Category Archives: morgan taylor
Wendy’s Silk Road Mountain Race Bike is Now a Badass Commuter – Morgan Taylor

Wendy’s Silk Road Mountain Race Bike is Now a Badass Commuter
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

Conversations began early this year around what eventually became the Kona Rove LTD you see here. For the past five or so years, our friend Wendy – an accomplished ultra runner in a former life – has applied her endurance racing experience to big solo bike rides. In that time she’s explored southern British Columbia, completed the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, ridden through much of the south-east US, and raced her first ultra bikepacking event, the 2017 Transcontinental.

This year Wendy set her sights on the inaugural Silk Road Mountain Race in Kyrgyzstan, and we began to talk about what kind of a bike she might want to ride. She wanted drop bars, she wanted discs, she wanted steel, and she wanted bigger tires than the traditional road bikes she’d ridden in the past. These conversations led to a bike based around wide 650b tires and Wendy got scheming on a build. (more…)

Oct 29, 2018 29 comments
Beyond Mountain Bikes with the Rocky Mountain Solo 70 – Morgan Taylor

Beyond Mountain Bikes with the Rocky Mountain Solo 70 – Morgan Taylor
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

When you think Rocky Mountain, you think mountain bikes. That’s where their focus lies and for that reason you may not even be aware that they’ve made a handful of drop bar bikes over their nearly 40 years in business.

The Solo has been in the BC-based brand’s lineup a long time – as both a cyclocross and a road race platform – but this most recent iteration skews more toward fat tires, cargo carrying, and, well, slotting a bike into the current hot niche in the drop bar world. It’s a step that, in my opinion, aligns this bike more with the others in the current Rocky Mountain lineup. (more…)

Oct 10, 2018 43 comments
George’s Landyachtz Titanium Drop Bar 29+ is a Beast! – Morgan Taylor

As the lead designer at Landyachtz Bikes, George Bailey sees his ideas come to life through the company’s made-in-Vancouver custom steel frames as well as their factory production models. Yet even those whose ideas regularly come to fruition have their dreams, and that’s exactly what George’s titanium drop bar 29+ is. No holding back, just setting every detail where he wanted it, and creating a one-off frame with a very long ride in mind. (more…)

May 31, 2018 35 comments
Useful Double Drivetrains with Easton’s Gravel Shifting Rings – Morgan Taylor

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

Double drivetrains may currently be out of vogue for off-pavement riding, but I think they really do have a place on today’s gravel and adventure bikes. While the chainring combinations in Easton’s Gravel Shifting Rings introduced today aren’t a new idea by any means, they make a lot of sense with the way people are using their bikes these days. (more…)

Apr 12, 2018 80 comments
The Long Way with the New Rocky Mountain Solo

New bikes often launch with a video, and this one’s great! Join Sam Schultz and his pup Pancho as they travel from Missoula to Arizona for a winter escape with the new Rocky Mountain Solo.

The Solo has been a drop bar bike in Rocky Mountain’s lineup for years, and the most recent version is slanted toward dirt roads and getting shreddy with clearance for 700×40 or 27.5×2.2″ tires, dropper post routing, a 1x-specific frame, and a carbon fork with anything cage mounts. Morgan just got one in for review, so you can drop any questions for him in the comments.

Hit the jump for a few more photos, and get all the details on the new Solo at Rocky Mountain.

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Mar 7, 2018 13 comments
Stephanie’s Surly Wednesday with Studs and Sim Works – Morgan Taylor

Stephanie’s Surly Wednesday with Studs and Sim Works
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

Stephanie’s Surly Wednesday represents layers of history, each meaningful and useful in their own right. When studying architecture and art history, I learned that such layers of history are referred to as a palimpsest. Rome is the classic example of a palimpsest, a city in which successive generations have built on top of what came before. New additions have been built on top of existing infrastructure, though the original shape and character still shines through.

Stephanie’s Wednesday has been successively repurposed over the past couple of years, moving away from its original life as a fat bike with trail geometry, to where you see it currently as a cold weather commuter with signs of its enjoyment along the way. Used and adapted, used some more, collecting knicks and character throughout. Our bikes are where we layer our history: through experience, they become greater than the sum of their parts. (more…)

Mar 6, 2018 30 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 170 comments
Goat’s Crust Scapegoat: No Shoes, No Problem – Morgan Taylor

Goat’s Crust Scapegoat: No Shoes, No Problem – Morgan Taylor
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

Goat’s personal Scapegoat just oozes character. Not because it’s carefully curated, like many of the bikes we feature here, but because it’s the result of over 40,000 miles of off-road touring. There are so many things on this bike that have that result-through-iteration quality. From the custom made no-shoe pedals to the homebuilt frame bag to the home-brewed tubeless sealant that I obviously couldn’t photograph.

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Jan 31, 2018 39 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