Posts in the category 29er

Project XC Race Rocket: Cockpit by Loaded Precision, Lizard Skins, Token & PRO

Project XC Race Rocket cockpit parts by Loaded Precision Lizard Skins Shimano PRO Token and Trid Designs

After frame and fork, the cockpit and wheels are the next biggest contributors to overall ride quality. For the XC Race Rocket project bike, we chose parts from Loaded Precision, Lizard Skins, Shimano PRO, Token and Trid Designs to complete the command center.

Loaded Precision had been offering components for review for a while, but I wanted the right project that took advantage of their typically lighter-than-the-competition parts. And the X-Lite UD Carbon handlebar, X-Lite Ti stem and X-Lite Ultra Carbon seatpost are among the lightest parts they make.

They also make more aggressive, wider and enduro/gravity oriented products, too, but the weights on the XC parts jumped out as some of the best in class. That’s nothing if they don’t hold up, though, so I figured my 190 pounds could put them to a proper test.

Completing the cockpit were my trusty Shimano PRO Turnix carbon railed saddle, a Token expansion plug and top cap combo and the adjustable headset spacer from the company formerly known as Trid Designs. All of it would make contact through Lizard Skin’s cushy DSP foam grips. Get a handle on their performance below…

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Advocate Cycles Aims to Give Back with New Watchman Fat Bike, Titanium Frames Available First on Indiegogo

RyanKrueger_CopperHarbor_Watchman-11

There’s not much better than the feeling of a new bike, other than getting that new bike out on trails for the first time. In the case of Advocate Cycles though, that feeling should be accompanied by the additional satisfaction knowing you not only got a sweet ride, but that 100% of the profits are being funneled right back into cycling advocacy. Set up as a Specific Benefit Corporation (SBC), the special corporate arrangement in Minnesota means Advocate gets to make fun products, you get a rad bike, and the profits all go to cycling related non-profits of Advocate’s choosing.

To help Advocate Cycles get off the ground without need for investors since that would conflict with the business model, the upstart has turned to crowdsourcing for the first run. To keep things interesting, the announcement of their Indiegogo campaign just happens to coincide with the launch of their second model – the Watchman fat bike. If that wasn’t enough, Advocate Cycles is also rolling out new seamless, 3/2.5, double butted titanium versions of both the Hayduke 27.5+ and the Watchman fat bike…

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PC15: Pivot Unveils All New Mach 429 Trail, Updates Vault Gravel/Cross Machine

Piovt Mach 439 trail carbon vault gravel cx bike 2015 2016 actual weightsIMG_7812

Even though we just visited with Pivot at their headquarters in Tempe, AZ, we knew something big was on the horizon, but we didn’t know what. Characteristically tight lipped about future bikes in development, Chris Cocalis only promised that we would get a chance to see everything they were working on once we got to Press Camp in Deer Valley, UT.

True to his word, we arrived to find a bike that many Pivot fans have been asking for – a slacker, short travel trail bike, only with 29″ wheels. That of course would be the new Pivot Mach 429 Trail. Described to us as sort of a mash up of the Mach 429 SL and the Mach 6, the 429 Trail checks off a lot of boxes. Not only that, but at the same time Pivot was unveiling the Mach 429 Trail, they also showed off the revised Vault carbon cross/gravel bike. Now disc only and full thru axle, the Vault could unlock the ability to have just a single 700c bike in your garage…

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All-New Orbea Occam mountain bikes mix wheel sizes to conquer the trail

2016 Orbea Occam AM 275 all mountain bike first ride review

The Orbea Occam was introduced in 2008, then updated in 2011 with their Advanced Dynamic suspension design. Then, a 29er Occam joined the mix in 2012. Now it’s getting its third edition, and it’s a massive step up in every regard, immensely capable and packed with user friendly features not found on any other mainstream bike.

Riders had told them they wanted something simple, and with clean lines. They wanted something that fit into the broadly interpreted Trail category, capable of riding most any terrain. So, Orbea traveled down the two-different-wheel-sizes road that’s become familiar for the brand. The prior Occam had 26″ and 29er, and the new Oiz introduced last year has 27.5″ and 29er. So, the Occam will also be available in 27.5” and 29er, but this time the bikes are differentiated by more than just wheel diameter – suspension travel and geometry are tweaked, too.

