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WTB’s TCS System is Now Complete with New Tubeless Tire Sealant

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WTB’s TCS System is Now Complete with New Tubeless Tire Sealant

Piggybacking on our recent news that WTB is keeping 29/27.5+ tires in its catalog, we wanted to plug – sorry, bad pun – the brand’s new Tubeless Tire Sealant.

For a company that is probably best known for its tires, WTB cares about keeping you rolling across all aspects of wheel-related goods. This is evident in its wheel development, rim tape, valves, tires, and now its own Tubeless Tire Sealant. It only makes sense that the brand would want to encapsulate its products under the TCS System umbrella. Now, not all sealant is created equal, and while everyone has their favorite sealant to use but WTB is doing something unique with its sealant so let’s check out what details make it different…

I Love the Austere Manufacturing Cam Buckles

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I Love the Austere Manufacturing Cam Buckles

As a cargo connoisseur, I often get swept up in the details, the minutiae, and some might argue, the icing on the cake of bicycle travel. These little details can become centerpieces of a final touring package. While I’ll always carry a few extra Voile straps on a tour, there’s something nice about having cam buckles and nylon webbing for the bigger jobs. One of the things I love about touring is the constant need to strap more crap to your bike. Sometimes, it’s a frozen pizza at a gas station that catches your eye or your wet clothes from that swimming hole. Regardless, having these items securely fastened to your bike is important because no one likes a broken pizza box.

Having a few extra straps can go a long way and while there are dozens of options made in China out there, it’s nice when a small company takes it upon itself to make something as simple as a cam buckle in the USA. Austere Manufacturing first popped up in my Instagram feed earlier this summer. I’m not sure why these tan cam buckles caught my eye ;-) but I immediately bought two pairs; a 3/4″ cam and a 1″ cam with webbing. Since then, I’ve used them to carry everything from a fly rod to camp chairs around on my bike and can honestly say, these buckles are some of my favorite things to come from a small, cottage industry maker.

Let’s check them out in detail below.

I Can’t Get Enough of These Yoshimura Chilao MTB Pedals

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I Can’t Get Enough of These Yoshimura Chilao MTB Pedals

I’m a collector of goods by nature. When I find a pair of pants, backpack, shorts, or even shoes I love and cannot live without, I tend to buy a “backup” or secondary set to hold onto. Sometimes, this can get expensive, especially when it comes to bike parts but with the uncertainty of the current supply chain shortage brought on by the pandemic, my hoarding has been elevated. Take for instance these Yoshimura Chilao Pedals. When we first posted about them back in 2020, I bought a set for a few reasons…

A Look at the Bikeraft Guide

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A Look at the Bikeraft Guide

Bikerafting is when you incorporate a bike onto a packraft like an Alpacka Raft. While navigating rivers and other bodies of water shouldn’t be taken with a grain of salt and if you don’t have whitewater experience, you should seek out proper training before embarking on a packraft or bikerafting trip. Once you’ve done that, buy this book for inspiration. The Bikeraft Guide is a 325 page book, packed with stories, instructional how-tos, illustrations, and more. It was compiled by Lizzy and Doom of Four Corners Guides and is a great companion for those bikeraft curious. Let’s take a quick look below…

From Snow to Sand: The Otso Voytek is More Than Just a Fat Bike

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From Snow to Sand: The Otso Voytek is More Than Just a Fat Bike

Fat bikes. They’re the cycling industry’s lost children. The forgotten ones. Remember when every brand under the sun had a fat bike in their catalog? Now there are only a few brands still putting in the PR&D required to make these bikes less cumbersome, less heavy, and more like a true-to-form mountain bike. One of those brands is Otso, whose Voytek is all the above and more. I’ve held onto this bike for probably longer than they anticipated, cycling through the winter months, into the spring, and well into the summer. I’ve ridden it in its thicc 26″+ form and now in its chonk 29+ form and have pulled together a comprehensive argument for why bikes like the Voytek hopefully stay around for a while…

The Stooge Scrambler is the Evolution of the Modern Klunker

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The Stooge Scrambler is the Evolution of the Modern Klunker

Rigid bikes. The roots of riding off-road, yet now the arena of weirdos, quacks, and masochists. Mountain biking started out long before telescoping forks and complex linkage designs, but the bikes of those early days are now a far cry from the activity most consider “mountain biking”.

Of course, those weirdos, quacks, and masochists still have a place in this world, and it turns out I’m one of them. It wasn’t always this way. I used to ride and write about my experience with suspension mountain bikes as a full time job. I could go on all day about spring curves and axle paths, dampers and volume spacers, sag and suspension setup.

But, in the past five or so years, my focus has shifted. I’d rather spend a weekend riding to small places and sleeping out under the stars than shuttling the local loamers and crushing parking lot beers. And in that time I’ve come to value a mountain bike that requires less maintenance.

Having ridden a lot of high end suspension bikes, I know what it takes to keep them running tip top – and I just don’t have the facilities to do that at home, nor the money to pay someone else to do it. A rigid bike makes sense for my sometimes bi-weekly, sometimes monthly mountain bike hobby.

The RockShox Rudy XPLR Gravel Fork and SRAM AXS XPLR on John’s Sklar Gravel Bike

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The RockShox Rudy XPLR Gravel Fork and SRAM AXS XPLR on John’s Sklar Gravel Bike

We joke that time is a flat circle in cycling all too often. Gravel bikes are just ’90s mountain bikes, etc. Yet, we have to accept that we’re in an era of electronic shifting and yes, suspension forks on gravel bikes. This tech, however, is nothing new especially not for RockShox, who for the 1994 Paris Roubaix unveiled a suspension fork on team Lemond GAN’s bikes. In that same year, Mavic even had some Zap electronic groups on the exact same bikes.

