Review: Coros Linx smart helmet connects your smart phone to your head

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use-p1140002

There has been a tidal wave of technology flooding the bicycle industry trying to integrate the power of our hand-held computers (with phone service) to our riding experience. While many may think this sounds ludicrous, many of the potential soon to be cyclists expect this sort of standard because… well what don’t smartphones do for us nowadays? Coros sent me an early run of their Linx “smart helmet” to try out. The Linx takes many of the most commonly used functions provided by your phone and wraps them up in a safe, hands-free place around your head.

Stick with me here and see why this could be more of a benefit than you might think…

Continue reading “Review: Coros Linx smart helmet connects your smart phone to your head”



There has been a tidal wave of technology flooding the bicycle industry trying to integrate the power of our hand-held computers (with phone service) to our riding experience. While many may think this sounds ludicrous, many of the potential soon to be cyclists expect this sort of standard because… well what don’t smartphones do for us […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Commuter, Concept, Gadgets & Hacks, Kickstarter, Reviews9 Comments

I’m not mid-fat, I’m big boned! New Industry Nine Backcountry 360 squeezes out even more volume

Back Country 360 0 (1)

Back Country 360 0 (1)

While everyone has been making like Cool Hand Luke and seeing how much “plus” they can stuff into their husky stays, there has been another movement towards improving the standard 2.4″ – 2.5″ tires’ stance. To give the tire more lateral stability when running lower pressures, a 35 – 36mm wide rim can potentially spread out a tire just enough without flattening it out too much. Nestled in Asheville, NC neighboring the now not so secret Pisgah National Forest, Industry Nine is no stranger to aggressive trail riding. And while their Enduro 305 wheels are stout in their own right, the demand for wider is strong and Industry Nine has seized the opportunity.

We got our hands on a pre-production set of these bad boys, so check out the details and weights on Industry Nine’s new fluffy Backcountry 360 wheels, (they’re light, so I ruled out “Husky”), and how they look up close…

Continue reading “I’m not mid-fat, I’m big boned! New Industry Nine Backcountry 360 squeezes out even more volume”



While everyone has been making like Cool Hand Luke and seeing how much “plus” they can stuff into their husky stays, there has been another movement towards improving the standard 2.4″ – 2.5″ tires’ stance. To give the tire more lateral stability when running lower pressures, a 35 – 36mm wide rim can potentially spread out a tire […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Components, Mountain Bike, Reviews8 Comments

Review: Hermes Sport’s magnetically pawled, mostly US-made hubs & alloy wheels

hermes sport hub and alloy wheel review

(Editor’s Note: This is a guest review from our friends at Blacksmith Cycle in Canada. They are not a dealer of Hermes Sport and have no affiliation with them or incentive to promote the brand, but they ride hard and often, try a lot of boutique products for their own use, and we trust their opinion.)

The Hermes Sport aluminum clincher wheels are not your run of the mill aluminum hoops. These are American-assembled, lightweight, solidly-stiff, tech-heavy wheels that demand to be taken seriously. While the super sexy Hermes hubset ought be the focus of this wheelset review, the asymmetric rims matched with Mach-1 bladed alloy spokes also performed well under continuous testing across a three-month span of about 1,500km of riding.

In terms of specs, we covered them at the Fall 2014 launch, and things have remained relatively unchanged, except that Hermes Sport has now dropped pricing to $750 for the wheelset, with ceramic bearing upgrade running a very reasonable $90. When you consider that a set of Chris King R45 hubs retails for almost this price, getting the entire wheelset built on the Hermes Sport hubs would seem to represent a solid deal in this wheel category…

Continue reading “Review: Hermes Sport’s magnetically pawled, mostly US-made hubs & alloy wheels”



(Editor’s Note: This is a guest review from our friends at Blacksmith Cycle in Canada. They are not a dealer of Hermes Sport and have no affiliation with them or incentive to promote the brand, but they ride hard and often, try a lot of boutique products for their own use, and we trust their […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Components, Reviews, Road Bike25 Comments

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, Reviews5 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.
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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