Review: Specialized Camber Grom 24″ youth full suspension mountain bike

specialized camber grom 24-inch youth mountain bike review and actual weights

There’s something to be said for getting a kid started on a fully rigid hardtail. But if your local trails are super gnarly, there’s also a pretty darn good argument for getting them suspended as quickly as possible. Traction aside, it’s more about comfort and safety, assuming the weight penalty isn’t too grand. If you a) have a little tyke at home that’s itchin’ to keep up with you, and b) are already thinking this might keep them from bouncing around uncontrollably, then the Specialized Camber Grom might be worth a look.

First up, Specialized didn’t continue this model into their 2017 lineup. But they’ve still got inventory, which you can find if you search past models on their website. If you’re fine with that, read on why their FSR suspension is ready made for smaller riders…

Continue reading “Review: Specialized Camber Grom 24″ youth full suspension mountain bike”



There’s something to be said for getting a kid started on a fully rigid hardtail. But if your local trails are super gnarly, there’s also a pretty darn good argument for getting them suspended as quickly as possible. Traction aside, it’s more about comfort and safety, assuming the weight penalty isn’t too grand. If you […]

Posted in Bicycles, Kids' Bikes, Mountain Bike, Reviews19 Comments

Otso Cycles spins out of Wolf Tooth Components, Stainless gravel & clever plus/fat carbon bikes up first

Team Otso 1024px
All photos c. Otso Cycles

The team from Wolf Tooth Cycles has been quietly working on a new product range for years. But this time it’s not a new chainring, chainguide, or cassette adapter. Their newest project involves not only completely new-to-them offerings, but also a completely new brand. Otso Cycles is the culmination of that work, and by the looks of things it’s time well spent.

Named after the spirit of the bear in Finnish mythology, Otso seems to fit well along side Wolf Tooth Components for companies named after revered and respected creatures. Their first two bikes share similar naming inspiration with the Warakin gravel bike named for a mythical wolf/hyena creature and the Voytek fat bike taking its namesake from a war fighting, soldier wrestling, beer drinking, cigarette smoking bear (true story). Aside from the clever names though, Otso Cycles are noteworthy for more than just being new bikes from a well known component manufacturer.

Otso wasn’t created just to release another me-too bike into an already crowded marketplace. The bikes both have specific traits that make them stand out (game changing, even), and should make them quite desirable…

Continue reading “Otso Cycles spins out of Wolf Tooth Components, Stainless gravel & clever plus/fat carbon bikes up first”



The team from Wolf Tooth Cycles has been quietly working on a new product range for years. But this time it’s not a new chainring, chainguide, or cassette adapter. Their newest project involves not only completely new-to-them offerings, but also a completely new brand. Otso Cycles is the culmination of that work, and by the looks […]

Posted in Commuter, Cyclocross, Fatbike, Gravel Bikes, Mountain Bike, Road Bike8 Comments

AbsoluteBlack shrinks ovals to 30T 104BCD, says their chainrings work with SRAM Eagle

absoluteblack 30T 104bcd oval mountain bike chainring

While direct mount rings from the big brands and aftermarket providers have easily dropped their tooth counts down into the twenties, getting an oval chainring with less than a 32-tooth spread for four-arm spiders has been a challenge. Now, thanks to some clever engineering, AbsoluteBlack has managed to dip down to 30 teeth while still using a standard 104bcd mounting pattern. It just took seven months of testing and a couple non-standard parts…

Continue reading “AbsoluteBlack shrinks ovals to 30T 104BCD, says their chainrings work with SRAM Eagle”



While direct mount rings from the big brands and aftermarket providers have easily dropped their tooth counts down into the twenties, getting an oval chainring with less than a 32-tooth spread for four-arm spiders has been a challenge. Now, thanks to some clever engineering, AbsoluteBlack has managed to dip down to 30 teeth while still using […]

Posted in Mountain Bike8 Comments

Bike Checks: Team Yeti/Fox Shox bikes from Richie Rude, Cody Kelley, and Team Mechanic Shaun Hughes

Yeti EWS fox racing team richie rude cody kelley bike check-22

Yeti EWS fox racing team richie rude cody kelley bike check-17

Fresh off his win at the Whistler Enduro World Series round, we found ourselves sharing a ride with Richie Rude for the launch of the new Giro Switchblade. It wasn’t just Richie though, the whole Yeti/Fox Racing Shox team including Cody Kelley and team mechanic Shaun Hughes were also along for the ride. After a hot pedal up and down some rad trails in Pemberton, BC, we got a closer look at the Yeti bikes used by the team – all three of which were very different…

Continue reading “Bike Checks: Team Yeti/Fox Shox bikes from Richie Rude, Cody Kelley, and Team Mechanic Shaun Hughes”



Fresh off his win at the Whistler Enduro World Series round, we found ourselves sharing a ride with Richie Rude for the launch of the new Giro Switchblade. It wasn’t just Richie though, the whole Yeti/Fox Racing Shox team including Cody Kelley and team mechanic Shaun Hughes were also along for the ride. After a […]

Posted in Feature, Mountain Bike4 Comments

Crankworx 2016: A quick (p)review of the YT Capra AL, with more to come…

2016 YT Capra AL, feature img

YT Capra AL, side shot

No animal has mastered the art of skipping across treacherous terrain quite like the Capra (mountain goat), so it makes sense to pay tribute to these beasts with a bike designed to capably handle ups, downs and everything in between. As the company’s enduro/all-mountain model, YT’s Capra intends to strike that desirable balance of agility and stability, coupled with supple yet supportive suspension.

