Alpine stars Evolution protection gets new vest, Zip off jacket option, New light weight pads, more

AlpineStars DH clothing zip off protective suit bib short liner kids gear-10

AlpineStars DH clothing zip off protective suit bib short liner kids gear-2

Alpinestars has given us a glimpse at the future, and for them it means more advancements in body protection and of course clothing. Riding typically involves higher speeds than ever now thanks to better and better bikes, which helps to explain the increase in padding options. While many people still view protection as a ‘downhill thing’, many of us are reaching for that set of knee pads for trail rides and more. That’s partially due to the improvements we’ve seen in the padding department. If the pads are more comfortable to wear, you’re much more likely to actually use it.

That brings us to the newest addition to the Alpinestars line in terms of knee and elbow pads with the new Vento set. Promised to be the lightest they offer, they could mean the difference between an injury or just getting up and dusting yourself off…

Continue reading “Alpine stars Evolution protection gets new vest, Zip off jacket option, New light weight pads, more”



Alpinestars has given us a glimpse at the future, and for them it means more advancements in body protection and of course clothing. Riding typically involves higher speeds than ever now thanks to better and better bikes, which helps to explain the increase in padding options. While many people still view protection as a ‘downhill […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Feature, Mountain BikeLeave a comment

One Ride Review: The quite capable Pivot Mach 429 Trail

pivot mach 429 trail mountain bike review

pivot mach 429 trail mountain bike review

The first 29er I ever rode was the Pivot Mach 429. It was at a demo day in Charlotte, NC, well before Bikerumor was a twinkling in my eye, and it hooked me. Immediately after that test loop, I rode the 26″ version and felt slow and clumsy. Twenty niners were it from then on out for me.

Now, almost a decade later, I hopped on the latest and greatest version of it, the Mach 429 Trail. Compared to the standard Mach 429, the “Trail” version adds 16mm of rear wheel travel (116mm total) and pairs it with a 120-130mm fork (up from 100mm for the more XC/race 429). We rolled out on the Shultz Creek trails in Flagstaff, AZ, to see what it could do…

Continue reading “One Ride Review: The quite capable Pivot Mach 429 Trail”



The first 29er I ever rode was the Pivot Mach 429. It was at a demo day in Charlotte, NC, well before Bikerumor was a twinkling in my eye, and it hooked me. Immediately after that test loop, I rode the 26″ version and felt slow and clumsy. Twenty niners were it from then on […]

Posted in Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews15 Comments

PC16: Blue flushes out line with gravel, upper-tier cross, hardtail & full-sus off-road

PC-2016_Blue_MTN-11

Blue Competition Cycles has been very busy since its most recent acquisition back in 2014. The brand, traditionally a favorite among the triathlete crowd, has tooled up to expand their entire line with fresh, proprietary designs in carbon and aluminum. For the short term, this means fresh top-tier product in cyclocross and gravel. Also, after dipping their toe into bigger tires last season with their fat tire Philly, Blue is introducing a slew of off-road product in both hardtail and full squish. “We wanted our line completed,” commented Orli Chinea, Blue Competition Cycles Sales Manger…

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Blue Competition Cycles has been very busy since its most recent acquisition back in 2014. The brand, traditionally a favorite among the triathlete crowd, has tooled up to expand their entire line with fresh, proprietary designs in carbon and aluminum. For the short term, this means fresh top-tier product in cyclocross and gravel. Also, after dipping their toe […]

Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Gravel Bikes, Mountain Bike2 Comments

First Impressions: RIP up and JET down from an Idaho yurt on Niner’s new bikes with 29 & 27.5+

Niner Bikes Idaho Yurt Trip

Niner Bikes Idaho Yurt Trip

What’s better than riding mountain bikes in the back country? Apparently riding mountain bikes to a yurt in the back country to spend the night, then riding back into town the next morning. Such was the opportunity given to us in order to test the latest rigs from Niner. Two days. Two bikes. Two different wheel sizes. If you haven’t seen the news yet, Niner is now on the 29/27.5+ bandwagon with two new bikes. For the ride up to the Sun Valley Trekking yurt we would be on the new JET 9 RDO. The ride down? That was reserved for the new RIP 9 RDO.

With the Ride Sun Valley bike festival done and dusted, it was time to pack an overnight bag and head out on the trails high above Ketchum, ID…

Continue reading “First Impressions: RIP up and JET down from an Idaho yurt on Niner’s new bikes with 29 & 27.5+”



What’s better than riding mountain bikes in the back country? Apparently riding mountain bikes to a yurt in the back country to spend the night, then riding back into town the next morning. Such was the opportunity given to us in order to test the latest rigs from Niner. Two days. Two bikes. Two different […]

Posted in Bicycles, Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike, ReviewsLeave a comment

Niner JET 9 RDO and RIP 9 RDO no longer 29 only; Plus tires, modern geometry part of (R)evolution

RIP9RDO-7

JET9RDO-18

It’s time for Niner to launch two completely new bikes. If you’ve been paying attention to current mountain bike trends, you probably know how this is going to go. Yes, the brand known as Niner will soon have two bikes capable of running wheels that are not 29″.

But that’s only part of the story.

More importantly, as Niner puts it, the new RIP 9 and JET 9 are the continuation of their “Big (R)evolution.” That encompasses both the evolution of their bikes and of the brand itself. This change started out with the new RKT 9 and continued with the AIR 9 as both bikes received new tech and modern geometry updates with shorter chainstays, longer reach, and a better ride overall. When it came time to redesign the bread and butter for their trail category, Niner wanted to offer consumers the best bike possible. If that meant going outside of the 29er box, then so be it. Frankly, when Niner came up with their “Niners only” tagline, Plus bikes weren’t even an option. Since then the company has expanded into gravel and cross with 700c wheels, Plus on the 29+ side, and now… 27.5+.

