Review: Camelbak K.U.D.U. hydration pack is ready for adventure…and enduro!

camelbak-kudu-enduro-ready-hydration-pack-review08

Along with the Bell Super 2R mountain bike helmet with removable chin bar, I needed an enduro-ready hydration pack for round one of the Italian Super Enduro series. Why? And what makes it “enduro ready”?

The Italian series, and others throughout the world, require spine protection to be worn during the race. And they require a full face helmet to be worn on the timed sections. The Super 2R’s convertible design made it possible to bring along just one helmet without having to wear a true full face during all the climbing transfer stages. But, that chin bar had to go somewhere while I was riding, as did water, snacks, a tool, tubes, etc. And, putting the back protection on the pack meant I didn’t need another padded base layer under my jersey to trap heat. So, I opted for a pack that combined my desired storage with the required protection, which was the Camelbak K.U.D.U…

Continue reading “Review: Camelbak K.U.D.U. hydration pack is ready for adventure…and enduro!”



Along with the Bell Super 2R mountain bike helmet with removable chin bar, I needed an enduro-ready hydration pack for round one of the Italian Super Enduro series. Why? And what makes it “enduro ready”? The Italian series, and others throughout the world, require spine protection to be worn during the race. And they require […]

Posted in Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, ReviewsLeave a comment

First Impressions: Riding the Pivot Switchblade in 29 and 27.5+ on Moab’s best trails

Pivot switchblade long travel 29 27 plus full suspension mountain bike-2
Pivot switchblade long travel 29 27 plus full suspension mountain bike-12
Photo c. Pivot Cycles/Lear Miller

For the launch of their newest bike, Pivot did things a bit differently. After showing up to Moab, the only information we were given on the Switchblade was that which we could detect with our own eyes. The bikes were set up to our exact specifications, pressures dialed, and pedals installed. Soon it was time for dinner so we could be up bright and early to hit the trail.

As we boarded the Whole Enchilada shuttle, we knew that the bikes we were about to ride were capable of running 27.5+ or 29″ wheels, and that they were longer travel than anything we’ve seen from Pivot with the big wheels. We also knew we were in for the quintessential Moab experience as we climbed to the highest spot currently open on the famous Porcupine Rim Trail.

It was no secret that our first ride on the Switchblade would be on 29″ wheels. We just didn’t know just how much fun the next few hours would be…

Continue reading “First Impressions: Riding the Pivot Switchblade in 29 and 27.5+ on Moab’s best trails”



For the launch of their newest bike, Pivot did things a bit differently. After showing up to Moab, the only information we were given on the Switchblade was that which we could detect with our own eyes. The bikes were set up to our exact specifications, pressures dialed, and pedals installed. Soon it was time […]

Posted in Bicycles, Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews8 Comments

Review: Race Face Chester pedals, Aeffect cranks and Love Handle grips

Race Face review, chester pedal feature img

Steve Fisher, Race Face testing, Pemberton, B.C.

Time to put on my finest flannel and go out for a rip! As Bikerumor’s Canadian contributor I was happy to get the chance to test some components from Vancouver B.C’s Race Face, an iconic MTB brand that had a near-death experience not long ago, but was revived to rise again as a key player in the industry.

Since my riding season began in late February, Race Face’s Chester composite platform pedals, Aeffect cranks and Love Handle grips have been on the trails and under the gun. After a few months of testing I’m not likely going to be pulling any of these parts off, as they’ve provided a comfortable connection to my bike and held up well under my abuse. Read on to see why Race Face has earned a solid ‘eh’ on their report card…
Continue reading “Review: Race Face Chester pedals, Aeffect cranks and Love Handle grips”



Time to put on my finest flannel and go out for a rip! As Bikerumor’s Canadian contributor I was happy to get the chance to test some components from Vancouver B.C’s Race Face, an iconic MTB brand that had a near-death experience not long ago, but was revived to rise again as a key player […]

