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, Reviews23 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…

Continue reading “One Ride Review: FSA WE electronic shifting first impressions”



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

First Impressions: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 series’ new Di2 R9170 disc brake groupset

We had the chance to join Shimano and their development team last week in Calpe on the Valencian coast in Spain for what had promised to be some warm winter miles test riding the new Dura-Ace Di2 groupset. In the end the weather dictated a different story. Unseasonably cold temperatures and a week of heavy rains made for conditions that did more to test the waterproofness of the new Di2. Then when rain turned to snow up the climbs away from the coast, it also meant a perfect playground to see how the first-ever Dura-Ace branded disc brakes would deal with bringing us back to a stop.

Luckily I came to Spain from Central Europe where we’ve had weeks on end of sub-freezing weather, so I pulled on the waterproof shorts, warmers, and gloves and got down to riding the new gear. Looking closely at the tech updates and refined details that make up the new group, Dura-Ace Di2 delivered the shifting that has become a benchmark with improved braking, more consistent ergonomics, and some interesting Synchro shift options…

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We had the chance to join Shimano and their development team last week in Calpe on the Valencian coast in Spain for what had promised to be some warm winter miles test riding the new Dura-Ace Di2 groupset. In the end the weather dictated a different story. Unseasonably cold temperatures and a week of heavy rains made […]

Posted in Components, Feature, Gravel Bikes, Reviews, Road Bike38 Comments

Sun Ringle Mulefut 80 SL Rims: New life for an old Pugsley

It could be argued that the Surley Pugsley is to fat biking, as the Specialized Stumpjumper is to mountain biking. It is far from the first fat bike, but as the first mass produced version it opened up an entirely new segment of riding and played a big part in what fat bikes are today. The modern interpretation of the fat bike has changed drastically since the Pugsley first appeared in 2005, and the bike is now only sold as a frame set, but the bike still delivers the fat bike experience – even with its quirky offset design.

Which is why when it came time to decide what to do with my Pugsley Necromancer, I couldn’t force myself to get rid of it. You see, my personal Pugsley has essentially become my loaner fat bike. With up to four fat bikes on hand for various testing at most times, when conditions are good and friends want to ride – it’s there. However, due to the time frame that I built up my Pugsley (and my limited funds), I settled for the Vicious Graceful Fat Sheeba rims which did the trick, but were definitely not tubeless compatible. That turns out to be pretty important for a loaner, and after having it come back with flat tires way too many times, I decided it was time to lace up some new rims…

Continue reading “Sun Ringle Mulefut 80 SL Rims: New life for an old Pugsley”



It could be argued that the Surley Pugsley is to fat biking, as the Specialized Stumpjumper is to mountain biking. It is far from the first fat bike, but as the first mass produced version it opened up an entirely new segment of riding and played a big part in what fat bikes are today. […]

Posted in Components, Fatbike, Feature, Reviews2 Comments

This Just In: Reynolds 27.5 Plus carbon mountain bike wheels

Plus bikes offer a lot of benefits from the enlarged tires, but they also come with a lot of mass. It’s pretty simple – bigger rims and bigger tires are going to add more weight. With tire manufacturers figuring out the line between durability and weight, the other place for plus bike owners to look for weight savings is in the wheels themselves.

Options like the Reynolds 27.5 Plus carbon wheels promise lighter weight of course, but they also include a high end build that is worthy of an upgrade by itself…

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Plus bikes offer a lot of benefits from the enlarged tires, but they also come with a lot of mass. It’s pretty simple – bigger rims and bigger tires are going to add more weight. With tire manufacturers figuring out the line between durability and weight, the other place for plus bike owners to look for […]

Posted in Components, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews6 Comments

Review: CXNats winning Team Edition Challenge Dune, from sand to ice

If you’ve been keeping up with our USA Cross Nats coverage you may have noticed that new US champ Stephen Hyde rolled across the finish line on a set of Challenge’s latest file tread tubular tires – the Dune. OK to be fair, he walked across the line after a crash in the last off-camber turn hobbled his bike with a broken derailleur hanger and a front flat. Nonetheless, we’ve been testing those same tires since not long after they were introduced at Sea Otter, and as we first learned from past British CX champ Helen Wyman in her tire selection criteria the Dune is capable in much more than the sandy terrain that its name belies…

