Posts in the category Feature

Ventum Racing ditches the downtube to get ultra aero

Ventum One ultra aerodynamic triathlon bike with no downtube

Photo: Troy Szczurkowski

If you’re a tri geek, it’s likely you’ve seen a few shots of the upcoming Ventum Racing bike sneaking around the interwebs. If not, its completely un-UCI legal frame shows just how far things can go when you’ve got no limitations on frame design.

Called the Ventum One, it’s the first bike from upstart Ventum Racing, a brand co-developed by professional triathlete Jimmy Seears. Here’s the story:

“I race professionally, but I got dropped by my bike sponsor,” Seears told us. “My dad and I had always tinkered with and built things, so we thought we’d build a bike. How hard could it be, right?

“We started messing with different designs, and we really liked the Lotus 110 from the mid ’90s, so we started with that. We built the first prototype in Australia in house, which we tested with strain gauges and on the road. Then we tested the second version in the wind tunnel and it was a lot faster than we expected. And that was with a rather messy home made build…the handlebars were pretty messy and jumbled together. So we continued refining the design, and will continue to into the future. So the one you see here now is close, but not quite the final version that’ll ship later this year.”


Review: Magura’s Mighty MT7 4 Piston Hydraulic Brakes

Magura MT7 hydraulic disc brakes review (2)

It’s been a while since the Gustav M was the heavy weight king of the Magura line up. Since then that top spot has been taken by a new comer, the four piston MT7. While still offering massive amounts of power, the MT7 sets itself apart with a lightweight build that somewhat hides its heavyweight punch. On one hand the MT7s are light enough to find a home on enduro rigs but are powerful enough to stop full on DH bikes.

After living with them for a few seasons, the MT7s were a surprising fit for a completely different kind of bike as well…


Downtubes Store more than Bottles with Redesigned Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 650b and 29

Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 2016 swat door 650b 29 full suspension mountain bike (1)

Of all of the bikes in the Specialized line up, the Stumpjumper is perhaps the most well known. Introduced in 1981 and considered the first production mountain bike, over the years much has changed but the name carries on. Eventually the Stumpjumper lineage grew to include the first full suspension Stumpy, the FSR.

Today, Specialized continues the Stumpjumper FSR blood line with the latest version of their ‘trail legend.’ The previous version of the Stumpy FSR was already an impressive ride – so how do you go about improving it? For Specialized that meant the latest development in their SWAT technology offering a new, fully integrated way to store your flat kit…


All-new Trek Emonda ALR takes lightweight frame tech to alloy models

2016 Trek Emonda ALR 6 lightweight alloy race road bike with Ultegra

When Trek announced their Emonda carbon road bike line, they backed up their “world’s lightest” claims with an impressive frame and fork and an even more impressive 10.25lb (4.6kg) complete bike. Now, they’re adding an alloy Emonda ALR option that’s also lightweight yet far more affordable.

To earn the Emonda badge, the frame uses their top-level 300-series Alpha Aluminum that’s been hydroformed into size specific tubes, then welded together using a no-see technique that produces smooth joints that use less material to save weight.

The process is called Invisible Weld Technology, which they say produces stronger, stiffer welds despite using less material. Video, pics and more details below…


2016 Merida Scultura claims to be “lightest production road bike in the world”

2016 Merida Scultura worlds lightest road bike contender

First teased at the Amstel Gold Race earlier this year, the all-new 2016 Merida Scultura becomes their premium road race offering for Team Lampre Merida. It also puts up a good fight as the world’s lightest production road frame, with a claimed frameset weight of under 1,000g and frame weight of just 740g for a small/medium. By the numbers, that puts it within spittin’ distance of the top level Trek Emonda SLR with a frameset weight of 970g total.

Compared to the existing Scultura, this frame saw plenty of changes, but not all were done to save weight. They also wanted to make it more comfortable and more aerodynamic while retaining all of the stiffness and performance that makes this their team rider’s choice for the big races…


#BIKESTARTUP: Investor-less fundraising – why you MUST launch your product on Kickstarter

Bicycle Kickstarter

#BIKESTARTUP is a scrappy, in-the-trenches guide designed to turn your idea into a full-fledged bike business. We’ve covered customer research, prototyping, and manufacturing. Now let’s talk money.

We’ve been a promiscuous startup.  In our seed round, we raised money from two rockstar VCs and sixteen angel investors, which include a mix of serial entrepreneurs, friends, and even two wonderful customers. If you asked me behind closed doors what we think of our investors we’d say, “We love them: they’re champions, mentors, and turbochargers.” Because it’s true.

But you know whom we love more?

Our customers.  You see, our customers put $300K into two Kickstarter projects and they…

  • validated our products before we even started production
  • gave us ideas and showed us what product to build next
  • supercharged our marketing by becoming early evangelists

We’ve discussed the second and third bullet points before, so I’ll expand a bit on the first one, then dive into the three key elements to a kickass Kickstarter…


Interview / Factory Tour: Zen Fabrications with David Woronets

Zen fab factory

David Woronets joined the industry in a way a lot of ex-elite racers have: he needed a winter job. But unlike a lot of those ex-racers, David found himself compelled by manufacturing and development of the physical product. After moving around the industry and after working for Elsworth for several years, David saw an opportunity for a job shop model of domestic manufacturing and jumped at it.

Five years after purchasing equipment from Elsworth, David and his team have established Zen as a viable alternative to overseas manufacturing. At NAHBS this year, Zen released their full line of house product, realizing a long desire of David’s to produce his own product… READ MORE ->

2016 Giant Propel SLR alloy aero road bike slips into reality

2016 Giant Propel SLR 1 alloy aero road bike first look

Giant’s Propel launched in 2013 as the aero road bike category was becoming a full fledged segment, but only in carbon fiber as part of their Advanced line.

Now, it looks like the sleek form factor will make its way to lower price points with and all-new SLR alloy frame that does remarkable justice to the original shapes but with traditional road brake calipers rather than aero linear pull stoppers.

As listed, there’ll be two models sharing the same frame and a new carbon Advanced SL Overdrive 2 fork (1.25 to 1.5 taper), and a standard handlebar and stem combo rather than the one-piece aero unit on the carbon bikes. Specs and more pics below…


Interview: Natalie Ramsland of Sweetpea Bicycles Talks New Brand Direction and Her Trouble Maker

Sweetpea Trouble Maker 3

Frustrated with the experiential gap between the women and men on bikes around her she saw as a messenger, Natalie Ramsland of Sweetpea studied fit under Michael Sylvester (co-founder of the Serotta fit school) and went to UBI in order to learn to create the bike/rider experiences she wanted to see for women in the world.

Ten years on, Natalie works to expand her effect by stepping back from the torch. Working with builders such as Co-Motion and Land Shark for frame construction and Gladys Bikes of Portland as her public portal and fit-studio, Natalie is able to focus on bicycle design for her individual consumers- though, she’s certainly not done building. READ MORE ->