Posts in the category Reviews

Exclusive Hands-on Review of the new Verve Infocrank Power Meter

Verve_InfoCrank_power_meter_crankest_Praxi_chainrings_driveside

As we introduced them to you this spring, Verve Cycling is now delivering the production version of their new power metering crankset, the Infocrank. The power meter can now be ordered online, and is shipped consumer-direct from either their EU, US, or Oceania distribution hubs. Then through a network of worldwide Affiliates, they can work with you to make sure you take full advantage of the power meter’s training capabilities.

Having recently finished final beta testing and now been delivered to early supporters, we had the unique opportunity to borrow a set of the power metering cranks directly from Verve Cycling’s president for just over a week to see what customers could expect. Bryan Taylor lent us his personal Cervélo R3 with the Infocrank installed while he was traveling on business, giving us a chance to go through the new setup process with the included O_synce Navi2coach GPS computer, as well as to pair it with a standard Garmin Edge computer. We tested out the cranks on a few regular mid-length group and solo road rides, as well as giving it a go on some gravel, and even a bout on the indoor trainer. The goal was less about testing the accuracy of the power meter (a point where Verve seems to excel, btw) and more about how a rider might set up and actually use the Infocrank.

Come past the break for the full details and real world weights.

READ MORE ->

Review: Fizik Thar 29er Mountain Bike Saddle

Fizik That 29er mountain bike saddle review and actual weight

The Fizik Thar was the first wheel-size-specific saddle we heard of, but it wasn’t the last.

The concept was born from Fizik’s research that showed 29er riders tend to sit further back than others, so they redesigned the shell and rails to let the whole thing be mounted a bit more forward. That sounds counterintuitive, right? But it works, and the nose is snubbed short to keep it from looking ridiculous. In fact, on the bike, it looks a bit shorter that most saddles. Thanks to the protruding tip at the rear, though, dimensions are pretty similar to other seats.

After more than half a year on the Niner RIP 9 and plenty of XC-ish saddle time and big mountain action, here’s where it sits…

READ MORE ->

Review: New Vee Rubber XCV and Speedster Dirt Jump Tires

Vee Tires XCV Tires (3)While the bleeding edge of innovation in the trail/enduro/and all mountain segment of the markets have been steadily pushing for the complete eradication of the 26″ wheel, there’s one realm in which the wheel size will always be appreciated.

For dirt jumping, pump tracking, street sessions, and casually cruising, there’s nothing better than a hardtail. So we were pumped to hear that Vee Rubber is still releasing new tires for our favorite red headed step child. READ MORE ->

First Impressions: The Flexible Mixed Surface FABike

Fabike_flexible_adjustable_carbon_road_gravel_bike_test_setup

After having met up with the head of FABike at the Dresden bike show a few months back, we arranged to give their bike an extended test to see how the crowdsourced project worked out. Designed in Italy, built in Taiwan, and assembled and distributed out of the Czech Republic, the FABike intended to be a multi-purpose road bike.  The bike achieves its primary goal of flexibility through the use of an adjustable and interchangeable sliding dropout design that can be quickly and easily converted from a geared bike to singlespeed and from 130 to 120mm rear spacing and by accommodating up to 35mm tires (and thus gives the bike its name F+A+Bike.)

Find out more details, our initial setup, and some brief first impressions after the jump..

READ MORE ->

Review: Magura TS8 eLECT Suspension Fork – Electronic, Brains Free Lockout For the Win!

Magura-eLECT-TS8-suspension-fork-review

Last summer, Magura introduced their eLECT suspension fork with built in sensors to automatically stiffen the fork up for climbing. It also gave the rider manual control over lock out by way of a Bluetooth remote button.

