw a lot of use. Part of the daily biking ensemble, the Prevail spent a lot of time on the job this summer, protecting my head from all sorts of maladies. Fortunately, the biking trip was relatively incident free, so no reports on how it functions in a major collision. However, I can report that I loved the Micro Adjust system, which ensured that the Prevail sat comfortably on my head for thousands of miles. I can also report that the venting system is awesome, and my head never really overheated. I liked the lightweight profile of the helmet as well- more often than not, I'd forget it was on my head and be traipsing around camp, hours after getting off the bike, still donning my helmet. Yes, I am that girl. However, the steep price tag of the S-Works Prevail make that lightweight benefit a bit less justifiable for the casual cyclist. Since I'm not a "shave my arms to get rid of extra drag and weight" kind of cyclist, the ounces saved, while a nice bonus, was not enough to tip the scales and suddenly make me think that the $200 plus price tag for a biking helmet should become the norm for everyone. That being said, the features, profile and weight of the S-Works Prevail are fantastic. If you're a dedicated cyclist who looks to shave weight off wherever you can, the S-Works Prevail is definitely the top of the line, lightweight helmet. Just as anything within Specialized's S-Works line, you'll get the best available technology on the market.
- 4th Dimension Cooling System and exhaust ports do a great job ventilating- I always had a nice breeze going on my head.
- Mindset Microdial is easy to adjust, and, for you ladies out there, easy to wedge a pony tail around. Still room for your hair and the adjustment system.
- Light, light, light! I promise, you'll forget it's on.
- A steep price tag makes these top of the line features less accessible to your everyday cyclist.
- I found that the Tri-Fix adjustment didn't sit exactly on my head as I would have liked it to, and since it's not adjustable, I couldn't change that. A downside to the fixed webbing system.
Bottom LineA top of the line racing helmet with top of the line features and a top of the line price tag. If you're looking to save weight, manage your ventilation better, adjust easier, and, hey, match your S-Works Team Jersey as an added bonus, the S-Works Prevail is the helmet to consider.
Buy NowSpecialized Prevail S-Works Helmet... Read more...
Looking for a bike rack for your car/truck/van? Don't want to hoist your bikes on top of your ride? Want a rack that will securely hold your bikes and is wicked easy to use? Look no further than the Yakima HighLite 3 Bike Rack. Yakima gave me the chance this summer to test the HighLite and it didn't disappoint.
Yakima HighLite 3 Bike Rack Features
- One of the lightest hitch racks on the market - under 20 lbs
- Available in a 2- or 3-bike model
- Tilts away for rear-of-vehicle access
- Sliding SWITCHBLADE™ anti-sway cradles eliminates bike-to-bike contact and improve ease of loading
- TRIGGERFINGER™ technology lets you fold arms down with the press of a button
- Integrated LOCKDOWN™ security cable included so you can lock bikes to the rack
- Comes with two integrated bottle openers. Boom. And boom!
- Fits 2" and 1-1/4" hitch receivers out of the box
- Optional TUBETOP™ available to carry funky shaped bikes
- Price: $339.00
Yakima HighLite 3 Bike Rack ReviewThe Yakima HighLite 3 Bike Rack is the lightest 3 bike hitch rack that Yakima makes. The design is extremely user friendly. The lightweight made it easier to install, makes handling the swing of the rack to get into the back of your car easier, and let's face it, it's a few less pound on the back of the car. The HighLite does come in two or three bike capacities. On the three, I was able to fit three bikes without much hassle. You know on some bike racks where you have to fight to get the last bike on there? Not so with the HighLite. Sure it takes a little bit of thought to get the fit just right if you're loading different bikes to get everything to slide together nicely, but it came without any swearing. The cradles for the bikes are nice. Once the bikes were on and strapped, they held firm. The side that cradles the top-tube and seat tube is adjustable so you can get it to fit almost any angle between the two (or no angle if you're rockin' f/s). The rubber straps are highly adjustable and there was never any slippage. One of the nicest things is it fits 2" and 1-1/4" hitch receivers out of the box. At first I thought it was a little wonky, I will admit. But once I saw how it works, I was a fan. I have a 2" receiver. I just had to slide it in, make sure the depth adjustment was right, and then tighten it up. It works via a "camming device". With a few turns of a lockable knob, the cam pushes out, contacting the sides of the hitch, and securing the rack in place. Just lock the knob and the rack is secure in terms of coming out of hitch and from theft. A small safety pin inserts through one side of the hitch as insurance for the rack sliding out if you didn't crank it down tight enough. Use of the rack has been awesome. I drive a Toyota Sienna mini-van and the rack has been on all summer. It tilts far enough out that I can open the back door to load and unload without the rack being in the way. The latch to keep the rack in the upright position is spring loaded and clicks into place. Just listen for the click and there is no question if it's locked into place. I've had it out for anything from MTB missions, picking up and dropping broken bikes off at the shop, shuttle road bikes around, and it's been awesome. The HighLite also comes with an integrated cable lock. It is just enough to stretch over the top-tubes and will only deter the thief looking for the convenient steal. But it's enough to make you feel comfortable to run into the burrito shop for the post-ride refuel without constantly glancing out the window. For a little more security (particularly for your wheels) you could check out my review of the Kryptonite Modulus 1010S Lock System. If you're heading into sketchy areas or will be leaving your bikes unattended for long periods of time, lock them down tight with additional ulocks and cable locks. I used the HighLite on a 2,000 mile summer road trip and tons of day rides and it's been awesome. I seriously don't have any complaints. The Good
- Easy to install
- Wicked easy to use
- Burly - handled any combination of bikes I threw at it
- Fits 3 bikes with no problem
- Seriously couldn't think of any
- You want one? Fine...it doesn't come in a 4 bike model
Bottom Line:The Yakima HighLite 3 is one of the best hitch bike racks you can buy in my opinion. You would seriously have to try hard to go wrong with it. Buy Now: Pick up the Yakima HighLite 3 Bike Rack [gallery]... Read more...
I've been riding and running with the same hydration pack for the past six years. I found one I liked and like a good marriage partner, I didn't look around to see what else was out there. When Ogio contacted me to review one their packs it was with a little trepidation that I accepted. I didn't want to be unfaithful to the stalwart hydration pack I was using. Enough with the marriage analogy. While Ogio's hydration packs focus on moto they have definitely application to the mountain bike world. I chose to test and review the Ogio Baja 1650 Hydration Pack.
Ogio Baja 1650 Hydration Pack Features
- Hydrapak reservoir bladder (70 oz) and drink system
- Sleek air flow profile pack with separate hydration pocket
- Posh top drop-in audio pocket with headphone port
- Multi-use large main compartment and posh valuable pocket
- Dual side mesh accessory pockets and expandable front mesh pocket
- Adjustable padded shoulder strap with sternum strap
- Deluxe back padding with air flow channels for ultimate cool comfort
- Price: $89.99
Ogio Baja 1650 Hydration Pack ReviewWhile the Ogio Baja 1650 Hydration Pack is made for moto it works just as well for MTB. A lot of the features work well for both. I'm not a moto guy so my review is MTB focused. The most striking feature to me is the Hydrapak resevoir. It's one of the best bladders I've used. It is accessed through a zipper on the back panel. This is awesome so you can get to the bladder without messing with any of the contents in the main compartment. Also it's great so if there's a leak your other gear won't get soaked. The bladder uses a roll-top for closure. The opening is as wide as the width of the bladder which makes filling and cleaning (especially cleaning) easy. When it's full, just fold the top twice, slide it into the retaining clip and you're good to go. The bladder is suspended by a small loop and click which keeps the bladder from sinking to the bottom of the pack and bunching at your lower back. Overall, one of the best hydration systems I've used. The big downfall to the Hydrapak system is the bite valve. I found it small, awkward to use with one hand, but more disappointingly, it leaked. Whenever I unlocked it it would contantly drip on my leg. I spent one ride with a wet leg. Then I swapped the valve out for one I know won't drip. It's not a deal breaker for me, just replace the valve. There are numerous pockets to help keep you organized. The large main compartment is big. I've been able to fit a jacket, arm warmers, knee warmers, and a long-sleeve jersey and I had barely filled it halfway. The main compartment does feature a mesh pocket inside to help with organization. It also features a fleece-lined "audio pocket" but for me that had zero use for riding MTB. It would be a good pocket for your sunglasses. There is also a fleece-lined zippered pocket on the outside of the pack. The other outer pocket is a stretchy zippered mesh pocket. So much you can do with a pocket like this. I like the versatility. The two mesh water-bottle pockets went unused by me, but once again the versatility was nice. One glaring omission from the pack is the simple key fob (gotta love the word "fob"). It's small, it's simple, but I like the security it gives me with my car keys. Without it I ride paranoid that I'm going to drop my keys if I open the pocket. Once again, not a deal breaker, but it would be nice to have. The straps are easily adjustable and simple. They kept the pack in place, even with a full bladder (the pack's, not mine). Ogio did put a small outer loop strap at the base of the pack with is perfect for holding a rear blinkie if you're riding home from the trailhead after dark. The Good
- Hydrapack bladder is solid, easy to clean, and easy to fill
- Bladder suspension system is good
- Lots of versatility with the pockets
- Lot of capacity with out the packing being huge
- Bite valve leaked
- No key fob
Bottom Line:The Ogio Baja 1650 Hydration Pack is an solid choice for MTB. It has become my go-to hydration pack for MTB (sorry other pack, I'll use you for trail runs). Buy Now: Pick Up the Ogio Baja 1650 Hydration Pack[gallery]... Read more...
As a beginner to intermediate mountain biker buying a new bike can be a daunting process, especially as a female rider. Thankfully Specialized has a female specific line to choose from which includes a 29-er and a handful of bikes that won't break the bank. The Myka Expert HT 29er was made with the female rider in mind.
Some companies make smaller versions of men’s bikes. Other companies simply change the frame color. But Specialized focuses on real rider needs, using anthropometric research and feedback from female riders to create mountain bikes that improve fit, efficiency, and confidence.Review: 29er’s aren’t just for the guys – ladies can ride them too and Specialized made one that fits just right. At 5’5” and about 130 I was on the fence, but after the first ride I was sold. Living in Tahoe there’s a plethora of trails to enjoy from beginner to advanced. During the first ride I noticed the right shifter for the Shimano hydraulic brakes was defective. The next day I took the bike back to Sports LTD and they took care of it. Within 24 hours I was back on the trail. After riding a few trails near the house it was time for a true test, off to the Flume Trail I went. The first four miles are up hill with varying pitches. I quickly noticed how much faster and easier it was climbing with a 29er compared to 26-inch bike. Initially the integrated headset's super-low stack height, combined with the 80-millimeter-travel fork and flat handlebar, would kept the front end low while grounding the front wheel, but during steeper sections of the climb it felt a bit poppy. This could be user error. The wheelbase is in line with what you would find on a 26-inch bike making the bike very agile. A short wheelbase allows ample stand over for those concerned without compromising the handling. With confidence in both handling and control there wasn't any concern heading downhill. However, this hardtail was made more for x-country riding than downhill. What goes up must come down. The flume trail is sandy, rocky and firm. With that said, the Myka was stable on the downhill. Feeling confidant in the bike I picked up some speed right as I hit soft sand -- the bike got a bit squirrelly, but after shifting weight it road out like a champ. Again the bike felt agile and the front shock worked shockingly well for a lower end fork. MSRP: $1,250 Features:
- Fully butted, smooth-welded M4 alloy 29er frame with women's recreational XC geometry delivers a confident and lightweight ride, with integrated headset for precision handling
- RockShox Tora 80mm-travel 29" fork with rebound/preload adjustment, lockout, and custom women's-specific spring weights delivers more versatility and tunability over varying terrain
- Light and durable double-walled 29" alloy rims are tough enough to handle the rough stuff
- All-terrain 29" Captain Control tires are 2Bliss ready and built for speed on the trail
- Shimano crankset with forged alloy arms and Octalink-splined BB interface means greater durability and better shifting performance
- Shimano dual-piston hydraulic disc brakes/levers assure solid, worry-free braking performance under any conditions
- Body Geometry Women's Riva MTB saddle combines generous padding and durable scuff guards for all-day performance and comfort
Every bike commuter knows that most important accessory for the commute is a solid bike lock. Without a solid lock you won't have a bike to commute on. In recent years there's been a flood of new and different locks onto the market. One of those locks is the Kryptonite Modulus 1010s Lock System. It's a modular system that you can attach to your bike or your car rack for extra security.
Kryptonite Modulus 1010s Lock System Features
- Lock head with two keys
- Two noose cables, 3/8" x 3.5'
- Mounting bracket/transport bracket
- Price: $39.99
Kryptonite Modulus 1010s Lock System ReviewThe Kryptonite Modulus 1010s Lock System is an interesting locking system. The lock head attaches to your bike frame or the bars on your car rack. Wrap one or both of the noose cables around your bike and bike rack, insert the deadbolt end into the lock head and away you go. What I like about the Modulus is it attaches to your bike securely. Unlike other locks that use a plastic clamp for attaching it to the bike, there's no chance of it breaking off. It uses a strong nylon strap for attaching to the bike. You still have to have a place to stow the cables, though I suppose you could coil them up, velcro them together, and ride with them in the lock. I don't recommend it though. What I don't like about the Modulus is that it's a cable based lock. You still face all the downfalls that come with cable locks, namely the lower security you get with them because they are easy to snip through. Kryptonite does try to address this by using a braided cable over a twisted cable. The braided cable is supposed to increase the snip resistance but I cannot imagine it would increase it too much. Disclaimer: I haven't ever tried to snip a cable before and I didn't try to snip the Modulus so I could be completely off. Kryptonite rates the Modulus at a 3 out of 6 on their level of security. With that being said about security, the Modulus would be a nice compliment to a u-lock for a more complete security system. The Modulus also has the benefit of looking different. At first pass it looks "tough" and that in and of itself can be a deterrent. Where I really put the Modulus to use though was on my hitch bike rack. It has actually become a permanent installation for me. I feel it provides enough deterrence from someone trying to steal bikes off my rack. My rack does come with a single cable that is only good for looping over top tubes. The Modulus gives enough extra security that I don't worry if I stop for a bite to eat after a ride or leaving my bikes on the rack while running errands. It also helps secure secure wheels while on the rack. The Good
- Attaches to your bike frame
- Double noose cables give a lot of versatility for locking arrangements
- Cable lock - lower security
Bottom Line:The Kryptonite Modulus 1010s Lock System is a good option for car rack locking or is a good companion with a u-lock for a more "total" security system. If your looking for lock versatility, this is a solid choice. Buy Now: Pick up the Kryptonite Modulus 1010s Lock System [gallery]... Read more...
For 1100 miles this summer, the majority of my daily entertainment came from either the SpeedZone Elite on my Tricross Comp Bicycle or from the beautiful scenery I was biking past along the Pacific Coast. I spent a lot of time looking at this bicycle computer. How many miles have we gone? How far til lunch? How steep is this hill, really? How many feet in elevation have we gained since the last time I looked? The SpeedZone Elite took care of all my information needs on my bike trip.
Specialized SpeedZone Elite: The Specs
- Wireless function keeps cables off your bike
- Speedometer- gives you your current speed, plus access to max speed and average speed readings
- Altimeter- displays altitude, % grade and elevation gain
- Lap timer and interval functions
- Temperature gauge
- Auto sleep/wake mode saves battery life
- Can mount to either your steerer tube or to your handlebars
Specialized SpeedZone Elite: The ReviewOverall, the SpeedZone Elite is a very solid product. I love the big display, the ability to mount to the steering tube, and its wonderful waterproof-ness. It didn't matter how much it poured, the SpeedZone Elite was always ready to start another day and track my miles. I kept waiting for it to crap out as water got into the battery housing, but this never happened. Yahoo! I did not love, however, the installation. I've always had a wired bike computer, which doesn't really require a lot of finesse to set up. The wireless computer proved to be a bit more complicated for me, but with some help of the local bike shop, and a new battery in the wireless transmitter, I was good to go. Personally, I love having a bike computer. It keeps me from being a wuss. At moments where I feel like "I can't possibly go uphill any more," the computer is a nice reminder to man up and keep going. I can look at concrete data, and know, for sure, that I've only climbed 600 feet. No whining allowed when you've only climbed 600 feet, time to buck up and keep pedaling. Or, same thing for distance. It helps me to pace myself, mentally. I know how far I've gone for the day, how much longer til lunch, etc. The SpeedZone Elite provided me with everything I needed to know.
- Large display makes for easy reading
- Steerer tube mount makes for easy installation, especially if you've got dual brakes.
- More functions than you'll ever know what to do with. There's always something interesting to check out on the display.
- 1100 miles of riding on one battery. Awesome. I love the sleep feature that conserves battery life.
- The "trip" meter seems to reset after your ATM (Automatic Timer) hits 24 hours. For some reason, the bike computer assumes that after 24 hours of biking time within 1 trip, you must have just forgotten to reset it. This happened to me several times along the trip. Since I was on the road for 6 weeks, my ATM time was certainly more than 24 hours. If you're looking to log an entire tour on one "trip" within the computer, you can't. Fortunately, I had mounted mine for the first time a day before our tour started, so the "odometer" reading was still an accurate reading of our trip distance!
- The wireless setup was a bit more complicated than I would have hoped, but I think that this may have just been a singular issue, and not a product-wide problem.
Check It OutSpecialized SpeedZone Elite Bicycle Computer... Read more...
Spandex haters rejoice! Bike shorts with a comfortable chamois and attractive outer shell short by Specialized have still got you covered, without exposing exactly what they've covered to the whole world.
Specialized Trail Shorts Details
- Detachable liner short/outer short combo
- Shell shorts made of 100% stretch nylon, and come with a dual sided cinch adjustment at waist to ensure fit
- Liner shorts made of mesh and Women's Sport chamois
- 7.25 inch inseam
- MSRP: $90
Specialized Trail Shorts ReviewOn my 6 week bike trip, I alternated between the Trail shorts and the BG SL Shorts. Each had their merits, and in the end, I’m glad I had them both. The Trail shorts were the best fitting mountain bike style short I’d tried on of many brands, though still not what I would call a “perfect” fit. The chamois and liner shorts are fantastic- just enough padding to be comfortable, but really unobtrusive overall. I especially enjoyed the liner shorts on colder days, when I used the liner shorts under my Mountain Hardwear PowerStretch Tights. This way, I could still have bike shorts on, and have a pair of long pants on as well. Not only did it eliminate needing to bring 2 pairs of long pants (one cycling specific and one long underwear layer for cool nights), but it was also great for when it warmed up mid-day. I was able to drop trow on the side of the road, remove my tights, and still keep the liner shorts on. In a matter of seconds I could toss on the shell layer of the shorts and I was good to go for warmer weather, without accidentally mooning some poor logging truck driver. Since returning from my epic bike trip, I've had the chance to do some mountain biking up in Alaska. Each day, I find myself reaching for my Trail shorts to toss on and hit the road with. It's nice to know I can go for a good ride, and then head straight to the local watering hole for an apres-bike beverage without having to change, or feel self conscious that I'm parading around town in Spandex shorts.
- Detachable liner can be worn under other shorts and pants
- Minimal chamois provides comfort without actually feeling like you’re wearing bike shorts
- Of over 10 different brands of “mountain-bike” style bike shorts that I tried on, the Specialized Trail Shorts were the most flattering
- Pockets! I loved the two front pockets, and always had a CLIF Shot stashed in there
- The adjustable waistband of the shell shorts has a Velcro adjust on it on each hip, which has a tendency to fold back, and consequently, the Velcro rubs at your shirt, pilling it away.
- Overall, the shorts have quite a large waist, even for a size small. The length and width of the leg section was perfect, but then I found myself cinching the waist-band adjusters to their maximum to get the shorts to stay up.
Bottom LineComfortable and versatile, the Specialized Trail Shorts get the job done.
Buy NowSpecialized Trail Shorts ... Read more...
With my recent infatuation with the social cycling app Strava, I've been quickly realizing that my iPhone doesn't make the greatest GPS device. It works, OK, but it often loses signal and causes spotty tracking while I'm trying to KOM a brutal climb. LAME! Garmin has been making GPS-enabled cycling computers for quite some time now -- starting with the professional-featured Edge 800 ($449), then going down to the Edge 500 ($249). Well, now they have answered the call for an entry-level GPS-enabled cycling computer in the upcoming Edge 200 that hits the wallet at a budget-friendly $149. It's definitely time to step up to one of these if I'm going to crush anyone's KOM. Garmin's official release on the Edge 200:
It is an all too familiar situation when you get home from a bike ride and wonder aloud, "I am exhausted, exactly how far did I just go?" or: "I was flying down that hill, I swear I must have been going 30 mph!" Well, now we give you an affordable solution to know those answers during and after your ride. Today we announced the Edge 200 GPS enabled cycling computer. Lightweight and stylish, the Edge 200 features a high-sensitivity GPS receiver, requires no calibration, can be switched quickly and easily between bikes and can be used in all types of weather. “The Edge 200 was designed for those budget conscious cyclists looking for the basics — speed, distance, time and calories,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “With no set-up or sensors required, simply switch on, press start and go. The Edge 200 adds so much to your ride that no ride will ever be the same again.” Whether you ride for fun, fitness or to feed your competitive edge, users will love seeing how far and how fast they rode — all without wires and sensors. Edge 200 stores up to 130 hours of ride data and sorts activities to quickly look up the fastest, longest or last ride – providing motivation and inspiration that’ll keep cyclists on track. With a 14 hour battery life, Edge 200 features a USB interface for easy charging and data transfer. Weighing a mere 2 ounces, the Edge 200 is both lightweight and affordable. It features a high-sensitivity GPS receiver with HotFix® satellite prediction – meaning there’s less time spent waiting and more time spent riding. The Edge 200 also allows users to set alerts for distance, time or calories to make it easier and more fun to achieve their goals. The Edge 200 helps cyclists bring new life to old rides with Courses, a feature that lets riders challenge their times on previous rides. A digital cyclist shows their speed relative to past performance, along with an indication of how far ahead or behind they are. These can be taken from rides stored on the Edge or downloaded from the huge and expanding Garmin Connect™ community (http://connect.garmin.com). Here users can quickly and easily log their rides, track their totals, set goals, share rides with friends and family and participate in an online fitness community of more than 70 million activities around the world. Garmin Connect displays metrics such as time, distance, pace, and elevation. This information is shown through charts, illustrations, reports and a variety of map representations including street, photo, topographic, and elevation maps. Use Garmin Connect’s new Course Creator feature to plan new rides or convert a past activity into a Course. The new Edge 200 is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2011 and have a suggested retail price of $149.99.Shop Now: Search for Garmin Products... Read more...
Isn't a seat/seat post bag a seat post bag? In the midst of a lot of alternatives, you'll find some well made and practical options from Detours. Detours gave me the opportunity to review a couple of their seat bags, the Guppy and the Bike Midi.
Detours Guppy Seat Bag ReviewThe Detours Guppy Seat Bag (show in blue and green to the right) is a great commuter/city saddle bag. I've put it through a few months a testing on my daily commute. The Guppy is slender and connects tightly up under your seat. I'll admit that my first perception out of the box was that the straps for connecting the bag to the bike seemed hokey. The seat post strap is a thin rubber strap with a hook and loop closure. I thought that it would either come undone, stretch, or snap with very little use. So far after three months of using it on my daily commute it has held strong and secure. The seat rail attachment consists of two Velcro straps that attach down the sides. These hold securely and offer easier entry than the "wrap around" style you see on many bags. Another plus is you don't have a long tail to worry about. One thing about the Guppy is it has very limited space so size accordingly. I have the size medium and had just enough room for a road tube (700 x 32), multi tool, small patch kit, tire levers, and maybe an energy gel. With the gel it was stuffed full. I tried fitting in a mountain tube and I couldn't get anything else in. Space is limited so this will be a single bike use unless you go up to the large. The bag does feature a key fob which is nice. The flap zipper allows entry without loosening the straps. And Detours included some reflective materials which is always a plus in my book for the added visibility. The Guppy does come in three sizes: small (25 cu in), medium (40 cu in), and large (100 cu in).
