Project Road Bike: Rolling on Venn’s filament wound carbon fiber wheels (UPDATED)

Venn REV 35 TCD woven carbon fiber road tubeless wheels review and actual weights

Introduced in Spring 2015, Venn Composites’ filament-wound carbon rim construction brought about an entirely new way to make rims. One that could be lighter without giving up strength or stiffness, all with a process that allows for perfect 100% repeatability and consistency from rim to rim. It’s also completely automated, which cuts down on manufacturing costs, and those savings are passed on to you and me.

The rim design uses a wide, NACA-like profile designed to improve aerodynamics on the relatively shallow 35mm depth. They’re tubeless ready and come in disc- or rim brake specific versions. We’ve been riding a set of the disc brake ones for about a year as part of our Project Road Bike, here’s how it’s going…

Continue reading “Project Road Bike: Rolling on Venn’s filament wound carbon fiber wheels (UPDATED)”



Introduced in Spring 2015, Venn Composites’ filament-wound carbon rim construction brought about an entirely new way to make rims. One that could be lighter without giving up strength or stiffness, all with a process that allows for perfect 100% repeatability and consistency from rim to rim. It’s also completely automated, which cuts down on manufacturing […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Components, Gravel Bikes, Reviews, Road Bike9 Comments

Crankworx 2016: A quick (p)review of the YT Capra AL, with more to come…

2016 YT Capra AL, feature img

YT Capra AL, side shot

No animal has mastered the art of skipping across treacherous terrain quite like the Capra (mountain goat), so it makes sense to pay tribute to these beasts with a bike designed to capably handle ups, downs and everything in between. As the company’s enduro/all-mountain model, YT’s Capra intends to strike that desirable balance of agility and stability, coupled with supple yet supportive suspension.

I had opportunity to try out the entry level aluminum (with carbon seat stays) 2016 Capra AL during Crankworx this year but only had a short time on the bike, so this article covers my first impressions only. YT was quick to point out that I was riding a well used demo fleet bike, and we didn’t do any tuning beyond setting the shock’s sag. They were reluctant to let me write anything at this point, but we came to a nice agreement- I should soon have a Capra AL in my hands for a proper, long term review. In the meantime, here’s the preview…
Continue reading “Crankworx 2016: A quick (p)review of the YT Capra AL, with more to come…”



No animal has mastered the art of skipping across treacherous terrain quite like the Capra (mountain goat), so it makes sense to pay tribute to these beasts with a bike designed to capably handle ups, downs and everything in between. As the company’s enduro/all-mountain model, YT’s Capra intends to strike that desirable balance of agility […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Mountain Bike, Reviews5 Comments

World’s Funnest Bike Part 2: One dope carriage that brings all the fun to the trail

Headbadge IMG_8066-2

Headbadge IMG_8066-2

Every so often a brand will create something that spreads like wildfire through social circles and the next thing you know, they’re popping up everywhere. Most often this contagious feat is due to a company doing things a little differently based on not paper but pure “on the dirt” experience. Even better, when that said experience comes from a couple of brothers, one being a mechanical engineer, former pro downhiller & Red Bull Rampage competitor, and the other having raced on the world cup circuit… well, what did you think would happen?

If you hadn’t already, check out last week’s post on the Skittle-like parts I gathered to mount on this soon to be party on wheels. Otherwise, step right in and take a close look at what a couple of brothers came up with and what led me to start assembling this as MY “world’s funnest bike”…

Continue reading “World’s Funnest Bike Part 2: One dope carriage that brings all the fun to the trail”



Every so often a brand will create something that spreads like wildfire through social circles and the next thing you know, they’re popping up everywhere. Most often this contagious feat is due to a company doing things a little differently based on not paper but pure “on the dirt” experience. Even better, when that said experience comes […]

Posted in Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews5 Comments

All-new Pivot Firebird Carbon takes flight as a long and low 170mm, 27.5″ ripper

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Pivot firebird 170mm travel mountain bike dw link_-2

Pivot’s Firebird has been in the line up long enough that the first version still had 26″ wheels. First introduced with an aluminum frame, the Firebird was also the first Pivot to run 27.5″ hoops. While always aimed at the longer travel side of the mountain bike spectrum, the 2017 model makes a triumphant return in carbon.

Just as we’ve seen through much of mountain biking, modern geometry is seeing a sweeping change with bikes going longer, lower, slacker, and shorter at the rear end. The Firebird is no different. Coupled with longer travel, drivetrain versatility, and Boost spacing, the Firebird’s geometry leaves little to be desired…
Continue reading “All-new Pivot Firebird Carbon takes flight as a long and low 170mm, 27.5″ ripper”



Pivot’s Firebird has been in the line up long enough that the first version still had 26″ wheels. First introduced with an aluminum frame, the Firebird was also the first Pivot to run 27.5″ hoops. While always aimed at the longer travel side of the mountain bike spectrum, the 2017 model makes a triumphant return […]

Posted in Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews1 Comment

Crankworx 2016: A day in the park with the Trek Remedy 9.9

Trek Remedy, Steve Fisher shredding Whistler Bike Park

Trek Remedy 9.9 RSL, angle shot

I must admit I wasn’t super excited to hear there was a Trek Remedy waiting for me to test ride during Crankworx, as the plan was to spend the day in the Whistler Bike Park. If we were hitting the trails I would have been thrilled, but before I actually saw the new bike I thought ‘I’m going to have to tread lightly on the mountain.” A few years ago I was riding the park on a 160mm bike, but eventually bought a DH in the pursuit of pushing my limits further. Since then I’ve never looked back, but…