Continue reading “Review: CXNats winning Team Edition Challenge Dune, from sand to ice”



If you’ve been keeping up with our USA Cross Nats coverage you may have noticed that new US champ Stephen Hyde rolled across the finish line on a set of Challenge’s latest file tread tubular tires – the Dune. OK to be fair, he walked across the line after a crash in the last off-camber […]

Posted in Components, Cyclocross, Feature, Reviews18 Comments

Just In: Lauf’s maintenance free Carbonara fat bike suspension fork

The RockShox Bluto might be the fork that comes to mind for fat bikes, but it’s not the only one. In addition to the more typical telescopic forks of both standard and inverted designs, there are few folks doing things a little differently. Like the guys from Lauf.

Looking at suspension in a completely new way, Lauf has made a lot of noise by combining the age-old idea of leaf springs with modern carbon manufacturing. The result is a super light fork that offers supple suspension, without adding much weight or complexity. It also makes it practically maintenance free, which on a fat bike that is ridden through the worst conditions imaginable, might be worth it by itself…

Continue reading “Just In: Lauf’s maintenance free Carbonara fat bike suspension fork”



The RockShox Bluto might be the fork that comes to mind for fat bikes, but it’s not the only one. In addition to the more typical telescopic forks of both standard and inverted designs, there are few folks doing things a little differently. Like the guys from Lauf. Looking at suspension in a completely new […]

Posted in Components, Feature, Reviews17 Comments

Review: The Bike Strap – functional simplicity to securely haul all beer formats (& other things)

Modeo bike strap, with beer bomber

Modeo bike strap, with beer bomber

Sometimes it’s fun to nerd out on all the crazy technology in our modern bikes, but one of my favorite accessories from recent times is actually the simplest thing on my commuter; the water bottle holder. Last spring I got my hands on a Bike Strap, and I decided it had to be tested right away with a fresh bomber of craft brew. After a boot around town, I got home and found my bomber still tightly secured. At that point, I knew I’d be putting the Bike Strap to use quite often!

The Bike Strap is made by a company called Modeo (who also developed an interesting commute tracking app called Ryde) and it has proven to be a brilliant, functional design that carries a huge range of drink containers (among other things) easily and securely. There’s only one drawback to the design if you’re fussy about appearances…
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Sometimes it’s fun to nerd out on all the crazy technology in our modern bikes, but one of my favorite accessories from recent times is actually the simplest thing on my commuter; the water bottle holder. Last spring I got my hands on a Bike Strap, and I decided it had to be tested right […]

Posted in Commuter, Components, Gadgets & Hacks, Reviews9 Comments

Review: SR Suntour Durolux R2C2 27.5″ enduro fork provides complete control

2016 SR Suntour Durolux R2C2 enduro mountain bike bike suspension fork review and actual weights

2016 SR Suntour Durolux R2C2 enduro mountain bike bike suspension fork review and actual weights

In 2015, I attended the SR Suntour Durolux R2C2 enduro suspension fork launch at Mountain Creek in New Jersey. It was a big announcement for them, introducing new technology on an all-new chassis for a new wheel size. And the proving grounds they chose were aggressive and gnarly, chewing through tires at an alarming pace.

The complete tech story was covered in great detail in our launch coverage, but here’s the short of it: The 2016 Durolux is for 27.5″ wheels only, uses bigger 36mm stanchions and a 20mm thru axle, and has completely new internals designed to not only perform like a downhill fork, but also give you complete external control over its damping characteristics. That’s because the R2C2 cartridge puts high and low speed controls for both compression and rebound in easy reach. They also gave it easy to adjust air volume clips that double as travel adjustment parts, just put them in a different spot. Throw in a custom, pre-installed fender and it should be the ultimate enduro weapon. Here’s how it fared after almost of year of proper testing…

Continue reading “Review: SR Suntour Durolux R2C2 27.5″ enduro fork provides complete control”



In 2015, I attended the SR Suntour Durolux R2C2 enduro suspension fork launch at Mountain Creek in New Jersey. It was a big announcement for them, introducing new technology on an all-new chassis for a new wheel size. And the proving grounds they chose were aggressive and gnarly, chewing through tires at an alarming pace. The […]

Posted in Components, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews5 Comments