Detours Bike Midi Seat Bag ReviewThe Detours Bike Midi has many of the same features as the Guppy but with one major difference. It is a clamshell design featuring a second zipper that offers a 30 cu in expansion. While this is a good idea I haven't ever come across a time where I suddenly needed extra room in my saddlebag. Detours states the intended use of the Bike Midi as "Commuting, around town, touring, event rides". Maybe the expansion has application with touring or events? The Bike Midi has many of the same features as the Guppy including the same mounting straps and reflective piping for increased visibility. There is plenty of room in the Bike Midi to fit a mountain sized tube, patch kit, multitool, keys, tire levers, and more without using the expansion. To really test out the mounting straps I took it on several mountain bike rides. While the bag stayed on the bike I wasn't able to get it snug enough against the seat rails so it did swing around. Yes the Bike Midi isn't meant for MTB but it could still be a concern on a commuter/city bike. The Bike Midi comes in one size that expands from 50 cu in to 80 cu in. Overall I was impressed and pleased with the quality and utility of the Detours seat bags.
Bottom Line:Detours makes some great seat post bags, you couldn't go wrong with them. Buy Now: Detours Guppy Seat Bag or the Detours Bike Midi[gallery]... Read more...
The Sugoi Zap Bike Jacket is just the jacket to help take the chill off a morning ride or to help increase your visibility while commuting home from work. It's lightweight, breathable, and visible. Sugoi gave me the opportunity to test and review the Zap.
Brand Item Name Features
- Full separating zip with guard
- Sleek invisible zip chest pocket
- 1 invisible zip back pocket
- Contrast elastic bound cuff
- Hemline finished with dual adjustable shockcord
- Engineered collar detailed with shaped back neck and soft brushed inside surface for comfort
- Perforated for ventilation
- 3M Scotchlite reflective accents for added visibility
- MSRP: $99.95
Brand Item Name ReviewThe Sugoi Zap Bike Jacket is good jacket to have on hand. The Zap is lightweight and is just enough to help take the chill away on a cool ride. It can roll up small enough to fit into a jersey pocket or in your pack. While it doesn't specifically claim this, the jacket helps block a light wind as well. To help with ventilation there are two mesh screens that are under the arms and wrap a little towards the back. The Zap is also a great jacket for urban rides. It is highly visible, espeically if you get the yellow color. The Zap features reflective striping along the zipper, reflective accents on the chest, sleeves, hips, and back, and a long reflective piping down the back. In terms of being seen, the Zap in yellow is one the best jackets I've worn. There is a single chest pocket and rear pocket at the bottom of the jacket. The chest pocket is big enough for a cell phone or an iPod (if you ride with one). The rear pocket is larger...big enough for a small water bottle (for context). The Zap is extremely comfortable. The collar is lined with what feels like a microfleece that is soft on the skin. The cut helps keep it out of the way of the helmet as well. The cut is just right for the bike. The front of the jacket is a little short to help keep it out of the way and back is cut long for extra coverage. I typically wear a large jacket and the body fits nicely. It's slim but not snug so there's no flapping in the wind. The sleeves would be the perfect length for me if I was just wearing the jacket around. I have a positive ape index (my arms are long than I am tall) and I usually have issues with sleeve length. Like I said, if I was just wearing the jacket they'd be perfect. But when I ride in the hoods the sleeves pull up some. If I ride on the flat bars they only pull up a little. The Zap will also shed a light drizzle as well. I haven't had it out in heavier rains, but I'm fairly certain it would soak through. For light drizzles though, it's good. At $99.95 it's affordable as well. The Good
- Extremely Visible
- Fits well & comfortable
- If you have long arms, the sleeves can be a little short
Bottom Line:If you need a cycling jacket to help cut the chill and make you more visible, the Sugoi Zap Bike Jacket is a sure bet. Buy Now: Pick up the Sugoi Zap Bike Jacket[gallery]... Read more...
With riders like Darren Berrecloth and Matt Hunter onboard, Specialized has helped push the freeride scene as it has evolved. Not only are these guys pushing it in the park, on DH courses and events, but they are riding the entire mountain on capable bikes that they have helped design. For 2011, Specialized adds Martin Soderstrom to the freeride team. Good luck in 2011, fellas!
Aiming to dominate the freeride world in 2011, Specialized is excited to announce the addition of Swedish pro Martin Soderstrom to their freeride program. Specialized will sponsor Martin with frames and saddles for at least the next two years and will be joining two of the best, Darren Berrecloth and Matt Hunter, to create one of the most diverse—and dangerous—freeride teams in the world. Not only do this year’s athletes represent the best in the business, the two decorated vets and the young up-and-coming pro are not shy when it comes to product development. Specialized will make the best use of this partnership to take their products to the next level, as we’ve already seen with their XC and Downhill collaborations. Supported by strong partners for the 2011 season, expect Martin to nail some of the sickest tricks at 26TRIX, Vienna Air King, Rocket Air and the Crankworx events. Martin is fortunate to have two notorious rippers as teammates, Darren Berrecloth, and Matt Hunter. Darren’s 2010 results include winning VW’s Best Trick at Crankworx with an insane Switch-360 Lookback. He also placed 3rd overall in the FMB World Tour, and 3rd place at the RedBull Rampage. Like last year, he will ride his SX Trail, Demo 8, and P.3 on some of the craziest terrain we have ever seen. “I just bought a sick new pad and I’m building some awesome new trails in the backyard. I am going to Argentina here in a week or two to continue filming Where The Trail Ends, which is a film about travelling into the furthest regions to find the sickest big mountain lines. Contest series as usual, but more to note is my event - the Bearclaw Invitational, which will be held at Mt Washington on Aug 6th. Be ready.” Darren’s goal this year is to find out how to take big mountain riding to the next level. He just gave us a sneak peek on his recent progress courtesy of Freeride Entertainment. Meanwhile, Matt Hunter has been touring the planet on his Enduro, SX Trail, and Demo 8, giving Specialized hundreds of pages of editorial content in magazines since 2003. Matt has appeared in films such as LifeCycles, Follow Me, The Collective, Seasons, Roam, Back in the Saddle, New World Disorder 5, and Suspect, resulting in enough media coverage and video clips to keep us all stoked for the next 20 years. This year, Matt will be involved in more video projects as he travels the world to show us the best places to ride in 2011. Be sure to check out http://www.iamspecialized.com to see the latest updates and videos from Matt, Darren, and Martin.More Info: Visit IAmSpecialized.com... Read more...
Polar Bottle is the original insulated water bottle. It was an innovation that was so simple I'm betting a lot of companies were wondering why they didn't do it first. Take a regular water bottle and put some insulation around? I bet it seemed too easy and simple that nobody gave the idea merit. Turns out, they were all wrong. Tons of companies have their own variations but there can only be one original. It's finally nice to go out for summer rides and not be drinking 90 degree water when I'm done.
Polar Insulated Bottle Features
- Capacity (fl. oz.): 20 or 24 fluid ounces
- Average weight: 5 ounces (20 oz bottle), 6 ounces (24 oz bottle)
- Material(s): Polyethylene
- Water bottle cap type: Push/pull
- Bottle opening: Wide
- Fits in cup holder
- Fits into standard cycle bottle cages
- 100% BPA free
- Price: $10 (20 oz), $12 (24 oz)
Polar Insulated Bottle ReviewThe Polar Insulated Bottle is essentially your standard water bottle with an insulated jacket on it. The cap is your standard bike bottle type with a push/pull cap that is easy to open and close with your teeth on a ride. The bike friendly design fits securely into bike water cages and provides a comfortable area to grip if you decide to run with it. The key differentiator is the insulation. The bottle features double-wall construction with a foil-lined insulation layer in between the walls. The double-wall construction acts just like your vacuum sealed thermos keeping your beverage cold (or warm) with a layer of air insulation and protected from the swings in outside temps. The foil liner reflects solar heat which is awesome on the cloudless days of summer. The claim is that it will keep your drink cold twice as long as a conventional bike bottle. I didn't break out the lab coat, thermometers, and stop watches but I will say that my drinks stayed colder a lot longer than regular bottles. The less touted use that I found recently is keeping your drinks from freezing when it's cold out. I just tested this on a 10 degree F bike commute. The water in the bottle didn't freeze. Yeah there was a little bit of icy build-up trying to keep the cap from opening, but it was still pretty easy to open. Now that winter is full-on here I'm excited to still be able to bring water on the commute and not worry about it freezing solid. Coming up soon I have a sub-zero commute so we'll see how it goes. The Polar Insulated Bottle comes in 20 oz or 24 oz sizing. The foil liner comes in different designs so you have some options to choose from. The bottle is 100% BPA free. It also comes with a plastic carry loop but as soon as I received my tester bottle from Polar Bottle I took it off. It'd be nice if you were going hiking or any other time you'd want to clip it to your bag. Oh yeah, and it's made the USA. The Good
- Keeps your drinks cold (or warm in the winter)
- Simple, time tested design
- No gimmicks
- Secure, bike-friendly design
- Really couldn't think of any negatives
Bottom Line:The Polar Insulated Bottle is definitely a step up from your standard water bottles. It's worth throwing down the extra cash for the insulation. The first time you finish a hot ride and your drink is still cold (or when your bottle doesn't freeze in the winter) you'll be glad you did. Buy Now: Pick up the Polar Insulated Bottle ... Read more...
Since I started bike commuting four years ago I've wanted to get a bike computer but I never knew what to get. It seems like there are so many companies, so many styles, and the range of what they track is so wide. I couldn't ever make up my mind. I was stoked when Planet Bike sent me a Protege 8.0 Computer to review. The Protege 8.0 gave me all the info I wanted to know for my commute and kept it in a simple, clean design that is extremely easy to set up and use.
Planet Bike Protege 8.0 Computer Features
- Auto start/stop and LCD shut off
- Large LCD screen that shows 5 pieces of info at one time
- Heavy-duty, oversized wire harness and ultrasonically welded case ensure a durable, weatherproof unit
- Fits handlebars 25.4-26.0mm
- Current speed
- Speed comparator
- Ride time
- Trip distance
- Dual odometer (for 2 wheel sizes)
- Average speed
- Maximum speed
- Price: $29.99
Planet Bike Protege 8.0 Computer ReviewThe two most noticeable features of the Planet Bike Protege 8.0 Computer are the large LCD screen and the lack of buttons. The screen is big enough that it shows 5 pieces of information at one time. Your current speed always stays on screen as well as the speed comparator. The speed comparator is just and up arrow and a down arrow. It shows how you are doing compared to your average speed. If you are faster, you see up, if you are slower, you see down. It's as simple as that. You can toggle through a few different combinations of the ride time, trip distance, trip odometer, bike odometer, overall odometer, average speed, max speed, and clock. For my bike commute, and all of my rides actually, this is all the info that I want to know. I don't really care about any other fancy metrics that other cycling computers tout. The lack of buttons was the second feature that I noticed. While riding all of the screen views are controlled by pushing the computer forward in the mounting bracket and releasing. Super easy to control and the functionality is simple. Just push to change screens. Want to erase the current ride information? Just push the computer forward and hold for three seconds and voila! No press this button and hold and then press this and blink five times to clear it. Set up is a breeze. The instructions that come with the computer are easy to follow and the set up process is simple. It details how to mount to the bike, gives you the programming information for about 8 common wheel and tire sizes (if your tire size isn't listed the directions to measure are simple), and walks you through everything step-by-step. The back of the computer does feature one small programming button. Another feature that I like is you can program two different tire sizes (essentially two different bikes) into the computer and use the same computer for two different bikes and be able to track your stats for both bikes as well as an overall odometer for the computer. To switch between bikes just press the button on the back of the computer. The display shows you which bike the computer is currently running for. But it does only come with mounting hardware for one bike, you have to purchase the mounting hardware for your second bike. The computer is waterproof which is great for bike commuting. I had it out on a few rainy rides and didn't experience any problems at all. There are a couple of drawbacks that I did find. It is really hard to remove from the mounting bracket. Every time I take it out I have to push so hard I think I'm going to break it. Also it'd be nice to have a backlight when commuting in low-light conditions. And it'd be nice to have a wireless option for this computer. Planet Bike does offer a wireless option for the Protege 9.0 though. Overall, this is a great, basic bike computer. The price is fantastic, it's very easy on the wallet, it provides the functions that I think most users would want, the display is big and easy to read, and it is very user friendly. I don't need to look anymore for a bike computer, I have one that I'll keep using for a long time. The Good
- Big Screen
- No Buttons
- Program for 2 Bikes
- Easy to Use
- Easy Setup
- No Backlight
- Hard to remove from mounting bracket
- Only comes with one mountain bracket
Bottom Line:The Planet Bike Protege 8.0 Computer is a fantastic cycling computer. It provides the functions that most people will want, it doesn't have the stuff that you don't need, it's extremely user-friendly, and features a great design. Buy Now: Pick up the Planet Bike Protege 8.0 Computer ... Read more...
My friends at Ellsworth are unveiling some great new changes for 2011 across their entire lineup. The biggest change will be in the new SST tubing, which uses shapes and tapers instead of hydro-forming. These new tubes will now feature tapered head tubes, new trick color options for rockers and other bits as well as more standard color options across the line (hallelujah!). I'll be the first to admit that the funky nebula anodized colors are not my favorite and hopefully we'll see more standard colors from Ellsworth going forward. It only gets a quick mention in this release, but the new Evolution 120mm 29er looks to be quite the trail slayer. I love the Evolve 29er, but a bit more travel, new tubesets and a tapered head tube will make it that much better. Read on for a glimpse into Ellsworth for 2011.
SAN DIEGO — September 20, 2010 – Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles will unveil its 20th anniversary lineup at Interbike in Las Vegas (September 20-24) highlighted by its first Slope Style bike, the Momentum, a new 120mm 29er (The Evolution), the 2011 Enlightenment 26 firmtail crossover bike featuring the NuVinci® N360 drivetrain, and anniversary versions of the popular Truth, Epiphany, Evolve and Moment, each sporting new frame graphics, enhanced sst.2 tubing, semi-integrated tapered head tubes and super-formed pivot integrated seat tubes. Ellsworth’s "Made in America" tradition of handcrafting bicycles in the U.S. is front and forward allowing for frame and component customization and the introduction of a complete line of custom colored rockers, sex pins and derailleur hangers. Ellsworth’s new Momentum is the company’s first Slope Style bike - perfect for the Park or 4X. With the pedal efficiency of Ellsworth’s patented ICT suspension, the bike is fast like a hard tail, yet takes the edge off the hits with 120 mm of firm, speed tuned rear travel allowing the bike to carry more speed and stay connected. It’s the perfect ICT embodiment in a full suspension Park style bike. The Momentum will be customizable, offered with several build options, and will feature a custom configured Fox 831 fork and Ellsworth’s custom built All-Mountain wheels. Crafted from Ellsworth’s Rare Earth Carbon, the Enlightenment 26 crossover bike features force directional carbon shaping and lay patterns topped off with internal cable routing to protect the shifting from the elements. The DMS (Dual Mono Stay) firmtail frame design features an element of absorption, without mechanical articulation, that produces an amazing ride whether it’s a quick daily commute or an off-road trek on a favorite trail. The Enlightenment’s unique dropout design accommodates the NuVinci N360’s drive with a belt or a chain. The NuVinci CVP is a significant "shift" in drivetrain technology, transmitting mechanical power with spheres instead of gears. With an unlimited number of ratios available within its nominal 360% ratio range, the N360 enhances the Enlightenment’s performance with seamless, continuous shifting (even under high pedal torque), without power interruptions, missed gears or dropped chains. Ellsworth’s XC, Trail and All Mountain mainstays (Truth, Evolve, Epiphany and Moment) will feature the next generation of the company’s SST tubing (sst.2), which is hand-shaped after swaging and tapering, which gives precise control of wall thickness, over bulk hydro-forming. The shaping allows Ellsworth to create the precise characteristics of life and rigidity in each frame. In addition to new frame graphics and head badges, each frame will feature a new semi-integrated tapered head tube that provides superlative strength for razor sharp handling and increased front-end stiffness, improved overall stack height and allows for an increased bearing surface. In addition, Ellsworth is incorporating a new Pivot Integrated Seat Tube for each model. New super-formed seat tubes are lighter and stronger than ever. “Our 20th anniversary lineup continues the handcrafted, quality and technological ‘Made in America’ tradition of excellence that our customers have known and loved for two decades,” said Tony Ellsworth. “This is perhaps the most exciting model year lineup we have ever produced. Our mountain bikes maintain our tried and true ICT suspension design that provides greater efficiency — for climbing, speed and acceleration; ride quality — incredible handling, traction and control; and reduced rider fatigue — for sustained physical performance. Whether on or off road, our customers riding experience remains paramount to this company. That’s why we’d like to thank our customers for the ‘great ride’ over the past 20 years with a model lineup that pays homage to the past but propels us to the future.” For more information on the Momentum, Evolution, Enlightenment 26 and other 20th anniversary models, contact Ellsworth Handcrafted Bikes at 760-788-7500 or visit www.ellsworthbikes.com. Ellsworth will preview its 20th anniversary lineup at Outdoor Demo West in Boulder City, NV September 20-21 (Booth 2070) and at the Interbike Expo, September 22-24 in Las Vegas (Booth #4575). About Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles, Inc. Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles, Inc, designs and hand crafts its bikes in house providing the highest manufacturing integrity to its state of the art bicycles. Ellsworth, which holds multiple international patents for innovation in design and technology, is also committed to Social Responsibility and Environmental Stewardship, supporting programs to cure cancer, prevent global deforestation and is also headquartered in a solar and wind powered sustainable building. To learn more about Ellsworth Bikes visit www.ellsworthbikes.com, on Twitter "@ellsworthbikes", and Facebook @ “Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles”.More Info: Visit Ellsworthbikes.com... Read more...
We're in the thick of bike tradeshow season. With Eurobike just completed and Interbike next week, it's all bikes, all the time. From the folks at POC will come the new POC Trabec Race MTB helmet for the "all mountain" crowd. If you aren't familiar with POC, think of a Volvo for your head and if "all mountain" makes no sense, then think of it as someone who rides a bike on trails (that's you!). Here are the details of the all-new POC Trabec mountain bike helmet for those who want Volvo-like protection and also ride their bikes on trails.
The NEW Trabec Race in-mold MTB helmet has been developed in line with all other POC helmets, to provide the highest possible degree of protection without comprising functionality and performance. From the inside and out, the helmet has borrowed its construction from how the skeleton is built, for strength, resistance and durability. The Aramid filament reinforced EPS core is super tough and resilient to any kind of crash. The outer PC shell has optimized coverage without seams or gaps in the most exposed areas. The PC shell bonds both mechanically and chemically together with the reinforced core, giving a very light and strong helmet construction. The vent hole pattern is evenly distributed and optimizes airflow and protection. MSRP: $175More Info: Visit POCsports.com... Read more...
The Crank Brothers Multi-17 Tool is the second largest in the line of multi-tools offered by Crank Brothers. While it is big, it's not actually very big at all. It'll fit easily into the palm of your hand. It features literally almost every tool you'd need to perform simple maintenance and repair on your bike, whether on the road, trail, or in your garage. I actually used the Multi-17 for a few years at my home-shop because I didn't have any other bike tools. With a battalion of 17 tools on it, there's not much the Crank Brothers Multi-17 Tool can't do.
Crank Brothers Multi-17 Tool Features
- Weight: 168g
- Length: 3.5" / 89mm
- Frame: 6061-T6 aluminum
- Tools: 6050 high tensile steel
- Chain tool: 8/9/10 speed compatible
- Spoke wrench: #1, 2, 3, 4
- Hex wrenches: #2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8
- Screwdrivers: phillips, flat
- Open wrench: 8mm, 10mm
- Torx: t-25
- Warranty: lifetime
- Price: $27
Crank Brothers Multi-17 Tool ReviewThe Crank Brothers Multi-17 Tool literally has just about ever tool you'd need to wrench on your bike on a ride or at home. While you won't want to rebuild your bike with it, the Multi-17 can tackle most tasks. I've used it to swap handlebars, swap clipless pedals, adjust spokes, repair broken chains, adjust brakes, tighten saddles, you name it. When I first got into biking a few years ago I couldn't afford a tool set at home. The Multi-17 handled the job. Pair with with another small multi-tool and most tasks got done. The Multi-17 is burly. It's solid and well-built. All of the tools are made with high tensile steel and the frame is aluminum. The Multi-17 will literally last forever. I've been using mine for a few years and it looks about as good as new. One thing I like about the Multi-17 over their other tools is it's wider, which is easier for me to hold. The frame is etched with a diamond pattern, giving extra grip to what would otherwise be slippery metal. The Multi-17 also comes with a big rubber band that holds the tools in place, but also provides extra grip. With the chain tool I have found that it can be hard to keep a hold of the metal tab when cranking it down when using only your hands. If you have pliers it makes the job easier. You can hold onto with your hands, it's just a little difficult. It is compact enough to easily fit in a saddlebag, no matter how small. You could just as easily throw in your pocket or in the back of your jersey. It's small enough and light enough that you won't notice it. The Good
- Tons of tools
- Steel construction will last forever
- If you're concerned about weight, maybe it's a little bulky
Bottom Line:The Crank Brothers Multi-17 Tool is awesome. It has the tools you'll need to make those mid-ride adjustments and fixes. If it can't do it, you've got bigger problems to worry about. Do yourself a favor and Buy Now: Pick up the Crank Brothers Multi-17 Tool ... Read more...
With superstar Levi Leipheimer dancing in Giro prototypes for the past year or more, Giro makes it official and has released the details on their new high-end road and mountain bike shoe lineup for 2011. These shoes have been tested in The Tour de France, Leadville 100, The Tour of California and The Tour of Utah by Levi himself. With several podium finishes already, the new lineup has an impressive record -- even before the public can get their feet in them. With prices starting at $199, the new Giro shoes won't come cheaply, so they better be comfortable and durable on the trail or on the road. For those of you who remember their first ill-fated attempt at footwear, these shoes have little in common with that pilot project gone bad and look to be a welcomed entry into the high-end cycling shoe market. Look for them at your local Giro dealer sometime in January 2011. Here's a bit more info on Giro's new cycling shoes:
- Available in seven different models for both road and MTB riding
- Price range for road is $349 to $199
- Price range for mountain is $279 to $199
- Top-end models feature adjustable SuperNatural Fit Footbeds (also available as a separate kit)
- Two years in development with 16 revisions and thousands of miles of road and trail testing
- Features a proprietary last designed from the ground-up exclusively by Giro
- Developed with input and testing from Retul founder Todd Carver
- Three-time Tour of California Champion Levi Leipheimer was a critical force in the development of the shoes and raced the Tour de France in the Prolight SLX
- Top-end models feature a high modulus carbon or composite sole designed by Easton engineers
- Include premium materials such as Tejin uppers, custom fasteners and X-Static fabric
- Will be sold through approximately 500 dealers in the United States
- Giro shoes will also be available through dealers in Germany, Switzerland Denmark, Benelux, Scandinavia and the UK
I decided to pick up mountain biking last summer. I needed to buy a bike but I had some specific requirements that had to be met. First of all, I was on a budget, I wanted something well made, and it had to last. I wanted to ride XC so it had to rally XC. After a lot of research (and a lot of bugging my friends who ride) I landed on the Rocky Mountain Vertex 10. With my budget I could get a lower-end full suspension or a nicer hardtail. I went the hardtail route.
