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This Cotton Candy Falconer Hardtail Turned Out Sweet!

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This Cotton Candy Falconer Hardtail Turned Out Sweet!

The seed was planted last summer during a weekend visit to Cameron Falconer’s compound in Quincy to ride singletrack in Plumas National Forest, one of my favorite local playgrounds. I already had a 5-year-old Falconer hardtail that I loved and rode everywhere, and there was nothing wrong with it. 

Well, there actually was something wrong with my bike on that Saturday (a component failure), so I borrowed one of Cameron’s personal steel hardtails to ride on Sunday. Luckily for me we ride roughly the same size bike. Cameron has experimented with quite a few geometries over the years since he made my last bike, and the loaner I was on happened to be one of his latest designs. We were riding big chunky rough stuff in the Lakes Basin area and I was bouncing through big rock gardens more comfortably than with my old bike, feeling a lot more stable, and by the end of the ride I was like, “BUILD ME ONE LIKE THIS.

Why Cycles: New Wayward V2 Hardtail or in Squidward Mode with Oddity Fork

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Why Cycles: New Wayward V2 Hardtail or in Squidward Mode with Oddity Fork

The Why Cycles team has been constantly working on their Wayward 29+ platform MTB since its inception, so there’s no surprise that V2 is still the same bike but with a few new details. Why used their tubing of choice, 3/2.5 titanium, and added their unique cold-formed shaping to really tune the ride quality. The geometry has been corrected to fit a 120mm fork (instead of 100mm), giving the bike a more balanced feel. The next change is an increase in standover clearance, yet the biggest change is a product spec. Why Cycles worked with Sean Burns at Oddity Cycles, the master manipulator of titanium, to offer a suspension-corrected Squid fork option for the Wayward along with his Lowrizer titanium handlebars. The team at Why have dubbed this the Squidward.

Pricing for the V2 remains the same with a frame (including headset, seat collar, anodized water bottle bolts and rear axle) coming in at $2449. Frame and fork options start at $3049 with a RockShox Yari and a $1000 upgrade for the Oddity Squid fork. Complete builds with SRAM components and Industry 9 wheels start at $4799.

See more at Why Cycles.

Believe the Hype: Hardtail Riding with the Zipp 3ZERO MOTO 29er Wheels

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Believe the Hype: Hardtail Riding with the Zipp 3ZERO MOTO 29er Wheels

When someone makes a big marketing claim, one that promises “compliance”, superb strength, and a ride quality unlike anything else on the market, I can’t help but roll my eyes. This reaction is a sentiment that I’m sure you, the readers of this very website, also feel! The cycling industry is always coming out with the next best thing and trying to get you to buy it. That’s why when I take on something to review, I like to really give it a go because if I’m going to tell you something is worth your hard-earned money, it damn well better perform.

Please don’t mind this introduction, I just wanted to explain how long I’ve been thinking about writing this review and how it’s going to seem that I was paid to sing the praises of these wheels. Spoiler alert, I was not and yes, these wheels really do live up to the marketing hype!

For the past 10 months, I’ve been riding the Zipp 3ZERO MOTO 29er wheels on my hardtail and I am a firm – pardon the pun – believer that these wheels are the best thing to hit the MTB market in some time.

Salsa’s New Rangefinder SX Eagle Hardtail Retails for $1,299 and a Deore Build for $1,099

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Salsa’s New Rangefinder SX Eagle Hardtail Retails for $1,299 and a Deore Build for $1,099

With a 68º head tube angle and a 74º seat tube angle, the Rangefinder might not be the shreddiest hardtail out there but it’ll be a more than capable bike for most trails. Plus, we need more approachable and affordable mountain bikes in this industry. With a 27.5+/29er wheel platform, a dropper post, and SRAM’s SX Eagle kit, you get to whet your appetite for trails and bikepacking all for under $1,300. Not bad.

There’s also a Deore build for a mere $1,099. Check out more of the Rangefinder at Salsa.

