“How about a little comet?” Tony says while deep in his element. “Yea… right there. Perfect.” Watching Tony paint, I realize he isn’t talking to me, but rather coaxing the paint out of his airbrush. In a dimly lit pop-up tent pitched in his backyard, Tony’s workspace smells like a lack of ventilation in a chemical plant.
In the world of true gumwall tires, the higher the TPI, the better. Maybe not for puncture resistance, but surely for the ride. Performance road tires, by definition should perform and the new Turbo Cotton tires from specialized sound like they’ll do the trick. Hell, they sure look like they’re willing to fill that role (roll). I can’t wait to try out a pair!
Casing: 320 TPI Polycotton
Flat Protection: BlackBelt
700 x 24; psi 115-125; approximate weight 210g
I’ve ridden my share of 29’rs and up until recently, I was sold that the Tallboy and Tallboy LTC had the market cornered as far as geometry is concerned. Now, let me say that I’m an enthusiastic reviewer and that can be a double edged sword at times. I’d also note that I don’t particularly like doing reviews, not because they’re not fun, but I couldn’t really care for technical adverbage.
That said, I can tell naunces in geometry and component groups quite well and when something’s good, it’s good. Also, believe me, when it’s bad, it’s bad.
Luckily for me – yay new review bike – I’ve been in absolute love with the new S-Works Stumpjumper FSR EVO 29 – which has been replaced by the standard FSR 29 – and who wouldn’t be? This is a 29’r fans dream bike. Once you strip away the plush, crispness of XX1, the tunability and stability of the Rock Shox PIKE and the Fox Float rear shock, you’re left with one crucial element: geometry…
A few months ago, Erik from AWOL and I planned on doing a ride, not just any ride however, we wanted to do the Oregon Outback. 370 miles from Southern, to Northern Oregon, all at altitude desert? Hell yes! Little did we know, that ride would kick our asses. Well, my ass anyway.
Before Interbike, we had a party at the Poler store in Portland, where we launched these zines and patches. If you’re in Portland, you can still buy one at the Poler store, but for those of you who aren’t there, you can now pick one up here. The zine features a pattern drawn by LAND, a selection of photos from the Oregon Outback, words from Erik and illustrations by Chris Conlin.
For $15 shipped in the USA, $20 shipped world wide, each zine comes with a patch and all proceeds will be donated to an organization of my choice…
Check out more previews below but SORRY SOLD OUT!
A recent Pinkbike feature had me sifting through the MTB video mecca that is the Coastal Crew. Who are they? Where do they ride? What do they ride? All of these answers can be found both in the video above and at their Pinkbike feature. Seriously, don’t miss this one.
Thanks for sharing this video, Michael!
Well, the AWOL x Poler touring bikes are hitting the shelves of your local Specialized dealers today. Ordering is simple: contact your local dealer and order direct. The bikes will arrive within a week. Select international countries will also be able to order the bikes, call your local dealer to confirm. Poler is selling the panniers in their webshop as well.
See more specs and photos below.
A couple of people asked about the lamp that’s on Erik’s AWOL x Poler tourer. Earlier this year, when we rode the Outback, it was his sole light source for when the sun set over eastern Oregon. It’s best described as a “super-wide and super-bright beam.”
The Flux uses a Cree LED with a patented reflector for bright and wide light, much like you’d find in the automotive industry.
Powering the Flux are internal rechargeable 5200mAhr Lithium Ion batteries and there are three nighttime modes with power resulting between 1,200 and 400 lumens. You’ll get 1.75 hours at 1,200 and 6 at 400 lumens and it’ll recharge from zero to full in just four hours.
The Flux will hit shelves at your local Specialized dealer shortly.
You’ve seen this bike before, you just thought it was a one-off paint job. Back when Erik rode the Transcontinental Race, he used a Poler Camera Cooler for a bar bag, prompting Benji from Poler to reach out to Erik – Benji pays attention to what’s going on in the cycling world… For instance, these panniers have been in the works for a while.
After a quick visit to Portland, Erik and Benji schemed on something for the AWOL project for Poler. The great thing about these AWOL bikes is their versatility. 1-trakk rippers, around-town, bar bike, touring bike, dirt touring bike, dirt-drop brap machine. They do it all, including the 370 mile trek across Oregon for the Oregon Outback.
We knew we wanted to do a big ride to *shoot the bike, but weren’t sure where, when or how we’d do it.
When the Oregon Outback was announced, Erik reached out to me and I said yes, not knowing what I was getting myself into. It was a hell of a ride and afterwards, we stayed with Benji and began discussing the bike’s launch.
Next week, these bikes hit dealers. On the 6th of September to be exact. MSRP, availability and other information is on the way, or you can just call your local Specialized shop. Prior to the launch, on September 5th, I’ll be having a gallery show at Poler’s new storefront in Portland with an opening reception. Aka, a party. More info on that to come…
For now, check out some details in the Gallery!
*Believe it or not, this is the same bike that Erik rode during the Oregon Outback. I had to painstakingly photoshop out all of the Poler insignia. Front lamp and saddle bag not included! Comes with panniers and front pannier rack.
Personally, I think unless you’re pro, you shouldn’t worry about being “aero bro”, because when you’re pro, someone else worries about it for you. That said, this was pretty fun to watch.
Photos by Andy Bokanev
The world of “gravel grinding” and “adventure” bikes has expanded exponentially over the past few months. While Specialized is no stranger to dirt, the new Diverge all-road disc bike takes cues from their MTB line and adds them to a new drop-bar bike called the Diverge…