I had opportunity to try out the entry level aluminum (with carbon seat stays) 2016 Capra AL during Crankworx this year but only had a short time on the bike, so this article covers my first impressions only. YT was quick to point out that I was riding a well used demo fleet bike, and we didn’t do any tuning beyond setting the shock’s sag. They were reluctant to let me write anything at this point, but we came to a nice agreement- I should soon have a Capra AL in my hands for a proper, long term review. In the meantime, here’s the preview…
Continue reading “Crankworx 2016: A quick (p)review of the YT Capra AL, with more to come…”



No animal has mastered the art of skipping across treacherous terrain quite like the Capra (mountain goat), so it makes sense to pay tribute to these beasts with a bike designed to capably handle ups, downs and everything in between. As the company’s enduro/all-mountain model, YT’s Capra intends to strike that desirable balance of agility […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Mountain Bike, Reviews3 Comments

Big things afoot for Ray’s MTB Indoor Bike Park in Cleveland?

Ever since Ray’s MTB first opened their doors, the riding scene in northern Ohio and the surrounding areas was changed for good. Now, with the season closing in fast, Ray is teasing us with this little clip with the caption, ” In one month, your world will never be the same.” Ray himself says there are big things planned, but isn’t giving up the secret just yet. There have been rumors floating around about the fate of Ray’s MKE, but it sounds like Ray’s MTB CLE will be bigger and better than ever. Squizgar guarantees it.

raysmtb.com



Ever since Ray’s MTB first opened their doors, the riding scene in northern Ohio and the surrounding areas was changed for good. Now, with the season closing in fast, Ray is teasing us with this little clip with the caption, ” In one month, your world will never be the same.” Ray himself says there […]

Posted in Mountain BikeLeave a comment

Crankworx 2016: Affordable and lightweight? Believe it- Morpheus Bikes’ new Conspiracy DH

Morpheus conspiracy, head tube close up

Morpheus Conspiracy carbon DH bike, side shot

If a small company like Morpheus Bikes can put out a premium-build carbon DH bike at $5500, it makes you wonder- Why do some bigger brands’ similar offerings cost $10,000? Are you paying for the brand name, does their expertise justify the extra bucks, or are they just getting greedy? Morpheus’ new Conspiracy DH bike aims to raise some eyebrows with its low price tag and weight, not to mention a sturdy but sleek looking design.

Since the bike is as yet unavailable the one pictured in this article belongs to Morpheus’ Director of Operations Chad Kelly, so be aware the component build is different on the stock bikes. There will be two stock versions available which come out of the box at a very reasonable 34 and 36 lbs. However, the Conspiracy can get even lighter- Kelly has his personal bike at 33 lbs, and one of their team riders has his down to 31!

The brand is hoping to become a serious contender in the carbon scene, and if this bike performs as good as it looks, it could be a breakthrough model for Morpheus Bikes…
Continue reading “Crankworx 2016: Affordable and lightweight? Believe it- Morpheus Bikes’ new Conspiracy DH”



If a small company like Morpheus Bikes can put out a premium-build carbon DH bike at $5500, it makes you wonder- Why do some bigger brands’ similar offerings cost $10,000? Are you paying for the brand name, does their expertise justify the extra bucks, or are they just getting greedy? Morpheus’ new Conspiracy DH bike […]

Posted in Mountain Bike, Uncategorized12 Comments

World’s Funnest Bike Part 2: One dope carriage that brings all the fun to the trail

Headbadge IMG_8066-2

Headbadge IMG_8066-2

Every so often a brand will create something that spreads like wildfire through social circles and the next thing you know, they’re popping up everywhere. Most often this contagious feat is due to a company doing things a little differently based on not paper but pure “on the dirt” experience. Even better, when that said experience comes from a couple of brothers, one being a mechanical engineer, former pro downhiller & Red Bull Rampage competitor, and the other having raced on the world cup circuit… well, what did you think would happen?

If you hadn’t already, check out last week’s post on the Skittle-like parts I gathered to mount on this soon to be party on wheels. Otherwise, step right in and take a close look at what a couple of brothers came up with and what led me to start assembling this as MY “world’s funnest bike”…

Continue reading “World’s Funnest Bike Part 2: One dope carriage that brings all the fun to the trail”



Every so often a brand will create something that spreads like wildfire through social circles and the next thing you know, they’re popping up everywhere. Most often this contagious feat is due to a company doing things a little differently based on not paper but pure “on the dirt” experience. Even better, when that said experience comes […]

Posted in Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews5 Comments

Explore new terrain with Jeff Lenosky’s new Trail Boss video series, first up: Emma Long MX trail

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 10.00.17 AM

Jeff Lenosky is on a quest. The veteran professional mountain biker and national champion observed trials rider is on quest to find and ride all the “unrideable” trails in your neck of the woods. You know the ones – that trail that your friend who knows a guy who said he once saw someone clean it? To most mortals these trails probably are unrideable, but with the right skills and practice, you too can become the Trail Boss.

Kicking off the series with Emma Long Motocross park in Austin, TX, Jeff takes on the ledgy terrain that was originally crafted into a trail by trials motocross riders in the 70’s. Don’t let how easy Jeff makes it look fool you, these trails are no where near as easy as it looks…

Continue reading “Explore new terrain with Jeff Lenosky’s new Trail Boss video series, first up: Emma Long MX trail”



Jeff Lenosky is on a quest. The veteran professional mountain biker and national champion observed trials rider is on quest to find and ride all the “unrideable” trails in your neck of the woods. You know the ones – that trail that your friend who knows a guy who said he once saw someone clean it? […]

Posted in Mountain Bike, Video4 Comments