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Flex Appeal: A Long-term Review of the Passchier Gump Bamboo Handlebar

Radar

Flex Appeal: A Long-term Review of the Passchier Gump Bamboo Handlebar

We’re living in the golden age of handlebar comfort. Never before have we seen such diversity, originality, or inclusivity for riders as right now. For a lucky few, long days behind an ultra-wide curly bar is analogous to lounging in their favourite La-Z-Boy. For others, a backswept alt-bar with more hand positions than the kama sutra offers the perfect perch to grind out those backcountry miles. But for so many riders, comfort on a long ride is still a thing of legend and fairy tales. With the laminated bamboo Gump handlebars, however, Passchier of New Zealand claims to have found the key to both comfort and performance.

Continue reading for our thoughts on how the Gump handlebar holds up after many months of trail riding and touring…

Then and Now: Suntour XCii Vs. MKS XCiii Pedals

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Then and Now: Suntour XCii Vs. MKS XCiii Pedals

With the pandemic driving up prices of vintage mountain and road components, many people are turning to modern recreations of these staple parts to finish out their build projects. Whether it’s a Salsa Pro Moto stem or in this case, Suntour’s legendary XC “bear trap” pedals, there are modern components inspired by these classic components but how close are they to the original? In this post, John looks at what makes the XCii so unique and how close the XCiii comes to the original…

Marley Reviews Her Velo Orange Piolet

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Marley Reviews Her Velo Orange Piolet

When the call came from Shimano that All Bodies on Bikes was greenlit, the hunt was on for a bike. I needed something that could run the sweet components they were providing us with, and that was ideally suited for bikepacking. Sure, I had my trusty Surly Straggler, but I wondered if there was something else that could do the job better. …

More Than Just a Touring Bike: A Dirty Review of the Bombtrack Beyond 2

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More Than Just a Touring Bike: A Dirty Review of the Bombtrack Beyond 2

A bike’s stance dictates how you’ll ride it. When you see bikes like this, you don’t think of speed and efficiency. Coming off of a lightweight carbon gravel bike review and jumping back onto this Bombtrack Beyond 2 made me think about my headspace while riding a bike. For me, bikes like the Beyond 2, AWOL, Sutra ULTD, and Otso Fenrir instill a feeling of unintentionality when riding. They’re machines for meandering. While they are all touring bikes, designed for front and rear racks, they are so much more. I’ve put in many meandering miles on this bike and am ready to break it down for you, so read on below.

A First Look at the Tailfin Cage Packs and Straps

Radar

A First Look at the Tailfin Cage Packs and Straps

People have been strapping dry bags to their bikes since long before the word “bikepacking” joined the cycling vernacular. It’s a simple way to add a bit of storage capacity but that extra space comes with obvious drawbacks. Typically those drawbacks include bag shapes that aren’t especially bike-friendly and instability if the bags are not meticulously secured. I’m not a huge fan of my cooking kit flying into my wheel or having bags constantly shift out of position on a rough downhill, so functional and stable bags are essential to me.

When Mountain Bike Companies Do Gravel Bikes Right: A Revel Rover Review

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When Mountain Bike Companies Do Gravel Bikes Right: A Revel Rover Review

These days, most mountain bike companies have some sort of drop-bar bike in their lineup and, here at The Radavist, we’ve collectively had the opportunity to ride a lot of them. I feel like the impetus for mountain bike brands to develop a drop-bar bike is in direct response to the increasing customer demand for gravel bikes.

When I first saw the prototype Rover, I was intrigued because Revel doesn’t put out shit bikes; but, not being much of a carbon fiber guy, I wasn’t immediately drawn to it. Large-diameter tubing profiles and beefy forks usually imply a chattery, harsh, and stiff ride quality. After riding the Rover on my local digs, though, I was pleasantly surprised. While it’s not without its flaws, the Rover ended up proving my own stereotypes of carbon wrong. Let’s take a closer look below…

Is this Peak Downcountry? A Review of the Scott Spark 910

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Is this Peak Downcountry? A Review of the Scott Spark 910

When I first saw the Scott Spark 910 previewed I had to do a double-take. A full-suspension bike with the suspension INSIDE the frame?! I’m sure some vintage mountain bike enthusiast will point out that someone did this in 1994, but this was my first time seeing a rear suspension integrated into a bike frame. I was doubly intrigued as I had been eagerly looking to try out the latest crop of short travel 29ers (read “downcountry”) that are so en vogue right now.

