Posts in the category Reviews

Review: Genesis Equilibrium Disc 20, from Roads and Commuting to Trail Riding


From our European base of operations in the Czech Republic we have a bit of an affinity for steel road and cross bikes, maybe even at times to a fault. But dealing with regular travel, rough European roads, mixed riding surfaces, and never being all that concerned whether we finish first or just off the podium, having a bike that can take a lot of abuse and still deliver a good ride quality takes precedent. So while riding the latest plastic wonder-bike is always nice, we love to spend long days in the saddle on more everyman’s bikes cruising quiet roads and wandering off onto dirt and gravel tracks.

And the Genesis Equilibrium Disc 20 is a perfect bike for that. It has a bit of back country roads in its genes (or rather its UK steel tubes.) We’ve spent the better part of a year with this bike in our test line-up, and while it was never the fastest or lightest bike we rode, it was very likely the most versatile, and definitely the one we devoted the least time to cleaning. As a result it probably got the most saddle time of any single test bike over the last year. Come past the break with us to see why…


Review: Light & Motion Vis 180 USB Tail Light


As modern LED and battery technology continues to raise the performance bar, the new wave of high-powered bicycle lights currently hitting the market are without doubt the most powerful and efficient we have ever seen. Remember the days of sealed-lead acid batteries and halogen globes? We do too, though thankfully those days are long gone! But as compact and as eyeball-tearingly powerful as some front lights have gotten (how’s that 6000-Lumen Halo light from TrailLED?!), sometimes it’s easy to forget that rear lights are also improving too.

For road and urban riders, having a highly visible rear light is arguably more important than having a stoopid-powerful front light, mostly because you don’t have eyes in the back of your head. And quite frankly, we need to give drivers as much help as they can possibly get when it comes to noticing us on the road.

The Vis 180 tail light from Californian company Light & Motion is a great example of how modern lighting technology is making us more visible, and (hopefully) safer. 70 Lumens of LED-driven power, a claimed 6-hour run time, and a compact alloy body make the Vis 180 one of the big boys in the lighting game. Does it live up to the price-tag? Read on for the full review!


Full Suspension Fat vs. Plus – Is there room for Both?


Since the introduction of full suspension fat bikes, one of the most often asked questions seems to be, “why?” The fat tire creations are definitely one of those bikes that has its own little niche, and to understand the need you really have to ride it.

As someone who can appreciate the use for a full suspension fat bike but never really felt the need to buy one, the full suspension Plus bike poses an interesting question. Now that there is a fat tire middle ground for full suspension, for a company like Salsa is there really a need for both? Apparently I wasn’t the only one to ask that question at the Salsa demo for Biketoberfest, and the answer is really one you have to decide for yourself….


Review: Quoc Pham Urbanite leather city cycling boot


We’d admired the classic styling of the touring and city riding shoes from Quoc Pham for quite some time, and were happy this year to get ahold of a pair for some longer term testing. I’ve been riding around the city for more than half a year in the all leather mid-height boots, and have been mostly pleased. Probably the biggest improvement is that they’ve replaced my standard fare of commuting in regular mountain bike shoes and then changing into another pair of shoes at the office, so that it was possible to get around without screaming cyclist everywhere I went. Join me after the break to get the full lowdown on the boots, as well as one setup trick that they needed…


Review: Kontact Saddle puts you in the power seat for cyclocross & XC racing

Kontact Saddles long term review and actual weight

Kontact Saddles debuted in early 2014 with a uniquely shaped saddle promising to fit your sit bones better and provide unencumbered pedaling. What I found is it does all this and positions the pelvis in a forward rotated position for a more powerful pedal stroke.

Add to that a durable design and materials, a competitive weight and price and this could be the perfect saddle for intense efforts like cyclocross and XC racing. For longer rides that that aren’t full throttle, well, maybe…


Review: Get that Pro Look with Pegatin Personalized Name Decals


We’ve been using customized stickers for several years to label the wheels and bikes (among other things…Tyler’s coffee mug!) we have on test to allow us to keep track of things both when racing and when traveling with friends. We started with custom-cut vinyl decals, but progressed just over a year ago to the Pro Name Bike Stickers from Pegatin that let us pick our nation’s flag and then add customizable names. The simple, single color vinyl left a lot of exposed edges, so tended not to survive for so long on things like wheels and helmets, so we were curious to see how Pegatin’s affordable one-piece decal would hold up over the long term. Just past the break with us to see how the survived…


Exclusive First Ride: Vittoria Corsa tires and Qurano carbon tubulars – Updated


We got the unique opportunity to get a day of test riding in with the new Graphene Plus Corsa tubular tires and Qurano 46 carbon wheels from Vittoria on their home turf in the Como region of Italy where the Graphene is produced. Since the tires aren’t yet available to consumers, we were lent a set of wheels from Vittoria’s Service Course with a narrow version of their new all-around competition tubular. As a fairly last minute affair, we threw our classic steel travel cross bike in its S&S suitcase and set out to put some kms on the setup. Join us after the break for our first impressions of the new tire that will replace both Vittoria’s race Corsa Evo and their classics Pavé CG


Review: Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike cuts, runs & jumps onto the scene

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

After testing the concept for years on frames built for him and his wife’s personal use, Dave Turner introduced his first production cyclocross bike in April this year, just prior to our closeup look at Sea Otter Classic.

Then, just prior to the current cyclocross season, we had a couple weeks to ride one around our local gravel paths, ‘cross training loops and trails. Unfortunately, they needed it back before Interbike to use as a demo, so it didn’t see any racing action, but we packed in as many hard, fast and jumpy rides as we could to test the alloy frame to the limit…


Review- Lazer’s Phoenix+ Full Face Helmet Offers a Great View and Low Weight for $99

Lazer Phoenix+ full face helmet, action shot

Earlier this summer I had the chance to check out Lazer’s Magma XC helmet, and lauded it for offering an excellent fit system and a very low weight at a competitive price. I was left thinking Lazer is a brand that budget-conscious riders should keep an eye on, and those impressions remain after doing some downhilling in their new Phoenix+ full-face helmet.

The Phoenix+ is a decent looking price-point helmet that will do the job of protecting your head… without MIPS or any proprietary impact technology, that is. It also provides an excellent field of view, and like the Magma weighs less than many of its competitors. Head past the break for the full review…