KTM lays up race ready XC full suspension Scarp & hardtail Myroon in new light Sonic editions

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KTM_Scarp-Sonic_lightweight-29er-full-suspension-cross-country-XC-mountain-bike_front

With a year of Olympic hopes and having XCO Worlds nearby to their Austrian HQ in neighboring Czech Republic this coming weekend, KTM bikes decided to take their cross country racing capabilities up a notch for 2017. So they have reworked both their XC carbon hardtail and carbon full suspension bikes, both introduced just last year, with new trimmed down and optimized layup schedules, and a premium build kit that goes for higher performance than anything they’ve done before. The new Sonic-level complete bikes take over from the current top Prestige, and aren’t afraid to mix up some spec to get the best balance of performance and light weight. Check out the details and actual weights after the break…

Continue reading “KTM lays up race ready XC full suspension Scarp & hardtail Myroon in new light Sonic editions”



With a year of Olympic hopes and having XCO Worlds nearby to their Austrian HQ in neighboring Czech Republic this coming weekend, KTM bikes decided to take their cross country racing capabilities up a notch for 2017. So they have reworked both their XC carbon hardtail and carbon full suspension bikes, both introduced just last […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Mountain Bike5 Comments

Trek Fuel EX Ditches 27.5″ wheels (mostly); New Remedy gets more Enduro, drops 29″

Fuel_EX_29_Carbon_Frameset_profile

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Just a few weeks ago, Trek announced the newest version to the Fuel EX family with the Fuel EX 27.5+. Changes to the frame included the ability to run both 27.5+ and 29″ wheels, though the bikes would be shipped with the fatter tires and wheels. Now, Trek is showing their counterparts – essentially the same bikes but with 29″ wheels and 130mm suspension forks. Both bikes use the exact same frame and will still be able to run the alternate wheel size, but Trek will be selling the Fuel EX with either 29″ or 27.5+ wheels from the shop floor.

One of the more interesting takeaways here, is that this appears to be the death of the Fuel EX 27.5. Mostly. Depending on your size (and gender) there are a few exceptions…

Continue reading “Trek Fuel EX Ditches 27.5″ wheels (mostly); New Remedy gets more Enduro, drops 29″”



Just a few weeks ago, Trek announced the newest version to the Fuel EX family with the Fuel EX 27.5+. Changes to the frame included the ability to run both 27.5+ and 29″ wheels, though the bikes would be shipped with the fatter tires and wheels. Now, Trek is showing their counterparts – essentially the […]

Posted in Feature, Mountain Bike12 Comments

M60 Forty Plus widens the ENVE M Series of carbon wheels

Open plus mtb ENVE M60 plus carbon wheels rims-12

Open plus mtb ENVE M60 plus carbon wheels rims

The latest carbon hoop from ENVE is rolling out of shops as we speak. Not surprisingly, this time it’s an even wider version of their M60 Forty for, what else? Plus bikes. We’ve been seeing teasers of the new wheel and then finally got a chance to see it in person on both the Open One+ above and another soon-to-be-released bike from a different brand. Much like the original M60 Forty, the M60 Plus is meant for aggressive riders who still want to use a plus tire in the neighborhood of 2.8 to 3.0″.

Combined with the Open One+ build above, the new ENVE rim helps to make plus hardtail builds under 20 lbs (!) possible…

Continue reading “M60 Forty Plus widens the ENVE M Series of carbon wheels”



The latest carbon hoop from ENVE is rolling out of shops as we speak. Not surprisingly, this time it’s an even wider version of their M60 Forty for, what else? Plus bikes. We’ve been seeing teasers of the new wheel and then finally got a chance to see it in person on both the Open […]

Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike9 Comments

2017 Giant Anthem gains travel, shrinks wheels; Updated Trance, XtC+ and Fathom mountain bikes

2017 Giant Anthem full suspension XC mountain bike

For an “XC” bike, the 2017 Giant Anthem seems to split from the herd by putting only 27.5″ wheels on their traditionally race-ready full suspension bike 27.5 wheels only. And by bumping travel to 110mm in the rear, 120mm up front. Compare that with bikes like the Niner RKT9, which uses just 90mm rear travel, or the new Cannondale Scalpel that kept travel at 100mm but used revised geometry to make it more aggressive. Giant, however, is putting a bit more travel in play (up from 100mm on the 2016 Anthem) and the nimbler 27.5″ wheels.

Where they stay the course with with the increasingly popular longer, lower geometry to get you in that racy position. And both the Anthem and Trance switch to Boost axle spacing and new Metric shock sizing, plus their new 3D forged carbon rocker arm on the Advanced models…

Continue reading “2017 Giant Anthem gains travel, shrinks wheels; Updated Trance, XtC+ and Fathom mountain bikes”



For an “XC” bike, the 2017 Giant Anthem seems to split from the herd by putting only 27.5″ wheels on their traditionally race-ready full suspension bike 27.5 wheels only. And by bumping travel to 110mm in the rear, 120mm up front. Compare that with bikes like the Niner RKT9, which uses just 90mm rear travel, or […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Mountain Bike19 Comments

Giant updates carbon & Maestro suspension for 2017, Liv women’s MTBs get even better

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2017-giant-maestro-suspension-updated

Giant’s 2017 lineup is trickling out, first with the new gravel-ready TCX Advanced SX Disc. Next comes the completely revamped Liv women’s lineup that not only shows off Advanced level carbon frames across the entire range, but also new carbon manufacturing tech and suspension designs that carry over to the 2017 Trance and Anthem full suspension bikes, too.

