I was introduced to the benefits of waxed canvas as a Rivendell Bicycle Works employee in the mid 1990s. Specifically, using Filson seconds as a way to wrap tools to fasten to my Brooks leather saddle with a handy leather toe strap. Fast forward nearly 20 years and I discover a Seattle-based craftswoman named Erica Hanson who has refined what Rivendell founder Grant Petersen called a ‘burrito wrap’, and providing tool rolls for bicycle and motorcycle use.
At 17″ x 9″, the Nomad carries much and packs tight.Tweet Print
If you don’t think e-bikes are a real mover in the bicycle marketplace? Look no further than the entry of Bosch in the marketplace to prove that some big brands are willing to invest serious resources in the growing market. For 2015 it has paired up with a few key brands to bring e-bikes with Bosch motors and control units—already a huge hit in Europe—to U.S. dealerships. Look for bikes from Haibike, Felt, and Lapierre, including this Overvolt FS900.Tweet Print
Of all the road bikes we test here at Bicycle Times, SRAM’s Rival group might be the most common drivetrain we see. With most of the technologies and features of the top-tier Red and Force groups, it hits a pricepoint that makes it appealing from weekend warriors to dedicated racers.
New for 2015, SRAM is offering the Rival group in its 11-speed format, first seen on Red and Force. With the change comes a host of other trickle-down features from the levers to the rear derailleur.Tweet Print
Fabric is a spin-off brand from Charge Bikes, itself a part of the larger Cycling Sports Group which also operates Cannondale, GT, Schwinn and other brands. Charge had found huge success with its saddles, and when some sister brands like Cannondale began asking for a stock saddle for its bikes—the idea for a new parts and accessories brand was born.
The Fabric brand was formally introduced this week, with a line of three saddles, plus grips and handlebar tape. The line is not unique to Cycling Sports Group brands, however. In fact, you will see its products on a handful of brands’ bikes this fall and more in the future. They will be available through your local bike shop and online.Tweet Print
Niner continues to expand beyond its original mountain bike lineup with an all-new, full-carbon cyclocross bike dubbed the Blood, Sweat and Beers, or BSB9 for short. With a sub-1,000 gram frame, full carbon fork and a suite of top notch components, it’s a no-compromise race bike that can be used year round.
We also got a peek at a new 29+ platform, the ROS9+, an adaptation of the popular ROS9 hardtail 29er.Tweet Print
Last year we saw a prototype fat bike rim from Stan’s NoTubes, and while we figured a 26-inch wheel was in the works, today we saw the finished product: the Hugo is a 50mm-wide, tubeless rim with a unique cross section and options in all three wheel sizes.
We also got the details and a ride in on the new Grail disc road wheel that is perfectly suited to all manner of “road” applications and slots in between the IronCross and Alpine models.
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Photos by the author and Dane Cronin, courtesy of GT Bicycles.
Let’s face it, the vast majority of us are never going to need the kind of elite-level performance that modern race bikes are designed for. We want other things, like bigger tires, maybe some fender mounts, and a slightly more comfortable ride for our real-world behinds. GT is jumping into the fray with a new model aimed at the core the recreational road bike market with the new Grade.
The frame is built around GT’s famous Triple Triangle design, with carefully shaped tubing to create a compliant ride. There’s also room for tires from 23c to 35c knobbies and fender eyelets front and rear. Featuring carbon and aluminum options with complete bikes starting at just $799, there is likely to be an build spec for everyone.Tweet Print
Technically it’s the JYD, but the name is a nod to the brand’s fondness for pro wresting. The JYD is a new monstercross/cruiser/mountainous/urban assault vehicle that is designed to be low-tech and big fun. Like most of All City’s bikes, it’s made from steel with some nice touches that set it apart, including the track-end style dropouts and the segmented “New England” style fork.
It’s built beefy with extra gussets for years of thrashing. The bottom bracket is a standard threaded affair and the rear spacing is 135mm. It even has fender eyelets to keep your keister dry. Yes it will fit a 29×2.25 tire, and no, it isn’t suspension corrected. Nor does it have disc brakes. It seems to make use of some sort of rubberized pad that slides along the rim…
It’s available in a frameset only. Want one? Better hurry. There are only plans for 150 to be built this year, dropping in September, and no promises on a second production run. Bring $550 to your nearest All City dealer to get in line.Tweet Print
I’ve been a drop-bar, off-roading rider for a couple decades, so the whole ‘gravel’ category is a little late-coming and a bit cliché for me. Who wouldn’t want to ride a properly-specced and comfortable performance bike anywhere and everywhere? Isn’t that the point of adventure seeking?
What’s new for me and others is the marriage of drop bars and disc brakes, which makes perfect sense for many reasons, including better speed control and less hand fatigue. I’m more comfortable on drop bars, and make use of all the hand positions afforded by the extra real estate, so having better control at the levers gives me more confidence. The Pivot Vault caught my eye as a modern carbon all-rounder to stack up against my 24-plus years of off-road riding experience, and it offers several interesting features.Tweet Print
Not everyone wants or needs to monitor their heart rate while bicycling, but for some it’s an important health and fitness gauge. In my case, after two false alarms for anxiety or stress-induced heart issues in less than three years, I’ve turned to heart rate monitoring for safety’s sake as well, but have been turned off by the dreaded chest strap.
So imagine my interest when a helmet-based heart rate monitoring system appeared. I’ve worn Lazer helmets for five years, and the Belgian company’s partnership with LifeBEAM, comprised of pilots, engineers and cyclists, began to make sense.Tweet Print