Author Archives: "Ryan Palmer"

12 Days of Christmas: Bell Super 2R

12.18.2014 //

The Super 2R is truly a full-coverage all-mountain helmet. By cleverly attaching a chin bar using three svelte buckles, you can turn a half lid into a full-face in a matter of seconds, without even removing the helmet. The idea is to pop the chin bar on for extended descents.

Palmer’s Picks: Ibex Shak Gloves

12.17.2014 //

There are a few good cycling-specific winter gloves out there from brands like Showers Pass, Gore, Endura, and Specialized, but the Ibex Shak–a glove not necessarily designed with cycling in mind–has become my favorite cold weather mitt.

Palmer’s Picks: SRAM Guide RSC

12.11.2014 //

After nine months on at least 15 sets of Guide brakes, our staff hasn’t seen one single failure. We haven’t even needed to bleed one yet. I’d say SRAM has gone and made the best brake they ever have–and then some.

Palmer’s Picks: Shimano SH-M200 Shoes

11.26.2014 //

When you’re busy making shoes as awesome as the SH-M200, you don’t concern yourself with naming them, you use the patented Shimano automatic name-code generator to do it for you.

Bike Test: Spot Brand Cream

11.24.2014 //

The Cream isn’t for the masses: It’s a three-year product of passion made with little regard for cost. Each tube was selected, shaped and tapered to provide the desired ride feel, vertical compliance and lateral stiffness.

Palmer’s Picks: Fix It Sticks

11.19.2014 //

As a mechanic, I’m always on the lookout for rad tools. Last year I saw these Fix It Sticks on a Kickstarter campaign and had to give them a try. Since then, my pack has gotten a lot lighter.

Palmer’s Picks: Reynolds Blacklabel 27.5 AM Wheels

11.12.2014 //

Did you know that World Cup downhill racers tune their wheel stiffness by adjusting spoke tension to suit certain courses? Optimizing wheel stiffness can improve traction, control and comfort. Reynolds has done an excellent job at this with the Blacklabel wheels. For me, they strike a great balance between providing stable, yet supple ride–something I appreciated after experiencing how harsh some of the other carbon wheels on the market can be.

Palmer’s Picks: Bertucci A-2T Field Watch

11.05.2014 //

Watches are stupid. Most of them are heavy, uncomfortable, bulky things that sit there on your wrist and weigh it down. And for what? Just to tell you what time of day it is? No thanks, I’ll pass.

Cross Country Ain’t Dead

10.29.2014 //

Enduro is all the rage these days, but people have been racing their bikes without taking ‘time outs’ long before someone brilliantly decided to stop the clock on the climbs. Cross country racing put mountain biking on the global map, and it started right here in the good old U S of A. Grassroots cross country racing is alive and well in the US, but our elite races–the ones that make the fastest euros leave behind their delicious chocolate and cheese for Hershey’s and Cheese Whiz–need a boost.

Review: Diamondback Mission Pro 27.5

09.30.2014 //

This bike loves rough trail and only gets more comfortable with speed. A mid-height, 13.5-inch bottom bracket provides pedal clearance without much sacrifice to the handling, while long 17.7-inch chainstays and a 66.5-degree head angle give the bike excellent stability in the chunky bits.

Eurobike 2014 product highlights

09.02.2014 //

Eurobike, held each year in Friedrichshafen, Germany, is the ultimate bike junkie gear fix, with its many halls packed to the gills with each company’s latest and greatest widgets. This year we kept our product updates limited to our Instagram feed–but since the show is over and we still have images to share, here’s a Eurobike wrap-up gallery.

Slow guys on fast bikes: Fox’s Ride the Pro Bikes event

08.19.2014 //

Just one day after the most grueling round of the Enduro World Series, held in Whistler, British Columbia, I experienced winner Jared Grave’s and second place Nico Lau’s bikes exactly as they were set up during the race.

News: Specialized introduces all-new Demo 8

08.13.2014 //

The Specialized Demo 8 has been an eye-turner since the original with its distinctive twin seat stays and spider web shock enclosure. The bike has gone through several redesigns since then, but none as transformative as what you see here.

Reviewed: Race Face SixC Cinch Cranks

08.13.2014 //

Today Race Face announces the release of a completely redesigned SixC crank, using similar construction techniques as the Next SL, but with a bit more material for more aggressive all-mountain and downhill race applications.

Bottom Bracket Racket: Chris King’s answer to press-fit woes

07.27.2014 //

If I had to name the source of the most considerable frustration during my time as a mechanic it would easily be press-fit bottom brackets. Even a skilled mechanic armed with expensive measuring tools, bearing presses and sleeve-retaining compounds, is not guaranteed a good interface.

First Look: 2015 Felt bikes

07.23.2014 //

Felt is mostly known for its skinny tire bikes, but the California-based brand likes playing in the dirt as well. Last year Felt showed significant improvements to its mountain lineup so when the invite for the annual product release at the company’s Irvine headquarters hit my inbox I was curious to see what 2015 would yield.

Specialized S-Works Enduro 650B review

07.14.2014 //

Gear Editor Ryan Palmer has had his fun throwing around the newest addition to Specialized fleet, the S-Works Enduro 650B, over the past month. This much anticipated bike–following in the wake of the its bigger brother, the much-loved, long-travel 29er–has been well received by Palmer. The bike is now available to the public and here are his impressions.

Tested: Felt Edict Nine 3

07.01.2014 //

Felt’s 100-millimeter-travel Edict Nine series is designed for speed and efficiency, and it does not disappoint.

RE:Aktiv: A detailed look at Trek’s F1 inspired shock

06.25.2014 //

We’re not one to blindly accept new technologies or drink the so-called company Kool-Aid, but sometimes it’s hard to tell when getting flown to amazing riding locations, like Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina, if there’s something besides water in the bottle.

Tested: Trek Fuel EX 9.8 27.5

06.24.2014 //

A couple weeks ago Trek introduced some bikes and technologies at its media event in North Carolina. The Fuel EX 27.5 and RE:aktiv shock are the first of these new products to hit shop floors, so we’ve been spending every waking hour with the new bike and shock putting them through their paces.

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