Review: Blindingly bright Capo Padrone SL Wind Jacket & Bib Tights reflect cold weather and light

At first glance, the Capo Padrone SL kit doesn’t seem all that bright. It has a few day-glow yellow pieces of trim, but it’s mostly dark gray and black…until the lights hit it. Even sunlight from indirect angles can illuminate it, but when headlights come straight on? Vegas lights. Roll on down for some bright photos.

Bundled in with the safety of high visibility is warmth to work down into the 40’s (F) with a good base layer. When it drops into the low 40’s and colder, I slipped on a de-chamoised pair of shorts as extra cover for the upper legs through waist and the pieces worked great at blocking freezing cold and wind…

Continue reading “Review: Blindingly bright Capo Padrone SL Wind Jacket & Bib Tights reflect cold weather and light”



At first glance, the Capo Padrone SL kit doesn’t seem all that bright. It has a few day-glow yellow pieces of trim, but it’s mostly dark gray and black…until the lights hit it. Even sunlight from indirect angles can illuminate it, but when headlights come straight on? Vegas lights. Roll on down for some bright […]

Posted in Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Reviews2 Comments

Review: Giro Factor Techlace road cycling shoes get fit & function just right

giro factor techlace road bike shoe review and actual weights

Launched last summer, the Giro Factor Techlace road shoes introduced a unique take on closures, combining shoelaces with Velcro straps for a lightweight, comfortable way to wrap the shoe around your foot. Above that is a BOA IP1 dial to snug the top of the shoe. Add in their own microfiber upper, stiff Easton carbon sole and several other unique features and you end up with a lightweight racer that’s the most comfortable Giro shoe I’ve ridden yet…

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Launched last summer, the Giro Factor Techlace road shoes introduced a unique take on closures, combining shoelaces with Velcro straps for a lightweight, comfortable way to wrap the shoe around your foot. Above that is a BOA IP1 dial to snug the top of the shoe. Add in their own microfiber upper, stiff Easton carbon […]

Posted in Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Reviews2 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

Review: Race Face Next SL G4 Cinch carbon crankset

Since their introduction, the Race Face Cinch cranks have quickly become some of my favorites. Much of that is due to the Cinch system itself. The modular design means that you aren’t limited to a certain fit, allowing you to change drivetrain options, adjust chainline, or switch to a completely new bottom bracket standard with little effort and a few parts. Over the years, they’ve also continued to get lighter as we all search for that perfect crank that not only performs well, but drops a few grams at the same time.

The Next SL G4 is the result of analyzing every piece of the crank to find and eliminate any extra grams from the Next SL. The result is the lightest Race Face Cinch crank available, and it doesn’t disappoint…

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Since their introduction, the Race Face Cinch cranks have quickly become some of my favorites. Much of that is due to the Cinch system itself. The modular design means that you aren’t limited to a certain fit, allowing you to change drivetrain options, adjust chainline, or switch to a completely new bottom bracket standard with […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Components, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews21 Comments

Cold Weather Clothing Roundup Pt. 4: Pactimo warms up before, during, and after the ride

Along with their custom and off the rack clothing for the warmer months, Pactimo has been helping cyclists warm as well. Pactimo’s Alpine Thermal RT jersey remains one of my favorite cold weather pieces, but this time Pactimo sent along a couple jackets that sit on either side of the Alpine in terms of warmth and weather protection. They also included two pieces from their lifestyle collection that will help you stay warm before or after a ride – or just hanging around…

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Along with their custom and off the rack clothing for the warmer months, Pactimo has been helping cyclists warm as well. Pactimo’s Alpine Thermal RT jersey remains one of my favorite cold weather pieces, but this time Pactimo sent along a couple jackets that sit on either side of the Alpine in terms of warmth […]

Posted in Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Feature, Reviews3 Comments

One Ride Review: The affordable Raleigh Roker Sport carbon gravel road bike

2017 Raleigh Roker Sport affordable carbon gravel road bike review

Raleigh had several of their new road bikes on display at Winter PressCamp, but I needed to grab something quick to catch the group ride and the Roker looked like it would fit. At first glance, and based on the spec level, I thought the Roker was an alloy bike. It’s stiff like one, and even wrapping knuckles on the top tube sounded alloy-ey. But it’s all carbon, and it’s darn solid. And it’s relatively cheap, getting on/off the roads with a very upgrade worthy frame and a parts mix that’ll carry you for a while before the inevitable upgrade train toots its horn.

