Category Archives: Reviews
Bedrock Sandals Just Got Even Better

This summer, and fall and even a few weeks of winter, all I wore were my Bedrock Sandals. On and off-the-bike, even. They are the lightest, most comfortable and most MUSA sandals I’ve ever owned, so when I heard they got even better, I wanted to share the news.

The new Cairns feature a new footbed, new hardware, and refined fit. For cycle touring, or everyday use, I recommend the Cairn 3D. For wet and wild conditions, check out the Cairn Pro and for ultralight the Classics are for you.

Bedrock makes these in California and I just love everything they do. You can read all about the updates at the Bedrock Blog.

Mar 2, 2018 6 comments
A High Desert Look at the All-City Cycles Gorilla Monsoon

Last year, we got an early, early look at the All-City Cycles Gorilla Monsoon when Jeff came to town and brought the bike with him to ride in LA and the Mojave. It was like having an elephant in the room everywhere we went, or I suppose a gorilla. No matter where we took the bike, people were blown away, but quickly were told to keep it under wrap. We couldn’t acknowledge its existence. Well, last week during the NAHBS madness that ensues here once a year, All-City finally released the Gorilla Monsoon, which means I can now share my photos of this bike and a few riding shots I took during that week. (more…)

Mar 1, 2018 77 comments
The Surly Midnight Special is Truly a Fat Tire Road Bike – Morgan Taylor

Surly’s Midnight Special is Truly a Fat Tire Road Bike
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

The Surly Midnight Special is a drop bar bike that fits big tires – real big tires. Beyond fitting huge tires, what makes it unique among the expanding options in this category is that its geometry is derived from a road bike rather than the ‘cross bikes that most “Road Plus” bikes have descended from. Chainstays are short and head tube angles are relatively steep across the board, making for a quick-handling bike that loves to carve corners at any speed – but especially when you’re going fast.

Don’t let the massive tire clearance fool you; despite the wide 650B tires, it handles on the road more like bikes you’d expect to see narrower tires on. Because of this, the Midnight Special is difficult to classify. It fits big tires and it’s got disc brakes and drop bars, but it’s not a ‘cross bike and it’s unlike any bike being marketed as gravel. It fits more tire than a Straggler but its geometry is more like that of the Pacer. So let’s get into that. (more…)

Feb 22, 2018 158 comments
A Look at the Ultra-Low Visibility Camo Leh Cycling Goods Bar Tape and Saddle Bag

With NAHBS approaching – this weekend! – one of my favorite features to photograph are the unique touches that make the bikes of the show, show bikes. While not everyone can afford a crazy titanium fatbike with bends for days, or a carbon road bike that weighs only 12 lbs, that doesn’t mean we can’t accessorize our bikes to look like a balleur show bike.

Leh Cycling Goods is a leathersmith, based in Texas, that makes custom saddles, bar tape, and other cycling accessories, but what makes Leh different from the others is his ready-made stock, including leather-clad saddles! I’ve been using two of Leh’s products on my Speedvagen OD OG-1 and they really bring this bike’s whole package up a few notches… Check out more below. (more…)

Feb 13, 2018 6 comments
Review: OneUp Components’ EDC Tool System Fits in a Pump

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

OneUp Components‘ EDC Tool System made waves when it launched due to its sleek installation inside mountain bike steerer tubes. Pull your star nut out, tap your fork steerer, install OneUp’s hollow top cap, and the tool system slides in from the top: always there, always ready. If you only ride one bike.

It’s a cool idea, but I switch between a number of bikes, most of which have steel forks, and the EDC system wasn’t going to work with any of those. And I always need a pump anyway. Well, it just so happens OneUp also makes a pump that the tool fits into. So we’re looking at both of those here.  (more…)

Jan 30, 2018 2 comments
A Pre-Ride Preview of Industry’s Nine’s New i9.35 Disc Road Wheels

When it comes to photographing bikes, I’ll always opt for dirty over clean, but some things are just too damn good to wait for that all-so-familiar Southern California gold dirt to cake itself inside every crevice. Case in point: Industry Nine’s new i9.35 Disc road wheels. Previously, we’ve looked at their AR25 disc road wheels, which are still some of the best disc wheels I’ve ridden*. However, if you’re looking to shave a little bit of weight, add the durability of carbon rims, and better aerodynamics, then the i9.35 wheels are another great option in the marketplace. Let’s take a look at them in detail below. (more…)

Jan 22, 2018 Comments are OFF
A Bike That Really Stands Out: the Santa Cruz Chameleon 27.5+ Hardtail

Chameleons don’t actually change color to “blend” into their surroundings. Contrarily, their colors are used to mark territory, attract mates and display moods, often resulting in these unique lizards “standing out” more than blending in. The Santa Cruz Bicycles Chameleon adheres to this logic, standing out from many of the other production hardtails on the market but before we get ahead of ourselves here, and lizard anecdotes aside, when I first saw the newly-designed Chameleon last year it checked a lot of boxes and left me with a few questions.

Sure, Santa Cruz is saying the chameleon is a master of adaptation, which metaphorically makes a lot of sense. This bike can really do a lot, but isn’t that the nature of hardtails in general? For me, my thoughts on the Chameleon stem from its legacy, its updated design and most importantly, to a lot of people, the cost. (more…)

Jan 16, 2018 73 comments
The Tim Tas + Rek Ahead Steerer Rack Saves Your Saggy Handlebar Bags

Be it for randonneuring, bikepacking, touring, commuting or cyclophotography, the handlebar bag can be either a nuisance or a godsend, depending on your equipment. While rack-less bag designs are convenient, they can often times flop and jostle all over, really ruining your otherwise pleasant and quiet ride. I’ve found when you put a heavy camera in one of these bags, getting it to stay put is quite the hassle. While a full-on touring, porteur or randonneuring rack can assist in this issue, sometimes they’re overkill and heavy. In my experience, all it takes is a simple bracket to hold the bag in place to really enhance your ride. The problem is, who makes such a product?

We’ve seen quite a few bracket designs for saddle packs, but what about handlebar packs? I’ve yet to find a good, reliable design. That is until I found the Tim Ras + Rek Ahead Steerer Rack. (more…)

Jan 9, 2018 17 comments
Rule the Woods with the All-City Cycles Electric Queen

It was inevitable. Some might even call it destiny. All-City Cycles needs no introduction here on this website, and neither does the benefit of riding a steel hardtail mountain bike in an era of plastic full squish bikes. In fact, I’d argue that All-City’s latest offering, the Electric Queen, will not only please the readers of this site but could be the bike they’ve been looking for. Well, warriors, your search for a shreddable steel hardtail ends here. (more…)

Dec 18, 2017 103 comments
12 Pieces Of Gear I Wouldn’t Go Without In The Andes – Ryan Wilson

12 Pieces Of Gear I Wouldn’t Go Without In The Andes
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson

In a little over a year’s worth of time on the road in the Andes, I’ve had the chance to really put my gear through some serious torture. Luckily, the vast majority of it has stood the test of time, but there are some pieces that have really stood out as items I’ll have in my setup for a long time to come. Obviously, some of this comes down to personal preference and the type of riding you’re doing, so it’s not one-size-fits-all, but the majority of these would work well with just about any type of bikepacking/touring… (more…)

Dec 13, 2017 64 comments