World’s Funnest Bike Part III: Built ridden & reviewed… plus video! Now, SHOW US YOURS!!!

Playground 000 b Cranks (3)

Here it is in all its colorful glory. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how this bike was going to ride or how it would look once the parts started flowing in… especially with my wheel choice(s). At first, I didn’t really care if something didn’t match as we often get things in for testing that aren’t all matchy-matchy with the rigs on hand. Once the first few pieces came in (black/blue EPO frame, black/yellow wheels, Kawasaki green DVO fork…), well, now I was on a mission!

Check out the final build & ride review, lots of pics, plus a really “cinematographic” video of the bike in action…

Continue reading “World’s Funnest Bike Part III: Built ridden & reviewed… plus video! Now, SHOW US YOURS!!!”



Here it is in all its colorful glory. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how this bike was going to ride or how it would look once the parts started flowing in… especially with my wheel choice(s). At first, I didn’t really care if something didn’t match as we often get things in for testing that […]

Posted in Bicycles, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Concept, Fatbike, Mountain Bike, Reviews, Video13 Comments

Review: Coros Linx smart helmet connects your smart phone to your head

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use-p1140002

There has been a tidal wave of technology flooding the bicycle industry trying to integrate the power of our hand-held computers (with phone service) to our riding experience. While many may think this sounds ludicrous, many of the potential soon to be cyclists expect this sort of standard because… well what don’t smartphones do for us nowadays? Coros sent me an early run of their Linx “smart helmet” to try out. The Linx takes many of the most commonly used functions provided by your phone and wraps them up in a safe, hands-free place around your head.

Stick with me here and see why this could be more of a benefit than you might think…

Continue reading “Review: Coros Linx smart helmet connects your smart phone to your head”



There has been a tidal wave of technology flooding the bicycle industry trying to integrate the power of our hand-held computers (with phone service) to our riding experience. While many may think this sounds ludicrous, many of the potential soon to be cyclists expect this sort of standard because… well what don’t smartphones do for us […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Commuter, Concept, Gadgets & Hacks, Kickstarter, Reviews9 Comments

First Impressions: Riding the new Specialized Roubaix from Flanders to Roubaix

pave-awaits-group2-263.jpg

pave-awaits-group2-263.jpg

When I found out that we would be headed to Kortrijk, Belgium for the Specialized launch, things started to click. We still didn’t technically know what we were going to see, but it was pretty easy to read between the lines. Not only is Kortrijk used as a base camp for major classics events, it’s also a short trip from Flanders and Roubaix. The surrounding countryside is dotted with infamous cobble sectors and varying road surfaces perfect for testing out a new bike. A bike like the all new Roubaix.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that with excellent bikes like the Domane popping up, Specialized’ endurance flagship was due for a face lift. More than just a cosmetic refresh though, the Roubaix had to deliver a ride that was fast over any surface. Which led specialized to question, is smooth fast? In principle, it seems like an obvious answer. But in practice, it was much harder to prove. Specialized has relied on their sponsored athletes to help with that question for years, but for the new Roubaix, a ground breaking bike was going to require a new approach. It was time yet again to enlist the help of McLaren, only this time they would be testing how to make a bike faster by making it smoother rather than more aero.

The result of that partnership is not only the lightest frame that Specialized has ever made, but a surprising take on how to make a bike smooth and fast. The new Roubaix is something that has to be ridden to be believed, which was exactly why we were about to set out to ride some of the most infamous cobble stones in the world…

Continue reading “First Impressions: Riding the new Specialized Roubaix from Flanders to Roubaix”



When I found out that we would be headed to Kortrijk, Belgium for the Specialized launch, things started to click. We still didn’t technically know what we were going to see, but it was pretty easy to read between the lines. Not only is Kortrijk used as a base camp for major classics events, it’s […]

Posted in Bicycles, Feature, Reviews, Road Bike36 Comments

Make a statement with SAKO7 riding socks & kits

Roses_Kit_Model

ProSolGrey2

My college cycling team had a few rules, 1. look good, 2. go fast, and 3. be safe. SAKO7 takes the most important rule seriously with a philosophy centered around being stylish while riding. They offer a range of colors and patterns that pair up with virtually any bike, and an appeal that stretches beyond paved roads for both men and women.

Get a lesson in style past the break…

Continue reading “Make a statement with SAKO7 riding socks & kits”



My college cycling team had a few rules, 1. look good, 2. go fast, and 3. be safe. SAKO7 takes the most important rule seriously with a philosophy centered around being stylish while riding. They offer a range of colors and patterns that pair up with virtually any bike, and an appeal that stretches beyond paved roads for both […]

Posted in Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Reviews5 Comments

I’m not mid-fat, I’m big boned! New Industry Nine Backcountry 360 squeezes out even more volume

Back Country 360 0 (1)

Back Country 360 0 (1)

While everyone has been making like Cool Hand Luke and seeing how much “plus” they can stuff into their husky stays, there has been another movement towards improving the standard 2.4″ – 2.5″ tires’ stance. To give the tire more lateral stability when running lower pressures, a 35 – 36mm wide rim can potentially spread out a tire just enough without flattening it out too much. Nestled in Asheville, NC neighboring the now not so secret Pisgah National Forest, Industry Nine is no stranger to aggressive trail riding. And while their Enduro 305 wheels are stout in their own right, the demand for wider is strong and Industry Nine has seized the opportunity.

We got our hands on a pre-production set of these bad boys, so check out the details and weights on Industry Nine’s new fluffy Backcountry 360 wheels, (they’re light, so I ruled out “Husky”), and how they look up close…

Continue reading “I’m not mid-fat, I’m big boned! New Industry Nine Backcountry 360 squeezes out even more volume”



While everyone has been making like Cool Hand Luke and seeing how much “plus” they can stuff into their husky stays, there has been another movement towards improving the standard 2.4″ – 2.5″ tires’ stance. To give the tire more lateral stability when running lower pressures, a 35 – 36mm wide rim can potentially spread out a tire […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Components, Mountain Bike, Reviews8 Comments

Review: Hermes Sport’s magnetically pawled, mostly US-made hubs & alloy wheels

hermes sport hub and alloy wheel review

(Editor’s Note: This is a guest review from our friends at Blacksmith Cycle in Canada. They are not a dealer of Hermes Sport and have no affiliation with them or incentive to promote the brand, but they ride hard and often, try a lot of boutique products for their own use, and we trust their opinion.)

The Hermes Sport aluminum clincher wheels are not your run of the mill aluminum hoops. These are American-assembled, lightweight, solidly-stiff, tech-heavy wheels that demand to be taken seriously. While the super sexy Hermes hubset ought be the focus of this wheelset review, the asymmetric rims matched with Mach-1 bladed alloy spokes also performed well under continuous testing across a three-month span of about 1,500km of riding.

In terms of specs, we covered them at the Fall 2014 launch, and things have remained relatively unchanged, except that Hermes Sport has now dropped pricing to $750 for the wheelset, with ceramic bearing upgrade running a very reasonable $90. When you consider that a set of Chris King R45 hubs retails for almost this price, getting the entire wheelset built on the Hermes Sport hubs would seem to represent a solid deal in this wheel category…

Continue reading “Review: Hermes Sport’s magnetically pawled, mostly US-made hubs & alloy wheels”



(Editor’s Note: This is a guest review from our friends at Blacksmith Cycle in Canada. They are not a dealer of Hermes Sport and have no affiliation with them or incentive to promote the brand, but they ride hard and often, try a lot of boutique products for their own use, and we trust their […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Components, Reviews, Road Bike25 Comments

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, Reviews10 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, Reviews21 Comments