Starling Cycles, the maker of the steel Murmur 29er full suspension, just announced a limited edition Murmur with a stainless steel front triangle, made by Ora in Taiwan. Only available in size Large or XLarge, these limited edition frames can be bought as a frameset (£2330.00) or as a complete build through Starling direct. These bikes offer a completely different ride quality from their carbon fiber counterparts and remain to this day one of my personal favorites on the market. Check out my initial review of the Murmur and my personal Murmur build in the Related articles below…
Cutthroat C AXS Build shown here $7,199 USD.
The Cutthroat is a favorite amongst Tour Divide aficionados and weekend warriors alike. Back in 2015, when it was announced, the Cutthroat got tested out on the Tour Divide course and it remains a fan favorite today. While the frame hasn’t changed since our Review of the 2020 model last year, it does come in four new build specs, plus as a frameset. Head to Salsa to read all about the 2021 Cutthroat builds.
“Dzil Ta’ah Adventure” is the fifth layout of the Radavist 2021 Calendar. It was shot with a Sony A9ii and a Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 di iii rxd lens in Kayenta, AZ.
“Jon Yazzie lives in the Navajo Nation and runs a guided tour company called Dzil Ta’ah Adventures. He rides single speed mountain bike frames exclusively and is working to expand bicycle access on the Reservation. Our story with Jon will come out next month but this shot from a ride in his backyard should get you stoked to see more.”
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right-click and save link as – The Radavist 2021 – May. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
The mobile background this month is from this same vista. Click here to download May’s Mobile Wallpaper.
We’ve featured the work of artist Dean Liebau before, who takes inspiration for many of our pieces here at the Radavist with beautiful Conte pencil illustrations. The latest Dean posted is Bailey’s Moné 29er, all packed up from our CDT tour last summer. Dean also just announced a new contest dubbed #DrawMyKona. Find all the information for that below and give Dean a follow on Instagram!
When one thinks of Esker Cycles, the Hayduke 27.5+ hardtail (reviewed here by Locke Hassett) quickly comes to mind – and in many ways, the Hayduke served as the launchpad for the design of Esker’s latest model, the Japhy.
While the Japhy looks like considerably “less bike” than the 140mm Hayduke with its 120mm fork and 29″ wheels, don’t count it out yet: the Japhy is scrappy and is willing to claw its way through just about anything!
Over the past few months I’ve been riding the Japhy all over our local trails here in Santa Fe and while at first I was hesitant about taking it out on some of the more technical terrain, I found it to be an exceptional climber and a surprisingly fun descender.
So, let’s get into it!
A little while back, Patrick from Bikes or Death reached out, saying he was going to be in Santa Fe and was hoping we could sit down for a podcast interview. Naturally, I obliged, and last night we hung out at our office here in Santa Fe and talked about bikes, photography, other randomness related to this website. I won’t give too much away but I was really stoked on how it went. Doing interviews is a great way to bond with a person and afterward, I just had to shoot Patrick’s Chumba Cycles Stella Ti. While the podcast episode won’t be out for a few weeks, I wanted to feature this rad build while it was all still fresh on my mind, so enjoy!
George Hayduke. The fictional anti-hero created by the protector of the Western ‘wilderness’, Ed Abbey. While much of Abbey’s political pennings haven’t aged well, he still brought awareness to the American West unsurpassed by any other author of that time. Abbey’s fictional masterpiece, the Monkey Wrench Gang, is a must-read for any lover of the Four Corners and Canyon Country. In it, a ragtag group of desert rats embarks on a journey to dismantle the corporate machines threatening the cherished ecosystems found on the Colorado Plateau. The term “monkeywrenching” and even “eco-terrorist” stemmed from this book as its characters threw a literal wrench in the spokes of the all-consuming corporate machine.
Esker Cycles’ predecessor brand, Advocate Cycles, used the “Earth First” fist on their headtubes and their flagship bike was the Hayduke. When the brand became Esker, they kept the Hayduke model and its signature monkey wrench decals.
Locke reviewed a Hayduke a few years ago. You can read that review in our archives but when he swung through Santa Fe on a recent jaunt, I linked up with him and shot his own personal singlespeed 29er build. Read on for more…
With 120mm rear travel, the Trail 429 isn’t a big bike and because of that, it’s even more versatile. Here’s the launch video from Pivot, with the Puget Sound as the backdrop. See more of the Trail 429 at Pivot.
I’m going to nerd out here. Fair warning. When I see a bike like the Kona Sutra ULTD hit the internet, I feel mixed emotions. Part of that has to do with my love of the now-dead “adventure” category Specialized launched a few years back, beginning with the AWOL. I had some good memories on that bike and it feels like eons ago. If you remember, this was around the time people started calling bicycle touring “bikepacking”.
