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The Radavist 2023 Calendar: December

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The Radavist 2023 Calendar: December

“Sky Island” is the twelfth layout of the Radavist 2023 Calendar. It was shot with a Canon R5 and a Canon f2.8 24-70, on Mount Lemmon, AZ. Photographed by Josh Weinberg.

“The sky islands of southern Arizona provide such unique terrain. During The Radavist’s editorial team week, Josh, Travis, Spencer, and John have been hustling to produce photos for our Reportage pieces. Here’s a sampling of what’s to come.”

For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right-click and save link as – The Radavist 2023 – December. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)

The mobile background this month is a vertical crop from the same evening. Click here to download December’s Mobile Wallpaper.

Too Good for Its Own Good: A 2023 Rocky Mountain Element C70 Review

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Too Good for Its Own Good: A 2023 Rocky Mountain Element C70 Review

Is it possible for a bike to be too good for its own good? Where it’s so capable that it pulls you into terrain and features beyond the category its predecessors lived in? That’s the question Morgan Taylor poses in this review of the 2023 Rocky Mountain Element. Read on to see if swapping out parts ruins this bike’s character, or if it transcends categorization while Morgan rediscovers backyard singletrack…

An Original MTB Saddle Gets Reissued: A Review of the Brooks B72

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An Original MTB Saddle Gets Reissued: A Review of the Brooks B72

When Brooks England decided to resurrect the legendary B72 saddle ($190), the brand reached out to John to use his 1980 Ritchey as a model to showcase the saddle’s history of being mounted to some of the first mountain bikes. Then, to offer a modern comparison, they built up a stunning Stooge Cycles Speedbomb. The resulting builds are eerily similar in some ways and worlds apart in others, yet the Brooks B72 looks right at home on both bikes. Let’s check out the new B72, including John’s quick review, below.

Down With the Thickness: A Race Face Chester Grip Review

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Down With the Thickness: A Race Face Chester Grip Review

Normally, this review would get shuffled into a Radar Roundup. Let’s be real, it’s just a mountain bike grip. But Travis Engel has been using the new Race Face Chester for a few weeks now, and he thought it deserved a spotlight, thanks to its two available sizes and surprisingly clever design. Also, the next Radar Roundup isn’t until Monday, and the Chester launch will probably be old news by then. It’s just a mountain bike grip.

Not About Bikes: 2023 Bikepacking Summit and DangerBird Ride

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Not About Bikes: 2023 Bikepacking Summit and DangerBird Ride

With its mixed-surface riding through four distinct sections of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument that surrounds Las Cruces, New Mexico, the Monumental Loop has plenty of spice—and not just from the chile you’ll find in Hatch. Every fall, the Loop’s organizers extend an open invitation for cyclo-tourists to come experience the 250-mile desert figure eight as part of the Dangerbird group ride event. This year’s rolling extravaganza was a coupled with the Bikepacking Summit, which Daniel Zaid attended and reports on below… 

Damn Well Good Enough: A Review of the Shimano Deore XT LINKGLIDE

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Damn Well Good Enough: A Review of the Shimano Deore XT LINKGLIDE

Prioritizing longevity and smooth shifting, Shimano’s LINKGLIDE technology offers an alternative to the weight and speed focus of most 12-speed drivetrains, with a new cassette designed to last 3x longer than their HYPERGLIDE+ technology. It uses an 11-speed chain, a new tooth design, and Shimano’s legacy HG freehub to achieve these feats. Whether it’s going on a new bike or bringing an old rig into the 1x world Shimano’s new LINKGLIDE technology might just be the right fit for you.

A Titanium Chariot: Esker Cycles Hayduke LVS Longtail Review

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A Titanium Chariot: Esker Cycles Hayduke LVS Longtail Review

Announced at this year’s Moab Outerbike, the Esker Cycles Hayduke LVS –available as a frame ($2,950) or a complete ($4,950)–is a hardtail mountain bike with 600-millimeter chainstays and touring accouterments aplenty. Esker even developed a specialty rack for this bike, dubbed the Molle Rackwald ($300.) Needless to say, it’s a unique offering from the brand.

John was able to ride one for a bit, including on an overnighter with the Esker Cycles team and Sincere Cycles in Santa Fe, so read on for an in-depth look at this rare and funky bike!

Updates From the CDT Part 4: Resistance and Enchantment Through the Final Miles

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Updates From the CDT Part 4: Resistance and Enchantment Through the Final Miles

What does it mean to ride the 3,300-mile spine of the Continental Divide, from the Canadian to Mexican border across the United States? Very few people can say, but Kurt Refsnider can now count himself among them. In his fourth installment from the Continental Divide Trail, Kurt writes about the final miles through a geologist’s lens and how New Mexico held just as much resistance as it did enchantment.

International SingleSpeed Day 2023 Ride!

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International SingleSpeed Day 2023 Ride!

November 2nd is International SingleSpeed Day. It’s a celebration of Paul from Paul Component Engineering and his good friend Amanda‘s birthday.

