Author Archives: "Vernon Felton"

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.

Preview: Tioga Spyder Stratum

06.05.2014 //

How do you make a saddle more comfortable? Conventional wisdom suggests that you increase the padding. Tioga is bucking conventional wisdom altogether and ditching the padding entirely with their new Spyder Stratum saddle, which they contend is far more comfortable and supportive than traditional saddles. Here’s the story.

Review: Oneup Components’ Wallet-Friendly One-by Hack

06.03.2014 //

Oneup Components’ offers a 42-tooth cog as a cheap one-by hack alternative to SRAM’s XX1

The Web Monkey Speaks: Your Biological Clock is Ticking

06.02.2014 //

Every June, without fail, my mountain biking version of a biological clock starts screaming. I’ll wake up one morning and every fiber of my being that has anything to do with industriousness has suddenly gone on strike. I am suddenly overwhelmed, one might say “pregnant”, with an overriding desire to bail on anything that doesn’t involve me pedaling a bike.

Preview: Speedplay Brass Knuckles Flat Pedals

05.29.2014 //

When Speedplay introduced their Drillium pedals way back when, they were considered a relatively light and svelte for the flat pedal market, but that was a decade ago and pedals have grown thinner and lighter in the interim. I’ve been waiting for Speedplay to bring some of the burl and innovative features of the Drillium to something lighter and a lot less chunky. Enter the Brass Knuckles.

Bike test: Santa Cruz Bantam

05.28.2014 //

The single-pivot Santa Cruz Bantam offers a lot of bang for your buck.

The Web Monkey Speaks: My Riding Partner Licks Himself

05.26.2014 //

Dogs don’t sit around at trailheads and glower at other dogs because they are chasing bikes with too little or too much travel. Dogs don’t care if you have a racing license or whether or not your jumps could be said to possess the right amount of steez. Dogs just want to get out there and chase a wheel—all day, every day. We can all learn a lot from the average dog.

Preview: Cannondale Trigger 29 Carbon 1

05.22.2014 //

A lot of bikes claim to be versatile and many of them do a good job of handling a wide range of trails, but a few select bikes twist the knob to 11, so to speak. The Trigger is intriguing in that it has the potential to bridge the gap between cross-country race whip and all-purpose trail bike. On paper, those two categories may seem similar, but on the trail, they are like tuna fish and vanilla ice cream.

The Web Monkey Speaks: Please Don’t Kill The 29er

05.19.2014 //

You may not have liked the 29ers of the past. I understand why—I didn’t either—but times have changed and we are on the verge of bringing 29ers into their own… and, yet, product managers are asking themselves whether they should cut 29ers out of their lines altogether and simply replace them with 650b. The 29-inch wheel has become uncool….again. But is that reason enough to banish it to the glue factory?

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