Posts in the category Feature

Just In: Custom WTB Scraper 27.5+ Wheelset with Industry Nine Torch Fat Bike Hubs

WTB scraper 27.5 + mid fat wheels i9 industry nine torch hubs (16)

Depending on your point of view, 27.5+ is either an intriguing new size, or a terrible half measure that doesn’t provide any real advantages. The latter is a little hard to back up given that most of us haven’t actually ridden any of the 27.5+ products yet. We would be lying if we said we weren’t at least a little interested in trying out the new size, especially as it pertains to fat bikes. While many riders have already been building up 29+ wheelsets to convert their fat bikes for summer duty, the added girth usually results in a higher bottom bracket and noticeable changes in handling.

Will a 27.5+ set up be the perfect wheel swap for fat bikes? Will all Enduro wheels and tires eventually fatten up so that 27.5+ will become the new middle ground? We’re not sure, but we are excited to do some experimenting starting with the WTB Scraper rims…


Factory Tour: SRAM Taiwan Part 2 – All New Asia Development Center

SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production170

If factories are where bicycle components are born, then for SRAM, their Development Centers would be where products are finally conceived. Given SRAM’s global nature, new products could be developed in the U.S., Europe, or Asia, but most of them are now sent from the design centers to the new Asia Development center to undergo final testing and analysis. As it was explained to us, the ADC is specifically there as a bridge from the engineering side of the process to the manufacturing side.

After testing is complete, the products can then be transferred to the factories for full scale production. Having opened just before the Chinese New Year in 2014, the ADC illustrates SRAM’s commitment to Taiwanese manufacturing with a state of the art building that is just as impressive on the inside…


Shimano XTR M9000 Mechanical group’s actual weights & detail photos

Shimano XTR M9000 mechanical mountain bike drivetrain component actual weights

The all-new Shimano XTR M9000 group launched last April but has only recently started shipping, both on complete bikes and as separate components through the aftermarket channels.

We’ve covered the tech details for the drivetrain here and the new Race/Trail brakes here, and now we’ve got hands on the individual components for photos and actual weights…


Capo Shines with Big Push into Luminescent Clothing for 2015

Capo luminescent visibility GS Super Corsa  (10)

It’s been 10 years since Gary Vasconi and Robert Carbone launched their little clothing brand out of the Bay Area. Their selection and line have drastically expanded since those early days, but one thing remains the same – for Robert and Gary to be happy, the stuff has to work. While comfort, fit, and moisture management have always been key elements to the design, Gary pointed out that as a family man getting home safely is just as important, likely more important than staying comfortable.

But as Gary put it, Capo didn’t want being seen to equate to “looking like a 3M striped safety cone.” Thanks to the use of strategically placed luminescent fabrics, Capo is blending visual safety with effortless style on the bike…


Spotted: Prototype KHS Enduro Monster, Plus New Road and Mountain bikes for the Extremely Tall

KHS prototype DH  BNT 29 Flite 747 tall people bikes (12)

When you have talent at the level of Logan Binggeli and Kevin Aiello on your DH team, it comes as no surprise that they are almost continually testing new product. It seems that every time we’ve crossed paths with the KHS team they have been testing something new and always happy and willing to strike up a conversation. Recently while at Winter Press Camp in Westlake Village, CA we had a chance to do some riding with the Logan, Kevin, and Quinton, as well as check out what was new at KHS.

At first glance, the bike above looks fairly inconspicuous since it actually looks like a production bike. However, once you realize the frame lacks the typical graphics of a production bike you get the feeling that it may be something new…


All-New Ritte Ace road bike shows its hand – Fast, fun first rides & weigh in

Ritte Ace carbon fiber race road bike review and actual weights

Ritte teased their new Ace road bike last fall, saying it would knock the Vlaanderen down a notch to take a seat at the top of their lineup. It shares its geometry with the Vlaanderen, along with a few fitment specs like internally routed mechanical or electronic ports, 700×25+ tire clearance and a generally stiff, race-oriented feel.

But, it switches in a few user friendlier specs like Pressfit BB30 and standard seatpost rather than the Vlaanderen’s BB30 and integrated seatmast. The frame uses an updated, nearly full monocoque frame construction with T700/T1000 high modulus carbon fiber. It’s made using a hard inner mold and bladder system that creates everything but the seatstays as a single piece.

The result is a bike that’s reasonably light and has dangerously good looking lines, but whose real purpose is to enable you to ride hard and fast. Fortunately, it does so without beating the rider up or sacrificing stability at any speed, making it honest-to-goodness one of the best road bikes I’ve ridden…


Long Term Review: Volagi Viaje Ti Disc Adventure Road Bike

Volagi Viaje Ti Road Bike

Even without the disc brakes, Volagi bicycles stand out against the crowd. After starting with just a single model, the company now produces three distinctive endurance road bikes, all using their swooping Longbow FlexStays.  If you’re new to the Volagi story, the arching seatstays are about more than just looks. Bypassing the seat tube completely, the stays allow the seat cluster to flex under harsh impacts providing a more forgiving ride than your typical racing-inspired road bike.

Volagi first made the transition in to metal with their category defying Viaje XL. Built to accept a wide range of tires and ride over any surface you can find, the Viaje sits somewhere between a cross, gravel, and road bike. Now, Volagi has updated the Viaje, instead crafting it from titanium. The details are the same – disc brakes, Long Bow Flexstays, generous tire clearance, and a carbon fork. But the ride? It’s safe to say the Viaje Ti is a new beast…

4ZA Introduces New Line of Cirrus Pro Carbon Wheels, Includes Belgian Built Tubular, Clincher, Disc and Rim Brake Options

Ridley Oryx thru axle disc brake cyclocross fork Noah SL x-Night 4za carbon wheels (24)

Along with the launch of 4ZA’s new Cirrus Pro wheel line up, consumers will have a number of additional options when it comes to carbon. Much like their parent company Ridley Cycles, 4Za seems focused on high performance products that are just as happy on the race circuit as they are a fast ride with your friends. Representing the highest level of 4ZA wheels, the Cirrus Pro line use full carbon wheels almost exclusively and are all hand assembled in Belgium to offer a premium ride at an impressive price.

Combining options for tubular, clincher, disc, rim brake, and multiple rim depths, the 4ZA Cirrus Pros are worth a spin…


Home Workshop Series – Part 5 – The “Non-Standard” Tools


Having been a mechanic in other industries, it is a bit strange that cyclists are so attached to only purchasing and using tools made by bicycle tool companies. There are lots of great tools out there that may do the job better, cheaper, or different than the more specialized tools available from Park, Pedros, Lezyne or other cycling-specific tool companies.

One thing we all agree on, everyone should get a simple ratchet and socket set. Available for insanely low prices at places like Harbor Freight or other discounters, they are a great tool to have around, and most bicycle-specific fitments such as bottom bracket tools will have a fitment to be driven by a standard 3/8″ ratchet.

Take a look inside to see what other things we have adopted from outside the cycling industry to get our bikes on the trail…