Posts in the category Reviews

Project: World’s Funnest Bike – Drivetrain, Wheels, Brakes & Install Notes

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So far, our World’s Funnest Bike project has detailed the frame and the cockpit. Now it’s time to go over all the parts that make it go and make it stop. Most of the parts used on this project bike were new, but I did have some trusted components and lightly used parts that needed more time before a final review could be posted, so those made there way on board and will be noted.

The shifting is handled by Gevenalle’s latest GX shifter levers, which were designed around the Shimano XT rear derailleur to offer a wider range option for anyone wanting a more capable gravel/adventure/cyclocross bike. The Gevenalle parts were all weighed in with a full introduction in this post, so here we’ll go over their performance and use notes and show how it all came together with a mix of other components…

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Hands on with Pactimo’s Stylish and Functional 2015 Spring Branded Apparel

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You may know Pactimo best for their extensive line of custom apparel, but the brand known for being the first custom apparel company to offer a full-dye sublimation offers a pretty sweet branded line as well. Based in Colorado, Pactimo draws inspiration from their surroundings, their teams, and customers to create what they see as the best quality kit you can buy, and actually afford.

After introducing a few new things for the custom lines, Pactimo is releasing an all new Spring line that you can buy right off the rack. Using clean designs and bold, visible color schemes, the Pactimo Spring line should be as fast as it looks…

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Review: Fezzari Foré Cyx Cyclocross Bike Can Hold its Own Come Race Day

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Thanks to the booming popularity of cyclocross, there is no shortage of bikes to choose from for your skinny tire, offroad needs. Brands big and small are all offering up their own version of a cyclocross bike which can vary greatly from bike to bike. For Utah based Fezzari, their consumer-direct model puts them in a unique place to be able to offer a true race ready package at a competitive price. But compared to one of the brands you’ll find in a bike shop what are you actually getting?

Our initial impressions of the carbon Fezzari Foré Cyx 2.0, were quite favorable so we put it through a season of cyclocross abuse to see how it compares to the competition…

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Improved Fit and Bib Liner with Storage Headline Spring 2015 Mountain Bike Line from Pearl Izumi

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Thanks to Adam Newman/Dirtrag for the help on the photo.

In spite of the fact that part of the country is struggling with too much water while others don’t have enough, mountain bike season is either here or rapidly approaching. Just in time for the warm weather, Pearl Izumi has an all new Spring line up that has been heavily redesigned. The new pieces offer improved fit, features, and a fresh color palette. In addition to muted grey, white, black, and brown, there are pops of color that seem to mate well with other products – like a Smith Forefront helmet for example (I swear the matching was unintentional).

While the entire range of products looks interesting, the new mountain bike shorts and bib liner are the standouts. Offering a much better fit than previous PI mountain shorts, and a comfy bib liner with 3 pockets sewn into the back, Pearl’s mountain gear is looking promising for the coming year…

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Review: Showers Pass Refuge Rain Jacket and Body Mapped Baselayer

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No matter how much money you sink into cycling gear, there always seems to be at least one or two pieces that are hard to add to the collection. For me, one of the biggest offenders was always a quality rain jacket. Decent jackets are quite expensive, and mountain biking typically isn’t too friendly towards pricey pieces of clothing. For many years I suffered with mediocre jackets that were soaked through after an hour. Since then I’ve used a number of waterproof jackets with prices that range from $40 to 400 which are usually separated by one key factor – breathability.

In order to make a jacket truly breathable it usually requires some advanced technical fabrics that equate to a very expensive garment. Ultimately though, that breathability is what allows excellent rain shells to be used for more than just a rain jacket, as I found with the Showers Pass Refuge. After practically living in the Refuge all winter, it turns out to be an amazing jacket that competes with some of the most expensive on the market…

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Review: Renthal Launches New 1XR Chainring

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While Renthal is probably best known for it’s dominance in powersports, in recent years the UK based company has released a slew of new products (in their trademark golden hue) for the cycling market. The latest addition to their product line is the new 1XR Retention Chainring, which was developed specifically with British weather in mind.

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Cavendish-designed Oakley Jawbreaker sunglasses finally official! First rides, weigh in & more!

Oakley Jawbreaker sunglasses designed for Mark Cavendish - photos tech details and actual weights

We spotted some new shades on Mark Cavendish at last year’s Tour de France, and now they’re official. The new Oakley Jawbreaker is the result of “more than 100 design iterations, 9,600 hours of lab and field testing, 27 eyewear components” and two years of development with Cavendish himself.

