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Product Tests

Review – Oneup Composite Pedals

OneUp Components was founded by Chris, Jon and Sam—three former Race Face engineers who quit their stable jobs to chase a dream. That dream was to design products for passionate mountain bikers such as themselves. In fact, these guys told us that they only make products that they would be willing to pay full retail […]

Review – Cane Creek Helm Air 27.5 Boost Fork

North Carolina is known for its excellent manufacturing companies and technical products. Indeed, it’s home to manufacturers like Industry Nine, with its multicolored-spoke wheels, and Cane Creek, the supplier of both top-quality headsets and the Double Barrel shock, which has been a favorite of gravity bikers for many years. Speaking of that shock, it was […]

Review – Henty Enduro Pack

Jeremy Grey and his childhood friend Jon Gourlay founded Henty in 2012 after struggling to find a solution for transporting business clothing to and from the office. The Tasmania-based company later added to its range of commuter and travel bags with the Enduro backpack, which launched in September of 2017. The Enduro back- pack draws […]

Review – Kona Wah Wah Flat Pedals

  Flat pedals have made a strong come- back over the last year, with more and more riders ditching their clips for a more challenging and fun way to ride. Flat pedals, however, are not all made the same; there are good ones and bad ones. Kona recently introduced a new generation of Wah Wah […]

Review – Ridefast Racing Hotwire Wheels

Carbon fiber wheels have been a hot-ticket upgrade over the last few years, with various brands vying for space in the market. RideFast Racing has emerged as a smaller company with a slightly different approach. This Southern California-based company is hoping to make carbon wheels more affordable and durable enough to last several seasons. We […]

Review – 9Point8 Dropper Post

Dropper posts have quickly become a must-have component for almost every cyclist. Riders and racers in categories ranging from enduro to cross-country have welcomed dropper posts with open arms, and for good reason—they’re awesome. We’ve even seen World Cup cross-country stars bolting on the added weight of droppers to their lean and mean race machines […]

Review – LOOK X-Track Carbon Race Pedals

There are a lot of things that the French do well, and in cycling, one of them is pedals. Look is one of the oldest cycling brands around and has been doing pedals for a few generations. Over the years Look has seen success on the pavement and dirt, and has earned a reputation for […]

Review – FASST Company FLEXX Handlebars

Fasst Company is best known for its innovative off-road motorcycle and ATV handlebars. Flexx handlebars, as the company calls them, are designed with elastomer dampers to help the bars do exactly what the name implies—flex. While flex generally isn’t a positive attribute for mountain bikes, especially in a world where stiffer is always advertised as […]

What Are Wide Trail Tires?

The bicycle industry has reinvented the wheel multiple times over the past couple years, looking to find the perfect tire and rim size for everyday trail riders. Plus-sized tires (2.8- to 3.25-inch wide tires) quickly grew in popularity due to the benefits of high air volume and increased traction and stability. On the other hand, […]

Review – HED Raptor 27.5 Wheels

HED is an American company based in Roseville, Minnesota. It prides itself on its U.S.-operated manufacturing, which yields what it claims are some of the most reliable and well-rounded cycling products. The company was founded in the mid-’80s by Steve and Anne Hed. After Steve’s tragic passing, Anne took over and continues to run the […]

First Ride: Shimano’s All-New 12-Speed XTR

First Ride: Shimano’s All-New XTR Group-set  Shimano announced their all-new XTR M9100-series group in late May, but, it wasn’t until a month after the release that Shimano invited the media to Crested Butte, Colorado, arguably the birthplace of mountain biking along with Marin County, to see and ride their new race inspired components. While a […]

Review – Bontrager Rhythm Trail Shoes

Whether you’re riding clipped in or with flats, a good pair of shoes is important. Bontrager has been producing a broad range of soft goods for several years and has a good reputation for high quality and design. While cross-country racers are looking for the lightest and stiffest shoes, and downhill racers want traction for […]

Review – Fox 34 Step-Cast Factory Fork

In early 2016 Fox released the 32 Step-Cast fork with 100mm of travel and a slimmed down chassis. This fork was the lightest we had tested in its class and has since proven to be a go-to for our XC testers. Since the release of the 32 StepCast, Fox has revamped their longer-travel 36-series forks […]

Review – MAXXIS Aspen 29X2.25 EXO/TR Tires

Tires are a very personal part of every rider’s bike, and riders have their own opinions about what works well on their local trails. Fortunately, Maxxis has a very broad range of treads for everything from downhill to cross-country racing to suit just about anyone’s needs and wants. We have tested a few different XC […]

First Ride: Pivot Trail 429

Pivot Trail 429 The Pivot Mach 429 Trail adds an aggressive twist to Pivot’s full-suspension cross-country race bike the Mach 429 SL. These two bikes are vastly different in design and intended use but are quite similar in name. This created confusion for Pivot’s dealer when ordering bikes, so to solve this issue Pivot renamed their […]

Review – RACE FACE CINCH Power Meter

Power meters have become a necessity in road racing and cycling for serious riders who want to get the most out of their training. There has been some demand for power meters in the mountain bike market, but companies have struggled to hit the mark when it comes to compatibility and a realistic price point. […]

First Ride: Pivot Switchblade Aluminum

 The Pivot Switchblade was first introduced in 2016 and quickly got attention due to its Super Boost Plus 157 rear end. The new  Super Boost Plus hub spacing allowed Pivot to give the Switchblade tire clearance for either 27.5+ or 29″ wheels while keeping the chainstays as short as possible. Actually, short might be an understatement. The Switchblade […]

Review – LEATT DBX 3.0 Enduro V2 Helmet

Leatt is a company that prioritizes safety while striving to make the best products for mountain bikers. Leatt built its reputation by designing neck braces and later a full line of helmets, riding kits and protective gear. Leatt’s latest venture is convertible helmets. Convertible helmets have been growing in popularity due to their appealing, all-in-one […]

SOC18 – New Continental Mountain King Tires

There are several new tires here at Sea Otter, including Continental’s revised Mountain King. The Mountain King has been one of their main trail tires for several years with a German design and construction. Continental introduced the Mountain King this week with a new tread pattern designed to use their proprietary Black Chili Compound for […]

SOC18 – Syncros Silverton SL One Piece Carbon Wheels

It’s the first day of the 2018 Sea Otter Classic and Syncros has kicked it off with the launch of their new Silverton SL wheels. The Silverton SL’s are a one-piece carbon design coming in at 1,250 grams (29er).   Syncros uses a hookless rim bead with an internal width of 26mm, external width of […]

First Ride Video: 2018 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt

The 2018 Thunderbolt was constructed from Rocky Mountains Smoothwall Carbon which eliminates excess resin and fibers by using a rigid internal mold opposed to a traditional air bladder. This sophisticated design allows Rocky to deliver an unmatched stiffness to weight ratio. The Thunderbolt features a 4-bar Suspension design deemed Smoothlink. Smoothlink provides a push, yet […]

First Ride: Marzocchi’s All-New Bomber Z1 Fork

An icon returns. In 1997, the Marzocchi Bomber Z1 bursts onto the scene and bucked all contemporary trends. The flavors of that decade included rubber springs and feathery weights. The Z1 brought oil, coils and massive stanchions—it unapologetically prioritized grip and ride quality over just about everything else. The return of Z1 brings back these […]