Rocky Mountain Vertex 10 Features
- FORM 7005 aluminum
- ST3 geometry
- Marzocchi 33 LO fork, 100mm travel w/ lock out Components
- Shimano XT rear derailleur
- Shimano Deore Rapid Fire 9 speed shifters
- Shimano Deore front derailleur
- Shimano FC-M442 crankset w/ Octalink bottom bracket
- Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
- RMB alloy stem
- RMB xc alloy handlebar
- Shimano 505 clipless pedals
- Shimano cassette Wheels
- WTB Speed disc XC rims
- Shimano M475 front hub
- WTB ExiWolf tires
- MSRP: $1,500
Rocky Mountain Vertex 10 ReviewFirst things first, I made a couple of changes as soon as I received the bike. I swapped out the Shimano hydraulic brakes for the Avid BB7 mechanical brakes and I swapped the Shimano pedals for some Crank Brothers Candy pedals. Everything else I left as stock. Rocky Mountain makes a solid bike. The Vertex falls within Rocky Mountain's "Cross Country" line of bikes. It does fall at the lower end of the Vertex line, however, upon component comparison upgrading to the Vertex 30 wasn't worth the money in my eyes. The different components on the bike weren't really worth the price difference in my mind. I don't really watch weight and middle of the road or slightly better components work for me. I like stuff that works well but isn't finicky and that's exactly what I got with the Vertex 10. The frame is burly, the components decent, and everything has held up so far after two seasons worth of use. I plan getting at least another season in before anything outside of brake pads and tires will even need to be considered for replacement. The Marzoochi fork gives about 4" of travel and can fully lock out. Locking out the fork is crucial for climbing and for any smooth riding that needs to be done. The Shimano XT rear derailleur and Deore front derailleur and shifters fall right in line with how Shimano components perform. After a season worth of use I did need to adjust the rear derailleur but performance has remained consistent. The bike rides very well, it's super smooth, can definitely hold its own on the ups and downs. The Vertex 10 is meant to ride fast and you can definitely push it fast. So far I've been able to hold my own on XC trails riding with guys on full-suspension bikes. I have done a comparison of the '09 to the '10 model and things really didn't change all that much. There are some different component combinations but everything is equal. The Good
- Solid build
- Fast Bike
- Pure XC Goodness
- Of course being hardtail the super rough stuff can get tiring on the back & butt
- Could be considered a little heavy (if you're a weight-nut)
Bottom Line:Rocky Mountain makes solid bikes and Vertex 10 is no exception. If you are looking for a XC machine and want a hardtail, you can't go wrong with the Vertex 10. Buy Now: Pick up the Rocky Mountain Vertex 10 ... Read more...
I just got the following news announcement from Niner Bikes. Pretty cool that Steve Domahidy and Chris Sugai would personally deliver a Niner Jet9 to the former Commander in Chief. Like him or hate him, I think it's cool to have a President who is also a mountain biker--not sure Obama cares so much for mountain biking, but I hear he has a mean jumper. Looks like Bush enjoyed the benefits of the big wheels by knocking 3 minutes off his previous best time! Details below:
Niner Bikes co-founders Chris Sugai and Steve Domahidy spent Thursday morning of this week delivering and fitting a Niner Jet 9 full suspension bike for Former President George W. Bush, with assistance from local Niner dealer Kennebunkport Bicycle Company. “Most of Peloton 1, Mr. Bushʼs regular mountain bike crew, is on 29 inch wheels and he wanted to check them out. He asked Brandon Gillard, owner of the Kennebunkport Bicycle Company and Peloton 1 rider, if he could try a Niner. Brandon called us and of course we were stoked for the opportunity” said Sugai “ It is really hard to believe that just a few years ago we were showing our first frame at Sea Otter and now we are riding with a former President of the United States” Bush, Sugai, Domahidy and the rest of the Peloton 1 crew (as well as a full complement of Secret Service people) went for a ride on the crewʼs usual morning loop. “Mr. Bush is really fast” said Domahidy, ”and a very good technical rider, too. He was flying on the Jet 9 and at the end of the ride said he dropped 3 minutes off of his fastest time!” Post ride, there was ample opportunity to chat, and the groupʼs conversation covered everything from trails, trail access and trail building to entrepreneurship in the USA. Said Sugai, “I found that he was very interested in the challenges of being a small business in the current economic atmosphere. This has been an amazing opportunity and we really have Niner owners to thank – their support over the years has gotten our little company to this point”. Photo Credit: CasmithPhotography.comMore Info: Visit NinerBikes.com... Read more...
One thing that I learned very quickly, the hard way, when I started bike commuting is you have to carry a pump. I thought I could get away with not taking one with me every ride. I also thought the same thing when I got my mountain bike and was going for a "quick" ride during lunch one day (that was a long walk back to the office). In the world of mini-pumps there's many options. I knew my pump would mostly get hauled around on the daily bike commute so I needed something that wouldn't take a year to pump a tire, it had to be burly to stand up to the daily abuse of commuting, and it needed to have a gauge. I searched around and found the Crank Brothers Alloy Power Pump w/gauge. I chose this particular pump because out of Crank Brothers line of mini pumps it was the one that best fit my needs.
Crank Brothers Alloy Power Pump w/Gauge Features
- Maximum Pressure: 130psi (9 bar)
- Valves: Presta & Schraeder
- Material: 6061-T6 aluminum
- Air switch: high volumn / high pressure
- Mounting Bracket: included
- Weight: 173g
- Price: $38
Crank Brothers Alloy Power Pump w/Gauge ReviewThis was the first mini pump that I have purchased and I have only ever used one other (another Crank Brothers model) so keep that in mind. In terms of my needs: burly, ability to pump up a tire in less than a day, and have a gauge, the Alloy Power Pump has met my expectations. I've been hauling mine around for about 2 years now and so far the name and some paint have rubbed off the handle. It definitely holds up to the rigors to daily use. I've handled both metal and plastic pumps before and I like metal. Yeah it may weight a little but I think the metal is definitely more durable. The Alloy Power Pump does feature a twistable head with a Presta adaptor on one side and a Schraeder adapter on the other. Just a simple twist and you can pump up either valve. Probably my favorite feature is the adjustable air switch. Located at the base of the handle there's a dial you can turn to one of two positions. The first position is 'high volume'. You use this when first pumping up the tire and you want to get a lot of air in with each pump. The second position is 'high pressure'. When the going gets tough just turn the dial and you start pumping less air with each pump but it comes in at a higher pressure. With mini pumps without this feature getting a road tire above 30 psi is a rough, I couldn't do it. With the air switch it's no problem. I chose the Alloy Power Pump because of the longer handle. This has it's pros and cons. The pros are you get more air in with each pump, thus taking less time and less work to fill up your tire. The cons are it's longer and weighs more. The pump either has to strap to the bike (mounting bracket included) or go in a pack. It doesn't fit very well into a jersey pocket and it definitely won't fit into a saddle bag. Second favorite feature is the gauge. I had a floor pump once without a gauge. Nothing quite like the 'squeeze test' to see if your tires have enough air. The gauge takes all the guess work out. Plus when I'm using a mini pump I like to know how much longer it's going to be to get the right pressure. The Alloy Power Pump is well made. It's been strapped to a number of bikes, been thrown in the bottom of panniers for a year, dropped on the road a few times, and the thing keeps chugging. I haven't broken anything on it and it still works like brand new. My main gripe with the pump is the mounting bracket. It mounts via a couple of zipties. While I love zipties, the big drawback is what to do if you have multiple bikes. I don't always ride with a pack or panniers. Nor do I always ride with a jersey. I'm not one to buy a pump for each bike so switching from bike to bike is a pain. A velcro strap for attaching to the bike would be killer. What I do like about the mounting bracket is it's also a protective cover for the gauge and pump head. The Good
- Burly, has stood up to 2 years of abuse
- Air switch
- Longer pump action
- Mounting bracket only attaches with zipties making multiple bike attachment a pain
- Weight (if you're counting that)
- Takes more effort than a CO2 inflater
Bottom Line:The Crank Brothers Alloy Power Pump w/gauge is burly, durable, and great to use. In the world of mini pumps it stands near the top. Buy Now: Pick up the Crank Brothers Alloy Power Pump w/gauge ... Read more...
Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain rider, Geoff Kabush, continued his dominance for the 8th straight year after winning the Canadian National XC MTB Championships this weekend. Great work, yet again Mr, Kabush!
It would be easy to surmise that Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain’s Geoff Kabush, having won Canadian National MTB Championships for the last seven years in a row, would cruise to number eight without much difficulty. Those “in the know”, however, predicted a Battle Royale between Kabush and Max Plaxton, the winner of two US Cup races this season. Plaxton, who has finished second to Kabush at several national championships, was hungry to don his first ever national champion’s jersey. Under sunny skies and hot temperatures, Plaxton and Kabush led the elite field out of the Canmore Nordic Center for the first lap, accompanied by Derek Zandstra and Rocky Mountain’s Marty Lazarksi following close behind. Kabush, Plaxton, and Zandstra built their lead steadily over the next two laps, each sharing the work to distance the rest of the competition. All three riders appeared to be riding within their limits and it was anyone’s guess as who would take the win. On lap four, as the three leaders began the long climb, both Zandstra and Plaxton attacked, but neither could shake the other riders. When they reached the last steep pitch of the climb, Kabush launched a blistering attack that neither Zandstra nor Plaxton could match. As Plaxton chased Kabush, he dropped Zandstra and the three spent of the race riding on their own. Kabush came into the finish with a time of 1:45:15 with Plaxton 48 seconds back in second place and Zandstra third, 1:39 back. "It wasn't an easy win," said Kabush. "Those guys are getting stronger every year, and pushing me a bit more. I waited until near the top of the steepest climb and then punched it hard, and was able to open enough of a gap to get away from them. I waited for the right moment to create some separation. I guess old school was able to beat new school for one more year." "He picked the right time to go," Plaxton explained, "and he can put in such a powerful attack that I couldn't go with him. Geoff's won of the top guys in the world, so there's no shame in being beaten by him.“... Read more...
I was a little skeptical when I picked up the Camelbak Podium ChillJacket Insulated Bottle. It's seems too simple, why haven't companies been doing this since the beginning? Camelbak made the promises and then they delivered.
Camelbak ChillJacket Bottle Features
- Insulation to keep drinks colder longer
- JetValve: i.e. No spill lid
- Hydroguard coating to inhibit the growth of bacteria
- Price $12
Camelbak Podium ChillJacket Insulated Bottle ReviewThe ChillJacket looks almost like any other bike bottle. To not sound like a cheesy, feel-good person, it's what's on the inside that counts. The bottle is wrapped with double-walls filled with insulation, providing the insulation to keep your drinks colder longer. The tags on the bottle claim 2x as long, the Camelbak website says "hours". I didn't get out the thermometer or the stopwatch, but the difference is significant. Kept my water cold all day while playing at the river. Camelbak also coated the inside of the bottle with HydroGuard. It's a coating to inhibit the growth of bacteria. This doesn't provide an excuse for keeping a funky bottle, you still have to wash it often. The JetValve (no-spill lid) is awesome. Just twist the nozzle one way and the water flows smoothly. Turn it the other way and nothing will come out. I gave it the highly scientific and precise "tip upside down and squeeze hard" test and not a drop came out. This would be killer on MTB rides where it always seems your sugary, electrolyte drink always seems to seep a little making a sticky mess. I am skeptical about how well the bottle will stay in a bike bottle cage. The indentation on the bottle doesn't seem significant enough to keep it in place. I plan on testing it out as soon as my bikes arrive from across the country. I am also skeptical about the JetValve use one handed. If the valve was open would it really keep everything in on a bouncy cross-country ride? It'd be fairly difficult to hold onto the bottle and open with one hand while riding. I'll probably just keep it open the whole time. The Good
- My drink isn't warm after sitting in the sun for 5 minutes, or even 30 minutes, or even an hour
- No spill lid keeps everything inside
- Did I mention keeping your drink cold?
- Might not sit in a bike cage very well
- One hand opening while riding would be hard
Bottom Line on the Camelbak Podium ChillJacket Insulated BottleI can't wait to be able to drink cold drinks in the middle of the sweltering summer rides. I'm definitely picking up a few more of these bottles. Buy Now: Pick up the Camelbak Podium ChillJacket Insulated Bottle and keep your drinks cold.... Read more...
To me a saddle bag is a saddle bag is a saddle bag. What really sets them apart from each other? Capacity, attachment, and materials. The Pedro's Blowout Bag nails it with all three. You get large capacity (If you buy the large), seat and seatpost attachment that is solid, and it's made from recycled tubes. It's hard to beat that.
Pedro's Blowout Bag Features
- 3 sizes: 25 ci, 35 ci, & 50 ci
- Materials: Recycled tubes & nylon
Pedro's Blowout Bag ReviewThe thing that drew me to the Pedro's Blowout Bag was the recycled tires. I loved the idea of it. In terms of durability I think the nylon will wear out faster than the tubes. I bought the large and I have enough room to fit a spare tube (mtn or road), tire levers, patch kit, two multi-tools, some change, a gel, and room to spare. If I had one I'd be able to fit a CO2 inflater and a couple of cartridges. I do have a friend who has fit a Crank Brothers Power Pump in hers. The bag also features a small reflective strip around the logo on the back of the bag, increasing your rear visibility at night. The Good
- Recycling old tubes
- Large has good capacity
- Durability should be high
- Have to loosen the strap a lot to unzip it
Bottom Line:A saddle bag is a saddle bag. Get one that reuses materials, holds what you need, and should last a long time. The Blowout Bag is it. Buy Now: Pick up the Pedro's Blowout Bag ... Read more...
The Park Tool Multi-Tool - MT-1C is about as minimalist as you can get with a bike multi-tool. The thing reminds me of a skeleton key or something you'd see on an Indiana Jones movie or MacGyver. It may look simplistic but it's got the Park Tool quality and name behind it. It has the basic of the basics that you'll likely need when out on a ride.
Park Tool Multi-Tool - MT-1C Features
- Cast Steel
- 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 mm hex wrenches
- 8, 9, 10 mm box end wrenches
- 1 flathead screwdriver
- Weight: 54 grams
- Price: $9
Park Tool Multi-Tool - MT-1C ReviewReally what is there to say that hasn't been said above? Simple multi-tool for carrying around with you on every ride. I did buy a bigger multi-tool but that really became my 'at home bike tool' (what can I say, I don't really have shop tools at home). Out on a ride though, I haven't used anything on the larger tool that I didn't have on the MT-1C. That's not to say that something won't come up. I have had a couple of times where it's been nice to have more than one tool. When it really comes down to it this is a great back-up tool to have with you. At $9 I have one in each of my saddlebags. It's been useful and has the basics of what I need. Park Tool designed it in a way to have the most useful configuration. However, there have been a handful of times where the tool has been awkward to use or almost didn't fit where I needed it to go. That being said if you want a back-up to take with you or only have $10, this is the tool to get. The Good
- Basic sizes of the most common tools
- Park Tool Quality
- Limited number of tools
- Can be awkward to use
Bottom Line:Bottom line is this is a handy tool to have on hand with you. It can handle the basic jobs and most of the most common issues while out on a ride. If you are only going to have one tool though, it'll be worthwhile to get something a little bigger. This is a good secondary tool to have on hand. Buy Now: Get the Park Tool Multi-Tool - MT-1C ... Read more...
Hehehe, you're wearing knickers. Yes, yes I am. Yes you may get teased by the unaware when you wear the Cutter Tech Knickerbocker but on the inside you're laughing at them. The Knickerbocker is one of the greatest products for bike commuters.
Cutter Tech Knickerbocker Features
- Polartec Power Shield Stretch Woven with Hardface Technology
- 6 pockets (2 front, 2 back, 2 cargo)
- Ergonomic Fit
- U-Lock Snap on the back pocket
- Price: $149.95
Cutter Tech Knickerbocker ReviewFirst off, in the interest of disclosure, I used to work for the company that owns Cutter. In no way have I been compensated or otherwise influenced for this review. Now that's out of the way lets get to the good stuff. The Knickerbocker features the Polarguard Powershield Stretch blah blah blah...big fancy name for super stretchy fabric. I have had zero restriction problems, Polarguard absolutely slayed it with this fabric. You can swing your leg over your bike without busting a seam or feeling like you have 80-year-old joints (sorry 80-year-olds). You can also move around on the bike (stand, sit, pedal, etc) without any restriction. I used to commute in plain clothes and riding in khakis was a pain. I have about 75 days riding in the Knickerbocker and they look as good as day 1. They are extremely durable and have held up well to the daily abuse. I've worn them in all conditions from hot humid days, to cold rain, and in a couple of cases, snow. They do repel light moisture so offer protection in a light drizzle. Another big benefit of the Knickerbocker is the length. During cold weather rides they keep your knees covered and warm. Nothing like cold, creaky knees to take the fun out of a ride. The Knickerbocker has killer style that works commuting, road riding, mountain biking, walking around the grocery store, whatever you want. No more getting mocked when you show up in your 'bike pants'. In regards to fit I normally wear 34" waist pants and I wear a medium in the Knickerbocker. They fit nicely and are just a little big (read: just right) around the waist and they hang just below my knees. The Good
- Super stretchy fabric
- Killer Style
- Lots of Pockets
- Only near black color (gets hot in the sun)
- A little spendy
Bottom Line:These are the cycling bottoms to own for commuting and general riding around. They are spendy but worth the clams you'll shell out for them. Buy Now: Do yourself a favor and buy the Cutter Tech Knickerbocker now. ... Read more...
Curl up with your freeride machine and riding partners, pop some popcorn and enjoy "Follow Me" from the comforts of your own home. The DVD is available now with the download up on iTunes and Blu-Ray coming next month. Freeriders worldwide rejoice!
WHISTLER, BC, May 12, 2010 – Coinciding with an international film tour currently underway, Anthill Films’ new mountain bike film Follow Me presented by Shimano will be available this week for retail purchase. While audiences are being blown away along the film tour, pre-orders are being fulfilled and consumers can now purchase Follow Me on DVD direct from anthillfilms.com where they can also gain access to exclusive content including photos, videos and rider interviews. Follow Me will also available for purchase at select international bicycle and sports specialty retailers and on iTunes. The film will additionally be available on BluRay in June 2010. Shot predominately in British Columbia, Follow Me, the newest production by local film production company Anthill Films, is a modern portrait of mountain bike lifestyle which gets back to basics and reminds viewers why riding bikes is so much fun. Shimano-sponsored riders including Gee Atherton, Geoff Gulevich, Matt Hunter, Cam McCaul, Kurt Sorge and Thomas Vanderham are featured along with Ben Boyko, Sam Hill, Brandon Semenuk and Stevie Smith. Follow Me gives viewers a lot more than just breathtaking, progressive action. Set to an eclectic and modern soundtrack, the film breaks away from traditional formats and finds out what happens when the world’s top downhillers, freeriders and slopestylers are mixed and matched together in some the best places to ride on the planet. Follow Me is all about good times, pushing limits, crazy adventures and most importantly having fun. The Follow Me film tour is currently underway, with over 60 exclusive premiere events taking place all over the world. Visit www.anthillfilms.com to view the trailer, exclusive content and interviews with athletes starring in the film and to purchase a copy of the film. Specialty retailers looking to carry Follow Me can visit www.vasentertainment.com. Follow Me is the first feature film for Anthill Films, a new film production company formed by the crew who helped create award-winning films including: The Collective, Roam and Seasons. Follow Me is presented by Shimano in association with Adidas Eyewear, Bike Parks of BC, PRO Components, PinkBike.com, Bike Magazine and Nike 6.0. Follow Me is distributed globally by VAS Entertainment.Buy Now: Visit AnthillFilms.com or Download on iTunes... Read more...
Still a long way to go, but 29ers continue to shine on singletrack and in races. This time Giant rider, Carl Decker, cruises to the win in the 2010 Sea Otter Super D on an advanced Giant Anthem X 29er prototype. Giddy up. Here's the word from Giant:
Giant has owned Super D racing at the Sea Otter Classic ever since the event was added to the massive cycling festival at the Laguna Seca Raceway four years ago. On Friday, Giant Factory Off-Road riders Carl Decker and Kelli Emmett kept the win streak alive, winning the opening pro mountain bike races at the four-day event in Monterey. Decker, who has worked with Giant on the development of its 29er mountain bikes, received the latest version of Giant’s prototype Anthem X 29er featuring Maestro Suspension the day before the race. After a quick test, he decided to race it. “This bike felt pretty amazing,” Decker said. “I can tell you now I’m pretty much going to race this on everything this year. It’s super fast.” It was Decker’s third consecutive Super D win at Sea Otter, and he has also won the last seven national series Super D events that he has started. Decker edged out Cannondale teammates Marco Fontana and Manuel Fumic on a fast, wide open course that includes one significant climb followed by 50 mph plus fireroads. The high speeds, combined with water bars and wind, always make the Sea Otter Super D interesting. The men’s race was close; Decker pulled away in the final stretch to take the win. In women’s racing, Emmett topped a small pro women’s field, powering her Giant Anthem X Advanced SL bike to a third Sea Otter Super D win in the past four years. “I was leading up that first climb and I could see I was starting to get reeled in,” said Emmett. “So I made a big surge there. I kind of got a gap and just rode my race from there.”More Info: Visit Giant-Bicycles.com... Read more...
Polar has long been the market-leader in heart rate monitors and training devices. They have also had a handful of cycling-specific watches and computers, but the new Polar CS500 really hits the cycling market hard and fast with its innovative design and overall function. The all-new CS500 cycling computer includes all the metrics you'd ever want or need to know for your next road or mountain bike ride. With its large screen, expandable pods and unique rockered function switch, this new cycling computer will be the athlete's choice for hard-core training and performance. You can't have everything, but the only thing I would like is an integration with the Polar G3 GPS unit for mapping--guess you can't have it all. The total package looks great!
Polar CS 500 Features
- Rockered switch for easy navigation
- Utilizes W.I.N.D. technology for intereference-free transmission
- Oversized face with large readout
- Altimeter and barometer
- Heart rate features: Automatic target zones (age-based), HRmax (age-based), HR alarms, OwnCal, OwnCode, OwnZone, upload to polarpersonaltrainer.com
- Cadence sensor
- Speed sensor
- MSRP: $319.95 (available May 2010)
Lake Success, N.Y. (April 13, 2010) – Polar (www.polarusa.com), the leader in heart rate monitoring and fitness assessment technology, today announced the launch of the CS500 – a new cycling computer that is the first in the market to offer rocker switch operation and a sleek, extra-large display screen. The CS500 is also compatible with the wireless Polar Power Output Sensor W.I.N.D., which provides the rider with cycling power, enabling the highest level of professional training. Event riders have long desired cycling computers with simpler button-pushing and a display screen with large, easy-to read digits – especially at high speeds. The CS500 meets these demands with two exclusive design features. First, with an extra-large and aerodynamic display – the CS500 offers outstanding visibility, and allows more information to be viewed on the screen, creating a data-rich, cycling computer. Second, the diamond-shaped handlebar unit sits on a pivoting, two-way rocker switch. When cyclists want to change the screen to view different data, they no longer have to take their hands off the bars – they simply use their thumb to lightly tap the left or right side of the CS500, and the screen instantly flips to reveal a different set of performance data. With this unique design, cyclists can better concentrate on their ride. “With the CS500, Polar is revolutionizing the way cyclists view, track and monitor their data,” said Jeff Padovan, President of Polar USA. “From design to functionality, cyclists can train at a higher level with features including the industry’s first two-way rocker switch that allows users to easily view data and rich feedback such as speed, cadence and power. Additionally, the option to add accessories separately gives the cyclist the flexibility to customize their training based on their changing needs.” Designed with competitive riders in mind, the CS500 combines the precise and leading Polar heart rate technology with advanced cycling features. The CS500 tracks speed, distance, cadence, heart rate, calories burned, incline, altitude, ascent and descent and temperature. Up to four different data points can be displayed on the extra-large screen and using the auto-lap splits feature, miles automatically roll-over and cyclists can see a snapshot of their data per lap. To simplify training at the right level and help cyclists get a better workout, the exclusive Polar OwnZone® feature provides a personalized, target heart rate recommendation on how hard to ride. When paired with the Polar Power Output Sensor W.I.N.D., a separate accessory, the CS500 can track high-level cycling data such as power output. With power meter compatibility – available at an affordable price – the CS500 can evolve with a cyclist, as they become more advanced and their training needs expand. The CS500 syncs with polarpersonaltrainer.com, which is a free, online training journal, where cyclists can easily set goals, track progress, analyze results and challenge friends to a common goal. After a workout, data is uploaded to the site via the DataLink, a new wireless communication device from Polar, which includes Mac compatibility. The DataLink plugs into the USB port on a computer, and automatically detects the CS500 in the room, instantly uploading new workout files to a user’s personal profile. In conjunction with the CS500, polarpersonaltrainer.com has been redesigned with new, cycling-specific features, such as “Training Load,” which helps cyclists make smarter decisions by interpreting how hard a specific workout was, and advising when you have recovered from the previous workouts. Utilizing Polar W.I.N.D. technology, the CS500 eliminates the issue of data drop-outs or cross-talk between cycling computers, as the powerful, 2.4 GHz transmission signal ensures disturbance-free training. The new Dual Lock Bike Mount, made of reinforced composite metal, guarantees sturdy, rock-solid attachment to the bike, making it ideal for both road and mountain biking. The CS500 can easily be customized and used on up to three different bikes, and also features a “Drink Reminder,” prompting cyclists when hydration is needed during a ride. To see a video of the CS500 in action and its unique functionalities, visit the Polar USA YouTube Channel. The CS500 is available as a base set, or bundled with a cadence sensor. The base set includes the handlebar unit, WearLink W.I.N.D. fabric chest strap, CS speed sensor W.I.N.D., and Dual Lock Bike Mount, and is available for a suggested price of $319.95. The CS500 cadence set is available for a suggested price of $359.95. The Power Output Sensor W.I.N.D. is available as a separate accessory for a suggested price of $359.95. The DataLink is also available as an accessory, for a suggested price of $54.95. All products are available online or at specialty stores. About Polar Headquartered in Lake Success, NY, Polar USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Finland-based Polar Electro OY, which invented the first wireless heart rate monitor (HRM) in 1977. The leading Polar heart rate monitoring and fitness assessment technology delivers unparalleled insight into the human body. Our wrist-based training computers provide valuable guidance and feedback, enabling individuals to improve their fitness level, overall health and well-being or sports performance. Polar products and technologies are key to the success of leading fitness facilities, athletic teams, corporate wellness facilities, health insurance providers and thousands of physical education programs around the country. Today, Polar training computers are the number one choice among consumers worldwide.More Info: Visit PolarUSA.com... Read more...
