Posts in the category Feature

Project XC Race Rocket: The Rotor x SEQlite x SRAM x Absoluteblack 1×10 drivetrain

Project XC Race Rocket drivetrain overview with parts from Rotor SEOlite SRAM and Absoluteblack

For me, the most interesting (and daunting) part of building the Project XC Race Rocket bike was configuring the drivetrain. As I’ve upgraded most of my other bikes to proper, modern 1×11 or 1×10 drivetrains using entire groups, there was a growing collection of random parts collecting in bins. Could they be combined with a few select upgrades to create a full functional wide range drivetrain? Turns out, yes. Yes they can.

While any crankset could have been subbed in and outfitted with a narrow/wide chainring, I’d been wanting to test Rotor’s oval rings for a long time. And at the same time I’d resisted it for a long time. What if I loved them and couldn’t ever go back to round rings?

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Interview: Jeff Tiedeken of Monkey Likes Shiny

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Jeff Tiedeken is a member of a small, elite class of hired gun, high concept developers and fabricators within our industry, a group many people don’t even know exists. They hang out on the fringes like mad scientists, their whole purpose to live outside the industry box, think up cool stuff, and make that cool stuff happen. You’ve seen Jeff’s work without even knowing it. Maybe you’ve ridden it. Maybe you’re in love with some of it. But you’ll never know.

Jeff’s company, Monkey Like Shiny, is a full service design and fabrication shop out of Berkeley that works on projects from bicycles components to satellite parts. He also occasionally breaks loose and designs and builds a ludicrous concept bike just because he loves bicycles and he’s got a weird itch. By some strange twist of fate, Jeff and I just happened to be hanging out at the Peacock Groove space, workshop and lair of infamous Minneapolis-based builder, Erik Noren, who mentored and inspired Jeff as a kid to make stuff, make cool stuff, and to go the extra mile.

Armed with celebratory beverages, we retreated to the back of the shop to talk about Jeff’s unusual sources of inspiration, the sometimes depressing realities of high-level development in the cycling industry, and his current completely ridiculous concept project bike – a bike designed for 50 years in the future. Who needs a headset when you can just use a giant sphere? READ MORE ->

New Easton Haven & Race Face Turbine dropper seatposts just popped up

Race Face Turbine dropper seatpost

It wasn’t all that long ago that we were reporting on the sale of Raceface and Easton to Fox Factory Holdings. The sale happened not long after Race Face owner Chris Tutton purchased Easton Cycling from BRG and lead to some speculation as far as the future of their products.

Well, it looks like the first product to benefit from the new business structure comes in the form of a dropper post. Actually, two dropper posts. Though, from the looks of things Fox’s ownership of the two brands had little to do with the final product. Technically, they are the same other than differences in finish and small changes in the lever but the two posts will each be sold separately under the Easton and Race Face brands. Regardless of which post you choose, both claim to solve some issues with dropper reliability…

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Rotor patent application shows single-lever, one-way mechanical and hydraulic shifting

rotor one-way shifter lever with mechanical and hydraulic derailleur patent application drawings on Bikerumor-com

While it would seem SRAM managed to skirt around Shimano and Campagnolo patents to create the only remaining (or at least feasible) solution, Rotor may have come up with something different. It does acknowledge that SRAM’s single direction/single lever design is in the same vein as what’s shown here, but they bring a new twist to it: Multiple levers operating a single derailleur (think brake lever shifters and TT bar end shifters working together) without electronics. It also claims to improve the reliability and precision of mechanical shifting while also reducing system weights. Oh, and it could be cheaper.

And, ideally, it could all be done hydraulically. Interested?

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Unboxed, weighed & first rides: SRAM Guide Ultimate hydraulic mountain bike brakes

SRAM Guide Ultimate hydraulic mountain bike brakes ride review details and actual weights

Earlier this year, SRAM one-upped their already remarkable Guide brakes with an Ultimate version that improved upon the little things. After all, if it ain’t broke, you may as well still go ahead and tinker with it anyway, right?

While the levers were mostly left alone, they did upgrade to titanium hardware and a carbon fiber lever. Internally, they’re the same, carrying off all of the tool-free adjustments of the now second-in-the-line RSC model. That means dialed reach and pad contact adjustments just a few finger twists away, both with a useable range of adjustment.

The calipers saw many more updates inside and out to make service easier, save a few grams and keep them cooler under hard, extended use. Stop on in for a comparison to RSC, actual weights and first ride impressions…

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Go for long escapes on the new Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69 endurance road bike

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As 2016 beckons, Eddy Merckx Bicycles continues its homage to the Cannibal’s expansive list of victories. The next release is the Mourenx 69, named after the location of the Stage 17 finish in the 1969 Tour De France, where Eddy took a massive victory after launching a solo 214.5 kilometer attack from Luchon to Mourenx – a victory he considers the highlight of his career.

He went on to win the 1969 Tour de France by a margin of 17 minutes and 54 seconds over second place. Much like the endurance required for Eddy’s huge effort on Stage 17, this new bike is all about long distance…

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Scott Prepares for the Future of Road Disc with Flat Mounts, 12mm Thru Axles Front and Rear, Even Dropper Compatibility

Scott bikes 2015 road disc flat mount 12mm thru   (6)

A lot of new “standards” have popped up lately in terms of thru axles and road disc brakes which many manufacturers have been slow to adopt. On the other hand, Scott’s 2016 lineup of road, gravel, and cross bikes is a different story. Rather than have different standards on their bikes across the line, Scott is implementing all of the latest technologies which should make their bikes somewhat future proof. That is of course, unless the new “standards” fail to gain universal acceptance.

Truthfully, that shouldn’t be a problem as the flat mount brake mounts are backwards compatible, and we’re assuming that the thru axle sizes will become widely accepted fairly soon. And a road dropper post? By the looks of things, we can probably expect them sometime soon as well…

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First Ride Review: The New 2015 Kona Hei Hei Trail

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Kona calls the new Hei Hei a cross country bike, but this completely redesigned model is capable of pleasing more than just the spandex set.

The latest platform features an entirely redesigned geometry and fit, and deviates from previous models by introducing a new suspension platform as well.

Drop past the break for more images, tech, and our first ride impressions… READ MORE ->

Spy Shot: Prototype 11-46 Wide Range Shimano Cassette

Ever since SRAM released its original 11 speed drivetrain in 2012, a whole industry has cropped up around creating either more affordable or wider range solutions.

When Shimano released its first 11 speed mountain bike drivetrain last year, I was a little disappointed to see the widest range cassette was an 11-40. The new XT Cassette helps push things a little further in the right direction with an 11-42, but some of us (myself included) could use a little more help, so we were excited to hear rumors circulating that Shimano was testing a wider ratio cassette. How wide?

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