Author: Matt Stenson

Kona Launches the Satori but Build Kits Fail to Impress

Kona has relaunched the Satori model in its lineup as a mid-travel 29er. With 130mm of rear suspension and 140mm up front, the Kona Satori stacks itself up against a crowded field of trail bikes. The bike features the Fuse Independent Suspension system. This system utilizes a single pivot with a predictable leverage ratio. The frame features a seat stay that relies on small degrees of frame flex rather than a pivot at the seat and chainstay junction. Those chainstays are 430mm long and the headtube comes in with a 68.0 degree angle. Pretty standard numbers for this category of bike. The Satori is slotted nicely in Kona’s lineup of 29ers. Bigger than the 120mm/100mm Hei Hei and yet not as burley as the 160mm/153mm Process 153. What is very puzzling is the 2 build kits provided. The lower end Satori retails for $2699 which is a decent price point. But, for that money you don’t get the buildkit you would expect. The fork is a low-end RockShox Recon Gold. The drivetrain is Shimano Deore 10spd paired with Race Face Aeffect cranks. Putting 10 …

Finish Line Announces Tubeless Sealant Product

Finish Line, normally known in the mountain biking world for their lubricants, has announced that they will be producing a tubeless tire sealant. The big claim of this new sealant is that it will not cure inside the tires. This means that, according to Finish Line, you won’t need to replace or refresh this sealant during the life of your tire. If this claim holds up, it could be a very attractive options for riders that currently find themselves scraping stanimals (as seen below in the natural environment) out of their tire. I’m tired of pulling weird aliens out of my tires every few months. @finishlinelube has a new Tubeless Tire Sealant coming out that supposedly lasts the lifetime of the tire. We shall see. #stanimal #flatssuck #science A post shared by Josh Hayden (@joshahayden) on Feb 14, 2018 at 3:48pm PST The Finish Line product has no liquid latex or ammonia. Instead it uses, DuPont™ Kevlar® fibers to seal punctures and cuts. Because of this, it is naturally non-toxic and hypoallergenic. It also appears to be …

Race Face Announces New Womens Nano Jacket

Race Face has announced a new women’s version of its Nano Jacket for 2018 that was previously only available in a men’s cut. The Nano Jacket is a lightweight and packable. The men’s version weighs in at 164 grams. It is also wind/rain resistant and features a 3/4 zip, and a front and back stowage pocket. The Women’s Nano Jacket will make a nice addition to Race Faces lineup of women’s soft goods for the 2018 season. Expect availability in April 2018. You can check out more of the upcoming gear for 2018 from Race Face on this Instagram tag #rfsoftgoods18 Hopefully this is a sign of more gear in general for women in 2018 from RF.

Camelbak Podium VS a Regular Water Bottle

Many water bottles today look not that much different from the water bottles of 30 or 40 years ago. They have a pull-up valve, a cap and a bottle. Not much to write home about. It’s a simple but effective solution for delivering water to your mouth while riding. But can it be improved? The Camelbak Podium bottle attempts to take on some of the shortcomings of regular water bottle designs to build a better water bottle. I’ll give you my take on how well it has tackled this task in this review. Design Differences The Camelback Podium’s design is unique from the top down. At the top is Camelbacks self-sealing Jet Valve™ that uses the pressure of the water in the bottle to release the flow of water. This isn’t the same as a bite valve that you might be familiar with on hydration packs. You don’t need to clamp down with your teeth in order to open the valve. You also don’t need to pull on the valve with your teeth like you …

Rocky Knob Bike Park Ride Review

The Rocky Knob Bike Park is located in Boone North Carolina. From looking at maps and videos it seemed like the perfect place to take our family for a bit more of a bike park like experience with burms and flow trails. Now I always hate to give trails negative reviews, because it could be that we just hit it on an off day, we didn’t know about some secret route, or we just weren’t having a good day ourselves, but this trail system really underwhelmed us all. It could also be that the marketing materials and hype around this trail oversell it a bit. From my 6-year-old ripper, to my wife, to my little 3-year-old, we all felt like the amount of “fun trail” compared to the amount of frustrating trail was not in balance. As noted, I can only speak for our experience on this day. The pump track was unfortunately closed and the blue loop was rather uninspiring. Beyond the blue loop you are met with a daunting barrage of switchbacks which …