While Utah's glorious Wasatch Mountains got pounded this week with over 3-feet of powder in 24 hours, I sat in my office staring at the handful of mountain bikes that have seen little dirt so far this year. The first one on the list is a top-shelf scandium-framed 29er from Kona: the King Kahuna 29er. The frame is identical to last year's, but with a much sexier bronze paintjob (I think) and a few other changes. The overall spec is very trailworthy with Shimano XT/SLX drivetrain and the new Easton XC Two 29 wheels mated to Maxxis Aspen 2.1 tires. Another noteworthy upgrade from last year is the 15QR front axle on the Fox 32 F29 fork (still 80mm) which helps the front end track better and provides more confidence-inspiring handling. I'm looking forward to putting the King Kahuna through its paces over the coming months--trails are just now starting to thaw, so real-world testing is just around the corner. My rides thus far have been great, so stay tuned. 2010 Kona King Kahuna Features:
- Frame: Kona race light scandium butted
- Fork: 80mm Fox 32 F29 with 15QR
- Wheels: Easton XC Two 29
- Drivetrain: Shimano XT/SLX
- Brakes: Shimano SLX
- MSRP: $2799
Just got the word on the upcoming RockShox Domain Dual Crown fork. Park riders will rejoice with the durability and stiffness of the new Domain fork and their wallets will easily plunk down for this reasonably-priced park-slayer. More details on the RockShox Domain Dual Crown:
Introducing the new Domain Dual Crown, same Domain characteristics brought up to a 200mm dual crown chassis. The tried and true long travel single crown grows up! We started with all the core features of Domain: hardened steel upper tubes and easily adjustable compression and rebound damping. Once we had those key features in place, we sprinkled some of the most exciting parts of the BoXXer’s World Cup winning chassis on top! Assembled, this new dual crown offering will be the smoothest most durable park weapon in the wild. Features:Buy Now: Search for RockShox Forks... Read more...
- Proven park durability
- Dual-crown 200mm chassis
- 35mm tapered steel stanchions
- BoXXer-based chassis
- Aluminum 1-1/8 Steerer
- 20mm Maxle Lite
- Motion Control IS
- Includes short and tall crowns, 2 tuning springs
- MSRP: $660 USD
I'm totally and completely onboard with SRAM's new 2x10 XX drivetrain (read my thoughts from Interbike 2009) as it makes complete sense. Who can argue with eliminating duplicate gear ratios, simplifying front shifting and dropping weight? I know I sure can't and neither should you. I just got word that for 2011, SRAM will be introducing a 2x10 version of their workhorse X7 drivetrain. By coming in with the X7 announcement, it's only a matter of time (weeks, days) before we start hearing about X9 and X0 2x10's as well. While X7 isn't as sexy as the XX grouppo, it sure will save riders a ton of coin while providing excellent performance. Lets face it, the current X7 is going to perform as well as the X0 grouppo from 2-3 years ago (or better), which is still pretty darn good if you ask me. The crew at BikeRadar.com broke the story on the X7 announcement, so if you want dirty details, click here. Otherwise, check out the photos of the new 2011 X7 drivetrain and hang tight... it's gonna get even better in SRAM land. Buy Now: Search for SRAM Components...Read more...
Most of the big bike manufacturers have their own clothing and accessory lines. Some simply use their own brand for these products while others maintain a separate brand to allow them to reach out to different markets or market segments. Take Mace Gear, for example. Mace is the clothing and accessory arm of Canadian bicycle manufacturer, Norco Bikes. While I've long been a fan of Norco, I'm just now getting introduced to their Mace line and am liking what I'm seeing. Mace doesn't target the XC racer-type of mountain biker, but really reaches out to the downhill, freeride and all-mountain riders (e.g. you and me) with casual-yet-functional mountain biking gear.
Mace Mirage GlovesTake the Mirage gloves... They are a snug-fitting lightweight design made for all-mountain riding. No bulky padding or armor here, just texturized rubber and breathable fabrics used in perfect strategery. The terry-cloth thumb can wipe your brow while the rubbery grip pattern on all fingers and palm will ensure consistent grip and brake feel. Articulated knuckles add to the overall package. Solid mountain biking gloves, indeed.
- Imitation patent rubber back.
- Sublimated tree graphic.
- Expandable finger gussets.
- Loads of terry for sweat absorption.
- Synthetic patent leather.
- Sublimated polyester mini mesh.
- Amara synthetic leather
- MSRP: $35 (USD) / $39 (CAD)
I've been a road biker for a while, and am just getting into mountain biking. I recently purchased a Specialized Safire Expert to add to my collection of bikes, and am loving it! For as long as I can remember, my roommates have also been cyclists as well, so any time I've needed to air up my tires, I've grabbed their floor pump, given it a few good pumps and been on my way. However, I recently moved, and when I went to hop on the roadster for a beautiful early morning ride out in Colorado, I realized I had no floor pump. No floor pump, no air, no ride. I was not a happy camper. However, that afternoon, I was even more upset when I discovered buying a floor pump came with about as many choices as buying a new truck. All I wanted was a decent quality floor pump that I could use to pump both my road and mountain bikes (read- Presta and Shrader valve compatible), that I didn't have to pay an arm and a leg for. Since I'm not out every day on my bikes, the idea of spending $75+ dollars on a floor pump was less than appealing to me. After some expert consults, I made my choice, and went with the Topeak JoeBlow Sport Floor Pump.
JoeBlow Sport Floor Pump- The Specs
- Comes with a steel bar and a steel base, so you won't snap it right after the 1st use.
- Twin Valve- Compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves. You don't have to have the washer adapter, you just switch sides of the hose!
- Easy to read gauge. It's big and easy to read while you're pumping, which is nice.
- Comes with ball/air bladder needles, in case you opt for a game of Volley Ball after your ride... Not something I've done yet, but hey, everyone likes options...
- After about 6 months of use 2-3x a week, getting tossed in the truck multiple times, and taking a beating in the sands of southern Utah, my JoeBlow Sport is still in great shape.
- Price = $39. Very reasonable
OverallA great pump at an even greater price. You don't have to sacrifice performance with this guy. I've yet to find any serious drawbacks with my Topeak JoeBlow Sport Pump.
Buy Now!Topeak JoeBlow Sport Pump... Read more...
TEMPE, AZ – The reigning World 24 Hour champion is riding Pivot Cycles for the 2010 season. Jason English, from Port Macquarie, Australia will defend his title aboard the USA’s most innovative full suspension mountain bikes. “Jason is a perfect match for Pivot,” said Adam Vincent, Pivot’s marketing manager. “He demands a bike that is lightweight, stiff and precise and pedals with efficiency. Our dw-link technology and innovative frame construction delivers.” English will be riding the 2010 Pivot Mach 4 with DT Swiss Wheels, Kenda Tires, Magura brakes, SRAM XX and Fox Suspension. His bikes weigh in at approximately 22 lbs and give him an advantage in efficiency and handling over some of the world’s toughest race courses. English rode the Mach 4 to victory at his first race of the year, the JetBlack 24Hours in Sydney Feb 13. “The Pivot Mach 4 bikes are amazing. Despite the torrential rain and the wet, muddy, slippery conditions I was able to put over 3 minutes on my nearest competitor on the 2km downhill single-track section of the course. This enabled me to take it easy on the fire road climb back up and save my legs,” English said. “Part of my decision to move to Pivot was that I had read so much about the climbing and descending abilities of the Pivot Mach 4 and wanted to experience this for myself. I am not disappointed.” Pivot secured the sponsorship with the help of its top global distributor, JetBlack Products. “We see this as a perfect partnership with the best rider in the world riding arguably the best endurance weapon ever made,” said JetBlack Marketing Director, Tony Simmonds. “Jason is going to be unstoppable.”More Info: Visit PivotCycles.com... Read more...
Hitch-mounted bike racks will solve world peace, cure AIDS and all that stuff... that's a no-brainer. But, will they rack your bike and give you a high-quality trailside workstand at the same time? With the all-new Kuat NV, you get a sturdy two-bike hitch rack with a built-in bike stand. Take that, Thule and Yakima! Kuat has been beating the lightweight bike rack drum for awhile now--it's time people payed attention to the music they are playing. I'm a HUGE fan of the Yakima Holdup and the Thule T2, but they are bulky and heavy. While the Kuat NV doesn't shave tons off their weight, it is lighter (you've got to have some heft to carry your bikes) and add on top of that a trailside bike stand and there may just be no comparison--except the price (more on that later). I've yet to see one in person, but Robb over at Bike198 posted some initial thoughts and I've been eying the Kuat site to wrap my head around everything. I'm liking what I see. Kuat NV Specs
- Heat-treated aluminum construction
- 2-bike capacity (optionally expandable to 4)
- Accepts 20-29" wheels
- 60 lb single bike capacity
- Built-in cable lock
- Hitch stabilizing cam system
- 13" bike spread for scratch-free carrying
- Folds up for storage
- MSRP: $495 (yeah, that's the only bummer)
Springfield, MO – January 28, 2010 – Küat Innovations which makes lightweight, stylish, easy-to-use racks designed by cyclists for cyclists is ready to equip vehicles with its newest bike rack: The NV. “Like all of our products, the NV brings fresh new ideas to bike racks. We want to give people more than they expect,” said Justin Kosar, operations manager of Küat Innovations. Made of heat-treated aluminum, The NV platform rack offers a variety of new features. It accommodates two bikes with a roomy 13 inches between them. Extra add-ons allow the rack to carry additional bikes. In fact, it can haul any two-wheeled contraption weighting up to 60 pounds, with 20-inch to 29-inch wheels, and without a motor. The rack includes a repair clamp so cyclists can service their bike anywhere they can park. Plus, it features a built-in, robust integrated cable lock. The rack requires no tools to install using a hitch cam system and quickly folds up for storage and folds down for trunk access. The NV is available at many fine retailers for $495 MSRP. To find one near you go to www.kuatracks.com.More Info: Visit KuatRacks.com... Read more...
After riding the original Niner Jet 9 a little over a year ago (and completely loving it), Niner had a bit of an engineering snafu. It turns out that the Jet had some unforseen manufacturing defects that began to surface. Instead of trying to hide the problem, Niner stood out in front and was 100% honest with their customers about the issue--offering them replacement frames of their choice, discounts galore and everything you'd expect from an honest, forthright company. For everyone's sake, lets move on... 2010 marks a new dawn for the killer Niner Jet 9 XC 29er trail-gobbling machine. This beast is really an all-mountain slayer in big-hooped 29er XC clothing. While Niner says it is race-worthy (which it is), I'd call it one of the finest all-mountain 29ers available today. The changes made to the 2010 model are astounding and are the results of all the work done on the new RIP and WFO models. You'll find tapered head tubes, gussets and a completely re-engineered well, everything! The 2010 Niner Jet 9 will hit dealers in April. You can pre-order one now from your local Niner retailer. More Info: Visit NinerBikes.com...Read more...
Like most mountain bikers, I've had a thing for Rocky Mountain bikes for many years. I've owned several of their bikes over the years and have always gawked at the way their factory freeriders have hucked their meat in style since the inception of "The North Shore". Not only are their bikes top-notch, but their riders are excellent ambassadors of the sport. The kingpin, Wade Simmons continues as both a rider and global ambassador with the addition of several other talented riders. Here's the skinny from Rocky Mountain:
Rocky Mountain Bicycles is pleased to announce its 2010 Gravity Team roster with the re-signing of Wade Simmons, Geoff Gulevich, Dave Smutok, and the addition of rising talent Jarrett Moore. Wade Simmons, known as the The Godfather of freeride mountain biking, is embarking on his thirteenth year with Rocky Mountain as a rider and global ambassador. “We couldn’t be happier than to have Wade back for another year. Wade’s one of the hardest working and nicest guys in the sport, and frankly, I can’t imagine him not being with Rocky Mountain”, commented Rocky Mountain’s Sports Marketing Manager, Peter Vallance. “Wade’s global profile is a huge asset to us in addition to his instrumental input to our bike development.” Slopestyle and big mountain specialist, Geoff Gulevich rode for Rocky Mountain in 2008 and 2009 is back for the 2010 season. Vallance continues, “Geoff is one of the most professional slopestyle athletes we’ve worked with. If he’s not busy competing or filming, he’s working on his next new trick. Geoff has been closely involved with our R&D department and the development of a new frame that our slopestyle riders will be testing this season.” 2010 marks the premiere of the Anthill Productions’ highly anticipated film Follow Me, featuring Gulevich and several of mountain biking’s biggest stars. American slopestyle crowd favorite, Dave Smutok is also back for 2010. Smutok, who is the head trail builder at Highland Mountain in New Hampshire, is also the man behind the Claymore Challenge, the largest slopestyle event in the U.S. “Dave is the full package for us. His slopestyle results, his presence at Highland Mountain, and his cult following make Dave an exciting part of our team”, Vallance adds. “His segment in the upcoming Black Box film, Antonym, is not to be missed.” Rounding out Rocky Mountain’s gravity squad is Jarrett Moore. Hailing from Victoria, B.C., Jarrett made his international debut in Aaron Laroque’s film “What’s Next”, which profiled B.C.’s most promising new talents. Jarrett has been steadily making a name for himself at local contests and is poised to have a breakout year in 2010.More Info: Visit Bikes.com... Read more...
After much speculation and impatience by Ibis enthusiasts worldwide, Ibis has finally announced the details of the all-new Ibis Mojo HD. Looks like it will be available in March and come in at $2399 with Fox RP23 shock. The full details of the Mojo HD is available over at IbisCycles.com. I saw the Mojo HD in person while at Interbike last Fall and as a Mojo owner, I'm stoked on the longer-travel design. While I've yet to feel like I'm bottoming-out my Mojo, an extra bit of plush with the same efficiency sounds sublime. And, the frame continues to be as sexy as all get-out. Head on over the Ibis Web site for more details about the new Mojo HD. More Info: Visit IbisCycles.com...Read more...
The proper wheelset is critical to overall bike performance. It may cost a lot, but think about it... the wheels are darn important. Next to the frame and fork, the wheels are the next most important parts of your ride quality. Flimsy, cheap wheels will ruin your ride quality faster than a Deore rear derailleur ever will, so spend wisely. Now the Crank Brothers Iodine's have been matched to my new Ibis Mojo for the past 6 months. When I first got the bike assembled in all its glory, I couldn't keep my eyes off it. The burnt orange Iodine's were just the perfect match with the natural carbon fiber black of the Mojo. The whole package just looks amazing. I wasn't the only one... most everyone who saw the bike commented on how cool the wheels were. While looks are great and all, they don't get you much when the trails get gnarly. In every riding condition, I've been super-impressed with the ride quality of the Iodine's. Rolling quality is outstanding as these wheels seem to roll on and on by themselves. The rear hub provides fast and smooth engagement under all load conditions--steep climbs, fast rollers and downhill transitions. Quick adjustments in rocky sections to avoid pedal-strikes are met with a solid drivetrain no matter the location. The only negative of the freehub is the volume as you're coasting downhill. The tell-tale whirrrrrr is really quite loud. My riding buddies have commented multiple times on the loudness, but if that's the only flaw, it's pretty minor. Other than that, my initial set of 15mm end caps were machined a little off, so I had to spend a few minutes hand-sanding the inside diameter to remove a few microns. A second set of caps were much better, so it appears to no longer be an issue. I just love laying into corners with the Iodine's as they track straight and true no matter how hard-pressed. Tracking through rock gardens and rough terrain, the Iodine's simply hold their line. Drops and jumps are also met with solid hoops underfoot. Everywhere from the epic downhill of the Wasatch Crest Trail to the winding singletrack of the Ridge Trail 157 and fast loops in Corner Canyon have been perfect for these wheels. I've yet to ride these tubeless (I know, I know...), but will change to tubeless in the Spring and post a follow-up. The Good
- Lateral stiffness
- Tracking through the rough stuff
- Smooth rolling
- Unique design
- Quick freehub engagement
- Easy to service and/or replace bearings
- Amazing good looks (the wheels or me?)
- Loud freehub
- Proprietary spokes may be difficult to find in a pinch
- Color options may clash with your ride
- It'll cost ya'
The Final Word: Crank Brothers Iodine WheelsetIf you're in the market for a new set of high-end all-mountain wheels, give the the $950 Crank Brothers Iodine wheelset a fair shake--they roll well and adeptly track through rough stuff. Buy Now: Search for Crank Brothers Iodine Wheels... Read more...
Let me tell you... I'm really digging all the Merino Wool options in the market these days. With the transition from Fall to Winter becoming more and more of a reality, I've been longing for a solid long-sleeve jersey option. My current long-sleeve jerseys all lack rear pockets, so I'll start there. The three pocket design on the Swobo Merino 753 long-sleeve jersey is excellent with the ability to securely carry a water bottle, mobile phone, extra tube and other small bits without worry. One-handed access to the pockets is easy and things just stay put very well... kudos there. Overall comfort of the jersey is excellent... I just love the feel of Merino in cool weather. I found the jersey to work really well alone in temperatures in the 50's. When it dipped into the 40's, the jersey kept me warm when I was in the sun, but the shade was a tad too chilly. An ultralight windproof vest (like the Marmot DriClime Vest) on top would be ideal with this jersey as temps decline. On the other side of the thermometer, the 753 is comfortable enough for temperatures in the 60's and above with the full-zip ventilation and its excellent moisture management skills. Just a couple of things to note. While the overall fit is just right, the midsection isn't too good at hiding my non-6-pack abs. Not that I'm fat, but lets just say I'm a ways off from being in an Abercrombie ad. So it's a snug-fitting jersey in the middle, but the arms and chest aren't so snug, but just right. I suppose the reason why the midsection is tight is to keep the load-carrying pockets from swaying back and forth. So, I'll take the unflattering look for a more stable sherpa, I suppose. As far as odor control goes, the construction of the material is made to reduce stankyness. I purposely ran in it one day, then rode in it the next two days without washing. While it didn't stay "Spring Fresh," it wasn't as stinky as most day-old jerseys can be, so that's good news for commuters. The subtle Swobo styling is always welcomed, but this top-notch jersey does come at a price. It's highly-functional and versatile--no question about that. But $110 is still steep for many. A note on fit: I'm 5'11 and 175 lbs. The Large was my size of choice and fit me just right for a comfortable fit. The Good
- Fabric blend is comfortable to the touch
- Trim fit keeps things streamlined
- Full zip for ventilation
- Rear pockets are well supported and can actually be used
- Not racy, but not baggy... a good fit for everyday riding
- Subdued styling
- Waffle fabric pattern dries quickly
- Price of entry is steep
- Form-fitting midsection isn't hiding my non-6pack-edness
- Full front zipper = zippered chest hair (yeowch)
Final Thoughts: Swobo Merino 753 Long-sleeve JerseyThe sheep would be proud... no question this is an excellent jersey for cool-weather riding. I really dig the functional back pockets and the comfy, functional fabric, but it does come at a price. Buy Now: Visit Swobo.com... Read more...
Getting the proper bike fit is key to comfort, safety and performance. It's amazing what a 1/4-inch here and there will do. Felt has just announced a bike fitting partnership with Retul, which will ensure the proper fit every time. Read on for more info.
Felt Bicycles has partnered with Retül, a state-of-the-art motion capture system that offers bike retailers and fit specialists the ultimate tool for a precision fit. Recognizing that proper fit is essential to attaining the best possible cycling experience for all cyclists, from competitive to recreational, Felt has chosen Retül to help accomplish its goal of offering every Felt customer a better fitting bike. “There are a lot of choices in fit systems and philosophies, but we feel Retül’s system is best suited to meet our objectives,” said Felt National Sales Manager John Georger. “Our goal with this partnership is to give retailers another tool to enhance the riding experience for every Felt customer.” Retül allows bike fit experts to capture 100 percent objective data in a dynamic state and evaluate multiple 3-D viewpoints while the rider is pedaling. By gathering data from eight key anatomical points in the cyclist’s riding position, Retül allows fitters to capture accurate dynamic data on every moving part of the body simultaneously in real-time. Rather than choosing any one specific fit philosophy, Retül focuses on the process of gathering and analyzing the data. The depth of information makes it easier than ever for a fit professional to quantify every adjustment. It’s also convenient, requiring only a PC and 80 square feet of space for line of sight requirements. It can be easily be packed away for conserving space or taken on the road for mobile fitting. “We feel that knowledge is power,” said Cliff Simms, Founder of Retül. “And Retül empowers bike fitters with the most robust cycling-gait specific data file available. We’re thrilled to align ourselves with a forward-thinking bike manufacturer like Felt, which we believe can benefit greatly from the Retül’s services.” As a supplier to top athletes including multiple Olympic gold medalists and the world-class road racers of the Garmin-Slipstream squad, Felt has a proven track record of providing cyclists with a competitive edge. Felt engineers are constantly developing new ways to make the most of any athlete’s potential, and optimizing synergy between body and bike is an important factor. From elite pros to casual riders, the goal is the same: improved comfort, better performance and a more enjoyable ride. As part of this agreement, Felt retailers receive a discount and preferred access to Retül University, a program that educates professional fitters about Retül technology. The University combines online education with hands-on studio time so that every Retül University certificate-holder has all the right tools to provide the best fit possible.More Info: Visit Retul.com... Read more...
