Posts in the category Reviews

Just In: Bontrager TLR Flash Charger Floor Pump Skips the Compressor for Tubeless Tires

Bontrager TLR Flash Charger Floor pump air compressor tubeless ready tire (3)

Even as bicycle tires trend towards tubeless for mountain, road, and now cyclocross, seating tires still remains a barrier to entry for some. Depending on the tubeless set up, getting the tires to seal up and seat on the rim can be a challenge without an air compressor at your disposal.

Enter the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger floor pump. Thanks to its built in high-volume air chamber, the pump is capable of seating tubeless tires without the need for a compressor or electricity. We just got our hands on the new pump and immediately started deflating and unseating tubeless tires around the office to test the pump’s capabilities.

How well does it work? Find out next…

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EB14: One Ride Review of Ghost’s 27.5” 130mm Riot LT Enduro Green Machine, Plus Nivolet 8 LC Disc Road

Ghost_Riot_LT_8_LC_650b_130mm_carbon_enduro_MTB_demo_day_suspension_detail  Ghost_Riot_LT_8_LC_650b_130mm_carbon_enduro_MTB_demo_day_linkage_detail

Ghost bikes had their new 27.5″ carbon enduro bike at Eurobike’s Demo Day for test rides, and we took the chance to hop on and try to give it a bit of a workout on some decidedly flat terrain. Thankfully in addition to nice forest roads and a bit of hidden singletrack, there was a pretty respectable test course for mountain bikes that made up for lack of elevation with plenty of berms, jumps, rock gardens, log piles , and even a pump track. We had the Riot LT set a bit softer than usual to get a feel for the plushness of the suspension with a hope of getting towards the reportedly progressive last 1/5 of it travel.

Bounce past the break to see what we thought of the bike, plus details of its Riot brethren and a pretty dialed looking disc road bike we found hiding in the back of their setup inside the show.

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Review Showdown: NiteRider Stinger USB VS Cateye Rapid X Taillights

NiteRider Stinger USB Taillight

With the kids back to school, cyclocross season starting, and summer ending, it’s time to bust out the commuter lights again.  Personally, I prefer easy to mount lights that recharge via USB and have good battery life.  The NiteRider Stinger USB and the Cateye Rapid X fit the bill.

Flash past the break for the reviews.

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Review: Fuji’s Elite XC Racer – The SLM 29 1.1

Fuji SLM 29 1.1 Drive Side

Photo Credit: Mitch Lomacz

Since the 1970’s, Fuji has been a mainstay brand in the US cycling scene.  The American owned, Japanese brand has impressed us with their Altamira SL.  The release of their well designed Transonic aero road frame and Tri  / TT  Norcom Straight have shown the company is forging  ahead with innovation and good design on the road.

Enough about the road though, we are here to talk about their latest endeavor on the dirt.  The Fuji SLM 29 1.1 aims to be a podium topping XC race bike out of the box.  The bike is adorn with XTR, a claimed 1000g carbon frame, tubeless ready wheels, carbon cockpit, and a Fox 32 Float 100mm fork.  It sounds like a solid recipe, but you’ll have to make the jump to find out.

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Trail LED: World’s Brightest Lights Get Brighter, Last Longer

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Trail LED, makers of the industry leading 6000 lumen Halo light, has upgraded their entire line with a new generation of LEDs, promising an increase in brightness, better clarity, and longer run times. Handmade in Plano, Texas, Trail LED’s unique design and cutting edge technology promises commuters and solo 24-hour racers alike better visibility and more comfort than their competitors. We are going to put their claims to the test, but first we have a quick look at the ten-lamp Halo, five-lamp DS, and three-lamp XXX models, as well as a sneak peak of their soon to be released bar mount.

Get blinded by the light after the break.

