Review: Fat or Plus, the Otso Voytek’s Q factor will set you free

Otso Voytek fat bike plus review  (6)

Otso Voytek fat bike plus hard tail carbon narrow q factor wolf tooth components wtc review-9

When the crew from Wolf Tooth Components first told me about their Otso project, I was instantly intrigued. Fat bikes are getting better than ever, but a large majority of the population still struggles with the idea of a “one season bike” – even if that isn’t really true. Now that plus bikes, especially hard tails, are gaining in popularity, could the Otso be the ultimate plus/fat hybrid? More importantly, plus bike aside, would the clever design of the Voytek create an even better fat bike?

I couldn’t wait to find out (literally)…

Continue reading “Review: Fat or Plus, the Otso Voytek’s Q factor will set you free”



When the crew from Wolf Tooth Components first told me about their Otso project, I was instantly intrigued. Fat bikes are getting better than ever, but a large majority of the population still struggles with the idea of a “one season bike” – even if that isn’t really true. Now that plus bikes, especially hard […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Components, Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews10 Comments

Project Otso Voytek – building the perfect plus/fat with Industry Nine wheels, Maxxis & 45NRTH tires, Magura brakes, and more

Otso Voytek fat bike plus hard tail carbon narrow q factor wolf tooth components wtc-68

Otso Voytek fat bike plus hard tail carbon narrow q factor wolf tooth components wtc-23

In hindsight, I should have seen the Otso Voytek coming. As it turns out, Brendan from Wolf Tooth Components and I have similar tastes in fat bikes and the steady stream of questions about my likes and dislikes should have tipped me off. In spite of that, I was still surprised when he told me they were launching a bike company. First up? A stainless steel gravel bike and, yes, their take on a fat bike.

In typical Wolf Tooth Components and now Otso fashion, this wouldn’t be your run of the mill fat bike. The Otso team promised one of the best pedaling fat bikes around, plus it would be great for plus. The Otso Voytek has the potential to blur the line even further between a seasonal fat bike and a year ’round ripper, so of course I was excited to get my hands on the very first sample available.

To review the bike, first I would have to build it. After sending out what they have called the Frankset (frame, fork, headset, BB, and crankset), it was time to assemble a build kit. While my last fat bike build was fairly stealth, the blue/grey frame option of the Voytek inspired a more colorful parts selection. I can verify that the blue is hard to match with anodized parts, but I’m pretty happy with the outcome…

Continue reading “Project Otso Voytek – building the perfect plus/fat with Industry Nine wheels, Maxxis & 45NRTH tires, Magura brakes, and more”



In hindsight, I should have seen the Otso Voytek coming. As it turns out, Brendan from Wolf Tooth Components and I have similar tastes in fat bikes and the steady stream of questions about my likes and dislikes should have tipped me off. In spite of that, I was still surprised when he told me […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Components, Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews5 Comments

Project Road Bike: Rolling on Venn’s filament wound carbon fiber wheels (UPDATED)

Venn REV 35 TCD woven carbon fiber road tubeless wheels review and actual weights

Introduced in Spring 2015, Venn Composites’ filament-wound carbon rim construction brought about an entirely new way to make rims. One that could be lighter without giving up strength or stiffness, all with a process that allows for perfect 100% repeatability and consistency from rim to rim. It’s also completely automated, which cuts down on manufacturing costs, and those savings are passed on to you and me.