With the introduction of the Niner WFO this year, Niner continues to promote the demise of the 26er in all disciplines--including DH. DH!?!?!? Really? Yup... the WFO is for real and to complement the WFO, Niner and WTB have released the all-new Kodiak 2.5. This tire is MEATY for sure. I recall seeing it at the WTB booth at Interbike--definitely DH-only! Here's a bit more info from Niner:
The much anticipated WTB Kodiak tire is now available for purchase exclusively from the Niner Bikes online store and from the Niner Bikes dealer network.More Info: Visit NinerBikes.com... Read more...“This tire is the result of our desire to offer the longest travel, burliest production 29er mountain bike, and WTB?s help with the project has been invaluable.” said Niner co-founder Chris Sugai, “WTB knows that there are a ton of riders out there that want a 29er with freeride and downhill capability and their willingness to step up and be the first to make a wire bead, dual-ply 29er tire shows that their passion for the big revolution is genuine”.WTB Kodiak Tire Details: A 2.5'" monster, this Niner exclusive tire is the burliest rubber you can spec on your 29er bike. Made with WTB's High Grip DNA™ rubber compound, the tread is specifically designed for fast, gnarly, technical descending. The WTB Inner Peace™ sidewall reinforcement has your back when it comes to pinch flat protection, sidewall stiffness and keeping tire damage to a minimum. Finally, the wire bead means less bead stretch and better rim retention when you do push the limits of your riding. WTB Kodiak Specs: 29x2.5", 1400 grams, 50 Durometer, 27 TPI, MSRP is $49.95 - buy now
This is #2 in command in the Trek Top Fuel lineup with an even 100mm travel front and rear all mated to a full-carbon frameset. This bike is built for speed, cap'n... no question about that. The Trek Top Fuel 9.8 trim level is essentially a full Shimano XT drivetrain that's then rounded out with a smattering of Bontrager and Raceface components to round things out.
- OCLV Red Carbon frame w/ABP Race, Full Floater, magnesium EVO Link, oversized pivot bearings, replaceable derailleur hanger, 100mm travel
- Fox 32 F-Series Remote RL, 100mm travel
- Fox Float RP23 shock
- Bontrager Race Lite Disc wheel system
- Shimano XT drivetrain
- Bontrager and Raceface cockpit
- MSRP: $4719.99
Trek Top Fuel 9.8 ReviewWhen I arrived at the Trek tent first thing in the morning, I pretty much had my pick of the litter--all except the new Remedy 9.8 and 9.9's (Michael Browne, Trek's Product Manager informed me they were off limits to North American pubs... uggh... I can talk like a Brit! Didn't work). So, I opted for a bike that I wouldn't typically ride, but looked compelling on Bootleg's then-empty trails. After getting dialed in, I was anxious to get spinning before the morning air turned into a veritable hair dryer. Slipping up past the tent city, I could really enjoy myself on the technical, rocky terrain of Bootleg. While the Top Fuel climbs like a billy goat, the narrow Bontrager XR1 Expert 2.0 tires were a little lacking when encountering loose sand (think a beach) as they sunk in and ground me to an occasional near-stop. However, when the hardpacked and rocky/technical trails were the obstacle, holy smokes can this bike ascend! A quick tap of Fox's nifty F32 remote lockout combined with a quick flip of the ProPedal lever on the Fox RP23 rear shock and the Top Fuel turned into an unmatched trail-climbing machine. I could climb on this bike all day and still have energy to climb some more, then wake up and do it all over again... it's very responsive, fast and agile. After being thoroughly impressed with the climbing ability, it was time to slip downhill and see just what this bike could do when faced with the rock-strewn trails of Bootleg Canyon. Let me just say this... it's not my first choice on these types of trails, but with some stouter tires, this bike can still hang well when the trails get technical and steep. On smooth, twisty singletrack (stuff this bike was made for), the Top Fuel carves and flows as good as the best bikes on the market, but consistently technical terrain will definitely give you a wild ride unless you are an expert line-picker. The best way to describe the Top Fuel is to call it a rocket. This bike is fast as all get-out, but you will pay the price if you descend extremely rough terrain with any regularity. Where you'll come away smiling is in the efficient and smooth suspension that can propel you to the top of any climb on your list. Trek has been making carbon-fiber mountain bike frames as long as I can remember and the much-lauded ABP suspension design with EVO Link and Full Floater system is the real deal. I felt nothing but smooth suspension travel under load and while braking. Good Top Fuel 9.8
- Fast as a rocket
- Beautiful OCLV carbon fiber frame
- So light you'll cheat the trails (only 23 lbs.)
- Solid parts spec from top-to-bottom
- Fox's F32 fork with remote lockout is awesome
- Not quite capable enough for rough trail duty
- Limited seat height adjustment
Bottom Line: 2010 Trek Top Fuel 9.8This bike will no doubt propel you to the top of the mountain or podium with ease. Don't blame the bike if you don't crush your personal best climb times since this 23-lb rocket is as efficient and fast as they come. I'd say this is a capable cross-country racer, but one that still takes a fair amount of abuse once the treads are swapped for something more substantial. More Info: Visit TrekBikes.com... Read more...
As Scott's first foray into the 29er market, they decided that they wanted to attack the entry-level market with a killer-looking and performing bike at an amazing pricepoint. Well, I was floored when he said the MSRP would come in at $1649. To get it to that price, the parts spec is pretty pedestrian, but the frame, fork and wheels are solid. Here are a few specs on the test rig (they vary slightly from production):
- Hydroformed tubeset
- Slightly curved seat tube for improved tire clearance and shorter chainstays/wheelbase
- Trail-friendly geometry
- DT Swiss 485D wheelset
- Rockshox Reba SL fork w/remote lockout (100mm)
- Avid Elixir S brakes
- Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.25 tires
- Weight: 26.21 lbs
- MSRP: $1649
Scott Scale 29er ReviewScanning over the Scott lineup at the demo, the Scale 29er was tops on my list--even before I knew it was a budget-friendly spec. Just in time, the 29er appeared and Adrian gave me the lowdown. As Scott's first 29er, this one is poised to take advantage of the current 29er wave by offering a knockout pricepoint with a solid bike. Going over the frame details, it has all the makings of a great bike with hydroformed tubes and trail-friendly geometry. Even the paintjob is stunning--not your typical $1500 rig as far as looks go. Slipping out on the trails, I was quickly reminded why the 26er hardtail should die a slow death... 29ers just make everything smoother and faster. This bike was an effortless climber and just felt comfortable. It felt like a great bike with the ability to rail corners and maintain speed in a way only 29ers can. I was able to power up some good terrain and climb anything I wanted. And when the trail turned downhill and the turns made their way down the desert singletrack, the Scale 29er felt poised and comfortable. This bike is a well-executed entry into the market... hopefully the future holds a carbon 29er from Scott because that would truly make this bike that much better. Good Scott Scale 29er
- Comfortable trailbike
- Well-mannered and smooth
- Great looking overall package
- Amazing pricepoint means easy entry into 29er land
- Well-executed aluminum frame with solid geometry
- Fast and fun
- Entry-level parts
- With Scott's carbon expertise, I'd expect a carbon frame option
- A little heavy, but lightweight parts = expensive
Bottom Line: Scott Scale 29erThis bike has a ton of potential and at a killer pricepoint to boot. If you're thinking hardtail, skip right past the 26ers and look on over at the new Scale 29er--you'll be hard-pressed to find this much quality, value and fun on the market today. More Info: Visit ScottUSA.com... Read more...
I just got word from the crew at Corsair Bikes that they are opening up the floodgates for potential riders to apply for their 2010 downhill race program. Corsair is a growing, rider-owned bike company with a solid fleet of downhill, freeride, dirt jumping, park and all-mountain bikes. They are growing and eager to get a solid race team on the ground to promote their brand. Here's the skinny from Corsair Bikes:
Corsair Bikes is now accepting applications from riders interested in competing on Corsair Bikes during the 2010 Season. The Corsair Co-Sponsorship Program is open to individuals or shop teams based in the US, Canada or Australia and is targeted at riders who compete in DH, 4X, Slopestyle and Dirt Jumping. The Corsair Co-Sponsorship Program helps talented, up-and-coming riders with the expense of racing by offering very special pricing on Corsair's high performance frames and top-level components from participating manufacturers. Riders who are chosen to participate will become part of a growing program that focuses on community and development just as much as results. Interested riders should send their resume as well as their tentative 2010 competition schedule to email@example.com . This program is available to athletes on a first come, first served basis and will close January 5, 2010. Riders will be notified by email no later than Jan 15, 2010.More Info: Visit CorsairBikes.com... Read more...
My quick one-day trip to the Outdoor Demo came and went in a flash, so it's quite appropriate that most of the bikes I chose to ride were carbon-fiber beauties dialed in for uptempo singletrack assaults. The all-new Yeti ASR 5 Carbon was definitely tops on my list of must-rides at the demo. After catching up with owner, Chris Conroy and domestic sales master, Seth Mukai, I got the low-down on the new ASR 5 C. Billed as a long-legged XC bike that's built burly enough to handle all-day adventure, yet still capable on the race course, the full-carbon frameset is superlight (4.7 lbs.) and downright sexy. Yeti knows how to build dialed-in single-pivot mountain bikes and the new ASR 5 C is no exception.
Yeti ASR 5 Carbon Quick ReviewThe ascent out of the mayhem of the demo booths was met with a responsive and fast climber. This bike shows its XC lineage in its efficiency and quick handling. One onto the twisty, rocky singletrack of Bootleg Canyon, the bike continued to shine. Right at home with narrow desert ribbons winding through unforgiving rocks and "no fall zones", the ASR 5 C took me up West Leg Trail without so much as a flinch. The rear wheel stayed firmly planted in the desert sand and rocks and propelled me with ease. Quick, steep ascents were no match for this bike. When the trails turned downhill and the real fun began, this bike felt absolutely solid under pressure. I enjoyed railing it down the swoopy singletrack and dropping small ledges along the way. While the suspension is very compliant and can take some abuse, I still felt like I needed to be careful which line I chose to take. It's not the kind of bike that can take the burliest line without so much as breaking a sweat--you've still got to finesse it down the rough stuff. The Good
- Love the feel of the carbon fiber frame
- Extremely lightweight
- Travel sweet-spot... not too much, not too little
- Very balanced feel both up and down
- Tracks through winding singletrack with ease
- Loves to be pushed hard
- Efficient climber and cross-country trail slayer
- Gotta pick your lines through the rough stuff (not really a bad thing though)
Final Thoughts: Yeti ASR 5cThis bike loves to be pedaled hard and fast both uphill and down. I really dig the balanced feel of this bike and its ability to ascend up virtually anything yet still give you enough confidence to tackle rough terrain. Buy Now: Search for Yeti Bikes... Read more...
I've never owned a pair of traditional Keen Sandals before (I'm more of a Chaco gal), but when Keen released their Bike commuter shoe, I was excited to try them out! The idea of being able to bike to class in sandals, and then not have to change my shoes when I got there was really appealing to me. Normally, I'd wear my biking shoes, and toss a pair of sandals in my pack, and then proceed to offend everyone in class as I took my stinky bike shoes off and transferred to the sandals in the first 5 minutes of class. It's a wonder people still sat next to me by the end of the semester. However, with the Keen Commuter Bike Sandals, that's no longer a problem! The Keen Commuter Bike sandal resembles Keen's traditional sandals, but with a few tweaks. First, the Bike Commuters are significantly more narrow and form fitting to the foot than a traditional pair of Keens (a great features for those of us with really narrow feet!). Second, the platform that the shoe is constructed on is much stiffer (for support and strength when biking). Third, the lacing system isn't the traditional elastic lacing- it's a regular shoelace to prevent give when pedaling uphill, but still with the quicklock system at the top. I was impressed at the overall pedaling efficiency when using these around town- it felt just like I had my regular Specialized bike shoes on. I'm hoping to use these on a longer bike touring trip this coming summer. They seem ideal for longer rides where you'd need a multi-functional shoe.
Keen Commuter Bike Sandals
- Perfect for days when it rains a bit during the commute! The Keens dry out fast and have a hydrophobic foam on the upper of the shoe, which molds to your foot and dries fast when wet. No more soggy bike shoes.
- Cleats are set into the shoe, so you can walk around without making that clacking noise down halls, or hike small distances in them without the cleats being a problem. FYI- Cleats are sold separately, and the drill pattern is for SPD cleats.
- Webbing allows for great airflow on the warmer days.
My annual trip to Las Vegas for Interbike was a bit compressed this year. I could only squeeze in one day--thank goodness flights from Salt Lake City are quick and plentiful! First flight in and last flight out got me a full 8 hours of riding the latest and greatest mountain bikes. I've got a knack for riding my favorite bike of the day as the last bike. Lucky for me, as I was rapping with the crew at Santa Cruz Bikes a Large Santa Cruz Tallboy arrived with a giddy rider onboard. After a quick change to my Crank Brothers Smarty pedals, I was off on my last test loop for the day. Upon initial fit, the stem felt a bit long-ish. I'd opt for about a 70mm stem instead of the 100mm stem provided, but that didn't affect the overall ride one bit. For those of you who have yet to ride a 29er mountain bike... you don't know what your missing. For trail riding, there's nothing smoother than a well-executed 29er full-suspension bike. My favorites have typically been from Niner Bikes, but this new Santa Cruz Tallboy is now on par with the best designs from 29er makers. Built with 100% high-modulus carbon fiber, the Tallboy is smooth-looking and smooth riding. The combination of large hoops and carbon frame make for one bump-absorbing machine. Not only was the downhill sublime on the Tallboy, but the ascents felt nearly effortless as I pumped enough RPM's to ascend the technical, rocky terrain of Bootleg Canyon. This was a quick 1-hour ride, but my first impression has me drooling for this bike when it becomes available. I'll say this... the Tallboy rides like a great trailbike--it just happens to have 29-inch wheels (a bonus). Good Tallboy
- Comfortable geometry
- Smart looks
- Smooth climber with excellent hook-up
- Excellent descender with the ability to snake through both tight/technical and open/flowy trails
- Good weight (guessing 28 lbs.)
- Without Propedal engaged on the Fox RP23, rear suspension bobs a bit much on extended climbs
- Not yet available to the public
Banshee Bikes has been building bombproof Canadian-style mountain bikes for years. Back in the day, I reviewed the Banshee Chaparral and loved it for bombing trails and general mayhem, but it was a tank. By today's all-mountain standards, it would be left in the dust purely on its piggy weight. However, the ride quality still stands out in my mind. Banshee has since introduced a number of bikes and completely changed their platform from a 4-bar design to their own flavor of virtual pivot suspension. The new Banshee Legend MK1 DH bike is the latest incarnation from Banshee. Here's a little bit from Banshee:
Every aspect of the Legend is designed around one thing, to go faster! After 4 years of development, to compete at World Cup level racing, the Legend is a no compromise DH winning machine. The rider will feel at home pinning it over off camber roots and picking fast lines through the burliest rock gardens. The VF4B suspension design give super efficient pedaling while remaining super active under braking with a supple feel over square edge hits and excellent big hit absorption. The Legend has a super low center of gravity due to shock placement to allow great cornering and handling characteristics. The frame features adjustable travel between 7-8.5" and weighs a respectable 8.5 lbs (no shock)!More Info: Visit Bansheebikes.com... Read more...
With Eurobike going strong this week, 'tis the season for new bike gear. It's always a bit of a letdown when cool stuff leaks out of Eurobike because Interbike is still a couple of weeks out. However, sometimes it's good because I get a head's up prior to going as to what to look for at the show. Hot off the press is the official release of the 2010 Niner AIR9 Carbon in all its sexy goodness. I'm not a 26-inch hardtail fan at all, but a 29er hardtail is a different story and a carbon-fiber 29er hardtail is even better. Look for more details as they come in, but here are a few specs on the all-new Niner AIR9 Carbon. Niner AIR9 Carbon:
- High modulus carbon fiber
- Bio-Centric EBB bottom bracket for geared or singlespeed use
- Tapered steerer tube
- Built around 80-100mm forks
- Internal cable housing
- Colors: Tang or Vanna White
- MSRP: $TBD
While at Outdoor Retailer last month, I made a stop at Osprey to see what they had up their sleeves for the coming year. Looks like on top of some of the great stuff I'd already seen (Osprey Kode Pack and Osprey Flapjack Pack), they introduced a nifty hydration pack lineup called Hydraulics. Available in 4 sizes (6, 10, 14 and 18) and sporting what’s called an Airscape Suspension (accordion-style back for torsional stiffness, breathability and conforming fit), the new Osprey Hydraulics hydration pack line consists of the Mantra line (for hiking) and the Raptor line (for mountain biking). I’m stoked on the Raptor line and the Raptor 6 in particular as it provides a streamlined form-factor, optimized fit for minimal “pack bounce”, an integrated and customized Nalgene bladder that features a solid back that locks into place inside the pack and a simplified helmet holder. MSRP will range from $79-$119 based on size and I’m told these should start hitting the shelves this Fall. Buy Now: Search for Osprey Hydration Packs...Read more...
Upon arrival, the Mojo had a set of Crank Brothers Iodine wheels, a 2010 Fox 2010 32 TALAS fork and a complete SRAM X.9 group waiting in the garage to complete the build--solid parts to adorn this carbon beauty. I ended up with the clear black color frame (after waiting a few weeks for the Guiness Foam), which in the end looks to be the best choice in combination with the burnt orange wheels. The complete build was performed by the crew at Timpanogos Cyclery in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Not only did they do a great job, but they turned it around in an afternoon in rockstar fashion. The mechanics were stoked to build up the Mojo and had the final weight waiting for me upon arrival... 26.5 lbs.! I knew it would be light, but not that light! I'm confident if I carbon this thing out, it would easily drop below 26 lbs. My Mojo Custom Build
- 2010 Ibis Mojo (Size: Large - Color: Clear - Lopes Link)
- Rear Shock: 2010 Fox RP23 w/Boostvalve
- Front Shock: 2010 Fox 32 TALAS 150 RLC
- Wheelset: Crank Brothers Iodine
- Drivetrain/Shifting: SRAM X.9
- Cranks: Shimano SLX
- Brakes: Avid Elixir R (180 front / 160 rear)
- Tires: WTB Wolverine 2.2 F/R
- Stem: Syncros AM (60mm / 12deg)
- Seatpost: Ibis
- Bars: Ibis low riser
- Headset: Cane Creek IS3
- Saddle: WTB Rocket-V
- Pedals: Crank Brothers Candy SL
Video of Ibis Rider, Brian Lopes in Whistler
My Ibis Mojo ReviewAfter looking through the included Owner's Manual (yup, I actually read parts of it) for suggested rear sag settings, I settled on 15mm sag for my weight (175 lbs.) and riding style (everything, everywhere, all the time). That put me at 140 psi., which has turned out to be perfect for both XC and AM riding. The front fork took a little more fiddling to find the right air pressure, but in the end I've settled on 80 psi. For the first few rides, you may want to be sure and take a shock pump along as you fine-tune the suspension to your liking. Above all, I keep coming back to the light weight of this bike as built. My goal was not to build the lightest bike, but this is by far the lightest all-mountain bike I've owned and it is absolutely amazing how much of a difference dropping a couple of pounds can make. OK... once I got past the ooo's and aahhh's of the bike and its light weight, I was bent on finding its weak spots on the trail. I've now ridden the Mojo on a variety of nearby trails--from high-energy XC burn-fests to thousand-foot climbs and on down fast and technical descents. Nothing fazes this thing. In all conditions, the DW-Link suspension provides super-efficient pedaling performance. Climbing traction is awesome in all conditions with the only weakness shown in the tire traction at times on steep, rocky pitches. The entire rear-end stays steady and smooth under occasional hard pedaling and digs in for fast power transfer throughout all types of steady climbs. The occasional standing climb does blow through the travel a bit more, but traction is maintained. When pointing this bike downhill, the suspension really shines. I love how well it soaks up obstacles and adapts to varied terrain. Rock drops and jumps are no match for this bike as it launches with ease and lands with bottomless comfort. The suspension ramps up well with consistently smooth resistance--making the 5.5" of travel feel like more. I'm sure the new 2010 Fox RP23 with Boost Valve that I've been riding improves the downhill performance over the 2009 model, but I didn't have a 2009 model shock on this particular bike for a direct comparison. All I can tell you is the new 2010 RP23 is perfect on this bike. I've found the 2010 Fox 32 TALAS 150 with 15QR to be the perfect fork for this bike. Without question, the adjustability of the TALAS system makes this bike even more versatile, but if you're running short on cash and have to settle for a 140mm or 150mm fork without travel adjustment, you won't be sacrificing much. At full 150mm travel mode, this bike climbs with minimal wander and descends with confidence. Dropping it to 130mm slightly reduces front-end wander and makes for a little speedier handling (excellent for XC-style romps). I've had more fun on the Mojo than on any other bike I can recall to date. It's versatility is really unmatched (adding an adjustable-travel fork adds to that) and its overall efficiency just screams to be ridden and ridden hard. I love pounding out XC terrain and flying through twisty singletrack one day and then pushing the limits of my lungs and the Mojo on high-altitude climbs the next day. It is a consistent and comfortable performer when gravity takes over and always seems to glide through all types of sketchy terrain. The Good
- The most confidence-inspiring bike I've owned in a long time
- Amazingly-light and fast up and down
- Super stiff frame feels solid
- Very flickable
- Drop-dead sexy looks
- Smoothest-climbing bike with 5.5" travel
- Climbs straight with 150mm fork--even without reducing travel
- Built-in seatpost QR is smooth to use
- No weight limit on the frame
- 2-year warranty
- Absorbs drops and soaks up rough terrain
- Hauls tail equally well in XC or rugged AM terrain
- Difficulty in getting certain frame colors
- Location of single water bottle mount is a waste
- I have heard complaints about clearcoat chippage--just got to take care of it like a $5000 bike :-)
- Some people just won't believe carbon fiber can be this capable (their loss)
Rocky Mountain Bicycles is proud to announce the launch of the new 2010 Flatline WC downhill race platform at Crankworx, Whistler August 12-16, 2009. 2009 marked Rocky Mountain’s return to World Cup downhill racing competition and the first year of the Maxxis-Rocky Mountain team. Working closely with the team over the off season, Rocky Mountain developed the first prototype of what would become the 2010 Flatline World Cup. The team riders and staff were extremely particular about what they needed in a World Cup capable bike and the Flatline WC was built to their exact specifications. Rocky Mountain’s product manager Alex Cogger states:
“We knew we needed to create a new bike for the team, and who better to give input on the design than Sabrina Jonnier, Luke Strobel, and Cameron Cole? They knew exactly what they needed and our engineers and frame builders in Vancouver created it.”In only its second World Cup appearance, the Flatline WC was piloted to victory by Sabina Jonnier who has since won three more World Cups on it. Cogger continues:
“Since the first prototype, we tweaked the geometry, suspension rate, shaved weight and the final result is a pure World Cup race bike. The LC2R suspension is an extremely efficient pedaling design and anyone who has ridden a Flatline knows the suspension just swallows bumps.”At Crankworx, Rocky Mountain will be displaying both the Flatline WC and Flatline Pro models which share the same frame. The Flatline Pro features a SRAM X9/X7/Elixxer kit with Rock Shox suspension and the Flatline Pro features a full Shimano Saint kit with Fox suspension. More Info: Visit Bikes.com... Read more...
In recent wind tunnel testing, Speedplay, Inc. has discovered the aerodynamic importance of pedal choice. The first known wind tunnel test of clipless pedals, conducted at the San Diego Air & Space Technology Wind Tunnel, established a notable difference in the coefficient of drag when comparing Speedplay pedals to other brands.
"In order to measure the wind resistance of pedals, I created a fully-articulated robotic cyclist to accurately replicate a real-life racing scenario and to eliminate human variance in the wind tunnel," explained Speedplay's pedal designer, Richard Bryne. "The robotic cyclist pedaled the bike at a cadence of 100 rpm and at a speed of 30 miles per hour in each test."Speedplay Zero pedals bested the two other clipless pedal brands tested by posting a substantially lower coefficient of drag score. While each of the other pedal brands posted the same coefficient-of-drag score of .243, Speedplay pedals produced a lower drag score of 237. The reduction in wind drag of Speedplay pedals, when converted into time saved, results in an incredible 33 seconds per hour advantage.
"I suspected Speedplay pedals would prove to be more aerodynamic than the others because of their minimal frontal area, but even I was surprised by the margin of difference," said Bryne.To put the significance of this speed advantage into perspective, using Speedplay pedals is comparable to switching from a standard front wheel to a deep-profile, aerodynamic front wheel, according to available data. This aerodynamic advantage is important to competitors because it is easier to gain speed by reducing drag than by increasing power. The result is also good news for speed seekers who appreciate good value, since a change to Speedplay pedals is an inexpensive way for a cyclist to gain a meaningful increase in speed. More Info: Visit Speedplay.com/33seconds... Read more...
