Posts in the category Feature

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+…


TPE15: All-New Lezyne GPS cycling computers track down killer design, amazing prices

Lezyne GPS cycling computers launch

Lezyne is finding its way into an all-new category with a trio of GPS enabled cycling computers, including the smallest such device ever, anywhere.

For a company that’s outwardly focused on non-electronic devices, the move to computers may seem a stretch. But, word on the street is their lights make up a rather significant portion of the company’s sales, and those LED lights led them into electronics, so this was a logical next step. As product manager Kyle Casteel explained, “We already had the engineers and the resources, and they were looking for a new challenge.”

What makes their entry into the category noteworthy isn’t necessarily the features, which are very good, but rather the price and the size, which are phenomenal…


New 2016 Fox 34 FLOAT 27.5+ goes wide to fit plus-sized mountain bike tires!

2016 Fox Factory 34 Float 27-5-plus suspension fork preview

Well, we knew they were coming, and the all-new 2016 Fox Factory 34 FLOAT 27.5+ becomes the first new generation fork designed specifically around 27.5+ tires and the new 15×110 axle standard.

The fork is a completely new model, with everything optimized for wider rims and tires. It’s a whole new chassis, designed specifically for any additional stresses caused by the added leverage the wider hub and increased traction the fatter tires have over it. Beyond the wider legs, there’s a lot of new tech on here, including a brand new 4th generation FIT4 cartridge and an all-new FLOAT damper. Our guess is it’s borrowing some internal goodness from the impressive 36 series introduced last year.

Basically, Fox’s PR manager Mark Jordan says it’s an entirely new fork…but they’re not quite ready to release all of the tech details yet. Those will come at Sea Otter Classic or just before. In the meantime, here’s a quick run down of what is known…


First Look: Zipp Introduces Firecrest 202, 303 Disc Brake Models with All New Thru Axle Compatible Hubs

Zipp disc brake 202 303 clincher tubular (5)

You can’t say you didn’t see this one coming. Most of the newer road and cyclocross bikes equipped with disc brakes are also starting to come with thru axles front and rear. For a wheel manufacturer like Zipp without compatible hubs, that meant something new was certainly in the works. In fact, keen observers may have spotted the new design under some of the best cyclocross racers in the world with Jeremy Powers racing on them for an entire season including winning the National Championship title. Serving as the centerpiece for the new wheels, Zipp wanted to make absolutely sure the new hubs would provide the service life needed especially for cross. Admitting they’ve struggled a bit with bearing durability in the past, J-Pow was able to race an entire cross season on the same bearings, pressure washers and all.

Even if cyclocross isn’t your main focus, the new Firecrest 202 Clincher and 303 Clincher and Tubular have a little something for everyone. They’re lighter, cheaper, and more importantly – much more versatile. Get all the details plus actual weights next…


Project: World’s Funnest Bike – Cockpit parts from 3T, Rivet & Zipp

Van Dessel WTF project bike with 3T Team cockpit and Rivet Saddle review

As good as a frame may be, it’s nothing without a comfortable cockpit from which to pedal. Part one of Project: World’s Funnest Bike showed off the Van Dessel WTF, a steel do-it-all frame that is the platform for this build. Now it’s time to show all the contact points chosen, explain why I chose those parts and, of course, weigh them.

To be completely honest, the 3T handlebar, stem and seatpost were originally planned for an all-Italian steel road bike that’ll be another project later this spring. But when it arrived, the red stripes of their Team level parts matched up so well with other red bits on the bike that the decision to steal them for this build was all too easy. Add in red bar tape and it made for a striking visage…


Velocite’s new Venn Composite rims break the mold w/ filament wound, single strand carbon construction

Velocite Venn Composites Rev 35 filament wound carbon fiber road bike wheels

Velocite has launched a new brand called Venn Composites to produce rims unlike anything we’ve seen before. There are two models, one using a filament wound construction and one using a continuous fiber construction to eliminate seams and misaligned patterns. We’ll start with the filament wound version:

The traditional method of making carbon fiber rims involves cutting pieces from a sheet of woven or unidirectional carbon, laying them into or over a mold, and layering those pieces in precise positions and directions to create a rim. It’s then pressed inside an outer mold, heated and cured, and then out comes a mostly finished rim.

Filament wound rims, however, pull carbon tow straight off the spool, run it through the resin and wrap it tightly around a mandrel in one continuous fiber. The strand is under constant tension, and it’s always wrapping itself in the exact spot it needs to be.

The benefits of this design are numerous. For starters, it’s mostly automated, so it’s consistent and perfect from rim to rim. Second, there’s no adverse angles to the carbon strands. Anytime a fiber is bent too severely, it creates a weak spot, and since nothing is woven on the body of the rim, there are no fibers being crimped around one another. Then there’s the efficiency. Not only are labor costs lower, material costs are, too, since there’s no scrap being cut away from carbon sheets.

From a rider’s perspective, it creates a stiffer rim that might just end up being less expensive, too…