Category Archives: Reviews
Enthralled with the Rock Shox RS-1
Rock Shox RS-1

No one ever said “a fork is a fork.” Well, maybe they did but I doubt they were talking about suspension and in the case of the Rock Shox RS-1, this is unlike any other fork on the market today. Before I get ahead of myself here, I’ve struggled with how to address this review. Without sounding like a copy and paste of marketing jargon, it really is the best fork I’ve ridden, for my specific type of use: XC riding with a bit of rowdiness. (more…)

Aug 31, 2015 28 comments
Long Sleeve Sun Protection: Patagonia Capilene Silkweight Base Layers
JohnPatagucci

Photos by Kyle Kelley

This website focuses a lot on Made in the USA products, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t share products like this when I put them through the ringer, especially if it saves you some money.

The summer sun is unforgiving and while I’ll wear sun sleeves and a normal jersey on my road bike, I spent a good amount of time this year looking for long-sleeve sunblocking options for mountain bike rides. A large misconception about long sleeve shirts is that they’re too hot to wear on a sunny summer day and while that can be true for materials like cotton, there are silkweight options that will wick sweat, keep you cool and most importantly protect your arms from the sun’s harmful rays… (more…)

Aug 24, 2015 15 comments
Racing and Riding the Fairdale Goodship – Andre Chelliah
The Fairdale Goodship with SRAM Force 22

Racing and Riding the Fairdale Goodship
Words by Andre Chelliah, photos by John Watson

When Taj from Fairdale reached out to us and asked if we were interested in testing their steel road bike, the Goodship, I had a hard time containing my excitement. Fairdale, who has an office in Austin is a staple of the cycling community here. You can’t go to a downtown restaurant, East Side bar, local swimming hole, or ride through campus without spotting a Fairdale between the legs of an excited Austin dweller. The company radiates positive vibes and makes quality bicycles. (more…)

Aug 4, 2015 37 comments
Well Used: Gevenalle GX Shifters for Mountain Bike Derailleurs
Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer with Gevenalle Shifting

For some reason, when Gevenalle first launched, I didn’t want to like their shifting mechanisms. They just seemed too contrived. A solution for a problem that didn’t exist. Perhaps it was their marketing, claiming to be designed for cyclocross racing. Sure, I read the product descriptions, the PR, looked at the photos but I still wasn’t convinced.

It wasn’t until I began to see the Gevenalle shifters on touring bikes that my interest was piqued. “Now that makes sense” I thought. Not running traditional road shifters on a touring bike is completely reasonable. The same can be said for barcons or downtube shifters. Why take your hand off the lever to shift? Sure. I get that.

The Gevenalle shifting system I recently spent time with is the GX shifters for mountain bike derailleurs. More specifically, a shifting system ideal for long-cage, dirt tourers like the Elephant NFE. (more…)

Jul 31, 2015 35 comments
Do I Have to Send it Back Already? the Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer with Gevenalle Shifting
Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer with Gevenalle Shifting

While we took a look at my own touring bike yesterday, I will say this with confidence: had I ridden the Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer prior to ordering my Woodville two years ago, I would have drastically changed my views on 650b, disc brakes and trail.

The National Forest Explorer is a low-trail, 650b bike with disc brakes and a decent, not copious amount of tire clearance. These NFE’s are made by Glen Copus in Spokane, WA and pack quite the wallop of versatility in a beautiful, forest service green package. They’re made from lightweight steel for just the amount of liveliness. (more…)

Jul 29, 2015 69 comments
Versatility and Niner’s RLT 9 Steel Disc Cross Bike with Ultegra Hydro
Niner's RLT 9 Steel Disc Cross Bike with Ultegra Hydro

Cross is coming, cross is coming! But then cross is over, just as quickly as it came and you’re left with a bicycle that is only alive for about an hour on a closed course, right? I’d sure as hell hope not. Strap some bags on it, take it on singletrack, shred it on gravel. Cyclocross bikes are incredibly versatile and with so many options out there these days, it’s hard to sift through them all.

