Hands On: All new CycleOps Hammer *quietly* smashes the direct drive trainer world

CycleOps IMG_7771

CycleOps IMG_7771

Trainers are the things we love to hate. If you’re one of those that cringe every time the temp drops because you can hear that dust covered trainer calling from behind eight months worth of basement clutter… well, there’s hope. In recent years we’ve seen the next generation of trainers emerge with a direct drive system that eliminates the tire (shredding) to roller interface with a more refined system that is intended to create a better, more realistic experience.

While placed in the highest price bracket, direct drive trainers have taken off better than many would have suspected for such a torturous device. Though partially because technology at that level allowed for ANT+ and Bluetooth integration so a number of devices and “reactive” simulators could be used to make things more entertaining, they really have put a lot of emphasis on making them feel more realistic. Ironically CycleOps, the largest trainer manufacturer, (who is under the Saris umbrella along with PowerTap), was surprisingly missing in this new category of trainers. From the looks of it, the folks at CycleOps were studying the competition and listening to feedback VERY closely and knocked this one out of the park.

Check out what they came up with and their pretty ingenious axle interface that will fit about every current & future bike. Also a video showing how freaking quiet it is (good luck hearing it over people talking). This might just be the trainer you hate to love…

Continue reading “Hands On: All new CycleOps Hammer *quietly* smashes the direct drive trainer world”



Trainers are the things we love to hate. If you’re one of those that cringe every time the temp drops because you can hear that dust covered trainer calling from behind eight months worth of basement clutter… well, there’s hope. In recent years we’ve seen the next generation of trainers emerge with a direct drive system that […]

Posted in Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Reviews, Training33 Comments

Review: new ABUS Titalium Lock and Brooklyn Chain

ABUS_Titalium_Brooklyn_Lock_and_Chain_Key

ABUS_Titalium_Brooklyn_Lock_and_Chain_Key

German lock maker ABUS has a new bike lock and chain for Brooklyn-level urban security (they give it their own security rating of 12 out of 15).  The unique 50mm alloy padlock and 10mm hardened steel chain are bombproof, and with a proven lock tumbler design, you can trust there isn’t a Youtube pen or soda can hack to worry about…

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German lock maker ABUS has a new bike lock and chain for Brooklyn-level urban security (they give it their own security rating of 12 out of 15).  The unique 50mm alloy padlock and 10mm hardened steel chain are bombproof, and with a proven lock tumbler design, you can trust there isn’t a Youtube pen or […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Miscellaneous, Reviews7 Comments

Review: Eddy Merckx Strasbourg 71 alloy gravel road bike

MerckxStrasbourg71-Review-2016-30

MerckxStrasbourg71-Review-2016-1

If the name Eddy Merckx doesn’t ring a bell, Google “greatest bicycle racer of all time”.

Assuming visits to resulting websites are true to form, the number one response is Eddy Merckx. His palmares include 525 race victories spanning eighteen years including eleven Grand Tour victories, a record which stands to this day. The Eddy Merckx Strasbourg 71 bike is a machine we featured last year, and pays homage to Eddy’s stage victory in the 1971 Tour de France over Roger de Vlaeminck, a great champion and cyclocross specialist, on a gravel road surface with a well-timed bike throw.

The Strasbourg 71 is the first and only gravel bike from the brand, and is centered around a 6069 aluminum frameset and carbon monocoque fork. Shimano’s workhorse 105 11-speed groupset ties the frame and wheelset together, and features 105 level hydraulic / mechanical shifters and hydraulic brake calipers. We put it through the paces…

Continue reading “Review: Eddy Merckx Strasbourg 71 alloy gravel road bike”



If the name Eddy Merckx doesn’t ring a bell, Google “greatest bicycle racer of all time”. Assuming visits to resulting websites are true to form, the number one response is Eddy Merckx. His palmares include 525 race victories spanning eighteen years including eleven Grand Tour victories, a record which stands to this day. The Eddy Merckx Strasbourg 71 bike […]

Posted in Bicycles, Feature, Gravel Bikes, Reviews12 Comments

Review: 2016 Kona Hei Hei DL Trail 29er mountain bike

Kona Hei Hei DL Trail bike review (10)

Kona Hei Hei DL Trail bike review (6)
Categories. It used to be a mountain bike was a mountain bike. You’d use the same bike for trials, DH, and XC, and all in the same weekend.  Now it seems like there is a category for everything – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Given the varying speeds, terrain, and riding styles across the full spectrum of mountain biking, having something a little more purpose built will usually improve the experience, as long as you pick the right tool for the job.

But at the same time we’re also starting to see more bikes that blur the lines between established categories. The Kona Hei Hei DL Trail is definitely one of those bikes. Possessing only 100mm of travel in the rear, the combination of 120mm up front and slightly more playful angles will leave you asking if this thing is an XC bike on steroids, or a leaned out trail bike? Yes…

Continue reading “Review: 2016 Kona Hei Hei DL Trail 29er mountain bike”



Categories. It used to be a mountain bike was a mountain bike. You’d use the same bike for trials, DH, and XC, and all in the same weekend.  Now it seems like there is a category for everything – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Given the varying speeds, terrain, and riding styles across the […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews6 Comments

Review: Dean’s titanium Antero cross bike takes “custom” titanium to a whole new (price) level

Dean Bikes P1120116

Dean Bikes P1120116

Dean Titanium has a deep history and since long time employee and welder Ari Leon has taken the reigns, we’ve seen a lot of new shapes and offerings coming out of the Boulder frame builder’s doors. After chatting with them at Interbike last year, they suggested we check out one of their new “stock” offerings, so we did!

