Review: Fat or Plus, the Otso Voytek’s Q factor will set you free

Otso Voytek fat bike plus review  (6)

Otso Voytek fat bike plus hard tail carbon narrow q factor wolf tooth components wtc review-9

When the crew from Wolf Tooth Components first told me about their Otso project, I was instantly intrigued. Fat bikes are getting better than ever, but a large majority of the population still struggles with the idea of a “one season bike” – even if that isn’t really true. Now that plus bikes, especially hard tails, are gaining in popularity, could the Otso be the ultimate plus/fat hybrid? More importantly, plus bike aside, would the clever design of the Voytek create an even better fat bike?

I couldn’t wait to find out (literally)…

Continue reading “Review: Fat or Plus, the Otso Voytek’s Q factor will set you free”



When the crew from Wolf Tooth Components first told me about their Otso project, I was instantly intrigued. Fat bikes are getting better than ever, but a large majority of the population still struggles with the idea of a “one season bike” – even if that isn’t really true. Now that plus bikes, especially hard […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Components, Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews7 Comments

Project Otso Voytek – building the perfect plus/fat with Industry Nine wheels, Maxxis & 45NRTH tires, Magura brakes, and more

Otso Voytek fat bike plus hard tail carbon narrow q factor wolf tooth components wtc-68

Otso Voytek fat bike plus hard tail carbon narrow q factor wolf tooth components wtc-23

In hindsight, I should have seen the Otso Voytek coming. As it turns out, Brendan from Wolf Tooth Components and I have similar tastes in fat bikes and the steady stream of questions about my likes and dislikes should have tipped me off. In spite of that, I was still surprised when he told me they were launching a bike company. First up? A stainless steel gravel bike and, yes, their take on a fat bike.

In typical Wolf Tooth Components and now Otso fashion, this wouldn’t be your run of the mill fat bike. The Otso team promised one of the best pedaling fat bikes around, plus it would be great for plus. The Otso Voytek has the potential to blur the line even further between a seasonal fat bike and a year ’round ripper, so of course I was excited to get my hands on the very first sample available.

To review the bike, first I would have to build it. After sending out what they have called the Frankset (frame, fork, headset, BB, and crankset), it was time to assemble a build kit. While my last fat bike build was fairly stealth, the blue/grey frame option of the Voytek inspired a more colorful parts selection. I can verify that the blue is hard to match with anodized parts, but I’m pretty happy with the outcome…

Continue reading “Project Otso Voytek – building the perfect plus/fat with Industry Nine wheels, Maxxis & 45NRTH tires, Magura brakes, and more”



In hindsight, I should have seen the Otso Voytek coming. As it turns out, Brendan from Wolf Tooth Components and I have similar tastes in fat bikes and the steady stream of questions about my likes and dislikes should have tipped me off. In spite of that, I was still surprised when he told me […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Components, Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews5 Comments

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

Project Road Bike: Rolling on Venn’s filament wound carbon fiber wheels (UPDATED)

Venn REV 35 TCD woven carbon fiber road tubeless wheels review and actual weights

Introduced in Spring 2015, Venn Composites’ filament-wound carbon rim construction brought about an entirely new way to make rims. One that could be lighter without giving up strength or stiffness, all with a process that allows for perfect 100% repeatability and consistency from rim to rim. It’s also completely automated, which cuts down on manufacturing costs, and those savings are passed on to you and me.

The rim design uses a wide, NACA-like profile designed to improve aerodynamics on the relatively shallow 35mm depth. They’re tubeless ready and come in disc- or rim brake specific versions. We’ve been riding a set of the disc brake ones for about a year as part of our Project Road Bike, here’s how it’s going…

Continue reading “Project Road Bike: Rolling on Venn’s filament wound carbon fiber wheels (UPDATED)”



Introduced in Spring 2015, Venn Composites’ filament-wound carbon rim construction brought about an entirely new way to make rims. One that could be lighter without giving up strength or stiffness, all with a process that allows for perfect 100% repeatability and consistency from rim to rim. It’s also completely automated, which cuts down on manufacturing […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Components, Gravel Bikes, Reviews, Road Bike9 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

