Posts in the category Feature

SOC15: SRAM 1x drivetrains head to the road with new Force & Rival single chainring groups

sram rival 1 road group

SRAM’s taken their 1x drivetrains to the road with new Force 1 and Rival 1 groups.

Essentially an expansion of their CX1 group and XX1/X01/GX mountain bike cassettes, it opens up the possibilities for gravel, cyclocross and even triathlon bikes looking to simplify the setup and save a little weight.

In fact, the CX1 group is now simply Force 1, and the Rival 1 group takes most of the existing parts and combines it with the pinned GX cassette and brand matched X-Horizon rear derailleurs.


First Look: Rocky Mountain Sherpa Overland Bike

Rocky Mountain Bikes Sherpa Porcelain Rocket

Last year, in the true spirit of one-off show bikes, Rocky Mountain created a stunning hand built concept they called the Sherpa. Designed around a prototype WTB rim, the bike was designed to take you the kind of places where you’d probably need a GPS beacon.

Based upon all of the media attention and consumer feedback, Rocky spent the past year refining the concept, and will be making it available to consumers starting next month. Head past the break to see how they did it:


All-New Rotor INpower hides power meter tech inside crank spindle

Rotor INpower crankset powermeter inside the spindle

The antenna and battery cap on the non-drive crank is all you’ll see of the new INpower power meter…everything else is tucked inside the spindle.

The Rotor INPower is a clever new take on the crank-based power meter that puts all of the electronics inside the axle, which not only protects it, but keeps the rotational mass at the center.

But the location of the electronics is just part of the story. Rotor, which is known mostly for their ovalized chainrings, can show “different” power readings when those chainrings are used on standard spider-based power meters. This happens because the ovalized shape changes the zones of rotational speed at which you’re able to turn the pedals over by making it easier in your dead spots and harder in your power zones. The result, from our own experience, is that the overall pedal stroke is much smoother and the rotational speed seems more consistent to our legs, but they say a spider-based strain gauge may not see it that way.

The design also lets them use the same power meter across their entire range of cranks regardless of the arms, making it perfect for road, triathlon, cyclocross and mountain bikes…


Exclusive! Chris Currie’s all-new full suspension design is unlike anything you’ve ever seen

Chris Currie mountain bike suspension patent drawings

Editor’s Note: Chris Currie has been in the industry for years, many of which he’s spent quietly designing, patenting and slowly but surely developing his own full suspension platform. In this new series, he’ll give us a peek inside the process of creating something new, the myriad ways to bring it to market and the challenges of it all. Without further ado, here’s Chris:

Eighteen years ago, I started an online bike shop called Speedgoat out of an old one-room schoolhouse in the mountains of Southwestern PA. I didn’t have “start-up capital,” a background in web development, or a business degree. All I really had was an obsession with bikes and a wife who was just crazy enough to go along with me. For fourteen years we worked with the best companies in the bike business, building up thousands of custom bikes for riders around the world. We knew the names of our customers’ dogs, even if the customers lived thousands of miles away. It was that kind of business.

In 2010 I sold the company to people I thought could take it to the next level, but they were a trainwreck. Frustrated with the new owners, I left in 2011. In the years since, I moved west to manage sales, marketing, and customer service for Velotech in Portland, Oregon, while moonlighting for Stan’s NoTubes, where I’m now Creative Director. Through it all, one personal project that started at Speedgoat ten years ago has stayed with me. I had an idea for a bike.


Hayes Factory Tour Part 1: HB Performance Systems’ Mequon Wisconsin Headquarters

Hayes Factory Tour Wisconsin Sun Ringle Wheelsmith Spokes bicycle harley polaris arctic cat (59)

Hayes Factory Tour Wisconsin Sun Ringle Wheelsmith Spokes bicycle harley polaris arctic cat (58)

In a state that consists largely of farmlands and agriculture, Milwaukee remains a stronghold of US-based manufacturing stalwarts. Unlike many manufacturing cities in the US, much of the Milwaukee-based manufacturing firms have managed to weather the storm of an uncertain economy. Few exemplify that better then HB performance systems – or what we all know as the Hayes Bicycle Group. As a company that was started in the 40s by Harold Hollnagel making parts for outboard motors as H-H Products, today Hayes makes a lot of parts for what many would consider pleasure vehicles like bicycles, four wheelers, snowmobiles, and motorcycles. As you can imagine when the economy takes a hit those types of recreational vehicles are among the first to take a hit as well.

