Posts in the category Reviews

Ride Review: Vee Tire’s H-Billie Fat Bike Tire Brings Tubeless Tech Below $100


Vee Tire rolled into the market a few years ago with some of the first “affordable” fat bike tires. They have grown rapidly, with 9 different fat bike tire models (including the plus-sized Trax Fatty), and their growth was primarily fueled by consumers being able to get fat bike tires without a home refinance loan.

The H-Billie is folding bead, tubeless ready, and claimed at 26×4.25″, aiming for the lighter fat bikes with 4″ tires that still make up the vast majority of the market.

We took a ride on the H-Billies, and found them to be pretty good, especially for the price. Take a look inside to see how a tire at half the price stacks up…


First Impressions: Laché London’s New Season Kit with a Splash of Color - Preorder Open


courtesy Gunnar Eist

We’d had spotted some interesting looking designs from small upstart Laché London last fall and reached out to them for a bit more detail. Their designs seem to balance the fine line between a sensible solid-color kit and something a bit more flashy. Around the same time, we had been talking with Czech clothing maker Kalas Wear about their new fabrics and what they had planned for 2015. Since the Laché kit is made by Kalas, this was a unique chance to get ahold of some of the new unreleased pieces, with the bonus of getting to ride in a more unique kit. Plus, it lets us give a little exposure to a small European company which is always nice.

Some advance samples arrived back in November and we’ve been giving them a run through during cross season and winter training to let you know our thoughts now that the new line has just opened up for preorder this past Monday. Come past the break to see some more photos and what we think.


Review: Yakima Fullswing 4 Bike Hitch Mast Rack

Yakima Full Swing review bikerumor (8)

When Yakima offered up the chance to review their new Fullswing rack, admittedly a lot of my motivation was due to my desire to find a rack that could easily carry fat bikes. Sure, now there are a number of racks meant to carry the monster tires, but at the time my options were pretty limited. Tired of my fat bikes wiggling their way out of home-brewed solutions, the secure mounts of the Hitch Mast style rack were intriguing. Hoping to carry a few fat bikes and my wife’s beach cruiser to our ocean destination, the Fullswing capability of the rack made it seem like a done deal.

After a year’s worth of use, I’ve learned quite a bit from the use of the Fullswing. In certain situations it can be amazing. Yet, in other circumstances depending on the bike there are certainly better options. As it turns out, the Fullswing is a pretty impressive rack – just maybe not for the user you would expect…


Review: 45NRTH’s Dillinger 5 Fat Bike Tires Rob The Bank, But May Be Worth Doing The Time


It’s the middle of prime fat-biking season here in Minnesota, and that means a lot of fat bike parts reviews. Sure, the big-tired monsters might be getting trendy, but anything that allows us to ride year-round in the snowy climes is surely allowed a pass. 45NRTH introduced the Dillinger 5 earlier this year as a wider version of the popular Dillinger model (now Dillinger 4). 45NRTH may have been the first company to produce a performance-oriented fat bike tire when they debuted the Husker Du in 2011, and since then, all of their models have brought some of the modern tech of MTB tires over to the fat bike world.

The Dillinger tire came about with the idea of a high-performance tire, but with a little more aggressive knobs, and stud pockets to allow for custom studding (or you can buy it complete with studs preinstalled). The Dillinger 5 carries all of those traits through to a wider profile to fit the modern crop of fat bikes with 190/197mm rear spacing that can accept the really big tires.

Take a look inside to see how the Dillinger 5 can help you make out like a bandit on your next ride…


Review: Jamis Renegade adventure gravel bike lets you go rogue from the roads

jamis renegade adventure gravel road bike review

The Jamis Renegade was developed with racing in mind, replacing Tyler Wren’s cyclocross bike as his rig of choice for the Crusher in the Tushars gravel road race. Fortunately for the rest of us, the engineers and product managers kept some non-race features that make it far more versatile than its trophy case may suggest.

