2016 Axle Standards, Part 1: Rear 148mm Thru Axle Coming Fast & It’s About More Than Just Better Wheels

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Just when you thought things might be settling down for a bit, with 650B wheels all but taking over the mid/long travel segment, 29ers owning the XC field and 26″ bikes relegated to entry level, youth and gravity bikes. Alas, the 148mm thru axle that seemed to be a novelty when introduced on Trek’s 2015 Slash and Remedy bikes may soon be ubiquitous.

But why?

Surprisingly, there are a lot of reasons why this makes sense. Ones good enough to actually justify the annoyance of another axle standard that’ll require new hubs and new frames to take advantage of. Ones that will make mountain bikes better in quite a few ways. And while most companies we talked to wouldn’t provide details of their own forthcoming products on the record, some would speak in generalities. We have it on good authority from some of the biggest parts suppliers that the 148mm axle standard will become the major new feature of 2016 bikes from almost every major company. SRAM is on board since they’re providing the wheels for Trek’s new Remedy 29er, the first bike to use Boost 148. And Norco told us outright they’re “planning … a couple of new platforms to use this standard.”

Here’s what we learned…

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Just In: Ultra Wide Ibis 741 Carbon 27.5 Wheels

Ibis 741 carbon mountain bike wheels super wide enduro (3)

As the march to a wider wheel seems inevitable, certain companies are pushing that notion to the extreme. At this point in the evolution, you can’t talk wide wheels without including Ibis Cycle’s new line of carbon hoops. Boasting massive internal and external widths, the wheels are barely a step below the “+” size rims found in 29″ and now 27.5″.

Aimed squarely at the growing Enduro market, honestly the Ibis 741s look to be an enticing option for anyone looking for ultra wide, light wheels for their mountain bike. Then there’s the price – considering they are less than a set of rims from some competitors, Ibis seems to be building momentum for their stand-alone wheels…

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Shredits: Drew Bezanson and Morgan Wade Defy Gravity, Plus the Making of ‘The Ridge’ with Danny MacAskill and Cut Media

No easing into this week, we’re blasting into the weekend with this insane clip featuring Drew Bezanson and Morgan Wade. The RedBull production was filmed in the Dark Woods, or South Wales specifically. This proves that they are both magicians with a bike…

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Review: Pump Up The Jams With Spin Doctor’s Pro HP Floor Pump

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Performance Bike’s house brand of accessories, Spin Doctor, offers products that are similar to major brands, but generall at a better price. Often produced in the same factory as larger brands, they can be a great way to build out a bike tool kit without breaking the bank. The Spin Doctor Pro HP floor pump has a nice dual-textured handle, aluminum alloy barrel and base, aluminum switchable head, and a 160psi gauge with high-contrast red needle.

The $59.99 pump packs a punch similar to its mini-pump siblings we reviewed last month. So what are the trade-offs of private-labeled ODM products? Take a read inside to see how the Pro HP pumps up…

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Physiology and Nutrition: Timing, type & quantity of protein consumption for optimal recovery

the-best-high-protein-foods-When it comes to protein type, timing and quantity, we see conflicting information regarding intake everywhere.

Recovery? Protein!

Weight loss? Protein!

Reduce blood sugar swings? Protein!

Body composition change? Protein! Protein! Protein!

But there’s much more to it than just eat more (or less) protein. In this month’s post, I’d like to focus on the athletic population (a way to state a disclaimer that the general population is different and has different nutritional needs).

Flipping through various peer review publications, several themes have come to the forefront: Daily protein intake vs training protein intake; Timing and distribution of protein for strength vs endurance athletes; and protein intake prior to sleep (to maximize recovery from a muscle and immunity standpoint). The actual accrual of skeletal muscle protein requires a sustained positive muscle protein balance (eg. rates of muscle synthesis exceed muscle breakdown). It is well known that a bout of exercise, followed by the ingestion of protein helps stimulate muscle synthesis and maintain a positive nitrogen balance; but the “gray” area is how much protein is necessary? Moreover, what are the critical windows for anabolic stimulus; post exercise or spread across the day via meals?

The long standing hypothesis behind protein intake post exercise is that ~20g provides a maximal anabolic stimulus in the early recovery process (~5 hours post exercise). This theory originated in the resistance training literature, and has been generalized to the endurance athlete. Upon examining the endurance literature, there are several other factors which come into play, including: if the athlete is male or female, if the athlete is energy deficit, the composition of the overall diet (high or low protein), and the composition of the protein ingested.

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Chromag Shores Up a Fat Bike with Nice Dreams

Chromag Nice Dreams fat bike  (2)

Based on the fact that their warehouse and office is hidden within Whistler’s Function Junction, it’s safe to assume that Chromag is a North Shore brand through and through. Because of that, you might not expect to see a fat bike from Chromag, but that’s exactly what we have with the Nice Dreams. Looking at the bike though, it’s clear that this is a fat bike with plenty of influence from the shore.

What started as a prototype frame after getting their hands on an early sample of a RockShox Bluto suspension fork, eventually turned into the production bike you see here. After enough desire was expressed both within the company and from potential customers, the first 10 Nice Dreams frames were made…

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Bikerumor Pic Of The Day: Canadian Mukluks

bikerumor pic of the ay mukluks canmore alberta canada

Photo submitted by Mike Buckingham, “Went for an amazing ride out in nordic Centre in Canmore Alberta with our Salsa mukluks. A lot of work, but the payoff was there when we reached the top and some sick snow banks! We were lucky enough to get there before the trails were groomed, which equaled some sick snow dunes for us. Ride on.”

How Low Can Your Gauge Go? Kappius Offers Incredibly Accurate Pressure Gauges

Kappius pressure gauge fat bike cross ultra low bicycle

A lot has been made recently about bicycle pumps and the ability of their gauges to be accurate at low pressures. Most tend to maintain the highest level of precision at pressures well above where the average fat bike, cyclocross bike, or even mountain bike is run. One or two psi off might not seem like much, but when you’re only running 10 psi, up to 20% variance is a big deal.

Apparently, when Brady Kappius isn’t busy rethinking bicycle hubs and designing complete wheels, there is enough time to come up with gems like his new Digitial Pressure Gauge. Available in 3 varieties, the Gauge will be sold in Fat Bike, Cyclocross/Low MTB, and Cyclocross/MTB pressure ranges. The Fat Bike model will measure from 0-15 psi with 0.01 psi resolution, then 0-30 psi also with 0.01 psi resolution for the Cyclocross/Low MTB option, and finally 0-50 psi with 0.02 resolution for the Cyclocross/MTB gauge all with a +/- 1% accuracy.

Each gauge is for presta valves only and includes a bleeder valve so you can pump up the tire past the desired pressure, then bleed it down to the precise number. Powered by an included 9v battery, the gauge has a 20 minute auto off feature, and each model has a pressure limit that is twice the intended pressure range (so don’t use the fat bike model on your road bike!). Available for pre-order currently on the Kappius store, each gauge will run $159.99 with your choice of units and will look slightly different than the early prototype gauge above.

Getting Rad On Drop Bars, Velo Orange Leaks New Bike Model?

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Velo Orange posted up some pictures on their blog today, showing photos of what appears to be a fat tire touring bike that can also catch air. Looking closely at the photos, it appears to have full rack and fender mounts, clearance for big tires, 3-Pack mounts for Salsa Anything Cages on the fork, disc brakes and a level-ish top tube.

Not mentioned in the same sentence very often, the bar-end shifter equipped bike is photographed catching a bit of air. We also see some really cool visual cues matching the fork the the seatstays of the frame. Click more to see a few more photos of the interesting mixed purpose machine…

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