Posts in the category Reviews

Long Term Review: 3T Luteus Disc Brake Cyclocross Fork

3T Luteus carbon fiber disc brake cyclocross fork long term review

It’s been quite some time since we’ve posted anything about the 3T Luteus carbon disc brake cyclocross fork. About three years, to be exact, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been seeing use. As one of the very first carbon disc brake forks made specifically for cyclocross, the Luteus divided opinions on its cable routing, but it was hard to deny the appeal of dropping weight and adding rigidity. Here’s how she’s performed for the past few ‘cross seasons…

With it’s gloss black finish and red pinstripes, the 3T Luteus disc brake carbon ‘cross is certainly dressed to impress. That said, these original graphics didn’t blend in with any frame, so 3T has (wisely, in our opinion) added a matte black stealth option.

During the past two seasons of testing, it’s been raced plenty, ridden a ton and managed hit the deck a few times. Check our original Unboxed & Weighed post for photos and weights, then hop the barriers for the long term review…

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EB14: 2015 Focus Mares CX 1.0 Disc Cyclocross Race Machine One Ride Review, Plus New Factory Builds

Focus_Mares_Disc_carbon_cyclocross_bike_test_ride_skinwill_Rocket-Ron_complete_driveside

Cross racing is in full swing here in Europe with us in the middle of the second race weekend of our season long cyclocross test. Spending ever more time off road on skinny tired bikes, I wanted to catch up on one of our Eurobike one-ride-reviews. We had a chance to take out the German-engineered Focus Mares CX on the tacky dirt and gravel trails behind the fairgrounds and through the purpose built mountain bike test track. The terrain was certainly too calm to get a great sense for the enduro bikes we rode, but let us see the snappy acceleration and stable handling of the newest iteration of this disc-brake race bike currently being ridden to podium after podium by American champ Jeremy Powers.

Read on for more of our first impressions, plus a bit more on the bike’s setup..

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First Ride: LifeBEAM’s Helmet Mounted Optical Heart Rate Monitor – Weights, Tech Updates & More!

LifeBEAM Smart Bicycle Helmet with integrated optical heart rate monitor and ant+ bluetooth 4 wireless data transmission

Introduced last year as an IndieGoGo project, LifeBEAM’s helmet-integrated heart rate monitor has not only made it into production, it’s been improved to include dual transmission to work with more devices.

Built around an optical sensor also used in military, hospital and sports watch applications, heart rate is measured by bouncing light off the skin and measuring the reflectivity to determine raw heart rate. The built in processor at the back of the helmet converts that data into a cleaner HR signal, accounting for movement and other “noise”, then broadcasts it over both Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ simultaneously.

Compared to a chest strap, LifeBEAM’s optical solution works instantly and flawlessly…no need to keep a moist layer between a physical contact point and your skin like with traditional heart rate straps. It’s also far more convenient, particularly if you’re like me and only remember said strap once fully dressed and ready to roll.

Click through to see how it works, tech details and why it’s only getting better…

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IB14: First Rides in Zoic’s New Camo Kit – Plus 2015 Riding Gear for the Whole Family

2015-Zoic-camo-ether-riding-shorts-DNA-tech-tee01

Zoic’s fall ’14/spring ’15 line was headlined by their new camouflage prints, with the pattern taking over a few of the shorts and simply highlighting a few panels for the tops. To complement them, other color tops, such as the orange worn here, pair with them nicely while working just as well on their own.

As they were packing up, the kind folks handed over a couple of sales samples for us to try out, so here’s a quick review along with the details on the new products. My ride was on a pleasant day, neither too sunny and hot or too gray and cool. Honestly, it was a perfect day for riding, and the clothing felt wonderful. I paired the new camo Ether shorts with an older Zoic padded base short I’ve had for a while, and they were both very comfortable for a 2.5 hour ride. The short’s material has a soft, lightly textured inner face that disappeared while riding. The length and fit was just right for XC/Trail riding, never snagging on the saddle or flapping in the breeze at speed.

The new DNA jersey is a more simplified version of the original, losing the side zip pockets. It keeps the raglan sleeves and v-neck for comfort and ease of movement, and the tech polyester wicks moisture away and stayed dry everywhere but under my Camelbak.

Check the details and lots more new riding kit for men, women and kids, below…

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Battle of the Enduro Bro Kit – Fanny Pack Shootout!

BikeRumor Enduro Fanny Pack Comparison

Fanny packs. If enduro wasn’t already the lamest marketing trend since 27.5″ wheels, the ass backwards 80′s fanny pack has suddenly reared its ugly head in some misguided sort of pseudo euro fashion statement. Damn it.

I absolutely adore my hydration pack in the way that one can only love an inanimate object they’ve carried for innumerable hours. That trusty bag has served as a makeshift pillow, hangover companion, beer tote, and trail buddy for years, yet now some reformed downhillers with moto envy have decided they’re uncool, so it’s suddenly time to trade that relationship in for a water bottle, some electrical tape, and a nylon murse.

Yet it’s our duty to report on the latest and greatest coming and goings of the industry, so since Tyler is a roadie, and Zach only rides fat bikes, I was somehow conned (I suspect alcohol may have been involved) into running an enduro bro fanny pack battle off. Yay me.

So, do you even enduro, bro?

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EB14: One Ride Review – Faraday Porteur E-Bike Rolls with Ease

Faraday Bikes e bike commuter townie (3)

Electric bicycles on mountain bike trails may be causing a stir, but the pedal assist market for commuting is booming. This may be more so the case in Europe where Eurobike was overrun by electric assisted bicycles, but the U.S. probably isn’t very far behind -  especially with new bikes like the Faraday Porteur making it to production. Originally part of a Kickstarter campaign, the Porteur is making its way into reality with a few changes. Compared to the original bike shown on Kickstarter the overall design hasn’t really changed, which is good – it’s one of best e-bikes we’ve ridden.

Find out why, next…

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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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