Posts in the category 29er

Review: The mountain taming Fox 36 29er suspension fork

2015 Fox 36

For 2015, the Fox 36 became their flagship fork, imbued with all of their latest technology to deliver new levels of control, adjustability, smoothness and light weight.

Having ridden a number of Fox forks over the years and feeling the ups and downs of their internals from model to model, the new 36 had quite a bit resting on its shoulders. After all, not only did it need to live up to the hype, but its technology would be paving the way for Fox’s future forks, too.

Everything about the 36 is new. The outer casting and thru axle system, the seals, bushings and sliding parts, the oil, the air cartridge and even the Kashima coating. The goal was to create a world class fork for the burgeoning enduro market that led its category in stiffness, weight, adjustability and functionality. For a deep dive on all of its tech, we’ve covered the product launch here, ran through the seal and damping tech here, and took a look at the new FLOAT air system here. In this review, I’ll recap the highlights, put it on a scale and let you know how it handled itself on Western North Carolina’s mountains…


Making the Ibis Ripley Better With GnarCore, The DW-Link 2XC Upgrade

When we reviewed the Ibis Ripley a few weeks back, our one small complaint was the noticeable flex in the rear end. Ibis contacted us and told us about GnarCore, an eccentric and pivot pin upgrade kit for the Ripley that can increase the rear end stiffness by 10%.

The $34.95 upgrade is actually standard equipment on all Ripleys that are currently shipping, but a few of the early ones, like our test bike, were made with a lighter weight part. For instance, the exploded illustration above appears to have an older design, with the newer nut style, but an older aluminum pin.

We obtained a GnarCore and documented the installation process on this unique suspension system. Click inside to see why adding some weight makes this bike better…


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…


D.FENDER Brings Made in the USA Coverage to Blutos, Fat Bikes, and 29+

DFENDER Final Proof

The more we ride, the more fenders like the new D.FENDER seem like a great idea for year ’round riding. Currently one of the few fenders designed specifically for fat bikes that is actually shipping, D.FENDER boasts all of the benefits of similar designs. The minimal design provides just enough spray coverage to keep your fork seals, lower headset, and eyes/glasses/goggles clean, but adds hardly any weight and easy attaches to the fork.

Designed and developed by Jarrod Bunk of City Cycle Supply, D.FENDER is laser cut from temperature resistant Lexan plastic and fit specifically for the RockShox Bluto suspension fork. After beginning testing in July of this year, the fender is finally shipping to customers after 11 revisions in the design. According to Jarrod, the made in the USA aspect is important for all of the D.FENDER products so it took some time to find someone to cut and screen print the fenders locally.

As the original D.FENDER are rolling off the production line and shipping to customers, Jarrod is also introducing two more fenders that should keep the rigid fat bike riders clean and happy…


Bid On World Champ Kenny Belaey’s Trials Bike & More To Benefit Wheels 4 Life


Wheels 4 Bikes, a non-profit dedicated to changing lives through bicycles, has received two bikes as donations, and they are auctioning them off on eBay to help raise money for their mission. Run by Hans Rey and his wife, they work on amazing projects, such as a couple that rode 300km on unicycles to raise $4,000, and a couple that asked for donations to the organization in leiu of wedding presents, and were able to donate 22 bikes to the people of Ugweno Valley. With such a great mission and high-profile directors, the organization gets a lot of fun and interesting ways to raise funds.

They currently have two of their dreambikes up for auction on eBay. World Champion Kenny Belaey’s Limited Edition Trials bike donated by Kenny himself, and a Canyon Nerve 9r All Mountain Bike donated by Bike Sport Magazine in Germany. Jump past the break to see both bikes…


Pivot Puts Carbon 29er on a Diet, New Mach 429SL is 1/2 Lb Lighter, Di2 Compatible

Pivot Mach 429 SL di2 compatible routing carbon 29er 29 inch (3)


The Pivot Mach 429 Carbon was already a favorite among racers and anyone looking for a light weight, fast, full suspension bike with 29 inch wheels. So why mess with success? To make it lighter of course! That, and to add functionality going forward to make it compatible with Shimano’s XTR Di2 drivetrain.

