Rockshox SID goes back to XC roots with lighter, stiffer race-ready design

2017 Rockshox SID lightweight suspension fork specs details and actual weights

2017 Rockshox SID lightweight suspension fork specs details and actual weights

While their Indy SL from about 1997 was their lightest fork ever, SID was their first fully modern, lightweight air sprung fork. It’s seen several revisions over the years, going from a minimal 30mm stanchion to the current 32mm, and travel jumping from a minimum of 68mm at launch up to a max of 120 trail-worthy millimeters.
As the winningest XC fork out there and now in it’s 19th year, the new 2017 Rockshox SID gets every part of it updated.

It also goes back to it roots. When 120mm travel became popular for XC about five years ago, they had to bring the SID up to that level. Since then, though, that 120mm mark has skewed closer to trail and even light enduro, so for 2017, SID goes back to a 100mm max and is aimed at the race market. That doesn’t mean it’s delicate. Courses are getting gnarlier, and all of us continue to push our gear past its well intentioned designs. Thanks to new lowers, new damping, and so much more, the SID is up to the task…

Continue reading “Rockshox SID goes back to XC roots with lighter, stiffer race-ready design”



While their Indy SL from about 1997 was their lightest fork ever, SID was their first fully modern, lightweight air sprung fork. It’s seen several revisions over the years, going from a minimal 30mm stanchion to the current 32mm, and travel jumping from a minimum of 68mm at launch up to a max of 120 […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Feature, Mountain Bike22 Comments

Review: Fatback Skookum will have you thinking fat bikes year ’round

Fatback Skookum fat bike review trail fatbike bluto 120mm suspension-17

Fatback Skookum fat bike review trail fatbike bluto 120mm suspension-31

To most people, the mention of a fat bike instantly brings to mind pictures of snow and ice. To others, fat bikes are used regardless of the conditions or season. That second group is exactly who the Fatback Skookum was designed for.

When it came time to design their all terrain/trail fat bike, Fatback was looking for something that would complement their stable of race winning adventure fat bikes. Something with shorter chainstays, slacker angles, and even room for more travel. Something exactly like the new Skookum…

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To most people, the mention of a fat bike instantly brings to mind pictures of snow and ice. To others, fat bikes are used regardless of the conditions or season. That second group is exactly who the Fatback Skookum was designed for. When it came time to design their all terrain/trail fat bike, Fatback was looking […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews8 Comments

First Rides & Actual Weights – Lauf Grit leaf spring gravel road bike suspension fork

lauf grit gravel road bike leaf spring suspension fork

lauf grit gravel road bike leaf spring suspension fork

The all-new Lauf Grit leaf spring suspension fork for gravel bikes could end up being their best product so far…and I really do like their Trail Racer XC fork. I’ve even ridden their Carbonara fat bike fork and see the merit there, too. But after just one rider on the Grit, I’m having more fun than ever on our local cyclocross and gravel trails.

Using half the travel of their XC fork, the Grit’s 30mm of suspension is tuned to sag about 6mm once you’re on the bike, which sets the axle-to-crown only slightly higher than a stock fork on most gravel and cyclocross bikes. The result is just enough movement to soak up the small roots, rocks, washboards and imperfect pavement sections that otherwise jar and vibrate your hands and arms into fatigue. Or just cause the wheel to skip around when traction is key, like in fast, sweeping turns down a mountainside service road.

Did it change the bike’s handling? Yes, slightly, but not in the way I expected…

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The all-new Lauf Grit leaf spring suspension fork for gravel bikes could end up being their best product so far!

Posted in Actual Weights, Components, Cyclocross, Gravel Bikes, Reviews18 Comments

Rotor UNO hydraulic shifting – Development story, hands on tech overview & actual weights

rotor uno hydraulic shifting group rear derailleur

rotor uno hydraulic shifting group technical details overview

Last fall, Rotor UNO was unveiled as the first complete hydraulic drivetrain group, offering everything from shifters to derailleurs, cranks to cassette, and even brakes. And it offered a unique, single line system that was able to handle up and down shifts by moving fluid in a single direction.

The differences go beyond liquid connections between components – all of the moving mechanical shift parts are at the derailleurs, not the shifters. That, coupled with lossless hydraulic lines, means crisp, instantaneous action with a familiar mechanical feel.

Now, finally, the group is near production and we have all the tech details, weights and first rides. We also learned how the group came to be, what’s changed, and why Rotor thinks you’ll like it…

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Last fall, Rotor UNO was unveiled as the first complete hydraulic drivetrain group, offering everything from shifters to derailleurs, cranks to cassette, and even brakes. And it offered a unique, single line system that was able to handle up and down shifts by moving fluid in a single direction. The differences go beyond liquid connections between […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Cyclocross, Feature, Road Bike35 Comments

Review: Carbon-Ti X-Lock lightweight alloy thru axles lighten the unsprung load

Carbon-Ti X-Lock lightweight alloy thru axle review and actual weights

My impetus for testing the Carbon-Ti X-Lock thru axles was two-fold. First, I destroyed the Maxle on my Niner, so I needed a replacement. Second, if I can shed grams with no (or negligible) loss of performance, then I’m game. After consulting with the folks at Fair Wheel Bikes, who sell several brands of lightweight tooled thru axle and skewers, Carbon-Ti was the choice. They sent the rear 142x12mm X-Lock, and Carbon-Ti provided the RS 110x15mm thru axle to fit the Rockshox RS-1 suspension fork up front.

