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

Kona-Ride-2017-8358 copy
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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

Specialized unveils new Enduro with 4 different tire sizes, new Ohlins 29/Plus fork

Enduro Photos DT: Jackson Hole
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Photo c. Sterling Lorence

In what might have been one of this year’s worst kept secrets, Specialized has been working on a new Enduro. At this point, that isn’t to be taken lightly. Specialized is going on more than a decade of Enduro trail dominance and the bike has gained quite a few fans along the way.

Quite a bit has changed since the early days of the Enduro. There are multiple wheel sizes, different axle standards, and across the board bikes are being pushed to new limits. As a result, for 2017 there’s still two Enduros, but now there’s  four different tire options…

Continue reading “Specialized unveils new Enduro with 4 different tire sizes, new Ohlins 29/Plus fork”



In what might have been one of this year’s worst kept secrets, Specialized has been working on a new Enduro. At this point, that isn’t to be taken lightly. Specialized is going on more than a decade of Enduro trail dominance and the bike has gained quite a few fans along the way. Quite a […]

Posted in Feature, Mountain Bike21 Comments

Tech Talk: Are your bike tires too wide for your rims? Here’s how to get it right

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how to match the right tire width to rim width for road gravel mountain and cyclocross bikes

With the explosion of Boost, Plus bikes, Mid Fat and other portly new rim and tire sizes for everything from road to cyclocross to gravel to mountain bikes, it’s a wonder there isn’t more confusion as to what will actually work together.

And by “work together”, we don’t just mean whether or not it’ll mount. We wanted to know what the compatibility limitations are for optimum performance and, more importantly, safety. If we’ve learned one thing from Mavic’s presentations over the years, it’s that tire and rim sizes really and truly are designed to work in tandem. Step outside the guidelines and you risk poor performance, component damage, or even a total blowout. And it’s not just Mavic. We spoke with WTB, Kenda, Schwalbe, Stan’s NoTubes and Industry Nine to see where everyone sits on the matter. Here’s what they had to say…

Continue reading “Tech Talk: Are your bike tires too wide for your rims? Here’s how to get it right”



With the explosion of Boost, Plus bikes, Mid Fat and other portly new rim and tire sizes for everything from road to cyclocross to gravel to mountain bikes, it’s a wonder there isn’t more confusion as to what will actually work together. And by “work together”, we don’t just mean whether or not it’ll mount. […]

Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Industry News, Mountain Bike, Road Bike28 Comments

First Ride: Kona adds 27.5″ wheels to Hei Hei with new Trail series

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Kona-Ride-2017-7624
Photo c. Caleb Smith/Kona

Since their introduction, Kona’s Process line has been a hit. The Combination of their Rocker Independent suspension system and competent spec and geometry won over riders who were fans of durable, relatively simple bikes that offered a great ride. However, riders wanting less travel and a more XC oriented ride were directed to the Hei Hei line which on its reintroduction not to long ago was completely focused on 29″ wheels. With both Race and DL options, the Hei Hei proved itself to be a versatile bike, but for fans of “Canadian Cross Country,” there was still a void left by the absence of 27.5″ wheels.

Enter the 2017 Hei Hei line up with more options than ever. Offering both 27.5″ and 29″ wheeled bikes, the new Hei Hei Trail shrinks down the wheels and bulks up on the travel to create an incredibly fun bike that still defies categorization. Is it an XC bike? Is it a trail bike? Yes…

Continue reading “First Ride: Kona adds 27.5″ wheels to Hei Hei with new Trail series”



Since their introduction, Kona’s Process line has been a hit. The Combination of their Rocker Independent suspension system and competent spec and geometry won over riders who were fans of durable, relatively simple bikes that offered a great ride. However, riders wanting less travel and a more XC oriented ride were directed to the Hei Hei […]

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

First Ride: Cane Creek eyes OEM with C-Quent Air Shock

Cane Creek C-quent rear shock first ride factory tour (17)

Cane Creek C-quent rear shock first ride factory tour (13)

It isn’t often that a company sets out to make their suspension product less adjustable. But when your rear shocks are known as some of the most adjustable on the market, less adjustability can actually be desirable, especially for shocks destined for sale on new bikes. Not only are ultra adjustable suspension components more intimidating for entry to intermediate level riders, they are usually more expensive as well which drives up the price for both the OEM and the consumer.

