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

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

Review: Osprey’s Viper 9 keeps it slim but comfortably hauls the short-loop essentials

Osprey Viper 9 hydration pack, action shot

Osprey Viper 9 hydration pack, descending

Whether it’s Bic pens, Zippo lighters or a boutique hand-welded titanium frame, I have an appreciation for quality goods. It’s nice to know some companies strive to make products that stand up to real-world abuse, and Osprey is certainly no exception. Last year I got to test their Syncro 15 hydration pack, which quickly turned into my pack of choice. This year I was sent a Viper 9 to try, and while it’s not as deluxe as the Syncro it left me with little to complain about.

The Viper 9 is a smaller 9L pack but still carries a decent amount of cargo. Its slim shape helps keep you reasonably cool, and I find the shoulder straps quite comfortable. Osprey’s construction quality is excellent so there are no problems or damage to report, but read on for the details on the Viper 9’s storage, reservoir and other features…
Continue reading “Review: Osprey’s Viper 9 keeps it slim but comfortably hauls the short-loop essentials”



Whether it’s Bic pens, Zippo lighters or a boutique hand-welded titanium frame, I have an appreciation for quality goods. It’s nice to know some companies strive to make products that stand up to real-world abuse, and Osprey is certainly no exception. Last year I got to test their Syncro 15 hydration pack, which quickly turned […]

Posted in Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Reviews5 Comments

ENVE offers Limited Edition M60 HV wheel set fit for a Santa Cruz Hightower

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There’s matching, and then there’s matching. For those riders who are into everything featuring that perfect Pantone (and that own a Santa Cruz Hightower in Mint), ENVE’s latest limited edition looks to be a perfect match. The LE kit also gives riders planning to purchase a Hightower an ideal chance to roll both wheel sizes – buy the bike with 27+ and then add the ENVE 29″ kit along with a different fork and you’re ready to go.

Like other ENVE Limited Edition sets, the M60 HV collection above will be available for the month of August, only to be replaced by a new kit for September. The 29″ hoops feature a 26/32mm internal/external wide rim that is laced to a 28h Chris King Boost 6 bolt hubset with a Shimano freehub. There are no substitutions here so you had better make sure the hubs will work with your bike – if this is for the Hightower above, then it’s a given. The ‘California Dreamin’ color scheme continues to the included ENVE riser bar for even more matching bling. Coming in at 1731g for the wheel set, the $2900 kit also includes an ENVE double padded wheel bag, an extra set of custom LE wheel decals, and a LE 5 panel hat.

enve.com



There’s matching, and then there’s matching. For those riders who are into everything featuring that perfect Pantone (and that own a Santa Cruz Hightower in Mint), ENVE’s latest limited edition looks to be a perfect match. The LE kit also gives riders planning to purchase a Hightower an ideal chance to roll both wheel sizes – […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Mountain Bike4 Comments

Friday Roundup – Cycling Odds & Ends

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  • David Cachon rides El Caminito del Rey on a mountain bike – OK, so unfortunate disclaimer first off: “The Caminito del Rey cannot be done by bicycle. It was a special opportunity offered to a professional rider.” That said this is pretty cool and needs to be shared. So the Caminito del Rey was once called the the most dangerous path in the world, built to let Spanish workers scale the cliffs to get to the hydroelectric plant that was being built there starting in 1901. Anyway over the years it had gotten even sketchier in various states of disrepair, so after four years of work and renovation the regional government of Andalusia opened it back up in 2015. And to promote the 2.9km cliffside path and to draw tourism they let 2x World Trials champ David Cachon take it for a spin. Check out footage of his ride and some more pics after the break, and then you can continue to our regular Friday Roundup…

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David Cachon rides El Caminito del Rey on a mountain bike – OK, so unfortunate disclaimer first off: “The Caminito del Rey cannot be done by bicycle. It was a special opportunity offered to a professional rider.” That said this is pretty cool and needs to be shared. So the Caminito del Rey was once called the […]

Posted in Advocacy, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Mountain Bike4 Comments

PNW Components pops back up with Bachelor 150 dropper seatpost

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PNW_Bachelor-150_enduro-adjustable-dropper-seatpost_wood

