Posts in the category Mountain Bike

One Ride Review: Trek Farley Fat Bike makes it easy to go big

2014 Trek Farley fat bike ride review and actual weights

While Zach and Tim are seasoned fat bike riders, I was uninitiated. So, on a short trip to Ohio to do a little long term editorial planning, I borrowed a Trek Farley from the local shop and Zach planned a ride.

Being a basically all-29er-all-the-time (with suspension) type mountain biker, this would be quite a different experience for me. Or so I thought. Turns out, it was just like mountain biking because, well, it is. Only with ridiculous amounts of traction and the ability to blow through soft, wet sections and stream crossings as though they weren’t even there. Yaaay Fat Bikes.

Now, about the Trek specifically. Without riding other fat bikes for comparison, all I can say about the Farley is they seemed to have nailed it. If there’s supposed to be a learning curve with fat bikes, there was none here. It rode great, handled great and, other than letting a stupid 1mm thorn force a pit stop, did everything a good mountain bike should do…

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Turnagain Cures Cold Weather Blues with new ETR Seal Kit for RockShox Bluto Fat Bike Forks

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Having just finished our review on the RockShox Bluto suspension fork, Tim and I both agree that the fork is a good thing for fat bikes. Not so good though? The potential for issues when ridden below freezing. Officially, RockShox tells us that the fork will perform optimally from 0° C (32° F) to 38° C (100° F). Between 32° and 10° F, the fork’s performance will begin to degrade, and using the fork under 10° F is not recommended. Considering most of us tend to ride our fat bikes during the winter, this could be seen as a bit of an issue.

Coincidentally, just days after posting our review Turnagain Components has stepped up with an answer. After months of both lab and real world testing, Turnagain is revealing their new Extended Temperature Range (ETR) seal kit which seems to be the answer to our Bluto prayers. More than just a cold weather kit, the ETR seals are designed to work in a wider range of temperatures than the originals. That means even after the upgrade the fork should work just as well during the hottest summer months as the coldest in winter.

Available as standard equipment on their sister brand Borealis bikes, or as an aftermarket upgrade, Turnagain has Bluto’s back…

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SRAM simplifies, lightens 1x groups w/ new direct-mount X-Sync chainrings (UPDATED)

SRAM X-Sync direct mount chainrings for 1x11 drivetrains

Perhaps spurred by the popularity of Race Face’s CINCH 1x rings and other 3rd party, lighter chainrings, SRAM’s finally taking advantage of the weight savings to be had by moving to a direct mount chainring system. Their direct mount design is already in place, but until now it’s been used to hold the spider.

The new X-Sync drops the two piece design to save weight, and it’ll open up smaller tooth counts. You can now get an X-Sync chainring with just 26 teeth or up to 40 teeth, with all even increments in between accounted for. Aftermarket cranksets will all ship with the popular 32 tooth ring. They’re compatible with XX1, X01 and X1 1400 cranksets. And while you won’t be able to retrofit them to a standard XX or X9 because of the spider interface with the chainrings, you will sort of be able to mount them to X0 (UPDATE: and X9!) crank arms from the past few years…

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Kitsbow Tries their Hand at Denim, Drifter Jeans Available in 9 Different Sizes

kitsbow drifter jean denim mountain bike wear (1)

It took long enough, but there are finally a number of options for cyclists when it comes to jeans. Due to the typical build of the average cyclist, most denim jeans you’ll find in a department store are usually hopeless when it comes to fit. It seems the skinny waist, big butt, and large thighs and calves goes against the American average.

More clothing companies than ever seem to be getting into the cycling oriented denim game, which is good news for anyone looking for a pair that will fit well whether you’re on the bike or off. Adding to Kitsbow’s growing list of high end threads, the Drift Jean makes a perfect companion for the Icon Wool shirt, just don’t expect them to come cheap…

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Praxis Works Girder M30 MTN Cranks Now Available Along with New 30t MTB Wide Narrow Ring

Praxis Works Girder M30 mtb crank 30 t narrow wide chainring (2)

In development for a few years now, Praxis Works’ line of Turn cranksets are starting to find their way onto road bikes in the wild. Now, you can add mountain bikes to the mix. Created as both an OEM and aftermarket solution, Turn cranks are built with stiffness in mind with hollow forged arms and a 30mm aluminum spindle. In fact, in a recent stiffness test carried out by Fairwheel Bikes, the Turn Zayante 2015 road crank had the least deflection of any crank tested. It was also the heaviest modern crank they tested, but the Praxis Works bottom brackets trade off a bit of weight for durability.

