Posts in the category Feature

First Look – Shimano Flat Mount hydraulic road disc brakes debut, new 11-speed 105 Level hydro shifter & more!

Shimano BR-RS805 flat mount hydraulic road bike disc brake caliper

There has been a lot of speculation since Shimano first announced a new brake mount specific to road, but little in the way of details. Ironically coming on April 1st in Japan, Shimano is finally showing their hand and introducing two new hydraulic road disc brakes built specifically for the Flat Mount fitment. Announced along with a new 10 speed Tiagra group and WH-RX010 road disc wheelset, the new BR-RS505 and BR-RS805 disc brakes are non-series components at the 105 and Ultegra level respectively.

We have a feeling we’ll be learning more about these new brakes come Sea Otter, but the preliminary details are after the break…


2016 FOX 34 Trail Forks, Float DPS Shock, & EVOL Air Sleeve – Plus Technical Interview

34-2016 Last year Fox introduced a completely revised 36 series of forks that were lighter and more supple than anything else in their lineup. An important part of that trail taming recipe was a move to a new air spring system, which eliminated the use of a coil in the negative spring.

In addition to helping shave almost a quarter pound, the new design (which they’re calling the FIT4 in the 34 series fork, for fourth generation Fox Isolated Technology) provided a more consistent feel. Rather than having to pick a coil spring rate to accommodate a wide variety of riders, they borrowed from a design first introduced in their 1999 Float Shock, to automatically equalize the air in the negative chamber when the fork was deep into it’s compression stroke. This technology also meant that Fox could introduce volume spacers to tune the progressiveness of the air spring. (You can read more about the new Float air spring here, and check out our Suspension Setup Series to learn more in general.)

Due to the drastic drop in weight and incredible gains in performance, it was only a matter of time before Fox took this technology down market to its 34 series of trail oriented forks. As such, Fox claims the new 34 is the “little brother to the 36″ and is aimed at aggressive trail riders looking for a super lightweight package. READ MORE ->

SRAM Guide Brakes get the “Ultimate” treatment with better heat management, bleeding & lower weight


To SRAM, the original Guide was much more than a new brake. Truthfully, it was a redeeming Hail Mary, thrown in hopes of regaining consumers’ trust after the era of the Avid Elixir.

It worked.

We’ll have our long term review up soon, but the short version is this – the Guide brakes really are the brake SRAM needed. Big on power, good ergonomics, and smooth at the lever, the Guides were a perfect match with the new CenterLine rotors. In spite of how good the Guide brakes turned out, they’re about to get even better with the new Guide Ultimate. More than just a carbon lever and some titanium parts, the Guide Ultimates include an all new caliper, new bleed technology, and a lighter CenterLine X rotor to go along with it…


All-new Niner RLT 9 Steel takes adventure road bikes down a new path

Niner RLT Steel gravel road bike

The original alloy Niner RLT gravel road bike hit the road in fall 2013, and we reviewed it last summer after some great rides exploring our hometown’s back roads, trails and access roads.

Now, it’s getting a bit more adventurous by becoming one of few mass produced modern bikes to use steel. Seamless Reynolds 853 tubes to be exact, air hardened, heat treated and tested to mountain bike standards so it’ll handle any surface you steer it down. Other than very few minor differences in head tube length and standover on a the smallest and largest frame sizes, the geometry is exactly like the alloy RLT 9. The big difference is taking that proven geometry and adding the magical steel ride quality…


GU Tweaks Formulas, Packaging, and Branding For Continued Endurance

GU reformulated new branding energy gel endurance (4)

If you’re like a lot of cyclists, the term GU, much like Kleenex, has become synonymous with energy gels. Now after more than 20 years at the top of the gel game, GU has established itself as one of the champions of endurance nutrition, or “one of the faces on the Mount Rushmore of nutrition,” if you will. Originally created in 1993 as an alternative to the original Powerbar, the basic building blocks of GU remain unchanged with maltodextrin, fructose, and amino acids taking the spotlight.

As GU prepares for the future of endurance nutrition the company is undergoing a bit of a face lift with all new branding, packaging, and a few tweaks to the formulas. Longtime fans of GU don’t need to worry though, GU will still be as tasty and effective as ever, but it will have some new selling points especially if you are a vegan athlete…


NAHBS 2015 Mega Gallery: Best Campagnolo Build Bike Contest Part 2, Metal Bikes

Campagnolo bike build competition NAHBS 2015 metal (297)

You’ve seen the carbon creations, now it’s time for metal. Whether it’s titanium, steel, brazed, lugged, or tigged, bicycles of the metal variety are probably what comes to mind when most people think of NAHBS. The Campagnolo Best Build Bike Contest was a showcase of some extremely impressive bikes, all fitted with lust worthy Campy drivetrains. It was hard not to get a feeling for each builder’s personality through their entries…


TPE15: RST Teases inverted XC suspension fork, stealth dropper seatpost & more!

prototype RST inverted xc trail suspension fork

RST surprised us with a sneak peek at their prototype inverted suspension fork, which boasts a full magnesium one-piece upper. It’s aimed at the XC and trail crowd, but will get a 15×110 axle, the newer width being used for “boost” hubs. So it’ll likely work for the 27.5+ as well as 29er, though the latter is its primary target.

Internals are secret for now, but there’ll be measures to prevent the 32mm stanchions from turning independently. Expect a weight around 1,700g and travel options from 100mm to 140mm.

Head past the break for more details, pics and other new products…


NAHBS 2015 Mega Gallery: Best Campagnolo Build Bike Contest Part 1, Carbon Bikes

Campagnolo bike build competition NAHBS 2015 (1)

If you were to enter a competition for the best Campagnolo equipped bike, what would you choose? That question brought together nearly 22 bikes from different builders and different eras with everyone putting their own spin on the competition. In spite of a few casualties that never made the show or only partly made the show due to a heavy blanket of snow snarling traffic and deliveries just before showtime, the quest for Best Campy bragging rights made for an awesome collection of eye candy both at the Campagnolo booth and around the show.

After the jump you’ll find all of the carbon fiber bikes that were entered, both new and old…


SRAM Cranks Up The Boost with New Hubs, Cranks, and Wheels for 148 and 110mm Axles



We first heard of Boost 148 when Trek unveiled the new Remedy 29. Sort of a soft launch, not much was really said about the new specification other than the rear hub was 148mm wide and it involved wider flange spacing for improved rear wheel stiffness. Now with the latest release from SRAM, Boost goes from a specification on a single bike to what they are calling an open platform that will offer performance benefits not just for the rear wheel, but for the frame, fork, and front wheel as well.

What is an extra 6 mm for the rear and 10mm for the front of the bike really going to do for you in the long run? SRAM claims that built with the same spokes, nipples, and rim, a 29″ wheel built with the Boost spec will offer the same level of stiffness found on a 27.5″ wheel built to the previous 142mm hub. The same can be said for the front wheel with a 29″ wheel laced to a new 15×110 mm hub carrying the same stiffness of a 26″ wheel built with a 15×100 mm hub. The wider specifications will also allow for improved tire clearance allowing for that coming wave of 27.5+…