Posts in the category Reviews

Unboxed, Weighed & Installed: SRAM Force CX1 Cyclocross Group & Hydraulic Disc Brakes

2015 SRAM CX1 1x11 cyclocross component group with hydraulic disc brakes install notes and actual weights

SRAM’s Force CX1 group with hydraulic disc brakes had no sooner showed up then we threw it on the scale, installed and took it to a very muddy race at Pisgah Brewing near Asheville, NC.

Introduced in March, the group just started aftermarket shipping en masse around August, with hydraulic brake versions following in September. For those upgrading their current rig, it meant a nick-of-time delivery before the season gets too far underway. Fortunately, installation is pretty straightforward, even if you have to run hydraulic disc brakes through a frame. Heck, even if you don’t, they ship with very long hoses, so chances are high you’ll need to at least trim the length and re-bleed them.

Here’s the run down of individual component weights, including a comparison to the mechanical brake counterparts, and install notes…

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Hands On with the Fezzari Forè Cyx Cyclocross Bike

Fezzari Fore Cyx cyclocross cross bike carbon disc (2)

To Fezzari, Forè means the best. Out in front. Top of the line. In the case of the Forè Cyx (siKs) it means cross. Technically, Cyx is the model name while Forè is being introduced as Fezzari’s top tier brand. Think of Forè as Fezzari’s S-Works if you will. Along with their Forè Cyx cross bikes Fezzari currently has a number of Forè road bikes as well with more on the way.

Based out of Utah, Fezzari is a consumer direct company that specializes in high end bikes with the service to match. As for the name? After founding the company the owner asked his son to come up with the craziest name he could think of, something unique that would stick. The name Fezzari also plays on Utah’s penchant for double Zs for their sports team with the Jazz, Grizzlies, Starzz and many other now retired names.

Representing one of the newest models for 2015, the Forè Cyx was introduced just in time for the start of cyclocross season and brings with it the latest in equipment and frame technology. If you’re looking for a cross bike with disc brakes and thru axles, the Forè Cyx is worth a look…

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Just In: Bontrager Affinity Elite TLR Road/CX Disc Wheels & CX0 and CX3 Tubeless Tires

Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (4)

Bontrager’s Affinity Elite TLR wheel set is listed as Road disc, but this time of year for us that means they double as a cyclocross wheelset. Bontrager seems to think so to as the wheels were shipped with their new tubeless CX0 and CX3 cyclocross tires.

A lot has changed in the world of cyclocross technology recently which means buying a new wheel set can be a tricky proposition if you want them to have any chance of being future proof. Fortunately the Affinity wheels are a versatile design that are equally at home on your bike or in the pits…

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Warm, Bright, Reflective, the Pactimo Fall Collection Has it All

RFLX_NightShoot_3

As both the season and day light wind down, there is a lot of talk about lights. Indeed, lights are very important both to allow you to see and get you noticed by drivers, but clothing can also play an important role in visibility. Brightly colored threads help you stand out in the day while reflective panels make you pop against a car’s headlights.

Even though many riders acknowledge the need for visible clothing, for many cyclists style comes first for better or for worse. When Pactimo set out to create their Fall line for 2014 their goal was simple -  create a collection of clothes with attention grabbing colors and smart reflective panels that don’t look like you’re wearing a safety jacket.

Combined with Pactimo’s value for the money and fit that we love, and you have some very interesting, very attention grabbing Fall cycling gear. See what makes the new gear shine next…

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Review: Absolute Black XX1-Style Cyclocross Single Narrow-Wide Chainring

absolute black xx1 style cyclocross single narrow wide chainring review and actual weights

Absolute Black’s XX1-style narrow/wide chainring for cyclocross is an appealing option. It’s light, it’s pretty and it uses a common 110BCD mounting pattern. It also has their excellent tooth profiles, which we’ve been pretty happy with across several different bikes and chainrings.

My CX chainring came in at the tail end of last ‘cross season, so it spent beginning of the year getting abused at the last of our local NCCX races. After that, it spent the spring and summer bring ridden around town, through gravel paths and along for some random ‘cross training rides. All the while keeping the chain perfectly intact and rolling smooth.

I installed it on my Moots with an otherwise Ultegra Di2 6770 group, swapping out the double crankset for a standard 110BCD FSA SL-K carbon crankset. This was done mainly for aesthetics, matching the black chainring to a black crankset with more traditionally shaped bolt arms. But also to test the Chris King PFBB with a true BB30 crankset, more on that separately.

The system kept the original Shimano DynaSys 10-speed chain, which has held up admirably well to several years of use on my ‘cross bike. It also kept the rear derailleur set up in it’s stock configuration. Marcin, AB’s founder, strongly recommended that I increase the return spring’s tension, but I wanted to test it as-is first. Here’s how it all went…

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Long Term Review: Triple Eight’s New MTB & Urban Helmets

Triple Eight Compass MTB helmet and Gotham urban helmet

Triple Eight, the NYC purveyor of skater lids and pads, has been moving into bike specific helmets recently. The bike line has four models, ranging from a kids helmet to a full face helmet, and we received their Compass (MTB) and Gotham (urban/commuter) for testing. Hit ‘more’ for weights, prices, and review.

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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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