Posts in the category Feature

Exclusive: Sneak Peek at the Pan American Continental CX Championship Course + Interview with Race Director Mitch Graham

Pan AM Jersey

If you need proof of the growing popularity of cyclocross on this side of the Atlantic, look no further than the upcoming Pan American Continental Cyclocross Championships. For the first time ever, cyclocross will will be included in the Pan Am Continental races and it’s all going down just two hours north of the 2013 Cyclocross World Championship venue.

Already established for road, track, and cross country racing, the Pan Am series is a competition between the 43 nations in the Pan American Cycling Confederation or COPACI. The confederation includes any country with a recognized cycling program from North or South America as well as any island nations.

The stage is set and the first ever Pan American Continental Cyclocross Championship looks like it will take place on one of the most challenging ‘cross courses we’ve seen. We got a sneak preview of the course and interviewed Race Director Mitch Graham next…

READ MORE ->

Flying Arrows, Mountain Coasters, and Phantom Drops – Making Movies with the Sony Action Cam Movie Creator

Arrow Shot

You have the Action Cam Mini, you have the shot, now how do you get from hours of footage to an enjoyable clip? We have a sneaking suspicion that an overwhelming amount of helmet cam footage goes unused. Not because it isn’t interesting, but because it takes a lot of work to edit it down to something that others actually want to watch. Much like GoPro has done with their GoPro Studio, Sony has tried to make the process as easy as possible with their new Action Cam Movie Creator.

The free movie editing software is available for Windows or Mac operating systems and is available for download directly from Sony’s site. When using the creator you have the choice of combining multiple videos into a standard video format, or displaying up to 4 different clips in the same frame along with the track and speed from the GPS data on the camera. We’re still playing with the GPS functions on the camera so we stuck to the traditional video editing side of the program.

There’s plenty more after the break including what may be the best demonstration of the Action Cam Mini’s image stabilization…

READ MORE ->

First Impressions: SRAM Force CX1 Cyclocross Group

2015 SRAM Force CX1 first impressions ride review

After weighing and installing the SRAM Force CX1 group, I put it through a couple “get to know ya” rides before heading to Asheville for the final race in the AVLCX series at Pisgah Brewing.

With a good bit of rain the day before and a little sprinkling during the race, the course went from a little damp to downright slip-n-slide like during our 45 minute race. Fortunately, the CX1 group held up to the mud, grass and a few slips and spills with zero problems. The bike even sat outside, unwashed and unloved for a few days after the race before getting a bath, but things still worked just fine.

UPDATED: Additional notes on bleed procedure added below.

Here’s how things worked out during my first race week with CX1 and the Force Hydro-RD disc brakes…

READ MORE ->

Unboxed, Weighed & Installed: SRAM Force CX1 Cyclocross Group & Hydraulic Disc Brakes

2015 SRAM CX1 1x11 cyclocross component group with hydraulic disc brakes install notes and actual weights

SRAM’s Force CX1 group with hydraulic disc brakes had no sooner showed up then we threw it on the scale, installed and took it to a very muddy race at Pisgah Brewing near Asheville, NC.

Introduced in March, the group just started aftermarket shipping en masse around August, with hydraulic brake versions following in September. For those upgrading their current rig, it meant a nick-of-time delivery before the season gets too far underway. Fortunately, installation is pretty straightforward, even if you have to run hydraulic disc brakes through a frame. Heck, even if you don’t, they ship with very long hoses, so chances are high you’ll need to at least trim the length and re-bleed them.

Here’s the run down of individual component weights, including a comparison to the mechanical brake counterparts, and install notes…

READ MORE ->

Hands On with the Fezzari Forè Cyx Cyclocross Bike

Fezzari Fore Cyx cyclocross cross bike carbon disc (2)

To Fezzari, Forè means the best. Out in front. Top of the line. In the case of the Forè Cyx (siKs) it means cross. Technically, Cyx is the model name while Forè is being introduced as Fezzari’s top tier brand. Think of Forè as Fezzari’s S-Works if you will. Along with their Forè Cyx cross bikes Fezzari currently has a number of Forè road bikes as well with more on the way.

Based out of Utah, Fezzari is a consumer direct company that specializes in high end bikes with the service to match. As for the name? After founding the company the owner asked his son to come up with the craziest name he could think of, something unique that would stick. The name Fezzari also plays on Utah’s penchant for double Zs for their sports team with the Jazz, Grizzlies, Starzz and many other now retired names.