The AWOL was a touring bike in the sense that it had rack mounts, clearances for, at the time, big tires and it came specced in both its Poler and Trans-Continental limited-edition build kits with racks and panniers. Sounds like a touring bike to me! While this isn’t an article about the AWOL, I can’t help but see the face-value similarities between it and the Sutra Unlimited, or ULTD for short.
Now, the AWOL came out in 2014, and in these past six years, a lot has changed in the touring or bikepacking world for me but one thing remains constant: I love fat tire tourers, and the Sutra ULTD really impressed me. It pulled at all the heartstrings…
To make a sub $3,000 Ripley, Ibis moved to an aluminum chassis, with a few geometry tweaks to make for a short-travel trail bike. Check out their launch video for the new Ripley AF featuring Pat Smage and some glorious Utah singletrack.
-130mm front travel⠀
-120mm dw-link rear travel⠀
-2.6” tire clearance⠀
-Aluminum front and rear triangle⠀
-Available in four sizes S-XL, fits riders between 5’ and 6’6⠀
-Frame weight of 7.45 w/ shock⠀
-Complete builds starting at 30.5 lbs / 13.04 KG⠀
Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a lot of negative internet chatter when bike brands release hardtail trail bikes that are not overly slack, steep, or otherwise geometrically boundary-pushing in some way. My suspicion is that many of these comments come from riders that prefer lifts over pedaling uphill but nonetheless cast a shadow on mid-travel hardtails that are intended for folks that aren’t spending their days in terrain parks.
Some people were excited by the announcement that Esker Cycles had restocked their beloved Hayduke hardtail but saddened by its migration to a long travel 27.5″ wheeled chassis. To this Esker just announced their new Japhy hardtail 29er. A completely new bike, dedicated to 29″ wheels, a 120mm travel fork, and similar detailing as the Hayduke, the Japhy fills the niche left by its rowdier sibling’s revisions. Head to Esker Cycles to see all the juicy details.
The Hayduke is one of the best steel hardtails on the market and it just got better. Until now, Hayduke completes have been equipped with a 120mm 29er fork built with 27.5+ wheels, which allowed riders to swap between the 27.5+ and 29er wheel sizes. While that same swapping ability still exists for Hayduke framesets, complete builds will now feature a dedicated 27.5” fork with 140mm of travel, allowing Esker to develop a dedicated 29er model down the road. This increased travel with a dedicated 27.5″ wheel means the A-T-C length is the same as a 120mm and 29er wheel, so riders can always buy a frameset and build their Hayduke up that way as well thanks to the Portage dropout system, which allows users to adjust their chainstay length.
Hayduke framesets come standard with Portage dropouts, an axle, seat collar, and a Wolf Tooth Components headset for $750. Complete builds are available in limited quantities at 3 levels starting with H1 at $2000, H2 at $2950, and H3 at $3250. Framesets and completes are available through eskercycles.com.
See more at Esker Cycles.
Previously available with their GMX and ATB framesets, Ride Farr’s new steel forks were developed as an alternative to 80-100mm travel suspension forks. With clearance for a 3″ tire, 31.8mm steel fork legs, and boost 110 spacing, with an a-t-c of 483mm, these forks look to be a great option for converting your hardtail to a rigid bike for touring.
-Plenty of cargo bosses
-Oversize 31.8mm Cromoly Blades
-Tapered Steerer: 1.5 to 1.1/8”, 300mm Length
-Boost 110 Spacing Lower Spacing
-15mm Thru-Axle M1.5 Thread ( CNC Machined Alloy Axle Supplied )
-Axle to Crown: 483mm
-Reference Weight : 1390g ( with 190mm Steerer Tube )
While these forks ($145) are now on backorder, Ride Farr has some samples for sale ($110). See more at Ride Farr.
“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…
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…
Ben from Heath Creek Cycles shares with us his customized Surly Karate Monkey with some details we think the singlespeed readership will really appreciate. You don’t have to go full-custom to have a customized bike! Check out a few quick words from Ben below, along with more photos from Josh Kowalski, who manages Continental Bikes in Duluth, MN…
Taking versatility to a whole new level, the latest mountain bikes from Salsa Cycles feature a whole slew of new details. The Blackthorn is an all-mountain 29er with 140 mm rear and 160 mm front travel. While Cassidy is an enduro 29er running on 165 mm rear and 180 mm front suspension travel. What makes these bikes really unique is they share the same frame components, which can be altered via a series of small component swaps, all on board the Split Pivot suspension design.
Salsa dubs this the Split Pivot+ platform. By swapping to the appropriate links and suspension, you can swap Blackthorn’s 140 mm rear and 160 mm front travel to Cassidy’s 165 mm rear and 180 mm front travel.
Head over to Salsa to see more on the Blackthorn and Cassidy!