Monday, November 23, 2015

Just In - Airshot Tubeless Tire Inflator System

Airshot Main

The Airshot is a well made, light, portable and highly functional air canister that allows you to install a tubeless tire by offering a fast high volume shot of air to mount the tire instantly onto the rims bead.

Running mountain bike tires in a tubeless manner has many benefits, including no pinch flats, improved impact absorption and feel, reduced rotational weight (no tubes) and the ability to run lower pressures. However, setting up a tubeless system can be a finicky endeavor and usually requires a compressor or the use of CO2 cartridges to get the tire to pop up onto the rims bead for a secure seal. It can be done with a floor pump, but lot's of practice and some dark arts magic is needed to get most tires to seat. Even with those proper tools, you can still curse, sweat and wrench your hands getting everything set up properly. Small compressors are a useful expenditure for a home shop, but they aren't cheap and are extremely noisy and not functional to take to remote sites.

The Airshot tubeless tire system remedies this situation by giving you the ability to inflate a tubeless tire using a pressurized canister at home, the trailhead, on road trips and during race situations. The Airshot system ($100) consists of a small 1.14-liter air canister with a screw on cap, and the unit can be pumped up to 160 psi.

Airshot head

The top cap is where all the business takes place, and has an integrated Presta input valve to pump up the canister and a high-pressure hose with an adjustable petcock lever at the cap end and a screw-on head at the other that attaches to the tires Presta valve.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Just In - Club Ride Phantasm Jersey, Pipeline and Cargo Away Shorts

Club Ride -  Phantasm Jersey, Pipeline and Cargo Away Shorts

The long sleeved Phantasm jersey is comfy, breathable and wicks well while the multi-pocketed Cargo Away shorts are tough and comfy with an ideal bagginess and inseam length, and the Pipeline shorts are very stretchy and comfortable.

Although Club Ride has followed a different path than most cycling apparel companies and has usually stuck to their western roots, this year they're adding more vibrant colors, staid patterns, and styling and Enduro based products. They have always used high-tech fabrics and cycling based features and designs that have an extra degree of toughness and durability. They sent a couple of new pieces of apparel to test and review, including the wild Phantasm long sleeved All Mountain jersey, the brightly colored Enduro based Pipeline and baggy Cargo Away shorts.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Just In - Level Nine Stem and Voke Tabs

Level Nine All Mountain Team Stem

Level Nine All Mountain Team Stem

"The All Mountain Team stem represents everything we love most about technical trail bikes today. Designed to compliment the smooth flowing lines and organic shapes of contemporary carbon trail bikes, it’s strong enough that you can bolt it on' and line up for high speed runs at your local Enduro series, but light enough for all-day trail epics. Stiff and confidence inspiring, this is our stem of choice for our all mountain trail rigs."

The 6061 Aluminum Level Nine All Mountain Team stem comes in 40, 50, 60 and 70mm lengths, has a 6ยบ ride, is available in Black and Gunmetal and retails for $105.

All rise for the stiff one!

Grams Thoughts => It's tough to review any well made and designed stem since they pretty much all do the same thing, they're stiff and strong. I never felt any flex or give to the stem, though it seemed to offer just a tad of damping when punching hard through gnarly terrain. What I like about this stem is that it's pretty darn gorgeous, with lovely swooping lines and contours, and the gunmetal color scheme and luster make it a real standout. I tested their 60mm stem, and it measured out as 63.9mm long and weighed in at  150.7 grams. I am looking forward to some long term use with this stunning stem.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Interbike 2015 - Shimano XT 11-speed

Shimano Deore XT M8000 11-speed

Shimano Deore XT M8000 11-speed

Earlier this year the new Deore XT 11-speed group was announced, and it got the trickle down effect of their top of the line XTR 11-speed group. The best news of this product release was the availability of a true wider-range 1x specific cassette. The new XT 11-speed drivetrain gets two cassettes (11-40T and 11-42T), 1x11, 2x11 and 3x11 cranksets, a Shadow RD derailleur and RapidFire Trigger shifter. Also, the XT pedals get a wider platform for improved stability. Interbike was the first time I got some up close and personal use of the drivetrain.

Grams Thoughts => The XT 11-speed drivetrain shifted as smooth as silk without any hesitation in that crucial last couple of upper cogs, and it was easy to sweep through large swaths of gears with an easy thumb push. Up and down through the gears went without a hitch or glitch. The triggers had a nice tactile and ergonomic feel, and I didn't feel any binding as the cable slid in the housing.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Interbike 2015 - Scott Plus Bikes

Genius 700 Tuned Plus

The Genius 700 Tuned Plus was my show favorite for bikes this year and the distinctive qualities of the 27.5+ tires and wide rims along with Scott's frameset design and geometry make it stand out from anything else I rode this year.

Genius 700 Tuned Plus

The Genius 700 Tuned Plus is a 27.5+ bike with 140mm of travel in front and 130mm of travel in the rear, and the front triangle is full carbon while the rear is made from aluminum. It can accommodate up to 3-inch sized tires in the rear and comes kitted with the top of the line components including an SRAM X01 drivetrain and Shimano XTR brakes.