After introducing a more affordable alternative externally routed dropper seatpost at the start of the year, recent start-up PNW Components is back with a second post offering to get your saddle down. The new air sprung Bachelor 150 bumps travel up to 150mm to help riders get farther back over the rear wheel for more aggressive enduro-style riding. PNW focused here on keeping the post light for a riding style that has to pedal up a lot in order to be able to get back down fast. So the new Bachelor trims almost 200g off their shorter throw Rainier, but brings the price back up a good bit too. The Bachelor still looks like PNW are packing a pretty solid value into the dropper that will come in two diameters to fit most trail bikes. Check out details, pricing, and availability after the jump…

Continue reading “PNW Components pops back up with Bachelor 150 dropper seatpost”



After introducing a more affordable alternative externally routed dropper seatpost at the start of the year, recent start-up PNW Components is back with a second post offering to get your saddle down. The new air sprung Bachelor 150 bumps travel up to 150mm to help riders get farther back over the rear wheel for more aggressive enduro-style […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Mountain Bike10 Comments

Kryptonite shines a new light on security with Street Light Series

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kryptonite-street-series-light-on-bicycle-headlight

With over 40 years of experience in securing bikes, Kryptonite has announced their entrance into the light market where they hope to, um, secure you. Offering front and rear illumination, each light in their Street Light series is rechargeable, water resistant, compact, and tagged with a two year warranty.

Above, the Alley headlamp, like all of the new lights, uses a stretchy quick mount with quick release tab so you can remove just the light. It pumps out 275 lumens up to 145m away with five modes (High, Medium, Low, Slow flash, Fast flash). Weight is 122g, retail is $34.95, or get the set with Avenue rear for $56.95.

Continue reading “Kryptonite shines a new light on security with Street Light Series”



With over 40 years of experience in securing bikes, Kryptonite has announced their entrance into the light market where they hope to, um, secure you. Offering front and rear illumination, each light in their Street Light series is rechargeable, water resistant, compact, and tagged with a two year warranty. Above, the Alley headlamp, like all of the […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools8 Comments

Apparel Roundup – Feed your lightweight needs with Donkey Label  //  Rapha  //  Velocio

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Velocio_Dot_White_Jersey

Keeping cool both literally and metaphorically is what many of us strive for while out on long, hot summer rides. Bundle in being visible and you’ve got the making of a good kit. This roundup consists of a packable and comfort focused vest from Donkey Label, reflective and lightweight shoes from Rapha, and Ultralight apparel from Velocio.

Get dressed past the break…

Continue reading “Apparel Roundup – Feed your lightweight needs with Donkey Label  //  Rapha  //  Velocio”



Keeping cool both literally and metaphorically is what many of us strive for while out on long, hot summer rides. Bundle in being visible and you’ve got the making of a good kit. This roundup consists of a packable and comfort focused vest from Donkey Label, reflective and lightweight shoes from Rapha, and Ultralight apparel from Velocio. Get […]

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Upstart tire maker Terrene teases trail, snow & dirt road-ready treads

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A new upstart out of Bozeman, Montana is aiming to fill a gap in the tire market where the bigger companies have yet to fill in. While there has been a strong movement towards wider and even plus-sized trail and gravel road riding, the tire companies themselves haven’t really been keeping up with the trends. Just think how many different 23mm wide road tires are available on the market (who still even rides those?) and compare that with the number of 700x40c tires or 27.5×2.8″ ones? Part of that is the inertia of companies that have been making tires for decades, and part is just that it is expensive to make new tire molds.

So Terrene Tires is taking another approach. They are going for that niche market, with three new treads and two casing construction versions per tire. They’ll start off with a meaty trail tire, an aggressive studded fat bike tire, and a faster rolling dirt road tire, with a fourth mixed-surface touring tire coming later this fall. Details are still a bit limited on the tires, but have a look below at what we’ve seen and know now, with more on the way…

Continue reading “Upstart tire maker Terrene teases trail, snow & dirt road-ready treads”



A new upstart out of Bozeman, Montana is aiming to fill a gap in the tire market where the bigger companies have yet to fill in. While there has been a strong movement towards wider and even plus-sized trail and gravel road riding, the tire companies themselves haven’t really been keeping up with the trends. Just […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Gravel Bikes, Mountain Bike5 Comments