Posts in the category 650b

One Ride Review: Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt Short Travel XC/Trail Mountain Bike


Over the last couple years the 27.5 shorter-travel (115-130mm) platform has been blurring the lines between XC and Trail categories.  Rocky Mountain’s Thurnderbolt is designed to handle the rowdy side of XC riding, and is a capable setup for almost everything shy of Enduro racing.

The aluminum frame has four available build specs, and I took the 2nd tier 750 ($3,300) on extended rides at NEMBAfest.  Vermont’s flowy Kingdom Trails and the efficient Thunderbolt were a perfect match, allowing me to ride all day in comfort, climb without pedal-bob, and hit downhills knowing I’d brought a gun to the gunfight.  OK, the well-manicured Kingdom Trails are more of a BB-gun gunfight, but trails like Troll Stroll and Sidewinder thoroughly used all 5” of travel and could have shot my eye out.


RockShox Monarch and Monarch Plus Evolve to Include Mounts for Trek and Specialized


As mountain bikes get more advanced, many companies are looking for ways to improve their designs. This often means proprietary mounts or technology in an effort to get a leg up on the competition. In terms of performance this is usually good news for the rider, until they need to upgrade or replace their shock. To riders of select Trek and Specialized models, RockShox’s got your back. Today the company unveiled a new range of Monarch rear shocks with specific mounting hardware, shock tunes, and configurations to match the needs of a number of Trek and Specialized bikes.

Both Monarch RT3 and Monarch Plus RC3 with DebonAir will be offered with some even featuring the Specialized Auto Sag. Details next…


Long Term Review: Gamut Trail SXC Guide Provides Extra Security for 1x Drivetrains

Gamut Trail SXC Guide (2)

Like bad Enduro Jokes, and 650B envy, 1x drivetrains are suddenly cool. Recent advancements such as narrow wide chain rings, cassette adapters, and silly expensive drivetrains, have allowed the masses to ditch the front derailleur, without sacrificing gearing.

An unexpected outcome of this new technology is the gradual extinction of the full chainguide, because the new stuff works so well, it’s rare to drop a chain when using a narrow wide chainring and clutch equipped derailleur. Of course, when racing or simply out there pushing the limits, it pays to be prepared. For those who desire a little extra security, the Gamut Trail SXC guide is a inexpensive solution, that comes with a minimal weight penalty.


Juliana Follows Santa Cruz Footsteps, Launches Affordable Carbon, and New Colors for 2015

Katie_Furtado_photoSvenMartinLast week, Santa Cruz Bicycles took the unprecedented step of slashing prices on some of their carbon frames to nearly entry level aluminum levels. They were able to achieve this by getting creative with their carbon fiber layup and build spec. Now, sister brand Juliana has just announced they will be adding price point carbon to their line up as well.

For those wondering, the only difference between the two frames is weight. Visually, and in testing, the frames retain the same strength, stiffness, and ride quality, but will cost considerably less.

In addition to complete carbon builds starting at $3,399, Juliana Bikes has also launched a slew of new colors, and builds options.  READ MORE ->

One Ride Review: The 2015 GT Sensor X

GT Sensor X (2)

In recent years, #TheNewGT has surprised us by launching a string of amazing new bikes. One of our personal favorites is the Sensor, which is a 130mm travel trail bike that utilizes their AOS suspension platform.

This super efficient frame is not only a voracious climber, but it can also rail corners, and power through chop with the best bikes in the category. But in order to make the Sensor even more fun, GT added a little Formula X.


Schwinn Prepares for 120th Anniversary with New Bikes for 2015

Schwinn Bikes 2015  (4)

At first glance it would be easy to mistake the 2015 Schwinn Classic Deluxe 7 as one of the original 1955 cruisers. Then once you notice the cable leading to the twist shifter for the 7 speed internal Shimano Nexus hub, the fact that this is a modern recreation of a classic becomes more apparent. Schwinn, while a vastly different company than that at the beginning, has managed to stand the test of time – 2015 will be their 120th anniversary. To celebrate, Schwinn is offering a limited run of Classic 7 cruisers. The vintage inspired bikes feature parts that will actually fit directely on the original Schwinns including fender mounted lights and the tank horn.

Last offered in 2008, the 2015 version of the Classic 7 will be limited to 500 bikes and sold for $699. Complete with the springer fork and burly rack the Classic 7 has a great ride – just don’t expect it to be light. The bike is, shall we say, stout. But if you dig the retro style, but want something with modern touches like aluminum rims the Classic 7 will get you there in style.


New 2015 Lapierre Mountains Bikes, Electronic Suspension Tech, and A La Carte Ordering

Lapierre ei auto shock sensors computer 2

After introducing an intelligent electronic suspension system over the last couple years on their full range of trail and all mountain bikes, Lapierre has completely rethought and revised the system to be simpler and more efficient. They’re so proud of what they’ve accomplished, they claim it “could be the most important innovation on [their] future MTB ranges.”

So what makes this e:i shock special? Drop past the break to learn that and more… READ MORE ->

Mongoose Rallies for 2015, Selling New High End Bikes Consumer Direct in US

Mongoose Rallies for 2015, To Start Selling High End Bikes Consumer Direct in US

Chances are good that if you’re into bicycles you know the name Mongoose. The brand has a long history in the US though after being sold to Pacific Cycle in 2001, the brand has wrestled with the reputation that comes when bike that bear your name are on the floors of Walmart. After a bit of a disappearing act, Mongoose is coming back for 2015 with an impressive line of bikes that will be sold consumer direct.

Offering a full line that includes all mountain, downhill, fat bikes, even gravel bikes, Mongoose may be making a comeback. Details next…


Reynolds Serving Up BlackLabel Wheels, Centerlock Road Disc Hubs

Reynolds Black Label Aero Wheels (6)

After the snow had all but melted away, we got a chance to check out the latest from Reynolds. While we’ve touched on most of the new products including the BlackLabel Mountain bike wheels, and new carbon and aluminum road disc options, Reynolds is always looking to make improvements no matter how small.

In the case of their BlackLabel Mountain bike wheels, the MR5 carbon rims are getting a bit of a cosmetic update. Originally to use Reynold’s Inkjet graphic technology, BlackLabel rims are moving to a more traditional die cut decal. The wheels will still maintain the stealth BlackLabel look, but the rim profile didn’t provide enough real estate for the Inkjet process.

BlackLabel wheels are in stock and now shipping with tubeless rim tape installed and XD freehubs are available as an aftermarket accessory. Since the wheels use DT Swiss 240 hubs, customers can order DT Swiss XD bodies from Reynolds, DT, or their local bike shop. Reynolds is also continuing their partnership with the Pivot DH team, promising a model year 16 downhill rim that won’t just be a 27.5″ AM rim with a different layup…