Posts in the category Reviews

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

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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

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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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Review: Fuji’s Elite XC Racer – The SLM 29 1.1

Fuji SLM 29 1.1 Drive Side

Photo Credit: Mitch Lomacz

Since the 1970’s, Fuji has been a mainstay brand in the US cycling scene.  The American owned, Japanese brand has impressed us with their Altamira SL.  The release of their well designed Transonic aero road frame and Tri  / TT  Norcom Straight have shown the company is forging  ahead with innovation and good design on the road.

Enough about the road though, we are here to talk about their latest endeavor on the dirt.  The Fuji SLM 29 1.1 aims to be a podium topping XC race bike out of the box.  The bike is adorn with XTR, a claimed 1000g carbon frame, tubeless ready wheels, carbon cockpit, and a Fox 32 Float 100mm fork.  It sounds like a solid recipe, but you’ll have to make the jump to find out.

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Trail LED: World’s Brightest Lights Get Brighter, Last Longer

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Trail LED, makers of the industry leading 6000 lumen Halo light, has upgraded their entire line with a new generation of LEDs, promising an increase in brightness, better clarity, and longer run times. Handmade in Plano, Texas, Trail LED’s unique design and cutting edge technology promises commuters and solo 24-hour racers alike better visibility and more comfort than their competitors. We are going to put their claims to the test, but first we have a quick look at the ten-lamp Halo, five-lamp DS, and three-lamp XXX models, as well as a sneak peak of their soon to be released bar mount.

Get blinded by the light after the break.

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Review: Litespeed Li2 Green Machine

Litespeed Li2 review

It’s been nearly 12 years since Litespeed started working with carbon fiber, and even though the brand is currently selling more carbon frames than titanium domestically, they still seem to be known as the Ti company. Since the beginning, Litespeed has always set out to make the best bike possible no matter the material. With titanium, the challenge was to take aerospace grade ti tubing and to turn it into bike specific tubesets to create high end bikes. Eventually, the cold worked shaped tubes became Litespeed’s calling card and the company still sells more titanium bikes than carbon internationally.

Looking for the next evolution in design, in 2002 Litespeed started experimenting with carbon fiber seatstays for the Sienna and the Ultimate. This would eventually lead to their first full carbon model, the C-Series aero road bike. Successful tweaking over the years led to a highly manipulated aero road bike, so the next logical step was what Litespeed refers to as a good “all-rounder.”

Right around that point Litespeed’s current CEO Peter Hurley stepped into the leadership role, and helped to improve the development process in a way that allowed product designer Brad DeVaney to create the bike he envisioned – the L Series.

We’ve been on the Litespeed Li2 for quite a few miles now, get our take on the bike after the break…

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