The rim design uses a wide, NACA-like profile designed to improve aerodynamics on the relatively shallow 35mm depth. They’re tubeless ready and come in disc- or rim brake specific versions. We’ve been riding a set of the disc brake ones for about a year as part of our Project Road Bike, here’s how it’s going…

Continue reading “Project Road Bike: Rolling on Venn’s filament wound carbon fiber wheels (UPDATED)”



Introduced in Spring 2015, Venn Composites’ filament-wound carbon rim construction brought about an entirely new way to make rims. One that could be lighter without giving up strength or stiffness, all with a process that allows for perfect 100% repeatability and consistency from rim to rim. It’s also completely automated, which cuts down on manufacturing […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Components, Gravel Bikes, Reviews, Road Bike9 Comments

Crankworx 2016: A quick (p)review of the YT Capra AL, with more to come…

2016 YT Capra AL, feature img

YT Capra AL, side shot

No animal has mastered the art of skipping across treacherous terrain quite like the Capra (mountain goat), so it makes sense to pay tribute to these beasts with a bike designed to capably handle ups, downs and everything in between. As the company’s enduro/all-mountain model, YT’s Capra intends to strike that desirable balance of agility and stability, coupled with supple yet supportive suspension.

I had opportunity to try out the entry level aluminum (with carbon seat stays) 2016 Capra AL during Crankworx this year but only had a short time on the bike, so this article covers my first impressions only. YT was quick to point out that I was riding a well used demo fleet bike, and we didn’t do any tuning beyond setting the shock’s sag. They were reluctant to let me write anything at this point, but we came to a nice agreement- I should soon have a Capra AL in my hands for a proper, long term review. In the meantime, here’s the preview…
Continue reading “Crankworx 2016: A quick (p)review of the YT Capra AL, with more to come…”



No animal has mastered the art of skipping across treacherous terrain quite like the Capra (mountain goat), so it makes sense to pay tribute to these beasts with a bike designed to capably handle ups, downs and everything in between. As the company’s enduro/all-mountain model, YT’s Capra intends to strike that desirable balance of agility […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Mountain Bike, Reviews3 Comments

Review: Zipp 404 Disc, premier aero carbon clinchers for road and cross

Zipp_404-Firecrest-Carbon-Clincher-Disc-brake_disc-brake-aero-wheelset_cross-ready

Zipp_404-Firecrest-Carbon-Clincher-Disc-brake_disc-brake-aero-wheelset_cross-ready

Back in the beginning of the spring Zipp introduced a pair of new aerodynamic wheelsets to suit the needs of the growing number of aero road bikes coming to market. There might have been speculation at the time of really what kind of bike would pair something like their deepest aero 808 rim to disc brakes, but we’ve since seen a number of suitable aero bikes make their debut. Here at Bikerumor though, our thoughts then were mostly to a wheelset that could handle more everyday type riding, so we got our hands on a set of the mid depth 404s to see how they rolled. While Zipp has proven their aero carbon tubulars on the cobbled classics and, in their disc brake guise, on the cyclocross circuit, we wanted to see how the slightly deeper 404 in a carbon clincher could handle both, making it easy to switch tires (and axles) to suit multiple disciplines….

Continue reading “Review: Zipp 404 Disc, premier aero carbon clinchers for road and cross”



Back in the beginning of the spring Zipp introduced a pair of new aerodynamic wheelsets to suit the needs of the growing number of aero road bikes coming to market. There might have been speculation at the time of really what kind of bike would pair something like their deepest aero 808 rim to disc brakes, but […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Cyclocross, Gravel Bikes, Road Bike22 Comments

Giro clicks in to convertible helmets with all new Switchblade full face

All Mountain Mountain Biking with 2017 Giro MTB clothing and gear on trails near Santa Cruz, CA.
ONeill-RO1D1865
Photos c. Robin O’neill/Giro

The Switchblade lives. Technically, Giro’s newest helmet has been in the works for almost three years now, but it’s been almost 18 years since the original. For those that have been introduced to mountain biking recently, the original Switchblade was the first production XC helmet with a removable chin bar. In many ways the Switchblade was way ahead of its time, and while not all memories of the infamous lid are fond, it set the stage for things to come.

Like the original, the newest Switchblade has a removable chin bar, but the similarities stop there. Giro points out that the philosophy behind the helmet has changed. The original was an XC helmet that you could add a chin bar to in order to make it “suitable for DH,” whereas the new Switchblade is a DH helmet with a removable chin bar to make it suitable for trail use.

