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John’s Summer Shred Pack Product Reviews

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John’s Summer Shred Pack Product Reviews

Once the high country melts here in Santa Fe, it’s singletrack 24/7 in the Land of Enchantment. Santa Fe is a MTB town with trails accessible right from your front door. Because of this accessibility, I put a lot of miles on my gear in our summer season. I wanted to offer a quick rundown of some of my favorite new accessories and apparel items I’ve enjoyed over the past few months…

John’s Rivendell Hunqapillar 29er Klunker: AKA the Klunkapillar

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John’s Rivendell Hunqapillar 29er Klunker: AKA the Klunkapillar

Cruiser, Klunker, ATB.  These terms get thrown around a lot and yet they represent pretty much the same thing: a rigid mountain bike. For me, the granularity of these denotations is intriguing. In modern times, these words have people debating about the proper nomenclature for each of these bikes, and there are opinions on every side of this argument. For those curious, I understand that a Cruiser is a coaster-brake bike with no gears and no hand brakes. A Klunker is a rigid mountain bike with gears and hand brakes. An ATB is simply an “all-terrain-bicycle” and was historically used to refer to a mountain bike with flat bars. “ATB” was used to denote a new, increasingly popular form of cycling at the time: “off-road” riding. AKA, riding on dirt, not pavement. Since the genesis of the term “ATB”, it has been co-opted to mean drop bar bikes as well. Being the trend-setter he is, once Ultraromance dubbed these bikes “ATB,” everyone jumped on board.

Time is a flat circle, like a wheel, so what was once a pariah in the cycling industry is bound to become the savior at one point. That’s kind of how mountain biking started, right? A bunch of misfits took the hills of Marin and the mountains of Colorado and began riding inappropriate bikes inappropriately.

Then, thirty-odd years later, Grant Petersen of Bridgestone and Rivendell fame designed the Hunqapillar, a true-to-form Klunker. I first rode one back in 2014 and immediately was drawn to the bike’s capabilities and unique ride quality. Yet, for some dumb reason, I didn’t buy one and missed out on every opportunity to own a size 62cm until recently. So why did the guy with too many bikes buy a Hunq? Well, read on below to find out.

Finding Your Super Power: An Omnium Cargo Bike Review

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Finding Your Super Power: An Omnium Cargo Bike Review

Cargo bikes are inherently super cool. Something about a unique, purpose-built, human-powered machine doing tasks usually associated with cars and trucks gets the wondering wheels turning in peoples’ brains. The simple act of riding a cargo bike turns heads and gets people asking questions: living your day to day on a bike is indeed a super power.

The focus of this review is an Omnium Cargo bike that absolutely gets those wheels turning. Whether it’s a pumptracks-and-playgrounds adventure with our three-year-old, transporting complete bikes without removing the wheels, or making a big run down to the recycling depot, this bike enables errands and experiences beyond our usual two-wheeled expectations. Which of these tasks would prove to be the Omnium’s super power?

A Three-Season Review with the Fairlight Secan 2.5

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A Three-Season Review with the Fairlight Secan 2.5

Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to ride and review a lot of interesting bikes, from hand built one-offs to small batch customs and a whole lot of factory production models. In all that time I’ve only found a few bikes that I really didn’t want to let go of. The Fairlight Secan 2.5 is one of those few.

This bike is perhaps the most adaptable drop bar bike I’ve ridden. To help make that point, Fairlight sent me two dynamo wheelsets to use for the review, and I’ve spent three seasons riding the bike in various configurations. Under myself and my friend Andrew, who helps edit my rambling reviews, the Secan has completed four 200 km brevets, and has been my go-to distance bike for the review period.

Longer, Higher, Calmer: Kyle’s Longterm Review of the Myth Zodiac Steel Full Suspension 29er

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Longer, Higher, Calmer: Kyle’s Longterm Review of the Myth Zodiac Steel Full Suspension 29er

We were catching our breath after the short climb from Warner Lake up to the top of Hazzard County. Burro Pass was a riot–we yipped and hollered the entire way down. After a quick sip of our drinks and admiring the view, we got back on the pedals and began the broad, fast winding trail down the open scrub of this famous section of The Whole Enchilada. Popping and jibbing, sliding, and tucking, we were fully in ‘the flow’…until…THWACK! I slowed down and found a spot to pull off and investigate the source of the racket. My wheels were true, the tires firm, fork and shock yet sprung, when the problem revealed itself: I had impacted a loose chunk of sandstone that penetrated the downtube on my carbon frame…

Review: Two Tours with the Tailfin V-Mount Packs

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Review: Two Tours with the Tailfin V-Mount Packs

The folks over at Tailfin have been steadily adding to the array of options in their collection of waterproof cycle-touring bags over the last couple of years. Another addition to their growing list of offerings comes in the form of the newly announced V-Mount packs. With 1.7L and 3L options, these bags are designed to mount to virtually any bike, even if you have no dedicated mounting points, thanks to their remarkably simple v-mount system.

For the last 9 months, I’ve had a chance to thoroughly put them through the rigors of touring in the South American Andes and offer up a few thoughts on who they might work for and who might want to look elsewhere, just in time for their launch.

Trail Time with Breadwinner’s Bad Otis: A 160mm Travel 27.5 Shred Sled

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Trail Time with Breadwinner’s Bad Otis: A 160mm Travel 27.5 Shred Sled

Earlier this year, Locke Hassett had the pleasure of spending a few months riding Breadwinner Cycle’s Bad Otis. This modern 27.5-inch wheel hardtail – with snappy short 415mm chainstays, 66° headtube angle, and 160mm of front suspension – presented him with some interesting considerations about mountain bikes, the sport as a whole, and what it means to him. Continue reading below for Locke’s in-depth review of the Bad Otis, along with some other relevant revelations…

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

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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

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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.