Author Archives: "Ryan Palmer"
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.
When Trek told us that they were doing 148-millimeter rear axle spacing, our first reaction was to turn our noses up at it. We just figured the whole axle spacing thing out, didn’t we? But they swore that it was legit, so we flew out to Waterloo to get the story on Boost 148 to see if this was just a marketing gimmick or the real thing.
After years of living a mundane spandex-clad existence hammering out road miles, Di2 is finally ready for some real fun. That’s right, XTR Di2 is here, or almost here. Shimano says it’ll be available this fall, and it’s designed to work with the recently announced XTR 9000 11-speed group.
Mike’s garage is basically a collection of my old bikes. I’ll ride a bike for a year or so and hand it off to Mike, where he’ll spend the next decade squeezing every last drop out of it. The day before heading to Moab to test a brand new version of the Fox 36 RC2, I stopped off in Denver for a brief visit with my buddy–and my old bike parts.
For three days we were able to dial in the DB Inline on the rocky, rooty terrain in Pisgah and Dupont, Cane Creek’s stomping grounds. The employee-owned company shared with us its passion for riding and making the finest products they know how to.
THERE’S A MARVELOUS AMOUNT OF TECHNOLOGY PACKED into today’s bikes. But we should be as grateful for simple advancements like short stems and sloping top tubes as we are for through axles and disc brakes. While folks in white lab coats are making our bikes lighter and faster, rider-driven frame manufacturers like Transition are making them more fun. So we’re always eager to see Transition’s take on the fun-starved world of big wheels.
THE ANTHEM ADVANCED 27.5 2 IS A BARGAIN. YES, IT’S STILL a lot of money, but considering that it has the same exact carbon and alloy frame as the $8,250 flagship model, it’s a good deal. The 2×10 Sram X.7 shifters are an impressive improvement from the previous 9-speed triggers, with a smaller, streamlined look and more positive lever feel. With these paddles strung to X.7 and X.9 Type 2 front and rear derailleurs respectively, the shifting is crisp and precise.
I went through a phase where I avoided packs altogether, stuffing my pockets with spares or going unprepared because packs were uncomfortable and shifted around while riding. Then I got a Raptor 10.
Carbon wheels are only as sexy as they are strong. ENVE’s new hoops get a boost in brawn.
In news today, RockShox has released a new, higher volume air can for Monarch and Monarch Plus air shocks. Offered standard on Monarch Plus RC3, or as an upgrade to Monarch RT3, DebonAir adds a more linear spring rate, improving small bump compliance.
So when it came time for SRAM to develop a new braking system, senior mountain bike brake engineer, Braden Snead put the brakes on Taperbore and started from scratch. The result is this brake right here, the Guide. He knew he wanted a more robust brake, so he designed the Guide around a timing port mechanism, a system common to many other mountain bike and motorcycle brakes. If air enters a timing port-type system, the bubbles are directed through the port into the reservoir, effectively self-bleeding the brake.
Gear editor Ryan Palmer reviewed six of this year’s most sought-after dropper posts as part of our annual Bible of Bike Tests gear guide, putting the posts through their paces on Sedona’s steep descents and punchy climbs. You might be surprised to read what he singled out as one of his top picks.