Author Archives: "Vernon Felton"
Las Vegas is a lot of things, including the perfect place to shoot a grenade launcher, dabble with alcohol poisoning and begin your lifelong relationship with Herpes. Las Vegas, however, is not a cycling Mecca. So why does the bike industry keep holding its annual tradeshow there? Strangers still… Why do I love it?
The Roval Traverse SL 29s are lighter than a set of wagon wheels have a right to be, they don’t feature crazy, proprietary components that require outlandish tools to fix, they stay true surprisingly well, the hub technology is well proven and while the price tag might make you see red, you could easily spend almost twice this much on a set of carbon hoops that aren’t any lighter or appreciably “better” in any concrete way.
My gasoline orgy reminded me of why I love bikes so much. In a way, bikes are everything cars are not. Sure, both are modes of transportation, but bikes are simple and just how wonderful that fact is cannot be overstated. With bikes, there are no puking carburetors, no slipping clutches, no faulty oxygen sensors, no ominous grinding noises in your differential… Simple is beautiful.
I almost never think about grips. Let’s face it, if they don’t slip and they offer decent traction for your mitts, you’re pretty much golden. The bar is kinda low in this product category. But then I started using Chromag’s Squarewave grips and, I have to admit, they made me realize that most of my other grips aren’t cutting the mustard.
There’s no denying it. Even the most pony-tailed, pot-smoking, Kombucha-drinking, hippiest of us has an inner triathlete buried somewhere deep inside of them. Dig deep enough and you’ll find a corner of your Id that shaves its legs, rocks a team-issue Lycra body condom and actually gives a damn about the race results in VeloNews.
Specialized’s Butcher Control tires started life as downhill-only models and you can still pick up either the downhill or freeride versions. Here, however, is how the much lighter, all-mountain flavored Butcher Control fared during a season of riding.
Enduro racing is overhyped, overplayed and over exploited. Kittens and angels die every time a marketing hack whispers the words, “enduro-specific.” It’s gotten that bad. And yet, enduro might just be the best thing to happen to mountain biking in years and years.
Where do we start? How about this: the Edge 1000 promises to be the most fully-functioned cyclocomputer on the market. That’s a bold claim, but consider this: the Edge 1000 does all the typical high-end GPS and performance tricks–plus it communicates with your smart phone, lets you compete (during the ride) with other riders’ performances on specific segments and that’s just for starters…
You can argue that mountain biking is all about the gear or that mountain biking is all about the rush of riding, but I think riding is also, at its core, a very human thing. Riding offers us a means of connecting with other people and this can be as profound as the ride itself.
It doesn’t look comfortable. Not by a long shot. The new Tioga Spyder Stratum saddle looks more like a sexy cheese grater than a comfortable saddle and most of us are loathe to rub our tender bits on cheese graters. Looks, however, are deceiving–Tioga’s innovative saddle is plenty comfortable.
What is it, exactly, about yellow shoes? I don’t know how it happened, but they have become the de facto thrown gauntlet, a proclamation that their owner is not here for a friendly little group ride…he’s here to demoralize, destroy and bury everyone on the trail today.
There’s a commonly held belief that ultra-light steel hardtails are relics of a more sedate time–that t they can’t keep pace with today’s more aggressive riding styles. Breadwinner Cycles’ Bad Otis turns that notion on its head.
When you dump a couple grand on a mountain bike, you may not expect it to remain The Pinnacle of Bitchen-ness forever, but you probably didn’t expect it to become the butt of jokes within three seasons. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel like you got, you know, a little screwed. Screwed by the manufacturers and the media. But keep this in mind: there’s no fighting bike technological progress.
Do we feel bad about pummeling the bike voted “Best Mountain Bike” at this year’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show? Hell no. Not when the winner, Breadwinner Cycle’s Bad Otis, is 25 pounds of brawling fun. And, yes, that’s a six-inch travel Pike up front.
One in three bike shops in America closed their doors during the past 13 years. While it’s hard to deny the Internet’s lure of big savings, if we spend all of today’s dollars online, there aren’t going to be many
neighborhood bike shops tomorrow. You, however, can do something about that.