Before the ride I found out the Remedy’s travel had grown to 150mm in the rear and (on the 9.9 Race Shop Limited Model tested) 160mm up front. Knowing that I was much more optimistic about the bike, and by the end of my first run I was having fun. The frame felt stiff and strong, and I was enjoying the nimble handling in tighter corners. The lighter weight bikes also pop off jumps with ease, so I quickly put my reservations aside and went full speed ahead…
Continue reading “Crankworx 2016: A day in the park with the Trek Remedy 9.9”



I must admit I wasn’t super excited to hear there was a Trek Remedy waiting for me to test ride during Crankworx, as the plan was to spend the day in the Whistler Bike Park. If we were hitting the trails I would have been thrilled, but before I actually saw the new bike I […]

Posted in Bicycles, Mountain Bike, Reviews5 Comments

Review: White Industries Centerlock Disc hubs…for cyclocross (updated)

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white-industries-CLD-hubs-review-01

White Industries has been making bicycle components for a long, long time. Founder Doug White started out with The Pegger, a simple Velcro strap to keep your pants leg from getting caught in the chain (check out this article), then went on to make bikes, derailleurs, cassettes, and now hubs and chainsets.

The CLD (CenterLock Disc) hubs were their first to get a more modern, swoopy profile. They look the part on the road, but are ready for mountain bikes, too. That means anything from pavement to, let’s say, trail riding is fair game. I put this set through the paces on my cyclocross bike, which sees a fair amount of year ’round riding and training use on gravel, road and dirt, plus the expected racing…

Continue reading “Review: White Industries Centerlock Disc hubs…for cyclocross (updated)”



White Industries has been making bicycle components for a long, long time. Founder Doug White started out with The Pegger, a simple Velcro strap to keep your pants leg from getting caught in the chain (check out this article), then went on to make bikes, derailleurs, cassettes, and now hubs and chainsets. The CLD (CenterLock […]

Posted in Components, Cyclocross, Reviews, Road Bike15 Comments

Giro clicks in to convertible helmets with all new Switchblade full face

All Mountain Mountain Biking with 2017 Giro MTB clothing and gear on trails near Santa Cruz, CA.
ONeill-RO1D1865
Photos c. Robin O’neill/Giro

The Switchblade lives. Technically, Giro’s newest helmet has been in the works for almost three years now, but it’s been almost 18 years since the original. For those that have been introduced to mountain biking recently, the original Switchblade was the first production XC helmet with a removable chin bar. In many ways the Switchblade was way ahead of its time, and while not all memories of the infamous lid are fond, it set the stage for things to come.

Like the original, the newest Switchblade has a removable chin bar, but the similarities stop there. Giro points out that the philosophy behind the helmet has changed. The original was an XC helmet that you could add a chin bar to in order to make it “suitable for DH,” whereas the new Switchblade is a DH helmet with a removable chin bar to make it suitable for trail use.

It’s taken a while for the Switchblade to finally make its debut the second time around, but it was worth the wait…

Continue reading “Giro clicks in to convertible helmets with all new Switchblade full face”



The Switchblade lives. Technically, Giro’s newest helmet has been in the works for almost three years now, but it’s been almost 18 years since the original. For those that have been introduced to mountain biking recently, the original Switchblade was the first production XC helmet with a removable chin bar. In many ways the Switchblade […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews10 Comments

World’s Funnest Bike 2: The shiny things that make it go – Drivetrain, brakes, and cockpit

Old and New (6 of 14)

AAA Parts Highlighted Final

Last year, Tyler rocked out a pretty cool little project with this sweet “crush all” Van Dessel Whiskey gravel bike for 2015’s “World’s Funnest bike. The basis for these builds is to take something and tweak it to be the most fun on two wheels. While an opinionated piece it’s fun to see what people come up with so I decided to take a crack at it. I’ve seen and built some unique bikes that just jive like nothing else, and I unintentionally got the chance to do this very thing with a frame I was asked to review.

Oh, and this is part one of three as I like to stretch things out a bit… especially when I’m having this good of a time! Check out the pile of parts I came up with and what took my grin to the next level. Also take a look back at what used to make up the ‘world’s funnest bike” from year’s past…

Continue reading “World’s Funnest Bike 2: The shiny things that make it go – Drivetrain, brakes, and cockpit”



Last year, Tyler rocked out a pretty cool little project with this sweet “crush all” Van Dessel Whiskey gravel bike for 2015’s “World’s Funnest bike. The basis for these builds is to take something and tweak it to be the most fun on two wheels. While an opinionated piece it’s fun to see what people […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Components, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews8 Comments

First Ride: Kona makes the Process 134 DL even more ‘Shore worthy, includes new Shimano N/W rings

Kona-Ride-2017-8358 copy
Kona-Ride-2017-8329
Photo c. Caleb Smith/Kona

The day after getting a chance to check out Kona’s new Hei Hei Trail DL, we had time for one more ride. This year was the first that Kona held their dealer event in Squamish, BC, which meant prime access to some of the best local trails right out the front door. For obvious reasons, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to check out the revised Process 134 DL. Built with similar travel numbers to the new Hei Hei Trail, the ride would serve as a back to back comparison between two similar but very different bikes on some of the exact trails they were created for…

Continue reading “First Ride: Kona makes the Process 134 DL even more ‘Shore worthy, includes new Shimano N/W rings”



The day after getting a chance to check out Kona’s new Hei Hei Trail DL, we had time for one more ride. This year was the first that Kona held their dealer event in Squamish, BC, which meant prime access to some of the best local trails right out the front door. For obvious reasons, this […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews7 Comments