All posts tagged: front page featured

Cotapaxi Teca Windbreaker Review

“Mountain” is in the name of our sport. If there’s one thing the mountains can guarantee, it’s that the weather will be unpredictable. Riding in the ever-changing weather of Colorado, I was in need of an outer layer that could pack away into almost nothing but provide me the protection I needed for the unexpected. Let’s see if the Cotapaxi Teca Windbreaker fits the bill. Design The Teca windbreaker is constructed from repurposed polyester taffeta with DWR finish. A unique part of Cotapaxi’s ethos is trying to build technical clothing more sustainably. By using remnant fabric they can save fabric that might otherwise be discarded. This also means that the color combinations are limited edition and will eventually sell out. The windbreaker features elastic bindings at the hood, cuff, and hem which help the coat have a tighter fit, great for active use such as mountain biking. The hood rotates very well when placed over a helmet. There are two external pockets. These pockets don’t have any zippers or other methods of closure though, so …

Trailforks Locks Down Access To User Generated Content

The popular trail mapping app, Trailforks, announced today that it taking it’s formerly free trail mapping app and severely limiting its use for non-paying users. Here are the things users will be losing in the app unless they pay for a subscription: Access to maps in app, except for a 38×38 mile home area. Heat maps GPX file downloads Unlimited wishlist items You’ll notice that I specifically say losing. None of these are new features to Trailforks. Trailforks is simply taking user-contributed data and putting it behind a paywall. It’s pretty audacious and pretty amazing that Trailforks expects users to pony up to access the data they contributed without any additional features being added on day one. The economics of the interaction with the user are all wrong here. Users submit trails, ride reports, updates etc. Without those submissions Trailforks is nothing. However, Trailforks has decided to double-dip by making users work to maintain and contribute new trail data and also pay to access that data that they submit. The 38×38 mile limit for free …

Diamondback Release 29 2 Ride Review

Diamondback has recently seen a resurgence in popularity. Their level link suspension system made them again a legitimate player in the trail bike category with their 27.5 Release bikes. Diamondback however has been noticeably missing a 29er equivalent. The Release 29 is their answer, but how does it perform? The Release 29 is actually based around the same frameset as the 27.5+ Diamondback catch. I believe Eric Porter was riding one of those frames with 29er wheels before the Release 29 was announced. Diamondback wouldn’t give me a straight answer on if the frameset was exactly the same front and back or if anything was re-engineered. The exact same 200×57 size shock is used on both bikes, so the linkage I can assume is pretty close to identical. The geo chart suggests that the bikes are VERY similar. Geometry and Frame Design This is unfortunately, in my estimation not a great thing. Looking at the bike on paper the geometry looks pretty dated. The reach on the medium I tested is only 427mm. Seat tube …

Fidlock TWIST Bottle 450 and Uni Base Review

Bike design is hard. Sometimes designers make compromises that mean that traditional water bottle mounts just won’t fit. I have a bike with this issue, a size medium Kona Process 153. I needed a solution for carrying water bottles on my bike so I decided to try the Fidlock water bottle system with their strap on Uni Base. I’ll mention right at the top that this is not a cheap solution at $52.99 for the entire kit, but I think you’ll see why it might not be a bad deal for some. The Fidlock Magic So what makes Fidlock unique? Fidlock’s most import feature is its TWIST mounting system. The Fidlock base features two mounting post with magnets and a center alignment pin. The bottle features magnets as well and slots for the mounting post to attach to. The slots feature spring loaded clips which mechanically attach the bottle as the magnets pull it into place. The bottle, after it has been attached, the bottle is held on mechanically, not by magnets alone. The slots …

New Bike Roundup First Half Of February 2020

So many new bikes have been announced that we thought we’d wrap up some of the highlights into once place. Carbon V2 Ibis Ripmo Follows the Alloy Version Ibis has released an updated version of it’s Ripmo. Following the lead of the Ripmo AF the new V2 Ripmo carbon features the same geometry as it’s alloy brother. However the carbon frame ends up being nearly two pounds lighter. Ibis also says that the carbon layup is stiffer than the alloy version. You will also see a jump in prices with the frameset alone costing $2,999 and complete bikes starting at $4,399. For comparison the Ripmo AF starts complete builds $2,999. Which begs the question, for the $1,400 difference could you drop those 2 pounds where it really counts with a baller wheelset and maybe a couple other upgrades? Check out the new bike here Commencal Revises Its Meta TR with the Meta TR SX The Commencal trail bike got a revision that saw the 29er getting a shock length increase to 55mm instead of 50mm. …

