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Review: Mashing absoluteBLACK’s oval narrow-wide ring & chainguide – should you switch to oval?

Absolute Black-6

Absolute Black-6

AbsoluteBLACK sent me their 32t oval narrow-wide chainring & chainguide system to try so I could see what all of the fuss is about. Sporting no logos, their robust, yet subtle jewel-like design is their trademark and going on appearance alone, this ring is at the top of my list in the looks department. Regardless, my job here is to see how it performs, so I wiped the drool off my face and hit the trails. Now, for those of you that have (still) been under a rock, this IS NOT like BioPace. It’s almost backwards from that oval design.

I’ve ridden a couple of ovals for a short bit, but the true test was to get them on my familiar home trails to gain an accurate perspective as to how they perform. Check out my thoughts on how absoluteBLACK’s MTB oval works in the real world vs. on paper and whether or not their guide can keep everything on track during all of the “ups & downs”…

Continue reading “Review: Mashing absoluteBLACK’s oval narrow-wide ring & chainguide – should you switch to oval?”



AbsoluteBLACK sent me their 32t oval narrow-wide chainring & chainguide system to try so I could see what all of the fuss is about. Sporting no logos, their robust, yet subtle jewel-like design is their trademark and going on appearance alone, this ring is at the top of my list in the looks department. Regardless, my job here is […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Components, Mountain Bike, Reviews21 Comments

Detailed First Look! New Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 unveiled, includes a powermeter & disc brakes!

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A new version of Shimano’s flagship Dura-Ace is finally here after much talk and teasing. Like we had seen before the standard crankset gets the biggest update in terms of looks, but there is improved tech at every step of the line. As Shimano’s reps told us, literally everything is new except the new, reshaped 11-speed chain that was just updated last year.

That is a good place to start. The new Dura-Ace R9100 groupset sticks with 11 speeds in this update. The R designation is one borrowed from their trail groups, but will now brand the road groups going forward for added clarity, most likely as we are seeing more road groups on the all surface riding machines. Shimano introduced us to 11 speed on the road, and seems to be satisfied with the gearing combinations that it makes possible. The rumors of a power meter were indeed true, so we’ll get a glimpse of that below. Plus a look at both mechanical and Di2 electronic shifting setups, and both rim braking and hydraulic disc braking, and even more after the break…

Continue reading “Detailed First Look! New Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 unveiled, includes a powermeter & disc brakes!”



A new version of Shimano’s flagship Dura-Ace is finally here after much talk and teasing. Like we had seen before the standard crankset gets the biggest update in terms of looks, but there is improved tech at every step of the line. As Shimano’s reps told us, literally everything is new except the new, reshaped […]

Posted in Road Bike51 Comments

Fulcrum brings affordable alloy Red Power HP, Red Passion 3 mountain bike wheels

fulcrum red passion 3 xc mountain bike wheels

Fulcrum is bringing a lot of their upper end alloy mountain bike wheel tech to a bit lower price point thanks to simplified component selection. Two models get the trickle down treatment, the XC/Marathon Red Passion 3 (shown above) and the Red Power HP, which is slightly wider and taller for trail riding. Both are compatible with standard SRAM/Shimano cassettes and XD driver bodies, and both work with standard QR, 15×100 and 12×142 thru axles, and 12×135 rear axles. Both are also tubeless ready and delivered with rim tape pre-installed.

The Red Passion 3 grows to a 21mm internal width, but keeps a shallow 20mm height to minimize rotational weight. The cost savings come from switching to an alloy hub shell rather than the intricate carbon ones on the originals.

Continue reading “Fulcrum brings affordable alloy Red Power HP, Red Passion 3 mountain bike wheels”



Fulcrum is bringing a lot of their upper end alloy mountain bike wheel tech to a bit lower price point thanks to simplified component selection. Two models get the trickle down treatment, the XC/Marathon Red Passion 3 (shown above) and the Red Power HP, which is slightly wider and taller for trail riding. Both are […]

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Zipp offers CeramicSpeed freehub upgrade kit, plus other new goods

Zipp CeramicSpeed 177 hub upgrade kits

If you’ve already upgraded your derailleur wheels, why not throw some ceramic in your actual wheels? Zipp’s just released their CeramicSpeed freehub hop up kit for their 177 rear hubs, available in SRAM/Shimano and Campy 11-speed, plus XD-R Driver Bodies. They come with the better bearings preinstalled for a simple replacement and claim 1.5 to 9 watts reduction in drag per bearing. Retail is $355 (€365 / £281) per freehub, available in July.