By tracking eye movement during cycling, they realized that we cyclists spend an inordinate amount of time with our eyes looking slightly upward. That should come as no surprise to us, and so the Jawbreaker boosts the field of view at the top of the lens by 44% over traditional sunglasses. And it does so with Oakley’s typical optical clarity, ensuring no distortion in any direction you happen to glance.

We got our hands (eyes?) on a pair and put them through some windy, sunny ride time. We may not be Cavendish, but we certainly benefit when products like this are designed for top pros. Here’s why…

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Friday RoundUp – Bicycle Bits & Pieces

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Advocacy

  • Yuba Launches Limited-Edition PeopleForBikes Branded Cargo Bike – PeopleForBikes and Yuba Bicycles have partnered to launch a limited edition Boda Boda cargo bike to raise money for bicycling infrastructure. Yuba and PeopleForBikes will officially launch the bike at the Sea Otter Classic in April, where people can enter to win one. The bikes are available for preorders now and on sale May 1 at Yuba dealers and at yubabikes.com.
  • CNN Honors Trips for Kids Founder – CNN has named Trips for Kids Founder, Marilyn Price, as a CNN Hero for her years of dedication to putting disadvantaged kids on mountain bikes. Please join us in congratulating Marilyn and take a moment to watch the video and share it with your friends and family. Or tune in to CNN March 27 – 29 and watch the story “on air”. tripsforkids.org

Racing News

Monarch Crest Race

  • The true “enduro” experience is finally here, October 2-4, 2015. The Monarch Crest Enduro brought to you by Chocolate Bunny Productions, threads together three days of Colorado’s finest high country trails along the Monarch Crest, a segment of the Continental Divide Trail, and IMBA Epic® no less. Registration is now live on imathlete.com.

 

Touring

  • The Greatest Ride – August 9-12 2015. This is the cycling trip you’ve wanted to take for your whole life. Start by sharing a table with retired Pro Cyclist George Hincapie and Blackberry Farm Proprietor Sam Beall for the opening dinner at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. This event is limited to only 10 cyclists so book now at blackberry farm.com.
  • Chris King Gourmet Century registration opens April, 1st – The Gourmet Century has expanded into a global showcase hosting four events across the U.S. and now one in Japan. Each event will feature its own special guest chefs and menus designed to compliment the best riding the region has to offer. Registration for ALL events will open on April 1st at 12pm PST at gourmetcentury.com. Act fast as tickets tend to go quickly!
  • Ride. Relax. Escape. Discover the Wild Highlands of Scotland – Fuel your sense of discovery with roads that will take your breath away. This 6 day, 5 night tour runs between 8th to 13th September and is strictly limited to 12 people. Book now, 72 hours before general public.

 

NAHBS 2015

  • Didn’t get enough of NAHBS 2015? – Gates photographer Tim Lucking has produced an exquisite photo gallery of the best belted bikes from the North American Handmade Bike Show. Check out some of our favorites on The Belted Blog.

 

Video/Film

  • Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour – Currently touring the USA, (you can find the tour schedule here) immediately after the Festival ends in November a selection of the best films goes on tour across Canada, the United States, and internationally from Scotland to South Africa to China, Lebanon, Chile, New Zealand, Antarctica, and points in between. Each year, the films travel to 40 countries reaching more than 390,000 people at over 840 screenings. There’s typically a mountain bike film in the mix but every film has always been entertaining.

 

Contest

  • Here’s your last reminder that you can win a set of new rubber from Vee Tire. Follow the link to the survey and complete it to win!

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Long-term EU CX Test: Storck T.I.X. Cyclocross – Weighed, Ridden & Raced

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courtesy Robert Gebler flickr.com/ersatzspeiche

After having profiled the new cyclocross bike from Storck last fall at Eurobike we were excited to have an opportunity to conduct an extended review. Being quite well known in Europe for producing very light bikes that perform well, we were curious how a light offering from them might handle the mixed type of terrain thrown at a cross bike; how it would perform on the race courses, and how it might ride and survive once cross season had finished. In talking with several people on the Storck team from the company director to the head of marketing, they liked the idea of a long-term test and lent us a bike for the second half of our winter race season, and to ride into the first hints of spring.

This first, of a two-part review, will look at the bike exclusively from a cyclocross perspective. The T.I.X. has several unique features that can end up as pros or cons depending on how you use the bike, so we’ll try to give you a good idea of what to expect. Storck describes it as a bike for ‘cross terrain’ and then talks about riding it on your ‘favorite cross-country tours’ so we were curious to put it in an intense cyclocross racing atmosphere, and then we’ll follow it up in a month or so with a look at riding the bike on more mixed surface road and trail rides.

Join us after the jump to see how the T.I.X. stands up to the sand, mud, and snow of cross racing…

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