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

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

Enduro Photos DT: Jackson Hole
Enduro Photos_Bike
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