TDU 2017 Tech: Janez Brajkovic’s Bahrain Merida Scultura

Bahrain Merida’s Scultura, the last bike from our coverage of the 2017 Tour Down Under! We featured the team’s aero bike, the Merida Reacto EVO a little earlier, but this is the team’s all-rounder machine, the Scultura, which is optimized for light weight, and climbing the big mountains of the three grand-tours. The idea behind Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team was sparked in August 2016 by Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, a member of the Bahraini royal family. The team is financed by the government of Bahrain to promote the country worldwide.

This example of the team’s Merida Scultura is assigned to Janez Brajkovic, a 33 year old Slovenian-born racing cyclist who turned professional in 2005 with KRKA-Adria Mobil. Janez later moved to Team Discovery Channel, Astana and Team Radioshack, and even spent a two year stint most recently with USA based team, United Healthcare. For 2017, Janz returns to the World Tour peloton with Bahrain Merida. Click on through to see more of Janez Brajkovic’s Bahrain Merida Scultura. Continue reading “TDU 2017 Tech: Janez Brajkovic’s Bahrain Merida Scultura”



Bahrain Merida’s Scultura, the last bike from our coverage of the 2017 Tour Down Under! We featured the team’s aero bike, the Merida Reacto EVO a little earlier, but this is the team’s all-rounder machine, the Scultura, which is optimized for light weight, and climbing the big mountains of the three grand-tours. The idea behind Bahrain […]

Posted in Feature, Road Bike6 Comments

Niner RLT9 Steel now travels w/ flat mount disc brakes; Plus new Boost RDO carbon fork & longer RKT

2017 Niner RLT9 Steel gravel road bike with carbon touring fork

Hot on the trail of the carbon RLT RDO launched in January, the RLT Steel gets updated with flat mount brakes and a beautiful baby blue-on-metal paint scheme. Borrowing the new RDO carbon gravel fork from the carbon bike puts flat mount brakes and an abundance of rack and accessory mounts up front, too.

Alongside this news comes revised (longer travel) fork spec on the RKT XC full suspension race bike, and a new Boost 110mm axle spacing option for their RDO rigid carbon mountain bike fork that adds a few bonus features…

Continue reading “Niner RLT9 Steel now travels w/ flat mount disc brakes; Plus new Boost RDO carbon fork & longer RKT”



Hot on the trail of the carbon RLT RDO launched in January, the RLT Steel gets updated with flat mount brakes and a beautiful baby blue-on-metal paint scheme. Borrowing the new RDO carbon gravel fork from the carbon bike puts flat mount brakes and an abundance of rack and accessory mounts up front, too. Alongside this […]

Posted in Feature, Gravel Bikes, Mountain Bike14 Comments

TDU 2017 Tech: Sam Bennett’s Bora-Hansgrohe Specialized Venge ViAS

Bora-Hansgrohe is a German-based cycling team, originally founded in 2010 under the name Team NetApp. During the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Bora, a German cooking surface and extractor manufacturer co-sponsored with bike manufacturer Argon 18. For 2017, the team becomes Bora-Hansgrohe, Hansgrohe being a manufacturer of shower heads and bathroom and kitchen faucets. Also joining them is bike supplier, Specialized, and two-time world champion, Peter Segan, signed to a three-year deal with the team. Be sure to check out Peter’s disc brake Venge with gold wheels from the Tour Down Under!

Team riders have the choice of the Specialized Tarmac, or the aero Venge ViAS, which is the case here with Irishman, Sam Bennett. Sam came on board in 2014 when the team was sponsored by Netapp-Endura, and originally turned professional with Irish team, An Post-Sean Kelly. He has many good results on his palmarès, including 2nd place at the recent People’s Choice Classic, the pre-cursor race to the Tour Down Under.

