iconsiconsiconsicons

As a follow up to a recent initial ride impressions that I have written on my new Trek Checkpoint gravel bike, here are some thought on a new gravel-specific drop bar, made by Spank Industries who is a well known player in the MTB world of cockpit parts and rims.

The first time I saw the Chase Bike Vest I thought it was a bit hokee. If you are going to wear something while riding, why would you choose a vest over a low volume backpack? I mean isn't it just a smaller version of a small backpack anyways?

I'm going to be honest. Axle's aren't something that crosses my mind all the time. They are more of a set and forget, maybe check every couple of rides to make sure they are still tight.

Full disclosure, this is my first gravel bike. When gravel bikes entered the scene a few years, I initially remarked to myself this was another bike industry push to create something new and drive sales.

Bontrager released a new pair of the clippless Rally shoes this summer, with clean lines and a smooth design, right out of the box they look super nice and have a good feeling of being durable and long lasting.

Either one of these pieces are easily confused with casual wear, and could be worn out on the town without anyone batting an eye.  In fact I wore them around the house for most of the day before my family even noticed that they were riding pieces.

Let’s be clear - Trek’s Top Fuel is a XC race weapon. This is not your typical ‘Whistler XC’ bike, which the greater industry may characterize as a ‘trail’ or ‘all mountain’ bike. The Top Fuel is designed for World Cup XC race courses. It is meant to be precise, light and fast.

Product detail specs on the Trek website whiff of hyperbole: “...optimized, Tachyon, asymmetrical, GnarGuard...” No question Trek puts much into its R&D and continually pumps out quality so I was anxious to give this eye popping shoe a try.  

The Performance T from Pearl Izumi is a bit of a sleeper. It doesn’t really come across as much, but recently it has become my go to shirt for riding in.

As we know by now, Trek (and Bontrager) trends towards the side of awesome.   Recently I got the change to do a side by side comparsion between the Bontrager Troslo Liners & Bib shorts. 

Over the past couple of years, a number of niche products have entered the mountain bike market that modify the bike to ground interface beyond the simple rim/tire combination. These technologies are generally inserted into the tire airspace of tubeless rim/tire setups with reported claims including reduced tire burping, square edge hit protection, more tunable airspace, better grip with lower air pressure and so on.