Posted in Components, Mountain Bike, Reviews4 Comments

Long term Review: We take DVO’s super adjustable Diamond into the rough

2016-05-22 P1120225

2016-05-22 P1120225

DVO has made several green with envy since their entrance into the suspension marketplace. Though a somewhat new company, they really aren’t… well, in experience anyway. I was wrenching in a shop when mountain bike suspension first reared its springy head and recall when Marzocchi and the ultra-smooth & reactive Z1 Bomber entered the market. Everything on the market “worked”, but the Bomber was a performance game changer. Despite Marzocchi being a much smaller company, even with a few maintenance headaches and leaks, the Bombers just performed better. The founder of Marzocchi USA and the brainchild behind the Bomber line, (still considered one of the best performing forks of its day), Bryson Martin, along with many long time employees left the company due to struggles with the owner at the time, Tenneco, and soon after DVO was born. Quietly entering the almost monopolized market by the “big 2” was never their style and between the branding, their heritage, and that GREEN, it was game on… but does the performance back the hype?

Check out some of the ups and downs I had with the DVO Diamond and why it’s crucial to pay attention to the small details…

Continue reading “Long term Review: We take DVO’s super adjustable Diamond into the rough”



DVO has made several green with envy since their entrance into the suspension marketplace. Though a somewhat new company, they really aren’t… well, in experience anyway. I was wrenching in a shop when mountain bike suspension first reared its springy head and recall when Marzocchi and the ultra-smooth & reactive Z1 Bomber entered the market. Everything on […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Components, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews9 Comments

Review: Living with SRAM Red eTap wireless shifting for a few months

sram red eTap long term review

sram red eTap long term review

By now, we’ve covered the full development story, technology and first impressions and weigh in of SRAM Red eTap. So, after all that, having a bike with it for long term review let me focus on the ride experience rather than retelling its full story.

The short of it is this: I wanted it when it came out, and I still want it. On all my road bikes. But I will happily wait for the hydro disc brake version. Why happily wait? Because eTap’s electronic competition from Shimano and Campagnolo are both very good, so for me personally, there’s no sense in switching until I can get a complete disc brake system. For those still happy with rim brakes, it’s probably only the brakes will be changing – the shifting bits aren’t likely (I’m guessing, anyway) to see much change for at least a year or more since SRAM put so much development time and money into this product. So, if you’re keen on making the leap to electronic, it’s probably time to go wireless…

Continue reading “Review: Living with SRAM Red eTap wireless shifting for a few months”



By now, we’ve covered the full development story, technology and first impressions and weigh in of SRAM Red eTap. So, after all that, having a bike with it for long term review let me focus on the ride experience rather than retelling its full story. The short of it is this: I wanted it when […]

Posted in Components, Feature, Reviews, Road Bike29 Comments

Review: Bell Super 2R convertible full face helmet is the enduro racing solution

Bell Super 2R enduro mountain bike helmet with removable chin bar

Bell Super 2R enduro mountain bike helmet with removable chin bar

When SRAM invited us to the Eagle 1×12 launch, they offered an extension to the trip to race round one of the revived Italian Super Enduro series. Um, yes please, but first I needed the right gear. I like to pack light, but a full face helmet was required for participation in the event. But only on the timed downhill sections. On the transfer stages, you could wear a standard helmet. But I just couldn’t wrap my head around carrying a second helmet on my pack when something like the Bell Super 2R existed.

With a removable chin bar and all necessary safety certifications to meet race organizer approval (and, you know, those consumer safety entities), it was called in and packed for travel. Here’s how it worked out…

Continue reading “Review: Bell Super 2R convertible full face helmet is the enduro racing solution”



When SRAM invited us to the Eagle 1×12 launch, they offered an extension to the trip to race round one of the revived Italian Super Enduro series. Um, yes please, but first I needed the right gear. I like to pack light, but a full face helmet was required for participation in the event. But […]

Posted in Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Reviews3 Comments

First Impression: Atomik speeds things up with new carbon road tubeless wheels

Road Wheels IMG_7839

Road Wheels IMG_7839

While many companies sit behind a desk or send reps out to be the face of the company, owner Wayne Lee and VP Kevin Lineberger are road warriors. I was supposed to meet up with them a few months back at a wheel demo 10 minutes from my house, but the flu kept me home bound. Skip ahead to 2 weeks ago while at a local Enduro which was a whopping 25 minutes from my house. While raising a beer to some friends on the podium, I hear Wayne and Kevin’s name shouted out thanking them for their support… and there they stood. Unless a locally based business, you just don’t see that.

