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Some of John’s Favorite Products from 2020

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Some of John’s Favorite Products from 2020

If 2020 brought anything, it was an unexpected amount of time spent locally and at home. It feels like ages ago that we were spending seven months of the year on the road, traveling to events, races, and bike rides throughout the American West living out of our truck, grinding our morning coffee and cooking dinner under the stars. While it was and is a huge downer to be stuck at home with the Nation’s strictest Covid-19 restrictions, I cannot deny how much fun we had sticking to a radius close to our new home in the Land of Enchantment. While we didn’t do any month-long road trips, quick weekend jaunts provided plenty of inspiration as we familiarized ourselves with this beautiful state we now call home.

This year, a handful of products made my life easier in one way or another. Check out a quick list of some of my personal favorite products I used this year.

Ride The Rainbow: Industry Nine’s New Carbon Rims by We Are One Composites

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Ride The Rainbow: Industry Nine’s New Carbon Rims by We Are One Composites

Alrighty just gonna come out and say it, this Industry Nine carbon wheelset is amazing.  Fucking duhhhhh, for $2500 it better be sweet right? Well, yeah, it is.  If you’ve read this far and gleamed as much as you need to know about a really expensive wheelset that you (and me honestly) can’t afford, great, look at the cool photos and enjoy.

If you are seriously interested in making this purchase and want to know my thoughts then, please follow me down the rabbit hole…

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Critical Interstices: “The Wheel is a Flat Circle” – A Roval + Ultradynamico Review

We don’t usually do video here at the Radavist, usually reserving it for special projects like this one. It’s different and thus, pretty special, so enjoy…

Recorded at the Live Oaks Community Center in January 2020 this presentation was scheduled thanks to the centers call for local participant submissions. Products featured in this presentation include the Roval Terra CLX Evo 650B, The Ultradynamico Rose Race 650B, and the Bistro Graphic Croc. If you like this review and would like to see more please contact @newantarctica to discuss whether or not a in-depth product review is right for you.

Ryan Wilson’s Rig in Review: 8 Months in Asia on the Tumbleweed Prospector

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Ryan Wilson’s Rig in Review: 8 Months in Asia on the Tumbleweed Prospector

I’ll be honest, the thought of a new bike is not something that really gets me terribly excited these days.  The places it can take me and the people I will meet along the way?  Definitely!  But when a post pops up on this site or any of the other bike-related sites I visit that starts getting into new-fangled hub spacings or microscopic geometry tweaks and angles, my brain tends to glaze over and forcibly pushes my hand toward clicking on the next article.  The things I look for when selecting a bike for my next big trip are based almost entirely on practicality and reliability.  I just want a bike that I don’t have to think about.

Make Your Next Road Trip Easier with Dometic’s Electronic Coolers and Battery Pack

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Make Your Next Road Trip Easier with Dometic’s Electronic Coolers and Battery Pack

While this is a cycling website, we like to give nods to products that make our lives easier while on the road. With the booming popularity of car camping and cycling road trips, come a lot of decision making about what products work best for extended or even weekend getaways. One such product that has been thoroughly vetted over the years over here are Dometic’s electric coolers. We’ve been using the CFX series for a few years now and these coolers have a big leg up on the competition in that they have the ability to run autonomously from your vehicle’s electric systems thanks to the PLB40 battery. Take a look below for more information and a promotional code for free shipping to readers of the Radavist.

Hard to the Core: The Kona ESD is a Misfit Hardtail

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Hard to the Core: The Kona ESD is a Misfit Hardtail

There seems to exist a set of truisms in mountain biking: your next bike will always be better than your last, my local trails are harder than your local trails, and the fastest local rider isn’t on Strava and humbly rides a singlespeed. Then there’s the local legend, a misfit rider, the slightly anachronistic character that emerges on the trail mid-group-ride on a hardcore hardtail who rides loose and fast and with reckless disregard.

When Kona announced the Honzo ESD earlier this year it came as a great surprise. The original Honzo has remained relatively unchanged since 2012 and this new version looked like a poolhall brawler by comparison. Dominated by modern geometry, BMX inspired frame lines, and a build kit suitable for Bender himself, it was clear this was going to be no ordinary Honzo…

Bike-Camping Along Michigan’s North Country Trail on the Bombtrack Beyond+ ADV

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Bike-Camping Along Michigan’s North Country Trail on the Bombtrack Beyond+ ADV

The North Country Trail

Way back in the mid-80’s I was born about 30 minutes outside of Detroit, Michigan. The area I was in did not exactly lend itself to cycling becoming a hobby at the time, so I really never became interested in bikes and the outdoors until I moved to California and found the mountains as an adult. Fast forward to 2020 when my plans to ride through far-flung mountains in Asia all summer came grinding to a halt along with everyone else’s lives, I found myself back in Michigan for an unknown period of time.

A Good Run with the Goodyear 29 x 2.6 Escape MTB Tires

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A Good Run with the Goodyear 29 x 2.6 Escape MTB Tires

“Are those GOODYEAR MTB tires?!” Since first building up my Starling Murmur, I have received more questions on its tires than the bike itself. On my preferred terrain, tires don’t last long, sometimes I’ll get a month out of them, sometimes it only takes a single ride for me to have a few Dynaplugs in them, so when tires last nine months, I am beyond impressed. I’ve had great luck and a good run with the Goodyear 29 x 2.6″ Escape tires, so let’s take a quick look at these robust tires…

Condensare Pack List: Bailey’s Moné Hardtail 29er Loaded Up for Touring the Northern New Mexico CDT

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Condensare Pack List: Bailey’s Moné Hardtail 29er Loaded Up for Touring the Northern New Mexico CDT

Tomorrow, we’ll be sharing our Reportage from our tour of the CDT in Northern New Mexico but today I wanted to give Bailey a showcase on his Moné and how he packs for a three-day trip…

The poet Basil Bunting, while poring over an antiquated German-Italian dictionary, found the German verb dichten (to write poetry) translated as condensare (to condense/shorten). This became one of the guiding principles of Modernist poetry;  which would state; “Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost degree.” In my early 20s, I fancied myself a student of Modernist writing and, unsurprisingly, many of its ideologies found a place in my daily life. This concept in particular is one that has remained important to me and thus, my approach to touring/bike packing. If one can distill their gear down to items that have the utmost meaning or necessity, while doing away with any superfluities, the result is a light and nimble bike, allowing the rider maximum enjoyment of the terrain to be traversed without compromising their safety and comfort along the way.