The Girder M30 MTN crank looks to bring the same level of stiffness to mountain bikes. Currently in stock and shipping in select sizes, the M30 crank relies on the same 30mm spindle and bottom bracket technology as the road crankset just with mountain gearing. Girders will ship with either a 2x ring combination or one of Praxis Works’ own Wide-Narrow chainrings including the new 30t…

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Wolf Tooth Rolls New Aluminum Single Speed Cogs, Plus Orange GC42

Wolf Tooth Components wtc aluminum ss cog orange gc42 (2)

I have one friend in particular that I know will be excited about this one. That is, anyone who really loves orange and wants to expand the range of their cassette can satisfy both needs with the new Orange GC42. Called copper orange, the GC42 joins black, silver, red, and blue as options for the giant aluminum cogs which all sell for $89.95.

We got a sneak peek at Wolf Tooth’s new OO (Only One) cogs at Interbike but at that point only the steel single speed cogs were available. Now, WTC is unveiling their aluminum OO cogs which promise to be some of the lightest on the market….

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Pivot Puts Carbon 29er on a Diet, New Mach 429SL is 1/2 Lb Lighter, Di2 Compatible

Pivot Mach 429 SL di2 compatible routing carbon 29er 29 inch (3)

 

The Pivot Mach 429 Carbon was already a favorite among racers and anyone looking for a light weight, fast, full suspension bike with 29 inch wheels. So why mess with success? To make it lighter of course! That, and to add functionality going forward to make it compatible with Shimano’s XTR Di2 drivetrain.

Through advances in their carbon fiber technology and the proprietary hollow-core internal molding process, Pivot was able to remove more than 226g per frame. The resulting frames start at just 5.3 lbs (2.4kg) with sub 23lb (10.4 kg) complete builds which includes the Fox Float Kashima Factory rear shock. Lighter weight is always exciting, but thanks to Pivot’s new Cable Port System the Mach 429SL frame is ready to take on just about any drive train you could want, all with clean, easy access to the internal routing.

Details, pricing, and more next…

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Silca Dials in Low Pressure with new Superpista Ultimate LP Low Pressure Floor Pump

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For almost 96 years now, the name Silca has been synonymous with the best pumps money could buy. Now owned and run by Josh Poertner out of Indiana, Silca has been quickly rolling out a new product line that honors the heritage of the storied brand. Just as many of the pumps from the 60′s and 70′s are still in use today, Silca’s new products are designed to stand the test of time.

Largely due to the increase of higher volume tires, a lot has been made recently about high volume or low pressure pumps. The very mechanics of a floor pumps internals usually dictates that it will be easier on the higher side or the lower side of pressures but generally not both. While the original Silca Superpista Ultimate is a pump for high pressures built with NASA like precision, it was time to introduce something new – something designed for much lower pressures….

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Holiday Gift Ideas: Cory’s Wish List

Levi24_24hour_mountain_bike_race_photo-Teemu-Moisio

The holidays are here so it’s time for me to dust off my wish list as well, one so my wife will see it, but also so it may give you some ideas. Just to give you an idea where I am coming from, I’m a rider of any kind of bike that involves getting the tires dirty. That means that even on a road bike with 23s I end up hitting the dirt roads, and prefer to keep the bike rides in the forests. I’m based in Prague, so my list has a more European tinge to it.

I’m in the middle of masters cyclocross racing, so while predominantly a mountain biker, now is the time of wet, muddy, snowy, and slippery rides on skinnier tires. I am spending a lot of time trail riding on cross tubulars, a little bit of dirt and gravel road training, and a lot of rides where I come home cold and wet. But I am dreaming a bit of cross country rides in crisp snow, of hitting some steep root and rock strewn technical descents, and getting in some all day exploring rides when warm weather returns. Most of my picks then are to get me through the dark days of winter, with the hope of warm, dry rides to come.

EXPERIENCE

24 hours of mountain bike racing without lights above the arctic circle in Finnish Lapland. How can that not sound like an amazing idea? On the weekend of the summer solstice each year, the Levi ski resort 170km north of the arctic circle runs the Levi24, a unique 24hr race with sunlight through the night. I’ve done plenty of 24hr races over the last 15 years and always loved the sunrise lap, but have experienced nothing like this. Its next running is 12-13 June 2015, and could be a great chance to throw the family into a camper and go explore some fjords and gravel roads. 

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