That’s where brand recognition helps. For those of you who have ridden Niner’s bikes, you know they’re thoughtful, ripping machines and when they announced the RLT 9 Steel earlier this year everyone’s interest was piqued including mine. Let’s face it, there aren’t a lot of high-grade steel ‘cross frames out there. There are a lot of “custom butted” or “special recipe” tubesets, which have a place for sure but there’s something recognizable about the words “Reynolds 853.”

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Jul 16, 2015 24 comments
Chumba USA’s Made in the USA Ursa Major Fatbike
Chumba's Ursa Major Fatbike is Rollin' on a Rock Shox Bluto

In the short time that Chumba found a new home outside of Austin, they’ve been pushing hard on expanding their made in Texas frame catalog. With rowdy hardtails, 29+ and finally, a full fatbike, the brand has something for everything from bikepacking to daily trail riding. Their first full fat platform bike, the Ursa Major has landed and it’s one of the most surprising fatties I’ve ridden.

Austin isn’t exactly ideal stomping grounds for a fatbike. Not a straight out of the box kit anyway. Once you dial in your tire and rim selection, go tubeless and can achieve the much-needed traction for both loose corners and slick limestone, you’re good to go. Getting that tire pressure right is crucial, especially with a suspension fork. That takes a little bit of trial and error and a few trialside adjustments. In my experience anyway.

What Morgan touched on with his Ice Cream Truck and RockShox Bluto review applies here. While a lot of what he was talking about in his review was foreign to me at the time, even after just a single afternoon on the Ursa Major I began to understand his points.

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Jul 8, 2015 15 comments
Forging Ahead on the Foundry Overland – Ryan Wilson
Forging Ahead on the Foundry Overland

Forging Ahead on the Foundry Overland
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson

A couple months ago Foundry sent over their new titanium cross/gravel bike, dubbed the “Overland“, for me to spend some time running it through the wringer. From long mixed-terrain rides, endless dry/dusty Southern California fire roads, through alpine snow storms (two), bike park single track, and trekking through wilderness with it strapped to my back. This versatility is really what the Overland is built for. Foundry’s slogan may be “racing matters”, and I’m sure this bike would perform well in a frantic one hour burst on a cross course, but it is perfectly at home traversing backroads and exploring some off-the-beaten-path single track.

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Jul 1, 2015 8 comments
Futurism and the Specialized Enduro Expert Carbon 29 – Kyle Von Hoetzendorff
Futurism and the Specialized Enduro Expert Carbon 29

Futurism and the Specialized Enduro Expert Carbon 29
Words by Kyle Von Hoetzendorff, photos by Ethan Furniss

Before we begin let me give you a little background about who I am and how I found myself writing this review. I grew up in Bishop, CA. I raced mountain bikes there as a kid. Then I stopped, the reason is a tired story, and one that you have most likely heard before, it has to do with hormones, cars, beers, and girls. When I moved to Santa Barbara, CA to attend college and I started working at a shop called Velo Pro. This is where I started riding downhill bikes. Then I stopped, did some rock climbing, school, babe chasing, etc. A decade ago I moved to Portland, OR and once again I found myself at a shop, working at the Fat Tire Farm and riding downhill bikes. This is where it gets interesting. First came seat droppers and with it a yearn to explore more trails. I started riding trail bikes, then picked up riding road bikes and cross bikes. For the past three years I worked for Chris King, and my job gave me the chance to ride a wide variety of bikes. Through mutual friends and shared adventures John and I became friends and I have been lucky to post a couple rides and adventurers all the while sharing with him some of my favorite MTB videos and articles from around the web. It turned out that John needed a bike reviewed, so here I am. Lets get started.

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Jun 22, 2015 9 comments
Shaking it Down on the Salsa Cutthroat
Shaking it Down on the Salsa Cutthroat

There’s nothing like taking a brand new bike and throwing it into the proverbial fire.

Bikes like this are not meant to be babied, nurtured, wiped down with a micro-fiber cloth and sprayed with chemicals to make them look shiny. They’re meant to be abused, smashed, shredded and put to the test, straight out of the gate. Especially bikes specifically designed for arguably one of the most intense endurance races in the Continental United States.

The Salsa Cutthroat is what I would call a first for the company. In the sense that it’s a bike designed for a specific event: the Tour Divide Race.

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Jun 18, 2015 62 comments