The Occam AM gets the smaller 27.5 wheels and 140mm travel front and rear with a slacker head angle. The Occam TR 29er gets 120mm travel and a half degree slacker seat tube. That’s up from the 120mm (26″) and 105mm (29er) rear wheel travel of the prior generation. The result is a modern family of bikes that can handle virtually any type of riding most of us do, and lets us choose the version that best suits our own needs…

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First Look: Yeti Beti 2016 Women’s Bikes

2016_Yeti_SB5c_Beti_Side

For Yeti, 2016 is the year of the Beti – the Beti bike that is. Launching a new line of women’s specific mountain bikes, the two models are the feminine counterparts to the beloved SB5c trail machine and swift ASRc 29er. Let it be known that nothing about the Yeti Beti line is girlie, compromised, overlooked, shrinked or pinked (coral yes, but no pink – which matches their women’s apparel, of course). While it may seem that Yeti is late to the female shred program, the company has in fact been committed to the women’s mountain bike scene for over a decade supporting many riders over the years like Julie Furtado, Marla Streb, Tara Llanes, Jill Kintner, and Rosara Joseph. They’ve also been behind the Beti Bike Bash, the first all-women’s xc race by supporting the Yeti Beti race team.

Yeti still hosts this event and drew a 400 person turnout in June which coincided with the release of the Beti bikes. In fact, the Beti line is not much of a departure from what Yeti has already been offering: XS frame options in the complete line. What distinguishes the new Beti bikes is an approach to complete bikes designed for hard-riding, discerning bad ass ladies including a lighter shock tune, lighter wheels, narrower bars, shorter cranks, and shorter travel dropper posts….

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Project XC Race Rocket: Frame & Fork intro – Niner AIR9 RDO x Lauf Trail Racer

Niner AIR9 RDO and Lauf Trail Racer suspension fork project bike overview and review

At the beginning of the year, I started strategizing for the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek, one of the southeast’s preeminent endurance mountain bike races that sells out in minutes every year. In years past, I’ve raced my full suspension JET9 or some other bike that was on review. This year, I wanted something fast that afforded the opportunity to test all manner of lightweight, race worthy components. As it turns, out, it also let me place a couple older items in a modern setting, which could be of great interest for anyone looking to convert to a 1×10 drivetrain without breaking the bank.

Starting with the backbone of the project, Niner provided the latest AIR9 RDO frame, and Lauf offered a color-matched Trail Racer 29″ suspension fork. Both are stiff, efficient and light weight, getting things off to a great start…

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Scott Widens Bike Line with 27.5+ Genius and Scale for 2016

Scott plus genius 700 scale tuned 2015 2016 (5)

The most recent addition to the 27+ craze, Scott Sports is stepping up with a solid selection of plus sized bikes. Citing similar reasoning from other brands we’ve spoke with about the larger tires, Scott’s feeling is that the increase of traction, control, and tire stability outweigh any of the negatives. In fact, they claim that through their work with Schwalbe they have determined that the 2.8″ tire (on 40mm rim) offers an impressive 21% increase in contact patch with only 1% more rolling resistance. Cap that off with a “minimal” weight gain, and you start to get the picture.

Like most manufacturers we’ve seen jump into the plus sized waters, Scott has chosen to fatten up only a few of their models with a hardtail and full suspension frame both modified to accept bigger rims and tires. At this rate, it won’t be long until 27+ is as common as 27.5….

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Friday RoundUp – Bicycle Bits & Pieces

Video Series

  • The Seasons Collection – A multi-media photography collection of adventure sports-driven stories about people who push the limits in pursuit of their passion aka LIFERS. The video highlights all that happened this past week at Windell’s Sports Camp as the team followed Cadence Founder Dustin Klein, Windell’s Sports Camp Director Jamie Weller and legendary action sports photographer Bryce Kanights. You can also watch all of the other video recaps here.

Father’s Day Deals and more after the break… 

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Factory Tour: Pivot Turns out Prototypes and Assembled Bikes in Tempe, AZ

Pivot factory tour bikerumor (24)

Looking back, it’s almost hard to believe that Pivot has been around for less than 10 years. After a surprise launch at Interbike in 2007, in the words of founder Chris Cocalis, the brand has seen hugely exponential growth in a very short period of time. Compared to two other brands launched that very same year (Tomac and Corsair Bikes), Pivot has manufactured their own success through extremely tight tolerances.

Of course, that’s no accident. Pivot is far from Chris’ first venture into the bike business. While many may know Cocalis from Titus, his roots go even deeper back to the days of the Sun Eagle Bicycle Works Talon. Cofounded with Allen Vaughn in 1988, Sun Eagle was the result of Chris’s BMX background and desire to build bikes at the end of his freshman year of college. After Vaugn taught Cocalis to braze, the first Sun Eagle Talon was born. The company would only make around 20 of the frames, but it was enough to be named one of the “Bikes of the future” in 1988 by Mountain Bike Action.

Little did everyone know that Cocalis really would go on to create the bikes of the future…

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