#full-suspension

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A Perfect Fit: the Revelate Hopper Frame Bag on John’s Starling Cycles Murmur 29er

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A Perfect Fit: the Revelate Hopper Frame Bag on John’s Starling Cycles Murmur 29er

Full suspension bikes can be used for bikepacking. It just takes a little problem-solving in terms of bag design, fitment, and capacity. Yet, that’s not what we’re discussing here. Modern mountain bikes seem to be designed for shuttle runs in perfectly-groomed bike parts, not all-day rides on backcountry trials. Most new bike models fit a bottle and by “a bottle” I mean a small bottle. I ride XL-sized frames and every time I throw my leg over one, I’m baffled at the lack of bottle carrying capacity. This is a gripe for another day, however, because I recently found a way to solve this problem on my Starling Murmur 29er and it was easier than you’d think.

The Revelate Hopper Frame Bag is an off-the-shelf option that fits like a custom solution. Let’s check it out below. Yes, I’m excited about this one!

Transition’s All-Country 120mm Travel Spur

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Transition’s All-Country 120mm Travel Spur

120mm travel bikes don’t get a lot of love these days, even though they’re plenty fun, capable enough to MTB tour on, and great companions for slogging it out on an endurance race. Transiton’s new Spur is a 120mm front and rear travel 29er with details and looks to spare. Read all about it at the Transition website.

Revel’s New Ranger Scouts the Backcountry Trails

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Revel’s New Ranger Scouts the Backcountry Trails

Revel’s new Ranger XC bike is a lighter and snappier version of its big sibling, the Rascal. Designed around a 29×2.6″ or 27.5×2.8″ wheelset, the Ranger is a 120mm front and 115mm rear travel bike, build on a CBF-engineered chassis. Think lightweight but still capable. The Ranger comes in three build kits, ranging from $4,999 to $9,999 and a frameset, which is priced at $2,799. You can pre-order now at Revel with a mid-July delivery estimate. See more at Revel.

Specs:
-Wheel Size 29″
-Front Travel 120mm
-Rear Travel 115mm
-Shock Spec 190 x 45-22.2 x 8 Hardware Spec
-Boost Axles 148mm rear / 110mm front
-Seatpost Diameter 31.6mm (use our size guide to choose the best dropper height!)
-Bearings: BOLU 6801 VRS full complement, 12mm x 21mm x 5mm 6pcs per bike
BOLU 6901 VRS full complement, 12mm x 24mm x 6mm 12pcs per bike
-Rear Brake 160mm post mount / 180mm max
-Tire Clearance 29″ x 2.6″ or 27.5″ x 2.8″
-Bottom Bracket Threaded (73mm English threaded)
-Chainguide Custom Revel guide included
-Tapered Headtube IS42 upper / IS52 lower
-Colors Johnny Green Jeans / De La Coal
-Sizes S / M / L / XL
-Frame Warranty Lifetime Warranty

Save on a Starling Cycles

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Save on a Starling Cycles

A lot of people are offering up deals on their bikes and with their announcement of moving production back to the UK on their front triangles, Starling has a lot riding on this first season of sales. To spice up their already solid deals, they’re offering something special.

Frames are now £1,327.50, that’s 10% off and they’re offering a free custom paint upgrade, worth £120.

TO ORDER: A 25% non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your frame. Once frames are ready to ship, the remaining payment will be requested. Use the code starling2020, at checkout. This will reduce your basket total by 75%, allowing you to pay a 25% deposit.

They will then invoice you for the remaining 75% once frames are ready to ship.

See more information at Starling Cycles and check out John’s review of the Murmur Factory from 2019 and his own bike review to get a sense of what these bikes truly are.

John’s Starling Murmur 29er

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John’s Starling Murmur 29er

After reviewing the Starling Murmur Factory early last year, I placed a deposit for one myself, springing for the made in the UK front triangle, made in Taiwan rear swingarm model, in a larger size than the demo large I reviewed. Joe and I discussed the bike, I sent in the money needed and waited. A few months later, Joe alerted me that the bike was done and he shipped it to the United States. Little did I know that I wouldn’t see the bike for almost 8 months later.

Salsa’s 2020 Rustler Comes in Aluminum

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Salsa’s 2020 Rustler Comes in Aluminum

Starting at $2,649 for the SX Eagle, or $3,199 for the SLX (pictured), the Rustler’s all-mountain capabilities are now available in a more affordable aluminum frameset. The 6066-T6 aluminum frame features 425 mm chainstays and 27.5” wheel size, with 130 mm of rear suspension travel, with a 150 mm fork, and a nicely-equipped component specification. Now, all three full suspension models from Salsa come with an aluminum frame option, making it a little easier to get your mitts on one. Head on over to Salsa to see the full spec rundown.