Click on through to see more of Sam Bennett’s Bora-Hansgrohe Specialized Venge ViAS… Continue reading “TDU 2017 Tech: Sam Bennett’s Bora-Hansgrohe Specialized Venge ViAS”



Bora-Hansgrohe is a German-based cycling team, originally founded in 2010 under the name Team NetApp. During the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Bora, a German cooking surface and extractor manufacturer co-sponsored with bike manufacturer Argon 18. For 2017, the team becomes Bora-Hansgrohe, Hansgrohe being a manufacturer of shower heads and bathroom and kitchen faucets. Also joining […]

Posted in Feature, Road BikeLeave a comment

Road to NAHBS 2017: Pierre Chastain of Blaze Bicycles

Not unlike The Matrix, the small framebuilder community is all around you. While we tend to associate these small builders with places like Northern California or Portland or New England, the fact is that the builder community is more pervasive than anyone can understand (and people have tried). Only a small fraction of North American framebuilders show at NAHBS, and even fewer show every year. This means that, chances are, there are people working in garages and workshops building away in your city or town that you probably don’t know about. And while the internet has does wonders to facilitate communication and collaboration between these craftsmen, I have found that the more isolated the builder, the more unique the flavor.

It is in this context that I introduce Pierre Chastain of Blaze Bicycles. It’s been several years since we last saw him at the show (though I’ve personally been following him for awhile now). He’s out of Moab, Utah, a city not exactly a center of small framebuilding which, as he says, cuts out the clutter and allows him to focus. He’s been through the gauntlet of materials and processes, but seems to be settling down with curvy Titanium and TIG as his material and joining process of choice- and he’s certainly not done experimenting or evolving.

Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2017: Pierre Chastain of Blaze Bicycles”



Not unlike The Matrix, the small framebuilder community is all around you. While we tend to associate these small builders with places like Northern California or Portland or New England, the fact is that the builder community is more pervasive than anyone can understand (and people have tried). Only a small fraction of North American framebuilders […]

Posted in Feature, Interviews, Mountain Bike, NAHBS4 Comments

This Just In: 9:ZERO:7 Tundra aluminum trail fat bike

As I was writing this introduction my dad reminded me of my first cameo on BikeRumor. It was within the full review of the Borealis Echo and consisted of my first impressions of fat bike riding. At the end of my part I stated, “this will not be my last ride on a fat bike.” Since then, the past three years were filled with riding various rigs designed for a range of disciplines, and now I’m right back where I started with another fat bike. This time though, it’s the new 9:zero:7 Tundra. Not only does 9:zero:7’s newest aluminum bike make the jump to a suspension ready front end, but it also offers some big changes in geometry…

Continue reading “This Just In: 9:ZERO:7 Tundra aluminum trail fat bike”



As I was writing this introduction my dad reminded me of my first cameo on BikeRumor. It was within the full review of the Borealis Echo and consisted of my first impressions of fat bike riding. At the end of my part I stated, “this will not be my last ride on a fat bike.” Since then, the […]

Posted in Fatbike, Feature2 Comments

TDU 2017 Tech: Mark Renshaw’s Dimension Data Cervelo S5

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is a World Tour cycling team based in South Africa. The team’s name for 2017 reflects that while it is sponsored by Dimension Data Holdings, it is organized by the World Bicycle Relief’s charity program in South Africa. For 2013 – 2015, the team was registered as a UCI Professional Continental team, and enjoyed considerable success during that time with a classics win and appearance as the first African-registered team in the Tour de France. Their 2015 Tour de France campaign saw a stage win from Steve Cummings, while Daniel Teklehaimanot made history as the first Eritrean and first African to wear the race’s polka-dot mountain points jersey.

Cervelo have supplied bikes to the team since 2015, and many of the riders at the 2017 Tour Down Under chose the aero S5. This particular S5 is assigned to none other than Mark Renshaw, one of the best leadout men in the World Tour peloton. Typically leading out Mark Cavendish, Mark had free reign at the 2017 Tour Down Under, although his best result at that race was 6th in the People’s Choice Classic, a primer event before the Tour Down Under begins proper. Click on through to see more of Mark Renshaw’s Cervelo S5.

Continue reading “TDU 2017 Tech: Mark Renshaw’s Dimension Data Cervelo S5”



Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is a World Tour cycling team based in South Africa. The team’s name for 2017 reflects that while it is sponsored by Dimension Data Holdings, it is organized by the World Bicycle Relief’s charity program in South Africa. For 2013 – 2015, the team was registered as a UCI Professional […]

Posted in Feature, Road Bike8 Comments

This Just In: Salsa’s Deadwood SUS 29+ full suspension bike will surprise you

If you haven’t heard the news, Salsa has a new bike. Specifically, the Deadwood SUS is their take on a full suspension frame built around 29+ wheels and tires. Salsa isn’t the first company to shoehorn the tires into a suspension frame, but their move into the space is a big indication of what’s to come. Along with their fellow Q-brand Surly, Salsa has routinely been ahead of the wave when it comes to new tire sizes, whether that means plus, gravel, or fat.

