Posts in the category Actual Weights

First Impressions: Absolute Black 28-to-40 tooth cassette cluster adapter

AbsoluteBlack 28-40 tooth cassette adapter cluster first impressions and actual weights

If you’re looking to put together an expanded range 1×10 system from your current setup, this provides a good alternative to single cog adapters that make a big jump at the top of the cassette. This one provides a smoother transition onto the larger cogs and a more subtle change between the top four cogs, too.

And, it’s a fairly reasonably priced way to do it. The SRAM 1050 cassette retails for $85 and the AbsoluteBlack adapter for $122, putting you all in at $207. Your alternatives for bumping up to a 40T or 42T cassette are either Shimano XTR or SRAM XX1/X01/X1. With Shimano, the cassette is about $300, and it’s 11-speed only, which requires new chain and chainrings, too. SRAM’s is also 11-speed only and requires a new freehub body, chain and chainrings. Either way, it’s going to cost you a lot more.

As for the range only being 40T and not 42T, you could just opt for a slightly smaller single chainring to compensate, which makes even more sense if you’re dropping the 11T cog off the bottom of the cassette as I did. I found the new range to be very good for our local trails, keeping me mostly in the middle of the cassette.

Another benefit? It can add up to a lighter system than the stock cassette…

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Long-term EU CX Test: Stevens cyclocross Super Prestige Disc – weighed, ridden & raced

Stevens_Super_Prestige_Disc_carbon_cyclocross_race_bike_Louny_race_climb

As we lead into the upcoming UCI Cyclocross World Championships this coming weekend here in the Czech Republic we want to give a complete rundown on one of the bikes we’ve been race testing all season as a part of our EU CX test series, that will see some elite-level international racing under some of the world’s best athletes.  The updated 2015 Stevens Super Prestige Disc, which we introduced back at Eurobike, is billed as an all-out race bike so we’ve been doing our best to shake it out in our national series of Masters cross races, coincidentally co-sponsored by Stevens Bikes along with Czech clothing producer Lawi.  Besides our amateur level racing and their support of grassroots racing programs throughout Europe, the Super Prestige has been recently been ridden to a lot of great results under professional racers.

At the start of 2015 Stevens expanded their pro team sponsorships to include the Stevens Racing Team, Corendon-KwadrO, and now cyclocross powerhouse BKCP-Powerplus. With the new team sponsorships in place for all of the 2015 national championship races a couple of weeks back, riders on the Super Prestige and Super Prestige Disc took home 7 national titles including: German women’s elite,  German men’s junior, Belgian men’s elite and U23, Swiss men’s elite, Czech men’s elite, and Dutch men’s elite. Clearly the bike can handle the top level of racing, and we look forward to seeing if one of these Stevens-sponsored riders will stand on the top step of the podiums at Worlds in Tábor. Until then, join us after the jump for our full breakdown on how the bike performed under us, both on and off the cross course.

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First Look: Vee Tire’s Trax Fatty 29×3″ Gets Plus Sized Options On The Market

Vee-Tire-Trax-Fatty

Vee Tire has been attacking the market lately, rapidly building a line of very compelling fat bike tires at prices much lower than the other brands on the market. The Trax Fatty from Vee Tire is their offering for the 29+ format pioneered by Surly for use on their Krampus model. Zach first got a look at this tire at the Taipei show, and now we have a pair for a test ride.

The plus-sized tires are not necessarily intended for fat bikes, although they have taken off rapidly because the 29+ platform easily fits into most existing fat bikes, so riders were able to give the idea a try without buying a whole extra bike. Thats exactly what we did, by mounting them to Sarma Naran 29+ wheels and the Sarma Shaman test bike. With firm conditions lately in the midwest, we tried them on snow covered trails, back to back with a 26×4.25″ tire.

Check out the weights, details and our first thoughts after the jump…

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First Ride: Schwalbe’s Superlight Jumbo Jim 4.8″ Wide Fat Bike Tires

RJK-Fatbiking-9301

Photo Credit: Ryan Krueger ryankruegerphotography.com

One of the biggest pieces of news from Eurobike this year for fat bikers was that Schwalbe was finally coming to market with a fat bike tire. And not just a single tire, but a 4.0″ and 4.8″ tire in Liteskin (lightweight) and Snakeskin (tubeless easy). The excitement was because of a large player entering the game and bringing tire technology and experience to these large tires, where the weight of a single tire can sometimes be more than the frame they are mounted to.

The actual weights are only a few grams heavier than claimed, which were pretty impressive. We tested the 4.8″ Liteskin version on a Surly Ice Cream Truck, and ripped around the amazing boreal forests of northern Wisconsin on a day with a fresh dusting of 3″ of snow, and more continuously coming down.

Check out our thoughts on this highly anticipated tire after the jump…

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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…

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Hands On: Sarma Naran 29+ Carbon Fiber Mid-Fat Wheelset

Sarma-Naran-29+-in-the-snow

By way of Siberia, Sarma continues to push the envelope for fat and mid-fat products. One of the first carbon 29+ rims, the Naran 29+ is double-walled, 50mm wide, and made for the big beastly traction of a 29″x3″ tire.

Zach saw them at Interbike, and now we have a set for testing. There are very few 29+ specific bikes on the market, so many riders are resorting to running the tires in a fat bike frame, since they fit in most. Doing exactly this, our test wheels are built to Sarma’s fat bike hubs, and we will be testing them on the Shaman fat bike we have on long-term test.

Click past the jump for our first thoughts on their construction, as well as actual weights…

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Just In: Bell’s Shape Shifting Super 2R Full Face Helmet

Bell Super 2r Enduro helmet full face two helmets in one (3)

In all actuality, a lot of the new “enduro” specific product is no different than what many have been using for simply mountain biking. That isn’t to say that truly Enduro specific products don’t really exist as the race genre does have some unique requirements. Specifically, the need to be comfortable in your gear while pedaling the transfer stages, but still protected on the near World Cup DH caliber descents on some of the races like the Enduro World Series.

For some, that need meant carrying two helmets for race day – a full face for the timed descents, and a normal lid for the climbing or more XC oriented segments. When Bell approached the idea of designing a helmet for Enduro racing, they noticed the obvious fact that carrying one helmet is better than two. Starting with their popular Bell Super, a functional and removable chin bar was added to create a true 2 in 1 helmet…

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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…

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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…

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