Posts in the category Reviews

First Look: Lezyne’s Classic & Steel Floor Drive Pumps Are Budget-Minded and Built To Last

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Lezyne makes high quality, well built bike accessories, and mostly from metal. Metal tends to be more durable, and the heavier, solid weight in your hands makes you think high quality.

Lezyne’s products are aimed a bit more at the higher end, so their entry-level pumps are more in the middle price range of the whole market. We take a close look at the Classic Floor Drive and Steel Floor Drive, with their machined steel barrel, varnished wood handle and cast aluminum base. See our thoughts after the break…

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Trail LED Halo, DS, and XXX Light Systems Long Term Review – UPDATED

Trail LED Halo DS and XXX

From the left: the Trail LED Halo, DS, and XXX lights.

UPDATES: Mounting ring clarification, longer battery life, handlebar bracket included with XXX and DS

Night riding season is upon us and after ten weeks running the Halo, DS, and XXX light systems from Texas based Trail LED, we are very impressed with the industry leading light levels and quality craftsmanship. Set aside the wild looks for a minute and let’s just talk performance. The lights are incredibly bright – Trail LED claims 6,000 lumens for the 10 lamp Halo, 3,000 lumens for the five lamp DS , and 1,800 lumens for the three lamp XXX. While we don’t have the equipment to test those claims, our riding experience demonstrated that each system was significantly brighter than similarly priced systems with roughly the same claimed power. When there are lights with similar claimed outputs, that is – there aren’t too many 6,000 lumen bike lights out there. The single power/mode button is well placed, easy to use with gloves, and offers a satisfying click. The unique if inelegant mounting system -tan colored surgical tubing bands- combined with their helmet hugging shape, reduced neck fatigue and skull inertia compared to traditional coal miner style light mounts.  The surgical tube “mounting rings” hold the lamps infinitely better than the Velcro straps offered by most competitors, they do not snag your helmet pads the way Velcro does, and they will never require zip-tie reinforcement.  The optional bar mount included with the XXX and DS is simply brilliant. The batteries are compact, easy to carry, interchangeable with all three lamps, and spares are half the cost of their competitors. Criticisms, and specifics on each system, after the jump… READ MORE ->

Weekend Test and Company Tour: Bionicon Edison EVO Enduro Claws Its Way Up and Bombs Downhill

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Early this fall we took some time out to head to Bionicon’s home base in the south of Germany on the Tegernsee, a lake where Bavaria backs up into the mountains, to try out their newest Enduro bike on the terrain it was designed for. Our visit also gave us a chance to spend some time on and off the bike with the passionate engineers who developed their uniquely linked front and rear air suspension systems. They showed us around on the trails and in their headquarters where all of their bikes and suspensions systems are designed and assembled. Plus, we got a bit of the story of the development of their bikes and where they were focusing next.

Follow me past the jump for a look inside the company and hands-on with the tech, as well as some of our impressions and pictures from riding both their 26″ and 27.5″ Edison EVO enduro bikes up some of the steepest gravel roads passable and down some of the steepest and most technical singletrack we’ve ever pedaled to the top of…

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First Look: Snow & Cold Can’t Stop Your Ride With Funkier’s Winter Jacket

Funkier-Zipper-PullWinter riding jackets can be somewhat of a subjective item. Riding in the winter is extremely demanding on clothing, needing insulation, breathability and windproofing all in one. Adding to that, what someone considers winter riding clothing in southern California can be good for September here in the upper Midwest.

Funkier Bike clothing makes this simply named Winter Jacket. Based in Tel Aviv, and most commonly sold in western Europe, Funkier is largely unknown in the USA so we were curious to see where they fell in the scale of winter clothing.

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Review: Superleggero Leggera Silk Scarf – On and Off the Bike

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Over the summer we received a few silk scarves from a small company based out of the Swiss Alps called Superleggero, that touted them as both a versatile transition season neck warmer and all-season fashion accessory. We liked their look and soft feel against the skin, but didn’t think we would really change our wardrobe to benefit from their luxury, fashion side. However, when the weather turned first wetter, then cooler they started to join us on almost every ride, as we tried to see what fine silk really had to offer. Follow past the break to see what our tests revealed…

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Just In: Zipp 202 Firecrest Clincher Disc Brake Wheelset

Zipp 202 Clincher firecrest carbon wheels (6)

According to Zipp, it was the need for better braking in cyclocross that inspired the creation of their first disc brake wheel. After introducing the disc brake 303 to the world in 2013, Zipp started working on a new creation that would appeal to the growing road disc segment. Slotting in underneath the 45mm 303 Firecrest rim, Zipp’s 32mm 202 Firecrest wheelset adds the ability to run disc brakes while keeping things as light as possible.

Just as you would expect from any carbon wheelset coming out of Indianapolis, the 202 Firecrest Disc Brake wheels offer an extremely high end level of fit and finish as well as an impressive weight – for a price.

Details plus actual weights next…

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Review: MyTi Alt Bar From Carver Bikes Arrives in Carbon Fiber

Carver-My-Ti-Carbon-RidingCarver Bikes started as a house brand of Bikeman.com, where owner Davis Carver started creating and offering products that his suppliers were not making. Small, but with a loyal following, Carver had many niche products to market before larger brands.

Carver mostly works in titanium, and introduced the MyTi handlebar a few years ago, which is an Alt style sweep bar made from ti. A great material, but typically pretty expensive, and not very light. Enter the MyTi Carbon, coming in at 50% less weight and 33% less cost, and our first ride impression after the break…

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Layer Up with New Cold Weather Accessories from Bontrager

Bontrager baselayers hooded windshell b1 b2 b3 winter gloves (2)

It’s only November and we’ve already seen cold and snow. Time to bundle up. There are a ton of different cool and cold weather clothing options out there but there is a common theme – layering. Not only does it make it easier to achieve the right temperature balance for varying conditions, layering also makes it easier to regulate heat as the ride goes on.

When it comes to layering the best place to start is the bottom, naturally. A base layer is an easy way to expand the temperature range of your favorite kit. Not all that long ago it seemed like base layers varied only by sleeve length. Now, companies like Bontrager offer an entire range of undershirts that offer a perfect mate to your favorite jerseys and jackets.

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Review: POC’s Trabec Helmet Is Comfortable And Looks Great

POC Trabec

Attracted to the modern, clean styling, I chose the Trabec to protect my head for the entire past riding season.  POC, a Swedish company, has shown that a helmet does not have to look like an alien space craft to be attractive. They have taken that even further by making this example of great industrial design safe and comfortable as well.

Designed for enduro and single track riding, this helmet has a greater coverage around the sides and back of the head. Add in an Aramid filament to reinforce the entire helmet, and specific strength engineering for areas that will more commonly take impacts, and this helmet will give you additional courage to charge ahead. See how it all adds up after the break…

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