For more affordable new bits, roll on down…

Continue reading “Zipp offers CeramicSpeed freehub upgrade kit, plus other new goods”



If you’ve already upgraded your derailleur wheels, why not throw some ceramic in your actual wheels? Zipp’s just released their CeramicSpeed freehub hop up kit for their 177 rear hubs, available in SRAM/Shimano and Campy 11-speed, plus XD-R Driver Bodies. They come with the better bearings preinstalled for a simple replacement and claim 1.5 to […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Cyclocross, Road Bike, Triathlon13 Comments

Bikerumor Pic Of The Day: Fraser to Granby Trail, Colorado

bikerumor pic of the day fraser to granby trial colorado

Photo submitted by Jason Gendill, “As a new father to a 3 month old, we were finally able to get away and get a little bit of trail time the other day. Nothing fancy or epic, but the Fraser to Granby Trail reminded me of the fun on a mtn bike. Salsa Big Mama.”

We always love to see your photos and would like to show them to the world here on the Pic Of The Day. Send in your photo with a brief description of the location and your bike here.



Photo submitted by Jason Gendill, “As a new father to a 3 month old, we were finally able to get away and get a little bit of trail time the other day. Nothing fancy or epic, but the Fraser to Granby Trail reminded me of the fun on a mtn bike. Salsa Big Mama.” We […]

Posted in Pic of the Day1 Comment

Seven Cycles RedSky lets you grind gravel without disc brakes

seven cycles redsky rim brake gravel road bike

In what can almost be called old school anymore, Seven Cycles has busted out a modern gravel grinder for those not quite ready to give up their rim brake wheels.

The new RedSky combines modern frame building and features with medium reach brake calipers. Run it with a racy 700×23, or push things out to a ‘cross ready 35mm, and the bike will look good either way. It’s based off their Axiom and Evergreen road bike platforms, but made to accommodate a little more rubber and bumpier roads. If the morning red sky’s forecast for bad weather doesn’t deter you from riding, your ship may have come in…

Continue reading “Seven Cycles RedSky lets you grind gravel without disc brakes”



In what can almost be called old school anymore, Seven Cycles has busted out a modern gravel grinder for those not quite ready to give up their rim brake wheels. The new RedSky combines modern frame building and features with medium reach brake calipers. Run it with a racy 700×23, or push things out to a […]

Posted in Cyclocross, Gravel Bikes19 Comments

New WTB Convict gravity mountain bike tire escapes to terrorize loam everywhere

wtb convict enduro downhill gravity mountain bike tire

The new WTB Convict is their biggest, gnarliest tire ever made, designed to rip through enduro and downhill courses with ease. Tall, thick knobs with siping throughout both dig into the ground and flex to grab it for traction in all directions.

They’re designed for softer trail conditions, from sand to loam. Three casing options are offered, all coming in just a touch over 1,000g, and all for 27.5″ wheels only. Check the specs below…

Continue reading “New WTB Convict gravity mountain bike tire escapes to terrorize loam everywhere”



The new WTB Convict is their biggest, gnarliest tire ever made, designed to rip through enduro and downhill courses with ease. Tall, thick knobs with siping throughout both dig into the ground and flex to grab it for traction in all directions. They’re designed for softer trail conditions, from sand to loam. Three casing options […]

Posted in Mountain Bike7 Comments

Rocky Mountain Element reworked into an XC/AM animal

Element970_RSL_BluBlk

Element_Action_Side

After 20 years in their lineup, the Rocky Mountain Element is getting a complete refresh that promises to provide race-ability of an XC rig, with the confidence of a trail bike. Setting the new Element apart is a revamped geometry,  integration of their Ride-9 technology, and more. Rock past the break to get the scoop…

Continue reading “Rocky Mountain Element reworked into an XC/AM animal”



After 20 years in their lineup, the Rocky Mountain Element is getting a complete refresh that promises to provide race-ability of an XC rig, with the confidence of a trail bike. Setting the new Element apart is a revamped geometry,  integration of their Ride-9 technology, and more. Rock past the break to get the scoop…

Posted in Mountain Bike9 Comments

PC16: Fabric adds lights and pumps to line-up, expands saddles, grips, tools

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Fabric_Bottles-saddles-tools-lights-20Fabric_Bottles-saddles-tools-lights-8

The must-have accessory of Press Camp 2015 was easily Fabric’s ultra-functional, minimalist Cageless Waterbottle, so we were excited to see how the UK brand would top itself moving into this year’s event. Fabric did not disappoint.

The brand has not only taken strides in further fleshing out its otherwise impressive existing lines in bottles, saddles, and tools, but it has once again expanded into several new categories with the same out-of-the-box approach. Let Fabric’s new offerings pump (CLAP) you up after the jump.

Continue reading “PC16: Fabric adds lights and pumps to line-up, expands saddles, grips, tools”



The must-have accessory of Press Camp 2015 was easily Fabric’s ultra-functional, minimalist Cageless Waterbottle, so we were excited to see how the UK brand would top itself moving into this year’s event. Fabric did not disappoint. The brand has not only taken strides in further fleshing out its otherwise impressive existing lines in bottles, saddles, […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools11 Comments