Author Archives: "Vernon Felton"

The Web Monkey Speaks: Best of 2014

12.29.2014 //

What did I like in 2014? Other than bacon and Bruce Lee YouTube clips? These bikes and parts, right here, are what fill me with the warm and fuzzies.

Preview: Kona Process 153

12.25.2014 //

We’ve tested Kona’s short-travel 29er Process 111 and their mid-travel Process 134 already. How does the all-mountain Kona Process 153 compare? Here are some first impressions of the 2015 model.

The Web Monkey Speaks: My “Mountain Bike Mecca”

12.22.2014 //

The perfect place to ride isn’t some exotic locale, loaded with hundreds of miles of singletrack. Sure, we all wish we could live in Whistler or Moab or Finale Ligure, but most of us don’t and never will. The best place, then, is the place you ride most often. The place that soaks up your blood and sweat. The place where you suffer defeat one day and come back swinging the next.

Preview: 7Mesh Revelation Jacket

12.18.2014 //

New company, new jacket. The 7mesh Revelation ain’t cheap, but the rainy-day warrior is made from Gore’s top-level water and windproof material….and it’s built to last. Here are our initial thoughts on it.

The Web Monkey Speaks: Time is Cruel

12.15.2014 //

People wax poetic about “classic” bikes and parts. I am not one of them. I’m not saying there’s no value to the past. I appreciate the artistry that made those old components a reality and I love the memories that come flooding back to me whenever I see some cool, rare quirky piece of mountain biking history, but do I actually want to ride that crap? Hell no.

Tested: Easton Haven 27.5 Wheelset

12.11.2014 //

There are lighter wheels on the market and a few that are lighter and less expensive, but I haven’t found any of them to be as durable as the Easton Haven. That’s why I continue to run these things, even though I’d love to see them grow wider in the future. Looking for a solid all-mountain wheel set? Check this out.

The Web Monkey Speaks: The Tao of Dio

12.08.2014 //

People fixate on the ride quality of a $3,000 carbon wheelset or obsess over how to shave another eighth of a pound off their 23-pound race rocket, but if you’re really interested in getting the most out of your ride, there are less obvious, but more important, items to sort out. Consider these the Ronnie James Dios of your bicycle. Underappreciated. Disrespected. Downright obscure. But in the grand scheme of things, so very important.

Tested: Gore Fusion Tool Jacket

12.04.2014 //

Winter generally comes in two basic flavors: clear and cold or cloudy and wet. Gore’s Fusion Tool jacket is the right bit of kit for that first kind of winter day. Even when the mercury is well below the freezing mark, the WindStopper-equipped Fusion Tool is downright toasty.

The Web Monkey Speaks: Bicycle on the Brain

12.01.2014 //

The odds are good that you can recall the bikes your best friends rode back in grade school. You probably remember every mountain bike you’ve owned, which parts were on it, what you upgraded and why…. Which, when you imagine all the other things in life you’ve surely forgotten, is kind of crazy.

Tested: Giant Trance Advanced SX–the Dream Build

11.27.2014 //

The best bikes and components of 2014? Each of Bike’s editors gave their spin on the “dream build”. Here’s Vernon Felton’s choice: a hopped-up version of Giant’s Trance Advanced SX. Here’s the review.

The Web Monkey Speaks: The Cold Truth

11.24.2014 //

Riding a bike can’t all be cruising buff singletrack under bluebird skies full of cotton-candy clouds. That’s great and all, but it’s only a part of the cycling experience. Taste the whole thing. Grapple with Mother Nature. Take a few lumps. Grow some snot-cicles and give as good as you get.

Tested: Specialized Deflect Gloves

11.20.2014 //

It’s hard to get excited about a glove, but a pair of good winter gloves like the Specialized Deflect can make the difference between riding and merely dreaming of riding.

First Ride: Ibis Mojo HD3

11.17.2014 //

The new Ibis Mojo HD3 represents a ground-up redesign of Ibis’ famed all-mountain bike. We’ve been lucky enough to ride the thing. Here’s the story.

Preview: Cane Creek DB InLine

11.13.2014 //

This itty-bitty Cane Creek has all the same features as their full-grown Double Barrel models. Have you seen the schematics for this shock? They look like a freaking M.C. Escher wet dream. There are an ungodly number of damping pathways squeezed into something the size of a walnut. Crazier still, it works.

The Web Monkey Speaks: I, Robot…or Not

11.10.2014 //

Should you believe the subjective, field tests you read in magazines and on websites? Wouldn’t it be better if products were tested in a controlled, laboratory setting? Blind belief in lab results is ridiculous. Here’s why.

Long-Term Test: CamelBak M.U.L.E. NV

11.06.2014 //

I’ve been humping the CamelBak M.U.L.E. NV hydration pack around in the rain and mud for a year. It’s seen the inside of my washing machine more than a few times and wound up being my go-to pack this past season. Here’s how it fared.

The Web Monkey Speaks: The Good Stuff

11.03.2014 //

In our meticulously-preserved Botox’d, chin-tucked, Hair Club for Men-ified world, you can be fooled into thinking getting older ain’t going to happen to you. You’re just a young buck stuck in amber. Timeless. Forever fit and full of piss and vinegar. Yeah, good luck with that…

Preview: RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir

10.30.2014 //

RockShox’s answer to the question of how to achieve the perfect balance between small bump compliance and big-hit performance? They call it DebonAir. Here are some first ride impressions of the DebonAir-equipped Monarch Plus RC3 shock.

The Web Monkey Speaks: So, You Want An Affordable Bike?

10.27.2014 //

Last week we listed 10 of the Best Deals when it came to 2015 mountain bikes. Were those too rich for your blood? Okay, try these on for size.

Tested: Schwalbe Super Gravity Hans Dampf

10.23.2014 //

With the Hans Dampf Super Gravity, Schwalbe has mated a downhill casing to an all-mountain tread. You get super stout sidewalls that fend off gashes and punctures, and also enable you to run exceptionally low tire pressures. In short, gobs of traction, minimal squirm and bomber durability.

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