"Your helmet was the best warranty for my life. I recently crashed and was in the hospital for 11 days. Your Limar helmet protected me, even though the crash knocked me out immediately. I have ridden with this helmet for four years and would recommend your helmets to anyone. Thank you for superior engineering and craftsmanship. I owe you my life." - RichIt is testimonials and support from customers like Rich that have made Limar the Helmet Specialist! Cyclists everywhere this summer will remain safe and protected while sporting innovative headgear researched and developed by Limar. With comfort and performance as its constant goals, Limar plans and designs each of its helmet lines to guarantee excellent functionality and exclusive style to cyclists around the globe. All of Limar's road and mountain bike helmets feature the company's In-Mould production process, allowing for a great reduction in helmet weight while ensuring tremendous impact resistance. The Super System 2 micrometric sizing wheel is light and easy to adjust for a perfect fit. The Cool Comfort soft pads inside each helmet are ergonomic, anti-allergic, and absorbent, while the specially shaped air flows are designed to help keep your head cool. If road cycling is how you get around town, Limar has three helmet lines that will fit both your head and your budget.
Limar Carbon 969 Road Bike HelmetLimar's Carbon 969 Road Helmet is low-profile, extremely light (280 to 300 grams), and full of ventilation, thanks to 33 specially shaped air vents. The extra carbon inserts provide additional strength without adding weight. This helmet is available in two sizes: Medium (53 to 57 centimeters, approximately 20 to 23 inches) and Large (57 to 61 centimeters, approximately 22 to 25 inches). Select your favorite of four colors: Blue, Pink, Red, or Silver. MSRP: $153.99.
Limar Carbon 909 Road Bike HelmetWith its small overall size, low-profile fit, and 25 air vents, the Limar Carbon 909 bike helmet is fantastic for both men and women. It features a full three-piece cover for extra protection, and is super lightweight (290 to 320 grams). This helmet is available in two sizes: Medium (54 to 58 centimeters, approximately 21 to 23 inches) and Extra Large (58 to 62 centimeters, approximately 22 to 25 inches). Choose one of four sleek colors: Black, Blue, Red, and Silver. MSRP: $153.99.
Limar 737 Road Bike HelmetFor serious riders wanting top technology at an affordable price, Limar's 737 Road Helmet is the perfect fit. Its two-piece shell provides extra protection within a neat and attractive shape, with 24 air vents and an extremely low weight (270 to 290 grams). This helmet is available in two sizes: Medium (54 to 58 centimeters, approximately 21 to 23 inches) and Large (58 to 63 centimeters, approximately 22 to 25 inches). Select one of four beautiful color combinations: Blue Black, Red Black, Silver Black, and White Pearl. MSRP: $99.99.
Limar 910 Mountain Bike HelmetWhen life makes you want to head for the hills, don't forget to take Limar along for the ride. These two lines of mountain bike helmets are ready for all the action and excitement no city can possibly provide! Limar's 910 Mountain Bike Helmet features an integrated fit-in front visor for optimal ventilation. This helmet is perfect for single-track and long-distance riders who think nothing of spending all day biking. The three-piece shell provides maximum protection and a very comfortable fit, with 25 air vents for when the going gets hot. This lightweight (290 to 320 grams) helmet is ideal for discerning riders who demand the best. This helmet is available in two sizes: Medium (54 to 58 centimeters, approximately 21 to 23 inches) and Extra Large (58 to 62 centimeters, approximately 22 to 25 inches). Choose one of three sharp colors: Black, Red Silver, and Silver. MSRP: $153.99.
Limar 747 Mountain Bike HelmetStrong enough for tough riding yet compact enough to be stylish, the Limar 747 Mountain Bike Helmet features a low-profile fit and 24 angled air vents. The front peak is integrated within the overall design, with a fit-in front visor and two-piece shell for added protection. With its extremely light weight (270 to 290 grams), this helmet will not impede your speed on the trails. This helmet is available in two sizes: Medium (54 to 58 centimeters, approximately 21 to 23 inches) and Large (58 to 63 centimeters, approximately 22 to 25 inches). Select one of three brilliant colors: Matte Black, Red Black, and Silver Black. MSRP: $99.99. For more information about Limar road and mountain bike helmets, please visit your favorite bike dealer, or contact ProNet Cycling at (800) 279-3793 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit us online at www.pronetcycling.com. Buy Now: Search for Bike Helmets... Read more...
After The Collective released SEASONS, the future of the award-winning mountain bike film-makers was up in the air. Co-founder Jaime Houssein was interested in pursuing other options as well as finishing up school, but much of the crew wanted to stick to the plan of making amazing bike films. The result, Anthill Films has risen from the dust with much of the original crew including Creative Director, Darcy Wittenberg, The first project is entitled "Follow Me... No One Rides Alone" and is scheduled for release sometime in the Spring of 2010. This short profile of freerider and all-around nice guy, Matt Hunter, has him taking us through his two-wheeled experience, which began at a very young age. The footage was taken in and around Hunter's home of Kamloops, British Columbia with his friend, Kurt Sorge. For more video shorts and previews from the forthcoming film, "Follow Me... No One Rides Alone," visit AnthillFilms.com/content/videos. More Info: Visit AnthillFilms.com...Read more...
"The Ultimate Singletrack Experience”, is set to launch its third year Sunday June 28 to July 4, 2009 and will host over 400 riders from around the world. This year’s edition of the 7-day mountain bike adventure offers a revised course featuring a North Vancouver start–taking in the legendary North Shore trails–and two new stages to cement the BC Bike Race as the greatest singletrack adventure on the planet. BC Bike Race has always aimed to exceed expectations and to be 'the best mountain bike race in the world'. Race organizers believe that their ongoing commitment to the best course possible will create the best experience possible. The BC Bike Race team shares the same values and the same goal: to provide an awesome mountain bike experience like no other. Only at the BC Bike Race are participants set up day-after-day to ride world-famous singletrack featured in countless mountain bike media sources. The lure of riding the best of BC's world-class mountain bike trails has already attracted a broad range of competitors, from weekend warriors to some of the world's finest mountain bike racers, World Champions and Olympians. This year’s competitor list is a who’s who of mountain bike talent: Women's Category:
- Alison Sydor and Lea Davison – Team Rocky Mountain Bicycles
- Cathrine Pendrel and Katarina Nash – Team Luna
- Sue Butler and Bryan Alders – Monavie-Cannondale
- Georgia Gould and Ryan Trebon –Team Luna and Team Kona
- Kris Sneddon and Barry Wicks – Team Kona (2008 Winners)
- Chris Eatough and Jeff Schalk – Team TREK (2007 Winners)
- Seamus McGrath and Chris Sheppard – Team Jamis and Team Santa Cruz
For 2010, RockShox is re-designing their solid Revelation trail fork with all-new lowers and longer travel. The changes will be drastic, thus moving the Revelation fork squarely inline with the 2010 offering from Fox Racing. The lightweight all-mountain category is heating up and there's no doubt that the RockShox Revelation and the Fox 32 lineups are the category heavyweights battling for top position. Here's the release from RockShox:
RockShox rolls out an entirely redesigned suspension fork - Revelation! Revelation sets the standard for lightweight trail performance. The 2010 Revelation features an all new chassis, and travel is increased to 150mm. Sander Rigney is the RockShox Product Manager responsible for Revelation. Rigney says, “We’re seeing more growth in longer travel trail bikes with an emphasis on reducing weight. Revelation is the ultimate suspension fork to merge lightweight and stiffness for the popular 150mm trail bike segment”. Alloy control knobs allow riders to easily tune both the compression and rebound dampers. The new lower legs feature Power Bulges that increase stiffness and improve bushing durability. The popular 20mm Maxle™ Lite thru axle option provides the ultimate thru axle solution. Positive and negative air spring chambers are effortless to adjust and easily guided by the air chart located on the lower leg for simple trail side tuning. What’s this mean to you? The new Revelation from RockShox will deliver a leading quality, highest performing ride.
2010 RockShox Revelation Fork Features
- Travel: 150/140/130 Long-travel Dual Air, 120-150 Air U-Turn
- 32mm upper stanchions
- New forged, hollow 6061 aluminum crown
- Completely new lowers with power bulge
- Lightweight air spring technology
- Axles: 9mm QR or 20mm Maxle Light
- Weight: 3.57 - 4.06 lbs (depending on travel and model)
- Steerer Options: 1-1/8", 1.5" or 1.5-1-1/8" tapered
- BlackBox Motion Control
- Post-mount disc brake (nice!!!)
- MSRP: $509-$751
After years of using the same hydration packs, I've most recently been stoked on Deuter's hydration packs--primarily due to the suspension design, which provides more airflow than a wind tunnel. With that standard in mind, I embarked on a review of the all-new Amp 12 hydration pack from DaKine--hoping to find similar breathability. The Amp 12 utilizes a lot of what DaKine is known for: ample pockets and storage compartments galore--all sporting a new lightweight fabric design. Unlike most DaKine products, which use primarily heavy-duty fabrics, the Amp 12 utilizes a combination of lightweight ripstop nylon and nylon weave fabrics to keep the weight and bulk down to a minimum. Slapping the pack on, the aerated (think Swiss cheese) shoulder straps and dual back panel ribs provide a snug and comfortable fit. The air channel system needs a little refinement though. It performs pretty well, but the dual ribs don't keep the pack off your back when fully loaded. They easily compress, thus negating any potential for airflow back there. They also make the pack feel odd at first. What I love the most about the DaKine Amp 12 are the bevy of compartments and exterior pockets galore. Many packs still lack these basic necessities. Zip open the main compartment and there's a sleeve for a pump, a padded MP3/mobile phone pocket and a mesh pocket for tubes or miscellaneous items. Organization is good! The main compartment is complemented by a second exterior padded pocket (perfect for a small digital camera or sunglasses), a large zippered mesh pocket and two mesh side pockets that remain accessible while the pack is in use--great feature! The included Hydrapak 100 oz. reservoir is an improvement over Hydrapak's designs of old. Opening and closing the reservoir is easy and the quick-disconnect ports allow for easy refilling. The angled bite valve provided plenty of waterflow when needed. The Amp 12 stays in place well while in the saddle. I found it easy to cinch things down for extended downhills and likewise easy to loosen when pounding out a long climb. Because the fabric is relatively lightweight, it feels a little floppy when the pack is empty. I know it would add a bit of weight, but a couple of strategically-placed compression straps would help resolve that problem. Good Amp 12
- Tons of functional pockets
- Love the two padded pockets for phone, iPod, sunglasses or camera
- External quick-access mesh pockets are superb for on-the-fly access
- Feels lightweight
- Good size for all-day fun
- Shoulder straps are breathable and comfy
- Back panel is a good effort, but not as breathable as some
- Two back ribs feel a tad awkward at first
- A strategically-placed compression strap or two would help
Maxxis-Rocky Mountain’s Sabrina Jonnier Wins World Cup #5 in Maribor, Builds on World Cup Overall Lead
Heading into the fifth round of the UCI Downhill World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia, Maxxis-Rocky Mountain’s Sabrina Jonnier had reason to be confident having won three of four World Cups so far in 2009. However, after Saturday when a torrential downpour soaked the track and delayed qualifications, Jonnier who prefers drier tracks, found herself out of her preferred element. Floriane Pugin (Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker), the tenth rider down, set the first fast time of the day for the final, over 20 seconds ahead of the previous best time of Fionn Griffiths (Norco World Team). Pugin's time was so fast that only two riders would beat her - Jonnier and Emmeline Ragot (Suspension Center), the fastest in qualifying. Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing), the winner of round one was well back, after crashing near the top of her run, and Myriam Nicole of France came within 12 seconds of Pugin, but it took Jonnier to finally displace her young French rival, and she did it with the first sub-3:40 ride, at 3:39.59 . There was only one rider left by this time - Ragot - and the former Junior world champion came through the first intermediate timer two-hundredths of a second ahead of Jonnier. However, Ragot lost four-tenths of a second in the lower portion of the run, to finish 0.31 seconds down on Jonnier. Celine Gros (Morzine-Avoriaz 74) took fourth, while Mio Suemasa of Japan took the final podium spot, breaking the French stranglehold. Claire Buchar (Chain Reaction) was the only Canadian to race, finishing tenth, 27.53 seconds behind Jonnier.
"I wasn't super happy about my race run," revealed Jonnier, "because I made many mistakes, and didn't really think that I had done enough to win. But I'm glad that I changed back to my favourite Maxxis High Rollers from the 2.5 Wetscreams after qualifying, because the track was drying out quickly and conditions changed in favour of dry tires."Jonnier's win puts her at 1132 points, 197 ahead of Ragot and 322 in front of Moseley with three races remaining in the World Cup. More Info: Visit Bikes.com... Read more...
After drooling over the CrankBrothers Iodine wheels for many months, the moment of truth has arrived... they are in my garage awaiting the arrival of a new Ibis Mojo, which should be here in a couple of weeks. I've heard a lot of good things about the Iodine wheelset, so it's time to put all that into consideration as I beat the tar out of them on the trails. For those of you who haven't seen the Iodine wheels, you're in for a visual treat. In true CrankBrothers fashion, they have taken a new twist on wheel design with both the Cobalt and Iodine wheels. The rim design is unique in that ther are no traditional eyelets, but instead an inner rib to which the Twinpair spokes attach at 12 points. Hubs are easily-serviced and are built on multiple, sealed cartridge bearings for extra-long service life. Hub engagement is solid with 6-pawls and a maximum 7.5-degree engagement for quick reactions. These rims have a design all their own and have been flogged and trusted by CrankBrothers team rider, Ross Schnell. Check out the photo gallery of Ross on the Iodine's. Iodine Wheelset Features
- Tubeless-compatible design
- Proprietary stainless steel spokes and aluminum nipples (really cool design)
- Front hub is 9mm, 15mm and 20mm compatible (with adapters)
- Recommended tire size: 2.3-2.5"
- 2 year warranty
- 21mm width
- Colors: burnt orange or iron
- Weight: 1903 grams (pair)
- MSRP: $1000
Backcountry. com has added another adrenaline-junkie, action sports, get rad online retail site to their quiver called HuckNroll.com. The new – strictly MTB site – launches today and has everything any XC, DH shredder needs including: frames, full bikes, helmets, gloves, armor, gogs, jerseys, pedals …. you get the drill. Although many folks in the bike industry cringed at the birth of this site and said it would never survive, we’re going for it anyway. HuckNroll.com is stacked with dudes (and chicks) that live for laying rubber on dirt who will be able to offer pro customer service and online chat help, as well as proving pure stoke for the sport. With brands like Shimano, Race Face, Truvativ, Avid, Easton, Gravity, Fox Racing, Troy Lee Designs, POC, Sombrio, Dakine, Endura, Zoic, Santa Cruz, Intense, Titus, Look and Rocky Mountain – need any mountain biker look further for killer gear. HuckNroll.com joins Backcountry.com’s other bike-related sites: Chainlove.com (MTB ODAT), Bonktown.com (Road ODAT) and Realcyclist.com (Road Retail) to add another root of strength to its biking family. Also, to help launch the site check out the video - http://www.hucknroll.com/mountainbike/dc/739/HUCKNROLLCOM-NAME-AND-CLAIM-SWEEPSTAKES.html - and enter to win $2,900+ in gear including a Intense Cycles Tracer VP Mountain Bike Frame....Read more...
Just got word that the Ibis Mojo SL will now be available in a couple of new colors: Trans Blue and Gloss White. Both new color schemes look solid and provide a little more upscale look to the bike. Very cool. Here's a quick blurb on the new colors from Chuck Ibis:
That's right, we are happy to announce new colors for the Mojo SL (scroll down for complete bike pictures). We are currently taking orders for the new Trans Blue and White Mojo SL frames and complete bikes, and expect to start shipping them toward the end of May. The paint is a gloss polyurethane (these colors are not possible in the rubberized finish). If you're interested, give your Ibis dealer a call to get one on order.More Info: Visit IbisCycles.com... Read more...
I just got this email from the crew at Ibis Cycles. As always, Chuck Ibis, is in rare form as he spreads the word about their great bikes and company in his quirky and light-hearted way. We all know how awesome the many non-profit trail building organizations are in our respective locations. Here along the Wasatch, we're lucky enough to have a few with the Mountain Trails Foundation leading the charge with Park City's miles of buffed-out singletrack. You can enter to win a custom Ibis Mojo, dressed in Marzocchi, Shimano and Easton bits by supporting the Sierra Buttes Trails Stewardship. Here are the details:
Here in Northern California, Spring has muscled winter aside which has in turn been temporarily displaced by summer with temps in the mid 90's. The furnaces in our houses have been put back into hibernation and we're enjoying monster traction on our local trails. "Ego Dirt" we call it, because just about anyone can pilot a bike around corners like Brian Lopes in these conditions. The racing and festival season is heating up too; Sea Otter just finished, The Fruita Fat Tire Festival is this week, followed by Ales and Trails the next weekend and so on. One Mid-Summer event that gets us particularly excited is the Downieville Classic. It's in the tiny mountain town of Downieville, not too far from California's Lake Tahoe, and one of the best events of the year. No cell phones work up there, no internet, just a few days of bike riding, camping and swimming in warm rivers. In other words, good clean fun. Q: Why do we like Downieville? A: Because the riding is exceptional Q: Why is the riding exceptional? A: Because of the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship
About the Sierra Buttes Trail StewardshipThis small dedicated group of rapscallions and rabble-rousers have been tirelessly building trails up in Downieville for the last few years: Winter, Summer Spring and Fall. Due in great part to their efforts, Downieville and environs has become one of the premier mountain bike destinations in the US. When the good people at Yuba Expeditions asked us if we wanted to sponsor the Downieville Classic this year, we didn't hesitate for a second. And the good folks at Yuba let us specify that 100% of the money we put toward "The Classic" will go to the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS).
... Read more...
Enter the raffle to win an Ibis Mojo, help build a trailWe're finally getting to the heart of this email. We are going to raffle off a brand spankin' new Mojo worth well north of $5,000.00. We've enlisted the help of our rider Brian Lopes. Brian likes Downieville just like we do, and we all decided we wanted to give a little something back. So we asked Brian to spec out a bike like he'd be riding up in Downieville. He did, and we asked his other sponsors helped us out with parts. They did. Now it's your turn, and FIVE BUCKS IS ALL IT TAKES TO BUY A RAFFLE TICKET but we think you'll want to give a little more. The more you buy, the more trails you help build and the greater the chance you have of winning. We will ship anywhere, so if you're in another country, go ahead and enter. Your size and color choice is also part of the deal. Buy Tickets: Visit Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship
The Delta 7 Arantix mountain bike is one of the most talked-about frames on the market today. Many question the design and price, but it looks like they are fielding a solid race team now, which should help spread the word. Here's the press release on their results from Sea Otter Classic:
Geoffrey Montague and Chantel Shoemaker rode the Arantix, Delta 7 Sports' mountain bike which uses the company's IsoTruss technology, to top-five victories in their respective 2009 Sea Otter Classic races. Montague, a Delta 7 Sports rider and employee, won the 19-mile (30.5 km) Cat 2 SRAM Cross Country race on Saturday, April 18 by three minutes. Shoemaker took third in the Cat 1 SRAM Dual Slalom competition on Friday, April 17. Saturday's cross country event was Montague's first national race. He still beat last year's winning time by eight minutes with the help of the light-yet strong Arantix. Shoemaker succeeded racing the Arantix though it was her first time riding the bike. Delta 7 Sports lent Shoemaker a bicycle to race with after hers was stolen. Though the Arantix is built for cross country terrain, Shoemaker said its strength and durability made it handle slalom course better than her original bicycle would have.... Read more...
About Delta 7 SportsDelta 7 Sports creates cutting-edge cycle sport products by utilizing IsoTruss technology and designs. A division of Advanced Composite Solutions, Delta 7 Sports was formed in 2007. For more information, visit www.Delta7Sports.com.
After a decade hiatus from World Cup downhill racing competition, Rocky Mountain Bicycles has returned with force. The Maxxis-Rocky Mountain team made the 30 hour journey from North America to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa for the first round of the UCI World Cup. Coming off a successful US Cup event in Fontana, California, it was uncertain how the team would fare against teams who had already been in South Africa for a few weeks acclimatizing to the time difference and sweltering heat. After having a nasty crash in qualifying, Maxxis-Rocky Mountain rider and two time World Champion Sabrina Jonnier was not feeling her best. Jonnier qualified mid pack, but on her race run, she scorched the course, beating the fastest time by over 13 seconds. Sabrina sat in the hot seat until the last two riders, Emiline Ragot of France and Tracey Mosely narrowly beat her time, leaving her in third place, an exceptional accomplishment given her nasty crash the day before. The big story of the weekend was Maxxis-Rocky Mountain rider Cameron Cole. The 2007 Junior World Champion had yet to crack the top 15 in a pro World Cup, having encountered his fair share of bad luck. The Pietermaritzburg course favored strong pedaling riders and Cole took his chance to shine. Blazing the course at 3:53:01, 12 seconds faster than his qualifying time, Cole unseated American star Aaron Gwin to take the hot seat. With 25 more riders to come, the team was already satisfied with his ride, but it took another 20 riders until former World Champion Sam Hill of Australia beat Cameron’s time. Only riders Steve Peat, Gee Atherton, Mick Hannah, and local boy and winner Greg Minnaar went faster than Cameron, leaving him with a career best sixth place. In the cross country event, Geoff Kabush, fresh off his win at the Fontana Pro XCT, suffered from the huge travel and sweltering heat of South Africa and finished in 30th position, a great result given the conditions. Geoff will be looking forward to next World Cup stop in Offenburg, Germany where his technical skills will shine and the temperatures will be more manageable. More Info: Visit Bikes.com...Read more...
Sea Otter Classic acts as Spring's version of Interbike. Many companies choose to use Sea Otter as their platform for product launches and announcements. So, it's no wonder I'm getting a flood of new product launches in my inbox. The latest is the Santa Cruz Blur LT Carbon. What a beauty! The frame features a tapered head tube and all kinds of carbon details throughout. Here are a few more details:
- Weight: 5.6 lbs (1 lb. lighter than LT)
- Travel: 140mm via new VPP2 design
- Shock: RockShox Monarch
- MSRP: $2399
- Availability: June 2009
- Blur LTC Specs (PDF)
Take our beloved all-duty trailbike, the Blur LT, complete with 140mm of plush, sophisticated, no maintenance VPP suspension. Now, make the frame a pound lighter, make it several orders of magnitude stronger and stiffer, make it out of carbon fiber. Don't candy-ass out and make just a carbon front triangle, make the whole bike out of the stuff, and use a proprietary one piece molding process that ensures maximum strength and minimal weight. The result? The strongest bike we have ever built, bar none. It's a nimble, fast climbing, flex-free, confidence inspiring, trail bombing demon of a bike. Build it up however you want - there are no weight restrictions or fork travel limits to worry about - then ride it hard as you dare. Try to refrain from cackling like a madman in the process.I was very impressed with the current Santa Cruz Blur LT2 and I can only imagine what a full-carbon Blur LT will ride like... The frame takes sexiness to a whole new level and the function of carbon-fiber is beyond good. As carbon fiber gets utilized more and more, people will start to accept the fact that it is lighter and stronger than aluminum. I can't wait to get on one. More Info: Visit SantaCruzBicycles.com... Read more...