Representing one of the newest models for 2015, the Forè Cyx was introduced just in time for the start of cyclocross season and brings with it the latest in equipment and frame technology. If you’re looking for a cross bike with disc brakes and thru axles, the Forè Cyx is worth a look…

READ MORE ->

Photo Gallery: 2014 RedBull DreamLine Competition at the Oskar Blues Reeb Ranch

Red Bull Dream line dirt jump BMX oskar blues reeb ranch 2014 (321)

Before spotting anything else while rolling up to the Oskar Blues Reeb Ranch, your eyes were immediately drawn to the the massive mounds of red North Carolina dirt. Probably visible from the planes above, the massive jumps were to be the home of the latest edition of the Redbull Dreamline BMX competition.

Set on the grounds of the Reeb Ranch in Hendersonville, NC, the venue would serve as a host to the best BMX dirt jumpers in the world to compete on the perfect line – the Dreamline. At first it appeared the weather would derail the fun, the crowd and riders stuck it out through a two hour rain delay to put on a great show.

Get the highlights next…

READ MORE ->

Review: Absolute Black XX1-Style Cyclocross Single Narrow-Wide Chainring

absolute black xx1 style cyclocross single narrow wide chainring review and actual weights

Absolute Black’s XX1-style narrow/wide chainring for cyclocross is an appealing option. It’s light, it’s pretty and it uses a common 110BCD mounting pattern. It also has their excellent tooth profiles, which we’ve been pretty happy with across several different bikes and chainrings.

My CX chainring came in at the tail end of last ‘cross season, so it spent beginning of the year getting abused at the last of our local NCCX races. After that, it spent the spring and summer bring ridden around town, through gravel paths and along for some random ‘cross training rides. All the while keeping the chain perfectly intact and rolling smooth.

I installed it on my Moots with an otherwise Ultegra Di2 6770 group, swapping out the double crankset for a standard 110BCD FSA SL-K carbon crankset. This was done mainly for aesthetics, matching the black chainring to a black crankset with more traditionally shaped bolt arms. But also to test the Chris King PFBB with a true BB30 crankset, more on that separately.

The system kept the original Shimano DynaSys 10-speed chain, which has held up admirably well to several years of use on my ‘cross bike. It also kept the rear derailleur set up in it’s stock configuration. Marcin, AB’s founder, strongly recommended that I increase the return spring’s tension, but I wanted to test it as-is first. Here’s how it all went…

READ MORE ->

Hands On with the New Sony Action Cam Mini – It’s all in the Wrist

Sony Action Cam Mini camera  (12)

Let’s be real for a moment. You can have the most feature packed action camera around, but if it isn’t easy to use you’ll end up with a bunch of boring footage that’s probably either of the ground or the sky. The introduction of the smart phone app and wireless capabilities was a huge step forward in terms of being able to properly capture the actual action, but they still leave things to be desired – connecting can be troublesome, and you still have to do something with your smartphone once you start riding. To keep you from having to constantly dig into your bag to fish out your phone, many cameras are paired with wrist or handlebar mounted remotes that allows you to control the recording.

Even so, wouldn’t it be more convenient if the same functions were available in a single wrist mounted remote?

That seems to be what Sony is thinking and is exactly what they offer with the new Action Cam Mini AZ1. In addition to the live view remote, the camera is 30% smaller than the original AS20 and the replacement AS100V. The smaller size means you can stick it just about anywhere to create some creative videos while simultaneously controlling it from your wrist. Sony brought us out to Northern New Jersey for a crash course in the new camera which included mountain bikes, mountain coasters, and even archery.

After just a day playing with the Action Cam Mini, we can’t help but think GoPro has some serious competition…

READ MORE ->

Found: Brilliant Two-Chamber Pad Contact Adjust Concept for Hydraulic MTB Brake Levers

tien hsin industries hydraulic disc brake free stroke adjustment design patent for mountain bike brake levers

Free stroke is the term used to describe how much lever pull you have on a hydraulic braking system before the pads actually start moving toward the rotor. Higher end brakes from most brands have a pad contact adjustment to let you dial in the free stroke, and the good ones actually provide a discernible effect. Avid has it, as do Shimano, Magura, Hayes, FSA, Formula, etc.

And all of them use a design that places the adjustment components inline with the fluid’s flow from the master cylinder into the hose. It’s worked so far, so what could possibly be wrong with that design?

READ MORE ->