Author: Matt Stenson

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 …

Trek releases its first hardtail 27.5+ trail bike: The Roscoe

It’s hard to believe that Trek hasn’t had a 27.5+ hardtail in its lineup up until this point. Trek has filled that void up until now with its 29+ Stache models. However 29+ and 27.5+ are different animals and now Trek has decided to enter the crowded market of 27.5+ trail hardtails with the Roscoe. Honestly the higher end Roscoe looks to be a pretty compelling option though. There are two models, the Roscoe 7 and Roscoe 8, offered in both mens and women’s models. The Roscoe 7 comes in at just over grand retailing for $1099.99.  For this price it is under specced though.  You get a Deore M600, 10 speed drive train, Tektro M285 brakes and a RockShocks Judy Coil fork. Not exactly anything to write home about. At least they did fit it with Schawlbe Rocket Ron 2.8 tires which I found to be quite nice. Stepping up to the Roscoe 8 however, you get a RockShox Judy Silver TK air sprung fork, SRAM NX 11-speed drivetrain, Shimano M315 brakes and an internally routed dropper …

Converting a Regular Wheel to Tubeless in 7 Easy Steps

Photos by Micah Stenson Converting your wheels to tubeless can be intimidating but the advantages are many. You’ll end up with a better feeling, lighter and more supple tire that is more resistant to punctures. My 6 year old recently asked if we could convert the tires on his Specialized Riprock to tubeless. I said we’d give it a shot. Here’s the process that we followed: Gather Your Supplies You’ll need a few items to get rolling with a tubeless conversion. Here’s a parts list of what you’ll need. 1. Remove Wheels From The Bike It may sound obvious but removing the wheels from the bike is mandatory for this operation since we will be removing the existing tubes and rim strips. 2. Remove the Tubes and Rim Strips First deflate the tubes and then removed tires from the rims. A good pair of tire levers, such as Pedro’s tire levers may come in handy here. 3. Prepare and Apply Gorilla Tape Your Gorilla Tape may or may not come in the right width for …

2018 Specialized Chisel vs 2018 Trek Superfly Alloy

Both Trek and Specialized have recently released new budget minded XC race bikes. These bikes are hardtails than retail for under $2000 (with the exception of the Procaliber 8). All of these bikes would make a great choice as your first race bike. Today we’re going to take a look at the spec sheets and try to determine, on paper at least, which bike is the best value. Check out the table at the bottom to compare all of the specs for yourself! Analysis Both the Specialized and the Trek are 29ers in most sizes. The Trek does come with the option of 27.5 wheels in its smallest size. 29ers are the standard for XC racing today, so anything else would be unexpected. In regards to the frames themselves the Specialized features a D’Aluisio Smartweld M5 welded frame. While those welds may be fancy the Trek arguably has more tricks up it’s sleeve in regards to frame construction with its IsoSpeed decoupler that allows the seattube to rotate independently from the toptube.  This feature, borrowed …

Fox Ranger Glove Review

The Fox Ranger glove is a no-nonsense minimalist full-fingered glove from one of the most iconic brands in the mountain biking industry. I decided to give these gloves a try after hearing several riders sing the praises of riding with a minimally padded glove. Construction The Fox Ranger glove features a polyester palm and fingers that is minimally padded. The little padding that is added to the palms is provided by a simple double layer of the same material sewn on in strategic locations on the palm. The fingers feature mesh side panels to improve the breathability of the glove. The back continues a slightly rougher polyester fabric that seems a bit tougher than the palms. The gloves do not provide any kind of armor and are intended for riders looking for some basic protection and enhanced grip.  The back of these gloves also feature great graphics and I find them quite good-looking. The latest model of the fox ranger also features conductive thread on the thumb and index finger for touch screen compatibility. While …

Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.8 Review

When I purchased my Raleigh Tokul 3 I knew I would be doing several upgrades. The first stock part to go was predictably the heavy tubes and tires. My rims were already taped for a tubeless setup so I set about searching for a new set of treads. The first thing that I noticed as I began my search is that there is a price to be paid for being an early adopter of the relatively new 27.5+ trend. Unlike 29rs there were very few “deals” to be found. This was helpful in many ways because my decision would be made almost entirely based on the kind of tire I wanted instead of settling for a tire based on price. I do most of my riding in the rolling hills of Wisconsin so I didn’t need a super aggressive tread. I also was planning on doing some cross country racing with my Tokul so I needed something that would be lite weight and fast rolling. After much hemming and hawing I decided on the Schawlbe …

Specialized Announces New Chisel XC Hardtail

Specialized has released their new Specialized Chisel model of xc aluminum hardtails. With a lower starting cost that the Epic hardtails and a racier geometry and build than the Rockhopper, the Chisel is positioned to be the first XC race bike purchase for many budding racers. The bike is available in two builds and men’s and women’s versions along with a frameset only option. The lower end build features Shimano Deore 2×10 drivetrain, Shimano MT500 Deore Brakes and RockShox Judy fork. The “Expert” build upgrades the bike to a SRAM GX/NX 1×11 drivetrain, SRAM Level TL brakes and a RockShox Reba RL fork. As far as the frameset goes, you get a D’Aluisio Smartweld frame which Specialized claims, “allows us to move the joint away from the area of the highest stress, making for a lighter frameset that’s stiff, compliant, and incredibly strong—the optimal characteristics of a hardtail XC rig.” The geometry includes a 430mm chainstay length and 69.8° head tube angle. The headtube angle is slightly slacker than the Epic’s 71° head tube angle which should make the bike a bit more …

SRAM GX Eagle

SRAM GX Eagle Announced

This past week SRAM announced it’s much more budget friendly 12-speed drivetrain option, GX Eagle. Using the same GX name as it’s ever popular mid -range 11-speed products SRAM is now bringing it’s 500% range technology to a much more affordable price point of $495 dollars for a complete groupset. This new groupset looks to be a really great option for upgrading a current 2x system on a midrange bike or taking your current 1x to the next level. Watch SRAM’s release video below.