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

All-new Pivot Firebird Carbon takes flight as a long and low 170mm, 27.5″ ripper

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Pivot firebird 170mm travel mountain bike dw link_-2

Pivot’s Firebird has been in the line up long enough that the first version still had 26″ wheels. First introduced with an aluminum frame, the Firebird was also the first Pivot to run 27.5″ hoops. While always aimed at the longer travel side of the mountain bike spectrum, the 2017 model makes a triumphant return in carbon.

Just as we’ve seen through much of mountain biking, modern geometry is seeing a sweeping change with bikes going longer, lower, slacker, and shorter at the rear end. The Firebird is no different. Coupled with longer travel, drivetrain versatility, and Boost spacing, the Firebird’s geometry leaves little to be desired…
Continue reading “All-new Pivot Firebird Carbon takes flight as a long and low 170mm, 27.5″ ripper”



Pivot’s Firebird has been in the line up long enough that the first version still had 26″ wheels. First introduced with an aluminum frame, the Firebird was also the first Pivot to run 27.5″ hoops. While always aimed at the longer travel side of the mountain bike spectrum, the 2017 model makes a triumphant return […]

Posted in Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews1 Comment

Crankworx 2016: A day in the park with the Trek Remedy 9.9

Trek Remedy, Steve Fisher shredding Whistler Bike Park

Trek Remedy 9.9 RSL, angle shot

I must admit I wasn’t super excited to hear there was a Trek Remedy waiting for me to test ride during Crankworx, as the plan was to spend the day in the Whistler Bike Park. If we were hitting the trails I would have been thrilled, but before I actually saw the new bike I thought ‘I’m going to have to tread lightly on the mountain.” A few years ago I was riding the park on a 160mm bike, but eventually bought a DH in the pursuit of pushing my limits further. Since then I’ve never looked back, but…

Before the ride I found out the Remedy’s travel had grown to 150mm in the rear and (on the 9.9 Race Shop Limited Model tested) 160mm up front. Knowing that I was much more optimistic about the bike, and by the end of my first run I was having fun. The frame felt stiff and strong, and I was enjoying the nimble handling in tighter corners. The lighter weight bikes also pop off jumps with ease, so I quickly put my reservations aside and went full speed ahead…
Continue reading “Crankworx 2016: A day in the park with the Trek Remedy 9.9”



I must admit I wasn’t super excited to hear there was a Trek Remedy waiting for me to test ride during Crankworx, as the plan was to spend the day in the Whistler Bike Park. If we were hitting the trails I would have been thrilled, but before I actually saw the new bike I […]

Posted in Bicycles, Mountain Bike, Reviews5 Comments

Review: White Industries Centerlock Disc hubs…for cyclocross (updated)

white-industries-CLD-hubs-review-01

white-industries-CLD-hubs-review-01

White Industries has been making bicycle components for a long, long time. Founder Doug White started out with The Pegger, a simple Velcro strap to keep your pants leg from getting caught in the chain (check out this article), then went on to make bikes, derailleurs, cassettes, and now hubs and chainsets.

The CLD (CenterLock Disc) hubs were their first to get a more modern, swoopy profile. They look the part on the road, but are ready for mountain bikes, too. That means anything from pavement to, let’s say, trail riding is fair game. I put this set through the paces on my cyclocross bike, which sees a fair amount of year ’round riding and training use on gravel, road and dirt, plus the expected racing…

Continue reading “Review: White Industries Centerlock Disc hubs…for cyclocross (updated)”



White Industries has been making bicycle components for a long, long time. Founder Doug White started out with The Pegger, a simple Velcro strap to keep your pants leg from getting caught in the chain (check out this article), then went on to make bikes, derailleurs, cassettes, and now hubs and chainsets. The CLD (CenterLock […]

Posted in Components, Cyclocross, Reviews, Road Bike15 Comments