Where the Rockshox/Lapierre collabo utilizes outboard sensors and the Fox iCD is simply a manually controlled electronic lockout lever, Magura’s system is both simpler and smarter. It’s simpler in that it only has a lockout mode, not a multi-mode like the Rockshox system with variable levels. It’s smarter in that it does the lockout on its own, not requiring the flick of a switch. As such, it makes for a very efficient, lightweight system that (in it’s best configuration) requires absolutely no thought from the rider, leaving you to focus on racing. That’s good, because this fork and the eLECT system is itself entirely focused on racing as far as I’m concerned. For now anyway – there are a few changes and some interesting product testing going on at Magura, which I’ll recap at the end.

Check out the tech, weights and ride review to see how it all works…

READ MORE ->

One Ride Review: Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt Short Travel XC/Trail Mountain Bike

Rocky-Mountain-Thunderbolt-750-Kingdom-Trails-ride-review

Over the last couple years the 27.5 shorter-travel (115-130mm) platform has been blurring the lines between XC and Trail categories.  Rocky Mountain’s Thurnderbolt is designed to handle the rowdy side of XC riding, and is a capable setup for almost everything shy of Enduro racing.

The aluminum frame has four available build specs, and I took the 2nd tier 750 ($3,300) on extended rides at NEMBAfest.  Vermont’s flowy Kingdom Trails and the efficient Thunderbolt were a perfect match, allowing me to ride all day in comfort, climb without pedal-bob, and hit downhills knowing I’d brought a gun to the gunfight.  OK, the well-manicured Kingdom Trails are more of a BB-gun gunfight, but trails like Troll Stroll and Sidewinder thoroughly used all 5” of travel and could have shot my eye out.

READ MORE ->

Review: Bontrager Velocis Road Bike Helmet – Sleek, Light & Comfy w/ Built-in Visor

Bontrager Velocis lightweight bicycle helmet

With all the hullabaloo about helmet aerodynamics these days, you’d think no one was making regular lids these days. Fortunately, they are, and the Bontrager Velocis is a fantastic example of a “normal” helmet.

Prior to the Velocis, Bontrager’s top of the line helmet was the Oracle, which is also very comfortable and very good looking if a little on the heavy side. The Velocis manages to drop about 80g while keeping a ton of safety features and adding in a nifty integrated (and removable) roadie-style visor that provides sun protection without trapping heat.

The Velocis’ claim to fame is it’s oversized vents and heavily designed air channeling, which headlines the dual-material interior cage for protection and various fit features for comfort. So, did it breeze through our tests in the hot, humid southeast?

READ MORE ->

Sunglass Roundup: Shades from Smith, Uvex, and Jet Black

Sunglass round up Jet Black Smith Uvex (3)

Whether you’re looking for style or protection, there are a ton of choices these days when it comes to cycling glasses. Ideally the perfect cycling glasses should be comfortable on long rides, resist fogging and sweat, protect against various objects thrown towards your eyes, and of course shelter your eyes from the sun’s rays. At this point, protection from UV rays is pretty much a given so the question becomes how well does each pair react to the changing conditions found in cycling.

Our latest roundup focuses on two brands you’ve probably heard of, and one you probably haven’t. Read on to see the latest from Smith, Uvex, and Jet Black….

READ MORE ->

Long Term Review: Gamut Trail SXC Guide Provides Extra Security for 1x Drivetrains

Gamut Trail SXC Guide (2)

Like bad Enduro Jokes, and 650B envy, 1x drivetrains are suddenly cool. Recent advancements such as narrow wide chain rings, cassette adapters, and silly expensive drivetrains, have allowed the masses to ditch the front derailleur, without sacrificing gearing.

An unexpected outcome of this new technology is the gradual extinction of the full chainguide, because the new stuff works so well, it’s rare to drop a chain when using a narrow wide chainring and clutch equipped derailleur. Of course, when racing or simply out there pushing the limits, it pays to be prepared. For those who desire a little extra security, the Gamut Trail SXC guide is a inexpensive solution, that comes with a minimal weight penalty.

READ MORE ->