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

Bike Checks: Team Yeti/Fox Shox bikes from Richie Rude, Cody Kelley, and Team Mechanic Shaun Hughes

Yeti EWS fox racing team richie rude cody kelley bike check-22

Yeti EWS fox racing team richie rude cody kelley bike check-17

Fresh off his win at the Whistler Enduro World Series round, we found ourselves sharing a ride with Richie Rude for the launch of the new Giro Switchblade. It wasn’t just Richie though, the whole Yeti/Fox Racing Shox team including Cody Kelley and team mechanic Shaun Hughes were also along for the ride. After a hot pedal up and down some rad trails in Pemberton, BC, we got a closer look at the Yeti bikes used by the team – all three of which were very different…

Continue reading “Bike Checks: Team Yeti/Fox Shox bikes from Richie Rude, Cody Kelley, and Team Mechanic Shaun Hughes”



Fresh off his win at the Whistler Enduro World Series round, we found ourselves sharing a ride with Richie Rude for the launch of the new Giro Switchblade. It wasn’t just Richie though, the whole Yeti/Fox Racing Shox team including Cody Kelley and team mechanic Shaun Hughes were also along for the ride. After a […]

Posted in Feature, Mountain Bike4 Comments

World’s Funnest Bike Part 2: One dope carriage that brings all the fun to the trail

Headbadge IMG_8066-2

Headbadge IMG_8066-2

Every so often a brand will create something that spreads like wildfire through social circles and the next thing you know, they’re popping up everywhere. Most often this contagious feat is due to a company doing things a little differently based on not paper but pure “on the dirt” experience. Even better, when that said experience comes from a couple of brothers, one being a mechanical engineer, former pro downhiller & Red Bull Rampage competitor, and the other having raced on the world cup circuit… well, what did you think would happen?

If you hadn’t already, check out last week’s post on the Skittle-like parts I gathered to mount on this soon to be party on wheels. Otherwise, step right in and take a close look at what a couple of brothers came up with and what led me to start assembling this as MY “world’s funnest bike”…

Continue reading “World’s Funnest Bike Part 2: One dope carriage that brings all the fun to the trail”



Every so often a brand will create something that spreads like wildfire through social circles and the next thing you know, they’re popping up everywhere. Most often this contagious feat is due to a company doing things a little differently based on not paper but pure “on the dirt” experience. Even better, when that said experience comes […]

Posted in Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews5 Comments

First Look! Parlee TTiR Disc shields calipers on first major disc brake triathlon/TT bike

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With more than half of their road bikes sales now getting disc brakes, Parlee made the call to update its TTiR triathlon bike to use disc brakes, arguably becoming the first major disc-only tri/TT bike on the market. Availability of wheels from Mavic, ENVE, Zipp and HED (including a disc brake full-disc rear wheel from HED) didn’t hurt the decision, but the way they went about it is quite unique.

The new TTiR is the replacement for the prior model, so it’s now only a disc brake bike, no rim brake version will be offered. Other than water bottle bolts, it shares nothing with the prior generation…it’s a complete clean-sheet redesign to be 100% optimized for disc brakes.

Continue reading “First Look! Parlee TTiR Disc shields calipers on first major disc brake triathlon/TT bike”



With more than half of their road bikes sales now getting disc brakes, Parlee made the call to update its TTiR triathlon bike to use disc brakes, arguably becoming the first major disc-only tri/TT bike on the market. Availability of wheels from Mavic, ENVE, Zipp and HED (including a disc brake full-disc rear wheel from […]

Posted in Feature, Road Bike, Triathlon37 Comments

All-new Pivot Firebird Carbon takes flight as a long and low 170mm, 27.5″ ripper

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Pivot firebird 170mm travel mountain bike dw link_-2

Pivot’s Firebird has been in the line up long enough that the first version still had 26″ wheels. First introduced with an aluminum frame, the Firebird was also the first Pivot to run 27.5″ hoops. While always aimed at the longer travel side of the mountain bike spectrum, the 2017 model makes a triumphant return in carbon.

Just as we’ve seen through much of mountain biking, modern geometry is seeing a sweeping change with bikes going longer, lower, slacker, and shorter at the rear end. The Firebird is no different. Coupled with longer travel, drivetrain versatility, and Boost spacing, the Firebird’s geometry leaves little to be desired…
Continue reading “All-new Pivot Firebird Carbon takes flight as a long and low 170mm, 27.5″ ripper”



Pivot’s Firebird has been in the line up long enough that the first version still had 26″ wheels. First introduced with an aluminum frame, the Firebird was also the first Pivot to run 27.5″ hoops. While always aimed at the longer travel side of the mountain bike spectrum, the 2017 model makes a triumphant return […]

Posted in Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews1 Comment

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

First Ride: Kona makes the Process 134 DL even more ‘Shore worthy, includes new Shimano N/W rings

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Photo c. Caleb Smith/Kona

The day after getting a chance to check out Kona’s new Hei Hei Trail DL, we had time for one more ride. This year was the first that Kona held their dealer event in Squamish, BC, which meant prime access to some of the best local trails right out the front door. For obvious reasons, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to check out the revised Process 134 DL. Built with similar travel numbers to the new Hei Hei Trail, the ride would serve as a back to back comparison between two similar but very different bikes on some of the exact trails they were created for…

Continue reading “First Ride: Kona makes the Process 134 DL even more ‘Shore worthy, includes new Shimano N/W rings”



The day after getting a chance to check out Kona’s new Hei Hei Trail DL, we had time for one more ride. This year was the first that Kona held their dealer event in Squamish, BC, which meant prime access to some of the best local trails right out the front door. For obvious reasons, this […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews7 Comments