Last year John wrote briefly about his early impressions of the BERD spokes while piloting the Sour Bicycles Pasta Party. Due to mixing around bikes and wheels, he ended up handing them over to Kyle Klain to ride and review. After months of riding in and around Santa Fe as well as across southeast Utah during the Aquarius Huts Tour, Kyle has some thoughts to share on this unusual wheel-building option.
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John’s Favorite Products of 2022
Each year, John highlights some of his favorite products he used in 2022. These run the gamut from camping gear to apparel, components, accessories, and more. Let’s check out what made his list this year below!
2022 Philly Bike Expo: Acoustic, Blaze, Chapman, Engin, Jubilee, Liberation, No22, Rodeo Labs, Vicious
Picking up where yesterday’s post left off, we’ve got our second and final gallery from the Philly Bike Expo, featuring track bikes, gravel bikes, commuters, and a high-pivot full suspension. Read on for John’s closing thoughts on the offerings from this year’s Expo and a reflective outro on the future of custom bike showcases…
Radar Roundup: Say It Ain’t So: Valles Caldera Becoming Wilderness?!?!, Route Werks Restock, Wolf Tooth Encase System, The Search For Two Lake Trail, and Carbon Fiber vs. Aluminum Bikes
Our Radar Roundup compiles products and videos from the ‘net in an easy-to-digest format. Read on below for today’s findings…
Not All Shorts Need To Cover Your Knees: The Ornot Mission Shorts Are Amazing!
Have you tried looking for shorts recently, only to be bummed that they all look like they came from a surf shop in the 90s. Baggy, long, parachute-looking shorts are a bummer. In my attempt to find a MUSA, quick-drying, durable short I found the Ornot Mission Shorts and they quickly replaced my old go-to shorts. Sure, an 8.5″ inseam might not look like modern MTB apparel but I’d argue that’s a good thing. Shorts are short for a reason. Otherwise, they’d be called “Longs”.
Photos by Kyle Klain
These shorts feel great on a road, gravel, or MTB and even off the bike. They’re made in the Bay Area from 95% recycled nylon, feature four pockets, one of which has a zipper for extra security, and are gusseted to withstand wear and tear from the rigors of cycling…
The Ornot Mission Shorts are back in stock at Ornot with a retail of $108.
Falling For Fall
Season changes mark a time for renewal, not only for the forest but for ourselves. Just when the long days and heat start to get to you, the temperature drops and a cool breath blows across the dry landscape. Here in Northern New Mexico, the skies change from a blue expanse with puff-ball clouds to gargantuan storms enveloping our peaks; the terminus of the great Rocky Mountains. Each morning our mountains have a cloud toupée and upon their dissipation, reveal a dusting of white snow.
Our Video From the Telluride to Moab San Juan Huts Route
Kyle Klain pulled together a great 2-minute recap from our San Juan Huts trip, coinciding with today’s Reportage. Enjoy!
Our RockShox Rudy and XPLR Video
We posted this video within today’s Reportage but here it is in a stand-alone post. Thanks to Kyle Klain for whipping this up on such short notice.
Music by Afsky…
Kyle’s Sklar Touring Fat Bike in 29+ Mode
With the snow melting and the season ripe for desert ramblings, Kyle Klain took his 2016 NAHBS-built Sklar fatbike and converted it to 29+. After spending all winter with fatbike 26+ tires, the bike has undergone quite the transformation. This weekend while celebrating my 40th birthday in Southeastern Utah, I documented this stunning build in the morning sun. Check it out in detail below…
The Esker Japhy Review: One Scrappy 29er Hardtail
When one thinks of Esker Cycles, the Hayduke 27.5+ hardtail (reviewed here by Locke Hassett) quickly comes to mind – and in many ways, the Hayduke served as the launchpad for the design of Esker’s latest model, the Japhy.
While the Japhy looks like considerably “less bike” than the 140mm Hayduke with its 120mm fork and 29″ wheels, don’t count it out yet: the Japhy is scrappy and is willing to claw its way through just about anything!
Over the past few months I’ve been riding the Japhy all over our local trails here in Santa Fe and while at first I was hesitant about taking it out on some of the more technical terrain, I found it to be an exceptional climber and a surprisingly fun descender.
So, let’s get into it!
Santa Fe Fat Tire Society: Santa Fe, Let’s Ride – The Basics of a Mountain Bike & Gear. Episode 1
Our friends at the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society pulled together a beginner’s video to mountain bike riding featuring Kim Klain, a contributor to the Radavist in more ways than one and shred super star. Looking good, guys!