Integrated, Easy, and Made in the USA: Wolf Tooth’s CAMO BashSpider and Ring

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Integrated, Easy, and Made in the USA: Wolf Tooth’s CAMO BashSpider and Ring

Modern mountain bikes have low bottom brackets. There are many reasons for the push for lower bottom brackets but like each technological or geometric advancement, there is always an effect. One of which is you’re very likely to smash your chainring on rocks with a low bottom bracket and while there is a multitude of bash guards out there, I’ve recently tried out the Wolf Tooth CAMO BashSpider and chainring. Read on below for a quick review of this system on my Starling Murmur with Cane Creek eeWings cranks…

This Just In: PEARL iZUMi X-Alp Launch SPD MTB Shoes

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This Just In: PEARL iZUMi X-Alp Launch SPD MTB Shoes

I must say, the latest footwear drop from PEARL iZUMi really grabbed my attention. Over the years, the brand has made a big push to constantly update and redesign their classic silhouettes and one shoe that recently got a facelift is their X-Alp Launch SPD shoes. Now with a BOA closure system and this beautiful kiyote tan color, I had to try a pair out. After a few rides on our local MTB trails, I think I got the gist and can talk a bit about them, so read on below for a quick and succinct “This Just In” review…

Four Months of Riding Shimano’s 12-Speed Deore M6100: “the People’s Champ”

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Four Months of Riding Shimano’s 12-Speed Deore M6100: “the People’s Champ”

The constant evolution of mountain bike technology over the past few years has been relentless. Mixed in with the breakneck progression comes fierce competition between the two powerhouses of component manufacturing; SRAM and Shimano. While Shimano was arguably a bit late to the 1x game when compared to SRAM’s early adoption of this technology, over the past few years they’ve proven they’re taking it seriously and have completely revamped one of their most beloved groups, Deore with trickle-down tech normally only found on the higher-priced tiers. I’ve been riding the entire M6100 kit for the past four months here in Santa Fe on my Mystic hardtail and I’m ready to talk about it, so let’s drop right in…

Shoulder Season Riding with the Light and Motion VIS 360 PRO

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Shoulder Season Riding with the Light and Motion VIS 360 PRO

Whether you like it or not, shorter days are on the horizon and that means your after-work rides will be most likely happening in the dark. We’ve already been putting in miles once the sun dips behind the Jemez mountains here in Santa Fe and I’ve finally figured out what my winter riding kit will be. After Light and Motion worked on the video profile of the Radavist last year, I got a bag of lights to try out. My favorite in the bunch is the lightweight VIS 360 PRO. When mounted on a helmet like so, it’s a great supplemental spotlight to help guide your way on even the darkest trails. Check out a quick review of this system below.

An In-Depth Look at Ortlieb’s 2021 Waterproof Bikepacking Lineup

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An In-Depth Look at Ortlieb’s 2021 Waterproof Bikepacking Lineup

Bikepacking gear has evolved so much over the last couple of years and I’m always excited to see brands expand on products and concepts that are proven to work and also step up to create solutions to carrying gear on bikes in innovative ways. Utilizing 100% the waterproof and durable construction they are known for, Ortlieb just released updates to their classic bikepacking line and also added some interesting new products. In advance of the products becoming available this week, Ortleib sent me a handful of bags from their new and revamped bikepacking lineup. I’ve been using them on my Kona Sutra, fairly full and weighted, around my local singletrack to provide some initial insights and detailed photos of some of the new aspects.

SRAM’s Eagle GX Offers 52t at an Affordable Price but Is It Worth It?

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SRAM’s Eagle GX Offers 52t at an Affordable Price but Is It Worth It?

We often joke that Eagle GX killed the singlespeed MTB and by “we” I mean myself and Bailey Newbrey, someone who knows a lot about SSMTB riding and racing. Using Bailey in this opening sentence is relevant for a number of reasons and yes, it also legitimizes that statement in many ways. While this won’t be a history lesson in SSMTB riding, it does mull over the antithesis of that, SRAM’s Eagle GX drivetrain.

I’ve been riding the new Eagle GX with its massive 52t cassette for a few months now and have finally flogged it enough to be able to write an honest review of this system, so read on below.

More than a Throwback: the Yeti ARC 29er Hardtail

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More than a Throwback: the Yeti ARC 29er Hardtail

We’re big into hardtails here at the Radavist. While my personal bikes are all steel, riding carbon bikes can be a real treat, especially when the company has put so much thought into the design.

Yeti has a long history of designing capable and attractive bikes. The original ARC was a collaboration with Easton and the intent was to make a truly lightweight machine in that era. The OG ARC’s aluminum frameset weighed a mere 3.2lbs, which was a groundbreaking accomplishment for 1991 and those bikes are still iconic, even today.

You could say Yeti had a lot riding on this new ARC design and there were a few decisions that set this new model on a different trajectory from its predecessor. After riding this bike for a month here in Santa Fe, I’ve finally wrapped my head around how to review it, pointing out its accomplishments and my own personal critiques of this entirely new model, so read on for more…