Posts in the category Reviews

Review: Cinelli’s Italo 79 Windtex Waterproof Winter Cycling Cap

Cinelli Italo 79 WInd-Tex waterproof winter cycling cap review

The Cinelli Italo 79 Windtex cycling cap makes for the almost perfect winter head warmer.

The main section is wind and waterproof Windtex material, which not only blocks the wind (I didn’t test it in the rain) but claims to regulate temperatures by allowing excess moisture to evaporate through the slightly elastic fabric. It works, and the soft fabric drop down ear cover means this cap replaces a beanie with the bonus of a visor to keep the low winter sun from blinding me. And it does all this without bulk, fitting perfectly under even smaller helmets like Mavic’s.

Fit was perfect, and perfectly comfortable. Many standard cotton cycling caps are just a bit too tight, giving me a headache after about an hour. This one’s soft, stretchy material never caused any discomfort.


Review: Feedback Sports Sprint Portable Bicycle Work Stand

Feedback Sports Sprint portable bicycle work and repair stand

The Feedback Sprint portable bicycle repair stand came to us with this cheery description: “It’s small enough you could bring it on a plane as carry-on luggage.”

Despite that diminutive packed size, it’s a full featured work and repair stand, making it the go-to piece for our trips to races or long ride weekends away from home. Like Feedback’s other stands, it uses a three-legged spreading base for stability. What sets the Sprint apart is that it’s a fork-mount stand, keeping the entire frame on a sliding rail rather than clamped by the seat post. And, since it allows the bike to be mounted at the rear axle, too, easily lets you service either brake or wheel (albeit, one at a time) while it’s on the the bike.

If you’re looking for a single repair stand that’ll travel just as well as pull full time home mechanic duty, read on for the full review…


Long Term Review: The Rocky Mountain Altitude 790 MSL

Upload Rocky Mountain Altitude 650B  Side View

The Altitude 790 MSL is Rocky Mountain’s first foray into the tweener wheel size and the culmination of a lot of new technology.  Designed around the Ride 9 system, which is also available on the Instinct 29ers, it’s a 150mm travel trail bike with several distinct personalities.

Over the course of the summer and into the early fall, we had the opportunity to put down a few hundreds miles on the new wonderbike. Hop past the break to see how it fared… READ MORE ->

Just In: Xentis Squad 4.2 Disc – An Austrian Take on Road Discs

Xentis Squad 4_2 disc wheel set carbon clincher851

As the snow begins to thaw, my thoughts start going from fatbikes to gravel and dirt roads. As the perfect interim while the trails dry out, the often wet and muddy forest roads are excellent candidates for the foul weather stopping power of disc brakes. Which is exactly why I can’t wait to get these new Xentis Squad 4.2 Disc wheels mounted up so I can go explore wherever the bike takes me. In what should be a big upgrade in terms of rotational mass and stiffness, the Austrian built Xentis Squad 4.2 clinchers combine a 42mm deep rim with straight pull spokes for on and off road performance.

Get the vitals after the jump.


Cold Weather Coping – Awesome Winter Gear from Pearl Izumi, Bontrager, HeadSweats, 45NRTH and More

Cold Weather Gear 2

Seeing as how this winter has been especially cold for many of us this year, it was an excellent opportunity to try and dial in the cold weather gear. Riding in the winter is awesome. Having to buy tons of gear hoping that it will do the trick is not. Having ridden more days than not this Winter with many of those well below freezing, and at least 10 or so rides below zero (f), my goal was to figure out the right gear to stay warm with as few layers as possible.

This is the stuff that worked for me, but keep in mind that everyone is different. You may need more or less clothing depending on how your own body copes with the cold. Layer up after the break!


Hands On: Wolf Tooth Components GC 42t Shimano Cassette Adapter

Wolf Tooth Components GC 42t tooth cassette adapter805

Since it looks like Shimano might be more focused on competing with GoPro on cameras than with SRAM on XX1 competition, 42t cassette adapters may be here for a while. Even if Shimano were to come out with a viable answer to XX1, there would still be plenty of market for adapters like Wolf Tooth Component’s GC thanks to the ability to expand your 1x or 2x options on the cheap.

Why not just go with a smaller front chainring? The benefit to a cassette adapter is the wider spread of gears that the 11-42 provides over say an 11-36. In testing the spread offers high enough gearing for riding the road to the trails, but low enough that in most loose situations the rear wheel will struggle for traction before you run out of gears. After riding a few 42t cassette adapters for 2 months, I won’t be giving up the cassette adapters any time soon.

How does the new Wolf Tooth Components GC compare? Find out next.


First Rides with Orbea’s Rallon Enduro Machine, Plus Actual Weights for 2014 Rallon, Alma

orbea ride 3

The chance to ride a new bike is always a fun opportunity. When that chance comes in dusty, 70° SoCal conditions when it was below zero back home, it doesn’t really matter what you ride because you’re gonna have a good time. However, when I found out that Orbea was going to have the new Rallon R4 on hand at Press Camp, I knew immediately what bike I would be grabbing as we set off for the hills around LA.

Having spent a good amount of time on the Rallon R3, a bike that I liked quite a bit, the new Enduro focused R4 has been on my mind since it was recently introduced. The new bike is longer, lower, slacker, lighter, and has longer legs than its predecessor. How is it on the trails? Check out the two(!) ride review after the break as well as some actual weights for both the 2014 Rallon and Alma 27.5/29er!




Introduced at Eurobike last fall, Industry Nine’s Torch road disc hubs stole the show with their radial lacing pattern and svelte body. Available in several builds, including a CX-specific ultralight model, we opted to test the i25 road disc wheelset to give us a bit more flexibility in use.

Even with the i25 Disc sets, you have options. The stealthier build is with their anodized black, disc specific i25 rims. These forego the machined brake track on the sidewalls, which gives them a very smooth, bead-to-bead black. Or, you can opt for the standard silver i25 rims with the brake track. You lose some of the good looks, but you also lose a few grams of rotational weight in the process. And, depending on the bike, the more classic look might be just the right thing. Both are tubeless ready outta the box. Being a weight weenie, you can see which one I went with.

So far, the wheels have seen a number of training fun rides and two ‘cross races. Roll through to see how they measure up, weigh in and ride so far…


Review: Ground Effect Baked Alaska Merino Wool Jersey, Snake Bite Bib Knickers & Other Excellent Cool Weather Cycling Gear


New Zealand’s Ground Effect clothing company has recently started a push for U.S. customers, and that’s a good thing. Saris reviewed a few of the women’s mountain bike pieces and liked them. I’ve been testing their men’s road stuff for the past few months and have come away mostly impressed.

The items include their Baked Alaska long sleeve partial wind block jersey, the Snake Bite bib knickers, Lucifer wind block socks and Baked Beanie. All have performed very well, providing plenty of warmth and comfort with well conceived features like New Zealand Merino wool, snug leg cuffs, their “exo-skeletal” chamois pad and cycling specific cuts.

Zip past the break and see why these have become a regular part of my cool weather wardrobe…