The Mountain Bike Life

Category: Reviews

For years, mountain bike shoes have fallen into the ends of the mtb spectrum. Either the bastard children of road bike shoes and figure skates or the clunky progeny of skate shoes. There hasn’t been much in the middle. Either plastic tap-shoes or wimpy lace-ups with gummy soles. It amazed me that so few manufacturers could produce something in between. I wanted something better. What’s more, I needed new shoes. My beloved Sidi dominators, while still in service for use…

After strenuously denying the need or value of a drop post for the last couple of years with an argument based entirely on a long history of not ever dropping my seat post my views recently took a change in direction. In isolation I still don’t see the benefits of the dropper, even having owned one now for some months, but in conjunction with the evolution of bike design, trends and even terrain is it now arguable that a dropper…

PUSH industries have been specializing in making other companies gear better for the greater part of two decades. Shocks from the factory are made for the masses. Averages are accepted to manufacture the fewest number of production units that will work for the greatest number of applications. As a result, you may or may not fit into the factory spec. If you’re much bigger or smaller than around 165lbs, more or less aggressive than most, or ride a specific type…

Wales is as synonymous with legends as it is rain and sheep. If legend is to be believed, if you sleep alone on the top of Cadair Idris you will awaken either a mad man or a poet. I’m clearly not fully a man of legendary characteristics, as I awoke the day after my ‘jaunt’ up Cadar Idris without any poetic fervour, I was however grinning like a mad man. This trip had been a long time coming and we…

Riding indoors on a trainer or stationary/spin bike is par for the course if you live in a four-season postal code. While indoor spinning is good for maintaining fitness, it lacks the ‘joie de vivre’ of riding on real singletrack. Being stuck in a basement watching someone pedal in their virtual room gets boring quickly. This is where the Trail Trainer videos piqued my interest with their promise of fun indoor workouts on real mountain bike trails. Chris Allen, who…

I admit it. I am a gear snob. I like everything I have to be a very particular way, perform exactly as I expect, and to be everything it is advertised to be. This is my standard. Anything but this standard will drive me insane. It will not be usable. Many of my rides have been obliterated by the intolerable minutia that would normally be excepted as standard deviation. I am susceptible to drivetrain noise, untuned suspension, inappropriate tire pressures…

The Nomad was a lot to adjust to for me. In my deranged push for this bike I prematurely sold my Ibis HD leaving me with but a single horse in the barn. My Independent Fabrication Deluxe singlespeed is a very capable machine and it rides great anywhere I’d care to take it. Colorado can be…. unforgiving on a singlespeed but it performed so well during the interim between one carbon superbike to the next that I began to consider…

I have been riding the Trace for over a year now, in that time I have ridden this fork on everything from long XC rides to DH runs at bike parks and everything in between. It’s been a while since I wrote up the product preview and I thought it was time to spill the beans and let our readers know how the X-Fusion Trace RL2 held up under a year and a half of my abuse, find out after…

There are few component manufacturers more iconic than Chris King. For over 35 years King has been manufacturing the gold standard in high-end cycling gear. From their introduction of the first sealed bearing headset, to their recent innovations in XD compatible driveshells and Press-fit bottom brackets that actually work, Chris King continues to push the envelope in quality, beauty, and functionality. King prides themselves on their ethic of sustainable manufacturing, and produces their 100% of their wares in their Portland…

A recent trip to some pedal heavy trails got me back on my clipless setup. I had almost forgotten the benefits. Pedaling strength and precise control make for a strong argument. But then, there is that one huge downside to my low profile cleats. They suck when off the bike. So I took a look into the market to see if there was a way to have my cake and eat it too, and apparently there is a work around…

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