Unfortunately, no pictures of the bikes are currently available. Gotta wait until Sea Otter. See any 29er's in the pic to the right? It almost looks like one right behind the dude... oh well. The crew at Rocky Mountain assures me that pics are on their way, but I've got to wait until April 17. So, to whet your appetite, here's the news release:
Rocky Mountain Bicycles announces its 2010 - 29’er product launch at the Sea Otter Classic, April 17-19th, Monterey California. Rocky Mountain will be exhibiting both of its proven platforms, Vertex and Altitude, both now available in 29’er. Since 1981 Rocky Mountain bicycles has pioneered and pushed the limits of 26 inch wheel mountain bikes. Now we feel the time is right to launch our B.C. take on the 29er experience The notoriously technical trails in our Vancouver backyard have always been our testing ground and we’ve used these same trails to test and develop our 29ers. Our new 29ers are just as suited to the treacherous trails at our doorstep as fast, flowy Marin County singletrack, or high alpine Swiss mountain passes. Our new Altitude 29 puts a big wheel spin on our phenomenally successful Altitude platform. With our patented SmoothLink suspension and first of its kind StraightUp geometry, we have set a new standard for pedaling efficiency and suspension quality. The Altitude 29 with its 120mm of rear wheel travel is about covering big distances efficiently while having enough suspension to soak up everything in its path. Rocky Mountain’s extensive World Cup racing heritage is immediately apparent in our new Vertex 29 platform. Much of the R&D for our Vertex RSL was also applied to the Vertex 29, resulting in a bike that handles like a race bike, but also showcases the best of the 29er. Both bikes feature completely redesigned FORM™ tubesets, Shimano Direct Mount front derailleurs, and both represent the evolution of Rocky Mountain’s legendary ride quality.UPDATE: I just got a first picture of the Altitude 29er... check it out to the right. More Info: Visit www.Bikes.com ... Read more...
Despite the mixed bag of weather, it is Spring in Utah and that means mountain biking is just around the corner. I can smell the singletrack now. And, to break in the newly-thawed trails, I'm going to be piloting the Cannondale Rize 3 for a few weeks. The Rize 3 trailbike essentially replaced the Prophet in the lineup last season. I say "essentially" because the Prophet had 140mm of rear travel versus the 130mm on the Rize. So, it's more like the XC/enduro/all-mountain side of the old Prophet and the Rize is the all-mountain/freeride side of the Prophet. Don't get me wrong, the Rize should be a killer do-it-all bike for the majority of the people who ride hard, but don't necessarily feel the need to point it through rock gardens and drop off every ledge in sight on the way down Porcupine Rim in Moab. In other words, 130mm of travel should be spot-on for most riders wanting a one-bike-quiver. Specs of the Cannondale Rize 3:
- Rear Travel: 130mm via Fox RP2
- Frame: Aluminum, hydraformed
- Front Travel: 130mm via Cannondale Lefty Max w/PBR
- Wheels: DT Swiss XR430 rims, DT Swiss spokes, Cannondale Lefty front and Sun Dirty Flea rear
- Drivetrain: Mix of Shimano LX, SRAM X.9 and X.7
- Tires: Maxxis Rendez 2.1
- Brakes: Avid Elixir CR
- Weight: Approx 28 lbs.
- MSRP: $3100
GoPro, the world’s leading manufacturer of wearable and vehicle mountable digital cameras for sports, is pleased to be an official sponsor of the Sea Otter Classic for the next three years. In addition, GoPro will exhibit and showcase its new wide angle Helmet HERO Wide digital video camera and its cycling-specific mounts during the four-day consumer expo April 16-19, 2009 in Monterey, California. Sea Otter Classic is the most core consumer bike festival in the country. It’s where cyclists come to celebrate their love of biking and share their passions with each other.
“GoPro comes to Sea Otter every year to celebrate our love of biking with our customers...people who ride!” said GoPro founder/president Nicholas Woodman. “It’s the best way for us to get a ton of face time with cyclists from all over the country. It’s also a great chance to meet the other leading companies in our industry and talk about ways to help grow business for each other. And GoPro is a local company, based in Northern California, so it’s great to celebrate biking in our home area...with Sierra Nevada on tap, no less.” “We’re fired up to support Sea Otter and contribute as best we can to show Sea Otter fans and cyclists a good time,” Woodman continues. “GoPro is the number one wearable camera company in the world and we make the best helmet and bike cameras, period. It’s a natural for us to be here to show our customers how easy and fun it is to shoot video and photos of their rides with a GoPro.”During Sea Otter, GoPro will be showing off its new 170 degree wide-angle lens Helmet HERO Wide camera, which dramatically shows more viewing area and more excitement than any other helmet camera. The Helmet HERO Wide is bundled with mounting accessories for any vented or non-vented helmet. It retails for $189.99. GoPro also will be exhibiting several new accessories, compatible with all GoPro quick-release digital cameras, that provide an alternative perspective to the action. Chesty is an adjustable chest harness compatible with all GoPro quick-release cameras that is ideal for mountain biking, motocross, paddlesports or skiing or any activity where you want to get a “lower than your helmet” view of the action. Sold as a separate accessory, Chesty retails for $40. A must have for every cyclists, the Ride HERO is a combination handlebar and seat post mounting clamp that is compatible with GoPro’s Helmet HERO and Helmet HERO Wide camera system. The Ride HERO mounts make it easy to quickly mount your GoPro camera to your mountain, road, or BMX bike to capture unique video and photo angles during your rides. It can even attach your GoPro camera to chainstays and other parts of your bike frame that range from .75-inches to 1.4-inches in diameter. It is engineered to hold the camera still for a steady shot even during full tilt downhill mountain biking. A new concept in bicycle camera mounting, the Ride HERO accessory allows for exciting “in action” image capture angles that will allow you to review and enjoy your rides from an entirely new perspective. Sold as a separate accessory for GoPro cameras, the Ride HERO retails for $19.99. Buy Now: Search for GoPro Cameras... Read more...
Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles has announced Jack Reading, a professional downhill racer from the United Kingdom, as its latest sponsored team rider. Reading, a 20-year-old neo pro, is also supported by Freeborn, the exclusive UK Distributor for Ellsworth for almost ten years. Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles has assembled a strong team of gravity riders who are competing in national and World Cup events for the 2009 season. As a relative newcomer to professional downhill racing, Reading has grown increasingly fond of his Ellsworth Project Pink Dare.
“I am confident in saying that the Dare is the best downhill bike on the market right now. The quality of ride on every track I've ridden has been phenomenal,” said Reading.Riding his Dare to victory in his first four races of the season in the U.K., Reading’s attachment to the bike has become involuntary.
“The bike has proven to be extremely stable at high speed, great in the technical sections, and really easy to pedal due to the low weight and ICT rear suspension. The bike has become a part of me, like an extra limb I have total control of.”Tony Ellsworth, weighs in on Reading's sponsorship.
“Jack’s commitment and dedication to improve and be at the top of his game is inspiring. He’s as approachable and friendly as he is fast and talented. Jack knew what he wanted, and chose Ellsworth for the performance of the product. He is a tremendous ambassador for the Ellsworth Technology and awesome to watch ride and win,” says Tony Ellsworth, founder and president of Ellsworth Handcrafted Bikes.Reading’s entry to competitive sports began with a stint at Huddersfield Town Football Academy where he was groomed to become an elite soccer player. After a winter spent skiing in Whistler, BC and learning to ride mountain bikes in the summer, Reading’s priorities took a turn towards the dirt. “Football couldn’t compare to the adrenaline rush I got from ripping on my bikes, so in 2007 I made the decision to dedicate my time solely to racing,” Reading said. He has not foregone an academic career, however, as Reading is in his first year at Manchester University studying Optometry. Being the lone British rider supported by Ellsworth, Reading sees his sponsorship as a fantastic opportunity to show the world the quality and attention to detail that makes Ellsworth unique. “I think it's fantastic that all the frames are hand built in America to such amazing quality by very talented and experienced welders. I'm so proud to be the only guy riding Ellsworth on the U.K. racing circuit and raising awareness of such an awesome bike and brand,” said Reading. More Info: Visit EllsworthBikes.com... Read more...
Scott Bicycles announces a new World Cup Downhill and Four Cross Team, Scott11. Scott rounds out its’ WC presence with this gravity team, complimenting the Scott-Swisspower WC XC Team. Scott11 is a developmental program for both riders and the Scott Engineering department. For the riders, many of whom are young talents looking to make that break on the WC Circuit, it’s a chance to ride the World’s best equipment and enjoy some of the finest support available. For the engineers, taking concepts to production after testing at the racetrack is the best possible opportunity to fulfill consumer needs.
“We stepped up for ’09 and became title sponsor to Scott-Swisspower, one of the finest XC Race programs ever created, and the brainchild of Thomas Frischknecht,” stated Adrian Montgomery. “With Scott11, we took a similar approach by investing in another professional, Claudio Caluori, who could mentor and guide young riders on the way up. At the same time, we gain valuable experience we can use to further develop our gravity product and the entire Mountain Segment.”
- Fabien Pedemanaud
- Aari Barrett
- Nick Beer
- Adrian Weiss
- Mirco Weiss
- Robin Hagen
- Emilie Siegenthaler
- Manager: Claudio Caluori
Freedom. We all want it. We all deserve it – especially when it comes to riding our bikes. Freedom Riders, the latest high-definition mountain biking film from Jackson, WY-based KGB Productions and Gravnetic, will hold its world premiere on Saturday April 18, 2009 at the Sea Otter Classic at the Embassy Suites in Seaside, CA. from 7-9pm. The premiere will be screened at the IMBA California Benefit Party with proceeds to benefit the biking advocacy organization. Tickets cost $10 at the door and there will be a huge raffle featuring loads of killer prizes. IMBA, who’s mission is to create, enhance and protect great trail experiences for mountain bikers worldwide, is a partner for the Freedom Riders premiere, as well as the 50 venue nationwide tour that will commence after Sea Otter.
"We're super excited to have IMBA as a partner for the Freedom Riders project and given all the hard work and advocacy they put into furthering the sport of biking it's truly a natural fit," says KGB co-founder Sam Pope. "The film shows how important trails are to the mountain biking community and how a dedicated group of riders followed their passion to create history."Freedom Riders is the Dogtown and Z Boys of mountain biking. The film artistically captures the evolution of freeriding from stealth trail building to forging a working relationship with the U.S. Forest Service to establish the first-ever downhill specific trail in Forest Service history in the Teton Pass area of Wyoming. The film showcases the freeriding subculture in North America from where it was to where it is now by highlighting how the sport has obtained its legitimacy in the public eye. Freedom Riders provides a compelling story of a group of individuals who never let their passion die while looking at the rich culture and history behind the sport. From old-school footage of Tom Richey and Gary Fisher to the time, hours and sweat it takes to build a trail to hucking and ripping down singletrack, Freedom Riders isn’t your typical bike porn film, it tells a story – an important one for any bike lover. The film with also feature an original soundtrack by Grammy Award nominee Luke Reynolds of Astral Kids.
About KGB Production and GravneticBased in the outdoor mecca of Jackson Hole, WY, KGB Productions has been producing action sports films – and drinking beer – for more than a decade. From ski films to bike films to documentaries, KGB’s films aim to artistically tell a story while entertaining with top-notch, high quality footage. KGB also handles corporate contracts and has been known to film everything from trade shows to hip-hop videos. Gravnetic is a freelance cooperative of creative’s producing promotional’s, HD programming, web and motion interactive Web sites and applications. We can be found in the Idaho backcountry filming HD Fly Fishing and Biking. The narrative of Freedom Riders was a natural fit for the talents of the cooperative.
About IMBAIMBA is a non-profit membership association that creates, enhances and preserves trail opportunities for mountain bikers worldwide. Since 1988, IMBA has been bringing out the best in mountain biking by encouraging low-impact riding, community participation, cooperation among different trail user groups and innovative, sustainable trail development programs. IMBA’s work has touched more than 10,000 miles of trails over 20 years. IMBA's worldwide network includes 80,000+ individuals, 750 bicycle clubs, more than 150 corporate partners and 600 retail members. IMBA's members live in all 50 U.S. states, most Canadian provinces and in 30 other countries. Principal projects include the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew, the National Mountain Bike Patrol, IMBA Trailbuilding Schools, National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, Epics, Trail Solutions and a variety of educational and trailbuilding efforts that comprise international, national, regional, state and local efforts. Registration with IMBA is free, or you can join IMBA as a member. More Info: Visit FreedomRidersTheMovie.com... Read more...
This past weekend marked the racing debut of the all new Maxxis-Rocky Mountain UCI trade team. After a successful training camp in Boulder City, Nevada testing their new bikes with Fox Racing, the team headed to Fontana, California to try out their new bikes and suspension before the start of the World Cup in South Africa on April 11-12. Going into Fontana, Maxxis-Rocky Mountain star rider Geoff Kabush was the heavy favorite for the win, having won all three years of the event. The expectations were high and competition was fierce, as all the big names of North American cross country racing were in attendance. From the gun, it was Kabush, Max Plaxton and Sid Taberlay of the Sho Air team, and Jeremiah Bishop of Monavie-Cannondale forming the initial lead group. Up against the strong Sho-Air team, Kabush rode steadily in his classic fashion waiting for the others to fatigue and on the final lap he launched his attack. By the time he came across the line for the win, Kabush had put 43 seconds on Plaxton and almost two minutes on Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski of Team Subaru-Gary Fisher.
Kabush commented on the race, “I was dealing with a bit of team tactics from the Sho Air guys but I felt pretty in control; I just wanted to ride a smart, smooth race, which is my trademark...I knew it would come down to the last lap”.The DH riders didn’t disappoint either, with Sabrina Jonnier overcoming an eye infection to place 3rd in the Pro Women’s DH and Cameron Cole coming a very close 3rd to hometown boys Eric Carter and Kevin Aiello. Maxxis-Rocky Mountain team rider Luke Strobel sat out the race, still resting his fractured collarbone before the World Cup gets underway. Rocky Mountain Bicycles is also proud to announce that Alison Sydor and her partner Nico Pfitzenmaier won six of the seven stages of the Absa Cape Epic Challenge on their way to capturing the overall victory. This is Alison’s second win in as many years, last year winning the women’s overall title with Rocky Mountain’s Pia Sundstedt. Sydor and Pfitzenmaier fought through scorching temperatures, flat tires, and tough competition to beat their closest rival, the team of Esther Süss and Marcel Bartholet of Switzerland by over 38 minutes. Alison rode her Rocky Mountain Vertex RSL, while Nico chose to ride an Element Team. Alison plans to contest the 2009 TransAlp Challenge and TransGermany stage races with partner Pia Sundstedt. Stay tuned for the start of the UCI World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa April 11-12. More Info: Visit Bikes.com Source: Rocky Mountain Bikes... Read more...
DaKine has been making hydration packs for years, but many have criticized them for their overweight designs. Well, any of those complainers should take a look at the new DaKine Amp 12L and 18L hydration packs. Built with lighter-weight materials, but still sporting all the bells-and-whistles you've come to expect from DaKine hydration packs, the Amp 12L keeps it light and functional. Looking this pack over, I'm impressed with the new back panel and shoulder straps. They are built with Swiss cheese-like holes to maintain airflow on long, sweaty rides. Overall comfort is solid and the pack is built big enough to carry all the necessities on a daylong epic ride. More Features:
- Molded back panel with air channel ventilation
- Airflow shoulder straps
- XC helmet carry straps
- 100 oz Hydrapak reservoir (included)
- Pump, tube and accessory organizing pockets
- Side mesh pockets for quick stashing
- Waist belt to keep things in place
- Fleece-lined sunglass/phone pocket
- Size: 12L or 700 cu. in.
- Colors: Black, Slate, Rust and Moss
- MSRP: $90
In the hopper for review is the 2009 Kona Dawg Supreme trailbike. With 6-inches of rear travel provided by Kona's well-proven 4-bar linkage design, the Dawg is a lightweight trailbike for the masses. Built Kona tough but not portly, the Scandium frame keeps things real by picking and choosing the weight loss strategy. Built with a solid, trail-worthy parts spec, there's no question that the Dawg Supreme will be able to throw down on the Wasatch Crest Trail with the best of them. And, since it's a Kona, it's got no-nonsense, solid performance built-in. Every Kona I've ridden has just plain worked and worked well. Dawg Supreme Highlights:
- Race light scandium butted frame
- Magnesium rockers
- 6-inches of rear travel
- Mixture of Shimano XTR, XT and LX components
- Mavic Crossmax ST wheelset
- Fox RP23 rear and Fox Float RLC with 15QR
- MSRP: $4599
Visit your favorite Independent Bicycle Dealer in March and discover Sidi's latest cycling shoes at a more affordable price. Veltec Sports, the U.S. distributor of top performing, Italian-made Sidi cycling shoes, announced today that it is reducing Sidi prices to help consumers get into a pair more easily. As of March 9, 2009, all Sidi cycling shoes at the retail level will have an 8-15 percent lower price. The price decrease is related to the anticipated drop in the Euro. Veltec is anticipating lower prices in 2010 and wants to pass that along to customers at the start of the 2009 cycling season.
"Now that there is some renewed confidence in the US dollar, we are passing the benefits of a lower Euro on to the consumer" said Manfred Krikke, CEO of Veltec Sports. "A tough economic environment causes a lot of stress for consumers and retailers and riding is a great way to blow off some steam. Great fitting shoes are essential to a good riding experience. As the most experienced riders all know, a Sidi shoe fits like a glove and lasts for years."Famed cyclist, Paolo Bettini says of his Sidi's,
"In the course of a career a cyclist changes many things: jerseys, bicycles, direction, often teammates and opponents. Only one thing has never changed in all this time, the shoes I use. My Sidis have followed me to every corner of the world. They are a symbol of the many great successes that I have achieved to the music of my pedaling from victories in the Italian National Championships, to the successes in Stuttgart thru Athens and Salzburg."Sidi shoes are widely viewed as the best cycling shoes on the market. The fit, quality and style of a Sidi shoe are unparalleled. It is also the only cycling shoe on the market that is still made by hand in the Sidi factories in Europe. You can now own a pair of the same shoes Bettini rides at more affordable prices. Sidi shoes are available only through Authorized Sidi dealers. To find the Sidi dealer nearest to you, please go to www.veltecsports.com About Veltec Sports: Veltec Sports, Inc. is a leading marketer and distributor of cycling's best-known brands. Veltec's brand portfolio includes: Sidi cycling shoes, Descente cycling apparel, Shebeest women's cycling apparel, Prologo performance saddles, Vredestein tires and Enervit endurance nutrition. Veltec is committed core cyclists and their passion for riding, and living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Visit the company's Web site: www.veltecsports.com, to learn more. Buy Now: Search for Sidi Bike Shoes... Read more...
As a new bike company based in Salt Lake City and Seattle, Corsair Bikes is delivering targeted bike frames to gravity-lovers everywhere. With a small lineup of bike frames that includes the Crown (DH), Maelstrom (FR), Konig (SS), Marque (AM) and Ducat (DJ), these guys are dedicated to putting smiles on the faces of riders across many disciplines. Utilizing proprietary suspension designs on each frame, Corsair is not sticking to a single suspension platform. This is a fairly refreshing concept, but doesn't come without its engineering, tooling and manufacturing challenges. Quite honestly, I've enjoyed riding a myriad of suspension designs and have found some designs to lend themselves better to certain riding conditions. It's great that Corsair can admit that and is excited for the challenges of manufacturing a variety of different suspension designs. Their bikes are built burly (weight weenies need not apply), but look to serve those who can dish it out with a quality product that will last. With Corsair being local, I hope to at least get on the Marque during the upcoming riding season. More Info: Visit CorsairBikes.com or Wrenchscience.com to Buy All photos courtesy Corsair Bikes...Read more...
Billy Savage's film Klunkerz extended its' trail of accolades as it won the "Cycling Film of the Year" award at the first ever Competitor Film Festival, held in conjunction with the Seventeenth Annual Competitor Magazine Endurance Sports Awards. The star-studded event took place at the Nautilus Pavilion at Sea World in San Diego. The documentary film Klunkerz examines the genesis of the sport of mountain biking, tracing it's origins to a small group of friends in Northern California's Marin County in the late 1960's and 1970's. The film includes interviews with many of the sports' pioneers and some of the more obscure characters that influenced them.
From "Breaking Away" to "Klunkerz"In attendance with Savage were cycling legends Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly (both featured prominently in the film) and over six hundred of the world's best endurance athletes. The award was presented by Dennis Christopher, star of the groundbreaking 1979 mainstream cycling film Breaking Away.
"I am honored and humbled to be the recipient of this award," commented Savage. "This is for all of us, the cycling pioneers who trusted me to tell their story, and the amazing crew who worked so hard on this film. Thank you."
The Endurance Sports Awards Benefit the Challenged Athletes FoundationKaiser Permanente was the presenting sponsor of this year's event, which was created as a benefit for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, having raised over $8,000,000.00 to cover expenses for disabled athletes. More Info: Visit Klunkerz.com... Read more...
In a surprise move, Santa Cruz Bicycles is utilizing carbon fiber for the new Santa Cruz Blur XC for 2009. I'm unaware of any previous Santa Cruz frames that were carbon fiber, so this is uncharted territory for them. I'm not too worried as we all know they have their stuff together and carbon fiber bike frame manufacturers have been utilizing the stuff for years and some only use carbon fiber. The greatest thing about carbon fiber is weight reduction while still providing increased stiffness with a tad bit of small bump compliance. The new Santa Cruz Blur XC Carbon is currently available with frame prices starting at $2299. Here are a few more features:
- Frame weight: 4.2 lbs (medium)
- Shock: RockShox Monarch 3.3
- Suspension: Next-generation VPP with grease ports and 105mm travel
- Colors: Black, Grey
- MSRP: $2299
The BC Bike Race - The Ultimate Singletrack Experience is proud to announce the return of Kris Sneddon and Barry Wicks of team Kona, the 2008 winners. The BC Bike Race is proud to have Barry and Kris back, these two exceptional athletes will defend their title beginning June 28 and finishing July 4. They have confirmed their participation and their goal of victory for the 2009 BC Bike Race. When contacted about the upcoming season Kris Sneddon stated flat out “the BC Bike Race was one of the best events of my career and win or lose I’m going back to rock those trails!” Kris is originally from the Sunshine Coast, the host for days 4 and 5, “having a local boy take the lead and hold it was not planned but what a great surprise” yelled Dean Payne as the two mounted the final podium. Last years victory was anything but easy as the field was stacked; Olympians, Champions and an overall deeply qualified field. The second year of the BC Bike Race was a hotly contested title, a back and forth battle between Teams Trek, (Chris Eatough, Jeff Shalk) the 2007 winners, team Cannodale Mona Vie (Jason Sager and Bart Gilliespie) 2008 stage one’s winners and the eventual winner Team Kona (Kris Sneddon, Barry Wicks) gave spectators some nail biting excitement. Some of the other notables; Chris Shepherd and Seamus McGrath ran into mechanicals on stage 1 and were officially not in contention but able to continue as with Rocky Mountain's team of Andreas Hestler and Max Plaxton. The combination of last year’s winners; a Canadian (Kris Sneddon) and an American (Barry Wicks), was unbeatable and they both showed great class in teaming up to win the BC Bike Race. “It’s during events like these that you want to know who is in your corner” said Kona team manager Smiley Nesbitt. This years BC Bike Race is ticking slowly towards being sold out and it also looks like there will be more singletrack for 2009 as the ‘best bike race in the world’ rolls forward. More Info: Visit BCBikeRace.com...Read more...
Rocky Mountain Bicycles (RMB) is proud to announce the new Rocky Mountain Bicycles Factory XC-Epic Racing Team. Rocky Mountain Bicycles has been at the forefront of all facets of mountain bike competition; from early DH and XC victories (circa 1991*) to pioneering Freeride and most recently dominating epic stage racing. With wins in almost every notable race on the planet, RMB decided to officially create a team dedicated to non-World Cup events. The new team will be attending epic stage races, all-mountain events, festivals, enduros and any other bike event that represents fun on two wheels. Alison Sydor, Mountain Bike Hall of Fame member, three time World Champion, and Olympic Silver Medalist is returning to the Rocky Mountain team in 2009. Alison had an extremely successful season in 2008, winning both the Cape Epic Challenge and the Trans Alp Challenge. In 2009, she will be looking for more stage racing domination with confirmed starts at Cape Epic, TransGermany, and TransAlp. A Rocky Mountain factory team wouldn’t be complete without cross country racing legend Andreas Hestler aka ‘Dre’, a Canadian Olympian and three time winner of the TransRockies. Dre had a successful 2008 season, winning a stage at both the BC Bike Race and the TransRockies. For 2009 he will be targeting various other races and epic single day events, such as the Downieville Classic and the Fruita Fat Tire Festival. New to the factory team are Stefan Widmer and Marty Lazarski, formerly of the Rocky Mountain-Different Bikes squad. Both have several Canada Cup podium finishes to their credit and together finished 3rd overall in the 2008 TransRockies stage race. Rounding out the team is Evan Guthrie, the 2008 Canadian Junior XC and Cyclocross Champion. Still with a year left in the junior category, Evan is poised for another stellar season. Stay tuned for more Rocky Mountain bicycles team news as we find out where Marie-Helene will be piloting her Rocky Mountain for the 2009 season. More Info: Visit Bikes.com photo courtesy Rocky Mountain Bikes...Read more...