Getting on a nice titanium bike for close to the cost of (high quality) steel was great, but Dean’s Antero cross bike has a few tricks up its sleeve… plus you can customize the frame to suite your needs…

Continue reading “Review: Dean’s titanium Antero cross bike takes “custom” titanium to a whole new (price) level”



Dean Titanium has a deep history and since long time employee and welder Ari Leon has taken the reigns, we’ve seen a lot of new shapes and offerings coming out of the Boulder frame builder’s doors. After chatting with them at Interbike last year, they suggested we check out one of their new “stock” offerings, […]

Posted in Bicycles, Commuter, Cyclocross, Feature, Reviews11 Comments

Dissent Labs 8” Supercrew and Semenuk GFX Compression Socks

Dissent Labs socks, on feet

Dissent Labs socks, feet up

Hailing from Pemberton, B.C. Dissent Labs is a small brand that has some big names (like Brandon Semenuk, Mike Hopkins, Remi Gauvin, and Bas and Tom Van Steenbergen) backing their products. Dissent Labs was formed when company owner Josh Hall decided to create a line of high quality socks that would keep serious athletes as comfortable as possible.

Dissent manufactures socks for both skiing and mountain biking, and the brand was officially launched during Crankworx 2012. Hall teamed up with PerformX athletes Remy Metailler, Casey Brown and Kyle Sangers, and word spread quickly that they were loving their new socks. By the end of the week Dissent had signed on a dozen or so riders, many of whom are still core team members.

Based on the growing popularity of the brand, it seems Dissent’s technical aspects and comfortable fit are striking a chord with many riders. Below we’ll check out the specs and ride reviews of their Supercrew and Semenuk GFX Compression socks…
Continue reading “Dissent Labs 8” Supercrew and Semenuk GFX Compression Socks”



Hailing from Pemberton, B.C. Dissent Labs is a small brand that has some big names (like Brandon Semenuk, Mike Hopkins, Remi Gauvin, and Bas and Tom Van Steenbergen) backing their products. Dissent Labs was formed when company owner Josh Hall decided to create a line of high quality socks that would keep serious athletes as […]

Posted in Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Reviews1 Comment

Review: Wickwerks lets you have your cake & eat it too meshing Standard 53t & Compact 34t rings

0P1120062

0P1120062

I had a pretty extensive conversation with the folks at Wickwerks at Interbike back in September as I was somewhat intrigued by their new option for junior gearing that would make needing to order special-sized cassettes a thing of the past. Even more so was that they were “successfully” running a 53 + 34 tooth chainring combination they developed, which I knew from past experience shouldn’t work well. I mean, you could drive a Prius through the gap between the small chainring and the front derailleur cage!

They sent me 2 sets of their Road Ultra Wide rings to try out on both mechanical and Di2 systems to see if how they worked…

Continue reading “Review: Wickwerks lets you have your cake & eat it too meshing Standard 53t & Compact 34t rings”



I had a pretty extensive conversation with the folks at Wickwerks at Interbike back in September as I was somewhat intrigued by their new option for junior gearing that would make needing to order special-sized cassettes a thing of the past. Even more so was that they were “successfully” running a 53 + 34 tooth chainring combination they developed, […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Components, Reviews21 Comments

Review: Featherweight Fuji SL 1.3 floats like a butterfly, but only the competition will feel the sting

Fuji SL (1)

Fuji SL (1)

It isn’t often that I pick up a bike and am almost afraid to ride it. Fuji’s 14.17lb/6.44kg SL 1.3 was a bike I’d been wanting to try since it was first announced back in August. Taking into consideration that a bike this light is bound to spend time on the hills. Even with the 695 gram frame being a climber’s dream, the SL 1.3 is made for pure performance on the road, regardless of rider or terrain.

Check out all of the reasons I think this bike should be on someone’s top five list of this season’s race machines…

Continue reading “Review: Featherweight Fuji SL 1.3 floats like a butterfly, but only the competition will feel the sting”



It isn’t often that I pick up a bike and am almost afraid to ride it. Fuji’s 14.17lb/6.44kg SL 1.3 was a bike I’d been wanting to try since it was first announced back in August. Taking into consideration that a bike this light is bound to spend time on the hills. Even with the 695 gram frame being a climber’s dream, the […]

Posted in Bicycles, Reviews, Road Bike7 Comments

Maxxis Appalachian Summit – New tire testing at the Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get-a-way

Maxxis summit mulberry gap plus tire high roller II aggressor-17

Maxxis summit mulberry gap plus tire high roller II aggressor-54

When you think of Georgia, you might not think Maxxis tires and mountain bike destinations. That’s precisely the reason Maxxis had us down to Elijay, GA.
Tucked away well off the main road in the mountains of north Georgia, there is a gem of a mountain bike destination that is known as the Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Getaway. Just a few hours from Maxxis’ USA headquarters in Suwanee, GA, Mulberry Gap is the perfect base camp to stage some epic back country rides. It also turned out to be a great stage to check out some of the latest treads and tire technology from Maxxis

Continue reading “Maxxis Appalachian Summit – New tire testing at the Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get-a-way”



When you think of Georgia, you might not think Maxxis tires and mountain bike destinations. That’s precisely the reason Maxxis had us down to Elijay, GA. Tucked away well off the main road in the mountains of north Georgia, there is a gem of a mountain bike destination that is known as the Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Getaway. Just a […]

Posted in Components, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews, Where to Ride5 Comments