Posts in the category Feature

First Impressions: Foundry Chilkoot Titanium Road Bike


When Foundry decided to add a traditional road bike back into their product line, they sought the proven durability and ride quality of titanium frame construction. But rather than building just another road bike, they designed the Chilkoot to be versatile, suitable for long rides, criteriums, road races or even… cruising around on hard packed dirt roads.

With the bicycle industry constantly re-inventing old ideas, the increasing prevalence of wider tires followed by wider rims meant road bike manufacturers had to provide extra clearance between chainstays and beneath fork crowns – something that was the norm some 30 years ago. The Chilkoot provides clearance for a 28mm tire at both ends of the bike. 28mm of rubber on the road may sound like overkill, but when paired with lower tire pressure, a comfy, Cadillac-like ride on even the roughest of pavement puts a smile on everyone’s face. READ MORE ->

2016 Specialized SCS 135mm disc brake thru axle design explanation & development story

2016 Specialized Crux cyclocross bike with SCS thru axles

The decision to build a bike a certain way is typically made more than a year in advance. Sometimes two or more years. Sometimes there are competing standards or solutions that haven’t been developed yet that need buy in. And sometimes folks are willing to gamble on something they believe in.

In this instance, we’re talking about 12×135 thru axles versus the much more common 12×142.

Think back to HD DVD and Blu-Ray. Both had major brands behind them, and both ended up on the market to let consumers decide. It’s an apt analogy, except in the case of digital movie formats, there was a clear technological winner. Here, after talking to The Big Red S, it’s possible both axle standards could end up playing in garages around the world.

We spoke with Specialized’s Road Brand Manager, Mark Cote, to get the story behind the SCS (Short Chain Stay) disc brake thru axle design. Here’s what he had to say…


2016 Specialized Crux cyclocross & Roubaix endurance road bikes gain thru axles, but they’re weird

2016 Specialized Crux cyclocross bike with SCS thru axles

For 2016, the Specialized Crux cyclocross bikes get thru axles and disc brakes across the line for all carbon models, alongside other minor frame and fork updates. The Roubaix endurance road bikes get thru axles on carbon bikes from the top down to the SL4 Expert level.

That’s a big update from 2015 models, where all bikes still used standard quick release dropouts on the rear (forks were already thru axle). Generally, thru axles are a good thing, offering a stiffer frame and wheel, and a safer mounting system when used with disc brakes. What’s got some riders in a tiff is the way Specialized went about adding them, creating a proprietary system that locks you into their Roval or Axis wheels…

UPDATE: Read the development story behind the SCS 135mm disc brake thru axles in our interview with Spec’s Road Brand Manager Mark Cote!


All New Felt Decree Carbon Trail / All mountain bike is 140mm FAST


The new Felt Decree is a statement against the typical bike release schedule. Rather than rush to get it ready in time for the trade show season, Felt held back on their Decree until it was exactly the bike they wanted – a super light but still very capable trail/all mountain bike.

Now the longest travel example of their FAST suspension system, the Decree looks to set the bar when it comes to weight, suspension performance, and frame stiffness…


Review: Niner BSB 9 RDO race-ready cyclocrosser with mountain bike skills

Niner BSB 9 RDO carbon cyclocross race bike review and actual weights

It should come as no surprise that a company founded on 29er mountain bikes would lend that experience to anything else it makes. While that pedigree wasn’t as obvious on the gravel-oriented RLT I reviewed a while back, it’s front and center on the BSB cyclocross bike.

I tested the original BSB 9 RDO through last season’s cyclocross series, returning it a few months before the latest version came out with a thru axle rear end. Other than that, changes to the frame and bike were minimal save for spec and paint. And other than the safety boost provided by switching to a thru axle design on a disc brake bike, performance between the two should be identical. Yes, thru axles typically make a bike stiffer, but this bike’s already plenty stiff from end to end, so any improvements on this particular bike are, I’m guessing, negligible. Either way, if you buy a new one, you’re getting the thru axle version whether you want it or not. The RDO fork that comes on the bike has had a thru axle from the get go.

Looking for a fast, light and aggressive handling cyclocross race bike for this season? Read on and see if the Niner is right for you…


Obstacle Races, Cycling Legends, & Live Music – At CLIF Bar’s Cykle-Scramble Anything can Happen… & Probably Will


Pirates, Prisoners, and Furries were in abundance at CLIF Bar’s 2015 Cykle-Scramble (prounced: see-kul skrambul) at the Marin County Fairgrounds in San Rafael, California. This wasn’t just a race with normal participants…. I’m pretty sure, “normal” participants weren’t even allowed. Even the cycling celebrities “participating” were about as far from normal as one could get. To add to this spectator-heavy event, there were food trucks galore, great beer, and live music being head lined by none other than Cold War Kids.

Ramble on past the table jumps, wall rides, pump tracks and blood stained dirt, (there was a “yard sale” award after-all), to see all that is Cykle-Scramble….


Project Disc Cross: Ritchey WCS Cross Disc fork and aluminum WCS cockpit – Long-term test


Last week we took a look at a project bike which had been upgraded to disc brakes last winter for cyclocross season, before it got to spend the warmer weather all-around gravel and trail exploring. The bike served to give us the chance to torture test the SRAM Red Hydro R group that we reviewed last week. It’s also become a test mule for things like chainrings, tires, and different wheelsets, with more tests with it on the way. This time though, we focus on the one component that started the disc-brake conversion in the first place, the full carbon Ritchey WCS Disc Cross fork that we first spotted in Taipei. Then, since we’ve been happy with Ritchey Logic components on other personal bikes, we were happy to add a WCS cockpit to the bike by way of a Vector saddle and WCS aluminum seatpost, stem, and handlebars. Join us after the break for a walk-through of the disc brake conversion and our detailed piece-by-piece thoughts on the individual components…


IB15: Kopin Solos looks forward with miniature heads up display for cycling sunglasses

Kopin Solos heads up display cycling sunglasses

Kopin, a brand calling themselves the world’s leading supplier of wearables and micro displays, has primarily focused on high end and military applications for many years.

More recently, as the cost of those displays has come down, they’ve found ways to commercialize those displays with some of the 3D virtual reality headsets making their way to market. For athletes, that also includes products like the Recon Jet, for which which they made the screen.

As these consumer products started taking off, they asked themselves “What are the changes in user behavior around devices?”

The answer would help them adapt the devices to modern users. That meant smaller sizes and better battery life. And for most folks, it meant their smartphone was tagging along for the ride. So, they could focus not on recreating a miniature computer, but on their their specialty: Micro displays.

The result is Vista, which is about one quarter the size of anything else out there. And they’re putting it on their new Solos sunglasses…


IB15: Coast Cycles Goes Fat for the Streets, Starts Wave of 26+?

coast bikes ruckus fat bike plus fun bikes (2)

Every year at the show, there is one brand that we haven’t heard of, or heard little of, that really catches our eye. This year, for me that brand was Coast Cycles from Singapore. Not because any their bikes were necessarily groundbreaking in technology, but because every bike they brought had great design and looked like it would be a ton of fun to ride.

Some bikes, like the Ruckus above are really meant for nothing but fun. However, other bikes like their award-winning Quinn cargo bike manage to blend fun and utility in a package that has to be seen or ridden to believe…