After getting an up close look and weighing it at Interbike (check that post for frame details and photos), the size 58 demo bike was packed up and shipped in for a long term review. It still had a little Bootleg Canyon dust and scratches on it, but was in otherwise good shape. Our test bike was equipped with mechanical Shimano Ultregra drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes with American Classic Argent Tubeless wheels and Clement Xplor USH 35c tires. The cockpit is Ritchey, with a carbon WCS Link flex seatpost and alloy Comp bar and stem. At just $4,199 for the complete bike with full carbon frame and fork, it’s a pretty good package on paper.

Here’s how it measured up on the road. And off of it. Waaaaay off of it….


Need Winter Cycling Gloves? The Answer Sleestak 3 In 1 Mitts Are Severely Underrated

Answer Sleestak 3 in 1 winter mitt glove gloves cold weather (8)

I would assume that if you asked most cyclists why they don’t ride more in the winter, the answer would be two-fold. First, no one likes cold hands and feet and second? Quality winter gear is expensive. Given the fact that sometimes it feels like it takes longer to get dressed than the actual ride, it’s clear that cold weather cycling requires quite a bit more equipment.

When it comes to winter riding gloves, there is no shortage of options. However, if you need something seriously warm that is also affordable, the herd gets thin, quick. That’s why I am very happily surprised by the Answer Sleestak 3 in 1 mitts. Available for just $39.99, these might be the best winter gloves you’ve never heard of…


First Look: Morsa’s Modular Accessory Mounts Put Anything & Everything In One Place


Morsa is a new brand, starting out with an interesting take on the accessory mount for handlebars. Their mount is an entirely modular system, starting out with a single mounting arm for 31.8mm handlebars, that extends about 4″ forward. This arm has a track on either side that can accept a wide variety of mounting adapters for the most popular ride gadgets.

The injection molded carbon/nylon mounts are also made in the USA. Owner Jeff Bobbitt  wants to build Morsa into a brand that delivers excellent quality and design, where the needs of the customers drive their decisions. Coming from a background as an IndyCar suspension engineer, he is the designer and engineer on his products, and puts the greatest amount of his time into research and design to deliver the best product possible.

J&B Importers has already picked up the line in the USA, as well as 3Sixty Sports in New Zealand. Take a look inside to get our thoughts from mounting them up and taking a first ride…


Long Term Test: Shimano’s MW81 Winter Shoes Provide A Warm And Dry Ride


Back in 2012, Tyler reviewed the Shimano MW81 Winter shoe, with great results. We are now checking back in on them with a long-term test in a much colder climate.

I have used the MW81s for a little over a year now, riding through last winter and this current one on these shoes. One of the most curious things for us was how cold the shoe could go, and with the Polar Vortex of 2014, we had them on the bike in temperatures as low as -14º F.

Click more to read through and see how they did in the extreme cold and snow of Minnesota…


Just In: Bontrager Jackalope Wheels and Hodag Tires Add Tubeless Fat Bike Options

Bontrager Hodag Jackalope fat bike tubeless wheel tire system  (3)

Just like your typical mountain bike, when it comes to fat bikes tubeless tires have a lot to offer. Eliminating (or close to) flats is a pretty big deal, especially given the fact that your typical fat bike inner tube will usually run at least double the cost of a standard tube. In many circumstances, dropping the tubes will also result in a significant weight loss – sometimes more than a pound. In our experience, the lack of an inner tube has also resulted in a better handling that will conform to the trail for improved traction.

In spite of all the advantages, going tubeless on a fattie still presents some challenges. Getting a large volume of sealant into a floppy tire and still being able to get that tire to seat on the rim can be tricky. That’s why products like Bontrager’s new fat bike TLR system get us excited. There are a number of tubeless systems available already from HED, Foundry/45NRTH, Turnagain, Sun Ringle, and more, but options are always good for the consumer. And while there are more than a few rims available, the choices for true tubeless fat bike tires are still fairly limited.

Like a lot of the big brands, Trek and Bontrager aren’t putting forth a huge product line for fat bikes, but what they do have looks promising. Get the details on the new Bontrager Jackalope wheels and Hodag fat bike tires next…