#Travis-Engel

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Shallow but Wide: A Comparison Review of the Ritchey Corralitos and Beacon Gravel Handlebars

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Shallow but Wide: A Comparison Review of the Ritchey Corralitos and Beacon Gravel Handlebars

As gravel and touring bikes begin to adopt features like bigger tires and dropper posts, it seems that handlebars have been slow to keep up.

Sure, bars are getting wider. But there’s only so much you can do to make them taller. Unless, like the new Ritchey Corralitos handlebar, you build them with a subtle rise and shallow drop. That’s what got Travis Engel interested in trying them out. The hard part would be abandoning the very similar Ritchey Beacon that he’s been using for over a year. So, he weighed the pros and cons of both, and shares his findings.

Speed Metal: A REEB Steezl Review

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Speed Metal: A REEB Steezl Review

There was a very broad range of very specific questions rattling around in Travis Engel’s head as he waited for the REEB Steezl to arrive. A lot more questions than normal. Usually, all he has to do for a bike review is keep riding it until he can put all its variables into context. The REEB Steezl, on the other hand, was top-to-bottom known-unknowns. It’s a U.S.-made steel full-suspension mountain bike, compatible with multiple shocks, multiple chainstay lengths, and made of multiple frame materials. Things got interesting. Hold my REEB.

Interval Straining: What Actually Happens if You Don’t Regularly Service Your Bicycle Suspension?

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Interval Straining: What Actually Happens if You Don’t Regularly Service Your Bicycle Suspension?

If you own a car, you change your oil. And not just because it’s part of adulting. Even if you know nothing about engines, you probably know what can happen if you push it too far. Debris will eventually build up, viscosity will eventually break down, and the more miles your car travels in that condition, the fewer miles it will last. But if you own bicycle suspension, the specific reasons for performing regular service may not be quite so clear.

Travis Engel knows a lot more about shocks and forks than he does about rods and pistons, but he doesn’t know exactly what happens when he blows past the manufacturer-recommended 50- and 200-hour service intervals. And like many riders, he pretty much always blows past them. So, he did some research and is here to tell us what we are (and aren’t) risking when we ignore the proverbial sticker in the upper left corner of our suspension’s proverbial windshield.

Travis’s Favorite Products of 2023

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Travis’s Favorite Products of 2023

It’s Travis Engel’s turn to go through the gear that made his year. Somehow, he managed to resist the urge to fill his list with movie podcasts and carbon full-suspension bikes (though there are a couple movie podcasts down in his Playlist). Instead, he’s got an eclectic collection of on- and off-bike goodies. None of them actually came out in 2023, but each played a uniquely pivotal role for him this year.

Bike Hacks: How to Never Forget Another Piece of Riding Gear

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Bike Hacks: How to Never Forget Another Piece of Riding Gear

For those of us who have (or choose) to drive to our rides, there’s always a risk that we’ll leave something important at home. And usually, we don’t realize it until we park the truck, unload the bike, reach over to the passenger seat, and … well, shit. Travis Engel knows this feeling all too well, so he’s got a hack to make sure he always has what he needs, as long as he always has his truck.

I Am Not SPOX: A Spinergy MXX 30 Wheel Review

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I Am Not SPOX: A Spinergy MXX 30 Wheel Review

After the bike industry woke up from its fever dream of futuristic mag wheels, Spinergy held on for one more go with their fiber-spoked SPOX lineup. Unfortunately, those first-generation SPOX would join the rest of those early carbon wheels to be remembered as educational, innovative, but ultimately failed experiments. But a lot has changed since then. Fiber technology has made huge leaps, and it’s now possible to weave a spoke that is stronger and lighter than steel. Berd spokes have been twisting our expectations for the past year, but Travis Engel was more curious about what Spinergy has learned in the past decades. Their MXX 30 mountain bike wheels, laced with their unique PBO spokes, make some bold claims. Travis spent a couple months on them to see if they delivered.

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.

Almost Dialed: A Bookman Volume 800 and 1500 Bicycle Light Review

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Almost Dialed: A Bookman Volume 800 and 1500 Bicycle Light Review

How functional does a gimmick have to be for it to stop being called a gimmick? Consider down-tube storage compartments for example. They seemed like a novelty at first, but use one for long enough and you might wonder why they’re not on—or in—every new bike. Travis Engel had a similar experience testing the Bookman Volume 800 and Volume 1500 bike lights. They’re loaded with gimmicks, some of which should probably be standard on every light. Still, they’re not quite perfect.

Collect ’em All: Seven Bicycle Tools You Rarely Need but Should Have Anyway

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Collect ’em All: Seven Bicycle Tools You Rarely Need but Should Have Anyway

Really, how often are you pressing in a headset cup? Or cutting a steerer tube? The answer is probably just a little more than “never.” But Travis Engel would say that’s still enough to merit having the right tool when the time comes. This list contains some cheap (and some not-so-cheap) additions to your garage that could come in clutch when you’re preparing for a ride or a road trip and suddenly find yourself in greater need than a simple set of open-ended wrenches can satisfy.

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.

The Ten Best Horror Films for Adventure Cyclists

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The Ten Best Horror Films for Adventure Cyclists

Just like the rows of bagged candy at your grocery store, or the fountains of pumpkin spice latte at your coffee shop, you can’t escape Halloween once October hits. Not even here at The Radavist. Travis Engel has jumped on the spooky-season bandwagon with a list of scary movies (and one scary short film) that will strike a nerve for anyone who likes riding to the middle of nowhere…

Bike Hacks: Why Prism Reading Glasses are My new Favorite Bike Camping Accessory

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Bike Hacks: Why Prism Reading Glasses are My new Favorite Bike Camping Accessory

One helpful tip for getting a good night’s sleep while bike touring is to mimic your home sleeping experience as closely as possible. Cotton pillowcases or fleece sleeping bag liners can ease your mind by tricking your body. But you should apply that logic to your entire pre-sleep ritual. Have some dessert, brush your teeth, and once you’re all tucked in, do some light reading. Travis Engel is here with a bike hack that may make that last part a little easier to do in the wild.

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?