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.
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…
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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…
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.
Speedvagen’s Ready-Made OG series offers up the styling of a custom Speedvagen, at a much lower pricepoint. We looked at the OG road bike a few years back, including that beautiful lilac frame, and my OD OG-1. New to the OG lineup this season is the Disc OG, which has a few new details, other than the addition of disc brakes. So does this bike ride as good as it looks?
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.
I don’t know what to title it. But the bike is really fun, so this is worth the read. I like to think that the writing is also fun, making it double worth the read.
The bottom line at the top: The new Juliana Joplin ups the “raucous trail ability” of its predecessor a few ticks with the new build: feeling right at home pointing down chunky and steep serpentine terrain, while somehow maintaining that xc pedal-ability we sometimes care about. While the positioning of the historic Juliana Joplin, which launched with the brand in 2013, pointed towards super-capable cross country, this bike and its lineage have always pushed the boundaries of the technical ability of a bike that can still pedal fast.
With the 2019 Silk Road Mountain Race beginning tomorrow, we thought we’d give a break-down for what Lael Wilcox will be carrying on her bike for the duration of the event. Lael is hoping to finish the 1700 kilometer course with 27,000m elevation in 7-9 days. In order to do that, she has her setup dialed. Check out the full list below for those curious as to what an ultra-endurance racer carries on their bike.
After their A35 stem’s success, Industry Nine decided to adapt the 35mm clamp stem to the 31.8 platform. These A318 stems are machined in the USA, right in Asheville, North Carolina, from domestically sourced 7075 aluminum billet, come in a variety of color options – 11 to be exact! – and since all of I9’s parts are anodized in house, you can expect consistent color matching.
Tumbleweed Bikes has been working on a new handlebar, the Persuader, to fit everything from their touring bike, the Prospector, to a trail MTB and beyond. We got an advanced look at the bar, which is due out later this fall…
This year’s Tour Divide Race was one for the books, with all the controversy surrounding documentation, but as well with many record hopeful attempts being foiled. It was an amazing and exciting feat to behold on many levels. At the end of all of it, I posed three questions to our team in hopes of giving an idea of what such a project entails. If you have any other questions please ask them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them. -Spencer
Most cyclists, and even non-cyclists, who enjoy the type of bike racing that involves going up and down hills know the name Eddy Merckx and of course The Tour de France. Road racing, and the companies associated with it, do a great job of embracing its European heritage and consistently reminding us of how the sport evolved into what it is today. This makes it easy easy to get pulled into the romanticized parts of road racing when companies like Campagnolo, Colnago, and Bianchi do such a great job of celebrating their places in what makes the sport special.