Quiz: What type of bike should you be commuting on?

One thing that can make commuting via bicycle a more rewarding experience is – perhaps not too shockingly – having the right bike for the task. Of course, finding exactly which bike that is depends on many different variables, and there are probably many riders who could benefit from a change of ride. 

Our latest quiz attempts to work out exactly what type of bike we think you should be using for your commute. Simply answer six questions on your route and riding preferences and let our quiz do all the work!

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Not happy with the suggestion, think we’ve got it all wrong? Let us know in the comment box below.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Trek Marlin 6

Trek is one of the world’s largest and most successful bike makers, but its entry-level mountain machine offers something of a bruising introduction to the global superstar brand.

Multiple choice

If you like a choice of paint jobs, then the Marlin 6 is a refreshing rarity at this bargain-basement price point, in that it offers an alternative (orange) paint option and comes in a class-leading range of sizes. It also switches wheel size depending on frame size with 13.5 and 15 bikes rolling on 27.5in wheels and 17.5 through 23in frames fitted with 29in wheels.

The thinking behind this is that most mountain bikes now use 27.5in wheels for a balance of easy handling and smooth roll, but going 29in on larger sizes can offer a more proportionate, smoother ride.

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We found the handlebar to be brutally unforgiving

According to this theory, the shallower contact angle of the bigger wheels when they roll into a root or rock on the trail should make for a significantly smoother ride in the rough. The increased wheel weight and smoother roll should also give better speed sustain.

Aches and pains

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Jared Graves: 12 years and five disciplines of Yeti domination

Jared Graves is parting ways with Yeti Cycles, the iconic Colorado-based mountain bike company for whom he spent 12 years racing. During his tenure in turquoise and yellow, Graves racked up numerous world champion titles in 4X and enduro. The versatile Aussie racer represented his country at world championships in BMX, 4X and downhill and raced to a sixth place finish in BMX at the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing.

For months, hints on social media and speculation on YetiFan.com suggested the former Enduro World Series champion may attempt to reclaim the EWS crown aboard a Specialized. Specialized recently confirmed that Graves is joining its ranks. Best of luck to Graves next season. Until then, let’s take a look back at some of his Yeti race machines from years gone by.

Yeti SB6c

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Graves SB6c featured one of our favorite component hacks — an XTR shifter used to operate the Thomson dropper seatpost

Graves took the 2014 Enduro World Series overall win aboard Yeti’s SB6c. He worked closely with Yeti to design this enduro race bike. In fact, Yeti designed the fit of the medium SB6c frame around Graves measurements.

“It’s every spec I wanted,” Graves said. “Wheelbase bottom, bracket height, top tube.”

Yeti ARC Carbon

Yeti 303 WC Carbon

Yeti Super X and the 2008 Olympic Games

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Ten of the best mountain bike bits from 2015, in less than four minutes

BikeRadars sister magazine – What Mountain Bike – has just compiled its annual gear of the year feature. For readers, that means an issue jam-packed with 25 of the finest mountain bike bits and bobs from 2015.

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We thought we’d treat you to a preview of this feature, and so borrowed What Mountain Bike’s very own Tom Marvin. In just under four minutes, Tom goes all shopping channel on us, presenting and explaining ten bits of kit that made the list. From forks to cassettes, sunnies to saddles, it’s full of the products you should know about.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

BikeRadar gear of the year: Josh Patterson's 2015 MTB picks

Part of my job as a tech editor is to wade through the marketing muck and mire to hopefully make some sense of the products and technologies that genuinely advance our sport.

While attempting to separate the wheat from the chaff, I found myself routinely coming back to the same products – items that accompanied me on every ride or that I wished I were riding while testing lesser products.

Here are 10 of them, all of which I’d thoroughly recommend investing in.

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9point8 Fall Line dropper seatpost

There are a lot of truly unexceptional dropper seatposts on the market. Anyone familiar with my dropper seatpost rants knows how critical I am of this expensive piece of kit that’s not nearly as reliable as it should be at this stage in the game.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a properly functioning dropper seatpost and I absolutely hate riding without one, but out of the dozens on the market there are only two that I deem dependable enough to install on my personal bikes.

