Author: Matt Stenson

Something For Those Dark Winter Nights – Lonely Mountains: Downhill

Megagon Industries an independent studio from Berlin, has announced its new PC/Mac game Lonely Mountains: Downhill. In a pixel art style, Lonely Mountains captures the essence of downhill mountain biking. The project is currently on Kickstarter and if you signup for their newsletter here you can download a 1 minute fully playable demo. I spent a little bit of time with the demo and I must say it is a ton of fun. It’s not a trick game like some extreme sports games that I’ve played before. Instead Lonely Mountain focuses on route find, control and speed. This dynamic makes the game much more believable and I think it will have great replayability because of its open world design. It’s so much fun even in its one minute version. The demo only includes one mountain, but the full game should have several. Check out the video below and then download the demo.

Imrider Polyamide Flat Pedal Review

The internet has opened us up to a world of products that you would never find in your local bike shop. Some of these products that come from no-name companies are admittedly, crap. Others however can a really good deal and allow you to save money to spend elsewhere. A product that I discovered recently falls into the latter category. The Imrider Polyamide Flat Pedals come from “Imrider” who I have been unable to locate a website, phone number or other contact information for. However these pedals are available on Amazon.com for about $20 so I’m not too concerned about making any warranty claims. Flat pedals need to have a few features. They need a well shaped platform and grippy pins that will hold onto your shoes. They also need to be durable yet light and have bearings that will allow them to spin freely. The Imrider pedals really check all of these boxes. The Imrider feature a plastic (polyamide) body with metal, screw in studs. These screw in studs do an excellent job of gripping …

Specialized Releases New Rockhoppers for 2018

The Rockhopper line of bikes from specialized has been around for a long, long time. Specialized has updated these entry-level bikes for 2018. Some of the changes include a refined frame design that shaves weight and internal cable routing. They have also reworked the geometry of the bike. Notably, the Rockhopper moves from a 71° to a 69.8° head tube angle and the chainstays have gone from  442mm down to 435mm. Here is a size medium comparison of the 2017 and 2018 versions: The 2018 models also feature new component builds at prices ranging from $490.00 to $1100.00. The lower end models feature triple chain rings, coil spring forks and mechanical disk brakes which put them in the category of bikes that a mountain biker will quickly outgrow. The higher end models feature air forks, 2x drive trains and hydraulic brakes that make them a bit more respectable bikes. However you will be pushing near the $1000 mark for those builds and that point there are a ton of much better specced bikes available from manufacturers that don’t put …

New Kickstarter Promises to Make Tubeless Tire Inflation Easier

The Swiss company milKit is hoping to make the next time you need to seat a tubeless tire a little easier. If you don’t have an air compressor seating tubeless tires can be a challenge. The milKit tubeless booster is a water bottle sized device that acts as a reservoir that can be charged and then provide a high volume and pressure burst of air that is needed to seat tubeless tires. Since it can be charged by a mini pump and is relatively small it seems like a viable solution for trail side fixes. In addition they are proposing an add-on that will allow the reservoir to double as a hydration system. If you want to find out more you can check out their kickstarter page here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1611955820/milkit-tubeless-booster

Platypus Hoser 3.0L Hydration Bladder Review

Like many mountain bikers I wear a backpack with a hydration bladder on almost every ride. I find backpacks with water to be the most comfortable and convenient way to stay hydrated on the trail. A bonus is I never need to worry about how many water bottle holders I have on a given frame. The Platypus Hoser 3.0L has been serving as my hydration bladder in my Osprey Daylight pack that I most often ride with. At around $25, it’s an extremely affordable system. So I kept that in mind while testing. The Hoser has a very simple bladder construction with a handle on the closed end for easy carrying and easy to read measurements along the bladder itself. This handle has come in handy many times when lugging water round while it is out of the pack and I’ve even hung the bladder up in my van during long road trips for easy access. The opposite end features a screw top closure that has proven very durable and leak free. This screw top …

