Review: Cannondale Slate “all road” bike is just too much fun

Cannondale Slate Force CX1 all gravel road bike review and actual weight

Cannondale Slate Force CX1 all gravel road bike review and actual weight

The promise of gravel bikes is freedom. The ability to dive off the paved road and into the unknown. To explore those backroads, short cuts and secret paths. Or to just stave off boredom. The Cannondale Slate delivers on all those promises with one of the funnest bikes I’ve ever ridden.

When it first debuted, I (and likely you) questioned the logic of using a 650B wheel and tire for a “road” bike, but after riding it, I’m satisfied with the answer. It makes sense, and it makes for a great ride. It may not look traditional, but if you’re looking for an alternate to your standard road bike, it doesn’t get much more alternative than this…

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The promise of gravel bikes is freedom. The ability to dive off the paved road and into the unknown. To explore those backroads, short cuts and secret paths. Or to just stave off boredom. The Cannondale Slate delivers on all those promises with one of the funnest bikes I’ve ever ridden. When it first debuted, […]

Posted in Bicycles, Cyclocross, Feature, Gravel Bikes, Reviews, Road Bike68 Comments

Review: Getting the Ass Saver Wide & Mudder dirty

The folks at Ass Savers have always been happy to toss some of their snap-on plastic pseudo-fenders our way to test out. Most of the time though, when we are looking for fenders we really want a full-coverage mudguard to make the winter commute less wet and grimy. And as much as we might hope, no fender clipped onto the saddle rails is going to keep our pants leg clean. But with the addition of their newest zip-tie-on Mudder we threw some plastic mud deflectors on some mountain bikes to at least try to keep our glasses clear and our shorts a bit easier to clean when we got home…

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The folks at Ass Savers have always been happy to toss some of their snap-on plastic pseudo-fenders our way to test out. Most of the time though, when we are looking for fenders we really want a full-coverage mudguard to make the winter commute less wet and grimy. And as much as we might hope, no fender […]

Posted in Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Mountain Bike, Reviews6 Comments

Review: Rolling into the new year with airless tires on the Specialized Alibi Sport

Maybe your new year’s resolution is to lose a little weight. Riding can be a great way to get yourself out the door and on the way to fitness, but you actually have to get the bike down from that hook in the garage and do it. I’m assuming that for most of us reading the site on a regular basis, the threat of a puncture and the need to inflate your tires on a regular basis isn’t a deterrent to getting out for a ride. But for a large chunk of the population who ride far less often, flats and under inflated tires are a big deal. In fact, Specialized cites a study from German Sport University Cologne that claims up to 90 percent of cyclists ride with under inflated tires, and 55 percent of riders have at least one puncture per year. That may not sound that bad, but when you lack the ability or desire to fix a puncture yourself and you end up having to bring it to a shop (or having the shop come to you), all of a sudden your quick ride becomes an ordeal.

Rather than dwelling on the rider’s ability to fix a flat, with the help of Tannus, Specialized is taking a completely different approach – airless tires. This certainly isn’t the first use of airless tires in the bicycle world (technically, the very first tires were airless as solid rubber). But just like all the other components of the bicycle, the technology has drastically improved with the times. Tannus announced their newest airless tire back in 2015 with their Aither 1.1 which promised better ride characteristics while maintaining the completely flat free feature.

Now, that same technology is available on the Specialized Alibi for a truly maintenance free tire that never goes flat and never needs air…

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Maybe your new year’s resolution is to lose a little weight. Riding can be a great way to get yourself out the door and on the way to fitness, but you actually have to get the bike down from that hook in the garage and do it. I’m assuming that for most of us reading […]

Posted in Actual Weights, Bicycles, Commuter, Feature, Reviews16 Comments

One Ride Reviews: Extra long Pole Evolink 150 27.5 LD & 140 29 EN

Pole’s take on mountain bikes is a bit unique in the industry. While the recent trends of contemporary trail-ready geometry has pushed most bikes out with longer toptubes and slack head angles, Pole still stands apart with some of the longest wheelbases of any bike maker out there. All of their bikes look almost exactly the same, whether for XC or DH and everything in between, and they all share in the same philosophy that longer is better.

We’d covered the Finnish 110mm cross-country bike and 140mm trail bike back when they were introduced at the start of 2016, but later in the year, we took the opportunity to hit some gravity-fueled, lift-assisted trails in the Austrian Alps on some of the more enduro-focused bikes. Back before the snow fell on some familiar trails, we took the 29er Evolink 14o EN and 27.5″ Evolink 150 LD into the woods to give them a proper thrashing and see how those long wheelbases would react through the berms, technical trails, and rooted switchbacks…

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Pole’s take on mountain bikes is a bit unique in the industry. While the recent trends of contemporary trail-ready geometry has pushed most bikes out with longer toptubes and slack head angles, Pole still stands apart with some of the longest wheelbases of any bike maker out there. All of their bikes look almost exactly the […]

