Category Archives: Reviews
With NAHBS approaching – this weekend! – one of my favorite features to photograph are the unique touches that make the bikes of the show, show bikes. While not everyone can afford a crazy titanium fatbike with bends for days, or a carbon road bike that weighs only 12 lbs, that doesn’t mean we can’t accessorize our bikes to look like a balleur show bike.
Leh Cycling Goods is a leathersmith, based in Texas, that makes custom saddles, bar tape, and other cycling accessories, but what makes Leh different from the others is his ready-made stock, including leather-clad saddles! I’ve been using two of Leh’s products on my Speedvagen OD OG-1 and they really bring this bike’s whole package up a few notches… Check out more below. (more…)
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor
OneUp Components‘ EDC Tool System made waves when it launched due to its sleek installation inside mountain bike steerer tubes. Pull your star nut out, tap your fork steerer, install OneUp’s hollow top cap, and the tool system slides in from the top: always there, always ready. If you only ride one bike.
It’s a cool idea, but I switch between a number of bikes, most of which have steel forks, and the EDC system wasn’t going to work with any of those. And I always need a pump anyway. Well, it just so happens OneUp also makes a pump that the tool fits into. So we’re looking at both of those here. (more…)
When it comes to photographing bikes, I’ll always opt for dirty over clean, but some things are just too damn good to wait for that all-so-familiar Southern California gold dirt to cake itself inside every crevice. Case in point: Industry Nine’s new i9.35 Disc road wheels. Previously, we’ve looked at their AR25 disc road wheels, which are still some of the best disc wheels I’ve ridden*. However, if you’re looking to shave a little bit of weight, add the durability of carbon rims, and better aerodynamics, then the i9.35 wheels are another great option in the marketplace. Let’s take a look at them in detail below. (more…)
Chameleons don’t actually change color to “blend” into their surroundings. Contrarily, their colors are used to mark territory, attract mates and display moods, often resulting in these unique lizards “standing out” more than blending in. The Santa Cruz Bicycles Chameleon adheres to this logic, standing out from many of the other production hardtails on the market but before we get ahead of ourselves here, and lizard anecdotes aside, when I first saw the newly-designed Chameleon last year it checked a lot of boxes and left me with a few questions.
Sure, Santa Cruz is saying the chameleon is a master of adaptation, which metaphorically makes a lot of sense. This bike can really do a lot, but isn’t that the nature of hardtails in general? For me, my thoughts on the Chameleon stem from its legacy, its updated design and most importantly, to a lot of people, the cost. (more…)
Be it for randonneuring, bikepacking, touring, commuting or cyclophotography, the handlebar bag can be either a nuisance or a godsend, depending on your equipment. While rack-less bag designs are convenient, they can often times flop and jostle all over, really ruining your otherwise pleasant and quiet ride. I’ve found when you put a heavy camera in one of these bags, getting it to stay put is quite the hassle. While a full-on touring, porteur or randonneuring rack can assist in this issue, sometimes they’re overkill and heavy. In my experience, all it takes is a simple bracket to hold the bag in place to really enhance your ride. The problem is, who makes such a product?
We’ve seen quite a few bracket designs for saddle packs, but what about handlebar packs? I’ve yet to find a good, reliable design. That is until I found the Tim Ras + Rek Ahead Steerer Rack. (more…)
It was inevitable. Some might even call it destiny. All-City Cycles needs no introduction here on this website, and neither does the benefit of riding a steel hardtail mountain bike in an era of plastic full squish bikes. In fact, I’d argue that All-City’s latest offering, the Electric Queen, will not only please the readers of this site but could be the bike they’ve been looking for. Well, warriors, your search for a shreddable steel hardtail ends here. (more…)
12 Pieces Of Gear I Wouldn’t Go Without In The Andes
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
In a little over a year’s worth of time on the road in the Andes, I’ve had the chance to really put my gear through some serious torture. Luckily, the vast majority of it has stood the test of time, but there are some pieces that have really stood out as items I’ll have in my setup for a long time to come. Obviously, some of this comes down to personal preference and the type of riding you’re doing, so it’s not one-size-fits-all, but the majority of these would work well with just about any type of bikepacking/touring… (more…)
Is it one’s riding that evolves first? Or is it the bike that is the catalyst for evolution? Bicycle design, much like one’s riding style, evolves over time, triggered by a series of environmental or equipment changes. Perhaps your everyday singletrack just gets tiresome and you’re looking for a way to change it up, or maybe your road bike gathers dust during ‘cross season. At some point, riders look for excuses to shake things up, as a break from the painful monotony of riding bikes by the rules and luckily for us, the offerings from companies follow suit, evolving their lineup in the same sequence.
A number of brands have taken a look at their ‘cross bikes and asked what the next step in evolution would be, or perhaps, what it should be. What seems like ages ago, we were all riding singletrack and fire roads on 32mm tires, burnin’ brake pads as our cantilever or v-brakes smoked our sidewalls. Then came disc brakes, which offered more control, options for larger tires and other benefits. All the while, frame builders were experimenting with multiple wheel size options, brought along by the popularity of disc brakes. Soon 27.5″ (650b) wheels began popping up on drop bar ‘cross bikes, yet these weren’t really “cross” bikes anymore. They had evolved past that.
Ibis recently took a long hard look at their classic ‘cross frame, the Hakkalügi. These frames started out as steel, cantilever bikes, marked by classic Ibis stylings and most notably, the Mike Cherney fabricated “hand job” cable hanger. Like Ibis’ mountain bikes, once carbon fiber became the preferred material, the Hakkalügi went through the motions, too. Carbon canti, then carbon disc but the whole time, these bikes stayed true to classic ‘cross frame tire clearances and geometries, always feeling like outliers in the brand’s catalog. Ibis knew it was time for a change. (more…)
I try to ride with an awareness bell on our front-range trails here as much as I can, but I’ve found myself always having to slide it back into position since its strap is just a piece of velcro and handlebars are tapered. Last night, I removed the strap and mounted it directly to my Light and Motion Urban 500 light – I also run a 800 lumens light on my helmet.
The bell stayed put and didn’t move at all, allowing it to resonate down the trail to alert runners, hikers and other cyclists. This time of year, our trails are very crowded at sunset, with athletes trying to soak in the last bit of light, and running an awareness bell just makes it safer for everyone.
Widefoot, makers of the Liter Cage, now offer their Nalgene-friendly bottle cages in a black powdercoat finish, for those of you who prefer black components, to silver. I used these on my Hunter in South Africa, toting two, 1.5L Nalgenes on 115 miles of washboarded desert roads during the Karoobaix without issue. I do however recommend using one of their multistraps to keep the bottles from popping out on descents. Check out the Blackened Liter Cage at Widefoot!