Mountain Bike Multi-Tools For Under $30

Multitools are pretty essential in mountain biking. We mountain bikers beat up our bikes more than almost any other type of cyclists. Having a capable tool at the ready can easily mean the difference between a fun trailside repair and a very, very long walk home. Here’s our round-up of some quality multi-tools that can be had for less than $30. Crank Brothers M19 The Crank Brother’s M19 is a 19 function folding multitool that features almost every tool you could want for most trailside repairs. The m19 includes a chain tool, 7 hex wrenches, 8mm and 9mm open wrenches, 3 screwdrivers, 2 torx drivers and a selection of spoke wrenches. You will find that tire levers are missing from this list. If you carry separate tire levers in your flat kit though this tool may be the perfect fit for you. In addition it comes in a variety of colors to match your bike or kit. chain tool spoke wrench: #0, 1, 2, 3 hex wrenches: #2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 open wrench: …

Diamondback Goes Carbon With Its New Release

Diamondback has released (pun intended) it’s new Release 4c and 5c carbon trail bikes. Diamondback is not the most flashy mountain bike manufacturer these days but it appears that with these latest bikes they may be starting to change that perception. Relative to other carbon train bikes on the market the 4c rings in at a very easy on the wallet price of $2,999. And Diamondback isn’t skimping on the build kit to hit that price point. The Release 4c features a Fox 34 Performance Float 150mm travel fork out front and a Fox Float DPS EVOL LV supplies the rear suspension.  Rounded out with Shimano SLX drivetrain, Deore brakes and a KS LEV S dropper this bike is pretty well specced out of the box. The 27.5 wheels and other touch points are Diamondback house brand, which can be expected at this price point. This carbon framed bike features the same Level Link suspension platform that the previous aluminum Release series bikes have. This suspension system looks very similar on the surface to Santa Cruz’s system VPP system …

Urge BP Announces New Affordable Trailhead Helmet

Urge Bike Products, known for their distinctive helmets with unique venting has announced a more affordable option on its lineup of helmets, the Trailhead.  The Trailhead helmet features 18 vents and weighs in at 288g in Medium size while providing some very robust back of the head protection. This makes it a pretty lightweight helmet for the price. For example a Giro Chronicle weighs in at 385g and the newly announced Bell 4fourty weighs in at 338 Grams . It uses a click wheel style retention system and will come in two sizes, S/M and L/XL. The helmet will also be available in four colors, white, grey, black and green with a flexible and removable visor. Urge says the helmet will be available in November for a retail price of 59€ or approximately $70 USD.  Check out Urge at https://www.urgebike.com/

Club Ride Mountain Surf Short Review

Let’s face it, we aren’t all downhill speed demons or xc nerds. There’s a huge segment of mountain bikers that just love to ride their bike. Unfortunately, a lot of the clothing options available move toward the extremes of mountain biking instead of taking a middle road. The Mountain Surf Shorts for Club Ride however nail the balance perfectly. Club Ride Mountain Surf Shorts: Fit and Quality The Mountain Surf Shorts are made from a high performance blend of 95% Polyester / 5% Spandex. This gives the fabric a very nice stretch / tech feel. They fit true to size and also feature a WR finish for water and dirt repellency. I’ve really appreciated having the WR finish and I have noticed that they dry out much more quickly after crossing creeks or weathering some light rain. These baggies fit tighter against the legs than a normal hiking or athletic short but they left plenty of room to fit my chamois underneath. I will note that these shorts don’t come with a chamois, but this does mean …

Canyon Begins Rolling Out Mountain Bike Sales in the US

Canyon has been a powerhouse in the mountain bike world, sponsoring  pro teams and producing a complete range of direct to consumer bikes. Canyon has been noticeably absent from the US market though. That is all changing this fall. Canyon has begun to roll out its line of mountain bikes for US sales through a new Canyon USA operation based in Carlsbad, California. Unfortunately, the entire line is not available yet. When I spoke with a representative from Canyon they said they were starting with their most popular bikes and will be phasing more in over time. This means that there are currently no women’s specific or kids bike in the line up and even the men’s lineup is severely limited compared to what other countries have available. If you are interested in a Canyon bike one of the best values in their current lineup appears to be the Spectral AL 6.0 AL. This is an aluminium framed, full suspension trail bike that has a very nice component spec for the $2,600 asking price.  The …