All posts filed under: News

Giant Releases Another 29er. The Trance.

There was a time not long ago when you could hear Giant’s marketing department tell you that 27.5 was the perfect wheel size for mountain bikes. All mountain bikes. In the past year though we are seeing a change in tune from Giant. They have now added two full squish 29er bikes back into their lineup. The latest is the Trance 29er. Earlier this year, Giant introduced the Anthem 29er which is 100mm/90mm xc race platform. Now, the Trance 29 adds a 130mm/110mm trail bike platform to their lineup. The 130mm/110mm combination is a bit of a head scratcher and I honestly wonder if the rear end will feel under gunned. It may be that this combination will work out well, but other manufactures such as Specialized with the StumpJumper ST and Niner with the Jet 9 have chosen to have a bit more balanced 130mm/120mm combo. Even though the Trance 29 shares a the name with the Trance, the two bikes seem to be pretty different. The 27.5 Trance is a 150mm/140mm bike with …

Strava Summit Replaces Premium With À La Carte Options.

Strava has a unique challenge as it tries to appeal to a wide range of athletes. The up-sell to premium has often been a hard sell. Not all the premium features appeal to all riders. For example if you don’t have a heart rate monitor or power meter much of the advanced activity analysis isn’t super useful. On the other hand, if you always ride in the city, the safety features might not be very useful. Now Strava has split these premium features out into new packs that are available individually. There are three packs: Training, Safety and Analysis. Each pack can be purchased individually for $2.00 a month or you can get all the premium features for $5.00 a month as long as you pay annually. The one bummer for me as a mountain biker, is I feel like the features I would use most still span multiple packs. I would probably use the beacon from the safety pack, Live segments from the analysis pack and custom goals from the training pack. Other features, …

New Plugger Tubeless Tire Repair Kit From Blackburn

Tire plugs are rapidly becoming the tool of choice for fixing tubeless tires. Blackburn’s new “Plugger” utilizes the same bacon strip plugs that you are already probably familiar with. It does however include several unique design features. The Plugger comes with it’s own holster that allows you to both have the tool pre-loaded with a plug and also quickly grab it when you notice a flat. The holster doubles as storage for additional plugs. In addition Blackburn includes a strap to allow for easy attachment directly to your bike. Weighing in at only 27g for the tool and 47g with the tool and strap the Blackburn plugger won’t weigh you down. It’s also relatively easy on your wallet at only $19.95 with 10 plugs included. Blackburn Plugger Tubeless Repair Kit

New Big Honzo Lineup From Kona in 3 Frame Materials.

The Big Honzo from Kona has made a name for itself as being a flexible 27.5 plus hardtail platform for many different riding styles. The new 2019 lineup expands the Big Honzo range to include Carbon Fiber, Aluminum and Steel options. It’s not often that you will find a platform offered in that many frame materials. The 2019 bikes also expand the front travel, as is popular right now, from 120mm to 130mm. This additional 10mm of travel slackens out the head tube angle from 68 degrees to 67.5 degrees. Kona has adjusted the geometry to keep the bottom bracket at the same height as last year’s model. So you don’t have all the same tradeoffs you encounter when up-forking a 120mm bike. The Aluminum versions are the most affordable, starting at $1699. This gets you a SRAM NX drivetrain and a Rockshox Recon Solo RL. While not a bargain basement offering, it is a respectable build kit. The steel version comes in a single build at $2399 with an upgraded build kit from the …

New From Marin an “Aggressive Hardtail” – The San Quentin

The bike maker whose namesake is where it all began, has announced a new line of aggressive hardtails that look like an appealing option for those who want to get back to their riding roots. The Marin San Quentin hardtails slot in between the already existing Alcatraz dirt jump bike and more tail/xc oriented Nail Trail. The San Quentin, is a 27.5″ bike in all sizes, unlike the Nail Trail that slides between 27.5″ and 29″ based on frame size. And, unlike many bikes you might compare the San Quentin to, this is 27.5 non-plus, which should help make the bike more agile. The San Quentin also receives a slacked out 65° head tube angle which should stabilize things when pointing the bike downhill. 425mm chainstays will keep the rear end compact and easy to move around. A vast majority of hardtails come specced with a 120mm travel fork. On the San Quentin 2 and 3 however riders will get an extra 10mm of travel with either Rockshox Recon or Revelation forks. The San Quentin 1 which …

Shimano’s Entry Level Alivio Brakes Get a Refresh

Shimano’s lineup of brakes have always been a good choice for stopping your steed. With its latest release, Shimano has made getting into it’s braking system with a respectable lever setup even easier. The Alvio line is Shimano’s base level, and their brakes now include some new features. First off, the new BL-M425 levers feature reach adjust. Which is an almost mandatory feature for mountain biking. Reach adjust allows you to control how far the level is from your bar when in the neutral state. This allows the brake lever to be adjusted for a natural one finger grab of the lever. The levers themselves are also redesigned on these new BL-M425s to match the higher end Shimano brake systems. While this isn’t a super flashy upgrade by Shimano it doesn’t present another budget braking option for less the $50 a wheel for levers, calipers and hoses. The refreshed levers are ready to be purchased today.  

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.

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 …