Gram for gram, after rotating mass, reducing unsprung weight can make the most noticeable difference in a bike’s performance. As Galileo and Newton observed, an object at rest wants to stay that way, and the heavier the object, the higher the force required to move it. So, reducing the weight of anything on the lower side of your suspension will speed up its reaction time and let the springs better do their job.

So, if you’re gonna replace a thru axle, might as well use that opportunity to cut the parts’ weight almost in half…

Continue reading “Review: Carbon-Ti X-Lock lightweight alloy thru axles lighten the unsprung load”



My impetus for testing the Carbon-Ti X-Lock thru axles was two-fold. First, I destroyed the Maxle on my Niner, so I needed a replacement. Second, if I can shed grams with no (or negligible) loss of performance, then I’m game. After consulting with the folks at Fair Wheel Bikes, who sell several brands of lightweight […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Mountain Bike, Reviews17 Comments

Review: Intense Spider 275 Carbon is the definition of modern trail

Intense Spider 275 carbon trail bike JS tune review actual weight (9)

Intense Spider 275 carbon trail bike JS tune review actual weight (76)

It’s time to let you in on a little secret. A lot of riders out there (myself included) are pedaling around too much suspension travel for their local trails. But who can blame them? For years, if you wanted low, slack, and long geometry, you’ve been forced into bigger bikes than you would typically choose. Following the progression from trail, to all mountain, to enduro, and now back to trail bikes, we’re seeing a major shift in mountain bike design. No longer confined to travel lengths suitable for enduro racing, fun and playful frame geometry is edging its way into the realm of the XC/Trail bike.

The result is a new class of trail bike. One that truly offers the majority of riders the best of both worlds. One that includes the new Intense Spider 275 Carbon…

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It’s time to let you in on a little secret. A lot of riders out there (myself included) are pedaling around too much suspension travel for their local trails. But who can blame them? For years, if you wanted low, slack, and long geometry, you’ve been forced into bigger bikes than you would typically choose. […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews8 Comments

Winter Wrap Up: Favorite gear that helped conquer the cold from 45NRTH, Lazer, Pactimo, & More

Winter Wrap up review lazer helmet 45NRTH flowbeist dunderbeist pactimo clothing (18)

Specialized 686 winter fat bike clothing review (1)

What a strange winter it has been. Much of the country is readily prepping for spring-like weather, while other parts are getting a late hammering of snow. For me, the weather has turned decidedly spring-like with mild temps and plenty of rain, but it still seems like a good time to look back on some of my favorite products that helped get me here. Our readers in the Southern Hemisphere are just transitioning to their coldest months of the year, but more importantly – this is a great time of year to pick up deals on closeout winter gear to use for next season. I can’t guarantee you’ll find any of the following items on clearance on account of their popularity, but it’s certainly worth a look…

Continue reading “Winter Wrap Up: Favorite gear that helped conquer the cold from 45NRTH, Lazer, Pactimo, & More”



What a strange winter it has been. Much of the country is readily prepping for spring-like weather, while other parts are getting a late hammering of snow. For me, the weather has turned decidedly spring-like with mild temps and plenty of rain, but it still seems like a good time to look back on some of […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Components, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews, Road Bike, Training1 Comment

First Impressions: OneUp Shark jumps Shimano 11 speed cassettes to 10-50

Oneup one up Shark 50t 50 tooth cassette adapter shimano xt wide range 1x-16

Oneup one up Shark 50t 50 tooth cassette adapter shimano xt wide range 1x

Just when you thought it was safe to buy into a new drivetrain – in swims the Shark. Perhaps trying to lure over the remaining 1x holdouts, wide range cassettes are getting even wider. While we know SRAM has something of this magnitude up their sleeve, it’s OneUp who is first letting the Shark out of the bag.

While OneUp is no stranger to cassette adapters which modify Shimano cassettes to provide wider range, the Shark is a little different. Sold as a kit with a replacement derailleur cage and an 18t and 50t cog, the set is to be used together. However, if you want even more range – there is an additional 10t mini cluster that is compatible with a few different wheels already out there…

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Just when you thought it was safe to buy into a new drivetrain – in swims the Shark. Perhaps trying to lure over the remaining 1x holdouts, wide range cassettes are getting even wider. While we know SRAM has something of this magnitude up their sleeve, it’s OneUp who is first letting the Shark out of the […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Components, Feature, Gadgets & Hacks, Mountain Bike, Reviews45 Comments

Project Road Bike: Campagnolo Chorus EPS install, weights and rides

2015 Campagnolo Chorus EPS install notes tech review and actual weights

2015-campagnolo-chorus-eps-a-review01

In Part One of this Project Road Bike build, we covered the Culprit RoaDi alloy disc brake frame and carbon fork, along with their full carbon bar, stem and seatpost. Now, it’s on to the drivetrain.

For an embarrassingly long time, I’ve had this Campagnolo Chorus EPS group sitting in the office waiting to be used. It’s not for a lack of trying…the original plan was to put it on the World’s Funnest Bike, but the Van Dessel’s chainstay yoke only clears a compact or cyclocross chainring combo. Then, we received a steel Rauler frame from Italy and figured an all-Italian build would be cool. But, as you’ll see, not all electronic wire ports are sized for Campy.

So, after far too many months, the Culprit came up and things finally came together. It was worth the wait…

Continue reading “Project Road Bike: Campagnolo Chorus EPS install, weights and rides”



In Part One of this Project Road Bike build, we covered the Culprit RoaDi alloy disc brake frame and carbon fork, along with their full carbon bar, stem and seatpost. Now, it’s on to the drivetrain. For an embarrassingly long time, I’ve had this Campagnolo Chorus EPS group sitting in the office waiting to be […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Components, Feature, Reviews, Road Bike13 Comments