The rules for celebration are simple: everyone, ride your singlespeeds! Gravel, road, or MTB; we’re all in on the one-gear birthday party celebration! John and Parker went out in Santa Fe for a sunset ride in the Dale Ball Trails, and they got some fun photos, so let’s check them out below…

The Dust-Up: We Need A Better Way to Measure MTB Seat-Tube Angle

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The Dust-Up: We Need A Better Way to Measure MTB Seat-Tube Angle

Today’s edition of The Dust-Up is a nerdy little tour through the world of effective seat-tube angles. Travis Engel thinks that the way we measure them is a little … obtuse. That number on your bike’s geometry chart may not mean what you think it means. He informs his opinions by talking to some mountain bike brands who are taking a fresh look at this deceptively complex dimension.

Curtis Inglis and His Retrotec Twin Top Tube Funduro 140mm Hardtail 29er

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Curtis Inglis and His Retrotec Twin Top Tube Funduro 140mm Hardtail 29er

While Curtis Inglis from Retrotec Cycles was in Santa Fe, John took along a camera for some of their rides and documented Curtis’ new twin top tube Funduro. This 140mm-travel hardtail 29er is one that Curtis built for himself to display at the 2023 MADE bike show and was the perfect choice for sampling Santa Fe’s side country riding.

Curtis and his bike undertook one of the more technical rides in the Southern Rockies, and John was there to document it all. Check out a stunning gallery of the bike and the singletrack that makes Santa Fe such a great MTB destination below!

John’s Restoration of a 1983 Ritchey Everest With a “Touring Package”

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John’s Restoration of a 1983 Ritchey Everest With a “Touring Package”

Forever tinkering with his bikes, John recently wrapped up a complete restoration of the 1983 Ritchey Everest that we looked at last year. Remember? The gray one? The bike appeared to have been subjected to a sloppy respray at some point in the early 2000s, and John wanted to restore the bike to its formal glory. 

He pinged Rick at D&D, the guy who has painted more Ritchey frames than perhaps anyone, to respray the Everest in Imron Bright Gold paint with the uber-rare Palo Alto Ritchey decals to finish the look. The Everest also had a “touring package” added when Tom built the frame in 1983. Since John acquired it, the Everest has always felt a bit naked without the proper racks…

We know John’s posted a lot of vintage projects over the past few years, but this might be the best yet! Let’s check it out below…

First Ride Review: PNW Components Loam Carbon Handlebar

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First Ride Review: PNW Components Loam Carbon Handlebar

With so many options for handlebars these days, it’s difficult to stand out in a crowded market. With their new Loam Carbon Handlebar, PNW Components claims they have achieved the optimal combination of compliance, comfort, strength, and value. Available today, the Loam Handlebar is offered in either 38mm or 25mm rise, trimmable 800mm width, and 35mm clamp diameter. Josh and Andrea recently installed the Loam bars on her Ibis Ripmo and, below, offer an overview and first ride impressions…

Properly Tall: Bags By Bird Right Height Bag Review

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Properly Tall: Bags By Bird Right Height Bag Review

Jay Ritchey of Bags By Bird (BXB) recently started offering custom bags not only for fabric choice and all the usual options but also specifically tailored to the height of your bars and your desired width. For riders with a lot of front-end real estate or those with a minimal amount, this can be an amazing way to maximize your gear space. In true BXB fashion, the bag looks incredible and functions equally beautifully.

Room For One Less: An e*thirteen Helix Race 9-52 12-Speed Cassette Review

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Room For One Less: An e*thirteen Helix Race 9-52 12-Speed Cassette Review

When modern wide-range cassettes first hit the market, it was the giant 50-tooth (and now 52-tooth) cogs that grabbed all the headlines. But 1X drivetrains arguably wouldn’t have taken over if it weren’t for the 10-tooth cog down at the other end of the stack. That’s how brands can claim their 500, 510 and 520-percent gear ranges. Still, it wasn’t enough for e*thirteen. They introduced a lineup of cassettes with 9-tooth cogs, allowing for lighter, more compact setups with as much as 556-percent range.

And then, earlier this year, they introduced a 12-speed cassette that spanned from 9 teeth to 52 teeth, netting a 578-percent range. Travis Engel had to get his hands on one, but not for his mountain bike. He wanted it for his multi-headed beast of a gravel, touring and bikepacking bike. Range is king if you can’t (or won’t) run a front derailleur. But is one less tooth worth bowing down to?

A Bike For A Raft: Musing On Sentimentality And Trading Gear

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A Bike For A Raft: Musing On Sentimentality And Trading Gear

Many years ago my friend Tyler and I traded my Soma Sandworm for his Alpacka packraft. Both of us were ready for an upgrade in our respective realms, so we traded. Years later we now have these two items, which are so storied and niche, that we can’t let them go and even if we could, we’re not sure anyone would want them. Stuck as we are, let’s have story time and walk down memory lane.

Pump It Down: Why Every Rider Can Benefit From Volume Spacers, and How to Use Them

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Pump It Down: Why Every Rider Can Benefit From Volume Spacers, and How to Use Them

Before you even hit the parking lot to test ride a suspension bike, most shops will walk you through a careful sag and damping adjustment. But few of them will tell you that there is a whole other dimension of control inside your fork or shock’s air spring. By inserting or removing volume spacers, you can make your suspension more or less resistant to bottom-out. In turn, that may allow you to run more or less preload. This deceptively simple adjustment has gotten a reputation for being only for racers, or nerds, or nerdy racers. But Travis Engel believes everyone can benefit from volume tuning. So, he has this quick explainer on what it can do for you, and how you can try it for yourself.