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Review: Litespeed Li2 Green Machine

Litespeed Li2 review

It’s been nearly 12 years since Litespeed started working with carbon fiber, and even though the brand is currently selling more carbon frames than titanium domestically, they still seem to be known as the Ti company. Since the beginning, Litespeed has always set out to make the best bike possible no matter the material. With titanium, the challenge was to take aerospace grade ti tubing and to turn it into bike specific tubesets to create high end bikes. Eventually, the cold worked shaped tubes became Litespeed’s calling card and the company still sells more titanium bikes than carbon internationally.

Looking for the next evolution in design, in 2002 Litespeed started experimenting with carbon fiber seatstays for the Sienna and the Ultimate. This would eventually lead to their first full carbon model, the C-Series aero road bike. Successful tweaking over the years led to a highly manipulated aero road bike, so the next logical step was what Litespeed refers to as a good “all-rounder.”

Right around that point Litespeed’s current CEO Peter Hurley stepped into the leadership role, and helped to improve the development process in a way that allowed product designer Brad DeVaney to create the bike he envisioned – the L Series.

We’ve been on the Litespeed Li2 for quite a few miles now, get our take on the bike after the break…

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Review: The Ride Pouch from Eleven Velo and Waterfield Designs

Eleven Velo Ride Pouch Front

For those that follow The Rules, you know #29. For those that do not:

“Rule #29 – No European Posterior Man-Satchel. Saddle bags have no place on a road bike, and are only acceptable on mountain bikes in extreme cases.”

Eleven Velo and Waterfield Designs joined forces and come to the rescue with their new Ride Pouch. This beautiful leather case is designed to hold all of your goodies and fit nicely in a jersey pocket, freeing your bike of that eye sore that is the saddle bag.

Join us on the other side for the details.

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Reviewed: Rapha’s Lightest Summer Bibs, Jersey, and Socks; Currently On Sale

Rapha_lighweight_kit_Super_Lightweight_jersey_Lightweight_Bib_shorts_testing01 Rapha_lighweight_kit_Super_Lightweight_jersey_Lightweight_Bib_shorts_testing04

Earlier this summer, just as the mercury first started peaking in central Europe, we had a chat at Rapha’s new HQ on the continent in Munich, and they decided to send us a set of their lightest weight cycling kit to test through the long hot days. I got to test it through a whirl wind of weather we had here from 35°C (95°F) and sunny back down to about 13°C (55°F) and wet in the span of a couple days. Needless to say I preferred the former, but I was happy throughout with the shorts and downright impressed with the jersey once I figure out how it performed best.

Now, if you move quickly as cooler days loom, you have the opportunity to pick up these pieces at reduced Rapha Summer Sale prices which make them more attainable. There should still be several good weeks of warm weather left to take advantage of some good summer riding.

Join me after the break for detailed thoughts, pics, pricing, and the current discount…

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One Ride Review: 2015 Felt Compulsion 160mm Travel 650B Mountain Bike

2015-Felt-Compulsion-650B-160mm-travel-enduro-trail-mountain-bike-review

Following Felt’s 2015 bike introduction, where we saw the new goodies for road, triathlon, cyclocross, mountain and e-bikes, they offered the chance to go ride. Curiously, I was the only one to take them up on it (right?!?), so designer Scott Sharples and I headed for the hills.

While he was riding a modified long travel 29er prototype that may or may not ever see the light of day now that everyone’s giddy for 650B, I sized up the new Compulsion 160mm travel trail bike.

Introduced at Sea Otter earlier this year, the 2015 Compulsion line switched from 26″ wheels to 27.5″ and slackened the frame. By the time you can buy it early next year, it’ll have three build options on the new alloy frame spec’d to hit the dirt hard without breaking the bank. The top end Compulsion 10 (tested) retails for $4,499 with a very respectable Race Face/X01 drivetrain, Rockshox suspension and KS LEV dropper post. From there, two models below come in at $3,299 and $2,699. Hit the MTB link above for full details.

Our 2.5 hour ride had us racing the setting sun back to the car, capping off a lot of climbing and some fast, fun, technical descending. Here’s how the bike performed…

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