Intense Announces Alloy Spider at a New Affordable Price

Intense has announced its new Alloy Spider. With 140mm of travel up front and 130mm in the rear, the Spider comes in at an attractive $2,399.00 in its “foundation build.” The travel is suspended by a Rock Shox Revelation RC 27.5” fork and a Rock Shox Monarch RL rear shock. Not a shabby setup for a sub $2,500 bike. The drive train on this 27.5″ bike is a mix and match of sram GX and NX components along with Race Face Aeffect crank and a threaded bottom bracket. Wheels feature Race Face AR 24 Rims and an unknown hub with a Shimano driver made possible by the compatible NX cassette. Braking power is provided by Shimano BL M506 180mm Front and 160mm Rear. The alloy spider shares the same geometry as its carbon brothers. The Switch to Consumer Direct With the switch to a consumer direct selling model that Intense made in December (https://intensecycles.com/blogs/news/introducing-intense-rider-direct) Intense now finds itself in direct competition online with brands like Canyon, Diamondback, YT and Commencal. Each of these brands also hit the sub $2,500 trail …

YT Upgrades Their Direct to Consumer Business With New Toolkits

Following the lead of other direct to consumer brands like Diamondback and Canyon, YT Industries has announced that its 2018 bikes will include a new toolkit featuring “everything you need to let the good times begin.” Included with every YT bike will be a kit that includes a torque wrench, shock pump, Allen key, anti slip paste and all necessary manuals. As mentioned, YT is not the first brand to include these types of tools. It seems like this is a very healthy trend in the industry through. Mountain bikes are becoming more complex and need more dedicated tools to maintain even after initial assembly. Periodically checking the torque of pivots and checking your shock pressures are things every mountain biker should be empowered to do. Putting the tools in the hands of consumers from day one seems like a great idea whether the bike was purchased consumer direct or not. Mountain biking has and always will have a DIY, get your hands dirty vibe. The bike shop will never be in the middle of …

Surly Releases a New Pugsley

Surly bikes has released a new version of its famous Pugsley. Known as the Pugsley 2.0 it’s billed as the “ultimate off-road escape vehicle.” It is decidedly not a trail bike. Featuring a crazy offset fork that allows for a backup single speed drive on your front wheel, you can’t even easily fit a suspension fork to this bike. The backend is offset as well, which was Surlys original solution to building a fatbike with regular mountain bike components. Surly has made a number of improvements like greater rack compatibility and clearance for a 4.8” tire on an 80mm rim. Geared toward off-road touring and bikepacking Surly fits the bike stock with Moloko bars. With todays 4 piston brakes, carbon bits and bobs and Eagle drivetrains the spec sheet on the complete build of the Pugsley may look a little odd. Surlys bike comes specced with BB7 mechanical brakes (gasp!) and a mixed drive train featuring a Shimano SLX RD-7000 GS 11 Speed derailer, a Sunrace 11 speed, 11-46 cassette and a Race Face AEffect crankset. In many …

Riding Fletcher Creek in Pisgah, plus Bent Creek and Kitsuma

In this vlog I’ve arrived in Asheville, North Carolina and explore the Mountain Biking in Kitsuma, Fletcher Creek and Bent Creek all while eating some amazing food at Biscuit Head and Farm Burger. Rides in this video: Kitsuma – https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/777151/kitsuma Bent Creek – https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7014539/pisgah-area-sorba-beginners-loop Fletcher Creek – https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7007215/fletcher-creek Head over to our YouTube Channel and subscribe to make sure you don’t miss an episode from this trip.

Cheap $17 Pogies / Barmitts: A Review

I currently reside in Wisconsin. This means that there are about 4 months out of the year with ideal riding weather. The rest of the year I need to make modifications to continue my MTB habit. One of the modifications for dealing with bitter cold is finding a solution for keeping my hands warm that still allows me to shift and brake normally. One of the most popular ways of achieving this is with Pogies, Barmitts, Handmitts, they go by a number of names, that fit over your bars and provide an all-encompassing insulating layer. With this outer shell of protection you can then wear light or even summer gloves that give all of the normal feel and grip on the bars. Usually, these barmitts cost anywhere from $70-$200. Meaning that only the most dedicated winter riders invest in these devices. But, I discovered a source that provides a similar feature set at a fraction of the price. Enter the “Kwik Tek ScootR Logic SLHM-1 Hand Mitts.” Don’t let the Amazon product shot dissuade you. …