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Living Car-Lite with Surly’s Big Easy Electric Cargo Bike

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Living Car-Lite with Surly’s Big Easy Electric Cargo Bike

Nesting projects. While some families go crazy building out and decorating a “nursery”, we mostly tried to figure out how to continue our bike lifestyle once our baby arrived. When Stephanie was pregnant, we fawned over Larry vs. Harry’s Bullitt, tried out the very-Euro Riese and Müller Packster, and bought into the front load aesthetic right away.

But, long term practicality was never too far away, considering the astronomical cost of an electrified front-loader. As it turns out, our friend Adam, whose Bullitt we borrowed for a couple months in 2018, let us know that his daughter was in fact outgrowing the bike’s kid canopy at only 4 years of age. Not only was her helmet hitting the top of the enclosure, but she was losing interest in riding in the “trailer” on the front of the bike.

High costs mixed with the prospect of the bike possibly lasting only three years before its primary cargo turned on it meant we were wary of dropping into an electric box bike. When the opportunity came along to review the first Surly Big Easy to make its way into Canada, we were very, very stoked. The dream of a car-lite lifestyle was alive!

I immediately swept out and scored an older Yepp seat with the requisite (and obsolete) adapter off the local buy and sell, and we got scheming on how to adapt to the longtail lifestyle.

Moné Bikes La Roca V2: Braze Jah Part Deux

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Moné Bikes La Roca V2: Braze Jah Part Deux

I’ve been a fan of Cjell Moné‘s bikes for some time, from seeing his custom TDR bike on the wall at Adventure Cycling HQ to him writing about brazing alongside masters for his production run of frames.  Until recently, I had only thrown my legs over Kirsten’s personal frame at infamous Brush Mountain Lodge waiting out snow on the TDR.  Cjell and I have quite a disparity in size thus making his personal bikes out of the question.  A few weeks ago, Cjell let me know that Nate from Blue Dog Bikes in Tucson was purchasing his “demo” bike that was my size and that I should take it for a spin.  I jumped at the chance, I was always too self-conscious to ask an operation as small as his to put together a bike solely for me to rip and review.  But since someone else already had the bike and was nice enough to let me rip it for a few days, shred I will.

High Desert Shredding with the Revel Rascal

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High Desert Shredding with the Revel Rascal

It was a rainy afternoon in Sedona. I finished my volunteer shift, and headed into the festival to try and get a demo. I had heard of this new company, Revel Bikes, that was supposed to have some real pretty and real fast carbon full suspensions. I wanted to try one of those bikes as soon as I could. I arrived at the tent about 10 minutes after the event opened to the public.

Every bike was gone.

Go Fast Campers’ Truck and SUV Pop Up Rooftop Tents are Perfect for Car Camping

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Go Fast Campers’ Truck and SUV Pop Up Rooftop Tents are Perfect for Car Camping

I know this is a cycling site but over the years, we’ve covered so many events where car camping is a theme and have spent many a weekend in the wilds of the Southwest with MTBs in tow. I get a lot of questions about our setup, so I’m tackling a big part of it with this article. If you don’t like cars and think they have no place on a cycling website, no worries, you don’t have to read this…

For the past few years – since moving to California – I’ve traded the jet-set life for road trips. I used to fly two or three times a month out of Austin, Texas, all over the world. These days, I like to make longer, meandering road trips out of assignments, or events and spend the summer months almost exclusively living out of our truck, sleeping in the Go Fast Camper Roof Top Tent.

Not wanting to limit our traveling experience, we’ve tried a number of sleeping arrangements in the Cruiser, but the Go Fast Camper has really been the best overall. These rooftop tents are the best on the market and while it comes at a hefty pricetag, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Read on below for our in-depth look at these unique campers.

