Smith Route & Rover helmets make Koroyd protection more affordable for road and mountain

Smith Rover Route Koroyd MIPS helmet mountain bike road_-5

Smith Rover Route Koroyd MIPS helmet mountain bike road_-5

Smith helmets have a lot of things going for them, but they’re probably best known at this point for their use Aerocore. That’s the green material above from Koroyd that sort of looks like a bunch of drinking straws glued together. Made from thousands of extruded co-polymer tubes that are thermally welded together, the Koroyd material crushes upon impact and is said to absorb the energy in a better and more controlled manner.

The only issue? The Koroyd material itself is pretty expensive. That’s a large part of why the Forefront and Overtake helmets are so expensive. In order to offer similar levels of protection to more riders, Smith set out to create a new helmet platform that still offered excellent protection – just at a more attainable price…

Continue reading “Smith Route & Rover helmets make Koroyd protection more affordable for road and mountain”



Smith helmets have a lot of things going for them, but they’re probably best known at this point for their use Aerocore. That’s the green material above from Koroyd that sort of looks like a bunch of drinking straws glued together. Made from thousands of extruded co-polymer tubes that are thermally welded together, the Koroyd […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Feature, Mountain Bike, Road Bike13 Comments

Unboxed & Weighed: BBinfinite’s smooth rolling ceramic derailleur pulley wheels

BBinfinite Delrin Ceramitech ceramic bearing rear derailleur pulley wheels actual weights and review

BBinfinite Delrin Ceramitech ceramic bearing rear derailleur pulley wheels actual weights and review

BBinfinite’s second product, the Delrin derailleur pulley wheels with Ceramitech ceramic bearings, came out at the beginning of the month to complement their perfectly aligned bottom brackets and reduce friction at the rear of the bike. We just got our hands on a set for Shimano rear mechs to see if they spin as freely as advertised (hint: they do) and add anything to the ride…

Continue reading “Unboxed & Weighed: BBinfinite’s smooth rolling ceramic derailleur pulley wheels”



BBinfinite’s second product, the Delrin derailleur pulley wheels with Ceramitech ceramic bearings, came out at the beginning of the month to complement their perfectly aligned bottom brackets and reduce friction at the rear of the bike. We just got our hands on a set for Shimano rear mechs to see if they spin as freely […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Cyclocross, Road Bike, Triathlon27 Comments

Readers’ Rides: Seb K’s heavily modified 11.1 lb / 5.08 kg mountain bike!

Seb K 11 pound mountain bike 5 kg modification readers rides (4)

There are weight weenies, and then there are weight weenies. The emphasis added is what sets apart those that simply buy light weight parts to add to their ride, and those that are willing to potentially destroy high dollar parts just to try and remove a few extra grams. These tinkerers find great challenge and reward in the process of dropping every bit of weight possible, and it’s safe to say that Sebastian K. falls into that category.

These days, you can buy a production road bike that is sub 11 lbs (with enough $$$), but a mountain bike? That’s a bit more extreme. Obviously Sebastian’s mountain bike is fully rigid and single speed, but he still had to go to great lengths to modify it down to a hair more than 11 lbs. Just how do you get a mountain bike that light? Read on for more…

Continue reading “Readers’ Rides: Seb K’s heavily modified 11.1 lb / 5.08 kg mountain bike!”



There are weight weenies, and then there are weight weenies. The emphasis added is what sets apart those that simply buy light weight parts to add to their ride, and those that are willing to potentially destroy high dollar parts just to try and remove a few extra grams. These tinkerers find great challenge and reward in […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Reader's Rides69 Comments

Review: Niner RKT9 cross country race rocket

niner rkt9 xc mountain bike ride review

niner rkt9 xc mountain bike ride review

After attending the informal launch party for the Niner RKT9 last summer, we got our own size Large in for testing on my home trails of Greensboro, NC. If ever there were a perfect full suspension bike for our very XC urban singletrack, the RKT9 should be it. On paper, the 90mm rear travel optimized around a 100mm fork should be all that’s needed without losing anything to the suspension. Admittedly, I’m a Niner fan and use the JET9 and RIP9 as test platforms for most every mountain bike component I test, but still, even I’ve been playing with running longer forks on both of those bikes their their original geo charts called for.