If you’ve been following along with my previous reviews, you’ll know that I’m not a huge internal cable/hose routing fan, and that still rings true. I feel that most internal routing is half-assed and enters and exits the frame multiple times unnecessarily. Now, what Scott has cooked up here is well done and I’m impressed by them going all-in on internal routing. I had many plans to tinker endlessly with this bike but, as I soon found out, this bike feels like it is meant to be a holistic package. Being ever-tempted by such a striking frame design, travel range, and the possibility to mount a frame bag easily on a full-suspension frame I had to take it for a spin.

This Simple Bottle Cage Hack Can Save You Time

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This Simple Bottle Cage Hack Can Save You Time

A while back, I saw Ira Ryan from Breadwinner Cycles at a Cross Crusades race in Portland prepping his bike for his race. He had ridden to the event from his home so he had two cages and two bottles and with less than a quarter rotation of an allen key had removed his bottle cages and was ready for his race.

I review a lot of bikes and tend to put frame bags and bottle cages on and off my bikes that I’ll use for touring, so I adopted his trick. Check out the details below.

An Iconic All-Rounder: Stooping with the Singular Cycles Peregrine 650b Gravel Bike

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An Iconic All-Rounder: Stooping with the Singular Cycles Peregrine 650b Gravel Bike

One of the original “all-rounders”, the Singular Cycles Peregrine first took flight over a decade ago, in May 2007, as an homage to post-war French constructeurs with modern updates like bigger tire clearances, more robust steel tubing, and disc brakes. I’ve had this bike for longer than I’d like to admit but with supply chain issues, parts shortages, and trying to align a review with more stock incoming from Singular, I’m finally ready to share my thoughts on this versatile bike. And we’re giving this exact build away in the coming weeks, so read on below

A Year with the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo

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A Year with the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo

Finding the right tent for a bike trip is always tricky. It’s all about striking the balance of size, weight, livability, storm-worthiness, and durability that fits you and your plans.  

Before heading to Turkey, I knew I wanted to try to eliminate full-sized panniers from my setup, which meant leaving a few things back home and downsizing a few other pieces of gear to make that possible. The tent was one of the first items I looked at since my Tarptent Stratospire 2, while super bomber and massively spacious, is not the smallest option when packed, and probably a little overkill for this trip.

That’s when I landed on the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo. On paper, at $250 (minus stakes, pole, and seam sealer) and sub-1kg all-in, the Lunar Solo ticked an awful lot of boxes in terms of size, space, and cost, so I gave it a shot.  After a year and countless nights in the mountains of Turkey, the Andean Puna, and the forests of Michigan, I’ve come away impressed.

A Review of the All-New Moots Routt ESC Adventure Gravel Bike: Don’t Call it a Baxter

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A Review of the All-New Moots Routt ESC Adventure Gravel Bike: Don’t Call it a Baxter

The Baxter was a blip in a long line of adventure bikes to grace Moots’ 40 years of building frames in the Rockies. Personally, I really liked the Baxter. It held its own in the Steamboat Ramble Ride and tackled our “Disconnected” project in the Inyo Mountains with SRAM but the Baxter had some quirks that needed to be addressed. With the Routt ESC, Moots did just that, abandoning the Baxter model altogether.

In an era where adventure, gravel, touring, and bikepacking bikes are seeing lots of permutation, there’s no time for nostalgia. Brands need to address their bike’s quirks and redesign as needed. That’s where the Routt ESC comes in. It’s like the Baxter and the Routt gravel line had a lovechild, which resulted in a completely new paradigm within the Moots catalog. Let’s check out this new Routt ESC bike in more detail below!