Ponied Up with Salsa Cycles’ Rustler 150mm Trail MTB

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Ponied Up with Salsa Cycles’ Rustler 150mm Trail MTB

Alrighty, y’all today we are talking about the Rustler from Salsa Cycles, their new “ultimate trail bike” with 130mm of split pivot rear travel and a 150mm Rock Shox Pike taking care of business out front. Now that’s about enough for numbers for awhile, I ain’t no nerd talking about leverage ratios at an Interbike booth ok? We’re gonna talk about feelings today; how was your ride yesterday? How are you doing today, like actually? Go ahead, tell me what’s good below.

A Summer of Riding in the Quoc Gran Tourer All-Terrain Gravel Bike Shoes

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A Summer of Riding in the Quoc Gran Tourer All-Terrain Gravel Bike Shoes

Now, I know it might sound silly to call a cycling shoe “gravel” specific but hear me out. Traditional ‘cross racing shoes have extra padding, extra stiffness and aside from deep treads to shed mud, are different than what you’d typically want for just riding dirt roads. Lots of companies have taken their ‘cross shoe line and expanded into less racing-oriented designs and while a lot of bigger companies have stout offerings, I wanted to shed some light on the Quoc Gran Tourer all-terrain gravel shoes here.

Long Term Review with the Salsa Warroad 650b All Road

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Long Term Review with the Salsa Warroad 650b All Road

When the Salsa Warroad launched, it was marketed as an endurance road bike, to be ridden all day on various surfaces, both paved and dirt, yet I wouldn’t characterize it wholly as a gravel bike. Not by today’s standards. These days, bikes like the Ibis Hakka, the Santa Cruz Stigmata, and the Trek Checkpoint – just naming bikes we’ve reviewed here in the past year or so – fly that banner with their massive tire clearances. Yet, the Warroad has carved a niche in this ever-expanding marketplace where companies are making moves to make you use your wallet. Well, I’d like to think that we offer no-bull reviews here on the Radavist and after spending a considerable amount of time on this bike, I’m ready to do just that…

Width Without the Waves: A Few Rides in on the 560mm Wide Crust x Nitto Shaka Bar

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Width Without the Waves: A Few Rides in on the 560mm Wide Crust x Nitto Shaka Bar

Crust Bikes gives the people what they want and that ranges from frames, to complete bikes, accessories, parts, and yeah, handlebars. Their small-time operation allows them to pivot easily to follow trends and in a lot of ways, set the trends themselves. With road bikes permuting into even more capable off-road machines, a lot of the ideologies of mountain bike design and technology have found its way onto drop-bar bicycles. Sure, the obvious moves are those shorter-travel suspension forks but something that not many people have touched on is bar width.

That’s where Crust Bikes and Ultra Romance have really influenced and inspired the question: what is the appropriate width for a drop-bar bicycle? We already looked at my Sklar with the Towel Rack Bars but after much demand – and my own curiosity – I decided to try out the Made in Japan by Nitto Shaka Bar.

Am I a Pink Person? Kelsey Reviews Her Scott Contessa Ransom 910 MTB

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Am I a Pink Person? Kelsey Reviews Her Scott Contessa Ransom 910 MTB

A lot of people are qualified to talk about long-travel enduro bikes. You can find me dangling by a thread at the bottom of that list, hanging there with a confusing mix of unfounded self-confidence and extreme midwestern imposter syndrome. I’ve lived near mountains extremely briefly and before that, the closest hill was a highway overpass. At the very least, I can offer you a unique perspective on a big bike. There’s a review in here somewhere, embedded in a long-winded story.

A Few Rides in With the Fizik Terra Ergolace X2 Shoes

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A Few Rides in With the Fizik Terra Ergolace X2 Shoes

Products like this intrigue me. They pique my interest and pull at my heartstrings. Oftentimes, I find the cycling industry’s apparel offerings to be too wrapped up in the supergraphic, the superhero, the loud, obnoxious, and ostentatiously-designed garb most of us are forced to wear due to brand simply one-upping, building off of and straight biting-off of other’s designs. Personally, I want my cycling gear to emulate my outdoor gear. I want my cycling shoes to look like boots and honestly, most of the time while I tour and bikepack, I wear just that.