Coming from a long line of stoke-worthy custom frames, the new 2009 Intense Uzzi VP looks like an outstanding trail/freeride bike. Utilizing the new VPP linkages and suspension rates, this all-new bike looks to lead the charge in the travel-to-fun ratio. I've long been stoked on Intense custom bike frames and I'm anxious to get ahold of an Uzzi VP for flogging, but I may have to wait until next Fall at Interbike. We'll just have to see about that. 2009 Intense Uzzi VP Highlights
- New, revised VPP design
- Grease fittings for trouble-free maintenance
- Adjustable 7-7.5 inches of travel (two shock points)
- Easily tweak geometry with 3G dropouts
- 135mm or 150mm rear hub spacing
- ISCG 05 mounts (hello Hammerschmidt!)
- OnePointFive headtube
- Air or coil shock options
- Can be built up as 31 lb trailbike or 36 lb+ freeride machine
- MSRP: $2420
AeroCat LLC, an Indiana based high performance bicycle manufacturer, is pleased to announce the availability of their new lightweight carbon fiber cross country mountain bike. The AeroCat model M450, named “Meddle” is propelling the company into the mountain bike arena complimenting and extending their offering beyond the high-end road bike market. Featuring a hard-tail carbon fiber frame construction, the M450 is specifically configured to be light, efficient, and durable.
AeroCat Meddle M450 Frame Features
- Monocoque 12K carbon fiber construction.
- Classic finish with natural carbon-weave and matte clear coat.
- Standard mounts for disk or caliper brake options.
- Ultra reinforced bottom bracket area to provide maximum stiffness and energy transfer from the pedals to the trail.
- Large diameter rigid down-tube provides excellent strength to weight ratio
- Standard 68 mm English bottom bracket for compatibility with industry standard components.
- Replaceable alloy dropout hanger.
- Typical frame weight of 1450 grams.
- Available in 15, 17, 19, and 21 inch frame sizes.
- Frame MSRP $1199
AeroCat Meddle Complete Bike OptionsStandard Package
- Rockshox Sid Race fork
- Ritchey Pro cockpit with carbon seat post and SSM Hybrid Saddle.
- Full Shimano XT Group with hydraulic disk brakes.
- Shimano WH-M775 Wheelset with Hutchinson Python tubeless light tires.
- Complete bike configured with standard package MSRP $3599.
- Typical bike weight is 22 lbs with standard package.
- Custom configurations are available upon request.
It hasn't taken me long to realize that the crew at Niner Bikes is onto something. In only a little more than a year's time, I've gone from a 29er rookie to a 29er lover and mostly due to the crew at Niner. At Interbike 2007, Niner Bikes had a Kool-aid theme going on. Well, I drank the stuff and now I'm a true believer. It's hard not to be a believer when every Niner I've ridden has been absolutely phenomenal. The original Niner RIP 9 was a complete hoot and one of the most fun trailbikes I've ever ridden--regardless of hoop size. Then, not satisfied to sit on their laurels, Niner completely re-designed the already-awesome RIP 9 for 2009 to make it even mo' betta. Now, the RIP's little brother, the Niner Jet 9 has been in my hands for testing and I'm wondering if Niner can do no wrong. Of all the full-suspension 29ers I've ridden Niner bikes show the most refinement and consistency in ride quality across the board.
Niner Jet 9 29er Quick Bike ReviewThe Jet 9 is an XC machine at heart with just 3.1-inches of rear travel. But, because of the 29-inch wheels, that small amount of travel goes a long way. No, you're not going to soak up everything in sight, but with the larger wheels, you don't always have to because you can roll through stuff more efficiently. So far, I've found the Jet 9 to climb up anything and descend very capably. I just returned from a local time trail climb (Clark's Trail), and the Jet 9 propelled me to the top in my typical mid-season time. I'm guessing had I ridden this mid-season, I may have shaved some time off my personal best, but it's Fall and I'm not quite in my mid-season form. Like all 29er's, the middle ring is the sweet spot. Don't wallow in the granny or you won't take advantage of all the big hoops have to offer! I'm not one to use lockouts and, honestly, a good suspension design shouldn't need them. The Jet doesn't need the lockout as it powers you to the top of the climb with the rear wheel solidly planted in terra firma. The CVA Suspension is very efficient and smooth. On the downhills thus far, I've been more than pleased with its performance. Once again, the bigger hoops can do wonders for suspension designs when done right. The Jet is smooth, capable and comfortable on the downhill. At 3.1-inches of travel, you're not going to have a super-squish machine, but with the geometry and suspension setup on this bike, you can confidently power through the rough stuff without flinching. That's not the case with any other 3-inch travel bike I know of on the market today. Carving through tight, twisty singletrack, this thing just absolutely shines. I've been very impressed with its overall maneuverability--something not all 29ers share. The Good
- Very capable "no wander" climber (with 100mm Fox F29 even)
- Efficient suspension feels smooth on the downhills
- Arcs through twisty singletrack
- CVA Suspension is the real deal
- Kermit Green color is hot
- Reasonably-priced all things considered
- You likely won't find one at your LBS for a test ride
- Water bottle cage location makes for a tight fit
The Interbike Outdoor Demo is one of the most anticipated times of the year. Two full days of technical and fun desert singletrack in Bootleg Canyon, Nevada on all the latest bikes for the upcoming season. As it turns out, 2009 is going to be a banner year for innovation in the bike industry. As frames, forks, shocks and components are refined or re-designed for the next year, it's always a good thing. For 2009, however, little has changed on the venerable Ellsworth Epiphany trailbike. With it's 5.25 inches of rear travel provided by Ellsworth's famed ICT Suspension, the Epiphany soaks up everything in its path, yet still climbs with the best XC machines on the market today.
How does the Ellsworth Epiphany ride?A quick ride on the Epiphany revealed just how versatile this bike is. I loved how lightweight it felt as I pedaled it up the fire road and singletrack. It is a straight climber with no front-end wander to speak of (something not all bikes in this category can boast). On the descents, this bike felt like it had much more than 5 inches of travel. I felt confident pounding out any drop or rock garden without worry. Surprisingly, the Epiphany has a 70-degree head angle, which is a bit steep for an all-mountain bike. But, once on the trail, you'd never notice it. Good
- Efficient suspension makes quick work of all climbs
- Smooth travel absorbs rocks and drops like butter
- Very lightweight yet still super stiff and stable
- Anodized finish is very durable
- Ellsworth is an energy-neutral company
- Expensive, ($2400 MSRP) but you've got to pay for American-made quality
A new style for this year, the Smith V-Ti sunglasses are built for hard-charging activities and are the perfect sunglass for cycling or mountain biking. A shield-style, the V-Ti comes with three lenses out of the box. Depending on your chosen frame style, you may get a polarized option as well. I flogged a pair of the Smith V-Ti sunglasses while at the Interbike Outdoor Demo and found them to be outstanding overall. As I chatted with Greg Randolph (a.k.a. Chopper) about this design, he went into detail about the titanium temple pieces that start out stiff at the hinge, but then become flexible through the use of Beta-Titanium underneath the rubberized ends. On top of the high-tech frame design, the lenses also feature Smith's best TLT Carbonic optics. I tested the Chrome frame that comes with a polarized copper lens, Ignitor lens and clear mirror lens that's easily swapped-out in a matter of 20 seconds.
How do the Smith V-Ti sunglasses perform?My first lap in Bootleg Canyon was done with the polarized copper lens installed. Honestly, I was a little disappointed at how they performed on the trail. The polarized lenses ended up giving me random rainbow oily splotches here and there. But, to be fair, a polarized lens is not intended to be used mountain biking. So, a quick trip back to the Smith tent and a rapid change to the Ignitor lens and I was set for a day of riding in the Nevada desert. I felt confident riding in the bright sunlight and in/out of shadows. My vision was always clear and with the shield design, I had no frame material blocking my vision in any direciton. The Smith V-Ti sunglasses fit my medium-sized face well and the megol rubber is the perfect stickyness to keep these suckers on my face no matter what. I was sweating like a dog and not once did I need to adjust them. These things are not going anywhere! Because of that, the comfort-levels high... I forgot I had them on. Good
- Comfortable design for all-day wear
- Polarized options
- Easy lens changes
- Grippy megol rubber keeps 'em in place
- Excellent peripheral vision
- Super lightweight
- Comes with a sturdy carrying case
- Polarized isn't for all activities (e.g. mountain biking)
At Interbike Outdoor Demo, I got to ride nine different bikes--three of which were 29ers. Honestly, going into the ride on the Kona Hei Hei 2-9 Deluxe, I was thinking it would be a 100% XC machine. With 3.5-inches in the rear and barely over 3-inches up front, this thing sits squarely in the XC crowd, right? Well, as it turned out, the answer to that was yes and no.
How does the Kona Hei Hei 2-9 Deluxe Ride?Heading up the trail, the Hei Hei climbs like a dream. I pedaled up Bootleg Canyon with pure efficiency. The most surprising part was the downhill capabilities of this bike. I thought it would act like a typical 3.5-inch travel XC machine when I pointed it. I was totally getting ready for the bounce-around as I made my way down the rock gardens and technical descents found in Bootleg, but to my surprise, the Hei Hei 2-9 descended like a well-mannered trailbike. I was very impressed with how smooth the suspension feel was both up and down. I was able to charge the typical lines without worrying that I'd be getting bounced around like a leg-shaven XC racer on a DH course. Good
- Capable climber
- Excellent descender... descends like a 5" trailbike
- 29er wheels roll over everything
- Fox F29 descends beyond it's 80mm travel
- Very fun and flickable... not your typical 29er
- Great parts spec
- $3599 MSRP is respectable (Hei Hei 2-9 is $2499)
- Can experience suspension feedback due to single-pivot design
- No quick-release seat collar
I'm a big fan of 29er bikes and I'm also a big fan of the crew at Niner Bikes. They only build 29ers and damn fine ones at that. After riding the Niner RIP 9 for a few months, I had a hard time giving it back, but now I'm all over the new Niner WFO 9 to be introduced formally at Interbike in a few weeks. Though the WFO 9 won't be available to demo, I'll hopefully at least be able to check one out in person. More than likely, I'll get one for testing next year. Until then, check out the pictures of the 2009 Niner WFO 9 and check out the development timeline below courtesy Chris Sugai at Niner Bikes:
For 2009, we are launching the W.F.O. 9 at both Eurobike and Interbike. Many of you have seen this bike in one form or another. This is the story of how we got from there to here… We’d like to open up the Niner archives, and give you the history of a product in the making, from start to finish; to show you how engineering, computer analysis, structural testing, riding, and passion all combined to make aluminum and steel evolve into an amazing bike. In early 2005, we built the very first rideable samples of the W.F.O. 9. which we showed at Interbike 2005. Our intentions were twofold. First, we used these early prototypes to help develop CVA™ suspension – the first W.F.O. 9 was 6” of travel with relatively short chainstays. Second, we wanted to encourage the component and fork makers to expand their scope of vision in regards to the 29” wheel and to develop products that would make such a bike viable. We wanted to push the limits and change the perception that the big wheel wasn’t just for single speeds. For us, the wheel size has applications across the board, but we couldn’t do it alone. We knew then the possibilities that the 29” wheel held in regard to longer travel bikes, so we decided to keep refining our frame. During 06-07 new technologies, and new building methods re-adjusted our thinking, and we took roads previously untraveled. Additionally, every Niner version-prototype goes through a battery of testing, including actual ride time (there are some perks to being bike designers). We put a lot of trail-hours in on the first versions and incorporated what we learned into the next step. Interbike 2007 gave us the opportunity to share the results of these new design philosophies and technologies. W.F.O. 9 version 2 features a 1.5” head tube and 150mm spacing in the rear. Concurrent to the Interbike debut, we tested bushings vs. bearings as well as other design elements. The long travel machine generated a lot of interest. The demand was there, our sales staff was inundated by riders eager to know the release date, but we didn’t feel like it was ready. We knew we could make something even better. Time to ask questions: What worked and what didn’t in the first two versions? What could we do better? As Niner grows, so too does our access to new technology, both in design and construction – how could we best take advantage of this? More sophisticated computer FEA (Finite Element Analysis) provided answers to some of our questions. FEA is perfect for bicycle development, as it allows us to see in graphic form the actual stresses on a tube as force is applied. FEA enabled us to change the vector and amount of force within the FEA model and conduct computer testing on a number of structures in a day that would take months to build in actual metal. The resulting data helped us to determine the best shapes and structures for the W.F.O 9. The testing and development process also convinced us that hydroformed tubing is the way to go - we can maximize tube shape for strength and stiffness. Additionally, forging helps us to make stronger, sexier and lighter parts. Armed with that information, as well as more hours of riding, we created the third, optimized W.F.O. 9 generation. On this round of physical, destructive testing, we were able to put our FEA modeling to task, to be sure that our computer generated calculations coincided with the real physical tests before opening expensive tooling for forged and extruded parts. The W.F.O. 9 is the most tested bike we have ever designed. It meets all current testing standards, including those not required here in the United States. The W.F.O. 9 exceeds all testing parameters set forth by the EU’s CEN standard. This new standard is stricter than the severe testing requirements of the German DIN+ test protocol. In the time we spent developing the W.F.O. 9, the industry began to change. A noted swing in perception, created the optimum environment for the W.F.O. 9 to spread it’s wings. Component makers stepped up to the plate to make products that better fit this style of riding. Tires appeared with wider profiles, fatter knobs, and stiffer casings. Shimano provided valuable assistance to our project. Our two companies had many conversations regarding front derailleur improvements to resolve clearance issues that plague big wheels and short chainstays, particularly on long travel bikes. The result is a Shimano-redesigned high mount bolt-on derailleur that we can place wherever we need to without regard for the seat tube angle or position, while still giving us critical room behind the derailleur for tire clearance. Next, we were approached by Marzocchi to help them re-enter the 29er market, as they too believe in the application of longer travel suspension designs for the 29” wheel. We put our collective heads together and wrote a list of “have to” parameters and then the Marzocchi engineers took over. We couldn’t be more pleased with the product of this collaboration – a beautiful Marzocchi 44 29er fork with 100-140mm of adjustable ATA travel, an air cartridge, 15mm quick release thru axle, compression, rebound and lockout. The W.F.O. 9 will feature a first for a 29er: a tapered head tube designed to accommodate a 1.5” lower race with a 1 1/8” upper, and the Marzocchi 44 will feature a steerer tube/crown assembly to match, making the 44 the perfect mate for the W.F.O. 9. We are honored to have worked with Marzocchi and to have played a role in bringing this fork to market. The 2010 Marzocchi 44 will be available OEM exclusively through Niner for 2009, and available aftermarket early 2009.... Read more...
Stems are quite the personal thing and luckily, they are easy to swap out. For the most part, a stock bike will come with the length and rise that best suits the average consumer. However, each rider is different and may require a shorter or longer stem length or an increase or decrease in the rise. Syncros has been making bike components for years. Their target market isn't the titanium and carbon crowd, but the demanding rider that's either going to put the parts through their paces or want something that's going to be trouble-free for a long time. Their sweet spot is the all-mountain, freeride and DH market with burly designs that are bombproof--even after repeated abuse. Syncros AM Stem Specs Here are a few specs on the Syncros AM Stems:
- Intended use: All Mountain / Super D / Long travel trail bikes
- 3D-Net forged and CNC machined 6061 alloy
- Shorter reach lengths: 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110mm
- 12 degree rise
- Also available with onepointfive™ (1.5”) steerer clamp (60 / 70 / 80mm only)
- 12.9 grade black chrome bolts add approximately 20% strength and increased corrosion resistance over typical industry standard bolts with no increase in weight
- Lightweight: 175g (100mm)
- Finish options: BB black or matte white with black front cap
- Nice looking square design
- Plenty of length options (60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110 mm)
- Excellent value at $49.95
- Durable design
- Should come in other rise options (only 12-degree is offered)
As one of the premiere mountain bike clothing companies, Zoic is always working hard to bring little innovations into something that typically has little more than adding another couple of panels to the shorts to make them more comfortable. But, not only does Zoic make high-quality products for the cash-strapped crowd, they also make some pretty high-end shorts. New for Spring 2009, Zoic is introducing the first mountain bike shorts with built-in MP3 player controls. The Zoic Opulent Short will definitely live up to its name by dialing you in with comfort for your behind and your ears--something that no other shorts have even attempted to do. I'm not too sure how well the cord will hang coming all the way from the leg pocket, so I'll just have to see them in person to know for sure. 2009 Zoic Opulent Short Details:
- Fabric: 95% Nylon/5% Spandex
- Sizes: S-3XL
- Fit: Freeride
- Colors: Black (Henry Ford would be proud)
- 11-1/2" Inseam Short with Flat Front, Elastic Back and Velcro Side Cinches
- Tagless Waistline
- Built-In MP3 Controls and MP3 Pocket
- 3 Zip Leg Pockets
- Knit Inserts Provide Ventilation
- Side Adjusters have new ZOIC Rubber/Velcro Tabs
- Zippers with Semi Auto Lock Sliders
- Fusion Gusset and Zip Crotch Vents
- Greatest Assit Detachable Liner
- Retail Price: $150.00
When the new 15mm QR standard was introduced this summer by Fox Racing and Shimano, I was STOKED! Not because of all the marketing hype that typically surrounds such launches (remember the hype that surrounded the OnePointFive head tube?), but because this was something that I could believe in because it simply makes sense. I've been riding 20mm thru-axles pretty much exclusively and am still weary of anything with a standard 9mm quick-release axle. Why? Well, think about how spindly those things are AND... think about when they were first introduced into the cycling world. Those things date back to 1930 when Tullio Campagnolo first introduced them to the sport. Yeah... you read that right, 1930! At that time, this was revolutionary, but also at that time, mountain biking wasn't even a glimmer in anyone's eyes and suspension wasn't commonplace until the late 1990's. So, to sum it up... a suspension fork has no business still using a standard 9mm quick release in my book. They simply lack the stiffness and burl to match the forces put on them by today's suspension designs. Fox Vanilla 32 RLC 15QR Fork - Quick Thoughts I've been lucky enough to get ahold of a 2009 Fox Vanilla 32 RLC fork with the 15mm quick-release platform. After a few weeks of trouble acquiring the right hub (thank you Shimano for coming through), I was finally able to lace up my front wheel with the proper hub. When you switch over, you'll have to do the same, so be glad I'm blazing the trail for you. The new Vanilla 32 sports 140mm travel via an open bath system. That means, this fork is drop-dead simple to set up and tweak. There's no air pressure valve to worry about, you just hop on and ride. Overall stiffness is outstanding and noticeably superior to a standard 9mm dropout. I can definitely feel the fork tracking straight--thus providing even more confidence over rough terrain. At only 4.46 lbs for 5.5 inches of travel, this looks to be the lightest open bath suspension fork with this much travel on the market today. Travel thus far seems smooth and consistent--I've forgotten just how smooth oil forks are. The only minor complaint is the inability to reduce travel on long climbs, lockouts are great, but travel reduction is that much better. All the fork adjustments are noticeable and allow you to tune the fork with the flip of a switch or the turn of a dial--again, no shock pump needed. Good
- Love the 15mm thru-axle... super stiff and super easy to use
- Very smooth travel... dare I say plush?
- Lateral stiffness
- Easy adjustments without shock pump
- Includes two springs to adjust pre-load compression
- 15mm hubs are hard to come by, but coming in stock quickly
- Your fork-mount bike rack will be obsolete
- Travel: 140mm (5.5 inches)
- Weight: 4.46 lbs (15QR)
- Adjustments: Low speed compression, lever-actuated lockout, lockout force adjust, coil spring preload and rebound
- Disc Brake: Post mount (Hooray!)
- Price: $675 MSRP
Santa Monica, CA - August 20, 2008 - Red Bull Rampage, the premier freeride mountain biking competition, held annually from 2001 to 2004, is blasting back onto the scene in 2008, bigger and badder than ever before. From October 2-5, Red Bull Rampage: The Evolution will draw the greatest riders in the world to a new venue just outside Virgin, Utah, offering the most challenging terrain mountain bike competition has ever seen. MAKING HISTORY As the new millennium arrived in 2000, a new breed of riders were pushing the frontiers of mountain biking, veering off the established groomed trails to forge first descents down unchartered mountains, similar to backcountry freeskiers. These riders were tackling steep lines and treacherous cliff drops, filming jaw-dropping video parts, and pushing the limits of the sport. With the birth of Red Bull Rampage in 2001, the event gave these pioneering riders a venue to prove that they were among the most skillful riders on the planet – not to mention some of the craziest. Red Bull Rampage immediately became the event that everyone clamored to be at all year; riders from all mountain bike disciplines hoped for an exclusive invite to the event, and the industry held its collective breath every October to see just how far Red Bull Rampage and the riders would push the sport. After four inspiring and extremely successful years at the same venue, the long search began for a new, even more challenging piece of terrain. Event organizers scoured the globe from Turkey to China to Mexico and beyond to find the perfect location that could match the sport’s progression. Ironically, after years of searching, it was only 20 miles from the original Red Bull Rampage site that the most ideal land revealed itself – and called for the return of mountain biking’s biggest event. Red Bull Rampage: The Evolutio features all-new terrain with bigger man-made elements, and the possibilities are endless. Robbie Bourdon, who placed third at the 2001 event, knows that the stakes will be raised in 2008. “They’re going to bring slopestyle riding and big mountain riding together,” he says, “and it’s going to turn into the sickest contest ever.” RISING TO THE CHALLENGE On a dangerous network of ridges near Zion National Park, riders will have free reign to navigate their descent between a designated starting area and a finish line more than 1,000 vertical feet below. Thursday and Friday are open practice days for the athletes, allowing them to scout their lines, size up the thirty-plus foot gaps and cliff drops, and practice their tricks. On Saturday, each of the 28 invited riders will take two runs; their best single-run scores will determine the top 14 who will advance to Sunday’s final. The 14 finalists will run two more descents on Sunday, with their best score determining the overall winner. In addition, the Utah Sports Commission will also present a Red Bull Rampage Best Trick award on Sunday. PUSHING FORWARD Competitors will be judged on style, amplitude, fluidity, and difficulty of line, and with a $25,000 prize purse up for grabs, playing it conservative is not a strategy option. Will past champs like Cedric Gracia (France) or Kyle Strait (USA) stand on the podium again, or will a dark horse emerge with new tricks or a gutsy line down the mountain that makes everyone re-think what is possible on a mountain bike? Regardless of who emerges on top, Red Bull Rampage: The Evolution will once again expand the frontiers of the sport. ABOUT UTAH SPORTS COMMISSION The Utah Sports Commission is a not-for-profit 501c3 charitable organization governed by an all-volunteer Board of Trustees consisting of statewide sports, business, community, and government leaders. The Sports Commission was created to foster national and international amateur and professional sports competitions to be held in the state of Utah, acting as a catalyst in unifying the states sports community and strengthening Utah’s presence in the global sports marketplace. The Sports Commission works closely with communities, sports entities, and organizations to provide event services ranging from the bid process, on-site logistics, volunteer coordination, sponsorships and promotional opportunities and other related services. For more information, visit www.utahsportscommission.com. More Info: Visit RedBullRampage.com...Read more...