Well Used and Highly Abused: Industry Nine’s Backcountry 360 Wheels with Hydra Hubs

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Well Used and Highly Abused: Industry Nine’s Backcountry 360 Wheels with Hydra Hubs

MTB wheels, especially the ones with aluminum rims, are easily the most abused product in my bike closet. They’re also the hardest to review, honestly. Reviewing wheels accurately and in a comprehensive way can be as elusive as a fast friend’s wheel in the woods. When Industry Nine gave me a set of their Backcountry 360 wheels, featuring their new Hydra hubs last year, I was amazed at not only the build quality of the wheels but the vast improvement of their newly-engineered Hydra hubs. Read on below.

Moné Bikes La Roca V2: Braze Jah Part Deux

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Moné Bikes La Roca V2: Braze Jah Part Deux

I’ve been a fan of Cjell Moné‘s bikes for some time, from seeing his custom TDR bike on the wall at Adventure Cycling HQ to him writing about brazing alongside masters for his production run of frames.  Until recently, I had only thrown my legs over Kirsten’s personal frame at infamous Brush Mountain Lodge waiting out snow on the TDR.  Cjell and I have quite a disparity in size thus making his personal bikes out of the question.  A few weeks ago, Cjell let me know that Nate from Blue Dog Bikes in Tucson was purchasing his “demo” bike that was my size and that I should take it for a spin.  I jumped at the chance, I was always too self-conscious to ask an operation as small as his to put together a bike solely for me to rip and review.  But since someone else already had the bike and was nice enough to let me rip it for a few days, shred I will.

Bombtrack’s New Cale Hardtail

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Bombtrack’s New Cale Hardtail

The newest bike to hit the Bombtrack lineup is their Cale hardtail, a 27.5+ or 29er frameset with extra cargo mounts, a geometry tuned for all-mountain riding and bikepacking.

Highlights:
-MRP Ribbon SL 120 mm travel suspension fork with Boost spacing and 35mm stanchions.
-Bombtrack Illusion 35 mm oversized handlebar, 800 mm wide and Bombtrack Chase stem with 40 mm extension.
-WTB STi4 TCS 2.0” tubeless ready front rim, WTB STi40 TCS 2.0 tubeless ready rear rim.
-WTB Vigilante 2.8” TCS tubeless ready tires, tough and high grip front, tough and fast rolling rear.
-Sram GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain with 10 – 50t cassette, GX Eagle Boost crank, Sram Dub bottom bracket and 30t direct mount chainring.
-Magura Trail Sport hydraulic disc brake with four front pistons and two at the rear for maximum power and control.
-Magura Storm SL.2 180 mm rotors.
-KS E30i 30.9mm dropper post with 150mm travel.

Frameset: 649,99 € // 729,99 U$ // 595,00 £ // 799,00 CA$
Complete: 3.399,00 € // 3.749,99 U$ // 3.300,00 £ // 4.999,99 AU$

See more information at Bombtrack.

the Nordest Bardino 2 is a 160mm Hardtail

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the Nordest Bardino 2 is a 160mm Hardtail

This is not an XC race bike. This is not an XC race bike.

The Nordest Bardino 2 is an all-mountain/enduro/trail bike and yes, it is a hardtail! Designed for a 140mm to 170mm fork, with the ability to run either 27.5″ x 3″ / 29″ x 2.6″ wheels, a short reach, optimized for 40mm stems, and weighing in at 5.84lbs for a size M/L, the Bardino is a modern bike that won’t break the bank at 495,04 €, shipped in the EU! Head to Nordest to check it out in detail.

Philly Bike Expo: Engin Cycles Gilded Ti Hardtail

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Philly Bike Expo: Engin Cycles Gilded Ti Hardtail

Yes, you’re right. That ain’t gold. It’s anodizing. Drew from Engin Cycles is a master of the craft that is designing, engineering, and fabricating titanium bicycles. At this year’s Philly Bike Expo, Engin’s hardtails commanded attention with this one, in particular, bringing the bling. Its incredible anodization and design work was done by Jake Beadenkopf.