From Coil Back to Air: John’s Pumpkin Spice Starling Murmur 29er
Since moving to Santa Fe, I’ve ridden my mountain bikes almost exclusively, which is a stark contrast to how much time I would spend on my drop bar bikes in Los Angeles. It’s not that there isn’t gravel in our area, it’s just that mountain biking is so accessible, so remote, and so sheltered from the wind and the sun, it’s a no-brainer.
Another major difference is whereas I’d drive to the trailhead in LA, I find myself riding to the trails here 99.9% of the time, even on my Starling Cycles Murmur, which is a really big bike to pedal across town, up the foothills, and into the mountains.
These miles spent on my full suspension had me spending a lot of time adjusting the coil system this bike was built on. Some days, I’d pedal with only a hip bag, while others, I’d lug a heavy camera bag around. This 10+ pound differential made it somewhat awkward to adjust the coil shocks as I found myself smack dab in the middle of the two coil weight zones. While the ride quality of the coil system is undeniably noticeable, it felt like I needed something less finicky.
So, when Fox reached out, asking if I wanted to try out their new fork and rear shock, I jumped on the opportunity. Little did I know I’d gravitate back towards air after vibing so hard on the coil shocks’ ride quality…
The Moots Womble 29er: Long-Term Bike and Frame Review
Let’s just say I didn’t expect any less than greatness from Moots when it came to the Womble, the latest creation from their shop in Steamboat Springs. From previous experiences, I knew how well Moots’ titanium bikes rode and was looking forward to trying out their take on a modern 29er.
A few years back, I put the Baxter 29er through the wringer on the Steamboat to Fort Collins Ramble Ride, and during my project with SRAM in the Inyo Mountains, I pedaled it high up in the Mojave Desert and through Death Valley, across miles of washboard roads.
If I learned anything from those experiences it’s that titanium is the greatest frame material, especially when it’s wielded by the Masters of Metal. I’ve had the Womble 29er for a few months now, throughout the dusty ‘n’ dry end of summer, well into the snow-filled fall, and am finally ready to make my thoughts official, so read on below.
Kyle’s Swift x Kona Rove ST Special Edition Touring Bike
A little while back, our friends at Swift Industries worked with Kona to create a collaboration Rove ST Special Edition touring bike. If you recall this project’s release, it looked really appealing for those wanting a classic touring bike package with bags and everything, ready to hit the road.
My bud Kyle Klain picked one of these up from the Broken Spoke here in Santa Fe when they first dropped. It’s been his bikefishing mobile and commuter before upgrading a few crucial components this year. To test out my new camera setup (more on that later) I met up with Kyle at his office and took his bike for a quick shoot…
A Discussion About Wilderness: Backpacking and Fly Fishing in Northern New Mexico
There is a case for wilderness in the American West, which is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region.” The problem is, this classification was written by colonizers and erasers of indigenous history. Humans have long inhabited these areas, before the Spanish or the Pilgrims infiltrated these lands, long before it was called New Mexico.
This topic is a heated one. Organizations like the Sierra Club lead the way in this classification, establishing rules about who can or can’t visit these lands: for instance, cyclists. I’m not here to talk about whether or not bikes should be allowed in areas classified as wilderness, so let’s step back a bit and discuss what that word, wilderness, means in the context of the original inhabitants of the Americas.
Santa Fe After Work Ride: Tesuque Peak Loop – Alamos Vista Trail
Living at 7,000′ has its ups and downs, particularly for someone still acclimating from life at sea level for the past 5 years. One of the positives though is easy access to alpine riding. Well, easy is subjective for sure but if you only have a few hours to kill and want a quick loop that’s equal parts hard as it is beautiful and most importantly, fun, then have I got one local Santa Fe ride for you…
The Radavist 2020 Calendar: July
This is the seventh layout of the Radavist 2020 Calendar, entitled “Sangre de Cristo” shot with a Sony A7riii and a 24-105 lens in Santa Fe, NM.
“July is the time for alpine riding here in the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Our trails are awaiting the monsoon rains but are still plenty beautiful. Photographer Kyle Klain took this photo of John on his Starling Murmur on a recent ride and wow, what a view!”
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right-click and save link as – The Radavist 2020 – July. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
The mobile background this month is one of John’s photos from the same ride of a beautiful alpenglow aspen grove. Click here to download July’s Mobile Wallpaper.
Bikepacking New Mexico’s Ríos del Jemez
The current worldwide situation has forced Kyle and I, along with everyone else, to rethink our spring activities. With mountain bike races cancelled and out-of-state trips a no-go, we were suddenly left with a lot of empty weekends and an excuse to explore more of New Mexico. We finally had the time and motivation to give this bikepacking thing a try, something that had been at the back of our minds for quite some time. Despite both of us having spent thousands of miles backpacking the Sierra Nevada, Cascade Mountains, and the canyons of Southeast Utah, we still were new to the world of bikepacking.