High Desert Shredding with the Revel Rascal

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High Desert Shredding with the Revel Rascal

It was a rainy afternoon in Sedona. I finished my volunteer shift, and headed into the festival to try and get a demo. I had heard of this new company, Revel Bikes, that was supposed to have some real pretty and real fast carbon full suspensions. I wanted to try one of those bikes as soon as I could. I arrived at the tent about 10 minutes after the event opened to the public.

Every bike was gone.

Philly Bike Expo 2019: Moth Attack

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Philly Bike Expo 2019: Moth Attack

For the tenth anniversary of the Philadelphia Bike Expo, PBE introduced a diversity and inclusivity scholarship to support women, trans, POC frame builders who have been underrepresented at bike shows and the industry at large. SRAM is stepping up to sponsor the PBE Inclusivity Scholarship inaugural class consists of Moth Attack, Pedalino Bikes, Schon Studio, and Untitled Cycles.

Pushing and Punishing Pivot’s Insatiable Mach 6 Carbon 27.5″ Trail MTB

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Pushing and Punishing Pivot’s Insatiable Mach 6 Carbon 27.5″ Trail MTB

Chris Cocalis, the owner of Pivot Cycles, knows a thing or two about bicycle design and the popularity of his bikes prove just that. I’ve reviewed a lot of full-suspension bikes over the years and am accustomed to people’s reactions at the trailhead or on the trails but no bike received such trail accolades as the Mach 6 Carbon. Before I had even gotten to ride the bike, it seemed like everyone had something to say about it. Which, as someone trying to approach reviews without any bias, can be a bit much to handle. Yet, here we are, with a month on the bike and a month since I’ve ridden the bike, ready to talk about the Mach 6. Does it live up to the lore? Read on below.

French Framebuilder Caminade’s Titanium ChillEasy Full Suspension MTB

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French Framebuilder Caminade’s Titanium ChillEasy Full Suspension MTB

Wow. We get a lot of emails from framebuilders, from all over the world, but rarely does something this interesting come across our inbox. Caminade is a French framebuilder and his latest project will melt your mind. The ChillEasy is a titanium full suspension mountain bike with a side-mounted rear shock, inspired by motos, which makes total sense since a lot of mountain bike technology has been adapted from motos over the years. Talk to Keith Bontrager about that one!

Check out more photos below and see the full spec sheet at Caminade.

The Knolly Fugitive 29er: How a Small, Rider-Focused Brand Stays Ahead of the Game

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The Knolly Fugitive 29er: How a Small, Rider-Focused Brand Stays Ahead of the Game

Modern Modular Boingers, or How a Small, Rider-Focused Brand Stays Ahead of the Game.

Can we all agree that Mountain Bikes are just so damn good these days? Anyone who started out dropping chains on a triple ring rigid MTB back in the day will appreciate how lucky we all are now: brakes stop fast (whether or not your wheels are true); droppers drop; giant cogs for chilling; tubeless tires! Those parts all have to hang on something though, and here’s where we’ve seen leaps and bounds in design in the last five years toward lower, slacker, and longer bikes with short stems, big wheels, and unique suspension designs.

Steel is Real: The Starling Murmur 29 Factory Roosts in the Mountains of Los Angeles

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Steel is Real: The Starling Murmur 29 Factory Roosts in the Mountains of Los Angeles

In 1890, the European starling was released into New York’s Central Park by the American Acclimatization Society. They were an organization that believed European flora and fauna should be present in North America for cultural reasons. The head of the AAS was a fella named Eugene Schieffelin, who decided any bird mentioned by William Shakespeare should be in North America and he pushed for 100 of these birds being released into New York City. Thus, the invasive species has taken over. You’ve probably seen them, en masse, as they fly in a tight flock, moving like a black mass across the late afternoon sky. This swarm is called a murmuration.

You see where I’m going here, right?

Unlike the European starling, the Starling Murmur, a full suspension, steel mountain bike was a welcomed species in the San Gabriel Mountains of Los Angeles.

Small Package but Big Fun with the Santa Cruz 5010

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Small Package but Big Fun with the Santa Cruz 5010

In a world dominated by big hitters and in a lineup celebrated by names like the Bronson and Nomad, the 5010 is often overlooked as being a capable all-mountain trail bike. When it was first released, five years ago, the SOLO, as it was called, was marketed as the little-wheeled brother of the Tallboy, which many people regarded as an XC bike. There’s no denying the allure of the almighty enduro bike, which has largely dominated the mountain bike industry over the past many years.

There was always something about the 5010 that has been attractive to me but for whatever reason, I never got to throw my leg around one until we rode them here in the mountains of Los Angeles with a few of Santa Cruz’s employees. People have said the current 5010 is the best yet and since I have no benchmark for comparison, I’m going to have to agree.

So what changed? Other than the standard approach of lengthening, lowering, and slackening? Seriously, how many years can the “industry” state those three geometry adjustments as a reason for the upgrade and most importantly, your money?