Using all of the engineering and development knowledge gained over the years building bikes around the big wheels, Niner is diving head long into the 27.5+ category with a mid-travel JET 9 and long-travel RIP 9. The results are still classically Niner, but offer a completely new way for the same brand to attack the trail…

Continue reading “Niner JET 9 RDO and RIP 9 RDO no longer 29 only; Plus tires, modern geometry part of (R)evolution”



It’s time for Niner to launch two completely new bikes. If you’ve been paying attention to current mountain bike trends, you probably know how this is going to go. Yes, the brand known as Niner will soon have two bikes capable of running wheels that are not 29″. But that’s only part of the story. […]

Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike20 Comments

Review: From desert dust to Midwest muck on the Intense ACV 27.5+ Full Suspension MTB

Intense ACV 27 plus mountain bike new 2017 sedona review-23

Intense ACV 27 plus mountain bike new 2017 sedona review-26

At this current point in mountain bike history, it’s more surprising when a company has something to show us that isn’t Plus or Plus compatible. The new option seems to be spreading quickly, mostly due to the fact that the newest generation of 29ers can be an either/or scenario.

Intense is doing things a little differently.

Rather than offer a bike that can convert back and forth between two different wheel sizes, their new ACV is focused on fat. Well, mid-fat. The ACV is built around the stock 27.5 x 2.8″ tires and has a geometry that is tuned to match. During our annual pilgrimage to the Sedona desert, we got a sneak peek at what Intense had in store for their newest model. And in what’s becoming standard practice for the company, we received an ACV of our own to review on our home trails ahead of the launch to see what makes this Plus sized bike tick…

Continue reading “Review: From desert dust to Midwest muck on the Intense ACV 27.5+ Full Suspension MTB”



At this current point in mountain bike history, it’s more surprising when a company has something to show us that isn’t Plus or Plus compatible. The new option seems to be spreading quickly, mostly due to the fact that the newest generation of 29ers can be an either/or scenario. Intense is doing things a little differently. […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews11 Comments

Intense floats in on new ACV 27.5+ mid travel full suspension platform

Intense ACV 27 plus mountain bike new 2017 sedona review-28

Intense ACV 27 plus mountain bike new 2017 sedona review-28

Earlier this year during the launch of the new Spider 275 C, Intense said the new bike was just the tip of the iceberg. Thanks to the expiration of the VPP patent, their product line was due for an overhaul – just in time for the introduction of new technologies like Boost and Plus. It should come as no surprise then that the next installment of the JS-Tuned story is the new ACV 27.5+ mid travel full suspension bike. Named after the acronym sometimes used for hovercraft, the Air Cushioned Vehicle is a play on the additional cushion the plus tires provide.

Earlier this year we got our first look at the new bike in an environment that could use a little extra cushion – the red rocks of Sedona, AZ. The latest installment in the plus bike surge (with more to come very soon from other makes), the ACV puts an Intense spin on plus sized full suspension…

Continue reading “Intense floats in on new ACV 27.5+ mid travel full suspension platform”



Earlier this year during the launch of the new Spider 275 C, Intense said the new bike was just the tip of the iceberg. Thanks to the expiration of the VPP patent, their product line was due for an overhaul – just in time for the introduction of new technologies like Boost and Plus. It should come […]

Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike2 Comments

SRAM XX1 Eagle 1×12 mountain bike group – Actual weights, install & first ride

sram xx1 eagle actual weights and install notes

sram xx1 eagle actual weights and install notes

We weighed pre-production parts at the SRAM Eagle 12-speed group launch earlier this year, but now we’ve got our own group installed on our own bike for a proper long term review. We also covered the technical details in another post and even had some first ride impressions on the Kona demo bike provided by SRAM. But, there’s nothing like mounting it up to a familiar bike and hitting the trails. In this case, I brought the bike with me to Dixie National Forest (just outside Bryce Canyon) and tackled Thunder Mountain Trail, which turned out to be the most beautiful mountain bike ride I’ve ever done. But before that, all the parts were thrown on the scale to get true production weights…

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We weighed pre-production parts at the SRAM Eagle 12-speed group launch earlier this year, but now we’ve got our own group installed on our own bike for a proper long term review. We also covered the technical details in another post and even had some first ride impressions on the Kona demo bike provided by […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Components, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews25 Comments

PC16: GT Bikes part 2 – budget full suspension, Helion 9R and GTw, Grade Tiagra, and GT Performer 26!

GT 2017 mountain road BMX bike Hellion 29 pro performer 26 entry level hard tail pantera plus_-67

GT 2017 mountain road BMX bike Hellion 29 pro performer 26 entry level hard tail pantera plus_-37

2016 might be the year of the hardtail for GT Bikes, but that hasn’t stopped them from introducing a few other new bikes as well. Similar to the hardtails, a few GT full suspension bikes see improved specs while keeping the pricing fairly low. You’ll also find a 29″ version of he Helion, and even a 26″ GT Performer!

Continue reading “PC16: GT Bikes part 2 – budget full suspension, Helion 9R and GTw, Grade Tiagra, and GT Performer 26!”



2016 might be the year of the hardtail for GT Bikes, but that hasn’t stopped them from introducing a few other new bikes as well. Similar to the hardtails, a few GT full suspension bikes see improved specs while keeping the pricing fairly low. You’ll also find a 29″ version of he Helion, and even […]

Posted in BMX, Feature, Gravel Bikes, Mountain Bike8 Comments