We’re big into hardtails here at the Radavist. While my personal bikes are all steel, riding carbon bikes can be a real treat, especially when the company has put so much thought into the design.
Yeti has a long history of designing capable and attractive bikes. The original ARC was a collaboration with Easton and the intent was to make a truly lightweight machine in that era. The OG ARC’s aluminum frameset weighed a mere 3.2lbs, which was a groundbreaking accomplishment for 1991 and those bikes are still iconic, even today.
You could say Yeti had a lot riding on this new ARC design and there were a few decisions that set this new model on a different trajectory from its predecessor. After riding this bike for a month here in Santa Fe, I’ve finally wrapped my head around how to review it, pointing out its accomplishments and my own personal critiques of this entirely new model, so read on for more…
Jake Hood takes the Honzo ESD out for a casual rip around his local trails in the latest video from Kona.
I’m a diehard fan of tough and playful hardtails. My affinity probably started with an invincible brick of a Schwinn BMX back when I was 13. It eventually evolved—I ditched my full suspension bike for the first generation of Surly’s infamous Krampus, morphed into the slacker front and tighter rear of a Carver Gnarvester, eloped with Tony’s personal Breadwinner Goodwater for a week, and then fell in love with Cjell Monē’s La Roca.
It’s not often we get the pleasure of watching Joey Schusler ride a hardtail! Yeti tried something different with this self-filmed digital and film edit by Joey in the Colorado backcountry.
Photo by Bailey Newbrey
… and I’ve been riding one for the past week. The short consensus: it’s gooooood!
Anyone that’s a fan of the legacy of Yeti will know what the ARC represents. The original ARC were lightweight aluminum racebikes and was the epitome of framebuilding tech at the time. Resurrecting the model this year, Yeti took the model and modernized it, building it from their lightweight carbon. Built around 29er wheels and a 130mm fork, the ARC holds its own on trails.
Yes, I’m reviewing the turquoise model… it’s very SouthWestern.
For now, head to Yeti to read all about the new ARC and expect my review next week.
Finally! Kona hinted to us that a “new Honzo” was on its way a little while ago but this is not what we were expecting. The Honzo ESD hit the internet today with a 150mm fork, a 63º head angle and a 77.5º seat angle with 62.5mm bottom bracket drop and 417mm seat stays, the Honzo ESD looks to be a very modern hardtail. The complete will set you back $2699 and the frame just $665, one dollar off from really raising hell.
-Frame Material: Kona Cromoly Butted
-Wheels: Race Face AR 30 on Shimano SLX Hubs
-Front Suspension: 150mm
-Fork: Marzocchi Bomber Z1 Grip Damper 150mm
-Crankset: Race Face Aeffect R
-Drivetrain: Shimano XT/SLX 12spd
-Brakes: Shimano Deore with 203mm front/180mm rear rotor
-Seat Post: Trans-X Dropper +RAD Internal w/ Shimano Lever 31.6mm
-Cockpit: Race Face Aeffect R 35 Bar & Stem with Kona Lock-on Key Grip
-Front Tire: Maxxis Assegai EXO TR 3C 29×2.5″ WT
-Rear tire: Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO TR 3C 29×2.4″ WT
-Saddle: WTB Volt
See more at Kona.
I know it’s gauche to bring up radiation in New Mexico but I couldn’t resist. Just look at the color of Michael’s Rex Cycles hardtail 29er that Sincere Cycles here in Santa Fe just finished up the build on…
We love a good hardtail shredit and Connor Fearon knows how to take the right lines, the hard way…
Over the past few years, I’ve found myself only riding 150mm travel hardtails and full suspensions with slackened front ends and steep seat tubes. In my mind, why would you want anything else? Then I moved to Santa Fe, where we have even bigger backcountry loops, steep climbs, and long, rocky descents. Yet, we also have sweeping, undulating XC trails. Suddenly, all those 150mm bikes are a little too much for a lot of the trails here, most of which are in my neighborhood. Then Chumba came to the rescue, sending along their Sendero 130mm 29er hardtail for me to review and I fell in love with XC bikes once again.