As the group ride pulled out and I realized there was no hope of catching them, I pulled off on the first dirt access road I could find to give the Roker a proper ride…

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Raleigh had several of their new road bikes on display at Winter PressCamp, but I needed to grab something quick to catch the group ride and the Roker looked like it would fit. At first glance, and based on the spec level, I thought the Roker was an alloy bike. It’s stiff like one, and […]

Posted in Bicycles, Gravel Bikes, Reviews12 Comments

A tale of two soles: A few bits of rubber is all that separate the S-Works 6 XC and S-Works 6 Road shoes

Blink and you might miss it. These are not the same shoes. Other than the different colored tongues, a quick glance at the uppers and it would be very easy to confuse the two – which is kind of the point. Pictured above is the Specialized S-Works 6 Road and S-Works 6 XC mountain shoe. Together, they represent the pinnacle of S-Works light weight shoe design regardless of where your ride will take you.

Just like the bikes themselves, riding shoes are going through some interesting evolution. With the rise of gravel racing and mixed terrain riding, suddenly super light XC shoes are appealing again (at least to me). Many of my rides these days on “gravel” bikes consist of long miles on the road, interspersed with single track excursions. I might not be looking for shoe like the S-Works 6 XC for racing cross country, but it appealed to me for road riding where I still needed some real traction. And then there’s the potential of using them for CX….

Continue reading “A tale of two soles: A few bits of rubber is all that separate the S-Works 6 XC and S-Works 6 Road shoes”



Blink and you might miss it. These are not the same shoes. Other than the different colored tongues, a quick glance at the uppers and it would be very easy to confuse the two – which is kind of the point. Pictured above is the Specialized S-Works 6 Road and S-Works 6 XC mountain shoe. […]

Posted in Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews, Road Bike19 Comments

One Ride Review: FSA WE electronic shifting first impressions

FSA WE electronic shifting group from full speed ahead first ride review

Teased and spied for sooooo long, the FSA WE electronic group will finally see pro peloton action this year under Cofidis, Direct Energie and Jelly Belly. And possibly you – it goes on sale this spring. A firm on-sale date isn’t set yet, nor is pricing, but FSA has told us it’s coming soon. And they let us ride it.

The video above provides an overview of my first ride on the group, but now that I’ve had some time to digest the experience, there’s a bit more insight accompanying the photos below…

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Teased and spied for sooooo long, the FSA WE electronic group will finally see pro peloton action this year under Cofidis, Direct Energie and Jelly Belly. And possibly you – it goes on sale this spring. A firm on-sale date isn’t set yet, nor is pricing, but FSA has told us it’s coming soon. And they […]

Posted in Components, Feature, Reviews, Road Bike19 Comments

Roundup: Small but mighty lights by Portland Design Works, Bontrager, & Cateye

If you’re not using a light every time you ride on the road – you should. I think I speak for a lot of riders when I say that in years past I didn’t give much thought to riding with lights during the day. Now though, after too many stories of near misses or worse, I can’t leave the house without one. The good news is that modern lights make you far more visible to other traffic, even during the day. They’ve also gotten a lot smaller while maintaining impressive battery life – and in this case, every one of these lights is rechargeable. No one wants to invest a small fortune in coin cell batteries.

This is by no means a definitive list, but it is simply a group of lights that were sent to us for testing. Split between front and rear lights, Bontrager, Cateye, and Portland Design Works prove that lights don’t have to be big to be mighty…

Continue reading “Roundup: Small but mighty lights by Portland Design Works, Bontrager, & Cateye”



If you’re not using a light every time you ride on the road – you should. I think I speak for a lot of riders when I say that in years past I didn’t give much thought to riding with lights during the day. Now though, after too many stories of near misses or worse, […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Commuter, Feature, Miscellaneous, Reviews10 Comments