Author Archives: "Vernon Felton"

First impressions: 2015 Kona Bikes

08.05.2014 //

Kona Bikes rolled out the 2015 models today and let us put our dirty mitts all over them. Here’s what we saw at the launch today.

The Web Monkey Speaks: A Different Kind of Family Vacation

08.04.2014 //

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.

Tested: Tioga Spyder Stratum

07.31.2014 //

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.

The Web Monkey Speaks: Throwing the Yellow Gauntlet

07.27.2014 //

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.

Interview: Breadwinner Cycles’ Take on The Perfect Rowdy Hardtail

07.24.2014 //

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.

The Web Monkey Speaks: There’s no fighting bike technology

07.21.2014 //

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.

Cannondale Scalpel 29 review

07.20.2014 //

Like their namesake, the Cannondale Scalpel has a reputation for precision. It is also, however, expensive.

Preview: Breadwinner Cycles’ Bad Otis

07.17.2014 //

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.

The Web Monkey Speaks: Endangered Species

07.14.2014 //

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.

Gear: Transition TransAm 29

07.09.2014 //

If you think of 29er hardtails as being the domain of featherweight race whips, the TransAm 29 steps right up and dispels that stereotype. Yes, it’s a 29er. A steel 29er at that. This, however, is no crusty throwback to yesteryear.

The Web Monkey Speaks: Get With the F@cking Program

07.07.2014 //

What really sets British Columbia apart from the rest of the world? It’s trail access, as well as land-managers who support the building of new trails.

Tested: Race Face Flank Leg guards

07.03.2014 //

The Race Face Flank Leg guards offers solid protection and far greater comfort than you’d expect in a full-coverage pad.

The Web Monkey Speaks: Riding With Groms

06.30.2014 //

It’s hard to get inside a kid’s head, to remember how scary or intimidating riding a bike once was for yourself, before the same experience magically morphed into this thing that’s thrilling and invigorating today. But if you do that–and put away your dream of teaching them to catch big air or rail singletrack in a single day–you might just make a lifelong rider of a grom.

Preview: Transition TransAM 29 1

06.26.2014 //

A hardtail is a hardtail is a hardtail, right? Nope. Sure, they all lack rear suspension, but that’s where the similarity often ends. Transition’s TransAM 29er is a good example–a steel-framed wagon wheeler that’s less interested in winning races and entirely obsessed with making short work of technical terrain. Vive la difference.

The Web Monkey Speaks: I Can’t Quit You

06.23.2014 //

I’m as sentimental as a razor blade when it comes to material stuff. It’s just so much crap, really. The exception is old cycling gear. It litters every corner of my life. I haven’t ridden toe-clips since 1990, but I will gouge your eyes out before I let you walk away with my last pair of Alfredo Binda toe straps. Why? Sometimes a thing is more than just a thing–it’s a reminder of what truly matters.

Tested: Shimano Deore Brakes

06.19.2014 //

Shimano’s latest generation of Deore brakes lack outright sex appeal, but more than make up for it in reliability, power and consistency. Oh, and you can probably buy a set without having to sell a pint of your blood; that’s always a plus.

The Web Monkey Speaks: Dragons in the Bathroom

06.16.2014 //

The road trip is a hallowed part of the mountain biking experience. And for good reason. Making those life-changing journeys happen, however, when you’re also toting around a dog, several smelly children and a load of diapers, it’s less-obviously awesome, but still worth every tantrum, mis-timed potty break and parental meltdown.

Tested: Thule Crossover 38L Carry-On

06.11.2014 //

It’s a roller bag. No, it’s a backpack. Wait, it’s both. Kind of sounds like one of those infomercials promising a can opener that can double as a rocket launcher—too good to be true. But in this case, Thule is on target with their claim: the Thule Crossover 38L Carry-On doubles capably as both a mini-rolling bag and a backpack. In short, this is one versatile bit of luggage.

This Derailleur Sells for $1,000

06.10.2014 //

This derailleur would fetch more than $1,000 on Ebay today. Why? There was a fleeting moment in the mid-nineties when the top of the mountain biking food chain was dominated by small, American builders and the Paul Components Powerglide shown here was the ultimate cycling component. Here’s the story…

The Web Monkey Speaks: Naked for the Greater Good? Really?

06.09.2014 //

if you want to get naked, go for it. The wind on your skin, the opportunity to show off your rabbi’s handiwork with a scalpel, what’s not to like? I’m all for it, and clearly so are the people all over the world who keep showing up to beaches and rallies and events without their pants. But if you really want to stop wars, pioneer alternative sources of energy or make our city streets safer, showing off your junk isn’t going to actually do anything other than give small children nightmares.

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