Every time we ride alone, we’re taking a risk. That’s why we we tell people where we’re going and when we’ll be back. But maybe we’re also a little more careful on the downhills, and a little more careful when packing our essentials. There are ways to mitigate that risk, and the Aleck Tocsen Helmet Crash Sensor is a pretty novel one. Travis Engel spent a couple months with one right behind his ear, but never really noticed it. And that’s a good thing.
SCOR has been a bit of an enigma ever since they emerged in 2021 as a more aggressive offshoot of BMC. So far, they make just one bike in two travel configurations, plus an e-MTB and a couple of kids’ hardtails. It’s a short lineup, even for a brand this new and niche. But there’s something about the clean, understated design and techy VPP-style linkage that makes it seem like SCOR must be destined for greater things. So, Travis Engel brought in the trail-focused 4060 ST to find out whether its beauty is only skin-deep.
We probably could have come up with a more crowd-pleasing review than a mountain-bike-specific chainsaw pack. But life’s not all about clicks. For example, if pleasing the masses were all Dakine was worried about, they wouldn’t have recently updated and expanded their niche series of Builder Packs. And Travis Engel wouldn’t have found the Builder Pack 25L, his new favorite way to carry a chainsaw. Now, he just needs someone to carry everything else.
The target audience for a 240mm dropper post is small. Or, rather, it’s tall. Like, 95th-percentile-North-American-male tall. That may be why it took nearly two decades for one to hit the mainstream market. The world of long droppers is still pretty new, which also means it’s still pretty misunderstood. And Travis Engel learned that he had misunderstood some things until he tested OneUp’s longest post.
By now, you know that the carbon fiber used in rims from Revel, Evil, Chris King, and most recently FORGE+BOND is recyclable. And maybe you know that the first product being made from that recycled material is tire levers. What you probably don’t know is that a pair of those tire levers cost $50. When you consider they’re made in a U.S. factory built to churn out $2,500 wheelsets, that’s almost reasonable. But Travis Engel wanted to see how they stacked up against his go-to levers from Pedro’s, a pair of which only cost $5.50.
Welcome to the debut installment of The Dust-Up. This will be a semi-regular platform for Radavist editors and contributors to make bold, sometimes controversial claims about cycling. A way to challenge long-held assumptions that deserve a second look. Sometimes they will be global issues with important far-reaching consequences, other times they will shed light on little nerdy corners of our world that don’t get enough attention. We’re starting somewhere in the middle with Travis Engel’s explanation of why being thanked for doing trail work kinda rubs him the wrong way.
When a new standard arrives, there’s usually a backlash lasting months or even years. But the 55mm chainline got in under the radar. Though not a “standard” in the traditional sense, 55 does impact cranks, chainrings, cassettes, and frames. So, it counts. The goal is to offer more room for wider tires, sturdier frames, and bigger chainrings by bumping that (single) chainring outboard to sit 55mm from the bike’s center line. That’s 3mm further than the 52mm chainline most brands have been using since Boost 148 dropout spacing took hold. This issue may seem pretty inside-baseball, but when we learned SRAM Transmission was designed specifically around a 55mm chainline, Travis Engel figured it was a good time to take a closer look.
Remember when gravity-focused short-travel 29ers were edgy? When a brand would give one to their most decorated downhiller, and it would break YouTube? Now, this subcategory has become a staple. Every brand has one. But not Canyon. They have three. And the black sheep among them is the Spectral 125. Find out why Travis Engel still doesn’t want to send his test bike back in this detailed review below…
We pay a lot of attention to our multi-day-ride packing lists. But what about just, like, a Sunday-ride packing list? Travis Engel has been building his kit over several years, adding and subtracting as necessity and technology shift. This is what we think is a pretty thorough setup, but let us know if we missed anything. What’s in your kit that you never leave home without?.
Known for their outstanding power and beautiful finish, Trickstuff brakes are masterpieces. They’re also pricy and hard to find, especially in North America. But it’s not just about what’s on the outside that counts. The pad material Trickstuff developed is also pretty special, and you can get their pads for nearly any brand of brake. So Travis Engel slid some Trickstuff Brake Pads into his Shimano SLX brakes, and started stopping.
Sea Otter Classic is one of the largest annual cycling festivals in the world. Each April since 1991, cyclists of all persuasions have descended on Laguna Seca Raceway outside of Monterey, CA to cheer on professional and amateur racers, as well as check out the latest and greatest in cycling technology at the massive vendor expo.
And this year, that tech happened to be especially late and great, and there was more to talk about than usual. Maybe it’s because there were more exhibitors in attendance than normal. Maybe it’s the easing of strains on the supply chain. Whatever it was, Josh Weinberg and Travis Engel were on the ground all weekend and, over the next few days, will be sharing their findings and observations from the massive event. So, let’s get into it below!
Today, yet another brand is releasing thermoplastic carbon rims manufactured in Utah by CSS Composites. But unlike Revel or Chris King or Evil who launched house-branded CSS-made rims in 2020 and 2021, respectively, FORGE+BOND is actually a new division of CSS itself. This product launch represents the next step in the development of CSS’ fully recyclable FusionFiber™ material and manufacturing process. Travis Engel spent some time with the founders riding bikes and taking notes, and he has things to say.
Continuing our quest to cover obscure sub-genres of flat-pedal shoes, we brought together a couple waterproof options, just in time for April showers. Travis Engel took the opportunity during a rainy and snowy California winter to dip his toe in models from Five Ten and Leatt. Turns out he had a hard time picking a favorite, because they’re both very special in their own way.
We usually prefer real things over fake things. That’s why we cover so many steel bikes, if you take our meaning. And that includes food. Getting outside shouldn’t be a chemistry experiment. Travis Engel feels the same way, but makes an exception for his Tailwind Endurance Fuel. Read why it’s not like other drink mixes.
For The Radavist’s first ever knee pad review, we had to pick something special. Zippers are pretty new to knee pad design, and Travis Engel’s favorite has been the K-Pact Zip from German brand, ION. But ION recently released the K-Lite Zip, and as the name suggests, it is lighter. But is it better?
About a month ago, we were fixin’ to publish a long-term review of the Coil IL shock Travis Engel has been running, problem-free, since 2021. But that model is six years old, and we got a whiff of something new on the horizon. And today, we finally get to look and whiff, because Cane Creek just dropped news of the updated Coil IL and Air IL. We’ll break down what’s new, what’s not, and why it matters.
The field of on-bike and steerer-tube tool storage hasn’t quite delivered on its promise to finally rid us of our packs and pockets. There are dozens of options out there, and all involve some level of compromise. But maybe it’s time we just accept that. Travis Engel sure has, so he’s here to review the least-bad in-frame tools on the market. We swear, it’s better than it sounds.
Released in 2021, the Surly Corner Bar was designed to reorient flat-bar controls into a drop-bar-style configuration. It’s decidedly low tech, with its steel construction and somewhat unrefined ergonomics, but it was too clever for Travis Engel to pass up. He’s owned a pair since they launched, and has a few suggestions if you’re considering dropping in.