Read on for how this beauty of a bike handles our chunder and Chamisa-lined trails here in Santa Fe…
Next month, Cotic will have the new SolarisMAX in stock. While the geometry is only receiving a minor update – a 0.5deg steeper seat angle per size – the biggest update comes in its cargo capacity. More bosses have been added to the downtube, all at 64mm centers. This allows more versatile luggage and water options, as you can now carry two bottles on the down tube (as before), or a bottle with Anything Cage 3 boss mount style luggage, or just one bottle high up the tube within easy reach. You can also add a Cotic custom shaped frame bag for bikepacking.
Head to Cotic to reserve your SolarisMAX and to see more info.
Since NAHBS 2020 was canceled, framebuilders are have been announcing new models via their social media outlets. One such company is Calfee, with its made in California new hardtail. We reached out to Calfee to see what this was all about, so check out more info below!
Like their 27.5 Bfe hardtail, the Cotic BFeMax is a trail-ready hardtail, just built around 29er x 2.6″ wheels and a massive, 160mm fork. The strength of this frame relies on trusty Reynolds 853 for the downtube and Cotic’s signature detailing, including their plate brake bridge, triple triangle seat tube cluster, and oversized tubing.
The geometry is progressive but still very moderate compared to where other companies have taken MTB geo over the years.
These bikes look great, so hop on over to Cotic to see more details.
It had been years since I’ve ridden singlespeed and to be honest, I was pretty reluctant to do so here in Santa Fe. We’ve been in town for about two months now and it’s taken a while to get used to the elevation. Our house is at 6,800′ and the local trails start around 7,000′, shooting up to 12,000′. It’s a lot to take in but for the more flowy cross-country trails, I felt like I could get away with one gear and I knew just the bike for it!
My Retrotec is one of those “forever” machines. I could never sell it as it feels like it’s a part of this website. Plus, the maker – Mr. Curtis Inglis – is just such a stand up guy. When you ride a Retrotec, you put a smile on Curtis’ face and if you’ve ever met the guy, you know that’s well worth it!
Back in 2016, at the end of the #dflthedivide trip, there was a great little 40th-anniversary party at FreeCycles in Missoula to celebrate Adventure Cycling turning 40. At this party, there was a real nifty bikepacking rig from a small company that was right at home in a nonprofit shop. The Advocate Cycles Hayduke. Now, Advocate has transformed into Esker Cycles, and though the road and touring frames are no more, Hayduke Lives! (on). These are my impressions of this nifty hardtail.
GT has redesigned its Zaskar hardtail into two build specs, the Zaskar LT Elite (£999/€1199) and the Zaskar LT Expert (shown here £1,299 / €1,499). The Zaskar LT frame has been thoroughly modernized with a 66º head angle, a 75º seat angle, and 450mm chainstays. These bikes come built with 1×12 drivetrains and feature GT’s signature triple triangle. Right now, these models are only available to the European markets but I would think the Zaskar LT will be available in the USA as well shortly. Head to GT to see full specs and more information.
Santa Fe is a very singlespeed friendly town, especially the in-town XC trails, with their swoopy turns, punchy, short climbs, and flowy descents. Kyle Klain is a photographer, a cyclist, a lover of the American West, and quite the character. We spent some time chatting about Four Corners and our favorite places to bounce around on dirt roads in 4x4s and on bicycles. While he has a very all-mountain capable full suspension, this Sklar hardtail just looks like a dream…
While most hardtails we feature here are long, slack, and low, we still love riding XC and that pleasant middle-ground an all-rounder hardtail offers. Titanium wizards MOOTS just launched their Womble 29er, which fits a 2.6″ tire, has a 67º head angle, and 57mm of BB drop. The geometry on this bike looks like an ideal all-rounder bike, perfect for XC trails, bikepacking, and a bit of all-mountain underbiking. Check out more of this beautiful steed at MOOTS.
Also, check out our Shop Visit to MOOTS from a while back for more titanium wizardry!