Shimano XT M8000 drivetrain

Giro Rivet II gloves

SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes

Blackburn 2’fer light

Santa Cruz 5010 version 2.0

Fox Float DPS EVOL shock

Trek Remedy 9.9 29

Bontrager SE5

Garmin Fenix 3

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

This self-inflating inner tube is 'making the impossible possible', apparently

Pumping up your tires is part and parcel of riding bikes. Lose pressure and your ride is slower and less efficient

But constantly having to check your tyre pressure and pump up your wheels can be a hassle for maintenance-shy, fit-and-forget riders. If that’s you, the designers behind PumpTire aim to put an end to put an end to your woes.

PumpTire is a new self-inflating inner tube, which uses a cunning peristaltic pump action (more on this below, in case you’re like us and don’t use words as big as ‘peristaltic’ that often) to regulate and maintain pressure automatically as you ride.

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Designed by Bejamin Krempel and a team of designers and engineers, with the cooperation of University of Bern and ETH Zurich, the first working prototype has, apparently, yielded excellent results. PumpTire is planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign early in 2016 to elevate the project to the next level.

It’s impossible, right?

“We started with a self-inflating tyre, and at that time cyclists would say ‘you should make a self-inflating inner tube’ – so I thought sure, that’s a great idea, except it’s impossible.” Krempel told BikeRadar.

“But then we came up with an idea of how to do it. Many, many ideas later we have the current design, which has excellent ride characteristics and pumping ability,” he added.

Next steps

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Best mountain bike 2015: Bike of the Year

We’ve tested more than 50 bikes over the last 12 months, but only six can make it onto the shortlist for mbr’s coveted Bike of the Year Award: find out which bike impressed us most and took top honours in 2015

Bike of the Year 2015 calibre bossnut featured_edited-1

Shortlisted bikes for 2014’s Bike of the Year
Source: MBR

Revolutionary One Gore-Tex Active jacket stays waterproof forever

The WL Gore company – along with its outdoor apparel and Gore Bike Wear divisions – have long been faced with a challenge: how do you make a jacket using the legendary Gore-Tex waterproof and breathable membrane but dramatically reduce its weight? With the new One Gore-Tex Active jacket, the membrane isn’t just embedded into the shell; it is the shell.

Up until now, all Gore-Tex jackets used a multi-layer construction whereby the membrane was sandwiched in between a liner material and so-called ‘face’ fabric, providing comfort against the skin on one side and requisite durability on the other. However, doing so meant that the outer layer always had to be treated with spray-on water-repellant coatings – which inevitably wear out – and even then, the garments would gradually get heavier as the outer layer eventually absorbed water.

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Unlike conventional Gore-Tex jackets where the waterproof/breathable membrane is sandwiched between other layers of fabric, the One Gore-Tex Active membrane is the shell

Even when dry, those layers add weight and bulk while contributing nothing to the membrane’s inherent waterproof and breathable characteristics.

With the new One Gore-Tex Active jacket, however, company engineers have figured out how to make the membrane sufficiently durable to act as the shell on its own. Company representatives wouldn’t disclose exactly how this was done (saying only that it requires a multi-layer membrane construction) but the results are pretty astonishing.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Trail Tech: Five technologies to look for in 2016

Looking back at 2015, there were quite a few shake-ups in mountain bike tech.

As predicted, 27.5+ bikes were everywhere. Not that I tried, but I couldn’t have swung a dead cat around a trade show hall this year without hitting a plus-sized mountain bike. Hardtails, full suspension, electronic mountain bikes, even recumbents – mid-sized fat rubber was mounted to everything conceivable.

Related: Exploring 27.5+

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This year we saw a strong resurgence of interest in coil shocks. As good as modern air shocks are, there’s no substitute for the suppleness and dependability of a coil-sprung damper. Their associated weight penalty is more than offset by today’s lightweight carbon frames and wheels.

Related: The coil-sprung comeback

So what can riders expect to encounter in 2016? Here are my best, slightly educated guesses. They’re partly based on predictable product cycles, with a dash of industry gossip, and a healthy dose of self-interest in products that I would want to ride, if they existed.

Electronics will be everywhere

Next-level dropper tech

Longer droppers

Boost is the new normal… for now

Wider-range drivetrains

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar