Posts in the category Feature

Fox Factory Tour Part 2: The Assembly Line

Fox US Factory Production (9)

After components are produced at Fox’s California based machine shop, the parts are sent out for anodization (either locally or to Japan), then shipped to the Fox assembly facility in a small town just South of Santa Cruz, CA. 

As these components arrive from all corners of the world, random samples are pulled for inspection and walked directly from the receiving area and into the Quality Lab.

In addition to testing individual components, they also pull sub-assemblies to ensure parts are fitting together properly and double check for wear on tooling.


All-new 2016 Orbea Rallon refined into high speed enduro racing machine

2016 Orbea Rallon enduro mountain bike first ride impressions

The Orbea Rallon was reworked in 2014 and intentionally made only in alloy so they could more easily make tweaks. Overall, they were very happy with it, but it does get a few but important updates for 2016. Why? Because enduro.

The 2014 Rallon was originally built for their enduro team, designed as a racing bike from the outset just as the whole enduro scene was blowing up. And it’s been well reviewed since then, so there was no need to reinvent it, just refine it. The frame is still 7000-series, triple butted and hydroformed alloy, and it keeps their Advanced Dynamics linkage driven single pivot suspension design. Advanced Dynamics is their method for designing suspension around more than just the shock tune and leverage ratio by considering rider generated forces on the pedals, handlebar and frame. There’s a port for stealth dropper posts and all cable and brake housing now runs externally for easier setup and maintenance.

The biggest news is a switch to the Boost 148 rear end…


Niner BSB 9 RDO cyclocross bike gains thru-axle rear, plus new colors & build options

2016 Niner BSB 9 RDO carbon cyclocross race bike upgrades with 12x142 rear thru axle and better build options

Niner’s drop bar bikes fall into two categories: Not Road and Cyclocross.

For Not Road, it’s about the “not road” experience, making bikes that cater to riders that just want to get out and ride. Maybe it’s a mountain biker whose trails are too wet to ride but they still wanna get out there. Or it’s the road rider that’s not looking to race, preferring to just ride. Maybe it’s not even off the pavement, but they want something that’s a little more comfortable and stable than a twitchy crit bike. These types of riders are what’s growing the category as a whole, and Niner now has two versions of the RLT 9 for that – the original alloy frame and the recently introduced steel RLT.

For CX, there’s just one, the BSB 9, and it gets a single but important update: Rear thru axles. Well, that and new colors and more complete bike options…


Kona Launches New Road Models, Redesigns Cross Country Range

Konda Roadhouse 2016

If the heat wasn’t a solid indicator that summer was here, the wave of new model year 2016 product launches should be. While many brands are content to merely introduce new color ways, Kona is “going deeper.”

With that theme in mind, the traditionally mountain oriented brand has expanded its line of road bikes, redesigned its cross country models, and updated several other MTB models to better meet new and growing riding segments.

Up first is the new Roadhouse, which is a classic steel road frame built with Reynolds 853 tubing, modern touches like disc brakes, a tapered headset, and 12×142 thru axle dropouts…


Take the Hassle Out of Tubeless, with the Tubeless Tower Pro Workstation

Tubeless Solutions Tubeless Tower tire station (27)

Believe it or not, there are still those out there that don’t embrace tubeless technology. More surprising, is that at least according to Tubeless Solutions there are even shops out there who are uncomfortable with performing tubeless conversions. Their reasoning? Mostly the potential mess, the amount of time it takes, and the uncertainty of ensuring a complete seal before the tire walks out the door.

Like many stories behind intriguing products, the Tubeless Tower started with the thought that there had to be a better way to install tubeless tires. Roughly three years ago, Tim Voegeli and his brother Phil starting kicking around the idea and wanted to figure out a way to make the process easier. At the time Tim was riding tubeless on every one of his bikes – Phil on the other hand who is admittedly an “anal retentive electrical engineer” was still happily riding with tubes. Eventually Tim convinced Phil to give tubeless a try and after an entire year on his commuter without flats (25 miles round trip), he says he was sold.

After the first prototypes were drawn up, the design has been tweaked, put through design panels at Pitt State University, redesigned with design work and CAD modeling from their friend Byron Loibl, patented, and is finally nearing production form. Almost every step of the way, all of those involved say they were instantly sold after seeing Tim install a tire on the stand. That’s not really surprising. Even we were a bit skeptical, but once you see everything the stand does, you really will wonder why no one has thought of this before…


Grava Bikes Brings Revised do-it-all Bike to Market: The Maple Sally


The original Grava Bikes Maple Sally made its first appearances in and around Western North Carolina, at various ‘cross and gravel races in the area. Since that time, Grava Bikes have continued to enhance the product line, most recently with the release of their USA made steel bike, The Revenuer. But, they’re not resting on their laurels. Cue the next version of the Maple Sally, their carbon do-it-all bike… READ MORE ->

Project XC Race Rocket: Coming to a stop with Magura MT8 Next disc brakes


Other than a new short-reach brake lever option for Magura’s updated MT-series brakes, they are mostly unchanged from their launch last year. Zach offered up first impressions from the camp and has since complemented the quad-piston MT7 brakes’ power in his review. Meanwhile, I’ve been testing the two-piston MT8 brakes, which are a decidedly more cross country oriented set of stoppers.

At first, these brakes were on my Niner JET9 full suspension bike, where they received their first six months of testing. Then, I moved them to Project XC Race Rocket, which was a much better fit…


Interview: Advocate Cycles Founder Tim Krueger Talks Advocacy, Business Model, and Bikes, Plus Hands on with Hayduke 27.5+ Frame

Advocate Cycles hayduke 27 plus 650b+ steel hardtail tim kreuger interview review  (2)

We get pitched a lot of new products, but it isn’t often that the company’s business model is unique as the product. When Tim Krueger told us he had something in the works that he was really excited about, we didn’t quite know what to expect. As the former Product Manager for Salsa Cycles, Tim is pretty much a bike industry lifer so there was little surprise that he couldn’t stay away from the little world of bikes for long.

What was a bit surprising was the business model that the aptly named Advocate Cycles would use. Taking advantage of a specific set of rules valid in his home state of Minnesota, Tim and his wife and business partner Odia started a Special Benefits Corporation. The goal? To donate 100% of their after-tax profits to bicycling related advocacy non-profit organizations. Sound far fetched? That’s exactly why we spoke to Tim to pull back the curtains and try and figure out how Advocate plans to make this a reality, and what they have planned for the future…


Interview: Adam Clement of Gevenalle


Gevenalle, or Retroshift as it was known in the Beforetimes, was forged in the cold, muddy pits of Portland cyclocross to address a need for durable, serviceable, cross-specific componentry. Years on, founder Adam Clement continues to charge forward with the fourth version of his iconic shifter and brake lever system as well as a suite of similarly thoughtful and functional drivetrain components designed to keep racers racing in the most extreme course conditions in style…