Posts in the category Reviews

Super.natural’s Technical Base Layers Blend Fashion and Function

Climbing in supernatural's synthetic blend hoodie and t-shirt

For cooler days, riding in good quality base layers is a must. As a budget conscious rider, my previous cold weather tactic was layering a jersey or two inside a windbreaker. It was tolerable but not an ideal system, and now that my wardrobe includes some synthetic/merino wool technical garments I’m much more comfortable from start to finish on those cold rides.

Recently I’ve had the opportunity to test out super.natural’s synthetic blend Essential Full-Zip 220 hooded sweatshirt and Striped Sport 175 t-shirt. I’ve been quite pleased with both, particularly the hoodie which seems to come out on almost every ride these days…
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All-New Rotor INpower hides power meter tech inside crank spindle

Rotor INpower crankset powermeter inside the spindle

The antenna and battery cap on the non-drive crank is all you’ll see of the new INpower power meter…everything else is tucked inside the spindle.

The Rotor INPower is a clever new take on the crank-based power meter that puts all of the electronics inside the axle, which not only protects it, but keeps the rotational mass at the center.

But the location of the electronics is just part of the story. Rotor, which is known mostly for their ovalized chainrings, can show “different” power readings when those chainrings are used on standard spider-based power meters. This happens because the ovalized shape changes the zones of rotational speed at which you’re able to turn the pedals over by making it easier in your dead spots and harder in your power zones. The result, from our own experience, is that the overall pedal stroke is much smoother and the rotational speed seems more consistent to our legs, but they say a spider-based strain gauge may not see it that way.

The design also lets them use the same power meter across their entire range of cranks regardless of the arms, making it perfect for road, triathlon, cyclocross and mountain bikes…

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Review: ICE Sportswear Carbon Bib Shorts

ICE Sportswear Carbon Shorts Review2015-1

ICE Sportswear was founded by Armin Rahm, a former member of the German National Team, with over 40 years of competitive cycling under his belt. Drawing on his experience, Armin has an understanding of what a cyclist needs. This inspired him to create ICE Sportswear – clothing for athletes, by an athlete.

The company offers custom kit, as well as off-the-shelf, ready to ride designs. One of the ready to ride pieces of kit, is their ICE Carbon Bib Shorts. Featuring 10-panel construction, flatlock stitched seams, compression leg bands, anatomically designed chamois with gel inserts and anti-bacterial treatment, initial impressions make us think this is a high quality piece of clothing… READ MORE ->

Project: World’s Funnest Bike – Drivetrain, Wheels, Brakes & Install Notes

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So far, our World’s Funnest Bike project has detailed the frame and the cockpit. Now it’s time to go over all the parts that make it go and make it stop. Most of the parts used on this project bike were new, but I did have some trusted components and lightly used parts that needed more time before a final review could be posted, so those made there way on board and will be noted.

The shifting is handled by Gevenalle’s latest GX shifter levers, which were designed around the Shimano XT rear derailleur to offer a wider range option for anyone wanting a more capable gravel/adventure/cyclocross bike. The Gevenalle parts were all weighed in with a full introduction in this post, so here we’ll go over their performance and use notes and show how it all came together with a mix of other components…

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Hands on with Pactimo’s Stylish and Functional 2015 Spring Branded Apparel

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You may know Pactimo best for their extensive line of custom apparel, but the brand known for being the first custom apparel company to offer a full-dye sublimation offers a pretty sweet branded line as well. Based in Colorado, Pactimo draws inspiration from their surroundings, their teams, and customers to create what they see as the best quality kit you can buy, and actually afford.

After introducing a few new things for the custom lines, Pactimo is releasing an all new Spring line that you can buy right off the rack. Using clean designs and bold, visible color schemes, the Pactimo Spring line should be as fast as it looks…

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Review: Fezzari Foré Cyx Cyclocross Bike Can Hold its Own Come Race Day

Fezzari fore cyx cyclocross race bike carbon review bikerumor (5)

Thanks to the booming popularity of cyclocross, there is no shortage of bikes to choose from for your skinny tire, offroad needs. Brands big and small are all offering up their own version of a cyclocross bike which can vary greatly from bike to bike. For Utah based Fezzari, their consumer-direct model puts them in a unique place to be able to offer a true race ready package at a competitive price. But compared to one of the brands you’ll find in a bike shop what are you actually getting?

Our initial impressions of the carbon Fezzari Foré Cyx 2.0, were quite favorable so we put it through a season of cyclocross abuse to see how it compares to the competition…

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Improved Fit and Bib Liner with Storage Headline Spring 2015 Mountain Bike Line from Pearl Izumi

PI mtb spring

Thanks to Adam Newman/Dirtrag for the help on the photo.

In spite of the fact that part of the country is struggling with too much water while others don’t have enough, mountain bike season is either here or rapidly approaching. Just in time for the warm weather, Pearl Izumi has an all new Spring line up that has been heavily redesigned. The new pieces offer improved fit, features, and a fresh color palette. In addition to muted grey, white, black, and brown, there are pops of color that seem to mate well with other products – like a Smith Forefront helmet for example (I swear the matching was unintentional).

While the entire range of products looks interesting, the new mountain bike shorts and bib liner are the standouts. Offering a much better fit than previous PI mountain shorts, and a comfy bib liner with 3 pockets sewn into the back, Pearl’s mountain gear is looking promising for the coming year…

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Review: Showers Pass Refuge Rain Jacket and Body Mapped Baselayer

Showers pass refuge

No matter how much money you sink into cycling gear, there always seems to be at least one or two pieces that are hard to add to the collection. For me, one of the biggest offenders was always a quality rain jacket. Decent jackets are quite expensive, and mountain biking typically isn’t too friendly towards pricey pieces of clothing. For many years I suffered with mediocre jackets that were soaked through after an hour. Since then I’ve used a number of waterproof jackets with prices that range from $40 to 400 which are usually separated by one key factor – breathability.

In order to make a jacket truly breathable it usually requires some advanced technical fabrics that equate to a very expensive garment. Ultimately though, that breathability is what allows excellent rain shells to be used for more than just a rain jacket, as I found with the Showers Pass Refuge. After practically living in the Refuge all winter, it turns out to be an amazing jacket that competes with some of the most expensive on the market…

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Review: Renthal Launches New 1XR Chainring

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While Renthal is probably best known for it’s dominance in powersports, in recent years the UK based company has released a slew of new products (in their trademark golden hue) for the cycling market. The latest addition to their product line is the new 1XR Retention Chainring, which was developed specifically with British weather in mind.

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