So, as luck would have it, the feathery Fox 32 SC fork arrived just about the same time as the bike, so I turned this into a very light full suspension race bike to see how fast I could rip through the trails…

Continue reading “Review: Niner RKT9 cross country race rocket”



After attending the informal launch party for the Niner RKT9 last summer, we got our own size Large in for testing on my home trails of Greensboro, NC. If ever there were a perfect full suspension bike for our very XC urban singletrack, the RKT9 should be it. On paper, the 90mm rear travel optimized […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Mountain Bike, Reviews13 Comments

Review: Will HT Components’ Enduro ready T1 pedals dethrone Shimano’s class leading trail pedals?

T1 Review P1120176

T1 Review P1120176

We got our hands on an absolutely dazzling set of HT Components’ T1 Enduro/Race pedals (I got to pick the color out of the 11 they offer), to see what all of the buzz was about. Not to raise my expectations, but when World Champions like Jared Graves, Jerome Clementz, Aaron Gwin and Brian Lopes are clipping into HT Components’ pedals, there has to be a reason (besides money). Right?

After literally slamming and stuffing them with everything I had, including some thick Georgia red clay, I know why we’re seeing this small brand making strides under some of the most legendary riders… and there is more than one reason. But, they did have a couple of quirks. So, pro endorsements and overall positive performance aside, are they good enough to break my 25+ year dedication to Shimano’s SPDs?

Continue reading “Review: Will HT Components’ Enduro ready T1 pedals dethrone Shimano’s class leading trail pedals?”



We got our hands on an absolutely dazzling set of HT Components’ T1 Enduro/Race pedals (I got to pick the color out of the 11 they offer), to see what all of the buzz was about. Not to raise my expectations, but when World Champions like Jared Graves, Jerome Clementz, Aaron Gwin and Brian Lopes are clipping into HT Components’ […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Components, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews19 Comments

Long Term Review: Trek Émonda SLR 8

Trek-Emonda-road-bike-review-carbon-made-in-usa-2-600x450

Trek-Emonda-road-bike-review-carbon-made-in-usa-1-600x450

When Trek first introduced the Émonda back in 2014, it was sort of a surprising addition. Seeming to compete directly with the Madone, the biggest difference was that Trek’s new lightweight lacked the aerodynamic touches of its sibling. Now with the most modern iteration of the Madone, we know that Trek was already working on creating a modern superbike, but at the time it seemed like the two bikes were competing for similar buyers.

Launched with the lofty SLR 10 which at the time made claims to the lightest production bike available, the Émonda line was promising for anyone looking for a simple, light weight ride that did a lot of things well. After quite a bit of time on the bike (including almost equal time off due to injury), the Émonda seems to make good on that promise of simple, brutal speed…

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When Trek first introduced the Émonda back in 2014, it was sort of a surprising addition. Seeming to compete directly with the Madone, the biggest difference was that Trek’s new lightweight lacked the aerodynamic touches of its sibling. Now with the most modern iteration of the Madone, we know that Trek was already working on creating […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Feature, Reviews, Road Bike11 Comments

Readers’ Rides: Breaking the UCI minimum weight limit without any carbon fiber

Non carbon UCI illegal road bike

6.8kg. 14.99 lbs. If you’re planning on racing any UCI road events, this is still the minimum weight requirement for your bike. It wasn’t that long ago that building a bike that came in below this magic number was a feat worthy of attention. Complete bikes sold below this limit were even the focus of their own advertising campaigns. And while the ability to create “illegal” bikes has evolved, the weight limit has not.