The Maestro suspension’s floating pivot point already delivered smooth small bump performance, but now it’s moved to a trunnion-mounted Metric shock design that makes better use of the space and further improves the suspension. At the top of the shock is an all-new molded, forged carbon rocker arm that’s as strong as alloy, but half the weight and more durable. Check the details below along with an overview of the new women’s Hail, Embolden and Pique full sussers…

Continue reading “Giant updates carbon & Maestro suspension for 2017, Liv women’s MTBs get even better”



Giant’s 2017 lineup is trickling out, first with the new gravel-ready TCX Advanced SX Disc. Next comes the completely revamped Liv women’s lineup that not only shows off Advanced level carbon frames across the entire range, but also new carbon manufacturing tech and suspension designs that carry over to the 2017 Trance and Anthem full suspension bikes, […]

Posted in Feature, Mountain Bike, Women's5 Comments

Review: Mashing absoluteBLACK’s oval narrow-wide ring & chainguide – should you switch to oval?

Absolute Black-6

Absolute Black-6

AbsoluteBLACK sent me their 32t oval narrow-wide chainring & chainguide system to try so I could see what all of the fuss is about. Sporting no logos, their robust, yet subtle jewel-like design is their trademark and going on appearance alone, this ring is at the top of my list in the looks department. Regardless, my job here is to see how it performs, so I wiped the drool off my face and hit the trails. Now, for those of you that have (still) been under a rock, this IS NOT like BioPace. It’s almost backwards from that oval design.

I’ve ridden a couple of ovals for a short bit, but the true test was to get them on my familiar home trails to gain an accurate perspective as to how they perform. Check out my thoughts on how absoluteBLACK’s MTB oval works in the real world vs. on paper and whether or not their guide can keep everything on track during all of the “ups & downs”…

Continue reading “Review: Mashing absoluteBLACK’s oval narrow-wide ring & chainguide – should you switch to oval?”



AbsoluteBLACK sent me their 32t oval narrow-wide chainring & chainguide system to try so I could see what all of the fuss is about. Sporting no logos, their robust, yet subtle jewel-like design is their trademark and going on appearance alone, this ring is at the top of my list in the looks department. Regardless, my job here is […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Components, Mountain Bike, Reviews23 Comments

Fulcrum brings affordable alloy Red Power HP, Red Passion 3 mountain bike wheels

fulcrum red passion 3 xc mountain bike wheels

Fulcrum is bringing a lot of their upper end alloy mountain bike wheel tech to a bit lower price point thanks to simplified component selection. Two models get the trickle down treatment, the XC/Marathon Red Passion 3 (shown above) and the Red Power HP, which is slightly wider and taller for trail riding. Both are compatible with standard SRAM/Shimano cassettes and XD driver bodies, and both work with standard QR, 15×100 and 12×142 thru axles, and 12×135 rear axles. Both are also tubeless ready and delivered with rim tape pre-installed.

The Red Passion 3 grows to a 21mm internal width, but keeps a shallow 20mm height to minimize rotational weight. The cost savings come from switching to an alloy hub shell rather than the intricate carbon ones on the originals.

Continue reading “Fulcrum brings affordable alloy Red Power HP, Red Passion 3 mountain bike wheels”



Fulcrum is bringing a lot of their upper end alloy mountain bike wheel tech to a bit lower price point thanks to simplified component selection. Two models get the trickle down treatment, the XC/Marathon Red Passion 3 (shown above) and the Red Power HP, which is slightly wider and taller for trail riding. Both are […]

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New WTB Convict gravity mountain bike tire escapes to terrorize loam everywhere

wtb convict enduro downhill gravity mountain bike tire

The new WTB Convict is their biggest, gnarliest tire ever made, designed to rip through enduro and downhill courses with ease. Tall, thick knobs with siping throughout both dig into the ground and flex to grab it for traction in all directions.

They’re designed for softer trail conditions, from sand to loam. Three casing options are offered, all coming in just a touch over 1,000g, and all for 27.5″ wheels only. Check the specs below…

Continue reading “New WTB Convict gravity mountain bike tire escapes to terrorize loam everywhere”



The new WTB Convict is their biggest, gnarliest tire ever made, designed to rip through enduro and downhill courses with ease. Tall, thick knobs with siping throughout both dig into the ground and flex to grab it for traction in all directions. They’re designed for softer trail conditions, from sand to loam. Three casing options […]

Posted in Mountain Bike7 Comments

Rocky Mountain Element reworked into an XC/AM animal

Element970_RSL_BluBlk

Element_Action_Side

After 20 years in their lineup, the Rocky Mountain Element is getting a complete refresh that promises to provide race-ability of an XC rig, with the confidence of a trail bike. Setting the new Element apart is a revamped geometry,  integration of their Ride-9 technology, and more. Rock past the break to get the scoop…

Continue reading “Rocky Mountain Element reworked into an XC/AM animal”



After 20 years in their lineup, the Rocky Mountain Element is getting a complete refresh that promises to provide race-ability of an XC rig, with the confidence of a trail bike. Setting the new Element apart is a revamped geometry,  integration of their Ride-9 technology, and more. Rock past the break to get the scoop…

Posted in Mountain Bike9 Comments