Atomik has been taunting us with their carbon road wheels since last October and now they’re available and priced well within the reach of those with non-dentist incomes. I had been testing a prototype set of their Chubby 27.5+ wheels for some time and soon after we caught wind of the carbon road tubeless wheels, they asked if I could give them some feedback on them as well.

Check out my first impression and why I’m waiting to do a more extensive long term review soon…

Continue reading “First Impression: Atomik speeds things up with new carbon road tubeless wheels”



While many companies sit behind a desk or send reps out to be the face of the company, owner Wayne Lee and VP Kevin Lineberger are road warriors. I was supposed to meet up with them a few months back at a wheel demo 10 minutes from my house, but the flu kept me home bound. Skip […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Components, Reviews, Road Bike6 Comments

Review: Dare VSR Aero Road Bike – Part One, with disc brakes

DareVSRReview2016-12

DareVSRReview2016-3

“We know how to develop a bike that is close to perfection” says Dare Bikes. That’s a bold claim to make, but they’ve garnered much experience from OEM manufacturing, quietly producing bikes for manufacturers such as Norco and Lapierre. Dare Bikes founded their own brand and line of bikes in 2011, and is preparing to enter into the market with machines such as the VSR – “Vetox Speed Race” – an aerodynamic road bike introduced earlier this year that can be fitted with disc brakes or rim brakes.

The VSR features Dare’s Vetox design concept, “like a blade that breaks through air resistance”. It starts with an uniquely shaped head tube featuring a groove design that splits and routes airflow cleanly around the front of the bike. Paired with the profile of Dare’s disc brake fork, the company claims a 30% reduction in turbulent airflow around this area of the bike. The BikeRumor wind tunnel was fully booked, preventing us from testing these claims, but that didn’t stop us from racking up some quality miles on the VSR and its disc brakes. Click on through to read Part One of our review… Continue reading “Review: Dare VSR Aero Road Bike – Part One, with disc brakes”



“We know how to develop a bike that is close to perfection” says Dare Bikes. That’s a bold claim to make, but they’ve garnered much experience from OEM manufacturing, quietly producing bikes for manufacturers such as Norco and Lapierre. Dare Bikes founded their own brand and line of bikes in 2011, and is preparing to enter into […]

Posted in Bicycles, Feature, Reviews, Road Bike9 Comments

Can tires make a bigger difference than aero wheels? We put Michelin Power to the test

Michelin power tire launch Brian Hodes Veloimages Hincapie Gran Fondo route Laurens Test Track (21)
Michelin power tire launch Brian Hodes Veloimages Hincapie Gran Fondo route Laurens Test Track (31)
Photos c. VeloImages/Michelin

Everybody loves free speed, right? Based on the latest trend to incorporate everything aero, it seems that the ability to shave a few seconds off your time by simply switching components is too tempting for a lot of riders to resist. Now what if you could gain more speed than an aero wheel set would provide, just by switching your tires? Not to mention you get better grip and puncture protection as well?

Sounds to good to be true, right? It’s for real. Or at least that’s why Michelin invited us out to their proving grounds in Laurens, SC. We were there to ride the new Michelin Power tires and see for ourselves whether their claims held true….

Continue reading “Can tires make a bigger difference than aero wheels? We put Michelin Power to the test”



Everybody loves free speed, right? Based on the latest trend to incorporate everything aero, it seems that the ability to shave a few seconds off your time by simply switching components is too tempting for a lot of riders to resist. Now what if you could gain more speed than an aero wheel set would […]

Posted in Clothes-Gear, Feature, Reviews, Road Bike50 Comments