Fortunately, HB performance systems is alive and well – illustrated by the sprawling 160,000 square-foot facility in Mequon, Wisconsin and their sister operation, Sun Components, just down the road. Currently a multi million dollar conglomerate, the bicycle side of HB Performance Systems accounts for almost 40% of their total business. In the year 2000, the bicycle group became Hayes Bicycle which is part of 4 independent business units reporting to the same leadership among HB Performance Systems. Today the company is relying on their business practices and thorough quality control system to be a product based company that offers both quality and value across the line…


New Shimano 11-Speed XT 8000 Brings a 42T Cog, Plus More Crank & Axle options

2016 Shimano XT 8000 11-speed mountain bike component group details

Lots of new shiny parts today as Shimano has updated its workhorse Deore XT groupset to the same new 11-speed standard we’ve seen in the current XTR group. Plenty of tech makes its way into the new 8000 group, while still keeping the Trail and Race options that have helped make these upper level Shimano groups successful even as mountain biking specializes itself. Like XTR, the new XT offers 1×11, 2×11, and 3×11 setups with Shimano’s Rhythm Step progression aimed at keeping gearing steps smooth and consistent to maintain ideal pedaling cadence.

Shift past the break for all the trickle-down update details, new crank spindle options and expected availabilities…


OneUp goes bigger with new 44-tooth XX1 replacement cog (UPDATED)

OneUp 44-tooth XX1 replacement cog

If everyone seems to be jumping on the oversized cogs and wide range hacks for mountain bikes these days, OneUp Components might just have the best solution yet with their new XX1 compatible 44 tooth cog.

Made to replace the 42 tooth cog on XX1 and X01 cassettes, the larger 44 tooth cog simply subs in with no further adjustments needed to most drivetrains, extending the range where it’s needed most with virtually no downside. If we’re being honest, and if we ride where there’s any real climbing to be done, then even with the modern wide range there have been times when we’ve gone to push the shifter just one click easier only to be met with disappointment. OneUp felt that pain, too, and the solution is this new super oversized cog that fits right in with existing drivetrains to add just a bit more range.

We got our hands on an early sample to test, here’s how it went…


Project: World’s Funnest Bike – Drivetrain, Wheels, Brakes & Install Notes


So far, our World’s Funnest Bike project has detailed the frame and the cockpit. Now it’s time to go over all the parts that make it go and make it stop. Most of the parts used on this project bike were new, but I did have some trusted components and lightly used parts that needed more time before a final review could be posted, so those made there way on board and will be noted.

The shifting is handled by Gevenalle’s latest GX shifter levers, which were designed around the Shimano XT rear derailleur to offer a wider range option for anyone wanting a more capable gravel/adventure/cyclocross bike. The Gevenalle parts were all weighed in with a full introduction in this post, so here we’ll go over their performance and use notes and show how it all came together with a mix of other components…


Interview: Jude Gerace of Sugar Wheelworks

Sugar Wheelworks Jude

In a compact studio workshop in North Portland, Jude Gerace of Sugar Wheelworks tailors wheels in the way that small builders tailor frames and bicycles. Working with each customer individually she sets out to build wheels to match the rider, context, and machine as a package. Jude backs up her consultations with extensive metallurgical testing and close collaborations with local engineers as well as a sophisticated wheel “taste testing” program so that customers can be confident in every aspect of the decision and purchasing process.

Jude talks about her process, advocacy, and bike touring after The Jump. READ MORE ->