Author Archives: "Vernon Felton"

Tested: Five Ten Freerider Contact

05.28.2015 //

The Freerider Contact is a flat-pedal shoe that seeks to offer what Five Ten is famous for (outstanding grip), but in a sleeker, lighter package. Here’s how it fared after a winter of abuse.

News: Kona Opens Shop Where It all Began

05.25.2015 //

Bellingham, Washington needs another bike shop like Las Vegas needs another drive-thru marriage chapel or all-you-can-eat buffet. This small, northern border town is already packed with places that’ll true a wheel or sell you some lube…. and yet Kona Bicycles is opening their own shop here. Why? What’s the story?

Tested: Bell Super 2R

05.21.2015 //

Bell’s Super 2R is supposed to be two helmets in one: unsnap a couple of buckles and it transforms from full-face helmet to cross-country lid. Sounds impressive. How does it actually pan out on the trail?

Preview: Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 2

05.14.2015 //

There are carbon frames that cost nearly as much as this bike–Giant’s least expensive carbon Trance model. So what’s the catch? Are the parts crap? Here are some first thoughts after a few months aboard the Trance Advanced 27.5 2.

The Web Monkey Speaks: The Bigotry of Wilderness

05.11.2015 //

Vernon voices his opinion on the long-standing mountain bike ban in wilderness areas.

The Story Behind The Evil Following | Blueprint

05.07.2015 //

It’s not the bike anyone expected from Evil. The Following turns convention on its head in many ways. But will riders place their trust in Evil again? Should they? This is the story of both a brand and a bike that are battling their way back into the fold.

Alpinestars Paragon Knee Guard Review

04.30.2015 //

Knee pads seem to come in two flavors these days: stormtrooper hardshell and minimalist knee condom. Alpinestars Paragon fit comfortably within the latter niche. The Paragon, however, offers more protection than you might guess.

The Web Monkey Speaks: A Civil Conversation

04.27.2015 //

If you’re going to write stories and put you name atop the article, you better grow a thick skin. There’s no pleasing everyone. If that’s your aim, you might as well get a gig at Hallmark writing those crappy greeting cards with roses and kittens on the covers. That said, I draw the line at being called a “whore.”

Preview: Niner RIP 9 Carbon 2-Star SLX

04.23.2015 //

For 2015, Niner introducted a half carbon/half aluminum version of the Rip 9, which means you can get into a carbon Rip 9 beginning at $2,200 for the frame and $3,300 for the “1 Star” model. Here are some impressions on the slightly (and smartly) up-spec’d “2 Star” version of Niner’s all-purpose machine.

What Does it all Mean? 27.5+ and 29+ Bikes

04.21.2015 //

What the heck are plus-size bikes anyway? What are these bikes supposed to do well? What are their limitations? Why are we suddenly popping up? We dive deep into the answers with this story.

The Web Monkey Speaks: P-Funk, Fish Sauce and Disc Brakes

04.13.2015 //

What do fermented fish paste, the funky strains of George Clinton and disc brakes on road bikes have in common? Everything.

KMC Missing Link 10R Review

04.09.2015 //

Pull KMC’s Missing Link out of your pack and within two minutes you’re back on the trail, merrily turning circles, happy instead of hobbling, stumbling and hyperventilating. Cheap? Yes. Priceless? Without a doubt.

News: The Inside Line on Portland’s River View MTB ban

04.02.2015 //

What does Charlie Sponsol have to say about Portland’s decision to ban mountain biking at River View Natural Area? The voice behind the Team Robot blog doesn’t mince words in this in-depth interview with the professional racer and trail advocate.

The Web Monkey Speaks: A “Bike-Friendly” city? Let’s redefine that

03.30.2015 //

If cities want to earn that hallowed “bike friendly” badge, they have to dig deep. They have to confront some stereotypes they might have about mountain bikers being knuckle-dragging troglodytes. They need to open up those trails. You can’t call yourself “bike friendly” while crapping on us mountain bikers.

Preview: Santa Cruz Tallboy Carbon

03.26.2015 //

The Santa Cruz Tallboy is, in many ways, the bike that proved the merit of full-suspension 29ers. But does it stack up to the new breed of big-wheeled bikes?

Preview: Troy Lee Designs T-Bone Knee Pads

03.19.2015 //

The trend over the past half decade has been to make leg armor more pedaling-friendly, by ditching the hard-shell and using lighter, better-ventilated materials. The T-Bones follow suit. Here are our first impressions.

The Web Monkey Speaks: Everyone Loves an A-Hole

03.16.2015 //

People say things online that they’d never, ever say in real life. Safe in the comfort of their cubicle or basement, the trolls deliver e-beatdowns to anyone who disagrees with their opinions–and other people lap it up. Here’s why that’s true…

Review: Dakine Split Roller 100L

03.13.2015 //

I’ve lost track of all the cities I’ve towed the Dakine Split Roller through, but I can tell you this-when it comes to packing a godawful lot of gear and humping it from terminal to terminal without herniating a disc, it’s hard to beat Dakine’s old standby.

The Web Monkey Speaks: The Best Bike of 2015?

03.02.2015 //

As a writer, you sound like you know your stuff when you come out guns-a-blazin’ and declare a single winner in your “shoot out”. You can even make it seem more convincing by creating a little ranking system with stars or imitating the voice of God in your writing. There’s just one problem with that kind of review: it’s rubbish.

Preview: Specialized Camber Comp Carbon

02.27.2015 //

Specialized’s Camber is like the aggressive rider’s cross-country bike… or maybe it’s the cross-country rider’s trail bike. I still can’t say which, but I can say this: it hauls ass up climbs and hangs better on descents than it has a right to, given how little squish it’s packing.

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