Posts in the category Feature

Review: Fuji’s Elite XC Racer – The SLM 29 1.1

Fuji SLM 29 1.1 Drive Side

Photo Credit: Mitch Lomacz

Since the 1970’s, Fuji has been a mainstay brand in the US cycling scene.  The American owned, Japanese brand has impressed us with their Altamira SL.  The release of their well designed Transonic aero road frame and Tri  / TT  Norcom Straight have shown the company is forging  ahead with innovation and good design on the road.

Enough about the road though, we are here to talk about their latest endeavor on the dirt.  The Fuji SLM 29 1.1 aims to be a podium topping XC race bike out of the box.  The bike is adorn with XTR, a claimed 1000g carbon frame, tubeless ready wheels, carbon cockpit, and a Fox 32 Float 100mm fork.  It sounds like a solid recipe, but you’ll have to make the jump to find out.

READ MORE ->

EB14: Schwalbe Pumps up Procore Dual Chamber System On All Rims, Jumbo Jim 4.8″ Fatbike Tire, Actual weights, more

Schwalbe procore tubeless system jumbo jim jens voigt actual weight fat bike fatbike (15)

At trade shows everyone seems to ask the same question – have you seen anything cool? Most of the time there are a lot of interesting products, but especially in a show the size of Eurobike it’s hard to really stand out. Schwalbe seems to have no such trouble thanks to their game changing tire technology – Procore.

After a few good teases, the production version of the system was unveiled tonight at the Dornier Museum Friedrichshafen which happens to be a fitting shrine to German engineering. Since we last reported on the technology a few things have changed including the amount of compatible rims. Full details next…

READ MORE ->

SRM’s All New PC8 – Production Announced @ USA Pro Challenge

SRM PC8_close up

Last week’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge may be over, but the product news continues. SRM chose the Colorado stage race as the venue for their public release of the all new PowerControl PC8. After years of listening to the pros and weekend-warriors alike, after nearly two years of development and research, the production model is finally being released. Power past the break for details, pics, and some rumors on future SRM developments…

READ MORE ->

First Impressions: Shimano XTR Di2 & Mechanical Mountain Bike Groups

Shimano XTR Di2 9000 electronic mountain bike group first ride review and technical details

The new XTR Di2 M9050 has ushered in the era of official electronic shifting for mountain bikes, and we have a feeling it’s going to shake things up quite a bit. Announced all the way back in May, it’s still not really available as of this post – only a handful of pros are racing on it. Fortunately, four of the new Orbea Oiz test bikes we just rode had it installed, giving us a chance to run it through the gears.

Over two days of riding XC and enduro-ish segments, the XTR Di2 showed why it’s going to be popular. Instantaneous shifts, effortless transitions under power and the ability to choose just the right gear combo for you. Heck, you can even customize it to work just the way you want, from which buttons do what to how and when it shifts between chainrings in Synchronized Shifting modes. That’s right, plural – modes. You can set two shift maps and swap between them on the fly while riding.

Add in the legendary stiffness and precision for which Shimano’s top level groups are known and, well, I just rode the future…

READ MORE ->

Bike Check: Curtis Keene, The American Dream, and his Specialized Enduro Race Bike

Curtis Keene Specialized Enduro Bike Check_000

Today’s level of competition at the Enduro World Series is so high, that it takes nothing short of perfection to even crack the top ten. So after a season filled with bad luck, it was great to see Curtis Keene put everything together for a career best 3rd place performance at the most difficult race of this series.

Head past the break to learn more bout the the setup that help him get there. READ MORE ->

Review: Litespeed Li2 Green Machine

Litespeed Li2 review

It’s been nearly 12 years since Litespeed started working with carbon fiber, and even though the brand is currently selling more carbon frames than titanium domestically, they still seem to be known as the Ti company. Since the beginning, Litespeed has always set out to make the best bike possible no matter the material. With titanium, the challenge was to take aerospace grade ti tubing and to turn it into bike specific tubesets to create high end bikes. Eventually, the cold worked shaped tubes became Litespeed’s calling card and the company still sells more titanium bikes than carbon internationally.

Looking for the next evolution in design, in 2002 Litespeed started experimenting with carbon fiber seatstays for the Sienna and the Ultimate. This would eventually lead to their first full carbon model, the C-Series aero road bike. Successful tweaking over the years led to a highly manipulated aero road bike, so the next logical step was what Litespeed refers to as a good “all-rounder.”

Right around that point Litespeed’s current CEO Peter Hurley stepped into the leadership role, and helped to improve the development process in a way that allowed product designer Brad DeVaney to create the bike he envisioned – the L Series.

We’ve been on the Litespeed Li2 for quite a few miles now, get our take on the bike after the break…

READ MORE ->

SpyShots! – New SRAM Red Wireless @ Pro Challenge

SRAM_New_Red_Wireless_Electronic_Shift_Leaver_RED_Logo_2

Barely being disguised by thin tape and subtle graphics, the new SRAM Red wireless electronic group is in full view at this year’s USA Pro Challenge in Colorado. We knew this was coming months ago when we discovered SRAM’s filed patents for wireless technology. As the first-ever wireless group moves its way through pre-production it has been test ridden by the Bissell Pro Cycling team since the beginning of this season. With the team relying solely on this new technology, and with no mechanical Red being used even as backup, the feedback from the riders is said to be all positive.

More news, insight from a Team Bissell rider, and way more pics after the break…And yes, now we know how the shifting works…

READ MORE ->

Jens Voigt’s Custom Trek – Up Close And Personal

Jens Voigt Custom Trek At Pro Challenge

We recently showed you the press release on Trek’s chromed out beauty that honors Jens and his final professional race on US soil. Now check out the real pics from Stage 4 of the USA Pro Challenge, next…

READ MORE ->

First Look! 2015 Orbea Oiz Mountain Bike – Full Suspension World Cup XC Race Rocket

2015 Orbea Oiz full suspension XC race mountain bike

The Orbea Oiz first appeared under the Luna Chix pros as a 26” full suspension race rocket in 2012. From the beginning, it was made to be as efficient as possible, very light weight and just plain fast. In other words, to win races. World Cup races, to be exact. And it did, taking the podium top at Mont Saint Anne under Catherine Pendrel. And then she repeated a week later at Wyndham.

Even then, though, the cross country market was leaning heavily toward 29ers. Now it’s all but swung that way entirely, save for a slight intrusion of today’s hot wheel size, 27.5”, relegating 26” bikes to the entry level market, not the World Cup race level. So, the Oiz has been updated, taking advantage of Orbea’s BWC (Big Wheels Concept) to offer both wheel sizes. The 27.5” (650B) wheels will come on S/M/L size frames, and 29er will be on M/L/XL.

Beyond the wheels, the spirit of the bike has remained the same, but it does get retuned and tweaked to make the most of the new wheel sizes. That means it keeps the 95mm rear wheel travel, a number that was intentionally kept under 100mm so there was no confusion as to this bike’s purpose. You won’t be tempted to put anything more than a 100mm fork on it…

READ MORE ->