Posted in Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews11 Comments

Review: Endura MT500 enduro backpack

Recently we’ve seen a lot of new gear from Scottish company Endura in the way of clothing, whether it was to deal with wet riding on the road or trail, or on the backs of women’s and men’s road pros. But they’ve also done some good work as one of the early companies to work with the alt material Koroyd in protection gear. One of those new products was the MT500 trail backpack that we first glimpsed last winter. And when we had a chance to test one ourselves, we jumped to see how it would perform on our regular rides and catch us when we came crashing back down…

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Recently we’ve seen a lot of new gear from Scottish company Endura in the way of clothing, whether it was to deal with wet riding on the road or trail, or on the backs of women’s and men’s road pros. But they’ve also done some good work as one of the early companies to work with […]

Posted in Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Mountain Bike, Reviews3 Comments

Review: Raleigh’s RXC Cyclocross bike is race ready out of the box

Most cyclocross racers do not start out on high end carbon bikes. Instead, it’s more often something cobbled together from race worn spares, an affordable alloy bike, or even a mountain bike. Regardless of how it starts, many reach a point where they’re either tired of spending money on entry fees, only to push themselves to the point of vomiting for 30-45 minutes, or they’re hopelessly hooked and doomed to spend the majority of their fall weekends on the CX circuit. Those who fall in that second category are the ones who eventually will be looking for bikes like the Raleigh RXC.

There’s quite a range when it comes to carbon fiber cyclocross rigs, but true to form, the Raleigh seems to pack a high level of value to dollars. At this level you don’t want to end up buying something you’ll need to immediately upgrade, but you also want to leave enough funds for those entry fees, travel expenses, and post race frites. Fortunately, the Raleigh comes incredibly well spec’ed – though there’s still a bit of room for improvement…

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Most cyclocross racers do not start out on high end carbon bikes. Instead, it’s more often something cobbled together from race worn spares, an affordable alloy bike, or even a mountain bike. Regardless of how it starts, many reach a point where they’re either tired of spending money on entry fees, only to push themselves […]

Posted in Bicycles, Cyclocross, Feature, Reviews5 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…

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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, Reviews4 Comments

One Ride Review: ELEVEN’s fat bike gets race car inspired, reverse enduro design…and it works

eleven bikes fat bike review and details

eleven bikes fat bike review and details

After meeting Eleven Bikes’ founder Thomas German at a ‘cross race a few weeks ago, we set a date for him to come visit Bikerumor HQ and go for a ride. It also gave us a chance to discuss the brand, his design background and philosophy, and spec decisions in far greater detail than our first post on the brand.

Thomas comes from motorsports, with several Indy and NASCAR championships under his belt as head engineer for some of the top teams. His role was (and still is on occasion) to set up the car’s suspension and other variables to optimize performance at a specific track and in specific conditions. In that environment, any weak link is a life threatening risk, which is why he spent a lot of extra time with the builder to have the frame constructed a certain way to pass their own aggressive testing. And since he was used to tuning ride characteristics using the soft points like suspension and tires while keeping the chassis as stiff and strong as possible, he carried that philosophy over, too. His bikes have straight tubes, with reinforcements at key joints, to make it very stiff. Compliance is adjustable with the fork and tires. It’s an interesting take, and the geometry makes it even more so…

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After meeting Eleven Bikes’ founder Thomas German at a ‘cross race a few weeks ago, we set a date for him to come visit Bikerumor HQ and go for a ride. It also gave us a chance to discuss the brand, his design background and philosophy, and spec decisions in far greater detail than our […]

Posted in Bicycles, Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews21 Comments

Review: Bontrager Circuit kit ups their apparel game at all levels

michelin-power-tire-launch-brian-hodes-veloimages-hincapie-gran-fondo-route-laurens-test-track-26
Photo c. VeloImages

We get quite a few kits to check out. Sometimes it’s part of a product launch, other times it’s just to check out what’s new, but what we don’t get a lot of is what could be considered entry to mid level apparel. That’s what made it surprising when I tried on the Bontrager Circuit and then looked at the tags for details. It may have been one of Bontrager’s most affordable kits for the season, but you wouldn’t know it by the feel. And if you haven’t tried on new road kits recently, it’s that feel that will surprise you too. Compared to high end kits just a few years ago, cycling apparel has drastically improved and those benefits are making their way down to the lower price points.

For Bontrager, the Circuit kit isn’t just an improved, affordable cycling kit – it’s an indication of where their clothing collection is headed from here…

Continue reading “Review: Bontrager Circuit kit ups their apparel game at all levels”



We get quite a few kits to check out. Sometimes it’s part of a product launch, other times it’s just to check out what’s new, but what we don’t get a lot of is what could be considered entry to mid level apparel. That’s what made it surprising when I tried on the Bontrager Circuit and […]

Posted in Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Feature, Reviews, Road Bike3 Comments