Fizik’s Terra lineup – their dirt-focused shoes – has trapesed about the tundra that is earth tones and laces for some time now but it wasn’t until their Ergolace X2 model dropped earlier this year that I was intrigued enough to reach out to the brand to review a pair. So, aside from a rugged aesthetic, how do they really feel in person?

Velo Orange’s Neutrino: A Minivelo with Big Capabilities

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Velo Orange’s Neutrino: A Minivelo with Big Capabilities

I, along with a few other eccentrics, have been dreaming of the idea of a small wheeled bikepacking rig for years. If you have ever had to box up your 29+ or other fat-tired bike for international travel in a small box, under 50 pounds, then you understand how annoying and stressful that can be. In my mind’s eye, I saw a 20” minivelo with a massive triangle floating on 3”-4” tires, maybe even a Ritchey Breakaway style seatpost break if I was truly dreaming. Minivelos have been around for quite some time, but they have almost always had rim brakes which limited their tire clearance and thusly my interest. When Velo Orange dropped photos of their new bike, I was drooling, my mind racing with ideas.

Salsa Updates the Cutthroat Tour Divide Bike for 2020

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Salsa Updates the Cutthroat Tour Divide Bike for 2020

In 2015, I was able to partake in the launch of the Cutthroat, Salsa’s Tour Divide Race Bike, a unique drop bar 29er and since then, I’ve had zero contact with it. That is until I unboxed the brand new 2020 Cutthroat, which is full of new updates and boy is it a long list. While I plan on reviewing this bike in more detail further down the road, I wanted to give you a look at the new model on its launch day. Read on below for a first look at the new Cutty.

One Ride With Shimano GRX Gravel Group on an Ibis Hakka MX

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One Ride With Shimano GRX Gravel Group on an Ibis Hakka MX

The Old Growth Classic took place this past weekend – 500 riders took to a grueling 55-mile course through coastal redwoods and old-growth groves. At the end of the day over 8,000′ of elevation gain would be throbbing through the legs of every person that crossed the start and finish lines. I had planned on bringing my Sklar with me to ride and photograph the course, but Ibis reached out and asked if I’d like to ride their Hakka MX with Shimano’s GRX drivetrain and a new ENVE spec build. Here’s what I thought about the build kit on this bike, specifically GRX…

The Cannondale Carbon Topstone has Evolved Past its Aluminum Sibling

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The Cannondale Carbon Topstone has Evolved Past its Aluminum Sibling

I absolutely loved the aluminum Cannondale Topstone for what it was: a nicely spec’d, well-riding, off-the-shelf all-road bike that has Cannondale’s DNA with build options ranging from $1,050 to $2,100. It was a great bike at a solid price that didn’t skimp on the build kit or frame design. So when Cannondale launched the Carbon Topstone, with new passive suspension design, I was interested in seeing how the bike would ride. To come out with such an evolved design from the original Topstone, it had to be worth it, right? Well… it’s complicated.

What Almost Was: the Mystic Alluvium 27.5+ Hardtail MTB

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What Almost Was: the Mystic Alluvium 27.5+ Hardtail MTB

Over the years, I’ve had the honor to throw my leg over many bikes, try them out, write a review, and then send them back. While the bikes return to their companies, the experience stays with me, and in the time I’ve been running this website, I’ve developed my own belief for what the perfect geometry for a hardtail mountain bike is. About a year ago, I began talking with Adam Sklar and Colin Frazer, who were about to launch a new production, US-made frame company called Mystic. We wanted to test the waters with a Radavist edition frame, dubbed the Alluvium. After chatting about numbers and branding, we felt like we were getting closer to releasing this frame. Then the reality of such an undertaking took hold and we killed the project.