It’s taken a while for the Switchblade to finally make its debut the second time around, but it was worth the wait…

Continue reading “Giro clicks in to convertible helmets with all new Switchblade full face”



The Switchblade lives. Technically, Giro’s newest helmet has been in the works for almost three years now, but it’s been almost 18 years since the original. For those that have been introduced to mountain biking recently, the original Switchblade was the first production XC helmet with a removable chin bar. In many ways the Switchblade […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews10 Comments

World’s Funnest Bike 2: The shiny things that make it go – Drivetrain, brakes, and cockpit

Old and New (6 of 14)

AAA Parts Highlighted Final

Last year, Tyler rocked out a pretty cool little project with this sweet “crush all” Van Dessel Whiskey gravel bike for 2015’s “World’s Funnest bike. The basis for these builds is to take something and tweak it to be the most fun on two wheels. While an opinionated piece it’s fun to see what people come up with so I decided to take a crack at it. I’ve seen and built some unique bikes that just jive like nothing else, and I unintentionally got the chance to do this very thing with a frame I was asked to review.

Oh, and this is part one of three as I like to stretch things out a bit… especially when I’m having this good of a time! Check out the pile of parts I came up with and what took my grin to the next level. Also take a look back at what used to make up the ‘world’s funnest bike” from year’s past…

Continue reading “World’s Funnest Bike 2: The shiny things that make it go – Drivetrain, brakes, and cockpit”



Last year, Tyler rocked out a pretty cool little project with this sweet “crush all” Van Dessel Whiskey gravel bike for 2015’s “World’s Funnest bike. The basis for these builds is to take something and tweak it to be the most fun on two wheels. While an opinionated piece it’s fun to see what people […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Components, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews8 Comments

First Ride: Kona makes the Process 134 DL even more ‘Shore worthy, includes new Shimano N/W rings

Kona-Ride-2017-8358 copy
Kona-Ride-2017-8329
Photo c. Caleb Smith/Kona

The day after getting a chance to check out Kona’s new Hei Hei Trail DL, we had time for one more ride. This year was the first that Kona held their dealer event in Squamish, BC, which meant prime access to some of the best local trails right out the front door. For obvious reasons, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to check out the revised Process 134 DL. Built with similar travel numbers to the new Hei Hei Trail, the ride would serve as a back to back comparison between two similar but very different bikes on some of the exact trails they were created for…

Continue reading “First Ride: Kona makes the Process 134 DL even more ‘Shore worthy, includes new Shimano N/W rings”



The day after getting a chance to check out Kona’s new Hei Hei Trail DL, we had time for one more ride. This year was the first that Kona held their dealer event in Squamish, BC, which meant prime access to some of the best local trails right out the front door. For obvious reasons, this […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews7 Comments

Stevens reshapes lighter, stiffer & cheaper Comet, Comet Disc & Xeon and more road bikes…

Stevens_Comet-2-0_lightweight-carbon-road-bike_complete

Stevens_Comet-2-0_lightweight-carbon-road-bike_complete

Earlier in the week we took a look at some big carbon updates to Stevens’ mountain bikes coming next season. And while the changes we’ve been shown on the road seem to be relatively minor, it is interesting to see that with each of these 3 updated frame lines, the frames get lighter and their prices go down at the same time. That’s not a trend we often see. Take a closer look as we check out the second generation lightweight Comet, a peek at its upcoming disc brake sibling, a redesign of the more affordable Xenon, and some updates to the Arcalis/Arcalis Disc frames…

Continue reading “Stevens reshapes lighter, stiffer & cheaper Comet, Comet Disc & Xeon and more road bikes…”



Earlier in the week we took a look at some big carbon updates to Stevens’ mountain bikes coming next season. And while the changes we’ve been shown on the road seem to be relatively minor, it is interesting to see that with each of these 3 updated frame lines, the frames get lighter and their prices go […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Road BikeLeave a comment