The build kit here includes the best of the best with SRAM AXS, RockShox Reverb dropper, Pike fork, and some beautiful Industry Nine wheels.

With such intricate masking and design work on a bike like this, one can only ask the question: “what will it look like dirty?!” If you’re the owner of this amazing Engin, please do us a favor and post some photos in the comments of how it looks with some dirt on it. I think I speak for everyone reading this when I say you have one stunning bike!

Philly Bike Expo 2019: Schön Studio

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Philly Bike Expo 2019: Schön Studio

For the tenth anniversary of the Philadelphia Bike Expo, PBE introduced a diversity and inclusivity scholarship to support women, trans, and 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 whose inaugural class consists of Moth Attack, Pedalino Bikes, Schön Studio, and Untitled Cycles.

Marin’s 2020 Pine Mountain Hardtail is Primed for Bikepacking

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Marin’s 2020 Pine Mountain Hardtail is Primed for Bikepacking

Marin’s new Pine Mountain hardtail is a $2099 hardtail with more than enough bottle bosses to bolt on a full-size framebag or cargo cages. While the profile might look a little ridiculous, this is what the people want isn’t it? Honestly, bottle bosses don’t bother me, especially when they’re plugged with rubber stops, not bolts. Good on ya, Marin for making an affordable hardtail with lots of versatility built in. See the full spec sheet at Marin.

Open Sourced: the Mystic Alluvium 27.5+/29er Hardtail MTB Geo

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Open Sourced: the Mystic Alluvium 27.5+/29er Hardtail MTB Geo

After sharing the Mystic Alluvium earlier this month, we’ve received a lot of emails requesting the geo sheet. While numbers and degrees aren’t exactly intellectual property, initially I felt a little weird posting them for the entire internet to see. Adam and I put a lot of time in designing the geometry for this bike and I didn’t want to just give away all that work. Later I realized it really doesn’t matter and we only dialed in the geo for the size large and size medium anyway.

I thought it would be fun to just open source the sheets for other people to hand them off to a builder of their choice. Even if no one follows through with that, it’s still a neat project to share. I’ve been riding this bike as a 29er with a 150mm fork over the past few weeks and it’s even better now!

See the full spread below.

Norco’s New 2020 Torrent Hardtail

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Norco’s New 2020 Torrent Hardtail

With a complete build starting at $2,199, the Norco Torrent looks to be a contender for riders looking for a new hardtail to take on their local trails. With a 64º head tube angle, a 76º seat tube angle, a 150mm RockShox fork and 29’r wheels, it will gobble up mountain chunder for breakfast. Head to Norco to see all the specs and other pricing options.

Cotic’s BFe ‘Burly Iron’ Hardtail

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Cotic’s BFe ‘Burly Iron’ Hardtail

Cotic’s BFe is their veritable do-it-all hardtail trail shredder. The BFe can be built with a 120-160mm fork, 26″x3″ or 27.5″ x 2.6″ tires, with completes starting at £1799 or £549 with 148mm Syntace X-12 thru-axle, Seat QR, chainstay protector, and all your hose clips and parts. The BFe is the UK brand’s answer for a versatile hardtail. See more at Cotic.

What Almost Was: the Mystic Alluvium 27.5+ Hardtail MTB

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What Almost Was: the Mystic Alluvium 27.5+ Hardtail MTB

Over the years, I’ve had the honor to throw my leg over many bikes, try them out, write a review, and then send them back. While the bikes return to their companies, the experience stays with me, and in the time I’ve been running this website, I’ve developed my own belief for what the perfect geometry for a hardtail mountain bike is. About a year ago, I began talking with Adam Sklar and Colin Frazer, who were about to launch a new production, US-made frame company called Mystic. We wanted to test the waters with a Radavist edition frame, dubbed the Alluvium. After chatting about numbers and branding, we felt like we were getting closer to releasing this frame. Then the reality of such an undertaking took hold and we killed the project.