With sub 10lb bikes a fairly common occurrence among the weight weenie crowds, one reader decided to tackle the weight limit with a different angle. They decided to build a sub 6.8kg bike without using any carbon fiber…

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6.8kg. 14.99 lbs. If you’re planning on racing any UCI road events, this is still the minimum weight requirement for your bike. It wasn’t that long ago that building a bike that came in below this magic number was a feat worthy of attention. Complete bikes sold below this limit were even the focus of […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Road Bike36 Comments

Pivot unveils Switchblade long travel 29/27+ MTB, introduces Super Boost + hub spacing

Pivot switchblade long travel 29 27 plus full suspension mountain bike-31
Pivot switchblade long travel 29 27 plus full suspension mountain bike-4
Photo c. Pivot Cycles/Lear Miller

Since launching the brand in 2007, Pivot has added a lot of different models to the line up. Ranging from 26 to 29, even to fat bikes, Pivot has had a bike for just about anything – with one exception. While Pivot has offered a number of bikes with 29″ wheels, a “long travel” 29er has remained absent from the collection, though not because they haven’t been working on it. For the past 5 years Pivot has been quietly working on developing the perfect platform to match the big wheels with bigger travel. With each step the bike has gotten closer to perfection, but to make that last leap Pivot needed something new. Something that would provide the stiffness and the clearance for both 29 and 27+ tires. Something… like a wider rear hub.

“Don’t call it a ‘new standard.'” That was one of the points that Chris Cocalis tried to drive home as he introduced Pivot’s latest bike, the Switchblade. As you can imagine, the use of a different (yet currently existing) hub spacing will most likely draw ire from those already wary of Boost 148, but before heading to the comment section, you have to hear them out.

To Pivot’s credit, before they had even introduced the Mach 429 Trail with Boost 148 spacing, we had already had conversations with Cocalis about the limitations of Boost. As Pivot’s engineer Kevin Tisue put it, “WTF? Only another 3mm of chainline clearance?” Pivot was quick to point out that the 3mm did help to make the Mach 6 and 429 Trail a better bike, but they almost instantly used up all 3mm of additional clearance. In order to make a better long travel 29er and make it compatible with 27+, they were going to need more.

That’s where the cheekily named Super Boost + comes in. The name may sound like yet another standard, but in reality it is a combination of existing standards which have been optimized for maximum tire clearance, drivetrain compatibility, and frame stiffness. All of which make the new Switchblade an incredible machine…

Continue reading “Pivot unveils Switchblade long travel 29/27+ MTB, introduces Super Boost + hub spacing”



Since launching the brand in 2007, Pivot has added a lot of different models to the line up. Ranging from 26 to 29, even to fat bikes, Pivot has had a bike for just about anything – with one exception. While Pivot has offered a number of bikes with 29″ wheels, a “long travel” 29er […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Feature, Mountain Bike19 Comments

Review: 2016 Kona Hei Hei DL Trail 29er mountain bike

Kona Hei Hei DL Trail bike review (10)

Kona Hei Hei DL Trail bike review (6)
Categories. It used to be a mountain bike was a mountain bike. You’d use the same bike for trials, DH, and XC, and all in the same weekend.  Now it seems like there is a category for everything – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Given the varying speeds, terrain, and riding styles across the full spectrum of mountain biking, having something a little more purpose built will usually improve the experience, as long as you pick the right tool for the job.

But at the same time we’re also starting to see more bikes that blur the lines between established categories. The Kona Hei Hei DL Trail is definitely one of those bikes. Possessing only 100mm of travel in the rear, the combination of 120mm up front and slightly more playful angles will leave you asking if this thing is an XC bike on steroids, or a leaned out trail bike? Yes…

Continue reading “Review: 2016 Kona Hei Hei DL Trail 29er mountain bike”



Categories. It used to be a mountain bike was a mountain bike. You’d use the same bike for trials, DH, and XC, and all in the same weekend.  Now it seems like there is a category for everything – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Given the varying speeds, terrain, and riding styles across the […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews6 Comments