A Detailed Look at the New Outer Shell Camera Straps

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A Detailed Look at the New Outer Shell Camera Straps

Photographers can be a stubborn bunch when it comes to their affinities for particular camera brands, formats, processing methods, etc. For me, camera straps are no different; once I find one I like, I stick with it. Admittedly, I have a lot of cameras and, for the most part, favorite straps for each.

I recently swapped out the straps on my most heavily-used analog cameras for two new rope straps from San Fransisco-based Outer Shell. I also started using their stabilizing wide strap for my primary digital camera setup, which I often cross-body carry while riding. Continue reading below for my thoughts on how these straps stack up in comparison to what I was previously using.

Adjusting For Yearly Geometry Inflation: Ibis Ripley AF Review

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Adjusting For Yearly Geometry Inflation: Ibis Ripley AF Review

The Ibis Ripley AF is an aluminum version of the very popular Ripley (carbon) model, with the exception of a slightly slacker head tube. It seems that the Ripley has been a pretty damn popular model for Ibis, so why not adjust for yearly geometry inflation (moar slacker!) and make it more affordable at the same time? Seems like a winning concoction to me.

For those of you here for a quick review: the Ripley AF is really fun and a great deal. Its few drawbacks are minuscule enough to be overlooked. Go have your second cup of coffee and see what part of society is falling apart today. Then, if you’re still here for the long haul, let’s dip our toes into the ever-fleeting world of this “down-country, enduro-lite, extreme gravel, or whatever the industry’s buzzword is this week” bike.

A Guide to Photographing Bicycles

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A Guide to Photographing Bicycles

A lot of readers have asked for a guide to photographing their bikes. Be it for Readers’ Rides or for their Instagram. Here, John walks us through the process he uses, which we can all agree is ‘dialed.’

Over the past 15 years, I’ve documented hundreds of bikes both in situ and in my makeshift studio setup at events like the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, the ENVE Builder Roundup, and the Chris King Open House. While it might seem daunting at first, it really is easy and like everything photo-related, it’s all about the setup. Let’s look at my process in detail below…

The Radavist’s Top 10 Articles of 2021

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The Radavist’s Top 10 Articles of 2021

This year’s retrospective includes a look at our highest traffic pieces. These articles really blew up, bringing in a lot of comments, backlinks, social media posts, and traffic. While it should come as no surprise, most are bike reviews but a few of these galleries are seminal bits of Reportage. In this list are nine Reportage articles and one Radar, so let’s jump right in!

Riding as Ceremony: A Vintage Road Bike is All You Need

Radar

Riding as Ceremony: A Vintage Road Bike is All You Need

At some point earlier this year, I came down (again) with the vintage bug. I used to comb swap meets in search of a 58-60cm bike, NOS Campagnolo kits, hard-anodized wheels, and pantographed parts but it has been a while. Perhaps it’s because I feel so inundated with “new” tech announcements claiming “lighter, stiffer, faster, more aero” and at a certain point, it just gets to be too much. In the same way, I enjoy riding a rigid or a hardtail 90% of the time over a full suspension. Recently, I began to feel “tech fatigue” when it comes to drop bar bikes and have been looking at ways to simplify that riding experience…

The Otso Cycles Fenrir Touring Bike is a Drop Bar 29er Stainless Steel Monster!

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The Otso Cycles Fenrir Touring Bike is a Drop Bar 29er Stainless Steel Monster!

Is it a gravel bike? A drop bar 29er? Or something else entirely? When it comes to the nomenclature surrounding these modern touring bikes, I often scratch my head, pondering an answer to this question. My usual inclination is to envelop these bikes under the umbrella of “adventure bikes” but then this bike landed in my lap. The Otso Cycles Fenrir is aligned with bikes like the Kona Sutra ULTD and the Moots Baxter but Otso did something different – i.e. better – than its competitors. The Fenrir took it up a notch and has utilized boost spacing wheels, which in my mind, put this in the drop bar 29er category.

I’ve had the Fenrir for a while now, have taken it on an overnighter, and have ridden some of my favorite mixed terrain routes here in Santa Fe with it. On washboarded sandy roads to singletrack, doubletrack, and gravel, the Fenrir is a hell of a bike and one that I really resonated with, so let’s check it out in detail below…