For all of these reasons, when Cane Creek went back to the drawing board to design the new C-Quent, they had OEMs specifically in mind. The shock is still extremely adjustable, just at the factory level rather than the consumer. This is more akin to what many suspension manufacturers offer on complete bikes – shocks with base tunes that are customized to work with a specific suspension platform. Key to the C-Quent’s design however, was that it had to retain the Twin-Tube damper technology that is the focal point of their other shocks. The result is a less expensive, lightweight shock that comes so close to the ride of a DB Inlines, that Cane Creek wagers most riders won’t be able to tell the difference…

Continue reading “First Ride: Cane Creek eyes OEM with C-Quent Air Shock”



It isn’t often that a company sets out to make their suspension product less adjustable. But when your rear shocks are known as some of the most adjustable on the market, less adjustability can actually be desirable, especially for shocks destined for sale on new bikes. Not only are ultra adjustable suspension components more intimidating for […]

Posted in Components, Feature, Mountain Bike, ReviewsLeave a comment

Review: Litespeed T3 Disc blends disc brakes, bigger tires, and titanium ride

Litespeed T3 Disc brake titanium all road bike review actual weight (8)

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Stay around bicycles long enough, and you’re bound to hear someone gush about the magic of titanium. You know the mantra – lighter than steel, better ride qualities than aluminum, and less prone to rust and corrosion? It seems that there is little doubt that titanium as a material itself is an attractive product from which to build a bike.

When it comes to actually building that bike though, it would appear that all things are not created equal. It’s not the easiest material to work with due to its hardness and need for increased care when welding. Because of that, even the best titanium bike companies are still honing their craft. Whether that’s improving on the welds, trying different finishes, or experimenting with new tubing shapes and wall thicknesses, titanium bikes continue to improve.

Which brings us to one of the most accomplished Ti builders in the game – Litespeed. For more than 30 years now, Litespeed has been improving upon their interpretation of the perfect titanium build. They’ve also been working to improve their process as well, as they settle into their new manufacturing home. It’s still located in Chattanooga, TN, it’s just much bigger with more open space for improved work flow and room for expansion.

I got a chance to check out their new facility when I drove through Chattanooga to drop off the T3 Disc that I had been riding for the past few months. It was a sad moment to hand the bike over knowing that I had ridden my last ride with it, but I was able to get quite a few miles on the T3 before I turned over the keys…

Continue reading “Review: Litespeed T3 Disc blends disc brakes, bigger tires, and titanium ride”



Stay around bicycles long enough, and you’re bound to hear someone gush about the magic of titanium. You know the mantra – lighter than steel, better ride qualities than aluminum, and less prone to rust and corrosion? It seems that there is little doubt that titanium as a material itself is an attractive product from […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Feature, Reviews5 Comments

Interview: Jeremiah Bishop says dropper posts make roadies faster & how he’ll cheat (the wind) at Leadville

Leading out the peloton at Leadville in 2015. (Photo from Jeremiah Bishop, by GlenDelmanPhotography)
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In marathon races and events like Leadville, team tactics are crucial, but aerodynamics might prove to be the magic bullet.

Every once in a while we get a call from Jeremiah Bishop. Bishop’s one of the longest running pro mountain bikers out there, having remained at a top level for well over a decade and continually finding new ways of pushing himself. I’ve raced  with him (or, more accurately, seen him racing) at various events over the years, and not only is he ridiculously fast, he’s also supremely approachable and always has an interesting story on what he’s up to with training, racing or coaching.

So, a few weeks ago, he reached out to talk about how he’s gunning for a new course record at the Leadville Trail 100 this year. But with so many pros trying to one up each other there, he knew he’d have to do more than have the performance of his life. He’d have to come up with some new tricks…

Continue reading “Interview: Jeremiah Bishop says dropper posts make roadies faster & how he’ll cheat (the wind) at Leadville”



Every once in a while we get a call from Jeremiah Bishop. Bishop’s one of the longest running pro mountain bikers out there, having remained at a top level for well over a decade and continually finding new ways of pushing himself. I’ve raced  with him (or, more accurately, seen him racing) at various events […]

Posted in Feature, Interviews, Mountain Bike, Training17 Comments