Posts in the category Mountain Bike

Interview and Shop Tour: Eric Baar from The Ground Up Speed Shop


I became familiar with Eric Baar through his Instagram account (where he highlights welds and brushwork each day) as well as through the high praise of other builders and members of the community. When I found myself buying tickets to Colorado Springs for a conference, Eric’s Ground Up Speed Shop was on the top of my places to visit after hours. I had no idea what to expect because, well, Eric does not make a habit of promoting himself. I strongly suspected that it would be really, really cool. His operation did not disappoint.

The Speed Shop sits on the back of the property just west of the Springs. Rather than a pump track, the shop overlooks The Dizzy Drome, a micro dirt velodome with rails constructed from old airplane wings. Central to the course is a light column for those midnight hour record attempts. Parked right on the edge is his Dwarf car, an outrageous toy with big, metal-flake numbers that he races during the summer- a habit he took up when he felt himself becoming disillusioned with bikes and bike community.

That easy shift in emphasis is central to Eric’s general program. He’s been building bicycles for over a decade and a half and wants to stay glittery and doe-eyed about the genre so he’s constantly being drawn to new mediums from which to approach or interpret his work. It is this enthusiasm that makes the bikes of his house brand, Ground Up, absolutely out-of-this-world in terms of construction, detailing, and concept. The welds are flawless. The raw titanium finishes are hand striped. The metal-flake paint jobs are brilliantly mixed and painstakingly sanded. And Eric uses his new found mastery as a pinstriper to hand letter or detail the final product (when the guy isn’t screwing around with gold leaf).

While this enthusiasm for everything cool and shiny makes for top notch bicycles, it also happens to make interviewing the guy impossible. There is nothing linear about Eric Baar’s train of thought. And that’s fine. Who wants to talk about old news when there is so much cool, shiny stuff everywhere to talk about… READ MORE ->

Sneak Peek: Fairdale’s 2016 Line Expands with More Stylish, Fun, and Functional Bikes


If you are familiar with Fairdale bikes or founder Taj Mihelich, you know the name of the game is fun. How can you not love a company that the founder sends you custom artwork for our “Sneak Peak?” Sneakers on mountain tops aside, Fairdale offers a unique take on the world of every day bicycles. Drawing on his experience as a World Champion BMX rider, Taj took his ideas to Odyssey BMX to create a brand that blended BMX durability and fun with bigger wheels and frames to create bikes that met the needs of most riders.

In 2016, the line expands with even more options for riders whether you’re looking for a 26″ BMX or a step through 3 speed city bike…


Speedplay Trims SYZR Price Tag with Chromoly Version, Offers Expansive Custom Spindle Program

Syzr Chrome-Moly

It may have taken a long time for it to arrive on store shelves since we first saw the SYZR prototypes, but Speedplay’s new off road pedal is finally spinning. A big part of the delay was figuring out how to build a pedal that offered the same level of energy transfer as their road pedals, but in a design that was walkable and dirt friendly. To accomplish this, the SYZR uses metal on metal contact between the cleat and the pedal rather than rely on the rubber tread blocks of your shoe to transmit power. Combined with their unique cleat with adjustable float and ceramic rollers for easy in and out and you have an interesting take on an SPD style pedal.

Now that the stainless and titanium versions have been shipping, Speedplay is offering up a more affordable chromoly version as well as one of the most comprehensive spindle length programs available…


Roundup: Random look-worthy bikes (and sort-of bikes) from the shows


It’s not everyday you get to hop aboard a pro’s bike to demo parts, but Pioneer had Hollywood Daniel Holloway’s Felt road bike on hand to show what their powermeter could do. The bike’s paint scheme showed off the American colors in grand style, and a couple other custom touches helped personalize the bike further.

Check out more pics of this and other random, weird, useful and downright cool bikes and bike-ish things below…


Red Bull’s Bike Unchained Brings New Dimensions to Mountain Bike Video Games


Given that many of us grew up in the days of video games, it probably isn’t surprising that games based on mountain biking have a cult following. Trails are too wet to ride? Rest day? Stuck at the airport between flights to exotic riding destinations? Why not ride some virtual laps on your smart phone or tablet? Based on the success of Reinholds Berzins’ Downhill Supreme and DHS2, there are quite a few riders out there who enjoy shredding smart phone laps when they’re not ripping the real thing.

Wanting to capture the feeling of A-Line’s flow in a video game, Red Bull Media House and Roadhouse Interactive teamed up to produce Bike Unchained – a new game for your smart phone or tablet that combines the features of your typical mountain bike video game with those of an RPG (Role Playing Game), and it’s free…


Aribike Builds Single Ring Spiders for Rotor Rex Cranks

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As more and more riders move to join the 1x crowd, they might find themselves with a crank that doesn’t play nice with single rings. They also might run into spiders with odd BCDs and limited options when it comes to replacement rings. Fortunately, many cranks these days are also moving to modular designs with removable spiders. This allows the crank to change with the times and also allows companies like Ari Corone to step in with their own options for other cranks.

Among a number of cassette adapters, chainrings, spiders, and more, Ari Corone is now offering a new set of spiders for Rotor Rex Cranks. Meant for 1x applications, the spiders will fit Rex 1, 2, and 3 cranks and rings from Rotor or those with a 76mm asymmetric BCD…


Praxis Adds More 1x MTB Wide/Narrow Rings


We covered a bunch of upcoming crankset and chainring offerings from Praxis back at Eurobike, but now these new single ring mountain bike offerings are in stock and ready to ship in time to be stocking stuffers. Adding to their fairly simple 4-bolt 104BCD wide/narrow rings (which carry over), the new XT/XTR 4-bolt 96BCD and SRAM Direct Mount rings use a bit more shaping and style to lend aftermarket compatibility to an even wider range of cranks. Plus, a premium forged 4130 steel ring adds durability that might outlast your bike. Spin across the break to have a closer look, and get tooth counts and pricing…


Canyon’s #BeyondLimits Web App Visualizes Your Recent Performance on Strava


Canyon Bikes has developed a simple web-based data analytics tool that mines our Strava accounts to compare the hardest ride we have done recently to our average. The simple interface is designed to look at how us cyclists are pushing our limits, and to provide some more motivation to ride. It also gives a new metric to compare ourselves to others, and maybe can spur a bit of friendly competition. And as part of the group data analysis and social interaction, Canyon has put a custom-finished #BeyondLimits Exceed CF SLX mountain bike up for grabs. Click through for more details, and how to enter to win the bike…


A week in review: Smart helmets, pink bikes, and that beee-utiful Garbaruk cassette adapter

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This week we have some great round ups from the Philly Bike Show, Peaty is getting ready to say adios…. but not yet, and what is with all the things lighting up that are not lights? We took a look at new kicks from DZR and Northwave as well as a lot of really nice apparel from Rapha and the new to the U.S. eye-catching Attaquer brand.

Move on past the break to take a rather in depth glimpse of our week in review…..