Now, 27 years later, we have my Sklar gravel bike which is familiar to most of you, with a suspension fork and electronic shifting, under the banner of SRAM and RockShox’s new XPLR lineup (explore, not explorer). While I haven’t taken on the Hell of the North, I have spent a lot of time being a weirdo in the woods on this kit and have a really fun review to share with y’all, so read on below.

GRAVEL IS DEAD: Dain Zaffke’s Evil Chamois Hagar

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GRAVEL IS DEAD: Dain Zaffke’s Evil Chamois Hagar

Am I the only one here that cringes every time I hear the word gravel? It’s been a common word in my world for a few years now, and believe me, I hear the word a lot… but I just can’t embrace it. The word gravel still brings to mind all-day slogs across flat/windblown prairies on the type of surface that’s devoid of traction yet still slowly and steadily saps your spirit. In other words: somehow, somewhere it firmly lodged in my brain that “gravel” is the antithesis of “fun.”

Everything Ryan Wilson Packed for His Turkish Bike Tour and Six New Favorite Pieces of Gear

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Everything Ryan Wilson Packed for His Turkish Bike Tour and Six New Favorite Pieces of Gear

Narrowing down my setup for Turkey was a bit tricky compared to some of my previous trips. In particular, because half of my gear that I was using in Central Asia was stranded in Nepal on lockdown, I’d have to try to piece together a rig using older equipment I had lying around as well as a handful of new additions to round it out.

To start, I picked up a Surly Bridge Club.  I originally had intended only to have it as a do-it-all bike while I was home, but when I found out I was heading to Turkey, I was intrigued to see how an off-the-shelf $1150 bike with entry-level components would fare compared to higher-end setups like my 44 Bikes Marauder and Tumbleweed Prospector. I’ll post my full thoughts on the Bridge Club soon, but in the meantime, here is my full kit list along with six pieces of gear that stood out in the Taurus Mountains.

Shining a Light on Road Riding: A Review of the Specialized Aethos Disc Road Bike

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Shining a Light on Road Riding: A Review of the Specialized Aethos Disc Road Bike

Road bikes. We don’t really talk about them so much over here at the Radavist – anymore. There was a time however where we’d post galleries from road adventures and still to this day, one of my favorite rides I did in California was on all pavement. Still, there have been a few defining reasons for the wane of the road bike’s popularity and it wasn’t until I accepted the offer to review the lightweight Aethos road bike that I began to mull over these reasons. A 16lb road bike is both terrifying (am I going to break this thing?!) and a joy (WOW! this is incredible) to ride but what does the state of road cycling look for me, personally, and how did this review shape my perspective of drop bars after a long hiatus from enjoying the pleasures of road riding? Read on to find out.

Return of the Dadbike: Morgan’s Velo Orange Polyvalent

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Return of the Dadbike: Morgan’s Velo Orange Polyvalent

You ever have a bike that was super rad, but you just didn’t ride it? My Velo Orange Polyvalent was that bike for the past few years. Beautiful, capable, and yet, neglected. This past winter, during a bout of organization, I wondered about this bike that sparked joy aesthetically but didn’t really get ridden. What’s the point in keeping something around that doesn’t get used? I committed to riding it to work for a week to see if I could get at that very question – and I ended up riding it daily for the next four months.

Amanda’s Custom Flashpoint MVMNT Canyon Grizl Gravel Bike

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Amanda’s Custom Flashpoint MVMNT Canyon Grizl Gravel Bike

Drop bars have always had a special place in my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I love mountain bikes. That feeling of flying down swoopy singletrack and rowdy trails on a mountain bike is truly hard to beat. But there is one thing that can beat it… Flying down flowy singletrack and rowdy trails on a drop-bar bike. Now that can get exciting!

The Esker Japhy is One Scrappy 29er Hardtail

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The Esker Japhy is 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!

Technological Alluvium: SRAM Wireless Tech Rolls Downhill into GX Eagle AXS

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Technological Alluvium: SRAM Wireless Tech Rolls Downhill into GX Eagle AXS

It’s inundating to keep up with cycling’s technological advancements yet if one development has shifted the paradigm for drivetrains in the past few years, it’s SRAM’s AXS system. While the kit is a dreamy riding experience, the price can be daunting, and that alone is a major reason why many people haven’t had the chance to ride it. Yet, as with all cycling tech, it tends to trickle down like alluvium in the desert.

The new GX Eagle AXS rolled downhill and right into my lap recently, so I decided to put it on the Sklar touring bike because why not? Check out the unveiling below with some initial thoughts on the system and a component breakdown with pricing/availability…

What Butts: Getting Under the Paint with a Wake Robin Cycles Rando Bike

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What Butts: Getting Under the Paint with a Wake Robin Cycles Rando Bike

Why do some bikes get up to speed with seemingly less effort than others? Why do some bikes leave me less fatigued after long rides? My idea of the ultimate road and adventure bike is one that has all the wonderful vertical compliance that we know can be built into a bicycle as a system, but that also responds to and rewards its rider by flexing just right in the lateral axis as well.

We all know custom steel bikes have the potential to be a rider’s one and only. And that leads us to Wake Robin Cycles and the subject of this review. The Wake Robin is a low trail, rim brake randonneuring bike, custom built for Chip over at What Bars. If there’s one kind of bike that’s revered to ride smooth over long distances, rim brake rando bikes are it. But, not all custom bikes are equal, particularly those built for someone who isn’t you – so this one’s got plenty for us to talk about.