Project: World’s Funnest Bike – It begins with the Van Dessel Whiskey Tango Foxtrot frameset

Project Worlds Funnest Bike - Van Dessel WTF steel cyclocross adventure frame custom build

This bike, which I’ve affectionately dubbed “Project: World’s Funnest Bike” has been a long, long time in the making. Last summer, Van Dessel revised the finish on the WTF (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot), their double butted steel do-it-all bike frameset that can be built into anything from a flat bar commuter to a cyclocross racer to an adventure/gravel/ultra-cross cruiser with 29er tires.

Shortly after posting about the latest version and just before Interbike, Van Dessel sent us the $699 frameset (frame, fork, headset and seat collar) to review. I had some loose plans for it, but one thing led to another, some parts didn’t work out as planned and, well, tradeshow and other travel conspired to keep the frame hanging on the workstand for far, far too long.

The upside? When things finally did come together, it was glorious. Some parts were things that had been lightly used on other bikes and fit the bill. Others were new and sent in specifically to make this project even better. Others were actually earmarked for a different project road bike but ended up being so perfectly matched to this frame that I just couldn’t resist.

The result is nothing short of a phenomenal bike, but it all starts with the frame…

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JoeBlow Gets Fat Over Winter, New Floor Plump Dials in PSI Under 30

Toepeak Joe Blow Fat pump (2)

Judging by all the fat bike specific product popping up, you might think you would need all new everything to get your fat bike fix. While not totally true, there are a few things that would definitely make life easier – like pumps that are more accurate at low pressures. We caught wind of the new Topeak JoeBlow Fat at Eurobike, but it seems the company has made a critical change to the pump since we laid eyes on the prototype. Instead of making the pump just for fat bikers, why not build a low pressure pump that will fit the needs of most mountain bikers and cyclocrossers while they’re at it?

Thanks to a small tweak, anyone running pressures under 30 PSI should be a fan of the new JoeBlow family member…

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Review: Funkier winter microfleece bib tights, jersey get warmier and cozier

Funkier micro fleece winter cycling bib tight pants and long sleeve jersey review

Winter’s chill has been pretty rough this past month, yet Funkier’s micro fleece bib tight pants and long sleeve jersey held their own, keeping me plenty warm on rides dipping below freezing.

Nick reviewed similar pieces a couple years ago, but the styles and features have been updated, warranting a fresh look. I also tested their wind- and waterproof under helmet shell, which trapped any body heat trying to escape between my helmet’s vents, leading to a toasty, protected barrier complemented by my own winter gloves and shoes.

Both main pieces are deceptively normal in their thickness, but surprisingly capable at temps where I’d normally reach for a de-chamoised pair of shorts as an outer layer and a thicker base layer up top. With these, I could confidently head out with the mercury pointing at freezing with just a simple wool long-sleeve crew underneath…

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Sneak Peek at New TRP Two Piece Centerlock Rotors

TRP centerlock rotor

Eagle eyed readers may have noticed an interesting looking rotor when Reynolds recently introduced their new ATR wheel line. As it turns out, the shapely new rotor belongs to TRP who plans to show it off at the upcoming NAHBS. Obviously a two piece Centerlock design, the rotor will be available in 140, 160, 180, and 203mm sizes. The smaller two will retail for $49.99 while the 180 and 203mm versions will sell for $51.99. More details including weight on the way from NAHBS. Available soon.

trpbrakes.com

Challenge Adds Wider MTB Two Tubular, Effetto Mariposa Develops Revolutionary Carogna Tubular Tape

Challenge Effetto mariposa carogna tubular tape (2)

Tubulars might not be the first thing on your mind for mountain bike tires, unless you’re a racer. Even then the number of mountain bikers running tubulars is fairly small compared to the road or cross. However, if you are one of the few gluing your tires to your rims for the dirt, Challenge has a new tire for you. Called simply the MTB Two, the new tire picks up where the original MTB One left off with a wider, more aggressive build.

If you look at the performance benefits of tubulars, it’s surprising they’re not more popular – until you consider the time and skill needed to glue them to the rim. But what if there was a better way? It looks like Effetto Mariposa may have answered that question…

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Velo Orange Adds Disc Brake Grand Cru Touring Hubs, Plus Nalgene Compatible Mojave Cage

Velo Orange disc brake hubs grand cru (2)

 

Even if you’re unsure of the need for disc brakes on your touring rig, it’s nice to have options. Options like the new Grand Cru Disc Touring hubset from Velo Orange. Based on their tool-less design from other Grand Cru Hubs, the Disc Touring models are sold only in 100/135mm front and rear with standard quick release axles. The high flange design keeps the classic look but offers modern brake performance and still uses high quality Japanese cartridge bearings in common sizes.

Along with the disc hubs, Velo Orange also has a new bottle cage that might be of interest if your favorite bottle is stamped with Nalgene…

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Road to NAHBS 2015: Connor Wood Bicycles’ Slugger

Connor cycles NAHBS 2015 slugger 3

Photos by Devon Balet // devonbaletmedia.com

Inspired by the announcement of the location for this year’s show and his preferred medium, Chris Connor approached Louisville Slugger for a collaborative project that will surely “knock it out of the park” this NAHBS. Connor’s show piece utilizes actual raw bat billets, baseball mitt leather, and bat grip tape for an impressive thematic complete build that definitely won’t strike out. Catch this pop fly after the jump… READ MORE ->

Bikerumor Pic Of The Day: Saint-Sauveur, Québec

bikerumor pic of the day This is a Xprezo bike "Gros Big" Hand maid here in Québec.  Enjoy riding in St Sauveur Québec.

Photos submitted by Francois Gaudreault, “This is a Xprezo bike ‘Gros Big’ handmade here in Québec. Enjoy riding in St Sauveur Québec. This winter we miss about a feet of snow from the normal winter.”

We always love to see your photos and would like to show them to the world here on the Pic Of The Day. Send in your photo with a brief description here.

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Review: Icebreaker’s excellent merino wool baselayers & wind-proof commuter jacket

Icebreaker Blast merino wool commuter jacket review

Although the ice on our deck suggests otherwise, the fact that the sunshine is now peeking through our windows when it’s time to get up means the harshest part of winter is just about past, leading to the cool, wet early days of spring. For that, Icebreaker has some fantastic New Zealand merino wool pieces ready to tackle the rides and commutes. And, really, just about any other outdoor activity.

Over the past couple months I tested the Blast zip jacket, the Relay and Spring long-sleeve baselayer tees and the Flexi Chute, a soft, scarf-like neck gaiter that pulls up over the chin or nose as the weather dictates. All of them have lived up to the comfort and durability I’ve found in other Icebreaker items I’ve tested. If you’re looking for technical yet simple gear that’s versatile, check out the details below…

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