New Jamis Faultline Full Suspension Bike

Jamis has released a new full suspension bike 29er trail bike. The Faultline features 115mm of rear suspension and a 130mm up front. The rear suspension is driven by a rocker driven single pivot system. This suspension setup is simpler than Jamis’ more complex 3VO system. While simpler, single pivot designs can still be very effective when engineered well, as Kona, Marin and others have proven. With this simpler suspension, the Jamis Faultline is targeted a cost conscience buyer. The base Faultline A2 has a $1,749 MSRP and the upgraded A1 comes in at $2,199. This puts it in direct competition with bikes like the Marin Rift Zone and Norco Fluid FS. Builds As with any full suspension bike in this price range, the build kit of the Faultline A2 is a set of compromises. Front suspension is handled by a budget SR Suntour XCR 34 fork. The rear suspension, however, is a Rock Shox Deluxe Select R which is a pretty good mid-range shock. Drivetrain is 10 speed Shimano Deore and the brakes are …

Salsa Introduces New Rangefinder Hardtail

Salsa has introduced a new entry level trail hardtail, The Rangefinder. This new hard slots in ever so slightly beneath their long running Timberjack lineup. Available in both 29 and 27.5+ configurations the Rangefinder starts at an entry level price of $1,099. That entry level price will get you a 10-speed Deore drivetrain, Shimano MT201 2-piston brakes and a SR Suntour XCR 32 120mm air fork. You also do get a Trans-X dropper post, which is a welcome sight to see coming standard on a entry level bike. On the flip side there are still a few old vestiges that we’d rather see disappear. Both the base build and the upgraded SX Eagle build come with a 10 x 141 mm QR rear hub. At this point it feels like 12 x 148 mm rear through axles should be ubiquitous. 29″ versions of the bike come with WTB Trail Boss G2 Comp 29 x 2.6″ tires, while the 27.5+ versions are fitted with the WTB Range Comp 27.5 x 2.8″ tire. Geometry The geometry of …

Waterfly Hip-Pack Review: Can a Budget Hip-Pack Work?

In the world of mountain biking we quickly become accustom to buying MTB specific products. We have our own shoes, our own shirts, our own sunglasses etc. So can a hip pack not specifically designed for mountain biking compete with purpose designed products such as the Dakine Hotlaps? We put this question to the test when Waterfly sent us their two bottle fanny pack. As listed on Amazon the “Waterfly Fanny Pack with Water Bottle Holder Unisex Hiking Waist Packs for Walking Running Lumbar Pack fit for iPhone iPod Samsung Phones” is $20.99 as apposed to the usual $50 – $100 that you expect to spend with a better known brand. We just be calling it “The Waterfly Hip-Pack” from now on. As a side note, you will also have an actual product name to tell people about when they ask you what you are carrying. Product Features The Waterfly Hip-Pack features two waterbottle holders on either end of the pack. These have elastic and the top for retention and mesh contruction for the bottle …

New Aluminum Jeffsey With Updated Geometry for 2020

YT recently refreshed their 2020 bikes, but noticeably absent was a refreshed Jeffsey aluminium version. Year after year the Jeffsey aluminium has presented a compelling value for the budget conscience trail / enduro bike buyer. Well the Jeffsey aluminum is now back and it has undated geometry, bringing it back in sync with it’s carbon counterpart. Both 29″ and 27.5″ versions of the bike are available in a single base build. Unlike some other manufacturers that offer higher component specs to those that still want a metal frame, YT has opted to make this a decidedly budget build. That being said, the Jeffsey spec is no slouch and will punch above its price tag in many respects. Suspension In regards to suspension, a RockShox Yari RC is up front in either 160mm (27.5″) or 150mm (29″). The balance of the suspension is handled by a RockShox Deluxe Select rear shock with 160mm (27.5″) or 150mm (29″) of travel. The rear suspension also includes a flip chip that makes the head angle 0.5 degrees steeper and …

New Marzocchi Coil Fork and Conversion

Marzocchi has a long history with coil forks and they are bringing back the magic with a new BOMBER Z1 Coil suspension fork. The new fork shares the 36mm chassis and the GRIP damper from the air sprung Z1. But, it swaps out the air spring for a new coil system. The new coil is an ultra-lightweight tempered silicon-chromium steel spring. Even with this “ultra-lightweight” coil the starting weight is 2,525g which is fair bit heavier than the air sprung equivalent. It is availible in both 29 and 27.5 configurations with travel that can be adjusted in 10mm increments from 150-180mm (depending on wheel size) via included internal spacers. Beyond your damper settings and your selected spring rate when you purchase the fork, you do get an external preload adjuster to adjust sag and firmness off the top. The spring side also includes an integrated air assist for progressivity and bottom out control. This is pre-configured and not adjustable. The fork is available in 4 spring rates. Marzocchi provides a guide for choosing the right …