To launch their newest masterpiece, Salsa invited us out to Stokesville, Virginia to give it a rip. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make the trip, but when Salsa offered to send a bike, the wheels started turning. Looking for the opportunity to get in some fat bike testing as well, we set off in search of the sun, warm weather, and dry trails. That led us down to Ocala, FL to check out the Santos trail system. It’s been years since I’ve been to Santos – the last time was on a 26″ mountain bike, and I think 29ers had just become a thing (27.5″ was not even a concept at that point). At that time, I remember thinking to myself that the constant roots, jagged rock, and sandy corners made for a ride that offered little reward for a lot of work. This time though, it was different.

It’s amazing how much of a difference a little time, and a lot of tire volume can make…

Continue reading “This Just In: Salsa’s Deadwood SUS 29+ full suspension bike will surprise you”



If you haven’t heard the news, Salsa has a new bike. Specifically, the Deadwood SUS is their take on a full suspension frame built around 29+ wheels and tires. Salsa isn’t the first company to shoehorn the tires into a suspension frame, but their move into the space is a big indication of what’s to come. […]

Posted in Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews15 Comments

TDU 2017 Tech: Gianluca Brambilla’s Quickstep Floors Specialized Tarmac

The Quick Step team has considerable history in the WorldTour peloton. First as Quick-Step–Davitamon in 2003, born out of staff and riders form Domo-Farm Frites and Mapei, their biggest wins have come from the Classics. Names such as Paolo Bettini, Stijn Devolder and the ever venerable Tom Boonen have brought considerable success to the squad. For 2017 Quick Step Flooring takes over the reigns as sole named sponsor of the team, with Ettix remaining on board, supplying the team’s nutritional needs.

“There’s no better vantage point than from the top step of a podium, and no bike in recent years has studied the race landscape from this height more than our S-Works”, says Specialized. The company’s Tarmac has been ridden to victory at all three grand tours, and the bike’s “Rider-First Engineered” design ensures the Tarmac sprints, corners, and descends with uniformity. This example of the Tarmac is assigned to team rider, Gianluca Brambilla, who turned pro with Colnago-CSF Inox in 2010, but switched to Omega Pharma-Quick Step in 2013, and has remained with the team ever since. Click on through to see more of Gianluca’s Specialized Tarmac… Continue reading “TDU 2017 Tech: Gianluca Brambilla’s Quickstep Floors Specialized Tarmac”



The Quick Step team has considerable history in the WorldTour peloton. First as Quick-Step–Davitamon in 2003, born out of staff and riders form Domo-Farm Frites and Mapei, their biggest wins have come from the Classics. Names such as Paolo Bettini, Stijn Devolder and the ever venerable Tom Boonen have brought considerable success to the squad. For […]

Posted in Feature, Road Bike4 Comments

Salsa Deadwood SUS springs into 29+ w/ Split Pivot full suspension

You had to have known it was coming. Salsa, the brand known for their ‘Adventure by Bike’ ethos, has nearly every mountain bike wheel and tire size in hard tail and full suspension form – except one. The obvious hole in the line up was a full suspension frame built around the massive 29+ wheels and tires. That’s probably due to the fact that it’s not all that easy to cram such big tires into a frame that still accommodates suspension travel and in a way that will fit a number of people. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

The proof? That would be the all new Deadwood SUS. At first glance, the Deadwood SUS doesn’t look all that different than a Salsa Spearfish 29. But look closer, and you’ll notice that those are not your average 29″ tires stuffed in there. Look even closer still, and you’ll see a bike that is build with a geometry that is equally at home sending burly rock lines as it is pushing your limits on big, back country epics…

Continue reading “Salsa Deadwood SUS springs into 29+ w/ Split Pivot full suspension”



You had to have known it was coming. Salsa, the brand known for their ‘Adventure by Bike’ ethos, has nearly every mountain bike wheel and tire size in hard tail and full suspension form – except one. The obvious hole in the line up was a full suspension frame built around the massive 29+ wheels […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Feature, Mountain Bike5 Comments