All posts filed under: News

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.

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

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/

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 …

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.