Posts in the category Feature

PC15: Pivot Unveils All New Mach 429 Trail, Updates Vault Gravel/Cross Machine

Piovt Mach 439 trail carbon vault gravel cx bike 2015 2016 actual weightsIMG_7812

Even though we just visited with Pivot at their headquarters in Tempe, AZ, we knew something big was on the horizon, but we didn’t know what. Characteristically tight lipped about future bikes in development, Chris Cocalis only promised that we would get a chance to see everything they were working on once we got to Press Camp in Deer Valley, UT.

True to his word, we arrived to find a bike that many Pivot fans have been asking for – a slacker, short travel trail bike, only with 29″ wheels. That of course would be the new Pivot Mach 429 Trail. Described to us as sort of a mash up of the Mach 429 SL and the Mach 6, the 429 Trail checks off a lot of boxes. Not only that, but at the same time Pivot was unveiling the Mach 429 Trail, they also showed off the revised Vault carbon cross/gravel bike. Now disc only and full thru axle, the Vault could unlock the ability to have just a single 700c bike in your garage…

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All-New Orbea Occam mountain bikes mix wheel sizes to conquer the trail

2016 Orbea Occam AM 275 all mountain bike first ride review

The Orbea Occam was introduced in 2008, then updated in 2011 with their Advanced Dynamic suspension design. Then, a 29er Occam joined the mix in 2012. Now it’s getting its third edition, and it’s a massive step up in every regard, immensely capable and packed with user friendly features not found on any other mainstream bike.

Riders had told them they wanted something simple, and with clean lines. They wanted something that fit into the broadly interpreted Trail category, capable of riding most any terrain. So, Orbea traveled down the two-different-wheel-sizes road that’s become familiar for the brand. The prior Occam had 26″ and 29er, and the new Oiz introduced last year has 27.5″ and 29er. So, the Occam will also be available in 27.5” and 29er, but this time the bikes are differentiated by more than just wheel diameter – suspension travel and geometry are tweaked, too.

The Occam AM gets the smaller 27.5 wheels and 140mm travel front and rear with a slacker head angle. The Occam TR 29er gets 120mm travel and a half degree slacker seat tube. That’s up from the 120mm (26″) and 105mm (29er) rear wheel travel of the prior generation. The result is a modern family of bikes that can handle virtually any type of riding most of us do, and lets us choose the version that best suits our own needs…

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Interview: Jeremy SyCip, SyCip Designs

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Having apprenticed under Paul Sadoff for years at Rock Lobster and gotten his formal building education at UBI with Albert Eisentraut as his instructor, Jeremy SyCip got his start with a heck of a frame building pedigree. In recently downsizing his operation from a massive space in bustling downtown Santa Rosa to his home garage, Jeremy SyCip has embraced efficiency with fewer machines, less time in commute, and less time walking across the factory floor between building operations. I spoke with him about getting his start and some of his more recent projects in this shop at the SyCip Family Compound near Annandale State Park… READ MORE ->

Save Five Minutes With New Specialized Evade Helmet, Skinsuit, S-Works Shoes (And Venge ViAS)

Specialized Five Minute ProductsIn addition to the all new Venge ViAS, Specialized has launched several new products that they claim will help even ordinary riders save five minutes on an average ride.    READ MORE ->

Save Time With The New Specialized Venge ViAS

Specialized Venge ViAS - Tinkoff-Saxo - Peter Sagan - 01

As cyclists, we’re easily fixated by promises of lighter weight components, but with mandated weight limits from on high, manufacturers have been forced to play with other means of making us faster and improving our ride.

For Specialized, that meant designing a radically new cockpit, massaging every tube shape, and powerful new integrated brakes on their new Venge to save a claimed 120 seconds over 40 kilometers… READ MORE ->

PC15: Kali Unveils Next Level Protection Starting with new Tava Aero Road Helmet

Kali Tava aero road helmet bumper fit 2 IMG_76931

To be honest, an aero road helmet wasn’t exactly what we were expecting to see here at Press Camp from Kali. As it happens, the new Tava was simply the next helmet in the pipeline for Kali which coincided with the launch of of their newest protection technologies.

In what could be considered their answer to MIPS, Kali has integrated two new materials into the construction that foreshadows what is to come in the future from the company. That, and as far as aero road helmets go, the Tava is very, very interesting…

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First Look: Yeti Beti 2016 Women’s Bikes

2016_Yeti_SB5c_Beti_Side

For Yeti, 2016 is the year of the Beti – the Beti bike that is. Launching a new line of women’s specific mountain bikes, the two models are the feminine counterparts to the beloved SB5c trail machine and swift ASRc 29er. Let it be known that nothing about the Yeti Beti line is girlie, compromised, overlooked, shrinked or pinked (coral yes, but no pink – which matches their women’s apparel, of course). While it may seem that Yeti is late to the female shred program, the company has in fact been committed to the women’s mountain bike scene for over a decade supporting many riders over the years like Julie Furtado, Marla Streb, Tara Llanes, Jill Kintner, and Rosara Joseph. They’ve also been behind the Beti Bike Bash, the first all-women’s xc race by supporting the Yeti Beti race team.

Yeti still hosts this event and drew a 400 person turnout in June which coincided with the release of the Beti bikes. In fact, the Beti line is not much of a departure from what Yeti has already been offering: XS frame options in the complete line. What distinguishes the new Beti bikes is an approach to complete bikes designed for hard-riding, discerning bad ass ladies including a lighter shock tune, lighter wheels, narrower bars, shorter cranks, and shorter travel dropper posts….

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Interview: Eric Hawkins of Park Tool

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Like most great bicycle tools, the first repair stand was born our of necessity. The first prototype for the first production bike stand was welded together in the back of a hardware store in St. Paul, Minnesota. Fabricated to place the drivetrain of the bike at a comfortable working height, the stand was a huge improvement over working on a bike upside down on the floor. Five decades later, the descendants of this stand and the specialty tools developed in parallel are so pervasive within American cycling culture that it is almost inconceivable to see a shop or race pit without them.

The story of Park Tool is the story of establishing and supporting the American bicycle dealership as a professionally independent entity. Now in its fifth location (if you include the original hardware store), Park Tool produces 3500 individual parts for over 400 individual tools to support component and bike companies as well as bike shops and, more recently, consumers. Owner Eric Hawkins, son of co-founder Howard Hawkins, sat down with me to discuss the origins and current educational emphasis of the friendly blue tool giant of the industry… READ MORE ->

Project XC Race Rocket: Frame & Fork intro – Niner AIR9 RDO x Lauf Trail Racer

Niner AIR9 RDO and Lauf Trail Racer suspension fork project bike overview and review

At the beginning of the year, I started strategizing for the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek, one of the southeast’s preeminent endurance mountain bike races that sells out in minutes every year. In years past, I’ve raced my full suspension JET9 or some other bike that was on review. This year, I wanted something fast that afforded the opportunity to test all manner of lightweight, race worthy components. As it turns, out, it also let me place a couple older items in a modern setting, which could be of great interest for anyone looking to convert to a 1×10 drivetrain without breaking the bank.

Starting with the backbone of the project, Niner provided the latest AIR9 RDO frame, and Lauf offered a color-matched Trail Racer 29″ suspension fork. Both are stiff, efficient and light weight, getting things off to a great start…

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