Through advances in their carbon fiber technology and the proprietary hollow-core internal molding process, Pivot was able to remove more than 226g per frame. The resulting frames start at just 5.3 lbs (2.4kg) with sub 23lb (10.4 kg) complete builds which includes the Fox Float Kashima Factory rear shock. Lighter weight is always exciting, but thanks to Pivot’s new Cable Port System the Mach 429SL frame is ready to take on just about any drive train you could want, all with clean, easy access to the internal routing.

Details, pricing, and more next…


Holiday Gift Ideas: Cory’s Wish List


The holidays are here so it’s time for me to dust off my wish list as well, one so my wife will see it, but also so it may give you some ideas. Just to give you an idea where I am coming from, I’m a rider of any kind of bike that involves getting the tires dirty. That means that even on a road bike with 23s I end up hitting the dirt roads, and prefer to keep the bike rides in the forests. I’m based in Prague, so my list has a more European tinge to it.

I’m in the middle of masters cyclocross racing, so while predominantly a mountain biker, now is the time of wet, muddy, snowy, and slippery rides on skinnier tires. I am spending a lot of time trail riding on cross tubulars, a little bit of dirt and gravel road training, and a lot of rides where I come home cold and wet. But I am dreaming a bit of cross country rides in crisp snow, of hitting some steep root and rock strewn technical descents, and getting in some all day exploring rides when warm weather returns. Most of my picks then are to get me through the dark days of winter, with the hope of warm, dry rides to come.


24 hours of mountain bike racing without lights above the arctic circle in Finnish Lapland. How can that not sound like an amazing idea? On the weekend of the summer solstice each year, the Levi ski resort 170km north of the arctic circle runs the Levi24, a unique 24hr race with sunlight through the night. I’ve done plenty of 24hr races over the last 15 years and always loved the sunrise lap, but have experienced nothing like this. Its next running is 12-13 June 2015, and could be a great chance to throw the family into a camper and go explore some fjords and gravel roads. 


Holiday Gift Ideas: Tyler’s Wish List


Each year, we put together our series of holiday gift guides disguised as our own wish lists. They’re also sort of like our version of an “Editor’s Choice” awards, only less formal. These are just the products we’ve seen and possibly tested this year that stood out in some way. Each of us have our own riding style, different terrain and unique preferences, but between us we represent a pretty good spread of the general cycling public. Each one is prefaced with a bit about us so you can see if your own style (or that of a favorite cyclist in your life) matches up.

I’m Tyler, and I like bikes. I ride road long and slow, XC mountain bike on flat-to-rolling singletrack with the occasional trip to the big mountains of Pisgah, NC, and my cyclocross bike sees use year ’round as a commuter, adventurer and generally fun bike to ride. I race only a few times a year, and only for fun, but I still like to see how well I can do and how far I can push myself and my equipment.


Gifts come and go, but experiences last a lifetime. So, topping our lists this year is the experience each of us would most like to have. For me, that’s a framebuilding class at Metal Guru. After meeting Vicious Cycles founder and Metal Guru owner Carl Schlemowitz at the Philly Bike Expo this year, his program stood out in that it brings in well known builders like Steve Bilenky and others to teach classes. Choose from steel welding or brazing and you’ll leave the 68-hour class with your own unique frame.


Marzocchi Shaves Up to 185g From 320 XC Forks, Updates Offset for 29ers

2015 Marzocchi XC 320 LCR 29er suspension forks get lighter and geometry optimized

For the 2014 model year, Marzocchi switched to a numeral-based naming scheme for their forks, with the hundred and ten digit places indicating the stanchion diameter. The new 320 (32mm stanchion) forks for the XC crowd carved off a respectable amount of weight of the prior model, but the 2015 versions cut even more fat and update the offset to work with modern bikes.

Beyond the weight savings, also new for 2015 is a 51mm offset 29er 320, which is better suited for full suspension bikes than the original 44mm offset versions, which are still available. The change in offset was made by adjusting both crown and dropouts, and Marzocchi used that redesign as an opportunity to reduce the weight of both parts by rethinking virtually every part of them. We touched on this at Sea Otter (along with internals, seals and other tech updates), but now we’ve got some great comparison pics showing just how extensive the trimming is…